Category Archive : Health

Breast Cancer Information You Need To Know

The most common type of cancer to inflict women in the United States is breast cancer with around 12.5 % of women being diagnosed with disease at some point in their lives.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will around 266,000 new breast cancer cases diagnosed across the whole country in 2018 with roughly 41,000 of those resulting in death.

A significant proportion of deaths from breast cancer could be prevented through the adoption of preventive care techniques such as mammograms.

Continue reading to discover some essential information that you simply must know about breast cancer.

 

Breast Cancer; What Is It?

Cancer occurs when cells start grow at a rate that is far beyond normal, or is out of control. In the case of breast cancer, these cells are located in the area of the breast. The abnormal growth of the cells will typically lead to a tumor developing which can either be benign or malignant.

A malignant tumor is capable of taking over healthy tissue in the vicinity of the tumor and spreading to other parts of the body. This spreading occurs when cancerous cells access the blood or lymphatic systems where they then can access major organs and tissue.

Although breast cancer is contracted predominantly by women, men are also at risk from the disease. Living a particular type of lifestyle can increase the risk of breast cancer, but there are also many factors beyond anyone’s control that can increase the risk of breast cancer developing.

Who Is At Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer?

No matter what a person’s lifestyle choices, there are certain factors that will increase the likelihood of breast cancer developing that are beyond control

  1. A Person’s Gender. If you are a woman, you are 100 times ore likely to develop breast cancer than a man.
  2. A Person’s Age. Over the age of 55, the chances of contracting breast cancer increase.
  3. Genetic Make Up. Around 5-10% of breast cancer cases occurs because of a person’s genetic make-up. If the BRAC1 gene, which is responsible for producing DNA-repairing proteins, becomes mutated it will increase the risk of breast cancer developing. If this mutation occurs, the risk of breast cancer increases to 70% by the age of 80.
  4. Race or Ethnic Origin. Certain races of people are more likely to experience a mutation of the BRCA1 gene, increasing their risk of breast cancer; one such group being the Ashkenazi people. White females are at more risk than black women, in particular aged below 35 years.
  5. History of Cancer in the Family. If a person is a first-degree relative of a breast cancer sufferer, their risk of developing it doubles. However, 80% of of sufferers have no history of breast cancer in their family.
  6. Early Onset of Menstruation. Certain studies have concluded that an early menstruation may be a sign of increased risk of breast cancer.
  7. Delayed Menopause. Similarly, a delayed or late menopause may increase risk of development.
  8. Breast Tissue Density. Highly dense breast tissue can increase the risk of developing breast cancer by a factor of between 1.5 to 2 times.

These factors above are out of your control. There are, however, many lifestyle choice decisions that you make that can increase your risk:

  • Use of birth control hormones.
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle.
  • Consuming alcohol at the rate of 2-3 units per day will increase the risk of breast cancer by 20% compared to non drinkers.
  • Obesity or being overweight.
  • Having no children.
  • Having children over the age of 30.
  • Choosing not to breast feed.
  • Hormone therapy.

 

Causes and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

As pointed out in the risk factors listed above, breast cancer caused by many factors or a combination of several. A mutated BRCA1 gene appears to have a significant involvement; damaged DNA does not get replaced leading to other genetic alterations.

A lump in the breast is the most common symptom and this will usually present as a hard, irregular shaped mass that is painless. Less frequently, it can be the opposite, though; soft and tender to the touch.

Other common symptoms include:

  • A painful breast or nipple.
  • Swelling of the breast.
  • Retracted nipple.
  • Skin irritation around the breast.
  • Nipple discharge.
  • Inflammation, thickening or scaling around the nipple or breast.

 

Options For Treating Breast Cancer

There are several common treatments for breast cancer:

  1. Surgery

There are various surgical procedures available to treat breast cancer. In the worst case, mastectomies involve the removal of the entire affected breast, but there are also options for lumpectomies; removing the minimum amount of infected tissue or lump. Both these techniques are designed to remove cancerous cells.

Sentinel lymph node biopsy or lymph node dissection are surgical techniques that check if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Other surgery may be carried out to slow down the cancer’s spread of provide pain relief for the sufferer.

  1. Radiation Therapy.

This treatment option usually is carried out along with other forms of treatment. The decision to opt for radiation therapy will depend on the cancer having spread or not; a person’s age; and other conditions.

