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Monthly Archives: December 2016

Understanding Heart Disease

understanding-heart-disease

Image is from News on Heart.org

Heart disease, also referred to as cardiovascular disease, refers to a group of diseases that affect the heart. Heart diseases include:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart rhythm problems-Arrhythmias
  • Congenital heart defects-Heart problems that are present at birth

Not all but many forms of heart disease can be treated or even prevented with a healthy lifestyle.

Coronary Artery Disease

The most common type of heart disease in the United States is coronary artery disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Coronary arteries are responsible for supplying the heart muscle with blood. Coronary artery disease occurs when cholesterol builds-up within the artery walls. This buildup of plaque prevents the arteries from pumping blood as they are blocked. When the plaque ruptures, it causes a clot in the artery and results in a complete blockage which then leads to a heart attack. The heart muscle then begins to die as it is denied blood due to the blockage.

What Are the Signs of Coronary Artery Disease?

  • Chest pain
  • Sweating
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea

How Can I Reduce My Risk for Coronary Artery Disease?

You can reduce your risk for coronary artery disease by making lifestyle changes. In some cases, medications may be necessary to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.

Congestive Heart Failure

WebMD reports that heart failure affects almost 6 million people in the United States. More than a half of a million people are diagnosed with heart failure each year. Heart failure remains the top cause of hospitalization in adults 65 years and older.

Heart failure does not mean that the heart has stopped working. It is a disease that causes the heart to not pump blood effectively. If you have heart failure, then blood moves through the body and heart at a slower rate. This increases pressure in the heart and makes it to where the heart cannot pump enough nutrients to meet the body’s needs. The chambers of the heart stretch to hold more blood. They also might become thick and stiff. Although this keeps the blood moving, the heart muscle will eventually weaken. This causes the heart to not pump blood effectively. When the body does not pump blood effectively, it causes the body to retain salt and fluid. The fluid builds up in the ankles, feet, lungs and other organs causing the body to become congested. Congestive heart failure is caused by:

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • Damage to the heart muscle
  • What Are the Symptoms of Heart Failure?
  • Fluid and water retention
  • Congested lungs
  • Fatigue, weakness or dizziness
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • What Are the Treatments for Heart Failure?

Although congestive heart failure is typically progressive, there are new treatments and medications that can slow the progression of the disease. It is always a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider about which treatments are right for you.

Arrhythmia

An arrhythmia is an abnormal rhythm of the heart. There are many types of arrhythmias. Some arrhythmias cause the heart to beat too slow, while others cause it to beat too fast. An arrhythmia can interfere with the functioning of the heart in some cases. It may cause the heart to not be able to pump enough blood for your body’s needs. Some arrhythmias are harmless and others are life-threatening. It depends upon what type of arrhythmia that you have.

What Are the Symptoms of an Arrhythmia?

  • Fluttering or racing heart
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath

What Treatments are Available for Arrhythmias?

The treatment depends on the type of arrhythmia that you have. Talk to your doctor about different treatment options available for you.

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5 major Risks for Women’s Health

Jumping girl with heart

Image is from Duke Health

It is common knowledge that men and women are different. They have physical differences, emotional differences, and behavioral differences. They also have many health differences. The major risks for women’s health differ from that of men. The best way for a woman to boost her health is to know the five medical conditions that are of the greatest risk to her.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women. According to the CDC, heart disease is responsible for 29 percent of deaths in women. While more men die of heart disease, more women go under-diagnosed. This is because women present with different symptoms than men. Some women will have the typical chest pain when having a heart attack, however, some have symptoms such as jaw pain shoulder aches, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath. There are several factors for women developing this disease.

  • Age
  • Hereditary
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Diabetes

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer in women. The best way for a woman to beat the cancer is early detection. Women who are over 35 or who have a family history of breast cancer should have annual mammograms. Women should also start doing self-breast exams as early as their teens. There are several risk factors for breast cancer.

