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Babies health

CRADLE CAP

Image result for pics of cradle capCradle cap, also known as infantile Seborrheic Dermatitis is an inflammatory condition characterized by whitish or yellowish crusty patch on an infants scalp (anterior fontanelle), eyebrows, eyelids and/or ears. Mostly cradle cap is not dangerous to the baby neither does it itch.

It occurs from birth to 8 months of life. In the advanced ages cradle cap is referred to as dandruff. Many believe that it is a fungal infection even though it is not scientifically proven. The scientific explanation for the formation of the cradle cap is the infant’s sebaceous glands overact due to the mother’s hormones produced in pregnancy. The overacting sebaceous glands produce sebum which prevents the skin’s cells from drying and falling off. As a result the old cells attach to the infant’s scalp.

Caution should be taken if the cradle cap becomes severely itchy, turns red and/or spreads.

Cradle cap disappears on its own but some caregivers are so eager to get rid of it. Here are some easy home remedies:

  • Wash the affected area with baby shampoo repeatedly and then gently comb the hair around the area to remove the flakes.
  • Apply oil (olive, almond or coconut oil) on the babies scalp, leave it for sometime (mostly 15 minutes) then comb the baby’s hair to remove the flakes. Wash gently with baby’s shampoo after this procedure.
  • Mix water with a spoon or two of baking powder to form a paste then apply it on the baby’s scalp leaving it for a minute. Rinse the paste off and make sure no trace of baking soda is left on the scalp. Baking soda is safe for the skin and it is an anti fungal and antibacterial.
  • A mother’s breast milk helps get rid of cradle cap. Apply the breast milk overnight then comb the flakes off in the morning. Rinse with the babies shampoo.
  • Massage the baby’s scalp with petroleum jelly preferably Vaseline. Rinse with warm water then gently scrub off the flakes. Rinse once more with warm water.
  • Gently scrub daily to get an effective result. Massage the scalp with oil or petroleum jelly after every scrub.

Take precaution when getting rid of the cradle cap so as not to harm the baby’s scalp especially on the fontanelles.

rheumatoid arthritis and health, Uncategorized

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

Rheumatoid arthritis is the inflammation of joints. The chronic condition mostly affects fingures, toes, knees and ankle joints. If untreated eyes, skin, heart, blood vessels, salivary glads, kidneys and lungs will be damaged.

Its occurrence is because of the immune system attacking the body tissues. The lining of joints is damaged and the affected area has a painful swell, becomes red and it feels warm. This is inflammation. Small joints are affected in mild arthritis and big joints in severe rheumatoid arthritis.

Here are some signs that can tell you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis:

  1. Warm, red  and swollen  joints.Stiffness of the joints. It is especially painful in the morning.
  2. Catching a fever.
  3. Feeling tired (fatigue).

Rheumatoid Arthritis risk factors:

  • Women are the most affected because of their hormonal imbalances. They are at a high risk of getting affected when they take contraceptives.
  • The condition is generic so you are at a high risk of getting the disease if your family members have the disease.
  • The elderly are at the risk of suffering from the disease as compared to young people.
  • Tobacco smoking increases the severity of the disease especially for those who acquire it genetically.
  • Overweight and obesity.

Treatment:

  • Take NSAIDS to reduce or stop inflammation. Aspirin is the best NSAID for rheumatoid arthritis but a physician has to prescribe it.
  • Dieting to shed off the excess weight.
  • Exercising to shed off weight.
  • Avoid tobacco at all cost.
HEALTH AND NUTRITION

DIABETES AND NUTRITION

Diabetes better known as diabetes mellitus is condition in which the body is not able to produce insulin or utilize the insulin produced. Insulin is produced in the pancreas’ beta cells of islet of Langerhans.

There are two major types of diabetes mellitus, DM type 1 and type 2. DM  type 1 is insulin dependent and it mostly begins at childhood. Pancreas cannot produce insulin or it produces less insulin. The affected people have to inject insulin through their skin into the adipose tissues. In DM type 2 the body’s cells does not utilize stored glucose. As a result blood sugar levels go up. Type 2 diabetes may be genetics or caused by obesity and the kind of food people consume.

