Sunday, December 31, 2006

What Are The Best Toys And Treats For Your Dog?

Keeping your dog entertained is important to his health and wellbeing. Oh and of course dogs love to play and play andplay! Dog toys can help keep your dog fit, healthy and they can also be part of your dog's education when used with treats to help with training.

When Should I use Dog Treats?

Not all dog treats are created equal. While every dog enjoys treats you will find that your dog prefers some to others. With so many choices now on the market it's not a difficult task to find a dog treat that he prefers. Once you've found the ideal treat you can start to use it as a training tool. That doesn't preclude you giving him a treat because you love him but by treating your dog for good behavior you are re-enforcing positive actions which will become a habit for your dog.

What is the Best Type of Dog Treat?

There is a wide variety of dog treats available. Some are sweet, some are hard, some are soft, or crunchy or savory or a combination of these. As with us, your dog will prefer a different type at differnt times. Some things to be aware of if you've chosen a hard or crunchy treat are that it's not too hard and that it won't hurt or break your dog's teeth. You may be surprised to find that some treats are designed to clean your dog's teeth and remove that bad dog breath! You will find that as your dog ages his preferences will change too and you should change the treats that you feed him to suit his age.

Be aware that not all dog treats are beneficial. A lot of them have sugar, preservatives or chemicals that are bad for your dog, so always check the label. If you have a dog with allergies you'll need to check the labels to find a treat that does not cause allergic reactions and that your dog likes. Your vet may be able to help you in this case.

If you don't locate the perfect dog treat you should think about creating your own. It's not as difficult as you may think and whole companies have started from a kitchen table and a good recipe. Some ingredients to consider are chicken, rice, carrots and peas. It's fun to do and your dog will appreciate the effort! If you've any left over consider selling them to your local pet store. Many carry small lines of homemade treats. If you need some recipes try searching on the internet, or just invent your own. Once you've made your treats keep them in airtight containers. This not only helps keep them fresh, but also keeps them safe from your dog too!

What to Look For in a Dog Toy

One of a dog's favorite pastimes is chewing. Most dogs just love to chew! Oh and chew :-) So don't be surprised that a lot of the dog toys on the market today are focused on chewing. A dog toy that can be chewed provides a benefit for your dog's teeth and supports his natural tendency to chew. This not only helps dental health but is a non destructive and safe outlet for your dog's need to chew.

Before you go and buy a chew toy you need to think about how your dog likes to chew. A canine that chews hard and vigorously will need a stronger toy made out of hard rubber or nylon. Latex and vinyl toys are designed for canines who are lighter chewers. Whichever type your dog is, you will need to keep a watch when he's playing with the toy, especially squeaky toys, to make sure that you can take away the pieces as it falls apart. Some toys can be destroyed in a matter of minutes.

For the moderate or average chewer and for puppies there are dental or flavored chew toys made out of rawhide that can be eaten. These are great, just give it to your dog and let him have at it! Also for puppies there are the plush toys that he can carry around and snuggle up with. Make sure it's machine washable though otherwise it's going to get really dirty!

For fun you might like to try out a Tricky Treat Ball. This is an entertaining toy that gets filled with treats, usually dry like kibble. You can also try out cheese, carrots or meat cut into small cubes. Put the food into the ball and give it a shake. Then let your dog play with it and the food will fall through the holes in the ball. Your favorite friend will love it!!

You can go even further with this idea. There are gumball machines designed to use treats or dry food for your dog. Just add the food to the machine and let your dog play with the gumball machine.

It's important to keep your dog entertained with good dog toys and treats, and he in turn will keep you entertained for hours!

About The Author: David Amos is a dog lover and long time dog owner. For more information about dog toys and treats go to For more about dog care and keeping your dog happy and healthy go to

Friday, December 29, 2006

Women’s Weight Loss Strategies That Work

If you’re like the majority of women, especially those approaching menopause, there’s a good chance that you’re not satisfied with your weight and you have a strong desire to shed some pounds. And, just like most women, you’ve probably attempted weight loss on several occasions, only to give up after a short time. Maybe you’ve given up because you became discouraged, or perhaps you were facing a stressful period and you turned to food for comfort. Whatever the reason, there are diet strategies available that will assist you in successfully reaching your weight loss goal. The key is remembering these strategies. I strongly suggest you print out the following list and keep a copy on your refrigerator, in your purse, on your desk, on the dashboard of your car and anywhere else you may frequently look.

• Set Realistic Goals – Set a realistic, short-term weight goal. It’s best to take small steps so that you can feel successful with each accomplishment you make, even those that are small. In other words, set your first goal for 30 days from now, perhaps making that goal to lose 8-10 pounds. This is a very realistic and reachable goal if you stick to a well balanced diet. Once you’ve successfully accomplished this first goal, set your next for another 30 or 60 days and so on. In the end you will feel successful, accomplished and thin.

• Share Your Goals with Others – Yes, tell other people with whom you’re close exactly what your weight loss goal is. By doing so you’ll be more likely to stick with your goal due to the fact that you’ll likely feel humiliated and embarrassed if you should fail. Remind your friends that you only have so many days left before your deadline is up. This is sure to keep you in line because nobody likes to feel like a failure or think that they look like a failure to others.

• Be Organized and Prepared – Be sure to have your refrigerator and cupboards stocked with healthy, low-calorie and low-fat foods. This will prevent you from being tempted to reach for unhealthy snacks. You see, if healthy foods aren’t readily available and you’re looking for a shack, it’s quite likely that you’ll reach for whatever may be available. You’ll avoid this if you have a good supply of fruits, nuts and vegetables around.

• Think Before You Eat – If you’re tempted to grab a bite to eat, stop and think for a moment. Ask yourself if you’re really hungry or instead bored, stressed or perhaps reaching for food simply because it’s in front of you. If you decide you’re not really hungry after all, distract yourself by doing something productive, making a phone call, reading or even going for a walk. Just like with smoking, usually the temptation will pass.

• Keep a Food Journal – Make an entry for each meal and snack you consume, as well as the time and number of calories for these entries. This will assist you a great deal in ensuring that you’re not overeating or exceeding the calorie limit you’ve set for yourself. Even if you should grab a cracker while you’re on the run, be sure to log it in because every calorie should be counted. For a free journal, go to

• Exercise – Make time to fit in a regular exercise routine, which includes weight training, as this will speed the time at which you lose inches. You see, by building muscle, you’ll be raising your metabolic rate and, therefore, burning many calories, even while you’re resting. I can’t stress enough the significant role exercise plays in weight loss.

No matter what your weight loss goal may be, it’s important to understand that you’re capable of reaching that goal. With a little determination you’ll be well on your way. As a matter of fact, you’re already past the first step because you’ve taken the time to search for information related to weight loss. You will succeed!

About The Author: Susan Megge is the founder of, a website designed to assist women as they experience weight gain and approach menopause. Susan, a health and fitness expert, started experiencing symptoms of perimenopause and weight gain several years ago and researched various avenues to deal with these symptoms naturally. This led to her discovery of the significant role that exercise plays in making these years very manageable, and even wonderful. Susan Megge is the author of "Being Beautiful Beyond 40," a book dedicated to helping women to be inspired, confident and beautiful as they approach menopause.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Here's How to Select a Bottle of Bubbly

An interesting article about choosing the right Champagne for yourself. The New Year is fast approaching, you might want to get a bottle of Champagne for that party coming up. Maybe you can read this article before deciding what to buy for that party. And always remember, if you drink, don't drive and if your drive, don't drink. Have a great 2007!

By Kelli B. Grant

Rappers pay homage to it. Marilyn Monroe was rumored to have bathed in it. And it's probably what's in your glass when you're toasting the new year, your anniversary or any other special occasion.

Champagne has long been synonymous with luxury. Although it is a sparkling wine, make no mistake -- not all sparkling wines are Champagne. The only wines that can bear the name are those produced in the Champagne region of France -- an area particularly primed (thanks to cold weather and chalky soil) for creating the more earthy taste that Champagne is known for. (Other types of sparking wines tend to be fruity.)

This, combined with a rigorous dual-fermentation process (called Méthode Champenoise) make drinking Champagne a more decadent experience than other sparkling wines, says Hervé Rousseau, owner of Flûte, a Champagne lounge in New York.

"You can taste the difference," he says. "Four doors, fancy headlights, leather seats. It's a real luxury ride."

Still, when it comes to choosing Champagne, you should be guided by your own personal taste and palate, says Rousseau. The good news is you can find a quality bottle for less than $50. Here are five factors to consider:

Moët & Chandon, Veuve Cliquot, Perrier-Jouët -- you don't need to know much about Champagne to recognize these big-name winemakers. But there are actually more than 100 Champagne houses, each with its own unique style.

"It's amazing the palate differences you have house to house," says Rousseau.

