5 Magic Numbers Every Dieter Needs to Know

Does this sound familiar? You’ve been watching yourself all week (avoiding junk, skipping seconds) and still, your weight is exactly the same as it was a week ago-or worse, even inched up a pound or two. It’s hard to remember that weight loss is a long-term process, you’ve got to stay patient. But I’ve learned that focusing on just your weight can sabotage your motivation. So instead here are five other numbers to think about. Keep track of these and your overall health (as well as your weight) ought to improve.

1. Waist circumference

By now, you’ve probably heard enough experts blast BMI (body mass index, or a ratio of your weight to your height), saying it’s not a good measure of body fat and health. Instead, you should know how many inches your waist measures. That’s because the fat that accumulates around your middle is linked to a host of health problems, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even death. One 2010 study examined more than 100,000 Americans age 50 and older and found that people with the biggest waist size had about twice the risk of dying as the slimmest.

Numbers to know: Aim for less than 35 inches for women and 40 for men.

2. Daily calorie requirement

Our health books editor loves to point out the one thing most successful weight-loss programs have in common: They cut calories. Why? Chances are you consume way more than you realize or need.

Number to know: Most not-too-active middle aged women should consume around 1,600 calories a day to lose weight; men should consume 2,000 to 2,200. Try Mayo Clinic’s calorie calculator tool for a personalized guesstimate that takes age, activity levels, and other factors into account.

3. Daily fiber intake

You probably scan food labels for calorie and fat content. But if I asked you how much fiber you’re eating each day, I bet you wouldn’t know (and it’s probably half of what you should get). The big deal about fiber and weight loss is that it takes your body a long time to digest it compared to other nutrients. This tamps down hunger cravings and prevents blood sugar spikes. You know how can feel voracious an hour after eating a jumbo plain bagel? That’s probably because your meal had no fiber.

Number to know: Many experts recommend 25 to 35 grams a day (a medium apple and a cup of oatmeal each have four, for example); some would love to see us eating even more. Most adults get about 15 grams a day. If you’re pretty low on the fiber intake, add it slowly to avoid feeling bloated.

4. How much you sleep

Sleep helps the body regulate complex hormonal processes that affect our appetite, cravings, and weight. There’s now ample research that shows people who get less sleep are more likely to be overweight and munch on junk food than those who get more. Skimping on sleep may sabotage your diet as much as the Snickers calling your name from the office candy bowl.

Number to know: If you’re consistently getting six hours or less, your sleep habits may be tampering with your weight-loss goals. Most adults need seven to eight hours a night. A good clue you’re getting enough: not needing an alarm clock to wake up.

5. How many steps you take each day

More and more research shows it’s not the hour we spend sweating it out in the gym that counts, but all the incremental activity that adds up over the course of the day from things like taking the stairs, walking over to a colleague’s desk instead of emailing, or standing and pacing while you chat on the phone. Sitting down is bad for your body and your metabolism-our hunter-gatherer ancestors were constantly on the move, and so we’ve evolved not to sit still for hours on end.

Leukemia Through Cord Blood Treatment

We all seem to be aware of the deadly effects of leukemia, especially in infants. The prevalence of the disease interferes with every sphere of our daily lives and activities. A combination of chemotherapy and stem cell transplant can find us relief though; they expose us to minor to severe side effects, including graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD), coupled with some complaints of toxicities as well. However, a recent research from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center had confirmed that treatment with umbilical cord blood transplant offers a better survival outcome, without any need of a traditional donor match. So, all the leukemia patients need not to queue in the line for years to find a matched donor for their stem cell transplants.

Nor does the umbilical cord blood treatment offer better curative possibilities for patients with leukemia; it alleviates the chronic conditions associated with Myelodysplastic syndrome and other bone marrow disorders as well.

How Cord Blood Treatment Raises Hopes for Us Suffering from Leukemia

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center highlighted the benefits of cord blood treatments. And it is established that in patients with “minimal residual disorder” could not benefit from the transplant as the chemotherapy does not put cancer cells into remission, while patients with detectable cancer could remain alive for three years after the transplant.

The research focused on the successful treatment options of the cord blood therapy, which improved the conditions of patients with detectable cancer cells, with less traces of relapse complexities.

