Mediterranean diet linked to a healthier heart

Source: Mediterranean diet linked to a healthier heart – Medical News Today

Choosing to eat a Mediterranean diet is better for people with heart disease than avoiding the unhealthy contents of a so-called Western diet, says research published in the European Heart Journal.

A Mediterranean diet includes a high proportion of fruit, vegetables, fish, and unrefined foods. A Western diet contains refined grains, sweets, desserts, sugared drinks, and deep-fried food.

The new research shows that the Mediterranean diet can decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke in people who already have heart disease.

At the same time, it suggests that if people avoid the unhealthy aspects of a Western diet, they also avoid worsening their risk of cardiac problems.

Guidelines from the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend frequent consumption of fruit, vegetables, fish, and other whole foods, say the authors of the current report. Continue reading

12 Surprising Ways Sleep Makes You Happy, Healthy and Wealthy

Source: 12 Surprising Ways Sleep Makes You Happy, Healthy and Wealthy

Sleep is that golden chain that ties health and our bodies together. — Thomas Dekker

Are you struggling to control your weight?

Do you catch every cold going around?

Are you struggling to concentrate at work?

Is your sex drive slowly shrinking?

And are those bags under your eyes slowly enlarging?

Face it, you’re tired.

No, not tired, exhausted.

You’re one step away from overwhelm or burnout.

And if you’re honest, you know it’s impacting on your partner, your kids, your work and your health.

And it might just be killing you.

I used to be the same, but I finally understood why a good night’s sleep should be top of my, and your, to-do list.

Continue reading

Tips to save time, eat healthy and exercise regularly

Source: Tips to save time, eat healthy and exercise regularly – Mayo Clinic

We live in a busy world and few people have too much time on their hands. This makes living a healthy lifestyle and managing weight challenging, because it takes time and effort. So, how can we more effectively manage weight in this busy world we live in?

12987223_1609719139354296_8055558587185605420_n

It helps to have the right perspective. For almost all of us, I’d suggest it isn’t time that prevents us from making efforts, it’s priorities. Achieving a healthy weight can help improve health in many ways, improve quality of life, and help us live longer. What could be more important than that?

Although it takes time to implement healthy lifestyle habits, the return on investment is tremendous — which makes the time investment worth it. Continue reading

Chiropractic: What Is Chiropractic Manipulation? Does It Work?

Source: Chiropractic: What Is Chiropractic Manipulation? Does It Work? – Medical News Today

Chiropractic manipulation, also known as chiropractic adjustment, is a form of alternative medicine. A trained chiropractor applies sudden force to spinal joints to correct structural alignment and improve physical function.

Most often, patients seek chiropractic adjustment to relieve various types of back, neck and head pain, although it has been trialed for a wide variety of conditions.1

Chiropractic manipulation has faced controversy and receives a mixed response from health care practitioners. This is predominantly due to a lack of evidence for some of its claims and its metaphysical belief system.

In this article, we will explain chiropractic theories and methods, and look at the relevant evidence.

Fast facts on chiropractic manipulation

Here are some key points about chiropractic manipulation. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.

  • Chiropractic treatments were first designed in the 1800s
  • Chiropractic is the largest discipline within alternative medicine
  • There are more than 60,000 chiropractic practitioners in the US
  • According to chiropractic medicine, vertebral subluxations are the root of many illnesses
  • The evidence for chiropractic medicine being beneficial for anything other than certain types of back pain is weak
  • There are two types of chiropractic practitioners: “straights” and “mixers”
  • The treatment they offer is referred to as chiropractic adjustment
  • Chiropractic adjustment consists of controlled, sudden pressure being applied to specific regions
  • Chiropractic adjustment is safe for most patients.

What is chiropractic manipulation?

[Chiropractic practitioner at work]
Chiropractic practitioners are still growing in number.

Continue reading

Eat fresh fruits daily to reduce your risk of cardiovascular death

Source: Eating fresh fruits daily may reduce your risk of cardiovascular death – Medical News Today

New research provides further evidence of the health benefits of fruit consumption, after finding that eating fresh fruits daily may lower the risks of heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular death.
[Mixed fruits]
Eating fresh fruit every day can benefit heart health.

Dr. Huaidong Du, of the University of Oxford in the UK, and colleagues recently published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Under the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, it is recommended that adults who get less than 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily consume 1.5-2 cups of fruits each day, based on evidence that including fruits as part of a healthy diet reduces the risk of some chronic diseases. Continue reading

Are you drinking too much alcohol?

