Diabetes and Children: Symptoms and Treatment

Pregnancy is such a wonderful thing.  I remember mine vividly, and consider it the best thing that ever happened to me.  But I could hardly believe my ears when my OB-gyne told me I had gestational diabetes.  It’s that kind of diabetes you get when you’re pregnant.  Luckily, mine disappeared right after I gave birth.

This has got me thinking about my daughter.  Could she be predisposed to getting diabetes at some point in her life?  Could your kid be showing signs of diabetes?

First off, it helps to know what diabetes is all about.  There are two main types of diabetes in children:  type 1 (also known as juvenile diabetes) and type 2 (adult-onset diabetes).  Diabetes happens when the body could not change blood glucose- sugar- into energy.  There is a deficiency in the production of insulin which is responsible for doing that.  But for Type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce insulin at all.

Be on the lookout if your child is starting to show the following common symptoms of diabetes:  frequent urination and thirst, fatigue, weight loss, headaches, tummy aches, problems with behavior.  Don’t turn a blind eye, and do take your child to see a doctor quick.

If your child then becomes diagnosed with having diabetes, don’t lose hope, as it’s hardly the end of the world.  Thankfully, there are ways to deal with it.  Your child may be placed on a Type 2 diabetes diet to help control his blood sugar levels.  You may have to regularly watch his blood sugar levels using blood glucose monitors.

For those with Type 1 diabetes, they may need insulin shots to supply their bodies with the insulin they need.  This is going to be a lifelong process.

It is so important for us parents to catch the signs of diabetes in our children early on.  If it turns out that your kid does have diabetes, always follow your doctor’s orders, and practice living a healthy lifestyle.  This will prevent greater complications in the future.  It likewise helps to join diabetes education programs whenever possible.  Through it all, just always be there to support your kid.

Health Is- And Always Will Be- Wealth

There’s nothing like a severe infection to make one realize the value of good health.  My daughter and I just got back from a 5-day hospital confinement.  She had to be put on a drip for this infection which was wreaking havoc on her body.

I was out of sorts when the ER doctor told me my daughter had to be kept in the hospital to be treated. That was her “virgin” hospital confinement, and my insides went ballistic at the mere thought of my precious girl being subjected to all forms of needle pricks and whatnot.

Now that she’s back to her old bubbly self, I am finally able to heave a heavy sigh of relief.  It has also got me thinking about my own health.  I must admit that it’s something I take for granted, as I put my daughter’s welfare above all things.  Even my penchant for watching Friends reruns has taken a back seat, I confess.

But now I realize that if I want my daughter to have the best of everything, I must take good care of myself.  She depends on me for most, if not all, of her needs.  If I wasn’t in the pink of health, my daughter would find herself in the direst of situations.

I’m taking a more proactive role in keeping myself healthy.  For instance, instead of going on a crash diet, I’m going to try out those red cell press capsules which act as appetite suppressants.  They’re a healthier alternative which won’t jeopardize my well-being.  I’m also going to walk more.

What concrete steps have you taken lately in keeping yourself healthy?

Gingivitis: The Low-Down on Sore Gums

Smile, and the whole world smiles with you.  But if you have red gums which swell like hell, then you’re better off hiding that smile, as the world- instead of smiling with you- might shudder in disdain.

Red, swollen and bleeding gums when you brush your teeth are the symptoms of gum disease or gingivitis.  If you ignore it at this stage, it could possibly lead to more serious problems like tooth loss and even heart and circulation problems.

Poor oral hygiene is the primary culprit of gingivitis.  Plaque builds up on your teeth if you don’t brush and floss daily- and properly.  Use an extra soft toothbrush to brush your teeth without brushing too hard. If you put all your Herculean strength into brushing your teeth, you tend to wear down the tooth enamel and hurt your gums.  Remember, your teeth are not like your kitchen sink which you have to scrub down so hard in order to get clean.

