Archive for the ‘Health’ Category
A triathlon is a grueling event, so knowing how to train for a triathlon is highly important if you want to come through the event without injuries. Training for a triathlon requires a steady growth of your stamina in three different activities with three different sets of muscles. Learn how to train simultaneously for all three phases of the triathlon is a different experience from training only for a swimming exhibition, a cycling race or a running competition.
I’m assuming that most people reading this article will have never “ran” a triathlon before, so I’m assuming you’ll be wanting to know how to train for a “beginners triathlon”. That’s what this article focuses on. There are also intermediate or “olympic triathlons” and the hard core “ironman triathlons”, which include long bike rides and swims along with a full marathon. If you’ve never been in a triathlon before, start with the beginners triathlon.
How To Train For a Triathlon – Beginners Triathlon Training
A beginners triathlon is typically a half-mile swim, a 12-mile bike ride and a 3-mile run. The biking and running might not sound that grueling, but until you’ve swam a mile before you’ve performed these other exercises, your body and mind won’t be used to the stresses place them.
- Train To Your Weaknesses – Inevitably, you’ll have one of the three aspects of the triathlon that is your weakness. You might be a strong runner and a good cyclist, but you might not have ever trained much for swimming. Even if you have trained for each three, one of these phases of the triathlon will still be weaker than the others. When you start to train, don’t train to your strengths, but train to your weaknesses.
What does “training to your weakness” mean? That means if you are weakest at swimming, you need to build up your skill and stamina at swimming. If you aren’t so good at running or biking, then focus on either one of these that is your weak point. To many times, people train to their strengths, because that is what they are good at and therefore they’re less likely to get frustrated training their strong suit.
- Train to Run a Triathlon – When you train to run a triathlon, you need to start running in any capacity, but you choose the track. Start running on a treadmill or elliptical machine if you wish, but also take it to the local track or even the streets if you want. Remember not to run too hard to begin, because legs injuries from over-running can set your training back for weeks. I would suggest no more than 10 minutes of running at intensity at the beginning of training.
- Train to Cycle in a Triathlon – Train on the bike at the middle of your comfort zone, going maybe 10 or so miles for 10 minutes at a time when you start training. Once again, this can take place on a road bike or a stationary bike.
- Train to Swim a Triathlon – Find a local pool to swim at when starting to train for a triathlon. If you can’t find a swimming pool for a daily swim, then start rowing on a rowing machine. This builds the arm stamina and upper body strength needed to swim 1/2 a mile.
- Switch the Training Day-to-Day – Train at each of the three phases of a triathlon, but don’t train at each of them daily. Switch between running, biking and swimming from day to day. Build up your stamina at each, but don’t burn yourself out by training at all three on any given day. Rotate the training and build up your intensity and time as you go.
- Build Up to 1 to 3 Hours Per Day – By the time you’ve finished your training, you’ll need to be training from one to three hours per day when preparing for a triathlon. If you’re a beginning triathlon athlete, you’ll probably be closer to the 1 hour than 3 hour training process. If you can’t commit to at least one hour per day on a consistent basis, you don’t need to be competing in a triathlon. Train about five to six days a week on this schedule.
- Rest When You Are Tired – If your body is tired, take a day off. Consistency builds stamina, but you don’t want to set yourself back by straining your body or injuring yourself.
- Train the Proper Length of Time – People who are in average shape should build up their stamina and ability for six months before running a triathlon. Those who are in better-than-average shape should train for at least three months for a beginners triathlon.
- Build To Distances 2 Months Before Race – Be able to handle the distances of the race up to two months before the triathlon. That is, be able to handle the three mile run any given day, or the 12 mile bike ride any given day or swim one-half a mile any given day. This does not mean you should try all three any given day. Just be able to handle each one at a time, but have your stamina for each built up a couple of months before the triathlon date.
- Put the Pieces Together One Month Before Race – One month prior to the triathlon, be able to put all three triathlon events together into one workout. Make these high intensity workouts for relatively short distances. Get your pace up for each leg of the triathlon. Don’t worry about conquering the distance aspect of each phase of the triathlon, because you could causes injuries through stress or blisters that would end or set back your triathlon preparation.
- Taper Down One Week Before – One week before the triathlon, taper down your training to relatively short intervals at relatively light intensities. This keeps your muscles fit, but lets them relax and regenerate. You need to build up your strength in preparation for the triathlon, while continuing to hone your triathlon skills.
- Get Plenty of Rest – In the week before the triathlon, get plenty of sleep. Also eat high-carbohydrate foods and lower your fat intake in the week before the race. This should be done throughout the triathlon training cycle, but you need to focus on this in the days before the race. You want to build yourself to peak efficiency on the day of the triathlon race.
What is “gonadotropin”?
Gonadotropin, also known as hCG, has been in the news lately as the suspected source of major league baseball star Manny Ramirez’ steroid troubles. The Los Angeles Dodger’s big gun was sidelined for 50 games after testing positive for a “performance enhancing drug”, which authorities refused to outright identify as a “steroid”. Ramirez, who is not planning to appeal, claimed that the substance he tested positive for was administered by a doctor for treatment for a “personal medical issue”, and that neither Ramirez nor the doctor knew the drug was on the league’s “banned substance” list.
Gonadotropin is a glycoprotein hormone produced by an embryo soon after conception. The role of gonadotropin is to enhance the production of progesterone – a “steroid hormone” – during a woman’s pregnancy. Gonadotropin has other medical uses, mainly as replacement therapy for people whose natural production of testosterone or estrogen is reduced either by disease or injury.
The implication is that Ramirez was receiving Gonadotropin to replenish testosterone levels. Unfortunately for Ramirez, one of the main reasons that otherwise healthy individuals need to replenish such a level is abuse of steroids. This could lead to an even bigger story, as Manny Ramirez has not yet been “outed” as a potential steroid case, though many in Major League Baseball have, including stars like Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, and Roger Clemens.
Added to baseball’s banned substance list a year ago, hCG is a hormone that is almost exclusively produced by the placenta or an embryo. Interestingly enough, hCG is the hormone that will signal that a woman is pregnant in home-pregnancy tests. Steroid users are attracted to hCG as a natural “restart” to the body’s normal production of testosterone following a cycle of steroids. Why is this necessary?
When you take steroids, the drug tends to “turn off” the human body’s internal mechanisms that produce testosterone. In essence, the testicles are “turned off”. They shrink in size leading to a severe decrease in the production of testosterone. The only way to get around this reduction in testosterone is to take a steroid-hormone to reverse the negative effects that steroids have on the testicles.
According to the website “anabolicsteroidsguide.com”, steroid users might take hCG injections for a period of two or three weeks during steroid use. A direct quote from that websit e– “Since occasional injections of hCG during steroid intake can avoid a testicular atrophy, many athletes use hCG for two to three weeks in the middle of their steroid treatment.”
Chemically, hCG is no mystery. Doctors often observe that during a combined steroid/hCG treatments, the athlete can see the best results in terms of gains in strength and muscle mass. The medical community has acknowledged that by taking hCG the athlete’s testosterone level increases rapidly while a large concentration of anabolic substances present in the blood is further induced by the steroids the athlete is taking.
It is unclear at this point whether or not Ramirez was taking steroids, though he has not yet tested positive for such a substance.
However, detecting steroids during an hCG treatment appears difficult. A paper published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine in 1991 depicted a case study where an athlete undergoing testosterone and hCG (illegally) before a competition tested negative for testosterone, but positive for hCG. In other words, hCG appears to have a masking effect on certain banned substances. The case against Ramirez is stacking up even while he sits idle until July 3rd.
There don’t appear to be any medical reasons for Ramirez to be taking hCG. It was thought in the 1950s that hCG could be used as a weight loss aid, although tests proved this theory false.
Rumors were floating around the mainstream press this past week that Ramirez was undergoing treatment for “erectile dusfunction” – a condition that is not treatable with hCG, and is in fact easier treated with more conventional ED drugs like Viagra. No ED drug is on the MLB’s “banned substances” list.
What is a Safe Fast Diet?
A safe fast diet is just what it sounds like–a quick but careful way to drop pounds in weeks or even days as opposed to longer term diet plans.
The safe fast diet that everyone is talking about is called the calorie shifting diet.
The best part about the calorie shifting diet and other diets like it is that you aren’t being restricted to some extremely low amount of calories — in fact, you can eat just about the same number of calories as you do normally. Like the name implies, you’re “shifting” your caloric intake around. The idea is to increase your metabolic rate by manipulating what kinds of calories you’re eating.
People who hype calorie shifting diets say you can lose as much as ten pounds in just eleven days without starving yourself or taking diet pills.
The principle behind calorie shifting is that changing your caloric intake from day to day keeps your metabolism active, constantly adapting to new amounts of caloric intake. A constant change in your caloric intake keeps your metabolism “on its toes”, whereas eating the same amount of food every day makes your metabolism a constant and unchanging thing.
This is not some radical crash diet — a gradual weight change of less than ten pounds over the course of more than eleven days is not bad for your body, and will produce a subtle change in weight that your friends and loved ones will notice.
The diet is also very adaptable — if you want to lose a little more weight, you simply stay off the diet for three days and start the process again — in the three day off period, eat healthy and exercise every day, and you may found you’ve lost a slight amount of weight in the interim.
Fast diet plans are often seen as unsafe, and many of them are. Eating iceberg lettuce and smoking cigarettes for two weeks (the ballerina plan) or taking pills you buy off a college kid in Greenpoint (the Olsen twin plan) are at the low end of the safe (and legal) spectrum, while at the less extreme (and less likely to show you good weight loss) end, there is the calorie shifting plan. You’re not going to lose 20 pounds in a week, but if you’re looking to shrink that waist size, the calorie shifting plan may be the one for you.
We’ve written several other posts about specific diets. These include:
Obesity is on the rise, especially in the United States. For this reason, the public is constantly bombarded with new fad diets and lose-weight-quick schemes. We get a ton of email on this subject at AskDeb.com, with the most common question being, “What are the most effective weight loss solutions?”
In the following article, we’ll examine which weight loss solutions are the most effective. We’ll also provide tips for healthier eating and dispel a number of wrongheaded notions about dieting and losing weight.
The Harsh Reality
When someone asks, “What are the most effective weight loss solutions,” I know they’re usually wanting me to recommend the hottest new diet. From the South Beach Diet to the Atkins Diet, everyone seems to know somebody who’s lost weight on a fad diet.
Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that most diets don’t work. Even if you do lose weight in the short term, the odds are very high that you will eventually gain it back. Some of these diets can even be harmful if taken too far.
The Key To Losing Weight
The key to losing weight and keeping it off is through sensible diet and exercise. There’s just no way around it. Of course, most people are essentially lazy (including myself), so they would much rather take a magic pill than diet or exercise for the rest of their life.
According to many nutrition experts, a person should eat at least every 4 to 5 hours. This will prevent binge eating, and you’ll feel full and have plenty of energy throughout the day. At the very minimum, make sure you eat three meals a day.
Exercise is also a key component to burning calories. As your body takes in calories, you need to do something to get rid of them. Sitting on the sofa just isn’t going to do the trick.
Weight Loss Groups
The cheapest options when it comes to weight loss groups are Weight Watchers and T.O.P.S. Stressing a sensible diet, these groups also provide a sense of community between other members. This can prove helpful, as may people need someone else to push them forward. Just don’t expect a magic weight loss solution.
Weight Loss Surgery
If you really want to lose weight and keep it off, you might consider weight loss surgery. From gastric bypass to lap band, this option either decreases the size of the stomach or limits the amount of nutrients taken in from food.
On the downside, the surgery is expensive, and many patients suffer complications. This can range from infections to leakage at the site of the incision.
Weight loss surgery should only be considered as a last resort, however. In most cases, it cannot be reversed so you should speak to your doctor before surgery.
Weight Loss Tips
My answer to “What are the most effective weight loss solutions” may have disappointed some readers. While I won’t recommend some new fad diet for you to waste your money on, I will suggest a few sensible weight loss tips that can work for anyone.
- Avoid snacking in front of the television. This is exactly why so many Americans are overweight.
- Eat slowly and enjoy your food. If you eat too fast, your brain won’t have time to tell your body that it’s full.
- Stop eating when you’re full. There’s no rule that says you have to eat everything on your plate (especially if you’re an adult).
- Never shop when you’re hungry. You’ll end up buying more than you need. Make a shopping list and stick to it.
- You should drink six to eight glasses of water per day. Drinking a glass before eating will also help you to feel full (meaning you’ll eat less food).
- Don’t leave snacks in plain view. This will provide more temptation than you can stand.
- Avoid alcohol. It has no nutrients, but is has tons of calories.
- Cooking with a non-stick pan will keep you from having to use fat when you cook.
- Stop eating if you finish your plate. There’s absolutely no reason to go back for seconds.
- Before going to a restaurant, have a healthy, light snack. This will keep you from pigging out at the restaurant.
Is Gardasil safe?
Gardasil is a somewhat controversial vaccine. Gardasil promises to protect girls and young women from cervical cancer. Why is this drug considered controversial? Because Gardasil doesn’t actually protect against “cervical cancer” — rather, it is a vaccination against the most common types of Human papilloma virus, or HPV. HPV is a sexually transmitted disease, by some reports the most common STD in America, that can cause many symptoms, the deadliest of which is cervical cancer.
You can see where this is going. Many people suggest that an education in abstinence (and the practice of abstinence itself) is the best way to protect young women from the dangers of HPV and cervical cancer. Still others (like myself) remember what it was like to be a teenager, a time when even the most steadfast of convictions was easy to overlook in the moment.
Regardless of how you feel morally about Gardasil, you have to admit that a vaccine that could prevent certain forms of cancer is a good thing. And we got even better news about Gardasil today.
A government report released today suggests that Gardasil has a record of safety in line or better than other vaccines already in wide public use. As with any drug, some serious complications and side effects have occurred from Gardasil (including at least 20 deaths and two cases of Lou Gehrig’s disease) but the evidence suggests that none of these incidents were directly related to use of the vaccine. In fact, the most common complications after a woman receives a vaccination with Gardasil are fainting episodes. There is some suggestion that Gardasil leads to an increased risk for blood clots, but the study released today suggests that these incidents are related more to the use of oral contraceptives and a high level of obesity in teen girls.
Seven million girls and young women have been given Gardasil since it was approved, making it difficult to prove that health effects in this population were caused by the vaccine itself.
Dr. Barbara A. Slade, a medical officer with the Centers for Disease Control and one of the authors of the study, had this to say: “We feel confident recommending people get the vaccine; the benefits still outweigh the risks. This is the most complete picture we have.”
The Gardasil vaccine was approved for girls and young women ages 9 to 26 and is now recommended as part of a vaccination routine for girls aged 11 and 12.
The study on the adverse effects of Gardasil analyzed nearly 13,000 reports of side effects that occurred after immunization with the HPV vaccine between June 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008. During this period, more than 23 million doses of vaccine were distributed to doctors and clinics. Sounds like a big number of vaccinations until you realize that Gardasil requires three doses over time. Final tally — over 7 million girls have been vaccinated.
The new government report says that there are an average of 53 adverse sid effect events for every 100,000 doses of vaccine distributed. Fainting occurred most frequently, though doctors are not entirely sure why 8 girls out of 100,000 that were vaccinated have been fainting. Probably it has something to do with the second most common side effect from Gardasil — dizziness. 7.5 per 100,000 girls reported dizziness after receiving the vaccine.
To determine that Gardasil is safe, reports of side effects were compared with the same reports from the use of other vaccines given to similar populations of girls around the same age. Out of the total number of reports, just 6.2 percent, or 772 total reports, were considered ‘serious events” by the CDC, including 32 reports of death after vaccination, though only 20 of the deaths could be verified. Of the 20 verified deaths, 14 of the deceased had only received the HPV vaccine, while others had received multiple vaccines. The average age of the girls who died was 18 — a high number considering the age the vaccine is normally started at. The causes of death in these cases varied widely. Two were due to diabetic conditions, one case related to prescription drug abuse, a case of meningitis, one case of juvenile Lou Gehrig’s disease, three severe pulmonary embolisms, six cardiac incidents, and two deaths related to pre existing seizure disorders.
The widely different causes of death make it difficult for anyone to determine if Gardasil is the underlying cause, or even if the vaccine played a role at all.
Medicines and drugs known as “pain killers” work in two major and quite different ways: one is to stop the pain signals and the other is to stop the cause of the pain.
How and when each of these occurs should be discussed separately, so I’ll discuss how painkillers works to stop the pain signals, and how the pain killers work to stop the source of the pain.
Painkillers and Headaches
Imagine you have a headache, whether it’s a headache caused from a migraine, a hangover, or simply eye strain. When you have a headache, it’s usually because a blood vessel in your brain is dilated (widened). When this happens, more blood rushes into your head.
This excess of blood rushing into your head is going to cause a headache, as the blood pounds at a high rate through your brain. If you take aspirin for a headache, this does several things for your body.
One, aspirin is an anti-inflammatory. This means that inflamed tissue becomes less swollen or distended, so the blood vessel becomes less dilated. Two, aspirin is a mild analgesic; that is, aspirin reduces pain without causing unconsciousness. So aspirin reduces pain in and around the blood vessel, though not necessarily curing your condition (in this case).
Three, aspirin is an anti-platelet drug. Platelets in your blood clump together, creating the process of coagulation or clotting. Therefore, platelets make your blood thicker. An anti-platelet drug like aspirin is sometimes called a “blood thinner” for this reason. The blood around your blood vessel becomes more viscous, so its rushing through your blood vessels becomes a less violent process.
<>Killing the Pain by Blocking Pain Signals
Most of the heavy-duty pain killers, such as hydrocodone and morphine, do their job by blocking pain signals before they get to your brain. Many prescription painkillers are going to do the same.
Your body has a central nervous system which transmits command signals from your brain to the muscles and vascular system throughout your body, allowing you to move and breathe and otherwise control your body functions. But the central nervous system also relays signals from your body’s muscles (and other parts) to your brain, giving the brain a status report on how you feel through sensations like sight, sound, taste, smell and, of course, touch.
Why We Feel Pain
Our sense of touch is such an innate part of the human experience that we sometimes take it for granted and diminish it’s role in our lives by focusing on the sights, sounds, and smells around us, but the sense of touch is in many ways the most important sense.
Not only does it tells us what feels good and what hurts (such as touching a hot stove), but it also signals to us when something in our body isn’t quite right. Pain receptors in the brain let us know when we’ve received damage or we feel sick. When the pain becomes too great, we take painkillers to shut off that signal.
That’s what powerful painkillers under names like hydrocodone, demerol, lorcet, vicodin, morphine, percocet, oxycontin (oxycodone), and celebrex do. They shut down the pain signals to your brain, so you don’t feel the pain and might not care about the pain if you did feel it. These drugs do not cure your condition or stop the cause of the pain itself. It might make you feel good, but it’s not really curing your condition. It does give you time and the ability to relax, so your body’s natural healing abilities can work its wonder.
Stopping Inflammation in Your Body
Often when someone is having trouble with severe pain in their body, a doctor prescribes pain killers along with some form of anti-inflammatory drug. So let’s look at what “inflammation” really is.
Inflammation is the body’s first response to an injury, irritation, or infection. Inflammation is what happens when your white blood cells, a vital part of your body’s blood, rushes to the scene of a perceived injury or infection and begins to try to heal your body. You probably remember from 5th grade science class the discussion of the white blood cells eating viruses and bacteria that enter your body. I personally remember a film where they were portrayed as the immune system’s foot soldiers.
That’s an apt image. When an injury occurs, an excess of blood rushes to that part of your body. This is done to get as many white blood cells as possible in the vicinity of the injury, to fight possible infection, stop the flow of blood from your body through the process of blood clotting, and get additional oxygen and nutrients to damaged parts of your body, in order to start the healing process. This excess blood in your body, especially the white blood cells which remain behind (which contain a chemical that signals for more blood flow), causes inflammation.
Too Much Inflammation
Much of the pain comes from this inflammation, though. Remember back to the discussion of the headache, where we discussed the dilation of blood vessels and too much blood flowing through your brain, causing a pounding headache. Inflammation also causes a throbbing or pounding in your body, too. While you might want your body fighting to heal you, there are cases where an inappropriate amount of inflammation occurs.
For instance, many people believe rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an inappropriate amount of inflammation. So taking anti-inflammatories helps relieve the inflamed parts of your body, giving you the pain relief to live a normal life. Like the taking of aspirin, anti-inflammatory meds actual stop the cause of the excess pain, because the inflamed parts of your body are no longer inflamed.
When you have a sports injury or a physical injury to your ankles, knees, and other joints, that’s why people apply ice to the injury. Ice tends to reduce the amount of swelling and inflammation around the injured body part, by limiting the amount of blood flow. Especially in the early stages of an injury, icing a joint can limit the amount of blood flow, so your vascular system doesn’t become dilated or stretched. Once dilated, these vessels are hard to reduce, so icing a joint immediately is a major assistance.
Painkillers and Medicine
In the end, killing the pain is important to healing your body. Your body does most of its healing when it’s at rest and asleep, so if you can make yourself relax and comfortable enough to get your proper rest and sleep, your body is going to heal quicker. That’s why prescribed pain killers that don’t treat a condition are still a legitimate form of medicine, beyond just being a relief to your peace of mind.
Just remember, whether you’re taking pain killers that treat the source of your problem or you are just narcotizing to relieve the stress and pain of your injury, to take the prescribed amount of painkiller. Just like the case of conditions caused by too much inflammation, there’s such as thing as too much medicine.
