Category "Health"


Reality check: Do you really need that metal wire in your mouth? – National

by BBG Hub

If you’ve had braces in the last decade, chances are you’ve also been recommended a permanent retainer.

The slim metal bar is placed behind the front of one’s teeth, typically glued to the canine teeth on either side of the mouth.

It’s usually intended for years of use. In some cases, a patient can have a permanent retainer for decades.

READ MORE: Canadians support publicly funded dental care for those without insurance, Ipsos poll finds

This can be frustrating for someone who has just completed many long — and expensive — years of orthodontic work.

But, according to Dr. Jay Philippson, a permanent retainer is the best way to maintain your newly straightened smile.

Philippson works as an orthodontist in Duncan, B.C., and is the president of the Canadian Association of Orthodontists.

Most of his patients are given a permanent retainer on their bottom set of teeth.

“The bottom teeth are the teeth that tend to shift more than any others following treatment,” Philippson told Global News.

READ MORE: Five popular oral health myths debunked

“If the bottom teeth stay straight, and the occlusion (known as the contact between the upper and lower teeth) is where it’s supposed to be, they actually act as a bit of a foundation to help keep the top teeth straight.”

Permanent retainers are typically given to patients after they’ve had braces — including clear aligners like Invisalign.

If a permanent retainer is in your future, here’s what you need to know.

Why do I need one?

According to Dr. Brian Laski of Laski OrthoSmiles, teeth are susceptible to moving at any age.

“Retention is, unfortunately, something that we have to deal with for our entire lives,” he said. “If we don’t retain the teeth, they will move.”

A number of factors can contribute to your teeth shifting over time.

“Some people believe it’s because there are fibres in the gums connecting the teeth that want to shift them back to their original position,” said Laski. “There’s also pressures on the teeth from our bite, especially if a patient is grinding their teeth at night. Even just normal chewing exerts pressure on the teeth.”

Our facial structure is also constantly changing, which can further move our teeth.

How much does it cost?

Orthodontic work doesn’t come cheap, and a permanent retainer is no exception.

The metal bar can cost anywhere from $300 to $500, but in Dr. Laski’s view, this is a small price to pay if it means maintaining the results of earlier orthodontic work.

“Think of it as an insurance policy,” said Laski.

“I think people would much rather invest a little bit extra for retainers at the end (of treatment) in hopes that they don’t need treatment again during their lifetime.”

READ MORE: ‘I didn’t think I’d be able to smile again’ — Specialists help to save Bowmanville woman’s smile

Philippson agrees.

“I think we realized, as a specialty, that the teeth can and do move at any time… but people were going through a time-consuming and relatively expensive procedure to get their teeth straight,” Philippson said.

“It’s incumbent on us to provide them with the ability to keep those teeth straight.”

There’s no guarantee that the teeth will move, but the permanent retainer is an easy way to ensure they don’t.

“If I could tell a person, ‘your teeth aren’t going to move,’ it would be great! I just can’t do that,” said Philippson.

Is it forever?

While the glue that binds a permanent retainer to your teeth isn’t magic, the hope is that it lasts for a while.

In Philippson’s practice, he prefers that his patients keep the retainer until they are at least 20 years old.

At that age… if they want me to take it out, I will (but) I’ll caution them that those teeth can and do shift,” he said.

The main reason Philippson sees patients request to have the retainer removed is tartar retention.

WATCH: The cost of no dental care for Canadians

You likely suffer from this if your dental hygienist has to spend a fair amount of time cleaning the tartar off the area behind your front teeth where the retainer is.

“I monitor my patients for three to four visits after the braces come off, every six months or so,” said Philippson.

“If my patients come in… and the tartar is building up, I’m not going to want to risk the gum disease that can go along with that.”

However, in this instance, Philippson would still recommend a removable retainer to replace the permanent retainer.

READ MORE: Dartmouth man ‘feels punished’ because he was denied provincial dental benefits for working full time

Laski, on the other hand, recommends a lifetime retainer.

“These retainers need to stay in for life,” he said.

Laski treats several adults, many of whom are returning to an orthodontist after two or three rounds of treatment.

“That proves that it doesn’t matter if you’ve always had straight teeth or if you’ve had orthodontic treatment… teeth are susceptible to move at any age,” Laski said.

“It’s most frustrating for people who have had orthodontic treatment because they invest a lot of time and money. Certainly, they don’t want to have to go through it again.”

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Transgender weightlifter stripped of titles after organization says she can’t compete as woman – National

by BBG Hub

A transgender U.S. weightlifter broke women’s world records at a recent powerlifting competition but was stripped of her awards when organizers said they learned she was in the process of transitioning from male to female.

Mary Gregory, 44, won titles in the women’s squat, bench press and deadlift categories at the 100% Raw Competition on April 27 as well as earning the master world record title.

Her victories made her automatically subject to a urine sample for drug testing in front of a federation official, which is when the powerlifting federation says they first learned Gregory was “actually a male in the process of becoming a transgender female.”

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“Our rules, and the basis of separating genders for competition, are based on physiological classification rather than identification,” the Raw Powerlifting Federation said in a statement.

“On the basis of all information presented to the board of directors for this particular case, the conclusion made is that the correct physiological classification is male.”

But before Gregory was stripped of her titles, she posted a photo to Instagram on April 27 celebrating her wins and thanking the powerlifting federation for supporting her as a transgender athlete. In her post, she is open about her identity and said organizers treated her “as just another female lifter.”

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What a day, 9 for 9! Masters world squat record, open world bench record, masters world dl record, and masters world total record! Still processing, full meet recap to come a bit later but I do want to thank a few people!💜 – From our initial consultation I told @savvysavit that I wanted to cut to the 82.5kg class, go 9 for 9, and set some records- we did it!!! I don’t think she was happy with me cutting but she was there offering her support. When I needed a pick me up or advice she was there! Thank you coach!💜 – A huge thank you to @raw_powerlifting_federation_ , from the bottom of my heart! As a transgender lifter I was unsure what to expect going into this meet and everyone- all the spotters, loaders, referees, staff, meet director, all made me welcome and treated me as just another female lifter- thank you! And thanks to all the fans in the audience who cheered me on and congratulated me!💜 – Thank @rrrrachele for making the trip out to support me today, video my lifts, and cheer me on!💜 – And thank you to all the peeps on Instagram who reached out to offer your support!💜 – Now for 🍷 and 🍕!!! – #transgenderwoman#sharetheplatform#transrightsarehumanrights#lgbtq#bemoreawesome#upliftandliftheavy#morefemalestrength#richmondbalance#liftlunchlearnrva#squat#bench#deadlift

A post shared by Mary Gregory (@75marylifts) on

While speaking to Global News, Gregory said that organizers knew she was in the process of transitioning and that she was taking estrogen and spironolactone. She said that she had previously competed in the event before transitioning so she presented her new ID and personal information when she registered in the women’s division.

