The Advantages and Disadvantages of a Health Spending Account

Nowadays, a lot of people are more concerned about their health than anything else. They are more careful in choosing the foods they eat because of the fact that most diseases nowadays involve in the lifestyle of man. Well, some people are also practicing a work-home routine to avoid any accidents that might happen to them when they are outside of their house. But sometimes, some unexpected things really do happen and having a health spending account is the best option that you could get.

Sure you can get a traditional health insurance plan where you pay each month and your employer may even cover some or all of this type of plan. With these traditional health insurance plans there are certain requirements and restrictions. For example, there are certain requirements that you need to follow for you to become eligible. A qualified applicant must be 65 years old and below and have a high-deductible health insurance plan. The plan should only be your insurance coverage as well, if you are covered by any other health insurance plans, then you do not pass their requirements. That includes health insurance plans for vision, dental and long term care. These plans typically only cover 80% of traditional health expenses, such as medical and dental visits. You are responsible for paying out of pocket for the rest. Non traditional health expenses such as massage therapy, Chiropractic care, dental surgery, private health clinics, etc are not even covered.

As an employee, the advantages of having a HSA are that you have full control to the money that you will be spending. A certain amount of money is set aside by your employer in your HSA to be used as you deem fit to cover a large variety of routine health care expenses for you, your spouse, or your dependents. From the employer perspective this is a valued and economical way to provide tax free health benefits to employees, and all the money invested by the employer is 100% tax deductible (including any fees). With this result, still a lot of people prefer to have HSA because everyone has different health needs and no one should be able to dictate that only traditional types of health treatments are right? Owning or managing a business sometimes means you need to travel to other provinces in Canada, or to other countries to do business. An HAS gives you the flexibility to travel and still obtain coverage for the type of health treatments that are most relevant for you. As long as the health practitioner is licensed in the location you happen to be in, you can rest assured things will be covered. An HAS is an ideal small business health plan. It doesn’t matter what type of business you own, as long as you are a Canadian incorporated business, Although an HSA is good at covering a large variety of routine health care costs, it is not provide an insurance component to cover accidents or medical emergencies, although you can purchase a fixed term travel insurance plan and run this through your HSA. If you require true accidental or emergency coverage then there are plenty of options out there to investigate, including a stripped down traditional health insurance plan, or visiting one of many financial institutions who provide this type of emergency coverage.

Dental Case Study – MS Patient

49 year old married female with multiple sclerosis. She is very open to discuss her disease and the impact it has on her life. She practises yoga and relaxation therapy. A friend of hers mentioned that MS was caused by mercury toxicity from dental amalgam fillings. Her chief complaints were sensitivity to hot, cold in her upper left lower right quadrant, bleeding gums, possible amalgam removal and dry mouth. Client used to see her dentist regularly for dental check ups but stopped all of a sudden. Her last dental visit was at a Dental Hygiene College 3 years ago. In 1976 She reported to have trigeminal neuralgia that lasted about 2 months, and previous use of cigarettes and marijuana from (1974 to 1988). She also reported to have problems with urine leakage. She sees her physician and neurologist bi-annually. Her vital signs were within normal limits, she was hospitalized two times due to acute MS episodes one in 1978 and the other in 1992. She reported taking medication to prevent the progression of MS, and gets injected every other day with Betaseron 5mg and Copaxone 20mg; diazepam 1mg twice daily; ibuprofen 800mg three times a day and baclofen 10 mg four times a day. Dry mouth is a frequent side effect of these medications. Client is disabled she must use a walker to walk. Fatigue has affected her oral hygiene before bedtime so she often brushes only in the morning. This client lacks manual dexterity and coordination due to the numbness and pain in her hands. Her diets consist of fried foods and lots of soda.

Clinical Assessment Data

On the first appointment the following things were completed. Extra and intraoral, periodontal hard tissue examination, a full mouth serious, intraoral photographs were taken and homecare practices were observed and discussed. Significant findings included the following.

Extraoral: Unilateral swelling on the right side of the face; bilateral firm masseter muscles; TMJ crepitation; occasional pain upon opening mouth in the morning and nocturnal bruxing.

Intraoral: Linea Alba bilateral 6mm on both sides; small tori on the palate and decreased salivary flow. Moderate subgingival calculus with grayish extrinsic stains.

Periodontal: Generalized 2-6 mm probing depth and localized 5mm readings on the posterior interproximal areas; furcations located on 16,14,47,46. Bleeding upon probing on all posterior teeth.