  • Age
  • Genetic mutation
  • Family history
  • Personal history of cancer
  • Race (white women have a greater risk than African-American women
  • Abnormal breast biopsies
  • Obesity
  • Never giving birth

Osteoporosis

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, Osteoporosis affects 44 million Americans each year. Of that number, 68 percent of them are women. Osteoporosis causes brittle bones, a hunched back, and bone loss. The behaviors that women develop when they are children and throughout their teens plays a significant role in the development and progression of the disease. There are several risk factors for this disease.

  • Female sex
  • Age
  • Small boned
  • Ethnicity (White and Asian women are more prone)
  • Smoking
  • Diet low in calcium and vitamin D
  • Family history
  • History of eating disorder

Depression

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 12 million women are diagnosed with depression each year, as opposed to the only 6 million men. Depression can be triggered by hormonal changes or lack of connection with other in their lives. Some women suffer from mild depression, some suffer from clinical depression, and some suffer from bipolar depression. There are several other risk factors for any of these types of depression.

  • Family history
  • History of heart problems
  • Chronic illness
  • Substance abuse
  • Relationship problems
  • Childhood history of abuse
  • Stressful events (job loss, death, divorce)
  • Vitamin deficiency or thyroid disease

Autoimmune Disease

Autoimmune diseases attack the body’s immune system. They can also destroy or alter the body’s tissue. The most common types are lupus, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. About 75 percent of the autoimmune diseases diagnosed occur in women. Unfortunately, these types of diseases can be very difficult to diagnose. It is not uncommon for a woman to need multiple visits to multiple doctors to finally get the correct diagnosis. This is because we don’t know much about these diseases. It is still not known what makes the body attack itself. Until doctors and researchers have a better understanding of the disease, it will continue to pinpoint possible risk factors of developing an autoimmune disease.

The best defense that a woman has against developing any of the above conditions is to understand the risk factors. There are some lifestyle changes that a woman can make to reduce their risk of developing any of these conditions.

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Keep Your Family Healthy This Holiday Season

Young mother and her daughters by a fireplace on Christmas
Once you or your family is infected with the flu virus, it is not easy to treat the infection. Just as in many other conditions, prevention of the diseases is the surest way to stay safe. With just a careful attention to hygiene, you can prevent the various flu viruses from reaching your family. As well, the inclusion of immunity boosters can come in handy for you and your family. Moreover, you can always avoid a full blown illness by acting quickly when you notice the first symptom. Here are some of the ways to prevent the flu from catching your family.

Taking up good hygiene practices

There is a myriad of means to observe proper hygiene and consequently keep off the flu and other diseases. One such way is by ensuring you wash your hands. It is an easy way to prevent both contraction and the spreading of the flu virus. Washing hands reduce significantly the proliferation of bacteria ant the flu virus from cold surfaces. Ensure your family follows these steps in washing their hands

  • Before applying soap to your hands, ensure you wet them. Scrub your palms vigorously for about twenty seconds ensuring that under your nails, the spaces between your fingers and the back of your palm are reached properly.
  • Use running water to rinse your hands and use a clean towel to dry them
  • If you can’t locate and soap and water, rub your hand on a hand sanitizer.

Ensure everyone in the family covers their nose and mouth whenever they cough or sneeze.

This should be done by putting their hands in both the nose and mouth whenever there is the need to sneeze. Doing this will considerably mitigate the risk of spreading the germs and viruses

  • Each time you develop the urge to sneeze or cough consider doing so into the crook of your elbow. This will help to avoid contaminating you’re going all over spreading germs to other people.
  • After doing so, throw away the tissue you used immediately and embark on the hand washing process.

Sanitize the places you share

Cold and flu virus spread very easily especially on shared surfaces and spaces such as bathrooms and kitchen. Disinfecting these areas of your house will take you a long way in ensuring the flu virus does not spread.

  • Focus the cleaning on shared areas including bathroom sinks, kitchen counters toilets and the kitchen sink. As well, do not forget the door handles.
  • There are a variety of surface disinfectants available in local stores. In shopping for the disinfectants, you may want to consider one that will provide you will protection against the several strains of the virus.

