Why Fidget Spinners Are Actually Harmful

 

Fidget spinners: pretty much everyone knows about them. They may seem to be an innocent little toy for kids or people who struggle with stress and anxiety. However, research has shown that fidget spinners can actually be a health hazard.

Some fidget spinners contain light emitting diodes with batteries, and when these are accidentally ingested they can causes severe health problems. For example, there are two cases of children swallowing batteries from broken fidget spinners: one of a 3-year-old boy, and the other of a 4-year-old girl.

In both cases, the ingestion of lithium batteries caused deep esophageal burns and required emergency endoscopy to remove the batteries.

“Lithium batteries are used in a range of household devices, and swallowing them is a recognized health concern. In fact, according to the National Capital Poison Center, in recent years there has been an increase in reported cases — including 36 deaths.”

Researchers have asked that “if a toddler presents with a history of unexplained sudden abdominal or chest pain, the physician should inquire if any fidget spinners are in the home. As for consumers and parents, extra vigilance is recommended. Understanding where the danger lies is the first step to preventing it.”

Thank you for taking the time to read this weeks blog, if you enjoyed it feel free to comment any topics you want to see me write about down below!

Thanks,

Rohini

Sources used:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320821.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-fidget-spinner-is-the-perfect-toy-for-the-trump-presidency

Haphephobia

 

Hey guys,

So I’ve decided to add in a new aspect to my blogs, and that is to write about rare or less commonly known disorders. I’ll keep these type of blogs more short and snappy, just to give you a basic overview of different disorders you may not have heard about before. Hopefully, you will find this interesting!

HAPHEPHOBIA:

Other names for it: chiraptophobia, aphenphosmphobia, thixophobia

What is it: the fear of being touched – causes significant distress and anxiety

Symptoms: panic attacks, increased heart rate and sweating, feeling anxious or depressed when thinking about being touched, crying etc..

Causes:  run in the family, caused after witnessing a traumatic event, especially if they were young at the time

Medication: beta-blockers and antidepressants can help with the symptoms of anxiety and panic

Treatment: cognitive behaviour therapy (person is taught new behaviours) , exposure therapy (gradually expose the person to their fear) , virtual reality exposure therapy (controlled exposure to phobia)

Coping mechanisms: breathing exercises, mindfulness, exercise, self-care

 

Thank you for reading this weeks blog, if you liked it feel free to ask any questions down below!

Thanks,

Rohini

Sources used:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320763.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly

https://www.healthtopia.net/disease/mental-health/phobia/haphephobia-fear-being-touched

Weight Loss Pills

 

Nowadays, there is a lot craze around weight loss, in order to get that perfect body and match the modern ‘beauty standard’, especially the craze of being able to lose weight without having to exercise and restrict eating/change diet.

So today, I thought I would do something a little different and write my opinion on the topic of taking weight loss pills…

First of all, our bodies are the only ones we have. Literally, we have to manage an entire lifetime with one body only, we don’t get to replace it if its damaged, or pinch away the fat. So, surely it would be best to look after our bodies in such a way that it benefits us for our entire lifetime. Taking pills, no matter how beneficial or life changing they can be, causes our body to become dependent, and sooner or later, this will affect the workings of the body. Just imagine for yourself if you had to blow up 100 balloons, and you hd the choice to blow them all up yourself, or share the work with others. Most people will probably choose to share the work, and even though thats good at the time, your will slowly get more and more eager to share work instead of do it yourself. Taking medicine is just the same. I’m not saying people shouldn’t take medicine full stop, it was invented for a reason and has saved millions of lives. But, its better if we reduce our pill intake as much as possible, and by not taking weight loss pills this can be achieved.

Also, even though exercise and healthy eating takes a lot of effort, it has so many more benefits than just shedding fat. As seen in some of my previous blogs, exercise and healthy eating have already shown to have many benefits, and scientists are finding more and more benefits each day. Its like killing many birds with one stone – healthy living = less fat / increased life expectancy / less risk of cancer etc…

Finally,  there have been many cases of death from taking illegal weight loss drugs – it may have seemed too good to be true that you could lose weight without the effort, and that is exactly the case. For example, 23-year-old Sarah Houston died from taking a banned fat burning pill DNP in 2013, and her father said :

“I’ve no doubt there will be more tragedies.”

I will leave the source to the article on Sarah Houston in the sources section below if you want to find out more about her case.

Finally, I hope to spread a little bit more awareness about the dangers of taking weight loss pills, its not all sunshine and rainbows. And you too can make a difference, if anyone you know is taking weight loss pills or considering it, make sure they know if the pill is safe and if its the right decision.

 

Thank you for reading this weeks blog, if you found it interesting please leave any questions or comments you may have down below!

