MATERNAL HEALTH

This Week's Health News

Technology is such that studies are coming out many times per day so there is so much for the Team to post and highlight each week.  Here is trending health information for this week!:

  • Diabetes is the most expensive medical condition of some 150 conditions. It is preventable and pre-diabetes is reversible. Most people with diabetes are unaware of it.
  • Statins when tested on mice show that mice move less and develop fewer physical changes within their muscles. Statins have also been found to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes and produce muscle aches and fatigue in mice.
  • A study showed that people living near heavy traffic roads have a 7% greater risk for dementia-but it does not say why.
  • There is a professional athletes video game called NeuroTracker which supports cognitive agility in elite athletes by way of users having their eyes all around a 3D screen. A new version of this is available for consumers and it is called NuTrain.
  • Mediterranean diet in the news—seniors on such a diet have shown less brain shrinkage and those whose diet has been full of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts, olive oil, not much red meat nor poultry, but regular eating of fish and ingesting of red wine. Studies have shown us that this diet also lowers the chance of cardiac events, stroke and premature death.  And it is a puzzlement as to how it works still.  
  • Omega three fatty acids in fish and supplements are associated with lower risk of heart disease even for those with greater risk factors such as excess fat or high bad cholesterol.
  • New guidelines for earwax removal is that doctors now advise patients to see a medical doctor to have removal if the patient is having pain, hearing loss or fullness in the ear. Self- cleaning is not always safe and can irritate at best and at worst can cause infection or impact the wax making it more difficult to remove. This condition affects: 10% of children, 2% of adults and 33% of seniors.
  • Pregnant women who get pre-eclampsia or a condition of high blood pressure and protein in the urine, have a 1.6 times more likely risk of getting a retinal detachment and are about 2 times more at risk for retinal disease later in life.
  • In women who suffer from premenstrual dysphoric disorder (in layman terms: anxiety, depression and agitation before menstruation), were tested by having their progesterone and estrogen hormones shut down and their symptoms went away showing that the disorder is due to a cellular response to the hormones.
  • Regarding kids with ADHD, depression is known to be higher than those who don’t have ADHD. A study now shows that kids on ADHD meds may reduce their chances for depression.
  • A study of the mouth bacteria in Japan linked dental caries and cognition. Men had more dental caries and were less healthy than the women. They also had a higher likelihood for smoking, drinking, diabetes and a higher body mass index. The study also contributes to an overall body of research showing that oral bacteria are linked to stroke, cognitive decline and dementia.
  •  
  • A large study about flu and flu vaccine confirms that neither getting influenza during pregnancy nor receiving a flu vaccine during the 2nd and 3rd trimester are associated with risk of autism. No changes in vaccination policies are recommended, however.
  • Hearing tests for screening for autism can be very useful. Children 6-17 with autism had hearing difficulty in a specific frequency (1 to 2 kHz) important for processing speech. The degree of hearing impairment was associated with the severity of autism symptoms.

 

Choose wisely using new health information.

You can choose to be healthy.

Choose to win!

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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, maternal health, teen health, pregnancy

Mothers Rights-Breast Feeding In Public

In this political year, where there is talk of rights for all, what about mothers' rights?

There are still no real breast feeding places!

Bathrooms, lounges, etc., regardless of what gender adult they attract are not intended for nursing.  All the who-ha about bathrooms in the news this past year, brings to mind a friend who was trying to nurse (mid 1990’s) and it was very difficult for her to find a place in which to do it. This has not changed 21 years later!

 

Not a place for breast feeding in public yet! In a country where everything is possible!

Back then, the rest rooms or lounges were not quiet safe spaces to nurse.  That meant women had to pump into a bottle and feed- or run home and nurse. 

Today there is not quite the nursing stigma that there was twenty years back--and mothers can legally breastfeed in public in every state.  Still woman turn to formula for convenience despite that the American Association of Pediatrics recommends breast feeding for at least the first six months of life as best practice.  

Where would mothers nurse if they could?  Do we want babies to eat in the bathroom? Really?!

 Despite this no space for nursing a baby:

  • [i] infant nursing is up (as of 2011 at 79%).
  • 49% were still breastfeeding at 6 months-up 35% from 2000.
  • At 12 months the rate was 27% up from 16% from 2000.

