Category Archives: Health

Natural Ways To Treat High Blood Pressure

An important part of safeguarding our health is to practice some natural ways to treat high blood pressure.

Natural Ways To Treat High Blood Pressure

A large percentage of us are afflicted by high blood pressure, ( hypertension), and it is a condition which calls for attention.  Even while one has no symptom of hypertension, if one is ailing from the condition, it can lead to or aggravate secondary disorders, like heart attack and stroke.

Some other health conditions which can be attributed to hypertension include aneurysms and kidney failure.

Nearly 3 in 10  North Americans suffer from hypertension, but do not know it. So it’s always recommended to have your blood pressure checked, at least once every two years, no matter what your age.

Many people take medications for hypertension, but one can first try out some basic lifestyle changes that really work, and can help you go a long way toward keeping a check on high blood pressure.

Some of these ways include making sure that one eats healthy, keeps one’s weight at healthy levels, gets some regular exercise and limits consumption of alcohol.

1. Go For A Healthier Diet

Natural Ways To Treat High Blood Pressure

 

Natural Ways To Treat High Blood Pressure

One could make a start by going for some very simple changes in one’s everyday diet. Since salt has been claimed by some to increase blood pressure, one should try and make sure that consumption of salt is in controlled limits.

One can use less salt while cooking, and maybe reduce consumption of chips and fries.

Then, one should consume a diet that is low fat and is high on fiber.  A diet high in fruits and vegetables also helps keep the blood pressure under check, because fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.

In particular, one should try to go for fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium. One should ideally have 2000 – 4000 mg of potassium daily in their diet.

Some of the foods high in potassium are potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, peas, kidney beans and honeydew melons.

2. Keep Alcohol Consumption In Check

Natural Ways To Treat High Blood Pressure

If one consumes alcohol, one must make sure that the consumption is within the recommendable limits, and this would greatly reduce chances of developing hypertension.

Preferably, men must not have more than three to four units of alcohol a day, and women must not have more than two to three units a day.

Another reason why it is recommendable to avoid alcohol is because alcohol is high in calories, so one could gain weight, and correspondingly, that could work towards increasing blood pressure.

3. Maintain A Healthy Weight

For keeping blood pressure under check or for avoiding hypertension altogether, one of the best ways to go about the same is to avoid being overweight and maintaining a healthy weight.

When one is a little overweight, the heart is required to work harder, and that can increase your blood pressure.

But for a healthier heart, one does not need to lose a lot of weight; even a slight weight loss can work wonders for not just one’s cardiovascular heath, but also one’s everyday health and well being.

This could start with something as simple as avoiding fizzy drinks and sodas, making sure you have a healthy breakfast everyday and replacing your favorite snack for something healthier.

4. Be Active And Get Some Regular Exercise

Natural Ways To Treat High Blood Pressure

For regulating hypertension, regular exercise and some everyday activity are equally important.

Regular workouts or just being active keeps the heart and blood vessels in a good condition, and so it allows one to keep a check on hypertension.

Moreover, regular exercise also helps one lose weight, and the same can work very effectively for anyone who may be suffering from hypertension.

As a rule, adults must try to make sure that they get around 150 minutes of physical activity every week, and the workout should be of a moderate intensity, such as fast walking or cycling.

It is a more effective exercise if the workout makes you feel slightly out of breath, but one should check with a medical professional before taking up any intense activity.

5. Switch Over To Decaffeinated Coffee

To reduce the risk of hypertension or any of the related disorders, one should make sure to keep his or her caffeine intake in check. For example,  if one likes to have four cups of coffee a day, it’s a great idea to reduce the intake or make a switch over to decaffeinated coffee.

6. Go For Green Tea, A Great Choice For An Improved Cardiovascular Health

Natural Ways To Treat High Blood Pressure

As an alternative, one may choose to take up green tea, which works very effectively towards normalizing blood pressure.

When one has green tea for three months, the blood pressure, both systolic and diastolic are usually  reduced by a little more than 2 mmHg for anyone suffering from hypertension. This can reduce chances of occurrence of a stroke by as much as 5%.

Green tea also helps prevent hypo tension.  Medical professionals often recommend having 3-4 cups of green tea a day, for the numerous health benefits it offers.

If you have comments or observations please feel free to state them here.

The Chemistry of Allergies

 

The chemistry of allergies is as follows:

An allergy is characterized as an immune reaction to the presence of certain substances in one’s body.

Allergies occur when the immune system mistakes a harmless substance for a pathogen. The immunoglobulin responsible for allergies is the IgE immunoglobulin.

The Chemistry of Allergies

Humans are not born with IgE antibodies in their body. The IgE develops 10 days after the first exposure to allergens.

Therefore, it takes repeated exposure to an allergen, to develop an allergy.  Allergies are often not formed upon first exposure.

Have you ever wondered why people have specific allergies?  This is because IgE immunoglobulins have a single protein structure and a set of molecules that all have a slightly different structure.

The IgE, for example that reacts with pollen, is not the same IgE that will react with dust. People who have allergic reactions, also have more IgE present in their bodies than the average, non-allergy containing person.

For example: people with hay fever have about 14 times as much IgE as those who do not.

There are four basic ways that allergens can enter human bodies:

  • inhaling,
  • touching,
  • ingestion 
  • by injection.

There are also two basic types of allergic reactions known as:

  • immediate 
  • delayed

In an immediate reaction, symptoms usually appear only minutes after exposure.

In a delayed allergic reaction, symptoms usually appear about 4 hours, to a few days after exposure to an allergen.

The Chemistry of Allergies

The chemical that is associated with the symptoms of allergy such as itching or swelling, is called Histamine. 

Histamine is the main chemical involved in allergies. Histamine is formed from the breakdown of histidine, which is an amino acid. 

Histamine causes many things that lead to the symptoms experienced during an allergic reaction.  Histamine, for example, can cause contraction or swelling of certain muscles, or stimulate the production of tears or saliva.

It can also cause blood vessels to become dilated, which leads to swelling. The most severe reaction relating to histamine is known as anaphylactic shock. This occurs when an allergy causes a significant drop in blood pressure, and can result in death.