“There was a little bit of awkwardness there initially, but after some discussion, I explained I’m transitioning, I’m on hormones and I said I’ve changed my name,” Gregory said. “Nothing was said, and then the next morning, everybody there seemed even friendlier to me.”

WATCH: Protecting trans and gender-diverse youth

It wasn’t until her celebratory Instagram post gained widespread attention and backlash did she learn that the federation was taking her titles away. Gregory said she thinks the federation felt pressure to rescind her awards.

“I 100 per cent believe that it was because of the pressure they got,” she said.

“For me, the records weren’t as important at that point as their treatment of me because I felt like they were invalidating who I am. That bothered me more.”

In a statement, the federation said after Gregory’s post went “viral,” board members met to discuss the issue and decided that Gregory’s wins in the female categories were not valid according to their policies.

READ MORE: Trans sportswomen hit back at tennis ace Martina Navratilova’s ‘cheating’ comments

“Since the lifter’s gender classification for the purpose of our rules is not consistent with female, no female records will be broken by these lifts,” they said.

In other words, the federation took away Gregory’s titles because while she identifies as female, her sexual anatomy is “male.”

According to Helen Jefferson Lenskyj, a professor emerita at the University of Toronto and an Olympic industry expert, stripping Gregory of her titles because she has not had gender confirmation surgery is unusual.

Lenskyj points to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which doesn’t require that transgender athletes have surgery in order to compete so long as they’ve undergone hormonal treatment.

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“In 2015, [the IOC] did actually say that as long as the testosterone level was at a certain low level for 12 months before competition, and throughout the [athletes’] competitive careers, transitioning women could compete as women, and they didn’t have to have surgery,” she told Global News.

Their statement actually said to require surgical anatomical changes is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights.”

Lenskyj said since powerlifting is not an Olympic sport, it is not covered by IOC regulations. In other words, it is up to governing federations to make their own rules.

READ MORE: ‘Inherently flawed’ — Caster Semenya case reflects wider dilemma of discrimination in sports

“If Mary Gregory had been competing in Olympic-style weightlifting, there would not have been an issue if she fit the other criteria, like low enough testosterone levels, and had been taking appropriate hormones for a year,” Lenskyj said. “She would have been fine.”

But not all professional athletes agree.

British Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies tweeted that a trans woman should not compete with “a woman with female biology” because trans women have “male physiology” and therefore it’s unfair. Other people have argued that trans women have more testosterone, which puts them at an advantage over other female athletes.

WATCH: Louisville mom stages gender reveal photoshoot for 20-year-old transgender son

Gregory disagrees with these arguments and says that the hormones she takes have actually hurt her athletic performance as she is no longer able to lift as much weight as she could in the past.

“I’ve made some changes in my technique and the way I perform the lifts that have enabled me to gain some of that strength back, but I’m still a lot weaker than I used to be and I don’t have the same stamina and endurance,” she said. “I actually train harder now than I did before.”

Lenskyj said that the conversation around transgender athletes competing in gendered categories is very controversial, and there is much debate around the role testosterone plays in performance.

She points to the recent court ruling that said Olympic runner Caster Semenya, who reportedly has intersex traits, must lower her testosterone levels in order to compete in certain women’s running events.

READ MORE: Caster Semenya to run last 800m before controversial rules kick in

“In the Semenya case that unfolded a week or two ago… they firmly believe in the testosterone advantage and that everything hinges on the testosterone,” Lenskyj said.

“And yet, [RAW] Powerlifting is saying that the advantages of being born male are not eliminated by reduction of testosterone. So you have one international sports federation relying on testosterone almost exclusively to support their position on the intersex athletes like Caster Semenya, and then you have an American national sports governing body saying: ‘No, testosterone is only one piece of the puzzle.’”

The lack of awareness and discriminatory rhetoric around transgender and intersex athletes is something Gregory hopes will change with education.

By speaking out about her experience, Gregory hopes to change people’s perception of transgender athletes and raise awareness.

“I hope, by sharing my story, that it makes it easier for other transgender women to compete and this leads to a more inclusive platform,” she said.

“Hopefully, we can have conversations so the next transgender woman that comes behind me doesn’t have to go through this.”

— With files from Reuters and the Associated Press 

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘Convinced it was a cyst’: Wife shares heartbreaking story of losing husband to breast cancer – National

by BBG Hub

A California woman is sharing her late husband’s battle with breast cancer as a way to raise awareness that the disease is a men’s health issue, too.

Tammy Porter penned an emotional essay about losing her 48-year-old partner Mike last year to breast cancer after he discovered what he thought was a cyst behind his nipple. In her essay, published on Huffington Post on Tuesday, Porter details how Mike waited to get the lump checked out since he assumed it was nothing serious.

“One day in the shower, he felt a dime-sized lump just behind his nipple and casually pointed it out to me. Convinced it was a cyst, he put off getting it checked out ― for months,” Porter wrote.

READ MORE: Men suffer from eating disorders, too — so why do we ignore them?

“I finally demanded that he see a doctor when it was clear the lump was growing and his nipple appeared to invert. Cancer never crossed either of our minds.”

When her husband went to get the lump examined, Porter said his doctor was not concerned but ran tests just to be safe. After a mammogram, PET scan and biopsy, Mike learned he had Stage 3 metastatic breast cancer.

“Not just cancer, but male breast cancer. We didn’t even know that was a thing,” she wrote. “Women get breast cancer, sure, but men? Alarmingly, it turns out the lifetime risk of a man being diagnosed with breast cancer is one in 833.”

WATCH: Breast cancer risk from implants

To make matters worse, when Mike learned of his cancer diagnosis, he was also dealing with other health issues. He was waiting for his second heart transplant after suffering a cardiac arrest.

“We had a routine down where we monitored his heart health and frequented the transplant clinic to gauge his progress, all while we waited for the call for a new heart,” Porter wrote. “Now that heart would never come as his cancer diagnosis, unfortunately, made him ineligible for a transplant.”

Porter said that after Mike’s diagnosis, she learned that organ transplant recipients are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, according to research. She was also surprised to learn that although breast cancer is rarer for men, “it’s more likely to occur at a more advanced stage of diagnosis for men than women.”

READ MORE: Amid mental health ‘epidemic’ among men, psychologists examine the role of masculinity

Porter told Global News that she felt compelled to share Mike’s story so others are educated about the realities of the disease.

“Because my husband suffered so much, I just made the choice as we were going through it that it wouldn’t be in vain,” she said. “Anything learned from his experience, we would try to share.”

There needs to be more awareness around men’s breast cancer, experts have previously told Global News, as people commonly think it just affects women.

