RICE is a type of treatment recommended for those individuals who have injured a muscle, tendon or ligament. RICE is an acronym which stands for:
Rest: It is recommended to avoid movement or use of the injured area
Ice: Treating the wounded area with ice packs without directly touching the skin
Compression: Securing the injured area with an elastic bandage to provide support, limit blood flow and restrict swelling
Elevation: Keep the injured area in a raised position, preferably above the level of the heart to reduce swelling
RICE is usually administered for soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains and its advantages include:
RICE can be used to treat moderate or mild injury and treatment can be started immediately after injury continuing it up to 48 hours.
Rest: Rest the affected area without moving it as much as possible.
Ice: Apply ice to the injured area four to eight times a day for 20 minutes each time. Do this without allowing direct contact between ice and skin.
Compression: This can be done up to a week by wrapping bandage tightly around the affected area ensuring proper blood flow.
Elevation: Keeping the affected area in an elevated position prevents blood from reaching the injured spot thereby reducing swelling. You can elevate the injured area up to 2-3 hours a day
When to Use or Not Use RICE
RICE method is generally used for treating sprains, strains, bruises and other soft tissue injuries. Tripping, falling or suddenly twisting an area of body can cause sprains while lifting heavy objects or repeated movements can cause strains. Difference between strains and sprains are clearly explained at www.firsteatright.com. Never use RICE method to treat broken bones or other serious injuries.
While some studies show that resting the affected area immediately after injury helps few other studies show that massaging, stretching or conditioning the area helps in faster recovery. There are even studies that show that applying ice might disrupt the body’s ability to heal injury faster.
In a world filled with people who wish to improve their lifespan and enjoy what life has to offer there are a few who wish to maximize their pleasures in life unbothered about their longevity or health. Its upon you to choose your path but as always, the right path is the one that treads on health and wellness.
Nutritionists, dietitians, fitness experts and health advocates repeatedly keep suggesting people on the five things below:
Individuals in the other group did not follow any of the five suggestions. They smoked, drank alcohol, did not exercise, were overweight and did not eat a healthy diet. Comparison of results helped the researchers arrive at the conclusion that a 50-year-old woman who followed all five habits would live longer, up to the age of 93 on an average. Whereas, a woman who did not follow any of these would live up to the age of 79 on an average. Likewise, a 50-year-old man who followed all five habits would life up to the age of 88 on an average whereas the average lifespan would be 76 years for those who did not follow the above-mentioned habits.
Hence, this study clearly proves that following a healthy lifestyle definitely guarantees longer lifespans. Though it doesn’t talk about the quality of life of these people we can be pretty sure that following a healthy lifestyle is definitely going to leave the person with better health. If you are interested in taking up a healthy lifestyle by adhering to a well-balanced diet and exercising regularly www.firsteatright.com is the place for you as the registered dietitian nutritionists there help you plan diets and offer suggestions in the most scientific and practical ways.
Menstruating women experience stomach pain and back pain together commonly mostly due to harmless reasons but in general too, certain individuals experience both and if this prolongs for more than a couple of days it is advisable to meet a physician and get yourself diagnosed. Most common causes of back pain include urinary tract infection (UIT), stress, pregnancy, hormonal shifts, back injuries and gastrointestinal problems.
Pregnancy: Bloating and gas are common here specifically during the later stages as the uterus starts compressing the nearby organs. Also, the excess weight (baby’s weight) in the front strains the back and hips. Pain anywhere in the body must be intimated to your physician as any small negligence too can affect the baby. In general, bloating and back pain are conditions that disappear on their own after delivery.
Back injuries: A strain or sprain to the back muscle, muscle injuries and other prominent problems such as herniated discs can cause back pain where the pain from the back spreads to other areas of the body including the stomach.
Hormonal shifts: Hormones regulate our body’s response to many things and a jolt in their levels affects the way in which the body behaves. Menstruating women might experience cramping, back pain or bloating either before or during periods. Those undergoing hormone replacement therapy need to meet a doctor when they experience bloating and pain.
Gastrointestinal problems: Gas is a common problem faced by many people but rarely it brings about an intense pain that makes the abdomen seem fuller and tender. The pain can spread to the back too causing bloating.
Stress: Stress can turn the entire body’s functionality upside down also leading to back pain and stomach discomfort. People in stress tense muscles unconditionally. Stomach pain/bloating are commonly seen in people who suffer from stress as well as conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Find practical ways to combat stress by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com.
UTI: Low back pain occurs in individuals suffering from UTI and are often seen visiting the bathroom. The affected individual feels abdominal bloating, pain or pressure. Extreme kidney infection can cause.
Milk white teeth that erupt in kids turn pale yellow or brownish as we grow up making a few individuals forget the true color of their teeth. While these may sound manageable one section of people is affected by black coloration of the teeth that might be due to different underlying reasons.
For those who wonder why our teeth look white the coloration is due to high amount of calcium found in the outer layer of the teeth (enamel). In due course this color turns yellow due to small food/drinks particles that keep clinging onto the teeth. But if a person’s teeth turns black in due course it might be due to some other serious issue which needs the immediate intervention of a dentist.
Our teeth might become black due to intrinsic or extrinsic causes. Extrinsic causes include stains, tartar buildup or damage to the enamel while other likelier causes include eating dark-colored foods such as coffee, consuming iron supplements, using a certain variety of toothpaste, tobacco use or having crowns and fillings made with silver sulfide.
Intrinsic causes include decay or cavities. A dead tooth too can turn a tooth black. While the damage starts from the inner side it gradually makes it way outside. Basically, what starts as spots cover the whole teeth when left untreated.
The tooth doesn’t turn black overnight. What starts as small brown or gray spots might eventually turn black in course of time. Keen to know why they start as brown spots? Then visit the website www.firsteatright.com. Sometimes, small dots appear near the gumline and this is commonly noted in children who have black teeth. If tartar causes black coloration the mineral buildup will continue to happen unless the stains are removed by a dentist.
If a person realizes his/her risk for black teeth ideally the person should take a few precautionary steps to eliminate the risk.
If tartar is the cause treating it at home is not desired and a dentist is the right person to help you in this regard. The tartar is scraped off the teeth using the necessary instruments.
If decay is the cause, a normal cleaning procedure does not remove black color from the teeth and removal of the decayed portion of the tooth becomes necessary. If a portion of the teeth is decayed the dentist removes only the affected portion and replaces it with a filling. But if the decay has affected the second layer of the tooth all of the decay is removed completely and replaced with a crown. If the tooth has reached a stage where filing or crown is not possible it calls for removing the entire teeth.
Engaging yourself in maintaining oral hygiene solves many oral problems. It is recommended to:
Have you ever witnessed a vibrating effect on your stomach, butterfly feelings before doing something stressful or frequenting the loo often without suffering from a stomach upset? Then, ideally you are suffering from a nervous stomach.
Practically, nervous stomach is not a diagnosis as such and physicians use it as a term to describe symptoms of nausea, indigestion, anxiety, bloating and changes to bowel movements that are totally unrelated to gastrointestinal conditions. Stomach-related problems many-a-time denote involvement of stress or anxiety. I’ve myself stressed upon the underlying connection between the gut and the brain as the gut too contains nerves just like the brain. Both share many similar nerve connections and any traumatic event, chronic stress or nerve-wracking episodes disrupt the digestive system badly. At the same time, anxiousness or stress produces a certain number of chemicals in the body that affect the digestive process as they disrupt gut flora and antibody production too. All these exist as underlying reasons for a number of gastrointestinal conditions.
