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YOUR GUIDE TO GOOD HEALTH
General Health, Dental, Exercise, Eye Care, Nutrition, Alzheimer's Energy Level Boosters, and More
Contents What to expect at an annual physical................... Page 4 Peanut allergies..................................................... Page 4 ADHD . .............................................................. Page 5
Dyslexia . .............................................................. Page 5
How to find time for fitness.................................. Page 6 Flossing for kids................................................... Page 7 Reduce Alzheimer's risk....................................... Page 8 Exercise benefits the brain.................................... Page 9 Stomach bug....................................................... Page 10 Gluten-free diet................................................... Page 11 Diabetes .............................................................. Page 11
Snack your way to energy................................... Page 12 Massage therapy................................................. Page 12 Something as simple as drinking more water throughout the day can dramatically improve your energy levels.
Simple and healthy ways to boost your energy levels As a day wears on, many men and women find their energy levels steadily decreasing. Some resort to a cup of coffee, while others prefer a sugary snack to get more pep. Such solutions are not always healthy and rarely provide more than a temporary jolt of energy. So what are men and women to do when the inevitable post-lunch doldrums rear their ugly heads? Oftentimes the best way to remedy a dip in energy levels is to prevent it in the first place. There are several simple and healthy ways to boost your energy levels so you don’t find yourself falling flat in the afternoon. * Drink water throughout the day. Water is a versatile beverage that serves many purposes, not the least of which is its ability to make a positive impact on your energy levels. When the body does not get enough water, it can send a variety of signals that are easily misread. The symptoms of thirst or dehydration can easily be confused for hunger, which may cause you to eat more during the day, and that food can make you feel sluggish as the day progresses. Even slight dehydration can make you feel fatigued. If drinking water isn’t a part of your daily routine and you find yourself feeling fatigued on a regular basis, start drinking water and your energy levels will likely increase. Water is an especially good way to boost your energy levels thanks to its availability and affordability. * Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals is robbing your body of the fuel it needs to get through the day. Skipping breakfast is especially harmful, as you will be starting the day off essentially on a fast and your energy levels will suffer as a result. A healthy breakfast that includes whole grain cereals or breads as well as some fruit and lean protein is a great way to start
the day off energized. And no matter how busy you are during the day, be sure to eat a healthy lunch, ideally one that includes some protein. Protein is important because it takes the body longer to break down protein than it does carbohydrates, giving you an energy source that lasts longer than a lunch without any protein. * Exercise. Fatigue can be a byproduct of a body that’s overworked but also a side effect of a body that isn’t being worked enough. Daily exercise will increase your energy levels, even if the exercise is minimal. Research conducted at The California State University found that even a brisk 10-minute walk increased energy levels for as much as two hours. If your energy levels tend to start waning in the afternoon, consider a short, mid-afternoon jaunt. The dividends such a walk pays regarding your energy levels may just last until it’s time to call it a day. * Don’t cut too many calories. Men and women fighting fatigue may feel as though their weight is the main culprit behind that lethargy. Though being overweight or obese can have a negative impact on energy levels, it’s important men and women don’t cut too many calories from their diets when attempting to lose weight. Doing so may slow your metabolism, which can cause feelings of fatigue. If you are overweight or obese, you may very well need to cut calories, but don’t do so at the expense of your energy levels. Many men and women find themselves battling fatigue come the midto late-afternoon. Though it’s easy to pour yourself another cup of coffee or lean on an energy drink once the post-lunch listlessness rears its ugly head, there are several alternatives to such remedies that can be more effective at boosting your energy levels over the long haul.
Depression.......................................................... Page 13
Cataracts............................................................. Page 13
Physical Therapy................................................ Page 13
Migraines............................................................ Page 14 Stress
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What to expect at an annual physical Routine health screenings are an integral part of maintaining personal health. Although some individuals make frequent visits to their physicians, many others limit their doctor visits to their annual physicals. Those who have never had a physical examination may be unsure of what to expect of such a procedure. That uncertainty can induce anxiety. However, a physical examination is a simple procedure for many people. Depending on a patient’s age, doctors may consider a more extensive examination, but the following procedures are what constitute a physical for younger patients without preexisting medical conditions. Vital signs During a physical, doctors will check patients’ vital signs. Patients can expect to have their blood pressure taken and pulse rates measured. Respiration rates may be taken to determine if there is a lung or heart problem. Doctors also will examine a patient’s ears, nose and sinuses. The neck and possibly under the arms also will be examined to check the feeling of the lymph nodes and the carotid arteries. Some doctors hook patients up to a machine that measures heart rhythm through sensors on various areas of the body. Medical history Doctors also discuss patients’ medical histories, updating their charts with any new information when necessary.
Inquiries about particular health issues that run in the family will be discussed, as well as any illnesses or hospitalizations patients may have had in the past. Doctors will ask patients if they are taking any medications or supplements, and also will ask if patients have been dealing with any nagging medical issues. Physical examination During the physical examination, doctors will look at and feel patients’ abdomens to detect the size of their livers and to determine if there is any abdominal fluid present. The stethoscope may be placed on the abdomen to listen for bowl sounds. The physician also may examine other areas of the body, including the back and spine to ensure there are no abnormalities. A weight and height check will be given to measure for body mass index, or the percentage of body fat patients have, which will then be measured against the norm for patients of similar age, weight and height. Female who do not see a separate gynecologist also may receive a pelvic examination and breast exam during their physical examinations. Doctors will check that the uterus and reproductive organs are in good health, and feel for lumps or other issues within the breast tissue. A sample may be taken from the cervix so a Pap smear can be conducted to determine if cervical cancer is present. An external exam will look for sores or other
Annual physicals can reassure men and women that they are in good health. Such examinations also can serve as early detection systems that can catch potential health problems before they become more serious.
indications of disease. Men can expect a visual examination of the penis and testicles. The physician will check the external structure to look for abnormalities like tumors or hernia. To check for hernia, the physician may examine visually or feel the scrotum and ask patients to cough as part of the exam. Dermatological exam Some doctors will examine the skin for the appearance of unusual moles or growths that could be indicative of skin cancer or refer patients to a dermatologist for such an examination. Additional tests Nerves and neurological responses,
including strength and balance tests, may be tested during a physical. Doctor also may look for sensory changes in the extremities of the body. Doctors may order urine and blood analyses to verify that the levels are within range. A blood test usually will include a cholesterol test, and may include an examination of bloodsugar levels to rule out diabetes. Men and women over the age of 40 may be referred to specialists who can conduct a mammography, colonoscopy or prostate examinations. These tests will rule out the presence of cancer or other diseases. Doctors also may suggest patients have their vision and hearing checked.
