Monthly Archives: May 2007

Don’t smoke, it’s no longer sexy

AHMEDABAD: Gone are the days when girls swooned over that Clint Eastwood look — a half-burnt cigarette casually dangling from the lips. GenNext girls have virtually given the thumbs down to smokers. And men too are giving up the habit for various reasons.

Sejal Dodya, a 21-year old student, says, “I have always looked down on smokers. If people think it is a fashion statement, they are mistaken.” Devika Shah, 21, says, “I hate the smell of tobacco. And I don’t want to be a passive smoker either.” Devika is also determined to marry a non-smoker.

Young men, however, beg to differ. Hardik Varia, 23, an event manager, says, “Most of my friends who smoke, do it because they think it’s cool. Besides, accessories like Zippo lighters and leather pouches add to the style. But many are now trying to quit.”

Deep Kumar (name changed), a fourth year engineering student, says, “I come from a spiritually-inclined family. During my first two years in college, I avoided smoking as I thought it was morally wrong.” But one year back, Kumar got hooked to smoking, dope and alcohol. “My studies were affected. I was a badminton player, but my stamina was ruined and I lost tournaments. Now I have quit everything, but smoking,” he says.

Most youth begin smoking late in their teens and as they age, their excuses for smoking too undergo a change. Workaholic executives find cigarettes a stressbuster. Jitesh Mehta, 27, a corporate sales executive, however, says this is a myth. “My father was a chain smoker and I have hated smoking. There are better stress-busters like making phone calls to a friend or taking a stroll,” says Mehta. Now, with cigarettes under threat, substitutes like hookahs are more popular. Kunal Bharadwaj, 21, says, “I started smoking in class 11, but lost a lot of stamina. I have quit smoking but use hookahs.”

Source:The Times Of India

How to Deal With the Uncontrollable

Identify the Uncontrollable:

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All you have to do these days is turn on CNN to realize how out of control the world is.

First there are the big things — war, terrorism, famine, political gridlock. But then there are the smaller things that are out of your control, ranging from the weather to your job to your son or daughter. And if you’re a controlling person — someone who has to have everything just so, in its right place in just the right way — then feeling out of control is one of the most stressful things that could ever happen to you.

There are some golden rule of life hasn’t changed, and never will: Stuff happens. Much of it you can’t control. What you can control is how you react to it and how much it affects you physically, financially, or otherwise. Here are some ways to gain back a bit of control when you feel like your world is spinning off its axis:

1. Above all else, distinguish what you can’t control from what you can. Then direct your energies to influencing the latter, and accepting the former. This might sound simplistic, but you’d be amazed at how many people still think they can control traffic, or the weather, or their boss’s mood, or the stock market. Make a list of all the things in your life that you can’t control, no matter how hard you try, and post it on your refrigerator and your computer. Then accept it. Of course you can care about these things, and try to influence their outcome. But it’s essential that you untie your emotional well-being from those things you cannot alter.

2. When things feel out of control, clean a closet or drawer. It worked for therapist Rebecca Fuller Ward, author of How to Stay Married Without Going Crazy. The night her mother had a heart attack, she cleaned out her pantry. “That I could control,” she says.

3. Take up a new hobby. Mastering a new skill, whether it’s paddling a kayak or learning to knit, will return a sense of control to your life.

4. When bad things happen, sit down and write out what you might have done differently. This self-assessment is not to blame and beat up on yourself; it’s a chance to say, I may not control everything, but I do control me! What can I do with me that will make this situation work better and turn out more to my liking? So, if you get a bad evaluation at work, don’t respond to it by blaming your boss or blaming your bad luck. Instead, says Patricia Farrell, Ph.D., author of How to Be Your Own Therapist, be honest with yourself about what you could have done differently that year — come into work on time, met all your deadlines, etc. — to garner a better result. Understanding your role in the situation will help you realize that the world actually is a fairly controllable place.

5. When things feel out of control, pick one thing in your life to work on that you can make a difference in. For instance, start an exercise program, write in your journal one day a week, balance your checkbook, or take your car in for an oil change.

6. Build in contingencies. For instance, say you have an outdoor party planned for 20 people but a tropical storm hits the day of the party. Well, while you can’t control the weather, you can control where you hold it (move it inside), when you hold it (postpone it), and how it’s held (if you were planning a cookout, whip up a couple of big lasagnas).

7. Make a list. Nothing puts more control back into your hands than taking all the “to dos” swirling through your head and writing them down. Now make a plan for how you will accomplish each one. For instance, if one of the things on your list is Christmas shopping, set a date, a time, and a time limit to go shopping. If one of the things on your list is to clean the house, break it into manageable parts. So on Monday you clean the kitchen, on Tuesday the bathrooms, and so on.

8. Build up tolerance to chaos by giving yourself small out-of-control experiences. For instance, if you typically are the lead driver of the family car, have your spouse take the wheel next time you all go out together, suggests Larina Kase, Ph.D., a psychologist at the Center for Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania. Ask someone to interrupt you periodically, have your partner make the weekend plans without your input, turn over the bill paying to your partner. These will help you learn to accept being out of control.

9. Practice positive self-talk. It would be great if someone else did this for you, but often you have to do it for yourself, says Dr. Farrell. Self-talk means saying things like, “I’m going to be okay,” “I’ll get through this,” or “Right now, I have to give myself a few minutes and then I can begin coming up with a plan to handle this.”

10. Take time to de-stress before addressing the maelstrom. Put your feet up, do some relaxation breathing, have a cup of tea. Calming yourself down is one area in which you do have control, notes Dr. Farrell.

11. Create a perception that you have control. There is a good deal of research showing that the perception of control is more important than actual control, says Dr. Kase. For instance, people are able to tolerate a hot room if they know they have the option of turning down the heat. Come up with some little things that you can do to make out-of-control situations more manageable.

12. Iron something. Ironing is a relatively mindless activity that still provides very visible results. The sense of control you gain as you turn a crumpled ball of fabric into a crisp garment will carry over into other areas of your life, promise!

