Saturday, August 31, 2013

Great Fitness Gear for Getting Into Shape

Selecting the right fitness gear and equipment for getting into shape can be challenging. There are so many options.

Whether you're a fitness newbie or pro, here are some great items to have for the gym or at home.

A Comfortable Pair of Shoes - A good pair of shoes will give you the necessary support needed for running, lifting weights and other exercises. Test several pairs of shoes when shopping to find the right fit.

A Water Bottle - Hydration is important whether you're working out or you're relaxing at home. Bring a water bottle to the gym, so you always have water nearby. When shopping for a water bottle, consider a steel bottle or a plastic bottle that is BPA free.

Socks - Having a good pair of socks are just as important as shoes. Without socks you're leaving your feet open to the potential of blisters as well as athlete's foot, an infection of the feet caused by fungus. If you don't like wearing long athletic socks, consider getting no show socks.

Towel - A towel helps keep you dry as you're working out. It also creates a barrier between you and the fitness equipment at your gym to protect against infections. If you're using your own towel, be sure to use a fresh one every single visit. The same applies with your socks and clothes. Never wear dirty clothes.

Athletic Underwear - If you're looking for a more comfortable experience when exercising at the gym, consider getting athletic underwear. Typically, the underwear is made from moisture wicking materials to keep you dry.

Music - Whether it's an iPod or even a Walkman, music can help you tune out all of the distractions to focus in on your workout. Look for a music device that is small and compact and clips easily to your clothing. You don't want to get something that's going to get in your way.

Yoga Mats - Whether or not you do yoga, these mats can come in handy when you're working out at home. They provide padding from the hard ground. These mats also give you a buffer to shield you from dirt and germs on the floor. Remember to regularly clean your mat to protect against bacteria.

Bicycle - A bicycle is a great form of alternative transportation. Plus it helps you burn calories. Instead of driving to the gym near your home, consider riding your bicycle. It's great for workouts and outings with family and friends. Don't forget to buy a helmet.

A Stop Watch - Having a device with stop watch capabilities can really help you with your workouts and training when you're not at the gym. Consider investing in a sports watch so you can ensure you're getting enough cardio when you're working out outside or at home.

These are a few items that are perfect for helping you get into shape. Be sure to read reviews and test gear out before buying. Also consider talking with people at your gym for recommendations. You'll typically get the best ideas from people at your health club.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sports Podiatry Advice: How To Fix Your Blisters

Blisters have long been the bane of runners and other athletes alike. Blisters can be very painful and debilitating and they are often not given the proper consideration they deserve. Commonly blisters have been thought to be caused by simply friction and pressure, but more and more the thinking on this has changed.

When treating blisters it is important to understand what a blister actually is. A blister is trauma to the deep layer of skin cells caused by shear between the skin and the underlying bone structures. Shear occurs when there is enough friction between two objects that when a force is applied it moves over the underlying object of less resistance. For example, on a hot day if you try to slide down the seat on a leather couch in your shorts, your skin sticks to the leather and you can only move as much as your skin can stretch and distort. This is distortion within your skin is called shear. A blister occurs when there IS NO sliding between the skin and the sock/shoe instead the sliding occurs between the skin and the bones. Overtime, and particularly with side-to-side foot movements, the shear becomes abnormal and damaging causing the damaged area to fill with fluid. If there IS sliding between the sock/shoe and the skin, this is called an abrasion. Abrasions cause damage to only the top layers of skin and often lead to a red raw wound. This is commonly seen in poor-fitting shoes that allow the foot to move within the shoe.

Now you are probably wondering why it is important to understand the cause of blisters. Well, if we understand why they occur we can prevent blisters and better treat them. The primary goal of blister prevention and treatment should be to establish the underlying cause. Blisters that occur on the back of the heel are often thought to be caused by the heel moving up and down in the shoe. The latest evidence suggests that often heel blistering is actually caused by the heel bone (calcaneus) moving excessively causing the skin to jam between the shoe and the bone. This excessive heel bone movement might be caused by tight calf muscles, a bony prominence or biomechanical issues that can be treated with stretching programs and orthotics.

Taping has long been thought of as the go-to treatment for blistering. In my experience, taping does not work! Taping has no effect on reducing shear or bone movement and does not reduce or deflect pressure under the foot. So why is it still so commonly used? It goes back to my explanation of the difference between blisters and abrasions. Taping prevents abrasions not blisters! It provides a physical barrier to the skin rather than reducing shear.

The main problem in blister management is that often the cause is multi-factorial. Foot moisture management, activity modification and assessing shoe fit properly are all simple strategies to try before a full biomechanical assessment is required. However, if the blistering continues it is important to ascertain the underlying cause of the problem before it becomes debilitating.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Advantages of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance

Magnetic resonance as a technology has been very valuable to cardiologists. It offers many advantages when compared to other imaging technologies used previously in cardiology. The role of cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance is continually expanding since its inception. Initially, this technology was not used by cardiologists in their practice but was mainly used as a research tool.

However, with advances in software and hardware of this cardiovascular scanning tool this is possible. This has brought about major milestones in the practice of cardiology. Functions such as cardiac morphology, assessing of ventricular function, viability and perfusion can be scanned. Therefore, it has become a test routine for any clinical condition when looking into heart diseases. This cardiovascular technology is made use of without ionizing radiation and provides for high resolution as well as three dimensional imaging.

It is imperative to note that in the field of cardiology, magnetic resonance imaging is wide spread in many hospitals. This shows how important this cardiovascular related technology is relevant in medicine for cardiologists. The speed with which the images for purposes of cardiovascular clinical diagnosis are acquired is a plus. The technology is continually improving to advance on this factor as well as reduce the risks associated with scanning vis-a-vis radiation.

When it comes to ambiguity in symptoms cardiovascular magnetic resonance is precise to the point. For instance, cardiologists are able to diagnose myocardial ischemia for patients with chest pains. This includes checking myocardial viability. The technology has also proven very viable to cardiologists as it accommodates patients with ventricular dysfunction.

When it comes to search conditions as coronary artery disease, cardiovascular magnetic resonance is able to predict adverse outcomes of the condition. This makes it easy for the cardiologists to give a proper diagnosis as well as prognosis. This makes cardiology much easier for those who practice any form of cardiac diagnosis.

Considering that most medical technologies are not proven safe until tested continually cardiovascular magnetic resonance is still under improvement. However it is superior to the former cardiology technology used known as echocardiogram. They are the only two technologies that cardiologists' use that does not used ionizing radiation.

This technology that has proven useful to vein and vascular diagnosis is important as it is related to the heart. Not only is it useful in the diagnosis as earlier technologies used by cardiologists, it also gives directives on the best treatment. This is a leap forward in cardiology as the high resolution images given provide for rapid and efficient treatment. A cardiologist using earlier technologies would have had to take a while before they get proper treatment for the patient. This is not the case with this cardiovascular technology.

There are various disadvantages of these technologies just like others. The first is that it can not be used in the presence of metallic objects. This would have to mean that for those patients who have had surgeries that require infusion of a metallic object to a joint may not go through this test. There is also the issue of claustrophobic patients who have a difficult time during the scanning procedures. These are some of the improvements that are being considered as the cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging technology is done.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Inside a Modern Pharmacy

A pharmacy, whether located in a retail environment or set up exclusively to provide supplies to a medical facility, has to follow certain rules. They are subject to pharmaceutical quality assurance protocols and they must also make sure they have well-trained staff and store drugs in a secure facility. The pharmacy is an old establishment, with the earliest being referred to as an apothecary for their one-stop-shop approach with spiritualism, herbalism and even medical treatments. They predate modern medicine, and have gradually evolved to a place where drugs are made to one where they are sold and dispensed.

The act of mixing a drug together to fit the needs of a patient is called compounding. Even though drugs are now typically purchased in useable form from the manufacturer, a pharmacist or pharmacy technician will still measure dosages and provide patients with additional instructions for consumption. Pharmacists must pay special attention to pharmaceutical quality training to make sure that not a single error slips through. Their education allows them to interpret the often cryptic seeming scribbles of a doctor, but if they are not sure they are trained to call. This is one of the reasons why a prescription pad includes the contact information of the doctor.

At a typical pharmacy, if it is retail establishment, a counter separates clients from the pharmacists. Customers drop off prescriptions they received from a doctor, and wait to pick up completed orders, either in provided seating or with shopping. If it's a refill they can even call in their order. Additional medicines, vitamins and medical appliances that do not need a prescription are available over the counter, but the pharmacist will also consult with clients to help them pick the best treatment. Whether prepackaged and over the counter or available only on a doctor's orders, every product with a medical purpose is subject to pharmaceutical quality assurance.

