Every 4th Medical Student Suffers From Depression: is it the Norm?

medical student depression

It’s terrifying that every 10th medical students reports suicidal thoughts. According to the data, medical students have depressive thoughts five times more likely than the general population, while 300 to 400 doctors commit suicide every year. Female physicians are 2.3 times more likely to commit suicide than the male. The risk of depression also increases by the start of studying, classing and training in medical school.

The medical professions need more scrambling with this appearance, as well as find out a ways to protect physicians from this risk.

The Facts and Statistics

medical student depression

The Journal of the American Medical Association published data from meta-analysis where were researched around 200 studies. There are 129,000 medical students, which participate in the research from 47 countries. They report depression or depressive symptoms in 27%, while 11% of them scramble with suicidal thoughts during medical school.

This has been a worldwide problem.

Similarly, data is founded on the research of Dr. Douglas Mata, the pathology resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He found out that 29% of medical residents practicing in a hospital feel symptoms of depression. In fact, symptoms of depression are present in all the periods of their professional activity, during beginning years in classes, but also through later years, when they practice in the hospital.

It is paradoxical only 16% of them try to find help for their impaired psychical condition.  Why, if they should recognize the symptoms better than the rest of population?

What Is It About the Medical School That Affects the Occurrence of Depression Among the Students?

 

Training in medical school is very competitive, stressful and long time-consuming. Medical school has the label of a “high-pressure environment” because of these traits. It requires a long time of studying and a short time of sleeping.

Besides, the students often refer ruthless from teachers and even colleges which is one of the reasons they are insecure about not being smart enough or prepared for medical science studies. Many of the students lose self-confidence in an environment like this, while it is known that reduced confidence is one of the risk factors for the occurrence of anxiety and depression.

Another risk factor for depression is a lack of sleep. Medical students get the chronical lack of sleep because of the long term studying and working overnight shifts at hospitals.

All this exhaust the body and mind, so some of the students don’t even fall in depression but have suicidal thoughts.

During the study in medical school, as well as training medical residency, students also experience the stigma attached to mental disorders, despite learning contrary. Competition is so strong, that any sign of weakness is the reason for concluding you aren’t good enough.

Another irritating circumstance is a lack of money. Sometimes there is not enough money to do everyday things. In situations like that many of them doubt if their decision to go to medical school is the right decision. At last, medical students graduate with debt of about $180,000, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. It is huge ballast for valet and it bothers one practitioner beginner, even before graduating.

What Kind of Struggle Use Medical Schools to Protect Their Students and Residents Against Depression?

 

The medical profession is scrambling to find the solution for changing the trend of “suicidal profession”.

Psychiatry departments in some medical school provide programs for students who seek help. It is a good shift in the fight against depression among students, because services like that may offer free professional counseling. But the meta-analysis of Dr. Mata found that only 16% students who screened positive for depression seek professional help.

Residents often work shifts more than 24 hours at a time, while a lot of them move their lives to a new place because of their residency. That requires huge mental, emotional and physical effort. Because of it, Dr. Mata reveals that at the beginning of a residency cycle, if the residents need to go abroad, mental health issues could crop up.

Dr. Slavin, from Office of Curricular Affairs at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, in Missouri, suggested reducing curricular hours for 10%. He mentions that it might “reduce the volume of material and the level of detail, changing to pass/fail grading and encouraging students to become involved in elective and volunteer activities that they cared about.”

Dr. Srijan Sen, another author of the study and a psychiatrist at The University of Michigan, mentioned it could help if medical centers hired more doctors, nurses, and physician assistants to off-load some of the work residents have when they asked for free days. A lot of the extra work isn’t really helping their education.

Dr. John Schumann, who supervised residents for more than a decade at the University of Oklahoma Medical Centre, has noticed that some residents struggle with mental health issues as they learn firsthand how to handle with big professional and at the same time emotional challenges, like pronouncing a patient’s death. He says that “Residents should be able to debrief about some of their experiences as much as they want or need to.”  He stands up for supervising residents in painful professional moments like above mentioned.

Prejudices About Medical Profession

 

Prejudices are a certain aggravating factor for fixing the problem about depression among the students and residents.

One of them is that the students in medical school should be strong enough for extremely rigorous and demanding environments. If they are not, then they should probably seek another profession, as well as not worry about themselves, but only about patients.

On the other hand, related to mental illness, there is an opinion that mental problem has not been taken as seriously as physical problems, while depression is kind of a weakness which is unappetizing as the problem of medical professionals.

The stigma, which follows mental illness in the medical community, becomes arrogance. It is likely a significant cause because of which students give up from seeking help.

However, we all agree on one thing, that medical schools could step up only if they would care the mental health crisis among medical students. Also, the cause of the crisis is deep in medical school administrations, as well as in the culture and conditions in the educational environment.

