Amongst all lifestyle diseases, heart disease is the most frightening. More than anything else it's the suddenness with which it can strike. There is no warning symptom.
Since no one can be prepared in advance, heart disease creates the maximum scare. It is considered to be America's major killer today. According to the experts, one must avoid all rich traditional foods such as butter, cream, cheese, red meat, eggs and other foods containing saturated fats which in turn causes cholesterol - all artery blocking foods. Scientifically, it is the accumulation of hardened plaque in the main arteries which clogs them causing arteriosclerosis. This plaque is supposedly the elevated level of cholesterol in the blood, which causes the pathogenic atheromas that block blood vessels. Well, all of the above is not necessarily true. Saturated fats are not all evil.
Many people see coconut oil in its hard, white form and assume that is belongs in the oils that cause the cholesterol-rich plaques in blood vessels. Those lesions in blood vessels are caused in the most part by lipid oxidation of unsaturated fats and relate to stress, because adrenaline liberates fats from storage and the lining of blood vessels is exposed to high concentrations of the blood-borne material. In the body, incidentally, the oil can't exist as a solid, since it liquefies at 76 degrees.
It is quite informative to note that in moderate amounts (as with all substances in the world), coconut water and coconut oil are truly beneficial for the heart. Lets see how by starting to enumerate the benefits of coconut water - a source of saturated fats! Coconut water or coconut juice contains a substance called lauric acid. In fact nearly 50% of coconut water is lauric acid. Lauric acid helps in preventing a number of heart problems including high cholesterol, heart burns and high blood pressure. It does not affect the LDL and the HDL levels. Reducing the incidence of injury in arteries, it actually prevents arteriosclerosis! Which is more than what can be said for vegetable oils.
The evidence has been there all along but somehow it got lost in the negative publicity of saturated fats by certain commercial groups. Take a look at the regions where people use coconut oil for cooking and coconut juice as a beverage - Asia, Africa, Central America and the Pacific Islands. The local population is fit with normal cholesterol levels and no cardiovascular disease.
The reason being is that coconut oil is converted by the body into the hormone pregnenolone. It also has anti-oxidant and immune-stimulating action. This oil is also known to promote thermogenesis and increase metabolism (probably by supporting thyroid and mitochondrial function). In spite of being rich in saturated fat, one of the benefits of coconut water is that it has a neutral effect on triglyceride and cholesterol levels. In fact because of its saturated nature, it is stable and not oxidized easily and so does not contribute to coronary heart disease.
There is nothing more naturally refreshing than fresh coconut juice. It is full of nutrients, is tasty and most importantly, it is very good for you and your heart. As with all organic foods, there is no contamination to worry about! Only one word of advice - While consuming coconut products, care should be taken to keep your total calories within the range that is appropriate for your body type and activity level.
At home, there are many things that you can do to enhance your Chicago diabetic foot care regimen. Make sure to examine your feet daily, especially after any type of trauma, no matter how minor it might be. Make sure to report any changes to your doctor, and apply a water-based moisturizer every day. Wearing wool or cotton socks can also help to improve circulation problems.
Around the home, eliminate any obstacles that you may trip over or bump your feet on, and be sure to keep your toenails trimmed with a safety nail clipping tool. You should also make sure to wear sturdy comfortable shoes, and your podiatrist can help you to obtain the proper fit and if necessary, a prescription for specially made shoes.
Regular exercise is also an excellent home care tool, since it improves bone and joint health, circulation, and will help to stabilize blood sugar levels. If you smoke tobacco in any form, quitting is one of the best ways to optimize your diabetic foot care regimen. This is because smoking has been show to actually accelerate blood vessel damage, in particular, to the small blood vessels leading to the feet.
With age comes the increased risk of problems to the feet and legs, since circulatory problems and nerve damage are more common in elderly persons, with or without the additional presence of or risk factors for diabetes. The longer that you have had diabetes, the likelier you are to develop one or more major factors for diabetic lower extremity conditions.
The seriousness of an infection, the quality of circulation in your legs, and your adherence to a diabetic treatment plan all determine your wellness outlook.
Symptoms of diabetes vary from type to type. Type 1 diabetes usually comes on suddenly as a result of an illness or injury. Type 2, diabetes may go undetected for years, and symptoms may be contributed to aging or obesity.
People with type 2 may feel constantly tired, experience unexplained weight loss, excessive thirst, excessive urination excessive eating, poor wound healing, infection, altered mental states, blurry vision, and other similar symptoms.
While there is no cure for diabetes, with proper treatment, diet, and exercise, serious complications of the disease can be minimized or avoided. You should seek medical care if you are experiencing any symptoms of diabetes, and if diagnosed, work to maintain healthier lifestyle choices.
