Hangovers are not “merely uncomfortable” say doctors at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in San Francisco, who reviewed 100-plus studies on the subject. The reason: they involve a good deal more than the usual headache, fatigue. nausea, and occasional diarrhoea. Poor judgment, loss of dexterity, and impaired visual-spatial skills typical of intoxication can also linger after the last traces of alcohol have left the bloodstream. Indeed, hangovers have been shown to impair the performance of pilots and drivers; hinder managerial skills and task completion; and contribute to lost productivity through absenteeism and poor job performance.
Interestingly, light to moderate drinkers cause the vast majority of hangover-related problems in the er workplace, while alcoholics account for relatively little. One reason is that light drinkers are greater in number. Hangovers also seem to he more common among them than among people who drink more heavily.
PLEASURE OR PERIL?
People with heart disease often eschew the joys of sex, fearing harm to their heart. But while sexual passion temporarily makes your heart racc, your breathing quicken, and your blood pressure rise, it isn’t perilous for everybody with a heart condition, say researchers.
Apparently sex is no more likely to promote heart attack than other stresses, including anger or heavy exertion and aspirin, beta- blockers, and regular exercise can actually reduce the risk of heart attack after sex.
However, note this: sex with an unfamiliar partner or in an unfamiliar setting (seedy hotel rooms?), can be particularly stressful and therefore more risky.
Well, if morals and principles can’t ensure your fidelity, maybe the threat of a heart attack canl
Addicted To Coke?
THE SECRET LIES IN THE “FLAVOUR”
A recent study from Johns Hopkins Institution suggests caffeine is added to colas not for flavour, but strictly to hook consumers. Needless to say, this sparked a huge brouhaha from the soft drink industry. -.‘ Caffeine “is added for one reason, for flavour:
said a spokesperson for the U.S. National Soft Drink Association. Yet, in the Johns Hopkins study of 25 adult cola drinkers, when participants were given cola samples and asked to distinguish between the caffeinated and non-caffeinated sodas based on taste alone, only two said they could detect the taste of caffeine.
The researchers believe that cola manufacturers are addiog caffiene to sodas purely for its addictive, mood altering effects, which accounts forthe fact that people drink far more sodas with caffeine than without.
WATCH CALORIC DENSITY
Dietary fat is usually presumed to he the culprit in weight gain. But new research
suggests that another factor, the food’s caloric density, also matters
— regardless of where the calories come from.
Researchers served 18 women all their meals during three separate two-day sessions. The meals were virtually identical each session, except in caloric density. For example, during one session, the researchers served a “high density” pasta salad that had about 130 calories in a 3-ounce (84 gms) portion. In another they served a “low density”
version, with less pasta and more vegetables, that had 75 calories in the same portion. The amount each woman ate was measured, and the volunteers filled out questionnaires to rate their feelings of hunger.
The differences in caloric density, it turned out, had no effect on how much food the volunteers ate or how hungry they felt during the day. That meant that the women consumed considerably more calories when they ate high-density meals than when they ate low-density meals about 425 more per day.
Those findings suggest that people trying to control their weight might make the task easier by filling up on low-calorie foods. However, it will do you well to keep in mind that while foods naturally low in fat, such as fruits and vegetables, tend to be low in caloric density, foods manufactured to be low in fat, such as baked goods and snacks, are often just as calorie dense as the highFat foods they’re meant to replace.
The Perfect Bedroom is a place where you don’t do much of anything except make love and sleep. To reduce bedtime stress, banish paperwork and TV to another room, experts advise. Establish a ritual that slows you down, such as sipping a cup of chamomile tea or soaking in the tub; research shows that a warm bath an hour before turning in can lead to an extra 15 minutes of deep slumber. And be sure your environment is utterly restful. Here’s what to check.
MATTRESS Whether it’s too firm, too soft, sagging from age, or lumpy as a sack of potatoes, the wrong mattress can make your nights miserable. When shopping for a new one, wear comfy clothes, and spend 15 minutes plopped on a prospective purchase. Most people are best served by a medium-firm mattress with a medium-soft top layer of padding; dig your knee into the covering to make sure it isn’t too taut. If you sleep beside someone who needs a different amount of support, get a custom made one where one side of the bed is tailored to suit to your body, the other to your mate’s.
PILLOWS There is no best pillow; the key is finding the size, shape, thickness, firmness, and material that suit you. Test contenders out on a bed in the store until you find one that feels perfect (pressing your head against a pillow while standing up doesn’t work).
SHEETS When your internal thermostat’s out of control, as it tends to be during menopause, you want your sheets to breathe. Look for 100 per cent cotton in a tight weave so the fabric feels good when you slide into bed. Beware of lacy borders; they can irritate skin.
