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Pool Water Risky During Pregnancy

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April 8, 2002 -- For decades, chlorine has been used to disinfect public drinking water and swimming pools. Now, British researchers say that a chemical by-product of chlorine -- found in very high levels in swimming pools -- may be hazardous for pregnant women and their unborn babies.

In the study, levels of this by-product -- called trihalomethanes (or THMs) -- were considerably higher in swimming pools than in tap water, writes study author Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen, PhD, an environmental science researcher at Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine in London.

"[Miscarriage], low birth weight, neural tube defects, urinary tract defects and others have been associated with exposure to THMs, but the evidence so far has been inconsistent and inconclusive," he writes.

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However, in U.S. pools, extra chlorine is added periodically during peak swim hours as a "shock treatment" to destroy microorganisms and decrease by-products such as THMs through a complex chemical reaction, says Tom Bennett, REHS, an environmental consultant with the Georgia Division of Public Health. He agreed to review the British study for WebMD.

"Don't draw any conclusions" from this study, says Bennett.

When chlorine is added to water, it reacts with organic matter in the water -- skin cells and body care products -- to form various by-products, including THMs. In recent years, there has been increasing concern that THMs may be linked with reproductive problems.

In his study, Nieuwenhuijsen tested the water in eight indoor swimming pools, taking at least one sample every week for three consecutive weeks.

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Also, he tested a few samples of tap water for comparison. He kept track of factors such as water temperature and number of people in the pool when the samples were collected.

He found relatively high concentrations of THMs in the pools -- especially on days when pools were crowded and there was much turbulence in the water. Also, as the pool's water and air temperature rose, so did the THMs level. "Therefore more [THMs] are likely to be formed in both water and air" on those days, he writes.

Swimmers are at great risk because they are exposed for long periods of time and because THMs can be absorbed through the skin and inhaled from the air around the pool, he says.

Studies have shown that a one-hour swim in a chlorinated pool could result in a THM dose 141 times higher than what you get taking a shower, or a dose 93 times higher than drinking a glass of tap water.

Further research is needed to understand the link between THMs and potential health risks, writes Nieuwenhuijsen. In the meantime, he calls for swimming pool owners to reduce THM levels "as far as possible . while maintaining effective control against waterborne microbiological disease."

The other studies that Nieuwenhuijsen mentions have actually found lower levels of THMs than this study did, Bennett says.

Also, all studies of THMs have been done in Europe, he says. "We don't know whether they chlorinate the same as we do in U.S. pools, whether they maintain pools like we do."

"I see this as more of a water quality problem than a swimming pool problem," Bennett says. "If the chemical is that bad, we need to be looking at how it got into drinking water. I would be much more concerned about that."

Pregnant lifeguards at indoor swimming pools have been known to suffer from different illnesses -- like certain lung problems -- because of the continuous exposure to chlorinated water, he tells WebMD.

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Whether THMs are a risk for pregnant women who are not lifeguards, "I just don't know," he says. "You can't say from this study that it is."

7 Natural Tips To Heal Damaged Nerve

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Nerve damage needs a great deal of time to heal. Long process of treatment is necessary to cure them properly. Certain herbs, such as celery, horseradish, elderberry, and chamomile can be useful in curing this problem, if taken in the form of tea. It also soothes the pain caused due to the damage of the nerves.

7 Tips To Cure Nerve Damage Naturally

Celery is one of the most important and effective natural cure and home remedy that can be used for curing pain out of the damaged nerves naturally. Half a cup of celery juice along with carrot juice certainly will help in curing the nerve. In addition, celery juice, along with potato juice helps in naturally curing the pain from nerve damage.

Oat is another important remedy that may be used this case. An herbal remedy, oat, will be very useful in treating a damaged nerve. Consumption of elderberry juice also helps in the muscles to relax, which may in turn help in easing the pain naturally, caused by the damage of the nerves.