With this treatment option, radioactive particles are ‘shot’ at the affected area in order to kill the cancerous cells. Radiation can be directed from outside the body (external beam radiation) or internally (internal radiation or brachytherapy).

Radiation is most commonly used on a patient that has already undergone a mastectomy or lumpectomy. It will also be used on larger tumors (over 2” Diameter) or if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or somewhere else.

  1. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves intravenous drugs being delivered that will fight the cancer cells of a prolonged period (several weeks). It is also used to after surgery to clear up any remaining cancerous cells; this is called adjuvant chemotherapy. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy happens before surgery to make tumors smaller and more easy to remove. It can also be on cancer that has spread beyond the breast.

  1. Alternative Remedies.

Complementary and alternative medicine is often used to supplement more established treatments. They may be lacking in scientific proof of success, but they provide patients with a means of positive engagement with their treatment. Many alternative remedies are considered to be holistic in that the aim to treat the body and mind as a whole. As well as providing physical relief, patients may also benefit mentally from their use.

Some common examples of alternative breast cancer remedies are:

  • Acupuncture and cupping.
  • Chiropractics
  • Hypnosis
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Reiki
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga

These alternative ‘remedies’ may not cure the cancer itself, but they can be very effective in managing pain and side effects.

 

Breast Cancer Prognosis

Breast cancer prognosis is continuing to improve and in the last 30 years the risk of fatality due to breast cancer has reduced by more than 30 percent. According to The National Breast Cancer Foundation, living in the United States today there are currently 3.3 million survivors of breast cancer.

This relative success can be attributed to several factors.

  • Reduction in prescription of hormone therapy to women over 50.
  • Improvement in breast cancer screening procedure allowing better and earlier detection.
  • Improved research into breast cancer.
  • Improved treatment of breast cancer patients.

In the near future there are several advancements in the treatment of breast cancer that people can expect to see coming on-line. Some of these are due to the recognition of various types of breast cancer, requiring different approaches to treatment.

DNA sequencing to can identify risk of particular types of breast cancer which can allow targeted drugs or modified chemotherapy treatments. This, in turn, may slow down or stop the cancer’s spread.

Research at the University of Michigan has shown promise in the treatment of  metastasizing breast cancer. The research involves the insertion of minute scaffold-like devices beneath the skin. These devices trap metastasized cancer cells preventing them from spreading through the body.

Studies are also underway at the University of Michigan to test a range of targeted therapies designed to treat a wide range of breast cancer types.

 

 

Memory Supplements; Do They Work For You?

Now, where was I? Oh yes, memory supplements…..how could I have forgotten!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one, but let’s get back to the topic.

Supplements are designed to support or add something to your regular diet. That ‘something’ could be in the corm of added vitamins, minerals or nutrients which add to what you already consume.

Supplements can offer many potential benefits and one you may not yet have heard about is an improved memory. Today, memory supplements are one of the most popular supplement categories on the market, especially among more senior adults that are trying to combat memory loss.

Memory supplements, or Nootropics as they are known, are produced from natural elements reportedly offering brain boosting benefits of enhanced cognition.

So, can these benefits actually be realized?

 

Conflicting Research Into Nootropics

At face value, Nootropics look like a wonder product: enhanced cognitive power; combat loss of memory; improve other conditions associated with aging that affect the brain.

This sounds like an offer you cannot refuse; and all this from a combination of vitamins, antioxidants and a few other chemicals?

Even though nootropics is made up from a mixture of beneficial sounding ingredients, they have received mixed responses. A leading psychiatrist from Aix-Marseille University Medical School, Dr Guillaume Fond, conducted a study into the cognitive enhancement of memory supplements. His report concluded that there was insufficient data to assess the effectiveness of nootropics.

Further research into nutrients and dietary supplements carried out in 2015 at the University of Calgary made a similar conclusion. The report’s author, Dr Hogan, expressed doubt about the ability of supplements to provide the claimed benefits whilst replicating the complexity of natural food.

Whilst they may seem like there are amazing benefits for the brain, it is still uncertain if this is scientifically the case. In fact, in the absence of any positive research supporting the claims of memory enhancement, these supplements appear to have no benefits at all.

 

Alternatives To Nootropics

Disappointing as it might be that nootropics don’t deliver what is claimed, there are other ways that you can give a boost to your brain.

