Important Facts About The Pregnant Body

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You’ll hear lots of talk about how parenthood will change you. It’ll make you more patient, expand your capacity for love, change your life perspective. All that may be true, as childbirth is a massive moment in anyone’s life, but there are physical changes as well. A pregnant body is working extremely hard and growing another human requires the body to adapt and change through the pregnancy. Let’s take a look at some of the ways your body will change when you are with child.

Hormones

Pregnancy means that your body will be a veritable cocktail of hormones. Your body will be flush delivering necessities to the baby and you’ll notice some effects to your outward appearance. Most noticeable are the changes to your hair. Hair contains estrogen receptors. As a result of the changes in hormone levels, you’ll see your hair appearing thicker and more glossy. The thickness comes from a decrease in the amount of hair you lose normally. Be aware that after your pregnancy your will return to normal, but it may feel like your hair is falling out faster than ever before — it’s totally normal.

Another way that hormone levels will effect your body can be measured in your bones. Increased amounts of estrogen and relaxin will cause the ligaments in your body to relax. This effect is necessary for childbirth, but before that you may notice more pain in your muscles and joints, especially your lower back. Additional, more relaxin will allow your cartilage and ligaments to stretch more. You may feel some additional mobility as a result.

Super Senses

The changes in food tastes are well documented. Many women report hating a previously beloved food while pregnant and vice versa. The changes in your ability to taste are intrinsically tied to your ability to smell. As a result, you may notice a very heightened  nose during your pregnancy. Be careful though because certain smells may cause you to feel physically ill.

The list of ways your body changes during pregnancy is long. There is one clear way that your body changes — a little human is growing inside of you. But work closely with your OBGYN and GP to monitor the rest of the ways you change — your body and baby will thank you.

Cancer Research Progresses, but Still Not Enough for Many

Cancer takes the lives of approximately 600,000 North Americans every year. These are staggering numbers considering the array of treatments and medicines that exist to fight cancer cells and their spread. Although medical science has made major strides to combat the disease, it seems that we are still far from any foreseeable breakthrough in cancer’s defeat.

So, what exactly is cancer? According to Cancer.gov, the disease involves the abnormal and rapid growth of cells within specific sectors of the human body. The cell growth has the potential to grow and spread to other portions of the body. What makes it most deadly is its ability to adapt and disguise itself from the body’s immune cells and other natural defenses. Once it spreads, it is extremely difficult to defeat.

Since the mid 1990’s there have been three new alternative treatments to chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Gleevec treats a particular type of leukemia by targeting an abnormal enzyme and remedying it. Deaths by this form of cancer were cut by more than half in the United States. Herceptin treats women with breast cancer by blocking a growth receptor in breast tumors. The treatment has saved thousands of women year after year. Yervoy aids immune cells that attack melanoma cancer, improving survival rates for those suffering from the condition. Another immune drug Keytruda shrinks tumors in that same disease. The media is calling these new treatments “revolutionizing” in the medical field. Although the new treatments have proven successful to some extent, they are far from actually effectively “beating” cancer.

New drugs and treatments are tirelessly cranked out by medical researchers, each of which produces slightly better results than the last. Although their efforts are commendable – every advancement in the field is a step closer to defeating cancer – many are troubled by the use of superlatives to describe these new treatments.

What does this mean? Use of superlatives in news media such as “revolutionary” and “game changing” to describe new remedies can be misleading.

Melvin Konner of the Wall Street Journal who lost his wife to cancer in 1998, has been outspoken on his criticism.

“Yes, there are exciting frontiers: genetics, immune therapy, sparing normal cells, cutting off tumors’ blood supply. The trouble is that these were the frontiers over 20 years ago, when I sought any news to help my wife.” said Konner.

Obviously “slash, burn, and poison” techniques have improved a great deal during the last decade. Unfortunately however, they are still unable to defeat cancer. Konner, as well as many others, are calling for more tempered language when conveying current cancer treatments.

If you thought this post was interesting, and would like to read more on public health news and information, follow me on twitter @OlulekeBadmos.

Zika Virus Worries Grow as Summer Months Approach

The Canadian Press is publicly addressing the possible Zika Virus outbreak that could swarm the western hemisphere this coming summer.

According to the Canadian Press, The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a public warning for all individuals who hope to get pregnant in the coming months. The Agency suggests waiting two to three months to get pregnant for individuals recently arriving from countries where Zika Virus outbreaks are circulating.

In Brazil especially, the virus has possibly been linked to thousands of newborn mutations. Risks of malformations increase within mothers infected with the virus before or during pregnancy.

Cases of Zika have reached near-epidemic levels in some latin American regions like Brazil, Central America, the Caribbean, and some parts of South America.

In the both the United States and Canada, individuals have been diagnosed with Zika after visiting Zika “hotspots” in the last few months. The virus is spread by infected bites from mosquitoes carrying the disease.

