Sunday, September 30, 2012

Baby’s first haircut

Baby’s first haircut is a rite of passage for both baby and parent. The untouched downy baby-hair stage is over and the door is opened to a lifetime’s worth of haircuts and probably more than one cringe-worthy hairstyle (as those who ever sported a spiral perm will agree).

Mothers' Fitness and mental health

Woman running
It’s hard to think about adding another thing to your schedule when you have a newborn but, at a time when you have never been more exhausted, a little endorphin rush can really help your flagging energy levels. A study from the University of Melbourne has also shown that participating in an exercise program in the first three months after giving birth can halve a mother’s risk of depression, as well as increasing her sense of well being.

Weight loss after pregnancy

Weight loss after pregnancyMost mums are normally very keen to banish those baggy, usually unflattering maternity clothes to the storage closet after a pregnancy. The bad news is that there is no quick fix; the good news is that with healthy eating and exercise you can get your pre pregnancy figure back quicker than you thought possible. You will need plenty of patience and allow yourself 3 months before embarking on any strict weight reducing diet. Allow yourself at least 9 months to regain your pre-pregnancy weight. Remember that this can get you on the road to a healthy, active lifestyle which can only benefit you in the long run. Under no circumstances should you try to starve yourself thinner. It’s guaranteed to fail.

protecting your child from paedophiles

Parent on internet with child
It is every parent’s worst fear that their child may fall victim to a paedophile. The statistics themselves are sobering.1 in 4 girls and 1 in 7 boys are victims of child sexual abuse (Australian Institute of Criminology, 2000). So how can parents best protect their children?

Step parenting

There is no set prescription for a “normal” family and really, there never has been. Each family is unique and a sum of all the individuals who are part of it. Though it’s fair to say that parents, whether biological or step, generally share the same hopes and dreams; to raise happy, well adjusted kids who eventually go on to lead full and productive adult lives.
Step families constitute an increasingly large proportion of Australian life. In 2007 there were around 120,000 children who were living in a step family and within the same year, another 100,000 living in a blended family.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tips for photographing your child

From the moment they’re born, your children will instantly become the most photographed member of your family, as you capture all of the cute, important, embarrassing, and heart-melting moments.

Anissa K Photography share some helpful tips and tricks for improving your photography skills, and getting great shots of your baby.

Baby Equipment : Choosing a Baby Stroller

Still on safety of baby equipment. Watch video for some tips on choosing a safe baby stroller

Baby Equipment : Buying a Baby Swing

Think safety first. Please watch the video for some tips.

Baby safety equipment

Baby in cot
Here are a few ideas on what baby safety equipment to look for when setting up your baby’s room and the toys they play with.

Water safety for your kids

Water Safety
Shocking fact – a child can drown in just a few centimetres of water, in a very short space of time. Supervision is always required around water.

Why Kids' Snoring Can Cause Behavioral Problems

bedwetting causes, what causes bedwetting, how to get kids to stop bedwetting, children and bedwetting, why kids wet the bed, constipation, effects of constipation in kids, health, children's healthChildren who persistently snore during their early childhood may be more likely to have behavioral problems such as aggression and hyperactivity, according to a new study.

Researchers studied 249 mother-child pairs and found the children who snored at both age 2 and age 3 were nearly 3.5 times more likely to have signs of behavioral issues when compared with those who did not snore at these ages, or who only snored during one of those years. Among the kids who snored at both ages, 35 percent showed signs of behavioral problems, while 10 percent in nonsnorers, and 12 percent in kids who only snored for one year, showed such signs. The findings show the importance of getting good sleep, the researchers said.

10 Tips for Avoiding Cancer

Many people think cancer is entirely genetic and cannot be avoided, but that's not true. Healthy behaviors could prevent about half of cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Society. Here are 10 lifestyle changes, all based on the latest research, that can improve the odds against cancer. The tips come from Dr. Anne McTiernan of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

The 10 Deadliest Cancers and Why There's No Cure

cancer-patients-100910-02The dread and fear that can come with a cancer diagnosis have their roots in its killer nature: It's the No. 2 cause of death in Americans, second only to heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even when diagnosed early and attacked with the latest treatments, it still has the power to kill.

While there are many successful treatments today that didn't exist just a couple decades ago, a wholesale “cure for cancer” remains elusive for many reasons. There are more than 100 types of cancer, characterized by abnormal cell growth. There are many different causes, ranging from radiation to chemicals to viruses; an individual has varying degrees of control over exposure to cancer-causing agents.

