Closely Spaced Pregnancies Increase Risk for Autism

Closely Spaced Pregnancies Increase Risk for Autism

In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that one in roughly 111 children from certain testing sites across America have a form of autism. This includes classic autism, pervasive development disorder and Asperger’s syndrome. Just one year later, researchers showed that one in every 91 American children is on the autism spectrum. This developmental disorder is growing at such a rapid pace that medical personnel are shocked, and studies have proven that closely spaced pregnancies have played a part in this phenomenon.

In 1992, the director of the Lazarsfeld Center for Social Sciences at Columbia University put a team of researches together to test his theory that closely spaced pregnancies put the second child at risk for a developmental disorder. The team’s findings showed that out of 662,000 sibling pairs born within three years of one another in the state of California, none of the firstborns were diagnosed with an autistic disorder, but 3,137 of their younger siblings were. Of this number, 22 sibling pairs were born within one year of one another, showing that the closer the births are, the higher the risk of autism.

Researchers and medical professionals don’t know exactly why a child born within three years of his or her older sibling faces a greater risk for autism. Possibly the most logical explanation for this is that the mother’s body hasn’t had adequate time to reproduce all the nutrients needed to have another healthy baby. But the same study in California showed that more often than not, a closely spaced pregnancy can result in a healthy baby. Therefore, other inherent factors – perhaps also with the mother – must be figured in too.

Other factors that increase risks of autism

The increase of children born with autism isn’t just from closely spaced pregnancies. It comes from other factors as well, one being parental age. It’s not surprising news that the older a mother is during pregnancy, the more health risks the child faces. Down syndrome, low birth weight and other complications are linked to a woman’s age during pregnancy. Autism risks, however, are linked both to the mother and father’s ages if they are over the age of 40. Over the last two decades, people have begun to put off pregnancy, and researchers believe that this is a contributing factor to the dramatic increase in autism.

Preterm-birth babies are also at an increased risk for having a developmental disorder on the autism spectrum. Preterm, or premature, births are defined as fewer than 33 weeks in the womb. Because the infant’s brain develops differently outside of the womb, mothers who give birth before 33 weeks of pregnancy increase their risk of seeing cognitive problems in later childhood. Developmental disorders associated with autism are largely social, and they inhibit the child’s ability to maintain relationships in different ways.

Proactive steps for dealing with autism

Looking out for the signs of autism is important, especially if you had a premature birth, a pregnancy at a later age or your baby had a low birth weight. One thing that could send up a red flag is if your baby gives little to no joyful expressions, especially when interacting with others. If your child doesn’t respond to his or her name, follow directions or even appear to hear you at times, you should have him evaluated by a medical professional.

If your child is diagnosed with a disorder on the autism spectrum, it’s important to identify him with a medical ID bracelet. Because of the non-engaging behavior associated with autism, it’s likely that your child will try to wander away at times. A medical ID bracelet could save his life. Have the child’s pertinent medical history, medications or simply a home address and phone number engraved on the medical ID bracelet to ensure his safety. American Medical ID has a wide selection of medical ID bracelets to choose from. Find one that fits your child’s needs today!

10 Tips for Lowering Your Cholesterol

Take these diet and exercise tips to heart to watch your cholesterol levels drop.

Has your doctor mentioned lowering your cholesterol? Whether it’s something you’ve been struggling with for a while or if you’ve been recently diagnosed with high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia), this quick list can help you lower your levels through diet and exercise. Cholesterol can be a huge problem, especially if you have a family history or are prone to heart disease, clotting or a number of other conditions. Lowering your cholesterol can leave you happier and most of all, healthier.

  1. There are two kinds of cholesterol, LDL (bad) and HDL (good). Eating more good cholesterol than bad is a good way to start. Diet is half the battle, so why not start out with the right foot? Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids, plant oils and soluble fibers are great sources of good cholesterol.
  2. Do you like seafood? Even if you don’t, you may want to develop a taste for it, as it’s both heart-healthy and a great source of good cholesterol.
  3. Balance what you eat. American portion sizes are massive compared to the rest of the world. It may be difficult at first, but your body with eventually adjust to smaller portions and will thank you for it. You may even lose a little weight in the process!
  4. Are you a snack-a-holic? Nuts are a great source of monosaturated fat which fights bad cholesterol. So a salty, nutty treat may indeed be just what the doctor ordered. Other sources of monosaturated fats are also recommended for both a healthy diet and lowering your LDL levels.
  5. Stick to unsaturated fats as well. They help lower bad cholesterol and may even raise your good cholesterol level. Saturated fats such as those in butter and palm oil, for example, are best used in moderation.
  6. Whole grain cereals, bread and granola are great ways to help with your cholesterol levels. White bread, for example, boosts your blood sugar levels and makes you feel hungrier sooner. Wheat bread doesn’t raise your blood sugar as quickly, leading to a feeling of fullness that lasts longer.
  7. You knew it was coming – exercise! Even just 30 minutes a day of physical activity such as walking or swimming can drastically improve your situation, as it helps clear your arteries that may become clogged by cholesterol.
  8. Break it up. You don’t even have to walk, jog, whatever your preference, for 30 minutes straight. Do it ten minutes at a time, for instance.
  9. Even physical activities such as gardening or dancing can help. If you don’t like the gym or find walks too boring, get out there and do something fun!

