Showing posts with label Health Care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Care. Show all posts

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Dangers Of Not Getting Enough SLEEP

English: Students need sleep in order to study.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While we come across information on how we can have a good night's sleep every now and then, we are seldom aware of how an insufficient sleep can affect our health and well-being.

Because of paper works either from work or school and other household obligations, every day is like a race against time. Add to it the temptations of the computer and the TV shows airing late at night, and the parties and gimmicks. At the end of the day, all the hours that should have gone to a good night's sleep go to all of these, slowly robbing your body off a deserving rest and making you feel drowsy the next day. If you are accustomed to this way of life, be warned. All the bad things you do to your body have their own consequences, and they could be more serious than you thought.

I. The Social And Economic Costs 

While there are health risks when you get a few hours of sleep each night, we cannot ignore the fact that its dire risks affect the nation's economy. According to a report from the Institute Pf Medicine, an arm of National Academy of Sciences, 50-70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems, with as many as 30 million suffering from chronic insomnia.

The result? Motor vehicle accidents due to tired rivers cost at least $48 billion a year, while fatigue cost $150 billion each year in lost productivity and mishaps.

The report, entitled. "Sleep Deprivation and Sleep Disorders: An Unmet Public Health Problem", says that in recent decades, loss of sleep has increased due to TV shows, computers, and longer work days among adults.

For those suffering from insomnia, that means more days off work for you. A study led by Virginia Godet-Cayre at the Health Economics Research in France proves that workers who had difficulty falling asleep missed an average of 5.8 days of work a year, compared to only 2.4 days missed by "good sleepers." The team tracked down the work histories of 369 workers who had insomnia and 369 workers who were getting the right amount of sleep. The study, published in the February issue of Sleep, says that 50% of the insomniac group had at least a time of absence over a 2-year period, against to 34% of the other group.

II. Teens And Sleep

These days it's not just the adults who are lacking sleep. The National Sleep Foundation reported that only 20% of adolescents in the USA are getting the recommended 9 hours of sleep at night. That figure is alarming because it shows that millions of them have problems concentrating in classes, are getting late for school, or are sleepy when driving.

III. If You Want To Lose Weight, Don't Just Focus On Your Diet

Want to know a secret? The road to a good figure is not just eating food in low quantity and exercising on a regular basis; it's having a proper lifestyle. I'm not a fitness expert, mind you, but health studies are giving more and more evidence supporting a link between how many hours of sleep you get and your tendency to be obese.

A study led by Dr. Steven Heymsfield of Columbia University and St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital in New York, and James Gangwisch, a Columbia epidemiologist, showed that those who had less that 4 hours of sleep were more likely to be obese by 73%, while those with an average of 5 hours of sleep had 50% greater risk. Those who only had 6 hours had 23% more.



The reason? Blame it on grehlin, a substance that makes people want to eat more food. If people don't have the recommended amount of shut-eye, their leptin levels are lowered. Leptin is a blood protein that suppresses their appetite and seems to affect how their body had eaten enough.

So don't think that dieting is the only way for a nice build; include getting sufficient sleep in your regimen from now on.

IV. And More Diseases, Too

If you're already tired of reading about the dire consequences you will face when you don't give yourself the right amount of rest, here are a few more for your information.

When your body is deprived of the sleep it needs your chances of getting coronary heart disease double compared to people who have an adequate amount of sleep.

And if you're a male, read on. You'd be interested to know that men who are sleep deprived are risking themselves for an erectile dysfunction. That happens when their testosterone levels drop due to a few hours of sleep, making it more difficult to maintain an erection.

For older people aged 53-93, there's a risk of developing diabetes. That's what a study co-authored by Dr. Daniel Gottlieb, an associate professor of medicine at Boston University claimed.

Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the findings concluded that elders who slept fewer than 5 hours were 2.5 times more likely to acquire the sweet disease against those who had 6 hours, who had chances 1.7 times lower.

