Running in Cold Weather

Once you run in the cold weather as compared to the warmer climates, the body actually does give out excess heat. This is waste heat which, after the exertion on the body via running, is lost. In turn, you will find that the health benefits of running are immense, but only if you follow the correct guidelines while running/jogging in cold weather, then these benefits can be seen. So to make sure you avoid any wrongdoings to your body and get all the benefits of running daily, here are some tips you should be aware of.

Wearing the Appropriate Attire

Always dress in layers. Wear a thin synthetic t-shirt inside along with a nylon t-shirt. It helps keep the moisture out, and keeps your skin breathing freely. If the temperature is higher than usual, you can also add a polar fleece layer in between. Depending on the weather, you need to dress accordingly. Don’t try to overdress yourself though, as after running, you’re going to get warm anyway.

Eating the Right Food

Keep a check on what you eat. Since food is the essential element that helps you produce heat, following a particular diet is necessary. As you are exposed to cold, make sure you don’t skip out on eating. You must know that we feel more hungrier during winters, as compared to summers. So when you eat, you are actually giving your body a chance to generate more heat. This keeps your body warm while you’re working out; hence avoiding any health risks.

Breathing Normally While Running

When it’s cold outside, you always need to keep an eye on the wind intensity. The reason for that is because you need to be aware of your breathing while running. If you believe that inhale from the nose and exhaling from the mouth is the correct method, then I may have to disagree here. When you follow this technique, your facial muscles get tense, and this puts increased amount of stress to your body during the workout. What you need to do is open your mouth just a bit and breathe from both your nose and mouth. Till the cold air reaches your lungs, it will be helpful to maintain your current body temperature. Also, it’s a good habit to wear a balaclava while running. It will cover your mouth from the cold air, and keep you safe from bronchial constriction and/or asthma.

Checking for How Cold it Gets

Before going out in the open for a run, always check the temperature and wind chill. When the wind is too strong, even after wearing all the layers, it can go through it and reduce your body temperature. Plus, your body movement will elevate the presence of cold air around you. So the best advice here is, if the temperature drops below zero and wind chill is less than -20ºF, it is best to stay home or go to the gym and opt for a treadmill.

Consulting a Physician and Physical Trainer

Last, but certainly not the least, consult your doctor and physical trainer (if you have one). The reason for this is because extreme wind chills (well, cold wind in general) can have adverse effects on your body. It can initiate chest pain or even asthma attacks in some. This can also be a result of any health issues or medical conditions you may already have. Which is why, consulting with an expert is a must.

By following these tips and using proper running form, you can get all the benefits from this workout. While running, make sure you stay hydrated, drink fluids before, during, and after the workout. Also, it’s important not to stay in your wet clothes once you are back from the run. You need to be absolutely sure that you don’t further any ill effects to your own body. All the best and take care while running outdoors.

How to Cure a Persistent Cough

Coughing is a natural body response to expel respiratory secretions, pollutants, microbes and other foreign particles from the air passages. It gives off a distinctive sound due to forceful breathing out against a closed glottis. The automatic reflex occurs all of a sudden, i.e. voluntarily. However, it can also be induced involuntarily to clear away airways and breathe normally. In most cases, cough subsides with a week or two. But it may become persistent or chronic in some people.

Persistent Cough Causes

A persistent cough is diagnosed, if the discomfort condition lasts for more than eight weeks. Cough manifested as a sign of cold and flu hardly lasts for a few weeks. And the main reason for experiencing chronic cough is asthma, a respiratory condition triggered after exposure to allergens. Persistent coughing is manifested as an early symptom, and also for untreated asthmatic condition. Other probable causes of a chronic cough are infection in the respiratory tract, bronchitis, postnasal drip, rhinitis, acid reflux disease, smoking and medicinal side effects.

Tips on Curing a Persistent Cough

Whatever is the cause behind unrelenting cough, it is extremely annoying to deal with. Thus, chronic or persistent cough is a main reason for seeking medical attention. It is a warning sign for presence of a medical problem. However, there are some effectual ways to curb coughing in the natural way. One can try them before actually starting medication treatment. After all, natural methods are always better than decongestants and cough suppressants. Here’s how to cure a persistent cough at home.