Diabetes and nutrition is better explained in DM type 2. Obesity is a risk factor. Energy storage is in excess for an obese person as compared to a person with a normal BMI. The excess energy is converted into glucose resulting to a high blood sugar because the cells might not be able to utilize the excess glucose. Such a person should work towards changing their lifestyle. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins, in this case, should be consumed in moderation. High fiber, legumes, low fat milk and whole grains are the best carbohydrates for diabetic patients. They take long to get digested regulating blood sugar unlike other carbohydrates that are digested faster leading to a quick rise in blood sugar levels. Empty carbohydrates such as sweets, biscuits and sodas should be avoided at all cost because they only contain  refined sugars which contributed to higher levels of sugars in the blood.The patients are advised to take unsaturated fats. Fat should constitute only 35% of their meals. If possible, the patients should avoid using fat to prepare every meal. An example is boiling cabbages and kales instead of buttering them. Proteins should contain low to no fat, for example, lean meat. The diabetic patients are advised to take protein 2 to 3 times a week and should constitute 15% of the meal. Here is a guide of the best food for diabetic people to take.

The overweight and obese patients are supposed to exercise to burn the excess fat.  The exercises run for 30 minutes 3 to 4 times a week. You will find Here guides to exercising at home or the gym.

 

 

fitness and health, Uncategorized

PHYSICAL FITNESS

Working out is not an activity done by many. A number of people view it as a tedious, time wasting activity. Dieting is an alternative but may not be the answer to a fit body and good health.

Why is fitness important? Our bodies need to be tuned to function properly. Some chronic diseases, to be precise, are caused by unfitness. Hypertension which leads to stroke and kidney failure can be controlled by working out. You lower or relieve yourself from stress when you work out. Ulcers and hypertension caused by stress can be cured through exercising. Your brain and the entire body’s functionality improves through the same. Excess fat is burnt out. The fat that form clots in arteries and veins causing high blood pressure and stroke. The fat that leads to diabetes type 2. Heart attack occurs mostly due to excess fat in the body that partially or completely form clots in the arteries that carry blood to and from the heart.

You do not need to be a fitness freak, you do not have to spend more hours exercising and exercising is not always boring. When starting out try some easy exercises such as jogging and some few sit-ups. Turn on the music or form a workout group to avoid been bored during workouts. Start out with a 10 minutes workout and progress as your body adapts.

These exercises and fitness aerobics icons by Graphixmania will help you through your fitness routine in the gym or at home.

 

 

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FOOD SPOILAGE AND POISONING 

FOOD SPOILAGE
Creatures such as mice, rats, insects and microorganisms (bacteria, virus, yeast and moulds) cause food spoilage. Enzymes, also, cause food spoilage.
The metabolism of bacteria mostly take place in foods that have organic nitrogen. Examples of these foods include protein foods (Milk, meat, eggs, beans and peas are some of the examples).
Moisture has to be present for the biological mechanism to take place. In cases of frozen, dry, sugary or salty food, metabolism will not take place. Sugar and salt have higher concentration than the bacterial cytoplasm. This may lead to osmosis on the bacterial cytoplasm leading to the bacteria becoming dehydrated.
*freezing, adding salt and sugar and drying are forms of preserving food. The freezing and drying methods are, however, reversible once moisture is available for the bacteria. The reason behind this is the spores of some bacteria remain dormant under conditions of dehydration.
Bacteria do survive under a wide range of temperature. They are divided into three groups depending on their optimum temperature:
• Psychrophilic bacteria: they cause damage to refrigerated food because they survive and grow at a temperature of below 20° C.
• Mesophilic bacteria: they grow at a temperature of 37° C. Affects food such as milk and meat.
• Thermophilic bacteria: they grow in temperature up to 60°C. They cause little spoilage to food.
A temperature below the range of a group will slow down the rate of metabolism of a bacteria but will not destroy it.
A temperature above the range of a group will kill/destroy the bacteria. An example, the vegetative bacteria are killed are killed by temperature above 100° C.
Some bacteria are either:
• Aerobic in that they need oxygen to metabolise.
• Anaerobic in that they do not need oxygen to metabolize.
Enzymes control the metabolic activities of bacteria and they function at a certain pH and food poisoning need a pH of 7.
FOOD POISONING
This includes the presence of poisonous chemicals or bacteria.
Poisonous chemicals include additives in food, weed killers, pesticides and heavy metals such as mercury and lead.
These foods contain natural toxins and can be dangerous if consumed in large amounts:
1. Onions
They contain anaemia producing ingredient which if taken in large amounts sometimes cause ill effects.
2. Potato
Potatoes which have turned green contain solanine which is dangerous if taken in large amounts.
3. Rhubarb
It has oxalic acid throughout the plant. If stems are eaten they have no effect but its leaves are dangerous because they have higher concentrations of the acid.
4. Cassava
It contains concentrations of cyanides and it can be poisonous when eaten raw. It can still be poisonous when processed if it contains II ppm.
5. Cabbage and cauliflower
They contain goitre producing compounds.

