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Sunday, June 17, 2018

Practical Health Tips To Practice Each Day


There is nothing more important in life than your health. When you are mindful of what you eat, how you exercise, and what you do with your body, you are much more likely to feel great and enjoy each passing year. While you do not always have total control over your health due to various genetic and environmental factors, you can definitely make active changes to the way you go about your life. By focusing on key areas of your lifestyle, it is totally possible to create a lasting and positive impact on your overall sense of wellness.

To get yourself in the right mindset, take a moment to explore some of these helpful suggestions. The more you learn about your options in advance, the easier it is going to be for you to transform your life and feel the difference in the way your body operates.

Remove the Filler

It is no small mystery that the food you consume plays a huge part in how your body operates. When you eat a lot of processed meals or snacks like chips, candy, and fast food, you are giving your body a lot of nothing. It might feel like junk food is rewarding to eat, but the truth is you are only giving yourself the impression of satisfaction. There are very little nutrients found in most processed foods and the sense of enjoyment that comes from shoveling away chips is merely your body’s reaction to the chemical fillers and flavors.

A snack like this now and again is not a big problem. Sadly, most people consume more of these products than they would like to admit. In order to keep your body in the best shape possible and ingest the right level of nutrients on a regular basis, visiting a primary care physician might be a good move. A professional like George Hatzigiannis can take a look at your current status, learn about your diet and lifestyle choices, and help you find a practical plan to improve your health. Simply reach out to a relevant doctor to get yourself started.

Sleep Yourself Healthy

Outside of diet, sleep is one of the more important aspects of your daily routine. Unfortunately, more and more people are dealing with sleep-related issues than ever before. Modern work schedules and the invention of the internet have led to a more complicated and demanding business world. Though commerce is moving at a faster pace than ever before, the human body still requires a consistent night’s sleep in order for it to function in the right capacity. When you are having trouble falling asleep after a long day, you need to take steps towards solving your insomnia.

There could be a number of issues preventing you from sleeping. Some professionals suggest that looking at your phone before you go to bed could actually send impulses to your brain to keep you awake. The light of the screen, though dim, is somewhat similar to UV light from the sun, which tricks your brain into thinking it is time to be up and active. Grab a book instead of your phone and you could help yourself snooze. More complicated sleep-related troubles should be assessed by a medical professional in order to learn the best solution.

Get Some Sun

While on the topic of sunlight, it is important to note your body also requires a healthy dose of shine now and again. Exposing your skin to sunlight on a daily basis is very useful in obtaining Vitamin D, which is crucial for health and wellness. Sunlight also helps to keep the mind active and increase hormone production, which can lower the odds of a person developing increases feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression. Of course, getting sun is easier during some months than others.

When the winter has come to call and you are spending more time indoors than out, you need to get creative with how you get the correct level of vitamins and nutrients. These days, there are certain lamps designed to mimic the rays of the sun when you need a boost of light in the dead of the season. Supplements are also useful to explore, as multivitamins and similar pills can often provide your body with a number of essential nutrients in one sitting.

Lift and Repeat

Most people know exercise is important to stay healthy. This does not make it any easier to go to the gym each week. If you want to focus on the needs of your body, start by engaging with lifting exercises in your home. Start with light weights you can hold in each hand. The act of lifting is important for metabolic health and can help to keep the cardiovascular system strong throughout life.

Doing what is right for your health is all about learning different tips and tricks. Discover the perfect daily habits for your goals and get into the practice of being a more health-centric human.

This is a guest blog entry.

You’ve Just Been in a Car Accident - Now What?


So far, today has been just like any other day. You got up in the morning, had some breakfast, and now you’re on your way to work. Everything is going normally, when suddenly your car is hit from behind by another. Now your entire day is changed, and you have to figure out what to do next. Millions of people go through something like this every year, but it can still be a little hard to know what to do when it happens to you. If you ever find yourself in a car accident, here are the steps you should follow.

Take Care of Yourself

First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself. You can do this in two ways. First, if you need medical attention, you should call for an ambulance right away. The sooner you make the call, the sooner help will arrive. Besides that, you should also get yourself to safety. Sometimes accidents happen in inconvenient spots, and before you start to handle the rest, you’ll want to be in a safe location. So pull over to the side of the road, or get out of the car entirely if you see any smoke.

Handle the Formalities

If you are in good enough shape, and you’re in a safe location, now you can start handling some of the other formalities. Whenever you’re in a car accident involving another person, there are a few things you need to do. First, you should call the police so that they can come and file an official report. Next, you should swap information with the other drivers. This includes name, address, phone number, license plate number and insurance information.

Finally, take out your cell phone and snap some pictures of the accident. Get pictures of your car, other cars involved, the surrounding area, and any injuries you received. The more pictures you take, the better off you’ll be if you encounter any problems down the line.