Deadliest Skin Cancer Hides in Plain Sight, Study Finds

face in mirror, woman, skin, looking at skinMore people survive melanoma now than in generations past, but the death rate of one type of melanoma has not budged for the past 30 years, a new study shows.

Nodular melanoma consistently accounts for 14 percent of diagnosed melanomas, but makes up 37 percent of ultimately fatal cases, according to the study published in the January issue of the Archives of Dermatology. Part of the reason that nodular melanoma contributes to a disproportionate number of melanoma deaths may be that it doesn't always look like the cancerous moles described in public health.

Shave It Off! How Bald Guys Can Look More Manly and Dominant

Medioimages/Photodisc / Getty Images
Forget hair transplants, pills and hair regrowth serums. A University of Pennsylvania researcher has a better alternative for balding men: shave it all off.
In three experiments, researcher Albert Mannes, a lecturer at the Wharton School at U. Penn — and a balding man himself — found that guys with shaved heads are not only perceived by others as more manly and dominant than other men, but also taller, stronger and having greater potential as leaders.

How to keep your baby’s temperature safe this autumn

As the weather outside gets colder and the central heating indoors goes up, make sure your little one is safe and comfortable at all times, doesn’t overheat and avoids a chill.

This summer has made it more obvious than ever that the British weather is completely unpredictable and constantly changing, which causes a headache for parents of newborns. Tiny babies find it tricky to regulate their own temperature in stable conditions, let alone the widely fluctuating hot and cold flashes autumn brings.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Sleeping pills taken by millions linked to dementia: research

Sleeping pills taken by more than one million people in the UK may increase the risk of developing dementia, research has suggested. A study involving more than 1,000 elderly people has found that those who begin taking benzodiazepine are at a 50 per cent increased risk of developing dementia within 15 years.

In Britain the drugs are used for short-term insomnia and anxiety, but mostly for sedation and anxiety ahead of surgery or other procedures such as dental work. Around 1.5million people in the UK are believed to be taking the pills at any one time and there were around 9m prescriptions issued in England in 2011 for benzodiazepines which include diazepam and temazepam.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Heartburn-Tobacco Connection

There are many good reasons to quit smoking. They range from curing your bad breath to reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. But here's another reason to add to that long list: tobacco -- not just in cigarettes, but in cigars, pipes, chew, and snuff -- can cause heartburn.
"Tobacco makes acid reflux worse," says David Carr-Locke, MD, director of endoscopy, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston. "It's definitely a risk factor."

And unlike a heightened risk of serious diseases -- which might seem rather abstract, especially when you're young -- heartburn is a consequence of tobacco use that you can feel right now. And chronic heartburn, due to gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), can cause more than serious pain; it can disrupt your sleep and interfere with your life.

Nighttime Heartburn: 12 Sleep Tips

Nighttime heartburn affects four out of five people who suffer regular heartburn and acid reflux. The discomfort and bitter taste can make sleep uncomfortable, even elusive. While over-the-counter and prescription drugs can treat symptoms once you have heartburn, "the cornerstone of treatment for any disease or disorder is prevention," say Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, and Brian E. Lacy, MD, PhD, in their book Healing Heartburn.

Fortunately, sometimes all it takes to prevent nighttime heartburn is a few lifestyle changes. WebMD turned to the heartburn experts to get their tips on stopping nighttime heartburn before it hits -- so you can sleep well tonight.

Heartburn? Lose Weight for Relief

Anyone who has ever suffered from heartburn or acid reflux knows all too well the discomfort and burning sensation in their chest after eating too much or the wrong kinds of foods. 

Following a heartburn diet -- one that typically eliminates alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods -- is usually the first line of defense. Not smoking, sleeping with an extra pillow, medications, loose fitting clothes, and not overeating are other measures that can reduce symptoms.  But experts say losing weight can also help, especially if you are overweight.  

Relieve Heartburn: 9 Hints for the Holidays

Nearly one in five Americans need frequent relief from heartburn. If you're among them, you're probably looking forward to the holidays with a mixture of anticipation and queasiness. The six weeks from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day often turn into a caloric free-for-all, and holiday menus are loaded with the foods that are on most heartburn sufferers' "danger" lists.