13. Focus on what you’re doing, not the outcome. You can often control the specific task or motion, but you can’t always control the outcome. Just consider baseball slugger Mark McGwire, says Michael Crabtree, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. “He was just a .200 hitter with the Oakland A’s because he was focused on his low batting average and hitting home runs — not on just swinging the bat. When he started focusing on that, it changed his whole approach and he became a much better hitter,” Dr. Crabtree says.

From: Stealth Health

Less sleep, more fat

The link between lack of sleep and obesity could be a protein called Nocturnin, reports Roger Highfield.

sleep.jpg
Poor sleep at 30 months predicts obesity at the age of seven

Scientists have found a new clue to explain the link between lack of sleep and obesity.

Over the years, evidence has grown to show the link is real. One study of 18,000 adults found that those who got fewer than four hours of sleep were 73 per cent more likely to be obese than those who got the recommended seven to nine hours.

Over the years, evidence has grown to show the link is real. One study of 18,000 adults found that those who got fewer than four hours of sleep were 73 per cent more likely to be obese than those who got the recommended seven to nine hours.

The reason for the link is still a matter of debate but recently scientists reported the discovery of a protein, called Nocturnin, which could help provide the answer.

Mice lacking the protein that works at night to regulate daily biological rhythms keep their lean physique, even when fed a high fat diet, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Joseph Besharse, and colleagues at the Medical College of Wisconsin, working with Prof. Carla Green of the University of Virginia, genetically engineered mice lacking this protein and fed them either a standard or high fat diet.

Unlike normal mice, which became obese on the high fat diet, the Nocturnin-deficient mice stayed lean without increasing their activity or reducing food intake. These mice showed normal circadian cycles but had an altered metabolism of sugar (glucose), suggesting that Nocturnin may control a metabolic pathway specifically related to fat uptake that waxes and wanes each day.

“This paper adds an important new twist to a recent body of evidence that circadian rhythms play an important role in the control of metabolism and energy balance,” said Prof. Besharse.

With the dramatic increase in obesity in western cultures, these mice could help illuminate how disruptions in circadian clocks exacerbate the problem. And, said Prof. Besharse, could eventually lead to new treatments.

A flurry of worldwide research has established an intriguing connection between poor sleep and fat stomachs. The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents And Children in the Nineties, after tracking 13,000 British children as they grew up, concluded that poor sleep at 30 months predicts obesity at the age of seven years.

“Obesity and Type II diabetes are major health problems,” he said. “The emerging connection between circadian clocks, metabolic control and disease brings perspective to this important area of biomedical research. This linkage likely evolved in animals to enable them to adapt to diurnal (daily) changes in their environment such as food availability.”
Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata , India)

Messengers From The Wilderness

The Weeds
Simply expressed, a weed is any plant that grows where it isn’t wanted. Weeds are defined by their tendency to flourish at the expense of a gardener’s overall vision, and we tend to battle their presence in our yards. It is interesting to consider, though, that a plant is a weed only within a certain context, which is to say that one person’s weed is another person’s wildflower. Most of us have pulled at least one dandelion up by its roots and disposed of it in the interest of preserving the look of a perfect green lawn, yet the dandelion is good medicine, packed with healing properties and vitamin-rich leaves that are a delicious, spicy surprise in a summer salad.

In the wild, there is no such thing as a weed because the overall vision is in the hands of Mother Nature, who accommodates and incorporates all forms of life. In nature, balance is achieved over the long term, without the aid, or interference, of a human supervisor. While one plant may prevail over others for a certain period of time, eventually it will reach an apex and then it will naturally decline, allowing for other forms to be born and survive. This self-regulating realm was the first garden of our ancestors, who learned the art of agriculture from studying the forests and fields of the as yet uncultivated earth. In a sense, weeds are harbingers of this wildness, pushing their way into our well-ordered plots, undermining more delicate flora, and flourishing in spite of us.

The next time you see a weed, you might want to look deeply into its roots, discover its name, its habits, and its possible uses. Instead of seeing an unwanted intruder, you might see a healer offering its leaves for a medicinal tea or its flowers for a colorful salad. At the very least, if you look long enough, you will see a messenger from the wilderness of Mother Earth, reminding you that, even in the most carefully controlled garden, she cannot be completely ruled out.
Source:Daily Om

Watermelon

Family: Cucurbitaceae

Genus: Citrullus

Species: C. lanatus
Binomial nam
e : Citrullus lanatus

Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus, Family Cucurbitaceae) is both a fruit and a vegetable  and plant of a vine-like (climber and trailer) herb originally from southern Africa and one of the most common type of melon. This flowering plant produces a special type of fruit known by botanists as a pepo, which has a thick rind (exocarp) and fleshy center (mesocarp and endocarp); pepos are derived from an inferior ovary and are characteristic of the Cucurbitaceae. The watermelon fruit, loosely considered a type of melon (although not in the genus Cucumis), has a smooth exterior rind (green and yellow) and a juicy, sweet, usually red or yellow, but sometimes orange, interior flesh. The flesh consists of highly developed placental tissue within the fruit. The former name Citrullus vulgaris (vulgaris meaning “common” — Shosteck, 1974), is now a synonym of the accepted scientific name for watermelon, Citrullus lanatus.

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David Livingstone, an explorer of Africa, described watermelon as abundant in the Kalahari Desert, where it is believed to have originated. There, the ancestral melon grows wild and is known as the Tsamma melon (Citrullus lanatus var citroides).[citation needed] It is recognizable by its pinnatifid leaves and prolific fruit, up to 100 melons on a single vine. For this reason it is a popular source of water in the diet of the indigenous people. The flesh is similar to the rind of a watermelon and is often known as citron melon (distinct from the actual citron, of the citrus family); it is used for making pickles, and because of its high content of pectin is popular as a constituent of jams, jellies, and other gelled preserves. It has established itself in the wild in Baja California.

