Monsters in My Body

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Published on: October 12, 2017

No one likes to talk about parasites, but a lot of them can thrive in our bodies. Not all parasites affect the body negatively, but an infestation can lead to diseases.

Platyhelminthes
1. Tapeworms
They live in the intestines for up to 25 years and can be acquired through contaminated food. They can survive for a while after they are excreted in the feces and need one or more hosts in their entire life cycle.

2. Flatworms
They can enter the skin through contaminated water and live in the bloodstream. The host may not experience any symptom for years. Too many of these will damage the liver.

Roundworms
1. Ascarids
These spaghetti-like nematodes can be acquired by ingestion. The eggs live in the intestinal walls and make it to the bloodstream. They travel to the lungs, are coughed up and then swallowed back

2. Hookworms
They can be acquired through contaminated food and water. The larvae thrives in the intestines and take the blood. An infestation can cause a type of anemia called anchylostomiasis.

3. Filarias
These are passed on by mosquitoes and live in our bloodstream. In some cases they cause filariasis and elephantiasis.

4. Pinworms
Also called threadworms, they lay their eggs around the anus and cause itching. So when you scratch with your bare hands, you’re aiding contamination.

5. Whipworm
They live in the intestines for almost five years and are common in warm areas where they are passed through infected feces.

Arthropods
1. Scabies Mites
They lay eggs on the skin after the parasite is transferred through physical contact. That is when the itching starts. If not treated, it can develop into scabies.

2. Lice
There are three types of lice that can live on the human body. The most common is the head lice which can be passed by direct contact. The eggs are called nits and are stuck to the hair strands.

3. Bed Bugs
They live inside or near mattresses and feed on human blood. They can survive for years and are very difficult to remove. An infected house usually needs to replace some furniture.

Eukaryotes
1. Microsporidia
These are spore-forming fungi usually associated with HIV and other immune deficiency illnesses. They can be transmitted through inhalation of the spores or through contaminated water.

2. Entamoeba histolytica
Known for causing amoebiasis, they usually spread through fecal contamination. They are also found in water, vegetables and fruits.

3. Trichomonas
This protozoan is transmitted through sexual contact and live in the urethra. They cause no symptoms among men but women may experience itching.

4. Toxoplasma gondii
If you consume undercooked meat, these parasites can invade your central nervous system and cause flu-like symptoms. They also reproduce in the intestines of your cats.

5. Cryptosporidium
Called crypto, it lives in water and can survive even chlorine treatment. They can cause diarrhea.

6. Giardia
The Giardia lamblia is a protozoan that lives in the intestines. It survives in water and when it travels up to the gut may, it causes inflammation. There are other protozoans also common in the intestines.

What Are Varicose Veins?

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Published on: October 9, 2017

Varicose veins are frowned upon by many people who find them unpleasant to look at. While they don’t cause significant problems by themselves, they’re worth checking out, as they could be symptoms of other medical conditions.

Causes and Symptoms
Varicose veins occur more commonly among females and is hereditary in nature. Pregnant women often have them during the first trimester because of hormonal changes. Others develop varicose veins during puberty and menopause. Leg injuries, obesity and standing for an extended period can also cause the veins to appear swollen.

There are no noticeable symptoms except the appearance of more noticeable veins under the skin. They will look like bruises but in the form of lines. The pressure on the veins, which function as passageways of the blood towards the heart, will make them wider.

Veins in the Legs
They often appear in the calves because there is more pressure on the lower body. Reticular varicose veins, which are red and grouped closely together, often appear around the ankles. Trunk varicose veins are thicker and nearer to the skin surface. These are the bulgy veins.

Varicose veins in the legs usually form in the greater saphenous vein (from the ankle to the back of your thighs) and the lesser saphenous veins (from the Achilles tendon to the back of the knees). While branch type veins appear below the knees. Varicose veins can also appear near the genital area.

