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Kidney Disease

Leah Sarich | posted Tuesday, Mar 31st, 2015

kidney

The number of Canadians receiving treatment for kidney disease has tripled over that last 20 years. And this number is likely to skyrocket as our population ages.

For Kidney Month I spoke with University of Calgary researcher and kidney specialist Dr. Daniel Muruve. He and his team are working on cutting edge research that will dramatically improve how these patients are treated.

Dr. Muruve explains many things can cause kidney damage…an acute injury, an autoimmune process, lifestyle factors, diseases like diabetes and also many things doctors just don’t understand. Yet, all these patients, says Dr. Muruve, are basically being treated exactly the same way. So, Dr. Muruve is trying to change that. He wants to understand what differentiates kidney disease on a molecular level. The goal is to one day offer more personalized treatments for each individual patient. Dr. Muruve explains they’re doing this already for cancer patients, and Dr. Muruve wants to offer the same option for kidney disease patients.

With more personalized treatments, patients should receive better, more effective therapies and also safer treatments with reduced side effects.

So if you’re currently a kidney patient in Southern Alberta, you may be asked to provide samples for Dr. Muruve’s study. Dr. Muruve hopes to create a giant database of blood and urine sample so they can be analyzed. He also hopes the collection of samples becomes standard protocol.  The goal is to one day have enough data to understand kidney disease to the point where each patient can  be offered a personalized treatment plan.

For more information about kidney disease visit this website.

How to take care of your aging skin

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Mar 31st, 2015

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Why do we age and how can we fight it?
The environment: You need to protect your skin with sunscreen. It’ll reduce the chances of you getting dark spots, wrinkles and your skin will be in much better condition.
What is happening to your body internally: If you’re healthy it will seep through to your skin. Medications, genes, sickness, etc. can all impact your skin. Behavioural issues: Are you a smoker? Do you drink a lot? Do you do drugs? If yes, all these decisions will play a part in how your skin looks.

What should you do?
You want to exfoliate your skin. The skin is always producing new skin, so the dead skin needs to come off. Sometimes it doesn’t come off naturally, so you need to use something such as a chemical exfoliant or a manual exfoliant to get rid of that skin. If you have dry skin, you can exfoliate your skin less frequently (about every three days), whereas if you have oily skin, you can exfoliate your skin more frequently (about every two days).
Advance your skin care routine. Add a serum and use products that mimic ingredients that are in your skin such as coenzyme q10 and hyaluronic acid. The coenzyme q10 enegizes the skin to produce new skin and turn it over, and the hyaluronic acid locks the moisture in. Adding a serum into your skincare routine is really easy — it goes right after your toner and before your moisturizer in the morning, and before your night cream before bed.
Eat well. What goes into the body, shows on the skin. Drink water and get your servings of vegetables and fruits!

For more tips from Dino, watch the video below:

		

Jeanne Beker’s Spring Shopping List

LOULOU | posted Thursday, Mar 26th, 2015

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A jean jacket: “A great summer go-to. Team it with a little black dress to give some of the rock-chick edginess, or with a pair of great boyfriend or sexy skinny jeans.”
Jeanne Beker $124.90. Buy online

A great pair of jeans: “Whatever style they are—bell bottoms, skinny legs, stretchy, boyfriend—it’s a perfect pick for getting around every day.”
DG2 by Diane Gilman, $79.90. Buy online

A dress that you love: “Whether that’s a plain, sleeveless number in a nice fabric like ponte that hugs you in all the right places and makes you feel really sexy, or something flowy and romantic and printed, everyone needs at least one new dress for the summer that speaks to the girl in you and lift you right up.”
Eureka by Christos Garkinos $139.90. Buy online

A big, floppy sunhat: “As the weather warms up and the sun starts shining, you definitely want to be protected.”
Jeanne Beker $46. Buy online

Eye-catching shades:  “Every woman needs a great pair of statement sunnies that you’re going to feel really good about wearing.”
Joan Boyce, $59.99. Buy online

A lightweight knit: “Preferably a cardigan. Something that’s going to feel really sumptuous that you’ll be able to mix in a variety of ways.”
Lusso Apparel, $149.90. Buy online

A sexy shoe: “It can be a wedge or something really strappy, as long as it’s a glam one that makes a statement.”
Vince Camuto $175. Buy online

An everyday shoe: “Plain and simple: This one is all about comfort.”
Vince Camuto $130. Buy online 

A bold bauble: “I think a cuff is ultimately empowering, so I’m all about a statement cuff, big bracelet and/or ring. But that’s a personal preference. Some people may prefer a necklace, as long as it really stands out.”
Jeanne Beker $35. Buy online

A printed top or dress: “Choose any feel-good style that’s really going to sing to you.”
Guillaume, $99.90. Buy online

Check out the full gallery at LOULOU

Tourette Syndrome

Leah Sarich | posted Tuesday, Mar 24th, 2015

trek

Steve Colle’s arm is flailing behind his head, repeatedly slapping the back of neck. Steve’s face doesn’t convey any sense of worry but merely a resigned understanding of what’s happening. He’s just waiting it out. Steve has Tourette Syndrome a neurological disorder that causes those who have it to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics.

