Sunday, May 27, 2012

Be Happy. Give Up These Things

From an article called ”15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy” by the Purpose Fairy.  
There is true linkage between personal and professional stress in our lives and how it affects our health. I think we all intuitively know this, but few of us ever do anything about it.
If any of the below describes you, as some of it does me, then go to the PurposeFairy website and learn how to give these things up and live a more happy life.
If you can't stand the idea of being wrong.
If you want to control everything.
If you fail to take blame when it is your fault.
If you berate yourself for not being good enough.
If you complain, especially about things you cannot control.
If you are overly critical of someone or something.
If you do things to impress people.
If you live in the past.
If your life is dependent upon an emotional attachment to something or someone.
If you let other people's criticisms ruin your day and self-esteem.
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

4 Secrets to Good Health

From an article titled ”Four Secrets to Boost Your Health” from Remake America, published on May 11, 2012

Good health is invaluable, but with the pressures of work and family, who has the time to maintain it? ABC News Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser offers some quick and easy steps to self-improvement.

1. Eat a healthy diet: Cutting down on sweets and sugary drinks like soda could take 10 pounds off your waistline each year. Healthy diets have also been linked to reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer. Eating a healthier diet is emotionally and mentally stabilizing as well.

2. Exercise for at least 15 minutes a day: Finding time to exercise is hard, but carving out a 15-minute slice daily will create a noticeable boost in energy. Take a walking break with co-workers or climb some stairs — a little goes a long way.

3. Get plenty of sleep: Sleep improves mental processes, helps the body repair itself and jump-starts creativity. A good night's rest has also been shown to curb weight gain. I would include the occasional power nap. Sit in your favorite chair with a good book and magazine and doze off for 45 minutes or so. This does wonders for your mental health.

4. Take time to laugh: Laughing releases neurotransmitters called endorphins that produce feelings of well-being. Finding time for the things that make you laugh improves longevity and overall health. All good advice, especially to laugh.....even at yourself! However, I believe that taking quality nutritional supplements and avoiding the everyday toxins are essential to your health as well.

Oh!  Want a good laugh?  Read the Book "Shit My Dad Says".  I laughed so hard, my wife thought I was having a heart attack. 

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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Children and Supplements

I was sent this article, apparently from Yahoo, and asked to comment on it: Vitamins are generally thought of as a good thing. They give people more of the stuff they need. Right? Well, that depends on the vitamin, as well as on the age of the person taking it. Before you give vitamins to your child, you should, of course, consult your pediatrician or a poison control hotline.
However, there are some general guidelines available online. According the American Academy of Pediatrics, most children should take vitamin D supplements. However, parents should be careful not to overdo it. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble, and any excess is stored in the child's tissues.
Too much of these vitamins could make the child sick. Vitamin A can also be toxic of taken in large doses. According to the "Today" show's resident nutritionist Joy Bauer, "Chronic intake of excessive amounts through fortified food and supplements can cause big problems." Ditto for zinc. "Too much zinc can depress your immune system and lead to a copper deficiency."
As WebMD puts it, if you give your child low-fat milk and dairy products, protein (like chicken and fish), fresh fruits and veggies, and whole grains (try brown rice or oatmeal), he or she probably won't need a vitamin. But giving your kid a perfectly balanced meal every day may not always be possible Additionally, children who follow a vegetarian diet may need supplemental vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and calcium.
When it comes iron, kids who don't get enough can suffer from anemia, "a condition that limits the ability of the blood to carry oxygen" according to "Drinking large quantities of milk may lead to iron deficiency anemia, as the child will be less interested in other foods, some of which are potential sources of iron." If your kid is downing24 to 32 ounces of milk or less each day, "there's little cause for concern."
Bauer writes that parents should consider the kid. If the child is a picky eater, a multivitamin might be a good thing. However, if he or she is eating a well-rounded diet, then a multivitamin probably isn't needed. She points out that parents should keep vitamins out of their kids' reach, especially because some children's vitamins look and taste like candy, and they can be toxic in large doses.
Also, if you do give your children vitamins, be sure to pay extra attention to their teeth. Many kids' vitamins, especially chewable multivitamins, contain sugar. Bottom line: Opinions on vitamins vary, and you should consult an expert. Keep in mind that your child is probably getting more vitamins and minerals through his or her diet than you might think. And, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the income level of parents often plays a part. Wealthier parents are able to provide better food and, as a consequence, more natural nutrition. Lower income families may be more likely to need a children's multivitamin.
MyAchingKnees comments: The article states "if he or she is eating a well-rounded diet, then a multivitamin probably isn't needed" and "Keep in mind that your child is probably getting more vitamins and minerals through his or her diet than you might think" - Wow! What I think is that Children, and adults for that matter, are getting way less nutrients than we generally believe due to the large extent of processed foods we are eating. I know better. I placed my daughter on high quality, pharmaceutical grade supplements for the last seven years. She has not missed a day at school or been sick since. In fact the basketball coach called me to tell me my daughter did not sign up for basketball as she had for the previous years. I said "Coach, we both know my daughter is not a basketball player.", and he replied "Yeah but she's the only player I had for the past three years who never missed a practice and was never sick." Yes, and I'm pretty proud of that fact. There parents who had placed their ADD/ADHD children on a quality daily multi-supplement and an Omega 3 Fatty Acid and have had very good results - changes in behavior, and of course this is much preferably, I would think, than pumping Ritalin into them.
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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Warning Signs of Arthritis

