Category Archives: Uncategorized

Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy Weight Gain

Weight gain for a pregnant woman seems like a given to most people. What most of us don’t think about is how much weight can be gained without posing a health risk to the mother and the child. Resent conclusions coming out of an ongoing study are revealing that there are indeed dangers in a pregnant woman gaining too much weight -the danger of gestational diabetes to be specific. Researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research are reporting that women who gain more weight than is recommended by the Institute of Medicine have a 50% increased risk of developing GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus). Their study involved nearly 1,200 women from varying ethnic backgrounds over a three year period of time. The danger of pregnant women developing gestational diabetes is that it causes complications in as much as seven percent of pregnancies in the United States. GDM can lead to C-sections, early delivery and type 2 diabetes, and increases the child’s risk of developing obesity and diabetes later in life. Monique Hedderson, PhD, a scientist at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research and lead researcher recommended that “health care providers should talk to their patients early in their pregnancy about the appropriate gestational weight gain, especially during the first trimester, and help women monitor their weight gain. Our research shows that weight gain in early pregnancy is a modifiable risk factor for gestational diabetes.”

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New Research: Garlic Fights Cancer

Garlic has long been held in high regard as an effective and natural source for healing. New research is giving credence to garlic as a potent method of preventing and mitigating the destructive influences of cancer. Scientists from Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center have created a new method for testing urine that shows a person’s  garlic consumption levels, as well as the risk for cancer. The study’s lead researcher Earl Harrison explained: “What we were after was developing a method where we could measure in urine two different compounds, one related to the risk for cancer, and the other, which indicates the extent of consumption of garlic.” “Our results showed that those were inversely related to one another — meaning that the more we had the marker for garlic consumption, the less there was of the marker for the risk of cancer.” The trend towards using nutrition as a means of fighting and preventing cancer is encouraging. More and more people look to garlic as one of the many remedies that nature provides for an ailing humanity.

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Hooked on Cross Country Skiing

One of the reasons that we moved HEALTHandMED.com to Cedar City, Utah from the Chicago area was to be able to enjoy the mountains.  I have begun taking my daughters Liahona (age 13) and Saige (age 12) cross country skiing with the Cedar Mountain Nordic Ski Club.  I’m kind of surprised how swift the girls can ski.  Maybe they will be competing in the 2014 Olympics instead of watching at home?  We were using rented skis, but I went ahead and purchased three sets of cross country skis off of ebay last week.   On Saturday, the club went to the Duck Creek area, which is 30 miles east of Cedar City.  This time we didn’t go on a groomed trail — we went off into undiscovered corners of the woods.  It was pristine wilderness.  We even saw a loon. I was taught many years ago in school that cross country skiing is one of the very best forms of exercise that a person can do.  First of all, it is the ultimate calorie burner.  Vigorous back country mountain cross country skiing burns 1,122 calories per hour and brisk recreational cross country skiing burns 612 calories per hour.   It is also a total body workout — using all the muscles in both the upper and lower body.   Because no single muscle group is overstressed, the activity can be sustained for hours on end, which results in a fast heart rate sustained over a long duration.  This is exactly what our hearts need in order to improve their capacity to pump blood.   Lung capacity is increased.  For many people, the sunlight absorbed through the skin might be the only natural source of Vitamin D that many people get over the winter months.   Cross country skiing is a low impact workout that does not damage the joints.  And the second wind that a cross country skier feels during a good workout on the trail is second to none.    Like I said, we’re hooked.   One of these days, I will need to get my wife and three younger daughters out on the trails. Of course, another great way to burn calories and improve heart health and overall health is by to use the FIR-Real portable far infrared sauna, which actually burns 300 calories in 15 minutes. (even more calories per minute that cross country skiing!)  You don’t even have to exercise but you get many of the benefits of exercise.   I agree that this is not as fun as cross country skiing but it is very convenient to do in in your home and doesn’t take up much space.   See FIR-Real Sauna.

