Indigestion – What Causes Indigestion – Symptoms and Treatment Indigestion

What is indigestion  or dyspepsia ? Dyspepsia is one of the most common ailments of the bowel (intestines), affecting an estimated 20% of persons in the United States. Perhaps only 10% of More »

Suffering for Regular Sore Throat – Sore Throat Causes – Sore Throat Remedies & Treatments

Some of the sore throat remedies shared by individuals who tried home relief methods Joe: I know it sounds stupid but the little bottle of squeezable lemon juice that you can get More »

Skin Rashes, Skin Irritation – Are You Worried About Your Skin Ailments – Know Skin Rashes Remedies Cure

Definition: Skin Irritation- reaction to a particular irritant that results in inflammation of the skin and itchiness. Definition: Rash- A spotted, pink or red skin eruption that may be accompanied by itching More »

Health Insurance – Importance of Health Insurance – Health Insurance FAQs

Health Insurance is not just requirement to save money on medical expenses but a vital asset to have during contingent time. Do You Understand the Importance of Health Insurance? If you are More »

Laughing Helps, Laughing Cures – Laughter Is The Best Medicine – Laughter Prolongs Life

Laughter reduces pain, increases job performance, connects people emotionally, and improves the flow of oxygen to the heart and brain. Laughter, it’s said, is the best medicine. And there’s lots of evidence More »

Category Archives: Health & Safety

Skin Rashes, Skin Irritation – Are You Worried About Your Skin Ailments – Know Skin Rashes Remedies Cure

Definition: Skin Irritation- reaction to a particular irritant that results in inflammation of the skin and itchiness.

Definition: Rash- A spotted, pink or red skin eruption that may be accompanied by itching and is caused by disease, contact with an allergen, food ingestion, or drug reaction.

Rashes and Skin Irritation: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments?

Skin irritation is a general term that can refer to a number of skin problems, including lesions, redness and itchiness. Rashes, a specific type of skin irritation, describe any area of skin that is red, itchy and inflamed. Both general skin irritation and rashes can be caused by a number of factors. Similarly, each can vary in severity and in duration.

For example, while mild forms of skin irritation and rashes can last for a few days, serious cases of both can persist for weeks, causing debilitating pain.

Causes of Skin Irritation and Rashes

One of the primary functions of skin, the body’s largest organ, is to protect us from the sun, pollutants and other potentially harmful substances. Because it is constantly coming into contact with the elements, it is always at risk of encountering substances that will irritate it. Common causes of skin irritation include:

  • chemicals
  • detergents
  • dyes
  • extended duration in extremely hot or extremely cold weather
  • frequent washing
  • frequent contact with water
  • perfumes
  • pet dander
  • plants
  • soaps
  • synthetic fabrics

In addition to the above causes, rashes specifically may also be caused by:

  • allergies
  • bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection
  • bug bites
  • hormonal fluctuations
  • medical conditions, such as eczema or Lyme disease
  • mosquito bites
  • stress

Symptoms of Skin Irritation and Rashes

Because both of these skin condition have such varied causes, the associated symptoms are also extremely diverse. healthpadinfo-skin-rashes-cureLike other medical conditions, the symptoms a person will experience when he suffers from skin irritation or rashes will depend on the exact cause of the condition. Some of the most common symptoms associated with skin irritation and rashes include:

  1. burning, tingling or stinging sensation
  2. changes in skin’s texture
  3. cracked skin
  4. dry skin
  5. flaky or scaly skin
  6. pain
  7. redness
  8. small blisters
  9. thickened skin

Diagnosing Skin Irritation and Rashes

Getting the proper diagnosis for your rash relies on identifying the precise cause of the skin irritation. Once you and your doctor are able to identify what is causing your skin irritation, the proper course of treatment will be clear.

Seeing your doctor or dermatologist immediately after you recognize rash symptoms is essential to preventing further health complications and avoiding the spread of your condition to others. While your skin rash may not be contagious, seeing a medical expert is still essential to preventing the rash from spreading over your body and getting your health back on track.

When you go to see your doctor, he will ask you the following questions:

Are any of your family members or co-workers experiencing similar symptoms?
Do you suffer from any allergies that you know about?
Do you suffer from any non-allergy-related, chronic medical conditions, such as lupus?
Have there been any noticeable changes in your home or work environment recently?
Have you been under added stress recently?
Have you come into contact with a substance that you don’t usually handle?
Have you handled any chemicals recently?
Have you noticed any bug bites on your body recently?
Have you started a new shampoo, used a new soap or tried a new perfume in the last few days?

Your answers to these questions, as well as the appearance and location of the skin irritation, will help the doctor make a proper diagnosis.

Treatments for Skin Irritation and Rashes

Although the precise treatment you need for your irritated skin will rely on the exact cause of your condition, doctor generally recommend the following:

  1. Bath, shower and wash with warm (not hot) water, so as not to shock or dry out the skin.
  2. Gently dry skin, especially the affected area. Rubbing skin roughly will only irritate it further.
  3. If you have identified the irritant (the substance that has caused the rash), stay away from it.
  4. Make sure that your showers or baths are short. Prolonged contact with water will only further irritate the skin.
  5. Moisturize the affected area multiple times each day, especially after washing, with a perfume-free, oil-free moisturizer.
  6. Use a humidifier at home to re-moisturize the skin.
  7. Use mild, perfume-free soaps.

Unhealthy Skin Leads to Skin Rashes

Healthy skin provides a barrier between the inside of the body and the outside environment. A rash means some change has affected the skin.

Rashes are generally caused by skin irritation, which can have many causes. A rash is generally a minor problem that may go away with home treatment. In some cases a rash does not go away or the skin may become so irritated that medical care is needed.

In adults and older children, rashes are often caused by contact with a substance that irritates the skin (contact dermatitiscamera). The rash usually starts within 48 hours after contact with the irritating substance. Contact dermatitis may cause mild redness of the skin or a rash of small red bumps. A more severe reaction may cause swelling, redness, and larger blisters. The location of the rash may give you a clue about the cause.

skin-irritation-fabric-healthpad.infoContact dermatitis does not always occur the first time you are in contact to the irritating substance (allergen). After you have had a reaction to the substance, a rash can occur in response to even very small amounts of the substance. Contact dermatitis is not serious, but it is often very itchy. Common causes of contact dermatitis include:

  • Poisonous plants, such as poison ivy, oak, or sumac.
  • Soaps, detergents, shampoos, perfumes, cosmetics, or lotions.
  • Jewelry or fabrics.
  • New tools, toys, appliances, or other objects.

