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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!
Health check up checklist for men Prostate Cancer - Prostate cancer is the lesser known killer in men. It is a slow growing cancer, but at times, its symptoms can be aggressive as well. Detecting prostate cancer at its onset can help in treating it effectively. Tests include a digital rectal exam and a blood test for Prostate Specific Antigens (PSA). Testicular Cancer - This uncommon cancer can affect any male between the ages 21 to 55. A physical exam during yearly medical checkups is recommended for all men. Men having a higher risk, with family history, should speak to their doctors regarding additional tests for screening. Self-examination through regular gentle palpation of the testicles to notice any change in shape or size, presence of lumps is also suggested by doctors. Colorectal Cancer - This is the second most common cancer in men. Men over 50 and younger, if they have a familial risk, are suggested to get a screening colonoscopy done to detect this cancer. It usually starts as a polyp that grows and invades the nearby areas to develop into a full-blown cancer. The polyps, if detected early, can be removed and cancer prevented. A CT scan or a double barium enema can also help in detecting polyps. High Blood Pressure - With the kind of lifestyle men lead today, almost every other man is bound to have BP issues. Regularly checking the BP is essential as it helps detect high BP which may lead to a variety of other problems including stroke and heart attacks. The sooner the detection, the sooner the measures for control. Cholesterol Levels - Bad eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, and mental stress can all lead to lots of cholesterol roaming around in your arteries. This will eventually clog the arteries and cause diseases like high blood pressure and atherosclerosis which can be life-threatening. Get your total cholesterol, LDL, VLDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels checked regularly and initiate timely interventions to bring them under control. HIV - This is the most commonly spreading STD among men. Due to its chronic nature, HIV is often detected accidentally when it may be too late. Regular tests for HIV detection are essential if one is physically active with multiple partners. Be safe though and use a condom. Glaucoma - It is extremely common and is one of the leading causes of blindness. Glaucoma has no cure, but it can be controlled well with timely detection. Screening tests should be undertaken by men under 40 years at an interval of 2 to 3 years after 35. A yearly test is recommended for older men.
Hair straightening do's and don'tsWhat's in a hair? Well when someone thought of this quote, he or she certainly did not foresee the future because in today's world hair is everything. For a woman and a caterpillar at least! Let's just talk about women! Hair not only covers your scalp, but also protects it.  Hair is known to be something that enhances the beauty of a woman, as there is nothing like the feel of smooth and silky hair caressing the shoulders. Women all over the world dream to have beautiful, strong, silky, and preferably, long straight hair. Why straight hair? Let's find out, women are born with all kinds of hair, curly, wavy, long, and short but according to some women there is nothing that beats having a straight hair and there are women in this world who could go to any length achieving that straight hair they always desired. One of those ways is straightening, a styling technique used since the 1980's, which involves the flattening as well as straightening of hair, to give it a smooth, streamlined, and a sleek look. Straightening can be of two types, temporary or permanent. Temporary straightening can be achieved by a straightening iron or relaxers and generally lasts up to the first wash. Permanent hair straightening generally requires the use of Lye and other chemicals (more commonly known as creamy crack) with the help of a hot comb, hot iron, and relaxers. Permanent straightening, with proper care, can easily last up to a year. According to documentary "Good Hair" by actor Chris Brown, African American women are known for their profound use of "creamy crack" to get that perfect straight hair they long for. They are also the women who make the cosmetic companies rich, thanks to their profound use of hair straightening and hair care related products. African American women also account for the highest amount of money spent on hair care and hair care related products. Coming in a close second are the women from Central and South East Asia. These women are also known to go to extremes to get that perfect straight hair look, which is generally shown in TV Commercials endorsed by celebrities. Now that we are aware of the statistics, it is time that we look into the do's and don'ts of hair straightening. Straightening your hair once in a while may sound like a good idea, but it is extremely essential that we understand that extreme care is required here. Hence it is always better to know the do's and don'ts before we decide to break the bank (straightening ain't cheap) for straightening treatments. Do's : Make sure your diets consist of plenty of healthy foods, water. Also doing regular exercise is advised. Always use a shampoo and conditioner that best suits you. Remember to ask your stylist about the kind of products that suit you. Always go for hair spa treatment once a month since your hair needs that extra nourishing. Don'ts : Do not wet your hair at least for three days after the treatment. Do not tuck your hair behind your ear. Avoid twisting your wet hair with a towel. Avoid extreme scrubbing of your hair while shampooing. Straightening even once can cause excessive damage, hence do not do it repeatedly. Straightening your hair once in a while is okay, but doing it continually is ill advised as it can have a lot of negative consequences. Straightening also comes with certain side effects such as heavy chemical reaction, dizziness, permanent hair damage, dryness, skin irritation, itchiness, and severe chemical burns. Hence, it's always better to have a professional do it at a salon rather than doing it yourself. Hair straightening, though done by the same method all around the world, requires different types of hair care products as the hair type is mostly related to your race and ethnicity and your geographical location.
