Posts made in July, 2013

Teenage Health

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Health Topics | 0 comments

Teenage Health

Healthy Eating for Teens The teen years are a time of rapid growth. They need extra nutrients to support bone growth, hormonal changes, and organ and tissue development, including the brain. The two main nutrients of concern for teenagers are calcium and iron. Importance of calcium Calcium is important for bone growth. If teens optimize their bone health, they have a decreased risk of teen fractures and of developing osteoporosis during adulthood. Females are particularly at risk if they do not meet their calcium requirements. Females aged 13 to 17 have an intake of approximately 1000 mg/day while the daily recommended intake (DRI) for this age group is 1300 mg/day. Males of the same age meet their requirements at about 1400 mg/day. The low calcium intake in females is due to the low intake of milk and other dairy products. To meet the DRI for calcium, teens should follow Canada’s Food Guide for Healthy Eating’s recommendation of 3 to 4 servings of milk products per day. Keep in mind, though, that calcium is not just found in dairy products. Importance of iron Iron is another important nutrient for teenagers. Females need iron when they start menstruating; males need it as they gain lean body mass. On average, male teens meet their iron requirements with little difficulty. However, females aged 13 to 17 barely meet their requirements of 15 mg per day. Healthy eating for teens Aerobic Exercise for Teenagers  You need aerobic exercise to keep your heart and lungs working their best. But what happens when you ignore aerobic exercise and spend most of the summer playing computer games with your friends? Chances are, you gain weight. When you try on your jeans for school, you can barely pull up the zipper. So you listen — and take action, walking the half mile to the bus stop in the mornings and afternoons instead of catching a ride with a friend. You run the track at PE even when the coach gives you free time. And you sign up to be on the school’s swim team, which practices every afternoon. You strengthen your cardiovascular system with aerobic exercise. Exercise for teens Teenagers: How to stay healthy Will the habits I have now really make a difference when I’m older? Yes, 65% of all deaths in adults are caused by heart disease, cancer and stroke. In many cases, these diseases were preventable. Many of the behaviors that cause these diseases begin at a young age. For example, if you use tobacco as a teenager, you’re more likely to get heart disease, cancer or stroke when you’re an adult. What can I do now to keep myself healthy? Avoid using any type of tobacco product. Try not to breathe second hand cigarette smoke. Get regular exercise. Eat a healthy diet. Always use your seat belt. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t get into a car with a driver who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs. Wear protective headgear, such as motorcycle or bike helmets, when participating in sports. Never swim alone. Talk to your parents or your doctor if you’re feeling really sad or if you’re thinking about harming yourself. Avoid situations where violence or fighting may cause you to be physically injured. If you have sex, use condoms to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. (Remember, however, the “safest” sex is no sex.) See your doctor regularly. What might my doctor do? The doctor might do any of the following to help you stay healthy: Determine your risk for certain health problems. Measure your height, weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Order tests to check your general health or...

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World Hepatitis Day

Posted by on Jul 28, 2013 in Health Topics | 0 comments

World Hepatitis Day

Hepatitis A 1.4 millionestimated cases of hepatitis A every year. Fact sheet on hepatitis A Hepatitis B 240 millionpeople live with chronic HBV infection. Fact sheet on hepatitis B Hepatitis C 150 millionpeople are chronically infected with hepatitis C virus. Fact sheet on hepatitis C What is hepatitis? Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are five main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These five types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread. In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids. Common modes of transmission for these viruses include receipt of contaminated blood or blood products, invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment and for hepatitis B transmission from mother to baby at birth, from family member to child, and also by sexual contact. What are the different hepatitis viruses? Scientists have identified five unique hepatitis viruses, identified by the letters A, B, C, D, and E. While all cause liver disease, they vary in important ways. Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is present in the faeces of infected persons and is most often transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. Certain sex practices can also spread HAV. Infections are in many cases mild, with most people making a full recovery and remaining immune from further HAV infections. However, HAV infections can also be severe and life threatening. Most people in areas of the world with poor sanitation have been infected with this virus. Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HAV. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is transmitted through exposure to infective blood, semen, and other body fluids. HBV can be transmitted from infected mothers to infants at the time of birth or from family member to infant in early childhood. Transmission may also occur through transfusions of HBV-contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use. HBV also poses a risk to healthcare workers who sustain accidental needle stick injuries while caring for infected-HBV patients. A safe and effective vaccine is available to prevent HBV. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is mostly also transmitted through exposure to infective blood. This may happen through transfusions of HCV-contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use. Sexual transmission is also possible, but is much less common. There is no vaccine for HCV. Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections occur only in those who are infected with HBV. The dual infection of HDV and HBV can result in a more serious disease and worse outcome. Safe and effective hepatitis B vaccines provide protection from HDV infection. Hepatitis E virus (HEV), like HAV, is mostly transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. HEV is a common cause of hepatitis outbreaks in developing parts of the world and is increasingly recognized as an important cause of disease in developed countries. Safe and effective vaccines to prevent HEV infection have been developed but are not widely available. World Hepatitis Day Source:...

