Thursday, 21 October 2021

What is Anxiety: Meaning and Symptoms

 
What is anxiety? meaning and symptoms


What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is your body's normal reaction to stress. It can be a feeling of worry, fear, or unease.

Do you feel anxious before a dental visit or starting something new? Have you gotten the jitters before speaking in front of a large group? Do you sometimes get sweaty palms when thinking about the future?


These are common reactions when faced with something that's scary or unfamiliar and it doesn't necessarily mean that anything is wrong.


However, some people suffer from a more severe form of anxiety that causes more serious physical symptoms which can interfere with their daily activities. The feelings of fear and unease are often intense, repeated, and out of proportion to the actual danger. These are called anxiety disorders.


To better understand if your anxious feelings could be a sign of anxiety or panic disorder, let's take a look at some of the symptoms.


What Are The Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders?


1. If you feel your heart is racing and you can't breathe properly, this can be a symptom of anxiety that is severe enough to get professional help.

2. Some people have uncontrollable fears of things like crowded places, driving, or germs that make them completely avoid some places or situations.

3. The consistent inability to concentrate can be a symptom of anxiety. This must be consistent behavior, and not just on those occasions when you lack sleep or are hungry for instance.

4. Nervous behaviors, such as walking around the same area over and over again or twitching your fingers and toes repetitively can be a symptom.

5. A feeling of doom or that something bad will happen to you, such as an accident, heart attack, or even death, can be symptoms of an anxiety disorder or panic disorder.

6. Numbness in your hands, fingers, toes, and legs or feeling like you can't stand are also common symptoms.

7. If you find you have trouble swallowing or unusual dry mouth episodes, these may be indications of anxiety.

8. Fear of people around you and the desire to be alone are feelings that many anxiety sufferers face.

9. The inability to leave your home can be a symptom of severe anxiety or panic disorder.

10. If your normal activities become overwhelming to you, you could be suffering from anxiety or a panic disorder.

The good news is these symptoms and conditions are no longer thought of as being something people shouldn't reveal or talk about. There is help for you if you suffer from anxiety. 

Many mental health clinics and hospitals offer affordable help if you are on a lower or fixed income. Your health insurance may help you get treatment, and they cannot reveal your medical treatment to your employer.

As scientists and the medical world become more informed about these disorders, more medications, and other forms of relief are found to be effective in treating them. Relaxation techniques are very effective and can even be done at home or in the workplace.


Understanding your situation can help you alleviate the stress and fear these panic attacks cause. It will also help you and your healthcare provider find a solution to stopping the attacks altogether. Living in fear of another panic attack will hold you hostage and prevent you from doing the things you love.

If you suffer from some of the symptoms above, seek help from a professional. Get the treatment you need to get you back on the road to peace, health, and happiness. You will be glad









I

How to Free Yourself from Anxiety

 

How To Free yourself from anxiety


Anxiety and worry can take over your life if you allow it to. Whether we like it or not, constant stress and worry can physically make us sick. The good news is that there are ways to help alleviate anxiety.


The first step is to figure out exactly what you are stressing about. Is it something you can change? Is it something you have no control over? By determining the root of your anxiety. you can better understand how you can overcome it.


For example, if you are feeling anxious about losing your job, you have the capability to change this worry. You can work harder to prove that you are an indispensable part of the team or you can start searching for a new job. Taking action is the surest way to defeat anxiety.


The truth is, there are many situations that you can change with some effort. For example, if you are concerned about your weight, the good news is that you can change it! You already know it takes a healthy diet coupled with regular exercise. Little by little, your weight will melt away and your health will improve.


By determining the root of your anxieties, and developing ways to turn them into something positive, you can overcome them.


Here are some tips and techniques to help you manage your anxiety.


1. Know your anxieties. Write them down exactly what is causing your anxiety, then note down ways you can change the outcome. Knowing what you are up against is the key to feeling better about yourself and your current situation.


2. Breathe! Once you have pinpointed the things you need to change, sit back and take a breath. This form of relaxation can help you calm your racing heart and give you peace of mind. Rapid breathing from anxiety can lead to a panic attack. Breathe deeply and slowly as soon as you feel yourself becoming worried or anxious.


