Growing Pains: Educating Adolescents with Puberty

Posted on January 4, 2016 in Uncategorized

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Aside from the emotional and psychological turmoil that comes with puberty and adolescence, physical changes also become apparent. These changes include hair growth, contours, menstruation, acne development, and deepening or cracking of voice. These things would declare that puberty has officially started. If your teen is not ready for these surprising changes, how are you going to explain these things to him?

What is puberty, anyway? Textbooks define puberty or adolescence as the “physiological process characterized by the maturation of the reproductive system of individuals.” Teach your child that reaching this stage is perfectly normal and that he should be ready for the changes to come.

Puberty among Females

With regards to the development of female, puberty begins earlier than their male counterpart. It usually begins as early as nine to 10 years old, depending on your daughter’s biological make up and environment. What happens during puberty is that the hypothalamus in the brain triggers or commands the pituitary gland to start producing hormones. These hormones include follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and somatotropin or the growth hormone. The first two hormones are responsible for the menstrual cycle, where an egg cell is released from the ovary of the female once a month.

Puberty among Males

As for your son, the FSH and LH trigger the testicles to produce sperm cells and testosterone, the male hormones. The amount of testosterone released is highly dependent on the make up of the person. It is the job of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland to monitor and ascertain the testosterone level needed by each person.

Helping Adolescents Deal with Puberty

The onset of puberty usually would mean using brassieres for girls and razors for boys as they start developing physical changes, especially since the activities of the hormones inside the body also manifest outside. Thus, bodies of women are starting to shape up and hair in particular areas of the body start growing. Males, on the other hand, start having deeper voice and hair growth in particular areas of the body.

Because of these physical changes, adolescents tend to be shy, self-conscious. Girls usually tend to hide their growing breasts under loose shirts, while boys hardly speak up so as not to hear their pitching voice.

However, they should know that these changes are perfectly normal and that everyone goes through these things. Proper education about puberty and the changes they will undergo will make them more confident and comfortable with their bodies. Here are some ways on how you can teach them more about puberty:

  1. Remind them of the importance of “being yourself.” At this stage, they will start learning more about their body and their self.
  1. Tell them to expect a lot of changes that will happen in their body, and if there is something that they are unsure about, always be open to any questions they may have.
  1. Hitting puberty means nature is preparing them to become young adults, and this comes with added responsibilities to one’s self and to other people. Encourage them to act their age because younger children may be looking up to them.

Adolescence could be a roller coaster ride to teenagers. Make sure to always be there for them when they have questions and confusions.

Chiropractic Care and Infertility

Posted on January 2, 2016 in Uncategorized

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Infertility is a cause of emotional devastation to couples who have been trying unsuccessfully to have a child. The thought of living together in their old age without a child brings feelings of  loneliness and emptiness in the couple’s lives.

While normal fertility is the described as the ability of a couple to conceive naturally within a period of two years, infertility is the inability to have pregnancy after one year of sexual intercourse without the use of birth contraception. The causes of infertility are dysfunction in the ovulation, fallopian tubes disorders or other hormonal or pelvic problems.

The most common methods of medical management of fertility are the use of medication, surgery and other invasive treatment procedure. Although a countless number of couples seek medical care through conventional medicine, there are concerns on the risk or side effects of drugs and other invasive treatments. For example, the use of synthetic hormones to promote fertility in women has been established to cause severe and toxic side effects. Of the 10 million women who use hormonal pills in the USA, up to 50% stopped its use within a year because of unwanted side effects. No less than 120 risks and side effects have been identified with estrogen and synthetic progestin combination pills. Some of them are life threatening like heart problems, breast cancer, and cancers of the reproductive organs. The others are risks of asthma, diabetes, immune dysfunction and thyroid imbalance.

