Category Archives: Health

What’s The Purpose Of A Routine Physical?

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What’s The Purpose Of A Routine Physical?

Every year, millions of people show up to the doctor’s office, even though they’re not suffering from any symptoms. They’re not in any pain, don’t have any unsightly rashes, or bulges emanating from parts of their body where they shouldn’t. In short, they appear to be in good health. Instead of turning them away and telling them to come back when they are sick, the physician embraces them with open arms and begins taking a bunch of measurements. What the heck is going on?

Routine physicals have been a part of medical treatment for at least the last one hundred years, ever since doctors have been able to probe the body’s chemistry. The purpose of these physicals is to find out whether the body is healthy according to those markers, not just the patient’s report about how they feel. A routine exam, therefore, is all about finding unseen problems and getting on top of them early, before they start causing real damage.

Routine physicals by a family medicine doctor include the following:

Visual Exam:

Doctors like to perform a visual examination of the body. The purpose of this isn’t to make you feel awkward, but to find problems you may overlook. Doctors will peer into your eyes, ears, chest, joints, and abdomen, looking for potential problems.

Vital Signs:

A healthy pulse is essential. But, it’s precisely the sort of thing that is difficult for the patient to detect. Can you honestly say that you know the precise rhythm of your heart? The likely answer is no. During a routine physical, your physician will hook you up to specialized medical equipment that shows whether your pulse is as it should be. Problems with your pulse readings could indicate heart issues – something that needs urgent attention.

Lab Tests:

The third big pillar of the routine physical is lab tests. You go along to your checkup, your doctor removes some of your blood with a syringe and then sends it off to the lab for analysis. Your blood contains important markers indicative of your overall state of health. Doctors look out for things that might indicate that you’re at a higher risk of heart disease or diabetes. For instance, your cholesterol might be above 220 mg/dL putting you at an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Again, you can’t tell whether you have high cholesterol. There’s no pain associated with the condition. So it’s sensible to go to the doctor every few months to get it checked. Regular checkups also mean that you can track your cholesterol over time. You can see if diet and lifestyle measures are improving your metabolic status or not.

Screening:

The fourth pillar is screening. The type of testing you receive at a routine checkup very much depends on your gender. For women, screening mostly involves pap smears, mammograms, and pelvic exams for risk of STI transmission. For men, the focus is on the colon and lungs because of cancer.

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If you haven’t had a physical in a while, schedule with your GP ASAP to make sure that all is well with your health.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

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Period Problems

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Period Problems

*FYI: This post has a trigger warning for eating disorders so read at your own discretion!*

Helloooo, darlings! When I was a teenager, I can never remember my “time of the month” causing me as much grief as it does as a twenty-something. The cramps, fatigue, bloating, and an insatiable appetite seem to be a more recent thing to the past few years. Now, the discomfort and tiredness is something that I can deal with with a Motrin and a Starbucks. But, what really bothers me is the crazy increased appetite.

For a good long while, I suffered from a vicious cycle of binging and purging and the amount that I eat in one sitting on my period definitely brings me back to that. But, oh my god, am I hungry! It’s a difficult thing to deal with and I was wondering if anyone had any tips to lessen these intense hunger pangs when Aunt Flo pays a visit. Whether that be more regular little meals, an increased amount of protein, or what have you – I am willing to try anything and any suggestions help!

Thanks in advance! ❤

What are your Period Problems? How do you make your time of the month more comfortable? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Things To Keep In Mind For Easy Scalp Care

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Things To Keep In Mind For Easy Scalp Care

Some people are very conscious about hair care. They make sure that their hair is shiny, fragrant, and clean. However, some of these people are not too keen on taking care of their scalp. They think that scalp is just skin under the hair. While it is true, you must realize that the scalp is very sensitive skin. And dealing with sensitive skin should be handled with utmost care. You might not have realized it, but you have taken your scalp for granted. You think that it takes care of itself. It still needs your help, though. And that help should not just be another attempt to remove the flakes or your refusal to shampoo.

