Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

Seasonal Sadness

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With the changing of seasons, colder weather and shorter days are ahead which for a lot of people can be very depressing. This is often referred to as seasonal sadness, but the correct term for it is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is more than just feeling upset because the weather is colder, it is a disorder that causes mood swings and saps your energy. This type of depression usually begins for people with SAD around fall and lasts through winter. Symptoms disappear during spring and summer.

It’s not necessary to go through this cycle each fall or winter and there are a few demonstrated solutions that can help alleviate SAD  One of the main factors that cause SAD is the reduced sunlight that comes with fall and winter. Studies have found that more people that live farthest from the equator, where there is limited sunlight, suffer from SAD more often. Less sunlight could unbalance internal clock leading to biochemical changes that cause depression.

Tips to Alleviate Symptoms of SAD

Many people find success by purchasing a phototherapy box (light therapy) and sit near it each day.  This light imitates sunlight which can help elevate your mood. Behavior therapy is also another treatment that helps people address negative emotions and find coping skills through “talk therapy.”  It has been found that therapy can also help with your sleeping schedule.  The last resort is using medication such as antidepressants.  People that do not have success with phototherapy and behavior therapy may need to discuss their feelings and symptoms with a physician to determine if it is SAD or another condition.

SAD can be a debilitating condition come fall and winter, but you don’t have to continue to suffer through it. Try to always get as much natural light as possible, go outdoors as frequently as feasible, spend time with friends and family and get daily exercise to help your overall health and wellness.


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Blood Pressure – Watch your Numbers

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Blood pressure is self explanatory: it is the pressure of the blood in the circulatory system.Your blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:

  • Systolic blood pressure (the upper number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats.
  • Diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.

It is important that your systolic blood pressure (upper number) remain under 120 rather than just below 140 because it reduces your risk of heart failures or strokes by 33%. Often times when people are trying to lower their blood pressure they always go to drugs right away, but lifestyle changes can be just as effective and permanent. People with high blood pressure typically don’t exercise, are overweight, store fat in their bellies, eat a lot of sugary/fried food, and/or have low levels of vitamin D. Changing eating habits and staying active can go a long way when trying to lower your blood pressure. The best time to check your blood pressure is before you go to sleep at night or right after you wake up because these times are when your blood pressure is the lowest, so if it is above 120 during these times then you should make some lifestyle changes.

Click here for the American Heart Association suggestions on how to take your blood pressure readings.

Generally, physicians are more concerned with the systolic blood pressure (the top number) because it is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50.   As you age, the systolic blood pressure can rise due to increased stiffness in the large arteries and build-up of plaque. There is also risk of high diastolic measurements also:  the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles with every 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic increase among people from age 40 to 89.

The following are a few recommendations to help lower your blood pressure:

  • Limit alcohol to no more than 2 drinks a day, and if possible avoid it
  • Avoid sugary/fried foods
  • Exercise, build muscle
  • Keep Vitamin D levels above 75 nmol/L
  • Try not to consume red meats or processed meats & foods
  • Try to avoid smoking and reduce your exposure to air pollutants

Take control of your health!


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It is predicted that this year there will be an increase of about 21% in Lyme Disease in the U.S. due to a growth in acorn production. Believe it or not there is definitely a relationship between acorns and Lyme Disease. Acorns are consumed by white-footed mice that often carry the blacklegged ticks and act as vectors for Lyme Disease. It is expected for Lyme Disease rates to be particularly high in the summer because the ticks are in their nymphal stage so they are harder to spot, meaning they could stay on the host for a longer period of time.

LymeDiseaseIf you believe that you are showing any symptoms or signs of Lyme Disease it is important that you speak to your physician and get tested. You may order a Lyme Disease blood test on our website www.healthonelabs.com for $89.99.


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With vacation time in full swing, it is time to ensure you remain healthy before, during and after your vacation.  You want to make the most out of this time, so it is important you stay healthy through some easy actions.

www.HealthOneLabs.comThe following are some tips and precautions for enjoying a healthy vacation:

  1. Before you go you should ask your physician if you need any immunization boosters – ie. tetanus.
  2. If you are headed for an exotic destination in the tropics or developing countries you may want to research if there are any immunizations (like hepatitis A or yellow fever) or medicines you take as a precaution, or have them with you in case you get sick.  The State Department has ample information on travel vaccines.
  3. You can ease jet lag by going to bed 2 hours later(if you are traveling west) and 2 hours earlier(if you are traveling east) each night
  4. About 30 to 70 percent of people who travel to developing countries get traveler’s diarrhea(TD) so you can ask your doctor for antibiotics in case this happens. Also try to avoid raw foods, street fare, ice and unbottled water
  5. Hotels and motels are the most common places to get bed bugs. Places that look rundown and outdated are less vigilant about treating rooms so you are more like to get bed bugs. However, luxury hotels are also prone to bed bug issues so be aware of what to look for before climbing into the bed.  Do keep clothing and luggage off the floors
  6. Remember to stay hydrated. Being on vacation isn’t like your normal routine so you have to drink more water to stay hydrated. You should aim to drink 9 to 13 cups of fluids
  7. Pack all medications in their original packaging in case so the medication can be quickly identified in an emergency or if necessary.
  8. In case you run out of medications or need medical attention be aware of where the local doctor and pharmacy are located at your destination.
  9. Program your cell phone to have someone listed as an Emergency Contact so medical personnel can contact your designated person to assist if required.
  10. Find ways to add exercise while on your vacation – it can be as easy as walking instead of driving, renting a bike or taking a hike nearby.  Have a sense of adventure.