Latex, Allergy to natural rubber latex affects people who are exposed to rubber products on a regular basis, especially health care workers, rubber industry workers, and people who have had multiple surgeries. Latex allergies can cause a severe reaction.

Rashes may occur with viral infections, such as herpes zoster; fungal infections, such as a yeast infection (Candida albicans); bacterial infections, such as impetigo; and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Rashes may also occur as a symptom of a more serious disease, such as liver disease, kidney disease, or some types of cancer.

Rashes may also appear after exposure to an insect or a parasite, such as the scabies mite. You may develop a rash when you travel to a rural area or go hiking or camping in the woods.

A rash may be a sign of a chronic skin problem, such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, or seborrheic dermatitis. Other causes of rash include dry, cold weather; extremely hot weather (heat rash); and emotional stress. Emotions such as frustration or embarrassment may lead to an itchy rash.

Some medicines can cause a rash as a side effect. A very rare and serious type of generalized red rash called toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) may occur after using sulfa drugs. TEN can cause the skin to peel away, leaving large areas of tissue that weep or ooze fluid like a severe burn. If this type of rash occurs, you need to see a doctor. TEN may occur after the use of some medicines.

The need for medical treatment often depends on what other symptoms are present. A rash that occurs with other symptoms, such as shortness of breath or fever, may mean another problem, such as a serious allergic reaction or infection. Get proper skin tests done and consult your doctor before taking any OTC medication

Health Insurance – Importance of Health Insurance – Health Insurance FAQs

Health Insurance is not just requirement to save money on medical expenses but a vital asset to have during contingent time.

Do You Understand the Importance of Health Insurance?

If you are one of the 45.7 million Americans in the U.S. without health insurance, you may not completely comprehend how important healthcare coverage really is. Most uninsured Americans cite the high cost of health insurance as the #1 reason for not having coverage. In reality, though, living without health insurance can actually put you at significantly more financial risk. One accident, illness, or injury could put your financial security in jeopardy.
What Health Insurance Provides

You can receive medical care without health insurance. However, the extraordinary costs of doing so strongly discourages the uninsured from seeking out medical care until it’s too late or the ailment has worsened. With almost all health insurance plans, hospital stays and sick visits to a doctor will be at least partially covered. Some health insurance plans also cover preventive care, mental health care, prescription drugs, and more. A good health insurance plan will pay for the basics of healthcare, but it can also serve as a preventive measure against future disease or illness. Be sure to compare health insurance companies before buying a policy.
Live Longer with Health Insurance

One of the most commonly cited reasons for declaring bankruptcy is medical costs. Uninsured people are caught off guard by a serious injury or illness, and it creates a financial disaster. Even a rather small injury, like a broken arm, can put a major strain on your finances if you don’t have insurance.

healthpadinfoinsuranceFurther, I will be writing about the key points related to choosing the right health insurance policies. It is one of the important financial planning for you and your family. In the recent survey, it shows that India has the highest number of diabetes patients in the world. It is very shocking news and people have to be cautious for protecting their family from the unexpected incidents. This article explains the importance of taking the medical insurance and the key points needs to be considered while taking the health policy. If you have any doubts, please post it in the comments section. If like the article, please get the free email updates.
What is Sum Insured?

Sum Insured(SI) is the one important thing in the health insurance product. It is the maximum amount paid in case of claim. Taking the appropriate Sum Insured has to be decided up on the several factors like age, marital status, health condition, nature of work, etc. It is good idea to to talk to the financial adviser if you don’t have the enough knowledge on the financial planning.

Individual Policy or Family Policy?

Another big question is whether you have to go for the individual policy or the family policy which protects the whole family. It depends on the financial situation of your family. If you are not married, then you will go for the individual policy. Normally, the family policy is recommended to reduce the over all costs of the premium. If the money is not a problem, you can go for the individual policy as well. You should update yourself on health insurance faqs.

When to take policy?

There is no right time to take the policy. It is always recommended to take the policy at earliest to reduce the premium. In most of the insurance companies, taking the policy after the age of 35 will under go medical tests and other formalities. That will increase the premium amount payable for every year.

Points to ask before taking the policy

Here I am listing some of the important points which you need to ask before taking the policy.

  • What is the maximum amount reimbursed for the room rent, boarding and nursing expenses?. Most of the companies restrict to 1% of the total sum assured.
  • What is the maximum amount reimbursed on doctor fees?. Normally it is restricted to 25% to 30% of the sum assured.

What is the renewal period of the policy?

Hospital bills for very small to considerably large ailments are a pain. It’s difficult to meet such steep health costs on our own without burning a hole in our savings. Also, with medical costs escalating, some even compromise on quality healthcare, because of affordability. It is then that the importance of health insurance comes into the picture. Health Insurance provides us with the ability to afford better healthcare facilities for ourselves and our loved ones. What’s more, you can also enjoy tax benefits.

Understanding the concept of health insurance after health insurance importance !

Health Insurance in India, popularly known as Mediclaim, is nothing but an Insurance which covers expenses related to necessary Hospitalization due to a Sickness or an Accidental Injury. A standard mediclaim covers comprehensive costs of Hospitalization, which include:

  • Investigation costs before the hospitalization like Medical Tests, Doctor Fees,
  • It includes cost for ambulance
  • All costs while in the hospital which include room charges, surgery charges, diagnostic tests etc.
  • Costs incurred post hospitalization for complete recovery, for example follow up doctor visits, diagnostic tests, medicines connected to the Hospitalization.

Benefits of a health insurance plan

Due to skyrocketing inflation, quality healthcare, hospitalization is becoming very expensive. Large hospitalizations which cost lakhs of rupees can seriously burn a very big hole in one’s savings or worse, burden one with huge debt. Health Insurance plans help in spreading such a risk to larger no. of people, and hence bring the costs down per person.

How does a health insurance works?

Health Insurance is generally an annual Insurance policy, renewable every year. The policy covers Hospitalization due to Sickness and Accidental Injury, subject to certain exclusions and waiting periods, which are explicitly mentioned in the policy wordings. You can claim Health Insurance in 2 ways – Cashless or Reimbursement.

Cashless – Every Insurance Company has a network of Hospitals where they have a direct billing arrangement. In such cases Insurance Companies directly pay the admissible claim amount to the hospital. When the insured person is admitted in a Network Hospital, he/she or his/her relative would need to just submit his/her cashless card to the hospital billing desk, who will process cashless admission for the patient, subject to approval by the Insurance Company. In such cases, the Insured person will have to pay only expenses which are not covered under the Health Insurance Policy.
Reimbursement – In case you happen to be admitted in a Hospital which is not in the network of your Insurance Company, you will have to make all payments on your own to the Hospital, and then submit these original papers along with the Claim Form to the Insurance Company for reimbursement.

