Introduction to Asthma Therapy

Introduction to Asthma Therapy

Aim of therapy: Asthma cure?

Whenever an asthmatic patient consults a doctor he always wants to know whether asthma will be cured or not? Though symptoms of asthma can be cured for varying periods tendency of the disease continues in the body silently. Worldwide studies on the subject suggest the following patterns: 

  • Approximately one-third of the children complaining of asthma get a complete cure but the remaining two-third have to live with the disease in adulthood as well. 
  • Asthma cure in adulthood is less clearly understood, still, it has been suggested that much less proportion of patients get complete cure. However, there are many symptoms-free periods. 
  • It is not uncommon to see the patients having severe attacks for 4-5 years and then remain symptom-free for years, sometimes even for decades. But even such patients also have a tendency to have asthma if exposed to very high levels of dust mite and other strong trigger factors. When asthmatic patients shift from one town to another many become symptom-free for many years. The majority of patients have symptoms-free periods of 4-6 months when they do not require any medicine and become symptomatic during the period of August-September and February-March.  

The doctors of alternative medicine do claim a complete cure of all types of asthma but it has never been substantiated by any of their studies.

Why tendency of asthma persist in the body?

Asthma is an allergic disease. In order to understand the answer, you have to understand the nature of allergic diseases. Cold, urticaria, eczema, and asthma are caused by allergens and termed atopic diseases. Around 25% of people of the general population have a predetermined genetic tendency to have atopic diseases, called atopy. Atopy is inherited through genes and it is a body tendency since birth.

When an atopic person comes in contact with an adverse environment he may suffer from an allergic disease. Though 25% of the general population is atopic yet asthma or other atopic diseases develop only in half of the atopic subjects. The tendency of developing asthma is inherited through the atopy gene. Hence it depends on the genes of the parents. However, a number of patients develop asthma even without an obvious history of atopy in their long chain of family.

The majority of asthmatic patients have mild asthma and remain symptom-free even without drugs for months, provided trigger factors are tackled properly. The tendency of developing asthma can be reduced by proper care. Since the tendency to develop asthma is inherited through genes, it can not be lost altogether hence it would persist.   But you should not feel depressed because having asthma tendency in the body is not a serious problem. There are many people who have inherited asthmatic tendencies even without having asthma once in their life.

If not cure what are realistic goals?

Minimal goals of asthma therapy should be as follows,

Symptom-free lifestyle

You should not have asthmatic symptoms during work or rest. You should not feel cough, wheeze, or breathless during exertion or exercise.

Acupuncture treatment can have a positive effect on your lung functions if paired with a healthy lifestyle and asthma maintenance. Visit AB Acupuncture to learn more.

Normal lung functions

Morning and evening records of peak flow should be normal.

To achieve these goals following therapeutic modalities are adopted.

Long-Term Manifestations of Stroke

Long-Term Manifestations of Stroke

Common Symptoms and Signs Related to Neuroanatomy

Stroke can be associated with permanent neurological changes and disability. The nature of the impairment depends on the location of the stroke in the brain.

Stroke is a condition of neurological change when part of the brain is deprived of its blood supply. This can occur with obstruction of blood flow (ischemic stroke) or bleeding out of the vessels (hemorrhagic stroke). Depending on how soon the problem is addressed, a patient may have full recovery or neurological impairment from an irreversible brain injury with little recovery. The location of the stroke determines the type of impairment.

Motor and Sensory Deficits

Motor and sensory functions involve two areas of the brain separated by a groove called the central sulcus. One is the motor cortex in charge of generating all voluntary muscular movements from head to toe. The other is the primary somatosensory cortex allowing the person to sense pressure, temperature, and pain. The nerve pathways from both cortices cross to the other side so that the left side of the brain deals with motor and sensory functions for the right side of the body, and vice versa.