But don't think that sleeping too much will solve the problem, though. The study showed that overslept elders - those who had more than 9 hours of sleep - had chances 1.7 times higher.

Lastly, sleeplessness causes an individual to have an impaired spatial learning, such as getting to a new destination. This finding, which appeared in the Journal of Neurophysiology, suggested that during the process of spatial learning, new brain cells are being produced in an area of the brain called Hippocampus. Sleep is important in helping these brain cells survive.

V. Conclusion

We all know that sleep plays a major part in one's overall well-being, and now that we know exactly what we are likely facing when we have lack of it, where do we go from here?

It seems that more research is needed in the area of sleep medicine, and public awareness must be raised for everyone to understand that, despite all the obligations, late night TV shows and caffeinated drinks, getting sufficient sleep is really important for everyone, young or old. And as for you reading this article, I bet you agree.




Saturday, September 16, 2017

Traveling Alternative Roads: Other Options for HEALTH CARE

Health insurance can be expensive if you are not lucky enough to have it provided by your employer. Even shopping around for the best quotes may not be within your budget. Luckily there are alternatives to health insurance that you can take advantage of so that you and your family will be safe even if an emergency situation comes up. You can apply for the prescription discount card program, which is a low monthly cost and works at most of the of corporation drug stores that we all use. There are also programs that give you health care but are not considered “health insurance”.

Image from page 377 of "Leonardo da Vinci, artist, thinker and man of science" (1898)


The prescription discount card is great for anyone who has regular prescriptions that need to be filled over a long period of time. The cost of prescriptions without insurance is high and always rising. If you cannot afford health insurance, there is no way that buying these full priced prescriptions will come without difficulty. You can enroll in a discount card program on the Internet or you can call around to try and find one locally. The reported savings for each person is estimated to be at least 50%, and some programs will enroll you for under $5 a month.

Health care programs are another popular alternative to expensive health insurance. BeniCard, for example, is a highly acclaimed health care program, and for a small monthly fee, you can have your immediate family covered. You will not be turned down because there is no limit to who is eligible, even if you have a pre-existing condition. It is not health insurance, but you will be able to save money on doctor visits, vision and hearing care, dental services, and prescription drugs. This is just one of the programs that can help you if you cannot get health insurance due to expense or because you have been turned down due to an illness.

No one should go without health care of some sort. Prescriptions are extremely costly without insurance, and if you or someone in your family has an emergency health situation, you could be left with a large debt for years. Insurance companies are hesitant to accept anyone with a pre-existing illness because it will definitely cost them plenty of money. For anyone who has been turned down for health insurance or simply cannot afford to pay a deductible, health care programs and prescription discounts are a low-cost alternative that could save you money.



Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Role Of VITAMIN B3 Niacin

Vitamin B3 Niacin is an essential vitamin for your body, and it is just one of the eight water soluble types of B vitamins.  Nearly all of the B vitamin classes will help the body convert carbohydrates into sugar or glucose, which can then be burned to produce energy.  Also known as complex B vitamins, B3 niacin is essential in helping the body break down protein and fat.

Space-filling model of the niacin molecule, al...
Space-filling model of the niacin molecule, also known as Vitamin B 3 and nicotinic acid, an essential human nutrient. Colour code (click to show) :
Black: Carbon, 
C : White: Hydrogen, H : Red: Oxygen, O : Blue: Nitrogen, N
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Complex B vitamins also play an important role in maintaining muscle tone within the digestive tract, along with the health of the skin, nervous system, liver, eyes, hair, and mouth.  Even though a lot of people associate creativity with the aspect of muscles and muscle tone, vitamin B3 niacin is as equally important - if not more important.

B3 niacin is also important with getting harmful or toxic chemicals out of the body.  It can also help the body produce different sex and stress related hormones within the adrenal glands, among other parts of the body.  The vitamin is also useful for helping with sexual dysfunction as well.  This can be great news for those who have problems with pleasing their mate.