It is not known when the plant was first cultivated, but Zohary and Hopf note evidence of its cultivation in the Nile Valley from at least as early as the second millennium BC. Finds of the characteristically large seed are reported in Twelfth dynasty sites; numerous watermelon seeds were recovered from the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun.

By the 10th century AD, watermelons were being cultivated in China, which is today the world’s single largest watermelon producer. By the 13th century, Moorish invaders had introduced the fruit to Europe; and, according to John Mariani’s The Dictionary of American Food and Drink, “watermelon” made its first appearance in an English dictionary in 1615.

Museums Online South Africa list watermelons as having been introduced to North American Indians in the 1500s. Early French explorers found Native Americans cultivating the fruit in the Mississippi Valley. Many sources list the watermelon as being introduced in Massachusetts as early as 1629. Southern food historian John Egerton has said he believes African slaves helped introduce the watermelon to the United States. Texas Agricultural Extension horticulturalist Jerry Parsons, Ph.D., lists African slaves and European colonists as having distributed watermelons to many areas of the world. Parsons also mentions the crop being farmed by Native Americans in Florida (by 1664) and the Colorado River area (by 1799). Other early watermelon sightings include the Midwestern states (1673), Connecticut (1747), and the Illiana region (1822).

SMALL SEEDLESS WATERMELON
Watermelon with yellow fleshUntil the 1940s, however, it was hard to find watermelons in good condition at grocery stores. Melon lovers had to grow their own, which tended not to keep for long, purchase them from local grocers supplied by truck farmers, or purchase them from roadside produce stands. Now they can be found in most any local grocery store, and if preferred in slices or whole, with seeds or without.

An American favorite for meals and snacks. People can’t seem to get enough of the sweet treat, and nutritionists have long appreciated the health benefits watermelon provides. Recently research has shed new light on its potential health benefits. Watermelon contains high concentrations of lycopene, an antioxidant that may help reduce the risks of cancer and other diseases. Watermelon is fat free, nutritionally low in calories and considered an ideal diet food, and is high in energy, making it a great energy boost!

Watermelon, the fruit that is really a Vegetable. Watermelon can be traced back to Africa and is part of the cucumber and squash family. Early watermelons were mainly rind and seeds. Today’s varieties are larger, the flesh sweeter, the seeds smaller and the rind thinner. It is perhaps the most refreshing, thirst quenching fruit of all. Watermelon consists of 92% water and 8% sugar, so it is aptly named. Americans eat over 17 lbs of watermelon each year. The largest one on world record (Guinness Book of World Records) weighed 262 pounds.

Then Charles Fredric Andrus, a horticulturist at the USDA Vegetable Breeding Laboratory in Charleston, South Carolina, set out to produce a disease-resistant and wilt-resistant watermelon. The result was “that gray melon from Charleston.” Its oblong shape and hard rind made it easy to stack and ship. Its adaptability meant it could be grown over a wide geographical area. It produced high yields and was resistant to the most serious watermelon diseases: anthracnose and fusarium wilt. Today, farmers in approximately 44 states in the U.S. grow watermelon commercially, and almost all these varieties have some Charleston Gray in their lineage. Georgia, Florida, Texas, California and Arizona are the USA‘s largest watermelon producers.

This now-common watermelon is large enough that groceries often sell half or quarter melons. There are also some smaller, spherical varieties of watermelon, both red- and yellow-fleshed, sometimes called “icebox melons.”

For commercial plantings, one beehive per acre (4,000 m² per hive) is the minimum recommendation by the US Department of Agriculture for pollination of conventional, seeded varieties. Because seedless hybrids have sterile pollen, pollinizer rows of varieties with viable pollen must also be planted. Since the supply of viable pollen is reduced and pollination is much more critical in producing the seedless variety, the recommended number of hives per acre, or pollinator density, increases to three hives per acre (1,300 m² per hive).

In Japan, farmers of the Zentsuji region found a way to grow cubic watermelons, by growing the fruits in glass boxes and letting them naturally assume the shape of the receptacle. The square shape supposedly makes the melons easier to stack and store, but the square watermelons are often more than double the price of normal ones. Pyramid shaped watermelons have also been developed.


Click for more knowledge on Watermelon Nutrition Facts. Health, Food & Diet

Varieties
There are more than 50 varieties of watermelon. Most have red flesh, but there are orange and yellow-fleshed varieties. Of the 50 varieties of watermelon throughout the United States, there are four general categories: Allsweet, Ice-Box, Seedless and Yellow Flesh.

Nutritional Facts:
Fat-free , Saturated fat-free , Very low sodium , Cholesterol-free , A good source of vitamin A, High in vitamin C

MEDICINAL USES:

Watermelon as health food and drink.
Fresh watermelon may be eaten in a variety of ways and is also often used to flavor summer drinks and smoothies.

GOLDEN POT OF MINERALS :-
The growth of modern medicine/allopathy may well be enormous and tremendous in a short span of time but in some areas of medical aid modern medicine miserably failed and it has not achieved any remarkable success in curing many chronic ailments.Patients, alienated from traditional practices, are often over druged for the most trivial of health problems. Herbal remedies, particularly unani medicines offer effective cures, says Hakeem Hashmi, a prominent physician by rejuvenating body systems to fight disease; modern medicine directly attacks the disease and in the process weakens the system Hakeem Hashmi insists on eating available vegetable and fruit to keep a healthy life free from ailments. Hakeem Hashmi gives us valuable tips about one such fruit watermelon /Tarbooz which mineral rich with curative and nutritive qualitie Watermelon is a popular fruit of summer. It is the only fruit supposed to provide drink and food both. It is know in various names in different countries. In Arabic it is Tarbooz and also bateekh in Persian hindwana in Hindi it retains the name Tarbooz in Latin citrulis vulagris as its name suggests Tarbooz or watermelon appears to have their origin in the Middle East. From the Middle East countries and turkey watermelon spread out to the many parts of the world today even in U.S.A Europe watermelon is a popular fruit.
The fruit is growth on a creeper, which is normally grown in sandy places even in the sany banks of the rivers. The leaves of this creeper are artistically cut at the edges and quite broad in shape. Its flowers are whitish yellows. Watermelon appears dark green with many stripes. It is quite big at times more than a foot in diameter and about a kilo or more than in weight. Its pulp is a variety of colours from dark red to light yellow and even white. Its seeds are also are of various colours red to somewhat yellowish mostly black. Although they contain basically only mineral water yet that water has such mighty combination of certain necessary salts that their regular in take cures a lot of disease. It is a very tasty fruit, which produces instant coolness in the body its pulp is after removing the seeds. The water oozed out while cutting the fruit is also very good for digestive system. Its pulp is supposed to be rich in iron and magnesium and hence a very good food for those having weak liver and we all know that liver is one of the vital organs and its sluggishness or malfunctioning can cause score of other ailments. Liver if not be functioning well the whole of body becomes a mine of all sorts of weakness and a breeding ground for a number of ailments. Hence it is essential that liver must always be functioning well for keeping your liver in good condition watermelon helps in many ways.

