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Avoiding Miscarriage
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Several factors are associated with miscarriage. Oftentimes if it's not genetic, or a previous history, it is work-related. As doctors, we often advise patients to take a rest and avoid stressful situations. We also advise refraining from or totally avoiding smoking or alcohol consumption.

In a recent US study, it has been found that high doses of caffeine also increases risk for miscarriage. It was mentioned in the paper that high doses meant caffeine of more than 200mg. This is approximately around three cups of coffee and around five cans of caffeinated softdrinks.

So, if you are pregnant, it better to totally refrain from drinking anything with caffeine. It is better to be safe than to be sorry.

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 5:07 PM   0 comments
No Exercise with Wii
Saturday, July 26, 2008

Many people think that playing with Nintendo's Wii active games console will give a good exercise and will lessen the risk for obesity. That is why parents buy the unit not only for the kids but for the entire family as well. Since kids love playing with computer games, they eagerly do the different games with Wii - boxing, bowling, tennis, racing, etc. And they can do it inside the comfort of their homes, together with the rest of the family.

Though there is nothing wrong with such games, research study from Liverpool John Moores University, England, recently shows that energy expenditure from such games is very trivial to be able to contribute to weight management that will lead away from obesity. This only means that there is no substitute to doing active sports like jogging, aerobics, swimming, biking and the like.

Some parents reason out that more and more children become obese nowadays because there is no more room for them to play actively compared to olden times when, there were more open spaces like vacant lots, public parks, backyards, where kids can run and play. These spaces have now been replaced by big buildings and structures thus limiting their activity. Well, that is very true but there are still options.

We all know that nobody is safe anymore to bike along the streets, or in the sidewalks. That is why we have stationary bikes, of different models, depending on the purpose that we want to use them. They are very convenient as we can use them while watching TV, or just binding with the kids, while inside our homes. The treadmill, manual or electricity driven, is another alternative which will allow you to burn fat adequately, providing high energy expenditure, also in the comfort of your own homes. And there are still more alternatives to choose from. It all depends on your preference.

Some people are lucky enough to still have the privilege to go out of their homes and do the sport itself. This is a lot better and there is no substitute for it. If you're one of them, then go out now and start your regular exercise.

Photo credit here

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 9:21 AM   0 comments
Are You Sure You're Healthy?
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Many people will say they are healthy when asked by a doctor. But on further questioning if they undergo routine physical examination and laboratory work-up, obviously they don't. How then can we say that we are in reality, healthy? Does it mean only the absence of symptoms, or simply feeling nothing? Does that guarantee us of a long and symptom-free life ahead of us?

I guess not. Not because doctors want to have patients all the time that they want people to go to them and look for any kind of illness that will make these people go back time and again. Not because doctors make up illnesses for these people which are in reality not present. The truth is that nobody can guarantee he is healthy even without feeling anything.


There are lots of diseases common nowadays which are often accidentally diagnosed simply because a person does not feel any symptom. Let's take diabetes as an example. Most of the time nothing is felt. It is only during the late stages wherein signs and symptoms appear and oftentimes it is too late. There is no going back.


Hypertension, also a common geriatric illness, is oftentimes misunderstood. People are still waiting for headache or nape pain to appear before they go and have their blood pressure checked. And if the doctor found his blood pressure to be high on several occasions, they would question the absence of symptoms. What if the person's pain tolerance is high that's why he is unable to feel anything? Isn't the blood pressure reading evidence enough?

Central obesity, which is defined as waist circumference > or = 90 cm for South Asian men and > or = 80 cm for South Asian women, is in itself symptom free. But it is a part of a group of symtoms which make up metabolic syndrome or syndrome X. The most important component of this syndrome is diabetes mellitus. And in order for a person to be said to have the syndrome, he must have central or abdominal obesity ( as defined ) plus any two of the following: hyperinsulinemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. And as you can see, most of these conditions are symptom-free. They are usually seen after a thorough physical examination. Now do you still consider yourself healthy?

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posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 11:29 AM   0 comments
About Me

Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
See my complete profile
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