Category Archives: Health

Natural Ways To Battle Depression

Many people in this world suffer from depression, and many of those rely on medications to help them cope.  But the good news is that there are also natural ways to battle depression.

4 Things to Know If You Are Battling Depression

Depression can be the shackles of pain that prevents the rays of hope from reaching the affected person. It can dominate the mind with such suppressible thoughts that they would threaten to blow up the very existence of the sufferer.

In fact, depression just bends anyone under its increasing pressure of distress and anguish.  But it can be overcome with proper therapies and treatments.

Millions of people across the world are fighting depression.  However, at times, they tend to overlook or are ignorant about certain facts that hold true for this mental condition.

People should understand depression in depth to cope with the instabilities of the mind.

Given below is a list of key truths, adapted from the Huffington Post website, which a person struggling with depression should know:

1. Not everything you think might be real:

More than the situations4 Things to Know If You Are Battling Depression, it is our thoughts that make us depressed.

For example, if a woman is struggling with weight gain, she would tend to see only lean and thin women and would forget the fact that many women are out there battling weight gain.

The mind tends to come up with certain thoughts that would make the person believe that everyone else other than him or her is happy in the world.

Depression makes a person believe what one thinks. Everything that is backed by rationality vanishes into thin air and irrationality becomes the norm.

So, it is important for a person to debunk such thoughts and try to think only about pleasant things.

2. Deflate negativity, upgrade for the better:

Generally, a depressed person has thoughts like: “Things are never going to get better”; “I can never come out of this”; “My life is ruined”, and so on. But such thoughts will do no good and only aggravate the problem.

With a little support and willpower, a person can transform such negativity into some positive outlook toward life like: “Things can be better”; “I can overcome my situation”; “I am worthy enough to succeed”.

3. Do the opposite of what “the voice” suggests:

During a depressive episode, the inner voice will give life advices, which should not be followed.  For example, if it suggests to stay at home during a weekend and sulk for all the mishaps of life, one should do just the opposite.   Visit a friend’s home, go out for shopping, watch a movie with a loved one, etc.

Learning to behave in contrast to the voice will help one kill negative thoughts and move out of the painful grip.

4. No one is fighting depression alone:

When depression sets in, one tends to believe that he or she is the worst sufferer.  But that is not the case.

There are people who have felt depressed and have gone through the worst of phases, while there are some who have never had depression in their lives.

One has to realize that the world is a home to all kinds of people, some battle mental issues and some don’t.

4 Things to Know If You Are Battling Depression

The way to a depression-free life

Depression is treatable with the right kind of strategies.

However, seeking professional treatment with a specialized depression treatment plan may sometimes be  the best way to conquer this mental illness.

In addition to the strategies listed above, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), for example, has at times proven to be an effective treatment for depression.

As always, please feel free to add your  comments or observations here:

 

What Is The Best Natural Treatment For Acne?

Our first reaction is to panic from this embarrassing and burdensome problem and the overwhelming fear that we won’t have any control over the breakouts. But with a few simple tips this fear can be conquered.  Yes, there is natural treatment for acne.

Natural Treatment of Acne

Before calling for an appointment with the dermatologist, there are natural remedies that can be just as effective as medications. The right nutritional balance and proper skin care is all your body needs.

By following these simple tips you are taking the first steps to help heal your acne. In about 4 weeks you should see a noticeable difference.

Tips for Acne Free Skin:

Apply a honey mask

By applying this to your face once or twice a week, the antibacterial properties will disinfect and heal minor blemishes. This is great for those  with sensitive skin.

Use acne soap

Wash your face twice a day with a sulfur based soap specifically designed for acne. Get into a routine of washing your face when you first wake up in the morning and then again before going to bed.

A gentle rotating motion is recommend and be cautious not to scrub your face.

In addition, use a soft washcloth in place of one that is rough.  Avoid over washing your skin as this will encourage your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, thus creating an increase in acne.

Clean hair

Long hair or bangs are stylish but hair contains oils that can add to acne breakouts. Pull your hair off your face and wash it everyday and after sports or strenuous workouts.

Eat your carrots

Natural Treatment of Acne

Eating your carrots is a great source of carotene (Vitamin A).

Vitamin A prevents acne by strengthening the protective tissue of the skin. This vitamin is crucial for the maintenance and repairs of tissue that skin and the mucous membranes are made of, and helps reduce the production of sebum.

Vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant, is needed to rid your body of toxins.

Take your vitamins

Your skin is a vital organ that is usually neglected.

Depending on nutrition, acne can be a signal that there is something wrong on the inside.

When the body does not receive the proper nutrition it rebels by producing excessive sebum, clogging pores, and reducing the ability for your skin to fight bacteria and heal.

Makeup

Many makeup products on the market today may contribute to clogging your pores thus causing more pimples and blackheads. Use a water-based makeup if you must wear makeup.

Natural Treatment of Acne

 

Avoid squeezing

Resist the temptation to pick, squeeze, rub or touch your blackheads and pimples.

These actions increase the sebum production and rupture the membrane below your skin. This can in turn cause an infection and spread the sebum underneath your skin resulting in more pimples.

Clean pillow case 

When your face lies on your pillow case it is absorbing the oils from your skin and collects dirt and oil.  Keeping your sheets and pillow cases clean will decrease breakouts.

Foods rich in Zinc

Zinc is an antibacterial agent that is a necessary element in the oil-producing glands of the skin.  Diets low in zinc may actually cause acne breakouts.

Getting into a good skin care routine takes time and dedication. 

You will need patience, as results will not happen overnight.  However, with time you should see positive results.

Any comments or questions?

Sleeping Tips for Night Shift Workers

Night shift is always a challenge and can have a dramatic effect on your overall health.   Having myself experienced night shift over a ten year period, in my younger years, it seemed appropriate to offer here seven sleeping tips for night shift workers.

7 Tips for a More Enjoyable Night Shift

Most people are extremely sleep deprived. They also do not know how to adjust to this new shift and survive let alone thrive while working this shift.

