Monday, September 17, 2012

Depression Is One of the Major Symptoms of Hypothyroidism


Depression, one of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism, is often treated with anti-depressant drugs.  However, taking the correct hormone medication instead would handle the true cause of such feelings and relieve the person’s symptoms.

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition where the thyroid gland is underactive in its role of secreting the hormones needed to regulate functions of the thyroid. The thyroid gland located inside the neck of the body has the job of releasing hormones that monitor how efficiently and quickly the cells convert the nutrition from food into energy. Thus the gland’s role is to regulate metabolism throughout all the cells of the body.  An underactive thyroid thus gives a lower metabolism rate which mimics depression.

Hypothyroid symptoms can be identical to those of clinical depression.

           Fatigue
           Sleepiness
           Slowing of speech
           Depression
           Persistent sadness
           General apathy
           Lack of interest in personal relationships
           Low self-esteem
           Poor concentration and memory
           Suicidal thoughts

Medical publications acknowledge that properly done blood tests that measure the hormones secreted by the thyroid and adjusting them back up to normal levels will handle depression symptoms caused by a hypothyroid condition.

In July of 2011 “The Harvard Mental Health Letter” published a article titled “Sometimes Depression Results from an Underactive Thyroid” where Dr. Michael Miller, Editor in Chief, reported that taking the correct hormonal  supplement once a day would restore the depressed person to his or her normal emotional mood.
Yale Medical Group from The Yale School of Medicine published an article “Hypothyroidism and Depression” that explains that hypothyroid symptoms are “indistinguishable from depression.”

These medical findings have appeared in major media reports as well.

The “New York Times” ran an article in its Health section on Nov 22nd, 2011 entitled “For Some, Psychiatric Trouble May Start in Thyroid.”  Though he is a psychiatrist, Dr. Russell Joffe of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, who is doing research in this area, says that “In the early 20th century, the best descriptions of clinical depression were actually in textbooks on thyroid disease, not psychiatric textbooks.”

Another psychiatrist interviewed had this to say, “It’s the chicken-and-egg question,” said Jennifer Davis, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. “Is there an underlying thyroid problem that causes psychiatric symptoms, or is it the other way around?”

Dr. Davis then said it is common for people with thyroid problems to be given a misdiagnosis of psychiatric illness.

Meanwhile, knowing that Dr. Joffe’s work will take several years to conduct, a medical doctor who is not a psychiatrist is not going to wait for those results. “Psychiatric symptoms can be vague, subtle and highly individual,” noted Dr. James Hennessey, director of clinical endocrinology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is going ahead with thyroid hormone balancing for his patients who exhibit depression symptoms and who might have even small underactive thyroid situations.

Fox News published an article on August 17, 2011 “9 Sneaky Causes of Depression”. It  listed  the number one item as “The Weather”, number two as “Smoking” and number three as Thyroid disease, recommending that blood tests could easily determine if that is the cause.

MSNBC on June 22, 2011 ran “Is Your Thyroid on the Fritz?” stating that untreated thyroid disorders can lead to infertility, chronic depression, cardiac ills, or high cholesterol.

Knowing that symptoms of hypothyroidism have been shown to be identical to symptoms of depression, it would make sense for those feeling depressed to get the simple thyroid blood tests done by a competent medical doctor as a first step, since the hormonal pills properly given have no side effects.

On the other hand the anti-depressants given out by psychiatrists to treat depression symptoms by adjusting “chemical imbalances in the brain” have no blood tests they can give to support their claims. Their drugs have many side effects including depression and suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and, sadly, suicides.



http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/sometimes-depression-results-from-an-underactive-thyroid

http://www.yalemedicalgroup.org/stw/Page.asp?PageID=STW000168

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/health/for-some-psychiatric-troubles-may-begin-with-the-thyroid.html

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/08/16/sneaky-causes-depression/

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43492653/ns/today-today_health/t/your-thyroid-fritz/#.UEz8kJGyOnM


This article is brought to you by our friends at the Citizens Commission on Human Rights in Florida, a non-profit that is not only dedicated to educating Americans about their rights in the mental health sector, they are also actively involved investigating and exposing psychiatric violations against human rights.

Depression Is One of the Major Symptoms of Hypothyroidism


Depression, one of the most common symptoms of hypothyroidism, is often treated with anti-depressant drugs.  However, taking the correct hormone medication instead would handle the true cause of such feelings and relieve the person’s symptoms.

Hypothyroidism is a medical condition where the thyroid gland is underactive in its role of secreting the hormones needed to regulate functions of the thyroid. The thyroid gland located inside the neck of the body has the job of releasing hormones that monitor how efficiently and quickly the cells convert the nutrition from food into energy. Thus the gland’s role is to regulate metabolism throughout all the cells of the body.  An underactive thyroid thus gives a lower metabolism rate which mimics depression.

