Category Archives: Health

Girl Child Needs More Health

While in most developed countries, there is little, if any discrimination between the girl and the boy child as far as nutrition is concerned, a very large proportion of female child population in developing and economically weaker countries suffers from malnutrition. This is a fact corroborated by statistics, the result of researches of various agencies. But here the factors are completely cultural, in Asian, Latin American and some African cultures, a premium is placed on the baby boy and his upbringing is better monitored than a girl’s. An extreme result is female infanticide or even killing of female fetus in the womb itself. In basically agrarian societies, no one wants to be burdened with an unproductive member in the family. In partially agrarian cultures, no one wants to have a girl whose social status is far below that of the boy and in marrying her off, the family is often crippled by debt. So, infanticide or feticide is a better option. But more on that later.

The point here is, even in societies where there is no such inferiority hoisted on girl children, do parents, family or even the health services, place greater emphasis on the nutrition provided to a young girl? She is the mother of the next generation and hence, her basic nutrition should far outweigh the boy’s. A female body needs more calcium, iron and other nutrients in its formative years, to be able to bring forth healthy children and also keep their own bodies intact. No, this is not about considering procreation as the only activity that nature meant the woman to do. This is about the biological structure of the female. Whether or not she opts to become a mother, her chemistry and hormonal conditions change around mid-life and unless she has been well fed during her childhood and adolescence, the onset of middle age can bring in umpteen complications. How many doctors warn the parents of young girls about this? For them, food is not only about building and maintaining, but also about reserving for the time when bones will begin to thin and allow crippling diseases like osteoporosis to set in, or menopausal side effects due to certain deficiencies, or even recovery post childbirth, when the body’s stores have been all but depleted.

The first thing to do is to follow a health regime strictly. Aiming for a fit lifestyle (always place your needs before the family’s demands, because if you are down and out, who takes care of them? Worse still, who takes care of you?) Secondly, it is important for a woman to maintain an optimum body weight. Right from childhood, the parents should take care that her BMI and weight is proper, or else things may be dangerous. This is the primary reason why anorexic women may be everybody’s idea of beauty but they are nobody’s idea of fitness. Keeping a regular exercise regime will help, so will sticking to the good food pyramid recommendations for a good diet.

Here are some guidelines for women to follow a good health regime in their early years, pre-puberty, puberty and childbearing years…so they may not suffer the results of self-neglect in later years.

Parents of a girl should instill these values in their child early, preferably before puberty, so the routine can become a healthy lifelong habit. While binging and obesity have to be avoided, staving and anorexia are to be avoided too. So a good guidance from elders (parents or whoever they will listen to), is essential. Here, a lot of psychological factors are important too. The girl child must be taught the value of confidence, faith in one’s abilities and also that beauty is not about a thin body or a particular type of skin. This is definitely an onerous task, what with the regular bombardment of impossible idols for the young generation in media of every type. But a sustained, caring and intelligent guidance from elders who care can help instill the sense of “I Should be HEALTHY First…”in the girl. It goes a long way in fighting peer pressure for confirming to social (read POP) idols, when she feels she is good enough, even BETTER than Twiggy.

There are also certain sociological changes over the last few decades that have affected the way we eat… and the way kids want to eat. Changes in the traditional family pattern have encouraged teenagers to shop for groceries, where their decision-making powers get a free hand. Single parent or both parents working families may opt for a healthy food buy, but what is actually eaten is still not very determinable, in the absence of one or both parents. Teen food choices are influenced by too many factors, only one of them being health. Their concern is primarily to “look good” or “stay thin” or “build muscles”.

The sad part is that the American Diet isn’t designed to take care of the essential requirements of the growing body, it has the wrong kind of fats and proteins and is deficient in some essential nutrients like zinc. It relies very strongly on dairy products for its calcium and protein intake, which is in itself not a very healthy idea. Today nutritionists recommended smaller helpings of the All American Diet or low fat (or leaner) versions, at least for the growing up generation.

Remember, food grains and fresh fruits and vegetables are a MUST for a woman’s body, she needs more folate in her system, her childbearing capability demands it (even if she chooses not to bear children). Fresh fruits and vegetables are a MUST in every meal, and no, meat is not a substitute for fresh fruits. The intake of sugars and salts should be regulated as also oil and grease. This will also result in a glowing skin, a GREAT confidence booster and hence a really good incentive to eat healthy.

The objective for vegetable and fruit intake should be :

• At least three daily servings of fruit

• At least four daily servings of vegetables, with at least one-third greens or with carotene.