Thanks,

Rohini

Sources used:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320646.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=weekly

https://www.yourcanadianmeds.com/product-category/weight-loss/

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/allen-frances/weight-loss-pills-and-pro_b_11860908.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/10013964/Father-of-student-who-died-after-taking-weight-loss-drug-warns-of-more-tragedies.html

The link between autism and being bilingual

 

A new study published in Child Development has showed that children with autism could benefit from learning a second language by being able to switch between tasks easier.

As said by leading Professor Aparna Nadig:

“Over the past 15 years there has been a significant debate in the field about where there is a ‘bilingual advantage’ in terms of executive functions. Some researchers have argued convincingly that living as a bilingual person and having to switch languages unconsciously to respond to the linguistic context in which the communication is taking place increases cognitive flexibility.”

Linking Autism and bilingualism has never been done or thought of before in previous research, so the fact that a correlation has been seen could prove to be a turning point in changing the way children with Autism are educated. The study originated from Montreal, itself with a huge bilingual society, therefore if the results of the study show to be beneficial, it could be used to help children with Autism all over the world.

Thank you for reading this weeks blog, if you enjoyed the read, feel free to leave a rating or comment down below!

Thanks,

Rohini

Sources used:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/bilingual-autistic-children-study-two-languages-speak-communication-relationships-a8162086.html

http://parklandplayers.com/bilingualism-how-do-i-teach-my-child-to-be-bilingual/

The ‘Baby Brain’ Phenomenon

 

The ‘baby brain’ phenomenon is when pregnant women reportedly face cognitive problems during pregnancy. It is also known as “momnesia” and, from recent studies, has shown to affect 50-80% of women.

One of the most popular symptoms that women have reported to have experiences include being less verbally fluent and more forgetful about day to day things such as appointments and what to buy at the supermarket.

In terms of whether the ‘baby brain’ phenomenon is real, some scientists have conducted studies and found that pregnancy can actually change the brain for up to 2 years – this has been backed up by evidence, where brain scanners have shown that grey matter is much more noticeable in the brains of pregnant women.

However, critics to the idea of the ‘baby brain’ phenomena have said that the symptoms of the syndrome could just be due to general tiredness.

As a result, researchers from Deakin University, Australia have conducted another study to try and get closer to the answer of whether the ‘baby brain’ phenomenon is actually legit to just a myth. 709 pregnant women and 521 non-pregnant women were examined by their memory, attention and problem solving functions, where it as found that “general cognitive functioning, memory, and executive functioning were significantly poorer in pregnant than in control women, particularly during the third trimester.”

Even though the conclusion from this study seems to be leaning towards the legitimacy of the ‘baby brain’ phenomenon, the researchers have said that much more research and evidence will be needed before any solid conclusion is made.

Thank you for reading this weeks blog, if you found it interesting feel free to leave your opinion down below!

Thanks,

Rohini

Sources used:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320607.php

https://newatlas.com/study-baby-brain/52967/

The Science Behind Generous People

 

A new study has shown that generous people perform acts of kindness due to the heart literally ‘telling’ you to.

The study was carried out in the Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge in collaboration with the Stockholm University in Sweden, and consisted of participants being given scenarios in which they had to choose whether to give certain amounts of money to charity, to if they would rather keep their money to themselves. In addition to this, after the scenarios and experiment seemed to have ended, the experimenter asked if they could help with a questionnaire, without receiving anything in return. All of the participants had their heart rate measured.

From the study it was found that, “participants who were 10 percent better at sensing their own heartbeat gave £5 more than their peers did.” 

As said by Dr. Richard Piech, first author of the study…

“It may be that an emotionally charged situation — such as deciding whether or not to give money away — causes a change in heartbeats. “This bodily change may then bias decision-making towards the generous option in those people who are better at detecting their heartbeats.”

 

These findings suggest that, in some sense, people ‘listen to their heart’ to guide their selfless behaviors.”

 

The scientists in charge of the study next hope to find ways of possibly increasing generosity in people, as the scientists reckon that being more in-sync with our body signals will not only make us better people but could potentially have other advantages that are yet to be discovered.

Thanks for reading this weeks blog, if you enjoyed the read feel free to leave a comment down below!

Thanks,

Rohini

Sources used:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320103.php?sr

https://www.babycenter.com/0_the-generous-child-how-to-teach-generosity-ages-3-to-4_65721.bc

Muscle Soreness After exercise

 

Research has shown scientific evidence of the effects of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

DOMS is caused by muscle lengthening and getting damaged when under tension during vigorous exercise that the body is not used to. Although the cause of DOMS is still unknown, scientists think that damage in the muscles is caused due to an imbalance of calcium ions and resulting inflammation that stimulates pain to the nerves. This then results in swelling that makes the pain feel even worse.

