Monday, July 30, 2012

Preventing and Treating Flat Head Syndrome in Babies

Many newborn babies spend much of the time sleeping or laying in the same position. When the baby is born or within the first few months of life, you may notice a flat spot developing on the baby's head. Particularly if this is your first baby, no doubt you will have received lots of advice from midwives, hospital staff, family members, friends and mothers and some of it will be relevant and useful. Other guidance will not be as suitable, or may be outdated. One area that is a relatively new condition and is difficult to find accurate information about is flat head syndrome in babies.
What is Flat Head Syndrome?
Flat head syndrome is a condition that can develop in a young baby, and it is often caused by repeatedly sleeping or resting in the same position. It can also be a congenital condition, which means it can develop before a child is born. The medical terms for flat head syndrome that occurs in babies are plagiocephaly and brachycephaly, depending on whether the flattening is primarily on one side or across the entire back of the head.
Older children and adults automatically adjust their positions during sleep, however, a young baby cannot do this for themselves initially. Some babies also have conditions such as torticollis, or a shortening in the muscles on one side of the neck, that make them more prone to laying in the same position, with their head usually turned to the same side.
Why is Flat Head Syndrome so Prevalent in Babies Now?
Since more information regarding sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) became available, mothers are advised not to lay a baby on their tummy to sleep, but to place them on their backs instead. However, although this has led to a reduction in the number of SIDS cases, which is wonderful news, it has also led to a rise in the number of infants with flat head syndrome. Up to a third of all babies who sleep on their backs will develop this to some extent.
Luckily, if this does occur there are treatments that are simple and effective, with no risk to your baby. As babies can sleep for long periods of time, lying on their backs without much movement will affect the part of the head that touches the crib mattress. Because the baby's head is so soft, the shape of the head can be affected by becoming flattened. Some babies seem to be particularly prone to this condition, and it is also more common in premature infants. This flattening can be rectified or prevented by just following a few basic principles. The main thing to remember is that the earlier that you can start implementing these strategies, the better the results.
How can Flat Head Syndrome be Prevented or Treated?
Use of Slings and Baby Carriers
As babies can't move around by themselves very much initially, they spend a lot of time either in your arms, car seats, baby bouncers, etc. Time spent in seats of any kind can add to the effect of a flat head, but if you place your baby in a sling or carrier and carry it with you, you will be automatically reducing the amount of time spent with the back of the head against a flat surface.
If you do need to put your baby in a stroller, car seat, bouncer, or swing for some time, you can use special pillows to keep the pressure off the back of the head. These should always be used with supervision.
Tummy Time
Babies need to experience a variety of positions and tummy time is very helpful to prevent flat head syndrome in your babyTherefore, allow them time to lie on the tummy while you are supervising. Their heads can be placed to one side if they are very young and unable to lift their heads themselves. It is important that you still always lay the baby on their back to sleep. The earlier and more often you can do tummy time with your baby, the more comfortable the baby will get with being on its tummy. If your baby does not like the position in the beginning, just try to do more very short sessions, even a few moments until the baby fusses will help if you do it often. Over time, the baby will be happier in this position. Tummy time is important for other areas of development as well, so don't neglect it.
Change Baby's Sleep Positioning
Making sure to vary a baby's sleep positioning can go a long way to help prevent your baby from getting a flat head, and to even help to resolve a flat spot which is already developing. One thing you can do is to alternate the direction that the baby is sleeping in the crib. A baby will tend to look out of the crib towards the room or door, and will then always be turning the head the same way and putting pressure in the same spot on the back of the head. Each time you put the baby down, put her head at a different end of the crib. You can also alternate the direction the baby is laying on the changing table. If the baby continues to turn the head in the same direction no matter the position, there may be other factors such as torticollis at work. It's important to speak with your health care practitioner because special exercises or physical therapy may be recommended. It is also good to alternate the position that you carry and hold the baby, for instance on alternating shoulders.
These are also special infant sleep positioners that are designed to keep your baby in one position and these are adjustable, which means you can slightly change the sleeping position for your baby each time you lie them down.
What if all of these methods are not enough?
Putting these methods into practice will minimize the possibility of developing flat head syndrome in your baby. However, please know that despite your best efforts, sometimes it is impossible to prevent flat spots from developing. There is no need to feel guilty about this! If the condition is severe and the child is young enough, ideally starting under a year old, a special orthotic baby helmet can be made to correct the issue. The baby wears the helmet for 23 hours a day for usually 3-6 months, and it is normally very comfortable for the infant. It is important to seek advice early from your health care practitioner if you suspect a flat spot is developing, as this kind of treatment is best done as early as possible, sometimes even as young as four months if the flatness is severe enough.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Definitive Guide On How to Maintain Normal Blood Pressure