7 Tips for a More Enjoyable Night Shift

There are definitely challenges and the need for support from those you live with. Here are a few tricks to help you get started.

  1.  Sunglasses are your friends. Light exposure as you are driving home will stimulate your brain that it is time to stay awake so invest in a good pair of dark sunglasses so you do not get too much light exposure.

2.  A daylight simulation light that is at least 10,000 lux               will help your brain to say it is time to be awake (while            you are working).

      Also, one to two hours of light exposure when you wake        up works wonders for your alertness.  You can use it                while getting ready for work.   Just keep the light in                   your peripheral vision.

3.   Always keep a sign next to your doorbell warning that            you are a night shift worker and to not wake you                        unless it is an emergency.  Most people will respect                  that.

7 Tips for a More Enjoyable Night Shift

4.   Eating is your friend and your worst enemy.  When you          are sleep deprived it is difficult to make correct                          decisions about what to eat. You will crave more                        high carbohydrate foods because it will increase                        your sugar levels.

        The jolt is what you are craving.  If instead you realize             and plan for these cravings by having some fruit or                   oatmeal you will avoid the weight gain that is                               usually associated with the change to night shift.

5.   You will be cold at around 3 am so plan ahead and have          a sweater or sweatshirt handy. This is part of the                        body’s circadian rhythm and will just be part of the                  experience.

6.   Do not sit in a dark room during the night. You may find          that you get headaches from sitting in a room with                    light but if you are in the dark room your body will say            it is time to sleep and release Melatonin.  Light is your            friend while working at night.

7 Tips for a More Enjoyable Night Shift

  7.  Movement is also your friend. Walk around, move                    around, do jumping jacks or squats.  Anything that                    causes you to take deep breathes and raise your heart            rate will help your concentration.

As you are adjusting to this new shift you will find that there are tricks for creating routines, working during the shift and how to work with your family and friends to enjoy your life.

Your comments or questions are welcome.

What Causes Snoring When You Sleep? (Can It Be Prevented?)

Do you snore? Or do you sleep with someone who does? If  either is true you have probably often wondered what causes snoring when you sleep and if it can be prevented.

Not only does snoring make you sound as though you’re cutting wood with a chainsaw – hence the term “sawing logs” – but it can also be dangerous.

What Causes Snoring (And Can It Be Prevented)?

 Whether you snore or you know someone who does, here are some of the possible causes of snoring and a few solutions so that you can alleviate the problem for good.

What Causes Snoring?

In many cases snoring is caused by one or more of the following problems:

• An anatomical defect, such as a narrow breathing passage

• A tongue or jaw that is positioned too far back and closes off the airway

• Larger than average tonsils

• A bulky uvula (the part that hangs down in the back of your throat)

• Too much fat tissue blocking your airway

Other causes of snoring include being overweight, allergies or deformities of the cartilage of the nose.

In addition to biological factors, there are a few lifestyle choices that can also contribute to snoring.

Smoking, drinking alcohol and taking certain medications can cause a person to snore, even if they weren’t prone to otherwise.  Even if these causes were not harmful in themselves, it’s still annoying for anyone sleeping near you.

There is one cause of snoring that isn’t so harmless, and that’s when you suffer from sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?  What Causes Snoring (And Can It Be Prevented)?

Some people who experience sleep apnea  quit breathing for only  a second or two.

But then there are those cases where people stop breathing for several long minutes. That’s when things can take a turn for the worse.

What is really frightening is that some sufferers of the condition experience traumatic sleep disturbance several times during the night, sometimes over 30 times an hour.

Sleep apnea not only keeps you from resting properly, but it can wreak havoc on your entire day. You’ll wake up groggy, and you may find yourself falling asleep at odd times during your daylight hours.

It increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and many other illnesses.

If you have a job, like construction, truck driver or pilot, you will certainly want to get tested for sleep apnea right away so that you don’t put yourself or anyone else in danger.

What Causes Snoring (And Can It Be Prevented)?

Unfortunately, many people who suffer from sleep apnea are never diagnosed.

But what if you want to get diagnosed?  What can you do?

How Do You Know If You Have Sleep Apnea?

If you are wondering if someone you know is suffering from the condition, listen carefully as he or she sleeps. You’ll hear the person wake up suddenly with a loud snort or inhale as they struggle to breathe.

If you fear that you might be suffering from the condition, have someone listen to you while you sleep to see if you do the same thing.

Of course, there are more scientific ways of finding out if you are suffering from this debilitating disorder.

Testing for Sleep Apnea

What Causes Snoring (And Can It Be Prevented)?

To get to the bottom of your snoring condition and to test for sleep apnea, you might want to ask your physician to refer you to a sleep clinic.

An alternative is to ask your dental professional about a home test.

The Medibyte Machine

The Medibyte is a portable polysomnography (PSG) machine that can test for sleep apnea.

You will be given the machine to take home with you. While you sleep, the machine will test for things like apneic events, pulse rate, oxygen levels, sleeping positions and your snoring volume.

Many people prefer this because they can sleep in the comfort and privacy of their own bed and home. However, only a physician can diagnose sleep apnea but a dentist can use a portable PSG device to establish a baseline of their sleep behavior so treatment can be adjusted and verified.

Oral appliances made by a dentist are a great way to treat snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea. They can be adjusted as needed and are a wonderful alternative to a CPAP machine.

How to Alleviate Snoring

If you snore, or you suspect that you do  (others have told you), you can try to diminish the problem by:

• Losing weight

• Avoiding cigarettes and alcohol before bed

• Trying to rest on your side as opposed to your back to prevent your tongue from blocking your airway.

You can also get fitted for a custom oral appliance that can be made to hold the lower jaw forward so that your tongue can’t block your airway.

Many patients prefer this type of appliance because it feels much more comfortable than the traditional CPAP machine, which has long been used to treat patients with sleep apnea.

If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, take a sleep apnea questionnaire, then make an appointment with a dentist.

What Causes Snoring (And Can It Be Prevented)?