What Are the Dangers of Lip Piercing?
Piercings and body modification are more popular than ever — it is now “mainstream” to have a tongue, lip, or other “alternative” piercing.
The dangers associated with lip piercings are not obvious. You rarely see someone with a new lip piercing in excruciating pain or facing the potential of infection — so it seems relatively safe. As with any piercing, tattooing, or body modification procedure, complications from getting a lip piercing can really add up and get worse over time.
If you are considering getting a lip piercing, you need to understand the potential complications. You could be doing permanent damage to your face or your mouth, especially if the procedure is done by someone with little experience or regard for health.
Why Lip Piercings?
People get their lip pierced for a variety of reasons. Some people are committed to body modification as an art form, still other people just like the way a lip piercing looks.
Lip piercings are seen as “seductive”, sexy, alluring . . . for some body modification enthusiasts, piercings and tattoos are themselves addictive. Since there is only so much modification you can do to your body, a lip piercing is a pretty common piercing. Piercings are becoming acceptable in the workplace, so people are starting to feel more free and open about their body piercings.
Because there are more lip piercings now than ever, there’s been a similar rise in the number of lip piercing complications. A lip piercing affects multiple body parts at once, from the lips and teeth to the tongue and jaw. Our mouths are intricate tools that require all parts be in perfect working order — throwing in a piercing can lead to complications in the mouth, especially if the piercing isn’t cared for properly.
Possible Lip Piercing Complications
While you may go your entire life wearing a lip piercing and experiencing no discomfort, you could also face some serious health problems due to your piercing. The more experienced your piercing artist is, the more likely you are to have a successful piercing experience. The main threats to the mouth from piercing are from erosion to the tissues of the mouth and the teeth, and infection from piercing equipment.
When a lip piercing procedure goes wrong, it goes really wrong. An inexperienced piercing artist may not do the piercing the right way and damage the tissues of the lip itself. In some cases, a person’s body may simply reject the piercing even though the piercing was performed perfectly. There are many reasons a lip piercing may go wrong.
Complications from lip piercings usually take a while to appear, sometimes even months or years after the piercing itself. Many of the dangers of lip piercing take time to develop and may show few or no symptoms along the way. The point is, you need to know the potential dangers of lip piercing to make an educated decision about having your lip pierced. If you know the potential dangers and damage to your mouth, and you still feel that your desire for this particular brand of body art outweighs the dangers, it is time to have your lip piercing done.
The various consequences of lip piercing are discussed below.
It is easy to pass infection when needles are involved. Infections after a lip piercing procedure could be caused by improperly disinfected piercing equipment, an unsterile piercing environment, or poor after care on the part of the person who got the lip piercing. Follow the piercing artist’s instructions for best results.
You can cause immediate and potentially permanent nerve damage during the actual piercing if the piercing artist you’re using doesn’t know where to place the piercing.
Much of the damage caused by lip piercings has to do with your teeth and gums. If your piercing artist doesn’t locate your piercing in the precise spot it should go, the jewelry in your lip will rub against your teeth, causing the enamel to erode or crack.
Once teeth begin to erode and the enamel starts to wear away, decay is just around the corner. Tooth decay eventually leads to tooth loss.
Gum erosion happens when your lip piercing jewelry rubs against your gums. Gum erosion starts out as a little bit of bleeding and can turn into full on gum disease in no time.
The end result of gum erosion is gum recession — in recession, your gums shrink away around the spot where your jewelry rubs against it, leading to further tooth problems and even halitosis.
When your gums start to recede, your jawbone is exposed to infection and erosion. Infection in the jaws causes teeth to loosen and eventually change position. Scrambled teeth are the first sign of gum problems, usually caused by gum erosion in the case of lip piercing complications.
Gum recession also causes tooth sensitivity.
Potentially the scariest result of a bad lip piercing experience is the acquisition of HIV. Most piercing artists use perfectly clean tools and pierce clients in a sterile environment, but all it takes is one bad piercing decision on the part of the piercing artist to transmit HIV or another STD.
Much like the risk of acquiring HIV, the risk of acquiring hepatitis from a poor lip piercing job is much higher than in the population without body piercings. Make sure your lip piercing artist is working in a sterile environment, using clean tools, and knows the proper lip piercing procedures. Check your local shop’s most recent health inspections for an idea of how clean they are.
Altering the body is everyone’s right, and piercings and tattoos as body art are now more popular than ever — but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be honest about the possible consequences of this kind of body modification. If you are a smart consumer and a self health advocate, you can protect yourself even when getting a lip or other body piercing. Keep your long-term health in mind when making decisions about body modification.
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What are America’s fattest states?
America is facing an obesity problem — some even call it an epidemic.
Overwhelmingly, the obesity problem pops up in the Southern states. Annually, a group called The Trust for America’s Health conducts a study into percentages of obese and overweight people, comparing geographical areas of the country and identifying the fattest states and regions.
The news is grim this year — not a single state grew LESS obese, though there were shifts in the dubious lineup of “fattest states”.
Adult obesity percentage actually rose in 23 states — this means that an unbelievable two thirds of adults in America are seriously overweight or obese.
What are the reasons for America’s weight troubles?
For one, the economy. When times are hard, people are more likely to go for the dollar menu at the local fast food joint than spend time shopping and preparing what seem to be more expensive foods. Also, the foods that are better for us, like organic meats and vegetables, are naturally more expensive. How much easier is it to buy a pack of prefabricated hamburger patties than to invest in organic ground beef?
While the nasty economy is doing its share to harm the nation’s health and health care statistics, many states have actually improved their nutritional standards in school lunches and raised their expectations in terms of exercise in school gyms, so it is unclear why these changes aren’t working.
There is a certain element of the American population that is sedentary — when was the last time you saw a crowd of kids playing baseball in the park? Our dependence on computers and other convenience electronics may be contributing. I work from home — which means I don’t even have to walk more than twenty feet to work. If we don’t get our country back on track in terms of exercise and diet, the number of obese people will surely continue to grow.
Which states are the fattest? The top three are no surprise — Mississippi, Georgia, and Arkansas. These states have been in the bottom three for years, with just their exact position changing. Eleven of the twenty five worst states in terms of obesity are in the South including the three mentioned — the others are Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Oklahoma.
Rounding out the bottom twenty-five are DC, Delware, New Jersey, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, West Virignia, Virginia, New York, and Michigan.
As for the “healthy” states — Utah, Montana, and Minnesota. Other states that come in with decent scores are Colorado (with an active population committed to exercise), Oregon, California, and Maryland.
In general, states in the western part of the country and in New England rank lowest in the rankings for fattest states, while states in the South and the so called “Rust Belt” tend to rank highest. Interesting correlations between “blue” and “red” states and obesity levels are already being made, as are plenty of other red herrings that the news media can toss to the masses.
What Causes Cold Sores to Break Out in Your Mouth?
Cold sores are embarrassing, even painful. There’s lots of rumors about cold sores, their cause and effects, and how cold sores are contracted. Let’s take a look at the causes of cold sores.
Cold Sore Causes
Cold sores are caused by one of the two herpes simplex viruses–the most common cause of common cold sores around the mouth is what is known as “herpes simplex type 1″, or HSV-1.
Not everyone with cold sores around the mouth have HSV-1. It isn’t common, but some people develop HSV-2 sores on the mouth. Why is this less common?
What Is HSV-2?
HSV-2 is the form of herpes simplex virus that occurs “below the waist”, meaning near the genitals. When a person has oral sex with someone who has HSV-2 on their genitals, the likelihood that they will develop HSV-2 sores near the mouth is extremely high.
HSV-2 is most commonly called “genital herpes” and is different from the disease occurring near the mouth. Cold sores are not the same as genital herpes.
What Are Canker Sores?
Some people confuse cold sores and canker sores. A canker sore is a tiny ulcer that looks like an indentation or a crater anywhere on the lining of the mouth. These sores are usually very painful, and are known to doctors as “aphthous ulcers”. Canker sores settle in the soft tissue of the mouth, where it is impossible to have a cold sore.
How Common Are Cold Sores and Fever Blisters?
Cold sores are very common. Some evidence suggests that as much as 60% of the American population suffers from cold sores. The virus that causes cold sores and genital sores is so common that most people are no longer tested for strains of herpes simplex virus as part of routine STD panels.
How Do Cold Sores Develop?
Most sufferers of cold sores can tell when a sore is on its way by the distinctive tingling and burning sensation, redness on the skin, itching, and pain associated with a cold sore. These pains usually occur around the lips or mouth a few days before a sore appears.
This is the first stage of a cold sore–the symptoms listed above are known as “prodromal symptoms”. Unfortunately for sufferers of cold sores, the first stage of sores can happen fast, developing in just a few hours. It is common for a flare-up to happen overnight, while a person is sleeping.
The second stage of a cold sore’s life is the formation of the blisters themselves. Once the cold sore blister itself has developed, the sore bursts and an ugly yellow crust forms on the skin. Once this falls off, the skin beneath is essentially healed, with maybe a tiny pink mark that fades with time.
The whole process takes about a week to ten days.
How Contagious Are Cold Sores?
Cold sores and the virus that causes them are extremely contagious. The HSV-1 virus can be passed from person to person and even from one part of the body to another through casual skin-to-skin contact. This can even happen when cold sores are not visible.
The cold sore virus is commonly transmitted during kissing or oral sex, and through hand contact with the genitals and mouth. The HSV-1 virus can even be passed through casual contact like sharing a drinking glass, eating utensils, towels and food.
Cure for Cold Sores
There is no cure or treatment for people who get cold sores. There are steps you can take to prevent a cold sore flare up in the future.
1. Use a lip moisturizer and lip sunblock regularly to prevent your lips from becoming dry, damaged, or chapped. All three of these things can cause cold sores to flare up.
2. Learn to avoid your personal cold sore triggers. The most common cold sore triggers are stress and overexposure to the sun. Some people report that cold weather, greasy food, and even their menstrual cycle contributes to their flare-up problem.
3. Stay away from UV lamps, tanning beds, and the sun as much as possible. Use a sunblock of at least SPF 30.
4. Go to a relaxation therapist, take a yoga class, or practice some form of meditation. Relaxation has been proven to stave off a cold sore flare-up.
5. Maintain a healthy immune system by eating a healthy diet full of fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Exercise at least two hours a week at your peak cardio rate. Take anti-oxidants and vitamin supplements which have been shown to keep cold sores at bay.
6. Do not kiss or make skin contact with people who have cold sores. You should also avoid the same contact with other people when you have a flare-up yourself.
7. Never share food, cups, cans, utensils, or anything (even towels) with people when you or they have cold sores present.
8. Wash your hands frequently if you feel a cold sore developing. Keeping your hands very clean can also prevent flareups, and it will keep you from passing the virus on to another person or infecting another part of your body.
9. Get at least six hours of sleep every night. Studies show people who sleep for at least six hours every night have fewer flare-ups, possibly because of lower levels of stress hormone which trigger the flare-ups themselves.
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Health and well being is an important topic these days and at AskDeb.com we’ve made a commitment to providing you with excellent health tips and health advice.
We hope to provide answers to all your health questions. If you find something missing our would like something answered in our “Health Questions & Answers” section please send us an email to questions [at] askdeb.com.
Knowing what health advice to follow is key when dealing with health related issues. Our team has thoroughly researched the responses in this question and aim to provide you with top quality health advice.
Recent Health Related Blog Posts
The following are recent health related blog post we feel are important to the well being of our readers.
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The South Beach Diet was created by Dr. Arthur Agatston in the 1980′s. The diet proposes a reduction in bad carbs and bad fats and its replacement with “good carbs” and “good fats”.
Many people place the South Beach Diet among the “low-carb” diets like the Atkins Diet, but proponents of the South Beach Diet distance from that categorization.
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The benefits of wheatgrass can be difficult to ascertain from a neutral perspective. Internet vendors of wheatgrass juice are quick to cough up a list of 40 wheatgrass benefits, some of which are harder to swallow than that notoriously odd-tasting drink. While there are some arguments over the best way to harvest wheat for drinking, and many more arguments about what the real benefits of wheatgrass are, clearly, the plant offers a boost to health and good reason for further study.
Wheatgrass evangelists tout the energizing properties of the plant, claiming that just two ounces of fresh wheatgrass juice has the energizing power of two cups of coffee, though it contains no caffeine. They also claim this drink has the nutritional equivalency to three pounds of organic vegetables.
No one can argue against the claim that Wheatgrass juice is nutritious. Clearly, it provides a multitude of vitamins and minerals. It has natural antioxidants, so it makes sense that wheatgrass juice is good for you. It is a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, cobalt, and zinc.
Some say wheatgrass juice can build red blood cells, primarily citing the large quantity of chlorophyll found in the plant and chlorophyll’s remarkable similarity to human hemoglobin. If it is true that wheatgrass rebuilds red blood cells, this would explain its reported energizing qualities. One might also point out that chlorophyll has been shown to reduce bad breath. While not exactly a vital life-saving property, this can be useful nonetheless.
There are also many claims that wheatgrass is a detoxifying agent, clearing the lymph system of mucous. Such claims are impossible to verify given the glaring lack of studies on the subject. Weight control is another claim that remains unverified. The logic is that wheatgrass juice is so nutritious that the body will not crave foods to fill nutritional gaps.
Some recommend topical application of wheatgrass juice as a skin treatment. It is said to sooth irritations and reduce swelling. Claims also assert anti-bacterial properties that may reduce the chance of infection. Other claims are just too hard to believe. These include the assertion that wheatgrass contains liquid oxygen, returns gray hair to its natural color, slows the aging process and tightens skin.
One area where wheatgrass juice has shown the most promise is cancer therapy. This alternative medicine is believed to have anti-mutagenic properties because of its high beta-carotene concentration. Personal stories of the curative properties of this plant abound. There are also some convincing case studies like this one. [add link: http://www.cancerlynx.com/peritonealcase.html] Here, an 89-year-old woman took wheatgrass, coenzyme Q-10 and bovine cartilage in lieu of chemotherapy after her cancer surgery. She beat the cancer, even a year after the surgery.
Of particular note is this portion of the study: “There are potential moderating factors and alternative clinical explanations for the results. It is possible that no cancer cells remained after the surgery. There have been reports of such outcomes. However, these outcomes are unusual.
Another possibility is that the cancer cells remain but are inactive at this time. The primary peritoneal cancer, or a metastic form, then could express itself at a later time. Given the mature nature of the patient’s cancer and its rapid development earlier, however, it seems improbable that a recurrence would be delayed beyond a year with no conventional treatment. Moreover, there seems no reason for the inactivity in the cancer.”
Problems with Wheatgrass
Now before you run out and buy yourself a wheatgrass juicing kit, you should understand a few things about it first. Many people report reactions such as nausea and headaches after drinking wheatgrass juice. Some have even reported hives. These reactions may be lessened by drinking the juice of wheatgrass that was grown outdoors.
Wheat grass can be grown indoors, but the plant is highly susceptible to mold. Indoor growers will go on about mold non-toxicity until they are as blue in the face as the mold on the wheat plant. It will be hard to convince many that there are no ill effects from that mold. Clearly, anyone sensitive to mold would have a problem consuming such a product.
The solution is to grow wheat outdoors. Some claim that winter wheat is best because the cold weather kills the mold. Perhaps fresh air may be enough to reduce levels of mold to a tolerable level, whether in winter or not. The problem with outdoor growing, however, is that the cycle takes 200 days, while the indoor plants grow in 7 to 10 days. However, many wheatgrass juicers will tell you that outdoor-grown wheat grass tastes much better and creates less stomach upset.
The Wheatgrass Experience
So what exactly does wheatgrass juice taste like? In the case of outdoor-grown wheatgrass, some say it tastes like ground snow pea shells. Others think of a fresh-cut lawn. Some of you are wrinkling your noses and others are taking in a deep breath, remembering that fresh fragrance. It is purely a matter of preference. Proponents of outdoor growing claim that wheatgrass juice from indoor plants tastes bitter, while outdoor plants create a sweeter juice.
Wheatgrass juice is made by taking fresh plants and grinding them in a juicer. The result is a deep green pulpy beverage. Raw food dieters seem to have a particular fondness for this juice. Those who can drink as much as three ounces are often quite proud of themselves. It is not something for the faint of heart.
With the high potency of this plant, perhaps those idyllic country images, lying back and chewing on a blade of wheat grass set the best example. Chewing on the grass seems like a good alternative for anyone who is unable to stomach the juice.
Here at AskDeb.com, we often receive emails from our readers asking, “Where can I find adult weight loss camps?” Fortunately, there are a wide array of these weight loss facilities available, whether you’re looking for a boot camp, fat camp or summer weight loss camp.
Patterned after summer camps for children, weight loss camps began to expand and evolve in the 1980s. With obesity and related diseases on the increase in the United States, they are more popular now than ever. Television shows such as The Biggest Loser have also contributed to their popularity.
In past decades, they were commonly known as “fat camps.” In today’s politically correct environment, they are more commonly referred to as weight loss camps or summer weight loss camps.
The camp is intended to teach concepts such as proper diet, exercise and self-discipline. You will learn long-term weight loss techniques, and group counseling is also available to promote a sense of community. Throughout your stay at a weight loss camp, you will be weighed and your progress measured.
Weight Loss Facilities In The United States
These weight loss facilities are available throughout the United States, but that may not be specific enough for those wondering, “Where can I find adult weight loss camps?” The following five adult weight loss camps are highly recommended, although an Internet search will reveal many others.
Camp La Jolla
In operation for over 38 years, Camp La Jolla is a weight loss camp located in La Jolla, California. Programs include: Ladies Fitness Vacation, Pre-Collegiate Girls, Teen Boys, Teen Girls, Preteen Boys and Preteen Girls. A two-year follow-up program is also provided to allow customers to maintain their new, healthier lifestyle.
Camp La Jolla is accredited by the American Camp Association, and they meet over 300 safety requirements. Customers will learn to overcome obstacles, gain self-confidence, experience new activities such as boogie boarding, make friends and, most importantly, lose weight.
Red Mountain Resort & Spa
Located in St. George, Utah, Red Mountain Resort & Spa offers three daily meals, guided hikes in the morning and unlimited fitness classes. Customers to this weight loss camp will stay in deluxe rooms or luxury villa suites, both with high-speed Internet service.
Besides physical activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking, customers will also take part in exercises such as fire walking, Tai Chi and meditation hikes. Indoor and outdoor pools are available, as well as strength and cardio equipment, walking trails and bicycles.
Hilton Head Health
Billed as one of the top weight loss spas in the U.S., Hilton Head Health offers a tranquil and beautiful island locale off the coast of South Carolina. An emphasis is placed on creating a healthy environment where the client can lose weight, learn positive long-term strategies and engage in self-reflection.
Selected as one of the Top-5 U.S. Health Spas by The Today Show, Hilton Head Health offers an average weight loss of 7 to 14 pounds for guests staying two weeks. Guests staying three to four weeks lose 15 to 30 pounds. In fact, two years after staying at the spa, 68 percent of guests had maintained or improved upon their weight.
This summer weight loss camp has locations in the United Kingdom, Vancouver, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Texas, California and Florida. Clients at this weight loss camp experience an average loss of 4.25 pounds per week, and 70% of clients maintain or improve on this new weight. Wellspring Camps have been featured on The Today Show, USA Today, CNN, People, the Discovery Channel, Rachael Ray and Dateline NBC.
Live In Fitness Enterprise
Live in Fitness Enterprise (aka L.I.F.E.) is located in beautiful Marina Del Ray, California. Clients stay in luxury apartments, and premium cable and high-speed Internet are available. The weight loss program is tailored to the needs of each client, and the exact intake of fats, proteins and carbs are determined and monitored. Five meals a day are served, with whole foods and organic foods being stressed.
When answering the question, “Where can I find adult weight loss camps,” these five are always the first ones I mention.
If you’re looking to lose weight, you might want to know, “What is the LA Weight Loss System?”. It’s a perfectly reasonable question, as thousands of people have lost weight using this proven weight loss program.
The LA Weight Loss System is a franchised weight management organization located in facilities across the United States. Founded in 1989, it has now spread to over 850 LA Weight Loss Centers.
Each customer receives one-on-one counseling and advice on exercise and diet. Counselors help clients fine-tune their diet to meet their needs, and they will also provide motivation. Safe weight loss is emphasized, and the ultimate goal is to allow the client to lose weight and then control it through lifelong weight management.
How Does It LA Weight Loss Work?
Besides wondering, “What is the LA Weight Loss System?”, you might also be curious as to how it works. This section should give you a basic idea of what makes the LA Weight Loss System tick.
The program is divided up into three distinctive phases: weight loss, stabilization and maintenance. In the first phase, the goal is to lose weight at an average of two pounds per week until you reach your target goal. The second phase lasts six weeks, and the final phase runs for 52 weeks.
Initially, the client is very limited in their calorie intake and choice of foods. As goals are reached, more foods are added back in phases. Depending on your specific goals, there are over 40 different ways to apply the teachings of the LA Weight Loss System.
Many counselors will encourage the purchase of nutritional shakes and supplements, but be aware that this is not mandatory. Since they get a commission on these sales, some overly-ambitious counselors may attempt to convince you that the supplements are necessary for success. That is not the case.
Advantages Of The LA Weight Loss System
- The customer does not have to purchase pre-packaged foods.
- Clients of the LA Weight Loss System learn to eat properly (whether at home or at a restaurant). A cookbook is also provided to allow customers to prepare their own healthy meals.