Another article[ii] (2010, from Australia), showed that the longer the duration of breastfeeding a baby, the greater the self-confidence in the practice of nursing, general self-esteem and coping capacity as well as stronger social participation for the mother. Lower levels of anxiety and other post partum depression symptoms, were associated with longer length of nursing times too.  

 

A more recent study[iii]  looked at depression, finding that the longer time spent breast feeding infants-four versus one month, the less depressed the women were.  Yet another study from Hawaii [iv]looked further at nursing and postpartum depression. The participants in the study that did not breastfeed over the six months-- said that they were concerned about low milk supply, lack of support for lactation information, medical issues and pain.

What support for nursing a baby is necessary?

This is a multifacited endeavor for todays' mothers. It really takes something in order to breast feed:

  • It takes education-to understand how the process works and develops,
  • What is to be expected, what if an infection presents, how to wean, etc.
  • Lactation specialists can help mothers begin the process and support the process of lactation. But there are only a small (2-6%) number of lactation certified professionals to every 1,000 live births nationwide.

 There is room to foster more breast feeding activities if there is education and support!

 Another study[v] portrays the benefits of breastfeeding.

     Firstly, this includes a savings or $300 billion dollars per year in the U.S.[vi]

 Benefits for nursed babies:

  • Preventing child infections and malocclusion but led to tooth decay in prolonged periods
  • Increased intelligence in baby
  • Possibly reduced weight and diabetes as adulthood ensues 
  • Globally could prevent 823,000 deaths in children under 5.

Benefits for nursing mothers:

  • Protection against breast cancer, improved birth spacing and possible protection against ovarian cancer and type 2 diabetes
  • Breastfeeding globally could prevent 20,000 cases of breast cancer annually.

 Despite this, breastfeeding rates vary widely—and are more prevalent in poorer countries.

 Women turn to formula when breast feeding is uncomfortable,  inconvenient or when they lack lactation support.

 The Affordable Care Act in the U.S provides for nursing breaks and insurance for pumps and this may increase the breast feeding practice by 25%. There is much more needed from governments and health representatives to facilitate and support every women in this practice, for her own health and the health of her baby. And for public health and prevention of disease!  

 

Q.  Where should women go to nurse?

 

A. There need to be safe, clean and calming nursing stations set up in public places.

Should babies nurse in bathrooms-would we eat in a bathroom ourselves? 

 

Should we speak up and tell our politicians what is important to us and what the value is to our families and society? Should the U.S. invest the proliferation of breast feeding education through public relations campaigns and support for developing lactation specialists? What do you think?

                                                     We can choose! Choose to win!

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Topics: womens health, parenting, childrens health, maternal health

Eureka, Zika Mosquito Control!

EUREKA, ZIKA * is no laughing matter! It seems that more information comes out every day and it is not very promising. So here are some new guidelines for you!  And updates!

It is about mosquito control, avoiding Zika prominent areas and practicing protected sex.  

More news is posted about this mosquito-borne virus which is linked to brain damage in infants and paralysis to adults! The virus has infected more than a million people and about 5,000 babies have been born with a brain condition called microencephaly-unusually small heads—1,500 from El Salvador a nation of 6 million in the last month alone.  As of July 2016 the CDC posts the following statistics:

US States

  • Locally acquired mosquito-borne cases reported: 0
  • Travel-associated cases reported: 1,403
  • Laboratory acquired cases reported:  1
  • Total: 1,404
    • Sexually transmitted: 15
    • Guillain-Barré syndrome: 5

US Territories

  • Locally acquired cases reported: 3,815
  • Travel-associated cases reported: 12
  • Total: 3,827*
    • Guillain-Barré syndrome: 14

*Sexually transmitted cases are not reported for areas with local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus because it is not possible to determine whether infection occurred due to mosquito-borne or sexual transmission.

 

In El Salvador are trying to fumigate and treat the water supplies against the Aedes mosquito which also carries other horrible diseases like dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya.  Gang violence in the country make it harder to combat and intervene in disease control and health support. The vice minister of health there is suggesting a secondary strategy to not have babies for two years—and some say it is really for population control.

