12 Common Epilepsy Myths, Dispelled.

Myth 1: People with epilepsy are mentally ill or emotionally unstable.

Fact: Epilepsy is a term that encompasses many types of seizure and epileptic disorders. It is a functional, physical problem, not a mental one, and it has many unidentifiable causes.

Myth 2: If you’ve ever had a seizure, you have epilepsy.

Fact: A person is only diagnosed with epilepsy when he or she has two or more unprovoked (unexpected) seizures that occur more than 24 hours apart. But when something provokes a seizure, such as heavy drinking, sleep deprivation or a new medication, these are not related to epilepsy.

Myth 3: People with epilepsy aren’t as smart as other “normal people”.

Fact: First of all, people that are epileptic are not “Abnormal people”. So people are just people. Secondly, Epilepsy has little to no effect on a person’s ability to think, except during some seizures, during a short period following some seizures and sometimes as a side effect of certain anti-epileptic medications.

Myth 4: People who are epileptic can’t handle high-pressure, demanding jobs.

Fact: They often can, and they do. Most professions — including those in the highest tiers of business, government, justice system, sports and medicine — can accommodate a person with epilepsy.

Myth 5: It’s easy to tell when a seizure is about to happen.

Fact: Medical experts can’t yet predict when seizures are beginning, although some patients say they can feel a brief sensation within seconds of a seizure — which we call an “aura.”

Myth 6: Seizures hurt.

Fact: A person is unconscious and not in any pain during most seizures. Afterward, the patient could feel discomfort if he or she falls down, has muscle aches or if he or she bit their tongue (during a grand mal seizure).

Myth 7: Epilepsy is most common in children.
Fact: Epilepsy is most common in both the very young and the elderly. However, it can develop at any age.

Myth 8: During a seizure, a person could swallow or choke on his or her tongue.

Fact: This is impossible. The worst thing that can happen during a seizure is that a person could bite his or her tongue.

Myth 9: You should force an object into the mouth of someone having a seizure.
Fact: Never put anything into a person’s mouth if they are having a seizure. This could actually injure them. Roll the person on one side, keep him or her a safe distance from any nearby objects, and let the seizure run its course. If you see any signs of distress or if the seizure persists for more than a couple of minutes, call in an emergency.

Myth 10: Women with epilepsy can’t conceive or shouldn’t get pregnant.

Fact: Epilepsy does not generally affect a woman’s ability to conceive and has a minimal effect on a child’s development. However, if women are taking anti-epileptic drugs, the risk of birth defects ranges from 2% to 10% and this is a bigger concern.

Myth 11: Epilepsy is hereditary

Fact: Kids of parents with some forms of epilepsy are at higher risk of developing it, but the risk is very low. This is because a single gene problem rarely causes epilepsy; it usually involves a combination of multiple gene defects.

Myth 12: You can’t live a full, normal life with epilepsy.
Fact: Epilepsy can affect a person’s lifestyle, but you can live a full life. Live your life, but live with moderation. Avoid extremes in lifestyle.


Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety is a very normal emotion, which gives rise to feelings of nervousness every now and then. An anxiety disorder is a serious medical condition in which people experience a high degree of distress and mental trauma, which causes difficulties in leading a normal life. 
People suffering from this medical condition experience high levels of anxiety and nervousness almost all the time. Here are the symptoms that indicate you’re suffering from anxiety disorder.

Health Insurance Updates

RelianceHMO Reimbursement Process

We would thus like to acquaint you with steps to follow if you ever need to get a reimbursement from us.

We realize that sometimes, you may have to access care in a hospital outside the network or your required medication may be unavailable at the hospital or you may even have an emergency.  Should any of these situations arise, please follow the steps below:


Picking The Right Birth Control

Babies are cute and cuddly, but not everyone is on board with a baby on board. Thank goodness for birth control options — there are plenty of effective ways to avoid getting pregnant. (Yippee!)

As a matter of fact, every time you flip through a magazine, it seems there is another new birth control on the market. So how can you decide which method is the best for you?

The most important question is always, ``What's most important to you? One woman says, the answer is fewer side effects. Another, it’s a less painful period.

