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7 Strategies for Living With Type 2 Diabetes

Categories:
Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is dangerous and is becoming more and more common as time goes on. It can lead to kidney disease, neuropathy, and even death. 

About 10% of American people have diabetes, and the vast majority of them have type 2. 

Diabetes doesn’t have to be a death sentence. There are ways to manage it and adjust your lifestyle to keep yourself in good health. 

Whether you’re new to the condition, or you’re trying to make productive changes now that you’ve been living with it for a while, we want to provide some advice. Managing type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to be difficult, and it can even help you improve your overall health and lifestyle beyond the disease. 

Keep reading for 7 strategies that you can use to help manage your type 2 diabetes and return to a healthy life. 

1. Work on Stress Management

We live in a stressful world, but stress can be detrimental to your condition. When you’re feeling over-stressed, your hormones can impact your blood sugar levels. 

While you can’t always avoid stress completely, make efforts to take time for yourself, and practice mindfulness. Consider yoga or heavier strength or cardiovascular exercise to get some endorphins running through your body. 

It might be helpful to see a therapist if you’re unable to manage your stress on your own. They can help you learn healthy coping mechanisms to keep you calm. 

2. Make Balanced Meals

Well-balanced meals are the key to a healthy diet, weight loss, and improving your condition with type 2 diabetes.

Talk to your doctor or a nutritionist about developing a meal plan that will help you get into shape and keep your glucose levels managed. Also, make sure to learn about proper portion sizes. 

The average American diet has portion sizes that are far too large. Learn how to properly portion out your food and make sure that you focus on complex carbohydrates.

These include things like unrefined brown rice, whole wheat food products, leafy green vegetables, and legumes. 

It’s also helpful to supplement your diet with a vitamin B complex to support your kidney function and vitamin D (from the sun or a supplement) to improve insulin resistance.

3. Avoid Sugary Drinks

While most people are able to keep their sugar and calories down with their meals after they’ve learned about nutrition and adjusted their diets, many people forget the calories and sugar that come from beverages. 

While a sugary drink once in a while is okay (as long as you’re keeping track of your blood sugar levels), it’s important to keep in mind just how much sugar is in there. 

Eating a healthy diet can be undone by one too many sugary drinks. Keep yourself in check and opt for other options like diet drinks, teas, or water. 

A coca-cola alone has 39 grams of sugar, more than the 25 daily grams suggested for type 2 diabetics. 

4. Take Medication

Everyone takes insulin to manage their type 2 diabetes, but there are other options that might improve your quality of life.

Talk to your doctor about medications that can help to treat diabetes, or even treat specific symptoms of diabetes. 

Medications like Jardiance work together with your diet and exercise plans to help treat your condition (though it’s only for type 2, not type 1). 

5. Exercise

While the causes for type 2 diabetes vary (and are largely unknown), it is known that excess weight is a risk factor, as is a lack of physical activity.

You don’t have to complete an Ironman in order to get enough exercise to improve your condition. You can take brisk walks or jogs daily, or even complete light strength training at home. 

Ask your doctor how you can go about formulating an exercise routine. They’ll also give you advice on safe blood sugar levels for exerting that much energy. 

Always make sure to keep a snack with you just in case you need a blood sugar boost. 

Exercising will help you relieve stress, improve your heart and lungs, and drop some of your excess weight. You might even be able to reverse type 2 diabetes with this method. 

6. Stay Hydrated

Did you know that your hydration can impact your blood sugar levels? People with diabetes are more likely to suffer from dehydration, and dehydration can affect your glucose levels.

It’s important to be drinking sugar-free drinks (preferably water) throughout the day to keep your hydration levels normal. This is especially true when you’re engaging in exercise or exerting extra energy when cleaning, moving house, or even just playing with pets or children.

7. Drink Alcohol Wisely

Diabetics don’t have to avoid alcohol entirely. If you choose to abstain, that’s a valid and healthy choice, but some people still like to have a casual drink or two amongst friends. 

Before drinking though, there are a few things that you should do.

First, ask your doctor first if it’s going to be okay for you to drink alcohol. You don’t have to ask every time (that would be a hassle), but you should ask for advice and how to manage your drinking responsibly.

You’ll have to choose specific times and blood sugar levels that are “safe zones” for drinking. 

You want to make sure that you choose drinks that won’t raise your blood sugar level too much. You can use diet sodas, or just drink your alcohol on the rocks. Light beers may also be appropriate but check the label first.

Always have some food beforehand to manage your blood sugar and check your blood sugar levels before you go to sleep. Alcohol is riskier when you’re a diabetic, and you want to make sure that nothing goes wrong overnight. 

Type 2 Diabetes Is Manageable! 

Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes might have been a stressful moment in your life, but you can manage (and even reverse) your condition just by engaging in healthier habits.

These habits won’t just help with your diabetes. They’ll also help with your overall quality of life. Exercise, good nutrition, and stress management are all parts of a healthy lifestyle. 

To learn more about improving your health, or to purchase medications at reasonable prices, visit our site

Degenerative Joint Disease and Other Inflammatory Conditions That Affect Mobility

Categories:
degenerative joint disease

When most people think of disease, diabetes, hypertension, or respiratory conditions come to mind as the top disabling conditions. Degenerative joint disease also deserves a spot in this group too.