It is a tricky thing to do, especially if it is your first time to focus on scalp care. There are a lot of ways that will make it simple though and you’d be surprised by how easy some of these measures are. If you are looking for such methods, you are reading the right article! Here are some of the pointers that you should keep in mind:

Keep it moist:

You do not want your facial skin to dry out and you should have the same goal for your scalp. When your scalp gets dry, that’s the time when dandruff will appear. Instead of blow-drying your hair regularly, you may want to skip it and let your wet hair dry naturally. When your scalp gets in contact with heat, it will get dry. Love hot showers? You may want to rinse your scalp with lukewarm or cold water and don’t forget to use a natural anti-dandruff shampoo.

Exfoliate your scalp:

Exfoliate? You may find it quite ludicrous, as you know that exfoliation is often done for legs and arms. However, you can exfoliate your scalp to remove impurities and dead skin cells (namely dandruff). Your scalp, just like the skin in other parts of your body, has pores. And these pores also get clogged, a dilemma that you should address ASAP. You may choose to shampoo your scalp problems away, but you can always go for home remedies by using mixtures of baking soda, tea tree oil, and in some cases, brown sugar.

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Reduce the use of chemical products:

You are very expressive of yourself when you use hair dyes to color your hair. You go to the salon to get a perm. Or you are fond of using hair-styling products, such as gels and waxes. But you may want to limit your use. These hair products contain chemicals that can irritate your scalp. They may cause your scalp to dry, resulting in dandruff. Items, such as waxes and gels, actually trap dust and grime, thus making your scalp dirty – yuck.

Maintain a balanced diet:

Food may be the last thing that you will consider as far as scalp care is concerned. But remember, the scalp is a type of skin. And you need to keep it healthy by giving it proper nourishment. Eat food that is rich in protein, zinc, iron, and Vitamin B for a healthier scalp.

Your scalp is a sensitive type of skin. And it needs proper care. Leaving it bare and unprotected exposes it to certain agents and fungi that may cause it harm. You may even experience excessive dandruff, which is something that you definitely do not want. If symptoms persist, make sure you seek the help of a dermatologist.

What You Should Know About Pre-Diabetes

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What You Should Know About Pre-Diabetes

While having pre-diabetes does not mean that you’ll automatically develop Type 2 diabetes, it is still a serious health problem. This is because it means that your blood sugar levels are higher than normal (although not high enough to be classified as diabetes), which then raises your risks for developing not just Type 2 diabetes, but stroke and heart disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one out of three American adults (approximately 84 million) have pre-diabetes. The sad part, is 90% of people with this condition don’t even know that they have it. Pre-diabetes often goes undetected as you can still have this condition for years but experience no clear symptoms.

Borderline diabetes and its risk factors:

Pre-diabetes refers to the stage right before developing full-blown diabetes. It increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes (five to ten times higher than those normal blood sugar levels) within ten years unless you change and improve your lifestyle. Diabetes management centers in American Fork note that this means losing weight if you are overweight and getting more exercise.

Pre-diabetes has no clear symptoms, but there are some risk factors you need to be aware of. This makes it important to consult your primary care physician and have your blood sugar tested, especially if you have the following risk factors for pre-diabetes and Type 2 diabetes:

  • Being overweight or obese
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Have had gestational diabetes (diabetes that occurs during pregnancy) or have given birth to a baby weighing nine or more pounds
  • Being physically inactive habitually
  • Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Identifying pre-diabetes:

If you are at high risk for diabetes, your doctor can conduct a test to confirm the diagnosis. These include:

  • A1C – Measures the average of your blood sugar levels for over three months
  • Fasting Plasma Glucose (FPG) – Checks blood sugar levels after not consuming anything other than water for the last eight hours
  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) – An optional two-hour test that measures your glucose levels two hours before and after consuming a syrupy glucose drink

You can learn more about the recommended tests for identifying prediabetes from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NDDKD).

