Tuesday, November 9, 2010

low blood pressure

Low blood pressure (BP) or hypotension can be just as dangerous as high blood pressure. Some of the common symptoms of low blood pressure are dizziness, fatigue, fainting spells or lightheadedness. Normal blood pressure measurements are 90/60 mm Hg to 130/80 mm Hg.

When blood pressure is too low, the first organ to malfunction is usually the brain. The brain malfunctions first because it is located at the top of the body and blood flow must fight gravity to reach the brain. Consequently, most people with low blood pressure feel dizzy or light-headed, particularly when they stand, and some may even faint. Low blood pressure occasionally causes shortness of breath or chest pain due to an inadequate blood supply to the heart muscle (angina).

Some common causes that lower your blood pressure are dehydration, bradycardia, tachycardia or low intake of salt.

Here are some tips on increasing the blood pressure without medication.
• Low blood pressure caused by dehydration can be treated with fluids or electrolytes. Water increases blood volume which in turn will increase BP.

• Increase salt intake by adding small amounts of salt in your meals everyday. Consult your doctor before starting on a higher salt diet as it can raise BP dramatically.

• Eat small but frequent meals. BP will drop suddenly after a large meal.

• Drink more caffeinated beverages. Caffeine can raise BP by 14mmHg as it can constrict blood vessel

Friday, November 5, 2010

Does soy milk cause constipation?

There is controversy whether soy formula can cause constipation. Some sources are suggesting that it can cause constipation while others suggest that it can ease the condition.

Dr. Jeffrey W. Hull, an Alabama based pediatrician, believes that soy formulas are not considered a good option for infant feeding, because the infant's colon is not designed to handle stool bulk and the residue that results from milk-based and soy-based formulas
Constipation in infants is usually due to an abundance of residue left over in the colon after digestion. Breast milk is almost completely absorbed by a baby and leaves no residue. Formula, on the other hand, is less easily digested by a baby and leaves behind more residues in the colon. Because soybeans do produce firmer stool, the soy formula may cause constipation more frequently than dairy formula; however, the constipation is not necessarily the result of soy formula specifically. The constipation could simply be caused by a switch in formulas in general, since each manufacturer has its own recipe and the levels of different elements will be higher or lower compared to others and each child has different adaptability to different formula. A 1998 study done by the American Academy of Pediatrics concluded that "healthy full-term infants should be given soy formula only when medically necessary, but soy formula is still safe and effective when needed."(taken from eHow.com)

Other than that, some people assumed that the iron content in baby formula is responsible for constipation. However, a study was done to determine if it were true of baby formulas. Half of the babies were fed with low iron, half with regular, constipation was reported at the same rate in both groups, proving that for most children, the formula didn’t make the difference. What is known for sure is that iron is essential for growing babies, so to blame the constipation on the iron levels in the formula, and to subsequently discontinue formula as the baby’s main source of nutrition would be counterproductive.
Obviously, a couple of episodes of constipation will not be too concerning, but if you are finding that your baby is regularly straining to empty his bowels, or that his bowel movements are few and far between, you may seek medical advice. Your doctor is the best person to decide the appropriate course of action. Iron is hugely important in a child’s diet so never take it upon yourself to eliminate it in the hopes of relieving a condition whose cause is not truly known.
(taken from babyslumber.com)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

traditional chinese medicine

The western medicine practice sometimes are just solving the symptoms, leaving the root cause uncured. Traditional Chinese Medicine is a different story. It always find out the root cause, treating the cause instead of just the symptoms. It may take a longer time for the symptoms to subside, but it get rid of the root once and for all.

Went to a clinic practicing chinese medicine, hoping my eczema problem can be solved. The clinic is located at jln genting klang, same row with KFC, above 7-11.

Waited for about an hour for my turn to consult the doctor for just a few minutes.

The doctor asked if i always faint easily, saying i'm a little anemic. wow, how did he know, by just examining my eyes? He said that my eczema is due to weaker immune system, so he's subscribing something to strengthen the immune system. Satisfied with this consultation, at least he's explaining the condition and its cause. I've seen dermatologist and there's not even an explanation of possible causes; idiopathic.

According to the doctor, i should avoid mango and crab as they'll cause itchiness to the affected area. never know that mango can cause itchiness too! It's one of the fruits that i like! sigh..

