Category Archives: Uncategorized

Few Health Questions and Answers

Q: Regarding weaning food. Many varieties are available in the market. What do you recommend I start with?
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Weaning can begin with simple preparations like powdered rice cooked in water and milk with a little sugar .

A: Weaning should not be started till at least the 120th day. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding exclusively for six months. Homemade preparations are superior to the packaged, ready-to-eat premixes available in the market. You could begin with powdered rice cooked in water and milk with a little sugar and no salt. The consistency should be like that of breast milk. Start with one feed, gradually increasing the number after a week or so.

Careful dosage :
Q: How is the dosage of medicine for children calculated? My mother says I can give my daughter, aged seven, half a tablet of the usual adult medicines.

A: Dosage of medicine for children has to be carefully calculated based on the body weight; it is not a matter of giving one tablet to an older child and half to a smaller one!

In case of Paracetamol, the dosage is 10-15 mg/kg/dose every 4-6 hours. For many antibiotics, it is 20 or 40 mg/kg/day while for others it is 8 mg/kg/dose. Consult a paediatrician who will weigh the child and assign the dosage appropriately. Do not self-medicate.

Unlatching baby
Q: My baby sucks so hard at my breast that I am unable to pull his mouth loose when needed. Please advise.

A: Pulling yourself backwards or trying to pry the child loose will not work. Instead, insert your little finger into the corner of his mouth to reduce the suction effect. His mouth can then be pried loose.

Master check-up
Q: I am a 50-year-old woman. I want to have a master health check-up. What tests should I ask for?

A:
You need the following tests in addition to the regular ones offered as part of the check-up —

Get your weight and height measured to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). This should be between 25 and 27. A high BMI indicates obesity and places you at risk for diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, osteoporosis and cancer

Blood tests to screen for diabetes, cholesterol and triglycerides

A bone densitometry if you are post menopausal

A pap smear for cervical cancer

Breast evaluation by mammogram and monthly self-examination

Dental check-up

Eye check-up

The normal values are usually noted on the side. If any of your results are not in the normal range, please follow it up with the concerned consultant. If the follow-up of check-up is not done adequately, your money is wasted.

Facial hair
Q: I am a 23-year-old woman. My problem is that I have a moustache. I think it was there earlier but of late it has become very noticeable. My mother says I should leave it alone. However, I feel self-conscious. What should I do?

A: Please check with an endocrinologist/dermatologist/gynaecologist if you have other associated symptoms like menstrual irregularities or more-than-normal hair on your arms and legs. In the meanwhile, you can always go to a beauty parlour and have the hair on your upper lip removed by threading or waxing. Hair-removing creams can cause allergies. Also, please avoid shaving.

Foul odour

Q: I have terrible body odour in summer. Please help.

A: Perspiration is odourless. The smell arises due to the action of skin bacteria on the sweat. To avoid this —

Wear cotton clothes which will allow the sweat to evaporate and not trap it inside

Bathe twice a day with Neko soap. The bacterial cell wall is destroyed by this soap

Do not apply the soap directly. Use a loofa or wash rag

Avoid talcum powder

Use a deodorant stick or spray.

Nagging cough
Q: I have diabetes and hypertension. Both are well controlled with diet and medication. I have a terrible hacking cough though. I have seen several doctors but to no avail — all they have done is take X-rays and prescribe antibiotics. I do not have fever or sputum so I don’t think I need these antibiotics.

A: Some anti-hypertensive medications cause cough. You can try adding Vitamin C 500 mg at night to your current medication. Also, you can take a cough suppressant like codeine linctus. Avoid exposure to allergens such as incense sticks, cigarette smoke and mosquito repellents (mats, coils as well as liquids). Take steam inhalation twice a day.

Tummy trouble

Q: My stomach sticks out, making me look very ugly. Will a tummy trimmer work?

A: Spot reduction of the stomach alone is not possible unless you opt for liposuction. You need to go on a diet, exercise and reduce weight overall. In the process, you can also tone up your stomach with crunches or a trimmer.

