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October 28, 2011

Exposed Health Myths

Filed under: health — Tags: , , , , , — Kcondon @ 4:49 pm

It’s not uncommon for people to believe certain health myths. Those myths could lead to a healthy lifestyle while others just raise questions about their authenticity.  Whether they are true or not, most myths will cause you to re-evaluate your own health choices.

Health Myth One: Milk Does Wonders.

Dr. T. Colin Campbell PhD., a respected nutrition and health researcher, has discovered the truth about the effects of protein in our milk. According to his research in ‘The China Study,’ Dr. Campbell found that the main protein found in milk, Casein, (found in 87% of cow’s milk) “…promoted all stages of the Cancer process.”  Results indicated that abstaining from consuming milk and any form of animal protein halted the growth of cancerous tumors.

Health Myth Two: Herbs are the way to go!

Some herbs are great and many people think that because a product contains herbs it is harmless.  However, don’t be fooled by this idea. Only recently have problems with herbs started to arise. Kava, known to reduce anxiety, has been shown to be toxic to the liver.  Other herbs, such as Ginkgo Leaf Extracts, are known to cause headaches rather than improve mental clarity, or working to treat dementia and peripheral vascular disease. St John’s Wart, Echinacea, German Chamoile and Ginkgo biloba have been reported to cause allergic reactions. It would be smart to consult your physician on natural products or supplements to see if they fit your health needs.

Health Myth Three: Constricting Calories will help weight loss.

Though it is important to moderate your calorie intake, it is much more essential to watch your sugar intake. Minimizing your glucose intake will significantly aid in your weight loss battle. An excess of glucose is the major cause of fat storage. By moderating your glucose levels, weight loss will be a breeze. Make sure to also engage in weight training and moderate periods of cardio. This is an effective way to burn fat.

Health Myth Four: Fresh fruits and vegetables are more nutritious than canned or frozen.

This depends on two different factors: how long the fruit or vegetables have been in th fridge, and how long they’ve been cut and out on the counter.  Leaving fruits and vegetables in the fridge for long periods of time causes them to lose vitamins.  In this case, fresh produce might not have the same nutritional value as canned or frozen. Also, leaving cut up fruits or vegetables out on the kitchen counter for more than 20 minutes results in vitamin loss due to air exposure.  As a result, canned or frozen fruits can be just as vitamin-rich as fresh fruits.

Health Myth Five: The road to perfect skin is through washing and moisturizing!

Taking care of your skin is important however, there is a direct connection between the food you digest and the condition of your skin.  An unhealthy lifestyle will cause more of a strain on your liver and kidney. Because the skin is also an organ used to eliminate waste, these results will be apparent on your skin.  Cleaning regimes are not always as important as the food which is consumed; the food can later cause blemishes on your face.

August 26, 2011

Understanding Erectile Dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction; two words you never want beside each other. When it’s mentioned we become silent and get awkward. The truth is about 30 million Americans suffer from erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is a topic that we try to avoid even when talking about it to doctors. So let’s talk about erectile dysfunction because what erectile dysfunction really means is in the back of every guys mind.

Basically erectile dysfunction is impotence; this is the failure to achieve or sustain an erection for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Try not to get confused with decreased libido and problems with orgasms and ejaculation because that is not part of erectile dysfunction.

If a man does bring up erectile dysfunction the common reply is “don’t worry it’s all in your head, it will go away over time.” If you’re wondering what causes erectile dysfunction doctors would say if it isn’t temporary then it’s a physiological issue. For an erection to occur it requires the interaction of your brain, nerves, hormones, and blood vessels. So anything that can affect any of those is a problem. The common issues that men face are diabetes, high blood pressure, poor blood flow, depression neurological disorders, certain medication like sleeping pills, antidepressants, nerve damage, nicotine, alcohol, cocaine, stress, fear and bad communication between your partner.

So now that you know more about erectile dysfunction and what it really is, the next step is figuring out what you can do about it. The first step to treat erectile dysfunction of course is to see a doctor and get an expert opinion. Generally if you are facing erectile dysfunction then try and make some life style changes first such as exercising more, having a better diet, and getting more sleep. Then move on to tackling those mental problems like what mentally could be causing your dysfunction and if you have a partner, finding better ways to communicate between the two of you. The next step would be taking erectile dysfunction medication such as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra or prostaglandin E1 analogues like Caverject and Muse. There are other erectile dysfunction treatment options if taking pills aren’t your thing then you could using a penile implant, vacuum pump devices, or surgery.

