Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Prayer Which I Heard

In church I heard a lady in the pew next to me saying a prayer.  It was so sweet and sincere that I just had to share with you:-

"Dear Lord,

This has been a tough two or three years.

You have taken:

My favourite actor Patrick Swayze.

My favourite pop singer Michael Jackson.

My favourite Blues Singer Amy Winehouse.

My favourite actress Elizabeth Taylor.

My favourite football manager Bobby Robson.

My favourite golfer Seve Ballesteros

And now my favourite singer Whitney Houston.

I just wanted you to know that:

My favourite politicians* are:

Amateur Plunderers



Leong Sick,

Ibrahymm A,

Ahmud I,




* This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Picture Source: Source:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Smoking and Hair Loss


Besides being the single most preventable cause of significant morbidity and an important cause of death in the general population, tobacco smoking also induces premature skin ageing (wrinkles) and grey hair.

Now, Consider Smoking and Baldness.

The mechanisms by which smoking causes hair loss are multifactorial and are probably related to

  • reduced blood supply to the dermal hair papilla by direct effect on its microvasculature
  • damage to DNA of the hair follicle by poisons from smoke, genotoxicants to be exact,   
  • imbalance in the enzyme systems controlling tissue remodeling during the hair growth cycle,
  • pro-oxidant effects of smoking leading to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines resulting in follicular micro-inflammation and fibrosis
  • increased hydroxylation of oestradiol as well as inhibition of the enzyme aromatase creating a relative hypo-oestrogenic state.
While facial wrinkles or grey hair can be effectively counteracted by current aesthetic dermatologic procedures, treatment options for baldness (androgenetic alopecia) are limited*.

Hair Care From Within



Every single one of the hair (‘pil’ in latin) found on an average head is made up of two parts, which are the root and the hair shaft. The root is nourished by blood via the papilla; while the visible hair shaft is largely made up of a protein called keratin. Our bodies are incapable of directly absorbing keratin but can, however, utilise amino acids to produce it. Keratin is also the same component found in your nails. Therefore, appropriate nutrition is important to make healthier hair and nails.

Essential nutrients that may reduce hair loss and strengthen existing hair:

  • Sulphurated amino acids. DL-Methionine and L-Cystine are the essential sulphur-containing amino acids that act as the building blocks for the formation of keratin.
  • Vitamin B group, especially biotin and panthothenic acid, promote hair growth. The selected combination of B vitamins is essential for the biosynthesis of keratin.
  • Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant, reinforces the protection against inflammatory reaction mediators.
  • The hydrolysate of lactalbumin and millet extract complement the action of amino acids. The millet extract is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and contains additional key trace elements. Obtained naturally from millet extract, minerals such as iron, copper, zinc, manganese and iodine can help in preventing scalp problems.

A variety of factors including inappropriate hair treatment, medication, radiation, exposure to chemicals, overexposure to sun and sea, hormonal and nutritional factors, thyroid diseases, skin diseases, stress, and post natal hair loss can affect hair growth and promote hair loss.

The nutritional boost for a healthy mane should be taken at the first signs of hair problems as it prolongs the life cycle of hair and prevents any further deterioration. It is also important to choose a formula that does not contain hormone to avoid undesirable side effects such as unintended hair growth in other areas of the body.

Hair Care from the Outside

Regro contains 5% minoxidil. Minoxidil has been clinically proven to slow the progression of hair loss and regrow some hair.

It is believed that minoxidil works by widening the blood vessels around hair follicles and opening potassium channels. This allows more oxygen, blood and nutrients to get to the follicle as well as hyperpolarizing cell membranes -- increasing the strength of the electric field across the width of cell membranes.

Carin’s Hairpro Scalp Cleanser contains Polygonum Multiforum as the principle herbalextract to deep cleanse the scalp and remove excess oil and thereby streghtening and nourishing the hair roots.

NiQuitin has a very popular Online Support Programme that can help you to be better prepared to fight your smoking temptations.


Trüeb RM. Association between smoking and hair loss: another opportunity for health education against smoking? Dermatology. 2003;206(3):189-91.