Answered by :Dr Gita Mathai ,paediatrician with a family practice at Vellore.India

Published in the Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

Heart Disease Risk Factor Is Depression

The power of your mind over your heart.
In one of the strongest indications of the power of the mind to influence the body, a growing collection of evidence finds that people who are depressed have a significantly higher risk of developing heart disease.

In a study of almost 3,000 men and 5,000 women, depressed men were 70 percent more likely to develop coronary heart disease than those who weren’t depressed. While depressed women were just 12 percent more likely to develop heart disease overall, those who were severely depressed were 78 percent more likely. In fact, a 1998 study found that women who are depressed have a risk of dying from heart disease equal to that of women who smoke or who have high blood pressure.

The link works the other way around, too: While about 1 in 20 American adults experience major depression in a given year, that number jumps to about one in three among those who have survived a heart attack.

The more severe the depression, the more dangerous it is to your health. But some studies suggest that even mild depression, including feelings of hopelessness experienced over many years, may damage the heart. Other studies suggest depression may affect how well heart disease medications work.

Researchers aren’t sure what the connection between depression and heart disease is, but theories abound. One is that people who are depressed tend not to take very good care of themselves. They’re more likely to eat high-fat, high-calorie “comfort” foods, less likely to exercise, and more likely to smoke. But beyond lifestyle, there is probably also a physiological link between depression and heart disease. Recent studies found that people with severe depression tended to have a deficiency of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. People who are depressed also often have chronically elevated levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol. These keep the body primed for fight or flight, raising blood pressure and prompting the heart to beat faster, all of which put additional stress on coronary arteries and interfere with the body’s natural healing mechanisms.

A whole branch of medicine is devoted to the complex links between mental health, the nervous system, the hormone system, and the immune system. Called psychoneuroimmunology, this science is gradually sorting out how the mind-body connection affects our vulnerability to, or defense against, heart disease.

Overall, an estimated 10 percent of American adults experience some form of depression every year. Although available therapies can alleviate symptoms in more than 80 percent of people treated, less than half of those with depression get the help they need.

Quick Tips:

Get regular, moderate exercise
. A 1999 study conducted at the Duke University School of Medicine found that exercising 30 minutes a day, three days a week, was just as beneficial in treating depression as medication alone.

Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids (from food and fish-oil supplements).

Take B vitamins,
which are beneficial in preventing depression.

Eat a diet rich in complex carbohydrates. These foods help increase serotonin levels, a brain chemical that relieves a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

From : Cut Your Cholesterol

Omega-3 fatty acids For Heart Disease

Learn the numerous benefits of fish oil for good cardiovascular health.
Consider, for a moment, the Eskimos of Alaska and their indigenous cousins in Canada and Russia. These hardy souls survive on diets of nearly pure fat, and yet they tend to be completely free of heart disease. How in the world is this possible? The answer is fish oil.

Every medical journal on heart health brings, it seems, another study demonstrating the cardiovascular benefits of the oil — specifically, its omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat found in few foods other than fish and flaxseed. A primary reason it’s so healthy: omega-3s are a natural anti-inflammatory. In recent years, scientists have discovered that inflammation within our arteries — triggered in response to damage done by plaque, high blood pressure, and free radicals — is a major cause of heart disease. While inflammation is a healing response, in your blood vessels it only causes further damage, leaving them stiffer and working at far less then optimal capacity. Omega-3s cause this type of inflammation to recede.

There’s more. Omega-3 fatty acids also seem to make blood less sticky so it’s less likely to form clots that can block blood flow and trigger a heart attack. They also seem to affect heart rhythm, keeping it more regular and reducing your risk of sudden death caused by arrhythmia, or erratic heartbeat, a major cause of death from coronary artery disease. And they lower levels of triglycerides, blood fats linked with heart disease.

Bottom line: Get more omega-3 fatty acids into your body, either through foods or supplements. Plus, here are the fish with the largest amounts of this crucial nutrient (amounts are per 3.5 ounces of fish):

Mackerel: 2.6 grams

Atlantic herring: 1.7 grams

Chinook salmon: 1.5 grams

Fresh albacore tuna: 1.5 grams

Anchovies: 1.4 grams

From : Stealth Health

How to Help a Depressed Loved One

Don’t tell him to “snap out of it.” There are better ways to deal with depression.
The most important thing you can do for a family member or friend who is depressed is to help him or her get an appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This may involve encouraging him or her to stay with treatment until symptoms begin to abate (several weeks), or to seek different treatment if no improvement occurs. On occasion, it may require making an appointment and accompanying your loved one to the doctor. It may also mean monitoring whether he is taking medication. Encourage your friend to obey the doctor’s orders about the use of alcoholic products while on medication.