The consultation and medicine cost rm50 and have to go back for follow up after finishing the medicine.

The clinic only open 4 days in a week, closed on tue, wed and thurs. very odd working days.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Melamine level

Early this year, tests were conducted by Ministry of Health on 3,044 food samples on its melamine level.

The 3,044 food samples have been found to contain a safe level of melamine, based on World Health Organisation requirements.

“The samples included milk, infant formula, ice-cream, yogurt, soy milk, biscuits, chocolate, confectionaries, fruits and vegetables,” Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said.

Liow said the maximum amount of melamine allowed in powdered infant formula was 1mg a kilo and for other food and animal feed (2.5mg a kilo).


Lead Content in Food

Recently there's a candy found to contain excessive lead level and was banned by California. However, be assured that the candy is not sold in local market.

According to Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, the maximum lead content allowed under the Food Regulations 1985 was 2 mg/kg, which followed international standards set by the World Health Organisation.

A risk evaluation by WHO had determined that a 2 mg/kg lead content was safe for consumption based on 0.025 mg/kg of body weight per week.

Hong Kong set the level at 6 mg/kg, Singapore at 2 mg/kg and Indonesia at 1 mg/kg.

An acute lethal dose of lead occurs when at least 300 mg/kg is consumed.


Sunday, September 5, 2010

Health Quotes

When you're not sick doesn't mean you're healthy and just because you're skinny doesn't mean you're healthy too! You never know what's going on inside your body. Some people are striving to lose some weights with all sorts of diets when they're actually slim. Well, there's a difference between slim & healthy and thin & unhealthy. A thin person can have a high level of fat / cholesterol too!

Not sick ≠ healthy
Thin ≠ healthy

trying to gain some weight?
well, The journey of a thousand pounds begins with a single burger. ( Chris O'Brien )
for those who wanna look thin, hang around some fat people, u'll find that you're actually very thin! lol

Here are some interesting quotes on food & health:
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. ~World Health Organization, 1948

If you want to look young and thin, hang around old fat people. ~ Jim Eason.

One of life's mysteries is how a 1kg box of candy can make a woman gain 2kg.

The only two things I don't eat for breakfast are lunch and dinner.

I'm on a seafood diet. When I see food, I eat it.

Why do people go to Burger King and order a double Whopper with a large French fry and insist on getting a diet Coke ?

Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but she can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake."

First need in the reform of hospital management ? That's easy ! The death of all dietitians, and the resurrection of a French chef. ~ Martin H. Fischer (1879-1962).

He who takes medicine and neglects to diet wastes the skill of his doctors. ~Chinese Proverb

A good laugh and a long sleep are the best cures in the doctor's book. ~Irish Proverb

When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no "I'll start tomorrow." Tomorrow is disease. ~Terri Guillemets

Thursday, September 2, 2010

vitamin A intake for pregnant mum

Someone asked about vit A intake for pregnant mum. So, let's take a look at the types of vit A, its food sources and the recommended intake..

Retinol/preformed vitamin A is the active form of Vitamin A, a name given due to its function in retina of the eye. It is used directly by the body and the main sources are animal products such as animal liver, milk, eggs.
Another form of vitamin A is called carotenoid / provitamin A as it will be converted into vitamin A in the body. It acts as antioxidants that protect cells from damage by free radicals. It is found in fruits and vege (especially orange / yellow ones).

More than 500 carotenoids are found in nature, but only a few can be converted to vitamin A. The most common ones are beta-carotene, alpha-carotene. Lycopene, Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that do not have vit A activity but have other health functions.

The standard measurement for vitamin A is RAE (retinol activity equivalents).
1 mcg of = 1 mcg RAE
but 12 mcg of beta-carotene = 1 mcg RAE.
1 mcg RAE = 3.3 IU.

How much vitamin A for a pregnant mum?
According to Recommended Nutrient Intake (RNI) Malaysia 2005, a pregnant woman’s recommended vitamin A intake (in all 3 trimesters) is 800mcg/d (2640 IU).

According to the American Pregnancy Association, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for pregnant women 19-50yrs old is 770mcg/d (2541 IU) and the Tolerable Upper Level (TUL) is 3000mcg/d (9900 IU). (Established by the National Academy of Sciences in 2000)

The RDA / RNI represent the amount of nutrient required to maintain good health or prevent deficiency in most people

While the TUL represents the highest amount most people can take without experiencing potentially harmful effects.

