Category Archives: Health

A Brief Guide to Seasonal Affective Disorder

Disorder 1

Recent studies have confirmed that seasonal affective disorder is a genuine malady affecting people as the light shifts and the weather changes toward the end of the year.  People experiencing seasonal affective disorder may find themselves moodier, more depressed, or more anxious than usual, and may be less adept at dealing with their feelings.  Here is some information about the science behind seasonal affective disorder, wellness tips for those who suffer from it, and advice and facts for those who do not experience it.

What is seasonal affective disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that has been linked to a regular seasonal pattern, often taking effect when the weather begins cooling down and the light changes.  Scientists disagree as to the reason behind its seasonal nature – whether it is due to the general lack of outdoor activities and the corresponding lack in vitamin D coupled with the longer nights and shorter days, or to the drop in the daily average temperature is uncertain.  What is known is that around 5 percent of the population experiences it in some form each year.

How to identify seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal affective disorder is a subset of major depression, rather than a natural, temporary downturn of one’s mood.  As such, it has several symptoms in common with clinical depression.  While not all people will experience all of these symptoms, experiencing a majority of them for an extended period of time may indicate that you are currently suffering from, or have suffered from, seasonal affective disorder.

First, it is linked to a lack of energy.  You may not feel up to taking on your daily tasks or even spending time with friends or family.  It can also manifest itself as a reduced ability to concentrate, or an overreliance on eating or alcohol as a source of comfort.  Other symptoms include general anxiety and constant worry, fitful sleep or insomnia, and feelings of being alienated.  Finally, the key element differentiating seasonal affective disorder from standard major depression is that it is chronic, occurring regularly, in sync with each year’s seasonal shift.

While it is most commonly associated with the change from summer to autumn and winter, people occasionally report symptoms during the shift back to spring and summer.  If you think that you or a loved one have been experiencing a majority of these symptoms, it may be time to seek some form of professional help.  In the meantime, there are a number of wellness strategies you can try.

Wellness strategies for those with seasonal affective disorder

If you are currently suffering from seasonal affective disorder, don’t give up hope.  There are a number of things you can do to make the winter seem more bearable.  Some strategies are simple – for instance, even if you are not generally a morning person, waking up in time to see the sunrise can start your day on an optimistic note.  Make sure you get a certain amount of exercise each day to release endorphins that boost positive feelings in general while making your body feel better.  Also, take time to plan things to look forward to, like dinner with friends.  Even if you don’t feel like going out, it is healthy to have some form of social interaction.  Finally, don’t neglect basic self-care.  Even the simplest activities, like working out and eating regular meals, can help you boost your mood.

