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May 26, 2020

Healthy eating is about making realistic changes. It is not about punishing yourself. Take one step at a time and soon you will be on your way to changing your eating habits for life.

*  Eat plenty starchy foods such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes and breakfast cereals.
*  Aim to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.
*  Eat fish twice a week and include oil-rich fish such as herring, mackerel, sardines, tuna.
*  Eat less fatty and sugary foods.
*  Reduce the amount of salt in cooking and at the table.
*  Use semi-skimmed or skimmed milk.
*  Choose reduced fat spreads, low fat cheeses and low fat yogurts.
*  Shop when you are not hungry – make a list.
*  Empty your cupboards of high fat, sugar and salt foods such as biscuits, cakes, crisps and pastries.
*  Read food labels – checking the fat content.

Remember to check with your doctor at Belize Medical Associates for a healthy eating plan that suits you.



May 26, 2020

Symptoms of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

There are a number of symptoms associated with UTIs. With bladder infections, symptoms may include:

* frequent urination
* burning or pain during urination
* the feeling of having to pee even though little or no urine actually comes out
* pain in the lower abdomen
* pain above the pubic bone (in women)
* a full feeling in the rectum (in men)
* bloody or foul-smelling urine
* mild fever
* a general feeling of shakiness and fatigue

A kidney infection may involve more serious symptoms, including:

* high fever
* chills
* nausea and vomiting
* abdominal pain
* cloudy or bloody urine
* pain in the back, just above the waist

If you have any symptoms of a urinary tract infection, you’ll need to go to a doctor at Belize Medical Associates right away. symptoms won’t go away if you ignore them – they’ll only become worse. The more quickly you begin treatment, the less uncomfortable it will become and the quicker you will recover.



May 26, 2020

Eat Healthy

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” There’s more truth to this saying than we once thought. What you eat and drink and what you don’t eat and drink can definitely make a difference to your health. Eating five or more fruits and vegetables a day and less saturated fat can improve your health and may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Have a balanced diet, and watch how much you eat.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Those who are overweight or obese have increased risks for diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Eat better, get regular exercise, and see your health care provider about any health concerns to make sure you are on the right track to staying healthy.

Get Moving

More than 60 percent of men and women do not get enough physical activity to provide health benefits. For adults, thirty minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week is recommended. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money, but it does take commitment. Start slowly, work up to a satisfactory level, and don’t overdo it. You can develop one routine, or you can do something different every day. Find fun ways to stay in shape and feel good, such as dancing, gardening, cutting the grass, swimming, walking, or jogging.

Be Smoke-Free

Health concerns associated with smoking include cancer, lung disease, early menopause, infertility, and pregnancy complications. Smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease among those who are middle-aged. Second-hand smoke – smoke that you inhale when others smoke – also affects your health. If you smoke, quit today! Medications and other forms of support are available to help you quit.

Get Routine Exams and Screenings

Sometimes they’re once a year. Other times they’re more or less often. Based on your age, health history, lifestyle, and other important issues, you and your Doctor at Belize Medical Associates can determine how often you need to be examined and screened for certain diseases and conditions. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, and cancers of the skin, cervix, breast, and colon. When problems are found early, your chances for treatment and cure are better. Routine exams and screenings can help save lives.

Get Appropriate Vaccinations

They’re not just for kids. Adults need them too. Some vaccinations are for everyone. Others are recommended if you work in certain jobs, have certain lifestyles, travel to certain places, or have certain conditions. Protect yourself from illness and disease by keeping up with your vaccinations at Belize Medical Associates.

Manage Stress

Stress poses a threat to the health of workers and, in turn, to the health of organizations. Balancing obligations to your employer and your family can be challenging. What’s your stress level today? Protect your mental and physical health by engaging in activities that help you manage your stress at work and at home.

Know Yourself and Your Risks

Your parents and ancestors help determine some of who you are. Your habits, work and home environments, and lifestyle also help to define your health and your risks. You may be at an increased risk for certain diseases or conditions because of what you do, where you work, and how you play. Being healthy means doing some homework, knowing yourself, and knowing what’s best for you… because you are one of a kind.

Be Safe – Protect Yourself

What comes to mind when you think about safety and protecting yourself? Is it fastening seat belts, applying sunscreen, wearing helmets, or having smoke detectors? It’s all of these and more. It’s everything from washing your hands to watching your relationships. Did you know that women die frequently from illnesses, homicides and motor vehicle incidents? Take steps to protect yourself and others wherever you are.

Be Good to Yourself

Health is not merely the absence of disease; it’s a lifestyle. Whether it’s getting enough sleep, relaxing after a stressful day, or enjoying a hobby, it’s important to take time to be good to yourself. steps to balance work, home, and play. Pay attention to your health, and make healthy living a part of your life.