How can you enjoy the office holiday party, your Thanksgiving feast, Christmas at your in-laws, and the endless round of festive events without needing heartburn relief? Fear not -- the holidays need not be a time when you're haunted by the Ghost of Dinner Immediately Past. Just remember these holiday tips for relief from heartburn:

Insomnia Sufferers Risk Major Health Problems

Insomnia sufferers are putting their health at risk by taking sleeping remedies without medical advice, pharmacists have warned.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) says nearly a third of people with sleeping problems have taken pills for longer than a month without talking to a health professional. And 14% have taken remedies for more than six months, according to a survey carried out for the RPS. But the Society's Neil Patel told Sky News that sleep difficulties could be a symptom of more serious problems.

Walnuts May Improve Sperm Quality in Healthy Men

If you aspire to fatherhood, it might not hurt to go a little nuts. Walnuts, that is.

Eating 2.5 ounces of walnuts a day -- a little more than half a cup -- for 12 weeks improved sperm quality in healthy young men, researchers report. Their study is part of a growing body of evidence that men’s dietary and lifestyle choices might affect their fertility.

The new study, funded in part by the California Walnut Commission, enrolled 117 men aged 21 to 35 who ate a typical Western diet. Half the men were randomly assigned to eat 2.5 ounces of walnuts a day, along with their usual diet. The other men were told to continue their regular diet but not to eat any tree nuts.

Gout and Diabetes

Once termed “the kings’ disease,” gout used to be a problem primarily for wealthy people and royalty who lounged around drinking wine and eating rich food. But today, an estimated 68% of American adults are either overweight or obese. As a result, gout and type 2 diabetes -- two diseases that can result from an unhealthy lifestyle -- are sharply on the rise.

Gout is an arthritic condition caused by having an excess buildup of uric acid. It causes sudden, extreme attacks of pain, swelling, and redness. Gouty arthritis most often strikes the big toe, but it also can show up in the feet, ankles, knees, hands, and wrists.

Living With Chronic Gout

Treating Gout Attacks at Home
If you have gout, you know the unfortunate signs of a gout flare-up. There's nothing you can do to stop a gout attack once it's started, but there are things you can do to care for a gout flare at home. A gout attack happens when someone who already has higher than normal levels of uric acid in the body has a build-up of uric acid around a joint. Uric crystals form, causing a painful gout flare. Many things, including alcohol, some foods, stress, and some medications, can cause your uric acid level to rise, leaving you open to a gout attack.

Exercise in middle age linked to arthritis

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Risk highest with high impact sports
Exercising too much in middle age may increase your risk of arthritis, new research suggests.

High impact exercise involving running and jumping may cause damage to a person's knees without them realising, and put them at risk of osteoarthritis later in life. "Our data suggest that people with higher physical activity levels may be at greater risk for developing knee abnormalities and, thus, at higher risk for developing osteoarthritis," said Dr. Christoph Stehling, from the University of California, San Francisco.

Fewer fizzy drinks may improve blood pressure

Fewer fizzy drinks may improve blood pressure
Risk factor for heart attack and stroke
Drinking fewer sugar laden soft drinks may help to lower blood pressure, say researchers.

A US study found cutting back on sugar sweetened soft drinks by around a can a day, resulted in a drop in blood pressure in people with hypertension. "Our findings suggest that reducing sugar-sweetened beverages and sugar consumption may be an important dietary strategy to lower blood pressure and further reduce other blood pressure-related diseases," said Dr Liwei Chen assistant professor of epidemiolody at Louisiana State University Health Science Centre School of Public Health, New Orleans.

Resistant high blood pressure link to 'white coat' syndrome

Resistant high blood pressure link to white coat syndrome
One in three patients affected
One in three cases of high blood pressure that don't respond to treatment may be caused by "white coat syndrome," a study has found. White coat syndrome is used to describe the phenomenon in which a patient's blood pressure is unusually high when measured by a doctor, but returns to normal once they leave the GP's surgery. It is thought to be caused by nerves.

Blood pressure should be measured at home, watchdog says

Blood pressure should be measured at home, new guidelines say
Avoids 'white coat effect'
Patients with high blood pressure should have it monitored at home over 24 hours, the UK's health watchdog said.