Also very effective for improving circulation, B3 niacin can also help to reduce cholesterol levels found in the blood.  Even though vitamin B3 niacin is great as a stand alone supplement, it should also be consumed with foods that contain protein, due to the fact that the body is able to convert the amino acid known as tryptophan into niacin.

The higher doses of B3 niacin, which are available only by prescription, have been proven to prevent and also improve a variety of different symptoms and ailments.  Due to the high risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a doctor first, before they decide to start higher doses of B3 niacin.

There are also niacin skin care products that are being developed as well, which contain anti-aging products, helping to treat acne and also aid in the prevention of skin cancer.  A lot of dermatologists expect that these products will become really popular over the next several years.  Even though they are still in development stages, research has proven them to be very effective when compared to the other types of products.



The best sources for vitamin B3 niacin include beef, pork, turkey, beets, veal, fish, chicken, salmon, tuna, and peanuts.  You can also get supplements that contain B3 niacin as well, which can give your body the amounts it needs.  This is a very important vitamin, as it does a lot more for the body than most think.  By consuming foods that contain it or taking the proper supplements - you’ll get a number of B vitamins that your body needs on a daily basis.


Friday, September 16, 2016

All About CATARACTS

The term cataracts refers to a clouding of the eye's lens that is located behind the iris and pupil.  This particular lens operates by focusing light on to the retina, much in the same way as a camera lens.  The lens affected by cataracts is also involved in the eye's focus.

Image from page 598 of "Lectures on operative surgery of the eye, or, An historical and critical inquiry into the methods recommended for the cure of the cataract for the formation of an artificial pupil, &c. &c. &c. : containing a new method of operating

This lens consists of protein and water.  This protein is precisely arranged for optimum functioning.  However, during the natural aging process, these proteins can become clumped together and cause the eye to cloud.  This cloud is what is known as a cataract and will most likely get larger as time progresses if left untreated.  Your eye doctor will probably want to wait until the cataract interferes with your eyesight before opting to remove it.

There are three different types of cataracts you should know about:  

Cortical Cataracts:  This type of cataract is formed in the cortex of the lens.  Over time, a cortical cataract will extend from the outside of the lens to the center.  This type of cataract is common to diabetes sufferers. 

Nuclear Cataracts: Nuclear cataracts are the most common type of cataracts. Forming in the center of the lens, this type of cataract is caused by the normal aging process. When this cataract first forms, you may even experience improved vision.  However, this effect will not last long.  

Subcapsular Cataracts: This kind of cataract starts at the back of the lens. If you take steroids, have diabetes, or suffer from farsightedness, you may be susceptible to supcapsular cataracts. 

Fortunately, all three types of cataracts can be removed with eye surgery.  Today's surgeons implement the use of lasers and other innovative technology to remove a patient's cataracts with a minimum of risk or discomfort.  Some cataract surgeries will involve removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a clear plastic lens called an intraocular lens. 

While cataract removal surgery is relatively safe, you may experience a few side effects such as swelling, bleeding or discomfort.  Your eye doctor will advise you on the steps to take during recovery to aid proper healing. 

Nutritionists are currently studying the role diet plays in the prevention of cataracts.   Research has shown a favorable link between antioxidants and the prevention of cataracts.  Antioxidants are vitamins such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E that work to fight harmful free radicals in the body.




Friday, June 24, 2016

Depression and DRY MOUTH Connection

Every Six Seconds
Every Six Seconds (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There can be a lot of health complications that may arise as people get older. This fact is considered as a part of a person's natural aging process because a person's body tends to get weak as one grows older. Body organs and a person's body systems (digestive, nervous, circulatory, etc.) are more prone to illnesses, simply because of the length of time a person lives. At this stage, people should be extra careful on their diet, more aware on their everyday medications, and on their way of living.