Birth control pills

One of the most commonly used birth control methods is “the pill.” Birth control pills regulate your hormones to control the menstrual cycle. You take three weeks of active pills. During the fourth week, you take placebo pills, which don’t have hormones. That’s when you get your period.


  • Less painful and lighter periods.
  • Reduced acne.
  • Reduced risk of ovarian cancer and endometrial cancer.
  • More than 95% effective at preventing pregnancy.
  • Can omit the placebo pills to skip a period (though discuss with your doctor first).


  • Slightly increased risk of blood clots, usually in smokers and women with a history of other medical conditions. (There is a special type of pill called the “mini pill” or progestin-only pill, which is safe for women with medical problems that prohibit the use of regular birth control pills.)
  • Slightly increased risk of cervical cancer.
  • Needs to be taken every day.

IUD (intrauterine device)

The IUD is an excellent birth control option for women who want to take action and not think about it again for a while. Your Ob/Gynae inserts a T-shaped device into the uterus during a quick in-office procedure. There are two forms of IUD, a copper version and a plastic version that contains hormones. IUDs work by making it nearly impossible for the sperm to reach the egg.


  • More than 99% effective.
  • Lasts three to 10 years before needing to be replaced.
  • Hormonal IUDs: Can make periods lighter or even nonexistent (copper IUDs do not have that benefit).
  • Hormonal IUDs: May reduce risk of endometrial cancer.


  • Requires a pelvic exam before insertion.
  • Insertion may be uncomfortable or even painful.
  • Risk of perforating the uterus during insertion (though that occurs in one of 1,000 women).
  • Unpredictable spotting for several months after insertion.

The condom serves as a barrier that prevents sperm from entering the uterus.


  • The only birth control method that also protects against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
  • Can be used with other birth control methods for STD protection and improved protection against pregnancy.


  • Inconvenience.
  • 20% failure rate.

Hormonal implant

It’s a small plastic rod inserted under the skin of the upper arm deliver a constant supply of pregnancy-preventing hormones into the bloodstream for three years.


  • Similar to those of hormonal IUD.
  • Highly effective.
  • No pelvic exam required.
  • Inserted during a quick in-office procedure.


  • As with the IUD, can cause unpredictable bleeding.
  • Could cause heavier periods, though in some cases periods are lighter.

If you’d prefer that an overflowing diaper bag not be in your immediate future, talk to your primary care doctor or Ob/Gynae to find the birth control method that fits your lifestyle.


Frequently Asked Questions About Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding might be a little uncomfortable at first, but it shouldn’t be painful or cause any emotional stress. A lot of new mothers struggle with breastfeeding at first, for different reasons. You already have enough on your plate, you don’t need any extra pressure or anxiety right now, so ask for help if you need it. Your healthcare professional can help find the right position for you, make sure your baby is feeding properly and give you any other support you need.

How do I know if I’m doing it right?
Don’t worry if it takes a little while for you to get the hang of breastfeeding, you and your newborn are both new to this. If all is going well, by the fifth day your baby should:

  • be generally calm and relaxed while feeding and content after feeds
  • have 8 feeds or more in 24 hours
  • be feeding for between 5 and 40 minutes at each feed
  • have a normal skin colour
  • have wet and dirty nappies
  • swallowing frequently during the feed, which you should be able to hear.


I feel like I haven’t got enough milk
One of the major reasons why women give up breastfeeding is because they feel they can’t, or are physically unable to produce enough milk for their baby.

Most women produce enough milk for their baby, but there are some reasons why some women have difficulties. The most common reasons are poor attachment and positioning, and not feeding your baby often enough.

Some babies start slow because of circumstances surrounding their birth such as type of birth, pain relief in labour and if they were separated from their mum at birth. Other factors that may make breastfeeding difficult include:

smoking and drinking alcohol while breastfeeding
anxiety, stress or depression
illness in you or your baby.
medical problems such as hypothyroidism or anaemia

You could try the following to increase your supply:

  1. express some breast milk after feeds once breastfeeding is established
  2. offer both breasts at each feed and alternate which breast you start with
  3. keep your baby close to you and hold them skin to skin.
  4. feed your baby as often and for as long as they want.'
  5. Why do my breasts feel painful?
  6. If your breasts feel heavy, it can help to feed your baby, massage your breasts or express by hand. But do not express regularly as it can increase your milk supply and worsen the initial problem.

