Archive for Health

Tips for Choosing an Egg Donor

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ID-100168086Our bodies are designed to make babies, and it is natural to assume that ours will follow suit when we finally make the decision we are ready to have a child. Hopefully within a few months of trying, you will get that positive result on the pregnancy test. Unfortunately, for a small percentage of women, this is not the path they take to motherhood. Myriad issues can stand in the way, and for some, the quality of their eggs, or reduced a reduced store, makes it practically impossible to conceive. This is where egg donation comes in. If you find yourself considering this path, here are some tips for choosing your donor.

Physical Appearance

For many couples, the physical appearance of the donor is very important. If you cannot have your own biological child, at the very least, you would hope you could have one that looks physically similar to you and/or your partner, particularly if you do not have any plans on telling your child or others he is not biologically related. There is no way to predict the appearance of a child, but you might request childhood photos of potential donors to get some idea of what your child may look like. But, the more particular you are about appearance, the fewer options you will have. This is important of course, but be careful not to get too caught up at the risk of overlooking other factors that may be more important in the long-run.

Medical History

Medical history is crucial when deciding on a donor. Ideally, she will come from a long line of healthy people who all died of old age in their sleep, but this is unlikely. Considering one out of three people get cancer, there might be some history there at the very least. Certain conditions are not necessarily deal breakers, as they are relatively common and do not present an immediate risk to your child, like heart disease.

The most important point in thoroughly reviewing the medical history is reducing the risk of health problems that may present themselves if the father’s history also contains similar problems. For example, certain conditions may manifest if a child’s parents both carry a gene for a particular condition. Then, you would avoid any donors who have this in their history.

Blood Type

When choosing a donor, you might not think about something like blood type, but it is an important consideration. Children inherit their blood type from their parents, and you would want a match in the event your child needed blood. This consideration is also important if, again, you do not plan on telling your child he was conceived with a donor egg.

Donor Location

Many databases allow you to search donors located all over the country; it is important to keep your budget in mind. Can you afford to fly someone in to your area on a regular basis, and put her up in a hotel? If you are looking for egg donation in Kansas City, getting your heart set on a woman out in California may not be a good idea. If you know you cannot afford to do this, don’t set yourself up for disappointment—look for local donors from the start.

Should You Go with Someone Who Has Donated Previously?

Another consideration is whether to only look at women who have successfully donated a healthy egg previously. This can provide some reassurance on various fronts. This person is familiar with the process, responded well to the medications and clearly had healthy eggs that gave way to healthy baby. Now, it is important to note there are no guarantees when it comes to this process, so don’t let this be the only guiding factor. If you find another donor that really speaks to you, but she has not donated before, don’t dismiss it so quickly.


January 31, 2014 |  by  |  Health  |  Comments Off

4 Tips for Overcoming Drug Addiction

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1247880594_7818ddf408Curing your drug addiction can present you with the biggest challenge you will ever face in your life. Even the most disciplined individuals struggle to stay clean so someone with less willpower will need to use every trick in the book to remain sober amidst a world of temptations. Hang out with positive, supportive people and exercise frequently to feel better about yourself.

Work on your mindset to deal with cravings and consider attending a rehab facility if you require professional help to stay clean. Do whatever it takes to live a positive, productive life for yourself and your family.

Surround Yourself with a Strong Support System

Having a positive, nurturing support system in place helps you to fight off any cravings to begin using again. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who make your well-being their number one priority. Nobody can get and stay clean for you, but loving people will do everything in their power to help you through difficult times. Your network keeps you on the straight and narrow when times get tough. This support system can help you focus on your job or high energy activities outside of work like keeping fit or having a social life.

Exercise Frequently

Get enough exercise to feel good about yourself, reduce stress and stay clean and sober. By exercising daily your body will release endorphins that will enhance your mood. Feeling better about yourself and your life can dissipate any low energy feelings which might lead to a dangerous relapse. Running, walking or jogging for at least 30 minutes per session is the ultimate stress buster. Instead of searching for a quick drug fix when you feel stressed, leave your house and hit the pavement for an invigorating run.


