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Health Advice

Disadvantages of Alcoholism

Disadvantages of Alcoholism

It’s no secret that alcohol consumption can cause major health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver and injuries sustained in automobile accidents. But if you think liver disease and car crashes are the only health risks posed by drinking, think again: Researchers have linked alcohol consumption to more than 60 diseases.

Here are 12 conditions linked to chronic heavy drinking.

Anemia

Heavy drinking can cause the number of oxygen-carrying red blood cells to be abnormally low. This condition, known as anemia, can trigger a host of symptoms, including fatigue, shortness of breath, and lightheadedness.

Cancer

“Habitual drinking increases the risk of cancer,” says Jurgen Rehm, PhD, chairman of the University of Toronto’s department of addiction policy and a senior scientist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, also in Toronto. Scientists believe the increased risk comes when the body converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a potent carcinogen. Cancer sites linked to alcohol use include the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, liver, breast, and colorectal region. Cancer risk rises even higher in heavy drinkers who also use tobacco.

Cardiovascular disease

Heavy drinking, especially bingeing, makes platelets more likely to clump together into blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke. In a landmark study published in 2005, Harvard researchers found that binge drinking doubled the risk of death among people who initially survived a heart attack.

Heavy drinking can also cause cardiomyopathy, a potentially deadly condition in which the heart muscle weakens and eventually fails, as well as heart rhythm abnormalities such as atrial and ventricular fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation, in which the heart’s upper chambers (atria) twitch chaotically rather than constrict rhythmically, can cause blood clots that can trigger a stroke. Ventricular fibrillation causes chaotic twitching in the heart’s main pumping chambers (ventricles). It causes rapid loss of consciousness and, in the absence of immediate treatment, sudden death.

Cirrhosis

Alcohol is toxic to liver cells, and many heavy drinkers develop cirrhosis, a sometimes-lethal condition in which the liver is so heavily scarred that it is unable to function. But it’s hard to predict which drinkers will develop cirrhosis. “Some people who drink huge amounts never get cirrhosis, and some who don’t drink very much do get it,” Saitz says. For some unknown reason, women seem to be especially vulnerable.

Dementia

As people age, their brains shrink, on average, at a rate of about 1.9% per decade. That’s considered normal. But heavy drinking speeds the shrinkage of certain key regions in the brain, resulting in memory loss and other symptoms of dementia.

Heavy drinking can also lead to subtle but potentially debilitating deficits in the ability to plan, make judgments, solve problems, and perform other aspects of “executive function,” which are “the higher-order abilities that allow us to maximize our function as human beings,” Garbutt says.

In addition to the “nonspecific” dementia that stems from brain atrophy, heavy drinking can cause nutritional deficiencies so severe that they trigger other forms of dementia.

Depression

It’s long been known that heavy drinking often goes hand in hand with depression, but there has been debate about which came first — the drinking or the depression. One theory is that depressed people turned to alcohol in an attempt to “self-medicate” to ease their emotional pain. But a large study from New Zealand showed that it was probably the other way around — that is, heavy drinking led to depression.

Research has also shown that depression improves when heavy drinkers go on the wagon, Saitz says.

Seizures

Heavy drinking can cause epilepsy and can trigger seizures even in people who don’t have epilepsy. It can also interfere with the action of the medications used to treat convulsions.

Gout

A painful condition, gout is caused by the formation of uric acid crystals in the joints. Although some cases are largely hereditary, alcohol and other dietary factors seem to play a role. Alcohol also seems to aggravate existing cases of gout.

High blood pressure

Alcohol can disrupt the sympathetic nervous system, which, among other things, controls the constriction and dilation of blood vessels in response to stress, temperature, exertion, etc. Heavy drinking — and bingeing, in particular — can cause blood pressure to rise. Over time, this effect can become chronic. High blood pressure can lead to many other health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke.

Infectious disease

Heavy drinking suppresses the immune system, providing a toehold for infections, including tuberculosis, pneumonia, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases (including some that cause infertility). People who drink heavily also are more likely to engage in risky sex. “Heavy drinking is associated with a three-fold increase in the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease” .

Nerve damage

Heavy drinking can cause a form of nerve damage known as alcoholic neuropathy, which can produce a painful pins-and-needles feeling or numbness in the extremities as well as muscle weakness, incontinence, constipation, erectile dysfunction, and other problems. Alcoholic neuropathy may arise because alcohol is toxic to nerve cells, or because nutritional deficiencies attributable to heavy drinking compromise nerve function.