Pregnant women are not recommended to consume too much of preformed vitamin A. Too much of it can cause birth defects and liver toxicity. However, provitamin A / carotenoid does not cause toxicity.

Do not double the dosage of your prenatal vitamin intake and take any supplement without your doctor’s advice. Bear in mind that some supplements such as multi-vit and fish oil also contain vitamin A. If you’re taking supplement, it is better to maintain vitamin A intake at 5000 IU /day.

You can actually get sufficient vit A through your diet (fruits, vege and your maternal milk). According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutrient needs should be met primarily through consuming foods. Foods provide an array of nutrients and other compounds that may have beneficial effects on health. Dietary supplements, while recommended in some cases, cannot replace a healthful diet

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency

G6PD = enzyme for proper functioning of red blood cell (RBC) & for oxidising processes

G6PD deficiency, also called favism, is a hereditary abnormality
-it causes destruction of RBC, leading to hemolytic anemia

- sudden rise of body temperature
- jaundice in newborn
- dark, yellow-orange urine
- fatigue
- shortness of breath- rapid heart beat

It can be triggered by infections, certain food, medicine (certain antibiotics) and chemicals

Food to Avoid:
1. Broad bean / fava bean / kacang parang 蚕豆
2. Legumes 豆类
eg: beans, peas, lentils 扁豆

3. Soy / soya

4. Peanuts / kacang tanah 花生
5. Menthol, menthol-flavoured candies,food 薄荷味的糖果
- can be found in candies, mouthwash, toothpaste, gums
6. Certain herbs

7. Also avoid the use of moth balls 臭丸as repellent in closet

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mama Milk

Been sampling different maternal milk today and the conclusion:

1. Mamil Mama taste best!
it's vanilla flavour
nice vanilla taste

2. Enfamama
also a vanilla flavour
but it has a strange, a bit metallic-like taste
not as strong vanilla taste as Mamil Mama

3. Friso Gold Mum

hmm..new maternal milk
taste sweet...but..it's a weird-taste sweetness..
a little like kid's medicine..

4. S26 Mama, previously Wyeth Mama
ergh!..cant accept this taste..
it's vanilla flavour too..but doesnt has vanilla taste at all
very weird, a little fishy-smell taste

well, ironically, the very popular Anmum havent been tried yet

heard abbott is coming out with a mama milk too!
we'll see how it taste...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Basics of Constipation

Almost everyone gets constipated at some time. It occurs when bowel movements become difficult that you have to strain hard, feel the abdominal pain for some people, stools become hard like pebble and the frequency become less. Usually after 3 days, stools become harder and more difficult to pass.

  • Inadequate water intake.
  • Inadequate fiber in the diet.
  • A disruption of regular diet or routine; traveling.
  • Inadequate activity or exercise or immobility.
  • Eating large amounts of dairy products.
  • Stress.
  • Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement
  • Overuse of laxatives (stool softeners) which, over time, weaken the bowel muscles.
  • Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum.
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Medicines (especially strong pain medicines, such as narcoticsor iron pills).
  • Depression.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Colon cancer
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fiber. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole-grain bread and cereal (especially bran). Fiber and water help the colon pass stool.
  • Drink sufficient of water and other fluids. Liquids that contain caffeine, such as coffee and soft drinks, seem to have a dehydrating effect and may need to be avoided until your bowel habits return to normal.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Move your bowels when you feel the urge.
If you are constipated:
  • Drink two to four extra glasses of water a day (unless fluid restricted).
  • Try warm liquids, especially in the morning.
  • Add fruits and vegetables to your diet.
  • Eat prunes and/or bran cereal.
  • If needed, use a very mild stool softener or laxative. Do not use laxatives for more than two weeks without calling your doctor, as laxative overuse can aggravate your symptoms.

Calcium supplements may raise risk of heart attack‏?

Supplement is just an addition to compensate for a deficiency condition. Dont become too dependent on it but instead, change our diet and try to incorporate more calcium in your diet. Recent studies found that Ca supplement may increase the risk of heart disease! Read on to find out why!

"People regard calcium supplements as natural but they are really not natural at all," Ian Reid, professor of medicine at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, said.