I have many friends, co-workers and even some clients who have told me they have Arthritis. I say 'how do you know?' and they usually respond "because I have pain in my joints." How do you explain Arthritis over the phone or a conversation in a crowded hallway? People invariably ask me if I know what drugs best serve to minimize Arthritis symptoms, especially the pain. I always tell them that for me personally, prescription meds are my last option (if even then) and that they need to see a physician if they are in pain, but at least now I have a really good Arthritis article, recenty posted on the Yahoo Health net, written by Paula Spence Scott, that does a good job explaining Arthritis. While I'll continue talking to people about Healthy Lifestyle choices (choosing low glycemic foods, avoiding toxins in a toxic world, taking quality nutritional supplements and living a physical lifestyle/exercise), now I can also send them this article. 7 Warning Signs of Arthritis, by Paula Spencer Scott Think arthritis is just for the old? Half of those who get it are under age 65. One in five adults -- 50 million Americans -- has been diagnosed with arthritis. Most wait to see a doctor until pain interferes with daily life -- but pain isn't the only sign of trouble. "Early is better with arthritis diagnosis," says Arthritis Foundation Vice President Patience White, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, D.C. Treating the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis (RA) within the first months of onset, for example, can minimize joint deformities and even put the disease into remission, thanks to the latest treatments. With osteoarthritis (OA), a degenerative joint disease that's the most common kind of arthritis, the sooner you start behavioral changes, the better you may be able to manage pain and preserve mobility, White says. Here's what to watch for. Morning Stiffness. Look for: Waking up and being unable to move about easily for half an hour or longer. Everybody has some morning stiffness, but normally it fades as you stretch and start moving. "With rheumatoid arthritis, it can take 30 minutes or more to loosen up -- sometimes hours, or even all day," says Chaim Putterman, chief of rheumatology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. "People affected say they feel encased, like prisoners, and the feeing of being unable to move can be even more burdensome than the actual pain." Why pay attention: Stiffness after inactivity is a hallmark symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. It can recur later in the day when you've been sitting still for awhile -- after watching a movie, for example. With osteoarthritis, the more you use your affected joints, the worse they tend to feel; with rheumatoid arthritis, the more you move, the better it feels, Putterman says. Pain when climbing stairs. Look for: Your knee joint locking or sending stabs of pain when you bend it, as when going up or down stairs. Added red flag: Knee pain if you're overweight. "Every extra pound you gain feels like four pounds across your knees," White says. Excess weight raises your risk of developing arthritis, which some 60 percent of obese people develop. Related types of painful physical function include limping, being unable to extend your elbow, changes in how steadily you can stand or walk, and trouble standing on tiptoe. Why pay attention: The knee is the largest joint in the body and the second-most common site for osteoarthritis, according to White. (A bow-legged "cowboy" walk can result from osteoarthritic knees.) Other key targets: the hips, the back, the ankles, the thumbs, and the hands. "People really don't go to the doctor until they can't do what they want to do -- lift a baby, walk a block, get out of bed easily -- and pain is the number-one reason why," White says. Caregivers should beware of a debilitating cycle in loved ones with arthritis, Putterman says. If activity is painful, you avoid it, you stay inside more, you sit home and eat, you gain weight, which makes you even less able to get out -- and before you know it, you're on a path to losing independence. Fatigue, Flu Like Symptoms. Look for: Chronic tiredness, loss of appetite, weight loss, anemia, and/or fever that persists for weeks (longer than a bout of flu). Some combination of these symptoms usually appears, along with stiffness and pain. You might even notice changes in nonjoint tissue, such as eyes that feel dry and sore and may be red. These symptoms can come on gradually or suddenly. Why pay attention: Having these