• Six or more daily servings of grain products, with three or more whole grain

Anemia (or deficiency of iron in the body), is a major cause of deaths in the childbearing category of females in most underdeveloped countries. A more serious charge is that it is also the cause of most deficiencies, malnourishment and mal-development of children in these countries. But anemia is not a poor man’s disease. It can follow even well fed children of affluent backgrounds, if they do not eat carefully. Specially during their reproductive years, women need extra iron (they lose almost 20 to 40 mg every month by way of menstruation). The absorption of these nutrients needs more nutrition, a good amount of folic acid as well as Vitamin B 12.

Calcium is another nutrient that is required in large quantities for growing girls, if they are to enable their bodies to fight back the onslaught of osteoporosis in later life. Adolescents (specially girls), need at least 1300 mg of calcium in their food everyday. It is a good idea to scan the food labels to know if the nutritive value of your food is what it should be. For instance, a glass of milk gives about 450 mg (almost 30%) of calcium while a cup of yogurt does a similar amount. Green leafy vegetables and calcium fortifies grains and juices can contribute the rest. Remember, women start losing bone mass at the age of 35, so the earlier you start, the better it is.

The health of a girl child should become every National Health Service’s priority if the country wants its future citizens to be strong and healthy. On a smaller scale, families should be taught this too, only then will the change in attitude be brought about.

Tips to Keep Your Child Healthy

Happy little girl at the doctor for a checkup - being examined with a stethoscope

It’s a common misconception that growing kids can eat anything and everything they want, and will still stay healthy because they’re naturally active. Genetic factors are a consideration, but many children are imitating bad habits they see in their parents. This includes a poor diet, with a reliance on fast foods or processed foods, and not exercising. Until a few years back, parents found it hard to believe that children need a diet and fitness plan. They thought it was something only the grown-ups needed―grown-ups that weren’t in shape. After all the awareness child obesity statistics created, parents have now understood the importance of a healthy lifestyle for their kids.

The average child today spends around 24 hours a week watching television. The increased popularity of computer and video games means kids may spend even less time engaging in physical activities. Just like overweight adults, overweight children are at a greater risk of illness and disease.

What You Can Do

☛ Don’t criticize or blame your child of being overweight. Talk with him about your concerns regarding his weight and health. Teach him to accept and feel good about himself.

☛ Do a reality check and see if your lifestyle needs any changes. Be a role model by paying attention to your own diet, fitness regime, and lifestyle; not being obsessed with it at the same time. Show him that you are confident about your body.

☛ Get moving and make exercise a family affair. There are plenty of activities that you can enjoy together. Plan family outings that include physical activities, such as biking, trekking, or swimming.

☛ Practice healthy eating. Families today are busier than ever, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on nutrition. Many cookbooks feature fast, healthy recipes. Provide nutritious snacks and teach your child to make healthy food choices on his own.

☛ Just a few habit changes in your family can make a big difference. Discourage him from eating in front of the TV or the computer. More often than not, kids get so lost in front of their T.V. sets (like we all do, from time to time), that they tend to eat in excess. Eat together as a family as much as possible, encourage him to eat slowly, and learn to enjoy good food. Invite your child to participate in food choice and preparation.

☛ For more information on healthy eating and exercise, talk to a registered dietician or a professional trainer, particularly one who has experience of dealing with children. If you feel that your child’s weight might cause serious health problems, consult a physician/pediatrician immediately.

It’s never too early to start a healthy diet and fitness regime for your child, and never too late for you to make the switch to a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy and eat right!

Mental Health Therapist

Mental health therapists are trained professionals who counsel individuals, families, and groups to identify and work through the problems that a person is facing. These professionals help their patients deal with stress, substance abuse, addictions, low self-esteem, and grief. Some of them even specialize as marriage counselors and career counselors. These professionals work with other mental health specialists like psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers, and school counselors to promote emotional and mental health of their patients.

Job Description

These therapists work though observation, interviews, and tests, to gather information and identify the problems of a person. Based on their observation they decide the right type of therapy for the person. These professionals counsel their clients and help them make informed decisions about themselves, their lives, and their relationships. They help their patients to analyze their problems and address various issues. These therapist also carry out mental health evaluation and risk assessment of their patients when required. They also monitor the treatment of their patients by maintaining accurate records and documents.

Mental health therapy is a holistic approach that takes into account a person’s external and societal influences, while also considering his physical and emotional health. To fulfill the requirements of the job, one first needs to get a master’s degree in mental health counseling with a certification or license in a specialty like:

  • Educational, school, or career counseling
  • Rehabilitation counseling
  • Marriage and family counseling
  • Substance abuse counseling

Most of the master’s degrees are a two-year program. Apart from this, the person is also required to complete an internship during this period. This internship involves, working with people and gaining hands-on experience in the field. For better career opportunities, one may get a doctoral degree in mental health counseling or related field.