If you are obese and have had trouble loosing weight in the past, ask your doctor about the proper weight modification program. Remember, your feet are your lifeline, and proper care and treatment of them is essential for a lifetime of good health.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Think about that: more people die from heart disease than any other cause. In fact, over 27% of people, regardless of age or sex, die from heart disease, and that number rises to over 30% if you only look at people who died over the age of 65. It is obvious that heart disease is a major problem in the United States, and that watching your heart health is an important consideration in leading a healthy and active lifestyle. No other part of your body will have as big an impact on whether you live a long happy life, or short sick life. As the numbers suggest, not enough Americans are taking their heart health seriously.
Understanding heart disease
Before you can start working to prevent the onset of heart disease, it is important to first get an understanding of what your heart does for your body, and what exactly heart disease means.
As you probably already know, your heart is just a muscle. Although it is probably the most important muscle in your body; it is, after all, in charge of moving oxygen rich blood to every cell in your body. Because it works so hard, it needs a steady flow of blood itself so it can receive the oxygen and nutrients it requires to work.
This supply of blood is where the most common type of heart disease, coronary artery disease, comes in. Coronary artery disease can develop as a result of the buildup of a material called plaque in your coronary arteries, which are the blood vessels that bring blood to your heart. Plaque can be made up of fatty materials, scar tissue, and calcium deposits, the result of bad diet choices. When the plaque builds up to a certain level, it limits the supply of blood to the heart. This means that the heart cannot get enough blood to properly function. Your blood-starved heart can go on to cause a range of problems, from chest pains (called angina) to a full on heart attack.
Another common heart disease that is related to coronary artery disease is congestive heart failure. If your heart does not get enough oxygen, it will not be able to pump as strongly as it should. This means that your body does not get the constant supply of blood that it needs to properly function, leaving you out of breath and limiting your activity. And this, of course, only makes the situation worse.
What can you do to stop heart disease?
Heart disease is preventable and manageable. While your likelihood of developing heart disease will be influenced by a number of factors, such as age and sex, that you have no control over, most risk factors associated with heart disease are a result of lifestyle choices. If you really want to limit your risk of developing heart disease, you need to stop smoking, stop drinking excessively, become physically active, start eating better, particularly by cutting out fatty foods, and maintain a healthy weight. Don't be a statistic, talk to your doctor about what you can do to improve your heart health.
Like many others, I have been through my share of low moments in my life so far including emotional abuse when I was young as well as the loss of my mother due to suicide. However, despite these major adversities, I never suffered from clinical depression and I'll probably never really know the exactly why I was spared from this common mental health condition either. Was it because of a unique biochemistry in my head? Was it my attitude? Or was it because of certain actions I took?
I'm very much aware that there are many people out there who are not so fortunate. I have had friends, relatives and significant others who suffered from clinical depression. And of course, there was my own mother who basically lost her battle against a severe case. So even though I have not personally suffered from clinical depression, I have had a front row seat to it many times to know that this is real.
One thing that I have personally noticed with many people who are depressed is that they are not often utilizing all the tools that are available to them for combating their ailment. Some folks just think that taking a pill will take away all their troubles. But in reality, medication is only one piece of the treatment pie. Other pieces include counseling, using a support network, exercise, diet and the most neglected piece by my observation, the personal effort and will required to manage their conditions. Some folks simply wish that their mental health condition would go away rather than actively work on doing everything available and possible. A totally committed decision to manage and possibly get rid of depression is therefore absolutely necessary in order to move forward in a healthy way.
My own thoughts on this are that I had some great passions in life that filled my time. Even during hardships, I still looked forward each day to pursuing one of my passions. I had my martial arts, skiing, music, my dogs and other interests. I had no room in my mind to be depressed. In addition, some of these passions required staying fit and continued learning. I believe that these activities kept me going. But then again, I can't prove this scientifically. It's only my guess. Whatever the case, I do think that for anybody who doesn't already have any passions in life, it is beneficial to go out and explore the world to find some, particularly activities that combine with a healthy lifestyle.
If you suffer from clinical depression and want to be a peak performing life champion (a term that I use in my book, The Life Champion In You), please do everything possible and use everything at your disposal to clear or at least manage your condition in order to go on with your other goals in life. Consult with the appropriate health professionals, as this beast can't be beat on your own. There's too much at stake to simply sweep this issue under the rug. Get all the help you need and put 110% effort behind yourself. Needless to say, managing your mental health condition should most definitely be one of the major goals in your life. Ask yourself the question in this case. What will you do this week to improve and get better? What about the next week and the following week? Success is still within your grasp.
You probably already know precisely what each and every item in your medicine box is for. You know that when your stomach is in pain, you should go for the antacid. You know that when you have an allergy flare up you need to take an antihistamine. You are aware that a headache calls for ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Are you aware, though, that almost all of the things in your medicine cabinet can be used for all types of other ailments as well? Try several of these off-the-wall cures for ordinary ailments.