The growing problem of peanut allergies Parents tend to be quite familiar with food allergies. In an effort to protect youngsters, schools have begun to crack down more regularly on foods that tend to cause allergic reactions, often placing restrictions on what children can bring in for lunches or snacks. Parents and children who grew up around peanut and tree nut allergies are quite familiar with what triggers allergic reactions associated with such foods, and the potential side effects of consuming these foods. But those who are less experienced with food allergies may not know what to expect. According to the Mayo Clinic, being allergic to nuts us one of the more common food allergies, especially among children. Many people who are allergic to peanuts are also allergic to other tree nuts, including walnuts, almonds and pecans. As with any allergen, reactions vary from person to person. Some may experience mild symptoms, such as light rashes or swelling, while others may have severe reactions, including anaphylactic shock, which is characterized by shortness of breath, a severe drop in blood pressure, constriction of airways, and potential heart failure. According to Spire Health
Partners, more than 3 million people in the United States have a nut allergy, and one-third of them will suffer from a severe symptom if they ingest nuts. A peanut allergy occurs when your body mistakenly identifies peanut proteins as something that can be harmful. Just as your body might fight a cold, it releases chemicals from the immune system to fight off the peanut invader. The number of kids with peanut allergies has been increasing over the last 10-15 years, doubling in the last half-decade alone. It isn’t known why some people are prone to nut allergies while others are not. However, Michael C. Young, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a practicing pediatrician at Children’s Hospital, has a few ideas. Nursing mothers and very young children are eating more peanuts, particularly in the form of peanut butter, than ever before, something that Young feels could be causing a higher incidence rate of peanut allergies. Young also theorizes that better hygiene may play a role, suggesting that because children have fewer infections (due to improved hygiene and routine immunizations),their immune systems are more likely to target other things, such as foods and environmental
factors, resulting in allergies. Although peanut allergies are prevalent and can be dangerous, there is no reason to act rashly. Young notes that approximately 20 percent of children will outgrow their peanut allergies by the age of six, and he advises that it is worth having a child retested as they get older to gauge if there have been any changes in the status of the peanut allergy. When dealing with peanut allergies, it is important to separate myths from facts. * Direct contact is the most common cause of a reaction. This results from eating peanuts or foods that contain peanuts. Cross-contamination,which occurs when peanuts unintentionally come into contact with other foods, is another common cause. * Some people can have a reaction by touching peanuts with their skin. A rash may occur, but a very dangerous reaction will not result unless the peanuts enter the mouth or come into contact with the nose or eyes. * An allergic reaction can occur from inhalation of peanut dust, such as peanut flour or ground shells during processing. Aerosol cooking sprays that contain peanut oil also can produce a reaction. It is
important to note that the smell of peanuts will not induce an allergic reaction. * Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found that peanut proteins can be detected in some people’s saliva after eating peanuts. A kiss could transfer some of the peanut allergens to another person. * Sometimes an allergy is not really an allergy, but rather an intolerance to a certain food. A food intolerance does not involve the immune system. A person with a food intolerance can eat small amounts of the food with only mild symptoms, such as indigestion, rather than a severe reaction with a true allergy. While being diligent in reading food labels and asking what ingredients are in prepared foods at restaurants is key for people with peanut allergies, so is avoiding potential skin contact. This means thoroughly washing areas where peanuts or peanut butter may have been and ensuring other children wash up after lunch. Peanut allergies are foremost on the minds of parents and educators. Understanding what is involved in a peanut allergy can help everyone make informed decisions about protecting youngsters.
Seven myths about ADHD
According to recent studies, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, appears to be more prevalent than ever before. Nearly one in 10 kids between the ages of five and 17 is being diagnosed with ADHD. Despite that prevalence, misinformation regarding the disorder continues to circulate, and that information can make it harder for parents to understand the disorder. Dispelling the misinformation surrounding ADHD may help those who are truly affected by the disorder get the treatment they need. Myth# 1: ADHD is not a real disorder. Many people honestly feel that ADHD was a concept drummed up by psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies to increase business. h However, the condition is real and is h recognized by major health institutions, including the Surgeon General of the United States and the National Institutes , of Health. Myth #2: ADHD is only a children’s r disorder. Statistics indicate that while the n majority of the people diagnosed with y y ADHD are children, at least 4 percent of d adults experience it at as well. The reason , the statistics may be lower for adults is - that ADHD is often misdiagnosed or goes undiagnosed in adults. Myth #3: ADHD is caused by bad y parenting. There are a number of people t quick to point fingers at parents, laying e t the blame for ADHD at the feet of mom . and dad. But some people with ADHD e have difficulty controlling impulsivity and behavior, and that difficulty may have nothing to do with how those people were raised. Myth #4: More boys have ADHD than girls. According to a 2001 report from the U.S. Surgeon General, girls
are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD despite need. Girls tend to have lower rates of hyperactivity and external symptoms than boys, but they may have greater intellectual impairment due to ADHD. As a result, girls may be underdiagnosed with the condition. Myth #5: Those with ADHD are lazy. People with ADHD are no more lazy or less determined than those who have not been diagnosed with the disorder. ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that changes the way the brain responds and presents unique challenges. A person with ADHD is no more at fault for the behaviors associated with ADHD than a person with depression or mania is for the symptoms associated with those conditions. Myth #6: All people with ADHD are hyper and lack focus. A person with ADHD may present mixed symptoms of the condition or be predominantly characterized by one. That means hyperactivity may not be part of the equation, especially for those who are largely inattentive. On the flip side, while some people with ADHD have trouble focusing on certain tasks, some actually get overly focused on things they enjoy. This is known as “hyperfocus,” and it may come at a detriment to the things they do not like. Myth #7: ADHD is overdiagnosed. Experts say that ADHD is still largely under diagnosed and undertreated, and many are not getting the therapy and/ or medication they need. Contrary to popular belief, taking medication for ADHD is not a precursor to drug addiction or substance abuse. Many ADHD sufferers who do not get the care they need self-medicate and are at a greater risk for substance abuse.
Recognizing the signs of dyslexia Children begin learning to read early in their education. Very often some children seem to excel at reading and writing, while others may struggle. The obstacles kids struggle with may disappear as they age and grow more accustomed to reading, but no such relief comes for kids struggling with dyslexia. The Mayo Clinic defines dyslexia as a learning disorder characterized by difficulty reading. It is a common condition and does not mean a child has subpar vision or intelligence. Dyslexia often goes undiagnosed, and many kids reach adulthood before realizing they are dyslexic. According to Dyslexia Health, 70 to 80 percent of people with poor reading skills are likely to be dyslexic, and dyslexia is the most common cause of difficulties with reading, spelling and writing. Dyslexia affects people in various ways. While some may experience only minor symptoms, others may have greater difficulties, including problems with grammar, recognizing left from right and trouble with complex language skills. Without help, children with dyslexia can easily grow discouraged with their studies. However, with therapy, many kids can learn to work around their dyslexia. Causes of dyslexia Dyslexia has been linked to improper genetic development in the brain. It tends to run in families and affects the parts of the brain responsible for language development. There are no surefire ways to predict if a person will have dyslexia. However, in families with high rates of the condition, there is a greater risk. Symptoms Very often it is difficult to recognize dyslexia before a child enters school. There may be some early clues, but these are not always definitive. Potential clues include learning to talk late, having difficulty learning new words and exhibiting difficulty rhyming words. School-aged children may have trouble with sequences, following commands in order, reading at the recommended level, processing and understanding, and/ or seeing or writing letters or words in reverse.
