Why do people collect?



Why do people collect?
Why do people collect?
At one time or another in our youth, most of us have collected something-whether it was
stamps, coins, record albums, toy cars, comic books, badges, etc. Most outgrow this “hobby”
as adults but a few become serious collectors upon reaching a certain economic status
(i.e. wealthy). They start buying and collecting art, fine china, cars, wines, watches, and even
properties. Why do people collect?
Some people collect souvenirs and mementos when they travel to remind them of the
places they visit (At one time, I was collecting Starbucks coffee mugs from the cities I visit).
Some people collect to learn and discover their roots while others collect to invest or “allocate their assets”
into something beautiful and tangible. In this issue, you’ll find an interesting article on the Psychology of
Collecting which reveals why people collect.
If you have a collection, share and email your collection story to me (not later than August 15). In no
less than 300 words, tell me how, when, and why you started collecting and if available, send some photos of
your collection. The most interesting, appealing, and intriguing collection story will win a bottle of Ferrari (an
Italian sparkling wine), or if not a wine-drinker, half-a-case (six bottles) of Organic Grape Juice. The winning
story will also get published in our future issue.
Lastly, if anyone is interested to see my collection, you are welcome to visit Wine Story at Shangri-La Mall
and One Serendra where my collection is proudly on display. Best of all, it’s for sale so everyone can enjoy it!
A house, no matter how grand it is, will not be habitable without working plumbing. The same goes for our body-without
a healthy functioning digestive system, life will not be sustainable.
Everything we put in our mouth and swallow (food, drinks, medicines, etc), is processed within the digestive system.
Digestion is the process by which food and other ingested materials are broken down into nutrients that can be used
by the body, the rest is expelled as waste. The digestive system is made up of a long tube (called the alimentary canal or
digestive tract), which starts at the mouth and ends at the anus and this measures about 9 – 10 meters long.
Inside this special issue, we focus on maintaining a healthy digestive system which is extremely important for one’s
general health and well-being. We’ll show you how to prevent digestive disorders like acid reflux, heartburn, colon cancer
etc. by maintaining a healthy diet, exercise, and quitting smoking. You are what you eat.
Best of health,
[email protected]
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digestive health
Picture of the Colon
The joy of eating well and aging well
The colon is also called the large intestine. The ileum (last part of
the small intestine) connects to the cecum (first part of the colon) in
the lower right abdomen. The rest of the colon is divided into four
The ascending colon travels up the right side of the abdomen
The transverse colon runs across the abdomen
The descending colon travels down the left abdomen
The sigmoid colon is a short curving of the colon, just before the
The colon removes water, salt, and some nutrients, forming stool.
Muscles line the colon’s walls, squeezing its contents along. Billions
of bacteria coat the colon and its contents, living in a healthy balance
with the body.
Colon Conditions
Colitis: Inflammation of the colon. Inflammatory bowel disease
or infections are the most common causes.
Diverticulosis: Small weak areas in the colon’s muscular wall
allow the colon’s lining to protrude through, forming tiny pouches
called diverticuli. Diverticuli usually cause no problems, but can
bleed or become inflamed.
Diverticulitis: When diverticuli become inflamed or infected,
diverticulitis results. Abdominal pain and constipation are common
Colon bleeding (hemorrhage): Multiple potential colon
problems can cause bleeding. Rapid bleeding is visible in the stool,
but very slow bleeding might not be.
Inflammatory bowel disease: A name for either Crohn’s disease
or ulcerative colitis. Both conditions can cause colon inflammation
Crohn’s disease: An inflammatory condition that usually affects
the colon and intestines. Abdominal pain and diarrhea (which may
be bloody) are symptoms.
Ulcerative colitis: An inflammatory condition that usually affects
the colon and rectum. Like Crohn’s disease, bloody diarrhea is a
common symptom of ulcerative colitis.
digestive health
Diarrhea: Stools that are frequent, loose, or watery are commonly
called diarrhea. Most diarrhea is due to self-limited, mild infections
of the colon or small intestine.
Enema: A term for pushing liquid into the colon through the
anus. Enemas can deliver medicines to treat constipation or other
colon conditions.
Salmonellosis: The bacteria Salmonella can contaminate food
and infect the intestine. Salmonella causes diarrhea and stomach
cramps, which usually resolve without treatment.
Colonoscopy: Using tools on the tip of the endoscope, a doctor
can treat certain colon conditions. Bleeding, polyps, or cancer might
be treated by colonoscopy.
Shigellosis: The bacteria Shigella can contaminate food and
invade the colon. Symptoms include fever, stomach cramps, and
diarrhea, which may be bloody.
Polypectomy: During colonoscopy, removal of a colon polyp is
called polypectomy.
Travelers’ diarrhea: Many different bacteria commonly
contaminate water or food in developing countries. Loose stools,
sometimes with nausea and fever, are symptoms.
Colon polyps: Polyps are small growths. Some of these develop
into cancer, but it takes a long time. Removing them can prevent
many colon cancers.
Colon cancer: Cancer of the colon affects more than 100,000
Americans each year. Most colon cancer is preventable through
regular screening.
Colon surgery: Using open or laparoscopic surgery, part or all of
the colon may be removed (colectomy). This may be done for severe
bleeding, cancer, or ulcerative colitis.
Anti-inflammatory medicines: Various drugs can slow down
immune system function, easing symptoms of inflammatory bowel
Antibiotics: Medicines can kill bacteria in the colon, used to cure
some cases of colitis. Antibiotics may also be used for attacks of
inflammatory bowel disease.
