All About Children's Health

Can children and adolescents have high cholesterol?

Oct 292015

healthy diet for kids for healthy cholesterol levels

Do not worry, you're not alone. Most parents do not raise their children to have high cholesterol nor are aware of what the implications of this fact. High cholesterol levels are the main factors that predispose to cardiovascular disease and medical research shows that many of these diseases have their origins in childhood.

With the significant increase in childhood obesity, there are more and more children at risk to suffer this type of disease. In addition, there is a relationship between a poor diet and high cholesterol. The tricky part is that high cholesterol usually does not give immediate symptoms, so it is not easy to establish a relationship between children's health and cholesterol.

However, it is essential to know the levels of cholesterol in the blood of the child, especially if you have a family history of hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) or a relative with early heart disease (eg, stroke being less than 50 years), hypertension or diabetes mellitus in children. High levels of cholesterol in the blood is considered about 200 mg / dl (or according to their cardiovascular risk); in children is about 170 mg / dl. Thus, a child with risk factors should have a lipid profile done after two years and before 10.

When diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia, we must start by changing the child diet and putting him to exercise. If the child's weight is normal, you have to focus on reducing the amount of fat to 30% of total calories your child eats, and increase dietary fiber intake. Moreover, it is important to lower saturated fat (cheese, butter, cream, etc.), trans fats (fried foods and pastries) and increase the consumption of fish, olive oil, seeds (peanuts, walnuts) and lean meats. It should be emphasized that diets for children should be planned by professionals and that for children that are still in a developmental stage, fat can not be stopped completely.

There are very thin children with high cholesterol and for this reason, it is important to increase their calories intake. Another recommendation is that children with high cholesterol eat products with plant sterols and stanols, like milk or yogurt supplemented as they help lower cholesterol. "As for exercise, it was found that this increases the good cholesterol (HDL ) and lowers triglycerides. It is essential to understand that the time dedicated to physical activity in schools, is usually not enough.

As to drug treatment, it is better for children not to start taking them very young, as they are for life. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, these can only be prescribed for children over 8 years old when clinically diagnosed or suspected that high cholesterol is genetic. While it has been proven that this does not affect pubertal development, it has been a very controversial measure.

Tips for pleasant family meals

Oct 282015

pleasant family meals

The aim of this post is to promote the importance of family meals and provide parents and / or caregivers the best tips and strategies to make it easier for children to adopt adequate and healthy habits during meals and prevent childhood obesity.

- Family meals daily

Try to do at least one of the main meals of the day with your children. Family meal is an important point of contact between the children and their parents, vital to strengthen unity, family cohesion and to promote their health. The lunch gives you a great opportunity to communicate with your children, discuss the most important aspects of their daily lives, difficulties and achievements in school, relationships with friends, etc. There will be many issues that your children want to comment! This time, will also be suitable to introduce them to the taste of food and to acquire some manners. It is also very positive that the children participate and help from small to set the table and get her.

- Avoid distractions like TV or games during the meal

The lunch should become a space of time to foster communication among all members of the family, try the daily experiences of each and most importantly, learn to eat the right way.
The presence of television or other electronics such as tablets, as well as toys for the food, not only does not help your children eat well, but on the contrary, increasing slowly and distraction during the meal.

- Each child has his own pace

The "slowness" of children to eat is sometimes excessive concern for parents. The children need time to eat at their own pace and respected as a basic condition for the food becomes a positive learning, new flavors, and especially relational.

- Share with your child a "gastronomic" experience

It is important to talk about the issues of the day, but also foods that are being consumed, flavors, smells, textures, etc. to enrich food dynamics. Comments on the flavors, smells, textures, dishes or sensations represent an experience that helps the child to internalize their own discovery and sensory learning.
Remember that children learn from the older and the imitation and identification with their parents helps cultivate their own tastes and preferences.

- Adjust the size of the portions

The children have to eat according to their age and individual characteristics. It is important that the portion size is adequate.
In cases where the children involved in deciding the amount and choice of some accompaniments, food passes more peacefully and the children eat better.
Also thus it is facilitating the children learn to recognize when they have eaten enough, since we have to respect the innate recognition mechanism of satiety.