Meditate daily to deal with your feelings. Any cravings you might feel can be controlled if you realize that you are in the driver’s seat. Your feelings come and go with ease once you identify that you, rather than your addiction,are in full control. Meditating expands your awareness to the point that you will be able to remove yourself any desire to use drugs and let go of that urge without acting on the emotion. This might sound virtually impossible if you are new to meditating but with practice you can both face and release emotions to help you avoid any dangerous relapses.

Spend Time at a Facility

Spending time at a rehabilitation facility might be necessary if you find yourself struggling horribly with your addiction or if you simply want to boost your overall wellness with professional help. Research rehabilitation facilities, both online and offline, to find the right match for your needs. Whether you want to visit a luxury facility or a simple location, select a spot with a helpful, supportive staff and proven track record for getting people on the straight and narrow.

About the Author: Ryan Biddulph helps you to overcome your addiction with proven tips. If you require professional treatment for your addiction he suggests Bayside Marin.

December 27, 2013 |  by  |  Health  |  Comments Off

4 Tips for Picking an Assisted Living Facility

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ID-10032444Before picking an assisted living facility do strict research to find a home which meets your needs. In this day and age more seniors are choosing the group home route to receive adequate care during their golden years. Choose the proper home by spending a few days at the facility to observe interaction between the staff and residents. Check out the cleanliness of the location and interview current residents to formulate an intelligent opinion of the home.

Observe the Staff

Have you spent hours observing how the facility staff interacts with community residents? Make sure that the staff is courteous, friendly and helpful before you choose an assisted living facility. The workers should genuinely want to help residents. If you notice any hints of neglect or nastiness immediately cross the home off of your watch list. Some unhappy people work in such environments just to get a paycheck. Choose a facility with a caring, nurturing staff to spend your golden years in good company. Whenever you are investigating any sort of elder care options, whether an assisted living facility, adult daycare center or nursing home, this is one of the key things for which to watch.

Demand a Clean Facility and Grounds

By scouting out your potential home you can see if the site cleanliness is up to your standards. Observe the grounds outside of the home. Make sure the grass is trimmed and the sidewalks are kept neat. Scour the inside of the facility to search for red flags like dirty linens, fluid on floors, stained, dirty walls and foul smells.  If you are not fully satisfied with the cleanliness of your future home move on to the next potential facility to find a better match. Picture yourself living out your life in a spotless environment versus a dirty environment. You should never have to settle in a day and age where the majority of facilities are professionally managed.

Proximity to Your Family

Do you plan to visit your family and friends during your stay? Or do you want family and friends to be able to easily visit you? Picking an assisted living facility in a different state can make it difficult for your loved ones to see you and vice versa. Choose a location within close proximity to your family. Increase the likelihood that your loved ones will make frequent visits to your home. Nothing is more depressing than rarely if ever receiving visits from your friends when living in an assisted living facility. Sure you can make friends at your new home but connecting with your family is paramount in keeping your spirits up and health strong.

Interview Current Residents

Interview current residents of the facility you are researching to get a feel for what life is like at the home. Nobody can give a better account of the positives and negatives of a location than people who live there. Sit down and have a lunch with someone who has lived at the facility to get a taste for both the food and the way of life at the home. Objectively listen to differing accounts of each person. Make sure you get feedback from multiple people to develop a fair and unbiased opinion of the home.

December 14, 2013 |  by  |  Health  |  Comments Off

Natural Ways to Cope with Chronic Pain

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ID-10075944We all experience pain from time to time, and it is never pleasant. But, if you have a condition where pain is a regular part of life, whether you suffer from an injury that never quite healed well, or you have a condition such as fibromyalgia, your quality of life can suffer greatly. Dealing with this problem can cause mental health issues, such as increased anxiety or depression. Whether you are hoping to complement standard treatments or go the natural route 100 percent, there are some strategies that may help alleviate your pain, or at the very least, cope with it more successfully.


When it comes to chronic pain, we may not think much of the foods we eat, but your diet may play a role by triggering the production of chemicals and other substances that can contribute to pain. High insulin levels may worsen pain, for example, so cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates may help. These foods also cause the body to produce more inflammation, which can exacerbate pain. Some people report their pain was reduced when they eliminated nightshade vegetables from their diet, such as potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant. Eat inflammation-fighting healthy fats, like those found in salmon and flaxseed. The artificial sweetener aspartame has been linked to increasing sensitivity to pain. Food additives such as MSG may stimulate pain receptors. Food allergies can also cause symptoms such as pain, and you might want to experiment with eliminating common allergens such as gluten, eggs and dairy. Limit oils high in omega-6 fatty acids—high amounts can trigger inflammation. Focus on whole, fresh foods; boring advice yes, but it will be your best bet.