This is in lieu of visiting a clinic, where measurements can be distorted by the 'white coat effect' - where the patient experiences an increase in blood pressure while it is being measured by their doctor. It is thought that up to a quarter of patients experience white coat effect. This means that patients who have normal blood pressure on a day to day basis may be misdiagnosed by their doctor.

Chili peppers may help lower blood pressure

Red hot chili peppers may help high blood pressure
Helps blood vessels to relax
Spicy hot chili peppers have been linked to a number of possible health benefits ( for instance helping with arthritis) - and now a new study from China suggests that they could help lower high blood pressure.

Chillis contain a chemical called capsaicin, which causes the familiar hot reaction in our mouths. But it is now thought it may also help blood vessels relax, and lower blood pressure. Study leader Zhiming Zhu said that a clue to the possible beneficial effect of long-term chili consumption came from his own home region of Chongqing in south-west China.

Potato rich diet can help reduce high blood pressure

Doesn't cause weight gain
The humble potato is often considered to be an unhealthy food choice - for instance, potatoes don't count towards your "five a day" of fruit and vegetables.

But now new research has found that a couple of servings a day of potatoes reduces high blood pressure without causing weight gain. There is a catch though - the potatoes were cooked in a microwave oven without using fat or oil, and were served without any accompaniments such as ketchup, butter or mayonnaise.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blood pressure difference between arms linked to early death

Blood pressure difference between arms linked to early death
Doctors should test both arms, say researchers
A large difference in blood pressure between the left and right arm can indicate a greater risk of dying early, researchers have said. A study of 230 patients with high blood pressure living in rural Devon found that those with a large difference in blood pressure readings were more likely to die within ten years from heart disease, stroke or other cardiovascular conditions.

Beetroot juice lowers blood pressure

How beetroot juice lowers blood pressure
Nitrate content behind the effect
The nitrate content of beetroot juice can help lower blood pressure, new research suggests.

A study, publshed online in the journal Hypertension, found that blood pressure was lowered within 24 hours in people who drank beetroot juice or took nitrate tablets. For people with high blood pressure who are at higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke, beetroot juice may be a new 'natural' approach to reducing their chances of the life threatening conditions.

Sitting increases risk of death

Sitting increases risk of death
Doctors should prescribe "reduced daily sitting time"
Sitting for long periods of time can sharply increase the risk of dying, according to the latest research. A study led by the University of Sydney found that adults who sat for 11 or more hours daily had a 40 per cent increased risk of dying in the following three years, as compared to those who sat for fewer than four hours daily.

Obese children more likely to have heart disease as adults

Obese children more likely to have heart disease as adults
Obese children and teenagers are more at risk of having heart disease or stroke later in life, research suggests.

Oxford University researchers warned that obese children could have a 30-40% greater risk of having a stroke or heart disease in the future as many already have risk factors for the disease such as raised blood pressure, high cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The study, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), comes as New York City passes a ban on large-size sugary drinks to help tackle obesity and related health problems in the US. MPs are now calling on the government to introduce similar legislation in the UK.

Eat right for healthy eyesight

Carotenoids and lutein will help keep your vision sharp and eyes healthy. Try these foods to boost your eyesight.

Eyesight fades naturally as we grow older, but there are ways to slow Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), as it's officially known.

According to Ian Grierson, Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Liverpool, 'While research suggests that vitamins A, C, E and zinc can help keep the eye healthy, it is carotenoids, the pigments that occur naturally in plants and algae, which offer the most precise way of targeting the damage that causes sight loss.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Postnatal depression

Postnatal depression (PND) isn’t just about feeling low, you find you:
      Have no appetite or over-eat for comfort
      Can't cope with your new life with your baby
      Are anxious
      Feel guilty
      Are afraid to be alone with your baby
      Think life just isn't worth living
PND can last weeks or months and can start anywhere between one to six months after the birth.


Girl looking in mirror
Self-harm happens when you injure or harm yourself on purpose. You may overdose; hit, cut or burn yourself; pull your hair or pick your skin; or try to strangle yourself. Or you just take too many drugs or drink too much alcohol. Such actions may be a sign that something is seriously wrong


Woman eating
Somewhere between anorexia and bulimia lay the rest of us. We may not have the view of our body that anorexics have of theirs, but there still may be some self-deception going on when we look in the mirror. We may not binge to the extent it makes us sick, but we may still look at a plate after we have emptied it and feel regret, or not remember actually putting all that food into our mouths.

