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Advice on wearing contact lenses

Posted by on Nov 4, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Contact lenses are a safe, convenient and effective method of obtaining quality vision. More and more people use contact lenses instead of glasses, preferring the aesthetic benefits as well as the convenience factor. The lenses themselves have become better through the years and are now made of top quality materials. You also have many customizable options when it comes to choosing contact lenses. While lenses are much safer today than they used to be, there are still precautions that you need to take. If they are not properly maintained, problems and injuries can occur. These problems include red eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision and watery eyes. The most commonly recommended method of resolving these issues is to stop using lenses for a period of time. If there is no improvement in symptoms, further action may need to be taken. In order to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place, use some of these tips to keep your eye and contact lenses in top condition. Massage your eyes daily and keep your eyelids clean A lot of people have eyelids that have clogged glands and have crusting around the lashes. This can cause problems for your eyes when you rub them. To clean this residue, simply get some warm water and use your fingers to wipe your eyelids. This will help to open up clogged glands and clean the lashes. These actions will also increase comfort when wearing contact lenses. Wipe your lenses nightly Every night before going to bed, you should rub your lenses for a few seconds when you have removed them. This prevents bacteria from building up when they are stored through the night and ensures that they are ready for use the following morning. It will also keep the lenses from drying out and minimise the incidences of allergic reactions. Don’t store your contact lenses in water The majority of water will have some form of germs in it. There are microbes such as amoebas that may attach to the lenses and subsequently latch onto your cornea. Always make sure to replace the solution daily and never top it off or mix with old solution. This could cause serious problems such as corneal ulcers down the road. Don’t wear lenses for an extended period of time You should always check with your optometrist as to the life length of your contact lenses. While you should remove them daily, before going to bed, you should also give them a good cleaning regularly with a multipurpose solution. For more information and care tips, contact a local eye clinic like John Mountford...

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4 Foods To Make Your Period More Regular

Posted by on Oct 12, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Life is always more simple when your period arrives on time. You’re guaranteed to have no nasty surprises on an important occasion and you can generally feel more confident and prepared. Unfortunately for some women, the menstrual cycle can be pretty unpredictable — hitting the body and mind like a sensitive, bloaty ninja with no regard for your social life. Thankfully though, you can take back control in your body by making a few changes to your diet. The right foods can help balance your hormones which, aside from improving well being and general health, can make for a very reliable menstrual cycle. To that end, here are 4 top foods that can ensure Mother Nature calls when she’s supposed to! Nuts and seeds Protein is a must for a natural, regular menstrual cycle and nuts and seeds contain heaps of the stuff. It can be hard to get enough sources of protein when you lead a busy life, but eating a handful of nuts or seeds each day will help to balance your hormones and regulate your cycle. Try a mix of walnuts, almonds, fennel seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds to restore hormonal balance. These are also a great source of manganese which can help ease heavy flows and discomfort around your cycle. Sesame seeds can also promote regular periods but don’t have too many — excessive amounts can increase body heat (and when body temperature is already increased during a period, this is not what you want!). Fish As well as getting plenty of protein from nuts or seeds, you can also benefit from another of the great protein sources — fish and specifically fish oil. Things like salmon, bluefish tuna and mackerel are all rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and these oils are a big win for regular periods. The fatty acids and mercury in Omega-3 protect the blood vessels in your ovaries from damage that can delay your period. Fish oil also helps to enhance fertility and keep your hormones stabilised. To avoid too large an intake of mercury by consuming fish, you can always take some Omega-3 oil in the form of a supplement instead. Instead Non-white foods If foods are white, they are usually processed in some form and this is not good for keeping your period on schedule. Things like white sugar, flour, potatoes, white bread, pasta and rice disrupt your menstrual cycle by creating excess amounts of insulin in the body. These insulin surges result in fat storage which can slow down ovulation. To increase your chances of a regular and more natural cycle, try non-white foods such as wholemeal bread and wholegrain pasta and rice. Foods in their purest form are better for your hormone levels and therefore, the wiser choice for your period. Dark chocolate It’s true — chocolate is actually encouraged for your period! Not just any chocolate though — solid dark chocolate, to be precise. A few guilt-free blocks of this stuff can boost estrogen levels and increase the feel good hormone, dopamine. Not only this, dark chocolate contains handy little helpers known as flavenoids which help to increase circulation in your ovary glands. There can often be a build up of platelet cells in your bloodstream, which causes clots and can delay your period. Thankfully,...