Download: Breathing exercises to relieve stress quickly


3. Visualize. Perhaps one of the most effective ways to overcome anxiety is the technique of visualization. Choose a quiet space in your home, light some candles, and close your eyes.


 Imagine yourself in your ideal situation. Feel how calm you are and visualize letting go of your worries. Think how happy you will be once your source of stress has been diminished. Positive visualization can help you move toward the happier vision you have created in your mind.


4. Use positive affirmations. When things get tough and you feel yourself losing control, repeat a positive statement over and over in your head. For example, if you need a job, you can repeat something like: "I am a valuable and hardworking individual who is worthy of a fulfilling new opportunity!"


Reaffirming positive thoughts repeatedly can help you believe that anything is possible. The power of the mind is endless.


5. Diet and exercise. Eating a well-balanced diet and exercising can physically help you handle stress and anxiety. The stronger the body is, the stronger the mind is. It is a fact that if you abuse your body with junk foods and alcohol, your body and mind will react negatively.


6. Seek support. Seeking professional help and reaching out to friends and family can do wonders to help you get rid of your anxiety.


Once you have seen that someone else has gone through and overcome what you are experiencing, it gives you hope that you, too can do the same.


Anxieties are a part of everyday life. How you chose to manage them is what makes the difference.


Read: Dealing with stress? 5ways to relieve stress











Thursday, 14 October 2021

Common Symptoms of Breast Cancer

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death after lung cancer in the United States. In Nigeria, more than 100,000 thousand cases are reported every year. In this article, you will learn about breast cancer, its common symptoms, and how it is diagnosed and treated.

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER



What is Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the breast. This happens when abnormal breast cells begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled manner creating a tumor or mass of cells. The breast cancer can grow into tissues surrounding the breast. 

There are different kinds of breast cancer depending on which cells in the breast turn into cancer. The breast is made up  of three parts. These are the lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. The lobules  are the glands that produce milk. The ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. Connective tissue holds everything together. Most breast cancer starts in the ducts or lobules. It can also travel to other parts of the body like the lungs, bones e.t.c. and form new tumors there. This process is called metastasis. 


What Causes Breast Cancer

It is difficult to say what makes a woman develop breast cancer because the causes have not been fully understood. However, there are some risk factors that have been found to increase the possibility of developing cancer. Having a risk factor does not mean that a woman will get breast cancer.

Family history

If you have a family members like a mother, daughter or sister who has developed breast or ovarian cancer, you may have a higher risk of developing cancer. Genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 can increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
 It is possible for these genes to be passed on from parent to children.


Age

The risk of  developing breast cancer increases with age. Many breast cancers are diagnosed after the age of 50.


Reproductive history

Starting periods before age 12 and starting menopause after age 55 expose the woman's body longer to hormones which can increase the risk of getting cancer.


Personal history of breast cancer

Women who had breast cancer before are at a higher risk of developing it again.


Previous radiation therapy treatment

Women who had radiation therapy to the chest or breast before the age of 30 are at higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

These risk factors can be reduced with lifestyle modification

  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being overweight after menopause
  • Being physically inactive


Common Symptoms of Breast Cancer

Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. One of the most common symptoms is breast lump or thickening of the breast. If you find an unusual lump or thickening of the breast, it is important to consult your healthcare provider immediately for  proper examination.

Read: How to do breast self examination


Other symptoms of breast cancer include:

  • Pain in the nipple and pulling in(retraction) of the nipple area.
  • Nipple discharge that is not breast milk including blood
  • Pain in any area of the breast
  • Change in shape or size of the breast
  • Dimpling, redness or pitting or any change in the skin of the breast

Read: How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed

Friday, 8 October 2021

What Screening Is Used To Test For Breast Cancer?

What Screening Is Used To Test For Breast Cancer?



 Breast cancer screening means checking the breasts for signs of cancer even before they have symptoms. Screening is done to find cancer early when it can be treated. Your doctor may recommend screening even when you have no symptoms. Talk to your doctor to determine the right kind of screening test for you.


