Pest free home Reliance Family Clinics

5 things to do this weekend for a PEST-FREE home

Pests such as rats, mosquitos and others are a nuisance in a household.

They are also sources of life threatening diseases like lassa fever and malaria, amongst others. The feaces and urine of rats are also a cause for concern, especially in the case of Lassa fever.

Keeping our homes free of such animals is an easy way to protect ourselves, both from the disturbances as well as the diseases that might arise from having pests in the home.

Here are 4 tips on how to ensure that:

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3 reasons why you should screen domestic staff before hiring

Do you know the health status of your cook? Are you aware of the health risks that your nanny may pose to your baby? These are all questions that a pre-employment health check can provide answers to.

Domestic staff are those who are employed to work in people's homes, for examples cooks, nannies, drivers etc. Most homes have one or more domestic staff performing one role or the other, ranging from cleaning to cooking or looking after children. As families are continually exposed to these workers, it is important to know their health status so as to be sure that they don’t pose health risks to you and your loved ones.

Here are some reasons why you should have a health check carried out on potential domestic helps:


Healthy Habits for a Healthy Vision

If you can see clearly with the aid of glasses or contact lenses, you may assume you are doing everything right to protect your eyes.

But developing additional healthy habits to protect and fortify your vision.

As you get older, your risk of developing some of the most common causes of blindness, including cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, goes up.

Fortunately, there are measures that you can take to reduce your risks and fuel better vision as you grow older.


Breast Self Examination For Breast Cancer Awareness

Regular self breast examinations are something every woman should feel comfortable and confident doing as part of a healthy routine. Home breast exams cannot substitute clinical diagnosis, so if you notice anything different about your breasts you should consult your doctor. It’s good to know how your breasts normally look and feel so you can notice any changes that is different from the usual.


Picking The Right Birth Control

Babies are cute and cuddly, but not everyone is on board with a baby on board. Thank goodness for birth control options — there are plenty of effective ways to avoid getting pregnant. (Yippee!)

As a matter of fact, every time you flip through a magazine, it seems there is another new birth control on the market. So how can you decide which method is the best for you?

The most important question is always, ``What's most important to you? One woman says, the answer is fewer side effects. Another, it’s a less painful period.

Birth control pills

One of the most commonly used birth control methods is “the pill.” Birth control pills regulate your hormones to control the menstrual cycle. You take three weeks of active pills. During the fourth week, you take placebo pills, which don’t have hormones. That’s when you get your period.


Less painful and lighter periods. Reduced acne. Reduced risk of ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer. More than 95% effective at preventing pregnancy. Can omit the placebo pills to skip a period (though discuss with your doctor first). Cons:

Slightly increased risk of blood clots, usually in smokers and women with a history of other medical conditions. (There is a special type of pill called the “mini pill” or progestin-only pill, which is safe for women with medical problems that prohibit the use of regular birth control pills.) Slightly increased risk of cervical cancer. Needs to be taken every day. IUD (intrauterine device)

The IUD is an excellent birth control option for women who want to take action and not think about it again for a while. Your Ob/Gynae inserts a T-shaped device into the uterus during a quick in-office procedure. There are two forms of IUD, a copper version and a plastic version that contains hormones. IUDs work by making it nearly impossible for the sperm to reach the egg.


More than 99% effective. Lasts three to 10 years before needing to be replaced. Hormonal IUDs: Can make periods lighter or even nonexistent (copper IUDs do not have that benefit). Hormonal IUDs: May reduce risk of endometrial cancer. Cons:

Requires a pelvic exam before insertion. Insertion may be uncomfortable or even painful. Risk of perforating the uterus during insertion (though that occurs in one of 1,000 women). Unpredictable spotting for several months after insertion. Condom The condom serves as a barrier that prevents sperm from entering the uterus.


The only birth control method that also protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Can be used with other birth control methods for STD protection and improved protection against pregnancy. Cons:

Inconvenience. 20% failure rate. Hormonal implant

It’s a small plastic rod inserted under the skin of the upper arm deliver a constant supply of pregnancy-preventing hormones into the bloodstream for three years.


Similar to those of hormonal IUD. Highly effective. No pelvic exam required. Inserted during a quick in-office procedure. Cons:

As with the IUD, can cause unpredictable bleeding. Could cause heavier periods, though in some cases periods are lighter. If you’d prefer that an overflowing diaper bag not be in your immediate future, talk to your primary care doctor or Ob/Gynae to find the birth control method that fits your lifestyle.


Avoid Freaking Out When You Wait for Medical News

Waiting on the results of a serious medical test can be very challenging, if you’ve ever had to wait for one then you know that no news doesn’t always feel like good news. Whether the issue is a biopsy, STD test or genetic screening, waiting for answers about your health can turn into a stressful, seemingly never-ending process.

Often times it comes naturally to spend waiting time staring at the clinic clock, creating different outcomes in your head and fretting over what-ifs, that will only worsen the situation. So how can patients cope with uncertainty when they have no choice but to wait?

When you’re waiting for potentially life-changing news, it’s hard not to get ahead of yourself.