mild, flu-like, across-the-body symptoms, along with stiffness and pain, points to rheumatoid arthritis. RA is a disorder of systemic inflammation, meaning the entire body is affected (as opposed to the problem being isolated in a particular joint). "You shouldn't just take two Tylenol and sleep the discomfort off," Putterman says. These symptoms warrant a physical exam soon. Sudden, Excruciating Pain in Big Toe. Look for: A joint that suddenly hurts like crazy -- many sufferers give it a "ten" on a pain scale of one to ten, likening the pain to kidney stones, White says. The joint is likely also red, hot to the touch, and tender. Although this pattern can happen to other joints, the big toe is the most common site. Usually only one joint is affected at a time. While the vast majority of cases have a sudden onset, some people notice a joint becoming hot, red, and tender, but the pain is bearable. It clears, then recurs. Some people can connect the onset of pain to eating a lot of protein or drinking more alcohol than usual. Why pay attention: Sudden, excruciating pain, especially in the large toe, is likely an attack of gout, the second-most common form of arthritis and the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. Gout occurs when uric acid, a natural waste product that circulates in the blood, builds up in body tissue as needle-shaped crystals. This happens either because the body produces too much uric acid or doesn't dispose of it well through the urine. Men in their 40s and 50s are affected most by gout, though by the 60s, it affects both genders equally. Left unmanaged, attacks of gout can strike more often. Odd Looking Bumps on Fingers. Look for: Bony spurs (small enlargements) on the joint of fingers. One may appear on the last joint, where it's known as a Heberden's node, or on the middle joint, where it's called a Bouchard's node. Sometimes the knobby bump appears at the base of the thumb (though this bump wasn't named after the doctor who studied it). The joint is probably also stiff to move, although not necessarily painful. To the touch, the bump feels more like a bone than like a sponge. Some toes can also be affected. Why pay attention: Doctors use this visual information to help diagnose arthritis, along with the rest of physical exam, a history, and, sometimes, X-rays and lab tests. Heberden's nodes and Bouchard's nodes, seen in osteoarthritis, tend to run in families, especially through women, White says. Farmers and others who engage in a lot of manual labor are especially prone to OA of the lower extremities. Pain That Interferes with Sleep. Look for: Being unable to fall asleep because you're so focused on joint pain, or being awakened in the middle of the night by joint pain. Some sufferers begin to avoid family and other activities they enjoy because they feel ground down by chronic pain; the very prospect of visiting grandchildren or going to a social outing feels overwhelming. Why pay attention: Osteoarthritis pain is caused by eroding cartilage, which eventually causes bone to rub against bone -- and yes, it can really hurt. Everyone has a different threshold for pain. But pain that interferes with your ability to enjoy the most basic, restful activities of life like sleep or enjoying your family? That's a different animal. "It shows that what you've been doing before is not adequate and that the pain should be taken care of," Putterman says. What's more, when chronic pain saps your joie de vivre, depression can evolve. Achy, Hard to Use Hands. Look for: Trouble managing fine-motor skills: buttoning a shirt, tying shoelaces, using a fork and knife, turning a key in a lock, grasping a doorknob, snapping fingers. Affected joints can be redder than surrounding skin, warm to the touch, and tender. Why pay attention: "Trouble with these activities of daily living all suggest something worrisome is going on," Putterman says. Many different joints in the hands and wrists tend to be involved with rheumatoid arthritis, making these hand and finger tasks so frustrating. Rheumatoid arthritis is also a symmetrical disease, meaning both sides of the body (and hands as well as feet) tend to be affected simultaneously. (In osteoarthritis, the joints affected usually aren't symmetrical.) Notice which part of the hand is affected. Rheumatoid arthritis tends to afflict the knuckles and the next joint up, White says. In osteoarthritis, the top joints and the base of the thumb are more affected, and not necessarily all of the digits at once.
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