Monday, June 17, 2013

Top Car Safety Tips In Summer

As temperatures begin to rise in the region, here's some advice on car safety maintenance.

With temperatures soaring in the UAE, an increasing numbers of accidents are being caused by tyre blasts on the roads.
There have even been rumours circulating over the internet about extremely high heat waves causing gas tanks to burst.
But these rumours are untrue, according to experts from the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.
“This is a hoax. Without a spark to occur, the auto ignition temperature of petrol is about 400 degrees Celsius,” the company said in a statement.
“Instead, high temperatures will affect fuel mileage. When the weather turns up the heat, the fuel expands, which makes the engine use more gas to make the engine run. Drivers lose mileage, and in some cases, even horsepower.”
However, the company warned that car-owners should take certain basic safety precautions to protect their vehicles during the summer months. They include:
1. Tyre maintenance
Make sure your tyres are rotated and most importantly, not worn out during the summer season. Drivers should bear in mind that less air in the tyre may cause greater friction with the road, in turn increasing heat in the tyre.
2. Park in the shade
It’s ideal to park in the shade- either underground, in a covered car park or under any shaded area and to place your sun-shade. If you can’t find an enclosed space, park in the best direction- where the sunlight will fall on the rear window.
3. Tint your windows
Tinting your windows or placing a windshield sunshade will reduce the heat in the car. But ensure that the tint doesn’t exceed the UAE’s legal limit of 30 per cent.
4. Get your car serviced
During hotter weather, cars need frequent service checks, especially thanks to over exerted air conditioners and batteries. By changing your oil and double-checking the status of your belt and battery, you can prevent future accidents.
5. Don’t store pressurised items
Do not keep items like lighters and perfume bottles in your car during the summer season. They might explode, releasing harmful chemicals in your car.
6. Avoid desert driving
It is not advisable for first time 4WD owners to take a spin in the dunes during the hot afternoons, as it is better to avoid getting stuck in the desert in peak summer heat.
7. Always have emergency items
In case of emergency, it’s important to have your auto service provider’s number ready, and also have a first-aid kit, emergency car-care kits, and bottled water in your car. However, make sure that these items are not plastic grade 1, as they are easily damaged in hot weather.
8. Do not leave children/pets/anyone in a locked car
The temperature inside a locked car in the summer season can be up to 20 degrees more than the outside temperature. So it is not advisable to leave anybody locked up inside a vehicle even for a brief period

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Simple ways to love your liver - 12 tips to good liver health

#1 Maintain a healthy weight It’s estimated that 60% of Australians are overweight or obese. And of those classed as obese, approximately 30% will have fatty liver disease, putting them at high risk of liver scarring (cirrhosis), liver failure and liver cancer. If you carry any excess weight around your middle, it can cause insulin resistance which often leads to fatty liver disease. Measure your middle and keep it at a healthy circumference. Men should maintain a waist of less than 102cm and women, less than 88cm. Exercising and eating a diet that’s low in fat and high in fibre, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals will help you maintain a healthy weight and liver. #2 Avoid fad diets Fad diets that make your weight yoyo can put excessive stress on your liver. Avoid any products that promise large amounts of weight loss in an unrealistically short period of time. These diets are usually lacking in essential nutrients and are not beneficial. Aim to lose weight at a healthy rate of ½ -1kg per week. Liver cleansing and detox diets should also be avoided. Contrary to popular belief, no particular diet is liver cleansing, but a healthy diet improves wellbeing. Take a look at our diet page and ask your doctor or dietitian to help you create a healthy and nutritious diet plan. #3 Limit your fat intake High levels of fat in the blood (hyperlipidaemia) and high levels of cholesterol (hypercholesterolaemia) are common causes of fatty liver disease. Keep your levels low by keeping your fat intake low. And of the little fats you do eat, make sure they’re unsaturated (poly- and monounsaturated fats). If a low fat diet isn’t working for you, speak to your doctor about medications that can help. #4 Drink alcohol in moderation Sensible consumption of alcohol is critical to your health. While alcoholism is more common among men, women are more susceptible to the adverse effects of alcohol on the liver. In fact, it takes as little as 20 grams of alcohol daily (only two standard drinks) for women to develop liver problems. If you can’t cut back, talk to your doctor about getting professional help. #5 Go for regular blood tests A blood test is the best way to keep an keen eye on the levels of fat, cholesterol and glucose in your blood – all of which are associated with fatty liver disease. Too much glucose can be an indication that you have Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Diabetes – in both cases you’ll need to carefully control your blood sugar levels through diet, medications and/or weight loss. Have you ever experimented with intravenous drugs? Did you have a blood transfusion, or organ transplant prior to 1992? If so, make sure you get tested for hepatitis C. #6 Quit smoking It’s been proven that smoking cigarettes is linked to the development of liver cancer. Smoking can also enhance the toxic effects that some medications (such as Paracetamol) have on the liver. Talk to your doctor, or ring Quitline to get help. #7 Get a jab Talk to your doctor about getting vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. If you choose not to get vaccinated against hepatitis A, make sure you avoid sushi, or raw/partially cooked clams, oysters, mussels and scallops, as these fish often live in hepatitis A-contaminated rivers and seas. If you choose not to get vaccinated against hepatitis B, practice safer sex. #8 Ask your doctor Mixing medications is never advised without seeking advice from your doctor or pharmacist. This applies to herbal supplements as well as prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Some medications require the liver to work extra hard to metabolise them, and taking too many medications at once can damage the liver. Some herbal supplements can actually be toxic to the liver, such as kava, comfrey, chaparral, kombucha tea, pennyroyal and skullcap. Read our common toxins page for more information. #9 Protect yourself Practice safer sex and protect yourself from hepatitis B. Unlike hepatitis B, hepatitis C isn’t classified as a sexually transmissible infection, but if there is a chance of blood to blood contact, you should practice safer sex. Less commonly, toothbrushes, razors and other personal care items can also transmit hepatitis B or C, so don’t borrow, or share yours with anyone! #10 Be aware of drug risks Some illicit drugs and the chemicals they are mixed with can be toxic to the liver. Intravenous drug use is also commonly known to transmit hepatitis B and C. If you currently use intravenous drugs, don’t share needles – take advantage of a needle exchange program. #11 Don’t ignore your liver If you’ve been told that something is wrong with your liver, ask your doctor for a referral to a liver specialist (hepatologist). You might feel fine, but the signs and symptoms of liver disease and hepatitis are not always present. #12 Take care with tattoos and piercings If you’re keen to get a tattoo or a piercing, take extra care to find an establishment that is clean and adheres to meticulous sterilisation practices. Want to learn more about your liver? Understand what makes your liver so important, try our liver-loving recipes, read more diet tips and make sure you get plenty of exercise.