Moulds (mycotoxins) and fungi contaminate some foods.
A fungal disease in in rye, Ergot, produce a powerful toxic chemical in grains. Ergotism develops when the toxic is taken frequently.
A group of toxins produced by mould, Aflatoxins, cause illness in animals fed on imported food stuffs.
• Not all bacteria are bad. Bacteria in yoghurt and cheese are useful to the body.
• Bacterial infections can be prevented by good food hygiene.
SALMONELLAE
• It causes food poisoning when ingested in large numbers by a healthy adult and in much lesser number when ingested by infants, children and the sick.
• Symptoms which include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, headaches, faintness and chills appear 12 to 36 hours of eating and may last for 2 to 3 days.
• Main sources are human and animal faeces, duck eggs, poultry and fish.
• Cows and pigs, mainly, carry salmonellae in their intestines and there is cross contamination during slaughter and in the kitchen.
• Cold cooked meats, low temperature cooked food and mayonnaise spread salmonellae when eaten. Also in this list is water and milk contaminated by sewage and frozen chicken.
• Salmonellae causes typhoid and it can be destroyed by heating food.
STAPHYLOCOCCI
• Staphylococcus aureus is the most common
• Symptoms which include salivation, nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramp, diarrhoea, prostration and sweating take half an hour to 3 hours to be manifested
after been eaten.
• Sources are the human throat, nose, mouth and nasal passage, human skin that has open wounds and abrasions, boils, clothing and dust.
• Contamination is caused through cold meat, meat sources, gravies, fish and fish products and dairy products.
• Staphylococcus is heat destroyed. The toxins produced are heat resistant and require more heat to destroy. Also, food should be handled properly and wounds be covered.

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CHILD FEEDING FROM 0 TO 12 MONTHS  

 

I am going to be discussing infant and young child feeding and my focus will be on children aged 0 to 12 months.

Child nutrition is important for a proper growth. Undernutrition leads to stunted growth, mortality and eventually morbidity.

There are two phases of breastfeeding involved:

  1. Exclusive breastfeeding which should be carried out at the first 6 months of the infant’s life.
  2. Complementary feeding. This is also known as weaning period. It is when a child is introduced to solid foods. The child is introduced to complementary feeding at the 6th month of life.

 

EXCLUSIVE BREASTFEEDING

An infant should breastfeed within the first 30 minutes to 1 hour of birth to prevent infections and child morbidity. Exclusive breastfeeding should be carried out for the first six months without introducing complementary food. This will minimize cases of food allergy. It will also minimize cases such as asthma and eczema.

HIV infected mothers are also recommended to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months as long as they are on antiretroviral medication. The medication reduces the risk of transmission from mother to child. Mixed feeding before six months can lead to diarrhoea or the child being infected with HIV.

