40 Fruitful Forums on Fertility

Although we may be commanded to “be fruitful and multiply,” as with all things: that is easier said than done. If you are one of the millions of couples experiencing problems with conceiving a child, it can be difficult to get advice that is both helpful and discrete. Our parents and grandparents may have been forced to have fertility conversations in whispers, but this generation has loads of tools to utilize in fertility on both the medicinal and technological sides.

While only a licensed physician can help with the first, we are more than happy to lend a hand on the latter. Below we have gathered 40 fruitful forums on fertility. They are written by doctors, hopeful parents, and even others who have found success in fertility options. Continue reading →

10 Alternative Ways to Get Pregnant

Although tradition states that there is really just the one way to get pregnant, science is teaching us more than ever about how and why people conceive.  There are now many new tools and trains of thoughts on the art of procreation that can be researched thoroughly and discretely.  Best of all, these entries are given by either the experts who use them on their patients or couples who have successfully used the method to get pregnant.

Just see for yourself on the below 10 alternative ways to get pregnant.  They include a few simple changes to your lifestyle, a trip to your drugstore, and even some sex ed for those who need a little brushing up. Continue reading →

The Role of Nurses in Diabetes

They call it the silent killer – diabetes may not seem to be fatal, but it causes a host of complications and puts you at risk for various other diseases, and this makes it a lethal disease. Most people are not aware of the consequences of diabetes, and very often, it’s too late for them to prevent ill-health and disease from becoming a part of their everyday life. But with the right amount of awareness and education about diabetes, it’s easy to prevent this disease if you are prone to it, and manage it if you’ve already got it.

Nurses play a large role in helping people become more aware of the dangers of diabetes and in educating them about the lifestyle changes they need to make in order to prevent or manage this disease. Care for diabetes starts at the primary care level – so nurses who are involved in providing primary care are most often responsible for education patients about diabetes and in helping physicians treat their disease.

Some advanced practice nurses have more autonomy in dealing with diabetics – Nurse Practitioners are qualified to provide primary care, perform diagnoses and prescribe medications, like a primary care physician would, and Diabetes Specialist nurses work primarily with diabetic patients and help them to manage their disease so that they avoid further complications and minimize the risks associated with it.

In general however, nurses play a key role in diabetics by helping to:

  • Create awareness and educate: Nurses help in preventive healthcare by talking to patients about diabetes and making them aware of the existence of this disease. They identify those at a high risk – obese people, those with a familial history of diabetes, and those who lead sedentary lifestyles – and educate them about the disease. They are involved in getting them to lead a more active lifestyle with regular exercise, follow a healthy diet, and reduce weight and keep it down. Among the biggest risks of diabetes is heart disease, and nurses must educate patients and those at risk about this complication and teach them how to take care of their health so they don’t succumb to a heart attack.
  • Treat/aid in treatment: Nurses help doctors treat diabetic patients by monitoring their blood sugar regularly, ensuring that they take their medication as prescribed, give them injections if needed, and provide care if they are hospitalized for related complications.
  • Manage: Diabetics must manage this disease with regular exercise (a walk every day should do), a healthy diet that includes nutritious, small and wholesome meals spaced out at least 6 times a day, and medication in the prescribed dosage at the prescribed times. Some diabetics must be injected with insulin if their blood-sugar levels refuse to drop even after medication, and Type I diabetic patients require long term care with insulin to keep their symptoms down.
  • Maintain quality of life: Patients must accept responsibility for their care if they wish to maintain their quality of life, and nurses must help them do what’s best for them. In general, following strict instructions like regular exercise, healthy diet and lifestyle changes (no smoking or alcohol in large amounts) will help maintain the quality of life of diabetics and help them both alleviate symptoms and keep complications at bay.
  • Slow progression of complications: Acute complications include hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia, while long term complications include retinopathy, cataracts, nephropathy, coronary heart disease, neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease.

Nurses in primary care can help bring down the incidence of diabetes with proper awareness and education and also help those affected manage the disease and maintain quality of life with drugs, exercise and a healthy diet.

Get Your Sugar Fix With These Top 12 Candy Blogs

Candy! Who doesn’t love a sweet piece of happiness to subdue that 3 o’clock slump? These candy bloggers have you covered when it comes to candy reviews or learning about the strange and fabulous candies available all over the world. If it’s chocolate, fruit-laden treats or just plain gum that get your taste buds going, here’s a roundup of the top 12 candy blogs.