Conversely, patients with minimal residual disorder who underwent the transplant using adult and unmatched donor cells faced very poor outcomes.

For bone marrow cell transplant, patients with matching donor can receive a higher chance of transplant. At the same time, transplants with mismatched donor cells could be effective, but they do not occur more often. However, the cord blood transplant does not advocate for a matched donor for the successful treatment or transplant.

Hence, you are more likely to receive a range of great advantages from a cord blood transplant as opposed to bone marrow stem cells.

Every one of us has a greater access to the cord blood donors. And that’s the reason why cord blood transplant can be made available to more populations as compared to the adult or allogeneic stem cells.

Adult stem cells work in sync with Human Leukocyte Antigen or HLA genes in our body to confirm the likelihood of acceptance or rejection of donor stem cells. Since, umbilical cord blood cells are not as developed or matured as adult stem cells, they do not require following the unique genetic background rules to match HLA. And hence, the doctors and clinicians can collect stem cells quicker and can initiate the treatment faster than stem cell therapies.

The transplant using stem cells is less likely to be dependent on the matched donor, while the mismatched donor is accepted and effective for the curative treatment of this deadly disease.

And hence, an easier accessibility and availability ensures that none of us will remain deprived of the better cancer treatment options, and receive a successful transplant every time.

So, the effective treatment possibilities with stem cells cannot be regarded as an alternative donor. In another way, if you have chances of developing the relapse risks, cord blood transplant is the safest and best choice for you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9904823

Dislocations – When There Is No Doctor

The bones that form a joint are normally congruous and in apposition to each other. When this relationship is altered due to injury, it leads to a separation of these bones, called a dislocation.

What you shouldn’t do is as important as what you should when someone has suffered a dislocation. Let’s discuss how to recognize when bones have gone astray, and the correct way to handle such an emergency.

A fracture is often mistaken for a dislocation especially if it occurs near a joint, such as the upper end of the thighbone (femur) which is near the hip joint, or the upper end of the arm bone (humerus) which is near the shoulder joint. What distinguishes the two is that a fracture is a break in the continuity of any one bone.

The elderly are more susceptible to dislocations because, with age, the muscles and ligaments that form the support system around the joints lose their tone, weakening their hold over the joints.

Other susceptible groups, especially for shoulder dislocation, are those involved in active sports like gymnastics and cricket (bowling and fielding).

SHOULDER DISLOCATION

This is the commonest site of dislocation because the socket of the shoulder joint is shallow compared to the other ball-and-socket joint – the hip, which is deeper and hence more stable. The cause is usually an injury, typically when, during a fall, the person lands on his outstretched hand (thus throwing his entire body weight on it) and the rest of his body is thrown backwards.

Symptoms:

  • When the two shoulders are compared, the affected one will appear flatter (the normal shoulder has a rounded outline) because the ball has shifted out its place.
  • There will be pain and swelling around the area, and the person will be unable to move the affected arm.

First Aid:

DO NOT

  • attempt to click the joint into place, especially if you are not trained in this, and the dislocation has occurred for the first time. In fact, do not even move the arm; let the person hold it in the position he finds most comfortable.
  • give anything by way of mouth, including a pain-killer (even if the person is yelling for it), in case anaesthesia is to be later administered at the hospital.

WHAT TO DO:

Your priority should be to transport the person to a hospital urgently. Sometimes if the circumflex nerve at the shoulder joint is injured, it could lead to paralysis of the deltoid muscles (of the shoulder), leading to an inability to raise the arm.

If time permits (while transport is being arranged) the affected hand could be supported by a cuff-and-collar sling, i.e. a bandage gauze going around the neck and the wrist, or by a triangular sling.

(At the hospital after an x-ray is taken, the bone will be set into position, very often under general anaesthesia.)

Recurrent dislocations of the shoulder, in which the shoulder keeps getting dislocated as a result of trivial injury or even an action which involves raising the arm above the shoulder are common. The reason is a tear in the tissue surrounding the joint which becomes a weak area through which the bone comes out easily.

As the frequency of such dislocations increases, the pain reduces to the point, where the person learns to click hi shoulder back into place without much ado.

