L.A. County Has it’s First Measles Case Since 2020: What to do if You’re Exposed

L.A. County Has it’s First Measles Case Since 2020: What to do if You’re Exposed.

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
A recently arrived traveler at Los Angeles International Airport is the source of the first case of measles in L.A. County since 2020.
Measles is a highly infectious disease, and health experts say the best way to evade infection is immunization.

The Los Angeles resident was a passenger on a Turkish Airlines flight that arrived at 5 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, Gate 157. Anyone who was at Terminal B from 5 to 9 p.m. may have been exposed and could be at risk of developing measles.

L.A. public health officials are notifying Turkish Airlines passengers who sat close to this flier about possible measles exposure.

The measles virus can live in the air for up to two hours after an infected person has left the area, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which works with the L.A. Department of Public Health to investigate communicable disease exposure on international flights to the U.S.

Following the flight, the infected person made a stop at a Northridge Chick-fil-A.

Patrons who were at the restaurant at 18521 Devonshire St. between 8 and 10:30 p.m. may be at risk of developing measles, county health officials said.

Additional locations where possible exposures may have occurred are being investigated by the health department.

“Measles is spread by air and by direct contact,” said Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County health officer, in a news release. “Even before you know it, you have it, and [it] can lead to severe disease.”

Those who haven’t been immunized against measles, or are not sure whether they’ve had the vaccine, and were at these sites during the date and times listed above are at risk of developing measles. Symptoms appear from seven to 21 days after exposure to the virus. Those who have been free of symptoms for more than 21 days are no longer at risk.

The CDC reported a recent rise in domestic measles cases. Between Dec. 1 and Jan. 23, the agency was notified of 23 confirmed U.S. cases of measles, including seven direct importations of measles by international travelers and two outbreaks with more than five cases each.

If you think you were exposed

Public health officials recommend:

  • Review your immunization and medical records to determine whether you’re protected against measles. People who have not had measles infection or received the measles immunization previously may not be protected from the virus and should talk with a healthcare provider about receiving the measles, mumps and rubella immunization.
  • Contact and notify your healthcare provider as soon as possible about a potential exposure if you’re pregnant, if you have an unvaccinated infant who may have been exposed or if you have a weakened immune system.
  • Monitor yourself for illness: a fever and/or an unexplained rash from seven days to 21 days after exposure.
  • If symptoms develop, stay at home and avoid school, work and any large gatherings. Call a healthcare provider immediately. Do not enter a healthcare facility before calling and making the provider aware of your measles exposure and symptoms.

Last month, the CDC released an alert for healthcare providers for measles cases after there were 23 confirmed cases throughout the U.S.

The best way to prevent measles infection is by getting the MMR vaccine, which covers measles, mumps and rubella. Children need two vaccine doses, one when they are 12 to 15 months old and the second between the ages of 4 and 6. Teenagers and adults who have not yet been immunized need one dose.

How measles can spread

The virus is highly contagious and lives in the nose and throat mucus of an infected person, according to the CDC. It can spread through coughing and sneezing.

The CDC says the virus is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people who are not immune and are in close proximity to that person will also become infected.

Measles can also spread when other people breathe the contaminated air or touch an infected surface, then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.

The infection can be spread four days before symptoms begin or four days after signs of the virus.

Measles symptoms

The first symptoms of measles infection will appear in seven to 14 days of contracting the infection.

We know measles as a rash on the skin, but it can be dangerous especially for babies and young children. Measles typically begins with high fever (which could spike to more than 104 degrees), cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

Two to three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth.

In three to five days after having symptoms of measles infection, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face and at the hairline, then spreads downward to the back, trunk, arms, legs and feet.

Contributor: Karen Garcia – Los Angeles Times

Smell These 16 Things to Lose Weight

Smell These 16 Things to Lose Weight

Eat right and exercise — that’s the conventional weight loss wisdom. Unfortunately, this limited view discounts the power of many other mechanisms which we can harness to create the body and health that we want.
Forward-thinking research is revealing the ability of aroma and our sense of smell to help us shed unwanted pounds. We’re not saying you should swap your gym membership for an aromatherapy diffuser, but it definitely wouldn’t hurt to integrate this tool into your weight loss arsenal.

Smell triggers responses in the body

You might be wondering how aromas in the environment could possibly affect the size and shape of your body. The fact is the perception of scent causes reactions in various bodily systems. For example, researchers found that inhaling the body odor of an ovulating woman caused men’s bodies to excrete more testosterone, while the scent of women in a non-fertile part of their cycle didn’t elicit this response. It’s clear that smells have subtle yet complex and powerful effects on the function of the human body.

This is even true whether the smell is real or imagined. You can observe this phenomenon right now while reading this article. Think about a juicy lemon, holding the firm yellow fruit, then cutting into the lemon and some juice sprays out. Imagine picking up the lemon and inhaling that fresh, sour scent. Is your mouth starting to water?