    1. Candy Blog When it comes to candy, this blog gets deep. From talking about the traditional aspects of certain candies and how they’re tied to holidays to delving into the science behind some of the classic candies we all know and love, this site has it all. This site also has a few easy recipes for making your own candy at home.

    2. Candy Dish Blog This candy blog gives you the scoop on how some of your favorite candy is made and keeps you up-to-date with general candy news. It also shows you how to decorate a party space with colorful candy that’s to stir up nostalgia in your guests.

    3. Blair Candy At this blog you’ll find all of your candy news in one concise place. This site discusses the origin of particular candies for holidays. It also has fun projects posted, like a project for bracelets constructed of candy wrappers.

    4. Todo Candy This blog posts candy reviews, so you’ll never have to come across a lousy candy again! For some reviews it breaks down the nutrition facts for you, but other posts focus solely on packaging, presentation and flavor factor. It also has best-of lists for those occasions when gifting candy is appropriate or called for.

    5. About Candy Here you’ll find a combination of candy reviews, candies from all over the world and candy recipes that you can try on a rainy day. For cooking up your own candy, this blog goes into the science behind melting ingredients and creating a particular texture, so your candy comes out as if it were store bought (only better!).

    6. Candy Blog This blog has the same name as the first one on our list, but it’s a .net instead. The content is very different, making it a must-read for candy afficionados. Candy from all over the world is posted at this blog, giving you a glimpse at what satisfies a sweet tooth in Japan or Denmark.

    7. Candy Critic This candy blog is frequently updated. If you’re nuts for candy, there’s a good chance you also love junk food of every variety. This blog has reviews on nearly anything that will make your insides cringe and your taste buds rejoice. It also keeps you posted on candy business news, so you know what new products are coming to market and what’s getting discontinued.

    8. ZOMG Candy! This candy enthusiast isn’t afraid to share her candy knowledge with the world. The blogger goes into detail over the flavor and texture of candies from around the globe and rates each candy with an O, OM, OMG or ZOMG. It’s serious candy discussions at this blog, folks!

    9. Gum Alert If you’re bonkers for gum, this is the blog for you. Gum lovers Katie and Shannon are avid about their chewing habits and do the dirty work for you. Reviews are broken into flavor, texture, presentation and overall impression of the gum, giving you a hard-hitting look at what to expect before you pop a piece. This is one of our favorite blogs on the list because the reviews are concise and who doesn’t love gum? It’s a niche blog nearly everyone can enjoy.

    10. Sugar Pressure This candy site is packed with colorful images of your favorite sweet things, plus pricing info and nutrition facts. It focuses most on candy of the gummy or fruity varieties, so if those candies are up your alley, be sure to peruse the reviews over the latest pint-sized sugar attacks to hit the market.

    11. David Lebovitz This blog is penned by a chef living in Paris. Get ready for serious chocolate action at this blog that explains the science behind chocolate and how it makes its way into the desserts we love. It also talks about the history of chocolate, how it’s made and the different grades that are out there. While you may be used to Hershey’s, rest assured there are countless chocolates out there that will make it taste like vegetables.

    12. Candy Professor Written by a real professor, this site talks about the history of candy in America. Get ready to feel nostalgic about the candies that ruled when you were a kid and on occasion, learn how to source these candies, some of which are still produced in other countries. It also looks back at the strange ways candy has been used, including in metal illness experiments.

Getting the back story on your favorite candy bar is fun, giving you a conversation-maker next time you’re making small talk with strangers. Like foodies of every variety, candy bloggers know their ingredients, textures and what counts most when it comes to biting down on something sweet – the taste! Check out these candy blogs to satisfy your sweet tooth and help you discover something delectable and new.