This means that it is rigorously tested and manufactured in a controlled facility. Most drugs need to be stored at exact temperatures, so one of the things pharmacists learn as part of pharmaceutical quality training is the necessary steps to keep the facilities clean and in compliance with regulations. Much how restaurant workers learn how to keep their work place hygienic in a food safety course, pharmacy programs

While drugs available on the shelves have safety seals to prevent tampering, the compounding and storage area will have reliable locks and security cameras. This helps insure pharmaceutical quality assurance protocols are maintained, but some motivation for this is because misuse of the contents of a pharmacy could be dangerous, but also because certain drugs cause a dependency. One of the roles of the pharmacist is to serve as a gatekeeper and make sure the products they sell are not misused.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Benefits to Using a Mobile Heart Monitor

Modern medicine has been able to benefit from technology in a number of ways. Machines that used to be equipped with hundreds of cords and take up an entire room have been reduced to smaller machines that are now more portable. This allows doctors to take the diagnostic equipment with them wherever they go and even allow patients to take many of the pieces of equipment home with them in order to get a more accurate reading when not sitting inside of a hospital under ideal conditions. The mobile heart monitor is one of these machines that have come about due to technology and there are many benefits to using such a tool.

Some people need to wear a mobile heart monitor from time to time so doctors can see how the heart responds in various conditions. A person may have to keep a log of their activities from hour to hour. This will allow the doctor to compare the readings on the monitor to the piece of paper to see what activities cause more strain on the heart. If it weren't for the mobile version of this monitor, it would be impossible for doctors to know what activities a person can and cannot do without causing the heart to beat faster than it should.

When the mobile heart monitor is in use, it allows a patient to go about his or her normal activities. They are able to wear the monitor unobtrusively under clothes, go to work and conduct normal activities. Some of these monitors are even wireless, making it even easier to wear the monitor. Since the patient can go about a normal day, there is no need to spend time in the hospital and thus no need to spend the money that goes along with a day in the hospital. It's more affordable to opt for this method than diagnostics that require an overnight stay in the hospital.

There are some mobile heart monitors that can transmit information to the doctor without the patient having to do anything special. This will allow the doctor to track data coming from the monitor throughout the day. If there is anything that looks to be out of the ordinary, the doctor can call the patient to stop an activity and come into the office or the hospital immediately for additional tests. Such a monitor has been able to save many lives.

The mobile heart monitor itself is very affordable in comparison to the larger machines that were used ten years ago. With smaller and fewer parts, it makes it easy for a doctor to have multiple monitors within a practice as opposed to sending someone to a lab for diagnosis. This makes it more affordable for the doctor and the patient. It also makes it easier to provide more effective diagnoses to patients without spending a lot of time trying to run different tests to figure out what the problem is. The monitor continues to evolve, allowing patients to benefit.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Liposuction Vs Mesotherapy - A Close Look

If you need to lose a few "vanity" pounds around your waist, hips and thighs, liposuction seems to be the most convenient solution. Liposuction involves extracting fat cells completely from the skin tissues, and the procedure can be fairly extensive; the doctor must make several incisions, and you may be required to wear compression garments for weeks after surgery.

Mesotherapy is an alternative to liposuction, and involves administering a series of injections into the skin; the compounds in the injection break down fat cells, and the body eliminates the fat naturally. Both procedures offer their own set of benefits and drawbacks, so educating yourself on how these procedures work -- and what the risks are -- can help you make the best decision for treatment.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Liposuction

Liposuction techniques have improved significantly over the last few decades, and surgeons are becoming skilled in body reshaping and sculpting techniques to provide more natural-looking results. There are now several variations of the traditional liposuction technique available: SmartLipo is performed under local anesthesia, and involves melting the fat before extraction so that there is minimal bruising, scarring and pain; VASER liposuction also melts the fat before removal, and offers skin tightening benefits because it heats up the dermal tissues around the treated area, creating a more sculpted and defined look; conventional liposuction involves extracting the fat 'as is' using a cannula, and this process can cause significant trauma and damage to surrounding tissues.

All three of these liposuction techniques involve extensive downtime, and do require the patient to wear compression garments for weeks, even months after surgery. The surgery itself presents some risks; if surgery is performed under general anesthesia, the patient may experience several side effects from the anesthetic, and recovery may be a lengthy process.

Still, liposuction offers permanent results and can help many people achieve their ideal silhouette.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Mesotherapy

Mesotherapy is designed to "melt" the fat beneath the skin and shrink the fat cells in the top layer of skin. The fat is dissolved and carried out through the bloodstream where it is excreted through the body's natural elimination system. Mesotherapy injections are administered in very small doses in each area that needs to be treated, and the medication works immediately to start breaking down and eliminating the fat cells. It's a non-surgical procedure that promises no downtime, and minimal pain. You don't have to wear compression garments after the procedure, and there are no incisions or bruises involved.

While mesotherapy offers several benefits, there are some drawbacks to this procedure. Patients who regain weight after the procedure typically regain it in the same place, because the shrunken fat cells just become filled up with the new fat. The compounds in mesotherapy injections may also present adverse side effects in some people; the treated areas can become swollen, bruised, or even infected (although the risk of infection is low).

Still, mesotherapy presents a number of benefits over liposuction, and may be an affordable, more practical alternative to surgery.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Trust Your OB/GYN - Women's Partner In Maintaining Total Health And Wellbeing

Every year, people make New Year's resolutions about eating a healthier diet, exercising regularly and being more productive at work. Well and good. But for many women, they forget one important thing on their list - a regular visit to the OB/GYN. Women may find the idea of having their most private parts checked by another person uncomfortable, but regular check-ups with the OB/GYN is an essential part of living a healthy lifestyle.

Some women think that they should only visit a medical professional if they are pregnant or when they notice something irregular. The cliché may be tired and worn out, but indeed, prevention is much, much better than cure. For example, a manual breast exam performed by an OB/GYN is more effective than a self-check. Then there are some STDs that are asymptomatic or show no signs of infection. It may be awkward or embarrassing to have a doctor check your intimate parts or to tell another person (other than your partner) about details of your sex life, but that is an essential part of the job for your OB/GYN. Women should be reassured that doctors are professionals and in no certain way are they there to pass judgment upon them.

The first hindrance to getting the most out of a visit to an OB/GYN is embarrassment. This can lead a patient to leave out specific details that she finds awkward to tell another person. This is why it is crucial to find the right OB/GYN. Women can ask recommendations from their friends and relatives. They can also ask the assistance of their healthcare provider about expert OB/GYNs near their area.

Check-ups should be done regularly. For healthy women, this may mean going to the OB/GYN at least once a year. Women who have previous issues like irregular menstruation and fibroids and those who are on the pill should visit the doctor at closer intervals. Before scheduling a visit, it is crucial to note specific information like the medication you have been taking and the date of your last menstruation. If you're getting a pap smear, do not schedule it before or after your period and avoid having sex the night before as these can affect the test's accuracy.

If you are sexually active, it is crucial for your OB/GYN to know about your habits in the boudoir especially if you have engaged in unsafe practices with a new partner. STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea do not show symptoms and can only be discovered if you subject yourself to a test. These diseases are easily treated but it is crucial that they are diagnosed and treated early on.

Many OB/GYNs recommend getting the more "embarrassing" stuff out of the way first during the consultation. Sometimes nerves get in the way or people simply forget the important questions they should clarify with their OB/GYN; this is why it is important to list questions and ask them right away.

Women have specific health issues that are peculiar to them. As part of a sound health and wellness plan, a regular visit to an OB/GYN is important.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Things You Should Know Before Having Your Body Sculpted

Everyone is making such a big deal about taking the time to choose a good surgeon that you may not be clear about what you should know before getting plastic surgery. Take some time to learn about what you should expect before your procedure so that you are not confused about anything later on. Here are a few things you should be aware of before you commit to any procedure.

Once you arrive at your consultation, a staff member should greet you. Usually this staff member is a receptionist or nurse. You will be provided with new patient information papers to fill out. Included in this packet is a medical history form or questionnaire. It is very important for you to be as open and honest as possible about any health concerns you have had in the past. Be honest about the foods, drinks, medication, and herbal supplements you may be taking as well. Your surgeon will look at this information and make your plan of treatment based off of this information. Some medications, health concerns, and activities, such as drinking and smoking, can interfere with your body's ability to heal. If necessary your surgeon can make modifications to lower your risk for complications.

