Health Supplement

Surgeon
Surgeon

Health Supplement – what is it?

So what is a health supplement? Health supplement is a term that means products made of one or more of the fundamental nutrients, for example vitamins or minerals and which is very beneficial for our health. It provides you with some specific (or a mix of) vitamins, minerals, herbs, botanicals, amino acids, metabolites, etc. Our health depends on the correct intake of these nutrients and if the diet doesn’t work, some type of health supplement or supplements would be the answer.

Health Supplement – vitamins.

Many health supplements provide us with various vitamins. For example, vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E. Vitamin A plays an important role in vision, bone growth, reproduction, and cell division and cell differentiation. Vitamin D maintains normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Vitamin E is a very powerful biological antioxidant, which plays a great role in preventing cell damage that may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Health Supplement – minerals.

Health supplements also provide us with various minerals. Minerals play a number of roles, like helping your body to use the energy from foods. For example, iron supplement provides your body with iron, which is an important component of proteins involved in oxygen transport and metabolism. Calcium supplement provides us with calcium, which is critical for transmission of nerve impulses, regulation of the heartbeat, clotting of blood, and building and maintaining healthy bones.

Health supplement – be careful.

Before you start taking some type of health supplement, make sure that an appropriate diet is not enough to increase the intake of some minerals or vitamins. Consult with a doctor to see that using supplements is right for you. Some supplements may have side effects.

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Simple Tips for Keeping Your Skin Healthy

Healthcare workers
Healthcare workers

It is imperative for women to understand their body as they enter different phases of their life, to and be able to foresee common problems that come with age. What the body of a twenty year old woman requires is different from what a fifty year old woman aged needs. Nevertheless, the truth is that the beauty and health of every woman gets affected by one of more of these conditions, as time goes by: facial wrinkles, breast drooping, vaginal infection, women infertility, abnormal menstruation, cellulite, varicose vein, stretch marks, menopause, constipation, spider vein, vitamin deficiency, depression and so on.

Following, we’ll talk about a few ways of remaining healthy and good-looking:

How to keep your skin healthy and beautiful?

Every woman loves having a shiny, healthy skin, but few realize what spoils it. You’ll accept that our body is constantly under attack by the sun, pollution, sweat, stress, misuse of items like alcohol, tobacco and various fast foods. If you are keen to have a healthy, attractive skin, you need to find ways to counteract these elements. Some proven helpful ways include nutritious food and regular exercise, coupled with a good sleep.

However, all our efforts prove to be insufficient at times, particularly with the growing years, when our body needs more attention and necessarily requires a slight use of cosmetics. It is recommended to make use of natural, safe skin products. Regular use of such natural products can significantly help to protect your looks from the effects of pollutants. This is true for the feminine beauty that pleases men, and also makes you feel better about yourself. To stay looking attractive is important for yourself, as well as for others.

It’s imperative to keep your skin clean. Healthy skin demands regular care. It is vital to keep the skin clean by regularly using products which do not harm it, or disturb its normal balance. You should understand that it is under constant attack from external elements. It is certainly affected by elements like dirt, dust, sweat and pollution. all elements which disturb its peripheral balance. The use of an antioxidant cream helps repairing the damages caused by these elements.

Diet

There are many reports confirming that good, nutritional food contributes to having a healthier skin. There is no doubt that your beauty is closely related to your diet. Apart from the consumption of healthy foods, one should not have dinners late in the night. You should try eating your last meal at least three hours before retiring for the night. Eating late could lead to indigestion, which is often the cause of bad breath, acne, belly fat, psoriasis and eczema. Ideally, you should design your eating habits according to your lifestyle (sportive, active), present state (obese, pregnant) and age. Your energy requirements also depend on your sex and many other factors.

Beautiful Skin 101

Healthcare and medical collage
Healthcare and medical collage

Most women shy away from being called ‘too sensitive.’ But when the subject is kin, they’re all too willing to wear the scarlet S. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, at least 40% of women believe they have sensitive skin, although most dermatologists report that only a fraction really do. Sensitivity “defined as skin that’s prone to irritation from products, weather, or stress” is a real (albeit misunderstood) condition. It’s not the same as an allergy. It means you have a lower tolerance for irritating ingredients, such as fragrances and dyes. The evil twist here is that the more skin reacts, the more sensitive it becomes. Imagine normal skin having a natural barrier like Saran Wrap. People with sensitive skin have a disrupted barrier all the time. But by identifying what disrupts that barrier and protecting it with the right moisturizer, you can develop a thicker skin.

Read Labels: Before applying creams, lotions, or makeup, read the ingredients list. The fewer ingredients on the label, the better. All products and formulas should be free of fragrance, dye, and isopropyl alcohol (commonly known as rubbing alcohol). And beware of botanical ingredients and oils. Test each new product on the side of your neck for a few days before using it on your face.

