Menopause

So, what is the menopause? Menopause stands for “menstruation stopping”. “Meno” → menstruation, “pause” → pausing.

All women will experience menopause at a certain point of their life, as they get older. It means that your ovaries are actually shrinking, producing less and less estrogen, that’s the female hormone. The ovaries are also losing their main function and that is making eggs for you to have babies with them. The average age of reaching the menopause is about 50, so ‘round the age of 50 you will start experiencing special symptoms that are a sign that you are going into your menopause. These symptoms that happen before the menopause and maybe after it’s complete, we call it perimenopausal symptoms.

Some women would experience menopause earlier, younger than 40, and in this case we call it early menopause. These women might be having a certain disease like ovarian failure or have had cancer and have had radiation therapy or have undergone hysterectomy, and all this can lead you to also going through your menopause.

The menopause itself is a physiological phenomenon but can cause some health problems and some symptoms that might bother you as you go through it.

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What are the symptoms of menopause? How do you know that you are going through the menopause?

The first thing you might notice is that your periods will be different. You might have abnormal vaginal bleeding, which means that your period will be heavier or lighter, or more frequent, or less frequent

You will also notice hot flashes, which are waves of feeling very hot all over your body, and sweaty, and red, and it might be embarrassing sometimes. At night you might notice night sweats, which might disturb your sleeping pattern and give you insomnia.

Sometimes you will also notice vaginal dryness or itchy vagina and you will experience maybe some difficulties having sexual intercourse.

You might also suffer from stress incontinence, which means that as soon as you cough or sneeze you might leek some urine.

You might also experience fatigue, lack of concentration, mood swings and other symptoms, because you’re feeling sad, depressed that you’re getting a bit older.

There’s also a fact that when the estrogen is less you will experience the effect of relatively more testosterone in your body, and that’s the male hormone, which means that you’ll experience some acne, also some hair on your chin or moustache area.

You might also experience some weight gain, especially around the area of your tummy, so, in the abdomen here, or sometimes around the waist. This is a defense mechanism from your body, because the fat is being stored around the area where actually the estrogen can be stored from the ovary. So it’s actually a reserve for your hormones. So, what you need to do there is not panic, just chance your diet habits a bit and do some sports and everything will be fine

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What are the complications of menopause?

What we worry about is more also the complications that might happen with the menopause. These complications are two main things: that you might be having a higher chance of getting blood problems like clods or heart diseases, and you might also have problems with your bones, so you might have osteoporosis, which means that you are more prone to breaking your bones easier. We also heave to deal with that.

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What are the treatment options for menopause?

There are actually no blood tests to diagnose the menopause. We actually find out that the lady is going through her menopause by hearing her history and knowing the symptoms she’s suffering from. The most important thing is to replace or try to correct the levels of the estrogen in your blood.

Medicine is offering options from hormonal replacement therapy, so we give the women estrogen and progesterone, but the problem is that it has side effects and some women are not allowed to take it – those with history of cancer or health problems that might be affected by estrogen, if you take extra of it or synthetic estrogen.

There is a new line of treatment called bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, which is using estrogens that are actually from natural sources, and they’re doing very well in this line and hopefully we would be able to treat a lot of women with them.

There’s also the oral contraceptive pills, the birth control pills. Some women use them, because they have hormones in them, and are happy with the results.

There’s also vaginal creams containing estrogen that you can use to treat vaginal dryness or itchiness.

And some women who are suffering from psychological problems can use antidepressants, and all under the medical supervision of your doctor.

You might be able to receive collagen injections at your doctor’s office to treat the urinary incontinence.

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What are the alternative therapies for menopause?

There are also alternative home treatments for menopausal symptoms. First of all, we can use plant estrogens, so, female hormones that are available from plants. So, what are those? Any soy products, you can have those in the form of capsules or eating certain things like beans chickpeas and lentils. Those contain soy, isoflavones or fitoestrogens that are very good for you in very minimal levels. They’re not as much as you would get from the doctor’s prescription drugs but they are estrogens, from natural sources. But always consult your doctor, even before using natural products.

Also vitamin E is very good for your over-all wellbeing and your skin condition, so I would suggest that you use vitamin E for your skin, just as lotion but also to administrate in capsules.

I would also suggest using omega 3 capsules. They would be containing also vitamin E added. Also, if you use anything with vegetable oils, they are your friends, so, olive oil and all the other vegetable oils containing very good amounts of vitamin E that is very good for your skin.

