What An Ice Idea

2 Feb

The world of ice cubes started off with a humble beginning as the brainchild of John Gorrie, an American inventor who’s original ice making machine  was built in 1842. More information is available in my Factoidz article here.

These days however, the invention of silicon moulds has meant that making icecubes at home can be a novelty.

Here are some unusual ice cubes made using some of these silicon moulds:

The Gin & Titonic mould creates an impressive Titanic and Icebergs set, ideal for shot glasses where the deink come halfway up the ship, recreating the suspended ship scene from the film Titanic.

The iconic polar bear and penguin moulds are perfect for sitting in the top of the glass, children and adults alike enjoy this cute little rascals.

Music lovers everywhere will love this ice guitar, complete with plastic frets strings and handle piece, which can be used to stirthe drink as the ice melts.

Star Wars fans the globe over would love this R2D2 icecube in their drinks! It’s part of a series that also includes Han Solo frozen in carbonite.

Why The Menopause Changes Epilepsy Cycles In Women

1 Feb

A summary of recent findings.

Various studies have shown that for women going through menopause, 40% report an increase in seizure activity, 30% report a decrease, and the remaining 30% report no change.

The increases in seizure activity seem to stem from quickly dropping levels of progesterone, which lowers quicker than oestrogen. This descent creates an imbalance between the two hormone levels and as such can create differences in the usual seizure activity cycles.

Anti-Epilepsy Drugs can also be affected by the menopause due to slight changes in body weight which is also down to hormone depletion.

It is recommended for menopausal women with epilepsy to use Hormone Replacement Therapy in the form of oestrogen AND a slightly higher rate of progesterone rather than just oestrogen on its own as in most cases of women without epilepsy.

The REAL Truth About How Appetite Is Affected By Anorexia Nervosa

1 Feb

The literal translation of this eating disorder is “loss of appetite” and believe it or not, to some extent this is true.

Many people would have you believe that those with Anorexia Nervosa walk around with rumbling hunger pangs that are so strong they can barely concentrate on anything else. This is entirely false. Anyone who has personal or indeed medical knowledge of the condition will know for a fact that the amount of food needed by the body reduces substantially during prolonged abstinence. Many sufferers of Anorexia use restrictions and fasting as a means of mentally exerting their control on the environment around them.

The way this occurs is that the person will eat less and less calories over a period of time, gradually working their way down until they eat a mere 50 calories a day. Usually with items that are known to be “negative calorie foods” which means that the body burns more calories to process and digest the food than what is actually contained in what is being consumed. Therefore, by the time Anorexia is actually noticed in a person, their body will already be used to relying on its own reserves to function within normal capacity. Once the restriction regime runs into a natural fast, the “hunger” is simply an association with the missing of bulk moving through the body towards the stomach. The rest of the body continues to work as usual. Hunger lasts approximately 48-72 hours during which time a headache may occur due to toxins naturally leaving the body as it cleanses itself. After this time appetite reduces significantly. So much so that even thirst gradually diminishes with it.

This is the feeling that a person with Anorexia will relish. The thought that their body is able to function without the need for copious amounts of foods and drinks that are a part of everyday life. The feeling that they have made their body stronger and more resilient. It is a feeling of empowerment and superiority that the individual is often supressed from in other areas of their life. This addictive feeling that they are in control of themselves, is a secret feeling that only someone with Anorexia could explain. The very nature of the disorder itself is of course, secretive.

Once a fast has gone on for 1-2 weeks it becomes harder to break, and this is down to 2 reasons. The first being that there is literally no appetite. A slice of cucumber for example is enough to make an individual with Anorexia feel bloated and uncomfortable for the rest of the day. The second reason is that the moment food is placed into the mouth the feeling of absolute self-control disappears.

These two reasons together form the undeniable need for oneself to exercise. Often to the point of exhaustion in order to over-compensate for the loss of control and to “correct” the situation. It is this gradually occurring obsession with exercise that ultimately leads a person with Anorexia into a downward spiral, and in some cases, their demise.

There is more information in my related article here.

The REAL Truth About Anorexia That Every Parent Should Know

1 Feb

It is a common misconception that the eating disorder Anorexia Nervosa exists merely due to a deep rooted desire to lose weight which results in a distorted view of oneself which grossly magnifies either real or imagined imperfections with a person’s body.

Living with an eating disorder is much like living with an alternate personality. On the outside is the calm, diligent individual who rarely rocks the boat with friends and family, they are often dedicated to perfecting standards in all manner of situations, and are usually gifted in one or more areas of creative expression. The disordered individual that emerges within is darker in character, brutally self-critical, an exacting analyst of every angle of every situation, a determined person with high expectations and a compulsion to secrecy. Once this entity (which some refer to as Ana – a female entity that is often associated with Anorexia – a voice, sometimes even a face to match this darker side to oneself) has become established, there are few times if any that only one side shall ever be in complete control without the influence of the other.

The inner turmoil and confliction that this cause is often contradictory to the underlying issues that allow the disorder the opportunity to take hold of its victim in the first place; usually a feeling of helplessness to affect or control one’s own existence. Many factors may bring about this view of one’s self whether it is as extreme as a form of abuse or as simple as a well-intentioned parent pushing the natural abilities of their child to ensure the best for their future.

It’s worth noting that the complexities of the individual mind means that the exact cause or range of causes for each person developing the disorder are indeed as unique as that person and that no two cases are exactly the same.

If you are living with (or know) someone who is battling with Anorexia, it is crucial to understand that recovery may only be attempted and successful when carried out on the terms of the person concerned. This is due to two very important reasons:

1) At the core of the disorder is the need to maintain control over one’s choices and existence in general. Taking this control away will result in either a temporarily faked lift from the disorder – followed by a severe crash back into it, or an instantly stronger insistence that intervention is neither welcomed nor required. Either way, the experience will be negative and the person will be less inclined to attempt recovery a second time.

2) The conflicting thoughts and emotions that Anorexics live with cause them to interact on a different level than other people around them. For example, they may open up to other conflicted souls online, but clam up or say what is needed or expected in a more formal situation such as with a Doctor or Psychiatrist.

A failure to understand the sheer magnitude of importance of these two facts hugely contributes to the high number of failed attempts at recovery across the globe

Therefore, it is important first to thoroughly research what is known medically about the condition, and then to interact with people who live with it, to gain a true understanding of what your loved one or acquaintance is experiencing before broaching the subject with them. This increases your chances of opening and maintaining effective communication with that person and as such, dramatically raises the chances of successful long term support and recovery for the individual concerned.

You can find more information on Anorexia in the following article here.