Sleep Deprivation, What Are The Consequences?

Sleep is probably best described as the loss of awareness of what is happening around us. The brain itself never sleeps and still continues to function, although the brainwave rhythms are altered and gradually slow as we approach the deeper stages of sleep. Sleep deprivation exists when we are not getting the sleep we need. This varies from person to person, the average adult requires six to nine hours per night, but some do well on much less. Kids and teenagers require more sleep than adults. If we feel energetic during the day and do not experience daytime sleepiness, then we are probably receiving adequate sleep.

Public awareness of fitness and nutrition has grown over the past few years but unfortunately little is known about the very important subject of sleep disorders. They are not included in general medical training either so the lack of knowledge is perpetuated. If drowsiness were the sole disadvantage of sleep deprivation, it would not be such a serious condition. Unfortunately the consequences are many and some of them quite worrying. There are both behavioral and physical symptoms.

Why do we suffer with sleep deprivation? Sometimes its because we’re so busy that we just don’t have sufficient time to get the rest we need. Or maybe its because we have insomnia or one of the other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome. Or we may be a shift worker who is forced to sleep during the day and our sleep is not restful. Whatever the reason is, if we don’t have adequate sleep we create a “sleep debt” which leads to some or all of the symptoms shown below. These range from the inconvenient to the downright dangerous so if you can see yourself in the symptoms below, its worth trying to establish what is causing your sleep deprivation we can then work out and how to address it.

Stress and anxiety

This can be a vicious cycle as while stress can actually cause our lack of sleep, it is also a result of it. Fortunately it can be dealt with using the right procedures. We’ll look at the possibilities and find out what’s causing it and the correct solution for you.

Anger, irritability and depression

These are all stress related and they can cause relationship and social problems. The National Sleep Foundation has said that anger due to sleep deprivation may be one of the contributing factors to road rage. Depression, while remaining a complex condition may be described as anger turned inwards. One answer to these problems may simply be more or better sleep.

Lack of focus and difficulty in concentrating

The brain looses function as a result of sleep deprivation. Students in particular fit into this category as learning requires intense concentration. A study has found that from the age of puberty, the need for sleep increases until adulthood.

Short term memory loss

Memory is affected by lack of sleep, this is also a problem for those trying to study and for those learning new job skills.

Impaired ability to drive a motor vehicle

Two reasons for this – one is because concentration is affected, the second because the danger of falling asleep at the wheel is high. The same goes for anyone who is in charge of machinery in the workplace. Sleep deprivation can also cause blurring of peripheral vision. Altogether quite a deadly cocktail. The danger has been assessed as being close to that of someone who is affected by alcohol!

Suppression of the immune system

This one is a worry as it leaves us vulnerable to every infection that happens to be around at the time. People who are sleep deprived get more colds and flu than those that are not. Lack of sleep can make you sick!

Probably enough reasons there to convince us to take action to change our sleeping habits! If lack of time is keeping us up late, something else may have to be sacrificed to make sure we get the rest we need. If a sleep disorder is making your life a misery, don’t despair! There is always something we can do and knowledge on the subject is improving all the time.

Dandruff and Itchy Scalp Conditions Explained Simply – Psoriasis, Eczema and Dermatitis

Read on to find out the causes of these scalp conditions and the best ways to treat each one of them – because not all scalp treatments and anti-dandruff shampoos are the same!

Seborrhea dermatitis & eczema

Dermatitis is a word that means ‘inflamed skin’ and it’s a common cause of scaly, red patches and an itchy scalp. It looks similar to dandruff, but the scales created by eczema and seborrhoeic dermatitis are larger and the scalp is often inflamed. It may also affect the face, eyebrows, beard and central chest area.


Greasy or dry scalp and scaling

Yellow-red scaling on any of these areas:

The hairline


Creases between the nose and the lips

Bridge of the nose

Inside or behind the ears

Middle of the chest


This type of skin irritation often occurs in areas which have a lot of large oil glands. The inflammation happens as a reaction to a ‘yeast fungus’ on the scalp and to hair products that break-down the oil secreted by the oil glands.

What factors make seborrhoeic dermatitis worse?

HIV and neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease increase the symptoms of scaling, dry scalp and itchy scalp greatly.

Physical or emotional stress are known triggers.

Genetic factors – close family members also suffer from this condition.

This condition tends to be more severe during the winter.


This is another common itchy scalp condition, which can also affect the knees and elbows.


Small, separate patches of red inflamed skin with very thick scaling.

When only the scalp is affected, it may be mistaken for a severe case of dandruff.


Genetic – psoriasis often affects several members of the same family.

Emotional or physical stress are known triggers.


Itchy scalp conditions can be easily treated with a medicated anti-dandruff shampoo containing the correct balance of chemical ingredients, such as:


Selenium sulphide

Zinc pyrithione or zinc omadine – can be toxic

Piroctone olamine – less toxic than zinc pyrithione

Antifungal agents

Always ask your doctor for a diagnosis and the correct treatment.


LA BIOSTHETIQUE is a specialist provider of natural skin, hair and scalp treatments. They’ve been at the top of the specialist hair and scalp care business for 50 years now – so it’s obvious people really like their products!

As an experienced hair care provider and stylist, I have been using LA BIOSTHETIQUE in my salon for many years. I often have clients with dermatitis and psoriasis and know how distressing these conditions can be.

LA BIOSTHETIQUE produce a wide range of specialist hair care products – from anti-microbial dandruff shampoos to the especially gentle LA BIOSTHETIQUE Hydro lipid Balm for dry, sensitive scalps, which provides a soothing, natural companion to any psoriasis treatment.

My clients trust me to give them the best hair care for their scalp problem and I trust LA BIOSTHETIQUE to bring a touch of natural luxury into every hair treatment routine!

Wrist Pain – Causes & Solutions

Wristy Business…Is wrist pain interfering with your yoga practice or Pilates workout or Life?

Wrist Pain: Our hands, by design, were not intended for weight bearing, so it’s no wonder that many of us experience pain or discomfort when assuming those Pilates or yoga positions that require us to do just that -bear body weight on our hands. Discomfort may simply be a result of mild limitations in wrist range of motion, improper alignment of shoulders, arms and hands or reduced core and arm strength. Gentle and gradual stretching and strengthening exercises, along with proper body alignment and weight distribution may reduce your wrist discomfort in weight bearing positions. However, for some of us, even with good strength and proper form wrist pain persists. A close look at the anatomy of the hand reveals why.

Hand Anatomy: The hand is designed more for mobility than stability. It is composed of 27 small bones, muscles and ligaments that allow for a large amount of movement and dexterity, enabling us to perform a multitude of daily activities requiring fine precision and coordination. The two bones of the lower arm, the radius and ulna, meet at the carpal bones of the hand to form the wrist. Unlike the foot the hand does not have a large bone cushioned with a fat pad for bearing weight, but has small bones surrounded by soft tissue, including the nerve and blood supply. The median nerve crosses the wrist through the carpal tunnel. These soft tissues of the wrist, including the ligaments and tendons, are subject to strain when we are weight bearing on a fully extended wrist such as in a push-up position.

The Culprits: As a simplification, the common causes of wrist pain are grouped into 4 categories:

  1. Overuse: too much repetitive movement or joint impact
  2. Injury: wrist fractures, strains & sprains
  3. Lack of conditioning: weak muscles, poor range of motion, improper form
  4. Aging or Disease: arthritic changes in the joints, inflammation, diabetes etc.

Which category does your wrist pain originate from?