Tips while buying the right insurance plans

  1. One needs to understand that there is no perfect plan. Understand your needs well, plan for the long term, and go for the closest suitable plan. Don’t wait for that perfect plan with everything covered to arrive and risk delaying your coverage.
  2. Remember, you are buying an insurance for your old age. With healthcare inflation at 20%, do not go for a small sum insured of Rs. 1 lakh, if you can afford more. A premium of around 25% of your monthly salary is surely affordable.
  3. Demand the policy wordings (where all terms and conditions of the policy are mentioned) of the product you are going to buy. Before you sign the dotted line.
  4. Do not solely depend on health insurance from your employer. Employer sponsored coverage is changing every year according to claims experience and budgets of your employer. You may suddenly find yourself or your family with very low or no coverage. It is becoming more and more difficult to get insurance for people above 45 years or people who have an ailment or health condition like diabetes/thyroid/hypertension etc.
  5. Check the maximum renewal ceasing age of the policy. This is the age when your policy will discontinue. Today, there are policies available which can be renewed for lifetime. Go for lifetime renewable policies.
  6. Ensure you spend time in finalizing a good health insurance advisor, who would provide you unbiased advice across all leading insurance cos., as well as assist you for renewals and claims in the long term.

Top 5 FAQs on health insurance

What is Family Floater?
Family Floater is a very cost effective product, that covers an entire family under one policy and one fixed cover. This fixed cover is shared with the family members, i.e. if Vermas, a family of three buys a Family Floater Mediclaim of 3 lakhs, the full family covered can make claims of upto Rs. 3 lakh in a year, subject to other terms and conditions in the policy. In most policies Self, Spouse, and Kids are covered in a family floater policy. On the other hand, Individual Mediclaim is a product where each member is covered under a separate coverage. Taking individual policies turns out to be more expensive than Family floater. If you are a young couple, Family floater would be a better choice.

healthinsurance-healthpad.infoWhat is PED (Pre-existing Diseases)?
Pre-existing Ailments or Diseases are Symptoms, Diagnosed Ailments, or any existing or past health condition which exist at the time of applying for Mediclaim Policy. When you apply for a Mediclaim, please ensure you provide a detailed medical background about your family. Ailments which already exist, are generally covered by Mediclaim after 4 years. In a recent trend, most Insurance companies now have started putting permanent exclusions for Pre-existing diseases in the policy.

Is Maternity Covered in health insurance?
No, Maternity and expenses related to Maternity are not covered under Standard Mediclaim. There are some policies which provide Maternity cover after an initial waiting period of 2 to 4 years.

What is TPA?
TPA is 24X7 outsourced agency of the Insurance Company, which keeps records of the policies issued by the Insurance Company, including people covered, benefits and exclusions. The TPA maintains the network of hospitals for the Insurance Company and provides the Cashless Card to the Insured Persons. TPAs process all claims including Cashless and Reimbursement claims on behalf of the Insurance Company.

Will Cashless Card provide Emergency Service?
No, Cashless Card is not like a Credit card which can be swiped at the Hospital and you don’t have to make any payments. The authorization of Cashless between the Insurance Company/TPA and the Hospital normally takes 5-8 hours, and hence cannot be depended on for Emergencies. In emergency cases, Hospitals may demand a deposit to admit the Insured patient. Always have a Credit Card with a good balance handy for such exigencies.

An Appeal of Health Insurance Advisor – Danes Rodrick (no sales pitch, no pun intended, no back link)

Because due to changes in life style and busy schedule and heavy Traffic people are either suffering from different diseases, Due to pressure at work place people are suffering from Heart Attack, Blood Pressure. Due to traffic people are facing so many accidents which injures them.

And when a common going to medical for his/her treatment then it will cost him very much. Some time they are not able to manage that amount so either they have to stop there treatment or they transfer them selves to Government Hospitals.,

Everybody needs a good health and everybody expect a good Hospital care so that they can cure soon. Thats why most of the people prefer Private Hospitals .

And it is not so easy to get admitted there due to so much of costing. That’s why everybody needs a Health Insurance.

The concept of Health Insurance from health insurance advisor’s point of view:

“Insured person pay a small amount for whole year,some policies are there which cover whole family under one policy. Then when ever they suffer from any disease and get hospitalized then that Insurance company will take there responsibility to pay the amount ( which was specified in policy) not whole amount.

Some Insurance companies are also paying cash less transaction that means Patient do not have to give any deposit in hospital when he/she get admitted in to hospitals and some companies are there who are reimbursement the amount after treatment.” He further advised.

So please friends Have a health Insurance Plan Soon.

Laughing Helps, Laughing Cures – Laughter Is The Best Medicine – Laughter Prolongs Life

Laughter reduces pain, increases job performance, connects people emotionally, and improves the flow of oxygen to the heart and brain.

  • Laughter, it’s said, is the best medicine. And there’s lots of evidence that laughter does lots of good things for us.
  • It reduces pain and allows us to tolerate discomfort.
  • It reduces blood sugar levels, increasing glucose tolerance in diabetics and non-diabetics alike.
  • It improves your job performance, especially if your work depends on creativity and solving complex problems. Its role in intimate relationships is vastly underestimated and it really is the glue of good marriages. It synchronizes the brains of speaker and listener so that they are emotionally attuned.
  • Laughter establishes — or restores — a positive emotional climate and a sense of connection between two people, In fact, some researchers believe that the major function of laughter is to bring people together. And all the health benefits of laughter may simply result from the social support that laughter stimulates.

Now comes hard new evidence that laughter helps your blood vessels function better. It acts on the inner lining of blood vessels, called the endothelium, causing vessels to relax and expand, increasing blood flow. In other words, it’s good for your heart and brain, two organs that require the steady flow of oxygen carried in the blood.

At this year’s meeting of the American College of Cardiology, Michael Miller, M.D., of the University of Maryland reported that in a study of 20 healthy people, provoking laughter did as much good for their arteries as aerobic activity. He doesn’t recommend that you laugh and not exercise. But he does advise that you try to laugh on a regular basis. The endothelium, he explains, regulates blood flow and adjusts the propensity of blood to coagulate and clot. In addition, it secretes assorted chemicals in response to wounds, infection or irritation. It also plays an important role in the development of cardiovascular disease.

“The endothelium is the first line in the development of atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries,” said Dr. Miller. “So given the results of our study, it is conceivable that laughing may be important to maintain a healthy endothelium. And reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

At the very least, he adds, “laughter offsets the impact of mental stress, which is harmful to the endothelium.”

