Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Alcoholism And Paternal Attitude Towards Children

image by markomalca,

An Alcohol-obsessed Father Inflicts Permanent Damage On The Child

Think back. During your childhood days, were you a witness to alcoholism episodes in your family? Specifically, was your father given to drinking more often than what is considered acceptable? Then, chances are - researchers say - that you were at the receiving end of some very harsh behavior and ineffective parenting. Chances are that the quality of interaction between your father and you was lower than what is required for a child's normal emotional nourishment.

image by catalin82,

Alcoholism in fathers has been found to coexist with specifically two forms of concomitant psychopathology: antisocial behavior and depression. Ergo, fathers who binge on alcohol suffer from some degree of depression, and at the same time are also not at ease with their neighbors, with friends, with colleagues and superiors at the workplace, and with the world at large. Such fathers are known to pick up a fight on the slightest pretext. In the context of parenting, these psychopathologies imply that such fathers find low level of pleasure in the task of showering love and affection on the bundles of joy sired by them. Love and affection? What love and affection? Their approach is one of hostility and downright abusive behavior which can take on both verbal and physical forms towards the child.

image by adassel,

The problem does not stop here. Alcoholism, as we all know, encompasses aggression, conflict and violence with the partner. If you have grown up in a home - or been witness to a home in the neighborhood as a child - where the father and mother would lung for each other's throat every other evening, you have been an eye-witness to the effect alcoholism has on a family's environment. The psychopathology of anti-sociality rouses the trait of anger in the man, which brings out the brute hidden in him.

image by glendali,

While some fathers may reject the child outright, others indulge in over-reactive discipline, believing that the only way to rear the child is through a regimen which is so strict that it would put the concentration camp regulators to shame. Is it any wonder then, if the child frequently urinates during sleep from nightmares where they frequently see the father's gnashing of teeth, his contorted face, the harsh tone of his voice and the menacing body language? The negative comments, the physical lashing, the commanding demeanor and the strict prohibitions are not skills that the father has to go join some despot's military academy to learn; instead, these are innate talents that apparently blossom forth the moment they learn that they have become a parent.

image by cbcs,

On the way to growing to become an adult, the child's adaptation skills are tempered by this very important interpersonal relationship dimension. The bedwetting is overcome eventually, but it is replaced by even more severe behavioral problems. Depending on the individual's innate temperament, they either withdraw into a shell, or try to exact revenge against the father-figures who come into their life. Dig deep into the psyche of the maladjusted individuals who end up in all the wrong places, and you will find a damaged self-concept and a battered self-pride at the core, crying to be healed.

image by hortonguru,

Why is there a problem with paternal attitudes towards children alone? Why not maternal? It has been observed that fathers bingeing on alcohol are the more susceptible of the two to fall in the triple hell of alcohol-related disorders, antisocial behavior and depression, that's why.

image by harrykeely,

As counselor / self-developer, know that there is a battery of CBTs now available to address the core issue of alcoholism. The site where this blog is hosted has some excellent self-hypnosis CDs on this issue.

image by piovasco,

[Child-rearing does not happen automatically. As parents, after bringing them into this world, we do not automatically become experts on children. We need to consciously teach ourselves on how to raise them. The child looks upon us as the ultimate authority on everything, so every word we utter, every emotion we express overtly and covertly, has a profound impact that molds the child's view of the world as well as their view of themselves. Even our supposedly-innocent warning to the child about the ill-effect of lying can create a negative impact. "Every time you lie, your nose will grow!" Here is an article that talks about this and other aspects of raising the child: "Pinocchio, Everything's Fine With Your Nose".]

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Susceptible To Alzheimer's? Drink This Regularly

image from wiki

Alzheimer's Can Be Prevented / Delayed With This Decoction

Alzheimer's is a condition where plaques begin to be created in the brain progressively. Once they start forming, there is no stopping them. Yet. The plaques slowly but inexorably smother the neurons in the brain, squeezing them, cutting off all the supply of nutrition to them, till they start dying. From the beautiful network of nerves that hums ever so nicely, managing the functions of living so well, the brain is reduced to a messy tangle of emaciated, dead fibers. As modern medical science continues to search for clues to its etiology and remedy, a stage has been reached where more than 15% of the population over the age of 65 is suffering from this condition.

image by coloniera2,

To the rescue have come epidemiological observations that certain communities and cultures experience less instances of Alzheimer's than the rest of us. One justification for this protective shield has been attributed to the dietary regimen of these communities, specifically a decoction that their members consume on a daily basis. The decoction involves boiling the leaves of a plant in water, and sipping about two cups of the brew every day. In a laboratory setting, when rats were fed this brew regularly, over a period of time a part of their brain was found to have a significant reduction of free radicals. This part of the brain is involved in learning and memory. Incidentally, this part of the brain is also implicated in Alzheimer's.