Steve was diagnosed only eight years ago but he’s been experiencing tics since he was nine years old. Steve is actually a very severe case. Most people with Tourette Syndrome grow out of it. Steve’s Neurologist Dr. Tamara Pringsheim from the University of Calgary explains that TS is very common… about 25 percent of preschoolers have some kind of simple tic. But to get a diagnosis of the syndrome you have to have multiple motor tics and at least one vocal tic with symptoms lasting for over one year. The most common physical tic is blinking, the most common vocal tic is sniffing or throat clearing.

Dr. Pringsheim says in about 70 percent of cases a child’s tics will remit naturally over time, they’ll simply go away as the child’s brain grows and develops. And most kids do not require any form of behavioural or medical treatment. But all families dealing with TS will need education about the disorder and support along the way. That said, if the patient does require medication, there are drugs that can suppress the tics, but of course, these medicines come with side effects.

Steve falls into the small group of patients that did not outgrow the syndrome. He’s tried numerous medications but prefers to live without the side effects. Instead, he knows that sometimes he’ll be the puppet to his brain. He says it’s like “your brain is the driver of the car and you’re just going along for the ride.”

But Steve and Dr. Pringsheim want to educate people about TS and help people understand it’s rarely like what you see in the movies. Instead, they’re hoping to raise some awareness about the wide range of tics.

The Calgary Trek for Tourette is Sunday March 29th at Confederation Park from 9am until noon. For more information about the Trek visit this site.   For more information about Tourette Syndrome visit this website.

Make tax time less painful with Bruce Sellery’s help

Cityline | posted Tuesday, Mar 24th, 2015

CityLineArticle_Mar23

Let’s begin:

Bruce advises everyone to begin with something sweet: a reward. Whether it’s a glass of wine, chocolates or looking at the new pair of shoes you want, start with that because no one loves doing their taxes but keeping a reward in mind (the tax return and what you can put it toward) may help you reach your end goal.

If you have a little bit of lead time, start with the paperwork. Find and divide your forms and receipts such as T4 slips, investment income slips, receipts for your kids’ activities and charitable contributions, your RRSP contribution receipt, etc.

Bruce suggests keeping on top of these receipts throughout the year as they come in. Keep them in a file or even a shoebox; this will definitely pay off when you are tackling your taxes. For example, if you qualify for the maximum deduction for physical activity, it could be worth $1000 — you don’t want to lose out on that!

Should you pay someone to do your taxes for you, or should you do it yourself?

If you are unsure whether or not you can handle your taxes on your own, there are three variables you need to consider, Bruce says:

  1. Complexity: Can you handle the work by yourself? Is it too complex?
  2. Competency: Do you have the basic skills to do it?
  3. Enthusiasm: Do you not hate it?

If any of the above is an issue, consider hiring an accountant or using an online tax filing service such as TurboTax. The online services are fairly inexpensive, they prompt you to ask questions, and remind you of the papers you need.

What happens if you don’t do your taxes?

If you’re owed money by the government, you won’t get it. If you have a salaried job and they have been withholding tax at source, you may be eligible for a refund but you won’t receive it. And don’t forget about the credits you may qualify for – if you’re unemployed, on maternity leave, or have kids, you may be in line for a refund. Don’t leave that money on the table!

If you owe money and don’t file, the consequences are significant. If you miss the deadline, April 30, by a day, the government immediately levies a 5% penalty on what you owe, plus an additional 1% every month you are late.

The one exception from the penalty is if you have had a significant life event, for example, if you are diagnosed with a serious illness. If so, you must call the CRA, prove it, and see if you can work something out to avoid the penalty.

What if you haven’t filed your taxes for years?

This is the time to say, “I need help,” and call a professional. They will walk you through exactly what’s required so that you can make a payment.

Workplace Happiness

Leah Sarich | posted Friday, Mar 20th, 2015

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We spend at least a third of our waking hours at work. So for the International Day of Happiness we thought we’d look at how to be happy at work. Because of course, if we’re happy at work, we’re likely to have a greater sense of happiness in our lives.

I spoke with Theresa Kline, a Professor Emeritus in Psychology at the University of Calgary, who says those whose work is an extension of their own interests, values and skills are usually happiest at work. She explains it goes back to that old adage find your passion and try to make a living doing it. That said, not all of us have that luxury. If this is the case, Kline recommends supplementing your time with extracurricular activities or volunteer work that fit your interests. She says it’s an effort to increase the amount of time you spend doing activities you truly enjoy.

If you’re not happy at work, this can lead to depression and reduced productivity at work. Kline says people unhappy at work also tend to self isolate and do what’s minimally required of them. And then this unhappiness, stress or anxiety can spill over into the rest of your life.

So how to find more happiness in your work? She recommends breaking down your day to look closely at how you’re spending your time. Kline says identify what makes you happy during your day and what doesn’t. Simply increase what makes you happy and decrease what makes you unhappy. Kline suggests applying this approach to your work on a micro level. She recommends talking to your boss or colleagues about increasing what you enjoy at work and decreasing what you dislike.

