Tag Archives: Health

A Group of House Plants Hard at Work

The beneficial effects of houseplants in home and office

house-plants

Houseplants can clean your air, eliminating chemicals, mould and bacteria; they produce oxygen and moisture. On your desk, they can create a personal breathing zone filtering chemicals emitted by computer screens, in your bedroom succulents, orchids and bromeliads provide oxygen at night.

Last century NASA, after finding a hazardous build-up of toxins in spacecraft, discovered that houseplants were able to remove toxic chemicals in sealed chambers. This lead to a series of detailed studies on the filtering capacity of plants in relation to the most common chemicals found in indoor environments.

Indoor pollutants include the chemicals found in modern products, electronics and furnishings, particularly formaldehyde, xylene and toluene, ammonia found in cleaning products, moulds and bacteria and the 150 bio-effluents emitted by the human body.

The poisonous nature of these substances has been highlighted recently in the sick building syndrome where energy efficient buildings seal in the toxins and the people living in them get ill.

What some house plants are good at:

While all houseplants filter and clean the air, two of the best for:

Formaldehyde which enters our homes in  refuse sacks, paper products, fabrics, plywood, chipboard, resins, gas ovens  are the Dracaena ‘Janet Craig’ and the Rubber plant Ficus Robusta.

Xylene and toluene – in adhesives, printers, computer screens, photocopiers – the Areca palm Chrysalidocarpus lutescens and the Moth orchid Phalaenopsis sp.

Ammonia – cleaning products and bio effluents -the Lady palm Rhapis excelsa and the King of Hearts Homalomena wallisii

Author and photo by Kate Parenti
http://www.gardendesign.bio/

Ask Dr. Paolo is back

Ask Paolo logoYou may have noticed a few blog post and workshops about Dr. Paolo Molino a psychotherapist.  Dr. Paolo Molino has been helping the Expat community for years. He is a psychotherapist of Gestalt psychology. He is also a family man with his wife and two children.

He expertise covers many areas such as:

  • Affection disorders (depression,emotional dependence )
  • Personality disorders ( borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder , antisocial personality disorders)
  • Parenting Roles (coaching and support)
  • Sexuality related problems (male and female)
  • Relational problems (couple’s or family’s)
  • Family constellations (group or individual session)
  • Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia)

If you have any questions about dealing with different cultural relationships, dealing with being away from family, or dealing with children behavior just to name a few examples many expats go through.  Click and  Submit your questions.   *your question can be submitted anonymously

If you need to contact him directly for an appointment here is his information:

Paolo molinoDr. Paolo Molino, psychotherapist,
Piazza Cesare Beccaria Area, Firenze.
Cell 331-1064726
email: paolomolino@gmail.com.
Website: http://www.paolomolino.com

You can book CUP appointments online

Servizio Sanitario Regionale CardI just went through figuring out how to book my CUP appointments online. It is easy with the card reader and an email to get your username and password. I am also able to pick up my laboratory results online as well. Finally, the health system is getting somewhere on eliminating those long waits on the phone to book an appointment.  I will post in a page soon the procedure you need to do to get this going.

The only thing I question is there seem to me a small number of doctors that have available appointments in this online booking. I thought it would run more like booking an airline flight. All options there to choose from. I was getting two to three doctors to choose from in only These doctors were not located at familiar hospital or center either.  You are also only given a month time period the current month but no other months.  Anyone know about this? Are these doctors, good doctors, or just the ones left over from calling to book?

OMG I cracked a tooth a day before vacation

All fixed

All fixed

This is not what you want to have happen, especially one day before going on vacation. You are all packed and ready to leave the next morning. You got up out of bed, hit your chin and wham, you knocked your front tooth in half. Of course this was a tooth that you already cracked off when you were 12 years old by a softball. After all these years it falls out with a slight hit of the chin.  Anyway, you need to find someone fast and reliable.

This is what happened to me, so I called up the dentist that I had to quickly find when my back molar cracked and had a big hole in the base of my tooth. That tooth had to be completely extracted.  I had so many worries because I have special issues being immunosuppressed with my medicines I take for my autoimmune disease.  So I needed a doctor close to home, spoke English (not a need but really helps in an emergency situation), and knew about people with my health condition.

