What is Genomics as Opposed to Genetics?

Just what is genomics? Most people have some idea as to what genetics is all about, or are at least familiar with the term. Introduce genomics into a conversation however and you’re apt to get a blank stare. There are those who use the two terms interchangeably, thinking they mean the same thing, but that’s not quite true, even though there is a definite relationship.

 

It’s All in the Genes

 

When we think of genetics, we usually think of it in terms of heredity. We inherit our ancestor’s genes, both the good ones and the not so good ones. When the conversation in about genetics, it most often is about individual genes and what their role is in heredity.

 

If genetics focuses on matters of heredity then, just what is genomics, and what is its focus? If you haven’t heard the term before, you still very likely have run across the term genome, specifically the human genome. A genome is much more complex than a gene, because it is a collection of genes. The human genome is in fact a collection of all of the genes that make up a given organism, whether that organism is human or something else.

 

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What is Bioinformatics?

What is Bioinformatics? A Guide to Biological Technology

What is bioinformatics? This is a question that one probably wouldn’t ponder unless the word “bioinformatics” were to come up in conversation or read about in an article. Bioinformatics is a specific research and development field dealing with technology that organizes, stores, and retrieves biological information. On top of that, bioinformatics technology may also process certain types of biological information on a level that would be highly difficult for humans to interpret and process by hand. Comparing and matching DNA sequences and pinpointing genome mutations are just part of what bioinformatics has a hand in.
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Home Remedies for Kidney Stones

Whenever I work in the lab, I don’t like to be disturbed as much as possible even with personal necessities. So I sometimes hold myself and avoid urinating even if I wanted to until I have finished my experiment. But I was afraid it could take a toll on my health.

One of the health problems I fear having is developing kidney stones. Kidney stones develop from the chemicals found in the urine such as the phosphorus, uric acid, oxalic acid and calcium. In my research, I found out that the real common causes of kidney stones are mineral imbalance, dehydration, excessive vitamin D consumption, improper diet and gout.

Many people are asking what do kidney stones feel like because just like me, they are worried they might already have these stones. Regardless of the size of the stones, they can cause severe pain on a person. Other symptoms may also come out such as frequent urination, vomiting, nausea, painful urination and excessive sweating.

Many cases of kidney stones can be treated at home using natural ingredients. Based on my research, here are some of the most common home remedies for avoiding or eliminating kidney stones:

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

A mixture of 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in a cup of warm water and a teaspoon of honey is one of the most inexpensive home remedies for kidney stones. Drink this mixture several times a day.

2. Olive oil plus lemon juice

The combination of olive oil and lemon juice is a traditional remedy for gallbladder stones, which may also work as well for kidney stones. The citric acid in lemon juice can help break down the vitamin D component of the kidney stones and stop its growth.

Simply combine 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and equal amounts of oil. Drink this mixture followed by water. Drink it three times a day for three days or more. One drawback of this remedy is that it may not be an effective remedy for large stones.

3. Pomegranate

Pomegranate seeds and juice both contain astringent properties which can help in passing kidney stones. Making this fruit a part of your diet can help you avoid and pass kidney stones.

4. Basil

Basil which is one of the most common herbs used in the kitchen is regarded as a good tonic for the kidney and may also help induce expulsion of stones from the kidney. Steep at least five basil leaves in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Let it cool before drinking. You may also add a teaspoon of honey to the tea for better taste. You could take it in the morning before breakfast for at least five months.

5. Nettle Leaf

Nettle leaf helps promote smooth urination and can be a good remedy for people with kidney stones. It acts as a natural diuretic and can help avoid the formation of kidney stones. To benefit from this remedy, get a cup of hot water and then add 2 teaspoons of dried nettle leaf. Steep for 10 minutes, strain, and then drink the tea. Drink at least two cups of this tea every day for several weeks.

If you do have kidney stones but are afraid you may develop it because of your lifestyle, or if you already have kidney stones that you want to get rid of, these simple home remedies may be able to help you. You may still need to see your doctor for advice.