A stroke affecting these cortices or their pathways, whether a large stroke or a small deeper stroke (lacunar infarct), results in motor and sensory deficits in one side of the body, either partially or completely. Motor and sensory functions for the head, including the eyes and the throat, can also be affected by injury to the brain stem where the responsible cranial nerves originate. Such patients may require physical therapists to train in movements that get around physical limitations and to determine the need for wheelchairs and other special equipment. Additionally, occupational therapists can assist stroke patients with fine motor skills and activities of daily living, particularly when the arm is affected. If the ability to swallow has been impaired, speech therapists can help retrain the throat muscles and determine which foods are safe to swallow.

Language Impairment

In general, one hemisphere of the brain is considered more dominant than the other. About 95% of people who are right-handed have a dominant left cerebral hemisphere. The dominant hemisphere holds two key areas for language and communication. Broca’s area is located below the motor cortex and enables one to form the words and sentences that are spoken or written. Wernicke’s area, located a short distance from Broca’s area towards the back of the brain, is responsible for understanding written and spoken language. The non-dominant hemisphere has areas corresponding to Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas that deal with rhythm and intonation (prosody) in expressive and receptive communication, respectively.

Stroke injury to Broca’s area results in Broca’s aphasia (a.k.a. expressive aphasia, motor aphasia, and nonfluent aphasia) in which the patient struggles to form clear sentences, often communicating one word at a time. Wernicke’s aphasia (a.k.a receptive aphasia, sensory aphasia, and fluent aphasia) is characterized by difficulty with understanding language and communicating in a nonsensical way, although with grammatical structure relatively intact. For the non-dominant hemisphere, injury to the corresponding areas results in the inability to express tone (motor dysprosody) or recognize tone in communication (sensory dysprosody).

Dementia

The frontmost portions of the brain perform various cognitive functions, including concentration, judgment, and decision-making. Stroke injury to these and other areas can impair cognition (vascular dementia or multi-infarct dementia) very much like other causes of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Final Words

The preceding is an overview of common stroke manifestations, serving as an introduction to neurological impairments from stroke rather than a complete list. In addition, several functions rely on multiple areas of the brain and a stroke involving one blood vessel territory essentially results in multiple impairments. The primary take-home message is that the brain is such an important organ that neurological deficits from a stroke can be disabling and life-changing.

Prevention with a healthy lifestyle continues to be an important measure. Whole foods paired with regular exercise are a recommended method of preventing stroke. If you’re having difficulty with exercise due to muscle pain, you can book an appointment at AB Acupuncture for a pain-relieving acupuncture treatment performed by an experienced professional.

Acupuncture for Depression

Acupuncture for Depression

In today’s fast-paced world, many people are too busy concentrating on their working lives and spending hours at the office in stressful surroundings. Sleep becomes restless, and to add to that, many do not pay enough attention to their emotional and physical being. All these factors can lead to depression.

Depression is a known and much-researched mood disorder that is classified by both physical and psychological indications. These two elements can be damaging to one’s normal day-to-day functioning. People who are depressed often are traumatized by terrible sleeping habits, (insomnia) unexplained crying episodes, anxiety, constant worry, terrible memory, incapable to focus, physical aches and pains, and completely uninterested in the outside world. In incidents that are considered extreme, individuals feel a sense of hopelessness, and visions of suicide become everyday thoughts.

Contemporary medicine normally medicates depression with forms of psychotherapy and combined with anti-depressant drugs. In the United States, the DSM-IV is the primary diagnostic apparatus utilized to carefully classify psychological disorders. DSM-IV is used prominently in the prognosis and diagnosis for depression treatment.

A fresh new study conducted by the University of Arizona has ascertained that acupuncture might just be the alternative answer to habit-forming anti-depressant drugs. This research is especially more targeted for women, as they are more prone to depression. Depression is actually more common than people think, and in the United States, it is among the top ten medical conditions diagnosed. Reports show that half the people who seek help via psychotherapy and treatment tend to not complete the course. The ones who do get better will eventually suffer a relapse within the year. This indicates that alternative methods may be able to assist in decreasing or curing depression.

The research conducted by Arizona University utilized 38 women volunteers who have all been diagnosed with mild to average depression. Acupuncture treatments were rendered utilizing the modus operandi of traditional Chinese medicine, each treatment specifically tailored according to the severity of the condition. These volunteers were treated twice a week for one month and followed by once a week for the second month, which totaled twelve consistent sessions.

