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The moody man - Mood swings in menMen, such jokes on a woman's monthly mood swings are passe. Recent research proves that men are equally prone to have mood swings. Have you experienced a myriad of emotions? Angry, irritated, feeling helpless, self-pity, an irrational urge to throw things and cry and be depressed all at the same time? These are signs of mood swings. And the point of interest here is that you don't have to be a woman to experience mood swings. Men face their share of mood swings too! Men undergo hormonal influence too. And like women this causes them too to be irritable and cranky. The difference here is that the hormonal fluctuations are not as severe in men as in women. So the mood change lasts for a lesser time compared to a woman. Men's moods are also affected by psychological and physiological stressors. So a man who has to work against time to meet a deadline will be very irritable. A man who is deprived of sleep will end up snapping at you for no apparent reason. The myth that men don't cry, is something that men take to heart. Men are emotional beings and it is okay to show some of the emotions. The male stereotypical image is such that if a man is expressive of his emotional side, he isn't considered macho enough. Hence men tend to internalize their emotions and feelings. Often this leads to chronic depression. Taming the mood swings. Any form of physical exercise helps keep the mood in balance. This helps in keeping the aggressiveness under check. Sex is also a great way to release the stress and feel better, rather than snapping and using profanities. Another helpful way is to ask yourself 'why'. Whenever you feel that you are doing something irrational or out of character, ask yourself why. The answer you get from yourself will help clear the situation and you will end up handling it in a mature fashion. The irritable male syndrome. This is the male equivalent of the female menopause - The Andropause. It covers the symptoms seen in middle-aged men that occur due to the drop in testosterone levels. Like women, men show mood changes, bouts of irritability, grumpiness, hypersensitivity, anxiety and frustration. The recent research on men having mood swings and the society's acceptance of these findings is very encouraging. It helps stress in the fact that men are emotional too. There is nothing anti-macho about a man crying his heart out at times. It only shows he is human, after all.
Strict parenting: When enough is enoughThe strict or authoritative style of parenting is where the parents hold their children's lives over a tight leash. Strict parents are high in control and low in nurturing qualities. They set high standards for all activities and expect strict obedience to the rules set by them. However, these parents display little or no warmth and affection. They love and affection they offer is also conditional love based on obedience and performance. Children of authoritarian parents turn out to be obedient, but this obedience is based on fear. Such parents very often use shame and guilt to make their children change their behaviour. They don't encourage verbal give-and-take and expect their orders to be obeyed without question. The children brought up in such a way are initially very obedient and polite but later all the suppressed emotions find an outlet. More often than not, such children end up being aggressive and tend to be bullies at school. Research shows that fathers who are extremely strict with their sons end up making their sons violent and aggressive, or indulge in non-physical aggressiveness like name calling. Strictly raised children have difficulty relating to their peer group. They either end up being aggressive or completely timid and submissive. At school teachers rate them as less socially competent, average or poor at studies and extra-curricular activities. They are also less accepted by their friends. The school dropout rates in such children are very high. Studies conducted on such dropouts revealed that they suffered from a huge inferiority complex and low self-esteem. Strict parenting can cause several problems in adolescence too. Children who are dominated by their parents are often found breaking the law. Alcohol and drug abuse rates are high in such children. Psychologically, these children are usually poor decision makers. Having had their parents make decisions for them all their lives, they find it very difficult to take a stand. They end up being indecisive. At the workplace too, they lack the competency to take up initiatives or show the lead. They make better team members than team leaders. Even if presented with an opportunity, they are likely to shy away from responsibility as they feel inferior and lack the requisite courage. Strict parenting can have a negative impact on the child's weight too. Studies show that an overly strict upbringing has a negative impact on weight because the children often fail to learn to eat on the basis of hunger and satiety. In such families parents use food as a reward, insist that children clean their plates, or restrict the kind or amount of food a child can eat. The studies showed that the children of authoritarian mothers were nearly five times as likely to be overweight compared to their counterparts!