Hypothyroid symptoms can be identical to those of clinical depression.

           Fatigue
           Sleepiness
           Slowing of speech
           Depression
           Persistent sadness
           General apathy
           Lack of interest in personal relationships
           Low self-esteem
           Poor concentration and memory
           Suicidal thoughts

Medical publications acknowledge that properly done blood tests that measure the hormones secreted by the thyroid and adjusting them back up to normal levels will handle depression symptoms caused by a hypothyroid condition.

In July of 2011 “The Harvard Mental Health Letter” published a article titled “Sometimes Depression Results from an Underactive Thyroid” where Dr. Michael Miller, Editor in Chief, reported that taking the correct hormonal  supplement once a day would restore the depressed person to his or her normal emotional mood.
Yale Medical Group from The Yale School of Medicine published an article “Hypothyroidism and Depression” that explains that hypothyroid symptoms are “indistinguishable from depression.”

These medical findings have appeared in major media reports as well.

The “New York Times” ran an article in its Health section on Nov 22nd, 2011 entitled “For Some, Psychiatric Trouble May Start in Thyroid.”  Though he is a psychiatrist, Dr. Russell Joffe of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, who is doing research in this area, says that “In the early 20th century, the best descriptions of clinical depression were actually in textbooks on thyroid disease, not psychiatric textbooks.”

Another psychiatrist interviewed had this to say, “It’s the chicken-and-egg question,” said Jennifer Davis, assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. “Is there an underlying thyroid problem that causes psychiatric symptoms, or is it the other way around?”

Dr. Davis then said it is common for people with thyroid problems to be given a misdiagnosis of psychiatric illness.

Meanwhile, knowing that Dr. Joffe’s work will take several years to conduct, a medical doctor who is not a psychiatrist is not going to wait for those results. “Psychiatric symptoms can be vague, subtle and highly individual,” noted Dr. James Hennessey, director of clinical endocrinology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. He is going ahead with thyroid hormone balancing for his patients who exhibit depression symptoms and who might have even small underactive thyroid situations.

Fox News published an article on August 17, 2011 “9 Sneaky Causes of Depression”. It  listed  the number one item as “The Weather”, number two as “Smoking” and number three as Thyroid disease, recommending that blood tests could easily determine if that is the cause.

MSNBC on June 22, 2011 ran “Is Your Thyroid on the Fritz?” stating that untreated thyroid disorders can lead to infertility, chronic depression, cardiac ills, or high cholesterol.

Knowing that symptoms of hypothyroidism have been shown to be identical to symptoms of depression, it would make sense for those feeling depressed to get the simple thyroid blood tests done by a competent medical doctor as a first step, since the hormonal pills properly given have no side effects.

On the other hand the anti-depressants given out by psychiatrists to treat depression symptoms by adjusting “chemical imbalances in the brain” have no blood tests they can give to support their claims. Their drugs have many side effects including depression and suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and, sadly, suicides.



http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/sometimes-depression-results-from-an-underactive-thyroid

http://www.yalemedicalgroup.org/stw/Page.asp?PageID=STW000168

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/health/for-some-psychiatric-troubles-may-begin-with-the-thyroid.html

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2011/08/16/sneaky-causes-depression/

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/43492653/ns/today-today_health/t/your-thyroid-fritz/#.UEz8kJGyOnM


This article is brought to you by our friends at the Citizens Commission on Human Rights in Florida, a non-profit that is not only dedicated to educating Americans about their rights in the mental health sector, they are also actively involved investigating and exposing psychiatric violations against human rights.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kids and Team Sports: What’s the Motivation?

When you sign your kids up for team sports like soccer or little league, what is the reasoning behind it? I only ask because what I observe from parents is not consistent with how I think most parents would answer that question. We’ll start with my assumptions about how you might answer:

Teamwork
We want our kids to be able to get along well with others. By putting them on a team, the hope is that they learn how to work collectively toward a common goal. The lesson for kids is that it takes everybody doing their part for the team to function at its best; everybody matters.

Exercise
Perhaps you want your kids to do something besides watch television and play video games. The best incentive for exercise you can conjure is a team sport. They get to play with friends and run off some of that excess energy at the same time. Michelle Obama would be proud.

Fun
Your home may be like my home, where kids begged their parents to sign them up for a sports team. We loved being outside and playing games. There was no ulterior motive; we found sports fun.

Sportsmanship
There are morals that can be learned by playing team sports as well. Children can learn how to play by the rules, how to be good winners and losers and what it means to treat other people (even the competition) with respect.