The CDC has issued guidelines for pregnant women during a Zika Virus Outbreak in the US.  In it there are recommendations for travelers returning to the U.S. to screen, test and manage.  Pregnant women have been advised to postpone travel to areas:

Testing is being done when there has been travel to a Zika-affected area during or within two weeks of being ill in a pregnant woman: who also has fevers, rash, headache, bloodshot eyes or aches and pains that are unexplained--or if their pelvic ultrasound shows brain issues for the fetus resembling Zika.       

Testing for others who are not pregnant is available too such as those with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and a history of having traveled to Zika-prominent areas. Check with your doctor.

Research is being done now but because mice don’t get Zika, it is not easy or simple to study. They do have a lab to study monkeys at Colorado State.  

It had been warned that Zika virus is likely to spread to every country in the Americas except Canada and Chile-Pan American Health Organization.  In the United States they say that there will be “limited outbreaks in hot, wet regions including Florida and other states along the Gulf Coast and Hawaii, where the yellow fever mosquito is common” and that hopefully aggressive mosquito control will stem the tide.  Sexually transmitted Zika virus is growing. That is an issue that had also not been well prepared for and as such will be ubiquitous.

Choose to keep up to the minute information so to protect yourself and your loved ones!

*CDC Zika up to the minute information

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Topics: womens health, mens health, maternal health

The Dark Circles Under The Eyes

We know that within our aging population, our skin loses collagen and it thins, rendering us more aware of the dark circles under our eyes.

The Team[i] does not recall a time that our friends or colleagues did not use concealer under the eyes.

Causes for dark circles:

Blue circles can appear and may be related to blood that is pooling below the thin skin under the eyes. This is more noticeable in the morning when we have been horizontal. Perhaps elevating ones head at night can help with this. 

Some other over-the-counter/home-remedy/antidotes for under eye issues include:

  • creams with caffeine
  • hyaluronic acid
  • cold water on the eyes
  • a cold cucumber on the eyes
  • an ice cold bag of frozen peas on the eyes            
  • We have even heard that hemorrhoid creams (used by models-don’t try this at home) can seem to shrink the tissue under the eye.
  • Brown circles  of skin under the eyes called hyperpigmentation can come from our genes (African Americans and Asians mainly) and they can come from rubbing our eyes or sun exposure. Some creams with skin brighte 
    ners like soy or citrus can apparently lighten circles. This can take weeks to work.
  • You can also see a dermatologist and get an acid peel, [ii]filler injections, collagen-building cream with retinoid, radio-frequency device therapy, laser therapy, etc..
  • It is recommended that people wear sunscreen which can prevent skin thinning (blue circles) and sun tanning (brown circles).     

 

  • Allergies can also cause under eye issues which can inflame blood vessels and cause swelling. 
  • So can fatigue, so it is recommended to get some rest.
  • Also, flavonol-rich dark chocolate, omega-3 fatty acid foods like salmon and walnuts also can improve blood flow to the skin and perhaps can be effective--good for you anyway!
  • A simple test is to pull the skin under the eye and if it becomes darker it is likely due to genetics or aging and if it does not change, sun or allergies may be to blame.
  • Other causes[iii] can include eczema and atopic dermatitis and any medicines that might cause fluid retention.

More seriously speaking, dark circles/bags under the eyes[iv] can reflect kidney disease, liver disease and even heart failure.

If you are worried, consult your doctor.

Other recent research:

  • Causes for the dark circles under eyes include-melanin deposition, hyperpigmentation due to dermatitis, fluid retention, skin sagging and, etc.-reiterating what we have shared above[v].
  • Family history was most significant risk correlated with dark circles-beginning at 24 years of age.
  • Asthma significantly associated with dark circles, but not allergy nor sleep correlated --concluding that it is mostly melanin and deoxygenated blood as contributing factors.[vi]
  • Another article sites our aging population where 20% of Americans will be 65 in 2020 and greater than 50% will have ethnic skin color[vii]. Sun protection and treatments help pigmentation to not worsen. 
  • Many causes can be at play and new therapeutic options are available and forthcoming. A bright future of treatment possibilities exist![viii]

You might try the easy things over-the-counter/

home-remedies first!