  • First of all, avoid the habit of smoking (if applicable). The smoke acts as a trigger for constant cough. One may find it very difficult to stop smoking. But with a strong determination and self motivation, smoking abstinence is possible.
  • A dry indoor environment, lack of water or dehydration all contribute to chronic coughing. So, try the solutions for these triggers to treat a persistent cough. Consider installing a room humidifier and drink lots of water everyday.
  • One can get relief from chronic cough by taking steam inhalation therapy at regular intervals. To get prompt results, consider infusing thyme or eucalyptus oil in the hot water. Position face above the bowl containing hot water, cover head with a towel and take deep breaths.
  • Cough being one of the frequently occurring medical condition, the purported remedial measures are many. Of these, drinking thyme tea and basil tea are some acceptable cures for coughing. One can add honey to these herbal teas for increased effectiveness and taste.
  • An effectual way to cure a persistent dry cough is using eucalyptus oil. It possesses decongestant, expectorant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Rub pure eucalyptus oil in the chest and throat area before sleep to manage cough symptoms.
  • Talking more about a persistent cough, a mixture of honey and lime is used since a long time. Combine equal amounts of honey and lime, and consume it with water. Drinking this concoction 2 – 3 times daily will cure a stubborn cough.
  • Sipping ginger tea for curing cough is not known to most of us. One can also brew garlic tea for getting the same effect by boiling 2 cloves garlic in 300 ml water. To the strained liquid, stir in 1 tablespoon each of honey and lemon juice. Drink it twice daily to alleviate constant cough.
  • An age-old remedy for curing a cough is chewing mulethi herb and ingesting its juice. Two parts of honey mixed with one part of fresh onion juice also works wonders in alleviating cough.
  • Make a homemade cough syrup by combining ground pepper, honey and ginger juice. Take this syrup 3 – 4 times a day, until cough subsides. Another way for dealing with chronic cough is having onion juice, prepared from baked onion and honey.
  • For patients having asthma or bronchitis, treating a cough is all about minimizing the allergens. So, avoid getting exposed to environmental irritants (smoke, chemical fumes, dust, etc.) and follow self-care tips to manage cough and its accompanying symptoms.
  • In case, the causal factor for constant cough is heartburn or acid reflux, eliminating foods that exacerbate these conditions is of prime importance. Along with medications, consider elevating the head while sleeping and do not eat foods before lying down, to cure a chronic cough.
  • Boosting the immune system and keeping it strong are unavoidable for curing a persistent cough. So, don’t skip meals and plan the meal menu properly with lots of healthy foods in them. At the same time, reduce processed foods and indulge in physical activities to strengthen the body’s defense mechanism.

Follow these remedies, and most likely it will disappear gradually. However, seek medical attention, if cough is experienced for more than two months, or if the cough symptoms worsen with time. The doctor will perform diagnostic tests to rule out suspected medical problems. If a bacterial infection disease like whooping cough is confirmed, the doctor will prescribe a complete course of antibiotics to clear the causal pathogens. Likewise, according to the underlying causes appropriate therapeutic intervention for persistent cough is necessary.

Asthma Attack in Children

Asthma is a serious chronic respiratory disorder affecting both children and adults. It is known to be more common in children, and affects millions of children in the United States alone. A number of factors contribute to children being more prone to developing this disorder, most commonly at the age of 5 and some even at a younger age. Asthma in children can be quite a discomfort, and it is essential that parents know how to prevent the same in children. Following are the causes, symptoms, and treatment options of this disorder.

Causes
The causes are common for both children, as well as adults. These attacks are a result of change in weather conditions, respiratory infections, emotional disturbance, family history, and exposure to allergens like smoke, pollution, dust, and pollen. Children are more prone to developing the chronic form of this condition due to their underdeveloped respiratory system and small airways.

Symptoms
The most common symptoms include severe wheezing when breathing in or breathing out, troubled or rapid breathing, chest tightness, and coughing. These symptoms tend to worsen during the night and breathing may get increasingly difficult. This condition often goes undiagnosed in childhood, as the symptoms are considered to be associated with other respiratory disorders. Medical assistance may be required if the breathing condition of the child does not improve, and signs like the lips and nails turning blue, are noticed. In children below the age of 5, the most common symptom is an upper respiratory infection like common cold. Childhood asthma cannot be cured and the symptoms may continue into adulthood; however, the symptoms can be kept under control with proper treatment.