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Three Practical Tips on Preventing Dental Caries

Posted by on Sep 29, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Dental caries is a common condition which is also known as tooth decay and cavities. The illness occurs when the tooth structure is broken down due to the activities of oral bacteria. In simple terms, the bacteria produce enzymes and acid from the sugars in the mouth. These substances will break down the dental tissues including the enamel and dentine. Eventually, a hole will be formed on the teeth, resulting in pain and discomfort. Potential complications are infection, formation of abscess, severe inflammation and even permanent tooth loss. Ideally, tooth decay can be repaired using fillings, inlays and crowns. However, prevention is the best way to limit dental weakness and eliminate the related expenses. Use Fluorides Fluoride is a substance derived from fluorine, a common naturally-occurring element. The material is found in some water sources, and it will prevent formation of dental cavities when used in regulated amounts. Additionally, fluoride compounds are the active ingredients in toothpastes, so regular brushing of teeth will prevent degradation of the teeth. When fluoride is delivered topically in form of toothpaste or rinses, it heals the tooth by strengthening the dental mineral structure. Moreover, the low level of fluoride in the mouth will slow down the activities of the bacteria. There are no adverse side effects linked to drinking fluoridated water or using fluoride toothpaste. However, you should note that water with naturally excess fluoride will cause a cosmetic dental condition known as fluorosis. Reduce Sugar Consumption Frequent brushing of teeth with high-quality toothpaste is effective against dental caries. However, if you consume excess sugar, you are still at risk of the condition. As mentioned, the bacterial in the oral cavity produce enzymes and create acids from sugars. The chemical nature of these compounds will corrode the surface of the teeth. If you have high simple sugar intake, the bacteria will have enough time to decompose the material before the next brushing session. You can prevent the problem by reducing the amount of simple sugar consumed. The common problematic edibles include biscuits, soft drinks, sweets and cakes. Use Sealants Children are more susceptible to dental caries because they consume a lot of sugar and their oral hygiene is not well-developed. You can protect your children by having a dentist install sealants on their teeth. The sealants are used to cover the fissure and pits on the back teeth. These surfaces are vulnerable because food can stick there, making it difficult to clean. You can consult your dentist on the most ideal time to install the...

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4 Mobility Aids That Can Support Those With Multiple Sclerosis

Posted by on Aug 21, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Your ability to retain your independence during a multiple sclerosis relapse can be difficult due to common symptoms such as muscle weakness, tiredness and balance problems. These symptoms can make everyday tasks such as showering and meal preparation both time-consuming and physically challenging. There are a number of mobility aids that can enable you to continue carrying out daily living tasks during a relapse. Here’s an overview of four aids for you to consider: Walking Stick With Folding Seat If your balance is affected or you experience fatigue, you may worry about leaving the house on your own. Using a walking stick with a folding seat attached to it can make going to the shops or taking a walk around your neighbourhood feel like less of a risk for you. You can use the walking stick for support as you would any type of walking stick, but if you feel the need to sit down, you have an instant seat no matter where you are. Simply pull the seat out and two additional legs will pop out with the seat, giving you a three-legged stool. Bath Board If you struggle to lift your legs into the bath or are concerned about losing your balance in the shower, a bath board may be just what you need. A bath board is a firm plastic panel that fits across the top of your bath, giving you a secure seat. It enables you to shower sitting down, or you can sit on it and swing your legs over and into the bath, rather than trying to lift them high enough to step over the side of the bath. Can And Jar Openers Battery-operated can and jar openers are invaluable if muscle weakness affects your grip and co-ordination. The jar opener fits over the jar lid, grips it and twists it off at the touch of a button. Similarly, a battery-operated can opener pierces through the can and removes the lid without you having to engage your hand muscles in gripping or turning. Weighted Cutlery Multiple sclerosis relapses don’t tend to just affect sufferers physically, as common symptoms can also leave people feeling embarrassed and socially isolated. Eating can become difficult as decreased muscle coordination can cause you to spill your food as you try and move it to your mouth. If you struggle to eat meals during a relapse or worry about spilling food when eating out or with guests at home, give weighted cutlery a go. The handles are thick and easier to grip than regular cutlery, and the extra weight encourages the muscles in your hands to engage more fully. Your multiple sclerosis nurse or physiotherapist can discuss the full range of mobility aids that are available, so let them know if there’s anything you’re struggling with. You can also find mobility aids at your own through professional businesses, like GMS...

