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Protect Yourself During the Winter

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Protect Yourself During the Winter

If you want to know how to improve your body’s resistance against illnesses in the winter besides consuming a lot of fruits and vegetables, here are some helpful suggestions that include new and traditional methods to help satisfy your curiosity

Is the time that you spend to recover from a sore throat, fever and nasal congestion much longer than your holidays? Do you wonder how can you protect yourself during the winter? As we all know, consuming fruit and vegetables is important for a healthy life along with regular sports.

In particular, colorful fruit and vegetables are full of antioxidants. According to a survey at Colorado State University, nutrition high in antioxidants increases resistance and protects the body against epidemic illnesses. But what are other ways to increase life quality to stay healthy for a long time to come?

On average, adults catch a cold three times a year, and these illnesses continue for a week or two. Some 5 to 20 percent of these colds turn into the flu, which lengthens the time spent suffering from the illness.

A few small steps can help overcome the struggle against the cold and flu in the winter. This article, offers helpful advice, from the newest surveys to older more traditional methods to ease the pain.

Don’t avoid garlic because of its smell

Onions and garlic, which are indispensable in food, are kinds of medicine storage. Onions are the leading vegetable in Turkish foods thanks to our culture. Almost no dish lacks have onions, which have many benefits for your health.

In particular, red onions reduce the risk of heart disease, as they are rich in polyphenols, antioxidants that decrease the inflammatory effects of coronary artery disease. The combination of quercetin found in onions and garlic is another secret weapon that helps fight allergies. Garlic is a natural antibiotic that protects against hay fever, increasing body resistance.

Garlic may cause bad breath but this shouldn’t make you avoid it completely, because it reduces blood pressure significantly thanks to its high amount of allicin. In mashed garlic, allicin helps against viruses.

In a 12-week British study, people who received 180 milligrams of allicin daily caught a cold 63 percent less often than those given ineffective medicine. A clove of garlic contains between five and nine milligrams of allicin, a little less than in allicin supplements, but even two cloves of garlic will help protect you from a cold.

The brain prevents cold with meditation

The brain can reduce the possibility of catching a cold by 40 or 50 percent according to a study at Wisconsin University, which indicates that people who meditate or do yoga or exercise experience mental and physical calmness, get sick less often and their immune system is strengthened.

Experts advise probiotics

Probiotics are living microorganisms that when taken with or separately from food positively affect health by regulating mucosal and systemic immunity and provide nutritional and microbial balance in the intestines. Experts recommend probiotic supplements containing beneficial bacteria for your health.

Thus, you can reduce the risk of both respiratory and gastrointestinal infections. In a survey, some people were given probiotics, while others got ineffective medicines. People taking probiotics caught a cold 42 percent lesser than others. The most well-known probiotics are yogurt, cheese, kefir, cabbage, pickles and cucumber pickles.

The key to a healthy life is exercise

One of the basic requirements of a healthy life is exercise. Proper, regular exercise prevents physical ailments, which come with age, and strengthens the immune system, providing psychological healing and protection against disease.

According to a study, those who exercise five or more days a week recover from upper respiratory tract infections 43 percent more quickly. Exercising 30 to 60 minutes every day increases blood flow and allows immune cells to circulate throughout the body.

Wash your hands often

Cleaning your hands often is the most effective way to protect yourself against cold and flu viruses. But it is not enough to just wash your hands; drying them is also very important as microbes stick to wet skin more easily. Frequently replace damp towels with dry ones!

Sleep well

Your immune system needs rest to function properly. A study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University indicates that even if people who sleep less than seven hours on average say they feel rested, they are three times more likely to get a cold than those who sleep eight hours or more.

Don’t forget spices in your meals

Do you know that the thyme in pasta sauces or the mustard in sandwiches can increase your immune system? In winter, flavor your dishes with spices, such as thyme and turmeric, to strengthen your immune system.

Remove sugar from your life

A study at Loma Linda University indicates that the white blood cells of people consuming six soupspoons of sugar a day (orange juice, honey, sugary drinks, etc.) lost their strength to defend against bacteria and viruses. Your immune system stays depressed for several hours after consuming a sugary food or drink: If you consume sugary drinks in a few hours, your body resistance will be low throughout the day.

Lose weight

If you are obese, you are more likely to become ill if you are exposed to microbes. Even flu vaccines won’t work. After vaccination, anti-influenza antibodies increase, but in overweight people, this effect decreases in a few months. If you are obese, be very careful to wash your hand and take other preventive measures; even weight loss of 5 or 10 percent can help prevent all kinds of diseases.