The researcher can’t say for sure exactly how laughter delivers its heart benefit. It could come from the vigorous movement of the diaphragm muscles as you chuckle or guffaw. Alternatively, or additionally, laughter might trigger the release in the brain of such hormones as endorphins that have an effect on arteries.

It’s also possible that laughter boosts levels of nitric oxide in artery walls. Nitric oxide is known to play a role in the dilation of the endothelium. “Perhaps mental stress leads to a breakdown in nitric oxide or inhibits a stimulus to produce nitric oxide that results in vasoconstriction.”

Dr. Miller offers a simple prescription that won’t bankrupt you and could save your life. “Thirty minutes of exercise three times a week, and 15 minutes of laughter on a daily basis is probably good for the vascular system,” he says.

Have you laughed lately?

If not, get out of your serious self and loosen up.

  • Laughter is a powerful tool for combating stress and conflict.  It can dissipate anger, sadness and other negative emotions.  In addition to making you feel good, laughter can improve your health and make your relationships with others closer and stronger.  There are a wide variety of benefits to be gained by making daily laughter a priority.

  • Many studies have shown that laughter can boost your energy level and reduce stress.  These are just a few of the ways that laughter can improve your health:
  • Laughter is relaxing. A good session of laughing can relieve muscle tension and make you feel more relaxed.  This in turn can calm you and bring a general sense of well being.
  • Laughter can boost your immune system. Infection-fighting antibodies are released when you laugh.  Stress hormones are decreased as laughter reduces stress.
  • Laughter can reduce chronic pain. Medical studies have shown that 10 minutes of laughter can diminish chronic pain for up to 2 hours.
  • Laughter can improve your creativity. You can face challenges with more perspective with a good sense of humor.  This leads to more creative problem solving.
  • The physical benefits of laughter can lead to an improved outlook on life. Laughter can bring optimism and a more positive attitude.  It can also bring resiliency that will help you bounce back from disappointments and survive tough times.  Laughter will leave you feeling energized and renewed, ready to face life’s daily stresses without being overwhelmed.
  • Laughter is a contagious social activity. When people are in a group and they hear someone laughing, they often join in spontaneously.  Laughing with other people helps us to make a connection with them, opening the door to communication and creating a bond.  When two people in a relationship share a common sense of humor, it can reduce stress between them and defuse conflict.  By introducing more humor and playfulness into your relationships, you can strengthen them and make them more satisfying.

How can laughter help a relationship?

People who incorporate humor and playfulness into their relationships are able to drop some of their inhibitions and defensiveness.  This allows them to enjoy more spontaneity and a deeper emotional connection.  When laughter and humor are used to defuse conflict, negative emotions like resentment and anger don’t get a chance to build up.  In fact, laughter and a shared sense of humor are nothing less than essential for strong and healthy relationships.

Children laugh hundreds of times per day, but as adults we can sometimes go through an entire day without sharing a heartfelt laugh.  Maybe you’ve started taking life very seriously as you’ve gotten older, or maybe anxiety and stress have taken their toll on your ability to appreciate humor.  Or maybe you grew up in a household where humor and laughter weren’t encouraged.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t start now and learn how to make laughter an important part of your life.

Like all of life’s most important skills, humor can be learned and rediscovered.  I’m not suggesting that you start to act like a child again, but you can learn something about laughter and humor by setting aside time to develop your playful side.

Here are 10 activities that will help increase your ability to laugh, play and have fun.

  1. Smile more often. A smile is the first step towards laughter and is equally contagious.  Make a conscious effort to smile more and laughter will follow.
  2. Spend more time with happy people. It’s easier to laugh and feel happy when you’re surrounded by people who know how to have fun.  Seek out friends who are playful and like to laugh.
  3. Use funny stories to lighten your mood. Pay attention to the funny stories that other people share and learn how to tell your own.  Appreciate the humor in daily experiences and share it with friends.
  4. Introduce humor when it’s appropriate. Lighten up conversations by introducing an element of humor.  Initiate conversations that are funny and playful.
  5. Enjoy inside jokes with friends. Sharing private jokes with another person brings you closer.  Bringing up a private joke is a good way to re-experience the humor of the moment.
  6. Seek out entertainment with humor. Watch comedy movies.  Rent some classic comedy films and enjoy them with friends.  Go to a comedy club.  Check out humorous books and comic strips.  The culture of comedy is infectious and will improve your sense of humor.
  7. Have a laugh at your own expense. When appropriate, share your embarrassing moments with others.  This can help you take yourself a little less seriously.
  8. Be playful and silly. Have a water fight, take part in some horseplay, indulge a case of the giggles.  It’s all part of lightening up.
  9. Play games with friends. Whether its board games or sports, keep the atmosphere low-key, fun and non-competitive.  Just play for the fun of it and have some laughs along the way.
  10. Spend time with children. We can learn a lot from their sense of play and laughter.  Put aside your “adult” thinking and try to see things through their eyes.

As you incorporate laughter into your life, you may find yourself becoming more creative.

When you know how to lighten up and take yourself less seriously, you become less worried about making mistakes.  Having a sense of playfulness allows you to explore various solutions to a problem.  When your state of mind is relaxed and open to possibility, new ideas have a chance to develop.  Daily laughter and a good sense of humor will help keep life interesting.

When you take time to bring more laughter into your life, you’ll see positive changes in many areas.  Life will become more enjoyable, and you’ll find it easier to connect with other people.  Your relationships will benefit as you bond with friends and loved ones through your sense of humor.

Now know top 5 fun facts about laughter…

  1. Laughing only 15 minutes a day can help you lose weight. Scientists at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee have discovered that a daily dose of laughter can burn up to five pounds of fat over a year. 10 to 15 minutes of laughter can increase energy expenditure by 10 to 40 calories per day.
  2. Laughter is contagious. Researchers at University College London found that hearing laughter and other positive sounds triggers a response in the area of the brain that’s activated when we smile.
  3. Laughter stimulates the body. A good hearty laugh stimulates your organs, soothes tension and tummy aches, improves the immune system, relieves pain and increases overall personal satisfaction, according to a Mayo Clinic advisory on stress.
  4. Laughter fights infections. Research has found that higher levels of salivary immunoglobulin (an antibody that fights infections organisms entering the respiratory tract) were found in the saliva of people who watched funny videos or had experienced good moods.
  5. Laughter boosts killer cells. After watching an hour long video of slapstick comedy, researchers have found that the “natural killer cells” which seek out and destroy malignant cells more actively attacked tumor cells in test tubes. These types of effects lasted up to 12 hours.

Arm yourself with the power of laughter and you’ll be ready to take on whatever challenges life brings your way.