If you are concerned that your circles have a more serious cause, see your doctor!    

 

 We can choose!

 Choose to win!

 

Click for news and alerts  from the Team on behalf of Robin Quivers 

[i] http://www.realsimple.com/beauty-fashion/skincare/skincare-face/treating-dark-circles-under-eyes

[ii] http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2014/06/causes-dark-circles-eyes-sleeping-people-really-tired/

[iii]http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/dark-circles-under-eyes/basics/causes/sym-20050624

[iv]Jewish World Review Ask the Harvard Experrts: The dangers that bags under your eyes can reveal by Robert Schmerling MD

[v] J Cosmet Dermatol 2007 Sept;6(3):211-5 What causes dark circles under the eyes? Freitag FM, et al

[vi] An Bras Dermatol. 2015 Jul-aug;90(4):494-503. Doi: 10.1590/abd180-6-4841.20153520. Physiological and lifestyle factors contributing to risk and severity of peri-orbital dark circles in the Brazilian population Matsui MS, et al.

[vii] J Drugs Dermatol. 2014 Apr;13(4):472-82 Periorbital hypermentation:review of etiology, medical evaluation and aesthetic treatment. Robers WE.

[viii] Clin Plast Surg. 2015 Jan;42(1)33-50. Doi: 10.1016/j.cps.2014.08.007 Dark circles: etiology and management options. Friedmann DP, et al.

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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, maternal health

EyeLashes, Do We Lose Them With Age?

Blinking, winking are all part of the allure of beauty, and as fashion has it..

  "we bat our eyes..we need our lashes".

At a brunch with 50 somethings, the discussion wound up being about eyelash loss if it is related to getting older.  We wondered if aging is the cause.  

Citing Mercola[i] we see that as of 2010 women spent well over $537 million dollars on mascara. Add artificial lashes to this, another $44 million. And then of course..there is lash extension work.  

Our tear duct system is supposed to protect our eyes. Our eyelashes protect our eyes as well as well—keeping particles out and allowing us to blink and clear our eyes. 

Eyes can get various infections and inflammation[ii] and one study shows that steroids and antibiotics can help if you contract one of the most common disorders of the eye called blepharitis.  Blepharitis symptoms are eyelid inflammation, and this is commonly seen by eye doctors in 37-47% of their patients[iii], more common in Asian people and more common in women. It occurs mainly during middle age, but can begin in childhood and is associated with dry eye as well---underscoring how very important tearing is in altering resistance to bacteria in the eye.  Things that make blepharitis worse include smoke, wind, contact lenses, low humidity, diet and alcohol, etc..

Another study[iv] indicated that a mainstay of treatment for eyelid inflammation is a careful eyelid hygiene regimen—usually including warm water washcloth applications for five minutes followed by a gentle scrub of the eyelashes to keep the inflammation at bay. 

Without our lashes, there would be more harm to the eye. Naturally we can grow lashes when exposed to allergens at a 10% or longer rate. And unnaturally, a medicine that is used for glaucoma, actually can thicken, lengthen and darken our lashes[v] though using this has to be ongoing and it is not without risk of infection, hair growth on your skin too, and browning of your eye pigment.

 

Lashes should be about one-third the length of the eye. If using artificial lashes that are longer, they can do harm by drying out the eyes.

There are also risks of toxic chemicals in false eyelashes like glue or remover. These can thin out or damage your own lashes. Mascara can be toxic too containing metals that have no business being near your eyes including lead, beryllium, thallium, etc. and preservatives like parabens, phthalates, etc. that can disrupt your hormone release, leaving you with cancer and organ damage.  Of course it is farly easy to contaminate the wand, giving you bacteria you don’t want and making your eyes a breeding ground for infection. Perhaps changing your wand four times a year will help prevent a problem. 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology indicates that eyelash extensions too, can result in infection, swelling and loss of lashes. 

Mercola says that healthy diet is essential for thick long lashes. Bone broth, biotin, vitamin C are very helpful and applying olive or coconut oil to your lashes at bed can help with strength and thickness, though we have not tried this nor have we spoken to anyone who has. 

What you do for your eye health matters. Choose wisely!