Once you meet the doctor, ask them about their practice and accomplishments. Ask to see proofs of credentials and of their recent work. Inquire as to whether or not there have been any claims of malpractice brought against them and how they were resolved. Keep in mind that the practice of plastic surgery is not an exact science and it is impossible to please everyone. So there may be a few complaints against that doctor. However, if there is a large number of complaints and cases, you should consult with a different professional. Also, verify that this professional has malpractice insurance for both of your protection.

As you get more familiar with the surgeon who is going to be in charge of your plastic surgery procedure, don't forget to discuss a few things. The doctor should go over what is involved for your particular procedure. You need to discuss where it will be done and when. You should also find out how much your plastic surgery is going to cost. Keep in mind that the price generally includes the cost of anesthesia as well. Don't forget to double check to find out if sedation is included or is going to cost extra.

You should walk away from your plastic surgery consultation with reasonable expectations. No matter what type of work you want to have done, your surgeon will have given you their expert assessment and opinion about what to expect, even if it doesn't live up to what you originally thought. By having a clear and realistic goal in mind, you will be more able to appreciate the work your surgeon does to give you the body you seek.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Germ-Free Living

Germs are a little annoyance that we have to put up with on a daily basis everywhere we go. They are inescapable and most of the time harmless, but should be understood as a potentially serious risks to our health. There are few precautions you may already make to protect yourself from unwanted germs like flushing the toilet with your foot when using a public bathroom and grabbing an extra paper towel to open the door. Unfortunately, avoiding the toilet handle and bathroom doors might not be enough to keep you germ-free and healthy. Here are a few other places to be concerned about as well as some tips to keep clean.

Shopping Carts

You can bet that any area frequented by the groping and grasping of countless unwashed hands is going to be a health risk. This makes shopping cart handles one of the dirtiest places to come in contact with. Many stores have antibacterial wipes near the cart stands for you to wipe down the handles before use. Take advantage of this and keep clean!

ATM Buttons

Next time you're standing in front of one of these, entering your pin code and grabbing some cash, remember you'll be leaving there with more than just your withdrawal. I don't think banks are required to clean these regularly if at all,, and we all know how many people use these things everyday, do remember to wash your hands after visiting an ATM.


I've never really cleaned my purse, besides emptying it out now and then. So having not been properly disinfected, it carries with it germs from every surface its ever touched. The fabric of your purse will determine how you need to clean it. Often times, wiping down the bottom with a towelette will be sufficient. Carrying a purse hook with you will keep you from placing your purse down on unclean surfaces.


We all know how dirty public bathrooms are, but don't think that your bathroom at home is any less filthy. Sinks can be well-managed and even toilets too, but the worst offender of nasty germs is your bathtub. Bathing and showering washes off bacteria and viruses from your body that you've picked up throughout the day. The dampness of the tub is the perfect breeding environment for all those microorganisms. To avoid this, scrub your tub weekly and wipe it dry afterwards.

Doctor's Office

Sadly the very place you turn to for treatment from germ-causing illnesses is possibly the germiest place of all. With sick patients being seen regularly here, it means that everything you've touched has been previously sneezed on or coughed on. When visiting your doctor, skip flipping through the magazines in the office and instead bring your own reading material and plenty of hand sanitizer. You might not be completely germ-free when you leave, but you might have saved yourself from an unnecessary illness.

Condiment Dispensers

Before you go about decorating your burgers with mustard and ketchup, consider wiping down those bottles or wrapping a napkin around them before serving yourself. Many times we use these kinds of condiments before eating finger foods, which means with each bite, we get a little food and side order of bacteria.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Fit, Sexy, And Relaxed Buyer's Guide To Foam Roller

Over time, your muscles get overworked and tense. So much so that sometimes you feel the urge to stretch while sitting, standing, or even lying down. One effective way to do this is to perform foam rolling exercises, which provide stretching techniques known as self-myofascial release. The term sounds heavy and technical enough to guarantee results for your body, namely injury prevention, flexibility, fitness, and relaxation. But the tool you use is light and simple enough to allow for some easy shopping. Here are quick suggestions to help you choose the best foam roller for those stretching techniques.

Decide if you'll use the roller mainly for strengthening and rehabilitation exercises. Some people may only use the roller for deep tissue massages. Rollers come in different specifications: half-round, long, medium foam, etc. If you're using the roller for fitness and therapy, it is ideal to go with something that combines malleability and firmness. If you're using the roller for massage work, try a product that is firm on the inside yet features a soft outer layer. A high-density roller is recommended for athletes who need intensive work on their muscles.

Look into firmness. The firmness of some foam rollers is actually colour-coded. A white roller is made up of polyethylene foam and has low density. They create less pressure, making it an ideal firmness choice for beginners. A medium to lightly coloured roller is designed for advanced core-stabilisation. They usually come in blue or green and are commonly used in Pilates. Meanwhile, a black roller is recommended for advanced users.

When it comes to rollers, size does matter. Lengths will vary from 12 to 36 inches. What you choose will depend on what exercises you'll be doing. For instance, if you're going to be doing a lot of back exercises you'll naturally need a long roller. This will ensure that you have proper alignment and good support while on the exercise tool.

Know how to use the roller before buying one. This will help you determine what foam roller exercises would suit your needs, which in turn, will help you decide which kind of roller you'll have to get.

And finally, make sure to buy a roller that comes with a cover or get one that fits what you just purchased. A cover will keep your roller safe from dirt, water, and possibly prevent transmission of harmful bacteria. If you're going to be using the roller for a gym class, get one that has a strap so that you can easily carry it along.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Different Reasons for Patient Physicals

It is true that physicals tend to be a part of life. Each year, children and adults go in to see a doctor and have their overall health evaluated. These appointments, often called well visits, are usually covered by health insurance and serve as a way to alert a person of any health concerns that may need to be addressed in the near future. But outside of these regular, yearly appointments, there are other reasons that a person may need to see a doctor for a similar type of appointment.

School, Camp and Sports Physicals

In some instances, kids need to see a physician more than once a year. Those that are getting ready to register at a new school may need to show that they are in good health and able to participate in all the activities. Camps may also request paperwork documenting the fact that the child is able to handle the events that are planned for all campers. Finally, before registering for sports, kids need to show that they are up for the challenge and exertion on the body that comes along with the game.

Employment Physicals

Sometimes an employer needs to be sure that an employee will be able to handle all of his or her responsibilities at work. This means that aside from a regular doctor's exam, it may be necessary to test how much weight a person can lift or whether or not the individual will be able to handle the demands of the job on his or her body. The results of this appointment are handed over to the employer before the new employee is able to begin work.

Insurance Certification

While getting set up for life or health insurance, individuals may need to undergo physicals in order to demonstrate health. Life insurance premiums are often dependent upon the type of life that a person leads. Someone that smokes is probably going to pay more than someone that doesn't. A person that has a problematic health concern is going to see different coverage when compared to a healthy person. An appointment to the doctor will help the insurance company determine what type of premium a client should pay.

While each of these physicals is important, it is not always easy to set up an appointment that fits perfectly into an individual's schedule. When multiple appointments are needed, things can get even more complicated. Medical urgent care facilities are starting to take on these types of appointments. They can offer better hours, more appointment availability, and the opportunity for families to all go to the same office to have their checkups taken care of.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Get Rid Of Those Nasty Varicose Veins In Good Time For Your Summer Holiday

January is typically the time when thoughts turn to planning a summer holiday. Everyone wants to look good on the beach or by the swimming pool and now is the best time to have leg vein treatment.

The majority of people with varicose veins come to no harm at all. Even those people who have ache, discomfort and swelling are unlikely to develop serious complications. For this reason, many doctors believe that varicose veins are not important and the treatment is not a priority in the NHS and some people are denied NHS referral and treatment. To some extent this is understandable as the NHS has many pressures requiring its valuable resources such as the treatment of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and care of the elderly - to name just a few. Even if your veins are severe, your GP may not be able to help and may not be able to refer you for treatment. Nevertheless, varicose veins cause severe embarrassment for many, who are unable to wear shorts, go swimming or enjoy holidays on the beach.

In some cases, NHS treatment will only be available after complications have arisen. Many vein specialists believe that treatment at an earlier stage improves the cosmetic results and prevents these complications.

For some people, "surgery" is appropriate however the removal of varicose veins can often also be carried out under local anaesthetic on a "walk in, walk out" basis using microsurgical techniques and delicate instruments, thereby producing excellent cosmetic results with each procedure tailored to the precise pattern of reflux identified by the ultrasound scan. Early diagnosis and treatment ensure that the condition is not allowed to deteriorate.