There’s also natural things like black cohosh or wild yam. Women use it, but it’s not scientifically proven yet that they are good for their menopausal symptoms. But some women are happy with the results. It comes in capsule forms or in cream forms. You can read the instructions and consult your doctor about them. Some women also are happy with the results of acupuncture, and that’s all alternative treatments, but it’s worth trying.

Changes in your lifestyle are very important. You have to sport more, because sports will bring your hormones into balance and also keep your weight and will make you feel good about yourself, which is very important. There is also the right nutrition. Try to eat healthy stuff like nuts, ginger is very good, and all types of seeds are very good for you.

For your over-all health, especially bone health, you have to concentrate on getting more vitamin D3 that’s the sun vitamin. You can sit in the sun, or use it in capsule form. And it could be a good idea to add calcium, extra calcium, to your diet, either in tablet form or take more dairy products. Some women also use whole food multivitamin capsules if they have a hectic lifestyle, which is also a good idea if they are not able to eat healthy food all the time.

Some women who suffer from urine incontinence say that they are very happy with Kegel exercise.

In Japan women suffer very little from the menopause, and it could be because of their lifestyle; healthy soya products, probably they’re more active than Western women. Also the fact that the Japanese culture values the woman as she gets older, because her role in life is not only bearing children. So I’d like you to think that as we get older we have a different role in life and life is still beautiful and it doesn’t mean that all the stereotypes of beauty have to apply to all of us. We just have to have some peace in our lives. Sport, eat well, and everything will be fine.

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Enjoy life!

Alyaa Gad

Daughters and Puberty

Our children grow so fast. One day they’re babies and next day they’re going through puberty. This video is about preparing your daughter to go through puberty in a peaceful and healthy way.

You have to start early. The first thing you have to do is start at the age of four, telling your daughters about the difference between girls and boys, anatomically speaking. So, how boys look like and how girls look like on the outside and that they are different body wise.

Later on the girl will find out on her own that she is different because she likes to play with dolls perhaps and boys like to play with cars and trains. So she will start to notice the difference between her and boys. In that meantime it’s very important to make her think and feel that she is equal to the boy, in the sense that they’re two equal human beings, she’s not weaker or she’s not less intelligent. You always have to be careful with making your daughter understand that she’s just as good as a boy. In some cultures this is a very big problem because they make their daughters feel that they are weaker and less, and that affects the girls throughout their lives.

You also have to start gradually to tell your daughter about her body as she approaches the puberty, that you tell her that things are going to change in your body. You have to pick the good times to talk to your daughter, so, if she’s not interested or if she’s embarrassed or too shy or she pulls away and she doesn’t want to talk about it, please respect her feelings. So, every time you get the chance to talk to her about a piece of information about her body, pick the right time. For example when you’re together in the car driving, this is a good moment because you’re not looking her in the eyes and so she’s not that embarrassed. And you go and just driving and enjoying the way and talking about maybe embarrassing things.

While cooking you will have to stress with your daughter on the fact that she needs healthy food and encourage her to understand the relation between eating healthy and looking healthy.

Also, if you’re watching movies together, you can explain your opinions about life and morals and love, via commenting on the people or the characters in the film. So, you will be watching a love story and you will explain the good thing about love and the bad things about sexuality or the good things about it. So you can tell her, convey the message to her, via your comments on the characters in the movie.

Puberty has many aspects of development. Not only physical, but also emotional and social. Don’t forget to prepare your child for the emotional and social aspects, as well as the physical, of course.

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THE PHYSICAL ASPECTS

Let’s start with the physical aspects and developments. Puberty is because of the hormones, so the hormones are happening all around your child’s body and she is experiencing a different person who lives inside of her, because of these hormones.

Of course she’s looking at her body and she’s changing. You can give her a book about it and she can read and look at the images of how her body will change. If she gets very confused about it you can also take her to the doctor, a gynaecologist or psychologist, and introduce the aspects of development to her via another person.

It’s also important that if she feels insecure, that you assure her and tell her that girls grow at different paces. So if her schoolmates are different she shouldn’t compare herself to them, because girls are different until the age of, perhaps, eighteen. They have different phases of physical development.

Also, you should encourage her to do sports, because sport will make her more secure about her body and will make her feel much more relaxed with the hormonal changes. Be very practical in that phase, because it’s about time to show the girl practically that she’s a woman.

