Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu (Update and FAQ)

The swine flu outbreak continues to grow, with more documented cases in the United States and internationally. As of 11 AM today, there are 64 cases of swine flu in the U.S. and additional countries reporting confirmed cases. The World Health Organization has raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to phase 4. This marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions regarding swine flu:

What is swine flu?
Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses that causes regular outbreaks in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Swine flu viruses have been reported to spread from person-to-person.

What are the signs and symptoms of swine flu in people?
The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, runny nose and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.

How does swine flu spread?
Spread of this swine influenza A (H1N1) virus is thought to be happening in the same way that seasonal flu spreads. Flu viruses are spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing of people with influenza. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

How can someone with the flu infect someone else?
Infected people may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 7 or more days after becoming sick. That means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

What should I do to keep from getting the flu?
First and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Avoid close contact with sick people.

Are there medicines to treat swine flu?
Yes. If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious flu complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).

What surfaces are most likely to be sources of contamination?
Germs can be spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. The tissue should be properly disposed of after use. If a tissue is not readily available, you should cough or sneeze into the inner part of your elbow, not your hands.

* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

* Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

* Seek medical attention at the earliest onset of symptoms. Your health care practitioner will determine if you are a candidate for further respiratory precautions (such as a surgical mask), diagnostic testing and treatment with prescription medications.

What is the best technique for washing my hands to avoid getting the flu?
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. It is recommended that you wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 15 to 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

What should I do if I get sick?
If you live in an area where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you should seek medical attention. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

Do not take aspirin for flu symptoms. Motrin (or similar products) and Tylenol (or similar products) may be used for relief of symptoms.

You should go to the Emergency Room if you have one of the following warning signs:

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

· Fast breathing or trouble breathing

· Bluish skin color

· Not drinking enough fluids

· Not waking up or not interacting

· Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

· Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

· Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

· Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

· Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

· Sudden dizziness

· Confusion

· Severe or persistent vomiting

Can I get swine influenza from eating or preparing pork?
Usually not. But possible in some cases. Hence, avoid eating pork

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Power diet for quick weight loss

Today most of the people find it difficult to reduce their weight and are becoming more prone to Blood Pressure, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and the core reason behind this is Obesity.

In this fast moving life we do not get much time to spare for physical exercise
so in such a situation a healthy and nutritious diet can solve the purpose.

Early Morning
Start your day with lemon juice and honey in lukewarm water; this helps your body to get rid of harmful acids produced by the body.

Choose any one or two from the following options
Egg white omelet (2) + 2 slices of brown bread,
Milk (Skimmed Milk) +Cornflakes/ Oats /Wheat bran
Fruit salad / Sprouts.
Vegetable Poha / Upma
Skimmed milk cottage cheese + Brown Bread

Pre Lunch
Take black coffee before the afternoon meal this helps in boosting metabolism.

Boiled / Roasted Chicken/ Soyabean (200 grams) +Brown Rice (1/2 plate) / Chapatti (1)
Boiled Dal +salad + Brown Rice (1/2 plate) / Chapatti (1-2)
Take Probiotic curd (100grams) as it helps in digestion.
Vegetable Daliya

Take some citrus fruits to satisfy the hunger pangs in the evening,
Green tea with two Marie Lite biscuit
Boiled Channa

Choose any one or two from the following options
Boiled Soybean Nutrela/ soup + salad,
Boiled Egg White (3) + Vegetable clear soup
Chicken or Tuna salad.
Boiled Dal
Vegetable Daliya

Pre Bed –time
150 -200 ml of skimmed milk.

Beside the above diet keep in mind the following points-
• Avoid heavy dinner; maintain at least 3 to 4 hours of gap between meal and sleep.
• Replace cold drinks with coconut water, vegetable soup or butter milk
• Drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water everyday
• Fibre is excellent for weight loss , so consume more of raw vegetables and fruits
• All carbs are not bad; avoid simple carbs like sugar, sweet and processed food.
• Never skip meals.
• Avoid Bakery products.
• Replace Chicken Tikka with Chicken Salami
• Avoid taking water along with the meal.
Follow the above mentioned points for 6 days in a week and once in a week please your taste buds with one meal of your choice but don’t forget only one. Try to take out some time for physical exercises at least thrice a week

Pursue the above mentioned rules and fit in your old clothes again but don’t forget the results may vary from person to person and don’t try to bully your body.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

5 steps to a great body

Does your diet and fitness regime go haywire every time you travel for work or pleasure?