The Quickest Ways to Safe Weight Loss

Everyone wants to lose weight, and fast; well, except those who are lucky enough to be blessed with a naturally thin physique. The ultimate weight loss goal would be to lose weight in all the right places, at remarkable speed, and keep the weight off for good. Unfortunately, we are what we eat and what we do, so our bodies are bound to reflect our choice of lifestyle. So if you’re looking for ways to lose weight quickly and in a safe way, here’s what you need to do:
  • Train in intervals: Interval training is the new fad in exercising, and best of all, it’s one that’s here to stay for good. It takes much less time than conventional training, and it is more efficient in helping you lose weight and get fit. It works best on cardio workouts like jogging, swimming and cycling. What you need to do is warm up adequately first, and then exercise at your maximum intensity for a minute or until you can do no more. Slow down until your heart rate is almost back to normal, then run (or swim or cycle) as fast as you can again. Repeat this cycle 7 or 8 times, or as many times as you can, and watch your weight drop really fast.
  • Plan your meals: The trick to eating to lose weight is to never skip breakfast, eat small meals of healthy food that are spaced out throughout the day, avoid foods that contain too much sugar, salt, fat, oil, preservatives and processed flour, and eat dinner at least three hours before you go to sleep. Also, supplement your diet and augment your nutrition with fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods like nuts, seeds and wholegrain dishes.
  • Work out with weights: When you work out with weights and get involved in strength training (squats, lunges, leg lifts), you boost your metabolism and burn calories even when you’re sedentary and for a long time after your workout. Also, your bones become stronger and your muscles look toned and lose their flab.
  • Stay the course: And finally, for really effective weight loss, you must stay the course even after you’ve achieved your target. This is the only way to maintain your weight and prevent adding on extra pounds again. So choose weight loss programs and diet schedules that are easy to stick to, and which you don’t mind doing throughout your life.

Oxytocin Improves Social Interaction in Autism

We’ve always known that there was something special about oxytocin, the hormone that is responsible for enhancing and adding to a wide range of emotions – from mother and child bonding to sexual intimacy. And it seems to be getting only better as we get to know more about it – researchers have found that oxytocin can now be used to improve social interaction skills in those who suffer from autism, the syndrome which is characterized by poor social skills, repetitive behavior, and the inability to communicate effectively and efficiently.

According to the study which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a research team from the French national research center (CNRS) in Bron found conclusive evidence to prove that oxytocin improved social behavior in adults with Asperger Syndrome, also known as high-functioning autism.

The experiment focused on throwing a ball to three simulated players, each of whom exhibited different capabilities in passing the ball. One would always throw the ball to the patient, one would sometimes do so, and one would never pass back. The behaviors were changed over the course of time during the experiment so that the good player became the average or the bad and so on. The researchers found that when autistic patients were given oxytocin through an inhaler, they were able to figure out which simulated player always threw the ball back to them, and they in turn threw the ball mostly to them.

This is only one of various experiments that prove that inhaled oxytocin has a positive effect on the social interaction skills of autistic patients in that they are able to make better eye contact. Another research published in Biological Psychiatry in 2007 showed that adults with autism were able to understand the underlying emotions in words when people spoke to them after they were intravenously administred oxytocin. And in 2009, a team of researchers at the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney in Australia found that autistic children who were given oxytocin performed better in tasks that involved the recognition of emotions portrayed by people’s eyes in photographs.

The only drawback with this form of therapy is that oxytocin produces only short-term results. Even so, it is the first medication that that has proven to be effective in improving eye contact and social recognition and interaction skills in autistic patients.

