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Health Tips for August 8

Posted Oct 23 2008 2:22pm
Health Tip: Food Poisoning From Fish

Fish can carry harmful toxins in their systems that may not be destroyed when they are cooked.

The American Academy of Family Physicians says there are two types of food poisoning that can be caused by fish: ciguatera and scombroid poisoning.

Ciguatera poisoning is caused by eating any reef fish (which live in warm water) that has eaten a certain type of poisonous food. Common fish that may cause ciguatera poisoning include grouper, snapper, sturgeon, king mackerel, moray eel, amberjack and barracuda.

Scombroid poisoning is caused by eating a fish that was not kept at a cold-enough temperature after it was caught. This allows a histamine to build up in its system and cause a reaction in your body. Common fish that may cause scombroid poisoning include tuna, sardines, mahi mahi, and anchovies.

Symptoms of food poisoning from fish can be treated, but it's important to see your doctor if you have symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness or numbness.

Health Tip: Caring for a Cast

Casts are used to keep a broken bone in place so that the injury heals properly.

If you're wearing a cast and want to know how to care for it properly, follow these suggestions from the American Academy of Family Physicians:

* If the cast becomes uncomfortable due to minor swelling, prop the casted area up above the level of your heart.
* Numbness or severe pain is not normal, so see your doctor if you have these symptoms.
* Some types of casts may get wet, but many shouldn't. Protect your cast from getting wet by covering it with a plastic bag fastened with tape when you're showering.
* If your cast does get wet, dry it with a blow dryer on a low, cool setting.
* Though your cast may itch, never slip anything inside the cast to scratch the itchy area.
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