Drink enough water

If you are confronted with a virus, you need to drink plenty of fluids to reduce symptoms. However, water consumption is also of great importance when you are not ill. When the mucous membranes and immune cells in their secretion are dehydrated, your body may be weak in defending against viruses.

Watch out with toothbrushes

Every house has a cup containing family toothbrushes. Attention! This can invite illnesses. A toothbrush virus can infect other toothbrushes. Surely you’re wonder what we need to do. Make sure toothbrushes are separated and dried thoroughly. Of course, there is no need to change your brush every time you get sick. You already have antibodies against this sickness in your body.

Get social

The more people socialize, the less likely they get sick. Having several groups of friends strengthens the immune system. It allows people to be more positive and less depressed.

Don’t eat your nails

You cannot always prevent the presence of microbes on your hands, but you do not have to send them directly to your respiratory system. It may seem easy to keep your hands where they should be, but it’s not. A survey revealed that adults touch their faces nearly 15 times each hour.

Don’t forget old customs

Don’t forget about what your elders taught you. Things that we do, thinking they are useful, can psychologically affect the body. In one study, some patients were given ineffective medicine, while other received echinacea. Subjects who believed that echinacea was good showed rapid improvement. Use methods you learned from your family to recover more quickly.

Pay attention to people

According to a study conducted by McMaster University, 8 percent of people can contract viruses even if they do not show any symptoms. Thus, I recommend washing your hands often while interacting with people.

Be careful what you touch

Keep your living space clean as viruses causing flu can live up to eight hours on surfaces. Pay attention to unlikely places at work: Vending machines, microwave ovens, taps and refrigerators. Don’t forget to wash your hands often and use antibacterial gel.

Eat more fruit

Surveys indicate that people who eat three or more portions of fruit a day have 25 percent fewer respiratory tract infections compared to those who eat less fruit.

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Psoriasis: Symptoms and Treatments

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Psoriasis: Symptoms and Treatments

Psoriasis, which is mostly chronic, is a common dermatological disease with different appearances in different people. The disease is not an infectious one and it can occur in people of all ages, even if it is generally seen in people 15 to 30 years old. Although the reason for its emergence is not completely known, it is thought that it occurs as a result of an interaction of the immune system, genetics and environmental factors. Psoriasis: Symptoms and Treatments

A frequently asked question is, “How do you understand whether a skin rash is actually psoriasis or not?” This article examines the description of psoriasis, its types and treatment alternatives.

The disease takes its name from some of the most common symptoms which are white, bright and dry dandruff on a red skin eruption. It can appear with the hardening of the soles of the feet and palms, and cracks in the skin. It can occur with a rash-like appearance in the folding parts of the body, such as the armpits or belly button. In patients with psoriasis, small pits on nails, yellow-red stains like oil drops, hollow and thickening nails, bleeding under nails and disorder on the surface of nails can be observed. The disease can occur on the skin with hair, knees and elbows, sacrum and hips. Sometimes, it can be mistaken for eczema or allergic skin diseases.

Types and symptoms

Plaque psoriasis: Plaque psoriasis, the most common one, is red lesions covered by blotchy, inflammatory, white and nacred flakes. These plaques, which can be itchy and painful, can be seen anywhere in the body. However, the most common areas are the elbows, knees, waist and scalp. Eighty percent of patients with psoriasis have this type.

Guttate Psoriasis: Guttate psoriasis is the second most common disease after plaque psoriasis and mostly appears in childhood or young adulthood. Its frequency among all psoriasis types is 10 percent. It is seen on the skin of the chest, arms, legs and other parts of the body as small, red, separate spots. These spots are generally not as thick as plaque lesions.

Pustular psoriasis: Pustular is a rare type of psoriasis seen mostly in adults. It is usually observed on a small area on the hands and feet as white blisters filled with non-inflammatory liquid but it can spread to other areas.

Inverse Psoriasis: This is seen on the armpits, groin, inframammary fold, backs of the knees, sexual organs and other skinfolds on the hips. This type appears as nacred, smooth, bright and red inflammatory lesions.

Erythrodermic Psoriasis: This is an inflammatory type of psoriasis which is seen frequently. This disease is the most severe as it covers a great part of the body, more than 75 percent, with itching and redness on the skin and painful, exanthematous flaking.

Psoriatic arthritis: Along with typical psoriasis symptoms on the skin, there can be rheumatic problems. Swelling, pain, redness and mobility restriction can be seen among its symptoms that affect the joints. In many patients, effects such as heel spur, elbow pain, waist and back pain, can also be observed. In some cases, psoriasis negatively affects the fingernails and toenails. Nails generally thicken and the disease causes some effects such as dents on the nails and nail separation from their bed.

