Tuesday, November 24, 2015

How Showing Compassion for Animals Can Improve Your Health

Compassion can help broaden our perspective and redirect our focus way from ourselves. Compassion might boost our sense of well-being by increasing a feeling of connection to others. Social connection helps us recover from illness more quickly, strengthens our immune and even increase our lifespan.

People who feel more connected to others and animals are more empathic and form more trusting and cooperative partnerships. The converse is also true and low social connection is associated with higher levels of antisocial behavior that leads to increased isolation, and declines in physical and psychological wellbeing.

Cultivating compassion for all living beings and practicing a compassionate lifestyle can, therefore, help boost social connection and also improve physical and mental health.

A wealth of literature links altruism and spiritual wellbeing and eudemonia. If we can encourage people to develop their eudemonic well-being (not just life satisfaction and short term happiness), they may indirectly develop a sense of compassion – which indirectly may lead to an increased feeling of connectedness with all species, not only their own … resulting in more compassion for all sentient beings – especially animals. Eudemonic wellbeing implies finding meaning and purpose in life, living in accordance with one’s values and developing a sense of long-term “spiritual” health (not necessarily religious).

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Eight Common Signs of Gluten Intolerance

Gluten (from Latin gluten, "glue") is a mixture of proteins found in wheat and related grains, including barley and rye. Gluten gives elasticity to dough, helping it rise and keep its shape and often gives the final product a chewy texture.

Gluten contains hundreds of proteins, which have low biological and nutritional value and high contents of prolamins (glutamines and prolines), as opposed to the grains of pseudocereals (gluten free), which are rich in proteins with high biological value (albumins and globulins).

According to Food Renegade, “undigested gluten proteins (prevalent in wheat and other grains) hang out in your intestines and are treated by your body like a foreign invader, irritating your gut and flattening the microvilli along the small intestine wall. Without those microvilli, you have considerably less surface area with which to absorb the nutrients from your food.”

We know that debilitating pain, vomiting, and diarrhea after eating are surefire signs of a serious gastrointestinal condition — but when looking at gluten intolerance, many of these universal signs may sound quite general and vague. However, those who remain undiagnosed may continue to eat gluten for the rest of their lives, putting themselves at risk for autoimmune and other diseases, along with a wide array of exhausting, frustrating, and uncomfortable symptoms.

Scroll down to see eight common signs of gluten intolerance, and please make sure to consult your doctor if you’re experiencing severe forms of any of the following symptoms.

1. Stomach Pain
2. Dizziness
3. Mood Swings
4. Chronic Migraine
5. Itchy Skin
6. Fibromyalgia
7. Chronic Fatigue
8. Lactose Intolerance

Friday, November 20, 2015

Moderate coffee drinking may be linked to reduced risk of death

Coffee cultivation first took place in Ethiopia. The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. In the Horn of Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in local religious ceremonies. As these ceremonies conflicted with the beliefs of the Christian church, the Ethiopian Church banned the secular consumption of coffee until the reign of Emperor Menelik II. The beverage was also banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons, and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.

In a study reported in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, people who regularly drank moderate amounts of coffee daily --less than 5 cups per day -- experienced a lower risk of deaths from cardiovascular disease, neurological diseases, Type 2 diabetes and suicide.

The benefit held true for drinking caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, suggesting it's not just the caffeine providing health perks but possibly the naturally occurring chemical compounds in the coffee beans.
"Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation," said Ming Ding, M.D., the study's first author and doctoral student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts. "They might be responsible for the inverse association between coffee and mortality.

However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects."
The findings are based on data from three large ongoing studies: 74,890 women in the Nurses' Health Study; 93,054 women in the Nurses' Health Study 2; and 40,557 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
Researchers assessed coffee drinking every four years using validated food questionnaires and followed participants for up to 30 years. During the follow-up period, 19,524 women and 12,432 men died from a range of causes.

In general, people who frequently drank coffee were more likely to smoke and drink alcohol. To separate the effects of coffee from smoking, researchers repeated their analysis among never-smokers, and found that the protective benefits of coffee on deaths became even more evident.
"Regular consumption of coffee can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet," said senior author Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D., a Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology at Harvard. "However, certain populations such as pregnant women and children should be cautious about high caffeine intake from coffee or other beverages."

The study was not designed to show a direct cause and effect relationship between coffee consumption and dying from illness. So the findings should be interpreted with caution, researchers said. One potential drawback of the study design was that participants were asked to report how much coffee they drank, however researchers found the assessment to be reliable.

source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151116181005.htm

Hardison gets most extensive face transplant ever

Patrick Hardison, a volunteer firefighter badly burned in a 2001 blaze has received the most extensive face transplant ever, covering his skull and much of his neck. More than two dozen face transplants have been performed worldwide since the first one in France in 2005. Dr. Eduardo Rodriguez, who led the surgical team that did Hardison's transplant and recently wrote a review of the field, said Hardison's is by far the most extensive performed successfully in terms of the amount of tissue transferred. The surgery took place in August at the NYU Langone Medical Center. The patient, 41-year-old Patrick Hardison, is still undergoing physical therapy at the hospital but plans to return home to Senatobia, Mississippi, in time for Thanksgiving.

The transplant extends from the top of the head, over Hardison's skull and down to the collarbones in front; in back, it reaches far enough down that only a tiny patch of Hardison's original hair remains - its color matched by the dark blond hair growing on his new scalp. The transplant includes both ears.

The surgery began Aug. 14 and lasted 26 hours. It left no scars on Hardison's new face because the seam of the transplanted tissue runs down the back of his skull.

