Worst Health Advices You’ve Probably Heard and Followed

We all know that not all health living advices we read and see in the news are true. However, some advices are so persistent that they sound scientific and factual, even if they are simply wrong. And since medical knowledge consistently change, many health advices we assume are true are actually still under debate—or even considered downright bad. Here are a few of the trendy advices that health professionals in Singapore strongly disagree with.

1. Eat Low-Carb Diet to Optimize Workout

If you’re an athlete or even just a gym rat, you have probably been told to minimize carbs to be able to perform at your peak, but this could actually be doing the opposite to your body. Carbohydrate is your body’s natural fuel during high-intensity training, and that is scientifically proven. While lowering carb intake may work for elite athletes for their endurance training, it isn’t something that average people should be doing, unless you’re advised by a professional.

2. Start the Day With Whole Grains

You’ve probably heard that whole grains make you feel full for longer hours, but experts disagree to this idea. Since they spike up the glucose level in your blood, they could leave you craving for carbs sooner than expected. If you want a hearty breakfast that keeps you full until lunchtime, eggs and toast are better option.

3. Eat Lots of Small Meals

This one may surprise you, since we often hear this as a weight loss tip. Although this can be done and may be effective for some, it’s not for everyone. While some people manage their weight better with frequent eating, others do better with three square meals a day. If you think you’re doing better with intermittent fasting, there’s no need to force yourself into the inconvenience of eating every two hours, especially if that’s unsustainable with your lifestyle and schedule.

4. Lose Weight By Burning More and Taking Less Calories

Counting calories alone is not an effective weight loss technique. The amount of calories printed on the label isn’t going to be the same once the food is in the body. For example, some food can cause your metabolism to speed up or slow down. And if you plan to reduce your caloric intake, you have to make sure that you are still getting enough nutrients and eating foods that satisfy you, or you’ll end up in the unhealthy cycle of frequent weight loss and weight gain.

Whether you’re aiming to lose weight or just be more health conscious with your decisions, it’s important to follow the right tips and advices. Your best option is to consult a healthcare professional to ensure you’re getting the effects you’re expecting.

What to Look for in Aloe Vera Products

Aloe vera has been used as a healing plant since ancient times. There are a lot of documents supporting its effectiveness in treating a lot of conditions from skin diseases to psychiatric illnesses. Although there are contradicting studies about the benefits of aloe vera, the problem lies in the correct processing of and the mislabeling aloe vera products. What should you look for in an aloe vera in Singapore?

Aloe Vera History

For centuries, the ancients considered the aloe vera a plant that could grant immortality and was a universal panacea. It means that it could be a remedy for almost any disease. Aloe vera is the plant’s common name while its botanical name is Aloe barbadensis miller. The word “aloe” is an Arabic term that means “shining and bitter substance.” “Vera” is the Latin word for “true.”
It lived up to its name when it was used to treat dermatitis caused by severe radiation. It is the only known treatment for nuclear burns, according to some claims. Among its least impressive qualities is that it’s used as a laxative and a beauty product. It’s not uncommon nowadays to find aloe vera extracts in shampoos, soaps and creams.

Aloe Vera Plant

Aloe vera is a hardy succulent, perennial plant that can survive in almost any climate, but thrives in tropical countries like Singapore. There are many varieties of Aloe, but the most common is the green, stemless plant with fat green leaves. The leaves sometimes have white spots. It also has flowers that look like yellow tubes and fruits with seeds.

The leaf is the part of the plant where the aloe vera gel is acquired. The leaves are fleshy and serrated at the edges. When examined closely, you will see that it is made up of three layers. The outer layer is called the rind. It is made up of 15 to 20 cells. The middle part is found just beneath the leaf skin. It contains a yellow sap called the aloe vera latex. This part of the leaf is taken orally that has good aloe benefits and used to treat a number of diseases. The innermost layer is a clear jelly made up mostly of water. This is the aloe vera gel.

Aloe Vera Properties

According to studies, aloe vera contains at least 75 active ingredients. An active ingredient is a biologically active component that will deliver the benefit of a product. Let’s break down the constituents of aloe vera.