Kubo M, Matsuda H, Fukui M, Nakai Y. 1988. Development studies of cuticle drugs from natural resources. I. Effects of crude drug extracts on hair growth in mice. Yakugaku Zasshi 108: 971–978.

Monday, February 25, 2013

For Alzheimer's Caregivers, Patience and Compassion Are Key


Expert advice for those facing the challenges brought on by the disease.

The picture isn't necessarily pretty when it comes to Alzheimer's disease.

"There are times that it can be difficult to handle someone with Alzheimer's, but you have to have patience, and you have to put yourself in their shoes," said Teresa Dinau, a caregiver for Home Care Assistance, based in Palo Alto, Calif. "It's important to try to understand what they're going through."

Dr. Jacobo Mintzer, chairman of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board for the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, said that the biggest initial problem for caregivers is often that "they're trying to preserve the person they knew as long as possible."

"That's usually where they get themselves into trouble," he said. "Because of this desperate need to try to preserve the person, caregivers will put themselves in dangerous situations, like letting the person with Alzheimer's drive because it has always been important to them."

Not pushing someone with Alzheimer's to be who they used to be makes some caregivers feel like they've given up on their loved one, added Mintzer, who's also a physician at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston, S.C.

But he said that's not the case and that there are plenty of safe ways to keep a connection. If someone with Alzheimer's used to like to swing dance, for instance, and you put on music and swing dance with them, it will often be calming, he said. Or, people with Alzheimer's usually enjoy looking at photos from the past, according to the Alzheimer's Association.

Despite the limitations of existing medications, problem behaviors can sometimes be overcome with the right type of stimulation and care.

"We need to see ourselves as a therapeutic agent," said Mintzer. "Patients have needs. When social stimulation is diminished, patients tend to get agitated." He noted that sundowning -- increased confusion and agitation that some people with Alzheimer's experience later in the day -- "may occur because the amount of care goes down in the evening, whether at home or in a nursing home."

"Sit down and talk with them for five minutes every hour," Mintzer suggested. "Talk with them in a non-threatening manner. Share a meal, or even sit down and split a cookie. It may not meet your needs for a social interaction, but that's not the purpose of it."

Using a calm voice is always important, and it's often easier to redirect attention than to try to get your friend or loved one to change a behavior. It's important to acknowledge any questions or requests, even though it may be the fifth time in 10 minutes that you've been asked what the time is. Each request is new to them.

Dinau said that she tries to keep routines as normal as possible. Instead of letting someone have dinner in bed, she guides them to the table to eat and then has a conversation with them during dinner. "A little activity here and there really helps," she said.

Mintzer also said it's important to have routine structure. Things can change within a day, but try to keep activities similar. For example, if Tuesday is the day you go out to lunch together, make a doctor's appointment for Tuesday. Then, while you're on your way to lunch, you can say something like, "Do you mind if we stop at the doctor on our way?" That way, he said, you're not changing the routine but just adding an element to it.

An array of devices also exist now that can help make a home safer for someone with Alzheimer's. He said these range from the very simple drawer and cabinet locks used to keep young children away from dangerous items to more high-tech safety devices like motion sensors for the stove and tracking devices that can be worn by people with Alzheimer's in case they wander.

But there does come a time when the disease ravages the brain so significantly that someone with Alzheimer's can't consistently control their behavior, Mintzer said. "When they get this impaired, they lack the ability to understand reality and suffer from delusions," he said, adding that medications that treat symptoms can be helpful at this point.

Though people with Alzheimer's can often stay in their homes, Mintzer said that if that's no longer safe, it's time to start looking into long-term care.

"When this time comes may be very different for different patients," he said. "If you live in the middle of New York City and you have a grocery store downstairs, it's irrelevant that your loved one can't drive anymore. If you're loved one lives in rural North Carolina and can't drive anymore, they will starve and need assistance or long-term care earlier."

More information

Learn more about caring for someone with Alzheimer's on a special website for caregivers set up by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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