You may not be aware of them, but there are other bodily processes that also kick in when you begin to salivate. The pancreas and liver start producing bile and enzymes, and the whole system gets ready to digest food and burn calories. Grasping this opens the doors to understanding how smelling certain foods could ignite bodily responses which, in turn, can result in weight gain or weight loss.

Your sense of smell could be making you fat

Science has shown that a sense of smell can contribute to weight gain, either directly or indirectly. A 2016 study demonstrated that smelling a sweet smell like vanilla increased study participants’ craving for junk food like chocolate and candy while inhaling a fresh scent (a citrus and mint blend) made them less likely to want to indulge in these foods.

While a sense of smell informs the body about the type of calories we are consuming and helps us enjoy our food, this can be a blessing and a curse. A 2017 study performed on mice found that the group of animals with their sense of smell removed stopped gaining weight, and experienced improvements in fat mass and insulin resistance.

On the contrary, a healthy sense of smell can be influenced in such a way as to reduce the desire to consume calories. That’s what a weight loss product called Sensa does. It consists of sprinkles which, when applied to a meal, are designed to enhance the smell and taste of the food and trigger the eater to feel full sooner. This concept is built on research that has identified a feedback loop whereby food smells and tastes different once we have eaten to satiety.

While removing or intentionally manipulating our sense of smell may be a bit drastic, we can perhaps influence these powerful bodily systems in a positive direction by using scents that naturally ignite the fat-burning response.

16 scents that can trigger weight loss

Aromatherapy has been used for thousands of years in traditional wellness and medicine to create an atmosphere, aid relaxation and support healthy body functions, one of which is a balancing body composition. We can access these fat-busting aromas whether through whole foods or with extracts like essential oils.

1. Lemon

Scientists have found that the bright and energizing scent of lemon triggers lipolysis, which is the breaking down of body fats.

2. Peppermint

Research indicates that inhaling peppermint helps control appetite and cravings, which facilitates weight loss.

3. Grapefruit

This bitter citrus fruit is a well-known appetite suppressant that revs up metabolism and helps balance cholesterol.

4. Coffee

Just inhaling the aroma of ground coffee increases energy and focus and may ignite fat-burning processes.

5. Lavender

The classic scent of lavender, or other blossoms, like jasmine, fosters relaxation, which shuts down the production of the stress hormone cortisol and thus facilitates the shedding of extra body fat.

6. Cypress

Many woody scents such as cypress, spruce, frankincense, eucalyptus and sandalwood are known to be beneficial in traditional healing like Japanese Forest Bathing, or shinrin-yoku. Studies show that this practice is beneficial in lowering stress and inflammation, which can be underlying factors that cause the body to hold on to excess body weight. We can simulate the experience by simply inhaling these forest aromas.

7. Cucumber

This classic spa vegetable aids in relaxation and could help prevent stress-induced eating.

8. Green apple

Research has shown study subjects who sniffed green apples and bananas were able to curb weight gain.

9. Olive oil

A study found that the aroma of olive oil can trigger satiety reactions in the brain, so not only is eating this healthy oil beneficial but smelling it is too.

10. Clementine

Citrus aromas like clementine, wild orange or bergamot are powerful mood-boosters to stop emotional eating, and have also been shown to balance blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

11. Rosemary

Smelling this aromatic culinary herb could suppress the desire to eat. Sniff rosemary essential oil when you feel a craving coming on.

12. Cinnamon

This warming spice is known to balance blood sugar levels and prevent cravings, helping prevent weight gain.

13. Ginger

Research shows that ginger directly prevents the storage of body fat and the development of obesity.

14. Fennel

Animal research has shown that the inhalation of fennel aroma results in improved digestion and fewer calories consumed.

15. Juniper berry

This oil is rich in antioxidants and could optimize detoxification pathways, supporting the shedding of excess pounds.

16. Lemongrass

The fresh scent of lemongrass has been found to combat mental fatigue and lack of energy, and is traditionally used for detoxification which could support weight loss.

Now that you know which scents can trigger weight loss, it’s time to choose your favorites and set yourself up with an aromatic toolbox. Create a healthy habit of inhaling your favorite fat-fighting scent whenever you feel like reaching for a junky snack, or before a meal to prevent overeating.

Contributor: Liivi Hess – Alternative Daily

There’s No Easy Way to Stop Taking Ozempic

There’s No Easy Way to Stop Taking Ozempic

Claremont Colonic Clinic Newsletter
What happens if you have to go off weight-loss drugs?
It’s a growing concern for the millions of Americans taking medications including Wegovy, Zepbound or Ozempic. Employer-health plans are tightening requirements or dropping coverage. And manufacturers’ discount coupons for initial supplies of medication expire, leaving people having to cough up roughly $1,000 a month without insurance.