Go beyond the names you know, he suggests. Smaller houses such as Henri Abele or Gosset produce excellent Champagne; they just don't have the same marketing clout of the larger houses. Bonus: Boutique wines typically cost less.

Most houses produce several blends or varieties, or "cuvées," of Champagne:

Nonvintage. These blends epitomize the house's signature style, with little variation over the years, says Natalie MacLean, a sommelier and author of "Red, White and Drunk All Over."

Although these bottles are the cheapest a house produces, they can be of exceptional quality. Creating the same taste year after year is no easy feat. Often, more than 100 different wines from different years are included in the blend.

Vintage. Wine connoisseurs look for dated, or vintage bottles, which are only produced when a season's harvest is especially good.

"You're going to taste the difference the weather makes each year," says MacLean.

Which year is a vintage or a dated bottle is up to the house. "Not every house will create a vintage every year," says Emanuelle Chiche, managing director of The Bubble Lounge, a sparkling wine and Champagne bar with locations in New York and San Francisco.

Expect to spend double the price of a nonvintage blend -- and more still for a truly strong growing year. If you're set on a vintage bottle, conduct a little research on good growing years. Most recently, 1995, 1996, and 2002 were all considered exceptional years.

Prestige Cuvée. If you really want to live like a rock star (or rapper, as the case may be), seek out the house's pride and joy, the so-called prestige cuvée. (Think Louis Roederer's Cristal, or Moët & Chandon's Dom Perignon.)

These wines are, quite simply, the house's best of the best in a vintage year, says Chiche. They are held to higher standards of production, made in limited quantities from the first pressing of the very best grapes. And you can bet the price reflects that. A 1996 Dom Perignon, for example, starts at $150.

Generally speaking, the older the bottle the more developed and nuanced its flavor, says Eric Benn, co-owner of The Bubble Lounge.

A nonvintage blend should be drunk within three years, while a vintage bottle can usually be kept for 10 to 15 years. But older isn't always better, he cautions -- you'll need to have great faith in your supplier that the bottle has been transported carefully and stored properly over the years.

Only three grapes can be used to produce Champagne, says MacLean: Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay. Most use a blend of all three.

You'll also see rosés, which have a nonsparkling red wine added late in the process, and single-grape bottles. Blanc de Blancs use exclusively Chardonnay, while Blanc de Noir are solely Pinot grapes.

Base your pick on your regular wine choices -- if you prefer reds, look for more Pinot grapes; whites, more Chardonnay. Fewer rosé and single-grape wines are produced, so expect to pay slightly more for these bottles.

Prefer dry wines? Don't be fooled into picking up "extra dry" Champagne. From driest to sweetest, Champagnes are labeled as: super brut, extra brut, brut, extra dry (extra sec), sec (dry), demi-sec and doux.

Raise Your Glass
Now that you've purchased a bottle, get ready to enjoy it:

Storing. Consistency is the key, says Benn. "Champagne is a fragile item," he says. "You don't want to shock it. That will alter its taste."

Stand the bottle upright in a dark, cool place (say, the bottom of your closet) and don't move it.

Chilling. Stash your Champagne in the fridge overnight, or at minimum, for three hours before serving.

Need a quick chill? Don't use the freezer -- the bottle could explode. Instead, place the bottle in a bucket with ice, water and a little salt (the salt melts the ice, which creates a slushy mixture that cools the bottle quickly). Leave it there for about 20 minutes.

Opening. Opening a bottle of Champagne can be a little risky.

"The pressure in a bottle of Champagne is equal to the tires on a city bus," says MacLean. Use caution, and a healthy dose of common sense. Don't shake the bottle, and don't point the cork toward anyone.

To open the bottle properly, undo the wire and keep your hand on top of the cork.

"Grasp the cork in one hand and turn the bottle with the other," says Sharon Castillo, director of Office of Champagne, USA, which represents the Champagne houses. The cork should ease out slowly, aided by that pressure within the bottle.

"Try to minimize the sound," she says. "You want to avoid the loud pop."

The louder the noise, the more carbon dioxide is escaping -- and the less fizzy your wine will be.

Serving. Champagne flutes are de rigueur, but the best glass for preserving the fizz and wine aromas is one that's tulip-shaped.

When you hold the glass, touch the stem only. "It has nothing to do with fanciness," Rousseau says. "If you put your fingers on the glass, it will warm up the glass and the wine."

How Anorexia Or Bulimia Can Affect Pregnancy

The combination of an eating disorder and pregnancy is a dangerous one for both the mother and the child. Eating disorders can have a great deal of effects on the mother’s body. Some of the effects may make it difficult or even impossible to become pregnant, while others will allow a pregnancy to happen, but can have drastic consequences for the mother and child.

For an Anorexic or Bulimic that is suffering severely from the eating disorder or that has had it for a number of years, their body may have become affected to the point where they are no longer menstruating or ovulating, which will both obviously affect the body’s ability to become pregnant.

For those that do manage to become pregnant and that continue to suffer from the eating disorder, there are a number of complications that can occur such as:

• Miscarriage or stillbirth

• Trouble breathing or low-energy level due to nutrition that is being taken by the fetus and away from the mother

• Increased risk of the mother developing depression and suicidal ideation during the pregnancy due to the weight being gained and emotional feelings of weight/body image being out of control

• Increased bone loss due to calcium that is being taken by the fetus

• Lack of appropriate nutrition for the fetus due to compensatory behaviors used by mother, which can cause effects on the development of key organs and systems

• Going into premature labor and increased likelihood of a c-section needing to be performed

• Increased risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia – both of which can be serious medical conditions that can affect the mother’s health and risk of additional complications, including survival, for the chld

• Low birth weight for the child, which can lead to low AGPAR scores and development delays

• Higher risk of birth defects for the child

• Respiratory illnesses in the child after birth

• Additional medical risks to the mother, including kidney, liver or heart problems due to the added strain on the body to support the fetus

• Increase risk of the mother developing post-partum depression

There are several things that a person with an eating disorder can do to have a healthy pregnancy including:

• be in counseling/treatment for the eating disorder to deal with the eating disorder before becoming pregnant

• be back to a normal body weight and eating a healthy diet including the use of prenatal vitamins

• stop compensatory behaviors, such as binging, purging, excessive exercise or laxative use before pregnancy occurs

• consult with a doctor for regular checkups and make sure to let your OB/GYN doctor know about the eating disorder at your first visit if he/she is not aware of it already

• consult with a nutritionist to create healthy eating habits and diets that are well balanced and nutritious for both you and the baby

• be in counseling to deal with physical and emotional changes that will occur during and after the pregnancy

• Continue healthy eating after pregnancy in order to have the ability to breastfeed, which can have benefits for both the mother and the child

• Ask your partner and friends/family to help you by watching for signs that your unhealthy eating or compensatory behaviors are returning or that you are suffering from post-partum depression after the birth

• Join a support group for those that are pregnant and have an eating disorder in order to have support and share experiences with others

A woman with an eating disorder that wishes to have a baby needs to understand the effects that having the eating disorder during pregnancy can have on both her and the child. She may find it extremely hard to become pregnant and if she does manage to become pregnant, may be unable to sustain the pregnancy or may face severe medical complications and dangers for both herself and the child.

Therefore, it is very important to seek the help of medical and mental health professionals prior to becoming pregnant in order to receive treatment for the eating disorder and to reduce possible complications that she or the baby will face during the pregnancy or in the future.

About The Author: Please visit Avalon Hills website for more information on eating disorders at

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

5 Tips For Staying Safe On Myspace

There is no doubt that has grown into a worldwide phenomenon and it seems that every day, there is a new story being published about the site.

In November 2006, MySpace became the #1 website in the world in terms of monthly page views, having surpassed Yahoo and this online giant shows no sign of slowing down.

With over 130 Million people currently using MySpace worldwide, it's no wonder that this social networking colossus has had its share of negative publicity as some less than desirable characters have made it a homebase from which to launch some of their illegal activities.

Still, just like millions of people use email and online banking safely on a regular basis, MySpace can be a safe place to spend your time on if you follow a few basic guidelines.

Here are 5 tips you can follow and apply to make sure you are safe and that your information remains private while on MySpace:

1. Become intimately familiar with the information located at the privacy and Safety Tips links located at the bottom of every page on MySpace. There are also some great government information links on those pages which will provide you with general instructions on how to stay safe on the Internet.

2. Make sure that you do not reveal any information on your profile or via a message that you will regret later (this includes private information such as your email, private messenger ID, etc.)

3. Log into your profile and from the Home page of your profile, click on "Account Settings." From there, you will see a series of profile settings including Privacy Settings, IM Privacy Settings and several other options that you may want to adjust to increase your own degree of privacy.

