Thursday, June 29, 2006

Menopause or Metamorphosis? - Irregular Menstruation, absense of menses

Among the various health problems menopause is the one every women has to face in her life. Though it is a natural event its accompanying symptoms cause a setback in her health and mind. More than 75 percent of women complain of menopause blues. The average age of a women to attain menopause is 51 years. The medical definition of menopause is absence of menses at a stretch for 12 months. In some menstruation ceases abruptly and in some it slowly tapers off.

Some of the symptoms for this syndrome include hot flashes, vaginal thinning, loss of control over urination, insomnia, pain during intercourse, irritability and irregular menstruation. These symptoms vary from individuals to individual. Some times these symptoms surface quite earlier to menopause even at the age of 40 signalling it’s setting on at a later date. This is termed as “perimenopause”. Menopause also occurs soon on removal of ovaries and uterus of the reproductive system. This is known as “surgical menopause”.
Principle female hormones “Oestrogen” and “Progestorne” are produced by a pair of “ovaries” located on either side of the uterus. These hormones are crucial to maintain menstrual cycle and reproduction. Besides, they also help in a way to keep the level of cholesterol lower in blood thus serving as a barrier from cardic problems among the premenopause women.
This explanation why cardiac problems occur among women mostly only after 50 years of age. These hormones are also very essential for the growth of bones. Hence, among some menopause may result in “Oesteoporosis” an ailment caused by the low density of bone. This can be averted to some extent by taking food rich in calcium.
Female body system carries male horomones also. It is essential that there should be a balance between female and male hormones. Since menopause involves withdrawal of female hormones and consequent increase of male hormone among a few women this may cause excessive growth of facial hair resulting in an embarrassing and unfeminine condition.
Though it is beyond our reach to dispense altogether the onset of menopause still by rudent management its evil effects can be controlled. Avoidance of smoking, alcohol, spicy food, doing yoga, frequent intercourse to maintain the elasticity of vagina are some of the means by which we can minimize these effects. In some cases Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is adopted in which related female hormones are administered to the patient to offset their loss. Since it has hazardous side effects HRT has to be taken strictly under medical supervision.

Courtesy: Indian Express, Health Supplement, February 7 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006

Child Growth - Information on Developmental Stages of Infants

We often come across mother discussing their experiences about their pregnancies, childbirth and how the child has grown with those who are expecting their first child. Also, they share their experiences with those who already have babies.

These experiences may be pleasant or unpleasant and the poor listeners may get influenced with what is told to them and start comparisons amongst themselves and their babies.

These comparisons include the differences starting from conception till childbirth and the growth pattern therafter. Some of these experiences may be pleasant and some maybe of a worrying or enviable nature.

It is therefore important for all mothers to remember that what holds good in one infant need not be the same in the other. This is true with regards to the growth pattern of each child in different mothers and different siblings in the same family.

Each child is unique in the growth patterns and one cannot and should not compare. What follows is an attempt to make mothers aware of what we mean by developmental milestones in a baby from birth till one year.

Every mother should remember that these milestones give important clues about how the baby is developing. Children begin to reach developmental milestones as soon as they come out of the mother’s womb according to an expert in the field.

By paying attention to these signs during the first month of a baby’s life and the intervening period each parent can make a big difference.

The first and most important point which every mother should keep in mind with developmental milestones is that there is a wide range of time during which children will achieve them and this achievement differs in different babies.

Experts believe that there are no set patterns that have to be followed by every child or for that fact in children born to the same mother. To substantiate this truth, there cannot be a better example than walking.

In one case a child may start his first step in 13 months. Most children will usually walk between nine and 18 months. A mother therefore need not start worrying if her 15 month old child has not yet started walking.

What is important is to observe your child with great vigilance but not start comparing with other children of the same age. One fact of utmost importance is to keep in mind that children born prematurely often achieve milestones later than those who are born full term.

It is not correct to judge a premature baby by their corrected age. One normally starts counting the age from the due date instead of their birth date. This would mean that a two –month old premature baby will achieve at five months what other babies born full term achieve at three months. This clearly explains the difference.

Any mother who believes that her child is not developing the milestones like every other child of the same age should necessarily consult a pediatrician instead of comparing with other children.

Who knows the pediatrician may diagnose a speech defect and can give timely advice for speech therapy. What follows is a brief account of these developmental milestones which every average child passes through and every mother should look for the following while assessing their presence in her child. These milestones are noticed in almost every normal child and one can differentiate the normal from what is considered unusual if only the mother is aware of what these normal milestones are.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Skin Care - How to have Beautiful Hands

Beautiful hands are an essential part of one’s body. Hands cannot be kept hidden and they are exposed to all kinds of weather conditions. However much one may try to do so, they constantly come in contact with water which contains such powerful chemical solutions as washing powder, bleach and washing liquids. Therefore hands can easily show signs of neglect and ageing.

Protect your Hands

Proper care of the hands should be taken by drying it with a towel everytime you come in contact with water. A pair of gloves should be worn during all household chores like washing, cleaning and cutting vegetables. One will feel uncomfortable but will get used to it.
Every night, hands should be washed with a mild soap and scrubbed thoroughly with a face brush. In case of hard skin, it should be whizzed over with a pumice stone. If the fingers are stained due to vegetables, they should be rubbed with a piece of lime, this will help bleach the stain.
They should then be rinsed well and dried thoroughly, the hands should be treated over or twice a week to a massage with a real rich cream. This should be preceded by soaking them in warm oil preferably olive oil or almond for 15 to 20 minutes. A useful remedy for keeping the hands young and beautiful is to dip them up to the wrist in a bowl of milk. If the hands are too tired, soak them for a few minutes in warm water to which two or three tablespoons of salt is added, this will soothe the hands. As for the nails, soak them in a little vegetable oil and rub them with a herbal shampoo.

Courtesy: Indian Express, Health Supplement, December 13 2005