Regular exercise benefits the human body in numerous ways, not the least of which is its impact on the brain. More information on the link between exercise and improved mental health is available at www.apa.org.
As children with dyslexia age, they may have difficulty summarizing stories, managing time or learning a foreign language. Treatment There are no medications to correct the underlying brain abnormality that doctors feel causes dyslexia, but there are various treatment methods. Practice and repetition are some of the hallmarks of dyslexia therapy. Rather than standard lessons, individuals with dyslexia may need multi-sensory lessons that combine sight, touch and sounds when introducing new concepts. Screen readers and audio books can also help children learn how to read more effectively. In the classroom, children may need more time to complete assignments. Teachers should be made aware of a dyslexia diagnosis so they can work with students and parents to develop a learning system that works. Practicing reading different types of texts also can help. Dyslexia is a common learning disability that affects many children and adults. But therapy and emotional support can help people with dyslexia overcome their disabilities.
Snack foods can be healthy with smart choices Medical professionals often warn that snack foods can be unhealthy, upsetting dieting plans and causing a person to consume more calories than is recommended. While a number of snack foods, particularly snacks that are laden with saturated fats, sodium and many calories, can be detrimental to your health, there are plenty of healthy snacks available to men and women who know where to look. “Self” magazine reports Americans consume 26 percent of their calories at times other than breakfast, lunch and dinner. Many fitness plans actually recommend regular snacking as part of a “grazing” mentality. Grazing, or eating several small meals per day rather than three large ones, can help keep metabolism primed and ready to burn calories. Grazing also enables a person to avoid overeating at any particular meal. But grazing on the wrong foods can be counterproductive. That’s why selecting the right snacks is important. * Aim for snacks that are 100 calories or less. One-hundred calorie snacks can help you fill you up and stave off hunger pangs. While there are plenty of prepackaged 100-calorie snacks available, you can easily make your own snack packs by being conscious of nutrition labels. Measure serving sizes of healthy foods into separate containers so you’re less likely to eat more than is necessary. * Fill up on fruits and vegetables. Produce can make a healthy snack because it is generally low in calories, which means portion sizes will be larger than other high-
calorie foods. Many fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and other nutrients, which are needed to keep a body healthy. Many also make good sources of fiber, which can help you feel satiated longer between meals. * Choose foods with healthy fats. Not all fats are bad. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and bad cholesterol in the blood. Sources of good fats include nuts, olive oil, avocado, salmon, soy, and sunflower oil. Skip foods that have high levels of saturated fats, which are mainly found in animal products. Trans fats are perhaps the worst fats to eat, as they are produced by hydrogenation to give them a longer shelf life. Avoid foods that contain hydrogenized oils. * Opt for snacks that mimic the texture of unhealthy snacks. Sometimes you may crave something crunchy or a particular comfort food. Choose a crunchy whole grain cereal over potato chips. If you desire a cool, creamy treat, frozen yogurt has much fewer calories than ice cream. * Pack on the lean protein. Lean sources of protein, such as slices of turkey, egg whites and soybeans, will fill you up and keep you feeling full longer than many carbohydrates. A snack of sushi can fill you up quickly. One piece of a California roll is just 30 calories and has less than a gram of fat. * Keep healthy snacks handy. Always have a bag of healthy snacks handy in the event you get hungry. This way you avoid a trip through the drive-thru or a pit stop for a doughnut or another snack.
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How to find time for fitness Finding time to exercise is no small feat for many men and women. Obligations at home and at the office can make it hard to fit in a workout, a familiar quandary for men and women with multiple commitments. Though it’s not always easy to fit in a workout when juggling multiple responsibilities, men and women must consider the responsibility they have with regard to maintaining their physical and mental health. The United States Department of Health and Human Services advises that healthy adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, and that such activity should be spread out over the course of the week. In addition, the DHHS also advises that healthy adults include strength training exercises in their workout regimens at least twice a week. Such a workout schedule can improve both physical and mental health, making it easier for men and women to handle their hectic schedules. While such recommendations may seem manageable, many men and women still feel as if there’s just not enough time in the day for them to incorporate a daily exercise regimen. The following are a few ways such men and women can find time for fitness. * Take a walking lunch. Many professionals have heard of a “working lunch,” but those strapped for time to exercise might want to take a walking lunch instead. Rather than sitting at your desk or in your favorite booth at a nearby restaurant on your lunch hour each day, consider squeezing in some time to walk during those 30-60 minutes you normally spend eating or catching up on office gossip with coworkers. Invite a few coworkers along, walking to and from your favorite restaurant or finding a nearby park and going for a quick walk. This is an easy way to squeeze in the recommended 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each day, and you will no doubt feel more energized after lunch than if you had simply eaten without exercising. * Exercise in the morning. Research has shown that men and women who exercise in the mornings exercise on a more consistent basis than those who exercise later in the day, including
after leaving the office at the end of the workday. When exercising in the early morning hours, men and women are less likely to encounter scheduling conflicts, as coworkers, colleagues and even the kids will likely still be asleep. That means fewer interrupted or missed workouts. * Prepare meals ahead of time. If working out in the morning simply won’t work out for you, then consider planning meals in advance so you can free up time between the office and dinner each night. For example, slow cookers and crockpots make it possible to start making dinner in the early morning and require little or no effort once you arrive home in the evening. Plan to cook a few meals each week in a slow cooker, which will free up time for you to workout when you would otherwise be preparing dinner. * Work while you workout. Smartphones and tablets have made it easier than ever to get work done while you’re away from work. This includes getting some work done while you’re getting in your weekly recommended aerobic activity on the treadmill, elliptical machine or exercise bike. Thanks to smartphones and tablets, you can now read and answer emails and work on some projects while you sweat away those extra pounds. * Get off the couch. Many men and women prefer to unwind on the couch as they catch up on their favorite television shows and movies. But such unwinding should not come at the expense of working out. Much like catching up on work at the gym, you also can catch up on your favorite shows and movies while at the gym. Many smartphones and tablets now have apps that allow users to access subscription streaming services, so users who can’t find time to exercise should take advantage of such apps and watch their favorite shows and movies from the treadmill instead of the couch. Readers who can comfortably read while exercising can follow a similar route and read on the elliptical instead of sitting sedentary in a chair as they make their way through the latest bestseller. Finding time to exercise can be difficult, but even the busiest men and women have several options at their disposal as they attempt to make fitness a bigger priority in their lives.