Overuse: One common cause of wrist pain is Overuse, clinically known as RSI – Repetitive Stress (or Strain) Injury. Long periods performing the same movements, such as typing on a computer, playing a musical instrument or doing sun salutations, can lead to RSI. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) a leading cause of wrist pain is grouped in the RSI category.

What do you do about RSI?

An important first step in treating an overuse injury is to rest – stop doing what is causing you pain to allow healing time. The reality, however, is that many of our repetitive movements are related to our livelihood such as data input, graphic design, dental hygiene, massage therapist or fitness instructor, so to stop completely might result in a few bounced checks. If complete rest isn’t an option, two ways to decrease repetitive joint stress are through task and schedule modification.

Suggestion One: Modify Your Activity

Once you’ve identified the specific task(s) that’s aggravating your wrists (or other joints) look at how frequently or for what duration you’re performing this task.

Modify your Schedule: The objective of modifying your schedule is to reduce how often and how long you spend doing the pain inducing task. Urgent deadlines, productivity ratings or financial stress are real factors that contribute to overuse injuries. Many smart industries have implemented job rotation and other programs to reduce RSI in the workplace, thus saving money on workman’s compensation claims and lost productivity. Practical examples for modifying your schedule may include:

1) Part Time Work: a schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday will allow a day of rest in between.

2) Plan Ahead: instead of spending 6 hours banging out a report on the computer spread it out over 4 days for 1 ½ hour each day.

3) Set Time Limits: Break up the problem task into shorter time segments with rest and stretch breaks built into your day.

4) Job Sharing / Rotation: Can you recruit a co-worker to assist you or swap tasks with? Look at all options for creative scheduling.

Modify the Task: The objective here is to use an alternate method to accomplish the task, which may require a different set of muscles or reduce muscle tension and joint stress.

1) Change the Method: If you’re a fitness instructor with a wrist injury, give verbal directions instead of demonstrations. If you spend your day on the computer consciously reduce keyboard time by limiting your email correspondence – pick up the phone and make a quick call instead.

2) Change or Modify the Tool: Examples include using a track ball instead of a mouse, substitute an electric tool for a hand tool and increasing the diameter of the tool to open the grasp of the fingers and thumb.

3) Modify your Body Position: Use an ergonomic keyboard, set up your ‘work station’ optimally for your body and alternate standing with sitting.

4) Use your non-dominant hand: If your wrist pain is primarily in your dominant hand try to develop the skill to accomplish the task with your non-dominant hand. Start with something simple like stirring while cooking or dialing the phone then work towards using your computer mouse with your opposing hand. This may be challenging but is very useful and good for your coordination.

Suggestion Two: Incorporate frequent stretch breaks into your day.

Whether it’s an occupation or leisure pursuit that’s resulting in RSI, do strengthening and stretches that move your body, limbs and joints in the opposite direction of the repetitive motions you’re engaged in. Computer use is a big culprit of wrist pain, since many people now spend hours of their day at a keyboard and monitor. The typical computer posture takes its toll on your back, neck, arms and hands -possibly resulting in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Break up long hours at the computer by scheduling intermittent breaks to stand up, move around and stretch. Do these simple stretches several times a day in standing or from the comfort of your chair.

Hold each stretch for 3 to 5 deep breaths:

1) Stretch shoulder and arms: Reach back from the shoulder rotating the spine, straighten your elbow and rotate your palm up, extend the wrist slightly or keep neutral then straighten and spread the fingers apart. Deepen the stretch by rotating the neck so your face is turned away from your stretched arm. Repeat with the other arm.

2) Rotate both wrists several times clockwise then counter clockwise.

3) Stretch finger flexors: Extend fingers and place them together in a prayer position. Press fingers firmly together and spread them apart keeping fingers straight. To increase the stretch, gently pull the wrists apart 1 or 2 inches while keeping fingers together.

4) Stretch wrist in extension: Continue in prayer position with fingers and wrists pressed together. Start with your finger tips at your chin, and then slowly slide hands down towards your waist keeping the wrists pressed together. Go as far as you can comfortably & hold stretch for several breaths. If you feel discomfort in your thumbs simply cross them on top each other instead of pressing together.

5) Stretch wrist in flexion: Flip your hands over so the backs of your hands and fingers are touching and pointing down. Start with your hands at your waist and move slowly up to chest height keeping the backs of the hands pressed together. Fingers dangle loosely while the top of the wrist joints are stretched.

6) Gently shake shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers.

This series of stretches, each held for 5 deep breaths, only take a total of 3 minutes to do! A simple and healthy way to incorporate this routine into your day is to drink lots of water. Every time you get up for a bathroom break, do your stretches before resuming work.


Is wrist pain interfering with your fitness pursuits, work or life? If so, what’s the culprit? Too much keyboarding, weight bearing on your hands or other repetitive activity may be an underlying cause of your wrist pain. If you have an overuse injury – first try to rest! Next modify the activity through creative scheduling and use of alternative methods, tools or props. It’s also important to develop a stretching & strengthening program to counteract the negative effects of repetitive movements on muscles and joints. Our bodies were designed to move in a multitude of directions, so mix it up and bring some balance and variety into your weekly routine. You know what they say…Variety is the Spice of Life!

Disclaimer: If you have significant wrist pain resulting from a more serious issue such as joint inflammation, arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, previous fractures or surgeries of the wrist, it is essential that you consult your health care practitioner prior to beginning a wrist exercise program, Pilates or yoga practice.

Butt Ugly Bite: The Danger of Spending Time With Those Who Bring Out the Worst in You

“Life is short. Spend it with people who bring out the best in you, not the worst.”


I was out for a walk with a friend and our two dogs the other day and a rather upsetting incident happened. My dog, Sadie, is a Golden Retriever and her dog was a Labradoodle. This was the first time our two dogs had met.

Now, I must admit that Sadie is rather ball-obsessed. She lives to chase her chuck-it ball. But although she is obsessive about the ball, she normally isn’t possessive. If another dog gets her ball, she usually just waits for it to be dropped – and then sneaks in, lightening quick, and grabs it.

With the Labradoodle, however, this was NOT the case.

My mild-mannered Sadie went from sweet to savage in seconds flat. For whatever reason, that Labradoodle rubbed Sadie the wrong way – and a full-on fight nearly broke out.

Ten minutes later, a full-on fight did break out over the darn ball… and I got caught in the cross-fire.

When all was said and done and the dogs had separated, I felt a sharp pain on my derriere, of all places. As the pain intensified, I realized I’d been BITTEN ON THE BUM! With all the commotion and adrenaline, I hadn’t felt the bite when it actually happened – but boy, did it ever hurt afterwards.

Thankfully, I was wearing jeans, which is maybe why the bite didn’t break my skin. But I certainly got a nasty black and blue bruise to show for all the excitement.

I honestly don’t know which dog bit me. But I’m pretty sure whoever it was, wasn’t aiming for me… my butt just happened to be in the way.

Now when weird things like this happens, it is rather handy to be a writer because sometimes I can turn an unpleasant experience into some sort of analogy. Sure enough, I woke up the next morning and it hit me: that Labradoodle brought out the worst in Sadie. For whatever reason, Sadie did NOT like that dog and as such, she was not going to share her precious ball.

I think it often works that way for people, too. Sometimes we have people in our lives who really do bring out the worst in us. Maybe we say things we wouldn’t normally say when we’re around them. Or we do things we wouldn’t normally do. Or we find ourselves irritated, angry or just plain snarly. Or, perhaps after we’ve spent time with them, we feel a sort of… toxic hangover from the experience.

If so, I suspect these sort of people remain in our lives more out of habit than deliberate choice. But we always have a choice… even if that simply means decreasing the amount of time we spend with someone.