The most popular post-exercise treatment seems to be Cryotherapy (for example, applying cold packs on top of the sore muscle), however it is still uncertain if this actually speeds up the recovery process from DOMS. However, new research has shown that foam-roller massages could reduce muscle soreness rapidly and effective, or by wearing pressure garments and drinking milk protein after the workout.

Luckily, the effects of DOMS does go naturally and even though it may be hard exercising with already sore muscles, it will help to strengthen your muscles in the long run. After the initial pain of the first few workouts, your muscles should start to become more adapted to the vigorous activity, causing them to strengthen instead of tear microscopically.

Thank you for reading this weeks blog. If you found ti interesting, feel free to share it and leave a comment below!

Thanks,

Rohini

Sources used:

http://main.poliquingroup.com/Tips/tabid/130/EntryId/2328/Ten-Legit-Ways-To-Reduce-Post-Workout-Muscle-Soreness.aspx

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320415.php

2017 Medical Research Summed Up

 

Hi guys,

Seeing as this will be my last blog of 2017, I have decided to dedicate it to summing up all of the most popular medical research undertaken in 2017…

  1. DIET

Through a series of studies this year, it was found out that the best way to maintain good health is by eating a balanced diet as well as doing regular exercise. In addition, by increasing intake of fruits and vegetables, it could be possible to improve psychologically in only 2 weeks by increasing motivation and energy levels.

It was also found from research at the University of Connecticut that clogged arteries are actually a result of bacteria, not diet, and a study presented in Chicago showed that there is no evidence to prove that blood pressure and a ‘low-salt’ diet are related.

Finally, research into gluten-free diets showed that they in fact increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and increase levels of mercury and arsenic by 70% in urine.

2. EXERCISE

Studies have shown that  taking part in even a little bit of exercise each week can lead to health benefits such as a decreased rate of heart attacks, heart failure and strokes. Compared to being inactive, it has been discovered that ” just 2 hours per week is linked to a lower risk of all-cause mortality. What is more, just 1 hour of exercise each week can help to prevent depression, and only 20 minutes of exercise reduces the body’s inflammatory response.”

3. OBESITY

This year, the quest to find out the most efficient and rapid way of weight loss continued. From many different studies, it was found that ‘intermittent fasting’ (switching between fasting and non-fasting) is able to reduce levels of stress, inflammation and even prevent nerve damage.

4. CANCER

Every year, researchers get closer and closer to finding the cure for cancer, and this year scientists have found many new ground-breaking methods, including a cell-killing technique that when tested in the laboratory on colorectal cancer tumours, killed almost all of the cancer cells. For example, it was found that  “vitamin C is up to 10 times more effective than experimental drugs at preventing the formation of cancer stem cells.”

5. AGEING

This year, scientist have been able to analyse ways of reversing ageing. A BMC Cell Biology study showed that a certain chemical could in fact reverse the affect of ageing in cells – this chemical is also found in dark chocolate and red wine, and allowed cells to look and divide like younger cells. As said by Dr Eva Latorre, University of Exeter:

“When I saw some of the cells in the culture dish rejuvenating I couldn’t believe it. These old cells were looking like young cells. It was like magic.”

Hopefully, this discovered phenomenon can be used to reduce the effect of declination in brain cells.

6. OTHER DISORDERS

New treatment this year to try and treat multiple sclerosis has included focusing on the effect of the immune system and trying to ‘reset’ the immune system. In terms of diabetes, it has been found that the chance of getting it could be reduced by increasing levels of vitamin D. Finally, research on preventing Alzheimer’s disease has seen some huge potential success. For example, scientists from UK and Switzerland universities have devised a vaccine that could prevent Alzheimer’s, and foods such as strawberries, extra-virgin olive oil and green tea have been scientifically proven to help fight against Alzheimer’s.

7. GENE EDITING

This year, “for the first time, scientists used gene editing to repair a disease-causing mutation in a human embryo: an experiment that was successful and hailed as a significant step forward in the prevention of inherited diseases.”

8. DEPRESSION

Talking therapy, cognitive therapy and medication have been found to be the best potential treatments for depression. Also, research from different places around the world has shown that doing 1 hour of exercise each week, doing yoga and choosing low-fat dairy products rather than full-fat can help to reduce the symptoms of depression.

Feeling blue

9. MARIJUANA

2017 research has shown quite a few positive impacts of marijuana, including preventing migraines, improving disorders such as schizophrenia and reducing seizures related to epilepsy. However, it has also been found that marijuana is worse for the heart than smoking cigarettes, causes an increased risk of psychosis and raises the risk of heart failure and stroke.