Here are a few simple ways to go about passing the time between a doctor’s visit and a looming diagnosis

Distract Yourself Immersing yourself in an activity that fully consumes your attention can help prevent getting stuck in a cycle of repetitive, upsetting thoughts. To cope with stressful waiting periods, you could indulge in activities that promote flow, a mental state where you become so utterly absorbed in what you’re doing that you forget about the rest of the world. Starting a puzzle, playing a video game or maybe just going on Twitter. If you can remember any activity that previously put you in a flow state, you can try that, should do the trick.

Meditation One strategy that can definitely help you calm yourself and control your thoughts is mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing your attention on the present moment (e.g., by concentrating on breathing) and observing any thoughts and feelings that arise without judgment.

Staying in the present moment through mindfulness can help you to avoid going down roads you may never need to take.

Lean on your family and friends Having a supportive partner has been shown to help people endure uncertainty during waiting periods; spending time with a close friend or family member might provide a positive distraction.

A diagnosis does not banish you to a dark future. We can adapt to new realities, often more successfully than we anticipate, and discover what makes life fulfilling in spite of any health-related changes.


The Link Between Throat Cancer and Oral Sex

You likely think of cervical cancer when you hear about the rising incidence of human papilloma virus (HPV). So you might be surprised to learn that this sexually-transmitted virus is also a leading cause of throat cancer (oropharyngeal cancer), and it spreads from person to person via oral sex.

Often times, oral cancers are linked to smoking but recent medical studies finds that HPV is directly related to some throat cancers. As a matter of fact, these cancers are becoming rampant, and soon will outpace new cervical cancer cases.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, there are 18,000 new cases of throat cancer diagnosed annually that are potentially related to HPV. About 10% of men and 4% of women have oral HPV, but only about 1% have the particular type associated with throat cancer: HPV 16.

Most of the time, HPV goes away all by itself and most people never know they have it. It’s not yet understood why HPV stays in others for decades, potentially causing throat cancer.

So what are the risks? The All Time leading risk in contracting oral HPV and developing HPV-related throat cancer is having multiple oral sex partners. Having a higher number of partners increases the risk for both men and women.

Women experience less HPV-related throat cancer, researchers say, because they may have developed an immunological response to fight off cervical cancer. Men don’t possess the same immunity.

Smoking also raises the risk of developing throat cancer and decreases the response to treatment in patients that are diagnosed with HPV-related throat cancer. How do you limit your risks? There are five ways to significantly help you limit your risk of HPV-related throat cancer: Don’t have many lifetime sexual partners: The increase in risk involved with greater numbers of sexual partners is even greater for oral sexual partners. Also, use condoms or dental dams consistently for some protection. Get children and young adults vaccinated: For males and females between ages 9 and 45, a three-round HPV vaccine can ward off HPV infection and likely will lead to decreased risk of developing these HPV- related cancers. Regular Screening & Checkup: Regular screening increases the chances you’ll catch a tumor early. Your doctor will feel your neck, examine your throat and inspect your mouth. Visit your dentist. Get regular dental checkups because dentists are often the first practitioners to notice abnormalities with the tongue and tonsils. Limit smoking and alcohol: Cut off smoking completely and reduce alcohol consumption to minimize your risk. What symptoms should you watch for? HPV-related throat cancer symptoms can often go unnoticed, because they’re difficult to discern by a non medical person. They could easily pass for a sore throat. If any of the symptoms lasts beyond two weeks, see your doctor or an ear, nose and throat specialist. The symptoms include:

Neck mass or swelling. Ear pain. Painful swallowing (like something is stuck in the back of your throat. Snoring (as a new issue, without sudden weight gain). Difficulty eating. Vocal changes (hoarseness). Sore throat. Enlarged lymph nodes. Unexplained weight loss. HPV oral cancers slow to develop, but quick to spread HPV-related cancers spread quickly to the lymph nodes. It’s not that the tumors spread quickly due to issues with the immune system — they spread quickly for unknown reasons. However, they show up first as large swollen lymph nodes because the body has an immune response at the site of the lymph nodes once tumor reaches this area, causing swelling and a noticeable neck lump.

It can take up to 30 years for HPV-related throat cancer to appear, making it most common in adults between the ages of 40 and 60.

Know your risks and stay protected.

Get vaccinated. You can book an appointment with the Reliance Family Clinics for the HPV vaccine. It’s three shots and you’re protected for life.


Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle cell disease is an inherited form of disease in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygenthroughout your body. It is a condition in which the red blood cells are not shaped as they should be.


Normally the red blood cells are flexible and round looking like a disc moving easily through your blood vessels. In sickle cell disease,the red blood cell become rigid and sticky and are shaped like sickles or crescent moons. These irregularly shaped cells can get easily stuck in small blood vessels which can slow or block blood flow and oxygen to parts of the body.


