According to the World Health Organization, Canadians drink more alcohol per capita than the worldwide average. Alcohol is the ingredient found in different beverages, such as wine, beer, and spirits. When these (and other types of) alcoholic beverages are consumed, it goes from the blood stream through to the stomach and small intestine, and then travels to the brain. Once it reaches the brain, it acts as a mind-altering (or psychoactive) drug that can make one feel relaxed, but also alters the way one thinks and behaves. When consumed in smaller amounts, alcohol can make one feel more talkative and feel less anxious in social settings; however, when it’s consumed in larger quantities, it can ultimately decrease our inhibitions and decision-making abilities, as well as affect things like coordination, balance, and even vision. That being said, just as medications affect everyone differently, not everyone who consumes alcohol will be affected by it in the same way, either. For example, your blood alcohol content (BAC) level will often depend on your body size and gender. Women tend to have a naturally higher percentage of body fat than man, making alcohol more concentrated in a woman’s bloodstream, while men have a greater ration of muscle than fat, meaning alcohol is more diluted in their body. …


When it comes to knowing what vitamins or supplements someone should take, this is a hard question to answer, as not only does everyone have a different opinion on the subject, but also, the types of vitamins and supplements that one individual may need might not be suitable for another. For example, you might need to increase your intake of vitamin C, while someone else may need more B vitamins. The types of vitamins and supplements you need to take will also typically depends on several different factors, such as:

• Your age
• Your gender
• Pre-existing health…


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Any other year, Halloween would be a time for parties, paying visits to haunted houses, and going trick-or-treating with your friends. However, with Halloween just a few weeks away and COVID-19 still in our midst, many people are wondering exactly how they’re going to be able to safely go about navigating it without putting their health — or the health of others — at risk — and below you will find some helpful guidelines set out by the CDC.

Halloween Parties

First and foremost, you should skip attending a large Halloween party if you’re invited to one. Big indoor gatherings such as these are not recommended (and are prohibited if the gathering is of more than 50 people, or if safe social distancing measures cannot be met) and can be a breeding ground for germs, including the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, you may not be familiar with everyone who is in attendance and whether or not they have the virus or have recently been exposed to it, thus putting yourself and others at risk. If you do want to attend or host a Halloween party, make sure you keep it within your small social bubble of no more than 5 or 6 people, and do not allow anyone to bring any plus ones/people you don’t know. …


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At the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, very little was known about the virus. What was known, however, was that it was a form of coronavirus (the same virus that causes the common cold, for example), which is a respiratory pathogen — and that it was much more serious and also had the potential to be fatal. As it began to rapidly spread on a global scale, countries had to make quick decisions on how they were going to address it head on and what their response would be, with some even having to implement strict lockdown measures in areas where infection rates were at their highest. Things that were also unknown about the virus in its early stages included how its cause, transmission, who was most at-risk, in addition to the full list of possible symptoms that came along with it. …


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Now that we are entering into the fall season, you might find yourself wanting to indulge in some of your favourite fall-themed comfort foods and beverages; and while it’s okay to treat yourself every now and then, it’s important to remember not to over-indulge as that can lead to poor health (i.e. weight gain, diabetes.) Instead, below are some healthier, lighter versions of your favourite fall foods.

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Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Pumpkin spice lattes are a staple this time of year and leading into the holiday season. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find a coffee shop in North American that doesn’t have this common fall beverage on their menu yet — with some even adding them to their drink line-up as early as August. …


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For some kids and teenagers, returning to school can also come along with a lot of stress and anxiety. In many cases, that back-to-school anxiety is often associated with things such as being away from parents or other family members (especially for younger children who are starting full-time school for the first time), or having to go to a brand new school (for example, transitioning from elementary school to high school, or moving to a new neighbourhood and having to go to a new school as a result.) There are also cases where children may be bullied in school in the past and might have fears about returning. In addition to these aforementioned reasons, COVID-19 is also adding to the stress and anxiety that children might be experiencing when it comes to their return to classrooms. …


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With the start of the fall season just a few weeks away, that means so is the upcoming flu season. What’s not entirely certain is exactly how the current COVID-19 pandemic will impact this year’s flu season. What is certain, however, is that both will undoubtedly coincide for several months, and therefore we need to do as much as we can to best prepare for both an outbreak of influenza as well as a worsening — or a second wave — of COVID-19 in our province as well as other parts of Canada and the world.

As we’ve recently seen a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases here in British Columbia — this after a somewhat more relaxed summer, as our province slowly began its reopening phase over the last couple of months — Dr. Bonnie Henry is now urging all British Columbians to take a step back and go back to doing what we know works in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and flattening the curve — especially as we phase into the respiratory season, where we could see yet another resurgence of the virus — which, combined with influenza, could prove to be worse than it was initially. …


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If you notice yourself to be congested and/or sneezing a lot more than you normally would, there’s likely one culprit that is responsible: The spring season! …


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Anxiety is one of the most common mental health concerns for both adults and children. For some, anxiety can be temporary experience that is based on different factors like relationship struggles (including family), or stress at work and/or school. For others, the anxiety they face can often be a chronic, recurring issue that causes a disruption in someone’s ability to carry out their daily living and may have a much harder time coping with what is often described as an overwhelming sense of dread or loss of control. As we are now seeing a steady and significant rise in the number of COVID-19 cases being diagnosed not just within Canada, but all across the world, many people are dealing with feelings of anxiousness and stress, and much of those feelings have to do with the fear of the unknown. …


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There has been a lot mentioned about the important and necessary precautions that we should all be taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These precautions have been mostly centered around hygiene, including washing your hands with soap and water (or using hand sanitizer when you don’t happen to have soap and water readily available), and to also ensure you avoid touching your face — but what you might not be aware of are the specifics that surround these measures, which is why it’s important to remind people of them.

Hand Washing

Washing our hands regularly is something that we should do every day, not just something we do in instances where a viral outbreak/pandemic involved. By practicing good hygiene, we not only ensure that we, ourselves are healthy, but we’re also protecting the health of those around us, including our friends and family members, co-workers, school peers, etcetera. It’s one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick. …

About

Dr. Ali Ghahary

Dr. Ali Ghahary is a physician from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Visit his official website at http://www.alighahary.ca for more great health tips!

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