A nervous stomach sometimes reflects the symptoms of gastrointestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis or gastroenteritis. Common symptoms experienced by the individual include:
As mentioned earlier, the stomach has its own set of nerves that respond to stress hormones triggered from the brain. These hormones signal the stomach to slow down so that more blood can be pumped to the heart and lungs as a part of the fight-or-flight response. In this busy world people regularly experience stress and a few examples of such stressful situations that trigger a nervous stomach include:
The condition is due to the person’s response to events and calming yourself is the best way to bring back your stomach to a normal state. Simple events such as presentation or test can take anytime up to 30 minutes or so for the body to return to normalcy, but graver situations take more time to recover and might even exist until the symptoms are totally removed from the body.
Practicing meditation, relaxation techniques such as breathing and doing yoga can help an individual accelerate the recovery process. Few other tips that help include eating smaller meals frequently, eating a light meal when stressed, having a positive outlook in life, relaxing as much as possible, avoiding sugary foods, avoiding taking antacids, calming down, doing light- or moderate-intensity exercises and analyzing the factors that cause anxiousness. Distancing ourselves from stress is simple when we follow the tips and techniques given at www.firsteatright.com.
Physicians often treat patients by suggesting therapies (working with a psychiatrist), meditation, medications, foods (avoid caffeine-rich beverages such as coffee, tea and soda), stress-buster activities (listening to music, reading book, dancing or reducing the number of commitments in your daily schedule) and natural remedies (consuming ginger in any form). Singling out the stressors in a person’s life and minimizing them can reduce frequency of occurrence of nervous stomach and make his/her life better.
Some are born with a defective heart for no mistake of theirs! The word ‘congenital’ means existing at birth and hence the name ‘congenital heart defects’ given to children born with heart defects. Though it is also called as congenital heart disease generally ‘defect’ is more appropriate as the abnormality is due to improper development of heart or a blood vessel near it.
In general, human hearts have valves, arteries and chambers that carry blood in a circulatory motion that is, blood is pumped from the heart to the lungs for oxygen, back to the heart and out of the body. When there is a malfunction, the circulation is disturbed and it might affect the circulatory functioning as well. The defect can obstruct blood flow, cause it to flow in the wrong direction or wrongly place or block blood flow completely.
The underlying cause for congenital heart defect is not crystal clear in most cases and we can only propose a few conditions that can increase the risk of the defect:
Signs & Symptoms
Many children don’t experience any symptoms and the defect remains undiagnosed until the child grows up. If symptoms exist, they are mostly any of these:
There are about 18 different types of congenital heart defects which also sometimes occur in combination. The commonest of them include:
The treatment depends on the type of the defect. Minor problems such as a hole in the heart might resolve on their own without treatment while any defect that causes problems needs surgery or other interventions. People with congenital heart disease require treatment throughout their lives and it is better to be in contact with a specialist right from childhood through adulthood. There is also the possibility of developing other complex problems due to congenital heart defect and the individual remains under medical supervision lifelong.
Surgery or other treatments might curb the individual’s ability to exercise and also require them to stay precautious throughout to avoid getting infections.
It’s the time of the year where we see houses adorning colorful stars, tall Christmas trees and captivating decoration filling every branch of the tree. Children are gearing up for their winter vacations and youngsters are planning with all their might for welcoming the New Year with sleepless nights and endless dinner treats. Amidst all this one must always remember to sail through the holiday season in good health and enjoy it in style. Ensure the following tips to enjoy your holidays:
Cook food safely: Festive seasons and dinners are never short of tasty treats and delightful dishes that fulfill our taste bud requirements. There are also aplenty chances of food poisoning and it is better to wash your hands and surfaces before and after preparing food, avoid cross-contamination, use a food thermometer to check internal temperature of foods and refrigerate foods as soon as possible to avoid spoilage.
Wash hands often: Cold and cough are having their time of life now and it is essential to practices hand hygiene by washing hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds.
Don’t drink and drive: Take 100% precaution to avoid driving after drinking whosoever it might be-either yourself or someone you know. Any person drinking and driving puts not only his/her life at risk but also everyone in the road in a danger situation.
Pick and choose healthy food: Fill your plate with plentiful of fruits and vegetables that are high in nutrients and help in lowering your risk of diseases. Avoid eating oily foods or those high in salt, sugar and fats. There are various healthy options to choose from while planning for a holiday party and for a list of these options please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
Accommodate exercise whenever possible: You might be on a holiday but exercising needs no vacation. Ensure to achieve your required 150 minutes of weekly physical activity and also see to that kids get their daily share of 1 hour a day of activity. Make it family-based by going for a walk after dinner, playing a game of football post lunch or taking up badminton during your free time.
Fasten seat belts: It might be to your friend’s house across the road but ensure to buckle up your seat belts as well your kids’ however short the trip might be to ensure safety.
Keep an eye on the child: It might be a family get together or friends outing. While the adults have fun on one side the kids are busy with their own games and toys on the other side. It is always recommended to keep an eye on your little ones and keep dangerous toys, food, household things and other such objects out of the child’s reach. Also, never allow them to go to the swimming pool or the nearby pond all by themselves.
Don’t smoke: Smoking might be an enjoyable affair to you, but should it have a gruesome effect on your loved ones around too? Don’t let the smoke disturb your health as well as the health of loved ones around. Refrain from smoking.
Holiday stress might bring out the worst on you: Each of us need a well-deserved break and holidays offer the perfect opportunity to fulfill this wish. But people get overstressed during holidays too seeing to last-minute arrangements, late-night partying, haphazard sleeping routines and change in food habits. Take a break when you feel that way and reconnect yourself to the inner self by finding a support group, interacting socially and getting sufficient sleep.
Thyroid problems and deficiency have become a common issue among individuals. Women mostly get it either during pregnancy or after delivery. The problem is addressed with a regular dose of thyroxin or similar medication, but the side effects of thyroid deficiency are many. Hair fall, fluctuating weights, tiredness and palpitations are common problems. Addressing the variations in the thyroid hormone using yoga as a complementary therapy is a great way to address the issue. Stress is a great side effect of thyroid problems and yoga is the best way to address stress. Even a study has shown that yoga reduces stress and improves overall well-being. There has also been a small study that associates improved thyroid functioning with regular yoga and another study that showed that practicing yoga for six months improved cholesterol levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels. All this in turn reduced the need for thyroid replacement therapy in women suffering from hypothyroidism. Read more about hypothyroidism and the general recommendations on food habits from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Stretch with Yoga Poses & Address Thyroid Problems
Certain yoga poses stimulate the throat, improve circulation and have a positive impact on the thyroid gland located in the neck region. The following are the recommended poses for addressing thyroid problem:
Supported Shoulder Pose: This is an upside-down pose known as an inversion. An inversion stimulates blood flow to the throat which stimulates the thyroid gland. The individual lies down on the floor with a towel under his/her shoulder to support it. He/she places the shoulder on the edge of the towel and rests the head on the mat. Pressing the arms firmly against the floor, the person slowly lifts the legs keeping it at a right angle while breathing in. Breathing out, the legs are lifted further up pushing up onto the shoulders. The position is such that the body and the legs are in a straight line up from the shoulders. The legs are lowered slowly after breathing deeply.
