Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Ways to Choose The Right Dental Insurance

USA based Aetna and Cigna supplies a wide array of Dental Insurance for family members, consumers and college students. Aetna and Cigna offers positive aspects through several organisations in the United states of america. Should you be serious about acquiring Aetna Insurance, you need to know that lots of of their Dental Insurance Plans are meant as Health Maintenance Organizations, or HMOs. This means that you may be forced to choose a medical provider from the network to become your Primary Care Health Practitioner. Having said that, Aetna and Cigna prides itself on supplying choice to consumers and has numerous other Dental Insurance options available. Almost 19 million folks in the United States receive Dental Insurance Coverage through Aetna and Cigna

Not all of Cigna’s Dental Insurance Coverage force patients to work with an HMO. Aetna even offers several PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) Dental Insurance Plans as well as a few more traditional options that permit individuals to go to any service provider they select. Pupils are also able to choose to purchase Aetna Dental Insurance Plans should they be not protected under his or her parents’ Insurance Plans. Most Dental Insurance Plans usually are competitively priced and, as a result of network framework, sometimes have more affordable deductibles than comparable Insurance Plans from other businesses. Available Insurance Plans can vary among states.

Aetna offers Dental Insurance Plans as an addition to its Insurance Plans although dental just isn’t offered as a stand-alone product or service. Features and prices will vary. Dental Insurance Plans via Aetna are structured much like their medical insurance; you can choose a DHMO (Dental Health Maintenance Organization, or as Cigna calls it, a DMO), PPO, indemnity, or freedom-of-choice. Individuals that decide to sign up for a DMO plan will be required to go with a Primary Care Dentist who can take care of all necessary dental treatments. Maintenance is covered entirely once just about every 6 months and simple procedures are taken care of following a co-pay is determined. Cigna Dental Insurance Coverage has the benefit of life and impairment insurance for your customers.

Despite the fact that Aetna and Cigna is considered the leading Dental Insurance Plans providers out there, like any other business it’s got both advantages and disadvantages. Aetna does impose pre-existing condition omission time periods and carries out intensive health care underwriting. Fresh mothers should consider another health coverage provider if they are expecting a baby and can’t handle the expenses by themselves. Cigna Insurance Plans is not going to include maternity-related expenditures; it will do, however, handle pregnancy issues. Infants also are insured for the very first 31 days. Lastly, Aetna will not provide Dental Insurance Plans to any person older than 64 ¾ years of age. The broad protection and very competitive prices Cigna delivers could very well be good enough to counteract most of these drawbacks. Seek information before you make a final decision.

Should you need assistance obtaining Dental Insurance Plans with Cigna, kindly visit their websites and provide your contact information to enable them to respond to your request and make suggestions.

Osteoarthritis Treatment for You

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of arthritis occurring at middle age due to the wear and tear of the joints. It is a normal physiological part of the aging process. Almost every person suffers from this type of arthritis in a milder or severe form depending upon the precipitating factors. Basically, osteoarthritis means the loss of cartilage between the bones of the affected joints.

Obesity, overuse of the joints, age, genetics, gender (women are more likely to develop arthritis), trauma are considered to be some of the general risk factors. Common sites to be affected are knee, hip, spine and small joints of the hands. Pain and stiffness that increases with activity are the main symptoms of osteoarthritis. Swelling and joint instability may also be a symptom in some cases.

The changes in the articular cartilage being irreversible, osteoarthritis can only be controlled and further thinning of cartilage can be arrested. In some cases pain-free condition can be achieved by combination of treatments.

Treatment of Osteoarthritis

Arthritis Medications
Arthritis medications need to be individualized for every person. Analgesics, NSAID’s, and COX-2 inhibitors are the painkillers used for joint pain relief to ensure mobility in the aching joints. Calcium and mineral supplements can be used to reduce osteoporosis. Some nutritional supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are used to minimize cartilage destruction.

Local Therapy
Topical creams and liniments can be used for pain relief. They provide temporary relief as they act superficially by relieving the pain in the muscle. Heat therapy is used for muscle relaxation and relieves the aching joints. Heat application is contra-indicated if the joints are swollen. Cold application helps to reduce the pain in such joints.