If you suspect you’re spending too much time – perhaps out of obligation – with someone who doesn’t bring out the best in you, you may wish to reassess that relationship. For just as I didn’t feel the dog-bite when it happened, when the resultant bruise finally made its way to the surface of my skin, it was… butt-ugly.

In other words, whether we feel the harm or not, toxic relationships do impact us.

Oral Allergy Syndrome – When Hayfever Starts Dictating Your Menu

During the spring and summer, some of the fruits and vegetables that you’ve been missing all winter long appear in carefully stacked mountains at the local grocer. Did you know that hose sweet, soft peaches that you smothered in vanilla ice cream may surprise you with the effects they have on your hayfever? After eating certain fruits, vegetables, nuts or spices, you may have noticed:

  • A tingling sensation in the lips or tongue
  • Itching in the tongue, mouth and throat
  • Burning sensation in the lips, tongue mouth and throat
  • Watery, itchy eyes
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Swelling or rash on lips, tongue and mouth

Oral Allergy Syndrome is not the same as a true food allergy– it is your existing pollen allergies reacting to proteins in particular fresh foods.

If you know that you have hay fever and have answered a definitive “yes” to any of the above symptoms, than you may have Oral Allergy Syndrome. Your body isn’t actually allergic to the food, but is reacting because of preexisting pollen sensitivities. If your food-related symptoms are at their worst during the early spring and late summer, then you most like have Oral Allergy Syndrome.

Who is affected?

Individuals who suffer with allergies to certain plants and trees, including: alder trees, birch trees, grass, mugwort weeds and ragweed.

Foods that commonly cause cross-allergic reactions:

  • If you have a sensitivity to alder pollen: almonds apples celery cherries hazel nuts peaches pears parsley
  • If you have a sensitivity to birch pollen: almonds apples apricots carrots celery cherries coriander fennel kiwi nectarines parsley parsnips peaches pears peppers plums potatoes prunes Potential: hazel nuts, and walnuts
  • If you have a sensitivity to mugwort pollen:
  • carrots celery coriander fennel parsley peppers sunflower

  • If you have a sensitivity to ragweed pollen: banana cantaloupe cucumber honey dew watermelon zucchini Potential: Dandelions or chamomile tea

The same intolerance that your body has for inhaled pollens, may also be applied to these lists of foods.

Is there a way to treat Oral Allergy Syndrome?

  1. Peeling fruits and vegetables often eliminates the allergic reaction
  2. Canned, cooked or processed foods usually do not cause reactions-only fresh foods trigger allergies
  3. Fruit that is freshly picked or still partially unripe is less likely to cause reactions
  4. Stop eating food if you notice a tingling sensation around or in your mouth
  5. Be aware that you may develop allergic tendencies towards other items on the lists over time-always be on the alert when eating foods on these lists
  6. Microwaving food briefly to a temperature of 176-194 F degrees may allow you to eat it– heat basically de-activates the allergen-mimicking proteins
  7. Nuts on the lists should be completely avoided-no matter whether they are cooked or not
  8. Immunotherapy (i.e. allergy shots) usually will greatly improve or even eliminate Oral Allergy Syndrome

For a list of fruits and vegetables that won’t trigger your Oral Allergy Syndrome, check out wikipedia’s entry for this topic.

Are Your Ovarian Cysts Bleeding? Helpful Information You Need to Know About This Condition

Not all women with ovarian cysts suffer from ovarian cyst bleeding, which is particularly rare symptom of the condition. The pain a woman experiences depends on the nature and size of the cysts. Painful cysts include ruptured cysts and misshapen cysts which are bleeding and infected. Ovarian cysts bleeding can result to a lot of complications, such as abdominal tissue inflammation and torsion or twisting, which cuts off the blood circulation to the cyst.

Ovarian cysts may contain small amounts blood if they develop after your menstruation. Yet you may also find bleeding as a symptom if your cysts have ruptured. Ovarian cyst bleeding is the primary symptom of hemorrhagic cysts, which results from blood loss. If you experience hemorrhagic symptoms accompanied with pain, you must consult your physician right away so you can prevent harmful complications. The doctor can either remove your cyst or cauterize it to stop the bleeding process.

Women suffering from ovarian cyst bleeding should not fear that they might develop ovarian cancer, because cancerous cysts do not bleed. Bleeding is a distinguishing symptom for only benign ovarian cysts.

A condition characteristic of more cysts located at the ovarian lining is called polycystic ovarian syndrome (POS.). This occurs in about 4-7% of women in reproductive years. Women who suffer from this condition experience unusual bleeding, miscarriages. They are usually infertile. Detecting this condition cannot be accomplished by ultrasound alone. Additional examinations are required to confirm the diagnosis. But once a proper diagnosis is made, you can stat taking steps for a healthier future.

Don’t Confuse Your Baby’s Yeast Infections With Diaper Rash

Yeast infections that affect a baby’s diaper area not the same thing as diaper rash. Unfortunately, many well meaning parents use regular diaper cream and baby powder on the yeast infection and this will do nothing to cure it.

A yeast infection is different from a diaper rash in that it appears as a flat, red rash with scalloped edges that have several tiny rashes around it. A yeast infection rash may extend along the pubic area and onto the lower part of the baby’s abdomen.

The yeast infections that affect babies are called Candidas albicans, which is the most common cause of all types of yeast infections. A pediatrician can determine whether a rash on the groin or a thrush in the mouth of babies is a yeast infection. To get a definite diagnosis the doctor may examine the scrapings of a yeast infection under a microscope.

Babies who are on antibiotics or who are being breastfed by mothers who are taking antibiotics are at higher risk for yeast infections. That’s because antibiotics kill the good bacteria in the body that keep yeast in check. Without these bacteria around, yeast and grow more abundantly.

While applying diaper cream may bring your baby temporary relief from the itching and soreness it will not heal the infection. Without proper treatment, a yeast infection in the baby’s diaper area will get progressively worse.

Anti-fungal medications are the only types of medicine that can get rid of yeast infections. Some pediatricians might write a prescription for Nystatin while others may recommend and over the counter medicine like Lotrim AF to treat the diaper yeast infection.

Using antifungal cream, soaking the baby in warm water two times a day and frequent diaper changes will usually clear up a yeast infection within a few days. While you are treating the yeast infection make sure that your baby’s diapers are loose enough to let air in. When changing your child’s diapers, make sure the skin on his buttocks and groin area is clean and dry.

Some holistic medical practitioners advocate the use of a diaper cream containing tea tree oil to help clear yeast infections in the diaper area. Others recommend using aloe or pressing damp chamomile teabags directly on the baby’s rash. If the yeast persists for more than a week or if your baby has fever or chills you should consult with your pediatrician.

Yeast infections in baby’s can occur despite our best efforts. However, frequent diaper changes can decrease the chances of an infection occurring. Children with yeast infections in the diaper area should not be excluded from daycare because these types of infections are not contagious.

If your baby recently had thrush (a yeast infection in the mouth), her or she may end up with a yeast infection in the diaper area, too. That’s because yeast passes through your baby’s digestive system when he eats and winds up in his stool, which eventually lands in his diaper right next to his warm, damp skin. Yeast thrives in warm, damp environments.

