Medical Marijuana- Should You Drug Test? By Cathy Moon

cathy moon no bkgrndWhen it comes to concerns about medical marijuana, the question we often hear is “to drug test or not to drug test?” This is a question that employers often ask themselves without any direct and clear answer.  The recent increase of medical marijuana provisions is just another component to add to this ever-pressing guessing game. Discussions with numerous attorneys have shown various perspectives and despite these discussions, many of us still feel in the dark on the most appropriate answer.  In a recent article published by the National Law Review on June 20th, it is increasingly apparent that the topic of medical marijuana in the workplace has none the further become less complex.

marijuana web“In a recently issued trial court decision, Callaghan v. Darlington Fabrics Corp., a Rhode Island Superior Court justice held that an employer could not deny employment to an applicant licensed under state law to possess and consume medical marijuana solely because the applicant would be unable to pass a mandatory pre-employment drug test. The decision, which granted the applicant summary judgment against the employer, recognizes—for the first time in Rhode Island—a private right of action for medical marijuana “cardholders” to seek damages for discrimination due to their status as medical marijuana patients by schools, landlords, and employers.”

http://www.natlawreview.com/print/article/positive-no-more-rhode-island-employers-need-to-think-twice-denying-employment-based

Of course, the new ruling is expected to be appealed however, the fact still remains: a court found the employer in the wrong when they refused employment based on the use of medical marijuana.  On that note, you might be saying “BUT WAIT!  That was Rhode Island and this is California!” Indeed it is, which is why much can be said from California because it has a very large employer/employee population.  This still begs the question though- “So what to do in these situations?”  Unfortunately the only real answer is to wait and see, keeping in mind that “no state law could completely legalize marijuana for medical purposes because the drug remains illegal under federal law.” (Ross v. Raging Wire Telecommunications, Inc. (2008) 42 Cal. 4th 920, 926; citing 21 U.S.C. §§ 812, 844(a)). Currently some situations such as transportation jobs, the law requires an employer to test for marijuana.

So how do we answer the question “to drug test or not drug test?” Well, the best advice we can provide is to seek legal counsel, and remember should you decide to drug test, we are always here to help.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

Skin Care and Sunscreen by Jennifer Mead, LVN

Jennifer Mead, LVNDo you work outdoors?  Regardless of whether your job is outside or not, it is important to know how to properly protect yourself from the damaging rays of the sun.

What is sunscreen?  Sunscreen is a lotion, gel or spray that protects the skin from ultraviolet light. By absorbing or reflecting the sun’s ultraviolet light or radiation, sunscreen can protect the skin from sunburn.  The American Cancer Society recommends the use of sunscreen because it can aid in the prevention of squamous cell carcinoma, otherwise known as skin cancer.

Sunscreens are commonly labeled and rated with a sun protection factor (SPF). The SPF measures the sun-burning fraction of UV rays that reach the skin surface. For example, an “SPF 25” means that 1/25th of burning radiation from the sun reaches the skin through the thickness of the sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends everyone use sunscreen that offers the following:

  • Broad-spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays)

  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher

  • Water resistance


sunscreen

It is recommended that if you are going to be outside every day, you should protect yourself with sunscreen and this includes being outside when it is grey and overcast. Even on cloudy days, 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate the skin. But how much do you use? You will want to apply enough to coat the skin that is not covered by clothing. The rule of thumb is enough sunscreen to fill a shot glass or 1 ounce. This amount is what dermatologists recommend to cover enough skin that is being exposed however you will want to adjust the amount according to your body size, and apply sunscreen 15 minutes before going outside as well as apply every 2 hours after swimming or sweating according to the directions on the bottle. It is good to remember that skin cancer can also form on the lips so you want to use a good chapstick or lipstick with an SPF of 30 or higher. There are many kinds of sunscreen on the market and which one to use is a matter of preference. Just make sure you choose a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher.

Sunscreen options come in a variety of lotions, creams, sprays, gels & sticks:

  • Face creams are best for dry skin.

  • Gels are preferable for hairy areas such as scalp or the male chest.

  • Sticks work best for around the eyes.


Although sprays are preferred by parents to use on children because they are easier to apply, make sure that you use enough to cover the skin completely and do not spray the face. This can be dangerous because the child can inhale the aerosol so make sure you spray your hands first then apply the sunscreen to the child’s face.