Veins on the Cheeks
Sometimes thread or spider veins also appear on the face. Called telangiectasia varicose veins, they are red and blue veins grouped closely together. Besides hormonal changes, they appear because of damage to blood vessels.

Possible Problems
There is a possibility that the pressure on the veins will cause the skin in the ankles to change and become ulcers. Inflammation of the veins might be caused by clotting of the blood in the veins. Another possibility still is deep vein thrombosis, wherein the blood stagnates in the veins when the legs become inactive. Thrombosis is very rare, however.

Varicose veins don’t have symptoms but other people may feel slight pain in and heaviness of the legs. However, these can be confused with the following diseases: arteriosclerosis, lumbar disk herniation, erythema nodosum, lymphangitis, chronic venous insufficiency, livedo reticularis and others.

Treatment
To avoid developing more noticeable veins, never sit or stand for extended periods. If your job requires you to stand or sit for hours, wear support or compression stockings. Avoid wearing high heels or staying still for long periods of time.

Getting rid of bad lifestyle habits can also help reduce the appearance of varicose veins. Losing weight can help. Exercise and keep hydrated.

If the veins are very noticeable, you can try other treatments such as sclerotherapy, YAG laser treatment, intravascular treatment or endovenous laser, and radiofrequency occlusion.

In sclerotherapy, a concentrated saline solution is injected into the vein. YAG laser causes the superficial blood vessels to collapse and then seal. Intravascular therapy involves inserting a laser fiber into the vein to deliver laser pulses. Radio-frequency occlusion delivers radio frequency into a vein through a catheter.

Why You Should Hire a Licensed Plumbing Contractor

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Published on: September 29, 2017

When you experience minor plumbing issues like a clogged drain or a leaky faucet, it can be quite tempting to hire some random neighbourhood handyman. After all, he provides services at a much cheaper price and gets the job done in no time. However, you might be risking your plumbing system, as well as your home’s safety by hiring an unpermitted plumbing contractor. With that in mind, we listed down some of the reasons why you should consider hiring a certified plumber to resolve your plumbing issues instead.

1. Has the Right Credentials to Perform Repair Jobs

One reason why you should hire a professional plumber is that you have an assurance that the person you are planning to employ acquired all the credentials needed to perform plumbing works. Opting for a licensed plumbing contractor also gives you confidence that the repair job he will be performing follows the plumbing code of your area.

Every licensed plumbing contractor are also obliged to follow the rules of the state regulatory board, undergo complete background check, have a liability insurance and pass a licensing exam. Simply put, hiring a certified plumber will give you confidence that they know what they are doing, and provide you a recourse should something go wrong.

2. Has Undergone Proper Training

Licensed plumbing contractors like fast super plumbers undergo extensive rounds of training before becoming a certified master plumber. In those trainings, these plumbers are required to know the latest tools, study various piping materials, as well as the range of systems including drain, gas, sewer and water lines.

In order for an individual to become an efficient plumbing contractor, he should be trained enough to know which pieces fit together and where all the parts go. Some states require receiving a basic coursework along with passing a plumber licensing test, while others call for continuous studying of education courses to stay updated on the latest equipment upgrades, safety concerns and billing codes.

3. Complies With the State and City Building Codes

With a professional plumbing contractor, you can rest assured knowing that the repairs involving your backflow systems, sewer lines and pipes will meet the code specifications in your area. Your plumber knows how to install the just the right size of plumbing and use safe repair techniques to fix your problem. This is crucial in areas in Singapore where drainage and flooding is a regular concern.

Moreover, if you are planning to install an irrigation system, then hiring a licensed contractor who knows the city codes associated with these installations is crucial. Even if the building code organization suddenly conducts an inspection on your commercial or residential backflow system, you can rest easy knowing that your plumbing system are maintained by the best people in the industry.