Intra-articular Treatments
Intra-articular corticosteroids can be administered in severe cases of joint pain and inflammation, but long-term and repetitive use should not be encouraged.

Physiotherapy and Exercises
Physiotherapy helps in reducing pain, stiffness and improves muscle strength and mobility of joints. Muscle strengthening exercises need to be done stringently, to support the affected joint. Excessive stress on the joints should be avoided while exercising, as it might aggravate further degeneration of the cartilage.

Weight Loss
Weight loss is the most effective way to treat this condition. Overweight individuals tend to put a lot of pressure on the knee, back and hip joints; this further accelerates the degeneration of the cartilage. Taking off the extra kilos can significantly arrest the cartilage thinning process.

Living with Osteoarthritis
Patient education is a very important aspect of arthritis management. The patient needs to be educated about the dos and don’ts in daily activities. Squatting, kneeling, prolonged standing, sitting cross-legged, lifting heavy weights should be avoided. Regular Exercises, weight maintenance and medications need to be strictly followed. Different types of braces and aids for the knees and spine can be used for supporting the affected joints.

Surgical Management
Advanced osteoarthritis needs surgical treatment like arthroscopy, osteotomy, or a total joint replacement surgery.

Prevention
Prevention is the best cure and it should start in early adulthood. Though we can’t stop aging, it’s important to stop premature and disabling aging. Moderate muscle strengthening exercises should be done regularly. Healthy weight should be maintained with the help of exercises, and it’s necessary to adopt a balanced diet. A healthy diet would help keep the excess weight off our joints thus reducing undue stress on them. Sports injury and other minor injuries should be prevented.

Ways to Help Prevent Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis, which occurs in adults by the age of 45-50. This condition normally affects the joints of the body like the spine, hips, knees, feet and hands. There are many causes for the occurrence of this condition, the most common being lack of lubrication amongst the joints, that makes its movement difficult and painful. Another reason being wear and tear of cartilage that covers the bone, over a period of time. The cartilage on the bones is there to protect your joints and establish a smooth layer on them to allow its free and easy movement, but osteoarthritis breaks down the smooth cartilage, increases friction that leads to rubbing of bones against each other and causes immense pain. Usually older women are more likely to develop this condition than men. The hormone estrogen in women, is responsible for blocking or slowing down the bone loss. The loss of estrogen after menopause is one of the major causes for developing osteoporosis.

Thankfully, there are ways for you to combat the onset of this condition. To prevent oneself from osteoarthritis is not a very daunting task, you have to follow certain preventive tips to lower your risk of having this condition.

Preventive Measures to Avoid Osteoarthritis

Regular Exercise

Exercising regularly is the best way to fight the condition of osteoarthritis. Regular exercise, strengthens your muscles and keeps your joints flexible. There are certain exercises that can put your muscles and joints through a lot of tension. If you feel you are overdoing any form of exercise, make sure you modify these exercises or avoid doing them at once, so that there are no further complications. You can also try low impact exercises like yoga, swimming, walking and stretching that will strengthen your muscles and loosen your joints.

Correct Posture

Always try to maintain a good posture while sitting and standing. Make sure you do not slump in the couch while watching TV or when you are sitting in your chair at the workplace. In case you have a history of osteoarthritis in your family you ought to be more careful. The advice is quite simple, all you have to do is wear a seat belt while driving, get a regular check up in case you experience severe pain, and avoid injury if at all possible.

Avoid Stress on Joints

Knee or elbow pads should be used while playing any kind of sport (like skating, tennis, dancing and so on) that would increase the risk of joint injuries. If certain repetitive movements or actions are causing pain, modify it in a way that it reduces the pressure on the joints. And if your job requires you to work in a certain position that is causing discomfort (like typing and choreography), make sure you vary your activities and movements so as to not pressurize your joints too much.

Maintain Correct Body Weight

Obese people are more prone to problems like this, because the knees are responsible for carrying your body weight and excess weight can put stress on your knee and hip joints, that can lead to osteoarthritis. Maintaining a correct body weight not only reduces risks related to osteoarthritis but also those associated with various heart diseases. Being in shape makes you look and feel good as well.

