Monthly Archives: June 2016

Best Tips to Overcome Short Term Memory Loss

Remember the movie 50 First Dates starring Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore (as an amnesic). Drew’s character is shown to suffer from short term memory loss (also known as amnesia), wherein every morning she wakes up and has no memory of the events that occurred the previous day. However, Adam’s character (Henry) happens to tackle this problem, by creating a video tape which contains scenes of her accident (which led to her memory loss), their meetings and of course their marriage. Drew happens to watch this tape every morning and recollects those memories to lead a normal life for that day. This was about the movie, however there are a number of people who cannot recollect one’s name, events or other older information, when they have to. This condition is called short term memory loss, which manifests poor conductivity in the brain. There are many possible causes to this condition like alcohol or drug abuse, side effects of certain medications or diseases like dyslexia, Alzheimer’s and so on. Lack of oxygen or low blood supply to the brain also plays an important role in memory loss. Thankfully, there are ways to overcome short term memory loss. Of course medication and treatments are available, but there are a few other ways to manage this condition.

Addressing Short Term Memory Loss

  1. The art of repeating information or a certain message over and over again to yourself can help it retain in the long term memory and recall whenever you need it.
  2. You can also maintain a journal or note book mentioning all the activities that you are supposed to perform during the entire course of the day.
  3. Getting adequate amount of sleep everyday is most important. It is recommended to sleep at a set time every night and follow the 8 hour sleep regime.
  4. Associate words, names and other pieces of information with some unforgettable incidents, it just adds to the chances of retaining those particular pieces of information. By doing so, the thought gets recorded in the long term memory and you can easily recall it when required.
  5. Certain yoga asanas like shirshasana (headstand) and sarvangasana (plow pose) should be practiced everyday, as they ensure proper blood circulation in the brain. The brain needs nutrients that support the neurotransmitters, who are responsible for passing on signals and information regarding particular things.
  6. A to-do list or post its, can be used to keep a note of important events or information about where you should be or what you should be buying. For instance, if your wife calls you to get a can of milk while coming back home from work, and you might forget. So just paste a post it on your steering wheel; it just makes things easier for you.
  7. Do some homework before you are supposed to attend a social event, since it is embarrassing if you forget the name of the person who is actually the host of the party. Try to say their names aloud when at home, which will help you remember things and thus, prevent embarrassment.
  8. Meditation is another wonderful thing you can do to combat the condition of short term memory loss. It relaxes the entire body and makes your brain more receptive and vibrant. There are simple exercises which can be followed every day that will help build concentration and boost memory.
  9. Puzzles, sudoku, crosswords, chess and checkers are games that are excellent sources of exercise to keep the mind fresh and challenging. Solving maths problems or playing video games that require quick responses also serve the purpose of keeping your gray cells in mint condition.
  10. Carry a small note pad in your pocket every time and during the course of the day if anything pops up in your conscious mind, write it down for any further references.

Apart from the above ways, visiting your doctor daily and following the treatment, can also improve the receptivity of the brain to a greater extent. Other than allopathy, alternative treatments of Ayurveda and homeopathy are also available in treating this condition. Another thing one must remember is that stress and anxiety can aggravate the problem and make you more nervous about the problem. Hence, maintaining your cool and keeping your mind relaxed are the two most important aspects to overcome short term memory loss.

Memory Loss Medication for You

‘Use it or lose it’ is the philosophy which perfectly applies to our memory. Short term or long term memory loss symptoms indicate disorder of the brain or spinal cord. Early detection of the problem helps repair the damaged part of the brain or spinal cord, with the help of medications and other treatment options. Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, depression, brain or spinal cord injury, mental trauma, alcohol abuse, drug addiction and excessive use of certain medications are some of the main causes of memory loss. Mental confusion and incoherent thoughts leading to dementia, diminishing cognitive ability, impaired muscular coordination are some of the noticeable symptoms of memory loss. The symptoms may vary from person to person and may give rise to serious medical conditions.