Flossing for kids
It is well known that brushing, flossing and dental checkups are essential to oral health. Some parents teach their children to brush thoroughly early on, even taking them for dental visits at young ages so they can become acclimated to the dentist’s office. But flossing is one component of oral hygiene that may be overlooked. Flossing is one of those tasks that people understand they must do regularly, but many still don't. According to Humana Dental, flossing cleans bacteria and trapped food from between the teeth. Brushing only reaches the surface of the teeth, but floss is required to get into the small crevices to prevent bacteria from turning into plaque buildup. The American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once per day. Children should floss regularly in addition to brushing. However, flossing can be cumbersome for youngsters who have yet to develop the dexterity needed to manipulate dental floss. There are many products available and techniques that can be used to assist children with cleaning between their teeth. The following are some flossing tips for kids. * The younger children are introduced to floss, the more likely they are to embrace flossing as part of their oral hygiene routine. * Show visual proof of the benefits of flossing. Show pictures of dental decay and what occurs when proper oral
hygiene is not followed. * Get the proper tools. There are various age-appropriate flossers and types of dental floss available. Floss picks are much easier to hold and work between the teeth, particularly for kids with small hands. * Take kids down the dental aisle at the store and let them pick and choose which products they want to use. They may be more excited to brush and floss if they’re using something they picked out. * Lead by example. Children will be more likely to floss if they see their parents flossing. Benefits of ﬂossing Removing bacteria and trapped food from teeth has a number of benefits. Bacteria can cause bad breath, but flossing and brushing helps to keep breath smelling fresh. Dirty teeth can lead to dental carries. Children may be more inclined to floss if they know they’ll be preventing cavities and avoiding potentially painful trips to the dentist. Plaque trapped between the teeth and along the gum line that leads to periodontal disease puts a person at a greater risk for heart disease. There are some studies that show bacteria from the mouth can end up in the bloodstream. Flossing is a necessary component of good oral hygiene. Everyone should floss, no matter their age, and children should begin flossing as soon as their mouth starts to fill out with pearly whites.
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How to reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people across the globe. In the United States alone, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates one in eight older men and women has the disease, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country. Few families have not been affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and many relatives of those with the disease fully understand the role family history can play. Research into the disease is ongoing, and it’s already yielded valuable information that may help reduce the prevalence of this devastating disease in the years to come. One byproduct of researchers’ efforts
is the discovery that it may be possible to prevent or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease through the implementation of a combination of healthy lifestyle choices. The following are a few healthy habits that may help men and women reduce their risk for Alzheimer’s. * Exercise regularly. A study conducted by Scottish researchers and published in the journal Neurology in 2012 touted exercise as the most effective way for adults to protect their brains from Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers examined roughly 700 70-yearold participants, all of whom were born in 1936, who were asked to report their levels
of physical activity. Each participant then received an MRI at age 73. Those tests revealed that the participants who were more physically active showed less brain shrinkage and fewer white matter lesions, both of which are indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation reports that physical exercise reduces a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 50 percent and can even slow further deterioration in those who have already begun to develop the cognitive problems associated with Alzheimer’s. Researchers continue to study the relationship between physical activity and the development ofAlzheimer’s diseases, but the evidence is mounting that regular exercise, regardless of a person’s age, is a great way to reduce risk for Alzheimer’s. * Eat healthy. What you put into your body may also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The brain operates at its best when it is fueled with a healthy diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein. A hearthealthy diet is also brain-healthy, and researchers have found a potential link between heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Researcher Larry Sparks of the Sun Health Research Institute in Arizona and formerly of the Kentucky medical examiner’s office studied brain tissues with a goal of finding early signs of Alzheimer’s disease. He discovered that those who had the telltale plaques of Alzheimer’s disease also had heart disease, suggesting heart disease may be a forerunner of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association feels this link between the
two will only grow stronger in the years to come, suggesting that a heart-healthy diet that reduces a person’s risk of heart disease may also reduce the risk forAlzheimer’s down the road. More information on a hearthealthy diet is available at www.heart.org. * Stimulate yourself mentally. Mental stimulation can help the brain stay sharp, and men and women who find ways to stay mentally stimulated can reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Embrace activities that require communication and interaction with others, and find time for additional tasks that can stimulate your brain. These may include studying a foreign language, reading, trying your hand at mentally stimulating puzzles such as crosswords or Sudoku, and other activities that emphasize organization. Such activities are essentially workouts for your brain that can help it stay sharp as you age. * Remain socially active. Staying socially active into older adulthood is important for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that research has indicated the brain functions better when men and women are not isolated from others. Memory and cognition are stronger when people remain socially active and engaged in their society, so retirees should look for ways to revive their social lives as a means to protecting their brains from the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Alzheimer’s disease remains an enigma in many ways. But ongoing research continues to show that men and women can take measures to actively prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and improve their quality of life as a result.
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Exercise benefits the brain, too Regular exercise can benefit the body in many ways, helping men and women maintain healthier weights and lower their risks for developing potentially deadly diseases. Though many people are quick to associate exercise with its physical benefits, those hours spent on the treadmill also can boost brain power. According to Dr. Barry Gordon, professor of neurology and cognitive science at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and coauthor of “Intelligent Memory: Improve the Memory That Makes You Smarter,” exercise has a direct impact on the brain. That’s because exercise works directly on brain tissue, improving the connections between nerve cells, creating new synapses, growing new neurons and blood vessels, and improving cell energy efficiency. So while many people may begin an exercise regimen with a goal of trimming their waistlines or toning their bodies, they might be happy to know that those physical benefits are accompanied by several cognitive benefits as well. As the American Psychological Association acknowledges, the connection between exercise and mental health is hard to ignore, and the APA notes that the following are just a few of the mental benefits men and women might reap from regular exercise. Improved mood Many people feel great after exercising, especially if that exercise comes at the end of a particularly stressful day. However, those extra laps on the track or those hours spent on the treadmill don’t just pay short-term dividends. In a controlled trial overseen by Duke University researcher and clinical psychologist James Blumenthal, sedentary adults with major depressive disorder were assigned into one of four groups: supervised exercise, home-based exercise, antidepressant therapy, or a placebo pill. Those in the exercise and antidepressant groups had higher rates of remission than those in the placebo group, and Blumenthal concluded that exercise was generally comparable to antidepressants for men and women with major depressive disorder. In addition, in following up with patients a year later, Blumenthal found that those who continued to exercise had lower depression scores
than those participants who were less active. Blumenthal’s study was not the only one to conclude that exercise can have a positive impact on mood. In a review of 11 studies that examined the effects of exercise on mental health, Boston University professor of psychology Michael Otto and his colleagues found that exercise could be a powerful tool when treating clinical depression, and even recommended clinicians include exercise as part of their treatment plans for depressed patients. Antidote to anxiety Some researchers, Otto included, have begun to examine the effects of exercise on treating and possibly preventing anxiety. The body’s nervous system responds quickly when people feel frightened or threatened, often causing the body’s heart rate to increase and sweating and dizziness to occur. Those people who are especially sensitive to anxiety respond to these feelings with fear, and that makes them more likely to develop panic disorders. But Otto and fellow researcher Jasper Smits of the Anxiety Research and Treatment Program at Southern Methodist University studied the effects that regular workouts might have on people prone to anxiety. Since exercise produces many of the same physical reactions, such as sweating and an elevated heart rate, the body produces when responding to fear or threats, Otto and Smits wanted to determine if exercise might help people prone to anxiety become less likely to panic when experiencing fear or threats. In studying 60 participants withheightened sensitivity to anxiety, Otto and Smits found that the subjects who participated in a two-week exercise program exhibited marked improvements in anxiety sensitivity compared to those participants who did not take part in the exercise program. Otto and Smith concluded that this improvement was a result of the exercise group participants learning to associate the symptoms common to both fear and exercise, such as sweating and an elevated heart rate, with something positive (exercise) instead of something negative (anxiety).