Society pulls us in two directions. On one hand is the army of dieticians, doctors and nurses rightly telling us that obesity is an epidemic in the UK. The newspapers and television also promote the belief that to be thin is to be cool, beautiful or desirable. On the other hand we have unlimited access to rich foods high in calories. Part of the problem is what dieticians call ‘calorie density’; you get a lot more calories in an ounce of chocolate than you do in an ounce of celery. In our fast-food society there is a lot of calorie dense food not only available relatively cheaply, but assertively advertised.

Gene clue over male breast cancer

Scientists conducting the world's largest study of male breast cancer have identified a gene that raises the risk of developing the disease by half. Findings from the new research suggest that the causes of the disease may differ between women and men.

Male breast cancer is a rare disease that tends to be forgotten but can be just as lethal as its female counterpart. Around 350 men in the UK are diagnosed with the disease each year, compared with 48,000 women. It was already known that faulty BRCA2 genes are involved in around 10% of cases, a much higher proportion than among women.

Man's Failing Heart Heals Itself on Day of Emergency Transplant

A miraculous thing happened the day Michael Crowe was set to receive a potentially life-saving heart transplant. Doctors had determined the surgery would be ineffective - but his heart suddenly started beating again.

Crowe, a 23-year-old pharmacy student from Omaha, had been diagnosed with acute myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle, likely caused by a viral infection. When his mother brought him to the emergency room at his local hospital on Aug. 14, doctors found his heart was only functioning at about 25 percent efficiency. The hospital referred him to the Nebraska Medical Center, and by the time he was admitted to the intensive care unit there, his heart's efficiency had dropped below 10 percent.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Leafy vegetables lower diabetes risk

Leafy vegetables lower diabetes risk
Alas, you must eat the spinach, not take supplements
Eating green leafy vegetables such as spinach can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to the latest research. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is strongly associated with being overweight. It mainly affects people over the age of 40. The incidence of type 2 diabetes has risen sharply in the past two decades.

Mother talks of baby joy after cancer scare

Woman who miscarried five times before falling pregnant was then diagnosed with cervical cancer.

A mum left heartbroken after losing five babies before being diagnosed with cancer when she fell pregnant for a sixth time has spoken of her joy after giving birth to a healthy girl.

Amy Newton, 28, began trying for a baby with her husband Michael, 30, in 2010 but almost gave up on having a family after she suffered five miscarriages in just 12 months.

She was thrilled when she fell pregnant for a sixth time last November but was left devastated when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer just nine weeks later.

Doctors advised her to terminate the pregnancy in order to undergo chemotherapy but she refused and she became one of only three British women ever to have cancer surgery while pregnant.

Middle-aged men at risk of diabetes

Middle-aged men at risk of diabetes
Men twice as likely as women to develop the disease
Middle-aged men are more than twice as likely to have diabetes as middle-aged women, according to a new report by Diabetes UK. The report found that in the 35 to 54 age group, 2.4% (92,960) of men have diabetes compared to 1.2% (47,000) of women. These are figures for England only.

Black tea 'may fight diabetes'

black tea may fight diabetes
May also help against cancer and rheumatoid arthritis

White tea contains chemicals that could help slow the appearance of wrinkles. Now it seems that black tea could play a part in the fight against diabetes.

Note that by white tea and black tea we are talking about the way in which the teas have been processed, rather than meaning tea with or without milk. Black tea is the tea most common in the everyday British cuppa - it has been processed to increase its strength and shelf life.

Number of Babies Born Suffering from Drug Withdrawal Triples

Barbara Peacock / Getty Images
The rate of babies born to mothers who use prescription painkillers during pregnancy has risen sharply over the last decade. Though the long-term effects of such drug exposure are uncertain, true harm can come of labeling these babies as "addicts" at birth.

The number of babies born suffering from withdrawal symptoms due to their mothers’ use of prescription painkillers during pregnancy more than tripled between 2000 and 2009, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The authors estimate that one infant is born every hour in the U.S. with symptoms of opioid withdrawal, accounting for some 13,500 babies each year. Over the same time period, the number of women using opioid pain relievers like Oxycontin during pregnancy nearly quintupled and related health-care costs — particularly the care of drug-exposed infants in neonatal intensive wards — rose to $720 million annually, from $190 million.

Is Mom’s Lack of Vitamin D in Pregnancy Linked with Child’s Weight?