The second most important thing is to offer emotional support. This involves understanding, patience, affection, and encouragement. Engage the depressed person in conversation and listen carefully. Do not disparage feelings expressed, but point out realities and offer hope. Do not ignore remarks about suicide. Report them to your friend’s therapist. Invite your friend for walks, outings, to the movies, and other activities. Be gently insistent if your invitation is refused. Encourage participation in some activities that once gave the person pleasure, such as hobbies, sports, religious or cultural activities, but do not push him to undertake too much too soon. Your friend or family member needs diversion and company, but too many demands can increase feelings of failure.

Do not accuse your friend of faking illness or of laziness, or expect her “to snap out of it.” Eventually, with treatment, most people do get better. Keep that in mind, and keep reassuring her that, with time and help, she will feel better.

Where to Get Help:
If you’re unsure where to go for help, check the Yellow Pages under “mental health,” “health,” “social services,” “suicide prevention,” “crisis intervention services,” “hotlines,” “hospitals,” or “physicians” for phone numbers and addresses. You can also search the websites listed under “Related Links.” People and places that will make referrals to, or provide, diagnostic and treatment services include: family doctors, community mental health centers, hospital psychiatry departments and outpatient clinics, university- or medical school-affiliated programs, family service or social agencies, employee assistance programs, and local medical and/or psychiatric societies. In times of crisis, the emergency room doctor at a hospital may be able to provide temporary help for an emotional problem, and will be able to tell you where and how to get further help.

From: The National Institute of Mental Health

Facts About Depression

Learn the facts about depression, and what you can do to treat it.
In any given one-year period, 9.5% of the population, or about 18.8 million American adults, suffer from a depressive illness. The economic cost for this disorder is high, but the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated. Depressive illnesses often interfere with normal functioning and cause pain and suffering not only to those who have a disorder, but also to those who care about them. Serious depression can destroy family life as well as the life of the ill person. But much of this suffering is unnecessary.

Most people with a depressive illness do not seek treatment, although the great majority — even those whose depression is extremely severe — can be helped. Thanks to years of fruitful research, there are now medications and psychosocial therapies such as cognitive/behavioral, “talk,” or interpersonal that ease the pain of depression.

Unfortunately, many people do not recognize that depression is a treatable illness. If you feel that you or someone you care about is one of the many undiagnosed depressed people in this country, the information presented here may help you take the steps that may save your own or someone else’s life.

What’s a Depressive Disorder?
A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a passing blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

Types of Depression:
Depressive disorders come in different forms, just as is the case with other illnesses such as heart disease. Brief descriptions of the most commmon types of depressive disorders are given below. However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity, and persistence.

Major depression is manifested by a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Such a disabling episode of depression may occur only once but more commonly occurs several times in a lifetime.

A less severe type of depression, dysthymia, involves long-term, chronic symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning well or from feeling good. Many people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes at some time in their lives.

Another type of depression is bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive illness. Not nearly as prevalent as other forms of depressive disorders, bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes: severe highs (mania) and lows (depression). Sometimes the mood switches are dramatic and rapid, but most often they are gradual.

When in the depressed cycle, an individual can have any or all of the symptoms of a depressive disorder. When in the manic cycle, the individual may be overactive, overtalkative, and have a great deal of energy. Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, the individual in a manic phase may feel elated, full of grand schemes that might range from unwise business decisions to romantic sprees. Mania, left untreated, may worsen to a psychotic state.

Symptoms of Depression and Mania:
Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences every symptom. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. Severity of symptoms varies with individuals and also varies over time.