If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to no more than:

  • two units of alcohol a day most days, to a weekly maximum of 10 for women.
  • three units of alcohol a day most days, to a weekly maximum of 15 for men.

“A unit” means:

  • 341 mL / 12 oz (1 bottle) of regular strength beer (5% alcohol).
  • 142 mL / 5 oz wine (12% alcohol).
  • 43 mL / 1 1/2 oz spirits (40% alcohol).

drinks-graphic.jpg

9 things doctors wished you didn’t keep in your home

Source: Life Hack Thursday: 9 things doctors wished you didn’t keep in your home | CTV News

The staff working in hospital emergency and trauma departments see a lot of injuries come through the doors every day, including those they know could have been avoided.

So what are some unexpected things commonly found in many homes that cause easily preventable injuries? We spoke to a few doctors and a registered nurse to find out.

Microwaveable soups

“You know those heatable soups that come in Styrofoam cups? I’ve seen a huge number of people get burned very badly from opening those,” says Toronto-area emergency room physician, Dr. Brett Belchetz. Continue reading

Exercise is Relatively Ineffective for Weight Loss

Source: Exercise vs. Diet: Which Is More Important for Weight Loss?

If you’re perplexed by the information above, don’t worry. There’s a simple explanation behind it, which we’ll break up into two parts.

Reason 1. Calorie expenditure through exercise is relatively small in the grand scheme of things.

In order to see why exercise-focused weight loss programs might yield low efficacy, it’s important to understand the accounting behind our daily caloric expenditure. Continue reading

Four Myths About Hydration That Refuse To Die

Source: Four Myths About Hydration That Refuse To Die

As Derek Zoolander wisely put it, wetness is the essence of life. Whether you like drinking water or not, it accounts for about 60% of your body weight, and plays a pretty darn important role in making sure your body functions normally. But statistics aside, there are a couple of myths about hydration that refuse to die.

Myth One: You Need To Drink Eight Cups A Day

Continue reading

How to Allergy-Proof Your Home

Source: Allergy-proof your home – Mayo Clinic

gloved-hands-spraying-cleaner-on-a-bathroom-sink-faucet-and-wiping-with-a-cleaning-rag-16X9

If you have hay fever or allergic asthma, take a few steps to reduce allergens in your home. Some steps to reduce indoor allergens are complicated and time-consuming — but there are some easy things you can do that may help. Some steps may be more effective than others, depending on what particular allergy or allergies you have.

Bedroom

  • Bed and bedding. Encase pillows, mattresses and box springs in dust-mite-proof covers. Wash sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week in water heated to at least 130 F (54 C). Remove, wash or cover comforters. Replace wool or feathered bedding with synthetic materials.
  • Flooring. Remove carpeting and use hardwood or linoleum flooring or washable area rugs. If that isn’t an option, use low-pile instead of high-pile carpeting and vacuum weekly with a vacuum cleaner that has a small-particle or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Shampoo the carpet frequently.
  • Curtains and blinds. Use washable curtains made of plain cotton or synthetic fabric. Replace horizontal blinds with washable roller-type shades.
  • Windows. Close windows and rely on air conditioning during pollen season. Clean mold and condensation from window frames and sills. Use double-paned windows if you live in a cold climate.
  • Furnishings. Choose easy-to-clean chairs, dressers and nightstands made of leather, wood, metal or plastic. Avoid upholstered furniture.
  • Clutter. Remove items that collect dust, such as knickknacks, tabletop ornaments, books and magazines. Store children’s toys, games and stuffed animals in plastic bins.
  • Pets. If you can’t find a new home for your dog or cat, at least keep animals out of the bedroom. Bathing pets at least once a week may reduce the amount of allergen in the dander they shed.
  • Air filtration. Choose an air filter that has a small-particle or HEPA filter. Try adjusting your air filter so that it directs clean air toward your head when you sleep.

Continue reading

Core exercises: Why you should strengthen your core muscles

Source: Core exercises: Why you should strengthen your core muscles – Mayo Clinic

Core exercises are an important part of a well-rounded fitness program. Aside from occasional situps and pushups, however, core exercises are often neglected. Still, it pays to get your core muscles — the muscles around your trunk and pelvis — in better shape. Read on to find out why.

Core exercises improve your balance and stability

 Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles.

Core exercises don’t require specialized equipment or a gym membership

Any exercise that involves the use of your abdominal and back muscles in coordinated fashion counts as a core exercise. For example, using free weights in a manner that involves maintaining a stable trunk can train and strengthen several of your muscles, including your core muscles. You may also try several specific core exercises to stabilize and strengthen your core.

Person performing a bridge exercise.

