Sugar Coated Haiku

Those sweet sugar dreams / now rot the teeth of toddlers / sweet tooth to toothless


Taming Tinnitus

TinnitusSome Help For Tinnitus
For those of you also stuck with Life’s pilot tone playing in their ear(s) here are some observations from one who lives with the condition with some tips that may help manage your own tinnitus.

Avoid Noise (duh!… but really)-I wear ear plugs in loud situations and especially on aircraft. It’s amazing how much more enjoyable loud music concerts can be when wearing ear plugs.

Stress – Not an easy thing to avoid but stress can send your tinnitus levels soaring. Taking breaks, small walks or even taking up meditation can help a lot of people.

Diet: Aggravators to tinnitus can include:

Salt, Quinine (as found in tonic water),Cheese, Spicy food, Red wine (I avoid alcohol with only the odd glass of white wine) ,Sugar- avoid refined sugars as much as possible
Artificial sweeteners – Aspartame is worth avoiding- try to use natural sugars if replacing
refined sugar in your diet. Fructose and Xylitol and other fruit sugars are much better and don’t give the same blood sugar spikes.
Saturated and trans fats are worth avoiding whether you have tinnitus or not. Unsaturated fats and a more Mediterranean type diet can help immensely.Flavour enhances- avoid monosodium glutamate too if possible.

    Depression and poor health can increase tinnitus levels(though we are in less of a position to control this)

    High blood pressure is another link to high tinnitus levels so if your tinnitus level remains high for a very long term it’s worth having your blood pressure checked.

    Prescription Medicine
    Antibiotics and prescription medicines including some anti depressants can increase tinnitus levels. Long term use of some decongestants is often thought an antagonist of tinnitus symptoms.

    Atmospheric pressure can increase tinnitus levels too. Mine goes crazy before a summer thunderstorm. there’s little you can do about this but it’s worth being aware of.A good thunderstorm sees my tinnitus level decrease once the storm has broken.

    Tinnitus Maskers
    Maskers can help re-frame your sensitivity to your own tinnitus. maskers are like small hearing aids that play white noise. the idea is to set the white noise at the same level as your tinnitus and slowly decrease over time. For some this can help reduce your perception of tinnitus. Equally natural sounds of streams, water, the ocean and wind through trees or even a detuned FM radio set can provide an equally valid source of white noise. Some people obtain relief just from having a different noise mask their own constant tinnitus.

    Programs are also available that run on your computer that provide a range of masking via white and pink noise (also good for insomniacs).

    Tinnitus maker pro (Windows)

    Neural noise synthesizer (Windows, free)

    Burninwave (Windows,free)

    Pocket tinnitus masker for Windows mobile/PDA

    Blackhole media noise (Mac OS X PPC, free)

    Tinnitus Tamer (Windows and Mac OS X Universal)

    Whitenoise (Linux, free)

    On-line white and pink noise -these can be downloaded and looped in most good multimedia players.

    iserenity – various sounds on-line

    More informationBritish Tinnitus Association

    Photo adapted from original by gari.baldi under this creative commons license

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    Brain Patched

    mummyI seem to be at the first marker of my recovery period following my ‘brain transplant’ shortly before Xmas. Most of the pain has now subsided save from the odd momentary stab, the stitching dissolved, and I’ve stopped spontaneously bleeding all over the house (never a good look).

    Follow Up Not
    I came away from a hospital bed with a worrying lack of advice as to how to tend my wounds and what possible signs I should look out for if anything was amiss. I should be due for a follow up appointment to come through soon so we’ll see if that materialises or whether ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is the policy that saves the NHS the most money.