Maybe you want to improve your brain’s health or you’re a senior citizen trying to slow the effects of aging on your brain, adding certain nutrients, minerals and vitamins to your diet can help.

If this is of interest to you, rather than paying the high price most supplements demand, you can seek cheaper and safer alternatives that have proven research backing them up.

Here are a few alternatives to supplements for you to try:

  • A small amount of magnesium provides short and long term memory enhancement.
  • Vitamin B1. Also known as Thiamine, this will help eliminate nutritional deficiencies connected to Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Vitamin E: This is great for helping with anti-ageing, particularly for your skin. It also helps kill free radicals that damage your brain cells.
  • Research has shown that many senior citizens are deficient in zinc and this has a negative effect on their memory. Adding a little zinc to your diet will help with this.

These can all be taken as part of a supplement, but be sure that you are not consuming any other additives that you do not know the make up of. Of course, the best way to get all of your body’s nutritional, mineral and vitamin requirements is through a healthy, balanced diet. So, for a healthy brain, eat well.

 

Should You Try Memory Supplements?

If you are still interested in trying out memory supplements, you should exercise some discretion in your choice. Despite the popularity of nootropics, there is no research backing up the supposed benefits to your brain.

You can always try the other nutrients, minerals and vitamins that can help you fight the aging process and boost your memory. Staying up to date on the latest research will help you decide.

In the meantime, try to eat well and maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

 

Trouble Sleeping? Here’s 5 Natural Cures For Insomnia

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for good heath, but many people of all ages do not get one. These sufferers of insomnia, or insomniacs, just can’t seem to get some sleep.

Insomnia can be caused by many factors such as anxiety, depression and stress to name but a few. It results in an insomniac having chronic fatigue all day and it can start to become a serious health condition.

There is hope, however, in the form of natural remedies that have been proven to curb the results of insomnia and help insomniacs get the decent night’s sleep that everyone deserves and needs.

Here are a few natural insomnia remedies:

  1. Physical Exercise. The most obvious remedy for not getting enough sleep is to make yourself even more tired. This can be achieved through physical exercise, but it is not just the tiring effect of the exercise that improves your sleep. Exercising makes you overall more healthy and promotes better sleep. Five days a week for 60 minutes will soon have you sleeping like a baby.
  2. Improve Your Diet. Again, this will improve your overall health. Eating too much sugar or drinking too much coffee can throw your sleep pattern into disarray. Junk food and other unhealthy foods should be replaced by healthy ones including plenty of vegetables and fruits. Improving your diet will help you achieve a better night’s sleep.
  3. Lower Your Stress Levels. Stress is one of the biggest contributing factors of insomnia. As your mind gets more worried and replays the same event over and over, it has no time to relax. Unresolved issues will wake you up in the middle of the night and you will have little chance of getting back to sleep. Removing this stress aids you having a good night’s sleep and goes some way to curing your insomnia.
  4. Get A Routine. Having a good bedtime routine is important as it allows your brain and mind to slow down from the day and get prepared to rest. A good routine involves removing distractions like electronic devices and getting into your sleep mode. Put some relaxing music on at low volume; have a nice warm drink; and slowly drift off into relaxation and sleep. Get this routine perfected and you will cut down your insomnia significantly.
  5. Sort Out Your Night Hygiene. Before drifting off to sleep, make sure that you brush your teeth and have cleaned yourself thoroughly from the grime of the day. If you wear any, remove your makeup. Even consider having a shower or a bath before bedtime. Going to bed feeling fresh and comfortable, with a clean set of teeth will send positive signals to your brain that it is sleep time. You will feel wonderful also.

If you are an insomniac, you are not alone; many people experience similar conditions to yours. Many people have had it in the past and have taken back control of their sleep. Hopefully, with this advice, you can do the same.

Sweet Dreams!

Kids Are Sick? Here Are 4 Reasons For Them To Skip School

You may have noticed that when your kids started going to school they began picking up more illnesses. Well, you are not alone, on average children contract between 10 and 12 viruses throughout the school year, according to the Washington Post. You don’t want your child to miss up to 12 days of school, right?

The decision to keep your child away from school isn’t an easy one to make; balancing their health and their education; finding a carer or taking a day of work yourself. There is quite a bit to weigh up.