Regular exercise benefits the human body in numerous ways, not the least of which is its impact on the brain. More information on the link between exercise and improved mental health is available at www.apa.org.
CHIROPRACTIC FOR BETTER HEALTH
DR. GREG BURMEISTER
DR. JACOB BR0SAMLE CHIROPRACTOR
Your diagnosis and treatment is important. That’s why we give you the information you need in terms you can understand.
Eagle Grove Chiropractic, PLC 318 W. Broadway Eagle Grove • 448-3387 Dr. Gregory Burmeister Dr. Jacob Brosamle
— Getting rid of a stomach bug — Few things can prove more painful or inconvenient than stomach bugs. Though often temporary, stomach bugs can last several days to more than a week and they may lead to more dire situations if not properly treated. Causes Stomach bugs are known as gastroenteritis, a condition characterized by an inflamed and irritated stomach and intestines. The Mayo Clinic says people are most likely to contract gastroenteritis after eating contaminated foods or drinking contaminated water. Sharing items, like utensils, with someone who is infected is another way to contract gastroenteritis. Viral gastroenteritis is caused by a virus that enters the body. However, bacteria and parasites also are responsible for stomach bug outbreaks. Treatment Many people opt for a wait-and-see approach when struck with stomach bugs. Gastroenteritis often heals on its own. But stomach bugs can be more persistent as well. Sufferers should visit a doctor if vomiting or diarrhea last more than a few days. Doctors may take a stool sample to determine what’s behind the bug. In the event of a bacterial infection, an antibiotic may be needed to clear up the infection. Helpful hints When a stomach bug strikes, it is best to refrain from eating, especially when vomiting regularly. Stick to clear broths and liquids, which are easy on the digestive system. Once vomiting has
subsided, sufferers should opt for a bland diet. When plagued by diarrhea, the BRAT diet is adviseable. This acronym stands for Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. These foods can help bind a person and are relatively easy to digest. Because a stomach bug often leads to dehydration, drink plenty of fluids. To restore salt and electrolyte balances, sports drinks are adviseable for adults, while a beverage like Pedialyte is best for children and the elderly. Many people are tempted to turn to an anti-diarrheal medication at the first sign of a stomach bug. However, the side effects of gastroenteritis are the body’s method of ridding itself from whatever has brought on symptoms. Failure to let nature run its course could result in a rebound of symptoms or a longer-lasting sickness. To avoid suffering from stomach bugs, men and women should consider the following tips. * Frequently wash your hands when preparing food and thoroughly cook foods. * E. coli may be present on some fresh produce, so wash produce carefully. * Consider taking a probiotic supplement to increase the amount of good bacteria in your digestive tract. * Avoid contact with people who claim to have the stomach flu. * Promptly consult a doctor if symptoms do not go away or if you have a high fever or blood in your stool. This may indicate a different illness.
Explaining the gluten-free diet
Dietary fads come and go, but the gluten-free movement is one nutritional trend that seems to have staying power. The gluten-free diet was once largely exclusive to sufferers of Celiac disease, a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine, preventing it from absorbing parts of food the body needs to stay healthy. That damage is the byproduct of the body’s reaction to gluten, a term used to describe proteins found in specific grains. But while the gluten-free diet remains a necessity for those who cannot tolerate gluten, nowadays even nonsufferers are embracing the glutenfree diet for a variety of reasons. One such reason is non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, or NCGS. Though NCGS is not as severe as Celiac disease, research has suggested that a gluten-free diet can relieve NCGS symptoms, which include abdominal pain and headaches. Allergies are another reason some people may opt for a gluten-free diet. Unlike Celiac disease or NCGS, both of which are digestive system responses to gluten, wheat allergy is an immunesystem response and, like other allergies, can be outgrown. But until a wheat allergy is outgrown, it’s best to avoid foods, including those with gluten, that might trigger an allergic reaction. While a gluten-free diet is a necessity for people with Celiac disease, NCGS or wheat allergies, according to Michell Nacouzi, MD, a primary care physician at Duke Primary Care Brier Creek, it may provide little health benefit to those without such conditions. But that doesn’t mean the popularity of the gluten-free diet is about to wane. Those without a preexisting medical condition who are considering a gluten-free diet anyway should know a few things about this diet before making such a drastic change. * Gluten-free is not easy. Unlike eliminating sugary soft drinks or cutting back on fried foods, going cold turkey on gluten can be very difficult. Many people who adopt a gluten-free diet find it extremely challenging, as gluten proteins can be found in additives, making something as seemingly simple as reading labels a lot trickier than it looks. Though labels may not list gluten among a product’s ingredients, men and women must be aware of all additives that contain gluten proteins in order to avoid gluten entirely. And while supermarkets are stocking more gluten-free products, shopping for groceries while on a glutenfree diet can be tedious. * Certain foods and drinks must be avoided. Though people considering a gluten-free diet are aware that such a diet requires some sacrifices, they may not know which foods and beverages they will need to avoid until they have instituted the diet. For example, a gluten-free diet excludes any beverages that contain barley, meaning beer cannot be part of a gluten-free diet. Though many glutenfree beers are now on the market, beer afficionados may find such alternatives cannot compare to the real thing. Rye
and wheat products also must be avoided, and these include products whose labels list bulgur, durum flour, farina, graham flour, kamut, semolina, and spelt among their ingredients. Though there are now many gluten-free foods on the market, unless labels say gluten-free, the following are a handful of products that should be avoided: * Breads * Cakes and pies * Cereals * Croutons * French fries * Pastas * Salad dressings * Soy sauce * Soups Many doctors also recommend men and women on a gluten-free diet avoid oats, as they can easily be contaminated with wheat during the growing and processing stages of production. * Be mindful of the dangers of crosscontamination. Cross-contamination can occur during the manufacturing process when gluten-free foods come into contain with foods that contain gluten. Manufacturers typically include the phrase “may contain” on labels as a warning to consumers looking to avoid gluten and other ingredients. When labels include this phrase, there’s a strong chance that cross-contamination has occurred, and such products should be avoided by men and women on gluten-free diets. Cross-contamination also can occur when gluten-free foods are prepared on the same surfaces as foods containing gluten. For example, toasting glutenfree bread in the same toaster as regular bread can easily lead to contamination. Preventing cross-contamination can be a difficult task, and that difficulty merits consideration by people who want to adopt a gluten-free diet. * A gluten-free diet may lead to a vitamin and nutrient deficiency. Grains are often rich in vitamins, and avoiding grains as part of a gluten-free diet can deprive men and women of these vitamins, weakening their bodies as a result. When adopting a gluten-free diet, speak with a dietitian to ensure your diet has enough iron, calcium, fiber, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate. If the diet is lacking, you will need to make adjustments.