Remedies for Nodular Acne

I have known of some people who are suffering from various skin problems such as rashes, pimples or acne, which cause them to be less confident about themselves. I even have a classmate in my master’s class who really spend a significant amount of her budget on creams and ointments just to get rid of acne. Thankfully, I don’t have to deal with serious skin problems until now. But one of my greatest fears is to have nodular acne because I have seen how disturbing it can become if a person has it especially on the face.

Acne nodules are inflammatory acne lesions that can spread all over the skin when there is a severe acne breakout. These nodules are large bumps under the skin which can be painful and difficult to treat. They can also last long and may cause acne scars in the end. Aside from the face, acne nodules may also develop in other parts of the body where there is an abundance of sebaceous follicles. They may also appear on the chest, back, neck, face and in severe cases, on the arms, buttocks and thighs.

While those who have a budget normally resort to expensive treatments such as LED light therapy, there are several remedies available that are less expensive. One of them is salicylic acid peel which involves using salicylic acid as a peeling ingredient. This remedy is known to help improve the skin texture of patients with acne. Although it should be done with a doctor’s supervision, you can also do it at home with some safety precautions.

There are also acne medications that can help reduce swelling of the acne nodules. One of them is cortisone which is injected into the acne nodules to control shriveling and avoid scarring. I have also known of oral corticosteroids that can also be used to get rid of acne. And of course, there are topical products containing active ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide which can help shrink the nodules. In some instances, stronger antibiotics may also be administered to kill acne-causing bacteria.

Aside from conventional medications, you may also be able to benefit from using natural remedies such as herbs that contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Natural remedies can also be as effective as commercial treatments and they are also less expensive and generally leave no side effects. Among the known natural remedies you can try are aloe vera and tea tree oil extracts. You can directly apply them on the affected area to promote healing.

I have also known of people who use honey, green tea and ginger to treat their acne, but I am not sure about how they use these products. They are normally prepared as a paste which is then directly applied on the skin.

Different remedies may have different effects on people. One remedy may be effective on one person but not on another. If one remedy does not work for you, you could always with caution try another. Personally, I prefer a natural remedy because it leaves no side effects. But then again, it is a personal choice you have to make.

Common Types of Anxiety that Could Affect You

Feeling nervous at times is normal. I feel nervous every time I make new experiments in the lab. I also feel nervous when I am alone or am in an unfamiliar place. And sometimes, I just feel nervous without any valid reason.

There is nothing wrong with feeling nervous from time to time. It is a normal reaction of the body to stress and more often, it could help a person protect himself from risky situations or to finish a particular undertaking. However, there are people whose nervousness becomes abnormal. I know of some people who have developed anxiety disorders because of frequent unreasonable nervousness. People with problems in dealing with nervousness may also develop anxiety disorders. And it is important to know when nervousness becomes a disorder because it is that time when you should see a doctor.

Here are five of the most common anxiety disorders and how to detect them:

PSD

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PSD) is common among people who have experienced a terrifying ordeal where the person’s safety was threatened. That ordeal could be an accident, disaster, physical or sexual assault or military combat. Signs that a person has PSD include nightmares, lack of sleep and persistent memories of that terrifying event. Also, you will notice them to be easily startled or emotionally detached.

OCD

People who have a recurrent and unwanted obsession that leads them to do repetitive behaviors or compulsions are known to have an Obsessive Compulsive Behavior (OCD). It is manifested by behaviors like repeated hand washings, checking locks, cleaning excessively and counting objects, among others. Doing their rituals provides people with OCD temporary relief but seeing a doctor is the best way to deal with the problem.

SAD

Some people develop an anxiety over an intense fear that they are being publicly watched or judged. This leads them to develop a Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Sufferers may have a hard time going out socially, attending occasions, or going to school or work.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Patients with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) are characterized by exaggerated tensions, worries and chronic anxiety even when there is nothing to be worried about. Sufferers can be overly concerned about almost anything such as health, work or family issues, and finances. They often manifest irritability, fatigue, headache, hot flashes and sweating.

Relationship Anxiety Disorder

Fear and love are two factors that could lead a person to develop a relationship anxiety disorder. This disorder is derived from GAD and is not yet officially diagnosed. However, this kind of anxiety is very common in many relationships. Symptoms include inappropriate and excessive jealousy, being overly clingy or needy, and being aloof and disinterested about other things. In their relationships, they also always test their partners and are constantly demanding for reassurance from their partners.

