Carcinogens from your BBQ
Nothing says “summer” like a good, old-fashioned barbecue. But the good, old-fashioned way of grilling over an open flame can create two carcinogens—heterocyclic amine (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). According to a study, if you eat charred meat frequently, your risk of pancreatic cancer can jump by 60 percent; postmenopausal women are also at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. To reduce these risks, use a spicy or alcohol-based marinade; studies have shown that both decrease carcinogen creation. You should also cook your food for a longer time at a lower temperature: HCAs start to form when the grill hits 325 degrees.
Walking barefoot in the park (or anywhere else)
There’s nothing like feeling the grass on your feet…until you accidentally step on something sharp. Puncture wounds are common in summer, and stepping on a rusty nail or another sharp object will require a tetanus shot within 48 hours if you haven’t had one in the past five years. For people with diabetes and other nerve damage to the feet, things could be even worse: “If they step on something sharp that breaks the skin without feeling it, that injury could introduce an infection that threatens the viability of their toes, foot, or even lower leg,” says Pat Salber, MD, a board-certified internist and emergency physician and the founder of the website The Doctor Weighs In. “If you have a foot neuropathy, never go barefoot, and wear shoes with firm soles. It is far better than risking amputation due to an infection related to a ‘silent’ injury.” Here are 9 other things that diabetics should watch out for this summer.
Stepping in poop with your bare feet can be even more disgusting than you think. If you come into contact with hookworm-infested animal excrement, you can develop a something called a creeping eruption, which causes an itchy, threadlike rash. Children are more at risk for this than adults since they tend to go barefoot outside more frequently and venture into places adults would stay away from. A course of antibiotics will clear things up—but get to the doctor fast since it spreads quickly.