Students! This Will Help Your Studies & Your Well-Being

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STUDENT!   HERE'S HELP

This will help with Your Studies & Your Well-Being for the rest of the Academic Year and beyond.

 

 

 

 

MIND YOURSELF

 

COLDS and infections are inevitable ~ you shall be picking up all the new common cold viruses, all year, as brought to school, college or university, by other students and staff.    Make sure you eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, drink lots of water, including especially foods that boost your immune system (see Section below).  

 

 

DEHYDRATION can slow mucus production, which makes it harder to clear viruses.  This happens more in summer or in hot, airless, classrooms.  Sip plenty of water throughout the day.

 

 

WASH your HANDS regularly and properly.  Most colds are passed on when you touch the hand of an infected person, or a surface contaminated with the cold virus, and then touch your eyes or nose, transmitting the infection to yourself.  Therefore, if you wash your hands regularly and thoroughly through the day, you cut your risk of infecting yourself.

 

 

SLEEP ~ Getting nine to ten hours sustained sleep a night helps maintain your immune system and prevents you catching a cold.   But it’s not just going to bed on time that counts; you need good quality, sustained, sleep.  See below for further information.

 

 

Please see my recently updated  Articles, BEWARE THE LIGHT!! PARENTS NEED TO ..., plus the new one, SMARTPHONES & PGCs and the details on the deleterious effects of late night and / or long-term use of electronic devices emitting the blue-violet light spectrum ~ televisions, laptops, iPads, Kindles, Tablets, mobile phones, no matter how small the screen.  

 

 

The evidence is mounting on the lack of attainment and failure to achieve expected results for students, and everyone in the workplace, due to over-use of blue light emitting devices.

 

 


 

 

  

SLEEP HYGIENE

 

Sleep hygiene is about promoting behaviour and following steps to increase the likelihood of achieving regular, restful and healthy sleep.

 

Your inner body clock, the circadian rhythm, works on a 24 hour day / night cycle.  Keeping this rhythm regular requires the following.

 

 

How do I know if I’m getting enough sleep?

Experts say that most people need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours sleep every night, but this varies for everyone.  Depending on your age, lifestyle, diet, and other personal things, you might need more or less sleep.  Some people can’t function without at least 10 hours, whereas some people will be ready to go at 6 hours.  Only you can really decide if you’re getting enough sleep or not.

 

There are a couple of things you can use to measure if you’re getting enough sleep:

 

  • Do I struggle to get up when my first alarm goes off?
  • Do I need to lie in on the weekend to catch up on sleep?
  • Do I feel moody and sleepy in the mornings?
  • Is it hard to concentrate and focus during the day?
  • Is it hard to remember things?

 

If the answer to any of these is yes, you may not be getting enough sleep.

 

1.  Try getting up and going to bed at the same time daily, including weekends and holidays.

 

2.  Sleep long enough to feel well-rested most nights and try to establish regular times for meals, exercise, housework, and study.

 

3.  Avoid daytime naps.  Naps can be a great energy booster during the day but try to have them earlier in the afternoon and limit them to around 20 minutes. If you have a consistent problem getting to sleep at night, cut out all naps ~ 2.00pm at the latest.  

  

4.  Your bed is ONLY for sleeping.  Avoid using it for watching television, eating, working, and reading.  You begin to associate your bed with these activities rather that its proper purpose ~ sleep, and sex.

 

5.  Try to develop a bedtime routine to help turn off the stressors and distractions of the day.  You need to find a  way of 'parking' the worries of the day before trying to sleep.  You need to unwind ~ ten minutes of relaxation techniques, meditation or mindfulness would all help.

 

6.  A technique to pack away worries is to write worries down in a notebook kept beside your bed.  This can be used as a reminder of what you mean to do, and you no longer have to remember or even think about it.  Of course, these thoughts could be inputted into your mobile phone.  However, old-fashioned pen and paper might be best as turning on a device introduces the light you need to avoid just before getting to sleep.

 

7.  Try to avoid conversations about distressing, stressful, or emotional issues.  It's perfectly reasonable to ask if the conversation can be had at another time.

 

8.  If you just can't sleep, get up.  Try sipping hot milk, maybe with with cinnamon, or a cup of camomile tea.  Read a magazine or something light while sitting in a chair, keeping the light levels low.  The aim is to help you associate bed with sleep, and to stop associations of lying awake in bed, frustrated or anxious.

 

9.  Caffeine (coffee, tea, cola, energy and sports drinks, chocolate, hot chocolate, and some over the counter medications) should be avoided within 4-6 hours of going to bed.  Caffeine can stay in the system for up to 14 hours, therefore having a seriously negative impact on quantity and quality of sleep.

 

If you decide to reduce your caffeine intake generally, reduce the intake slowly to avoid withdrawal symptoms such as headaches.

 

10.  Alcohol can definitely make you sleepy, but it can also interfere with sleep, so that you never get proper deep sleep. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol for a few hours before bed. 

 

11.  Nicotine is a stimulant and will affect negatively your quality and quantity of sleep. Nicotine increases your heart rate and alertness, so you feel more awake when you’re trying to fall asleep. If you are addicted to nicotine, as most smokers are, you’re likely to experience withdrawal symptoms as you sleep – to the extent that your brain will wake you up to get more nicotine, and thus interrupt your slumber.

 

Does vaping affect sleep?  Yes.  While you avoid some of the health risks of smoking by switching to e-cigarettes, vaping still delivers nicotine to your body and interferes with sleep.

 

12. Avoid vigorous exercise within 4-6 hours before going to bed.  Your adrenaline levels may still be high, impeding sleep.   If you've never exercised before and aren't sure where to get started, check out these 10 ways to get fit without the gym.

 

13. Don't go to bed hungry, perhaps have a light snack of carbohydrates and milk, no protein.  Also avoid a large meal which can really interfere with your sleep and can lead to gastrointestinal problems if done regularly.

 

14. Try to have your bedroom quiet, dark (maybe with blackout curtains), at a comfortable temperature but not too hot. In the evening time, try to keep the lights low and avoid exposing yourself to harsh light. Avoid looking at your phone or computer for at least an hour before bed and keep your actual bedroom as dark as possible. That means unplugging any bright alarm clocks.  A bed with good support for your back aids sleep.

 

15. Year round, exposure to natural sunlight has a positive impact on your body clock and mood.  A daily walk would be a positive part of your sleep hygiene regime ~ Vitamin D plus exercise.

 

 

Still having sleep problems?

If your sleep problems persist, you should go to your doctor to discuss it. Sleep problems are very common and normal, and your doctor will be able to advise you on what you should do. If you’re not sure what you should say to your doctor.

 

  

 

Ten Benefits of Regular Sleep

 

1. Sleep helps reduce stress

If your body doesn’t get enough sleep, it can react by producing an elevated level of stress hormones, which are a natural result of today’s faster paced lifestyles. Deep and regular sleep can help prevent this.

 

2. Sleep can improve your memory

Have you ever noticed that when you’re really tired it’s harder to remember things? Basically, this is your brain telling you that it’s not getting enough sleep. When you sleep well, your body may be resting but your brain is busy organising and storing memories. So, getting more quality sleep will help you remember and process things better.

 

3. Sleep can lower your blood pressure

Higher blood pressure increases your chances of heart attacks and strokes but getting plenty of restful sleep encourages a constant state of relaxation that can help reduce blood pressure and generally keep it under control.

 

4. Sleep helps your body to fight back

While you’re sleeping your body is producing extra protein molecules that can strengthen your ability to fight infection. So if you’re feeling a bit run down and you don’t want it to turn into a full-blown cold, go to bed early and get lots of rest.

 

5. Sleep can help you maintain your weight

Unfortunately, sleep won’t directly make you lose weight but it can help you keep it under control by regulating the hormones that affect your appetite and reducing your cravings for high calorie foods.

 

6. Sleep puts you in a better mood

Lack of sleep can make us more agitated, so we’re more likely to snap at the boss or be grumpy with a loved one, neither of which is a good thing.

 

The better you sleep the better your ability to stay, calm, controlled and reasonable.

 

7. Sleep could reduce your chances of diabetes

Some research studies have shown that not getting enough sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by affecting how your body processes glucose. It’s not conclusive by any means but it’s yet another indication of how important the benefits of sleep can be.

 

8. Sleep helps keep your heart healthy

A regular sleep pattern can help to lower the levels of stress and inflammation to your cardiovascular system, which in turn can reduce your chances of a stroke or heart condition.

 

9. Sleep can be a painkiller

If you’re suffering pain from a recent injury like a sprained ankle, getting plenty of sleep can actually make you hurt less. Many studies have shown a link between sleep loss and a lower pain threshold. Basically, the more sleep you get the less pain you might be in.

 

10. Sleep can make you smarter!

Along with a great night’s sleep, grabbing a quick nap in the daytime can contribute towards making your brain more effective and productive. You won’t necessarily be answering all the questions on University Challenge but you may well feel sharper, more attentive and focused throughout the day.

 

 

All notes on the Sleep Hygiene Section are based partly on a booklet of that name produced by St Patrick's Mental Health Services, James's Street, Dublin 8, Ireland. Email info@stpatsmail.comwww.stpatricks.ie, and details gathered from other sites including HealthUnlocked Quit Support forum and Stop Smoking Center, plus links from  https://www.dreams.co.uk/sleepmatters.

 

See  https://www.sleepcycle.com/sleep-science/ for further, general, interesting facts and notes.

 

 


 

  

It is understood that 90 per cent of bone growth takes place at night.  Nine to ten hours of good quality, sustained, sleep are required by all teenagers and young people for adequate rest.  The human growth hormone is released during this time, resulting in growth spurts.

 

Sleep is essential for the body to rest, and adequate rest means better physical growth.  Sufficient Magnesium in the diet is an outstanding contribution to maintaining a balanced sleep regime.  (See below.)

 

 

SLEEP is also essential for physical recuperation, the development of the immune system, brain development, learning, memory, and information processing, as well as many other systems of the brain and the body. 

 

 

Studying into the late hours with a screen can be counterproductive because the material read is less likely to be remembered.

 

 

SUFFICIENT MAGNESIUM in the diet is essential to help gain and maintain good quality sleep.  If you have difficulties getting to sleep and staying asleep, you may wish to consider taking  a Magnesium supplement.  Please discuss this with your GP.  

 

 

There are high potency, much improved uptake Magnesium supplements which are of great benefit to those of us who have difficulty absorbing Magnesium from our normal diet.

 

Spray-on Magnesium oil or lotion is a very beneficial and speedy way to prepare for or recuperate from strenuous activity, as well as for normal absorption of Magnesium.  Some contain lavender and are lovely to use before bed.  

Epsom salts baths may be necessary for some.

 

  

STAYING ACTIVE  can help protect you from cold bugs.  Aim for 30 minutes daily of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, to keep your immune system ticking over.  There is new evidence that 30 minutes brisk walking daily have excellent general health benefits.  Such daily walking regularly from today, and into older years, is one of the best shields against dementia!   