A bridge is a classic core exercise. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Keep your back in a neutral position, not arched and not pressed into the floor. Avoid tilting your hips. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Continue reading

Cactus disease (paleo-induced mineral periostitis) | Radiology Case | Radiopaedia.org

Source: Cactus disease (paleo-induced mineral periostitis) | Radiology Case | Radiopaedia.org

Case Discussion:

Paleo-induced mineral periostitis (PiMP) is a recently recognised disease attributed to the so-called “paleo diet”. It most frequently involves the metacarpals and phalanges producing perpendicular periosteal projections (“spines”), an appearance that has lead to the alternative name of “cactus disease”. In severe cases the spines can tent the skin and present clinically, although the majority of cases are only detected radiographically after patients complain of hand pain, particularly when squeezing fruits (e.g. crushing goji berries).

Proponents of the paleo diet continue to deny that it causes PiMP, however a strong temporal association and correlation between length of diet and disease severity have proved scientifically robust; 2016 Cochrane Library metareview. Supportive archeological evidence from paleolithic human populations also exists including cave paintings in Argentina showing cactus hands 12,000 years ago (pictured above).

The European Society for Hand Models recently listed the paleo diet as a category 5 risk (alongside wood work, wicket keeping and thumb wrestling) after founding member Spike E. Hanzenfeat announced that his once “really really, ridiculously good looking hands” had been “internally shashlicked” within seven months of commencing the diet. A Broadway adaptation of his story entitled “The Stuff Fools Swallow” is expected in late 2017.

The Spectacular Benefits Of Non-Exercise: How Little Movements Add Up To A Healthier Day

Source: The Spectacular Benefits Of Non-Exercise: How Little Movements Add Up To A Healthier Day | Co.Exist | ideas + impact

When I interview James Levine, appropriately enough it’s a walk-and-talk affair. Levine practically coined the phrase “sitting is the new smoking,” so a couch or table conversation would not have felt right. And Levine hates sitting still. He takes any opportunity to fit a little more movement into the day, even if it means putting aside modern conveniences. Levine is someone who wouldn’t buy a Roomba if he could push around an old Hoover instead.

It’s the middle of the day when we hustle around the Mayo Clinic campus, in Phoenix. The sun is bearing down and it’s a struggle to keep up with Levine’s pace. He reels off statistics about the obesity epidemic (now a global phenomenon), overeating, and how our lives are designed to reduce calorie expenditure. We’ve created a world where food is cheap and always available, but where our opportunity to spend the energy we get from eating it is limited, especially if you’re someone who doesn’t like going to the gym. Continue reading

Question: Should I try high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to get in shape?

Source: Mayo Clinic News Network

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am determined to get fit and lose weight this year. I’ve recently heard a lot about interval training. What is it exactly, and is it safe for everyone? How do I get started?

ANSWER: To improve the fitness of your heart and lungs — known as cardiorespiratory fitness — you need to exercise at a higher level of intensity than is typical for you. High-intensity aerobic interval training, also called HIIT, involves alternating periods of moderate-intensity exercise with brief periods of high-intensity exercise. Incorporating HIIT into your exercise routine can be a safe and effective way to help your body adapt to a more intense workout and become more fit. Continue reading

Exercise in older age may protect memory and thinking skills

Source: Exercise in older age may protect memory and thinking skills – Medical News Today

A new study published in the journal Neurology provides further evidence that exercise in older age may slow the rate of cognitive decline.
[An older couple running in the sunshine]
Moderate- to high-intensity exercise in older age may slow cognitive decline, say researchers.

Dr. Clinton B. Wright, of the University of Miami in Florida, and colleagues found that adults over the age of 50 who engaged in light or no exercise experienced a significantly faster decline in memory and thinking skills, compared with those who engaged in moderate to intense exercise. Continue reading

Prolonged sitting can kill you

Source: Prolonged sitting responsible for more than 430,000 deaths – Medical News Today

The health implications of prolonged sitting has become a hot topic of late, with numerous studies suggesting it can raise the risk of obesity, heart disease and even premature death. Now, new research adds fuel to the fire, revealing that sitting for more than 3 hours daily is responsible for around 3.8% of all-cause deaths over 54 countries.
[A man sitting at a desk]
Sitting for at least 3 hours daily is accountable for 3.8% of all-cause deaths, according to researchers.

But it’s not all bad news; the study also found that we can increase life expectancy by an average of 0.2 years by reducing sitting time to less than 3 hours a day.

Lead researcher Leandro Rezende, of the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine in Brazil, and colleagues publish their findings in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

On average, Americans spend up to 13 hours a day sitting, with around 7.5 hours spent sitting at work, which researchers claim can wreak havoc on health.

