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Tuesday, January 30

Dementia: You're More At Risk Of Alzheimer's If You Frequently Wake Up During The Night

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 0
You're More At Risk Of Alzheimer's If You Frequently Wake Up During The Night

Dementia is more likely to occur in people that have fragmented sleep patterns, according to US scientists.

Disruptions in the natural body clock could be an early indicator of Alzheimer's disease.

Just because you get eight hours of sleep a night, doesn't necessarily mean you won't develop the neurodegenerative condition, the scientists warned.

Detecting Alzheimer's disease earlier could help doctors to slow the condition's progression.

The scientists tracked sleeping patterns of 189 cognitively healthy adults.

They were searching for certain proteins that signal Alzheimer's development.

139 of the adults had rhythmic body clocks, and didn't show signs of the Alzheimer's protein.

But, 50 of the adults all had fragmented sleep patterns, and showed signs of the dementia biomarkers.

"It wasn't that people in the study were sleep-deprived," said author of the research, Dr Erik Musiek.

"But their sleep tended to be fragmented. Sleeping for eight hours at night is very different from getting eight hours of sleep in one-hour increments during daytime naps."

Senior author, Dr Yo-El Ju, added: "We found that people with preclinical Alzheimer's disease had more fragmentation in their circadian activity patterns, with more periods of inactivity or sleep during the day and more periods of activity at night.

"At the very least, these disruptions in circadian rhythms may serve as a biomarker for preclinical disease."

Dementia is the name given to a collection of symptoms that result from damage to the brain.

Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia are both types of dementia.

Symptoms of Alzheimer's include memory loss, repetition, feeling more withdrawn, and difficulty finding the right words.

There is currently no cure for dementia, for certain treatments could help to slow down symptoms' progression, according to the NHS.
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Norovirus Symptoms: Signs Of Winter Vomiting Bug To Look Out For After UK Cases Rise

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 0
Norovirus Symptoms

Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug - is one of the most common stomach bugs in the UK, according to the NHS.

Symptoms of the virus include suddenly feeling sick, projectile vomiting and watery diarrhoea.

Patients have also reported fevers, headaches, muscles aches and stomach cramps.

While the condition can be unpleasant, symptoms usually disappear within a couple of days.

If you become infected with norovirus, the best thing to do is to stay at home until symptoms disappear, the NHS said. Drink plenty of fluids, get plenty of rest, and take painkillers to ease any fevers or muscle aches.

"You don't usually need to get medical advice unless there's a risk of a more serious problem," it said.

"There's no cure for norovirus, so you have to let it run its course.

"Visiting your GP surgery with norovirus can put others at risk, so it's best to call your GP or NHS 111 if you're concerned or feel you need advice."

You can be infectious for about 48 hours after the symptoms of norovirus have passed, so stay away from school or work for a couple of days.

Washing your hands regularly with warm water and soap could limit the spread of the infection.

You could prevent infection in the first place by avoiding raw, unwashed produce.

Oysters can carry norovirus, so only eat the shellfish from a reliable source.

Since the beginning of October, there have been more than 2,700 reports of norovirus in England and Wales, Public Health England figures revealed.

The number of cases has increased over recent weeks, and is now above the five-year average for this period.

The rise in norovirus cases coincides with the UK's worst flu season for seven years.

The deadly Aussie flu virus has swept across the UK, and a total of 120 have died from the influenza virus in the UK since October.
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Sunday, January 28

Aussie Flu Symptoms: NHS Reveals Secret To Lowering Your Risk Of Deadly Infection

Sunday, January 28, 2018 0

Aussie Flu Symptoms: NHS Reveals Secret To Lowering Your Risk Of Deadly Infection

Aussie flu has hospitalised almost 500 people since the beginning of October, latest Public Health England (PHE) figures have revealed. The deadly viral infection has swept across the UK, and has been recorded in every postcode of the country.

But, you could prevent infection from the H3N2 virus by simply keeping warm, according to the NHS. Cold weather increases the risk of flu, pneumonia, hypothermia and heart attacks, it said.

"Keeping warm over winter helps prevent colds, flu and even more serious health conditions," tweeted NHS Choices. "Several layers of clothes are better for staying warm than one chunky layer."