You cannot take your gym with you, but with our 'no-equipment, do-anywhere workout', you can still keep fit while on the move.

Do one to three sets of each exercise, with eight to 15 repetitions per set.

Step 1: The warm up

Leg lifts: Stand with your feet apart at hip width. Place your hands on your hips. Bend both knees slightly and shift most of your weight onto your left leg.

Keeping your knee slightly bent, lift your right leg up and out to the side, about six inches. Lower to the original position. Repeat with the right leg, then with the left.

Arm curls: Use hand weights or dumbbells. Hold a weight in each hand, arms at your sides, palms facing forward.

Stand with your feet apart at hip width, knees slightly bent. Curl the weights up to your shoulders, then lower to the original position.

Step 2: Stretch exercises

Inner thigh stretches: Sit on floor; place the soles of your feet together. Drop your knees toward floor. Gradually, lower your torso towards the floor until you feel a gentle tension in your inner thighs. Release.

Modified hurdler: Sit on floor, right leg extended, left foot against the right knee. Lower your torso and reach for your ankle until your hamstring feels tight. Repeat on other side.

Hamstring stretch: Lie on the floor and stretch your legs. Raise your left leg, using a towel to assist, until you feel the tension in your hamstring. Hold. Repeat on other side.

Step 3: Floor exercises

Crunches: Lie on the floor with your feet hip width apart. Cradle your head in your hands without lacing your fingers together and with your elbows pointed slightly inward.

Tilt your chin a little bit toward your chest and pull your abdominal muscles in. Exhale through your mouth as you curl your head, neck and shoulders up off the floor. Hold this position for a moment, then inhale as you return to your original position.

Push-ups: Lie on your stomach. Bend your knees and cross your ankles. Bend your elbows and place your palms on the floor, in front of your shoulders and a bit to the side. Straighten your arms and lift your body so you are balanced on your palms and knees.

Tuck your chin a few inches towards your chest so that your forehead faces the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Bend your elbows and lower your entire body at once. Rather than trying to touch your chest to the floor, lower until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push back up.

Squats: Stand tall with your feet apart at hip width, with your weight slightly back on your heels. Place your hands on your hips. Sit back and down as if you're sitting into a chair directly behind you. Lower as far as you can without leaning your upper body more than a few inches forward (this depends on your flexibility and your build).

If you can bend your knees far enough so that your thighs are parallel to the floor, stop. Don't allow your knees to travel out in front of your toes. Once you feel your upper body fold forward over your thighs, straighten your legs and stand up. Take care not to lock your knees as you complete the movement.

Step 4: Stretch exercises

Lunges: Stretch your legs a stride's distance apart. Slowly bend your knees until you are in a kneeling position with your knees not quite touching the floor. Don't look down; don't allow your knees to shoot out past your toes. Return to your original position.

Dips: Sit at the edge of the desk or on a sturdy chair. Place your hands with the palms facing your body. Slide yourself off the seat and support yourself with just with your hands. Slowly lower yourself by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor, and then press yourself back.

Step 5: Face exercises

Tilt your head backwards. Let your upper lip cover your lower lip. Maintain the posture as you curl your tongue up inside the mouth and press it against your upper palette. Then smile.

Place the entire thumb inside your mouth, between the teeth of the upper jaw and the upper lip. Press the upper lip back into the teeth so that your thumb is squeezed.

This exercise helps to get rid of furrows and lines on the forehead. All you have to do is lift the eyebrows upward and open your eyes wider with each count.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pregnant ? Here's what you should eat . . .

You are expecting your first child and are feeling both excited and nervous.