There are chemical treatments that are used to treat allergies. A couple  of these treatments include:

  • antihistamines
  • steroids 

Antihistamines are the most commonly distributed chemical treatment for allergies.  Antihistamines simply block histamines from certain sites on cells, which prevents the allergic reaction caused by histamines from occurring.

There are very many antihistamine medications that affect people in different ways. That is why it is best to consult a doctor about the one best suited to your specific body type and allergy.

The Chemistry of Allergies

Steroids work to relieve swelling, itching and redness that occurs as a result of an allergic reaction. Therefore, steroids are often used on allergy symptoms such as hives or eczema.

For those interested in natural substances for dealing with allergies, they are available for those who wish to pursue that avenue, and can be easily researched on the Internet, by “Googling” under “Natural cures for allergies.”

Please feel free to leave your comments.

Cure For Ringing In The Ears

Have you by chance been looking for a cure for ringing in the ears?  You are not alone because many people are.

11 Proven Ways To Stop Ringing In The Ears

Tinnitus (the medical term for ringing in the ears) is the result of prolonged exposure to loud sound, middle ear infections, ear wax build up and/or damages to the nerve endings.

The sufferer hears sounds that are not present in his or her immediate surroundings.  The type of sound (hissing, clicking, whistling, buzzing etc. ), the pitch and the volume level varies from person to person.

The symptoms must be addressed at the earliest because it interferes with day-to-day activities and also impairs hearing in the long run.

Many debate that there is no cure for ringing in the ears, but it is not true. There a several holistic treatments and home remedies to relieve the symptoms, making life easier for you.

11 Proven Ways To Stop Ringing In The Ears

Here are some of the proven ways to get rid of ringing in the ears.

1. Start by monitoring your blood pressure. Ringing in the ears might develop as a temporary symptom of high blood pressure. So, do take it into consideration.

2. Reduce your intake of salt by 10% of your daily consumption.

3. Quit drinking alcohol and cut back on beverages such as tea and coffee as they contain caffeine, a substance that dehydrates the body.

4. If you use aspirin or medications that have aspirin as one of the main components, try to limit its use. However, you should do so only after consulting your doctor if you are on an aspirin regimen.

5. Ringing in the earss can also be caused by poor blood flow to the structures of the ear. The nicotine present in cigarettes and other tobacco products impedes proper blood flow and hence should be avoided.

6. Exposing yourself to loud noise after you already suffer symptoms of tinnitus tends to aggravate the condition. Protect your ears with ear muffs or ear plugs every time you are visiting a high-noise area.

7. The clicking,  buzzing,  hissing sounds a tinnitus sufferer hears becomes more clear and distracting when the external environment is silent.

11 Proven Ways To Stop Ringing In The Ears

The use of white noise is considered a great coping mechanism because it masks the sound you hear with another louder sound. You can play soft music in the background or concentrate on the sounds produced by the fan or humidifier in the room to dim the other sounds.

8. Whenever the sounds start to echo in your ears, try distracting the mind by doing something else. This way it becomes more manageable.

9. Trying to stop the ringing in the ears is also about controlling stress as too much  stress will worsen it. Take rest whenever possible, and use meditation and yoga to provide an outlet for your stress.

10. Exercise to improve blood circulation in the body.

11. The herbal supplement gingko biloba has also been found to be effective in treating tinnitus . It improves blood circulation and heals inflamed blood vessels.

If the ringing in ears persists despite taking precautions and using all these home remedies, you should fix an appointment with your ENT (ear nose & throat) specialist.  It might hint at a more serious health condition.

Do you have any comments or observations to add?

Most Effective Antiaging Skin Care

Let’s check in on what is probably some of the most effective antiaging skin care.

Most Effective Antiaging Skin Care

Although there are obvious causes of premature aging, there are also many ordinary things that are less obvious, which over time can take a toll on the skin and add years to your face.

While many of these tips might seem like common sense, following them will help your skin stay younger, for longer. 

It’s never too soon to start looking after your skin.

Wear sun cream

Exposure to the sun is the number one reason for skin aging.

Over time it damages the skin, causing wrinkles, loss of elasticity, visible blood vessels, hyper-pigmentation and even skin cancer. 

Not wearing sun cream can result in:

  • The loss of elasticity in the skin.
  • Translucent, thinner looking skin.
  • Wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Leathery, dryer, rough skin.
  • Liver spots on the face, back of hands, arms and body.
  • Broken veins and capillaries on the face.
  • Skin cancer.

Most Effective Antiaging Skin Care

Don’t pick your spots!

Given the amount of germs and bacteria that’s under the nails and on your hands, it’s just not sanitary to touch and pick at your pimples. Picking at them can cause breakouts and even make existing spots worse.

You shouldn’t pick at your spots, ingrown hairs, blackheads or anything else on your face.  It can have permanent effects and even leave scars.

Antiaging skin care

Cleanse: 

Gently wash your face both morning and night, but avoid cleansers that have high alcohol content and other drying agents.

Exfoliate:

As dead cells accumulate, the complexion becomes dull and uneven. Make sure you exfoliate your skin weekly, using a gentle facial scrub which will keep the skin smooth, healthy and fresh.

Moisturize:

Apply moisturizer over your face twice a day, not forgetting to treat the neck and the backs of your hands.  Dry, aging skin loses its elasticity, and this is when wrinkles begin to form.

Don’t sleep with your makeup on!

It’s said that a third of women at least twice a week, go to bed without removing their makeup.

Make-up becomes clogged in the pores, making them look larger and resulting in a decline in the collagen, making the skin less supple.

Leaving makeup on through the night results in an overgrowth of bacteria on your face, causing acne and giving the skin an unhealthy look.

Do not share makeup

Sharing makeup is not a good idea, as you risk catching infections when sharing someone else’s cosmetics.

Most Effective Antiaging Skin Care

Sharing mascara brushes can pass on eye infections, and using second hand lipstick and chap sticks can spread viruses, like cold sores.

Cosmetic clinics offer non-surgical cosmetic treatments for the face.

