Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Top Tips To Minimize Morning Sickness

According to US and UK data from public health authorities, morning sickness affects over half of all pregnant mothers. It is generally related to an increase in estrogen levels, low blood sugar counts, and a greater susceptibility to some smells. More often, morning sickness will be present in the early hours of the morning and will ease up somewhat as the day goes on.

Morning sickness is also known as nausea gravidarum, nausea, vomiting of pregnancy (emesis gravidarum), or pregnancy sickness.

At times, morning sickness can be mild. However, the pregnant mother may at other times feel so nauseous that she will vomit.

Even though morning sickness can be extremely unpleasant, it is hardly ever severe enough to cause metabolic derangement. In most cases, morning sickness settles down by the end of the first trimester.

Morning sickness is more likely to occur during the first three months of a pregnancy.

Here are a few tips you can put in to practice to minimize unpleasant morning sickness symptoms:
  1. Get plenty of rest.

    You must ensure you get a good night´s sleep - wear a sleep mask, or even dark glasses, to block out as much light as possible. You might also consider a maternity body pillow that will properly help you support your back and stomach.

    Sometimes taking naps during the day may help.

    Avoid moving around straight after eating.

    A pregnant woman resting

  2. Get up slowly

    Don't be in a hurry to get out of bed when you wake up. Take your time.

  3. Avoid some types of foods

    Avoid fatty and/or spicy foods. Avoid caffeine as well.

  4. Food portion sizes - have small ones.

    It is important to always have some kind of food in your stomach, as this will lower your chances of experiencing nausea - and if you do, most likely symptoms will be milder. If the stomach is empty, the acids have nothing to workon, except for the stomach lining, resulting in worsening nausea.

    Have some salty crackers, peanut butter snacks, or some other protein snack before you get out of bed in the morning.

    At breakfast, cold apple sauce, pears, bananas or any citrus fruit will help you feel satisfied early. Baked potatoes, although, less tasty for many, are highly nutritious. The fruit's potassium may help prevent morning sickness. At night, try eating something high in protein snack/meal before going to bed, as this will help regulate your blood-glucose levels.

    A selection of fruits

  5. Computer monitor flicker.

    The rapid, almost unnoticeable flickering of the computer monitor could cause morning sickness. If you are susceptible to morning sickness due to monitor flicker, try to avoid using a computer completely. If you must, you should adjust the screen by making the fonts bold and larger and changing the background to a soft tan or pink color - this will help reduce eye strain.

  6. Physical activity.

    Some mothers may find it hard to move around if they feel lousy. However, being physically active has been found to improve symptoms in many people.

  7. Fluid intake.

    Being hydrated is crucial for good health, and very important during pregnancy. Some mothers with morning sickness may not feel like consuming their recommended eight glasses of water per day, especially if their stomachs seem not to let them. However, the more dehydrated you are, the more nauseated you will become.

    If drinking water is hard, try adding apple cider vinegar and honey. Some mothers say flat Sprite helps, or decaffeinated cola. Sucking ice cubes made from water or fruit juice is also an effective method. The colder the drink, the easier it is to consume.

  8. Ginger.

    For many years, ginger has long been publicized as a stomach soother, and studies have shown that it may help relieve nausea symptoms. Sipping cold ginger ale, or adding a slice of raw ginger to water or tea may help sooth your stomach.

    Snacks such as gingerbread, or ginger cookies will all effectively help prevent nausea.

    A glass mug of ginger tea

  9. Keep your mind occupied.

    It is important to try to take your mind off the nauseous feelings. Finding things to do might not be easy. Reading a book, doing puzzles, watching television, playing cards, or going for short walks around the block will clear your mind and relax you. However, you must also listen to your body, and stop whenever necessary.

  10. Wear loose and comfortable clothing.

    Restrictive or tight clothing may exacerbate the symptoms of morning sickness. Studies have found that pregnant mothers with nausea who switched from tight to loose-fitting clothing reported either reduced symptoms or non at all.