At the moment, transmission of the virus is still ambiguous. In a select few cases, the virus may have been sexually transmitted from male to female.

Canada’s federal agency suggests the use of condoms during sex for those who have recently travelled to areas where the virus has circulated. Until more is known about the disease, men and women who are “at risk” of having Zika should wear protection before having sex with their partners. The agency also suggests that women who are pregnant reconsider or postpone travel plans to infected areas.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations have been a bit more measured than those of The Canadian Public Health Agency. The CDC has issued travel advisories for pregnant travellers, as well as guidelines for protecting oneself against mosquito bites. The CDC’s website also recommends practicing enhanced precautions if travelling to any area with Zika virus outbreaks.

Zika is currently circulating in subtropical and tropical areas, and has yet to spread with any significance into the United States. However as the United States approaches the summer months, American cities may see a surge in infections in warmer weather. For the time being, the Washington Post reports that the disease is expected to spread with some significance throughout all countries in the Americas except for Canada and Chile because of climate conditions.

If you liked this post and would like to read more on public health news and information, check out my twitter @OlulekeBadmos. Thanks for reading !

Canadian Rocky Air Sells Out In China

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As the smog increases in China, bottles of Canadian Rocky air are flying off the shelves.

Earlier this December, for the first time in history, Beijing issued a red alert for smog, and Canadian Rocky air is selling out. Vitality Air, a company in the business of bottling and reselling air from Banff, Alberta and Lake Louis in Banff National Park, has already sold out of it’s first shipment in China. Each canister of Vitality Air comes with an attached face mask the user can breathe through.

According to the Vitality Air website, their intention is as follows: “We want our customers to experience breathing the way it was intended. Free of city pollution, fragrances and waste; our Banff and Lake Louise lines of clean air are unmatchable in quality.”

While China is Vitality Air’s biggest market, the company also sells bottles of oxygen and fresh air in the Middle East, India, and North America.

The company obviously has a great marketing team because Vitality Air is now offering mini bottles of fresh air and suggesting they be purchased as unique stocking stuffers this holiday season.

The cofounders of Vitality Air started their business as a joke back in 2014. Originally, as a gag, Moses Lam and Troy Paquette sold plastic bags filled with air on eBay, for as little as $.50 per bag. They knew their prank was turning into a serious situation when one of these bags of air was sold for $160. Paquette and Lam knew there was a market and demand out there they needed to tap in to.

The pollution in China had actually improved in the first three quarters of the year. However, smog can be seen from space over China. Beijing was forced to terminate outdoor activities in schools for a time and close some roads due to decreased visibility.

Is this perhaps the most economical and important prank in history?

The Best Travel Photographers Of 2015

Photography has become so mainstream, anyone with an iPhone can take amazing pictures with little-to-no formal training. Thankfully, The Guardian has rounded up the best Travel Photographers of the 2015 and I’ve gathered them here as because their work deserves to be shared and seen and praised. Marsel van Oosten oluleke badmos

#1, The Winner, Best Travel Photographer of the Year: Marsel van Oosten.

The above photograph is of Cypress trees in a bayou of the Atchafalaya basin in Louisiana. On a misty morning in the United State’s largest wetland, this photo exudes opulence, and is composed almost as perfectly as the light shins through the trees. Oosten is a professional nature photographer from the Netherlands; he often contributes to National Geographic. Chase Guttman oluleke badmos

Young Travel Photographer of the Year: Chase Guttman

Guttman’s photograph shows a Basuto tribal leader and local shepherds in Semonkong, Lesotho. This young professional has been winning photography awards for year. First, back in 2010 when he was recognized in the 14-and-under group, then again in 2-12 winning the Emerging Talent award, and again this year at age 18. Timothy Allen oluleke badmos

Runner-up, people and culture portfolio: Timothy Allen

This stunning photograph depicts the Kazakh wedding season in the Altai mountains in Central Asia. A British photographer, Allen is known best for his coverage of indigenous people.

Cai Zhiping oluleke badmos

Honorable Mention, One Shot, a moment in light category: Cai Zhiping

Unimaginable colors and horses spilling over the rolling grassland hills of Inner Mongolia, China.

Maria de la Guardia oluleke badmos

Honorable Mention, One Shot, colours of the world category: Maria de la Guardia

Afghan women holding jars of pickled vegetables that they harvested at their new training center in Fayzabad, Badakhshan.

Rafal Ziejewski oluleke badmos

Honorable Mention, best single image in a portfolio, faces, people, encounters: Rafal Ziejewski

Young Dassanech girl from Omorate, Ethiopia.

Gunar Streu oluleke badmos

Honorable Mention: One Shot, a moment in light category: Gunar Streu

At the Dundret nature reserve in the Swedish Lapland, a cabin is covered in hoarfrost with the northern lights in the distance.