Menopause and mental health!Menopause is the period in a woman's life when her man claims she is going crazy. It is also the time when her period is on the decline and hormones are in complete disarray. Depression, insomnia, irritability, mood swings and lack of concentration are few symptoms that the lady has to battle with. These symptoms may begin as early as 4 years before the actual menopause and may continue for several years after that! For women, menopause is a significant turning point in their lives. The dropping levels of oestrogen and the resultant physical and mental symptoms can be like a cycle of events, only adding to their woes! Depression: Depression affects every middle-aged woman. An estimated 20% of women have depression at some point during menopause. The peak period for depression is during the perimenopausal years, when the woman is approaching menopause. The reason for this, say experts, is the fact that most women dread menopause. Even though for some it means an end to years of menstrual cramps, for most others it signifies an end to their womanhood. The very idea is sufficient enough to bring on lots of negative thoughts and depression. Not only this, the reason for depression during perimenopausal and menopausal age is the fluctuating hormones. Research shows that the levels of reproductive hormones, specifically oestrogen are responsible for the mental changes. Changes in the sleep pattern: Insomnia is seen in 40 to 50% of women in the menopausal transition phase. Women who spend sleepless nights are more likely than others to show irritability, crankiness, stress and depressive symptoms. Sleep disturbances during menopause have been linked to the decreasing oestrogen levels. Indeed this claim can be held true as several women respond positively to exogenous hormone therapy. One study claims that sleep changes are linked to the Luteinizing Hormone levels, which also results in increased body temperature. Sleep apnea too occurs in the menopausal transition age. This is due to decreased progesterone level, as progesterone plays an important role in respiration. The weight gain that happens during menopause has also been shown to cause sleep apnea. Panic disorder: Panic disorder is commonly seen during the perimenopause stage. Existing disorder may worsen or new disorder may arise. Panic disorder is usually manifested in women who show several physical symptoms of menopause. The panic attacks are usually associated with negative life events, pre-existing medical diseases and decreased daily functionality. Obsessive compulsive disorder: New onset of OCD, worsening of the existing condition or change in the pattern of symptoms is seen during menopause. OCD changes are also observed during pregnancy and during the menstrual changes, suggesting the impact of hormones on symptoms of OCD. Bipolar disorder: Women with bipolar disorder experience an exacerbation of symptoms during the perimenopausal stage. These women are also the ones that are highly likely to experience severe depression in the menopausal phase. Schizophrenia: Schizophrenia usually manifests itself in young adulthood. The rate of new cases decreases gradually thereafter, in both men and women. In women, however, there is a second peak in the 45-50 years age group. This peak is not observed in men. This suggests that oestrogen may play a significant role in triggering schizophrenia or worsening the pre-existing condition.
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.