Laughter is indeed the best medicine. :)

Several studies have shown that a positive attitude or emotional state can boost your chances of surviving cancer. In one study, among patients with metastatic (spreading) cancers, those who expressed greater hope at the time of their diagnosis survived longer. In another study, over 400 reports of spontaneous remission of cancer were reviewed and analyzed. The patients themselves attributed their cure to a broad range of causes, but only one factor was common to all the cases–a shift toward greater hope and a positive attitude.

One clinician traced unexpected tumor shrinkage to favorable changes in the psychosocial situation of the patient. Examples of such changes include “a sudden fortunate marriage; the experience of having one’s entire order of clergy engage in an intercessory prayer; sudden, lasting reconciliation with a long-hated mother; unexpected and enthusiastic praise and encouragement from an expert in one’s field; and the fortunate death of a de-compensated alcoholic and addicted husband who stood in the way of a satisfying career.”

The late Norman Cousins described a national survey of oncologists (completed during his stay at the UCLA Medical School) in his last book, Head First: The Biology of Hope. Of the 649 who offered their opinions on the importance of various psychological factors in fighting cancer, “More than 90% of the physicians said they attached the highest value to the attitudes of hope and optimism.”

There are few sources of stress in life greater than the words, “You have cancer” or “You have few months to live” or “You have lost everything”. And we have known for decades that any kind of stress–especially chronic stress that’s there day after day–has a suppressive effect on the immune system. You are more vulnerable to becoming ill when constantly stressed precisely because your immune system is not operating as well is it normally would–if you were under less stress or were coping with it more effectively.

Your sense of humor provides a powerful antidote to immuno-suppressive effects of stress in two ways: through 1) direct effects of humor and laughter upon the immune system, and 2) indirect effects resulting from humor’s ability to help you cope on the tough days.

Laughter is very good for your health, top 4 laughter benefits

  1. Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  2. Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  3. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  4. Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Disclaimer: HealthPad.Info neither endorses nor promotes any medicine mentioned in the articles here. Consult expert physician that you know personally before taking any medication. Articles are for knowledge purpose only.

Attraction Point – How To Smartly Become Caregiver

Few people are prepared for the responsibilities and tasks involved in caring for loved ones who are ill, elderly, or disabled.

The success of the relationship between you and your loved one depends on several factors. One of the most important is how well you take care of yourself, empowering yourself to be there for the person you are caring for. Let’s look first at what causes the stress in such a relationship, and then we will explore some ways to care for yourself as you care for another.

Sources of Stress

Caring for someone who is sick or disabled causes tremendous stress. This stress comes from several directions and each has a different effect on the caregiver. The following are the main sources of such stress:

1. Being far away: In most families, people are spread out across the country and are not always available to help with caring for a sick or elderly person. This places extra stress on the person nearby, who often must contribute the most in terms of time and money toward the patient’s care. The out-of-towners may not realize how much time and money the person close at hand is devoting to the care of their family member.

2. Financial stress is inevitable when someone requires an excessive amount of care. For example:

a. Many caregivers spend their own money to cover expenses that are not covered by insurance or Medicare.

b. The family members who are less involved may not realize how expensive certain items are and may even resist helping to pay for them.

c. The primary caregiver may have to work fewer hours or find less demanding work (which may pay less money). Many caregivers have to stop working completely in order to care for the patient.

3. Cultural expectations: In some cultures, daughters are expected to care for parents, and in others it is not acceptable to place relatives in nursing homes.

4. Relationship stress: In addition to the financial stress, all of these factors create enormous stress on the relationships among family members. This can lead to an additional layer of problems if it is not openly discussed and resolved.

5. Physical stress: Caring for an ailing person can be a physical challenge. Activities like cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, and shopping can be exhausting, especially when they are added to the responsibilities of your own life.

6. Home alterations: If the patient continues to live at home, you may need to make alterations such as building ramps or railings. Everyone in the home will have to adjust.

7. Social stress: Providing personal care 24 hours a day can cut off the primary caregiver from family and friends. You may be too tired to have an evening out, or you may not have anyone else to take over. This can result in your feeling angry and resentful toward the person you are caring for.

Unhygienic Caring - Always Use Gloves

Unhygienic Caring - Always Use Gloves

8. Emotional stress: As a result of these stresses, it is not unusual to feel a range of emotions, including anger, resentment, anxiety, frustration, sadness, and guilt. These negative emotions may conflict with the love you feel for your family member and the satisfaction you feel from contributing to the quality of his or her life.

With all of these kinds of stress, it is not surprising that many caregivers become overwhelmed and begin to feel burned out.

Signs That a Caregiver Needs Help

How do you know if the stress is becoming too much for you? The following is a list of signs that you need help. Take a moment to look through these and identify those that are now problems for you or may be potential problems.

1. You don’t get out much anymore.

2. You argue with the person you care for.

3. You have conflicts with other family members.

4. You abuse drugs, alcohol, or medications.

5. Your appetite has changed.

6. You isolate yourself from others.

7. You behave in a compulsive manner or are overly focused on minor details.

8. You feel listless; you lack energy.

9. You feel more angry, anxious, or worried than usual.

10. You have a difficult time controlling your emotions.

11. You have a hard time concentrating.

12. You have physical symptoms of anxiety, such as an upset stomach, headaches, or a racing heart.

13. You often forget things.

14. You are clumsy or accident-prone.

15. You have self-destructive or suicidal thoughts.

16. You sleep more or less than usual.

17. You never seem to get enough rest.

18. You feel guilty about your situation.

Caregiver Survival Tips

1. Find out about resources before you need them. For example, don’t delay researching nursing homes until the patient needs to be placed in one.

2. Seek all the support you can find. Be on the lookout for groups, individuals, and organizations that provide emotional, social, physical, and financial support.

3. Ask your family and friends for help. They may be able to provide you with time, knowledge, or money.

4. Investigate adult day care facilities. They offer therapeutic, rehabilitative, and support services such as nursing, social work services, meals, or transportation.

5. Consider having meals delivered. Many organizations provide nutritional programs.

6. Consider hiring a home health aide. Aides can provide personal care at home such as help with eating, dressing, oral hygiene, bathing, administering medication, and light household tasks.

7. Find out about homemaker services. These services can assist with shopping, laundry, housecleaning, preparing meals, and taking clients to medical appointments.

8. Look into the offerings of hospital and surgical supply services. They rent or sell medical supplies and equipment like hospital beds, canes, walkers, bath chairs, oxygen, and other equipment.

9. Check out respite care services. They provide relief to caregivers.

10. Look into social day care. They provide recreational activities, social work services, hot meals, transportation, and some health services.