Gingivitis is something you shouldn’t just brush off (pun intended!).  If you catch the problem this early, you can very well prevent gingivitis from progressing into more serious problems.  And then, you can start showing off that million dollar, gingivitis-free smile for all the world to see.

 

 

5 Tips to Maintain Your Weight Over the Holidays

For the majority, the holiday season is the busiest time of the year as they juggle shopping for Christmas gifts, attending numerous parties, and maintaining their regular routine at home and at work. That is why for most people, the holiday months are a big challenge to continue with their fitness program.

It is during this time that their schedule is so jam-packed that they can’t find the time to hit the gym to do their normal exercise routine, or they find it hard to stay away from the temptation of eating food rich in sugar and calories as they attend different parties which teem with good food.

Here are some tips on how to help you stay on track with your fitness program to help you lose or maintain your weight during the busy holiday season:

  1. Plan for the holiday season. Set realistic health goals that you think you can maintain and stick to them. Track your eating and exercise by keeping a health journal, which can be a big help for you to stay on track.
  2. Set a date for exercise. Exercise is one of the most important ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle and it is during this time that it is most important not to skip it. Your hectic schedule can affect your body and your health might suffer, so exercise can be one of the best ways to take care of your body. Set a date on your calendar to do workouts, and remind yourself not to miss this schedule no matter how busy you are.
  3. Make smart choices when eating. I know it is the holiday season and it is time to indulge and to party but you should also know your limit. You don’t have to say “Yes” to every kind of food that is offered to you. Before going to a party, try to eat something like some healthy soup, crackers, or nuts to fill you up.  This will make you less likely to overeat. Don’t skip meals.  Instead, take smaller and frequent meals, so you will have no problem controlling your appetite at the buffet table. If you want to indulge in a dessert, just limit yourself to one treat and portion control it.
  4. Watch what you drink. Alcoholic beverages are always present in any holiday get together so be careful what you drink. Avoid mixed drinks as they have high calorie content.
  5. Turn daily routines or household chores into an opportunity to exercise. Walk from the parking lot to the main entrance of the mall as you do your holiday shopping, use the stairs when moving between floors in your office, scrub the floor to clean up for the holidays, etc.

With parties surrounded by good food and overflowing drinks beckoning you here and there, make sure that you stick to your diet plans, so you don’t pack on the extra pounds. You can still enjoy the festivities while still being healthy with the help of the tips mentioned above.

Author’s Bio: Abie is a health blogger who writes about different topics like Vitamin D and other health supplements. She also works as content writer and her latest project is for the site JGSupplements.com.

Why Don’t You Give Life On Christmas Day?

People, they say, come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  There’s this one person who came into my life some nine years ago, but left in a somewhat painful way- she died of breast cancer.

This woman was the older sister I never had.  We were coworkers, but she proved to be more than that to me.  Ironically, we were then working in a health research branch of the government.  Everyday we were faced with medical and health journals on the latest advancements in healthcare, but apparently, none of the magic from all the breast cancer cures out there worked to her advantage.

It’s comforting to know that these days, there are more companies working towards the goal of medical and health research development.  One such company is cureLauncher.com.  The people behind this advocacy strive to give each person the cure they need by helping the best medical researchers with funding for their projects.  They gather donations from willing donors, and send these funds directly to doctors and researchers who relentlessly find a cure for each life-threatening condition.

The life we have been given is a gift to be cherished.  What’s even more of a blessing is when we’re able to save other people’s lives in whatever way we can.  What small step have you taken lately in trying to give others the gift of life?

The Skinny on My Skin

Have you ever dreamed of walking on the moon?  Probably the closest you can get to doing a Neil Armstrong is by looking at my face.  With all its uneven terrain and bumpy irregularities, my facial skin could very well be a replica of the moon’s surface.

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always dreamed of a peaches and cream complexion.  But that’s all it’ll ever be, I guess- a far-fetched dream.  I’ve gone through the entire gamut of over the counter medication and beauty products, but they just never seem to work for me.