Probiotics: Microbes are important for the health of the colon.
Probiotics are supplements of healthy microbes which may have
benefits for some conditions like Crohn’s colitis.
Colon Tests
Colonoscopy: An endoscope (flexible tube with a camera on its
tip) is inserted into the rectum and advanced through the colon. A
doctor can examine the entire colon with a colonoscope.
Virtual colonoscopy: A test in which an X-ray machine and a
computer create images of the inside of the colon. If problems are
found, a traditional colonoscopy is usually needed.
Stool occult blood testing: A test for blood in the stool. If blood
is found in the stool, a colonoscopy may be needed to look for the
Sigmoidoscopy: An endoscope is inserted into the rectum and
advanced through the left side of the colon. Sigmoidoscopy cannot
be used to view the middle and right sides of the colon.
Colon biopsy: During a colonoscopy, a small piece of colon tissue
may be removed for testing. A colon biopsy can help diagnose
cancer, infection, or inflammation.
Colon Treatments
Antidiarrheal agents: Various medicines can slow down diarrhea,
reducing discomfort. Reducing diarrhea does not slow down
recovery for most diarrheal illnesses.
Stool softeners: Over-the-counter and prescription medicines
can soften the stool; stool softeners rarely affect constipation.
Laxatives: Medicines and herbs and some salts can stimulate the
bowel muscles or bring more water into the bowel to relieve
Source : webmd.com
July / August 2011
digestive health
Secrets to a Healthier Digestive Tract
Improve the health of your digestive tract with stress management,
the right diet, and plenty of exercise.
By Diana Rodriguez
You already know that a balanced diet and regular exercise are
the keys to good health. But did you know that these lifestyle habits
can also help regulate your digestive tract? Good digestive health
truly depends on how well you take care of yourself overall.
weight can prevent a lot of problems from happening down the
road,” Marrero adds.
Eat the Right Diet
Getting regular exercise can keep your digestive tract healthy
by warding off constipation and other problems such as weight
gain and stress. Be sure to engage in at least 30 minutes of physical
activity most days of the week.
Not surprisingly, what you eat makes a huge difference in how
efficiently your digestive tract works. “People eat a lot of junk —
highly processed food with preservatives — which contributes
significantly to maldigestion and irritable bowel,” explains Francisco
J. Marrero, MD, a gastroenterologist with the Digestive Disease
Institute at the Cleveland Clinic.
Relying on vending machine fare, junk foods, and fast foods
instead of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains gets many of us
into trouble. “People have fallen away from the very healthy, wellbalanced, home-cooked meal. In general, people need to take stock
of what they’re putting in their bodies,” notes Dr. Marrero.
For better digestive tract health, make these changes to
your diet:
Eat plenty of fiber; think fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
Eat three to five servings of fish each week.
Choose lean cuts of meat and remove the skin from poultry.
Make Better Exercise and Lifestyle Choices
Avoiding tobacco and minimizing your alcohol intake are also
important for keeping your digestive tract running smoothly.
“Smoking is so devastating to just about every system in your body,”
says Marrero. Protect your digestive tract by quitting smoking
and avoiding secondhand smoke, since tobacco exposure has
been linked to many conditions including heartburn, indigestion,
esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and colon cancer.
Manage Stress
Stress can also play a big role in how well your digestive tract
functions. “People should always find constructive ways to deal
with their stress — having close family relationships, people to talk
to, and things to do that are healthy and creative,” Marrero notes.
Keeping stressful situations in perspective and maintaining positive
outlets for stress relief is probably some of the best advice anybody
can follow to protect both their digestive tract and overall health,
Marrero says.
Stay well hydrated — water is best.
Avoid high-fat, processed, and fried foods.
Don’t overeat at any one sitting; stick to smaller, more frequent
meals throughout the day.
Maintain the Right Weight
Eating the right foods not only makes it easier for your body to
digest meals and absorb nutrients, but it can also help you achieve
a healthy body weight, another essential for good digestive tract
health. “People who maintain a healthy weight and exercise and
keep themselves busy with constructive things have less trouble
with their bowels,” says Marrero.
Obesity, he notes, is linked to a number of digestive problems
such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hemorrhoids, and
even esophageal cancer. “Losing weight or maintaining a healthy
Source : everdayhealth.com
July / August 2011
digestive health
Is it Heartburn or Acid Reflux?
Sometimes after you eat, you might experience a painful, burning
sensation in your chest. It feels like someone has run a knife through
you just beneath the sternum and is taking their time twisting it
Although it can feel like your heart is being squeezed in the palm
of a giant, what you’re feeling is actually the result of what happens
when contents of the stomach - recently swallowed foods and liquids,
bile, and stomach acid - climb up the esophagus.
When food enters your mouth, digestion begins. Saliva begins to
break down the starch contained in your food into smaller molecules.
Food is then carried down the esophagus into the stomach, where
glands in the lining of the stomach create more digestive products,
one of which is stomach acid.
swallow food, you start a wavelike motion in the muscles that line the
esophagus, and this motion carries food down toward your stomach.
When food reaches the end of your esophagus, it must pass
through a ring of muscle -- the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) - in
order to reach the stomach. When objects approach the LES from
above, this valve opens inward to allow entry into the stomach.
Once the objects have passed through the valve, the valve closes,
and pressure exerted on the valve from the stomach only further seals
the one-way valve. However, not all valves function perfectly all the
time (or, in some cases, at all).