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Kid’s Health

Posted by on Jul 19, 2013 in Health Topics | 0 comments

Kid’s Health

What is iron? Iron is a mineral everyone needs to keep their body working at its best. Ever wonder why so many cereals and infant formulas are fortified with iron? Iron is a nutrient that’s needed to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells (RBCs). Red blood cells circulate throughout the body to deliver oxygen to all its cells. Without enough iron, the body can’t make enough RBCs, and tissues and organs won’t get the oxygen they need. So it’s important for kids and teens to get enough iron in their daily diets. What’s Iron Deficiency? Iron deficiency (when the body’s iron stores are becoming depleted) can be a problem for some kids, particularly toddlers and teens (especially girls who have very heavy periods). In fact, many teenage girls are at risk for iron deficiency — even if they have normal periods — if their diets don’t contain enough iron to offset the loss of iron-containing RBCs during menstrual bleeding. Also, teen athletes lose iron through sweating and other routes during intense exercise. More info about iron Vegetarianism If your child wants to be a vegetarian… Younger vegetarians are usually part of a family that eats vegetarian meals for health, cultural, or other reasons. Older kids may decide to become vegetarians because of concern for animals, the environment, or their own health. Types of Vegetarian Diets Before your child or family switches to a vegetarian diet, it’s important to note that all vegetarian diets are not alike. Major vegetarian categories include: ovo-vegetarian: eats eggs; no meat lacto-ovo vegetarian: eats dairy and egg products; no meat lacto-vegetarian: eats dairy products; no eggs or meat vegan: eats only food from plant sources And many other people are semi-vegetarians who have eliminated red meat, but may eat poultry or fish. More info about being vegetarian Vegetarian Recipes Picky Eaters But My Kid Won’t Eat THAT! It’s not always easy to get your kids to try new foods, but expanding your kids’ palates is important for several reasons. It’s good for them nutritionally, it makes for better manners, and people who don’t make a stink about what they eat tend to be more pleasant to be around (or at least make easier house guests!). I used to think that having a child who was a picky eater was a sign of a lazy parent. Then, I had children of my own and realized I was wrong. Some kids are just born picky, like some of us are born talkative. Some kids are born with sophisticated palettes. The thing is, though, everyone needs a healthy, balanced diet in order to grow up strong. Convinced that their child will surely starve, parents of picky eaters sometimes go to great lengths to please finicky palates. They serve mostly brown (or white) foods, stick to just one vegetable (usually corn) or bribe their child with dessert if they will just “take a bite” of a new food. Or they may give up altogether and opt for drive-through dining. Follow the link below for more info. Dealing with picky eaters   Source: www.kidshealth.org...

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Why is Exercise Important?

Posted by on Jul 6, 2013 in Health Topics | 0 comments

Why is Exercise Important?

Why is Exercise Important? Have you ever heard the expression “use it or lose it”? It’s true! If you don’t use your body, you will surely lose it. Your muscles will become flabby and weak. Your heart and lungs won’t function efficiently. And your joints will be stiff and easily injured. Inactivity is as much of a health risk as smoking! Helps Prevent Diseases  Our bodies were meant to move — they actually crave exercise. Regular exercise is necessary for physical fitness and good health. It reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and other diseases. It can improve your appearance and delay the aging process. Improves Stamina  When you exercise, your body uses energy to keep going. Aerobic exercise involves continuous and rhythmic physical motion, such as walking and bicycling. It improves your stamina by training your body to become more efficient and use less energy for the same amount of work. As your conditioning level improves, your heart rate and breathing rate return to resting levels much sooner from strenuous activity. Strengthens and Tones  Exercising with weights and other forms of resistance training develops your muscles, bones and ligaments for increased strength and endurance. Your posture can be improved, and your muscles become more firm and toned. You not only feel better, but you look better, too! Enhances Flexibility  Stretching exercises are also important for good posture. They keep your body limber so that you can bend, reach and twist. Improving your flexibility through exercise reduces the chance of injury and improves balance and coordination. If you have stiff, tense areas, such as the upper back or neck, performing specific stretches can help “loosen” those muscles, helping you feel more relaxed. Controls Weight  Exercise is also a key to weight control because it burns calories. If you burn off more calories than you take in, you lose weight. It’s as simple as that. Improves Quality of Life  Once you begin to exercise regularly, you will discover many more reasons why exercise is so important to improving the quality of your life. Exercise reduces stress, lifts moods, and helps you sleep better. It can keep you looking and feeling younger throughout your entire life. How Often Should I Exercise? The benefits of any exercise program will diminish if it’s disrupted too frequently. A “stop-start” routine is not only ineffective, but can cause injuries. Being consistent with exercise, therefore, is probably the most important factor in achieving desired results. People often assume that more is better. Wrong! Doing too much too soon or performing intense exercises on a daily basis will have deleterious effects, such as muscle/tendon strains, loss of lean tissue, and fitness-level plateaus. If you are a beginner, start off slower than you think you should. Three days per week is realistic, safe and effective. If you are experienced, do cardiovascular (aerobic) exercises such as walking, jogging and bicycling for no more than 200 minutes per week with no more than 60 minutes per session. Weight training should be done no more than three times per week targeting the same muscle groups. Exercise the same muscle groups on non-consecutive days because muscles need adequate time to recover and cannot be effectively trained if they are tired or sore. Many people forget to stretch or make the excuse that they don’t have the time. Flexibility is important, so make the time! Stretching can be done every day, but stick to a minimum of three times per week in order to reap the benefits. When the body is warmed up, such as after a workout...

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