What Is Pennyroyal Oil?

Pennyroyal is a substance that comes from bees and has a significant amount of protein inside. The protein, in conjunction with some of its other elements, makes it very impressive. Natural honey has been touted as a remedy for many things – nature seemed to know what we needed long before we did. Here are some specific ways pennyroyal oil is so effective.

Helps Boost Immune System

The immune system – one of the most important systems within the body – regulates the overall susceptibility to threats and diseases. The immune system is designed to ward off harmful entities. In a 2001 study it was found that royal jelly helps to fortify the immune system, which helps to ward off the symptoms of seasonal allergies by strengthening the system intrinsically itself.

Improves Memory

Royal jelly can improve those memory lapses and blocks you may be experiencing. In a study conducted and published in Advanced Biomedical Research, it was found that royal jelly has an influential and positive impact on neural functions. The brain tissue we need and value can be vulnerable to the free radicals that exist everywhere – they surround us perpetually. Thankfully, royal jelly can help to strengthen the receptors and tissues in the brain that often fail in the beginning stages of neurodegenerative diseases.

Improves Digestion

For many years there has been this new push to inform the masses about gut health. The gut is directly linked to all other organs and the way the body functions is heavily dependent on this. Royal jelly is actually a source of bifidobacteria, which means it helps to realign your gastrointestinal tract. Many people have issues with their digestive system or their intestines and they continue to ignore it. This is done by eating a poor diet and leading a stressful lifestyle. The probiotic within the royal jelly provides great benefits to your tummy and digestive process.

Anti-Aging

There are few things more frightening than beginning to look old. Our bodies don’t hold on forever and because of this natural progression, there are certain signs that someone is getting old. Lines, wrinkles, dark spots, or drab skin are all indications that the skin is starting to look less and less youthful. Thankfully, royal jelly helps to reverse this by promoting collagen production. Collagen helps the skin to appear smooth, supple and soft. It also allows for the skin to obtain more epidermal thickness within the skin tissue, which improves the overall state of the skin as well as the look and feel of it.

You can purchase pennyroyal oil online from several companies at amazon.com.

 

Consistent Exercise Will Keep Older Adults’ Lungs Strong

Our organs change and shift as we become older. There is more attention that must be paid to keeping them as healthy as possible. With certain environmental factors as a conduit to lung issues, a study found that consistent exercise has shown to keep the ability of lungs at a healthy level in aging adults. There is an exchange of gases that the lungs partake in: one being oxygen and the other being carbon dioxide. Oxygen is for the body and carbon dioxide is expelled from the body.

When lungs begin to deteriorate, which is a normal sign of aging, the circulatory system becomes faulty. The surface area of the air sacs tends to decrease and the blood vessels also get smaller. This reduction is known to compromise the necessary exchange that oxygen and carbon dioxide undergo.

Lung Study

A team in Rochester, Minn. set out to make some determinations about lungs, age and activity as they took four sample groups of varying ages and fitness levels. All individuals participated in an exercise test that measured their exertion and stamina. Aspects such as heart rate, lung capacity and intensity were measured. The hypothesis going into the study was that the older group would likely have impaired lung function after such activities but that wasn’t necessarily the case. Given the exercise level, lung diffusing capacity was the strongest and most notable in the groups that stayed relatively active.

It turns out that the correlation between healthy aging and fitness is incredibly strong and that the lungs respond positively to steady and consistent exercise. There isn’t a need to exercise very vigorously or intensely in order to get the benefits of leading a healthy, active, fitness-filled life. The age-related changes presented in pulmonary circulation are diminished when the lungs are used to their full capacity regularly.

Smoking

There are a few outliers that may compromise the lungs such as environmental factors and lifestyle habits. Obviously, the presence of smoke and regularly smoking is bad for your pulmonary mechanisms so if you are a smoker, quitting is definitely in your best interest.

Not only can smoking negatively affect your lungs and various other aspects of your health, it can make working out and maintaining a certain level of fitness increasingly difficult. We use so much more lung capacity and dexterity when we are working out. This is why smokers can’t necessarily be very fit because so much of their lung capacity has already been used and compromised from their smoking habit. This is especially true if they smoke several cigarettes a day.

Exercise

Once giving up this very bad habit, exercising may seem difficult as your lungs start to understand what it means to not be filled with smoke. The lungs can come back from being in such unsavory situations, but consistent exercise is absolutely key to this transition.

Establishing an activity plan, whether it be brisk walks, cycling or yoga, will help to refashion the way that your lungs displace carbon dioxide and ingest oxygen. All of these things beget the overall health and ability of the lungs and the body as a whole. Keep them in good shape and use them often. Even breathing exercises while doing physical activities will help in this way.