Sometimes, due to a malfunctioning LES, acid reflux and heartburn
occur. How does this happen? And aren’t acid reflux and heartburn
the same thing? The answer is No.
The esophagus is a long tube (about 10 inches or 25.4 centimeters
long for adults) that connects your throat to your stomach. When you
July / August 2011
....continued on page 8
food matters
digestive health
....continued from page 7
How much you eat and when you eat are certainly issues - it is
recommended that those who experience acid reflux not eat large
meals or in the three hours before bed. But which foods are worst for
acid reflux?
Common Acid Reflux Food Triggers
These are the foods considered to be the enemy in the battle
against acid reflux:
Spicy foods
Tomatoes and tomato-based foods, including pizza
Citrus fruit
Fried foods
Heartburn and Acid Reflux: Like Fire and Smoke
Some LESs don’t form a tight seal when closed, and others will
relax randomly when there is still work to be done. When the LES
relaxes with food still in the stomach, pressure from the fullness of the
stomach, physical movement, or even tight-fitting clothes, can force
the contents back up through the relaxed valve into your esophagus.
Although used interchangeably, there is a difference between
heartburn and acid reflux. So let’s clear this up:
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid regurgitates up into the
esophagus. Reflux is the cause of heartburn. However, you may feel
no pain at all when reflux occurs.
Heartburn is a sensation of tightness, pain, or discomfort in the
middle of the chest that can - but doesn’t always - follow an occurrence
of acid reflux. Heartburn is exactly what it would feel like if acid ate
away at the lining of your esophagus, because that’s what’s happening.
While you can and do likely have occasional bouts of acid reflux
without heartburn, you can’t have heartburn without acid reflux. Acid
reflux is the cause, and heartburn is a potential sensation.
Reflux: the fire; Heartburn: the smoke. The pain of heartburn is the
irritation or damage taking place to your esophagus by the refluxed
stomach acid.
If you have frequent acid reflux, you may have acid reflux disease.
Acid reflux disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are the
same thing. Both terms refer to a chronic condition relating to the LES
and exacerbated by lifestyle factors, such as obesity, consumption of
acidic foods, smoking, and eating large portions during a single meal.
Though there are other lifestyle choices that acid reflux sufferers
can make, including quitting smoking, wearing loose-fitting clothing
or elevating the head of the bed, most of a doctor’s recommendations
will revolve around food.
Beverages aren’t in the clear, either.The following would all require
mug shots for their roles in acid reflux:
Coffee (including decaf)
Citrus fruit juices
Many doctors will suggest that acid reflux sufferers eliminate all
of these foods from their diet. Other doctors, however, say that the
evidence just isn’t there for some of these items. While these foods
and beverages may bring on acid reflux for some people, there’s no
need for everyone to give up on coffee or wine completely.
In fact, researchers at Stanford University found that making dietary
changes had very little effect on the occurrence of acid reflux. More
important to getting relief were lifestyle changes like elevating the
head of a bed or losing weight.
The reason those that lost weight had such success is likely due
to the fact that obesity is such a major risk factor for acid reflux. That
means that eating too much of any food may be much worse than
consuming just a little of one of the so-called bad foods above. Even
shaving just a few pounds off your frame can make a difference in the
occurrence and severity of acid reflux.
Still, just because doctors say these trigger foods might have an
undeservedly bad reputation doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t limit
some of them from your diet. The worst food for acid reflux is the one
that causes your acid reflux.
To determine which foods get your acid churning, keep a food
journal and note the meals that brought on symptoms. Once you
identify those foods, you can cut them from your diet completely,
try consuming them in smaller quantities, or take an anti-reflux
medication before eating them.
Source: health.howstuffworks.com
digestive health
Preventing bloating, belching
and intestinal gas
By Mayo Clinic staff
Bloating, burping, and passing gas are natural and are usually caused
by swallowed air or the breakdown of food through digestion. You may
experience gas and gas pains only occasionally or repeatedly in a single
day. When gas and gas pains interfere with your daily activities, it may
be an indication of something serious. Find out how to reduce or avoid
gas and gas pains, and when you may need to see your doctor.
Bloating: Gas build-up in your stomach and intestines
When gas doesn’t pass through belching or flatulence, it can build
up in the stomach and intestines and lead to bloating. Bloating is often
accompanied by abdominal pain — either mild and dull or sharp and
intense. Passing gas or having a bowel movement may relieve the pain.
Bloating may be related to:
Eating fatty foods; Fat delays stomach emptying and can increase the
sensation of fullness
Stress or anxiety
A gastrointestinal infection, blockage or disease
Irritable bowel syndrome, a condition characterized by abdominal
pain or cramping and changes in bowel function
Conditions such as celiac disease or lactose intolerance in which the
intestines aren’t able to digest and absorb certain components of food
To reduce bloating, it may help to avoid or reduce the amount of
gas-producing foods you eat. Many carbohydrates cause gas, and the
following items are common culprits:
Baked beans
Brussels sprouts
Carbonated drinks
Chewing gum
Fruits such as apples, peaches, and pears
Hard candy
Belching: Getting rid of excess air
Belching or burping is your body’s way of expelling excess air from
your stomach. You may swallow excess air if you eat or drink too fast,
talk while you eat, chew gum or suck on hard candies, drink carbonated
beverages, or drink through a straw.
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can have the
same effect. If stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, you may
swallow repeatedly to clear the material. This can lead to swallowing
more air and further belching.
