Don’t Feed Babies a Ton of Rice Cereal, Says FDA

It’s a cereal killer. 🙂

Rice cereal is a popular first food for babies. It’s also kind of high in arsenic, says the Food and Drug Administration, so if your kid gets a steady rice cereal diet, it’s time to diversify.

Source: Don’t Feed Babies a Ton of Rice Cereal, Says FDA

Boiling it and discarding the water (like how you make pasta) reduces the arsenic content, so that might help. The FDA’s fact sheet has some more info.  I’ve covered arsenic in rice in the past.

The CDC’s Vaccine Quiz Tells You Which Vaccines to Get as an Adult

Autism or death from pneumococcal meningitis. It’s a simple choice, really 😉

By your early 20s, there’s a good chance you are due for some boosters, said Dr. Wanda Filer, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. You may also “need to play catch-up” if you’ve missed any vaccines or failed to complete a series, she said.

Everyone needs a tetanus and diphtheria booster every 10 years; the shots are often combined. So if you were 12 the last time you had a tetanus shot, you’re due for one at 22.

Adults ages 19 to 64 should also get a pertussis, or whooping cough, booster. Pregnant women should be vaccinated against pertussis toward the end of each pregnancy in order to protect their newborns from this disease, which can be devastating for a baby.

Source: Ask Well: Booster Shots for Grown-Ups

Here’s the direct link to the CDC online vaccination quiz.  And just because some people get bad reactions, doesn’t mean we all should avoid them.

Doctors are always impressed by my exact knowledge of my last tetanus shot – March, 2015.  I broke ribs, will never forget that.  The pain that came from sneezing, coughing or even laughing…

Factor V Leiden Thrombophilia

Today I learnt about Factor V Leiden thrombophilia, because I found out my father has it. He suffered a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE) a couple of years after I had my first.  Many people are asymptomatic carriers for Factor V, like Typhoid Mary but as it’s hereditary – Factor V is not contagious.

From the wikipedia page:

  • ~5% of North Americans have Factor V
  • ~30% of people who have a DVT or PE have Factor V
  • Women with Factor V have a substantially increased risk of clotting while pregnant or on estrogen-containing birth control pills (including hormone replacement)

I’ve got a call into my hematologist because I was told that I did not have any of the known hereditary things that they tested for.  That was ~10 years ago, but I’m am anxious to hear if something was missed – maybe someone forgot to run the test?  Whatever the reason, it’d be a comfort to know if I have Factor V.  Without any knowledge, all I can do is treat the symptoms.  Which can be too late.

About That INR Level…

My father beat me for “highest INR level” – his was 5.3 at one point.  I think mine was 4.1?  At first glance it’s funny, but there’s a serious risk of “spontaneous” bleeding.  He learnt what I’ve always said in previous posts about the vitamin K content of various foods: A “low” rating depends on the amount.  The vitamin K content adds up (it’s cumulative) in proportion to the amount of that food you eat.  He loves ginger apparently.  I do too, but I don’t like constant INR testing…

Musing on Medical Alerts

We also discussed means of communicating health issues in the event that we aren’t able to communicate them to strangers.  There’s no standardization for things like medical alert bracelets, which would automatically be removed by hospital staff because of constriction/compression risk.  That’s assuming the bracelet/etc survives whatever happened to require that.  I’d looked into tattoos, and settled on temporary tattoos.  Nothing is perfect – my temp tattoo would list information in English, and could be destroyed (even partially).  But on the upper chest, two at the clavicle (either side of the neck) would be visible when clothing is removed.  You can buy custom temp tattoos online, in bulk…

Should Pregnant Women Eat More Tuna?

As part of a sweeping review of nutrition recommendations, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently reiterated the current seafood guidelines: Americans should eat a wide variety of seafood. The report also acknowledges the risk of mercury exposure from certain kinds of seafoods, and notes that women who are pregnant, nursing or may become pregnant should avoid certain kinds — tilefish, shark, swordfish and king mackerel — because of their high mercury content.

The panel withheld a recommendation about tuna, second only to shrimp in popularity in the United States. Current guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency warn pregnant and nursing women to limit tuna consumption to six ounces per week.

Source: Should Pregnant Women Eat More Tuna?

From reading the article, it does seem like a promotion for tuna/seafood.  Flaxseeds and walnuts are a far better source, and have a better shelf life.  Iodine?  That’s what in common table salt, for sake of the fact that most diets are iodine deficient.  Vitamin B12 is the most difficult to source of the B vitamins, depending on your diet (IE vegan).