By eliminating snoring and by getting help with your sleep apnea, you’ll successfully restore your sleep and improve the quality of your life.

Any comments or questions?

Medications For Pain Relief Is Not The Solution — What Are The Alternatives?

There is a countless number of people suffering from pain, which has also a negative impact on the quality of life. So the question is what to do about this nagging pain that just never goes away.  What is the medical solution for pain?   Do we turn to medications for pain relief? 

Medication For Pain Is Not The Solution - What Are The Alternatives?

So if you do go to see a doctor, he/she will more than likely subscribe some pain-killing medication, which is not a cure but may only take away the symptom.

Prescription pain pills have a track record of causing serious health complications and even death if taken over a long period of time, especially by older people.

Studies have shown that long-term and strong dosage of products like naproxen, ibuprofen and even aspirin can have side effects including liver and kidney damage, ulcers, increased heart attack risk, to name just some of them.

There is not much available in pain management.  People who suffer severe pain are effectively convinced that their only option is to take a dangerous pain killing medication for as long as it takes.

Not so long ago a painkiller vioxx was being approved as safe by the authorities,  but actually, over time, claimed thousands of lives before being removed from the market.  Or more politely put on a voluntary withdrawal from the market due to safety.

There are many dark sides of pain-killing medications and we will never know the full consequences of them.

One of the most common of the pain related illnesses is inflammation.  Signs include joint pain, lower back pain, swelling, heat etc. 

Arthritis related conditions are also mainly disorders of the muscles and joints that cause pain and stiffness in the arms, neck and shoulders.

For children and teens it is not uncommon to suffer from  heat related illness and pain.  Heat cramps is a heat related illness that results in painful muscles.

Heat exhaustion is often more severe than heat cramps. This can be caused by strong sport activities and over exhaustion.

Marijuana is already legalized in some places. This type of drug is becoming more popular as time goes on.

Medication For Pain Is Not The Solution - What Are The Alternatives?The marijuana plant has chemicals that can help to treat a range of illnesses.  It is already being used to decrease pain, inflammation and many muscle problems.

  It has been used very successfully for the treatment of epileptic seizures, with great relief for so many sufferers.

Medical marijuana overall has shown to have many health benefits.  According to surveys and research, marijuana is less dangerous, and not as addictive, as are many other prescription drugs on the market.

Of course there will always be some who will choose for a variety of reasons not to become in any way involved with marijuana in any form.

To reduce pain with carotenoids you can eat dark green vegetables, such as spinach, kale, mustard greens, or turnip, squash, carrots, sweet potato, just to mention a few.

Using strong antioxidants such as astaxathin is a natural carotenoid which is a potent inflammation and pain fighter.  Increase the intake of astaxathin as in salmon, red trout, red sea bream, lobster, shrimp, crab,etc.  These are just some to choose from.

Medication For Pain Is Not The Solution - What Are The Alternatives?The omega 3 fats found in krill oil are extremely effective at combating joint pain and inflammation.  Omega 3 from krill oil absorbs faster than those found in fish oil and is by far more potent.

Natural pain solutions can really work. There are constant remarkable discoveries about natural ways to lessen or reduce pain.

This goes far beyond what any other prescription pain-killer drug can do.  With natural pain solutions there are no negative side effects, with the exception that they will take longer to produce any effect than pain-killers.

Because there is no immediate improvement people often think that these natural pain solutions are not working and give up.

Yes the natural healing process takes longer, like a cut on a finger or hand, it will take its time to be healed by the body.

Healing time for pain is similar.  It becomes a healing process, unlike pain-killers which only suppress the symptom but do not heal the core problem.

Generally speaking,  people are becoming more aware all the time about the health risks of medications for pain.  But, because pain can sometimes be impossible to tolerate, we tend to seek relief as quick as possible with a pill.

Medication For Pain Is Not The Solution - What Are The Alternatives?

As a short-term solution there may not be much harm done but we know most pain will persist, therefore it is most crucial to change to an alternative solution for a proper long term healing process.

Your comments or experiences regarding this are welcome here.

 

The Difference Between Headache and Migraine

Headaches and migraines can vary greatly in severity, and each can create debilitating problems for the sufferer.  The major difference between headache and migraine are the causes, symptoms experienced, and the different ways that they are treated.

Although it is not uncommon for people to refer to a severe headache as a migraine, a migraine presents with much different symptoms than does a run of the mill headache.

The Difference Between Headaches and Migraines

A headache is simply a pain located in any area of the head or upper neck. More often than not, the pain experienced during a headache is not very severe and does not interrupt one’s daily routine.

There can be a few warning signs that a headache is coming on, including; a tingling sensation or pain in the area of the eye(s), tingling of the scalp, neck pain, and a throbbing without pain in the head.

Headaches can be caused by a variety of factors, and symptoms can vary greatly from one person to another. Following is a list of some common headache causing factors:

  • Stress
  • Tension
  • Hunger
  • Alcohol
  • Dehydration
  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Preservatives and other food additives

Although these may be some of the common causes of headaches, illness and medications can also be a contributing factor.

Migraine headaches are much different than everyday headaches, and they can come on suddenly and seemingly without any reason at all. They have been described as an intense pulsating or throbbing sensation in one particular area of the head that comes and goes with repeat episodes, or attacks.

They can also  be accompanied by an extreme sensitivity to light and nausea and/or vomiting, and each episode can last up to several hours or even several days.

Migraine attacks can be so debilitating that the sufferer may only gain relief by finding a dark, quiet place in which to lie down and rest.

Other common migraine symptoms include:

  • Neck Pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain in the temples
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Seeing flashes of light or auras
  • Tingling sensations in the extremities, even numbness

The exact causes of migraine headaches are still not very well understood, but it is believed that genetics and environmental factors may play a significant role.