Some people swallow air as a nervous habit — even when they’re
not eating or drinking. In other cases, chronic belching is related to
inflammation of the stomach lining (gastritis), peptic ulcer disease or
delayed stomach emptying (gastroparesis).
....continued on page 10
July / August 2011
digestive health
...continued from page 9
Other sources of intestinal gas may include:
Food residue in your colon
Changes in intestinal bacteria due to antibiotics or other medications
Carbohydrate malabsorption, which can upset the balance of helpful
bacteria in your digestive system
Swallowed air that migrates to your colon
Constipation — the longer food waste remains in your colon, the more
time it has to ferment
Sometimes, gas indicates a digestive disorder, such as irritable bowel
syndrome or lactose intolerance
To prevent excessive gas, it may help to:
Avoid the foods that affect you most. Common offenders include
whole-wheat bread, salads, and carbonated drinks. If dairy products are
a problem, try low-lactose or lactose-free varieties.
Eat fewer fatty foods. Fat slows digestion, giving food more time to
Temporarily cut back on high-fiber foods. Fiber aids digestion, but
many high-fiber foods are also great gas producers. After a break, slowly
add fiber back to your diet.
You can reduce belching if you:
Eat and drink slowly. Taking your time can help you swallow less air.
Also, avoid drinking through a straw.
Avoid carbonated drinks and beer. They release carbon dioxide gas.
Skip the gum and hard candy. When you chew gum or suck on hard
candy, you swallow more often than normal. Part of what you’re
swallowing is air.
Don’t smoke. When you inhale smoke, you also inhale and swallow air.
Check your dentures. Poorly fitting dentures can cause you to swallow
excess air when you eat and drink.
Treat heartburn. For occasional, mild heartburn, over-the-counter
antacids or other remedies may be helpful. GERD may require
prescription-strength medication or other treatments.
Flatulence: Gas build-up in the colon
Intestinal gas is typically caused by the fermentation of undigested
food, such as plant fiber, in the colon. Gas can also form when your
digestive system doesn’t completely break down certain components
in foods, such as gluten or the sugar in dairy products and fruit.
Eat slowly.Try to make meals relaxed occasions. Eating when you’re
stressed or on the run can interfere with digestion.
Get moving. It may help to take a short walk after eating.
Try an over-the-counter remedy. Products containing simethicone
help break up the bubbles in gas.
When to see your doctor
Bouts of excess bloating, belching, and gas often resolve on their
own. Consult your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve with changes
in eating habits, or if you notice:
Severe, prolonged or recurrent abdominal pain
Nausea or vomiting
Bloody stools
Weight loss
Chest pain
These symptoms could signal an underlying digestive condition.
Intestinal symptoms can be embarrassing — but don’t let embarrassment
keep you from seeking help. Treatment is available.
Source : mayoclinic.com
July / August 2011
July / August 2011
vital finds
Five Health Benefits of Fiber
By Anne L. Fritz
women for six years found that those who ingested an average of
26.3 grams of fiber daily were at lower risk for developing heart
disease or having a heart attack than those who ate less.
4. Fiber and Diabetes
A high-fiber diet may lower a person’s risk for diabetes. Fiber
slows the absorption of sugars, which can reduce glucose levels in
the blood and prevent blood sugar spikes, says Dr. Anderson.
Results of a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine
suggest that whole-grain fiber (the kind found in some breakfast
cereals, breads, and crackers) may be more beneficial in reducing
blood sugar than fruits and vegetables.
In addition to improving digestive health and lowering
cholesterol levels, a high-fiber diet can help you reduce the risk of
heart disease and diabetes, and keep your weight in check. Here’s a
closer look at each benefit.
1. Fiber and Digestion
As fiber passes through the stomach and intestines, it absorbs
water, adding bulk to the stool. This promotes regularity and reduces
constipation, says James Anderson, M.D., chair of the National Fiber
Council. “Insoluble fiber, found in wheat bran, whole grains, and
vegetables, speeds the passage of food through the stomach and
intestines,” he says. Get more ways to include high-fiber foods in
your diet.
2. Fiber and Cholesterol
Fiber is undigested starch, says Dr. Anderson, and as such, it
traps cholesterol and drags it out of the body through the digestive
system. Soluble fiber, found in oat bran, barley, oranges, apples,
carrots, and dried beans, turns into a gel during the digestive process
and prevents cholesterol, fat, and sugars from being absorbed by
the body.
5. Fiber and Weight Loss
Fiber expands in the stomach and intestines, which creates a
feeling of fullness. This means that after eating a fiber-rich meal,
you’ll typically feel fuller longer and may eat less throughout the
In addition, because soluble fiber turns into a gel in the stomach,
it binds to sugars, cholesterol, and fats and carries them, largely
unabsorbed, through the digestive tract, says Anderson.
What About Fiber and Colon Cancer?
Can a high-fiber diet help prevent colon cancer? It’s still unknown.
Early studies on fiber’s ability to lower the risk of colon cancer were
promising, and it seems logical to researchers that fiber may have
protective properties against this cancer, but more recent studies
have been inconclusive.
3. Fiber and Heart Disease
“When it comes to heart health, the importance of fiber in
your diet cannot be overstated,” says Kathy Kastan, president of
WomenHeart. Several studies have shown that fiber reduces the
risk of heart disease.
Healthy Options Whole Psyllium Husk
This bulk forming fiber relieves
constipation and removes toxins in the
colon. Healthy Options Whole Psyllium
Husk is also high in fiber and mucilage
that helps lower down cholesterol.
