Cord Blood Banking: Extra Insurance For Your Baby’s Future Health

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By Alice Pettaway

babyThe umbilical cord and placenta are a vital and natural source of potentially lifesaving cells that are safe and painless to collect from your newborn child, but could play a vital role later on in their life.

No interruptions

The first point to stress is that the methods involved in collecting the cord blood do not interrupt in any way with your birthing plan or preferences. Your partner can still cut the umbilical cord if they want to at the birth of your child and after the child has been delivered, either vaginally or by C-section, the cord can then be clamped and cut.

Simple procedure

Once the umbilical cord has been prepared by being clamped and cut, the medical practitioner handling the birth will insert a needle into the umbilical vein on the section of the cord that is still attached to the placenta. You should be assured that the needle does not get anywhere near your baby and there is no potential for distress in any way during this procedure.

Collecting the blood

The blood is either collected by allowing it to drip into a collecting bag or drawn out using a syringe. You would normally expect to collect somewhere between 3 to 5 ounces of cord blood and the process should not take any longer than about 10 minutes to complete.

The blood bank

The collected blood is then shipped to your chosen cord blood bank where it is then tested and assessed to ensure that it meets the required quality standard, before being frozen and subsequently sent for long term storage under specialist conditions.

Additional services

Some private cord blood banks also offer to collect a segment of the umbilical cord as well as the blood itself, as the cord contains stem cells that are different from cord blood stem cells and may have a future use once further scientific research has been carried out.

What makes cord blood so valuable?

Stem cells are the building blocks of the blood and immune system and cord blood is a rich source of these vital blood stem cells. Stem cells are highly prized because they have the ability to develop into other types of cells, which means that they can be used to help repair tissues, organs, damaged blood vessels and a good number of diseases that attack the body.

Better than bone marrow?

A devastating disease like leukemia can be treated using a transfusion of stem cells using cord blood from a healthy donor, which helps to create a whole new blood and immune system, making recovery much more likely. The advantage of stem cells from cord blood as opposed to bone marrow is that the stem cells in cord blood are more immature which actually helps reduce rejection rates as the body is unable to recognize these cells and therefore does not attempt to attack or reject them.

Fighting disease with cord blood

Banking this vital resource will almost be like providing a highly personalized insurance policy for your child to fight back against more than 70 recognized diseases that they could become afflicted by. Saving the cord blood of all the children in the your closely related families, is an excellent idea as sometimes it is better to treat a genetic illness with stem cells from someone closely related rather than the child’s cord blood itself.

How much will it cost?

There are normally two fees involved with cord blood banking, the first is a fee that covers consultation, collection of the blood, evaluation and subsequent storage for a predetermined period of time, and you should expect to pay somewhere close to $1,000 and not normally much more than $2,000 for this service.

There is then an annual storage charge which is generally around $100, although some private cord blood banks offer an incentive for upfront payment which can reduce the long term storage costs.

There are a good number of benefits to consider with cord blood banking and the potential chance to safeguard your child’s future health makes the likely fees involved, seem very trivial indeed.

8 Foods You Can Eat to Help Lower Your Blood Pressure

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By Kac Young PhD, ND, DCH

bloodpressureEver felt like you wanted to eat healthier but didn’t quite know where to start or you keep putting it off for another time? Stop right there. You don’t have to delay another day. Start eating these eight food and you’ll be on your way to a healthier heart and lower blood pressure.

1) Enjoy an orange a day. Oranges, tangerines, tangelos and grapefruit can give you a healthy, fat-free, salt-free boost anytime during the day.

2) Bake a potato or a sweet potato for potassium, which helps balance sodium. (Skip the butter and use a small amount of butter substitute or top with non-fat yogurt and herbs.)

3) Bananas provide potassium and fiber and also fill you up, fast.

4) Salmon. You receive great benefits of omega-3 fatty acids when you have this fish 3 times a week.

5) Drink skim milk. You add the multiple benefits of protein, carbohydrates, calcium and potassium.

6) Use herbs and spices like pepper, garlic, oregano, parsley, cilantro, cumin, turmeric, to flavor your meals instead of salt and butter.

greenpeas7) Add spinach, beans, broccoli, cauliflower and tomatoes to your meals for added vitamins, minerals and fiber.