Tradition + Medicine = Healing: Top 50 Acupuncture Blogs

Acupuncture is a practice in which needles are inserted into various points of the body and manipulated in order to treat a variety of conditions and diseases. It originated in China centuries ago and has since been touted across the globe as a legitimate form of medicine. Fortunately, you don’t have to go all the way to China to visit an acupuncturist or even get their thoughts. If the idea of someone sticking needles into your skin and leaving them there freaks you out, you are not alone. Luckily, there are many licensed professionals on the blogosphere who have treated loads of patients like you. To help you spend less time searching and more time reading, we have gathered the top 50 acupuncture blogs listed below. Top Acupuncture Blogs by a Pro These professionals practice acupuncture for a living and share more on their blogs.
  1. Acupuncture Health Insights Blog Licensed Acupuncturist Lynn Jaffee has also published books on the topic. Her blog even has a special section just for practitioners. One of her latest posts was on the ten benefits of cosmetic acupuncture, and she often has entries of common use.
  2. Alban Acupuncture Joseph Alban is a Licensed Acupuncturist and Board Certified Herbalist known for combining a caring relationship with treatment skills. The blog is a useful choice for combining acupuncture with other forms of Chinese herbal medicine. A recent entry was on the art for neck and shoulder pain.
  3. Acupuncture News News, information, and commentary about the acupuncture profession can be found here. Jing is a practicing Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, and Family Nurse Practitioner. The blog often takes items in the news and examines them from this unique perspective.
  4. Qi Spot Dr. Philip Nino Tan-Gatue is a licensed doctor who converted to Chinese medicine after studying acupuncture. Categories discussed on the blog include dietary therapy, herbal medicine, and even research. He often gives expert opinions on alternative medicine news items.
  5. Stonewell Acupuncture News Michael Ishii is a licensed acupuncturist, nationally board certified herbalist and has certifications in Korean Physical Manipulation (Kyojung Therapy), Medical Qigong, and specializes in; East Asian Dietary Therapy, Eastern Medicine and a practitioner. Alternative Asian medicine is often the topic of posts. One of the most recent was on dairy and gluten in diets, and another was on treating underlying emotional issues as a treatment principle.
  6. Acupuncture & Natural Healing Therapies Being an acupuncturist is not just a job for Lisa, it is a vocation and passion. She uses her practice to help people realize their potential. One of the latest posts was on diets for menopausal women.
  7. Acumomma Yaelle Eloul Shaphir is a licensed acupuncturist/herbalist living and working in West Hollywood, California. She is also a trainer, addiction specialist, Reiki master and more. Check out her blog for thoughts on all kinds of alternative medicine.
  8. Acupuncture Insider Dr. Gary Gendron has treated patients for over 20 years who have had nowhere else to turn. He then began to turn to an approach of letting the body heal from within. Visit to learn more how he uses acupuncture to help.
  9. Abbey Fromkin She holds a Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine at Tri-State College of Acupuncture, where she is currently faculty. She features the benefits of acupuncture and even tips for new patients on her blog. A Q & A, as well as patient experiences, is also shared.
Top Acupuncture Blogs by Location These blogs cover acupuncture from a specific location or city.
  1. World Acupuncture This blog is his contribution towards a more practical and clinically biased approach to the study and practice of Japanese acupuncture. Alan has been across the world to teach his practice of Japanese acupuncture. Visit to see where he is and what he recommends.
  2. Acupuncture Blog Chicago Located in downtown Chicago, Jennifer is a Licensed Acupuncturist with her own practice. In addition to resources on traditional Chinese medicine, she also has tips for her locale. With hundreds of entries, make time for this blog.
  3. Beyond Treating Pain Steven Sonmore is a licensed acupuncturist in Minneapolis, Minnesota with over 20 years’ experience of health care and pain management. Categories range from allergies to weight loss. One of this most recent posts is on resolutions for the New Year.
  4. Amy Chitwood Bruslem Visit here for a resource to learn more about Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed and specializes in women’s health, fertility, and pain management. Popular posts include a naturopathic medicine discussion and breastfeeding.
  5. Mission Valley Acupuncture Located in San Diego, they offer Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, herbs, and much more. Visit to get items of acupuncture and Oriental medicine in the news. They also have other related resources on the site.
  6. TCM Health Pulse Get acupuncture and Oriental medicine items in Salem, Massachusetts in this blog. Topics range from healthy tips to women’s health. Recent posts are on healthy tips for the New Year and Patch Adams.
  7. The Dallas Acupuncture Blog Dr. D. is a doctor of Oriental medicine where he practices both acupuncture and internal medicine. Focuses include gynecological problems, chronic disorders, and the achievement of health through side-effect free natural therapies. You can even send in a question online.
  8. Milwaukee Community Acupuncture They are a community-style acupuncture clinic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They even offer a sliding scale of $15 to $40 which allows a variety of patients to partake of their services. Updates on the clinic, tips, and more are all part of the blog.
Top Specialty Acupuncture Blogs These blogs cover a specialty or other area of acupuncture.
  1. Four Paws Acupuncture How does acupuncture and pet health combine? Find out with a visit to this blog. Acupuncture with the four legged animal in mind is the focus here.
  2. The Fertility Acupuncturist This acupuncturist focuses on helping families grow through Eastern medicine. Amelia offers articles on fertility, charting, the male factor, and many others. Be sure not to miss the podcasts with more.
  3. Kristin Ebbert Acupuncture She has eight years of experience in complementary medicine, holistic health and herbal therapies. She was also the Green Guide editor for National Geographic. Visit to get posts on everything from pain management to the environment.
  4. Wholistic Acupuncture Learn about this specific kind of acupuncture in this blog. They also offer topics on cosmetic acupuncture. If you live in the Pittsburgh area, be sure and take advantage of the Free Consultation Day they have each month.
  5. Acupuncture Marketing Book If you are an acupuncturist and need help building a practice, visit here. Tips from the book are available on the blog. They also offer a book entitled “Never Market Again.”