After the twelve sessions ended, 70% of the volunteers reported an average of 50% reduction of symptoms. This result is compared to those acquired through seeking modern medicine and treatment. This is a crucial study because it is the first one that was conducted in random, controlled, and double-blinded research of acupuncture’s healing properties, which was subsequently published in Western medical journals.

Depression is a condition experienced by almost everyone at some point in their lives. Usually, the cases are mild and can be controlled. In moderate cases, help can be obtained by counseling. For severe conditions, doctors would prescribe anti-depressants and psychotherapy. For some, this method produces results and they can once again lead normal lives. For those who have tried everything and still wake up sad and for no apparent reason, then acupuncture may just be the ideal treatment. Results are not instantaneous, but if the procedure is followed through from beginning till the end, depression levels will decrease.

Finding the right acupuncturist can make all the difference. Visit AB Acupuncture to book an appointment with trained professionals.

Psychological Effects Of Childhood Obesity

Psychological Effects Of Childhood Obesity

Obesity in the present scenario affects 30% of children, thereby making it the most common chronic disease of childhood. It’s probably more than a physical problem. Apart from the cosmetic problems, childhood obesity invites problems like hypertension, diabetes, and other conditions associated with obesity. Childhood obesity can also lead to grave psychological and emotional disturbances.

SYMPTOMS & CAUSES

While diagnosing the symptoms of obesity one should know the demarcation between the terms “overweight” and obesity” which are often used interchangeably. A person is considered overweight when his/her Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 25 and 30 and obese if the BMI is above 30.

A child suffering from obesity may exhibit psychological effects like low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and emotional instability. Owing to peer pressure the child may also develop an anti-social attitude which may eventually lead to his complete isolation. Very often the child may also fall prey to suicidal thinking which crops up as a result of constant bullying by the classmates.

RISK FACTORS

Many factors that work in combination increase the child’s risk of being obese.

Diet

Consumption of high-calorie food loaded with soft drinks, candies and desserts is the major cause of obesity. In a recent study done on 550 children over a 19 month period, it was found that the likelihood of getting obese increased by 1.6 times for every additional soft drink consumed on a per-day basis.

Lack Of Exercise

Physical inactivity is also a serious cause of morbid obesity. Watching television for hours, playing video games, and munching junk food contributes to the problem. Exercise helps to burn calories and lack of it leads to the deposition of fat. Children who exercise less are more likely to get obese.

Genetic Factors

Polymorphism in various genes that are responsible for basal metabolism predisposes children to obesity. Progeny of overweight parents are likely to put on weight easily and this likelihood increases especially if high-calorie food is available.

Developmental & Medical Factors

Studies have found out that breastfeeding in infancy reduces the chances of obesity in children in later life. Cushing’s syndrome also causes childhood obesity. This disease is caused due to excess of hormone –glucocorticoids.

COMPLICATIONS

Higher levels of depression, low self-esteem, poor body image, and anxiety are the complications of psychological effects. Peers play an important role in an adolescent’s life in governing psychological well-being. As a result higher levels of depression are found in obese tweens. Children dread going to school or participating in activities. This social stigmatization can lead to poor performance at school and dropping out. Poor body image can precipitate disorders like bulimia.

TREATMENT

Childhood obesity continues to be a challenging problem. The statistics have revealed that one in five children is overweight today and this number continues to increase. Since there are no medications for the treatment of obesity change in lifestyle is the only solution to combat the problem. Healthy eating habits and regular exercise can only help in preventing obesity to creep in and eventually the psychological effects it gives rise to. If you or your loved one is in need of psychological treatment, click here.

Diabetes – Diagnosis

Diabetes – Diagnosis

Diabetes is diagnosed by measuring the amount of sugar in the blood. The blood sugar level of a person without diabetes is usually 70 to 110 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).

Diagnosing Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) lists three different ways to tell if a person has type 1 or type 2 diabetes:

  • If he or she has symptoms of diabetes and high blood sugar. (High blood sugar is 200 mg/dL or higher.)
  • If he or she has a fasting blood sugar level of 126 mg/dL or higher on two separate days. 