(www.getirelandactive.ie  /  www.irishtrails.ie)

 

 

As the academic year progresses, self-care becomes even more important, because the examination and / or assessment requirements are building.  TRY NOT TO SLIP  from your daily habits of good food, lots of water, plenty of sleep, and a reasonable exercise regime ~ you're not necessarily trying out for the Olympics!

 

 

CONSIDER having the annual Influenza Vaccination.  I know some people disapprove of this.  However, you are not just considering your own health, you have to consider your wider family, including older people, pregnant women, and members who may be frail, fellow students and staff, and those who would find fighting influenza problematical. 

 

 

*******

 

 

Please see the additional information at the end of this Section in a quote from Dr Muiris Houston's article on ‘Truth Decay’ – it is up to us to challenge fake health news which gives information on fakes news stories circulated in relation to vaccinations which have led to children, young people in general, and young women, not being given or not taking up vaccinations which are necessary for their health.  

 

 

Some of the anti-vaccination scare-mongering is coming from Russia, as part of its attempt to undermine social cohesion and confidence in our medical professionals in the EU and the USA.

 

 

Antibiotics are useless  against influenza or any viral infection.  Visit hse.ie/antibiotics for further information on when antibiotics may be required, and when they have no benefit.  There appear to be three or four types influenza doing the rounds currently.  Viruses are so sneaky - they can change a little and make the innoculation considerably less potent.  The advice above regarding self-care during a cold also applies to influenza.  It will last around seven to ten days, depending on the strength of the virus.  Rest, sleep, keep warm in bed, and also leave a window open to air your bedroom.   Drink lots of liquids, especially water, and eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables.  See the Section below, EAT YOURSELF STRONG.

 

 

The GERMAN MEASLES (Rubella) virus is making an alarming come-back in Western Europe, and is endemic in parts of Eastern Europe.

 

 

According to a special report, "Should we be worried about measles?", dated Thursday 16 November 2017, on 'Prime Time' the flagship current affairs programme of RTE, Ireland's national broadcaster, "the World Health Organisation warned cases in Europe have jumped by up to 50% in the first five months of the year due to low uptake of the vaccination".

 

 There is a requirement of 95% vaccination cover to give a 'herd immunity' which is required to stop the disease from spreading.

 

 

The Health Service Executive (HSE), which is the National body in Ireland governing the Country's healthcare, has an Integrated Care Group for Children, and Dr Kevin Kelleher is on its  Steering Group, and is also Assistant National Director for Public and Child Health.  Dr Kelleher was interviewed on the subject of outbreaks in parts of North Dublin and an adjacent County.  He reported the outbreaks are because around 8% of babies nationally do not get the vaccination, and 13-15% of babies are not vaccinated in North Dublin.

 

 

There is no reason to think this profile is not replicated all over the 'Developed World'. 

 

 

Measles had previously been almost completely eradicated in the 'Developed World' according to the programme.

 

 

Dr Kelleher was asked why there was not full uptake of the vaccination (it is free in Ireland), he said that there is "a very stubborn group of people who are very anti-vaccination" and "who put out stories" via the internet, media, social media, which put people off having their children vaccinated.

 

 

People who do NOT have their babies vaccinated at 12 months as part of the MMR, and the booster vaccination when they start school, are not just risking the health and possibly the life of their babies, but they risk the health and welfare of all who come in contact with their babies and children.

 

 

Dr Kelleher told of of his experience of treating babies with measles when he was a young doctor, and ended by stating the following vehemently.

"Let nobody ever think measles is a mild disease.  IT IS NOT."

 

 

He mentioned the group of people in the population who have not been vaccccinated, especially in the "nadir" years 2001 / 2002.

 

 

Do you know for certain if you were vaccinated as a child?   Many young people have not been vaccinated due to an unsubstantiated scare over the three-in-one vaccination causing autism.  The MMR vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella), can be TAKEN AT ANY AGE if a GP immunity test shows you have no immunity.

(Visit www.immunisation.ie  / www.hspc.ie). 

 

 

 

For your female friends who are pregnant or have had a baby, the 6-in-1 vaccine protects a baby against six diseases:  diphtheria; hepatitis B; haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib); polio; tetanus and whooping cough. 

 

 

Visit the above mentioned links for further general information. 

 

 


 

 

 

‘Truth Decay’ – it is up to us to Challenge Fake Health News

 

We must future-proof the next generation by upping their education in risk and critical thinking.

 

The Irish Times, Monday 19 Feb 2018.

Health & Family Section

 

 

"The granddaddy of fake vaccine news was the 1998 research alleging a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.   Disgraced gastroenterologist Andrew Wakefield was guilty of research fraud and struck off the medical register. But the false news about MMR safety caused immunisation rates to plummet; its effects are still felt today, with current measles outbreaks in Limerick and Dublin linked to lower than optimal levels of vaccination.

 

 

"More recently, the HPV vaccine to prevent cancer of the cervix in women has been a target.  It started with false news linking vaccination with promiscuity by the religious far right in the US.  But what really caused uptake rates to drop in Japan, Denmark and Ireland was the conflation of minor side-effects into complex syndromes that remain scientifically unproven.  While the National Immunisation Office here was able to report a recent uptick (sic) in HPV immunisation rates, emotive false stories continue to cause unwarranted parental anxiety.

 

 

"The flu vaccine hasn’t escaped fake news either.  In 2014, a health advisory from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) outlining reduced effectiveness in the H3N2 component of the influenza vaccine was quickly turned into a CDC apology about the vaccine.  Other false news stories have linked the flu vaccine with a risk of miscarriage and alleged it made recipients vulnerable to a host of other respiratory viruses.

 

 

"Anti-vaxxers have been especially influential because of their use of visual memes*. Subversive and designed to provoke a reaction, these memes press all the right media buttons to ensure disproportionate impact.

 

 

"Ultimately, it’s up to us, the readers, to challenge fake health news.  Guides to navigating the misrepresentation of science and health evidence online by organisations such as Sense About Science can help.

 

"And we must future proof the next generation by upping their education in risk assessment and critical thinking skills."

 

 

* A meme (/miːm/ MEEM) is an idea, behaviour, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture — often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme.

 

 

[All coloured highlighting in text and headings in the above quotes was inserted by me.  I also inserted the explanation of a 'meme'.  ICOB.]

 

 

*******

 

 

Sharing information is the best way for you and your friends to keep well, caring for each other.

 

 


 

 

A digest of the Study

"Common Arguments Against Vaccination, And The Answers to Them"

by Dr Ramesh Manocha, can be found in the

last Section of this Article.

 

 


 

 

Of course, your health is very important, but so is that of your fellow students, teachers, family, older or frail people in your life, most especially pregnant women, and any women you know who may be planning a pregnancy, and their partners or husbands.  Catching RUBELLA in early pregnancy carries a risk of miscarriage.  Nine out of ten babies WILL HAVE major birth defects such as deafness, blindness, brain damage, or heart disease.

 

The first signs of German Measles are a high temperature and a sniffy nose ~ just like the common cold.  In fact, some have no symptoms at all.  By the time the telltale red splodges appear, two to three days in, you have already infected others.  Proximity is enough to infect another, so being in the same room is sufficient to pick up or spread the infection.   If you feel you have the sniffles, do not go out.

 

 

Both Rubella and Shingles have made a resurgence.

 

 

Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. Although shingles can occur anywhere on your body, it most often appears as a single stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or the right side of your torso and on the neck and face.

A friend of mine had shingles in the valves of her heart which she said was excruciating.  If she hadn't been a fit marathon runner, she might not have had such a good outcome.

  

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chickenpox.  After you've had chickenpox, the virus lies inactive in nerve tissue near your spinal cord and brain.   Years later, the virus may reactivate as shingles.

 

While it isn't a life-threatening condition, shingles can be very painful. Vaccines can help reduce the risk of shingles, while early treatment can help shorten a shingles infection and lessen the chance of complications.

 

 

SYMPTOMS

The signs and symptoms of shingles usually affect only a small section of one side of your body. These signs and symptoms may include:

* Pain, burning, numbness or tingling;

* Sensitivity to touch;

* A red rash that begins a few days after the pain;

* Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over;

* Itching.

   

Some people also experience ~

Fever,

Headache,

Sensitivity to light, and

Fatigue.

 

Pain is usually the first symptom of shingles.  For some, it can be intense.  Depending on the location of the pain, it can sometimes be mistaken for a symptom of problems affecting the heart, lungs or kidneys. Some people experience shingles pain without ever developing the rash.

 

Most commonly, the shingles rash develops as a stripe of blisters that wraps around either the left or right side of your torso.   Sometimes the shingles rash occurs around one eye or on one side of the neck or face.

 

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR

Contact your doctor promptly if you suspect shingles, but especially in the following situations.

 

1. The pain and rash occur near an eye. If left untreated, this infection can lead to permanent eye damage.

 

2. You're 60 or older, because age significantly increases your risk of complications.

 

3. You or someone in your family has a weakened immune system (due to cancer, medications or chronic illness).

 

4. The rash is widespread and painful.

 

 PLEASE visit your GP as soon as you can to discuss any of the subjects that arise in this Post and affect you.  This is an important HEALTH ISSUE for you, and all others around you.  

Please take time to visit www.immunisation.ie for further very important information on immunisation in general.

 

 

Pregnant women may need to learn about getting the WHOOPING COUGH (pertussis) vaccination while pregnant to protect the foetus in the womb and during the first few months of life.  PERTUSSIS is a highly contagious disease that can be life threatening and is most serious in children less than six months of age ~ possibly resulting in hospitalisation for pneumonia and brain damage.  

 

 

PLEASE see your GP if you are pregnant, hoping to be pregnant, or studying and possibly working also in an environment with women of child bearing years, for their sake and for your own.

 

 

PLEASE MEET YOUR GP FOR ADVICE ON DECISIONS REGARDING VACCINATIONS, IMMUNISATIONS, AND ANY POSSIBLY REQUIRED SUPPLEMENTS TO YOUR DIET.

 

 


 

EAT YOURSELF STRONG

A regular. very varied. mix of fresh vegetables and fruit is essential for your physical well-being and fighting off infection.

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EAT YOURSELF STRONG

 

Taking care of yourself should optimally include the following

 

 

Some people require the addition of vitamins and other substances in food supplements.  These can be fairly inexpensive to very expensive and could make a difference, even starting today, to how you manage your resistance to infection, supporting energy and sleep levels, during the pre-exam and exam seasons, any time of stress, or just as part of your regular regime.

 

If you are buying folic acid tablets, for example, buy Folic Acid BP ~ much cheaper than branded versions.   Always ask for generic brand of any supplement or vitamin you choose to buy. 

 

As with every product, check the contents to see what percentage of what you want is included, and what percentage is filler.   See below for folic acid rich foods.

 

 

 

BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM & CARE FOR YOUR MIND & BODY

 

 

GARLIC ~ Research has found that people who eat fresh garlic are two-thirds less likely to catch a cold.  This is because it contains allicin, which fights infection.  Odour-free garlic products are available; but I do not know if they are equally beneficial.  The potent sulphur compound in garlic, allicin, is responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of this plant.  You can increase the activity of allicin by letting garlic sit for about 20 minutes after crushing or chopping it before adding to ingredients or heating it.  Add the garlic about ten minutes towards the end of cooking to retain its nutrients.