5 Ways To Be a Fit Med Student While Still Getting Good Grades

During the study in medical school, it is hard to find time for workout and be a fit med student due to often low energy and low physical fitness among medical students. It is the masterpiece of managing to have time for physical activity breaks if you are a student of medicine since your priorities are your lectures and your clinical duties. That means your schedule can be wildly unpredictable. Unfortunately, most gyms require at least a monthly commitment.

Medical school is no doubt very challenging and time-consuming. But it’s still possible to find a manageable lifestyle while still succeeding to master the lecture needed to become a competent physician. All you have to do is follow these steps in order to be a fit med student.

1. Plan Your Workouts Like A Pro Fit Med Student

fit med student

It requires plenty of discipline to stay fit during years of medical school. Most of the students are completely unprepared for how much extra discipline it would take during the years.  At the beginning, you’re studying a lot, but your time is really your own. It is somewhat easy to schedule a workout in a day. But as the time goes, your schedule varies widely from day to day, not to mention from the rotation to rotation. You go to the hospital earlier and return home so late that you are often too exhausted to go to the gym. Besides, most of the food you are eating during the day is low with nutritive ingredients. You mostly don’t have the time to cook too.

So, you need to be creative to figure out a way to continue the wellness-centered lifestyle if you’ve even had one before going to medical school.

Planning your workouts for the week can be a fun and motivational way to give yourself an extra time of attention.

If you love working out, but you are on a very busy rotation and don’t have time to work out every day, or you have an early morning obligation, then try to do your workout before bedtime. It is helpful to work out when you go home. Then you don’t have any more obligations and you can do your exercise in a relaxed manner. If you prioritize sleep instead of exercise after daily obligations, do your workout early in the morning. Spend about half an hour of your time and you will be fit and vigorous all-day long.

2. Find Ways to Fit Little Bits Of Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

Medical students spend a lot of time indoors, but spending some time outdoors can strengthen your body and relieve your mind. That certainly will boost energy and lift your mood.

If you have a bike, biking cross river path or wood path can be beautiful and exciting experience and a rest for your mind. It can be restful even if you’re going to or from school or hospital, while it can be soon visible under your belt! Also, try to take the stairs rather than the elevator whenever possible, especially in the hospital and school.

If it is not complicated, you can change clothes and run or walk on the way to home. It is a simple way to get out of the classroom and enjoy some fresh air, while it saves your time.

If you have some of the workout equipment that you can use at home –  a barbell with a squat rack, adjustable dumbbells, pull-up bar, etc, you can create your own little gym and organize “home gym hour” in the day, which is least fulfilled with obligations. It is cheaper than a gym membership in the long run and gives flexible organization with your weekly routine. You can find a lot of workout routines online and on YouTube for free and exercise according to their instructions. It also gives you the group exercise feel. Some of the students may manage only about 15 minutes if they wanted to be sustainable.

15-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be done with minimal equipment and can give you great result if you put it in your daily routine in the start of a day.

Find the partner for together exercise among the students whom you associate with, and all the things will be easier and more fun.

3. Yoga for Fit Med Student

Yoga invigorates the entire body and mind; although not many medical students tend to practice yoga during the years of medical studies. But those who do try yoga, find a lot of benefits to their body and mind.

When you are stressed out (and there is a lot of that in medical school and clinical practice) yoga is an effective way to refocus and clear your mind.

It is well known that after practicing yoga you can focus your mental resources, process information much quicker, more accurate and learning, holding and updating information is better.

If you think that you need extra time for yoga exercise, you are wrong. There are a few positions you can do even while you study (at home of course).

 

 

 

 Sphinx Pose

 It is really easy to stay in this pose all the time while you are reading. Just lie on your belly with your book in front of you, and bring your forearms to the ground so that your elbows are directly under your shoulders. Inhale the shoulders up and down the back, and keep reading! You can stay in this pose as long as you feel comfortable, but it is recommended at least during 3-5 deep breaths.

 Legs Up the Wall

 The name itself tells you what to do to get to this pose. Lie on your back and just inhale your legs up above you and stay resting them on the wall in front of you. The best is you can stay here for hours and read in the pose.

 Lotus Pose

 It is not the pose for everybody because you need to have strong back muscles to stay in this pose. Otherwise, you may feel an uncomfortable tightening in the back. So, if you are used to sitting properly, come to a comfortable seat first. Gently take hold of one foot, and tuck it up into the opposite hip crease. Do the same with the opposite foot. Straighten your back and there you are! If you feel any pain or stress in your knees or back, choose another pose.

 Child’s Pose

 This is a kind of modified Child’s Pose. Gently bring your knees down the ground, and sit your hips back over your ankles. Get a good stretch in your arms, before bending the elbows and bringing your hands under your chin.

 Frog Pose

 Begin with the Tabletop Pose, and slowly walk your legs out from under your hips as far as you can go without straining. Your feet should be flexed with the inside edges of the feet on the floor. Gently come down to your forearms. Stay in the pose 5 breaths, then change the pose.

You can also get a class of yoga for the first time, and after a certain time, you may practice that alone at your room.