- Counselors are available to help clients lose weight. In many cases, this sense of encouragement and accountability are just what many clients need.
Disadvantages Of The LA Weight Loss System
We’ll now look at some of the disadvantages of the LA Weight Loss System. Just keep in mind that each customers experience will be different when using any weight loss program.
- The Price – Since the fee for the LA Weight Loss System must be paid up front, it can seem more pricey than weight loss programs where you pay weekly (such as Weight Watchers). Advertisements stress a $7 per week price tag, but customers have to pay for this all at once.
The average fee is in the $350 to $400 range, and purchasing Nu Lites or LA Lites nutritional bars can raise the price to as high as $800. In some cases, the client may also be charged an additional fee based on the results of a questionnaire which you are required to fill out before joining.
- Upselling – The people who work for LA Weight Loss System are salespeople who earn a commission each time they recruit a new client or sell nutritional bars and drinks. In some cases, this has led customers to accuse staff members of upselling in an attempt to make more money.
Basically, the client is told that he or she must buy the supplement products in order to succeed at the LA Weight Loss System. This is not the truth, as you can lose weight on the diet without ever taking any of the additional supplements.
- No Money Back – Once you turn over your money, it’s gone for good. Unlike many diet programs, the LA Weight Loss System does not offer a money-back guarantee. While the system can work, it’s a good idea to make sure it fits your needs before committing your money.
You can find fast weight loss diet book sections in all the major book store chains. There seems to be dozens of weight loss experts suggesting you can have fast weight loss with the right diets. You might be wondering what some of these diets are, so here’s a brief overview of three of the most famous fast weight loss diets on the market (Atkins diet, South Beach diet, Zone diet, LA Weight Loss), as well as a new contender (the Abs Diet).
The Atkins diet was created in the 1970′s by Dr. Robert Atkins. Atkins suggested that too many carbohydrates were the reason people gained weight, so he suggested a low-carb diet and replacing it with proteins. In fact, Atkins dieters are told to cut out carbs like bread, pasta, potatoes and cereals and replace them with meats and other proteins. The person on the Atkins Diet could therefore order a hamburger pattie, but not the hamburger bun. Americans did this by the millions.
The Atkins diet led to rapid weight loss from those using it. Many reported that the diet was unsustainable, though, because they would eventually begin eating carbs again, and the weight would return. Furthermore, many doctors and dieticians argued that a low-carb diet was unhealthy, and the massive proteins eaten could lead to heart disease.
South Beach Diet
The South Beach Diet was proposed in the 1980′s by Dr. Arthur Agatston, a doctor and surgeon from Miami, who proposed another approach to the fast weight loss diet. The South Beach Diet criticized the Atkins Diet, saying that people should eliminate “bad carbs”, but eat plenty of “good carbs”. The South Beach Diet tried to eliminate the bad carbohydrates (that have lots of sugars) which cause the liver to produce insulin, which lets the sugar absorb into the body’s cells. The South Beach Diet postulated that the body would gain an immunity to insulin due if too much bad carbs are eaten, so that the liver has to produce more and more insulin. This would eventually lead to peaks in a person’s blood sugar level, causing people to get hungry and also leading to a heightened risk of diabetes.
The South Beach Diet sought to control insulin release and blood sugar levels, so the body wouldn’t have unwanted “peaks of hunger”. Eliminating these would allow someone to lose weight and keep the weight off. The first two weeks of the South Beach Diet required major regulation of one’s eating, though after that point, people would incrementally be allowed to eat more as time went by. Critics criticized the sparseness of the eating cycle in the first two weeks, as well as the claims that South Beach would help people lose so much weight in the first two weeks.
The Zone Diet (proposed by Barry Sears) advised dieters to eat a fixed ratio of caloric intake: 40% for carbs, 40% for proteins and 30% for fats. When a person is able to maintain this percentage of calories intake, the person would enter the “zone”. When in the Zone, people produce hormones that aid in weight loss and have other healthy side effects.
Critics of the Zone Diets argued against the high amounts of proteins the diet advised eating, while the low-carb (most people eat more than 40% of carbohydrates in their diet and less than 40% proteins in their diet) aspect also drew criticism. Vegans and Vegetarians personally criticized the high-protein advice given by Barry Sears. Medical doctors tended to dismiss the idea that hormonal balance was connected to caloric intake.
The Zone Diet actually performed better than its more famous rivals in one informal test by an independent television program, surprising doctors that it was better at fast weight loss techniques than they would have expected. Diet expert point out that this success is relative, and that fast weight loss generally isn’t healthy.
What Are Some Fast Weight Loss Diets – Abs Diet – The “Abs Diet” describes itself as a “six week plan to flatten your stomach” and suggests you can lose up to 12 pounds from your stomach in the first two weeks of the diet. The Abs Diet suggests it can help you lose weight while eating more “powerfoods”, turn fat into muscle, look and feel younger, live pain-free and “supercharge” your sex life.
The Abs Diet is the brainchild of David Zinczenko, the editor-in-chief of Men’s Health Magazine. David Zinczenko covered all the famous (and most of the obscure) fast weight-loss diets in the world, and he proposed his own diet plan when he wrote the book, “The Abs Diet”. At the moment, the Abs diet is an up-and-coming, trendy fast weight-loss diet.
Healthy Fast Weight Loss
Most health experts believe that fast weight loss is not a good idea. Many diets claim to be “healthy fast weight loss” solutions that remove 12 pounds or more in the first two weeks. What they might not tell you is that starvation dieting is only a temporary solution, and that these first 10-15 pounds are often water-weight losses. Once you start to eat normally again, this weight is likely to return, which can be demoralizing for an enthusiastic dieter.
Also, doctors will say that 2 pounds of weight loss a week is about the healthy limit. If you lose a pound a week for 50 weeks, then the 50 pounds you lose is going to be healthier weight loss and you are likely to keep that weight off than if you lose the weight in a fast crash diet. Losing 50 pounds in two-and-a-half months probably isn’t healthy, and you’re likely to gain back some of that weight when you stop using your extreme dieting measures. So try to find a steady weight loss plan instead of a fast weight loss plan, and prepare for a full lifestyle change, and you’re going to be much more likely to keep that weight off.
Many of our readers who are looking for new ways to lose weight have written in and asked, “Are weight loss camps effective?” This is a difficult question to answer, but we here at AskDeb.com always love a challenge.
Modern Weight Loss Camps
Formerly known as fat camps, the modern weight loss camps experienced a rise in popularity in the 1980s. As obesity continues to climb in many nations, new summer weight loss camps are cropping up every year. While many are adult weight loss camps, other facilities exist which specialize in overweight teens and pre-teens.
Weight loss camps usually combine an exercise regimen with a low calorie diet to help their clients lose weight. Many visitors to a weight loss camp also find it encouraging to be surrounded by others in the same situation.
Are weight loss camps effective? They are if you believe the statistics put out by the camps. According to Hilton Head Health, guests staying two weeks lose an average of 7 to 14 pounds, and 68 percent of guests maintain or improve that weight. Wellspring Camps boasts a loss of 4.25 pounds per week, with 70 percent keeping the weight off.
These statistics sound pretty impressive, but one has to wonder how accurate they are? I’m not saying that the camps are lying, but it certainly wouldn’t be good for business to print statistics showing that less than 50% of clients keep their weight off.
Camps which specialize in helping clients lose lots of weight in a short period of time may be the least effective. They simply focus on a high-intensity workout program to quickly burn calories, but most fail to address emotional and psychological issues. There’s also the danger of injury, as most obese individuals are not used to the high-impact workouts stressed by a boot camp.
Qualities Of A Good Weight Loss Camp
Before you even think about attending a weight loss camp, make sure they emphasize the following:
- Teach clients to enjoy physical activity. This is key to maintaining a long-term exercise program.
- Changing Habits. Many obese children, for example, tend to watch more television and play more video games. These habits need to be changed, and changing habits may be more important than dieting.
- Learn about nutrition. Proper nutrition can be key to losing weight.
- Losing weight shouldn’t be a chore. The best weight loss camps make losing weight fun. If it’s a terrible experience, there’s little chance the client will stick to the program when they get back home.
- Increase self-esteem. Many obese people enter into a downward spiral of depression and overeating. Building self-esteem helps to counter this destructive behavior.
- Stress management. Dealing with emotional issues is a key part of losing weight.
- Qualified staff. A good weight loss camp should have qualified nutritionists, dietitians and psychologists on staff.
- Follow-up support. It’s important that the weight loss camp has follow-up support available.
The Bottom Line
So are weight loss camps effective? Ultimately, it all depends upon the individual. If a visitor to a weight loss camp continues with proper diet and exercise after their stay, there’s a very high chance that they will maintain their weight or even lose more. If, however, they sit on the sofa and eat cookies all day, you can bet that they’re going to pile on the pounds.
The major benefit to a weight loss camp is that it acts as a sort of a starting over point. Clients can step away from their daily lives for a week or two and begin the challenging process of weight loss. They’ll learn the proper way to diet through hands-on experience, and they’ll also be surrounded by other people in the same situation.
If you’re overweight and can afford it, a summer weight loss camp is an ideal option. Just remember that weight loss is a long-term process. As the old saying goes, “Slow and steady wins the race.”
Knowing how to take vitamins ensures you are getting the maximum benefit for your health. While eating healthy, natural foods is the best way to stay healthy, we are not all superstar nutritionists. Busy lifestyles and sometimes budgetary concerns make it difficult to get all the fruits and vegetables we need to maintain optimal health. Vitamins are an affordable way to ensure that we always get enough of the nutrients we need to stay healthy.
Take Vitamins in the Morning
You should know that vitamins cannot be properly absorbed into your system without complimentary foods for them to bond with. For this reason, taking vitamins on an empty stomach will be of little help to you. In addition, some people notice indigestion when they try to take vitamins on an empty stomach.
In general, you should take your vitamins right after a healthy breakfast. Make sure you eat protein, healthy fats, calcium and fruit at breakfast time. Fat-soluble vitamins line A, D and E need fat to be absorbed and an egg will often provide this for you. It is especially important to be sure you are eating healthy fats to absorb vitamin D because it has been shown to potentially reduce the risk of colon and other cancers.
If you are just not a breakfast person, it is strongly recommended that you become one, whatever it takes. If you can only handle two slices of toast, it is still much better than no breakfast at all. People who skip breakfast are more prone to obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes. Breakfast eaters are simply healthier. If knowing this, you still insist on skipping breakfast, you should take your vitamins right after a healthy lunch. Remember that vitamin supplements are most effective when you take them with healthy foods. If you take your vitamins at lunch time, make sure you eat health proteins, healthy fats, dairy, a vegetable and a piece of fruit.
Vitamins can be as complicated or as simple as you want them to be. While some people like to know the exact recommendations of every single nutrient, it is unlikely that most of us can maintain a regime of separate vitamin supplements, taken periodically throughout the day. Your best bet is a multi-vitamin after breakfast with a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D has special benefits to your health and most of us are not getting enough. Until retailers begin putting more vitamin D in multi-vitamins, it is best to take a supplement.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Because many of us do not get enough sun, it is worthwhile to add a vitamin D supplement to your daily vitamin routine. Sunscreen blocks your skin’s ability to synthesize vitamin D and by extension, your ability to absorb Calcium. Working in an office all day is not doing you any favors either. If you are lucky enough to have sunny days on the weekend, chances are you are too busy to take a few minutes for a sun bath, so it is vital that you supplement your vitamin D intake.
Aim for a daily vitamin D intake of 1,000 IU in the summer. In the winter months, you should take about 1,700 IU per day. Look at the level of vitamin D in your multi-vitamin and see if you need to add to it. 800 IU per day may be enough to get you by in the summer, but you will still need a supplement in winter. If your multi-vitamin only provides 400 IU per day, you will want to get a supplement and take it year round.
Not only does vitamin D help your body absorb calcium, it also offers protection against some serious illnesses. In addition to giving you stronger bones, there is evidence to show that vitamin D can reduce your risk of colon cancer, breast cancer and the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis.
Another reason to stick to a simple multi-vitamin regimen is toxicity. Some vitamins, like Vitamin A, can make you sick if you take too much. Too much vitamin C can upset your stomach and cause intestinal discomfort. Avoid excessive doses of any vitamin and you can avoid these concerns altogether. You do not need to be concerned about taking too much vitamin D. Just a day in the sun generates 20,000 – 40,000 IU of this healthy vitamin in your body.
There are some exceptions to the simple vitamin rule. If you are taking specific vitamins for medical purposes, you will need to follow your doctor’s guidelines. For example, iron for anemia should be taken on an empty stomach, separately from your multi-vitamin. Vitamin C can aid iron absorption, so some doctors will recommend you take it only with fruit juice. Other vitamins can interfere with iron absorption, so for those with critical needs, a separate plan must be followed.
Your age will also have an effect on your vitamin needs. The right vitamins for an adult can create an overdose in a child. Children usually get plenty of sun, so a simple children’s multi-vitamin should be enough to ensure proper health. Older adults also have special concerns. They often need more vitamins than younger adults because of a slower-paced lifestyle and changing nutritional needs. If you are over 50 years old, take a multi-vitamin targeted to your age group and add a vitamin D supplement.
Can’t Swallow a Pill
Thankfully, those who have a hard time swallowing large vitamin pills have another option available. Liquid multi-vitamins are available, although they are usually more expensive than the pill form. Some people find liquid vitamins to be easier on their stomachs as well. You can also find liquid vitamins that are sprayed under the tongue and absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
If you religiously eat healthy foods, you probably do not need vitamins at all. Studies have shown that those who eat healthy meals including plenty of fruits and vegetables see very little benefit from vitamins. Most of the nutrients are simply excreted as waste and those with a healthy diet are not made any healthier by taking vitamins.
There really has been concrete yes or no answer to that. Both studies that have actually been done most recently in 2004 have been on both ends of the spectrum, only proving that vitamin C is to be taken in moderation. The first study was performed on an animal at Duke University showed that excess amounts of vitamin C led to bone spurs and accelerated joint damage in people who had osteoarthritis. The second study was in Great Britain and showed that people are 3 times as likely to get Rheumatoid arthritis with lower levels of vitamin C. These two different kinds of arthritis are at two different sides of the vitamin C spectrum.
Osteoarthritis and Vitamin C
Osteoarthritis is also known as degenerative arthritis and is the most common arthritis. Many symptoms include stiffness of the joints, tenderness, and locking of joints. It is a misconception that OA is only caused by old age but that only proves that it takes time to develop. It is estimated that 80% of the population will have some sort of sign of OA by the time they reach the age of 65. Common areas that are affected by OA is the spine, feet, hips, and knees. OA can form at the fingers and toes making it extremely difficult to move. It has been shown that OA is a hereditary disease.
Although the disease is irreversible, there are treatments to lessen the pain and allow the joint function better. Also, weight management and the use of a cane or walker is generally helpful in easing the pain. Walking and swimming can be achieved with appropriate rest and hot/cold packs can help reduce the swelling. Vitamin C has been shown to further worsen cartilage damage in the knees with those who have OA.
Rheumatoid Arthritis and Vitamin C
Rheumatoid Arthritis is an autoimmune disease and leads to the inflammation of the lining of joints. It can be found in about 1% of the worlds population and although it is not immune to age, it tends to strike people in the age range of 40-50 and occur about 3 times more often in women. RA not only affects the joints however, but it can also affect the skin, lungs, heart and blood vessels, and kidneys. There has been a criteria formed to better diagnose RA: arthritis and soft tissue swelling in at least 3 joints for 6 weeks, an hour or more of morning stiffness, arthritis in the hands for at least 6 weeks, and a Rheumatoid factor in the 95th percentile or higher.
Studies have shown that high consumption of Vitamin C has shown to protect against inflammatory polyarthritis, which is a form of RA, and involves 2 or more joints. And people who took the lowest levels of Vitamin C were shown to be 3 times more likely to get the disease. The reason was because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and fights the molecules that trigger RA inflammation. Vitamin C also player a role in collagen synthesis, which is a main protein in joint tissue and bone and helps fight off infection and inflammation.
The only real thing that has been proven so far is that Vitamin C is best taken in moderation. The appropriate amount of vitamin C for men is approximately 90 mg a day for men and 75 mg a day for women. Even though the body only uses what it needs, it is still possible to overdose on Vitamin C potentially giving you a stomach ache and diarrhea.
Your treadmill workouts should last between 30 and 60 minutes per workout. The optimal workout schedule including treadmill exercise would be around four days a week on the treadmill, with off-days including weight-bearing or “resistance exercise” two or three of the other days. Essentially, you should include a certain amount of weight-lifting, whether this is with weights, bands or some other workout apparatus.
Treadmill Workout Routines
Different people are going to have different treadmill workout routines. The point of exercise is to increase your metabolism, build muscle mass and burn off calories, though, so most human bodies do well engaging in workouts which last half-and-hour to an hour long. This allows you to increase your body’s blood flow and metabolism, which produces healthy results throughout the day. A faster metabolism increases blood flow through the body, getting more oxygen to your cells and burning calories faster than otherwise throughout the day. Also, a sensible workout program helps you increase your muscle mass, which in turn burns off more calories than fat cells do. Finally, the act of working out on a treadmill burns calories while you work out. While important, the first two outcomes are just as important in using a treadmill to build a healthier life.
If you want a more intensive treadmill experience, I would not suggest you work out on the treadmill much longer than an hour a day. If you want to increase your workout program, increase the speed at which you set the treadmill. Find a treadmill speed where you can work out in an hour or less and still get the results you want.
When you ask “how long should I exercise on a treadmill”, you may be asking what the average workout on the treadmill is. If that’s the question you want answered, I would say around 45 minutes. I’m not just splitting the difference in my range of times, though. Go on a workout message board and notice how most people seem to be exercising on their treadmill in the 40 to 45 minutes range. This should get you into a zone where you are fat burning, while raising your metabolism if you have been sedentary for a while.
Healthy Treadmill Exercises
Remember, the point is to exercise on your treadmill to make yourself healthier. So you don’t want to over-exercise and hurt yourself. If you are just beginning a workout program, don’t try to run an hour on the treadmill. That’s going to put undue stress on your body, perhaps creating shin splints or any number of other workout injuries.
For example, if your question was, “I am just starting to work out. How long should I exercise on a treadmill?”, I would suggest you start at 30 minutes and work your way up from there. Exercising for a better life is not about where you start your journey, but where you finish your journey. So start your treadmill workouts at a reasonable, healthy pace and work from there. Pretty soon, you’ll be able to increase your time of workout and speed of workout.
But whether you have just started getting in shape again or if you are a workout freak who’s getting back on a gym schedule after a two-week vacation, remember that you can’t do it all in a day. Work out for the long term. Don’t got an hour if you are just starting out your workouts on a treadmill. Don’t go an hour-and-a-half if you’re trying to make up for a lost week. Just get into a healthy treadmill workout routine and keep working at a steady, healthy pace.
An exercise treadmill test is a stress test used by physicians to determine whether a patient has coronary artery disease. Coronary Artery Disease is sometimes known as CAD and more commonly known as Heart Disease. The treadmill exercise test places a person on a treadmill for a fixed amount of time and determines the cardiac stress level according to heart rate. This process is also known as the “Treadmill Stress Test”.
The problem doctors have found with checking a person for heart disease is a heart may behave normally when being checked in the normal at-rest conditions of a doctors office. So physicians came up with the exercise treadmill test to help determine cardiac disease, by placing a patient’s heart under a minimal amount of physical stress stemming from exercise.
How Does The Exercise Treadmill Test Work?
So how does the exercise treadmill test work? When a healthy heart and arteries are under normal amounts of stress, the coronary system will dilate to allow for the quicker blood flow needed to cope with moderate exercise. But when a diseased heart and coronary system are forced to cope with the higher rate of blood flow brought on from exercise, the EKG and other stress tests will pick up that stress because of a reduced flow of blood which is sometimes called “starving” the muscles. Therefore, the treadmill stress test is a good indicator of cardiac pulmonary disease.
The term “exercise treadmill test” is not always accurate. Usually, the stress test takes place on a motorized treadmill. Sometimes, though, the cardiac stress test takes place on a stationary bicycle. In either case, patients must perform a moderate level of exercise for a range in the rough area of two minutes. During this time of stress, the doctor monitors the patient’s stress levels.
Patients whose doctors have ordered a stress test might be wondering not only what an exercise treadmill test is, but also when an exercise treadmill test is administered. Generally, a doctor wants a treadmill stress test performed when the patient complains about having one of several different heart disease symptoms.
For instance, if a patient complains of shortness of breath or other unexplained signs of physical fatigue. If a doctor wants to check for an irregular heart beat, that doctor might order an exercise treadmill stress test. Also, if the doctor wants to check for high blood pressure or their patient complains of other signs of hypertension, the doctor might order a stress test.
Is the Exercise Treadmill Test Safe?
Yes, the treadmill stress test is similar to a short burst of strenuous exercise. The cardiac stress test is designed to mimic a short sprint, a short run up a flight or stairs or a jog around your neighborhood. If these are of no trouble to you, then the exercise treadmill stress test should be perfectly safe for you. Often, the doctors will ask a patient to stop eating three hours before the test and stop taking their heart medication a day or two before the stress test.
Also, you should have preliminary results from the test before you leave the doctor’s office. After a few days, you will get the full and official medical report on your stress test results.