Barry Austin / Getty Images
Maintaining good health during pregnancy is one of the surest ways mothers can protect their developing babies’ well-being. A new study suggests that adequate levels of vitamin D could be one such protective factor.

Some data have linked low vitamin D levels to weight gain and obesity in women and children, but in the new study researchers at the University of Southampton in the U.K. found that association may begin the womb: children born to mothers with low levels of the vitamin during pregnancy had more body fat at age 6 than those whose mothers weren’t vitamin deficient.

Water during exams may help to boost grades

Water during exams may help to boost grades
Findings could affect exam policies
Taking a glass of water into exams may help students boost their grades, according to the latest research.

Researchers from the universities of East London and Westminster found that students who took water into exam halls scored an average of five per cent higher than those who did not. The findings could have implications for exam policies on access to drinks during examinations at all levels of education, they said.

'Healthy drinks' sugar warning

 Healthy drinks  sugar warning
People unaware of soft drinks sugar content
People underestimate the amount of sugar in soft drinks, particularly those, which are perceived to be healthy, according to new research. A Glasgow University study found that while many people slightly overestimate the amount of sugar in fizzy drinks, they significantly underestimate sugar levels in milkshakes, smoothies, energy drinks and fruit juices.

Study: Children Born Too Early Have Lower Reading and Math Scores

David De Lossy / Getty Images
Children born too early show lower test scores in school, according to a new study published in Pediatrics. Even babies who are technically born at term — at 37 or 38 weeks — do worse than those who are delivered later.

Although a pregnancy is considered full term at 37 weeks, at which point experts say babies are developed enough to breathe on their own, doctors are increasingly recommending that women delay giving birth until 39 weeks if they can, because babies do a lot of critical development in those last two weeks. Yet many expectant moms, who still don't know that full-term pregnancies should last 39 weeks, have been opting for elective cesarean sections earlier, thinking that it’s safe.

What Does Dad’s Job Have to Do with Baby’s Birth Defects?

Siri Stafford / Photodisc / Getty Images
A study draws some unexpected links between a father's job — mathematician, for example, along with office workers and artists — and a greater likelihood of birth defects in his offspring

Dads who work as architects, dentists, firefighters, fishermen, car assembly workers or painters may have chosen wisely, at least according to a new study finding that these professions aren’t linked to an increased risk of birth defects in men’s offspring. The study, by researchers at the North Carolina Center for Birth  Defects Research and Prevention, found that certain jobs held by expectant fathers appeared to be associated with varying likelihoods of birth defects in their babies. In many cases, the connections seemed counterintuitive: ostensibly innocuous professions including mathematicians, office workers and artists fell into the increased risk category, while jobs that would appear to carry greater risk — painters who regularly inhale fumes, for example — did not.

One in three asthmatics at high risk of a fatal attack

One in three asthmatics at high risk of a fatal attack
Asthma attack risk underestimated
More than a third of people with asthma are at 'high risk' of having a potentially fatal asthma attack, according to a new survey. Asthma UK surveyed nearly 25,000 people with asthma using an online test known as the Triple A (Avoid Asthma Attacks) test.

The test is aimed at people with asthma to help them find out their risk of having an asthma attack and advise them what they can do to reduce it. Over half (55%) of those who took the test did not think they were at risk of an attack, but the results found that 93 per cent of people had either an increased or highly increased risk.

For More Weight Loss, Exercise Less?

Cavan Images / Getty Images
As with so many other things in life, exercise may work best if you follow the Goldilocks rule: exercise neither too little nor too much, if your goal is to shed extra weight, a new study finds.

Previous research has shown that exercise alone doesn’t reliably lead to weight loss — without accompanying restrictions in diet — a dismaying fact that many hopeful weight-losers know firsthand. But a recent Danish study suggests that physical activity can indeed help shrink your pants size, so long as you hit the sweet spot — perhaps somewhere around a half-hour a day, at least for young men.

Mom’s Depression May Lead to Shorter Kids

Boy peering over countertop, mother's hand on his head
Mom's mood in early childhood can have wide-reaching effects, both physically and mentally, for children.

Children of moms who reported depressive symptoms during the first nine months after giving birth were more likely to be shorter than their peers by the time they reached preschool age, according to a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Cutting Out Soda Curbs Children’s Weight Gain, Studies Show

Image Source / Getty Images
Researchers provide the strongest evidence yet that soda and other sugary drinks contribute to the obesity epidemic in children.