Choosing the Right Therapist

Mental health problems often stem from deeply personal and often painful episodes. Due to such a personal nature of the problem, it is very important that one is careful while looking for the therapist. Refer to your physician first to confirm that the symptoms are not caused due to a medical problem. Getting referrals will be a great help in finding the therapist. Ask your friends, family members, or medical health professional for reference. While you consider a therapist, be sure to check his certification. Also, confirm if he has relevant experience in treating people with problems similar to yours. Go to him only if you are satisfied with the findings.

Health Tips for Kids

Healthy habits are always instilled in a person during his/her childhood days. The importance of a healthy diet is one of the first things parents should always strive to explain to their children. A healthy habit, when infused in a child from the early years, only helps in the overall child development and turns him/her into a responsible individual. With time and care from your side, children are bound to understand the importance of healthy habits. Here is a basic compilation of tips related to kids’ health, with which kids can learn to look after themselves during their growing years.

Tips to Keep Children Healthy

  • Teach your child the importance of a healthy routine. The day should always begin with a healthy breakfast. Help the child to understand why breakfast times are important for the day. You can make a chart of different breakfast recipes and tell him/her the importance of the many vital nutrients for one’s body.
  • Fruits and green vegetables are important for a healthy diet. Your child should know why fruits score over packaged foods. You need to include fresh fruits during breakfast times or slip one in the lunchbox. Make it interesting by having fresh fruit juices or salads to break the monotony.
  • Children are not aware about many things that are very important for their growth. As parents, you must ensure that your child has plenty of water and fluids during the day. Fluids should include fresh juices. Make sure your child carries a bottle of fresh juices to school.
  • Kids should know the importance of exercise at an early age itself. Teach kids a few basic exercises that can be done at home. An exercise routine that incorporates walking or swimming can help children to manage these activities on a daily basis. As they grow up, these routines will naturally form a part of their life.
  • Children should also be aware of hygiene-related issues. Youngsters should learn things such as the need to wash hands before and after meals. For young kids, you can simply use a singsong routine to get them into the process. Children will then surely make this a part of their routine once they understand the importance of personal hygiene.
  • Dental care should begin at an early age. Brushing teeth twice daily is needed to keep them looking healthy and clean. You can promise to read a bedtime story for a kid that does not really enjoy a brushing routine. Make it seem enjoyable rather than making the child feel punished.
  • As your child grows older, you can help him/her maintain a chart on foods to be avoided on a regular basis. It is important that the child knows that indulgence in foods high in sugar is fine once in a while, but should not be done on a regular basis. Avoid being too stern if your kid wants to enjoy foods such as french fries and ice cream, simply teach him/her how to be smart and consume such foods only occasionally.
  • Your child may require a daily dose of vitamins if the diet does not include the required amount. Make sure you check with your doctor about the vitamin intake to give the right amount of doses. There are many vitamin tablets packed in attractive containers.
  • Generally, kids believe they eat candy instead of medicines due to the innovatively packed products that are available these days. There can also be alternative ways to include food items rich in vitamins in your kid’s diet. Your doctor would be the best judge to decide upon the diet plan.
  • Parents also need to make sure their children get the appropriate amount of sleep. The child needs a healthy balance of activities and play. Sometimes, children take a long time to fall asleep. You can read a bedtime story or simply speak to the child softly, which will help him/her fall asleep naturally. This will help children to stay in good health and remain active during the day.

Children need plenty of love and care right from their early years. Along with loads of love, these health tips will help to keep your kid fit and smiling throughout the day.

How to Avoid Diabetes

Diabetes is a medical condition wherein the blood sugar levels are consistently higher than the normal range. This condition is closely linked to the secretion of insulin, which is a hormone produced by the pancreas. This hormone plays a vital role in controlling the blood sugar levels. While type 1 diabetes occurs due to insufficient amounts of insulin in the body, type 2 diabetes occurs due to insulin resistance within the body.

There are roughly 300 million people around the globe affected by diabetes, which essentially raises the need for precautionary steps in curbing its symptoms and bringing it under control. Here are some commonly known steps:

Exercise Regularly
When a person exercises, the ability of the body to secrete and absorb insulin becomes stronger. The additional energy that is required by the body forces the blood circulation, which in turn causes many other vital bodily functions to improve by leaps and bounds. People who exercise on a regular basis, are at a 30% lower risk of developing diabetes. Even taking a half an hour walk everyday can have the desired effect.

Quit Smoking
People who smoke are 50% more likely to develop diabetes. There are a number of other health hazards that smoking causes, and this makes it extremely important for an individual to quit smoking. The insulin deficiency in the body can be directly linked to excessive smoking, and the only way to combat this is by cutting down on tobacco intake.