Depression :
Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
Decreased energy, fatigue, being “slowed down”
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
Insomnia, early morning awakening, or oversleeping
Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
Restlessness, irritability
Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain .
Mania :
Abnormal or excessive elation
Unusual irritability
Decreased need for sleep
Grandiose notions
Increased talking
Racing thoughts
Increased sexual desire
Markedly increased energy
Poor judgment
Inappropriate social behavior
Causes of Depression
Some types of depression run in families, suggesting that a biological vulnerability can be inherited. This seems to be the case with bipolar disorder. Studies of families in which members of each generation develop bipolar disorder found that those with the illness have a somewhat different genetic makeup than those who do not get ill. However, the reverse is not true: Not everybody with the genetic makeup that causes vulnerability to bipolar disorder will have the illness. Apparently, additional factors, possibly stresses at home, work, or school, are involved in its onset.

In some families, major depression also seems to occur generation after generation. However, it can also occur in people who have no family history of depression. Whether inherited or not, major depressive disorder is often associated with changes in brain structures or brain function.

People who have low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism or who are readily overwhelmed by stress, are prone to depression. Whether this represents a psychological predisposition or an early form of the illness is not clear.

In recent years, researchers have shown that physical changes in the body can be accompanied by mental changes as well. Medical illnesses such as stroke, a heart attack, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and hormonal disorders can cause depressive illness, making the sick person apathetic and unwilling to care for his or her physical needs, thus prolonging the recovery period. Also, a serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problem, or any stressful (unwelcome or even desired) change in life patterns can trigger a depressive episode. Very often, a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors is involved in the onset of a depressive disorder. Later episodes of illness typically are precipitated by only mild stresses, or none at all.

Evaluation and Treatment:
The first step to getting appropriate treatment for depression is a physical examination by a physician. Certain medications as well as some medical conditions such as a viral infection can cause the same symptoms as depression, and the physician should rule out these possibilities through examination, interview, and lab tests. If a physical cause for the depression is ruled out, a psychological evaluation should be done, by the physician or by referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist.

A good diagnostic evaluation will include a complete history of symptoms, i.e., when they started, how long they have lasted, how severe they are, whether the patient had them before and, if so, whether the symptoms were treated and what treatment was given. The doctor should ask about alcohol and drug use, and if the patient has thoughts about death or suicide. Further, a history should include questions about whether other family members have had a depressive illness and, if treated, what treatments they may have received and which were effective.

Last, a diagnostic evaluation should include a mental status examination to determine if speech or thought patterns or memory have been affected, as sometimes happens in the case of a depressive or manic-depressive illness.

Treatment choice will depend on the outcome of the evaluation. There are a variety of antidepressant medications and psychotherapies that can be used to treat depressive disorders. Some people with milder forms may do well with psychotherapy alone. People with moderate to severe depression most often benefit from antidepressants. Most do best with combined treatment: medication to gain relatively quick symptom relief and psychotherapy to learn more effective ways to deal with life’s problems, including depression. Depending on the patient’s diagnosis and severity of symptoms, the therapist may prescribe medication and/or one of the several forms of psychotherapy that have proven effective for depression.

From: The National Institute of Mental Health

Eating for Appropriate Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Years ago, many women thought of pregnancy as their ticket to eat anything they wanted, indulging any and all cravings and leaving portion control by the wayside. After all, they rationalized, they were “eating for two.” That thinking, however, has changed over time, with doctors now advising pregnant women of the risks to both mother and child of excess weight gain during pregnancy.

Conversely, inadequate weight gain can also pose potential problems. So, how much weight should pregnant women gain and what nutrition guidelines will help them achieve it? This article answers those questions and more with regard to healthful eating during pregnancy.

Guidelines for Weight Gain
Exactly how much weight gain to aim for will vary among women and depends on several factors, including the mother’s pre-pregnancy weight, height, age, and health status, as well as whether or not the birth will involve twins, triplets, or more. See your doctor to determine the best weight gain goal for your individual situation.

In general, the following guidelines are used:

Women beginning pregnancy at a normal weight (defined as body mass index [BMI] of 19.8 to 26) are advised to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.
Underweight women (BMI < 19.8) are advised to gain 28 to 40 pounds.
Overweight women (BMI 26 to 29) are advised to gain 15 to 25 pounds.
Obese women (BMI > 29) are advised to gain at least 15 pounds.