Everyone is doling out advice about almost everything, including what you should and should not eat.

image In this flurry of information overdrive, here's what you need to remember. On an average, you require between 1,800- 2,000 calories per day. If you are pregnant, you need only about 300 calories extra each day for you to stay healthy and help your unborn child grow.

You certainly do not have to 'eat for two' as the old saying goes.

First three months

A healthy, balanced diet includes adequate protein, vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy products.

Many women feel queasy or nauseated during the first three months of their pregnancy (also known as the first trimester). Eating small meals through the day, and dry crackers (such as Britannia's cream cracker biscuits) when you feel sick, may help.

You may lose weight due to nausea. Don't worry about it if your gynaecologist says you are okay.

Eating a variety of nutrient dense foods, consuming adequate calories and taking the prenatal vitamins prescribed by your gynaecologist are essential.

The second trimester

Your appetite will begin to increase as will your requirement for calories, vitamins, minerals and proteins. This resulting increase in energy is required for two reasons:

~ To increase the amount of blood in your body. Your growing baby requires this extra blood.

~ To nourish the growing uterus, prepare the breasts for lactation and increase overall fat stores that nourish the foetus.

Continue eating a variety of nutrient dense foods and taking your prenatal vitamins. Limit your intake of sweets and junk foods.

Last three months

Eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, cereals and proteins like dals and pulses. Decrease the intake of salt, sugary products and fatty food.

Drink plenty of water to help reduce swelling and avoid constipation.

Try and avoid 'heaty' foods like dry fruits, raw papaya, grapes and pineapple.

Diet dos

~ Eat raw fruits, vegetables, prunes, whole grains or bran cereals like readymade wheat flakes.

~ Add one teaspoon of bran (wheat husk) flour to your wheat flour when making chapattis.

~ Increase your intake of fruits to at least three servings a day. Avoid fruits like papaya, pineapple and grapes.

~ Increase your intake of raw vegetables like cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, beetroot and lettuce leaves.

~ Avoid eating raw sprouts -- this can give you gas. Steam sprouts before you eat them.

~ Have at least one vegetable with every meal.

~ Drink at least one to two litres of fluid per day between meals, but not during meals. Your liquid intake could include juices, soups, coconut water, etc.

~ If you are constipated, have a cup of hot water three times a day.

~ Eat dry crackers, toast/ cereal before getting up or when feeling sick and to avoid nausea.

~ Eat smaller meals more frequently; say five to six meals a day.

~ Drink a glass of warm milk before sleeping to avoid insomnia.

~ Consume at least 0.4 milligrammes of folic acid everyday. Folic acid is found in vegetables, whole grain foods and citrus foods. It reduces the risk of birth defects of the spine and brain.

Folates, however, are easily destroyed by cooking, which is why it is recommended you have fresh vegetables like two to three leaves of lettuce, cabbage and cucumber. You can also include citrus fruits, juices, nuts, seeds, dried beans/ peas, bananas, tomatoes, etc, in your diet.

~ Ideally, your diet should supply all vitamins but since this is not feasible, you should take one multivitamin tablet every day.

~ Fish can form a part of your diet as it contains Omega3 fatty acid, an essential nutrient for a healthy delivery and lactation.

~ Vegetarians can fulfill their daily protein needs by having two to three cups of milk and milk products every day. Besides two cups of milk, non-vegetarians are advised to take one average helping of meat, fish, chicken or eggs.

~ Use low fat dairy products like skimmed milk, low fat cheese and yoghurt and soy products in your diet.

~ Use only lean meats like poultry and fish.

~ Bake, broil, grill or stir-fry your food instead of frying it.

~ For optimal absorption of an iron supplement or other non-meat iron sources, take it with a good source of Vitamin C like orange juice, grapefruit, cantaloupe, green pepper or broccoli.

~ Cut down on low calorie, low nutrient foods such as cakes, candy, pastries and soda.

~ Exercise regularly to keep from getting too tired. Exercise enhances stamina, strength and flexibility and can reduce stress. Walking is a good exercise.