Bad Symptoms of Pregnancy Pregnant Women Should Not Ignore – When to Call the Doctor

Just how serious are the bad symptoms of pregnancy – Has your doctor confirmed that you`re pregnant, if so what wonderful news and especially more so if this is what you wanted. It `s an exciting time to hear of pregnancy and no doubt like other expectant women you start doing up the nursery, buy baby booties, baby mittens, diapers and even larger items like the pram and cot. It is sensible to be ready and prepared for baby`s arrival because them 9 months just fly by. Some women experiencing pregnancy for the first time tend to excite themselves that much, and would you believe, sit back and waits for morning sickness to happen and looks forward to the swelling belly. Big tummy and swollen ankles are common symptoms of pregnancy just like them early morning vomiting bouts which we accept as normal when carrying a baby, however not all symptoms suffered are classed as normal, in fact they can be nasty and signify problems in your pregnancy.

With it being your first pregnancy you are not expected to know what is normal or not, nevertheless if you “don’t feel right” regardless then see your GP or midwife.

Remember your body is changing rapidly that it’s sometimes difficult to know whether what you’re experiencing is natural. You are not to stress out over the bad symptoms of pregnancy because with medical monitoring and appropriate treatment healthy babies are being delivered all the time.

Below are some bad symptoms of pregnancy that should have you seek medical advice if you experience them

1. Severe or sharp upper- to mid-abdominal pain, with or without nausea or vomiting can signify severe indigestion, a tummy bug, food poisoning or pre-eclampsia which is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.

2. If you feel feverish and your temperature exceeds 37.5 degrees C / 100 degrees F but with no flu or cold symptoms call you’re GP, but if it scales to more than 39 degrees C / 102 degrees F, then “immediate” attention from your doctor is vital. (Infection is probable.) Never must you while pregnant attempt to relieve headache or backache pain with any type of medication without consulting your doctor first.

3. If vision is a problem it has to be checked out because this is not natural in pregnancy. Double vision, blurring, dimming, flashing spots or lights that last for more than two hours are not normal symptoms.

4. Swelling of the stomach is the norm but if swelling or, puffiness affects the hands, face and eyes then talk to the midwife.

5. Spotting blood without pain may be a normal sign of implantation, when the embryo attaches itself to the uterus early in the pregnancy or breakthrough bleeding. Medical attention should be sought after if you bleed during pregnancy because it could indicate a serious complication: Bleeding that is different from your normal period (heavier or lighter and often darker) with severe, persistent, one-sided pain in the abdomen can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy. Heavy loss of blood, especially if shared with persistent back or abdominal pain, can be associated with a potential or actual miscarriage. Never leave anything to chance; it is imperative for your health and your unborn baby`s welfare to have yourself examined sooner than later. Late into the pregnancy, bleeding may signify placenta praevia, placental abruption, which happens when the placenta starts to part from the wall of the uterus, or premature labour. As we delve further into the bad symptoms of pregnancy it may well be frightening you, this is not the intention. They are merely pointers of what bad symptoms are in pregnancy – for you to be able determine normal or not – so to keep you in good health while carrying your baby. Healthy stress free women deliver healthy stress free babies. An unborn baby can sense distress.

6. Leaking of fluid from the vagina before 37 weeks can mean that the membranes have ruptured prematurely. If this be the case in your case you may have to go into hospital for complete bed rest and treatment to prevent possible infection happening and to prepare your baby for possible premature birth. If it`s any consolation and you worry over baby coming to soon, well my son was born 8 weeks early weighing 3lbs who is now a strapping 6ft fella employed as a computer technician with several mathematician qualifications under his belt. They say good things come in little packages and he is living proof, even after being kept in “SCBU” (Special Care Baby Unit) for 14 days, this was because he could not maintain his temperature and never knew what is his mouth was for when it came to feeding. The same guy eats me out of house and home now.

7. A sudden increase in thirst accompanied by little or no urination can be a sign of dehydration or gestational diabetes, which increases the risk of complications for you and your baby. There is no need to panic just because you drank 3 glasses of water today. You will know what is meant by a sudden increase if it should happen to you.

8. Painful or burning urination accompanied by a temperature shivering and backache are normally clear signs of a urinary tract infection.

9. Severe vomiting where you constantly wretch more than two to three times a day.

10. Continuous vomiting can dehydrate and tire you out, although it won’t harm your unborn baby. If you have severe bouts of throwing up (hyperemesis gravidum) it may require you going into hospital.

11. Fainting, dizziness and light headiness could be a sign of hunger. It is unhealthy to go without food when you are pregnant. Low blood pressure can cause these symptoms.

12. Severe lower abdominal pain on either or both sides means you could have pulled a ligament, or it may be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy miscarriage and premature labour, a fibroid degenerating and bleeding into itself or placental abruption.

13. Some babies stay dormant for considerable periods of time because they are lazy, however if the unborn baby`s movements slow down or cease for more than 24 hours after 21 weeks it could be that the infant is in distress.

14. All-over body itchiness late into pregnancy with or without jaundice, dark urine and pale stools are symptoms normally connected to hepatitis or another liver-based problem, such as obstetric cholestasis

Baby is well cushioned by the uterus and amniotic fluid so if you take a tumble it does not mean you have harmed your baby.

Although we speak of bad symptoms of pregnancy it does not mean they are that bad that they cannot be treated. We have millions of babies all over the globe who you may bet never came into the world quietly without giving mom some discomfort or “worries” throughout them nine months. All you need to worry about now are the sleepless nights that lay ahead that start from the day your child is born up until the day you die.

Mezcal, Methanol, Moonshine and Myth

It’s hard to separate fact from fiction from fear-mongering, when trying to understand the relationship between the Mexican agave-based spirit mezcal, and methanol poisoning resulting in blindness or death as the worst case scenarios. The purely physical science treatises are in large part beyond my level of comprehension. At the other end of the spectrum one finds lay literature without references backing up claims and allegations regarding the likelihood of hangovers, headaches and the much more serious harmful effects; it’s all cloaked in words and phrases like “as little as,” “likely” and “probably.” And it ignores aspartame.


Is it appropriate to equate mezcal which has been produced essentially safely and without incident by families in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca for generations, with American moonshine, with deaths due to deliberately adulterating a spirit for purely profit motive, with concoctions created by naive youth, or with reports from third world countries in which ignorance of safe spirit production results in imprudent means of production or the use of equipment which contaminates? It is suggested that the alarmists draw their data from such sources.

For the past 25 years I’ve been drinking mezcal sold at small, family owned and operated artisanal distilleries (palenques as they’re known in Oaxaca), without incident. And so have my Oaxacan friends and compadres, hundreds of thousands of villagers who have been patronizing their neighborhood producers (or palenqueros), and more recently visitors to Oaxaca anxious to sample and take home what they cannot find at their local bars or source from retail liquor outlets.

Otherwise all I have to rely on is my cursory review of online literature (including but not restricted to International Center for Alcohol Policies, UPI, Methanol Institute, National Institute of Health / U.S. National Library of Medicine, World Health Organization; a list of links referenced is available upon written request), and my background in social anthropology. It was my Darwinian academic training which lead me to an internet search so that I might be able to prove what I considered to be a reasonable hypothesis, and put into perspective the tall tales I’d been reading. Regarding the latter, I have read that mezcal not certified by a regulatory agency is fake, illegitimate, results in hangovers, and may even lead to blindness or death from methanol poisoning. Have imbibers of agave-based spirits been extremely lucky all these years, decades and perhaps even millennia?

The two lines of thought regarding the origins of distillation in Mexico are that indigenous groups learned to distill long before the arrival of the Spanish, or, that the Spanish learned distillation from the Moors and so brought that knowledge with them in the first half of the 16th century. The former theory gives more credence to my thought process, although 450 years of trial and error and perfecting safe distillation is nothing to sneeze at.

