Don't know if you saw this story from the other day, but it makes me sad:
(American Fork, UT) -- Authorities say an elderly couple was found dead inside an American Fork home after a welfare check. Neighbors said they hadn't seen the couple since November, so police conducted a check at the home on North Center Street. Police say it's difficult to know what happened to the bodies due to their state of decomposition, but added that their deaths appeared to be suspicious. The couple's names haven't been released yet.
Of course it is sad that this older couple passed away, especially if they find that there was foul play involved.
But what makes the story even more sad is the fact that nobody thought to check on the older couple for more than a month (maybe two).
Did they not have any kids or grandkids? Were they members of their local church community? Did they have any friends or loved ones that wondered about them?
We should take this as a lesson.
According to statistics compiled by Meta-Gallup, one in four adults feels lonely often. More than half of people surveyed admitted to feeling lonely at least occasionally.
United States Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy warns that "Loneliness and isolation represent profound threats to our health and well-being."
Murthy counters that with the idea that we each have the power to combat this epidemic of loneliness: "We have the power to respond. By taking small steps every day to strengthen our relationships, and by supporting community efforts to rebuild social connection, we can rise to meet this moment together. We can build lives and communities that are healthier and happier. And we can ensure our country and the world are better poised than ever to take on the challenges that lay ahead. Our future depends on what we do today."
There's a cool website called Love For Our Elders that is just one of many charities out there trying to make a difference, with their idea being to write letters to the lonely.
See if you can make a difference today!
The Lethal Power Of Carfentanil: 10,000 Times Stronger Than Morphine
Fentanyl is deadly and addictive. And now it's got a stronger, deadlier brother in Carfentanil.
"It's 50 to 100 times stronger, more concentrated than Fentanyl," said Southwest Utah Public Health director Dr. David Blodgett Wednesday on the Andy Griffin Show. "It's intended use is as a tranquilizer for elephants."
According to the website recoveryways.com, Carfentanil (or Carfentanyl) is "a synthetic opioid that users combine with heroin to increase its euphoric effects. It is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times stronger than Fentanyl. As such, it is easy to overdose on Carfentanyl."
The side effects of the drug are epically bad.
The most common ones: coma or death. If a person takes the smallest amount, they risk a fatal overdose. Recoveryways.com says there are other common symptoms similar to other opioids, such as:
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Runny nose or watery eyes
- Anxiety or depression
- Restlessness or irritability
- Muscle ache
- Fluctuations in body temperature
Users also report experiencing long-term insomnia and excessive sweating. If you or someone you know has experienced the side effects of Carfentanyl, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Has this deadly drug reached us here in the Beehive State?
"It's most definitely here," Blodgett said. "And it's going to get more and more common."
The most common way people are using the new drug is to combine it with another drug (like heroin) to boost the euphoric feeling it provides. Blodgett pointed out that unfortunately the need for a stronger and stronger hit is necessary as the body gets used to the drugs.
"The need for more gets stronger, but the side effects do not lessen until eventually the user takes so much that the body can't handle the side effects and that person overdoses," he said.
Carfentanyl is an odorless, white powder and is an analogue of the synthetic opioid fentanyl and is one of the most potent opioids known and used commercially.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), it has a quantitative potency approximately 10,000 times that of morphine, 100 times that of fentanyl, and 50 times that of heroin. It is marketed under the trade name Wildnil® as a general anesthetic for large animals. Carfentanyl is not for human use.
Blodgett said Carfentanyl can be absorbed through the skin and could cause death even with the slightest casual contact with the drug.
Killer Kitty: World's Deadliest Cat Is Here In Utah
It's not very likely that your beloved kitty is going to turn on you.
And even if it did, the odds of a housecat doing any real damage to a human are pretty slim. Your average tabby wouldn't harm a mouse and at an average kill rate of around 25 percent (that's the rate that a predator is successful when it decides to go after prey -- usually in the wild), Luna or Tom isn't the most effective killer in the world.
So what is?
Believe it or not, lions and tigers have a kill rate at only about 25 percent. That means three-fourths of the animals those big cats go after get away.
Leopards are a bit more successful, achieving prey kill rates at 38 percent.
Another fairly big cat -- and one with the reputation of being the fastest animal on the planet -- the cheetah, has a kill rate of 58 percent.
The cheetah's biggest problem is after the kill. Because of its relatively small size in comparison with lions, tigers and even leopards, cheetahs lose about 10 percent of their kills when those larger predators come and take them away.
But the best killers in the cat family hardly look the part at all. The black-footed cat, all of three pounds of fuzzy cuteness (check out these photos on Deseret.com), has a successful kill rate of 60 percent.
According to Discoverwildlife.com, this adorable kitty is a super efficient killer.
"Black-footed cats are astonishingly active and successful nocturnal hunters – one scientist’s observations show they make a hunting attempt every 30 minutes, and are successful 60% of the time, making them one of the world's most efficient predators They eat a wide variety of prey, from gerbils and shrews to small birds and insects, and make 10-14 kills every night."
Utah's own Hogle Zoo recently brought in a black-footed cat named Gaia.
If you'd like to visit Gaia, you can see her at the Hogle Zoo.
“As Gaia settles into her new home in the Small Animal Building, you might notice curtains or barriers around her space. We appreciate your help in keeping noise low while she gets acquainted,” Hogle Zoo officials told Deseret.com.
Mythbusters! Utah Medical Expert Demolishes Common Health Myths
Dr. David Blodgett, who is the director of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department and is the former chief resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital in New York, stopped by the Andy Griffin Show Wednesday and put his brilliant mind to work settling some of the medical myths (or are they?) that we've all believed since our mamas told them to us way back when.
Myth No. 1 -- If you pull one gray hair, several more will grow back in its place.