HIP DISLOCATIONS

The hip joint has a deeper socket compared to the shoulder joint and has the body’s strongest ligaments surrounding it, which is why it is inherently a very stable joint. But it may dislocate as a result of a high-velocity vehicular accident. If a person sits in the front seat of a vehicle with his legs crossed at the knee, when the dashboard hits against the knee, the force is transmitted from the knee along the thighbone to the hip joint which usually dislocates the hip joint.

Symptoms:

  • Severe pain in the area; the person will not be able to stand on the affected leg.
  • The leg will appear flexed (bent) at the knee and hip.
  • The limb may also appear shortened.

First Aid:

DO NOT:

  • attempt to click the joint into place or to move the leg in any way.
  • give the person anything to eat or drink in case he is required to be given anaesthesia later.

WHAT TO DO:

Immediately arrange to transport the person, lying on his back and preferably in an ambulance. If treatment is delayed and the surrounding blood vessels are disrupted, the blood supply to the ball of the hip joint may be permanently cut off, leading to early wear-and-tear of the hip joint and arthritis of the hip. If the dislocation is associated with an injury to the sciatic nerve which is in close proximity to the hip it could lead to a paralysis of the foot muscles or a foot-drop. (At the hospital, under general anaesthesia, the hip will be manipulated into position or surgery may be required.)

Usually a hip dislocation is non-recurrent except in the case of an associated fracture of the socket. (In this case, to prevent re-dislocation, the fractured socket has to be reconstructed by surgery.)

SPINAL DISLOCATIONS

As a result of injury, the spine could dislocate either at the cervix (back of the neck) or in the dorso-lumbar area (the junction of the middle and lower back). It may or may not be associated with neurological deficit (paralysis).

Symptoms:

  • Severe pain in the area.
  • If there is paralysis, there may be reduced sensation or a lack of sensation below the point of injury.
  • If the body is paralysed below the level of injury there will be a loss of bladder and bowel movement.

First Aid:

DO NOT

  • delay transportation in any way.
  • impart any movement to the spine.

WHAT TO DO

As soon as possible, rush the person to the hospital in the position that he is lying, as a change of position could worsen his condition. In the event of paralysis below the point of injury, early treatment plays a crucial role in ultimate recovery.

OTHER DISLOCATIONS

Other superficial dislocations include those of the elbow joint, finger joints and ankle joints.

Symptoms:

Pain, swelling and an inability to move the affected joints.

First Aid:

DO NOT

  • attempt to click the joint into place, however easy it may seem, as an injury to a nearby nerve or blood vessel during the process could bring on long-lasting complications or could produce a fracture of a nearby bone which was not initially present.

WHAT TO DO

The elbow joint may be placed in a triangular sling to provide support to it till the person can be taken to hospital.

In case of an ankle dislocation, the victim should not be made to walk or to exert any pressure on the affected leg. He should be carried to the transport and, later, from the vehicle to the hospital.

Finger joint dislocations may appear minor but they too need the attention of an orthopaedic surgeon who will usually click them into place under local anaesthesia. However, if there are complications involved, surgery may be required.

Scientists Claim First CRISPR Editing of Human Embryos in the USA

With CRISPR technology editing the DNA code of human embryo, can we hold our breath for an absolute eradication of inherited disorders like Thalassemia and similar conditions? The answer is still unclear as there is no such publication about the claims on decoding the DNA with CRISP editing technology. As per the MIT Technology Review, the research team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov at Oregon Health and Science University has been successful in an effort to edit the genes of human embryo using CRISPR editing technology for the first time.

Gene editing has been a controversial practice, but still we had earlier seen three such efforts involving human embryo editing in China.

You can call it genetically modified human embryos or improved embryos sans defective cells with mutations responsible for inherited diseases. Even if DNA editing is controversial, it contributes to the elimination of hereditary illnesses.

Advantages of CRISPR Editing Technology

The genetic manipulation using the CRISPR editing technology in the human embryos seems viable and an effective way to remove defects from the genes, and combat thousands of diseases. The technology uses molecular scissors to influence the performance of the gene sequencing. And as a result, it can eliminate the undesirable components from it. Hence, it paves the way for the replacement of new and improved DNA with the faulty genes.

The claim also raises hopes for families with concerns for the genetic diseases, as it is capable of preventing the further spread of the deadly disorders like malaria in the body.