Just like the early Zapoteco natives of Oaxaca learned to dye with the cochineal insect, and in due course presumably through trial and error that the mineral alum served as the best available mordent or fixer, it is suggested that so too did the invaders and the indigenous peoples of Mexico learn how to distill safely. Following the same analogy, it is likely that long ago wool dyed red with cochineal dramatically faded from the sun or through washing, until the best available mordent was found; and so perhaps dating back hundreds of years indeed native Mexicans (and Spanish) succumbed to unwise distillation practices. They have learned the benefit of using alum; and of taking off the methanol, and using predominantly clay or copper or other “safe” metal compounds during and for distillation respectively.

Methanol Explained

Even the healthiest among us, and that includes those who do not imbibe alcohol, have methanol in their bodies. Humans get it in small amount from eating fruits and vegetables. It is not only absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, but also through the skin and by inhalation. Methanol is metabolized in the liver, converted first to formaldehyde, and then to formate (formic acid). As a building block for many biological molecules, formate is essential for our survival. On the other hand, high levels of formate buildup after excessive methanol intake can cause severe toxicity. An EPA assessment reported that methanol is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed.

The primary uses of methanol are for industrial and automotive purposes. It is found in antifreeze, canned heating sources, copy machine fluids, de-icing fluids, fuel additives, paint remover or thinner, shellac, varnish, windshield wiper fluid, and more. This is known as denatured alcohol. Government regulations in fact dictate the inclusion of high levels of methanol as a compound in such products, knowing its toxicity and wanting to ensure that the public buys its liquor (in which levels of methanol are controlled, as opposed to other alcohols), in order to maintain healthy tax revenue.

But Government dictates do not prevent the drinking of denatured alcohol or it being used to fortify other beverages. In fact the literature on non-commercial alcohol, which is sometimes referred to as unrecorded alcohol, cites these “surrogates” or non-beverage alcohols, as one of three categories of drinks which potentially create health risks. They are drunk alone (i.e. the classic skid row cases), and used as “cocktails” when they are added for example to fruit juices. The other two are “counterfeit” products and illicit mass-produced drinks, and traditional drinks produced for home consumption or limited local trade (licit or illicit). It is suggested that artisanal mezcal falls into the second part of this third category. So yes, there is the possibility of health problems arising as a consequence of consumers imbibing Mexican mezcal with higher than “safe” levels of methanol.

Spirits Health Risks in Mexico and Internationally

In central Mexico, as born out in the literature, much more than anything else the singular health problem related to mezcal and other traditional alcohol consumption is alcoholism resulting in liver cirrhosis.

In an article centering upon global methanol poisoning outbreaks, the World Health Organization cited examples of adulterated, counterfeit and informally produced spirits in Cambodia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Libya, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Turkey and Uganda. Mexico is conspicuously absent from the list.

In an article centering upon the quantification of selected volatile constituents in the Mexican spirits sotol, bacanora, tequila and mezcal, while methanol was the most problematic compound and at times the samples taken were far above the levels recommended by international as well as national standards, two points are particularly noteworthy: methanol levels were not of toxicological relevance; and, other legally obtained drinks such as German fruit spirits were found to have significantly higher methanol levels.

In an article entitled “Noncommercial Alcohol: Understanding the Informal Market,” the International Center for Alcohol Policies reported that much of the perceived health risk stems from patterns of drinking such as chronic consumption and binging, use of low quality ingredients, adulteration, and lack of control during production or storage. In Russia and other republics in the former Soviet Union samagon is cheap and easy to make using household equipment. Kenya’s poor fortifies its grain spirit, chang’aa, with surrogates. Brazil’s national drink cachaca or pinga is sometimes fortified using industrial alcohols, some of which have been noted above.

And what about the United States’ renowned moonshine, the usually high alcohol content spirit typically made using corn mash as the main ingredient? Poorly produced moonshine is contaminated mainly from materials used in still construction, such as employing car radiators as condensers (glycol from the antifreeze or lead from the connections). In addition, methanol can be added to the spirits to increase strength and improve profits.

The 1994 reported poisoning from ingesting mezcal produced in the Mexican state of Morelos cite the spirit having been spiked with methanol. It is suggested that this was an aberration, though of course is noteworthy. Somewhat surprisingly, there was relatively little reported about the incidents, and they have not to my knowledge received attention in the broader English literature centering upon methanol poisoning.

As suggested, methanol is not the only potentially harmful constituent. Lead as well as other toxic metals can poison not only as a consequence of employing unsuitable distillation equipment but also through the use of a contaminated water source. Volatile compounds such as acetaldehyde or higher alcohols can be produced in significant amounts due to fault in production technology or microbiological spoilage. There have been occurrences of certain fruit and sugarcane spirits containing the carcinogen urethane.

When is Methanol Safe?

Returning to methanol, one must now ask what is the safe maximum level of its ingestion. It was only in 1981 that the sugar substitute aspartame was approved for dry goods, and two years later for carbonated beverages. It is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol which makes up a whopping 10% of its composition. The absorption of methanol into the body is sped up when “free methanol” is ingested, and this form of the chemical is created from aspartame when it is heated to above 86 degrees Fahrenheit (i.e. when making sugar-free Jello). In 1993 the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would normally be heated to above that temperature.

The EPA recommends consumption of no more than 7.8 grams of methanol daily. While the amount of aspartame in a diet soda can vary, it has been reported that a single can produces 20 mg of methanol in the body. It is no wonder that aspartame accounts for over 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame. The range of afflictions reported is alarming.

The current regulation for the maximum amount of methanol in mezcal is.3 of a gram per 100 ml. It is an arbitrary standard. Query how much mezcal one must ingest to reach the EPA maximum limit of methanol of 7.8 grams daily. The FDA states that as much as.5 of a gram per day of methanol is safe in an adult’s diet. Should the Mexican standard be higher, or lower?

It is no wonder that the study referenced earlier identifying volatile constituents in Mexican spirits, did not find toxicological relevance in the face of analyzing samples far above recommended levels. Furthermore, as distinct from household foodstuffs and drink containing aspartame, ethanol (i.e. mezcal) serves as an antidote for methanol toxicity in humans.


There is indeed confusion in the literature regarding recommended maximum levels of methanol and at what level health risks kick in, both dealing specifically with Mexican spirits, and where they are noted merely tangentially or not at all. However there is also considerable consistency:

1. There is a paucity of reliable research and resulting literature stemming in large part from the fact that statistics regarding non-commercial spirits are essentially non-existent for various reasons (i.e. unrecorded since no precise government or other reliable quantitative figures exist);

2. There is a lack of collaboration between local authorities, NGOs and international experts;

3. Methanol poisoning is relatively rare in circumstances where traditional, safe distillation processes which have been passed down through generations are practiced (i.e. throughout Mexico, current United States moonshine operations, etc.; subject to 1., above);

4. There are umpteen other reasons why there are health risks associated with both licit and illicit spirit production;

5. There is a concern that strict government controls encourage the consumption of non-commercial or informally sold alcohol and increase harm;

6. High quality artisanal non-commercial traditional spirits are by and large safe, both aside from and notwithstanding the issue of quantity of methanol;

7. They often constitute an extremely important part of local culture, often with ceremonial significance (i.e. consumed in a plethora of rite of passage events), and provide a source of national pride.

Aside from my Darwinian suggestion that the days of dangerous mezcal production have long passed, and acknowledging the issue of still construction, it is noteworthy that almost all artisanal distilleries in Oaxaca consist of either copper alembics or similar production equipment made in equally standardized and carefully monitored workshops and factories; or in clay pots. In both cases they are essentially free of harmful levels of chemical compounds.

If there is a lesson to be learned, it is perhaps that one should never drink artisanal mezcal, commercial or otherwise, while consuming government authorized products containing aspartame.