 

  

MUSHROOMS ~ Many modern medicines come from fungal extracts.  Mushrooms contain Vitamin D, and are great at combating viruses.  They are also a handy source of Vitamin B12, an essential Vitamin which helps with mending cells and with eye care, especially in relation to the maintenance of the essential eye mucous.  Vitamin B12, other than in mushrooms, is difficult to source in ordinary food.

 

Ordinary white button mushrooms, brown caps, large flats, or breakfast mushrooms, are all good sources of Vitamin B12.  Don't imagine you need to spend a lot on special, expensive, mushrooms for your Vitamin B12 requirements.

 

 

Without sufficient Vitamin D, your body’s T-cells lie dormant, and these are what help fight infections.   

 

 

Mushrooms also have powerful bioactive components that reduce inflammation.  Try a stir-fry dish, including a choice of mushroom varieties plus, maybe, a few maitake, enoki, or oyster mushrooms. 

 

 

Recent research has shown the many health benefits of Maitake mushrooms, including their ability to boost the immune system.  This is due to maitake’s beta glucan content.  Beta glucane is a complex sugar that activates and increases the activity of the immune system to help the body fight illness more quickly and efficiently.  Studies show that beta glucan may also trigger cancer fighting cells,  possibly making chemotherapy more effective.

 

 

In addition, maitake mushrooms have been SHOWN to decrease the negative side effects of anti-cancer drugs, including nausea, vomiting, and hair loss, when consumed during treatment.

 

 

Enoki mushrooms have a somewhat sweet flavour, and are frequently used in soups and dishes like nabe and sukiyaki.  Similar to the shiitake mushroom, enoki mushrooms are low in calories and in fat, and sugar free.  In addition, like other mushrooms, enoki is high in B Vitamins; it’s particularly rich in niacin, which helps support adrenal functions and is necessary for metabolism.  In a single cup serving, enoki mushrooms offer 23 percent of the daily recommended value of niacin.  This can help reduce the potential for heart disease and may be useful in preventing second heart attacks in those who are at risk.

 

 

The Eryngii (King Oyster) mushroom is the largest species of the oyster mushrooms.  It has a thick white stem and a meaty texture and can be thickly sliced and grilled like steak.  Eryngii has naturally occurring antioxidants, including the amino acid ergothioneine, which protects the body’s cells against free radicals (harmful damaged cells), thus reducing the risk of chronic disease.  Ergothioneine, an antioxidant found in eryngii mushrooms, is not reduced by cooking.  Eryngii also contain a disease fighting compound called Lovastatin, which helps clear cholesterol from the body’s circulatory system, improving blood flow.  They also contain significant amounts of zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and folic acid.  They're an excellent source of the essential mineral selenium, and easier to absorb than the inorganic selenium typically found in dietary supplements.

 

 

GRAPES ~ Grapes have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all fruit.  These antioxidants are largely concentrated in the skin.  Anti-inflammatory properties of grape skin have been demonstrated.  Grapes have also shown to have anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and anti-allergic activity.  Freeze them and use them in place of ice cubes.  Add them to all your salads.  Add them in the last few minutes of cooking to any sauce, stir-fry, casserole or stew for sweet bursts of flavour.

 

 

 

DILLISK ~ is a seaweed found spread widely in the oceans of the world.  The Dillisk I get comes from the West Coast of Ireland, and is about as pure as one could get.  Dillisk contains astonishingly high levels of Vitamin B12, plus calcium, and other vital trace elements. 

  

It is very beneficial in reducing inflammation.  I go to Wild Atlantic Seagarden <info@wildatlanticseagarden.com> for my information on the many benefits of the numerous, various, seaweeds.  Don't overdo the quantity used, as Dillisk is so rich in B12 it remains, for a week and more, in the system after the last dish containing it has been eaten.  It could appear as a spike in any blood test results soon after taking it.

 

 

CARE FOR YOUR EYES ~ for further information on eye care please see my updated Aricles, BEWARE THE LIGHT!! and PARENTS NEED TO ...

 

 

 

CINNAMON ~ A generous sprinkle of cinnamon will help expel toxins from the body.  It is antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal: A TRIPLE SHIELD against illness.  Some people cannot bear the taste of cinnamon, so try adding a couple of spoonfuls regularly to curries or to robust, well-flavoured casseroles full of herbs and vegetables, or other strong tasting dishes.  An inhalation of cinnamon aroma is said to raise one's mood!

 

 

FOLIC ACID ~ Spinach is rich in folic acid, a key ingredient for repairing cells, this super-food is also a great source of Potassium and Vitamin C, which help keep you healthy.  Young spinach leaves are very good in a salad, and you are retaining all the vitamins. 

 

 

KALE, and other cruciferous vegetables should be consumed at least five times a week because they are rich in sulphoraphane, which helps eliminate harmful toxic compounds in the body that might otherwise promote inflammation.  Kale stands out among this stellar group, because it is one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet.  Try kale in salads, smoothies, soups, casseroles, and stews.  Mix it into pasta dishes near the end of cooking, well chopped and well mixed in.  Bake them in the oven to make kale crisps.  Please see below for further information.

 

 

Also, incorporate other cruciferous (brassica oleracea) vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts into your diet.  These vegetables are related to each other and are all rich in folic acid.   

 

 

Broccoli and cauliflower are great in stir-frys and curries. 

Curried potato and cauliflower with yoghurt is one of my top comfort foods.   

 

 

The shorthand version is green leaf vegetables all contain folic acid, these include rocket and other salad leaves.

 

 

There is an increased risk of the foetus developing a serious birth defect, known as a neural tube defect, if the mother has a poor folic acid intake before and during pregnancy. The neural tube is a narrow channel that eventually forms the brain and spinal cord. 

 

 

Examples of neural tube defects include:

Spina Bifida – where the baby's spine does not develop properly; 

Anencephaly – where a baby is born without parts of the brain and skull; 

Encephalocele – where a membrane or skin-covered sac containing part of the brain pushes out of a hole in the skull.

 

Please go to the following site, from which I quoted above on neural tube defects, for further information on infertility due to a lack of folic acid in the diet and other matters.

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Anaemia-vitamin-B12-and-folate-deficiency/Pages/Complications.aspx.

 

  

VITAMIN C ~ Taking a high dose of Vitamin C could help shorten a cold if you take it at the first sign of symptoms.  It is not just found in citrus fruit, but in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.  Potatoes are high in Vitamin C which lies just under the skin ~ scrub your potatoes well however you plan to cook them, and don't peel them.

 

It could also cut your risk of the common cold in the first place.  However, a good diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables, or those speedily frozen from picking, is an excellent source of all the vitamins and trace elements we require.  

 

 

Most vitamin supplements would not give us the essential trace elements found in fresh fruit and vegetables or quickly frozen vegetables and fruit.

 

  

MAGNESIUM ~ Taking Magnesium daily helps to regulate your sleep patterns and is helpful in keeping mental well-being in balance.  Any time of stress can cause some people to lose control of their sleep regime, starting to worry, and thus beginning a cycle of poor sleep. Start a Magnesium supplement now and and it will help in the coming weeks and, indeed, years.  Some of us cannot uptake Magnesium from our food and need extra support. Magnesium oil or lotion spray for applying to the body helps those who cannot uptake via diet, and these sprays reduces cramps greatly, which is a constant curse for those with Magnesium deficiency.  

 

See notes above under the Section, MIND YOURSELF.

 

 

 

Prepared products containing mixes of various vitamins and supplements are usually expensive and often do not contain sufficient of any of the ingredients listed to have a specific effective impact.  A judicious selection of the basics would be much less expensive and have more impact.

 

 

 

BANANAS ~ Using bananas as your snack of choice while having a break during study, research, tutoring other students, gives you a supply of trace elements not found in any other fruit or vegetable. They are very easy on the digestive tract, and if you add a dribble of honey now and then, between them they will keep your gut active and calm, and help reduce gastric upsets which are common at times of stress. Unripe bananas have a higher starch content.  As they ripen, the starch is converted to sugar (and the fruit becomes sweeter).  

 

Green bananas are also a good source of pectin, which is a type of dietary fibre found in fruits and helps them keep their structural form.  Pectin breaks down when a banana becomes overripe, which causes the fruit to become softer.  

 

Bananas are loaded with valuable micro-nutrients, especially potassium.  Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the body, helping to regulate heart function as well as fluid balance – a key factor in regulating blood pressure.  The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods such as bananas, in lowering blood pressure and protecting against heart disease and strokes is well accepted and bolstered by considerable scientific evidence.  

 

 

Bananas are soothing to the gastrointestinal tract due to their high content of pectin – a soluble fibre that not only lowers cholesterol but normalises bowel function.  The high fibre content of bananas promote satiety (feeling of fullness).   However, as a tropical fruit, bananas are higher in sugar and aren’t a great choice for diabetics.  The resistant starch in bananas also has a prebiotic effect, helping to keep gut bacteria happy by increasing the production of short chain fatty acids for digestive health.

 

 

 

HERBS & OILS ~ Echinacea, Pelargonium herbs and Ahiflower oil are all immunity super-boostersand can help reduce the number of colds you get if you take them throughout the cold season. These are available in various sources from capsules to powders.  Echinacea and Ahiflower oil are a vital source of Omega 3, 6, and 9, especially for vegetarians and vegans, as it is plant derived, rather than the usual fish oil sources, and so there is no after-taste of fish.

 

 

However, halibut and cod liver oil capsules are good value, and easily available sources of Omegas.  A regular fish element in your diet, two or three times a week, would give you all the Omega you require, and it is low in cholesterol.

 

 

Less expensive fish rather than the usual salmon, sea trout, cod, and tuna, are equally beneficial nutritionally.  Some may be lacking the flavour of the above mentioned species, but that can be helped by using a strongly flavoured marinade of  dried chilli, garlic, mustard seeds or powder, or whatever you like, plus a tablespoon of rape seed oil, either all mixed in a blender or in a pestle and mortar.  Add more oil if required to coat the fish well. 

 

 

See below for more information on good value fish varieties.

 

Go to a real fishmonger and ask for advice on what types of fish stay together if sealed on the pan and added to a casserole; which ones fall apart easily if fried; which can be added straight to a sauce or casserole without requiring sealing first. 

 

 

Adding your fried-off and sealed fish chunks to a gently simmering casserole near the end of the cooking process gives it a great lift and helps the fish keep moist.  Please don't use olive oil for frying fish, it burns at too low a temperature; stick with corn oil or, preferably, organic rapeseed oil. 

 

  

FISH STOCK

Also, ask your fishmonger for fish carcasses, which you need to use immediately you get it home.  When you break open the carcass on the cutting board, use a teaspoon to scoop out any bloody matter and remains of organs.  Then rinse the fish clean under gently running cold water.  Keep all the skin and heads on your carcass to add to the pot.  