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Hiatal Hernias Explained

Posted by on Jul 28, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Your diaphragm separates your chest cavity from your abdomen and has a small opening, known as the hiatus. Your oesophagus fits through this opening and connects to your stomach, but your stomach can also push up through this opening into your chest cavity, and this is referred to as a hiatal hernia.  Symptoms of a hiatal hernia include heartburn and chest pain, but it can also cause you to have problems swallowing, which can impact your nutritional intake. In some cases, stomach acid can damage the oesophagus, causing ulceration and a build-up of scar tissue. Risk factors for developing a hiatal hernia include being overweight, excessive coughing and straining during bowel movements, all of which can put too much strain on your stomach muscles. Here’s an overview of the treatment options for hiatal hernias: Hiatal Hernia Treatment Options Hiatal hernias can be diagnosed using an upper gastrointestinal series or endoscopy, and your gastroenterologist will recommend a course of treatment based on the severity of your symptoms and the results of the diagnostic imaging. Treatment may include the following: Lifestyle Changes Eating several small meals throughout the day and sleeping propped up on a few pillows can ease symptoms such as heartburn by reducing the flow of stomach acid up your oesophagus. Avoiding bending over after meals can also help with heartburn symptoms. It’s worth keeping a food-and-symptoms diary to establish any trigger foods. Sufferers may find fried or fatty foods and caffeine make their symptoms worse. Additionally, if you’re overweight, you should notice a marked improvement in your symptoms by getting your weight down to within the healthy range for your height. Medication There are several types of medication you can try to ease your symptoms. Antacids can neutralise stomach acid, but they can stop other medications from working, so only take them with your doctor’s approval. Proton-pump inhibitors reduce the amount of acid made by your stomach, while alginates line your oesophagus with a protective coating to reduce the irritation caused by your stomach acid. Surgery When lifestyle changes and medication have failed to improve your symptoms, surgery may be recommended. The surgical procedure used to treat hiatal hernias is known as the Nissen fundoplication. This procedure involves narrowing the hiatus to prevent the stomach bulging through the gap and strengthening a valve that prevents the flow of acid from your stomach to your oesophagus. Your surgeon can use a combination of traditional keyhole and new robot-assisted surgery techniques to carry out this procedure. Typically, a few small incisions are made in your abdomen to allow the surgeon to insert a small, flexible camera and allow the robotic system to access your hiatus. The robotic system consists of a number of small arms with tools attached and is connected to a computer, which gives your surgeon full control of it. Advantages of using a robotic system for this type of surgery include improved vision of an area that can be hard to reach, and the tools are more flexible than those used traditionally, so surgical technique can be more precise. If you’re experiencing symptoms associated with a hiatal hernia, see a gastroenterologist for a formal...

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3 Tips on Managing Hyperhidrosis

