HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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Taking a prenatal vitamin is recommended. “The prenatal vitamin is a first line in assisting you to get a good start,” Hiten said.


General healthy choices promote the best outcome for mother and child. “We talk about limiting caffeine intake, and being active, such as brisk walking, is encouraged,” Hiten said.


A doctor who knows you well will be able to give you the most useful guidance on what you can and cannot do during pregnancy.


“Ideally it is important to go ahead and make the doctor’s appointment as soon as you know you are pregnant because the first trimester is considered one of the most important,” Hiten said. “That is when the cells, muscles and tissues are growing and forming.”


If you have a certain condition, you want it to be under control. “We ask health questions like if you are diabetic or have hypertension because we are concerned about gestational diabetes and we want to make sure women get the support they need,” Hiten said.

There are many great resources in the community for women preparing to conceive, including gynecologists, internists and healthcare professionals at the Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department. This program is income- based nutrition education for moms-to-be. Making sure you adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle before getting pregnant can be beneficial. This includes paying attention to nutrition and physical activity. What you eat does matter.


“Specific things like eggs, milk, cheese, bread, tortillas and juice help pregnancy,” said Cristina Hiten, business services and nutrition team leader with WIC.


Food-borne illnesses are of concern because you want to be extra cautious about what you absorb. “We discuss listeria and salmonella bacterium to make sure women do not end up acquiring them,” Hiten said. “We discuss making sure all chicken products have been cooked all the way through and we advise against eating anything with raw eggs, like cookie dough or cake batters.”


Height, weight and iron are checked at your initial consultation. “Iron carries oxygen in the blood and assures there is oxygen going to all places in the body, which is important for the developing fetus,” Hiten said.

PREPARING TO CONCEIVE - MAKE MAINTAINING A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE YOUR PRIORITY

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Jamie Lober



If you are unsure about the ins and outs of pregnancy, that is normal. “First-time moms always have more questions,” Hiten said.


But the more educated you are, the better you may feel as you go on this journey. “Planning is always very important, but sometimes pregnancies are not planned, so we want to make sure wherever you are in your state of life, you know there are resources out there for expectant parents,” Hiten said.


As you take measures to become healthier as a mom, you will find you are actually at the same time giving your baby a healthier start in life.