Boosting your immunity

Even as there is no cure for influenza, you can always get a vaccination against the disease on a yearly basis. This can significantly help to strengthen your immunity against the influenza virus during cold seasons. Ask your doctor whether getting the vaccination would be a good idea for you. When opting for the vaccination, you may want to consider the following in mind

  • Ensure you get the vaccine yearly. The vaccine you had in the previous year can never carry over into the next year.
  • Be aware that you may feel some soreness at the injection site.
  • Report to your doctor any side effects including fever, soreness and body aches.
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Avoid Food Allergies This Holiday Season

Large family eating Christmas dinner

This holiday season, you may be planning to travel and to visit places where you can relax, or you may want to stay at home and spend time with your family and friends. The most significant aspect of holidays is the food. It is what makes a holiday fun and exciting, along with creating great memories with the people you love.

However, this is also the season for food allergies. Because of this, preparing for the holidays with food allergies is a must. You should keep in mind that it is not only you who can suffer from allergies but also your visitors or guests. If you are the guest, there are things you should consider protecting yourself.

Today, we will go over several ways to avoid food allergies this holiday season. Let’s get started!

When Traveling

Plan your route and itinerary ahead of time. There should be places that will cater to your diet and any allergies you might have. You can ask these restaurants what specific ingredients they use to keep you safe. If you happen to be staying in a hotel, it’s best to check again with the hotel staff for food that might be an issue.

However, it is best if you bring some foods which you know are safe for you to eat. It’s easy to pack up items from home and bring them along with you, unless you are traveling on a plane. Even so, you can ask the airlines for a list of ingredients so you are safe.

The main concern here is that is if someone is unsure what is in the ingredients of a specific food, and if you have any doubt that it may be something you may be allergic to, then you should avoid this food.

Dining at Home

You may also have a choice to spend holidays at home. Before you invite your friends, ask them or try to know what kind of food they prefer. Also, ask if anyone who is coming might have any food allergies in order to help cater towards their needs.

If you have a friend or family member who does have a food allergy, then you should have a variety of food ready and always read the labels to see the instructions and indications about allergic reactions.

Dinning at Your Friend’s House

Of course, you cannot just demand for something. As courtesy, you should make your friend feel you appreciate whatever he or she has prepared for. The best way is to offer for help. Go to your friend’s home early and suggest foods to prepare.

You can tell your friend ahead of time about your allergy. If you visit another person whom you are not that very close, you can bring some food or snacks for you or for your kids in case you run out of choices.

If you receive an invitation, this is your chance to politely ask what foods to expect and mention you have some allergies. There is nothing wrong with being straightforward than being too late.

Food allergies are a major concern for a lot of people these days, especially during the holiday season. To enjoy the season and all it has to offer then make sure you eat what’s safe for you, and if you have a friend or relative with a food allergy make sure to make them food that is safe for them and always remember to read the label. Nevertheless, there are still more ways to navigate the holidays with food allergies.

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Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

glutenblog

Image is from Livestrong.com

Gluten sensitivity, otherwise known as gluten intolerance can manifest worse than IBS like symptoms and stomach problems. It can affect other bodily processes and not just the digestive system. It wreaks havoc on your skin, the largest organ, bones, mouth, and endocrine system. You may have a myriad of symptoms that don’t make sense to the physician and may mean they are clueless you’re reporting back to them with symptoms of gluten sensitivity. The currently available drugs only tend to treat symptoms and looking taking care of the underlying issue. This is why doctors are quick to give medication that might only ease your current suffering.

If you feel that the physician is not attending to you like you would wish i.e. they don’t listen to you properly, then it may be time to visit a new doctor.

Below are some symptoms you would want to look keenly

Depression and anxiety

Depression is a grave concern for many. There are myriad symptoms of depression

Including

  • Hopelessness,
  • Appetite changes,
  • Low energy,
  • Anger
  • Sleep changes

While some patients may need medical attention to correct the never ending imbalances with depression, others may not necessarily need. However, the underlying causes of depression are often not investigated. The study has confirmed that glutamic intolerance has a hand in anxiety, depression and mood disorders. The moment you remove gluten from the diet, depression, and anxiety shall have been solved.