While the disease in men is rare — making up less than one per cent of all cancers — Shawn Chirrey, senior manager of analysis at the Canadian Cancer Society, said men shouldn’t ignore symptoms like discharge or bleeding nipples, crusting of the nipple, inverse nipples, swelling or pain of the nipples, lumps in the armpit or open sores that don’t heal.

WATCH: Some menopausal symptoms may mean an increase chance of breast cancer

“People automatically assume breast cancer is exclusive to women, but men have breast tissues like women do,” he told Global News. “(The breasts are) not developed the same way, but we are still prone to it.”

Porter says there’s also stigma around male breast cancer that hinders awareness. When her husband was ill, it wasn’t always easy to share his diagnosis.

“It became very challenging for him because when you tell someone you have cancer, they immediately ask, ‘Oh what kind?’” Porter said.

READ MORE: It’s rare, but men can get breast cancer too. Here’s how to spot the signs

“And that simple, very first question that always was posed to him, he would just get a pained look on his face and was not even sure how to respond. To even say the words was challenging enough, and I think that so much of that comes from the male/female dichotomy and the sexuality associated with breasts.”

In 2017, 60 men in Canada died of breast cancer. Chirrey pointed out there are some differences between men and women developing the cancer, but for the most part, it usually affects men after the age of 60.

While the Canadian Cancer Society doesn’t recommend taking self-breast exams anymore — Chirrey said research shows they doesn’t catch cancer earlier — it is still important to be breast aware.

WATCH BELOW: Ask the Doctor: Prevention and lifestyle key to men’s health

For Porter, that comes down to education.

“I have learned first-hand that male breast cancer is real, and it is deadly,” she wrote.

“Now, a year later, on Mike’s death anniversary, I can only hope other men and women are aware of how cruel breast cancer can be and that it doesn’t discriminate at all.”

—With files from Arti Patel

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Kylie Jenner’s new walnut-based face scrub could be dangerous: experts – National

by BBG Hub

Kylie Jenner has announced that she’s expanding her beauty line to include skincare, and one product in particular — the walnut face scrub — is already causing a stir.

The scrub is set to hit shelves along with the rest of her new line, aptly called Kylie Skin, on May 22.

In a promotional video posted to Twitter, Jenner calls the scrub her “secret to a fresh face.”

She also says it’s gentle enough to use every day, which worries experts.

“It really comes down to how the walnut powder is built. You can have larger, less uniform powder and you can have finer, smaller, more uniform powders,” said Dr. Julia Carroll, a dermatologist at Compass Dermatology

READ MORE: Hyaluronic to salicylic — A guide to using acids in your skincare routine

The theory is that larger, less uniform walnut powder can cause micro-tears in the skin, which can promote inflammation and leave you vulnerable to infection.

“If you’re using scrubs, particularly for acne, which is a common use of scrubs — one of the hallmark features of acne is inflammation, and if you use a scrub on top of that, that’s going to increase inflammation,” said Carroll.

“You can actually compound the problem and make it worse.”

The problem, according to Carroll, is that there’s no way to know if the product will be damaging to a customer’s skin until they try it.

“That’s something you wouldn’t be able to tell by feeling a product,” said Carroll.

“It’s something that you would only know as a manufacturer or if you were able to look at it under a microscope. It’s information that is difficult for the public to access.”

Carroll is wary about the quality of the ingredients used in Jenner’s skincare line.

“It really does come down to the quality of the product and how those different ingredients are milled,” she said.

“The issue with the Kylie Jenner scrub is that it hasn’t been released yet so… we don’t know the details on what type of powder it is.”

READ MORE: Foods that help clear your skin — and the ones that don’t

Dr. Lisa Kellett, a dermatologist at DLK on Avenue, expresses similar concerns about the scrub and its use of walnut-shell powder.

“The issue is this: not everyone is ideal to use that product and not everyone is ideal to use that product daily,” said Kellett.

“To say that it’s great for everyone… that’s a blanket statement. For some people, it would not be appropriate.”

Ultimately, the effects of this scrub will vary from person to person — but Kellett warns that people with underlying skin diseases should stay away.

“People with a history of eczema or atopic dermatitis… people who have very active acne… this product could irritate them and cause an irritant reaction,” she said.

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This isn’t the first time a beauty company has made headlines for using walnuts in a skincare product.

In 2016, St. Ives was the subject of a class-action lawsuit worth $6.8 million because of their apricot facial scrub — which also uses walnut-shell powder.

The two claimants, Kaylee Browning and Sarah Basile, argued that the scrub caused tears and was not fit for use.

Unilever, the company that makes the cult-favourite scrub, stood by its “dermatologist-tested formula,” but the case started a heated debate among dermatologists about use of the ingredient.

According to Top Class Actions LLC, the case was ultimately dismissed.

Carroll hopes Jenner has learned from the mistakes of the beauty industry’s past.

“Hopefully, she’s gone to higher-end ingredients, and they’re finally milled… but we won’t know until we get our hands on it,” she said.

WATCH: Beauty queen spreads awareness of skin cancer after finding it on her thumb

In Carroll’s experience, people who suffer from chronic acne often reach for an abrasive scrub because acne is associated with “clogged skin” — but it’s not always the right way to go.

“I think that a lot of people feel that acne comes from dirty, clogged skin, and they may actually go towards a scrub because they feel like they can clean the acne away,” she said.

“While this combination can be helpful for acne, I think a lot of people, in desperation, overdo it.”

However, if you happen to have a bad reaction to a scrub after use, Carroll wants to be clear that the damage is probably temporary.

“Your skin cycles every four to six weeks, depending on your age… so if you do damage with micro-tears, not all is lost — it will repair itself,” she said.

The only thing to worry about are “channels” in the skin.

READ MORE: Winter elements causing dry, cracked and flaky skin? Here’s how to fix it

“If you’re using other products, like acid (which is very common for people suffering with acne), you’ve given it more access to your skin,” Carroll said.

“Where your skin’s natural barrier might have protected you from some of these (harsh) ingredients, now you’ve got a little tear. It’s essentially a channel that allows that product to go deeper into your skin.”

This may not cause any problems, but it can be an issue for people with sensitive skin or acne.

Instead, she recommends looking for ingredients that “naturally dissolve” — like silica.

“It’s essentially sand… that is really finely milled. It’s very round, it’s very small but it doesn’t damage the skin,” Carroll said.

In her view, silica is a great way to replace microbeads, which were cast aside by the beauty industry when they were discovered to be extremely bad for the environment.

READ MORE: Want healthy skin? Stop these 8 bad skincare habits now

Both Carroll and Kellett recommend consulting a dermatologist before trying anything new on your face.

“That’s why it’s always important to get the help of a board-certified dermatologist… Often, people come in with very complicated routines, and it’s just a matter of cleaning up their routine to get them on the right track,” said Carroll.

“I feel sad for people who blame themselves for their acne. They come in with a lot of guilt and a lot of shame, but it’s a medical condition that often needs a medical treatment by a dermatologist.”

