Colors make our life colorful, every color has a mood attached to it, the splash of colors across the wall adds beauty and creativity to the place and above all, bring in elegance and warmth to our abode. Hospitals walls are white, school walls are multi-colored, gyms are given combination colors and restaurants follow a theme! Homes too are painted according to the individual’s taste and preferences-maybe a pattern on one wall with plain colors on other three walls to make the room look different yet smart. We decide upon the age of a building mostly by the look that it wears and this look is based on the painting of the structure. Even a 20-year-old apartment seems to be bright and gay when its repainted! We like to repaint the walls and structure so very often to maintain the newness of the place and keep it in good condition. Most paint their buildings at least once in 5 years while there are some who have never painted it in more than a decade. In Western countries every individual takes responsibility for his/her place and does every task possible-right from gardening to painting their house. They involve kids too in most of these chores and hence, have an attic or a basement where all the stuff related to these chores are stored. Anywhere around the world people do have leftover paint cans, brushes and turpentine to ease out the process when need occurs immediately. But, the chemicals in paints pose a serious threat to our health and there are chances for debilitating effects on our well-being too.
The Smell of Paint
Some feel dizzy while entering a newly painted house, some other cough and a few others’ eyes start to water. There is a pungent smell that fills the room when we enter painted houses and its recommended to stay off the house for a couple of days until the smell diminishes and things return to normalcy. It’s especially true in the case of children who cannot adjust to such conditions many times and are at an increased risk of falling sick. A sick child is the last thing that we wish and the latest research would surely discourage many of us to even think about repainting the house. A study published in a journal shows that women exposed to common paint chemicals at work were likelier to give birth to children with autism spectrum disorder-more the exposure to these chemicals, higher was the risk of the disease despite taking into account many autism-related factors such as smoking history, alcohol consumption levels and the mother’s age at the time of giving birth. We already have older studies that have shown a link between paint chemicals and autism but this present study is not a green signal to confirm that painting chemicals are sure shot classifiers of autism though evidences do point in that direction.
Many oil-based paints contain benzene in ample quantities which is a carcinogenic agent that’s also present in glue, markers, vehicle exhaust and pesticides. Don’t worry! All of us are exposed to vehicle exhausts, use glue to make our beautiful craft activities and kids too use glue for sticking and pasting. This doesn’t mean that all of us are going to be affected by cancer some other day. The dangers are high only when the exposure is for a prolonged time and at higher quantities. At the same time, spending your night inside a locked newly painted house or one that lacks sufficient ventilation is a big threat indeed. So, how about people who work in paint and chemical industries? They are definitely at a higher risk of exposure to benzene-a class of chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Volatile Organic Compounds
VOCs can cause harmful effects on our health such as irritate our eyes, nose and throat, cause breathing difficulty, nausea, cancer and can even cause damage to the central nervous system. Pregnant women exposed to these compounds are at an increased risk of giving birth to low birth weight infants who suffer from learning disabilities owing to such weight changes. These VOCs are found in various things right from air fresheners, cosmetics, furniture and carpets to varnishes, dry-cleaned clothes, office printers, wood burning and gasoline. Avoid using products containing VOCs as much as possible and if you are using them ensure that the product contains tags such as ‘Low VOC content’ and dispose off the product once your job is finished. Never leave them in your garage or basement as this can lead to disastrous side effects. There have been new batches of paints released that state ‘zero VOC’ claims yet these too release chemical gases that are harmful.
Paints are also strong sources of lead whose exposure can once again affect children’s development, retard growth and cause damage to the central nervous system. Its lead that gives paint its color and texture thereby amounting to about 70% of a can of paint. When such paints are used to prepare kids toys and furniture there is a great possibility that the kids chew on these toys taking in small quantities of lead into their body. This can lead to convulsion and even death sometimes in kids. While the recommended lead limits are 90 ppm for household paints its been found that one of the paints manufactured contained unrealistic amounts of lead-as much as 74,200 ppm which is toxic beyond words (https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/health-news/over-73-of-paints-found-to-have-excessive-lead-study/articleshow/61334283.cms).
Paints are harmful and toxic to all of us especially, pregnant women, young kids and older people. We cannot refrain from painting but all we can do is to ensure that the painted place is well-ventilated and airy. Nowadays we have multiple options in the form of zero VOC paints and low-chemical paints and it’s better to make use of them to stay away from harmful side effects.