Autoimmune diseases

Consumption of gluten has been linked to several autoimmune diseases. You can always know when autoimmune issues are developing before they can show up and their symptoms start to manifest. This will give you ample time to adjust your dieting and lifestyle to alleviate chances of developing full blown autoimmune disorder. Below is a list of some autoimmune diseases usually known to be relating to glutamic sensitivity.

  • Celiac diseases
  • Vitiligo
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Type 1 diabetes

Vital to mention is that this condition is very prevalent.

Low immunity

If you have noticed that the frequency in which you fall sick is relatively higher than normal, then think about gluten being an issue.

IgA is a group of antibodies which occur in the tears, saliva as well as the gastrointestinal tract. Reflect on this class of antibodies as your first line of defense whenever an infection comes to attack you. When you have a sensitivity to gluten, the first sign is a reduced number of IgA antibodies. This means you don’t have a proper defense in place to keep you safe.

Dental issues

Cancer sores, cavities, tooth decay and broken teeth are all indicative of gluten sensitivity. The levels of calcium of gluten sensitivity can be waveringly level due to malabsorption which may lead to weak bones and teeth. A DEXA scan is, therefore, imperative. It’s one of the surest ways of determining calcium levels and the overall health of your bones.

Migraine headaches

Though gluten doesn’t have a hand in all migraines, it has often been linked to many cases. A research was carried out to gauge the migraine headaches in individuals sensitive to gluten. In those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity, there was a report of chronic headaches on 56% of the individuals, 30% of those suffering from celiac disease and then 23% of the patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

The above are some of the symptoms of glutamic intolerance.

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Identifying Chocolate Allergies

o-chocolate-health-benefits-facebook

Image is from Huffington Post

Chocolate is a food craved by many, but someone cannot eat this sweet treat do to a food allergy. Food allergies occur anytime the body’s immune system reacts to a protein that it sees as harmful, when it is not. Those reactions can range from mild to severe. The only way to know the severity of the food allergies is with allergy testing or by eating the food and discovering bad reactions that follow afterwards. To help you identify if whether you have a food allergy to chocolate or not here are some of the symptoms that can occur.

Migraine Headache

One of the most common symptoms related with a chocolate allergy is a migraine headache. Migraine headaches cause pain in the front or sides of the head. They can cause blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, tingling in the arms and feet, body aches and chills and pain within the jaw and teeth. They come on suddenly, but typically occur after eating or drinking a food substance that causes it. The best way to treat migraines is with rest, drinking plenty of water, taking pain relievers, and avoiding the substance that causes it such as chocolate.

Hives or Rash

Skin issues such as hives or rashes are other issues people experience with food allergies. This is because the body is trying to rid the substance from the body through the skin. Sometimes eczema can occur as a longtime allergic reaction symptom if chocolate is eaten daily. To soothe and heal skin issues such as these, oatmeal baths and coconut oil seem to help greatly.

Difficulty Breathing

Wheezing, chest tightness, coughing and closing of the airways are serious allergic reaction symptoms that can occur with chocolate allergies. These typically occur within minutes of consuming the food, and most of the time need to be treated with an EpiPen and medical treatment from a doctor.

Swelling of Body Parts

Swelling and itching of the lips, mouth or tongue right after eating chocolate is a way of identifying a chocolate allergy. If this happens visit a medical professional immediately for treatment. Sometimes the hands can swell too, but it depends on the severity of the allergies.

Digestive Issues

Tummy troubles are another common sign of a chocolate allergy. Some of the digestive issues that you may experience are diarrhea, stomachache, and vomiting. Avoiding chocolate will stop these symptoms from occurring, but what will ease them are chamomile tea, papaya fruit, peppermint tea, antacids and antihistamine medication.

Runny Nose with Sneezing

A runny nose with constant sneezing while or after eating chocolate means it is probably time to stop eating this sweet treat. Antihistamines are the best treatment for easing these types of allergy symptoms.