  11. Consider using children's vitamins instead of regular pre-natal vitamins.

    Children's vitamins are usually easier to digest.

  12. Sniff fresh scents.

    Morning sickness is very much smell-associated - the pregnant mother becomes more sensitive to odors. Certain ugly smells, smells you cannot get away from, and potent smells such as perfumes can trigger an episode of unpleasant nausea. The most effective scents, according to self-reports, are lemon extract and/or rosemary.

    Some rosemary
    Fresh rosemary is a very effective scent for morning sickness

  13. Triggers

    There are several triggers that can bring on an episode of nausea and a general feeling of being unwell due to morning sickness. Most people will soon identify what they are. Avoid them as much as you can, and your frequency of nausea and/or vomiting will reduce, as will severity of symptoms.

  14. Acid reflux

    Sometimes, the nĂ¡usea and vomiting may be due to acid reflux. Taking antacid medication before going to bed may help reduce stomach acid levels, and the subsequent morning vomiting. Check with your doctor before buying any medication during pregnancy.

  15. Iron pills or iron-containing multivitamins

    Some pregnant women may become nauseous because of the iron supplements they have been told to take. Talk to your doctor and ask him/her to recommend a slower-release form, or even possible a lower dosage.

  16. Acupressure

    Applying pressure on specific points on the body to control symptoms has been shown to help some women with morning sickness. In this case, it involves wearing a special band on your forearm.
Hyperemesis gravidarum - excessive vomiting during pregnancy. This may lead to dehydration and malnutrition. A woman with hyperemesis gravidarum may weigh over 5% less than she did before she was pregnant.

About 1 in every 300 pregnant women develop hyperemesis gravidarum. The condition does not usually persist beyond the 20th week of pregnancy. The doctor may recommend dietary changes, plenty of rest and the use of antacids. In severe cases the patient may need to receive fluids and nutrition intravenously.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/37757.php

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A Broken Heart Breaks Your Heart, Literally !

According to an article published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, heart attack risk after bereavement is much higher for several weeks after the loss. The day the loved one dies, the risk of a heart attack is a stunning twenty one times higher.

The article also warns friends and family to look for signs of heart failure in the bereaved person, ensuring they relax and maintain any medication regime they may be on.

The study was conducted with nearly 2000 adult heart attack survivors and while the risk of a heart problem declined over the first month, it still remained at six times the normal risk during the first week after a loved one died.

Murray Mittleman, M.D., Dr.P.H., a preventive cardiologist and epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and School of Public Health's epidemiology department in Boston, Mass. said:

"Caretakers, healthcare providers, and the bereaved themselves need to recognize they are in a period of heightened risk in the days and weeks after hearing of someone close dying."

This is the first study of its kind to focus on the effects of emotional events in our lives, on the heart.

Broken heart syndrome is a well documented effect, but it is not thought to produce any lasting health problems, and while it may be true that those suffering from symptoms of a broken heart generally recover with no ill effect, it certainly appears that others, while not suffering from the "pseudo" heart attack of broken heart syndrome, jump straight into full blown symptoms and physical heart issues.

Researchers say that figures show that 1 in 320 people who are at high risk for heart failure and 1 in nearly 1,400 people who are at low risk, will suffer increased heart problems due to a bereavement. Additionally, the grieving spouses are more likely to die in the future, with heart attacks and strokes accounting for 53 percent of their deaths.

As part of the multicenter study, the scientists analyzed charts and talked with patients while in the hospital, after a confirmed heart attack between 1989 and 1994. Patients answered questions about circumstances surrounding their heart attack, as well as whether they recently lost someone significant in their lives over the past year, when the death happened, and the importance of their relationship.

Researchers used a case crossover design to compare patients over the past six months. The approach eliminated the possible confounding factors of comparing different people. The authors also estimated the relative risk of a heart attack by comparing the number of patients who had someone close to them die in the week before their heart attack, to the number of deaths of significant people in their lives from one to six months before their heart attack. Psychological stress, such as that caused by intense grief, can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and blood clotting, which can raise the chances of a heart attack.

