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Health Tips #72 ~ [Issue 0705-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Jul 20, 2005 10:38 PDT 

* Do Not Hold Your Breath

Give your body a break when you're doing your weight-lifting routine:
remember to breathe. Resistance exercises naturally cause a small
increase in arterial blood pressure. And holding your breath when you
weight train puts an even greater strain on your arteries. Instead of
holding your breath, exhale slowly as your muscles contract.

* Compound In Fruits, Veggies May Cut Stroke Risk

Heart specialists say compounds found in fruits and vegetables may
cut the risk of the most common type of stroke. The study, published
in the journal "Stroke," notes adequate amounts of carotenoids, a
group of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, can help protect
against ischemic stroke, a type of stroke caused by a blood clot. The
study of 22,071 male doctors found those with the lowest levels of
antioxidants, including vitamin A, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene,
lycopene, and vitamin E, had the highest risk of ischemic stroke.
Those with higher amounts were 40 percent less likely to develop the
stroke during the 13 years of the study than those with lower
amounts, although the benefit did not appear to increase beyond a
certain level. The carotenoid levels in the blood could have come
from either eating fruits and vegetables or taking antioxidant
supplements, said study author Dr. Jing Ma, assistant professor of
medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

* Tongue Stud Can Cause Fatal Infection

A tongue stud can increase the risk for chipped teeth, recessed gums,
nerve damage and even the fatal infection Ludwig's angina. Ludwig's
angina is a bacterial infection of the floor of the mouth that can
occur after oral piercings because the open wound can allow bacteria
to travel through the bloodstream, says a study published in a past
issue of "General Dentistry." Bacteria then causes the floor of the
mouth to rapidly swell, which can block the airway. It can be treated
with an incision and drainage. "Most body piercers are unlicensed and
are not members of the medical profession," says study author William
J. Dunn. "Because of this, health histories are not recorded or
reviewed, emergency medical kits are not available, antibiotics are
not prescribed and postoperative care is not available."

* Asthma in Children Under 5

About 7 to 10% of children in the United States have asthma, and the
rate of diagnosis of asthma has increased dramatically over the last
10 or 15 years. Research shows if a person is to develop asthma, he
or she is likely to develop it quite early. If you look at studies,
it can show us that up to 80% of asthma does present itself before
the child goes to school; in that sense, before five years of age. So
physicians and parents have a very unique opportunity to recognize it
early, and hopefully treat it earlier.

Babies cannot tell you that they are having difficulty breathing, so
you often have to wait for symptoms to develop, and wheezing is not
so obvious, sometimes, in young infants compared to older children.
Parents may be quicker to recognize asthma symptoms if they
understand that asthma runs in families. It is quite clear that
people who have asthma have one or more genes for asthma. That means
they have inherited this tendency to have asthma from their parents.

Very young children tend to have symptoms of asthma, particularly
with infections. They get recurrent, frequent viruses as part of
being a very young child. And that can often cause the symptoms of
wheezing, coughing, difficulty breathing. All children get colds.
They will all have coughs with their colds or bronchitis. But if
those symptoms last longer than a few days, are associated with
coughing or tightness in the middle of the night, wheezing, tugging
for breath, those may all be indicative of asthma rather than just a
routine bronchitis, and should be evaluated by a doctor.
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