4. Take Stretching Breaks

Some students study a few hours at once. They may take 10-minutes workout breaks 3-4 time during a study session. You can find out about this on YouTube searching for “Instant Recess.”

This is an exercise based on stretchings, such as neck rolls and shoulder rolls, leading into movements that involve raising your hands and dancing. It will provoke better blood flowing through your body and brain, while it’s easy to do for everybody. You don’t need any equipment, as well as special clothes.

 

 

5. Eat Healthily to Be Fit Med Student

We all know how much it is important to eat fresh and healthy food to be fit, healthy and ready for daily challenges. But how to achieve all of that obligation at school and hospital while having healthy meals at the same time?

Things are getting simpler if you don’t mind eating the same thing every day. You can make a scrambled egg with veggies almost every day for breakfast, or meat with some salad for dinner. Carbs, like pasta, is recommended for lunch. Make simple quick recipes, which you can make in the morning and bring for later. Don’t forget to drink a lot of water between meals.

Bring extra snacks at times if you feel hungry, but don’t take sweeties. Instead of that, take a fresh or dried fruit or nuts.

If you often buy out your lunch, use free days for cooking at home and you can be done in 2-3 hours if you do meal prep in one day. 2-3 hours of cooking for the whole week? I’m good with that.

4 Excellent Post Surgery Healing Foods

Healing is a pivotal factor when it comes to surgeries. Surgical operations are carried out only when they’re necessary or when there is no alternative or agreeable way out of a medical condition. Surgeries are meant to readjust and restore normal physiological functions of the body. It is an invasive and vulnerable process for the patient. A surgery isn’t successful until the postoperative care is followed through for speedy recovery.

Surgeries commonly cause inflammation, swelling and bruising. However, having the right diet and incorporating all the right foods in it can minimize these side effects and prepare your body for quick recovery. Here are 4 healing foods that will fuel your body to get back on your feet and equip you with the macro and micronutrients to strengthen your immunity.

Increase lean protein intake

Collagen is a structural protein in our body that contributes to the physical structural integrity of physiological components such as blood vessels, hair, skin, tendons, bones and many other parts of your body that demand structural support. Post-surgery protein demand for your body increases from 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight to up to 2 grams per kilogram, and it must be met. Eggs, fish, beans, legumes, soy and turkey are rich sources of protein. You need this extra protein intake to repair the incisions in your body to heal and mend through the formation of collagen.

Fermented Dairy for ease of digestion

Nosocomial infections are a dangerous threat after surgery. These infections occur from the hospital environment after an open surgery, and can prove to be deadly for the vulnerable patient. This is why antibiotics are prescribed after surgery to prevent any such infections from taking over, but they also kill the normal flora of the body that are responsible for contributing to normal functions. E.Coli lined in your small intestine is amongst the good bacteria that aids digestion of food and may be affected by the prescribed antibiotics too. To prevent the antibiotics to take a toll on your digestion, you can repopulate your normal intestinal flora by eating fermented dairy foods that include yogurt and kefir. A small serving of kefir can introduce 8 to 12 normal flora species!

Fiber

Fiber is an important nutrient in our body that decreases the absorption of cholesterol across the microvilli in our small intestine but, most importantly, it provides something for the intestine’s peristalsis activity to push against and facilitate the excretion of waste. Post surgery pain medications, anesthetic agents, alterations to diet, dehydration, stress and reduced physical activity can all contribute to the digestive upset patients experience. Prunes are a rich source of soluble as well as insoluble fiber which facilitates the elimination of stool. Other fiber containing foods include beans, apples, pears, bran flakes, oatmeal, flaxseed meal and legumes.

Mushrooms

Did you know that an intake of about 4 oz of Shiitake mushrooms can rapidly boost your immune system by increasing the performance of gamma delta T-lymphocyte cells. T-lymphocytes are the warriors of your immune system. The mushrooms also reduce the quantity of proteins responsible for inflammation, thereby reducing inflammation itself. Who doesn’t like a good mushroom soup anyway?

Cover picture by yayimages.com

TIPS FOR CHOOSING GOOD FOODS FOR HEALTHY HEART

TIPS FOR CHOOSING GOOD FOODS FOR HEALTHY HEART

Experts agree that high cholesterol and blood pressure are decisive heart disease risk factors, but many people who suffer from chest pain or even from heart attacks have levels that are faultlessly normal. This problem has inspired experts to scour the body for other cardiovascular villains. A few have emerged in recent years, but the one that stands out the most is inflammation.

TIPS FOR CHOOSING GOOD FOODS FOR HEALTHY HEART
Image credit: Photographer: stuartmiles

The latest studies suggest that chronic inflammation of the lining of arteries is an important factor in the expansion of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. What is the source of this inflammation is not clear, but the good news is that:

  • 1: the instruction that is given for lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides also works fine for fighting inflammation; and
  • 2: you can tackle all 4 culprits with the help of dietary weapons. In fact, you can plan your battle against heart disease home, in your kitchen. Here is how:
  1. Start thinking like a professional when you choose the right fruits and vegetables: You should start eating those with the brightest colors.