May 26, 2020

Here are some tips for a healthier New Year!

*Prevent violence by setting good examples

*Make sure immunizations are up to date

*Provide your child with a tobacco-free environment

*Read to your child every day

*Practice “safety on wheels”

*Do a “childproofing” survey of your home

*Monitor your children’s media

*Help Kids Understand Tobacco, Alcohol, and the Media

*Pay attention to nutrition

*Be involved in your child’s school and your child’s education

*Make your children feel loved and important

Courtesy of Belize Medical Associates, Dr. Victor Rosado & the American Academy of Pediatrics

May 26, 2020

What is Syphilis?

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease.

How do people get Syphilis?

Syphilis is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or in the rectum. Sores also can occur on the lips and in the mouth. Transmission of the organism occurs during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying. Syphilis cannot be spread through contact with toilet seats, doorknobs, swimming pools, hot tubs, bathtubs, shared clothing, or eating utensils.

How is Syphilis diagnosed?

Blood tests such as the VDRL or RPR available at Belize Medical Associates Laboratory are ways to determine whether someone has syphilis. Shortly after infection occurs, the body produces syphilis antibodies that can be detected by an accurate, safe, and inexpensive blood test. A low level of antibodies will stay in the blood for months or years even after the disease has been successfully treated. Because untreated syphilis in a pregnant woman can infect and possibly kill her developing baby, every pregnant woman should have a blood test for syphilis.

What is the link between Syphilis and HIV?

Genital sores (chancres) caused by syphilis make it easier to transmit and acquire HIV infection sexually. There is an estimated 2- to 5-fold increased risk of acquiring HIV infection when syphilis is present.

Ulcerative STDs that cause sores, ulcers, or breaks in the skin or mucous membranes, such as syphilis, disrupt barriers that provide protection against infections. The genital ulcers caused by syphilis can bleed easily, and when they come into contact with oral and rectal mucosa during sex, increase the infectiousness of and susceptibility to HIV. Having other STDs is also an important predictor for becoming HIV infected because STDs are a marker for behaviors associated with HIV transmission.

What is the treatment for Syphilis?

Syphilis is easy to cure in its early stages. A single intramuscular injection of penicillin, an antibiotic, will cure a person who has had syphilis for less than a year.
Persons who receive syphilis treatment must abstain from sexual contact with new partners until the syphilis sores are completely healed. Persons with syphilis must notify their sex partners so that they also can be tested and receive treatment if necessary.

How can Syphilis be prevented?

The surest way to avoid transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, including syphilis, is to abstain from sexual contact or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is known to be uninfected.

Avoiding alcohol and drug use may also help prevent transmission of syphilis because these activities may lead to risky sexual behavior. It is important that sex partners talk to each other about their HIV status and history of other STDs so that preventive action can be taken.

Transmission of a STD, including syphilis cannot be prevented by washing the genitals, urinating, and or douching after sex. Any unusual discharge, sore, or rash, particularly in the groin area, should be a signal to refrain from having sex and to see a doctor a Belize Medical Associates immediately.


May 26, 2020

Seven Secrets of Super Driving

When you drive defensively, you’re taking control of the situation and keeping your eyes open for aggressive or inattentive drivers who might cause an accident. Here are seven easy things you can do:

1. Think safety first. Avoiding aggressive and inattentive driving tendencies yourself will put you in a stronger position to deal with other people’s bad driving. Leave plenty of space between you and the car in front. Always lock your doors and wear your seatbelt to protect you from being thrown from the car in a crash.

2. Be aware of your surroundings. Check your mirrors frequently and scan conditions far ahead of you. If a vehicle is showing signs of aggressive driving, slow down or pull over to avoid it. If the driver is driving so dangerously that you’re worried, try to get off the road or highway by turning right or taking the next exit if it’s safe to do so.

3. Assume the worst. Assume that drivers will run through red lights or stop signs and be prepared to react. While driving, imagine that other drivers (especially truck drivers) don’t see you when you are making your way into their path. Also, keep an eye on pedestrians and pets along the road.

4. Stay cool, calm, and collected. It’s best to avoid making eye contact with aggressive drivers. As hard as it can be, ignore any aggressive facial or hand gestures. And don’t race aggressive drivers – you run the risk of inciting their road rage. Other drivers do stupid things. The best drivers don’t get mad or try to get even.

5. Get the authorities involved. If you see an aggressive driver or trouble ahead, get to a safe place to pull over and call authorities or the police. Any information you can provide – a description of the vehicle, its license plate number, the direction it’s going – will be helpful.  If an aggressive driver crashes or causes an accident, try to stop safely a good distance from the scene. Wait for the police to arrive so that you can tell them about the aggressive behavior you witnessed.