8) Dark chocolate! (Just when you were thinking ,”What about dessert?”) Choose a chocolate that is 45-80% cacao and eat one square a day for the benefits of antioxidants and blood vessel relaxation. Choose one with nuts and maybe you bump your quota to two squares!

Nothing has to get in the way of your heart health. Don’t postpone lowering your blood pressure. Follow these 8 tips and let your best health begin today.

– Kac Young , a former television director and producer, has earned a PhD in Natural Health and is a Doctor of both Clinical Hypnotherapy and Naturopathy. She is the author 10 books. Heart Easy™ is a system of nutritionally sound, delicious meals that promote heart health, long life and taste great. Traditional recipes are turned into heart healthy meals that anyone can make. The health results are outstanding. While earning her PhD in Natural Health and a Doctorate in Naturopathy, she completed 36 courses in nutrition from Baylor University. Learn more about your heart health at: www.HeartEasy.com

Tiniest Blood Vessels Hold The Key To Health

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By Cindy Schellenberg

humanbodyMany people think blood circulation consists merely of the heart, arteries and veins, but these form only about one quarter of the total system. The big arteries and veins can be considered as superhighways for blood transport. Blood flows from the heart to the arteries, which lead to smaller and smaller arterioles, and then to a complex network of tiny capillaries. Although nearly invisible to the naked eye, this network of smaller sized blood vessels is so vast that if formed into a single tube, it would encircle the earth several times. Why is this network so large?

Vital exchanges take place in the capillaries, after which the blood begins its journey back to the heart – from the capillaries through slightly larger venules, then to larger veins, to finally reach the heart and begin the cycle again, thousands of times each day. The arterioles, venules and capillaries collectively form what is known as “microcirculation”, and comprise the remaining three quarters of our circulatory system.

Many scientists believe that a fully functional microcirculation is the key to health because the origin of many of today’s diseases, chronic conditions and general health problems can all be traced to a circulatory dysfunction. Why? Because microcirculation plays an essential role in supplying the body with what it needs.

How many people realize that a rhythmic expansion and contraction occurs in the walls of our arterioles and venules to assist the heart in pumping blood through the body? The purpose of this pumping action is to push the blood into and through the tiny capillaries, and that is where oxygen and nutrients are delivered to every one of our billions of cells, and exchanged for CO2 and other metabolic waste products. In a young and healthy person, this pumping action occurs from 3 to 5 times a minute. As we age, or become ill, this action may be reduced to only one time every ten minutes, thereby putting an undue strain on the heart and limiting the blood flow from reaching everywhere in the body it needs to go.

The crucial exchanges of oxygen, nutrients and waste take place only in the tiny capillaries. Under optimal conditions, a continual cycle of feeding and cleansing our cells enables the cells to work efficiently. A very important part of this work is producing sufficient energy to run all of the body’s complex regulatory systems that we rely upon, such as: the immune, musculoskeletal, digestive, lymphatic and nervous systems.

healthyheartbpOur bodies depend on a constant supply of energy to perform all our functions and internal communications. How often have you heard people make comments like, “I don’t feel like getting up in the morning; I can’t think clearly before I have my coffee; By four o’clock in the afternoon, I’m ready to take a nap; I’m just too tired to go to the gym; or My family seems to catch every cold or flu in the wintertime”. When our microcirculation becomes restricted in any way, our cells are deficient in energy and thus we are unable to feel well, maintain good health and age gracefully.

Unfortunately, microcirculation is frequently limited or damaged by a number of modern lifestyle factors, including stress, lack of exercise, smoking, poor diet, environmental pollution and multiple medications, as well as by age. It may take months or even years for deficiencies and toxins in our cells to accumulate and manifest as pain or symptoms of disease. We are seeing more health problems at younger ages. Conventional medicine has had limited success in treating impaired microcirculation, plus there are often accompanying risks and undesirable side effects. Therefore, it is the author’s personal opinion that education, proactive protection and natural support of our tiniest blood vessels deserve much more attention in our early stages of life. This is not only a question of taking responsibility for our own health, but also feeling comfortable that we are making informed decisions for our entire family.