As psoriasis can be mistaken for other skin diseases, consulting your doctor can help with getting a proper diagnosis and the best treatment plan for you.

Treating psoriasis

The treatment of psoriasis should be planned, considering the general health, age and lifestyle of the patient and the type of psoriasis. The first thing that should be done while struggling against the illness is to prefer soaps that do not dry the skin, and moisturizing creams and lotions should be applied in order to clear up the dryness and to stop the flaking. The itch should be taken under control in this way as well.

Psoriasis is treated with various methods, such as steroid medicines, light therapy and edible medicine.

Topical medicines that are among the treatment methods that are applied to the skin directly, i.e., creams and sprays. Some of them contain a steroid, some have an analog of vitamin D, some have both a steroid and vitamin D and some contain retinoid.

More naturally, honey is applied to the skin and is accepted as a treatment option.

If topical medicines don’t provide adequate relief, your dermatologist can prescribe oral medicines that you take two times a week or a day. One of the recommended medicines that is generally prescribed is Apremilast. For some people, Acitretin, which is a derivative of vitamin A, is also recommended as an alternative, but you should inform your doctor about any medicine, like vitamins, food supplements and et cetera, which you use. You should also let him/her know about any allergies, health problems that you have or had, like pregnancy and surgery, before using this medicine.

If you use another medicine, the effects of Acitretin can change. This situation can both increase side effect risks and also prevent the medicine from working the way it should. Acitretin cannot be taken with some chemotherapy medicines, like Methotrexate and Tetracyclines. As a result, serious side effects can be observed. The treatment can be practiced by natural (solar) rays and artificial UV rays. In this practice, treatment can be done together with other medicines.

UVB phototherapy: UVB phototherapy can increase the symptoms of light and moderate psoriasis while it can treat spots, common psoriasis and problems that are resistant against the topical treatments. Its side effects can be itching, redness and skin dehydration.

Psoralen plus UVA: UVA rays can penetrate into deeper regions than UVB rays. Its short-term side effects are nausea, headache, burning and itching while long-term effects can be dry skin, increased sun sensitivity and skin cancer risk.

Atomic laser: This is used for light and moderate illnesses and applied to only the problematic skin area.

Injections: You can bid farewell to psoriasis with biological treatment – the success rate of which is between 80 and 90 percent – which is a much safer alternative that has fewer side effects. Injections are given every other week or once every three months to treat the illness.

However, medicines are expensive so be sure to consult with your doctor before deciding on a treatment plan.

If you’re suffering from this disease, you should definitely see a dermatologist instead of thinking that there is no cure.

Triggering factors for psoriasis

Mechanic trauma, such as sunburn, bath-glove or wax, that cause skin injury

Smoking and alcohol

Vitamin D deficiency

Dry skin

Stress, emotional trauma

Strong painkillers, some heart and malaria medicines

Infection and hormonal changes like pregnancy and menopause

Irregular nutrition

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How to Protect Children From Diseases

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How to Protect Children From Diseases

Schools are undoubtedly ideal teaching spaces for children’s education. However, schoolchildren face the risk of catching diseases in schools as there are many children using shared spaces. Especially during mid-seasons, the immune system tends to weaken, which makes schoolchildren vulnerable to various diseases. As I stated in my previous articles, diseases spread faster in indoor areas whereas the lack of personal hygiene is the root of many diseases. So, parents are required to pay more attention to children’s hygiene as crowded places play an active role in the spread of diseases. Showing care in personal hygiene is important for the health of your child and their schoolmates. You cannot prevent your child’s exposure to infections and germs in school, but you can reduce the child’s risk of catching diseases by teaching them personal hygiene habits. How to Protect Children From Diseases

Why hygiene matters?

After your child catches an illness, germs can spread quickly to the rest of your family. Diseases such as colds and enteric infections, which are frequently seen in children, can be transmitted to families. Therefore, helping your children understand the importance of hygiene will enable them and the rest of your family to stay healthy.

1. Make sure they acquire the habit of hand washing

Disinfecting your hands frequently is indispensable for personal hygiene. Especially in places with many shared spaces like schools, doorknobs, tables, desks, boards, chalks and toilets pose a serious infection risk. Consequently, washing hands is the most effective way to prevent infections that can be transmitted in school. At this point, you are responsible for teaching your children how often and how they should wash their hands. Start with telling them about shared spaces and items. And explain that they should wash their hands for an average of 20 seconds by rubbing their hands together and that they should wash their hands in the following cases:

After using the bathroom

Before eating

After playing outdoors

After touching a dirty item

After coughing, sneezing or touching their noses

After petting animals

If their hands look dirty

2. Don’t skip breakfast, make sure they eat healthy

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Keep in mind that by letting your children sleep 5 minutes more, you cause them to skip breakfast. The variety in a child’s diet must be ensured as children grow in height; thus, they must often consume starchy carbs and fiber-rich foods and get sufficient levels of vitamins and minerals, while consuming fat and sugar must be limited. Schoolchildren are in a process of slow yet constant growth. To grow up healthily, they must consume the foods they need. Do not fret over what I write; you do not need to make a special diet plan for these needs. It is enough to make sure that your child eats six meals a day, three main meals and three side meals and cook the meals at home. A child grows in height the fastest between the ages of 7 and 14. This age group needs more calcium compared to the others. So, foods like milk, yoghurt, cheese and ayran must be included in their daily diet.

3. Cafeterias and canteens are important

I am sure you have other criteria you prioritize while choosing a school for your child, but you must also pay heed to the meal alternatives provided in schools for your child’s success. In most private schools, a fixed menu is served. In these cases, you must certainly check up on where the meals come from and in which conditions they are prepared. The situation is more dangerous in schools that do not serve meals. If your child is obliged to eat in the school canteen, which only has fast-food menus, you have to prepare a lunch box for them. Do not forget that children do what they see rather than what they hear.

4. Encourage drinking more water

Teach your child that he/she should not wait to get thirsty to drink water. It is no exaggeration to say that water is the most vital component of the human body and ecological balance. I am sure you have already heard that 3/4 of the human body consists of water. The human body undergoes dehydration during the day to exercise vital functions. The body needs 2-6 liters of water on a daily basis to function properly. Also, water protects the immune system against diseases.

5. Follow your child’s vaccination chart

Schoolchildren are generally exposed to infections and flu viruses that could cause diarrhea. Such infections can spread quickly if your child touches dirty surfaces. Also, your child’s contact with other children might transmit the infection to others. Pay attention that infection is not transferred through touching. Sneezing and coughing can also transmit infections.

As of the first month your child is born, a vaccination chart is formed against possible infections. Following the Hepatitis A vaccination during the first month after the birth, the child must get other vaccinations, including measles, chickenpox, diphtheria and tetanus. Other vaccinations are made during the first and eighth years in elementary school. Most of these vaccines do not provide life-long protection. Consequently, additional vaccine doses are needed at certain time periods. The vaccinations for your child must be completed before starting school. Do not forget that your school-age child can infect your baby. Also, children having active infections should not go to school until fully recovering since they can transmit infections to others.

6. Make a menu according to allergic diseases

Allergic diseases can also cause a disruption in education. Allergic diseases can affect both adults and children. Therefore, before your child starts school, you should take her/him to a doctor’s office and get information about his/her allergies. Also, if the school is away from your house, take a look at the hospitals in the vicinity of the school in case of possible allergic reactions.

If your child is allergic to certain foods, you can prepare a menu before leaving home. This menu should include snacks, fruits and other foods that the child is not allergic to. And make sure that the child’s medications are with her/him in case of possible allergic reactions.

7. Pay attention to hand and foot hygiene

Nails are a breeding ground for bacteria. Germs living under children’s nails can easily infect their eyes, noses or mouths. Therefore, their nails must be clipped once a week, and hands must be disinfected thoroughly after clipping the nails. Foot hygiene is also important for schoolchildren. Foot perspiration can cause fungal infections. To allow their feet to breathe, children must wear cotton socks instead of synthetic ones and wear leather or canvas shoes.

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Important Tips for Pregnant Women

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Important Tips for Pregnant Women

Research shows that about 50 percent of pregnancies are unplanned. It is much harder for someone who gets to know that she is pregnant out of the blue to spend a healthy pregnancy period than someone who has a planned pregnancy. Experts advise women to be cautious. If you are at your childbearing age and you are not using a safe birth control method, you can get pregnant at any time. Women in this group should develop and follow a wellness plan. Thus, when an unplanned pregnancy is encountered, it becomes possible for both mother and baby to have a healthy period. Unlike what you think, a wellness plan is not meant to fit your dietary lists, or to do regular exercise. A wellness plan is a life plan that is created to get rid of the harms of environmental effects. Important tips for pregnant women

TAKE FOLIC ACID

If you decide to become a mother, the first thing you need to do is to take folic acid. Folic acid use should start about three months before conception and should continue until the first months of pregnancy. Studies conducted on pregnant individuals at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Montefiore Medical Center in New York showed that folic acid use has a major part in baby’s development during pregnancy. Therefore, taking a daily multivitamin containing at least 400 micrograms of folic acid should be at the top of your list. Your baby’s brain and spinal cord system develop in the first month of pregnancy, so it is important for you to take basic nutrients such as folic acid, calcium and iron from the beginning. Taking folic acid reduces your baby’s risk of developing a neural tube defect like spina bifida. Some women need to take a five milligram higher dose per day, so check with a general practitioner or midwife what the best dose is for you.