 Click for news and alerts  from theTeam on behalf of Robin Quivers 

 

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Topics: womens health, senior health, maternal health

The Anti-Inflammatory Diet with Good Fats

Inflammation makes us fat, sick and causes death.

We have been living a FAT myth for decades-that saturated fats are bad for us and that polyunsaturated fats are good for us.

New research shows us differently!

  We have been 'fed' the myth. Now enough is enough now.  

robindonutsfat-913560-edited.jpg

Truth is: saturated fats are stable and they are good for us and unsaturated fats are unstable and they are bad for us.  

PUFAs are polyunsaturated fats.  PUFAs are found in some Omega-3 fats and primarily in Omega-6 fats. We consume too much of the latter.

We need to eat more saturated and monounsaturated fats, as this is what is in our body.

We need less polyunsaturated fats--PUFAs in our diets!

We do need some PUFAs, the right ones-the EFA's Essential Fatty Acids!

PUFA’s are not stable and can cause fragility in our cells which can then become susceptible to being oxidized which then lead to inflammation and disease.

This inflammation leads to: heart disease, obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, irritable bowel and inflammatory bowel disease, macular degeneration, R-A, asthma, cancer, psychiatric disorders, autoimmune disease.

Use only some Omega-6 Fats:

  • Omega-6 fats include shorter-chain fats, linoleic acid (LA) which are not good for us-- corn oil, sunflower oil, soybean oil and canola oil and processed foods.
  • Longer-chains Omega-6 is good for us: liver, egg yolks, grass fed animal meats and seafood.

Use Omega-3 Fats which are both plant and animal based. 

  • Plant based, is shorter-chain Omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This includes flaxseed oil, broccoli, spinach, almonds, English walnuts. We need this in our diet and we cannot make this on our own.   
  • Animal based, longer chain Omega-3, found in animals (EPA and DHA). We get these in fish, shellfish and krill.  Since DHA is the fundamental component of our brain and retina, we need EPA. DHA is found in cod liver oil and fatty fish.

We need The Anti-Inflammatory Fats DHA and EPA most.

DHA and EPA are anti-inflammatory and provide many health benefits: protection for brain and eyes, brain development in babies, reduced risk for: Alzheimers, peripheral artery disease, postpartum depression, premature birth, Parkinson's disease, asthma, gallstones, lupis and other autoimmune disorders, vascular complications from diabetes Type Two.

Also they are effective for: combating cancer,, mood regulation, healthier bones, rheumatoid arthritis flexibility, ulcerative colitis and death from all causes.  

Told for years to use vegetable oils-- they increase your risk of cancer and may also heart disease!  No, atherosclerosis plaque is not from too much LDL and cholesterol.

Atherosclerosis is due to oxidation, from weak cell membranes as a result of PUFAs in your diet and too low saturated fats!  

Having too many PUFA’s, contributes to chronic inflammation and this is at the root of every chronic disease. 

The ratio we could be living well with is 1:1 Omega-3 fat to Omega-6 fat, But we are eating at a ratio of 1:20 or 1:50.[i]  Far too many polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs)!

A Look At Fatty Acids

robinchartfattyacidschains-844440-edited.jpg

  • YES TO--Saturated fats: These are solid at room temperature like butter and coconut
    oil, animal fats, lard (half monounsatured too with a bit of poly).
  • NO TO--Unsaturated fats: they have lost pair(s) of hydrogen atoms, two unsaturated fats include:  Monounsaturated-missing one pair of atoms. Olive oil (mostly, with a bit of polyunsaturated fat) and animal fats.  Lard (half saturated too with a bit of polyunsaturated fat). Polyunsaturated-- PUFAs-- missing more than one pair of atoms. This includes vegetable oils (but does not include palm oil, nor olive oil, nor coconut oil).

Fats vary in length of (carbon) chains as well as their saturation which relate to their melting.

Longer chains are what is best. They melt more slowly like butter and coconut oil. If it is shorter chained, it melts faster.

Special thanks to Dr. Mercola's articles which have been ahead of their time and which we used to extrapolate and present this information to our readers. 

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Topics: womens health, senior health, mens health, maternal health, teen's health

Maternal Health and Vitamin D Trends now

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Topics: maternal health