What You Should Know About Breast Cancer

Cancer is an insidious and pervasive disease that we are seeing more and more of as years go by. Why is the presence of cancer so seemingly ubiquitous? More common types of cancer, such as breast and lung, compile a large amount of sufferers every single year. In 2017, the American Cancer Society believes that roughly 250,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed within the year. This will lead to more than 40,000 deaths.

One imperative aspect of prevention of this disease is early detection. Thankfully, there are over three million breast cancer survivors in the country today largely because of the initiatives that have been rolled out in conjunction with raising awareness. Here are the key elements one must keep in mind about breast cancer in order to properly prevent it, catch it, or treat it.

Know The Risk Factors

The major factors of risk are being a woman and being of a certain age, though there have been more and more cases of women being diagnosed with breast cancer in their 30s and 40s. Most cases are in women older than that. Also, if there is any family history of breast cancer, a woman can be at greater risk.

Risk factors are typically beyond your control but one thing you can control and should is your overall general health. Watch what you eat and stay as physically active as you can. Limiting or eliminating bad habits such as alcohol consumption, smoking, poor stress management and other things will help to improve your overall health and put you in a much better overall state.

Know The Warning Signs

Many times, the breast cancer that becomes the hardest to fight may not have any signs at all. But typically there are things to look out for. Usually breast cancer is asymptomatic, which means it actually is found via annual mammograms instead of a lump being detected. But there are certain red flags that can be indicative of something being abnormal.

If there is any perpetual redness, thickening of the skin, or any type of nipple discharge that hasn’t been commonly experienced, you want to get those things checked out as soon as possible. It’s also important to note that most types of breast cancer are not tender to the touch. That type of experience can be connected to your menstrual cycle, fibroids or benign cysts.

Mammograms Are Vital

Getting checked via mammogram on a yearly basis is essential. This process saves lives and is not to be taken lightly. There is a bit of debate regarding the effectiveness of performing consistent self-breast examinations in between mammograms. One thing proponents say is that self-breast exams allow women to become much more familiar with their breasts, how they usually look and feel in an up close and tangible way.

New Research Is Showing Improvement

Researchers are constantly and tirelessly working to find new and effective ways to treat this disease. Not only to treat it but also to detect it and prevent it. Information and research includes what causes breast cancer, the specific factors that may be tied to the disease, and how to properly eradicate it from the landscape of our current health conversation. Being completely informed is what allows so many to make better and more effective decisions.

High Weight And Heightened Blood Pressure May Cause Heart To Work Harder

For years we have been told that there is a direct correlation between high blood pressure, weight issues and heart problems. In a new research study conducted in the United Kingdom, the direct damage is being researched and uncovered. When someone is carrying extra weight on their body, it can explicitly change the weight and size of the heart as well. This complicates the way that the heart performs and can also be affected by high blood pressure rates as well.

Researchers from University of Oxford used a magnetic machine that can read cardiac responses in order to study the function and structure of over 4,500 hearts. There were certain risk factors that they learned could not be foreseen or modified.

The Risk Factors

They were able to include risk factors brought on by lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol intake, exercise, diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol. It was seen that these specific risk factors have different effects on the heart. It was seen that an increased heart weight was generally linked to overweight or obese individuals. This means that those who were carrying some extra pounds actually had bigger hearts.

Other studies have found the intrinsic link between heart disease and high BMI. Things like increased blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes all factor into the risk that one has for dealing with this disease. There is a specific impact that being overweight carries on the body, namely the heart. If we really stop and think about why that may be, it makes perfect sense. The body is designed to do certain things and organs are designed to function a specific way. When outliers may impede that, their function may be compromised or level off because of certain factors, one of those being weight.

Think about it, if you put too much weight on a chair, it may collapse. Especially if it’s not built to sustain such weight. The same thing can be said for your heart, especially with other factors such as diabetes, cholesterol or blood pressure contributing to the issue. So if a heart has to work harder, it can then mirror the overall health makeup of other parts of the body. This can then make the heart grow in size based off of the sheer amount of work it is made to do in the body of someone who is overweight.

Lifestyle Choices

Professor Steffen Petersen explains: “With this research, we’ve helped to show how an unhealthy lifestyle increases your risk of heart disease. BMI and blood pressure in particular lead to heavier and bigger hearts, which increases the risk of heart problems, including heart attacks. We all know that our lifestyle has a big impact on our heart health – particularly if we’re overweight or obese.”