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Worth Thinking

It all started as freedom propaganda.
The lie was told so subtly that we didn’t notice.
To gain popularity, they convinced us that it was all about gender equality. Then they preached to us, saying it was a human rights and child rights agenda.
To draw the attention of women, they hid under Women Empowerment Campaigns.
We saw everything they did as part of civilization. Because of this, we applauded them and blindly sang their praises.
We were so blind that we did not notice when they went from equality to role reversal, and from ‘rights’ to ‘wrongs’. They told us it was all a matter of understanding. I mean, if she earns more than he does, why can’t she be the head while he submits?
They told us we had the right to our bodies. They told us that if the guys can do ‘it’ anytime with anybody, so can the girls. They introduced free love, and ‘friends with benefits’, and convinced us that we were just exercising our rights to enjoy our bodies. We agreed. Which youth wouldn’t?
When we complained about STDs, they introduced condoms, and even started sharing it to us free of charge in our secondary schools. They told us that
from the age of 16, we had the right to do whatever we wanted to. This made us to start seeing our parents and school teachers as toothless
bulldogs as they no longer had the right to discipline us. Talk of sweet freedom!
When we complained about teenage pregnancies, they told our parents to educate us about contraceptives as early as possible. Then they introduced the reformed sex education in our school as a guise to give us more condoms.
Some of us still got pregnant, and we complained yet again. So they decided to legalize abortions. This was in a bid to help us. You see, they really cared about our future, and wanted to ensure that we live a free life.
Abortion made sense to us. So we accepted it. I mean, why bring a child you don’t want or can’t take care of into the world? We felt a bit guilty because it seemed like murder. But they told us not to worry. According to them, what we were doing was merely taking out an unwanted foetus, and
not killing a child. Yet again, we accepted it, and got pacified.
They said that we weren’t supposed to be accountable to any deity, religion, our parents or the society. Next, they told us we had the freedom to do what we wanted with our lives, so far as we weren’t hurting other people or trampling on their rights.
Almost immediately, we stopped regarding God. We rather chose to play football, hang out, or watch
seasonal movies on Fridays and Sundays.
We also decided to experiment with homosexuality. It seemed like fun, and they encouraged us. When we told them that the society frowned against
our choice, they legalized it and told us we can get married too.
We decided to go further and experiment with drugs. They frowned against it publicly, but we still had access to it. Moreover, we were minors, and the law enforcement agents couldn’t really punish us.
We looked for role models and they gave us Hollywood stars with multiple divorce stories, musical icons addicted to drugs/alcohol, and sports stars with numerous extra marital affair scandals.
They told us, that those celebrities were successful and free and we should aspire to be like them. Some of us started pumping iron, getting tattoos, and injecting steroids in order to look as manly and as ‘successful’ as our role models.
We started seeing fidelity as a sign of weakness. And just like our ‘role-models’, we started going after everything in skirt.
We equally tore off pictures of our successful and ‘sexy’ looking role models off celebrity magazines, and pasted them on our mirrors. We started dieting
like mad so we can lose weight and look like them. We noticed that they hardly wore any clothes, so we followed suit.
When we became bored, they introduced us to their clubs and night parties.
They told us to throw caution to the winds and just have fun. Even when some of us got raped, they encouraged us to shut up and keep having fun.
Some of us became addicted to alcohol, but we were told not to worry that it was one way to prove our manhood, so we continued.
At a time we noticed that we had lost our will. We had become their slaves without knowing it. We noticed that we didn’t have any reason to live
again, and life was no longer purposeful.
In the bid to look sexy, some of us became victims of anorexia nervosa.
Those of us in relationships found it impossible to be faithful. Many started contemplating suicide. Many more had STDs. Some of us experienced series of psychological traumas and mental breakdowns. A lot more dropped out of school as a result of unwanted pregnancies, drugs, or an abortion that went wrong.
At this point we saw our future get dashed before our faces. We started looking for whom to blame. After a fruitless search, we had to admit that we didn’t even know who ‘they’ were. Then reality dawned on us.
We remembered our fathers telling us that “unlimited liberty is slavery in disguise”. We also remembered when our mothers told us that “freedom without checks and balances is tantamount to advanced bondage”. By then it was too late for us. We had bought ‘their’ freedom lie.
Maybe for you, it is not yet late. Then please don’t be deceived by their lies and evil propaganda. Do not be swayed by their subtle message of freedom.
They’re all lies! We can prove it with our relationships, drug addictions, unwanted pregnancies, violent tendencies etc.
Beware, and please warn other youths so the menace will not colonise all of this generation.

Pls, share!

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Scientists Discover New Genetic Cause of Warburg Micro Syndrome

Medindia Health News
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Scientists Discover New Genetic Cause of Warburg Micro Syndrome

Nov 16th 2013, 09:08

Gene responsible for Warburg Micro syndrome, a rare genetic disease characterized by eye, brain and endocrine abnormalities has been discovered by scientists. Patients with Warburg Micro syndrome are severely physically and mentally challenged, unable to learn how to walk or speak and become blind and paralyzed from an early age.
The findings are published in The American Journal of Human Genetics. Lead co-authors are Ryan Liegel, Ph.D., postdoctoral student in cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy at the Medical College of Wisconsin; and Mark Handley, Ph.D., postdoctoral researcher at the University of Edinburgh. Corresponding author is Duska J. Sidjanin, Ph.D., associate professor of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy and member of the Human and Molecular Genetics Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

In this study, the researchers became interested in a gene called TBC1D20, which is known to cause blindness and sterility in mice, because of that similar phenotype. The research team evaluated a cohort of more than 70 families with Warburg Micro syndrome, and found five distinct loss-of-function mutations in TBC1D20, thus establishing those mutations as a cause of the disease.

“These findings have implications not only for families affected with Warburg Micro syndrome, but also provide novel information about the genes and molecular pathways essential for human development that is relevant for more common developmental disorders such as epilepsy and autism,” said Dr. Sidjanin.

The four genes do not comprise the full causative picture for Warburg Micro syndrome; in about half of the cases, the causing mutation was in none of those genes, which means there are additional novel genes contributing to the disease.

The researchers plan to continue to search for additional genes, and will also model the disease in tissue cultures with a hope of understanding the underlying molecular and cellular events in which TBC1D20 is involved.

Source: Eurekalert

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Democrats Vote Against the Affordable Care Act in the Matter of Cancellation of Policies

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Democrats Vote Against the Affordable Care Act in the Matter of Cancellation of Policies

Nov 16th 2013, 08:10

The Republican bill was passed which would allow companies to continue selling policies not compliant with the Affordable Care Act Standards. The vote taken to allow companies to sell non-compliant plans included 39 democrats. The voting for Keep Your Health Plan Act was sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton.