In our opinion, large varicose veins very close to the surface of the skin are best treated by a procedure called Microphlebectomy which gives excellent cosmetic results very quickly. The skin is numbed by local anaesthetic, very much like a dentist's injection and a micro-incision is made in the skin, slightly larger than a needle prick. The varicose veins are extracted with special instruments which do not cause pain and then the micro-incision is closed with surgical tape and no stitches are needed.

Frequently, people leave it too late by seeking treatment for their veins just before they are due to go on holiday. In fact, most people should consider having their spider veins and thread veins treated in the winter so that there is sufficient time for the improvement to become apparent. Also, when dealing with unsightly and uncomfortable veins, time should be allowed for the healing process and to allow any bruising to disperse.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Alzheimer's Warning Signs

One of the most important things that we can educate ourselves about with regard to brain health is knowledge concerning some of the well-known Alzheimer's warning signs. Given how Alzheimer's disease brings fear and dread in many of us owing to its debilitating effects, it is only proper that we pay attention to ourselves and our loved ones as they approach the age where Alzheimer's disease typically manifests itself. In this post, we will list some of these common symptoms so you can immediately talk to your doctor if you ever notice that you, or a family member, is exhibiting some or all of these warning signals.

1 - Memory loss. It is fairly common to forget things every now and then, but when it becomes pervasive and regular, it should raise serious alarm when concerning an elderly individual. Differentiating the normal from the abnormal may be tricky but there are ways that you can do it. When someone forgets information that you would expect them to easily remember such as their birthday, anniversary or other personal information they have known all their life, it can be a sign of the onset of Alzheimer's disease. It's one thing for a person to wake up one day and forget that someone in the family is celebrating their birthday; it's altogether a different story when you ask that person what his or her birthday is and they do not remember.

2 - Diminishing problem-solving skills. Alzheimer's warning signs also impact cognitive processes and not just memory retention. This can manifest in the form of a disruptive inability to plan or solve problems including very basic ones. For example, if a person is finding it hard to balance their check book, which they have always easily been able to do, then you know there is a potential problem that could be caused by the onset of Alzheimer's.

3 - Confusion. The ability to keep track of directions, or lack thereof, is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's warning signs. This applies not only to physical directions but, as already suggested in memory loss, time. If a person manifests inability to find their way home or if they are losing track of dates and time, then this can be a serious case for worry.

4 - Inability to hold or follow conversations. This is closely linked to cognitive functions that are impaired with the onset of Alzheimer's. Maintaining conversations actually requires a complex set of cognitive processes that helps an individual track the different topics that come about in discussion. People who stop mid-sentence and suddenly express that they don't have an idea about the topic being discussed are already manifesting some Alzheimer's warning signs that need to be checked out by a doctor.

5 - Mood changes. This may be a far less obvious warning sign but it remains true nonetheless. There is often the perception that as people age, they become more irritable and withdrawn from social interactions. Indeed this is true; however when it begins to seriously impact mood and personality or altogether leads to withdrawal from typical family gatherings, this may be a sign that something serious is happening and that an appointment with the doctor is already necessary.

While it is painful to admit that there is little we can do once Alzheimer's has set in, being aware of these Alzheimer's warning signs can help build hope that early detection can help doctors work out a means to at least delay the progress of the illness. There are now a number of studies and experimental drugs developed to achieve this. Early detection is crucial so that the treatment of the disease with these experimental methods can begin at a very early stage so that they have a better chance to work. Knowledge of how to deal with the early warning signs will bond a family closer as a loved one suffers through the medical problems of Alzheimer's disease.

If you would like to learn more about Alzheimer's warning signs, be sure and visit our site which has a large number of informative articles on the subject.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Pedometers and Their Uses

A pedometer is used to count the number of steps a person takes. It can be attached to the waistband and it is very easy to use. Many types of pedometer are available in the market. Most of them work on the same pattern. They detect the movement of hips as a person walks and it records each movement to count the number of steps.

Accuracy of Pedometer:

The accuracy of a pedometer depends on the walking speed of the person. If the person is walking at a speed of about 8km/h then it gives an accuracy of more than 96%. If the walking speed is less than 8km/h, then accuracy is reduced. At a speed of 3-4km/h, the accuracy can be reduced to 75%. Actually, when we walk slowly, the movement of the hips is reduced and this motion becomes less than that required for the mechanical pedometer to detect any motion. So, at higher speeds, accuracy is better and it gets reduced at lower speeds. At medium speeds, it works fine.

Working of a Pedometer:

Pedometers can be classified into two different types on the basis of their internal mechanism. The first type is the mechanical pedometer which has a spring and a bar attached to it. Whenever you walk and take steps, each step makes the spring to move in such a way that an electric circuit is closed and a step is recorded. The other type uses a piezoelectric cell in its mechanism. There is a beam. The cell is connected to one end and a weight is attached to the other end. When the user walks, his movement applies pressure on the cell. This results in inducing a voltage. This voltage induced is compared to a specific value which is taken as a standard voltage for each step.

The pedometers which use piezoelectric cells in their functioning are a suitable option for those who are overweight and walk very slowly. These piezoelectric pedometers are more sensitive for detection of very slow walks and steps. So, if you have a habit of walking very slow, then they are a recommended option for you.

Mechanical pedometers can be worn by those who have a habit of walking fast. They will record all the steps and they are recommended if you like brisk walking. A mechanical pedometer can be a very good companion in your morning walk. For those people who don't like to use pedometers on the waist can use them on the socks. It will not affect the accuracy and it will give the same pattern which is given when it is used on the waistband.

How to test the pedometer:

For testing the pedometer, set it to zero and walk a known number of steps carefully. If it gives the same number of steps, it means it is reliable. A tolerance of 10% should not be considered bad. Typical mechanical pedometers have an accuracy of more than 90%. To test it in a different way, compare its results with the results of other pedometers.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

What Are the Uses of Hip Flexors?

Hip flexors, in the human anatomy, refer to a cluster of skeletal muscles that help to pull the knee forward, by flexing the femur or the thighbone onto the lumbo-pelvic complex. Together called iliopsoas, or the muscles of the inner hip, they consist of Psoas major, Psoas minor and Iliacus muscle. The hip flexor group of muscles, located in the abdomen and the thigh, are active when you stand up from a sitting position, or when you dance, climb stairs, run, play soccer or even when you do resistance training. Allowing the up and down movements of your legs and at the same time working to balance your spine's stability, they represent the strongest muscles in your body.

The problem, however, is that a sedentary lifestyle of sitting most of the time tends to allow the hip flexor muscles to shorten, propagating in its wake, problems that go all the way from our back to our feet. Old age or sleeping in a fetal position will also hasten the flexor shortening process.

Lack of flexibility and not strength hampers the smooth functioning of the hip flexors. Imagine someone with a broken arm in a plaster for 8 weeks. On removing the plaster, he will find he is not able to flex and stretch as usual. This is because your muscles, over this period of inactivity, have shortened, and then it takes long hours of physiotherapy, before he regains his original flexibility. It is the same with the hips and if not flexed regularly, or if you consign yourself to a sitting position for long hours, you are inviting problems with your hip flexor muscles, resulting in limiting your hip movements.

When the hip flexor muscles lose their flexibility and become tight, the back gets compressed by virtue of the pelvis thrusting forward, and standing in this position requires one to over-arch his back. The experts commonly refer to this as swayback and anatomically, as Hyperextension. Standing or sitting in this position for a long time mounts pressure on the joints and the lower spine, leading to painful arthritis in due course.

To rectify the situation, you can undertake a lot of exercises, but the most important is warming up the flexors with moderate stretches, especially lunges, bending one knee at the front, and stretching the other leg straight behind. They also recommend using a foam roller 24 inches long and 6 inches in diameter, to roll between the knees and the hips, while lying face down with your elbows for support.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Disposable Gloves for Health and Safety

For those that work in industries that require the use of disposable gloves for health and safety there has been concerns regarding reactions to wearing them. As a result some individuals have preferred to not use them and this alone can create some serious health and safety hazards for them.

The type of industry that you are in should indicate the type of disposable gloves that you require. The biggest fear for many is that they will take a reaction to latex gloves. Based on this they are unsure as to what they can use to replace these in order to provide them with the right occupational safety features. What many don't realize is that there are many different types of this particular product to choose from. If one particular type is not acceptable then it should not be difficult to find an alternative.