4. Do not believe everything you read on MySpace. Not everyone is who they claim to be. As such, do not agree to meet anyone physically or reveal your address to anyone without being completely sure of who that person is and what their intentions are.

5. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with the way someone is approaching you - do not be afraid of blocking that person and if you feel it merits a more severe action, simply click on the link at the bottom of every page on MySpace that says "Contact MySpace" and inform MySpace about the incident.

In conclusion, staying safe on MySpace involves following some basic guidelines and applying a good degree of common sense.

As the whole online social networking wave keeps growing and more people get on MySpace, it pays to have good safety and privacy habits - most of which can also be applied to remain safe on any other Internet site.

About The Author: George Levy is an internationally recognized Internet marketing expert author and creator of the best selling online program MySpace Mastership. To find out more, visit and

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Diabetes breakthrough: Toronto scientists cure disease in mice

An interesting email I received about finding by Toronto scientists on diabetes. This could be good news for people who have diabetes.

Claim malfunctioning nerve cells the cause…

Published: Friday, December 15, 2006

In a discovery that has stunned even those behind it, scientists at a Toronto hospital say they have proof the body's nervous system helps trigger diabetes, opening the door to a potential near-cure of the disease that affects millions of Canadians.

Diabetic mice became healthy virtually overnight after researchers injected a substance to counteract the effect of malfunctioning pain neurons in the pancreas.

"I couldn't believe it," said Dr. Michael Salter, a pain expert at the Hospital for Sick Children and one of the scientists. "Mice with diabetes suddenly didn't have diabetes any more."

The researchers caution they have yet to confirm their findings in people, but say they expect results from human studies within a year or so. Any treatment that may emerge to help at least some patients would likely be years away from hitting the market.

But the excitement of the team from Sick Kids, whose work is being published today in the journal Cell, is almost palpable.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Dr. Hans Michael Dosch, an immunologist at the hospital and a leader of the studies. "In my career, this is unique."

Their conclusions upset conventional wisdom that Type 1 diabetes, the most serious form of the illness that typically first appears in childhood, was solely caused by auto-immune responses -- the body's immune system turning on itself.

They also conclude that there are far more similarities than previously thought between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and that nerves likely play a role in other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as asthma and Crohn's disease.

The "paradigm-changing" study opens "a novel, exciting door to address one of the diseases with large societal impact," said Dr. Christian Stohler, a leading U.S. pain specialist and dean of dentistry at the University of Maryland, who has reviewed the work.

"The treatment and diagnosis of neuropathic diseases is poised to take a dramatic leap forward because of the impressive research."

About two million Canadians suffer from diabetes, 10% of them with Type 1, contributing to 41,000 deaths a year.

Insulin replacement therapy is the only treatment of Type 1, and cannot prevent many of the side effects, from heart attacks to kidney failure.

In Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to shift glucose into the cells that need it. In Type 2 diabetes, the insulin that is produced is not used effectively -- something called insulin resistance -- also resulting in poor absorption of glucose.

The problems stem partly from inflammation -- and eventual death -- of insulin-producing islet cells in the pancreas.

Dr. Dosch had concluded in a 1999 paper that there were surprising similarities between diabetes and multiple sclerosis, a central nervous system disease. His interest was also piqued by the presence around the insulin-producing islets of an "enormous" number of nerves, pain neurons primarily used to signal the brain that tissue has been damaged.

Suspecting a link between the nerves and diabetes, he and Dr. Salter used an old experimental trick -- injecting capsaicin, the active ingredient in hot chili peppers, to kill the pancreatic sensory nerves in mice that had an equivalent of Type 1 diabetes.

"Then we had the biggest shock of our lives," Dr. Dosch said. Almost immediately, the islets began producing insulin normally "It was a shock ? really out of left field, because nothing in the literature was saying anything about this."

It turns out the nerves secrete neuropeptides that are instrumental in the proper functioning of the islets. Further study by the team, which also involved the University of Calgary and the Jackson Laboratory in Maine, found that the nerves in diabetic mice were releasing too little of the neuropeptides, resulting in a "vicious cycle" of stress on the islets.

So next they injected the neuropeptide "substance P" in the pancreases of diabetic mice, a demanding task given the tiny size of the rodent organs. The results were dramatic.

The islet inflammation cleared up and the diabetes was gone. Some have remained in that state for as long as four months, with just one injection.

They also discovered that their treatments curbed the insulin resistance that is the hallmark of Type 2 diabetes, and that insulin resistance is a major factor in Type 1 diabetes, suggesting the two illnesses are quite similar.

While pain scientists have been receptive to the research, immunologists have voiced skepticism at the idea of the nervous system playing such a major role in the disease. Editors of Cell put the Toronto researchers through vigorous review to prove the validity of their conclusions, though an editorial in the publication gives a positive review of the work.

"It will no doubt cause a great deal of consternation," said Dr. Salter about his paper.

The researchers are now setting out to confirm that the connection between sensory nerves and diabetes holds true in humans. If it does, they will see if their treatments have the same effects on people as they did on mice.

Nothing is for sure, but "there is a great deal of promise," Dr. Salter said.

© National Post 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Childhood Obesity - What Are The Risks?

Let’s look at these risks in detail:

Type II Diabetes – Diabetes is a serious condition that requires dietary restrictions, and oral or injectible insulin.

Even with appropriate treatment, diabetes has long-term health risks that include circulatory disease, an inability to heal from wounds and injuries, stress on the heart and pulmonary system, and even blindness, stroke and coma.

Diabetes in children is nearly always due to obesity and lack of proper diet and exercise.

Heart Disease – If your child is not getting enough of the right nutrients and enough exercise, they are at risk for early heart disease.

These conditions can require medication and careful monitoring and may lead to long-term heart disease.

Joint and Weight Bearing – Short term growth issues, leg bowing, hip displacement and long term deterioration and disfigurement of the lower joints and bones.

Self Esteem and Confidence Issues – Children who are overweight or obese are self-conscious and typically have low self-esteem and confidence as compared to other children.

They are less likely to TRY to meet challenges and therefore are often unaware of their own competence and skill in most areas of life.

Children will often tease or bully overweight friends and classmates. If you think this is happening to your child, involve the school administration and be sure that your child gets the support they need.

High Blood Pressure – Hypertension is a serious issue, especially in children. High blood pressure puts a significant strain on your child’s growing body. It can cause headaches, dizziness, and in some cases can cause stroke and other serious health risks.

High Cholesterol – Can be difficult to control with diet alone, and may require medication. Among the risks of elevated ‘bad’ cholesterol: Heart attack and stroke.

Depression – Obese children often suffer from depression because of their feelings of self-loathing and/or because of the way they are treated by others.

Depression can also result from lack of exercise and inappropriate stimulation of brain chemicals that balance mood.

If your child is isolated by his obesity and has low self-esteem he may experience feelings of hopelessness and begin to lose interest in normal activities. He may sleep more or less than he used to and he may be more emotional than normal.

Some children go in the opposite direction and demonstrate an emotionally ‘flat’ demeanor instead of being extremely emotional.

If you believe your child is depressed, you should talk with him and with your child’s teacher and doctor to agree on a team approach to the problem.

In severe cases, doctors may prescribe medication to get your child through these temporarily trying times until you can get their physical and emotional health back on track.

Sleep Disruption – Lack of exercise can impede production and stimulation of the brain chemicals that control sleep and appetite patterns.

If it is difficult for your child to breathe in certain positions, your child may also suffer from sleep disruption due to conditions like apnea.

If your child is not getting enough sleep to help them grow and to give them mental clarity during the day, you will find that these abnormal sleep patterns will disrupt healthy growth and mental clarity.

Pulmonary Problems – Asthma, wheezing, and shortness of breath are just some of the complications seen in obese children.

Skin Disorders – Overweight and obese children have a tendency toward skin conditions and inflammation, especially if the child has deep skin folds on their body on the abdomen, legs or arms.

Disorders include heat rash, dermatitis and acanthosis nigricans, which may indicate the onset of Type II Diabetes.

Increased Chance of Adult Obesity – An obese child is much more likely to become an obese adult, with lifelong health and emotional problems to match!

There is certainly more to the story but if what we have told you already doesn’t frighten you into action, you are probably not paying attention!