A reputable practitioner knows that the point of a good cosmetic procedure isn’t to make you look totally different, but to make subtle changes.

This in turn will make you look fresher, giving you clearer, younger looking skin and leaving you feeling confident and happy with your appearance.

There are many cosmetic procedures for the face, such as Botox, to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, lip augmentation and fillers to plump up your lips 

Also laser treatment to remove blemishes, moles and thread veins and chemical peels to smooth the surface of your skin.

Please leave your comments or observations below.

How to Remove Nasal Polyps

Many people who suffer from them  would like to know how to remove nasal polyps.

How to Remove Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are tear drop shaped growths that form inside the nose. They can cause breathing problems, sinus irritation, snoring, loss of taste, loss of smell and even sleep apnea, a more serious condition.

These growths are often brown or yellowish in color and can range in size from very small, to the size of a grape.

The polyps can be soothed with a couple of natural treatment methods that actually work very well.  And you can  use both of these methods.

 What Are the Natural Treatment Options?

The first method to ease the irritation and even help prevent growths in your sinuses is by simply rinsing your nasal passages frequently. 

Using a daily rinse with a saline solution will clear your nose, make breathing easier and can help sooth nasal polyps.

And again, keeping the nose clean can help prevent the polyps from forming in the first place because some evidence suggests that people with sinusitis are actually more prone to developing polyps in their noses than others.

The second method to ease the irritation that comes with nasal polyps is through the use of tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is used for so many ailments.

Not only does it smell great, but because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it can help reduce the inflammation and swelling of nasal polyps.

These two options are great for obvious reasons. They involve absolutely no medications and no invasive medical procedures.

What Are My Treatment Options If The Natural Methods Don’t Work?

How to Remove Nasal Polyps

Other nasal polyp removal options include medications. Often someone who is suffering from nasal polyps may be prescribed steroids like prednisone, nasal sprays and drops for their nose. 

It could even be a combination of all of these.  And yes, sometimes medications don’t even fully get the job done!

That’s when things can get really frustrating for a person with polyps.

Surgery

If you have tried virtually every option other than surgery to alleviate the polyps in your nose, and your quality of life is still not where you want it to be, you may want to consider talking with your doctor about surgery.

How to Remove Nasal Polyps

It is true that surgery can indeed set you back a few days, but most of these surgeries are outpatient procedures.

Of course the downside to surgery is that 75% of patients who do have the surgery actually experience regrowth of the polyps within 4 years.

Always consult your doctor before trying any supplement or treatment option of your own, especially if you have a health condition or are on any medication(s).

Please feel free to comment here or add your own experiences.

Ways to Fight The Common Cold

One of the most common health ailments known to mankind is the common cold.  In this article we will look at some of the ways to fight the common cold.

Home Health Care - Eat To Beat The Common Cold

If a viral infection of your upper respiratory tract has taken you out, chances are the last thing you feel like doing is eating. 

Your appetite is down, your throat is scratchy, and if you have a stuffed up nose, then eating means that the only way you have of breathing  is now blocked temporarily.

It’s not a pleasant experience at all. That said, if you want to make a speedy recovery, eating will be a big part of the plan.

Certain foods give your body the fuel it needs to fight off the viral infection, getting you on the road to recovery.

A few foods in particular can help cure a common cold faster than others.  Let’s look at the best foods to be eating if you want to beat that infection:

1. Garlic.

While not classed as food, if you add garlic to as many dishes as you do eat, you will be much better off.  Garlic is a potent immune booster and can also help kill unwanted infections in your body as well.

Garlic kills unwanted viruses and bacteria thanks to the level of allicin it contains.  Allicin is an active component that contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

2. Sweet Potatoes.

Home Health Care - Eat To Beat The Common Cold

To help give you an energizing boost, sweet potatoes should be  added to your diet. You do need to eat some carbs while trying to beat a cold even if you aren’t very active right now.  It’s these carbs that will give you the energy you need to fight the infection.

Sweet potatoes are great because not only will they help to keep your blood sugar levels stable, but also they are a very rich source of vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining your mucosal surfaces.

Since these mucosal surfaces are your first defense against infection, they’ll help prevent any further unwanted viruses or bacteria from entering your body.

3. Kale.

Preparing yourself a kale salad is another excellent idea when you are down with the common cold. Kale is very rich in vitamin C content, which plays a crucial role in restoring a healthy immune system.

A high intake of vitamin C while you are suffering from a cold can help you lower the overall duration of your cold, helping you get back to feeling better soon.

4. Chicken Noodle Soup.

Home Health Care - Eat To Beat The Common Cold

Finally, the old saying is true: “chicken noodle soup can cure a cold.”The hot liquid will help soothe your sore throat as well as clear up some of the congestion.

The recovery is thanks to the fact the hot liquid will raise your internal body temperature which helps loosen mucus secretions in your airways.  Plus, it’s easier to drink soup with a painful throat.

So there you have the top foods to eat next time you feel under the weather with the common cold. Serve these foods and you’ll be back to your usual healthy self in no time.

Please feel free to add your own comments or experiences.

Relieving Arthritis Pain Naturally

Arthritis is often a crippling and painful affliction.  In this article we will discuss some natural ways of relieving arthritis pain naturally.

There Are A Few Simple Things You Can Do To Alleviate Arthritis Pain

Millions of men and women all over the world are suffering from arthritis pain each and every day without realizing there are things they are able to do apart from medication to help.

While medication is something that a lot of people wind up taking with regards to dealing with their arthritis,  many people do not want to take  medication.

 A natural approach when it comes to dealing with arthritis pain is a thing that many individuals are looking for.  Coping with arthritis pain using natural methods and techniques is what we’re going to be going over in this article.

Inflammation is the primary cause of arthritis and arthritis pain, which means if you want to eliminate the arthritis pain you have within your body you’ll need to get rid of the inflammation that’s causing it.

Perhaps some of you are not aware of the reality that there are plenty of different kinds of foods that have anti inflammatory properties, but by incorporating these into your diet you can lower your inflammation naturally.

