Tag Archives: food poisoning

Straight, No Chaser: Treating Halloween Mishaps

Halloween

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we offered you tips for a safe Halloween. However, safety tips are only as good as your inclination to use them. Even when an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, you should still have access to that pound. In this post, we remind you of the treatment measures you may need to employ in the event something untoward happens at that Halloween party or while trick or treating.

  1. Upset stomach? There are two pretty big reasons why this happens.

Halloween-Candy

  • Eating all those sugary treats can cause all types of problems, including an upset stomach. Ration out the treats, especially the first night. You’d do well to make sure the trick-or-treaters have a generous dinner in advance of the activities.
  • Have you ever thought of all the different hands that touch the contents of those bags? You’d better be sure to wash hands and any foods prior to ingestion, whether wrapped or unwrapped.
  • If vomiting and diarrhea ensue from any food poisoning, review the linked Straight, No Chaser for treatment considerations.
  1. Sprained ankle?

halloween ankle sprain

  • It can get pretty exciting out there, and kids can easily get distracted. Falls and ankle sprains can be expected on those sugar-induced sprints to the next house.
  • Review the linked Straight, No Chaser for treatment considerations.
  1. Faints?

halloween syncope

  • Are those tricks too scary? Did the excitement prove too much to handle?
  • Review the linked Straight, No Chaser for treatment considerations.
  1. Choking?

halloween choking

  • You must be mindful that all candies are not appropriate for children. Peanuts and candy corn have a nasty habit of getting lodged in the throats of very young children.
  • Learn what steps to take in the event this happens. Review the linked Straight, No Chaser for treatment considerations.

Keep in mind that common things happen commonly. The horror tales of legend aren’t likely to be a part of your Halloween, nor are you likely to come across any ghouls, goblins, vampires or zombies unless you come across a Thriller reenactment.

Be safe and have a Happy Halloween!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Health Prevention, Toxicology/Drugs

Straight, No Chaser: Treatment of Food Poisoning

food-poisoning home remedies

The vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and all around bad feelings you may get with food poisoning is extremely unpleasant. We’ve previously discussed preventative measures you can take to minimize your risks, but you should also want to know what measures to take in the event you actually develop food poisoning. Of course, with over 250 different illnesses related to various forms of food poisoning, there’s a wide variety of treatment, some of which means to treat the specific disease (and its cause) and others that only treat the symptoms.

I always tell patients that although the vomiting and diarrhea are dramatic nuisance symptoms, the real concern is the risk of dehydration from these fluid losses. Given the body is approximately two-thirds water, altering that balance can lead to disturbances of many of the body’s functions and increase the risk of more serious infections. Thus the key to treatment is staying ahead of fluid and electrolyte losses that occur. Perhaps you’re wondering “How can I do that if I’m vomiting?” Here are five very important principles for you to remember.

  • First things first: if you have severe diarrhea, your favorite sports drink is not the cure. The composition of fluids and electrolytes in your stool is different from in your sweat, so these drinks don’t optimally replace your losses.

ORT

  • I want you to become familiar with oral rehydration therapy/solution (ORT). It’s how most of the rest of the world first treats fluid losses from vomiting and diarrhea. You may have heard of Ceralyte, Oralyte or Pedialyte, all of which are examples. ORT represents the best possible fluid for you to take and is readily available without a prescription at your local pharmacy or grocery store.
  • Here’s the deal with staying hydrated: you can’t hold a lot on your stomach. You need to dial back as much as possible so that you can tolerate something. That’s why you sip on chicken soup instead of steak when you’re sick. You’re likely to have more success keeping down teaspoons of fluid at a more frequent interval (say, every few minutes) than trying to chug a lot of fluid all at once. Food-Poison pink
  • Preparations of bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol is a common example) can reduce the duration and severity of simple diarrhea.
  • If you have diarrhea and cramps with a fever or bloody stools, you should not take antidiarrheal medication without an evaluation by a physician. Even if they make you feel better, these medicines can make your food poisoning much worse.