Plow Pose: Similar to the shoulder pose, an individual starts to do this pose in the same way. The difference is that instead of holding the legs up straight he/she should bring the leg over the head and rest the toes on the floor behind the head. The person supports the lower back with the help of arms that are firmly rested against the floor and breathing deeply for three times. Slowly the legs are brought back above the head and lowered onto the floor. This position might create discomfort for overweight/obese people generally but is a safe position to perform.
Bridge Pose: A good pose for strengthening the back as well as for thyroid health. Lie down on the mat and bring your feet inwards towards the hips. Keep your arms by your side and press the palms to the floor. Slowly lift the hips to the sky and when you find it difficult do it by putting the palms on the lower back for support. Breathe deeply thrice and lower the hips to get off the position.
Fish Pose: This is the best position to practice either after the shoulder or the plow pose as the body is stretched in the opposite direction. Sit down with your legs stretched forward, place your hands behind with the fingers tucked under the buttocks, lower the elbows down and lean backward. Now drop the head as far as it goes down trying to touch the crown of your head on the mat. Your chest would be facing up against the sky. Breathe deeply for three times and then lift your head slowly to come back to normal position.
Boat Pose: This works well on the core stimulating the throat as well the thyroid. For this pose one must sit on the floor with the legs out in the front and the palms facing down on either side of the legs. Lean back slowly with the back straight. Bend your knees and lift the feet off the floor such that the body and the legs together make a ‘V’ shape. Raise your alms to your shoulders length with the palms facing each other. Breathe in deeply, bring your legs and arms down and come back to normal position.
Upward Bow Pose: Lungs and chest are stretched in this pose stimulating the thyroid and pituitary glands and strengthening the arms and legs. Lie down flat, bend your knees and bring them close to the body. Place your hands next to the head pointing the fingers toward the shoulders and the elbows pointed upwards. Lift your tailbone and buttocks, ensure that your thighs and inner feet are parallel, press into feet and hands lifting onto the crown of the head. Lift the head off the floor until your hands are straight. Stay in this pose for 5-10 seconds. Return back to normal bending your arms, buttocks and tailbone.
Cobra Pose: This pose stimulates the throat and the thyroid. To do this it is recommended to lie down flat on the stomach on the mat, place you palms on the mat under the shoulders and press it against the mat, lift the head until the chin is lifted away from the mat and the back is arched, drop the head back towards the buttocks and breathe deeply thrice. Slowly bend back the head and go back to normalcy.
It is advisable to do any of the poses after learning them from a professional. There is no need to do all the poses in one go and it is also allowed to modify the poses to suit your needs.
You learn the nuances of parenting and start becoming a versatile parent even before your child is conceived in the womb. Fathering a child is not restricted to grooming your kid into a mature adult, spending on your beloved children and investing for their future benefits. All these are beautiful gestures from your side as a dad, but they are of use only when the child grows up in a healthy way nurtured with all the required nutrients. To all the women who reprimand their husbands when they go to play a game of badminton or cricket on weekends, please don’t prevent them from doing so! Your husbands are not only enjoying their ‘me’ time with friends (I understand that its going to be frustrating for you thoroughly but alas we need to look at the benefits that outweigh anger) but are also preparing themselves for fathering a healthy child.
Inside the Fetus
Its amazing to hear compliments from others when your child performs something exemplarily. Comments like ‘She sings just like you Rahul’ or ‘He has got the same face’ are heart-warming to hear. Genetic traits and inheritance play a pivotal role in each of our lives making us who we are. Nurture does change our approach to things and helps us evolve as better humans, but nature does equally define our growth. Hence, even before conception it is helpful for preparing in the best way possible to give birth to a healthy child.
A new study has shown that paternal exercise plays a prime role in defining the metabolic health of the offspring well into their adulthood. It talks about correcting health of the individual at the cellular level. Of late, there have been evidences piling up linking the existence of type 2 diabetes and decreasing metabolic health to poor diet intake and the major roles dad play in contributing towards obesity and metabolic changes of the offspring.
A team of researchers analyzed the father-offspring concept on a group of mice who were fed a normal diet or a high-fat diet for three weeks. A small group of mice from either group were sedentary while some exercised. These mice bred after three weeks and the offspring led a sedentary lifestyle eating a normal diet for a year. Results showed that:
Dogs are a man’s best friend and some feel more sorry for a dog’s loss compared to human loss-so great is their love for pets. No scientific research is carried on a human directly without testing it on certain animals such as rats, monkeys and pigs. When we analyze why certain animals are preferred for research over others, we find close resemblances between these animals’ functioning and ours. This makes us wonder whether dogs might fit the bill exactly!
Certain animals experience same diseases as humans which make them perfect models for research and some of these animals have their internal systems aligned with a human’s system which make them perfect for approximation of how good our biological mechanisms work. Looking past mice, rats and pigs, researchers are now focused on studying dogs as these are supposed to have a similar gut microbiome to that of humans. This relationship should work favorably other way round too-when we can understand our internal system functioning from dogs, it is possible to use our knowledge in managing obesity in humans to our loving dogs too.
Dog Indeed is a Man’s Best Friend
The research team selected 64 dogs belonging to two different breeds-beagle and Labrador retriever. There were 32 dogs from each breed in which half of them in each of the two breeds were overweight and the other half had a healthy body weight. During the first four weeks of study, all the 64 dogs were fed the same dog food available in the market. After this, the dogs were randomly divided into two groups- one group was assigned to dog food high in protein and low in carbs, and the other group was fed with a low protein and a high-carb diet. The dogs were fed with this diet for another 4 weeks.
The research team collected 129 samples of dog stool samples-one at the end of the initial four weeks of research and the other one at the end of the research period. On mapping the dog’s gene content, the team could map more than one lakh genes which was compared to the gene database of the gut microbiome available for mice, pigs and humans. This helped the researchers identify similarities between different microbiomes and also understand how the dog’s microbiome varied with different diets consumed. On analysis, the study group was shocked by the similarity found between human and dog microbiome compared to that of mice and pigs. Results showed a 20% similarity between a mice and human microbiome, a 33% similarity between a pig and human microbiome and a 63% startling similarity between a dog and human microbiome. But one must always remember that whatever the similarity might be, human microbiomes are far complex than that of a dog. Get a detailed insight into the human microbiome from the website www.firsteatright.com.
Diet Influence on Dogs & Humans
Results from the two groups fed with two different diets showed that low-carb/high-protein diets and high-carb/low-protein diets had similar impact on gut microbiome of both humans and dogs irrespective of breed and biological sex. Overweight dogs showed a stronger response to high-protein diet compared to their normal-weighted counterparts which influenced gut microbiome composition in a stronger way. This reaffirms the logic that overweight individuals are greatly affected due to varying gut microbiomes.
This study is a great eye-opener for researchers interested in probing into gut microbiome. A man’s best friend could prove to be the perfect model for understanding our own gut microbes in a better way in the future.