In addition to the above-mentioned cholesterol study in the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a study that followed 39,876
July / August 2011
Source : everdayhealth.com
health notes
10 Types of Headaches: How to Combat Them
By Tom Scheve
Headaches are common, but if you don’t know what kind of
headache you have, medication could make it worse. When we say
something gives us a headache, we mean it’s unpleasant, much like
the literal headache it’s likely to cause. Headaches are one of the most
common maladies, but it’s no comfort when you have one. Here are
ten different types of headaches and how can you combat them.
2. Cluster Headaches
1. Sinus Headaches
If you get cluster headaches, cut out drinking and smoking to
give yourself a better shot at a cluster-headache-free existence.
Interestingly, oxygen therapy - breathing pressurized oxygen
through a mask for a few minutes - can help shrink swollen blood
vessels. Extreme cases may call for surgery to block the trigeminal
nerve, which triggers the pressure in your eye.
The sinuses are air-filled cavities in the skull. When the sinus
drainage system is backed up, your sinuses become inflamed. This
will make you look and feel sick, giving you a runny nose, fever, pain,
and sensitivity in the front of your head and face.
If your headache is sinus-related, don’t bother treating the
headache itself; instead, treat the underlying cause: your inflamed
sinus cavities. You can do this using a saline nasal spray, a humidifier
or prescription antibiotics (only if a bacterial infection caused the
inflammation). The same applies for any allergy-related headache
- resolve the allergic reaction, eliminate the allergen itself and your
headache will go away as well.
Cluster headaches seem to come out of nowhere and cause
excruciating pain, usually on one side of the head. They feel most
intense around the temple area and create an unsettling sense of
pressure directly on your eye.
3. Migraines
Migraines are probably the most infamous - and dreaded - of all
types of headaches. Nearly one in ten people suffers from migraine
headaches, and most of those sufferers are female. These head
crushers are caused by inflammation of the blood vessels and
arteries that wrap around the brain, which literally squeezes your
brain until it hurts. Migraines cause intense throbbing pains, usually
around the temple areas. The agony may last several hours or even
days. Some people see auras, usually flashes of light that serve as
warnings that a migraine is on its way.
Currently, there’s no easy fix for migraines, but a variety of options
do exist. Treatments include preventive and curative medicines such
as non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), triptans (drugs
that reduce the swelling of blood vessels on the brain), opiates,
beta-blockers, and antidepressants.
4. Tension-type Headaches
This type of headache varies in intensity and frequency. You may
go through a period of having almost-daily severe cranial smashers,
or you may experience a tension-type headache once in a blue
moon, hurting only enough to irritate you. Your neck and shoulders
will be tight, and you’ll feel especially sensitive to light and sound.
As the name implies, stress and anxiety are both often triggers for
these headaches, and you can treat them with simple relaxation and
over-the-counter (OTC) headache medication.
5. Headaches from Eyestrain
Many of us log heavy hours sitting in front of the computer
or television, often staying too long in the same position or even
falling asleep while twisted into the contours and folds of the
sofa. If you sit for long periods in an office chair at work, request or
treat yourself to a more spine-friendly desk chair. If you do a lot of
work on your computer, try to use screens with antiglare qualities.
Even wearing tinted glasses during the day may prevent eyestrain
headaches. Finally, if you continue having headaches that seem
related to eyestrain, see an eye specialist to make sure you don’t
have undiagnosed eye issues that are causing the problem. New
eyeglasses or prescription lenses may just do the trick.
health notes
6. Hormone Headaches
Women may experience headaches because of the ebb and flow
of hormones in their bodies. Specifically, estrogen and progesterone
are to blame. These headaches are also sometimes called menstrual
migraines. The days leading up to menstruation are when women
are most likely to experience hormone headaches. The amount of
estrogen in a woman’s body plummets shortly before menstruation
begins, and sometimes this chemical shake-up can trigger a killer
headache. Using birth control pills may also trigger them.
Applying a cold compress to your neck and head can help, as
does massaging your neck and shoulders. Relief from hormone
headaches can also be found in the (doctor-consulted) use of
diuretics, Advil, Motrin or other non steroidal anti-inflammatory
medications (NSAIDs), as well as prescription drugs. Menopausal
women who battle hormone headaches can try estrogen patches
that deliver a steady, daily release of estrogen and progesterone.
7. Medication-induced Headaches
When your head aches, you generally reach for a painkiller. But
your medication could be the cause of your headache, not the cure.
When aspirin or other OTC analgesics don’t do the trick, many people
up the dosage, increase the frequency of their use, or turn to stronger
prescription painkillers for headache relief. For some people, these
analgesics actually worsen their headaches, leading to greater use
of analgesics.
Fortunately, the pain is less severe than traditional migraines.
Overuse of medication may contribute to the ongoing episodes.
These headaches can also be triggered by (or blended with) tension
One way to prevent them is to maintain a healthy weight and
develop good coping methods for stress in your life. Left unchecked,
these difficult-to-treat headaches can cause depression and anxiety
over time.
10. Caffeine-withdrawal Headaches
Caffeine helps most of us start the day, but if you skip your
cup, you may suffer from a withdrawal headache. It’s the perfect
advertising campaign: Miss your coffee fix, and live to regret it.
Caffeine withdrawal usually causes a throbbing headache, and
the short-term cure is a pretty simple one: caffeine. Not only
does caffeine withdrawal cause headaches, it causes fatigue and
But why do our heads hurt when we don’t get our beloved java?