Current medical care for infertility does not only present risks from side effects. It is also extremely expensive. Fertility medication treatment can cost $6,000 per treatment therapy cycle. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), an assisted reproductive technology to achieve conception, the costs can range from $10,000 to $20,000 per cycle. These costs are simply too much for most couple with infertility issues to afford.

Chiropractic Care for Infertility

In researches done on chiropractic care and infertility, there is agreement that chiropractic care is a cost-effective approach not only in addressing infertility issues but in improving health and well-being in general. It can also be applied in conjunction with other known medical care methods. Chiropractic care can potentially save patients huge amounts of money by letting them avoid the need for IVF altogether or by reducing the cycles of IVF procedures to achieve conception.

Chiropractic care does not base its treatment on the condition alone or symptoms that are complained about, but rather on the goal to improve neurological health and function by reducing vertebral subluxations. In reported cases of chiropractic care for infertility, upon the reduction of vertebral subluxations, there was marked improvement in neuromusculoskeletal functions, which had positive impact on the reproductive system, through various mechanisms.

Chiropractic care is a viable option for the treatment of infertility in couples. It is a natural healthcare method that does not use drugs and surgery. It focuses on the importance of a functional nerve system that couples who want to become parents need to be aware of. Optimal health and wellness for the family can be achieved through a regular chiropractic care, stating from the conception period.

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Exercise and Pregnancy: What are the Best Exercises for the Pregnant?

Posted on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

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Exercise is beneficial to almost anyone, even for pregnant mothers. Experts from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists show that physical activity connected to exercise cuts the length of labor, shortens recovery time, and even help with managing weight after delivery. Exercise offers many benefits for soon mothers and a good routine must be incorporated during the course of pregnancy.

Of course, while exercise is highly recommended, pregnant women must be able to see a doctor first before embarking on a fitness program. Doctors are in the know when it comes to prescribing certain exercises in relation to a woman’s level of health. Nevertheless, if a pregnant woman is considering fit enough for moderate physical activity, here are some exercises she could possibly try out.

  1. Consider swimming. Swimming is a good aerobic exercise and water cushions the impact on joints and muscles. Try dipping into the pool at least twice or thrice a week, and make a lap or two depending on your fitness level.
  2. Take the stairs whenever possible. Take care not to overexert yourself though.
  3. Park further away and walk to the grocery. This way, you can exercise even just a little bit even if you do not know it.
  4. Walk around the house or go up and down your stairs while commercials are up on television.
  5. Tuck away the remote control and manually change television channels. That would prompt you to get up and have some physical activity.
  6. Do some stretching, even while in bed. This would strengthen your joints and lessen the risk for injuries.
  7. Schedule workouts in the gym. If you are unable to do so, try exercising at home using exercise videos or watching fitness shows on TV. Modify your movements to create less impact on your muscles and joints. Remember that you are not trying to build muscle or lose weight; you are merely strengthening yourself in preparation for labor.
  8. Kegel exercises are also good for strengthening your vaginal muscles in preparation for childbirth. Do this while urinating; try holding your pelvic muscles as you urinate. This would stop the flow of the urine and make your pelvic area stronger. Hold it for two to three second only and make your urine flow again. Try this while you’re pregnant, and notice the change in your pelvic area strength over time.

Engaging in physical exercise during pregnancy can help make the labor easier and more convenient. And even if you are not pregnant yet, regular exercising can improve fertility and prevent pregnancy-related conditions such as stress urinary incontinence (SUI). So, if you want to be pregnant, or if you want to make it light and easy, start moving now!

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The Truth about Your Monthly Period: Debunking the Myths

Posted on December 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

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With the many tales your mother and your friends tell you about your monthly period, do you still know what to believe in and reject? Know these menstruation facts and fiction!

Many beliefs and superstitions abound in relation to a woman’s monthly period. While some are true, many others are not. Take a look at the following article and learn to separate fact from fiction about the monthly menstrual period of women.