For patients, this presents a conundrum. They have to stay indefinitely on the drugs, known as GLP-1s, or risk gaining back the weight, according to many doctors. But for lots of people, taking the medication forever isn’t a realistic option.

Faced with this predicament, some are trying to switch to a different GLP-1 to see if their insurance will cover it. Others are looking into older anti-obesity treatments or finding cheaper versions at compounding pharmacies.

No option is perfect. Older drugs don’t work as well, and doctors worry about safety and quality with cheaper compound versions.

Christine Hayworth, a 41-year-old in Long Beach, Calif., lost about 60 pounds in a year on GLP-1 medication. But in the fall, she stopped taking it when her manufacturer savings card expired.

In the month and a half when she was off the drugs, she regained 8 to 10 pounds. Ultimately she got insurance approval for Wegovy, and relost the weight, she says.

“I went into a panic, and during that time it was like my body was spiraling,” she says. “I had all this success. Now what if I just go backwards?”

Getting approval

A commonly cited 2022 study funded by Novo Nordisk, the manufacturer of Wegovy and Ozempic, found that patients regained two-thirds of their lost weight a year after they stopped taking semaglutide, the main component in the medications. Wegovy is approved for obesity treatment. Ozempic is approved for Type 2 diabetes, but many people take it off-label for weight loss.

People typically reach peak weight loss and plateau six to nine months after starting to take GLP-1 medications, says Dr. Caroline Apovian, co-director of the Center for Weight Management and Wellness at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

Doctors say it has become harder for patients to be covered for these drugs as health plans grow more concerned about costs. The coverage issues mainly affect people taking the drugs for weight loss, not for managing Type 2 diabetes, doctors say.

Back in 2022, about 60% of prior authorizations got approved by insurers, says Dr. Myra Ahmad, chief executive of Mochi, a telehealth obesity clinic. Now the rate is down to 25% to 30%, she says.

Weight regain is gradual at first, then comes back more forcefully, she says.

If you lose access to one drug, you can have your doctor try to get your insurance to approve a different one. So if you’ve been on Wegovy, for instance, you could try getting coverage for Zepbound.

There are also older anti-obesity medications, but they aren’t as effective and might have more side effects, such as phentermine, Contrave and Qsymia, as well as drugs that are taken off-label for weight loss, such as the diabetes medication metformin.

Often, patients have to go on multiple medications as well as trying to change their diet and exercise habits, says Dr. Amanda Velazquez, director of obesity medicine at Cedars-Sinai Center for Weight Management and Metabolic Health in Los Angeles.

Eating a high-protein diet, staying away from ultra-processed foods and adding resistance training to your workouts also helps, says Apovian.

Another possibility is bariatric surgery, which can result in patients’ losing up to 35% of their body weight in the long term, says Apovian. This is a good option for people who need to lose more than 20% of their body weight, she says.

Strategies for stopping

Doctors say more research is needed to determine the best way to go off the drugs for patients who need to. If possible, the best way to go off GLP-1s is to reduce your dosage very gradually over time, says Dr. Dan Azagury, medical director of Stanford Lifestyle and Weight Management Clinic.

“If you do it abruptly, it’s practically guaranteed you’re going to regain weight,” he says. “Sometimes the hunger comes back really significantly, and it’s really hard to fight that if you stop it overnight.”

He also recommends significantly increasing your exercise routine and to aim for intense exercise six days a week.

If your body has been at a healthy weight for some period—likely at least a year or more—it might be possible to go off the drugs at some point, says Dr. Lydia Alexander, chief medical officer of Enara Health, a San Francisco-area obesity telehealth startup. Even then, going off the drugs will probably be much harder for someone who has had obesity for years compared with someone who gained weight more recently, she adds.

Ken Chinavare, a 53-year-old airplane mechanic in the Detroit area, stopped taking Wegovy last year after he had shed more than 30 pounds on the medication and was comfortable with his weight. Over the past year, he has regained most of the weight. Now he is thinking about whether to go back on a GLP-1.

“The regain has taken a psychological toll,” he says. “It’s disheartening. While on Wegovy, I felt normal. I didn’t have constant food noise in my head.”

Contributor: Sumathi Reddy –WSJ.com

5 Benefits of Drinking Pickle Juice

5 Benefits of Drinking Pickle Juice

Claremont Colonic Newsletter
Pickles are considered a “take it or leave it” addition to a meal for most people. The majority of people either absolutely love pickles or hate them with a fiery passion.
Pickles come in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. I might sound a bit like Bubba Gump from the Forrest Gump movie when I say this, but pickles can be sweet, savory, spicy, tangy, crunchy, crinkly, and sour — and the list goes on! Pickles are an affordable, low-calorie snack that can easily be eaten on the go (they even sell little to-go cups of pickles in some grocery stores). Some celebrities, like Selena Gomez, have boarded the pickle train as well. Selena even has pickles delivered to her from her hometown!