Although patients suffering from anxiety disorders may be able to find relief by taking supplements for anxiety, I still strongly suggest seeing a doctor as the best course of action. Among the people who I know to have anxiety disorders, I have seen some improvements on those who regularly see their doctor for advice.

What Causes Salty Taste in Mouth

Salty taste in mouth is not something we encounter every day. But I did experience this odd taste before and I would say that it was not the nicest taste I ever had. Even if there was nothing in my mouth or I did not eat anything salty, the taste was still there. It is good that I only had it for a short time.

Based on some articles I read, I was not alone with this problem. Many people have also experienced having an abnormal taste in their mouth. Some have a metal taste in mouth, others have a sweet taste, and some have experienced a burning sensation in their mouth. These odd tastes in the mouth could go on for days and some even for months or years. It could affect a person’s appetite for food as the taste could linger even while eating other foods that taste differently.

As I was getting to the bottom of this abnormal salty taste, I found out that there are several possible causes for this problem. One is oral problem which could be a gum disease, tooth decay or oral infection. That is why people with lingering salty taste in their mouth are more often advised to see first their dentist before seeing a physician. Treating the oral problem could also put an end to the taste problem.

If oral problem is not detected, the next step is to see your doctor. There are several underlying health conditions that could also affect your sense of taste. These include a digestive disorder like gastroesophageal reflux disease which can be treated with lifestyle changes. A sinus infection could also be the culprit as it can cause salty postnasal drip. This problem can be treated with antibiotics. Certain medicines can also leave a salty taste in the mouth. These include antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, medicines for blood pressure, and sedatives. Additionally, for some women, hormonal changes during menopausal stage may also cause this problem.

Normally, the salty taste issue will just go away once the underlying condition is treated. In the case of certain medications causing it, switching medications is the best resort. But it is important that your doctor first determines your underlying condition. If your doctor is not able to diagnose your problem, you may be referred to a chemosensory center where you would undergo a series of tests and evaluation. This includes a sip, spit and rinse test which can help evaluate your sense of taste. Apart from that, there will also be a test that will evaluate your sense of smell. Smell and taste are closely related. In some cases, people who are perceived to be experiencing an odd taste in their mouth actually have problems with their smell but they don’t realize it.

Having an abnormal taste in the mouth is not something we should take for granted. It may just be a taste for you but it could also be a sign of an underlying and more serious health problem that needs immediate treatment. If you have a salty taste in your mouth and it lingers for several days, it is best to see your dentist or physician as soon as possible.

5 Reasons You Could Have Itchy Armpits

I have seen numerous times people scratching their armpits in public. For me, that is something gross and should be done privately. But who can resist scratching an itchy armpit? In a casual conversation with one of my friends, someone mentioned who she was scratching her itchy armpits in public and how it was hard to control.

Itchy armpit is not unusual since you might have also seen people unknowingly scratching their armpits. It is just as common as people having pain in right arm or left arm. But even if it is common, it is not normal. In fact, your armpits should not itch at all if they are healthy. If they start to itch recently, perhaps there have been some recent changes in your lifestyle or there could be something wrong with your health.

There are at least five factors that can cause a person’s armpits to itch. Knowing them is the best approach towards prevention:

1. Lack of proper hygiene

Proper hygiene requires washing of your armpits twice a day, preferably once in the morning and once before sleeping. Sweat and dirt collect in the armpits. If you don’t bath regularly and clean your armpits with soap, they will become an ideal breeding ground for bacteria which can cause itchiness. Additionally, if you engage in physical activities that cause you to sweat, it is also important to wash your armpits afterwards to eliminate bacteria to thrive in them.

2. Candida yeast infection

The human body naturally produces Candida Albicans which is a type of yeast. They are not harmful to the body. However, sometimes there will be an overgrowth of this yeast which will normally occur in moist places such as the groin and armpits. Overgrowth can cause infection including rashes. A person may then suffer from itchiness in the affected area. But this condition can be treated using anti-fungal medications.