Before announcing the winner’s name in an event, right before examinations or after getting caught with the police for breaking road rules your hands start sweating, your heartbeat is almost heard outside and there is a rush of energy within you-that’s adrenaline rush. This is one way by which our body defends itself against stressful situations-releasing the hormone adrenaline (also called as epinephrine) into the bloodstream.
A Gush of Adrenaline Rush
The adrenaline hormone activates the body’s fight or flight mechanism. This mechanism dilates air passages thereby providing muscles with the oxygen needed for fighting or fleeing, the hormone triggers blood vessels to contract and release blood to muscles (including those of the heart and lungs) and the sense of pain experienced by the body also decreases. That’s why some people often comment that they perform better under stress or a do-or-die situation as their body releases adrenaline thereby giving them more energy than under normal circumstances. We’ve heard people running at unimaginable speeds and escaping from a predatory animal in some cases, they continue to run from danger situations even when injured or also perform beyond their excellence when under stress. This might seem advantageous, but the situation might not always remain controlled and the individual might experience other body changes that might prove to be quite harmful. That’s also because of the fact that there is a release of the hormone into the body during situations where there is no real threat expected and the body shows the same effects in the presence or absence of these threats. The hormone’s effect stays for almost an hour before subsiding. During initiation of the rush:
Choose to Induce
Experiencing an adrenaline rush during stressful situations such as an exam, job interview or speaking before a crowd is common. One might also experience the same during a rollercoaster ride or other sports activities. Some people love experiencing an adrenaline rush and choose to involve themselves in extreme sports or activities such as bungee jumping to add kick to their life. Hence, apart from stress and anxiety it is also feelings of excitement that overpower you with the adrenaline hormone.
Also, certain health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause an adrenaline rush in the affected person when rewinding the stressful situation or trauma. Any tumor sitting on the adrenaline gland can also induce adrenaline rush. When there is a release of too much adrenaline due to a feeling of stress which has no authentic dangers lurking behind its existence, the person might be subjected to heart damage, insomnia or nervousness.
Overcoming the Adrenaline Rush
The rush of the adrenaline hormone is advantageous sometimes but can also make you uncomfortable few other times. It’s better to get to know tactical ways to control the body’s reaction when you feel uncomfortable:
Height has been a determining factor for various things right from the seating arrangement at school to judging a person’s attributes. Our love for height doesn’t stop with building skyscrapers, countries competing against each other for owning the tallest statue in the world and people paying lumpsum amounts for getting a flat in the last floor of a building. Individuals hail a person’s height as a mark of confidence adding aura and short people often feel petite and insecure amongst a group of tall people. While being tall might meet personality goals it comes with an added price these days.
A new research shows that tall people are at an increased risk of cancer because they have more cells in their body. There have been studies already expressing their concern over tall people’s health as height was a concerning factor in developing health problems such as diabetes, blood clots and heart problems.
Taller the Individual, Greater the Risk
The study found that a person’s risk of developing cancer increased by 10% for every 10 centimeters of excess height compared to the average height. The research group defined average height as 162 cm (5 feet 4 inches) for women and 175 cm (5 feet 9 inches) for men. A professor who took up this study found that an individual’s total cell number and their risk of cancer proved positive in 18 of the 23 cancers tested.
Taller women were likelier to be affected by cancer (almost 12%) compared to taller men (9% risk). Previous researches too have repeatedly found a link between cancer and height but the actual reason behind it was constantly missing with only various hypothesis existing-maybe because tall people have more cells in their body or the nutrition intake and childhood upbringing increased risk and so on. The latest study undoubtedly proved the fact that tall people have more cells that could mutate and lead to cancer hence giving an answer to all doubts regarding the link between cancer and height.
Amongst all cancers, thyroid and melanoma were at an increased risk of occurrence. The research group is still unaware of the critical reason behind this link but are sure of finding it in the near-future.
Tall or Short, Don’t Fall Apart
While genes might be a dominating factor for determining the height of an individual the nutritional intake of foods and their quantity play a prime role in height determination. The long debate over gene’s impact on height determination has been present since time immemorial and elaborate details are clearly jotted down at www.firsteatright.com. One must also understand that the environment too plays a main role which is evident with the increase in the height of the general population starting from the 19th century. Many of our children are taller than ever and the average height of the population is only trending on the upper side. Even a girl child’s first menstrual cycle occurs as early as her 10th or 11th year compared to around 15 years as it was during the earlier decades. These changes are primarily because of nutritional changes and altered hormone levels.
Eagle syndrome has nothing to do with the bird Eagle but is named so because of its discoverer Watt Weems Eagle, a doctor who specialized in ENT conditions. It’s a rare condition with a rare naming!
Eagle syndrome is a condition characterized by pain in the neck and face due to an elongated styloid process or calcified stylohyoid ligament. The styloid process is a small, pointed bone just below the ear. The stylohyoid ligament connects it to the hyoid bone in your neck. The pain is also a nerve pain caused due to unusual nerve signals but without any damage to the pain-related area.
Eagle syndrome is classified as a rare disease because only 4% of the population has an unusually long styloid bone, according to the Genetic & Rare Disease Information Center (GARD). Among these people, it is only about 4-10% of the population who experience any symptoms. GARD also mentions that Eagle syndrome is common more among women than men, almost thrice as common in women than men.
The main symptom involves a throbbing pain on one side of your neck or face, specifically near the jaw. The pain might come every now and then or might even stay throughout. Many people have the unusually long styloid bone but suffer from no symptoms. When symptoms occur, it includes any of these:
Eagle syndrome is usually caused due to 2 reasons-either due to an unusually long styloid process or due to a calcified stylohyoid ligament. Striking both the male and female population, it is mostly women aged between 40 and 60 years of age who are more commonly affected. Sometimes, having your tonsils removed can lead to the development of scar tissues in and around the throat. This pressurizes the surrounding nerves leading to pain and buzzing sound in the ears.
There are two types of possible clinical expressions of Eagle syndrome:
Diagnosing Eagle syndrome is difficult as the symptoms present are similar to many other conditions as well. The doctor might feel your neck and head regions for any sign of unusually long styloid process or even suggest for a CT scan or X-ray to get the exact situation clearly. Rarely, the doctor might be able to feel an unusually long styloid process pushing into the throat. Before diagnosing the condition as Eagle syndrome, it is essential that the doctor rules out all other possible causes of pain such as tooth pain radiating to the neck, any problem with nearby blood vessels, ear infection, jaw injuries or herniated discs.
Surgery is the main treatment offered for Eagle syndrome wherein the styloid process is shortened. The procedure is called as styloidectomy and can be performed via the mouth or neck. If the operation is done through the mouth, the surgeon will remove the tonsils to access your styloid process and when done through the neck, the surgery leaves a large scar and can also affect the surrounding nerves of the face. Doctors are also increasingly practising endoscopic surgery which involves sending down a tube attached with a camera through the patient’s mouth. Tools attached to this endoscope perform the surgery and this is a less-invasive procedure.
