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Types of Seizures, their Causes, Symptoms and First Aids

Types of Seizures



Seizures refer to changes in behavior, movement, and in the level of consciousness caused by abnormal brain electrical activities.

Before a seizure happens, there may be warning signs. Changes in feelings or sensations or behavior changes can be a warning sign that a seizure may be approaching.  

Changes in sounds, tastes, smells, and feelings are also commonly reported. An aura is considered to be the first real symptom of a seizure, and many people may find the aura hard to describe. However, others may have no signs or symptoms of an impending seizure.

During a seizure, a person may lose the ability to swallow, have difficulty speaking, experience twitching or jerking movements in the body, and even experience convulsions. 

They may lose consciousness, see flashing lights, experience visual hallucinations, and feel out of body sensations. 

The unprovoked and recurrent occurrence of seizures commonly causes epilepsy. A single seizure lasting more than five minutes or two or more seizures within a five-minute period without the person returning to normal between them is known as Status Epilepticus and it is a medical emergency that may lead to permanent brain damage or death and requires immediate medical help 

How many types of seizures are there?

Seizures can be categorized based on where the onset of abnormal brain activity took place. It can also be classified as an unknown onset if it is unknown where it began.

Generalized Seizures

These happen when nerve cells of both the right and left hemisphere of the brain misfire. Epileptic activity occurs throughout the entire brain. They can make you have muscle spasms, blackout, or fall.

There are six types of generalized seizures 

Tonic-clonic seizure 

A tonic-clonic seizure is a type of generalized seizure that usually lasts one to three minutes, but may last up to five minutes. 

Tonic-clonic has two stages symptoms, a loss of consciousness stage followed by muscle convulsions stage. Loss of consciousness stage may last up to ten seconds, Muscles convulsion stage usually lasts less than two minutes. 

This seizure can make a person cry loudly caused by the passage of air between vocal cords(also called vocal folds) and it is not caused by pain. 

It can cause muscle jerks/spasms causing a person to fall to the floor and lose consciousness. sometimes can cause loss of bladder control due to increased pressure hence a person may wet himself/herself. The child may bite the tongue, which may cause bleeding. Tonic-clonic seizures were formerly called Grand Mal seizures.


First Aid
  • Do not restrain the person.
  • Do not insert anything in the mouth.
  • Protect the child from further injury.
  • Roll the child on his/her side after the seizure subsides.
  • If seizures last more than five minutes or occur one after another without recovery between seizures an individual must seek medical help.
During the post-ictal state( a short period after seizure). During this time, the person will need to rest due to fatigue, confusion which may last from five minutes, hours, or even days. Rarely, this state may last up to two weeks. There is no evidence that tonic-clonic seizures cause brain damage.

grand mal seizure

Absence seizures

Also called petit mal seizures, is a non-motor type of seizure that consists of a period of unconsciousness with a blank stare into space for a few seconds.

Other symptoms include chewing movements, stopping speech in the middle of a sentence, rapid breathing, fluttering eyelids, slight movements, or tugging at clothing. It is called "absence" seizures because it's like the person isn't really there (loss of consciousness).

Absence seizures are brief, usually lasting only 2 to 10 seconds. It can be controlled by anti-seizure medications.

First Aid

It usually takes a very brief moment and a person becomes fully conscious without knowing what just happened it's better to tell him or her what happened and inform him or her of anything important s/he missed.

Atonic seizures.


Also called Drop seizures, it occurs when electrical activity in brain surges suddenly causing loss of muscle strength. This sudden loss of muscle strength can cause a person to fall on the ground. If a person is holding something, s/he might drop it, usually lasts less than 15 seconds.

Atonic seizures are more likely to happen to people with severe types of epilepsy known as Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

First Aid

As the person falls he/she may hit the head or injure any body part it's better to analyze the injury and address it or seek professional help. 

Drop seizures

Due to this risk of falling,  people who tend to have atonic seizures may need to wear a helmet to protect their heads.

Tonic seizures.


Refers to about 20 seconds sudden stiffness/tension of body, arms, or legs muscles ( extensor muscles). If happens while standing, a person may fall to the ground, but it's rare. The tonic seizure usually happens during sleep.

Clonic Seizures

During a clonic seizure, a person may experience rhymical jerking movements caused by muscles repeatedly stiffening and relaxing. These motor symptoms can affect the whole body or individual parts of the body such as the arms or legs. These movements cannot be stopped by restraining the person. 