HIGH BLOOD-PRESSURE: –
Juice extracted from seeds which contains cucurbocitrin helps in dialating the blood vessels activates the kidneys, brings down high blood-pressure and reduces oedema of the ankles juice is extracted by drying the seeds in shade powdered two spoonful of powder is put in 1 cup of boiling water for one hour strained taken 4 times relieves high blood-pressure.

JAUNDICE: -
Watermelon helps in curing enlarged liver and Jaundice while the patient may be treated by any branch of medicine he or she must be asked to regularly take watermelon juice / sherbet, given earlier after mixing it in the juice of sugar lane every morning and after noon till the yellow colour of the body is removed.

HEART DISEASE: –
Sherbat made with watermelon seeds mixed with rose petal black pepper poppy seeds and almonds in watermelon or milk very nourishing and imparts strength to heart and brain.

KIDNEY PROBLEMS: –
One cup of watermelon juice kept overnight in the open & taken with sugar candy in the morning helps in cleansing the kidneys.

HEAT STROKE: -
300 to 500 grams of watermelon taken with breakfast prevent & cure heat strokes.

STOMACH & DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS:
-
Watermelon taken with little salt and pepper helps in removing constipation & other problems of indigestion.

HEADACHE: –

One class of watermelon juice mixed with sugar candy taken before breakfast cures chronic headaches.

NAUSEA: -
One cup of watermelon juice mixed with sugar candy checks nausea and control bile. A part these, watermelon is found to be a very curative for mental disorder, phobia, hysteria, sore lips, cough, short of breath, blood in spittle, vomiting, gonorrhoea, stone in kidney or bladder, anaemia, T.B, blood impurity impotency ulcers and Leucoderma. So improve your health eating more and more watermelon.

Health benefits of watermelon………(A).…………....(B

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water-melon

http://www.hashmi.com/watermelon.html

Unmentionable diseases

No one likes to broadcast intimate embarrassing details about their life. They may talk about their tonsillectomies, appendectomies, typhoid or fractures but is anyone willing to discuss pelvic infections and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)? Getting the “clap”, herpes or HIV infection is considered disgraceful and taboo. This is a pity, because 2 per cent of women in the reproductive age do develop these diseases. Some are unaware that they have an infection. Others suffer in silence because of embarrassment. Lack of knowledge hampers adequate treatment and leads to needless complications.

The pelvic organs consist of the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. These are all housed in the rigid bony pelvis. Infection reaches these organs through the vagina and cervix. Infection, once established, proceeds upwards into the uterus and fallopian tubes.

The manifestations of pelvic infections are myriad. There may be no symptoms at all. There may be just vague abdominal discomfort, low-grade fever and a feeling of “being sick”. Sometimes there may be high fever with chills and vomiting. The symptoms may be more subtle with vague, non-localised lower abdominal pain and burning while passing urine. Pain can be referred to the right side of the abdomen, resembling appendicitis, or to the upper abdomen resembling gall bladder disease or peptic ulcer. There may be vaginal discharge which changes in character, from its original translucent white to yellow and becomes malodorous, frothy and itchy. The menstruation may become irregular with painful periods and increased bleeding. A constant inexplicable dull backache may develop.

Patients cannot pinpoint the problem. In this day and age of specialisation they are not quite sure of whom to consult. They begin to doctor shop, moving from physicians and surgeons to orthopaedics.

The vague symptoms and signs may cause the diagnosis to be missed. A suspected urinary tract infection may be ineffectively treated. Lumbar belts and exercises may be prescribed. Embarrassment or ignorance may prevent the patient from mentioning the menstrual irregularities or abnormal discharge. They may eventually end up with the disposable parts of their anatomy, like the appendix or gall bladder, removed.

If the woman is lucky, she may be referred to a gynaecologist. An examination of the pelvis or an ultrasound may then eventually establish the diagnosis.

Pelvic infections urgently need to be looked into as the bacterial organisms responsible can damage and distort the fallopian tubes. The egg has to travel successfully through these tubes to be fertilised. Distortion may result in infertility. In some women the fertilised egg may remain in the tube instead of proceeding to the uterus. The tube cannot provide adequate space or blood supply for growth of the baby. The foetus may die in the tube, causing an ectopic pregnancy. It may rupture and the episode can be life threatening.

Pelvic infections can occur as a result of —

Unprotected (no condom) intercourse with an infected partner

A spontaneous or induced abortion

An intrauterine contraceptive device

Surgical procedures

Tuberculous infection of the pelvic organs can also occur. This is difficult to diagnose. It occurs many years after an initial unrecognised infection in an apparently healthy woman. It is usually picked up during investigations for infertility. The old adage stated “if an unmarried girl has a pelvic infection it must be tuberculosis”. This statement can no longer be blindly accepted. Unfortunately, (despite all the statements to the contrary from our moral police), 15-30 per cent of unmarried boys and 10 per cent of unmarried girls are engaged in unprotected high-risk sexually active behaviour. Teenage girls are also more prone to infection after intercourse as the cells lining their cervix are not mature enough.