Treatment
Treatment can be administered in a number of ways. The most common treatment option is the use of inhalers that help broaden the airways, thereby enabling easy breathing. In case of a severe attack, the child should be put on a nebulizer until he or she finds it easy to breathe. Corticosteroids may also be helpful in relieving symptoms during an attack. Drugs like theophylline, aminophylline, Beta 2 agonists, and anticholinergics are safe, and can be administered to affected children.

Tips for Prevention
If you are aware of the fact that your child is asthmatic, the following preventive measures will help to minimize the chances of an attack.

  • Determine what triggers an attack in your child and take adequate steps to prevent the child from being exposed to these triggers.
  • Take immediate action and administer medication as soon as you notice any of the symptoms.
  • Treat respiratory infection and minor colds and cough immediately so that an attack can be prevented.
  • Educate the child about the allergens and irritants that can trigger an attack in him or her.
  • Keep your home, especially the child’s bedroom and play area clean and dust-free by vacuuming it on a daily basis.
  • Monitor the child’s lung function by using a peak flow meter. You can also determine if the child is at a risk of an attack with the help of the readings of this device.

An asthma attack can also prove fatal, if it is not treated on time or can have long-term consequences on the health of the child. Try to prevent these attacks as much as possible with the help of medication and regular monitoring.

Foods to Avoid for Diabetics

foods-diabetics-should-avoid-copyAs a diabetic, you are supposed to follow certain norms with respect to lifestyle and dietary habits. It’s very important for a person with diabetes to know what food to eat and what to avoid. As the consumption of sugar or fat rich food is best avoided due to the complications associated with them, a diabetic has a considerably lengthy list of foods that he should avoid.

Foods to Avoid If You Have Diabetes

A diabetic should not just avoid sugar, but should also keep a check on other foods – carbohydrate rich foods in particular. Food high in cholesterol is also considered harmful for people suffering from diabetes, and therefore is best avoided. Recent studies have revealed that even some fruits and vegetables are harmful for diabetics. Similarly, fast food and beverages are a strict no. The list of foods is pretty lengthy, but then it is possible to categorize them into different groups based on their content.

Sugar Rich Foods
Sugar rich foods, like white sugar, ice creams, donuts, pastries, chocolates, cookies, artificial sweeteners, etc., can be extremely harmful for people suffering from diabetes. The list of high carbohydrate foods is mainly dominated by foods rich in fructose and glucose, such as table sugar and fruit juice concentrates. As these foods result in increase in the blood sugar levels, it is perfectly logical that they should be avoided by a diabetic. If completely avoiding sugar is not possible, the said dish can be modified a bit to ensure that its sugar content is minimal – but even that should be done only after consulting the doctor.

High Cholesterol Foods
Studies reveal that diabetes lowers the amount of good cholesterol and raises the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. This makes the person, who is already suffering from diabetes, vulnerable to various heart diseases as the bad cholesterol is likely to result in plaque buildup on the artery walls. In such circumstances, high cholesterol foods, such as egg yolk, high-fat dairy products, poultry, red meat, shrimp, cheese, butter, etc., can do more harm than good, and hence are best avoided.

Fruit Juices
Research at the Tulane School of Public Health, Louisiana, revealed that drinking a single glass of fruit juice daily increases the risk of diabetes considerably. It is better to eat a whole fruit than drink fruit juice, as it provides the body with fiber necessary for healthy body. Moreover, fruit juices are high in carbohydrates, and therefore are best avoided. Once in a while, the person may take fruit juice but that should be in moderation and has to be a part of a well-planned diet.

Fruits and Vegetables
Within fruits, diabetics are advised to avoid certain fruits which are high in glucose and sucrose content or eat them in moderation. While fruits are overall considered healthy, not all fruits are healthy for a person with diabetes. Eating fruits such as mangoes, strawberries and dates can result in a spike in the blood sugar levels, which can be harmful for the individual. Vegetables rich in starch content, like potatoes and squash, should also be kept at bay. While sugar laden fruits can be replaced by high fiber fruits like apples, pear and raspberries, starchy vegetables can be supplemented by vegetables like beet root, carrots, beans, etc.

Alcoholic Beverages
Due to its tendency to increase blood sugar levels, alcohol in high quantity can pose some serious problems to an individual suffering from diabetes. Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach can lead to hypoglycemia. More importantly, as liver stores the glucose released within the body, any damage to the liver due to excessive alcohol intake, may make it difficult for the person to control glucose levels in the body. Even if you take alcohol in moderation, it should be only done if diabetes in under control.