Sickle cell disease is caused by a mutation in the gene that tells your body to make red, iron – rich compound that gives blood its red colour (haemoglobin). Haemoglobin allows red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body. In sickle cell, the abnormal haemoglobin causes red blood cells to become rigid, sticky and misshapen. The sickle cell genes are passed from generation to generations in a pattern of inheritance called autosomal recessive inheritance. This means that both the mother and father must pass in the deflective form of the gene for a child to be affected. If only one parent passes the sickle cell gene to the child, that child will have the sickle cell trait with one normal hemoglobin gene and one defective form of the gene. People with the sickle cell trait make both the normal haemoglobin and the sickle cell haemoglobin which manes that their blood might contain the sickle cells but they generally don’t have symptoms and are therefore carriers of the disease that can transfer to their children.


The signs and symptoms can vary from person to person and changes overtime. The include:-Anaemia-Episodes of pain-Painful swelling of hands and feet.-Frequent infections-Delayed growth-Vision problems-Fast heartbeat-Trouble paying attention.WHEN DO YOU SEE A DOCTOR? When you have:-Unexplained episodes of severe pain-Swelling in the hands or feet-Abdominal swelling -Fever (>101F/38C) -Pale skin or nail beds-Seizures-Signs & symptoms of strokeThese signs could lead to complications like: -Stroke-Acute chest syndrome-Organ damage-Leg ulcers-Priapism-Pulmonary hypertension.


There is no cure for most people with sickle cell anaemia but treatments can relieve pain and help prevent problems associated with the disease. Encourage them to:-Go to all the doctor’s appointments and share their concerns and new symptoms -Avoid your pain crisis triggers such as extreme temperature and stress. -Talk to your doctor about which activities are right foryou and the ones you should avoid. -Don’t smoke or drink alcohol or use drugs -Drink lots of liquids and get enough rest. -Let anyone know right away if you don’t feel well.

If you carry the sickle cell trait, seeing a genetic counsellor before trying to conceive can help you understand your risk of having a child with sickle cell disease. The counsellor will explain possible treatments, preventive measures and reproductive options.


What You Should Know About Keto Diets

Ketogenic diets (also known as Keto diets) are low carbohydrate, adequate-protein, high-fat diets that forces the body to burn fats rather instead of carbohydrates.

It usually involves limiting carbohydrates that are easy to digest like white bread, table sugar, soft drinks, and pastries.

This diet was used primarily to manage refractory epilepsy in children, it has however gained popularity as an option for weight loss and managing diabetes.

Keto diets limit carbohydrate content to about 20-50 grams per day. When the body receives less than 50 grams per day, it gradually runs out of blood sugar.

When this happens the body starts breaking down fat and protein for energy; this process called ketosis is what makes you lose weight. Over time, it helps people develop a good fat to muscle ratio; this makes it appealing to endurance athletes especially long distance runners and cyclists.

If you are considering a Ketogenic diet consult your doctor first to find out if its safe for you, especially if you are a nursing mother or have type 1 diabetes.

Possible Side Effects of Keto Diets

It is always best you diet with care under the supervision of a nutritionist or doctor. This is mainly because of possible side effects that come with limiting the amount of carbohydrate you eat.

The kidney is usually stressed when the body metabolizes its stores of fat and protein. This means you should not undertake this diet with medications or supplements that ordinarily overwork the kidney.

The common side effects of Ketogenic diets aren’t usually severe; they include indigestion, constipation, mild low blood sugar. Long-term Keto diets also increase the odds of developing kidney stones and high levels of acid in the body.

Foods to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet

While staying below 50 grams per day may seem challenging, many nutritious foods can easily fit into this way of eating.

Below are 10 healthy foods to eat on a ketogenic diet;

Low Carbohydrate Vegetables: Go for low starchy vegetables like kale, broccoli, parsley and celery

Cheese: Besides being nutritious and delicious, you consume only 1 gram of carbohydrate for every 28 grams of cheese you eat. This makes it a good option for ketogenic diets.

Tea and Unsweetened Coffee: Coffee and tea are incredibly healthy carbohydrate free drinks. They contain caffeine, which increases metabolism and alertness.

Avocados: Incredibly light in carbohydrates, avocados are rich in vitamins and minerals including potassium. Avocados may also help you manage triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

Seafood: Seafood like fish, shellfish, clams, oyster, and squids.

Poultry meat: Poultry meat is considered staple foods on a ketogenic diet. These sources of protein are also rich in vitamin B, potassium and zinc.

Eggs: Eggs are perfect for a ketogenic diet; one large egg contains less than 1 gram of carbohydrates.

Nuts and Seeds: Some healthy nuts and seeds include cashew nuts, walnuts, sesame seeds, almonds and macadamia nuts.

Olive Oil: This pure fat source contains no carbohydrate. It is best used for low heat cooking and as an additive to food.

Coconut Oil: This healthy oil is absorbed directly by the liver and converted into ketones. This unique property makes it a good energy source for dieting. Remember, undergoing ketogenic diets may affect your health. Always consult a doctor before embarking on a diet.


Zinc Deficiency; Signs And Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

The World Health Organization reported that zinc deficiency is quite common in recent years. It is a generalized epidemic that affects the well-being and health of many communities.

Studies show that zinc deficiency is actually a common deficiency of micro nutrients. It is concerned with intellectual deficits, poor growth, perinatal difficulties and an increased risk of mortality and morbidity.