A person may temporarily lose consciousness, followed by confusion.

Myoclonic Seizure

Myoclonic means ‘muscle jerk’. "Myo" means of muscle or relating to the muscle, and "clonus" means muscular spasm involving repeated, often rhythmic, contractions. 

Myoclonic seizures are usually very brief arrhythmic jerking motor movements that last less than 1 second.

A person can experience myoclonus in hiccups or in a sudden jerk that may wake a person up as h/she just falling asleep. These things are normal they do happen even to people without epilepsy.
Seizures first aid

Focal seizures

The term focal is used instead of partial to be more accurate when talking about where seizures begin. Focal seizures can start in one area or group of cells in one side of the brain.

Focal seizures are split into two main categories, focal onset aware, and focal onset impaired awareness.

Focal Onset Aware Seizures: a small part of one of the lobes may be affected and the person remains conscious.

Focal Onset Impaired Awareness: It affects a large part of the hemisphere. A person is confused or their awareness is affected in some way. 



Multiple Myeloma: Definition and Early Symptoms


 



Multiple myeloma is a blood cancer that causes abnormal uncontrolled growth of a type of white blood cells called plasma cells. The affected plasma cells-now cancer cells-  rather than producing helpful antibodies they end up producing abnormal proteins, M Proteins, also known as paraprotein, that can cause harm to different body parts such as kidney and bones.

Myeloma cells unlike most cancers that exist as tumor or lump, multiplies and affects several bone marrow sites hence its name 'Multiple myeloma'. It's in the bone marrow where formations of blood cells such as normal white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells take place. Multiple Myeloma cells crowd out the formations of these cells, resulting to a higher risk of infections, fatigue, anemia,  increased bleeding and bruising, and breakdown of bones leading to bone fractures.

Pathology microscopic of bone biopsy of multiple myeloma


Multiple myeloma cells attacks on blood cells and bones, result to overall effects on all body activities involving blood cells and bones such as immune system hence higher risk of infections, absorption of nutrients hence loss of weight and excessive thirsty as lots of water and nutrients are not absorbed as required by the body. Abnormal growth of cells and release of paraprotein results to the breakdown of bones hence bone fracture leading to the high-level release of calcium to the blood which affects kidney absorption potential. Fatigue is usually caused by anemia.

Multiple myeloma early symptoms.


Multiple myeloma symptoms can vary from person to person, sometimes during the early stages, there may be none.

When signs and symptoms do occur, they can include:
  • Frequent infections
  • Increased bleeding and bruising
  • Weight loss
  • Bone pains especially in back or chest
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Excessive thirsty
You should make an appointment with your doctor when u experience persistent unexplained above symptoms.

Is Multiple myemola treatable?

Multiple myeloma is treatable, Yes. Treatments focus on controlling the disease, relieving symptoms and prolonging life. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Multiple myeloma.

Myeloma is relapsing-remitting cancer. That means it alternates between periods of symptoms and/or complications that need to be treated, and a stable period that does not cause symptoms and does not require treatment (remission).


A relapse is when myeloma returns or becomes active again after a period of treatment.



Risk factors 

There is no known definitive cause of Multiple myeloma, although doctors believe there are factors that may increase your risk of Multiple myeloma.


  • Age: Older people mostly above 65 are at high risk to develop the disease than the younger ones.
  • Male sex: Women are at lower risk compared to men
  • Black race: Black people are at twice a risk compared to white people
  • A family member with it: Many people diagnosed with this disease had a family member with it, so you are at risk if any of your family members was once diagnosed with a disease.
  • Overweight or obese: Obese people are at high risk of Multiple myeloma

Also if u had being in contact with chemicals used in rubber manufacturing, woodworking, or firefighting; or in herbicides, you are also at high risk of the disease.



Common Foods That are Actual Poisonous


Turns out, there are plenty of dangerous things in your kitchen, and many foods that often taste delicious can potentially post a threat to your health if you're not careful. Learn what you should watch out for before taking a bite to ensure safe eating.

Potatoes

Don’t eat green potatoes. The green parts contains a poison called solanine, which can cause serious illness if eaten in large quantities. Symptoms of solanine poisoning include nausea, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and worst of all, respiratory failure, leading to death.


Tomatoes

The stems and leaves of tomatoes contain alkali poisons, glykoalkaloids,  that can cause stomach agitation. Unripe green tomatoes have been said to have the same effect. You would need to consume vast quantities for it to be fatal.The poison resides in the leaves and vines, not in the tomatoes themselves, so eat as many actual tomatoes as you’d like,Just stay away from the green areas.