It probably wouldn’t hurt to get some professional work done on my face.  A procedure called laser skin resurfacing just might work for me.  It’ll help even out my skin tone and minimize those fine lines which are starting to make their presence known, like a mistress to her married boyfriend’s wife.

Sometimes, I inevitably feel deprived, as I can’t just slap on any kind of makeup on my face.  My ultra-sensitive skin tends to break out the minute any foreign body touches it.

And then, I look more deeply at each wrinkle, each blemish.  They all have a story to tell.  They have all borne witness to a myriad of heartaches and accomplishments in my life.  And so, it hits me- beauty IS skin deep.

6 Ways to Make the Most of Your Sleep

In these hectic modern times it often seems as if rest and relaxation have been relegated from necessities to luxuries. The hours we put in at work may be shorter than those of our parents’ but the statistics belie the fact that, with the explosion in connectivity thanks to smart phones, laptops and tablets, we’re operating at a higher level for longer hours than ever before.

We’re connected to the world from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep, and for many people this has led to a serious reduction in sleep. In fact, in just the last decade the average number of hours we sleep each night fell from 7 to 6.5. A century ago we slept for 9 hours each night.

This trend shows no sign of reversing, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that we all have to live in a constant fog of sleep deprived confusion. Man’s technology continues to work towards improving our sleeping experience. But technology aside, even with the few hours of sleep you manage to snatch each night you still could wake up in the morning feeling rested and ready for the day. Why? Well, simply because there’s a difference between sleep and GOOD sleep.

With just a few small changes to your routine you can make the most of your brief time in bed, giving yourself more energy throughout the day and a whole new outlook on life. Here are just six simple rules to help you get a restful night’s sleep.

Drink in Sunlight

Throughout the day your body produces a chemical compound called melatonin that, among other things, makes you sleepy, and one of the main reasons we need to sleep is to dissipate the melatonin buildup in our bodies.

Melatonin production is inhibited by exposure to sunlight, so if you want to reduce the amount of sleep you need to feel refreshed you should make sure to get at least a solid two hours of exposure to daylight each day. Throw open the curtains; have lunch outside; walk to work instead of driving, and don’t wear sunglasses unless you really need them. Regular artificial light doesn’t inhibit production, so even in a brightly lit room you’ll still be producing melatonin.

Avoid Stimulants

Many people steer clear of caffeine in the evenings, but that may not be enough to ensure restful sleep. The effects of caffeine can persist for up to 12 hours, so if you really want to make the most of your sleep you should avoid coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks any time after lunch.

Smoking also acts as a stimulant, so while that final cigarette before bed may feel relaxing it will also affect the quality of your sleep.

Plan Your Meal Times

Digestion slows at night, and if you eat your evening meal within three hours of bedtime your body will still be working hard to digest it. And while it’s best to avoid eating a heavy meal close to bedtime it’s just as important not to try to sleep on an empty stomach. Peanuts, tuna and turkey make for an excellent late night snack as each of these foods contain tryptophan, which encourages the production of serotonin to help you sleep soundly.

Disconnect

The hours before bedtime should be a period in which your mind and body gently wind down towards sleep, so you should try to limit exposure to anything that will ramp up physical and mental activity. These after all are among the popular causes of chronic sleep deprivation. Exercise should be completed several hours before sleep, and you should do your best to stay away from the Internet, TV and radio as you’re preparing for bed. Any new information will fire up your mind, and you’ll reset the clock on your journey towards sleep.

Buy a New Mattress

Most people who have problems getting a restful night of sleep could benefit from a new high end memory foam mattress and bedding. After five years of regular use, your mattress will have sustained damages at the stress points where your hips and shoulders are supported, and while you probably won’t have sharp springs protruding through the fabric you’ll certainly have lost little yet vital and healthful support.

Today’s modern beds are more advanced than ever, and you’re sure to find one that suits your sleeping position and body type better.