A good chance at this phase is to buy a book, maybe about anatomy and physiology of the human body. And in this case she will feel more free to know more information on her own.

Around the age of nine it’s a good moment to start to talk about menstruation with your daughter, especially if you have had en early menarche. Menarche is the age at which the girls experience their first menstruation. So if you’ve had an early menarche your daughters’ chance is higher to having an early menarche as well. So you will talk to her about starting menstruation always before it starts, because the experience of the menstruation is sometimes traumatic, very stressful to some girls, and it’s very important that they are physically and mentally ready for it.

Another important experience is the phase of buying her a new bra and new underwear that is fitting for her. So a good thing is to try to measure her size and go together to buy a new bra, it’s a very important experience for a daughter.

And then it’s time to buy pads. I would suggest to always use pads, the cotton ones, or the fabric small towels, because they are healthy and will not have the side effects that tampons can cause. I would not recommend to use tampons. So you can buy her all the things that are important for her menstruation phase, like the pads and the nice water bottle, it’s inside this cute little bear. You can make it yourself if you like.

There’s also the idea of changing in the body odour to your daughter. So it’s important to teach her about personal hygiene, that she should wash everyday and use mild soap. So the soap has to be of a ph that is close to her skin ph. So this soap is ph 5.5, you’ll find it in the pharmacies. That’s better than these aggressive soaps, especially around the genital area.

It’s also important to teach her to be strict with trimming her body hair and brushing her teeth regularly and using deodorant. Some girls would prefer using the roll-on deodorant, some the spray deodorant, but I would prefer to always use natural deodorants. That’s why I’m recommending that you would make your own at home, using for example lemon, baking soda and ginger in a mix. And you can put it in a bottle for your daughter here, like this one.

Your daughter will also wonder about waxing and shaving the bikini area. While it’s good to trim the hair with save scissors like those or to shave it with a shaver, like an electric shaver, the epilation, so, removing the hairs from the root is actually not very healthy because this hair protects her against the mechanical rubbing of the skin against her tight clothes and it also protects her partly against the bacteria. So, having trimmed pubic hair is much better then shaving it or epilating it completely.

It’s also very handy to teach your daughter about the trouble that comes with menstruation. So, you can provide her with painkillers like paracetamol or panadol. I would not suggest her to use aspirin until she’s twenty-five.

Another important aspect of her health development – physically wise – is that she will start to notice skin changes, in the form of acne or maybe other changes like stretch marks and so on. So skin care is very important in this phase. One thing to know is that skin care comes first from inside, so healthy nutrition is a must for young people, as well as everybody, but young people have to understand that healthy food is very important for their appearance as well as the inside. A good way to teach your children to eat healthy food is that you eat healthy food yourself, set a good example, but also explain to them that omega 3 in the form of capsule or gummies, here, will give them very good skin.

At this phase of physical development your daughter will also have problems with her body movement. So she might become a little bit jerky and goofy and will drop things and forget things and so on. So it’s very important to be patient with her and not get angry at mistakes that she might make.

So at this phase it’s important to help her set her priorities and make a to do list, perhaps. And it’s good that she makes it herself, so that realizes that she’s now responsible person.

Now it’s the time to talk about sexuality and how sex happens. At the age of around nine or ten the child fully understands that people have sex. So you can explain to her the importance of sex in reproduction. Use scientific terms and a very serious attitude, and in the meantime a very respectful attitude of the role of sexuality in our lives. You are the source of information, and be sure that if she doesn’t know from you, she will know from other sources. So you’d better tell here the good information that you want her to know

You can give your daughter the values you would like to give her, about virginity, for example, but it’s very important that you don’t scare her of, for example doing sports because she might lose her virginity. The idea is to explain to her that sexual intercourse would affect virginity, but it’s very important, and even more important, to know about sexually transmitted infections. So, she should be aware of the sexually transmitted diseases and the possible ways of getting pregnant, not only be afraid of virginity and losing it.

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THE EMOTIONAL ASPECTS

The emotional aspects of puberty are mainly involving the mood and identity of the child. The girl will have a lot of mood swings because of those hormones, so please put up with her and be a loving and caring parent instead of having an opponing position.