While fish has quite a few anti inflammatory properties, you’re going to discover that your best bet will be wild Alaskan or Pacific salmon as this will be a better choice for your body.

There Are A Few Simple Things You Can Do To Alleviate Arthritis Pain

In fact an article in Google says, “Wild Alaskan salmon is the healthiest salmon available. The regulated safe fishing practices used to capture the salmon and the wild, natural diet they consume render it healthy for the palate and the environment. The calorie and fat content in wild salmon is lower compared with farmed salmon.”

Something which may surprise you is that specific items that you may already have in your house have anti inflammatory properties also, such as blueberries and garlic.

A few of the causes of inflammation could be things which you end up consuming on a regular basis and these are things which should actually be avoided.

By giving up such things as caffeine and alcohol you’re going to see that you will be having a terrific effect on your body for the lowering of inflammation.

You are in addition going to see that giving up things such as nicotine and marijuana will be another thing you are able to do to help reduce this inflammation.

Some of you might have an addiction to alcohol, cigarettes or marijuana, and you’re not able to quit on your own, but you can find different programs and folks to help you quit.

Making your joints and muscles more flexible is something else which can have a good effect at reducing arthritis pain, and this is something which can be accomplished by making sure that you are stretching each day.

For individuals who do not understand how to stretch properly you might see that taking a yoga class to teach you how to accomplish this may be a really good choice.

There Are A Few Simple Things You Can Do To Alleviate Arthritis Pain

For those  who do not have any yoga classes nearby, you are going to find that there are videos available on the web which can teach you how to start using yoga properly.

One final thing I would like to point out is you really should try  to remain active and not keep your joints locked in one position for an extended period of time..

By following these recommendations you might find that you can remove arthritis pain medication from your daily routine while taking care of yourself using nothing but natural methods.

Any comments or observations?

Coping With Mood

Mood disorder is a category of mental health  that affects children teenagers and adults.  Coping with mood can become a challenge.

What Do You Need To Know About Mood Disorders

There are a number of causes for the disorder occurring in individuals.  It could be genetic , environmental or a combination of both.

There are chemicals in our brain that are responsible for making us feel happy or sad.

The disorder is known to cause depression.  If left unchecked  an individual can suffer from it indefinitely. Teenagers have been found to indulge in drug abuse and violent behavior if they are affected with this disorder

Bipolar disorder risk increases if a relative suffers from the same condition.  More women than men suffer from this condition.

There are different types of mood disorders and they can be classified as major depression, dysrythmic disorder, bipolar disorder, medical illness mood disorder and mood disorder caused due to substance abuse.

What Do You Need To Know About Mood Disorders

The symptoms of mood disorder may differ between a child and an adult. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Feeling sad all the time
  • Feeling helpless
  • Low self esteem
  • Feeling inadequate
  • Guilt feeling
  • Wishing death
  • Losing interest in activities that you used to enjoy
  • Difficulty in starting and maintaining relationships
  • Sleep disorders
  • Lack of concentration
  • Feeling tired and loss of energy
  • Drastic changes in weight and appetite
  • Inability to make correct decisions
  • Suicide attempts
  • Running away from work, home or situations
  • Aggressive behavior, not accepting failure or rejection 
  • Physical ailments like headache and stomach ache.

Most of us when we read the symptoms listed above think that they too suffer from a mood disorder. The fact is that a vast majority of us suffer from some form of depression at a certain point of time in life.

Individuals with  mood disorders have these symptoms over a prolonged period of time and this affects both their personal and professional life.

They are unable to get over their feeling of inadequacy and need help in the form of counseling, possible medication and support from family and friends.

What Do You Need To Know About Mood Disorders

The treatment varies from one individual to the other and a lot of factors that are specific to the patient should be taken into consideration before treatment is prescribed.

Psychotherapy, family therapy, sometimes combined with medication can work wonders for people afflicted with mood disorder.

The earlier the symptoms are found the better will be the success ratio of treatment. 

Individuals with mood disorder need to get back the confidence in their ability to become winners and once this is achieved the path to recovery becomes easier.

Feel free to leave comments.

The Importance of Team Sports

In this article we will be investigating the importance of team sports, particularly how it relates to children and young people.

Why Team Sports Are So Important

Sports go beyond providing you with a means of developing your body.  It is different from exercising, because you derive a sense of satisfaction from what you are doing.

Team sports come with many benefits that can be explored.

Parents should consider allowing their kids to partake in team sports rather than opt for personal glory with individual sports. Why?  Because kids can benefit from this as they mature and continue to play the game, or even just to contend with the demands of life.

There will always be leaders and followers in team sports. There cannot be too many leaders and not enough followers.

Some people are just born to bark out instructions and coordinate team play on the field, court, pitch and everything in between.

There is nothing bad about being a follower. It is not mandatory for everyone to jostle for leadership positions.Why Team Sports Are So Important

It is a leader who holds the team together and stops it from falling apart if it is taking a whopping from the opposition or because there is a clash of ego personalities.

It is crucial that each player know his or her position within the hierarchy of team play and not interfere with the overall interest of the team.

Some people are not born to be leaders.  However, some are.

It is important to know that there would not be any leaders on a team without followers. The leaders might be the stars on the team, but they cannot do everything alone. They need to be supported and assisted before they can benefit from play or push forward.

A star player should never think that other players on the team do not matter.

The importance of team sports cannot be overemphasized for young athletes.

Why Team Sports Are So Important This is the period where they learn responsibility and the importance of maintaining standards.  It is also a period for them to boost their confidence and work on a healthy lifestyle.

In addition, the friendships that are developed during team sports can last a lifetime and can even go on for generations between member families.

Team sports promote a sense of honor and truthfulness.

They teach you how to play a high-tension game with nerves made out of iron. They allow you to develop a strong mentality because you are surrounded by other people who believe in your abilities and a coach who knows that you are capable of delivering on the field of play.

Teams sports is all about enjoying what you are doing and entertaining the people that come out to watch you play.

It cannot be overemphasized the value of the exercise obtained through team sports and why it is so important for children and young people in particular to partake in it if at all possible.