When making the decision, of course you will consider how ill your child actually is, but there are a number of other factors that you should take into consideration:

 

  1. What About The Other Kids?

Of course your child’s illness is your number one concern at this point, but take a moment to consider if your child’s illness could be contagious and to what degree. Complaints of a congestion at the height of Summer may just be a stuffy nose brought on by high pollen, but couple that with a bit of a fever and you’re in different territory.

Even if the symptoms are mild, it does not mean that your child’s illness is not contagious, the Washington Post goes on to say. Something that seems innocuous at home can rapidly develop throughout the day and soon spread throughout the school.

NPR states that most illness and disease are spread before clear and obvious symptoms present themselves. It is during the early stages of the illness that the spread occurs, when you have mild or no symptoms.

So, you should consider your child’s classmates and teachers before glibly dismissing their cough or runny nose as a seasonal cold.

 

  1. Your Child Will Be Less Able To Participate.

Probably the most common concerns a parent has about their child missing a day at school is that they will miss out on valuable teaching time. Science Daily states that 40% of parents rate their child missing important lessons as a key factor in deciding whether to keep them at home or not.

However, your child is likely to miss important lessons even if they go to school while sick. They will be less able to concentrate and may end up at the school medical center for rest or treatment.

The Chicago Tribune is clear that, if your child’s symptoms are distracting them or making them uncomfortable, they should remain at home as this level of illness will also prevent them from learning.

As a parent, you should ask yourself if the symptoms will prevent your child from focusing in class. Will they end up at the school’s medical center? Can they still play a break time? Are they fit enough for sport? If they cannot fully engage with the full day’s curriculum, they probably should remain at home.

 

  1. Going To School Could Worsen The Illness.

Your child attending school with even just a mild illness could end up making their condition much worse.

In the school environment, germs spread rapidly and very often the mutations of the same virus can be contracted multiple times. Placing your child in this type of environment when they are feeling ill could leave them worse off.

Children recover from illness differently from adults, needing plenty of rest to recuperate. Resting is the best means for your child’s immune system to beat the flu or some other contagion. At school, there is no opportunity for rest.

Germs, discomfort, lack of rest and waking up early for school means that your child is very unlikely to recover quickly. Staying at home is the best way to a speedy recovery according to the Mayo Clinic.

 

  1. Your Child’s School Is Not Equipped To Cope With Sick Children.

When your child goes to school sick, they are placing an additional burden upon the school. As well as spreading the illness, your child is going to require care throughout the day.

If your child’s symptoms get worse and they are unable to continue lessons, a teacher or on-site nurse will need to look after them. Sick children in school require medical care that is beyond a school’s means go provide, says the Chicago Tribune.

Chances are, your child will end up being sent home due to their illness, so best to keep them there in the first place. This way you can look after them properly and visit the doctor if needed.

 

How To Make An Informed Decision On Keeping Your Child At Home

Making the decision to keep your child at home or send them to school is an important one to make not just for your child but for the health of their classmates also.

With just a few coughs and sneezes to go on, it can be difficult to know the seriousness of your child’s illness. It all boils down to you making a judgement between their school lessons and their health, plus the health of their classmates.

To help parents struggling to make a decision, CBS News8 gave this set of recommendations for children to miss school if any of the following presented:

  • Any illness that is highly contagious such as flu.
  • Skin rashes.
  • Sore throat that has lasted in excess of 48 hours.
  • Vomiting within previous 24 hours.

If you are still having doubts, consult the school and ask whether your child should attend. Most schools and pre-schools have procedures and guidelines as to when children should remain at home in the event of illnesses.You can also consult your local doctor or pediatrician for treatment and guidance.

Hopefully, you will now have enough information to make an informed decision to send your child to school or keep them at home when they’re ill.

 

10 Stress Free Tips For Weight Loss

For the majority of people, their weight loss journey is just a temporary trip. For most, the weight they worked so hard on to lose comes straight back on after a short successful stint. One of the reasons for this is that weight loss can be such a stressful procedure. Some people actually eat to deal with their stress levels, so when they diet to lose weight, their stress levels go through the roof.

So, if you want to start losing weight without the added stress, try these following weight loss tips:

 

Try Drinking Green Tea

Green Tea is full of antioxidants which is are great for stimulating your metabolism and helping you to burn fat. This drink also acts as a diuretic which will stop you from getting a bloated feeling. Antioxidants may also play their part in the reduction of stress.