The Difference Between Headaches and Migraines

Regardless of the exact mechanism of migraines, there do seem to be some common migraine triggers, including:

  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Smoking
  • Allergies
  • Bright lights
  • Certain smells
  • Skipping meals
  • Menstrual cycles
  • Physical exertion
  • Environmental changes
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Bright lights and sun glare
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Certain foods and/or food additives
  • Medications (such as oral contraceptives)

There are many treatments and drugs available to headache and migraine sufferers, but some of the most effective are to be found among the list of natural remedies for headaches, including:

  • Acupuncture
  • Scalp massage
  • Regular exercise
  • Dietary regulation
  • Proper sleeping position
  • Regulation of sleep schedule
  • Reading under sufficient lighting
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Chinese herbal formulations and teas
  • Abstinence from unhealthy lifestyle habits
  • Acupressure & Tui na Chinese medical massage

If you are experiencing frequent headaches , migraines, or any other chronic and/or severe pain, you could try consulting your local acupuncturist.

Do you have any comments or observations you would like to add?

 

6 Alarming Signs of Heart Disease

Modern lifestyle and day to day stress has made heart diseases one of the leading health risks people face today. This article will outline just some of the signs of heart disease.

In addition, heart disease  can comprise of:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Angina
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Heart failure
  • Infections related to heart

Most people think that the symptoms of heart disease are obvious, such as a sudden crushing feeling in the chest and shooting pains down the arms, followed by a fall to the floor.

6 Alarming Signs of Heart Disease

But you may develop heart disease without even knowing it, as some heart symptoms don't even happen in your chest.

Knowing the hidden signs of heart disease is crucial to get early treatment and prevent more serious health issues.

Thus, we have put together this quick guide to six of the most alarming hidden signs with their medical reasons which signifies that all is not well with your ticker.

  1. Light headedness and dizziness

Random dizziness or feeling faint can signpost the problems like an irregular heart rhythm or even a heart attack

Medical Reason- Drop in Blood pressure or an abnormal heart rate can cause reduced blood supply to the brain.

  1. Reduced tolerance to exercise

Struggling with physical activities that you previously found easy could be an indication that your heart is struggling.

Medical Reason- When your heart becomes unhealthy, it is less effective at pumping oxygen-rich blood to your muscles, and so physical activity becomes harder.

  1. Spontaneous sweating

6 Alarming Signs of Heart DiseasePerspiring at random moments, like while sitting or relaxing, could be an indication of heart disease.

Medical Reason- Heart problem can result in over-activation of the sympathetic nervous system which can make you sweat at unexpected times.

  1. Memory Loss

Memory loss and befuddled thinking is an understated sign, might first be noticed by friends or family before you do.

Medical Reason- Heart problem may cause restricted blood flow to the brain leading to injury to the brain cells resulting in memory loss.

  1. Swelling in feet

Your feet might feel sore and visibly swollen with no obvious explanation. This may go together with sudden weight gain.

Medical Reason- If your heart is not pumping well, the blood returning to the heart gets backed up causing the fluid to accumulate in the tissues of your legs, ankles and feet.

  1. Non-chest pain6 Alarming Signs of Heart Disease

Chest pain is not the only sign of a heart problem. The pain can also be felt in shoulders, arms, elbows, jaw or neck.

Medical Reason-It is termed "referred pain", i.e. a person feels pain in an area away from the actual source of the pain. This can occur when strong pain stimulus running along nerves overpower nearby nerves, causing pain to be felt elsewhere.

Prevention remains the best cure, whether you have symptoms or not. So, follow simple rules like no smoking, eat good, do exercise, stay healthy and your heart will remain healthy.

Please leave comments or questions below.

Does Stress Affect Your Health?

The question is,”Does stress affect your health”?   If you have elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure and or belly fat you need to read this article.

It will help you understand why taking medication is not the only answer or choice to reducing cholesterol.  I will share with you a general understanding of how stress drives up cholesterol, blood pressure and belly fat.

How Stress Drives Up Cholesterol, BP and Belly Fat - What to Do About It - It's Not Drugs

Elevated cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and a big concern for many. The first question to ask is ” where does cholesterol come from”?

Research shows, 15-30% of the total blood cholesterol comes from your diet depending on what you eat.

Over the last 25 years or so there has been a huge public awareness campaign for people to stop eating cholesterol.  So we see food packages with a “no cholesterol” label.

And here is a key finding… many have actually reduced their cholesterol intake yet they may still have elevated cholesterol in their blood. How is this happening?

Your body makes cholesterol in the liver and this may account for some 70-85% of the total cholesterol in your blood.

So even if you eat zero cholesterol your body would make all it needs in the liver.How Stress Drives Up Cholesterol, BP and Belly Fat - What to Do About It - It's Not Drugs

A smart question to ask is “why is my body making cholesterol”?

What is stimulating it to produce it and an even better question would be “how can I slow it down”?   What is becoming very clear in the research is that one of the strongest stimuli on the liver to produce cholesterol is… insulin!

Yes that’s the hormone involved in blood sugar management.

Insulin is a very powerful stimulus that tells the body to store energy and produce cholesterol. In the liver it turns on enzymes that produce cholesterol. Insulin also stimulates the liver to make more LDL the “bad” cholesterol.

Now you are probable asking, “what makes my insulin levels go up”?

Great question. One of the biggest components is your diet and specifically your intake of the sugar spiking foods. We call these the High Glycemic foods.

It can also be the excessive intake of carbohydrates which as a society we take in way too many.

Nutrient insufficiencies can also contribute to “insulin resistance”.

This means the insulin receptors that help bring down blood sugar don’t work quite right, so the body compensates and produces more insulin to get the job done, and to drive the sugar into the cells.

There are also other factors at play that alter your physiology to increase insulin.

One very key player is lack of sleep.

Reducing your sleep from 8 hours to just 6 hours a night for 7 days can greatly increase your insulin production. (It will also increase hormones that make you eat more as well, and reduce your satiety so you don’t feel full and keep eating.)

And finally the elevated stress hormone, which is called cortisol, also drives up insulin in turn driving up cholesterol production.

Cortisol elevates blood sugar and insulin reduces it, thus they work in opposition. Chronic stress drives up insulin, which in turn drives up cholesterol production.