Fried Foods
Fried food, especially that which is fried with hydrogenated oils, tends to raise bad cholesterol in the body. These foods are also laden with unhealthy trans fats. If at all you plan to have some fried food, once in a while, you should use canola or olive oil for frying the food, as these oils are comparatively less harmful for the body. Instead healthy cooking options like baked, boiled or steamed food is ideal for a person with diabetes.

Other food items which should be avoided by a diabetic include, sodium rich foods like soy sauce, refined flour products such as pastas and pizzas, salad dressings like mustard and mayonnaise, etc. As we mentioned earlier, fast food is totally unacceptable for a person suffering from any type of diabetes. At least other foods can be taken in moderation after consulting a doctor, but fast food is absolutely no-no.

How to Avoid Diabetic Foods?
Though harmful, these food items can be very tempting at times, which may make it difficult for you to avoid them. In such situation, knowing the ill-effects of these foods can help you to stay away from them. You should keep a check on the sugar content of the food or drinks you consume. Some foods are labeled sugar free, but they may be high in calorie content; in which case it is in your interest to avoid them. You need not get disheartened by looking at this lengthy list of diabetic foods to avoid, as the list of foods for diabetics to eat is also quite lengthy (and much more healthy).

Last, but the most important thing you need to keep in your mind, is to follow the doctors advice religiously. Never exceed the amount of food that is recommended by your doctor. It is better to follow a healthy lifestyle right from the beginning instead of waiting for some health issue to surface, and then try your best to alter your way of life accordingly. As the age-old adage says – it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Adult Asthma (Adult-onset Asthma)

Asthma is a long-term lung condition, in which the airway lining swells or produces large amount of mucous. Apart from this the airway may also become narrow because of contraction of the muscles surrounding it. Patients usually experience recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. For most patients, the coughing occurs at night or early in the morning.

Most people think of asthma as a childhood disease, because it usually starts sometime during childhood. However, it has been observed that it affects people of all ages. When asthma is diagnosed in people older than 20 years of age, it is known as adult-onset asthma. In contrast to childhood asthma, adult asthma is more persistent and permanent. Often, constant medication is required to help keep it under control.

Causes

The real cause of asthma is uncertain, be it childhood or adult-onset asthma. It is not clear why the symptoms develop at a certain age or why they often disappear (especially in children). Irritants that bring on asthma symptoms are called “asthma triggers”. Asthma which develops at workplace (due to occupation of the person) is called “occupational asthma.” Adult asthma is usually aggravated by trigger factors similar to those in childhood asthma. Some of the triggers are:

Tobacco Smoke: Smoking causes quick and permanent damage to the lung. This applies to second-hand smoke also. Tobacco smoke makes asthma medication less effective, thereby making it harder to control. Apart from this, it increases the risk of a severe asthma attack.

Dust: Dust is an environmental irritant that annoys the nose, throat, and lungs. People with asthma must try their best to avoid dusty environment, and avoid occupations such as baking, woodwork, metal foundry work, mining, etc.

Allergens: There are several indoor allergens such as pets, feather bedding, mold on walls or dust, that induce asthmatic attacks. Constant efforts need to be made to keep the home and workplace free of asthma triggers.

Fumes and Strong Odors: It has been observed that fumes and strong smells provoke asthma in some cases. At home, use of spray cans of any kind should be minimized. One must try to stay away from spray paint fumes, and heating unit fumes including kerosene heaters.

Infections: Viruses including the flu, pneumonia, and the common cold are the most frequent triggers for this condition. Adults may even develop asthma after a severe attack of any of these viruses. Vaccination against these viruses is advised for people with chronic respiratory conditions, however, they do not protect against all the respiratory infections.

Medications: Certain medications aggravate asthma in some people. They include beta-blockers used to treat high blood pressure, angina or glaucoma, Aspirin, and pain relievers called ‘non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs’ (NSAIDs). It is also vital that a patient’s asthma medication does not interact with any other prescribed or non-prescribed medications.

Foods: Many adults are allergic to foods such as nuts or seafood. Some people are even sensitive to food additives, commonly – sulfites (220-228), which is used as preservatives in foods and drinks. These can aggravate the asthmatic conditions.

Some people are more prone to this condition, they include women experiencing hormonal changes, such as those who are pregnant or those who are experiencing menopause. Also, women who take estrogen following menopause for 10 years or longer are at a greater risk of developing adult-onset asthma. People who have just had certain viral infection or illness, such as a cold or flu, obese people, and people with allergies (especially to cats) also fall into this category.