Numbers don’t lie:

25% of obese children have high blood pressure.
85% of children diagnosed with Type II diabetes are obese

Among grade 9-12 students surveyed in 1999

16% were in the 85th percentile (17% male, 14% female)

10% were in the 95th percentile (12% male, 8% female, )

30% thought of themselves as overweight (36% female, 25% male)

37% of Hispanic students considered themselves overweight

29% of White students considered themselves overweight

25% of Black students considered themselves overweight

43% said they were trying to lose weight (59% female, 26% male)

51% of Hispanic students were trying to lose weight

43% of White students were trying to lose weight

36% of Black students were trying to lose weight

58% used exercise within the past 30 days to lose weight or control weight

67% of girls reported using exercise to lose weight or control weight

49% of boys reported using exercise to lose weight or control weight

40% said they ate less food, consumed fewer calories, or ate foods low in fat to lose weight or control weigh

56% of girls reported eating less food, consuming fewer calories, or eating foods low in fat to lose weight or control weight

25% of boys reporting eating less food, consuming fewer calories, or eating foods low in fat to lose weight or control weight

13% reported fasting (going without eating for 24 hrs or more) to lose weight or control weight

19% of girls reported fasting

6% of boys reported fasting

8% reporting taking diet pills, liquids or powders WITHOUT consulting a doctor to lose or control weight

11% of girls reported taking diet pills, liquids or powders

4% of boys reported taking diet pills, liquids or powders

5% reported vomiting or taking laxatives to lose or control weight

7% of girls reported using these techniques

2% of boys reported using these techniques

We hope you now understand the risks of your child being overweight or obese.

And you can see from the results of the high-school student survey that adolescents employ many ways (both healthy and unhealthy) to try to cope with their weight.

If your child is younger, you can’t wait that long to get them back on track.

If your child is already an adolescent, give them the tools, information and support to get healthy and to lose weight the RIGHT WAY!

About The Author: Janet Hart is the owner of A free family resource site offering free tips, books, and more. Sign up today for a free newsletter to receive even more parenting tips!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Coffee Poses Both Risks And Benefits

An interesting article which I read about the benefits and risks of drinking coffee. Something which I would like to stress is that the findings in this article might not be the same for everyone; Different people drinking coffee will have different effects. One word of caution, anything taken in big amount might has its negative effects.

Coffee and Your Health

The past decades have put a focus on the effects of coffee on your health. Since people are consuming over 400 million cups of coffee per day all over the world, then it is natural that we want to know what effect this will have on our health. Many in the health care industry had believed that coffee may be unhealthy for us, but now we know that this is probably not true.

Caffeine is found in all coffee beans and is a mild stimulant that can raise our blood pressure, speed up our heart rate, and sometimes give us an irregular heartbeat. These effects may sound serious, but are in reality very shortly lived.

There are actually more benefits seen linking coffee drinking and health than we knew about beforehand.

Coffee may stop the development of colon cancer with high levels of consumption. You would have to drink four or more cups to see this effect. You may have to trade in your single cup coffee maker to achieve this goal!

You may be able to see other benefits of coffee on your health without drinking this much.

For instance, coffee has certain antioxidants that are also found in wine that can help prevent cancer and heart disease. The antioxidants found in coffee may be greater than those found in other fruits such as apples, tomatoes, or cranberries. Another great reason to grab a cappuccino.

There have been Chinese studies that link a positive effect between coffee drinking and reducing the negative effects of Parkinson’s disease.

There have been studies in the U.S. and in Scandinavia that link coffee to a reduction in the risk of type-2 diabetes. Since the Scandinavians drink more coffee than anyone this is good news for them!

Coffee may also lower ones risk of getting kidney stones or gallstones. Caffeine also aids us in digestion. For asthma sufferers, caffeine can help with breathing and coffee also has theophylline which is a bronchodilator which helps as well. Time to buy your asthmatic friend a single cup coffee maker!

There are still of course some risks associated with coffee drinking such as reduced fertility for men. For women, calcium loss from high caffeine intake may cause weak bones. Drinking lots of coffee can also cause incontinence in women.

Drinking lots of coffee can also give you a higher level of homocysteine, which can lead to heart disease. An increase in LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol has also been shown, but its hard to know whether this will lead to a heart attack or not.

Cafestol is found in coffee and also thought to increase cholesterol in European brews that boil the beans in water. American coffee made through filtering or percolation is less likely to give this effect.

Weighing the benefits of coffee drinking shouldn’t be hard. If you drink coffee in a moderate amount you should see the benefits without the risks. So indulge in your favorite cappuccino today!

About The Author: Johnathan Bakers pens essentially for , an online publication on the topic of coffee and cappuccino. His articles on single cup coffee maker can be found on and other web publications.

Travel Tips For People With Diabetes

Although many people suffer from diabetes it does not stop many to travel around the world and behave just like another any other regular traveler, in most cases these trip end in the most normal and regular way, but in some cases things get a little complicated while the diabetic is on the road, there are a few things to know and consider when traveling. Diabetes should not stop you from traveling but careful planning is required in order to assure a safe and enjoyable trip.

You should always plan everything in advance, what is basically true to all passengers is also true for the diabetic passenger, and even more so if there is any mental pressure on the person that is traveling, make sure you have everything ready well in time, and save yourself the worries and anxiety.

Give yourself at least 2 to 3 months of planning. This will enable you to accomplish everything you need in your trip.

If your trip requires arrangement with a travel agent, inquire on the special package for diabetic. Itineraries should be different and meals should conform to the need of a diabetic.

When packing, do not place your diabetes supplies and medications in one bag. Have them separated in case your bag is stolen or lost. Insulin will lose its strength if stored in a very cold or hot place such as the globe compartment of the car. Un-pressurized environment will also give the same effect.

If you travel by plane, have your medications and diabetes supply especially your insulin in your carry-on luggage. Have them with you all the time. Insulin should not be exposed in x-ray. Security scanners on the other hand will not destroy your blood glucose meter.

Check your blood sugar level regularly.

Take note of your medication schedules especially if you are crossing time zones. If you want to rest during the flight, inform a flight attendant to wake you up for your medication.

Holiday vacation on a cruise can mean buffet meals. Control your cravings and only eat the amount prescribe on you. Physical activity such as swimming, exercising, and strolling the deck can compensate on your food intake.

If you are traveling by car, make sure that you keep a good eye on your blood sugar level before you leave and every 4 hours during the trip.

Make frequent stops to exercise your legs and improve your blood circulation.

If you are on a backpacking trip, make sure that your diet is followed. Keep off from food that is not suitable to your condition. Make sure that you do not go beyond your limits in drinking and eating.

About The Author: Diabetes is difficult to live with, but getting better deal with advancements of technology, there is still work to be done in diabetes research. Learn about Diabetes Care at

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Menopause Strategies: Taking Vitamins For A Hot Flash

There are many different effects that take place in your body when you are having a hot flash. Most notable is the loss of essential vitamins and nutrients that may cause you to feel weak or exhausted. Some women don't feel the automatic response of tiredness, but over the long run they will find themselves unable to keep up the energy level they had before they started having hot flashes.

Hot flashes deplete our body of necessary vitamins such as Vitamin B, Vitamin C, and other nutrients such as Magnesium, and Potassium. Possibly even Calcium is lost leading to bone density problems later in life.

For mild to moderate hot flashes, you should consider taking a dosage of 400 to 800 IU's of Vitamin E to aid your body in controlling the hot flashes. Vitamin E is fat soluble and must be taken with a meal in order for it to be properly absorbed. The recommended regimen is to take 1 tablet with each of your meals, up to 3 per day. You shouldn't take over 200 IU's at any given day.

More does not mean better in the case of any vitamin. It may take approximately 2 to 6 weeks for you to see the results, but up to 65% find this vitamin alone effective in controlling hot flashes. Vitamin B6 and Peridin-C, which contains antioxidants, are also good choices. They should not be taken with the Vitamin E but if Vitamin E does not work, these are viable solutions.

Magnesium is considered to be the most underrated of all menopause remedies. It is actually the fourth most abundant mineral in our bodies, and the one taken most for granted. Magnesium is found in your bones and it is what keeps our bones strong and healthy. During menopause and more specifically hot flashes, our body can deplete our supply leading to brittle bones and postmenopausal osteoporosis. Although the magnesium deficiency alone won't cause osteoporosis, it actually alters the calcium metabolism and the hormones that regulate the calcium.

You can find many one a day vitamins that have both magnesium and calcium in them. Together, along with Vitamin E or other herbal treatments, the addition of magnesium and calcium can go a long way in managing hot flashes. Taking vitamins for a hot flash is indeed a very viable remedy for a lot of women!

About The Author: Discover how YOU can relieve your hot flashes and menopausal symptoms without HRT. Pick up your free special report "Coping with Hot Flashes the Natural Way" by clicking here:

Liposuction Ranks As Top Plastic Surgery In America

While More Americans Fly To Thailand for "Sun, Sand And Surgery"

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has reported that the number one top surgical procedure in the United States for the year 2005 was liposuction. In that year alone, 455,489 liposuction treatments were done in America, 402,946 were women and the rest was men. The majority of the patients fall under the ages between 35 to 50 years old.

Second on the list was breast augmentation, totaling 364,610 cases in that year. The report revealed that 83.4 per cent of the patients used the saline device and 16.6 percent the silicone implant. The results of recent research demonstrate that women with saline implants are significantly more likely to express satisfaction with augmentation than women with silicone gel-filled implants.