Those have the most heart protective antioxidant pigments. A proper diet high in fruits and vegetables, also provides another significant heart benefit – salicylic acid, which is the same anti-inflammatory compound created when aspirin is added down in the body.

2. Start increasing food sources of the omega-3 fatty acids which targets high triglycerides in your blood system.

Proper sources of omega-3s, include fish such as sardines or mackerel; light green leafy vegetables; nuts and seeds; grains like wheat; cowpea and also black gram.

3. Reduce the amount of meats you eat, especially the red meats, and always select lean cuts.

  1. Decrease using of salt – instead use herbs and spices like garlic, ginger, turmeric and fenugreek liberally in your cooking;
  2. Change to groundnut, mustard, rice bran and olive oils which have monosaturated fatty acids that help lower (bad) LDL and control levels of (good) HDL cholesterol. Drastically lower down the use of margarine, butter, vegetable shortening and all products that are made with partially hydrogenated oils.
  3.  Fruits and vegetables, beans and pulses, are also tremendous sources of soluble and insoluble fibre, which trap LDLs and usher them out of your body.

3 Amazing Remedies to Alleviate Headaches

Headaches are a very common occurrence nowadays. They have become increasingly prevalent due to its established positive association with the many factors present in today’s urban lifestyle such as city’s photochemical smog, high cholesterol diets, and ubiquitously-present radio waves due to cell phones.

The instant need for gratification is understandable because headaches can be a real bummer! However, popping a pill every time you experience a headache might not be the best approach for a number of reasons. Pharmacological agents act as ligands for certain receptors in our body, to activate them and bring about the required effects. The repetitive use of drugs can induce a resistance in receptors against the drug, which means that after prolonged use, the same quantity of the drug won’t do the job anymore. Time to increase your dose! Additionally, there are also a bunch of uninvited side effects that come along with the therapeutic effect. You could avoid all of these effects by following these simple, effective and established botanical headache remedies.

1.     Cayenne

Cayenne is widely known to be a natural anti-inflammatory agent. The active compound in Cayenne that is responsible for the anti-inflammatory effect is called Capsaicin. Capsaicin disrupts the cascade of reactions that is required to produce pain. Hence by hindering one of the steps in the series of reactions, Capsaicin can eliminate pain. Here’s how you can make this magical potion to alleviate the pain:

by JulieDesyayimages.com

Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of cayenne powder in 4 ounces of warm water. Use a cotton swab to stir it around, and apply the moist swab gently on the inside of your nostril. It will sting a little but that’s just a sign that it’s working! In no time, your headache will hopefully be no more.

2.     Almonds

How many of you have dads who are regular almond eaters? Almonds contain an enzyme called Salicin that is isolated and sold as an over-the-counter medication for pain relief. However, you can avoid the unwelcomed side effects of these medications by eating the nut whole. Natural foods always contain natural mediators that don’t let the effect of one compound exceed another to a harmful limit. The problem arises when we isolate the chemical and take it in its pure form. So, try eating a bunch of almonds the next time you come across an irritating headache.

by antpkryayimages.com

3.     Feverfew

Through trial and research feverfew plant has proven to be a great natural therapeutic agent for headaches and even migraines! Migraines can be extremely painful. Feverfew contains a chemical substance Parthenolide which is an active ingredient against headaches. Headaches occur due to the vasoconstriction of our blood vessels that can cause nearby nerves to be pressed. This is the reason we experience pain, but because Parthenolide causes vasodilation, it can relax those tensed blood vessels once again. Thereby, restoring the healthy impulse transmission of your nerves and alleviate your headache. It’s like taking an aspirin minus the side effects! This is how you can use feverfew to prepare a relieving concoction for yourself:

by syristyayimages.com

Take an ounce of feverfew flowers (either fresh or dried) and add them to a pint of boiling water. Stir and let it boil for 10 minutes. This will slowly extract essential nutrients of feverfew flowers such as Parthenolide. Strain it, and drink half a cup twice a day.

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All rights reserved – Meddy Bear 2017

3 Common Treatments for High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a common issue which impacts millions of people every year. Fortunately there are a number of ways to manage and improve the severity of the condition, which can help prevent many of the potential side effects of high blood pressure.
Changing your lifestyle is one of the most effective ways of treating high blood pressure, and it works more effectively when combined with medical treatment. Many people prefer embracing custom plans that allow them to manage their recovery process through exercise schedules, dietary adjustments and getting rid of habits like smoking that could worsen the situation. But this is often not enough and they have to look for better ways to treat high blood pressure.
When treating high blood pressure in a patient, many doctors will recommend and prescribe some of the below treatments. This medication, coupled with dietary adjustments and physical exercise, can bring blood pressure under control in the long term.
Thiazide Diuretics
Also referred to as water pills, thiazide diuretics diuretics are medications that work by acting on your kidney to eliminate excess water and sodium, which relaxes the blood vessel walls. This approach works to lower overall blood pressure levels. These drugs are often the first option for those looking to treat high blood pressure.
However, if you have been using a diuretic and your condition is yet to improve, you should consult with your doctor to understand the underlying problem better. You will likely undergo some tests which will help the doctor choose the most appropriate treatment to use. Depending on your blood type, you could find that some diuretics take longer to have an impact.