High blood pressure in the little onesIf you are asked to paint a picture of a patient of hypertension, how would it look? Leave the details aside, would you paint an old person, a young person or a child? Most likely, you will paint an old person or may be a middle-aged person. But a child, who would think of a child to have high blood pressure! It may be difficult to believe for most but not only is it possible, its incidence is also increasing gradually. In fact, hypertension in kids is becoming quite common. Studies in USA show that up to 5% children and adolescents have hypertension. What is it? High blood pressure in children and adolescents is also called as pediatric hypertension. Pediatric hypertension is defined by the blood pressure recorded on the mercury, in comparison to the given standard range. As a child grows, there is rapid development in all the milestones. For children, there are percentiles defined for all parameters for various age groups. In children, when the blood pressure is above the 90th percentile but below the 95th, it is called prehypertension. When it is above 95th percentile, it is diagnosed as hypertension. There are no distinguishing symptoms of pediatric hypertension, so it may easily be missed. Please make it a practice to get your child's blood pressure checked on routine visits for medical examination. Why does it happen? High blood pressure in children under ten years of age is usually secondary to some other health condition. It could be due to an underlying heart disease, kidney disease, hormonal disorders or genetic abnormalities. This demands treatment of the main problem. Primary hypertension is noted in older children, over 6-10 years of age and adolescents. There is no specific cause identified for this, other than lifestyle, obesity, rich foods and family history. How bad could it get? Children may show a disordered sleep pattern when they have hypertension. They may suffer from sleep apnea, reflected by snoring or abnormal breathing. Besides sleep, the other effects of hypertension are the known ones. In the long run, it could lead to heart disease, stroke or kidney disease. What to do? It is very important to control the blood pressure from a young age. Regular check-ups and monitoring of the BP is needed. Thorough examination is a must to identify whether the hypertension is primary or secondary. Treatment by medicines is recommended in secondary hypertension, where the underlying condition is to be tackled along with the management of blood pressure. In cases of primary hypertension, medication is suggested only in extreme cases. Otherwise, lifestyle management is the key. It is not a healthy option to start anti-hypertensives this early in life. Give your child healthy food, help him/her maintain the ideal body weight and make sure he/she gets enough exercise physically. The sooner we identify the problem, the better are the results with a disciplined lifestyle. The unhealthy lifestyle is creating chaos in all our lives. How long the kids would have escaped? Our lifestyle reflects on our kids. Follow a healthy routine and keep the family healthy!
Faking illnesses - An illness in itself?In 2008, a 28 years old woman in the US shared some shocking news with her friends. She had been detected with cancer. She posted updates on social networking sites and wrote blogs on her illness. Sympathy poured in from all corners. Some even sent in monetary help to cover her expenses. The saddest part of the incident though was not her cancer; it was the fact that she had faked it! Police investigations revealed her little trick when no evidences or records were found at the hospitals! Apparently, this isn't a unique case;  faking illnesses or malingering is a very common occurrence. All of us have done it at some point in our lives. While we may have done it to escape a school punishment or to take undue advantage of the office 'sick leaves' for personal purposes, it is usually done on a harmless level. But faking illness can be a chronic disorder too and  medical professionals even have a name for it-; Munchausen's Syndrome. People suffering from this syndrome fake illnesses that they don't actually have, to gain sympathy or simply to be the center of attention. Usually gaining sympathy is the main reason why people fake illnesses. It gives them a chance to be in the spotlight. Everyone calls and visits, expresses concern and fusses over them. Lots of love is showered upon them. Another common reason for faking illnesses, is money and at times, the monetary benefits are higher than the emotional ones. No one hesitates to fulfill the last wish of a dying person, however expensive it may be. Often there are mixed motivations and the person faking an illness has many reasons to keep up the pretense of being sick, for as long as possible. Some people really do have a disease — a mental illness known as a factitious disorder. People with this disorder pretend to have an illness, which is usually a terminal one and often go to great lengths to maintain their hoax. Munchausen syndrome by proxy, is another form of faking illness. People with this disorder, fake illnesses of people under their care; and they usually do this, for monetary benefits. Children are the most common victims in this disease. When you tell someone that your child has cancer, you will receive a great amount of sympathy and all the money you want, no questions asked! People with these disorders are extremely cunning. They go to great extents to maintain their lies. They will build grand stories, complain of fake pains and aches, get admitted to hospitals and undergo a battery of tests, numerous times. Interestingly, they never allow and frequently discourage medical professionals, from talking to any of their family members. Since they know they are faking the illness, they will refuse to undergo treatment, for obvious reasons. . If you think a loved one may be exaggerating or faking their health issues, attempt a gentle conversation, voicing your concerns. Avoid anger, judgment or confrontation, while offering support and care and if possible, help them in finding a treatment. Treatment includes empathy, helping in identifying feelings and issues that led to the development of the disorder and finding  alternative healthy ways to deal with those feelings and issues.