There are no actual statistics on the numbers of transvestites since it involves some legal issues in many countries, but it has been reported that thousands of cases were done. Bangkok is known to be the premier place to go for sex change surgery. In fact, that is one of the top 10 procedures for which patients visit Thailand. A growing number of Americans are taking that path, traveling to countries like Thailand for cosmetic, orthopedic and heart surgeries and other medical and dental treatments that cost 20 to 80 percent less than at home.

For example, American surgeon's fee for a full face-lift averaged $4822 in 2004, not including hospital costs, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. At Bangkok, it costs only 3,500 USD for a Face lift surgery (cheek bone area lift, cheek area lift, chin lift and neck lift). This cost is included hospital expenses.

The growth is in accordance with Thailand’s aim to establish Thailand as the "Center of Excellent Health of Asia" and this plan focuses on medical services, healthcare services and Thai herbal products. In 2004, as many as 20 billion Baht was generated by foreign patients seeking treatment in Thailand.

Many people want to take "cosmetics surgery holidays" in destinations that offer both tourist attractions and state-of-the-art plastic surgery technologies. Although when including the air fares and accommodation, the price is not lower than treatments in their home country, medical tourists get more than a better look from this type of vacation - they get better, revitalized feelings from the destination's refreshing atmosphere too. "My partner and I had originally planned to fly in and have the surgery done straight away. As luck would have it, we got to fly to Thailand 5 days earlier than planned and decided to spend them in Pattaya, holidaying. I would definitely recommend this. The time to relax is a bonus, not to mention the additional shopping time...." said Bangkok Plastic Surgery Clinic’s Australian patient Rebecca who underwent breast augmentation surgery in 2006.

The statistics for the year 2006 is yet to come, but it is expected that the rankings will not change much, but the number of procedures might change due a greater variety of options.

About The Author: Dr. Pichet Rodchareon writes for Bangkok Plastic Surgery Clinic (, center of plastic and cosmetic surgery based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Cosmetic Surgery Advice

So, you have decided to look into cosmetic surgery to improve some aspect of your body. Maybe you think that your breasts are too small...maybe they are too big or just too droopy. Perhaps you don't like the shape of your nose or perhaps your ears stick out too much. Maybe you don't like the effect that the ageing process has had on your face and you think that you could do with a bit of a lift or have those eye bags looked at. It might even be that you can't shift that last bit of fat around the stomach or love handles, despite sweating your guts out at the gym 3 times a week and following a healthy eating plan to the letter and you fancy having a bit of liposuction. It could be that you have an excess of skin around the tummy following childbirth or weight loss and would like a nice flat tummy again so that you feel more confident about yourself. Maybe you are very overweight and have tried every diet under the sun and are so despondent that you are considering the possibility of weight loss surgery.

OK, so now what do you do? After all, there are all those horror stories that you read in magazines and see on television about surgery that has gone wrong. Who do you trust with your body...? It might not be the body of a catwalk model but it's the only one you've got and you don't want to end up worse than when you started, right?

Well, there are many sources of information that can provide you with details about cosmetic surgery. The obvious one is the medium that you are using now to read this. There are hundreds, if not thousands of pages about plastic and cosmetic surgery as well as weight loss surgery on the Internet. Lots of different companies, all offering their services with flashy websites and tempting testimonials from their many past "delighted" patients.

Some based in the UK and some that are trying to tempt you to go abroad with massive savings. Perhaps one of your friends or co-workers may also have shared their cosmetic surgery experiences with you. Television and magazines offer story upon story, some good, some bad about new techniques and advances in cosmetic surgery. But the most valuable time you will spend is during the consultation with your surgeon. During this consultation, you will gain specific information about the surgery, the surgeon, the recovery and the results. Equally importantly, you will get a sense of your comfort level with the surgeon, his or her skills, and bedside manner. This is one of the many reasons why it is important to meet the actual surgeon straight away and not just a "patient advisor" or "nurse councillor", who are often simply glorified sales people. You can normally expect to pay for the time of a good consultant plastic surgeon, which is usually between £100 and £150. Companies offering free consultations tend to use the "patient advisor" approach. If you are happy discussing your surgical needs with a salesperson then that's fine but most people would prefer to meet the actual surgeon who would perform the procedure if they decided to go ahead with cosmetic
surgery or weight loss surgery.

During your consultation, the surgeon will listen to your needs and concerns relating to cosmetic surgery or weight loss surgery and ensure that you have realistic expectations as to what can be achieved. Try to be as specific as possible when explaining to your surgeon what you would like to have changed, and why. The surgeon will examine you and assess your anatomy, specifically, the skin, muscle, fat, bone and supportive structures where relevant. They will take into consideration your medical history and any previous surgery as well as your age and health status, and your desired outcome. Together, you and your surgeon can then formulate a plan that fits your specific needs and lifestyle.

During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to ask questions. The following questions can be used as guideline to ensure that you are well informed before making the important decision of whether or not to proceed with surgery.

# Where and when did you get your medical training?
# At the very least, are you registered with the General Medical Council as a specialist in plastic surgery?
# Do you belong to BAPS or BAAPS? These are the higher governing bodies for plastic and aesthetic surgery for the more experienced plastic surgeon?
# Do you routinely perform the operation I want?
# How many of these procedures have you performed?
# Can I have my operation here in this hospital where this consultation is taking place or will I be expected to travel along way before and after my operation?
# What surgical techniques are you going to use, and why?
# How long will the procedure take?
# How much pain or discomfort is involved, how is it controlled and how long will it last?
# Where are the incisions made and what will the scar look like?
# What type of anaesthetic is used?
# Do you use proper hospitals with full facilities or just clinics?
# What are the possible risks and potential complications and what can I do to minimise those risks myself?
# How long is the stay in hospital?
# How long will the swelling and bruising last?
# When can I have a shower or bath after the operation?
# When am I allowed to drive again?
# How long must I stay off work?
# When will I look "normal" again?
# Do you have any "before and after" pictures of what YOU have done before?
# How long will the results of the operation last?
# Will the results be obvious?
# Will the operation ever need to be repeated?
# How much does it cost and what do the fees include?
# What is not included in the fees?
# Is there a discount if several procedures are performed at once and how much can I have performed safely in one session?
# If I want to proceed how do I reserve a date for surgery?
# When is my payment due?
# What payment methods do you accept?
# Do you offer finance or is it cheaper to go to my own bank?
# Cosmetic surgery is a major decision. Make sure that you pick the right surgery provider. After your consultation with the surgeon, ask yourself.. Did I feel comfortable with surgeon who would operate on me?
# Did he take the time to explain the procedure properly or did I just feel "sold at"?
# How receptive was the surgeon to my questions?
# Were all of the people that I have dealt with so far friendly and cooperative?
# Did I provide all information, completely and honestly that I was asked for to allow my surgeon to make a proper assessment and advise me accurately?

Once you have had all of your questions answered, you will be more prepared to make a decision. It may be that you decide not to have surgery at all, or to postpone surgery for a while. On the other hand, now may be the right time to embark on a journey to a more beautiful you. Either way, do not be bullied into making a decision by salespeople, though ideally you should not be dealing with sales people at all! To them you are simply a contribution to next month's pay packet but to you this is an extremely important decision. Do not make it lightly or without the full details provided by the person qualified to do so, the consultant plastic surgeon.

About The Author: Landauer Cosmetic Surgery ( is one of the UK's leading specialist providers of cosmetic, plastic and weight loss surgery procedures. We offer a full range of cosmetic surgery procedures for men and women, including breast enlargement and breast reduction.

What To Expect From A Nursing Career

Nursing can be one of the most demanding and rewarding careers around. If you love making a positive difference in people’s lives, it may just be the job for you. Here are a few things to expect from a career in nursing.

Expect to get certified. To be a nurse, you’ll need to graduate from an approved nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN, the national licensing exam. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be an R.N.—a registered nurse. Many states will allow you to practice in their state with a license from another state, but some will require you to recertify—check the policies in the state you intend to work in to be sure. How long it will take you to get registered depends on the program. A BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program will generally take you four years to complete. ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) programs take three years, and are usually offered by community and junior colleges. A nursing diploma offered by a hospital will also take around three years. All three paths qualify you to become an R.N., but most ADN and diploma graduates will go on to pursue their BSN for a broader education. Many hospitals offer tuition reimbursement for nurses who decide to choose this route.

Expect to be in demand. Nursing is definitely a growing field, and now is a good time to get into it. If you choose to go into nursing, you should be able to find a job—no matter where you live. With one of the most numerous generations in American history getting ready to retire, demand for nursing is only expected to increase in the years ahead. As a nurse, expect to have the upper hand in salary and other job negotiations for decades to come.