Pancreatitis

In addition to causing stomach irritation (gastritis), drinking can inflame the pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis interferes with the digestive process, causing severe abdominal pain and persistent diarrhea –and “it’s not fixable,” Saitz says. Some cases of chronic pancreatitis are triggered by gallstones, but up to 60% stem from alcohol consumption.

 

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Health Advice

Foot Care

Caring for Your Feet

There are many things you can do to keep your feet healthy.

  • Take care of your diabetes. Work with your health care team to keep your blood glucose in your target range.
  • Check your feet every day. Look at your bare feet for red spots, cuts, swelling, and blisters. If you cannot see the bottoms of your feet, use a mirror or ask someone for help.
  • Be more active. Plan your physical activity program with your health team.
  • Ask your doctor about Medicare coverage for special shoes.
  • Wash your feet every day. Dry them carefully, especially between the toes.
  • Keep your skin soft and smooth. Rub a thin coat of skin lotion over the tops and bottoms of your feet, but not between your toes.
  • If you can see and reach your toenails, trim them when needed. Trim your toenails straight across and file the edges with an emery board or nail file.
  • Wear shoes and socks at all times. Never walk barefoot. Wear comfortable shoes that fit well and protect your feet. Check inside your shoes before wearing them. Make sure the lining is smooth and there are no objects inside.
  • Protect your feet from hot and cold. Wear shoes at the beach or on hot pavement. Don’t put your feet into hot water. Test water before putting your feet in it just as you would before bathing a baby. Never use hot water bottles, heating pads, or electric blankets. You can burn your feet without realizing it.
  • Keep the blood flowing to your feet. Put your feet up when sitting. Wiggle your toes and move your ankles up and down for 5 minutes, two (2) or three (3) times a day. Don’t cross your legs for long periods of time. Don’t smoke.
  • Get started now. Begin taking good care of your feet today.  Set a time every day to check your feet.

 

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Health Advice

Healthy Eating Plan

Healthy Eating Plan

A healthy eating plan gives your body the nutrients it needs every day while staying within your daily calorie goal for weight loss. A healthy eating plan also will lower your risk for heart disease and other health conditions.

A healthy eating plan:

  • Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
  • Limits saturated and trans fats, sodium, and added sugars
  • Controls portion sizes

Calories

To lose weight, most people need to reduce the number of calories they get from food and beverages (energy IN) and increase their physical activity (energy OUT).

For a weight loss of 1–1 ½ pounds per week, daily intake should be reduced by 500 to 750 calories. In general:

  • Eating plans that contain 1,200–1,500 calories each day will help most women lose weight safely.
  • Eating plans that contain 1,500–1,800 calories each day are suitable for men and for women who weigh more or who exercise regularly.

Very low calorie diets of fewer than 800 calories per day should not be used unless you are being monitored by your doctor.

 

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Health Advice

How to Use Inhaler

How to Use Your Inhaler

Metered Dose Inhaler

How to Use a Metered-Dose Inhaler “Puffer”
A metered-dose inhaler, called an MDI for short, is a pressurized inhaler that delivers medication by using a propellant spray.

To use an MDI:

  1. Shake the inhaler well before use (3 or 4 shakes)
  2. Remove the cap
  3. Breathe out, away from your inhaler
  4. Bring the inhaler to your mouth. Place it in your mouth between your teeth and close you mouth around it.
  5. Start to breathe in slowly. Press the top of you inhaler once and keep breathing in slowly until you have taken a full breath.
  6. Remove the inhaler from your mouth, and hold your breath for about 10 seconds, then breathe out.

If you need a second puff, wait 30 seconds, shake your inhaler again, and repeat steps 3-6. After you’ve used your MDI, rinse out your mouth and record the number of doses taken.

Store all puffers at room temperature

Categories
Mother & Child Health

Anaemia During Pregnancy

What causes anemia during pregnancy?

Your body uses iron to make hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen to your tissues. During pregnancy, your blood volume expands to accommodate changes in your body and help your baby make his or her entire blood supply — doubling your need for iron. If you don’t have enough iron stores or get enough iron during pregnancy, you could develop iron deficiency anemia.

How does anemia during pregnancy affect the baby?

Iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy might increase the risk of a preterm delivery or a low birth weight baby.

What are the risk factors for anemia during pregnancy?

You are at increased risk of developing anemia during pregnancy if you:

  • Have two or more closely spaced pregnancies
  • Are pregnant with more than one baby
  • Are vomiting frequently due to morning sickness
  • Don’t consume enough iron
  • Have a heavy pre-pregnancy menstrual flow

What are the symptoms of anemia during pregnancy?