CURTAINS The ideal curtains are heavy enough to screen out the first rays of dawn; less than ideal ones can be backed up with custom shades.
LIGHTING The best reading lamp are those that cast only a narrow beam and do not disturb your sleeping mate.
FRAGRANCE Researchers have found that the smell of lavendar can be as effective as a sleeping pill in helping insomniacs snooze through the night. NOISE BLOCKERS City dwellers in particular might benefitf rom asuperfancy white noise machine. Disposable foam or silicone earplugs are a low-tech alternative; they screen varying levels of sound and fit snugly without causing discomfort.
High-tech, skin-smoothing gadgets W may be the next best thing in cellulite treatment, but what if you can’t — or won’t — spend Rs.65,000 just to revise your thighs? Give one of the creams a try. They may not have FDA approval to say they can specifically treat the dastardly dimples, but they may help a little, and for some women, that’s always better than nothing.
Unlike the two new devices, which work on underlyitry tissue, cellulite lotions affect only the skin’s surface.
they moisturize and improve skin tone, which may help reduce the bumpy appearance. However no one really knows if they’re better than ordinary moisturizers because the two have never been scientifically compared. Among those available on order at certain stores in Metro Plaza and Crawford Market in Mumbal include;
> Lancome Reflexe Minceur Cellulite Refining Gel
> Christian Dior Svelte Perfect Advanced Cellulite Control Complex
> Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Firm Lift Body Lotion
Everyone experiences headaches at some time or other and all home medicine chests contain mild painkillers.
Simple factors such as excessive noise—in a discotheque for instance — or a chronic cough, lack of sleep or tension can cause a headache in an otherwise healthy person.
But a headache is also an extremely common symptom of more serious conditions such as nose, throat and ear infections, high blood pressure, and damaged blood vessels or brain tumour.
If you have a headache that persists, recurs or is particularly severe, or a headache accompanied by other symptoms you should go to your doctor as it may need treatment.
Diagnosis The exact site and nature of the pain helps to trace the cause and it is important to tell the doctor as much as possible about when and how the headache started. [click to continue…]
NEW TREATMENT FOR BRITTLE BONES
As if arthritis or asthma weren’t bad enough, women who take steroid medications to ease the pain and inflammation of those ailments must contend with a terrible side effect: severe bone loss. Now researchers think they’ve hit upon a combination of hormones that blunts the danger and might eventually prove beneficial for anyone with osteoporosis.
Scientists at the University of California studied 51 post menopausal women who had been taking estrogen pills and a corticosteroid such as prednisolne. For 28 of the women, the researchers added to the regimen daily doses of parathyroid hormone, which helps govern calcium absorption.
After one year those getting the parathyroid hormone had, on average, 11 per cent more bone in their spines than they had at the start. The gain in the second group was negligible.
Trials in which the hormone is used to treat the more common type of osteoporosis are also yielding promising results, though questions remain about the strength of the newly formed bone. Additional findings are expected later this year.
THE WEIGHT LOSS WORKOUT BEGINS AT HOME
If the idea of regular workouts brings to mind an exhausting cycle of scheduling, spandex, and sweat, think again. New research from Johns Hopkins University provides yet more evidence that exercise can be as short and sweet as walking the dog or roughhousing with the kids. Exercise physiologist Ross Andersen asked 40 sedentary overweight women between the ages of 21 and 60 to follow one or two fitness plans. Half attended 45-minute step aerobics classes three times a week. The others were asked to increase their moderate- intensity activity — walking, gardening, taking the stairs — by 30 minutes a day. All the women went on a low-fat diet of about 1,200 calories per day.
After four months members of both groups had lost 17 pounds on average and had lower cholesterol and blood pressure. A year later twice as many casual exercisers as class goers were still a tit, logging30to45 minutes of physical activity most days; they were also less likely to have regained weight. Andersen credits the hard-wiring of a lifestyle approach to fitness: Once it’s a habit, you don’t stop.
Why Men Are From Mars
THEY CAN’T SEE BEYOND THEIR NOSE
You expect the night to untold as easily as a sofa bed. Instead, you end up ducking cutlery. Why? Because men can’t read the angry faces of women. In one study, men and women were shown photos of faces. Both did well at reading men’s expressions, but men had trouble recognizing distress on women’s faces. This discord is the source of much tension between the sexes. The reason for this friction: Men’s assump non that it’s more important for women to know when they’re angry than the other way around. To predict your mate’s mood, researchers suggest not assuming that because she smiles, ‘that’s all there is to ii.” The easiest way to tell: Make a joke. If the smile doesn’t rum into a laugh, then that smile wasn’t really a smile at all. Get better material.