Let's face it, ladies: Doctor visits are short. And they're getting shorter. What if your doctor had more time?Here are some points which are wants you to know.
Consider these tips your prescription for a lifetime of wellness.
1. Zap your stress.
"The biggest issue I see in most of my patients is that they have too much on their plates and want to juggle it all. Stress can have significant health consequences, from infertility to higher risks of depression, anxiety, and heart disease. Find the stress-reduction method that works for you and stick with it."
2. Stop dieting.
"Eating healthy doesn't mean you have to forgo your favorite glass of wine or a piece of chocolate cake now and then. The key is moderation. Get a mix of lean proteins, healthy fats, smart carbs, and fiber."
3. Don't “OD” on calcium.
"Too much absorbed calcium can increase the risk of kidney stones and may even increase the risk of heart disease. If you're under 50, shoot for 1,000 milligrams per day, while over-50 women should be getting 1,200 milligrams per day mainly through diet -- about three servings of calcium-rich foods such as milk, salmon, and almonds."
4. Do more than cardio.
"Women need a mix of cardio and resistance or weight-bearing exercise at least three to five times a week to help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Exercise also promotes good self-image, which is really important to a woman's mental health."
5. Think about fertility.
"While many women have no problem getting pregnant in their late 30s and even into their early 40s, a woman's fertility may start to decline as early as 32. So if you want to have kids, talk to your doctor about options, like freezing your eggs."
6. Appreciate birth control.
"Birth control gets a bad rap, but not only can it keep you from getting pregnant before you're ready, studies show it can lower the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer as well as regulate your cycle."
7. See your doctor every year.
Make sure you get a Pap test to check for cervical cancer every 3 years if you are 21 or older. If you are 30-65, you can get both a Pap test and HPV test every 5 years. Older than that, you may be able to stop testing if your doctor says you are low risk. If you are sexually active and have a higher risk for STDs, get tests for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis yearly. Take an HIV test at least once, more frequently if you’re at risk. Don't skip your yearly checkup. Your doctor needs to annually assess many other issues such as potential infection, your need for contraception, and sexual complaints."
8. Have good sex.
"Sex reduces stress and may lower the risk of chronic disease -- but only if you enjoy it. If anything prevents you from sexual fulfillment, such as dryness or pain, talk to your doctor to find a solution."
9. Get more sleep.
"Sleep needs differ, but if you have trouble getting out of bed, tire easily, or have trouble concentrating, you likely aren't getting enough. Recent studies suggest this can put you at greater risk of heart disease and psychological problems."
10. Consider genetic testing.
"Doctors can now screen people with a family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and chronic diseases to assess their risk -- and then consider preventive measures. Talk to your doctor."
Zap your stress.
The biggest issue I see in most of my patients is that they have too much on their plates and want to juggle it all. Stress can have significant health consequences, from infertility to higher risks of depression, anxiety, and heart disease. Find the stress-reduction method that works for you and stick with it.
Eating healthy doesn't mean you have to forgo your favorite glass of wine or a piece of chocolate cake now and then. The key is moderation. Get a mix of lean proteins, healthy fats, smart carbs, and fiber.
Don't OD on calcium.
Too much-absorbed calcium can increase the risk of kidney stones and may even increase the risk of heart disease. If you're under 50, shoot for 1,000 milligrams per day, while over-50 women should be getting 1,200 milligrams per day mainly through diet -- about three servings of calcium-rich foods such as milk, salmon, and almonds.
Do more than cardio.
Women need a mix of cardio and resistance or weight-bearing exercise at least three to five times a week to help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Exercise also promotes good self-image, which is really important to a woman's mental health.
Think about fertility.
While many women have no problem getting pregnant in their late 30s and even into their early 40s, a woman's fertility may start to decline as early as 32. So if you want to have kids, talk to your doctor about options, like freezing your eggs.
Appreciate birth control.
Birth control gets a bad rap, but not only can it keep you from getting pregnant before you're ready, but studies also show it can lower the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer as well as regulate your cycle.
Get more sleep.
Sleep needs differ, but if you have trouble getting out of bed, tire easily, or have trouble concentrating, you likely aren't getting enough. Recent studies suggest this can put you at greater risk of heart disease and psychological problems.