Calcium Channel Blockers
The second popular and effective option for the treatment of high blood pressure that you could embrace is using calcium channel blockers. These are basically medications which reduce the amount of calcium in the cells of the heart and blood vessel walls. As with diuretics, calcium channel blockers help relax the blood vessel walls and allow the heart to receive more oxygenated blood.
Some of the calcium channel blockers you could use include amlodipine and dilitiazem. There are also others that work by slowing down your heart rate, which reduces any risks occurring because of high blood pressure.
Basically, high blood pressure is a condition where the force of the blood exceeds what the artery walls can take, and this comes with several risks. Therefore, taking drugs like amlodipine that help to relax the blood vessels could save you from the severe effects that come as a result of neglecting the condition.
Calcium blockers have a much higher impact when used by older people more than ACE inhibitors do, so you need to consider your age bracket when choosing which drugs to use. Also, while battling high blood pressure, you should avoid using grapefruit because it interacts with channel blockers to increase blood levels, which puts you at a risk of suffering side effects. If you are worried about interactions, make sure to talk to your doctor before you embark on any treatment.

Candesartan
Candesartan belongs to a group of drugs called Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), which work by relaxing blood vessels by blocking the action of a chemical that triggers the narrowing of blood vessels. This is one of the most perfect choices out there for someone undergoing treatment for high blood pressure as it also benefits those with chronic kidney disease. It is a neutral yet beneficial drug that works well in the treatment of high blood pressure.
While there are various high blood pressure treatments available it’s always best to consult with your doctor about the best approach for your situation. They will know which treatment will be most effective for treating your unique symptoms.

Oncologists urge you to stop eating these 8 foods that are proven to cause cancer

Cancer is a complex group of diseases with many possible causes.

Known causes of cancer include genetics; lifestyle factors such as tobacco use, diet, and physical activity; certain infections; environmental exposures to different chemicals and radiation, and more.

How much do daily habits like diet and exercise affect your risk for cancer? Much more than you might think.

Research has shown that poor diet and not being active are 2 key factors that can increase a person’s cancer risk. The good news is that you do something about this.

Besides quitting smoking, some of the most important things you can do to help lower your cancer risk include keeping a healthy weight, being physically active on a regular basis, and making healthy food choices with a focus on plant-based foods.

According to the World Cancer Research Fund, almost 20% of all cancers diagnosed in America are related to physical inactivity, body fatness, excess alcohol consumption, poor nutrition, and thus could also be prevented.

Top 8 cancer causing foods

1. Refined sugars and artificial sweeteners

Refined sugars are not only known to spike insulin levels but also to be a preferable food for cancer cells, thus promoting their growth. This is a known fact that has been around for many years.

It was in 1931 that the German Nobel laureate in medicine, Otto Warburg, first discovered that tumors and cancers thrive on sugars.

In order to grow and spread, cancer cells depend on sweeteners high in fructose such as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) because they can easily metabolize it.

Instead of using refined sugar or artificial sweeteners, you can try alternatives like honey, jaggery, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup or the herb stevia to sweeten any dish.

2. Processed meat

Processed meats include bacon, hot dogs, sausages, lunch meats like bologna or pimento loaf. A study concluded by the University of Hawaii have shown that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67%. Processed meats contain high levels of chemicals and preservatives, including nitrates, which improve their taste, but are well-known carcinogens.

Smoked meats are particularly unhealthy as the meat absorbs tar during the smoking process.

To avoid the harmful effects of processed meat, try lean meat and cook your own food.

3. Farmed fish

Commercial fish farming involves raising an incredible number of fishes (such as salmon), in a crowded environment. More than 60% of the salmon consumed in the

United States comes from a farming operation where they are treated with antibiotics, pesticides, and other carcinogenic chemicals to try and control the bacterial, viral, and parasitic outbreaks that result from cramming so many fish in a small space. Farmed fish also don’t have as much omega-3 as wild salmon.

When buying salmon, make sure it is labeled as wild. Wild salmon is more expensive than farmed, but it’s worth the extra cost.

4. Pickled and smoked foods

These products typically contain preservatives, such as nitrates, which are intended to prolong shelf life. The additives used in processed foods can accumulate in your body over time. Eventually, such toxins cause damage at the cellular level and lead to diseases like cancer.

When smoked foods are cooked at high temperatures, the nitrates are converted to the much more dangerous nitrites.

Try to avoid pickled and smoked foods as much as possible.

5. Hydrogenated oil

Also, known as trans-fats, hydrogenated oils are a man-made product whose chemical structure has been altered to increase shelf life. Chemicals are also used to hide the odor and improve the taste of the oil.