If a person has a blood sugar higher than normal but not high enough to have diabetes, he or she may have a problem called impaired fasting glucose or impaired glucose tolerance. These two conditions mean that the person does not yet have diabetes but is at risk for getting it. If you have one of these glucose problems, talk to your doctor about what to do about your blood sugar.

If you have diabetes, try to get and keep your blood sugar as close to normal as possible. It is all right to have a blood sugar between 80 to 120 mg/dl during the day, before eating. At bedtime, the goal is to have blood sugar from 100 to 140 mg/dl See Treatment, and ask your doctor what your target range should be.

Diagnosing Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes is a kind of diabetes that first develops during pregnancy. The condition occurs because the hormones produced during pregnancy can increase the body’s resistance to insulin. If the pregnant woman’s body cannot produce enough insulin to offset the increased resistance, the result is a high blood sugar level. When gestational diabetes occurs, it is usually in the latter part of pregnancy.

After pregnancy, gestational diabetes often goes away. However, having gestational diabetes increases your risk of developing diabetes in the future.

If you already have diabetes and become pregnant, you do not have gestational diabetes; you still have whatever type was diagnosed before your pregnancy.

In a test for gestational diabetes, a woman is asked to drink a glucose solution. One hour later, blood is drawn and its sugar level measured. If the level is at least 130 to 140 mg/dl, the woman may be asked to continue the test. In this case, blood will be drawn and tested several times during three hours. The diagnosis is gestational diabetes if the blood sugar level is higher than at least two of the following levels:

  • 95 mg/dl before drinking the glucose solution
  • 180 mg/dl one hour after drinking the solution
  • 155 mg/dl two hours after drinking the solution
  • 140 mg/dl three hours after drinking the solution

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, talk to your doctor about treating the condition.

Although gestational diabetes usually goes away after pregnancy, a woman who has the condition once may be at risk for gestational diabetes in future pregnancies. 

In addition, many women who have had gestational diabetes develop diabetes years later. Lower your risk of diabetes later in life by keeping your weight normal, eating healthful foods, and exercising regularly. Diabetes and obesity are two conditions that often appear together. If the weight loss strategies you’ve employed have not been working for you long term, visit IES Medical Group to learn more about what options are available to you.

What is GERD?

What is GERD?

GERD stands for Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, more commonly referred to and known as acid reflux.  Gastro simply means stomach while esophageal means esophagus, which is the tube that runs from your mouth down to the stomach.  It’s the tube that carries your food and drink into the stomach from mouth consumption.  Reflux simply means that your food flows backward or it backs up.  To simply all of this into one sentence, GERD is a disease, or condition that partially digested food, bile, as well as acid within the stomach backs up into the esophagus.

What Exactly Causes GERD?

There is a small muscle located at the end of your esophagus in your stomach that is supposed to catch all the stomach acid and bad enzymes and store them; however, this muscle can sometimes relax too much causing the acid to be released into the esophagus. This muscle is known as the LES, or lower esophageal sphincter.

What Can Happen to Your Stomach and Esophagus?

When this food is backed up into the esophagus from the stomach, it contains a number of enzymes that are there to break down the food and ends up causing a burning sensation, irritation, pain as well as other symptoms.  These digestive enzymes and acid from the stomach can actually cause damage to your esophagus, as it doesn’t have that thin lining as the stomach does to protect it from the acid.

When the disease goes untreated by a physician, there are a number of serious complications that GERD can cause.  One of the conditions includes the narrowing of the esophagus, also medically known as stricture.  Another condition is Barrett’s esophagus, which is severe damage to the esophagus that is commonly linked to cancer development.  Two other conditions that could occur are bleeding as well as ulceration.

It is said for nocturnal acid reflux to cause more complications than acid reflux that occurs during the day and there are ways that you can help prevent nocturnal reflux.  For example, you can raise the head of your bed a few inches by placing blocks under the head of your bed and you can also ensure that you do not eat right before bed – try limiting eating to at least two hours prior to bedtime.