Hard Tissue: Generalized slight attrition. Multi surface restorations on most posterior teeth.

Plaque Control Record: Plaque-free score 75%; Radiographs: Generalized bone loss 10 to 30% horizontal bone loss; localized slight vertical bone loss in posterior; visible calculus spicules; suspected caries on #15 under restoration.

Nutrition: Meal pattern consist of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. Calorie intake is inadequate. Food Groups consumed daily are mainly Meat and alternatives. Fat intake high. Body weight above healthy. Activity level low.

Social: Regardless of having MS client feels her overall health is good. The client has no insurance, so that’s why she has been avoiding dental care but she is ready to make a lifestyle change. She has a support system to aid her with transportation

Dental hygiene treatment care plan

1. Take vital signs at each appointment to ensure that V/S are WNL

2. Update medical history for any possible contraindication to treatment.

3. Review her medication intake to determine any side effect that might compromise the treatment.

4. Book the patient at morning appointments since morning appointments tempt to be less stressful to patients with neurological problems.

5. Ensure a quite and relaxant environment for the patient during the appointment.

6. Allow multiple brakes during the appointment to help relaxing her facial muscles and allow necessary frequent urination.

7. Minimize fatigue by complying with the patient daily regime and comfort during treatment (positioning the chair in the most comfortable position for the patient).

8. Monitor oral conditions that are associated with client at every appointment and make referral if necessary, (to determine any intra extra oral changes that might compromise treatment or patient health).

9. Use clorhexidine prior to treatment to reduce bacterial flora within the oral cavity.

10. Debridement of calculus and plaque by ultrasonic (One quadrant at the time) to reduce the scaling time. 1-2 appointments.

11. Debridement by hand scaling ( one quadrant at the time) to make sure that all the calculus and dental plaque left after using ultrasonic is removed. 1-2 appointments

12. Selective polishing to selectively remove intristic stain. (Whiter teeth are associated with beauty and a healthier lifestyle)

13. Use fluoride rinse Neutral sodium 2% to help re mineralize clients teeth.

14. Take an impression on lower anteriors to fabricate a mouthguard that will prevent further attrition on the lower anteriors due to buxism.

15. Referral to DDS for restoration due to clients request to replace old amalgam fillings with white restoration material

16. Diet counseling to increase salivary flow. ( during intra oral examination xerostomia was evident possibly from medication side effects)

17. Consider Local anesthetic ( Lidocaine 2% in case Topical anesthetic 2% is not enough in making client comfortable during the appointment.

OSC planning

1. Prescribe antisensitivity toothpaste to eliminate sensitivity to hot and cold.

2. Suggest increasing of H2o consumption to increase salivary flow in the oral cavity.

3. Client will be educated in the relationship that MS has on her oral cavity to increase her cognitive knowledge towards OSC (for example bruxism, subluxation, crepitation, xerostomia).

4. Discuss the relation between MS patients and the high risk of caries activity.

5. Demonstrate floss and brushing aids to the client. ( proxy brush, floss aid, modified brush handles.) to improve patients OSC skills.

6. Use disclosing agent to show to the client the problematic areas that are missed during at home oral self care. This will increase the awareness of the client to the present oral situation.

7. Suggest powered toothbrush to increase the brushing time due to clients compromised plaque removal skills.

8. Suggest different modifications to the OSC aids that client will feel comfortable with, to increase comfort in grasping oral aid handles

9. suggest water pick to allow a certain degree of independence in cleaning interproximal areas from plaque.

10. Suggest different physical activities ( like yoga) to improve the dexterity that will help client with self oral care.

Multiple Sclerosis and Dental Hygienist

Treating patients with MS provides dental hygienists with many opportunities to learn. The multiple links between oral conditions and MS symptoms enable dental hygienists to fulfill their roles as primary holistic health care providers. MS is the most prevalent demyelinating disease of the CNS, and the third leading cause of neurological disability in the United States. For patients presenting with MS, the dental hygienist can contribute by promoting both physical and oral comfort. Appointments that accommodate special physical needs and treatment plans that offer meaningful health promotion and disease prevention plans are ways to foster MS patient compliance. Current knowledge about MS symptoms, etiology, physical limitations, treatments, and CAM will aid the dental hygienist in providing optimal care.

Basic Dental Care – A Detailed Overview

Are tooth decays and cavities bothering you? Do you often catch gum diseases? If the answer to these simple questions is yes, then you probably need to gather some basic information regarding importance of dental care and home remedies to avoid dental problems. Likewise, you should know when to see a dentist, just in case the situation aggravates.