2017 has shown to be of huge significance in terms of medical research. I hope that by the time I do this summary again next year, we see even more improvements and potentially, cures and vaccines for everything I have talked about today. May I now take this time to wish all you reading this very long blog a very merry christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

See you next year!

Rohini

Sources used:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320405.php

https://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/diet-plans/plan-my-diet.htm

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/default.htm

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/categories/fitness-obesity

https://www.health.harvard.edu/cancer/the-family-history-of-cancer

https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/should-you-take-anti-ageing-supplements

https://www.retinalphysician.com/issues/2014/march-2014/the-uses-of-retinal-imaging-in-the-management-of-n

https://phys.org/news/2017-06-technique-enables-safer-gene-editing-therapy.html

https://financialtribune.com/articles/people/68058/scientists-may-have-discovered-depression-gene

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/marijuana

Switching off Hunger in the Brain

 

New research has shown that being able to control hunger cravings may not just be due to strong willpower, but to science also.

For example, Medical News Today have recently reported on a study that identified the ‘appetite-controlling’ area of the brain – a class of glial brain cells in our hypothalamus. These cells can ‘tell us’ to stop eating when they are activated by the right nutrients. In addition to this, the hormone asprosin actually stimulates appetite and ‘turns off’ areas like the glial brain cells in order to avoid suppression of appetite.

A new study from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia – led by J. Nicholas Betley (assistant professor in the university’s Department of Biology) found that Agouti-Related Protein-Expressing Neurons (AgRP) get activated during hunger, therefore to be able to control hunger, these neurons would need to be stopped from firing signals. At the moment, the only way of stopping these signals is consuming nutrients in our food.

The study was conducted on mice – one group of mice were given their normal chow gel and the other group of mice were given a low calorie gel substitute. From this, it was seen that “When seeing the standard chow, the mice associated its smell and appearance with satiety, so their AgRP neurons decreased in activity. But when the rodents were given the calorie-free gel, seeing and smelling the food did not affect the neurons: their activity levels stayed just as high. After eating the calorie-free gel, AgRP neuronal activity decreased, but only for a little while. The more repeatedly the mice were given the gel, the smaller was the decrease in the activity of the neurons, indicating that the rodents had come to associate the gel with a low amount of calories.”

This experiment confirmed to the researchers that nutrients are the primary regulators in stopping the firing of AgRP neurons, and from this the researchers hope to discover manual ways of controlling AgRP neuron activity.

As said by Betley himself…

“It would be interesting to see whether consuming smaller meals more frequently might lead to less activity in the neurons and thus less food intake overall […] Or maybe we can develop better combinations of foods or better ways of eating so we can avoid that 9 p.m. binge on Oreo cookies when you’ve had a really great diet all day.”

Thank you for reading this weeks blog, if you found it interesting feel free to comment down below your thoughts about this!

Thanks,

Rohini

Sources used:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320301.php

What Causes Hunger & Plateaus on HCG Diet?

What Really Happens when you Skip Breakfast

 

Although there has been much research done in the past over the benefits of breakfast, different studies seem to contradict each other; some studies show the breakfast helps us to avoid snacking and consuming excess calories during the rest of the day, while other studies say calorie intake throughout the day isn’t affected by eating or skipping breakfast.

Therefore, researchers at the University go Bath, UK have decided to focus their study on the effect of breakfast related to weight loss. The study is led by Javier Gonzalez, PH.D.

For the study, 49 volunteering participants (20 ‘lean’, 29 ‘obese’) were either asked to have breakfast or fast until 12pm every day, for 6 weeks. As a result of this, the people who had breakfast ended up consuming 350 kilocalories more than the people who were fasting – these people had no energy intake in the morning.

Through examining body fat distribution / ability of fat cells to use glucose in response to insulin and the activity of gene regulating proteins, it was discovered that “in lean people, skipping breakfast for 6 weeks increased the activity of genes that helped to burn fat, therefore improving metabolism. However, this effect was not seen in obese adults – their fat cells could not take up as much glucose in response to insulin as lean individuals did.”

From these results, the research team hope to repeat the experiment with the ‘breakfast eaters’ eating different types of breakfasts (in this particular study, the ‘breakfast eaters’ had a high-carb breakfast, so this could be changed to a ‘high-protein’ breakfast or balanced breakfast). From this, the researchers could work out what breakfast is best for ‘lean’ and ‘obese’ people, and even continue to research how other factors – such as exercise or water intake – affect this finding.

Thank you for reading this weeks blog. If you enjoyed the read, feel free to suggest any ideas for future blogs!

Thanks,

Rohini

Sources used:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320212.php

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/what-should-i-eat-for-breakfast-a6944091.html