4. Provides Convenient Insurance Policies

Another reason for you to hire a licensed plumber is because of the insurance policies that come with their plumbing services. These policies cover all the possibly liabilities that may occur while the repair job is being done. This lifts off all the responsibilities from you in the event that your contractor sustains a serious injury while working or he accidentally damages your property while installing your new plumbing system.

Failing to hire a reliable plumber who is equipped with a good insurance policy will not just endanger your home and your own safety, it could also result into a drastic increase on your home repair budget.

5. Offers Permanent Solution

When hiring a licensed plumbing contractor, you can assure that they will find a solution that will permanently eliminate your plumbing issues. You no longer have to worry about your kitchen sink leaking again or your pipe busting after a few weeks. This is the same reason why it is also important that you only hire professional plumbers to work on your new home repair projects. With their expert installation services, you can be sure that your plumbing system will work just fine.

6. Gives a Detailed Diagnostic Report

Receiving a detailed diagnostic report is one of the known benefits of hiring a licensed plumber. It is not unusual for certain plumbing problems to be caused by an underlying factor – and professional plumbers in Singapore are trained to examine plumbing systems, identify the root cause of any given issue, create a detailed diagnostic report of the problem, and fix it. This detailed diagnostics lets you know exactly what part of the system is being replaced or repaired.

7. Saves You Extra Money

While you may think that performing plumbing repairs on your own saves you money from time and labour fees, doing DIY repair job actually ends up costing you more in the long run. The time you spend on attempting to fix these issues is the time that you will not be using to perform more important tasks. Plus, it’s also possible that you will make some costly mistakes as you start performing the necessary repairs. You might end breaking things and causing more damage to your plumbing system. In contrast, calling in for the plumbing services of a skilled contractor will help in minimizing repair errors and costs from unexpected material purchases.

Whether you are planning to hire a regular plumber or someone who can provide 24 hour plumber services, it’s always best to seek for recommendations from your family and friends. Remember that you can never go wrong with a recommendation that you got from someone you trust. So hire a professional plumbing contractor and prepare to bid goodbye to your plumbing issues.

Treatment and Surgical Procedures for Cardiovascular Diseases

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Published on: August 21, 2017

To treat different cardiovascular diseases, the person is advised by the cardiologist to make changes in diet and lifestyle, to take medications based on the heart screening tests, to monitor blood pressure everyday, and to undergo surgical procedure if needed and as advised by a heart surgeon.

Lifestyle Changes

For some people in Singapore who were able to get diagnosis and treatment early, changing bad habits may be the only solution to the problem.

1. Diet. Changes in the diet can improve most symptoms. That doesn’t mean you can no longer eat your favorite food, but you have to do everything in moderation. Go for balanced meals that provide your body with all the nutrients needed without relying on supplements. You might have to lower the sodium, solid fats, refined grains and sugar content in your food, however.

2. Drinking. This refers not just to alcoholic beverages but to sugary drinks as well. Drink less soda and always opt for water instead. Even juice drinks should be consumed moderately. As for alcoholic drinks, one glass a day should be enough to help your body.

3. Weight. Being overweight or obese increases the chances of getting heart diseases. To recover from illnesses, you will need to cut down on your calorie intake by eating small portions of food and eating a balanced diet. If you’re having trouble changing your diet, talk to your heart doctor about recommending a dietitian to help you lose weight safely. Your cardiologist will also advise that you need to have a BMI less than 25 as well as a waistline not more than 35 inches.

4. Exercise. Even if you start watching your diet, you cannot maintain a healthy weight if you just sit the whole day. You need to be more active or else even the best cardiologist in Singapore can’t help you. But before you start working out, ask your cardiologist while doing a heart screen test at Gleneagles in Singapore about the correct exercise plan that is safe for you. Some people are not supposed to exert a lot of effort and walking might be the only exercise they need.

5. Smoking. Most doctors would advise patients to quit smoking as the first step in relieving symptoms not just in cardiovascular diseases, but in many other illnesses as well. People who are also exposed to secondhand smoke are at risk.