    • Vitamins – vitamin A, C, E, and B12; choline and folic acid. These are antioxidants that fight free radicals in the body.
    • Minerals – calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, sodium, chromium, selenium, copper, and manganese. Minerals are needed for enzyme and antioxidant production.
    • Sugars – monosaccharides such as fructose, glucose and polysaccharides such as polymannose and glucomannans.
    • Enzymes – lipase, aliiase, amylase, alkaline phosphatase, carboxypeptidase, bradykinase, cellulase, peroxidase, and catalase. Enzymes help break down fats and sugar.
    • Hormones – gibberellins and auxins. Hormones make the wound heal faster and stop inflammation.
    • Anthraquinones – aloe vera has 12 anthraquinones. These are laxatives called phenolic compounds. Two of these, emodin and aloin, are analgesics, antivirals and antibacterials.
    • Fatty Acids – cholesterol, beta-sisoterol, campesterol and lupeol. These are plant steroids with anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antiseptic properties.
    • Other Components – salycylic acid, lignin, and saponin. Aloe vera contains 7 out of 8 essential amino acids. It also has 20 out of 22 required amino acids.

Aloe Vera Products and Benefits

The parts used in the plant are the leaves. There are two kinds of products that can be processed from the aloe vera leaves. These are the aloe vera gel and aloe vera latex. The latex is taken orally for its healing properties. The gel is used in a variety of products. Some manufacturers in Singapore also crush the aloe leaves to get both the latex and gel.
Aloe vera in Singapore is used primarily in dermatological products. It increases the collagen content so that skin heals faster and is more elastic. Elasticity makes fine lines and wrinkles disappear or look less noticeable. The antioxidants protect the skin from the harmful ultraviolet and gamma radiation from the sun.

The following are other benefits of aloe vera:

1. Aloe vera contains 6 antiseptic agents such as sulfur, lupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamonic acid, phenols, and urea nitrogen.
2. Aloe vera increases the resistance of the immune system against infections because of the presence of anthraquinones.
3. C-glucosyl chromone and alprogen are isolated from the aloe vera gel. They are used for their anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties, respectively.
4. The enzyme bradykinase found in aloe vera is used as an anti-inflammatory agent in topical creams.
5. Hormones such as gibberellins and auxins are used for their healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
6. The anthraquinones are used as laxatives. These help make bowel movement easier.
7. The fatty acids are used as antiseptics and analgesics.
8. The salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties used for acne and other skin problems.
9. The saponins from aloe vera are used for making soaps and gels. They are also valued for their antiseptic properties.
10. The lignin is used in topical creams or ointments because it helps other ingredients penetrate the skin.
11. The vitamins help in detoxification, energy balance, hemoglobin and nucleic acid synthesis, strengthening the immune system, and neutralization of free radicals.
12. The minerals and micronutrients also improve the immune system, increase blood coagulation, help enzymes function, and assist in detoxification.

Reading the Label

When purchasing aloe vera products in Singapore, you should read the label carefully. Some might contain only water. Others use methods that lose the effectiveness of the active ingredients. Check the container for proper labeling. It has to include a list of the ingredients and the quantity of each ingredient. There should also be instructions on how to use the product. If you have purchased vitamins or supplements, consult your doctor about the correct daily dosage.

6 Hidden Signs of Dementia

 

Dementia doesn’t only rob people of their memories and other cognitive abilities, but also causes other conditions marked by a number of symptoms, especially during its early stages. Making things worse, these symptoms are not easy to recognize. From failing to recognize irony to losing one’s balance, many early symptoms of dementia seem normal at first and so are often missed.

How will you know if you or someone you know are already showing signs of dementia? Here are some early signs you should be aware of.

  1. Unusual Food Cravings

Big changes in the kinds of foods you crave, especially when it’s leaning towards sweets, could be an early sign of dementia. Some Japanese researchers said that disease-related changed in the part of the brain that controls your appetite and taste buds explain the sudden change of cravings.

  1. A Tendency to Hoard

Hoarding and other compulsive habits are linked to dementia, according to one research. Buying a newspaper everyday and storing it but never actually reading it is a common example of compulsive behaviour related to the onset of dementia.

  1. Missing Sarcasm

Sarcasm is part of our culture. It’s a “nice” way to be critical, and so we use it all the time even among friends. However, research suggests that people with Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia can hardly pick up on sarcasm and almost couldn’t tell if someone is lying. It is because the disease messes up the part of the brain that interprets and spots higher-order of verbal information.