Do Not Ignore the Pain

Although this advice will sound cliche, people don’t always follow it. Learn to recognize your body signals and also do not push your body too hard, when it comes to doing some activities or exercises. In case you have overstressed your joints, make sure you give them a good hot oil massage or use a hot water bag in the aggrieved area. This will give you instant relief and also loosen your joints.

So, here you are with some handy tips to prevent osteoarthritis. Make sure you see the doctor immediately if the pain aggravates and before the condition gets worse. After all, prevention is better than cure.

Finding Osteoporosis Treatment for You

A bone is a living tissue, and can break and repair itself, like all tissues. But age diminishes its reconstruction capacity, resulting in spaces (tiny holes) which reduce its density. The bone becomes fragile and causes fractures (cracks) in the hip or compressions in the vertebra. Bones are made up collagen, calcium, and protein―deficiency of these also leads to osteoporosis. The spine, hips, and wrists are most affected by bone fractures caused due to osteoporosis. Although, all skeletal bones are also vulnerable to osteoporosis-related fractures.

The symptoms are not noticed unless a fracture occurs, after which, there is a noticeable pain that radiates to other parts of the body. In osteoporosis, healing takes longer, and in the process, it could fracture a number of other bones. This condition cannot be cured completely, but can be prevented and managed. Prevention will help increase bone density and strength, whereas, early detection and timely treatment can decrease the risk of future fractures.

Hormone Therapy (HT)
This therapy helps prevent bone loss and fractures, and increases bone density. It is known to help in preventing osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Estrogen-based medication is commonly prescribed by doctors. Progesterone is also routinely given in combination with estrogen However, hormone therapy doesn’t suit everyone, and is known to cause some side effects.

Prescription Medications
Raloxifene (Evista): It belongs to a class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs). It has similar healing properties as estrogen, minus the side effects of increased risk of breast and uterine cancer.

Bisphosphonates: This group of medication helps increase bone density in the spine and hip, and reduces the risk of fractures by preserving bone mass and inhibiting bone breakdown.

Teriparatide (Forteo): This drug has similar properties of a parathyroid hormone, and is used to treat osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, and men. Unlike other therapies that prevent further bone loss, teriparatide stimulates new bone growth.

Calcitonin: This hormone is produced by the thyroid gland and helps reduce bone loss. In some patients, it is known to provide pain relief from compression fractures in the spine. It is either administered through an injection or as a nasal spray.

Strontium Ranelate: This drug encourages the growth of new bone tissues, and is useful for women with menopausal symptoms, as it lowers the chances of breaking any bones.

Nutritional Supplements
Nutritional supplements like calcium and vitamin D are usually prescribed to ensure maximum effectiveness of the drug therapy. Adequate intake of calcium, protein, and vitamin D helps maintain bone density and prevent osteoporosis.

Nutrition and Lifestyle Factors
A balanced diet rich in calcium and protein will help make the bones stronger and reduce chances of further breakage. Milk, milk based products, calcium-fortified orange juice, and salmon are some of the calcium rich foods one can consume. Curtailing alcohol intake and smoking is also beneficial in treating osteoporosis.

Certain weight-bearing exercises like riding stationary bicycles, walking or jogging will help reduce the probability of bone fractures associated with osteoporosis. Special exercise programs under medical supervision can help in rehabilitation after a fracture. Exercising will also help in maintaining a good body weight, as being over or under weight further aggravates osteoporosis.

Alternative Physical Therapy Program
Weighted kypho-orthosis (WKO) is a new physical therapy which has been designed to reduce back pain, benefit posture, and reduce the risk of falls in patients with osteoporosis. WKO is a harness with a light weight attached, and is worn daily for 30 minutes in the morning and afternoon, and while performing back extension exercises. Although this treatment is still in its infancy, it has shown some significant improvements in patients suffering from osteoporosis.