Weight and heart health are extricably and intrinsically connected. This is why so much is being made of the obesity epidemic and the issues surrounding extra weight in this country. It is comforting that we know we can change the course of some of these factors before it is too late and before they lead to something like heart disease. Shifting lifestyle choices is so imperative to the overall landscape of your health and specifically your heart health.

The Benefits Of Mindfulness To Health

The mind is a powerful entity. We often focus so completely on physical health because it can be seen and experienced in issues that display themselves in obvious ways. A strong mind, mental health, and clarity are of equal value and importance. The power of mindfulness and properly aligning and mastering your thoughts will greatly impact your life in a myriad of ways.

It was found that those who are cognizant of the power of the present moment and work actively to exist fully in it, have less of an issue taking, or being confronted with, health advice. This also leads to them being more apt to make necessary behavioral changes that would positively improve their situations.

Mindful Change

What a recent study uncovered was that while many people understand and fully realize what they need to do in order to feel better and to be healthier, they can sometimes react poorly to advice they cognitively understand to be true. If you tell someone why they should eat better or stop smoking or be more active, that can easily elicit contempt and feel as if you are badgering or nagging them. Not the way that any well-meaning person wants to be perceived.

It’s interesting that people can hear these messages in a very different way. A study conducted at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania found that those who practice mindfulness are more prone to accepting these types of suggestions. Those who are mindful are more apt to want to change and improve themselves to the best of their abilities.

Specific Messaging

Mindfulness is typically defined as the ability to think and stay in the present moment. This helps in a plethora of reasons as it stops negative thinking, curbs depression and anxiety, and allows each moment to be fully lived in and experienced to the depths in which it appears. Senior author Emily Falk, Ph. D. explains that, “health messaging often causes people to react emotionally in negative ways, so we investigated factors, including mindfulness, that could potentially influence people to be more receptive to health messages and more motivated to change their behavior.”

The study took a group of people who only got a minimal amount of exercise per week and exposed them to specific health-minded messaging. The researchers then took notes on the perceived motivation to change and improve behavior as well as if said behavior did change in subsequent weeks. The mindfulness factor was gauged by certain tests and questionnaires. Those who scored the highest in mindfulness were the ones that seemed more motivated to change their behavior and more apt to actually do so.

Promoting Positive Behavior

One of the key takeaways from this study was that some people actually feel really badly about the poor health habits that they possess. When these habits are brought to their attention, it only makes them feel worse, regardless of how well meaning it may be. This means they are less likely to change said behavior when they feel so negatively about it to begin with.

“Individuals may benefit from cultivating mindful attention when processing potentially threatening yet beneficial health information,” added lead author Yoona Kang, a postdoctoral fellow at the Annenberg School. “It’s possible that incorporating mindfulness cultivation into existing intervention strategies can promote more widespread positive health behavior.”

Study Finds Restless Leg Syndrome Has Specific Risk Variants

One thing that many medical professionals are attempting to get their information and data aligned with is specific risk variants and precursors for specific ailments. When particular variants are found this can help understand the overarching framework of the condition and can even give key indicators on how to treat it.

A recent European study was conducted that looked at what type of components or precursors can lead to restless leg syndrome. This condition is chronic and can often get worse over time. Those who suffer from this condition feel unease, pain, or discomfort in their legs. This condition can even lead to other issues such as anxiety disorders, depression, hypertension and even cardiovascular disease.

Risk Variants

The study took the data of over 15,000 patients and included more than 95,000 controls. Within that framework a specific 13 genetic risk variants were found. Dr. Bell, one of the researchers on the study, provided some insight: “Restless leg syndrome is surprisingly common, but despite this we know little about what causes it – and hence how to treat it. We already know that it has a strong genetic link, and this was something we wanted to explore in more detail.”

The process of nerve cell growth and restoration, called neurogenesis, has a lot to do with this condition and points to how the nerves developed in the womb as well as impaired growth later on in life.

The overall development of our nervous system greatly impacts how our nerves work within our bodies. There are certain biological pathways that lead to specific pronounced conditions and can make the likelihood of getting those conditions even stronger. Certain biological pathways lead to things such as specific cancers, asthma and other conditions as well.

Future Studies

Increased clinical testing will need to be done in order to truly understand how each of these variants specifically lead to causation. “The genetic risk variants that we’ve discovered add more weight to the idea that this condition is related to the development of our nervous system,” Bell said. “It also gives us some clues to how we may treat patients affected by the condition. Our genetic findings are an important step towards developing new and improved treatment options for our patients.”

Ideally these types of studies will start to show great links to what does cause these conditions and how to properly treat and manage them. There is so much about restless leg syndrome that is patently unknown for chronic suffers.