Any surgery carries some portion of risk along with it and some people might prefer to choose alternative strategies to manage pain. Such strategies include pain medication, steroid injections and alternative medicines. This is a nerve pain and not an injury which reminds us that exercise, massage or other techniques prove to be unsuccessful. More than 80% of people who seek treatment get relief irrespective of the type of treatment received. Living with pain can push a person into depression, anxiety and relationship problems and Eagle syndrome can make eating, talking or even moving your head painful. It is recommended to seek treatment and find relief as soon as possible.
A tight-fitting skinny jean looks prettier on a small-sized waist, fancy belts fit well when your waist size is small and above all, your waist size determines your clothing size. These are all the extra perks that you get depending on your waist size while the main salary package includes the ability to predict longevity. Your muffin tops and spare tires hanging around your waist are critical indicators of premature death risk, according to a new study.
Waist Versus Weight
Body mass index is used as the primary determinant of a healthy body weight categorizing people as normal weighted, underweight, overweight or obese and suggesting them corrective techniques to fall under the ‘healthy weight’ category. This research rewrites BMI rules indicating that a larger waistline denotes increased risk irrespective of BMI values which may indicate a healthy body weight too.
Not a single health-conscious person would be unaware of the different body shapes: pear-shape, hour-glass shape, apple-shape or inverted-triangle body shape-each of which carry a different health risk attached to it when the BMI exceeds normal weight ranges. There are celebrities and models who fall into each of these body shapes staying fit and healthy owing to their normal weight and waist measurements. According to the study:
Waist circumference indicates abdominal fat which is crucial for determining the risk of diseases such as diabetes, BP, cholesterol, high triglycerides and coronary artery disease. Waist-to-hip ratio is another measurement used to determine excess belly fat calculated by dividing waist measurement by hip measurement. There are numerous studies that show the disastrous effect of belly fat on our health compared to fat stored anywhere else in the body. One recent research looked into 43,000 participants whose BMI and waist-to-hip ratio were followed-up for 10 years and whose average age was 58. More than 50% of them suffered from central obesity, 44% were overweight and one quarter were obese. This research proved that risk of carrying a big belly remained unaltered depending on the gender of the person although men were the ones who usually stored fat around the middle.
In general, people with a high BMI value usually have excess fat stored around the hips and legs which generally do not increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases while fat around the belly and organs increase risk of liver and heart functioning.
No single exercise or technique is going to help any person lose belly fat. Your ab crunches and sit ups are not going to melt away abdominal fat. Eating right, exercising regularly, restricting drinking/smoking and leading a healthy lifestyle are the main factors that help someone improve their health. Getting in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com can help you lose abdominal fat in the right way that is healthy and safe.
Breasts undergo various changes throughout your lifecycle, during puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond, nipples can change color, become darker or undergo various other changes as well. Breasts also are of different shape, size and color in different people. Its actually not the nipples but areola (area on the breast that’s darkening is the skin around the nipple).
There is nothing to panic if you suddenly look down and notice your nipples to be darker than normal. The various changes in a woman’s life at different stages induce nipples to change color as well. Major things that can make nipples dark include:
Pregnancy is the most critical part of a woman’s life and numerous changes occur within the body as she prepares for the delivery of her baby. Fetal growth in the womb is a strong indication for the breast to prepare itself for breastfeeding. Breasts become sore, they swell and become darker assuming that this makes it easier for the baby to identify the food source. Excess estrogen and progesterone hormones are produced to help in milk production and the breasts start changing in color and appearance as this hormone production increases. Soon after breastfeeding, darker nipples become light again.
Puberty is the time of life when breasts starts developing due to increase in estrogen production. Nipples also change in color, might become darker and become pointed or elevated from the surrounding skin as the breast develops.
Puberty initiates menstruation. Monthly ovulations change breast appearance at different points in the menstrual cycle. When you near your menstruation time, breasts also undergo changes-they become softer, swollen and nipples become darker when menstruation happens. Progesterone and estrogen hormones bear responsibility for these changes during periods that occur every 21-35 days.
Birth control pills too contain estrogen and progesterone in different proportions. These hormones are naturally produced by the body and when there is external supplementation too, they cause changes in the nipples in a similar way to puberty or menstruation. These clear away once you stop taking these oral contraceptives. Sometimes, these pills can also cause melasma which can form brown or grey skin pigment changes.
Babies are born with a poor vision and dark nipples are an indication to help the newborn locate the food source. Hormonal changes that enable milk production cause darker nipples, whether you would like to breastfeed or not! These nipples return to their normal color sometime after breastfeeding ends.
Individuals might have tiny hairs growing from their nipples due to various reasons mentioned at www.firsteatright.com and these hairs are darker than some other hair in the body. Such hairs give a dark appearance to the nipple when they grow close to the areola.
Breast cancer, the most predominant cancer form in women, can cause various changes in breast-size, shape, color, skin sores, inverted nipples, nipple discharge, pain and growing vein. Paget’s disease of breast starts in the nipple area bearing symptoms such as dark nipples, yellow or bloody nipple discharge, flattened nipple, itching or tingling sensation around the nipple and flaky/thick skin around the nipple. Any female after puberty can be attacked by this disease, but it is more commonly found in older adults.
A Matter of Concern
Life cycle developments and growth cause changes in the breast and nipples. Any abnormal changes such as peeling, flaking, redness, sores, itching, lumps, color changes in one nipple only and lumps indicate a bigger problem and it is crucial to meet a physician to get your breasts and nipples checked. Color changes often occur as a result of developmental changes such as puberty, menstruation, pregnancy and breastfeeding and these go away as smooth as they entered. Only if these color changes are accompanied by any other symptoms unrelated to the current event, it is necessary to meet a doctor.
It’s a Sunday morning and you wake up with lots of plans. You wish to start the day with the regular morning chore activities and open your mouth to brush. You witness the shock of your life as you see your tongue enveloped by a black coating that looks hairy. While the description sounds sneaky and scary, actually the scenario is quite harmless. This is what we call as ‘black, hairy tongue’ that is used to describe an abnormal black layer that covers the surface of your tongue. This is common when there is bacterial/fungi growth, abrasion or lack of stimulation (decreased saliva) in the tongue.
Why So Hairy?
The tongue comprises of hairy particles due to the buildup of a protein called keratin (this is the same one that nourishes your hair on the head too). In general, the tongue is covered with conical shaped projections called papillae that grow 1 millimeter in length and shed away normally in sometime. But in this case, the papillae start to lengthen, even growing up to 15 millimetre sometimes. When the papillae don’t shed it paves way for accumulation of food, bacteria and yeast too on the tongue surface making the tongue appear in different colors from white, pink and brown to green and black depending on the food you eat. Despite these color variations we call it ‘black hairy tongue’ because it is black in color most of the time due to bacteria and yeast accumulation.
There are several lifestyle factors and food habits that can lead to this condition and these include:
Except for the black hairs people don’t experience any other profound symptoms. Sometimes, some people might feel a burning sensation due to excess bacterial or yeast accumulation, some might feel a ticklish sensation on the roof of the mouth while swallowing food. Few others might suffer from bad breath or metallic taste as food might get entangled between the long papillae. While other symptoms might be present or absent, a physician can make a diagnosis based on clinical appearance.
