The paleo diet dates back to a 1985 medical paper defending the idea that modern dietary habits are less healthy and less natural than those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. However, the diet only became the full-on fad it is today after the book The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain was published in 2002.
A paleo diet emphasizes foods that would have been available before the development of agriculture, such as lean meats, fish, nuts and vegetables. Anything relying on agriculture is eliminated from the diet. This includes dairy, cereals, legumes and sugary foods.
Proponents of the paleo diet tout that it improves intellectual and athletic performance and promotes weight loss. It’s also believed to help individuals gain muscle mass, reduce fatigue, stave off digestive irregularities and prevent conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart disease.
Despite these claims, however, the health benefits of the diet haven’t been strongly established. Additionally, while eating more vegetables and cutting out processed foods and sugar is definitely a good idea, there are risks associated with the diet.
For starters, eliminating entire food groups can lead to nutritional deficiencies. More¬over, the diet is high in red meat. Heavy consumption of red meat has been associated with increased risks of digestive cancers, heart disease and stroke. In addition, while fish is a healthy source of protein, varieties like tuna and northern pike may contain high amounts of mercury, which is toxic.
In sum, while the paleo diet offers some benefits, following it also comes with a fair amount of risk. If you’re interested in changing your diet, be sure to consult with a health care professional to make sure it’s the right choice for you.
After breast surgery: choosing a prosthesis
Many women opt for prostheses over reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy. These come in three varieties, and here’s what you need to know about them.
1. Temporary. Temporary prostheses, also called puffs, are lightweight and soft forms that can be attached inside clothes or worn in a bra. This type of prosthesis is often worn soon after surgery, as it doesn’t rub against or irritate scars.
2. Permanent. These are designed to mimic the look and weight of a natural breast. Made from materials like silicone or foam, they’re either attached directly to the skin or fitted into a bra. These prostheses provide better balance than temporary ones and help prevent back issues due to unequal breast weight.
3. Partial. Women who undergo a lumpectomy or breast-conserving surgery won’t need a full prosthesis. However, in some cases a significant amount of tissue is removed and causes the breast to become uneven, thereby requiring a partial prosthesis to restore the breast’s full appearance.
When shopping for a prosthesis, bring a form-fitting top to the store. This will help you see how well the prosthesis matches the shape of your other breast.
4 ways seniors can alleviate loneliness
Are you feeling isolated or flat out lonely? If so, here are four ways to enrich your social life, connect with others and alleviate loneliness.
1. Adopt a pet
Caring for a pet can mitigate feelings of loneliness. If your situation allows for it, welcoming a furry friend into your life could be a great idea. You might even meet other pet owners, especially if you take your animal companion out for a walk from time to time.
2. Leave the house
Venturing outdoors will help you feel better both mentally and physically. Make a habit of running a few errands every day or visiting your local library, movie theater or park. If you’re limited in terms of mobility, leaving the house regularly may require a mobility scooter or going on seniors’ trips with a trusted organization.
3. Join a class or group
Rekindling your interest in an old hobby or adopting a new one can be a great way to push the cobwebs of loneliness away. What’s more, joining clubs and taking classes will allow you to meet new people. If you prefer, there are plenty of courses and groups that cater specifically to seniors.
4. Reach out
There are a number of organizations that help seniors improve their quality of life. Some may be able to provide individual counselling to help you move beyond your loneliness. Additionally, there may be group counselling sessions where you can connect with others going through a similar experience.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to rush anything. The best way to move beyond loneliness is at your own rhythm.
Mammograms: a key tool in the fight against breast cancer
October 18, 2019 is National Mammography Day. It’s observed yearly as part of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and is an opportunity to educate the public on the importance of early detection in the fight against breast cancer.
About one in eight American women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. Although death rates have been declining in recent years, it’s estimated that more than 40,000 women will die of breast cancer in 2019. The best way to prevent cancer and ensure positive outcomes remains early detection and screenings.
The American Cancer Society recommends that women at average risk for breast cancer get screened every year between the ages of 45 and 55. Women 55 and older should get screened every second year, for as long as they’re expected to live another 10 or more years.