Another link that hasn’t been thoroughly extrapolated or uncovered is what very commonly causes pregnant women to experience restless leg syndrome? The added pressure that carrying a baby causes on the body seems like the likely answer, but it would be interesting to find out if the correlation is deeper and more intrinsic than that. Another part of future studies researchers have an interest in uncovering is the basis of the most universally positive treatment option that most will react favorably towards.

The issue with some medications is that while they work considerably for some people, they do not work well for others. Add onto that the fact that side effects, especially when they are severe and interrupt the parts of a person’s day, are less than desirable. It’s an ever-unfolding medical puzzle.

Radon: Growing Links To Cancer?

Radon exposure has been linked to the occurrences of lung cancer for quite some time. But in certain states, such as Iowa and North Dakota, where radon levels are especially high, there have been occurrences of other types of cancer at an alarming rate. Could there be some correlation? Researchers from the School of Medicine & Health Sciences at the University of North Dakota sought out with this hypothesis to find the truth while wondering if the presence of and exposure to radon could cause other types of cancers in mass numbers.

One of the researchers, Brad Rundquist, explained the process thoroughly by saying: “We took an ecological approach. We looked at where diseases occur and what’s happening in the social and natural settings.” Environmental factors are extensively and increasingly linked to causation than ever before. When researchers find a statistical significance and correlation between a specific environment and the rate at which citizens in its region are diagnosed with or die of cancer, it’s incredibly striking.

Easy And Affordable Fix

Researchers came to the conclusion that prevention in this way could be incredibly beneficial in the onset of exposure and potentially more and more people getting sick. So mitigating the exposure to the chemical becomes one of the most difficult problems.

Because radon is odorless and tasteless, so many that are affected by it have virtually no idea. However, what researchers did find was that purchasing rubber covers for pump holes or sealing off basement cracks, where the remnants of radon can seep in, is actually a pretty easy fix. It also costs less than a couple thousand dollars.

In the grand scheme of things that may not sound like a lot of money where your health and well being is concerned. However, for some who are on fixed incomes and don’t necessarily understand the severity of radon fumes and the potential damage it does cause to those with increased exposure to it, they may be less likely to take it seriously.

“How do you motivate people about a peril that’s invisible, can’t be tasted or smelled, and cost money if found?” explains another researcher. This is the perpetual issue they will have to combat as more and more tests and studies are completed to improve the public, environmental safety of so many people.

It stands to reason that those who know someone who has suffered through painful bouts of cancer, whether they lost their life or survived, would be more apt to take the necessary measures required to protect themselves and their families by sealing off gaps in the home which could surreptitiously lead to radon being let in. There has been substantial evidence in many different scenarios and circumstances that have lead to the knowledge that the inhalation of certain substances will have deleterious effects.

Radon is a toxic gas and its presence shouldn’t be taken lightly or under rationalized or reasonable pretenses. It’s absolutely essential that those who are exposed to it stop the exposure at once. A couple thousand bucks is worth it when you factor in the pain, suffering and medical bills that would likely result. Take your health seriously.

 

Could A Lab Chip That Monitors Health Improve It?

When it comes to technological innovations in the medical field, there is so much potential that may be untapped. Rutgers University researchers compiled a hypothesis to determine what would happen if a device or chip could monitor certain aspects of an individual’s ever-changing health. Certain biomarkers show up via sweat or blood throughout the day and can show signs of specific health issues. Things like protein levels, exposure to bacteria and heart health can be readily read and available via a chip.

The engineers at Rutgers university have invented biosensor technology that can be both handheld or wearable which will help to monitor various fluctuations in health in real time. Mehdi Javanmard, who is an assistant professor in the school’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, says “this is really important in the context of personalized medicine or personalized health monitoring. Our technology enables true labs on chips. We’re talking about platforms the size of a USB flash drive or something that can be integrated onto an Apple Watch, for example, or a Fitbit.”

Present Technology

So the technology for the mechanisms to read such information is already present. The products mentioned above help to uncover things like activity level and heartbeat. A deeper, more integrated system would then be able to provide even more pertinent information about the state of our health, immune system, blood cell viability and so much more. The technology itself involves the electronic barcoding of micro-particles. Each barcode is used to identify them and is thus shown as disease and health shift indicators. This can be used for things like viruses and bacteria as well as specific air contaminants we may not even be aware of otherwise.

Specific health indicators, things like DNA molecules or proteins, have been studied and better understood in recent decades. Those are incredibly complex molecular mechanisms that lead to many human illnesses and ailments. Many patterns and precursors have been uncovered that can be further ascertained by the testing of bodily fluids for a countless number of biomarkers. The way that biomarkers work is although one may be able to provide a bit of information, the information is often incomplete because the heterogeneous nature of specific diseases usually result in more than one indication.