Healthy Diet
One of the best ways to avoid complications resulting from diabetes is to improve one’s eating habits. Eating unhealthy food is one of the biggest reasons behind the development of this condition around the world. In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, a suitable diet is necessary. One must include food grain with high fiber, fruits, and vegetables which can strongly contribute in balancing the sugar level in the blood. Avoid the intake of food rich in simple sugars at all costs. Moreover, the consumption of sugar-rich food items may even lead to undesirable weight gain. Consult a dietitian and make a proper plan for your meals, which includes all necessary nutrients required for the body. Also drink lots of water, get adequate amounts of sleep, and eat smaller, frequent meals at regular intervals.

Seek Medical Help
It’s not just the adults who are at risk. Those leading sedentary lifestyles are prone to be affected by this condition which also includes minors and teenagers. Preventing diabetes in children and women during pregnancy is a rising concern and should be dealt by promptly visiting a specialist, and carrying out routine checks. These medical issues are easier to solve, when they are discovered at an early stage. These tests can help a doctor determine your health status, giving you a convenient advantage.

In order to prevent diabetes, one needs to make several lifestyle-related changes, which requires self-restraint and a strong will. However, taking these simple steps should be enough to ensure that you live a healthy life, and do not develop diabetes. People with a family history of this medical condition should follow the precautionary measures, as they are at a greater risk.

How to Test for Diabetes

check-diabetes-homeAs mentioned above, diabetes is a common disorder of the endocrine system, which affects the pancreas. It is reputed to affect over 20 million people in the United States alone. Also known as diabetes mellitus, this disorder is associated with the pancreas gland. This gland, located behind the stomach, is responsible for secreting the hormone known as insulin in the body. And this very hormone is in charge for moving the glucose (which is obtained from the food we eat) into the cells of the body for production of energy. But diabetes does not allow this process to continue as it is supposed to. The disorder impairs the pancreas gland from, either producing enough insulin or producing the same at all in the body. So when this happens, the level of glucose in the blood stream increases, and continues to rise if the problem remains untreated. The level may rise so much that it may lead to life-threatening situations for the affected person. This disorder that we are speaking of, exists in four different types; type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 and type 2 are incurable thus, are long-lasting conditions. However, the other two are potentially reversible.

Diabetes Tests and Diagnosis

The following would help you understand the various procedures that are taken up for diagnosing type 1 and type 2 diabetes, prediabetes and gestational diabetes.

Type 1 Diabetes
Type 1 diabetes was once regarded as juvenile diabetes, and is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. When this particular form of the disorder strikes, the pancreas produces either insufficient amount of insulin or no insulin at all. The procedures that are taken up in diagnosing the condition may include:

  • A common blood test for diabetes is known as the glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test. With the help of this test, also known as HbA1c, the doctor can determine the amount or more appropriately, the percentage of blood sugar that is attached to the hemoglobin. When sugar level rises abnormally higher in the bloodstream, it combines with the hemoglobin thus, becoming ‘glycated’. So more the number of hemoglobin A1C, the higher would be the blood glucose level. And this test can reveal the information on about 120 days old glucose level in the body. For someone to be diagnosed with diabetes, this test must show a result of the blood sugar level to be 6.5 percent or higher, when conducted twice.
  • In some people, the use of glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test may not yield desired results. So then, random blood sugar test is put to use. As the name suggests, a blood sample of the patient would be tested at any random time. A measure of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher, is a sign of diabetes. This test does not require the subject to keep a fast of any kind. This test may be conducted throughout the day, for checking any variation in the blood glucose level. In healthy people, the variation is negligible, but if the same is of a wide range, then it may indicate diabetes.
  • Another test that is conducted is known as Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS) test. Unlike the random test, this one requires the patient to fast for a period of at least 8 hours. After the fast, a blood sample is taken from the subject and tested in the laboratory. 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is considered normal, and a measure of 100 to 125 mg/dL may indicate prediabetes. And if on two separate occasions, the test shows a measure of 126 mg/dL or higher, then the patient is diagnosed with diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes
Note that all the above steps used for testing diabetes (type 1), are also used for the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. This form of the disorder is more common than the type 1. Here, the body develops a resistance to the effect of insulin that is produced by the pancreas.

Prediabetes
As the name suggests, this disorder can be attributed as a stage that precedes type 2 diabetes. Here, the affected person’s blood glucose level, although, is higher than normal, is not high enough for him/her to be regarded as a diabetic. However, according to experts, in a span of 10 years, this condition, without any medical aid, can easily progress to become type 2 diabetes. The tests for diagnosing this type of the condition include:

  • The glycated hemoglobin (A1C) test, as described above is conducted to diagnose this condition. A measure that ranges between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates the onset of prediabetes.
  • And if the A1C test does not fit in the program, then a blood sample test after an overnight fast (8 hours) is done on the patient. If he/she has a blood glucose level of 100 to 125 mg/dL, then the case may be confirmed as prediabetes.
  • Besides the above tests, there is another one that it may be performed. This is known as oral glucose tolerance test. First, after a fast of at least 8 hours, the patient’s blood sample is put under study. Then, the subject must drink a sugary solution, two hours post which, a blood sample is measured again. And if the results show a sugar level that measures from 140 to 199 mg/dL, then the problem is considered as prediabetes.