Aside from allergy issues there are other factors about these throw away gloves that need to be considered. It starts with the purpose that the gloves are required for. For example, those that are wearing them because their job involves the use of inks and dyes will require a different type of glove compared to those that are working with other types of potential hazards. There are some industries that require protection for workers who run a risk of a jab or puncture to their hands. In this case the requirement is for a much stronger glove to help prevent this.

Another area to pay attention to when choosing the appropriate disposable gloves is fit. This is most important not only from a safety point of view but for comfort as well. Gloves that do not fit well make it awkward for the wearer to get a firm grasp.

Not all gloves are the same
Without a good understanding of the various types of materials that are used to manufacture disposable gloves it is easy to assume that they are all basically the same. This is not the case however, as there are materials such as vinyl or natural latex or even Nitrile that are used for making these items. Many people feel that Nitrile made gloves are far better than latex, but again it comes down to what type of protection they need.

Inexpensive does not mean savings
If a buyer of these protective items is of the opinion that they are basically the same, then they often form the opinion that they can just buy the cheapest ones available. The problem with this is that all of the variables that can exist with disposable gloves may not be taken into account. The materials have already been mentioned, but there is also the processing of the gloves to be considered as well. The craftsmanship that they are made with is important. For example if in the manufacturing process the gloves are not cured for the proper amount of time it can weaken their durability which could put the wearer at risk.

For any individual that has the need for disposable gloves to afford their safety, protection, and allow them to be productive in their work, it is most important that they invest in quality ones of the right type.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), like Fibromyalgia, can be a debilitating disease that can consume an individual's life and make their quality of life decline significantly and steadily. As an individual who has suffered from CFS since my teenage years, I know these symptoms and the consequences of these symptoms intimately.

Generally, a CFS patient will have several symptoms for an extended period of time (generally 6 months or longer), such as:

  • Unexplained 'aches and pains', generally throughout the body or move from one area to another with no swelling or redness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Loss of memory
  • Enlarged lymph node in the neck or armpits
  • Constant fatigue
  • Severe exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise
  • Inability to feel refreshed after sleeping for 7 - 8 hours
  • Psychological symptoms may include: irritability, mood swings, or panic attacks

Unfortunately, there is no one test that can be conducted to determine whether CFS exists or not; it is purely the summation of all symptoms at this time. Individuals with CFS will feel completely worn out, overtired, and their body will feel completely exhausted after physical or mental exercise. Individuals with CFS can't function as other 'normal' individuals do.

Someone with CFS can have several really great, energetic, and wonderful-feeling days and then all of a sudden be hit with fatigue, joint and muscle pain, irritability, or panic attacks. And even if the individual sleeps or rests for 7 - 8 hours they won't feel refreshed the next morning.

In addition, individuals with CFS are highly discouraged from donating blood and organs because the cause of CFS is unknown and it is unknown how or if CFS will present in an individual receiving the blood or organ donation. Because CFS is still a mystery to the medical profession they are safeguarding donor recipients from the possibility of receiving this syndrome in the future. I didn't know this until I hosted a community blood drive for my company and found out that I was ineligible to donate blood.

There is no cure for CFS. It's just something that we have to live with, work around, and deal with on a consistent basis. Some individuals have more severe symptoms than others. While there is no scientific proof, as someone who has CFS, I believe that there are a few things that play a huge part in how defined and severe the symptoms are or are not.

Some of these include:

Stress levels - the higher the stress levels in someone without CFS, the more likely they are to get sick. If the individual has CFS, then they are even more likely to get sick, have pain in their body, and experience the psychological parts of CFS.

Diet - the old saying 'we are what we eat' is so very true, especially when it comes to someone with CFS. If the individual isn't eating their fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, then their body isn't able to absorb the needed nutrients to stay healthy. The more junk food that is eaten, the worse I feel!

Exercise - this is a huge one for me, especially when I'm hurting really bad. Exercise does so many good things for us.

  • It increases the circulation in our body - it actually increases the amount of blood pumped through our body
  • It gets our heart working harder - which makes it stronger - it is, after all, a muscle and it needs to be worked
  • It gets our endorphins going - this is the 'feel good' part of the brain. When the endorphins are flowing bad moods change to good moods, pain is reduced (or goes away), and we are just happier in general.
  • It works our muscles - when an individual just lays or sits down all day they aren't actively using or strengthening the muscles. Muscles need to be worked because this is how they become stronger and receive oxygen. The oxygen makes the muscles happier (and hurt so much less).

Vitamins - I really didn't start taking vitamins (like I'm supposed to) until a few short years ago. I highly recommend going with a Whole Foods vitamin because the body absorbs so much more of the whole foods vitamins because they are extracted from actual plants vs. man-made vitamins which the body only absorbs a small amount. I can definitely tell the difference when I missed taking my vitamins for the day.

Listen to your body - your body wants to feel good, so listen to what it's telling you. Are you overworking your body? Are you getting enough rest at night (7 - 8 hours)? Are you allowing for downtime after a big physical or mental event? These are things to think about to help battle CFS and its symptoms.

Monday, August 12, 2013

How To Get A Muscular And Lean Body

Everyone wants to have a great body, complete with a six-pack and toned muscle all round. If your abs look good then generally your whole body looks good. However, the question of how one achieves a lean and muscular body is one that millions of people across the world struggle with. This article will reveal some effective strategies for getting rid of that stubborn stomach fat that stops you having those flat six-pack abs that everyone wants.


The first and most important thing to do in order to lose your belly fat and get flat abs is to clean up your diet. Exercise is important, but your diet is king when it comes to losing body fat and revealing those abs.

Now, unfortunately there is so much conflicting information in the media these days about what really constitutes a healthy diet that promotes fat loss. We are continually bombarded with messages about different diets - low carb this and low fat that, high protein, Atkins, South Beach, liquid diets, and many more - that the average consumer does not even know where to start their diet to get lean.

However, the bottom line is that to get a lean and ripped body, you have to lower your body fat content. This means cutting out the highly processed and fat laden foods that are responsible for many of the health and obesity cases we see in society today. To start a healthy diet, one should avoid junk food and foods high in sugar. One should try to replace these with healthier options that are low in fat and cholesterol, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Food laden with transfats like fries and crackers should be avoided. One can replace these "bad" fats with "good" ones by consuming foods that are rich in unsaturated fats, examples of which include salmon, avocados, soybeans and walnuts. In addition, foods with vitamin C like kiwi and oranges can help to reduce belly flab. Vitamin C helps to balance hormones that are usually released when one is stressed out. Being stressed can cause people to put on weight and an intake of Vitamin C helps the body to turn fat into fuel

Whole Body Exercise

The second thing that works well is workouts that focus on working the body as a whole in order to get the best metabolic response to lose that stubborn stomach fat. In order to really get lean, the workouts should of high intensity, with short rest intervals, working the largest muscle groups of the body, instead of trying to isolate specific small muscles like the biceps, triceps, or calves.

Specific Training for Abs

Thirdly comes training specifically designed to focus on the Abs. When it comes to training the abs, one should not rely so much on crunches and sit ups as a lot of people do. These are fine for someone who is in poor physical condition and is perhaps starting out on the road to fitness, but people that already have some training under their belt need a much better stimulus for their abs than crunches. Crunches are one of the abs exercises that actually provide the least amount of resistance, and anyone that knows anything about muscle development knows that resistance is what develops and tones the muscles.

There are several great abs exercises available, but one of the highest resistance exercises for abs is hanging leg raises (but NOT the way you see most people at the gym doing them). The key to doing these and actually giving the abs a good workout is to curl your pelvis up as you raise your legs. Almost nobody ever does this right. In fact the majority of people cannot do this at first but with practice they soon get the hang of it and achieve great results.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

10 Tips to Eat Healthy While Traveling

When we are traveling, it is difficult to get fresh and organic food. This makes it so we eat something that we don't want or something that isn't as healthy. The choices are low and often leads to something that isn't that tasty. At the same time, it's difficult to bring around fresh food for a longer period of time. Follow these 10 tips to fuel and satisfy your tastebuds while remaining healthy.

Tip 1: Bring a travel bag

A travel cooler is a simple solution to keep your health while you are traveling. Sometimes, just bringing juice or a green smoothie makes a difference in your day. By doing this, you can bring things like kitcheree, soups, smoothies and food that you would normally have to refrigerate.

Tip 2: Get the right oils, vinegar and salt

Finding good oils and high quality fats is one of the reasons why restaurants often don't work. If you want to change your position with oils, bring coconut oil, flax oil or raw butter. Restaurants will fulfill your request to steam veggies or rice while allowing you to use your own oils and fats a s a compliment.