Eating healthy nutritious food is the simple and right solution to get rid of excess body weight effortlessly and become slim and healthy forever.”―Subodh Gupta, Author of 7 Habits of Skinny Woman
The celebrated author sure knows what he is talking about. Nutrition is the building block of our overall health. We need adequate amounts of vitamin and minerals for our systems to work at the optimum level. With our hectic schedules we may not be able the adequate amounts of these nutrients leading to deficiencies which affect our health. Iron is one such nutrient that is important for our bodies.
Iron and Our Health
Iron is an important mineral that performs several functions in our body; the most important of them being the production of red blood cells which carry oxygen in the body. It also enables our muscles to store and use oxygen.
Iron is a part of many enzymes and so it helps in the performance of many cell functions. Enzymes facilitate digestion of foods and other important reactions that occur within our body.
Iron deficiency is also known as anaemia or iron deficiency anaemia. This condition is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies, particularly in children and pre-menopausal women. This condition is characterized by the depletion of the body’s stores of iron and inability of the body to maintain normal levels of haemoglobin in the blood.
Haemoglobin is a substance that is present in red blood cells that enable them to carry oxygen throughout the body. Lack of sufficient iron makes the body unable to produce enough haemoglobin. This results in functional and health impairment which adversely affects the functioning of several organ systems.
Causes of Iron Deficiency
The causes revolve around insufficient consumption of iron or losing too much iron. In both the cases, your body is unable to produce enough haemoglobin. Some of the most common iron deficiency causes are as follows.
1. Increased Iron Needs:
There are certain conditions under which people need additional amounts of iron
Infants and toddlers have greater iron needs in comparison to older children as they are in the rapid growth phase and at times it becomes difficult for them to get enough iron from their normal diet.
Pregnant women need more iron because their iron sources need to serve their own increased blood volume as well as provide haemoglobin for the growing foetus.
2. Loss of Blood:
When people lose blood, they also lose iron as blood contains iron within the red blood cells. So they need extra iron to replace the lost iron.
Women with heavy periods are more likely to suffer from iron deficiency anaemia as they lose blood during menstruation.
Certain ailments like peptic ulcer, hiatal hernia, a colon polyp or colorectal cancer also cause slow chronic blood loss within the body, resulting in iron deficiency.
Gastrointestinal bleeding due to regular use of some over the counter pain relievers such as aspirin can also cause anaemia. Internal bleeding is the most common cause of iron deficiency in men and postmenopausal women.
3. Lack of Iron in Diet:
The iron needed by our bodies is mostly obtained from the foods that we eat. Consumption of too low a dose of iron over time can lead to iron deficiency. Iron-rich foods include meat, leafy vegetables, eggs and iron-fortified foods. Infants and children also need iron from their diet for their proper growth and development.
4. Mal-absorption of Iron:
Besides consumption, iron from food should be absorbed into your bloodstream in your small intestine. Celiac disease is an intestinal disorder that affects your intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients from digested food, thus causing iron deficiency. Absorption of iron is also affected if part of your intestine has been bypassed or removed surgically. The amount of iron absorbed from foods depends upon other factors given below.
Iron from animal sources like meat, chicken and fish is heme iron which can be absorbed 2 to 3 times more efficiently than non-heme iron from plants.
Absorption of non-heme iron from plant foods depends upon the other types of foods eaten with them. For instance, foods like meat, chicken and fish which contain heme iron increase absorption from foods containing non-heme iron such as fortified cereals, spinach and certain beans. Foods containing vitamin C can also enhance the absorption of non-heme iron when eaten at the same meal.
Substances like polyphenols, phytates or calcium which are found in some foods or drinks such as tea, coffee, whole grains, legumes, milk and dairy products can decrease the absorption of non-heme iron.
Victims of Iron Deficiency
Though anyone can suffer from iron deficiency, certain people are at greater risk. Since the risk is high their needs for iron is greater than others.
Women lose blood during menstruation and so they are at a greater risk of suffering from anaemia. Pregnant women can also get this deficiency because of high iron requirement.
2. Infants and Children:
Infants, particularly those with low birth-weight or born prematurely, do not get enough iron from breast milk or formula and so they are at a higher risk of iron deficiency. Children need extra iron during growth phase. Children with special health needs such as those with chronic infections or restricted diet are also at risk.
Those who do not eat meat are at a higher risk of iron deficiency. As stated earlier, plants contain non-heme iron which needs to be supplemented with other sources of heme iron like meat, fish and eggs to facilitate their absorption.