6. Stress. Stay away from people and things that can cause stress. If you’re stressed, your body will try to compensate by over-eating and drinking. Talk to your heart doctor if you are having a hard time managing stress at work and home. You might be showing signs of depression too, which will only aggravate your heart disease.

Medications

The following might be prescribed for your cardiovascular disease.

1. Beta-Blockers. These medicines will prevent the adrenaline hormone from acting on your heart. The effect is that your heart rate slows down, allowing the heart to pump blood more efficiently without over-working.

2. Calcium Channel Blockers. These are used to help the muscles in your heart contract and pump by preventing the movement of calcium into the heart and blood vessels. The effect is that the blood vessels are able to relax.

3. Antiplatelent Agents. One example of this is the Aspirin. It will help stop blood clots from forming. The antiplatelet agent will prevent the blood platelets from sticking together.

4. Anticoagulants. They are called blood thinners because they decrease the coagulation of blood in the blood vessels that could cause a stroke.

5. ACE Inhibitors. These are medications that lower the levels of angiotensin II so that the blood vessels can expand. The blood is able to flow freely without obstruction in the blood vessels.

6. Vasodilators. Your heart doctor in Singapore might refer to this as nitrates. They help your blood vessels relax so that the heart isn’t over-worked.

7. Diuretics. Your body needs to get rid of excess amounts of sodium and fluids. Diuretics can help by removing the buildup fluids and disposing them through the urine.

8. Angiotensin II Receptor Blockers. These function differently from ACE inhibitors. ARBs prevent angiotensin II from affecting the blood vessels and the heart so that the blood pressure stays normal.

9. Digitalis Preparations. It is prescribed by the cardiologist for people with irregular heartbeats and heart failure. It is supposed to increase the force of your heart’s contractions.

10. Angiotensin-Receptor Neprilysin Inhibitors. This is a combination of ARB and a neprilysin inhibitor. It works by breaking down the blockages in the arteries and reducing the salt retention.

11. Combined Alpha and Beta Blockers. This is used on patients during a hypertensive crisis and to prevent heart failure.

12. Cholesterol-Lowering Medicines. The cardiologist might prescribe one of these three; statins, nicotinic acids or cholesterol absorption inhibitors.

Surgical Procedures

Before a surgical procedure is recommended, the cardiologist will need to assess your overall health using various heart screening tests. If lifestyle changes and medication can’t repair the damage to the heart or the blood vessels, the cardiologist will refer you to a heart surgeon.

1. Bypass Surgery. This will help improve the flow of blood to the heart for people with coronary heart disease. The heart surgeon grafts a healthy artery or vein so that it goes around the blocked vessel.

2. Heart Valve Repair/Replacement. The heart surgeon will recommend this to people with damaged valves by replacing the valve with man-made or biological valve, inserting a catheter in a large blood vessel to the heart or by making a cut in the chest and left ventricle.

3. Heart Transplant. This is the removal of the person’s heart so it can be replaced with a healthy heart from a donor.

4. Angioplasty. This procedure attaches tubes and a balloon to the arteries so that the blocked blood vessels are widened. Sometimes a catheter with a laser tip is used instead. Atherectomy is also a similar procedure which uses a rotating shaver on the catheter instead of the laser.

5. Transmyocardial Revascularization. The heart surgeon makes an incision on the left breast so that the heart can be drilled.

14 Autobiographical Books to Read

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Published on: July 31, 2017

Add these inspirational books to your reading list.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Maya and her brother were sent to live with her grandmother at the age of three. At 16 years old, she became a mother. The book chronicles her transformation from a victim to a strong young woman.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
This is an unfinished book by one of the Founding Fathers of the US known for his various skills and interests. He wrote the book when he was 65 years old.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Originally written in Dutch, Anne wrote a diary while her family escaped and hid from the Nazis in Netherlands. When she died, her diary was given to her father who was the only survivor in the family.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
It’s a semi-autobiographical account of a woman named Esther Greenwood who suffered from a mental illness and attempts suicide. The writer herself committed suicide just after the book was published.