Cleanse: Wash you face with a milky, non-foaming liquid cleanser or a soap-free bar. Do not use a washcloth or any rough scrubber, which can be too abrasive for sensitive skin. Rinse face well by splashing with lukewarm water and pat with a soft towel, leaving skin slightly damp. There is no need to use a toner, which generally contains drying and irritating isopropyl alcohol.

Moisturize: Dab moisturizer onto damp skin in the morning and night. Look for one that contains ceramides, fatty acids, or cholesterol, all of which help form a protective barrier against irritation. In the morning, when the moisturizer is absorbed, apply a sunscreen (with an SPF 15 or higher). It should also contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are least likely to cause reactions.
Cheat Sheet

Choose the right products. ‘Allergy-tested’ means it doesn’t have ingredients that cause common reactions. ‘Noncomedogenic’ means it won’t clog pores.

Read labels. Not everyone with sensitive skin is troubled by the same thing, but the most common irritants, in order, include fragrance, isopropyl alcohol, dyes, PABA, lanolin, sorbic acid, formaldehyde, and benzoic acid.
Don’t assume that natural products are safe. Some botanicals (rosemary, sandalwood, arnica) and essential oils (jojoba, tea tree, lavender) may irritate.

Test samples on the neck for several days. If they don’t irritate you, they’ll probably be fine for your face.
Don’t try an arsenal of new products at once. Similarly, if skin breaks out, stop using everything, and reintroduce products one by one.

Be as gentle as possible. Use a creamy, liquid cleanser or a soap-free bar and rinse with lukewarm water. Avoid Buf-Pufs and washcloths. Pat with a towel and leave skin slightly damp.

Moisturize with a product for sensitive skin, or one that contains fatty acids, cholesterol, and ceramides.
Every day, be sure to apply a PABA-free sunscreen that contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
Daily Basics

Wash with a milky, non-foaming liquid.

Use a soap-free formula with oatmeal that calms dry and itchy skin.

For day, use a fragrance-free moisturizer containing a non-irritating sunscreen. At night, smooth on a noncomedogenic formula that helps fortify the skin’s barrier while you sleep.

Dermatologists say that sensitive-skin sufferers are more likely to avoid using sunscreens, associating them with past reactions to PABA. Choose one that won’t aggravate skin.

It’s not just what you put on your face. Hair spray can cause breakouts along the hairline. Use an allergy-tested and keep the hair off the face whenever possible.

Extra Help

To soothe redness, dermatologists recommend using a fragrance-free treatment. A dime-size dab of an over-the-counter 1% hydrocortisone cream also relieves itching.

For dryness on the body, increase resistance to the environment with a product containing lipids, which is safe for sensitive types.

To treat blemishes, start with an irritant-free face lotion that minimizes blotches with vitamin A. Follow with a concealer that won’t aggravate acne, which does double duty by helping clear and conceal blemishes.

Dermatologists like products that get their color from iron oxides, which are less likely to cause reactions. They’re also talc-free, which means they won’t rob skin of the moisture it needs.

Tricks of the Trade

Don’t’ shower or bathe for more than 20 minutes, or you’ll dry out your skin. Use lukewarm water.

Don’t start any aggressive treatments during the winter, when skin is dryer and more sensitive because of low humidity and indoor heating. A humidifier helps skin from becoming parched.

Grainy or chemical exfoliants can cause breakouts. Excessive daily scrubbing rubs the sebaceous glands, which can clog pores. Use a clay or mud mask to slough off dead cells instead.

Facials are trouble unless they’re simple, steam-free, and employ fragrance-free products.

Avoid chemical peels and laser treatments if you’re sensitive to exfoliants and skin-lightening creams.

If acne medications irritate your skin, ask your doctor about taking oral antibiotics or birth-control pills, which can help minimize blemishes.

Keep Retin-A treatments to only once a week. Dilute the strength by mixing it with your moisturizer.

For skin that seems provoked by anything and everything, ask you dermatologist about cleansers and moisturizers that are normally prescribed for hypersensitive postsurgery and postpeel patients.

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What Are the Best Ways to Eat Healthy at Work?

People working in healthcare office
People working in healthcare office

I advise my patients and clients to try intermittent fasting. This entails skipping breakfast and eating your first meal when you normally eat lunch. Even if they can only do this once a week, it is one less meal for the week, four less meals for the month, and 52 less meals for the year. With the average meal containing 650 calories, that is a substantial calorie deficit for the year.

The best way to get into the habit of packing a daily lunch is to do it the night before. Mornings can be chaotic. Picture this: you sleep through your alarm and your son misses his school bus. There’s very little chance that you will be able to pack your lunch in this scenario. For women with careers and families, these morning monkey wrenches are fairly common. A great time saver that I use is to cook enough dinner for an extra meal and pack that for lunch the next day.