Specifically, a common problem among older adults would be experiencing lack of saliva, or dry mouth. Xerostomia, in medical terms, refers to a decrease in the amount of saliva in a person's mouth. Often ignored, this condition affects the mouth itself by not moistening the mouth as we all normally do. This health condition prevents saliva from continually secreting into our mouth, therefore making it hard to swallow and digest, speak, chew, kiss, make love, even sing. Saliva protects and nourishes a person's teeth, lips, mouth, and esophagus. Lacking saliva would do damage to these parts, and without adequate saliva to lubricate one's mouth, wash away food, and neutralize acids produced by plaque, extensive decay can arise. Dry mouth is encountered mostly by older people and mostly women.

Several factors are involved when a person has dry mouth. Certain prescription medications produces dry mouth as a side effect, such as for high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, weight loss, allergies, pain, muscle relaxants, urinary incontinence drugs, medications for Parkinson's disease, and antihistamines. Actually, over a thousand medications can cause dry mouth, and the more drugs a person takes, the more chances of having this kind of condition. Decreased saliva or dry mouth is also associated with a number of psycho logic and medical conditions. A noticeable disease that causes oral dryness would be having Sjogren's Syndrome, a condition that is characterized by generalized dryness of the salivary and other similar glands. Other diseases that may result in dryness would be AIDS, dehydration, diabetes, and bone marrow transplants. Another cause for dry mouth would be through therapeutic irradiation. This treatment for certain cancers (head and neck) can include radiation that can damage the salivary glands, and eventually decreasing the production of saliva. Depression also contributes to having a dry mouth. People who are clinically depressed or those who become overly anxious have lower percentage of salivary flow. Other more natural causes would be aging (as mentioned earlier) and the decrease in a person's ability to chew.


If dryness is from the intake of certain medications, it would be good to seek advice from the doctor who can possibly change your medication and reduce the dryness. A more simpler solution would be keeping the mouth moist. A person can do this by sipping water or any other sugar-free juices frequently. A person can also stimulate the flow of one's saliva by eating foods which require mastication, chewing sugarless gum, by using diabetic-type candies, or by sucking on a cherry, olive pit, or the rind of a lemon or lime. Dry mouth should be given attention, and a consultation with a physician is advised when one feels dryness in the mouth.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Buying Discount VITAMINS

Dietary supplements, such as the vitamin B sup...
Dietary supplements, such as the vitamin B supplement show above, are typically sold in pill form. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are a number of ways that you can find discount vitamins.  The most common is to wait until your favorite vitamin store has a sale but this can be a rather difficult way to get a discount vitamin.  The problem is mainly due to the discount time.  Most discount vitamin offers only have a limited amount of stock available and it is a case of first-come, first-served.  The other issue with trying to get these discount vitamin offers is that they are strictly time limited and again, you may miss out unless you find out about the sale in advance. 

A large number of stores produce coupons that offer discount vitamin purchases.  These coupons are often distributed in newspapers and magazines - the Sunday newspapers are so full of coupons that it may be time-consuming looking for the discount vitamin offers but it is worth the effort.  You may find that some of these coupons do not give an instant discount vitamin purchase but you can claim the appropriate money back through a rebate system.  Beware that some of these rebated discount vitamin offers require you to purchase additional equipment or accessories to qualify for them.

One extremely good source for discount vitamin offers is look for bulk purchases.  This is an extremely underestimated resource, as many people do not actually understand what a bulk purchase discount vitamin really is.  In all honesty, you are likely to get a better discount vitamin offer if you opt for a bulk purchase from your local outlet.  This is because the bulk purchases offer the best discount vitamin prices possible.  This is especially the case for vitamins that you may want to take on an ongoing basis.  Vitamin C, for example, is a great choice to buy in bulk and obtain a discount vitamin price.


It is extremely important, however, to ensure that the bulk discount vitamin purchases do not include vitamins that may have an expiration date that could be exceeded before they are all consumed.  Do not be tempted to purchase bulk amounts of vitamins simply to obtain a discount vitamin price unless you are sure that you can consume all of the vitamins within the expiration dates given.  One of the major mistakes that people make when looking for a discount vitamin is to overlook the expiration date.  There may not be any danger if the discount vitamins are a few days past their sell by date but it is not worth the risk just to save a few pennies.