The Story of My Experiments with Truth by Mahatma Gandhi
He wrote the book detailing his life until 1921. It originally appeared as a four-year series in the journal Navjivan.

Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman
The Nobel Prize-winning physicist wrote a mix of humorous and serious topics about different incidents in his life from his hobbies to his work on the Manhattan Project.

Old School by Tobias Wolff
This first appeared as a series of short stories in The New Yorker. It mirrors Wolff’s life when he attended an elite boarding school in the US.

My Lifelong Challenge Singapore’s Bilingual Journey by Lee Kuan Yew
Singapore’s first prime minister wrote several memoirs including this. It details the nation’s struggle to include the different cultural groups as well as his own study of the Chinese language.

Wild Swans by Jung Chang
The book recounts the lives of three generations of women in China. It talks about Chang’s grandmother, mother and her own.

My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard
This is a six-part novel by Knausgaard detailing his private pleasures, humiliations and dark thoughts. He began writing in 2008 about the troubled relationship with his father.

Wings of Fire: An Autobiography of A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
The 11th president of India wrote about his early life until his opportunity to lead the Indian space and nuclear research programs. He was a son of a boat owner but he became a scientist and a statesman.

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
Written by history’s most notorious villain, the book talks about Hitler’s political ideology and plans for the nation. He started writing it while he was detained in 1923.

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
This was written based on the life of Stein’s partner Alice B. Toklas and how they met through Stein’s sister-in-law in 1906.

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
McCourt was born to a poor Irish immigrant family. He details his early life and his family’s struggles to live a decent life despite poverty and illness.

What You Need to Know About Botox

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Published on: July 28, 2017

You will often hear the word Botox as a cosmetic for removing wrinkles and as a treatment for muscular conditions. It’s a product name for botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin from the Clostridium botulinum bacteria.

How does it work?

The toxin works by paralyzing the muscles temporarily. The source bacteria is inactive in a natural environment and become harmful when when its spores become vegetative cells and they begin producing botulinum toxin excessively. An infection of the botulinum toxin is called botulism. It can cause respiratory failure by targeting the signals in the nervous system. It is considered one of the deadliest substances.

In very small concentrations, botulinum toxin can stop signals from the nerve cells by preventing the release of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter. The muscles are paralyzed for a while because they don’t receive instructions. There are currently eight types of these neurotoxins.

What is it used for?

It’s used for the following medical conditions: muscular disorders, bowel and bladder disorders like urinary incontinence, chronic migraine, excessive sweating, eye squints or spasm of the eyelids, crossed eyes, severe neck and shoulder spasms, post-stroke upper limb spasticity, hemifacial spasm, esophageal issues, anal sphincter dysfunction, allergic rhinitis, cerebral palsy, contraction of jaw or vocal chords, and hypersalivation.

For cosmetic purposes, they remove frown lines and crow’s feet. The toxin is diluted sodium chloride and injected directly into the neuromuscular tissue. It usually takes three to five days to take full effect. An injection relaxes the muscles causing the overlying skin to become smooth.

Is it safe?

Don’t worry, botulinum toxin is safe at correct dosages, but it should not be administered to people who have allergic reactions to the drug or to pregnant or lactating mothers.

Its side effects include pain at the injection site as well as edema; headache; transient numbness; temporary weakness of muscles, weakness or drooping of eyelids; dysphagia; nausea; brachial plexopathy; blurred or double vision; dry mouth; rashes or hives and swelling; fatigue and wheezing. There is a danger that the effect can spread to other parts of the body.

Botox treatment for wrinkles are effective for at least four months, so the injections can be repeated when the effects wear off.

