April 27, 2008

Top Countries to be a Working Mother

In the country of Bulgaria, mothers receive 45 days of paid leave before their due date and they can take two entire years of paid leave off after the child is born for each child they have. Pregnant women and mothers of young children are also protected from working overtime.

In Sweden, all working parents get 18 months of parental leave that are usually paid. Some of the months would have to be used by the father of the child to encourage both parents to be involved in taking care of the child. Mothers that aren’t working are entitled to compensation too.

In Germany, billions of euros have been allocated for maternity benefits. If a new mom chooses not to go to work for a year, she would still receive 67 percent of her net salary. The benefit would continue if the father stays home for two months.

Negative Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

There are negative effects of not getting enough sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep each night can lead to obesity, heart disease, and illnesses.

Research has proven that people who get less than seven hours of sleep each night are 30 percent more likely to be obese. Not getting enough sleep affects the flow of hormones that regulate hunger and satiety, which can cause a person to eat more. Sleepy people are also more likely to eat high-fat and high-calorie foods to give them energy.

Women that get less than five hours of sleep each night are more likely to develop hypertension, which is a leading cause of heart disease. When a person doesn’t get enough sleep, their body produces more stress hormones and other substances that would increase inflammation, which increases the risks of heart disease and stroke.

People that get less than five hours of sleep each night also have two and a half times the risk of getting diabetes when compared to people that sleep for seven or eight hours each night. Not getting enough of deep sleep decreases the ability to regulate blood-sugar levels.

People that are sleep deprived often feel cranky because that would make the amygdala, the part of the brain that process emotional events, to go into overdrive and the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that regulates reasoning, to become deactivated and this would make a person feel less stable than usual. Sleep deprivation makes the brain unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce rational responses.

Sleep deprivation affects how well the body fights infections and determines how well the body produces antibodies after a vaccination. While a person is sleeping, the body produces cytokines, chemicals that help the immune system fight off infection and disease.

April 23, 2008

What a Mother Eats Can Determine Sex of Baby

A new British research suggests that what a woman eats before getting pregnant can affect the gender of what the baby will be. Eating potassium-rich foods, including bananas, and eating breakfast each day can raise the chances of having a boy.

The study was based on 700 first-time pregnant women in the United Kingdom who didn’t know the sex of their fetuses and they were asked about their eating habits in the year before they had gotten pregnant. 56 percent of the women with the highest calorie intake before pregnancy had boys and only 45 percent of the women with the lowest calorie intake had boys.

The women who ate at least one bowl of breakfast cereal each day were 87 percent more likely to have a baby boy than the women who ate less than one bowl of cereal each week. The women who gave birth to boys also ate an additional 300 milligrams of potassium each day on average before getting pregnant. The women who had boys also ate about 400 calories more each day on average than the women who had girls.

Music Increases Energy Levels When Exercising

It is found that upbeat music can increase the flow of the hormone adrenaline and increase energy levels to help a person workout longer. Exercising to the beat of a song can decrease the amount of oxygen the body needs and a person would be able to workout longer before feeling tired. To benefit the most, the song’s tempo should be four to five beats higher than a person’s heart rate.

April 22, 2008

Air Pollution Causing Premature Deaths

It is found that short-term exposure to smog and air pollution is linked to premature deaths. Premature death from air pollution is highest in people that have heart and lung disease but can affect anybody. The exposure can cause lung conditions, illness, hospitalization, and death. It can cause respiratory illnesses and effects elderly people with respiratory problems and children the worst.

April 18, 2008

Incontinence Drugs Connected to Memory Problems

A recent study has found that commonly used incontinence drugs can cause memory problems in some older people. The people that took the drugs usually had a 50 percent faster rate in the decline in cognitive thinking when compared to people who didn’t take the drugs. It is advised to use caution when taking these drugs.

There are other ways to treat incontinence without using drugs, such as exercises, biofeedback, and keeping a schedule of when a person goes to the bathroom. Causes of incontinence include nerve damage, loss of muscle tone, and an enlarged prostate.

April 17, 2008

Coffee Can Cause Miscarriages

A recent study found that pregnant women that drink more than one cup of coffee a day are at risk of having a miscarriage. Even a small amount can be very dangerous. Two hundred milligrams of caffeine, the equivalent of two cups of regular coffee, can double the risk of having a miscarriage, especially in the first trimester. Caffeine decreases blood flow to the placenta and stresses the metabolism of the fetus. It is recommended that a pregnant woman doesn’t have any caffeine in her diet.

Weight Reduction to Treat Diabetes

It is found that weight reduction surgery works better than standard medical therapy to treat type 2 Diabetes in people who are obese. The surgery is also recommended for people who are not morbidly obese but still overweight.