Though aging increases a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes, a healthy lifestyle that includes routine exercise and a healthy diet can help men and women reduce that risk significantly.
How to reduce your risk for diabetes Millions of people across the globe suffer from diabetes, a term used to describe a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood pressure resulting from the body’s cells not responding properly to insulin and/or inadequate insulin production. According to researchers at Australia’s Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, if the spread of type 2 diabetes continues at its current rate, there will be roughly 439 million adults with diabetes across the globe in the year 2030. Though some cases of diabetes cannot be prevented, a healthy lifestyle can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, occurring because the body does not use insulin properly. Initially, the pancreas will make extra insulin to account for the body’s resistance to insulin, but over time the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes increases as people age, and while there is no way to halt the aging process, there are many other ways for men, women and children to reduce their risks of developing type 2 diabetes. * Shed those extra pounds. Being overweight increases your risk for a host of ailments, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. According to the American Diabetes Association, losing as little as 10 to 15 pounds can make a significant difference for people looking to reduce their risks of developing type 2 diabetes. When attempting to lose weight, men and women should recognize that making lifestyle changes is a more effective way to shed pounds and keep weight off than fad diets that may promise quick weight loss but tend to be less effective at keeping that weight off over the long haul. Successful weight loss typically involves a combination of physical activity and a healthy diet. Include physical activity as part of your daily routine several days per week, taking it slow at first if you have not exercised regularly in quite some time. As your body begins to adapt to exercise, you can gradually increase the intensity of
your workout routines. Adopting a healthy diet is another way to lose weight and maintain that weight loss. A diet low in calories and fat is a good start. Men and women who need to lose a significant amount of weight may want to work with a dietitian and/or nutritionist to create a meal plan that is likely to produce the best results and address any vitamin or nutrient deficiencies they might have. * Focus on fiber. Adding more fiber to your diet is another way to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Foods that are high in fiber tend to make people feel fuller, reducing the likelihood that you will overeat. Fiber also helps the body control its blood sugar levels, and fiber can lower a person’s risk of heart disease. Many foods include fiber, but some highfiber foods include beans, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. * Avoid refined carbohydrates. Studies have shown that diets rich in refined carbohydrates increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes, while additional studies have shown that diets rich in whole grains protect the body against diabetes. Researchers examining the results of several studies that explored the relationship between whole grains and diabetes found that eating an extra two servings of whole grains each day can reduce a person’s risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 21 percent. Refined carbohydrates, which can be found in white bread, white rice, mashed potatoes and many cereals, cause sustained spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which can increase a person’s risk of diabetes.
The many benefits of massage therapy
Snack your way to energy Many adults find themselves feeling drowsy in the hours after they eat lunch. Aheavy lunch, a staid office atmosphere or a combination of the two can make professionals feel sleepy as the workday winds down. Though some might opt for a second cup of coffee, the immediate energy boost provided by caffeine quickly wears off, leaving men and women feeling even more tired as a result. Oftentimes, the right mid-afternoon snack can provide the energy boosts adults need to stay productive throughout the workday. The following are a handful of healthy snacks that tend to provide a lot of energy. * Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt has become increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more people are opting for this snack that’s rich in calcium, protein, phosphorous, and zinc. Traditional yogurt tends to provide a quick energy boost, as it is generally easy to digest, before that boost quickly fades. Greek yogurt is thicker than traditional yogurt, so it does not digest so easily, producing more sustained energy levels as a result. However, Greek yogurt is also loaded with protein, helping men and women feel fuller longer. That can be beneficial for those who want to lose weight, as the feeling of fullness that Greek yogurt provides means those who eat it are less likely to eat more snacks throughout the day. * Whole grains: Whole grain snacks are loaded with energizing ingredients, including fiber, iron, magnesium, and protein. Whole wheat snacks are also loaded with Bvitamins, which help people fight fatigue and stabilize blood sugar
levels. In addition, the body takes longer to absorb the complex carbohydrates found in whole wheat snacks, which means the body can maintain stable blood sugar levels for extended periods of time, and that leads to a long-lasting energy boost. White bread and simple carbohydrates provide an immediate, yet temporary, energy boost when people’s blood sugar levels spike. But once that initial energy boost subsides, men and women will be left feeling fatigued. * Edamame: Many people may know edamame from recipes, but few might know edamame can be an energy-boosting snack as well. Edamame are boiled soybeans that are rich in protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and fiber. Each of these things helps the body sustain energy levels. In addition, edamame is also packed with a trace mineral known as molybdenum that helps cells function properly while enhancing alertness and improving concentration. * Almonds: Almonds are loaded with ingredients that increase energy levels, including vitamin E, phosphorous, vitamin B2, and magnesium, which serves numerous beneficial functions, including aiding in the production of energy and relieving stress and anxiety. Because they are rich in protein and fiber, almonds take longer for the body to digest, which means energy levels will stay up for longer periods of time than they would for those snacks that are easily digested. Almonds also contain healthy fats that curb appetite, making it less likely that men and women who snack on almonds will overeat and find themselves fighting the fatigue that’s often a byproduct of overeating.
A massage can be more than just relaxing, they can actually be very good for overall health. Massage therapy is beneficial in various ways. Massage is no longer just available in upscale health clubs or luxury spas. Massage spas have cropped up in malls, hospitals, clinics, and even office buildings, making massage therapy that much more accessible. The Mayo Clinic notes that while more research is needed to confirm the benefits of massage, it may be helpful for a variety of health ailments. In addition to easing sore muscles, reducing joint pain and helping soft tissue strains or injuries, massage can promote relaxation, reduce anxiety and calm feelings of stress. Massage reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This helps to lift spirits and can often lower blood pressure. Massage also may help to boost the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which are associated with depression. According to Health magazine, massage also can help promote healthy sleep. It has something to do with the effect of massage on delta waves, which are the brain waves connected to deep sleep. There is some evidence that massage can also increase white blood cell counts, promoting improved immunity. Many people rely on massages to relieve pain. According to a report published in 2011 in the American College of Physicians’ “Annals of Internal
Medicine,” massage helps people in pain feel and function better than those who do not receive treatment. Massage can alleviate stiffness and pain and promote a better range of motion. And pain relief is not just for the back, arms and legs. Massage can reduce risk for migraines and decrease pain from tension headaches. Massage even has beauty benefits. Rubbing the face and scalp can promote blood flow and encourage lymphatic drainage. This can add vitality to the complexion and plump up the skin. Dull hair may appear more shiny and revitalized. People can explore different types of massage and experiment with what works best for their ailments. Everything from Swedish massage to reflexology is offered at massage clinics. Because massage involves being partially or completely undressed and having a massage therapist touch various areas of the body, it is important to find a therapist with whom you feel comfortable. Make sure that the therapist is fully certified and qualified. It also helps if he or she is properly vetted by the spa or clinic. Therapists will heed a person’s preferences with regard to the massage, only concentrating on the areas specified. If anything feels uncomfortable or a client prefers not to have an area of the body touched, he or she simply needs to address that with the therapist at the beginning of the session.