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Biggest Shipping Day Ever

We have seen continual growth here at HEALTHandMED.com and last week we set a new record. We shipped so many packages in one day that the UPS man almost had to come back for a second pick up. We managed to capture some of it on video and make it available on YouTube for everyone’s enjoyment. Here it is:

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Napping Improves Ability to Learn

The routine nap is common place for children, but somewhere along the way most people grow out of the habit of taking a daily nap. In many cases, adults who take regular naps are looked upon as lazy or unhealthy. New research about the vast benefits of regular napping is shifting the way our culture sees the afternoon nap. In a recent UC Berkeley sleep study researchers found that to clear the brain’s short-term memory storage and make room for new information humans need sleep. “Sleep not only rights the wrong of prolonged wakefulness but, at a neurocognitive level, it moves you beyond where you were before you took a nap,” said Matthew Walker, the lead investigator of these studies and the assistant professor of psychology at UC Berkeley. Over the past several years, various researchers have concluded that fact-based memories are stored temporarily in the hippocampus before being sent to the brain’s prefrontal cortex where it’s believed that the brain has more storage space. Walker explained that “it’s as though the e-mail inbox in your hippocampus is full and, until you sleep and clear out those fact e-mails, you’re not going to receive any more mail. It’s just going to bounce until you sleep and move it into another folder.” “I can’t imagine Mother Nature would have us spend 50 percent of the night going from one sleep stage to another for no reason. Sleep is sophisticated. It acts locally to give us what we need,” said Walker. Napping can be seen as less a lazy person’s pass time, and more a scientifically supported way of improving one’s learning ability, as well as their general well being. Now let’s all go take a nap.

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An Essay, by Ginger Roth

Since HEALTHandMED.com launched it’s fundraiser last week for Ginger Roth’s therapy at the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding her treatment and what we are doing to ensure she gets it. We thought it would be fun to post this essay that she wrote about horses so we can all get to know her a little better.

I Like Horses

By

Ginger Roth

Horses come in many different colors, shapes and sizes from small to big.  The biggest can weigh almost 3000 pounds.  They can stand as high as 6 feet at the shoulders down to small or miniature horses and ponies as well.  Horses come in a variety of colors from brown, black, white, gray, tan, and many variations in between including dots and unique markings.  Horses live in the wild as well as being kept outside in pastures and barns and stalls.  Humans and horses have been together for centuries and have really benefited each other especially before the invention of cars.  Horses can have babies called colts and fillies and have live births like humans.  When they are first born they need encouragement from their mom’s to stand and then eventually nurse and survive. I like horses because you ride on their backs.  I like horses because they are an animal that you have to take care of.  They like to eat hay and you can give them horse treats if they like them.  They have a neck and they have a mane of hair down the back of their neck.  They have two feet in the front and two in the back with hooves as the end of their feet.  They can also wag their tail and swing it high when they are happy. Horses drink water and they eat hay and sometimes are fed grains and horse treats.  They also like carrots and apples, like I do.  They have to be brushed and groomed.  They like to be brushed after you ride them and before they get put away in their stalls.  You also need to keep their hooves clean and some horses wear horseshoes.  You have to take good care of horses otherwise they die. And if you do take good care of them, then they stay alive.  To take care of a horse you have to brush them and groom them and feed them and water them and make sure they are taken good care of. You have to be gentle with a horse and you have to move slowly around the backside of a horse so that you don’t get kicked.  My horse Zippy sometimes lifts her tail up when I walk behind her.  Horses sometime poop and pea like people do, only they go on the ground and then you have to clean up poop out of their stalls. I get to ride a horse named Zippy at the Colorado Therapeutic Riding center (CTRC).  She is a good horse.  Sometimes she likes to trot and run fast.  Sometimes she’s bad and sometimes she’s good.  She is an Appaloosa that is white with brown spots and brown eyes.  She used to be in rodeos and would carry the rodeo queens in parades.  She is a beautiful show horse.  I love to ride Zippy.  She is my favorite horse.  I wish that someday I could own Zippy or an amazing horse like her.  I love horses!

Thank you Ginger for your essay, and thanks to everyone who is helping to fund her therapy.