If you’re considering getting one for cosmetic purposes, consider the proper labeling, naming and dosage of the types of botulinum toxin used for the procedure. The most common brand names are the following: Botox Cosmetic is named onabotulinumtoxinA, while Myobloc is called rimabotulinumtoxinB. Dysport is called abobotulinumtoxinA while Xeomin is named incobotulinumtoxinA.

What should I remember?

When considering getting a Botox for your wrinkles, tell your doctors about your medical history such as allergies, nerve and muscle conditions, your medicines and supplements, and the side effects after the treatment. Remember that these injections should only be done by licensed doctors and treatments are spaced at least three months.

Before doing injections, the doctor will do a facial analysis and interview. During treatment, the specialist will inject three areas of the muscle at the side of each eye, while five injections are done on the forehead muscles.

6 Common Myths About Engagement Ring

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Published on: June 9, 2017

When you have finally decided to pop the question, it seems like everybody becomes interested of your next move—buying an engagement ring. People don’t hesitate to give advice that is said to supposedly make wedding ring shopping easier.

However, not all advices and the things we believe about buying engagement rings are true. Many of these are just myths and are actually completely false.

When it comes to buying engagement and wedding rings, there are no necessary rules to follow. Here are the most common myths and the truth behind them.

Myth #1: The Cost of the Ring Should Be Three Months’ Worth of Salary

By far, this is the most misunderstood thing about buying an engagement ring. If you have been researching about wedding rings, for sure you have encountered that a good rule of thumb is to spend about three months’ worth of your salary for an engagement ring. However, this is a rule made decades ago to encourage consumers to spend more on wedding ring and grow the diamond industry.

Today, with so many alternatives available and elements you can add on a simple ring to make it look more sophisticated, there’s no reason to constrict yourself to this rule. There are now so many options for different price range that buying a ring from an engagement ring shop in Singapore makes it all about your budget and how much you can afford. There’s no specific number that serves as one-size-fits-all answer as to how much a person should spend.

Myth #2: As Brilliant and Clear as Possible

While a diamond’s most important criteria is its brilliance and clarity, it is not its only criteria, especially with coloured diamonds. Tradition and symbolism of love can still be greatly achieved with a ring that we don’t typically see on every bride’s hand. More and more women are embracing the beauty of coloured stones because although they love diamonds, they also want something unique and one of a kind.

Coloured diamonds, for example, are also graded based on 4Cs (colour, cut, clarity and carat), with the colour as the most important of factor. Therefore, clarity and brilliance doesn’t matter as much with coloured stones. And even if you go for the colourless one, you can accentuate a less bright diamond with a halo of yellow or pink stones to make it look more expensive.

Myth #3: The Bigger the Stone, the Better

It is very common for people to think that women want a huge stone on her finger. In a society where bigger is always seen as better, it’s no longer a surprise that bigger diamonds appear to be more likeable. There is also an outdated belief that the bigger the diamond, the bigger love the man has for the woman.

But believe it or not, not all women want a gigantic diamond ring. Some prefer the charm of smaller, more sophisticated stones on their finger. And, not all jobs here in Singapore allow women to wear big-stoned jewelleries. Ring shopping is not just about your preferences for your soon-to-be fiancé, but also about getting the right one that suits her lifestyle.

Myth #4: Recycled Diamond Is a Bad Omen

Diamonds hold their value very well, making it possible for people to resell or pass on diamonds from their engagement rings. One reason for reselling a diamond ring is divorce, and for many, buying a ring from a divorced couple is a bad omen for soon-to-be married couples.

But of course, we all know that the future of the marriage depends on the relationship you have with your partner. Rest assured that the story behind a recycled diamond will not impact the future of your life together as husband and wife. Plus, it’s a great way to save extra money if you buy a second hand stone or proposal ring.