A heavy build-up of milk can sometimes cause mastitis. This usually affects one breast and symptoms can come on quickly. These include:

a red, swollen area on your breast that may feel hot and painful to touch
a breast lump or area of hardness on your breast
a burning pain in your breast
nipple discharge, which may be white or contain streaks of blood
flu-like symptoms, such as aches, a high temperature (fever), chills and tiredness.

It’s common to develop mastitis in the first 3 months of breastfeeding, although it can happen at any time. It’s important to see your GP if you have any symptoms because you may need antibiotics. Most women recover quickly, but if mastitis isn’t treated properly you may need hospital treatment.

It also can help to:

stay well hydrated
take paracetamol or ibuprofen
avoid tight fitting clothes, including bras
continue to feed your baby and express any remaining milk after a feed.
Your GP, midwife or health visitor can also help you improve your breastfeeding technique to make sure your baby is well attached during feeds.

My nipples feel cracked and sore.
Sore nipples usually occurs between 3 to 7 days into breastfeeding. It happens because your baby isn't attached effectively to your nipples.

If your nipples are painful, you may find it helps to:

hand express a little milk at the end of a feed and massage it on to your nipple
let your nipples dry before getting dressed again
use breast pads and change them regularly
wear a cotton breastfeeding bra.
Some women treat cracks using soft paraffin, such as Vaseline. There are also some specialist nipple creams available.

It’s important to talk to your healthcare professional about this so they can look at how your baby is feeding. If your baby isn’t properly attached, your nipples won’t heal.

If the pain continues, you may have thrush and will need antifungal cream.

Can I breastfeed in public?
There is no reason why you shouldn’t breastfeed in public, but we still hear stories from women who have been made to feel uncomfortable.

If you don’t feel confident about breastfeeding, you may want to stay close to home, at least to start with. Your baby will need feeding quite often and will not be willing to wait until you get home!

There is nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public. In fact, in some countries, it is illegal for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public space. Don’t feel like you should hide away, for example in a restaurant toilet. You wouldn’t eat there, so your baby shouldn’t have to either.

Some women find it helpful to take a supportive friend or family member out with them if they’re feeling uncomfortable, and for a pair of extra helping hands.

Can my partner help with feeds?
Your partner can help with feeding the baby. If you want to just breastfeed, there are practical ways they can help. For example, they can:

make sure you’re sitting comfortably and fetch extra pillows or cushions if needed
bring you a snack or a glass of water as you feed
take the baby when you’ve finished so you can adjust your clothes.
If you choose to introduce a bottle but want to carry on using just breast milk, try to practice expressing to gain confidence before you start your baby on the bottle.

I really don’t like breastfeeding. Is it okay to stop?
Breastfeeding is good for you and your baby, but don’t feel guilty if it isn’t for you. There are lots of reasons why some women don’t breastfeed or stop before they thought they would.

If you’re having problems breastfeeding but want to carry on, there is support available. But if breastfeeding is affecting your health or causing stress and anxiety and you want to stop, then you should stop. Your baby needs you to be happy and well.


The Link Between Typhoid Fever and Eating Out.

A lot of people virtually depend on restaurants and street food vendors for their daily food. They leave the house early in the morning for their workplace; by midday, they look for one restaurant to go eat in or beckon on the regular food vendors on the street to buy food. They do this almost daily and everything is fine. Then something happens.

One guy who regularly eats outside--buys food from food hawkers and sometimes goes to a restaurant to eat--starts having a fever. This fever becomes very high as the day goes by and then falls the next morning to start rising again as the day progresses. This continues for about 5 days, and a week later, the guy starts having pain all over his abdomen (tummy); he feels like vomiting sometimes and finds it difficult to defecate.