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Men suffer from eating disorders, too — so why do we ignore them? – National

by BBG Hub

In a recent interview, Twitter CEO and tech giant Jack Dorsey said that he only eats one meal a day during the workweek (dinner) and on weekends, he fasts.

“The first time I did it, like Day 3, I felt like I was hallucinating,” Dorsey told fitness influencer Ben Greenfield.

“It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centred around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer — how time really slowed down.”

READ MORE: Signs of eating disorders that often go unnoticed — ‘They’re not about food’

Dorsey said his diet allowed him to “feel so much more focused,” and it was widely lauded as the secret to his success.

In some instances, Dorsey’s diet was described as “biohacking,” a practice common to Silicon Valley that promotes the use of restrictive diets and fasts as a way to optimize productivity.

However, critics were quick to point out that Dorsey’s habits sounded a lot like those of an eating disorder. People also took issue with his extreme fasting being spoken about in a positive light.

Dr. Simon Sherry, a registered psychologist who specializes in eating disorders, says these concerns are valid because, oftentimes, men aren’t made aware that their food habits can be a sign of disordered eating.

(Editor’s note: Sherry made it extremely clear that he cannot diagnose Dorsey with any eating disorder, but he is concerned with the narrative around his diet. Dorsey himself has never claimed to struggle with an eating disorder, either.)

READ MORE: ‘Clean eating’ trend has eating disorder specialists concerned

“There is a problem where eating disorders are mischaracterized as female or as feminine… and that’s just not the case,” Sherry said.

According to Sherry, about 0.2 to 0.3 per cent of the male population will have anorexia nervosa at some point in their life. For bulimia nervosa, that number rises to between 2.1 and 2.5 per cent of the population. For binge eating disorders, it’s between one and three per cent.

“This is far from an exclusively female problem,” said Sherry.

Masculine stereotypes

Sherry attributes much of the misunderstanding about male eating disorders to a perceived disconnect between eating disorders and masculinity.

“Since eating disorders are cast as a feminine issue… (they) run counter to masculine gender norms,” Sherry said.

“It’s hard to imagine John Wayne suffering from an eating disorder. You’re silent, you’re tough, you’re independent.”

Sherry says men are taught that they’re not supposed to be sick or struggling — especially not with a “woman’s illness” — and this prevents them from coming forward with their illness.

“We can be especially stigmatizing of men who don’t conform to masculine gender norms,” he said.

WATCH: ‘Clean eating’ trend has eating disorder specialists concerned

Aryel Maharaj, outreach and education co-ordinator at the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC), sees this often in his work.

“Boys and men are less likely to seek help,” he said.

“When someone identifies as a male and they contact us on our helpline, for example, we’ll do some extra validation.”

NEDIC operates a helpline for those struggling with eating disorders from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

This can look like extra encouragement or reassurance that the person calling in is not alone in his struggle.

“We even have pamphlets and resources specifically for men and boys,” Maharaj said. “It’s probably been a big fight for them to contact us in the first place.”

The “choice” narrative

According to Maharaj, anyone can have an eating disorder, and it’s a mental illness that needs to be taken seriously.

NEDIC characterizes an eating disorder as “persistent disturbances to eating and eating-related behaviours that result in harm to one’s physical health, mental health and/or psycho-social functioning,” he said.

“People always want to know the causes… but the development of an eating disorder can’t really be contributed to a specific person or event or gene.”

READ MORE: Sophie Grégoire Trudeau opens up about her former struggle with bulimia

Without a clear single cause to blame, eating disorders are sometimes — dangerously — attributed to choice.

Part of the stigma surrounding eating disorders is constructing it in terms of personal responsibility — these are choices that you can or cannot make,” said Sherry.

“To reduce an eating disorder to a question of personal responsibility is a wild discrepancy from what research tells us. Research tells us an eating disorder is a biologically based disorder involving genetic risk factors and high heritability estimates.”

Limits to diagnosis and treatment for men

Securing the funding for research on disordered eating in men is even harder because of the stigma that surrounds it.

“Stigma is driving slower recognition of eating disorder symptoms and stigma is driving delayed help-seeking,” said Sherry.

This appears to be especially true for men who admit themselves to an eating disorder clinic.

“They have a lower body mass index on average and they’re at a higher age on average,” he said. “That suggests that we’ve got someone who’s finally getting help, but they’re older… and they’re arguably suffering from a more severe version of the problem, compared to women, as expressed in their lower body mass index.”

READ MORE: Experts say sharing weight-loss resolutions online can be harmful to those with eating disorders

This stigma is amplified by the stigma of eating disorders more broadly, too.

“There is a heavy stigma surrounding disordered eating for men and for women alike… and it runs deep,” he said.

“To give you a concrete example… in Canada, per person with an eating disorder per year, we spend about $2.41 on someone with an eating disorder. In contrast, for someone with autism, we’re spending about $462.14.”

Education is key

For Sherry, change begins with increased mental health literacy across the board.

“Mental health literacy surrounding eating disorders is very low, and that needs to be corrected on several levels. Practitioners and researchers need more information. The general public also needs more information,” he said.

Sherry is also determined to eliminate the “choice” narrative.

“We have to challenge (people when they) mistakenly admire certain aspects of disordered eating,” Sherry said.

When it comes to helping men specifically, the stigma has to go.

“The stigma often involves a deep and profound sense of shame… We have to start challenging the myths and misconceptions about the data,” he added.

In his work at NEDIC, Maharaj is focused on intersectionality.

“Especially for folks who come from underserved populations — whether that’s queer and trans folks, people of colour or Indigenous people,” he said. “We need to make sure that those people also have a voice at the table.”

READ MORE: Laxative abuse is the eating disorder that’s rarely talked about

Eating disorders are serious, but there are effective treatments available.

That’s why Dr. Allan Kaplan, senior clinician and chief of research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, believes it’s of the utmost importance to teach men how to recognize the signs and symptoms of disordered eating.

According to Kaplan, there are three major recognized eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

“Anorexia nervosa is characterized by being a low weight, which compromises a person’s physical and emotional functioning,” Kaplan said.

“Bulimia nervosa is characterized by binge eating and purging, usually at a normal weight. (It) has a lower mortality, but it certainly has a high morbidity — it affects people’s quality of life.

“Finally, binge eating disorder generally affects obese people, but they do not compensate — they don’t purge, they don’t starve themselves, they don’t over-exercise.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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C-sections: 5 things women need to know – National

by BBG Hub

Caesarean deliveries, or C-sections, can either be planned or the result of complications during labour. Either way, experts say women should know what this type of birth entails.

In April 2018, the Canadian Institute for Health Information found that more than 103,000 C-sections were performed in Canada between 2016 and 2017, resulting in a rate of 28.2 per cent of all births in Canada. Experts say today, that rate is about 30 to 33 per cent.