It is also interesting to note that lack of sleep also greatly drives up cortisol levels and feeds forward this cycle. Cortisol also directly acts directly on the liver to increase cholesterol production.

How Stress Drives Up Cholesterol, BP and Belly Fat - What to Do About It - It's Not Drugs

The story doesn’t stop here.

It has been know for a long time that elevated blood pressure is part of the “ticking time bomb” of cardiovascular disease.

It is not uncommon for many to have elevated cholesterol and elevated blood pressure and maybe even belly fat at the same time.

Insulin also working through multiple mechanisms contributes to “vascular inflammation” which is what drives up blood pressure (BP). And chronic stress also causes elevated blood pressure directly.

Earlier it was stated that insulin promotes storage of fat.

It does this everywhere on the body including the belly area. The fat tissue around your organs is unique in that it has high levels of cortisol receptors. What this means to you is…

when you are chronically stressed, your fat cells are continually getting the signal to “store fat”.

The external “symptom” is that you gain belly fat. It is a sign that your physiology is out of balance and has been for a while.  Simply cutting calories is not the answer to reducing belly fat.

It is vital to understand that belly fat sits in you not on you.

It sits deep within your abdominal area around your organs where it causes damage. It is the most dangerous type of fat.

There is a condition called Metabolic Syndrome which to simplify we could say is kind of like “pre-diabetes”.

Some of the “symptoms” include elevated blood pressure and or cholesterol, and or elevated LDL and low HDL and belly fat.  Can you see how these pieces of the puzzle work together to give or take away your health?

Elevated cholesterol is not your problem.

Your out of balance physiology which is driving up cholesterol production is.  And that’s most likely due to your lifestyle.

You have complete control over these factors! As a matter of fact, believe it or not, the major governing bodies that recommend treatment to doctors recommend diet and lifestyle before medications!

Now, you could use medications (statin drugs) to bring down your cholesterol.

And they can do that, but they do have some negative effects associated with them, including muscle pain and fatigue.

Or you could work “upstream” and take actions which give you direct control and which directly target the root cause of your elevated cholesterol (and other risk factors!). What’s your choice?

Some key solutions include:

Improving the amount of your sleep to the recommended eight hours per night.

Focus on reducing stress in all the different areas of your life (workplace, home life, life purpose, mission, direction, reducing sources of inflammation, financial stress, etc) .

How Stress Drives Up Cholesterol, BP and Belly Fat - What to Do About It - It's Not Drugs

And also key is reducing your intake of high glycemic carbohydrates.

It is important to reduce intake of “liquid candy” and boost your diet with key nutrients to overcome any shortfalls (multi vitamin-mineral).

Increasing both soluble and insoluble fibers: 

This will help to stabilize blood sugar, reduce insulin as well as bind cholesterol before it enters your blood which all bring cholesterol down.

I can also strongly recommend and encourage you to move more.

Can you move more for fun, joy purpose and socialization?  Of course you can.

Exercise helps tire one out so we sleep better.  It works better than any medication to improve insulin resistance and lower insulin levels.

It also  helps “burn” stress and fat and it gives our bodies muscle tone which is sexy! NICE. We did it as kids and we can do it as adults.

I hope this article serves you well and shows you how stress drives up your cholesterol, BP and belly fat. I also hope it empowers you to take control of your health.

Please feel free to comment or ask questions.

Natural Sound Sleep!

Natural sound sleep is something we all need, but are you one who easily gets to sleep, then you wake up at some point and cannot get back to sleep?

Or do you struggle to fall asleep, staying awake late into the night?

We take sleep for granted, assuming it will just happen… until it doesn’t.

The frustration of feeling tired more often than energetic is a growing problem that requires attention beyond medication.

Sound Sleep!

If you are ready to improve your sleep then consider implementing the following five steps.

 

  1.  Create a dark sleeping space.

Add room darkening curtains and remove any visible light from clocks or electronics.

You might also consider adding smart technology with LEDs for your bedside lamp that transition from energizing white light in the morning to calming, subdued orange light before bedtime.

 

2.  Establish a bedtime routine.

At least 30 minutes or more before sleeping, turn off all electronic devices: computer, TV, e-readers (Kindle, Nook or other), cell phone or any other device you use to “fall asleep” – the blue light emitted from each of these is actually stimulating brain waves to keep active.

Even if you fall asleep, your brain activity does not support a sound sleep, only a restless one. Turn it all off; anything truly important will be there tomorrow when you have more energy to be more efficient.

 

3.  Drink water.

Sound Sleep!

Optimal hydration is required for your body to help you sleep soundly!

Fatigue, headache, and food cravings are often a signal of dehydration, so drink more water. However, the water your body requires needs to be ingested during the activity of your day. Stop drinking any water or other beverage at least 1 hour before sleeping.

Do not keep a glass of water available to drink during the night. When you drink anything before bed or during the night you give your body permission to wake you up to use the bathroom.

Create a water intake habit that is met during waking hours. Aim to drink a minimum of 60+ ounces of water daily, or up to half your total body weight in ounces.

 

4.  Eat more vegetables.

Nutrition is a primary tool for getting your body to sleep more soundly.

Increased sugar or caffeine during the day will deplete nutritional reserves needed for digestive activity and sound sleep. Your body needs you to eat more vegetables and leafy greens rich in fiber and antioxidants.

These critical nutrients support your physical body to optimize your body’s metabolism.  All the colors of vegetables support digestive processes that reduce inflammation, improve nutrient absorption, and deliver more hours of restful sleep, greater energy during your waking hours.

Eat a minimum of 4 fist-sized servings of vegetables daily.

 

5.  Practice gratitude, mindfulness.

The purpose of all of these previous suggestions is to teach your body to let go of accumulated stress.

Consider breathing techniques or practice mindfulness options as a way to train your mind to embrace a still point for helping you to relax muscles and quiet unrelenting energy related to thinking or worrying.

There are true emergencies (or small children) that need attention regardless of sleep, but many of the stressors we reflect on are chronic issues, accumulating tension. They will be there tomorrow – let yourself sleep tonight.