Tip: Learn to control conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease before you get pregnant; this will make your pregnancy easier.

Diet don'ts

~ Pregnant women are prone to acidity; avoid greasy, spicy foods as these alleviate acidity.

~ Try not to eat foods with strong smells (like garlic, onions, etc), to avoid nausea.

~ Avoid processed foods like pickles, papads, ketchups, jams, jellies, chocolates, chips and farsans.

~ Unless you are making it at home, avoid Chinese food. Most restaurants add ajinomoto or monosodium glutamate to their food. This is high in sodium content; too much sodium can lead to hypertension or high blood pressure.

~ Avoid outside food, especially non-vegetarian food like prawns, liver or any raw/ undercooked meats and eggs.

~ Don't lie down immediately after eating; go for a moderately paced walk instead. Try to have your food at least one hour before bedtime.

~ Avoid excess use of table salt.

~ Don't have too much caffeine; it suppresses the appetite. When had with or immediately after meals, it hinders the absorption of vitamins.

~ Avoid fasting during pregnancy as this causes a rapid fall of plasma glucose as compared to its fall in women who are not pregnant. Fasting increases body fat metabolism in the mother and, instead of glucose, the foetus is obliged to utilise ketones to get energy.

Ketones are produced when the body breaks down fat instead of carbohydrates to derive energy. This adversely affects foetal metabolism and development and lowers the foetus' IQ.

Don't diet when you are pregnant.

~ It would be a good idea to have an early breakfast.

~ Drinking alcohol is harmful. Alcohol may produce spontaneous abortion. A small dose may depress the foetus' breathing activity.

Heavy drinking during pregnancy is recognised as a major cause of mental retardation in the foetus. Though the facial malformation reduces with time, the small skull, short stature and low weight problems persist.

~ Smoke may harm the foetus due to exposure to nicotine, carbon monoxide or cyanide.

Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk of spontaneous abortion. It also lowers the child's birth weight and raises the risk of prenatal mortality.

If a non-smoking mother is exposed to smoke during pregnancy, it can reduce the birth weight of the newborn.

Nicotine has been detected in the breast milk of mothers who smoke. In fact, children of mothers who smoke before and after conception have a higher risk of developing leukaemia or lymphoma.

Mothers who stopped smoking before pregnancy or soon after its onset gave birth to babies with an improved birth weight as compared to those mothers who continued to smoke through their pregnancy.

~ Avoid eating undercooked meat; it is a known source of toxoplasmosis, an infection that can seriously harm the foetus.

A balanced, nutritious diet will ensure the quality and quantity of your milk without depleting your body, paving the way for a healthy postpartum/ lactation period.

Friday, April 10, 2009

10 Tips to Reduce Muscle Pain Naturally - Without Side Effects

If you suffer from muscle or joint pain you know how much it can impact your life. From not being able to play active sports to missing out on family fun – the effects can be far-reaching and upsetting. So, its natural that we search for pain remedies.

Almost everyone is familiar with pain relief formulas. Over 30 billion over-the- counter tablets and 70 million prescriptions are sold annually just in the USA. Known as ‘Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs’ (NSAIDs), a few commonly known names include Aspirin, Ibuprofin, Advil, and Motrin as well as prescription products like Celebrex and Vioxx. What most people might not know is that over 16,000 Americans die from NSAIDs a year and approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for NSAID related gastrointestinal complications.(1)

There is an alternative. Natural pain relief therapies can decrease inflammation and help repair tissues. The following are some starting points for investigating natural solutions further:

1. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night: During the deeper stages of sleep the human body produces growth hormone, which results in tissue healing and repair. Inadequate amounts of sleep contribute to pain. Natural sleep remedies that can help you get a deep and restorative sleep are Melatonin, Hydroxy L- tryptophan (5-HTP), Calcium, Mangesium and colloidal gold. You can also listen to relaxing music – try searching on itunes for ocean sounds.