3. Deodorants and antiperspirants

For some people, their deodorant or antiperspirant is what’s causing them to itch. The product they are using may contain ingredients that they are allergic to. In this case, itching may stop by switching to another product. In some cases, a person may not be allergic to the product itself but instead, the product is causing a blockage in the sweat glands which would cause rashes and red bumps that can be itchy.

4. Hyperhidrosis

A person who sweats profusely may suffer from a condition called hyperhidrosis. Excessive sweating can cause bacteria or yeast overgrowth in the armpits, which in turn causes itchiness. There is no clear treatment for hyperhidrosis so the best recourse for a person having this condition is to wash the armpits more often.

5. Dermatitis

You could also have itching armpits if you have dermatitis. Dermatitis is an inflammation caused by an allergic reaction to certain personal care products such as deodorants and soaps. Certain antibiotics may also cause it. Symptoms include itchiness, redness of the skin and lesion.

An itchy armpit is an occurrence that you want to avoid. Basically, prevention just shows how much you give attention to cleaning your armpits. But if you already are suffering from this problem, it would be good to consult your doctor about it than to suffer in silence.

5 Serious Diseases Affecting Cats

Aside from dogs, cats are also considered as one of the most popular pets that you can find in many homes. I have several friends who own a cat or two. One good thing about these animals is that they are naturally clean, quiet and also loyal. And whoever owns a cat knows that this favorite house pet also needs adequate attention especially when it comes to their general health condition.

As I studied more about biology, I have learned that there are so many things in common between humans and animals. Among them are the various diseases affecting humans that can also affect animals, cats in particular. And a number of these diseases are considered to be serious and life-threatening to cats. I have listed five of the most common diseases to serve as a reference for those who own a cat or are planning to own one:

  1. Renal Failure

Renal failure is considered to be one of the leading causes of fatalities among older cats. Renal failure is caused by kidney diseases which may also develop due to age and genetic or environmental factors. Feline renal failure may be acute (sudden kidney failure) or chronic (progressive kidney deterioration). Symptoms of kidney disease that may lead to renal failure include vomiting, nausea, excessive urination, frequent drinking, grinding sound in the jaw, and loss of appetite which normally leads to weight loss. You may also notice that your cat smells like ammonia or is getting lethargic. The sooner that your cat gets treatment, the better is its chances to live longer despite the fact that feline diseases have no cure.

  1. Rabies

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, cats have more cases of rabies than any other domestic animal in the US. And feline rabies is considered to be a serious and dangerous disease because it can be passed on not only to other cats but also to humans through their bites. Symptoms of rabies in cats include drooling, yowling, fever, conjunctivitis, poor coordination, strange behavior, depression and weight loss. This disease has no cure and ultimately, it can lead to a cat’s death. Fortunately, it can be prevented through vaccination and by keeping your cat indoors to avoid contact with wild animals which are common carriers of rabies.

  1. Cardiomyopathy

This type of disease is the most common form of heart disease that can affect cats. It is also one of the leading causes of why a significant number of cats die suddenly. And to make this condition worse, there are only a few noticeable symptoms of this disease, making it hard for owners to detect. The best way to detect this condition is to have your cat checked by your veterinarian at least once every year.

  1. Diabetes

Diabetes is one of the serious conditions in cats, but it can be detected from its symptoms which include frequent urination, abnormally big appetite, increased thirst and frequent drinking, and weight loss. Once diagnosed, your veterinarian would usually recommend a special diet plan for your cat to manage the condition.

  1. Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis in cats is a condition that may be caused by a number of factors including parasites, drug reaction, infection and trauma. However, 90 percent of the reported cases have no definite cause. Among the different breeds of cats, Siamese cats have a genetic predisposition to this problem. Common symptoms include lethargy, poor appetite, dehydration and lower than normal body temperature. Diagnosing this problem can be difficult even among veterinarians, but a series of tests which include ultrasound and blood test can help support the diagnosis. It is important that this condition would receive immediate treatment as it can lead to kidney or respiratory failure and ultimately death.