Do your knees hurt any time you try to move or walk? Do your fingers burn with every motion? Is the pain you feel on your limbs or your back debilitating to the point you feel like you can’t do anything?

1 in 5 elderly adults experience problems with mobility, especially veterans. Older adults not only have to deal with weak joints due to the aging process, but they also have to deal with inflammatory conditions of one or more joints that later develop.

There are a number of conditions that affect mobility. If you would like to know that these conditions are and if you have them, keep reading.

Degenerative Joint Disease

Degenerative joint disease is more common than most people think. The older you get, the more likely you are to develop the condition. Degenerative joint disease is also referred to as osteoarthritis (OA), one of the more usual types of arthritis.

How It Affects Mobility

Osteoarthritis a condition that causes joint issues and pain. Although OA can develop on any joint, most adults with degenerative joint disease notice problems with their knees, hands, hips, fingers, neck, or spine.

The condition occurs due to wear and tear of the joints over time. This wear and tear destroys cartilage and thins it out. Without cartilage, the joints no longer have lubrication or shock impact. Adults experience joint pain because the bone is now rubbing against bone.

Joint stiffness associated with osteoarthritis often happens when adults stand up from a sitting position or work their way out of bed. Osteoarthritis is different from rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Although they both result in joint pain, RA causes pain due to chronic inflammation, not mechanical wear. RA attacks the lining of the joints. This can start any time in life. OA is more likely to happen as we age.

Other Conditions That Affect Mobility

Arthritis isn’t the only thing that can affect mobility. There are also other conditions that a person can contract and experience joint stiffness, with or without inflammation.

Gout

Gout is also another type of arthritis. People with gout often complain about extreme joint pain that starts in one joint. It is often the big toe most of the time.

This condition is a result of an accumulation of uric acid depositing itself into the joint. Joint pain, swelling, and redness can become a real problem.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is an underactive thyroid. The main symptoms are weight gain, slow heart rate, and constipation. However, it can result in fatigue and cause joint stiffness as well. With hypothyroidism, almost every system in the body acts sluggish and “slows down.”

Fibromyalgia and Polymyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the muscles. It is widespread and issues with fatigue and joint stiffness are common.

Polymyalgia is an inflammatory joint condition that tends to affect people over 50. They also have problems with joint pain at the wrists, hips, fingers, and shoulders.

Bursitis

Bursitis happens when the bursae (mini fluid-filled pockets in the joint) burst. The little sacs, which are meant to provide cushion to the joints, become inflamed. This creates pain and mobility issues for adults.

Lupus

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that often affects the fingers, knees, and wrists. The symptoms often come and go and the level of intensity ranges from mild to severe.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

This is a type of condition that happens when there is a miscommunication of the nerves in the foot. The tibial nerve is needed for the leg to be able to respond to movement and be able to need sensation. The syndrome damages this ability, which can affect the overall movement of the leg.

Bone Cancer

Bone cancer can also cause joint stiffness, although it is rare. However, for those that do experience it, they notice joint pain primarily on the long points (arms and legs).

How to Treat Pain and Increase Mobility

Pain and inflammation often work hand in hand for those with a joint degenerative disease and other conditions that affect the joint. When you have any of these conditions, you learn to find ways to live with it and ease the symptoms. While you may not completely reverse the symptoms, you can ease the intensity and frequency of them.

You do not have to deal with chronic pain forever when you have joint pain. Incorporating things like exercise, massage, acupuncture, and physiotherapy, and physical therapy will work to your benefit.

Trying any one of these methods or a combination of them allows you to increase mobility while decreasing the sensation of pain. Along with taking medication, it may work best for some people. You should also speak with a doctor to find a physical program that works for you.

Taking Your Medication at Home

When you have chronic pain, it will usually come and go. Alternative therapy is a great way to address pain, but you may also want to use medication when and where it is appropriate and safe.

Most people with joint pain due to degenerative joint disease or other conditions will receive opioids to help control symptoms of pain and help increase mobility and flexibility.

You only want to use medication or get a refill when you have a prescription. It’s important to follow the frequency and guidelines your doctor suggests in order to prevent drug dependence.

If you need extra assistance making an order online for the medication you need, you can contact us.

The Ultimate Type 2 Diabetes Management Plan!

Categories:
Diabetes Management

Finding out you have type 2 diabetes can come as a shock. You’re going to need to make some major adjustments to your daily routine. But with the right diabetes management plan, you don’t have to let it run your life.

Developing a care plan after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes will help manage your diabetes and take back control over your life. Continue reading to find out how you can live happily with a Type 2 Diabetes management plan.

Managing Type 2 Diabetes with Diet

If you’re going to maintain your blood sugar levels, you’re going to need a plan. You can make your daily routine a lot easier by planning your meals ahead of time.

Stock up on healthy and nutritious meals that can be made quickly. Start by buying whole foods such as fruits and vegetables. For protein, you should stick to organic, lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and fish.

You can also find plant-based protein sources such as spinach, quinoa, and legumes. When you are choosing plant-based proteins be sure to limit the number of carbohydrates you eat. On average, you should get 45-60% of your daily calories from carbs as someone with diabetes. Some suggest even less than that.

