Monday, September 17, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Two chronic digestive diseases, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease, have been moving to the forefront of public awareness with increase diagnoses in both adults and children. Largely unknown to the general public until recent years, both conditions are unfortunately being diagnosed today with increasingly higher frequency. Both can result in similar symptoms, but the mechanisms and treatments of the illnesses are quite different.
Similar But DifferentAccording to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, Crohn’s disease causes inflammation and irritation of the digestive tract. The inflammation can result in diarrhea and abdominal pain. It can also result in scarring, which over time can narrow the passage through the digestive tract and cause pain as food moves through.
Celiac disease can also cause digestive problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation. It, too, arises from damage to part of the digestive tract. However, the damage here is quite different. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the lining of the small intestine in the presence of gluten, the protein found in wheat. As the lining erodes, it loses its ability to absorb needed nutrients into the bloodstream. Individuals with uncontrolled celiac disease may experience not only digestive symptoms, but also symptoms of malnutrition such as weight loss, fatigue, depression, and miscarriage.
Testing and Diagnosis for Crohn’s and Celiac DiseasesPatients suffering from one of these illnesses may initially seek help for di-gestive problems. As these symptoms overlap with symptoms of many other illnesses, it may take some time before their physicians can arrive at a solid diagnosis. Sometimes testing for the right disease is a matter of trial and error.
Celiac disease can initially be detected through a blood test. If the results are positive, the next step is to give the patient an upper endoscopy in which a biopsy of the small intestine is performed and pictures are taken. This is considered the gold standard for celiac disease diagnosis.
Crohn’s disease can be harder to decipher. Early testing will likely include blood and stool tests for anemia and other conditions. Once these simple tests have ruled out infection and other possible causes for the symptoms, more invasive testing may be ordered. These tests can include flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, CT scans, and X-rays.
Treatment for Crohn’s and Celiac DiseasesBecause the intestinal damage in celiac disease occurs in the presence of gluten, the only known treatment for the condition is to follow a gluten-free diet. It can be difficult to avoid products made with wheat, which include most baked goods and pastas, but the good news is that intestines can and often do heal when wheat is removed from the diet permanently. One benefit of the rising number of celiac disease cases being diagnosed is that several companies have worked hard to put good-tasting gluten free products on the grocery store shelves. Living gluten-free can be challenging, but it is made more pleasant with high quality gluten-free foods.
Again, Crohn’s disease is more complicated. Treatment focuses on control-ling symptoms and inflammation. It can vary from patient to patient, and may include medication, surgery, or special diets. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease. Fortunately, the progression can be slowed and the symptoms can be controlled.
Living with Chronic IllnessBeing diagnosed with celiac or Crohn’s disease (or any other chronic illness) can be difficult. However, an accurate diagnosis is the first step toward suc-cessful treatment. There may not be any known cures for these illnesses, but their symptoms can be eased. Individuals with either of these conditions can still live happy fulfilling lives. (Even Chuck E. Cheese makes a gluten--free pizza!) They can control their illnesses without letting their illnesses control them.
Sophie Paegley is a full-time writer for higher ed blogs and journals nation-wide. Several schools offer degrees in the health field, including University of Southern California and Berkeley Universi-ty.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
People just have to prioritize their time and set aside 30 minutes daily (that’s it!) to keep their health and bodies in shape. A good way to find time is to cut down time on certain activities that you really don’t need to do, or simply prioritize just a little bit more, and you can make time for exercise.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
• Watching Television
Most of us have one television show or another that we make time to enjoy. Whether it’s one television show or several that we make sure we watch each day, we could easily us this time to implement our exercise routine.
You don’t have to eliminate your favorite shows from your daily routine…simply add your exercise routine to your show time. In other words, lay out your floor mat in front of the television and hit those sit-ups, squats and push-ups. During one 30 minute show, you can easily squeeze in your exercise routine, killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
• Stop Hitting the Snooze Button
Getting up an hour earlier each day and devoting that time to working out will make a lot of difference, wont it? Start breaking the habit of using the snooze button on your alarm clock and add 20- 30 minutes to each day. And, here’s a quick tip: Keep the alarm clock away from your bed so that you have to get up to shut it off.
If you are too much of a lazy bone, go to bed wearing your exercise clothes and also leave your running shoes and water bottle near your bed. Get up early in the morning when the alarm rings and shut it off. Put on your shoes quickly, grab the water bottle and rush out in the open air for a walk or a quick run or use a DVD workout disc.
• Delete Unnecessary Obligations
There are many unnecessary obligations in your life. For example, do you have to stay in a committee that you committed to just because you couldn’t say “no”?
To make more time for you, think about all the unwanted and useless things that we do each day and which can be deleted from our day-to-day activities. If you are a ‘people pleaser’, in other words, if you don’t know how to say ‘no’ to anyone around you, this can be a challenging task for you.