What to eat when you breastfeedAlmost everyone around you will advise you to eat a calorie-rich food that will aid in milk production from your body. But did you know that your body is quite capable of producing enough milk from whatever you eat? Your body has stocked up on all the fats during your pregnancy days itself. You don't really need the extra calorie rich food just to produce milk for your baby. However, how much calories you need cannot be predetermined. Let your body determine your needs. Eat as often as you want, as often as you feel hungry, but remember to eat foods that will give your body the nutrients and not just satiate the hunger. Opt for whole grains, pulses, fresh fruits, legumes, fresh vegetables and nuts. Choose natural drinks like buttermilk, coconut water, and fresh juices. Remember that the foods that you choose must nourish your body with proteins, calcium, and iron other than carbohydrates. Dried fruits and nuts like cashews and almonds and walnuts are the traditional foods given to new moms to enhance breast milk confinement. They are a very rich source of calories and definitely improve the quality and quantity of milk. However, keep a bottle of water or some juice nearby when you breastfeed. The body releases oxytocin when you breastfeed and it makes you thirsty. So, have some refreshing drink before you breastfeed. Most new moms are advised to drink lots of water as it aids in breast milk production. However, breast milk production doesn't really need extra water. It is best to avoid alcohol when you are breastfeeding. The amount of alcohol in blood and breast milk reaches its highest level about 30 minutes after you have a drink and it lowers down only after about four hours. Drinking alcohol is not advised when you breastfeed, however, if you feel like having alcohol, do so after you feed your child. Also, wait for a minimum of four hours before you feed next. Ghee is another item that new moms are encouraged to consume for milk production. However, if you are eating a balanced diet there is no real necessity to eat too much of ghee. Avoid aerated drinks, tea, and coffee while you are breastfeeding. Similarly, junk food and foods that are not cooked at home are best avoided. These types of foods fill you up, but provide no real nourishment. Herbal teas are considered safe drinks during breast feeding. However, consult your doctor before you consume any herbal medicines. Do not forget to take your prescribed supplements of iron, folic acid, and calcium regularly during breastfeeding. Your body also needs more amounts of vitamin C, vitamin B12, zinc, and vitamin A. These, you may obtain by eating foods that are rich in them or your doctor might prescribe supplements. Weight gained during pregnancy may be a concern now and you may want to lose it to regain your pre-pregnancy shape. Remember to lose weight gradually with the help of a balanced diet and moderate exercise. Do not starve yourself. Also heavy exercising may release toxins into the bloodstream and breast milk. Keep in mind that you will gain your original weight back only after your baby has completely weaned off breast milk and has started eating solid foods. Breastfeeding is the best option for your baby. It gives your baby everything that it needs and keeps it free of all diseases. Do not shy away from breast milk, do it the right way! Your body is quite capable of producing breast milk from the well-balanced diet that you eat and there is no real need for a calorie-rich food that new moms are fed.
Honeymoon cystitisHoneymoon cystitis is a term for urinary tract infections that occur commonly during early marriage. Sexual intercourse is the primary reason for developing this infection. The infection occurs when the E. coli bacteria that are normally present in the bowel are introduced into the urethra. This may happen through sexual intercourse, inserting unclean fingers or objects into the vagina. Women who wash their private parts from the back to front also have an increased chance of developing infection. Symptoms of honeymoon cystitis may include a burning or painful sensation during urination, the urge to urinate frequently, cloudy urine, blood-tinged urine, and/or pain above the pubic bone. Any of these is enough o play a spoilsport and dampen your honeymoon mood! Symptoms of honeymoon cystitis generally emerge within a day or two after bacteria are introduced into the urethra. A physician can confirm the diagnosis of infection through a simple urine test. The treatment usually involves antibiotics and pain-killers. What care should you take to avoid honeymoon cystitis from recurring? Use water based lubricant during sexual intercourse Urinate before and immediately after intercourse to flush out the bacteria from the urethra. Drink plenty of water to keep the urine normal Avoid coffee, tea and aerated drinks See a gynaecologist or a urologist if the problem recurs.  Urinary tract infections are extremely common in women and are the leading cause for visits to the doctor.
Bonding with the babyIt is an immense pleasure to hold a baby in your arms, isn't it? The bonding between amotherand her baby starts within the womb itself. When the baby is born, a few parents bond with the baby within minutes. But for others this may take some time. If the baby is taking time to respond to your affections, don't worry, here are some tips to help you with the bonding. Babies respond to the mother by making sounds, grasping, smiling, or crying. Touching, holding, kissing, cuddling, talking and singing help build a bond with your child. Infants prefer a human face to any other stimuli. So face your child as much as possible. The attention span of a new born baby is quite short. Hang a colorful object on top of the pram, cradle,or cot. Your baby already likes toys of different shapes. Various reflexes develop by the fourth week after birth. These include sucking, grasping, searching for the nipple and blinking. Baby may gaze at you some time. Respond by nodding, smiling, and talking to the baby. Babies are sensitive to their surroundings. They respond to music or the phone ringing by staring at it quietly. They observe toys keenly, spot colours and become happy at times. These are heart warming moments for the parents. Father's care usually builds a protective and secured feeling in a child which he carries for life and prevents building of any unreal fears in him in later life. So dads should care for and make their babies feel secure. You love to touch your bundle of joy, right? Babies love, enjoy, and need it as well. Skin-to-skin touch helps growth and development of the child. Mom's touch soothes the baby when he is irritated. Start reading to your child. It is never too early. It helps the development of reading skills and language. Babies enjoy pictures in the book. Even if baby can't understand words, they love to hear the parents' voices. During the first few months, they understand little of it, but they are thrilled by listening to you. Have a short reading session with your child daily.Dads can try this trick to make the baby sleep. Carry her around while patting her very gently on back.