10.  Don’t worry, be happy! Stress can increase the amount of cholesterol your body retains, so take a breather every once in a while.

 

Recycling Your Medical ID Bracelet – Is it Time?

Being safe and saving the earth? It’s possible! For those of you that wear medical ID bracelets, you know how important it can be to keep them in good shape. Even with the most dedicated care, they can still fade or tarnish, becoming difficult if not impossible to read. This can cause problems for medical personnel who may need to provide you immediate care. Unreadable bracelets can be misread or illegible entirely, and if the time comes that you need critical care, their warning may go unheeded. Also, your bracelet may start coming apart or break entirely. What then?

Recycling Your Bracelet

You may wonder if it’s possible to recycle your bracelet. American Medical ID offers a gift card for you to use toward the purchase of a new bracelet should you choose to recycle your old one. Depending on the material of the bracelet, they’ll offer $5-75 toward the purchase of your new bracelet. They do this by recycling the metals in their own production shop, deferring the costs of buying new materials from suppliers. You’ll usually receive the gift card in about 4-6 weeks.

The way you begin the recycling process is simple. Head on over to the link below and get going. It’s a very easy, streamlined process, and the money you’ll save will be worth the time. All you’ll have to do is fill out the form on this page. After you finish providing the required information, you’ll be taken to a confirmation page. You’ll print that page off and mail it in along with your old bracelet. Remember, as your medical ID bracelet is valuable because of the metals used to make it, you should either choose shipping insurance or send via registered mail. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, especially since your bracelet contains personal information. It’s as simple as that!

Get a New One!

American Medical ID offers plenty of different styles for you to choose from, so it’s worth your time to find one that fits your budget and style. From metals to sportsbands, bracelets are made to order.

 

Food Allergies 101

Do you know someone with a food allergy? Likely you do. 1 in 25 children are affected by food allergies, and many adults suffer as well. It’s a common, though unsung, problem that many Americans live with. What should you look for, and how can you help? Prevention is much of the battle, and knowing what to look for goes a long way.

Being educated on the matter can only help in the long run if you or someone you may know has an allergic reaction to certain foods. Remember, if someone appears to be having an allergic reaction, seek immediate medical attention. An allergic reaction may not seem bad at first, but it can progress quickly. It’s not possible to cure allergies, only avoid the triggers and be prepared in the event of a reaction.

What Foods Are People Allergic To?

A person can be allergic to just about any food, but most allergic reactions are caused my eight main foods.

• Milk/Dairy

• Soy

• Wheat/Gluten

• Egg

• Peanut

• Tree nut

• Fish

• Shellfish

What Happens?

As with allergic reactions in general, there are a wide variety of symptoms, but mostly, look for the following.

• Rash

• Swelling in the throat, face, or around the lymph nodes

• Itching

What Can You Do To Help?

Often, a person will know if they’ve eaten something they’re allergic to and know to seek medical care, even after using a portable epinephrine pen, for example. But you can help, too.

• Don’t share food with friends who are allergic. Sometimes, the food you eat may have trace amounts of another food that can cause reactions.

• Wash your hands after eating.

• Seek help immediately if someone seems to be having an allergic reaction.

Food allergies are serious. They can cause serious long-term injury or even death if not treated right away. Therefore, it is important to avoid the foods someone is allergic to if at all possible and seek immediate medical attention via 9-1-1 should someone appear to be having a reaction.

You can also provide yourself or someone you know with food allergies the gift of a medical ID bracelet. This is a proactive tool to use in the event of an emergency. A medical ID bracelet lists personal medical information, including specific food allergies and provides medical personnel a clue to proper treatment. Check out the stylish medical ID jewelry at American Medical ID today!