The Health Coverage Tax Credit is a 2002 law passed by the U.S. Congress to help American workers whose health care status has been affected by trade. That is, the law helps those Americans whose jobs have been affected by free trade, globalism and outsourcing of jobs. U.S. lawmakers passed the Health Coverage Tax Credit Law or HCTC Law because they believed losing one’s health insurance could be as traumatic as losing one’s job, so they passed a law that would help certain Americans pay for their health insurance, thereby assuring that even more U.S. citizens do not join the ranks of the uninsured.
This health coverage tax credit went into effect in August of 2003 on a monthly basis, while it had been made available for Tax Year 2002 a few months earlier (specifically April 15, 2003, when people paid their 2002 taxes). The law gives a tax credit to certain workers whose jobs and health care needs were affected by the closing of factories due to international trade. This was done by giving a tax credit to compensate these people for the much larger amounts of money they paid for health insurance after losing their jobs. These days, someone can get the HCTC tax credit on a monthly or yearly basis, and several federal and state agencies (including HPAs or Health Plan Administrators) work together to assure timely payment.
Who Does The Health Coverage Tax Credit Apply To?
There are two major groups from whom the Health Coverage Tax Credit applies to. The first group includes retirees over 55 whose pensions are now administered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. The PBGC was created in 1974 to make certain of the continuation and maintenance of private pensions plans.
The second group includes those American workers who have lost their job due to “trade”. These people must qualify for one of two government programs: the Alternative Trade Adjustment Assistance (ATAA) or the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs.
A third group affected by the Health Coverage Tax Credit includes the family members of retirees under the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the family members of those who have lost their jobs to trade and qualify for the Health Coverage Tax Credit.
How Much Does HCTC Cover?
The HCTC covers 65% of a person’s health care costs. Therefore, if you worked for a corporation which had a standard group insurance plan which was affordably-priced, and you lost your job from this corporation due to trade, you will likely pay a much higher insurance premium if you buy your health insurance as a single payer. Due to the Health Coverage Credit Law, the U.S. government will pay 65% of this larger medical insurance premium which you must pay for. While this may or may not totally offset the new costs you take on for health insurance, it does help to allay most of said health insurance premium costs.
You need to tell your doctor about your medical history and give him or her as full of an understanding of your current health condition as possible. You are trusting a doctor to open your body up and perform delicate surgery on you. So if you trust your doctor enough to do that, you should trust your doctor with a full accounting of your health status.
Physicians need as much information as possible to make informed decisions. Medicine works on the obtaining a full medical picture and then determining from that knowledge what the best treatment is. So you need to give your surgeon a clear picture of any previous surgeries you might have had and how those surgeries (and your recovery went). Especially if you have had a similar operations, you need to give full disclosure.
Drug Reactions and Pre-Surgery Discussions
Tell your doctor about any drugs or anaesthetics you have had a bad reaction to and have pre-surgery discussions. Tell your doctor about any drugs or medicines you are taking at present. These might not seem like they have any connection to your surgery, but if you are being put under for the surgical procedure, there is no telling how a drug might interact with the anaesthesia or how it might affect your recovery. For instance, if you are taking a blood thinner of any sort, this could produce an adverse effect when you start to bleed during surgery. This is just one of countless effects you might never consider, but a doctor might. So give full disclosure.
I’ve seen people who would go around their doctor to buy drugs off some internet source and struggle with telling their doctor about this medical infidelity. I would always err on the side of full medical disclosure, because you are not qualified to know which medicine or chemical might cause complications in a surgery. Your doctor might not like that you did an end-around, but your doctor is in your corner and wants to keep you healthy. Doctors will like even less if they open you up and you have some kind of bad reaction because they didn’t know you were taking some online drug.
Family History of Surgery Complications
If your aunt had a similar surgery and had complications with it, this might not sound all that important, but it might be. Tell your doctor about family history of surgery complications and the surgeon can determine whether it’s important. If so, the medical staff will be better prepared if you have similar complications.
This advice is even more urgent if you have had complications from a surgical procedure before. You want to give yourself the best chance to go under the knife and have no complications. They say “there is no minor surgery”. That’s how you need to approach your upcoming surgery. Give your doctor every bit of information which could possibly affect your surgery.
At the same time, your doctor needs to be forthcoming to you about what the surgery entails. This is a big trauma for medical patients and they deserve a doctor who is going to explain the surgery and answer the questions their surgical patient has. So ask your doctor any questions you might have about your surgery and be insistent that the doctor gives you answers. You are putting your life in this doctor’s hands, so it’s the least a surgeon can do, to give you straight and informed answers.
If you’re dangerously overweight and unable to slim down through diet or exercise, you may want to ask yourself, “What is weight loss surgery?” In this article, we’ll examine the types of weight loss surgery, as well as look at advantages and disadvantages of weight loss surgery.
Defining Weight Loss Surgery
So what is weight loss surgery? Also known as bariatric surgery, it’s a procedure which treats obesity by modifying the gastrointestinal tract. This can be done by reducing absorption, reducing intake or a combination of the two. Weight loss surgery does not include procedures such as liposuction.
While weight loss surgery has been shown to result in massive weight loss, there are risks and side effects which must be considered. If you want to know more about the subject, it’s always best to consult with a physician.
Post Weight Loss Surgery Care
During post weight loss surgery care, a patient will be restricted to a diet of only clear liquids (broth, fruit juice, gelatin, etc.). This allows the gastrointestinal tract to recover from the surgery.
When the tract has sufficiently recovered, the patient will then be allowed to move to a blended sugar-free diet for several weeks (mashed potatoes, cream of wheat, protein drinks, etc.). Finally, the patient will once again be allowed to eat regular foods, but in much smaller portions than before the surgery (otherwise nausea may occur).
Patients may need to take a daily multivitamin to make up for the reduction in nutrients. A diet high in protein and low in carbs is also recommended for weight loss surgery patients.
Advantages Of Weight Loss Surgery
Besides the obvious advantage of losing weight, surgery patients have experienced improved blood pressure, and their risk of cancer and diabetes have decreased. According to studies, the mortality rate of patients dropped when compared to obese individuals who elected not to have weight loss surgery.
Disadvantages Of Weight Loss Surgery
Complications from the surgery are numerous and include leaking at the site of the surgery, gastric dumping syndrome, infections, incision hernia and pneumonia. However, studies show the risk of complications are reduced when the operation is performed by an experienced surgeon.
Types Of Weight Loss Surgery
There are numerous types of weight loss surgery. The following are most common, and they can be broken into three categories: predominantly malabsorptive procedures, predominantly restrictive procedures and mixed procedures.
- Predominantly Malabsorptive Procedures – The primary goal of these procedures is to create malabsorption in the patient, which means to reduce the amount of nutrients taken in by the body. The size of the stomach may also be reduced.
- Duedenal Switch – A smaller stomach is created by surgically removing part of the original stomach. The distal part of the small intestine is then attached to this smaller stomach, bypassing the jejunum and duodenum. The reduces the absorption of nutrients into the patient’s body, thus resulting in weight loss.
- Predominantly Restrictive Procedures – This type of weight loss surgery is primarily concerned with reducing the size of the patient’s stomach.
- Vertical Banded Gastroplasty – Also known as the Mason Procedure or stomach stapling, part of the stomach is stapled in order to create a new, smaller stomach. This smaller stomach is then used by the patient, preventing him from eating as much and achieving a feeling of fullness.
- Adjustable Gastric Banding – This procedure is also known as lap band surgery. A silicone band is placed under the skin and can be adjusted through the removal or addition of saline. This is currently one of the most popular forms of weight loss surgery, and its name will almost always come up when someone asks, “What is weight loss surgery?”
- Mixed Procedures – Mixed procedures decrease the size of the stomach, but they also limit the amount of nutrients taken in by the patient’s body.
- Gastric Bypass Surgery – This is the most common type of weight loss surgery in the United States, and many believe it to be the most effective if post-surgery instructions are followed. Basically, stapling creates a smaller stomach, and the distal small intestine is then connected to this new stomach. A Y-configuration results when the upper part of the small intestine is reattached.
- Implantable Gastric Stimulation – This method is still in development, and it uses electrical stimulation to signal a sense of fullness in the patient. It is currently being tested in the United States, and early tests suggest it may not be as effective as other methods.
- Sleeve Gastrectomy with Duodenal Switch – The part of the stomach along its greater curve is surgically removed. A tubulization process is then performed which reduces food intake to around 150 ml. The stomach is disconnected from the duodenum and attached to the distal part of the small intestine. The upper part of the small intestine and the duodenum are reconnected near the colon. This procedure is not reversible.
If you’re considering lap band, gastric bypass or any other type of surgical weight loss procedure, you should ask yourself, “What are the pros and cons of weight loss surgery?” In this article, we’ll examine how the digestive system works, the various types of weight loss procedures, the advantages of weight loss surgery and the disadvantages of weight loss surgery.
How The Digestive System Works
In order to answer the question, “What are the pros and cons of weight loss surgery,” we must first understand how the digestive system works.
When you eat, food moves from the esophagus to the stomach. When it reaches the stomach, it is covered by an acid which begins the digestive process. The contents are then moved to the duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine.
In the duodenum, digestion is continued with pancreatic juices and bile. At this stage, most of the calcium and iron in our food is absorbed into the body.
Food then moves through the remaining 20 feet of the small intestine, specifically the jejunum and ileum. During this process, the remaining nutrients are absorbed into the body.
Anything which cannot be digested is then stored in the large intestine. This organ is comprised of the ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon and rectum. Waste stays in the large intestine until it’s time to be passed from the body.
How Weight Loss Surgery Works
- Restrictive Surgery – A section of the stomach is removed to make it smaller. This limits the amount of food which can be eaten, and the patient feels a sense of fullness without having to eat as much. As the patient continues to eats less, body weight will begin to decrease. Lap band is a type of restrictive surgery.
- Malabsorptive Surgery – Since the bulk of digestion takes place in the small intestine, this surgery alters the length or connection to the stomach. Less food is absorbed into the body, and the patient loses weight as a result. Recipients of this surgery often need to take a multivitamin to compensate for a reduction in absorbed nutrients.
NOTE: In some cases, weight loss surgery includes a combination of restrictive surgery and malabsorptive surgery.
Advantages Of Weight Loss Surgery
The following are the primary advantages of weight loss surgery. For more information, consult your family physician.
- Improved Health – As the patient becomes less obese, conditions such as high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure improve. Risk of heart attack and cancer also decrease.
- Weight Loss – Patients usually rapidly shed weight for the first 18 to 24 months following weight loss surgery. Some weight will be regained at a point, but this can be limited through proper diet and exercise.
Disadvantages Of Weight Loss Surgery
While weight loss surgery can change a person’s life for the better, there are some risks associated with the procedure. The following disadvantages of weight loss surgery are most likely to occur (be sure to consult with a doctor before surgery).
- Complications – Complications from surgery include abdominal hernias, stretched stomach outlets and infections.
- Vomiting – If food particles are not thoroughly chewed, the stomach can be stretched. This will result in nausea and possible vomiting.
- Insurance – Many forms of insurance will not cover the cost of weight loss surgery. While it is becoming more common, many patients will have to pay for the entire cost out of their pockets.
- Gallstones – Over one-third of patients will develop gallstones. To prevent this, patients must take supplemental bile salts for the first six months following their weight loss surgery.
- Changes To Lifestyle – Patients will have to adopt an exercise and diet regimen for the rest of their lives.
- No Pregnancy – Women who undergo weight loss surgery must wait until their body mass becomes stable before becoming pregnant. Otherwise, the fetus could be harmed by rapid changes to the mother’s body.
- Nutritional Deficiencies – Following surgery, some patients may suffer from metabolic bone disease, anemia and osteoporosis. This can be avoided by regularly taking vitamins and minerals.
- Side Effects – Some side effects of weight loss surgery include: diarrhea, increased gas, dizziness, vomiting, bloating, nausea and excessive sweating.
- Dumping Syndrome – When the contents of the stomach move too rapidly through the small intestine, a patient may suffer what is known as “dumping syndrome.” This results in diarrhea after eating, weakness, faintness and sweating.
When you are preparing for surgery, you want to be certain about who the right doctor for you is. “Certain” may be a strong word, because when you go under the surgeon’s knife, you’ll never settle on a perfect surgeon. But you want the person who is best suited to performing surgery on you. This includes a combination of experience, skill, facilities and specialties. You don’t necessarily want to choose the nice guy; you want to choose the right doctor to perform your surgery.
Tips For Choosing A Doctor
Here are some tips for choosing a doctor and things to keep in mind when you finally choose the doctor for your surgery. Don’t let any one of these dictate your decision, but let a combination of these considerations help you decide who the right doctor for your surgery really is.
- Get Comfortable With the Doctor – Find a surgeon you are comfortable with. When it comes to having surgery, you have to ask yourself, “Am I comfortable having this person cut on me.”
- Don’t think I’m suggesting that you select a doctor with a good bedside manner. Sometimes, you might feel more comfortable with a jerk as a surgeon. In the end, you need the best surgeon, not the best buddy. You need to trust this doctor, and a lot of that trust comes from how they answer your questions.
- Get Your Questions Answered – I personally don’t trust a doctor who won’t answer my questions, or who can’t seem to answer my questions. To establish trust, you need to have an open dialogue about what is wrong with your body and how the doctor can fix what is wrong with your body. That’s the bottom line and I wouldn’t settle on a doctor who can’t or won’t tell me how a surgery is going to solve my medical problems.
- Ask The Tough Questions – Remember, it’s your body and you only have one of them. So when you are about to have surgery, do not be afraid to ask the tough questions. Your doctor owes it to you to answer those questions, because ultimately you are the one who is going on the table – not your doctor. So ask the questions you feel you need to know and demand that those questions be answered.
- Practice Makes Perfect – Select a surgeon who performs these operations often. Go with the specialist. Any skill gets better with practice and surgery is no different. In fact, surgery is the ultimate example of that idea, because doctors will tell you they learn something new every time they go into a body. When your body presents a special challenge to the physician, you want the doctor who is more likely to have seen your particular challenge. So go with the doctor who has experience.
- Research Your Options – Learn what you can about the surgeons you are considering. Talk to other people who have used these surgeons by asking around town. You’ll eventually find people who have used the doctor. If you prefer (or if you want more information), go online and Google your doctor’s name and see what former patients may have written about the doctor. You might also see any problems that might pop up in news stories or lawsuits. What you learn online will put in perspective all the questions you’ve asked and the doctor’s overall personality.
- Consider Proximity – If there’s one qualified doctor to perform your surgery and he’s on the other side of the country, by all means fly out of your region to have him perform that surgery. Most of the time, there will be perfectly qualified doctors in your area. If it comes down to two doctors of the same approximate skill and experience, go with the qualified local surgeon. When you remain in your area, you’ll be able to consult with your doctor better on your ongoing rehabilitation.
How Do I Choose The Right Doctor For My Surgery
When you choose a doctor for your upcoming surgery, it probably won’t be a comfortable or pleasant decision. A lot of emotions are swirling around in a person’s head when they contemplate surgery, so it’s hard to think clearly when considering a surgical doctor. So keep in mind this surgery guide for choosing a doctor and eventually settle on the surgeon you think is the absolutely best option for your surgery.
Sunburn comes in two forms: mild sunburn and extreme sunburn. You need to treat each condition in a different way, so we’ll discuss treating sunburn in mild and extreme cases.
Most people in their lifetimes get sunburned at once point or another, whether it’s a mild or bad case, learn how to treat sunburn. You might have children some day who get a bad case of sunburn, even if you don’t.
If left untreated, sunburn causes damage to the skin, which can lead to infections or to later skin cancer. Prompt treatment helps the suffering individual mitigate some of the painful effects of sunburn, easing their suffering and speeding their recovery.
Treating Mild Sunburn
Treating mild sunburn is easy, because the skin has been burned by ultra-violet or uv rays. Because the skin has absorbed the uv rays, the skin continues to cook for a while, even after getting in from the Sun, so it needs to be cooled down.
Using a cold damp cloth over the effected area is a good place to start. Sooth the skin with medical ointment, like aloe vera or a topical analgesic. This soothes the skin and removes some of the pain, while moisturizing your burnt skin.
If the pain is quite bad, take a painkiller to try and numb the pain. A lot of people are also familiar with after-sun creams, which are available at any supermarket. The best after-sun creams have aloe vera and calamine in them. This cools down and sooth the skin that has been effected. Remember to keep applying these treatments several times a day, to promote quick recovery.
After getting sunburned, it’s wise to stay out of the sun for a while, to give the skin a little time to heal.
Treating Severe Sunburn
Treating severe sunburn is a different story. When someone has extreme sunburn, they are going to be dehydrated, along with feeling feverish. The most important thing is to get out of the heat and to get re-hydrated. Prolonged heat and dehydration causes all sorts of problems for a person, and puts them in danger of heat exhaustion and heat strokes.
Therefore, an individual suffering from extreme sunburn should drink water regularly, to ensure they get hydrated. Ice water helps to bring down core body temperatures. After hydrating themselves, they should apply a damp cloth to the effected area, as well as using after-sun soothing creams that were mentioned above.
Take aspirin or a fever reducer to reduce body fevers.
In certain cases of sunburn, the skin blisters. This not only is painful and scary to look at, but blistered skin has a chance of getting infected. To avoid infections, make sure the sunburn is kept clean. Apply antibacterial cream regularly.
The last thing anyone wants on their holiday is an infected sunburn. Your sunburned skin is going to start to itch, when it begins to heal, but scratching blistered skin can lead to infection, so try to fight itches with topical sprays and calamine gels.
If the sunburn does not improve after the above treatments, we recommend going to your local medical centre or medical professional. In the case of the blistered sunburn, it only takes one time to avoid that for life, but getting healed from that one case requires treatment, time and patience.
The bottom line is to avoid getting sunburned in the first place. Apply lots of sun cream and keep hydrated. Sunburn is dangerous, and even one case of blistered skin doubles you chance of skin cancer in your lifetime. Luckily, avoiding a sunburn is easy to avoid, in most cases.
If you do get a bad sunburn, it’s important not to panic. Treat the effected area carefully and calmly. Your skin has amazing powers of healing, though if a sunburn has peeled off the top layers of your skin, it’s going to take about a week or more for your skin to regenerate those damaged layers of skin.
This is something that you need to remember: not every man’s sperm is the same. Sometimes the sperm can be watery, thick, yellowish, or, in your case, a bit chunky. Don’t be alarmed because it is nothing that you should need to see a doctor about. It is perfectly normal and easy to rectify. A man’s sperm is largely influenced by what he takes into his body. So why does sperm sometimes appear chunky? Here are a few reasons.
One of the main causes for a chunky appearance in your sperm is dehydration. Your sperm is largely made up of fluids. Lack of water in your body means there are less fluids to go around. If you haven’t been drinking enough water and have become dehydrated, you may see this problem the next time you ejaculate. A way to fix this and see normal sperm again is to drink plenty of fluids.
Your diet is another big contributor to your sperm’s appearance. Diet influences your sperm’s characteristics such as color, taste, and thickness. Too much garlic or too many onions will give your sperm a yellowish color. Too many spices can affect its taste. If you eat a good healthy diet, with plenty of fruits and vegetables, your sperm will likely have a normal appearance.
What goes into your body affects what comes out of your body. Any drugs or medication can play havoc with your sperm. Besides its thickness, drugs can interfere with how much is ejaculated as well ass how easily. Drugs can hamper ejaculation, making it impossible to reach that peak state.
Not Tapping The Well Enough
If you haven’t ejaculated in awhile, your sperm can thicken. Part of it is due to the proteins turning to gel and part of it is an increase of sperm in your semen. Your testicles produce sperm and when you don’t ‘tap the well’ often enough, the sperm can sort of build up. So if you haven’t ejaculated in awhile, your sperm will probably be thicker (and more of it) when you do. The reverse is true for men who ejaculate often. Your testicles can only produce so much sperm, depending on age and healthy. So if you have frequent ejaculations, your sperm may turn watery and thin.
When To See A Doctor
Sperm that is thick and chunky is nothing to be alarmed about. However, you should see a doctor if your sperm turns a brownish or reddish color. This is a sign that you have blood in your sperm, possibly from some infection. If you should experience pain during ejaculation, either in the penis, testicles, or groin area, you should also seek a doctor.
Since I am writing this article from experience, I feel that it is necessary to ask the true question: Is there a reason not to quit smoking? At the age of 22 and with help of my soon to be girlfriend, I decided to take the leap and free myself of the addiction that has possibly taken years off of my life, not to mention countless dollars out of my wallet. Not is it only my goal to explain the benefits of quitting smoking, but I also would like to try and shed some light on possible strategies on how to quit in as few of tries as possible.
Benefits of Quitting Smoking
There are countless benefits to quitting smoking. For most people, health related issues come to mind. By quitting you dramatically decrease the likelihood of having any heart related diseases. As I am sure you know, smoking can create build up in your arteries thus increasing the possibility of having a heart attack or other heart issues. Emphysema is caused by smoking and will rot your lungs and cause you to get sick more often. When you do happen to get a cold or your chest is congested, it is amplified by the irritation smoking causes. So it will not just feel like a cough, but will feel as if you are coughing something large up! From experience, I can tell you that you do not want to have Emphysema, even in its mildest form. Typically if it is bad enough you will have to be on oxygen and you are very sensitive to other smells and fragrant items. Items such as laundry softeners and cologne/perfume can cause difficulty in breathing.