It is believed that massage may be helpful for a variety of health ailments.
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Get on the road to recovery by identifying depression
Nearly everyone feels down at one point or another. But when feelings of sadness stretch on and are accompanied by other symptoms, normal sadness might have given way to depression. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate depression affects one in 10 American adults at different levels. Many sufferers of depression believe it is a personal weakness and something they should be able to control, but Depression is a treatable condition affecting mood disorders are recognized mental millions of people. illnesses that say nothing about a person’s strength of character. Often brought on unexpectedly, mood disorders like depression cannot be traced to a single root cause. Many within the medical community believe depression is genetic, and oftentimes doctors treating patients for depression discover a history of depression among their patients’ immediate family members. Many different genes may act in combination to cause a mood disorder. In 2011, a British team isolated a gene that appears to be prevalent in families in which multiple members suffer from depression. The chromosome, 3p25-26, was found in more than 800 families with recurrent depression. External factors also can play a role in the onset of depression. According to the CDC, certain groups are more likely to meet criteria for depression than others. These include women, people ages 45-64, African-Americans, Hispanics, and people with less than a high school education. There are unique symptoms associated with depression. Not every person with this mood disorder will exhibit each and every symptom, but the following symptoms appearing together is often an indicator of depression: * feelings of sadness and loss
Physical therapy - treatment and recovery
Illnesses of the musculoskeletal system can result in temporary loss of mobility. But physical therapy can help to prevent those temporary problems from becoming permanent. The American Physical Therapy Association says physical therapists diagnose and treat individuals of all ages who have conditions that limit their abilities to perform functional activities. Limitations in mobility may result from injury or illness or be present at birth. Many physical therapists develop a plan to reduce pain and restore function through various treatment techniques with the ultimate goal of restoring a patient’s functional independence. Physical therapists are licensed healthcare professionals who must receive a degree from an accredited physical therapist program before taking national licensure exams that enable them to open a practice or work in a facility. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 30 percent growth in physical therapy careers through 2018, which is a rate better than all other occupations. Unemployment rates for physical therapists are very low, and they are in high demand. Physical therapists employ various physical modalities to help with certain conditions. For example, a patient may be asked to perform various range-of-motion exercises to restore function to an injured part of the body. Physical therapists also may use heat, cold and electrical impulses to reduce pain and stimulate muscle function. Physical therapy sessions frequently include some form of massage as well. While athletes frequently rely on physical therapy as they recover from injuries, others can benefit from physical
therapy as well. For example, physical therapy may work in conjunction with other treatments for cardiopulmonary disease. The cardiopulmonary system delivers oxygen to active tissues, which plays an important part in movement. When the cardiopulmonary system is compromised, muscles and other tissues may not function as they should, and certain exercises and mobility therapies may be needed. Physical therapists also aid in improving physical ailments related to neurological diseases, such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Physical therapists may also help treat poor vision, poor balance and paralysis. Children who have learning disabilities related to a neurological or physical condition may benefit from certain forms of physical therapy. For example, vision problems can compromise academic performance, so physical therapy that aims to enhance visual tracking skills and strengthen the eyes in conjunction with corrective lenses may help youngsters, or even adult students, perform better in the classroom. Very often physical therapy will be recommended by a general doctor or an orthopedic surgeon as part of recovery from a surgery or a condition. The therapist may work in conjunction with another doctor to provide a program that helps foster a faster and safe recovery. Physical therapy tends to begin gradually and resistance is slowly built up as the body strengthens. The length of physical therapy will depend on the condition and the recommendation of the therapist and doctors overseeing the treatments.
* feelings of irritability * loss of pleasure in usually enjoyed activities * changes in sleeping patterns, such as insomnia or sleeping too much * difficulty concentrating * frequent headaches * noticeable lack of motivation * anxiety and panic attacks * withdrawal from friends and family * inability to make decisions * recurring thoughts of suicide or self-harm People exhibiting symptoms of depression should first reach out to their primary care physicians, who can begin a preliminary diagnosis and look for symptoms indicative of depression. A doctor also can perform blood work to rule out other conditions that may be contributing to problems with mood, such as hormonal changes or illnesses. Some doctors may refer patients to a mental health professional who is much more qualified to treat mood disorders. A mental health professional will likely conduct an interview with the patient and pay considerable attention to the patient’s medical history. Gaining a stronger grasp of a patient’s symptoms enables doctors to prescribe the most effective courses of treatment. Treatments range from medication to talk therapy to cognitive-behavioral therapy. Those who do not respond to more conventional treatments can discuss further options with their doctors. Patients who are prescribed an antidepressant medication should expect several weeks to pass before the medication is fully effective. Antidepressants are not universally effective, and people being treated for depression or another mood disorder should not grow discouraged if one course of treatment is ineffective. Many treatment options are available to people with mood disorders. Those who think they may be suffering from depression should first remember that they are not alone. Millions of people have depression at points in their lives or may experience recurrences of the condition. Visiting a doctor promptly can help sufferers of mood disorders address their conditions more quickly.
Aging not always the culprit behind cataracts Many men and women develop cataracts as they approach their golden years. While aging is the single biggest risk factor for cataracts, there are other factors that can contribute to cataracts, which can afflict people of all ages. According to the American Optometric Association, the following factors can contribute to the development of cataracts. * Alcohol consumption: Studies have shown that higher alcohol consumption can increase a person’s risk of developing cataracts. * Diabetes mellitus: Persons with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cataracts than those who do not have diabetes. * Medications: Certain medications have been associated with the development of cataracts. Corticosteroids and chlorpromazine and other phenothiazine related medications have been linked to cataracts in the past. * Nutrition: Men and women who do not eat a nutritious diet may be increasing their risk of developing cataracts. The AOA admits studies examining a potential link between nutrient deficiency and cataracts are inconclusive, but some studies have suggested there is such a link between the formation of cataracts and low levels of antioxidants like vitamins C and E. * Smoking: Smoking can increase a person’s risk for a host of ailments,
including cataracts. * Ultraviolet radiation exposure: Persons who aren’t adequately protected when exposed to ultraviolet, or UV, radiation have a greater risk of developing cataracts. Some people may be born with cataracts or develop them during childhood. Such cataracts are known as congenital cataracts and may be the result of the mother having contracted an infection while pregnant. Kids born with cataracts may also have inherited them. For example, cataracts may be a side effect of Alport syndrome, a genetic condition characterized by kidney disease, hearing loss and abnormalities in the eye. When a person develops cataracts, surgery is the only effective treatment. But that does not necessarily mean a doctor will suggest surgery right away. Cataracts do not typically harm the eye, and delaying surgery does not mean you are less likely to regain your vision if and when you do opt for surgery. Doctors will likely recommend surgery when cataracts begin to impact quality of life, such as making reading or driving more difficult. Cataracts are often mistakenly considered a byproduct of aging. But not every aging man or woman will develop cataracts, and not all cataracts are a byproduct of aging. Learn more at www. aoa.org.