Research has proved that hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils present in industrial processed food double the risk of breast cancer.

Instead, use extra-virgin olive oil, extra-virgin coconut oil or palm oil.

6. Potato chips

These fast food staples are fried in hydrogenated vegetable oil and then heavily salted. According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, eating just 1 ounce of potato chips a day causes an average 2-pound weight gain in one year.

Secondly, they are abundant in trans-fats which increase cholesterol levels in most people, as well as sodium, which raises blood pressure levels. Next, potato chips are fried at high temperatures to make them crispy but this also causes them to produce acrylamide, a known carcinogen also found in cigarettes.

Instead of buying potato chips from the market, make them at home using healthy oil like olive oil.

7. Microwave popcorn

Microwave popcorn is a convenient and relatively healthy snack, but the bag it comes in is another story.

Many microwave popcorn bags are lined with a chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid (or PFOA). This toxin has been found to significantly raise the risk of breast, kidney, colorectal, bladder, prostate, lung, thyroid, leukemia, and lymphoma cancers.

8. Refined white flour

When flour is refined, all nutritional value is removed and then it is bleached with chlorine gas to make it more appealing to consumers.

The glycemic index for white flour is very high – meaning it spikes your insulin levels without providing nutritional fuel.

Carbohydrates are converted to sugars by your body, so excessive products that contain white flour can lead to increased insulin resistance.

Instead of using refined white flour, try some healthier options like whole wheat, almond, quinoa or barley flour.

 

Contraceptives and sterilization (Arabic) – كيف يمكنني ممارسة حياتي الجنسية دون الخوف من حدوث حمل أو إنجاب أطفال؟!

“كيف يمكنني ممارسة حياتي الجنسية دون الخوف من حدوث حمل أو إنجاب أطفال؟!” قد يكون هذا من أشيع الأسئلة التي تطرح على طبيب الأسرة باعتبارها تشكل حيزا من اهتمام الشباب الغير مستعدين لتكوين عائلة، أو الذين انتهوا من إنجاب العدد المرغوب لديهم من الأطفال!!

للأسف لا تتوفر، حتى اليوم، وسيلة مثلى لمنع الحمل، بحيث تكون ناجحة بنسبة 100% في منع الحمل، وخالية من الاعراض والاثار الجانبية او الاخطار الصحية، بالإضافة لكونها سهلة ومريحة للاستعمال وتكلفتها منخفضة جدا. وفي عملية اختبار مدى نجاعة وسائل المنع ، من المتبع قياس مدى فعالية الطريقة عند تطبيقها بصورة دقيقة، صحيحة ومتكاملة، ومقارنتها مع فعاليتها عند التطبيق المعتاد. اي، عند الاخذ بالحسبان، مثلا، نسيان تناول قرص منع الحمل احيانا، او تمزق العازل الذكري (Condom) عند استعماله بشكل غير الصحيح .

بحسب منظمة الصحة العالمية فقد ازداد استخدام وسائل منع الحمل في أجزاء كثيرة من العالم، وخاصة في آسيا وأمريكا اللاتينية، بينما لا يزال منخفضا في أفريقيا جنوب الصحراء الكبرى. وعلى الصعيد العالمي، ارتفع استخدام وسائل منع الحمل الحديثة قليلا، من 54 ٪ في 1990 حتي 57،4 ٪ في عام 2014. وعلى المستوى الإقليمي، فإن نسبة النساء الذين تتراوح أعمارهم بين 15-49 واللواتي أبلغن عن استخدام وسائل منع الحمل الحديثة, ارتفعت نسبتهن حتى استقر بين عامي 2008 و 2014. وفي أفريقيا ارتفع من 23.6 ٪ إلى 27.6 ٪ ، في آسيا قد ارتفع بشكل طفيف من 60.9 ٪ إلى 61.6 ٪ ، وفي أمريكا اللاتينية ومنطقة البحر الكاريبي ارتفع بشكل طفيف من 66.7 ٪ إلى 67.0 ٪ . ومع ذلك فإن ما يقدر بنحو 225 مليون امرأة في البلدان النامية يرغبون  بتأخير أو وقف الحمل دون أن يقوموا باستخدام أي وسيلة من وسائل منع الحمل لأسباب متنوعة. ومنه فالحاجة غير الملباة لمنع الحمل تظل عالية جداً، حيث يتغذى هذا الظلم نتيجة كل من النمو السكاني، ونقص خدمات تنظيم الأسرة.

في أفريقيا، 23.2 ٪ من النساء في سن الإنجاب لديهن الحاجة غير الملباة لوسائل منع الحمل الحديثة. في آسيا، وأمريكا اللاتينية ومنطقة البحر الكاريبي – المناطق ذات الارتفاع النسبي بانتشار وسائل منع الحمل -فإن مستويات الحاجة غير الملباة هي 10.9 ٪ و 10.4 ٪ على التوالي (تقارير وسائل منع الحمل العالمي 2013، UNDESA).