Competition
As kids get older, they become more competitive. It may start off as “My dad’s better than your dad. He’s in charge of Austin air conditioning service,” but it can easily progress to more hurtful words. There is nothing wrong with a little competition, but sometimes it’s good to have an outlet for such a mindset as a means of curbing the banter off the field. Wanting to win pushes kids to be better, to try harder and to achieve their potential.

Unfortunately, what I have observed is that team sports for kids become more about the adults than it does the children who are actually playing. Here are some of the things I’ve observed that concern me:

Recruiters
I understand that recruiters have to scout players before they graduate in order to have some idea about their skill level. What I don’t understand is why my friend’s granddaughter is being scouted by college scouts while she’s still in middle school. Where is the line that says, “No. She’s just a kid. Let her stay a kid as long as she can. She doesn’t need this extra pressure; she’s still figuring out how to navigate adolescence”?

Hostile parents
If parents claim they sign their children up for team sports for the reasons I mentioned in the first section, what is it that changes in their minds and causes them to be so obnoxious on the sidelines? Grown men have no good reason to get into a fist fight at a pee-wee football game, no matter how bad the referee is or what little Johnny did to little Benjamin in the way of a foul.

In it for the money
Another friend of mine has pushed her daughter to play soccer since she was three years old. The kid loves the sport and is good at it, but she didn’t have the freedom to stop playing throughout her school years. The reason: her parents expected her to get a soccer scholarship to help pay her college tuition. Wanting your kid to get a scholarship is not unusual. Pushing a child her entire life for that sole purpose is just wrong.

It’s not just parents that are in it for the money. Varsity coaches are pressured by school administrators to win or lose their jobs. Can you imagine your livelihood resting on the performance of teenagers?

So my question is this: why do your kids play sports, and do you (and their coaches) exhibit that same motivation on the sidelines?


Tiffany Marshall is a freelance writer who writes on behalf of many different companies. If you’re looking for air conditioning repair, Austin is home to Blue Air AC. Give them a call, and keep your cool.




Saturday, September 15, 2012

Crohn's Disease and Celiac: Someone In Your Family May Have it Now

Gluten-free-bob-brown-rice-flour


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 Different

According 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 Diseases

Patients 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 Diseases

Because 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 Illness

Being 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

No Time to Work Out? How to Easily Fit It In!

It’s a very lame and vague excuse when someone says that “I don’t have time to work out”. In fact, you will be pleased - or may be surprised – to find out that virtually everyone has time for a work out.

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. 

Author Bio

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

"Get Your Chat On" - Free Chat Sites For You and the Kids

The best things in life are free!

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!





Online Games for Your Children

Remember the good ole days when the Mario and Luigi games were the biggest things around, with endless worlds of mushrooms, princesses, and blocks that you bumped to find surprises inside? These were well-known gaming characters when they first were introduced by Nintendo way back in 1983, and they inspired hours of serious, fun, and interactive play for children of my time, who weren't accustomed to the myriad of gaming consoles and advanced computer games that are out today.

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.

The Characters

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

Dealing With Learning Disabilities - How to Build Your Child's Self-Esteem



Young children are emotionally affected by their performance in school. If they don't learn to read, write, or count as fast as their friends do, they sense that something's wrong, and they often blame themselves for their academic struggles. Older kids with learning disabilities may act as though it's cool to not care about school. Beneath the surface, these kids are often just tired of trying and struggling to keep up. If your child has recently been diagnosed with a learning disability, you may be wondering what you do to help bolster his or her self-esteem. 


Here are some strategies you can try out to help your child develop a healthy sense of self-worth:

Spend time doing things your child has a natural aptitude for

Maybe your child is good at drawing or making buildings out of LEGOs. Or perhaps your child is a talented soccer player or pianist. Whatever your child's talent is, make sure you give him or her time at home to cultivate that talent. Feeling skilled at something will help your child realize that he or she is smart and capable. Once your child realizes just how intelligent he or she actually is, the sky will be the limit in terms of what can be achieved, despite the difficulties that a learning disability presents.

Watch your reactions

If your child has ADHD or some other learning disability that affects his or her behavior, it's important to be aware of how you react to your child. If you find yourself becoming frustrated with your son or daughter, take a second to take a few deep breaths and figure out how to redirect your child without seeming cross. Your disapproval can affect your child's self-esteem. As much as possible, you should try to provide encouragement and praise to your child. If you want to try to eradicate behavior patterns that are limiting your child's academic and personal progress, it's best that you find ways to gently guide him or her to develop healthier, more effective habits.

Ask for support from specialists

If you find that your child's self-esteem is markedly low, it may be best to ask for some support from specialists. Talk to your child's doctor and psychologist about additional things you can do to boost your son or daughter's self-esteem at home. You may also want to arrange for your child to meet with a counselor regularly, especially if your insurance allows for it. A counselor will be able to help your child effectively deal with self-confidence issues and develop a plan to cope with any negative feelings he or she has. Depending on your child's learning disability, you may also want to arrange regular meetings with an appropriate specialist to facilitate academic progress. The more help your child has to succeed in school and develop a healthy sense of self-esteem, the better.