Obesity is not just an adult problemWith fast food chains multiplying in the country faster than you can say Maharaja Mac, there is an urgent need to monitor our diet. While most of the nutritional advice is directed at adults, kids too are exposed to the dangers of empty calories. Childhood obesity is on the rise across the world including India. How does obesity affect children? And what can parents do to ensure this doesn't happen? We will try to answer some of your questions. What are the causes of obesity in children? Lack of physical activity: Nowadays, children spend more time sitting at home - doing their homework, watching TV, and playing games on PC, console tablets or smartphones. Play time on the ground outside has shrunk. As a result, they don't get enough exercise. Unhealthy food choices: Our busy lifestyles leave us with little time to plan for or prepare every meal. The alternative is to go for quick-to-cook food like Maggi. Food ordered from outside too is invariably unhealthy. While having it once in  few days is not a problem, making it a way of life leads to problems. Overweight parents: The eating pattern and lifestyle of parents has a big influence on a child's health and weight. Obesity can be hereditary. Lifestyle and environment: When parents are unable to pay much attention on their children due to their busy schedules. As a result children rely more on ready-to-eat food or junk food. Genetic factors:  For some kids, genetic factors may be the reason behind obesity. A rare genetic disorder called as Prader-Willi syndrome causes severe weight gain in kids. What health problems can obesity cause among children? Type-2 diabetes Eating disorders like bulimia or binge eating (excessive eating or drinking) Problems with foot structure Liver problems Respiratory disorders - breathlessness during exercise Difficulty in breathing while sleeping causing snoring or poor sleep What can parents do to prevent or control obesity in children? Parents must make kids understand the ill-effects of eating junk food. They must limit their snacking on junk foods. Encourage the kids to participate in physical activities and outdoor games. Make exercising a routine for the children. Join them during exercising to make it a fun time for the family. Set an example for your kids by following a healthy diet and eating habits yourself. Limit TV time and playing videogames. Parents must include whole grains, fruits and vegetables in the diet of their children. Limit fats intake to not more than 25%-30% of total calories. Make sure to go through the nutritional label while purchasing any processed food.  
Are you a chocoholic? : Dealing with chocolate addictionSerotonin is a hormone that produces relaxed and happy mental state. This hormone is activated when you consume sweet and high-fat foods. Apart from serotonin, chocolate also contains phenylethylamine which produces feelings of enthusiasm and attraction. The obsession with chocolate is marked by intense craving for it, loss of control over its consumption, and continual consumption despite negative repercussions. Is chocoholism a true addiction? Chocolate is a manifestation of desires and there is also a resistance to it. This cultural phenomenon of mysterious romance and excitement increases the attractiveness of chocolate. Apart from these, advertising and grocery shop displays also connect chocolate with an object of desire, thus triggering its need in times of emotional stress. Though the symptoms shown by those who are addicted to chocolate is much like those who are misusing substance, it is generally not considered an addiction in a true sense, as this is an acquired obsession (through culture and media) than due to bodily changes. Foods like broccoli also contain the mood-altering ingredients, even in higher concentrations. The compulsion with chocolate is considered to be owing to its texture, sweetness, and aroma. Here are a few steps to overcome your chocolate addiction: Step 1- Symptom AcknowledgmentWhile it is not considered a true addiction by many psychologists, most agree that the experience of compulsion towards chocolate is much like the ones towards drugs. It is important to diagnose and check your condition. You need to have a chocolate bite everyday. Generally, a particular time is chosen, like after lunch when your mind is a little discharged