 

Let your ingredients simmer very gently in a pot of water from cold, along with a couple of yellow or brown skinned onions cut in quarters, with the skin left on (the skins give a rich colour to your fish stock / liquor), a bay leaf or two. Depending on your plans for the stock, you may wish to add some rosemary, parsley, and a little sage.

 

When your onions have come apart and the flesh comes away from the fish bones in the water, your liquor is cooked.   

 

As soon as you have strained your fish carcass, wrap all the leftovers, including onion pieces and any herbs, in newspaper and add to your composting bin or waste bin, according to your local rules and regulations.  

 

 

You really want to get the fish detritus out of the kitchen promptly, at any time of year.  Your fish liquor can be reduced to the quantity you require for the liquid in your soup, chowder, sauce, or casserole.  It freezes very well in yoghurt cartons or in ice trays, and can be defrosted easily put sitting in a bowl in the 'fridge overnight. 

  

Homemade stocks always have a richer, deeper, flavour - we give it time to reduce and reduce, and develop this richness of aroma and flavour, with no added salt.

 

 

Tins of sardines in olive or sunflower oil can be kept in the larder for a good while, always available for breakfast on toast, lunch, or supper.  Rich in Omega 3, this is a very good value, very handy source, especially for those living alone, or snacking while studying. 

 

 

PLEASE consider where your fish is SOURCED.  I would never buy fish taken from the Irish Sea, for example, as it is described as a 'sewer' by marine biologists, given its contributions from the nuclear power plant, Sellafield, in Britain, and the untreated sewage pumped out of Irish towns and cities along the coast.

 

 

 

KEEP IT CHEAP

Even though they don’t make headlines, many of the foods that are actually super are very cheap. Sarah Keogh is a no-nonsense Dublin-based dietitian and nutritionist, and is dismissive of the whole notion of superfoods. “I don’t think there is anything that is really a superfood, although some foods do have more nutrition then others.”

 

 

She says foods such as goji berries sometimes make inroads into our consciousness because they are new and because journalists can’t be running the same story over and over again by continuously tell readers that a varied diet of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, dairy, and whole grains is a good idea.

 

 

“ ... kale is full of nutrition and probably deserves the title of a superfood.

" ... So do almonds.   

" ... Carrots are brilliant and very high in vitamin A.

"Tomatoes are excellent and very high in lycopene, which can help in reducing heart disease.   Even the poor banana is great and is a very good source of potassium.”

 

 

She also points to dairy products.  “Many people have turned away from dairy products such as milk and yogurt and most of the time people are avoiding them unnecessarily, and I fear that we will have serious problems with our bones in the next 20 years or so.

 

She says studies have repeatedly suggested that not only does dairy not cause cancer, but the people who consume it get less bowel cancer.

 

 

When it comes to POTATOES, they are also full of nutrition, especially Vitamin C, as long as the skin is eaten.

 

 

Keogh says that to get the best out of food, people need to eat fruit and vegetables, oily fish – particularly mackerel and salmon, with tinned varieties being almost as high in nutrition as fresh fish – nuts and seeds and wholegrains.

 

 

TOP AFFORDABLE ‘SUPERFOODS’

MACKERAL ~ An oily fish loaded with protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins, selenium and iron.  

 

SALMON ~ Another oily fish that even those who are not mad about fish can eat. It is high in protein and Omega-3 fatty acids and loads of B vitamins and selenium and more besides.  It is good for the brain and the heart

Tinned salmon is almost as nutritiously rich as the fresh variety and costs much less.

 

 

ALMONDS ~ This nut is a real superfood and one that is high in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, copper, magnesium and protein. They also have high levels of bioactive molecules such as fibre, phytosterols, vitamins, other minerals and antioxidants.

 

 

KALE ~  This contains Vitamins A, K, C and a range of the Bs.  It also has manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, iron and phosphorus. It is high in beta carotene, antioxidants, great for all round organ health and particularly the heart.  It is good for the skin and mind and a kilogram of kale costs less than a fiver.

 

 

CARROTS ~ The humble carrot is loaded with vitamin A, antioxidants and other vitamins, minerals and fibre as well as beta carotene. They are one of the cheapest superfoods on the market.

 

**********

 

HUMIDITY ~ Normally, tiny hairs in your lungs waft germs and mucus into your throat, where you clear them by swallowing.  But very cold air slows this movement, giving viruses longer to take hold in your lungs and cause an infection.

 

 

FEW can invest in humidifiers.  I suggest keeping containers of water (changing the water daily) beside every heater, radiator, or heat source, in your home.  Keeping humidity levels between 40-60% using a humidifier reduces the period viruses survive in the air, and keeps your respiratory system warm and moist.  Now, the system I suggest is clearly not so scientifically accurate, but it will help.  If you added essential oils of lemon, sweet orange, bergamot or lime to the water, the atmosphere shall be more relaxing and uplifting.  

 

 

Be careful that the water containers are safe from being knocked over, and should never be put near electric heat sources. 

 

 

 

PORRIDGE ~ Trinity College Dublin has come out with even more good news on the benefits of porridge.  We already know a bowl of porridge for breakfast reduces random, unhealthy, snacking, it fills one until lunchtime; it is very good for the skin; and now we hear that the active parts of the oatmeal work to breakdown cholesterol build-up, and plague build-up in blood vessels.  

 

It assists in weight loss; and of course it is a very good value food ~ considerably better for us than the processed breakfast cereals claiming to contain seeds and fruit which are hugely more expensive, with their frequently added sugar / sugar-types and salt. Please don't soak your porridge oats overnight, to speed up cooking in the morning, as this reduces some of the benefits of the oats.  We can add our own, in season, fresh fruit, as we like!

 

 

For example, LINSEED (flaxseed) cannot be digested by the human system as the coating is too dense for our digestive juices.   Also, bought milled linseed is of little value, except maybe as a very expensive contribution to roughage consumption.  Linseed is very rich in Omega, and should be milled as one has one's breakfast or whenever one plans to use it, as it loses it nutritional value within twenty minutes after milling.

 

 

LENTILS, BEANS, PEAS, etc ~ Lentils, chickpeas, beans, and split peas of all sizes and colours are an excellent, very inexpensive source of protein and an excellent source of fibre, which comes without the bad cholesterol of meat. 

 

 

I have found the best way for me to have a good, readily available, mix of varied lentils, beans, pulses, and their friends, is to put the largest dried ones you have soaking overnight in cold water, this definitely includes chickpeas which, I think along with cockroaches, will be the only survivors of the nuclear holocaust!  

 

 

Packets of dried lentils, beans, etc, are much cheaper than the tinned varieties (and the tinned ones frequently get mushy very fast when added to a dish one is cooking).  The next day when you have time to spend checking on the saucepan, you can build up a wide-ranging collection of cooked protein. 

 

 

Having rinsed them from their soaking water, add the largest, toughest, lentils, or beans to unsalted, gently boiling, water to which you have added a good dash of olive oil or rape seed oil; chickpeas go in first, alone, for ages.  Don't put the lid on, and stir regularly and gently. You may wish to add a couple of bay leaves to the water.   As the larger ones soften, add the smaller beans and lentils, etc, down to the tiny ones at the end, keeping an eye on the water level all the time. 

 

 

You want to end up with enough water so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the saucepan, but not too much because you will be reducing the liquid quotient as much as possible at the end of the cooking process.  When you are happy everything is heading to nearly cooked keep an eye on the saucepan as you wish to reduce the liquid level to a loose coating of the lentils, beans, peas, etc.  Then turn off the heat, put the lid on the pan, and let the contents cool. 

 

 

You will need some of those 1 litre and / or 3 litre ziplock type freezer food bags.  When your lentil / bean etc mixture is cool, spoon it into your ziplock bag with a tablespoon, having folded outwards the opening of the bag by one-third so that the zip closure remains clear of your mix; lay the half-filled bag on a cutting board, and flatten the mixture as thin as you can get it, squeezing it into the corners, expelling any air, and then closing the zip. 

 

 

Fills as many bags as you have mixture, and when they are all flat as boards, put them in the freezer, on top of each other on the cutting board, to harden

 

 

Mark the bags previously, with indelible marker before filling them, and let the ink dry; mark as 'mixed cooked lentils, beans, peas, etc', and add the date.

 

 

We all think we'll remember what's in freezer bags, but we don't 90 per cent of the time.   Most bags of frozen 'something' look like asteroids.

 

 

Because you've added oil to your cooking mix, it will be easy to break off chunks of the thin frozen lentil / bean / split pea mixture, to add to any dish you are cooking, it's like snapping off a piece from a bar of chocolate.  If you are planning a stir-fry, break off your lentil mixture the night before and put in a bowl in the 'fridge to defrost, and to collect the defrosted water / oil mix, which you may or may not choose to use.  If you choose to benefit from its strength of protein, use it early so that it may reduce as much as possible and also help avoid steaming and making soggy the vegetables.  It's like breaking chunks off a slab of chocolate!  You've done the work, and can feel suitably virtuous.

 

 

Even if you are cooking a meat based stew or casserole, adding some of your lentil / bean mixture increases the protein level and the roughage content.  You might choose to reduce the quantity of meat used, and so reduce the cost.

 

 

Please remember to keep all your lentils, beans and split peas, etc, in airtight jars.  Please cut the name of the lentil, etc, off the packing or bag, plus any particular cooking instructions you think would be useful, and put those in the jar facing out, followed by filling the jar to keep the labels in place; we think we'll remember which is which, but we don't! 

 

 

Empty mayonnaise, instant coffee, pickle, and jam jars are all great for storage.  Sterilize jars and lids before use in a diswasher or in a pot of rolling boiling water for 10 minutes minimum, after washing well.  Let them dry fully on a sunny window sill, not in the oven.  Plactic lids don't survive that second sterilizing option!

 

 

 

The above information is based on my own Montessori Training including nutrition and general healthcare;   https://rheumatoidarthritis.net/nutrition/top-15-anti-inflammatory-foods/ my keen interest in good quality, good value food, skin, and general physical and mental welfare; the Health Section of the 'Sunday Times Magazine';   https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-bananas;   the Holland & Barrett website;  plus advice from a Local Authority Dietitian regarding stress management, and continuous reading of up-to-date research. Conor Pope, Consumer Affairs Correspondence, The Irish Times.

 

 


 

Skin and Dental Care for Everyone

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SKIN CARE FOR EVERYONE

 

 

ELEVEN ESSENTIAL SKINCARE RULES

 

A good skincare routine doesn’t just help keep skin problems at bay, it also gives you healthy, fresh, glowing, skin.   

 

From cleansing basics to your diet, here are some useful skincare tips to keep your skin in good condition.  This isn't about vanity, a bright, fresh face, gives one confidence, making one more approachable in all kinds of situations - school, college, work, clubs, and societies.

 

 

Your skin is the largest organ of the body, designed to be a temperature regulator, to expel toxins, and a barrier against infections amongst other things.  It, in turn, needs to be cared for and protected.