When circulating blood travels through blood vessels, it exerts a certain amount of pressure on the walls of the vessels; this pressure is simply called blood pressure. This pressure is due to the pumping of the heart and is measured in two readings: Systolic pressure when the heart beats and diastolic pressure when the heart relaxes between two beats. A single beat corresponds to one complete circulation.
For a normal human individual, the normal blood pressure should be 120/80 on average. 120 is the systolic pressure and 80 is the diastolic pressure. Also in a normal individual the pulse rate should be from 60-100 in one minute. If the pulse rate is less than 60 then the person has hypotension and if it is above 100 the person has hypertension. At any given time, if an individual has a BP of 110/60 or even 130/90, then it is usually considered as the normal blood pressure because 120/80 is an average reading. However, any reading greater or less than these values corresponds to low and high blood pressure.
Your BP level may fall due to many reasons, but most commonly hypotension may be due to low salt levels and electrolyte imbalance, dehydration, or excessive bleeding. In the case of low blood pressure, the blood vessels expand to allow more blood to travel through them. This decreases your BP level. If the BP level is very low it means that blood is not being sufficiently flowed to the heart and out and the heart is pumping very slowly. The symptoms of hypotension are: weakness, nausea, and shivering.
However, the most common symptom is weakness. Whenever you are feeling extremely weak, then you are probably hypotensive..
If you have a low BP, you should immediately drink water with salt in it or boil and egg and eat it with a lot of salt. If you have suffered an injury where you have an excessive bleeding then you should immediately consult a doctor.
Many believe that high blood pressure, or hypertension, is far more dangerous than low. It is probably due to the fact that the coronary heart disease and other major heart diseases are caused by hypertension. In the case of hypertension, the vessels contract making it hard for the blood to pass increasing the blood pressure, which in turn puts a pressure on the heart. Hypertension can be caused due to various reasons: Obesity is the major cause of hypertension. The stored fat under the skin exerts pressure on the vessels forcing them to contract. High cholesterol level and excessive salt level in the blood are also major signs. As a result of a major disease such as diabetes.When your BP is high, the following may be the symptoms you observe: Swelling of hands and feet, increased heart beat, blood thumping at your temple and behind your ears, and sweating and redness of face and neck.
Where coping with low BP levels is not that hard, hypertension is a more complex state. If you have a frequent problem of hypertension then you should consult a doctor who will prescribe you a proper medicine to lower your blood pressure. If you are fat or obese then you should start exercising and lose the excess weight. If you have a high cholesterol problem then you should avoid fatty food, meat and exercise a lot. In any given condition if you have a high BP then the following are the immediate actions you should take: Take the medicine prescribed to you and drink plenty of water.
To maintain normal blood pressure in any case we all should drink a lot of water, eat healthy food, exercise daily and avoid excessive fatty foods.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Providing Homecare to Seniors

As time goes on it is only natural for your parents to start to develop signs of aging that could include severe conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's. When this happens, what a lot of people do is check their parents into a nearby senior citizen's home, but you should know that there are other options available. Another thing that you could choose to do is hire a homecare assistant who would be able to help take care of your parents and make sure that everything is OK at home.
When your parents are struggling just to get a few simple jobs done around the home, and when they are showing to show signs of memory loss or difficulty walking around the home, then it might be the right time for you to consider hiring an assistant to take care of them full time. There are a lot of different services that assistants can provide at home, ranging from taking care of the daily chores to ensuring that the seniors are bathed. Assistants can also help to take care of meal preparation and a wide range of other home duties tat are essential to keeping your parents healthy and safe.
Of course, you will want to take the time to find the right assistants for each case, since these people are going to be living with your parents regularly. It can take time for you to find an assistant that you are comfortable with so you will certainly not want to rush into any decisions in this area. After all, if this person is going to be taking care of things like meal preparation and bathing for your senior parents, you will really want to make sure that they are getting the best possible treatment and in order to ensure this you will need to take the time to find the best assistant possible.
One way to find a good assistant that would be able to provide homecare for seniors is to find an agency that helps to connect caregivers with clients. This can really help you to find the assistant whose personality and skills would be best suited for the needs of your parents, and you can feel free to change your caregiver at any time if for some reason you are unsatisfied with the services that are being given.
An easy way to find a good caregiver these days is to start with an online search and then see if you can find any good agencies in your area that are able to provide you with caregivers. You should know that it is also important to make sure that you are getting these services at a price that you are comfortable with paying, although you will probably not mind paying more to ensure that your parents are receiving the best possible treatment at home as is available. In any case, just make sure not to rush into decisions so that your decision will end up being informed and you will be happy with the results.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

White Bumps on Tonsils, What Are They?