image by okanxp,

The conclusion that neuro-immunologists have arrived at from this experiment is that regular consumption of the drink made from the leaves of this particular plant can protect the brain from stress caused due to bio-oxidation. It can therefore delay the neuronal damage and the formation of plaques. [The paper describing the experiment has been published in Brain Research, June 2008 edition.]

image by linno1234,

The plant in question is Camellia Sinensis, and its leaves go in the preparation of what is conventionally known as Green Tea. Technically speaking, green tea contains a naturally occurring polyphenol: Epi-gallo-catechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has antioxidant properties. In fact, EGCG is increasingly finding effusive praise from researchers who have been validating and authenticating its role in ameliorating neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and HIV-associated dementia. There is a growing body of knowledge around the therapeutic effect of this molecule. Pharma laboratories have been competing with each other for quite some time to synthesize EGCG, to identify the right molecular structure that has the maximum impact, and also to increase its bioavailability (such as through nano-lipidic particle complexes). Look forward to seeing EGCG capsules, syrups or injections on pharmacy shelves in the very near future.

Camellia Sinensis, the tea plant

For now, the suggestion is to include green tea in the daily regimen. Two cups daily are recommended. Here's one more tip. Do not pour any milk in the cup. For milk reduces the antioxidant properties of EGCG.

image by masbro,

[Alzheimer's disease has not only confounded medical science due to its inexplicable and non-reversible neural degeneration, leading to loss of memory and higher cortical functions in individuals; it has also thrown up important existential issues for metaphysicians. Here is one metaphysical reflection on this condition: "When The Connect Between The 4D And The Ethereal, Shrivels".]

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Diabetic? Also Pregnant?

diabetes kit,

Remain Alert About Congenital Complications

Imagine the surprise on the face of the primi-gravida - the first-time pregnant woman - upon being told that her blood samples have revealed high levels of glucose. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a medical condition that has the element of surprise inherent in it. People don't know they have it till they come for regular screening in the early days of the pregnancy.

image by memoossa,

For the woman, the implication of having contracted GDM is that she has a higher-than-moderate chance of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus going forward. The why behind GDM is unknown; but it has been observed that older women (above 35), smokers, those with diabetes in family history, and those with specific ethnic backgrounds (African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Native American, Hispanic, Pacific-Islander, as well as from the Indian subcontinent) are especially prone. About 7% of all pregnancies are affected by GDM.

image by rotorhead,

The how behind GDM is fairly clear: secretion of diabetogenic hormones at the placental level takes place, coupled with the deposition of maternal adipose, lack of exercise and increased caloric intake, all together bring about a host of physiological changes to such an extent that the pancreatic islet function falls short. The consequence is the impaired tolerance to glucose, which is what GDM is.

image by rotorhead,

It has also been observed that obese gravida have higher chance of experiencing GDM than do the non-obese. The risk of GDM is directly proportional to one's BMI.

image by mzacha,

The neonate too doesn't escape from the aftermath of the GDM. Macrosomia (abnormally large size of the body, or "large-for-gestational-age" (LGA) fetus), hypoglycemia, hypocalcemia, polycythemia and hyperbilirubinemia are some of the complications that afflict up to 25% of such offspring. Congenital malformations are the most common cause of perinatal death among these infants.

image from

Given these complications, it is no wonder then that, as late as the early 1980s, physicians used to advice diabetic women against pregnancy. Recent studies have attempted to create subgroups of pregnant women who can be administered different therapeutic / control interventions depending on various factors, in order to reduce the risks to congenital anomalies. According to one such study, women with adequate weight, diagnosed with two 100-g OGTT (oral glucose tolerance test) abnormal values, and without anybody in the immediately family having been diagnosed with diabetes, form a low-risk group. This group may be administered one level of insulin therapy. On the other end of the spectrum is the subgroup of obese women, diagnosed with four abnormal 100-g OGTT values and at least one of whose kith and kin is diabetic. This is a high-risk group, and needs to be administered another level of insulin therapy.

image by pzado,

If you or anybody in your circle is planning pregnancy, it might do a lot of good if the appropriate tests are undergone to determine diabetes - and especially GDM - susceptibility, and assess the level of risk involved beforehand. Correct intervention at the right stage will reduce the randomness involved in the delivery of a healthy progeny.

image by ddrlfoto,

[While this was a very clinical discussion on the subject of diabetes, for a more philosophical approach to this medical condition, click on: "Diabetes - Silent Killer? Or Awakener?".]

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