 

Consider Weight Training

Heavy physical exercise is different to cardiovascular physical exercise and it is great for losing weight. As you increase the amount of weight you are working with, your muscle composition will increase and your calorie burning rate will also. Exercising this way is will release endorphin into your body, making you feel more happy and positive; a great way to relieve stress.

 

Start Maintaining A Food Diary

Keeping a food diary is a very good practice to get into for weight loss. Record what you eat every day for meals and snacks. Make notes on how emotional you felt before and after meals. Same for your hunger levels. An effective food diary can aid you by identifying your emotional triggers for eating. This technique is especially good if you are working with a coach or therapist for your weight loss.

 

Try To Stay Healthy

Your long term weight loss success depends upon your motivation to become healthier and not just for cosmetic reasons. Start to shift onto healthier foods; foods that will provide you with the right balance of vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy. When you start to focus on your health, your weight loss will follow more easily.

 

Investigate the Causes of Your Overeating

Stress, boredom, loneliness, anger and depression are all negative emotions that can cause you to overeat. Successful weight loss in the long term means managing these emotions in some other way than eating. In some cases, being overweight is a deep rooted problem that stems back to childhood. If this is the case, you may need professional help with losing weight.

 

Get Support From A Weight Loss Group

Having mutual support from a weight loss group will improve your chances of long term weight loss success. Find out what groups are available in your area and go along to a few to find one you enjoy. It’s a great feeling to know that you are not on this journey alone.

 

Control Your Food Portions

It seems obvious enough, but it is often forgotten; reducing your portion sizes for every meal will reduce your weight. Yes, mom may have told you to always clear your plate and you can still do this; just make it a smaller plate.

 

Eat When You Are Hungry And No Other Time

Food is fuel; get into this mind set and you will be well on your way to successful weight loss. Just as you only fill your car up with fuel when it is near empty, only refuel yourself when you are hungry.

 

Take Regular Exercise

If you are not into exercise (and the assumption is you are not), then it needs to be fun for you to stick at it. There are plenty of fun physical activities that will aid you in dropping the pounds such as Zumba, aerobics or just playing with the kids. As you get fitter, you may consider yoga, swimming or hiking to really take your fitness and weight loss to another level.

 

Up Your Intake of Fiber and Protein

You should try to include as much fiber as possible in your diet. If you do, you will be in the minority as most Americans do nearly get enough fiber from their food. Eating fibrous foods aids your digestive system and helps you feel full. Protein also helps you to feel full for longer, but you need to make sure you are eating the right type of protein. Avoid protein foods that contain a lot of unhealthy fats or have a high content of sugars. Grass fed, wild reared meats are excellent protein sources.

Maybe you have heard this before; successful weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint. Making small changes over a long period will reap you rewards in the end. Don’t set unrealistic targets and give yourself space to relax on your weight loss journey. This will aid you in successful weight loss without the stress.

How Cancer Patients Are Benefiting Through Meditation

Struggling with cancer is an emotional, exhausting and stressful experience for patients and their loved ones.

There is, however, some positive news to come out about cancer treatment. Meditation is being offered as an alternative therapy and it has been found to help relieve these feelings of stress, improving the patients’ lives.

So, what exactly is meditation and how can it benefit cancer patients?

 

What is Meditation?

Meditation increases your focus by using a variety of techniques to calm your emotions and achieve a balanced mental state. Meditation has been used for millenniums as part of many spiritual and religious beliefs all over the world.

To meditate, you should be in a quiet place either by yourself or as part of a group. Meditation can be self guided or guided by a meditation coach or mentor. A procedure to clear your mind of negativity is followed; clearing your mind of upsets and anxieties from your past or present. The aim is to get to a state where you are totally relaxed and be present in the here-and-now.

Achieving a state of meditation could involve you concentrating on a feeling or bodily action such as your breath. Many people recite verses or mantras repeatedly while meditating. Other people simply maintain silence, letting their mind clear as they glide into a state of meditation.

 

How Do Cancer Patients benefit?