 

   

1.   Eat a balanced diet.  A healthy diet packed with fresh, in season, fruit and vegetables, with essential vitamins and minerals, will enhance your complexion from the inside out.   Drinks lots and lots of water, 2-3 litres minimum daily.

   

2.   Don’t use too much rich moisturiser.   All skin types need moisturiser, but rich, heavy, creams can sit on the skin’s surface and block pores.  It is also a waste of cream!  Use easily absorbed creams and lotions, or water-based products for oily or combination skin.  

Don't stop moisturising at the jaw line, for young men and women, go down your throat and to your décolette / upper chest.  The skin there is very fragile as it produces less oil than the face, and needs attention from a young age.   Do moisturise your body after showering or bathing - it helps keep the skin elastic, and adds a layer of protection when playing matches, games, or trekking, and can help reduce the severity of scrapes and nicks received.

   

3.   Don’t ignore your skin type.  If you have oily, sensitive, combination, or dry skin, tailor your routine to your skin’s needs and choose specially designed products.   Pure, distilled, Rose Water is a very inexpensive, gentle toner and light moisturiser ~ and dribbled on your hair, it makes a great conditioner.  On a hot day, just sprinkling it all over is a joy!

If you are inclined to break out in spots, old-fashioned, very inexpensive, Witch Hazel is good for drying out spots, without you ending up with sore and very dry, tight-feeling, skin

 

Squeaky clean skin is over-cleaned skin, you have washed away necessary oils!

  

Don’t overlook mildness in search of effectiveness ~ good cleansers combine both. Harsh cleansers or over-cleansing might lead to dehydration ~ simply because over-cleansed skin is forced to produce more sebum trying to restore its moisture and protective layer. 

This is often an issue for people with oily or combination skin, who tend to choose aggressive products to control the oiliness.  The more they try to dry out their skin, the oilier it gets.

  

You should try to avoid the products that promise fast and forever cures.  The idea that oily or combination skins are able to take more abuse from products is nonsense.  Oily and combination skins are just as sensitive as any type.  

   

4. Regular and scrupulous cleansing is necessary, morning and night.  We are surrounded by pollutants and general dirt in the atmosphere everywhere we go.  Please do not use skin cleansing or refreshing wipes on your face.  They are very harsh on the skin, block lavatory pipes, and are non-biodegradable.  There's really no good reason to use them!

 

Avoid soaps and foaming facial washes (they over-strip the skin), and stick to soap-free, scent-free, washes or cream cleansers to wash away dirt, oil, and make-up.

 

My niece, who has very dry skin, finds Avocado Oil an effective and gentle cleanser.

  

Rinse off your cleanser using tepid water while massaging your skin gently in a circular movements with a soft face cloth or muslin square, to improve circulation and remove dead skin.  Use a new clean cloth every day.  Have around ten of them, and they should always go in a boil wash to kill off any bacteria.

  

Don’t scrub.  Always massage the cleanser into your skin in slow, circular, motions this will help to dissolve impurities, oil, and any makeup leftovers in the gentlest way.  Direct your motions upwards ~ against gravity. 

  

This can be done Mindfully at the end of the day, as you relax and prepare for sleep.

 

It's important to wash your face and throat well. Set the alarm on your mobile / cell phone for 60 seconds, wet your skin and gently apply in circular movements the cleanser of your choice.  You may think one minute is no length but you may be surprised to find you think you have finished the job well before the alarm rings Keep going!  Rinsing well is very important, using tepid water.  Never use hot or very cold water on your face - the skin is too delicate.

  

Try hard not to wear your make-up to bed.   Leaving make-up on your skin overnight can clog your pores leading to breakouts, therefore, use a make-up remover before cleansing every night, and be sure to rinse thoroughly, as any leftover molecules from rinse-off cleansers might potentially contribute to skin irritation and dryness.

  

Your skin is repairing itself actively while you’re asleep, and this process  includes oil and toxin secretion. Therefore, it’s best to start your day with a refreshing splash of water!  If your skin is normal or dry, a gentle cream cleanser well rinsed is enough.  If its combination or oily, it will feel and look better throughout the day after a more intensive clean, rinsing well, and using Rose Water as a toner and light moisturiser or Witch Hazel to dry spots, if necessary.

  

Use a gentle homemade cleanser such as olive or coconut oil with some sugar or sea salt mixed in as an exfoliation once or twice a week.  Oil attracts oil.   When you rinse your face and throat, you skin should feel very soft and smooth.

  

Too hot water can be too harsh for your skin – especially when used regularly.  It can leave your skin dryer, pores more visible and can potentially damage skin capillaries.

  

Too cold water, may not be warm enough to allow your cleanser to work to its fullest, and can also damage capillaries. 

 

Always opt for tepid or lukewarm water.

   

5.   Take care in the sun. Wear a hat to protect your hair, your face and the back of your neck, and / or one of those leave-in conditioners that screen hair from UV (ultra-violet rays), protecting colour, and shine, especially if you have coloured hair.   Protect your skin, from an early age, and it will thank you by looking fresher and less weather-beaten as you age.  The sun’s (UV) rays are the main cause of skin ageing and cause of skin cancer. See below on the range of SPF sun screens.

 

 Most sun skin damage, resulting in cancer, happens in the first few years of life. 

 

Infants and young children need to be protected from head to toe.  

  

If you’re outdoors use a SPF50+ protection Winter and Summer.  All dermatologists and other medicos advise Irish people to wear a SPF50+ strength sun-block, daily, all year round under moisturiser, and to ensure we take a Vitamin D supplement, as we get most of our Vitamin D from sunlight.

 

At any time of year, protect your skin with a minimum of SPF30+; children need SPF50+ protection. 

 

Fair, pale, freckled, Irish / Celtic skin-types also need year round high level protection.

 

I have been told by my Dermatologist that money spent on SPF50+ sun-block used daily is the premier skin care and protection purchase.  Other skin care moisture serums and creams, applied over the SPF50+ screen, are secondary in importance.  

 

Always remember to spread the protection to the throat, neck, ears, back of your neck, and décolette / upper chest.

 

 

The Australians take a very serious and sensible attitude to skin cancer prevention.   It is the commonest form of cancer in Ireland.  Don't think because you have dark skin it doesn't need protection, it does.

  

 

6.  Please don’t pick pimples or blackheads.  Bursting or squeezing spots can cause infection or scarring.  Instead, use acne or blemish creams, gels or lotions, to combat spots.   Sudacream is great at curing spots quickly - it can be found in the baby care section of supermarkets or pharmacies. Ask your pharmacist for advice.   All skin needs moisturising.  Use a water-based moisturising cream, which will help keep excess oil at bay.

   

7.  Do Not Smoke.  Smoking may lower the elasticity of the skin by causing the breakdown of collagen.   It’s also thought to reduce blood flow to the skin so it gets fewer nutrients and less oxygen.   It certainly causes earlier wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.   A smoker's skin looks grey and tired, with no glow.  It's easy to tell a smoker of some duration by the lack of glow.  When one gets closer, the smell of nicotine from the hair and clothing tells the tale.

   

8.  Limit alcohol intake.  Alcohol has a dehydrating effect which can lead to tired looking skin, and causes small blood vessels to burst in the cheeks and around the nose; they start leaving permanent tiny red webs over time.

   

9.  Exfoliate at least once a week.  Use it around your mouth and on your lips too while avoiding the eye region completely, massaging gently, to give soft, smooth, lips.  It unclogs pores, helps prevent blackheads, and removes dead skin cells for fresh, clear, skin.  

 

Always close the pores afterwards with tepid water.  Too cold and too hot water both damage the skin.  If you feel your skin is too sensitive for the above, mix your exfoliator with cream cleanser, and apply that mix to your face and throat, massaging in upward circles. Rinsing well in lukewarm water so that your skin is free of all cleanser and exfoliator finishes the job well.  Rose Water makes a gentle, freshly scented moisturising toner to the skin.

 

Please don't use exfoliators containing 'beads'. These are usually tiny man-made beads produced from a plastic product and they do not break down in water like apricot or other nut kernels do.  These 'beads' get into the food cycle of fish and as they digest them they feel themselves full while actually starving.  Ireland has recently introduced legislation to ban these 'beads', the first country to do so.

  

If you live in a city, two light face packs a week may be required.  Look at the colour of your facecloth / muslin after the first round of cleansing to discover how dirty the ambient air is. 

  

If you are using one of those good quality Argile clay face packs, please don't let the face pack dry completely because removing it can involve using facial scrubs, and you might end up with a sore, sensitive, face.

   

10.  Whenever you wash and peel an orange, keep the orange peel and immediately after you've eaten the fruit, use the pith side of the skin as soon as possible, while it is still moist (the white side) to cleanse / exfoliate.  Gently massage the inside of the peel in circular movements - especially around your chin, jaw line, around your nose, and possibly your forehead, or where you might be inclined to have breakouts. 

 

Don't rub on spots as you do not wish to irritate the skin or spread a possible infection. Use one piece of orange peel for your chin, another for your jaw line, your nose, etc.  You then rinse off with tepid water to remove loosened facial skin, the pith that has come away from the orange skin, plus the juice from it as well. Avoid getting the rinsing water near your eyes.  You may wish to use a face wash or cream cleaner to wash away the acidity of the orange, but they shouldn't be necessary. A good rinse with water should be sufficient.

 

This is an excellent, extremely good value mild facial scrub, which is especially helpful for oily skin.  You can then apply some moisturiser, having made sure your hands are well washed, especially before putting on eye cream. 

 

Your skin will feel much smoother and softer having used your orange peel gentle facial scrub.

 

  

[I always have a Laundry Bucket on the go, into which goes the daily face cloth / muslin square, shower scrubbies, pillow slips ~ which should be changed two to three times a week ~ (you do want to sleep on clean linen), and face towels ~ they are all added to a mix of non-bio detergent, a good slosh of Dettol or Savlon, and a few kettles of boiling water.  I give it a stir every day, adding more boiling water as required to cover the contents ~ it keeps going for a week (less in Summer), and when a hot white wash is going on ~ sheets, towels, table napkins, linen, etc, the contents of the Laundry Bucket go in the washing machine also.  The antiseptic helps to sterilize the contents, and also to maintain a good, clean, smell from the Bucket.]

 

 

 


 

 

 

CARING FOR ECZEMA PRONE SKIN

 

 

 

 PRODUCTS OR FOODS TO BE AVOIDED

 Lactose

Chemical cleaning products

Artificial additives

Amines: probiotics; soy sauce; kefir; miso; tempeh; yeast extracts; cheese; wine; avocado; beer; smoked salmon; chocolate.

Glutamate (MSG): flavour enhancer; tomato; broccoli; crisps; Chinese take-away.

 

Salicylate (pronounced suh-lis-a-lates): natural pesticides; tomato; avocado; citrus fruits; teas; nuts.

 

 

 

TOP 12 FOODS FOR ELIMINATING ECZEMA

 

 1.                  Mung Bean Sprouts

Mung bean sprouts are an alkalising food which counteracts excess arachidonic acid produced by an Eczema condition.