Preventing or delaying diabetes:

If your doctor tells you that you have pre-diabetes, do take note that this does not necessarily mean that you’ll eventually be diagnosed with diabetes. It is best to engage in positive lifestyle changes or ask your doctor for recommendations in delaying or reversing the course of diabetes. Some of the things that can help include:

  • Quitting smoking if you do
  • Working with a dietician to eat healthily
  • Losing weight if you are overweight (losing about 5 to 10%  your weight can significantly lower your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes)
  • Working with a trained coach to get more exercise or physical activity
  • Managing stress
  • Getting support from those with similar challenges

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Learn more about diabetes and your risk of developing it by contacting your primary care physician. You should also make an extra effort in adopting positive lifestyle changes to lower your risk of diabetes and other serious health problems.

What You Should Know About Traumatic Brain Injury

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What You Should Know About Traumatic Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) could be a result of an impact blow, jolt, or bump to the head or serious head injury that interferes with brain’s normal functions. However, not all jolts or blows to the head will cause TBI. A TBI can be mild to severe, with mild TBI characterized as a fleeting change in consciousness or mental state, and severe TBI characterized as a prolonged period of amnesia or unconsciousness following the injury. A traumatic brain injury can likewise cause many different psychological disturbances that range from minor disturbances to severe emotional and intellectual impairments such as psychosis, mood disorders, behavioral issues, anxiety disorder, and depression.

How a Traumatic Brain Injury Impacts Your Mood:

Depending on the severity of your injury, it could change how you express and/or feel emotions. In some cases, affected individuals might feel their emotions intensely and very swiftly, or feel like riding a rollercoaster of emotions. This is known as emotional liability. The main problem with this, is that their emotional responses are usually unprovoked and come very suddenly, which could be extremely confusing for other people who might be thinking that they did or said something to offend or distraught the affected individual.

Depression, Anxiety, and Apathy from Traumatic Brain Injury:

Studies have shown that a previous history of psychiatric disorders and poor level of functioning prior to a TBI are significant depression risk factors. It is, however, crucial to note that depression following a TBI isn’t the same as daily, standard depression because the change in mood is due to an actual natural alteration in the brain because of the TBI.

About 10% of those who have suffered a TBI develop apathy, and 60% of them develop both depression and apathy. Apathy is marked by a lack of motivation, disengagement, disinterest, and inertia. Additionally, people with TBI usually develop anxiety and feel irrational and persistent fearfulness, tension, and worry that, in some cases, are due to reduced processing speed and other cognitive deficits post-injury.

The Need for Comprehensive and Multifaceted Treatment:

Treating personality and mood changes following a TBI is a complex undertaking. It must include many different rehabilitative interventions and drug therapy. Preferably and, if applicable, acute and intense rehab must be started on the exact day of the injury itself, especially in cases where severe TBI is suspected. Rehabilitation should also be multifaceted. You need to undergo a comprehensive neuropsychological assessment so that the doctor can properly evaluate any emotional and cognitive changes. This assessment will pinpoint specific strengths and weaknesses that will serve as a baseline following your TBI.

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Getting Help for Filing a Personal Injury Claim:

As you can see from above, treatment for a traumatic brain injury can be very costly. With that said, if another individual or entity has caused your TBI, try to document the injury’s effects and maintain all medical records pertaining to your injury. You should also seek help from a brain injury lawyer in Los Angeles to discuss your situation and determine if a lawsuit or a settlement is best.

Creating Healthier Habits Around The House

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Creating Healthier Habits Around The House

The topic of health comes up in conversation on a regular basis between your friends and colleagues. There is always a new fad to try out or a trendy eco-friendly switch to consider, but what can really be done to improve your health? Your home is a place in which you need to feel completely comfortable and confident, so you should only make changes if you are 100% on board. Whether you’re going through a renovation and looking for more energy efficient solutions or you have been struggling with your personal health, there are a number of alterations you can make around the house, like some of the following:

Improving Energy Efficiency:

One of the first major changes you can make around your home is your energy consumption. We have grown so accustomed to electronic devices, gizmos, and gadgets, but we don’t realize the impact they are having on our bank balances and the world around us. If you are really looking to make an impact, why not consider Solar Installation? This method will not only save you money, but it will also reduce the number of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere. Speak to a specialist today and they will be able to inform you on the best steps to take when it comes to installing solar panels in your home.