In a recent study, researchers monitored two groups of obese people with type 2 diabetes. Half of the people had gastric binding done, where surgeons put a silicone strap around the stomach so that less food goes into it. The other half of the people was put on a standard diet and exercise plan. After two years passed, the people on the diet lost an average of 3 pounds while the people who had surgery done lost an average of 46 pounds. 22 of the people that had surgery also had their diabetes go into remission while only 3 of the dieters had that happen.

April 15, 2008

France Not Promoting Extreme Thinness

France might make it illegal to promote extreme thinness. The French parliament’s lower house adopted a bill that would make it illegal for anything and anyone, including fashion magazines, advertisers, and Web sites, to promote extreme thinness. Judges would be given the power to imprison and fine offenders of the crime up to $47,000 if they are found guilty of “inciting others to deprive themselves of food to an excessive degree.” Judges can also sanction the people or places responsible for a magazine photo of a model whose extreme thinness alters another person’s health.

The National Assembly approved the bill in a series of votes after the legislation won support from the ruling conservative UMP party. The bill is going to the Senate very soon. Last week, French lawmakers and fashion industry members signed a nonbinding charter on promoting healthier body images.

Leaders in the French couture are against having legal boundaries on beauty standards but some people also feel that encouraging anorexia or severe weight loss should be punishable in court. Doctors and psychologists that are treating people with anorexia nervosa are in support of the government being involved in the fight against the disease.

Cell Phones Causing Sleeping Problems

It is found that the mild radiation that a brain receives from a cell phone can cause a person to have problems falling asleep. A study also found that people that were exposed to mobile phone radiation just before trying to go to sleep had higher risks when it came to having insomnia and headaches. The same people also had more trouble reaching a state of deep sleep and they couldn’t stay in deep sleep as long as people who weren’t being exposed to cell phone radiation.

It is assumed that mobile phone radiation causes changes in the areas of the brain responsible for activating and coordinating the stress system. It is recommended not to talk on a cell phone soon before going to bed.

April 14, 2008

Next Biggest Diet Craze

The drug Taranabant is known to be apart of the next biggest diet craze. The drug is considered the “anti-marijuana” and works by erasing food cravings by blocking the same receptors in the brain that cannabis stimulates, causing appetite suppression. A 12 week study found that obese patients consumed 27 percent less calories when they were taking the drug. The downside of the drug is that it can possibly make a person feel nauseous, irritable, or anxious.

Tuna Sushi Found High in Mercury

The New York Times recently did a study of the mercury content of sushi that was sold at 20 random New York City restaurants and found that most of the bluefin tuna that was being sold had mercury levels so high that a regular diet of six pieces a week would be beyond the levels acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency. Similar results are found other places as well.

Sushi is often eaten because it is low in fat and high in protein but the mercury in it accumulates in the human body. Even small amounts can cause brain development problems, especially in children and pregnant women.

Video Game Tax to Fight Obesity

A New Mexico legislator has proposed a new tax on video games and televisions to try to fund a fight against childhood obesity. The bill, called “Leave No Child Inside,” would levy a 1 percent tax on some home-recreation devices and use the money to fund outdoor programs for children. It is estimated that twenty five percent of New Mexico’s children are overweight or obese.

April 10, 2008

Protect Yourself Against Heart Damage

There are many factors that cause heart damage and many things that can be done to protect a person against it. Things that can affect heart damage include oral health, sleep habits, marriage, family history, and the area where you live.

Studies have found a link between heart diseased and gum disease. It is assumed that bacteria in the mouth penetrate damaged gums, enter the bloodstream, and cause inflammation. It also increases in plaque in the arteries that go to the heart. There is evidence that keeping your mouth healthy can cut the risk of heart disease. Intensive periodontal treatment can cause an improvement in cells lining blood vessels throughout the body, which causes a better and healthier blood flow to the heart. It is recommended to brush teeth twice each day, floss each day, and go to the dentist every six months for regular cleanings.

People that get five hours of sleep or less each night are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease. When people don’t get enough sleep, their average daily blood pressure and heart rate increases. Not getting enough sleep can also increase the risks of obesity, depression, and diabetes, which are all factors that can increase the chances of developing heart disease. Studies have shown that getting enough sleep each night can lower blood pressure.

If there is constant strain and stress in a relationship, your risk of having a heart attack increases up to 34 percent. A lot of anger and stress can cause a flood of hormones that causes the heart to beat faster and pump harder, causing higher blood pressure and more wearing on the cardiac blood vessels. People in a bad marriage are more likely to eat poorly, drink alcohol more, and smoke, which are things that are bad for the heart.