تختلف آلية عمل وسائل منع الحمل. فمنها ما يعتمد على التنظيم الهرموني للجسم ومنه ماهو جراحي أو ميكانيكي. أما أبسط الوسائل من حيث التداخل فهي الوسائل الطبيعية التي تعتمد بدرجة كبيرة على وعي المرأة والتزامها.

أشيع الوسائل الهرمونية هي حبوب منع الحمل الفموية, إمّا المركبة الحاوية على البروجسترون والأستروجين معاً (Combination OCPs).أو حبوب منع الحمل الحاوية على البروجسترون فقط (Progestin-only OCPs).

إن تناول حبوب منع الحمل كل يوم، يحمي من الحمل طول الدورة الشهرية. هذه الحبوب متوافرة عادة في الصيدليات، والمراكز الصحية. وفي التداول التجاري أنواع كثيرة جدا ًمن الحبوب. يجب أن تكون الحبوب المستخدمة من حبوب “الجرعة الخفيفة”. ويعني هذا أنها تحتوي على 30 أو 35 ميكروغرام أو أقل من الأستروجين المسمّى بـ”اثينيل استراديول”  Ethinyl estradiol، أو 50 ميكروغرام من الاستروجين المسمّى بـ “مسترانول” Mestranol, ومليغرام واحد أو أقل من البروجسترون.

يشكو بعض النساء من مشكلات صحية تجعل تناول الحبوب خطرا. لذلك لا بدّ من استشارة طبيب قبل البدء باعتمادها. (وخاصة النساء المصابات بالتهاب الكبد، أو المتعرضات سابقا لنشبات وأمراض قلبية وعائية أو خثارية).

أن تناول الحبوب سهل نسبيا، فما على المرأة سوى الالتزام بتناول حبة واحدة يوميا من الشريط الحاوي 28 حبة منذ اليوم الأول لدورتها الشهرية، والبدء بشريط آخر فور انتهاء الأول. أو استخدام الشريط الحاوي 21 حبة وانقطاع 7 أيام قبل البدء بشريط آخر، حيث ستحل الدورة الشهرية في الأيام السبعة الخالية من الحبوب. وعند رغبة المرأة بالحمل ماعليها سوى وقف الحبوب وسيحدث الحمل فورا، فإن معظم النساء اللواتي يتوقفن عن تناول الحبوب من أجل الحمل، يحملن في السنة الأولى بعدئذ.

إمّا حبوب البروجسترون وحده أو (الحبوب المنمنمة أو المصغرة أو الميني بل):the mini pill (only progestron pill): فهي تستخدم لتجنب الأضرار الجانبية للحبوب المختلطة، وتعمل هذه الحبوب على منع الحمل بمنع عملية التبويض وتغيير إفرازات عنق الرحم مما يؤثر على طبيعة بطانة الرحم، فبالتالي تعيق دخول الحيوانات المنوية إلى رحم المرأة بالصورة الطبيعية وعلى انغراس الأجنة.
وتستخدم حبوب البروجستيرون في جميع الحالات التي يعتبر فيها هرمون الاستروجين محظور الاستخدام.

ووفق ما تشير إليه النشرات العلمية الحديثة للمجمع الأميركي للسرطان، فإن أسباب الهواجس الطبية حول احتمالات وجود علاقة حبوب منع الحمل بالأمراض السرطانية، مردها إلى أن هناك أنواعاً من الإصابات السرطانية ذات العلاقة المباشرة، في ظهورها ونموها وانتشارها، بنسبة الهرمونات في الجسم. وهذا ينطبق على النساء وعلى الرجال. إذ كما أن سرطان البروستات لدى الرجال له صلة بالهرمونات الذكرية، فإن سرطانات الثدي والمبايض والرحم لها هي الأخرى علاقة بالهرمونات الأنثوية. ولكن مجرد طرح «احتمال» وجود «علاقة»، سلبية أو إيجابية، لا يعني بالضرورة وجود علاقة «السبب والنتيجة» بين تناول حبوب منع الحمل وإصابة النساء بالأمراض السرطانية. وهذا ما ثبت علمياً خلال السنوات الماضية.  ولذا لا تتبنى الجمعية أي رأي جازم في نصائحها الطبية حول الموضوع

تم إيجاد وسيلة هرمونية جديدة حاوية على البروجسترون فقط، هي حقن منع الحمل العضلية التي يستمر مفعولها ل8 أو 12 أسبوع. ووسائل أخرى تحوي الهرمونين معا مثل الحلقة المهبلية  (vaginal ring) والتي تعرف باسمها التجاري (Novaring). أو مثل الغرسة تحت الجلد التي تعمل لسنة ونصف. أو اللصاقات الجلدية.

ميكانيكيا يمكن منع الحمل باستخدام اللوالب الرحمية ذات الأنواع المختلفة, فمنها الخامل ومنها المطلق للهرمونات.ومنها الحاوي على عنصر النحاس. تتميز بكونها لا تؤثر أبدا على العملية الجنسية, ولا تؤخر الحمل عند انتزاعها. ولا حاجة للتفكير بها كل يوم.