Psychological and Emotional Therapy
Many patients with severe osteoporosis incline towards depression, as this bone disease affects movement and tends to increase dependency on others. It is important to ensure continuous support, as it would help in lessening the feelings of isolation and depression.

Osteoporosis can affect anyone, though it is observed more in menopausal women. It can’t be cured, but can be managed with a combination of medical treatment and a few lifestyle changes.

Choose Yoga Poses for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is the loss of bone density, which happens when the levels of calcium and minerals deplete in the bones, and they start becoming weak. Bone density generally starts declining in our thirties.

Common treatments for osteoporosis include, medications like calcium and mineral supplements, and light exercise. Yoga has specific poses or ‘asanas’ that focus on increasing bone strength. They help reduce aches and pain that follow in osteoporosis. Besides, one can continue conventional treatment and still follow yoga regularly.

According to research by Dr. Loren Fisherman, Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine, a group of people aged 68 years on an average, were scanned for bone density. After the scan, half of them were taught yoga poses. After two years, again a scan was conducted on the same group of people. The conclusions were stunning, as people who practiced yoga showed healthier bone density. In fact, they gained bone density. The other half who did not practice yoga, lost a considerable amount of bone density.

Yoga Poses for Osteoporosis and Bone Health

Extended Triangle Pose
‘Utthita Trikonasana’

The three angles that are formed in this pose represent the three facets of yoga; mind, body, and spirit. This pose gives the entire body a good stretch, wherein, the lower body is strengthened.

Half Moon Pose
‘Ardha Chandrasana’

This pose is very beneficial for providing relief from pain experienced due to osteoporosis. The pose focuses on strengthening the spine and abdomen. It also stretches the legs and glutes.

Bridge Pose
‘Setu Bandha Sarvangasana’

This pose is therapeutic to osteoporosis, and gives a relaxing stretch to the spine, neck, chest, and back. It strengthens the back, pelvis, and spine.

Twisted Triangle Pose
‘Parivrtta Trikonasana’

This pose gives the spine a gentle twist, which puts pressure on the bones, and the body responds to it by building more bone for strength. This pose also supports the spine and builds strength.

Tree Pose
‘Vrikshasana’

The tree pose is excellent for improving body posture. It stretches the spinal cord in great alignment with the body. It strengthens the back, shoulders, and hip muscles, and assists the body in achieving stability and balance in the hip muscles.

Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend
‘Prasarita Padottanasana’

This pose puts weight on the hips and legs, and strengthens the lower body. It is beneficial, as the weight-bearing act strengthens the large bones of the hips and legs. It also improves posture and flexibility. The pose also lends concavity and flexibility to the spine.

Seated Twisting Pose
‘Ardha Matsyendrasana’

In this pose more pressure is put on the spine. The spine gets a gentle twist and stretch, which, in turn, puts pressure on the bones, but not the vertebrae. The body responds to this pressure in a way that it builds more bones.

Cobra Pose
‘Bhujangasana’

This pose gives the spine a stretch with a gentle back bend. It strengthens the spine and upper back muscles. The pose is excellent for improving the posture of the spine. Poses that focus on the spine are very beneficial for preventing a hunchback, which is a common sign in osteoporosis.

Chair Pose
‘Utkatasana’

In this pose, the muscles around the hips are strengthened. These are most susceptible to injury, and the most common site for osteoporosis. It aligns the body with great balance, which in turn, also improves posture.

Remember, as we age, our bones become weaker. When we are young, sudden body movements do not create complications, in most cases. But, the body cannot take sudden and extreme body movements when we are older. In osteoporosis, especially, there is a risk of harm to the bones with uncontrolled and extreme movements. So, always be gentle when performing any yoga pose. Take your time, and slowly move in and out of the pose. Always warm up, first and stretch your body well.

Finding Activities for Senior Citizens

A lot of emphasis is put on keeping ourselves fit and occupied while we are in our salad-days. But, we should spare a thought about our old-age as well. It is the stage in which we need maximum attention and it is the stage in which we can very well become a couch potato. While working for as a customer service agent for a UK-based online-shopping company, I was impressed with the zeal and enthusiasm with which senior citizens kept themselves involved. From art and craft items, to hot-air balloons, their attitude towards life was exemplary. That is one of the reasons why I thought of writing an article on the activities in which our senior citizens can indulge themselves in.