Last January, for example, Medical News Today reported on a study that suggested prolonged sitting can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and premature death, regardless of physical activity status.

And a more recent study found that, for heart disease patients, sitting for long periods can worsen health, even if they are active. Continue reading

Meditation: could it replace opioids for pain relief?

Source: Meditation: could it replace opioids for pain relief? – Medical News Today

The US is currently in what has been described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an opioid epidemic. Now, a new study investigates alternative forms of pain relief and concludes that mindfulness meditation is an effective way to reduce pain.
A woman meditating
Even when the body’s opioid receptors are chemically blocked, meditation is able to significantly reduce pain by using a completely different pathway, researchers say.

According to the Institute of Medicine, around 100 million Americans experience chronic pain, costing over $600 billion each year.

And with those monetary costs come public health costs; Medical News Today reported earlier today that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued new prescription guidelines in an attempt to prevent prescription drug misuse and reduce overdoses. Continue reading

WHEN you eat could be as important as WHAT you eat

Source: When you eat could be as important as what you eat – Medical News Today

Mitochondria – the tiny power centers inside cells that burn nutrients like sugar to make energy – are tightly controlled by the body’s biological or circadian clock. Consequently, there is an optimum time when sugar-burning is most efficient.
A man eating breakfast
In tests on mice, the researchers found the body clock controls the optimum times for sugar- and fat-burning in the body, suggesting when we eat may be as important as what we eat.

This was the main conclusion of a study by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany.

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers say their findings may explain why people who sleep and eat out of phase with their body clocks are more likely to become overweight and obese and develop chronic diseases, such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Continue reading

Common Diseases: Gastritis

Source: Gastritis Symptoms: Signs, Duration, Complications – Medical News Today

Gastritis is inflammation of the stomach lining. This inflammation can be caused by a multitude of factors.

The condition can be an acute or chronic issue, increasing the risk of developing other conditions such as stomach ulcers, bleeding or cancer.

Causes of gastritis include:

  • Infection with parasitic, viral or bacterial organisms, including Helicobacter pylori bacteria
  • Use of medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, steroids, potassium or other similar drugs
  • Aging
  • Stress
  • Caffeine consumption
  • Ingestion of chemicals
  • Chronic vomiting
  • Post-procedure complications
  • Excessive alcohol use (even during one single evening)
  • Autoimmune disorders such as pernicious anemia
  • B12 deficiency
  • Other conditions such as HIV and Crohn’s disease.

A woman experiencing pain in the abdomen.Symptoms of gastritis

At times, people with gastritis may be asymptomatic. However, typical symptoms of gastritis include:

Abdominal pain: people with gastritis typically report that their abdominal pain is located in the upper center of the abdomen and is also often experienced in the upper left portion of the stomach radiating to the back. Continue reading

Eat well to control cholesterol

Source: Eat well to control cholesterol – Mayo Clinic

fruits-and-vegetables-formed-into-a-heart-16-x-9High blood cholesterol can lead to cholesterol buildup and blockage in your arteries, which can cause complications such as stroke and heart disease. What you eat may significantly affect the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Here are some tips for adopting a heart-healthy diet that’s designed to keep your cholesterol at optimal levels.

Avoid saturated and trans fats

Saturated fats often make up the largest source of cholesterol in a person’s diet. Saturated fats increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol that clogs the arteries. Common sources of saturated fats are fatty meats; full-fat dairy products such as milk, ice cream and cheese; and certain tropical oils such as palm and coconut.

Trans fats can have an even worse effect on your cholesterol levels. These fats form when hydrogen is added to vegetable oils in a process called hydrogenation that makes the oils less likely to spoil. Continue reading

How Do I Survive Spring Allergy Season?

Source: Treat and Prevent Spring Allergies: Drugs, Nasal Sprays, Allergy Shots, and More

Every spring, Denise Wilson tweaks her daily routine. Instead of running outdoors, she hits the gym. She puts on the air conditioner rather than open a window for fresh air. And she tucks her contacts into a drawer and switches to eyeglasses.

Wilson, 46, a public relations exec in Brooklyn, NY, says these are absolute musts if she’s going to get through allergy season.

Otherwise she’s bombarded with congestion, coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, an irritated throat, and asthma brought on by exercise.