Menstruation Fiction: What You Shouldn’t Believe In

  1. You can never get pregnant during a period. It may be improbable, but there is always a chance for a woman to get pregnant, especially near the end of the menstrual period. Unprotected sex also increases a woman’s chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
  1. You should not take a bath during a period. It is important to keep one’s self clean and fresh, especially when having a period. Enough said.
  1. Get lots of rest during your period. While resting can help you soothe menstrual symptoms such as cramps and nausea, no one is preventing you from exercising or moving around. Being active is also a good way to control pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms and cramps as it increases oxygen supply to your muscles.
  1. You can tell who is having a period. At any given time, about one-fourth of the entire female population at the age of 10 to 50 would be getting a period. It is not as if these people have a special mark on their heads or something to tell others that they are menstruating! This belief is entirely false.
  1. Don’t go swimming during a period. If you are thinking about the mess you might make underwater, don’t worry. Just wear a tampon while swimming and you would be just fine.

Menstruation Facts: What You Should Keep In Mind

  1. Sugar can worsen your symptoms. This can either exacerbate your menstrual symptoms or worsen the bloating feeling associated with menstruation. So do cut down on sweets and salty food. Lessening sugar intake is also associated with diminished severity of emotional symptoms such as anxiety, irritability, and depression.
  1. Several small meals can help regulate your blood sugar during menstruation. This also keeps mood swings to a minimum and reduces bloating.
  1. Eating a low fat diet helps reduce symptoms associated with your monthly period. Studies have demonstrated that a low fat diet reduces severity of symptoms such as menstrual cramps, breast tenderness, bloating, and localized swelling.
  1. Salt can lead to bloating. Absolutely true, as salt increases water retention that causes bloating. Consume less salt, and if you feel really bloated, switch to a low-salt diet.

A woman’s monthly period can be troublesome, especially if the symptoms are noticeable. However, before believing anything anyone says, make sure that they are proven. Otherwise, you might be dealing with something that is not really a problem to begin with.

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13 Effective Ways to Become Pregnant

Posted on December 27, 2015 in Uncategorized

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When you and your partner have mutually agreed it is time to start a family or add another baby to the family, it is helpful to review the factors that can enhance your fertility and get you into pregnancy fast.

Here are effective tips from gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists and midwives on how to effectively achieve pregnancy at the time you want it.

  1. Undergo preconception counseling. It is best to involve a medical professional in your plans to have a baby. They have experience and expertise and it is smart to consult them and heed their advice. Your healthcare provider will determine your medical history and current conditions you may have that may get in way of your successfully conceiving and pregnancy. The doctor may perform a series of gynecological examinations that may include blood test, genetic test, rubella immunity test and test for sexually transmitted disease. Your doctor will also most likely prescribe vitamins and folic acid for you to take.
  2. Give up birth control methods in advance. Some birth control methods like the use of Depo-Provera tend to delay your normal fertility some time after you have stopped using them.
  3. Chart your ovulation. The time window for conceiving a baby is limited so it is helpful to know when you ovulate to take advantage of the small window of opportunity.
  4. Check your body basal temperature. Monitor your body basal temperature using a basal thermometer for a few months to establish the pattern of your ovulation. The changes in your body temperature correlate directly with your ovulation. You can effectively determine when you should have sex to catch the opportunity for conceiving.
  5. Use a fertility monitor. Though more expensive, a fertility monitor can be helpful in identifying up to six of your most fertile days. The monitor is recommended for women whose menstrual cycles are between 21 and 42 days.
  6. Utilize an ovulation predictor kit. The kit works by predicting your ovulation through detecting luteinizing hormone surge in your urine, which is also correlated with your ovulation.
  7. Have sex at the proper ovulation period. Having sex either daily or every other day five days before you ovulate is the best timing to let your man’s sperm meet with your egg cells.
  8. Do not worry about not having orgasm. Orgasm is not a prerequisite to conception, so do not worry that you do not achieve it, as long as the timing for your sexual encounter is right.
  9. Avoid lubrication. It may be good to skip the use of lubrication as some lubricants can be toxic to the sperm cells. Try to go for foreplay that will bring about natural lubrication.
  10. Control alcohol intake. There are studies indicating a higher risk of infertility for women drinking at least two glasses of alcoholic drinks in a day.
  11. Quit smoking. Smoking can negatively affect your fertility as well as your future baby.
  12. Take caffeine moderately. Drinking up to five cups of coffee a day has been linked to decreased fertility.
  13. Eat a healthy diet. Eat a well-balanced diet and avoid seafood with high mercury levels as these foods have been associated with infertility.