Getting into a comfortable routine and planning ahead will help you stick to a diet plan and avoid dangerous spikes in your blood sugar levels. You should also get in the habit of checking food labels and looking up the nutritional facts about the foods you eat.

Consult with a nutritionist to help you get on track to eating a well-rounded diet.

Watch Your Carbs

Since carbohydrates turn to sugar in your body, it’s no wonder that watching your carbs is a big part of how to manage diabetes. Having type 1 or 2 diabetes means your body has a difficult time processing and using blood sugar.

Your body needs carbs to function but not all carbs are created equally. Eating complex carbs and fiber is much better for you because they take longer to break down during digestion. Meaning, you won’t experience a giant spike in your blood sugar.

There are three main types of carbohydrates: starches, sugars, and fiber. Starches are complex carbs such as potatoes, beans, and grains like brown rice or quinoa. Sugars are both naturally occurring in fruits or added in sweets like chocolate or yogurt.

Fiber is commonly found in vegetables such as green beans and broccoli. It is also found in eggs, meat or fish. Complex carbs such as starches, and fiber that are naturally occurring are a safer bet. Since your body slowly breaks them down.

Added sugars should be avoided (or eliminated) as much as possible since it causes your insulin levels to spike quicker. Tracking your carbs every day will help you to avoid having too much sugar. You can find tracking apps for your phone that make tracking food more convenient.

Role of Physical Activity in Diabetes Management

Another way you can manage your type 2 diabetes is through regular fitness and exercise. Having a healthy diet can make a big difference but there’s no substitute for being active.

Getting exercise is not only going to help you get in shape and stay healthier it also makes you feel better. Find a regime that you enjoy and works with your schedule. It can be as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood or spending 30 minutes at the gym.

Everyone’s fitness level is different, so you should consult with your doctor or trainer for a workout plan that is safe for you. Have fun with your exercise and don’t be afraid to mix it up so you don’t get bored. You can listen to music or find a workout buddy to help you stay motivated.

Meds to Manage Type 2 Diabetes

Another key component to maintaining an effective diabetes management plan is taking your medication. Your doctor may test your blood sugar two to four times a year using the A1C test. From there, you will discuss your personal goals and determine the proper medication, meal plan, and exercise level based on your age and other categories.

You may be required to test your blood sugar level regularly as part of your treatment plan. If you’re taking insulin medications, this might mean multiple tests throughout the day.

Your doctor may combine different medications and insulin therapy depending on your personal circumstances and other medications you are on. You can keep up with your medications by refilling prescriptions online.

Which Medication Is Right For You?

Some common medications are metformin which is used to lower glucose production in your liver. It is usually the first medication prescribed to treat type 2 diabetes.

Sulfonylureas and Meglitinides are medications prescribed to help your pancreas produce more insulin. Some examples are glyburide, glipizide, and glimepiride. Other medications such as DPP-4 inhibitors help to reduce blood sugar levels without causing weight gain. They do have other side effects such as joint pain and risk of pancreatitis.

Injectable medications, such as GLP-1 receptor agonists, slows your digestion to help reduce blood sugar levels. These can also help with weight loss. Although they could cause nausea and increase your risk of pancreatitis.

SGLT2 inhibitors prevent your kidneys from reabsorbing sugar by excreting it instead. This drug class can help to reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. So it is prescribed to people who are a high risk of these conditions.

Insulin Therapy

Insulin therapy has grown in popularity for type 2 diabetes patients because of its effectiveness. The insulin is administered through injections because normal digestion is not effective. Your doctor may have you take different types of insulins throughout the day because they each work differently.

You may start by taking one long-acting shot at night. Typically insulin glargine (Lantus) or insulin detemir (Levemir) is prescribed. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the effects of the medications and insulin you are taking to find the one that works best for you.

Diabetes Management That Works

To create a diabetes management plan that is effective you must commit to a plan that incorporates a healthy diet, exercise, and medication(s). Combined, these three aspects will give you the best chance at maintaining your blood sugar level goals.

Looking for more ways to stay healthy and avoid an insulin spike? Check out these informative articles here.

GERD: Indicators your chronic heartburn might be something more

Categories:
chronic heartburn

Do you feel an annoying sensation in your tummy that feels like the acid in your stomach is bubbling toward your throat? You may have chronic heartburn.

While it’s normal to experience heartburn from eating greasy foods, many times it could be something more severe. You may have GERD. The acronym stands for a medical condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease.

This medical condition occurs when the acid in your stomach rises to your mouth, lungs, and esophagus. The truth is, the condition isn’t rare.

According to research studies, around 18 to 27% of people in North American suffer from the condition. In this post, you’ll discover warning signs and indicators of GERD. Let’s take a look at acid reflux symptoms.

Indicators of GERD

One of the first indicators you may have GERD is when you have a bitter taste in your mouth. GERD moves the food and bile from your tummy into your throat, causing a bitter taste in your mouth.

At the same time, you may also experience a burning in your esophagus that is highly unpleasant and painful.