Take a proactive approach to stress
Keep in mind that migraine headaches could be a risk factor for stroke in both men and women. Call emergency services if the headache is extreme, starts very suddenly, pain increases in severity when lying down or if there are any speech, vision or movement problems that accompany the migraine.
Get the facts on migraines Headaches are a common response to stress, but migraine headaches are a type of headache that seem to be a unique breed. Migraines cause significant pain and are often accompanied by other symptoms that make them particularly bothersome. Much is not understood about the cause of migraines, but environmental factors and genetics seem to play a role. According to The Mayo Clinic, migraines may be caused by changes in the brain stem and interactions between this part of the neurological system and a major pain pathway called the trigeminal nerve. Imbalances in brain chemicals, including serotonin, may trigger the formation of neuropeptides, which travel to the outer covering of the brain known as the meninges, causing pain. The World Health Organization estimates that more than one billion people will get a migraine at some point in their lives. Women are more prone to migraines, possibly due to hormonal fluctuations. In fact, many migraines are triggered by certain situations or conditions. Menstruation is a common trigger of migraines. Here are some other common triggers: * Stress: Stressful situations may cause both mental and physical responses in the body, which can trigger migraines. * Foods: Caffeinated products, monosodium glutamate, alcohol, aged cheeses, and even salty foods can bring on a migraine in some people. * Environmental changes: Migraines may be triggered by the weather and changes in barometric pressure. * Sights, smells and sounds: Perfumes, unpleasant aromas, bright sunlight, or even loud noises may be the causes of migraines in some people. * Medications: Some medicines, such as nitroglycerin, are known to cause migraines. Symptoms of migraines When a person has a migraine, he or
she is likely to report a throbbing pain on one side of his or her head. But the pain may be on both sides of the head, too. Also, the pain may switch sides and doesn’t necessarily have to occur on the same side each and every time a migraine occurs. Many people report blurred vision, tunnel vision or a temporary blind spot as part of the symptoms of a migraine. Sensitivity to light is common, as is accompanying nausea. For some the nausea is so severe it leads to vomiting. Some people find they are able to predict when a migraine is coming. Seeing stars, zigzag lines or bright spots and colors called “auras” can often be warning signs that a migraine is coming on. Symptoms of migraines may linger after the migraine has subsided. One may experience neck pain, fatigue, loss of appetite and a feeling that you don’t have mental acuity. Treating migraines There is no one specific treatment for migraines. The U.S. National Library of Medicine lists a number of different medications and treatment options to alleviate migraines and subsequent side effects. Because serotonin is believed to play a role in migraine headaches, using certain SSRI medications normally prescribed for depression may help. Seizure medications and blood pressure medications may be prescribed as well. Triptans are prescribed very often for stopping migraine attacks. They constrict blood vessels in the brain and relieve swelling. Some doctors also use botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox, to relax areas and reduce migraines. Nausea medications and pain relievers may be used in conjunction with other treatments. Stress-relief methods and alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or massage therapy, may help delay migraine onset as well.
Few men and women can avoid stress. Be it a byproduct of a hectic work environment or the result of juggling a family and a career, stress is a part of life for many adults. In fact, according to a report from the American Psychological Association, 77 percent of adults experience physical symptoms of stress on a regular basis. The APA also notes that job pressure is the leading cause of stress, followed by money and health. Many adults cannot envision a scenario in which they aren’t worrying about work or their finances, so it’s easy to assume there’s little they can do to reduce their stress levels. However, there are several proactive steps men and women can take on a daily basis to reduce their stress levels in an attempt to live a healthier life. * Give yourself a little more leeway. Work-related stress is not always a byproduct of tension with coworkers or a seemingly endless workload. For some, work-related stress starts on their way into the office and continues on their trip home at the end of the day. Sitting in traffic when you have to be at the office by a given time is a significant stressor for many men and women. In a 2011 independent study commissioned by the navigation product manufacturer TomTom(R), researchers studied the physiological stress markers in participants’ saliva and found that both men and women experienced an increase in stress when driving in traffic, even when they did not feel their stress levels increasing. Men had a particularly stressful experience when sitting in traffic, as their stress levels increased by 60 percent when driving in traffic (female stress levels increased by 8.7 percent in the same circumstances). To avoid such increases in stress, leave for work a little earlier in the morning. Giving yourself an extra 15 to 20 minutes to get to the office may help you respond more positively to rush-hour traffic, reducing your stress levels as you get ready for the day ahead. Leaving early may even allow you to take an alternate route to work that might be slightly out of the way but feature fewer motorists. * Get out from behind your desk. Sitting behind a desk all day makes it easier to work through lunch, which can
make your workday seem that much longer and that much more stressful. Take a more traditional lunch break, even if it’s only to the office kitchenette or cafeteria, so you can get away from your computer and think about something other than work for a little while. After lunch, take periodic breaks to stretch and to take a quick breather. Get a glass of water or a cup of tea or just walk around. Such breaks can prevent existing stress from escalating further or can help you ward off work-related stress entirely. * Make healthy changes to your lifestyle. Your lifestyle can either help you prevent stress or make stress that much worse. A healthy lifestyle includes regular exercise and a nutritious diet, including one wherein caffeine and sugar consumption is kept to a minimum. The APA notes that poor nutrition is the fifth-leading cause of stress in the United States, so emphasizing a healthy diet may prevent the onset of stress or reduce its symptoms. Too much caffeine and sugar can cause mood and energy swings and negatively affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep. A bad night’s sleep will only exacerbate stressful situations throughout the day. In addition to eating a healthy diet and finding time to exercise, which may prevent stress or reduce its effects, you should limit your alcohol consumption and stop smoking if you are a smoker. Excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco or drug use are negative ways to cope with stress and will only make stress worse, while avoiding such triggers may help you prevent the onset of stress. * Reduce your workload. The APA study found that 31 percent of adults admitted to having difficulty managing their responsibilities at the office and at home. It’s difficult to reduce your workload at home, so consider doing so at the office. This can be as simple as delegating responsibilities more often or as significant as working less. Stress is associated with a host of ailments, including heart disease and a weakened immune system, so even those adults who feel they cannot budge with regard to their professional responsibilities might need to do so if work-related stress has gotten out of hand, as the consequences of ignoring stress could prove dire.
• Can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure, chest pain, and is known as the silent killer. • Can cause hair loss, make acne worse, and causes abdominal fat to accuulate. • Is related to the top six causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, liver cirrhosis, and suicide. • Chronic stress can hinder the development of a child. • Can alter blood sugar levels which can affect moods, fatigue, and other things.
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Eat Healthy • Live Healthy • Think Healthy
BE HEALTHY • Apples contain no sodium, fat, or cholesterol • There are more than 2,500 varieties of apples to choose from • Apples are a good source of fiber