and you need that small bit of kick to arouse yourself back to normalcy. If you do not have access to chocolate, you feel anxious and find ways to get hold of a chocolate bar. Step 2- Know The ConsequencesIf you recognize that you are suffering from chocolate addiction, then be aware of the problems which it causes. It will lead to a series of bites where there would be no nutritional value and only fat and sugar induced by the chocolate. You would be needy for the chocolate, and thus, your emotions will be ruled by a bar of sweet. You might get headaches after eating chocolate, but you would still eat it anyway. You might hide and consume chocolate, owing to the disapproval of your companions. Your health will gradually deteriorate with constant burden on your pocket to keep a stash of chocolate around. Step 3- Identify The CauseChocolate is a response to a root problem. For this purpose, you have to carefully observe the nature of your chocolate consumption. Note the triggers to your choco-pangs. Do you eat chocolate to lift your mood when you are sad or upset? Have you been on diet for too long, and because of suppressing the cravings, you see the chocolate bar as 'just one time' deal which is indefinitely extended? Maybe you feel excited and urge to eat chocolate just by thinking about chocolate. Lastly, you might be bored and want to while away your time. In the act of busying yourself, you find yourself munching on multiple bars of chocolate. Did you know that the impact of chocolate on the human psyche is greatly shaped by the idea of chocolate being a representative of romance and desire? Majority of young adults believe that chocolate is a symbol of love and the tendency to get addicted to it is strengthened with the hormones it produces. To avoid chocolate addiction, make sure you work on your eating pattern carefully. Step 4- Empathetic Path to RecoveryOnce you have found the root cause of your addiction, work on your problems gradually and with empathy. Don't push yourself to completely give it up unless you have been medically advised to go off it completely. Step 5- The Emotional EaterIf you consume chocolate when sad, find alternatives to feel better. For instance, some people listen to music or love to play with dogs to feel relaxed. Find your non-chocolaty solution to emotional problems. The best way would be to explore the cause of sadness and communicate with your friend or companion about it. This will nullify the possibility to there being any other dependency shift from chocolate. Step 6- The Boredom EaterIf you find yourself nibbling on chocolate when you are bored, then first become conscious of the act. After having eaten chocolate for boredom for months or years, one has to remind oneself about the act. So, look for other ways to spend your time. Pick up a hobby you like and pursue it. If you are really craving chocolate, then talk to someone who knows about your addiction and can divert your attention. Step 7- Dietary ChangesMake sure you shift to a balanced diet full of whole grain, fresh fruits and vegetables as well as water. You may also include nuts and dry fruits in your diet as well. Step 8- Scheduled Chocolate ConsumptionMake a resolution that you would only have chocolate once in three days (initially) and then slowly taper it off to only special occasions. Step 9- Withdrawal SymptomsWhen you are reducing the amount of chocolate you eat daily, you will undergo withdrawal signs. This will include headache, mood swings, depression, and in severe cases, flu. Be strong and do not give in to the symptoms. Busy yourself with other activities and do not concentrate on chocolate. Step 10- Sleeping, Eating and ExercisingThere are three prime components of healthy living: eating a balanced diet, drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily, getting adequate sleep (7 to 8 hours), and performing moderate exercise daily for 30 to 45 minutes. Focus on healthy living and build a harmonious relationship with any food item that you consume. Chocolate is a manifestation of desires and there is also a resistance to it. This cultural phenomenon of mysterious romance and excitement increases the attractiveness of chocolate. Apart from these, advertising and grocery displays also connect comfort in modern living with chocolate, thus triggering its need in times of emotional stress.
