Category Archives for "Health and Fitness"
I used to think that my eyesight was pretty good! But one day I noticed what appeared to be cobwebs coming down over my face – but they weren’t there at all – they were inside my eye – a very frightening experience.
I immediately visited my doctor who doctor referred me to an eye specialist the very same day.
He diagnosed me with age related macular degeneration. This was a total shock to me!
My mother, who lasted till she was 96 years of age, was virtually blind the last two decades of her life due to the effects of age-related macular degeneration.
For these reasons I decided to take an in-depth look at the subject so that I could see what caused the problem, and what treatments there were on the market and their relative efficacy.
Since we are talking about one’s sight here it is important that we are aware of what to look out for. Even if at this moment in time you don’t have problems with AMD, it will pay you to follow my journey and take action to avoid or minimise its potential onset.
Well, as you would imagine, it has to do with problems with the “macular” which is a part of the retina, the back of the eye responsible for many elements of your sight. In particular the macular is involved with the eye’s detailed vision and colour recognition. From here messages are transmitted to the brain for processing.
The “degeneration” part obviously implies that there is a gradual deterioration of that faculty. And the “age- related “part clearly indicates that the older you are the greater the risk. At the moment it affects about 1.75 million Americans and is set to increase rapidly as the population ages.
Just so we can get the overall picture is let’s have a look at the various types of AMD, as follows:
This is the most common form of which about 90% of sufferers have. It is characterised by the blurring of the central vision or what appears to be a blind spot in that location.
This is caused by deposits, called “drusen” forming in the eye. These are like very very small “dust” particles that build up in the eye and lead to the gradual degeneration of eyesight.
Dry macular degeneration often passes through three stages
Firstly there is early AMD where a few drusen appear and it is very unlikely that you will be aware of any of the ill effects.
Then there is intermediate AMD where the size of the drusen increase. Again it is unlikely that you will be aware of the symptoms although occasionally some see a blurred spot in the centre of their vision paragraph. Finally there is advanced AMD where a blurred spot in the central part of the vision gets bigger and darker and seriously affects your direct vision.
Panic attacks information is abundant these days and those who suffer often ask similar questions in their early experiences and usually following an initial attack and/or consultation with their doctor.
Anybody who has ever suffered a panic attack will tell you that they are possibly the worst possible thing a person can experience. The extreme feelings of terror experienced during an episode leave a haunting reminder in the victim’s memory long after the attack has subsided. Hence, it is imperative that we all enlighten ourselves of this problem. Following is a short yet comprehensive FAQ that provides vital insights, therefore read this information very carefully.
Q. What is a Panic Attack?
A. A panic attack, as the name suggests, is an episode of intense fear and panic in which a person feels he/she is losing complete control and/or is going crazy, or even worse going to die.
Q. Do Panic Attacks occur at specific times in life?
A. No, they don’t. They usually occur without warning and can strike you at any age. Although certain life events may lead to the incidence of an attack, such as the death of a loved one or a divorce, these events alone cannot be held responsible for causing one..
Q. How long does a typical panic attack last?
A. Although the exact length of an episode varies from one person to the other, generally speaking an attack lasts for about 30 minutes. It tends to reach its peak after about 10 to 15 minutes, following which the symptoms slowly subside.
Q. What are the symptoms of a Panic Attack?
A. Information on their symptoms varies on a case to case basis. However, the common list of symptoms includes hyperventilation (i.e. over breathing which brings about light headiness), heart palpitations (i.e. a racing heartbeat), chest pain, trembling, choking, sweating, nausea, upset stomach, dizziness, lightheadedness, faintness, numbness, hot or cold flushes, and detachment from one’s surroundings.
Q. According to information, can panic attacks be cured? If so, what methods are used in treatment?
A. Historical information on panic attacks as well as studies on the subject all point to the fact that they are a curable problem. Although the treatment varies on a case to case basis, it should be noted that there are three main types of treatments one can undergo; medication, behavioral therapy, and a combination of the two.
Q. Which is the best treatment option for Panic Attacks?
A. According to statistics and information available today, one can conclude that behavioral therapy is the best treatment option for this problem/disorder. This is because behavioral therapy attacks the root cause of the problem and unlike medication, it aims to bring about permanent changes in the patient’s behavior and neurological associations that lead to or trigger a panic episode.