  1. Changes in Personality

A frequent change of mood is a sign of dementia that is often overlooked as it can also be a sign of less serious condition like pre-menstrual syndrome in women. However, when it’s accompanied by a shift in personality, it would be best to check for other dementia symptoms. An example of a personality change is a sudden change from being shy to outgoing. The reason behind this is that dementia can affect a person’s judgment.

  1. Failing Sense of Direction

Sense of direction and spatial orientation are among the first things that deteriorate with the onset of dementia. This could mean failing to recognize landmarks and forgetting regularly used routes. You may also find it challenging to follow directions and step-by-step instructions.

  1. Confusion

People in the early stages of dementia are often confused. This is unavoidable: when thinking, judgment and memory fails, confusion arises. Confusion can happen in different situations. For instance, misplacing one’s car keys, forgetting what it was you meant to do, and difficulty remembering someone they have met before.

Although dementia is more common in people over 65 years old, it can also affect younger individuals as young as 30 years old. With early diagnosis and treatment, you can maintain optimum mental function for longer and slow down progress of the condition.

What You Need to Know About Antibiotic Resistance

 

You dread the day when antibiotics do not work anymore. This is a frightening thought because you depend on antibiotics from ear infections to life-threatening infections. Many Singaporeans consider antibiotics especially if it is prescribed by doctors and knowing that you can possibly form a resistance to it is a horrible experience. The threat is very real and therefore should be addressed.

It is high time that you learn about antibiotic resistance. Here are the things that you need to know about it:

What’s an antibiotic?

Before anything else, you have to know that bacteria are around us. These are single-celled organisms. Some bacteria are not harmful like the ones found in your intestines. However, there are many disease-causing bacteria that can lead to diseases or illnesses.

Antibiotics (also called antimicrobial drugs) have the power to battle infections instigated by bacteria found in animals and humans. Antibiotics either kill the bacteria or make it difficult for them to propagate and grow. You have to know though that antibiotics cannot kill viruses like colds, sore throats, sinusitis and flu.

What’s antibiotic resistance?

From the word itself, it is the ability of the bacteria to resist or repel the effects of antibiotic. Antibiotic resistance happens when a particular bacteria change in a way that it diminishes the efficacy of agents developed to prevent if not cure the infections. If this happens, the bacteria will be able to survive thereby continuing to propagate wrecking more harm.

Why should you be concerned?

Antibiotic resistance is not a simple problem. In fact, it is considered the world’s most persistent health concern that needs to be addressed. Instead of doing good, it will cause more harm because the once easily treatable infection will not be healed and thereby becomes harmful infections. The fact that it can prolong the agony of children and adults should be your concern. It can spread to the family and even co-workers. If you have this, it will be difficult and expensive to treat it.

What are the reasons of the resistance?

This is the critical thing that you should know so you can keep away from it. The reasons for the resistance include misusing and overusing antibiotics. You have to keep this in mind so you can prevent the spreading of the resistance.

What can you do to prevent such resistance?

It was mentioned earlier that the reasons for the resistance are misuse and overuse of antibiotics. The key here is to use the antibiotics smartly as you can control its spread.

HIV Testing: Understanding the Basics

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing is a test that determines whether or not a person is infected with HIV, a virus that weakens the immune system and eventually develops into AIDS. Some HIV screening tests check the antibodies produced by your immune system in reaction with an HIV infection, while other tests look for traces of the virus itself. Rapid tests usually produce results in 20 minutes.

Why It’s Done

HIV testing is crucial for slowing the spread of HIV infection. Most people are unaware that they’re infected with the virus, so they’re less likely to take precautions in preventing the spread of HIV to others. Early diagnosis of the disease often results in earlier treatment with drugs to delay its progression to AIDS.

Health experts recommend individuals aging 13 to 64 years old be tested for HIV. Screening tests can be done through the community HIV testing centres in your area in Singapore or during your visit with your healthcare provider. Getting tested is especially important for pregnant women as they can pass down the virus to their babies during pregnancy or through breast-feeding. Taking medications to combat HIV during pregnancy or delivery also reduces your chances of transmitting the disease to your baby.