The topic of erectile dysfunction is either on the down low or used as a joke. If you do suffer from erectile dysfunction and you’re confused, scared, and stressed you are not alone. Don’t let that deter you; summon the courage to talk to your doctor and educate yourself.

July 26, 2011

Obama Care – A Failed Attempt?

Filed under: obama care — Tags: , , — Kcondon @ 10:26 pm

It has now been a year since the infamous Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obama Care, has been in effect. The bill was passed on March 23, 2010. A year later, Obama Care is still a very controversial topic and largely debated.

When the bill was first passed Democrats believed that over time Obama Care would become more and more popular. Their prediction has proven to be incorrect. In fact, opposition has increased over the course of the year. More than 50% of Americans are not in favor of Obama Care.

Many people want Obama Care to be repealed. You can bet the Republicans feel most strongly about this! Another outcome that could occur is Obama Care being deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It could be declared unconstitutional because the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act states that everyone must have health insurance.

Moreover, the American health care system has been in need of reform for many years. Despite something being done about it, the whole Obama Care issue has been incredibly criticized by Americans. However, various surveys demonstrate that most Americans know little about their health care system or even how it compares to the Canadian health care system.

The purpose of Obama Care is to provide more people with help. It has the potential of saving many lives. One serious example is a person not receiving coverage because he/ she had a pre-existing condition. Obama Care would make sure that the person is covered and that families are not as financially devastated as seen in such situations.

Americans worry that the quality of care they receive in the United States will decrease significantly because of Obama Care. Will a situation such as quantity over quality arise? This state is often compared to Canada as Canada is known to have long waiting lists for medical procedures.

Obama’s attempt to reform the American health care system may hurt him incredibly. The next election is in 2012 and many predict that Obama will be a one term president. Obama Care is meant to reduce the costs of meds and help people afford health care. It ensures that everyone can get the help they need, when they need it.

June 13, 2011

Lowering Triglycerides Levels

Recent studies have shown that borderline patients with high levels of triglyceride can lower triglycerides with a change in lifestyle and a change in diet. Triglycerides are a form of fat in the bloodstream that can rise if someone is overweight, inactive, a smoker, consumes too much alcohol, or eats a diet high in carbohydrates.

Experts from a screening study demonstrated that people who have less than a 100mg/dL of triglycerides are the healthiest and that these levels are optimal. Borderline triglyceride patients have levels between 150-199mg/dL. Borderline patients should consider losing 5% of their body weight and limit their calorie intake as well as limiting sugars to less than 10% of their total intake. Weight loss has shown valuable changes on lipids and lipoproteins. With 5-10% loss of body weight comes with positive benefits such as a 20% reduction of triglycerides along with a 15% decrease in LDL cholesterol and 8-10% decrease in HDL cholesterol.

There has been a lot of confusion with how triglycerides can be controlled and how much it actually affects the cardiovascular system. Borderline patients are recommended to consume no more than 100g of fructose from processed foods. Fruits and vegetables that are low in fructose, such as strawberries, grapefruit, bananas, and peaches, should be eaten. A diet that consists of high fiber whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats such as omega-3 fatty acids is also strongly encouraged. As for exercise, at least 150 minutes per week should to help reduce triglycerides.

May 16, 2011

Dealing with Seasonal Allergies

Filed under: allergies — Tags: , , — Kcondon @ 4:56 pm

Woman sneezing in fieldIf the warmer temperatures and the blooming flowers haven’t clued you in, the arrival of seasonal allergies is sure to let you know that spring is here. If the symptoms have notoriously let loose upon you, don’t lose hope; you’re not the only one. Patients experience seasonal allergy symptoms such as runny nose, irritated eyes, and congestion. To prevent or reduce the occurrence of seasonal allergies with the additional aid of allergy medication , there are a number of simple “at home” measures one can put to the test.

Looking out for high pollen counts : Before heading outside, plan ahead and check the local pollen count. Avoiding the outdoors when the pollen count is high is a definite way to greatly reduce the severity of seasonal allergies especially if pollen is an allergen for you. Pollen counts are usually higher during mid day, 10 am to 2 pm, although factors including humidity and location affect the pollen count as well. When the pollen count is higher avoid going outside. Planning outdoor activities when the pollen count is low will help you enjoy your day without the interference of allergies.

Keeping Clean : After being outside, change your clothes, and take a shower. This will minimize your exposure to outdoor allergens. This is most beneficial if you happen to step out when the pollen count is high

Use the Dryer: If you don’t suffer from seasonal allergies, hanging your clothes outside to dry is a commendable method of saving energy. For the rest of you, it is best if you use the dryer because hanging laundry outside will cause a large build up of allergens on your clothes.