Researchers found that blood flow to the brain increases during
caffeine withdrawal, causing the swelling of blood vessels so often
involved in the “tight” feeling associated with headaches. If you’re
trying to kick caffeine, lower your intake slowly over many days to
avoid these pains, and then never worry about them again.
Medication-induced headaches often cause pain that’s
widespread, or located in different parts of head. However, this type
of headache doesn’t bring with it sensitivity to light or other common
migraine symptoms. People who experience medication-induced
headaches should taper their use of painkillers (after consulting with
their doctor, of course). The bad news is that the headache often
worsens after coming off painkillers, and can stay worse for days or
even weeks.
8. Hangovers
The hangover is the most easily preventable headache,
but arguably the most fun to help produce. Excessive alcohol
consumption often leads to what feels like brain death the next
day. Nobody’s sure what exactly causes hangovers, but many
factors are at play: dehydration, blood-vessel expansion, immunesystem response, falling blood-sugar levels and substances called
congeners - toxic chemicals that are a by-product of fermentation
and that appear more often in dark liquors than in clear liquors.
While nearly everyone who’s experienced a hangover has his or
her own unique attempts at a cure, common treatments include
sleep, fluids, darkness, snacks, and OTC pain relievers. But take note
that consuming aspirin and alcohol simultaneously increases the
risk of damage to your intestinal lining and may damage your liver.
9. Transformed Migraines (Mixed Headache Syndrome)
While migraines are usually episodic, sometimes they become
regular, unwelcome fixtures in a person’s life. When this happens,
these headaches are referred to as transformed or chronic migraines.
July / August 2011
Source : health.howstuffworks.com
special feature
The Psychology of Collecting
A Strange and Beautiful Obsession
By Paige Waehner
The first thing Bill Barlow printed, about 60 years ago, was an album
for his father’s stamp collection. He was a child at the time, unaware
that he was minting his own lifelong identity as a collector along with
the pages for his father’s cherished stamps.
Today, the library-like top floor of Barlow’s Oakland home testifies
to a life energized and organized by a drive to acquire things in a
passionately purposeful way. Books are his main preoccupation.
“Having something that nobody else owns or that very few people
own or that they can’t afford to own is very gratifying,” says Barlow.
“You’re a collector first. What you’re going to collect comes next.”
The Psychology of Collecting
Often regarded as lonely if not pathological eccentrics, collectors
actually express a powerful communal drive in a solitary age. United
by the universal language of e-mail, eBay, and a vast constellation of
shows, societies and publications that bring them together, collectors
create a deepening pattern in the carpet of contemporary life.
While the urge to acquire first-edition books, Japanese woodblock
prints, modern art, fine watches or vintage Bordeaux might be seen as
a telling reflection of consumerist excess and licensed dysfunction, it
is also a way of apprehending a bewildering world and finding one’s
place in it.
Acknowledging aspects of compulsion and raw competition,
UCSF clinical professor of psychiatry Graeme Hanson sees collecting
as a blend of acquisitiveness, intellectual curiosity, a desire to possess
and organize tangible objects, the lure of immortality and “a certain
amount of showing off.”
Why certain people leave their childhood Barbie doll and stamp
collections behind and others become committed collectors, he
concedes, is a psychological riddle.
In “To Have and to Hold: An Intimate History of Collectors and
Collecting, “ Philipp Blom describes this “strange and beautiful
obsession” as a desire to “overcome the limits of (the collectors’) time
and upbringing. ” Blom deems collecting a “ philosophical project”
that seeks to “ make sense of the multiplicity and chaos of the world,
and perhaps even to find in it a hidden meaning. ”
Frank Keillor, a 54-year-old watch and fountain pen collector who
lives in Moss Beach, would be disinclined to cast his potterings in
philosophical terms.
Poised over a ground-floor workbench in his oceanside home and
surrounded by the minute parts and tools of the watchmaker’s trade,
he says cheerfully,“I’m a nerd. I love to take things apart and see how
they work.”
....continued on page 21
July / August 2011
special feature
...continued from page 18
Keillor owns about 200 watches and several dozen prized fountain
pens. He can rattle off the provenance and mechanical subtleties of
his 1970s “working - class” watches and extol the virtues of flexible
iridium pen tips, piston ink fillers and cellulose barrels.“I know, I know,”
he says.“I see people’s eyes glaze over when I get started.”
Why do they do it?
Like many collectors, Keillor initially comes up blank when asked
why he got started and why watches and pens. “Collectors are always
in the moment,” as a psychologist says.
Motive may be so fundamental, so intrinsic that it simply doesn’t
consciously engage a collector’s attention. Focusing on objects, after
all, their beauty, function and relationship to each other, may be a kind
of self-sustaining process of externalized emotion. It’s a kind of art.
“Oh, my father died,” Keillor suddenly says, apparently making
the connection for the first time. “ That’s what made the difference. ”
Sorting through possessions with his mother in 1991, Keillor recalls
now, he wondered about his father’s old Girard Perregaux watch.
Keillor hadn’t seen the simple, substantial timepiece for years. Now,
for whatever reason, he was determined to.
“We turned the house upside down and never found it,” he says.
“I wanted to see if I couldn’t find something like it. So I went online
- this was pre-Google - and the next thing you know I’d entered this
wonderful world of watches.”
Keillor may have been drawn to watches to fill a symbolic
emotional void, but he seems more than replenished by his pursuit.