“I usually don’t let myself get to that point anymore,” Wilson says. Instead of waiting for symptoms to blossom, she starts her allergy medicine before the season begins. Continue reading

Heart Attack Symptoms In Women

Source: Heart Attack Symptoms In Women

Sue Palmer woke up vomiting and did what most of us would do: She tried to shake it off and go back to bed. But, in an essay Palmer wrote for The Washington Post, the Nashville-based attorney details how her husband Tim insisted that she go to the ER…and saved her life in the process.

“He whispered, ‘Let’s go to the emergency room,’” Palmer recalled. “‘Why?’ I asked. He replied, ‘You could be having a heart attack.’”

Palmer recounts how she joked about the situation to ER workers, since she felt fine, and even rolled her eyes at the notion that she might be having a heart attack at one point. While one electrocardiogram (EKG) didn’t show that anything was off, a second found that something was very wrong. Continue reading

As measures of health, fitness and fatness matter more than weight

Source: As measures of health, fitness and fatness matter more than weight – LA Times

Researchers are nurturing a growing suspicion that body mass index, the height-weight calculation that distinguishes those with “normal healthy weight” from the overweight and obese, is not the whole picture when it comes to telling who is healthy and who is not. Two new studies drive that point home and underscore that BMI offers an incomplete picture of an individual’s health.

Fitness matters, as does fatness. And the BMI is an imperfect measure of both.

In one study published Monday, researchers found that in a group of more than 1.5 million Swedish military recruits, men who had poor physical fitness at age 18 were three times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes in midlife than were those who had been highly fit on the cusp of adulthood. That effect was found independent of BMI, family history or socioeconomic status.

Continue reading

Mayo Clinic: Watch a Colonoscopy

Source: #ScopeScope: Mayo Clinic Colonoscopy on Periscope | Mayo Clinic Connect

Mayo Clinic made history on March 1, 2016 by broadcasting a colonoscopy live on Periscope, an initiative called the #ScopeScope.

Colorectal cancer claims nearly 50,000 lives each year in the U.S. alone, and yet with appropriate screening it is among the most preventable and curable cancers. That’s why Mayo Clinic has collaborated with the national advocacy group Fight Colorectal Cancer for the last three years to encourage colorectal cancer screening.  In 2014 we hosted an awareness event at Target Field in Minneapolis with the Minnesota Twins, and last year we produced a music video featuring Mayo Clinic staff.

For the #ScopeScope, Mayo Clinic Social Media Network Director Lee Aase volunteered to have his colonoscopy broadcast on Periscope, a Twitter-owned mobile video platform. More than 3,000 viewers joined live, and nearly 1,800 watched the archive in the 24 hours it was available on Periscope. Here’s the Mayo Clinic News Network story:

What is sun protection factor (SPF)? What is the best sunscreen?

Source: What is sun protection factor (SPF)? What is the best sunscreen? – Medical News Today

The rules on the labeling of sun protection lotions sold to consumers mean that all sunscreen products are labeled with a sun protection factor (SPF) and whether or not there is broad-spectrum protection against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Before the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) simplified its regulation of over-the-counter (OTC) and other consumer sun lotions in June 2012, there was a confusing array of claims that could be made about the level of protection given against harmful UVA and UVB sunrays.

The simpler rules mean that the labels now show only an “SPF” number and whether this confers “broad spectrum” protection – but what do these terms mean exactly?

And what is the best way to use sunscreen to avoid the risks of UV light, which include sunburn and cancers of the skin such as carcinoma and melanoma?

How much sunscreen should I use? When should I wear suntan lotion? Does my skin color alter the level of sun protection? The straightforward answers to these questions and more are provided below. Continue reading

Chinese exercise is good for the heart

Source: Chinese exercise is good for the heart – Medical News Today

Are you worried about your blood pressure and cholesterol? Tai Chi or Qigong may help. These and other types of traditional Chinese exercise appear to boost the health and well-being of people with cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or stroke, says research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
[tai chi]
Chinese exercise brings health benefits with little chance of damage.

Different forms of Chinese exercise have been gaining popularity around the world.

One of the best-known, Tai Chi, is recommended by Harvard Medical Center’s Women’s Health Watch for anyone, of any age, including those in a wheelchair. Benefits include helping people to maintain strength, flexibility and balance. Continue reading

How Old Is Your Heart?

Source: How Old Is Your Heart? « Heart Health

Of course, you know how old you are – but do you know how old your heart is? There is often a big difference between our age and the actual mileage we’ve put on our bodies, known as our “biological age.” Knowing our biological age gives us a clearer sense of the wear and tear our bodies have experienced, and it’s a good indicator of future health problems and overall longevity.