Here’s one other point that you should understand as you’re going into your doctor’s office or the emergency room: don’t expect to receive an antibiotic to treat your vomiting and diarrhea. Most of these episodes are caused by viruses, which are self-limited and will resolve within two to three days. Furthermore, viruses don’t respond to antibiotics. In fact, efforts to use antibiotics in many of these cases only contribute to antibiotic resistance later on when you actually need them. Antibiotic resistance is discussed in detail in this Straight, No Chaser post.

Innocent problems

Finally, here are symptoms that should prompt you to see your physician.

  • Bloody stools
  • Diarrhea lasting more than 3 days
  • High fever (oral temperature over 101.4 F)
  • Signs of dehydration, such as a decrease in urination, a dry mouth and throat, and dizziness with standing
  • Vomiting with inability to keep down liquids

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Treatment of Food Poisoning

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Gastrointestinal, Infectious Disease

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Food Poisoning (Foodborne Illness)

FoodPoisoning

We make a decision with everything we place into our mouths. We also exhibit a large amount of trust that the food we eat is safe. Most of the time that’s true, but unfortunately sometimes it’s not. Here are some questions and answers to understanding the scope of food poisoning.

How frequent is food poisoning?

According to 2011 data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year in the U.S. approximately 1 in 6 Americans (almost 50 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.

food poisoning

What causes food poisoning?

Over 250 different foodborne diseases have been described, most of which are infections. The most common foodborne illnesses are caused by norovirus and by the bacteria SalmonellaClostridium perfringens, and CampylobacterStaph Aureus (yes, that Staph) is another prominent but less common cause of food poisoning. Poisonous chemicals or other harmful substances can cause foodborne diseases if present in food.

What are the most common symptoms of food poisoning?

Even though there are many different foodborne diseases, they share a commonality of entering your system through your gastrointestinal tract. As a result, the first symptoms are caused and expressed from there and typically include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

foodpoisoning traceback_900px

Why do foodborne diseases seem to occur in outbreaks?

Actually, the overwhelming majority of cases of food poisoning don’t occur in outbreaks, but of course you wouldn’t know that because having diarrhea is not something people typically will tell you… When outbreaks occur, it’s because a group of people happened to eat the same contaminated item. This would explain how instances of groups of friends or strangers could have been involved. Contaminations that occur closest to the food supply’s distribution result in the widest outbreaks. Look at the above picture. If contaminated food from the producer makes it all the way through the distribution chain, individuals in multiple states could end up with the same infection.

   foodpoisoningfoodsimage

What foods are most associated with foodborne illness?

  • Foods that mingle the products of many individual animals: Raw milk, pooled raw eggs and ground beef have increased risk because contamination in any one of the multiple animals involved can contaminate the entire mixture.
  • Raw foods of animal origin: Foods such as meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs and unpasteurized milk are the most likely foods to be contaminated.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables: Washing reduces but doesn’t eliminate pre-existing contamination, such as that occurring from the fresh manure that fertilizes vegetables. Furthermore, water itself may be contaminated.
  • Shellfish: Because “filter-feeding” shellfish strain microorganisms from the sea over many months, they are particularly likely to be contaminated if there are any in the seawater.

An additional Straight, No Chaser will discuss treatment options. Refer to this post for preventative tips.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Food Poisoning (Foodborne Illness)

Filed under Detoxification, Diet and Nutrition, Gastrointestinal

Straight, No Chaser: Food Contamination and Protecting Yourself From Foodborne Illness

foodsafety

Those of you who are regular readers of Straight, No Chaser may have heard me say that everything you place in your mouth either harms or helps you. Your mouth is the direct point of entry to your body. You should be concerned about the substances you ingest. Today’s post begins a Straight, No Chaser series that will discuss food safety, food poisoning, prevention and treatment of food borne illnesses – just in time for you to correctly handle all of those holiday leftovers! Today we start with food safety.