Expect high pay. Because of the high demand for nurses, pay in this industry has never been better. Depending on the area, many nurses can expect to make upwards of $20 to $36 per hour to start. Many hospitals offer significant hiring bonuses, some as much as $10,000, as well.

Expect flexible shifts. Because of shortages in the field, hospitals are doing everything they can to make the job easier on the employees—including offering flexible shifts. It’s not unheard of nowadays to find hospitals willing to be flexible in terms of when you work.

Expect a demanding job. No matter what field of nursing you choose to go into, the truth is that nursing is not for the faint of heart. Your shift will no doubt be busy and eventful, and you’ll need comfortable shoes. You may get called in to cover extra shifts—those nursing shortages can be a challenge as well as a blessing. The nursing industry is taking great pains to improve working conditions for nurses, in order to improve retention and raise recruitment rates. However, nursing isn’t an easy job—you will face challenges every day.

Expect a lot of choices. One of the biggest growing fields in nursing right now is nursing home care. However, there are over 200 other specialties you can choose, from midwifery to cardiac nursing, in-home to hospice care, child, palliative, and travel nursing. Nursing truly is a career that can be tailored to fit your interests, whether those include children, education, travel, case management, grief counseling, or any number of other specialties. Some require extra certification, while others simply require the usual R.N. certification.

Nursing can be a big challenge, but it can also provide big rewards. Hospitals are under a lot of pressure to keep their nurses satisfied while attracting new ones to the field. Now has never been a better time to get into nursing—it’s a stable career with a high demand that should last for decades.

About The Author: This article was written by, offering classes for nursing continuing education credit. Please visit for more information.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Spears is World's Worst Celebrity Dog Owner

Britney Spears Dogged for Poor Pet Ownership
by Sarah Hall

Apparently, Kevin Federline wasn't the only warm-blooded being Britney Spears ousted from her home this year.

Once the proud owner of pampered pooches Bit-Bit, Lacy and Lucky, Spears ended the year dog-less, a feat that earned her the title of World's Worst Celebrity Dog Owner in an online poll of readers of Hollywood Dog and New York Dog magazines.

"Britney was the overwhelming choice," editor Hilary O'Hagan said in a statement. "She once had three Chihuahuas and never left home without at least one of them on her arm. As soon as she met K-Fed and had kids, they disappeared."

In an interview with Teen People in September, Federline admitted that he and Spears had decided the dogs no longer fit into their lifestyle.

"We gave all the dogs to friends of ours," Federline said at the time. "It's just too much with the kids and all these dogs running around all over the place. It just wasn't really working."

Shortly thereafter, Spears decided it wasn't really working with Federline either and filed for divorce.

So far, her sons Sean Preston and Jaden James are still in the picture.

Spears' poor pet-owning skills were deemed worse than those of last year's title-holder, Paris Hilton, who came in second this year for treating her dogs like accessories. Serena Williams came in third for lying about owning her pit-bull, Bambi, after it bit a security guard earlier this month.

Oprah Winfrey was named the Best Celebrity Dog Owner, in part because she supposedly provides each of her five dogs with its own nanny.

Meanwhile, in other dubious Spears achievements, a home-video clip of the singer burping and babbling incoherently was the number one celebrity viral video of the year, according to

The footage, shot by Federline, was viewed over 3 million times by the Website's count, giving it an easy lead over the second-place clip, TV footage of Federline apparently being notified of his impending divorce via text message—a stirring caught-on-tape moment that received close to 2 million views.

Spears was also Yahoo's most searched topic of the year, as well as the most searched celebrity—and that's in a year when she didn't even release an album. Nor is the "Oops" singer planning on leaving the spotlight behind again anytime in the near future.

"I'm just getting started," she wrote on her official Website earlier this month.

"I look forward to a new year, new music and a new me!"

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Can The Matrix Trilogy Stay As Popular As Star Wars?

Can the extremely popular Sci-Fi movie, The Matrix, have the staying power and interest that the Star Wars movies have had?

Three years after the final movie was released, interest levels are still high as evidenced by a high level of searches on major search engines. A definite cult-like following for the Matrix Trilogy has definitely developed.

Merchandising for these movies has also been huge. The movie spawned several video games, a 10 disc DVD collection, a sunglasses line, in addition to the typical toy and action figure line. The movies have rabid fans who will buy anything that has the Matrix name on it and who have spent countless hours trying to decipher the religious and philosophical messages in the movies.

While a lot of time has been spent by Star Wars enthusiasts on developing additional background and back-story, the same is true of the Matrix movies. One need only look at the Ultimate Matrix Collection which includes several additional DVDs that help explain the entire story of the Matrix in addition to the three DVDs of the movies.

Total worldwide gross on the trilogy of movies is $1,623,967,842, making the Matrix Trilogy one of the most successful trilogies of all time. The original three Star Wars movies have made $1,788,879,251 in worldwide gross revenues.

However, the parallels to the Star Wars movies don’t end there. While Star Wars was known for it’s ground breaking special effects back in 1979, the first Matrix movie was ground breaking “bullet time” special effects which is now a common effect seen in action movies.

While The Matrix still has a long ways to go in proving that it can remain popular like Star Wars has all these years, so far early numbers indicate that the Matrix movies will stay popular for many years even if no new movies are ever released.

About The Author: Gary Ruplinger is the owner of which is the number one destination on the Internet for Matrix Sunglasses. You may also be interested in the most popular sunglasses from the Matrix movies, the Morpheus Sunglasses -

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Rheumatoid arthritis by Sarah Thomas

Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is one of the most common forms of arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic illness that is characterized mostly by the inflammation of the lining surrounding joints. This lining is called synovium. Rheumatoid arthritis can often lead to long term joint damage, thus leading to:

* chronic pain
* loss of function
* disability

The following paragraphs will discuss rheumatoid arthritis, as well as how it can progress.

The Nature of Rheumatoid Arthritis

As stated before, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic disease. What this means is it may never go away entirely, even with proper treatment. Some people who suffer with rheumatoid arthritis can find treatment methods that provide them with temporary relief of the symptoms, however, the disease is never cured.

Progression of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis often progresses in three stages. In the first stage, the synovial lining located where the joint meets the bone end may begin to swell. This can lead to pain, stiffness, and even redness around the joint area. The swelling of the synovium is often caused by an immune system reaction. It is still unknown what can trigger the immune system reaction, which leads to the lymphocytes to expel chemical messengers to the affected joints. These messengers are called cytokines.

The second stage of rheumatoid arthritis occurs when the synovial lining around the affected joints begins to thicken. This is caused by rapid cell division known as pannus. This stage of rheumatoid arthritis can lead to more pain for the patient suffering with this disease.

During the third and final stage, when the synovium has thickened, the swollen cells around the joint area release enzymes. The enzymes actually contain and release chemicals that can do harm to bone and cartilage tissues, that make up a joint. After the bone and cartilage are attacked, the joint often loses its alignment and shape, resulting in even more pain, and sometimes loss of movement.

On top of being considered a chronic disease, rheumatoid arthritis can also be considered a systemic disease. What this means is that rheumatoid arthritis can also affect other organs in your body, such as:

* skin
* blood vessels
* lungs
* heart

It is very important to see a doctor if you think you may be suffering with rheumatoid arthritis.


In order to effectively treat and combat rheumatoid arthritis, it is crucial to get an early diagnosis. Many research studies have concluded that aggressive treatment in early stages of rheumatoid arthritis can be extremely effective in slowing down the progression. While it can not be cured, most treatment approaches to rheumatoid arthritis are to reduce the pain, and if possible, slow down the progression.

In order to be properly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, one must see a doctor so he can run a battery of tests. These tests can include x-rays, blood tests, as well as urine tests. These tests are necessary so that the doctor can diagnose you with the correct type of arthritis you may have. He will look for joint inflammation, as well as check the skin for rheumatoid nodules, which is a common sign of rheumatoid arthritis.

About The Author: Sarah Thomas provides articles on wellness and health You can find more of her work at the sites and

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Green Tea Protection Against Diabetes

Another positive article on Green Tea on Diabetes. However, a word of caution, anything overdose might have its diverse effect. Drink moderately. And also remember to check with your physician first. Wishing everyone good health!

In recent years, we've seen lots of attention focused on the health benefits of drinking green tea. Much of the research has centered on green tea's ability to prevent, and possibly even treat, cancer. But, there are other serious health concerns that may be positively affected by adding green tea to your diet. One of the most important is Type II diabetes.

Over 20 million people in the US have Type II diabetes, and nearly one third of them don't even know it. And, another 54 million are pre-diabetic, meaning their blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetic. This means that Type II diabetes is one of the most common health concerns in the US today. Our climbing rate of obesity has significantly contributed to the soaring diabetes rate.