Risks of Too Little or Too Much Weight Gain
Gaining the recommended amount of weight is one of many factors that may help ensure a healthy pregnancy. Gaining too little weight can increase the risk for delivering a low–birth weight baby who may be at greater risk for developmental and health problems later on. Gaining too much weight can increase the mother’s risk for conditions such as pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes. It may also be a risk factor for long-term obesity in the mother after the pregnancy is over.

Maximizing Nutrition Without Maximizing Calories
The approach to healthful eating during pregnancy is twofold: you want to eat for an appropriate weight gain, but you also want to make sure you and your unborn baby get all the nutrients you need. The best way to do that is to make sure your diet is high in healthful, nutrient-dense foods, and low in foods that provide lots of calories but little nutrition (such as cookies, chips, soda, and pastries).

Registered dietitians recommend using the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid as a guide for eating from each of the food groups every day. Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, dairy foods, and healthful fats (such as those in olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds, and peanut butter). And be sure to take any prenatal supplements your doctor may have prescribed.

Of course, physical activity also plays a role in pregnancy weight gain. Getting regular exercise during pregnancy may help you achieve your recommended weight gain goal, but be sure to check with your doctor before embarking on any exercise program during pregnancy, especially if you haven’t been exercising regularly before pregnancy.

Pregnancy: No Time for Extreme Diets
Many people wonder if some of today’s popular diets, such as low-carbohydrate diets, are a good way of controlling weight gain during pregnancy. While there is little published data regarding the use of these diets during pregnancy, many nutrition experts advise that pregnancy and breastfeeding are not the time to embark on any type of extreme diet, particularly those that restrict entire food groups from the diet. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before starting any kind of new diet.

A Note About Food Safety:
A discussion of healthful eating during pregnancy would be incomplete without a mention of food safety. While it’s important to eat a variety of foods and get adequate nutrients, it’s also important to avoid certain foods that could pose a risk to you or to your unborn baby.

Here are some of the foodborne illnesses that pose a particular risk to pregnant women:

Listeria. Listeria poisoning during pregnancy may increase the risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects. Foods that may be contaminated with listeria include unpasteurized milk, deli meats, hot dogs, and soft cheeses (such as feta, Brie, and blue cheeses).
Mercury and PCB contamination. Some types of fish, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish, may have higher levels of chemical pollutants that can be harmful to unborn babies and small children. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to avoid these types of fish.
E. Coli 0157:H7. This bacterium may be found in raw and undercooked meat and unpasteurized milk. Be sure to cook all meats to appropriate temperatures and avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards for raw and cooked foods.

Source: http://www.beliefnet.com/healthandhealing/getcontent.aspx?cid=38209

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

Miracle of grease (Veselene)

Chloe Rhodes examines the origins of petroleum jelly and reveals why it is so popular :

vesline.jpg

Last month, a reader of the Daily Telegraph wrote to the paper’s GP columnist to report the “miraculous” healing properties of Vaseline. She had repeatedly applied a coat of the bathroom cabinet staple to two troublesome scars on her leg, which quickly disappeared, and then to a mole on her face that subsequently “dropped off”.

A week after her letter was published, the newspaper’s mail bag was bulging with letters singing the praises of petroleum jelly for the treatment of everything from nappy rash and chapped lips to psoriasis and piles. One reader said it is the best face cream she had ever used — a beauty secret she shared with Hollywood stars Joan Collins, Meg Ryan and Scarlett Johansson.

But what is it that makes this pot of grease so great?

Vaseline was discovered in 1859 by an English-born American chemist, Robert Augustus Chesebrough. On a visit to the oilrigs in Pennsylvania, he noticed that the workers used a sticky petroleum by-product that accumulated around the drill rods to help heal cuts and burns. After almost a decade of research, he perfected a process for distilling from this residue a translucent, odourless gel he called petroleum jelly. In 1872, Vaseline was registered as a trademark.

There are two theories about how the name developed. One is that it is a blend of the German word for water “wasser” and the Greek word for oil “elaion”, the other that Chesebrough named it after the vases in which he used to store his mysterious new product during his research.