Your throat feels hot, sore, and you also produce more saliva than usual. People report GERD feels as if their throat is on fire. If this happens to you, don’t shrug it off as a one or two-time occurrence.

Consistent Heartburn

When you feel a burning in your chest, you might think you have heartburn from eating acidic and greasy foods. Many people who experience heartburn think if they take an antacid, the heartburn will go away on its own. But sometimes it doesn’t.

When the burning in your chest is continual, you may have something more serious. It’s normal to feel regurgitation and heartburn in your chest once in a while. But when it happens frequently you may have contracted GERD.

Difficulty Swallowing

Do you feel like your food gets stuck in your throat? When you have acid reflux disease, that’s exactly how it feels. This condition is called dysphagia.

The condition can make it difficult to swallow. It can also make you feel like you don’t want to eat.

The condition seems to flare up when eating these foods:

  • Spicy foods
  • Chocolate
  • Acidic foods
  • Soft cheeses
  • Caffeine

If you have trouble swallowing when eating these foods, eliminate them from your diet. What may also help is eating fewer smaller meals more frequently during the day. And try some healthy foods that may help keep GERD symptoms to a minimum.

Serious Issues That Could Happen If GERD Is Left Untreated

If left untreated, GERD can lead to more serious health conditions. One condition is called esophagitis. Esophagitis happens when the acid damages the lining inside the esophagus.

Other conditions that may occur from acid reflux disease include a hiatal hernia. Hiatal hernias form when the stomach slides into the chest from your diaphragm.

GERD can also turn into esophageal ulcers, esophageal strictures, or at worst a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus. It’s also known as esophageal cancer.

You Feel a Heart Attack Coming on

Another sign of chronic heartburn and GERD is when you feel like you’re experiencing a heart attack. Since the chest is next to the heart, you might mistake the symptoms of GERD for the cardiac symptoms associated with a heart attack.

Other than burning, you can also feel pain with GERD. That’s another reason people think they’re having a heart attack when they experience GERD.

If you’re not sure what is causing your chest pain, it’s best to see a physician to find out for sure. If you have acid reflux disease, your doctor can prescribe medications to help.

Don’t assume you have acid reflux disease and head to the neighborhood pharmacy for an over-the-counter medication. Visit your doctor to learn if you have GERD or a serious cardiac condition.

Persistent Cough

When the acid in your stomach travels up your food pipe, some of the acids can seep into your lungs. This creates respiratory problems. They can be minor and give you a hoarse cough, cause congestion in your chest, or a persistent cough.

Other times respiratory issues can cause pneumonia, wheezing, laryngitis, or asthma. While these can be due to Gastroesophageal reflux disease, your respiratory problems may be a result of another condition.

See a physician to find out the cause. It could be acid reflux disease or another condition such as smoking or a pulmonary issue unrelated to GERD.

Respiratory Problems

Do you feel a shortness of breath? Difficulty breathing is one of the many symptoms of acid reflux.

Some of the respiratory problems associated with GERD include aspiration or bronchospasm. These conditions can become life-threatening and should not be ignored.

When to Contact Your Physician

If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, a persistent cough, difficulty swallowing, or chest pain, contact your physician immediately. Your doctor will do some tests.

If you have GERD, they may prescribe what’s known as a proton pump inhibitor for treatments. Medications may include but are not limited to:

  • Omeprazole
  • Esomeprazole
  • lansoprazole

The above are the most common medicines to treat GERD. But there are other medical options as well. Your physician may refer you to a gastroenterologist for further testing.

Home Remedies

You can take steps at home to relieve your acid reflux. Some of the things that can help include elevating your had at bedtime and improving your digestion.

  • Eat three to four hours before bedtime to give your food time to digest properly while you’re still you’re awake
  • Elevate your head when you get ready for bed by propping your pillows up high (don’t lie flat)
  • Sleep on your left side to avoid irritation of acid reflux due to the shape of the stomach

Following these tips will help relieve your acid reflux. And sleep more soundly through the night.

Chronic Heartburn Reviewed

Now you know the warning signs that happen in the body during chronic heartburn. If you’re experiencing the symptoms, you may have GERD.

This condition can be managed with medication, proper diet, and sleep adjustments. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your doctor.

Have a prescription from your doctor and looking for affordable medications? Contact our pharmacy to learn how you can save on a wide variety of prescriptions.

5 Tips To Treat Erectile Dysfunction At Home

Categories:
impotence

Erectile dysfunction (ED), or impotence, is an issue that can affect men of any age. The cause may be due to a number of factors such as a man’s overall health condition, emotional state, or even problems within a relationship.

There are physical and emotional barriers that can cause it. Impotence can negatively alter self-esteem for men because they may feel they are a lesser version of themselves when they cannot perform.

Impotence is not a permanent issue, and there are a variety of treatment options available. You can treat erectile dysfunction at home, and this guide will tell you how.

1. Exercise Is Important

Moving in general is great for the body. It is an effective remedy for those with erectile dysfunction because it allows you to improve blood flow to your body. Having good blood circulation is important for getting strong erections.

Men do not have to do much to achieve this. Walking alone can make an incredible difference. When men take care of their vascular health, they also help increase the production of testosterone. This male hormone plays a huge role in erectile strength and sex drive.