Watery Eyes

Dripping watery eyes is an allergy symptom most suffer from with not only chocolate allergies, but with all allergies. Again, antihistamines and eye drops can help ease this allergy symptom. Sometimes itchy eyes can occur as well along with the watery eyes.

Bottom Line for Identifying Chocolate Allergies

Knowing these symptoms can help you identify these common chocolate allergy symptoms. Once they are known, it is best to avoid chocolate all together, but if for some reason, you do develop a severe allergic reaction go to the emergency room immediately for treatment. If there isn’t away to get to the ER call 911 immediately for help. After all, some food allergies without treatment can be deadly. If you are unsure if you have a chocolate allergy or not even after eating it and experiencing symptoms it is best to visit your doctor for allergy testing.

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Common Food Allergies

pmls-fareinfographics-foodallergies

Image is from FARE

Theoretically, any food you consume would cause an allergy. However, only a handful of foods can cause around 90 percent of allergic reactions to food. The substance responsible for allergic reactions in drinks or foods is known as an “allergen.” In regards to food, almost all allergens are proteins. However, for most individuals, these proteins are not allergens since their immune system hardly reacts to them

The Most Common Allergenic Foods

These are also referred to as the ‘big eight.’ They are;

  • milk
  • wheat
  • fish
  • eggs
  • peanuts (groundnuts)
  • soy
  • shellfish (including crab, shrimps, and mussels)
  • nuts from trees (including almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and walnuts)

Most allergic reactions to food among children are to soya, milk, peanuts, eggs, wheat, and nuts from trees. Most children seize being allergic to these foods early on in their childhood. A majority of adults typically react to fish, nuts, shellfish, citrus fruit, wheat, and peanuts.

Fish allergy

Fish allergy can be responsible for causing severe reactions such as anaphylaxis. Children are less likely to have an allergic reaction to fish and shellfish than adults. This could be attributed to the likeliness of adults having eaten fish more often than children. If you get allergic to one type of fish such as haddock, then you are likely to react to other types of fish including cod, whiting, mackerel, and hake. The reason for this is that the allergens contained in these fish are quite similar. Unfortunately, cooking does not terminate fish allergens. In fact, if you have a fish allergy, you might be allergic to cooked fish but not raw fish.

Egg allergy

Egg allergy is more common in childhood just like most food allergies. By the age of three, almost half the children who have it grow out of it. Egg allergy can cause anaphylaxis in a few cases. There are three proteins in the egg white that would make you get an egg allergy namely: ovalbumin, conalbumin, and ovomucoid. Cooking can help you destroy some of these allergens, but not others. Therefore, you might find yourself reacting to both cooked and raw eggs.

Occasionally, you might find yourself reacting to eggs because you are allergic to turkey, quail or chicken meat, or even bird feathers. This is typically called bird-egg syndrome.

Milk allergy

This is the most common food allergy in childhood as it affects 2-7% of babies below one-year-old. Milk allergy is prevalent among babies with atopic dermatitis. A reaction is typically triggered by small amounts of milk that can either be passed from feeding cow’s milk to the baby or through the mother’s breast milk from dairy products she has consumed. While most children grow out of milk allergy by age three, a fifth of children who are allergic to cow’s milk remain allergic to it even as adults

In most cases, the symptoms of milk allergy are mild and can affect any part of your body. They include;

  • diarrhea
  • stomach cramps
  • vomiting and
  • difficulty in breathing

Milk allergy can cause anaphylaxis in very few cases.

You can be allergic to either casein or whey, or even both of these allergens. Heat treatment like pasteurization changes whey so if you are sensitive to whey, you might not react to pasteurized milk. However, heat treatment doesn’t affect casein, so if you are allergic to casein, you are more likely to react to all types of milk and its products.

Some highly hydrolyzed milk formulas might be suitable for babies with cow’s milk allergy.

The food allergies named above are just a few of the many affecting humans.