There are many other serious diseases that can affect cats that I have not included in the list such as roundworms in cats or infections in cats because many owners are already knowledgeable about these problems. If you are really serious about keeping your cat in good health, I would recommend searching also for diseases that are inherent to the breed of cat you have. The more knowledgeable you are to the diseases that can affect your pet, the better you can keep your cat in healthy condition.

Lionhead Bunnies: What You Need to Know to Own One

Pets are becoming an increasingly popular member of many households. Growing up as a child, I was also surrounded by house pets. May people I know own a dog or a cat, but rarely do I know someone who owns a domestic bunny or rabbit. They say that most domestic rabbits or bunny breeds require just as much care and maintenance as most cats and dogs, which led me to think that bunnies are not that difficult to have. If any of you are interested to own a bunny, one particular breed that you could try is the cute-looking lionhead bunnies. I have heard a lot of good things about this breed which makes them a good house pet.

Lionhead rabbits are still new among the domesticated rabbit breeds, but more and more hobbyists are interested to raise them for breeding or as pets. They got their name because of their unique flaunt mane which looks similar to a lion. This breed is a cross between a Belgian Dwarf and a Swiss Fox. Having a dwarf parent, it gives these rabbits a small body structure with a weight that ranges between 2.5 and 4 pounds. Their ears can measure up to 3.5 inches in length and it has a mane that is normally two inches thicker than its fur. Depending on the combination of genes, their mane can be single or double. They also come in a range of colors including white, gray and brown.

Temperament

Lionheads are admired for their gentle and friendly attitude. They are also inquisitive and like to play. If well-trained and given adequate attention from a young age, they can even be a more friendly pet which likes to be cuddled and become a good companion. Also, this breed of rabbit can be easily litter-trained as they are naturally intelligent.

Grooming

Double mane lionheads require more combing than single mane lionheads as their thick fur are prone to developing knots. Combing can be done several times each week using a mat breaker to prevent mats from getting too large. More frequent grooming is required during shedding time because they are prone to wool-bock.

Diet

Feeding lionheads are just the same with other rabbits. Fresh timothy hay should be made available at all times together with low-protein pellets. Fresh vegetables and fruits such as pineapple and papaya also make an excellent supplement to their diet to boost their immune system. Treats are okay but should be minimized as they can cause loose stool.

Health Problems

As lionheads grow into adulthood, some female rabbits can shed their mane wool. It is a kind of disorder that many breeders try to prevent. But this problem can be hardly detected among newborn kits unless you know the medical history of their mother, as this disorder tends to be genetics.

Lionheads are still a new breed and limited amount of information are available about them. But the information mentioned here should be useful for anyone who would like to own this breed of rabbits.

8 Methods Commonly Used By a Controlling Partner

You know that you are in a healthy relationship when both you and your partner are in control of it. That means, neither is controlling or being controlled. But I have seen a lot of women including some of my friends being manipulated by their controlling boyfriend. Having a controlling partner is not healthy in a relationship because it normally hinders the person being controlled from personal growth and happiness. Additionally, being in a controlling relationship is something you don’t want to be in because it can be hard to get out of the relationship once you are already too involved with the other person.

Anyone can get trapped in a controlling relationship without the person knowing it. And it is something I like to avoid myself. Just like a person with an only child syndrome, a controlling partner manifests several characteristics that can give you an idea about his or her personality. And more often, he or she uses subtle ways to control the other person. It would be good to know the methods commonly used by a controller so as to avoid falling victim with his or her controlling attitude.

According to Matthew McKay who works as a clinical psychologist and a co-author of Couple Skills, there are eight aversive methods used by controllers to take charge of their relationship, which are as follows:

  1. Discounting

A controlling person normally sends a message that the needs of his or her partner are invalid, unimportant or illegitimate, to shame the other person into submission.

  1. Withdrawal or Abandonment

Another popular technique of a controller is to manipulate the other person to what the controller wants or else would leave. Most partners who are threatened with abandonment are willing to do what the controller wants to avoid being left.

  1. Threatening Behavior

According to Dr. MacKay, this method is perhaps the most serious as it sends a message of hurting the other person emotionally or physically unless the wishes of the controlling person are granted.