Gestational Diabetes
This problem is associated with expecting mothers. During pregnancy, the blood glucose level rises alarmingly, making the mother a diabetic. However, a few days after the delivery, the blood sugar returns to normal. The tests for this type of diabetes includes:

  • The first test involves giving the patient a sugary solution. After an hour, a blood test is performed to measure the blood sugar level. If it shows a measure of more than 130 to 140 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL), then it only signifies that the mother is at a high risk of developing gestational diabetes.
  • Another test is conducted wherein, the patient has to fast overnight before the test. After the test, the patient is given a highly concentrated glucose solution. And then the blood sugar level is tested thrice, with an interval of one hour. And if the readings are higher than normal in any two tests, then the diagnosis of the condition can be confirmed positive.

To conclude, you can also test for diabetes at home. For this, all you have to do is to get a diabetes test home kit. Following the instructions as provided by the manufacture can provide accurate readings for the test. However, if you suspect that you might be suffering from the condition, then it’s best to go for a medical diagnosis for proper care and treatment. Home kits are good for monitoring your blood sugar level, in case you already have the condition.

How to Control Diabetes Naturally

Diabetes, it stays for life once it is diagnosed. You might be too robust a person, but the self-discipline and tenaciousness this disease requires, and that too over a lifetime, can tax you to the limit. Howbeit, had it not been these advancements and improvements in the comprehension of the causes, complexities, and cure of diabetes, physicians would have to helplessly stand by their patients overpowered by the intricacies this disease enfolds within. But, there is much more to it. Diabetes, which occurs due to lack of insulin, leads to metabolic abnormalities, thus, increasing the ketone bodies within the blood, mostly in places which lack insulin severely. Now, since your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, it is incapable of turning sugars into the energy required by it. As a result, the sugars that stay in your blood make your kidneys work harder than normal, leading to frequent urination, which is the most common symptom of diabetes.

It is because diabetes can increase the risk of heart diseases and strokes that it’s time you learn how to control the same. Naturally, diabetes can be regulated with the help of an uncomplicated lifestyle. The following natural cures for diabetes have had many people feel that their diabetes has been cured, and that they have bettered their lifestyle, thus, preventing the onset of diabetes. You too can do it, provided you take account of the following tips to cure diabetes naturally.

Note that, diabetes is of two types – Diabetes 1 which is a genetic defect, and can be cured only with the help of medication prescribed by a medical specialist, and Diabetes 2 which can be cured by keeping track of your diet and lifestyle. In order to naturally control the ailment, here are the three most important tips you need to keep in mind.

Bitter is Better
Research claims, anything that is bitter in excess is an excellent cure for diabetes. For example, a bitter melon is a known remedy for lowering your sugar levels. Grind a bitter melon everyday, strain the juice, and drink it on an empty stomach in the morning. Another method of consuming the bitter melon (which is really bitter) is to boil it and then eat it daily. On the other hand, neem leaves are equally bitter that make up for an excellent cure for diabetes. Fry them or crush them and take out the juice – neem leaves are beneficial either way. One of the most adapted methods of consuming neem leaves so that they do not taste too bitter is the preservation of these leaves till they dry, and then crush them into fine powder. You can mix a tablespoon of the powder in warm water, and drink everyday.

Healthy Diet is Right
You know, unless your immune system isn’t strong enough, fighting or controlling diabetes is an impossible deal. Hence, in a bid to control diabetes in the utmost natural manner, watch what you eat. To start with, carbohydrates and starch are a big no-no. Fats are of two types: good fats and bad fats. While bad fats such as potato chips, burgers, pizzas, etc., are saturated fats and are harmful for your body, good fats such as foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids provide you with all the good fats, and should be consumed in bulk. What’s more, anything that grows under the soil such as potato, and other vegetables that are root-type, should be consumed in little amounts. Eat raw vegetables, forget about sweets and junk, and most importantly, give up smoking. Include fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Last but not the least, include foods rich in chromium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc in the diet, for they not only help control blood sugar levels, but also help the body’s cells response to insulin.

