Author: Sasha Hart

Cat ladies, more likely to commit suicide

A recent study reveals that cat ladies are more likely to commit suicide. The researchers blame the drive of ending one’s life on a toxin found in cat excrements. The cliché of ending-up gathering around you a huge number of felines as a result of lack of human companionship at a certain age, has always been linked to depression and loneliness. However, a new study conducted in Denmark, shows that having too many cat pets increases the risk of suicide. How is that possible? At a first glance, you may think that a lonely person, who gathers so many cats can be struck at some point in their lives by how lonely they have become. The greater the number of cats, the emptier their existence. But it’s not the psychological impact that’s responsible for the suicide risk. The Danish experts have discovered the presence of Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite found in cat excrements and also in unwashed fresh food and uncooked meat. According to the researchers, the levels of Toxoplasma gondii can influence the violence of the suicidal act. The higher the parasite concentration in the blood, the higher the risk of jumping off buildings, stabbing or shooting oneself. People with severe infection have one and a half more chances of falling into despair and take their own lives. Teodor T. Postolache, a professor of psychiatry of Romanian origin,...

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How to minimize panic attacks

Specialists say that the majority of people experience panic attacks, at least once in their lifetime, so we thought an article on how to minimize them would come in handy. Panic attacks are actually very common. They are experienced by all ages and both sexes. They are periods of intense fear, without a specific trigger, during which the person has a series of symptoms: • Sense of limited air intake • Raised heart beat • Sweaty palms • Fear of dying • Fear of losing contact with reality • An overall feeling of “unreal” Of all the symptoms, the feeling of all being not real and loosely connected is the one triggering a vicious circle. The symptoms are caused by the fear, that intensifies when observing the symptoms and so on. Another bad part about the experience is that you have the feeling it will never end. The first panic attack is usually the most severe. It can last from a few minutes to a few hours, though the specialists have noted cases lasting days in a row. The length of the panic episode depends on the person’s ability to diminish the stress factors at both external and internal level. Here are some ways to diminish the panic attacks, in both duration and cyclicity: 1. Learn how to breathe. You don’t have to breathe deeply. The perfect way to...

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Best foods during pregnancy

The best foods during pregnancy are the ones that ensure the necessary nutrients for the mother and her baby, while preventing unhealthy weight gain. The calorie intake goes up during the pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean the woman should eat double the amount of food. Diet recommendations consist in a balanced intake of carbs, fiber and protein. And let’s not forget calcium! Here are the best foods during pregnancy: 1. Fruit and vegetable – up to five servings per day. Fresh and frozen are the best ways to consume them, as they retain the highest amount of vitamins. Juice is less recommended, as it raises the sugar level in the blood and leads, among other effects, to an increase in appetite. 2. Carbs from rice, pasta, whole bread and potatoes 3. Animal-source protein from white meat (fish, chicken) and eggs 4. Vegetable-source protein from quinoa, tofu, soy, beans, seeds, nuts. They are rich in amino acids and iron. 5. Fiber from wholegrain foods – bread, rice, pasta, carrots and more. Studies have shown that the consumption of fiber during pregnancy reduces the risk of constipation and hemorrhoids. 6. Calcium from dairy foods (milk, cheese, yogurt), soy-based products, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, okra and mustard greens....

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Pets reduce asthma risk in kids

A Californian study recently concluded that pets can reduce the asthma risk in kids. The dust found in houses with pets is different from the one in houses without pets. It contains bacteria that protect against the infection associated with the respiratory syncytial virus, linked to asthma in children. Dr. Kei Fujimura and his team of researchers at the University of California in San Francisco, have conducted a research on lab mice meant to show whether there is a connection between having pets in the house and a lower risk of asthma in kids. What they found out is that the dust in houses in which pets are present has a content that protects against asthma. The lab trial included the analysis of three groups of mice: two groups were infected with the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and a third one, the control group, was not. Of the first two groups, one was fed dust from homes with dogs before being infected and the other was not. The results showed that the mice who were fed dust from homes with dogs showed no symptoms of RVS. Dr. Fujimura explained: “microbes within dog-associated house dust may colonize the gastrointestinal tract, modulate immune responses and protect the host against the asthmagenic pathogen RSV.” She continued: “This study represents the first step towards determining the identity of the microbial species which confer...

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What you need to know about sleep paralysis

Sleep paralysis is not so uncommon. A number of surveys in Canada, Japan, Nigeria, China and the UK have concluded that more than half of the population has experienced or will experience sleep paralysis at least once in their lifetime. Here is what you need to know about it: Sleep paralysis is the name given to an experience in which the person is awake before the REM cycle is completed, thus making it impossible for them to move or talk. It feels like the whole body is paralyzed. This often occurs in healthy people, although it is also present in pathological cases, where it is associated to cataplexy, narcolepsy and hypnagogic hallucinations. Sleep paralysis can occur either before falling asleep at night or early in the morning, before waking up. The manifestations of sleep paralysis differ in durability and intensity, depending on the person’s psychological structure, but not only. The first experience is the most acute, as people who have been through it more than once have noticed. The debut is sudden and people believe they are awake. However, they almost immediately notice they cannot move. They also feel the body is in a deeply relaxed state (the REM state). The first reaction is panic and then fight for waking-up. Sleep paralysis can last from a few seconds to a few hours (very rare). In the short episodes, the...

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