Fruit seeds

The seeds (also known as stones, pits, or kernels) of stone fruits like apricots, cherries, plums, and peaches do contain a compound called amygdalin, which breaks down into hydrogen cyanide when ingested. And, yes, hydrogen cyanide is definitely a poison.

Nutmeg

It’s known as a hallucinogen that’s right in your kitchen. Reports after ingesting just a teaspoon of nutmeg show horrible psychological effects and even worse side effects. Eating just 0.2 oz of nutmeg could lead to convulsions, and 0.3 oz could lead to seizures. Eating one whole will supposedly lead to a type of "nutmeg psychosis," which includes a sense of impending doom. It's also highly toxic to dogs.

Cassava

The leaves and roots of cassava when eaten raw are rich in compound “linamarin”. It is chemically similar to sugar but with a CN ion attached. When eaten raw, the human digestive system converts this to deadly poison Cyanide. As little as two cassava roots can contain a fatal dose. Cassava are less poisonous when peeled and thoroughly cooked.

Fat can build up in obese people's lungs, Study finds

A new study finds that fat can build up in people's airway walls of the lungs. The amount of fat accumulation was higher among people who were overweight or obese, compared with those of normal weight.

According to the study, published Thursday (Oct. 17) in the European Respiratory Journal it was revealed why obesity is also a risk factor for asthma

The link between obesity and asthma has been known for years, but the reason for the link is not completely understood. Some researchers have suggested that excess weight places direct pressure on the lungs, making breathing more difficult. Others have suggested that obesity may increase inflammation throughout the body, which contributes to asthma. 

Dr Peter Noble, an associate professor at the University of Western Australia, in Perth who worked on the study, said: "Being overweight or obese has already been linked to having asthma or having worse asthma symptoms.

"Researchers have suggested that the link might be explained by the direct pressure of excess weight on the lungs or by a general increase in inflammation created by excess weight."

But, he said, their study suggested "another mechanism is also at play".

"We've found that excess fat accumulates in the airway walls, where it takes up space and seems to increase inflammation within the lungs," Dr Noble said.

"We think this is causing a thickening of the airways that limits the flow of air in and out of the lungs and that could at least partly explain an increase in asthma symptoms."

Essential guide to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Essential guide to Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Introduction
• CPR is needed for patient whose breathing or heart has stopped
• Ventilations are given to oxygenated blood when breathing is inadequate or has stopped
• If heart has stopped, chest compressions are given to circulate blood to vital organs
• Ventilation combined with chest compressions is called cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
• CPR is commonly given to patients in cardiac arrest as a result of heart attack
Cardiac Arrest
• Heart may stop (cardiac arrest) as a result of heart attack
• Brain damage begins 4 - 6 minutes after cardiac arrest
• Brain damage becomes irreversible in 8 - 10 minutes
• Dysrhythmia, an abnormal heartbeat, may also reduce heart’s pumping effectiveness

CAUSES OF CARDIAC ARREST

There re two causes of cardiac arrest, Cardiac causes and Extracardiac causes.

Cardiac
• Ischemic heart disease (myocardial infarction)
• Arrhythmias of different origin and character
• Cardiac tamponade
• Pulmonary artery thromboembolism
• Ruptured aneurysm of aorta

Extracardiac/Non cardiac
• airway obstruction
• acute respiratory failure
• shock
• embolisms of different origin
• drug overdose
• poisoning

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

• CPR helps keep patient alive by circulating some oxygenated blood to vital organs
• Ventilations move oxygen into lungs where it is picked up by blood
• Compressions on sternum increase pressure inside chest, moving some blood to brain/other tissues
• Blood circulation resulting from chest compressions not as strong as circulation from heartbeat
   –Can help keep brain/other tissues alive until normal heart rhythm restored
• Often electric shock from defibrillation is needed to restore a heartbeat—and CPR can keep patient viable until then
• CPR is effective only for a short time
• CPR should be started as soon as possible
• In some instances, the heart may start again spontaneously with CPR
 When Not to Perform CPR
• Patient obviously dead or clear signs of prolonged death, such as rigor mortis

How long to resuscitate ?
• CPR can be continued for 30 minutes if the time to onset of CPR is less than 6 minutes, but if there is a delay to onset of CPR longer than 6 minutes, CPR should be terminated after 15 minutes.
FACTS ABOUT CPR
• 75% of all cardiac arrests happen in people's homes.
• CPR doubles a person's chance of survival from sudden cardiac arrest.
• There has never been a case of HIV transmitted by mouth-to-mouth CPR.
• Approximately 15% of patients are discharged neurologically intact
• CPR provides a flow of oxygenated blood to the brain and heart and keeps these organs alive until defibrillation can shock the heart into a normal rhythm.
• If CPR is started within 4 minutes of collapse and defibrillation provided within 10 minutes, a person has a 40% chance of survival.