Meditation can provide all patients with many holistic health benefits that enhance the overall health and well-being such as:

  • Better Mood
  • Less Tension
  • Lowered Heart Rate
  • Reduced Blood Pressure

Specifically, meditation can help cancer patients by:

  • Reducing Depression and Anxiety Levels. Diagnosis of cancer can cause depression in many patients as they worry about their health and their family. Focusing on the ‘now’ helps to reduce these worries and so reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Treatment with drugs tends to be short term, whereas meditation has long lasting benefits.
  • Lowering Stress Levels. Focusing on positives can remove negativity and the stress that goes with that. Lowering stress is particularity important for cancer patients as stress can negate certain cancer treatments.
  • Chronic Pain Relief. Cancer and the treatment of it can cause severe pain. Meditation can be used to manage this pain by taking the focus away from it and onto something more positive.
  • Improving Sleep. Stress, anxiety and worry make for a poor night’s sleep. By meditating, the mind will be cleared making it easier to achieve improved sleep.
  • Enhancing Cognitive Ability. Normal brain functions such as memory, recall and awareness are often reduced in cancer patients due to their treatments; a condition known as chemobrain. Meditation can have a reversing effect on this by the removal of negative thoughts that block the brain, therefore building a stronger bond between body and mind.
  • Reducing Fatigue. One of the most common symptoms of cancer treatment is chronic fatigue. A good night’s sleep promoted by meditation can go some way to reducing this.

Meditation is a safe and simple routine for most people to practice. However, in certain cases, patients might become anxious or disorientated when they are practicing it. The effects of meditation will be different for everyone depending on their own individual circumstances.

 

Getting Started With Meditation

Meditation is practiced in many well known cancer treatment centers. The sessions they offer can be a great way to get started and try out meditation.

If a particular center does not offer meditation, one of the medical professionals there should be able to provide advice on how to find meditation practitioners in the local area.

Mediation can also be learned at home, online or through video tutorials.

 

Getting Older? Here Are A Few Things You Must Get Checked Out.

As you get older, maintaining your health becomes more important for you. You may start on a program of vitamins, change to a healthier diet or start getting regular health checks.

With age, your body loses its resilience, so dealing with small medical issues is important before they develop and become more troublesome. The alternative is to leave things alone and run the risk of injury, illness and disease.

The more proactive about your healthcare you are, the better your health will be. So, getting checked out regularly makes sense, but what do you need to get checked out?

 

Health of Your Bones.

Drinking milk as a child was always encouraged to promote the growth of strong bones. This should also be the case as you get older.

Older bone tissue gets absorbed by the body before new bone can grow. This makes your bones weaker and more easily broken. This condition is called osteoporosis and it is virtually impossible to detect.

The first indication many people have of osteoporosis is when they have an light fall that causes major damage. Having a screening of your bone density on a 12 to 24 months frequency will give you warning of the onset of osteoporosis and allow you to protect yourself.

 

Your Eyesight

Your eyesight can deteriorate at such a slow pace that it is difficult to detect. We ignore it because we don’t really notice it.

The most damaging conditions ti our eyesight are macular degeneration and glaucoma. If left untreated, both these conditions may result in total blindness and, unfortunately, they can both progress unnoticed for a considerable time.

An estimated 50% of people with glaucoma in America are unaware of their condition. You can avoid being one of these people by regular visits to a ophthalmologist or optometrist.

 

Your Hearing

We love everything loud these days, at our concerts, at the movies and through our music players. Given this, it’s no surprise that people start to lose their hearing as they get older. Usually, it’s the high pitched sounds that are lost first, then the rest follow.

To reduce or avoid loss of hearing with age, you should protect your ears from loud noises. Also get checked out by a doctor or hearing specialist.

 

Cognitive Ability

Dealing with losing your cognitive skills is another aspect of aging. Joking about memory loss may just be a bit of fun, but cognitive deterioration is no laughing matter.

Cognitive decline can be brought on by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Normally, these start with small lapses in memory, but can deteriorate rapidly limiting your ability to look after yourself.

It is thought that almost 5% if Americans have a cognitive impairment of some sort. If you’re suffering frequent memory losses, get it checked out and don’t simply write it off as being down to your age.

 

Your Heart

Your heart is the critical organ in your body. As you get older, it has to work harder doing its job of pumping blood around your body. This extra work leaves it vulnerable to disease and attacks.

Staying fit, eating a healthy diet, cutting back on cigarettes and alcohol all help to protect the heart as you age. You should also keep up to date with medical check ups and tests like blood pressure, arterial plaque and cholesterol for example. Testing these things will give you a good indication of the overall state of your heart and your health in general.