Afraid of the dark? understand your fear and cure it!Scotophobia, more commonly known as Nycotophobia, is a psychological illness, where the patient is afraid of the dark. Children are more prone to this fear, though it does affect quite a few adults as well. The dark often represents insecurity and uncertainty to children, and it symbolizes their entrance into an unknown territory. If the children are alone during their first few encounters with darkness, the absence of parents (who exemplify safety), tends to amplify this crippling fear. While most of us do actually possess this fear in relatively small amounts, as we grow up the fear diminishes. However, there are those of us who might carry this fear of the dark into their adulthood and in such cases, the fear is usually accompanied by quite a few intricate issues. People often tend to externalize a set of conflicting feelings about a certain situation, towards something else. For instance, you might be worried about your children; but your mind may externalize this fear, via your inefficiency at work. This process is called externalization. So, when it comes to the root of your fear of darkness, it is possible that at some point in your past, you experienced something untoward, which through externalization, inculcated this fear of darkness, deep into your psyche. Evolutionary Ties to Darkness: Many scientists have pointed out that this phobia might be linked to the process of evolution. Since predators hunt for their prey at night, we might have inherited this fear of darkness from our ancestors, who believed that darkness was a space where they could be attacked by wild animals. However, recent studies have shown that  Scotophobia begins at approximately the age of two in children, and thus, it cannot be said to be innate to us. In a study done by Ryerson University involving over 90 students, it was found that people who are afraid of the dark, are more likely to be poor sleepers, than those who are not afraid of it. More interestingly, it was discovered that any kind of noise made while the people with this phobia were asleep, frightened them the most.. Symptoms of Scotophobia: The first symptoms of this fear are the resistance to visit dark places and the yearning for company when such situations arise. However, many a times adults who are suffering from this fear, do not reveal it due to the added fear of embarrassment and this, sometimes, results in outbursts of rage when they are forced to go out for an event at night, or to confront the dark under any such circumstances. A person battling this fear may experience panic attacks, sweating and trembling prior to, or while staying in the dark. The blood pressure also rises, accompanied by chest pain and lastly, a difficulty in breathing. Diagnosis of Scotophobia: In children, this fear can be easily verified by their behaviour. However, adults might require further assistance, due to their natural resistance to openly admit to such a fear. Scotophobia can be diagnosed through a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation. Following this, your psychologist would be able to give you an idea of the source of your fear as well. Pursue a course of treatment immediately after the discovery of the phobia, which will ensure a faster and more effective recovery. Treatment of Scotophobia: The process of 'desensitization' is most commonly used to help with such a phobia. In this form of treatment, the patient is slowly exposed to the object of fear, in a situation where she/he will not feel vulnerable. This is done by asking the patient to confront the dark along with another individual who symbolizes safety for him/her. This could be a parent or a friend. Night lights can also be installed to gradually reduce the fear. You may try certain breathing exercises, which will reduce the panic attacks that accompany this fear. Hypnosis has also been said to be very effective in dealing with this phobia. If your psychologist sees fit, you might be also prescribed some medicines; antidepressants are given in some cases. Joining a self-help group is also a good option, in addition to your psychological treatment.  
5 Mistakes yoga beginners makeYoga is a science that has been developed by the ancient Indian sages after a lot of research and study. That is why yoga is difficult to master immediately and one needs a lot of practice to achieve every posture or asana in the perfect manner. So, it is very important to learn the yogic techniques from an expert and one must avoid performing yoga on your own, at least in the initial stages to ensure that you do not suffer from any physical injuries by wrongly straining or stretching your muscles during practice. Yoga can benefit you only if you perform the asanas according to right techniques. Hence, you should try to avoid mistakes right from the beginning. Here are the five most common mistakes people make while performing yoga as beginners: Learning How to Breath Inhalation and exhalation, some say is the most important process that you need to control while performing yoga. While trying to achieve certain asanas, you have to hold your breath for a while and because of this, your muscle fibers are deprived of oxygen for that time. And one needs to do this while holding one's body in that particular posture. With less strength in your muscles, there are chances that you may fall down or get injured. Hence, as a beginner, when you do not have proper control over your breath, it is best to inhale in short breaths, instead of going for the full belly breaths. Just as you slowly inhale, remember to exhale slowly as well, so that the rhythm of the yogic posture is not disturbed. Do not push Yourself Too Hard Most of the contemporary exercises are based on the principle of 'more pain, more gain'. These exercises tell you to stretch more and push harder to get the best results from your workout routine. However, in the case of yoga, the opposite holds true. If you push yourself beyond your limits to attain a particular posture in yoga, you might actually end up straining and injuring your muscles instead. . So, when you are doing yoga come what may, do not push yourself beyond your natural limits. Do Not Compare Some people are naturally gifted with super-flexibility, while the rest of us may not achieve it despite practicing yoga for years together. Each of us has a different type of body and hence, you should not try to compete with those who are highly flexible, especially, if you are trying yoga for the first time or after a long time. You must give your body some time to loosen up its rigidness and become flexible enough. Trying to compare your body's abilities with others and forcefully pushing yourself to perform postures, just to match up, will hurt you eventually. Where to Place the Mat? The best place to put the mat is at the back of your yoga class, especially if you are new to yoga. If you keep your mat at the front, you will become more conscious and will never be able to concentrate on the asana. Instead, if you are at the back, you will always have the front row to follow, just in case you miss the instructions by the instructor. Go easy on the Food! Yoga postures can be intense and if you go into class with a full belly, you will, most definitely find it difficult and uncomfortable to perform the asanas. The key is to eat about an hour before and almost half the size of your usual portion; so that you can perform the asanas comfortably and get the exact fuel necessary for performing them.