I suggest that my patients eat as healthy as possible six days a week and have a cheat day to satisfy cravings and urges, reset hormones, and give you a goal to shoot for during the week. If you can have junk food whenever you want, it will lose its appeal. A slice of Junior’s cheesecake is so much more satisfying if you have to wait until Saturday to eat it. During our 6 days of “clean” eating, every meal should contain a protein source such as chicken, turkey, grass-fed beef, tuna, and eggs, a carbohydrate source such as quinoa, beans, or brown rice (small amounts), and ample amounts of green vegetables like kale and spinach. A great way to make your greens tasty is to sauté them with grass-fed butter and add a splash of black pepper and sea salt.

There are two ways to avoid snacking on the inevitable goodies: eat until you are satiated every meal and not having them handy. If you are full after meals, there is less urge to snack in between meals. Also, if there are no Oreos in the drawer next to your work desk, then there is less risk of you falling to the temptation. For snacking, I recommend having raw almonds or cashews, kale chips, Greek yogurt, whey protein powder, hummus and celery sticks.

You have to have tunnel vision if you want to get healthy. We are constantly being bombarded with fast food commercials, billboards for all you can buffets, and even co-workers who feel the need to make sly comments or try to convince you of what you’re missing by living a healthy lifestyle. If me making my health a priority makes my co-workers uncomfortable or offends them, then they have some issues that they need to deal with; not me.

If you are not practicing intermittent fasting, I have found that people who skip lunch tend to either eat junk food or overeat at dinner. My rule of thumb is not to skip lunch.

I prefer to eat with others just to break up the monotony of the work day. When I need to improve productivity or stay on task, I do eat at my desk though. It comes down to preference.

The best way to get back on track after having a bad week or “falling off the horse”, is to get right back on the horse. You can’t beat yourself up over a bad week. This is an everyday struggle.

Air Purifiers And Air Filters Can Help The Health Of Allergy And Asthma Sufferers

Healthcare worker with arms crossed
Healthcare worker with arms crossed

Indoor air pollution in the form of dander, dust and pollen particulate matter can be a real irritant for suffers of asthma, allergies and other respiratory conditions. In addition to removal of all direct irritant sources and minimizing the irritant containment materials in your house, you should also consider the indoor ventilation and filtration system of home.

Environmental control is the key to reducing exposure to indoor and outdoor allergens. Keeping a clean house free of dust, dander, smoke, pollen, and other airborne particulate matters will help to reduce the irritation and effect on family members with respiratory difficulties. Air cleaners, filters and hepa filters can play a role in helping to control or reduce the exposure to indoor and outdoor allergens.

Several health authorities have recognized that certain types of air filtration systems can be beneficial in reducing the amount of airborne particulates in a room. The American lung association recommends using a hepa air filter purifier for the bedrooms of asthma suffers.
The Mayo clinic recommends an air particle filter for household ventilation systems. Ionic filters and hepa filters have been endorsed or recognized by the Asthma and allergy foundation of America (AAFA) and the British Allergy Foundation seal of approval.

Selecting the wrong type of filtration system could exacerbate the problem by agitating and circulating the existing particulate matter throughout your house, so it is important to do your research thoroughly. Ionic air filters do not create high airflow patterns to clean the air and simply rely on negative ion attraction to collect the airborne particulate matter. They have demonstrates to have decent capture rate of airborne allergens and irritants like pollen, dander, tobacco smoke and dust and can help improve the quality of your indoor air environment. You can read more the ionic air filtration process at health care .

Air filtration systems should not be considered as a solution for any respiratory condition, nor as a reason to ignore sound medical advice and guidance about the removal of irritant sources and allergen habitats from your household. They are also not a substitute for thorough and regular cleaning of your household environment. Selecting the right air purifier system can help complement and enhance your efforts to reducing airborne particulate matters, as well as maintain a healthier indoor breathing environment.

Tips for Radiant Health

Animal Health Care Professional
Animal Health Care Professional

If you are a parent, have you ever stopped to think about all the issues that face our children today? When you were a child how many kids in your classroom were considered obese? How often did you hear of autism when you were growing up? Chances what is today’s new normal are issues that were of minimal concern for you when you were growing up. In today’s world, we are so used to hearing terms, such as autism, childhood obesity and ADHD, that we really don’t even think twice when our child, or the child of friend or family member, has been diagnosed with one of these new norms. We have come to accept these illnesses and conditions as normals and our settling. When in fact, these new childhood norms are not okay. They are not acceptable.