 

New Genetic Risk Factors of Alzheimer’s Disease

For those of you unfamiliar with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), it is a neurological or brain disorder that destroys memory and thinking ability. Eventually, the disease progresses to the point that a person can’t carry out basic, everyday tasks. Mostly, symptoms of AD appear after age 60; however, AD can also affect younger patients in early-onset cases. Researchers believe that the disease may begin affecting a patient 10-20 years before symptoms are noticeable.

Recently, a worldwide research group identified a number of new genes and pinpointed exact ones that may be risk factors for late-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s been up for discussion for some time that there may be genetic risk factors for certain diseases, AD among them, but recently scientific advances have shown that there may indeed be genetic propensity to diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Until this research was done, a single gene, APOE, was linked to Alzheimer’s. Now, there are at least three more that may also directly or indirectly affect a person’s chance to develop the disease. Although the new genes don’t directly correlate with developing Alzheimer’s, they may pave the way for more breakthroughs and eventually a discovery of what biological factors directly influence the development of disorders such as AD.

In the United States, the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Aging established the Alzheimer’s Disease Genetics Consortium, or ADGC.  The Consortium provided researchers at the university and professional level to combine and compare data and link to each other for support. Similarly, researchers across the US, UK, and Europe combined data on genetic research involving Alzheimer’s. Both projects were funded by the National Institute of Health, and the results of the study were published as two papers in the online edition of Nature Genetics on April 3, 2011.

The researchers took information taken from the genetic information provided by Alzheimer’s patients as well as cognitively normal people and the differences at the genetic level pointed to certain genes that may be a factor in developing disorders like this. Certain variants in genetic code seemed to consistently be associated with the disease.

This research suggests that Alzheimer’s may begin on a cellular level, involving protein movement and lipid transportation. The new insights provided by this study promise to change the way scientists look at this disease as well as others.

 

 

 

 

Taking Blood Thinners? Learn the #1 Safety Precaution

What is the #1 safety precaution if you are taking a blood thinner? A medical identification bracelet. It’s a simple, but effective intervention that all patients should consider.

If you are currently taking a blood thinner, your doctor has probably recommended it to help prevent a stroke or heart attack. Common blood thinners include: Coumidin, Plavix and Warafin, although blood thinners are marketed under a variety of different pharmaceutical names. In general, they are all considered anticoagulants because they can prevent clotting in the arteries and the veins. They are important and life saving medications.

But even medications carry risks when prescribed with other medications. Blood thinners can have serious (even fatal) side effects when they interact with other medications. For this reason, a physician needs to know exactly what you are taking and why. Unfortunately, most people assume they will be able to let the physician know this information themselves, in the event of an emergency situation.

The truth, however, is that sometimes an emergency leaves a patient unconscious, temporarily incapacitated, or simply unable to communicate. In a true medical emergency, even the steadiest patient can become disorientated and confused. That is why medical bracelets are so important. They can communicate quickly and effectively for you, letting the practitioner know basic, but vital health information.

The American Medical Association considers these bracelets so important, they recommend that all patients consider wearing one. That way, if anything happens to you, a medical provider will know immediately, simply by examining the bracelet, what medications you are taking. Most bracelets are inscribed with other vital statistics, including your name, any allergies, as well as contact information for your personal physician. That way a medical doctor can call your physician immediately to consult about your case.

If you or your loved one is taking a blood thinner, make sure to have an emergency medical ID bracelet. Sometimes, the simplest things are truly the most important. American Medical ID carries a line of medical ID bracelets that are both stylish and functional. Find one that fits your needs or those of someone you care about today!

Exercising Outdoors? Stay Safe with Medical ID Jewelry

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy, and you should also try finding a place to work out outdoors periodically. Not only is the fresh air great for your body, but the change of scenery might motivate you to keep a regular workout schedule. Exercising regularly has great health benefits, but you should also know how to stay safe when exercising outdoors as well. That’s where medical ID jewelry and other precautions can help!

The health benefits of regular exercise

Not only will your quality of life be better without medical complications, but your overall physique will improve with exercise. This increases self-confidence and it allows you to rest better at night, making you ready to take on the day. Your joints will even feel better after regular brisk walks or jogs outside. Exercise allows you to see progress on your goals, and you will live a longer life in most cases.

Great outdoor activities include biking, jogging, rollerblading, hiking, climbing, walking your dog, jump-roping, swimming and more. But if you have a medical condition or are going it alone, make sure to take a proactive approach to safety.

Being safe is just as important

If you are starting to exercise outside, your safety is just as important as reaching your health goals. This is the perfect time to invest in medical ID jewelry. Even though medical ID jewelry should be worn at all times, it is especially important to wear when exercising outdoors alone. If something happens to you while you are walking, biking, running or doing other strenuous activities, you may need assistance. Emergency officials are trained to look for medical ID jewelry. This saves them time and lets them know what type of treatment should be administered.