Honey And Soymilk

You can also mix honey in a cup of soymilk, and drink it at regular intervals. This might help you cure the pain or the unnatural burning sensation, in case you are suffering from nerve damage. The ingredients with medical value of the soymilk will provide a natural healing effect on your body.

Garlic And Mustard Oil

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Crush garlic and mix it with a tablespoon of warm mustard oil.

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Now gently massage our affected area with the mixture. The mixture will naturally cure your pain arising from damage of the nerves.

You can also use aloe vera gel and apply in the affected parts of your body. Since aloe vera has certain medicinal values, the gel will certainly help in curing the pain naturally.

Honey And Cinnamon

Prepare a paste of honey and cinnamon, and apply it on the area where you are having burning sensation of the nerves. Keep it for a few minutes and then wash it off. The process will definitely cure your pain naturally. Herbal oil, prepared from rosemary, clove, lavender, peppermint, wintergreen and eucalyptus can act as natural cure from the pain caused from the damage of the nerves.

Epsom Salt

Add a cup of Epsom salt in a bathtub and fill it with lukewarm water. Soak in the water for about fifteen minutes twice every day. The pain out of the damaged nerves will certainly be cured.

Food With Natural Ingredients

In addition to all these, the natural ingredients of vitamins and minerals found in garlic, spinach, soybeans, green peas, pinto beans, yogurt, milk, sprouts, parsley and other nutritious food would help in getting relief from the pain from the damaged nerves and help in the process to cure the damaged nerves. You can also drink half a liter of a mixture of juice of spinach and carrot everyday to get some relief from the pain from the damaged nerves.

Though there is no permanent cure of nerve damage, the remedies can certainly help in easing the pain caused due to the damaged nerves in a natural way.

9 Home Remedies For Eye Stye

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The eye stye is a type of infection of eyes.

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This infection attacks and occurs at the base of the eyelashes. It can be both internal and external forms. There are many types of symptoms of this infection which ranges from the formation of bumps to severe kind of burning in eyes.

Although there are many medical treatments for this infection but it is always better to go for the natural cures. This article will give you brief details on the various types of natural cures available for eye stye.

Best Natural Ways to Treat Eye Stye

1. Milk And Turmeric

Turmeric is a root of the plant and it has anti fungal elements in it. Drinking of milk once daily mixed with turmeric can thus help in effective reduction of eye stye. It also speeds up the process of healing.

2. Lukewarm Compress

Take a clean cloth and dip it into lukewarm water. Squeeze out the excess water and then press that cloth over your affected eye for 10-15 minutes. Repeat this process 4-5 times a day. The warm compress helps in draining out the pus from the bumps. It also provides relief from the burning of the eyes.

Take a handful of parsley and brew it in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Dip a clean cloth in that water and apply over the closed lid of your affected eye. Lie back and relax for about 15 minutes after completion of the process. The parsley acts as a purification agent for the eyes which helps in bringing out the toxic materials. That in turn helps in a speedy healing.

4. Guava Leaves

This is another very effective way to get relief from the pain of eye stye. All you need to do is warm up the guava leaves and put it inside a warm cloth.

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Then compress that cloth over your affected eye.

5. The Garlic Juice

Garlic is quite well known because of its medicinal values for healing infections. You can get rid of the eye stye by applying fresh garlic juice around the infected area.

6. Water Splash

One of the most important steps involved during eye stye is to keep your eyes clean. Wash your eyes with clean water for at least five to six times daily. This will check the infection from growing more. Also that will result in faster healing process of your eyes.

You can use slices of onions over your infected eye to get rid of the pain and also to speed up the healing process. It is obvious that using of onion will burn a little but it is very effective and thus worth giving a shot.

Dip an herbal tea bag into boiling water and then slowly press it over your eyes. Keep a tab on the temperature and try to take it down to warm before applying. The herbal tea helps in bringing out the pus. It also helps in reducing the infection.

9. Metals Do Work

This old natural remedy involves rubbing of metals like gold ring or an iron nail over your eyes. They are quite effective in making your eye stye go away.