The NHS added: "If you're not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition, such as heart or lung disease, heat your home to at least 18°C [65°F]. "If you start to feel unwell, even if it's a cough or cold, don't wait until it gets more serious. Seek advice from your pharmacist."
The advice comes after claims that the Aussie flu epidemic could continue for another three months. Australian scientists revealed that outbreaks of H3N2 typically last for about 15 weeks.

The number of people visiting GPs over flu-related illnesses increased 42 per cent during the second week of January. The best way to prevent infection is to get the flu jab, PHE said.
Aussie flu symptoms include sore throats, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever, headaches and difficulty sleeping. Symptoms are similar to normal flu, but they tend to be more severe and last longer. You could lower your risk of infection by regularly washing your hands, and by avoiding crowded areas.

If you think you're infected with Aussie flu, you shouldn't see your GP, as you could spread the virus further. Only see a doctor if you're over 65, are pregnant, or have a long-term medical condition.
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Getting Yourself Motivated To Workout

Sunday, January 28, 2018 0

Getting Yourself Motivated To Workout

The hardest part of working out is getting started. We all know we need to do it. Often, we're glad we did. We feel energized and better for having done it. Finding just the right motivation for you may be the secret to working out and staying with it.

Path to improved wellness

Everyone has a different reason for working out. Some might exercise for their physical health, while others work out for their mental health. Some do it to look good. And some just enjoy being active. If you want or need to work out and are having trouble getting started, one of these reasons might be the motivation for you:
  • Health and wellness. If living longer and living well is important to you, working out is a priority. Endless studies have shown that working out on a regular basis can reduce, delay, and maybe even prevent the onset of certain diseases. Diabetes, cancer, and dementia are some of the most common medical conditions positively affected by exercise.
  • Mental health. Regular exercise helps your body release endorphins (hormone). This hormone helps reduce stress and can improve your mental outlook. Exercise has proved to be an important contribution to the treatment of depression and anxiety.
  • Weight management. If you're struggling to lose weight or maintain your weight loss, exercise is crucial. The combination of aerobic (running, dancing, walking) and weight-bearing exercise is especially helpful in building your muscles. This helps your body burn calories and fat.
  • Recreation. Working out is a great opportunity to spend time with friends and family. And depending on the weather, it's free. Activities such as walking, jogging, biking, tennis, basketball, and soccer are great group work outs. These activities also can get you laughing, which is important for your mental health.
The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) promotes safe and healthy fitness. This includes exercise as an essential part of health throughout life (and in preventing disease) and participation in recreational and competitive athletics.
Tips for getting started with a work out and staying with it include:
  • Set reasonable goals. If you're just starting, plan to exercise for 20 minutes 3 times a week and work up from there.
  • Record your progress. Whether you're checking your BMI, your weight, your clothing size, or your mood, track it to see if you are making progress.
  • Give yourself a break. Try to work out on a regular basis, but don't feel guilty if a day of personal and work obligations causes you to skip a work out.
  • Make it all about you. Plan this time for you. You work hard for your employer and your family. You deserve to treat your mind and body.
  • Seek support from friends and family. Ask your friends to encourage you or to be understanding when you choose to work out.
  • Make it fun. If you don't like to jog, don't do it. Do you like to dance? Do you like yoga? Do what makes exercise fun.
  • Mix it up. The same old routine can get boring. Consider doing different kinds of exercise. Alternate by the day, by the week, or by the month. Do what works for you.
  • Work it into your daily life. Consider skipping that heavy lunch and working out instead. Take the steps instead of the elevator. Try waking up 30 minutes earlier once or twice a week to get your work out in and over with.
  • Focus on the future. Don't worry about past failures with weight and exercise. Stay focused on what you want to accomplish in the future.
  • Pat yourself on the back. Don't forget to celebrate your exercise success. While it's okay to splurge on your diet once in awhile, focus on other kinds of rewards. Consider a movie, downloading a new song, or a hot bath. Choose something that makes you feel good about your accomplishment.