You Are NOT Alone

Did you know that about one in every four Americans suffer from heartburn at least one time per month?  Nearly 15 million people suffer from heartburn on a daily basis. Are you pregnant?  If so, you may start experiencing heartburn as early as the first trimester but heartburn is more common near the end of the second trimester and the third trimester leading up to the birth of the baby and sometimes post-baby for some time.

If you are interested in seeking treatment for your GERD, performed my highly experienced professionals with advanced technology, visit IES Medical Group.

 

Anxiety Disorders

Anxiety Disorders

The findings of a door-to-door survey, of thousands of households across America, held over a period of two years, were released in 2005. The survey, guided by eminent Psychologists, aimed to discover the presence of anxiety, mood and substance disorders in the general population. The results showed that nearly 18% of people suffered from Anxiety Disorders. The study reveals that millions of people across the country are trying to cope with this disabling disorder.

Excessive Anxiety

A fair amount of anxiety is normal and it helps people deal with various challenges in their lives. For instance, anxiety about grades can help a student work harder, the fear of losing a job could help an individual perform better or prepare for it accordingly.  Anxiety helps people take precautions against threatening situations. However, when anxiety is excessive, irrational and unreasonable, it can be debilitating and the individual could be suffering from an Anxiety Disorder.

The five major types of Anxiety Disorders

Over the last few decades, Psychiatrists have classified Anxiety Disorders into the following subtypes. There are five major types of Anxiety Disorders and they’re described here briefly.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Extended periods of severe anxiety, about problems that may or may not exist, characterize GAD. Patients often seem to worry about unlikely major disasters and also obsess over everyday issues like health, money and relationships. Their world view is overly negative and they suffer from exaggerated worries and tension.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Recurrent unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and repetitive behavior (compulsions) are the two major signs of OCD. Repetitive behavior includes repeated hand-washing, checking locks over and over again, switching lights on and off, among others. Patients also follow bizarre rituals to avoid unwanted thoughts. This form of Anxiety Disorder can have serious implications and often prevent patients from leading regular lives. A combination of therapy and medication is needed for treatment.

Panic Disorder: In this Disorder, patients experience episodes of panic attacks and fear, that also cause discomforting physical symptoms, like chest pain, breathlessness and palpitations. Because of its unpredictable nature, because panic attacks occur out of the blue, those suffering from it are under constant stress attempting to preempt the attacks. Often, Panic Disorder exists with Agoraphobia, which is the fear of public places.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: This is caused in response to an extremely traumatic incident, where the person’s safety or life was threatened. War veterans, victims of violent physical attacks, like rape or attempted murder, can suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. People suffering from this Disorder are often haunted by images of the incident, they experience problems with sleep and they feel emotionally numb. They are unable to relate to people they were very close to before the incident.

Social Phobia: Those suffering from Social Phobia, also known as, Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD), suffer from excessive anxiety and self-consciousness in normal, everyday social situations. Social Phobia could be specific, where the victim is anxious in certain situations like dating or job interviews, where the factor of scrutiny is high. But the phobia could also be general, where almost every social situation is feared.

Definition of Psychological Disorders

There’s much “physical” in psychological disorders while at the same time, there is much psychological in “physical” disorders. The issues brought up by psychological disorders continue to be much clearer than their solutions and no meaning or description completely identifies precise limitations for the term “psychological disorder”. The idea of psychological disorder, like a number of other concepts in science and medicine, lacks a regular operational description or definition which covers every situation.

Psychological disorder is more or less better identified as a significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that happens with an individual which causes significant distress (for instance, an unpleasant symptom) or disability (that is, impairment in a number of important regions of functioning) or having a considerably elevated chance of suffering pain, death, discomfort, disability, or an essential lack of freedom. Additionally, this pattern or syndrome must not be an expected response to a particular event, for instance, when a loved one dies. Instead, it’s a manifestation of mental, behavioral or biological disorder within the individual. Behavior that is deviant (e.g., religious, sexual or political) or conflicts which are mainly between the society and the individual are not psychological disorders, unless the conflict or deviance is really a characteristic of a disorder within the individual, as referred to above.