CryophobiaCold or hot can be a very subjective term as every person's tolerance for either heat or cold can vary. When some of us react in an extreme manner to all things cold, then it could be a case of cryophobia - the fear of catching cold or the fear of cold weather. Derived from the Greek "kryos" + phobos gives us cryophobia, which is a mental aberration where the mind develops a nagging and persistent fear of all things cold - be it cold weather, ice-cream, or maybe even a cold shoulder! Jokes apart, a person suffering from this condition could really experience 'hot weather' in his relationships as he will completely avoid any contact with anything cold. If the weather is a bit nippy then that's a veritable disaster for Mr. 'Avoid De Cold' as he will do everything in his power to stay indoors, for instance - turn on the central heating and wrap himself up until the mercury rises to an agreeable level. Though it is decidedly different from your run-of-the mill phobias, cryophobia could be of various types. There are some who are only afraid of cold in the 'weather' sense and are otherwise cool about touching cold objects or even having an ice-cream. While there are some who would probably break out into, if you will excuse the term, 'cold sweat,' even while watching floating icebergs on a Nat-Geo documentary. So, the sensation of cold is quite subjective, and hence the various strains of cryophobia. Generally, this fear would manifest quite logically for those who have occasioned to be trapped under ice accidently or maybe those who have suffered frost bite from exposure to cold weather during a skiing holiday. Under such circumstances, avoidance, though irrational, could be perfectly logical. If you monitor weather reports constantly and experience discomfort even in moderate climates, then you should get yourself checked for cryophobia, as chances are that soon you will be restricting yourself indoors and cutting yourself off from the rest of the world. Some people might just overcome fear or anxiety by wearing an extra layer of the woolens or turning up the central heating. For deep seated fears, it may require long-term counseling or medication. Some people might just have this morbid fear of developing pneumonia from a common cold and hence may take elaborate measures to avoid going out during cold days. This too can be quite normal since most of us don't want to call a day off from work due to a nasty cold. But despite adequate protection if you are still afraid of venturing out to work or are avoiding social contact just because of an irrational fear of catching cold when the weather outside is made for the beach and you are in the middle of summer! Then the catchphrase is - You have cryophobia!