Memory Loss Treatment

The extent of memory loss can be different in different people. In some cases, it may remain constant and in some, it may worsen over time. Prompt memory loss medication helps improve the memory, in either of the cases.

Drugs: Some examples of medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease are galantamine, tacrine, donepezil, memantine and rivastigmine, for which the brand names are Razadyne, Cognex, Aricept, Akatinol and Exelon respectively. They help increase levels of the neurotransmitter ‘acetylcholine’ in the brain; which halts progression of Alzheimer’s disease. These drugs come with side effects like gastrointestinal discomfort and affected liver function. So, it is necessary to consult a physician for the correct dosage and duration of memory loss medication. Selegeline, or Eldepryl is used to treat Parkinson’s as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIg) which is used to treat autoimmune conditions is said to be quite effective for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Calcium channel blockers which are used to treat hypertension and migraine, and statins that are used to lower cholesterol levels may help cure certain types of short-term memory loss.

Memory Supplements: The memory supplements available in the market help improve your memory; but they should be taken strictly under the guidance of your physician. Here is a list of supplements which can help improve short-term memory loss.

  1. Vitamin capsules containing vitamins A, B complex, C and E, mineral capsules containing magnesium, zinc, selenium and calcium.
  2. Cyntol to restore cognitive functioning of the brain.
  3. Green tea, Gingko biloba and ginseng as energy and memory boosters. They activate the brain.
  4. 1-2 capsules or 1-3 tablespoons of omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil.
  5. L-glutamine 500-1000 mg thrice daily
  6. L-theanine 200 mg 1-3 times daily for nervous system and brain support.
  7. SAMe(s-adenosyl-L-methionine) daily before breakfast (100-200 mg) for mood improvement.
  8. Vitamin C as an antioxidant, 500-1000 mg 1-3 times daily.
  9. Vinpocetine for increased blood flow to the brain.
  10. Gotu Kola to reduce stress and improve concentration.
  11. Huperzia Serrata to prevent breakdown of vital neuro transmitters.
  12. Estrogen supplements have helped improve the memory of some menopausal women, but certain studies show that estrogen may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in women. More studies are needed to know the facts.

Home Remedies: Not only prescribed medications but psychological exercises also help treat loss of memory.

  • Mental Stress Management Exercises: Stress is an unavoidable factor of modern lifestyle. Relaxation and rest help relieve stress. One should learn the techniques of yoga and meditation as they help manage stress. Various stress relievers (medications) are available in the market; but regular exercise (helps maintain hormonal balance), indulging in laughter and various playful activities are better options if you want to enjoy efficient functioning of your brain.
  • Mind Games: Brain exercises which help sharpen your memory, should be played as many times as possible. Various types of puzzles should be solved. The process of aging usually causes short-term memory loss which can be avoided by keeping the brain as active as possible.
  • Nutrition: A balanced and healthy diet is necessary for healthy body and healthy mind. Vitamin deficiency, severe dehydration, deficiency of any of the essential nutrients, formation of plaque due to excess cholesterol, etc. can affect the function of the brain and can cause memory loss. Vitamin B, C, E and A facilitate smooth functioning of the brain.
  • Herbal Treatment: According to the Ayurveda, herbs like brahmi, vacha, amalki, and cow milk, almonds, walnuts, etc. help strengthen our memory and prevent memory loss. Regular intake of antioxidants (lots of fruits and vegetables) and herbs like ginkgo biloba, following a high fiber diet (low cholesterol diet) helps prevent loss of memory. Avoiding smoking and limiting the consumption of alcohol can help prevent the aggravation of the symptoms of brain/spinal cord disorder.

At the first stage, there is only forgetfulness. Gradually, the signs and symptoms of severe memory loss are noticed. No one should lose hope because it is possible to cure short-term memory loss. The treatment depends upon the causes and severity of the symptoms. Memory loss medication often involves lifestyle changes. Family support is the key of memory loss treatment. Familiar music, photos or other objects can help the person to stay oriented and maintain a sharp and focused retention power.