Mix about 200 small safety pins in an ice-cream bucket along with dry oatmeal. Blindfold a person and time them for around 10 minutes and let them see how many pins they can find in the dry oatmeal. Let everyone have a turn (blindfolded), and the one who finds the maximum number of pins, wins a prize.

Pick up some inexpensive items from your local grocery store. Good choices would be toiletries, kitchen items, personal care products, and home decorations. These items can also be gift-wrapped as mystery prizes. You will also require some fake money, which is equally distributed along the participants. The auctioneer will pick up a single prize at a time, and start the bidding.

Everyone is supposed to get their own fishing pole and bait along. It will help the seniors relax as well as keep themselves occupied. There should be prizes for the maximum fish caught and the biggest catch.

Organize a yoga class. This is extremely beneficial to senior citizens, and each person should do only those yoga exercises that they are comfortable with. However, this activity needs care and caution.

Some Other Activities for Seniors

  • Organize a one-mile walk. This is something which is within the capability of most senior citizens.
    Mental exercises like solving puzzles and doing mathematical calculations without using a paper and pencil could be undertaken. This might delay the onset of serious old age diseases like Alzheimer’s, or delay the progress of the disease in people already afflicted by this disease.
  • Monthly birthday parties can be a good way for senior citizens to catch-up with each other. Also, it will make the birthday a memorable experience.
  • Have a quiz regarding movies, songs, TV shows, actors, and other categories that the seniors are familiar with or are enthusiastic about.
  • Playing Favorites – We guess each person’s favorite choices, for example, their favorite sport, favorite food, or favorite music genre. Keep prizes for those who guess it right and win.
  • Sculpting for seniors – You could use the soft clay products, which are made for children. There should be a prize for the quickest sculpture created and the best looking sculpture. This activity would also help in strengthening the seniors’ dexterity and muscle control.
  • A holiday trip to a scenic spot could be organized. Nature is one of the most effective healers for the mind.
  • Hold a flower decoration competition. Supply the flowers, vases, and scissors. You are allowed to take your handmade creation home.
  • Supply the seniors with cameras. Each one can take pictures of their favorite items, and display them to others as a slide show.
  • You could also place your favorite recipe among many recipes, and ask the seniors to guess it.
  • Each senior can talk for a few minutes offering personal advice and tips on health-related issues.

These were some activities for seniors. As we mentioned before, it is very important that senior citizens keep themselves occupied with some of the other activity, otherwise life can get a bit monotonous. Not only will these activities keep the senior citizens busy, these will also help them in being healthy and spontaneous. We hope that this article would be useful to everyone, especially our senior citizens.

Ways to fight Dental Anxiety

Dental Anxiety is one of the reasons why most people don’t set an appointment with their dentists for oral care.  People should be aware that Dental Anxiety is a psychological issue that needs to be addressed properly to avoid high risk dental issues. Not just children, but even adults nowadays are having anxiety in addressing their dental concerns. Just the thought of visiting their dental clinic makes them sick.

I myself experienced this kind of fear before studying dentistry! Yes I am now a dentist, and this blog is to help you out overcoming your fear that I had once in me.

I did not want to visit a dental clinic before. Thinking of the large equipments that they use for dental procedures made me ill, and would cause me mental panic disorder. I also hated the smell of hospitals and just the feeling of going inside a clinic made me panic mentally.

Don’t get me wrong but I have been taking care of my oral hygiene. In fact, I have been very particular when it comes to my oral health. I thought that just brushing my teeth with my preferred toothpaste and mouthwash, three to four times a day, and doing it daily, would guarantee that I’m keeping my oral health perfectly steady.

I was wrong!

Consultations to professional dentists are needed to make sure that you are doing things right when it comes to your oral health.

I have here some tips that worked for me when I was innocent about dental phobia.

 How to overcome Mild Dental Anxiety:

Dental anxiety or also known as Dental Phobia, is a fear of consulting a dentist, fear of dental procedures failure, and possible negative thoughts about having dental sessions.