He’s found plenty of like - minded souls at local meetings of watch
and clock collectors, and he gives watches he’s restored as gifts to the
staff members at the San Jose health organization he directs. Nothing
gives him more pleasure, he says, than seeing a 1970s watch ticking
away on a colleague’s wrist.
Legacy of collections
Like many collectors, these connoisseurs have thought carefully
about the future and legacy of their collection. The couple, who have
no children, have instructed that the furniture be sold at auction after
their deaths. The proceeds will go to environmental and animal rights
For some, the collecting impulse morphs into self-destructive
hoarding - newspapers and magazines are a common target. Elias
Aboujaoude, a psychiatrist at the Stanford School of Medicine, says
hoarding occurs in 5 to 15 percent of patients diagnosed as obsessive
compulsive. “ I don’t want to pathologize collecting, ”says Aboujaoude.
“Almost everyone is attached to a certain kind of item.”
Collecting, hoarding’s socially sanctioned cousin, may finally resist
scrutiny and causal dissection as well. Whether someone collects in
a public, legacy-making way, like many rich art patrons or squirrels
away his world-class corkscrews for no one else to see, the process is
always and specifically individual.
Perhaps that’s why collectors, in their singular pursuits, fascinate
and unite us. Their passions, unruly or not, pry open the world and
reveal some hidden order and harmony.
Popping off the back of a watch, Keillor points out the tiny polished
screw heads, parallel grooves and beveled edges inside. “There’s no
reason to make it this beautiful,” he says. “The watch would work
perfectly well without it. It’s watchmakers’ ego, in a way. But whenever
someone repaired this watch, he’d know and appreciate it. And now,
so do I.”
A collector of American Federal furniture who spoke on condition
of anonymity for security reasons, might be characterized as an
accidental aesthete.
A move from a New York City loft to a house in Greenwich, Conn.,
some years ago required new furnishings. The clean lines of American
Federal appealed to her and her husband. “ We began by buying pieces
that were real and old but not masterpieces,” she says. “I would wake
up every morning and look at this lovely Maine painted dressing table.
You find your eyes going to a piece. It pleases you and excites you
and makes you want more and better.”
The anonymous collector and her husband began visiting
museums and auction houses, educating themselves and buying
upward. “I am surrounded by beauty every day,” says the owner. This
isn’t consumption, like a Mercedes or designer clothes. For us it’s a
question of asset allocation.” When the dot-com bubble burst, she
notes, the value of Federal furniture held. “Not the low and middle
end,” she clarifies,“the high end.”
Source : iantiqueonline.com
July / August 2011
vital finds
men’s health
Men’s Top 5 Gut-Busting Diet Mistakes
What not to do, for your belly’s sake.
By Matt McMillen
You tell yourself you are putting in the work
to slim down your midsection, but the mirror is
telling you something entirely different.
There’s your belly, hanging over your belt.
What’s that about?
Before you just forget the belt, remember
that there’s more at stake than looking buff.
Excess belly fat can tag along with a laundry list
of chronic conditions, including heart disease,
diabetes, and high blood pressure. There are
plenty of reasons why your efforts to flatten your
stomach may be falling flat -- starting with these
mistakes in what, how, or when you eat.
I’ll Work It Off
If you’re eating and drinking more calories
than you’re burning off, you’re heading in the
wrong direction. And though you may be
confident that you can make up for it in the
gym, think twice. Exercise is not enough. This
is something that Brett White, MD, a family
medicine physician at Oregon Health and
Science University in Portland, often tells his
patients who need to reduce the size of their
midsection. “There’s a mythology about the
role of exercise in weight loss,” White says.
“Even if they get a bike or a treadmill, they still
have to change their diet. Exercise is critical for
cardiovascular health but realistically, to lose
weight, it starts with what we put in our mouths.”
In his practice, San Francisco-based dietician
Manuel Villacorta, RD, MS, founder of the weight
management web site eatingfree.com, sees
many men in their 40s and older who have
discovered the shortcomings of exercise in their
weight loss efforts. “It’s what worked before,”
Villacorta says, “but now they are finding that
it doesn’t have the same effect.” Of course, you
need to be active to lose weight and to keep it
off. Just don’t count on exercise alone to cover
your calories -- especially when you’re packing
away too much, too often.
Eating Whenever
Not only do you have to watch what you
eat, you have to pay attention to when you eat.
Eating on the run rather than according to your
men’s health
body’s natural rhythm may contribute to weight gain. By eating at
odd hours, you may be throwing off the brain signals that tell you
when you are hungry and when you are satisfied, and that just might
lead to eating more than you should. Many people, Villacorta says,
skip meals, thinking that cutting back on the number of meals they
eat will help them slim down. That’s not true. “Some of my heaviest
clients eat fewer meals in a day,” Villacorta says.
What happens when you put off eating is your metabolism starts
to slow down and your body begins to store fat. And, the bulk of
that fat gets stored in your midsection. “Anything that affects the
metabolic rate will contribute to fat build-up,” Villacorta says. “ Your
metabolism slows down naturally as part of the aging process. “
Although there may be nothing you can do about that, you can make
sure to keep it as active as possible by eating regularly. That means
breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with healthy snacks in between. White
agrees. “Ideally, you want your body to run like a machine, fuelling
it regularly throughout the day,” he says.