11. Find out about transportation services. They provide transportation to and from medical appointments or other care services.


Nurse Should be Understandable and Homely

12. Find out about skilled nursing services. They offer professional help with specific medical problems.

13. Maintain your interests. Keep balance in your life.

14. Be realistic about what you can accomplish. Recognize what you can and cannot do.

15. Maintain communication with your family and friends. When tensions and misunderstandings develop (and they will), address them quickly.

16. Take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise, rest, and take time off.

Breast Feeding – Benefits of Breast Feeding – Advantages of Breast Feeding

Advantages of Breastfeeding

Don’t forget about one of the most important benefits of breastfeeding: watching your happy, healthy child grow up, knowing you’ve given her the very best you could give.


Instant Benefits for Infants

1.  Protects Against Infection

a. Diarrhea
Children less than 12 months of age had a lower incidence of acute diarrheal disease during the months they were being breastfed than children that were fed with formula during the same period.
Source:  Lerman,Y. et al. “Epidemiology of acute diarrheal diseases in children in a high standard of living settlement in Israel”.  Pediatr Infect Dis J 1994; 13(2);116-22.

b. Haemophilus Influenza
In a population based case control study of risk factors for primary invasion of haemophilus influenza, type B disease, breastfeeding was protective of infants less than 6 months of age.
Source:  Cochi, S.L. “Primary Invasive Haemophilus Influenza Type B Disease, A Population Based Assessment of Risk Factors”.  Journal of Pediatrics 1986.

c. Enhances Vaccine Response
The antibody levels of immunized infants were significantly higher in the breastfed than the formula-fed group.  These findings are strong evidence that breastfeeding enhances the active humoral immune response in the first year of life.
Source:  Papst, H.F. , Spady, D.W.  “Effect of Breast Feeding on Antibody Response to Conjugate Vaccine”.  Lancet, 1990.

The breastfed group had significantly higher antibody levels than two formula-fed groups together. Breastfed infants thus showed better serum and secretory responses to perioral and parenteral vaccines than the formula-fed, whether with a conventional or low-protein content.
Source:  Van-Coric, M.  “Antibody Responses to Parental & Oral Vaccines Where Impaired by Conventional and Low-Protein Formulas as Compared to Breast Feeding”. Acta Paediatr Scand 1990; 79: 1137-42.

Human milk can transfer specific or nonspecific immunities to the external mucosal surface of the intestine and possibly to the respiratory tract of the newborn.  The acquisition of such passive immunity is particularly important in the early neonatal period when the immune system is immature.
Source:  Chang, S.J. “Antimicrobial Proteins of Maternal and Cord Sera and Human Milk in Relation to Maternal Nutritional Status”. A. M. J.  CLIN NUTR, 1990.

d. NEC
Among babies born at more than 30 weeks gestation, confirmed necrotizing enternal colitis was rare in those whose diet included breast milk; it was 20 times more common in those fed formula only.
Source:  Lucas, A., Cole, T.J., “Breast Milk and Neonatal Necrotizing Enteral Colitis”. Lancet 1990; 336:1519-23.

e. Otitis Media
Short duration of breastfeeding involved another significant risk of recurrent respiratory infections and otitis media.
Source:  Alho, O., “Risk Factors for Recurrent Acute Otitis Media and Respiratory Infection in Infancy”.  Int J Ped Otorhinolaryngology 1990; 19:151-61.

Significantly increased risk for acute otitis media as well as prolonged duration of middle ear effusion were associated with male gender, sibling history of ear infection and not being breastfed.
Source:  Teele, D.W., Apidemilogy of Otitis Media During the First Seven Years of Life in Greater Boston: A prospective, Cohort Study”.  J of INFEC DIS.1989.

f. Herpes Simplex
Mothers milk could play a role in the protection of newborns from Herpes Simplex virus II contamination.
Source:  Lopez, I., “Neutralizing Activity Against Herpes Simplex Virus in Human Milk”. Breast Feeding REV 1990; 11(2): 56-58.

g. Respiratory Syncytical Virus (RSV)
Breastfeeding was associated with a lower incidence of RSV infection during the first year of life.
Source:  Holberg,C.J., “Risk Factors for RSV Associated lower Respiratory Illnesses in the First Year of Life”.  AM J Epidemiol 1991; 133 (135-51).

h. Respiratory Infections
The authors presented results found in infants with two or more episodes of acute chronic bronchitis.  They found that approximately twice as many bottle-fed infants presented with the problem as those who were breastfed.
Source:  de Duran, C.M. “Cytologic Diagnosis of Milk Micro Aspiration”.  IMM ALLERGY PRACTICE 1991; xiii (10);402-5.

There was a strong negative effect modification by breastfeeding: relative odds of respiratory illness with maternal smoking were seven times higher among children who were never breastfed then among those who were breastfed.
Source:  Woodwar, A. “Acute Respiratory Illness in Adelaide Children: Breast Feeding Modifies the Effect of Passive Smoking”.  J Epidemiol in Comm Health 1990;44:224-30.

2.  Protects Against Illnesses

a. General
Infants of a middle class and well-educated populations benefit from the breastfeeding practice and its protective effect, more so if they are exclusively breastfed and for a longer period.
Source:  Palti, H., “Episodes of Illness in Breast Fed & Bottle Fed infants in Jerusalem”.  ISR J MED SCI, 1984.

b. Immunologic Development
Enhanced fecal SIgA in breastfed infants is not cause solely by the presence of IgA in breast milk; it represents a stimulatory effect of breastmilk on the gastrointestinal humeral immunologic development.
Source:   Koutras,A.K., “Fecal Secretory Immunoglobulin A in Breast Milk vs. Formula Feeding in Early Infancy”.  J Ped Gastro Nutr, 1989.

c. Wheezing
Breastfeeding seems to protect against wheezing, respiratory tract illnesses in the first four months of life, particularly when other risk factors are present.
Source:  Wright, A.L., “Breastfeeding and lower respiratory Tract Illnesses in the First Year of Life.”  British Medical Journal, 1989.

A study indicated that breastfeeding was protective against SIDS, Consistent with an effect mediated through the prevention of gastrointestinal and/or respiratory disease.
Source:  Hoffman, H.J., “Risk Factors for SIDS: Results of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development SIDS Cooperative Epidemiologic Study”.  Ann NY ACAD Sci, 1988.