Types of screening

Mammography

This is the most common type of screening test. A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. They help to find tumors that are so small you can't feel them. It can also help to find ductal carcinoma in situ(DCIS) where abnormal cells line the breast duct.


Mammography Guidelines

Women age 40-54 are recommended to get mammograms every year.

Women 55 and older who are at average risk can get mammograms done every two years.

Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and expected to live ten more years or longer.


Types of mammograms

There are three types of mammograms.

  • Film mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast.
  • Digital mammogram is a picture of the breast taken by a computer.
  • Digital breast tomosynthesis takes pictures of the breast from many angles using X-rays. A computer then makes 3D images of the breast using these pictures.


Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging(MRI)

The breast MRI uses magnets, radio waves, and computers to take detailed pictures of the breast tissues. This is used in addition to the mammogram to screen women at high risk of getting cancer. MRI does not use xrays and you are not exposed to radiation.

Factors that put women at risk include family history with breast cancer(mother, daughter, or sister), certain gene changes like in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes and some genetic conditions like Li-Fraumeni and Cowden Syndrome.


Clinical Breast Exam

The breasts are inspected and checked for lumps or any other abnormality by a doctor or health professional.


Breast Self Examination

This is not usually included as part of breast screening because there is no evidence to show that it decreases the chances of dying from cancer. However, it helps you to become familiar with the look and feel of your breast so you can know when there are unusual changes in the breast.


Talk to your healthcare provider about your risk of breast cancer and what type of screening test is appropriate for you.


Read: How To Do Breast Self Exam




Tuesday, 5 October 2021

How To Do Breast Self- Exam

How to do breast self exam


What is breast self-exam?

Breast self-exam is inspecting and examining your breasts regularly on your own. This helps you to increase your breast awareness so you know the look and feel of your breasts.  When you are familiar with your own breast, you will know when there are abnormal changes which you should report to your doctor promptly.


What is the purpose of breast self-examination?

Breast self-examination can help you to become more breast-aware. You get to know the normal state of your breasts so you can detect any abnormalities on time. Though breast self-examination is not recommended as part of breast cancer screening, regular breast self-examination can help you detect signs of infection or breast cancer. However, they should not replace regular screening tests like mammograms and examinations by your doctor. A mammogram can detect tumors before they can be felt, so screening is very important. 


Adult women are encouraged to do a breast self-exam at least once a month. Women who are still having regular periods should have their breast exams after their period. Women who have stopped menstruating or have irregular periods can choose a day that is consistent and easy to remember like the first day of each month.


How to perform a breast self-exam 

You can  do the breast exam while doing some of your regular activities like taking a shower, dressing or undressing, or lying in bed. It takes only a few minutes and it's easy to do.

 Visual Inspection

 With your shirt and bra removed, stand in front of a mirror. Put your arms down by your sides. Look for any changes in breast shape, breast swelling, dimpling in the skin or changes in the nipples.

Raise your arms high overhead and look for the same things. Finally, put your hands on your hips and press firmly to make your chest muscles flex. look for the small changes again. Be sure to look at both breasts.

Manual examination while standing up

With your shirt and bra removed, use your right hand to examine your left breast, then vice versa. With the pads of your three middle fingers, press on every part of one breast. Use light pressure, then medium, then firm. Feel for any lumps, thick spots or other changes. A circular pattern may help you make sure you hit every spot. 

Then, press the tissue under the arm. Be sure to check under the areola and then squeeze the nipple gently to check for discharge. Repeat the steps on the other side of the body.

Manual examination while lying down

When you lie down, your breast tissue spreads more evenly. So this is a good position to feel for changes. Lie down and put a pillow under your right shoulder. Place your right arm behind your head. Using your left hand, apply the same techniques as step 2, using the pads of your fingers to press all parts of your breast tissue and under your arm. Finally, swap the pillow to the other side, and check the other breast and armpit. Be sure to check under the areola and then squeeze the nipple  gently to check for discharge.


 If you find a lump or any abnormality, don't panic! Many breast lumps can be caused by other conditions that is not cancer. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to have your breasts examined by a professional immediately.