Now the identity of the girl is becoming clear and obvious within the family especially. So her identity forming, at this phase it’s very important that you are focused on this, in a sense of being a positive supporter for her. So what you do is that you are telling her how much you are proud of her and explain to her her role in the family. She’s for example, perhaps, the big sister, the small sister or the middle sister. She is responsible for doing things around the house that are her tasks. So all this identity feelings that she is developing should be your focus as a parent.

Also the fact that she needs emotional and mental supporters all the time. You need to work on that every day.

The decision making process, also. She needs to understand that she can make her own decisions now. And she will start rejecting your authority. That’s okay. Put up with that and support her in it.

The daughter will also start to fall in love and feel emotionally and physically attracted to movie stars or maybe other kids around the block or whatever. So, you have to respect this phase and not make fun of her taste or tell her that it’s not good to be in love with a guy or whatever. So you have to be also positive about her feelings towards the other sex.

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THE SOCIAL ASPECTS

The social aspects of development include the guidelines and the rules that you have to set for your child in order to be able to deal with the society in the best way possible.

You also have to set your rules about mixing with boys and whether you need to talk to her about having sex, and birth control. It’s good to know from her what she’s doing, and of course you should set the limits whether this is acceptable or not.

Remember that peer pressure can cause a lot of situations for her that she would not be able to judge whether it’s right or wrong. So it’s better to know from you whether things are acceptable or not when you are not around. Like when they’re outside the house and going out to party or whatever, she needs to know what’s good and what’s not from you, not from her friends.

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This was a brief discussion of the aspects of development of the child around the puberty time. There is a detailed video about menstruation, if you’d like to look at it, and for more information about personal care during menstruation.

I wish you all the best of health!

Alyaa Gad

Vitamin D

I’d like to explain to you the importance of vitamin D for our body. Vita is life, amin is protein. So a vitamin is a very important for our lives.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that if you don’t have enough fat in your body or if you don’t eat enough fat vitamin D will have a problem. It will not be able to function so well. Remember that.

It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that is mainly made through exposure to sunlight, so if we sit in the sun we make enough amounts of vitamin D for our bodies. There’re also some other sources for vitamin D in our food, like from fish, cod liver oil, some sorts of milk and butter, especially if they’re fortified. Fortified means added to something else and in this case fortified with vitamin D. So, read always on the packs and see if the food is fortified with good elements like vitamin D. You can also get vitamin D from supplements, especially if you live in a place where there isn’t enough sunlight, you can always rely on supplements.

So, why is vitamin D important for our health? It’s very important for the health of our bones, because if we don’t have it we don’t have enough calcium in our bones. I’ll explain later why. And it’s also important for other systems in our body. Our immune system depends on vitamin D for many processes. SO, if you don’t have enough vitamin D you get often sick, like with viral infections, bacterial infections and also on the long run, we found out, that people deficient in vitamin D can have higher risk for cancer.

Our nervous system is also depending on vitamin D for many vital processes. That’s why people who don’t have enough vitamin D can experience symptoms of depression. Our intestinal functions also need vitamin D and calcium. That’s why people who have problems with vitamin D can suffer from problems with absorption of food, chronic constipation or problems in general with their colon. We’ve also found out that vitamin D plays a role in prevention of multiple sclerosis, diabetes I and II, glucose intolerance and hypertension.

So, let’s see how vitamin D works in our bodies. Imagine that you’re on holiday, you’re sitting in the sun with your chest, back and arms exposed. You have no sunblock on your skin and you’re enjoying a relaxed time. If you’ve been eating omega 3 and omega 6 (fats in your food), that’s very good. It will protect you against sunburns, but it’ll also help your skin make better amount of vitamin D. Now, your skin in making, under the influence of ultraviolet rays, vitamin D, and this will go to your liver, because it’s not so active. In the liver, using the healthy fats, vitamin D will become vitamin D2. But it’s still not an active form. That’s why it goes to the kidneys and healthy kidney can transform it into D3, and that’s the active form of vitamin D. This is the form that can do the job to go pick up the calcium. Now, you’ve been drinking calcium in your milk, or cheese. So, the building blocks of calcium that you eat in your food and drink in your milk goes on vitamin D3 and they get transported into your blood stream, to the organs that need it, and gives them out. These organs are: your bones, your brain, your immune system, your intestines. So many organs need your calcium, and it’s only possible through vitamin D3. So, in order to have healthy levels of vitamin D, or vitamin D3, you need to sit in the sun, have enough omega 3 and omega 6 in your diet have a healthy liver and healthy bile, have healthy kidneys, and when all those organs working together you will be having enough vitamin D3 in your body, otherwise you will have a problem with it.