Being a kid is tough, and being a kid with a learning disability can often be even tougher. So, do what you can to build your child's self-esteem at home, ask for help from experts, and always provide your son or daughter with as much love and encouragement as possible.


Susan is a guest blogger who primarily writes about lifestyle, health, and parenting. After years of working in the insurance industry, she's in the process of putting together an insurance quote guide in hopes of helping people navigate the convoluted world of insurance. Susan welcomes your comments and questions.




Sunday, September 2, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Deals Around the WWW

What are you doing this weekend? Last minute school shopping? Barbequing? Attending someone's party? Hosting your own party? Running around to some of the last yard sales of the season?

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...

EdenFantasys:
Macy's:

  • Get an extra 15% off (10% off home & select depts.) with code: FALL.
HP:

  • Up to 50% off desktops, laptops, and batteries.
And, if that's not enough for you, click here for a more extensive list of sales going on this weekend.

Happy shopping! And, if you're not shopping, enjoy your family, friends, and activities this Labor Day weekend!



Moms: Lower those High Stress Morning Hormones!

Whether you're a mom of one or a mom of seven, like me, you're probably facing several different factors that contribute to stress on a daily basis. Deadlines, appointments, traffic...and add in the complaints and early morning fussiness and battles with the children...and that stress could hit ultimately high levels, bright and early in the morning.  

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.
Past studies suggested:

  • 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.
What's the Big Deal About Cortisol Levels?

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:

  • Exhaustion
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Suppressed thyroid fuction
  • Decreased bone density
  • Decreased muscle tissue
  • Mental/physical health problems
Although the Purdue University authors focused on working moms for their study, we can assume that stay-at-home moms are also at risk for these issues. Stay-at-home moms also face high stress and pressure to handle children all day, attend appointments, fight traffic, and deal with unbelievable amounts of stress and pressure on a daily basis.

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.

2. Delegate some things to Daddy.   
There's nothing wrong with expecting Dad to handle a task or two in the morning, so delegate clothing the children or packing the lunches the night before to Dad.

3. Focus on the moment.

Rather than worrying about the approaching workday, focus on the moment, getting ready for the day, and ensure that everyone gets a fresh start. Hibel made a good point, “I think it is important for moms to stay mindful of the ‘here and now’ and try to only tackle one issue at a time. Worry about work once you get there, for now, focus on the kids.”

4. Determine morning stressors.

What are the major stressors of the morning? Are there specific issues that occur on a regular basis that cause conflict or stress? Tarkan suggested that you tackle each issue separately. She explained that if you find that your kids need to be repeatedly reminded to do menial tasks, like brush their teeth or get dressed, make a morning list, and use images from magazines if your children are younger.

5. Realize You Can't Control Everything.

According to Hibel: “Stress tends to arise when we feel out of control but our natural response might be to desperately try to regain control." Realizing that letting go of some control in the morning can help to reduce levels of stress. Tarkan suggested that #2 (delegating to Dad) and #4 (letting your child have some control over their morning with lists) can help to reduce the amount of responsibility you hold yourself up to.

It's okay to leave the morning breakfast mess behind, and handle it in the afternoon when you get home, if that's what you have to do to reduce some stress and that need for control.

6. Use weekends to recover.

If your daughter takes dance class early on Saturday mornings, try to find an afternoon class she can attend instead.  Give yourself a break on weekend mornings, and use this time to recover from a long, hard workweek.

We all know that stress can lead to other health issues, and as busy moms, whether we work or not, we have to take care of our health, so we can take care of our families.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Comfortable, Versatile - and Chic! - Styles for Moms This Fall (Plus, how to copy celeb mom comfy and stylish looks!)

Whether you're a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, finding clothes that aren't only comfortable, but are also chic, is an endeavor in itself!

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!

Blouse
Polyvore
You may not feel completely comfortable in black leggings without covering up the ol' derriere, so think about longer, lightweight sweaters, or sheer button-up tops with a tank top underneath, like the one pictured to the right, by Polyvore.





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
  • sunglasses
I bet you can put together a look very similar to this, without much effort, right from your very own closet. 










Photo: LRR/Fame Pictures
Yet another example, which will also help with your 80's style flashback and black leggings, is pictured on the right.

Dig the following out of your closet:

  • Black leggings
  • T-shirt - choose your favorite length
  • Blazer
  • Boots
  • 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!



















alt="YOUR TEXT HERE"rel="Facebook image"src="IMAGE URL HERE"style="display:none;">