The estimated death toll for smokers is approximately 1 in 3 with many dying very early. By quitting smoking at the tender age of 35, on average the male life expectancy increased anywhere from 6.9 to 8.5 years. Women increased anywhere from 6.1 to 7.7 years. Even though would not be as huge an increase, quitting at an older age will still benefit you for the rest of your life. If your own health is not enough of an incentive, then maybe consider those around you. There have been many reports of people dying or developing cancer even though they never smoked. They received 2nd hand smoke from friends and loved ones.
Aside from health issues you will enjoy not smelling like an ashtray. Everything from your shirts, pants, shoes and socks tend to smell like smoke even hours after having a cigarette. And the longer it has been, the more stale you smell. Although it takes a couple days, you will actually feel refreshed and almost like “new.” Your sense of taste and smell will come back and you will be able to breathe better almost instantly. And what about the MONEY!?! This is a very expensive habit that has absolutely no value to it. On average a 20 per day smoker will spend almost $2,000 a year. Personally, I was closer to the $3,000 range and the prices where I live were constantly rising due to increasing taxes.
How Do I Quit Smoking?
First and foremost you will have to want to quit smoking. No other reason is good enough and I say that with experience in hand. Not to mention that it is a mind game and a majority of it is in your head. Addiction to anything is hard and when the cravings kick in, you will have to want it bad enough to say “no.” Many aids are available to quit smoking and each has it’s own pros and cons. The patch is what I used to quit and worked well for me. In my opinion, the best part was “forgetting” I had it on which helped me through the physical dependency of nicotine. The longer you can go without thinking you need a cigarette the easier it becomes to quit. Most brands of the patch have 3 steps and are about 1-2 weeks per step. That will ultimately be up to you as you will need to decide when you move up in steps while moving down in milligrams of nicotine.
Other methods are available. Chewing gum is available in many flavors and is estimated that a person will chew about 15 sticks per day. There is also inhalers and nasal sprays. Even though it may seem a little extreme or strange to others, there has been tests on hypnotism and its benefits to those who want to quit smoking. Of all things make sure you have the support of your co-workers, friends, and family. They will genuinely want to help you achieve your goal.
Many experts say that it takes multiple times to successfully quit. It did for me. You want to learn from your mistakes and maybe even keep a journal. Try to keep track of what triggers your cravings, whether it is stress, work, or in my case, a cup of coffee. It took me several tries until I woke up one morning and realized that something so small was controlling a large portion of my life. I can guarantee that you will feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment when you quit smoking. Ultimately the best advice that can be given is to keep on trying no matter what, because if you want it bad enough you will eventually do it. That should be the real reason and answer to your question as to why you should quit smoking.
Why do people smoke? Common sense tells us that it is bad for us — inhaling smoke and particulate matter into your lungs is bad for you no matter if it is from a fire or a cigarette. Medical science tells us every time we look at a pack of cigarettes that smoking can cause birth defects, heart problems, and other scary medical problems. Why do people smoke when it is obvious so unhealthy for them?
Who Are Smokers?
While people of every social and economic class smoke, we know that a certain type of person is more likely to smoke than others. People who topped out with just a high school diploma or less education are more likely to smoke than people who are better educated. Could this be because people who have more education simply understand the health effects more?
We know that blue collar workers are far more likely to smoke than people in corporate positions. Conventional wisdom holds that these people’s jobs are fairly dreary repetitive things that “excuse” the use of cigarettes . . . as if having a crappy job gave you an excuse to hurt yourself with cigarettes.
In the same vein, people in lower income brackets are far more likely to smoke than people with more money. Why do people who make less money end up spending a large portion of their money on cigarettes? These questions don’t have very clear answers. There are some other interesting facts about people who smoke — for instance, women who work are more likely to smoke than women who stay at home. Also, we know that children from homes where the parents and siblings smoke pick up the habit more frequently than children in smoke-free homes.
Why do People Start Smoking?
Advertising techniques used by cigarette companies are usually the scapegoat. You’ll hear anti-smoking activists repeating facts about smoking advertising and its impact on the smoking population — for instance, it is often said that In the first 4 years of the infamous “Joe Camel” ad campaign, the number of smokers under age 18 raised from 1% to as much as 30%. What is the basis for this story? Unfortunately for the anti-smoking crowd, there’s nothing factual to back up this claim. Can’t we just agree that marketing cigarettes in a way that appeals to kids is wrong without needing statistics as ammunition?
To be sure, cigarette ads in the past were a bit over the top. The message seemed to be “If you smoke, you will be popular and desirable.” Thankfully, much of that advertising is now illegal, and you won’t see cigarette ads in many places outside of magazines aimed at adults. Gone are the television commercials and cartoon-infested billboards of old.
Still — cigarette manufacturers are finding different ways to get their message across. “Candy-flavored” cigarettes and nicotine products in bright packaging with sweet flavors are coming out all the time, though legislation is being enacted that will put a stop to this, too. Women are a particularly fond target of cigarette manufacturers — the idea that smoking keeps you thin is often espoused, wordlessly, in ads aimed at the female population. You think that Virginia Slims are called “Slims” simply because the cigarette itself is skinny? Regardless of how you feel about cigarette ads and their impact on the consumer, the cigarette companies themselves feel very strongly about their ad presence — the six major American cigarette companies spend over three billion dollars a year on advertising.
As an ex-smoker myself I can tell you that a big reason for smoking in teenagers and children is simple peer pressure. When you think “peer pressure”, don’t assume this means some older bully forcing a younger child to smoke a cigarette. Peer pressure can mean lots of different kinds of pressure — a parent’s smoking may make it seem acceptable to a child, or a teenager who doesn’t smoke may see a large number of their friends doing it and simply decide to smoke to stay in line with the group.
It is difficult to counteract the powerful forces of peer pressure. Teenagers want to fit in, and let’s face it — many people like to smoke. It can help you get through that last hour of a long day at work, it goes good with a beer, and most of the people you see smoking on TV and in movies seem to be having a good time. Why wouldn’t you want to smoke?
Answering that last question may be our best defense against peer pressure. Educating children and teenagers about not just the dangers but the downsides of smoking is crucial in allowing them to make a smart decision about smoking. Talk about the smell, the expense, and the social isolation that can come with smoking, not just the fact that it can cause cancer and other health problems.
There are plenty of reasons why people start to smoke though I’d argue that cultural and personal influence are the main factors in a person’s cigarette habit. Understanding why a person smokes is key to helping them quit — how can you quit doing something if you don’t know why you do it in the first place?
Whether you smoke because yo’re addicted, because you want to fit in, or simply because you enjoy smoking, having a working knowledge of your body’s addiction will only benefit you on the road to quitting a tobacco habit.
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Mental retardation in children is a debilitating condition that is not always easily diagnosed. Part of the problem is that mental retardation may not become apparent for many years, sometime showing up later in life. The condition is also not limited to just one single disorder. It is used to describe a number of problems, diseases, and dysfunctions that cause mental impairment. Mental retardation comes in varying degrees and severity, requiring different treatments on an individual basis. While only a doctor can diagnose and treat mental retardation in children, here is some basic information that you should know.
Statistics Of Mental Retardation
Mental retardation can affect anywhere from 2 to 3% of all children. It is not influenced by age, race, or gender. The condition normally occurs during a child’s developmental years which can be anywhere from gestation to teenage years.
There are many different levels of mental retardation. The categories are: Mild, Moderate, Severe, and Profound. Of all children who are diagnosed, approximately 75 to 90% of all cases are mild. Severe and Profound retardation only occurs in approximately 6 to 7% of all cases.
Children with severe mental retardation only function at about a fifth of the normal IQ range. They are remarkably slower at all functions and may or may not be capable of normal speech. Severe mental retardation requires some supervision although basic self-care skills can be taught.
What Causes Mental Retardation
Rarely is the cause for mental retardation ever known. One such cause for mental retardation in a child is genes. Defects can be hereditary and pass from one generation to the next. It doesn’t take much for something to go wrong.
The human chromosome carries our genes which decides many of our characteristics such as how we look, act, and think. Anything that is out of place such as an abnormal gene, a mutation, or a defect in our chromosome can cause mental retardation.
The two most common chromosomal defects that can cause retardation is the X Syndrome and Downs Syndrome. X Syndrome is a defect in the chromosome that determines a child’s sex while Downs Syndrome is due to having an additional chromosome. There is an entire list of possible syndromes that can affect a child but again, only a doctor can diagnose which one a child might have.
Other factors of mental retardation at birth can be traced back to the mother’s pregnancy. If the mother suffered from any illnesses during the pregnancy or she herself has a case of behavioral problems, then any of these could be the cause. Drugs (either illegal or prescription), alcohol, bad nutrition, and the consumption of other chemical substances could affect a baby’s development while in the womb.
Environmental factors can cause mental retardation as well. These include things like toxins, bacteria, infections, premature births or difficult births, head trauma, poor postnatal nutrition, and postnatal neglect.
What Are Some Of The Symptoms
Symptoms for mental retardation vary greatly, as does the time frame of when they are likely to appear. In some children with severe retardation, symptoms may be apparent soon after birth or even within the first year or two. In other case, it may take some time before these symptoms appear.
The most common symptom is developmental slowness in comparison to other children their age. They will display difficulty in performing tasks and may take longer to learn to walk and talk. Their communication skills may be very limited or they may have trouble expressing themselves.
Some children with mental retardation might become easily frustrated and show signs of aggression. Some cases have even shown that mentally impaired children who become frustrated will injure themselves.
Other symptoms include an inability to adapt to new situations and learning disabilities in school. They could have trouble remembering things and may have to repeat some tasks numerous times before they remember how. Mentally impaired children, even those with a mild condition, may have trouble with social skills. Physical traits and disfigurements are also a sign. Children diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Downs Syndrome will have distinctive physical appearances.
For symptoms that do not appear until late in a child’s school years, it could be easily mistaken for a learning disability. Poor grades alone are not a sign of mental retardation, though. It is accompanied by other symptoms as well.
Additional Disorders Along With Mental Retardation
Often children who are diagnosed with mental retardation will suffer from a number of other mental or emotional problems. Studies have shown that mental impairment opens one up to other ailments which further hinders their development and ability to cope with society.
Seizures are present in about 20% to 30% of all children with mental retardation. This also includes motor and visual impairment.
About 18% of all children with mental retardation suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Behavior disorders are very common in retardation cases. Children who are impaired have trouble displaying good behavior as defined by society. They are often prone to tantrums and are likely to injure themselves or someone else. About 10% will also experience symptoms of schizophrenia and anxiety.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is also found later in life with mentally handicapped children. Children with mental retardation often find themselves targets to abuse in school from other children. Because they are overly sensitive to their environments and are dependent on others, they are vulnerable to this type of stress.
How Is It Diagnosed
Only a doctor can properly diagnose a child for mental retardation. If a child is suspected of having a mental illness, their doctor can perform tests to try to determine the cause. A child neurologist can also help by determining if the child suffers from any neurological diseases or disorders.
There are three criteria to determine if a child has a form of mental retardation. The first is the child must have an IQ of below 70. The second is that child must have trouble in adaptive behavior such as communication, self-help, and behavior. The third is the child must display these symptoms before they are 18 years of age.
What Are Treatments
Treatments for mental retardation in children vary depending on the severity. After diagnosis, a doctor may help a family to develop a plan for their child. Schools have special education programs and curriculum so that their child can gain an education.
There are numerous family support groups and therapy sessions that a family can attend in order to help their child develop and to help the family in raising a child with special needs. Most of these groups are free of charge and are held by volunteer services. Along with everything else, doctors recommend that the best thing for mentally impaired children is a loving environment and a supportive family.
REM sleep is one of five sleep stages. The term REM is an anachronism for Rapid Eye Movement, since constantly moving eyes are one of the primary physical signs that a person is in REM sleep. A sleeper’s eyes move rapidly in many directions under the lids, presumable as they view events occurring in a dream.
Stages of Sleep
REM is a unique sleep stage. So much so that the other four stages are collectively called non-REM sleep. Each non-REM stage lasts 5 to 15 minutes. The non-REM sleep states collectively last approximately 90 minutes.
The stages of sleep are not assigned arbitrarily. There are clear biological and physical symptoms, plainly observable through the use of a polysomnograph. Sleep studies taken with the device are called polysomnography or PSG. Doctors and scientists use these studies to help diagnose sleeping disorders.
The polysomnograph uses multiple sensors placed on the head to record brain waves, while another sensor is placed on the ear to get a neutral reading for comparison. One or two sensors are placed near the eyes to measure eye movement, while elastic belts around the waist and stomach measure breathing. Electrodes attached to the chin monitor relaxation or tone in muscles. Sensors on the chest monitor the heart rate, while an oximeter is placed on the finger or earlobe to measure blood oxygen. Studies often use video cameras to monitor the sleeper’s movement and body position as well.
Signs of the Sleep Stages
During the night, people rotate through the five stages of sleep, referred to as the sleep cycle. The cycle can occur up to five times each night. Each successive cycle produces a longer and deeper REM stage. The first REM cycle may only be ten minutes, while the longest and final cycle can be as long as 90 minutes.
In the first stage of sleep, the body begins to relax and the mind feels drowsy. It is the grey area between sleep and wakefulness. You may still be conscious of your thoughts during this time and there may be some minor eye movement. A polysomnograph shows that brain activity slows as much as 50% during stage one. This stage has no restorative properties and lasts for about ten minutes. A sleeper disturbed from stage one sleep will not feel as though he or she has slept at all.
The second stage is light sleep. Your body temperature falls and your heart rate slows. During stage two, a polysomnograph will show intermittent peaks and troughs, as muscle tone repeatedly intensifies and relaxes.
During the third and forth stages, you are deeply asleep. Stage four is deeper than stage three. Stages three and four are sometimes referred to together as delta sleep, with notable slow and rhythmic brain activity. Once the sleeper reaches stage four, the sleeper reverts back to stages three and then two, before finally falling into REM sleep.
Time for Dreams
REM is the fifth and deepest stage of sleep. In order to prevent dreamers from injuring themselves, the brain has developed a mechanism for paralyzing the large voluntary muscles of the body. During this time, the brain is intensely active as dreams roll into the mental landscape. The paradox of the still body and active mind has spurred some to call REM paradoxical sleep.
The REM brain wave patterns are similar to those seen in the more alert stage one. While the large voluntary muscles remain paralyzed, the face, fingers and legs will often twitch. The sleeper’s heart rate increases as well, while the eyes engage in rapid movements in all directions. The dreams that occur during REM may be quite intense, but sleepers often lose memory of the dream upon waking.
Some people’s brains fail to shut down the major voluntary muscles during REM sleep. The disorder is called RBD or REM Behavior Disorder. With RBD, the sleeper kicks and flails about wildly, while acting out a dream. The disorder is thankfully rare. It can lead to disastrous consequences if the sleeper runs down the stairs during a dream. These movements sometimes can be violent and injurious to others as well. There are several medications that may help with RBD, but none are 100% successful.
Necessity of REM?
Scientists still debate whether REM sleep is necessary or not. There have been cases of people who are incapable of attaining REM sleep with no ill effects whatsoever. Other studies suggest those who do not reach REM sleep may suffer learning or memory difficulties. No solid proof has emerged for either case.
Signs of pregnancy can differ from woman to woman and from each pregnancy. A woman may experience different symptoms for each different pregnancy as no two are alike. Some women may show signs within a few days while others may not appear for several weeks. There have been many cases where a woman did not know she was pregnant until labor pains hit.
One of the most significant signs that you are pregnant is a missed menstrual cycle. However, if your menstrual cycle is irregular or you haven’t kept up with it, it may be hard to determine when your period is late. Also, a missed period may not be the earliest sign. Several things may appear to give you clues that you may be pregnant before your next menstrual cycle comes along.
Some women experience signs of pregnancy but they are in fact not pregnant. This medical condition is called pseudocyesis or false pregnancy. If ever in doubt, go take a home pregnancy test. With today’s medical technology, these home tests are 99% accurate and work in minutes. They can positively identify whether you are pregnant or not.
Signs Of Pregnancy
There are many symptoms of being pregnant and each can occur at different intervals. Here is a list of common signs:
Implantation Bleeding: This is one of the earliest signs of being pregnant. It can occur anywhere from 6 to12 days after conception. The fertilized embryo will implant itself to the blood-rich wall of the uterus. This may cause some spotting as well as cramps. The bleeding is very light and lasts only for a few days. This symptom can often be confused with a light menstrual period.
Tender Or Swollen Breasts: These symptoms can appear as early as 1 to 2 weeks after conception and are another of the earliest signs. The breasts get sensitive and sore due to the increasing levels of hormones. Many women experience sore breasts right before their period which is why this can commonly be misdiagnosed. The soreness and discomfort lasts during the first trimester but will soon after go away as the body adjusts the hormones.
Nausea And Vomiting: This tell-tell sign rears its ugly head between 2 to 8 weeks. The common term is ‘morning sickness’ and most women experience it a month after conception. It gets its name because traditionally it happens when a woman first wakes up in the morning but it can actually last all day and night. The effects of nausea vary depending on the pregnancy and some women are lucky enough to escape its effects entirely. It usually lasts for the first trimester before diminishing.
A Missed Period: A missed period is the universal sign that a woman is pregnant (but not always). If a woman keeps track of her period and notices that her period is late, then this could occur before any other signs reveal themselves. If this happens, then the woman can take a pregnancy test and find the results. However, if a woman’s period is irregular, then other symptoms may appear before she notices.
Some women do experience late periods or miss them altogether for a month.
Darkening Of Areolas: When you are pregnant, the areolas, which is the skin around your nipples, gets darker than normal. This sign doesn’t usually show up until later in the pregnancy, though.
Fatigue: Feeling tired and like you have no energy is a common sign of pregnancy. It is not known what exactly causes a woman to feel tired early on in the pregnancy but doctors believe it is related to change in the hormone progesterone. The fatigue should disappear during the second trimester. However, it comes back in the last trimester due to carrying the extra weight and being uncomfortable all the time.
Food Cravings: Strange food craving occur at any time during the pregnancy. A woman may crave certain foods during the first trimester and this could last all the way through the pregnancy. It only disappears after giving birth and the hormones decrease back down to a normal level.
Backaches: Lower backaches can sometimes occur during early pregnancy and are very common in the later trimesters. During the last trimester, backaches are related to carrying additional weight from the baby. This requires lost of rest but doesn’t resolve itself until after delivery.
Sensitivity To Odors: Many women who are pregnant become sensitive to certain smells. Things such as food and perfume that normally do not bother you are suddenly unappealing, even repulsive. Odors that a woman even likes can make her nauseous. No one knows for sure why this happens but most believe it is due to rising levels in estrogen.
Abdominal bloating: Changes in hormones during the early pregnancy may make a woman feel bloated, similar to how she feels right before and during her menstrual cycle. Again, no one is sure why this happens early on when the uterus is still small. It is easy to understand why this happens later on when the belly starts to bulge.
Frequent Urination: Frequent trips to the bathroom are common all throughout the pregnancy. Early on, this is largely due to the blood and fluid levels in your body increasing to prepare for the pregnancy. This leads to your kidneys processing all this fluid which ends up in your bladder. The symptoms last all throughout the pregnancy, getting worse in your last trimester because the baby starts putting pressure on your bladder.
For more information about how long it takes to show signs of pregnancy, visit:
“What’s the deal with the pistachio recall and the Salmonella scare?” Recently, we’ve been getting this question a lot, so we figured it was high time that we did something about it. Below, we’ll talk about the recent pistachio recall (as well as the peanut butter recall), and also look at the symptoms and treatment for Salmonella. When you’re finished reading, our hope is that you’ll be armed with all the information needed to answer the question, “What’s the deal with the pistachio recall and the Salmonella scare?”
What is Salmonella
To understand the severity of all the recent product recalls, it’s first important to answer the question, “What is Salmonella?” Each year, over 40,000 cases of Salmonella are reported in the United States alone, and the actual number may be 30 times greater–since minor cases aren’t usually reported.
Salmonella is found in groups of bacteria–often in the feces of people or animals–and it can lead to diarrhea in humans. More common in the summer, an estimated 400 people die each year from acute salmonellosis. The young, elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are most likely to be infected.
While there isn’t a vaccine for Salmonella, most people recover completely in a matter of months. Others, however, may develop Reiter’s Syndrome, a condition which leads to joint pain, painful urination and eye irritation. Reiter’s Syndrome may also lead to chronic arthritis.
- Avoid raw or undercooked eggs, meat or poultry.
- Don’t drink raw or unpasteurized milk or dairy products.
- Wash all fruits or vegetables before eating.
- Keep uncooked meats separate from other foods.
- In-between handling different foods, wash your hands.
- Wash your hands before handling food.
- Wash cutting boards, knives and other utensils after they’ve come into contact with uncooked food.
- Always wash your hands after they’ve come into contact with animal feces (especially reptiles).
On March 24th, the FDA was alerted by Kraft Foods that its Back to Nature Trail Mix was contaminated with Salmonella. The source of the contamination was identified as pistachios from Setton Pistachio of Terra Bella Inc, California. A recall went into effect, and over 1 million pounds of the product have been pulled from shelves. Since the pistachios were included in numerous products, the recall will affect a wide range of items.
This comes on the heels of a recall on various brands of peanut butter and products containing peanut butter (including Keebler and Austin brand crackers). This strain of Salmonella led to hundreds of diagnosed cases throughout the United States, although most victims were expected to make a full recovery.