If you have a mild case of iron deficiency anemia, you might not notice any symptoms. However, if you have a moderate or severe case, you might:

  • Be excessively tired and weak
  • Become increasingly pale
  • Have heart palpitations
  • Be short of breath
  • Feel dizzy or lightheaded
  • Have cravings to eat nonfood items (pica), such as clay or cornstarch

Keep in mind that some anemia symptoms can be similar to general pregnancy symptoms.

Regardless of whether or not you have symptoms, you’ll have a blood test to screen for anemia during your first prenatal visit and usually once more during the course of the pregnancy. In addition, if you’re concerned about your level of fatigue or any other symptoms, consult your doctors.

How can anemia during pregnancy be prevented and treated?

Prenatal vitamins typically contain iron. Taking a prenatal vitamin that contains iron can help prevent and treat anemia during pregnancy. In some cases, your doctor might recommend a separate iron supplement. During pregnancy, you need 27 milligrams of iron a day.

Good nutrition can also prevent anemia during pregnancy. Dietary sources of iron include lean red meat, poultry and fish. Other options include iron-fortified breakfast cereals, beans and vegetables.

The iron from animal products, such as meat, is most easily absorbed. To enhance the absorption of iron from plant sources and supplements, pair them with a food or drink high in vitamin C — such as orange juice, tomato juice or strawberries. If you take iron supplements with orange juice, avoid the calcium-fortified variety. Although calcium is an essential nutrient during pregnancy, calcium can decrease iron absorption.

How is anemia during pregnancy treated?

If you are taking a prenatal vitamin that contains iron and you are anemic, your doctor might recommend testing to determine other possible causes. In some cases, you might need to see a doctor who specializes in treating blood disorders (hematologist). If the cause is iron deficiency, additional supplemental iron may be suggested. If you have a history of gastric or small bowel surgery or are unable to tolerate oral iron, you might need intravenous iron administration.

 

Categories
Mother & Child Health

Breastfeeding

Advantage Of Breastfeeding

  • Breastfeeding protects your baby from infections and diseases.
  • Breastfeeding provides health benefits for mother.
  • It’s free.
  • It’s available whenever and wherever your baby needs a feed.
  • It’s the right temperature.
  • It can build a strong physical and emotional bond between mother and baby.
  • It can give you a great sense of achievement.

Health benefits of breastfeeding for your baby:

  • Less chance of diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Fewer chest and ear infections and fewer visits to hospital.
  • Less chance of being constipated.
  • Less likelihood of becoming obese and therefore developing type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related illnesses later in life.

Any amount of breastfeeding has a positive effect. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.

Health benefits of breastfeeding for mother:

Breastfeeding doesn’t only benefit your baby. It benefits your health too. Breastfeeding is good for mother as it:

  • Lowers your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Naturally uses up to 500 calories a day.
  • Saves money – infant formula, the sterilising equipment and feeding equipment can be costly.
  • Can help to build a strong bond between you and your baby.

Exclusive breastfeeding can also delay the return of your periods.

Proper positioning techniques for breastfeeding

The mother must:

  • Hold the baby so that he/she is facing the nipple.
  • Keep your fingers away from the area to be drawn into the baby’s mouth, allowing the baby to draw in the entire nipple and as much of the areola as possible.
  • Press your fingers slightly towards your ribs to keep the nipple extended as much as possible.
  • Guide and insert the areola by centering the nipple in the baby’s mouth and pointing it toward the top back section of the baby’s mouth.
  • Hold the baby in close to your body.

The baby must:

  • Face the mother’s body.
  • Open his/her mouth wide (like a big yawn.)
  • Draw the nipple in to the upper back part of his mouth.
  • Place his gums beyond the nipple, taking in as much of the areola as possible.
  • Have his tongue out, over his lower gum, “cradling” the nipple and areola.

 

Categories
Mother & Child Health

Child Development Stage

Developement Stage of a Child

Stage Motor Development
2 Months Smiles at the sound of your voice and follows you with their eyes around the room.
3 Months Raises head and chest when lying on stomach.
Grasps objects. Smiles at other people.
4 Months Babbles, laughs, and tries to imitate sounds.
Holds head steady.
6 Months Rolls from back to stomach and stomach to back.
Moves objects in hands.
7 Months Responds to own name.
Finds partially hidden toys and household items.
9 Months Sits without support, crawls, babbles, starts to say mom and dad’s name.
12 Months Walks with or without support.
Says at least one word.
Starts copying other people.
18 Months Walks independently, drinks from a cup, says a few words, and points to body parts.
2 Years Runs and jumps.
Speaks in two-word sentences.
Follows simple instructions.
Begins make-believe play.
3 Years Climbs
Speaks in multiword sentences.
Sorts objects by shape and color.
4 Years Gets along with people outside the family.
Draws circles and squares.
Rides a tricycle.
5 Years Tells name and address.
Jumps, hops, and skips.
Gets dressed
Counts 10 or more objects.