4. Frequent Blood Donors:
Those who donate blood frequently are at an increased risk of iron deficiency as their iron stores get depleted due to blood donation. Low haemoglobin caused by blood donation is, however, a temporary problem which can be cured by eating iron rich foods.
Iron Deficiency Symptoms
Inadequate levels of iron can impair body functions. Most physical signs and symptoms do not show up as they are mild. You can notice them only when your anaemia gets worse. The symptoms are not visible during the early stages of iron deficiency. A person having iron deficiency may have the following symptoms.
Tiredness and weakness
Shortness of breath
Difficulty in concentrating
Slow cognitive and social development during childhood
Coldness in hands and feet
Difficulty in maintenance of body temperature
Slow immune function which increases susceptibility to infection
Glossitis (inflamed tongue)
Symptoms in infants and children:-
Short attention span
Slow growth and development
Delayed development of skills like walking and talking
Iron Deficiency Diseases
Iron deficiency is a serious condition which, if taken lightly, can lead to long term health issues. Mild deficiency of iron causes no severe complications, but when left untreated, it can lead to the following health issues.
Severe deficiency of iron can cause anaemia due to the disruption of the normal lifespan of a red blood cell. In this condition, haemoglobin levels are so low that the blood is unable to enough oxygen to the cells, thus affecting the entire body. Symptoms of anaemia include looking very pale, breathlessness, dizziness and fatigue. It also results in reduced immune function and impaired growth and cognition.
2. Heart Ailments:
Deficiency of iron can lead to rapid or irregular heartbeat. When you are anaemic, your heart is required to pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen carried in your blood. This can cause enlarged heart or heart failure.
3. Inadequate Growth:
Severe deficiency of iron can lead to delayed growth and development in infants and children. It is also associated with increased susceptibility to develop infections.
4. Complications in Pregnancy:
Pregnant women are at a higher risk of iron deficiency. It can lead to premature births and babies with low birth-weight. This condition can be easily prevented during pregnancy by taking iron supplements as part of prenatal care.
5. Colon Cancer:
Iron deficiency is one of the causes of colon cancer. A research conducted on 628, 882 patients of 40 years of age and above indicated that 3.1% or 19, 349 patients had iron deficiency anaemia. Thus, those suffering from iron deficiency are at a greater risk of developing colon cancer.
Iron deficiency can result in fatigue. It is characterized by depression and lack of sleep. Hence, iron deficiency should be recognized and treated to prevent fatigue.
Treatment of Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency should not be ignored as it can lead to several health problems. Proper diagnosis and treatment of this problem is important before the condition worsens. Iron deficiency can be easily diagnosed by taking a haemoglobin test which measures haemoglobin or haematocrit test which measures the percentage of red blood cells in your blood by volume.
Reduction in haemoglobin and haematocrit levels indicates a serious deficiency of iron. Treatment of iron deficiency depends upon other factors such as your age, health and cause of iron deficiency. Some of the ways of treating iron deficiency are given below.
1. Consumption of Iron Rich Foods:
Mild deficiency of iron can be cured by including iron rich foods in your diet. The iron from animal sources like meat, poultry and eggs is more easily absorbed by your body. If you are a vegetarian, you need to increase your intake of iron-rich plant-based foods to absorb the same amount of iron as the plant sources.
2. Iron Supplements:
Iron supplements such as iron tablets and capsules are often recommended by the doctors to replenish the iron stores in your body. To facilitate better absorption of iron in the tablets, it is beneficial to take them on an empty stomach. Since these tablets can upset your stomach, it is often recommended to take them with meals.
3. Consumption of Foods Rich in Vitamin C:
Vitamin C enhances the body’s absorption of iron. It is advisable to drink citrus juice or other foods rich in vitamin C at the same time when you eat high iron foods. Citrus juices like orange juice or lemon juice contain vitamin C which helps your body to better absorb dietary iron. Iron supplements should also be taken with a glass of citrus juice or vitamin C supplement for better absorption.
4. Treatment of Underlying Causes of Iron Deficiency:
If the iron supplements fail to increase your blood iron levels, the deficiency is due to a source of bleeding or iron absorption problem which needs to be diagnosed and treated. Treatment of the underlying causes of deficiency involves the following.