Let’s take a look today’s new normal for our children as well as what the three pillars of radiant health can do to help us all lead a healthier lifestyle. Let’s take a look at today’s new normals in the United States:

54 percent of children are sick, overweight or at risk for developmental delays. They have asthma, allergies, ADHD, arthritis, autism, anxiety disorders, arthritis and more. These are just the conditions at the beginning of the alphabet. Imagine how long this list would be if we decided to run from A all the way down to Z.

Amongst developed countries, the United States ranks number one in infant death rate as well as in maternal mortality rate.

Again, in developed countries, the U.S, ranks second when it comes to preterm birth rate.

Did you know that one in 8 women in the United States will give birth to a premature baby?

Amongst developing countries, the United States is ranked number 5 when it comes to c-section rates.

One in three women will give birth to their baby by c-section.

These new childhood norms may seem extremely out of the norm if for us, our parents, our parents’ parents and so on. So that’s a parent to do? How can we help prevent these new childhood norms?

The Three Pillars of Radiant Health:

As we search to find answers for these new childhood norms, what are we to do whenever there is a health issue? Medical anthropologist, Syd Singer, suggest that we ask, ” What am I doing that may be causing the problem?” To find the answers to our problems, we are consulting researchers, reading up on scientific literature, examining global best practices, accessing ancestral wisdom and acknowledging anecdotal and clinical experience. When it comes to your family’s health (whether you are just starting a family or thinking about becoming pregnant), here are three pillars of radiant health to help everyone in your family achieve optimal health.

Pillar 1: Respect the Microbiome

Human health, immunity and well-being pivot on a vast microbial foundation known as the human microbiome. This human microbiome is one of the three pillars of radiant health. The human microbiome is the total complement of the microorganisms that are found in and on our skin as well as deep inside the body. These microorganisms found deep inside the body can include the mucosal linings from our nasal and oral membranes down to those in the gastrointestinal tract and beyond. Our bodies contains as many as three pounds worth of microorganisms. The microbiome is an entire ecosystem with 10,000 species of bacteria, yeasts, fungi and more.

Our microbiome is a very important part of our bodies. It houses more than two thirds of our immune system. It is responsible for producing vitamins that are very important to the functioning of our bodies, including vitamin b12 and vitamin k2. It also synthesizes chemicals that make us feel good including GABA, dopamine and serotonin. That’s not all our microbiomes do. They also inhibit colonization of pathogens by competing for attachment sites as well as essential nutrients.New research offers even more fascinating news about our microbiomes.

Research has found that there are connections between microbiome and many issues that affect our health, including:

Obesity

Metabolic syndrome

Diabetes

Depression

Stress and anxiety

Pain and inflammation

Sleep disorders

Diminishing cognitive function

What’s important to take from this pillar is that you need to protect your microbiota. They are very important for a healthy body.

Pillar 2: Food is Medicine

This is one of the three pillars of radiant health. When we say that food is medicine, this extends well beyond just fueling your body to keep it running efficiently. There is an entirely separate concept that food is medicine. This means that food can heal us. By changing how we eat, we can change our lives for the better.

Food is important. By eating the wrong (and unhealthy foods), we are increasing our risk of harming our bodies and developing chronic illness.Sometimes, we may be tempted to. However, we cannot, do not and should not eat all day long. In fact, most of us our so busy that are probably not getting all that we need out of our meals. Whether you have a newborn baby or are worried about an elderly relative, we all need to eat healthy.

We want to make every bite of food we take count. This is why you might have heard that we should eat densely. By eating densley, we should be eating meals that are packed with nutrients to give us energy, repair tissues, build up tissues and help us sustain life. The group of chemical reactions in which our bodies engage to convert or use energy is what is known as metabolism. The processes of digestion, respiration, elimination and circulation are what keep us alive and enjoying life. Metabolism uses nutrients — including fats, carbs and proteins to provide our bodies with 100 percent of their energy. Vitamins and minerals are also important for metabolism to occur in the body.

A food revolution is currently in process. This food revolution is highlighting a variety of different ways to eat. New research, cutting edge ideas, conversation, support and community-based education are allowing individuals to do phenomenal things for their health.

Pillar 3: Less is More

You may or may not already know this but we are a very consumed society. We love stuff; the newer the better. Whether it’s science, medicine or technology, we always have to have the latest and the greatest. We embrace better living through improvements in technology, science and medicine, we equate these changes with progress. This is exactly why one of the three pillars of radiant health is less is more. If one is good, more is great and before we know it we want as much as we can possibly have.

In most cases, we want more of something that we never really needed in the first place. This is why we have shows like “Storage Wars” and why so many Americans are addicted to prescription medications. When addressing your children’s health, it is unbelievably important to realize that less really is more. Our bodies know what we need to be well. Our bodies have more intelligence than most of us could ever wish to acquire. Sometimes we just need to learn to say know when a medication, treatment or procedure are recommended. If one or more of the list below is true, you may just want to say no to medical intervention.