 

  2.                 Flaxseed Oil

Use organic flaxseed (linseed) oil in smoothies.

 

  3.              Red Cabbage

Red cabbage has anti-inflammatory properties, and activates production of collagen for healthy skin.

 

  4.             Scallions / Spring Onions

These are histamine-lowering; anti-inflammatory quercetin; Vitamin K – vital for healthy skin.  50g of raw scallions (103 mcg of Vitamin K) are nearly double the daily adequate adult intake.

  

 5.              Fish

Fish contains anti-inflammatory Omega 3 which is good for the brain, skin, and heart.  Go for fish that are low in mercury – flathead dory, hake, and herring.  Two to three servings of fish a week are ideal.  A high intake of fish during pregnancy is associated with a decreased risk of eczema.

 

  6.              Beetroot

Beetroot has strong alkalising properties which boost liver detoxification of chemicals.  It is a potent blood cleanser – rich in antioxidants, folate, and iron.

 

  7.              Oats

Rolled oats contain more dietary fibre and fibre than other cereals.  They are a source of Vitamin E, zinc, potassium, iron, manganese, and silica ~ which is an essential mineral for strengthening connective tissue in the skin.

 

  8.             Papaya

Papaya provides a range of carotenoids ~ potent antioxidants that can modulate gene activity to protect against inflammatory damage and tumour growth (clinical studies).  The lycopene content helps protect skin from sun damage.

  

 9.              Saffron

Saffron has been used for centuries as a natural antiseptic, digestive aid, anti-depressant.  It has anti-inflammatory properties; is an effective remedy for stomach disorders and coughs – containing compounds of safranal and crorin.

 

  10.          Pears

Pears have a unique combination of insoluble and soluble fibre.  They help reduce inflammatory diseases, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes, by binding bile acids to aid removal of toxic waste from the body.  They are good sources of Vitamins C and K, and flavonols ~ potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, with anti-fungal and anti-cancer properties.

 

  11.           Carob

Carob has used for many health benefits for over 4,000 years.  It soothes and cleanses the throat; alleviates diarrhoea in children.  It’s caffeine-free and sweeter tasting than cocoa.  It improves digestion; has anti-cancer compounds; supplies calcium, magnesium, Vitamins B2, B6, and dietary fibre.

 

  

 12.          Potatoes

Potatoes are high in Vitamin C.  White potatoes are a rich source of antioxidants, Vitamin B6, and are a good source of potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese, dietary fibre for healthy bowels and clean skin.  They are also a good source of Vitamin B5.  Lotions, creams, ointments and formulations containing provitamin B5 are applied to and absorbed by the skin, this provitamin is transformed into Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), which has natural broad abilities to moisturise, soothe, heal and regenerate the skin.

 

 


 

 

  

DENTAL CARE FOR EVERYONE

 

Interdenting and brushing your teeth at night is the most important session of your day.  While you sleep, your salivary flow decreases, the protection level drops, and teeth are more vulnerable to decay. 

 

 

No matter the temptation, keep your tooth brushing and general mouth care to two session only a day. 

 

 

Invest in a cross bristle, pulsating electric toothbrush.  They do the work.  You'll never actually brush again, you'll just hold the electric toothbrush to your teeth, gums, etc, resulting in cleaner teeth and mouth with less erosion.

 

 

After brushing your teeth and tongue, and massaging your gums and the inside of your mouth at night using your toothbrush, and having rinsed well, take a small blob of a sensitive gums and protective toothpaste and spread it around your mouth, maybe using a little water if that's easier for you.  Put some of the sensitive toothpaste on any exposed nerves which will reduce the pain and help reduce any inflamation of your gum.   You've put on your barrier for the night!

 

 

Interdenting with a dot of toothpaste on the brush is the best way to dislodge food particles from between your teeth.  Dental floss can cut the gum if used too vigorously.

 

 

Mind your Gums 

If you feel your gums are swollen or redder than usual, try using a mouth wash of a dessert spoon of table salt in a half glass of almost hot water, stirring until the salt dissolves.  Use up the contents of the glass each time, and do it a few times a day.  Use this for about a week, if you feel there's no improvement, you may need to visit your GP or dentist to investigate a possible gum infection.

 

  

Never Brush ...

Never brush your teeth for at least one full hour after eating, drinking wine, fruit juices, or fizzy drinks.  Your enamel is softened by the acid in the food and low pH in the drinks.  If you brush, the friction scrubs the acid into your enamel, softening it further or removing some of the top layer.

 

 

Stains on Your Teeth

The worst causes of staining to the outer layer of enamel are black coffee, smoking, red wine, tea (especially green tea), tumeric, and balsamic vinegar.

 

 

Rinse

Try to get into the habit of rinsing your mouth out well with water after a meal or after taking any of the above listed drinks and condiments.  Rinsing washes away the tannins and rehydrates your mouth.  Tap water in Ireland, and elsewhere, contains mineral fluoride which makes teeth more resilient to acid erosin and decay.

 

   

Almost all of the above, excepting additional information on the benefit of potatoes,  is extracted and modified based on an article in Natural Health magazine, February 2018 edition, which was based on Karen Fischer’s book, “The Eczema Detox” (exislepublishing.co.uk).   Eczema friendly recipes are to be found on naturalhealthmagazine.co.uk.

 

 

 


 

 

STRESS IS A SERIOUS SUBJECT

Copyright: antonioguillem / 123RF Stock Photo

 

 

 

STRESS IS A SERIOUS SUBJECT

 

 

Please bear in mind, that if you are sitting a State exam, or any important exam, are inclined to be a perfectionist, or are a very hard worker, stress can arise at any time, creeping up without notice.  

 

 

Please prepare from now to reduce the potential for stress levels increasing by having a good sleep, nutrition, and exercise regime in place, and ensuring time for relaxing and being with friends.

 

 

If your School / College / University has a Counsellor, and if you feel stressed seek help immediately. 

Stress is NOT shameful, it IS  manageable, and it should be TALKED about.

 

 

If every evening and all weekend end up being spent on research, preparation, and composition, your work has run away with you, and you need to get back in charge.   

 

 

Please see my Articles, BEWARE THE LIGHT!!,  PARENTS NEED TO ..., and SMARTPHONES & PGCs on how over-working with a computer screen, especially late in the evening, can harm your health, and affect negatively your sleep patterns.

 

 

PLEASE GET HELP as soon as you feel under pressure; when sleep is becoming erratic; when you're beginning to miss deadlines; when your laundry regime has fallen apart; when your mealtimes become hit and miss; when your usual schedule for chores, shopping, cooking, returning books to the library, collecting dry cleaning, and meeting friends, just do not happen any more; when you feel out of control ~ YOU REALLY NEED HELP IMMEDIATELY!

 

 

Below is listed a number of links for help or advice on many of the subjects that can worry any of us, at any time.  If a friend has clearly become very stressed, upset, or over-worked, it's up to you to find out what help is available for her or him.  She or he is not necessarily currently in a position to search for the help needed.

 

The link Turn2MeYouth.ie is focused solely on 16 to 19 year-olds.

 

  

STRESS

(www.aware.ie/10+ways+to+relieve+stress  /  www.heartfulness.ie/Anxiety/Relaxation  /   https://www.extension.umn.edu/...stress/four-strategies-for-preventing-or-reducing-stress); 

 

 

USE OF STREET DRUGS

(www.drugs.ie/Know-The-Facts  / www.drugs.ie/resourcesfiles/guides/DealingWithDrugUse.pdf  / https://drugfree.org/parent-blog/preventing-teen-using-drugs-persuasion/);

 

 

PREVENTING or STOPPING SMOKING in YOUNG PEOPLE

(https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4934164/ www.facebook.com/HSEquit  / www.quit.ie  /  www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/tween-and-teen.../in...smoking/art-20047069    /  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4934164/  /  www.preventtobaccouse.org/);

 

 

YOUTH ALCOHOL USE

(http://www.drinkaware.ie / www.askaboutalcohol.ie); 

 

 

PREGNANCY

(B4uDecide.ie / www.crisispregnancy.ie / your GP); 

 

 

VACCINATIONS and IMMUNISATIONS

HPV Vaccine essential early teenage girl & boy vaccination to prevent cervical cancer (www.hpv.ie / http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv-vaccine.html); 

 

 

SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS (STIs)

(www.healthpromotion.ie    www.hivireland.ie   /   www.healthinfo.ie  /  www.man2man.ie/pep9.html  /  http://www.hivireland.ie/hiv/testing/free-hiv-sti-testing-centre-locator/);

 

 

MENTAL HEALTH ADVICE for CHILDREN and YOUNG PEOPLE

(Teenage Mental Health - MyMind.org‎ /  www.mentalhealthireland.ie/teens/  / Adwww.mymind.org / Mental_Health /  Samaritans freephone tel number in Ireland 116 123, or your local telephone book or online /  Email jo@samaritans.org /  www.suicideorsurvive.ie / www.yourmentalhealth.ie http://ow.ly/i/z3BpZ help@walkinmyshoes.ie

TeenLineIreland #WELISTEN, www.teenlinkireland.ie, Free Phone 1800 833 634, Free Text TEEN TO 50015);

 

 

SUICIDE and SUICIDE IDEATION

(PietaHouse, www.pieta.ie, www.mindourmen.ie / 

www.suicideorsurvive.ie / Samaritans freephone tel number in Ireland 116 123, or your local telephone book or online);

 

 

HELP DETAILS for YOUNG PEOPLE to CONTACT Iin CONFIDENCE

(Teenage Mental Health - MyMind.org‎ /   www.mentalhealthireland.ie/teens/  /  Adwww.mymind.org / Mental_Health  /  www.aware.ie/  / Samaritans freephone tel number in Ireland 116 123   Email jo@samaritans.org).

 

 

Clearly, most of the the above sites are Irish, but they should give you basic information, and you could then go to your local Health Authority armed with information to obtain links and brochures relevant to where you live.

 

 

 


 

 

The following may help you keep a balance, and you may wish to put it on the noticeboards in the corridors or in the canteens.

 

 

A Quote from an Article by Marie Louise McConville on Stress Coming up to Exam Time.

 

Marie Louise McConville
 
12 May, 2017 01:00, The Irish News

[Ms McConville became very unwell due to over-studying and becoming extremely stressed before important exams.]

 

"If you are about to sit exams these coming weeks, take a minute to remember that while results are important, they are not the be-all-and-end-all.

"Exams can be re-sat but we only have one chance at life and living it and enjoying it and really, without our health, what chance do we have?

"So, if you're about to enter that intimidating exam hall or about to hand in that all-important dissertation, take a deep breath and remember, your life will not be determined by this one exam or in this one moment.

"If you're feeling under pressure, it's important you talk to someone.  You are not alone.  Your family and friends love you and want what's best for you and will support you no matter what and you will never disappoint them.

"They want you healthy and happy.

"Remember, it is true what they say, you're health really is your wealth.

"Good luck."

 

 


 

 

 

Excerpt from St Patrick's Hospital's Website

"Five tips for parents whose children are set to receive their Leaving Cert results"

follow.