Any form of exercise, including strength training, can help prevent issues with high blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides. These vascular-related conditions can damage the arteries in the heart and brain. Eventually, it can lead to heart attack, stroke, and erectile dysfunction. When men keep their vascular system in check, they are promoting penile health.

2. Implement a Healthy Diet

The types of foods you eat can also make a difference in erectile dysfunction and treating it. You should focus on eating a diet rich in whole grains, fish, fruits, and veggies.

You also want to avoid eating red meat (no more than 2-3 servings per week) and consider eliminating alcohol from your diet. Alcohol can cause temporary and long-term complications with ED because it is a depressant.

The central nervous system releases nitric oxide, a chemical that helps men produce and create an erection. When you consume too much alcohol, you depress the nervous system which depresses nitric oxide.

Incorporating these changes also contribute to a healthier vascular system which helps men maintain a healthy weight and reduce issues with blood circulation. Losing weight can also prevent and improve impotence. Excess fat in the body can alter male hormone levels.

3. Stop Smoking

The vascular system is very important in maintaining performance for men. Another way men can impede blood supply is by smoking. When you smoke, you affect your arteries just as much as your lungs.

Over time, arteries start to get stiff, which can travel and cut off necessary blood flow. This can cause men to notice issues with starting or keeping an erection. For men who smoke, removing this alone can be enough to treat impotence.

Quitting can be hard to do on your own. If you want to quit and need help, you should speak with your doctor about finding appropriate methods to get you started.

4. Add Supplements

Incorporating supplements can also be a great way to treat impotence at home. To be safe, it is best to talk with your doctor to see which supplements you can take safely while avoiding detrimental side effects.

Ginseng

Ginseng is one of the few supplements that has plenty of solid research behind its positive effects on erectile dysfunction. There are several types, but red ginseng may be the best to use.

Men can take between 600-1,000mg a day. Another type of ginseng, Panex ginseng, can men with ED who also have metabolic syndrome and high lipid levels.

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants which helps the body replenish nitric oxide levels. It also has a direct impact on preventing or treating adverse atherosclerotic changes that shunt normal blood flow and cause impotence.

L-Arginine

L-Arginine is a type of amino acid found in the body that helps you make nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is important because it promotes the relaxation of blood vessels. This helps improve blood flow to the body as well as the penis. Men who take it may notice positive changes in sexual function after a few months.

DHEA

DHEA is a hormone the adrenal glands create. DHEA can convert into testosterone and estrogen. Men who have erectile dysfunction often have low levels of DHEA, and increasing it through supplementation can be beneficial. DHEA also helps men achieve and maintain erections.

Ginkgo

Ginkgo can treat impotence by helping the body increase normal flow which helps improve performance and sexual desire in men. This is a supplement you should not take if you have a risk of bleeding or if you are on blood thinners.

Yohimbine

Although there is not a lot of research on Yohimbine, it has shown to promote positive effects on sexual performance. Men should use this supplement with caution because it does have a few side effects like irregular heartbeat, increased blood pressure, and anxiety.

5. Get Quality Sleep

Restful sleep is more important than you may think as it can cause a myriad of issues. Not getting enough sleep or restful sleep, as you may have guessed, can also contribute to erectile dysfunction or make it worse. The average adult should sleep at least 7-9 hours a day to allow the body to reset itself.

Hormone secretion is controlled by a number of factors. The body’s sleep pattern has some effect on helping the body discern when it should release hormones. Poor sleep can reduce overall testosterone.

Testosterone deficiency can cause metabolic complications, cardiovascular disease, and erectile dysfunction. Men who do not get enough sleep can also have poor circulation.

Using Medication to Help Address Impotence

The best way to treat impotence is to know what type of issue you are experiencing that is causing it. If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, and it’s mainly linked to emotional and relationship issues, you should resolve those issues.

You may also experience erectile dysfunction due to blood circulation issues and medications. While there are medications you can take to treat impotence, there are also medications that can cause it. If you are on medication, check with your physician to see if you are experiencing a drug side effect.

You can refill a prescription given to you by your doctor online. Medication such as Sildenafil (Viagra) or tadalafil (Cialis) is best at helping address impotence.

6 Tips for a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

Categories:
Heart-Healthy Lifestyle

It’s a tragic fact but heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. In fact, in 2016 alone, nearly 10 million people worldwide died from coronary artery disease, a narrowing of the arteries due to a build-up of plaque. Simply put, when your arteries become clogged, blood, and therefore oxygen, cannot reach your heart.

But there’s good news! Your heart health is almost completely within your control.

Yes, there are certain risk factors that can’t be changed, such as age and family history. But simply by adjusting your habits to create a heart-healthy lifestyle, you can drastically lower your risk of heart disease and other devastating chronic conditions.

That’s because positive lifestyle changes have a domino effect! Everything you do to care for your heart will improve your overall health as well.

Here are 6 heart-healthy lifestyle choices to start making today.

1. Remove Unnecessary Risks

The first, and potentially most difficult, step to take is to remove unnecessary health risks from your life. This means quitting tobacco use and possibly scaling back your alcohol consumption.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a drink or two, but any more than that on a regular basis and you increase your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and cancer.