Allow me to suggest that bacteria are as much (if not more) of a part of this world as humans, and it is to be expected that they would be present in our food supply. Our issues are when does present become contaminated, and when does contaminated become illness? Understanding these issues makes it easier to take appropriate preventative and treatment measures when needed.

foodcontam

Here are some examples of how our food becomes contaminated.

  • Microorganisms (e.g. bacterial, viruses) exist in the intestines of healthy animals, even those raised for human consumption. Even a small amount of spillage of intestinal contents during slaughter can lead to contamination.
  • Fruits and vegetables can be contaminated when washed or irrigated with contaminated water (which sometimes contains animal manure or human sewage).
  • Salmonella can infect a hen’s ovary (remember the ovaries produce eggs) so that the contents of a normal-appearing egg can be contaminated even before the shell is formed.
  • Vibrio bacteria are normally present in seawater. Oysters and other shellfish can develop concentrations of Vibrio high enough to cause infections.
  • Microorganisms such as norovirus can concentrate in human sewage that is dumped into the sea. This contaminates the water supply.
  • Infected food handlers and food conditions pass microorganisms on to customers. Examples of this include Shigella bacteria, hepatitis A virus and norovirus. Knives, other utensils and table surfaces also are methods of transferring disease when unclean.
  • When certain foods are left out (i.e. not refrigerated), minimal contamination can become highly infectious in a matter of hours due to rapid growth of microorganisms. Conversely, in most instances refrigeration or freezing prevents virtually all bacteria from growing. Certain other foods (e.g. salted meats, jams, pickled vegetables) require high salt, sugar or acid levels to prevent bacterial growth.
  • When certain foods are adequately cooked (the ideal internal temperature is 160 degrees Fahrenheit), most microorganisms will be killed.

Food-Safety

Protecting yourself from foodborne illness

Professionals in public health, industry, governmental regulatory agencies, and academic research have roles to play in making the food supply less contaminated. So do you. I would like to advocate for one simple step for you to take as you shop for food that will promote food safety.

  • Buying pasteurized milk rather than raw unpasteurized milk prevents an enormous number of foodborne diseases every day and has done so for 100 years. Juice pasteurization has more recently proven to be important in preventing certain E. coli infections. Basically, you can lower your risk by purchasing pasteurized products.

Courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here are some additional simple precautions to reduce the risk of foodborne diseases:

COOK: Cook your meat, poultry and eggs thoroughly.

  • Using a food thermometer to measure the internal temperature of meat is a good way to be sure that it is cooked sufficiently to kill bacteria. Remember, the internal temperature of meat should be above 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Eggs should be cooked until the yolk is firm.

SEPARATE: Don’t cross-contaminate one food with another.

  • Avoid cross-contaminating foods by washing hands, utensils and cutting boards after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry and before they touch another food.
  • Put cooked meat on a clean platter, rather back on one that held the pre-cooked, raw meat.

CHILLRefrigerate leftovers promptly.

  • Bacteria can grow quickly at room temperature, so refrigerate leftover foods if they are not going to be eaten within 4 hours.
  • Large volumes of food will cool more quickly if they are divided into several shallow containers for refrigeration.

CLEANWash produce.

  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables in running tap water to remove visible dirt and grime.
  • Remove and discard the outermost leaves of a head of lettuce or cabbage.
  • Because bacteria can grow well on the cut surface of fruit or vegetable, be careful not to contaminate these foods while slicing them up on the cutting board, and avoid leaving cut produce at room temperature for many hours.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food and before touching others.
  • Avoid preparing food for others if you yourself have a diarrheal illness.
  • Changing a baby’s diaper while preparing food is a bad idea that can easily spread illness.

REPORT: Report suspected foodborne illnesses to your local health department.