Tip 3: Bring Spirulina, Blue Green Algae or Greens

Spirulina is a way to boost your energy and remain balanced, even on the go. Add it into any travel bottle and mix with water. It has a great taste and adds in alkaline.

Tip 4: Oatmeal

Oats are some of the best travel foods and they are naturally healthy. They don't need to be refrigerated, they are light and they can be cooked first. Get a cup of hot water and cook it yourself while on the go! Add in raisins, a chopped apple and other flavors for a balanced meal.

Tip 5: What to Do with Fresh Fruit

Apples, oranges and bananas make great travel foods and are easy to carry with you. The ability to have these without refrigeration makes them even better to carry with you.

Tip 6: Add in Energy with Nuts, Seed and Dried Fruits

This is the travel tip that any healthy traveler already recognizes. Pack the nuts, seeds and dried fruits to add in the protein and fats you need.

Tip 7: Sandwiches

Sandwiches used to be a huge nutritional item but somehow have filtered out. They are best to combine with sprouted grain bread, high quality nut butter, fruit and vegetables. Your veggies don't need to get soggy if you pack all of the ingredients separately and then assemble it when you are ready to eat.

Tip 8: Wraps

Some of the best wraps are seaweed nori. These sometimes get soggy but they never lose their taste. You can also add in nuts, eggs, seeds, cheese, avocado, veggies or sprouts.

Tip 9: From Eggs to Potatoes

Cook them the night before and be ready for the added protein and snacks during your day. These can be healthy and filling while you are in an airport or traveling in the car.

Tip 10: Sardines

No one would suspect sardines as a way to move with travel. However, these work with cultured vegetables and other foods with toast. Just make sure you pack it right so you don't have problems with the smell.

With these tips, you can easily travel and not have difficulties with your health. Learn more healthy food recipes.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Treatment Options For Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia Are Varied And Sometimes Difficult

Homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia is an extremely severe and rare form of hypercholesterolemia that strikes only about one in one million individuals. There may be less than one million people in the world who currently have this disease, but those who do usually have to try a variety of therapies to keep their cholesterol levels under control. If you have this rare condition, your body's LDL receptors may not function at all or function at a severely curtailed level. There are several available treatment options, and most individuals will have to try a combination for the best results.

Moderate Success With Some Medications

Treating Homozygous FH with medication or a combination of medications is usually the first option tried by doctors treating patients with this severe form of familial hypercholesterolemia. The most successful is usually a combination of cholesterol absorption inhibitors and very high doses of statin drugs. While this is successful in some adults and children, it should be noted that these drugs need to be carefully monitored, particularly when given to children who may not tolerate the high dosages as well as adults. To improve results, patients should also exercise regularly and stick to a low cholesterol diet.

Drastic Treatment Options When Medication Isn't Enough

Unfortunately, there are some individuals with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia who don't respond well to medications either alone or in combination. In these severe cases, other treatments may be required, including apheresis, a process similar to kidney dialysis that filters cholesterol from the bloodstream. Liver transplants are also an option, particularly for patients who have to undergo apheresis on a frequent basis. Another surgical procedure is partial ileal bypass surgery, in which a portion of the small bowel is bypassed in order to decrease the absorption of certain nutrients. Either of these surgical options can also be combined with diet, exercise and some medications in order to improve the ongoing odds of controlling your cholesterol levels and preventing the onset of heart disease.

Recent Developments In Treatment Of Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia

On December 24, 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new drug called Lomitapide for patients suffering from homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia who have not responded well to other therapies or are limited in their treatment options. Careful monitoring of patients will be needed, as there is the potential for liver toxicity over time. Questions still remain regarding its efficacy and safety for use in children and clinical trials will continue in order to gain a greater understanding of its potential advantages.

Because homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia is usually extremely severe, with cholesterol levels that can be off the charts, it's critical thata variety of treatment options are tried in order to find the combination that works best for you. Consulting with a physician who is familiar with this disease and its various treatment options is extremely important. There are also support groups and non-profit organizations where you can register for clinical trials and learn more about the latest options in controlling cholesterol levels.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

How Long Do Knee Replacements Last? - What You Can Expect

Knee replacements are made to complete replace worn-out or damaged knee joints. It is a major surgery and involves taking out a section of the lower and upper leg bones, taking out the kneecap in its entirety, and replacing each with hardware that has been specially designed to fit you specifically. The change in pain and function are immediate. The recovery and rehabilitation are tough, but the relief and return of activity a replacement knee provides is worth it. Before surgery, you'll be able to find out answers to many questions, including how long knee replacements last.

You may be experiencing a lot of should I or shouldn't I moments. However, if like many patients before you, whose knees have reached the point of no good return; knee reconstruction surgery is the only option available that can lead them back to a normal, active, lifestyle. While there will be many questions associated with the prospect of surgery, one of the most oft-asked questions, as mentioned above, that you may have, as well, is how long do knee replacements last? Like most patients, you will want to know the outcome is worth the surgery and recovery period you are facing.

The implants contain materials, like plastic and metal, which over the years begin to thin. However, the news is not all that bad. While no one can give you the exact length of time of how long your replacements will last, chances are good it's going to be many, many years. In fact one study done a few years ago found that 96% of knee reconstruction recipients were still getting along well with their knee implant 20 years after replacement surgery. However, keep in mind that the majority of people who have this surgery are over age 50. If you are younger and active, the replacement knee may wear out more quickly.

When considering how long knee replacement hardware will last, it will depend, as well, on factors such as over health, size, weight, you strength level, ability to tolerate pain, and various other conditions. In general, it really varies from person to person; although again, the more active you are after knee replacement, the more stress will be placed on the joint. It's important to remember that while the join needs to remain active to work properly, overuse will only serve to wear it down much more quickly. Because of this, a happy medium must be determined.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hiring Home Health Caregivers From Homecare Services

Hiring a home health caregiver for their elderly parents is not an easy task for most of the people and this is due to the availability of many such service providers. With the number of service providers, options are wider for people and therefore, they get confused when it comes to selection of an appropriate service providing agency. Since selection of a caregiver is something related to the safety of elderly people, their children should be careful in selecting a reliable and trustworthy health assistant. Some of the tips for selection of an appropriate home health care agency in this regard are discussed in the content given below

Collection of a set of references would be the first step to be taken when it comes to selection of elderly homecare services. As mentioned earlier, when there is wide range of options available getting reference from friends or relatives, who have already been benefited from such a service.

Some people are opting for individual home health caregiver for offering care to their lovable elders. But, rather than opting for an individual, it is better to approach a service providing home health care in this respect since individuals might not be in a position to attend the patient on his/her home due to illness or other reasons. On the other hand, when the agency is selected, even if one of the personnel is not in a position to attend the elderly person or patient at the home of their customers, they will be sending other certified home health aid for attending your loved ones.

These service providing agencies will be sending chore assistants for helping sick individuals in performing tasks pertaining to daily living like housekeeping, dressing, bathing, etc... Above all, these caregivers will be offering their service according to the need of the person, whom they are attending.

When selecting an elderly homecare service agency as compared to an individual caregiver, people can assure themselves that they have appointed a licensed personnel to offer the best care to their lovable elders thereby they can show their support to the elderly person or the patient, who will feel really happy about the steps taken by their family members in appointing the best caregiver for taking care of their medical and other requirements. Above all, when the service of an agency is acquired, they send only trained individuals for meeting the caring requirements of their clients. Above all, because of the regulatory requirements, the services offered by these service providers are supervised and controlled for ensuring that the best care is offered to people who are in need.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Finding Fitness Classes to Get You Moving Again

Whether you are overweight or just out of shape, fitness classes are a great option to get you moving again. Sometimes it is hard to move after taking time off from exercise for long periods of time. If it is hard to move, you might have to start small with the class you choose. Do not go for something advanced if you have not exercised in a year. Some people might need something like a swim aerobics class to start with so that there is not too much pressure put on joints.

Some things to consider before choosing a gym where you will take fitness classes is the cleanliness, cost, and the instructors. Each of these areas contribute to your experience being a good one. If you do not have a good experience, you might be discouraged from coming back again.

Cleanliness is an essential when it comes to going to a gym. The gym should have sanitizer, paper towels, and perhaps even sanitizing wipes. Some people are messier than others while exercising, and there is nothing worse than getting on a bike that no one wiped off after using. The classroom for the class you choose should be spotless as well as all equipment such as stability balls, free weights or yoga blocks.