Myth #5: Round Cut Is the Best Diamond Cut

Even if you don’t know much about diamonds, you know that round cut is the most popular choice iof diamond shape. What many of us don’t know is that while round diamond is the most well-known cut, there are plenty of options that could be far better. Furthermore, if you’re considering coloured stones, round cut is usually more expensive since it takes time and effort for the jeweller to polish the stone to make the colour visible without affecting its clarity.

Less common shapes for a proposal ring include oval, emerald, heart, asscher, pear, marquise and princess, all of which offering a chock full of personality and unique beauty. Round diamond may be the perfect cut for some, but don’t forget to factor in your woman’s personality, lifestyle and overall nature.

Myth #6: It Should Be a Surprise

Popping the question with a ring on your hand has always been a romantic way of proposing. However, more and more modern couples in Singapore are embracing the practicality of shopping together for engagement rings. Yes, it will no longer be a surprise, but you’ll be 100% sure that your fiancé will love and wear the ring for the rest of her life.

Moreover, shopping with your significant other not only gives her the privilege to pick the ring she wants, but also gives you the opportunity to talk about budget. An engagement ring is a major expense, and there will be more expenses to come for the wedding.

Now that you know the truth behind the popular beliefs about engagement rings, you are in a much better position to make a smart decision and shop for the right ring for your significant other.

Financial Qualities to Look for in a Partner

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Published on: May 29, 2017

Someone once told me that men marry for love, while women marry for security. Although it isn’t the most romantic thing to hear, on some level, it does make sense. Every time we hear a woman who refuses to date a man who doesn’t earn six figures, we instantly dismiss them as opportunistic or shallow – but the truth is, we actually understand. Some women need to have that kind of security, but we believe that there are more important financial qualities to look out for when looking for a potential partner – and some of those qualities are as follows:

1. Someone Who’s Ambitious

While there’s no need for every woman to date a millionaire, it’s never a bad idea to find someone who isn’t a slacker. A drive to earn is an essential quality to have, especially if you’re looking for someone you’d want to spend your life with. He doesn’t need to have lots of money yet, but wouldn’t it better to find someone who’s determined to chase his dreams?

2. Someone Who Has a Clear Financial Goal

Ambition is just the first half of the equation – he needs to have a clear financial goal as well. Does he know what steps to take to get where he wants to be, career-wise? Or is he someone who sorts of just go with the flow and waits for things to turn out well. When it comes to finances, is he productive or passive?

3. Someone Who Desires to Learn New Things

The best way to avoid a stagnant career is to continue studying. For instance, doctors attend medical conferences because there’s always something new in science – and the same thing is true in every industry. So be sure to date someone who strives to earn more degrees, set new goals and develop bigger dreams. After all, a person who strives hard in his career likely works just as hard in his personal life.


4. Someone Who Won’t Be Jealous of Your Success

Aside from having ambition and a financial goal, your potential partner should be someone who’s happy with your own success. Don’t settle for someone who’ll make you prioritize his dreams over yours. Remember, his desires may be important, but so is your own dreams and goals.

Apart from being smart and having a good sense of humour, a good financial quality is also a must-have when looking for a potential partner. So before you start taking things seriously, ensure that the person you’re dating now has the aforementioned qualities. Finding someone who has these qualities will certainly make you feel secure both now and in the future.

Why You Should Consider Going Gluten-Free

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Published on: May 25, 2017

Gluten is a form of protein that’s found in wheat, which helps it rise and retain its shape. Most variants of pasta and bread have it, making it quite difficult to avoid. But despite that, there are still some people who live their lives without consuming the said protein. Some do it for health reason, while others go gluten-free for weight loss purposes. While some see it as a fad diet, there’s no denying the fact that going gluten-free worked wonders for some people. With that in mind, we listed down some reasons why living a life free of gluten might actually be a good idea.