Things to consider

While exercise is a good thing, most people should talk to their doctor before starting an aggressive routine. This is true for people with existing health conditions, such as heart disease or other chronic illnesses. Other things to consider when motivating yourself to exercise include:
  • Safety. Choose public areas or gym facilities that are safe.
  • Expense. If you can't afford a gym membership, look for less expensive alternatives. This might include community recreation centers (less expensive than most commercial gyms), a safe park, or dusting off your old bike.
  • Age/ability. Talk to your doctor for recommendations on the type and level of exercise you should aim for at your age and ability.
  • Type of activity. Consider what activities may be too much for you age and ability. For example, playing team sports, such as basketball, might be harder on your body as you age.
Questions to ask your doctor
  • What type of exercise is good for seniors?
  • How long after a heart attack or surgery should a person wait to exercise?
  • What does it mean if I feel sick after working out?
  • Can I exercise while pregnant?
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Thursday, January 25

Flu May Be Spread By Just Breathing

Thursday, January 25, 2018 0
Flu May Be Spread By Just Breathing

In the midst of an especially tough flu season, here's more bad news: Researchers say it may be possible to spread the virus simply by breathing. Until now, it was thought that people picked up a flu virus when they touched contaminated surfaces or inhaled droplets in the air ejected by an infected person's coughs or sneezes.

But the new study finds coughs and sneezes may not be necessary to saturate the air with flu virus. In the study, researchers analysed air around the exhaled breath of 142 people with the flu. "We found that flu cases contaminated the air around them with infectious virus just by breathing, without coughing or sneezing," said study author Dr Donald Milton, a professor of environmental health at the University of Maryland.

"People with flu generate infectious aerosols [tiny droplets that stay suspended in the air for a long time] even when they are not coughing, and especially during the first days of illness," he explained in a university news release. "So when someone is coming down with influenza, they should go home and not remain in the workplace and infect others."

In fact, nearly half (48 per cent) of the airborne samples captured in the air around flu patients who were just breathing - not coughing or sneezing - contained detectable influenza virus, the researchers noted. What's more, when patients did sneeze, that didn't seem to add much to the viral count in the samples, Milton's group added.

Of course certain steps - "keeping surfaces clean, washing our hands all the time, and avoiding people who are coughing," can still help lower your odds of catching influenza, said Sheryl Ehrman, dean of the College of Engineering at San Jose State University, in California. But if an infected person's breathing spreads flu virus, even those precautions do "not provide complete protection from getting the flu," she added.

That means that if you are unlucky enough to get the flu, "staying home and out of public spaces could make a difference," Ehrman said. The researchers believe their findings could help improve mathematical models of the risk of airborne flu transmission and could also be used to develop better public health flu prevention measures.

For example, improvements could be made to ventilation systems in places such as offices, school classrooms and subway cars, to reduce the risk of flu transmission, the team said.

The United Kingdom and United States is in the middle of a particularly nasty flu season, with nearly all states reporting high levels of severe flu, and hospitals swamped with cases. Experts blame the severity of this year's flu season on a particularly virulent strain of flu and prolonged periods of very cold weather.

The study was published Jan. 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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Arthritis Exercises: Seven Common Mistakes You're Making During Your Workout

Thursday, January 25, 2018 0

Arthritis symptoms include joint pain, inflammation, muscle wasting and - crucially for exercising - restricted movement of joints. If you don't exercise correctly, you could do your body more harm than good, according to the Arthritis Foundation.
"There are some top fitness mistakes that people - regardless of age or physical ability - tend to make repeatedly" said the charity. "Each one can cause stress and injury to the body. To get the most from your fitness program and keep your joints strong and injury-free, be sure to avoid these exercise mistakes."

1. Stretching

Stretching helps to give muscles a full range of motion. Flexibility is key in preparing for exercise, especially when you have joint stiffness, the charity said. Hamstring stretches are the most important to remember. A tight hamstring can cause misalignment in the pelvis and knees, it said.

2. Drink plenty of fluids

When exercising, the body needs extra water to cool down, and to keep blood circulating throughout the body. "Drink plenty of water prior to exercise, get another 6 to 8 ounces for every 15 minutes of exercise and then follow the workout with more water to replenish what was lost."

Don't head straight for the heaviest weights

Be careful not to overdo it on weight training, the Arthritis Foundation said. While it can help top boost stamina and energy, lifting too much too soon can damage tissue. "When weight training, you should feel fatigue by the 12th or 15th repetition, be it a 1-pound or 100-pound weight. Once that becomes easy, add more weight."