The cost to take a class at a gym is another consideration. Some classes could be very expensive just because of the name of the gym or even who the instructor is. You might want to do some price comparisons before choosing someplace.

The instructor is an important part of your decision. You will want to make sure that he or she is well-trained, has years of experience, and is empathetic as well as patient. You will not want someone who has only ever taken a PE class let alone teach others. Empathy and patience is important because some people will take longer than others to get the hang of moves and even be able to keep up.

Fitness classes could change your life. Taking the time out to consider all of your options is important. It would be frustrating to start with one and then find out another had a much better opportunity. Go and visit several locations before making a choice, and be sure to meet with the instructors as well. You will not regret getting back into exercise. Your life could depend on you being in shape enough to run from someone or handle and illness you never expected.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Way to a Longer and Healthier Life

We all want to get fit and feel that we are enjoying a fulfilling life. However we are not all starting out from the same point. This will mean that it may take longer for some of us to reach that level of health with which we are satisfied.

Where ever your starting point is we all know that we need the right amount of nutrition and exercise for our lifestyle. The distance between your starting point and your goal fitness is measureable. The simplest, and in many cases the most significant, is the ratio between your body mass and your fat mass. Often referred to as your BMI, or Body Mass Index.

Just enter your height and weight into any of the free BMI tables on the internet and you can readily see if you need to lose weight.

Next, check your cholesterol level and you blood pressure. With these three results, exclusive to you, you can see the size (sic) of the problem.

Like most of us you may have noticed that every year, it becomes even more difficult to eat whatever you want and still stay slim.You may also have learnt that your Basal Metabolic Rate decreases as you get older. Depriving yourself of food in the hope of losing weight also decreases your BMR, foiling your best intentions. However, a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise can increase your BMR, improving your health and fitness when your body's ability to burn energy gradually slows down.

Having ascertained the goal that you wish to reach, if you are serious about a long and healthy life, you can now take action.

All three of these areas can be improved by changing your dietary habits and daily exercise regime.

Your diet will now have to exclude convenience foods. Many of these, when combined with an indolent lifestyle, will increase the amount of free radicals in the body. Free radicals can be very harmful and are especially linked to a reduction in longevity.

Decreasing the free radicals in your system is accomplished by the intake of antioxidants. Whilst antioxidants are of great value, those taken as supplements can be counter-productive. In the event that you take too many supplements, particularly those high in vitamins A and E, the surplus is unused and is stored in the liver. This initially causes the liver functions to become impaired and in severe cases can cause harm. Some antioxidant supplements are claimed to become carcinogenic in the body.

Antioxidants are best taken in the form of fresh fruit and vegetables. They will need to be included in your daily diet. Include as wide a variety as possible but not tinned or cooked. Cooking vegetables or fruit not only spoils the taste; it destroys all most all the health giving properties.

Just by simply increasing your raw fruit and vegetable intake whilst reducing your reliance on convenience foods will dramatically reduce your cholesterol level.

You may find that for the first few weeks of changing your exercise and dietary habits that you feel tired. Don't worry about this as you will be sleeping more deeply and in a few days you will awake feeling more invigorated than you have for years.

If we have dealt, at least in part, with diet, nutrition and vitamin supplements, we must turn our attention to exercise.

There is no need to groan at this point, I am not going to force you into life-long gym membership or turn you into a galley slave. The point about exercise in this case is its purpose to help in improving or attaining a good BMI, cholesterol level and blood pressure.

It is most likely that you need more exercise or, in many cases, some exercise.

Whilst it is true that some is better than none, never the less we don't want to embark on an exercise routine that can cause harm.

Start slowly, build gradually.

The most useful piece of equipment that I have come across for general health improvement is the elliptical machine. It does more than the old treadmill in that it also allows you to work your upper body.

The primary reason for my recommending an elliptical machine is that it gives a low impact level. If you are to start physical activity after any period of inactivity we shall need to be gentle. It is a safe assumption that you are overweight and to subject your joints to doing anything more that carrying you from the dining table to the sofa must be done gradually.

In addition to being more up to date than the old treadmills the elliptical trainers now include a LED or LCD display. This gives instant feedback and monitoring of your progress. There are usually recommendations of workout programs that you can follow.

There are many makes and models available and I would suggest that you take your time and try them out at your local store or stores. Do be sure that you select a model that has those heart or pulse rate monitors, always useful when starting out. Your initial enthusiasm may outweigh your early abilities.

Talking of your local stores, there is an important consideration when buying any type of gym equipment. Since safety is of prime importance with these pieces of equipment they will of necessity be robust and substantial. Therefore they will usually be of considerable size and weight.

Once having selected the make and model of your choice you may search the internet for a supplier. Before you dismiss your local store do take into consideration the delivery cost. Your local store will frequently deliver free which may make him a better purchase than what at first appears an internet bargain.

Once you find your general level of health and fitness being restored you may wish to move on to a higher level of health.

Whether this includes weight training or any of the other activities than can be considered extreme I would urge that you only undertake them with some professional guidance.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Is My Doctor Filing for Divorce Because He/She Is Cheating on Me?

After 35 + years, my doctor is divorcing me! The mistress seems to be... concierge medicine. Yes, the "honeymoon period" has worn off, and we, as consumers have been expecting our doctors to accept our insurance till "death do us part." Well, malpractice insurance has gone through the roof, the paperwork has become overwhelming, and reimbursement rates have diminished to practically nothing in some cases, causing a few stresses in this marriage. In fact, it has been reported that 1-in-10 doctors who own private practices, will start direct pay or concierge medicine in the next one to three years.

Even though Congress effectively avoided the 27 percent slash in Medicare payments during the fiscal-cliff negotiations, the damage was already done. Doctors know this is not a "permanent fix," and that is cause for the "wondering medical eye." For example, under ObamaCare, doctor payments from the Medicare health insurance program are dropping at an alarming rate in order to help fund the Affordable Care Act over the next ten years. Doctors need to know there is more stability in a "good thing."

So are doctors giving up on their long time patients all together? An AMA survey revealed that one in five physicians plan on restricting the number of Medicare patients in their practice, but will you or your loved one be one of the lucky ones? How will you keep your doctor from straying to that "medical relationship-wrecker," Concierge?

Spice up your doctor/patient relationship! No, no, get your head out of the gutter; sending in strippers and showing your "physical assets" is NOT what I am talking about (plus that novelty will wear off, and these distractions can lead to bad patient care), but keep it genuine and simple, like my grandmother did!

Remember that you know your doctor best (you have been their patient for years), so work with that base! Here are some successful tips from my grandmother who will be celebrating her golden anniversary with her doctor:

1. Say "thank you" to your doctor - you might be surprised by how many patients DON'T utter a word of appreciation.

2. Have a heart-to-heart with your doctor - let your doctor know you want to keep them through reimbursement cuts, etc, and Obamacare or not, you will be loyal... no cheating on them with another specialist without them knowing, or slipping some herbal remedies without consulting with them, etc.

3. Negotiate an affordable rate - if your doctor is dropping your insurance, ask them what a reasonable cash rate would be and work out a payment plan.

4. Show an interest in your doctor - knowing your doctor's anniversary, asking them about their kids or favorite sports team, etc. My grandmother knit a blanket in her doctor's favorite sport's team colors for the holidays one year and he LOVED it.

5. Bake an apple strudel. OK, my grandmother bakes the best apple strudel and her doctor looks forward to that freshly backed strudel whenever she comes into his office.

By following these simple tips, Grandma has been able to keep her relationship with her doctor not only alive, but fun. So keep your doctor from straying, engage him/her by following grandma's lead, and you might be happier with the outcome.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

What You Really Need to Know About Organic and Conventional Produce - Part 1

With the recent and very much publicized study by scientists at the American Stanford University saying that there isn't much difference 'health value wise' choosing between organic and conventionally farmed produce, I thought it a pertinent time to delve deeper into this much debated subject area and try and uncover the real truth. Does eating organic produce just simply cost you more money for the same amount of nutrients and supposed health benefits or is there more to the organic versus conventional debate that we really need to be paying more attention to?