Family history can increase risks of heart disease. A family history of early heart attack can double the risk of coronary calcification, which is a buildup of calcium in blood vessels that is connected to heart disease, in people between the ages of 30 and 50. Women are more likely to have multiple risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Exercising and eating healthy can still decrease the risks even if there is a family history of heart disease.

People that live in more deprived neighborhoods that don’t have sidewalks, walking trails, and parks have a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease regardless of how rich or educated a person is. These neighborhoods discourage walking and exercise and usually encourage unhealthy eating since they are more likely to have more fast-food restaurants and convenience stores. Something can be done by petitioning officials to add more sidewalks and lights.

April 8, 2008

Amount of Sleep Connected to Childhood Obesity

A Harvard study has found that babies and toddlers that sleep less than 12 hours each day are more at risk for being overweight in preschool. The link between sleep and obesity affects young children too, as well as teenagers and adults. Children that slept the least and watched the most amount of television had the greatest chance of obesity.

Previous studies have found that people that don’t get enough sleep produce more ghrelin, which is a hormone that promotes hunger. They also produce less leptin, which is a hormone that signals to the body that they are full and have had enough to eat. Watching television promotes obesity because it can take time away from doing activities that burn calories. The more active a child is the better they will sleep at night.

It is good advice to create a regular schedule for sleep for children and babies. Infants can be taught to sleep on their own by putting them to bed when they are drowsy but not completely asleep.

April 6, 2008

How to Stop Nosebleed Problems

If you are having problems with nosebleeds it is a good idea to use a humidifier to keep the nasal passages moist. Nosebleeds are very common during cold weather because indoor heat can make the tiny blood vessels inside the nose dry up and crack. If a person has allergies or a deviated septum, where the ridge of the cartilage between the nostrils isn’t aligned properly, the person could have nosebleeds more often due to restricted nostril airflow, which dries up the blood vessels even more.

To stop a nosebleed it is recommended to sit upright with your head tilted slightly back and pinch the tip of the nose for five to ten minutes. If this doesn’t help, it s a good idea to go to an otolarngologist to check for other problems that are getting in the way of stopping the bleeding. Having high blood pressure and taking anticoagulants, such as aspirins, can influence whether a nosebleed can be stopped. High blood pressure prevents bleeding vessels from sealing up and anticoagulants stop the blood from clotting.

Grapefruit Increases Cancer Risk

A recent study found that women who ate half of a grapefruit every other day had a 30 percent increase of breast cancer risk when compared to women who didn’t eat the fruit. Grapefruit contains the chemical compound furanocoumarins that inhibits the way that estrogen is metabolized. This leads to a higher concentration of estrogen, which increases the risk of breast cancer.

It is recommended that post menopausal women that consume grapefruit regularly and women that have had estrogen-receptor-positive cancer should not eat this fruit. The American Cancer Society recommends eating five servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day to limit the exposure to possibly harmful substances from a single food.

April 5, 2008

Pregnancy Can Help Fight Cancer

Pregnancy can reduce the risk of cancer. This happens because some of the fetus’s cells cross the placenta and settle into the bloodstream and other tissues. The cells from the fetus increase the amount of immunity against breast cancer. This finding could help in the development of a breast caner vaccine in the future.

April 2, 2008

Scientists Find Genetic Link to Smoking Addiction

Scientists have found genetic variations that make people more likely to get hooked on cigarettes and more likely to develop lung cancer. This new finding could lead to screening tests and customized treatments being developed for smokers that want to quit smoking. It also gives more insight on how genetics and lifestyle habits work together to cause cancer.

A person that smokes that inherits the genetic variations from both parents has an 80 percent greater chance of lung cancer than a smoker without the variations. The same smoker would light two extra cigarettes a day on average and have a harder time quitting than smokers that don’t have the variations.

April 1, 2008

Hands Only CPR Now Recommended for Cardiac Arrest

The American Heart Association is now recommending that the hands-only CPR approach be used on adults who have a cardiac arrest. To do this procedure, a person would do rapid and deep presses on the victim’s chest until help arrives and mouth-to-mouth breathing would not have to be done. It suppose to work as well as the standard CPR practices.

If there is a person needing immediate medical attention for risk of cardiac arrest you would call 911 and then press hard and fast on the middle of the person’s chest until paramedics arrive and take over or an automated external defibrillator is available to restore a normal heart rhythm. These actions should only be taken for adults that unexpectedly collapse, stop breathing, and are unresponsive.

Doing mouth-to-mouth breathing is recommended for a child that collapses and adults that suffer from not enough oxygen from near-drowning, drug overdose, and carbon monoxide poisoning. In these situations, mouth-to-mouth is needed to get air into the lungs and bloodstream.