Have fun and relax to better prepare you and your partner to the important task ahead of you. By following these important pieces of advice, you increase the odds of having a successful conception and pregnancy in your favor.

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Natural Methods to Boost Fertility

Posted on December 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

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There are numerous natural ways to boost your fertility. Check that you are implementing them before resorting to non-natural methods like medication or worse, giving up on your desire to have a baby.

Top Natural Fertility Boosters  

The following tips that can be implemented from home have been shown to be effective in improving fertility:

  • Switch to a fertility diet. Studies have shown that a change in diet that favors healthy reproductive system can significantly lower the risk of infertility. In one of these studies, an 80% reduction in infertility was noted with a change in lifestyle including a switch to fertility diet. This lifestyle change and dietary adjustment resulted in a reduction in ovulation disorders for women and better sperm health for men. The fertility diets included whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruits and low red meat consumption.
  • Take enough vitamins and minerals. Since even a good diet does not always provide sufficient nutrients your body needs, multivitamins from whole foods should be taken regularly by both the man and woman. The body is able to easily assimilate the nutrients present in whole food multivitamins.
  • Vitamin C is known to help in hormonal development and increase women fertility.
  • Zinc is important in male sperm cell formation and quality.
  • Magnesium helps prevent menstrual cramps.
  • Vitamin E, an antioxidant, protects the sperm and egg DNA integrity.
  • Deficiency in iron, B6 and B12 especially associated with anemia can lead to the stoppage of ovulation.
  • Taking multivitamins improves the chances of pregnancy.
  • Consume the right fats. You may be surprised, but fat is essential to healthy fertility and the body needs adequate supply of all types of fats. Some advice on fats:
  • Raw organic dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and butter are good sources of whole fat.
  • Omega 3, 6 and 9 are essential for pregnancy and fertility. Cod liver oil and flax oil are good sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Borage oil and evening primrose oils are great sources of omega 6, while omega 9 can be sourced from nuts and fresh seeds, sunflower and avocado oils.
  • Drink a fertility smoothie regularly. Drinking fertility smoothie packed with superfoods is one of the easiest and most enjoyable things you can do to enhance fertility. Spirulina, an excellent source of quality protein and royal jelly, which is rich in proteins, vitamins, amino acids, lipids, iron and calcium, may be added to your smoothies to sustain a healthy pregnancy.
  • Do fertility cleansing. Fertility cleansing using some herbs is recommended for both partners to cleanse the body of toxins and excess hormones. This process will help restore hormonal balance and result in a strong reproductive system.
  • Drink herbal tea. Drinking three cups of herbal tea daily and using herbal preparations can maintain health and boost fertility.
  • Employ massage techniques. These massage techniques help promote circulation especially to the reproductive organs, promote hormonal balance and strengthen the uterus.
  • Be aware of your cycle. Charting your ovulation period will let you know when the best time to try to conceive is, giving you the greatest chances for pregnancy.
  • Reduce stress. A body which is constantly stressed out can actually cause a shutdown in reproductive function and can have more damaging effects to your overall health.

A self-managed plan using natural methods can greatly help in boosting fertility. Implementing simple changes in your lifestyle can help you overcome infertility and achieve your goal of conceiving and having a baby, eventually.