As for tobacco use, there is no healthy amount. Smoking not only causes 30% of all cancer deaths in the United States but damages every organ in your body, including your heart and blood vessels.

2. Get More Physical Activity

One of the best ways to avoid heart failure and other diseases is to get more physical activity in your daily routine. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week. This is only 30 minutes a day, five days a week!

Stick with activities you genuinely look forward to doing. If you hate the gym, don’t try to force yourself to go. By making physical activity a pleasure rather than a chore, you’re much more likely to keep up with your fitness journey.

Something as simple as going for a bike ride in the evening or a walk around the neighborhood after work can be enough to get you on the right track with your heart health.

Remember that 150 minutes is a minimum. When you feel comfortable, you should work up to 30 minutes of activity or more every day of the week.

3. Eat Healthier

If you eat a typical Western diet, chances are you’re eating an abundance of foods that should be limited or avoided altogether if you’re seeking a heart-healthy lifestyle. Our diets are often loaded with sugars, sodium, and other additives that can lead to heart disease.

Treat yourself to a cookie or a bowl of ice cream every now and then, but do your best to ensure that the bulk of your diet is made up of whole, nutrient-dense foods. This means plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins and healthy fats and carbohydrates.

When in doubt, shop the perimeter of the store for most of your groceries. And when in the aisles, choose the options with the least ingredients. For example, if you’re buying frozen strawberries, there should only be one ingredient: strawberries.

4. Prioritize Mental Health

Anxiety and depression are all too common, but even if you aren’t suffering from mental illness, you need to make an effort to prioritize your mental health.

Many of us view stress as an unavoidable part of life. And while that’s true to an extent, stress can do a number on both our mental and physical health.

Stress has a negative effect on every facet of health, from your digestion to your immune system to your heart health, which is why it’s so important to manage it.

Take time each day for activities such as yoga, meditation, writing in a gratitude journal, or talking to a friend. Whatever makes you feel calm and centered is what you should do.

5. Improve Your Sleep Habits

If you wake up every morning feeling as if you haven’t slept at all, you’re not alone. About a third of adults don’t get enough quality sleep. But if you’re in this percentage, it’s time to make a change.

So many of us put sleeping at the bottom of our priority list, classifying it as a waste of time and spending as much of our day awake as possible. This might feel like a productive move as you’re doing it but is actually a huge mistake.

In reality, sleeping is one of the most productive things we can do for our health. Getting 7 to 9 hours of high-quality sleep is absolutely essential to lowering the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack.

To improve the quality of your sleep, try limiting your caffeine consumption to the morning hours and putting your electronics away an hour or two before bed. Create a relaxing bedtime routine and include activities such as taking a bath, reading, or practicing meditation.

6. Make Regular Visits to Your Doctor

No one likes going to the doctor, but the key to preventing and treating heart failure symptoms is to catch them early. Once a year, visit your doctor to discuss your weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Your doctor will be able to give you helpful advice for achieving or maintaining a healthy level of all three and tell you if you’re beginning to reach the danger zone with any of them.

Without regular testing, you likely won’t know if you have a heart-damaging condition such a high blood pressure or high cholesterol until it’s too late. Going to the doctor might be uncomfortable, but your health is too precious to risk.

Start Your Journey Toward a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Today

It’s never too late to start making your health a priority. By using these strategies to living a heart-healthy lifestyle, you’ll be amazed by how much better you feel in your day to day life.

Best of all, you’ll improve your overall wellness and add healthy years to your life. So what are you waiting for? Start taking steps toward health today.

If you’ve been prescribed medication to help you in your journey, take a look at our products. We’re committed to providing you with the medication you need at the lowest price possible.

5 Tips to Help Prevent Asthma Attacks

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5 tips to help prevent asthma attacks

Asthma is a condition that affects nearly 30 million Americans. Kids and adults are equally likely to have it. Most children with asthma may get cured as they get older, but for some, the condition remains into adulthood. The scariest thing about asthma is that if you do not know the symptoms and know how to address it, the lung condition can kill you. You can prevent asthma attacks and take better control of your life or your child’s life. Take a look at these tips to help you.

1. Identify Triggers and Stay Away From Them

Asthma attack symptoms are not the same for everyone, but there are common triggers. You should know what factors increase your risk of getting an asthma attack and stay away from them. Common triggers include:

  • Smoke
  • Perfume
  • Air pollution
  • Cold air
  • Getting sick
  • Pollen
  • Stress
  • Exercise

Most people can learn what triggers they need on their own. Other times, there are triggers you know you have but do not know what the source is.

In times like this, it’s helpful to create an asthma diary to track everything you do and the locations you visit. Keep a log for several weeks.

Find ways to keep your home and workplace free from allergens. It would help if you also were mindful of the locations you visit and travel.

There are emotional and physical factors that can cause asthma. Attacks can happen while working out or occur during periods of stress, depression, or shock.

2. Strengthen Your Immunity

Anyone can benefit from a healthy immune system, especially those who have asthma. You can boost your immune system by taking vitamin C, drinking plenty of water, and eating foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins to equip your body with the nutrition it needs.

