Archive for August, 2008
Surprising news ! A recreational activity has real therapeutic value. Research shows that after abdominal surgery, chewing gum for one hour, three times a day significantly hastens the resumption of normal bowel function and reduces the time patients spend in the hospital. Eating and drinking are also effective but can cause nausea.
“Chewing gum does not put as much in your system if you are not ready for it, yet it might help stimulate intestinal activity,” says Jeffrey Drebin, M.D. professor and chief of gastrointestinal surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. “I encourage my patients to chew gums as soon as they are awake enough not to choke on it.”
A 2002 Japanese study showed that gum – chewing patients recovered faster after laparoscopic colon surgery. In 2006 researcher at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in California found that gum chewers who had undergone conventional large-incision surgery moved their bowels 26 hours earlier than other patients. So with your surgeon’s approval, pack some gum, preferably sugarless, before heading to the hospital.
Studies suggest that chewing gum also relieves heartburn, which results when acid from the stomach backs up into theesophagus. In a 2005 British study, 31 people with the condition consumed a fatty, heartburn – inducing lunch on two days, and were randomly selected to chew gum for 30 minutes afterwards. Acid levels were significantly lower when they chewed gum. An earlier study found that chewing gum for one hour after breakfast reduced symptoms for upto three hours.
Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which neutralizes, acid in the esophagus. “It has the same effect as an antacid,” explains C. Mel Wilcox, M.D. professor of medicine at the University of Alabama. The treatment may especially appeal to pregnant women who want to avoid medications.
Chewing gum also dull the appetite. In a 2007 study sponsored by the Wringley Company, 60 people were offered a sweet and salty afternoon snack after chewing gum or not chewing gum. They reported less hunger and consumed fewer snack calories after chewing gum.
Baby fat is so cute – when it is on a baby. But new moms often yearn to shed their own post – pregnancy dimpled bottoms faster than they can scream, “Get me the epidural!!”. They should not. Carrying extra weight for several weeks after delivery is normal, and probably healthier than shedding that fat.
Six weeks after delivering their babies, fully two-thirds of women weigh 6 to 15 pounds more than they did before getting pregnant, according to a new review by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. And that is OK because new mothers may be breast feeding and need as many as 500 extra calories a day, says review author Lorraine O. Walker, RN, EdD, a nursing professor. Others may be struggling to reestablish healthy habits, while some may be less active because they are healing from a C-section. Consider also the strain of staying up overnight with an infant. “Do we want to add the stres of dieting on top of that?” Walker asks.
Of course not, says pediatrician Jay Gordon, MD, a Santa Monica, California expert on parenting newborns. weight loss should be gradual, he says, as mom’s body adjusts to its new roles. New moms should not blow off eating right and exercising, though. Gordon suggests wearing your baby in a sling to burn off extra calories as you go about your usual routine. But remember: Your body has been through a marathon, so take baby steps. Just lifting your wee one can help you get in shape – gently.
A person with diabetes needs to balance a few key areas in life – diet, exercise, medication etc. Some of the most important questions that bother them are -
What and how much should I eat?
How much physical activity do I need?
What should be my insulin and other medication dosage?
A single answer to these questions lies in the regular testing of one’s glucose. It can be self-monitoring or checked by experts. Self monitoring of blood glucose can be tested by an instrument known as glucometer. There are a number of products in the market and it is often confusing which one to choose.
Here is some advice. when choosing a glucometer, it is important to remember to choose one which is easy to use, convenient and accurate. One should try to avoid the inconvenience of coding (process by which a blood glucose meter is matched with the reactivity of of the test strips) glucometer as inaccuracies due to miscoding can largely impact therapy decisions. Instead one should use a glucometer that is built with no coding technology. It sets the correct code automatically, whenever a new test strip is inserted. Using fewer testing steps, it gives more accurate results and leaves less chance for inaccuracies caused by miscoded meters.
For years, experts have believed that diet and other environmental exposures can trigger mutations or physical alterations in genes that sometimes lead to cancer. However, they now realize that chemical changes can also alter how genes function without causing any obvious physical changes in the genes. In essence, what you eat may be able to “turn on” or “turn off” genes, triggering detrimental or protective effects. Its referred to as epigenetic modification. For example, depending on what you eat, a tumor-suppressor gene that keeps sell growth in check may be silenced, allowing cancer cells to grow unimpeded. Such environmental exposures may explain why identical twins, with identical DNA, can have very different disease risks.
One of the most provocative findings to date comes from the Duke University in a study using a special breed of mouse with an on/off switch near the gene that determines predisposition to obesity, diabetes and cancer. By supplementing the diets of pregnant mice, with certain nutrients, the researchers essentially “turned off” the gene in the offspring that made them susceptible to those diseases. The million dollar question – then – is whether you can switch off your own genes – cancer or other – with the right diet.
The area of epigenetics has generated so much scientific buzz that this past January, the National Institute of Health announced it will invest $190 million over the next five years to research epigenetic modifications. Scientists hope to better understand how environmental triggers may affect the development and treatment of several diseases, including cancer, obesity, depression and addiction.
It is clear that there is more to genes than physical structure. Though it is too early to say what roles diet may assume, it may well your bets that eating and exercising right will indeed turn on or off the appropriate genes, and follow the experts’ recommendations to eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy, maintain a healthy weight and be physically active.
Happiness, good health, and wealth are often partners – which is just one reason economists, physicians and statisticians study happiness. But pursuing happiness is different from having it. According to investigators from the
Amazingly enough, all over the world, from
Though people’s fortunes and experiences vary greatly, what’s surprising is the similar pattern over the life cycle. “Some people suffer more than others, but in our data the average effect is large,” the researchers concluded. “It happens to men and women, to single and married people, to those with or without children. Nobody knows why we see this consistency.”
How do people climb out of this slump? Maybe we learn to adapt. Maybe in midlife we give up dreams we know we can never fulfill. Or, maybe it’s just that the cheerful and sturdy live long enough to answer questions when they are 70. Older people may start counting their blessings. (The researchers do admit that some evidence exists for another downturn toward the end of life.)
Well-being may thus be a “U-shaped curve over the life cycle.” If this is a universal principle and common to humanity, the idea might help us get past the hard parts.
As taken from Health & Nutrition