This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject. You should consult your physician for memory problems. You should describe the symptoms, discuss your routine medication and health problems with your physician. You may have to undergo certain tests. Physical examination and test reports help determine the treatment.

Healthy Nutrition Tips for Older People

A healthy eating plan can never be outgrown. No matter at what stage of life you may be in, eating healthily is vitally important. However, as far as older adults are concerned, while the basic principles of a balanced diet are the same as at any other age, individual nutritional requirements usually do need to be modified. Your overall future health will be affected according to the choices of food you make, whether you are 45 or 75, are homebound or active. Healthy food choices along with lifestyle changes can reduce the chances of getting certain aging related diseases, such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease. It also aids in the treatment as well as recuperation from illness. This may not turn the clock back, but is known to make people feel more energetic and healthy longer. Consuming a nutritional diet involves eating a wide variety of health foods every day. After all, food is the source of energy, vitamins, protein, fiber, minerals, and fluids you require in order to be strong. Therefore, read the following article, which talks about healthy nutrition for older people.

Factors Suggesting High Risk of Poor Nutrition

There are various factors that can be indicative of higher risk of inadequate nutrition. In case you experience 3 or more of the factors given below, you need to consult a registered dietician or a physician:

  • Prolonged poor health
  • Poor dental health
  • Unexpected loss or gain in weight
  • Inadequate eating habits
  • Taking medicines
  • Economic inadequacy
  • Inadequate social contacts and loneliness
  • Being unable to take care of yourself

Facts you Need to Know

The same types of nutrients are required by older people as are needed by younger people, except that the amounts are different. As one gets older, one requires fewer calories compared to when one is younger. The reason being, that with the decrease of muscle mass and a reduction of physical activity, there is less energy required for the basic processes of the body. Nevertheless, contrary to general misconception, the basic requirements of nutrients do not decrease as well with aging. As a matter of fact, older people require increased amounts of certain nutrients. The challenging aspect is to create a plan for eating that provides lots of nutrients without too much calories. Of course, calorie requirements are dependent not only on age, but also on the activity level.

A nutritional eating plan can be achieved by selecting foods that are high in fiber and low in fat such as cereals and breads made with whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, along with healthy fats and oils. Plus, of course, adequate amounts of protein foods, such as eggs, fish, poultry, meat, and beans. Also, while foods that are high in calories, fat, and sugar can be indulged in occasionally, it is best to limit their consumption.

Here are some of the essential elements that you need to keep in mind while devising nutrition rich meals:

Calcium: While this mineral is essential at all ages, however it is particularly important as one grows older. Calcium is necessary for preventing osteoporosis and building strong bones. Many old people simply do not consume adequate amounts of foods that are rich in calcium, plus, the aging body is not as good at the absorption of calcium from food. Also, many adults do not get enough exercises that are weight bearing, such as walking, which helps to strengthen the bones.

According to nutritionists, those who are 65 and above require 1200 to 1500 mg of calcium in a day. However, since this amount may be hard to consume via food alone, it may be advisable for some people to take a calcium supplement, after consulting your doctor. In case you do choose to include a calcium supplement, it should be taken between meals, since calcium can interfere with iron being absorbed from other foods.

Some of the foods that are good sources of calcium are: cheeses, yogurt, low-fat milk, canned salmon that includes edible bones, leafy green vegetables, tofu made by adding calcium sulfate, and soy milk fortified with calcium.

Vitamin C: This helps in the absorption of iron from sources of food that are derived from plants. Low vitamin C levels may occur due to smoking and inadequate eating habits. Low levels of this vitamin can lead to iron deficiency, delay in the healing of wounds, and bleeding gums. Some of the best sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, tomatoes, melons, berries, green peppers, and so on.