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Zen Meditation Reduces Physical Pain

There does not seem to be any end to humanities search for ways to deal with pain. Zen meditation has long been known as a powerful method of pain mitigation; however, a study has just been published in  Emotion, the American Psychological Association journal, which is rekindling the debate over the possible benefits to be had from this ancient practice. “Through training, Zen meditators appear to thicken certain areas of their cortex and this appears to underlie their lower sensitivity to pain,” explained lead author Joshua A. Grant. “We found a relationship between cortical thickness and pain sensitivity.” Grant went on to explain that meditative practices can be helpful for pain management, for any condition where the grey matter is compromised such as stroke or for preventing normal age-related grey matter reductions. “The often painful posture associated with Zen meditation may lead to thicker cortex and lower pain sensitivity.”

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Induced Labor Increases C-Section Risk

The growing trend in America of inducing labor has long been an issue that stirs controversy. Induced labor is often planned, but in many cases it is a decision made by a concerned doctor who doesn’t think the pregnancy should go on any longer. Whatever the case, new research is showing a direct link between inducing labor and c-sections. Dr. J. Christopher Glantz at the University of Rochester School of Medicine discovered that inducing labor introduces a risk of 1 to 2 cesareans per 25 inductions, which by waiting for spontaneous labor to begin could have been avoided. In a report in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology Dr. Glantz emphasized that while c-section procedures have become more common, C-sections are still major surgeries which carry serious risk of infection, blood clots, bleeding, and injury to other organs. Dr. Glantz recommends that pregnant women wait for spontaneous labor, emphasizing that they may be better off doing so. “Try to reserve interventions for situations where risk outweighs benefit,” said Glantz, such as in cases of diabetes, a baby that is not growing well, high blood pressure, problems with the placenta, or a woman being 10 days past her due date.

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Before Shoes Humans Ran Safely and Comfortably

The normal heel-to-toe method of running has come under scrutiny over the years because of its damaging effects on the human body. The damaging impacts that occur from heel-to-toe running are equivalent to two to three times a runner’s body weight. Scientists seem to have found a way to keep runners healthy and happy -running barefoot. Professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University, Daniel E. Lieberman explains, “People who don’t wear shoes when they run have an astonishingly different strike. By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel-strike. Most people today think barefoot running is dangerous and hurts, but actually you can run barefoot on the world’s hardest surfaces without the slightest discomfort and pain. All you need is a few calluses to avoid roughing up the skin of the foot. Further, it might be less injurious than the way some people run in shoes.” Lieberman goes on to explain that humans have evolved strong, large arches that we use as a spring when running. By running toe-to-heel we are tapping into the body’s natural ability to excel at running safely and comfortably. However, one should be mindful before taking off their shoes. “Running barefoot or in minimal shoes is fun but uses different muscles,” says Lieberman. “If you’ve been a heel-striker all your life you have to transition slowly to build strength in your calf and foot muscles.”

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Eating And Drinking During Labor?

Traditionally, the practice of restricting fluids and food during labor has been thought to be beneficial. Practitioners have held this view since the 1940s. The restriction is thought to prevent Mendelson’s syndrome (named after work by Dr. Carl Mendelson), a very rare, but sometimes fatal, result of regurgitated acidic stomach contents entering into the lungs when a general anesthetic is given. Research coming from Queen’s University is poised to change this long held belief. “Based on our review, there is no convincing and current evidence to support restriction of fluids, and perhaps food, for women during labor. Women should be able to choose for themselves,” says Dr. Joan Tranmer of the Queen’s School of Nursing. “The food and fluid restriction can be stressful and uncomfortable for some pregnant women, especially for those who are in labor for more than 12 hours and unable to eat.” Dr. Tranmer continues, “Instead of eating ice chips, a snack can provide some nourishment, comfort and much needed energy.” Professor Tranmer went on to explain that the use of general anesthesia is quite rare nowadays, and when it is used the techniques have improved so much since the 1940s, that the risk of maternal death or illness is very low.

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