There is no medical emergency.

It’s a new form of treatment.

You don’t understand it.

It sounds too good to be true.

You don’t think you or your child needs it.

There are risk involved.

You are feeling pressured.

You are feeling nervous.

Public relations is involved.

Sometimes you need to take a stand and stand up for what you believe is right or wrong.

The toxins in allopathic medications as well as in medical treatment are just one category of toxic environmental exposure. Despite what you may hear, there is no debate. Environmental toxins are what ails us. From illness, to autism to cancer to birth defects can be caused by environmental toxins. If someone tells you the risk of worth the benefit, we ware! They are likely trying to get you to do something that you are uncomfortable with doing. Here’s what we can tell you is true:

Everyone does not have the same genetic strengths and vulnerabilities.

Everyone does not have the same degree of transgenerational toxicity.

Our world is toxic.

Everyone lives in different locations and our exposed to different toxins.Less is more.

If you have worries, pay attention. You may be on to something.

It’s your body or your child’s body; not anyone else’s.

While we are not in control of our toxic exposures, we are in control of many things.

Choosing non-toxic substitutes can make a big difference in our bodies and in the bodies of our children. We apply toxins directly in and on our bodies all day long. Our bodies come into contact with many toxins throughout the day.

Copyright (c) 2014 LifeWorks Integrative health

Being Nice Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Female Health Care Professional
Female Health Care Professional

“Mom, what did the doctor say about your liver function
tests?” Martha and her mother Leah spent plenty of time on
the phone the days before the follow-up doctor visit talking
about what this abnormal blood test could mean. With a heavy
sigh Leah said, “Well, the doctor looked like he was having
a hard day, and there were lots of people in the waiting
room and they looked very sick, so I didnâEUR(TM)t ask.” Martha
said, “If you took care of yourself with just a fraction of
the nurturing you give to everyone else in the whole world,
you would be in great shape.”

LeahâEUR(TM)s life is guided by two words: “Be nice.” In her
perfect day, everyone gets along, she anticipates and meets
the needs of others and goes to sleep knowing sheâEUR(TM)s a worthy
person because people tell her so. Leah avoids conflict and
she would never dream of making a scene. When she gave the
cashier at the grocery store a $20 bill for a $7 item and
got back $3 she didnâEUR(TM)t say a word. Her perfectionism usually
heads off criticism, but sometimes it backfires. She tried
to help her adult son, who said with annoyance, “Mom, stop
being such a people-pleaser.” LeahâEUR(TM)s darkest fear is that
she will not give enough and wind up all alone, abandoned by
her friends and family.

While being nice sounds like a good idea, thereâEUR(TM)s a problem.
It doesnâEUR(TM)t work. People pleasers often take care of others
at the expense of themselves. Activities that promote
health, like the daily walk and a good nightâEUR(TM)s sleep are
sacrificed when someone else is in need. Trying to avoid or
ignore conflict and anger is like trying to hold a beach
ball under water. Unexpressed feelings can pop up as
physical ailments, such as heartburn or depression or back
pain. When your value as a person is defined by what other
people think about you, and you donâEUR(TM)t measure up, food or
alcohol medicate the emptiness.

If youâEUR(TM)re a people-pleaser who gets sick, the same behaviors
that got you to the doctor in the first place may stand in
the way of getting good health care. You might not want to
“trouble your doctor” with your problems. If you have side
effects from a medication, you might simply stop taking the
pills rather than tell your doctor that you want to try a
different medication. A cross look from the front office
staff when you ask for a copy of your medical record may be
all you need to decide that youâEUR(TM)re not doing that again.

The bottom line is that being nice can be hazardous to your
health. It erodes your health and impairs your ability to
get better if youâEUR(TM)re sick.

I invite you to examine how being nice is working for you.
Serving others offers great rewards. Serving at the expense
of yourself comes with a huge cost that ultimately limits
your ability to serve. You can be freed from the
imprisonment of people-pleasing. If you want to treat
yourself with more love and respect, here are some thoughts.

Re-think being nice.

People-pleasing is a learned behavior that can be unlearned.
Although habits may be deeply engrained, small changes can
make a huge difference. Next time youâEUR(TM)re asked to volunteer,
instead of jumping in with a “Yes”, say, instead, “IâEUR(TM)ll get
back to you on that.” You will come to understand that “no”
is a complete sentence, and you can utter the word! If you
canâEUR(TM)t imagine doing this, use this “fake it till you make it
trick”…tell yourself that youâEUR(TM)re taking care of your
childrenâEUR(TM)s father, your motherâEUR(TM)s daughter or your petâEUR(TM)s
owner.

Take care of yourself every day.