Decide What to do With Your Car

Next, you’ll need to think about your car. If you’re lucky, the damage was minor and you’ll be able to drive away. You’ll likely have to have an auto shop take a look at it in order to get out the dents and scrapes, but for the most part your car is fine.

In other cases you won’t be so lucky. The accident will be so bad that you’ll be unable to drive your car to the auto shop, and you’ll need to call for a tow. Many insurance providers have roadside assistance that you can call in case of an accident. Through them you can find a tow truck driver to take your car to your preferred mechanic. Once at the mechanic, they will hopefully be able to get your car running again, and everything will be covered by your insurance. If not, you’ll have to start looking for a new car, and see what you can get for your old, now totaled, car.

Get Help if You Need It

Going through a car accident isn’t always smooth sailing. Sometimes there are injuries you have to deal with, or maybe the other driver doesn’t have insurance. When going through this process, you may need to bring in some outside help. A lawyer will help to ensure that you are properly compensated for any injuries you receive, and that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for your car repairs. According to FastHelp.com, a good lawyer can provide you with:
  • Guidance for how to handle the at-fault insurance company
  • Towing and transportation to and from the repair shop
  • Recommendations for an independent body shop for trusted, reliable work
  • Ensure you’ll never pay for medical treatment out of pocket
  • Handle all medical bills and documentation required for a successful case
Learn From Your Mistakes

Finally, sometimes the accident is your own fault. Maybe you were trying to eat while you drove, or you didn’t pay attention to that warning light on your dashboard. After an accident, it’s important to analyze your own role and determine if there was anything you could have done better. By learning from your mistakes you can make another accident less likely to happen, and therefore keep yourself safer.

Stay Calm During an Accident

Going through a car accident is a scary time, no matter how old you are or how long you’ve been driving. If it ever happens to you, remember to remain calm and take things one step at a time. Hopefully the above steps will help you out should you ever find yourself in this unfortunate situation, and you’ll be able to handle the accident and go through recovery with no additional problems.

This is a guest blog entry.

Friday, June 15, 2018

5 Major Health Concerns for Seniors


New population projections from the Census Bureau reveal that older adults will outnumber children for the first time in history by the year 2030. Colloquially referred to as the “silver tsunami,” this explosive demographic shift has many middle-aged adults taking a harder look at how they want to be living in 10 to 15 years; primarily, how they can keep their health on track.

Don’t miss this essential guide to 5 major health concerns for seniors with tips and ideas for improving longevity:

Type II Diabetes
Roughly 25% of seniors develop Type II diabetes. A combination of risk factors including rising rates of obesity and hypertension increase a senior’s chances of developing this dangerous disease. Gone untreated, diabetes can result in vision loss, amputation, and even death.

Type II diabetes results when the body’s cells become resistant to insulin or when the body is no longer able to produce enough insulin to keep blood sugar levels stable. Doctors recommend that adults exercise regularly and modify their diets to limit added sugars and incorporate more fiber and nutrients with fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains. Keeping up with annual exams and fasting blood sugar tests helps to catch early warning signs too so you can take action before it’s too late.

Heart Disease
Alarming new life expectancy reports project that for the third year in a row, life expectancy for the average American adult is falling. This is due in large part to the fact that deaths from heart disease, the number one cause of death in the U.S., did not decline in the past year. Heart disease is primarily a lifestyle disease that results from a cardiovascular system which is compromised by inactivity, poor diet, chronic stress, and unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive drinking.

Preventing heart disease is possible, even if you have put off routine exercise your whole life. Researchers have found that small steps like sitting less, moving more, and consuming more micronutrients and less sugar, salt, fat, and processed food can all play a significant role in lowering risk for developing heart disease.

Falling
The Centers for Disease Control are reporting new findings from a 10-year government study that revealed the number of falls adults over 65 experience has risen over 30% since 2007. Millions of seniors visit the emergency room every year due to a fall-related incident, and many end up with serious complications like life-threatening infections and bone fractures that limit their mobility.

In addition to fostering a fall-free environment at home by installing helpful grab bars and railings in key areas, and clearing away clutter from common walkways, experts recommend seniors exercise regularly to improve their strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility. Physical fitness for mobility-impaired seniors is paramount as well and may involve chair exercises, gentle tai chi, and water yoga.

Cognitive Decline
Worried about developing dementia or Alzheimer’s? It’s smart to express at least a little concern about falling prey to one of the fastest growing conditions among seniors. Understanding how and why cognitive decline occurs can go a long way toward helping you fortify your brain against it.

Cognitive decline is most readily understood as the loss or impairment of key brain functions like memory, decision-making, critical thinking, judgment, and problem-solving. While researchers know a good amount about what causes conditions like Alzheimer’s, they’re still not sure why it happens in the first place. They do recommend taking steps to protect brain cells and the communication pathways between them through exercise, learning new skills, interacting with others socially, reading, playing games, and eating brain-boosting foods with Omega-3’s and antioxidants.