 

 

The following does not just apply to the Leaving Certificate, it applies to all exams a student faces in his or her academic career.   Apply the thinking to yourself, and while allowing it take pressure off you, it will help you realize that NO exam result can stop you ending up where you want to be.

 

 

It’s easy to think that this is an ‘all or nothing’ scenario and although the Leaving Certificate is important, it is not the only deciding factor in any element of life.  (My underlining.)

 

CEO of St Patrick’s Mental Health Service, Paul Gilligan, emphasized this point when stating: “Your child will be too close to the event to realise this; but the Leaving Certificate isn’t going to determine their whole life’s purpose (My underlining.)

 

“It’s essential that you give them the perspective of knowing that if their results don’t go to plan, it doesn’t mean that they can’t achieve their ambition.”   (My underlining.)

 

The Walk in My Shoes Helpline for 18-25 year olds is a confidential telephone and email service staffed by experienced mental health nurses, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, with an answering and call-back facility outside hours.  You can contact the Walk in My Shoes Helpline service by calling 01 249 3555, or email help@walkinmyshoes.ie.

 

 

The Mental Health Support & Information Service is a confidential telephone and email service staffed by experienced mental health nurses, 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, with an answering and call-back facility outside hours.  You can contact the Support & Information Service by calling Dublin, +353 1 249 3333, or email info@stpatsmail.com.

 

 

 


 

Answers to Common Arguments against Vaccination

Copyright: <a href='https://www.123rf.com/profile_auntspray'>auntspray / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

 

 

 

Common Arguments Against Vaccination,

And The Answers to Them

 

 

By Dr Ramesh Manocha

 

 

Vaccines are among the greatest inventions in the history of medicine. 

They have saved countless lives and reduced human suffering by an amount which is impossible to calculate.  However, today there are many rumours and concerns going around about the safety and effectiveness of vaccinations, which have caused many people to reject them.  Here, we will consider their questions and answer them as we can.

 

 

Vaccines cause autism

This is a common refrain, but one that has been thoroughly debunked over and over again.  There is no evidence showing a connection between vaccination rates and the prevalence of autism.  This argument also relies on the idea that suffering the worst effects of these preventable diseases, including death, is preferable to an unsubstantiated increased risk of autism, an extremely controversial idea.

 

 

Mercury is dangerous! And it's in the vaccines!

Firstly, that's not quite true: the only thing in the vaccines was Thimerosal, which is not the same as the dangerous mercury you are thinking of.  Secondly, the FDA called for (and achieved) the removal of that substance from all vaccines other than the flu shot back in 2001.  And if you like your vaccinations like you like your Jamba Juice (i.e. — a la carte), doses without Thimerosal are available if you are really a stickler for it.

 

 

Colouring and highlighting of headlines and text above were done by me, ICOB.

 

- Scotty Hendricks

Download from 'Generation Next'.

 

Read More: Vaccination 101: Here's Why You Should Vaccinate | Big Think

Dr Ramesh Manocha | July 10, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Tags: vaccinations | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/p2buvd-5wy

 

 


 

 

Best of Luck!

Regards, Iseult

Iseult Catherine O'Brien

 

 

If you see any errors, typographical or factual, or if you disagree with any of my ideas, I should be very glad to hear from you.   If I have left something out you think should have been included, please let me know. 

 

What has helped you could help many others also.

 

Email iseultccobrien@gmail.com.

 

 

My website, www.icobrien.com, 'Education Matters', is where my Articles originate and where they are updated as soon as I come across useful or interesting data.

 

 

www.Linkedin.com/in/educationbelongs2all/ is where my Articles go to be viewed by and commented on by others interested in the various topics.

 

 


 

 

 

 

All shades of opinion are very welcome, please let me know what you think. 

 

Thank You!

 

 


 

 

If I quote a person, group, organisation, or establishment, I do my very best to source the material quoted, and to attribute it properly.  If I cannot satisfy myself I have found the author or speaker who voiced a quote, I resist using it, no matter how tasty a bite!  If I refer in passing to views expressed by others, I attribute the views even if they have not been given verbatim in the text.

 

 

I work on a basis of goodwill and good intentions.  I shall make errors, being human, and when I do, I apologise now, and should always welcome a correction, which I would insert in the relevant Post prominently, in clear unambiguous text and type, repeating the apology. That's is the best I can do!

 

TIPS FOR SURVIVING YOUR FIRST YEAR IN COLLEGE

My photograph of Cornflowers from the garden.

 

 

 

 

TIPS FOR SURVIVING YOUR FIRST YEAR IN COLLEGE

 First year in third level can be a challenge but there are steps you can take to help ease the transition.

 

 

Peter McGuire

 

And you thought your first day of secondary school was scary!

Starting in college is a whole new world: yes, you’re independent, but you’re also responsible for yourself. Food, bills, study, and friends are all on you now.  It’s unfamiliar terrain and for some students, it can be daunting.  So is college, as the old cliché goes, really “the best time of your life”?

 

Fear not: the road through college is a well-worn path and the trails are clearly marked. We asked three people for their advice.

 

 

Ben Doyle (19) is entering his second year of a four-year Corporate Law degree at NUI Galway.

 

Catherine O’Connor is an education consultant who specialises in student recruitment at Trinity College Dublin, and the author of “Cracking the College Code: a Practical Guide to Making the Most of the First-Year College Experience”. 

 

Helen Vaughan is a psychotherapist and the owner of MaynoothCounselling.ie, Maynooth University.

 

 

THE FIRST MONTH

Catherine O’Connor: My job is to recruit students, so I have to understand their needs.

Some years back, I was looking into how students adjust to college both socially and academically, especially in the first year. So, I met with more than 1,000 parents and students (mainly in focus groups) from a variety of backgrounds.

 

I found that people didn’t really know how to navigate the college experience.

 

How will they adjust to managing finances?  Can they cook?  If they’re living at home, how will they get on with their parents or guardians?   Will they make new friends in college, and how will they mind their mental health? Students worry that they won’t make the most of the experience and this can make them anxious.  I wrote the book to help answer some of these questions. 

 

 

Ben Doyle: I’d always wanted to do a commerce degree, but was also interested in the law.  Corporate Law was a good mix for me.  I knew a few people going to NUI Galway, and it was reassuring to have them; the first day in a campus like this is exciting, but it’s also daunting.  You do feel thrown in the deep end – at first. That changes fast. 

 

 

Helen Vaughan: The biggest problem I see with my student clients: social anxiety.

Not just among first years, though the first months in college can be really hard.

  

In school,  you’re looked after, and you’re furious about being constantly hounded to do your homework.

In college, if you don’t do the homework, nobody really cares and suddenly you’ll miss that parent giving out to you. It can be hard to cope with independence when you finally have it, and hard to be responsible for your own work, food, finances, social life and friends.

 

Suddenly, you have to navigate yourself; the chauffeur is gone. Some people are very good at it if they’re particularly diligent and self-disciplined, but people can be thrown for all sorts of reasons, often unexpectedly.   I see the ones who know they need help, but I suspect most don’t think or know they need help, and they can find it hard to talk and explain how they feel.

 

  

MAKING FRIENDS

BD: I wasn’t scared, because almost as soon as you’re in the college gate, there’s a really well-thought orientation for new students.   In the first week of college, you’re really busy and there are plenty of events and activities in the first week where you meet new people.  With your classmates, you find out more about your course.

 

You get involved in societies. And everyone around you wants to meet new people and make new friends.

 

Clubs and societies make that easier because you’re with people who share your interests.   I joined loads of societies straight away – for the bags of sweets!   I got involved with the debating and law societies.

 

Social media is great for talking to friends, planning activities and group assignments.  But we’re not wedded to it: most of my interaction is still person-to-person.  I like hanging out with my friends for an hour or two, having a cup of tea, talking in person.

 

I don’t think my age group drink as much as others. But if you are going to have a few drinks during the week, just make sure you can recover for the next day. Especially if you have a 9.00am lecture.

 

I didn’t join any sports clubs in college, but I kept playing rugby with the under-20s in Tullamore (my local team at home).  We won the league and the cup.   It’s not always that easy to find the time, but I’m glad I kept this big part of my life before college.

 

 

CO’C: My research shows that 62 per cent of students worry about fitting in socially.  You will meet people in tutorials and at lectures.  You need to seek out the clubs and societies that interest you.  Try new things and see what you like.

 

Some students worry about remaining loyal to old friends but you can keep the old ones and make new ones too. 

 

 

HV: I talk to people about how to manage their mental health.

Recognise anxiety: heart beating faster, sweaty palms, feeling really tense – once they recognise it they know it is not a heart problem; it is anxiety, and it will pass.  A panic attacks feeds on you fighting it.  Tell yourself it is not pleasant, but it is not dangerous and it will pass.  There are breathing exercises you can do if you feel pressured.  (See the Section above, STRESS IS A SERIOUS SUBJECT.)

 

Most colleges have counselling services but they can be oversubscribed.  You don’t have to be suicidal to call The Samaritans [see below: Support and Help].

 

 

ACADEMICS

HV: Students can be stressed about lectures or walking into the room if they’re late, so they don’t go in the first few weeks and can find it harder to make friends.

 

Others stress about their course work and why they’re not doing better, but it takes time to adjust to college.   Let go of perfectionism – there comes a point when your work is good enough.

 

I see students leaving it too late to start projects or get the book before it disappears from the library.  They have to get used to setting their own deadlines without parents breathing down their neck.  You can drink seven nights a week if you like, but you won’t pass.

 

I found myself on the wrong course. I had to eventually admit that French wasn’t for me, so I transferred to another course in another college and never looked back.  People change their careers a few times in their life and it’s fairly common to change course or do a new one – although, of course, this can be a financial challenge as you have to pay college fees. 

 

 

CO’C: If you set out to have discipline in your study from Monday to Wednesday, Thursday can follow the same pattern easy enough.   Attend all lectures and tutorials. 

 

Take notes, keep them well, and back them up, remembering that technology doesn’t always work.

 

Read your notes and write down where your gaps are. Read beyond your own discipline, read everything. 

 

And remember: no matter how bright you are, you will meet brighter minds.

 

But no matter how motivated you are to study, you can feel lonely in the first term / semester and wonder if you’re in the right course.   I advise students to stick with it as long as they can and give it their best shot.   Find out early on about the academic demands (read the handbook)  and establish what you like about the course.

 

 

Don’t cut and run after three weeks; they can be tough anyway and it may be other factors making you question your course choice.    If the student tries hard to develop a strong work ethic and gets those three good days in, they can feel a lot better.

 

 

College doesn’t share academic results with parents.  Students also learn quickly that if they don’t attend college it will affect their grades. 

 

 

BD: My biggest struggle in first year was the academic adjustment.   For the Leaving Cert (final State Examination in secondary school), core textbooks are your bibles and you have all the resources you need to hand. 

 

In college, you have to sift through a lot of information and perspectives, come to conclusions and back them up with research and references.  I found my first assignment hard; we had to think creatively and be very open-minded.  I didn’t do great but, assignment by assignment, I’m learning how to research and write.