Not breastfeeding at discharge from an obstetric hospital at any stage of the infants life was associated with an increased risk of SIDS.
Source:  Mitchell, A. “Results from the First Year of The New Zealand Count Death Study”.  N.Z. Med A, 1991; 104:71-76.

e. General Morbidity
There is an inverse relationship to breastfeeding and morbidity.  This was most prominent in the first year of life, but it was also present in the first three years.
Source:  Van Den Bogaard, C.  “Relationship Between Breast Feeding in Early Childhood and Morbidity in a General Population”.  Fan Med, 1991; 23:510-515.

The lack of a dose response affect between breastfeeding and perinatal HIV-1 transmission in the presence of the protective effect of breastfeeding against common causes of early childhood morbidity and mortality support the current WHO recommendation that breastfeeding should continue to be promoted in all developing countries, including those with high HIV-1 prevalence rates in women of child bearing age.
Source:  Ryder,R., “Evidence from Zaire that Breastfeeding by HIV-1 seropositive Mothers is not a Major Route for Perinatal HIV-1 Transmission but does Decrease Morbidity”.  AIDS 1991; 5(6):709-14.


g. Infant Survival
There is an association between breastfeeding up to 6 months of age and survival of infants throughout the first year of life.  The younger the infant and the longer the breastfeeding, the greater the estimated benefits in terms of death averted.
Source:  Habicht, J.P., “Does Breast Feeding Really Save Live, or Are Apparent Benefits due to Biases?”  Am J Epidemiology, 1986.

h. Gastroesophageal Reflex
Breastfed neonates demonstrate gastroesophageal reflux episodes of significantly shorter duration than formula-fed neonates.
Source:  Heacock, H.J., “Influence of Breast vs.  Formula Milk in Physiologic Gastroesophageal Reflux in Health Newborn Infants”.  J. Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr, 1992 January; 14(1): 41-6.

i. Multiple Sclerosis
Although thought to be multifactorial in origin, and without a clearly defined etiology, lack of breastfeeding does appear to be associated with an increased incidence of multiple sclerosis.
Source:  Dick, G. “The Etiology of Multiple Sclerosis. ” Proc Roy Soc Med 1976;69:611-5.

j. Inguinal Hernia
Human milk contains gonadotropin releasing hormone, which may affect the maturation of neonatal testicular function.  This case control study showed breastfed infants had a significant dose response reduction in inguinal hernia.
Source:  Pisacane, A. “Breast-feeding and inguinal hernia” Journal of Pediatrics 1995:Vol 127, No. 1, pp 109-111.

k. Cryptorchidism (Undescended Testicle)
This case controlled study showed a significant association of cryptorchidism and lack of breastfeeding.
Source:  Mori, M. “Maternal and other factors of cryptorchidism: a case-control study in Japan” Kurume Med J 1992:39:53-60.

3.  Protection From Allergies

a. Allergic Families
Breastfeeding, even for short periods, was clearly associated with lower incidence of wheezing, prolonged colds, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Source:  Merrett, T.G., “Infant Feeding & Allergy: 12 Month Prospective Study of 500 Babies Born into Allergic Families”.  American Allergies, 1988.

b. Eczema
Eczema was less common and milder in babies who were breastfed (22%) and whose mothers were on a restricted diet (48%).  In infants fed casein hydrolysate, soymilk or cows milk, 21%, 63%, and 70% respectively, developed atopic eczema.
Source:  Chandra R.K., “Influence of Maternal Diet During Lactation and the Use of Formula Feed and Development of Atopic Eczema in the High Risk Infants”.  Br Med J. 1989.

4.  Enhances Development and Intelligence

a. Higher IQ
Children who had consumed mother’s milk by tube in early weeks of life had a significantly higher IQ at 7.5 to 8 yr.. than those who received no maternal milk, even after adjustment for differences between groups and mothers’ educational and social class.
Source:  Lucas, A., “Breast Milk and Subsequent Intelligence Quotient in Children Born Preterm”. Lancet 1992;339:261-62.

b. Cognitive Development
Supplementary regression analysis examining the strength of relationship between duration of breastfeeding and cognitive development show a small but significant relationship between duration of breastfeeding and scores on the mental development index of the Bayley Scales at 1 and 2 years.
Source:  Morrow-Tlucak, M.  “Breast Feeding and Cognitive Development During the First 2 years of Life. “Soc Sci Med, 1988.

In 771 low-birth-weight infants, babies whose mothers chose to provide breastmilk had an 8-point advantage in mean Bayley’s mental developmental index over infants of mothers choosing not to do so.
Source:  Morley,R., “Mothers Choice to provide Breast Milk and Developmental Outcome.”  Arch Dis Child, 1988.

c. Social Development
The psychomotor and social development of breastfed babies clearly differs from that of bottle-fed ones and leads at the age of 12 months to significant advantages of the psychomotor and social capabilities.
Source:  Baumgartner, C., “Psychomotor and Social Development of Breast Fed and Bottle Fed babies During their First year of Life”.  Acta Paediatrica Hungarica, 1984.

Long Term Benefits for Infants

a. Dental Health
Among breastfed infants, the longer the duration of nursing the lower the incidents of malocclusion.
Source:  Labbok, M.H. “Does Breast Feeding Protect against Malocclusion?  An Analysis of the 1981 Child Health Supplement to the National Health Interview Survey”. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1987.

b. Toddler Health
Mothers of 67 infants were questioned about the types and duration of illness episodes requiring medical care between 16 and 30 months of age.  Breastfeeding was noted to decrease the number of infant illnesses and indirectly improve toddler health.
Source:  Gulick, E.E. “The Effects of Breastfeeding on the Toddler Health.  “Pediatric Nursing, 1986.

c. Diabetes Mellitus
Children who developed IDDM in New South Wales, Australia were matched with healthy children (ratio 1:2) of the same sex and age for comparison.  Those who were exclusively breastfed during their first three months of life had a 34% lower risk of developing diabetes than those who were not breastfed.  Children given cow’s milk-based formula in their first three months were 52% more likely to develop IDDM than those not given cow’s milk formula.
Source:  Diabetes Care 1994;17:1381-1389, 1488-1490.

d. Childhood Cancer
Children who are artificially fed or breastfed for only 6 months or less, are at an increased risk of developing cancer before age 15.  The risk of artificially fed children was 1-8 times that of long-term breastfed children, and the risk for short term feeders was 1-9 times that of long term breast feeders.
Source:  Davis, M.K. Infant Feeding and Childhood Cancer.  “Lancet 1988.

e. Chron’s Disease
In this study, lack of breastfeeding was a risk factor associated with later development of Crohn’s disease.
Source:  Koletzko, S., “Role of Infant Feeding Practices in Development of Crohn’s Disease in Childhood.”  Br Med J, 1989.

f. Hodgkin’s Disease
A statistically significant protective effect against Hodgkin’s disease among children who are breastfed at least 8 months compared with children who were breastfed no more than 2 months.
Source: Schwartzbaum, J.  “An Exploratory Study of Environmental and Medical Factors Potentially Related to Childhood Cancer.” Medical & Pediatric Oncology, 1991; 19 (2):115-21.

g. Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA)
Preliminary data from researchers at the University of North Carolina and Duke University comparing 54 children with JRA and a control group without JRA of similar age and race indicates that children who were breastfed were only 40% as likely to develop JRA.
Source:  “Mother’s Milk: An Ounce of Prevention?”  Arthritis Today May-June 1994.