Analyzing Biomarkers

In order to get a more accurate diagnosis to better manage or prevent certain health issues, there is much benefit to being able to analyze multiple biomarkers at the same time. For example, there is a specific biomarker that tests for the antigens found in prostate cancer. For men who suffer from this cancer, having access to a chip that shows when the antigen first appears, would allow them to get treatment as soon as possible. This could really be the difference in positive prognosis and ultimately have a hand in saving lives.

The electronic detection of these micro-particles makes it easy for smaller devices to give accurate readings. The researchers at Rutgers made the barcoding particles process much easier and smoother as the biosensors can now be small enough to be easily wearable. The accuracy of these tiny readers to find and identify biomarkers is over 95 percent. The additional fine tuning to get that number to 100 percent accuracy is consistently taking place.

What Is Seje Oil?

Seje oil isn’t very popular or well known in any capacity in Westernized civilization, but its roots are historic and quite impressive. The oil itself is derived from the oenocarpus bataua plant, which is indigenous to specific parts of the world like Brazil, Colombia, Guyanas, Bolivia and Venezuela. It has also been found growing in certain parts of the Amazon. The fruit is typically gathered during a specific harvesting season when it is retrieved after falling to the ground. This oil is high in a myriad of nutrients and positively impacting acids such as linolenic, palmitic, stearic, oleic and linoleic acids. It is also incredibly high in stigmasterol and beta-sitosterol.

Face And Body

It’s especially impressive due to the amount of vitamins within the oil itself. The fruit that seje oil comes from has naturally high amounts of crucial vitamins like vitamins A, C and E. It is also a great source of amino acids and flavonoids. Due to these complex compounds and compositional makeups, it is very good for the skin for a number of reasons. It has been commonly used in specific face and body products for many decades, despite many people being unfamiliar with the oil itself. Add a bit of seje oil to your cleanser, toner or moisturizer to give your skin an added boost. It will even out your skin tone if you suffer from things like age spots or hyper-pigmentation.

Cold And Cough

The oil can also be used to help remedy common symptoms of a cold as well. If you are like most people, you suffer from the annual cold or cough that can be super annoying and may keep you from going about your daily tasks. Seje oil has been used historically as a way to remedy bronchitis, tuberculosis and other conditions that stem from respiratory sicknesses. Try the inhalation method with this oil when you start to notice a cold or cough coming on. You can add a couple of drops of the oil into a boiling pot of water and breathe in the steam. Or for an easier approach, add the oil to an oil diffuser or humidifier.

Hair And Scalp

Seje oil can also be used on the hair as it has been used by Amazonian tribes for eons to correct problems with the scalp. Do you suffer from dandruff or a dry and itchy scalp? This oil can correct that problem as it is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal. The scalp is one of the most susceptible places on the body for this type of problem. In order to control and eradicate these scalp disorders, getting the bacterial infection under control is most important. After that, increasing the circulation and strengthening the hair follicle capillaries helps align your scalp back to its former health.

Seje oil is also known to be helpful to the hair itself as it increases shine, decreases frizz and helps to define curls. Due to its rapid absorption rate, it’s perfect for hair and won’t leave it looking or feeling greasy.

You can purchase seje oil online from several companies at amazon.com.

 

 

Winter Is The Best Season To Get Allergies Under Control

There is a misconception that allergies don’t affect sufferers in the wintertime. What many don’t think about when they hear about allergy and asthma is the triggers that don’t happen to be seasonal or environmental such as food allergies. While things like pollen aren’t typically high during this time of year, allergies and asthma can take place during any season.

Dress For Weather Warmth

The holiday season also happens to be cold and flu season. There are some ways that you can preemptively prepare for a random flair-up of your allergies and also get them under control for the coming season. A runny nose may be sparked by a virus that is going around, but it also may then trigger your allergic reactions such as sneezing, watery eyes and sore throat. Sometimes being sick does feel very close to having an allergic reaction that is typically called hay fever. Always stay as warm as possible, and don’t forget to button up your coats.

Chilly weather can be a real bummer when it comes to your health. Your nose can easily get stuffed up and cold while you navigate the packed retailers during the holiday season. Always dress appropriately for the weather.

Watch What You Eat

Be mindful of ingredients. There are so many holiday parties and fun festivities that reign during this time of the year. This means that you’ll have your fair share of food and then some. Depending on food allergies, this can get really tricky for some.

While many food allergies are found when individuals are much younger, sometimes allergies are developed later on in life. Make sure to keep your allergies in mind, as well as potential triggers for others in your close-knit circle of family and friends. No one wants to have a poor reaction that lands them in urgent care during the festive and fun holidays.