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Hyperhidrosis (or excessive sweating) is a frustrating and oftentimes embarrassing condition. People afflicted with this condition may find that they sweat year round, even in very cold weather under sedentary conditions. Sufferers may also find that nervousness, anxiety or other emotional states can heighten or trigger their sweating response. Treatment is not always as simple as buying a high-strength antiperspirant and showering at least once a day. Treatment can be a system of trial and error, expensive and even ineffective. So if you suffer from excessive sweating how can you make the best of it? 1. Avoid triggers Unfortunately hyperhidrosis can be exacerbated by many external factors. Your anxiety and stress levels, your ingestion of caffeine or other stimulants and of course, the humidity of your environment. While it might not be possible to control your exposure to humidity (depending on where you live), or to alleviate all stress, there are things you can do to manage these triggers. Consider limiting your intake of caffeinated beverages and spicy food if they are known to make your condition worse. Learning to meditate could also be helpful in reducing your immediate stress levels and controlling your nervous system. 2. Wear sensible clothing For someone with hyperhidrosis of the underarms this could mean wearing loose fitting clothes or dark/patterned clothing to hide sweat marks. You could also consider buying underarm pads for long sleeved shirts, to soak up any dampness and reduce odor throughout the day. For people with hyperhidrosis of the feet things can be more complicated. Open footwear will help your feet breathe and prevent bacterial skin infections but they can also be difficult to walk in if your sweating is severe. In the summer choose open-toed shoes with a sturdy strap to keep them firmly to your feet. In the winter choose thick socks that can absorb a lot of moisture but also wick it away from your skin. Sports socks may be a good choice for some, while others might benefit from investing in high quality woolen socks.  3. Seek out treatment options If your hyperhidrosis becomes unmanageable and is beginning to affect your day to day life then seeking out professional treatment could be the best option. Treatment options range from prescription antiperspirants to surgery, with a wide array of options in between. Some sufferers find Botox injections capable of alleviating their symptoms while others have had great success with iontophoresis machines.  Don’t let excessive sweating ruin social situations or rule your life. Use these handy tips to take back...

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Understanding the Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options for Migraines

Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Migraines can develop at any point in your life and episodes tend to come on suddenly, leaving you unable to fulfil work and social commitments. The frequency of migraine attacks vary between individuals, with some people experiencing several each week and others having only a few a year. Here’s what you need to know about migraines: Causes There’s been a significant amount of research and debate around the cause of migraines and there are several theories, but it’s often not possible to pinpoint the cause of an individual’s migraines. Possible causes include: Abnormal constriction and dilation of blood vessels in the brain. Constriction is thought to be responsible for visual disturbances that can accompany migraine headaches and dilation is thought to bring on the headache. An imbalance of chemicals in the brain may lead to the brain causing the symptoms of migraine by sending confusing signals to different parts of your body. Muscle tension in the back and neck could alter the alignment of the spine and cause migraine symptoms. Symptoms Symptoms of migraine vary between sufferers, but can include: Debilitating headache Nausea and vomiting Aversion to bright lights and noise Poor concentration Abdominal upset Numbness in your arm or face Slurred speech Blurred vision or visual aura, which can cause you to see flashes of light or experience a temporary reduction in vision Treatment Options If you suspect you’re having migraines you should see your GP for a formal diagnosis. They will take details of your symptoms and may arrange for you to have an MRI of your brain to check for lesions or abnormal growths. Migraine sufferers often have to try a variety of treatments to find one that works for them, so work with your doctor and keep them updated. You may find it useful to keep a migraine diary to note down your symptoms and how you feel each treatment is impacting on the frequency and severity of your migraines. Below are two major forms of treatment options. Medication There are three main types of medication used to treat migraines. Anti-sickness medication is used at the onset of a migraine and can put a stop to vomiting, which can cause dehydration if it’s severe. Having a break from being sick can also allow you to try and fall asleep, which many sufferers find helpful. Abortive medication is used to halt or reduce the severity of a migraine once it starts. Take this medication as soon as you notice any symptoms of a migraine attack and you may not actually develop a migraine. These tablets work by altering a chemical in your brain, known as 5HT, which is thought to play a key role in the development of some migraines. Preventative medication is taken on a daily basis and is ideal for those who experience several migraines each month. Several types of medication can be prescribed to try and prevent migraines including beta-blockers, low-dose tricyclic antidepressants and anticonvulsants.   Magnesium Supplementation People who experience migraines are often deficient in magnesium and magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce the number of migraines sufferers have. It’s not clear why migraine sufferers tend to have lower levels of magnesium, but possible contributory factors include inherited or disease related malabsorption, overexcretion in urine and insufficient dietary intake. Ask your...