By this writing, all possibly infected peanut butter products have been recalled. Anything still on the shelves is not on the recall list. Care should still be taken, however, with products you might have in your kitchen cupboards. When in doubt, visit the FDA website for more information.
For up-to-the-minute information on the recall, visit http://www.fda.gov/pistachios/. This will also include news on the latest products being pulled from the market.
For More Information
For more information on the pistachio recall and Salmonella scare, you can consult the following:
- FDA Pistachios -http://www.fda.gov/pistachios/ (This site will allow you to sign up for email updates on recalls)
- FDA Recalls Twitter (Twitter site which allows users to receive recall information on their computer or mobile phone)
- FDA (Visitors to the FDA’s site can get recall updates via RSS feeds.)
- Call the FDA’s toll free number at 1-888-SAFEFOOD.
- 1-800-CDC-INFO will put callers in contact with the Center for Disease Control’s toll-free number.
We just bought an eight week old piglet to raise for food. Was this a stupid thing to do? Are healthy pigs carriers of swine flu or can people only get it from a sick pig? Are we putting ourselves in danger to be in close contact with a pig? I have a two year old daughter, so I need info about this right away. I hope you can help.
Dear “Worried Mommy”,
I would not have a pig around a 2-year old right now. 51% of the pigs in the north-central United States show antibody evidence of swine flu infection, along with around 30% of pigs throughout the world. This virus is endemic in pigs, so if your piglet has been around any number of other pigs, there’s a good chance it has been exposed to the virus. When I speak of swine influenza virus, I’m talking about the H1N1 virus, a strain of which is causing the current health risk. Pigs will remain “carrier pigs” for up to three months after infection with swine flu and the same pig can have a second outbreak once their immunity has waned. Among a herd of pigs, swine flu will be transmitted from one pig to another, and then the original carrier pig is likely to have another case of swine flu at a later date as the infection infects the herd.
Swine Flu and the Risk to Children
Children not only have less immunity to disease, but they also don’t know to take the disease control precautions that most adults do, so as washing their hands frequently or keeping hands that have been in contact with germs away from their nose and mouth. The swine flu causes lethargy and body aches, as well as fever. Doctors warn that children are more susceptible to ill effects from rapid fever, especially when it rises quickly over 102 degrees. So there’s no way I would take the risk having a 2-year old child around a piglet right now.
Dangerous For Adults, Too
Every year, some 36,000 Americans die from influenza or complications from the flu (often pneumonia). Usually, those are the aged and infirm and sometimes even small children. One reason the current swine flu infection is causing so much concern is that this latest mutation of swine flu has shown that it can be a serious health risk to people in their 20′s, 30′s and 40′s. So our children and senior citizens are not the only ones at risk in this current swine flu outbreak.
Having a Piglet Around a Child During Swine Flu
But let’s get back to the subject of swine flu, piglets and children. Swine flu is worst among pigs during cold weather months and onset of cold weather months, the fall and winter months, just like flu outbreaks in humans. Pigs infected with swine flu will be lethargic, develop fever, cough (which sounds like a bark) and have discharges from their eyes and nose. The coughing and the discharges will infect other pigs. From the numbers stated above, you can see that swine flu spreads rapidly and endemically through a swine community. Of course, when researchers find “antibody evidence” of swine flu in pigs, that doesn’t mean they all have it or are contagious at the time. That means that 51% of swine appear to have had the disease at one time or another, but that’s still way too much of a risk when your children are concerned.
Also known as Power 90 Extreme, the P90X workout system is a popular workout regimen developed by Beachbody and made popular by fitness trainer Tony Horton. The system consists of 12 workout routines including:
- Chest and Back
- Shoulders and Arms
- Legs and Back
- Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
- Back and Biceps
- Yoga X
- Kenpo X
- X Stretch
- Core Synergistics
- Cardio X
- Ab Ripper X
P90X Workout Variations
There are three standard variations of the P90X program: Lean, Classic, & Doubles. All variations involve 13 weeks of workouts but vary in focus. The Lean variation of P90X concentrates on cardiovascular exercises and is the routine recommended for beginners. The Classic version of the program does not make use of the “Cardio X” routines but rather replaces them with more strength training workouts. Finally, P90X Doubles challenges your endurance by combining cardiovascular workouts in the morning strength training workouts in the evening. All variations make use of standard P90X equipment.
Many P90X enthusiasts choose to follow all three variations of the programs (for a combined total of 270 days) as a means to achieve greater results.
History of P90X
The P90X workout system was released in 2004, however the original “Power 90” system was first launched in 1998 after the founding of Beachbody. While several trainers were involved in the development of the P90X product, it is Tony Horton who is credited with its conception and success. Information about the sales and actual success of the system is sketchy at best, however many websites and other online sources claim that over 2 million people have been helped by the system. After the success of Power 90 and the followed success of P90X, Beachbody decided to launch another program within this franchise called “P90X Plus”. Beachbody advertises P90X Plus as “the next step of P90X” and targets it as a system “for P90X grads only”. Beachbody has also launched other less popular products including a line by Chalene Johnson and Shaun T.
The term “muscle confusion” was made popular in the mainstream via the P90X workout system, which boasts its use of this technique. The term is mentioned several times throughout the product’s infomercials and throughout the Beachbody website. Tony Horton also credits muscle confusion as the core principle behind the P90X results achieved by many of the program’s followers. Muscle confusion is also emphasized in the promotional language of the P90X Plus system:
“Tony amps up the Muscle Confusion with BRAND-NEW MOVES and never-before-seen workout”
In reality, muscle confusion refers to the principle of cross-training, where a variety of training methods are used in order to enhance the performance of the trainee. This method is used to address the weakness of a single workout by combining it with another type of workout. The end goal of muscle confusion is to reduce the level of plateau that is commonly reached by muscles when the same specific type of stress is continuously applied.
Overall the P90X Workout System is a good and balanced workout program that is praised by many for its challenging workouts and rapid results.
It sounds like something from a rally bad sci-fi movie. You can just imagine a rubber suit with big bug eyes terrorizing helpless women. But in reality, the Mongolian Death Worm is a legendary creature who myth goes back hundreds of years. It is considered to be a cryptozoological animal whose existence is unconfirmed and debated by paranormal researchers and monster hunters worldwide. The Mongolian nomads have told stories of this creature for generations and hold the belief that it is real. They do not like to even mention its name for fear that it will bring about bad luck. But what is the Mongolian Death Worm? Where are they reported to live? Has anyone ever seen one? If you are drawn to stories about mythical creatures and have ever wondered if one might exist, then this article is for you.
What Does The Mongolian Worm Look Like?
The Mongolian name for the animal is Allghoi Khorkhoi. The name is translated as “intestine worm” because of its resemblance to a large intestine. The first reference to the worm in the Western World was in the 1926 book On The Trail Of Ancient Man by the explorer and paleontologist Professor Roy Chapman Andrews. He describes the worm, as detailed to him by Mongol nomads, as around 2 feet long and thick as a man’s wrist. It is red in color like blood. There are no visible eyes, nose, or mouth and it moves in a squirming, wriggling fashion. Other reports indicate the worm to be up to five feet in length and have dark splotches or spikey protrusions on its body.
Where Do The Mongolian Death Worms Live?
The Mongolian Death Worm lives in the southern region of the Gobi desert in Mongolia. This is one of the largest deserts in the world and is around 1,300,000 square kilometers of nothing but sand and rocks. There are mountains in the Gobi and the arid region makes it difficult to search for a creature that can burrow under the sand and rocks. Legend has it that the creature hibernates throughout most of the year and comes out only during the months of June and July. It is sometimes said to prefer to come out after the sun goes down and after a rain where it will wriggle around in the mud.
How Does The Mongolian Worm Cause Death?
The Mongolian Death Worm is said to be highly toxic. Just touching its skin is enough to kill a grown man. Researchers believe that the worm might secrete a poisonous substance from its body. Its venom is even rumored to corrode metal. Other rumors claim that the worm can spray an acid-like substance over a short distance. This substance, like its venom, is capable of killing instantly. As if that is not enough, the creature is also supposedly capable of emitting a high voltage electrical charge that is also just as deadly.
Myth claims that the worm is attracted to the color yellow. One such Mongolian story tells of a young boy that was playing with a yellow box. While he wasn’t looking, A Mongolian Death Worm crawled inside it. When the boy went to play with the box again, he touched the worm and was killed. The parents found the boy and chased the worm into the desert but they too died from the creature’s venom.
Has Anyone Ever Tried To Find the Mongolian Death Worm?
There have been several authors to discuss the creature. The Czech author Ivan Mackerle talked about the worm in an article in 1991 in Fate Magazine. The British zoologist Karl Shuker referred to the creature in two of his books; The Unexplained and The Beasts That Hide From Man. In 2005, a joint expedition sponsored by the Centre for Fortean Zoology and E-Mongol went out into the Gobi desert to investigate new reports and sightings. Called Operation Death Worm, it was led by cryptozoologist Richard Freeman. Although no concrete evidence was found, after four weeks of interviews and eye witness reports, the team was convinced that the Mongolian Death Worm might actually exist.
A normal monthly menstrual period is enough of an inconvenience. But sometimes a woman may experience monthly cycles where she has heavy bleeding over a long period of time. The bleeding can last for several weeks and can naturally cause some distress. Another problem is a sensitive abdomen during these times. So what causes heavy bleeding and abdominal sensitivity? Is there anything you can do about it? If you have experienced these problems, then here is some information on some of the common causes for your condition.
What Causes A Normal Cycle
This is for anyone out there who may not know how the whole menstruation thing works. The lining of the uterus is called the endometrium. In a normal cycle, the brain produces a hormone called follicle stimulating hormone which causes the egg follicles in the ovary to make estrogen. This causes the endometrium to thicken.
During ovulation, a second hormone called progesterone causes the endometrium to turn spongy. The menstrual period then occurs when the estrogen and progesterone levels fall and the uterus sheds its spongy lining. A normal menstrual cycle lasts for about seven days.
So what causes prolonged menstrual periods where the bleeding is heavy and lasts longer than seven days? One thing to consider is if you have chronic nosebleeds or problems with your blood failing to clot. If you have any of these symptoms, you may have a bleeding disorder. If so, you should see a doctor for treatment. In a related matter, if you are currently taking anticoagulants and blood thinners for a medical condition, this could be a cause of prolonged menstrual bleeding.
Menorrhagia is a condition where a woman regularly experiences heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. The symptoms can be anything from going through a pad or tampon an hour or bleeding for more than a week. Menorrhagia can be caused by a number of things. It can be from changes in hormone levels to blood clotting or even uterus disorders.
Another form of menorrhagaia is called hypermenorrhagia; this is an even heavier form of bleedingm where you go through more than one pad or tampon in an hour.
Other causes of menorrhagia are a thickened endometrium, uterine hyperplasia, uterine or cervical cancer, ectopic pregnancy, thyroid problems, pelvic inflammatory disease, and problems with IUDs.
There could be several reasons for having a prolonged menstrual cycle. Besides a possible bleeding disorder, one cause of a long bleeding period is a problem with your ovaries. If your body does not ovulate, the ovaries will still continue to make estrogen which causes the lining of the uterus to thicken even more. This is often the cause of a late period. When the lining of the uterus finally sheds, it causes heavy bleeding and takes longer to pass through your body.
Ovaries can be affected by a number of things. Stress and anxiety can interfere with how your ovaries function. Luckily, most problems with the ovaries can be solved through medication such as birth control which gets the ovaries regulating on a normal schedule.
Another cause of a long bleeding period is problems with the uterus. One such problem is polyps. Endometrial polyps are small growths that appear on the lining of the uterus. These polyps are usually harmless but can cause longer menstrual periods. Polyps occur from long term use of estrogen medication or from excessive build-up of estrogen because of non-ovulation.
Another problem with the uterus is fibroids. Fibroids are classified as leiomyoma or myoma and they grow inside the uterus. Most of the time these fibroids do not cause any symptoms at all but can be a factor in prolonged bleeding. The size of fibroids varies but they generally decrease after menopause.
Adenomyosis is a condition where the lining of the uterus grows into the uterus wall. During a normal menstrual cycle, the endometrium breaks down and flows out of the body. But when the endometrium is part of the muscle wall, some of that broken down tissue may get trapped in the wall. This can lead to heavy and prolonged bleeding as the uterus tries to shed all of the blood. A doctor can tell if you have adenomyosis by performing an ultrasound on your uterus.
If you are over 40, another cause for long periods of menstrual bleeding may be the onset of menopause. It is difficult to tell exactly when menopause hits. The symptoms vary and can come on at different times during a woman’s life. The average age for menopause is anywhere from 47 to 54 years.
The time period immediately before menopause is called perimenopause and it can last up to four years. When this starts, you may experience bouts of heavy bleeding that requires a pad or tampon every hour or you may have bleeding that lasts for more than a week. Other symptoms are hot flashes, mood swings, tiredness, and fatigue.
Causes Of Abdominal Sensitivity
Many women experience increased sensitivity or tenderness in the abdomen area during their menstrual cycle. This is actually pretty common and usually results from the fluctuations in the levels of estrogen and progesterone. If you experience menstrual cramps, this could cause your muscles to become tender. Although tenderness and cramping is normal, you should not be experiencing episodes of intense pain. If so, you should see a doctor.
Another cause, and a more serious one, for abdominal tenderness is a condition called endometriosis. This is where the lining of the uterus also grows on the outside of the uterus. It thickens just like the interior tissue and breaks down when hormone levels drop. But while the broken down endometrium flows out through the cervix, the broken down lining on the outside of the uterus has nowhere to go and can develop into fluid sacks and scar tissue.
Endometriosis can cause not just tenderness but also pain in the abdomen. It can even hinder the ability to get pregnant if enough scar tissue builds up. Only a doctor can diagnose endometriosis.
Medications and Treatments
If you are experiencing constant long periods of menstrual bleeding, there are some things you can do to try to solve the problem. The most common is birth control medication. Birth control pills contain hormones that will help your uterus lining from getting too thick. They can regulate your cycle and also help reduce cramping. If you don’t like the idea of having to remember to take a pill everyday, you can also use a birth control patch.
An Intrauterine Device (or IUD) is a type of birth control that can also put you on a regular cycle. A IUD is a small device about the size of a medicine capsule (but thinner) that is inserted into your uterus through the vagina. They have been proven to be more effective against heavy bleeding, inconsistent menstrual cycles, and pregnancy. However, the side-effects for an IUD is weight gain, bloating, and tenderness in the breasts.
If birth control do not work to control your prolonged bleeding, you might have to consider surgery. There are two types a doctor can perform: a hysterectomy and an endometrial ablation.
A hysterectomy completely removes the uterus. Patients who have this procedure done no longer have periods and can no longer get pregnant. There are risks involved and side effects. Most patients have to go through long term hormone therapy and medication afterward.
Endometrial ablation is a procedure that removes only the lining of the uterus. Pregnancy is not very likely after this type of procedure and it usually stops all menstrual bleeding (although light bleeding and spotting still may occur).
This is actually a very vague question as there are several side effects that can be the result of taking medication. It is very important that you consult a doctor or call 911 if you are feeling ill from taking any kind of medication. However, we have outlined four common medications that are taken by many world wide with what they are used for and their side effects.
A-hydroCort aka Hydrocortisone
Reduces swelling and helps treat immune or allergic disorders.
Side Effects: Increased sweating, nervousness, increased appetite, headache, dizziness, or lightheadedness
See a doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur: Chest pain, muscle pain or weakness, severe vomiting, fever, chills, swelling in the face, tightness in the chest, eye pain or increased pressure, changes in stool, sore throat.
Advil aka Ibuprofen
Reduces pain, fever, and inflammation
Side Effects: Headache, gas, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, or heartburn.
See a doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur: Tightness in chest, chest pains, vision or speech changes, yellowing skin or eyes, persistent stomach pain, bloody stool, dizziness, dark urine, and trouble breathing.
Vicodin aka Acetaminophen/hydrocodone
Side Effects: nausea, constipation, upset stomach
See a doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur: dry mouth, hearing loss, hot flashes, allergic reaction, seizures, constipation, bleeding, decreased urination, and clammy skin.
Nyquil aka acetaminophen/dextromethorphan
Reduces cold, cough, fever, headache
Side Effects: costipation, diarrhea, dizziness, excitability (especially in little kids) nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.
See a doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur: Swelling of face, lips, or tongue, allergice reaction, fast heartbeat, chest pain, tightening chest, severe dizziness, and headache.
We listed these above in the effort to show you how different some drug side effects can be while some of the more common and less severe side effects are generally similar. What you will want to watch for is changes in breathing, bowel movements, urination, and any neurological activities such as vision or hearing. If you are having any of these symptoms you need to dial 911 immediately and seek professional help. Please also keep in mind that the common side effects are only “common” for a short while. Any side effect that is persistent should require medical attention as well. Please use this list only for information purposes and if you have questions you should contact your physician as soon as possible.
It is now becoming more aware that many men nowadays of all ages are experiencing what is known as Erectile Dysfunction, or ED for short. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to have an erection or to have the ability to sustain one. There are many reasons as to how ED is caused. Some include heart disease, smoking, smooth muscle damage, artery damage, and nerve damage as common lifestyle and disease related reasons. Doctors also believe that physiological reasons can be to blame as well. Many that have the fear of lackluster sexual performance, guilt, depression, and anxiety can all cause ED as well. Medications that men take can also take its toll.
Is this you? And if so, what do you do? Well, many men have gone to the doctor for this condition. In fact the statistics show that the numbers have tripled in the last 20 years. Many are becoming more aware of ED and realizing that they are not alone and it can be treated. Not to mention that it can be treated at virtually any age. Want to know what you can do? Well, we have outlined 3 different choices below that you and your doctor can discuss at your next visit.
Viagra has been around for 10 years and have helped men of all ages whether they had a consistent issue with ED or just once in a while. Their medication works with men that have other issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and prostate problems. And in 85% of their studies men were able to get a level 3 or 4 erection. To find out if Viagra is right for you, please consult your physician.
Ciallis offers two different options for their ED medication. One is a daily use pill which allows you to be ready at any time for sexual intercourse and can help support mild to moderate issues with ED. Their 36 hour option is a pill that is good up to 36 hours and may take up to 30 minutes to work. This allow supports all case from mild to moderate ED. If you think this is the key to a better sex life, contact your physician.
Levitra is a oral medication taken no more than once a day for men with ED. It comes in 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 mg doses and can be taken by men who have other health issues. It can be taken without food about an hour before expected sexual activity. They have also shown studies proving that 85% percent of men were able to have successful erections using their product. Does this sound good? Give your physician a call.
All of these products have a proven track record of helping men with their mild, moderate, or extreme case of erectile dysfunction. None of these medications are “magic” and you do not have an erection “just because” you took one. It is necessary to be sexually aroused for any of these solutions to work. To be on the safe side, you should contact your doctor prior to starting a regime for ED and your doctor will determine if you are healthy enough to take any one of these options and will point out the right one for you. If you are on nitrates for heart disease, you should not take it as it can cause an unsafe drop in your blood pressure which is extremely dangerous and fatal.
When you are training for your first marathon, you’re not likely to have a personal trainer to teach you the right way to train for that marathon. When you don’t train properly for a marathon, you can end up hurting yourself either in the training process or during the marathon run. That’s because you either don’t train yourself properly, or (more commonly) train too hard out of ignorance of the proper training techniques.
Here is a solid, no-nonsense approach to training for your first marathon. Each marathon runner has a different health history, body type and level of training. So you’ll need to adjust your marathon training for your particular condition. Remember that overtraining places wear and tear on your body, causing you to burn out before the marathon and opening you up to a greater risk of injury.
How To Train For a Marathon – Training For Your First Marathon
Injuries while training can set you back weeks, forcing you to either forgo the marathon or step up training session to a dangerous level. So please follow these steps when training for your first marathon.
- Evaluate Your Ability Level – You need to go over your running history and evaluate everything from your relative level of fitness at the beginning of training to your history of running problems and leg injuries. When you figure out what your “running base” is, you’ll be able to know where you should start in the training process. If you are in excellent shape but have never ran a marathon before, it might take you as little as 3 to 4 months to train properly for a marathon. If you are in average shape, the process of marathon training doubles to around 6 months. And if you are in poor shape, you will need at least one to two years of solid training in order to run a marathon.
Eventually, you’ll need to be running 15 to 25 miles every week to have a proper running base to seriously consider training for a marathon. Only when you get to this level should you begin training for a marathon in earnest.
- Start Your Marathon Training – Once you have a solid running base to work from, you will need about three to six months of preparation into your marathon training. When you begin training, you need consistency of training, but a training schedule that fits your time constraints and your running ability.
- Run Consistently – You need to run virtually every day when preparing for a marathon. While an occasional day missed won’t hurt, the idea of training for a marathon is to consistently build up your body’s ability to take the strains of a marathon. Consistently build up your running stamina by slowly drawing out your running sessions.
- Add the Long Run – From the beginning, when you’re running 3-4 miles per day, add one “long run” per week as you train. A long run should start out at around 6 miles one day per week, though this should build up to around 20 miles of running one day per week by the end of the training cycle. Your running time on other days of the week will increase as training goes, but you should only have one day a week that you strain your body with a long run throughout the training process.
- Taper Off Later in Your Training – About two to three weeks before the marathon, start to taper off on your training regimen. This allows your body to recover from the training process, getting stronger as you get closer to the day of the marathon. Place a day to three days between intense levels of exercise when the marathon gets near.