Watch What You Drink

Be wary of how much alcohol you drink. Some people don’t realize that the cloudy feeling that accompanies a hangover can also irritate your sinuses and spur on common allergy symptoms. Try not to go overboard on the open bars and bottomless champagne because those things can really catch up to you and make you feel sick in more ways than one.

It’s also important to note that often when someone’s face gets red while they drink it’s because they’re actually having an allergic reaction. They aren’t just getting warm or hot, their body is telling them that what they are putting in their system is simply not agreeable to them.

Consider A Fake Tree

You, or someone you know, may actually react poorly to the Christmas tree. This is the reason some opt for a fake tree. Sometimes people have a hard time with the strong odors. While you may love that Christmas tree smell, it isn’t exactly something that can’t negatively affect other people. Especially if the tree still happens to have pollen or mold spores on it somewhere.

There’s also something called terpene, which is found in the sap within a tree, that can be highly triggering to those who may have an allergy to it. If you notice you’re getting a bit stuffy when you get close to the tree, that may be the reason why. Treat your nose with warm water and a netti pot. It’s also recommended that if you are prone to asthma and allergies to have your inhaler and the appropriate dose of medicine on hand.

How To Prevent Swimmer’s Ear

Though the summer season has come to a close, it’s important to have specific methods to prevent some common occurrences that swimming can bring. Whether it be the effect of chlorine on hair and skin or something else entirely, being aware of how swimming can affect the body is pertinent. While summer is the prime time for swimming days, some people swim year round depending on their location and access to indoor pools. Here’s some ways to prevent the dreaded swimmer’s ear that can be difficult to combat.

Water getting stuck in the ear can be just a passing nuisance as it often works its way out by shaking the head. But sometimes just a little bit of water can spell trouble for your ear. Something called otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear, can be potentially more than just an annoying inconvenience if it isn’t dealt with properly. Luckily, there are some specific ways that you can prevent and remedy this issue.

Environment And Bacteria

Firstly, swimmer’s ear is an infection; it isn’t the presence of a bit of water in the ear initially. When the infection occurs, it shifts and the external or outer ear canal is then affected which affects the eardrum and potentially even the ability to hear in the ear.

The environment in which this type of infection thrives, as it helps bacteria to grow, is somewhere generally wet and dark. Prime example, an ear. “Swimming is a significant risk factor especially in fresh water. For most people, swimmer’s ear is a one-time occurrence, but for others it can take a more chronic form,” says Kara Jones-Schubart, a clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M. Some of the most common symptoms for sufferers is redness on the outer part of the ear, warm to the touch, and sometimes tender to the touch as well. Many people who suffer from swimmer’s ear also complain of temporary diminished hearing as well.

Bacteria is the most common catalyst of swimmer’s ear. A less common cause is fungi. Because of the pathogens that can easily thrive in these environments, especially those of the fresh water variety, swimmer’s ear is something that can easily take place. The ear canal is tricky and water can get trapped there, which is where the issue starts as it’s a perfect breeding ground. There are certain things that can cause an ear to be at even greater risk. A buildup of wax can cause the water to get stuck or backed up. Injuring the canal by cleaning the ears improperly with Q-tips can also cause water to have a compromised breeding ground.

How To Avoid It

There are ways to avoid swimmer’s ear. Many avid swimmers speak about the benefits of ear plugs when swimming. There are also over-the-counter ear solutions that can be used to help break up any blockages that you may be experiencing. A little-known trick that can be implemented is to use a hair dryer on wet ears after a swim. The air will flow to all the little crevices and pockets that otherwise may have trapped some of the water. If you believe you are suffering from swimmer’s ear, your general practitioner will be able to properly diagnosis you.

Key Facts Women Need To Know About Heart Disease

Heart disease is a monster killer in this country. So much so that every single minute, a woman dies from heart disease somewhere in the United States. Those numbers are alarming and outrageous. Especially considering there are many preventative measures that can be taken to thwart this terrible and deadly disease. As the number one killer of women, one in three deaths per year are caused by heart disease.

Women, due to their biological makeup, experience a very unique set of circumstances with this disease compared to men. There are specific risk factors that women generally suffer from at a greater rate. Things like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, migraine headaches, early onset menopause and autoimmune conditions. Despite it being the leading cause of death amongst women, so many still aren’t aware of how pervasive and ubiquitous it is. Dr. Holly Andersen and Jennifer Haythe are providing additional facts about the disease they hope will shed necessary light on it.