    The Good The Bad And The Ugly
    It’s been a positive experience though like most things in life it happened at the most inconvenient time. So far the only side effects are that my moodiness increased for a while there (OK no change there) and that my taste buds and metabolism seem to have changed. I don’t get the kick out of some of the foods I used to and my house dust allergy has gone through the roof so most of the time I probably look like I’ve just been having a good cry with my large attractive red raw streaming eyes so I’ll probably need to pop the old piriton out of season again to stop me just permanently scratching my eyes out (and those of anyone else who happens to be passing). Maybe they’ve got nothing to do with the operation but I’m right off a good cuppa tea and that’s just not right.
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    Faking It Again

    One of the cultural changes that has happened in Britain over the past 30 years has been the deregulation of business and looser state control that occurred in the 1980’s. On the one hand it temporarily boosted an ‘enterprise culture’ but in partnership with a greater deregulation also saw an increase in the “I can do that” cowboy culture element and aspirational individuals intent on claiming dubious qualification to achieve a required lifestyle. I suppose in some ways it caused a bastardised meritocracy Dial F for Fakewhich enabled an element of fakery into the enterprise economy.

    When I lived in Australia it was hard to do anything without filling in forms in triplicate. You couldn’t advertise in the Yellow Pages without registering as a business with the government ,given approval and a registration number. Whilst in the UK anybody can literally place an advert in the Yellow pages or online and launch themselves into business.

    More TV Fakery
    Channel 4 has launched an investigation into the qualifications of child care guru Claire Verity . Channel 4 have received confirmation from the body that awarded her claimed qualifications that they have no records of her attendance. Claire Verity’s clients have included Sting, Claudia Schiffer and Mick Jagger.
    She has been accused of child bullying with her advocacy of parenting techniques that include leaving babies to cry, limiting ‘cuddles’ to no more than 10 minutes a day and leaving children outside ‘to air’.

    Guru’s a Plenty
    A while ago TV diet Guru ‘Doctor’ Gillian McKeith ,who sternly advises people to change their diet by examining their faeces, was found to have achieved her dubious doctorate via an uncredited US mail order service. She has since dropped the Doctor from her name but continues to her be employed using her diet claims despite the sullying of her professional qualifications.

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    Cash For Weight Loss In Italy

    The Mayor of the North-western Italian town of Varallo has decided to incentivise himself and other overweight residents by initiating payments of 50 Euro for each person that loses 4 kg in weight in one month. If he and others can then maintain that weight for a further 5 months they will each receive a further 200 Euro. Mayor Gianluca Buonanno says he is 6 Kg overweight himself in a town of 7,500 residents, many of whom have signed up for the weight loss incentive scheme.
    According to European Union figures 35% of Italians can be classified as overweight.This statistic has grown since traditional Mediterranean diet has given way to the increased consumption of more processed foods which are rich in processed fats, sugar and salt.


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    A Nation Of Poor Eaters

    The Food standards Agency has surprised itself in findings that show poor people consume a diet nowhere near as bad as had been assumed when compared to other socio-economic groups. That is not to say that people on low incomes are eating healthily at all but that all economic groups are eating a bad diet.Healthy Diet

    In the survey of 3,500 people on low incomes they found:

    • 80% shopped at a large supermarket
    • Most claimed to have good cooking and food storage facilities at home
    • 91% of women and64% of men said they were able to cook from basic ingredients
    • 62% of men and 63% of women were overweight or obese
    • 35% of boys and 34% of girls were overweight or obese
    • Higher levels of smoking and alcohol consumption
    • Lower levels of activity
    • Lower consumption of fruit and vegetables
    • Higher consumption of surgery drinks

    Another interesting factoid is that an average trolley of food from the supermarket now costs 7% less in real terms that it did in the year 2000 and 15% less than in 1900.


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    Fat Snack Tax Is Back

    I notice that the idea of a fat tax is back on the agenda. In a nutshell it proposes that by taxing (taxing eh, that’s a radical new idea!) unhealthy foods to discourage their consumption you would reap the benefits by reducing the incidence of some of the diet related health problems. Nice simplistic idea though cigarettes have been highly taxed year on year and it’s hardly reduced the cost of treating smoking related disease within the NHS.

    Here’s a radical idea. Why not make healthy food cheaper?

    Which online has a handy downloadable guide (PDF reader required) to the various fat,sugar,saturates and salt levels using a traffic light system to indicate the desirability or not of their presence in food.

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