Humanity owes a deep debt of gratitude to scientists for their discoveries and inventions.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Massages Benefit for Your Body and Mind

Massage involves working and acting on the body with pressure – structured, unstructured, stationary, or moving – tension, motion, or vibration, done manually or with mechanical aids. Massage can be applied with the hands, fingers, elbows, knees, forearm, feet, or a massage device. Massage can promote relaxation and well-being, can be a recreational activity, and can be sexual in nature.

Massages Benefit for Your Body and Mind :

Friday, November 6, 2015

Causes of Low Self Esteem in Teenagers

Acne is a common skin condition prevalent among adolescents, but may occur to any age group as well. The study from Canada stated that acnes cause negative effects on an individual's perception of one's self. It may result to lack of self-confidence, depression, and low self-esteem. Acne can take a toll on teens' self-esteem and quality of life, and can even lead to depression and psychological issues, according to a new review of studies. Approximately 85% of people between the ages of 12 and 25 develop acne.

Because of this potential, dermatologists should keep the mental health of their patients in mind when they come in for acne problems, said study researcher Dr. Steven Feldman, a dermatology professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Feldman and his colleagues reviewed 16 studies conducted between 2001 and 2010 that examined the associations between acne and quality of life, self- esteem, personality, mood and psychological disorders.

They found that in general, acne negatively impacted self-esteem and quality of life and increased the risk for psychological disorders.

For example, in a study published last year in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology that was also conducted by Feldman, researchers found that depression is two to three times more prevalent in people with acne than people with clear skin. Women with acne were two times more likely to have depression than men with acne, the study also showed.

What psychosocial problems does acne cause?

The psychological and social impacts of acne are a huge concern, especially because acne affects adolescents at a crucial period when they are developing their personalities. During this time, peer acceptance is very important to the teenager and unfortunately it has been found that there are strong links between physical appearance and attractiveness and peer status.

In recent years, open discussions between patients and medical professionals have revealed the impact acne has on the psyche. The following are some of the problems that patients with acne may face. 

1. Self esteem and body image
  •     Some embarrassed acne patients avoid eye contact.
  •     Some acne sufferers grow their hair long to cover the face. Girls tend to wear heavy make-up to disguise the pimples, even though they know that this sometimes aggravates their acne. Boys often comment: "Acne is not such a problem for girls because they can wear make-up".
  •     Truncal acne can reduce participation in sport such as swimming or rugby because of the need to disrobe in public changing rooms.
2. Social withdrawal/relationship building
  •     Acne, especially when it affects the face, provokes cruel taunts from other teenagers.
  •     Some find it hard to form new relationships, especially with the opposite sex.
  •     At a time when teenagers are learning to form relationships, those with acne may lack the self confidence to go out and make these bonds. They become shy and even reclusive. The main concern is a fear of negative appraisal by others. In extreme cases a social phobia can develop.
3. Education/work
  •     Some children with acne refuse to go school, leading to poor academic performance.
  •     Some people with acne take sick days from work, risking their jobs or livelihood.
  •     Acne may reduce career choices, ruling out occupations such as modelling that depend upon personal appearance.
  •     Acne patients are less successful in job applications; their lack of confidence being as important as the potential employers' reaction to their spotty skin.
  •     More people who have acne are unemployed than people who do not have acne.
  •     Many young adults with acne seek medical help as they enter the workforce, where they perceive that acne is unacceptable and that they "should have grown out of it by now".

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

How to Take Care of Your Eyes While Working On the Computer

 The eye is a slightly asymmetrical globe, about an inch in diameter. The front part of the eye (the part you see in the mirror) includes:

• The iris (the pigmented part)
• The cornea (a clear dome over the iris)
• The pupil (the black circular opening in the iris that lets light in)
• The sclera (the white part)
• The conjunctiva (a thin layer of tissue covering the front of the eye, except the cornea)

Just behind the iris and pupil lies the lens, which helps to focus light on the back of the eye. Most of the eye is filled with a clear gel called the vitreous. Light projects through the pupil and the lens to the back of the eye. The inside lining of the eye is covered by special light-sensing cells that are collectively called the retina. The retina converts light into electrical impulses. Behind the eye, the optic nerve carries these impulses to the brain. The macula is a small extra-sensitive area within the retina that gives central vision. It is located in the center of the retina and contains the fovea, a small depression or pit at the center of the macula that gives the clearest vision.

Numerous studies showed that when using the computer, our eyes strain more than recommended. Luckily, this cannot cause more serious eye damaging, especially if we keep up with certain precautions.

Being in front of a computer screen has become an inevitable part of people’s lives. According to a report from 2004, 143 million people in USA had used computers on a daily basis, including 54 million children. Computers surely ease our jobs and add to the efficiency, but they influence our health and wellbeing.

As stated in the research conducted by the American Optometric Association, 70 to 75 percent of people who use computers, experience eye problems and this condition is known as Computer sight syndrome, and each year, the number of new cases increases for a million. This syndrome is defined as eye straining combined with prolonged computer use.

Studies showed that while using the computer, the frequency of blinking decreases even 5 times, and rare and incomplete blinking can cause dryness, redness and eye irritation due to the quicker evaporation of the tear film. Therefore, there are numerous measures that both employers and employees can undertake so that the symptoms can be lowered or prevented, and eye examination is crucial.

Eye straining is caused by the intensive light coming from outward or inside. While being in front of a computer screen, ambient lighting should be half of what is used in most of the offices. You need to eliminate the outward light by pulling the curtains or blinds, as well as adjust the lighting in the room by using few bulbs or fluorescent sticks. If possible, you can adjust the computer screen so that the outward light comes from the side.

Additionally, ophthalmologists advise that you need to look away from the computer screen every 30 minutes and focus the view on remote objects around 20 seconds. Also, you need to focus 5 seconds on close and 5 seconds on remote objects, around 10 times.