Leading Cause Of Death Among Women

Women are at a greater risk of developing heart disease than men. Over 45 percent of women are currently not aware that it is the leading cause of death amongst women in the U.S. Women, who often experience a myriad of symptoms that they may relate to stress, are less likely to call 911 when they are experiencing heart attack symptoms. Another aspect that confuses some is that the symptoms women experience when suffering from a heart attack are completely different than what men experience.

For instance, over 40 percent of women say they didn’t even experience chest pain when they had a heart attack. Instead they experienced nausea, palpitations, shortness of breath, jaw discomfort and incredible fatigue. Heart health is also rarely assessed in younger women. While over 70 percent of women do get annual checkups, less than 40 percent have their heart health accessed.

The heart is typically something that younger women don’t even think about as they assume heart attacks and heart disease only affect those over a certain age. Depending on lifestyle choices, hereditary markers, and stress levels, heart disease can become an issue much earlier than they may think.

During pregnancy, women suffer from hypertension more often than any other acquired medical condition. Congenital heart disease is a preexisting condition that is the most common. Many women don’t get the same type of care, treatment or medicine in the aftermath of a heart attack. This lessens likelihood of survival as every single second counts during a heart attack. Women are also less likely to be referred to a cardiovascular health rehabilitation facility after a heart attack.

Heart Disease Statistics

The information and statistics are staggering. Heart disease is a major issue in this country and so many aren’t even aware of its insane prevalence. Just last year, the heart disease death rates increased for the first time since 1993. The rates of death in young women who suffer from heart disease have been increasing since 2000.

One aspect that we must account for is the decline in healthy dietary choices many make. Bad cholesterol readings are through the roof as diets aren’t as healthful and heart healthy as they could be. This is why it’s imperative to understand the differences between bad and good cholesterol. Heart disease will only become more deadly and debilitating if we don’t have the information to combat it.

 

Foot Pain May Stem From Knee Or Hip

The body is essentially a working bundle of organisms, bones, marrow and intricacies that are all interrelated in one way or another. One thing that isn’t as widely explained or understood is how certain parts of the body inform and directly affect others. So when you experience a pain, sometimes the cause of that pain isn’t necessarily on or near that part of the body. Sometimes it’s caused by something a bit further away. This is what researchers were interested in finding out about in reference to foot pain or pain that exists in the lower extremities.

Some people assume that foot pain is a direct result of things like shoe wear, specific amounts of walking, being on the feet all day, or uneven distribution of weight that is often a result of bad posture. While these can all certainly be contributing factors to foot pain, there is another cause that isn’t adequately given proper consideration.

The Kinetic Chain

Researchers at Harvard Medical School looked into this issue and found that there is actually quite a bit of correlation between foot pain and the health of the knees and hips. What the study found was that a patient who is complaining of foot pain should also be asked about any corresponding knee or hip pain. This should also be phrased in a way that includes the past six to 12 months as a barometer for either type of pain.

It’s incredibly important for medical practitioners to conduct a complete and exhaustive physical examination and ask about pertinent medical history. There are so many connections that are made within the body that we don’t even properly consider. Studying the interactions between the foot and the knee, as well as the foot and the hip, helps to bring necessary semblance to the kinetic chain – which is something many people are largely unfamiliar with. The kinetic chain is the notion that the body’s segments and joints affect one another implicitly in the way that movement occurs.

One researcher explained: “The foot is the first part of the body that makes contact with the ground. Its primary function is a shock absorber. If the shock-absorbing capability of the foot is somehow altered or minimized, it’s going to affect other body parts. The foot is also the foundation of the body. If the foundation is not sound, it could have a deleterious effect on the joints above the foot and ankle, namely the knee and the hip.”

This study took data from previously gathered information in 2002 and 2008. With this type of framework, they were able to have a broad range of content as it would have been difficult organizing that amount of foot pain sufferers from scratch. Those filled out a questionnaire that contemplated different levels and degrees of foot pain along with severity experienced. There was also inquires requiring any type of stiffness, pain or aching of the hip or knee.

There was correlation between foot pain and same-side knee and hip pain. Those who experienced issues, pain or discomfort in their right foot, may have also experienced the same things in their right knee or right hip. There is much to be said for how a person that is experiencing this type of pain adjusts and modifies their movement in order to alleviate some of the pain. This causes misalignment and often exacerbates the problem.

Back Stiffness May Actually Be Something Else

Back pain and stiffness is one of the most commonly felt discomforts amongst many adults. Whether it’s from sleeping on a bad mattress, having poor posture or an injury, back stiffness is a pretty ubiquitously experienced ailment. But what if that stiffness isn’t actually what it appears or feels to be? A new report states that this very common occurrence that feels like back tightness or stiffness may be something else entirely.