Adult-onset asthma may be diagnosed by a lung function test using a device called a spirometer, to measure how much air you can exhale after first taking a deep breath. Another indicator is a methacholine challenge test. This asthma test may be performed if your symptoms and spirometry test do not clearly show asthma. When inhaled, methacholine causes the airways to spasm and narrow if asthma is present. An X-ray may also be suggested, but it does not always clearly indicate the condition.

If asthma is under-treated in adult life, it may lead to quick and irreversible deterioration of the lungs. While asthma can be controlled; it has no cure. In some adults, it is best to use regular medication in order to protect lung function, rather than risking permanent damage.

Besides the many preventive measures, there are different types of inhalers available for asthma. However, the right one should be chosen after consultation with a doctor.

Tips to Treat Asthma with Aromatherapy

Essential oils extracted from plants are primarily used in aromatherapy to treat a wide range of ailments, including asthma. Aromatherapy involves inhaling or massaging the essential oils to reap their therapeutic benefits. Use of essential oils for asthma has been backed by positive testimonials, which has led to their widespread acceptance in treating these respiratory problems. Essential oils assist in opening up the constricted airways in asthma, thereby, helping to breathe easier.

Aromatherapy for Asthma
Aromatherapy Chest Rub
Using aromatherapy chest rub can be effective in relieving symptoms of asthma. The essential oils in them display anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic activity that can help decrease episodes of asthma attack. Applying the chest rub during an asthma attack may actually help stop the respiratory distress within minutes. However, in most cases, rubs containing essential oils are used to prevent an asthma attack.

Chest rubs made from lavender and chamomile essential oils are effective to treat asthma. To make it, add 2 drops of chamomile oil to 8 drops of lavender oil. Now combine this mixture with 20 drops of carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond oil. Apply this blend two times in a day to keep asthma attacks at bay.

Lavender Oil
When catching breath in asthma seems difficult, steam inhalation with lavender oil may come to your rescue. Add 6–10 drops of lavender essential oil into a bowl of hot water. With the addition of lavender essential, inhaling the resulting steam has a high therapeutic value, and can provide immediate relief from asthma attacks.

Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil acts as a natural antihistamine which can also contribute to manage asthma effectively. Histamines are released into the body after exposure to an allergen, which often leads to an asthma attack. Antihistamines negate the actions of histamines, which help to control asthma symptoms, and makes us feel better. So, to ease breathing, inhaling steam with peppermint oil is recommended. Combine a drop of peppermint oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil, such as coconut oil, and then massage the mixture on the chest area, back, and even on the soles of the feet. Do this regularly, and you will surely notice improvement in your condition.

Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil has a long history of use as an anti-asthmatic and immune booster. Simply diffusing undiluted Frankincense essential oil and inhaling its aroma can be effective to improve the condition. Putting a few drops of frankincense essential oil on your handkerchief, and then inhaling it regularly can also help soothe your respiratory tract.

Other Essential Oils
Peppermint oil acts as a bronchodilator, meaning, it widens the air passages, thereby, allowing free flow of air into the lungs. It is soothing to the respiratory tract, and can alleviate breathing problems associated with asthma. Putting a few drops of peppermint oil in the nebulizer (containing distilled water) and then inhaling the mist can help clear the lungs. Other essential oils that can contribute in improving breathing in asthma are eucalyptus oil, marjoram oil, and ginger oil.

Aromatherapy Diffusers
Diffusers available in different types are devices that help to spread the fragrance of essential oils in a room. Asthma symptoms may improve when the fragrance diffused in the room is inhaled. For diffusing purposes, one can use lavender oil or blue tansy oil as they are known to make breathing easier in asthma patients.

Ideal Time to Use Aromatherapy
As far as usage of aromatherapy chest rub is concerned, the best time would be to apply it in the interval between two consecutive asthma attacks. Aromatherapy is more of a preventive measure, and is used to reduce incidences of asthma attacks. However, there is no harm if you feel better when applying chest rubs during an asthma attack. Also, you need to use aromatherapy in conjunction with your medical treatment, and not as a replacement for prescribed drugs. Regular use of aromatherapy can definitely reduce the dependency on prescription medicines.

Sniff Test
A sniff test is extremely important before you use essential oils for asthma. Many times, inhaling scented products aggravates symptoms of asthma. Asthmatics may suffer from a severe reaction, if they are overly sensitive to the scent. As most essential oils have a strong fragrance, sniff the one that you will be using to ensure that you are comfortable with its smell.