Man-Sized Meals
This is an obvious one, but controlling portion size is key to
controlling the size of your gut. This is a lot easier to do if you stick to
good timing practices, because you are less likely to overdo it if you
don’t let yourself get too hungry to begin with. “Excessive hunger
is often followed by gorging, ” White says.
goes on your plate. For his own stress, Villacorta follows his therapist’s
recommendation and does some simple relaxation exercises. Twice
a day, he spends a few minutes taking deep breaths. “I started doing
that, and it was amazing,” he says. “Stress is going to be there,”
Villacorta says, “but you can still learn to be healthy.”
Overlooking Liquid Calories
Before you reach for another soda or pour yourself a cup of juice,
take a look at the nutrition label and see how many calories you’ll be
consuming. You may be surprised to learn that an 8-ounce serving
of each is 100 calories or more. Considering how much fluid your
body needs in a day, you could be flooding it with gut-expanding
The better option when thirst strikes is to down a glass of water.
And if you drink milk, opt for the skim or low-fat varieties. You’re still
getting the calcium and vitamin D you need, but without the added
“You want to move away from whole milk, and consume large
amounts of water rather than juice,” White says.
Your three meals, Villacorta says, should be no more than 700
calories each. A cup of steel-cut oats with a cup of blueberries and
a tablespoon of walnuts makes a great power breakfast. Lunch and
dinner should be 4-5 ounces of lean meat for protein or a similarly
sized serving of omega-3 rich fish, such as salmon, with veggies and
a whole grain like quinoa or brown rice. And for your mid-morning
and mid-afternoon snacks, skip the chips and cookies. Instead, eat
an apple and a cup of non-fat Greek yogurt.
In White’s experience, the healthier the food you eat, the more of
it you can allow yourself. “ People think that dieting means eating
less; they envision hunger, ” he says. “ But if you move from steak
and potatoes to fruits and vegetables, you can actually eat more. ”
Stress-Related Eating
Stress, which may put you at risk of diseases such as heart disease
and depression, can also contribute to weight gain. Stress affects
how you think. If you are consumed by thoughts of an upcoming
meeting with your boss or worried about how you are going to make
your mortgage payments, it’s less likely that you are going to have
the mental energy to compose a healthy menu for yourself each day.
Instead, when you are feeling anxious, you are more likely to turn to
sweet, fatty foods like candy and cookies.
“Stress is a huge problem,” Villacorta says. “ And not just big
stress, but everyday stress caused by missed alarms and running
late.” So if you want to be able to loosen your belt, you have to take
steps to control your stress levels. And that’s not just about what
Source : webmd.com
July / August 2011
kids’ health
Constipation in Children
Hard, dry, or large stools
Stool in the child’s underwear
When should a child with constipation see a doctor?
A child should see a doctor if symptoms of constipation last
for more than 2 weeks. A child should see a doctor sooner if the
constipation is accompanied by one or more symptoms that may
indicate a more serious health problem, including :
Blood in the stool
A swollen abdomen
Weight loss
Painful cracks in the skin around the anus, called anal fissures
Intestine coming out of the anus, called rectal prolapse
What causes constipation in children?
Children often develop constipation as a result of stool
withholding. They may withhold stool because they are stressed
about potty training, are embarrassed to use a public bathroom, do
not want to interrupt playtime, or are fearful of having a painful or
unpleasant bowel movement.
Delaying a bowel movement causes stool to become hard, dry,
and difficult to pass—sometimes resulting in a large mass of stool
in the rectum called a fecal impaction. Stool builds up behind the
impaction and may unexpectedly leak, soiling a child’s underwear.
Parents often mistake this soiling as a sign of diarrhea.
Other causes of constipation in children include:
A low-fiber diet
Certain medications such as antacids, opiates, and antidepressants
Diseases, such as Hirschsprung disease, diabetes, and Down syndrome
Anatomic abnormalities, such as a birth defect
What are the symptoms of constipation in children?
Symptoms of constipation in children include:
Fewer bowel movements than usual
Postures that indicate the child is withholding stool, such as
standing on tiptoes and then rocking back on the heels of the feet,
clenching buttocks muscles, and other unusual dance-like behaviors.
Parents often mistake such postures as attempts to “push”
Abdominal pain and cramping
Painful or difficult bowel movements
The doctor will ask questions about the child’s history of
symptoms and will perform a physical examination. The doctor may
perform a rectal exam by inserting a gloved finger into the child’s
anus to check for anatomical abnormalities and for the presence of
a fecal impaction.
How is constipation in children treated?
Constipation is treated by changing diet, taking laxatives, and
adopting healthy bowel habits. Treatment depends on the child’s
age and the severity of the problem. Dietary changes include eating
more high-fiber foods, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Laxatives are frequently used to clear a fecal impaction and
sometimes to restore regular bowel movements. A doctor should
be consulted before giving a laxative to a child. Parents should
encourage their child to spend time on the toilet after meals and
when their child shows signs of withholding stool. A child should
be seen again by a doctor if treatment fails or if the child begins to
show symptoms that suggest a more serious health problem.
Points to Remember
Constipation is a condition in which bowel movements occur less
frequently than usual or stools tend to be hard, dry, and difficult and
painful to pass.
Children often develop constipation as a result of stool
A child with constipation should see a doctor if symptoms last
for more than 2 weeks.
A child should also see a doctor if constipation is accompanied
by symptoms that may indicate a more serious health problem.
Constipation is treated by changing diet, taking laxatives, and
adopting healthy bowel habits.
Source: digestive.niddk.nih.gov
July / August 2011

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