Last but by no means least, it is a guard against the curse of childhood obesity.

Please feel free to comment.

Depression After A Divorce

Divorce can take a heavy toll on the lives of those involved. The feelings of anger, loss, confusion and betrayal can be overwhelmingly painful.  Depression after a divorce can be a very real  challenge.

Fighting Post-Divorce Depression and Loneliness

 

For those who have not undergone divorce, it can be extremely tough to even imagine what it takes to part ways with a loved one.  For most of those  who have, dealing with uncertainty is tough, and the only thought that runs wild in their minds is, “now what?”

Someone I know was one of those who was plagued with the thought,  “How can I thrive outside of the relationship?” When her unhappy marriage of six years came to an end, it became difficult for her to deal with rejection and a broken heart.

The negative feelings were so profound that panic attacks became a regular feature, and soon fear, loneliness and boredom began to creep in.

Gradually, depression became her identity, and in a bid to escape from reality, she resorted to drinking.

A few shots of alcohol made her feel light-headed and numb to the emotional pain.  However, each drink left her craving for more. Her brain began to depend on alcohol to release the feel-good chemicals.

Unfortunately, she ended up being a victim of addiction, which further aggravated her mental condition.

Coping strategies to combat pain of divorce

Divorce is neither shameful nor an indicator that life is over. The bottom line is that some relationships work, while others simply don’t.

Fighting Post-Divorce Depression and Loneliness

Undoubtedly, divorce is unfortunate, regardless of the causes or the circumstances, but one must learn to move on in life, rather than dwell on the past.

Here are some tips to consider after moving away from a loved one:

  • Regaining lost self-worth:

Believing in oneself is the key to regaining diminished self-esteem.  It is common to experience grief and bitterness, but it just takes a bit of focus and a new intention to allow oneself to keep going and regain the lost self-worth.

  • Staying busy:

As the old saying goes, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” An occupied mind can effectively counter the feelings of dejection. Investing time in pursing something gratifying goes a long way in banishing undesirable thoughts.

  • Letting bygones be bygones:

Clinging onto remorseful feelings and resentment is futile. While it is essential to acknowledge the past, as there could be several lessons to learn, dwelling on it only prevents an individual from getting ready for the next thrilling phase of life.

  • Seizing the moment:

Life is too beautiful to ignore. Getting the most out of life by seizing the moment is the remedy to stop worrying about what tomorrow may hold.  What matters is this moment in time, which is too precious to lose.

  • Setting right priorities:

Knowing one’s purpose in life will steer an individual in the right direction, and keep him or her away from unproductive thoughts and anxiety. Setting priorities in life is a compass which gives life a goal and meaning.

Moving toward a better life:

Fighting Post-Divorce Depression and Loneliness

Divorce should not be considered shameful, but it is not something easy either.

It can be a nerve-racking transition,and may lead to depression in the absence of proper support and counseling.

Talk therapy helps a divorcee to recover from post-divorce depression by incorporating partnership, support, relationship, collaboration, communication, understanding, action, and participation.

Talk therapy has been effective in addressing depression by changing the perception, thoughts, beliefs and moods of a divorcee toward a more positive direction.

Be it noted that everything in this post my apply to not only a couple but also to the children, close relatives, and friends who have had their lives disrupted by the divorce as well.

Children, and especially young people are often left to ask the question “Was I somehow responsible for what happened?”  That can be very dangerous!

Please feel free to leave below your comments or observations.

 

Fighting Depression Without Medication

Among the multitudes of people throughout the world today who suffer from depression, many are looking for ways of fighting depression without mediation.

Depression: Don't Let It Take Over

Just how bad has the problem become worldwide, one may ask?

According to the World Health Organization depression is the single largest contributor to disability worldwide (300 milliion), and they estimate that it accounts for close to 800,000 deaths by suicide annually.  

Even more serious is the fact that the problem is growing over time, and for those who may wish to fight depression without the aid of medications, what are some possible ways?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Exercise

Exercise is wonderful for both the body and mind.  While this will not cure severe depression, it can help to lessen the symptoms to make them more manageable.Depression: Don't Let It Take Over

If getting out of bed seems like a chore, it may take some effort to go for a morning run. If a morning run seems like a bit too much at the moment, start off slow.

A brisk walk around the block or through the park will still have a positive impact on both the body and the mind, and on symptoms of depression.

  • Get out of the house

This mental health condition can make a person feel like they never want to leave the house. 

It is normal for a depressed individual to close the blinds, leave the doors closed and then stay in the house as much as possible.  While this may be what a person feels like doing, it can make the symptoms more severe.

Human beings are created to interact with one another.

The body is also designed to benefit from natural sunlight. Going for that walk in the morning will help, as will simply getting out of the house.

Going window shopping or to the grocery store can help lift a depressed person’s spirits just a little bit.

  • Thai massage

Getting a regular Thai massage has proven to be beneficial for a wide spectrum of health conditions, including mental health conditions like this one.

As the Thai masseuse stretches and manipulates the body into different poses, it has the same impact on the body as exercise. The brain releases specific endorphins that will help make a person feel happier.

  • Recognize the symptoms

Individuals that have been clinically diagnosed with depression that would rather not take prescription medication are encouraged to pay attention to their body and their mind.

Instead of waiting until they are too sad to get out of  bed in the morning, they can address the issue as soon as it arises and get the help that they need.

Depression: Don't Let It Take Over

Patients can do this by keeping a daily journal of thoughts and feelings.  Reading the previous day’s entry will give an idea as to whether a depressive episode is coming on.

  • Counselling

While most individuals are not keen on the idea of counselling due to various stigmas attached to seeing a professional, counselling can help every individual that is dealing with this mental illness.

Severe cases of depression, however, may require medication, particularly if they are due to a chemical imbalance.

If a person is not comfortable taking prescription medication to deal with their mental illness, counselling can still help.

They can provide their clients with useful ways to help deal with the symptoms of mental illness, guaranteeing that this mental illness does not take over their life.

What works for one individual may not work for another individual with the same mental illness, and those that work in the counselling field understand that.