10 best and worst appetizersWhen you are munching on appetizers before your meal, the idea is to eat something that can trigger off the production of your digestive juices in the intestine, so that what you eat next, the food is easily digested. However sometimes, the appetizers are much more complex and heavier on your tummy and can actually reduce the metabolic activity and imbalance the digestion process. Here are some of the best and worst appetizers that are commonly served: Best Appetizers Vegetable Kababs: These highly nutritious and low calorie appetizers are a good alternative to fried items. Grilled vegetables or kababs are prepared by skewering red and green bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchinis. To add to the taste, you may brush over some low-fat herbs and even garlic marinade. Two delicious vegetable kababs, will get you only 75 calories. Crab Cakes: Seafood offers you high nutrition and the best way to include the properties of seafood in your diet, is by choosing crab cakes as appetizers since these offer only 20gms of fat and 300 calories, while providing you with a high level of sodium (960mg). Spinach Salad: The best thing about good appetizers is that they are low calorie foods and provide great flavor and satisfaction while eating. One such fulfilling appetizer, is spinach salad. You can also use other green leafy vegetables to add more nutrition to the recipe. If you eat this appetizer before your meal, chances are, you will eat 10 to 15 percent less of the main course, which is certainly a great way to cut down on the calories. A cupful of fresh salad gives you only 80 calories. Beef Skewers: If you are in the mood to pamper your taste buds, but still want to stick to eating healthy, then beef skewers is the right option for you, in the appetizers section. These are usually served with peanut sauce in restaurants. You can opt for lean beef along with soy, garlic, hoisin, onions and barbeque sauce to make this dish yourself. Quarter to the pound is the recommended serving, which consists of 5 gms of fat, 130 calories and a high sodium content of 803 mg. Stuffed Mushrooms: Potato skins are a common appetizer people go in for, but these add more calories. Instead, you should opt for stuffed mushrooms that are way more delicious. The caps of mushrooms are stuffed with breadcrumbs and the cheese of your choice; and they provide only 50 calories per cup. This means that even if you eat six stuffed mushrooms, you are still within the limit of 300 calories. The worst appetizers are deceptive yet tempting in their looks and taste. But you should always keep a check on the ingredients before gorging on them, for your own benefit. Worst Appetizers Onion Blossom: Fried onions are certainly bad for your waistline. It is always better to eat a starter stuffed with more vegetables, instead of fried things. A restaurant preparation of onion blossom consists of 161 gms of fat, 1,049 calories and around 4100 mg sodium, which is more than double the limit required by an adult, making this appetizer a completely unhealthy choice. Cheese Fries: Cheese fries are one of the worst appetizers; these can be even more overwhelming than your meal itself, which is why health experts advise not to include this appetizer in any type of menu. Sometimes cheese fries actually come with more melted cheese on top, which is obviously worse. Spinach Artichoke Dip: Although this starter starts with the word 'Spinach', it is in no way a healthy appetizer. One dip of spinach contains loads of calories-1600, fat-100 g and 2500 mg sodium. It is certainly not the spinach but the cream base that is rich in saturated fat. Potato Skins: Potato skins have all the high calorie foods such as meats, sour cream and cheese. When you take one pop of these, you will be adding 150 calories, which is quite a big number. Moreover, these appetizers are not filling. A plateful of potato skins adds 1,340 calories, 1,850 mg sodium and 94 gm fat and yet leaves you hungy. Cheeseburger Skins: Although these appetizers look small, there are loads of calories packed in them. One order of Cheeseburger skins can total up to 1270 calories, with an added 2310 mg sodium and 82 gm of fat.
5 cardinal sins for the skinWhile cigarettes may not constitute food in the strictest sense, it does have a profound effect on skin complexion, health, color and tone. We eat that we may live, but sometimes we eat way too much and consume stuff that may be extremely hazardous to our health. Since we are talking about skin, here are 5 most hazardous foods for your skin: Grease adds to the crease Since healthy skin is all about healthy blood circulation, any food which is likely to clog up the blood vessels internally is deemed bad for skin tone. Packaged snacks like potato chips may have edible oil written in bold but this contributes significantly to the slowing down of 'collagen and elastin syntheses' which in turn causes the skin to appear aged and all wrinkly. The french fries that we consume as a TV snack can also cause an acne outbreak on the skin and face. Gluten Glutton Gluten is a substance found in wheat and other food grains. We may not even be aware that some of the food grains have gluten as a main constituent. Gluten intolerance can also cause inflammations on the skin in the form of rashes or acne. Bad news is that the pizzas, pastas, cakes and bread that we get off the rack may be heavy in gluten (Surprised that they don't say that on the pack) and that may be the reason for you to lose precious skin tone. So seek gluten free foods, though that might not be the easiest of tasks, but for your skin, it certainly will be worth it. Caffeine - the skin coffin If you are one of those coffee addicts then you may as well write an obituary column lamenting the loss of your skin tone and complexion. It's not without reason that health freaks love bashing coffee beans and caffeine rich beverages, as they are truly hazardous. How? Studies have proven that just 2-3 cups stimulate pituitary-adrenocortical response. Yes, but what does that have to do with your skin? Well this leads to the hormone cortisol to increase in our bodies. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone! So now here's what it does to your skin -it accelerates the ageing process which means wrinkled skin and causes dehydration causing the skin to show an unusual pallor. So before you turn the coffee faucet on think twice. Fad to Black How fad diets are not skin friendly? Some people go on a high protein, low-carb diet which could sound the death knell as far as complexion goes. Dieting depletes calcium levels, which means your bones are going to suffer and what's the point of having skin on bad bone density? Besides low-carb diets can utterly wreck the complexion as the delicate PH balance in the skin is ruined. Some of the meat, poultry and dairy products too can have artificial chemicals injected in them which cause a hormonal imbalance in our bodies leading to skin disasters. Fruits and vegetables have chemicals injected too sometimes! Beware! Cereal Killers Cereal killers are those people who ignore the need of a proper diet for skin health. So anybody who indulges in too much sugar, caffeine and greasy food stuffs is a 'Cereal Killer' A lack of cereals in the diet can literally kill your skin. Cereal foods have high fiber and antioxidants for moisturizing the skin and protecting it from skin damage. For great skin other than cereals which are simply fabulous for keeping skin hydrated and breathing easily, one can eat fruits, olive oil, healthy fats, almonds, tofu, grains, nuts and the good old vitamin B rich products. Ceramides in raw food diets, organic foods, wheat germ and brown rice protect the epidermis of the skin and make it impervious to external attacks and pollutants while maintaining their tone and beauty.
Easy tips for fresh breathBrushing your teeth twice daily is not enough for fresh breath. How well you brush, and how long you brush are equally important, as are flossing regularly and eating right. 19 year-old Rita suffers from bad breath. It is a huge drawback for her. No one at college wants to be her friend. Her doctor suggested that she brushes twice daily, and also prescribed a good mouth wash for her. Following this advice has not helped her much. There must be millions of us who identify with Rita's problem. Halitosis, or bad breath, is a huge embarrassment not only for the person who has it, but also for the person who has to bear it. It can be a cause of social isolation, as seen in Rita's case. A fresh smelling breath is a sign of good hygiene. A fresh breath makes you more confident of yourself, and you feel ready to face any challenge that life throws your way. So, what do you do to keep your breath minty fresh all day? Brush twice a day, and use a good mouthwash regularly, would be your reply. But is this enough? Let us start by busting a few myths here! Mouthwash will give you fresh breath all day long. It won't. It will only make your breath fresh temporarily. As long as you brush your teeth regularly, you need not worry about bad breath! Brushing your teeth is necessary. The key here is how long and how well you brush. Most of us brush for 35 to 40 seconds, which is just not enough. One needs to brush properly over all the surfaces of the teeth to clean them well. This should take you not less than two minutes! And you thought brushing twice daily was enough! Here are a few tips to keep your breath fresh: Bad breath is the result of bacterial activity in your mouth. One of the reasons for bacteria to grow is due to dryness. So, never let your mouth go dry. Keep your mouth well hydrated. Drink loads of water. One of the other reasons for bacterial activity in the mouth is the food particles that get accumulated in the cracks between your teeth. Be sure to rinse your mouth well every time you finish eating something. Flossing is an activity you should never ignore. Flossing does what regular brushing cannot do; It removes the food stuck between your teeth. Avoid foods that cause bad breath-like coffee, tea, sugary drinks, garlic, onions, or broccoli. Sugarfree gums are a good way to keep your mouth hydrated, as they increase the flow of saliva. Gel based toothpastes may give you a fresh breath, but the effects are temporary. Go for fluoride toothpaste that is good in the long run. Yoga poses like the Kapal Bhati Pranayam, Sheetali Pranayam, Sheetkari Pranayam, Yoga Mudra, Simha Asana are effective in combating bad breath. Visit your dentist regularly, and get your teeth cleaned professionally. Avoid junk food, and foods that are rich in sugar and fats. Instead, go for fresh fruits and vegetables. Quit smoking and alcohol consumption. Simple things like brushing daily, flossing daily, rinsing your mouth after every meal, and eating right can help you keep your breath smelling fresh all day long.