2. Take a green-lipped mussel oil supplement: If you suffer from pain, swelling or other symptoms commonly associated with arthritis, you may benefit from taking green-lipped mussel oil from New Zealand. In a clinical trial conducted at the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital in Glasgow, UK, preparations of green-lipped mussel extract were shown to benefit 76 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients and 70 percent of osteoarthritic patients (2) The omega-3s contained in green-lipped mussel oils (more potent than fish oils) cannot be manufactured by our body and decrease inflammation. The EPA and DHA essential fatty acids have been so effective that some people have been able to discontinue their use of other medications altogether.

3. Take MSM, or “organic sulphur”. It can lessen inflammation, pain, and stiffness due to arthritis, muscle, or back pain and helps to balance the blood chemistry in these conditions. MSM helps supply the sulfur amino acids needed for healing.

4. Massage a blend of essential oils of arnica, Calendula and St John’s work into the affected painful area. Applying essential oils directly on the area nourishes cells and enables the body to metabolize waste and heal injuries more quickly. Herb Pharm makes a a blend called “Trauma Oil” which is very effective. Essential oils can help relax tense muscles and improve circulation.

5. Eat a whole food, mineral rich diet with plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Vegetable juices and green chlorophyll-rich foods can help relieve muscle inflammations by promoting the elimination of toxins from the body. Cut back on the amount of meat containing large amounts of saturated fat, which impacts the effective functioning of the liver – possibly leading to inflammation and irritation. Animal fats also contain arachadonic acid which can stimulate inflammation.

6. Take Glucosamine sulfate: Glucosamine is a naturally occurring element in the body that plays a crucial role in the building and healing of cartilage. Glucosamine may be efficient in treating and even delaying the progression of osteoarthritis. Some studies have hinted that glucosamine may be as effective as NSAIDs in treating joint conditions, while having fewer gastrointestinal side effects.

7. Magnetic therapy: Magnetic therapy is a safe method of applying magnetic fields to the body for therapeutic purposes. It helps speed the healing process and improve quality of sleep without any adverse side effects. A study from the University of Virginia showed that that a magnetic field of moderate strength can result in significant reduction of swelling when applied immediately after an inflammatory injury. Dilation of blood vessels is a major cause of swelling, and it’s thought that the magnets worked by limiting blood flow to the affected area. Individuals wearing magnetic jewelry have reported diminished muscle soreness and lessening of cramps. Try sleeping on a magnet mattress pad to help ease the pain of muscle soreness or apply magnet straps to sore muscle or tendonitis areas.

8. Take Vitamin D: Researched conducted by the University of Minnesota found that 93% of all subjects with non-specific musculoskeletal pain were vitamin D deficient. Taking Vitamin D and CoQ10 can help alleviate muscle pain caused by cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Vitamin D can also be synthesized naturally by the body upon exposure to sunlight.

9. Cayenne pepper:A teaspoon of cayenne shaken in 2 ounces of olive oil can be used as an ointment and rubbed directly into sore muscles. Cayenne contains capsaicin which eventually inhibits secretion of the neurotransmitter Substance P, that transmits pain to the brain, lessening muscle soreness, sprains and cramps.

10. Try an Epsom salt bath: The magnesium sulfate of Epsom Salt acts as a muscle relaxant, and by easing muscle pain it helps the body to eliminate harmful substances. Due to changes in agriculture in the past century, most Americans are deficient in Magnesium. Studies show increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt! Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Fill a bathtub with water as hot as you can stand. Add 2 cups of Epsom salts. The heat of the bath will increase circulation and reduce inflammation.'

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

how to stay young

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height.
Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.

2. Keep only cheerful friends.
The grouches pull you down.
(Keep this In mind if you are one of those grouches

3. Keep learning.
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever.
Never let the brain get idle.
"An idle mind is the devil's workshop."
And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.
And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and Lots of time with HIM/HER.

6. The tears happen.
Endure, grieve, and move on.
The only person who is with you your entire
life, is yourself. LIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love
whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever.
Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health.
If it is good, preserve it.
I f it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips.
Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

Ratings and Recommendations by outbrain

Blog Widget by LinkWithin