Herbal Supplements

There are many herbal supplements that may help manage pain. While it, and other forms of the herb ,have gotten a bad rap from irresponsible use, maeng da kratom, has been used for centuries to treat pain and other ailments, such as anxiety and depression—it activates the same receptors in the brain as prescription opioid pain killers. You can learn about kratom effects here and how to use it properly.  Bromelain, ginger and turmeric are known for their pain-fighting anti-inflammatory properties. Fish oil may also work well because it can give you a nice, concentrated dose of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids. Low vitamin D levels have been linked to chronic pain and supplementing may help. Other potential helpful supplements include SAMe, magnesium and acetyl-l carnitine.


Meditation can be a powerful tool in your pain-fighting arsenal. Many studies have found that people with pain conditions who meditated reported improvements on various fronts. One of the most interesting findings is that they were able to change their perception of the pain and reduce their suffering, even if they still felt it. Meditation produced changes in the brain that cause the person to shift focus from the pain, and not automatically focus on the negative sensations rather than other ones. One study that was published in 2013 also found that meditation seemed to help feelings of depression in people with chronic pain conditions.

About the Author:Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who is passionate about alternative medicine and natural approaches to wellness.

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July 30, 2013 |  by  |  Health  |  Comments Off

Diet as a Tool for Curbing Inflammation

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Inflammation actually serves an important purpose in the body—it puts the immune system on alert that something is amiss and it can get to work rectifying the problem. But, when inflammation is chronic, it can cause a host of problems, from worsening arthritis to more systemic damage that can lay the foundation for serious conditions such as cancer and heart disease. While you cannot eliminate inflammation completely, there are several ways to reduce it, with diet being one of the most powerful tools—a tool you can wield complete control over. Here are some tips for easing inflammation through your diet.

Carbs, Carbs, Carbs

Over the last few decades, our war on fat has led to a dramatic increase in carbohydrate consumption, and for the most part, not the good kinds like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. More like heavily refined and sugar-laden ones. Eating ‘’bad carbs’’ in large quantities is a major contributor to inflammation; the dramatic spike in insulin that results after eating these foods sets in motion a cascade of internal events that trigger the production of inflammatory chemicals. Foods to limit are really no big mystery— watch the white-flour foods, all the refined foods and all the sugary treats and drinks. Focus on whole grains instead. You also want to watch your intake of starchy carbs like potatoes since they are very high in carbohydrates as well.

Good Fat, Bad Fat

Fat has gotten a bad rep over the years, but in recent times, we are beginning to discover the significant benefits offered by ‘’healthy fats.’’ They are good for our heart, and omega-3’s specifically may be good for addressing brain-related issues, such as ADHD or depression. One of the key benefits of healthy fat is their ability to reduce inflammation. This is particularly true of omega-3 fatty acids, which our body uses to create anti-inflammatory chemicals. You can find them in coldwater fish such as salmon. Non-fish sources include walnuts, hemp seed and flax seed. Nowadays, you can also find many different types of foods fortified with these fats. Monounsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, olives and avocados are also an important part of an anti-inflammatory diet.

When it comes to cooking oils, curb intake of those rich in omega-6 fatty acids—while these fats offer health benefits, they contribute to inflammation when eaten frequently, which is the case in the typical American diet. Examples include soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil and sunflower oil.


Eating foods rich in antioxidants has been linked to a host of health benefits, such as reduced risk of cancer. These powerful little substances help the body fight off at a cellular level. The best sources are fruits and vegetables, particularly berries, red grapes, cherries, kale, spinach, broccoli and peppers. To gain the full benefit, eat a variety of colors. You can also drink beverages rich in antioxidants and other inflammation-fighting chemicals, such as parsley tea and chamomile tea. Antioxidants are also widely available in supplement form, but it would behoove you to get most of them from your diet.


About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things health and nutrition.

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June 11, 2013 |  by  |  Health  |  Comments Off