Get exercise, nutrition and rest every day. Do something
that recharges your batteries every day no matter what. ItâEUR(TM)s
a cliché, but when youâEUR(TM)re on a plane youâEUR(TM)re instructed to
put on your own mask before taking care of others.

Bring an advocate with you to the doctor.

Engaging in acts of self-care, like going to the doctor, can
feel like swimming upstream to a people-pleaser. Being nice
takes the form of being a good patient who doesnâEUR(TM)t make
waves.

Here is something critical to remember: You are not there to
take care of your doctor; your doctor is there to take care
of you. In the past you may have made your medical choices
by raising your antennae and tuning into what you think will
make your doctor happy. You certainly want your doctorâEUR(TM)s
opinion, and in most cases you will agree with your doctorâEUR(TM)s
recommendations. Sometimes getting good care means making
waves, like asking , “What are the other treatment options?”
or requesting a more complete explanation or seeking a
second medical opinion.

While itâEUR(TM)s always a good idea to take a second set of
listening ears to a doctor appointment, itâEUR(TM)s particularly
important if youâEUR(TM)re a people-pleaser. An advocate will
assure that you and your health care team stay focused on
taking care of you.

Accept help.

People-pleasers can give from dawn to dusk, but they rarely
accept help, even when theyâEUR(TM)re sick. When I ask my patients
who are people-pleasers how it feels to help a friend
struggling with illness, the answer is a broad smile. Then I
remind them that when they accept help, they give their
friends a chance to have those same good feelings.

If you are a people-pleaser, your heart might be racing. I
assure you IâEUR(TM)m not asking to give up serving others. IâEUR(TM)m
suggesting that a healthy life is a life in balance, and I
encourage you to treat yourself as nicely as you treat
others. When you take care of yourself, you offer us the
gift of most fully who you are. Then you can really serve.

It’s more important than ever to take an active role in your
healthcare. The best way to get top-quality, safe and
effective healthcare is to actively and knowledgably
participate. Visit health care for the
tools to get you there.

Copyright © Vicki Rackner MD, 2005

Type 2 Diabetes – Are There Benefits to Joining A Diabetes Support Group?

Pharmaceutical rep and healthcare worker
Pharmaceutical rep and healthcare worker

Dealing with Type 2 diabetes can feel overwhelming. The condition affects many areas of your life as it takes daily maintenance to stay healthy. Having a good support system can help you deal with diabetes. Friends and family members can be good sources of support, and peer support groups are another option. If you’ve ever wanted to share your thoughts with other Type 2 diabetics and give and receive support, a group of this type may be for you.

How do diabetes support groups work? Most groups have a leader who will facilitate each meeting. Usually there is a specific topic discussed at each meeting, with time for members to talk about issues and exchange tips. Topics may include…

  • medications,
  • diets,
  • stress,
  • blood sugar management, and more.

Support groups are also a good opportunity for new information and updates on diabetes to be shared.

How do you find a group? There are a couple of ways you can search for diabetes support groups. On the Diabetes.org website, click on ‘In My Community’ and then ‘Find Your Local Office’. Many of the local offices have support groups you can join. DefeatDiabetes.org also has a search for support groups by location.

Why should you join a support group? Some people won’t feel as comfortable joining a group and talking about their condition as others will. But if you can convince yourself to go to your local group at least once, you may enjoy it and discover the benefits you’ll gain by attending the meetings on a regular basis.

There are several benefits of joining and mixing with people who have Type 2 diabetes. One of the main benefits is it will help increase your skills and confidence. This is especially important for Type 2 diabetics since this condition requires so much self-management. Getting support from peers with diabetes can help you become more empowered to take care of your blood sugar and your health.

Another benefit of a support group is gaining a list of friends with the same health issues who you can call for support. Although your friends and family members can be great sources of support, it’s also a good idea to have friends with blood sugar issues who you can talk to about food choices, stabilizing blood sugar levels and your weight. Some diabetes support groups also have the benefit of being led by a Dietitian or Diabetes Educator. This leader can provide you with valuable tips and new information. Your group may also bring in doctors as guest speakers who you can learn from and also ask questions of.

Relax Your Way To Weight Loss and Good Health

Insurance Companies Controlling Healthcare
Insurance Companies Controlling Healthcare

I want to talk about the effect that stress and sleep deprivation may have on your weight. I spent the last six years of my life in Los Angeles partaking in the âRat Raceâ. Two things I discovered: only rats win the rat race and stress can play havoc on you emotionally, spiritually and physically. This stress can lead to weight gain and what is worse if you are trying to lose weight while you are stressed out or fatigued you will not gain any ground.

The reason is a little stress chemical called Cortisol. Cortisol aids the body in recovering from the effects of stressful experiences. Cortisol instructs the liver to release sugar into the blood and triggers the body to release storehouses of fat and muscle so the body can use it for energy. There is another piece to the cortisol puzzle and that is is also slows everything down so the body can replenish energy stores.