5 tips to reduce your salt intakeSalt is an inevitable part of our food, but added salt has harmful effects on the body. The list of benefits in reducing sodium/salt intake in our diet runs long, ranging from lower blood pressure, in turn leading to reduced risks of heart disease, obesity, and diseases of the kidney. The daily sodium intake of an individual should not exceed 1500-2300 mg per day (a table spoon of salt approximately), and this needs to be maintained in the salt added to our food, including the processed food and drinks we buy. Sodium, an indispensable component of our diet, is consumed in excess by most of us. Follow the tips, as mentioned below, to curb your daily salt intake. Avoid added salt. Do not add salt to already cooked food while eating. Keep a diary and make a list of foods with salt in them that you eat daily. Do not forget to add pickles, spices, papads, salted biscuits, and salted nuts. All of these are highly loaded with salt. Next time you go shopping read the labels. Choose low-salt options-sauces, crackers, khakhra, instead of papad. Make an attempt to eat less canned and processed foods. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables over processed food. Eat less bread. Each bread slice has about 250 mg of sodium. Do not mistake bread to be healthy. Next time, keep this in mind when you go out to eat pizza. Pizza base is like bread. While cooking food, make it a point to add salt only towards the end in the recipe. This way you will need to add lesser salt. Sodium content of some foods Bread (one slice) - 250mg Cheese pizza: 450 - 1200mg Tomato soup: 350 - 1000mg Potato chips: 100 - 150mg
Stay healthy, keep flu at bayKeep the influenza virus away from you by following these simple routines : Wash your hands!Hands are a germ factory. Innumerable things are touched by us through the course of a day and that lends the germs a perfect breeding ground. Hence, it becomes imperative that we clean our hands thoroughly, especially before eating. Always keep a sanitizer handy in case you don have access to water and soap. Even while you wash your hands with soap and water, do not rush with the process. Wash thoroughly at least for 20 seconds. Clean the surfaces!Computer keyboards, tables, pens and pencils, shared stationary are all great places to find the flu virus. Regularly clean these surfaces with an alcohol-based disinfectant that will kill these germs. Exercise!Nothing can be as good as regular physical exercise for maintaining good health. Regular exercising boosts the immunity. This makes you fall ill less often. It also gives you greater resistance against viruses so you will not be affected by them no matter how strong the exposure. Top up on vitamin C!Vitamin C is known to boost your immunity levels. It also increases the resistance against viruses. Eat a lot of citrus fruits like oranges and tomatoes. Amla, that is a rich source of vitamin C, can also be consumed in the form of juice or eaten raw! Chicken soup for the ill-soul!Chicken soup is known to be the most effective against the flu virus. So if you feel you are coming down with a flu fever, rush to the kitchen and fix up some nourishing chicken soup for yourself. Nothing works as effectively as this does. Try poking yourself!The ancient Chinese system of medicine, acupuncture, has been known to treat everything from headaches to nausea to arthritis. Acupuncture experts may prick at particular pressure points with hair like needles to keep flu at bay and to reduce the severity if already infected. Though there is no significant scientific evidence against it, there is absolutely no harm in trying it, if you can tolerate the pain from the needles!. OTC drugs!Over-the-counter medications are available in plenty for flu symptoms. The achy feeling all over the body, the sore throat, and the muscle pain are the worst symptoms of flu. Doctors suggest that you do not over-medicate yourself. Instead of going for multi-drug combinations, doctors advise you go for generic medicines like acetaminophen for fever and a cough suppressant. Garlic pods!These smelly things can be of great use when it comes to prevent a lot of diseases, the flu included. Studies show that people who ate two or three pods of garlic daily had better resistance against the flu virus and fell ill less often. Proactive Probiotics!The strength of your immune system lies in your gut, called gut-associated lymphoid tissue or GALT. Almost 80% of the immunity comes from your gut. To keep the gut healthy, eat a lot of probiotic, pro-GALT foods like yoghurt. Sleep well!Sleep is the most essential component of staying healthy. A well-relaxed body is fitter and stronger and will have better immunity against diseases! Prevention is always the better form of cure. Stay protected and stay healthy.