Informative Speech on Migraine in Children

Picture this. Your 9-year old daughter staggers to the breakfast table; hands on head, and moans plaintively, “I can’t go to school today. I have a headache.”

“Nonsense,” you say. You give her an aspirin with breakfast and say, “Off you go. You’ll feel better when your history test is over.”

But what if this happens every few weeks? Might it be migraine? Is there such a thing as migraine in children?

Betsy’s Migraines – a true story

My introduction to the possibility of migraine in children came when I was teaching fourth grade in Massachusetts. That’s when I met 9-year old Betsy. Betsy was a pretty child, but headaches kept her from making either friends or academic progress. Betsy claimed to experience regular bouts of migraine in children. Her doting mother vowed that Betsy’s attacks were real, but I was skeptical, since they always coincided with things Betsy disliked.

Even more suspicious was Betsy’s behavior during attacks. She began with plausible head-holding and tears. She begged for her mother to come and get her. Then, her act always went over the top. Looking around the room to be sure she had attention, Betsy shook her head violently from side to side. “You have to do this when you have migraine,” she announced loudly. She hit her head, and turned on the waterworks – always keeping a shrewd eye on her audience. When her mother arrived, Betsy abruptly stopped shaking her head, and moaned piteously. The curtain fell as her mother wrapped Betsy in her arms and ushered her from the room.

True Migraine in Children

While I never received professional confirmation that Betsy suffered migraine in children, I did learn that the condition is authentic. Its name is “migraine in children”, even when it refers to only one child.

Facts about Migraine in Children

Migraine affects people of all ages, social classes, races, and cultures. It is most prevalent between ages 20 and 50, but migraine in children hits younger generations. Often misdiagnosed initially as a “headache excuse” to avoid unpleasant tasks, migraine in children is real. Let me give you seven facts.

* Migraine often runs in families.

* Young babies and preschoolers can suffer migraine in children.

* Migraine in children begins earlier in boys than in girls.

* Up to 6 years, boys are affected equally or slightly more than girls.

* At elementary school level, 10 percent suffer migraine in children.

* The prevalence of migraines increases during secondary school.

* 20-30% of young women and 10-20% of young men experience migraines.

Migraine in children attacks every age from birth to age 20.

Symptoms of Migraine in Children

So, since your young daughter may be suffering migraine in children, and not simply avoiding a test, we need to look for signs. What are the symptoms of migraine in children?

1. PAIN: First of all, migraine in children is very painful, with severe throbbing in the head. Your daughter will probably report pain in the forehead, or the middle of the head, rather than just one side.

2. PALLOR: Typically, migraine in children will cause sufferers to appear ill and pale. There may be dark rings around the eyes.

3. QUIETNESS: A child suffering migraine in children will be very quiet. You may have trouble getting your child to say more than, “My head hurts.” He or she will choose to sit or lie in aching silence.

4. STILLNESS: Unlike Betsy in the schoolroom, children with migraines do not want to move any part of their bodies. They certainly do not want to shake their heads. If a headache complaint is followed by a running off to play, do not suspect migraine in children.

5. NAUSEA: For those taking notes, we’re on the fifth symptom now. Your child may complain of feeling sick in the stomach. He or she may not want to eat anything, and may vomit.

6. ABDOMINAL PAIN: In very young children, the main symptoms of migraine in children are abdominal pain accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

7. VISUAL DISTURBANCES: Some children experience changes in vision during an attack of migraine in children. They may have blurry vision, see flashes of light, or describe zigzag patterns in front of their eyes.

8. PHOTOPHOBIA: Your child may complain of light being too bright, and may want to go to a dark room. For those who like to sound knowledgeable, this light sensitivity is known as photophobia.

9. PHONOPHOBIA: Moving to the eighth symptom, migraine in children may cause them to hold their ears, or complain that you’re talking too loudly. Instead of turning up the television volume, they turn it down or off. This is sound sensitivity, also known as phonophobia.

10. OSMOPHOBIA: Migraine in children will sometimes cause sensitivity to smells. Even if you aren’t cooking liver-and-onions, your child may complain that dinner smells awful. For those who want the technical term, smell sensitivity is known as osmophobia.

11. MOTION SICKNESS: Those who suffer migraine in children have a tendency toward travel sickness. Even when not in a vehicle, a sufferer may complain of dizziness.

12. CONFUSION: Finally, and this is the last symptom we will look at, if your son or daughter is suffering migraine in children, he or she is likely to exhibit confusion and trouble concentrating. You might tell your teenager, “You aren’t thinking straight.”

Is It Migraine in Children?

There you have 12 symptoms. Some will exhibit all – others will exhibit a few. Some will have authentic migraine in children – some will not. How do you tell?

PATTERN: First, note whether your child’s attacks follow a regular, intermittent pattern. Migraine in children comes back again and again, following a pattern. Look for headaches that are very severe, lasting a few hours, and followed by an interval of no symptoms. Days or weeks later, a similar attack occurs, followed by another symptom-free interval. Migraine in children has a rhythm.

FAMILY HISTORY: Check to see if there is a history of migraine in your family. There may be a tendency toward migraine in children.

PHYSICIAN: Ask your doctor. A doctor will focus on ruling out other serious diseases or underlying conditions. If there are none, you will have the doctor’s reassurance, and a plan for effective treatment. I am not a professional, and my information must always be checked with your health care professional.

If your child’s attacks are migraine in children, you can provide relief.

Relief of Migraine in Children

* SLEEP: Sleep is the most important factor when it comes to migraine in children. In many cases, several hours of sleep in a dark, quiet room is all that is required.

* ICE PACK: Try placing a cold compress on your child’s head as he or she lies in a dark, quiet room.

* OTC: With your physician’s approval, use over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen.

* PRECRIPTION: Your physician may want to prescribe a medication for recurring attacks of migraine in children.

* WARM BATH: A hot Epsom salt bath may help an older child or teenager.

The most effective of these is usually sleep.

How Migraine Affects Your Children

In closing, I’d like to tell you about Thomas.

Thomas was a mischievous, high-maintenance little boy. From the time he could toddle, Thomas was on the go. Morning to night, he seemed never to stop. He talked incessantly, played loudly. Everything Thomas did was at top speed and volume.

Then, one bright autumn day in his eighth year, Thomas didn’t want to eat breakfast. Pale and listless, he lay on the couch, eyes closed. When his buddy called that the school bus was coming, Thomas covered his ears and moaned. When Mother opened the curtains to let in sunshine, Thomas covered his eyes. It was his first migraine.

Thomas lost that day. He missed the introduction of multiplication at school. He missed a film in history class. He missed an afternoon hayride with his cub scout pack.

Thomas lost many days after that. He lost days to migraine in children, and he lost symptom-free days out of fear. He began moving more quietly, more slowly. As additional migraines came and went, his bubbly laughter was gradually replaced by sadness and worry.

Thomas’ story is fictional, but it describes the experience of many who suffer migraine in children.

If you think your son or daughter may have migraine in children, I urge you to take him or her to your family doctor. Check for underlying problems, and discuss treatment possibilities.

Whatever you do, don’t ignore migraine in children. Appropriate diagnosis and treatment can greatly improve their quality of life.

The Four Principles of Good Food Hygiene

In the field of food safety and correct food handling there are four recognized principles by which the food industry regulates how it relates to all issues of food hygiene.

Together, these principles work to cover all critical areas where the contamination of food occurs.

By observing these principles we greatly minimise the hygiene risks involved in the handling of food and in the consequential contamination of food.

The four golden rules of food hygiene are:

Buy food from a safe source.