Potassium: Although many people are aware of the importance of calcium and vitamin C, very few people know about how important potassium is. It helps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, as well as the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, and an adequate fluid balance. Most foods we eat contain adequate amounts of potassium, and yet people do not get enough of this mineral because they do not consume enough vegetables and fruits. Some of the foods that are good sources of potassium are: bananas, oranges, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, tuna, halibut, eggplant, chard, and so on.

Vitamin B12: This is very important for the formation of red blood cells, and a lack of it can lead to anemia. Some of the foods that are rich in vitamin B12 are: liver, which is the best source; mutton; beef; chicken; pork; whole egg; fish; yogurt; cheese; and milk. You could also take vitamin B12 supplements, after consulting your doctor, and B12 fortified foods.

Magnesium: This is required for a wide range of processes of the body. It strengthens the immune system and bones, while also playing a key role in the functioning of the nerves, muscles, and heart. 420 mg per day is the recommended amount for men, and 320 mg per day for women. Fish; fruits like artichokes, bananas, and dried figs; nuts like Brazil nuts, almonds, pine nuts, and cashew; vegetables like spinach, pumpkin seeds, white beans; and tomato paste.

Vitamin A: This is essential for maintaining good vision, the growth of tissues, and for immunity. Some of the best sources of vitamin A are: winter squash, spinach, carrots, and sweet potatoes.

Vitamin D: This helps in the absorption of calcium and is a preventive against diseases of the bone. It is produced in the body on exposure to sunlight. However, those who do not go outside much, or always use sunscreen when out in the sun, or have dark skin, do not produce adequate amounts of this vitamin from sunlight. About 20-30 minutes of exposing face or hands to sunlight about 2-3 times per week is enough to get adequate amounts of vitamin D. Some of the sources of food high in vitamin D are: fortified cereals and milk. You could also take vitamin D supplements, after consulting your doctor.

Vitamin E: This is a very good antioxidant that helps in protecting you cells from getting damaged. Some of the best sources of this vitamin are: almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and tomato sauce.

Fiber: The importance of fiber for older people can’t be over-emphasized. It keeps the bowel working in peak condition, and protects against intestinal problems. A healthy intake of fiber is also thought to help in protecting against some types of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Most vegetables, fruits and nuts are high in fiber. The recommended amounts of fiber per day for older people are: 30 gm for men and 21 gm for women.

Usually, there is a deterioration in the ability to taste and smell foods with aging, which results in food being less appetizing. Plus, certain medications can produce a bitter taste, which makes foods taste bad. In order to compensate for this, meals should be created by enhancing the flavor of foods. Flavors can be enhanced by adding spices, herbs, and lemon juice. Select foods that have interesting textures and look appetizing.

One of the best ways of incorporating a nutritionally healthy diet is to consume a wide range of foods, with the focus being on vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

Ways to Choose the Right High Chair for a Baby

p_101338209A high chair is necessary for your baby once she is ready for solid food. The best thing about a high chair is that you can easily strap your baby in it and feed her properly. These chairs are helpful not only while feeding, but also if you are planning to start teaching your baby to identify shapes and textures.

Your baby will be spending a lot of time in this chair. So, choosing the right high chair is of utmost importance. Buzzle understands every mother’s concern towards the safety and comfort of her baby, and therefore, has compiled all the useful tips on how to choose the best high chair for your little bundle of joy.

High Chair Selection Pointers

The Types
Knowing and understanding the types of high chairs available in the market is very important. It makes the selection process much easier. Depending on your needs and space constraints, make your purchase. The types of high chairs available are:

Basic metal- or plastic-frame high chairs are very simple to look at, as they are just molded plastic chairs with the option of seat belts, trays, wheels, and cushioning. They are not heavy on the pocket and are light in weight, but are not very safe or comfortable for your baby.

Full-featured high chairs are equipped with features like wheels to roll the chair from place to place, cushioned seats with safety belts, detachable trays, height adjustments, and reclining options. They are on the expensive side due to all the features that they provide.