Dos and don s during heat crampsHeat cramps can affect people who exercise or work in the heat. It could be due to dehydration, so if you are going to be active in the heat then you need to drink a lot of water even if you are not thirsty. Before going out, find out what the temperature is and do not exercise outdoors in the heat. Heat cramps may not be as serious as heat exhaustion or heat stroke, but the condition needs to be treated with the same urgency. People who are on low-sodium diets may be affected more than others. Heat cramps may seem mild, but they can be the first sign of heat exhaustion, so pay attention and stop all activity, and rest. Here is what you can do and what you should avoid if you suffer from heat cramps: Dos : If you have muscle spasms and the muscles are unable to function properly, then immediately stop all activity. Get inside a room or go into the shade and take some rest. Raise the feet to 12 inches above the body. Gently massage and stretch the muscles. Wet a paper towel or handkerchief and drape it around your face, at the back of your neck and underarms. Drink a clear natural juice or a sports drink to get the electrolyte balance back. Do not go out in the sun again even if the spasms have subsided. If the cramps last more than an hour then go to a doctor. If you are on a low-sodium diet then tell the doctor about it. Don s : Don take any painkillers or fever tablets as they could cause harm. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugary soda drinks. Don rub alcohol on the muscles. Don drink ice cold drinks as they can cause stomach cramping. Don take salt tablets unless the doctor has prescribed them. Don do your full quota of exercises if the heat is getting on to you. Don stop drinking water even if you do not feel thirsty. Don resume any strenuous activity for several hours after a heat cramp. Prevention:Prevention is always better, so it’s a good idea to reduce exercise in the summer, especially when it is extremely hot. If people are working outside, like construction workers, then they must take more breaks, keep their heads covered and sip on water after every 10 minutes to prevent heat cramps. Always plan ahead and get acclimatized if you know you have to do a physical activity in the heat that could cause sweating. If you are an athlete, then do take a mix of sports drink, water, and juices to maintain the electrolyte balance. Always carry water with you if you are playing any sport in the heat. All events must be planned at a time when the heat is bearable and not when it is too hot. Keep a close watch on the person if there are signs of vomiting and nausea along with flushed skin. Rush them to the hospital.
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.
Sex after 40Sexual changes in normal aging after 40: Erection takes longer time Require manual stimulation, particularly by partner Erection may subside during foreplay or coitus Decreased frequency of nocturnal erection Pre-ejaculatory fluid decrease or absent Ejaculation less forceful Seminal fluid volume decreases or absent Frequency of desire for sexual release decreases with age. Aged couples learn to cope with their own sexuality. Some are happy with foreplay and self masturbation, others insist on more usually it is the male. Frequency of sexual intercourse between 20-95 years : Sexual intercourse decreases with age as the study shows. Decreased during 5year interval after 34 years Weekly frequency: 30 - 34 years 2.2%; 60 - 64 years 0.7%; 65  - 74 years 0.4%; 75 - 79 years 0.3% Do we need to change this pattern with Viagra? I would say yes - sex can be  joyful till the last days. Nobody needs to be impotent now. Home devices like rubber bands, ribbons are also used to hold the blood back in the penis when the erection is not adequate. Vacuum pump to draw blood into penis with an application of a ring after erection is also found suitable by some. Active intervention by drugs (both allopathy, ayurvedic and unani) have been successfully developed. They may be applied topically (minidoxil), inhaled (amyl nitrate) inserted into the urethral passage, injected into the corpus cavernosa or taken orally (Sildenafil, Tadalafil, etc.). Finally if all fails silastic rods can be implanted in the penis to give permanent erection. The joy of living lasts a life time.
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