How To Train For a Marthon the Week of the Marathon
- Have Light Interval Training – As the week of the marathon approaches, focus on light bouts of “interval training” during that week. This keeps you fit while letting your body regenerate and gain strength for the marathon.
- Get Your Rest – During the week of the marathon, get lots of sleep. Sleep time is when your body rests and regenerates the most, so get the rest your body needs in training, and especially on marathon week.
- Eat Properly – On the week of the marathon, eat the kind of foods you need to store energy in preparation for the marathon. Eat a high-carbohydrate diet with low-fat content for 7 days prior to the marathon.
- Prepare For Marathon Day – Prepare a list of everything you need on marathon day. This includes power gels and sports drinks to keep your energy up during the marathon. Get your marathon attire ready for the run, too. This includes several clothing options, in case weather changes the day of the marathon.
- Check the Weather – Also, check the weather on the week of the marathon, making sure you are prepared for whatever road conditions you will face in the marathon.
- Prepare the Night Before – The night before the marathon, make a checklist of everything you need. Then lay out your marathon equipment and marathon clothes, then check each off the list. After doing this, pack all your running attire and running gear.
- Eat a High-Carb Meal the Night Before – The night before the marathon run, eat a high-carb meal, which will store energy for the big run. Also remember to get in bed early the night before the marathon.
- Wake Up Early – The day of the marathon, wake up at least two hours before the marathon begins. Eat a light breakfast that is high in carbohydrates. Drink plenty of water the morning of the marathon and make certain you go to the restroom just prior to the beginning of the marathon race.
As you can see, training for a marathon goes up to the minutes before the marathon begins. Marathons put your body under major stress, so you need to take every precaution and give your body every chance to come through the marathon without injury or undue stress.
Not all health insurance is equal. Well, not all health insurance costs are equal, at least. You’re going to find a wild different in the cost of health insurance from one individual to another. Health insurance companies assess health care costs against the risk a person’s going to need that insurance. Factors considered are age, gender, current health conditions, past health conditions, insurance rates in your state or country and the type of plan you are buying.
For instance, you might have a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan or a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan. So how much does health insurance cost and what are the determining factors of your health insurance premiums? Below are the most common factors, though there are many.
Past Health Conditions and Medical Insurance
If you have a history of health problems and a number of preexisting medical conditions, your health insurance is going to naturally be higher. Even more so, your current medical problems will cause your health insurance rates to spike. Buy health insurance before major medical concerns arise.
Gender and Health Insurance Prices
Oddly enough, women generally pay higher medical premiums than men. That might seem particularly odd, since women tend to live longer than men. This actually might be the reason. A longer life means more years of old age, so the time when a female is most likely to need medical attention is extended.
Age and Health Insurance Costs
Beyond the age of 50, health insurance premiums grow much larger. This is because this is when people takes more trips to health care providers and generally need more serious medical attention. This means the 50+ year old is likely to cost an insurance company a lot more than someone under 50. Therefore, you insurance premiums will be a lot higher.
How much does health insurance cost on a group plan?
Finally, if you work for a company with a group insurance plan, your insurance is likely to be much less expensive than a single-user insurance policy. That’s because a group plan assures the medical care providers more business, so they can plan on more business. It’s the same concept as Sam’s Warehouse. The group insurance plan is the bulk rate or wholesale of the American health insurance industry.
Remember that one of the big benefits of working for a company with at least 5 to 10 employees, and especially over 20 employees, is that you get group coverage. Group health insurance plans end up being cheaper and often cover more than contingencies. So consider that when considering your next job. Also, if you have just left work for a company and lost group health insurance coverage, learn about the COBRA Health Insurance Law. This law might allow you and your family to enjoy group coverage for the next 18 months. To read if you qualify, take a look at our article on what COBRA health coverage is.
You can get health insurance in so many different places and health insurance plans come in so many different shapes that it’s a little bewildering choosing a health insurance plan. If you don’t get medical insurance through your employer, getting health insurance becomes a whole lot more complicated. But you can learn a lot searching through the internet and reading about other patients’ experiences. You’ll also be able to talk to health insurance brokers can tell you about good health insurance plans.
Instead of telling you where to get your health insurance, I’m going to tell you how to go about getting good health insurance and lay out the major types of health insurance networks out there. Everyone has different medical insurance needs, so no one answer, insurance provider or insurance plan is going to work for every patient or family. So here are things to keep in mind when getting health insurance.
8 Health Insurance Tips
Everyone has different medical insurance needs, so no one answer, insurance provider or insurance plan is going to work for every patient or family. So here are 8 health insurance tips.
- Group Insurance Plan – If you have the option, sign up for your employer’s group health insurance plan. Company insurance is going to be the cheapest insurance plan you can buy, because you get the group rate. If you are a self-employed contractor or you’re a small business owner, this option won’t be open to you. You’ll have to find other ways to get good health insurance.
- Get COBRA Coverage – Those who have recently left a job which provided you with health insurance under a group plan might qualify for continuing health insurance coverage. If you retired, were laid off or fired by your employer, it’s possible you and your family can qualify for continuing coverage for up to 18 months under provisions of the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985 (generally known as C.O.B.R.A.). You’re former employer won’t pay their part of the insurance premium, but you’re still likely to pay less and have better insurance coverage than if you signed up for a single-payer insurance plan. Check out our Cobra health insurance page to learn more.
- Get a Health Insurance Broker – A health insurance broker compare health insurance plans available to you and gives recommendations for the plan you should choose. For instance, the National Association of Health Underwriters look at the plans and costs and help you choose the right health insurance coverage.
- Look at Fee-For-Service Plans – “Fee-For-Service” is a term where a person controls which doctor they see and whether they need to see a specialist. At the same time, the insurance premiums are bigger and your out-of-pocket expenses are typically higher under the fee for service health insurance plans. Just imagine this is greater freedom, but a bigger price.
- Managed Health Care – “Managed health care” describes one of three different types of health insurance plans where you trade flexibility for better prices. The health insurance provider has certain preferred doctors they make bargains with, so you get cheaper health care by agreeing to go to these particular doctors. Some patients chafe under these stipulations.
- HMO Managed Health Care – Probably the most famous (or infamous) managed health care plans. HMOs restrict the insured the most of all plans, but is the least expensive health care option. HMO plans generally require a patient to see their primary physician before seeing a specialist, so this can become a point of conflict. The HMO also has the smallest number of choices regarding doctors. On the positive side, HMO users pay the smallest premiums and often have no copayments.
- PPO Managed Health Care – Preferred Provider Organizations, also known as PPOs, are at the other end of the spectrum from HMO organizations. For instance, a patient does not need prior permission to see a specialist. Also, the PPO patient can go outside the PPO network to see a doctor, though the copayment will be significantly higher. If you stay within the PPO list of doctors, you’ll pay lower co-pays. All in all, the PPO co-pays and premiums are more expensive than the HMO costs.
- POS Managed Health Care – Point-Of-Service or POS managed health care organizations which split the difference between the HMO and PPO. The PPO lets you see a doctor outside of the Point-of-service network like a PPO network, while you have to have your primary care doctor refer you to a specialist before you can get specialist treatment.
Choosing a Health Insurance Provider
When you start to search for choosing a health insurance provider, you need to figure out what exactly you are looking for in your health insurance. Do you want flexibility? Are you searching for the lowest costs in your health insurance plan? Is there some middle ground in which a PPO network or POS network might be the best option?
Research all the options and see how restrictive they are. Also, compare the costs of each and figure out which costs sound like the health insurance costs you can afford and contrast those of the costs in the case of a catastrophic health care situation and the freedom to choose you own doctor or specialist.
Finally, no matter which health insurance provider you choose, make sure to choose one. Any of the options mentioned above is absolutely a better choice than deciding to have no health insurance coverage. You’re placing a major bet that you aren’t going to have a sudden medical condition or a major accident, and that’s a wager that you will eventually lose. So get health insurance coverage somewhere.
Like other types of insurance, private health insurance is a way of protecting yourself from the financial consequences of a loss. Health insurance also covers the cost of preventative medicine as a way to avert illness and control costs. Health insurance can come in the form of a traditional policy or a health plan and it can be s public or private health insurance.
Private Health Insurance
While the government and non-profit organizations run public health insurance programs, for-profit companies run private health insurance. The need to create profits results in higher consumer premiums for private insurance.
The need for health insurance is great. According to the Obama administration, more than half of all American personal bankruptcies result from medical bills, and approximately one-third of American workers have no health insurance. In addition, Americans are paying more than ever for their portion of insurance costs.
Tenets of Insurance
The basic tenet of insurance is based on the law of large numbers. This statistical law says that predictions made based on data from large groups are more accurate than predictions made based on small groups. This means that insurance companies can estimate how much medical care will cost for a large population and then base premiums on the expected costs, plus the cost to run the insurance company. Because it is harder to predict the cost of medical care for small groups, insurance companies charge higher rates for individual or small group plans, ensuring they can cover all medical costs and still turn a profit.
Adverse selection is another tenet of insurance that can cause problems for insurers. This is the tendency for those who most need health insurance to be most likely to seek it. Those who are very healthy are less likely to buy health insurance. Sipping on health insurance can be a major problem for a normally healthy patient who falls ill. It is also problematic for insurance companies who need a large number of healthy policyholders in order to sustain the premiums used to pay for the medical needs of the ill.
Private health insurance benefits are paid in exchange for a premium that can be paid weekly, monthly or yearly. In most cases, the employer administers the insurance and pays a portion of the premium. Most people have their private health insurance premiums deducted from their paychecks.
Deductibles and Copayments
Deductibles are common to most insurance plans and private health insurance is no exception. The difference with health insurance is that they most frequently charge a co-payment that applies for each doctor visit or prescription, rather than being a lump amount applied to each incidence of illness. Other forms of insurance typically charge a yearly deductible or a deductible for each “occurrence” or each event that triggers a claim.
Private health insurance does charges a deductible, but it usually applies to hospital stays. Many will pay a $500 deductible and the health insurance will cover the remainder of the cost when a serious illness occurs. Private health insurance usually has a limit on the lifetime dollar amount of coverage, such as $1 Million. Lower limits can cause a big problem in the event of catastrophic illness.
Health Plan Models
Some private health insurance runs on a health plan model, in which a group of doctors agrees to charge patients a lower rate in order to get that group of business. This model is becoming less common because it often results in overbooked offices and long waits for treatment. Private health insurers still use a similar model, but often provide incentives for patients to seek member physicians, such as a lower co-payment.
When someone with private health insurance needs to see a specialist, prior authorization is usually required. This means that the primary care physician, or the patient’s regular doctor, must authorize treatment through a procedure established by the insurance company. While the insurer asks that authorization be obtained prior to seeing a specialist, they will often accept authorization after the fact.
Explanation of Benefits
Private health insurance companies send statements that explain what fees doctors have charged and what portion of fees are the patient’s responsibility. This type of statement is called an explanation of benefits. Because the patients’ out of pocket expenses are sometimes tax deductible, such statements should be kept until tax time. Patients should also secure a statement from the pharmacy detailing prescription costs to be sure they have accounted for all medical expenses at tax time.
Finding affordable health insurance is a big concern for the self-employed and small business owners. There are so many plans and service available that it is hard to make a good choice. To add to the problem, there are many cheap plans advertised for those seeking affordable insurance, but they rarely offer all the coverage you need.
Healthcare is a big deal. For many small businesses, healthcare is the most expensive budget item. Vital investments in marketing and research are sometimes pushed aside just to pay for the ever-rising cost of health insurance. To be sure you are getting a insurance that is both affordable and offers good coverage, you will need to do some research first.
Researching health insurance coverage is not as hard as it may sound. One only needs to take a few preliminary steps and then compare policies after weeding out the undesirable ones. This is a big purchase, so you will want to arm yourself with the best information available and know that you are getting the best coverage you can within your budget.
Find a Broker or Agent
Many business owners go running straight to a large insurer, not realizing they can get insurance more affordably through an agent or broker. Because agents and brokers place a lot of business with insurers, they get a bulk rate, unlike the lonely sole owner of a business.
The first step is to look for some health insurance agents and brokers in your area. Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of at least three companies and begin calling to ask some questions. Check credentials and licensing to be sure you are doing business with competent people. Your time and effort will be rewarded with lower insurance premiums and a dependable insurance policy.
Make sure you ask if the company is an independent agent or a broker. Find out if the company is under contract for any specific plan or insurance company. Some agencies will have agreements with several insurers, which will give you a good variety from which to choose. To be sure you can shop around and get the best deal, avoid agencies that only write for one company.
Look for Convenience
You should also find out about websites the potential insurance companies and the agent or broker may run. You want to ensure they are using the latest technology to make managing the health plan easy, saving you time to work on your business.
Narrow down your options by health insurance policies that are affordable, provide good coverage and have reasonable rates. You can then go about getting some quotes.
When securing your health insurance quotes, make sure you get prices from at least three different brokers or agents. Let them know they are competing against each other so they will work hard to get you the best quote. Only when you have three quotes should you make a decision.
Pick a Good Policy
It is important to talk about what good coverage means. If you are only buying insurance as a self-employed individual, you may be willing to shoulder the cost of regular doctor visits and smaller medical needs and only purchase insurance that covers serious illnesses. This will not work if you have employees. Most employees expect to have insurance that pays for all services, less a small copayment. Because more businesses are asking for contribution towards premium from employees, you should be able to make the insurance more affordable by sharing the cost with your workers.
What to Look For
Be careful to choose your insurance policy based on the plan as a whole, not just cost. Go over coverage carefully, reviewing deductibles, coverage limits and the total yearly cost of the premium before you enter into any agreement. Look for some basic requirements, like the insurance company’s rating with AM Best, Moody’s or Weiss. Be sure the limit on lifetime payouts is at least $1 Million. Check that there is a Renewable Provision, ensuring your policy cannot be cancelled or non-renewed as long as you keep paying the premium.
You have probably heard the term “pre-existing condition.” This means that the health insurer will only pay for treatment for new illnesses, not conditions that were present when you bought the policy. This is a common reason for denying claims among all sorts of insurance policies, but it only causes problems in health insurance. While health insurers can no longer deny services for a pre-existing condition, they can institute a waiting period before they will pay for services. Be sure this waiting period is not more than one year.
Take a moment to read the definition of “Emergency Services” and find out what situations must be approved by your primary care physician before you can get treatment. Be sure emergencies are covered without going through your regular doctor first.
When you take the time to ensure you are getting the best policy for your money and for your employees’ contributions, you help yourself and your business. Finding good, affordable health insurance for your employees ensures you can retain the staff you have worked so hard to train.
Although there are many questions regarding Lupus and exactly how it is contracted, it is sad to say there are not as many concrete answers. Lupus currently affects over 1.5 million Americans of all races, ages, and sex and affects a total of over 5 million people worldwide. The causes of Lupus are unknown and while there is extensive research being done, there has not been a FDA approved treatment for over 50 years. This is more than likely due to the fact that most medication used for Lupus is actually harmful to the other parts of the body, causing just as much harm as good. Below we will discuss what Lupus is, where it is most common, and what can currently be done to diagnose and treat it.
What is Lupus?
Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects how your body defends itself. For example, when you are sick with the cold or maybe the flu, your body creates antibodies that would typically fight these viruses, bacteria, or germs. However, with Lupus your antibodies are confused and can not tell the difference between the germs and your healthy tissue. In the end, your body’s defense system actually attacks itself while destroying your skin, bones, and organs. Your body reacts to Lupus as it comes and go’s. Meaning, when the disease flares you will notice and feel pain while you feel nothing if the disease is in remission.
There are 4 known forms of this disease with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus being the most common. This form of Lupus can lead to a heart attack, inflammation in your brain and nervous system, and in your brains blood vessels. Not to mention that it can put you on dialysis, which is a very, very expensive machine that replaces your kidneys and filters out the waste from your blood. This is of course just shy of having to have a kidney transplant. Another form is Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus which is version of Lupus devoted to your skin. This can cause all kinds of rashes all over your body. Approximately 10% of people with this form of Lupus will generally develop Systemic Lupus. Others will have Systemic Lupus just have the skin rash as their main symptom. Drug-induced Lupus Erythematosus is a prescription drug induced form of Lupus which is found more commonly in men, as men are the most common to take prescriptions for tuberculosis and blood pressure. Not everyone that takes these medications will have symptoms and this form of Lupus will typically go away after being off the medication for some time. And last, Neonatal Lupus affects infants in the womb of mothers who have Lupus. If detected early enough it is possible for the infants to be born with this disease.
Where is Lupus Most Common?
Although Lupus does not target any specific gender, race, or age, it does occur more commonly in women between the ages of 15-44 years old. Women also make up 90% of the population who have the disease. Lupus appears more in people of color such as African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans. Family history plays a small roll as well with relatives of those with Lupus having a 5-13% chance of developing the disease. An interesting fact is that a child of a mother with Lupus only has a 5% chance of developing Lupus.
How to Diagnose and Treat Lupus
Lupus is a very difficult disease to diagnose as it is known as “the great imitator.” Many symptoms include headaches, fever, swollen joints, and fatigue which are common in many sicknesses. More uncommon everyday symptoms are chest pains or difficulty breathing, abnormal blood clotting, and anemia. Since diagnosing can not be determined from your lab results alone, they are also used with your medical history, family medical history, and current symptoms. It is also frustrating due to the fact that tests can often come back as negative once, then ran again and proven positive.
If at all possible it is important to be prepared to speak to your doctor if you are having any symptoms of Lupus or any other sickness. Since it is difficult to diagnose, you will be more than likely asked many questions and your answers should be as specific as possible. Try to remember what triggers your pain, when it started, possible rememdies if any, and if it has been getting better or worse. Knowing these things can speed up the process of your diagnoses.
It is important to understand that there is no cure for Lupus. There are many other remedies that can lessen the everyday pain however very few are approved by the FDA. Most medications are along the lines of steroids which are used to reduce swelling. Your doctor can also provide you with a daily regimine according to your age, symptoms, and life style. It is not uncommon for your medication to change over the course of your lifetime or take a while to find the correct mix of medications to bring your Lupus under controll.
Whether you have Lupus or not, it is important to know that Lupus is not a curable disease although many are putting in the effort and funds necessary to find a cure one day. If you or someone you know has Lupus, it is not contagious and can not be “given” or contracted from anyone including from sexual contact. With the correct medical care it is very possible for most people to live a long life.
For more information on what you should know about lupus, check out:
Going out and partying it up is just a lot of fun. Throwing back some cold ones with your friends or lining up the glasses at the bar is a good way to blow of some steam after a grueling week of work. If only we didn’t have to pay for it the next day. You know you’ve partied too hard when you wake up with the dreaded hangover. There is the pounding in your head like a thousand spikes being driven in, the rolling stomach, and the feeling that if the world ended, you are not sure you would care. Hangovers have been a plague on partygoers for as long as alcohol has existed and there have been a number of supposed cures and remedies to get rid of one. If you want to know how to cure a hangover, you need to know the awful truth. The truth is that there is no instant cure for a hangover that will make you feel better. But there are some methods you can use to help you get through it. Hopefully you will read this before you go out drinking so that you can be better prepared. Here’s what you need to know.
What Causes Hangovers
Yeah, I know, drinking causes hangovers but it is more than that. There are many factors involved that all combine to make you miserable. Alcohol dehydrates your body. When your body reaches a certain state of dehydration, the symptoms are very similar to a hangover. Also, alcohol brakes down the energy that is stored up in your liver. It is very much akin to hypoglycemia, when your blood sugar content gets low. Another factor in hangovers is that your body breaks alcohol down into two parts: acetaldehyde and acetate. Acetaldehyde is said to cause sweating, nausea, and vomiting. It also takes a while before it works its way out of your body. Besides all of this, alcohol can irritate your bowels, causing an upset stomach and also interferes with sleep, preventing you from getting a good night’s rest. Sleeping allows the body to recover from things such as illnesses and injuries. If you don’t get enough rest, you won’t recover fast enough.
What To Do Before You Drink
It is a given that even with the threat of the morning hangover, you are still going to drink. There are some things that you can do beforehand that will lessen the effects so that you do not suffer as much. First, you need to eat something before you go out. Having food in your stomach slows down the alcohol from reaching your small intestines, which is where your body absorbs the alcohol. This will keep you from getting drunk quickly, you can last longer through the night, and will help diminish the effects of hypoglycemia.
Make sure you drink plenty of water before you start with the hard stuff. Your body suffers enough from dehydration due to the alcohol. If you are already dehydrated before you start, the after effects will only be worse.
Vitamin B6 has been proven to help lessen hangovers. Before you go out, take 50 milligrams of the vitamin. When you get home after a party, take 50 more milligrams. If you are not sure you will remember, put the vitamins next to the bed or somewhere you will see them before you crash. Be careful not to take too many, though. Too much Vitamin B6 can be toxic is you overdose.
What Drinks Should You Avoid
Congeners are chemicals in alcoholic drinks that make hangovers worse. Usually, the darker the alcoholic drink, the more congeners it contains. The more congeners, the worse the hangover. So unless you like the feeling of that splitting headache, you should try to avoid drinks that are really dark. Some drinks that will have the worse effect on you are whiskey, rum, brandy, tequila, and dark beer. Oddly enough, champagne is said to also be one of the worst drinks for hangovers. Some experts claim that the cheap stuff is worse for you so if you must drink, try to stick with the higher-grade drinks.
Never, ever start mixing different types of drinks. Try to stick with one type of drink through the night or at least keep them similar. For some reason, if you start drinking a wide variety of drinks such as having a beer then chasing it with a shot of tequila followed by a glass of champagne, the different alcohol contents will likely make you sick.