Pray, breathe deep and slow, create thoughts of gratitude, sleep.

Commit to do these steps for 6 weeks by making just one change each week.

Sound Sleep!

Chart the hours you sleep each night and  create a total at the end of each week. Observe how your body responds to slow and steady changes.

The key to these steps is to add each one as a daily habit.

Transforming restless or interrupted sleep into sound sleep requires you to re frame existing habits. The profound benefit is a more energized, happy life.

If sleep is still elusive after 6 weeks of making changes, you may need the support of a nutritionist to evaluate any nutritional deficiency, dig a little deeper into your unique physiology or add supplemental support to reduce other factors known to interfere with sleep.

I am here to support you.  Feel free to ask questions or make comments.

Smart Ways That Technology Has Improved Dental Care

General dentistry services are instrumental in promoting oral health.  In this blog we will look at some of the smart ways that technology has improved dental care.

Smart Ways That Technology Has Revolutionized Provision of General Dentistry Services

The facilities that offer these services are keen on ensuring that they provide high-quality services to their customers. They do this by investing in advanced equipment and technologies.

Instant Results

Patients suffering from missing, damaged, or broken teeth used to have to make countless trips to the dentist and suffer through numerous painful injections. The recovery period after treatment was long and unpleasant.

With new technologies, such as crown printing and 3D imaging, dentists are now able to perform same-day procedures.

Some of the facilities have invested in computer-aided design and computer aided manufacturing technology (CAD-CAM) that captures and reproduces a 3D image of the damaged tooth and prints a perfect match in minutes.

Smart Ways That Technology Has Revolutionized Provision of General Dentistry Services

Messy impressions and temporary crowns are being phased out as a result of this technology.

Interactive Treatment Options

Using an advanced intra-oral camera, patients are able to see everything that the doctor is doing during the procedure. This small device also enables dentists to examine teeth in detail to recommend the most appropriate treatment.

In addition, the camera pinpoints the specific areas one should focus on when brushing, thereby promoting overall oral hygiene.

No More Pain

Many people fear going for checkups due to anticipated pain. Laser procedures have changed that fear by allowing personnel to conduct procedures, such as tooth extraction, painlessly.

For example, the CO2 dental laser equipment allows experts in this field to work on soft and hard tissues without exposing the patients to excruciating pain.

Safer and Faster Diagnoses

X-rays are used to diagnose various oral health conditions, especially conditions that affect the gums. Unfortunately, research studies have proven that traditional x-rays expose individuals to high levels of radiation, which can lead to other complications.

Smart Ways That Technology Has Revolutionized Provision of General Dentistry Services

On the flip side, modern digital x-rays machines have made the diagnostic process easier and safer. These images are transferred to a computer system for analyses in minutes, thereby enabling the expert to offer comprehensive treatment.

Concisely, digital x-rays provide more comfort and reduce a patient’s exposure to radiation by up to 90 percent.

Increase Profits and Reduce Overhead Costs

By investing in a modern practice management system, health care facilities save money and time, which was previously used to call patients to remind them of their upcoming appointments.

New programs also allow an office to capture and update a patient’s information and records automatically.

New management systems streamline these processes, thereby reducing overhead costs and increasing profits.

How about comments or questions?

Causes of Night Leg Cramps

The causes of night leg cramps have long been debated, but following are some of the possibilities, and most likely causes and remedies:

Nocturnal leg cramps are agonies that happen in the legs during the night. As a rule they cause arousal from rest, but they might likewise happen while conscious, during the evening amid times of dormancy.

Things to Know About Nocturnal Leg Cramps

These cramps are usually in the calf muscles but can likewise happen in the thighs or feet.

Nocturnal leg issues are very excruciating and cause the influenced muscles to feel tight or hitched. Pain might last from a few seconds up to a few minutes. There might likewise be muscle soreness after the issue leaves.

Cramps are more normal in grown-ups over age 50.  However, they   can happen in more youthful grown-ups and youngsters.  Both men and ladies appear to be similarly affected.

What causes Nocturnal leg spasms?

The reason for leg issues is in many cases obscure, yet a few cases have been connected to:

 .   Sitting for drawn out periods of time

 Over-use of the muscles

 Standing or playing sports on solid floors

.   Sitting in odd positions

Things to Know About Nocturnal Leg Cramps

Nocturnal leg issues have likewise been connected to certain other conditions . These include:

Pregnancy

Alcoholism

Dehydration/electrolyte uneven characters

Parkinson’s  disease

 Endocrine disarrangement (diabetes, hypothyroidism)

 Who gets Nocturnal foot spasms?

Anybody can get these sorts of spasms. On the other hand, they have a tendency to occur more frequently in individuals who are middle aged or more advanced in age..

Do I need any testing done to assess my leg issues?

On the off chance that leg issues are continuous and extreme, your specialist might arrange lab work to guarantee that there is no electrolyte lopsided characteristics.

What would I be able to do to keep these issues from happening?

Things to Know About Nocturnal Leg Cramps

  1.  Make sure, beyond any doubt, that you stay hydrated.  In other words, make sure that you drink at least six to eight glasses of water every day.

2.  Wear appropriately fitted shoes while still up .

3.  Gently extend your leg muscles before you go to rest.

4.  Spend a couple of minutes riding a stationary bike before going to bed.

5.  Keep covers and sheets free around your feet so toes are not twisted.

What would I be able to do to make nighttime leg issues leave in the event that they happen?

Immediately extending the affected muscle is generally the best approach to soothing the issue. You may have the capacity to ease the spasm by strolling around, shaking your leg, or rubbing the leg.

Even just putting weight on your feet may do the trick.  On the other hand, applying ice has additionally demonstrated some advantage.

Are nocturnal foot issues the same as eager legs disorder?

No. While both sorts of foot aggravations have a tendency to happen during the evening, or when you are very still, eager leg disorder does not bring about torment or cramping.

Eager leg disorder is to a greater extent a distress, or a creeping sensation, which culminates in a craving to move the legs. While moving, the anxiety is alleviated, yet the uneasiness returns when movement stops.

