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Breast self-examination: 8 steps

Posted by on Sep 30, 2015 in Health Topics | 0 comments

Breast self-examination: 8 steps

 This great guide will take you through eight easy steps of how to examine your breasts. Raise your arm over your head. Examine your right breast with your left hand. Use a skin cream with a gentle lather to make your hand glide more smoothly over the skin. Use light pressure when examining the breast. Use deep pressure when examining the breast. For pendulous breasts, suport the breast with one hand while examining with the other. After your shower or bath stand in front of a mirror with a good light. Look for any visual changes in your breasts Note. the right breast is slightly larger than the left this is not uncommon. any change in the following: size, shape, level of nipples, obvious lump, skin colour, dimpling, or tethering, change in skin of the nipple. lift your arms abouve your head to see whether there is any dimpling or tethering of the skin. A change in the nipple itself may be a sign of problems. Look at it carefully to see whether there have been any changes such as inversion (nipple pulled inwards) or a discharge. Gently squeeze the nipple a small discharge may emerge which may be: -clear -dark green/brown/black -pinkish or blood stained (if its blood stained see your doctor immediately!) Check for lymph nodes in the armpit on each side and also feel above the collar bone Lie down over a folded towel or pillow. This allows the breast to flow over the chest wall so that the breast tissue is more easily...

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25 names for sugar

Posted by on Sep 4, 2015 in Health Topics | 0 comments

25 names for sugar

Do you know how to read nutrition labels? If not, you could get caught up in buying products that are far higher in salt, sugar, saturated, or trans fat than you imagine. According to Discovery Vitality’s Healthy Active Kids reportand Vitality’s ObeCity index, as a nation, we are eating far too much sugar. Being able to understand a nutrition label will keep you from unknowingly eating too many added sugars. For instance, did you know that there are two parts of a nutrition label? One part typically deals with the values of each nutrient in the food; the other deals with the ingredients. When you’re looking for how much sugar is in a product, it’s important to look at both of these components. How to spot a sugar fraud When you buy a packaged food product, it’s always a good idea to check the label, but checking the ingredients list can sometimes be confusing. Sugar can be disguised in many ways. Here are just 25 names to look out for: high fructose corn syrup, fructose, deflavoured fruit juice, maltose, maple syrup, brown sugar, agave nectar, sucrose, molasses, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, crystalline fructose, syrup, invert sugar, honey, cane crystals, malt syrup, cane sugar, coloured sugar, raw sugar, glucose, sucrose with added molasses, fruit juice concentrate, evaporated cane juice. If any of these is listed as one of the first ingredients, it means that there is quite a lot of sugar in the product. The less sugar there is in the product, the further down the ingredients list it will be. Be sugar smart It’s also a good idea to check the nutritional information table. This can help you to see how much sugar is in the product, even if you don’t know what the sugar is called in the ingredients list. According to the World Health Organisation, the maximum amount of sugar an adult should eat is 25g a day. Children should eat even less: 15g a day. Look for the amount of Total Sugar listed under Glycaemic Carbohydrates on the table. There will be two numbers listed for sugar: one is the amount per 100g; the other is the amount per serving. If you stick to the recommended serving size, check that the amount of sugar in the product won’t put you over your daily limit. Source: Discovery...

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Fight Spring allergies

Posted by on Aug 31, 2015 in Health Topics, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Fight Spring allergies

The warm days of Spring are here again and as welcome as the warmth and sunshine might be, it also signifies the start of Spring allergy season. 1. Know what you are allergic to You may think you know what’s causing your allergy symptoms, but an allergy specialist (allergist) may be able to help identify your triggers. An allergist can perform tests to pinpoint the cause of your suffering and then find the right treatment to stop it. 2. Get over-the-counter medication If you know you’re prone to sniffles and sneezes as the weather warms up, now is the time to stock up on allergy medications, don’t forget to also look in the homeopathic and natural medicine aisles for relief. But you’ll still need to see your doctor if you take prescription-only drugs to ease your allergies. 3. Wash hands frequently Develop a healthy hand hygiene routine by frequently washing hands with soap and running water for at least 30 seconds to remove clinging pollens and keep hands germ free. Don’t touch your already sensitive eyes with dirty hands and try rinsing eyes with cool water after coming indoors to help minimize the effects of pollen. Shower and wash hair at night to prevent pollens from getting into bedding. 4. Regularly cleaning your home Spring cleaning sounds like a lot of work, but ridding your home, car, office or playroom of bacteria, mold, dust and other grime can keep you free of spring colds and help you cope better with seasonal allergies. Plus, all that window washing and floor sweeping will burn some calories too. 5. Pets and allergies can go hand in hand A tip for dog or cat owners who are allergic to fur: bathe your pets frequently. Your pet’s saliva on the fur from cleaning itself or on your skin from slobbery kisses can also incite an allergy reaction. In addition to bathing your pet, remember to wash your hands soon after you’ve had direct contact with your furry friend. Although there is no real cure for seasonal allergies, it is possible to relieve symptoms and still enjoy the start of the warm season and all its beauty. Remember, frequent handwashing with warm water and soap is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stay healthy. Also cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze to combat the spread of any infections. source:...