So, why do we sometimes get to little vitamin D in our bodies, when does that happen? One reason is not having enough sunlight because we are to scared of having skin cancer or because we don’t want to get a sunburn, also because we’re to busy working, so there’s no time to go in the sun. Another reason is that some people have cultural reasons or religious reasons to cover their bodies, and then they don’t expose to enough sunlight. Also some people are too scared of cancer, so they use to much sunblock on their bodies, and then there’s no chance for the ultraviolet rays to get into your skin and make vitamin D. If you eat too little fat in your diet or the wrong fats in your diet, then you will end up having a problem with vitamin D. If you have too much stress in your life you make too much cortisone, and then the cortisone is responsible for blocking the action of vitamin D. If you have dark skin, like me or darker, then you need to sit longer in the sun to get healthy amounts of vitamin D. So, very dark skin people need much longer time in the sun to make enough vitamin D.

If you are breastfeeding you might need extra vitamin D, using supplements, you and your child as well. If you’re suffering from any health problems, especially liver disease and gall bladder problems, if you have chronic kidney disease, parathyroid or thyroid problems, or intestinal problems in general, you could be having problems with your vitamin D. So, talk to your doctor about checking your vitamin D in the blood, if you have any of these diseases.

I wish you all the best!

Alyaa Gad

Recovering from Antibiotics

“How to recover from antibiotics.” – What does that mean? If you’ve been treated with a course of antibiotics for a long or a short time, or if you’ve been using food that has antibiotics in it, without you knowing, or if you’ve been misusing antibiotics in any way, you might start to have health problems. You might suffer from certain complaints that will make your life a little bit more difficult.

Side Effects of Antibiotics

Let me discuss the complaints that you might have from use of antibiotics. The most affected organs would probably be your intestines. That’s because the antibiotics are going to kill the bacterial flora, which is the friendly bacteria in your intestines that is responsible for digestion and making vitamin K, which is important for you. So, you will notice that you’re having trouble in your gut, so, you will start to have bloating, gas, irregular bowel movement, so, you will have constipation, then diarrhea and then bloating again and so on. You might also suffer from heartburn and feeling generally unwell. You might also start to notice bleeding from the gums or from the nose. That’s also related to the lack of vitamin K. You might also suffer from yeast infections, which is a fungal infection that can be anywhere on your body, either on your skin or in your mouth or in the genital area. All that is because your bacteria flora – the friendly bacteria in the gut – has been affected by the antibiotics.

So, what we need to do now is correct the level of bacterial flora in your gut. How do we do that?

First of, you will need to lead a healthy lifestyle. So, you drink a lot of water. Avoid bad foods. Bad foods are rich in sugar, carbohydrates that are unhealthy, like pasta, packed foods, processed foods – these are all unhealthy foods. Instead of that you should eat vegetables, fruits, grains, healthy fats (that’s vegetable oils mainly)

Probiotics and Prebiotics

You can also use probiotics. These are very healthy foods that are fermented, so that helps the growth of the good bacteria in the gut. Probiotics are mainly: yogurt, kefir and yeast. If you are suffering from any problems with kefir or yeast, I would suggest that you take it slowly. So you start with very small amounts, like one spoon a day, and then increase it gradually. If you go to the shop and want to buy probiotics, look for the name lactobacillus on it – that’s the good bacteria for you.

You can also use foods that are called prebiotics. Prebiotics are foods that help the growth of bacteria, because they don’t get absorbed in the body, they stay for a long time in the intestines. Like, leeks (garlic, onions), honey, bananas, these are all very good foods for your bacteria flora.

You can also try fermented fresh vegetables. That means, pickles that are pickled in a healthy way. So, you can try to pickle at home. So, try for example the ginger, to pickle it at home, or maybe cucumbers, also are healthy. But don’t add too much salt. So, pickled vegetables are very good for your gut flora.

If you’re a fan of soups you can try bone broth or gelatin soups. You can buy bones from the butcher, and what’s inside – the broth – you can make soups with it, and that’s very good for your gut flora. You can also add onions to it, or any vegetables of your choice.

It’s very important to know that your gut flora affects the function of your intestines, and healthy intestines affect the whole body. So it’s very important to replace the gut flora that has been affected by your antibiotic abuse.