Safe travels!

 


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Omega-3 Fatty Acids

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Whenever people think of fats they automatically assume they’re not good for them, but that’s not always the case. There are well known healthy fats and they are called unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are either monounsaturated and polyunsaturated and they help decrease disease risk. Omega-3 fatty acids are an example of the healthy fats. They are a crucial for your health and development, but your body does not produce it so the only way to get it is by consuming foods high in Omega 3s.They can be found in sardines, salmon, anchovies, and herring.

omega 3 imageIt can help reduce risk for cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and depression. Fish also contains proteins, selenium, and vitamin D that are beneficial for the body. It is important to get a good ratio of Omega-3 and Omega-6 which is another essential fatty acid. You should aim to eat a bit more of Omega-3s because it helps reduce inflammation and Omega-6s promote inflammation. It is recommended you get at least 2 servings of fish and 1 serving of oily (dark meat) fish.

Need to know if you are getting sufficient fatty acids?  Test your levels.

Take Control of your Health!


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Four Cancer Myths

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There are many misconceptions about what causes cancer. Having misconceptions and misinformation causes needless worries that can create anxiety and worry. Nowadays you hear information in the news about all the possibilities that have potential cancer causing qualities.  Here are some common cancer fallacies:

  1. Sugar doesn’t necessarily “feed” cancer. Yes it is true that many cancer cells take up blood sugar more quickly than healthy cells, but all cells in our body require sugar for sustenance. Avoiding sugar completely doesn’t guarantee you that you won’t get cancer. As a matter of fact, blood sugar comes from foods with carbs too. It is important to maintain your blood sugar and insulin at healthy levels to maintain proper health and to avoid diabetes and other diseases that can have negative effects on your health.
  2. Going on a gluten-free diet does not reduce the chances of getting cancer. Gluten can be found in wheat, triticale, and barley and is actually a source of protein. Research shows that avoiding gluten does not reduce risk of cancer whatsoever. Not consuming gluten can actually cause you to miss out on their anti-inflammatory, whole grain, cancer protective fiber.  Of course, if you are gluten intolerant or have celiac, you should avoid all gluten to maintain your health.
  3. You don’t have to eat a ton of fruits and vegetables to reduce cancer risks. Many think that in order for fruit and vegetable consumption to reduce chances of getting cancer you have to eat an impossible amount of it daily. In reality you only have to eat 5 servings a day for it to help reduce risks of getting cancer. You should aim to eat about 2 ½ cups of various fruits and vegetables. Eating a variety of different fruit and vegetables adds different phytochemicals and nutrients which may have cancer protecting qualities.
  4. You don’t have to go vegetarian. Plant rich diets are linked to lower cancer risk, but that doesn’t mean you can only eat plants. You can still eat poultry, fish, dairy, and meat –  like everything, eat those foods in moderation. A good option would be the Mediterranean diet which is plant based, and also includes smaller portions of meats, poultry, dairy, etc.

Take Control of your Health!food pyramid


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hospital sign

The following are some tips and precautions you can take when going to the hospital to prevent infections and stay safe:

  1. Before going to the hospital, if possible, research the risks of infections and mortality rate compared to other hospitals in your area. This data is published and can found via an internet search.
  2. You may want to bring a friend or a family member to help you ask questions you have and/or take notes on directions and explanations the medical staff may be telling you. Research shows if you go to the hospital accompanied you are more likely to be treated better by medical staff. Having someone keep you company can be very helpful when there is reduced staff at the hospital.
  3. Write down notes so that you can recall directions doctors or nurses may give you.
  4. Make sure you and everybody that comes into your room has washed their hands with water and soap, hand sanitizers do not kill all bacteria such as C. diff.
  5. Bring sanitizing wipes to clean rails, controls, phones, etc. You can also ask your room to be cleaned if it is messy when you arrived
  6. If you had surgery your doctor will have to check your incisions to see if they are healing properly, but by opening the bandage you are exposing your wound to various infections. Before going into to surgery you can ask your surgeon if he is able to skin glue as opposed to staples and waterproof dressings(last about 3 weeks without opening) which will reduce chances of infection.
  7. Ask everyday if you still require IVs and urinary catheters, the longer they are in the higher the infection risk is
  8. Delay surgery if you have an infection. You should wait until the infection is resolved before you have surgery because it could cause another infection or even worsen the current infection.
  9. It is often necessary to remove hair from the surgical site, and it is important for the nurse to use electric trimmers as opposed to razors because they provide an opening for bacteria
  10. If possible, before going to the hospital call and ask if you should take precautions such as bathing with a special soap or using antiseptic wipes.