Portable and hook-on high chairs are those that are not freestanding, and can be hooked on to the table. They can be moved and stored easily, and they do not take too much of space. The best part about this type of high chair is that it can be attached to a regular chair, and it costs less than a regular high chair.
Wooden high chairs look awesome, but are full of drawbacks. They are expensive, heavy, uncomfortable for your baby as the seat is too deep, the footrest is too low, and it is not very safe. These chairs are difficult to clean because they are made of wood and also because these chairs have too many crevices where crumbs can get lodged easily.

This factor makes it a bad choice for babies.

Safety

After you know and understand the types, safety is the next important concern. Make sure to buy a high chair that has the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) approval stamp on it. Apart from the JPMA stamp, look for safety features as mentioned below.
◆ Look out for blunt edges, points, and projections so that your baby does not sustain any injury, while in the chair.

◆ Opt for a chair with a sturdy construction and good stable balance so that your baby does not tip over or fall.

◆ The legs of the baby chair should spread wider than all the other parts of the chair.

◆ There should be no gaps, traps, or crevices, where your baby’s fingers and food might get stuck.
◆ The chair should not have small parts that can be a choking hazard for your baby.

◆ A secure locking mechanism should be present to keep the baby in place, the chair from collapsing, and operable only for parents.

◆ Wheels with a ‘lock and hold’ feature are the best.

◆ Go in for an adjustable 5-point harness that goes over the baby’s shoulders, between the legs, and around the waist to prevent her from slipping out or standing up, while in the chair.
◆ Choosing a chair with a crotch restraint is also very important.

◆ The back and side of the chair should not have very large gaps.

◆ The high chair should be devoid of pinch points to avoid your baby’s limbs from getting injured. This point also directly benefits parents, as even they might get their fingers pinched while adjusting or folding the chair.

◆ The chairs should be made of non-toxic material. Even the paints and glue used in the chair should be made from the same.

Other Features
After you check all the safety features thoroughly, you should also think about other features that you would like to have for your baby’s chair. Things like size of the tray, ease of cleaning, adjustability, storage, comfort, and cost are also very important factors in determining your purchase.

Tray and Cleaning

Look for a chair that has an easily removable and adjustable tray. Also, the tray should be big and void of concavities and angular ridges. Choose a tray that has a high, curved rim. Selecting a tray that does not have any indentations for cup holders, or an angular rim is for the purpose of easy cleaning. The tray should easily fit in the dishwasher or sink, and should have a dishwasher-safe cover. Apart from the tray, even the chair, seat, harness, and legs should not have too many areas that are hard to clean. The seat and harness should be detachable, and you should be able to wash them in a washing machine.

Adjustments and Storage

The height of the high chair and the tray placement should be adjustable. A sturdy locking facility should be present in every adjustment. Another factor that should be taken into consideration is that the high chair should be easily convertible into a booster seat, or a small kid-sized chair so that you can use it for your baby up to the age of about 5 years. Easy to fold and keep away when not in use is a point that many new parents make. If you are new to parenthood, you should choose a chair that folds easily, which you can either keep against the wall, or one that can stand independently. Also, make sure that the tray won’t be a problem for you when you plan to fold the chair. Many parents complain that they have to keep detaching the tray whenever they fold the chair, and it gets a tad inconvenient. So, choose a chair whose tray can be folded with the chair without the added hassle of removing and attaching it all the time.

Comfort and Cost

Comfort is a factor that should never be ignored. Your baby needs to be comfortable in her seat. Therefore, choose one that has enough padding to provide comfort for your little one, but still not be too difficult a task for you to clean. Like all nursery furniture varieties, the prices of even high chairs can skyrocket. Hence, choose a chair that fits your budget and needs. If you see a model that has everything you need, but makes you extend your budget a little more, think about it because your child will be making use of it till she is at least 5 years old, plus the chair has to be safe. Compromises should never be made on a child’s safety and comfort.

At the end of the day, select a high chair that is safe, comfortable, and fits your budget. Take a look at many designs and styles of high chairs, and after thorough study, make your purchase.