We all have cortisol circulating in the blood at all times. But after stressful situations our cortisol levels increase dramatically. So letâs say for instance you are experiencing a constant stream of stressful situations. After enough of these episodes, the body adjusts its control mechanism in the pituitary gland to maintain a higher constant amount of cortisol in the body. Continually elevated levels of cortisol can have long-term health effects including but not limited to weight gain, heart disease, ulcers, insulin resistance, and hypertension.

While cortisol may have served us well while we were a bunch of knuckle dragging Neanderthals fighting for our lives, 21st century living for the most part has kept us from facing daily life threatening situations. Unfortunately for most of us we have replaced those threats of the past with screaming bosses, unruly children and unreasonable partners all which can cause elevated levels of cortisol to be delivered into our bodies.

Stress is determined by what an individual perceives as stressful. The answer to balance lies in not taking things personally and finding ways to relax the mind and body. There have been many infomercials and advertisements touting the benefits of their âsnake oilâ to lower cortisol levels. Let me assure you, none of these claims are true and some of these marketers of these products are now facing indictments and large civil lawsuits.

After talking with several physicians the answer is always the same, manage your physical and emotional stress levels. This can be achieved through, meditation, massage, long walks, deep breathing exercises, Yoga, Tai Chi, basically anything relaxing and of course spending time with people who comfort you. By practicing these relaxation methods you will be able to bring your cortisol levels down. This coupled with a healthy balanced diet and exercise will result in a long life and slim physique.

Penis Health – Is Testosterone Deficiency to Blame for Poor Erectile Function?

Male health care provider holding scans, looking over shoulder
Male health care provider holding scans, looking over shoulder

Having problems with pecker perkiness? It’s easy to joke around about erectile problems, but for men who experience them, they’re no laughing matter. Whether they manifest as weak erections, anticlimactic climaxes or complete loss of erectile ability, these problems take a serious toll on a man’s physical and emotional well-being, not to mention that of his significant other. What is more: Erectile dysfunction may be a symptom of poor penis health or an underlying condition that needs to be identified and treated.

One such condition is androgen deficiency, which is marked by abnormally low levels of male sex hormones, particularly testosterone. There are many symptoms and causes of androgen deficiency, and learning what to look for can help men know when to suspect this condition.

Androgen Deficiency Symptoms

Low levels of male hormone can cause an array of symptoms. Sexual symptoms include:

– Reduced sex drive

– Reduced amount of ejaculate

– Weak erections

– Weak orgasms

Emotional symptoms include:

– Depression

– Low self-esteem

Non-sexual physical symptoms include:

– Fatigue

– Breast development

– Hot flashes/sweating

– Reduced muscle mass

– Reduced bone mass

– Loss of body hair

– Increased abdominal fat

Some of these symptoms can result in chronic health conditions. Increased abdominal fat, for example, is associated with type 2 diabetes. Loss of bone mass can cause osteoporosis (brittle bone disease). And, of course, sexual symptoms can lead to a reduced overall quality of life.

Causes

The main causes of testosterone deficiency in men are:

– Age

– Testicular problems leading to decreased production of testosterone (such as undescended testes or complications related to cancer treatment)

– Pituitary gland tumor (which interferes with the production of hormones in the gland that cause the testes to manufacture testosterone)

– Chronic use of medications, such as opioid pain-killers or steroids

– Major trauma, illness or surgery

Treatment

Generally, men with androgen deficiency are treated with hormone replacement therapy. Testosterone can be injected, taken in pill form or applied as a cream, gel or skin patch.

If a problem with the pituitary gland is the culprit, then men may receive replacement therapy of the hormone produced by this gland.

When medication use is behind androgen deficiency, men may talk with their doctors about switching up their treatment method for whatever condition the medication is intended to treat.

Self-Help

While a severe case of hormone deficiency will likely require replacement therapy, men with mild deficiencies may be able to combat the problem naturally. The following self-help techniques may boost testosterone levels:

– Exercise. When a man leads a sedentary lifestyle, his body will adapt to his reduced need for testosterone by not making so much. When he’s active, however, his muscles and bones need more testosterone: Need and you shall receive! Both strength-training and cardio exercise are important. Note: Overtraining can actually reduce testosterone levels, so men should take rest days and avoid increasing their exercise load too quickly.

– Sleep. Lack of sleep, particularly when chronic, can throw the body’s hormones out of whack. Men should get plenty of shut-eye as part of their testosterone management plan.

– Chill out. When a person is stressed, his body produces the hormone cortisol, which has a negative impact on testosterone production. Managing stress, anxiety, depression and other emotionally draining conditions will promote higher testosterone levels as well as overall health.