Source:https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/3990-breast-self-exam




Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Why Playing Solitaire Is Good For You


why playing solitaire is good for you



Solitaire is a group of card games usually played by one person. It is also called  'Patience' in some countries like the United Kingdom, Poland, and Germany or 'cabale' in some Scandinavian countries.
It can be played on a computer or with one or more regular 52 card packs.

Solitaire games are a great activity to enjoy on your own because you can play them on a good online site for free on your web browser. Apart from helping you relax, playing solitaire can boost your mental health and, also improve your thinking and strategy skills

Benefits of Playing Solitaire 


Improves mental skills

Solitaire is a soft mental activity that still provides mental stimulation. The player has to analyze all the cards. They also need to plan all future sequences to help them win the game. Performing these tasks simultaneously and repeatedly can improve mental skills.

Practice essential life skills

You get to practice skills like delayed gratification or "return on investment". That is, sometimes it is best to hold your ground and wait, instead of acting in the moment to be able to collect more rewards later.
Solitaire also teaches the important skill of sometimes taking a step back to move two steps forward on the game, a skill often needed in real life. 

Improve memory and concentration

Having a good memory is not needed to play solitaire. However, improvement in memory can be noticed in players as they continue to play frequently. They unconsciously memorize the colors, suits, numbers, and even the order of the cards.

 Reduces stress 

Playing solitaire provides needed alone time to disconnect from problems and relax. Solitaire requires light mental activity that helps the mind to get into a light meditative state. This helps to reduce stress without shutting off the brain completely.

 
Although originally solitaire is played with a physical deck of cards, it is now popular to play the game online. This was made possible by the various game software and websites that have been created to play the game. Anyone can play the game anywhere, you just need your device and a good internet connection to play. This is just one of the many benefits of playing online.


Benefits of Playing Online Solitaire


Eliminates handling of physical Cards

When you are playing offline, you have to buy a physical deck of cards. You have to shuffle the cards which can be complicated if you are playing with two or more decks. But, when playing online, the software handles everything. You also don't have to keep any records because the software will keep detailed records of your matches.

Enforce the rules

You don't have to worry about enforcing the rules of the game because the software will do that for you.

Easy to customize

Some websites allow you to customize the game according to your requirements. The rules you select will then be automatically applied to the next game.

 Learn to play the game

Playing online is a simple and easy way to learn how to play solitaire. A good online game site will have simple instructions teaching you how to play each variation of the game.


Resources for playing solitaire


There are many websites where you can play solitaire for free on your web browser. A highly recommended site is Solitaire.org. It has an extensive collection of different solitaire game variations. If you have never played the game or you are still learning, this is the website for you. There are detailed instructions written in simple language to help you learn the basics very quickly in addition to a thoughtful FAQ(frequently asked questions) section for each game. 

They also have a large collection of other online card games, and fun online games like hidden object games, daily crosswords and so much more. If you get tired of playing solitaire, you can find another game you enjoy without leaving the website.  One great advantage of playing on this website is that there are no adverts to distract you while playing your games.

Another option is to install solitaire software like Microsoft Solitaire Collection which is completely free or paid options like Pretty Good Solitaire and SolSuite2020 on your desktop or mobile device. There are also many free solitaire apps for android and iPhone mobile devices in the app stores.  


What Solitaire Games to Play


 Klondike Solitaire

This is the most popular version of the Solitaire card game made famous by the Microsoft online game. The game became popular in the 19th century and may have been named after the Canadian region where the gold rush happened. You can learn more and play for free here: Klondike solitaire

Freecell Solitaire

Freecell solitaire is a  fun variation of the classic solitaire. The game compels you to use logic and foresight. Try playing here: Freecell solitaire.

Pyramid Solitaire

This variant was released by Microsoft as Tut's Tomb. It's now widely known as Pyramid Solitaire. Playing this game can be very relaxing. Try it here: Pyramid Solitaire

Spider Solitaire

Spider solitaire is a more difficult variation of the classic solitaire. This one is puzzle-like and will make you think. Play here: Spider Solitaire




Friday, 10 September 2021

Does Celery Have Any Health Benefits?