How Often Should the Test be Done

Specialists suggest taking at least one anonymous hiv test in Singapore for individuals aging 13 to 64 years old, particularly those who are sexually active and have multiple sex partners. Yearly testing is also recommended if you’re at a high risk of developing the infection. Consider undergoing the test yearly and before having sex with a new partner if you:

• Have had unprotected intercourse with more than one partner
• Have been diagnosed with an STD like syphilis or hepatitis
• Use intravenous drugs like hormones, silicone or steroids
• Have had unprotected sex with a person who falls into any of the aforementioned categories

Also consider getting an HIV screening if you’ve been sexually assaulted, or is planning to get pregnant.

How to Prepare for HIV Testing
No special preparations are needed for taking an HIV test. You may just need to schedule an appointment with your doctor, or simply walk in for an HIV testing in some public health clinics in Singapore.

Screening Options to Test HIV

HIV is often diagnosed by testing your blood or the cell samples taken from inside your cheek. Urine samples may also be used to test for HIV antibodies, but its results tend to be less accurate. Today, newer types of test already check for HIV antigen to quickly confirm a diagnosis soon after getting infected. Here are some of the following test you can undergo to help you take extra precautions and to prevent transmission of the disease to other people.

1. Rapid HIV Testing
Some rapid testing offer highly accurate information within 20 minutes. These tests look for HIV antibodies in your system using your blood samples, or fluids collected from your lower and upper gums. Getting a positive reaction on this test will require you to take a confirming blood test.

2. Home HIV Testing
Performing a home HIV testing involves two options: mailing your blood sample to a testing centre and just calling in for the results, or collecting oral fluid samples and using a kit to test it yourself in your home. Both methods are ideal if you’re prefer having an anonymous HIV test, as it ensures your anonymity and offers confidential referral to follow-up testing sites in case you get a positive test result.

3. Early Detection HIV Testing
Some tests are able to detect HIV earlier, before the antibodies become detectable in a standard HIV screening testing. These tests evaluate your blood for any genetic material from the HIV virus, or for proteins that develop within the first few weeks of acquiring the infection.

Unlike the standard HIV testing, early detection tests may cost more and may not be widely available yet. Also, even if you’ve undergone this test, you’ll still need to take the standard antibody testing later on to confirm test results and avoid occurrence of false-positive and false-negative results.

4. Other Tests to Tailor Treatment
If you received an HIV/AIDS diagnosis, undergoing certain types of test will help your doctor in determining the stage of disease you have. Some of these tests include:

• CD4 Count. This test is used to monitor your CD4 cells. These cells are a type of white blood cell that are specifically destroyed and targeted by HIV. Even if there are no symptoms, the infection will progress to AIDS when your CD4 counts decreases below 200.
• Viral Load. Similar with the standard HIV screening test, Viral Load test measures the amount of virus present in your blood. Some research have shown that individuals with higher viral loads fare poorly compared to those with lower viral loads.
• Drug Resistance. Unlike the first two tests, drug resistance test works by determining whether or not the type of HIV you acquired will be resistant to certain anti-HIV medications.

HIV Testing Results

1. Negative HIV Test Result
A negative HIV testing result may mean two things: Either you’re clear from HIV, or it’s too soon to tell. It’s possible to get a negative result if you were only recently exposed to the virus, since your body hasn’t had time to produce the antibodies yet. That’s why health experts recommend getting retested for the virus after several months, or undergoing one of the early detection tests.

2. Positive HIV Test Result
While there’s still no cure for HIV/AIDS, treatment has come a long way in offering improved and extended quality of life. If the disease is well-treated, infected people will still have a chance to experience a near-normal life expectancy. Undergoing early treatment for the disease will help in keeping you healthy and delaying the onset of AIDS. If you ever test positive, do inform your partner so they get evaluated and treated as well.

Undergoing an HIV test is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the disease. Fully understanding how the test works won’t only keep you from acquiring HIV, but also from spreading it to the people around you.

10 Questions to Ask About Breast Cancer Diagnosis

After confirming a breast cancer diagnosis, it could get difficult to focus on what to do next. You are understandably scared and confused, most likely because you’re not prepared—no one is—to discuss about prognosis and medication for cancer.