Good Housekeeping : If you also suffer from year-round allergies, then it is best to prevent them from occurring as well because when it comes to allergies, the more is not the merrier. Typical year-round allergies, often caused by allergens such as dust and mold, are best avoided when there is no place for accumulation of said allergens. Mold typically accumulates in the bathroom; thus, to avoid mold growth, leave the fan running up to thirty minutes after a shower or baths. Reduce clutter in your home lest the amount of objects that dust can settle on.

The Benefits of Music

Music is part of our everyday lives. We hear it in the elevator, in the malls, and while we drive. We think of music as something to dance or relax to when it is actually much more than that. A study done by Michael Miller, M.D., director of the preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, shows that music has many more health benefits that you think.

Music can help to lower blood pressure naturally. A recent study indicates that listening to music such as classical or Celtic music can assist in lowering blood pressure as much as cutting salt out of your diet or losing a few pounds can. Music can lower the risk of heart disease from 5-15%. Although music should not replace any blood pressure medication or exercise, it can always help! It is not known if music has long term effects.

Music that has a strong beat can sync your brainwaves which can increase alertness and sharpen concentration. The change in brainwave activity allows the brain to shift speeds when necessary. Music with a slower tempo brings upon a calm state of mind and improves the ability to focus long after listening to music.

Music can also slow down our breathing and our heart rate. This causes your body to relax, which prevents chronic stress from occurring. Music can result in a positive state of mind which can help to overcome depression and anxiety. People who have suffered depression felt like they could control the pain with music. Music naturally releases endorphins which act like a natural pain killer. Music distracts someone from pain which encourages relaxation.

Listening to soothing music for at least half an hour a day can help reduce stress. Moreover, listening to music while falling asleep can ensure that we get the sleep we need by taking away stress, depression, and anxiety that we might take to our beds from a tough day. Music can also boost exercise performance and can increase energy.

It is now easy to see that music is not just here to keep us entertained while driving to work; it is so much more than that. With so many benefits for our health and mind, it’s no wonder there’s music everywhere we go.

May 10, 2011

Soap-and-Water Cleanser Can Reduce Skin Infections in Wrestlers

Filed under: skin care — Tags: , , , — sgordon @ 7:00 pm

According to researchers at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, 97% of university wrestlers can reduce their risk of skin infection by using soap-and- water cleansing wipes.

Dr. Anderson, a family physian, came up with a theory that if athletes were to use medicated skin wipes after each match, the number of skin infections could be reduced.  Dr Anderson, also a team physician for Gopher wrestling team, studied 151 high school athletes who engaged in two weekend tournaments in January and February(up to 5 matches per day). The athletes were asked to use 75% isopropyl alcohol wipe, a soap-and water- based cleansing body wipe, or nothing at all.

The results concluded that without the skin wipe, 15.7% of all athletes developed a skin infection or a rate of 512.8 to exposure. Of the boys who were asked to use the alcohol wipes, 8.9% developed an infection. For those who used the soap-and-water wipe, 1.8% became infected. Infections are very common during wrestling season. Athletes only shower at the end of the day; therefore pathogens transfer between the matches and remain on their skin for 10 to 12 hours. This can cause problems, especially if over time the rises of matches increase further. Over the past 30 years, the numbers of matches for high school wrestlers have increased by 50% to 60%. The more matches there are, the more likely athletes will develop infections.

Infections seen in wrestlers include: herpes gladiatorum, and Staphylococcus.

February 12, 2011

Coconut Water Craze

Filed under: Nutrition — Tags: , , — sgordon @ 12:50 am

Coconut Water, “Natures Energy Drink” is becoming quite a popular health drink that we see more and more people experimenting with. Celebrities too are becoming quite accepting of this new drink, as well as supporting to its multimillion dollar industry now.

Coconut water, found in an immature green coconut is abundant with minerals and nutritional traits. Coconut liquid is the purest of all waters and is fat free, low in calories(46 calories), excellent in hydration ( 600 mg of Carbohydrates), so no wonder its becoming high in demand.

Coconut liquid contains more electrolytes (conducts electricity) than in any fruit, vegetables juices or sports drinks available in stores, and contains salts, sugars and vitamins needed for a healthy athlete. It provides athletes with a quick nutrition source for quick energy needed. It is made up of copper, sulfur and phosphorus which are necessary to correct any electrolyte imbalances in the body. A proper amount of electrolytes is necessary for appropriate heart and nerve functions, coordination, absorption of fluids, and muscle control. Cocunut fluids also contain the proper amount of vitamin c to meet the bodies daily requirement in the body, as well as other vitamins such as niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, riboflavin, folic acid and thiamin. It even contains 600mg of potassium per serving! Coconut fluids contain an abundant amount of vitamins and minerals.