This does not happen with cramps where the fixed muscle should be effectively extended for alleviation.

Is there any prevention for leg issues?

Things to Know About Nocturnal Leg Cramps

If  known, dependable attempts to treat the basic cause first fail, then Vitamin E supplements or Vitamin B complex might be useful.

Magnesium supplements have likewise demonstrated some advantage, for the most part in pregnant ladies.

Quinine used to be utilized for the treatment of leg spasms, but because of its potential for genuine and life-undermining unfavorable impacts (heart arrhythmias, thrombocytopenia, and excessive touchiness responses), it is no longer recommended as a treatment option.

As always, your comments or questions are welcome.

5 Tips For Seasonal Depression Treatment

It is good to have on hand some knowledge about  seasonal depression treatment.

Many people experience seasonalI depression, commonly known as seasonal  affective disorder (SAD) that causes depressive episodes during different seasons.

5 Tips to Beat Seasonal Depression

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) says that around 4 to 10 percent of people in the United States suffer from SAD. This is probably similar in other countries as well.

However, some studies suggest that nearly 20 percent of people may be affected by this disorder. Though more people are affected by SAD during the winter season, one can exhibit depressive symptoms even during the summer season.

When summer is marked by rainy days, things tend to worsen.  Rainy days mean less light, which makes a person sleepy and gloomy with the body signaling that it is time to rest.

If you do not like summer and feel that depression engulfs you in this weather, here are five summer depression busters that you can adopt:

    1. Plan something to lift the mood:5 Tips to Beat Seasonal Depression

To beat the summer blues, one does not have to plan an exotic holiday that might create a hole in the pocket. Going to a quiet café for lunch with a friend, or going on a long drive might just help beat the low mood.

Planning something interesting throughout the entire summer can boost the mood and cut down depressive episodes.

        2. Don’t dehydrate:

Summer is the time when dehydration can catch you unawares. Have adequate water, citrus fruits, or refreshing juices to keep yourself hydrated

. According to studies conducted by the University of Connecticut’s Human Performance Laboratory, even mild dehydration can significantly alter a person’s mood, energy levels and his ability to think clearly.

5 Tips to Beat Seasonal DepressionResearchers recommend that individuals should drink eight, 8 ounce gasses or  water a day, which is approximately equivalent to about 2 liters.

          3. Be near people:

Being in isolation can make one more depressed than ever. One of the best things to do when depressed is to catch hold of a few friends and spend time with them.

One can chat near a pool or just watch TV together. Even picking up a phone and calling up someone can help beat summer blues.

          4. Involve yourself in something new:

Summer is a great time to take part in new activities.

Break the monotony and try new things. For example, getting up early in the morning and taking a jog at a park will refresh the mind.

Learning a new sport can also help better the mood and distract from depressive thoughts.

          5. Eat foods that help boost moods:

When depressed, a person is prone to eating more.  Moreover, during the summers, diet soda, ice cream, sweets, etc., usually become an integral part of our daily food.

It must be remembered,however, that sugar can aggravate depressive symptoms.  Once the sugary flavor wears out, one might just feel worse than ever.

Thus, it is recommended to consume healthful foods that boost the moods, like walnuts, blueberries, yogurt, chocolates, turkey, greasy fish, etc.

5 Tips to Beat Seasonal Depression

            Battling summer depression

Just when beating the heat was a task in itself, depression stepped in to add to the problems.

However, with little efforts from our own self, we can fight depression this summer and feel new and refreshed.

But if depression persists and there is no relief from the terrible mood swings, opt for a depression help.

Please feel free to offer your comments.

Why Are Pets Good For Your Health?

Much has been written and spoken about the value of having pets in the home.  So why are pets good for your health?

For example, in some cases having a pet in the home can actually help a child from developing some allergies and develop stronger immune systems.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

When a child is brought up with pets, it is less likely they will develop allergies to animals. As they grow up they will have more self-confidence and a better self-image because of the responsibilities they are given with feeding, caring for and playing with their pets. They will be a more compassionate and caring person.

A pet can help improve your socialization skills as you meet and interact with other pet owners. You may meet others at training classes where others are trying to train their pet with the same parenting skills or you may interact with others at a dog park.

Pet owners enjoy sharing information about their pets good or bad. So if you are shy, share your pets stories with others and you will find how other pet owners or lover of pets will listen and begin a conversation sharing their information that may be similar or even more hilarious than yours.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

This is also a good way to meet others of the opposite sex.

The National institute of Health has conducted heart-related studies and the findings show that pet owners had decreased blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels which can minimize the risk of a heart attack.

Hugging an animal and even petting them helps calm you. They are warm, soft and responds to your affection which calms your nerves and makes you feel relaxed.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

Watch fish in an aquarium and you will find peace and serenity as the fish swim silently back and forth up and down. Your anxieties developed during your difficult and busy day will be lessened and you’ll enjoy your evening better with your loved ones and friends.

Dog owners are able to walk, run, jog, bike, hike with their canine friend which are exercises that can help you stay fit. It’s so much better exercising with a friend as a dog or as some people do with their pig, or cat.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

Have you seen people train their pets to ride on their motorcycle or even train them on surfboards?  What fine companions,  and it makes exercising more fun. The time will go by much quicker.

When you are feeling depressed or lonely, a pet may give you that feeling of joy and happiness, especially if you are sick and elderly. Pets sometimes do funny antics and you’ll have someone to talk to instead of being home alone.

You can complain and curse and they won’t walk away from you and tell you to stop complaining. They sit and listen and don’t judge what you are saying. They take away that loneliness because they are faithful and loyal to you always there.

Dogs and even some cats are good at keeping you safe as they warn you of intruders and even dangers in the house. Best of all you don’t even have to live in a house and they will still love you.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

There are so many reasons pets are useful animals in helping humans remain healthy. So if a person is not already allergic to the pet fur and does not have a pet, go out and adopt a cat, dog, fish, rabbit or whatever animal that may appeal to you.