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Facing the Ugly Truth: Why Some Women Can’t Bear a Child

Posted on December 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

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If you think that incontinence only happen to men, think again. Women suffer from this misfortune, too. Learn more about stress urinary incontinence in women.

Incontinence in Women

Women are at risk for developing Stress Urinary Incontinence (SUI), a condition defined as the involuntary loss of urine caused by an activity that puts pressure in the abdominal area.

Women who are suffering from SUI are usually of older age, such as women nearing menopause, or postmenopausal women. Incontinence is also exacerbated by obesity, diabetes, and smoking. Women who gave undergone numerous childbirths are also prone to SUI, although women who haven’t borne children are not exempted.

Women are probably prone to SUI after childbirth. Numerous changes in a woman’s body as she becomes pregnant and gives birth makes her pre-disposed to develop incontinence. In pregnancy, the weight of the fetus puts pressure on a woman’s bladder, causing the sphincter to relax and open involuntarily. This results in the release of urine during times of physical exertion. This is further compounded by prolonged labor that oftentimes injures the muscles of the pelvis. Lacerations from giving birth also weaken the ligaments in the pelvis, causing a general weakening of the muscles that control urination.

Prevention and Treatment for SUI

For these women, a simple solution that will improve continence is by undergoing Kegel exercises. The Kegel exercises strengthen a woman’s pelvic floor which includes the bladder, urethra, vagina, uterus, and rectum. This is done though sitting at a toilet bowl and urinating, and then stopping the flow of urine midway, and holding it. Doing this in several repetitions and isolation of the right muscles can strengthen the pelvic floor and improve urination.

Women undergoing menopause often experience SUI symptoms caused by hormone deficiency. These women may consider undergoing a Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to improve their continence, although they should also be ready for the risks it may bring. Another alternative one can engage in is chiropractic treatment.

However, if all else fails, surgery could be the last resort in order to improve continence. In all cases, however, it is helpful to consult a doctor so he or she can recommend treatments that are responsive to your condition.

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Flushing Out Menopausal Hot Flashes

Posted on December 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

Hot businesswoman sitting in front of fan --- Image by © Sean De Burca/Corbis

Menopause is the time in a woman’s life where she stops ovulating or producing eggs. At this time, hormones are going crazy, adjusting to this new condition. This version of raging hormones, in later life, causes a lot of conditions all too common for people living with menopausal women – being irritable, drying of the skin, and hot flashes. This host of physical and psychological conditions has caused a lot of menopausal women to seek treatment, often in the form of hormone-replacement therapy and other alternatives.

Hormone-Replacement Therapy

Hormone-replacement therapy is straightforward enough. Hormones taken in are designed to make up for the reduced estrogen output of women and alleviate the nasty symptoms associated with menopause. However, according to a Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, hormone-replacement therapy has been controversially linked with an increased risk for breast cancer, and was found to increase the risk for heart attack for smoking women. Thus, the interest is in finding alternative therapies from natural sources.

Chiropractic Treatment

While hormone-replacement therapy is an excellent alternative, it may come with some medical risks. Another treatment option that you may look into for hot flashes relief is chiropractic care. Aside from hot flashes, chiropractic procedure can also cure other menopausal symptoms, such as anxiety, irritability, mood swings, mental and physical exhaustion, sleep disorders, urinary tract symptoms, and dryness of the vagina.

Chiropractic care can also help during perimenopause, so that menopausal symptoms can be reduced or avoided altogether.

Other Ways to Prevent Hot Flashes

Older alternatives for hot flash relief include a list of natural remedies – ranging from vitamins, minerals, and herbs, to various supplements containing plant estrogens or phyloestrogens. In fact, phyloestrogens have been popular substitutes for standard hormones. Some women also take vitamin E for hot flashes, while others swear to exotic alternatives such as flaxseed, red clover, wild yam, and black cohosh.