Unable to generate interest from bulk buyers, he loaded up a horse-drawn wagon with one-ounce bottles of his new “wonder jelly” and touted it across New York state. He deliberately burned patches of his skin to demonstrate Vaseline’s healing powers — and within two years he was selling a jar a minute.

Chesebrough was convinced that his discovery contained some magical chemical, insisting that he be covered from head to toe in the stuff when he was diagnosed with pleurisy (from which, incidentally, he recovered). But in fact, there is no secret active ingredient. Vaseline promotes faster healing simply by creating the best conditions for the skin to heal itself.

Professor John Hawk, honourary consultant dermatologist at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, explains, “Vaseline is an occlusive moisturiser, which means that it creates a barrier on the surface of the skin. This is beneficial because it helps the skin to retain moisture, which is crucial to the healing process, and also because it keeps wounds sterile by preventing harmful bacteria from getting in.”

These two attributes are what give Vaseline its cure-all reputation. Ailments such as cold sores and the blisters caused by shingles are eased by Vaseline because it keeps the skin around them remain moist and supple, which stops the scabs from cracking and falling off too soon.

It is useful as a face cream for the same reason — the more moisture that can be retained in the skin, the plumper and less wrinkled it looks. Dry skin conditions, including eczema and even psoriasis, benefit from this added moisturisation too, but also from the fact that a Vaseline barrier reduces the penetration of irritants. “Eczema is probably caused by allergy-causing molecules getting into the skin,” says Prof. Hawk. “Any occlusive moisturiser would help to prevent this, but Vaseline is more bland than most, there are no perfumes or colourants, so it is less likely to cause irritation.”


Nappy rash, caused by the chafing of a wet nappy, can be prevented by the application of a thin layer of Vaseline to the baby’s bottom, and this sealant quality has also been suggested in the British Medical Journal as a means of staunching a nose bleed when applied just inside the nostrils, though more research is needed to test its effectiveness.

Even mouth ulcers, which are notoriously tricky to shift, can be successfully treated if dabbed dry with a tissue before being coated in a layer of gel — which protects ulcers from the acid in the mouth and allows them to heal. Fresh burns, however, should not be treated with Vaseline until the area has cooled.

Emilie Lien from Unilever, which now owns the brand, is delighted by the enthusiasm of consumers for her product. “None of these uses are ‘official’, but it’s amazing how people have developed so many different uses for just one product. We now make 15 million jars of petroleum jelly each year so we know there’s a huge demand. In fact, over a ton of Vaseline has been used since 1981 just to help protect London Marathon runners from chafing and blistered toes!”

And the miraculous mole removal? Prof. Hawk thinks he may have an explanation: “It seems unlikely that moisturising could remove a true mole from within the skin, but it could help to get rid of seborrhoeic keratoses — harmless, crusty growths that are often pigmented like moles but look as if they’re stuck to the surface of the skin. It’s not a clinically proven method, but the good thing about Vaseline is that it’s so bland you can use it as much as you like.”

It certainly didn’t do Robert Chesebrough any harm — he lived to the age of 96 and attributed his longevity to the spoonful of Vaseline he ate every day.

Source: The Telegraph (Kolkata,India)

Dogs as Disease Detectors

There is no question that dogs can provide companionship, protection, and other services. But could there be another use for our canine friends? Some anecdotal evidence and a sprinkling of scientific studies suggest that dogs can detect seizures and cancers (like skin melanoma and prostate cancer). Though the research is still in its infancy, preliminary results have already provided insight on developing new medical technologies.
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Detecting Seizures
Though many anecdotal stories suggest dogs can alert their owners before a seizure, there has been little research on how dogs might detect seizures before they happen. Some theorize that the dogs may smell a chemical or other scent that is released just prior to a seizure. Others believe the dog’s attachment to his or her owner helps in detecting subtle scent and behavioral changes before a seizure. Only a very small percentage of these service dogs are currently able to reliably warn their owners before a seizure. Some researchers have studied whether these skills could be taught.

Researchers in the UK reported in the January 1999 and January 2001 issues of Seizure on dogs they had trained that could detect seizures 15–45 minutes prior to the episode’s beginning. In addition, the researchers found that the people using these dogs actually reported fewer seizures. Though these results are promising, in most cases it still seems that this skill is inherent in a dog’s personality, rather than something that can be taught. Future research may reveal what these dogs are detecting and how this information can be applied in the hospital setting.