Dr. Michael Sved of the obstetrics and gynecology department at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto told Global News there is also a movement around the world of women planning C-sections ahead of time.

In São Paulo, Brazil, for example, the rate of C-sections is about 90 to 98 per cent of all births, and Sved believes this has to do with the “Hollywood” notion of giving birth — many women want to be able to schedule when and how they deliver their child. He added that some celebrities have gone down this route as well, inspiring others to do the same.

READ MORE: C-section births nearly doubled worldwide over 15 years

While the procedure is common and generally safe, there are still misconceptions, he added.

Below, experts help us break down what women can expect from a C-section. If you have any questions or concerns about C-sections, speak with your doctor.

The procedure

Sved said the procedure is usually done by an obstetrician who is a surgeon. There are two types of C-sections: one is elective, where women choose to have a planned procedure, and the second is an urgent or emergency C-section, which is often unplanned. Sved added that in some cases, women may need a C-section due to complications with the birth (the baby’s positioning, for example) or if she is giving birth to more than two children.

If a C-section is planned, patients usually arrive two hours before their appointment to get admitted, go through the risks, take medication and sign a consent form.

Next, patients are given anesthesia (generally via the spine) and are taken to the operating room.

“Before we begin the procedure, we get a sterile solution on the abdomen to decrease the risk of infection and then appropriate drapes are put up as well,” said Sved. This way, the patient can’t see the surgery. There are, however, options at some hospitals to set up cameras that allow mothers and their family to see the birth.

READ MORE: Home births are safe for normal, healthy pregnancies, this midwife says

“We review the exact nature of why we’re doing the C-section (and) if there any possible complications, verify that she’s gotten the antibiotics that we requested,” Sved continued, adding that at other times, some patients have stem cells collected as well.

During the procedure, hospitals often allow one or two people to be present during the surgery.

The incision is made in the abdomen, and doctors go into the uterus to deliver the child.

“We stitch everything back up, which takes about 20 minutes… the whole thing probably takes about 40 to 45 minutes,” he said.

Sved said one of the benefits of having a C-section is protecting the perineum (the area between the anus and the vulva). He added that there is a decreased risk of any trauma to the vagina and vulva as well.

What are the risks?

Dr. Robert Gagnon of the McGill University Health Centre’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology told Global News that C-sections are major surgeries and that, like any surgery, there are potential risks. Before a woman gets the procedure, she is told about all the risks.

Some of these risks include post-partum hemorrhage, infection (in the uterus or around the wound) and a possible risk of requiring a blood transfusion.

WATCH: C-section deliveries rising in Canada, birth rate declining

According to the Mayo Clinic, a C-section can also increase the risk of developing a blood clot inside a deep vein — specifically in the legs or pelvic organs.

“If a blood clot travels to your lungs and blocks blood flow (pulmonary embolism), the damage can be life-threatening,” the site noted.

But even with risks, Sved added, there are very few complications with C-sections, and for the most part, they are safe.

While this may not be included as medical risk, one thing Gagnon noted is skin-to-skin contact after the baby is born is not done right away when you have a C-section.

“That is delayed by five to 10 minutes and sometimes more,” he said.

The recovery period

Gagnon said the recovery period is between four and six weeks, but this can vary depending on the woman. This is typically a longer recovery period than a vaginal birth.

Women are often told to rest, avoid lifting heavy objects and take over-the-counter medication for pain relief. Doctors will also keep an eye out for infections.

READ MORE: Study suggests increase in C-section births is preventing female evolution

The Mayo Clinic added that vaginal discharge, contractions and tender breasts can also be expected after the procedure. Post-partum depression can happen as well.

“If you experience severe mood swings, loss of appetite, overwhelming fatigue and lack of joy in life shortly after childbirth, you might have post-partum depression,” the site noted.

“Contact your health-care provider if you think you might be depressed, especially if your signs and symptoms don’t fade on their own, you have trouble caring for your baby or completing daily tasks or you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby.”

What are the misconceptions?

Sved added that many women believe C-sections are “invasive” operations. He said that in the past, obstetricians would have to get a second opinion from another obstetrician before performing the procedure, adding more stress and fear to the women giving birth. These rules are no longer required, and patients can have elective C-sections.

Self magazine previously pointed out that some women may believe if they have a C-section with their first child, they will not be able to have a vaginal birth with the second. Both experts added that this is not the case.

“If you tried the first time around and found out after hours of labour that giving birth vaginally was just not in the cards for you, that’s something to discuss with your OB-GYN. He or she should ultimately respect your wishes,” the magazine noted.

Yes, a C-section is still a “real birth”

Similar to breastfeeding, experts pointed out that some women may feel pressure to give vaginal birth. Vaginal births are often seen as more “natural,” but Sved said you should never feel pressured to give birth this way.

“Everything comes down to information and education,” he said. “There is a segment of people that are fanatical about labour and delivery and their impression around what labour and delivery is. For me, the most important outcome is healthy babies and a healthy mom with the least interventions.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Going back to work after a long absence is tough — ‘returnships’ could change that – National

by BBG Hub

Ragini Kapil was an elementary school principal in Delta, British Columbia, for eight years and she loved her job — until she injured herself.

Kapil, 58, had decided to take one year off to pursue her dream of screenwriting. Just weeks before her leave was supposed to start, she was travelling by boat to visit her seventh-grade class on a field trip when the boat hit a swell, causing her to fall and fracture a vertebra in her back.

“I went back to work after the 12-month screenwriting program,” said Kapil.

READ MORE: Stop telling young people to find jobs they love — it hardly happens

“However, the [lingering] pain in my back due to nerve damage from the accident greatly interfered with my ability to perform my duties as a principal.”

She said this made her feel afraid about letting people down, and her insecurity quickly spiralled.

She took a short leave, but when she tried to return, her anxiety made it impossible.

Her injuries were further compounded by a severe bout with the flu that left her dehydrated.

She eventually fainted and hit her head so hard she was diagnosed with a moderate concussion and post-concussion syndrome.

“Life changed after that,” she said. “I could barely function. Things were so hard… I couldn’t comprehend conversations, couldn’t look at screens, my head hurt all the time… the list goes on.”

At first, Kapil’s insurance company was very understanding and helpful.

She was placed on a long-term disability plan, and her caseworker suggested that she go to a concussion clinic to get her symptoms under control.

WATCH BELOW: Every year in Canada, nearly 1,000 workers die as a result of their jobs

She started going to the clinic in the fall, but a month later, she felt she was being pressured to start a plan for returning to work, she said.

“My goal was to get better and to become a functional human being again,” Kapil said. “I didn’t realize that the pressure would be on [returning] to work.”

“I was so far away from being able to do my job, it wasn’t even on my radar.”

Every time Kapil even thought about going back to work, she would cry uncontrollably. She ended up refusing to follow her insurance company’s recommendations.