If You Can Remember This
So by now you have gone out and had a great time, had plenty to drink, and finally stumbled home (hopefully having a sober driver drop you off). Now is the time to take that Vitamin B6 that you left waiting for yourself. There are also a few things you should do before you collapse fully clothed on your bed. Drink a glass of orange juice because it will help speed up your liver to process the alcohol. If you can, you should also eat a light snack before bedtime. The food will help because it will prevent hypoglycemia in the morning. Do not take any medication that warns against mixing with alcohol. That can create a whole new set of problems. Save the Tylenol for in the morning. That is when you are going to need it. Taking it before bed will do no good.
The Dreaded Morning
When morning finally comes, you can expect to feel bad to some degree. Hopefully you will have lessened the potential of how bad you could have felt. Basically, sleep is the best thing for you. Try to sleep in and let your body recover. You should drink plenty of water. You will be dehydrated no matter how much water you had the day before. If you are thirsty and want something besides water, try some juice or non-caffeine soft drinks. Avoid coffee and other drinks with strong amounts of caffeine. This will only upset your stomach more. If you can, eat something. Stick to very light meals such as cereal or a bagel. Anything greasy will not be good for an upset stomach. Now is the time to take that Tylenol that you didn’t take last night. Do all of this and then go back to bed. Don’t get up until you start to feel better.
Other Common Remedies
Everyone has their own version or home remedy for hangovers. Some people swear that waking up and taking another alcoholic drink, called ‘hair of the dog’, will cure a hangover. The exact type of drink varies but some people take a shot of whiskey, a beer, or a Bloody Mary.
Cold showers are another common remedy. The theory is that the cold water hitting your nervous system will wake you up and get rid of any grogginess. It will definitely get you shivering.
Some of the stranger cures from around the world include drinking pickle which is common in Poland. In Ireland, it was believed that burying a hangover victim up to the neck in river sand. I don’t know if this actually helped but it probably gave the people doing the burying a laugh. In China, a very strong green tea is used while in Romania, they prefer tripe soup. Tripe, by the way, is cow’s stomach. If the thought of eating that doesn’t get you to drink moderately, I don’t know what will.
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Yes, green tea does help a person lose weight. Do not expect green tea to be a magic cure-all or a single solution product, though. Studies show that drinking a moderate amount of green tea helps to burn 80 calories a day. This may not sound like much, but 80 calories a day translates to approximately 8 pounds per year. So green tea will help you lose some weight, and over several years time this can help you live a healthier life.
Don’t assume that you can drink more green tea to help you lose more weight, though. There is a law of diminishing returns with any weight loss technique, and if you drink too much green tea, you might experience negative side effects of the caffeine you’ll be drinking. In fact, studies show that caffeine drinkers (and even green tea drinkers) lose weight at about 5% or 10% reduced efficiency. Don’t think green tea is bad for you in sum total, though.
Does green tea help weight loss in a healthy way?
Losing weight slower is better. If you drop all your weight at once, you probably went on a crash diet to do it. Much of your weight loss will be water weight, and you probably won’t be able to sustain the effort you made to lose the weight in the first place. When you starve yourself, your body metabolism changes. Your body slows down its metabolism, trying to conserve energy. It thinks you are starving and therefore tries to protect you. When you start to eat again, that slow metabolism continues for weeks, and you experience the kind of rebound, where you put all that weight back on. That’s horrible for your morale.
With green tea, you are likelier to experience health weight loss. Losing more than 2 pounds per week is considered unhealthy by most doctors. So don’t look at slower weight loss as a bad thing. Besides, there are all kinds of other benefits from drinking green tea.
Other Benefits of Green Tea
Other benefits of Green Tea includes the reduction of mental and physical stress, promotes relaxation, boosts cognition and improves your mood. So if you drink green tea, it has a calming effect on you. If you replace coffee with green tea, you will find that your stress and irritability is greatly reduced. The reason green tea reduces stress is because it contains the amino acid, theanine, which is clinically proven to have all the aforementioned positive side effects. It has also been shown that theanine does not have negative side effects, at least in lab rats.
Note that green tea has about 50% of the caffeine that coffee contains. You should know that high-caffeine drinkers will experience fewer positive side effects from green tea than low-caffeine drinkers, so those wanting to feel the full positive effect of green tea should limit their coffee consumption. This applies both to stress reduction and weight loss.
Green tea has been described as increasing your endurance for exercise. This has never been proven, though it is possible this is due to the lack of a crash when drinking green tea. Many energy drinks cause a “crash” a couple of hours after drinking, because your body receives a large dose of sugar. When these substances are metabolized, your blood sugar drops and you feel tired. Green tea does not have the other negative side effects that many energy drinks have. So try green tea and see if it has the same positive properties when you exercise or it increases your endurance. It certainly won’t have the negative side effects your previous energy drinks and exercise drinks will have.
There are also claims that green tea suppresses your appetite. This probably depends on what the green tea is replacing. Caffeine tends to cause an increase in appetite, so if green tea reduces your caffeine consumption, it might help your appetite. Also, sugar also increases appetite, because it causes insulin production, which in turn increases appetite. The sugar crash also leads people to seek more food for more energy. Therefore, if you are replacing high-caffeine, high-sugar drinks with green tea, it is likely to help decrease your appetite.
Green Tea Weight Loss Tips
There is no one answer to healthy weight loss. If you want to lose weight and stay healthy, though, green tea can be an important contributor to your weight loss program. Try following these green tea weight loss tips: Drink 3-6 cups of green tea per day and see if it relieves stress, decreases appetite and gives you more energy. Don’t expect green tea will single-handedly end your weight gain problems. Combine green tea with a light exercise program, watch a few of the more unhealthy foods you eat and consume more healthy foods. This moderate change of lifestyle should promote healthy, slower weight loss which should last longer than some fad diet or crash diet with no exercise.
By now everyone knows that green tea has some wonderful healthy properties. Because of the way it is processed, it still contains its natural anti-oxidants. These anti-oxidants are crucial in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It promotes weight loss, an increased immune system, and natural long life.
One of the more important abilities of anti-oxidants is the ability to break down molecules called free radicals. These molecules are created through our diet when our bodies convert food into energy. These molecules can cause damage to our cells and DNA.
The problem with green tea is that there are so many products out there to choose from. Which ones are the best? In the seas of green tea products, here are a few you should definitely try out.
Wu-Yi Green Tea
One of the most popular green teas on the market today. It has been endorsed by Oprah and Rachel ray as a great weight loss system as well as skin cleansing. It advertises to be better than regular green tea and has higher amounts of fat burners to increase a body’s metabolism. Wu-Yi offers both their original green tea brand as well as a skin cleansing variety. The tea gets its name from the Wu-Ti Mountains in China and includes the extract from wu-yi oolong tea.
Green Tea Extreme
This product is pitched as a good weight loss method. It comes in a capsule form that contains green tea and other ingredients. The other ingredients listed are guarana extract, caffeine, and citrus aurantium. Citrus aurantium contains synephrine, a chemical that acts similar to the stimulant Ephedra. The product has been proven to lead to weight loss but it is not known exactly how much green tea in included in the capsule.
Tzu The is a brand of green tea that is produced with the highest standards. The name comes from the French word the, which means tea, and Tzu, which means love. It has one of the highest levels of EGCG of any other green tea on the market. Plus, it has a decent flavor. Most green teas, despite the health benefits, have a bitter taste. Tzu The makes it more convenient by producing small grab-and-go infusers and green tea nutrition bars.
Japanese Green Teas
There are a number of good green teas that come out of Japan. Buty when choosing a Japanese tea, there are three that you should look out for: gyokuro, matcha, and sencha.
Gyokuro is one of Japan’s finer teas and is grown in the shade instead of the full sun. By behing harvested in the sdhade, it causes the leaves to have higher concentrations of amino acids and caffeine. It is made from a variety of bushes such as asahi, okumidori, and yamakai. The infusion of the tea is a light green in color and it has a sweet flavor.
Matcha is a Japanese green tea that is powdered instead of dried in leaf form. Like Gyokuro, it is grown in the shade and is actually used to dye and flavor a number of Japanese food products. Matcha is more expensive than other types of Japanese green teas. There are many grades of Matcha depending on how the tea is processed and handled.
Sencha is the most common of Japanese green teas. Instead of ground tea, it comes in a dried leaf form. When the leaves are cultivated, they are steamed for 15 to 30 seconds to preserve the anti-oxidants. They are then rolled and dried. Because of the steaming, sencha has a more ‘vegetable’ flavor that traditional Chinese teas.
Green Tea Skin Care
Besides coming in a drinkable tea form, green tea also comes in a skin cream product that you can apply as a mask to your face (or other parts of your body). The green tea creams contain small amounts of EGCG which is beneficial to a healthy skin. The anti-oxidants are carried into your skin through oils and extracts.
Green tea skin cream can be used for a variety of purposes such as acne, dry skin, or to help prevent signs of aging. In gradients to look out for depend on what you want the cream to do. For acne, look for green tea creams with tea tree or white willow.
For dry or irritated skin, look for products that contain aloe vera or calendula.
For a smooth, younger-looking skin, look for the ingredient pomegranate extract which provides additional anti-oxidants.
What you need to know though is that these creams may contain other ingredients which may not be as beneficial to your skin. One thing you should do is read the label before buying the product. Some to look out for are parabens which are preservatives. These are to give the creams a longer shelf life but may also turn toxic over time.
Benzoyl peroxide is another ingredient to be careful of. It is added to help treat acne but if you have dry skin, it could make it worse.
Mineral oil is also an ingredient to avoid. Although many creams and skin care products use oils, mineral oil actually clogs your pores and prevents your skin from ‘breathing’.
You don’t have to go to a gym to get fit. What is important is that you establish a workout routine, whether you join a gym or work out at home. Gyms might help a person set a workout schedule with a daily or bi-daily time for working out, but gym membership is another expense that isn’t necessarily needed to establish fitness and a productive workout routine. With the economy slowing down and more people searching for ways to trim their budget, gym workouts are one of the expenses people can do without.
If you want to get fit without going to a gym, follow the workout advice below. Getting fit is about consistency and discipline. There are many ways to work out that help you get fit and stay fit, but you have to establish in your mind that you’re going to continue working out regularly as a part of your life. You’ll feel better, have more energy and be fitter. Fad diets might help you drop a few pounds for a little while, but working out is the sound, healthy way to stay fit.
Getting Fit Without a Gym
Getting fit without a gym can be a reality for you by following some simple workout routines.
- Push Ups – Try doing some push-ups and you’ll know pretty quick how they can get you in shape. Push-ups are a full body workout that work out the muscles in your arms, back and stomach. Start out with 10 push-ups a day and add 5 more push-ups a week. That may not sound like much, but if you consistently do push-ups every day, you’ll get some definition in your body, slimming up just enough to slip into your shirts and pants more comfortably. Get push-ups every day and you’ll see results in weeks.
- Do Some Road Work – Get out on the road and move your legs. If all you can do is walk, then walk. If you can jog, trying jogging a few minutes every day. And if you can run and sprint a little bit, by all means run. This not only gives your legs the workout they need, but they help your cardiovascular system, getting blood flowing and your lungs working.
Go for a 20-25 minute walk or jog to start with. If you go for a walk, try jogging 5 minutes. If you go for a job, run for five minutes. As your stamina builds, you’ll be able to add more time to your more intensive exercise. Build stamina slowly and don’t strain yourself too much, because leg injuries set back your training, which often leads to a collapse of morale. You won’t get fit in a day, so don’t try. Steady and consistent is healthy.
- Do Virtual Road Work – If the weather is bad or you don’t feel safe walking or running near your home, get virtual road work done by jogging on a treadmill at your house or some other exercise equipment. Stationary cycles and other cardio workout equipment is perfectly legitimate, if you use it day-by-day. Exercising in the house allows you to watch television while you work out, so there’s no excuse to stay on the couch. Activity is important.
- Resistance Training Helps – Resistance training or weight training is a great way to lose weight. This might sound counter-intuitive, but resistance training builds muscle mass. Muscle cells burn more calories than fat cell, so you’re body will not only get more defined, but you’ll burn more calories if you add some muscle mass. Of course, muscles are denser than fat, so when I say “lose weight”, I really mean lose body fat and lose body mass.
You don’t have to become a body-builder for resistance training to help you. Do a few repetitions with dumbbells or resistance bands every other day and you’ll add definition to your arms.
- Get a Chin Up Bar – Install a chin up bar somewhere in or around your house. Chin-ups are something you do once you have dropped those few extra pounds and build up your arm strength. Chin-ups are like push-ups in that they work out your arms, back and stomach, but most people out of their twenties will only be able to do a couple to start with. So don’t try the chin-ups until you have been working out on these other exercises for a while. Once you do, chin-ups are a great way to maintain strength and definition, because they only take a minute.
- Be Realistic – Approach your fitness with realistic expectations and reality workout plans. Most people don’t want to change their lifestyle, so they stay on the couch. Too often, a person who wants to get fit gets it in his or her head that working out is a radical lifestyle change. A steady workout schedule does yield radical results, but that doesn’t mean you have to change every aspect of your life, eating salads and making trips to the health food store.
If you put together the few workouts above, you’re probably working out 30-45 minutes a day. Once again, a steady fitness routine is better than maxing out for a few days. That in itself is radical enough, but the investment of half-an-hour a day will enrich the rest of your life.
Light Workout At Home
Stay Consistent – One final time, but steady workouts are the key. When you consistently have a light workout at home 5-6 days a week, you will get fit without ever stepping into a gym. Consider half-an-hour a day six days a week. That’s devoting 3 hours a week to your workouts. That’s nothing, if you think about it that way. Three hours a week and fitness is yours.
Eating disorders affect women and men all over the world. Generally people with eating disorders tend to care way too much about the way they look, their weight, and they are self conscious of what others think of them. The two most common eating disorders are bulimia and anorexia. Bulimia is where a person may be at a healthy weight but tend to make themselves throw up or use laxatives to get rid of food they just ate. This is a little bit harder to notice in a person as they are not overly skinny. A person with anorexia looks under weight and still feels as if they are overweight and limit the foods they eat and exercise way too much. Both kinds of eating disorders can go on for years before it is made aware and if left untreated can lead to serious bodily harm, even death.
Dangers of Eating Disorders
Many dangers are associated with an eating disorder. Your body will try to protect itself by going into “slow mode” and monthly menstrual cycles may stop, dehydration will occur, breathing will slow down, and your skin can turn a yellowish color. In binging cases you can rupture your stomach. Your body needs nutrients to live and a lot of harm is being done to your internal organs by neglecting your body. Many of the issues associated with Bulimia, Anorexia, and Binging can be reversed if caught in time and the body is returned to a healthy state once again.
Eating Disorder Warning Signs
- Extreme weight fluctuation. A person who cannot establish or maintain a consistent body weight.
- A person who rarely eats or eats too much and feels guilty when they do.
- Uses food as a crutch, they eat because they have problems, are stressed out, or emotional.
- Hides from others when eating. Refuse to eat in public.
- Make yourself throw up, uses laxatives, or water pills.
- Wears bigger clothing to hide your body.
- Very defensive when asked about food or body weight.
- Poor self esteem, constantly feels that they are overweight or underweight.
- Excessively working out.
As mentioned above, this can vary from person to person. If for any reason you can answer yes to one of the points listed above, you should definitely seek professional help. Many people do not realize that there is a lot of psychology involved as many people who have eating disorders also have obsessive compulsive disorders. Treatment must start there before any real progress can be made.
Seeking Help for an Eating Disorder
Each year there are millions of young people who struggle with an eating disorder and over 90% of them are young teenage girls or young women who feel the need to be more fit and skinny. Most do not realize that they are putting themselves at risk for severe bodily harm including cardiac arrest. Any many others are in denial and refuse to seek help. If you or someone you know fits the description outlined above you are encouraged to seek help from a counselor or doctor. Please use this article as a guide only and any questions regarding eating disorders should be directed towards your physician.
Recently I’ve decided to give up smoking and cut back on my drinking. There are many reasons I wanted to pursue this goal — my health being the most important. What it all boils down to is self control . . . making a goal and sticking with it. After a few slips and more than a few angry moments of reflection, I wondered out loud — “How can I become more self disciplined?” It wasn’t just the ability to quit certain subtances or change specific behaviors — I realized I wanted to have more control of my everyday life.
Who among us doesn’t want to be more in control of our behavior, our actions, and our attitudes? Along the path to quitting some nasty habits, I discovered a few simple steps to lead me toward better self discipline — they’ll work for you too.
Write Down Your Goals
Even if your goal is simple “self control” or “self discipline”, write this down. It has been proven, both anecdotally and scientifically, that when we write something it triggers our memories. Actors write their lines down over and over again to memorize their parts, and surely in your own life you remember studying for tests and writing down information to store it better in your brain. Write down your goals, as specifically as you can, and write them in such a manner that they can be kept or displayed. You’re going to want to take a look at this goal or these goals every day to remind yourself of your mission. In my case, I wrote down “I am not a smoker” — the key phrase here is “am not”. I didn’t write “I want to quit smoking” or “I’d rather not smoke”, but the more powerful affirmation that I “am not” a smoker. Every day when I looked at that phrase, I got a boost of confidence, and no matter how small, that boost was often enough to get me going. Perhaps your goal is something like “I will be on time to work” or “I will not raise my voice at my wife”. Whatever the goal is, having a written reminder increases your chances of succeeding greatly, and will be useful in some of the later steps toward self discipline.
Make a Discipline Plan
For instance, after you’ve written down your goals, you should focus on forming an actual plan for increasing that discipline. With your written list of goals in hand, decide on a course of action that will lead to self improvement. Ask yourself: “How can I become more self disciplined?” Most of us already know our problems, and it is likely that we know the best way to tackle them. As an example, here is my plan of action for quitting smoking –
- Remind myself everyday — “I am not a smoker”.
- Cut back on the number of cigarettes smoked by 2 every day.
- Look at pictures of beautiful white teeth
- When I have a craving — eat a carrot stick or meditate
This is not the entire list, but will serve as a good outline for your own plan of action. We’ve already talked about that first step — the affirmation. The second step is the first part of the real “plan of action”. I made a plan (cutting back on cigarettes), wrote it down, and stuck to it. We’ll talk more later about just how to stick to these plans, but for now concentrate on making your list. The third step is one I’m a bit ashamed to admit — but it worked. Smoking made my breath bad, even though I could always gargle or brush my teeth afterwards I still felt like I had bad breath — and I wanted the white shiny teeth of non smokers. I literally cut out pictures of pretty smiles so I could look at them as motivation. If your goal is to work out more often or eat better, consider similar visual aids. Pictures of healthy bodies or good looking but healthy food will help “train” your mind, and thus help discipline you. That fourth step is another important piece of action . . . if you are attempting self discipline to end a bad habit, you’ll need an alternative at first to “wean” you off your habit. Adapt this last step to your desired new trait, and you’ll be far more likely to succeed. If you have anger issues, squeeze a rubber ball. If you want to quit eating fast food, carry healthy snacks with you during the day. The point of Making a Plan is putting your “Goal” into action. Once you have these visual aids and plans in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward that all important self discipline.
It makes sense that unrealistic goals will almost always fail. If your goal is to gain fifty pounds of muscle in 6 months, you are unlikely to meet that goal, and will probably quit before you’ve even begun. For me, I at first attempted to quit a nicotine habit “cold turkey” — this was unrealistic, and I had to adapt my goal. Self discipline means controlling yourself, but not to an impossible degree. If your goal is too lofty, you probably won’t even get your plan off the ground. There is help, though, and it is in the next (and maybe most crucial) piece of advice I can offer –
Involve a Partner
Someone in your life would love to help you on your path to self discipline. An employee, a family member, a spouse, a boyfriend or girlfriend, even a friendly neighbor — you will probably be surprised at the number of people willing to help you improve your discipline. Bouncing your ideas off a partner will help you keep your goal, remind you of your plan, and of course will help you be realistic. Talking to your discipline partner about your plan will point out any flaws in your plan — my girlfriend (for instance) told me right off the bat that quitting cigarettes “cold turkey” style was completely unrealistic, and helped me formulate a better plan. Who knows — your accountability partner may be inspired by you, and want your help in learning better self discipline. There’s a famous quote from the Bible that suggests “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” — and regardless of your religious beliefs, this bit of wisdom makes sense. Involve a couple of friends, and the group of you will support each other when you need it most. You and your friends can attack your discipline goals as a unit, and you will all be better off for it.
Learning To Discipline Yourself
Finally, take a daily inventory of your progress. If you slip up in your attempt at learning to discipline yourself, do not beat yourself up over it. Talk with your accountability partner, let them know honestly what happened, and use the slip as a jumping off point for bettering your disciplinary plan. Another example — if your goal in learning self discipline is to be more punctual at the office, keep a record of your arrival time at work, and share this record with your partner. This will not only further cement your goal (remember that writing a goal down is key to achieving the goal), it will allow you to look at your progress and make adjustments as you go.
After asking myself: “How do I become more self disciplined” I realized I had taken a huge step in becoming what I wanted. Just evaluating your life is valuable — and even if you don’t completely achieve your goal the first time through, only good things can come from an attempt to add discipline to your life.
Make a plan, write it down, involve a partner, and take daily inventory. These are the easy steps towards self discipline — and your loved ones will thank you for the improvements you’ve made in your life.