There is no doubt that trained seizure alert dogs can alert help, help prevent injury and watch over someone when they are having a seizure. However, the Epilepsy Foundation cautions people against rushing into spending thousands of dollars for a dog said to have skills of prior seizure detection, at least until the research supports a specific training regimen.

Detecting Cancer
There has also been anecdotal evidence of dogs being able to sniff out cancer and warn their owners. A brief report in a 1989 issue of the Lancet describes how one dog discovered a cancerous skin tumor on her owner’s leg. Researchers have been able to teach bomb-sniffing dogs how to detect cancer using similar training techniques. Other research supports the theory that dogs have the ability to smell cancer. But the real promise may be in learning how dogs can do this and possibly developing medical technology to do the same.

The Future of Dogs as Doctors
Dogs may never be used in the physician’s office. However, studying how animals can detect disease conditions in humans could lead to future advancements in medicine and medical technology. For instance, by learning about the ways dogs “smell” a seizure or cancer cells, we can develop technologies to detect those same molecules. Medical “sniffing machines” have already been developed and are providing insight into the smells of disease for disease detection.

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RESOURCES:

The Epilepsy Foundation

http://www.efa.org

The National Cancer Institute

http://www.nci.nih.gov

How to Choose Pain Medication

Not every pain killer is created equal. Find out the differences between common over-the-counter medications and discover what’s really in your medicine cabinet.

Two Groups of Pain Medications are there:
Over-the-counter medications fall into one of two groups. The first are known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This group includes aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and ketoprofen. Ibuprofen goes by the brand names Advil and Motrin. Naproxen is better known as Aleve. Ketoprofen is sold as Orudis. These drugs work by preventing your body from producing chemicals that cause fever and swelling. Doctors recommend them for minor to moderate discomfort due to headaches and muscle aches, colds and the flu, menstrual pain, arthritis, and toothaches.

The other category includes just one drug: acetaminophen. It’s also known as Tylenol. No one is sure exactly how it works. One theory is that it keeps the brain’s pain centers from receiving nerve signals. It’s good for fever and mild to moderate pain from headaches, including tension headaches and migraines, as well as back pain, sore throat, arthritis, and shingles. The main difference between acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is that acetaminophen does not reduce inflammation. That means it won’t help with aches caused by swelling due to sports injuries, for example.


Some Warnings Regarding Pain Medication:

In general, each one of these drugs is safe for most people when taken as directed. There are some exceptions. Don’t give aspirin to children or teenagers because it can cause Reye’s syndrome, a rare life threatening condition. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs shouldn’t be taken by people who have ulcers or take blood thinning drugs, or by pregnant women. Acetaminophen is usually okay for pregnant women looking for short-term pain relief. In addition, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs shouldn’t be given to children under 12 without first consulting a doctor. While acetaminophen is considered to be safe for children, pay close attention to dosage. Acetaminophen overdose is a common cause of drug-related deaths in children and adolescents.

Choose a Pain Medication:
So with all these choices, how should you decide which over-the-counter pain medication is best for you? It partly depends on your symptoms. They all help with pain and fever, but since acetaminophen doesn’t work for inflammation, you’ll need to use one of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling. Because people respond in different ways to each of these drugs, most doctors suggest that you stick with the one that has worked for you in the past. That increases the chances that the drug will be effective and lowers the odds that you will suffer any side effects.

So do you need a cabinet full of over-the-counter pain medications?
Not really. You’re probably better off with just the one or two that work best for you. And if you’ve inadvertently collected more than a couple different kinds, some of them have probably expired anyway. So it may be worth checking to see what you’ve got. And what you can toss out.

Natural and Ayurvedic Pain relief Medication is most of the time hermless and can be safely used even without consulting any one.The main advantage is that they have no side effect.

Herbal Pain Relief

Drug Free Pain Relief

Natural Pain Relief Medication

Finding Hope for Chronic Pain Relief

Homeopathic Pain Relief

Help taken from:video.about.com