Sleep in Darkness

When it’s finally time to go to bed you need to make sure that your mind understands that you’re entering a ‘no-stimulation’ zone. All lights should be switched off or covered, from the ceiling light to your bedside lamps to the LED readout on your alarm clock to the blinking battery indicator on your laptop. Any source of light can keep your brain active, but in complete darkness your mind will shut down much more quickly and completely.

The most important thing to remember is that the number of hours you sleep isn’t as important as the quality of that sleep. Nine hours of tossing and turning will leave you irritable, foggy and exhausted in the morning, but just six hours of deep, restful sleep will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the day. Make every hour count and you’ll be a happier, healthier person.

 

Knowing Your Baby’s Gender: Tests That Tell

So you are curious about knowing the gender of your baby? Well this is only natural. The only problem is that there are so many gender tests available that you are bound to find yourself lost as to which one to choose. But how accurate do you need your gender test results to be? You could choose a simple, at home old wives’ tale and just hope the answer is correct or opt for a DNA test or an ultrasound and be almost 100% guaranteed a correct result.

There are a whole range of tests which can be done at home – they are cheap, quick, simple and totally unscientific. Nevertheless, they do have their appeal and many expectant mothers actually enjoy carrying out these tests. The most popular ones include:

The Cabbage test: this must be an all time favorite which results are guaranteed to be 50% accurate. Its origins are very obscure and no one really knows how it came about. However, here is an explanation of how it is carried out. All you need is a red cabbage which you will need to finely chop and place into boiling water. The cabbage-water mixture must be left to simmer for ten minutes and after that, the cabbage strained from the water and the water retained. The purple colored water needs to then be mixed with an equal part of urine. If there is no color change, the baby will be a girl. If, on the other hand, the color changes to red then the baby will be a boy.

The wedding ring test: this test is done by passing a string or a hair through the wedding ring and holding it above the pregnant belly. The movement in which the ring moves should be a telling sign of whether you will have a baby girl or a baby boy. If it swings in circles, you are expecting a baby girl whilst if it sways like a clock pendulum you are expecting a boy. Again, this test is only 50% accurate.

Ultrasounds to discover baby gender

Ultrasounds are accurate at determining baby gender. You will need to undergo an ultrasound anyway at around 19 weeks and at this stage it will be easy to see the sex of the baby with an ultrasound image. It is important that you do not undergo an ultrasound specifically to discover the gender of your baby.- the FDA does not recommended this as it means exposing your baby to unnecessary radiation (although they are far safer than for example X rays as the type of radiation between an ultrasound and X ray are very different)

DNA testing for baby gender

There are two main types of DNA tests that can be used to discover the gender of your baby. Gender testing can be done using a sample of blood or of urine from the mother-to-be. Besides the type of sample used, what also differs is the accuracy. Urine baby gender DNA testing offers 99% accurate results while blood baby gender testing offers a result that varies in accuracy between 85-95%. Both tests can be done at around nine weeks of pregnancy. What scientists do once they receive the blood or urine sample is analyse the genetic material in it to discover whether there is male DNA or not. If the expectant mother is carrying a baby boy, then she will carry male specific Y chromosomes in her blood and urine.

 

 

Caring For Children With Cancer

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, parents find themselves facing their fear of losing their child. These days such a diagnosis is not necessarily a death sentence because of the daily discoveries of science and medicine. Many patients and their families have experienced how oncology solutions are possible. Each success story brings promises of life and health to families struggling with childhood cancer.

Tumors occur in organs and tissues and are found in all age groups, including infants. The type of tumor and how it is treated can depend on where the tumor is located. A cancerous tumor is one that shows invasive properties. The cells break off and migrate to different tissues. Because the DNA is damaged, the cells have lost their ability to experience a natural cycle of birth and death. The end result is an over growth of cells that take over healthy cells, creating havoc in the diseased area. A begin tumor can often be left alone unless it interferes with the function of the nervous system and other organs. Once the cancer has been diagnosed exploring the different treatment options is essential to healing. One interesting fact is that children generally have a better response to treatments than adults.