What Does Basic Dental Care Cover?

From brushing to flossing your teeth regularly, seeing a dentist to eating mouth-friendly foods, basic dental care covers almost every aspect that is required to sustain a healthy lifestyle. The width of your smile depends entirely on your dental habits. Therefore, its importance can’t be overlooked in any case.

Why Is Dental Care So Important?

You would never anticipate falling or crumbling teeth as soon as you reach the age of 40 or 50 years. Dental care not only concerns old people but also takes children and adult into consideration. The process of caring about the gums starts right from your birth. You should practice basic dental care because:

1.) It protects tooth from decaying at an early age.

2.) It prevents all types of gum diseases that are mainly responsible for loss of teeth.

3.) It helps you save money that would otherwise incur in activities such as filling and root canal treatment.

4.) It protects you from embarrassment due to bad breath. Simple techniques such as regular brushing and flossing help to keep the bad breath causing bacteria at bay.

5.) It maintains the whiteness of your teeth by removing stains caused due to consumption of food and drinks.

6.) It guards you from other common health issues such as flu and throat infections.

7.) It provides you strong teeth that will last till the end.

8.) Last but not the least; it gives you a reason to smile freely without any hesitation.

How to Avoid Dental Problems?

Healthy gums and teeth require few changes in your lifestyle, which are neither laborious nor expensive. Simple dental care steps are listed below:

1.) It is very important to brush your teeth at least twice a day; one during early morning and second, before going to the bed at night. Brushing should not only cover every corner of your gums but it should also clean the tongue. Likewise, you should floss your teeth daily. These two techniques help you get rid of the plaque, which damages both teeth and gums.

2.) Avoid sweet food items that contains enormous amount of sugar. Sugar assists in plaque growth.

3.) Toothpaste and mouthwash rich in fluoride fight plaque and prevent cavities to a great extent.

4.) Tobacco products should be strictly avoided because it causes oral cancer and bad breath.

5.) Visit a dentist regularly to get the intricacies cleaned in a better way.

When to know that it’s the right time to see a dentist?

You should schedule a visit to a dentist at least once or twice every year. However, there are few symptoms that would signify an immediate need to visit the dentist.

1.) Swollen gums with visible redness and pain.

2.) Frequent bleeding in gums when you brush the teeth.

3.) Loosened teeth with numbness in gums.

4.) Improper alignment in top and bottom teeth.

5.) Hot and cold sensitivity.

Remember, prevention is always better than cure. However, certain cases need proper dental care from a dentist through medication and other treatments. And it is very important to detect these aforementioned symptoms at an early stage.

Heavy Metal Toxicity and Treatment

Mercury Toxicity- Are you at risk?

Heavy metals are ubiquitous substances, especially in industrialized countries. There are 16 heavy metals physicians routinely test. More than 1900 autoimmune diseases are now linked to heavy metal toxicity. Autoimmune diseases, immune dysfunction syndromes and treatment resistant conditions are linked to this type of chronic poisoning. A recent in a peer reviewed medical journal identifies men with mercury toxicity as being over two times as likely to have a heart attack than those with normal (non-toxic) levels. Chronic heavy metal toxicity and its treatment has been the subject of much controversy in the medical and dental communities and still is to this day. There are studies offered up by both sides of how significant or insignificant this is to human health. The American College for the Advancement of Medicine (ACAM) which celebrates it’s 25th year anniversary this year is the leading American medical society for the study of heavy metal toxicity and its treatments (principally Chelation Therapy). As a member, I attended their annual meeting in November, 2002 in Phoenix and was convinced by the evidence presented based on international medical literature and data to consider this therapy in my private practice.

Closer to home, a subject of mine was not having the expected results with intense nutritional therapeutics and traditional medication (of which she was taking many pharmaceuticals). She continued to express immune dysfunction and a myriad of symptoms until it was discovered the cause of her resistance. Mercury toxicity. This article will focus on Mercury.

Industry contributes tons of mercury to our environment yearly. For example, coal power plants are responsible for 35% of the load dumped into our environment, medical waste incineration is responsible for 30%, and then there are sources, such as dental amalgams (~50% of a silver dental amalgam is actually mercury [Hg]). Another source is Thimerisol, a mercury based preservative found in vaccines, injectables and contact lens solutions. The water we drink is a potential for taking in this toxin as is the fish we eat. Larger fish, such as swordfish and shark are greater repositories for mercury. Still salmon, tuna, mackerel and bass have been shown to have levels higher than 1.0 parts per billion (ppb) deemed the limit by the FDA. To paint a clearer picture, 1.0 ppb of mercury is still 20,000 molecules of mercury present in each cell.