According to the best oncologist in Singapore, here are 10 questions you should ask your doctor. The answers of your specialist will help better understand your case and treatment choices.

1. “What type of breast cancer I am diagnosed with?”

Doctors classify breast cancers in various ways. The most common way is to locate where the cancer cells originate, which will determine whether the disease will spread and the kind of treatment to perform.
Most breast cancers, however, start in the milk ducts. They are known as invasive ductal carcinomas, meaning that they have penetrated the milk duct’s wall and propagated into the breast’s fatty tissues. Once the cancer is there, it’s possible for the cells to further spread to other parts of the body.

Rarer types of breast cancer diagnosed by an oncologist from Singapore may involve the breast’s connective tissues, the nipple, or the linings of the lymph or blood vessels. Some are also non-invasive, meaning they have not spread. They are contained within the milk ducts and are called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS).

2. “Has the cancer spread to my lymph nodes?”

Whether your cancer has infected your lymph nodes—or elsewhere in your body that are part of the immune system—is among the important predictors of the severity of the disease. Once the lymph nodes are involved, it changes the treatment plan—more aggressive approaches, like chemotherapy, are considered.

3. “How big is the tumour?”

The size of the tumour is another vital indicator that will help determine your treatment plan. Your Singapore oncologist uses the size of the tumour to identify the ‘Stage’ and further categorize your cancer. The size will be estimated through physical examination, ultrasound, mammogram, or MRI of the breast. The accurate size of the tumour won’t be known until a pathologist has examined the tumour after it is surgically removed.

4. “What stage is my cancer?”

Staging of cancer is a way of classifying the severity of a patient’s case. You may have heard of Stages 0 to IV, which reflects the size of the tumour and the severity of the metastasis. The higher the stage, the bigger the tumour is. Your oncologist uses staging to create a treatment plan, gauge prognosis, and communicate with other Singapore oncology consultants.

5. “Do I need to undergo a surgery, and if so what kind?

The answer for this question varies from patient to patient, and may change over time as the tumour grows. Some cases cannot initially be removed through surgery. In other instances, whether or not to operate and the type of surgery depends on the stage of the disease, the location and size of the tumour, and the size of the breast. If your cancer is operable, your choices would be breast-conserving surgery or mastectomy. Within each of the two broad treatment categories lie more surgical options. Discuss with your Singapore oncologist, and if in doubt, you can certainly seek for second opinion.

6. “Do I need radiation?”

In general, Singapore oncologists recommend radiation therapy for breast cancer patients who undergo surgery for removal of cancer tumour (lumpectomy). For patients who undergo whole-breast removal, radiation therapy may be recommended for those who are at higher risk of re-growing cancer cells again—those with tumours larger than five centimetres and with over four cancer-affected lymph nodes.

7. “Do I need chemotherapy?”

Typically, this cancer treatment is a must for women with high-risk cases. Some factors that may indicate that you need chemotherapy are cancer-infected lymph nodes, higher-grade tumours, HER2-positive tumours, and breast cancer cases in patients below 40 years old. If you need chemo, it will be provided as an outpatient treatment every two to three weeks, delivered through a port of directly into your vein.

8. “Do I long-term medication?”

If you have ER/PR-positive tumour, meaning your tumour can detect estrogen and use it to fuel its growth, your oncologist will likely recommend to continue getting an anti-estrogen therapy for up to 10 years after cancer treatment. Anti-estrogen treatment is usually a once-daily pill. For women in premenopausal stage, tamoxifen is the commonly prescribed medication; postmenopausal women have more options.

9. “Should I undergo breast reconstruction?

The answer for this involves medical and personal considerations. Some patients prefer not have breast reconstruction, while others believe that it benefits their physical appearance and psychological recovery. As for when the right time is for breast reconstruction, this depends on the stage of your cancer. Women with early-stage cancer and have been treated can have immediate reconstruction. But for those with Stage III cancer, discuss with your oncologist the right timing for a reconstruction surgery.

10. “Should I consider clinical trials?”

Treatments for breast cancer have improved tremendously over the years, and the reason for that significant progress is because patients have been willing to try the newer treatment options. For any stage of cancer, a well-thought clinical trial could be the best option you have. If you’re willing to consider this option, your oncologist Singapore can answer the questions about clinical trials you may have in mind.