One of the big differences between an adult cancer patient and a child is a child is still developing. Both children and adults have to replace the tissue destroyed by chemo and radiation therapy, but a child needs extra nutrition for their bodies to grow. Parents should consult with nutritionists and doctors to make sure the child is receiving enough protein. Carbohydrates are important, as well as enough fat to provide energy for growth and development. According to the American Cancer Society, children can need up to 90 percent more carbohydrates than a child without cancer. Other nutritional areas to consider are how chemo treatments can cause vomiting and diarrhea, creating dehydration in an already weak patient. Water becomes extremely important to keep the body lubricated and able to function. If a child cannot eat during their treatments, talking to a doctor or nutritionist who specializes in working with childhood cancer can provide solid information on how to work with the loss of appetite.

During the diagnostic and treatment phase of cancer, both the family and patient need support. In younger children, they often do not understand they are sick. The medical care they are undergoing can be frightening and seen as a form of punishment. While teens may experience a change in how their friends and teachers approach them. Parents need support because of dealing with the extra responsibilities found in the care of a sick child. People who are dealing with similar problems can provide understanding and relevant advice due to shared experiences of a similar illness. Families need to know that cancer is not a death sentence. There are solutions, providing a chance for the family and child to be fully healed and ready to move on to the happier experiences of growing up.

About the author:

Article contributed by Candace Dubois.


How to Carry Out a Paternity Test


Wondering who the daddy is? You are definitely not alone. Tens of thousands of paternity tests are done years in the USA alone. DNA Paternity testing is the most accurate and scientific way of determining who the father of a baby is.

Buying a paternity test

You today no longer need to go to a clinic or hospital to have a DNA test carried out. In line with changes in today’s consumer market, most people are buying paternity tests online where some of the leading laboratories and companies providing these types of tests operate. Once you have selected the company you wish to carry out your test and made your payment, you will be sent a home sample collection kit. All companies provide this kit and the kit does not vary very much from one company to the next. If you thought that the sample required might be blood samples, think again.

DNA has progressed so much that nowadays all you need to do is rub an oral swab inside the mouth and under the tongue to collect the DNA sufficient for a test. The kit will in fact contain oral swabs. You will also find a few basic precautions (such as not eating, drinking or smoking for one hour prior to collecting your samples) as well as the instructions: rub swabs for ten seconds under the tongue and then allow to dry. This method of sample collection is quick and painless and can easily be done by anybody. Once you have collected DNA samples for the alleged father and the child you can then just send them to the lab for testing.

Paternity test results

The results of a paternity test are extremely accurate. Rest assured that any doubts you had will be whipped away. If the alleged father is the biological father of the child, the result will express a percentage probability of paternity above 99.9%. If on the other hand, the alleged father is not the biological father of the child, the probability of paternity will be 0%.

Most paternity test companies base their analysis on a 16 genetic marker profile. This means they analyze 16 individual markers on the DNA profile of the father and that of the child. The biological child of a male will inherit all 16 of his or her genetic markers from her biological father – this means that paternity can only be confirmed if there is an exact match between the DNA profile of the child and of the father. To get more information about how paternity testing companies operate, click here.

Pregnant and need a paternity test?

Paternity testing during pregnancy or prenatal paternity testing used to be a risky business. It required the mother to undergo procedures such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, in order to get samples of the baby’s DNA from inside the womb. Besides the risk of miscarriage and injury to the baby, there was the added problem of the rapidity with which the samples collected (amniotic fluid with amniocentesis and a tissue sample with chorionic villus sampling) disintegrated. Nowadays, scientists have been able to extract fetal DNA from samples of maternal blood – a revolutionary DNA paternity test that has zero percent risk and can be done with accuracy at just ten weeks.

 

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick / FreeDigitalPhotos.net