I asked in the Firenze Moms 4 Moms Expat Mom’s Club where I could find such a dentist.  I was lucky to have found the right person.  He not only extracted my molar when that cracked, but he also was available at a quick notice with my broken tooth a day before my vacation.

He is a husband of a mom in the group, but a great guy that does dental work on children as well as adults. He is very professional, obviously knowledgeable of the new dental procedures, along with knowing about dental issues in people with autoimmune disease.  Many thanks goes to Dr. Niccolò Trentanove for being there to help me out with my many dental emergencies, that seem to happen at odd times, out of nowhere.

His office is very easy to get too and located just outside the main center.  He provides the following services: repair dentures, orthodontics, dental root canal treatment, oral hygiene treatment, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, implant dentistry, extraction surgery, implant surgery and teeth whitening.

His contact information is:

Dr. Niccolò Trentanove
Via Senese 12 – 50124 Firenze (FI)
tel: 055 2298271
partita iva: 02282030481

Obstetrician Doctors Here and Weight Gain

weight

So why is it that the Obstetrician doctors here have big issues with weight gain during pregnancy for expat moms?  I am not talking weight gain above the standards of other countries. Here you can find an example of what doctors follow in the US for standards of weight gain during pregnancy. click here  In Firenze, I am finding many expat mothers (myself included) built with a broad structure, because of our genetics, are being treated on a weight scale as some small Italian women.  I am not trying to be stereotypical or racist, but genetics in different cultures do create different size women.  The standards for them are going to be different then an average Italian woman.  I see it already in the cloth sizes, where I have to get many of my clothes from the UK because the sizes here are disproportionately small and short.

I had a healthy pregnancy with my first child. I gained a good amount of weight (40 lbs. (20kg) by the end of my pregnancy) most water and baby (my boy was 10.4lbs (5kgs)) when born. This was 2 weeks after due date.  A very big baby but not because I was gaining weight. My sugar levels were fine with my first and no problems at all during pregnancy.  Now my second, conceived and born here also was a big baby (9.5lbs (4.9kg)). The first doctor I went to in the public system was going off about my weight gain at the end of first trimester.  I was starting my second trimester and I was showing quickly already.  I knew I was doing the same as my first child. I knew that I felt good and my blood work was normal as well.  Therefore, I switched doctors to a private doctor that took into consideration and looked at my levels of weight etc. from my first pregnancy.  As long as I stayed like my first pregnancy and blood work and tests came back normal; then all was OK.  In fact, I delivered a healthy baby without problems.  It was another C-section but that was because my first was born by C-section.  I was not allowed to go natural again after one C-section.

Anyway, did any of you have issues with doctors and weight in pregnancy here?

 

Integrating Essential Oils into your family life

photo oils.php

Have you heard of Essential Oils?  These oils are used for many things throughout your life that help benefit the health of your family.  For example diffusing various different oils to help with good sleep, relaxing, concentrating while doing homework. Lavender can be used for scratches, skinned knees and burns. Tea Tree is very helpful in preventing LICE. You can also use lemon essential oil for cleaning..and there is a wonderful oil blend called Thieves that we have started using to protect our immune system and fight colds etc. Basically we have cleaned out our medicine cabinets and have started replacing everything we can with oils – i personally have a reference guide that give an oil use for any illness you can think of – from warts to cancer. But best to leave the specifics for the class

If you are at all interested in integrating Essential Oils into your family life or just want to learn more about them then this is an online class that you do not want to miss. The class will take place online so your actual location does not matter- you only need to be on the internet. In order to receive an invite just PM me and I will “friend” you (if you aren’t my FB friend already) and I will send you the invite. It’s as simple as that. It is all taking place Sunday January 18th at 8pm Florence time… hope to see you there