It’s a simple strategy to stay in your happy place as long as possible.

Indoor science experiments your kids will love

Cityline | posted Thursday, Mar 19th, 2015

science experiment

DIY edible snow (aka vanilla ice cream)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup half and half milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 large one gallon Ziploc bag
  • 1 medium Ziploc bag
  • 4 cups of ice
  • 1 cup of salt
  • a kitchen glass

Method:

Place the opened medium Ziploc bag inside the kitchen glass to make it easy to pour the ingredients inside.

Pour in the cup of half and half and add the vanilla extract and sugar.

Seal the medium Ziploc bag, and remove as much air as possible.

Scoop 4 cups of ice into the large Ziploc bag and then add the salt. The salt will help to lower the temperature of the ice faster.

Place the medium Ziploc full of ingredients inside the large bag with ice, remove any excess air and seal tightly.

Shake the large bag for 5 to 10 minutes until the ice cream thickens. Wear gloves as this can get cold on your hands.

Remove the medium bag with the ice cream and rinse with cold water to remove any of the salt from the outside.

Scoop into a bowl and enjoy!

DIY lava lamp

Materials:

  • a medium glass vase or cylinder
  • vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • food colouring
  • Alka Seltzer tablets

Method:

Fill the glass vase with vegetable oil, leaving approximately 3-4 inches at the top.

Pour in the half cup of water.

Add 15-20 drops of food colouring.

Break the Alka Seltzer tablets into quarters and drop them in one at a time.

Voila! You have your very own lava lamp!

DIY volcano

Materials:

  • A deep kitchen casserole dish
  • 2 glass cups
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • Food colouring (optional)

Method for volcano:

Place one glass cup inside the casserole dish to catch the mess.

Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda inside the glass.

In the second cup,  add 1/2 a cup of vinegar, and add a few drops of red food colouring to create the colour of lava.

Pour the vinegar into the glass with baking soda.

Watch it erupt!

Magical inflating balloon

Materials:

  • An empty plastic water bottle
  • A 12″ latex balloon
  • A funnel
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

Method:

Using the funnel, add the vinegar into the plastic water bottle.

Rinse the funnel with water and pat dry, then place the funnel into the end of the balloon.

Pour the baking soda into the uninflated balloon and remove the funnel.

Carefully place the opening of the balloon over the opening of the water bottle without letting any of the baking soda fall out of the balloon.

When ready, hold the balloon upright allowing all the baking soda to fall into the water bottle and watch the magic begin.

The reaction will cause the balloon to inflate, but not break!

Rainbow flower bouquet

Materials:

  • A bunch of white flowers (6 carnations work well)
  • Red, blue and yellow food colouring
  • 6 glass cups

Method:

Fill each glass cup with water.

Add a few drops of each food colouring bottle into 3 of the cups. Mix the primary colours to make secondary colours for the remaining cups.

Trim the carnation stems on an angle making them short enough to sit well in each cup.

Place a flower in each coloured water cup, and within 24 hours, the food colouring will have transferred into the petals making for a colourful bouquet!

8 things to get rid of at home (you’ll never know they’re gone!)

Chatelaine | posted Tuesday, Mar 17th, 2015

chatelaine

1. Old Newspapers
That old pile you’ve been hanging on to for keepsake has lost all significance, and would be much more useful as an added source of flames in the fireplace. Want to read an old article? Look it up online – – it’s probably there.

2. Fridge Pin-ups
Last week’s grocery list, a printed recipe you tried last month, and an interesting article you found last year can all be taken down now. If you haven’t given it second thought in over 6 months, it’s time to clean up that fridge décor.

3. Ancient Electronics
Remote controls, flip-phone chargers, cords, monitors, and more. You’ve since upgraded and might think you’re being organized by leaving them in a box in the basement. You’re really just inviting extra, unwanted clutter. Electronics don’t need to be dumped in the trash…they can be recycled! Take 20 minutes of research to find an organization that works for you. Here’s one to get you started.

4. Outdated office supplies
Since moving over to laptop work, you’ve significantly cut down on traditional office supplies. That hasn’t changed the fact that pens, markers, highlighters and old (used) notebooks are still sprawled all over your house, dusting away. In fact, you could probably find at least 25 dried up pens lying around the house right now if you tried.

5. Old Mugs
Past jobs, gifts, and flash sales have left you with an over abundance of coffee and tea mugs that are now being crammed into every drawer, shelf, and crevice of your kitchen. Which ones are our go-to’s? Keep those. Toss the rest.

6. Bedding and beyond
If your linens are still comprised of old duvets from sleepover camp, college dorms, twin bedding that no longer has a twin bed, or some version of all of these…you know the drill.

7. Tupperware Plastic
Tupperware tends to build up in the kitchen like it’s nobody’s business. Rule of thumb: invest in a fresh supply every couple of years. As for the old ones? No need to be hanging out in a drawer for fun. Image:

8. Expired Food
Need we expand? Get rid of it!

This March on Chatelaine.com we’re launching the Clutter Cure Challenge. Sign up to the Chatelaine newsletter for updates. 

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