Prevent bacteria from entering your food.

Prevent the multiplication (or growth development) of bacteria in your food.

Destroy bacteria on food, utensils and work surfaces

Rule No.1)

Buy food from a safe source.

Make sure that you buy food only from a suppliers who are well known and reputable. It is important to check that all foods be within their expiry date and kept in appropriate conditions in the shop.

Serving counters should be kept spotlessly clean, likewise machines such as mincers, knives and slicing machines.

Freezers, fridges and chillers should display their temperatures and should be set at less than 5 degrees centigrade for chilled products and -18 degrees centigrade or less for frozen products.

All packaging should be original and not tampered with or forged. This would indicate that the product is not the original contents and has been produced by a fraudulent company. Do not buy these products under any circumstances because they threaten your health.

All reputable retail businesses that sell food should display up to date licences from all the required regulatory authorities as required by law. Check with your local authority to find out what licences a food shop or a supermarket must have to be open for business in your area.

Rule No.2)

Prevent bacteria from entering your food

Ok! This is the pace to tell you a little about bacteria and how they multiply.

All bacteria, when they have the right conditions begin to multiply. The conditions that they need are,

a) a temperature of above 10 degrees centigrade, (some say 5 degrees).

b) A food source. Bacteria break down all organic matter into sugars and use the basic food molecule which is mono- saccharide glucose for their metabolism.

Bacteria need only 20 minutes to adjust themselves to a new food source. For example, Supposing a bacteria was on a sugary food and suddenly found itself on fish, the transition the bacteria would need to be able to digest the new food source is twenty minutes.

c) A source of water.

On acquiring suitable conditions bacteria then commense to reproduce at a rate of one division of the whole colony every 20 minutes. E.G. If you had 1000 bacteria on a piece of food to begin with, you will have one million bacteria after 20 minutes. In the following 20 minutes the number would jump up to one million million bacteria. After that the numbers are simply astronomical!

Keeping bacteria from getting into your food is primarily down to prevention of cross contamination.

Cross contamination means the contact of any food source with any form of contamination from another source. This could be other food (raw or processed), Packaging, garbage, contaminated water or air, unclean or sick humans, animal life, or unclean tools and surfaces.

In good professional kitchens there are different fridges for different functions. For example, there is one fridge for dairy, another for cold fresh vegetables and another for food that has been cooked.

As home owners we do not usually have this luxury therefore it is advised to keep cooked foods at the top of the fridge and raw materials at the bottom in closed containers. This way the risk of contamination is greatly lessened.

Eggs, especially, should be kept in a closed container because they have many bacteria on their outer shells.

Remember to wash your hands and arms to the elbow before preparing food. Cut your salads first and then go onto the foods that are to be cooked making sure to thoroughly wash your board before moving on to different types of food.

Wash all surfaces before and after work with a good detergent. Put cloths into the wash after each usage. Always start with a clean cloth.

Rule No.3)

Prevent the multiplication of bacteria in your food.

As Stated above bacteria need the correct conditions to divide themselves. To do this they need A) the right temperature, B) Food and C) water.

It follows, then, that food should be stored at the lowest possible temperature to keep bacteria inactive. Also, do not allow your food to come into contact with water before you cook it. By thawing food in water we are giving the bacteria a heads start.

Cook your food at the earliest possible moment and after it is cooked keep it at a temperature of at least 70 degrees centigrade until it is served.

If you have to cool your food, do not put hot food in large containers into the fridge. Divide it up into smaller containers and do not stack them in such a way that air cannot circulate around the containers. Once cool freeze if possible.

When thawing food, do it in the fridge in a closed container. Remember, it’s better to plan a meal a couple of days ahead of time than to have have to take couple of sick days off work in bed.

Once thawed, cook the food as soon as possible.

The best way to destroy all bacteria is to cook your food in a pressure cooker. This way the combination of increased temperature and increased atmospheric pressure will completely sterilize the food.

Rule No. 4).

Destroy bacteria on food, utensils and work surfaces.

This rule speaks for itself. Do not let them develop in your kitchen.

Cook food as quickly as possible. Food that cannot be cooked should be frozen if it is not eaten within a short space of time.

Alternative forms of food preservation such as, dehydration, smoking, canning, sterilizing, concentrating and pickling are all alternative ways of preventing the development of and destroying bacteria in food.

The surroundings also constitute a source of food contamination, therefore, you should wash your work surfaces after each usage with hot water and detergent.

In professional kitchens, all working areas should be surfaced with stainless steel. This way, the surface may be cleaned with special grease and lime removing chemicals that have either a caustic soda base or a phosphoric acid base. For safety, remember never to mix chemicals; especially acids and alkalis like caustic soda and phosphoric acid.

Likewise wash all utensils in very hot water and washing up detergent. The water should be so hot that you need gloves to tolerate the heat.

Store pots, pans, plates, cutlery and other utensils in a clean and dry place. Make sure that they are dry before storing them away. Use a clean dish towel every time. Store them upside down. Keep all storage areas clean. Check reglarly for signs of vermin.

Heat crockery to 80 degrees centigrade before serving. This will prevent contamination even Further.

These are the four principles of good food hygiene. Follow them closely and the chances of you or you clients becoming sick are substantially lessened.

Tension Headache – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

A tension headache is the most commonly prevalent headache. It generally produces a diffuse, usually mild to moderate pain over the head. Many people liken the feeling to having a tight band around the head. A tension headache may also cause pain in the back of the neck at the base of the skull. Common symptoms include a headache; tenderness in the scalp, neck and shoulder muscles; insomnia; fatigue; irritability; loss of appetite; and difficulty in concentration. Tension headache is not usually associated with visual or other general disturbances and is not aggravated by activity. The exact cause of tension headache is not known; previously it was considered to be related to muscular tension, and currently, it is believed to be related to changes in the brain neurotransmitters. Tension headache can be either episodic or chronic, and is potentially triggered by stress, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, skipped meals, certain medications and hormonal changes, especially in women.

The Ayurvedic treatment of tension headache is aimed at controlling the symptoms, treating the cause, if known, and preventing recurrence. Medicines like Triphala-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu, Kaishor-Guggulu, Trayodashang-Guggulu, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Dashmoolarishta, Vish-Tinduk-Vati, Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) and Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina) are used to control the headache. If the headache is usually associated with recurrent sneezing or chronic sinusitis, medicines like Tribhuvan-Kirti, Sitopaladi-Churna, Talisadi-Churna and Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra) are used. If the headache is associated with symptoms of hyper-acidity and peptic ulcer, medicines like Laghu-Sutshekhar, Sutshekhar-Ras, Praval-Bhasma, Shankh-Bhasma, Bhunimbadi-Qadha and Praval-Panchamrut are used. An unpredictable type of headache with irregular periodicity is believed to be due to ‘Vat’ and is treated using medicines like Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Vat-Gajankush-Ras, Sameer-Pannag-Ras and Bhruhat-Vat-Chintamani-Ras.

Godanti-Bhasma (Purified gypsum) and Sarpagandha form the main stay of treatment for tension headache. Pathyadi-Qadha is a herbal combination which is used on a long term basis to control tension headache and prevent recurrence. In order to treat stress-related factors, medicines like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and Vacha (Acorus calamus) are used.

Local applications, usually on the forehead, are also used to treat tension headaches. For the ‘Vataj’ and ‘Kaphaj’ types of headaches, a paste of Sunthi (Zinziber officinalis) is applied, while for the ‘Pittaj’ type, a paste containing Chandan (Santalum album), Yashtimadhuk, Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus) and Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis) is used. For intractable headaches, application of leeches on the forehead brings about a dramatic relief from pain.