Through counselling, patients will learn a variety of different tools to help them deal with their mental illness.

They will also learn about the impact that it has on their life, helping them lessen the impact that their mental illness has on their life and their relationships.

Your observations and comments are welcome.

Natural Cures For Anxiety And Depression

In this day and age, in most countries around the world, anxiety and depression have become household words, with many types of treatment.  In this article we want to take a close look at what are some of the causes as well as  some of both the medical and  the natural cures for anxiety and depression

Decoding The Depression Puzzle Most of the statistics used in this article will be from the US, as it is an  example of what is going on in many developed countries today.

Are We Overusing Antidepressants?

Eleven percent of Americans over 12 years old take antidepressants, which is the second most commonly prescribed medication in the U.S., after cholesterol-lowering drugs.

Many more women than men use them. About 21 percent of women aged 20 and over take them; among women aged 40-59, the rate is 25 percent.

Antidepressants are psychiatric medications used to treat mood disorders including depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

The most widely used antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a class of drugs that includes medications such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro.

Less used but a popular alternative to SSRIs are serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).   Some of the commonly used medications in this drug class include Effexor and Cymbalta.

With such a high preponderance of usage, some may wonder whether we have become a Prozac nation.  Others question if these medications are handed out to patients too casually.

Who Is Prescribing Antidepressants?

In the U.S. nearly 80 percent of antidepressant prescriptions are written by primary care physicians, not psychiatrists.

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Many depressed patients seen in general practice have not been thoroughly evaluated and may not even meet the full, formal criteria for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD).

Instead, they are given the medications for symptoms of mild depression, likely caused by everyday stress, sadness, and sorrow, which could perhaps have been alleviated by psychotherapy alone.

Pediatric use for depression and anxiety has also skyrocketed but it peaked in 2004 when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black box warning for SSRIs due to evidence that they may be linked to increased risk of suicidal thinking, feeling, and behavior in young people.

Low Serotonin Levels Don’t Necessarily Cause Depression

SSRIs and SNRIs were developed to treat depression and other mental health conditions caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitter chemicals, particularly serotonin and norepinephrine.

This chemical imbalance theory purports that low levels of these chemicals in the brain cause depression.  For over two decades, this theory continues to be the dominant paradigm for treating depression.

However, the chemical imbalance hypothesis has its problems and numerous scientific studies conducted in the last 20 years have examined it and rejected it. They found that:

  • Not all depressed patients have low serotonin and norepinephrine levels.
  • In fact, some have abnormally high levels, while others with no history of depression have low levels of these chemicals.

The significance of this finding is huge, yet it is rarely publicized or taught in medical schools. There are probably various reasons for this but financial is likely to be one of them.

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Antidepressants are a $10 billion industry!

Antidepressants Don’t Always Work

If depression is not caused by an imbalance of serotonin and norepinephrine, then it will explain why antidepressants don’t always work on people who have depression. Countless studies have been done to determine the effectiveness of these medications.

A massive meta-study compiled by the U.S. government that incorporated findings of over 100,000 research studies over a 15-year period concluded that:

  • Antidepressants are only effective in around one-third of cases, and partially effective in another third, and have no benefit at all in the remaining third.
  • High rate of relapse when depression is treated with drugs alone.
  • For many patients, the side effects are more unpleasant than the depression itself, so they discontinue usage.

Likewise, a number of double-blind, randomized controlled studies have come to similar conclusions. They found that:

  • The superiority of antidepressants over placebo is clinically significant only for patients who are very severely depressed.
  • For those with mild, moderate, and even severe depression, placebos work nearly as well as the medications.

Plus They Have Side Effects

Like most medications, antidepressants have side effects, including nausea, weight gain, loss of sexual desire, fatigue, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, agitation, irritability, and anxiety.

They are not addictive the same way substances like heroin or alcohol are, but people can still develop a physical dependence if they stop taking the drugs abruptly and may experience rather unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia or vivid dreams
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Flu-like symptoms, including achy muscles and chills
  • Nausea
  • Electric shock sensations
  • Return of depressive symptoms

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Compelling Evidence: Inflammation As A Contributing Factor To Depression

There is a huge body of research connecting depression and inflammation. 

In one of the most conclusive findings, a study in JAMA Psychiatry determined that brain inflammation was 30 percent higher in clinically depressed patients.

The research team pointed out that previous studies have only looked at biomarkers of inflammation in the blood; this is the first to find definitive evidence in the brain.

Scientists have long known that inflammation is at the root of nearly every modern disease, including allergies, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, asthma, autoimmune disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

So it is not a huge surprise that depression is also linked to inflammation.

Researchers found that people with clinical depression have elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers such as cytokines in the blood.

Cytokines cruise through the bloodstream, damaging tissue, causing plaque buildup in the arteries, and sometimes even promoting the growth of tumors.

Cytokines can also travel to the brain, possibly via the vagus nerve which connects the gut and the brain. Specialized immune cells in the brain called microglia become activated in inflammatory states and they too, secrete cytokines.

Neuroinflammation alters neurotransmitter pathways and brain circuits.

In the early 1980s, researchers had already discovered that inflammatory cytokines produce a wide variety of psychiatric and neurological symptoms mirroring characteristic signs and symptoms of depression.

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Known Causes Of Inflammation

If inflammation is a contributing factor to depression, it is critical to understand how we get inflammation in the first place.

This correlation has the potential to suggest both therapeutic and preventative approaches to combating depression.

Stress and traumatic life events

Researchers reported that acute negative life events, chronic psychological trauma, and exposure to childhood trauma hugely increase the risk of developing clinical depression and mood symptoms.

There is very strong evidence that different types of psychosocial stressors may stimulate the pro-inflammatory cytokine network in the brain.

Diet

There have been substantial changes to dietary patterns over the last 50 years. We have swapped a diet high in fiber, nutrient-dense foods, and omega-3 fats (all anti-inflammatory) to one that is high in refined carbohydrates, sugar, and unhealthy refined vegetable oils (all highly pro-inflammatory).

