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Archive for August, 2009

The Not-So-Obvious Facts About Alzheimer’s Disease
Everyone knows Alzheimer’s affects memory, but what exactly happens in the brain? What should I expect? Am I at risk?
http://www.associatedcontent.comarticle/2102887/the_notsoobvious_facts_about_alzheimers.html

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Memory Loss Contributors
Would you like to improve your memory? There are many ways to increase your memorization skills, but before you buy those games or supplements, ask yourself why you forget in the first place.
http://www.associatedcontent.comarticle/1869993/memory_loss_contributors.html

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Gluten Free Aisle
Image by Whatsername? via Flickr

I first heard the phrase “gluten allergies” when my daughter’s boyfriend mentioned that his mother suffers from this condition. I was glad when I had an opportunity to research the topic. I never dreamed that there could be a more potentially harmful condition associated with a little tummy ache or some indigestion; nor would I have ever made a connection between my feeling tired with a gastrointestinal condition. I would have thought I just needed to go to bed earlier. An even worse scenario is that I may have no symptoms at all until the damage is done! That’s the scariest part. 

I have always known that my digestive system was somewhat sensitive. I usually have some sort of abnormality going on in my tummy and it’s been going on like that for as long as I can remember. There was always the question in my mind whether it was because at 3 or 4 years old I laid down in front of my two sisters who were doubling on the bicycle and they just ran right over me–right across my stomach. But then, that doesn’t account for the plethora of familial gastrointestinal issues going on around me, which is a more likely cause.

The idea of getting tested for gluten intolerance or Celiac Disease, which is what gluten intolerance can develop into, wouldn’t be so bad–in the past I’ve changed my diet and have been able to stick with it–but at this point and at my age, I’m not so sure the doctor wouldn’t want to thread an endoscope down my throat and into my small intestine to check if the villi have been damaged and aren’t absorbing nutrients as they should. Needless to say, I am not very enamored with the idea.

So now, I’m thinking I could just test out my diet by going on a gluten-free plan and see what happens with that. If I feel better, perhaps I nailed it. If I don’t, I guess I’m back where I started. Either way, I am glad that I’ve learned about gluten sensitivity and possibly found a cause of what’s been going on with me all my life. At least now I can see a possible light at the end of the tunnel.

Gluten Sensitivity: An Uncommonly Known Condition with Common Symptoms
Understanding how gluten, the main ingredient in our favorite pastas, pastries and breads, can affect us, knowing what to look for and what to do about it, might help us feel better.
http://www.associatedcontent.comarticle/2035307/gluten_sensitivity_an_uncommonly_known.html

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pregnant silhouette
Image by mahalie via Flickr

I recently wrote a short article focusing on the need for iron and calcium that young teens need when they are pregnant. The thought came to me while I was researching about pregnancy nutrition–“If a young teenage girl is still growing and developing herself, what does that do to her nutritional needs when she becomes pregnant?” What I found was that most of her needs stayed the same (RDA wise), except for one area–iron. It was very interesting to see just how the need for iron, in a girl as young as 14 years old,  jumps to equal that of a fully developed pregnant woman!  This goes to show how important iron is needed for mother and baby.

But that’s not to take away from the importance of other essential vitamins and minerals. Pregnancy can do a number on the nutritional condition of women at any age and a healthy diet will not only help her maintain good health during pregnancy, but will also help her to recover much more quickly after giving birth. This is especially important for girls who are still growing and developing themselves.

While we’re on the issue of teen pregnancy, my husband and I have discussed the issue of whether or not we would encourage our daughter to keep the baby or give it up for adoption (abortion is completely out of the relm of discussion in our view) and we are somewhat divided. If she is not in a situation to give the baby a good healthy life, both physically and emotionally, his view is to encourage her to give the baby away for adoption. I disagree. I feel it would then fall on us as a minor’s parents to be responsible for raising the child until the mother is in a position to take over what was her responsibility in the first place. Plus, I do know my views are based on selfish needs as well, because I can not imagine having a grandchild who I do not know or have a relationship with. That knowledge would just eat away at me. I would never get over it. I wonder what views other parents hold on this topic, so please feel free to respond.

On another personal note, teen pregnancy is an issue that I, as a mother, feel very concerned with. So far, we have three kids who are out of high school and the two oldest, who are now parents, did wait until they were out of high school before becoming parents. YAY! Three down, three to go! I never actively worried about it on any ongoing basis, (as I do other things) but every once in a while I would think about it and even though we have good kids, I’m not naive enough to think that they could not make a mistake that would put them in this situation. I think we may have put enough fear of God, no parents, into them so that they will consider their actions before making a mistake. But high school won’t be over for another 9 months (ironically enough) for the next two so, we continue to hold our breath, but only slightly.

Teen Pregnancy: Dietary Needs for Developing Mom and Baby
Teen expectant mothers should know the importance of daily iron and calcium requirements.
http://www.associatedcontent.comarticle/2081279/teen_pregnancy_dietary_needs_for_developing.html

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This is a brand new blog I’m creating. I wanted a place where I can share some interesting facts about the human body, health-related topics, including diet and nutrition and post some of the articles I’ve written and also hear what’s on your mind about those same topics. So, let’s get started and see what we can learn from each other!~

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