My name is Catherine Morgan, I'm a writer, nurse, and mother. This is a blog about women's issues, health & wellness, inspirational thoughts, and other stuff too. If you like this blog, you will love BlogHer.com where I am also a contributing editor for Health & Wellness.
Find out all the places I blog at by going to catherine-morgan.com.
In honor of Word Diabetes Day I’ve decided to do a blog roundup of women blogging diabetes. Most are blogs by women who are living with diabetes, and others are women blogging about parenting a child with diabetes. I’ve also included several informative links and resources at the end of this post.
If you blog about living with diabetes or World Diabetes Day, please leave your link in comments.
Epilepsy affects over 3 million Americans of all ages – more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease combined. Almost 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States. Epilepsy affects 50,000,000 people worldwide.
In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown.
Epilepsy can develop at any age and can be a result of genetics, stroke, head injury, and many other factors.
In over thirty percent of patients, seizures cannot be controlled with treatment. Uncontrolled seizures may lead to brain damage and death. Many more have only partial control of their seizures.
The severe epilepsy syndromes of childhood can cause developmental delay and brain damage, leading to a lifetime of dependency and continually accruing costs—both medical and societal.
It is estimated that up to 50,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from status epilepticus (prolonged seizures), Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), and other seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.
The mortality rate among people with epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population and the risk of sudden death is twenty-four times greater.
Recurring seizures are also a burden for those living with brain tumors and other disorders such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, tuberous sclerosis, and a variety of genetic syndromes.
I found this video on a blog called My 3 Peanuts – It is a very informative video that explains exactly what happens during a seizure.
The controversy surrounding the Gardasil vaccine has been around from the moment it was approved for use in young girls. And from the very beginning I have had a problem with Gardasil being referred to as a cervical cancer vaccine – because it’s not. I also have a problem with the ‘fear mongering’ commercials designed to look like public service announcements, and the possibility of making this vaccine (yet another) required by the government.
In the end, I want to research the facts and be the one to make an educated decision about whether or not to vaccinate my daughter for the HPV virus. To be perfectly honest…At this point I don’t see any indication that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh the risks. Although the risks are very small, the benefits seem to be even smaller.
But don’t take my word for it…Look at some of the most recent facts about Gardasil.
With back-to-school just around the corner…The CDC has just released it’s recommendations to schools for the 2009-2010 school year. I have to say that I am very pleased the CDC is taking a ‘no need to panic’ attitude towards back-to-school and the swine flu. I was worried they were going to pull a mandatory vaccine out of their aaass…(I mean) hat. And if that would have happened, it would have seriously thrown me off the deep end.
As much as the media loved hyping this story and scaring the bee-geezers out of everyone. Fear is never the answer.
Stay home when sick: Those with flu-like illness should stay home for at least 24 hours after they no longer have a fever, or signs of a fever, without the use of fever-reducing medicines. They should stay home even if they are using antiviral drugs. (For more information, see CDC Recommendations for the Amount of Time Persons with Influenza-Like Illness Should be Away from Others.)
Separate ill students and staff: Students and staff who appear to have flu-like illness should be sent to a room separate from others until they can be sent home. CDC recommends that they wear a surgical mask, if possible, and that those who care for ill students and staff wear protective gear such as a mask.
Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette: The new recommendations emphasize the importance of the basic foundations of influenza prevention: stay home when sick, wash hands frequently with soap and water when possible, and cover noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or a shirt sleeve or elbow if no tissue is available).
Routine cleaning: School staff should routinely clean areas that students and staff touch often with the cleaners they typically use. Special cleaning with bleach and other non-detergent-based cleaners is not necessary.
Early treatment of high-risk students and staff: People at high risk for influenza complications who become ill with influenza-like illness should speak with their health care provider as soon as possible. Early treatment with antiviral medications is very important for people at high risk because it can prevent hospitalizations and deaths. People at high risk include those who are pregnant, have asthma or diabetes, have compromised immune systems, or have neuromuscular diseases.
Consideration of selective school dismissal: Although there are not many schools where all or most students are at high risk (for example, schools for medically fragile children or for pregnant students) a community might decide to dismiss such a school to better protect these high-risk students.
If you’re a mom, you probably have concerns or questions about child safety. And you can find a great resource at the Home Safety Council. It’s a great interactive website with tips, links, resources, videos and more.
The Home Safety Council (HSC) is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to preventing home related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages to be safer in and around their homes.