Since 2009, there have been numerous studies reporting inverse associations between diet quality and common mental disorders in children and adults across cultures.

Exercise

Many studies found that exercise is an effective treatment strategy for depression.

Regular exercise protects against the development of new depressive and anxiety disorders while physical inactivity during childhood is associated with an increased risk of depression in adulthood.

Obesity

Without doubt, obesity is an inflammatory state. Inflammatory cytokines are found in abundance in fat cells.

With the prevalence of obesity increasing to epidemic proportions, in many parts of the world, studies have demonstrated a close relationship between obesity and depression.

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

 

Obesity predisposes one to depression, while depression also predisposes one to obesity.

A recent meta-analysis found obesity to increase the risk of later depression by 55%, whereas depression increased the risk of developing obesity by 58%.

Gut permeability

Another diet-related cause of inflammation is gut permeability or “leaky gut”.

Under normal circumstances, immune cells are geographically separated from gram negative bacteria in the gut, which are part of the normal gut flora. 

However, if there is a loosening of the tight junction barrier in the gut wall, toxins produced by gram negative bacteria called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) may get into the bloodstream, causing immune cells to respond and produce pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Since the gut and brain are connected by the vagus nerve, mental disorders are highly associated with gut permeability.

The most common causes of leaky gut are:

  • Food sensitivity, such as gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley) and dairy.
  • Chronic gut infections, such as parasites, Cryptosporidium, Clostridium difficile, Blastocystis hominis, and Helicobacter pylori.

Smoking

Cigarette smoke contains many thousands of chemicals, many of which induce inflammatory responses in the body and direct damage to cell tissues in the brain.

Studies showed that smoking may increase one’s susceptibility to developing depression.

Periodontal disease

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease that involves infections of the structures around the teeth, which include the gum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone.

Periodontal disease is associated with high levels of systemic inflammatory cytokines.

 It is a significant predictor of other inflammatory illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, and may also increase the risk of depression as well.

Sleep deprivation

Research has demonstrated that chronic sleep deprivation results in impairments in immune functioning, characterized by increased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

It is estimated that up to 80-90 percent of individuals who suffer from a major depressive disorder experience sleep disturbances.

Studies have suggested that sleep disturbances may also predispose individuals to subsequent development of mood disorders.

Vitamin D

There is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in developed countries.  Low vitamin D is linked to many diseases including osteoporosis and cancer.

Vitamin D receptors are present in key brain areas and vitamin D plays a major role in circadian rhythms and sleep. Vitamin D has a regulatory effect on immunity too.

In human studies, supplementation greatly reduces inflammatory markers associated with depression.

Strategies To Overcome And Prevent Depression

Check for inflammation

Depression can be a devastating illness.

For very severe depression, studies show that antidepressants appear to be rather helpful in alleviating symptoms.  But if your depression is milder, antidepressants may only be just as good as placebos.

Therefore, it is worthwhile to check your inflammation level by getting a blood test for C-reactive protein (CRP), which is made by the body in response to high levels of inflammatory cytokines.

Address stress

Depression is a sign that your body and your life are out of balance.

Unless you address your stress, it is difficult to return your life to balance.  Both mindful meditation and cognitive therapy have been proven to be extremely helpful in combating depression.

Change your diet and lifestyle

  • Trade in the processed and sugary foods for an anti-inflammatory diet that consists of fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon, leafy greens, fermented vegetables, cultured foods such as unsweetened yogurt and kefir, berries, garlic, and green tea.
  • Make sure you have at least 30 minutes of physical activity everyday.
  • Get a minimum 7-8 hours of quality sleep daily.

Take supplements to lower inflammation

  • High quality animal-based omega-3 fish oil (3 g daily if you have depression)
  • Vitamin D3 (5,000 I.U. daily) with vitamin K2 (for bone and heart health)
  • Probiotics (for gut health)
  • Curcumin (active component of turmeric)

Other supplements to lessen depressive symptoms

  • Vitamin B12 and folate (vitamin B9)

Studies found a link between deficiencies in these B vitamins and depression. Vitamin B12 is found mainly in animal proteins; hence, vegans are more susceptible to B12 deficiency.  Folate is found in abundance in dark leafy greens and beans.

f you have symptoms of depression and you know that you are not eating enough of these foods, you should consider incorporating them in your daily diet.

If you are a vegan, you need to take a B12 supplement.

Decoding The Depression Puzzle

The following amino acid supplements should only be taken after consultation with a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner and a completed neurotransmitter test.

For some individuals, these amino acids may help to alleviate the symptoms of depression by balancing the body’s neurotransmitter levels.

However, it is still critical to address the underlying causes of depression (as mentioned above).

  • 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) or L-tryptophan

L-tryptophan is first converted to 5-HTP, which is then converted to serotonin in the brain.

Some people cannot tolerate 5-HTP.  They will have to use L-tryptophan instead.

For those who have low serotonin levels and are either negative, obsessive, worried, irritable, sleepless, or have low self-esteem, 5-HTP and L-tryptophan have a positive effect on sleep, mood, anxiety, and carbohydrate cravings.

  • L-Tyrosine and DLPA (D,L-Phenylalanine)

For those who have low norepinephrine, epinephrine, and dopamine, and have a flat-tired type of depression and crave stimulants like caffeine and sugar, L-tyrosine and DLPA will help you feel more energized, improve mood and drive, and increase mental focus.

  • GABA (Gamma amino-butyric acid)w

For those who feel wired, stressed, and overbwhelmed, GABA will help with anxiety and stress, reduce excess stimulation, and improve sleep.

I truly hope that some of the aspects of this article will be of help to someone out there who is struggling with these debilitating  health problems. 

Please do not hesitate to add your own comments and/or life experiences below.

How to Overcome A Depression

We hear a lot about depression these days, but people of all ages continue to struggle with how to overcome a depression.

How to Overcome From Depression

If you had been active in social media you would have noticed that even Deepika Padukone, who is a famous Bollywood star, has gone through depression.

This makes us wonder that if even a celebrity who seems to have everything in life, is battling with depression, what could be a possible reason?

What is depression?