Out there is an animal that may help make you live longer, feel euphoric, and become a better person.

How Having a Pet Benefits Your Health

There are many animals in the animal shelters that are waiting to be adopted who can help you solve some of your health problems. Go out there today and make a pet happy and yourself healthier.

Tell us about how your pet or pets help you.

How To Gain Control of Your Emotions

The following is a good example of how to gain control of your emotions:

If you drop by a fire station on any given Monday, there is a good chance there will be something interesting to see.

Most likely you will arrive to see a crew of firefighters intently going through compartments on the fire truck. They will be pulling out metal toolboxes and large bulky bags and packs.

How To Gain Control of Emotions

If you watch a little longer you will see the crews going through the bags, pulling out all kinds of equipment such as hand tools, power tools, and specialty tools alike, and checking them over like concerned mother ducks.

It’s “Monday Jobs” day,  and the crews are beginning their routines of maintaining and running all the pieces of equipment that are carried on the fire truck.  After all, they must be ready with fueled saws, gas blowers, hydraulic rescue tools, working axes, pike poles,  and ceiling pullers, used for ventilation operations, rescue, or forcible entry.

You might see hundreds of feet of different colored rope, for high angle rescue, being pulled out of bright orange bags and given the once over.

You might see a flash of silver as carabineers and pulleys are double and triple checked.  You might jump with a start as the growl of a gas blower, or the scream of a chainsaw, hits your ear drums.

Items that are broken and worn get fixed or replaced.

It is a big part of the job to go through the many packs on the truck and maintain the  tools and equipment so that the firemen  may be ready at a moment’s notice for whatever comes next.

The Forgotten Backpack

For all of their careful preparation and maintenance, however, there is one backpack that firefighters often forget to check.  This one is the one for which no daily, weekly, or monthly check off list exists, the one bag  not required to check, but which may be the one that needs the most attention and maintenance of all.

For in this backpack, carried invisibly on each firefighter’s back, sit the calls, the thousands of emergency calls, the really bad ones especially, and the multitude of stuffed feelings that may accompany them.

Firefighters see bad things. It is part of their job and it is what they signed up to do.  And while they may be good at handling the emergency scene, many times their feelings become an after thought, something they have to try to push away after an especially difficult emergency.

Of course, firefighters are, by far, not the only ones who see difficult things in the world. Yes, feelings of pain and suffering are most definitely a universal part of our human experience.

So here is the thing.

We ALL carry our own invisible emotional backpacks on our backs, and it would serve us well to check them regularly. 

Empty Your Emotional Backpack

In our personal backpacks we carry those things that weigh on our shoulders and our minds, many of them unexpressed thoughts and feelings, that we have hurriedly stuffed away, even years ago, because they felt uncomfortable and messy.

Your Feelings Are Part of Your Humaneness

The assortment of feelings may include all the big ones, such as guilt, shame, anger, fear, and despair.  For many of us, dealing with feelings is a challenge.  Has it become a habit to avoid your feelings or avoid expressing them authentically? There are many reasons why it can be hard to express how we are really feeling.

We may have learned in our impressionable youth that it was not okay to show feelings–the “children should be seen not heard” syndrome.  Maybe when we were young and we did show our feelings, we were judged somehow. “Man up”‘ or even a benign sounding “Don’t cry,” are instant ways to shut down someone’s true expression.

Empty Your Emotional Backpack

We might worry about what others will think, if we show our feelings. “Can’t let them see me angry or sad. I want to appear in control.” Maybe we listen to our internal judge, “Oh I shouldn’t let myself get upset about that.”

For some of us, even feelings of joy might be hard for us to express. “I wouldn’t want to look silly or undignified,” our mind might chatter. Firefighters may think,”I do not want to burden my loved ones with my feelings.”

Our reasons are many, for hiding our true feelings.  But whatever the case, it serves us enormously to realize that feelings are natural to have and express. They are an integral part of our human experience. They are what make us uniquely human!

Express Yourself

When we stuff our feelings away and hide them in our backpacks, we set ourselves up for problems in our future.  Do we explode one day, all those feelings coming out all over the place with a messy bang?

Or do those unexpressed emotions start to eat away at our insides literally,  causing physical ailment, illness, or dis-ease.

When our personal backpacks become too full and overloaded, they spill out, usually in messy ways.

When our feelings run amok at the slightest event at work or home, we know that our backpack has become too full. It serves us well to be aware of the weight of our backpacks.

Good fire organizations encourage their firefighters to attend critical incident stress debriefings after an especially bad call. This is the time for crews to check through their backpacks, and see what it is that  can be acknowledged, felt, and expressed.

Just as we take care of ourselves by staying physically fit and knowing our jobs, I believe it is just as vital to maintain and take care of our emotional well-being too.

There are many ways we all can choose to empty our overflowing backpacks.  A conversation with a mentor may give us relief.  We may seek out professional therapies or our closest friends for support.

Empty Your Emotional Backpack

. Processing our feelings through art, dance, and creativity may feel right. Whatever the way we choose to affirm and honor our feelings, we will begin to feel relief when we release the weight of old thought patterns and stuffed feelings.

So today, friends, let us remember to:

Give yourself permission to feel your natural human feelings.

Especially give yourself permission to feel the ones that get the bad rap. Let yourself feel jealous, intolerant, impatient, angry, sad and fearful.

Practice feeling your feelings fully.

It is OK if this takes time.  Some of our feelings are buried deep. If it is sadness, feel it fully, let the tears flow. If it is anger, feel it, scream it, write about it, run it out, dance it through.  Let it out!

Empty Your Emotional Backpack

Resolve to maintain and empty your backpack.

Frequently. You will feel lighter and freer as you authentically express your feelings on your journey.

It takes courage to be human. It takes courage to be authentic in our humaneness.  And it takes great courage to feel our feelings fully and then express them.

Let’s remember to take care of ourselves. We can gently remind one another.

Let us lighten our load and empty our backpacks.

If you have anything you would like to share with others, please feel free to do it here in the comment section.