Clinton Gene Healey-Magherini 

Firenze Tap Water

tapFirenze Tap Water by Kimberly

From FMs4Ms Newsletter Volume 1 Issue 1 December 2009

I read the article Don’t be a drip by Melissa  Morozzo in The Florentine, and though it very informative about being green.  There is a big problem.  The water might be safe from the Anconella plant for drinking; it might not be safe in the tap at your home.  I for one know I have lead pipes.  It is a very old house like most houses in Florence. She stresses not using filtered water because of lose of minerals. Drinking lead causes many adverse health effects, especially for infants and young children along with adults.  But filling a baby bottle with water containing lead is very dangerous.  (*note I did write a letter to the Editor in 2009 about this point, unfortunately this letter is not online anymore on The Florentine website)

In babies and children, exposure to lead in drinking water above the action level can result in delays in physical and mental development, along with slight deficits in attention span and learning abilities. In adults, it can cause increases in blood pressure. Adults who drink this water over many years could develop kidney problems or high blood pressure.” Taken from www.epa.gov

I as coordinator for the Firenze Moms 4 Moms Network, I had to speak up on this.  There are many steps to take to clear out the pipes before use.  I have copied and pasted the recommendations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website.

How can I reduce lead in drinking water at home?

Flush your pipes before drinking, and only use cold water for consumption. The more time water has been sitting in your home’s pipes, the more lead it may contain.  Anytime the water in a particular faucet has not been used for six hours or longer, “flush” your cold-water pipes by running the water until it becomes as cold as it will get. This could take as little as five to thirty seconds if there has been recent heavy water use such as showering or toilet flushing. Otherwise, it could take two minutes or longer.  Your water utility will inform you if longer flushing times are needed to respond to local conditions.

Use only water from the cold-water tap for drinking, cooking, and especially for making baby formula. Hot water is likely to contain higher levels of lead. The two actions recommended above are very important to the health of your family. They will probably be effective in reducing lead levels because most of the lead in household water usually comes from the plumbing in your house, not from the local water supply

Vaccines 2013

It seems many moms are asking if the vaccines giving here are the same as in the US and UK.  For the most part vaccines given are the same but might be given at a slightly different schedule then in the US or UK.  In the overall though by age of  12  your child will be vaccinated the same as those in the US and UK.

Here is the schedule in Italy

Here is the English definition of the Italian names and abbreviations  for the vaccines listed above.

DTPa: Diphtheria, tetanus, & acellular pertussis (DTaP: <7 yrs)vaccinazioni-infantili

dTpa: Tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis (Tdap:>7 yrs)

IPV: Inactivated Poliovirus (IPV)

HBV/EpatiteB: Hepatitis B (HepB)

Hib: Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib)

Varicella: varicella (VAR)

MPR: Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR)

PCV: Pneumococcal conjugate (PCV13)

 Men C: Meningococcal (Hib-MenCY>6 weeks; MCV4-D>9 mos; MCV4-CRM>2 yrs.)

HPV/papillomavirus:  Human papillomavirus (HPV2: females only; HPV4: males and females)

EpatiteA: Hepatitis A (HepA)

doctor

For a list of the Vaccines in the US click here:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf

For a list of the Vaccines in the UK click here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/227651/8515_DoH_Complete_Imm_schedule_A4_2013_09.pdf

To vaccinate or not? What are your thoughts?

I have to say a women, in the vasculitis group I belong, is in tears because she now thinks that she gave her two daughters an autoimmune disease. The diseases for both her daughters came out after this vaccine. I am almost sure mine came out after I having mono and got the hep b vaccine at the same time. This was done, because it was required by nursing school to have the Hep B vaccine before that semester started. I do believe that if you are predisposed genetically a vaccine can activate it. I think I was because in my family we have one person with an autoammune disease Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I worry and decide with each vaccine I give my children. This is one that I would be against and try desparately to teach them to wait to have sex.
So what are your thoughts for or against the HPV vaccine, and why? (Note: I know this is a very controversial topic so please lets respect others opinion as that others opinion and not harass them for it)

http://www.realfarmacy.com/the-lead-vaccine-developer-comes-clean/

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First Aid App for Android & iPhone | American Red Cross

It is a free App you an get on your phone Iphone or Android that will help you with first Aid you can not dial 911 but you can use it to help you out for different emergencies.

Check it out.

via First Aid App for Android & iPhone | American Red Cross.