All ages are represented on this site, but here is a bit about the little-ones…
Do you have children that suffer with food allergies? It seems like food allergies are becoming more and more prevalent. Why is that? My personal opinion, is that it has something to do with how germ and bacteria free we’ve become as a society.
Last week was food allergy awareness week, so I thought I would use this post to look at food allergies and how some parents are coping.
Food allergy is an immune system reaction that occurs soon after eating a certain food. Even a tiny amount of the allergy-causing food can trigger signs and symptoms such as digestive problems, hives or swollen airways. In some people, a food allergy can cause severe symptoms or even a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.
Food allergy affects an estimated 6 to 8 percent of children under age 3, and about 4 percent of adults. While there’s no cure, some children outgrow their food allergy as they get older.
WASHINGTON, DC, May 14, 2009 – Today, as we continue to mark Food Allergy Awareness Week, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., member of the Board of Directors of the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI), announced the formation of FAI’s Advocacy Steering Committee. The committee’s objectives are to help build a strong nationwide presence for the food allergy community in the public policy arena; and to actively seek to increase federal funding of food allergy research, as scientists believe that with proper funding, a cure can be found in less than a decade.
The new steering committee comprises 16 leading parent advocates nationwide who confront the daily dangers of raising children with severe food allergies.
There is a lot of discussion about how schools are dealing with food allergies…
I don’t mean to get all Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy, and I certainly am not trying to get into a “my child’s allergy is more severe than yours” discussion. It’s inappropriate, and it doesn’t matter. The school system should treat all food allergies as if they equally severe. It’s just safer that way. Besides, you never know which reaction is going to be the anaphylactic one, so it’s best just to avoid reactions altogether.
My children go to a “Nut Free” school which has changed to a “Nut Aware” school since the school cannot guarantee that it is “nut free”. So, more or less, no peanut butter sandwiches allowed–no vital protein (that doesn’t spoil) at lunch. There have been stories about lunch ladies taking Skittles away from children because they are made in factory that also makes M&M’s. We call the lunch ladies Peanut Nazis because they embarrassed and humiliate the children who bring in the Skittles too.
How does your school deal with food allergies? Are they doing enough? Could they be doing more?
As with everything in life, sometimes bad things can lead to something good…
Beth George’s story touched me and I think you will feel inspired too. Beth was unwilling to accept the host of diagnoses and psychotropic drugs doctors recommended to deal with her son’s unpredictable behavior. Instead, she was determined to figure out the cause. After years of struggling, she discovered that her son was allergic to a common wheat and certain artificial food additives. Once she removed these ingredients from her son’s diet, miraculously his symptoms disappeared. This inspired her to start a baking company, Spelt Right® Baking, that only uses organic, all natural materials with no artificial ingredients of any kind in their products.
I just received a press release from FAAN that made me smile! The organization has donated 1.1 million to food allergy research, including peanut allergy therapies and vaccines. I have high hopes for vaccines–more so than I do for immunotherapy studies like the small one just published from Duke University. This study has received a lot of media buzz but is still in its very early and experimental stages and has caused severe allergic reactions in human subjects. In fact, this experimental therapy isn’t currently recommended for those who have high IgE levels (that is, patients whose blood tests indicate they are at high risk of anaphylaxis) or who have ever had a severe reaction to peanut or tree nut. That leaves many of us out! Now, if this therapy has helped you personally, great. I’m just saying that for many it’s not even an option. That doesn’t sound like a “cure” to me.
We all know that in order to be healthy (and happy) we need to get enough sleep. But still, most of us either don’t get enough sleep or our quality of sleep is lacking. Let face it, if you’re a mom you probably don’t get enough sleep. If you work you probably don’t get enough sleep. If you worry, you probably don’t get enough sleep. And if you’re a mom who works and also worries, you may have already forgotten what it means to get a good night’s sleep.
I don’t know about you, but I am tired all the time. I guess it doesn’t help that I stay up till all hours of the night doing my blog posts.
It’s not something we, as parents, like to hear and yet it’s precisely what we need to realize: if our children are fat, the chances are we bear a big load of the blame. Kids aren’t the ones pulling the minivan into the drive-through lane at McDonald’s for dinner between dance lessons and karate practice. Again. They aren’t the ones zipping past the produce aisle and dried beans in favor of high-fat, calorie-dense convenience meals that promise to be ready after five minutes or less in the microwave. They don’t keep files crammed with the take-out menus for nearby restaurants, nor program the phone number of the pizza joint on their cell phones. Parents do.