Depression is usually connected with being sad and unhappy.  But, that’s not all. 

Depression is a widespread phenomenon.  it is said that every 1 person out of 10, is prone to be suffering from depression.

Depression is actually a state of being unwell, or having a negative mindset about anything and everything. The main point is that there is no particular cause for being sad.

How to Overcome From Depression

This is what differentiates the state of being unhappy from the state of depression, 

In the former case, you have a cause to be so, such as a death in the family.   Depression on the other hand is not associated with any particular cause.

There is also no age bar for depression.  People of all ages who are suffering from depression experience high levels of anxiety, and negativity, which is a feeling that doesn’t leave them.

What are it’s symptoms?

The most common symptoms include loss of interest, loss of energy, sadness without any reason, being gloomy all day long, not being able to enjoy pleasurable things, not even those which you had liked in times gone by.

Even self harm is an evident symptom of depression.

The peak point of depression is said to be self harming, or suicidal indications.  Unfortunately In extreme cases, this can become a reality.

What leads to depression?

As stated earlier there is no definite cause for depression.

Finding a cause can aid in a better treatment. It can be because of unemployment, family problems or any past trauma.

Some say that disapproval, or not being able to withstand the pressures and expectations of parents, colleagues and/or other people can also be a cause.

Getting help

How to Overcome From Depression

Depression can be serious, as it can harm both the individual and others around him/her. Getting help from a medical practitioner could be one method. Don’t be an expert yourself and start experimenting.  

Doctors may also recommend anti-depressants. This may be in combination with other methods. But mostly it is seen that these medications can have side effects on the patient’s health.

There are also natural ways of overcoming depression which will be addressed more fully in a future blog post.

It is seen that often the patients can be cured or their mental health can be significantly improved through counseling methods.

Another method called “psychotherapy” is also quite useful and is usually done to detect the behavioral traits, like how you behave and react towards others.

Depression is most common among students and working professionals.   In any country where the majority of the population is youth, lack of counselors is a serious problem.

Even though there is a wide spread acknowledgement of counseling needs in most societies many educational institutions have not included training for these in their curriculum.

Having these counseling experts as a part of a panel can often help people to identify depression at an early stage,and cut it off at the roots.

We need to understand that having expectations of our children or friends is reasonable but pressuring and forcing them is not okay.

Also, those who are recovering or have recovered from depression need  immense support.  Be strong pillars for them!

How to Overcome From Depression

Hang out, have fun, do things together, but don’t judge. If they are resistant to do something, don’t force them. Let them take their own time.

It takes time to heal these wounds. Let them be themselves!

We should always remember that life is for us to enjoy, not to be wasted in stressing about things that we can’t excel in.  It’s okay not to be up to someone else’s expectations. You will excel in many other things.

You can’t judge an elephant on the basis of climbing a tree. SEE, how irrelevant that is?

Likewise, don’t let people judge you.  Be yourself and achieve your goals the way you want to. 

ALL these small things can help you to rule out depression.

Let’s do it together people. Bye-Bye depression!!

You are more than welcome to make comments or ask questions below and I will make every effort to reply.

Health Concerns for Older Women

As much as everyone wants to move fast in  life, nobody wants to age quickly. Everyone is doing their best to make the most of the present, but they fear too much of what lies ahead. Particularly, this is true when it comes to the health concerns for older women.

Old Age Health Concerns for Women

Old age health, diet, life, and security almost everything about old age scares them. They feel that they will lose a part of themselves as they move forward.

They fear that they will not be prepared to take care of themselves and others. Universally, women are known to live longer than men, so,that being the case, they represent the higher proportion of older adults.

54% of people 60 years of age and older are women, a proportion that rises to almost 60% at age 75 and older, and to 70% at age 90 and older.

The usual old age problems that women face are more serious, as now their body is less equipped to handle such issues.

Many of the health problems faced by women in older age are the result of exposure to risk factors in adolescence and adulthood, such as smoking, sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy diets.

Old Age Health Concerns for Women

Non communicable diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and cancers, are the biggest causes of death among older women, regardless of what country they live in and how well they have lived.

Cardiovascular diseases account for 46% of older women’s deaths globally, while a further 14% of deaths are caused by cancers – mainly cancers of the lung, breast, colon and stomach. Chronic respiratory conditions, mainly COPD, cause another 9% of older women’s deaths.

Other health troubles experienced by elderly women that reduce bodily and cerebral function include poor vision (including cataracts), hearing loss, arthritis, depression and dementia.

In many countries women are far less likely to receive treatment or supportive aids for such conditions than men. The plight of women in such countries is deplorable.

This when combined with factors such as increase vulnerabilities, and reduced access to needed and effective health services makes it harder for women to stay healthy.

Most of us do not want to start afresh, because of the way we have behaved in the past. We think that whatever we do now won’t amount to anything because of the hard living that we have experienced in the past.

But the thing is that even if you’ve had some unhealthy habits throughout your lifetime, it’s never too late to begin activities that will enhance your health and well-being now and in the years ahead.

This advice also works if you have a chronic medical condition.  You often can make lifestyle changes that will improve your health.

Old Age Health Concerns for Women

.The reality is that after several decades of a continuously working body, you can expect some decline in physical well-being. The body just like most machines goes through a little wear and tear from regular use

You’ll need to take greater care of your body-but not just your physical health.  Your emotional, sexual and mental well-being needs attention, too.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture where youth is valued more than maturity, especially for women.  At this age, women may have to work harder than ever to preserve their sense of self-worth, potential and sexuality.

Most of the ailments linked to aging are caused by daily routine choices, including smoking, lack of exercise, chronic stress and obesity.   Family history, such as diabetes, heart disease, overweight or cancer, also can play a noteworthy part.

To follow the statistics, as a chronic condition, heart disease affects 37 percent of men and 26 percent of women 65 and older.

As people age, their risk factors increase, in such areas as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, thus increasing the chances of having a stroke or developing heart disease.

Hopefully these facts will help some of you older ladies out there in the world to realize that it is never too late to work at improving your chances of living a long and healthy life.

Feel free to comment or ask questions.