For babies younger than 6 months, it is recommended to keep them in the shade, but if they must be out in the sun, make sure to use a broad-spectrum SPF that is waterproof and cover the skin completely and apply every 2 hours.

Summer is here so make sure to stock up on sunscreen and apply it daily. This includes moisturizers under makeup with SPF. If you should get sunburned, treat it as soon as possible by taking a cool bath to reduce the heat, stay moisturized, stay well hydrated and use hydrocortisone cream and aspirin or ibuprofen as needed for discomfort.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

The Cold Shower Challenge by David Waterman

david-watermanWould you like to be more focused and alert at work?  Cold showers could be the solution!

Cold showers can be unpleasant, but just like many other things in life that are good for you, they are not necessarily enjoyable.  Recently I have been discovering the benefits of taking cold showers. Why? Cold showers have health benefits.  So far, I’ve done seven solid cold sessions in a row.   My goal is 30 days straight; my average is about three days in a row before I turn knob back to HOT to prolong this grueling challenge.

So, let’s get to the benefits…

  1. INCREASED ALERTNESS


The momcold shower pngent you step into the shower with no heat you will know exactly what I mean.

  1. AMPLIFIED FOCUS


The moment you step into your first cold shower, the only thing on your mind is how badly you want this experience to end. However, after about 30 seconds, your body just kicks in and you feel your blood triumphantly rushing back to your skin. Your breathing slows and you accept this decision that you have made. NO going back now. You’ve already made it past the hard part, and now just time to finish up.

  1. IMMUNE SYSTEM BENEFITS


Numerous studies have shown that exposure to cold enables the body to boost immune system fighting capabilities. The most widely noted research is by Professor Vijay Kakkar, founder of the Thrombosis Research Institute in London, who suggests that cold water boosts the circulation and stimulates immune cell production. It is thought that during the process of the body trying to warm itself up after being cold, the body’s metabolism speeds up which activates the immune system.   The immune system starts to produce more white blood cells; the presence of more white blood cells means that your body is better equipped to fight infection.

  1. BETTER BLOOD PRESSURE


It’s unclear how long it takes for this to have a lasting effect. The science is essentially this: your veins, just like any other muscle, work by contraction and expansion.  When your body is exposed to cold, it automatically starts redirecting blood flow from your extremities to your internal organs causing your blood vessels to contract. As your body heats back up, your blood vessels start to expand.  Just like any other exercise, the more practice your muscles get, the more efficient they become.

  1. FASTER RECOVERY


Now this is a no-brainer for athletes who have used ice compression for healing and baths to recover from injury. Every football player knows the big metal bin full of ice after practice and the “Big Game.”  Well they’re not in there for fun, they’re there for cold immersion therapy.  It’s helping them to walk the next day. When you exercise or use your muscles for an extended period, your body consumes all the oxygen available in and around those functioning muscle groups. This is known as the “aerobic” phase or the easy part of an exercise routine. However, after all that easily retrievable oxygen is depleted, your muscles enter the “anaerobic” or without oxygen phase.  This is where you “feel the burn” everybody talks about. During this anaerobic state, your muscles then begin building up lactic and uric acid and you need oxygen to retard this process. As a result, you start breathing heavily. Short-term cold exposure has been shown to increase temporary and baseline levels of the glutathione.  Glutathione is an antioxidant produced by plants and animals to help reduce damage to cells and assist in repairs of cell structures.

There are 5 good reasons to wake up with a cold shower. If you must ease into the challenge, try the “Scottish” or “James Bond” shower where you start warm and end cold. I find these particularly refreshing.   If you’re counting, I will finally hit my 8th day in a row tomorrow!

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

Cool Thoughts On Cryotherapy by Your Marque Team

muc web useSuffering from a workplace injury?  Cryotherapy could be a beneficial treatment. 

Cryotherapy originated in Japan as a method to treat pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Cryotherapy is the local or general use of very low temperatures for medical use. Cryotherapy can be beneficial for anyone, but it specifically helps: athletes seeking muscle recovery, people who suffer from chronic pain, and inflammatory conditions. Additionally, cryotherapy can be useful for those who have had recent surgery and are looking to accelerate healing time and reduce pain. Overworked tissue needs recovery time and cryotherapy assists with decreasing pain and spasms. The main purpose is to help cure or reduce the amount of tension placed on damaged tissue. Cryotherapy increases blood circulation which decreases inflammation and stimulates cellular regeneration to promote faster healing. When our body is exposed to subzero temperatures, the body releases endorphins, which are natural pain inhibitors and mood elevators.

cryotherapy pngFreezing temperatures are exposed to the skin for such a short time so the skin does not freeze. The full-body chamber immerses the body in 220-280 degrees below zero. The most sensitive areas of the body should be covered during the session. The least amount of clothing is recommended for more skin exposure. Cotton glove and socks should be provided for you. Women should not wear a wire bra, but a bathing suit or dry undergarment is acceptable.