– Eat zinc. This mineral is imperative for maintaining healthy male hormone levels. The best food sources are oysters, lean beef, lamb, wheat germ and spinach.

– Shed excess pounds. More weight equals more estrogen equals less testosterone. Eat right in combination with hormone-boosting exercise and say goodbye to extra weight.

Boosting levels of male hormone will do wonders for penis health and functionality. Men may wish to supplement their care regimens with the use of a quality health care (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). Look for alpha lipoic acid and vitamin B5 on the ingredient list; these nutrients may help protect the cells of the penis. The best creams contain natural moisturizers like Shea butter and vitamin E for silky-smooth skin.

Fish Oils And A Plethora of Chronic Health Problems

Senior healthcare professional examines female patient
Senior healthcare professional examines female patient

I recently heard of an older couple that eats salmon every day for breakfast. To my finicky palate that does not sound as appetizing as waffles. Why do they do it? They argue that salmon is the most perfect food on the planet, full of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They do it because they plan on living a long time.

Most of us know that fish makes for a healthier dinner than steak. It is lower in bad cholesterol and a few other things. But numerous studies support the hypothesis that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil have positive effects on a whole list of chronic disorders. Among these are high triglycerides, arthritis, Chrohn’s disease, cancer, hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, coronary artery disease and the neural development of children. To say it would be difficult to cover all these topics in a single essay is an understatement. But here are a few examples.

Japanese women have a much lower risk of breast cancer than do their American counterparts. However, Japanese women who move to America and adopt its dietary patterns have an equal risk of contracting breast cancer as American women within one generation. Women living in Japan have a high ratio of omega-3 fatty acids compared to omega-6 fatty acids in their breasts. Studies have shown that women with breast cancer have up to a five-fold higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3. Omega-6 imbalance has been shown to promote tumor growth.

Breast tissue changes in response to diet shift within about three months. Supplementing with three grams of fish oil a day (equivalent to eating two large salmon) has demonstrated a four-fold increase in the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 in the blood and a similar ratio increase in breast tissue thus decreasing the risk of contracting breast cancer.

The 1991 Rotterdam Study considered the incidence of chronic diseases among the elderly on a test population of 5,000 participants at least 55 years of age. In particular the study focused on the effects of dietary fat intake in relation to these chronic ailments. Dietary profiles were collected including statistics of total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and polyunsaturated fats. Particular attention was directed toward fish consumption because fish is high in the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Of the total study population 1.1% suffered with AlzheimerâEUR(TM)s disease. The statistics indicated a relation between Alzheimer’s and high saturated fat intakes. Fish consumption was associated with a low incidence of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s. Autopsies indicate that a decreased level of DHA in the hippocampus and frontal gray matter of the brain are associated with Alzheimer’s.

Saturated fats and cholesterol may negatively influence dementia because they affect cardiovascular health. Adverse cardiovascular events are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. In addition to this, omega-3 has anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to play a role in brain and neurological development in infants. Omega-3 may have dementia preventing powers as well.

Some studies have indicated that there is an adverse relationship between lowering blood cholesterol levels by dieting and medication and the emotional health of the individual. Increases of depression, suicide and homicide have been linked to dieting. But it may not be hunger pangs that are the influencing factor. The quantity and distribution of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids may play a significant role by influencing serum lipids and altering biophysical and biochemical properties of cell membranes.

Epidemiological studies in various countries and in the United States in recent years suggest decreased omega-3 fatty acid consumption correlates with increasing rates of depression. This is consistent with the established relationship between coronary artery disease and depression. Omega-3 deficiency may also be related to the depression associated with alcoholism, post-partum depression and multiple sclerosis.

What about attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)? It has become an epidemic in our time resulting in millions of children being placed on medication. In addition to the fact that we are destroying the attention spans of kids by placing them in front of televisions and computers instead of good books, there may be dietary influences as well.

A 1995 study involved 96 boys in Indiana schools, 53 of which had been diagnosed with ADHD. Dietary intake statistics of essential fatty acids were established based on 3-day surveys of each boy. There were no significant differences between the ADHD boys and the others in relation to consumption of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. An additional 22 measurements were taken designed to establish the lipid and fatty acid levels in each group.

It was found that the ADHD group possessed significantly lower amounts of specific lipid fatty acids in plasma, and lower concentrations of total fatty acids in red blood cells than did the non-ADHD group. Since omega-3 is the primary polyunsaturated fatty acid found in the retina and cerebral cortex it was postulated that low levels of omega-3 might negatively affect proper brain function and therefore the ability to concentrate. What was not determined was whether the omega-3 deficiencies were due to inadequate intakes of the fatty acids or the individual ability to metabolize them. In either case, however, higher intakes of omega-3 through eating fish or taking fish oil supplements could help to raise omega-3 levels and therefore help counteract to effects of ADHD.