The new findings, reported in a trio of studies published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, offer persuasive support for New York City’s first-in-the-nation ban on large-sized soft drinks at restaurants and sports arenas. Critics and the beverage industry immediately cried foul following the passage of the ban, arguing that there was little evidence that such drastic action would change people’s drinking habits — or their waistlines.

Should Children Be Allowed to Sip Mommy’s Drink?

Andrew Bret Wallis / Getty Images
Will allowing your child a sip of wine at an early age prevent him from engaging in dangerous drinking later? Probably not, but plenty of parents think so, finds a recent study.

A Survey published this week in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine interviewed 1,050 mothers and their third-graders, and found that a substantial proportion of parents — anywhere from 15% to 40% — believe that letting their kids taste alcohol at home will protect them from engaging in risky drinking behaviors with their peers later on. As expected, the children of moms who held such beliefs were more likely to have tried alcohol by about age 9.

Friday, September 21, 2012

2C-I or 'Smiles': The New Killer Drug Every Parent Should Know About

Smiles, a new drug popular with teens, has been linked to recent overdoses. (photo via
Witnesses described the 17-year-old boy as "shaking, growling, foaming at the mouth." According to police reports, Elijah Stai was at a McDonald's with his friend when he began to feel ill. Soon after, he "started to smash his head against the ground" and began acting "possessed," according to a witness. Two hours later, he had stopped breathing.

The Grand Forks, North Dakota teenager's fatal overdose has been blamed on a drug called 2C-I. The night before Stai's overdose, another area teen, Christian Bjerk, 18, was found face down on a sidewalk. His death was also linked to the drug. 2C-I--known by its eerie street name "Smiles"--has become a serious problem in the Grand Forks area, according to local police. Overdoses of the drug have also be reported in Indiana and Minnesota. But if the internet is any indication, Smiles is on the rise all over the country.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Confirming you are pregnant

Pregnancy test with positive result
Well, you’ve waited and waited, your body feels like it’s changing already (or perhaps it doesn’t) and you are dying to find out whether that sneaking suspicion is actually correct. So you ask yourself, am I pregnant? A lot of women planning to become pregnant keep a stash of home pregnancy tests – and that’s not a bad idea, these days they are pretty accurate when used correctly.

Pregnancy tests return a result based on the level of the hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) which is released into the bloodstream soon after conception, initially at very low levels but increasing rapidly till about twelve weeks into the pregnancy. While research has shown that around five percent of women will return a positive result from a home pregnancy test as early as eight days into the pregnancy, most experts recommend waiting until at least 14 days past the likely conception date.

What happens after ovulation?

After ovulating
So you’re pretty sure you’ve ovulated, and you did your best to get pregnant – what now?

The waiting time after ovulation until you are able to either take a pregnancy test or experience menstruation can be agonising, particularly if you have been trying to get pregnant for a while. In the ‘average’ 28 day cycle, menstruation occurs on Day 1 and ovulation occurs after this at around Day 14.

Natural Fertility

Natural fertilityThere’s plenty of solid scientific evidence that suggests that your fertility is strongly influenced by your lifestyle (what you eat, what you do, your environment and how you live). Enhancing your natural fertility levels is often the first steps recommended by fertility experts – usually through diet and lifestyle changes. Focusing on your natural fertility doesn’t have to be a stand-alone tactic – it can be done before (or simultaneously with) any medical interventions.

Healthy lifestyle tips for new parents

feel Good tipsTop tips to help you feel better every day

1. Spend at least one hour a day outdoors
Being indoors all day lowers serotonin levels. It is important to get out and about. Stop to smell the roses and enjoy a sunset regularly, it greatly improves your quality of life! Breathe deeply and breathe fresh air. Even 5 minutes can make a difference.

2. Keep your diet balanced
Good nutrition starts with eating a balanced diet and as many kinds of foods daily as you can. When you eat, slow down, enjoy your food and chew it well. Naturopaths suggest choosing a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables and to not overcook them. Also try to eat fish at least twice a week especially salmon or tuna. Good nutrition also means less saturated fat – limit sauces, gravies and margarine and remove or trim excess fat from animal products. Reduce caffeine and alcohol, but increase the amount of water you drink. Aim to have at least 2 litres daily and try to use a water filter.