Even if you don’t have a medical condition, if you get lost while running through a wooded area, winding trail or unfamiliar path, medical ID jewelry can be engraved with your contact information. This way, if something happens to you and you became lost, those helping will know exactly who to contact, no matter how far from home you are. Medical ID jewelry can save lives in more ways than one. And if you are exercising outside, you should always wear one. Find the jewelry or accessory that suits you best at AmericanMedical-ID.com today. They even offer Sportbands and other flexible materials suited to exercise.

Avoid Food Allergy Mishaps with a Medical ID Bracelet

Food allergies cause a variety of symptoms in children and adults alike. However, these allergies can be especially frightening for kids because the food allergy might be discovered at school, daycare or somewhere else that is not under a parent’s supervision. Find out why investing in a medical ID bracelet could save your child’s life and avoid complications.

The seriousness of food allergies in children

Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that food allergies in children have risen 18 percent, and schools are now having to adapt to more and more children with special needs. In late March, a Florida school deliberated on how to handle the case of a 6-year-old girl with an unnaturally severe allergy to peanuts. She can’t touch other students who have eaten peanuts, nor can she breathe the same air of a person who has eaten peanuts without suffering from a life-threatening reaction.

Although some parents feel that their kids shouldn’t have to suffer for one child’s disability, the girl’s school is still required to employ a peanut-sniffing dog. Plus, her fellow students must wash their hands after breakfast and lunch before entering the classroom. They are even required to wash out their mouths. This issue has caused many debates over if the child should simply be homeschooled instead. It has also made many other public schools consider how the growing number of food allergies in children could affect their district.

School cafeterias serve a variety of meals to kids every day, and as an example, children with peanut allergies must avoid more than just bags of peanuts. Foods like peanut butter, some ice creams, crackers and even spaghetti sauce could cause an allergic reaction. Depending on the severity of the child’s allergy, just another day in the cafeteria could become a serious emergency.

And according to PeanutAllergy.com, the majority of kids who have a peanut allergy are also allergic to other nuts. It’s also common for children to be allergic to seafood, wheat, milk and more. This increases the need to make school officials, babysitters and other caretaker’s constantly aware of your child’s allergy.

How a medical ID bracelet can make a difference

Children with food allergies should wear a medical ID bracelet anytime they are under the care of someone other than the parent. Even if the school or babysitter is well aware of the allergy, a prominent medical ID bracelet can serve as a perpetual reminder of the child’s allergy. This creates constant awareness and lessens the chances of the child eating a food that might cause an allergic reaction.

Food allergies can cause such adverse effects as rashes, nausea, dark circles under the eyes, skin breakouts, sneezing and even less detectable symptoms like hyperactivity. These reactions could affect your child’s overall happiness at school and his or her grades. Or if the reaction is more severe, a medical ID bracelet could even save your child’s life.

Find a medical ID bracelet that best suits your child’s needs at AmericanMedical-Id.com today.

 

How to Get Reimbursed for a Medical ID Bracelet

If you have any number of health issues that can require immediate medical attention or specialized care, you may already be aware of the benefits of a medical ID bracelet.  Here are some primary examples of people who would benefit from wearing one:

  • People with chronic medical conditions
  • People with moderate to severe allergic reactions
  • Patients prescribed multiple medications
  • Children with developmental disorders
  • Elderly with cognitive disorders

Maybe your doctor has already told you about wearing one, but if not, a physician can tell you if you’re a good candidate for a medical ID bracelet. Wearing one has the potential to save your life. Consider for a moment – if you happen to be unconscious and in need of medical care, you wouldn’t be able to tell the first responders what you’re allergic to or what kind of medication you take. There are a wide variety of medications on the market today, and many of them have the potential to interact with others. Therefore, it’s important to be able to tell your caregivers exactly what you take, what you’re allergic to and any conditions you may have.

Depending on your health plan, your insurance company may reimburse you the cost of a medical ID bracelet.  Your physician can even write you a prescription for one. This is a vital step in getting reimbursed for the cost of a bracelet. The prescription, along with an insurance filing form, will prove to the insurance company the medical necessity of one. American Medical ID has their bracelets’ registration codes on file at their website to ease the process a bit.

If your medical plan doesn’t cover the cost of a bracelet, write a letter to your insurance company. It has to start somewhere. Why not with you? And even if you don’t have insurance, a medical ID bracelet is important and worth the investment. A relatively small cost toward proactively managing your health can save your life in the long run, and that’s worth its weight in gold.