Having a strong immune system can prevent you from getting sick often, which can cause attacks. It would help if you also washed your hands often to lower the chances of getting respiratory infections.

If you have several allergies, you may want to consider getting allergy shots to keep asthma under better control. Getting all your vaccinations can also prove to be useful.

Other than getting flu shots to protect you against the flu virus, it will help to get a pneumonia shot (Pneumovax). This is a shot you should get every 5-10  years. Other vaccinations include the zoster vaccine, which shields you from shingles, and Tdap, which protects you against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.

3. Follow Your Doctor’s Action Plan

Your doctor understands your condition, and you well enough to create a personalized action plan to manage your asthma. They will give you your medications and advise you on how to use the peak flow meter.

This meter is sufficient for measuring how well air travels throughout your lungs. It can also let you know in advance when your airways are narrow ahead of time before symptoms show. This alone can save you from an attack before it happens.

Peak flows let you know how fast you can expel air from your lungs and provide readings to measure your results. You must understand the zones to see if your breathing is optimal or you are in danger.

There are also spirometry tests the doctor may add into the plan to see how much hair your lungs can contain and how much air you can release following a deep breath. This is known as forced expiratory volume (FEV), and the recording is often expressed as a percentage.

4. Take Your Medications

Asthma attacks account for about 25% of all emergency visits in the US. Many of these attacks could have been prevented in situations when asthma medications were not taken.

Asthma medications are needed to help address the symptoms and stop them before they can surface. The main form of controlling asthma attacks is with the use of long term medications like:

  • Cromolyn
  • Theophylline
  • Oral corticosteroids
  • Inhaled corticosteroids
  • Leukotriene modifiers
  • Inhaled long-acting anticholinergics/beta-agonists

There are also medications available the doctor will prescribe to provide fast relief in the event you are having an attack. They will provide inhaled short-acting anticholinergics and beta-agonists instead.

Some doctors will recommend the use of biologic drugs that treat asthma by working with your immune system. This drug works by blocking immune responses responsible for causing the airways to get inflamed and contract. Biologic drugs like omalizumab (Xolair) are monoclonal antibodies used in cases of severe symptoms.

5. Follow Precautions as a Vulnerable Population Group

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is crucial now more than ever to get as much fresh air as possible. More people are staying indoors, and closed spaces pose two primary risks for people with asthma.

When you are in closed spaces, you are more likely to expose yourself to allergens and infectious diseases. It is important to remember the chances of exposing yourself to allergens and viruses from others when you remain areas void of ventilation.

Those with asthma are more sensitive to risks and complications related to infectious disease, so you should be sure to follow guidelines the CDC advises for vulnerable populations.

You Can Prevent Asthma Attacks Before They Happen

Asthma is a significant problem in the US. The saving factor about the chronic condition is that it’s controllable. You can reduce or prevent asthma attacks when you follow these tips.

Knowing what your triggers are, boosting your immunity, listening to your doctor, and exposing yourself to fresh air as much as possible is essential. Never skip on taking your medications either. Most doctors prescribe anti-asthmatics, like Asmanex, to their patients.

When you live with asthma for a long time, you must refill the medication often. You can skip the trip to the drugstore by starting an order online to have the life-saving medication you need to be delivered to you.

Never Suffer From Magnesium Deficiency Again

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never suffer from magnesium deficiency again

Magnesium deficiency can actually be pretty serious despite what people may believe. Low magnesium is often referred to as the “silent epidemic” in the medical community. And the thing is that many of the symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency can be difficult to spot. For this reason, it goes unnoticed and the problems become worse.

Symptoms and Signs of Magnesium Deficiency

So, what are the symptoms and signs of magnesium deficiency? They are as followed:

• Neurological Based: Seizures, anxiety, lethargy, vomiting, and even loss of appetite. • Metabolic Based: Hyperglycemia, potassium deficiency, and sometimes increases intracellular calcium. • Muscular Based: Tics, weakness, muscle spasms, muscle cramps, and even impaired muscle coordination.

In children, severe magnesium deficiency can result in stunted growth. As you can see, the symptoms and signs of magnesium can be quite serious. Some conditions associated with this deficiency include ADHD, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, epilepsy, migraine, osteoporosis, chest pain, cluster headaches, and even hypertension.

Getting Diagnosed and What You Can Do About It

How do you get diagnosed officially with magnesium deficiency? The most common way to do it is through a blood test. If there is low magnesium levels in the blood, then you’ll know that it has become a problem. Once you become diagnosed, you’ll be encouraged to start magnesium therapy. This will include taking magnesium supplements as soon as you can for up to a month (sometimes more and sometimes less depending on the severity of your condition). In most cases, this is a problem that can easily be solved once you start the recovery regiment.

Always Be Aware Of the “Silent Epidemic”

It’s estimated that about 75% of the population doesn’t get enough magnesium in their diet. That’s a considerable amount. And the difficult part is that the symptoms are so general that it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause without getting the blood test. However, not that you know that magnesium deficiency is such a huge problem in the United States, now you can go about getting diagnosed and starting your recovery regimen. In some cases, you may need to be on this regiment indefinitely. This depends on whether or not you get enough magnesium in your diet, and also depends on your physiology.