  6. ProD Stop here for seminars aimed at acupuncturists. This section offers free previews on everything from diagnosis to the biology of reproduction. There are also many paid options.
  7. Carmen’s Acupuncture Blog She dedicates her blog to Ayurveda in addition to acupuncture. Both Indian and Chinese medicines are discussed. Other categories include colds, nutrition, pain management, seasonal, and wellness.
  8. Healing With Cancer Naturally Alex Berks is a Licensed Acupuncturist. He is also a cancer survivor and shares how acupuncture helped him maintain health and quality of life. Opinions on current news items are often given.
Top Acupuncture Blogs by Group Several acupuncturists and/or their fans gather to blog below.
  1. Acupuncture Today Get the ABCs of acupuncture with a visit to this blog. Several bloggers use acupuncture to treat everything from allergies to back pain. There are also practical insights on other related topics.
  2. Our Acupuncture and Clinic Blog This is the blog of the Mountain West Wellness clinic in Boulder, Colorado. Choose from subjects such as treatments, coupons, and even recipes. Blog entries link to entire items.
  3. New Mission Acupuncture Nikki Fancher and others offer a FAQ on acupuncture. Questions include how much it costs, what it treats, and others. You can also get topics on transhealth.
  4. Full Circle Acupuncture Blog The healing power of acupuncture and Chinese medicine are featured here. They are located in Oregon and address health issues in a supportive, holistic way.
  5. Needle It This extensive blog has many entries on traditional acupuncture. Choose from an intro, lifestyle, theory, and treatment. One of the most recent entries was on points per treatment.
  6. Integrative Health Centers Acupuncture Blog Get acupuncture and other alternative medicine information from this Baltimore clinic here. Choices include herbal medicine, massage therapy, nutrition, and others. There are also patient testimonials for the reading.
  7. Global Wellness Acupuncture Learn the five elements of acupuncture with a visit to this blog. In addition to the blog, you can also get an FAQ. A recent entry was on the winter season.
  8. Medical Acupuncture Facts The authors of this blog believe that “not all acupuncturists are created equal.” Tips on picking an acupuncturist are featured as well as related thoughts. Training, education, and more are also discussed.
  9. The Acupuncture Alternative This blog is published by Merulli Acupuncture. Visit to get items on research, meditation, and even acupuncture for seniors. It has been a while since the last post but still worth a look.
Top Acupuncture Sites Learn more about acupuncture with a visit to these sites.
  1. Acupuncture.com Get a gateway to Chinese medicine, health, and wellness here. They have items for patients and practitioners, as well as students. You can also get many expert articles with a visit.
  2. Acufinder If looking for a qualified acupuncturist in your area, stop here. In addition to the directory, there are also many features articles on acupuncture. Be sure not to miss the Points Dictionary with more.
  3. The American Journal of Chinese Medicine Stop here for an international journal of comparative medicines both East and West. Click on each issue to get an abstract or the full text as a PDF. You can also get more on other magazines here.
  4. NCAM Part of the National Institutes of Health, they have a special section on acupuncture. Options are offered for both consumers and health professionals. You can also get research spotlights, images, videos, and more.
  5. Acupuncture Society of America, Inc. This organization believes that the doctor who knows both chiropractic and acupuncture has a competitive edge. They offer registration services for students, as well as items for patients. You can also learn more about the different kinds of certification they offer.
  6. Society for Acupuncture Research Stop here for a hub for Asian medicine researchers, practitioners, teachers, students, patients, and supporters. The mission of SAR is to promote and disseminate scientific inquiry into Oriental medicine systems. White papers and a newsletter are also offered.
  7. TCM Student Those who are studying to learn acupuncture will appreciate this. It contains loads of entries on schools, state laws, and even study tools. There is also a blog with more.
  8. eHow This site shows visitors how to do loads of different things, including many acupuncture related items. They include the essentials, what to expect during treatments, and much more. Videos and guides are often offered.
Top Alternative Medicine Acupuncture Blogs Learn more about alternative medicine in addition to acupuncture in these blogs.
  1. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine NCAM has loads of resources on all sorts of alternative medicines. The news and events section features press releases, alerts, and even multimedia on everything from the common cold to supplements. Check out the main site with more.
  2. Alternative Medicine Zone Get everything from aromatherapy to yoga on one site. Treatments, herbal remedies, and other forms of natural medicine are often discussed. You can also choose a special section just for acupuncture.
  3. Deepest Health Although in the process of making some changes, Eric’s site is still a popular choice. Use it to get all sorts of information on Chinese medicine. There are even pages for students and practitioners.
  4. About Alternative Medicine Cathy Wong is the alternative medicine guide for About.com. Must reads include safe supplements, popular herbs, and whether massages are worth the money. You can also check out related videos.
  5. CAMLAW Attorney Michael H. Cohen is a leader in business law and health care law. Visit his blog to see how alternative medicine and law combine. Current items in the news are often discussed.
  6. Mind Body Spirit Journal This blogger has been sharing what works in alternative medicine since 1993. Sift through the archives to get an answer. Or you can check out the latest posts on everything from eco-living to a woodstove.
  7. CAM Watcher Keep up with recently published CAM relevant studies on this blog. It is a synopsis of over 80 complementary, alternative, and mainstream peer reviewed medical journals. You can either purchase a subscription, or read the latest blog entry.
  8. This Week in Alternative Medicine Lisa Barger keeps track of the latest developments in alternative medicine on her blog. Evidence based approaches are often discussed. Must reads include the FDA and homeopathic cheats.
Although there are many useful items in the above top 50 acupuncture blogs, please consult a licensed physician before following any of the advice read on them. If looking for a licensed acupuncturist in your area, try visiting a site like The American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. They can help you find a practitioner, read publications, or even get resources for students.