The young man thinks he has both malaria and worm infection and decides to buy an anti-malarial drug, Flagyl for the worm and a pain reliever (paracetamol) for the abdominal pain. After taking these medications over the next one week, he didn't experience any improvement.

Instead, this guy begins to feel a very tightening pain at the right upper side of his abdomen and he notices that his abdomen is gradually getting bigger than normal. He has lost appetite for food, feels weak most of the time, people tell him he is losing weight, and whenever he manages to defecate, the stool passed out is a foul-smelling, green-yellow liquid.

This young man could have died in the next few weeks if a friend of his didn't persuade and accompany him to see a doctor in a hospital. After asking him different questions, the doctor took a sample of his blood, urine, and stool (faeces) for lab tests. The doctor then placed him on some antibiotics while awaiting the result of the lab tests. When the result came out, it showed he had typhoid fever. Based on the history he gave the doctor it was very likely he got it from eating contaminated food from either one of the restaurants or food hawkers.

Typhoid fever is a disease caused by a bacterial organism called Salmonella typhi. It can affect many, if not all, systems in the body and it can kill the person infected within one month if he or she doesn't receive the right medical treatment.

If untreated, a person with typhoid fever can develop complications like intestinal bleeding and rupture of the intestine. He or she can also become mentally confused and begin to see or hear things that are not in the environment in reality (psychosis); this impact on the mental status of the affected individual can be long-term or permanent.

Some people with typhoid fever and who don't receive treatment may go on to survive and not manifest any symptoms again. But they become chronic carriers of the Salmonella typhi organism, meaning the bacteria stay in their system for years (over ten years or indefinite) without causing any symptoms and they pass them out in the faeces and urine. This group of people is the major source of infection of healthy people who go on to develop typhoid fever:

1. If someone who has a restaurant or sells food on the street is a chronic carrier of the typhoid fever bacteria, he or she is likely to pass on the bacteria to anyone who buys food from him or her. This occurs if this person doesn't wash his or her hands properly with soap and water after using the toilet or urinating and then handles food or water meant for other people.

2. Another way a healthy person can get typhoid fever is by not washing his or her hands properly after using a public toilet which a chronic carrier of the typhoid fever bacteria may have used. Eating food with those poorly washed hands increases the risk of typhoid fever in the person.

3. Drinking water from unknown or unhygienic sources is a risk factor for getting typhoid fever because that water could come from a source where people urinate or defecate frequently.

To prevent typhoid fever:

  1. Avoid eating food from food hawkers on the street and be very selective in terms of the restaurant to eat in: however, the most effective way here is to prepare one's own food at home. Although this may be very challenging for a lot of people who depend on eating outside, it is the most effective way to prevent the disease.
  2. Minimize the use of public toilets, and if you must use one, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water immediately after and before eating.
    Always boil water before drinking unless it is bottled water.

If you have some of the above symptoms (of typhoid fever) and you regularly eat outside, drink water from public sources without boiling it or use public toilets frequently, you may have typhoid fever. You should see a doctor at once. After treatment, your doctor will likely want to follow you up for the next 3 months to monitor you for any complications of typhoid fever and a possible re-occurrence of the typhoid fever.

For more advice and help, feel free to consult a doctor via The Reliance Care App


The Importance of Your Driving Posture

Driving can be very hectic. Heavy traffic, road rage and the Danfo that just cut you off without a pointer can all contribute to the way you feel while in transit. But there are other factors that can make your daily commute less delightful – the way you sit while driving a car is paramount to whether it causes you back, shoulder or neck pain.

What feels comfortable for one person might cause other pain. It’s crucial to find a comfortable and supportive position for you.

Here are a couple of tips about driving posture, so you can stop itching to get there on time and start enjoying your rides…

Let the seat do the work.
Do you struggle to see clearly when you drive? Are you straining forward? Your seated position should be supporting an upright spine. Try moving your seat closer or further away from the steering wheel. The least amount of lower back disc pressure occurs when the seat is reclined about 30 degrees. Also make sure you aren’t sitting too high or too low from the steering wheel. When your seat is adjusted properly, you should be able to sit back and allow the seat to support you in your best alignment.