Benefits for Mothers

1.  Delays Fertility
Women who nurse frequently during exclusive breastfeeding remained amenorrhoeic longer than infrequent nursers, introduced supplements later and did not resume menses as promptly thereafter.  Duration of exclusive nursing and night nursing after supplementation were the major influences on amenorrhoea.
Source:  Elias,M.F. “Nursing Practices and Lactation Amenorrhoea.”  Journal of Biosco Sci, 1968.

2.  Breast Cancer
Among both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, risk of breast cancer decrease with increasing duration of lifetime lactation experience although the effect was consistently stronger for premenopausal women.
Source:  McTieman, A., Evidence of Protective Effect of Lactation on Risk of Breast Cancer in Young Women.”  American Journal of Epidemiology, 1986.

After controlling for age at first full term pregnancy and other potentially compounding factors, parity and duration of breast feeding also had a strong influence on the risk of breast cancer.  Compared with parous women who never breast fed, women who had breast fed for 25 months or more had a lower relative risk.
Source:  Layde, P.M., “The Independent Associations of Parity Age at First full Term Pregnancy, and Duration of Breast Feeding with the Risk of Breast Cancer.”  Journal of Clinical Epidemiol, 1989.

If women who do not breastfeed or who breastfed for less than 3 months were to do so for 4 to 12 months, breast cancer among parous premenopausal women could be reduce by 11%; if all women with children lactated for 24 months or longer, the incidence might be reduced by nearly 25%.
Source:  Newcomb,P. etal.  “Lactation and reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer.”  N Engl J Med 1994; 330(2):81-87.

Women who were breastfed as infants, even if only for a short time, showed an approximate 25% lower risk of developing premenopausal or postmenopausal breast cancer, compared to women who were bottle-fed as an infant.
Source:  Freudenheim, J.  “Exposure to breast milk in infancy and the risk of breast cancer.”  Epidemiology 1994 5:324-331.

3.  Uterine Cancer
A protective effect against uterine cancer was found for women who breastfeed.
Source:  Brock, K.E., “Sexual, Reproductive, and Contraceptive Risk Factors for Carcinoma-in-Situ of the Uterine Cervix in Sidney.  “Medical Journal of Australia, 1989.

4.  Ovarian Cancer
Breastfeeding should be added to the list of factors that decrease ovulatory age and thereby decrease the risk of ovarian cancer.
Source:  Schneider, A.P.  “Risk Factor for Ovarian Cancer.  “New England Journal of Medicine, 1987.

5.  Endometrial Cancer
Lactation provides a hypoestrogenic effect with less stimulation of the endometrial lining.  This event may offer a protective effect from endometrial cancer.
Source:  Petterson B, et al.  “Menstruation span- a time limited risk factor for endometrial carcinoma.”  Acta Obstet Gyneocol Scand 1986;65:247-55.

6.  Emotional Health
At one month postpartum, women who breastfed their infants had scores indicating less anxiety and more mutuality than the women bottle feeding their infants.
Source:  Virden, S.F., “The Relationship Between Infant Feeding Method and Maternal Role Adjustment.” Journal of Nurse Midwives, 1988.

7.  Decrease Insulin Requirements
Breastfeeding decreased insulin requirements in diabetic women. Reduction in insulin dose postpartum was significantly greater in those who were breastfeeding than those who were bottle feeding.
Source:  Davies, H.A., “Insulin Requirements of Diabetic Women who Breast Feed.” British Medical Journal, 1989.

8. Decreased Osteoporosis
The odds ratio that a woman with osteoporosis did not breastfeed her baby was four times higher than for a control woman.
Source:  Blaauw, R. et al. “Risk factors for development of osteoporosis in a South African population.”  SAMJ 1994; 84:328-32.

9. Promotes Postpartum Weight Loss
Mothers who breastfed exclusively or partially had significantly larger reductions in hip circumference and were less above their pre-pregnancy weights at 1 month postpartum than mothers who fed formula exclusively.
Source:  Kramer, F., “Breastfeeding reduces maternal lower body fat.” J Am Diet Assoc 1993;93(4):429-33.

Benefits for Society

1. Optimum Child Spacing
Though less of a factor in the Western world, sufficient birth spacing helps with the survival of the older sibling and the new infant.  Prolonged lactation helps to promote the spacing of children.
Source:  Thapa, S., “Breastfeeding, birth spacing and their effects on child survival.” Nature 1988;335:679-82.

2. Improved Vaccine Effectiveness
Breastfed infants showed a better serum and secretory responses to peroral and parenteral vaccines than the formula-fed, whether with a conventional or low protein content.
Source:  Han-Zoric, M., “Antibody responses to parenteral and oral vaccines are impared by conventional and low protwin formulas as compared to breastfeeding.”  Acta Paediatr Scand 1990; 79:1137-42.

3. Financial Savings to Government and Families
a. Food Expense
The cost to supply artificial baby milk (ABM) to one child is between $800 and $1,200 per year depending on the brand and area of the country.

b. Medical Expenses
A pre-publication study by the Wisconsin State Breastfeeding Coalition estimated the following health care savings in Wisconsin if Breastfeeding rates were at 75% at discharge-50% at six months:

$4,645,250/yr Acute Otitis Media
$437,120/yr Bronchitis
$6,699,600/yr Gastroenteritis
$262,440/yr Allergies
$758,934/yr Asthma
$578,500/yr Type I Diabetes (birth -18yrs)
$17,070,000/yr Breast Cancer

4. More Ecological
There is less use of natural resources (glass, plastic, metal, paper) and also less waste for landfills.

5. Less Child Abuse
A retrospective review of 800 pregnancies at one family practice revealed an association between lack of breastfeeding and physical and sexual abuse of the mother and/or her children.  This anecdotal association, has not been previously reported, is worth further study using more rigorous methods
Source:  Acheson, L., “Family Violence and Breast-feeding” Arch Fam Med July 1995; Vol 4,pp 650-652.

Compiled by Jon Ahrendsen, MD, FAAFP, Clarion, IA USA

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