It is important to rule out serious causes of headache before making the diagnosis of tension headache. Adequate lifestyle modifications need to be made in order to avoid or minimize the known precipitating factors for this condition. Regular physical activity like aerobic exercises, yogic asanas and relaxation techniques like pranayam are very important in controlling and preventing tension headaches.

7 Simple Solutions to Appease Late Night Heartburn Symptoms and Acid Reflux

What person hasn’t shot up erect from sleeping during the night, awakened by the unanticipated awful burning discomfort in the abyss within their stomach area? No matter if you took part in very hot and spicy meal, or consumed to much of all those late-night leftovers, these rapid heartburn symptoms solutions can relieve any tormented stomach and assist you in getting straight back to sleeping peacefully.

1. When you are disturbed out of your sleep by painful heartburn you will first need to stand upright. This will assist in retaining the acid under control while you head to get a whole cool glass of water.

2. Once you finish the whole glass of water you will need to mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda to 1/2 a glass of water and drink it down. A warning is needed here for those who are pregnant or have high blood pressure as this remedy can cause some water retention as well as boost your blood pressure.

3. Stay clear of mints or milk to get rid of your heartburn. These may give some relief in the beginning but they consist of proteins and fats that only add to the chemical process that will cause your stomach to produce more acid and make the heartburn actually more intense. You will find that mints can be somewhat soothing but what they will also do is to relax a small valve between the stomach and esophagus that is there to keep your stomach acids back. Once the valve is relaxed unwanted acids can travel up causing more painful heartburn.

4. Sometimes the pain of heartburn can be caused by not enough acid in the stomach. Believe it or not, taking a tablespoon of vinegar is just the remedy to supply the acid your stomach needs and give immediate relief to the problem.

5. It is known that there are certain foods that when eaten before bedtime can perpetuate heartburn. These are some of them that you should stay away from altogether to prevent the painful burning that heartburn can cause. To start beverages that contain caffeine like carbonated sodas, then there is of course garlic, alcohol, chocolate, tomatoes and tomatoes based items, along with citrus fruits. Avoiding these foods especially before bedtime can save you from an aggravating and unbearable burning through the night.

6. For this ailment try a banana a day to keep your heartburn away. In cases where you already have indigestion you can eat papa, pineapple, or drink the juice to settle the situation. How about a teaspoon of mustard to quiet the beast. It works!

7. A few more things you may do is to try to sleep at a slightly upright angle or on your left side it has the tendency to make it harder for the acid to flow upward. Keep your stomachs acid producing activity to a minimum by not eating for at least two hours before bedtime.

While the remedies above will help ease nighttime heartburn in most cases, if you find that you are getting the attacks on a regular basis or they come with a lot of pain or vomiting, this may indicate that the situation is of a much more serious nature. It is advisable at that time to seek the advice of a doctor without delay. In the meanwhile stay away from the things that can get you into a problem before bedtime to have a peaceful, restful sleep.

Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux – How to Cure Heartburn Without Drugs

Natural remedies for acid reflux are a great way to treat yourself without risking the long term side effects of drugs. For example, many people taking modern acid reflux drugs are now experiencing symptoms of osteoporosis. In this article, I’ll give you the lowdown on the many natural cures that you can try tonight.

Aloe Vera Juice

This is a very soothing and tasty juice that you can drink to quench the burning sensations. It is best taken before a meal. Beware that it can have a laxative effect when taken in large doses.


This is one of the only fruits that has amazing anti-reflux properties. It contains the natural papain enzyme which appears to aid digestion. You can either eat the fruit or drink the juice. I recommend the fruit for best results.

Burnt Toast

Burn toast contains a lot of carbon which is excellent for mopping up any liquid in the stomach and this includes excess acid that could otherwise escape and reach the esophagus where you would feel the classic burning sensation.

Chewing Gum

Saliva is a natural antacid. When you finish your meal you should chew some sugar-free gum for ten minutes and this is often enough to quell the acid. In some parts of the world, restaurants will give you gum immediately after a meal for this specific purpose.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Amazingly, this cure-all is effective even for acid reflux. Take about a teaspoon in a glass of water and sip it slowly. If you don’t like the taste then you can try and conceal it in a mixed drink.

One study has even found that apple cider vinegar can decrease the risk of developing esophageal cancer, which is itself a long term complication of untreated acid reflux.

Benefits Of Following The Paleo Diet Lifestyle

The paleo diet really is more of a lifestyle than a true diet. Its main goal is a healthy living, not direct weight loss. However, this is for many, a side effect of making the required eating habit changes to one’s daily diet. There are many benefits to living the paleo way and we will discuss that further in this very article. If you are interested in living a happier, more mentally alert and healthier life, then please keep reading.

The automatic result of changing eating habits to the foods our Paleolithic ancestors ate is, we no longer get bombarded with the complex and dangerous chemicals that are commonly added to the most popular foods in today’s grocery stores. It is believed that our bodies have not evolved to properly process many of these chemicals. On the other hand, many of these chemical are plain old Dangerous to our bodies and mental capacity.

Eating real food, not processed foods, will make a noticeable and positive change to your mental and physical health. As stated earlier, this is not technically a diet plan, more of a lifestyle based around making healthy choices to fuel your body with the best wholesome foods possible. The results for many do include weight loss, but please consider the points below when considering what the paleo diet really has to offer to you and anybody who takes the proper steps to make changes in their own life.

Food Coloring May Be Pretty, But…

Did you know many of the most common foods (not found on the paleo diet food list) have food coloring added to them to make them look appetizing? This alone does not sound dangerous, but the actual chemicals to obtain these colors are very problematic. In the 1970’s the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) banned red dye no. 2 because it was found that in high doses it would actually cause cancer in laboratory rats. The yellow no. 5 dye was found to increase hyperactivity in children by a British study in 2007 and to worsen asthma symptoms by studies that go back to the 1950’s.

Naturally Sweet, Just Makes Sense

High fructose corn syrup has received a lot of negative media in the past few years and for good reason. This sweetener that is derived from corn, an alternative to natural sugar from sugar cane, has some major health concerns connected to it. This sweetener is found in soft drinks, junk food and just about anything that is sweet and carries a decent shelf like at the grocery store. It has been connected to the raise of obesity in America and the body does not metabolize it in the same way as sugar based sweeteners.

Mercury contaminants are found in it and this has yet to be regulated by the FDA. The companies that use this in their foods have spent millions to “educate” the public on its safety, yet the extraction process is still secret and unknown to all. This additive is almost exclusively used in poor quality “food like substances”, so that should be enough for you to know you need to stay away from it.

Salty &Healthy Don’t Belong In The Same Sentence

Americans love salt. There I said it. Many people love to put extra salt on foods that are already doused with butter (which normally already contains salt) to bring out this familiar taste. There are many dangers of high sodium diets. The most apparent is the hypertension or high blood pressure (that leads to heart issues) that is associated with too much salt in one’s diet. In mature adults, high salt intake can lead to premature cognitive decline. Salt also changes the way your kidneys function, not allowing it to regulate the release of water to the body as normal and can lead to kidney stones. Salt can even lead to a skin condition called edema. This condition causes swelling of the extremities.

Living The Paleo Life

There are many other reasons that the paleo diet has become one of the most popular ways to change your health. The reasons discussed here are just the tip of the iceberg. The real magic starts when you realize that removing the things that have a negative impact on your health are magnified by adding more of the healthy vitamins and nutrients found in the foods that are paleo approved. Changing your lifestyle takes time and of course some work, but hopefully you have found enough reasons here that you find the determination to move forward with some healthy changes starting today!