  1. Blaming

A person who always blames his or her partner for any fault in the relationship is a controlling person.

5 & 6. Belittling and Guilt-tripping

In this method, the controlling partner conveys a message that the other person is unfair and inconsiderate in the relationship.

  1. Derailing

Derailing is when the controlling partner changes or shifts the focus of the conversation when confronted with the needs of the other person. This can be frustrating to the person being controlled as it makes it difficult to express his or her real feelings about the relationship. It also conveys a message that the needs of the other person are not worth talking about.

  1. Taking Away

Finally, to manipulate his or her partner, a controlling person attempts to withdraw any kind of support whether financially or emotionally if his or her needs or wants are not followed.

I certainly dislike people who try to control or manipulate others. If you see any of these behaviors in your boyfriend or girlfriend, you might want to or should reconsider your relationship if it is really worth it or not. And don’t think that you can change your controlling partner at a future time because most often, it ends up as wishful thinking. Everyone deserves a happy relationship. To achieve this, avoid a controlling person.

Back Pain: What It Is Telling You

I am quite sure that most of you have experienced back pain for a number of times in the past as a result of doing strenuous work that involves bending, pulling or lifting. I also have suffered from this type of pain after sitting down for several hours straight.

Back pain is a fairly common problem. However, there are cases where it masks the symptoms of a serious disease. I have read a number of books and resources online focusing on some of the serious diseases that come with back pain as its symptoms. Next time you experience back pain, it is important to ask yourself whether the kind of pain you have is still normal or is already a condition that needs to be checked by your health care provider.

Pain in different parts of the back such as left or right side back pain, middle back pain or lower back pain may indicate a certain type of underlying condition.

Middle Back Pain

Symptoms:

  • Severe pain in the middle back which can be intermittent or consistent
  • Pain in the groin and abdomen
  • Pain in urinating
  • Blood in the urine

One of the more probable causes for this type of back pain is kidney stones. When the urine becomes too concentrated, waste products in the urine can build up and form stone-like crystals which can be hard and painful to pass. Men are more at risk of this condition especially if they are obese.

Treatment

Certain types of stones especially the smaller ones can be excreted in the urine even without treatment. However, larger ones may need to be broken down with laser, shock waves or certain medications.

Back and Abdominal Pain

Symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain that extends to the back, causing sudden mild to severe pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain that worsens while eating

This type of back pain may be caused by an inflammation in the pancreas, otherwise known as pancreatitis. The associated pain may last for a week, while chronic inflammation may persist for years. Pancreatitis is more common among middle-aged as well as elderly people. Heavy drinkers are also often affected with this condition.

Treatment

If the patient is alcoholic, the initial treatment normally involves avoiding any alcoholic drinks before a series of treatment can be started. Patients may be given medication for pain relief as well as intravenous fluid and oxygen.

Back and Shoulder Pain

Symptoms:

  • Pain on the right side of the abdomen, under the rib which radiates to the back
  • Nausea
  • Pain when inhaling
  • Arm pain

Patients who manifest the above symptoms may be suffering from gallstones or inflamed gallbladder. The pain may be constant or intermittent and may vary in severity from sharp to dull pain. The pain is also normally felt during night time especially after meals.

Treatment

If the cause of the pain is gallstones, surgery can help remove them. In case of inflammation, the condition is normally treated with certain medications.

There are many other conditions that can cause back pain aside from those listed above. It would be good to be aware that such underlying conditions exist and that you can identify them through their different symptoms.

Unexplainable Life

I am very much amazed on the way that babies grow up. Imagine such a little thing grow up to be twice its size in such a short time inside the womb, then grow up gradually when it is already born out in the world. There must be some kind of mechanism or alarm inside the baby that tells it to slow down a little or speed up quite a bit. It’s really a marvel to behold and witness such events.

Newborn growth spurts makes a baby suddenly inflate, pardon the word, at such a short time, that you would have thought it short of amazing. One time the baby is just this big and the next time you know, it has already outgrown its clothes. We are really witnessing a bonafide miracle when we see a baby grow up to be a child, and it is very wonderful to behold.

