Heartburn or GERD can Kill

Heartburn is a common annoyance. The busy lifestyle, quick meals, fatty or spicy foods all contribute to the occasional need of a chewable pain reliever. The acceptance of heartburn as an inconvenient, but natural, part of the daily grind can blind you to the warning that a severe heartburn symptom can bring.

Heartburn as a Disorder

Heartburn can be a symptom as well as a disorder. Simple heartburn or GERD can be controlled and dealt with. However, heartburn can signal the presence of a much more serious problem. If it’s heartburn, you will have a burning sensation in the chest usually after eating. There may be a spread of the burning to the throat, sometimes accompanied by a bad taste, difficulty in swallowing, belching, coughing, hoarseness and/or wheezing.

It can become worse by lying down or bending over or by eating. Relief can come from an antacid. While the more severe heartburn symptoms may be mistaken for a heart attack, simple heartburn is usually not made worse by exercise. If there is any concern that the pain may signal a heart attack, get help quickly.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Choosing Between Swim Shirts and Sunscreen

By Robert Mann

Reported cases of skin cancer are on the rise even though many other forms of cancer are declining. Are swim shirts or sunscreen the best solution when one is looking for both comfort and the best protection from UV rays?

Sunscreen bonds with the skin and provides for maximum flexibility and motion. There are no issues of a shirt causing drag in the water or creating excess heat or restricting movement while on land. It is actually possible to forget that sun lotion has been applied to the body.

When it comes to covering all skin surfaces, shirts cannot compete with sunscreen. If used conscientiously, lotion can cover ears, hands and be applied partially underneath clothes for a continuous barrier. Even with long-sleeve shirts, hands are not covered and skin around the waist is often accidentally exposed.

The risks caused by the products themselves should be taken into account. Non-organic sunscreens have toxins that can cause skin irritations and even alter hormone levels, presenting potential health hazards for young users in particular. Though the majority of swim shirts have a sun-protective layer, sunscreen chemicals are not absorbed into the skin.

One clear advantage of swim shirts is that they will not wash off the skin. While a layer of lotion can wear down, a shirt is either on or off. When monitoring children, the level of sunscreen protection is almost undetectable while a shirt is easily verified.

While hot days and athletic activity can make a shirt uncomfortable to wear, cool days and cool water make the extra layer a welcome insulator. The material dries very quickly, so the chilling affect of evaporation is brief. These shirts can actually be worn throughout the day.

Sunscreens can be blended with ingredients that help heal and renew the skin. There is thus a double benefit of being protected from the sun and having dry and damaged skin repaired at the same time. As an alternative, skin cream could be used under a swim shirt, though this would mean an additional step and product.

Given that sunscreen is designed to be applied "liberally" to skin surfaces, individuals and families can go through bottles rapidly. Swim shirts do not require a re-fill and can last months or even years with proper care. The need for a last minute trip to the store is thus eliminated.

UV-treated swim shirts are a safer and more reliable bet for sun protection. In turn, sunscreen can cover hard to reach areas like a true second skin and provide skin care at the same time. A combination of the two with slight overlap can provide a fast and effective solution with the smallest chance for gaps in coverage.

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