Throw Away Your Favourite Artificial Sweetener (It May Be Killing You)

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throw away your favourite sweetener

Could there be a link between breast cancer and artificial sweeteners? For years, manufacturers and the FDA reassured the public that they’re completely safe. Are they? Today, let’s look at the relationship between breast cancer and artificial sweeteners, including how they work to cause cancer.

There are different types of artificial sweeteners out there like:

  • Saccharin
  • Sucralose
  • Acesulfame potassium

For the sake of discussion, we are going to focus on the most popular type i.e. aspartame.

What is Aspartame?

Aspartame is a “first generation” artificial sweetener. It’s 200 times sweeter than regular sugar, so it’s a favorite ingredient in many food and beverage products. You may know it as NutraSweet, Spoonful, and Equal.

At first, the FDA didn’t approve of this as a sugar substitute. Through dirty political and regulatory tactics, G.D. Searle & Company finally got the go signal to sell it as an artificial sweetener in dry goods on 1981.

Since artificial sweeteners are FDA-approved, they must be 100% safe, right?

Aspartame Approval – FDA’s Fatal Mistake

For decades, health advocates have been asking the FDA to re-evaluate their decision about artificial sweeteners because of a possible breast cancer link.

Well, health groups aren’t really happy and want the FDA to re-evaluate their decision because artificial sweeteners may play a role in the incidence of breast cancer. For instance, there are higher incidence of breast and prostate cancers in North America and Europe compared to Asia and Africa, which have lower consumption of NutraSweet.

Inside the body, aspartame is broken down into methanol (10 percent), aspartic acid (40 percent), and phenylalanine (50 percent). Experts say these compounds are highly safe because fresh fruits and veggies have them.

Here’s where it gets ugly.

Once taken, the body converts aspartame into methanol within minutes. The next step is converting methanol into formaldehyde, a compound linked to cancer in humans. In his study, Dr. Monte reaffirmed this fact and added that it’s not only the liver that metabolizes this compound.

Aside from the liver, one of the few richest sources of Alcohol Dehydrogenase Enzyme (ADH) in the body is human breasts, specifically the mammary endothelial cells. Most cases of human breast cancers normally start in the mammary epithelial cells.

Artificial Sweeteners Do More Harm Than Good

Not everyone who uses artificial sweeteners is bound to get sick. True, but…

We can’t simply ignore population studies and clinical trials that suggest that artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, may contain certain ingredients that could put a person at risk for different types of illnesses, like diabetes and cancer. The result of one animal study even suggests that exposure to aspartame in the womb could cause blood and breast cancers.

So, what are your thoughts on the issue about breast cancer linked to using artificial sweeteners?

 

7 ‘Most Addictive Foods’ to Avoid for a Healthier Life

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7 foods to reduce in your diet for better health

When people think of addiction they usually think of drugs such as opioids and marijuana. However, it is worthy of note that some of the most addictive foods can be as addictive as opioids and marijuana. By cutting back on the consumption of these seven most addictive foods according to science, many have found a myriad of health benefits and also lost excess weight.

Understanding that ‘exorphins‘, a chemical in foods, can act as a drug in your body and thus fuel addiction can help many patients to better monitor their weight and to successfully fight off those late night eating binges and their excessive cravings.

Here are the 7 most addictive foods according to science:

  • Dairy

The protein in your dairy foods is called casein. This casein is very addictive and interestingly the same medications that are administered in an emergency room for a drug overdose can eliminate the craving for dairy. This gives you an idea of just how very powerful the craving for casein is in your body. 

  • Meat

Many people crave meat however, what they are really craving is the albumin as well as the hemoglobin and gamma globulin that are in the meat. These specific chemicals are well known for their ability to activate the opioid receptors in the brain. If these patients are treated with medications that block opiate receptors their craving drops dramatically.

  • Sugar

Sugar, especially when combined with fats, act as an opiate. In fact, when treated with opiate blockers the person will stop craving the combination very quickly. Sugar and fats are responsible for obesity in many patients.

  • Fats

Combine fats with sugar and you have an epidemic of obesity. Many people think that if they just eat donut holes in lieu of the actual donut that they are okay. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The combination of sugars and fats work together to act as opioids on the system.

  • Salt

If you suffer from high blood pressure one of the first things you’re advised to do is take the salt shaker off of the table and stop using salt with your cooking. Salt forces the body to retain fluids and thus increases the blood pressure. Sadly many of us learn to crave salt from a young age. This salt craving is very difficult to break but well worth the effort if you, like many of us, are suffering from high blood pressure.

  • Rice And Wheat

A protein in wheat and rice called gliadin acts as an opiate on your system. Again, your body begins to crave its ‘drug’ and you crave more and more bread when you’re dining. The more bread you eat the more you’re feeding the addiction. The same goes with the rice. If you’re craving more than a normal serving you may need to wean yourself off of bread and rice.

Conclusion

If you’re struggling with any of the above food addictions there is hope. Cut back on the amounts of the above mentioned foods and make sure you’re only eating normal sized portions. Stock your kitchen, pantry and work desk with healthy snacks such as fresh fruits, nuts and whole grains. Eat only healthy serving sizes when you do snack.

 

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