The benefits of organic agriculture in a nut shell:

  • Less exposure to fertilisers and pesticides.
  • Support of local/smaller scaled farmers and growers
  • Soil building practices such as crop rotations, inter-cropping, symbiotic associations, cover crops, organic fertilizers and keeping tillage to a minimum are key organic practices.
  • Ground water pollution problems are greatly reduced through the use of non-synthetic fertilisers such as green manure, compost and animal manure (organic fertilisers).
  • Non-renewable energy use is less due to less agrochemical needs (fertilisers and pesticides) which require high quantities of fossil fuel to be produced.
  • Organic fruit and vegetable production can greatly benefit biodiversity on all levels including wild flora and fauna such as birds and beneficial organism's like pest predators and pollinators.
  • Use of GM organisms is prohibited.
  • Greatly limits or disallows use of synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.
  • Has overall lower ecological impact compared to conventional farming methods.

Organic does not necessarily mean pesticide free!

As good as organic food production can be, many people do not realise that certain chemicals are allowed in the growing of organic produce. This does not necessarily mean that all organic growers use chemicals on their crops but they can indeed use ones which are allowed by the relevant governmental authority.

There are typically 5 pesticides that are used in organic farming which include: copper, sulphur, pyrethrum, Bt (bacterial toxin) and rotenone. Controversy does surround the use of pyrethrum and rotenone because they attack the central nervous system, like many conventional insecticides, with rotenone known to induce symptoms in mammals that resembles parkinsons disease (2) and is also extremely toxic to fish. (3) With this understanding it has to be stated that 1.7% of growers admit to using pyrethrum, while 5.3% admit using rotenone. (4)

Even with the understanding that organic produce can contain chemical residues that are not beneficial to health it should be noted that going the conventional produce route can mean exposing yourself to significantly more fertiliser and pesticide residues, which has been documented in various studies as detailed below.

Toxic chemicals found in children from fruits and vegetables

Recent research by The California University in Davis (5) has found that in a study of 364 children - 207 of which were under five years old, that consumption benchmarks were exceeded for various known toxins such as arsenic, DDE, dieldrin and dioxins. They discovered that pesticide exposure was particularly high in the following fruits and vegetables: peaches, apples, tomatoes, peppers, grapes, lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, spinach, pears, green beans and celery.

At the present time, the US Environmental Protection Agency 'EPA' only measures risk based on exposures of individual contaminants. Study leader Dr Rainbow Vogt said quote: "We focused on children because early exposure can have long-term effects on disease outcomes."

Studies like the one above clearly remind us, if indeed we need reminding, that how our food is produced is inextricably linked to our health. Even though organic is not completely free of chemical 'intervention' the very fact that such toxins are so prevalent in the food chain should make us all focus ever more intently on exactly where our food is sourced from and what methods are being used by the farmers who produce it.

Next time you go to your local farmers market, ask the growers how they produce their fruits and vegetables and get to know the people you are buying from. If they see you are interested you might even be able to visit the actual farm where they grow the produce. If you buy your produce from a store, then ask the manager for more information on where their produce is sourced and how it is grown. Never be afraid to ask as it is your health after all.

In the second part of this article, you will find out...

  • Internet resource that can tell you what chemicals are used on different types of produce and what they can negatively affect. (US based)
  • 3 University studies from around the world with their findings on organic versus conventionally grown produce.
  • Conclusion detailing what you need to do with regards to obtaining your own produce including our own personal recommendations



(2) Panov, A., S. Dikalov, N. Shalbuyeva, G. Taylor, T. Sherer and J. T. Greenamyre. 2005. Rotenone model of Parkinson disease: multiple brain mitochondria dysfunctions after short term systemic rotenone intoxication. J. Biol. Chem. 280: 42026-42035

(3) Marking, L. L. and T. D. Bills. 1976. Toxicity of rotenone to fish in standardized laboratory tests. U. S. Dept. Interior, No. 72. 11 pp.

(4) Lotter, D. (2003). "Organic Agriculture". Journal of Sustainable Agriculture 21


Friday, August 2, 2013

Fibromyalgia And The Elusive "Sleep"

Fibromyalgia and sleep... do the two words even belong in the same sentence? Does anyone with fibromyalgia actually sleep? Sometimes even when sleep has been achieved, we wake up in the morning feeling like we've been hit by a Mack truck.

Here are a few of the issues that other people and myself with fibromyalgia must deal with when we are trying to relax and fall asleep:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Pain from fibromyalgia
  • RLS or restless leg syndrome
  • Insomnia

Restless Legs Syndrome or RLS is a problem in itself, but when it's combined with fibromyalgia it can be quite intense. RLS is a neurological disorder characterized by an irresistible urge to move one's body to stop uncomfortable or odd sensations. It most commonly affects the legs, but can affect the arms, torso, and even limbs. Moving the affected body part eases the sensations and provides relief for a short time.

I have suffered with Restless Legs Syndrome for a long time, this was probably one of my first symptoms. Again, I asked the doctor about it and he told me to drink Quinine Water before going to bed and that would relieve the pain and crawling sensations. I drank a lot of quinine water, but it never helped. I learned that quinine water is used to relieve cramps. Restless Legs Syndrome is not cramps, it is an aching, crawling, tickling, hard to describe sensation that is prompted by relaxation. I would experience these sensations in the evening about 20 minutes after I would sit down in my recliner to relax and watch a show and then usually take the sensations to bed with me. The only way to make the sensations temporarily cease would be to get up and walk around. That was my routine all through the night, lay down, get up, walk around, lay down, get up, walk around. Restless Legs Syndrome deprived me of sleep as much as the pain from fibromyalgia.

I have experimented with many different techniques to achieve a good night's sleep. It has become a quest for me in some ways. These are some of the strategies that I use to assist me in relaxing and falling asleep. Start this regimen about two hours before you want to fall asleep.

  • No Caffeine: Caffeine manages to stay in the body and causes disruption of relaxation.
  • Try not to eat a big meal at night and no foods high in sugar or salt.
  • Take a warm, lingering bath with minerals scented with a relaxing fragrance.
  • Drink an herbal tea that is made with chamomile.
  • I take an over-the-counter natural sleep aid with Melatonin.
  • Staying on a schedule is very helpful, also. Going to bed about the same time every night and getting up at the same time in the morning regulates the body.
  • Keeping the bedroom temperature cooler is.
  • I added a 4" memory foam pad on top of our mattress to buffer the pain zones of my body.

These techniques are not 100% guaranteed to work every night, but I find if I allow my body to relax as much as possible before I go to bed, than I have a much better chance of falling asleep quicker and staying asleep. The quality of sleep that I achieve at night determines the quality of life that I will experience the next day... it's all relative.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Doctor House Call Services Vs Traditional Emergency Health Care Services

People often do not remember physician until a need arises. Getting an appointment and visiting the specialist is the procedure when it comes to health checkups. However, there are instances where you cannot wait to see a doctor. For instance if you are suffering from acute pain or accidental injury or factures, getting an appointment or waiting for the doctor is not possible. In order to attend patients that require immediate care hospitals have emergency wards that can admit walk in patients.

Emergency services offered by hospitals often charge exorbitantly and patients have no other way but to accept the terms of the hospitals and pay off the bills. However there are several advantages in opting for emergency services. For example, you will be immediately attended to, you can get quick relief and avoid suffering for a long duration. Since hospitals have all of the necessary labs and machinery they care capable of providing effective treatments for any kind of ailment. It is also possible to claim insurance as the hospitals have dedicated staff to take care of the procedures involved in it.

In spite of all the facilities available in the emergency wards, the patient has to be transferred from their place of stay to the hospital. Most emergency services shut down by 5 or 7 PM and you will have to wait till the next working day to get admitted. Holidays are yet another problem with emergency services in hospitals. With a few doctors working on holidays, it would become an ordeal waiting for your turn. If you are wondering whether any alternative to this is available, doctor house call services are the best solution for you.

Doctor house call services or mobile urgent care services are increasingly becoming popular by the day due to its benevolence. The modern equipments and information technology have made it possible for mobile urgent care units to treat almost any kind of emergency situation. More over doctors that avail themselves for the service are completely dedicated and selfless in serving the society.

When compared with the fees charged at emergency wards of regular hospitals, doctor house call services are much cheaper. As far as after hour services and services on holidays are concerned, commoners feel that doctor house call services should be saluted and that the pricing is also highly reasonable. With computers and smart phones available at every home it isn't a difficult task to find mobile urgent care services in the neighborhood. All you have to do is use relevant terms such as Scottsdale urgent care, urgent care Scottsdale, or Phoenix urgent care to find one in the respective areas.

Often doctor house call websites provide you with all the information such as the qualification of the physicians available, the equipments that are available for diagnosing and testing, the pricing of the service and the like. Not only do you get all the medical assistance at the comfort of your place of stay and immediately after your call but also get to save quite an amount.