Working in a hospital setting I have seen numerous patients with C.Diff infections. What is C.Diff you ask ? Well it is an infection by a bacteria that we can commonly come in contact daily. The Clostridium Difficile bacteria can be found in bathrooms, foods, hospital settings, and more. Usually our bodies defense in our gut keeps this bacteria at a level where it can do no harm to us. This level can be disrupted when someone takes antibiotics which kill the good bacteria in our intestines. This killing off of the good bacteria allows the C.Diff bacteria to multiply and take over. Symptoms of this infection include: DIARRHEA, fever, and stomach pains. Many healthcare professionals along with me will tell you this diarrhea has a very strong smell.
Ways to prevent the spread of this bacteria include: HAND WASHING! Healthcare professionals who care for these patients must follow contact precautions (gown and gloves). Any visitors for a patient with this infection must also follow contact precautions. Avoiding over-prescribing antibiotics for viral infections. The most important of these is hand washing.
The treatment for this infection is Oral Vancomycin and IV Flagyl.
This semester in my Nurse Practitioner courses we started our first clinical experience. I have been completing my hours in a primary care office where we mostly encounter the Hispanic population. Being from a Hispanic family my self I knew the importance of educating my patients extensively as I had done with my parents and family members. Education is the number one best thing you can do for your patient in preventing disease. An example was my parents would eat white rice everyday for dinner. And not a small portion, I am talking about a full plate of white rice. I explained to them the lack of nutritional value in white rice and how it increases blood sugar. They continued to eat it everyday because they were set in their ways. Recently my mother had labs done and it showed her blood sugar was borderline, the physician educated her again on her diet and how to prevent the progression to diabetes. Slowly but surely, with my advise constantly being given they have ceased to consume white rice and have replaced it with fresh vegetables and salads. Now her blood sugar levels are in normal range and she saw the true benefit of education and diet modification in preventing a disease.
When seeing a patient remember, EDUCATION EDUCATION EDUCATION! Many patients do not want to be thrown another medication to cover up their problem when there is a solution to it that can be given by you through educating them!
When it comes to sticking with a workout regimen, personally I have had trouble finding one thing to stick with. I recently started doing hot yoga at a studio with my husband. This is surely a practice I can keep up with and see myself doing long term. I am sure everyone has heard of the many benefits of yoga but let me list a few to refresh anyone who reads this. If you are interested in finding an activity that is easy to start with and you could gradually build on, yoga is a great practice to improve health.
Health benefits :
1. Increased Flexibility – If you find yourself stiff and not flexibile, practicing yoga can help you avoid injury by stretching out muscles and increasing flexibility.
2. Improved Mental Fitness – Practicing yoga helps to clear your mind and melt any stress from your day away. So if you find yourself overwhelmed with the concerns of life, practicing yoga can help you calm down and overall improve your mental state.
3. Better Posture – The movements in yoga aid in aligning the spine and promoting better posture. It helps to strengthen your back and improve breathing.
4. Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease – With any activity, staying active and incorporating fitness into your daily routine reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and cancer.
5. Enhanced Fat Loss – Yoga can be a great practice for those looking to lose weight. Practicing hot yoga can burn over 600 calories in one hour.
6. Improved Balance – In yoga, there are many poses and movements that have you isolate certain muscles we rarely use in everyday activities. This builds strength and balance and promotes core stability.
7. Better Breathing – Yoga promotes slower more controlled breathing through the exercises. This control of breathing has many benefits such as opening up the chest and clearing the mind.
8. Enhanced Muscle Strength & Tone – Yoga may look easy on your TV or computer screen. But let me tell you, it is very difficult. You realize you haven’t used muscles you didn’t even knew exists with yoga. Using your body weight builds resistance and muscle strength.