Diabetes results when the body either does not produce enough insulin, or does not use it properly. Insulin is the hormone that converts sugar and other food into energy. When insulin is not used properly, as is the case with Type II diabetes, an over abundance of glucose is left in the body. This is dangerous, and, over time can cause complications such as kidney problems, blindness, heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, foot problems and skin problems.

Other forms of diabetes include Type I diabetes and gestational diabetes. Type I diabetes results from the body's inability to produce an adequate amount of insulin, and is typically diagnosed during childhood. Gestational diabetes occurs when pregnancy causes the body to use insulin improperly. With proper diet, and sometimes medication, gestational diabetes can usually be controlled, and typically disappears once the pregnancy is over.

While we don't fully understand what causes Type II diabetes, we do know that people who are overweight are at greater risk for developing the disease. Exercise and weight maintenance are critical to preventing this disease. Type II diabetes also tends to run in families; so if you have a family history of diabetes, it's even more important to keep your weight in check and get regular exercise.

If you're overweight, or if your blood glucose levels are already high, there is a lot you can do to help lower your blood sugar levels and prevent your condition from developing into full blown diabetes. In addition to getting regular exercise, you should pay close attention to not only how much you eat, but what kinds of foods, as well.

Avoid processed sugar and white flour – both of these are difficult for the body to process into energy, and often leave blood glucose levels higher than they should be. Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, along with lean protein. Avoid processed foods, as these tend to be high in corn syrup, white flour and other sugars. And, this is where green tea comes in. Several studies have shown that drinking green tea helps keep your blood glucose levels stable, avoiding excess highs or lows.

One study, reported by the UK Council on Tea, showed that people who consume green tea regularly are at a lower risk of developing Type II diabetes than those who don't. In this study, over 17,000 participants were evaluated. The participants had no history of Type II diabetes, heart disease or cancer at the beginning of the study. The participants included both men and women, between the ages of 40 and 65.

The patients' lifestyles were evaluated at the beginning of the study, and then again in 5 years. At the five year follow up, the study concluded that the participants who were tea or coffee drinkers were less likely to have developed Type II diabetes during the five year period. The participants who drank 3 or more cups of tea a day showed a more significant lowering of the chances of contracting diabetes.

This news is extremely positive for those who are looking for ways to reduce their chances of contracting diabetes. It seems there's an additional tool in our arsenal for protecting ourselves against diabetes. Green tea, along with coffee and black tea, can't ensure on its own that you don't contract diabetes, but they do seem to be a simple habit that has a significant effect.

Tea may also be an effective adjunct therapy for those who already have diabetes. When used along with diet and exercise, you may find that green tea stabilizes your insulin levels enough to lower your dosage of medication. In addition, for those patients managing diabetes without medication may find it easier to do so by adding green tea to their diet. Of course, you should always consult your doctor before adding any alternative therapies to your routine.

Another benefit of drinking green tea to help control diabetes as opposed to black tea or coffee is that it seems that green tea can help you in managing your weight, which is key to preventing diabetes. Green tea appears to have a thermogenic effect on our bodies, speeding up our metabolism and helping us to burn fat. So, in addition to helping keep insulin levels stable, you may find it easier to keep your weight under control with green tea as part of your diet.

As time goes on, we're finding more and more healthful benefits of drinking green tea. It appears to have significant potential in preventing cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and even rheumatoid arthritis. And, now, we believe that it can help prevent diabetes, too.

You should have no worries about adding green tea to your diet. It does not have any known side effects, and poses no potential health threats. And, while green tea does contain caffeine, it contains significantly less than coffee or even black tea. And, the caffeine in green tea doesn't seem to accelerate the heart rate the way caffeine in other beverages can. For these reasons, many people who are caffeine sensitive seem to tolerate green tea quite well.

So, brew yourself a cup of tea. There seems to be no reason not to drink green tea, and many, many reasons why drinking it might be the healthiest thing you do all day!

Visit for all details concerning the Golden Moon Tea Company's fine line of teas.

Jon M. Stout is the Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company. Golden Moon Tea carefully selects the finest rare and orthodox teas, which are processed slowly and handcrafted with extreme care. At their website, you can learn more about their current tea offerings, including their exceptional green tea (, white tea, black tea, oolong tea (also known as wu-long and wu long tea - and chai.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Velvet Underground rarity sells on eBay

Something very interesting which I read this morning and I thought it might amuse you too. Maybe we should all start going to flea market? And then again, sometimes you can really get some good bargains in flea market so I guess, why not.

By Verena Dobnik

Forty years after it was made, The Velvet Underground's first recording has become a financial hit — in cyberspace. Bought for 75 cents four years ago at a Manhattan flea market, the rare recording of music that ended up on the influential New York band's first album, "The Velvet Underground & Nico," sold on eBay for a closing bid of $155,401.

The buyer is a mystery, only identified by the eBay screen name: "mechadaddy."

But a greater mystery endures: How did the 12-inch, acetate LP end up buried in a box of records at a flea market?

Warren Hill, a collector from Montreal, bought the record in September 2002 at the flea market, according to an article written by his friend, Eric Isaacson of Mississippi Records in Portland, Ore. in the current issue of Goldmine Magazine.

Isaacson helped Hill decipher the nature of the lucky find.

"We cued it up and were stunned — the first song was not 'Sunday Morning' as on the 'Velvet Underground & Nico' Verve LP, but rather it was 'European Son' — the song that is last on that LP, and it was a version neither of us had ever heard before!" Isaacson wrote.

The recording turned out to be an in-studio acetate made during Velvet Underground's first recording over four days in April 1966 at New York's Scepter Studios. The record reportedly is only one of two in existence; the other is privately owned, with rumors circulating about the owner's identity. Columbia Records rejected the album.

"I immediately took the needle off the record, and realized that we had something special," Isaacson wrote. Hill and Isaacson photographed the album, made a digital backup copy of the music, and decided to put it up for auction. The first bids, which began Nov. 28, rose $20,000.

Velvet Underground left its musical stamp on hundreds of other bands.

The band, named after a book about edgy sex practices in the 1960s, was fueled by Moe Tucker's hard-driving drumming, John Cale's anxious viola, and lead singer Lou Reed, whose lyrics spoke of drug-induced beauty and gritty Lower East Side realities.

The first album featured Nico, the European model-actress-singer in a first and last recorded appearance with the band.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Small Business Marketing — 6 Cheap Ways To Promote Your Business

Have you ever wanted to have your own business? Have you ever wished you earn extra profits and not just depend on your husband’s salary or even with your own income? If you do, then, having a small business is one of the best endeavors you can have.

However, your small business will never be successful unless you know how to market your products effectively. Among the various tools used in businesses, marketing is one of the most important.

The continued existence of businesses is fully dependent on marketing. Creating the channels of communication to fully promote, advertise, or put on the market various products and services is the main responsibility of marketing.

Giant companies have created marketing department to focus directly on different marketing issues and strategies. However, if you only have a small business, you have to focus more on how to put your product in the market and make it known to the public.

Here are some small business marketing ideas:

1. Go online

Websites are the perfect tool — they last longer and reach a wider audience than traditional print ads. Plus, they are more affordable.

With the proliferation of information technology these days, many businesses are utilizing the potential of the Internet in promoting their products and services.

Some companies specializing in website development offer affordable packages. However, since you are into small business, it is best that you opt for free websites. So if you are looking for an even cheaper alternative, you can create your own company blog for free.

2. Give free samples

Small businesses may not afford to hire advertising agencies to handle their marketing strategies. Hence, getting alternative solutions is best.

By giving free samples, consumers become aware of the kind of quality your products or services have. As they say, what good is an amazing product if no one knows it is amazing?

As a businessperson, it is not wise for your product to be well-kept secret forever. Let people try your product or service—create sample sizes if the expense gets too high—and let the spread the word for you!

3. Create affiliate programs

Has your business reached a plateau? Are you getting the same customers every single month? Well, teaming up with another company is a great way to revamp your business without the
usual hassle. It helps you refresh your brand image and expand your reach.

4. Print press releases

Although they are usually published in broadsheets, you may also consider tweaking them for magazine and radio releases as well. With the proper wording and timing, press releases are
the perfect way to maintain hype for your business.

5. Write e-zines or newsletters

Providing good reading material about your particular field creates awareness and interest among the public. It also establishes you as a knowledgeable industry leader. If your work has been published, then you are probably someone people should listen to.

Plus, with the combined number customers and subscribers, you company will grow at an even faster rate.

6. Create a good product

Ads can only do so much. Instead of putting money on advertising, concentrate on creating a great product. Nothing sells a good product better than a good product, even if what you have is only a small business.

It really pays to have a diversified, well planned, and well thought of small business marketing plan. A good product will get you nowhere unless other people knows about it.