If a child is obese at the age of two, there’s no one to blame but the parents.
Traditionally toddlers have the healthiest lifestyles – they naturally run around all the time, burning up calories.
So it’s difficult to imagine what these children’s parents have been doing to let them get so fat. If you’re busy and stressed and feel guilty about not spending enough quality time with your child, you’re probably looking for quick and easy ways to make it up to them.
Is fast-food to blame? Or is it the parent who provides the fast-food to blame?
School systems have instituted nutrition and exercise programs with some success. For example, a research group, The Healthier Options for Public Schools, followed 3700 students in a Florida county over 2 years. School districts instituted an intervention program in 4 schools and the results were measured against two schools that did not have a program. The intervention program included dietary changes, increased exercise and nutrition awareness. There were dramatic changes in the kids who had intervention, however, when those students returned from summer vacation, most had reverted back to their old habits.
Healthy Choices: Stock the fridge with a lot of healthy food and snacks, such as whole-grain choices, fresh produce and milk. Get rid of the junk food and soda.
Behavioral changes help: Serving water or milk at dinner instead of soda, sitting at a table instead of around the T.V., eating dinner at a regular time—these changes are small but can break old habits and make a real difference. Make small decisions to increase the activity in your day.
Beware of the TV: studies have shown that TV time directly correlates with snacking. Instead, encourage your child to be active, or work on a project that engages his or her hands so they are less likely to snack.
Slow down the consumption: Encourage your child to eat slowly and engage them in discussion during mealtime. Serve them smaller portions, and if they are old enough, don’t cut their food for them.
Food as nutrition, not reward: Don’t make food a source of reward or punishment. Allow your child to stop eating when they are no longer hungry and never force them to finish their plate.
Engage them in physical activity outside of the home: Enroll your child in a physical activity they might enjoy, such as gymnastics, dance or martial arts. Encourage him to join a school team or play basketball with his friends.
Be a good role model: Create a healthy lifestyle, not just a goal for your child’s weight. There are old habits to break and good habits to establish- acting as a role model for your child is the most effective way to help him or her make changes that last.
Often, I say to my adult children “I wish I knew then what I know now”. Our lives would be very different. I would advise that parents involve their children in the healthy choices. A meal always tastes better when the child is involved in the preparation. Make sure the fruit bowl is always full. Take control as a parent over the media hype. Do not give in. I would also advice parents to start with the elimination of “hydrogenated oils” and “high fructose corn syrup” from any products they purchase. Make sure your child starts their day with a nutritious breakfast that would exclude modern breakfast cereals. We drink green smoothies daily and every child loves a smoothie. Cabbage and spinach are the easiest veggies to mask and this can sustain a child with clearer thinking and brain function. In sharing with your child the importance of healthy choices and the affect on their bodies, we can reverse this preventive epidemic we call obesity.
Become A Recovering Couch Potato With Just 7 Minutes Of Exercise A Week
Even A Small Amount Of Exercise Is Better Than Being A Couch Potato
A new study finds that as little as seven minutes of exercise a week is beneficial to your health. This is my kind of news. I’ve always thought that you either had to be totally committed to fitness or be a couch potato. But it turns out that good health can boil down to making healthy food choices and committing to just one minute a day of rigorous exercise. Even if you spend all day online, making time to exercise for one minute is more than possible. So you can be fit even without jeopardizing your couch potato or internet potato status.
Scientists at Heriot-Watt University have found that short, intensive periods of exercise – involving as little as seven minutes per week – can significantly reduce the chances of contracting diabetes.
Professor James Timmons, who led the study, said, “It is clear that cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes are major health issues for western society. The risk of developing these diseases is substantially reduced through regular physical activity. But many people simply don’t have the time or inclination to follow government guidelines. What we have found is that doing a few intense muscle exercises, each lasting only about 30 seconds, dramatically improves your metabolism in just two weeks. The improvements in metabolism we measured are known to be critical for reducing your chance of getting diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the future.”
Here is some of what other women bloggers are saying about making time for fitness.
If you say you can’t find time to exercise, you aren’t alone. Even Olympic athletes struggle with finding enough time to train for sports, often waking up early for pre-dawn training sessions. Balancing workouts with work, family and social commitments can be challenging and can result inconsistent or skipped workouts.
The non-movie reality, though, is that we are still a nation fighting an obesity epidemic, and that’s due not just to our poor eating habits. As a society, we are too sedentary. And that’s true of our children, too. “Go play!” often means get out the video games or watch TV, now, rather than running and jumping and other physical activities.