Medications such as oral contraceptives to lessen heavy menstrual flow
Antibiotics and other medications for the treatment of peptic ulcers
Surgery for removal of a tumour, bleeding polyp or fibroid
5. Treatment of Iron Deficiency in Infants:
Apart from the supplements recommended by the doctor, babies should be fed with breast-milk or iron-fortified formula in the first year. Cow’s milk is not a good source of iron and so it should not be given to infants below the age of one year. Iron from breast milk can be more easily absorbed than the iron found in formula.
Iron deficiency cannot be cured overnight. If your deficiency is severe, it can take several months or even longer to replenish your reserves. Besides ingesting iron in the form of supplements, it is advisable to incorporate dietary changes i.e. consume iron rich foods. So don’t become iron deficient, follow these tips to avoid any complications. Stay fit, stay healthy!
Turmeric is a popular spice known for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. However, excess intake of the spice seems to do more harm than good. For instance, turmeric may cause diarrhea in certain individuals.
There are other possible ways turmeric may cause adverse effects. In this post, we will explore them, along with ways of prevention.
Turmeric Side Effects
1. May Cause Gastrointestinal Problems
Turmeric hasn’t been found to cause any kind of stomach issues or other gastrointestinal reactions when consumed as a part of a cooked curry. However, evidence suggests that taking turmeric by itself or as part of a treatment for arthritis may lead to gastrointestinal issues
The curcumin in turmeric, when taken by those with pancreatic cancer, caused abdominal fullness and pain in some of the patients.
Though turmeric is generally recognized as safe, it may cause gastrointestinal upsets in certain individuals.
In a small rat study, the ingestion of curcumin for 6 days produced ulcers.
Also, if you have dyspepsia or hyperacidity, you may want to avoid turmeric. The curcumin in turmeric may aggravate dyspepsia.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that turmeric supplements might also cause issues of the stomach. However, we need more research here, especially in adults who consume more than the recommended dosage (400 mg to 3 g) of the supplements for prolonged periods..
Ensure you take turmeric only within the recommended dosage.
2. May Cause Gallbladder Contractions
Studies show that the curcumin in turmeric may cause gallbladder contractions – 40 mg of curcumin was found to produce a 50% contraction in the gallbladder.
Turmeric supplements of 20-40 mg were also reported to increase gallbladder contractions.
Some experts believe that the oxalate in turmeric may also increase the risk of gallstones. However, direct research is limited in this aspect. If you are at risk of gallstones or have gallbladder issues, please check with your doctor before using turmeric in your diet.
Stop taking turmeric if you have any type of gallbladder issues or are on medication for the same.
3. May Cause Diarrhea And Nausea
Diarrhea and nausea are two of the common symptoms associated with turmeric supplementation. This is because the curcumin in turmeric has a tendency to irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
As per certain clinical studies, individuals supplemented with 0.45 to 3.6 grams of curcumin per day for 4 months experienced mild nausea (3.6 grams of curcumin per day is a relatively high dose). Even low doses of curcumin can provoke nausea in certain individuals.
Take turmeric within the prescribed limit. If you observe any symptoms, stop the intake and consult your doctor immediately.
4. May Increase Risk Of Kidney Stones
As per a study, too much of turmeric might increase the risk of kidney stones. This is because of the presence of oxalates in turmeric. The oxalates can bind to calcium to form insoluble calcium oxalate, which is primarily responsible for kidney stones.
In the study, turmeric ingestion had lead to a higher urinary oxalate excretion when compared to cinnamon, thereby substantiating the fact that it can cause kidney stones .
Avoid turmeric if you have any kind of kidney issues, especially kidney stones.
5. May Increase Bleeding Risk
Curcumin in turmeric has shown to decrease platelet aggregation . This may increase the risk of bleeding.
Daily intake of turmeric may help maintain anticoagulant status, and this may also elevate bleeding risk..
The curcumin in turmeric was also found to alter the functioning of blood thinners (like warfarin). However, it had no effect on the anticoagulation rate of the medication .
To be on the safe side, individuals on medications like Warfarin or Coumadin (an anticoagulant) must steer clear of curcumin as it may magnify the effects of these medications.
Avoid turmeric if you are on blood-thinning medication.
6. May Cause Allergic Reactions
Curcumin can be a contact allergen. Certain individuals have reported contact dermatitis and urticaria (a form of round rash) due to contact with turmeric. Since turmeric belongs to the ginger family, one is more likely to be allergic to it if they are allergic to ginger. You can also be allergic to turmeric if you are allergic to yellow food coloring .