Paint Stripper Chemical Methylene Chloride Poses Risk of Cancer: https://cen.acs.org/articles/92/web/2014/08/Paint-Stripper-Chemical-Methylene-Chloride.html
Are Paint Fumes a Health Concern? https://time.com/5619823/paint-fumes-harmful-research/
Indeed, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are two of the worst side effects of obesity but there is another side effect that’s been ignored completely and its arthritis. Arthritis remains one of the most common but least understood diseases. In fact, it is not one single disease but an umbrella term used for joint pain/diseases. Obesity has the ability to increase the risk of some forms of arthritis while making all forms of arthritis worse.
The Fatty Connection between Joints
Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis remain the top-most forms of arthritis affecting most of the world’s population.
Osteoarthritis (OA): Physicians advise patients to lose weight before knee pain strikes them. Its not rare that knee pain or joint pain strike overweight people and it seems 100% logical. When we apply more pressure on the joint there is more stress onto it and this makes it wear away faster than expected. Your weight determines how much stress you impose on joints, especially those such as the hips and knees, in common any weight-bearing joint. To make this simple, for every extra kilogram of weight you carry there is about 4 kilograms of pressure forced onto the knees. If you are 10 kilograms overweight then you are exerting 40 kilograms of extra pressure on the knees. This is definitely huge and there is no doubt that your weight-bearing joints are sure to suffer from early damage. This surely makes any obese/overweight person at a maximized risk of osteoarthritis. Moreover, the fat also releases chemicals that promotes inflammation and these chemicals surely promote the development of OA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): In RA, our own immune system attacks our joints causing inflammation anywhere in the body and resulting in joint pain. The chemicals that promote inflammation in OA are the same ones in RA too that affect various joints. RA can affect even those with a normal BMI as it has the ability to alter body composition such that the individual has more of fat and less of muscle. This makes it indispensable for the person to watch his/her diet and exercise plan. Individuals with RA are at a 50% increased risk of mortality due to heart disease and hence, ensuring to keep heart-related risk factors under control exists as the primary aim in RA patients.
A new study shows that obese patients have a greater chance of doubling their disability risk compared to those patients who are overweight. The researchers focused on more than 20,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis and observed that extreme obesity was linked to rapid progression of the disease. Sadly, those who lost weight were at an even greater disadvantage of getting disabled rapidly, all the truer in the case of individuals who are thinner from the start. Individuals start losing weight as they grow old and suffer from illnesses. It makes sense when overweight/obese people lose weight intentionally but when someone loses weight without efforts it’s a sign of concern. Such unintentional weight loss is also an indication that the person is becoming frail and has every chance of catching hold of some new disability. When individuals lose weight unintentionally, it is required to put them onto strength training, physical therapy and other practices for avoiding disability.
Obesity may cause grave consequences in people with rheumatoid arthritis but there is an equal chance that people with immune system disorder can also become obese due to this disease. RA causes pain and disability which makes the patient sedentary leading to weight gain. But there is an equal opportunity that obesity can cause joint damage alongside RA. All these make us come to the conclusion that while healthy body weight is desirable it is ok to target being overweight too, for the time being when the RA patient is suffering from severe obesity problems. While the overwhelming concern about getting into overweight ranges from obese category seems on the cards why don’t you aim for the best with the help of the best dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com who specialize in weight loss diets?
C’mon guys, men have breasts too and it’s not solely a ‘girl’ thing. The only difference is that it is smaller, simpler and cannot produce milk. Men take great pride in their chiseled body and take great care to avoid ‘man boobs’ as commonly called. Those with extra tissue around their breast shy away from many activities including swimming. While breast-related complications are rare in men we cannot deny some of the common breast problems that men face in their lives.
Gynecomastia-benign enlargement of the male breast is hated by men across the world. Adolescent males and those in their middle ages are more prone to this condition that can be treated for sure. How many of you are willing to accept that almost half of the male population will experience breast tissue growth anytime during their lifetime? Almost none because most of you are either shy or embarrassed to bring out the skeleton in the closet. But, bringing such cases to the limelight and seeking solution helps in creating awareness and treat more individuals.
Breast Enlargement: Again, an Overweight Issue?
When breasts have a firm or rubbery mass extending from the nipples (mostly both the nipples) it is defined as gynecomastia and the individual has more prominent breasts. This condition is extremely common during adolescence where around 65-70% of boys between the age of 13 and 15 experience breast enlargement (both the breasts are enlarged 75% times). There is no pain or discomfort in most cases but almost 25% men complain of tenderness.
Gynecomastia is mostly due to hormone imbalance or low testosterone levels, certain medical conditions or excess body fat.