All around you, people are waking up to the fact that some type of daily exercise is important. Still, you can’t seem to get up the motivation to settle into an exercise routine. Before you reach for that box of doughnuts and turn on the television, here are five tips that may help to motivate you to get up and get moving today.
Tip # 1 – You’ll Live Longer People who get at least some exercise often live more years than persons who are essentially sedentary.
It is time for another installment of “One Fit Mommy”! As I surf around the blogosphere, I come across fit moms (and dads too!) who inspire me to fitness. From there, I hunt them down and force them to tell me their secrets, which I then share with you! There are no excuses with these parents, just support on how we can ALL find time for fitness!
This week’s mommy is Alison, who blogs over here. She is a busy single mom who makes fitness a priority. If you live with a significant other and claim that you have “no time to exercise”, then I encourage you to think again. Single parents have very little, if any, time to themselves and if they can find the time to exercise, then we can certainly find time as well.
Do you find it hard to make time for fitness? Could you spare seven minutes a week if it meant better health and a longer life? Let me know in comments.
In a much better interview than had been done by Kathie Lee on the Today Show last week, tonight’s Nightline interview with Dooce was witty, clever, and informative. Here is a video clip of the full segment on Nightline…
Nicole deVries, HHC is a natural foods chef, non-practicing artist and certified Holistic Health Counselor. After eating this way–with the more than occasional cookie or Waffle House break–for over a decade, she’s figured out how to turn basically any unhealthy, processed food recipe into a whole food one. Follow along and you’ll be able to do it too.
The title of this blog is inspired by the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Eat, Pray, Love is Gilbert’s story of how she found contentment during her journey across Italy, India and, Indonesia.
This blog is my first Elizabeth Gilbert-esque step toward discovering, and rediscovering, myself — someone who I seemed to have lost touch with a bit somewhere along the way. Join me in discussions about health and nutrition, inspiration, fitness and, of course, good food to eat!
What’s wrong with the world is what’s wrong with me. That’s why “there are no accidents” and “everything happens for a reason.” Instead of judging external problems, it’s my job to see them as a reflection of the internal me, and act accordingly.
Are you looking for new ways to get your family in shape? This blog is to inspire families, like yours, with ideas that will get you on the right path to a healthier lifestyle. I am a military spouse and busy mom of four and a Certified Group and Personal Fitness Trainer, but you can call me Spin Diva. Finding the time to exercise, energize and revitalize is not easy, but we can do it together. I am passionate about teaching others how to reach their fitness goals and bring the kids along with them.
Get on board and spin along with me. Turn your wheels my way again soon and see what new ideas are cycling through this site!
To help individual heal their own immediate world first, this blog covers alternative health therapies, such as aromatherapy, chakra balancing, crystals, healing energy, reiki, wicca, etc; spiritual topics, inspirational healing stories and healing ‘how to’s.
We can take care of ourselves. Self defense isn’t limited to those with the talent and fortitude for mastering the martial arts, nor is it the sole domain of certified “tough guys.” Anyone can learn the basic skills of self protection.
And while learning a few strikes or blocks can be useful, self defense rarely requires a fight. By paying attention and trusting their instincts, most people can protect themselves without punching someone out.
This blog challenges the myths that leave far too many people scared and helpless and provides information to those interested in practical self defense.
Americans make the assumption that all products on our store shelves have been tested by someone, somewhere. Well, obviously in light of the recent recalls, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. We here at Non-Toxic kids are researching products, data and information that will help you make your consumer choices healthier for your kids, families, and our environment. From sippy cups and baby bottles, to baby carriers and sleepers, we will give you a summary of an issue or concern, product reviews and recommendations, and where to go for further information. From my family to yours, in good health.
I’m the happily-married, forty-something, retired CPA/mom of one drama-queen/second-grader and a preschooler with autism. I write a blog for Parents.com about parenting a child with autism. The view here in Autismville is guaranteed to refocus your perspective in ways you never imagined. Stop by and take a peek.
Head Start is one of the most cost-effective programs we have in this country. We need more Head Start, and we need full day Head Start programs (much of the funding only pays for a few hours of services) so that low income working parents can take advantage of the enormous benefits Head Start offers children and families. It is a comprehensive early learning program that supports the total well-being of children.
. . .
Further, study after study shows that quality early childhood programs like Head Start significantly reduce the incidences of teen pregnancy, juvenile crime, being held back in school, and other social ills that develop later in life. Every $1 we invest today in these programs saves taxpayers somewhere between $7 and $17 in future costs due to negative consequences of poverty.