Tips to Stop an Asthma Attack

1679918_1437741475-copyAsthma is a breathing condition that a majority of people all around the world suffer from. Though we all like to believe that we’re well prepared to handle any kind of emergency, it’s always better to be acquainted with some things that we can do to stop an asthma attack, in case, God forbid, we’re in a state of emergency with no medical assistance available. This Buzzle article will give you a step-by-step instruction set on how to tackle an attack and bring the person back to a normal state.

Step #1: Calm Down
While this may seem very repetitive and practically impossible to do in the midst of an asthma attack, it is the first step that you need to take towards stopping an ongoing attack. Most often what happens is when a person feels the onset of an attack, he instantly panics. When he panics, it automatically increases the heart rate, which further contributes to the severity of the attack. So, when you’re in the thick of one, first calm down and then follow the other instructions given below.

Step #2: Distance the Trigger
Once you have calmed down, you will be able to think clearly. Now, slowly look around and identify what has triggered off the attack. You will be well aware of the triggers that you get affected by. It could be dust, pollen, pollution, food, allergens, a particular scent, smoking, or even excess physical movement. If it’s dust, pollen or such triggers, then immediately create a distance between yourself and the trigger. Go out of the room which contains the trigger and into an area that has ample supply of fresh air. If it’s due to exercise or any other physical movement that has caused the attack, then stop the movement and rest your body to bring down the blood rate.

Step #3: Breathing Exercises
Once you have settled down away from the trigger of your attack, you can indulge in some simple breathing exercises that will help your breathing get back to normal and in turn, make the attack subside. A couple of these exercises have been given below.

  • Sit down and hold your nose with your hand. Shut your mouth and hold your breath. Now, slowly shake your head in an up to down motion. Continue this until you feel suffocated. Then, slowly release your nose and slowly take in breath. If you cannot breathe through your nose, then let go of your nose, purse your lips and take in a little breath from the corner of the mouth. When you feel better, begin breathing slowly through your nose. Repeat this exercise after about a minute or two until your breathing reaches its regular pace.
  • This second exercise involves sniffing in and out. You need to sit in an upright position with your hands on your knees. Bend forward a little and inhale 4 short sniffs. After you’re done inhaling, you need to straighten up a bit and exhale one long breath. Then again bend a little and repeat the procedure twice before resting for about 10 seconds. Continue this exercise for about 10 minutes when you experience an attack, and you’ll feel better.

Step #4: Get Assistance
If any of the steps given above fail and you feel like your symptoms are getting aggravated even after using an inhaler, check your peak flow meter to see what your respiratory condition is. If it reads below the required reading, rush to your doctor immediately. Waiting for an asthma attack to subside on its own can only be stretched for some time. You are the best judge of its severity. So, don’t take any chances prolonging the period of discomfort.

The best way to stop an asthma attack is undoubtedly preventing one in the first place. So, stay away from all the possible triggers, take your medication regularly, keep your inhaler at hand and your emergency numbers with you all the time. Avoid too much physical and mental stress and live a healthy life.

Tips to Treat Asthma During Pregnancy

Asthma is a chronic disorder of the respiratory system where periodic inflammation occurs in the air passage and normal airflow into the body gets affected. It is triggered due to irritation of the lining of the air passage caused by allergens, irritants, infections, cold weather conditions, hormonal changes and so on. An asthma attack is identified with symptoms like breathing difficulty, wheezing, chest tightness, cough, etc. Asthma attacks during pregnancy is fairly common. Those women who have a medical history of asthma tend to get the attacks more frequently during pregnancy. On the other hand, some women develop asthma during pregnancy.

How to Treat Asthma During Pregnancy?
Many women try to avoid asthma treatment during pregnancy as they feel that medicines can cause harm to their unborn baby. It is true that taking asthma medicines may not be good for the baby but an uncontrolled asthma attack during pregnancy is even worse. It decreases the amount of oxygen supply to the mother and the fetus. This can lead to serious complications like high blood pressure in the pregnant mother, pre-eclampsia, low birth weight of the infant, premature baby birth, etc.

For treatment during pregnancy, you have to involve both your pulmonologist and the obstetrician. Do not stop taking medicines on your own when you come to know about your pregnancy. Rather, you must inform your obstetrician about the medicines that you are taking. When you inform your pulmonologist that you are pregnant, then he or she may change the dosage of the medicine or give you new medicines.