Will an ice bath have the same results on the body? Ice baths only reach the top skin layers, and are not cold enough to penetrate deep into muscles, ligaments, or tendons. Ice baths take anywhere from 10-15 minutes in uncomfortable conditions whereas Cryo-chamber sessions last only 2-3 minutes.

Although there are no age limitations, it's recommended clients be at least 13 years of age or older with a parental consent. If you're taking any medications, it's important to talk to your doctor beforehand because some drugs may intensify during therapy. It's recommended that 3-4 sessions be completed to feel a decrease in pain and relaxation. Everyone reacts differently to therapy, but after several treatments nerves and muscle pains typically subside for several months.

References:

http://www.subzerocryotherapy.com/FAQs.aspx

Whole-Body Cryotherapy (WBC): Does It Speed Recovery? - Cooper Institute

What It Feels Like to Be Immersed in -280 Degree Cryotherpy

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

The Ring-Shaped Rash by Crystal Finlen

crystal-finlenThe workplace can be a breeding-ground for contagious health issues.  Did you know that ringworm is highly contagious? 

Tinea, or the most commonly used term, ringworm, is a contagious fungal infection of the skin or scalp. Ringworm lives on the dead tissues of one’s skin, nails, hair etc. It is caused by the fungus Trichophyton Rubrum that spreads from one person to another and Microsporum Canis that is spread by cats and dogs.

Anyone can get ringworm, including animals, but those who are most prone to catching this type of infection are athletes, those who use public showers or locker rooms, children, and even people who sweat excessively and wear tight shoes. Ringworm is spread by skin-to-skin contact from a person who is infected, infected animals, and touching a contaminated surface.

Symptoms:

  • Red, itchy, scaly or raised rash

  • Blister-like patches that may also begin to oozeringworm

  • Patches that may be redder on the outside edges and resemble a ring

  • Edges of the rash that are raised and defined

  • Spreading throughout the body


Ringworm treatments depends on where exactly the infection is and how severe. Some infected may need a prescription from a doctor, while others may be able to use an over-the-counter drug such as an antifungal cream, powder or lotion. If you are infected, you need to make sure you wash the area with soap and water and be certain that it is dry completely before applying any medication. If your symptoms do not improve within 2 weeks you may want to see your physician.

Prevention:

  • Do not share items such as towels, combs, brushes, bed linens, clothing, hats, socks, etc.

  • Do not scratch the infected area because that may cause it to spread

  • Avoid warm moist areas for that is where fungi thrive

  • If you have pets make sure they do not suffer from fungal infections and regular medical exams are recommended

  • Clean, disinfect and dry everything used by someone who was infected properly before using again


The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

What’s in the Meat? The Pros and Cons of Eating Red Meat by Keilah Martinez

Kelia Martinez web A healthy diet is not only important for optimal performance at work, but it is also significant for all aspects of life and well-being.   Is red meat bad for you?  Keilah sheds light on this debatable question:

Summer is here and many families and friends are gathering for a BBQ or a party for fun times and great food. How can you resist enjoying a burger, steak, or a roast beef sandwich? The question is - how healthy or unhealthy are these meat indulgences? Many factors come into play when our bodies over-consume various types of foods, including red meats. The over-consumption of red meats can pose many several health risks. However, in moderation, red meat can also have good health benefits.

Many benefits come with eating red meat in moderation. Meat is a good source of protein in terms of both quantity and quality. Our bodies need some source of protein to get the right nutrients and energy. Protein is one of the main sources to have a normal balanced diet. More benefits associated with the consumption of red meat are:

  • Essential amino acids, which are biologically important compounds that our bodies don’t self-produce. We can find amino acids in meats, dairy products and legumes.

  • Vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12 which is essential to in maintain the bodies healthy red blood burgercells, nerve cells and proteins.

  • Iron also helps maintain healthy red blood cells.

  • Zinc helps aid digestion and keeps our body’s immune system healthy.