Main stages of resuscitation

A (Airway) – ensure open airway by preventing the falling back of tongue, tracheal intubation…???.... if possible
B (Breathing) – start artificial ventilation of lungs
C (Circulation) – restore the circulation by external cardiac massage
D (Drugs, Defibrilation) –use different medication and electric defibrillation

  A (Airway)
Ensure an open airway


Open the airway using a head tilt lifting of chin. Do not tilt the head too far back

Check the pulse on carotid artery using fingers of the other hand


B (Breathing)
•Tilt the head back
•Look, listen, & feel  for breathing (5-10 seconds)
• If not breathing normally, pinch nose and cover the mouth with yours and blow until you see the chest rise.
• Artificial breathing can be mouth-mouth, mouth-bag, bag-mask
CIRCULATION
• Check for carotid pulse by feeling for 5-10 seconds at side of patients’s neck
• If there is a pulse, but patient is not breathing, give Rescue Breathing at rate of 1 breath every 5 seconds
• Check for return of pulse every minute
C. Circulation
Restore the circulation, that is start external cardiac massage if there is no pulse

2 Mechanisms explaining the restoration of circulation by external cardiac massage



General technique of CPR
• Shake victim’s shoulders and shout "are you okay?"
• If unresponsive, not breathing, and no pulse, start chest compressions
• Place victim flat on his/her back on a hard surface.
• Find the correct hand position (at the lower half of the sternum)
   – Two hands for adults
   – One or 2 hands for child
   – Two fingers for infant
• Compress chest hard and fast at a rate of 100 compressions/minute
   – Adult = 1 1/2 to 2 inches deep
   – Infant/child = 1/3 to 1/2 chest depth
• Release completely between compressions
• If alone, alternate 30 chest compressions and 2 ventilations for any age patient
• In two-rescuer CPR for infant/child, alternate 15 compressions and 2 ventilations and 30:2 for adult
• Give each ventilation over 1 second
• Follow local protocol regarding oxygen
Single-Rescuer CPR
1. Check patient’s responsiveness, open airway, and determine that patient is not breathing adequately
2. Give 2 ventilations, each lasting 1 second
3. Determine victim has no pulse


Continue CPR until:
• Patient begins to move
You are too exhausted to continue
• If patient starts moving, check for
  adequate breathing
• If patient is breathing adequately,
  put patient in recovery position and
  monitor breathing



Problems with CPR Technique
• CPR often ineffective because of poor technique
• Compressions not delivered steadily and constantly during resuscitation efforts
• Often compressions are too shallow, resulting in ineffective blood flow
• Compressions may be given at too fast a rate
• Only good-quality CPR improves chances of survival
Chest Compressions
• Infant or child being given rescue breaths or oxygen may have a pulse but still inadequate perfusion
• If pulse < 60 beats/minute and infant or child has signs of poor perfusion, provide CPR
Reasons to Stop CPR
• Patient revives.
• You are so exhausted you can not
  continue
.
Complications of Compressions
  • Fractured ribs
  • Fractured sternum
  • Lacerated lungs
  • Lacerated liver, blood vessels, etc.,,
Drugs used in CPR

  Atropine
• Can be injected bolus
• Plays significant role in some cases of cardiac arrest
• Increases heart rate 
Adrenaline
• Large doses have been withdrawn from the algorithm. The recommended dose is 1 mg in each 3-5 min
• Increases heart rate and blood pressure 58
Lidocaine
• Low doses as local anesthetics, high dose
  as anti-arrhythmic.

The psychology of healthy eating

Most of us when it comes to 'eating healthy' we consider the nutrients, calories and other nutrition-related information. One important area of healthy eating habits that is often overlooked is the Psychology of eating.
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It takes around 20 minutes for the body and brain to recognise we are full, but in our modern societies most meals are eaten so quickly, they are finished before 20 minutes is up. Clearly, it isn't satiation of hunger which tells us to stop eating. 