We are joining together because our children deserve a better and brighter future. Under the President’s budget, 200,000 low-income children and their families will lose child care assistance, and 14,000 children will lose Head Start.
Please add your voice by calling or e-mailing your Members of Congress today.
Here is how you can take action and help…
To call your representatives, use the script below and dial toll-free at 1-888-460-0813. The operator who answers the phone will ask which Senator or Representative you would like to speak to. To find out who your Senators and Representative are, search our directory before you call.
Tell the staffers who answer the phone in your representatives’ offices:
Hi, my name is (INSERT NAME.) I’m a constituent. (If you are also a parent, child care provider, community leader, etc., feel free to mention that as well.)
I am calling because I believe that child care and Head Start are essential programs for children and families. I urge Senator/ Representative (INSERT NAME) to support an increase of $874 million for child care and $1 billion for Head Start in this year’s budget.
The national Head Start program, which was a legacy of President Lyndon Johnson’s “Great Society,” offers preschool to families unable to afford a private program. We don’t know how it functions elsewhere in the country, but in Morris County, Head Start is as refreshingly bipartisan as can be. Republicans and Democrats are on its board, and Rep. Rodney P. Frelinghuysen, R-Harding, long has been a supporter.
So, would you make a “resolution” to make four lifestyle changes, if it would increase your life by 14 years? Better than a New Years Resolution, this would be a “Life Resolution”.
What are the four changes to a longer life?
1) Stop Smoking
2) Eat Five Servings of Fruits and Vegetables a Day
4) Limit Alcohol Consumption
The lifestyle change with the biggest benefit was giving up smoking, which led to an 80 percent improvement in health, the study found. This was followed by eating fruits and vegetables. Moderate drinking and keeping active brought the same benefits…
Well, that seems pretty simple. While we’re on the subject, why not surf around for some other ways to live longer?
There are few things that cause you more stress and worry than your weight. If you gained a few pounds over the holidays, don’t panic…..yet. According to an article (reprinted below) about a study published last November, people who are a little overweight actually live longer.
Could you live longer if you walked faster? Apparently so…
New research following 500 older people for nearly a decade found quicker walkers were less likely to die. Nine years after initial gait speed was measured, 77 percent of slow walkers had died, compared to only 50 percent of medium speed and 27 percent of fast walkers.
As our population ages, our society is finally recognizing that old age is a gift. Despite some of the negative images in the media, it really is possible to embrace our elderhood as a creative and spiritual journey.
People who have aged successfully share common characteristics.
There is no question that most of our lifestyle choices are what will determine whether we age in good physical and mental health or fall prey to sickness and disability. Although it may be a cliché, moderation is the key in everything. By practicing moderation and following these ten tips, you too can be a “long-liver” and, more importantly, enjoy your elder hood in the process.
It’s the last day of 2007, and I thought I would do this post on some of the hot topics from BlogHer Health and Wellness. So, in no particular order, here is what I think are the top ten. — read the full post at BlogHer.
The number of overweight children in the United States is growing at a very alarming rate. Kids are spending much less time being active, and much more time sitting in front of a TV, computer, or video-game. For this reason we are seeing an increase in children developing diseases (such as Type 2 Diabetes) that are normally associated with overweight adults. This is very troubling, especially considering that it is preventable.
Preventing your children from becoming overweight means adapting the way you and your family eat and exercise and the way you spend time together. Helping your children lead healthy lifestyles begins with you, the parent, and leading by example. — read full article
A recent study also finds that children with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop kidney disease…
Children and teens diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are five times more likely to develop kidney disease later in life than those who develop diabetes as adults, a recent study found.
The findings underscore the importance of preventing — or at least delaying — the onset of type 2 diabetes, doctors say. — read full article
Tina at Public Spark has some tips for preventing childhood obesity…
I am not a nutritionist therefore cannot give you the 411 on diet, but I thought it would be interesting to take a psychological perspective on it. Obesity is a major problem that exists in our society today. If we can stop it early on, I believe that that we can decrease the problem later on. My boyfriend and I came up with some techniques that we would like to use when we have children. — read full post
Bev from That’s Fit has some tips from Bob Greene on childhood obesity…
Exercise physiologist Bob Greene, Oprah’s fitness trainer, had a few things to say about combating childhood obesity while in Toronto last week. He believes parents can make a significant difference. — read full post