Risks in Radiological Procedures

They’re more the norm than the anomaly these days, what with doctors prescribing them as both a preventive measure and using them as a diagnostic tool. They’re routine during annual checkups and often conducted when your healthcare practitioner wants to rule out or confirm the existence of a condition or syndrome. And although radiological procedures do offer a host of benefits when it comes to preventing and treating disease, there are various risks in using them too frequently too. For one, technicians and radiologists are prone to errors that have undesirable consequences, and for another, the risks of cancer caused by the radiation generated by these procedures are on the rise.

According to a study conducted by United States Pharmacopeia, the NGO that sets standards for prescription, OTC and other healthcare products manufactured or sold in the USA, mistakes in radiology are more likely to harm patients than any other kind of hospital or healthcare setting errors. The statistics for radiology errors were 7 times higher than all medication errors studied over the same period of time. Radiologic errors are defined as those that occur in or as a result of imaging in the radiology department and the cardiac catheterization laboratory, and in the field of nuclear medicine. The risks arise because most people view radiological procedures as routine little realizing that the medications used before, during and after these procedures pose high risks.

What’s worse than the errors caused by radiologists and others who perform interventional radiology (like the procedures performed in cardiac catheterization labs) are the risks that increase if you undergo radiology procedures often. There rise of the incidence of cancer can probably be linked to the rise of the use of CT scans in the medical diagnostic field. Studies conducted in both the USA and the UK show that the usage of CT scans has increased 20 times in the USA and 12 times in the UK over the last 20 years. CT scans are detrimental to human health because they use high doses of radiation to generate images. Other high-dose procedures include interventional radiology and barium enemas.

While one CT scan is not going to cause cancer, problems arise when they are prescribed when unnecessary, when they’re used as screening procedures in asymptomatic patients, and/or when a low-risk alternative will suffice. Also, when CT scans are performed repeatedly, the risk of cancer rises alarmingly. The long term effects are yet to be determined conclusively, but we know enough to understand that radiology procedures must be used only when absolutely necessary.