There is another way for which the finding holds a true and promising possibility for our future generation as well. By editing the gene sequencing in the human embryos, we can expect the “human germline editing”. This means when the editing technology will instill embryos of offspring with new mutated cells, the characteristics and features of the edited DNAs will be carried through offspring after offspring. So, the germline gets fixed permanently in each successive generation and follows a hereditary pattern of a family.

With the new CRISPR editing technology, we have no more editing errors known as “mosaicism” as was the case with earlier Chinese experiments. And the desired improvement technique is thought to be followed not only by some, but all the cells in the embryo.

Contradictory Opinion about The Claims

Some critics argue that we absolutely do not need such technology to detect deformities in human embryos and correct them with CRISPR editing technology. That’s because the efficacy of the technology is deemed unfit as it is unable to perform as expected if two copies of defective genes are present in the embryos.

On the other hand, we already have preimplantation diagnosis technology or OPD to detect disease causing cells in the embryos. And by using this technique, the faulty genes can be replaced through in vitro fertilization.

Disadvantages

The techniques seem to violate the rule of natures as it advocates for the creation of the designer babies. Rather than editing the disease causing genes, the technique is more likely to foster the enhancement techniques, meaning future parents would seek editing techniques to remove imperfections in their children. And we fear that this approach would lead to a genetic discrimination.

However, if the claims are true, we can free ourselves from a range of diseases, including anemia, Huntington’s disease and other genetic diseases through gene modifications. So, let’s keep our fingers crossed for a true future possibility.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9913130

Banking a Baby’s Cord Blood May Save Their Life – Is It Worth It?

Amidst all the other do’s and don’ts, expecting parents have yet another decision to ponder on! That of cord blood banking. Keeping in mind the innumerable success stories that are circling round the globe, of how sibling’s cord blood stem cell has saved her elder or younger sister’s life to miraculous recovery within the family, stem cell banking is akin to opting in for a biological insurance. And on the other end of the spectrum is the reality that the process is an expensive one. So, when caught between the perils of high price and the possibility of cure (should any adverse disease were to occur), expecting parents often gets befuddled and unable to decide, if cord blood banking is worth it.

Let’s start by counting the benefits

The blood in the placenta and the umbilical cord, which is approximately 100 millimetres in average, is a vital source rich in blood-forming stem cells, that has proved helpful in the treatment of several life-threatening ailments that includes names like Type 1 and 2 diabetes, immunological disorders, lymphoma, leukaemia, severe brain and spinal cord injuries, chronic cancers and many more. And what has really got the world pause and ponder whether they should say yes to this process, is the recent cures in ailments like Parkinson’s disease, autism and even cerebral palsy.

Stem cell banking and transplant also holds the key to the success of regenerative medicine. This simply indicates making use of stem cells to be able to regenerate tissues and organs, that haven’t been functioning in the optimal way, leading to macular degeneration which in certain chronic situations, also result in a loss of vision. Hence, today, doctors, medical experts and researchers are making use of cord blood stem cells to commission clinical trials in many phases to discover miraculous treatments to diseases and bodily disorders that otherwise is considered to be irreversible.

According to Joanne Kurtzberg, M.D. Pediatric Bone Marrow, Stem Cell Transplant Program, Duke University, the results on cord blood transplant over the past decade has been immensely successful. Patients have been benefiting to a great extent, more so because of the advancement in the world of medical science as a whole. In addition to that, hospitals are also providing advanced supportive care to patients once the transplant is over.

The other reason to say yes to cord blood banking is that, the sample you allow to store will always be at your access should you ever need it. However, this holds true when you only store your baby’s cord blood in a private bank. There’s a charge that families need to pay when enrolling for this process along with storage fees for the maintenance of the cord blood sample.

Therefore, whether you are opting in cord blood banking, wither private or public, you are actually saying yes to regenerative medicine and revolutionary cures. Private banking enables you to use it for personal requirement. And public banking extends it to the one who requires. Either ways, it’s a meaning gesture. So public or private, cord blood banking is worth it.

How to Use the I Ching – Basic Three Coin Method

To use the I Ching, all you need is a copy of the I Ching and three coins that have a heads and a tails side. You will also need a scrap of paper and a writing utensil. Start by holding the coins in your hand, and think of a question you would like answered. When you have a clear idea of the question you would like to ask, throw the coins. Take a look at the results. Each head is worth 3 and each tails is worth 2. So add up the value. For example, suppose you throw the coins and the coins fall as two heads and one tail. That means the total would be 8. 3 + 3 + 2 = 8. So for the first line, you would record an 8. Repeat this process five more times, writing the numerical values in a vertical sequence from bottom to top. Once you have these 6 numerical values, you are ready to begin building your hexagram.