Any cancer is a critical threat to your health, but being diagnosed with one doesn’t mean it’s going to bring you to a terrible end. Get up and fight for a better health. With the right knowledge about your situation, it’s easier to look for ways on how to counteract this highly treatable disease.

Sleeping Without Underwear: Why It’s Good for You

Sleep is very important in the conduct of our daily lives. Without it, energy lost will not be replenished and it can translate to lower productivity and changed mood. We do not like this therefore we should do our best to give ourselves the rest we deserve. If you have troubles sleeping, there are different things that you can consider.

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For example, when sleeping, forget about television or mobile phone so it can be conducive. If it is not enough, you can drink milk or take a hot shower. We do things to sleep comfortably but sometimes our attempts become futile because of different factors surrounding us. We should not stop. We have to continuously explore and eventually discover things that can lead us to a fine slumber.

In this case, have you tried sleeping without underwear? This is not a good idea for many Singaporeans but you have to believe when experts say that wearing such during sleep is actually bad for your health. D. Alyssa Dweck, a gynaecologist said that wearing underwear or pants in bed can actually increase the person’s risk of infection.

Going to sleep without underwear is bold but it has scientific evidence that it can do good to your health. If the groin is always covered (by fabric), it encouraged moisture. You have to know that moisture is the perfect breeding ground for yeast and bacteria.

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If you cannot do it without underwear but you are worried about the moisture, choose a specific fabric. You have to look absorbent or moisture-wicking fabrics. If you cannot find one, it is time to look for “granny panties”. These panties are loose.

For men, Dr. Brian Steixner of the Jersey Urology Group also said that wearing underwear can lead to fertility problems. Men should have the right temperature to optimize sperm production and wearing underwear does not encourage optimization of sperm.

Same with women, if men do not approve of not wearing underwear at night, they should at least choose loose-fitting briefs to give the private area space and a little bit of air to keep away from moisture.

You have to know that letting all body parts – including private ones air dry can be helpful. It is also hygienic. The good thing is that there are many fabrics in the market if you are not comfortable of not wearing anything. Choose fabrics that are good for your private areas and think of the moisture and infection when choosing.

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The Risks of Advanced Maternal Age

When you are beyond the age of 35 and are pregnant, you’re considered to be of advanced maternity age. As you age, the amount of egg cells you produce lowers and the produced eggs are no longer as healthy as you were in your 20s.

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Gynaecologists in Singapore use the age of 35 as a key point in determining whether you need advanced medical care due to higher pregnancy risk. Although not all women above the age of 35 have complicated pregnancies, obstetricians and gynaecologists remain on alert throughout your maternity just in case.

Fraternal Twins

When you get pregnant at a more mature age, there’s an increased chance of giving birth to fraternal twins. In addition to your age, the number of pregnancies you have had also plays a major role. If you become pregnant in your late 30s and have four or more pregnancies prior to the current pregnancy, you are three times more likely to have fraternal twins.

Down Syndrome

Another pregnancy risk that’s notable to mature expectant moms is Down Syndrome. This condition is due to chromosome defect, which is thought to be associated with aging egg cells. By the age of 40, one in 100 women is at risk of giving birth to a child with Down Syndrome. Above the age of 40, the chance of your unborn of developing the condition increases exponentially. It is good to visit http://www.thomsonmedical.com/thomson-womens-clinics-2/ in Singapore to check the health of the baby before continuing with the pregnancy. By the time you reach 49 and are pregnant, your risk increases at around eight percent or one in every 12 women. Your gynaecologist may request for a chronic virus sampling (CVS) or an amniocentesis to check the possibilities of Down Syndrome in your fetus.

Hypertensive Complications

An increased blood pressure can cause complications during pregnancy. If you are 35 or older, you are likely to have higher possibility of developing pre-pregnancy hypertension. High blood pressure can be a cause of premature delivery, which also means that older women are likely to deliver premature or underweight babies. Your gynae is fully aware of this risk and should provide the necessary care to avoid and treat hypertensive complications.

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Stillbirth

This is another pregnancy problem associated with advanced maternal age, which usually happens after the 20th week of pregnancy. Expectant moms after the age of 40 are more than twice as likely to have stillborn babies. Although stillbirth is not as common in both young and mature pregnancy, death of child during pregnancy is still possible.