Vision or Hearing Loss
Vision and hearing loss don’t just impact your ability to see and hear - they affect your independence and self-reliance and can increase the risk for anxiety and depression too. Vision changes and hearing loss are some of the most common conditions affecting seniors and result most often from age-related changes and degeneration in the body.

Medical experts agree that getting your vision and hearing checked regularly as you age can help pick up on early warning signs so you can take action to either seek treatment or find devices that aid these critical senses.

Other common health concerns for seniors include arthritis, osteoporosis, respiratory disease, catching the flu, pneumonia, and oral health problems. The average American can expect to live until at least their 80’s as advancements in research and medicine continue to offer hope. However, staying on top of your own health and taking steps towards living a healthy lifestyle may be your ultimate weapon in staving off these health conditions that are so common among seniors.

This is a guest blog entry.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

How Diet Can Help Fight Chronic Inflammation


When it comes to biochemical processes that occur in the body, there are two different types of inflammation. You can recognize acute inflammation as the redness and swelling that occurs after a sudden injury like an ankle sprain. It is the body’s way of responding to injury by flooding the affected area with white blood cells, fluids, nutrients, hormones, and other agents that can assist in repair. This type of inflammation is temporary and subsides once the area starts to heal.

Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is a more subtle, underlying array of processes which occur non-stop over an extended period of time and increase the risk for diseases like arthritis, Parkinson’s, and diabetes. While inflammation is absolutely natural and necessary to defend the body and your organs against foreign invaders, like infectious bacteria, prolonged inflammation can actually do harm to internal organs and tissues, specifically when it is not necessary.

The immune system is not perfect and at times, dysfunction may even cause it to mistake the body itself as dangerous, leading it to overreact and attack internals tissues and organs - this specifically leads to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.

What Are Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation?
There are blood tests which can examine the levels of certain inflammatory markers like c-reactive proteins, however, other symptoms can also be good indicators that chronic inflammation is at work. Symptoms may include:
  • Weight gain - if you are experiencing unexpected weight gain and are concerned that a slowdown in your metabolism is at work, chronic inflammation could be playing a role. Fat cells, like those found in adipose tissue around your belly, are responsible for triggering certain chemicals that aid inflammatory responses in the body. Excess fat could potentially lead to excess inflammation.
  • Fatigue - if your body is constantly working “overtime” because it is always managing unnecessary inflammatory processes, it could result in feelings of fatigue and exhaustion. Some researchers have also found that certain immune cells associated with chronic inflammation can infiltrate key areas of the brain and cause behavioral changes that result in fatigue too.
  • Allergies - allergies at their very core are a mistaken overreaction by the body to a relatively harmless pathogen, like pollen or dander. An increase in allergic activity could indicate that the body is in a constant state of hyper-reactivity or inflammation; symptoms might include frequent stuffy or runny nose, nasal congestion, and allergic rashes (dermatitis).
  • Gut issues - poor digestion issues like bloating, cramping, flatulence, heartburn, an urgency to use the bathroom, and frequent diarrhea could indicate that inflammation-related conditions are at work and your body isn’t absorbing all the critical nutrients it needs from the food you eat.
Additional symptoms may also present in recurring skin issues, gum disease, depression, joint stiffness, and high blood sugar levels.

What are Anti-inflammatory Foods?
The first step in modifying your diet to combat inflammation is to get to know the staples which help fight inflammation on a cellular level in the body. These include:
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables that generate powerful phytonutrients - they include apples, bananas, eggplants, carrots, apricots, tomatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes, and kale
  • Whole grains like oatmeal and barley that also offer generous fiber content which helps the body better digest food and extract critical vitamins and minerals
  • Anti-inflammatory spices like turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, thyme, sage, and rosemary
  • Antioxidant-rich foods like garlic, blueberries, onions, broccoli, and brussel sprouts
  • Foods high in Omega-3’s including walnuts, kidney beans, chia seeds, flax meal, wild-caught salmon and other cold-water fish like herring, trout, mackerel, and sardines
  • Healthy fats like you find in avocado, Greek yogurt, and extra-virgin olive oil
By incorporating more of these anti-inflammatory staples, you will transversely start cutting out unhealthy diet practices that can contribute to disease and illness. Additional guidelines to live by include:
  • Limiting consumption of red meat
  • Cutting out trans fats completely
  • Clearly reading nutrition labels prior to eating
  • Avoiding refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and high-fructose corn syrup
  • Scaling back sodium consumption
  • Replacing processed foods with freshly, prepared ones
  • Chewing slowly and thoroughly to aid digestion
  • Staying properly hydrated by drinking lots of water throughout the day
Final Considerations
In addition to regular physical activity, a well-managed anti-inflammatory diet is key to combating the negative effects of chronic inflammation. By taking steps to eat more fresh, whole foods daily, incorporate more healthy “snacks” into your diet, and increase your intake of fiber and Omega-3’s, you can have a profound effect on not just the biochemical processes occurring inside your body but also how you look and feel on the outside too.