Try to relax your arms
Your arms should not be overstretched when you’re driving. They should be relaxed with a gentle bend in the elbow. Or consider using the arm rests on either side of you to help take the load off your shoulders and spine.

Head back.
For most people, the back of your head should be touching the head rest with your chin level and shoulders back. Think about elongating the spine as you drive.

Put your hands at 4 and 8 O’Clock of the steering wheel
This hand position provides the shoulder and neck with more support than the 10 and 2 O’Clock position you were taught in driving school.

Position your mirrors correctly.
You shouldn’t be adjusting your mirrors very frequently. If you have gotten the right adjustments then you should just stick with it. If notice yourself steadily adjusting the mirrors on your commute home, it could be a sign that you’re starting to slump throughout the day.

Take breaks during long drives.
You should not be driving more than two hours without taking a short break to stretch and get your blood circulating. It’s no secret that sitting for a prolonged amount of time is bad for your health!

Try a lumbar support pillow.
You should consider using a lumbar pillow if there’s a gap between the seat and your lower back when you drive. This can help ease lower back pain and support the natural curve of your spine.

Set up your car to work for you and practice good driving techniques. Driving shouldn’t be more


Should You Eat Eggs on a Heart-Healthy Diet?

Breakfast is one meal you should never skip. But a lot of us aren’t sure whether we should eat eggs because of their saturated fat and cholesterol content.

But there is a red flag for people with heart diseases. There is no current recommendation on how many eggs you should consume each week. Experts cited that total saturated fat supplies more to LDL (bad) cholesterol than dietary cholesterol.

Egg whites are great and contain healthy protein, it’s the egg yolks that have the saturated fat and cholesterol you should avoid.

Be cautious about the number of egg yolks you consume if you have heart disease or high cholesterol, and you should also watch out for all other forms of saturated fat e.g red meat, whole-milk dairy or full-fat cheese) beef, pork, veal and lamb, poultry skin, in your diet.

It is recommended that you only consume 4 to 5 egg yolks per week.

To significantly lower your LDL cholesterol, no more than 5 to 6% of your calories should come from saturated fat.

You should also pay attention to the method in which the eggs are being cooked. If you fry them, the oil is only going to add to the saturated fat you’re consuming that day.

There are better ways to make your eggs, examples are poaching, boiling or pan frying with a cooking spray.


Seeking Treatment for Depression

It is normal to feel like giving up on everything, feel sad and empty when one experiences very challenging situations in life such as relationship break-up, loss of one’s loved one or job loss with so many financial responsibilities to meet. Normally, these feelings don’t persist for long and within a few days the person brightens up to face the reality and actively look for ways to forge ahead and survive.

However, when these feelings last more than 2 weeks, get worse with each day that passes by and 


Choosing the Right Family Planning Method

Sex is both for procreation and pleasure. However, every sexual intercourse for pleasure between a couple can equally result in pregnancy and procreation without a family planning method. Considering the health of the woman and the financial capacity of the couple, there’s a limit to the number of children any couple can have and raise in the best possible way. This is made possible through the adoption of a family planning method by a couple while they are still having children so they have control over when their meeting can lead to a pregnancy.

Getting Health Insurance with a Pre-Existing Condition

Are you the one that has a pre-existing condition and is losing faith in health insurance due to rejected claims? Does the term “pre-existing conditions” confuse you? Are you concerned about buying a health insurance plan for yourself or your parents due to pre-existing disease? All of these questions are answered in this article.

At its most basic, it is defined as an illness or disease a person has at the time of buying a health insurance plan. But, more than that, it also includes:


What Dark Skinned People Need To Know About Skin Cancer

Before we go far into this article, we should make one thing very clear. “No matter what color your skin is, if you’re exposed to the sun, there’s a possibility that you can get skin cancer”

It’s true that darker people tend to get more of a pigment called melanin; and it protects the skin from the sun’s harmful rays but that doesn’t necessarily mean people with dark skin can’t get skin cancer. It’s just not as much as the fair skinned people do.