VITAMIN D SUPPLEMENT KEY

You also need 10 micrograms of Vitamin D supplementation per day during pregnancy. Vitamin D is important for the development of your baby’s skeleton and for future bone health. If you are worried that you do not eat well and healthily, you can try to take folic acid and vitamin D with multiple vitamins. The pregnancy period accompanies the risk of bone loss for the mother in the future. For this reason, vitamin D supplementation is also important during pregnancy. However, such supplements should be taken in consultation with your doctor.

Physicians advise to take rich in omega-3 foods during pregnancy. Omega 3 has significant benefits for both the baby and the mother. Omega 3, which plays a critical role in the development of the baby’s intelligence, also prevents the mother from sinking into postpartum depression. It is the most accurate and natural thing to take such supplements from food. Experts say folic acid is found in dark green vegetables; calcium and protein in dairy products; vitamin D in eggs, milk and fish, as well as its natural resource sunlight; and omega 3 in oily fish like salmon, walnuts and almonds.

AVOID SUGAR, CARBOHYDRATES

Pregnancy is a period when you are very hungry and have difficulty controlling it. Adding to this adverse effect the belief that the baby is nourished well if the mother eats becomes a very difficult situation for the mother. Sugar-rich and carbohydrate-intensive nutrition causes the mother to gain weight unnecessarily. It is much more essential to satisfy the needs that certainly benefit the baby than this type of feeding.

Mums-to-be should take nourishment and satisfy their needs in accordance with the shortcomings in their own body in light of basic rules. For this reason, blood tests conducted at the beginning of pregnancy period are very important for reserve control.

Pregnancy is a period when the mother’s need for fluids increases. Water especially should be drunk in abundant quantities. Acidic and fizzy beverages and diet drinks should be avoided. Motherhood is a life-long adventure. You need to continue to meet your baby’s needs after your baby is separated from your body. In the early stages, the best way is to breastfeed. This magnificent fluid, which transmutes according to the needs of your baby, has been researched by scientists using various methods, leading to admirable results every time. For the babies who are in vulnerable condition from the moment they are born, breastfeeding (at least) in the first six months is the most important source for survival.

PAY ATTENTION TO MEAT CONSUMPTION

Undercooked meat and cold delicatessen products are among the high-risk group foodstuffs in terms of toxoplasma convey. Experts say we cannot completely trust any meat and meat product. Research indicates that the probability of finding toxoplasma in undercooked veal is 5.5 times more than in cooked veal, and that the probability of toxoplasma in undercooked lamb is three times higher than in cooked lamb. Paying attention to the meat you eat is not the only way to protect yourself from toxoplasmosis. This disease, which can cause extremely bad results, can also transmit from under washed vegetables and fruits, pet sand and garden soil. A study in France, where toxoplasmosis is seen at the highest levels, showed that pets (usually cats) increase the risk of catching the disease by 4.5 times. Experts say that, just like undercooked lamb, eating unwashed raw fruits and vegetables triples the risk of catching the disease.

STAY ACTIVE FOR A HEALTHY PREGNANCY

Most mothers should be active during pregnancy. Regular exercise helps you control your weight, increase your circulation, improve your mood, and help you sleep better. Plus, having an exercise habit will help you build a good example for your child after childbirth. Pilates, yoga, swimming and walking are excellent activities for all pregnant women, but consult your doctor before starting any exercise program. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise on some days of the week. Listen to your body and do not overdo it.

CHANGE YOUR DOMESTIC RESPONSIBILITIES

Everyday tasks such as cleaning the bathroom or cleaning pets may be risky when you are pregnant. Exposure to toxic chemicals, lifting heavy objects, or things contacting bacteria may harm you and your baby.

Do not lift it heavy things.

Do not use hard chemicals in house cleaning. You can try organic cleaners instead.

Do not stand for too long.

Do not say goodbye to your pet friend but pay attention to some key points.

Possible diseases transmitted by pets are dangerous according to how much close contact you have with them. Animals have a microorganism called pasteurella in their mouths. It is a foreign microorganism for humans that can cause serious diseases. If you already have an open wound, even a deep scratch, or if you are bitten by an animal carrying this microorganism and get wounded, it can easily infect you. For this reason, you must vaccinate your pet friends. It should be noted that most of the diseases are not seen in animals that only eat pet kibble and do not go outdoors.

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