One way to determine your heart’s age is with a coronary calcium scan (discussed in a previous post), but you really don’t need to get a fancy test to get at this information. Finding out your heart’s biological age is as easy as using on-line calculator. Your heart’s biological age is determined by several factors: chronological age, gender, blood pressure, blood sugar, BMI (body mass index), and whether you are currently a smoker. The online calculator will ask you to input this data, including your BMI. If you don’t know your BMI, you can calculate is using a separate tool. Continue reading

E-cigarettes help smokers quit

Source: E-cigarettes helped up to 22,000 English smokers quit in 2014 – Medical News Today

Researchers from University College London have taken an in-depth look at smoking cessation data and the role of e-cigarettes. The findings trumpet the praises of e-cigarettes as an aid to quitting conventional cigarettes, although their trumpets are slightly more muted than those from other quarters.
[Man smoking an e-cigarette]
E-cigarettes divide the scientific community. Recent research delves into the data for answers.

Over the past few years, for better or worse, e-cigarettes have barely left the headlines.

As of early 2014, there were 466 brands and 7,764 unique flavors of e-cigarette products.

From 2003-2014, the sale of e-cigarettes has grown exponentially year on year. This surge has prompted much debate and investigation.

Health concerns over carcinogens and worries that e-cigarettes offer a newer, softer route into the world of tobacco smoking have dominated popular news. Continue reading

Drinking more water reduces sugar, sodium and saturated fat intake

Source: Drinking more water reduces sugar, sodium and saturated fat intake – Medical News Today

Based on the fact that about two thirds of our bodies are comprised of water, it may seem obvious that consuming water is important for our health. But a new study finds that by increasing plain water consumption, we can control our weight and reduce intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat.
Person filling up a glass with tap water
Drinking more water is associated with reduced intakes of sugar, sodium and saturated fat, researchers say.

The study, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, is led by Prof. Ruopeng An, from the University of Illinois.

Though most people meet their body’s fluid requirements by drinking plain water and other beverages, we also get some fluids through certain foods, such as soup broths, celery, tomatoes and melons. Continue reading

Herbal remedies may be risky for cancer patients

Source: Herbal remedies may be risky for cancer patients – Medical News Today

Nettles, turmeric and camel milk are just a few of the herbs and foodstuffs used to boost health in the Middle East, as they have done throughout history. Cancer patients, however, may be endangering their health by supplementing chemotherapy with some of the herbs and spices, says a new report published in the journal Cancer.
[nettles]
Stinging nettles are a traditional herbal remedy.

Herbal medicine goes back a long way in the Middle East, and it continues to be popular as part of traditional medicine. Its heritage can be traced back thousands of years to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Continue reading

CDC: flu vaccine on track to be more effective this year

Source: CDC: flu vaccine on track to be more effective this year – Medical News Today
Preliminary estimates show this season’s flu vaccine is 59% effective – set to be the second most effective in the US since records began a decade ago.

The CDC say that this year’s flu shot is likely to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by nearly 60%.

Every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conduct studies to find out how well the flu vaccine protects against flu illness.

“This means that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced the risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by nearly 60%,” says Dr. Joseph Bresee, chief of the CDC’s Epidemiology and Prevention Branch, commenting on this season’s estimate. Continue reading

Gallbladder Inflammation & Gallstones

Source: Gallbladder Inflammation Symptoms: Signs, Duration, Complications – Medical News Today

The gallbladder is a pear-shaped digestive system organ located on the right side of the abdomen. Its job is to store and release bile for fat digestion.

If its connection (duct) to the liver gets blocked by a “stone,” the bile backs up, causing the gallbladder to become inflamed (acute cholecystitis). Once inflamed, the gallbladder becomes enlarged and reddened, and the build-up of fluid in the organ can develop a secondary infection.

Around 90% of gallbladder inflammation cases are due to gallstones – small crystal-like masses made up of bile pigments, cholesterol and calcium salts.

Roughly 20% of Americans have gallstones, and as many as one-third of these people will develop inflammation. The chance of gallbladder inflammation increases with age. Other risk factors include female sex, pregnancy, obesity, diabetes, a history of gallstones and rapid weight loss.

Most gallbladder “attacks” are from inflammation, with only 5% being due to bacterial infection. Continue reading

Binge drinking in young adults raises risk of hypertension

Source: Binge drinking in young adults raises risk of hypertension – Medical News Today

New research, conducted at the University of Montreal in Canada, finds that binge drinking as a young adult might lay the foundation for hypertension later in life.
[Pouring brown liquor shots ]
Evidence of the negative consequences of binge drinking keeps mounting up.

Binge drinking is already known to harbor a number of negative health consequences. Despite this, it is surprisingly prevalent.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define binge drinking as the consumption of four drinks or more (for women) and five or more (for men) in the space of 2 hours.