The information should be particularly useful for healthcare professionals and family members alike. The grieving process can cause a person to get less sleep, have a lower appetite and higher cortisol levels, all of which are associated with heart attacks. It's also easy for a person who is in a state of emotional shock from a sudden loss, to neglect medications, fail to eat correctly, or eat more harmful foods, drink and smoke more, and so forth.

Elizabeth Mostofsky, lead author of the research said:

"Friends and family of bereaved people should provide close support to help prevent such incidents, especially near the beginning of the grieving process."

Her colleague Dr. Mittleman said:

"During situations of extreme grief and psychological distress, you still need to take care of yourself and seek medical attention for symptoms associated with a heart attack."

Heart attack signs include chest discomfort, upper body or stomach pain, shortness of breath, breaking into a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness.

Co-authors Elizabeth Mostofsky, M.P.H, Sc.D.; Malcolm Maclure, Sc.D.; Jane Sherwood, R.N.; Geoffrey Tofler, M.D.; and James Muller, M.D. recommend a more in depth study of the issues.

The report doesn't make any mention of the age of the participants, you'd have to assume that it would be more likely to affect the elderly. They say that a divorce is worse than a death, since you have to reconcile not only the loss, but deal with a living person also, and whilst most heated divorces take place at a younger age, it would still be interesting to assess the effect of other emotional events such as this, on the bodies health, as well as the factor of age of a person.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240135.php

If you like this article, you must see:

Top Tips To Minimize Morning Sickness

Kids Need To Use More Sunscreen

Kids Need To Use More Sunscreen

A study published in the journal Pediatrics shows that most pre-adolescent children do not regularly use sunscreen, and worse, many suffer from sunburn at some point during their childhood.

Figures show that people having suffered a major sunburn incident in their childhood are at double the risk of developing a melanoma later in life, so protecting children from too much sun is something parents and carers should pay more attention to.

The study, which is entitled "Prospective Study of Sunburn and Sun Behavior Patterns During Adolescence," looked at 360 children in the Massachusetts area and found that at least 50% of them experienced sun burn before their 11th birthday. They followed up with the participants three years later and found rates of sunburn still alarmingly high; and as children grew into their teens fewer reported using sunscreen, most thought they spent more time in the sun, than as children.

At the conclusion of the study, only 25% of children used sunscreen routinely and half the children who reported using sunscreen at the beginning of the study no longer used it three years later.

Stephen Dusza, lead author and a research epidemiologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

"At the same time, there was a significant reduction in
reported sunscreen use."

Less is known about the activities of teenagers, but many, especially girls like to begin tanning - ideas are needed to promote sun protection at the beaches, after-school sites, as well as at sporting and other outdoor events.

Dusza plans to extend the study of the children into their late teens and gather more data about behaviors and fashions in regards to sun exposure.

Most participants in the study commented that they prefer the look of a tan, and thought people looked better with a tan. The number of children spending time in the sun to get a tan increased over the three year period. Dusza said :

"When you ask kids or teens about tanning, they say people look better with a tan, and tanning has a very positive association in kids of this age, so trying to get them to limit this behavior is a difficult message to get across."

Other dermatologists not involved in the study concurred with the sentiment, highlighting the need to get the message across to children and young teens that over-exposure to ultra violet light can be harmful. Something could quite easily be done to promote public awareness, much in the way that smoking has been reduced and people are generally aware of the tobacco issues. Even though, of course, there will always be those risk takers who prefer to go their own way, educating people to the risks will slowly make tanning less desirable and less fashionable.

Dr. Jonette Keri, associate professor of dermatology at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine said :

"This is the age group we need to make an impact on, because it gets harder to make an impact as they get into their later teen and early adult years."

The authors conclude :

"Along with educational efforts in physicians' offices and schools, further studies are required to learn how to interweave enhanced sun-protection policies in settings such as beaches, after-school sites, and sporting events frequented by preadolescences and adolescents."

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/240652.php

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