If you start using the word ‘no’ more often then you will be surprised to find that how easy it was to do so. Remember that it is not the end of the world if you stop doing favors for people. Consider yourself the top priority over any other thing in the world.
• Get Organized
Doing things in an organized way will help to save a lot of free time and the time can be used for working out. If your mornings are a confused vision of chaos everywhere in, and around, the house as everyone rushes to get a hold on their books, jackets, keys, backpacks, ironed clothes, watering the plants and feeding the pets, then organizing these things in a proper manner will give you a lot of free time for yourself.
How many mornings do you spend hunting down little things like backpacks and shoes? Prepare the things that you and the family will need the next morning on the previous night, right after dinner, such ironing the clothes and setting the table for breakfast.
Delegate certain chores to the children and hubby! Don’t feel bad about delegating, either.
• Choose Activities You Love
Sometimes it is that we simply hate to work out so we say that we don’t have time for it. In that case, we need to do those activities in which we find pleasure and comfort. We need to find activities that we don’t mind doing in our spare time.
Activities like joining a dance class or a walking club, learning judo karate classes, starting a garden or landscaping a yard or entering a race can make you feel interested and inspired. And thus, working out will gradually become fun! Right?
Now you cannot make an excuse of having no time for working out. Simply said, if you do not have the time, you should make the time. Give your health and your body’s well-being a top spot on your to-do list.
Samantha Kingston is a passionate health blogger who is associated with weightlossdiets4women.com and recommends you to check out DietToGo promotional code for awesome deals on weight loss products.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
And, when you're lonely - or simply want to participate in an online environment where you can be who you want to be and meet other people, it's always nice to find free chat sites to "get your chat on" in. What's even more fun is the virtual video chat rooms that Loke.com provides to people...but, for those of you who want more...
You can join a multi-people video chat, create a friends list, and share photos and files. Or...
Hop into an Avatar chat, where a fun virtual world awaits you, decked out with a cafe, park, restaurant, game room and hotel.
Chat Rooms for Kids
Just the concept of chat room for kids can certainly spur up some interesting debates and conversations in a circle of parents. Do you allow your children to participate in chat rooms? Do you encourage chat room environments for children? Do you think online chat rooms for children are safe? How can you protect your children while they are participating in chat rooms?
For those of you parents who do allow their children to participate in chat rooms:
- Do you monitor your child's chat room activities?
- Do you talk about chat room etiquette and safety with them?
- How do you know that your children are safe?
I, personally, try to divert my children to sites where there friends from school hang out, and then monitor their activities, as well. In my opinion, you cannot be too overprotective regarding your children and the Internet. So, allow them only on well-known websites and ensure that the chat rooms that they are participating in are safe - and monitored by you, the parent!
Do you allow your children to participate in online chat rooms for kids? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
Avoid the Blood and Gore
Now, there are so many interactive games for your children, it's difficult to know what is PG-rated and what you really do not want them to be playing. The extreme violence and bloodiness of many of the newest games on the market has progressed far beyond what most parents want their children exposed to. However, Mario and Luigi, favorite characters of our past, still bring competition, interactivity, and enjoyment to the computer screen, without the Mature rating.
If, somehow, you aren't familiar with the historic game characters, let me introduce them to you. Mario, a plumber of Italian-American decent, and his brother, Luigi, battle sewer creatures and pests of New York - in the sewer! Their offensive and defensive tactics include jumping on the backs of creatures, kicking them, and, when all else fails, hopping over them or escaping down tubes to other parts of the sewer to fend off other creatures.
If you have yet to introduce your children to Mario and Luigi, the game site that is dedicated to Mario fans is a great place to divert your children's attention. The site will also help to develop their computer skills, get them actively involved in the computer, and increase their hand-eye coordination, without the unnecessary blood and gore that children are exposed to in games nowadays.
Check out the site and let us know what you think!
(this is a sponsored post)
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Sunday, September 2, 2012
Or, maybe...you're at home, shopping on the Internet? For those of you who have chosen the latter, here are some deals going on around the WWW to get you started...
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- Save 35% on selected LELO products http://www.edenfantasys.com/promotions/sales/lelo-classic-sale/
- Get an extra 15% off (10% off home & select depts.) with code: FALL.
- Up to 50% off desktops, laptops, and batteries.
Happy shopping! And, if you're not shopping, enjoy your family, friends, and activities this Labor Day weekend!
FoxNews.com highlighted a study the other day that talked about cortisol levels in moms, and how, when stress increases, cortisol levels (a good indicator of stress) increase. According a study on working mothers that was conducted and published (by Purdue University authors, Leah Hibel, Jill Trumbell and Evelyn Mercado) in the Journal of Family Psychology:
- Cortisol levels were higher in working moms on weekdays than on weekend days.
- Working moms who reported that they experienced a high amount of pressure and strain at work in addition to a high amount of stress as a parent demonstrated much higher cortisol levels on days that they had to work.