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How much salt is too much?

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Health Topics | 0 comments

How much salt is too much?

Do you know that eating too much salt is bad for your health? Although our bodies need a little bit of salt, it’s easy to eat too much. Here is the rule: kids and adults only need to eat around one teaspoon of salt a day. Eating more than one teaspoon of salt a day can harm your health by increasing your blood pressure. High blood pressure can in turn increase your risk for heart disease and stroke – even in young people. You’d be surprised to know how much salt is in everyday foods and how much more salt you eat than is good for you. In fact, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa says that South Africans eat eight times more salt than we should be. That is, seven teaspoons of salt more each day than the recommended amount. This fact goes hand-in-hand with the troubling number of people in South Africa who suffer from high blood pressure. South Africa has one of the highest rates of hypertension in the world. Many foods contain added salt – swap the culprits for healthier alternatives   What you may not know is that a lot of the salt you eat, you’re getting from your food before you even add any at the table. Despite this, reducing your family’s salt intake isn’t that difficult. A lot of the changes you can make to reduce salt intake are also good for overall health. One of the biggest sources of high salt in the diet is processed foods; particularly processed meats like polony or viennas. These foods contain high quantities of saturated and trans fats which are also bad for your heart. All it takes is a simple swap for healthier options, like fresh chicken breast, ostrich fillet or fish. You’ll know the amount of salt you’ve added; and these are overall better for you. Some foods contain more salt than you might expect. Here are foods high in salt and what you can swap them with for healthier choices: Breakfast cereals. Choose high quality breakfast foods like boiled eggs or rolled oats over processed cereals. Bread can be surprisingly high in salt. Look carefully for bread that has the Heart Mark logo – this shows you the product is healthier and lower in salt than others. Processed foods of any kind. Particularly processed meats like sausages, polony, viennas, biltong, dry wors, and deli or sandwich meats are high in salt. Cook food from scratch and choose fresh varieties of meats like cuts from the butchery, fresh poultry, and fresh or frozen fish with no marinade or seasoning. Sauces, soups, and stocks are often made with huge amounts of salt. Although you may not use much, they can almost double your daily salt intake. Make your own broth with fresh vegetables and meat, and flavour it with unsalted herbs and spices. The solution to make sure you eat only one teaspoon of salt a day? Choose low-salt foods, fresh ingredients, and add herbs for flavour. Not adding extra salt to your food can help to reduce your risk for heart disease by 40%. Prepare meals with healthy, fresh ingredients for yourself and your kids and you’ll feel the benefits for life. Source: Discovery...

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Active parents have active children

Posted by on Jul 26, 2015 in Health Topics | 0 comments

Active parents have active children

How active are you? You may not think that your health has much of an impact on your kids’ health, but it does. The more active you are – the healthier and more physically active your kids are. Going to the gym just twice a week influences your children to become more physically active than their peers whose parents do not. But Discovery Vitality’s ObeCity Index, which measured the health and wellbeing of people living in some of South Africa’s major cities, found that most adults do not meet the daily minimum recommended amount for physical activity. While there are many reasons that levels of physical activity are decreasing, many of them are easy to overcome. Here are some great ways to get yourself more physically active, and improve the health of your kids as well: Take a break from screen time. Having more televisions or computers in the home and having a television in the bedroom is linked with higher use. Parents’ rules regarding television and computer use are connected with lower levels of sedentary behaviours in young people. Studies have shown that engaging in more than four hours of screen time daily poses a significant health threat. So instead of watching television, spend time together as a family cooking a healthy meal, playing, practising sport, or engaging in hobbies like music or dancing. Turn inactive time into active time. Instead of sitting while taking phone calls, watching television, or helping the kids with homework, stand. And when you’re standing while brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, or cooking, do some squats, leg lifts, or lunges. Take the time to look after yourself. Make time for yourself and go to the gym, go for a run, a cycle, or do some yoga on the living room floor. All the better if you can bring your children with so they can see you being active – many gyms now have sections where children can enjoy some active play while you work out. Find fun ways to play. Children need quite a lot of physical activity to help them grow and develop healthily. Think of your children’s physical activity needs as an opportunity to get the whole family active. An event like parkrun can offer fun exercise for the whole family while you earn Vitality points. Bike parks, running trails, play grounds, or even dog parks can offer you great ways to exercise and have fun as a family. Keeping physically active is one important factor that can help to improve your health, and the health of your kids. Make an investment in your health and in their future by staying physically active. Source: Discovery...

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