 

Categories
Mother & Child Health

Common Complications of Pregnancy

What are some common complications of pregnancy?

Some women experience health problems during pregnancy. These complications can involve the mother’s health, the fetus, or both. Even women who were healthy before getting pregnant can experience complications. These complications make the pregnancy a high-risk pregnancy.

Getting early and regularprenatal care can help decrease the risk for problems by enabling health care providers to diagnose, treat, or manage conditions before they become serious.

Some common complications of pregnancy include, but are not limited to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Preeclampsia
  • Preterm labor
  • Pregnancy loss

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, occurs when arteries carrying blood from the heart to the body organs are narrowed. This causes pressure to increase in the arteries. In pregnancy, this can make it hard for blood to reach the placenta, which provides nutrients and oxygen to the fetus. Reduced blood flow can slow the growth of the fetus and place the mother at greater risk of preterm labor and preeclampsia.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs when a woman who didn’t have diabetes before pregnancy develops the condition during pregnancy.

Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition that can lead to premature delivery. Its cause is unknown, but some women are at an increased risk. Risk factors include

  • First pregnancies
  • Preeclampsia in a previous pregnancy
  • Existing conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Being 35 years of age or older
  • Carrying two or more fetuses
  • Obesity

Preterm Labor

Preterm labor is labor that begins before 37 weeks of gestation. Any infant born before 37 weeks is at an increased risk for health problems, in most cases because organs such as the lungs and brain finish their development in the final weeks before a full-term delivery (39 to 41 weeks).

Pregnancy Loss/Miscarriage

Miscarriage is the term used to describe a pregnancy loss from natural causes before 20 weeks. Signs can include vaginal spotting or bleeding, cramping, or fluid or tissue passing from the vagina. However, bleeding from the vagina does not mean that a miscarriage will happen or is happening. Women experiencing this sign at any point in their pregnancy should contact with the doctor.

The loss of pregnancy after the 20th week of gestation is called a stillbirth. In approximately half of all reported cases, doctors can find no cause for the loss. However, health conditions that can contribute to stillbirth include chromosomal abnormalities, placental problems, poor fetal growth, chronic health issues of the mother, and infection.

 

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Mother & Child Health

Common Signs of Pregnancy

What are some common signs of pregnancy?

The primary sign of pregnancy is missing a menstrual period or two or more consecutive periods, but many women experience other symptoms of pregnancy before they notice a missed period.

Missing a period does not always mean a woman is pregnant.Menstrual irregularities are common and can have a variety of causes,including taking birth controll pills,conditions such as diabetis and polycystic ovary syndrome, eating disorders, excessive exercise, and certain medications. Women who miss a period should visit her doctor to find out whether they are pregnant or whether they have a specific health problem.

Pregnancy symptoms vary from woman to woman. A woman may experience every common symptom, just a few, or none at all. Some signs of early pregnancy include

  • Slight bleeding. One study shows as many as 25% of pregnant women experience slight bleeding or spotting that is lighter in color than normal menstrual blood.This typically occurs at the time of implantation of the fertilized egg (about 6 to 12 days after conception) but is common in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Tender, swollen breasts or nipples. Women may notice this symptom as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception. Hormonal changes can make the breasts sore or even tingly. The breasts feel fuller or heavier as well.
  • Many women feel more tired early in pregnancy because their bodies are producing more of a hormone called progesterone, which helps maintain the pregnancy and encourages the growth of milk-producing glands in the breasts. In addition, during pregnancy the body pumps more blood to carry nutrients to the fetus. Pregnant women may notice fatigue as early as 1 week after conception.
  • The sudden rise of hormones may trigger headaches early in pregnancy.
  • Nausea or vomiting. This symptom can start anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks after conception and can continue throughout pregnancy. Commonly referred to as “morning sickness,” it can actually occur at any time during the day.
  • Food cravings or aversions. Sudden cravings or developing a dislike of favorite foods are both common throughout pregnancy. A food craving or aversion can last the entire pregnancy or vary throughout this period.
  • Mood swings. Hormonal changes during pregnancy often cause sharp mood swings. These can occur as early as a few weeks after conception.
  • Frequent urination. The need to empty the bladder more often is common throughout pregnancy. In the first few weeks of pregnancy, the body produces a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin, which increases blood flow to the pelvic region, causing women to have to urinate more often.

Many of these symptoms can also be a sign of another condition, the result of changing birth control pills, or stress, and thus they do not always mean that a woman is pregnant. Women should visit her doctor if they suspect they are pregnant.