Category: Health

  • Sunscreen Rules For Pregnancy

    Your skin becomes very sensitive in response to the hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy. The unpredictable highs and lows in the production of the different hormones in the woman’s body and affect a number of systemic functions. These hormones include the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG), estrogen, and progesterone. A dramatic surge in the levels of these hormones triggers pregnancy-related symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, skin pigmentation, rashes, oily or dry skin, the appearance of stretch marks, and so on.

    During pregnancy, the skin is observed to be one of the most affected. Many expectant mothers would complain of having pimples, whiteheads, and other skin imperfections during this period. The skin becomes more vulnerable to the rays of the sun as well. As the first line of defense against the undesirable effects of exposure to the sun, doctors recommend sunscreen for pregnancy.

    As commercial skin care products normally contain chemicals that may be just as harmful to the skin as the UV rays, many think twice before they use a sunscreen product. But you still need the sun primarily to help the body manufacture its much-needed vitamin D. Exposure to our levels of serotonin and tryptamine, neurotransmitters that keep our moods and sleep/wake cycles in order.

    Well, you can actually ditch the sunscreen. Instead wear traditional sun protection like a hat, a sundress or any dress that will cover the skin. You may even bring an umbrella and just opt to stay in the shade throughout the day. That would just be too impractical. It will also make moving about a bit problematic, especially if you need to do any activity that will really require you to expose your skin to the sun, like when on the beach.

    Fortunately, there are safer sunscreen options. To help you in maximizing the benefits of the sunscreen product that you choose, consider the following suggestions.

    Sunscreen Rules For Pregnancy

    • Choose a sunscreen product that provides full protection.

    Most would choose a sunscreen product just based on the SPF indicated on the label of the product, without actually knowing what SPF really means. SPF, in fact, just measures the UVB (short-wave) rays. It does not totally tell how much protection against UVA rays (long-wave) a particular sunscreen product provides.

    Most sunscreen offers protection against UVB rays only. Although UVB rays can cause sunburn, it cannot actually penetrate the skin, unlike the UVA rays. Too much exposure to UVB rays can cause aging and skin pigmentation, which we all don’t want to happen.

    There is this type of sunscreen products that are labeled as broad-spectrum. They are taken to be effective in shielding the skin from both UVB and UVA rays. However, what most do not know, UVA rays are further classified into UVA I and UVA II. Those labeled as providing broad-spectrum protection, may not actually be providing UVA II coverage.

    In addition to this, a sunscreen labeled as SPF 15 is not half as effective as one labeled as SPF30. In reality, “SPF 15 filters about 93% of UV-B rays; SPF 30 filters about 97% of UV-B rays; and SPF 50 filters about 98% of UV-B rays,” says Dr. Roopal Kundu, one of the researchers and author of the results of a study conducted at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2014. In this study, the researchers indicated that SPF30 actually means it will take about 30 times longer before you can get a sunburn on your skin than you would be had you been out without applying sunscreen.

    When choosing a sunscreen, check for any indication that the product is offering full protection.

    • You need about a shot glass worth of sunscreen to apply on unexposed areas of the skin.
    • Watch out for vitamin A on your sunscreen brand.

    A form of vitamin A called Retinyl palmitate (also indicated on product labels as retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, and retinol) is added in skin care and beauty products (i.e., lip products, moisturizers, sunscreens). This antioxidant is said to cause skin tumors and lesions when applied on the skin when under the sun.

    • Opt for a European brand of sunscreen over a US brand.

    The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 12th Annual Guide to Sunscreens report that a large majority of sunscreen products from the US still contain harmful chemicals or do not offer sufficient protection against ultraviolet rays. EWG tested 831 sunscreens and found that 84 percent of these did not pass health and environmental requirements.

    The good thing is, companies manufacturing these products started formulating better sunscreen brands, including the brands listed here as the best sunscreen products of 2018. So, if you are still on the lookout for a good quality and effective sunscreen brand, you can check out the link and choose one that you think is the best option.

    • Look for an oil-free sunscreen. In most expectant moms, oily skin is a usual concern. When you already have an oily skin, you wouldn’t want to clump more of that into your pores. Doing so can only trigger other skin problems like acne, pimples, and so on.
    • Opt for sunscreens that are made with naturally soothing ingredients and have natural moisturizers as this will keep your skin from flaking and pre-mature aging.
    • If you want to avoid sunscreen and the sun, take vitamin D supplements instead.

    Vitamin D is vital in strengthening the bones and the immune system. It also lessens the risks of certain cancers like breast cancer, colon cancer, as well as kidney and ovarian cancers. If you would rather stay out of the sun’s rays, you should regularly check with your primary care provider if you need to be checked for vitamin deficiency. You may also ask your doctor for any prenatal vitamins that will fill the lack of any vitamin and nutrient in your body.

    Regularly applying sunscreen may also lessen your skin’s capability of manufacturing vitamin D. If you think you need more of this essential vitamin, consult your doctor to discuss your options.

    • Re-apply sunscreen every two hours.

    Even if you applied a water-repellent sunscreen, it is still best that you apply the product after every couple of hours.