- Women maintain higher levels of cortisol that men, in general - possibly stemming from the everyday demands of balancing work and family life.
- Having children, high levels of stress from family life, and the added demand of household chores are factors that were associated with increased cortisol levels on workdays.
Why worry about cortisol levels? Why are these studies so important?
Cortisol is a crucial hormone in the human body which the adrenal glands produce. This hormone plays a valid role in inflammatory response, immune system, glucose metabolism, circulatory system, and stress response.
It has been proven that high cortisol levels can lead to the following issues for moms:
- Cardiovascular problems
- Suppressed thyroid fuction
- Decreased bone density
- Decreased muscle tissue
- Mental/physical health problems
Results of the Study
Let's take a look at the not-so-surprising results of the study, based on the (morning time) cortisol levels of 56 working mothers with jobs outside of the home, and children aged 2-4. Saliva samples from the mothers were taken and compared, consisting of samples from two weekday mornings and two weekend mornings.
Some interesting conclusions:
1) Working moms got about and hour more of sleep nights before non-working days than on nights before working days. (Just the opposite of what they really need!)
2) Working moms who reported high amounts of parenting stress demonstrated higher levels of cortisol on weekdays than they did on weekends. However, the moms who reported that they did not have high levels of stress, as a parent, did not demonstrate a difference in cortisol levels.
3) Moms who reported both high parenting stress and high stress at work demonstrated significantly higher cortisol levels on workdays than on weekend days.
Lower the Stress - Lower those Risky Cortisol Levels
Laurie Tarkan, health journalist and author, suggested the following ideas to lower that morning stress, and reduce the cortisol levels:
1. Get organized the night before.
The morning rush and stress can be greatly reduced by preparing for the next day the night before. Pack lunches and backpacks, line up school clothes and shoes, and also work clothes, jewelry, and other essentials. This way, you can avoid the time it takes to hunt down matching shoes and socks, and other stressful issues, in the morning.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Comfortable, Versatile - and Chic! - Styles for Moms This Fall (Plus, how to copy celeb mom comfy and stylish looks!)
There's a saying, "When you look good, you feel good", and that's what this article is all about...some up-to-date styles for moms that will make you look good (chic) and feel good (comfortable). Better yet, listed here, you will find clothing that you can wear to the workplace (for working moms) or wear around town, while running errands, shipping kids back and forth to school, and attending appointments and getting everything done that mothers do.
|Slimming & Comfy! (Ann Taylor)|
Perfect Pants for Work - Oprah
“I’ve got to tell you,” Oprah announced, “anything that cuts your butt in half should be your favorite thing too!”
If you're looking for chic, comfortable, slimming and versatile, Oprah magazine announced these Ann Taylor khaki pants with black stripes down the sides as fitting the bill. Pair them with your favorite black short-sleeve blouse or a tan top with a black cardigan atop it.
|Pink Zebra Boutique|
Style idea: Add a top with a little flair and funkiness, like the one to the left, and the comfort level of the outfit increases, along with the chicness. Compliment the basically colorless black and khaki with your own color-laden accessories to accent your comfort chic outfit.
The downside? These pants are going to be on the pricey side, at Ann Taylor, with a sticker price of $88. However, considering the myriad of options that they offer, you'll definitely have plenty of places to wear them!
80's Styles are Back
Fashion and styles are cyclic, so you will notice fashion trends from the 80's coming back, and the black legging trend is one of the most comfortable styles from that era!
Or, bring the throw back to the 80's all the way to the hilt, with this off-the-shoulder, asymmetrical top below from Discount Women's Dress Shoes for only $7.99:
Whether your style includes flats or heels, you will definitely feel comfy and stylish while you're getting things done in your black leggings from the 80's. Add a long, colorful necklace for pizazz...and your look is set.
Mimic Celeb Looks
A fun way to take what you already have in your own wardrobe and use it to the max is to take a peek through magazines (or online) at the celeb moms and their fashion statements and figure out how you can mimic them.
Here's an example that's pretty easy to mimic:
|Photo: AAR/Fame Pictures|
So, here, we have:
- some classic, possibly skinny jeans
- a black turtleneck
- a zip-up, form-fitting jacket
- knee-high boots
- a necklace
|Photo: LRR/Fame Pictures|
Dig the following out of your closet:
- Black leggings
- T-shirt - choose your favorite length
- Accessories! (purses, sunglasses, necklace, bracelets)
As you can see, it's actually fairly simple to throw together your very own chic and comfy look, just by taking some time to peek through celebrity styles, looking at the individual pieces of clothing and accessories that they used to put together the look, and then digging through your closet to find similar items.
As Fall quickly approaches, it will soon be time for the Summer-to-Fall wardrobe swap-over. As you pull out the Rubbermaid containers with your Fall/Winter clothing in them and start unpacking them, keep your eye out for comfortable, versatile items that can be mixed and matched to create your chic and comfy looks for the Fall. Have fun!