 

Your Blood

Doctors can glean a lot of medical information from your blood.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in the elderly population and this can cause weak bones. An easy check for your Vitamin D level is with a blood test. With a blood test, you can also have your blood sodium levels checked to show if your thyroid and kidneys are working well.

Blood testing is key to staying aware of many medical issues that don’t show noticeable signs or symptoms.

 

Symptoms That Are New or Troubling

As you age, you should develop a sense if what your normal body state is. This is your body in balance and you should be aware of when the balance gets tilted.

You should seek medical attention as soon as possible if you experience anything that troubles you medically. Headaches, nausea, dizzy spells and pains in the chest are all common symptoms as you age and they can indicate a larger problem.

Anything unusual should get your full attention as these can lead to bigger issues that inhibits your daily routine. Do not simply ignore them and put them down to your age. Do yourself a favor and get them checked out.

 

 

Considering A Flu Shot? Here’s The Top 5 Reasons To Get One Now

The sneezing season is upon us once again; the time of year when we’re sharing more germs than we are presents.

At this time of year, colds and flus cause mayhem in everyone’s lives and it’s impossible to get away from it, short of Draconian measures that would ruin our quality of life.

No, we need to interact with the outside world and that is where the risk is; that is where we get suspicious.

We suspect every person who coughs or sneezes, every worker that shows up sniffling. We may start to suspect travelers coming home with a sore throat, or our children’s classmates for having a runny nose. We may even start to resent their parents for not keeping them at home.

Anything that puts us or our family at risk, even a common cold, puts us in survival mode. Our brain is telling us that these things can be avoided, but in reality they cannot.

In any society, we need to move around, communicate, interact to get things done. All this involves being around potentially sick people.

Even if you take drastic measures to avoid all human contact on news of a flu outbreak, we may be too late. A CDC.gov report states that we can pass on an infection one day before symptoms show and up to 7 days after they have cleared.

So, we can go about our business for a whole day unsuspectingly spreading our illness. The very first person in the epidemic chain, patient zero, could meet scores of people in that 24 hour period. Multiply those people meeting scores of their own network on the next day and you can see how these things spread so quickly.

With the flu, there is not a lot that we can do once symptoms are full blown. However there are things we can do prior to this.

Probably one of the most effective prevention steps to take is the flu shot; especially for children and the elderly. They do not guarantee immunity, particularly since a new strain of flu presents every year. But, a flu shot will fight off the majority of existing flu bugs.

It is unknown what these mutating viruses can do to our bodies, so it’s a good policy to be protected as much as possible.

 

The Flu Shot Has A Delayed Effect

Flu season starts toward the end of Fall and start of Winter, but the flu shot is issued from the end of Summer.

Many people put off getting the shot until the flu season, even though it takes around 2 weeks to give our body adequate protection, according to Health.com.

So, delaying the shot until the start of the season means we’ve got 2 weeks of not being covered. Counter-productive, right?

 

The Flu Virus Transforms Quickly

Every year will have a new strain of flu virus, generally something that is stronger and more harsh than the previous metamorphosis.

People can develop a false sense of confidence if they avoided the flu during the previous year, thinking they have developed some sort of immunity to the flu.

Others believe that, with care, they can somehow avoid catching the flu. Of course, this is incorrect, because the virus keeps evolving there is no total protection.

Getting a flu shot will provide protection against all known strains; not getting the shot will provide us with no protection.

 

The Flu Can Be Fatal

Many people die each year after catching the flu. Children and the elderly are at particular risk as are people who already have some type of illness. The existing illness is compounded when the flu virus is introduced to the body.

Tens of thousands die from the flu every year and 2017 was a particularly bad year for deaths. It is impossible to know which strain of flu is around and how that will react with other strains in our bodies. The effect could be serious, if not worse.

 

A Flu Shot Will Protect Us From Deteriorating Conditions

When we catch the flu it will eventually get the better of us. Our breathing will suffer and our body can quickly descend into a very poor state. We become more susceptible to bronchitis or pneumonia. A flu shot will protect us from these complications.

 

The Flu Shot Is Painless and Affordable

Getting the flu shot will not hurt. The procedure has been fine tuned and is quick and pain free. Better still, it should not cost anything as mist flu shots are covered under employer’s work insurance.