Working Out will Work It Out
Exercising, particularly walking and swimming, makes muscles absorb glucose for energy which ultimately causes blood sugar levels to slump down, thereby, treating diabetes naturally. However, too often, in many diabetic patients, exercising tends to have opposite effects, wherein, rather than lowering blood glucose levels, it increases them, posing immense harm. As a result, it is always recommended you consult your physician and find out the type of exercise that works in the favor of your health, and that isn’t harmful in any way. Till date, walking, brisk walking in particular, is one of the best exercises that works in favor of controlling diabetes in the utmost natural way. Not only does it control diabetes, it also helps in reducing body weight. While type 2 diabetes is attributed by reduced sensitivity to insulin in the body, exercising improves the efficiency of production of insulin in the body. Many patients, who were once overweight, acquired this method of controlling diabetes in the natural way, and eventually, not only lost ounces, but also stopped experiencing diabetes symptoms.

Finding yourself drowning more and more into this disease for life can be hard to deal with. Time and again, you might just feel like giving up. At one point of time, it may disgust you to watch out on eating low-carb foods, staying away from your favorite sweets and desserts, and most importantly, a deteriorated sense of well-being. But then, there’s only one way of dealing with this situation, and that is to just do everything it takes to shove away the negative effects that diabetes has on your body, and embrace all the positive effects that work in favor of your health, and that will keep you hanging onto this lifestyle. Learning how to control diabetes naturally does make a difference in leading a healthy life. The ones having suffered from those traumatic days will be able to tell you better.

How to Cope With the Diagnosis of Diabetes

I have known people around, who have had a difficult time dealing with the diagnosis of diabetes. Some were prepared for it, while some had the biggest shock of their lives. And so, I can say, it is absolutely not so easy to cope and accept a life overshadowed with diabetes. Being diagnosed with this disease comes as a bitter truth with overwhelming emotions. Most people express reactions, like those of anxiety, fear, guilt, and denial. Another common feeling which is of depression is also seen in most cases of people diagnosed with diabetes (which is quite a normal reaction). There is a whole surging pile of instructions, medications, and the fear of the future waiting for them.

However, having said all this, one thing to be understood is that even if diabetes is hyped to be a major disorder, it is not the end of the world. It is certainly not among the life-threatening diseases.

What you should remember is, it does not change the kind of person you are or disturb your life drastically. With proper medication and healthy lifestyle, this can be tamed. You can get control on your life and bounce back with confidence again. Below is a short and soothing guide to help you mold a healthy life, even after diabetes makes you a companion!

How to Deal with Diagnosis of Diabetes
Initially, the news of being diagnosed with diabetes sounds scary. It would not be fair if I say, it does not change your life at all. But, with a few alterations in your lifestyle, everything will be just the way it was before. Don’t let negativity hamper your efforts to cope and come to terms with diabetes. Here is what you should do:

Mental Preparation
You just got your test results and are diagnosed with diabetes. But look carefully, has it really affected your life to the extent that you start turning it upside down? So relax and take things one by one to deal with. Remember, you are not the only one affected with diabetes, there are millions in this world tackling this condition.

Get Rid of the Guilt
Stop feeling guilty or blaming yourself. Sure, there was scope for you to alter your lifestyle in the past. But what is gone is gone and you cannot change that. Right now, you should be thinking about dealing with the present situation than frowning about the past. Stop asking yourself questions like “Why me?” Do not be harsh on yourself. Some people even get extreme emotions like mourning. Such intense emotions can be difficult to be dealt with. But, understand that these feelings will eventually pass.

Accept the Condition
Accept the situation; for that is the truth. There are many reported incidents of people diagnosed with diabetes living in denial. They simply imagine the reports to be unreal and pretend nothing is wrong. This should be avoided. Acceptance will take some time. People get extreme emotions and feelings as they near the mental state of acceptance. So, feeling guilty, angry, sorry, depressed, and frustrated is going to happen. Give it some time, but make sure you come out of it too. Love yourself even with the condition of diabetes.

Express Emotions
Suppression of feelings and anger takes a toll on personal care leading to neglect, which is dangerous. Make sure you talk your feelings to someone close. We know it is easier said than done when we say, learn to accept your life with diabetes and love yourself. But the whole point is to get over it. Sadness, regret, rage, and guilt may be overwhelming, but let them out. Talk to your family or friends, cry them out, or even punch a pillow if that helps! Never ever resort to wrong means, like alcohol and smoking. There are better ways to deal with your emotions.

Beware of Social Withdrawal
In most cases, people isolate themselves from family and friends. In extreme cases, they do not even reveal their condition for a long time. The sudden isolation hampers an individual’s mental state, and it takes him down. Keep your social life the same way that it was before. You could also join a circle or a diabetes support group. This way, you will also be assured that you are not alone.

Taming the Disease – Plan of Action
Diabetes is not a disorder beyond control. The good news is that, if you follow your medications, proper lifestyle, eat right, and stay fit, life will be just as normal as it would be without the diabetes in it! When you make a plan for managing diabetes, follow it religiously. This condition may look like a life changer, but it sure can be controlled.