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to treat this condition. Brush your teeth twice a day and ensure to clean your tongue thoroughly using your toothbrush or a tongue cleaner. Try drinking as much water as possible and do eat all types of foods. Restricting your diet to soft foods don’t do any good as they don’t clean the tongue. Despite these measures, if the hairy layer still remains it is better to consult a physician. Your doctor might prescribe antibiotics or antifungal medications to solve your problem. Rarely when none of these works, the papillae might require surgical removal.
To avoid problems in the first place, brush the top of the tongue daily when you brush your teeth. Make it a regular part of your routine oral care though some individuals might feel like throwing up while doing this. A person once affected by hairy tongue is at a greater risk of suffering repeatedly from the disease. It is better to remember that oral health gives the right insight into a person’s overall health. There are several studies supporting this, details of which are available in the website www.firsteatright.com. Take good care of your mouth to live a healthy life.
Bacteria and fungi reside in our body fulfilling their purpose in life! None can be unaware of the good bacteria in the human gut nor the discovery of Penicillin, the first of a series of antibiotics developed from fungi which benefitted the entire world. Fungi can live in the air, water, soil and plants and there are also some fungi that reside naturally in the human body including the yeast Candida. This is a type of fungus and Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by this yeast. There are more than 20 species of Candida yeasts that can infect humans and Candida albicans is the most common among them.
Candida typically resides in the mouth, intestinal tract and mucous membranes of the skin without causing infection. When these grow beyond what’s normal, Candidiasis strikes. The overgrowth of Candida depends on the healthy bacteria in the human body. More the number of these bacteria, lesser the chance of a fungal infection.
Candidiasis: Place of Origin Matters!
Candidiasis that develops in the throat or mouth is called “thrush” or oropharyngeal candidiasis, one that develops in the esophagus is called esophageal candidiasis or Candida esophagitis. Esophageal candidiasis is the most common infection occurring in people living with HIV/AIDS. Typical symptoms include:
Genital Yeast Infection
Candidiasis in the vagina is called as ‘vaginal yeast infection’ or by other names such as vaginal candidiasis, vulvovaginal candidiasis or candida vaginitis. Major symptoms include:
It is mostly pregnant women, those using contraceptive pills, those with a weakened immune system, having diabetes or those taking antibiotics who are commonly affected. Wearing a cotton underwear that prevents the chances of a yeast infection is suggested. There might also be situations where the Candida resides in the vagina but does not cause any infection. Treatment includes antifungal medications.
Unlike the other two mentioned above, invasive candidiasis is an extremely dangerous fungal infection that can affect the blood, heart, brain, eyes, bones and other parts of the body. Candidemia, a bloodstream infection, is common in hospitalized patients.
This is a newly emerging fungus that is becoming a serious health threat worldwide primarily due to its multidrug-resistant nature, failure to show positive results with standard laboratory tests and its vast outbreak in healthcare settings.
Candida auris has been causing severe illness in several countries worldwide, including India. The yeast has the capability to enter the patient’s bloodstream and spread all through the body causing serious invasive infections. This yeast is capable of causing bloodstream infections, wound infections and ear infections. Although strains of the species are extracted from urinary and respiratory specimen, there is no clarity if there is a chance of lung or bladder infection.
Blood culture or other body fluids can be used to diagnose this fungal infection but the diagnosis process is pretty hard as it can easily be confused with other types of yeast such as Candida haemulonii. While any hospitalized person is at a risk of this infection, the risk is even more higher in patients who use breathing tubes, feeding tubes or central venous catheters. Although echinocandins (antifungal drug) are prescribed as treatment forms, there are chances that the fungus can lead to fatality too.
Women outlive men mostly. While it is the male of the family who is engaged much in physical exercise throughout his life, women mostly neglect their health for the well-being of the entire family. Yet they live longer than men! Have you ever thought about the logic behind this? It might be because women engage in household chores every single day, run behind kids in grooming them and never take rests/naps in between, all of which might add up to a considerable amount of activity performed each day of a woman’s life. Whereas, men either slog at the gym or take fancy to the newspaper at home. There is no middle line in between where they engage in simple daily chores. Keeping things in proper place, washing clothes, drying them, paying bills or shopping for grocery-all of this are a woman’s job. Maybe all these are fruitful to women in the form of longevity!
Once their children are married and the burden is lifted off their shoulders, women try to engage themselves socially, are eager to look after their physical health and wish to spend time relaxing themselves. She thinks about yoga or walking, enrolling in a laughter therapy class or attending meditation sessions to keep the mind and body fit. There is no age limit to start exercising but the only concern is that, sooner you start exercising the better it is for your health and well-being.
A new study shows that middle-aged and elderly women who walk/exercise are at a decreased risk of heart failure. Heart failure exists as the number one cause of death amongst people worldwide. There are numerous factors such as high blood pressure/blood sugar levels, increased cholesterol levels, stress and other conditions that enhance the risk of a heart failure in people. The current lifestyle and work conditions amplify the risk even more.
The study was a large-scale one that monitored exercise routines and heart health of more than 1,30,000 women since the early 1990s. The women involved were quoted to be healthy citizens in their postmenopausal age anywhere between 50 and 70 years. The beauty of the study is that the results shown were linked to duration of the walk rather than its intensity. Hence, even the small walks that we take as a part of the daily chores performed to enable our day-to-day living can be added to the total duration. Each of us walk mostly throughout the day doing small things at well-paced intervals. The study explains that it is the amount of activity and not the effort taken for the activity which acts as the key determinant for preventing heart failure in older women. The researchers also comment that the same findings could be applicable for men too.
The only downside of the research is that participants self-reported on the activity durations and intensity and hence, we can strongly believe that variations are possible from what has been conveyed. It is also worth mentioning here that the participants were monitored for 14 years during which 2,500 of them experienced heart failure. The study group further analyzed the subgroup of women who previously suffered from one of these two types of heart failure-reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). HFrEF occurs when the muscle is extremely weak to perform the action of contraction with enough force while HFpEF occurs when the heart stiffens and loses flexibility and is comparatively less serious but commonly present among older women.
When a woman engages in some physical activity (even as trivial as getting up and sitting down) every hour or so, her risk of heart failure reduces by as much as 9% compared to women who never exercised. The same was applicable to women who fulfilled the requirement of 150 minutes of brisk walk every week. These women had a 30% reduced risk of heart failure. The research did not probe further than the mentioned 150 minutes of activity and it still remains an open question whether walking for longer durations reduces the risk of heart failure even further. Until then, keep walking as much as you can to stay healthy as long as you can. For a better insight into the type of foods suitable for elderly population and the diet that can be followed for heart health, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com to get in touch with nutritionists/dietitians who can guide you to a better life in a healthy way.
‘Well-behaved’ is a generalized term that has different perspectives. Well-behaved might mean saying ‘please’, ‘sorry’ and ‘thank you’ according to one parent while it might be to stay quiet, follow table manners during meals, respect elders and share things with other kids according to some other parent. Whatever might be the meaning, every parent would second the fact that raising a well-behaved child is a compelling task that needs continuous efforts.
Children are exposed to different scenarios, experiences and meet innumerable people while they grow up. They pick numerous things from such enriching experiences which nurtures every child to be a unique human being with different qualities. Some grow up into rule-followers, some into rule-breakers and some other kids are rule makers. The journey is tiresome and needs closely guarded mentoring so that we fix our aim on the ultimate goal (well-behaved child) rather than the short-term goal (stop the crying child in a public place from crying). Given here are four major points that can be your basic guide and parenting tips to nurture today’s children to grow into tomorrow’s valuable citizens.