يعتبر الواقي الذكري من أشيع الوسائل المستخدمة من قبل الذكور,فهو متوفر, سهل الاستخدام, ويحمي كذلك من الأمراض المنقولة جنسيا. ومثله عند الإناث, الحجاب الحاجز (Diaphragm) وقبعة عنق الرحم (Cervical cap) .

إن كل من لا يرغب باستخدام إحدى الوسائل السابقة, يمكنه الاطلاع على الطرق الطبيعية لمنع الحمل, ووعيها جيدا. لأن نسبة الفشل فيها يعتمد كما ذكرنا سابقا على مدى التزام طالبها ووعيه. لا بد للمرأة هنا أن تكون قادرة على تحديد فترة الخصوبة وفترة الأمان خلال دورتها الشهرية, فتمنتع عن الجماع أثناء فترة الخصوبة. والتي من الممكن معرفتها بعدة طرق, منها:

  1. طريقة الحساب بالتقويم calendar method :يشترط لاستخدام هذه الطريقة أن تكون الدورة الشهرية للسيدة منتظمة.

❦ تقوم السيدة بحساب طول كل دورة طمث لمدة 6 شهور متتالية، وتقوم بتسجيل مدة كل دورة من الدورات الستة (يتم حساب مدة دورة الطمث بداية من اليوم الأول من الطمث

وحتى اليوم الأخير قبل الطمث التالي).

❦ بعد تسجيل طول ال 6 دورات ، تختار السيدة من بينهم أقصر دورة طمث،

وأطول دورة طمث (أي أقل عدد أيام وأكثر عدد أيام).

❦ تقوم السيدة بحساب فترة الخصوبة عن طريق: طرح 18 من أقصر دورة (فيكون الناتج هو أول يوم في فترة الخصوبة)….. ثم تقوم بطرح 11 من أطول دورة (فيكون الناتج هو أخر يوم  في فترة الخصوبة).

وبذلك تستطيع تحديد فترة الخصوبة وتمتنع عن الجماع خلالها أو تستخدم وسيلة إضافية

لمنع الحمل خلالها.

Color vector created by Photoroyalty – Freepik.com

2.طريقة تسجيل درجة الحرارة الأساسية للجسم Thermal method _ basal body temperature : تعتمد تلك الطريقة على أساس أنه بعد فترة قصيرة من التبويض تحدث زيادة بسيطة في درجة حرارة الجسم بمقدار 0.2 – 0.5 درجة مئوية وتظل مرتفعة حتى الطمث التالي، فتقوم السيدة بقياس درجة الحرارة يومياً. وتعتبر فترة الخصوبة من بداية الدورة الشهرية وحتى مرور ثلاثة أيام متتالية من ارتفاع درجة الحرارة.

3: طريقة مخاط عنق الرحم  Cervical mucus method : وتكون فترة الخصوبة خلال الأيام التي بها إفرازات رطبة حتى تصل هذه الإفرازات إلى ذروتها فتصبح زلقة ومطاطة ولمدة 4 أيام بعد ذلك.

الأفضل أن تجمع السيدة بين كل المؤشرات السابقة لتحدد فترتي الخصوبة والأمان بأقل نسبة من الخطأ.

إن أفضل وسائل منع الحمل من حيث الفعالية هيي الوسائل الجراحية أي التعقيم (Sterilization). إلا إن العودة للخصوبة بعد إجرائها نادرا ما يكون ممكن. فهي تعتمد على قطع الطريق الموصل بين النطاف والبويضة بشكل جراحي دائم, إما بربط أو قطع قناتي فالوب عند المرأة. أو بربط وقطع الأسهرين عند الذكر. هذه العمليات بسيطة جدا لكن من الصعب عكسها كما ذكرنا. وعند الرغبة بالحمل سيتم اللجوء إلى الإخصاب في وسط الزرع (IVF) لإنجاب أطفال. أو يمكن تخزين نطاف الذكر الخاضع للتعقيم في بنك الجيوانات المنوية لاستخدامها لاحقا.

أصبح استخدام وسائل منع الحمل في السنوات الاخيرة، جزءا لا يتجزأ من نمط الحياة السليم لدى مليار انسان، من النساء والرجال، لكنه لا يزال يشكل أحد التحديات الأكثر اهمية بالنسبة للبشر من خلال الحاجة الى نشر استعمال وسائل منع الحمل في العالم بصورة مضبوطة ومنظمة، سعيا الى مواجهة التأثيرات المترتبة عن التكاثر السكاني، اذ تشير توقعات منظمة الصحة العالمية الى ان عدد سكان العالم، الذي يبلغ اليوم نحو ستة مليارات شخص، سيواصل الازدياد حتى يصل إلى ثمانية مليارات انسان، تقريبا، في العام 2025، واكثر من تسعة مليارات في العام 2050.

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