-Talk to your Dentist.

            Your dentist is the first person to help you overcome your dental anxiety. You have to be open to your dentist about your feelings towards dental sessions. Be specific about the fear. You need to make sure that your dentist understands what you are going through to determine the exact and specific treatment for you. They are responsible of providing you smooth, easy and relaxed oral care experience.

-Relax your Breathing

            Control your way of breathing through your mind. Your thoughts will affect your feelings and it will also affect your breathing. Occupy your mind with happy thoughts to divert your fear into positivity. You need to simply inhale and exhale slowly while closing your eyes. When you inhale, hold it for 5 seconds and exhale through your mouth. This will help your mind be relaxed. Its mind over matter, you can conquer it!

-Using Relaxation Techniques

            Create techniques for you to be relaxed. You can have a stress ball or you can bring your playlist of your favorite songs and listen to them during the session. Know yourself so that you’ll find out what are those techniques that you can apply to yourself in order to conquer your anxiety.

How to Overcome Severe Dental Anxiety:

This is a kind of anxiety that cannot be treated through the tips mentioned above. This is something that has to undergo thorough examination with your doctor. However, you can also apply the above tips to make you feel a little better.

This type of dental phobia is not just psychological that we can easily cure through healing our thoughts, and creating some techniques to help the mind be comfortable and relaxed.

Severe Dental Phobia would take days and time to conquer. Good news is, here at Bramcountry, we always have effective ways to help you achieve your perfect smiles!

-Dental Sedation

It is the best and faster yet effective treatment for any levels of Dental Anxiety.

There are different types of sedations. Your doctor will evaluate you first by going through your medical records to provide you the best sedation process suitable for your body.

The very simple sedation is the oral one. It’s a tablet which you take or swallow an hour before your session. Possibilities are, you will stay awake during the dental treatment, or you’ll feel a bit drowsy and more relaxed as you undergo treatment.

If oral sedation won’t really work for you, your dentist will give you Intravenous Sedation. This is injecting you medicine to help you calm down and be relaxed during your session.

Again, severe dental anxiety would take time, and efforts to be fully healed. If Dental Sedation won’t still work for you, try these helpful tips below as your last results

-You need to undergo Counseling

            You will be assessed by your doctor to know the root cause of your phobia. The goal here is to know you as a person and as to why you are developing this phobia, as there are factors that make a phobia developed. Through this process, your doctor will be able to find out how to work through it so that you can conquer your fear.

-Try Supporting Networks and Forums

            Since Dental Phobia is very common nowadays, there are wide numbers of support networks and online forums that support people who are suffering from dental anxiety. You can look for a website yourself and try it out. For example,  Dental Anxiety Network.

The tips above really helped me out. Know yourself. Practice your mind to be brave. Dental Anxiety or Dental Phobia is only in the mind. Change your thoughts towards Dental Health Care.

I can guarantee you that you’ll be living your life with your brightest smiles!

Finding Best Comfortable Dentistry

Your smile is your best natural signature that you can give to people around you. Make sure your oral health supports your smile with sound health. One of the easiest ways to keep your teeth intact and mouth healthy is to visit a dental clinic regularly. Even if your teeth are in good shape and you are not facing any health related issue. A regular visit to your dentist is the first step that you can take to keep your oral health and hygiene under check, luckily for the people of El Paso, the El Paso dental clinic run by experienced and professionally qualified dentist. Whether you want to get a bright and shiny smile or need a dental health service for the more complicated problem, consulting a right dentist will help you in getting over all your dental issues.

The dental health is wide and to keep it organized, many well-managed dental clinic has categorized their services. There you can consult a dentist for rehabilative dentistry, preventive dentistry, restorative dentistry and children’s dentistry.

 When it cone to choose a dental clinic for any of this service, make sure you pick a dental clinic with a sound infrastructure. The success of the dental treatment is largely decided by the experience of the dentist and performance of the equipment. Choose a well-maintained El Paso dental clinic near to you and trust the best for your oral health.

 No matter how careful you are with your oral health, there comes a time when you seriously need to consult a dentist to get rid of oral health issue.