  • The Malfunctioning Thyroid

    According to Dr. Ridha Arem of The Thyroid Solution, “At any given time in the U.S., more than 20 million people suffer from a thyroid disorder.  More than 10 million women have a low grade thyroid imbalance and nearly 8 million people with the imbalance are undiagnosed.  More than 500,000 new cases of thyroid imbalance occur each year.”  The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland in the front of the neck.  It is the primary gland in charge of metabolism.  A malfunctioning thyroid gland is either  classified as “hypo” meaning too little thyroid activity or “hyper” meaning too much thyroid activity.  A dysfunctional thyroid can affect every aspect of your health including your weight, depression and energy levels.

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    Some common signs that you have a thyroid problem include:

    • Muscle and joint pain
    • chiropractic-health Plantar fascitis
    • Changes to the hair and skin (coarse & brittle hair for hypothyroidism; significant hair loss for hyperthyroidism)
    • Bowel problems (Significant constipation with hypothyroidism; diarrhea with hyperthyroidism)
    • Menstrual problems and infertility (heavier & frequent periods with hypothyroidism; light & infrequent periods with hyperthyroidism)
    • Cholesterol problems (high cholesterol with hypothyroidism; low cholesterol with hyperthyroidism)
    • Depression and anxiety
    • Fatigue
    • Weight changes (weight gain with hypothyroidism; weight loss with hyperthyroidism)

    If you believe you might be suffering from thyroid problems, contact your doctor for testing to determine how your thyroid is functioning.  Your doctor will probably order blood tests.  The measurement of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) levels is often used by doctors as a screening test.  Elevated TSH levels can signify low thyroid hormone production.  Your doctor may test your blood thyroid hormones called T4 and T3.

  • When Hormones Are Out of Balance

    The word hormone comes from the Greek work, hormaein, meaning to excite or to urge on. Each hormone is a complex chemical substance produced and secreted into the bloodstream by an endocrine gland, or secreted by specialized cells in other organs, such as parts of the gastro-intestinal tract or the heart. Hormones reach every part of the body, and the membrane of every cell has receptors for one or more hormones that stimulate or retard a specific body function.

    The hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain, acts as the mastermind that coordinates hormone production, producing regulatory or releasing hormones; these travel a short distance through special blood vessels and nerve endings to the pituitary gland, which is often referred to as the “master gland”. Attached to the hypothalamus by a short stalk, the pea- sized pituitary gland hangs from the base of the brain and is composed of two parts, an anterior and a posterior lobe. Some of its hormones act indirectly by stimulating target glands to release other hormones. Others have a direct effect on the function of target glands tissues.

    Hormones can work in astonishingly small concentrations. On the high end, the ratio of hormone molecules to blood molecules is 1 to 5 billion, and on the low end side the ratio is 1 to 5 zillion, (1 in 5,000,000,000,000,000). Hormones are able to influence the activities of the body, but they must first bind with specific tailored protein cells called receptors. There are hundreds of different kinds of receptors, although each one is designed for a specific chemical signal within a cell. There are more than 10,000 different types of receptors, although it takes only a small number to obtain a response. The receptor and its hormone have an intricate and precise fit, like a key and a lock and this hormone receptor complex then binds to specific regions of DNA in the cell nucleus to activate specific gene.

    When the body is in a state of homeostasis, the precise amount of hormones are released into the bloodstream and the body functions smoothly; but when the control mechanism malfunctions-either too much or too little of a particular hormone is secreted, or when an organ or tissue does not respond efficiently, the results can be severe and even fatal.

    There are symptoms that you may have if you have hormonal imbalances. These include, but are not limited to:

    hot flashes and night sweats
    weight gain
    insomnia
    fatigue
    low libido
    vaginal dryness
    PMS
    mood swings
    depression
    fibrosis
    anxiety
    irritability
    incontinence
    yeast infections
    headaches
    memory lapses
    inability to focus
    sugar cravings
    rapid or irregular heartbeat
    autoimmune disorders
    Some of these symptoms will be discussed in more depth in our next blog post.

  • Hormones Are Your Body’s Stabilizers

    The word “homeostasis” describes the body’s ability to maintain relatively stable internal conditions even though the outside world is constantly changing. Homeostasis indicates a dynamic state of equilibrium or a balance in which internal conditions change and vary but always within relatively narrow limits. Communication within the body is essential for homeostasis and is accomplished chiefly by the nervous and endocrine systems. Many of the most vital functions of the human body are influenced by the endocrine system, which consists of glands that secrete hormones, or chemical messengers into the bloodstream.

    The hypothalamus, located in the brain, acts like radar by receiving incoming information from the nervous system. It then uses this information to manufacture hormones that either target specific parts of the body, or to target other glands to produce specific hormones to maintain homeostasis.

    The endocrine system consists of the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, pineal gland, the thyroid gland, the parathyroid gland, the pancreas, the adrenal glands, the ovaries and the testes. All of the organs of the endocrine system are glands, but not all glands are part of the endocrine system. Other organs that produce hormones, but are not part of the endocrine system include the placenta in the pregnant female, glands in the gastro-intestinal tract, structures in the heart and blood vessels, and structures in the kidneys.

    Hormones are the body’s internal chemical messengers. They carry the information that controls the function of almost all of the body’s cells and tissues. Most hormones are controlled by a mechanism called feedback, which is similar to a thermostat in a central heating system. When a gland is working harder than the body needs it to, the hormone system switches off; when the body needs the gland to speed up, the nervous system turns on the switch again.