An estimated 1 in 6 American adults binge drink four times a month, consuming an average of eight drinks per session. Continue reading

Are Separate Bedrooms a Sign of a Doom, or a Lifeline?

Source: Are Separate Bedrooms a Sign of a Doom, or a Lifeline? | Psychology Today

When we hear that a couple sleeps in separate bedrooms, we immediately assume that their relationship is in trouble. We tend to think that when couples “sleep together” they are having sex. Therefore, separate bedrooms must mean that a couple’s sex life has evaporated and divorce is likely on the horizon.

While one partner sleeping on the couch or in the guest room can mean that the couple is not getting along, it doesn’t always mean that. A surprising new trend is that couples who share intimacy and an active sex life are choosing to sleep in separate bedrooms, and for an entirely different reason: They are simply trying to get a good night’s sleep. In fact, 26 percent of Americans say that they sleep better when they sleep alone. Continue reading

A Third of Adults Lack Regular, Refreshing Sleep

Source: A Third of Adults Lack Regular, Refreshing Sleep

One of every three Americans doesn’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

About 35 percent of U.S. adults are sleeping less than seven hours a night, increasing their risk of a wide variety of health problems, CDC researchers reported on Feb. 18 in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Getting less than seven hours of sleep a night has been associated with increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, frequent mental distress and death, the study authors said. Continue reading

Hepatitis B: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Source: Hepatitis B: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment – Medical News Today

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is a leading cause of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma.

The virus is found in blood and body fluids and is transmitted through access to a non-infected individual’s mucus membranes or bloodstream. HBV is a major global health problem, with an annual death toll similar to that of malaria.

For most people, hepatitis B is a short-term illness that causes no permanent damage. For others, it can become a chronic infection that can potentially lead to liver cancer.

HBV infection can be prevented with immunization, and chronic infection can be successfully treated with antiviral medication. Continue reading

Fibromyalgia sufferers might benefit from tailored acupuncture

Source: Fibromyalgia sufferers might benefit from tailored acupuncture – Medical News Today

Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 5 million Americans, 80-90% of whom are women. The disorder is characterized by widespread pain and diffuse tenderness. Although there is no cure, tailored acupuncture might provide some welcome respite, according to a new study.
[Acupuncture close up]
New research shows that tailored acupuncture might relieve fibromyalgia symptoms.

Although difficult to categorize, fibromyalgia is considered a rheumatic condition because it impairs soft tissue and joints and causes pain.

Fibromyalgia carries with it a number of other life-disrupting symptoms that vary from individual to individual.

These symptoms can include muscle stiffness, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and sensitivity to temperature, sounds and bright lights.

The exact causes of fibromyalgia are not well understood; however, hypothesized culprits include traumatic or stressful life events and repetitive injuries. Continue reading

Gene study confirms ‘we are what we eat’

Source: Gene study confirms ‘we are what we eat’ – Medical News Today

A new study shows that the relationship between our genetic make-up and our metabolism – the chemistry of life that goes on inside our cells – is a two-way street. Not only do our genes regulate how the food we eat is broken down, but how our food is broken down regulates our genes.
Little girl eating an apple
The researchers suggest nearly all of our genes may be influenced by the food we eat.

Providing new evidence to support the old adage “we are what we eat,” the study is published in the journal Nature Microbiology.

The authors – an international team led by Dr. Markus Ralser of the University of Cambridge and the Francis Crick Institute in London, both in the UK – conclude that nearly all of our genes may be influenced by the food we eat. Continue reading

Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

Source: Can Stress Cause Weight Gain?

You’re having problems at work or at home. You’re stressed, and it’s beginning to show — in more ways than one. You’ve noticed a bulge around your mid-section that wasn’t there before. Where are these extra pounds coming from?
Stress could be one of the culprits. It plays a role in weight gain. While it can make you have less of an appetite at first, long-term “chronic” stress actually boosts your hunger. Continue reading

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – an excellent resource for patients and their loved ones!

Source: Managing Your Cancer | Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has an excellent website for patients and their caregivers and loved ones.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a blood cancer, you surely have many questions. You can get answers there. You’ll find step-by-step guidance and resources.

Find the website here.

 

Concussion triples or quadruples risk of suicide

Source: Concussion triples or quadruples risk of suicide – Medical News Today

Concussion multiplies the long-term risk of suicide in adults, especially if it happens on the weekend, according to research published in the CMAJ.
[head injury]
Concussion symptoms abate quickly, but the long-term effects can be severe.