The most popular medicine used for treating asthma during pregnancy is steroid inhalers. It opens up the air passage and alleviates symptoms. It may be accompanied by oral steroid medicines or injections. The dosage of these medicines depends on the frequency of the asthma attack and severity of the symptoms. Do not worry as your doctor will select suitable medicines for you that have minimum side effects on you and your baby.

If asthma is triggered due to exposure to allergens, then doctors prescribe antihistamines for controlling the allergy symptoms. A nasal congestion due to upper respiratory tract infection is often treated with oral decongestants. Those who are prone to flu attack may be advised to take flu shots to prevent aggravation of the problem. Regular intake of medicines is not enough, you also have to visit your pulmonologist to monitor the lung function from time to time. Your obstetrician will also recommend frequent ultrasounds to check fetal growth.

Treating an Asthma Attack at Home
Along with the medicinal treatment, you have to take a few remedial measures at home to control asthma symptoms. A few helpful tips in this regard are as follows:

  • Strictly avoid tobacco smoke exposure. Those pregnant women who are smokers should quit the habit immediately. Smoking can lead to a severe asthma attack.
  • Make sure that your home and office environment where you spend maximum time is free from environmental irritants like dirt, dust, pollen, mold, etc.
  • Do not go outdoors in cold weather conditions. If you have to go, make sure you cover up your mouth and nose properly with a scarf.
  • Mix some rock salt with mustard oil to prepare a thick paste. Massage this paste gently on your chest daily. This reduces the chances of an asthma attack to a great extent.
  • Garlic can provide relief from asthma. Boil 8-10 garlic cloves in a glass of milk for 10 minutes. Let it cool down and then drink it. It should be taken daily for best results.

The main aim of this treatment is to keep the mother and the baby healthy. If you are one of those women who have pre-existing asthma problems, there is no need to assume that you are going to have a tough time during pregnancy. You can manage asthma with proper medical care, regular monitoring of the condition and some suitable precautionary measures. Take care!

Tips to Become a Dentist

Dentistry is one of the ten most sought after careers in the United States, and is also one of the high paying professions. Dentistry as a profession is said to grow by about 16 percent through to 2018, which is faster than the average of all occupations. So if you are deciding on becoming a dentist, you are on the right path. For a start, students who are keen on becoming dentists should have good grades in biology, chemistry, and health. College students planning to pursue dentistry are required to give Dental Admissions Test (DAT) which help them to get admission in a good reputed college.

Educational Qualifications

Before you get recognized as a dentist, you must have a four-year doctors degree in dentistry, from an accredited college. A dentist is required to do a 2 to 4 years of internship or residency. He should also be licensed to practice, which can be acquired from the board of dental examiners of the state in which he plans to work. A dentist can specialize mainly in orthodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, and endodontics. Orthodontics deals with the prevention or correction of the irregularities of the teeth. Periodontics deals with diseases of the gums and other structures around the teeth. Prosthodontics deals with making teeth or dentures. Endodontics deal with the diseases of the dental pulp. You can choose your specialty according to your interests or according to what you are good at. The salary of a dentist can also vary according to the specialization, for example orthodontists earn approximately $186,000 per annum, whereas prosthodontists earn about $169,810 per annum.

Job Description and Duties

A dentist should not only be familiar, but should also be able to master the standard concepts, procedures, and practices of dentistry. The work is often surgical, but they can also prescribe medicines to cure and treat diseases. The primary job of a dentist is to examine, diagnose, and treat diseases and injuries of teeth and gums. They also remove tooth decay, fill cavities, place protective plastic sealants on teeth, and straighten or replace teeth. In case of any malformations of teeth, dentist has to recommend braces or surgery to correct it. They provide instructions on brushing, flossing, and the use of fluorides, thus educating the patients for maintaining good dental health. They perform routine periodic checkups for any decay, dental plaque, or tartar. Dentists also administer anesthetics when required and also fit bridges and take impressions for crowns and dentures.

Abilities Required

It is necessary to know some extra abilities. They should be apt in diagnostic and manual skills. Dentists also require good visual memory, excellent skills, and good judgment. They must be able to make quick, coordinated movements of both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects with scientific ability. Good business sense, self-discipline, and good communication skills will also help self-employed dentists go a long way.