There is no minimum age to differentiate right from wrong: Every parent should remember that any behavior that isn’t acceptable must be corrected right from an early age. Otherwise, it might confuse the child. For example, if you laugh at your toddler when he kicks you with his/her foot similar to playing basketball and suddenly when he/she does the same during preschool and you shout, this is definitely going to confuse your kid. Why is mom/dad shouting at my behavior now while they laughed at it sometime back? This question will stay in your kids mind and keep taunting them. The earlier you start teaching your child that hitting or kicking is wrong and nod a strong ‘no’ when he/she does it, things might work in your favor.
Firstly, it is critical to understand your child’s developmental stages carefully. No kid is going to throw tantrums or hit you simply to ruin your mood. It might be out of anger, irritation, inability to express his/her view or sadness. When you start correcting kids right from an early age, you start teaching them good and bad ways of expressing these emotions. Children are capable of few things at their age and it is unjustifiable to push them way beyond their capability. If you are unaware or doubtful of a child’s developmental capabilities, talk to the physician or pediatrician and set realistic expectations for behavior.
Lay consistent rules: Once you lay down rules, stick by them. Don’t budge here and there according to your convenience. If jumping on the bed is prohibited, it ought to be prohibited always. Excusing your kid when he/she is sad, when you have important chores to do or allowing just because your temperament is bad right then are mixed indications to your child. Maintaining your ‘no’ list is extremely difficult and requires abundance patience but pick your priorities. Every family has certain important rules which they prefer to follow. Anything that might hurt another person’s feelings must be prohibited anytime; religious meetings, prayer halls and services always expect people to maintain calm and composure and likewise. It is up to the family to decide on their basic rules. If jumping on the couch or playing jarring music is fine with you, its ok.
Appreciate goodness: Just like how you condemn bad behavior or tantrums, appreciate and praise your child’s good deeds and behavior. Be encouraging when your child stops a bad behavior and acknowledge it with a strong positive feedback instead of simply being relieved when they don’t throw tantrums. Our kids deserve kudos for following rules and not only punishments when they break the rules. Surprise them with non-food rewards such as stickers, play date or a movie which encourages them to follow their good act thereon. For more ideas on non-food rewards, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com. Spend time with kids and show them that you invest your time for their sake. Children behave much more better when they start understanding this.
Be a role model: As Gandhi rightly said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”, don’t expect your kid to say, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’ if you don’t do it yourself. Kids pay more attention to what we do than what we say. Preaching something to kids and following some other things will surely not work out in your favor.
If you are facing difficulties in raising children, please get in touch with your doctor and ask for suggestions. Some children have a tougher time than others and so do some parents. Never hesitate to request for help-asking for help, understanding and implementing what is told is what will make you a better parent in life.
Elders always call upon their kids to help them in household chore. Now, research itself proves that kids who help their parents while cooking eat healthier food compared to other kids.
Arrange food creatively: Placing foods in the shape of your kid’s favorite cartoon character or forming a pattern in the rim of the plate can make the food more enticing for your kid. Broccoli or cauliflowers are excellent choices for flowers or trees, cucumber or carrot slices make great eyes and blackberries/grapes are the perfect choices for animal’s eyes.
Involve kids in meal preparation: Children eat more nutritious food when they help in the food preparation. Even research shows that it is advantageous in a lot many ways. Kids would love the mixing, mashing, grating or washing process involved. There are various trivial yet critical things during which your child can be of immense help in the kitchen. For more ideas on this, please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
Plan the meal together: When you sit with your kids to chalk a meal plan, they are happy as they feel that you respect their views. It also imparts the importance of a balanced diet, kindles their interest to explore different foods and they might also contribute one or two creative ideas that had not even entered your mind until then.
Increase your rapport: Being together in the kitchen paves way for spending quality time with your kids without any expense or the presence of some fancy things. Baking cookies or cupcakes can turn an ordinary evening into an extraordinary one creating beautiful memories that are sure to last lifelong.
Chance to learn life skills: Cooking opens the door for teaching your kids practically. You can talk about math and fractions when measuring rice or water for cooking. Also, you have a chance to explain the importance of hygiene and food safety while washing hands or cleaning your work space.
Bring out the creativity in you: Keep inspiring your kids to be creative. Give them independence to unleash their creative skills in decorating cookies or a fruit bowl as per their desire. You can even conduct a contest asking your child and his/her friends to come up with the most creative designs. It is all about participating and hence, best-suited to announce all the kids as winners rewarding them with an attractive prize.
Don’t chatter about the clutter: Never keep complaining or instructing your kids when they try their hands on something new in the kitchen. Let them be themselves and have fun. You can ask them to help you clean up the mess after they are done with their activity.
Children who experience trauma or mental agony as a teen/child are more susceptible to heart disease later in life.
An in-depth review of numerous studies found a strong link between individuals who were abused, bullied, traumatized or exposed to violence during their childhood or teenage years and their increased risk of health conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure in early adulthood. It is these underlying conditions that increase the risk of graver diseases such as coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.
One-time Experience but Lasting Memory
Firstly, innocent children are exposed to situations/violence that they should never come across in their lifetime. Secondly, the experience might be once (physical/sexual abuse or violence) but the trauma and pain after experiencing these incidents are etched in their memory for a lifetime.
As parents, we would like to prevent things from taking a haphazard turn in the first place and if such things do happen, it is in our hands to prevent any health consequences that might be the side effects of such incidents. Two of every three children in India between ages 5 and 12 report of physical abuse. Alongside this there are various other factors as well, such as parental divorce, death, homelessness, discrimination, poverty, loss of a loved one or parental substance abuse that contribute towards a child’s mental agony.
While the exact cause for heart diseases due to these traumatic experiences is unknown, researchers believe that behavioral, mental health and biological reactions to increased stress might play a central role. More the number of such experiences, more is the health risks. Theoretically, being exposed to violence during childhood leaves room for increased cases of depression and obesity in girls and hypertension in boys. Deal with obesity in children with the help of expert advise from registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com.
Develop Positive Attitude
There is no harm in promoting emotional development and teaching kids to express emotions in a controlled way as this can be helpful in disease prevention and improving overall health of the person.
Children can handle stress in several ways:
Women experience the pain of the monthly menstrual cycles which makes them feel off-mood, experience body pain and creates a mental instability. Vaginal discharge that is expelled out of a woman’s body during every menstrual cycle is the fluid that contains a mix of the vaginal secretions and the cervical mucous. The quantity, color and odor of this discharge varies across the female population but most of the times, the discharge released out of the body is healthy. This vaginal discharge serves an integral function in the female reproductive system. The fluid released from the vagina during your menstruation period removed old cells and debris thereby maintaining the health and cleanliness of the reproductive tract. Get more insights about menstruation at www.firsteatright.com.