Train Your Brain to Handle Information Overload

Does it ever feel like the thoughts in your head are just one giant to-do list?

The human mind can juggle a gigantic amount of information — but there is a limit. At some point, you reach a critical point where you start missing things, getting angry, avoiding things and people, and struggling at work, home or in your relationships.

So how do you overcome this overwhelm? You can start by doing these;

Just get it done

Sometimes the best way to get it out of your head is to just get it done and out of the way. Whatever is riffling up your mental capacity — house chores, replying a bunch of emails, working out, laundry — stop thinking and start doing.

When we move to get tasks done instead of away from them, the tension is reduced, and your confidence level goes up.

Or, cancel it out
If you keep avoiding something for a long time, then ask yourself. Does it really need to get done? If not, cancel it off your list for good.

You exhaust yourself thinking there’s some finish line you have to cross.

Ask someone to help you
When it gets too overwhelming you can ask for assistance.
Tell your partner or kids you need them to take on more of the household chores or you can tell your boss you’ll have trouble meeting that deadline without more support. Whatever gets you help.

Stop overthinking it
Feeling overwhelmed could just be having too much to think about. When you start getting ahead of yourself, observe your thoughts and let some of them go. Go beyond all the thinking about and just get it done.

It might not get you to zero mental stress, but it’s definitely a start.


How to Manage Your Anxiety

It is normal to be anxious from time to time especially when you are about to go for an interview, give a speech before a crowd of people, ask a girl out or after something terrible happens like surviving an accident. The feeling of fear, palpitations (your heart beating faster), sweating, rapid breathing or dryness of the mouth before any of these occasions is normal because such feelings are very temporary, and they disappear after some time (a few minutes after that interview or speech; or a few days after the terrible incident).

However, if you frequently feel tensed up, afraid or worry that something bad is going to happen to you for no reason or cause, and this is affecting your ability to do things you normally did before, then you may have a mental health condition known as anxiety disorder. A mental health condition is a problem of the mind the same way diabetes is a problem of the body; it is not a sign of bad luck or evil in you or your family, neither is it a curse on you from some evil forces. It can be treated.

Anxiety disorder is a mental health condition in which the affected person experiences one or more of the following:

Fear, panic or worry which can last for many days or months; the fear or panic can also come suddenly, last for minutes and repeat itself. This constant fear or panic usually cannot be attributed to any cause by the person or it just results from normal circumstances which other people have no problems with like objects, heights, and social gatherings or meeting new people.
Along with the irrational fear comes bodily symptoms like:
-excessive sweating on the hand or feet
-the heart beating very fast
-a burning sensation in the chest
-rapid breathing or shortness of breath
-dizziness or a headache
-sleeping problems where the person can't sleep due to this irrational worry

There are many other symptoms that come with this mental health condition depending on the type of anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorder has no known single cause, but there are risk factors associated with it. These include:

  • Genetic predisposition to developing an anxiety disorder meaning it can be inherited from parents if it runs in the family
  • Being under severe stress for a very long time can contribute to the development of an anxiety disorder in a person.
  • Experiencing a very traumatic incident like being raped, an attack by armed robbers, surviving a civil war or fighting in a war can trigger an anxiety disorder in a person who has a genetic predisposition to developing it.

How do you take care of anxiety? Well, it depends on whether it is the everyday normal and temporary anxiety that comes before important activities or it falls into a mental health condition.

If you normally feel anxious before important occasions like giving a speech or asking a lady out, doing the following can help calm you down:
- taking a very deep breath several times a few minutes before taking the stage
- taking a good rest a day before the event
- having a mindset that it is just a moment and no matter what happens you're not going to die and the world will not come to an end.
If your anxiety looks like it is abnormal, the very best thing to do is to see a doctor who will take a detailed medical history from you and carry out a physical examination on you after which he or she will refer you to a clinical psychologist or a psychiatrist, if he or she is not one, for special medical attention. This special medical attention will involve medications and what is known as cognitive behavioural therapy (the psychiatrist helps you to recognize and change your thought patterns and behaviours that are associated with the anxiety).

For more advice and help, consult a doctor online via The Reliance Care App.