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Understanding Gluten Intolerance

basics-of-gluten

Image is from Doctor Doni

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, rye, kamut, spelt, and other grains. A gluten intolerance does not necessarily mean you have Celiac disease. There are many people who cannot tolerate gluten that do not test positive for Celiac disease. Tests for Celiac disease include:

  • Biopsy of small intestine
  • Reticulin antibody test
  • Endomysial antibody test
  • Transglutaminase antibody test

Many of the patients who tested negative for Celiac disease do have results that indicate they are gluten intolerant, however, which is a good starting point to receiving proper treatment.

How to Test for Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance

The Gliadin antibody test is often positive when other tests, such as those above, are negative. While Gliadin antibodies will not result in a diagnosis of Celiac disease, they do indicate that your immune system is reacting against the Gliadin, which is a part of what makes up gluten.

Celiac disease is just another name for a condition called villous atrophy, which causes visible changes in the lining of your digestive tract. While villous atrophy can result from an immune reaction to gluten, it is only one possible result. In a nutshell, Celiac disease is just one type of gluten intolerance.

Other Tests for Gluten Intolerance

IgE and IgG are antibody tests for allergic reactions that can include numerous foods and food components. In this case, these tests are run to determine gluten intolerance. Most non-Celiac gluten sensitivity patients have elevated antibodies to:

  • Gluten
  • Gliadin
  • Barley
  • Rye
  • Wheat
  • Spelt

These patients usually feel much better after eliminating the foods they test positive for. In addition to several GI symptoms such as IBS, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, bloating, or gas, patients with gluten sensitivity can also experience:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Eczema or other skin rashes
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Arthritis

What if You Already Know You Can’t Gluten?

According to Dr. Stephen Wangen, co-founder and Medical Director of the IBS Treatment Centers in Seattle, WA, and Los Angeles, CA, there are many patients who determine, through trial and error, that they can’t eat gluten. And if you have already found this to be true and have stopped eating gluten, it is highly likely that any tests run will come back negative.

Treatment

The treatment plan for any type of gluten intolerance is as simple as it can be complicated: avoid gluten. It is complicated, because gluten hides in many foods that you would not think contained any gluten. One example of this is corn syrup. Corn syrup contains gluten and it is a very common ingredient in so many of our processed foods today. It is even most sodas, condiments, sauces, and ice creams.

Avoiding the list of grains above is the easy part, however, in order to maintain a gluten-free diet, you must read labels on every product you buy. It sounds daunting, but after a few trips to the store, you will have a good working knowledge of what you can and cannot digest. Then you will just have to read the labels on any food product you have never eaten before.

More and more grocery stores are now carrying a gluten-free line of foods and many of them are quite tasty. Again, you will go through a process of trial and error trying these new foods and determining whether you like them or not, but it is definitely worth it.

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Eating Correctly During Sick Season

Sick woman

Image is from Huffington Post

When winter arrives, you know it’s the flu season. In this season, be sure to brace yourself to avoid the disease. While some people will still go for their regular workouts in the gym, it is not recommended. However, you must maintain your health not only during the flu season by all year round. You do this by not only regular and consistent fitness regime, but also a healthy diet that keeps you strong and healthy as well as helps you in fighting the disease. You may have probably wondered how can keep yourself healthy during this season. It is possible to take steps to prevent illness and also to avoid the spread to others.

Wash your hands

Foremost before thinking of anything else, you must wash your hands with clean water and ensure they are clean. Regular hand washing is one of the surest methods of avoiding the spread of germs to others. During the winter months, it is cold, and that means flu is all over and can easily be contracted. The following are some of the important tips to note

  • Ensure you are well versed with hand washing techniques. Rub your hands together while running warm water on them for about twenty seconds. Use a mild hand soap to do this.
  • Whenever you touch your mouth or nose, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly. As well, ensure you wash your hands before taking any meal.

Eat healthy

The various kinds of foods you take into your body have a significant impact on your overall health. Eating a well-balanced diet is vital as it can help in support of your immune system. Ensure you eat right to assist in the staving off of flu and other winter diseases.