“I wanted to be healthy and get my life back, but they were pressuring me to return to work well before I was capable,” Kapil said.

Thankfully, her workplace was extremely supportive and understanding.

“They created a special environment for me,” she said.

READ MORE: You can still get a job you’re not qualified for. Here’s how

Regardless of why you left work, or how supportive your company is, returning can be hard. In your time off, there has likely been technological advancements, a change to job descriptions and big-picture company restructuring.

Now consider tackling all of that after a major — often traumatic — life experience.

That’s where “returnships” can help.

Similar to an internship, a “returnship” is designed to help someone who has taken an extended period of absence from their industry to re-launch their professional careers.

Of the few “returnship” programs in Canada, most offer networking opportunities and versatile working conditions.

A program for people with a gap in their resume

One of the most common reasons for taking leave from work is for maternity leave.

The fast-paced environment of most modern workplaces can make returning after one year daunting. After a few years, going back can feel impossible.

For women in finance, Return to Bay Street is a program which aims to change that.

Open to women who have been out of work for a minimum of 18 months, Return to Bay Street provides candidates with a $5,000 educational grant and a four-month internship at a participating financial firm.

It also provides opportunities for networking and training for things like interviewing and writing resumes to help women refresh their skills.

READ MORE: What to do if you’re touched inappropriately at work 

“I think, all of that together, give the women a really strong idea of what firms are looking for,” said Camilla Sutton, the CEO and president of Women in Capital Markets (WCM) (the organization which hosts the Return to Bay Street program).

“And, the truth is, the firms are looking legitimately for diverse talent… They really have to look at new and different ways to see that talent and this is one of those streams.”

Catherine Staveley, now the managing director of global structured products at BMO Capital Markets, can speak first-hand to the power of the Return to Bay Street program.

She was working at a multinational investment bank when she discovered she was pregnant.

She went on what was supposed to be a short leave, but one child turned into two and her leave was extended.

Then, as she was growing her family, Staveley discovered a love for holistic nutrition. She decided to go back to school to study nutrition, and then she opened her own company.

WATCH BELOW: How do you react when a coworker compliments you at work?

It wasn’t until around seven years ago, when her children were a bit older, that Staveley realized nutrition was no longer what she wanted to do. She decided to go back to finance full-time, but she wasn’t really sure where to start.

“I realized that I needed more than what nutrition was giving me… but it was hard to figure out what ‘more’ was,” Staveley said.

Her friend, the CEO of WCM, told her about a new collaborative project between BMO and WCM — the Return to Bay Street program.

“I don’t know how many people they interviewed, but myself and one other woman were hired by BMO, and we’re both still here,” she said. “We were the very first people that made it into this program.”

Staveley loved the program because unexplained gaps on a resume — which are usually a concern for employers — are actually one of the only things you need to take part.

The program was great because the senior management was committed to it. In the first week, I had met the CEO of Capital Markets,” Staveley said. “[The program] puts you in front of all these people… For me, it was great. I was very supported.”

READ MORE: Cancer patient was cut off from work disability benefits for 10 months — his story has warning for everyone

While Return to Bay Street was originally created to help moms, the team at WCM has noticed it’s increasingly popular with new Canadians.

According to Sutton, these are candidates who had “experience in major financial organizations globally, [but] stepped away from their roles to immigrate.”

The Return to Bay Street had 133 applicants this year, and it’s growing.

“I think it’s such a great reflection of the beginning of real change for the industry,” said Sutton.

Startups are the perfect fit

Bryan Smith started a similar “returnship” program at his startup, ThinkData Works.

When he heard about the Return to Bay Street initiative, he realized nothing similar existed in the startup world. He also realized the startup environment is perfect for easing back into a full-time career.

“We have very flexible work hours… we have the ability to work from home,” said Smith. “All these things make a returnship… a lot more manageable for someone who has just started a family, [for example].” 

In Smith’s mind, returnships are an amazing way to grow and diversify his team.

“Rather than looking at it as charity, which I think a lot of people think of, we actually looked at it as a lot of really talented [people] out there, who were in very senior positions and who absolutely want to get back into the workforce,” said Smith.

READ MORE: ‘It’s not one size fits all’: Why open office plans don’t work for everyone

“We actually took that as a way to attract better talent.”

Now, Smith is turning his attention to other startups.

“The adoption has been abysmal in the startup community, which I think is absolutely ridiculous,” he said. “Given how flexible everything is, it should really be a no-brainer. The people you attract are talented people who can deliver really good value to your business.” 

“Every startup should adopt this.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Like mother, like child: Living with the same disease as your mom – National

by BBG Hub

When Vishma Sookdeo’s mother was 25 in Trinidad, she almost had a near-death experience.

Kamla Sookdeo was battling an ongoing chronic kidney disease, and as result was taking medications every day to avoid relapse.

Living in a country with not as much access to adequate healthcare, in the early days, Vishma told Global News her mother was told to “go home and make [her] will.”

“She didn’t have as much research or technology to help diagnose her [condition] earlier,” she said.

Today, Kamla, 67, has been diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s immune system. People with the condition can experience fatigue, joint pain, chest pain and sometimes butterfly-shaped rashes on their face.

READ MORE: Cystic fibrosis is still the No. 1 fatal genetic disease for Canadian kids – here’s why

When Vishma turned 27, she got seriously ill.

“My story kind of began around the same age as my mom’s did,” she explained. Her condition sent her to five hospitals in Toronto between the months of August 2016 and December 2016. In that short period of time, Vishma had no idea what was happening to her body — and rightfully so, she was terrified.

“I almost died from this mysterious illness [at that time, doctors were unsure of her condition] that damaged my kidneys to about 30 per cent and gave me a stroke and vision loss,” she said. “I lost my ability to walk and had to relearn using a walker for a while.”

A mother herself, she was later diagnosed with ANCA Vasculitis, an autoimmune disease that causes the swelling of blood vessels.

Kamla Sookdeo (left) and Vishma Sookdeo (right). Photo provided by Sookdeo family. 

“I was scared,” she said. “During that time my mom really gave me the strength to know that survival and healing your body and mind was a choice. I remember thinking that as close to death as my mom was, she still survives… knowing her journey gave me hope.”

It’s common for parents and their children to have the same illnesses or diseases. According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information in the U.S., common diseases that run in the family can include everything from coronary artery disease to Type 1 diabetes to types of cancer.

Heart-wrenching for parent and child

This process can be stressful for both the child and the parent. Child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts, the founder of parenting resource website Family Sparks, based in B.C., said it can be “heart-wrenching.”

“While it is essential that you do not dismiss or downplay [your children’s] pain and unique challenges, it is also vital, however, that you emphasize that they are strong, capable, and are only getting stronger and more resilient as a result of their illness,” she continued.

READ MORE: Baby born without skin, undergoing treatment that could save his life

She said it’s important to remember you were family before the illness.