Work Environment

Dentists are known to work long and hard, some of them work up to 45 hours a week. Some senior dentists employed by hospitals and clinics may be on call. Government agencies usually have regular work timings, while those who are just starting out, have to work for more hours. A dentist can continue to work part-time even after retirement. A large number of dentists retire every year, which provides better opportunity for new graduates from dental schools. Dentists can also work as administrators or researchers in dental schools or as full-time or part-time teachers.

Tips for Graduates

Those looking for jobs should apply directly to dental clinics, hospitals, and military services. Searching for contacts and networking with members of dental associations can also help in getting jobs. Military services also provide a good opportunity to travel and practice dentistry. Before setting up a clinic, they should take into account the potential to gain business in a certain locality. They can also check with dental societies, professional practice brokers, and other local organizations to help identify the right opportunity.

Tips to Become a Pediatric Dentist

As a child I used to love eating chocolates (I still do) all the time, despite my mom’s warning that I’d end up a toothless hag. Well, after a while, I slowly started losing my teeth one by one (though luckily they were milk teeth), giving rise to the nightmare of being toothless. I used to even complain of toothache. So, my mom decided she had had enough and took me to a pediatric dentist. The very thought of going to the dentist gave me cold feet. But a surprise awaited me at the clinic. Not only was the doctor gentle, but he was also patient till I ended my tantrums. At the end of the treatment, the pediatric dentist and me became very good friends. Looking at him work, and impressed with his demeanor, made a deep impact on my mind and at that point of time I decided to become a pediatric dentist when I grew up. I came to understand what a pediatric dentist was and what was needed to be one.

A pediatric dentist is one who takes care of the oral health of children and addresses their dental problems. He also guides children on how to take care of their teeth, from an early age itself so that major problems like cavities and other problems related to the teeth and gums can be avoided. Childhood dental problems like deformed or protruding teeth, weak teeth are also treated by the pediatric dentist. So if you are aspiring to be a pediatric dentist, and a successful one at that, then the following paragraphs will answer your queries.

Guidelines for Becoming a Pediatric Dentist

  • As mentioned earlier, oral health care and dental problems of children are taken care of by pediatric dentist. In recent times, this new branch in the field of dentistry deals exclusively with childhood dental problems, and has gained wide acclaim. Many people are opting for a career in this stream, owing to the excitement it offers while dealing with children, and also has a good pay. You can set up a private practice or join a hospital where you can render your services. Here is the information regarding the educational requirements for becoming a pediatric dentist, as well as his duties and responsibilities.
  • A good research on the dentistry field before getting into the stream is helpful, as it will help you choose the school and specialization. To become a pediatric dentist, the first step is to earn a Bachelor’s degree in the field of science. You can major in physics, biology and chemistry. You may also apply for a degree in Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD).
  • Once you have completed your graduation, you can study further for Master’s degree program in pediatric dentistry. Specialization and training in this field will be provided by the college where you are pursuing the degree. For the query on how long does it take to become a pediatric dentist, the duration of the entire course is 8 years, inclusive of the four-year Bachelor’s degree, two year Master’s program and then the doctorate followied by the internship program.
  • After you have finished your studies and internship, apply for a dental license to practice, for which you have to clear a test, that includes a written and practical test, conducted by the National Board of Dental Examinations. After obtaining the license, you can set up a practice or even apply for residency, where you will be taught to handle biostatics, oral pathology, pharmaceutical study, epidemiology and radiology etc. In this program the candidate is also taught to handle child psychology, and how to relieve their anxiety.
  • The residency program also includes the study of oral diseases of children, emergency dentistry, general anesthesia, conscious sedation, oral trauma management etc. The candidate is also made familiar with the use of dental equipment, specially designed for the small mouths of children. For extra credentials, you will have to get a certificate from the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD), through an exam.
  • If you are having a private practice then the charges levied on consultation will be based on the area where you have set your clinic. However, if you are planning to work in hospitals, then the average pediatric dentist salary may begin from $89,000 to $145,000 (approximate figures) on a yearly basis. The salary may also vary according to the state. In some states, the price range may be as high as $176,740 up to $208,470, annually. Again, the average annual salary of a pediatric dentist is determined by the experience, and also on the state where the doctor is practicing.

This was all about how to become a pediatric dentist. A career in pediatric dentistry is quite an enjoyable one as you get to meet kids of different demeanor. So if you love working with children, you know which career to choose. All the best!