Eat Right
Perhaps you have heard this suggestion a number of times and from everyone. But, that only proves it to be more important. Diet is the first and most crucial aspect of diabetes. Make sure you have a good diet plan, and also make sure you stick to it.

Exercise and Lifestyle
Include healthy habits, quit smoking, and pledge to exercise regularly. Even if you are following a healthy diet plan, exercise is very important for controlling blood sugar levels and any complications that may occur in diabetes.

Keep in Loop
Call your insurance provider. Discuss your condition with them. Know what all gets insurance cover and in what situations. You should inform close family and friends about your condition. Also, keep them informed about what needs to be done in an emergency. Keep at least one close family member and friend informed about your medications and other health check-up procedures.

Tab the Blood Sugar Levels
It is always safe to keep a check of your blood sugar levels several times in a day; at least in the initial days or months after you get diagnosed. Taking a test before and after a meal is advised. Keep records of the readings; they may help understand if your current treatment is effective enough and best for you.

Ask for Help and Guidance
When we say taming the disorder, it does not mean you have to do it all by yourself. Know that you have many options to handle this condition the correct way. Your health care expert will guide you through all that you need to know about dealing with diabetes, like future complications, if any. You could consult him/her on certain lifestyle changes. A good dietitian will arrange a diet plan for you to follow. Plus, you always have friends and family who are ready to help whenever you need them.

Learning Curve

Know the Disease
Educating oneself about diabetes is a very convenient way to overcome the fear and depression that grips a person. The more you know about diabetes, the more comfortable you will be in accepting it. With acceptance will come the strength to fight against it. It was found that people who read, attended groups, and spoke to their health care providers about diabetes, easily took a healthier way of fighting it. Discuss, ask questions, and learn all that you can about this condition. Knowledge about diabetes will help you a long way in dealing with it.

Give it Time
Once the diagnosis is done, it is almost like a nightmare, and as discussed above, acceptance comes slowly. You may be uncomfortable with the sudden change in lifestyle, food habits, medicines, and insulin shots., etc. It may be a big deal in the beginning, but with time, all this will become routine, and one fine day, you will be proud of managing your life with diabetes, get back your confidence, and deal with it all by yourself. Give yourself a chance to learn and grow out of this situation towards well-being. So, give it a try, and you will get through the learning curve in no time!

Analyze Yourself
Different people react and respond differently to the diagnosis of diabetes. Some may take time to come out of the shock and depression. Giving some time for these things to subside is advised; however, if the patient takes too long (more than a year) to accept or get back to normalcy, you might want to take psychiatric help. Research finds that more than a third of people diagnosed with diabetes suffer from depression at some point in time. So watch for those signs of depression. They may not be too obvious, but if you feel tired all the time, have sudden weight loss or gain, insomnia, or loss of interest in otherwise enjoyable activities, talk to an expert regarding this condition.

People diagnosed with diabetes need to know that you are not alone; there is help out there. Helplines, forums, websites, message boards, and other foundations are all available whenever you need help. Don’t let diabetes take control of your life or deplete the sweetness in it! Take care!

Tips on Preventing Hair Loss

If you shy away from brushing your hair, or the sight of a comb gives you the shivers, then you are not the only one. A huge number of people across the globe fret about hair loss. A gentle brushing can give nightmares to such people, who would hate watching precious strands of hair fall all around the place. Hair breakage and inadvertent loss can happen due to a variety of reasons. Your diet habits and your hair care regime has an effect on the texture and look of your tresses. Use the following tips to avoid a number of hair problems, along with breakage.