Insurance executives and President Obama were joined by Marilyn Tavernner, administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough. “I want to welcome the executives who are here from a lot of the insurance companies that are participating in the marketplace,” the president said. “We all share a similar value, which is we want to make sure that Americans have good, solid coverage that gives them the security they need for themselves and their family members if and when they get sick.”

According to Upton this move would fulfill a promise Obama had made to the American people and then broke. “In the last three years,” Upton said during floor debate, “the president personally promised that if people liked their current healthcare plan, they could keep it ‘no matter what.’ But cancellation notices are now arriving in millions of mailboxes across the country. It’s cancellation today, sticker shock tomorrow.”

President Obama said he would veto Upton’s bill if it reached his desk. The proposal is about much more that what Obama agreed to, which would only allow insurers and state insurance commissioners to extend those policies through most of 2014 to current policyholders. It was also necessary to inform customers that the Affordable Care Benefits were not included and they would get better benefits while shopping in the health insurance marketplace.

Many Democrats face tough re-election are trying to remedy the cancellation of policies and make Obama keep his promise. “This bill is not a bill to let people keep their health insurance plans. The president took care of that issue yesterday,” Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said during floor debate Friday. “What this bill is, another vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”

“We knew this was a promise, Obama could not keep, and now it is a promise he has broken,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said. The legislation’s outlook is unclear in the Senate, where Democrats also up for re-election next year are looking for a way to help consumers who face not having insurance because their policies don’t meet requirements of the 2010 law. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., offered her own plan, which would allow people to keep their current plans indefinitely. However, after the president’s announcement Thursday, many Senate Democrats said they would wait to see if additional legislation was necessary.


Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)

Top News, November 2013

Source: Medindia

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Gut Bacteria Help Improve Mental Health

Medindia Health News
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Gut Bacteria Help Improve Mental Health

Nov 16th 2013, 08:10

While many of the numerous health-improvement claims have yet to be supported scientifically, it has been claimed that micro-organisms do exert positive effects in intestinal tracts, particularly when used to counteract the effects of antibiotics, which kill both ‘bad’ and ‘good’ bacteria.

Over the past few years, studies have been undertaken to explore the possible impact of probiotics on behaviour. It is within this context that the concept of a psychobiotic has arisen.

Timothy Dinan and his colleagues from University College Cork in Ireland, define a psychobiotic as “a live organism that, when ingested in adequate amounts, produces a health benefit in patients suffering from psychiatric illness.”

The gut microbiota, which contains approximately 1 kg of bacteria, can be modulated by diet and many other factors. It is not static and can change from day to day, starting at birth. Evidence has shown that even the form of delivery (vaginal versus cesarean) alters an individual’s microbiota.

Dinan and his colleagues review one study that assessed the potential benefits of a specific probiotic, B. infantis, in rats displaying depressive behaviour due to maternal separation. The probiotic treatment normalized both their behaviour and their previously-abnormal immune response.

This preclinical study and others like it strongly support the hypothesis that probiotics have the potential to exert behavioural and immunological effects.

The study is published in Biological Psychiatry.

Source: ANI

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Washington’s Health Insurance Succeeds as Federal Programs Fail

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Washington’s Health Insurance Succeeds as Federal Programs Fail

Nov 16th 2013, 08:10

Washington is one of 14 states with its own health insurance marketplace and the sign-up numbers are better here. It ranks 3rd in the number of sign ups, as it has created its own marketplace and does not rely on the federal government.
Some people have a problem signing online but the majority of consumers find it more convenient to sign up online. To date, nearly 660,000 people have visited Washington’s health plan finder’s website and 77,000 have signed up for insurance. Of those people, roughly 9,000 signed up through private health plans and 68,000 with Medicaid. Better Health Together is run by Curt Fackler an in-person assistance group which helps people enroll in health care through the state’s exchange.

“We’ve been able to solve a lot of problems and answer questions and people really do like that touch,” Fackler said. He said roughly 90-percent of those enrolled are single. So how much does the insurance cost? Fackler crunched the numbers and found, for instance, a 30-year-old man living in Spokane and making $25,000 a year could pay $117 a month in one plan. Another plan, with a lower deductible, would cost $167.

You can also shop online without filling out an application.”The process is a lot quicker and a lot easier, once you decide what you want, now you can go in and create an application,” Fackler said. The state’s website has been beset with glitches, by now most of the problems have been resolved. In order to be insured by January 1, you have to sign up and pay by December 23.

If you want to meet someone in person to talk about insurance plans there are a number of places around the area you can go, including some local CHAS clinics and libraries. They’ve trained 250 employees at those sites to enroll people.


Hannah Punitha (IRDA Licence Number: 2710062)

Kylee Cruz, November 2013

Source: Medindia

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