To build a hexagram, you’re going to simply write a broken line for each even value, and a solid line for each odd value. Once you have 6 lines, you have made a hexagram. When your hexagram is formed, you must now look it up in your copy of the I Ching. Usually on the very last page of your I Ching there will be a chart that makes looking up the hexagram easy. When you find your hexagram, read the chapter of the I Ching that corresponds to the hexagram.

Take a look at your hexagram. Do you have any sixes or nines? If so you will need to read the text under the line that is either six or nine. Usually this will be written in your I Ching as first line, second line, etc., or in some cases it will be described as first six, second nine, and so on. These are known as the changing lines. The text that is in this section pertains specifically to you and your question. Now you will make a second hexagram.

For the second hexagram you will need to change all of the lines with a six to nine, and all the lines with a nine to a six. Leave the rest of the lines the same. Then look up the resulting hexagram in the same way you did the first time, including the six and nine lines. Finally, after you have done all this, you will then ‘check your work’ using the rtcm (retrospective three coin method). This is a method that I learned about by reading a book by Carol Anthony, who is a leading writer on the subject of the I Ching. To use this method, simply form a theory about what you think the I Ching is trying to tell you. When you have a theory, hold it in your mind and toss the coins. If you get three heads, it means yes. Three tails is no. Two heads is yes, but… and two tails is no, but… keep doing this until you get a clear idea of what the I Ching is telling you. When you ask it if a particular interpretation of the reading is correct, toss the coins, and they are all three heads up, you will know that you have hit on a correct interpretation.

The Changing Face of Healthcare

Several significant forces in the last several years have been changing the way healthcare has and will continue to be delivered. The emergence of more unique ways to deliver care such as clinics incorporated into businesses and factories, the increased use of mid-level providers (nurse practitioners & physician assistants), the increase integration of technologies such as telemedicine and robotics and the shift from interventional reimbursement to outcomes reimbursement are just a few examples.

Compounding these are the ever-increasing costs of healthcare, the strain of funding Medicare on the U.S. economy, and the complications of insurance and healthcare payments under the affordable care act, ACA.

This has led to changes in how businesses intend to interface with the healthcare system going forward. CVS’s acquisition of Aetna will try to leverage healthcare delivery through their pharmacy structure. United Healthcare’s acquisition of DaVita hopes to leverage cost containment and resource control by directly controlling physicians. And the recently announced collaboration among Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and J.P. Morgan Chase presents a yet unknown structure whose stated goals is improved quality and less cost. How they will implement their strategy is yet to emerge.

The decline in hospital admission over the last several decades has further led to restructuring by hospital corporations such as Tenet. Premise Health has emerged as a company placing physicians and other healthcare providers directly in corporate/business offices.

The big question then with these new ventures are how do organizations know what works financially and how do they track performance… In other words, how do you track, measure and value the relationships between cost and outcomes?

How can the analyst measure which methods(s) may generate better or best outcomes?

A simple return on investment, ROI, calculation will not provide needed nor valid insights. However, the use of cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) would provide quite useful, valid and actionable information. CEA uses decision tree models to compare not only cost outcomes but effectiveness outcomes of various treatments on patient health and even on future healthcare usage based on various current actions. It can further be used to determine how effective a set amount of money spent on a particular treatment or method will impact outcomes (i.e. willingness to pay calculation). CEA models are flexible and can incorporate a wide variety of scenarios. As opposed to Big Data, CEA makes use of Broad Data so that comparisons of treatment modalities can be evaluated using real life outcomes. It can compare effects on a discrete problem such as a cancer tumor, or on chronic ongoing diseases such as COPD or CHF.

As the delivery of effective yet profitable, or at least cost effective, healthcare becomes more challenging, methods for evaluating treatments and programs become more necessary if not essential. Methods must be implemented to evaluate these new treatments and programs once they are in place so adjustments can be made. CEA enable organizations to both initially evaluate and subsequently monitor new methods and programs in a meaningful way.