How does this happen? Mercury is released into the atmosphere as a vapor from industry which can travel miles until it comes down to earth in precipitation (rain) and enters our water and soil. Subsequently, the inorganic mercury is transformed by bacteria into an organic methyl-mercury, which is lipid soluble and freely passes through cell membranes, across the blood-brain barrier and placenta contaminating many body organs. Storing itself in our fat cells and especially our brains. If you have mercury amalgams, then mercury vapor is released by eating, drinking hot liquids or even brushing your teeth. These vapors are inhaled into our lungs and enter the body by that rout as well as by being swallowed. Obviously, those that are immunized with Thimerisol containing vaccines are being exposed from that source. A world environmental travesty is the over use of mercury containing anti-fungals in Africa’s agriculture industry, which releases 100 tons of mercury laden fungacidals a year that vaporize and travels across the atmosphere in oceanographic weather patterns and will eventually find it way to U.S. soil.

What are symptoms of mercury toxicity? Some major symptoms include headaches, body pain, numbness, tingling, trouble with memory, trouble with concentration, gait and balance disturbance, various endocrine abnormalities and gastrointestinal disturbances. Also included are a number of autoimmune and immune dysfunction disorders, such as Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, IBS, Multiple Sclerosis and Systemic Lupus. Also on the list are CFIDS, Fibromyalgia, ALS, endometriosis and RSD.

How do I get tested? A very simple screening examination is made by the use of hair. Hair and nails are repositories for mercury (and other heavy metals) and is a relatively inexpensive screening tool. To have 16 heavy metals along with good elements analyzed, it will cost approximately $160. If there are high levels of mercury noted on hair analysis, then a chelation challenge or provocation test is ordered. This is where a chelation agent (a substance that pulls heavy metals out of your body) is given in a single dose and a 6-hour urine is collected. The chelating agent (usually DMSA) pulls mercury, for example, out of your cells and excretes them in your urine. DMSA, while FDA approved for lead detoxification, has an “off label” use for mercury detox. There are other agents like DMPS and D-Penicillamine that are used as well.

So if I have a high level what next? If the provocation test is positive, then a course of pulsed chelation sessions is prescribed to rid the body of the heavy metal. Unfortunately, mercury has a half-life of between 20 and 30 years, and mercury deposits quicker than the body can get rid of it on its own. Therefore, chelation therapy is necessary to treat this type of poisoning. Periodically, challenges are performed to follow progress. Other steps are to seek the source of contamination and avoid it, remove old mercury amalgams and replace them with non-toxic porcelain fillings and be cautious with which fish and seafood you consume. Vitamin C in high doses is useful alone or in combination with DMSA in chelating out mercury. Other nutritional recommendations are to replace sulfhydryl group containing amino acids and glutathione, since methyl-mercury has a high affinity for these compounds (the liver actually secretes small amounts of mercury via bile into the feces), so folks with liver disease are hindered in their ability to excrete even small amounts of mercury.

If you have concerns about heavy metal toxicity or mercury toxicity, seek guidance and a program from a physician with experience in chronic poisoning detoxification.

(c) 2004

Combining Vacation With Medical Treatments

Imagine recuperating after surgery on a white sandy beach sipping island teas or in the comfort of a spa while receiving full-body massages, or savoring exotic foods, visiting tourist attractions and shopping for yourself and the family. Most of us need specialized medical treatment from time to time, and most of us plan vacations every year or so. Why not combine your vacations with your medical treatments?

According to the National Coalition on Health Care, more than 500,000 Americans traveled abroad to receive medical and dental work in 2006. And this is not an isolated trend. Every year, millions of patients from around the globe flock to some of the hottest medical tourism destinations in order to receive five-star treatment at unbelievable prices. With soaring health care costs and long waiting lines for medical procedures, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find quality, affordable treatment. Whether you want a knee replacement, heart surgery, or facelift, you might have to dig deep into your wallet or wait several months before receiving the medical or dental care that you require. But why pay exorbitant prices at home when you can travel abroad and receive the same treatment (if not better) from a fully certified medical facility for a fraction of the price?

Asian nations like India, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore offer quality healthcare (you can choose from a host of quality private care hospitals which have excellent USA accreditations for services they perform) at very affordable prices and are preferred destinations of tourists worldwide.