Exclusive breastfeeding benefits both mother and child in such ways:

  1. The breast milk does not have any microorganisms.
  2. There is a strong bonding between the mother and the infant through breastfeeding.
  3. It leads to quick healing of the mother’s birth related wounds.
  4. All the nutrients the infant requires are found in the breast milk.
  5. The milk is of the right temperature.
  6. It is a method of family planning.
  7. It increases the child’s intelligence in later ages.
  8. It reduces the risks of breast cancer for the mother.

 

COMPLEMENTARY FEEDING / WEANING

Complementary food is introduced as a mother continues breastfeeding. It is started at the six months of a child’s age.

At six months, the energy and nutrient needs have already increased hence the need to introduce complementary foods that carter for the extra needed energy and nutrients.

A couple of factors must be considered at this stage:

  • The child’s nutrient needs.
  • Hygiene when handling the food.
  • The food should contain the right texture.
  • Add flavour and colour to the food so that the baby might be interested in feeding (do not add artificial flavour and colouring).
  • The level of the child’s tolerance to the food.

At this stage, poor feeding can lead to malnutrition so the mother should make sure the child gets the required nutrients and the right quantity of food daily.

  • At 6 months the mother should start with pureed food, pureed carrots, potato, pumpkin, fruits such as pawpaw and bananas and as the baby learns how to chew introduce pureed peas, cabbage, spinach or broccoli, mixed starch such as potatoes with vegetables, dairies such as yogurt and bread deepen in soup or milk. Introduce soft porridge.

A mother can also introduce fruits such as oranges and observe the child’s reaction to them.

Kenya Ministry of Health recommends the babies to be fed 2 times at this stage. Feed 2 to 3 spoons at each meal.

  • At 7 to 9 months, introduce mashed and or minced food. Include some lambs so that the child’s GIT system can be used to solid foods. All nutrients should be given.Starch such as rice, potatoes, porridge, Weetabix and oats are given. Boiled water is introduced. Fruit juices made from fruits only with no additives or sugar and it should be diluted (1 part juice to 10 boiled water which is cooled) and fruits such as oranges, bananas and apples are given. A mother can also give meat, dairy products such as yogurt and vegetables such as carrot, spinach and cabbage.      Feed the baby 3 times and give a half of a 250 ml cup per meal.
  • At 10 to 12 months. Introduce minced or chopped food. All the nutrients should be considered when feeding the child.

Feed 3 times a day and introduce a snack. Give ¾ of a 250 ml cup in each meal.

 WHAT NOT TO GIVE

  1. Egg white

It causes allergic reactions to the child.

  1. Large amounts of salt

The baby needs only a pinch of salt since the baby’s kidney is not mature enough to deal with large amounts of sodium.

  1. Nuts and some seeds

They cause choking since the child’s gut is not well developed to handle such rough foods.

  1. Milk

Milk from animals and soy milk contain proteins the child cannot digest. Minerals in these milk can damage the kidney.

  1. Honey

It causes infant botulism. This is because of immature growth of the baby’s intestines.

  1. Vegetables that may be hard to swallow for example traditional vegetables.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FRUITS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY

Fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals.

A pregnant woman needs high amounts of vitamins and minerals because of the extra nutrients need.

Not all fruits, however, are recommended for pregnant women.

These fruits are:

GREEN PAWPAW

The green pawpaw is semi ripe and it contains latex.

This latex causes uterine contraction hence there is miscarriage or early labour for those who are not due to give birth.

Ripe pawpaw has less latex compared to unripe pawpaw, hence, it has no effect on pregnancy. It is actually a good source of vitamin A and C.

PINEAPPLE

Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapples causes spasm of the uterus and softening of the cervix when taken in large amounts. The affected group is the first and second trimester pregnant women.

It leads to early labour and miscarriage .

Taking pineapple is not totally discouraged. Take about 2 to 3 servings of pineapple in a week.

Point to note:

  • There should be total hygiene when taking fruits to avoid toxoplasmosis infections.