I wish you all the best!

Alyaa Gad

My Child Hits Me

Sometimes our children show hostile actions that make us angry at them. And we might reflexively reply in a similar hostile manner. This is a very bad idea. When your child is being aggressive you are required to stop the hostility in a peaceful manner, because you must understand that he’s not able to express himself. Your child is probably frustrated, and this is the only way to get your attention. Especially for children who are not yet able to speak.

I’m going to suggest how to respond peacefully to your child’s aggression in three different scenarios, in order to stop the action without ever hitting your child. In the three cases of hitting, biting and hair pulling, you’ll be able to stop your child in the ways that I’m going to show you right now.

Imagine that your child is rushing towards you trying to hit you. What are you going to do is this: You will receive his lower arms into your hands, stop his motion this way holding them up high while talking to him and saying that he cannot hit Mum or Dad or anyone because it’s not friendly. Keep holding the arms up high while applying little pressure. What will happen is that he will get tired as his arms are now slightly aching, and gradually he will stop hitting you. If you do that every time he tries to hit you or his siblings, by simply holding his arms like this, saying that he “cannot hit your mom or dad, or your brother or sister” – gentle without yelling – and eventually he will know that every time he hits someone this will happen. In the end he will stop hitting others.

The second scenario: If your child tries to bite you, what will you do then? Press with two fingers between his jaws on the muscle that he’s using to bite. It will make him open his mouth and you can get your finger out.

The third scenario is when your child tries to pull out your hair. What you should do is to move his hand closer to you, so that you feel less pain, then press with your thumb in the middle of the back of his hand. His hand will hurt him very slightly and his grip will loosen and he won’t be able to pull hard. Then you’ll be able to set your hair free.

Every time he tries to show any of these aggressive behaviours, and if he will find the same consistent reactions from you, then he will eventually stop, and you won’t be hurting his feelings by hitting him back or insulting him. And so you’ll be able to maintain a good relationship with your child.

I wish you the best of luck!

Alyaa Gad

Blood Types

Knowing your blood group might one day save your life or the lives of others, including those of your future children. In this video I’ll explain blood groups and the important points we all need to know about them.

Scientists have classified our blood into groups, according to the presence of certain proteins on the surface of the blood cells, the red blood cells to be exact. One group of people who have the same certain protein, say, protein A, scientists have named them group A. Another group of people who have another certain protein, say, protein B, they named them group B. Another group of people, who have both of the two previous proteins – A and B – they named them group AB. Another group of people, who have neither of the two previous proteins, they named them group 0.

The importance of blood groups is vital during operations and blood transfusions. We must know your group to know from whom you can receive blood or to whom you can donate blood. Our body reacts against foreign proteins, so if you’re group A, group B will be foreign for you. And the same you’re group B, group A will be foreign to you. If you are from group A and received blood from group B, your body will recognize it as foreign bodies and will react against the protein B. So, A cannot receive from B, but if A donates blood to AB, the body of AB will recognize A as a friend, not a foreign body, and will not react against it. So, know we have understood that A can donate blood to AB without considerable problems, and the same if B donates blood to AB, the body of AB will recognize both A and B as familiar proteins. So, blood group A can donate blood to AB and to itself of course, group B can donate blood to AB and to itself of course, group AB can donate blood to itself only. Group 0 means that there are no proteins on the surface that belong to that classification. So, 0 will not be recognized as a foreign body by any other type. That’s why group 0 can donate blood to group 0, group A can receive blood from group 0 as well, the body will not recognize anything wrong. 0 can donate blood to B and also to AB. Group AB can receive blood from all blood types and 0 can donate blood to all blood types. So, 0 is called a universal donor and AB is called a universal recipient.

But hold it right there. Another scientist came along and said “hey, I found out from my researches on Rhesus monkeys, that there’s a certain protein, and I call it the RH factor, that may be present in all blood groups, or may be absent”. Now we know that group A individuals who have Rhesus factor are called A+ (A positive), so the group A individuals who have not got the Rh factor are called A- (A negative). The same for blood group B, AB and 0. They might be Rhesus positive (Rh+) or negative (Rh-). During blood transfusion Rh+ can receive from Rh-, which has no protein on the surface, and from Rh+ as well of course, because the body will recognize it as a friend and won’t do anything against it. So in fact AB+ is the general or universal recipient, which can receive blood from all blood groups, and 0- is the general donor, that can donate blood to all the other groups.