Our eyes mislead us and we stop eating by judging whats left on our plate rather than considering whether we're feeling full after each mouthful. We can't see kilojoules in a meal, our eyes aren't good judges of food intake and are easily tempted. If we see food we think of it more,  then our bodies prepare for eating by increasing salvation and hormone production to process food, our hunger increases and consequently we eat more. 



There's a well-known study that demonstrates how psychologically healthy eating is trumped by the irrational "mind in the stomach." In the study 54 adults were recruited to eat as much free soup as they desired for lunch and fill out a questionnaire- at least that's what they thought. In reality, half the participants were given bowls that secretly self-refilled as soup was pumped up from underneath their table into the bowl as they ate. The other half were given bowls that are openly refilled by waiters. 



The participants with self-refilling bowls thought they had eaten the same quantity of soup as the other participants, when in fact, they had eaten a whooping 73% more! Visual cues affected intake. As long as there was soup in the bowl, the participants kept eating, unaware of how much they were truly eating

What role does psychology play in weight management?

Psychology is the science of behavior. It is the study of how and why people do what they do. For people trying to manage their weight, psychology addresses:



Behavior: Treatment involves identifying the person’s eating patterns and finding ways to change eating behaviors.



Cognition (thinking): Therapy focuses on identifying self-defeating thinking patterns that contribute to weight management problems.

What treatments are used for weight management?

Cognitive behavioral treatment is the approach most often used because it deals with both thinking patterns and behavior. Some areas that are addressed through cognitive behavioral treatment include:



Determining the person's "readiness for change": This involves an awareness of what needs to be done to achieve your goals and then making a commitment to do it.



Learning how to self-monitor: Self-monitoring helps you become more aware of what triggers you to eat in the moment, and more mindful of your food choices and portions. It also helps you stay focused on achieving long-term progress.



Breaking linkages: The focus here is on stimulus control, such as not eating in particular settings, and not keeping unhealthy food choices in your home. Cognitive behavioral treatment also teaches distraction--replacing eating with healthier alternatives--as a skill for coping with stress. Positive reinforcement, rehearsal/problem-solving, finding social support, and changing eating habits are specific techniques used to break linkages.

What does cognitive behavioral treatment involve?

Cognitive therapy addresses how you think about food. It helps you recognize self-defeating patterns of thinking that can undermine your success at eating healthier and managing your weight/weight loss. It also helps you learn and practice using positive coping self-statements.



Examples of self-defeating thoughts include:



"This is too hard. I can't do it."
"If I don't make it to my target weight, I've failed."
"Now that I've lost weight, I can go back to eating any way I want."



Examples of positive coping self-statements include:



"I realize that I am overeating. I need to think about how I can stop this pattern of behavior."
"I need to understand what triggered my overeating, so I can create a plan to cope with it if I encounter the trigger again."
"Am I really hungry or is this just a craving? I will wait to see if this feeling passes."



What strategies will help me manage my weight?
To lose weight, it’s helpful to change your thinking. Weight management is about making a lifestyle change. It's not going to happen if you rely on short-term diet after diet to lose weight.



To be successful, be aware of the role that eating plays in your life, and learn how to use positive thinking and behavioral coping strategies to manage your eating and your weight.



Things to “do” for healthy eating

  • Don't skip meals.
  • Do keep track of your eating habits.
  • Do limit night eating.
  • Do drink plenty of water.
  • Do delay/distract yourself.
  • Do exercise instead of eating when you are bored.
  • Do be attentive when you eat. Don’t eat while watching TV, working, driving.
  • Do only eat in certain settings (kitchen table).
  • Do watch your portion sizes.
  • Do allow yourself to eat a range of food without forbidding yourself a particular food.
  • Do give yourself encouragement.
  • Do be gentle with yourself! Try not to beat yourself up when you lapse.
  • Do think of eating as a lifestyle change.
  • Do use the scale mindfully. Weigh yourself no more than once a week.
  • Do make healthy food choices.


7 Important tips before getting pregnant

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Being able to create life is undeniably one of the most beautiful gifts bestowed on women. Deciding to start or grow your family is exciting. Preparing your body and mind is one of the best things to do before getting pregnant. There are things you can do now before you try for a baby that will affect your fertility and the health of your baby. To optimize women's fertility, taking better care of their bodies is a good first step. But what else can women do to improve their odds of having a healthy baby?

Tips.