Syphilis was the commonest STD but its place is now usurped by gonorrhoea and chlamydia. If partially or inadequately treated, these infections can become indolent and affect other organs in the body.

Viruses like herpes and HIV cause chronic infections which can be suppressed with treatment but not cured.

Infections after surgery or abortions tend to be caused by a mixed bag of organisms. This results in presumptive and prolonged treatment.

Untreated pelvic infection causes fatigue and chronic ill health. It often results in infertility. Prolonged expensive interventions may then be needed to have a child.

Pelvic infections in the regional language often roughly translates to “women’s disease” or “white discharge”. But it is not a problem of women alone. For every infected woman there is usually a male partner silently harbouring the infection and passing it on.

Treatment for pelvic infections has to be given adequately and simultaneously to both partners. Otherwise reinfection occurs and the treatment is doomed to failure.

Prevention of STD is better and safer than treatment of an acquired infection. To do this:

Follow the safe dictum of “one partner for life”

Sexually active adults should use condoms for mutual protection. Condoms prevent both pregnancy and disease.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

Obese people get less out of exercise

WASHINGTON: Overweight and obese people get less out of resistance training than leaner people do, researchers said on Friday in a study that suggests the overweight may have to try harder to get results.

But it does not mean they should give up, said the researchers, who noted the differences were small.

“People who are overweight and obese experience numerous health benefits from exercise training programmes even in the absence of significant amounts of weight loss or improvements in cardiopulmonary physical fitness,” Linda Pescatello of the University of Connecticut wrote in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

They tested 687 adults, measuring their body fat and using magnetic resonance imaging. The volunteers did 12 weeks of 45 to 60-minute workouts. Everyone gained strength and muscle. But the overweight and obese volunteers gained 4% to 17% less than those of normal weight.

Source:The Times Of Ondia

PC mouse can cause arm pain

NEUSS: Frequent incorrect use of a mouse when working on the computer can lead to a condition known as Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), otherwise known as mouse arm, warn experts.

“Tingling, numbness, and weakness in the lower arm and hands are the first signs of overstressing of the tendons and nerves due to monotonous motion,” explains Frank Bergmann, head of the German Association of Nerve Doctors (BVDN).

“Constant clicking with the computer mouse and an unnatural hand position cause damage to the tissues that over the long term can lead to inflammation of the nerve fibres,” Bergmann says.

Even initially minor symptoms represent a danger that the brain may form connections between the pain and the activity of clicking.

“The mouse click movement on its own can then trigger pain, even if the physical damage in the arm has already healed,” Bergmann points out.

Ergonomic working methods can prevent RSI. “Many programme functions can be executed with keyboard commands to restrict use of the mouse. Double clicks can also be reprogrammed onto the middle mouse button or the scroll wheel,” the neurologist says.

The size of the mouse should also be appropriate for the size of your hand. Cold wrist rests can guard against inflammation. Padded rests for the ball of the hand can also reduce the strain on the arm.

Alternate input options like voice recognition or graphic tables should also be considered. “Stretching exercises, natural arm and hand movements as well as frequent brief breaks help keep the arm musculature relaxed,” Bergmann recommends.

If symptoms appear like a pulling in the lower arm or pain when weight is put on, go see a neurologist. The longer the delay in visiting the doctor, the higher the chances that the injury will become permanent,” Bergmann says.

Source:The Times Of India

Moles

Moles are spots on the skin. Nearly everyone has 10 to 50 moles on their body. Actually, you are born with moles that are flesh colored. Through time moles enlarge and darken making them more noticeable. Moles are often referred to as beauty marks and at various times in history moles on the face have been considered attractive and were created artificially with dyes or makeup. Others find moles unsightly and have the moles removed for cosmetic purposes or concern that the moles might become cancerous.
Moles can appear anywhere on the skin, alone or in groups. They are usually brown in colour and can be various sizes and shapes. The brown color is caused by melanocytes, special cells that produce the pigment melanin. Moles probably are determined before a person is born. Most appear during the first 20 years of a person’s life, although some may not appear until later in life.

Sun exposure increases the number of moles. Each mole has its own growth pattern. At first, moles are flat and tan, pink, brown or black in color, like a freckle. Over time, they usually enlarge and some develop hairs. As the years pass, moles usually change slowly, becoming more raised and lighter in color. Some will not change at all. Most moles will slowly disappear, seeming to fade away. Others will become raised so far from the skin that they may develop a small “stalk” and eventually fall off or are rubbed off. This is the typical life cycle of the common mole.

These changes occur slowly since the life cycle of the average mole is about 50 years. Moles may darken, with exposure to the sun. During the teen years, with birth control pills and pregnancy, moles often get darker and larger and new ones may appear.

A single mole is called ‘nevus’ and multiple moles are called ‘nevi’. Moles occur when skin cells called melanocytes grow in clusters instead of being spread throughout the skin.

Melanocytes make the pigment that gives skin its natural color. This pigment darkens under ultraviolet light from the sun or tanning beds and creates a tan. In many cultures the tan look connotes being healthy, but scientific research is changing that perspective. Recent scientific studies point to overexposure to UV light as a contributing factor to skin cancers. One of the most virulent types of skin cancer is melanoma. Melanoma begins in meloncytes cells. It can begin on a new site on the skin, but frequently begins in moles where the meloncyte cells cluster.

Causes:
Melanin is a natural pigment that gives your skin its color. It’s produced in cells called melanocytes, either in the top layer of the skin (epidermis) or the outer layers of the skin’s second layer (dermis). Melanin is then transported to the surface cells of your skin. Normally, melanin is distributed evenly, but sometimes melanocytes grow together in a cluster, giving rise to moles.

Scientists don’t know why moles develop or what purpose they serve, if any, although they do appear to be determined before birth. Most moles are harmless and don’t require special care, but some people have unusual-looking moles, called dysplastic nevi, which are more likely to turn cancerous than ordinary moles are. Atypical moles occur most often on the back in both men and women, and also on the abdomen, chest and legs in women.