“You need to remain a family first, and cope with the illness second,” she said. “The illness should not commandeer your family: stick to your normal rules and routines to help contribute to a sense of normalcy for all your family members, including yourself.”

She added children need to remember that their only job is to be a child, and to do this they need to be encouraged to play, laugh, create, and explore as they normally would.

WATCH: The high cost of rare diseases

Sometimes, children can be resentful towards their parent for “passing down” an illness. “If your child is resentful, it is important that you both empathize with them, and validate their feelings,” she continued. “Think about incorporating phrases such as, ‘I know this is really, really hard. You are very strong for going through this.’”

For some parent and child relationships, Roberts added there can be a special bond. “This gives you a special sense of empathy, and better than anyone else, you know what you child is going through. Use this opportunity to strengthen the bond between yourselves, and re-frame the situation to focus on the positive when you can.”

And through those days that feel extra tough, parents should take a break. “It is not necessary to prove that you can do this on your own. In fact, it can be harmful to both you and your child as your stress can seep into other areas of your life, and manifest in unproductive, harmful ways.”

‘I was kind of in shock’

Kendra Dempsey of Hamilton, Ont. was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes before she was four in 2000. “I [wasn’t eating] for about a week, I was constantly thirsty, and always running to the bathroom,” she told Global News. “My nanny [grandmother] came to visit and said that I had lost significant, noticeable weight in such a short period of time — that’s when my parents brought me to the doctor.”

But the 23-year-old’s mother, Marie Dempsey, 52, was diagnosed with the same illness last year — an extremely uncommon diagnosis.

“Despite the familiarity with the disease and how it presents itself, due to caring for me for so many years, my mum didn’t assume she had Type 1 Diabetes, and just attributed these symptoms to aging,” she said. “It wasn’t until one morning that she noticed her legs really hurt that she was concerned.”

Marie used one of her daughter’s old glucometers to test her blood sugar. Turns out, it was high. 

Marie Dempsey (left) and Kendra Dempsey (middle). Photo provided by Dempsey family. 

Due to her age, the doctors in the emergency room thought my mom would have Type 2 Diabetes, but her health profile from a very recent physical examination by her [doctor] would indicate that she must have Type 1,” Kendra continued.

“Ultimately, the doctors in the emergency room sent my mom home and said the local diabetes clinic would follow up with her in a couple days to sort things out. I was furious when I heard this.”

READ MORE: McGill research offers hope for curing rare genetic disease affecting Quebec children

Marie would have needed insulin to treat herself, and after more back-and-forth with the hospital, she was officially diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

I was kind of in shock — in all honesty I still am, months later,” Kendra said. “Normally, when a parent-child pair both have Type 1 Diabetes, the parent was diagnosed prior to ever having children, and there’s a genetic aspect to the disease.”

Marie Dempsey (left) and Kendra Dempsey (right). Photo provided by Dempsey family.

These days, the two’s medical journeys seem to overlap. “It’s strange that I’m in a role now where I’m the one who gives her diabetes advice, when for so many years she was the one teaching me,” she said.

“We’ll chat about how high or low blood glucose symptoms present themselves for us if our blood glucose level, discuss what foods seem to impact our blood glucose levels the most no matter how much insulin we receive and just vent to each other about the general frustrations of living with this disease.”

‘She truly is my hero’

For both Vishma and Kendra, Mother’s Day feels extra special every year. “Mother’s Day to us both as moms and as daughters is a day that we hold so dear as we get to honour our closeness,” Visham said.

“I know that without my mother’s strength, positivity and love I wouldn’t be here, let alone alive. We get to take a day to truly appreciate the genuine and deep connection that makes our lives worth living.”

Vishma Sookdeo as a child with her mother. Photo provided by Sookdeo family. 

This year, like other years, Kendra will write a note to her mother ans shower her with a small gift.

READ MORE: 17-year-old Toronto girl living life to the fullest with Cystic Fibrosis

“Any day I get to spend with my mum is a great day in my books — she truly is my hero,” she said. “She is so smart, so caring, hardworking and considerate. She does so much for myself and my dad, and also does so much for the rest of her family.

“There are no words for me to express just how incredible of a person, friend, and mother she is, and I like to use Mother’s Day as an opportunity to try and remind her just how much I love her, and how thankful I am that she is my mum.”

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘It shouldn’t have happened’: Baby allegedly strangled to death by teething necklace – National

by BBG Hub

Danielle Morin didn’t think twice about letting her 18-month-old son, Deacon, use the beaded teething necklace she was given as a gift.

She assumed that the accessory, meant to help alleviate her baby’s teething pain, was safe for babies. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

In October 2016, Deacon was placed down for a nap at daycare when the necklace allegedly tightened around his neck and constricted his breathing.

The child was rushed to hospital but he didn’t survive.

READ MORE: Mom left devastated after toddler dies choking on bouncy ball

Now, Morin has filed a lawsuit against Etsy, the retail website which sold the teething necklace. She argues that Etsy is legally responsible for Deacon’s death.

“I want parents to know there is no more Toys R Us… people need to go online to buy products… and these products aren’t always safe,” Morin said in an interview with Yahoo.

“No parent should have to grieve a child. No parent should have to bury their child.”

In response, Etsy released a statement which said: “While we understand the desire to take action, Etsy is a platform and did not make or directly sell this item. We believe the allegations should be directed at the criminally-negligent daycare providers or, if appropriate, the seller of the necklace.”

Unfortunately, Deacon’s death was completely avoidable.

In the opinion of Dr. Dan Flanders, the founder of Kindercare Pediatrics, the baby shouldn’t have had the teething necklace in the first place.

“One completely preventable death is one too many. It shouldn’t have happened.”

In Flanders’ opinion, there are two ways teething necklaces could put babies in danger.

“One, it could cause strangulation,” he said. “The other is that… the necklace could break and then [the child] could put those little beads in their mouth — they could be a choking hazard.”

Dr. Catherine Cox, a resident in the Dalhousie University department of family medicine, agrees.

She recently conducted a case study on a baby who suffered from non-fatal infant strangulation caused by a teething necklace.

While no deaths caused by teething necklaces have been reported in Canada, there have been several cases of non-fatal strangulation. This can cause oxygen deprivation to a baby’s brain and result in serious health consequences.

Despite these risks, manufacturers continue to sell these products — and parents continue to buy them.

READ MORE: Parents, vaping near children is just as dangerous as smoking: study

“The distribution of these products that have warnings have actually increased in the past five years,” said Cox. “So people are using more of these products, despite the dangers.”

According to Cox, manufacturers will try to offset these worries by making erroneous claims about different safety features.

“A lot of manufacturers explicitly counter the intuitive risk of strangulation or aspiration by saying that there’s a knot between each bead that reduces the probability of [them] becoming loose,” she said.