Open your mouth in front of a mirror. By any chance do you see any white bumps on tonsils? They resemble marbles or look like white debris. Are there any? If they are visible, then you have what are called tonsil stones.
Also named tonsilloliths, they are actually left over bacteria that did not get properly processed and remained captured and hidden in the folds of our tonsils. Designed to be the quarantine division of our mouths, the tonsils are suppose to filter all the substances we consume - may they be food, drinks, air, cigars, or even nasal drips. If a person's circulatory system is functioning well, then the unwanted toxins should rightfully proceed to being excreted as waste, sweat or urine. But if you have little or no physical activity, it is highly possible that your blood will not flow properly. Hence, the result would be having contaminants left at the back of your tongue. They then combine with minerals such as calcium and magnesium that are inherent in that area and hence, cause the build-up of these formations.
If you do see bumps then it is best you also observe if you have any of the following conditions. The more manifestations you have, the bigger in size and gravity of your tonsilloliths there are. Watch out for:
--- Frequent bouts of sore throat 
--- Inflammation of the throat or any other throat infection 
--- Pain and difficulty when swallowing or speaking 
--- General feeling of discomfort knowing you has something stuck in your throat? 
--- Inexplicable bouts of coughing 
--- Sudden ear pain 
--- Halitosis

Yes, that's right - infected would be one of the major culprits for having bad breath. If you have been wondering for a long time how come you have undeniably foul smelling air coming out of your mouth that you also taste each and every day, then this may just be the end of your questioning. So, how does one seek eradication of these white bumps on tonsils that are causing damage?
Well, recommended cure varies from minor surgery to drinking warm water with salt. Some brave individuals even try to pluck them out by themselves using a long pin. This is not always advisable especially if you have really sensitive gag reflex. Another known cure though is the non - invasive BUT scientifically proven home remedy that Diane Pullman has discovered. Through her book, "Banish Tonsil Stones," Diane Puttman shares her grueling journey as she finds various ways to cure herself of this disease. She first went to her physician and was told that she would have to go under the knife. Even if it was just a minor procedure, the cost would substantial as well as the three weeks of work she was going to miss to give her time to recuperate. So she set out to find alternative treatment and her secret solution, permanently got rid of the tonsil stones. She says that one must focus on the root cause to eliminate these formations.
Claire Morin has insight and expertise in creating niches that appeal to all demographics. Claire research on a wide range of products, that are important in today's market's of interest and value to her readers. Claire reviews different markets and products to ensure that not only is the price fair but the quality is not compromised.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Guidelines for Stomach Ulcer Diet

With degrading lifestyle and stressful working atmosphere in almost every field, lots of disorders have raised their ugly heads. Out of these, stomach ulcer is one of the most common and prominent one. So, to keep one's body intact and in a suitable working condition, most of us need to take up a plan which regulates our eating habits as well as our living pattern. Therefore, what's better than following a stomach ulcer diet to keep a check on these painfully irritating ulcers?
Generally, the people who follow these guidelines for stomach ulcer diet are expected to eat in moderation and eat the healthier lot instead of the 'spicy, fatty and obviously more loveable' food stuff.
However, here are a few DO's and DON'Ts of our Stomach Ulcer Diet:
Things to DO:
a) Bite in smaller morsels of food and eat it slowly. There's no rush, even if there is you can make an exception. Change your philosophy from - 'Live to earn' to 'Earn to live'.
b) Chew the food properly. If you're looking for a reason, read (a) again.
c) Sit in a comfortable place while eating but don't slouch or lie down.
d) Most of the gastric troubles occur at night time since people party hard and do everything possible to eat 'garbage'. To avoid such terrorizing nights, finish eating at least 2 hours before the bedtime.
e) Drink lots and lots of water. One glass of water an hour before after every meal and two-three hours after every meal can do away with the stomach ulcer pains.
f) Eat 3 smaller meals exclusive of 3 snacks every day. Regulated and timely consumption of food is also important for proper digestion: a clever way to check on those ulcers.
g) Start making a healthy choice in foods from this moment itself.
Things to NOT TO DO:
a) Avoid excessive consumption of tea, coffee, tobacco and alcohol. They are bound to raise the stomach acid levels.
b) Over-the-counter drugs and antacids only offer short term relief. They only mask the symptoms of ulcers, they do not repair the damage caused by the ulcer, which is the real problem.
c) Most antacids contain magnesium and are known to cause diarrhea. So, they should be used as sparingly as possible.
d) Lastly, stop eating any type of food that causes discomfort. Most of the tasty and salivating dishes are the perfect gateway to a hospital ward. So, do the poor body some favor.
The people suffering from regular ulcers are requested to stay within these guidelines for stomach ulcer diet. However, if this stomach ulcer diet is unable to improve the condition, they should pay a quick visit to a gastroenterologist soon to avoid severe circumstances in future!