Tips to Prevent Hair Fall

  • Do not brush or comb your hair when wet. This is, because wet hair is in a delicate stage, and if combed, it would only weaken the strands, and cause them to break.
  • Heard about the golden rule of brushing your hair till the count of 100, before you go to bed at night? This may not always work in your favor. Brushing your hair stimulates the blood flow, but over-brushing your hair can have adverse effects. It can damage your hair, and weaken the roots as well.
  • The kind of cosmetics you use for your hair also has an effect on its texture. Strong shampoos and conditioners can result in hair loss. They strip the hair and scalp of the natural oils, and the presence of strong chemicals can cause harm to the delicate strands. In such cases, use herbal or mild shampoos to cleanse your hair gently, causing them lesser harm.
  • A good exercise routine not only helps to keep your body fit, but also helps prevent hair loss. A healthy mind and body leads to healthy hair.
  • Avoid using shampoo directly on your scalp. Take a small quantity, and add some water to it before applying. Use your fingertips to gently massage your scalp, but avoid scratching it with your fingernails. This might cause scarring, resulting in weakened follicles.
  • Harsh sunrays can damage your hair, and hence, overexposure ought to be avoided. Use a stylish hat, or tie a scarf around your hair if you need to step out into the sun. Beat the heat in true style.
  • Dandruff also leads to the loss of this priceless glory. To get rid of dandruff, rinse your hair, using the juice of half a lemon with a liter of water. You can even leave it on for sometime, before washing it off.
  • The kind of hairstyle you sport can also be a reason for hair fall. Wearing tight hairstyles, such as ponytails or hair braids, can cause your hair to undergo too much stress due to the tension applied on the strands.
  • Harsh chemical treatments have a very negative effect. Excessive coloring or perming the hair will rob your hair of its natural texture. Therefore, be proud of your natural tresses, and avoid experimenting with them.
  • Keep stress away, as much as possible, as it is one of the main causes for hair loss. The happier you would be from within, the glossier your hair will appear.
  • A healthy, balanced diet helps to prevent hair breakage. Soybean, spinach, walnuts, tuna, sardines, and foods that include vitamins are very important for your health and subsequently, your hair.

Thus, you can see that there are many factors involved in having healthy and shiny hair. Let’s hope that these tips help you manage your tresses. Also, learn to minus the stress from your life for shiny, bouncy hair.

How to Stop Hair Loss

Hair loss has become a common phenomenon among people all across the world. Though hair loss is a problem that is most commonly seen in men, it is not a thing that is unknown to women. Be it men or women, the sight of lost hair is often quite frustrating. The cause of this condition cannot be attributed to just one factor. Rather, there are several factors that can lead to this condition. Hereditary factors are one of the most common reasons for this condition, and this is often passed from father to son. Another reason for hair loss that has become quite common in the recent years is a stressful life. Apart from this, various diseases like hypo/hyperthyroidism, seborrheic dermatitis, etc., may observe hair loss as the symptom. People taking medications or undergoing treatment for diseases like arthritis, cancer, heart problems, etc. are also said to experience hair loss as a side effect of the treatment or the drugs. In case of women, hair loss is a common occurrence a few months after the birth of the child. Apart from this, hair loss may also be a side effect of birth control pills. Whatever be the reason, it is important to stop this problem as soon as possible, because once the process of baldness starts, it is difficult to grow back hair. So, let us take a look at some methods to stop hair loss in both men and women.

Stopping Hair Loss and Regrowing New Hair

Many people use various products available in market to stop hair loss and regrow new hair. Though for some, these products may work, most of the time, they cause more damage to hair. Therefore, it is better to stop hair loss using natural methods. With natural methods, one can not only regrow lost hair but at the same time will also be able to protect it from damage.

Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto is a herb that has been found to be effective in hair loss prevention. This herb aids in stopping the production of the hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) which is said to be responsible for hair loss. There are a variety of shampoos and hair care products that contain saw palmetto and using them may help in stopping alopecia. Apart from this, one should also take its supplements for eliminating this problem completely.

Olive Oil
Another way is to apply olive oil to the hair regularly. To receive the best results, mix honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon in hot olive oil and apply the paste on your hair. Allow the paste to stay on your hair for 15 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water.

Aloe Vera
Apart from saw palmetto and olive oil, applying aloe vera is also beneficial. You can either apply raw aloe vera directly on your hair, or use gel that is commercially available in the market. You should apply aloe vera gel on your hair and then wash it off with cold water. Use a good conditioner afterwards.

Balanced Diet
Just like our body, our hair also needs essential nutrients to stay healthy. Therefore, having a balanced diet is the best way of eliminating the problem of hair loss. Some of the essential foods that one should incorporate in his/her diet includes potatoes, beans, raisins, eggs, seafood, bean sprouts, etc. People must also see to it that their diet provides them with the necessary vitamins and minerals which include vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, etc. If you think that your diet is not able to give you the required nutrients, additional multivitamin supplements may also be helpful.

Tips on Preventing Hair Loss in Women and Men

Apart from the natural remedies there are several other things that one should keep in mind. Here are some tips to prevent hair loss.

  • Avoid using hair products like hair dyes, hair colors, hair dryers, curlers, etc., on a regular basis as they damage the hair very badly. If you want to indulge in hair coloring or hair dyeing, make sure that you keep a gap of 6-8 weeks between two sessions.
  • It is also important to choose hair care products carefully. Avoid using shampoos and conditioners that are made from harsh chemicals, as they can harm your hair. Hence, it will be better to use shampoos and conditioners that are made from herbs and other natural products.
  • It is necessary to quit smoking and alcohol consumption. If hair loss is caused due to the intake of certain types of medications, consult your doctor immediately. He’ll be in a better position to recommend some other medicine to cure the health problem.