A guide to earwax impactionBiologically, the earwax which builds up over time moves through the ear canal from movement caused by chewing or other jaw motions. It is also extricated through the inside-out motion of the skin of the ear canal - it reaches the outer ear and peels away. The cerumen is produced in the outer regions of the ear and not in the inner recesses. Earwax impaction refers to the condition where the ear wax builds up to such an extent or in such a manner that it causes discomfort to the entire body. In many cases, earwax impaction occurs when patients use cotton swabs or safety pins to clean their ears, only causing the wax to drop deeper into the ears. The main symptoms of earwax impaction include difficulty in hearing, faintness, ache in the ear, foul smell in the ear region, ringing or sound in the ear (also known as tinnitus), a sensation of fullness in the ear, and lastly, discharge from the affected ear. The most vulnerable groups for this condition include those who use hearing aids or ear plugs, elderly people, and those who insert cotton swabs or other items into their ears, as well as those who have an odd ear shape which could negatively affect the discharge of the earwax and those suffering from development incapacities. Did you know that one of the most common methods used by people to clear excessive earwax is ear candling where a candle (in shape of a cone) is placed inside the ear canal and set alight to warm up and remove the wax? This is one of the most dangerous methods causing burns, worsened blocks, and damaged eardrums; this should be clearly avoided. The diagnosis of this condition can be done by an ear specialist using an instrument called otoscope. Earwax impaction is treated in many ways. While at home, you could try to clean the outer region of the ear by wiping with a cloth, the physician could irrigate or syringe the ear to wash out the ear canal with saline. This procedure is generally done once the wax has been softened by the use of cerumenolytic solutions aimed at dissolving the wax like mineral oil, peroxide-based ear drops, and hydrogen peroxide. Physicians also use special instruments to remove the built-up earwax like forceps, cerumen spoon, and suction tool. The best way to prevent cerumen impaction is by not inserting anything into the ears to clean it up. Cotton swabs should only be used in the outer part of the ear. In case you feel that the buildup is regular, then you can fix an annual appointment with your physician for cerumen removal.
What, how, and why of the sex muscle answeredWhat the Penis is made up of? The penis is made up of several parts. The head: This is also called as the 'glans'. The glans is coated with soft pinkish tissue called the mucosa. The protective covering of the glans is called the foreskin. The foreskin is retractable. In circumcised men, it is the foreskin that is removed. The shaft: The shaft or the body of the penis has two surfaces. The dorsal part i.e. the upper part of an erect penis and the ventral part i.e. the lower part that faces backwards in a flaccid penis. The root: This is the attached part of the penis. Corpus cavernosum: This is the tissue that lines the shaft on two sides on the dorsal side. During sexual excitement, this corpus cavernosum fills with blood that results in the stiff erect penis. Corpus spongiosum: This is the tissue layer running in between the two layers of corpus cavernosum on the ventral side of the shaft. The urethra: This is a narrow tube that runs through the corpus spongiosum. The urethra's main function is to excrete the urine out of the body. How the Penis does what it is supposed to do? Urination: The process of expelling urine is a coordinated act involving the bladder muscles, the central and the somatic nervous systems. The urethra present in the penis serves as a tube for the urine to pass out. Erection: A erect penis is required for the successful insertion into the vagina. During the height of sexual excitement, there occurs dilatation or enlargement of the blood vessels in the corpus cavernosum causing a rush of blood into it. This elongates the penis and makes it hard and stiff. Erection angles: The way a normal penis points when erect is called the erection angle. The penis is either pointing straight to the front or it may be facing up or down to the feet. An upward angle is most common. A study published in 'Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy', shows the erectile angles in standing males from 20 to 69 age groups in the following table In the table, zero degrees is pointing straight up against the abdomen, 90 degrees is horizontal and pointing straight forward, while 180 degrees would be pointing straight down to the feet. Angles from vertically upwards: 0-3 - 5% of male 30-60 - 30% of males 60-85 - 31% of males 85-95 - 10% of males 95-125 - 20% of males 120-180 - 5% of males Ejaculation: Ejaculation is when the semen is pushed out of the penis. During the sexual act, the process of ejaculation forms the culmination with the male achieving an orgasm immediately after. At times, there is ejaculation of semen spontaneously during sleep, called Wet Dreams. Normal Variations- When you have what others don't (and it is completely normal to have them)! Curvatures: While most penises are straight, it is not abnormal to have a curved penis. Curvatures up to 30 degrees are considered normal and no medical attention is advised. Over 45 degrees may need you to get yourself checked for certain diseases, though. Phimosis: This is the inability to retract the fore-skin fully. It is harmless and occurs in about 8% of boys. The British Medical Association suggests that no medical treatment may be required till 19years of age. Pearly Penile Papules: These are small pale bumps that are found