If you have psychological issues and would like to get treatment ASAP, then visit Estadt Psychological Services.

 

happy-cute-girl-sleeping-in-bed-peacefully

Acupuncture for kids

About 20 million children in the United States suffer from at least one chronic health problem, which refers to an illness that lasts over a period of months or years.

 

Chronic illnesses can last a lifetime. Certain illnesses, however, are temporary conditions. For example, babies born with lung disease often outgrow their illness. Children with scoliosis sometimes only need a brace until they finish growing.

 

Asthma is the most common chronic illness, affecting about 5 million children in the country. Each illness affects the body differently. Therefore, treatments vary. Many children with chronic illnesses endure frequent doctor visits and tests.

 

Acupuncture is an ancient Oriental medical practice. It mostly consists of the insertion of fine needles into the body at specific points shown to be effective in the treatment of specific health problems. There are more than 1,000 known acupuncture points.

 

Proponents said electromagnetic research has confirmed the existence and location of these points. However, modern Western medicine cannot explain how acupuncture works. The practice is based on ancient Chinese theories involving the flow of the qi, which is a fine, essential substance that nourishes and constructs the body.

 

Acupuncture centers around the idea of restoring the harmonious balance of the body and its parts. Acupuncture needles are typically not much thicker than a hair, and practitioners say it is virtually painless. They add most people find acupuncture very relaxing and do not even realize the needles are in place.

 

Oded Herbsman, M.D., of California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, uses acupuncture to treat kids with chronic illnesses. He said the practice helps children’s bodies more quickly return to balance and says it boosts their immune systems. Herbsman said acupuncture is safe and does not pose any serious side effects.

 

He uses acupuncture to treat children for problems such as migraines and also nausea resulting from chemotherapy and operations.

 

He has used it on children who have had stomach flu and are consequently having problems with their intestinal tract. Herbsman said acupuncture is good for general immunity and can be used to treat things like colic and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Herbsman treated one toddler with cystic fibrosis.

 

The child’s mother says following his first treatment, he was happier, didn’t take as many naps, began breathing better, and put on some necessary weight. The mother says although the treatment is painless, her son cries and howls.

 

However, she hopes that will end when he becomes accustomed to it. Herbsman does say that acupuncture does not necessarily work for all patients, and in some cases, standard antibiotic medications can more effectively treat an illness.

 

If you want less pain, more energy, better sleep, better digestion & better immune function, naturally, then visit AB Acupuncture to cure the pains that you’re encountering.

 

baking-pizza-in-a-stone-pizza-oven

Making homemade pizza for your kids? Know what’s the best pizza stone size

This is one of the most important factors to consider. First of all you need to think of the practicalities – measure your Californo pizza oven and ensure that the pizza stone you are buying will actually fit inside, with enough room to spare to allow it to be manoeuvred. Remember, your pizza stone will be very hot and quite heavy when in use so you want to make it as user friendly as possible.

Larger pizza stones are generally the best as they give you more flexibility – you can cook everything from small individual pizza’s and breads up to large family size pizzas. It is also easier to transfer your uncooked pizza from your pizza peel or cookie sheet to the pizza stone if it is big – with small pizza stones you need to be more accurate and it doing this can be hard enough as it is. Similarly, a square or rectangle pizza stone gives a bit more room than a circular stone.

The Best Pizza Stone Weight

A primary function of a pizza stone is to retain heat, and heavier pizza stones are more effective at doing this than lighter stones. However, as with size there is no point having a pizza stone that is too heavy to easily manoeuvre.

Also, the heavier your pizza stone is, the longer it takes to reach optimum temperature. A good compromise sits somewhere in between – heavy enough to retain good heat but light enough to heat up relatively quickly and be easy to lift.

The Best Pizza Stone Material – Ceramic vs. Cement

Cement pizza stones are less prone to cracking than ceramic/ clay stones and they hold their temperature well however they are generally heavier and more expensive than ceramic stones.

