Thursday, June 30, 2011

Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterized by symptoms of pain or discomfort in the abdomen that persist for at least three months.

The website says the condition affects up to 20% of adults in the United States. Symptoms may include:
  •  Stomach pain or cramps.
  •  Constipation or diarrhea, or alternating between the two.
  •  A sensation of not being finished with a bowel movement.
  •  Mucus in the stools.
  •  Gas, bloating or swelling in the abdominal region.
  •  Discomfort, unusual fullness or nausea after eating a normal-sized meal.
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Monday, June 20, 2011

Factors that might Lead to Skin Cancer

People who have had severe blistering sunburns or frequent exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays are at higher risk of developing skin cancer, the U.S. National Cancer Institute reminds us.

Here the agency's list of additional factors that increases your risk of getting the disease:
  •  Using tanning beds on a regular basis.
  •  Having had skin cancer before.
  •  Having a close family member with a history of skin cancer.
  •  Having fair skin that burns easily.
  •  Taking medication that increases sensitivity to sunlight.
  •  Having a medical condition that compromises the immune system, or taking a medication that suppresses the immune system.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Olive Oil might Prevent Strokes: Study

According to a new French study, olive oil could help prevent strokes in elderly people.

Researchers at the University of Bordeaux studied medical records from nearly 8,000 people aged 65 and older.

Olive oil consumption was labeled in participants as “no use,” “moderate use” and “intensive use.” Over the five-year study period, 148 people had strokes.

Results from the study show that people who used olive in both cooking and as a dressing or with bread had a 41% lower risk of stroke compared to those people who never used olive oil in their diet. As a result, researchers said people over age 65 may need a new set of dietary guidelines.

“Olive oil is a big part of the Mediterranean Diet, which is a healthy diet that includes olive oil as their primary fat source, so as a result it’s not surprising to see that this is beneficial,” Carolyn Snyder, a registered dietician at the Cleveland Clinic, said in a news release. And the good news is that olive oil is easy to add to any diet.

“It’s a very simple salad dressing, mixing that with a little balsamic vinaigrette,” Snyder said. “You can use it to dip whole grain breads in with a little bit of seasoning like basil.”
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Monday, June 13, 2011

Early exposure to pets might lower risk of future allergy

Having a pet at home during the first year of a child may halve the risk of developing allergic to them later in life, a new study suggests.

The study was published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy.

Researchers from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit assessed 566 boys and girls who were followed from birth until age 18. They found that boys who had dogs and teens who had cats during their first year of life had 50 percent less risk of developing pet allergies later.

Lead researcher Ganesha Wegienka said: "This research provides further evidence that experiences in the first year of life are associated with health status later in life, and that early life pet exposure does not put most children at risk of being sensitized to these animals later in life."

The researchers said that exposure to animals at other times in childhood didn't appear to be as significant as the first year.

However, Wegienka cautioned that this study doesn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship between having a pet and avoiding allergies, just an association between those two factors.

"We don't want to say that everyone should go out and get a dog or cat to prevent allergies," she said.

"More research is needed, though we think this is a worthwhile avenue to pursue."
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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Anxiety Disorders can lead to Physical Problems

Anxiety disorders may be mental health conditions, but they can lead to a number of physical problems.

The University of Maryland Medical Center lists these physical complications that can arise from anxiety disorders:
  •   Heart disease.
  •   Risk factors for heart disease, including thickened blood vessels, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
  •   Irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal problems.
  •   Headaches.
  •   Respiratory conditions, including asthma.
  •   Obesity.
  •   Allergies, including food allergies, hay fever, eczema and other allergic conditions.
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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Drinking too much Coffee may lead to Hallucinations

Coffee may benefit health in a few ways, but watch out. Drinking too many cups could bring on hallucinations.

Five coffees a day or more was found to be adequate to increase the participant's tendency to hallucinate, says Simon Crowe, professor of psychology at the La Trobe University. Hallucinations are false perceptions that an individual has that do not exist. For example, a person may hear, see or smell things that are not there.

According to a La Trobe statement, Crowe and colleagues at the University's School of Psychological Sciences measured the effect of stress and caffeine with 92 non-clinical participants. Participants were assigned to either a high or a low stress condition and a high or a low caffeine condition on the basis of self-report. They were then asked to listen to white noise and to report each time they heard Bing Crosby's rendition of 'White Christmas' during the white noise.

White noise is a type that is produced by combining sounds of all different frequencies together, just as white light is produced by a combination of seven colors. The song was never played. The results indicated that the interaction of stress and caffeine had a significant effect on the reported frequency of hearing "White Christmas."

The participants with high levels of stress or who consumed high levels of caffeine were more likely to hear the song. "The combination of caffeine and stress affect the likelihood of an individual experiencing a psychosis-like symptom," says Crowe.
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Friday, June 3, 2011

Mobile Phones may lead to Cancer: WHO

Mobile phones may lead to brain cancer in humans, a World Health Organization agency said, citing a review of studies.

Exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic fields from handsets is greater than that from phone towers and base stations, Robert Baan, the senior scientist in charge of the International Agency for Research on Cancer report on the subject, said on a conference call with reporters. The fields are "possibly" carcinogenic, the same category as diesel fuel, chloroform and working as a firefighter, according to the IARC, based in Lyon, France, which classifies cancer risks.

This is the first time an agency working group has surveyed research on radio-frequency electromagnetic fields to make a definitive classification, the IARC said yesterday. The agency didn't issue guidelines for cell-phone use and said more study is needed after finding some evidence for an increased risk of glioma, or brain cancer.
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