Thursday, June 2, 2016

Creating A CHOLESTEROL Plan

Spacefill model of the Cholesterol molecule
Spacefill model of the Cholesterol molecule (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A number of Americans have put their hearts into lowering their cholesterol. Yet a recent American Heart Association survey found that many adults with high cholesterol still don't realize that they have an increased risk of developing heart disease.

According to the survey, 50 percent of respondents with cholesterol levels of 200 or greater, and who had risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes, did not perceive themselves to be at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Fifteen percent believed they were at low risk. However, the American Heart Association and National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) data indicate that many of these respondents are in danger of having a heart attack within a decade.

Cholesterol guidelines established by both groups show that people with multiple risk factors-smoking, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, etc.-and people with coronary heart disease and other conditions are at high risk of having a heart attack within 10 years. 

The findings are the focus of this year's American Heart Association's Cholesterol Low Down program, an effort meant to help teach people about their risk of heart disease. Anyone can join the program by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visiting americanheart.org/cld. Participants receive a Healthy Heart Kit, which includes "The Cholesterol Low Down About Your Cholesterol" guide and a "Low-Fat Favorite Recipes" cookbook. The Cholesterol Low Down is sponsored by Pfizer.

"Patients know that cholesterol is important; however, they need to better understand that their high cholesterol and additional risk factors may lead to heart disease or a stroke," said Roger S. Blumenthal, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Division of Cardiology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine in Baltimore. 


Words Of Wisdom

The survey also found that 72 percent of respondents strongly agree that their health care provider is a partner in managing their cholesterol. Those who frequently discuss cholesterol with their health care provider report being well-informed about issues such as setting personal cholesterol goals and the importance of following treatment plans. 

"Health care providers are an important and supportive resource for individuals at risk for heart disease and stroke because of their cholesterol and other risk factors, " said Lori Mosca, M.D., Director of Preventive Cardiology at New York-Presbyterian Hospital; Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "Patients should work with their doctor to learn if their cholesterol levels are healthy and to develop a plan that includes a healthy diet and physical activity to reduce their risk."



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A Look at SNORING Treatments

If your own efforts to stop snoring do not help, consult your physician or an otolaryngologist -- or a doctor for the ear, nose, and throat. If you choose to try a dental appliance as a snoring treatment, you will need to see a dentist specializing in these devices. Some medical snoring treatments are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), oral devices (including dental appliances and lower jaw positioners), and surgery.  

Snoring on SW Trains
Photo  by hellostanley 

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure consists of sleeping with an air mask to maintain continuous air pressure in the throat. CPAP is a treatment for sleep apnea, as well as for snoring.

A wide range of dental appliances, oral devices, and lower jaw adjusters are available to alleviate snoring. Some people experience significant improvement with these oral appliances, which bring the lower jaw forward during sleep. Most of the products fit inside the mouth, but some products on the market are worn around the head and chin to adjust the position of the lower jaw. 

As far as surgery goes, Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP) treats snoring and various types of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The types of TAP include: laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP) and radiofrequency ablation (or “somnoplasty”).  Laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP) vaporizes the uvula and a portion of the palate with a laser in the doctor's office under local anesthesia. LAUP effectively removes obstructions to the airway, which may be causing snoring or sleep apnea.

Laser-Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty has a higher success rate than Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty for sleep apnea (UPPP), but it requires a surgeon with expertise in laser procedures. Radiofrequency ablation, or somnoplasty, shrinks excess tissue in the upper airway with a needle electrode. For snoring, the soft palate and uvula are reduced. For Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the base of the tongue is reduced. For chronic nasal obstruction, nasal turbinates are reduced. Somnoplasty does not require general anesthesia. 

According to many experts, while other snoring treatments may help in cases of milder snoring problems, for heavy snoring, surgically correcting obstructive conditions in the nose, pharynx, or uvula may be the only solution.