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Reducing Waste:

Households around the country are producing more waste than ever before. Not only is this having a negative impact on the environment, but it is also creating a bad habit among society that needs to be broken. Waste can come in many shapes and forms, but the main culprit is plastic. When you look at the amount of disposable plastic you use each week, it can add up to a considerable amount. When this waste is dumped into landfills or oceans it can take decades to decompose, which is having a negative effect on wildlife. Next time you head out shopping, try to take a reusable bag with you instead of picking up new plastic bags from the store. Opt for products that have less packaging too, as this will help reduce waste around the house.

Eat Fresh:

Buying local produce from your farmer’s market is much more environmentally friendly and healthy than shopping in the big supermarket chains. Not only will you be supporting local businesses, but you will be reducing your carbon footprint by eating fresh and local produce regularly. And, of course, it’s always good to eat your fruits and veggies!

Re-Evaluate Your Household Products:

Instead of spraying hazardous chemicals in the air, there are a number of natural cleaning products you can turn to for your household chores. Not only do regular cleaning products waste a lot of plastic packaging, but they also pollute the air around our homes. You can make natural cleaning products yourself using a lot of the ingredients that are already in your cupboard. Look online for some inspiration and start making your own cleaning sprays now.

Combat Water Waste:

Saving water around the house is actually incredibly easy. It doesn’t take much thought on your part and it will benefit your bank balance, too. Try installing a shower timer in the bathroom, so that you are more aware of how long you’re spending in there. A five minute shower each day is much more eco-friendly than a bubble bath or a ten minute shower. Similarly, you can also install a device in your toilet which reduces the amount of water that is used when you flush.

Nobody will ever achieve complete perfection when it comes to their home habits. However, there are so many changes we can all make for the better, so start with the tips above today!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Alternatives To Running: Cardio Workouts That You Can Do Indoors

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Alternatives To Running: Cardio Workouts That You Can Do Indoors

Running is undoubtedly the cardio workout of choice for most people and it’s for a good reason: Running at a six-mile per hour pace lets you burn up to 557 calories an hour, while jogging lets you burn up to 398 calories an hour. It is also a form of stress relief for some, especially outdoors when the weather is pleasant. It becomes tricky to stick to a regular running routine during the rainy months, so it is always best to consider workout alternatives that you can do indoors. Here are some cardio workouts that burn as many calories as running:

Jump rope:

There’s a reason why jump rope is essential in boxing training: It enhances footwork, strengthens your shoulders, improves your coordination, and stimulates sprinting. Also, it lets you burn 500 calories in just 30 minutes. To make the most of this indoor workout, do intervals of fast and slow jumps. Or you can jump as fast as you can for a minute then rest for 20-30 seconds.

Boxing:

This improves your strength, speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, endurance, and power while getting you in great shape. It combines the muscle building advantages of strength training with the calorie burn of a cardio workout, so it helps you get a full body experience. It also enables you to achieve better body composition. Thus, you don’t just lose weight; you build muscle as well and get a toned, fit body as a bonus. It burns about 600 calories an hour and, even if you’re not sparring or throwing punches, you still burn fat through the other components, such as jump rope, shadow boxing, and calisthenics.

Zumba:

Dance exercises have gained popularity in recent years not only because they are an effective cardio workout but also because they are fun. Going to a Zumba class, for example, is like going to a dance party. It combines fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body, adapted from aerobic principles to help you tone your muscles and improve cardiovascular health. It is often done to the beat of Latin dance music. An hour of Zumba lets you burn between 350 and 650 calories per hour depending on the intensity.

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Swimming:

If sweating is not your thing, then you should consider swimming to burn calories. It is a total body workout that lets you strengthen your body even if you are treading water. Fighting gravity makes your muscles work extra hard to keep you afloat. To make the most out of this workout, make sure to do a few laps using different strokes, then have a water-treading interval. A minute of fast swimming can burn up to 14 calories, so doing it for an hour lets you burn as much as 840 calories. No swimming pool? Most residential buildings and sports hubs near Eastwood City have pools you can use for free!

The rain should never keep you from staying on track with your fitness goals. With these workouts, you can stay in shape regardless of the weather.