About The Author: Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For more information checkout and

Tips To Remove Acnes

How do you tend to care for your skin when acne suddenly spreads up? Many people use skin care methods that actually sometimes endanger more than bring benefits. Are you one of them? See what are best acne skin care methods to prevent acne breakouts.

1. Clean your skin with gentle cleansers

Mild cleansing agent on acne affected skin is really working very well. Gently rub it in twice a day. You can use an astringent cleanser for washing your face. Best cleansers contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, licochalone, chamomile, aloe vera, feverfew, and niacinamide. Avoid acne cleanser with high alcohol content because they will dry your skin.

2. Use exfoliating acne skin care products

Exfoliating means throwing away dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Not only do these cells make the skin look dull, they are also a good food for bacteria. At home you can use mild exfoliating scrubs about once a week. For a more dramatic effect ask a dermatologist if dermabrasion or a chemical peel can help you to get rid of acne.

3. Simplest rule of acne skin care - no squeezing and pinching

Never tease your skin. It might be very tempting to get away of these terrible whiteheads by squeezing them, but they will only emerge up again and look even more awful then before and leave some scars on the skin

4. Select make-up carefully

Make-up can help to conceal acne and acne scars, but you have to be careful in applying it. Only select water based (not oil based) concealers and foundations. Please, avoid cheap cosmetic, because it can damage your skin farther. If you use blush, go for a powder blush instead of a stick blush, it is less likely to clog your pores. Dont forget to stay away your make up as soon as you get home. Even the best cosmetic is not really good for acne affected skin because it can clog your pores causing more acne breakouts.

5. Keep dirty hands off your face

When working in the garden or doing any other dirty work, or even when you are out of home, walking or going anywhere, never touch your face. It can transfer bacteria to your skin and cause an acne breakout.

Stick to these simple rules of best acne skin care,combine it with a good acne treatment or medication they will help you to clean your face of acne and bring back your beautiful skin.

About The Author: Visit our site at to read our unbiased acne product review and for more acne treatment tips.

Guilty or Gullible? Falling for an Internet Scam

I received this email just a moment ago which I would like to share with you all. For myself, I had received email like this many times and I would just delete it. A lot of time I received email about winning some lottery prize also. Just delete if you receive any such email or if you are unsure, check with your friends. One gentleman even got into trouble with the law for this. You can read more about it in the passage below.

My morning's email was filled with the usual quota of scams.

"Dear Friend," one message began, "As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday. My name is Shadak Shari, a merchant in Dubai, in the U.A.E. I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It has defied all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts."

You know the rest of the story. The guy claims to have found you because you seem trustworthy. It's a matter of great urgency. He has oodles of money and needs you to help him get it out of the country. If you consent to help, you get 10% of some multimillion-dollar bonanza.

This particular type of scam has a name, a 419 scam, named after the Nigerian penal code which relates to fraud. But, as my letter attests, it's not limited to Nigeria.

As soon as you say yes to helping them move money, things start falling apart. You'll get asked to front money to bribe officials, pay fees, help relatives travel out of the country, have papers forged. You may even receive an installment on your big win—a check to deposit, though it's often forged.

I thought the scam was thing of the past, an inside joke, an urban legend—until I read this week's New Yorker. Author Mitchell Zuckoff tells the story of John Worley, a Massachusetts psychotherapist, who fell for the scam hook, line, and sinker as they say. The scary twist is that rather than treating him as a victim of fraud he was treated to a trial in the U.S. District Circuit Court in Boston for bank fraud, money laundering, and possession of counterfeit checks. Found guilty on all counts, he's now serving his sentence. It's a fascinating story of a guy who sinks deeper and deeper into the mess.

Believe me, there are plenty of less overt scams that I can see falling for, but this one is like falling for a knock-knock joke. Most amazing is the fact the Nigerian plea in all of its variations is still alive and kicking after years of being discussed.

Some say scams like the 419 take advantage of our better nature; they prey on our need to be good Samaritans and help others. Others say they simply play on American greed, the dream of getting rich overnight.

Are people who fall for scams like this gullible or guilty? What do you think?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Choosing The Right Realtor In Chicago

Steps in Finding the Right Realtor in Chicago

It is important to find a Realtor who specializes in the type of real estate you wish to purchase. For example, if you wish to purchase real estate as an investment, narrow your list to only those who specialize in investment properties. This area requires knowledge of the specialized contracts used in investment properties, as well as a thorough knowledge of the available investment properties. If you wish to purchase a residence for yourself, there are several factors to consider when beginning your search for a Realtor in Chicago. Include only those who specialize in residential real estate located in the area in which you are interested. It’s also important that the Realtor specialize in the type of residence in which you are interested. If you wish to purchase a single family residence, choose a Realtor who specializes in this type of residence; if you wish to purchase a condo, choose a Realtor who specializes in condos. This is especially important for a condo, because condo contracts are quite different from single-family home contracts. You definitely want your Realtor to be familiar with the type of contract that you will be signing!

Check Out the Office

Now that you’ve narrowed your search down, look into the realty office that each Realtor is associated with. Make sure that it is an experienced office with a large sales volume in the type of real estate in which you’re interested. Call the office to check out how phones are answered – is the person answering polite and helpful? Are messages returned quickly with the information you requested? What do agents from other offices have to say about this office?

What’s Next?

Narrow your list down to three or four Realtors and set up a meeting with each one. During each meeting, the Realtor will give you a presentation which will include references from previous clients. Contact them! Focus on the following criteria when you’re speaking with them. Does he/she value integrity over a sale? What are his/her strengths? Did he/she develop a rapport with them?

Was the Realtor easy to contact? What do they wish the Realtor had done differently?


Examine the presentation that each agent gave you, as well as the responses from the references. Think back to each meeting. Did you seem to “hit it off” with one of the Realtors? Make your choice based on all of these criteria and call each agent to inform him/her of your decision.

(Yes, even those you didn’t choose. It’s the polite thing to do.) And, once you’ve chosen your agent, listen to his/her advice and discuss items you don’t understand.

Now You’re Prepared!

Now you’re prepared to begin your search for a professional Realtor in Chicago who has the resources to assist you in buying a home or other real estate in the perfect location. It may be a long process, but it is definitely worth the time it takes. Purchasing real estate is an important step to take, and one that you will be living with for several years to come. Just call or “click” to contact your broker and get it on Chicago’s real estate market.

About The Author: Paul Gorney is a real estate expert and writer for various real estate publications in the U.S. An agent can help you learn how to find a Top-Tier agent when you need to buy or sell in Chicago.

How Anti-Spyware Helps

If your computer is behaving oddly, is slowing down, gets hung up in the middle of your work, or is bedeviled with “pop-ups,” then it is probably infected with spyware.

Spyware gets into your computer due to due to something you have done, like clicking a button on a pop-up window, or installing free games, programs or software.

It’s estimated that anywhere from twenty to fifty percent of online network traffic is accomplished by spyware.

In fact, on eighty percent of all corporate systems networks incorporate ad-ware; fifteen percent of these networks have system monitoring software running in the background.

There are lots of applications for the removal of spyware and for spyware detection, like Spybot, Ad-aware, and Microsoft Anti-Spyware. These provide vigorous detection and protection from spy-ware as well as internet cookie identification (which then lets you know where the cookies came from).

A good anti-spyware program should have the following:

1. Definition updates. This tool lets the user download updates to their anti-spyware in order to further protect their computer as new spyware is developed.

2. Real-time monitoring. This is similar to the anti-virus “real-time scanner.” That means the anti-spyware software runs continuously in the background – even when you’re busy working on other projects on your computer. When a malicious program is found trying to install spyware on your computer, the real-time monitoring is always ready to react to it. This is a feature usually available only on paid versions of anti-spyware.

3. “Restore browser settings.” While you have to be adept at digging around in the advanced settings or advanced tool menu of your computer in order to find it, most anti-spyware have an option that can re-set the setting of their web-browser if you’ve been the victim of “browser hijacking.” You must, however, be able to quickly restore the browser to its previous home page, or to reestablish the factory defaults.

4. Safe removal and rollback. An anti-spyware shouldn’t just remove spyware, it should be able to do so in a safe manner. It would be useless to remove spyware and find an empty blue-screen the next time you turn on your computer. All spyware should be able to be removed without damage to your computer. Some anti-spyware, however, may be too vigilant. Your program should not leave you without a way to restore your computer to its original state. This might mean the spyware will still be there, but at least you won’t lose your important files.

Most programs don’t find it necessary to be that aggressive. There are lots of programs out there that do a good job. Such programs examine the contents of the “operating system file” in the Windows registry. Then they eliminate files and entries that correspond to their list of identified spyware.

So before you go browsing through the internet, always make it a point to install anti-spyware programs. They offer so many advantages that help you fight against and defend yourself from upsetting and annoying spyware.

About The Author: Mary Miller contributes to several online magazines, especially and