Risk factors:
Several types of moles have a higher than average risk of becoming cancerous. They include:

Large moles present at birth. Large moles that are present at birth are called congenital nevi or giant hairy nevi. These moles may increase your risk of malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer. In general, moles that are more than the size of an adult open palm pose the greatest risk. Have your doctor examine any mole that was present at birth and is palm-sized or larger.
Moles that run in families. Moles that are larger than average — which is about 1/4 inch (6 millimeters), or the diameter of a pencil eraser — and irregular in shape are known as atypical (dysplastic) nevi. These moles tend to be hereditary. They’re frequently described as looking like fried eggs because they usually have dark brown centers and lighter, uneven borders. Overall, they may look red or tan. If you have dysplastic nevi, you have a greater risk of developing malignant melanoma.
Numerous moles. If you have many moles larger than a pencil eraser, you are at greater risk of developing melanoma.

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Normal moles or nevi have the following characteristics:

They range in color from pink, light to dark browns and even to black.
Their shape can be round or oval.
Their size can range from barely visible to quite large areas.
They may form a raised bump on the skin or they may be flat
They may or may not have hairs.

Dysplastic Nevi are atypical or abnormal moles that look different than normal moles. Studies show that around 1 in 10 people have at least one dysplastic nevi mole on their body. Recent studies reveal that dysplastic nevi are more likely to turn into melanoma than normal moles. Not everyone that has dysplastic nevi gets melanoma. Most moles, both normal and dyplastic nevi never turn cancerous. However, because that possibility exists, all types of moles deserve careful examination for changes. The American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute recommends seeing a doctor immediately if you notice changes in the size, shape or color of any mole or if it bleeds or becomes painful.

Dysplastic Nevi have the following characteristics:

Borders are irregular and ill defined
Have both flat and raised surfaces
Measure 5-15mm in diameter which is larger than a common mole
Color ranges from tan to dark brown on a pink background
May appear anywhere on the body, but most frequently found on back, chest, buttock, breast and scalp. The are found on sun-exposed as well as sun protected areas on the body.
Persons with dysplastic nevi may have about 100 moles whereas, most people have only 15-20 common moles.

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Dysplastic nevi

How moles can be treated:


If your doctor takes a tissue sample of the mole and finds it to be cancerous, the entire mole and a margin of normal tissue around it needs to be removed.
Usually a mole that has been removed won’t reappear. If it does, see your doctor promptly.

Treatment of most moles usually isn’t necessary. For cosmetic reasons, a mole can be removed in several ways:

Shave excision:
In this method, your doctor numbs the area around a mole and then uses a small blade to shave off the mole close to your skin.
Punch biopsy: Your doctor may remove a mole with a small incision or punch biopsy technique, which uses a small cookie-cutter-like device.
Excisional surgery: In this method, your doctor cuts out the mole and a surrounding margin of healthy skin.
These procedures are usually performed in the office of your doctor or dermatologist and take only a short time.
Moles can be treated and removed in numerous ways; removed with surgery, cryosurgery, removed with acids, removed by lasers, and removed by herbal products (BIO-T). Below you will find a short description of the procedures.

Surgery: A physician removed the tissue with a scalpel and sutures the wound closed. Frequently, surrounding tissue is destroyed as well. Pain is associated with this procedure and pain killers are prescribed frequently to alleviate the pain. Some scarring is possible.
Electrosurgery: A physician shaves the mole with a scalpel then destroys the tissue below the surface with an electric needle. If the wounds size warrants it, the wound is sutured closed. some scarring possible.
Cryosurgery: A physician uses liquid nitrogen to destroy the tissue. This procedure can destroy surrounding tissue as well and can cause scarring. Some pain is associated with this procedure.
Laser surgery: A physician uses a special laser to destroy the nevi tissue. This procedure minimizes destruction of surrounding tissue. Some scarring is possible.
Acids. Some over- the- counter and prescription products contain acids that destroy the nevi tissue. This procedure is lengthy (up to six weeks) and is non-selective, meaning that it destroys all tissue it comes into contact with. Highest potential for scarring.
Herbal: BIO-T is applied to the mole as a paste and covered with a band-aid. Within 5 or 6 days (after 2 or more daily applications) the mole is destroyed. Some scaring is possible, but can be minimized with application of a moisturizing creme AFTER the mole is gone. BIO-T has a pH of 5.5 and is neither acidic or alkaline and does not effect healthy tissue. Click to order for BIO-T Click to see the pictures of removal and process of healing.

Natural & Homeopathic Treatment of Moles

Additional information on the link between abnormal moles and cancer
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Melanoma

The link between dysplastic moles and melanoma was first reported in the 1970s when scientists observed that members of a melanoma-prone family had numerous large, abnormal moles on their bodies. By the early 1980s, researchers also noted that some people without any family history of melanoma had dysplastic nevi, raising the question of whether these individuals are at increased risk for skin cancer. Subsequent work has largely confirmed this association. In fact, several small studies have suggested that dysplastic nevi could account for 29 percent to 49 percent of nonfamilial melanoma.

Other studies have indicated that people who have numerous abnormal moles could have as great as a sevenfold increased risk for melanoma. However, the subject has remained controversial. Some investigators have stated that the definition of dysplastic nevi in several studies has been too imprecise, subject to bias, and generally inconclusive on the issue of melanoma risk. They have said that without standard criteria to diagnose dysplastic nevi, both in the clinic and under the microscope, clinicians would be hard pressed to differentiate between normal and dysplastic moles.

An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association should help to settle the controversy. The study reported in the journal involved nearly 1,800 people — 738 people diagnosed with melanoma and 1,030 people without the disease — who were examined primarily at the Melanoma Clinic of the University of California at San Francisco and the Pigmented Lesion Clinic of the University of Pennsylvania, Pa. All participants agreed to an interview, a complete skin examination, photography of their most atypical moles, and possibly a biopsy of their most unusual mole.