Q. What types of behavioral therapy options are open to me?
A. Generally speaking, there are two main therapy options for anybody suffering from an anxiety disorder. The first option is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which aims to alter a person’s cognitions such that his/her behavior is changed as a result. Meanwhile, the second option is called Exposure Therapy which basically exposes a person to his/her fear(s) in a controlled setting with the aim that with increased exposures, the person will realize that their fears are irrational and baseless.
Q. What are the types of medications I may need to take to counter panic attacks?
A. Generally speaking, you will need to take either SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) or benzodiazepines. While benzodiazepines are fast acting drugs which can be used to counter panic attack symptoms as and when they surface, SSRIs are anti-depressants which need to be used for several weeks and offer general anxiety relief. Common benzodiazepines include Valium, Xanax, Klonopin, and Ativan, while popular SSRIs include Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil.
Q. How safe and effective are panic attack medications?
A. Medications, especially benzodiazepines, can greatly help counter the symptoms. However, their intake can bring about a long list of side effects. Moreover, the use of these medications with alcohol or sleeping pills can prove to be fatal combination. Furthermore, since panic attack medications are very addictive in nature and can boast severe withdrawal symptoms, it is highly advised that they be avoided and only taken after comprehensive consultations with one’s doctor or physician.
Q. Are panic attacks harmful and/or will I die from them
A. You are very unlikely to die from the panic attack or symptoms of one directly. Whilst they appear to be very frightening to the individual concerned and often times you feel as though you are having a heart attack or similar, doctors and specialists will tell you that there is nothing to be feared from the physical symptoms of the attack itself. However as you will discover as you learn more; if left untreated they become a disorder then that’s when more harm can happen, but mainly psychologically.
If you suffer from eczema, then you probably already know that controlling eczema triggers is an important component to controlling your condition. Many types of eczema can be controlled just by avoiding or limiting exposure to certain triggers. Depending on your trigger, it can be easy to control your exposure in your home, but what about work? What if you need to be exposed to your eczema trigger in order to earn a living?
Occupational irritant contact dermatitis is a form of eczema that is triggered by exposure to an irritant in the work place. Contact dermatitis is typically red, inflamed, and itchy. It can also be quite painful. It normally occurs at the spot where the skin had direct contact with the irritant. However, it can spread from the initial point of contact, depending on how severe your exposure and reaction is.
Scientists have identified more than 3000 allergens and irritants that are known to cause eczema, but only 25 are these are to be blamed in most cases. Most people typically have more than one trigger, but they are able to limit their exposure and prevent outbreaks. However, occupational irritant contact dermatitis is typically the result of one irritant which you become increasingly sensitized to while at work.
When you are looking at your happiness, it is useful to reflect on your drinking. By this I mean to not only look for a pattern of drinking over the course of time but look at your personal happiness at each stage as well. Have you become more unhappy since your consumption of alcohol has increased?
Are You Happy Now?
What a simple question. Is there a simple answer for this? Remember one important fact – alcohol is a depressant. Even those who still feel a jolt of energy when they have a drink or two will eventually come down as alcohol effectively slows down the central nervous system. Prolonged problematic drinking will increase this effect and can cause permanent damage to the central nervous system.
The odds are if you are reading this and you are a heavy drinker, you are not happy. While alcohol may not be the only reason for your happiness, it surely is not helping the situation.
What A Bummer
As mentioned, alcohol is a depressant. From teaching my alcohol awareness classes, and having attended hundreds of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, I can tell you that alcoholism is most definitely a contributing factor to the big D – depression.
No tablet or pill can take away an alcoholic’s depression as it is fueled by extremely negative feelings – anger, guilt, and self-loathing. It is a perpetually revolving vortex of bad feelings, more drinking, and very poor decisions.
It’s easy to find and buy herbs and herbal supplements, but unless some research is done, it is also easy to choose the wrong ones. Some of this is due to hearsay and false information. There are a few popular herbs that are frequently used improperly, and some can cause serious health problems if misused.
