It is already mid-August and many families with a college student are about to start on a new adventure. Whether the young adult is going to a commuter school and living at home or attending an away college and living in a dorm, there are many changes about to hit family dynamics and the college students lives. Long discussions should now begin about forming healthy habits that will be important for now, and more importantly, for the future. I always advise living the way your grandmother taught you. Here are some of Grandma MaryAnn’s suggestions.
Grandma MaryAnn says you must:
Get your sleep – It is important to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. During sleep your body may be resting, but your brain is busy processing all the information it was exposed to during the day. Sleep helps your immune system to stay strong and prevent colds and other infections you are constantly exposed to. If possible, shut off all your electronic devices 30 to 40 minutes before going to sleep; the light from the screens can affect chemicals in your brain that enhance getting to sleep.
Eat well – Food is your body’s fuel. In order to work hard and think clearly, you need to eat the fruits, nuts and vegetables that we all know are the right stuff. Starting with a healthy breakfast will get the brain ready for the day. Healthy snacks are a must. The crash after the candy bar will be tough to handle.
Exercise – Exercise needs to be a part of your regular schedule because it decreases stress, keeps your mind sharp, and is fun. You should think of it as an investment in yourself.
I wish all the students a great year, and remember to call your Mom and Grandma as often as you can because with loving words from your biggest supporters, there is nothing you can’t handle.
We, here on the Island, are in the middle of tick season and it is reported that there is an above average tick infestation this year. If you do come in contact with a tick, there is always the time honored tweezer method to grasp and remove it.
Another method is to take a cotton ball and put a liberal amount of liquid soap on it. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball. Rub for a few seconds and usually the tick will release and be attached to the ball. This simple method is perfect for children and upset adults.
As always, prevention is the best medicine. Please check out the 8 best ways to avoid being bitten by a tick.
Obesity is a known risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer. A recent study out of Israel found that obese or overweight 17- and 18-year-olds can have an increased risk of developing colon and rectal cancer, and the risk may be increased as high as 50%! We now have another reason to encourage good eating and exercise habits for our children. The earlier these healthy life style habits begin, the better.
It is reported that marijuana use in pregnancy is on the rise with possibly 4-5% of pregnant women using marijuana for recreational or medical reasons. The nausea problem of early pregnancy seems to be the main medical condition for this rise.
Let us review some information:
The marijuana used today is much stronger than in the past with the active chemical ingredients reaching much higher concentrations.
Cannabidiol is the chemical that may be responsible for decreasing nausea.
The active chemicals of marijuana readily cross the placenta and enter into the fetal circulation. With chronic use these chemicals can be stored in the fat cells of the mother and fetus and this can prolong the exposure to the fetus.
Marijuana’s effect on the fetus is constantly being studied and many potential problems are being found especially with fetal brain development.
The American College of Ob-Gyn recommends against marijuana use in pregnancy and pre pregnancy. It also advises that it should not be used for the nausea of pregnancy.
If you are pregnant or considering becoming pregnant, please discuss marijuana use with your health care provider because your baby’s health should always be your number one concern.
A common complaint of the majority of menopausal women is the hot flash. It is also called hot flushes or night sweats, and the medical term used would be vasomotor symptoms (VMS). Most women will relate a feeling of great heat that overtakes their entire body, and this can last up to 5 minutes. These flashes can begin a few years before menopause and can last for many years after. There is great variability as to the number and intensity of these flashes, but most women who experience these hot flashes all consider them a problem that is disruptive to their lives. The exact cause of these flashes is not completely known, but the decrease in estrogen in menopause plays the main role.
Read more about menopause hot flashes and menopause.
As a woman ages, her ovarian function begins to decrease, and as the follicular activity starts to wane, the production of estrogen and progesterone goes down. The decrease in these hormones will eventually lead to no more menstrual cycles, and menopause is defined as 1 year of no menstrual bleeding. This is a natural part of every woman’s life as the 50’s approach and the average age of menopause is 51 to 52. With our ever increasing life spans, women may spend 30 to 40 years in this postmenopausal state.
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common condition that affects approximately 10% of women during their reproductive age. It is often characterized by obesity, irregular menses, and impaired insulin function. Obesity may play a role in the etiology, and with weight loss, there has been reported improvement in some of the clinical findings.
There is a recent large study that suggests a Carnitine supplement may be of benefit for these patients. L-Carnitine is an amino acid (a building block for proteins) that is naturally produced in the liver and kidneys. It helps the body turn fat into energy, and your body usually can make all the Carnitine it needs. In this study, the diagnosis of PCOS was made using the Rotterdam criteria. To make the diagnosis, two of the following findings needed to be present:
Irregular menses over 35 days or less than 8 menses per year caused by a problem with ovulation
Signs of hirsutism indicative of increased testosterone
Polycystic ovaries with 12 or more follicular cysts in each ovary
In this study, when 250 mg of L-Carnitine was given to women with PCOS, who were also on metformin, there was a significant reduction in weight based on BMI changes. There was also an improvement in glycemic control. The Carnitine was given for over 12 weeks.
Remember to always speak to your health care provider before considering starting any supplement.