 

 

How to Get Reimbursed for a Medical ID Bracelet

If you have any number of health issues that can require immediate medical attention or specialized care, you may already be aware of the benefits of a medical ID bracelet.  Here are some primary examples of people who would benefit from wearing one:

· People with chronic medical conditions

· People with moderate to severe allergic reactions

· Patients prescribed multiple medications

· Children with developmental disorders

· Elderly with cognitive disorders

Maybe your doctor has already told you about wearing one, but if not, a physician can tell you if you’re a good candidate for a medical ID bracelet. Wearing one has the potential to save your life. Consider for a moment – if you happen to be unconscious and in need of medical care, you wouldn’t be able to tell the first responders what you’re allergic to or what kind of medication you take. There are a wide variety of medications on the market today, and many of them have the potential to interact with others. Therefore, it’s important to be able to tell your caregivers exactly what you take, what you’re allergic to and any conditions you may have.

Depending on your health plan, your insurance company may reimburse you the cost of a medical ID bracelet.  Your physician can even write you a prescription for one. This is a vital step in getting reimbursed for the cost of a bracelet. The prescription, along with an insurance filing form, will prove to the insurance company the medical necessity of one. American Medical ID has their bracelets’ registration codes on file at their website to ease the process a bit.

If your medical plan doesn’t cover the cost of a bracelet, write a letter to your insurance company. It has to start somewhere. Why not with you? And even if you don’t have insurance, a medical ID bracelet is important and worth the investment. A relatively small cost toward proactively managing your health can save your life in the long run, and that’s worth its weight in gold.

 

Diabetics Who Sleep Poorly Have Higher Insulin Resistance

Two new studies on individuals with diabetes have found a potentially troubling link between sleep quality and insulin resistance. The results of both studies suggest that diabetics with poor sleep are more likely to have higher insulin resistance and more trouble controlling their condition.
The lead author of the first study, Kristen Knutson, said, “Poor sleep quality in people with diabetes was associated with worse control of their blood glucose levels.” Diabetics that have problems controlling glucose levels are known to have a higher risk of complications, which leads to a reduced quality of life. These individuals are also shown to have a lower life expectancy than diabetics that have well-controlled blood glucose levels.

The study involved the monitored sleep of 40 diabetics for six nights. All study subjects wore monitors on their wrists during the night, which measured their movements the entire night. Poor sleep quality was determined by two factors; both the information provided by the activity monitors and what the subjects told researchers. Study subjects that told researchers they had a hard time getting to sleep or woke up at least once during the night were determined to have poor sleep quality.

Among the 40 diabetics in the study, those with poor sleep had 23% higher glucose levels in the morning, with 48% higher blood insulin levels. These numbers were used to estimate each person’s insulin resistance. Researchers determined that the diabetics with poor sleep had 82% higher insulin resistance than diabetics with normal quality sleep.

A second study, first published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, looked at African-Americans with type 2 diabetes and their sleep habits. During the study, 161 African-Americans were interviewed about their sleep, after which researchers reviewed the subjects’ medical records and checked their HbA1c tests. An HbA1c test is used to measure long-term blood glucose control and was very useful in the study.

The participants interviewed got an average of six hours of sleep each night. 6% got at least eight hours of sleep and 22% got at least seven hours. Many participants in the study reported poor sleep. The average HbA1c level was 8.3%, which is higher than the 7% recommended by the American Diabetes Association. Individuals that reported at least one diabetes complication also had poor quality sleep which researchers associated with higher HbA1c levels as well. Other participants in the study with the fewest hours of sleep showed the higher HbA1c levels.

This study seems to suggest that more sleep at night, as well as a better quality of sleep, can improve blood glucose control in diabetic individuals. However, more research is needed to prove this finding. Still, it’s a good idea for diabetics to try to get more sleep as other studies have shown sleep deprivation can lead to other health problems.

It’s important to realize that managing diabetes is a full-time job. In addition to proper sleep, managing diabetes can include:

You should check your blood glucose levels regularly and incorporate any advice from your doctor into your daily routine. Although diet and exercise can improve and control blood glucose in the beginning, it may be necessary to take insulin at some point. Discuss any concerns you have with your doctor.

It’s also advised that all diabetics wear a medical ID bracelet. Medical ID bracelets come in all colors and styles today and can speak for you in an emergency. In case of accident, responders may not immediately be able to recognize your symptoms. A survey of emergency responders showed that over 95% check for a medical ID upon arriving at a scene. An ID bracelet can help protect you from potentially harmful medical intervention and allow someone to help you effectively and quickly. Check out the fashionable and functional medical ID jewelry from American Medical ID today!

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