This is a guest blog post.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

What You Should Know about Pregnancy and Makeup


Is it safe to put on makeup during pregnancy?

There is debate surrounding whether putting on makeup during pregnancy is good or bad. Most expectant mothers are usually wary of the chemicals used in making some of the cosmetics that they use for makeup. The circumstances surrounding the use of makeup during pregnancy for women remain confusing. Most women feel that makeup is the best way for them to help conceal their changing skin tone and woes. The problem is that some of the chemicals used in makeup creams can have adverse effects on the unborn baby’s development.

Using makeup during pregnancy is not a bad idea but much caution need to be taken when using some of those cosmetics out there. While choosing a cosmetic to use when you are pregnant, as an expectant mother should narrow in on the best you can choose from the park.

Cosmetics and the chemicals used in them with regards to pregnancy

There are numerous theories out there surrounding the use of cosmetics and the effects of chemical exposure during your period of pregnancy. Let’s take a more detailed look at some of the chemicals where concerns have been noted.

About hydroquinone


Hydroquinone is a well known skin lightening agent that is popular amongst women who like to have lighter skin. While there is alot of speculation that the agent has chemicals in it that will be fatal to the fetus there is no concrete study that has proven this. However, a pregnant woman using any cosmetic containing the agent needs to use that cosmetic in moderation. This is due to the high rate at which the substance is said to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

About Tretinoin

Tretinoin is a chemical that is popularly used in various cosmetics. Tretinoin use during pregnancy has been linked with certain birth defects and therefore its use during pregnancy is not wise. Its absorption rate however remains minimal when applied topically on the skin.

About Phthalates

This is yet another common chemical that is used in most makeup products which may include lipstick, hairsprays, and even nail polish. Studies suggest that the chemical usually interferes with a woman’s hormones during pregnancy and therefore needs to be avoided for the period of pregnancy.

According to studies, mothers that put on makeup containing the chemical during pregnancy had their babies having a lowered IQ level. The studies suggest that the chemical can lower the IQ level of a baby by more than six points. To further complicate the issue is that babies whose mothers exposed themselves to high levels of the chemical are more likely to develop asthma by their eleventh birthday compared those who weren’t.

About clindamycin and erythromycin

Applying clindamycin and erythromycin topically by a pregnant woman may not cause any adverse effects to the unborn child. This is due to the fact that the skin poorly absorbs salicylic acid, which is a key ingredient used in most anti-acne products. Dihydroxyacetone, which is a color additive for most skin tanning products, is also not readily absorbed by the skin.

Sodium, calcium, and potassium hydroxide used in depilatory creams are also not harmful in expectant mothers. Sunscreens help to protect the skin from harmful UV rays and help prevent conditions i.e. melasma. This means that women can still continue to be beautiful without posing any threat to their unborn children.

When to be cautious

Because most cosmetics available in the markets are not subject to any regulation, gauging whether they are safe or harmful can be a Herculean task. To be safe during pregnancy if you need to use certain cosmetic products, you may need to check out for the following products:

Vitamin A

Taking vitamin A orally has got lots of benefits to the pregnant mother and particularly to their skin. There is, however, retinoids which are a synthetic form of vitamin A that is mostly used in cosmetic creams and pills. While such creams usually help to fight psoriasis and acne, retinoids can be very harmful to the unborn baby and may cause adverse effects to the developing fetus.

Vitamin K

You will find this vitamin in almost every skin lightening cream you will get in the market. This vitamin is good for your health as it helps in normal blood clott. When you are pregnant, you can be prone to blood clots. This is why when you are pregnant you should be careful not to use vitamin K products in excess during topical application to prevent too much of it from getting into your bloodstream because it could make the blood become too thin. If this occurs, it can be a source of complication to the fetus. However, it is important to get enough vitamin K during pregnancy because a deficiency in this vitamin can also cause problem.


Centalla Asiatica

This is an effective treatment for stretch marks but it also increases sensitivity to the sun’s rays and this may be a source rashes in expectant women. When taken orally, it brings a narcotic-like effect and it has been reported to cause miscarriages in some women. This is why this particular beauty chemical need to be avoided at all times during pregnancy.

Lead: 

It is advisable to protect the fetus growing inside of you by reducing your exposure to lead. This calls on you to avoid using cosmetics that are rich in lead and mercury especially if you are in your first trimester.

This is a guest blog entry.