Drinking coconut water improves digestion, improves calcium amount, and absorption of magnesium. Magnesium absorption is needed to support the development of strong bones and teeth, and protects the body against chance of developing osteoporosis . Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones are brittle and can fracture easily. Drinking coconut water boosts the immune system, stops fatigue, controls diabetes, eases stomach pain, assists in proper circulation, improves intestinal health and prevents hypertension (elevated high blood pressure).

Could this new health drink offer you anything better? Well, for those who enjoy drinking, you may be ecstatic that it can cure hangovers too! Remember those unpleasant symptoms after drinking a lot of alcohol? Symptoms such as headaches, nausea, body aches, dizziness, loss of appetite, sensitivity to light, and thirst? Well, that unpleasant feeling can be avoided by drinking a good amount of coconut juice. It’s hard to function properly when your body is hurting all over, but with coconut water you can function much better. The key to cure hangovers has always been hydration, and with the extensive amount of hydration offered through drinking coconut water, it might be worth to try. Drinking coconut water  rehydrates the body, as well as offers lots of potassium, which alcohol depletes your body of. So next time you are suffering from a hangover, resort to drinking coconut water; it can help!

January 25, 2011

Depression During Pregnancy Can Be Unsafe For Unborn Baby

Filed under: Pregnancy — Tags: , , , — sgordon @ 10:28 pm

Pregnancy DepressionA new study finds that babies born to mothers who are depressed during pregnancy have higher levels of stress hormones, decreased muscle tone, and other neurological and behavior differences.  This means that infants are either more sensitive to stress or are less able to shut down their stress responses.

Lead Investigator Dr. Delia M. Vasquez and her colleagues conducted a study, that included 154  pregnant woman, over the age of 20, whose depressive symptoms, were addressed during their 28,32, or 37th week of pregnancy. Their depressive symptoms were also looked at after the birth. Umbilical cord blood was taken at birth to measure the levels of stress hormones, and at 2 weeks, the infants underwent neurobehavioral tests. Neurobehavioral tests assess the infant’s motor skills, and responses to stress.

A clinical director of U-M’s Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Section, Dr Sheila Marcus, stated it’s difficult to say what the differences in babies born to mothers with depression, if it is a possible or negative thing. She also said that it is hard to determine what the impact will be as they age, but they are looking into differences in risk markers.  With the knowledge of these risk markers, will the physicians know which women need more attention during pregnancy or what woman will benefit from postpartum programs.

It is important that pregnant women who show signs of depression contact a therapist because up to one in five women experience depression during pregnancy.

The Super Pomegranate!

Filed under: Nutrition — Tags: , , , — sgordon @ 10:24 pm

A pomegranate is a unique fruit in comparison to many of the others. It consists of a hard exterior which protects the pomegranate seeds embedded inside.Pomegranates have been used in many literary works as a symbol of fertility and marriage. There have been numerous myths written based on pomegranates! People in the early ages even believed in the pomegranate’s ability to heal and restore health.

In this century, pomegranates are considered to be one of the healthiest fruits out there. Pomegranates contain an abundance of vitamins and other beneficial properties. These consist of: antioxidants, folic acid, iron, and more.

The antioxidants aid the heart by lowering plaque buildup in the arteries. Plaque buildup can cause high blood pressure or even worse conditions such as heart attack or stroke. There are numerous other types of heart conditions that can occur. Reducing plaque in the blood vessels allows proper blood flow.  In addition, pomegranates have been found to lower levels of LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

Drinking about ¼ cup of pomegranate juice regularly allows for good circulation and control of blood pressure. Better yet, it has also been found that pomegranates can help prevent certain cancers like lung cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer.
Pomegranates are also a great source of fiber. The fiber is found in the pomegranate seeds. Just a half cup serving of pomegranate seeds provides about five grams of fiber. That’s 20% of the recommended daily intake of fiber!
Moreover, pomegranates have the ability to reduce inflammation. For this reason eating pomegranates can be especially beneficial for arthritis patients. It has also been found that pomegranates are able to stop cartilage from progressively deteriorating.

Despite all the benefits of pomegranates, they are still not eaten to as large of a scale as other fruits. It’s “[A pomegranate] a day that keeps the doctor away!” Some even believe that eating pomegranates when you are sick can get rid of the common cold. It’s up to you to determine whether this is a myth or not. Try it for yourself!

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