Applying turmeric to your face may cause your skin to turn yellow. This effect is harmless. However, those allergic to turmeric may develop rashes or dermatitis on their faces. Research is limited, and more studies are required to find out how turmeric can affect the skin.
Turmeric can also cause shortness of breath. Reactions can occur from both skin contact and ingestion .
If you have an allergy for yellow food coloring, it is best to stay away from turmeric.
7. May Lead To Infertility
The curcumin in turmeric was found to reduce sperm function in a mice study. It also inhibited fertility. The mice study considered turmeric to be an ideal contraceptive .
In another study involving fish, turmeric was found to suppress the development of ovarian follicles. It also resulted in subfertility (a delay in conception) .
It is also believed that turmeric may lower testosterone levels and decrease sperm movement in men. However, there is no evidence to support this yet.
Take turmeric in moderation and avoid excess usage.
8. May Cause Iron Deficiency
As per mice studies, compounds in turmeric were found to bind to iron. This could decrease the body’s ability to absorb iron from food, thereby leading to iron deficiency.
If you have iron deficiency, avoid turmeric, and consult your doctor regarding its usage. Check your iron levels in your blood before including turmeric in your diet.
9. May Lower Blood Pressure Way Too Much
Well, this could sound like a benefit. But lowering blood pressure way too much can cause complications.
Turmeric may have hypotensive effects. If you are taking it along with medications for lowering blood pressure, you may experience excessively low levels of the same.
Avoid turmeric if you are already on blood pressure medication.
10. May Be Risky During Surgery
This has to do with turmeric’s tendency to inhibit the blood-clotting process. Though there is no direct research here, it is likely that turmeric may interfere with blood clotting during surgery. Patients who are considering surgery may have to refrain from consuming turmeric one to two weeks before surgery and consult their doctor.
If you are considering surgery, you must refrain from consuming turmeric one to two weeks before surgery.
11. Unclear Information On Its Effects On Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
There is not enough information available on turmeric side effects on pregnant and breastfeeding women. Since they are crucial periods in any woman’s life, it is best to keep turmeric supplements away temporarily.
Turmeric has been rarely studied in breastfeeding women, and it is quite unknown if its active compounds would pass through breast milk. The resultant effects on breastfed infants are also unknown.
As there is insufficient information in this regard, avoiding turmeric supplements completely (including the supplements) during pregnancy and breastfeeding will be ideal. Also, please consult your doctor.
Immunity-Booster Foods: Most of us, millennial moms are in nuclear families today and feel alarmed of the possibility of our kids getting sick, especially if we are working. Kids with their developing immunity system are especially prone to catching such infections in this chilly weather. The cold weather makes them susceptible to many diseases, which are commonly associated with the winters like cold and flu, throat infections and stomach problems. Since children are more carefree and like to stay mostly outdoors, they are definitely more vulnerable to infections and health issues. To keep them healthy, powerful antioxidants are needed which are rich in vitamin C. Staying hydrated at all times, eating green leafy vegetables and loading up nuts and seeds daily are some preventive measures.
Here Are 5 Foods That Can Boost Immunity:
1. Fruits and vegetables
All seasonal fruits and vegetables are incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. These food groups are low in calories; nonetheless, most of them are packed with vitamin A and C that help in building up a child's immunity. The best ones to include in daily diet as immune-booster are fruits like guava, oranges, papaya, berries and vegetables like pumpkin, onions, dark green leafy vegetables etc.
Yogurt makes us strong by providing immunity. Yogurt has great potential as a protective, anti-infection agent. Increased yogurt consumption might help increase one's resistance to immune-related diseases such as infections. This healthy snack is packed with calcium and several other nutrients that help maintain strong and healthy bones. Yogurt may help your little one feel fuller too.
3. Proteins to the rescue
Proteins from animal sources contain ample amounts of all the essential amino acids and are a must for immune cells. They are found in fish, poultry, cheese, eggs, and milk. Vegetarians can get their protein in grains and legumes like soybeans, rajma, chickpeas etc.
Walnuts and almonds have healthy omega-3 fatty acids that help your body fight illness. One small study found omega-3s cut the number of respiratory infections in kids. Walnuts are easy to sprinkle into a snack mix or on cereal.
5. Indian condiments and spices
Indian condiments and spices like garlic, ginger and turmeric have antiviral and antibacterial properties. It also stimulates production of white blood cells within the body and is also an antioxidant. Garlic helps prevent cold and flu symptoms.