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5 Reasons Men Avoid a Doctor’s Visit & Why They Should Still Go

Posted by on May 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Men can be particularly stubborn when it comes to visiting a doctor. They may cover up worries or anxieties, but the truth is they should ignore these excuses and go visit the doctor anyway. Here are some of the common reasons and why you shouldn’t use them. Can’t Afford It It’s certainly true that health care costs have risen substantially in recent years. However, the government has programmes in place to help you meet the costs of examinations, prescriptions or treatments if needed. For example, healthcare professionals can accept Medicare payment from the government for the services that they provide you, known as bulk billing. Alternatively, you can send the health care provider’s bill to the government for help with its payment. Learn more by contacting local services like Treetops General Practice. Don’t Need a Checkup Men like to be their own doctors and diagnose whether or not they are healthy. Yet the truth is that many conditions can develop over a long period of time, without any warning. As you age it is even more important that you schedule visits, in order to get all the advisable tests. Often, a simple blood and urine sample can reveal much. Can Be Humiliating As you get into middle age the risks of developing prostate cancer can start to rise. Many men feel that having a prostate exam is a very humiliating experience and as a consequence they avoid it. Yet a prostate specific antigen blood test is non-invasive and can at least give indicators whether any further tests are needed. Remember, doctors are very experienced at this type of procedure and will respect your concerns. Likewise, when it comes to something like an STD, it is not going to go away by itself and will require treatment. If left unchecked it could cause additional problems, or be passed to others. Hope it Goes Away Men often drag their feet if they discover something unusual on their body. For example, they may find that a mole has started to change its colour, has developed a ragged border or is growing. Always get this checked out, as melanoma is a particularly aggressive form of cancer. Other weird changes could lead to other complications; catching something now means less extensive surgery or medications later. Too Invasive Dealing with a colorectal examination periodically is a much smaller price to pay than the risk of having to deal with a devastating and potentially fatal disease. After the age of 50 you should schedule a colonoscopy. Your doctor will advise you how often you should have one and this is mostly to do with any family history of colon cancer. If you see any blood in your stool or are suffering from abdominal pain, you need to check this out...

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How To Keep Your Hearing Aids Safe When Exercising

Posted by on Apr 16, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

If you enjoy exercising, you’ll know your hearing aids don’t always cope too well when you’re active. They can be damaged by sweat, get knocked off if you’re playing a rough sport and stop working if you get caught in the rain. Hearing aid accessories can keep your hearing aids safe while you play sport or enjoy that morning jog. Here’s an overview of common signs of damage and four accessories you may find useful: Signs Of Dirt Or Moisture Damage If you’re wondering if your hearing aids are already damaged from exposure to dirt and moisture, here are some common tell-tale signs: Sound seem to fade in and out You can see moisture droplets when inspecting the earmold tubes Loud noises have become harder to hear Sounds aren’t as clear as they were Accessories That Offer Protection The following accessories can help you keep your hearing aids dry and secure: Sport Clips – These metal clips wrap around your ear and hold your hearing aids in place more securely. They are ideal for preventing your hearing aids coming off when you play contact sports, but they’ll also give you extra security when running. You can attach the clips to a necklace, which means if your hearing aids do get knocked out they will remain attached to the necklace and won’t land on the ground. Sleeves – If you need to protect your hearing aids from dirt and moisture, hearing aid sleeves are a good option. They are made from acoustically transparent nylon, which means they won’t muffle your hearing even though they fit over your hearing aids. Sleeves come in a variety of colours, so why not match them to your team strip? Sweatbands – Sweatbands fit over your ears in the same way sleeves do, but they are better at absorbing moisture. They’re not acoustically transparent, so sound may be a little muffled when using sweatbands. However, they’re ideal for use during light rain showers or when doing activities that cause you to sweat. Wind And Moisture Protectors – If you often exercise outdoors you’ll want to protect your hearing aids from moisture in the air and dust particles on windy days. Wind and moisture protectors are small filters that cover your hearing aid microphone and one filter can last for several months. Your audiologist will likely have a range of sample accessories they can let you see, so discuss your needs with them and ask for their recommendations. For more information, check out companies such...