They’ll also claim the necklace has “a clasp break that will break under tension… so the risk of strangulation is minimized, but there’s actually no validity to support that,” Cox said.

Health Canada has actually issued several warnings around these products in the past.”

WATCH BELOW: Keeping your kids safe in the car

The rise of teething necklace sales in Canada is especially concerning because babies may not even need teething aids at all.

According to Flanders, doctors can’t confirm if babies even feel pain during teething.

“For some babies, teeth come in and it’s as if nothing’s wrong — there’s no irritability, no nothing,” Flanders said.

“Then other baby’s teeth come in and they seem really irritable and upset, but we can never really attribute it to teething.”

Accessories like teething necklaces are supposed to help alleviate pain caused by new teeth penetrating a baby’s gums. The baby is meant to chew on the beads as a way to relieve pressure.

However, in terms of a cost-benefit analysis, Flanders sees very little benefit to this method.

“Putting these necklaces on babies is all risk and no benefit.”

“I don’t think teething necklaces do anything to help teething pains, which is the tragedy of this case,” said Flanders.

READ MORE: Are your baby’s ‘first finger foods’ safe? Some may be a choking hazard: study

If you believe your baby is struggling with teething pain, there are other options you should explore.

Flanders recommends doctor-approved teething rings or even the pads of a parent’s fingers.

“Sometimes, it’s better if they chew on a soft texture,” Flanders said. “Sometimes, chewing on cold objects can give them relief.”

For this, Flanders suggests placing a teething ring in the fridge — not the freezer.

WATCH BELOW: Alarms raised over Amazon smart speaker for kids over information reportedly not being deleted

“We advise against frozen things because those can cause low-temperature burns, like frostbite,” he said.

If your baby appears to be in prolonged discomfort, Flanders recommends a dose of Tylenol or Advil.

If that doesn’t work, you should consult your family doctor.

“If the baby is really irritable and upset and you can’t really seem to get it under control — and you know this is a new-ish behaviour (in other words, it hasn’t been going on for months and months) — then something is obviously wrong,” said Flanders.

“It’s always the right answer to seek help from a medical doctor.”

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Urges to pee and other ways our bodies react to anxiety – National

by BBG Hub

We’ve all been there.

Moments of anxiety, nervousness or high stress when it feels like our bodies have a mind of their own. Whether it’s an urgent need to urinate or a knot in your stomach that becomes painful, anxiety can impact our bodies in physical ways.

Jim Folk, founder and president of based in Calgary, told Global News our bodies’ sympathetic nervous system responds to the stressful thoughts or moods we may have, including anger, worry or fear.

READ MORE: 5 simple ways to manage your daily anxiety

“When we think we are in danger, the brain can send off an alarm,” he said. “When we think something is going to harm us, it sets off the stress response.”

An urge to pee? It happens

In a piece for Anxiety Centre in April, Folk wrote that an urge to urinate is a common stress response for people with anxiety disorders.

“This symptom may occur rarely, intermittently, or persistently. For example, one day you may visit the washroom numerous times, and the next day follow a more regular pattern,” he said.

“Behaving in an apprehensive manner activates the stress response. The stress response secretes stress hormones into the bloodstream where they travel to targeted spots in the body to bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat.”

Unless your doctor specifies you have a bladder condition that can also cause frequent urination, Folk said anxiety can have this effect too.

Credit: Laura Whelan

Sometimes, your body may indicate you need to pee, even though you don’t want to, he added.

Dr. Ardesheer Talati, an assistant professor of clinical neurobiology at Columbia University, headed a study in 2008 on why patients with anxiety disorders were more likely to frequently urinate.

Looking at 693 subjects (219 had a diagnosis of panic disorder or a history of anxiety in the family), Talati and his team found participants with panic disorders were eight times more likely to experience “interstitial cystitis.” In other words, they were more likely to experience bladder pain and an urgency to urinate, he told Global News.

“Previous studies have found that panic disorder and social anxiety disorder often run in families. Thus, the researchers proposed, panic disorder and social anxiety disorder might share a common genetic basis, but then serve as independent risk factors for the development of specific medical conditions — say, by activating the autonomic nervous system,” the American Psychiatric Association noted.

In a recent article in HuffPost, a woman named Laura based in New York told the site when it came to preparing for a trade show, she often gets nervous. “When I get nervous or anxious, I get an extreme urge to pee, so that whole day I was just freaking myself out that I was going to pee.”

Other ways our body reacts to anxiety

And besides frequently peeing, there are other ways our bodies react to anxiety.

Demian Brown, a Toronto-based psychotherapist and registered clinical social worker, previously told Global News twitching of your face and body is a common symptom of anxiety.

“When you’re under stress, physiological things start to happen to the body,” Brown said. “Your adrenaline and noradrenaline levels increase as if your body is preparing for some kind of danger. … That takes more blood away from your extremities, and puts it more in the middle of your body.”

Brown added this type of response increases your muscle tone and prepares your body for what is perceived to come in its way.

READ MORE: How climate change can cause depression, anxiety – ‘We will all be affected’

For some, anxiety or stress can also cause diarrhea. According to Verywell Health, when we’re stressed, diarrhea (or urinating) is our body’s response to handling it.

“When you come across something that you perceive as threatening, your body reacts with a variety of physical changes: heart rate and respiration increase, your muscles tense up, blood is directed toward your extremities, and most relevant to the current discussion, your colon contractions speed up. In some cases, this increase in colon activity can result in the symptom of diarrhea,” the site noted.

Folk added anxiety or stress can even “shut the digestive system down,” and some people can feel constipated as well.

Folk said other common physical reactions include sweating, sweaty palms or knots in the stomach.

“Rapid heart rate is one of the common ones because stimulus gets the heart going,” he explained. “People can experience skipped beats when the heart is sort of jolted by the stress response”

Another common response is tightness in the throat.

“And they think they can’t swallow because they would choke.”

Other ways our body reacts to anxiety

But for some people, these types of reactions happen as one-offs or every time they get nervous. For others, Folk said, it can become chronic and this is when you should speak to a doctor or therapist to find ways to manage the symptoms.

“If symptoms are starting to become impairments… seek help,” he said. “If you’re not going to go out because you don’t feel good, that’s an impairment.”

READ MORE: Do your eyes twitch often? It could be a symptom of a mental health issue

Sometimes, we can manage these symptoms. If you’re the type of person who gets anxious or nervous before a presentation and often have to pee or feel tightness in your muscles, it’s about learning to calm down. “Calming yourself down is going to slow the body down,” he said.

In this scenario, Folk suggested coming into a meeting room 20 minutes before the presentation and try deep breathing. And if you’re worried about an urge to urinate, don’t drink fluids two hours before your presentation.

“If a person is doing regular relaxation techniques, meditation or [another method], you can keep your body calm and it’s going to function way better.”

— with files from Laura Hensley

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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