Our body is designed to heal itself when it gets what it needs. Educational awareness about the importance of microcirculation is one of the first steps. Common sense support measures include maintaining a balanced healthy diet, regular exercise, managing stress levels, getting enough sleep, as well as utilizing the best health technology available. Fortunately, scientific research into our physiological intricacies continues to offer us new tools to promote greater knowledge and health.

– Cindy Schellenberg is the owner of Peak Performance Health Products near Petaluma, CA. For the past 10 years, she has been part of the health community and building a healthy lifestyle with the aid of an innovative medical device to improve blood flow. She may be contacted through www.bemeramerica.com/LLS.

Taking Care of Your Blood Pressure

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By Nisha Sharma

healthyheartbpBlood Pressure Monitoring

Monitoring blood pressure is important to keep the heart and veins of the body in optimal condition. First, an individual must schedule an appointment with a medical professional to determine if blood pressure is normal. A chronic abnormal blood pressure reading will determine what actions a patient must follow. When a patient visits a physician, several important vital signs assist in determining blood pressure health. Individuals might need to change to a low-sodium diet, increase exercise, lose weight or take daily prescription medication when blood pressure is abnormal.

Routine Physician Visits

Blood pressure is measured on adults with a specialized medical armband device called a sphygmomanometer. The device has mercury that rises to show diastolic and systolic rates. At the same time, a stethoscope is used to listen to heartbeats and respiration rates. Each individual has a variation of blood pressure readings throughout a day due to physical activity, health conditions, medication, diet and emotional stress. Blood pressure readings in combination with the temperature of the body, heartbeats per minute and pulse rates are important tests to determine physical conditions.

Abnormal Blood Pressure Readings

An abnormal blood pressure reading is the result of a chronic, temporary or emergency health condition. Many patients have higher readings due to nervousness while at a medical facility. Additional factors that show temporary abnormal readings are having a full bladder, recent exercise, smoking and consuming caffeine. Individuals with abnormal readings in a medical office setting can purchase a blood pressure monitoring device to check readings throughout a normal day. This is a great way for an individual to care for blood pressure health.

bloodpressureHypotension

Low blood pressure is a dangerous medical condition that causes fainting or dizziness. Emergency hypotension is a result of massive blood loss, hormonal imbalances, infection, toxins or thrombosis. Eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa change the chemical balance inside the body while often causing hypotension. A patient in a trauma situation resulting in blood loss can develop a shock condition rapidly. Low blood pressure more commonly occurs as a medical crisis than a chronic health condition.

Hypertension

Hypertension is a chronic condition of high blood pressure that causes the heart muscles to work harder to move blood through the veins and arteries. If an individual routinely has a high blood pressure reading, then arterial hypertension is present. Chronic hypertension damages veins, arteries and heart muscles. Hypertensive patients are more likely to have aneurysms, renal failure, heart attacks or strokes. Individuals with this condition must modify daily lifestyle to reduce blood pressure readings.

Lifestyle Modifications

A nutritious food plan with natural foods low in sodium such as fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein from poultry and whole grains assists in lowering blood pressure. Individuals should consume foods high in calcium, magnesium and potassium. Reducing emotional stress is imperative for hypertensive patients. Individuals can engage in physical activities to improve cardiovascular health and muscle strength. A physician will typically prescribe antihypertensive medication to assist in lowering blood pressure.

– Nisha represents a site called MHA.org.uk. She enjoys writing about elderly healthcare and dementia care.

Long Term Chiropractic Patients Have Higher Blood Levels Of DNA Repair Chemicals

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By Dr. Kevin Kita

dnaThe February 18, 2005 issue of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research finds that patients under long-term chiropractic care have higher levels of the blood chemicals associated with effective DNA repair and overall wellness.

The test was a retrospective analysis of 46 patients, all over the age of 40 who had been under short- term chiropractic care for 8-52 weeks or long term wellness care for 52-312 weeks. Researchers assessed the levels of serum thiols, blood factors that have been found to help the body repair the damaging effects stress has on the structure of DNA. Serum thiols are measured in terms of nM cysteine.

