Pregnancy and Stretch Marks

Pregnancy and stretch marks have nothing to do with playing the piano but they are something that concerns a lot of women including me. I have known of many mothers who were not as confident with their bodies compared to before they got pregnant. And it was all because of stretch marks.

Based on what I read online, stretch marks on breasts, belly and other parts of the body as a result of pregnancy can be treated. And I would like to share this information to other women who may not have experienced this problem yet.

Stretch marks are pink or purplish narrow streak-like lines that you could see on the surface of the skin. They normally appear in the tummy, thighs and breasts as the pregnancy progresses. Normally, they are preceded by itchiness around the affected area. While stretch marks are normally associated with pregnancy, they could also affect other non-pregnant women and even men. They normally appear whenever there is stretching of the skin as a result of a growth spurge or weight loss. But pregnant women are more prone to stretch marks because of the hormonal changes they experience apart from the growing size of their belly and weight gain.

The human skin is composed of three layers namely, the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutis, which are the outer layer, middle layer and inner layer respectively. Stretch marks develop in the middle layer after sudden stretching of the skin over a short period of time like during pregnancy. This stretching causes the dermis to break, forming the marks.

Eighty percent of pregnant women are likely to be affected by stretch marks. The risk factors include your skin type as well as how you care for your skin during pregnancy. It is important to note that while the marks will gradually fade after childbirth, they will not completely go away even after treatment. That is why prevention is always the best when it comes to stretch marks.

You are likely to develop stretch marks if you are gaining in weight more than you should. Your doctor should be able to advice you about your ideal weight during certain stages in pregnancy. You can achieve this by observing a balanced diet.

During pregnancy, it is also important to moisturize your skin since dry skin is more prone to stretch marks. There are moisturizing lotions which are specially formulated for the needs of pregnant women. Also, keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

A review of two studies looking at two specific creams marketed to prevent stretch marks found that massaging the skin may possibly help to prevent stretch marks in pregnancy. Some women can also attest that massaging their skin with a lotion or cream helps them prevent stretch marks. Massaging helps improve blood circulation which in turn encourages the growth of healthy skin tissues.

However, some women, despite doing preventive measures may still develop stretch marks, but only to a lesser degree than those women who did nothing about them. If you have stretch marks and are curious on how to remove them, there are moisturizing lotions and creams that can help make the marks less noticeable though not be totally eliminated.

As a woman or someone who has concern for women, share this information to others so that they can also prevent stretch marks.

Risk Factors for Kidney Stones

They say that music soothes a stressed and worried soul. I can attest that this is true based on my experience. Whenever I play the piano or hear my students playing the piano, it relaxes me. Because of this, listening to music or playing instruments can in one way or another help people prevent certain diseases which may be caused by stress or worries. One of these predicaments is kidney stones.

Yes, stress is just one of the risk factors for developing kidney stones. Kidney stones are a common condition affecting the urinary tract. Although they are not life-threatening, it is something you would not want to have. What do kidney stones feel like? They can cause severe pain when you are passing urine. But there are ways to prevent this problem. One of them is being aware of its risk factors involved, especially those that you are in control of.

Risk factors within your control:

Inadequate fluid intake: How much fluid do you take particularly water can help you prevent or be at risk of kidney stones. If you are not drinking enough water of at least eight glasses a day, your urine can become very concentrated, allowing the formation of stones.

Diet: Consuming foods that are high in sodium, oxalate and protein makes a person at high risk of kidney stones.

Weight Gain and Obesity: Although there is no conclusive evidence yet, some researchers associate obesity, weight gain or a large waist circumference to urine composition and insulin resistance. It causes the body to excrete more uric acid and calcium, which could alter on form into kidney stones.

Medicine: Certain medications such as indinavir and acetazolamide also cause kidney stones.

Stress: People who have a stressful life are also more likely to develop kidney stones. Researchers associate it with vasopressin which is released by the body when a person is stressed. This hormone increases the urine concentration which could lead to the development of stones.

Risk Factors Beyond Your Control

Age: Kidney stones are more common among men who are in their 40s and above and women in their 50s and above. However, for younger women, it is common during the last stages of pregnancy.

Family history: If any of your parents as well as sibling have kidney stones, you are also more likely to have them. This is also true among families with a history of gout.

Ethnicity: Based on reported cases of kidney stones, Caucasians have the highest incidence, followed by Mexican Americans and then African-Americans.

Geographical location: The local water as well as the common diet of the people in your geographical area may also contribute to your risk of developing kidney stones. In the US, the lowest occurrence is reported among people in the west and the highest occurrence is reported in the southern region.

Medical condition: Patients with gout are at risk of uric acid stones. People who have a medical condition that causes them to be bedridden are more prone to developing calcium stones.

Now that you these risk factors, there are surely some things that you could do to prevent kidney stones. And if you already have it, your next course of action would be to find home remedies for kidney stones, you can find out about them here, or refer to your doctor for medical treatment.