Most people agree that ceramic/ clay pizza stones provide better results and more consistent crust than the various cement pizza stones on the market, and cement pizza stones can emit noxious fumes due to their composition. For these reasons a ceramic pizza stone is the best option.

Cheap pizza stones vs. expensive – is there much difference?

When buying kitchen equipment you do tend to get what you pay for – i.e. more expensive products are usually better then inexpensive ones……but not always.

The primary failure in a pizza stone is cracking. This can happen due to the stone moving from a hot environment to a cold one or vice versa. It can also occur when a pizza stone is allowed to absorb a lot of moisture and is then heated quickly. Some pizza stones also crack for no apparent reason.

The more expensive pizza stones tend to be made from a finer material than most of the cheaper models and the feedback I have heard suggest that they are less prone to cracking. However, if a more expensive pizza stone does crack you have a lost a greater amount of money. Thankfully, even the more expensive ceramic pizza stones aren’t too expensive and with a bit of care and luck you can get decades of use of out it.

What about a pizza stone with a metal rack?

Some pizza stones come with a metal rack on which you can rest the pizza stone when serving it. In my opinion they are not much use.

Firstly, you should avoid cutting the pizza on your pizza stone – this blunts your knife or pizza wheel but also creates grooves in the stone which can make your pizza dough stick. Also, if you serve your pizza from the pizza stone just remember that the pizza stone is designed to retain as much heat as possible and your pizza will keep on cooking on the stone long after it has been taken from the oven.

More importantly, a scalding hot pizza stone can also be a safety risk so it is much better to remove your pizza from the pizza stone and transfer it to a wooden board or similar when serving.

 

kids-eating-pizza-on-breakfast

Breakfast Pizza Recipe

What family doesn’t love pizza? Our family also gets a kick out of having breakfast for dinner. Breakfast pizza is the perfect solution. The pizza crust is made from crescent rolls. It is topped with traditional breakfast ingredients including your choice of sausage, bacon or ham (or all three!), hash brown potatoes, and roasted red peppers. Eggs take the place of pizza sauce, and of course, it is topped with cheese. If you serve this with a generous portion of fresh fruit, you can stretch the recipe to feed 6.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8-ounce) can crescent rolls (see Notes)
  • 1/2 pound bulk breakfast sausage, bacon, ham or a combination
  • 1 cup shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 4 large eggs (about 1 scant cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup diced roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions (scallions), green tops included
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups fine-shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not the shelf-stable stuff in the can)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 F. You will need a 12-inch pizza pan (larger will also work) or a heavy rimmed baking sheet at least 12 inches long and 12 inches wide.

Brown the sausage in a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring to create large crumbles. When no pink remains, remove sausage crumbles with a slotted spoon to a bowl to cool. Drain off any excess oil. (If using, the bacon should be cooked and chopped. The ham should be cut into 1/2-inch dice.)

In the same skillet, cook the hash browns until golden brown. Let cool while you prepare the crust.

To make the crust, open the can of crescent rolls and separate the dough into triangles. Arrange the triangles in a circle with the points to the center, slightly overlapping the long edges. Use your fingertips to seal the long sides and pat into an even circular shape. Roll the outer edge up about 1/2-inch to form a rim to contain the eggs. Distribute hash browns and meat evenly over crust.

Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk with the onion powder to combine. Pour the eggs over the potatoes and meat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Top with roasted red peppers and green onions over the eggs. Finish with the Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until crust is browned and eggs are set. Cut into wedges to serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Notes:

  • Egg substitutes are easily used in place of whole eggs.
  • Mozzarella, Swiss, Gruyere, or cheese blends may be substituted for the Cheddar.
  • Pre-cooked sausage patties or links may be used in place of the raw breakfast sausage, eliminating a cooking step. Simply chop them into small pieces. Chicken/turkey sausage or vegetarian sausage will also work, as will chopped ham lunchmeat. Many people even like to use a pre-cooked spiced ham.
  • This recipe begs for so many variations. Think of it like a traditional pizza and add whatever fresh or leftover vegetables that appeal to you. For more ideas of delicious pizzas, check out BC Pizza.