Suicide is the 10th most common cause of death in the US, with 41,149 cases in 2011, or 13 per 100,000 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is normally associated with a psychiatric illness, such as depression or substance abuse.

Concussion is the number one brain injury in adults, affecting around 4 million Americans each year. It is defined as “a transient disturbance of mental function caused by acute trauma.” Continue reading

Energy drinks: adverse heart reactions linked to more than two per day

Source: Energy drinks: adverse heart reactions linked to more than two per day – Medical News Today

Energy drinks have become an increasingly popular beverage of choice, particularly among young people. But a new study warns of the dangers of drinking more than two per day, citing palpitations, increased heart rate and chest pain.
energy drinks
Though drinking more than two energy drinks per day increases heart risks, adding alcohol slows down the breakdown of the caffeine, adding further dangers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 31% of 12-17-year-olds regularly consume energy drinks and 34% of 18-24-year-olds reach for the stimulant-infused drinks on a regular basis. Continue reading

Easily stressed teens have increased hypertension risk later in life

Source: Easily stressed teens have increased hypertension risk later in life – Medical News Today

High blood pressure is a large and growing problem in the US. A new study that followed 1.5 million teens through to adulthood investigates the role of early psychological parameters on the likelihood of developing hypertension.
[Stressed teenage boy]
A new study links a teen’s ability to cope with stress and hypertension later in life.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is both common and dangerous.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, equating to around 70 million people.

Consistently high blood pressure raises the risk of heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in America. Continue reading

Exercise: Is More Always Better?

Source: Exercise: Is More Always Better?

If a little exercise is good, then more is better in terms of calorie burn and weight loss, right? That’s what most of us tend to believe.

But it’s not necessarily true, a research team says. They found that people who exercise a lot don’t burn extra calories for their efforts beyond a certain point. Their new study is published in Current Biology.

Don’t drop that gym membership just yet, though. WebMD asked two experts to discuss these findings and the role of exercise. Continue reading

Coffee lovers rejoice: regular caffeine does not cause extra heartbeats

Source: Coffee lovers rejoice: regular caffeine does not cause extra heartbeats – Medical News Today

Previous studies have linked regular caffeine intake to extra heartbeats – a common occurrence that can nevertheless lead to heart problems, stroke and death in rare cases. Now, in the first study to date that looks at long-term caffeine consumption, researchers conclude that regular caffeine consumption is not linked to extra heartbeats.
Woman holding coffee
A new study demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief, moderate caffeine consumption does not increase heartbeats.

According to the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) researchers, whose work is published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, theirs is the largest study to assess the relation between dietary patterns and extra heartbeats. Continue reading

What Do The Lungs Do?

Source: Lung Function: What Do The Lungs Do? – Medical News Today

The most important function of the lungs is to extract oxygen from the environment and transfer it to the bloodstream.

Taking more than 6 million breaths per year, these integral parts of the human anatomy deserve our attention and respect.1

In this article, we will look at the form and function of the lungs; we will also learn about diseases that affect the lungs and how to maintain healthy lungs.

Fast facts on the lungs

Here are some key points about the lungs. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.

  • The left and right lungs are different sizes
  • The lungs fill the majority of the chest cavity
  • Each person takes more than 6 million breaths per year
  • At the most basic level, lungs work like a set of bellows
  • Without the production of surfactant, the lungs would collapse
  • The lungs also play a part in regulating the acidity of the body
  • Smoking tobacco is the biggest cause of lung-related complaints
  • Lung tumors make up 15% of all diagnosed cancers and 30% of all cancer deaths
  • There are a number of simple ways to help keep your lungs healthy.

Continue reading

More People Under 50 Getting Colon Cancer

Source: More People Under 50 Getting Colon Cancer

Though guidelines suggest screening starts at 50, researcher says it’s premature to change them

Colon cancer rates are rising among men and women under 50, the age at which guidelines recommend screenings start, a new analysis shows.

One in seven colon cancer patients is under 50. Younger patients are more likely to have advanced stage cancer, but they live slightly longer without a cancer recurrence because they are treated aggressively, the researchers reported.

Continue reading

Eating the right fats could save 1 million lives per year

Source: Eating the right fats could save 1 million lives per year – Medical News Today

According to research carried out by the American Heart Association, replacing refined carbohydrates and saturated fats with vegetable oils could save 1 million lives per year.
[Heart-shaped earth]
New research plots the state of the world diet and its ramifications for global heart health.

The association between eating a diet high in saturated fats and heart disease is well documented.

The relationships between different types of fats and their consequences on health are a little more complex. Continue reading

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