Take control of your health!  Order you own lab tests at www.HealthOneLabs.com


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Why You Should Try to Avoid Antibiotics

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Winter is here which means you might get the flu, a cold or a sinus infection and you will most likely just go to your doctor to prescribe you antibiotics. It is important to know that antibiotics are very powerful medication and shouldn’t be taken unless you have a bacterial infection that does not clear up on its own. The truth is that antibiotics actually don’t work against viral infections such as the cold or flu. Taking antibiotics when you don’t really need them can cause them not to work in the future when you do really need them. Not to mention the fact that antibiotics have many possible deadly allergic reactions and side effects. It is important to try to avoid antibiotics if possible, here are a few ways of doing so:

antibiotics image

  • If you have a cold or the flu ask your doctor for over-the-counter pain relievers, throat soothers, and/or decongestants to ease your symptoms
  • Just because you have an infection caused by bacteria doesn’t necessarily mean you need antibiotics. If your symptoms are mild, ask your physician if you can delay the treatment for a few days because in many cases you may be able to fight off the infection without antibiotics
  • Avoid broad spectrum antibiotics because they kill off all bacteria in your body including the protective kind.
  • You can ask your physician to only prescribe you antibiotics for the shortest amount of time possible. A lot of the time treatments don’t have to be as long.
  • If antibiotics are unavoidable, watch out for any possible side effects.  Be sure to read the informative pamphlet that accompanies your prescription.

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Foods that Help Boost Satiety

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Maintaining a healthy weight is a struggle for many people because they let themselves get to the point to where they’re starving and just go on a junk food binge because it’s the only thing they feel will satisfy them. Starving yourself is never a good idea and can actually cause you to gain weight as opposed to losing weight. If you’re looking to maintain your weight or even lose weight it is vital that you eat foods that will keep you full. Satiety-boosting foods are rich in fiber, monounsaturated fats, and protein. Such foods take longer to digest thus making you feel full for a longer period of time. Eating satiety-boosting foods can prevent a junk food binge and will keep you feeling full for a while. Processed and sugary foods may make you feel full for a little bit, and then extremely hungry later which can cause overeating. The following are some examples of satiety-boosting foods:

  • Oatmeal: Contains β-glucan which is type of soluble fiber that promotes feeling full because the body takes longer to digest fiber. The soluble fiber creates a gel in your stomach which slows down digestion. Studies show that people who eat oatmeal for breakfast ate 31% less calories than those who ate processed cereal
  • Avocado: Is high in monounsaturated fat which not only increases satiety, but is also great for cardiovascular health. Eating one-half if  an avocado with a meal may reduce hunger by 40%
  • Almonds: Are high in fiber, protein, and monounsaturated fats, a triple threat. Eating almonds do not cause weight gain because they reduce the calorie intake on your next meal/snack. Eating 1 ½ ounces of almonds a day can decrease hunger
  • Greek Yogurt: Is high in casein protein that helps slow down digestion keeping you full longer. Eating a high protein greek yogurt snack in the afternoon promotes satiety and reduces calorie intake at dinner. You should opt for plain greek yogurt to avoid added sugars

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What Can You Do to Prevent the Flu?

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Flu season is upon us which means that almost everyone is sniffling, coughing and sneezing so you have to take many precautions if you don’t want to get the flu as well. The University of Arizona found that when even one person is sick in an office, it only takes about four hours for surfaces like copy machines, door handles, etc. to show trace of the flu virus. The 2014-2015 flu season was one of the worst the U.S. has had, it was even considered an epidemic. It is important that you take all the precautions possible to prevent getting the flu this season.

flu-and-sneezing-image

Everyone knows you should wash your hands often, avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes, cover your mouth when you sneeze and so forth. It is also imperative that you are getting enough quality sleep. Lack of sleep can actually weaken your immune system, thus making you more susceptible to get a virus if exposed to one. Excessive amounts of stress can also weaken your immune system and prevent you from getting enough sleep, so it is important you maintain your stress levels as low as possible. Furthermore, your diet can also affect whether or not you get the flu, or any other virus for that matter. You should try to get enough protein in your diet like fish, beans and lean beef. Diets that are low in protein may deplete the immune system as well. You may also want to consider drinking a lot of tea… and sniffing it. It has been found that the steam of the tea stimulates the cilia to move out germs. Adding lemon thins the mucus and honey is an antibacterial. Lastly, one of the most effective precautions you can take is getting the flu vaccine.

  •  avoid touching your face
  • wash hands often
  • minimize stress
  • eat well and hydrate often
  • sleep

So, as you can see there are so many ways to prevent the flu and stay healthy this time of year. Remember, getting the flu vaccine doesn’t mean you are immune so you should still take other precautions to stay healthy. The holiday season is here and you are not going to want to miss it because you have the flu, stay healthy!


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