  • Aim at getting multiple servings of vegetables daily. Carrots, parsnips, and turnips are good vegetable servings for winter. You can take them in various forms including roasting them or just mixing them into warnings of soups.
  • Increase your dairy intake. Milk and dairy products contain lots of vitamins including A and B12 which are vital in keeping you healthy during the cold winter.
  • Try to find low-fat milk as well as reduced fat cheese. Greek yogurt and light cottage cheese is another meal you can try as well.

Limit sugar intake

Limiting sugar intake can significantly strengthen your immunity system. If you have a diet which is low in refined sugar can be of great assistance in getting rid of the influenza virus and colds. These are some of the steps you can take to ensure you limit your sugar intake

  • Watch what you are drinking. Drinks such as sodas and fruits drinks do contain large amounts of sugar.
  • Switched to iced tea or water. These beverages will quench your thirst minus adding sugar to your diet.
  • Whenever you feel that you have a craving for anything sweet, try a piece of fruit. It contains natural sugar that is better for your body than the refined sugars.

Try home remedies

Zinc can be of great help in speeding your recovery. Another important thing you can try is essential oils. They have a myriad of healing properties. Just ensure they are properly mixed. Make a mixture of rosemary, peppermint lemon, eucalyptus and lemon oils. You will need water to mix a few drops of each.

Flu can be very discomforting. Use the nuggets above to help you with quick healing.

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Understanding High Blood Pressure

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Image is from YouTube

For many, the closest they have ever come to understanding hypertension is the medical shows they watch. Unfortunately, some of these programs have inaccurate information and therefore cannot be trusted. Should you rely on them, you will be lost and find an entirely wrong information of high blood pressure. This will not give you accurate information about the disease and what it can mean to you. Understanding blood pressure is supposed to be a priority for all adults. Currently, the condition is endemic with one in three adults suffering from it. The following is a quick guide the disease and the treatments available.

What is blood pressure?

Essentially, blood pressure is the force with which blood circulates through your veins and blood vessels. The reading of your blood pressure is usually taken by an instrument known as a manometer, an instrument which looks like a strip of rubber attached to a thermometer. Alternatively, a sphygmomanometer is used for measuring the pressure. As your heart beats, your blood pressure records a variation in pressure i.e. maximum, scientifically known as systolic, and minimum, known as diastolic pressure.

What is classified as high blood pressure and low blood pressure?

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension is the instance where the blood pressure shoots from a regular rate of 90-119 systolic pressure and a diastolic pressure of 60-79 up to 120-139 and 80-89 in the case of prehypertension. As the condition advances, the blood pressure records 140-159 and 90-95 for systolic and diastolic pressure respectively. Low blood pressure is the instance where it is below 90 systolic over 60 diastolic.

Consequences of hypotension and hypertension

Hypertension can result in a variety of unpleasant things happening in your body. Some of the effects include

• Heart attacks

• Burst blood vessels in the eye

• Drowsiness

• Kidney failure

• Confusion

• Nausea

Causes of high blood pressure

Even though there is not yet a definite cause of the condition, some behaviors have widely been associated with it. The behaviors include

• Sedentary life

• Diets with a high content of animal fats and salt

• Unmanaged stress

• Obesity

High blood pressure treatment

Currently, there exist more than two hundred separate brands of medication which aim to solve the problem of high blood pressure. There has not been a single drug manufactured that can permanently cure the condition, and so doctors often prescribe a combination. After that comes a period of adjusting doses to achieve optimal effects on blood pressure while at the same time alleviating the side effects of the drugs used for treatment. The primary objective of the drug is to control the condition and not necessarily to cure it. Once you get the conditions and start using the medication, you are on drugs for life.

High blood pressure medication comes in four different classes, each of which has subcategories. The classes include

• Diuretics

• Beta blockers

• Ace inhibitors

• Calcium channel blockers

What’s the alternative treatment and control of high blood pressure?

Many people for lifestyle change in a bid to control and treat this condition. It is possible to reduce significantly high blood pressure. What would make this possible is diet adjustment, taking up daily exercise as well as managing stress. However, just as in medication, once you take up a lifestyle of healthy living, there is no going back.

High blood pressure is a condition that could catch up with just about anyone. Knowing about it will greatly help you to know how to take care of it.

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