Reid and colleagues in Britain and the United States conducted a meta-analysis encompassing 11 studies that tracked nearly 12,000 elderly people over four years.

Half of them were given calcium supplements and the other half placebo or dummy pills with no therapeutic content. The results were published in the British Medical Journal.

"What we found was a 30 percent increase in heart attacks in the people who were randomised to take calcium," Reid said.

"If you have 1,000 people taking calcium for five years, we will expect to find 14 more heart attacks, 10 more strokes and 13 more deaths in the people given calcium than they would have had if they hadn't been treated with calcium," Reid said.

"That is 37 more adverse events and we expect 26 fractures being prevented. So calcium is associated with more bad things happening than with bad things prevented."

While experts are not certain about the biological mechanism by which calcium supplements may damage the body, studies in the past have linked high levels of blood calcium to more heart attacks and damage to blood vessels, Reid said.

"When you take calcium supplements, your blood calcium level goes up over the following four to six hours and goes up to the top end of the normal range," he said.

"That doesn't happen when you have calcium to eat in your diet because the calcium from food is very slowly absorbed and so the blood calcium level hardly changes at all."

Higher blood calcium may lead to the formation of plaques in blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases, Reid explained.

"People have always focused on fat levels in the blood as driving that process (plaque formation) but there is increasing evidence now that calcium levels in the blood might drive that as well," he added

skim or whole? Good fat, bad fat? butter or margarine?

good or bad fat? saturated fat?
there are few types of fats and many people have been wondering which types of fat should be taken. Here's some interesting fact taken from Yahoo Health to share with everybody

Olive or canola oil?
While canola has been touted in recent years as superior to olive oil, both have high proportions of polyunsaturated and monosaturated fatty acids (good fats) and are heart healthy when consumed in moderation. "Although both are relatively low in saturated (bad) fat, the debate arose when olive oil was found to contain a slightly higher amount," says Karen Congro, a registered dietician and director of the Wellness for Life Program at Brooklyn Hospital Center. While Congro prefers olive oil for everyday use because of its higher level of monounsaturates, it does have a distinctive flavor and is significantly more expensive than canola.

Butter or margarine?
Congro : "It's made from animal fat, [so it] contains cholesterol and very high levels of saturated fat," Margarine is made from vegetable oils, and plant products contain no cholesterol. It's also higher in "good" fats than butter. But some kinds of margarine may be even worse than butter because of their content of trans fats, a particular heart risk. In general, the more solid the margarine, the higher the proportion of trans fat. Steer clear of stick margarine, advises Congro: "Go for the tubs of heart-healthy margarine made with omega-3 oil," such as Promise or Smart Balance.

Low-fat or skim milk?
Let's face it—the higher the fat content, the better the taste, but skim and 1 percent are clearly better nutritional choices, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, a dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. How much better, though? "The higher you climb in percentage of milk fat, the bigger the bite you're taking out of your daily recommended value of saturated fat," says Blatner. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the maximum recommended daily intake of saturated fat for the average active adult is 20 grams. One serving of skim milk can have no more than .4 of a gram of saturated fat, with 1 percent weighing in at 1.5 grams and 2 percent at 3 grams. "If you have two glasses of 2 percent milk, you've already consumed almost a third of your daily saturated fat," says Blatner. "Stick to skim and 1 percent." Or go for the 2 percent but keep the saturated fat content in mind.

Fresh or frozen veggies?
"Fresh sounds better," says Lona Sandon, a nutritionist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, "and if you picked them out of your garden or at a farmer's market that sells locally grown produce, you can be assured they haven't lost nutrients in transit." But keep in mind that "if." Research at Pennsylvania State University found that a bag of spinach stored at slightly below 40 degrees Fahrenheit for eight days lost half its folate, which prevents birth defects, and carotenoids, compounds that fight heart disease. Higher temperatures accelerated the breakdown. At 50 degrees, half of the compounds were gone after six days. It took just four days at 68 degrees to drop by half. On an 80- or 90-degree day at an outdoor farm stand, the process clicks up several notches. "Frozen fruits and vegetables are processed at their peak ripeness, a time when—as a general rule—they are most nutrient-packed," says Sandon. "When you buy frozen, you know exactly what you're getting."