A part of what enables it is the baby’s ravenousness in feeding at certain stages. If you are a mother and you breastfeed your babies, there is a big chance that you will feel that extra tug at your nipples or that more pronounced sucking at your breasts during such times. When you notice these things occurring then you might be expecting a growth spurt happening real soon.

Growth spurts, although a very good thing, certainly has its share of disadvantages particularly to the baby, and to the mother on a lesser degree. The baby’s digestive system, particularly the stomach, is not yet mature enough to handle such an influx of milk that it often leads to newborn diarrhea. If you think about it, diarrhea is really supposed to happen if only to enable the baby to learn how to regulate his or her feeding, but we don’t know for sure.

The early days of a baby is something sort of like a trial phase. During those times, the baby’s innate instinct enables it to breathe on its own, try on different kinds of movements, partake of nutrition by sucking, sleep, and wake up. They do everything the first time and everything inside them is also adjusting at the same time.

We do not know if there is already awareness in them, albeit on a much minute scale, or it is really just instinct that drives them to do what they do during the early days. When can we expect instinct be replaced by habit or choice, or what really is instinct all about and how do babies acquire it? Do we give it to them?

You can clearly see how much flummoxed I am about the whole baby thing. I usually pride myself to be a very thorough person who hates unquantifiable things and I may have met my match with regards to how really life is formed and brought about. I hate to concede on it but it really is a miracle, this whole thing of giving birth. It makes me realize that there really is something out there taking care of us. And that I totally believe.

Just Thinking

I was at a master’s biology class the other day when I can’t help but notice that one of our professor’s fingers was bent at an acute angle and pointing towards his palm. He was an old fellow who had taught in the university all his life and is currently dean of the biology department. I really can’t take my eyes off it as I was very intrigued of what has made it so and I think that my professor even noticed me looking at it.

I was thinking it was really arthritis in my fingers that caused it because he was already of the age when those sorts of things happen. Arthritis can be really cruel to a person having it. It is not only very disfiguring to whatever part of the body it affects but also very much painful to have. People have been known to be reduced to tears when arthritis and its symptoms strike.

Arthritis is a very debilitating disease that affects the body’s joints and musculoskeletal system. It is mainly caused by the erosion of the protective covering of the joints that often leads to bone on bone contact. Arthritis may be due to several predisposing factors such as a person’s genetic makeup, repetitive and forceful movements involving the joints, a past injury, autoimmune diseases, allergies, infections, and many others.

People above the age of 50 usually are the ones most affected by it but it can also start at a very young age. My grandmother has it and I can see the trouble she has with it. It acts up every now and then, especially in winter. She is in such pain when arthritis attacks and the bending of several of her toes are beginning to get more pronounced and apparent. I know that it is hereditary and I may be also in line for it but I really hope not.

Or maybe I am just imagining things by myself. Maybe the bending of the professor’s fingers is really nothing but a sprained finger or an injury of sorts, which he may have suffered in the past. I don’t see him fuss over it and never have I seen him in pain because of them. I don’t really know and I am not about to ask him about it either.

We all grow old at one point in our lives, no, we in fact, grow old all time. Every second of every day, we are growing old, and we inevitably feel and experience its effects on our body. Somebody said that we were born already dying and it is only a matter of time until we do.

We can prolong our lives a little bit longer by the things we do or eat, but no matter how hard we tried, we eventually die in the end. Let’s all just hope that somebody discovers a way where we all can live forever or at least double or triple our life expectancy. Now that would be the day!

Tingling Feet: What Does It Tell?

tingling feet

After sitting down for a long time with legs in a crossed position, perhaps many of you have already experienced that tingling feet or “pins and needles” sensation. I have experienced it for countless of times already. As I delved more into this occurrence, I learned that the medical term for it is paresthesia, a common condition that normally goes on its own after several minutes or once the pressure in the legs is relieved. However, I was alarmed that in some instances, paresthesia may also be a sign of a more serious condition that needs medical attention. It is not like a case of ordinary sprained foot or other foot condition where you can almost always assume that it is what you think it is.

Since paresthesia is very common, it would be good to check out what this kind of condition might tell you about your health.