 

 

FINANCES

CO’C: Financial pressure can lead to dropping out. There needs to be a discussion early on about where the money for college comes from and who is paying.  If the student takes a part-time job, how will that impact on their commitment to study or on their college experience?   They need to budget: write out what the costs are and what the sources of finance are, including bank or credit unions loans, support from family and summer work.   StudentFinance.ie is a good resource. 

 

 

BD: I’m lucky that I have support from my parents, and I work part-time to supplement that. I learned through experience how to budget and how much money I needed for groceries, food and books.   Lots of nights out can damage your wallet.    I’m learning how to cook: I do a mean beans on toast and chicken curry.

 

I share a student apartment in Corrib Village, the on-campus accommodation.  We all clean up after ourselves and look after our own rooms, respect each other’s space. 

 

 

HV: Finding accommodation is a big stress for students; it’s in short supply.  It can be hard to manage your own finances and learn to cook and clean for yourself, but it’s a big kick in the arse to help you grow up.

 

Self-care is important: eat well, exercise, be among nature when you can, even if it’s just a walk along the canal.  (See the Section above EAT YOURSELF STRONG.)   

 

 

Keep up the sports you did in school.  Take a few moments now and again to check in with yourself and where you are in this moment, rather than where you were earlier or will be later.   I give clients breathing and meditation exercises.

 

And finally, I recommend a gratitude journal, where you write down three things every day – it could be a nice lunch, meeting someone you like, or even that it didn’t rain.  It helps the brain appreciate the nice things and worry less.

 

 

Support and Help Samaritans: email jo@samaritans.org,

text 087-2609090, or freephone 116123.

 

Some student unions operate confidential and anonymous listening services.  The biggest of these is NiteLine, run by and for students of several universities, colleges and institutes of technology (Freephone: 1800-793793), Student union welfare officers, college chaplains, counselling services and students’ advisers are all there, while most tutors and lecturers know how to help and support students who are going through a tough time.   (See contact details for various charities and organisations to help you through your education career under Section STRESS IS A SERIOUS SUBJECT.)

 

 Digest of Article from 'The Irish Times', Wed, Aug 15, 2018.

 

Colouring, rearranging and underlining of text were added by me,  ICOB.

 


 

 

STUDY REGIME OF HIGH ACHIEVING STUDENTS

Acid yellow euphorbia dotted through with forget-me-nots, my photograph from the garden.

 

 

 

 Seven Leaving Cert Students get Eight H1s

 

 

Carl O'Brien, Olivia Kelleher, Mark Hilliard.

 

  

Seven Students Achieved Eight H1s (between 90-100 per cent) in the Leaving Certificate

 

  STUDY REGIME OF HIGH ACHIEVING STUDENTS

  

Liam Mariga (18) from Gortroe near Youghal, Co Cork, was convinced there was a misprint when he opened his Leaving Cert results envelope to find he achieved eight H1s.

 

“I went around to the back of the school to open it online, on my own.   My first thought was, ‘surely there’s a mistake’,” says Mariga, a student at Midleton College, Co Cork.

“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything like that at all.  I was in shock.”

 

It was a particularly big day for the Mariga household: he is one of triplets who all received their results today.

 

He now hopes to study medicine at Trinity College Dublin. His brother, Cathal, plans to study veterinary science, while his sister, Katie, has enough points to become a school teacher.

 

“To be fair, my mother was good at getting us to study and putting the shoe down when it was needed,” says Mariga. “I also had some amazing teachers who were incredibly supportive.”

 

 

Paying attention

The secret of his success, he says, was simple:  paying attention in class, working solidly throughout the year and not letting study take over his life.

 

He found time to captain the school hockey team, train two or three times a week and hang out with his friends.

 

It’s important to relax and not get too stressed. You can burn yourself out,” says Mariga. “I love playing hockey so I never thought about giving it up.”

 

Edward Gash, principal of Midleton College, said: “We’re delighted for Liam and very proud of all the students here … he worked consistently through fifth and sixth year and had a very balanced approach to school life.”

 

 

 

Another student who got eight H1s, Alex Burke, is planning to study medicinal chemistry at UCD after becoming interested in cancer research when he saw a member of his extended family go through it.   Alex from Montenotte in Cork City, who is a student at Christian Brothers College, (CBC) said he fell in love with chemistry at a young age and wanted to apply his knowledge in order to assist sick people.

 

Alex told told Cork’s 96FM that he was really surprised when he scored the maximum  625 points. He stressed that the results hadn’t sunk in and that while he was hoping to do well he had exceeded all of his expectations.

 

“It is amazing. I was expecting to do well but not this well.  I started from day one in sixth year even in fifth year studying every single day.

This was always the ultimate goal so there is a lot of work involvedIt is exciting times.

 

 

In Thurles, meanwhile, Scott Beaton said it took a few moments for him to process his seven H1 grades. He had only been expecting two or three and opened the envelope quietly on his own “for the nerves”.

 

I was really happy. I really want to go to Edinburgh University,” said the 17-year-old student from Coláiste Mhuire Co-Ed in the Co Tipperary town.

 

Now that is all but certain.  He plans to study Middle Eastern Studies, a “lovely mix” of culture, language and religion that will prime him for a career in humanitarian aid.

 

Scott easily surpassed the required three H1s and three H2s to get there.

And the secret to his studious success? “First knowing why you want to do it,” he considers of his regime which included  eight hours of study a day over the weekend, punctuated with runs and walking his dog.

 

I didn’t just want to get a university place; I did it because I knew that I could be good at working with people and helping refugees.  I was going to do it no matter what.”

 

 

Dáire Byrne’s eight H1s will propel him straight to a Masters in Mathematics at Edinburgh University and he does not even consider it his strong subject. The 18-year-old from Lucan sat his Leaving Cert at Colaiste Padraig CBS and says the secret to his stunning results is embracing the education system throughout secondary school, and a dismissal of rote learning.

 

“As if learning is a light that you can turn on and off,” he says of the notion. “To have a love of education ... I feel is necessary to truly enjoy it and excel.”

 

Dáire hopes his four-year course in mathematics will help him carve out a career in finance or tech, probably the latter.

 

 Digest of Article from 'The Irish Times', Wed, Aug 15, 2018.

 

Colouring, rearranging and underlining of text were added by me,  ICOB.

 

 


 

FIGHTING DISEASE - Bacteria, Antibiotics & our DNA


Image ID: 103170552 (M)

 

 

‘KNOWING YOUR ENEMY’

Best advice in tackling infectious diseases

 

 

Bacteria find ways to get around our antibiotics

 

Dr Kathryn Holt tells Schrodinger at 75 Conference, Dublin.

 

 

Bacteria are formidable enemies that deploy ingenious strategies for getting around our antibiotics, Dr Kathryn Holt of the University of Melbourne told the Schrodinger at 75 Conference in Dublin.

 

 

The better we know this enemy, the more likely we are to save lives from infectious diseases.  The key to more information comes from sequencing bacterial DNA, Dr Holt added.  This approach had already revealed surprising ways that bacteria evolve resistance to our drugs.

 

 

“Several hospital outbreaks of drug resistant infections have now been traced to transmission of drug-resistant genes between different bacterial species, rather than the typical scenario where drug resistance strains spread between patients,” Holt said at the event hosted by Trinity College.

 

 

She outlined some of the ways bacteria swap resistance genes.  Some bacteria actively steal DNA from neighbouring cells.  We recently learned that cholera harpoon neighbouring cells and reel in their DNA to try it on for size.”  Others swap DNA in mobile plasmids, that can act like parasites, causing bacteria to build tunnels to other bacteria.

 

 

BACTERIA STRAINS

Drug resistance genes were just a tiny fraction of the genes that move around between bacteria strains. This created a vast library of genetic diversity that bacteria can tap into.

 

“If you were to isolate a strain of E coli from my gut and one from your gut, and compare their genomes, on average you find that they share little more than half their genes,” said Holt.  Each strain will boast a few thousand genes that the other lacks.  This only came to light in recent years, due to sharp falls in the cost of DNA sequencing, Holt explained.

 

 

There is a vast gene pool available to the species.  Much bigger than the number of genes we have in the human genome, said Dr Holt, who called this the “pan-genome”.  It was a surprise that microbes have so much genetic material on hand.

 

However, advances in technology are helping infectious disease scientists.  Dr Holt pointed to the development of “third generation” DNA sequencing technology, which threads DNA through a tiny pore in a protein.  This would be plugged into a laptop or phone to give real time DNA sequences.  This will deliver huge gains for infectious disease management, said Dr Holt, revealing when and where new strains of microbes emerge.

 

 

This could be taken into the jungle to sequence Zika or Ebola virus or into clinics or hospitals, she said. “The resulting genomes can reveal a pathogen’s most intimate evolutionary secrets.”

 

 

Dr Holt predicted that in future such sequencing will become routine in medicine and public health.

 

 

Anthony King, The Irish Times, Sunday 09 September 2018.

 

 

Colouring, rearranging and emboldening of headlines and text were added by me, ICOB.

 

 


 

INVOLVEMENT OF IMMUNE SYSTEM WITH DISEASES

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WE 'CANNOT IGNORE' THE IMMUNE SYSTEM IN ANY DISEASE

 

 

Says Trinity College Dublin scientist, Dr Lydia Lynch.

 

The immune system is recognised as being involved in cancer and depression

  

 

The immune system is constantly doing repairs and maintenance in the body and does not sit around waiting for a call to action, Dr Lydia Lynch of Trinity College Dublin and Havard Medical School told the Schrödinger at 75 Conference in Dublin.

 

 

Research over the past five years had shown that we cannot ignore the immune system in any disease, Dr Lynch said.

 

The immune system was now recognised as being involved in cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity and even keeping babies warm.

 

 

A major advance in cancer therapy came about when it was discovered that cancer cells use certain proteins (known as checkpoints) to stop our immune cells targeting them. Checkpoint inhibitor drugs switch the immune system back on and allow a patient’s own “T-cells” to begin destroying a tumour.

 

 

IMMUNOTHERAPY

Dr Lynch welcomed the approval by the HSE (Health Service Executive - national healthcare body in Ireland) of a major new immunotherapy drug (ipilimumab) for treatment of cancer in Ireland.

 

 

She also spoke about how fat has an immune system itself, confirmed by her recent discovery of immune cells in fat tissue. This year she found a type of T-cell that lies between fat cells, but is rare in the rest of the body.

 

 

The cells appear in fat a few days before birth.  Her studies showed T-cells were essential to helping generate body heat. “Who would have thought that these T-cells are in our fat to keep us warm when we are born?” she said.

 

 

The immune system, she concluded, had a much broader role than protecting people from nasty bacteria and viruses. “It shapes our personalities, responds to our diet, it protects us from and can cause obesity, it attacks cancer cells and can cause autoimmunity disease, especially when we get old.  And it also seems to protect from, and sometimes contribute to, brain disorders.”

 

 

Anthony King, The Irish Times, Sunday 09 September 2018.

 

Colouring, rearranging and emboldening of headlines and text were added by me, ICOB.