In addition to the importance of blood groups during operations and blood transfusion, they’re also important to know around the time of pregnancy and childbirth. One common example is when the parents are different in the Rhesus factor. Especially when the mother is negative and the father is positive. Rhesus factor may be inherited by the baby from his father’s side, so the mother would recognize the blood of her baby as foreign body and would react against it. The first pregnancy may pass safely, but during delivery some of the fetal blood may enter the maternal circulation and the body of the mother will recognize the Rhesus factor (the positive Rhesus factor) as foreign body, and will form antibodies against it. If the second baby is Rhesus positive like the first baby, the previously formed antibodies will react against the foreign protein, killing the fetus and causing abortion. To save the baby the mother is given a drug that can prevent Rhesus negative mothers’ antibodies from being able to react against Rhesus positive fetal blood. Rhesus negative women are given the drug around the 28th week of pregnancy. So it’s very important before marriage to do blood group testing and if the mother is Rhesus negative and the father is Rhesus positive the mother must be given a drug by the end of the first pregnancy or during the second pregnancy.

That was a summary of blood groups including the most important points we should know about this topic.

I wish you the best of health!

Alyaa Gad

Parenting Quiz

As parents we often wonder whether we are doing the right things for our children. Are we providing them with the best possible upbringing? Are we being good parents for our beloved? The old-fashioned parenting methods have a lot of great, solid and time-tested points. However, some practices may do more harm then good. That’s why it’s very important to keep ourselves updated with the best parenting methods.

Modern parenting requires us to be good readers. I would suggest that you start setting up your own parenting library at home and to use some of your free time – say 15 minutes a day – to learn a new skill from a book that is at hand. Libraries and bookshops are perfect places to visit and spend a day reading and exploring your way through different book categories, so you can start setting up your own parenting library according to your family needs.

Let me suggest some books that you can find in paper form as well as the digital one. For example this one – How to Raise Your Child’s Personality, by Dr. Balqis Daghistany– it’s a great one, but it’s in Arabic. Also The Rules of Parenting by Richard Templar – here’s a translated edition in Arabic. Another excellent book is How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, which shows you how to deal with your child in very simple yet effective ways. With those books I will teach you some points in next videos. Also on the Internet you’ll find a lot of useful sites like those on the screen. Reading about the best ways to raise your kids will help you behave and react better with the children and be a better father and mother for them.

To measure whether we are treating our children the right way I’m going to ask you 20 questions in the form of a questionnaire. Give yourself one point if your answer is yes and zero points if the answer is no. Then we will check the results to know if you are doing well as a parent or if you need some changes of attitudes and behaviours. The best way to raise our children is to simply good role models and the kids will follow. What we do, our children will do. As simple as that.

So, here comes a list of some important points to be a good role model for your children. Please grab a pen and a paper, and for the positive answer give a point and for the negative answer give zero points. I’ll guide you at the end of the list. The results will be mentioned at the end of the questionnaire.

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  1. I express my feelings by using the form of “I” instead of “you”.
    Eg.: “I didn’t see your room being tidy.” instead of “You are bad/stupid for not tidying up you room.” So: “I have so-and-so feelings because this-and-that happened.”
  2. I practice sports in front of my children and I encourage them to be active, too. 
  3. I don’t smoke or drink alcohol or use drugs in front of my children and I don’t depend on sedatives to be in a good or friendly mood. 
  4. If they have a problem, I encourage them to find a solution on their own, and I continuously motivate them to be independent. 
  5. Once there is a problem, accident or clash I try to find a way to solve it in a wise and quiet manner, instead of yelling and blaming. 
  6. I express my respect and endearment for my partner in front of my children and I avoid marital disputes in their presence. 
  7. I express my caring for my children by taking part in their games and activities they like. 
  8. I express my sincere sympathy for my children’s sadness if they lose something special for them – even if it’s just a toy – and I don’t make fun of their emotions. 
  9. I accept to be the one who takes advice from my children instead of being always the one who gives advice and orders all the time. 
  10. I ask my child’s opinion as much as possible in a family decision making process. 
  11. I show my love for my children by hugging them, smiling for them and keeping the eye contact. 
  12. I show my children that what I do for them is love them, not because it’s a burden or a hard thing to do. 
  13. I have friends that I regularly visit with my children, so they would learn about friendship and social manners. 
  14. I talk with them about the good manners in the form of nice stories and examples and I support them to learn more about science. 
  15. I show them theoretically and practically how save the environment and to be careful with water and electricity. 
  16. My children see that my deeds follow and match my sayings and that I don’t lie. 
  17. My children see that I respect life and that I don’t kill plants or torture animals and beneficial insects. 
  18. I admit my mistakes and clearly apologize. 
  19. I don’t mock or make fun of their feelings or looks while criticizing their behaviour. 
  20. I don’t gossip or talk badly about others in front of my children and I always use polite and proper language with them.