Obesity: Ahaa! Overweight can have effects even on the male breast region. Now, maybe there is a reason for men to exercise vigorously and avoid such embarrassment. Excess weight can increase estrogen levels in the body (male hormones are converted into estrogen) and induce growth of breast tissue or sometimes, your overweight can cause the breast tissue to enlarge as well. While losing weight solves the problem in some people not all reap success.
Liver disease and certain medications are said to contribute towards almost 25% of cases of breast enlargement.
Liver disease: Liver helps in breaking down estrogen and any disorder in the liver (such as liver cirrhosis) increases estrogen levels and causes breast enlargement. The enlarged breasts attain normalcy only when the disorder is corrected.
Medication: Certain drugs are responsible for breast enlargement. Very high doses of male hormone too contribute as the body converts certain amount of testosterone into estrogen.
Other less common causes include:
Gynecomastia is common during puberty but goes away on its own in a while, its common in older adults too due to decreased production of testosterone but cannot be categorized as a medical problem. But if there is pain or tenderness in the enlarged area it is better to consult your physician who examines and rules out concerns of malignancies or other hormonal disorders. If the enlargement is due to excess fat weight loss is the best option for reducing this enlargement. Choose a weight loss program depending on your requirement with the help of expert dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com. Though the doctor rules out any complications yet the enlargement continues for more than 12 months it is recommended that you go for surgical removal of the excess breast tissue. But if the individual is unbothered about his physical beauty surgery becomes unnecessary in this regard. So, hope this article takes off every man’s and boy’s worry about his enlarged breasts and help them move forward in life.
Introduced into the world by their moms, infants feel secure and safe resting in their mother’s lap suckling the breast milk and going to sleep. While we serious can’t know what these babies think after being inside their mother’s womb for more than nine months, we do know one thing- Nothing can beat the warmth of a mother’s touch. But with rising infertility rates and other problems the number of surrogate mothers is also on the rise. Does this mean that the infant born through surrogate pregnancy is deprived of the advantages of breast feeding some of which include improved immunity, better cognitive skills and protection against infections? Beyond all these advantages the infant also is at a risk of missing out on close skin and eye contact with its mother-the basis for a strong and undeterred mother-child relationship. But now all this agony and misery is put to an end with induced lactation.
Lactation: A Different Ball Game Indeed
The woman’s body undergoes different hormonal changes during pregnancy to prepare itself for delivery. Breast feeding too is linked hormonally and the breast is prepared by estrogen and progesterone for lactation soon after pregnancy. Induced lactation is the process by which a non-puerperal woman is stimulated to lactate. The non-puerperal woman in discussion here might be a mother who had chosen surrogacy for her child’s birth, women who have a same-sex relationship or those who have adopted new-born babies too. This concept was initially introduced to nourish infants whose mothers had died after delivery or were unable to breastfeed.
Generally, breastmilk production is initiated in this process-estrogen and progesterone stimulate proliferation of the alveolar and ductal systems all through pregnancy increasing prolactin production. Soon after delivery, estrogen and progesterone levels fall and prolactin initiates milk production. Induced lactation works by replicating the same process in the interested woman. Starting induced breastfeeding depends on how much time the woman has before the actual process starts. If the entire process is planned and the mother knows that she needs induced breastfeeding then there are months to go before the arrival of the baby. In this time the physician might suggest hormone therapy in the form of supplemental estrogen and progesterone to recreate the same process that would happen in a pregnant lady. Just two months before the baby’s arrival hormone therapy is stopped and the lady is requested to express breast milk as this helps in the production of prolactin. Start slowly maybe for five minutes thrice a day and increase the duration and the frequency gradually summing to pumping for 15-20 minutes every three hours or so. But hormone therapy works only when there is sufficient time before the baby’s arrival. Else the physician suggests medications to induce lactation. Whatever might be the method of lactation pumping milk remains essential as this helps in maintaining continuous milk supply.
Expressing milk is the best way to induce more milk production. Starting the process at least two months in prior to the baby’s arrival is recommended. Generally, the baby feeds at least for 7-10 times daily and if you plan to satisfy your baby’s needs solely relying on breast milk you need to work hard towards it-expressing milk as often as possible (https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2019/jun/24/induced-lactation-why-a-woman-doesnt-need-to-bear-a-child-in-order-to-breastfeed-it). And I would like to remind you that every effort taken is worth and you would surely bring on a smile onto your face when you feel your little one’s body wrapped closely to your chest, his/her skin warmly against yours tucking your fingers and sucking your nipples deep in slumber. These occasions and memories are irreversible, to be enjoyed at the spur of the moment and relished forever in life.
Transgender Woman Breast-feeds Baby After Hospital Induces Lactation: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/health/transgender-woman-breast-feed.html
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.