6. Don’t drive if you are under the influence or very sleepy. Alcohol, illegal drugs, and some prescription medications affect a person’s judgment, including the ability to make important braking and steering decisions on the road. That means you’ll be less able to react quickly and drive defensively. Sleepy drivers can be just as bad as intoxicated drivers, so make frequent rest stops or let a friend drive if you’re tired.

7. Don’t take risks. When in doubt, don’t pass. And keep a safe following distance. That way you can avoid a collision, stay in your lane, and not get rear-ended if the driver in front of you slams on the brakes.

May 26, 2020


Here are a few tips to help you enjoy a fun and safe summer.

Babies under 6 months
* Avoiding sun exposure and dressing infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats are still the top recommendations to prevent sunburn. However when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of suncreen to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands.
For Young Children
* Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside, and use sunscreen even on cloudy days. The SPF (sun protection factor) should be at least 15.
For Older Children:
* The first, and best, line of defense against the sun is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of ultraviolet rays), and cotton clothing with a tight weave.
* Stay in the shade whenever possible, and avoid sun exposure during the peak intensity hours – between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
* Use a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or greater. Be sure to apply enough sunscreen – about one ounce per sitting for a young adult.
* Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating.
Heat stress in exercising children
* The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat and humidity reach critical levels.
* At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of exercise should be limited initially and then gradually increased during a period of 10 to 14 days to accomplish acclimatization to the heat.
* Before prolonged physical activity, the child should be well-hydrated. During the activity, periodic drinking should be enforced, for example, each 20 minutes, 5 oz of cold tap water or a flavored sports drink for a child weighing 88 lbs, and 9 oz for an adolescent weighing 132 lbs, even if the child does not feel thirsty.
* Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated garments should be replaced by dry garments.
Pool safety
* Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment.
* Ensure that the pool has a fence at least four-feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through the fence.
* Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach.
* Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook – a long pole with a hook on the end – and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool.
* Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security.
* Children may not be developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthday. Swim programs for children under 4 should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning.
* Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”
Bug safety
* Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child.
* Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where flowers are in bloom.
* Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints.
* To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently scrape it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail.
* Insect repellents containing DEET are the most effective.
* The concentration of DEET in products may range from less than 10 percent to over 30 percent. The benefits of DEET reach a peak at a concentration of 30 percent, the maximum concentration currently recommended for infants and children. DEET should not be used on children under 2 months of age.
* The concentration of DEET varies significantly from product to product, so read the label of any product you purchase.
Playground safety
Install and maintain a shock-absorbing surface under and around the play equipment. Use at least 9 inches of wood chips, mulch, or shredded rubber for play equipment up to 7 feet high. If sand or pea gravel is used, install at least a 9-inch layer for play equipment up to 5 feet high.
* Carefully maintain all equipment. Open “s” hooks or protruding bolt ends can be hazardous.
* Swing seats should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas.
* Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part.
* Never attach-or allow children to attach-ropes, jump ropes, leashes, or similar items to play equipment; children can strangle on these.
* Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent children’s legs from getting burned.
* Parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines. * Parents should supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe.
Bicycle safety
* Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike until he or she is ready, at about age 5 or 6. Consider the child’s coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with coaster (foot) brakes until your child is older and more experienced for hand brakes.
* Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of a properly fitting bike far outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new bike.
* Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to “grow into.” Oversized bikes are especially dangerous.
* Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many accidents happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets. Children learn best by observing you. Whenever you ride your bike, put on your helmet.
* A helmet protects your child from serious injury, and should always be worn. And remember, wearing a helmet at all times helps children develop the helmet habit.
* A helmet should be worn so that it is level on the head, not tipped forwards or backwards.

The strap should be securely fastened, and you should not be able to move the helmet in any direction. If needed, the helmet’s sizing pads can help improve the fit.

May 26, 2020

Safer sex

Safer sex includes hugging, kissing, and massaging. It also includes using condoms properly and any activity which avoids contact with semen or vaginal fluids.

Safer sex lowers the risk of getting HIV (the virus that leads to AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections. It also lowers the risk of pregnancy.

Condoms are the best protection against sexually transmitted infections including HIV and unintended pregnancy.

Make sure you use condoms of a high standard. If you’re travelling abroad take quality condoms with you – you won’t necessarily be able to get at your destination.

Remember that it can be easy to forget about safer sex once the drink starts flowing. Also, being drunk makes it more difficult to use condoms properly.


The 3 most common ways of catching HIV are:
* By having penetrative vaginal or anal sex with an infected partner without using a condom.
* Infected blood getting into one’s body by sharing drug injecting equipment.
* From an infected mother to her baby.

HIV cannot be transmitted by everyday social contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands, coughing or sneezing.

Everyone is at risk if they don’t take measures to avoid the virus.