Excessive puffing

Working too hard can reduce the amount of oxygen that gets into your body, which leads to joint and tissue pain. You can work out the perfect balance between oxygen intake and exercise by finding your target heart rate. That's your age, subtracted from 220, then aim for 40 to 70 per cent of that.

Eating habits

Eating less than two hours before a workout means your blood flow is concentrating on digesting food, and not keeping muscles warm, and circulating oxygen. You only need extra calories before a workout if you're training for a marathon.

Pushing through the pain barrier

If your joints are already hot and swollen, continuing to exercise can cause more damage than good. While it's okay to have achy muscles for the first day or two after a workout, anything longer could be arthritis-related.

Cool down

Improve your flexibility by having a proper cool down after a workout. Cooling down with long stretches and deep breathing will help to return your heart rate back to normal.
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Warning Signs of Mental Illness

Thursday, January 25, 2018 0
Warning Signs of Mental Illness

Mental illness is a common health problem. It includes a range of conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder. Mental illness affects people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. Most often, people have and show early signs of illness. Learn what these signs are, so that you or someone you know can get help.

Path to improved health

Warning signs of mental illness vary by person and problem. Below are some of the most common signs.

• Changes in mood. Your feelings may alter over time or all of a sudden. In addition, they can shift back and forth. For instance, you may feel happy or excited one day or in a certain situation. Then, you may feel sad or upset the next day or in a new situation.
• Fear or uneasiness. You may start to feel afraid, anxious, nervous, or panicked.
• Decreased performance. You may notice that your grades begin to drop or your work suffers. You may find it harder to complete things that once were easy or enjoyable.
• Lack of interest. There are several things that can cause you to lose interest in certain things or people. This can lead to broad or complete withdrawal.
• Altered senses. Your basic senses - sound, smell, touch, or sight - may become more or less sensitive.
• Lifestyle changes. You may sleep longer than usual or have a hard time sleeping. You also could develop an eating disorder, where you eat more, less, or not at all.
• Troubled mind. It is possible to have clouded thinking that makes it hard to focus, remember, or process things.
• Changes in behaviour. Your actions may alter in ways that are abnormal for you.
• Loss of control. Over time, you may lose the ability to manage stress, tasks, or life's demands.
• Out of touch with reality. Mental illness can cause you to become detached from your surroundings. You may feel lost, distant, or numb. You may have hallucinations or nightmares. You may forget how to relate to others, or show care or concern.

Other possible warning signs include:

• Alcohol or drug abuse.
• Sexual abuse.
• Feelings, thoughts, or actions of anger or violence.
• Unexplained physical symptoms, such as stomach pain and headaches.

Things to consider

It is important to know the signs of mental illness because it affects so many people. You or someone you know may have a problem at some point in your life. If you know the warning signs, you can detect them early on. The sooner you see a doctor and get diagnosed, the sooner you can begin treatment.

Do not ignore these warning signs. It can make mental illness worse and cause harm to others. When you learn about mental illness, share information with others, and talk about your story, you help stop the stigma.

When to see your doctor

Contact your doctor if you have multiple warning signs. They will do an exam and discuss your state of health. Only a doctor can diagnose mental illness. If someone you know displays these signs, talk to them about your concerns. Suggest that they visit a doctor to find out what is going on.

Seek help right away if you have thoughts of murder or suicide. Call 911 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Questions to ask your doctor

• How can I tell if I have a mental illness?
• How can I tell if someone I know has a mental illness?
• Are there other warning signs I should look for?
• What are the best resources to use if I want to learn more about mental illness?
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Wednesday, January 24

Newborn Reflexes and Behaviour

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 0
Newborn Reflexes and Behaviour

Newborn babies are precious, dependent little creatures. They have limited control over their bodies when they first enter the world. However, they are born with a set of skills that help them survive and thrive. Some of these behaviours and reflexes fade a few months after birth. Some last into adulthood.

Path To Improved Health

Sometimes it's hard to know what "normal" newborn behaviour looks like. Babies display many of the same behaviours but develop at different rates. It's important to know the behaviours to expect from your baby so you can tell if there may be a problem to discuss with your baby's doctor.