You probably already know that an antacid like Alka-Seltzer (and other antacids) can truly help you feel better when you have belly troubles or heartburn. Did you know, though, that you can use Alka Seltzer (and other antacids) to ease the sting of a bug bite as well? This is because virtually all antacids like Alka Seltzer come with aspirin which helps lessen the pain and stinging you feel when you are bitten. Make a paste by breaking an antacid tablet, some oatmeal and a little water. Apply it over the bite and you will observe that it stops hurting almost instantly. This cure works a lot better than those remedies that are meant for the problem, like calamine lotion.
You know that mouthwash can help you battle halitosis but did you know that it can cure athlete's foot too? Alcohol based mouthwashes are very good for keeping your toes and feet clean and healthy. Soak a cotton ball with alcohol based mouthwash and then pat the cotton ball over the bottoms of your feet and in between your toes after you shower. The alcohol that's in the mouthwash kills any imminent fungal infections that might be building up.
Ordinary baking soda has been used for many years for teeth cleaning. In addition, baking soda is effective as a tooth whitener and a truly good oral hygiene scrub. Did you know, however, that you can use it to treat conditions like sunburns as well? The properties that are in baking soda neutralize the pH balance in your skin. In order to get as much relief as is possible, pour about a cup of baking soda into your bath water--under the running water tap, wait for it to entirely dissolve and then climb in and soak for about 30 minutes.
You probably already knew that you can treat skin burns with the help of aloe vera. Also, aloe vera works as a skin soother and can relieve the pain felt in burns both mild and severe. However, did you know that aloe vera can help remedy canker sores as well? The same properties found in aloe vera that help your skin feel better can help cure your canker sores. Research has established that people who treat canker sores with aloe vera heal as much as 50 percent more quickly than people who use regular canker sore cures.
These are merely a number of the unconventional ways you can use conventional remedies. Rather than running out to buy the latest trend in illness or injury treatments, why not just try something that is already in your home? The curatives in your medicine drawer are excellent for more than one thing each -- make them earn their keeps!
High blood pressure plays a role in an estimated 15 percent of deaths in the US. This statistic is a frightening one. It's especially so when you consider that this condition is one of the most preventable health problems. It affects roughly one third of Americans. Many of these sufferers are currently using meds to lower it.
Consider these statistics. According to the American Heart Association:
* Of the one third of US adults with this condition, an estimated 75 percent of them are aware of their condition. About one fourth are not.
* 90 to 95 percent of cases have no known or detectable cause.
* Between the years 1996 and 2006 the death rate from hypertension rose 10.5 percent.
This condition is a simple one to detect. All that's needed is a test which takes mere minutes to perform in a doctor's office. Yet about one quarter of those who suffer from it aren't aware they have a problem.
If you haven't seen a doctor or been hospitalized in a year or more, it's time for a check-up. Even if you have never previously had elevated blood pressure, an annual check-up is recommended. The sooner you detect a problem, the faster you can start on a protocol to correct it. This is particularly true of adults aged 40 and over.
About 25 percent of adults have pre-hypertension. This means that counts are elevated, but not considered to be in the "high" zone yet. Annual check-ups can catch it in this stage before it becomes a serious issue. You can find methods that are simple and effective and will nip the problem in the bud.
If you already know you have this condition, your doctor has probably instructed you on how to deal with it. He or she has likely prescribed high blood pressure meds to lower your count before it results in illness or death.
However, if you are only in the pre-hypertensive stage, you can lower your count naturally. Whether you are pre-hypertensive or in the danger zone, your treatment should include:
1) Losing weight: It's by far the best practiceyou can engage in. Excess weight is a proven cause of this disorder. Besides this, excess weight contributes to a whole other array of health problems. Some of these include diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney failure and congestive heart failure. When you lose weight and get to a healthy range, you lower your risk for all of these things.
2) Exercising regularly: Daily exercise helps to lower your numbers. You don't have to run a marathon to improve your condition. A brisk "power walk" of 30 minutes will do the trick. So will aerobic exercise.
Exercising helps your heart to become more efficient at using oxygen. This means that it doesn't have to expend as much energy to pump blood. This treatment is one of the easiest and least expensive (or free).
3) Eating right: This habit goes hand-in-hand with losing weight. Avoid excessive and unhealthy fats and starches. Focus on filling your plate at each meal with mostly fruits and vegetables.
You should also cut back or cut out on certain foods that contribute to the problem. Sodium is one of these. Caffeine is another. Become an experienced food-label reader so you know what's in the foods you buy.
You should especially strive to include produce that is rich in potassium. Potassium is a known natural suppressant of this malady. Some potassium-rich fruits and vegetables include bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, kidney beans, cantaloupe and more. Try to get between 2000 and 4000 mg of potassium per day.
4) Taking a health supplement: If you can't get enough daily potassium from the foods you eat, a potassium supplement may be in order. Co-enzyme Q10 may also help lower hypertension levels. You may also benefit from a natural, holistic meds like Alistrol.