However, there is little hard evidence to support the use of most hot-flash remedies sold in the market. The only exemption seems to be on the side of soy supplements. Substances found in soy called isoflavones have been scientifically tested, with mixed results. On the good side, it has been shown in an Italian-based research that soy isoflavones show a 45% reduction in hot flashes. On the other side, it has been found out that placebos have the same effect. Also, while moderate consumption of soy isoflavones are safe, high concentrations found in marketed supplements could be linked to the promotion of breast tumors.

So, what could be the most sensible thing to do amidst these pieces of evidence? Women must be able to view all their options and consult a doctor before taking any treatment. For herbal supplements, it is better to look at the evidence and take them in moderation.

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Chiropractic Care for Menopausal Symptoms

Posted on December 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

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Menopause is defined as the stage when women’s menstrual cycle ends. This condition usually happens at age 40 to 60 and is the result of hormonal changes in the body with aging. Specifically, there is significant decrease in the women’s estrogen and progesterone levels as the body stops the production of eggs in the ovaries.

 

Menopausal Symptoms and Triggers     

 

Menopause occurs at different stages in women. How do you know then when menopause has set in in your body? Here are some of the common symptoms associated with the onset of menopause:

 

  • Hot flashes – It is generally accepted that hot flashes is the direct result of the sharp decline in the hormone levels with the decrease in functions of the ovaries.
  • Sweating especially at night
  • Hot skin
  • Nervousness / Increased heart rate
  • Increased anxiety or irritability

 

These symptoms may be experienced in the period just before menopause starts and last for years after.

 

While the symptoms appear randomly during the menopausal period, they may potentially be triggered by the following:

 

  • Stress
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Smoking
  • Consuming caffeine
  • Eating spicy foods

 

Some of the things you can do to get relief from menopausal symptoms, particularly hot flashes, include:

 

  • Wearing clothes made of cotton and using cotton linens for bedding
  • Dressing in layers
  • Drinking cold water frequently
  • Using ice packs and wiping body off with wet cloth or towel when a hot flash starts

 

Treatment Options for Menopausal Symptoms

 

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is one of the more popular therapies for menopausal symptoms. It consists of taking estrogen and progestin supplements orally or through a skin patch. There is a growing alarm, recently, over the use of HRT as studies show potentially serious side effects and increased risks with this treatment. The synthetic hormones used in this treatment option do not match human hormones and they usually present increased risk of heart disease, dementia and breast cancer. Also, improper dosages of estrogen may cause risk of uterine cancer and endometrial cancer.

 

Dietary changes and taking nutritional supplements that include the following are great for providing relief for hormonal imbalances:

 

  • Vitamin E – improves circulation and may reduce hot flashes.
  • Vitamin B – may help relieve irritability, depression and insomnia.
  • Foods that are good sources of phytoestrogens, compounds that can activate estrogen receptors in the body and have the ability to balance estrogen levels such as soy, flaxseed, the Chinese herb dong quai and ginseng
  • Black cohash – normalizes estrogen and helps decrease hot flashes.

 

Acupuncture is an option to aid in suppressing hot flashes and addressing other menopausal symptoms.

 

Chiropractic care is gaining acceptance in the treatment of menopausal symptoms. With regular visits to their chiropractors, some women have experienced decreased symptoms from their menopausal condition. Although chiropractors do not directly treat patients for menopausal symptoms, they provide total healthcare through chiropractic adjustment that target your nervous system. These adjustments remove the pressure and interferences in the nervous system, which may include those relating to the estrogen and progesterone levels of your body. By doing this, the nervous system, the master controller for all body functions, is allowed to function optimally, consequently normalizing the body functions. Chiropractic care may be implemented in conjunction with other healthcare options like dietary and lifestyle changes.

 

By being able to successfully manage menopausal symptoms, you can look forward to a healthier and more enjoyable life despite normal aging. You can then truly say that life begins at 40.

 

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