Paresthesia Defined

Paresthesia is oftentimes caused by putting too much pressure on the nerves which can happen when you sit on your feet or cross your legs for a long time. The sensation is normally mild and temporary and does not need treatment.

Serious Causes of Paresthesia

If paresthesia is just temporary and you know what causes it, there should be no reason to worry. However, if you have persisting paresthesia and you have no idea what is causing it, you should consider visiting a podiatrist because you could already be suffering from a more serious condition which may be one or more of the following:

  • Nerve dysfunction
  • Peripheral neuropathy or nerve damage
  • Nerve entrapment
  • Systemic diseases such as multiple sclerosis or hypothyroidism
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Poor blood circulation
  • Injury or trauma to the nerve
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Infection such as shingles
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke or seizure
  • Autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • Ruptured disc
  • Others such as side effects of medication, alcoholism and toxic exposure

More often, serious cases of paresthesia are also accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, itchiness, muscle spasms, numbness, dizziness, changes in vision, walking difficulty, weakness, loss of consciousness, confusion, rashes, and loss of bladder or bowel control. In case any of these symptoms comes with paresthesia, your condition should be taken more seriously and be checked by a podiatrist.

Treatment for Paresthesia

Treatment for serious cases of paresthesia generally depends on its underlying cause which must first be correctly identified by your doctor. Once the underlying condition is determined and treated, the tingling sensation will normally just go away with it. For instance, if it is caused by diabetes, the tingling sensation will normally lessen once you are able to manage your sugar level. For ordinary paresthesia, there is no treatment for it but can easily be prevented by finding a more comfortable sitting position that will not put much pressure on your feet.

Most people would experience a tingling sensation in their feet at any point in their life and it may occur more than just once. It is important that you know what a feet tingling sensation is telling you as it may either be an ordinary occurrence or a condition that requires immediate medical attention.

 

8 Areas of Compatibility for a Healthy Relationship

Perhaps most, if not all of us, desire to have a happy and long-lasting relationship with the person we love. Unfortunately, a fairy tale happy ending is not always true in the real sense. I have seen so many relationships among celebrities, friends and even families get broken because of compatibility issues. I also heard how MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) personality assessment influences some people in their relationships. For instance, many consider INFJ relationships and INFP relationships as among the most successful and long-lasting relationships because of the many positive traits INFJs and INFPs have. It is why many look forward to meeting a person with these types of personality.

infp relationshipsTo some extent, finding a partner based on MBTI assessment can have some benefits. But in addition to that, it is also important to know the different aspects of a relationship where compatibility is needed.

  1. Intimacy. Personal and sexual intimacy is vital for a healthy relationship. Although every couple has different needs for intimacy, it is important for both partners to achieve the same level of satisfaction in these areas.
  2. Conversation. While it may be okay in a relationship where one partner does most of the talking while the other just listens, it is even better if there is a balance as to who listens and who does the talking. Compatibility in this area is important since a good conversation is a key to a healthy relationship.
  3. Philosophy. Compatibility in your philosophy does not mean that you have to have the same religious, political or social views. It just means that you have to share similarities on what truly matters in life such as family and others.
  4. Relaxation. It is natural for men and women to have varying forms of relaxation. While some women find it relaxing to read books, some men may find it boring. But in a relationship, it is important that you should find at least tolerable what your partner considers as relaxing.
  5. Interests. Having different interests may rarely be a cause of relationship breakups but sharing the same interests can help bind your relationship.
  6. Ambition. Your partner may have a different ambition as you have but it is important that you should share similarities in your ultimate goal. For instance, your partner might have the ambition to own a nice car and live in the city while your ambition is to live a simple life in the country. In this case, your relationship might not work because of your diametrically opposite goals.
  7. Respect. It is said that the true measure of relationship compatibility is the level of respect each partner has for the other person.
  1. Passion. Feeling passionate to each other can help you feel happy and more attached to your partner.

If you have experienced no compatibility issues in most of these areas, then you are fortunate because it is a good sign that you are into a healthy relationship. It is important to note that if you desire to be in a long-lasting relationship, you should exert an effort to be compatible with your partner in the areas listed above.