Menstrual Cycle: Color Wheel
The color and quantity of the discharge changes from day to day depending on where a person is exactly in the menstrual cycle: At the beginning of the menstrual cycle (days 1-5), the discharge is usually red/blood red in color as the body gets rid of the uterine lining. Most individuals don’t menstruate beyond the fifth day of the period and the person may notice less vaginal discharge during the following days (days 6-14). Once the egg starts to develop, the mucous color becomes white or pale yellow with a sticky texture. Some days before ovulation (days 14-25), the mucus is similar to egg white, thin and slippery. A few days just before your next period (days 25-28), the cervical mucus will lighten and there is very little seen.
This is the most common color seen during menstruation. Menstrual cycles differ among individuals and can happen anytime between 20 and 40 days although it happens around 28 days on an average. Full-fledged bleeding occurs for 2-4 days and the color can be anything from blood red to brown or rust color. If someone gets another period between two regular cycles, it is advisable to meet a gynecologist and get it checked as there are many medical reasons behind such intermittent bleeding. It might be a benign cyst, fibrosis or something beyond these.
White color discharge is commonly seen before a period or during ovulation. The shades might vary anywhere from white to cream to light yellow. Absence of itching, irritation, burning or unusual smell rules out any problem with this discharge and in fact, it is a sign of healthy lubrication. But, if the discharge is like cottage cheese or has a foul smell it can be indicative of an underlying yeast infection. Candida is the most common yeast infection due to fungal overgrowth.
A slight yellow discharge is not at all a problem and might be the result of changes in your diet or supplement. But discharge that has a dark yellow coloration or has a green tinge to the yellow coloration indicates a bacterial or sexually transmitted infection. Yellow or greenish discharge might be due to trichomoniasis or chlamydia. Trichomoniasis presents itself with itching, pain during urination and an unpleasant odor.
Light or dark colored pink discharge mostly occurs as a spotting before a period or can also be a sign of implantation bleeding in early pregnancy. Sometimes, sexual intercourse can cause tear or irritate the vagina resulting in pink discharge after intercourse.
Normal vaginal discharge is colorless or white in color, similar to the egg white. This is normally visible before ovulation, during pregnancy and during sexual arousal.
Grey-colored discharge indicates that something is not right with your body and mostly conveys the presence of a common bacterial infection called bacterial vaginosis which causes symptoms such as itching, irritation, a strong fish odor or redness around the vagina.
Xerosis is the medical term for the common dry skin derived from the Greek words ‘xero’ meaning dry and ‘osis’ meaning ‘disease’ or ‘medical disorder’. Dry skin is common across age groups and is the result of lack of moisture in the skin’s outer layer. It might be due to ageing or even due to diseases.
Dry skin can occur in any part of the body although some areas, such as arms, feet, hands and lower legs are more prone than others. Common symptoms of dry skin include:
While any person can get dry skin, some are more prone than others. Most common causes include:
Ageing: Skin becomes thinner and drier as we age. People above the age of 40 are recommended to use a moisturizer every day to stay away from dry skin.
Climate: The place where you live affects your skin texture greatly. People living in dry climates, such as desert or extremely cold, dry places are more prone to dry skin.
Diseases: Individuals who had atopic dermatitis (eczema) as children tend to develop dry skin as adults. Even psoriasis contributes towards dry skin.
Job: Nurses, hair stylists and those involved in professions that require them to often wash their hands with water all through the day can be affected by dry or cracked skin. Swimmers too can be affected as some pools have high chlorine levels which can cause dry skin.
Taking showers frequently, certain medications, living in an air-conditioned surrounding 24*7, washing hands frequently and certain soaps and detergents can also contribute towards dry skin.
Before suggesting any treatment, the dermatologist will examine your skin, question you about your problem, diagnose you and then suggest the appropriate treatment plan. If the physician doubts any underlying health problem to contribute towards dry skin, he/she may recommend you for further tests.
Once diagnosed with dry skin, the dermatologist recommends using these treatment options:
Smoking causes cancer. Smoking kills. We are aware of these statements. But are you aware that smoking increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s blood sugar levels are abnormally higher. People with diabetes cannot make/use insulin efficiently, thereby causing glucose to build up in the blood without allowing it to reach the cells.
Diabetes can be Type 1 or Type 2 out of which Type 2 diabetes is the most common form. India has almost 10% of its population living with diabetes. Research puts forth the fact that smoking is a direct cause of Type 2 diabetes. As a matter of fact, smokers are 30-40% more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers.
Smoking & Diabetes
Diabetes is controllable and manageable, but smoking aggravates and worsens the disease leading to further complications. Diabetes patients who smoke are at a higher risk for disease complications than nonsmokers with diabetes. Such complications include:
If you have diabetes, are prone to diabetes, at a prediabetes stage or even if you have no diabetes please stop smoking. This will benefit your health right away. Whatever type of diabetes you may have, smoking makes it more difficult to bring it under control. Once you quit smoking you can immediately notice the difference in blood sugar levels.
Eating healthy and nutritious foods, leading a healthy lifestyle, exercising regularly and keeping yourself happy are the keys to a healthy body without diabetes, blood pressure or any other disease on this earth. If you are interested in pursuing a healthy lifestyle, please get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to help you in this important phase of life.
8/1/2018 0 Comments
Sleep is a universal language for rest and a good night’s sleep provides one with enough energy to do a good day’s work! But today’s fast-paced world prioritizes other chores/pleasures over sleep which makes it one of the essentially unfulfilled activities! We have repeatedly discussed about the advantages of sleep-good health, improved memory, weight loss aid and clarity of mind. Exercising and following a diet would not accelerate weight loss if the person suffers from sleep deprivation. We also know that insufficient sleep increases blood pressure and hence, the risk of heart-related diseases. But a new study has shown that even mild sleep problems (for instance, finding trouble falling asleep) can increase blood pressure in women.
Almost one-third of adults don’t get enough sleep (1 in 3 people are sleep-deprived) throughout the world and the statistics are even worse when the women population alone is considered. Studies support the fact that women are at a greater risk for sleep problems and there are also research evidences supporting that chronic insomnia is twice as likely to hit women compared to the male population. Its always the woman who lacks in sleep as she holds primary responsibility caring for her children as well for adults in the family, experiences great hormonal changes every month during menstruation and across her lifetime too.
The new study examined blood pressure and sleep habits in 323 healthy women (aged between 20 and 79 years) and found that mild sleep disturbances such as poor-quality sleep, taking more time to fall asleep and insomnia were three-times more common than critical sleep problems such as obstructive sleep apnea wherein the individual stops breathing for short periods of time while sleeping. Sleep apnea can be dangerous when left untreated and there are valuable suggestions given at www.firsteatright.com to cure this disease. Even when these women slept between seven and nine hours (measured with a wristwatch-like device) every night, the presence of any mild sleep disturbances caused blood pressure rates to shoot up.
When some of these women (26 women precisely) allowed researchers to extract a few endothelial cells (cells lining the blood vessels) from the inside of their arm vein to check for pro-inflammatory protein (this is a contributing factor for cardiovascular disease), the team found an association between endothelial inflammation and mild sleep disturbances. Such mild sleep problems could be the basis for vascular endothelial inflammation-one of the contributing factors for cardiovascular disease-for which the results are yet to come out. Hence, it is advisable that women with mild sleep disturbances are checked for cardiovascular problems immediately.
Dietitian Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.