around the tip of the penis. They are very common in men aged 20 to 40 years and may be mistaken for warts. Unlike warts though, they are completely harmless and require no treatment. The human penis has one of the most advanced designs through eons of natural selection for high sperm competition. Disorders of the Penis: When you have what others don't (and it is not normal to have them)! Paraphimosis: This is the inability to retract the foreskin. It may be extremely painful when retracted. This condition occurs when there is leftover fluid accumulated n the foreskin due to some previous surgery. Peyronie's Disease: This is a condition where the penis is extremely curved. It is caused due to a scar tissue running through the shaft of the penis. There is an option of surgical correction. Herpetic Eruptions: This can happen when there is unprotected intercourse with an infected partner. It shows as painful ulcers and eruptions on the head and shaft of the penis. Absence of sensations and erection: This is a condition where one is not able to feel any kind of sensation in the penis and a total lack of erection. This occurs secondary to diabetes mellitus and also as an after-effect of past falls on the back or injuries to the groin area. Erectile Dysfunction: This is a condition that happens due to psychological stress, performance anxiety, natural ageing and diabetes mellitus. It is expressed as an inability to get aroused or inability to maintain the erection for a time enough for proper sexual activity. Priapism: This is a serious condition requiring immediate medical attention. Here the erect penis fails to return to its flaccid state and as a result may lead to potentially serious conditions like a thrombosis or gangrenous state. Severe cases may require amputation too. The causative mechanisms are not well-known but involve complex neurological and vascular factors. The condition is associated with drugs like sildenafil, commonly known as Viagra. Pudendal Nerve Entrapment: Too tight pants and underwear, arrow hard bicycle seats, accidents can lead to this condition. The symptoms include loss of sensation and ability to achieve orgasm along with pain in the penis during sitting. Infections: Common infections of the penis include balanitis, urethritis, syphilis and gonorrhea. Theya re characterized by burning, itching and foul discharge. Lasting longer in bed is every man's desire. How do you go about it is very important. Follow the right diet and exercises along with lifestyle changes to achieve the desired effect in bed. Stay away from medications that claim to make you last long. Ref: Sparling J (1997). "Penile erections: shape, angle, and length". Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 23 (3): 195-207
Women and impotence- The facts on sexual dysfunction in womenTraditionally when one hears the word 'impotence', one tends to associate it with the male partner. Female impotence is also a reality. Sexual dysfunction in women might infact be more common in women than in men. Read on to know more The sexual response cycle has four stages- excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. A problem arising in any of these phases is called Sexual Dysfunction. It hampers with the pleasures of sexual activity. All in all, a healthy lifestyle is the key to getting rid of several of the causes that may cause sexual dysfunction. Be frank and express your fears to your partner. Talking and establishing a mutual respect and comfort zone helps like nothing else can! Sexual dysfunction affects females as much as it affects men. The causes can be classified as below: Physical causes: Several diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, kidney disorders, liver disorders, neurological disorders, hormonal imbalance, menopause, excessive alcoholism or drug abuse can cause sexual dysfunction. In addition to it, inability to perform or initiate or enjoy sexual activity may happen due to side-effects of certain medications. Past pelvic surgeries are also a cause for sexual dysfunction in women. Psychological causes: The mind has got a definitive effect on the body. Sexual dysfunction is the apt example to explain this. Too much of stress, work pressure, depression are factors that do not allow an individual to perform well in bed. Past sexually traumatic events may also be a cause for sexual dysfunction. Sexual causes: This is the most frequently encountered cause for sexual dysfunction in women. Vaginusmus is the leading cause here. Vaginusmus is a pain that the woman experiences due to the fear of penetration. This causes involuntary contraction of the muscles making it impossible for her to relax. The origins of this fear are due to past painful and traumatic experiences. Dyspareunia is another cause for sexual dysfunction. It is a burning pain that lasts long after the act is over. The severity of the pain is of such a nature that the woman prefers not giving in to the pleasures of sex rather than experiencing pain. Sexual dysfunction is not something to be embarrassed of and certainly not something to be looked upon derogatorily. Sexual dysfunction often leads to frustration and can affect your relations. Speak out and seek help before it is too late. And for the men reading this, be supportive of your partner. She is going through a difficult phase and she needs your love and support along with the right treatment, not your scorn and displeasure. Treatment Options: Sexual dysfunction in women is treatable once the exact cause for the condition is known. Various natural remedies, holistic approaches and psychotherapy have been used with a good measure of success. Additionally, oral medication, hormonal therapy and surgical procedures are also used to treat impotency.
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