  • Calls from concerned citizens are often how outbreaks are first detected. Play your part.
  • If a public health official contacts you to find out more about an illness you had, your cooperation is important. In public health investigations, it can be as important to talk to healthy people as to ill people.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Food Contamination and Protecting Yourself From Foodborne Illness

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Infectious Disease

Straight, No Chaser: Treating Halloween Mishaps

Halloween

In the previous Straight, No Chaser, we offered you tips for a safe Halloween. However, safety tips are only as good as your inclination to use them. Even when an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, you should still have access to that pound. In this post, we remind you of the treatment measures you may need to employ in the event something untoward happens at that Halloween party or while trick or treating.

  1. Upset stomach? There are two pretty big reasons why this happens.

Halloween-Candy

  • Eating all those sugary treats can cause all types of problems, including an upset stomach. Ration out the treats, especially the first night. You’d do well to make sure the trick-or-treaters have a generous dinner in advance of the activities.
  • Have you ever thought of all the different hands that touch the contents of those bags? You’d better be sure to wash hands and any foods prior to ingestion, whether wrapped or unwrapped.
  • If vomiting and diarrhea ensue from any food poisoning, review the linked Straight, No Chaser for treatment considerations.
  1. Sprained ankle?

halloween ankle sprain

  • It can get pretty exciting out there, and kids can easily get distracted. Falls and ankle sprains can be expected on those sugar-induced sprints to the next house.
  • Review the linked Straight, No Chaser for treatment considerations.
  1. Faints?

halloween syncope

  • Are those tricks too scary? Did the excitement prove too much to handle?
  • Review the linked Straight, No Chaser for treatment considerations.
  1. Choking?

halloween choking

  • You must be mindful that all candies are not appropriate for children. Peanuts and candy corn have a nasty habit of getting lodged in the throats of very young children.
  • Learn what steps to take in the event this happens. Review the linked Straight, No Chaser for treatment considerations.

Keep in mind that common things happen commonly. The horror tales of legend aren’t likely to be a part of your Halloween, nor are you likely to come across any ghouls, goblins, vampires or zombies unless you come across a Thriller reenactment.

Be safe and have a Happy Halloween!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Treating Halloween Mishaps

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Health Prevention, Toxicology/Drugs

Straight, No Chaser: Treatment of Food Poisoning

food-poisoning home remedies

The vomiting, diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps and all around bad feelings you may get with food poisoning is extremely unpleasant. We’ve previously discussed preventative measures you can take to minimize your risks, but you should also want to know what measures to take in the event you actually develop food poisoning. Of course, with over 250 different illnesses related to various forms of food poisoning, there’s a wide variety of treatment, some of which means to treat the specific disease (and its cause) and others that only treat the symptoms.

I always tell patients that although the vomiting and diarrhea are dramatic nuisance symptoms, the real concern is the risk of dehydration from these fluid losses. Given the body is approximately two-thirds water, altering that balance can lead to disturbances of many of the body’s functions and increase the risk of more serious infections. Thus the key to treatment is staying ahead of fluid and electrolyte losses that occur. Perhaps you’re wondering “How can I do that if I’m vomiting?” Here are five very important principles for you to remember.

  • First things first: if you have severe diarrhea, your favorite sports drink is not the cure. The composition of fluids and electrolytes in your stool is different from in your sweat, so these drinks don’t optimally replace your losses.

ORT

  • I want you to become familiar with oral rehydration therapy/solution (ORT). It’s how most of the rest of the world first treats fluid losses from vomiting and diarrhea. You may have heard of Ceralyte, Oralyte or Pedialyte, all of which are examples. ORT represents the best possible fluid for you to take and is readily available without a prescription at your local pharmacy or grocery store.
  • Here’s the deal with staying hydrated: you can’t hold a lot on your stomach. You need to dial back as much as possible so that you can tolerate something. That’s why you sip on chicken soup instead of steak when you’re sick. You’re likely to have more success keeping down teaspoons of fluid at a more frequent interval (say, every few minutes) than trying to chug a lot of fluid all at once. Food-Poison pink
  • Preparations of bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol is a common example) can reduce the duration and severity of simple diarrhea.
  • If you have diarrhea and cramps with a fever or bloody stools, you should not take antidiarrheal medication without an evaluation by a physician. Even if they make you feel better, these medicines can make your food poisoning much worse.