  • Phosphorous maintains bone health.


 

steakTo maximize these benefits, it’s important to select the proper meat cuts and to be aware of portion control. Choosing leaner meats is very beneficial and helps ensure that you are gaining all the proper nutrients. Meat cuts labeled “loin” are the smarter choice. Loin meats contain less fat and are a good source of protein. Choose meats that are labeled up to 95% lean. Grass-fed beef is better for you.  It is not only higher in nutrients, but it also is much leaner.  Not knowing these factors can lead many of us to continuously choosing meats with more saturated fat and well as consuming larger portions. Unfortunately, several years of over-consumption, can wreak havoc on the body with some unpleasant health risks.

The downside to eating red meats are those related to the amount of fat, cholesterol, and sodium content. These risk factors bring an increase rise in heart disease, such as heart attacks and clogged arteries.

  • High sodium content in red meats can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure is a condition in where long-term force of blood against artery walls is forceful enough to cause heart disease. There is also an increased risk of stroke, a stroke is when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. Lastly heart failure which is the hearts inability to properly pump an adequate supply of blood throughout the body.

  • Processed meats are said to put people at risk for many different types of gastrointestinal cancers as well as heart disease.


 

Some studies show that people who mostly ate red meats over a ten-year period were likely to take ten years off a normal life span opposed to those who consumed in moderation.  Whether it’s a cookout, a BBQ, a family gathering or just dinner, the key is to safely consume red meats in moderation and select a lean high-grade meat. A recommended portion for a lean cut of meat is three ounces serving. The three ounce serving is generally about 180 calories and you get ten essential nutrients just from the serving. Sticking to lean meats and proper portions will ensure that you get the correct amount of nutrients for your body.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

Difficulty with Sleep? by Dalip Tibb, M.D.

dr-dalip-tibbIt doesn't matter if you are a CEO, accountant, fire fighter, or a truck driver, every worker needs a good night's sleep to perform well at their job.  What if you are having sleep issues?  Here are some insightful and user-friendly tips from Dr. Tibb:

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is very important for the functioning of our bodies as it helps restore the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscle systems. Without restful sleep, these bodily functions will not work optimally. Sleep deprivation can cause a multitude of health issues. It is well known and studied that there are associations with increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, immune disorders and cognitive impairment in people that do not sleep well. Studies have shown that sleeping better promotes longevity.

Sleep Help, Sleep Hygiene and Stimulants

There are many things you can do to improve your sleep. One of the best things you can do is to avoid stimulants. Stimulants aeye mask sleeping png webffecting sleep can be broken down into many categories. There are drinks that can be stimulating such as those containing caffeine and alcohol. There are foods that can be stimulating including chocolate, certain fruits and foods containing MSG (monosodium glutamate). Even foods rich in aged cheese contain a substance called tyramine that affects sleep. There are drugs and medications that can be stimulating. These can include certain prescription medications such as steroids, mood and anxiety medications (SSRI and similar medications), and ADHD medications (containing amphetamine like substance). Certain supplements such as Ginseng can be stimulating. Even chemicals in toothpaste such as Triclosan may affect sleep. There are also other environmental stimulants that one should be careful of such as bright artificial light. This is now very common with use of smartphones.

Sleep Tips

  • Avoid food and drink stimulants as listed above, especially several hours before bed or even entirely.

  • Avoid TV and smart phone use while in bed preparing for sleep.

  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and noise free when trying to sleep.

  • Avoid exercise before going to sleep.

  • Discuss use of stimulating medications with your doctor if having difficulty with sleep.


 

Supplements and Medication

There are options to help with poor sleep if the things above do not help. Most over-the-counter sleep aids use anti-histamines as they have a side effect of drowsiness. These can unfortunately cause daytime grogginess or drowsiness and can have other unwanted side effects. Prescription medications are an option but most are considered controlled substances and can be discussed with your doctor. Melatonin and herbal sleep aids are an option also and are available without prescription.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can You Sit Up Straight Reading This Entire Article?

businessman working on a tablet with bad posture

Can You Sit Up Straight Reading This Entire Article?


We have a hunch you can’t.

Fact: 80% of New Year’s resolutions are ditched by February. Talk about a vast majority.

Fact: That same majority of Americans suffer from back pain.

Let’s kill two birds with one stone here. Bad posture is a common problem that can be resolved anytime of year.