These allow doctors to get more information about a suspicious lump or other anomaly detected by screening tests. It’s a crucial tool that enables medical professionals to design effective treatment plans and provide the best care possible.
Early detection and prevention have dramatically reduced breast cancer deaths. Being proactive about screening is the most important thing you can do to protect your health. For more information, visit nationalbreastcancer.org or pinkribbon.org.
4 common skin problems in newborns
Skin problems in babies are usually benign. To ensure you don’t worry needlessly, here’s what you should know about the four most common skin problems that affect babies.
1. Milia. These small, white bumps usually form on the nose or cheeks. They’re caused by skin flakes obstructing the pores and go away on their own. There’s no way to prevent them and using creams can exacerbate the condition.
2. Eczema. This condition causes red, scaly patches of skin to form and isn’t dangerous. However, it can be very itchy. Over-the-counter creams may help manage symptoms, but the rash usually goes away on its own.
3. Cradle cap. Also known as seborrheic dermatitis, this skin issue typically presents as yellow or red scales or flakes on the scalp. It can also form on the nose, eyelids, eyebrows and under folds of skin in the diaper area and under the arms. It goes away on its own and no treatment is required.
4. Hives. Hives are pink or red bumps, often with a white or yellow center, that look similar to mosquito bites. They’re caused by an allergic reaction or an infection. They go away on their own but adding baking soda or colloidal oatmeal to the baby’s bath will soothe the itching.
Remember that serious conditions are usually accompanied by other symptoms. When in doubt, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Elder infantilization: types and how to not do it
Elder infantilization, or treating seniors as children rather than as fully functioning adults, is a common issue in health care settings and communities across the country. Though in many cases the behavior is unconscious, it’s none the less a form of psychological mistreatment. Here’s what you should know.
Types of infantilizing behaviors
A common form of infantilization is what’s called “elderspeak.” It consists of speaking slowly, loudly and with aa simplified vocabulary. Using diminutives and first-person plural pronouns are other forms of this behavior. In addition to making seniors feel resentful, elderspeak can seriously affect their sense of self-worth and decrease their confidence.
Another common way people infantilize seniors is by ignoring their preferences and making decisions for them. In particular, needlessly opting for medications in the form of syrups and suppositories can be degrading.
In a health care setting, the use of toys, child-like decor and reprimands are all signs of infantilization. A loss of privacy, choice and adult status are also indicators.
What you should do instead
Seniors don’t regress. Overall, they retain the vocabulary and intelligence they’ve developed over the course of their lifetime and can even expand upon it. In most cases, it’s unnecessary to adapt the way you communicate with the seniors in your life.
However, if you’re talking to someone with hearing issues, it’s important to ensure they can see your lips clearly. You can also speak louder if necessary but be sure not to yell.
In the case of seniors with cognitive issues, it may be appropriate to use gestures to clarify your meaning. However, this should be done respectfully.
Most importantly, when relating to the seniors in your life, remember to treat them as autonomous beings who have intelligence, dignity and value.
If you or someone close to you is being infantilized, speak up. Confide in someone you trust.
Mental illness among teens: what parents should know
According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, between 20 and 30 percent of adolescents experience a major depressive episode before reaching adulthood. What’s more, suicide is the leading cause of death among American teens.
Pressure to perform in school, stigma about mental illness, unhealthy diets, lack of exercise and poor sleep hygiene can all contribute to mental health issues in teens.
Psychologists also suspect that heavy social network use may increase the incidence of clinical anxiety and depression.
Finally, it’s likely that lack of access to care plays a role in this state of affairs. Approximately 30 percent of teens affected by a mental health issue don’t get the help they need, either by choice or because they lack access to it.
What parents can do
Young people should be taught that asking for help isn’t an admission of failure or weakness. In addition, parents can do these simple things to help teens protect their mental health:
• Minimize the pressure placed on them to perform
• Spend time together as a family
• Provide a healthy diet
• Support a healthy sleep schedule
• Encourage them to get regular exercise
• Enroll them in activities that build confidence and self-esteem
Indicators of psychological distress include agitation, self-denigration, unusual moodiness, sadness and extreme fatigue. A moody teen doesn’t necessarily point to a crisis, but signs of mental illness should never be dismissed.