Not true. Blodgett says: "Gray hair comes about from several different factors ... genetics, and aging when your body doesn't produce enough of the chemicals it takes to keep your hair whatever color it originally was."
Myth No. 2 -- You need to drink eight glasses (64 ounces) of water every day.
Not true. Blodgett says: "This is one of those where nobody can figure out where that recommendation came from. Is it healthy to drink plenty of water? Yes. But is eight a magic number and we need to get there? The answer is no, and most people don't."
Myth No. 3 -- You shouldn't hold in a sneeze.
True. Blodgett says: "I used to hold them in all the time, but then I went and got eye surgery and my surgeon said, 'Whatever you do, don't hold your sneeze in because it increases the pressure in your whole cranial cavity.'"
Myth No. 4 -- Dropped food is OK to eat as long as you pick it up within five seconds
Not true. Blodgett says: "If it's a contaminated surface and you drop something on it, it doesn't matter how long it's there. It will get contaminated."
Myth No. 5 -- People shrink as they age
True. Blodgett says: "It's true, you get smaller as you get older and you also get smaller as the day goes on. Gravity takes over. You compress a little with the weight of the day. And you see a substantial change with people over the span of a lifetime."
Myth No. 6 -- Exercise before bed disrupts sleep
True. Blodgett says: "Generally, exercise within about two hours of going to bed will interfere with sleep. However, there are some exercises (like Yoga) that could actually help with sleep."
Myth No. 7 -- Stress causes myriad health problems, even death
True. Blodgett says: "Stress does cause all kinds of health issues, but it is so hard to quantify. We do know that work is important, and play is important. It's balance in life that you need."
Myth No. 8 -- Eggs are bad for you.
Not true. Blodgett says: "There are few things in life that have a perfect balance of protein, and the egg is one of them. Eggs are about as good a food as you're going to find."
Myth No. 8 -- Microwaves and GMO plants cause cancer
Not true. Blodgett says: "They just don't."
You Can Get Arrested For What In Utah?!
I like milk. You probably do, too.
I've had good milk, cold milk, thin milk, chunky milk (don't ask), chocolate milk, banana milk, strawberry milk, unpasteurized milk, and even sour milk (to this day, I will not drink milk without smelling it first to make sure it's not sour).
And, at the risk of getting arrested, I've had some bad milk.
And just like that, a warrant for my arrest may be getting processed right now. See, in Utah, it's illegal for milk consumers to “unfairly discriminate” against milk distributors and criticize the grade or quality of the substance.
Yep, they can cuff you for that.
And while there are a handful of pretty good laws taking effect (as of Monday, Jan. 1), it's hard to believe there are still laws in Utah like these:
- Throwing a snowball could result in a $50 fine in Provo
- Riding a bike without touching the handlebars could result in fines
- Hurling missiles (or anything, for that matter) at buses is a third-degree felony (law enforcement is exempt as long as it's within the scope of their duties).
- While boxing in the Beehive State, no striking of the Adam's apple, groin, eyes, and temple of the head are allowed. Also, no biting.
Fortunately, there are a couple of good laws that just went active in this new year:
- Dating apps in Utah must have the disclaimer that background checks have not been done.
- Electric vehicles must now pay a 12.5% tax on charging stations to help pay for road upkeep (a tax usually collected at gas stations when we fill up)
- Good news here: Utahns will save two cents a gallon at the gas pump until 2028 -- the legislature's effort to help fight inflation
- More good news for young families: Utahns with kids 3-years old and younger will receive a tax credit of about a thousand bucks per kid to help with childcare expenses
Oh, and Utah's new flag is now official. I like it. What do you think?
How We Can Stop This New Epidemic: Type 2 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes used to be rare ... and it still is.
But Type 2 diabetes, the same blood-sugar disease but with a different cause, is not rare,
In fact, there's a good chance you know someone with Type 2 diabetes and an even better chance that you or someone you love has pre-diabetes and doesn't even know it.
You've probably heard the stories about how Sir. Frederik Banting, a research scientist, discovered insulin and the potential use it had for treating diabetes, how he could have been a millionaire, but flatly refused to patent the cure. His desire was for insulin to be cheap or free for all who suffered from diabetes.
He was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
He passed away more than 80 years ago and doubtfully never could have seen this modern epidemic of Type 2 diabetes brought on by obesity and sugar consumption. Here are some staggering numbers (from diabetesresearch.org):
- 37.3 million people, or 11.3% of the U.S. population, have diabetes. An estimated 28.7 million people had diagnosed diabetes. Approximately 8.6 million people have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.
- 26.4 million people aged 65 years or older (48.8%) have prediabetes.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 18–64 years.
- As many as 80 percent of people who have prediabetes don't know they have it.
Perhaps the best news about prediabetes is it's easily detectable with a simple blood test.
The other good news is that you can actually prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes before it arrives by simply getting in better shape.
"Truthfully, if you are prediabetic and lose just 5- to 7-percent of your body weight, you can stop Type 2 diabetes before it ever arrives," said SWUPHD director Dr. David Blodgett.
That means a person weighing 200 pounds needs to lose just 10 pounds or so to prevent this crippling infirmity.
So that's it, we can find out if we're getting diabetes with an easy test and we can stop it in its tracks with a little bit of diet and exercise.
The link to the prediabetes screening test on the SWUhealth.org website is here.
Some other scary diabetes facts:
- Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2017 based on the 83,564 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death.
- Diabetes was listed as the underlying or contributing cause of death on 270,702 death certificates in 2017.
- In 2017, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. was $327 billion.
- Without insulin, the body’s cells would be starved, causing dehydration and destruction of body tissue.
- Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose by following a healthy meal plan and a program of regular physical activity, losing excess weight, and taking medications.