So you’ve got 20 answers, some yes, some no, let’s count the points and see.

If your total points are 19 or 20 you’re a great father or mother and you show what your child needs to learn.

If your total is 18-16 points you’re a good parent and your children are getting useful points of most of what you do to help them create their character.

If your score is 15-13 points your effort is okay, but you need to work more on the aspects that you answered with “no”.

Less then 12 points: Remember that you are raising your children to be good or bad people. Why don’t you take the chance to make their lives better by being a better role model for them?

If you’re not happy with the results please consider reading more about the subject, for thoughts become deeds.

Best regards for you and your family!

Alyaa Gad

Managing Waste

Managing waste is teamwork. Accumulation of waste is a major problem that can be solved only if individuals have proper environmental awareness to cooperate with their governments. This will decrease the amount of waste and will reduce its impact on our environment.

Toxic waste may be absorbed into the ground and then gets into plants, and then plants will be consumed by animals and animals will be consumed by us, humans. We should be aware of how to reduce the amount of waste as well as its negative impact on the environment and hence on humans.

Mostly our whole waste consists of drink packs like milk, juice, cola – either plastic or paper packs – pizza, organic materials like food peels, tins, glass, paper, plastic shampoo bottles.

Concerning broken glass, I recommend that you would put it in a carton or paper and close it tightly in order to avoid harming the waster collectors. That of course if you don’t have any recycling facilities where you live.

Hazardous waste includes chemicals used in cleaning, dyes, batteries, lamps, and you will find a sign on the products, stating that this product is hazardous for the environment. Not only it affects the environment, but it also affects our health when we dispose it in the wrong way.

Why should we reduce the size of waste? Because we have a limited number of garbage trucks that can effectively dispose it. If the amount of waste exceeds the capacity of safely disposing it our waste will accumulate and will cause spreading of diseases.

We can use our three R’s:

  • Reduce
  • Reuse
  • Recycle

Which means: Reducing the amount of waste, reusing the useful products and recycle as much as we can.

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So how can we reduce the amount of our waste?

Let’s take this milk pack for example. As shown here, you should fold the pack and dispose it folded. This will reduce its size. Also, you can fold pizza boxes.

Organic waste can be used as plant fertilizer. If you collect fruit peels and the leftovers of your food in a closed box this will be an excellent plant fertilizer for you, and you may be able to sell it as well.

Glass jars can be used to store other materials or for children to have their own artwork on it.

Then we will have only tin and plastic remaining.

Chemicals, lamps and empty batteries should be handed over to the recycling factory because this is the safest way to dispose them. You can inform about recycling factories where you live online.

We should also avoid using plastic bags, because after throwing them away they may end up in the sea and kill the fish or maybe end up in an agricultural land and kill the plants. You can replace plastic bags with canvas bags made of fabric, and maybe bags that you’ve made yourself or bought from the stores. Always keep your canvas shopping bag in your bag whenever you are shopping. This way you are protecting the environment because they are less harmful items to throw away. You can make your own shopping bag at home and some stores will be able to provide you with them and their names are printed on it, so, it’s a good marketing way.

If you are to choose a product that is packed in two different forms – one for example is in a paper pack and the other is in a plastic pack – choose the one that comes in a paper pack. Always choose paper over plastic. Paper has a lower negative effect on the environment. When shopping, always choose the easier product form to recycle, because plastic is difficult to recycle.

Now I’d like to show you how to keep waste in a smaller volume. Take this milk pack, for example, fold it as shown on the pack. This means that it will take a smaller volume, so that the garbage truck, instead of taking 5 of them, will be able to take 50 bottles. Always make sure to fold paper packs, especially pizza boxes.

I wish you good health and a healthy environment!

Alyaa Gad