 Whether your teeth are distorted by birth or your smiles have been the victim of an accident or any other medical treatment, at El Paso dentistry you can find a solution for all the dental problems. Many people avoid visiting dentist mainly due to two reasons. First is the painful procedure and the second one is heavy medical bill charged by the dentist. Luckily, you can find solutions to both these problems, now most of the hi-tech and advanced dental clinics are offering restorative treatment. You can even ask the dental clinic about the dental insurance plan, this will solve your payment worries as well.

 Keep your 32 pearls intact and healthy with proper oral health care. Consult your dentist twice in a year and prevent any major dental issue. You don’t have to worry about tooth decay, plaque or bad breath problem; all you have to do is to consult a reliable and well-trained dentist.

Lifestyle advice during pregnancy

Follow a healthy balanced diet

During pregnancy it is important to continue to eat a healthy balanced diet. In the initial three months it may be difficult to eat adequately due to nausea vomiting of pregnancy. For women with a normal pre-pregnancy weight, a weight gain of 11-16 kg over the pregnancy is normal which is usually divided as 1kg, 5 kg and 5 kg in respective trimesters. Too much weight gain increases risk of developing problems later in the pregnancy. Briefly, a third of most meals should be starch-based foods (such as bread, cereals, potatoes, rice, and pasta), with fruit and vegetables. One must eat plenty of fibre, protein foods such as meat, fish, pulses, chicken, etc, every day.
Include foods with plenty of iron, calcium and folic acid– a growing baby needs these nutrients right from the start of the pregnancy:

  • Iron: red meat, jagerry,  pulses, dried fruit, green vegetables and fortified cereals.
  • Calcium: dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt. (Low-fat milk, cheeses and yoghurts usually contain just as much calcium as the full-fat varieties.)
  • Folic acid:  green vegetables, brown rice, and fortified cereals.

Foods and drinks to avoid

  • Anything with a lot of vitamin A.
    • Liver and liver products and cod liver oil supplements
    • Vitamin tablets or supplements which contain vitamin A
  • Undercooked meats and eggs: Make sure all meat foods are cooked until piping hot. Eggs should be cooked until the white and yolk are solid. Avoid foods that may contain raw eggs.
  • Limit the amount of caffeine to no more than 300 mg per day (One mug of instant coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine).


Vitamins and supplements

Folic acid
Folic acid should ideally be taken from 1 month before conception till 3 months to reduce risk of any neural defect in baby. Spinach, sprouts, broccoli, green beans and potatoes are rich source of it. Some bread and breakfast cereals are fortified with folic acid.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is needed for growth and supplements are recommended for all pregnant women, breast-feeding women. The dose in pregnancy or breast-feeding is 400 units (10 micrograms) daily. And women who are have minimal or no sun exposure would need a higher dose 800 units (20 micrograms) daily. Low vitamin D levels have been associated with hypertension and premature birth in recent studies. But over dosage too would be detrimental.

Later such children may develop- Cheast infections, Glue ear, Sudden infant death syndrome, behavioral problems, low IQ, Attention deficit Hyperkinetic disorder

Alcohol

Pregnant women should not drink alcohol. It can pass to the baby wherein baby and leads to fetal alcohol syndrome- Multiple abnormalities in fetus. In others, it may cause miscarriage, poor baby growth, premature labour and physical and mental disability.

Exercise

During pregnancy some form of regular physical activity is important and safe as part of living a healthy lifestyle. Moderate physical activity including both aerobic physical activity and  muscle strengthening exercise when performed for at least 30 minutes is helpful for both mother and baby’s growth. Women should choose activities that will minimize the risk of loss of balance and fetal trauma.

Sex

Sex is generally safe for most couples during pregnancy. It needs to be avoided in cases with low lying placenta or where bag of waters is broken. However as the pregnancy progresses with a big bump certain positions may be uncomfortable.

Working during pregnancy
Working in an environment that doesn’t pose risk of infection, trauma, injury is permissible during pregnancy. One must discuss possible occupational hazards with their obstetrician.

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.