Sleeping. Newborn babies' stomachs are too small to stay full for long, so they need to be fed frequently. They may sleep anywhere from 20 minutes to 4 hours at a time between feedings until they are around 3 months old. Many babies begin to sleep 6-8 hours during the night at that age.

Crying. Newborns cry to tell you when they need something or that something is wrong. Be patient and calm with your newborn. Have someone else stay with your baby if you need a break. Never, ever shake your baby. Over time, you may be able to tell what your baby needs by the way he or she is crying. Call your doctor if you have any questions about your baby's crying. This could include if you feel that you have tried everything and your baby is still crying; if your baby is crying more often or at different times than usual; or if his or her crying sounds different than it normally does.

Making noises. Newborn babies make noises just like adults. They will hiccup, sneeze, yawn, burp, and gurgle. These are all normal noises.

• Breathing. Sometimes, newborn babies will not breathe regularly. It is normal for them to stop breathing for just a few seconds and then start again. If your baby stops breathing for longer than 10 seconds or starts to turn blue, seek emergency care immediately.

Seeing. It's hard for newborns to focus at first, so their eyes may be crossed. They have better control of their eye muscles by 2 to 3 months of age.

Hearing. Newborns can recognize familiar sounds and voices. Talk, sing, and read to your baby often. He or she will start to turn toward the sound of your voice.

Your baby's body has built-in responses to certain stimuli from the moment they are born. Within the first few minutes after your baby is born, nurses and doctors will check many of these reflexes. They will also monitor them at newborn check-up appointments. Newborn reflexes include:

Rooting reflex. This is a basic survival instinct. Babies know how to find and latch on to a nipple to feed. If you stroke the side of your baby's cheek with your finger or breast, he or she will turn their head, open their mouth, and begin to make sucking movements. This reflex usually disappears around four months.

Moro ("startle") reflex. Your baby will be placed in a seated stance (with his or her head supported). When the baby's head is allowed to drop backward, the baby should appear to be startled. Their arms will reach out with palms up and thumbs out. When the baby is "caught," he or she will bring their arms back to their body. Loud, unexpected noises may cause this reflex. The baby may cry when especially startled. This reflex usually disappears around two months.

Step reflex. A baby is held upright with his or her feet gently touching a flat surface. The baby will appear to try to take steps. This reflex usually disappears around two months.

Grasp reflex. When your baby's palm is stroked, he or she will grab your finger and hold on tight. Their toes will curl up as well, if you stroke the bottom of their foot. This reflex begins to disappear around the third month.

Asymmetrical tonic neck ("fencing") reflex. Babies take on a "fencer" position when lying on their backs. Their head turns to the side, and the opposite arm reaches away from the baby's body with the hand slightly opened. This reflex usually disappears between four and five months.

Babinski reflex. The doctor or nurse will stoke the underside of your baby's foot, from the top of the sole toward the heel. His or her toes will fan out. Their big toe will move upward. This reflex remains through adulthood. Adults' toes and feet will curl inward.

Galant (truncal incurvation) reflex. Your baby will be held facedown in a doctor or nurse's hand while they use the other hand to stroke your baby's skin along one side of their spine. The baby's spine should curve and their head and feet will move in the direction of the side that is being stroked.

Things To Consider

Your baby's doctor will monitor his or her reflexes and behaviours at their regular newborn check-up appointments. You should watch them at home as well. You may want to keep a chart of your baby's behaviours until you can better understand them. This will help you communicate any potential problems with your doctor.

Vision and hearing problems can cause developmental delays. Talk to your doctor if you feel your baby's eyes are not starting to focus in their first 2 months of life. Also notify your doctor if your baby doesn't seem to react or startle at loud noises.

Watch for your baby's reflexes. A reflex that has gone away and suddenly returns could be a sign of a problem. Also let your doctor know if your baby seems to lose a reflex sooner than should be expected. Trust your instincts and always ask your doctor questions and talk to him or her if you suspect there may be a problem with your baby's development.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

• Do you have tips to help my baby stop crying?
• Is my baby sleeping and eating enough?
• My baby's eyes seem to still cross sometimes. How long is that normal?
• How can I check to make sure my baby is responding to noises?
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