People choose to express their sexuality in different ways and should be free to do so without fear of discrimination or prejudice.

Consider the rights and responsibilities of you and your partner(s) and how these might affect your sexual health.

Young people and safer sex

Our role is not to tell young people what they can and can’t do. But it is our role to provide information and advice, and to encourage responsible behaviour based on informed opinions. Our aim is to ensure young people are aware of the facts and where they chose to have sex, to help ensure they practice safer sex.

Remember, Belize Medical Associates does testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

May 26, 2020

Helping Yourself, Helping Others

What should I do if I am sexually assaulted?

* Find a safe environment – anywhere away from the attacker. Ask a trusted friend stay with you for moral support.
* Preserve evidence of the attack – don’t bathe or brush your teeth. Write down all the details you can recall about the attack & the attacker.
* Get medical attention. Even with no physical injuries, it is important to determine the risks of STDs and pregnancy.
– To preserve forensic evidence, ask the hospital to conduct a rape kit exam.
– If you suspect you may have been drugged, ask that a urine sample be collected. The sample will need to be analyzed later on by a forensic lab.
* Report the rape to law enforcement authorities. A counselor can provide the information you’ll need to understand the process.
* Remember it wasn’t your fault.
* Recognize that healing from rape takes time. Give yourself the time you need.
* Know that it’s never too late to call. Even if the attack happened years ago, they can still help. Many victims do not realize they need help until months or years later.

How can I help a friend who has been sexually assaulted?

* Listen. Be there. Don’t be judgmental.
* Encourage your friend to seriously consider reporting the rape to law enforcement authorities. A counselor can provide the information your friend will need to make this decision.
* Be patient. Remember, it will take your friend some time to deal with the crime.
* Let your friend know that professional help is available.
* Encourage him or her to call the authorities, but realize that only your friend can make the decision to get help.

What can I do to reduce my risk of sexual assault?

* Don’t leave your beverage unattended or accept a drink from an open container.
* When you go to a party, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, watch out for each other, and leave together.
* Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
* Don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t know or trust.
* Think about the level of intimacy you want in a relationship, and clearly state your limits.

How can I protect my child from sexual abuse?

* Communicate, communicate, communicate.
* Speak to your children using the proper names for their body parts. Armed with information, children are better able to report abuse to you.
* Teach your children about safe and unsafe touches, as well as what is appropriate physical affection.
* Let your children know that respect for elders doesn’t extend to an adult that has made your child uncomfortable. It’s OK to say no and it’s OK to leave the situation.
* Trust your own instincts. If your instincts tell you something is wrong, follow-up.

May 26, 2020

Common Techniques of Self Defense

Using your intuition (inner voice) and voice are two common self-defense techniques. Have you ever been in a situation that just didn’t feel right? Perhaps you were walking home alone one night from the bus stop and you had a weird feeling inside. That was your intuition at work telling you to be careful.

It’s also important to understand the power of your voice. If you ever feel threatened, you should shout or scream to draw attention to the situation. It’s even a good idea to practice speaking loudly (or yelling) so if you were ever in danger, you wouldn’t freeze up. Commands like “No!” “Go away!” or “Back off!” are excellent attention-getters if you feel threatened.

Reduce Your Risk

Personal safety tips to reduce your risk in a dangerous situation:
* If you’re going to be out at night, travel in a group.
* Don’t take shortcuts, especially at night.
* Be aware of your surroundings, and pay particular attention to possible hiding places such as stairways, alleyways, and bushes.
* Be sure your body language shows a sense of confidence and purpose.
* When riding on public transportation, sit near the driver or conductor and stay awake. Remember, attackers are looking for vulnerable targets.
* If someone begins to follow you, try to make it to a safe area, such as a police station, gas station, or other public place. If necessary, scream or yell as you run away to draw attention to the pursuer.

When to Fight Back

If all else fails, it may be necessary to use physical force to protect yourself. However, you should first determine if fighting is really your only hope. If possible, you should try to get away from the dangerous situation to a safe location where someone can help you.
But if a person ignores boundaries you’ve set, blocks your path to safety, or if your intuition tells you something is wrong, you may have to fight.

Tips on fighting effectively:
* If you are attacked from the front, kick the attacker in the shins or groin (straight up between the legs) or jab the eyes or throat with the bird beak move (wrap your fingers around your thumb to form a beak).
* If you are attacked from behind, stomp the attacker’s foot with your heel; kick backward with your heel, aiming for the groin or knees or elbow the attacker in the head, throat, or area between the rib cage and stomach.
* Use your natural weapons – voice, hands, and feet – to stop an attack. If you’re picked up, use your legs to resist. If your legs are not free, use your hands, if possible, to grab and squeeze the groin and twist until you are let go. Once you’ve broken free, run as fast as you can to get help.