Here’s one other point that you should understand as you’re going into your doctor’s office or the emergency room: don’t expect to receive an antibiotic to treat your vomiting and diarrhea. Most of these episodes are caused by viruses, which are self-limited and will resolve within two to three days. Furthermore, viruses don’t respond to antibiotics. In fact, efforts to use antibiotics in many of these cases only contribute to antibiotic resistance later on when you actually need them. Antibiotic resistance is discussed in detail in this Straight, No Chaser post.

Innocent problems

Finally, here are symptoms that should prompt you to see your physician.

  • Bloody stools
  • Diarrhea lasting more than 3 days
  • High fever (oral temperature over 101.4 F)
  • Signs of dehydration, such as a decrease in urination, a dry mouth and throat, and dizziness with standing
  • Vomiting with inability to keep down liquids

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, AmazonBarnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Treatment of Food Poisoning

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, Gastrointestinal, Infectious Disease

Straight, No Chaser: Understanding Food Poisoning (Foodborne Illness)

FoodPoisoning

We make a decision with everything we place into our mouths. We also exhibit a large amount of trust that the food we eat is safe. Most of the time that’s true, but unfortunately sometimes it’s not. Here are some questions and answers to understanding the scope of food poisoning.

How frequent is food poisoning?

According to 2011 data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year in the U.S. approximately 1 in 6 Americans (almost 50 million people) gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases.

food poisoning

What causes food poisoning?

Over 250 different foodborne diseases have been described, most of which are infections. The most common foodborne illnesses are caused by norovirus and by the bacteria SalmonellaClostridium perfringens, and CampylobacterStaph Aureus (yes, that Staph) is another prominent but less common cause of food poisoning. Poisonous chemicals or other harmful substances can cause foodborne diseases if present in food.

What are the most common symptoms of food poisoning?

Even though there are many different foodborne diseases, they share a commonality of entering your system through your gastrointestinal tract. As a result, the first symptoms are caused and expressed from there and typically include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps.

foodpoisoning traceback_900px

Why do foodborne diseases seem to occur in outbreaks?

Actually, the overwhelming majority of cases of food poisoning don’t occur in outbreaks, but of course you wouldn’t know that because having diarrhea is not something people typically will tell you… When outbreaks occur, it’s because a group of people happened to eat the same contaminated item. This would explain how instances of groups of friends or strangers could have been involved. Contaminations that occur closest to the food supply’s distribution result in the widest outbreaks. Look at the above picture. If contaminated food from the producer makes it all the way through the distribution chain, individuals in multiple states could end up with the same infection.

   foodpoisoningfoodsimage

What foods are most associated with foodborne illness?

  • Foods that mingle the products of many individual animals: Raw milk, pooled raw eggs and ground beef have increased risk because contamination in any one of the multiple animals involved can contaminate the entire mixture.
  • Raw foods of animal origin: Foods such as meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs and unpasteurized milk are the most likely foods to be contaminated.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables: Washing reduces but doesn’t eliminate pre-existing contamination, such as that occurring from the fresh manure that fertilizes vegetables. Furthermore, water itself may be contaminated.
  • Shellfish: Because “filter-feeding” shellfish strain microorganisms from the sea over many months, they are particularly likely to be contaminated if there are any in the seawater.

An additional Straight, No Chaser will discuss treatment options. Refer to this post for preventative tips.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, AmazonBarnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

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Filed under Detoxification, Diet and Nutrition