The authors found that non-chiropractic treated patients in the control group had serum thiol levels of 124 nM cysteine. Patients with active disease processes going on generally had levels below 90 compared to patients under long-term chiropractic care who had values of 146.

In their conclusion, the authors say, “some final observations should be noted. The results clearly support the recommendations being made for wellness care by chiropractors. In addition, it should be stated that these results occurred under normal practice conditions and indicate what most chiropractors are likely achieving when performing long-term care. Also, it refutes earlier that five to seven years of care was necessary to optimize human health status, as indicated by serum thiol levels. Our sampling indicates that this can occur in a time frame approximately half that period. Finally, there is no doubt that chiropractic care was the dominant factor in being able to realize thiol values that in some cases have not been seen in nutriceutical testing, the only other intervention shown to improve thiol values.”

Long term chiropractic patients have higher blood levels of DNA repair chemicals.

(2005). In Touch, 9,1.

– Dr. Kevin Kita, Chiropractor, Author, International Speaker, and Radio Host.

Dr. Kita is well known among his patients for his compassion, wisdom, astonishing intuition, gentle and caring demeanor, and non-invasive chiropractic technique. He is a 1997 graduate of the Sherman Chiropractic College and has been practicing Chiropractic in the Yardley/Morrisville area for the past 15 years.

Dr. Kita was an international speaker and teacher for the Koren Specific Technique and has been featured on numerous television and radio shows for health related issues, Chiropractic, and for his book Healing Journeys Stories of Mind, Body, and Spirit. He was the Chiropractor for the Trenton Shooting Stars professional basketball team. Dr. Kita was also the publisher for an internationally recognized Chiropractic newsletter and has spoken to many companies and groups regarding the benefits of Chiropractic care.

Dr. Kita is on the board of the Ivins Outreach Center and is involved in many other local charities. He is considered the Chiropractor’s Chiropractor because there are many Chiropractors that seek him out for care and professional advice.

High Blood Pressure Risk

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From Your Health Journal…..”As I have said before, Everyday Health is one of my favorite web sites on the net for quality health articles. I have been honored to be mentioned in a few of their articles, and always try to send my visitors to their site – like I am today with a great article about high blood pressure. When it comes to high blood pressure, blame may lie beyond stress and the salt shaker: Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found that those earning the lowest wages have a higher risk of hypertension than workers earning the highest wages. For years, we have always learned to reduce stress and the salt, but you cannot reduce your job – so those earning less money have to stay with their jobs, as there is no place else for them to go! Please visit the Everyday Health web site (link provided below) to read the complete story.”

From the article…..

When it comes to high blood pressure, blame may lie beyond stress and the salt shaker: Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found that those earning the lowest wages have a higher risk of hypertension than workers earning the highest wages.

The correlation between low wages and hypertension was especially strong for women, and for men and women between the ages of 25 to 44, according to a press release.

The researchers were surprised that low wages were such a strong risk factor for these two populations, especially since hypertension is more typically linked with being older and male.

“Our outcome shows that women and younger employees working at the lowest pay scales should be screened regularly for hypertension as well,” said J. Paul Leigh, PhD, lead author of the study.

The research team used data from 5,651 households with working adults between 25 and 65 years of age that included information on wages, employment, and health, including hypertension. The team looked at heads of household and their spouses for three time periods: 1999 to 2001, 2001 to 2003, and 2003 to 2005.

Wages were calculated as annual income from all sources divided by work hours, and ranged from about $2.38 to $77 per hour in 1999. Hypertension was self-reported by respondents.

According to the data analysis, doubling the wage level was associated with a 16 percent decrease in the risk of a hypertension diagnosis. Doubling the wage level also reduced the risk of hypertension by 1.2 percent over two years and 0.6 percent for one year.

But the risk decrease was most apparent in women and younger workers. Doubling the wages of workers between 25 and 44 years old was associated with a 25 percent to 30 percent decrease in the risk of hypertension. Doubling the wages of women was associated with a 30 percent to 35 percent decrease in hypertension risk.

To read the full article…..Click here