Apricot Kernels: In shop class, some schools use the seed pits of apricots to harden metal. They contain cyanide, which is great for that purpose but not so much for humans. There have been deaths reported. Why do people take it? It is rumored to prevent cancer. As you are more likely to die of cyanide poisoning if you eat them, I suppose it is technically true.
Echinacea: This is a very valuable herb when used properly. It may help boost your immune system after you have been exposed to an illness, but it should be taken for no more than ten days to two weeks at a time. If you have an issue with your immune system, such as a transplant patient or in the case of auto-immune diseases, you should avoid echinacea, as it can cause side effects and herb/drug interactions.
Ginseng: Due to the length of time and the conditions ginseng grows under, it is a very expensive herb, selling at four hundred dollars a pound in some instances. It is often used to help improve mental function, especially for those suffering from dementia. American ginseng may also be used by some diabetics in order to keep blood sugar levels down. The problem with ginseng is that if you have bronchitis or rheumatoid arthritis, it will make the condition worse. It may also interact with medications used by diabetics.
Acupuncture is a treatment that dates back many thousands of years. This treatment feeds off the truth that energy flow plays a significant role in one’s health. Whenever this natural flow is interrupted or breaks, health will worsen. Luckily, the belief is that acupuncture will be able to restore these patterns.
Allow plenty of time for the acupuncture treatments to take effect. The total health benefits from acupuncture might only become apparent after several sessions. You possibly will not see all the advantages immediately. Relax, allow it to occur in due course and enjoy the results when they come.
Ask what you must eat ahead of your appointments. A huge meal can obstruct your appointment and bring about disappointing results. However, your stomach really should not be empty. You could get nauseous or dizzy if you don’t have anything to eat.
The thought of proper nutrition is overwhelming to many. Information overload is very common in the dietary world, and your body requires a large number of nutrients.
Are you currently eating enough protein? One of the best causes of protein are lean red meats, like steak. Other good resources for protein are found in chicken and pork. Protein is necessary for muscle growth and satisfies hunger, and it is actually a key nutrient in virtually any proper diet.
If you’re suffering from constipation, you must try out the remedies mentioned below to find relief.
If you can make out what’s causing constipation, you can then take steps to avoid it.
People experiencing constipation discover that it’s extremely hard to eliminate stools from the body. In most of the cases, it occurs due to lack of water and fiber. Constipation could also be brought on by the rest of your diet plan.
Should you be interested in naturally lowering cholesterol, it is necessary to stay in mind a healthful lifestyle is crucial. Cholesterol is one that the majority of people can change merely by implementing a wholesome dose of willpower, and it has come to be the central focus in the majority of heart health programs. By limiting your consumption of fats generally and focusing on good fats in place of saturated and trans fats, you can decrease your cholesterol significantly. It’s also wise to bear in mind that high-lipid cholesterol is, in fact better for you, because it will help to eliminate low-lipid cholesterols (which are primarily fatty and increase your chance of coronary disease significantly) out of your system. If you’re diagnosed with high cholesterol, it is a good idea to add an all-natural cholesterol supplement to your diet. Significant blood cholesterol alone doesn’t have any symptoms, so lots of people do not understand that their cholesterol is too high.
If you are unsure or worrying about your cholesterol levels, the best action to do is to get your blood tested. After the age of 20 years, they naturally increase. It needs to be remembered that high levels of cholesterol predispose an individual to develop heart issues in the future. When you know you’ve got elevated levels of cholesterol, you can choose whether you wish to opt for natural treatments or ask the physician to prescribe something. Elevated levels of blood cholesterol, also referred to as hypercholesterolemia, is a health condition accountable for any number of heart-related disorders, like heart attack, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.
If your levels have gone higher than normal, you might also wish to consider the usage of simple remedies for lowering cholesterol. It really pays to get our cholesterol level checked once every so often.
Infectious mononucleosis (glandular fever) results from a kind of herpes virus called the Epstein-Barr virus. Viral infections are really the most frequent factors behind headache and temperature. The virus will nevertheless take your own body but, such as other herpes viruses can live in your own body without leading to any sickness. Is called Epstein-Barr virus.
Chickenpox is also the result of a different sort of herpes. Drinking lots of water can also assist eradicate infection quicker and to lower temperature.