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Hodgepodge from The Geranium Farm

Debbie Sharp Loeb, teacher by training but full-time mom to a disabled son, craftsperson, bead artist, great cook, creative homemaker & terrific spotter of cool new products for everything under the sun, presents Hodgepodge: recipes, household hints, stories about children, friends & relatives, cool stuff, music, & much more.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

20 Questions That Could Change Your Life

Finding the answers starts with posing the right questions—and Martha Beck has 20 to get you started. 
Go to the link to see the questions:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

20 Important Facts About Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Bullet points are listed below but go to link to see slide show:

The energy vitamin - Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse. It helps make DNA, nerve and blood cells, and is crucial for a healthy brain and immune system. Your metabolism wouldn't run smoothly without it. 

Vegetarians and vegans are at risk - Vitamin B12 occurs naturally in animal products. So if your diet largely consists of plant-based foods such as fruits, veggies, beans, and soy, you're at risk for deficiency.

Adults over 50 are also at risk - As you age, the stomach produces less acid, and stomach acid is key for B12 absorption, says Middleberg. About one in 31 adults over 50 are deficient, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Early symptoms include weakness and fatigue - B12 isn't nicknamed the energy vitamin for nothing. Inadequate B12 intake makes a dent in red blood cell production, and some of the earliest signs of a deficiency include feeling dragged, confused, and weak. 

Heartburn drugs can cause it - Some prescription heartburn drugs suppress the production of stomach acid, which is needed to absorb vitamin B12. 

It can be mistaken for dementia - "Symptoms of a deficiency often mimic those of dementia, such as memory loss, disorientation, and difficulty thinking and reasoning," says Middleberg. It can be hard distinguishing deficiency from dementia, especially since older folks are at risk for both.

The best sources are meat and fish - Beef liver and clams are tops in B12, according to the National Institutes of Health. If you're not a fan of either, plenty of good options abound. Beef, turkey, oysters, chicken, trout, and salmon are B12 superstars; a serving of each delivers close to or more than 100% of your RDA.

 Fortified foods and supplements can help - Both can help vegans, vegetarians, and older adults and others who are unable to absorb naturally occurring B12, says Moon. 

Heavy drinking increases your odds - More than a few drinks on average each day can cause gastritis, or irritation of the stomach lining, and this can lead to low stomach acid and reduced B12 absorption, says Middleberg. 
It can trigger a false positive on a Pap test - Low B12 levels can change the way some cervical cells look, potentially triggering a false positive.

It's linked to pernicious anemia -There's a specific type of anemia that's triggered by a B12 deficiency. 

It can be hard to recognize a deficiency - "Because the body can store B12 for three to five years, early symptoms of a deficiency usually appear gradually, so you're unlikely to notice them," says Middleberg.

It's linked to immune system issues -"B12 plays an important role in white blood cell production, and white blood cells are essential for proper immune system functioning," says Middleberg.

Digestive problems can cause it - People who deal with GI issues are at a higher risk of a B12 shortage because digestive problems can make absorbing the nutrient more difficult, says Middleberg.

It can happen after weight loss surgery - "Some surgeries that affect the GI tract, like gastric bypass surgery, make it hard to absorb B12," says Moon. 

It can cause tingling, weakness, and balance issues - Depletion of your vitamin B12 stores leads to nerve damage. 

Babies can get it too - In infants, vitamin B12 deficiency is serious—it can lead to symptoms such as anemia, problems with movement, difficulty reaching developmental milestones, and failure to thrive, which may be fatal.

 Visible signs include pale skin, a sore tongue, and mouth ulcers - Paleness; mouth sores; a red, swollen, beefy tongue— are some of the visible signs of a B12 shortage. 

It might cause permanent damage - Vitamin B12 deficiency that persists for years can cause severe, irreversible neurological damage—think memory loss, disorientation, and an inability to concentrate. Other side effects listed in link. 

It's hard to overdo vitamin B12 - Unlike fat-soluble vitamins that accumulate in your body and can have side effects in excess, B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning your body only absorbs a small amount and the rest is excreted through urine.




Monday, March 14, 2016

49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child by Renee Jain, MAPP

"It happens to every child in one form or another – anxiety. As parents, we would like to shield our children from life’s anxious moments, but navigating anxiety is an essential life skill that will serve them in the years to come. In the heat of the moment, try these simple phrases to help your children identify, accept, and work through their anxious moments."
Check out the list here: 49 Phrases to Calm an Anxious Child

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Vitamin D Deficiency: 7 Signs Your Levels Are Too Low

Here are 7 warning signs you shouldn’t ignore…
1. Your Bones Ache
2. Your Muscles Are Weak
3. You’re Depressed
4. Your Head Sweats
5. You Have Chronic Health Problems
6. You Feel Exhausted
7. You Have Dark Skin

Monday, March 07, 2016

Do You Know the Warning Signs That a Loved One Needs Assistance?

(Click on picture to enlarge.)
For caregiver's tips check out this website:

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