Although some people appreciate the tasty benefits of chomping down on pickles, what about the pickle juice that is typically discarded carelessly? Pickle juice may not be on your radar as something worth using, but take a look at the five everyday uses for pickle juice. Number two will surprise you!

1. Ease muscle cramps

Catching a cramp can feel like hell on earth. A bad cramp has made us all revert back to our childhood wailing at some point. Feeling the onset of a muscle cramp will make you immediately grip your body in excruciating pain while you silently berate yourself for not drinking enough water or stretching properly.

Muscle cramps are typically caused when someone doesn’t consume enough water to replace the amounts of water that are lost in everyday activities, such as working out. When you sweat while exercising, you lose a lot of salt from your blood. These salts are called electrolytes. Most people don’t hydrate enough to replace the amount of fluid that is lost during exercise, causing major fluid and electrolyte depletion, which creates sensitization of select nerves resulting in muscle cramps.

Pickle juice can help prevent dehydration during your workout, which will help your body reduce fluid loss, maintain workout performance, reduce heat stress, and fight fatigue. Now that’s a workout booster!

Studies show drinking small amounts of pickle juice relieves muscle cramps within 35 seconds of ingestion. Scientists believe the vinegar in pickle juice helps muscles to stop contracting, which causes the muscles to relax. Next time you feel a horrific cramp coming on, try drinking pickle juice from the jar or give this pickle sports drink a try.

2. Fix your hangover Alcohol can contribute to severe dehydration. When you’re out having a great time, a hangover is probably the last thing on your mind–but once you experience it the next day, a hangover will make you wonder why you decided to ever drink in the first place! Hangovers can cause nausea, headaches, and massive amounts of vomiting. If you’ve ever asked for advice on how to cure a hangover, you’ve most likely been told that water is essential for fighting those dreadful symptoms. Hydrating your body with electrolytes can help significantly reduce the intensity and length of your hangover. When electrolytes are consumed by your body, they dissolve into positive and negative charges. The two charges help regulate the flow of water in and out of cells, and spark nerve impulses.

Some people rely on electrolyte enhanced water, coconut water, or sports drinks to get their daily dose of electrolytes but pickle juice is the underdog that rarely gets recognition for its electrolyte enhanced benefits. Since pickle juice increases plasma electrolytes, it makes the perfect drink to ease your hangover.

3. Reduce PMS symptoms

Pickle juice isn’t just for regular cramps, it can also alleviate PMS complications, like period cramps. The vinegar found in pickle juice has probiotic effects that encourage the growth of good bacteria and flora in your stomach. The brine in pickle juice also helps settle an upset stomach.

An added bonus is that pickle juice might hit the spot for any period related cravings caused by PMS symptoms. A taste of pickle juice could be exactly what you need to banish your period woes.

4. Regulate blood sugar levels

High blood sugars levels can be deadly for people suffering from type 2 diabetes. Drinking a small amount of vinegar has been known to regulate blood sugar levels after a meal. Because pickle juice contains vinegar, it acts as a regulator for blood sugar levels, especially for people with type 2 diabetes, according to research in the Journal of Diabetes Research. The vinegar in pickle juice also helps improve the body’s response to insulin.

The benefits of drinking pickle juice aren’t strictly for post-meal purposes. Drinking pickle juice can also help individuals with type 2 diabetes before bedtime. Pickle juice has an antiglycemic effect due to the vinegar, which reduces starch digestion and delayed gastric emptying.

Lowered blood sugar levels can also help ward off other conditions, such as heart concerns and kidney damage.

5. Eliminates wrinkles

Everyone frets about the idea of getting wrinkles. For most people, it’s a sign of getting old (cue the tears!). That’s why the beauty market successfully sells truckloads of anti-wrinkle beauty products every day. However, you don’t need expensive beauty products to battle the onset of wrinkles.

Vitamins C and E naturally fight wrinkles and are found in pickle juice! Pickle juice contains antioxidants that will keep your skin radiant. Not only will the vitamins found in pickle juice keep you looking youthful, they can also improve your immune system for an overall healthier appearance.

Applying pickle juice directly to your face can serve as rejuvenation therapy due to the high amounts of vitamin c. Ingesting pickle juice can increase your vitamin intake and help cure vitamin deficiencies, which contribute to skin disorders.

Pickle juice probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of beneficial drinks to incorporate into your everyday routine. Although it’s not as popular as other methods, you should consider using pickle juice for its added vitamins, anti-aging benefits and to get rid of painful cramps.

Have you ever used pickle juice before? If so, what was your experience?

Contributor: Laura Jazmin Tolliver – Alternative Daily