Simply pop into the local pharmacy to get one. You owe that to yourself; and the rest of us.

4 Reasons Why You Should Get Tested For STDs!

It’s easy to take no notice of STD screenings; let’s face, most people do based on their misplaced assumption that it’s only certain lifestyles that cause certain people to contract an STD.

The reality, however, is much different. Anyone who is sexually active is at risk from STDs. And if you think it will be obvious if you’ve picked up an STD, you are wrong!

Here are just 4 reasons why you should get tested for STDs:

 

  1. STDs Can Be Contracted By Everyone.

If you think you have some sort of immunity to STDs, you should think again. Everyone is vulnerable to an STD, even if you have never had sex. All it takes is mere contact with an STD carrier and you are at risk.

The common perception is that the act of sex is the only means of transmission, but some STDs can transfer through a kiss or skin-to-skin contact.

According to Very Well Health  STDs present in a variety of forms and have many methods of spreading including a simple touch or exchange of saliva. Many people are unwary carriers of STDs and this is why it is imperative that you get tested.

 

  1. STDs Can Be Carried Unknowingly For Years.

It’s a common misconception that having an STD has obvious signs. Many STDs have no visible sign, nor feeling of discomfort to indicate their presence, so remain unnoticed.

Also, many symptoms of STDs remain dormant for weeks or even years in some cases. So, you could suddenly start noticing the signs long after being infected.

Very Well health notes, for instance, Gonorrhea doesn’t show any signs for weeks or even months, as with Syphilis and Chlamydia. Whereas, Chancroid will start showing after only a few days.

Certainty about whether you have an STD can only be achieved through testing. Early testing will also allow  you treat your condition early, therefore avoiding many or all symptoms before they appear; and reducing the risk of you spreading the condition.

 

  1. Diagnosis Is Difficult and Complications Can Arise.

If the symptoms of your STD are not presenting for several weeks or months, it is very difficult to conduct a proper diagnosis. Who is going to think about STDs until they’ve already got one; and without signs, who thinks they’ve got one? This strengthens the argument for planning routine, regular testing.

Another reason you should consider routine testing is advised by STDCheck.com; your local GP may have wrongly diagnosed you with something else other than an STD. This is because even when symptoms do present, they can often look like other diseases. So, unless you are being tested for a specific STD, the symptoms could be misinterpreted as flu or some other short term illness.

If this is the case, then your STD will remain misdiagnosed and complications can arise resulting in increasingly severe symptoms. Even worse, according to Brook.org, can be the onset of more serious medical conditions like infertility, inflammatory disease or meningitis.

Early diagnosis of your STD will allow early treatment which will limit the effects the STD can have.

 

  1. STD Testing Is Straightforward, It Can Be Done In Private and It Can Be Done Locally. 

One of the main reasons for people not getting tested comes down to fear of the unknown. They are unaware of what an STD test involves and they are frightened by what an STD test result may reveal.

Getting an STD test is straightforward and usually involves nothing more than providing a blood or urine sample, There will be many locations near you where you can get one done; your local medical center or college campus, for example, will be able to test you for STDs. All you need to do is turn up and request that you have a test done.

There is often a negative connotation around having an STD test and most people want it conducted in complete privacy. Of course, your personal details will be kept in strict medical confidence and the only people aware of the results of your test are kept between you and your doctor.

A bonus reason why you should consider getting an STD test is this; according to Planned Parenthood, the cost of the test sits within the Affordable Care Act so should be covered by your health insurance in full or with a reduction in price.

 

Don’t Delay – Get Tested Today!

So, you’ve just read 4 great reasons as to why you should get tested for STDs and there is no time to act like the present to get a confidential status of your sexual health.

If you do discover that you have an STD, there are plenty of options to treat it or get it completely cured in some cases.

Having an STD test will give you peace of mind about your own medical condition; about protecting your partner’s condition; and about limiting the spread of your STD unwittingly.

You should realize that checking for STDs is not part of a doctor’s normal health checks. It is your responsibility to ask for an STD specifically and here are numerous locations where you can request this confidential test.

Remember, many STDs do not present their symptoms early and when they do it can mimic other illnesses. Act now, before it is too late, so that you and your partner will be able to enjoy a happy relationship without the worry of an unknown STD.