 

Improved Posture: An Improved You


Poor posture pain and strain isn’t only about discomfort. As easy it is to slouch over a sweet bowl of late-night cereal or slumping to get a good view of a glowing Netflix screen, it is cause for organ dysfunction including poor digestion, joint issues such as arthritis, headaches, impaired breathing, and lack of oxygen flow to the brain. Without solid oxygen flow, the brain lacks energy responsible for cognitive thinking and reasoning, memory, and the ability to carry out daily tasks. An improved posture yields productivity, confidence, and power, eliciting a positive attitude and increased self-esteem.

We are meant to carry ourselves confidently and proudly. But let’s not forget: posture is how we carry ourselves against gravity. Bones and spine provide support, but poor posture means our all-natural support system is forced to rely on the help of ligaments and muscles, only to receive a knock-off version of good “backing”. This makeshift tag-team causes a greater exertion of energy, fatiguing the body. We sit, stand, drive, and sleep. Meanwhile, posture painfully drags us down literally. The only escape is to face the bully head on.

 

Start Small


Like a New Year’s Resolution, posture correction takes consistency and commitment.

Imagine you’re training for a race: you’ll exercise and build muscle overtime, not run a hundred miles on first-day training. Start small. In that long run, you’ll adapt!

Millions of Americans have desk jobs; however, we were never designed to sit for such long periods of time. Talk about 9-5 slouch-central. Correct posture will surely improve performance.

Here are improvements you can make from right where you’re sitting!

Sitting up straight? Check! Pull shoulders back and open your chest like you’re about to dive into a full-fledged vinyasa flow. Sit eye level to your monitor about one arm’s length away, resting your uncrossed legs at 90 degrees. Consider a footrest or invest in desk-friendly wrist rests. Say that 5 times fast! Now stretch. Embrace regular walking breaks and maybe a standing desk.

Additionally, adjust, lighten, (or ditch) backpacks, purses, and briefcases. Engage in daily activity and exercise.

 

Chins Up


Ever heard of texting neck? Staring at the beloved phone screen is the ultimate neck-strainer. Resort to the old fashioned way of calling somebody up to avoid that extra weight on your shoulders. Give it a go! No one’s got time for stiff-necked suckers. An improved posture is an improved you. Look taller, hide that beer belly, and feel back in your prime.

Well? Did you make it? Are you sitting up straight?

Good.

 

If not, that’s ok. Keep your chin up!

Literally.

Q. and A. with Dr. Kiskila- This Month’s Topic: Nail Fungus

dr. kiskilaDo you try to hide your nails at the company meeting?  If you are embarrassed at work by your hands or feet, you are not alone.  Millions of people have a nail fungus.

Question- Dr. Kiskila, what is nail fungus?

Answer- Nail fungus is a disease called onychomycosis that consists of a fungal infection that attaches to the fingernail or toenail. Its estimated that six to nine million are Americans have onychomycosis and over 35 million worldwide have it.

Question- How do I get nail fungus?

Answer- Fungi gets underneath toe and fingernails causing a nail infection. Nails that grow slower and are exposed to fungi more often are more likely to develop nail fungus. Older people, and people with weaker immune systems or diabetes may be more prone to develop nail fungus. People whose nails are often wet due to a profession or hobby may develop a nail fungus.  Feet that are often damp or sweaty can be more likely to develop fungus.

Question- What are the symptoms of nail fungus?

Answer- The main symptom is the change in the appearance of the nail which may appear thick, pale, yellow or brittle. Rarely the nail may become painful, or have a slightly foul odor.

Question- What is the treatment for nail fungus?

Answer- The treatment consists of antifungal medicines. Some are home remedies or over-the-counter, but some are prescription strength. Prescription strength antifungals come in oral pill form, topical antifungal creams, sprays, and medicated nail polish. Sometimes in severe cases the treatment may be nail removal.

Question- Are there any natural ways to treat nail fungus?

Answer- Apple cider vinegar mixed with Epsom salt and warm water then soaking nails for 30 minutes twice a day may kill nail fungus. Application of tea tree oil may help cure nail fungus.

Question- How do I prevent nail fungus?

Answer- Because fungus needs an acidic environment to grow, mixing water with baking soda to form a paste and applying to nails can kill the environment the fungus needs to grow and help prevent nail fungus. Probiotics can promote healthy gut bacteria and hinder the growth or spread of fungal infections.

The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.