1. It Prevents the Onset of Celiac Disease

Basically, celiac disease is a gluten intolerance. People who suffer from this illness tend to experience an immunity system response that damages a part of their small intestine known as the villi. The villi aids our body in absorbing nutrients from the food we eat, and without it, we will end up being extremely malnourished. So if you ever experience symptoms like becoming gassy or feeling stomach pains after consuming anything with gluten, do consult your physician to get a proper diagnosis.

2. It Encourages You to Eat Healthier

Another reason to go gluten-free is because it gravitates you towards eating healthier meals. Fruits and veggies are some of the healthy gluten-free foods, although gluten-free versions of bread and pasta exist as well. Yet, we’re not saying that all gluten-free products are healthy for that’s one of the common misconceptions about the diet. What we’re emphasizing is, gluten-free or not, you should always check the food labels to see its cholesterol, sodium and sugar content.

3. It Improves Digestion

Decreasing your gluten consumption is an easy way of dealing with bloating and upset stomachs. Just make sure that you double-check if it’s really the protein that’s causing you all these issues before fulling committing into the diet plan.

4. It Helps Cure Eczema

Several studies have shown that celiac disease and eczema are related, and going on a gluten-free diet helped people suffering from celiac improve their eczema. So if you’re suffering from eczema, do go gluten-free for a while and see how it’ll work on you.

5. It Trains You to Check Food Labels

Another benefit of going gluten-free is it makes you more critical of your choice of meals. Sure, excluding gluten from diet can be a real hassle, but it’ll force you to read the ingredients list of a certain product before you decide on putting it on your grocery cart. This habit trains you to be more wary of what’s in your food, which could eventually lead to a healthier eating.

Despite being touted as a fad diet, no one could deny that gluten-free diets work wonders for many people. Not only does it help prevent ailments like celiac disease and eczema, it also provides amazing weight loss benefits. So give this diet plan a shot and see how it could lead your lifestyle to a healthier route.

Retirement Saving Tips for Millennials

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Published on: April 10, 2017

 

With today’s more competitive job market and fresh graduates burdened with student loan debt, it’s obvious why most millennials are less aggressive when it comes to saving for their retirement. If you are part of the generation Y who’s ready to explore the world of investing, here are some important points to keep in mind when planning to start saving for a retirement fund.

  1. Find a Reliable Advisor

If you have zero experience and limited knowledge about bonds, stocks and mutual funds, you’ll probably feel overwhelmed by the volume of investment options out there. Finding someone who can give you sensible and unbiased advice on what moves to make is critical to your financial health.

While it’s tempting to run to your parents for financial advice, it’s a better idea to talk to an expert who specializes in your demographic. After all, financial strategies suitable for a 25-year-old is likely very different from a 45-year-old.

  1. Start Investing Early

If you find it difficult to save a portion of your monthly pay check, you need to find an investment tool to make saving less effortful for you right away. Check if your employer offers a CPF (Central Provident Fund) or an SRS (Supplementary Retirement Scheme) and learn how to use it well.

These programs will help you save by providing tax benefits and automatically deducting your monthly payment from your pay check, so you’ll never get a chance to spend it. If you’re self-employed or if your employer doesn’t offer such programs, set up a direct deposit to an independent retirement account to make saving easier.

  1. Budget Your Lifestyle

If you’re young, this might be the hardest thing to do. Millennials tend to enjoy life too much—we often buy expensive things recklessly, travel on whims and have frequent night-outs. All of these habits cost you more money that you could have saved for your retirement.

Realistically, we don’t want to deprive ourselves of having fun in order to save, so plan for practical ways to save. Things like minimizing use of air conditioning system or turning off appliances when not in use will help reduce electricity bill. Pay your bills on time, so you won’t incur penalty charges and deactivate unnecessary premium subscriptions.

Investing and planning for retirement can seem like a hassle, but for millenials who have witnessed firsthand how unpredictable the economy can be, it’s particularly scary. If you are not ready to take the risk, taking baby steps and starting educating yourself as early as now goes a long way to ensuring your future.

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