Get out of toxic intakes

If you smoke or take drugs, Before pregnancy is the time to stop. Many studies have shown that smoking or taking drugs can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, and low-birth-weight babies. There are others you might not know about, such as vitamin A, found in over-the-counter skin care products. Pesticides and other chemicals can also be dangerous, as well as unpasteurized dairy products. Do your research, and consult with a medical professional if you have concerns.

Start taking prenatal supplements

Make sure your body is in great shape before getting pregnant by eating a healthy diet and taking a prenatal supplement. These supplements contain folic acid and vitamins and minerals necessary for healthy conception, fetal development, and pregnancy. Folic acid needs to build up in your body to provide maximum protection for your baby against neural tube defects. Many women conceive within one month of trying so it is advised to start taking folic acid two months before you stop contraception.

Also check to make sure that your multivitamin does not contain more than the recommended daily allowance of 770 mcg RAE (2,565 IU) of vitamin A, unless most of it's in a form called beta-carotene. Getting too much of a different kind of vitamin A can cause birth defects.
Talk to your health care provider about any supplements that you currently take or if you got any uncertainty about the kind of supplements to take ; some of them may not be suitable for pregnancy, and you may need to switch them out before getting pregnant.

Stop contraception.

This might seem obvious, but if you have a hidden form of long-term birth control, you might forget about it during preconception. Hormonal contraception can require a bit more planning. All you have to do to reverse the effects of the Pill, the patch, or the ring is to stop using them a couple of months before you plan to even start trying. This gives you a bit of time to see what your natural menstrual cycle is like (27 days/ 32 days), so you can figure out when you're ovulating, the time of the month when you're most fertile. If you've been taking the pill for a while, your cycle could be different from what it was before you started. It can take a while for hormone levels to get back on track after you ditch the pill, but if your period's still MIA after three months, you should see your doctor.

Schedule a preconception visit.

Many experts recommend booking a pre-pregnancy checkup at your ob-gyn at least three months before you plan to start trying, especially if you don't see the doctor regularly. You'll want to make sure you're up-to-date on vaccinations, checked for STDs, tested for heart-health issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol, and make sure that any chronic conditions, such as diabetes, asthma, or thyroid problems, are in check. 

Male partners too need to visit an internist, most men see doctors far less regularly than women. A regular physical can help ensure he has no chronic conditions or is taking medications that may affect sperm count or cause other fertility problems.

Eat right

When you're thinking about having a baby, it's really important to eat a  right healthy food. Eating a healthy and balanced diet will help you stay well throughout pregnancy and be good for your baby’s health. The best foods include wholegrain, unsaturated fats and vegetable proteins such as lentils and beans.

Seafood are highly nutritious but before pregnancy it is important to understand which types of seafood are healthy to eat and which are not. Some seafoods contain mercury which can cause birth defects, and women can inadvertently consume it through fish during pregnancy. You should avoid species like swordfish and king mackerel during  preconception to make sure your system is clear when you conceive. During pregnancy, you should limit fish like tuna and salmon to a couple of servings of a week, so get into this habit now. Don't eliminate fish altogether — when eaten as recommended, it provides healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Also consuming too much caffeine while you are trying to conceive can increase the risk of miscarriage. The research shows that this applies to both women and men. Too much caffeine in pregnancy has also been shown to be harmful to the developing baby.

If you’re planning to conceive, you and your partner should consider limiting your caffeine intake to 200mg a day.

Do research on your family’s medical history

One of the important things to do before getting pregnant is looking into your family's medical history. Talk to your mom , sisters, aunts, and grandmas, if you can. Did it take them a long time to conceive? Were there any complications, like preterm labor or having a breech delivery? Certain health conditions tend to run in families, and it's a smart idea to brush up on your history and share any relevant information with your doctor. But don't worry too much. Just because it took your sister a year to get pregnant doesn't mean you'll necessarily have a hard time too. Many common fertility problems, like poor egg quality (due to age) or blocked or damaged fallopian tubes, are not hereditary, but some, like fibroids or ovarian cysts, can be. Your doctor can help you understand which, if any, family issues can affect your fertility or pregnancy so you'll be better prepared to deal with them later.

Visit your dentist

It may seem totally unrelated to fertility, but getting your teeth and gums checked out before pregnancy is another wise move.Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby. Women with unchecked gum disease are more prone to miscarriage, preterm birth, and preeclampsia. In fact, brushing, flossing, and seeing the dentist regularly can cut your miscarriage risk by up to 70 percent.