A researcher in South Australia stated that the correlation between actual back stiffness and what people perceive to be back stiffness is often very different. When the stiffness of a particular part of the back is gauged, it’s not often reported as such by testing options. Tasha Stanton, the lead author and researcher, suggested that maybe the feeling of stiffness is just a protective construct that is created by the nervous system. It could very likely be the body’s way of protecting itself from additional strain or injury.

Understanding The Issues

Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, so back pain is obviously something that affects countless people. This is also why something that may seem as simple and common, such as the presence of back pain, should be taken seriously so that it doesn’t further escalate and become something that is almost impossible to manage. Another issue that doctors and researchers have found when it comes to the experience of back stiffness is that words are incredibly important. Sometimes when they are used incorrectly, it makes the diagnosis and treatment process that much more difficult.

Pain is a very misunderstood entity. While the presence of doctors and chiropractors can be helpful in managing the different types of pain you may be experiencing, getting to the root cause and understanding how everyday stressors and triggers may exacerbate the issue is incredibly important. If certain measures are taken early enough, then the complete decline of the muscles may not be as drastic.

Procedures such as physical therapy are also helpful when there is any type of back or neck pain that is readily experienced. There is an obvious issue with pain killers in this country, and in various parts of the world, so relying on popping pills will undoubtedly lead to more trouble than relief. Obviously if the pain is unbearable, there are less potent, non-habit-forming drugs that can be used.

Finding The Real Problem

A descriptive word such as “stiff” can be used to describe anything. It can be used to describe dull pain, a hurt muscle, a random ache, the result of sleeping on a mattress wrong, and a whole host of other causes. These aren’t necessarily all the same thing nor are they all as serious as one another. This is why using that word to describe what’s going on in your back isn’t necessarily helpful.

Ascertain the problem as completely as you possibly can. Figure out when the sensation started and try to get to a point where you can describe exactly what it feels like as accurately as possible. It could be the difference between it becoming a long-standing problem that completely compromises your quality of life and ability to work and it being treatable. Learn how to properly describe and manage your back pain. Saying something is “stiff” may actually just mask the problem.

The Importance Of Accuracy In Nail Fungus Diagnosis

All types of fungal infection can be distressing for sufferers. When any type of nail fungus occurs, it can be a complicated or often misinterpreted issue. When sandal season looms, this is one of the more common issues that the feet can endure. Often times, the usual reaction is to hide the feet and cover the toes with some type of polish, or even a generic anti-fungal nail treatment. However, it’s crucial that a proper diagnosis from a board-certified dermatologist is made before taking any type of treatment measures.

A board-certified dermatologist Shari Lipper, MD, PhD states, “Although nail fungus is the most common nail disorder that dermatologists treat, not every nail problem is caused by fungus, and there are several other conditions that may look similar, including nail psoriasis and nail trauma.” She sees this type of misstep often and wants individuals to know that treating something as a fungus, that may not be, can actually make the condition much worse.

It’s also imperative not to ignore specific signs that may present themselves. When symptoms go unchecked, the fungus can potentially spread and worsen to the point of causing serious pain or issues. It is a huge misconception that nail fungus only exists as an aesthetic or cosmetic issue. It can be very serious and interfere with your foot’s overall function.

Signs And Symptoms

There are many signs that come with the presence of nail fungus. One of the predominate ones is the lifting of the nail away from the skin. Any type of discoloration of the nail can also be a huge indicator that there is a fungus problem. The two colors most often seen in nail fungus cases are white or yellow. Nails that are plagued with fungus can also show other signs of becoming thick and hard and may be impossible to cut. Another sign of fungus can exist in the complete opposite realm as nail thinning which leads to the splitting or crumbling of the nail.

If you start to notice any type of inconsistent or peculiar nail symptoms, it’s best to schedule an appointment to see a dermatologist right away. This is even more crucial if you have any type of underlying conditions that can potentially affect feet such as poor circulation, a weakened immune system or diabetes.

The diagnostic process that a dermatologist will employ to confirm it is nail fungus can vary. Sometimes it is as simple as a test run that will show if any type of fungus is present. Depending on the severity of the fungus, the doctor will then prescribe topical or oral medications. For the more serious bouts of nail fungus, oral medication can sometimes be the best route. For those who ignore their issue and don’t get proper treatment, the fungus can get so bad that topical treatments don’t work well to completely kill the fungi.

Oral medications take anywhere from six weeks to three months to completely eradicate the toenail fungus. Topical options can take much longer than that. This is because the oral medications work from the inside out while topical medication can only work by properly penetrating the issue. There is also the option of laser procedures, however, this method is typically only used to improve the cosmetic outlay of the nail.