- Interest in the child's relationship with food

Some parents believe their children will eat better if rewards are promised such as watching TV or playing with his favorite toy. In some cases these elements (television, toys ...) are used as threats.
The insistence, coercion and pressure to eat or threat do not get good results and the boy or girl just associating food with something mandatory and negative. Ask with a positive attitude and interest, if it is good, if he is hungry or not hungry, try the dish commenting that you find very delicious. Remind likes because he has already eaten before. Stimulates him to eat to be strong and do well in the pool, in the gym, etc.

- Encourage him, do not push him to eat

When your child stops eating or is distracted, do not scold him. Encourage him and get him to eat but without pressing, as a way to stimulate positively his behavior. The insistence tone of obligation does not give good results, produces stress and creates a bad environment for the food.
You can ask him to eat, say he's doing very well, cheer saying is very good, and there is little ... That's more easy to make family mealtime a good time and eat your little better.

- The dessert should be on the menu

The dessert must be neither a reward nor a threat. Instead, the dessert that appeals to children is an excellent way of learning and discovery sensory level of flavors and textures, which can then be extended to all foods and will allow the child or the child discover their preferences.

- Let him finish the meal positively

When your child does not like a dish or food, accepts his attitude tolerance and poses a negotiation to end the meal positively.
If he does not want to finish the dish, for example, you can propose to take two tablespoons, without ending the dish, or take the fish but leave the salad, or eat a piece of meat over and leave the rest. And remember that all negotiations must end with a positive assessment.

Understanding Congenital Heart Disease

Oct 282015

congenital heart disease

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is a group of diseases characterized by the presence of alterations in the anatomy of the heart caused by defects in the formation during the embryonic period. The structures affected can be any of the four heart chambers (atria and ventricles), the partitions that separate or valves or outflow tracts.

They are not very common disease, affecting 8 out of every 1,000 newborns, covering a wide range of defects with a forecast very disparate treatment between them. The symptoms associated with them is very variable, ranging from those that are asymptomatic and do not require specific treatment to those that cause serious symptoms and require surgical correction during the first weeks of life.

Although they are CHD that exist at the time of birth, they do not always manifest in the newborn. Some show their faces days, weeks, months or even years later, yet its origin is congenital birth existed since the tendency or predisposition to the disease is subsequently generated.

Causes of congenital heart disease

The cause of malformations in the heart still unknown. Just we know risk factors that favor the development of heart disease:

- Down's Syndrome
- Maternal alcoholism
- Lupus
- Rubella during pregnancy
- Drugs such as amphetamines, hydantoin, lithium or thalidomide.


Congenital heart defects are many but can be classified into:

* Left-to-right are those in which a defect occurs in cardiac structures that separate the systemic circulation of the lung, causing the passage of blood from the first to the second. These include the ASD, VSD and the patent ductus arteriosus (PDA).

* Obstructive lesions difficult to exit the blood of the heart chambers. Among these are the aortic and pulmonary stenosis and aortic coarctation.

* Cyanotic congenital heart disease, they prevent proper oxygenation of the blood supply to the tissues, so it appears cyanosis (bluish or purplish colored lips or nails). The most common are the transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot and Ebstein anomaly.

Diagnosis of congenital heart disease

By ultrasound during pregnancy, it is possible to detect many congenital heart diseases, but not others.

Today most of these diseases can be diagnosed in the womb of the mother and in some cases is even viable fetal intervention.

At birth the infant is heard. Sometimes you can listening to murmurs. Not all murmurs are caused by congenital heart disease, and so-called functional or innocent murmurs occur in normal hearts and have no impact on the health of children.

To assess the nature of breath diagnostic tests should be performed. Among them, the most important is the echo that is safe for the baby and not aggressive. If any structural problem is observed, further testing must-rays, electrocardiogram and sometimes cardiac catheterization.

Treatment and Prognosis

Treatment for CHD, when needed, is usually surgery. In some cases, the alteration can be corrected with a single surgical intervention, but in more complex congenital heart disease performing more than one operation may be necessary. Surgical correction may be accompanied by drug treatment.

The vast majority of congenital heart disease are susceptible to a total and definitive, or nearly definitive correction, allowing the child to enjoy a good quality of life. Advances in diagnosis and treatment have greatly improved the prognosis, so that more than 80% of affected children survive to adulthood.


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