In one of the study’s key findings, Tucker et al. report that clinicians independently agreed almost nine out of 10 times on whether a mole was normal or dysplastic. The study defined dysplastic nevi as being flat or partly flat, 5 millimeters or larger, and showing two or more of the following characteristics: variable pigmentation, asymmetric outline, and indistinct borders. “This study adds strong evidence to what several other smaller studies have already demonstrated, ” said Tucker. “By scrupulously adhering to recognized diagnostic criteria, experienced clinicians will agree in most cases that a mole is dysplastic.”

The researchers also found they could correlate the number and type of moles, both normal and abnormal, on a person’s body with their risk of developing melanoma. For those with unusually high numbers of normal, but no abnormal, moles, the researchers calculated a twofold increased risk for melanoma. For those with numerous small and large normal moles, the risk for melanoma was four times higher than normal. The risk associated with clearly defined dysplastic moles was much higher. The scientists estimated that individuals with a single dysplastic mole on their bodies have a twofold risk of developing melanoma. The risk rises to 14-fold in those with 10 or more abnormal moles. “The fact that we could make this correlation strongly suggests that dysplastic nevi are precursor lesions that, with additional genetic damage, can trigger melanoma,” said Tucker.
Prevention:
The best way to catch potential problems at an early stage is to become familiar with the location and pattern of your moles. Examine your skin carefully on a regular basis — monthly if you have a family history of melanoma, and at least every three months otherwise — to detect early skin changes that may signal melanoma.

Remember to check areas that aren’t exposed to sunlight, including your scalp, armpits, feet (the soles and between the toes), genital area and, if you’re a woman, the skin underneath your breasts. If necessary, use a hand-held mirror along with a wall mirror to scan hard-to-see places such as your back. People with dysplastic nevi are at greater risk of developing malignant melanoma and may want to consider having a dermatologist check their moles on a regular basis.

To detect melanomas or other skin cancers, use the A-B-C-D skin self-examination guide, adapted from the American Academy of Dermatology:

A is for asymmetrical shape. Look for moles with irregular shapes, such as two very different-looking halves.
B is for irregular border. Look for moles with irregular, notched or scalloped borders — the characteristics of melanomas.
C is for changes in color. Look for growths that have many colors or an uneven distribution of color.
D is for diameter. Look for growths that are larger than about 1/4 inch (6 millimeters).

Self-care
In addition to periodically checking your moles, you can take protective measures to protect yourself from cancerous changes:

Avoid peak sun times. It’s best to avoid overexposure to the sun, but if you must be out of doors, try to stay out of the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when ultraviolet rays are most intense.
Use sunscreen. Twenty to 30 minutes before going outdoors, apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Reapply every two hours, especially if you’re swimming or involved in vigorous activities. Some sunscreens contain substances that block both types of ultraviolet rays, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). Choose sunscreens with avobenzone, titanium dioxide, or transparent or microdispersed zinc oxide listed on the ingredient label. And keep in mind that sunscreen is just one part of a total sun protection program.
Cover up. Broad-brimmed hats, long sleeves and other protective clothing also can help you avoid damaging UV rays. You might also want to consider clothing that’s made with fabric specially treated to block UV radiation.
If you have a mole that’s unattractive, you may choose to cover it up using makeup designed to conceal blemishes and moles. If you have a hair growing from a mole, it may be possible to clip it close to the skin’s surface. Dermatologists also can permanently remove hair from moles. If you have a mole in a beard, you may want to have it removed by your doctor because shaving over it repeatedly may cause irritation. You may also want to have moles removed from other parts of your body that are vulnerable to trauma and friction.

Anytime you cut or irritate a mole, be sure to keep the area clean. See your doctor if the mole doesn’t heal.

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Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

References:

http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/webprojects2001/moore/skin.htm

http://www.no-moles.com/moles.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/moles/DS00121/DSECTION=7

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Homeopathy And Painful Periods

The monthly menstrual cycle for many women can be a painful experience which
ranges in intensity from mild discomfort at best, to a state of complete
incapacitation for up to fifteen days of the cycle. Too many women suffer this
common but debilitating condition unnecessarily.

click & see the pictures

Dysmenorrhea (painful or difficult menstrual periods) may be attributable to a
variety of possible causes. There are many theories, and the excessive action
of a small endocrine structure within the ovarian follicle known as the corpus
luteum, which secretes progesterone is often considered to be at fault. An
excess of prostaglandins are thought to be a possible cause also.
Prostaglandins are a group of biologically active fatty acid derivatives which
are present in many tissues and which affect the cardiovascular system, smooth
muscle and stimulate the uterus to contract. Hormonal imbalance or instability
has also been considered a possible antagonist as it causes the endometrial
lining of the uterus to become thickened, later detaching from the uterus in
large pieces during the period. The associated pain is considered to result
from spasm of the uterine walls.
There is also the possibility of dysmenorrhea being the result of an emotional
factor such as depression, anxiety or some unresolved internal conflict or
stress which seems to interfere with the normal estrogen/progesterone balance.
In situations where there is an underlying emotional factor, it is obvious that
effective treatment must be targeted to include the emotional imbalance before
the dysmenorrhea will abate.

The conventional treatment of dysmenorrhea recommends warm applications and rest
together with a variety of analgesics to control pain but which may cause
stomach irritation. Antispasmodics such as atropine which relax smooth muscle
are also routinely used. To correct the hormonal imbalance the contraceptive
pill is sometimes employed to suppress ovulation so that progesterone build-up
does not occur. Anti-prostaglandin drugs such as Naprosyn, which inhibit their
build-up are also tried. Anti-inflammatory drugs may be used in an attempt to
relieve inflammation and subsequent pain.

Throughout history ill health has been viewed from two fundamentally different
perspectives. The first view-point is that illness is a malfunction of specific
components of the body and symptoms are seen as the disease itself. Treatment
is aimed at removing the symptoms through suppressive drugging or removing the
actual suffering parts surgically. Orthodox medicine works with this concept
and patterns its treatment accordingly.