Maternal Death

Lastly, as women get older, there’s higher risk of maternal death during pregnancy and delivery. According to research, women aging 35 and older are three times as likely to die due to complications caused by pregnancy and labour compared to young moms. However, like stillbirth, maternal death is not very common at any age.

Lowering Risks of Pregnancy Complications

Taking good care of yourself is the best you can do to ensure the safety of your unborn child. Pay attention to these basics, and you will guarantee the health of your baby regardless of your age.

• Seek Pre-Conception Appointment
Talk to your doctor about your overall health and any necessary lifestyle changes to improve your chances of healthy pregnancy. If you have any concerns about fertility and pregnancy, this is the time to discuss them with your gynae. Ask about how to increase the odds of conception—and the treatment options if experiencing troubles with getting pregnant.

• Have Regular Prenatal Check-Ups
Regular hospital visits help your ob-gynae to monitor your and your baby’s health. If you’re experiencing unusual symptoms or have any concerns about your condition, mention it to your gynae. Talking to your healthcare provider will give you peace of mind and make it easier for your doctor to ensure optimum health of both you and your baby.

• Take Prenatal Multivitamins
Most prenatal multivitamin supplements contain more folic acid than you’ll typically find in standard supplements. It is important to have adequate amount of folic acid in the body during the early stages of pregnancy to greatly reduce the baby’s risk of developing neural tube defects. Ideally, your healthcare provider will ask you to start taking your vitamins one month before conceiving. Once your pregnancy is confirmed, your gynaecologist will likely increase your dosage to 600 micrograms from 400 micrograms.

• Stay Active
You don’t have to run a marathon to keep a healthy weight, but simple physical activities are required to boost your energy and improve overall health. Activities like morning walks help ease or even prevent discomfort brought by advanced-age pregnancy. Just make sure to get your ob-gynae’s approval before proceeding with an exercise program.

• Say No to Any Form of Alcohol
Do not drink while you are pregnant. Any alcohol you take reaches your baby through your bloodstream, and your unborn can end up with higher alcohol level that you are. Regardless of how little you take, you increase the chances of having low-birthweight baby and the risk of your baby to develop problems with speech, learning, attention span and language.

• Consider Testing For Chromosomal Abnormalities
Discuss with your gynaecology expert about prenatal testing for chromosomal abnormalities. This test examines your fetal DNA to determine whether your child is at risk of certain chromosomal abnormalities. However, this test can carry a slight risk of miscarriage. Your gynae should be able to explain to you more about this test and help you get through it safely if you consider having one.

Pregnancy risks differ from woman to woman. Although age is a significant factor, the mother’s overall health status is still the biggest contributor that can increase or decrease the odds of developing unfavourable issues during pregnancy. To ensure your and your unborn child’s health, talk to gynaecology specialist prior to pregnancy.

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Tips for a Better Sleep

To you, sleep is elusive not love. About half of Singaporeans struggle to get some sleep every day. We all know the importance of good sleep for better health, mood and productivity. If you are the type that struggles going to sleep, everything is done from hot milk, warm bath, counting sheep and many more. These things are meant to help you drift and eventually bring you to slumber but unfortunately, these tactics are passé.

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You are not alone and you should not fret. According to Great British Sleep Survey, women suffer lack of sleep three times than men. Experts highly recommend that adults sleep for about 7-8 hours every night. Sometimes this is not the case. In fact, many people have sleeping pills prescription.

You already know how lack of sleep affects your health from decreased cognitive function to reduced concentration and attention. It is time that you employ some tactics to help you get through the night:

  • Easy on the caffeine: If coffee is already deeply rooted in your system, it is time that you go easy on them. You should know that caffeine has an impact on reducing your sleep quality. Research said that it will take ten hours for the body to completely remove the caffeine. Instead of drinking coffee, why not drink more water, fruit juices or teas? That’ll do well for your body.

 

  • Workout: There was a study conducted by the Northwestern University last 2010 revealing that people who exercised regularly testified that the quality of their sleep improved. Exercise is the most effective way to reduce stress thereby enabling you to sleep deeply. 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every week can make a difference.