5 Reasons Your Weight Loss Progress is Slow

We all want to lose weight fast; in fact, the sooner we get rid of those additional pounds and unwanted fat, the better we feel about ourselves and the easier it is to stick to our diet and exercise plan. But weight loss is a tricky proposition because it works differently for each of us. So you may see your spouse or buddy losing weight faster than you even though they’re doing pretty much the same workout and eating the same kind of food. But that’s no cause to worry, because when you find out why you’re not losing weight fast, it’s easy enough to rectify the problem. A few reasons your weight loss program is slower than you would like it to be are:
  • Your metabolism is slow: If you lead an inactive and sedentary life – if your job requires you to sit for the better part of the day at one location – your metabolism is likely to be on the slower side. Also, if you adopt the same attitude when you get home and plop yourself on the couch in front of the television with a bottle of beer and a bag of chips to keep you company, you’re pushing it further down and reducing your chances of losing weight fast. The higher your metabolism, the faster it is to lose weight even when you’re sedentary.
  • You don’t have enough muscle mass: The more muscles you have, the easier it is to lose weight because your metabolism gets a boost. So add a few strength training exercises to your workout routine to tone your muscles and also get your metabolism going. When you work out with weights, you look and feel much better and also lose weight faster.
  • Your age: The older you are, the harder it is to lose weight, especially around your waist and hips (if you’re a woman) and around your stomach (if you’re a man). So if you’re above 35, you need to put in extra effort and work out more and/or eat less. Your body doesn’t need as many calories as it used to when you were young, and it becomes harder to lose extra flab.
  • You’re skipping meals: You may think this reduces your calorie count and that you’ll be able to lose weight faster, but when you starve or skip meals, especially breakfast, you’re slowing down your metabolism and decreasing your chances of losing weight. So the best option is to eat small meals, more often, throughout the day. Also, choose foods that are healthy and nutritious.
  • You’re stressed out: And finally, even if strenuous exercise and a lean diet are not enough to enable weight loss, you need to get your hormone levels checked. Stress is the main culprit when it comes to making your hormones go haywire and adding to your weight problems. Also, you may have other hormonal imbalances like a thyroid issue. So check with your doctor and also find ways to de-stress and relax. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you’re able to lose weight once your hormones are back to normal levels.

Conception, Pregnancy and Birth – Getting Through the Cycle

One of the greatest joys of being a woman is that you are capable of creating and carrying life, a little bundle of joy who is an integral part of you for the better part of nine months and who promises immense joy and happiness. But then, not all pregnancies run a smooth course; some falter at the start only to enjoy an uneventful ride to the finish line; others however, fail for some reason or the other. There are times when mistakes could have been avoided and others when no preventive measure works. Whatever the reason for the loss, the key is to get past it and move on to thinking of the next pregnancy as soon as you’re healthy enough. And to this end, here are a few things that help make the process easier are:
  • Letting go of the past and focusing on the future – when you’re hung up on what happened and your mind is filled with post mortem analyzes of what could have been and why things went wrong, you don’t allow yourself to move forward. This is not only detrimental to your mental health but also disadvantageous when it comes to planning for your next child. Your fears of failure again become irrational and raise your stress levels to undesirable heights. So forget the past, and think of what needs to be done next.
  • Identifying mistakes that were made in the past and ensuring that they’re not repeated this time round – when you avoid carelessness and negligence, a whole lot of mistakes and oversights can be prevented. Talk to your doctor and find out what you need to do to ensure that you don’t lose the next baby you conceive. Enlist the support of friends and family members to help out in any way they can.
  • Doing all you can to avoid stress and worry during the time you’re trying to conceive and after that until the baby’s born – stress is the biggest killer of pregnancy; it either causes you to abort or does irreparable damage to your mental health and the wellbeing of your child. So learn to relax and let go of all that is bothering you, and your pregnancy will happen soon enough.
Even though you’re actively planning the pregnancy and preparing for a baby’s arrival in your mind, the best way to ensure that you conceive is to forget that you’re trying to make a baby. Go about your normal routine as you would every day, unless of course it causes too much stress and you need to find ways to tone down the intensity of your schedule and relax more often. Schedule romantic interludes that reduce stress and boost the production of hormones that are conducive to conception and pregnancy, and which enhance your mood and leave you feeling good about yourself. And last, but most important of all, stop thinking about what was and what will be; instead, focus on the here and now, enjoy your life, live in the moment, and be rewarded with another bundle of joy.