The second viewpoint is that disease is a result of a deeper disturbance or
imbalance of the vital life energy affecting the person as a whole, of which
symptoms are simply the outward manifestation. In a state of health the vital
energy controls all sensations and functions of the organism and keeps
everything in harmonious balance. It causes cells to reproduce and regenerate,
organs to function, hair and nails to grow, etc. When it leaves us at death our
bodies then begin to degenerate, disintegrate and decay. Homeopathic medicine
recognizes the concept of a vital energy and focuses its treatment on resolving
the underlying imbalance of that energy so that the organism may return
naturally to healthy functioning. When the organism is rebalanced the symptoms
go away of their own accord.

Symptoms, whether physical, emotional or psychological, are expressions of the
imbalance. In homeopathy, treatment is based upon the totality of symptoms
expressed on all levels and not solely on the specific condition or disease.
The task of the homeopathic doctor is to match the total picture of symptoms and
individualizing characteristics provided by the patient with the indicated
homeopathic remedy.
The matching of remedy to patient is done via a comparison of the known curative
action of the remedy to the similar total symptom picture presented by the
patient. The result of this matching of ‘similars’ is to stimulate the vital
or life energy of the organism to return to normal functioning, thereby
ameliorating symptoms and restoring health.

With this approach to healing it follows that two people presenting with the
same disease-label, i.e. asthma, arthritis, dysmenorrhea, etc., would probably
be given quite different homeopathic remedies because they would almost surely
express their illness differently and uniquely. Their symptoms would differ
somewhat from one another. Their heredity, metabolism, personalities, likes and
dislikes, psychological and emotional states would be unique to them. These are
factors of great importance when deciding upon a homeopathic prescription for an
individual.

So, women presenting with dysmenorrhea may be prescribed one of several possible
remedies depending on the total symptom picture (psychological, emotional and
physical) of that person.
For example, Pulsatilla may be indicated if the person’s nature is shy, gentle,
easy-going but sad and moody with a tendency to cry easily. They have a need
for consolation. Their moods are changeable as are their physical symptoms. In
fact, everything is variable in the Pulsatilla patient. Their periods may stop
and start or be different every time. Shivering often accompanies the pain and
there is usually a lack of thirst. They are aggravated by heat and hot, stuffy
rooms and are improved by being outside in the open air and moving around. If
these signs are present and the specific symptoms of the case indicate
Pulsatilla, it can produce a remarkable amelioration of the condition.

Women who are very irritable during periods which are often late, scanty, and
last a few hours with cramps extending down the thighs may benefit from
Viburnum. They have bearing-down pains before the period and the ovarian region
feels heavy and congested. They may also have spasmodic or membranous
dysmenorrhea with aching in the sacrum and pubic region with a sensation of
feeling faint.

Magnesia phosphorica may be appropriate for sudden, intolerable spasmodic pains
which make the patient cry out. They may lament about their terrible pains and
may be unable to think clearly. The pains begin and end suddenly and tend to be
erratic and cramp-like. They are improved by exposure to heat and by leaning
forward and doubling-up, and are aggravated by exposure to cold. The pains are
predominantly right-sided.

Colocynthis is another remedy with similar symptoms but the pains are
predominantly left-sided.

Another possible remedy is Platina. There is colic, together with a cramping
pain in the left ovarian region, associated with extreme vaginal
hypersensitivity and constipation. Periods are early, heavy and often dark with
clots. The overall mood is one of restless agitation, suspicion and haughty
authority, with underlying anxiety and an inability to relax.

A couple of case examples will illustrate the variety of symptomatology
experienced in cases such as these.

A woman aged 34, had painful periods with pressing down pains in the lower
abdomen as if every thing would pass out from her vagina. She would sit with
her legs crossed which made her feel somewhat more secure and relieved the awful
bearing-down sensation she was experiencing. The pain during menses increased
up to the third day and she could not move from the bed. She was irritable and
depressed because of this and would often lash out verbally at her partner with
little provocation. She also had abdominal distension and pain. Her menstrual
flow was scanty with colicky pain in abdomen for the first few days of her
period. Sepia cured her troubles quickly.

A 17 year old girl always had painful menstruation with backache as soon as it
started. During her period she would pass dark pieces of clotted blood. This
was because the endometrium or mucosa was also inflamed and received a greater
supply of blood but it shed into large or small pieces, or clots, during her
periods. She was quite depressed and gloomy during her periods which alternated
with loquacity. She would talk non-stop about anything and everything at these
times.
She also had cramping, or griping pains in the lower abdomen with inflammation
of the ovaries with neuralgic pains which were worse in her right ovary.
Magnesia phosphorica partially relieved her symptoms, and this was followed by
Cimicifuga which cured of the dysmenorrhoea.

There are many different possible remedies which may be appropriate for any
given case. The ultimate choice is made after considering all the possible
factors, signs and symptoms. A remedy is chosen that is most similar to the
total symptom picture expressed by the woman concerned. It often requires
considerable skill and precision in order to make the appropriate choice and it
is wise to consult an experienced homeopath to assist you.

Homeopathy is a centuries-old system of natural medicine that was extremely
popular in Canada and the United States during the latter part of the 19th and
early 20th century. It was so popular in fact that homeopathic hospitals were
present in major Canadian cities including Toronto and Montreal, and Canada’s
first female physician, Emily Stowe, was a homeopathic doctor.

It declined in popularity, partly due to the advent of the so-called
‘wonder-drugs’ in the 1940s and 1950s, but is now making a distinct comeback as
more and more people are disillusioned with the mechanistic and impersonal
nature of modern medicine. Also the fact that homeopathy has a documented
history of over two hundred years of cured cases to its credit, as well as an
untarnished record of safety and gentleness of action, has provided the impetus
for many to rediscover what this amazing system of natural medicine can
accomplish.

Treating painful periods usually requires professional homeopathic treatment to
improve this condition substantially. It is recommend that you consult with a
well-qualified homeopath if you want to be pain free in your monthly cycle.
Source:info@homeopathycanada.com

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