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Understanding Eye Floaters and Flashes

Posted by on Mar 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Eye floaters often present as small lines or jagged specks in your field of vision, while flashes can appear as flickering, zigzags or shimmering. Floaters and flashes are often harmless retinal cells that have separated from your eye and are floating in the jellylike protective coating around your eye. However, they can be symptoms of serious eye conditions and should never be ignored. Here’s an overview of the potential causes and treatment options: Causes of Floaters Causes of floaters include: Detachment of the protective coating around your eyeball Blood clot in a retinal vein Inflammation due to uveitis Tumours Causes of Flashes Causes of flashes include: Retinal detachment, which occurs when your retina separates from the blood vessels at the back of your eye Diabetic retinopathy, which causes damage to the blood vessels of your retina when blood glucose levels are poorly managed Glaucoma, which damages your optic nerve and increases eye pressure Migraine, which can occur without a headache Treatment Options Your optometrist will thoroughly examine your eyes and take detailed photos of the retina and blood vessels. They will use the test results to determine the cause of the floaters and flashes and treatment will be based on the identified cause. Your optometrist may need to refer you to an ophthalmic surgeon or other specialist, such as a diabetes nurse, depending on what they find during your eye exam. If the protective coating around your eyes is coming away it will need to be secured with laser therapy, which will seal any holes that have formed. Laser therapy can also be used to treat diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Diabetic retinopathy is treated by removing damaged blood vessels and sealing leaking blood vessels. Glaucoma is treated by using a tiny laser to destroy cells that are blocking the release of fluid from your eyes and causing a build-up of pressure. Eye drops that alter the fluid production in your eyes can also be used to treat glaucoma. Retinal detachment is a serious condition and can lead to complete loss of vision without treatment. You will require surgery to secure the retina by removing the fluid in your inner eye and replacing it with a silicone bubble, which will hold the retina in place. The procedure can be carried out under a general anaesthetic, but the use of a local anaesthetic is also an option. Uveitis can be treated with corticosteroids to reduce inflammation, while migraines can be treated using prophylactic medication prescribed by your GP or neurologist. If you experience floaters or flashes, don’t wait to see if they go away on their own. Schedule an appointment with your optometrist for a thorough eye exam as soon as...

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3 Reasons to Opt for Pre-marriage Genetic Counselling

Posted by on Mar 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

While in many cultures it is encourages that couples marry within their ethnic group to maintain a strong sense of ethnic identity, this can cause problems with genetic similarities. Particularly in cultures with a small diaspora, the choice of eligible mates for marriage can be low, which can increase the risks of various genetically triggered illnesses. Read on to learn more about the reasons to get your self and your partner genetically tested as part of your pre marriage counselling. Learn how closely you are related In some cultures, in spite of not having close familial relationships in the current generation, many people are closely related. Indeed in Iceland, where many people are related, developers have come up with an app called Islanding-App, which uses the family tree to determine how closely two potential mates are related. While this is possible in Iceland where detailed family trees have been kept since the 9th century, in most other societies genetic testing is the easiest way to see how genetically similar your mate is before you look at marrying and having children together. Learn any genetic diseases your future children may have In addition to learning how closely you are related you can also work out which diseases your children may be vulnerable towards. Autosomal recessive diseases such as Tay-Sachs are more prevalent in some communities and can only be observed by genetic testing. As the diseases are related to recessive genes they only appear when two people with the recessive gene have children. Genetic testing can point out any vulnerability, and through pre marriage genetic outselling you can discuss options for having healthy children such as pre implantation testing of embryos in IVF if you are susceptible to extremely serious genetic disorders. Learn which diseases you may predisposed towards Many serious diseases have a heavy genetic component, including many cancers. If you are aware which diseases you may predisposed towards you can make lifestyle choices to minimise your chances of contracting these diseases and form an action plan with your GP. By discussing any tendencies towards genetic issues with your partner as part of your marriage counselling you can make sure they know how to keep an eye on any signs of early disease and you can discuss important issues around your preferences towards health care. The marriage vows usually include “in sickness and in health”. By having genetic testing as part of your pre-marriage counselling, you can truly commit to that vow on your wedding day. For more tips and information, contact resources such as Helen N....

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