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  • Stick to your schedule: Whether it is the weekend or weekdays, you should stick with the same sleeping schedule. It is important that you keep your body clock on time. This is your natural way of promoting sleep. If you want nap, limit it to at least twenty minutes.

 

  • Eat right: There are particular foods that can promote good sleep. You can consider chicken, tofu, cheese, nuts, eggs and milk as it can release melatonin and serotonin in your system.

 

  • Stop trying: Sometimes, it is good to stop trying and let nature takes its course. Overly trying will put stress to the body. The important thing here is to let take come and not constantly chase after it. You can however commit to doing small actions everyday so sleep will come.

Hopefully the tips mentioned above can help you drift and eventually go to slumber. Share it to other friends who are suffering from the same dilemma too.

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How to Stick With Your Healthy Eating Resolution

So your New Year’s resolution is to start eating healthier. Yay! But let’s be real here, changing your eating habits to a healthier one can be quite challenging. Never fear though, since we’re determined to help you make 2016 a year that you stick with your resolution. Here, we’ve listed down some of the easy ways on how to commit to your healthy eating resolution while still having fun along the way.

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  1. Choose a healthy eating method that’s enjoyable, sustainable and fits your lifestyle.

I just can’t stress this enough: The reason why most diet plans fail is because they aren’t sustainable and enjoyable. When we try quick dieting fixes like juice cleanses or eating cabbage soup all day long, we only end up feeling deprived, tired and hungrier, and this is what leads us back to the unhealthy eating habits we’re trying to fix.

So how can you avoid this trap? Simply find a healthy eating method that’s sustainable and fits your lifestyle. For some, it may mean following a dietary framework like Paleo diet. For others, it may mean skipping the diet label and eating real food. Remember that there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all diet, and different methods work for different people. Just make sure that whatever method you use is one that you’ll enjoy and be able to maintain over time.

  1. Identify the reason why you need to change your eating habits.

Changing eating habits can be difficult, but you’ll be able to get over that hurdle by identifying the reason why you feel like you need to change your eating habits. Is it to have clearer skin? More self-confidence? More energy? Whatever your reason is, write it down in a piece of paper and look back to it when you feel like giving up on your resolution.

  1. Educate yourself about the right foods to eat and eating habits to practise.

When we understand how food impacts every aspect of our life, making healthy food choices will be a lot easier for us. To properly educate yourself about such matters, simply check out books like Salt Sugar Fat and Grain Brain. Watching documentaries like GMO OMG and Food Matters is also great way to learn about food. If possible, consulting a fitness expert in Singapore is also a great way to get all the information you need and educate yourself.

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  1. Plan out each of your meals.

Meal planning is another excellent way of setting your healthy eating resolution up for success. Set aside an hour or two each week to plan your meals, your grocery shopping list and your food preparations techniques. When you invest enough money and time into this plan, you’re much more likely to stick and be successful with it.

  1. Cook enough dinner so you’ll have leftovers for lunch.

This trick goes hand-in-hand with the meal planning strategy. When planning out your dinner meals for the week, make sure that you stick with recipes that’ll create enough leftovers for lunch the following day. By doing this, you’ll be able to stick with your resolution and save some time in the kitchen as well.

  1. Get rid of junk foods.

A sure way for you to stick with your healthy eating resolution is to make your environment work for you, not against you. This simply means getting rid of all the junk food that’ll tempt and derail your good intentions in your house. Seeing and eating no junk means better chances of sticking with your New Year’s resolution after all.man-eating-salmon-dinner-350

  1. Find and eat healthy foods that you actually love.

Eating healthy doesn’t really mean eating salad all day long. Sticking with your healthy resolution can actually be done in a more delicious way. Do this by focusing on foods that you actually enjoy, such as brown rice tortilla pizzas, chocolate banana ice cream, and avocado toast with poached egg.

  1. Get your family’s and friends’ support for your resolution.

Sticking with this kind of resolution becomes a lot easier when you have the support of your family and friends, so try inviting them to join you on your journey to eating healthy. You can share your recipes with one another, take turns on making meals for each other, organize a crock pot party, and conduct weekly check-ins to hold each other accountable for their resolution.

Sure, changing your eating habits into a healthier one will be challenging, but by following these tips in mind, you’ll surely be able to stick with your healthy eating resolution throughout the whole year.

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