 

Does celery have any health benefits?


Celery is a popular low calorie vegetable you can find in any vegetable stall. It comes from the same family as carrots and parsley. This green vegetable's origins can be traced to the Mediterranean and North Africa. This plant is now cultivated globally and can be found in cuisine of many cultures. 

This green vegetable has many  health benefits because it contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals that help reduce the risk of some ailments in addition to aiding digestion . I n this article we will discuss the many health benefits of celery and side effects.


Benefits Of Celery


Supports digestive function

Fiber is important for digestive function. Celery is a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber. Celery also contains substances (phytonutrients) that protect digestive mucosa and increase the lining of the stomach. This can decrease occurrence of gastric ulcers.


Improve memory

Studies have found that celery extract appeared to improve cognitive function. Cognitive function refers to mental abilities such as learning, thinking, reasoning, remembering, problem solving and decision making. Celery contain flavonoids which help cognitive function. Flavonoids are powerful anti oxidants which occur naturally in  vegetables, fruits and some beverages.

 A research study found that people who consumed about 600 mg of flavonoids per day had a 20% lower risk of cognitive decline than those who had only 150 mg.  It has also been shown that flavonoids can help counter dementia by protecting the cells from aging process caused  by brain inflammation.


May reduce blood pressure

Celery contains chemical compounds known as pthalides. These substances relax and expand the walls of blood vessels allowing blood to move  more freely, thus reducing blood pressure. It also contains potassium which helps regulate blood pressure. When blood pressure is well regulated, it reduces the chances of suffering a stroke, heart attack or developing arteriosclerosis.


May help in weight loss

One cup of diced celery is said to contain only 14 calories. This makes it a great addition to salads, soups and other meals if you are on a weight loss diet. The fiber in celery can make you feel full for longer. Also, the high water content can help prevent dehydration, thereby boosting energy levels.


Boosts immunity

Celery is rich in Vitamin C, vitamin A and other antioxidants. This helps to boost immunity and aid healthier eyes and skin.


How To Include Celery In Your Diet

Celery can be used in salads, soups, juices and smoothies. This smoothie recipe is a favorite and very tasty.


Celery and pineapple smoothie


Ingredients

One pineapple

Half of a cucumber

Ginger

Celery

Wash pineapple carefully under clean running water to remove sand and dirt.

Peel pineapple and cut into small pieces and set aside.

Boil the pineapple peels in two cups of water.

Wash celery sticks and cut into pieces.

Add peeled ginger, diced cucumber, diced pineapple, celery and water from the boiled pineapple peels into a blender and blend for a few minutes.


Side Effects Of Celery

Celery can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people. Symptoms include breathing difficulties and swelling.

Celery seed can stimulate the uterus and should be avoided by pregnant women.

There is a risk of possible contamination with pesticides. Wash well to remove all traces of pesticide before consuming it.

Eating too much can cause bloating and gas.



Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Benefits of Building Your Own Home

 

Benefits of building your own home.


Vancouver has the most pleasant climate of Canada’s largest cities. It rarely snows, and the temperature seldom drops below zero. Vancouver homes for sale are the most expensive in Canada, in part due to the temperate climate that makes it the perfect venue not only for a variety of outdoor events and festivals but also for ambitious athletic activities. Vancouver is culturally diverse and welcoming to new immigrants, with 20 percent of its population from China and a further 12 percent coming from South Asia.

If you want to build a house, determine the best plan of action for you and your family. While buying an existing home may be cheaper and more convenient, building a brand-new house gives you a sense of ownership over your living space.

Below are the benefits of building your own home.

Energy Efficient
If environmental friendliness is important to you, it makes a lot of sense to build. Modern building techniques and materials are more energy-efficient than they used to be even 20 short years ago, and you might even be able to construct a zero-energy home if saving energy is your top priority.

No Need for Remodelling
Building your home saves you money on remodeling and additions. One of the first things many homebuyers do when they move into an existing home is a kitchen remodel. Even the bathroom and living room may need some updating to suit your wants. You can avoid remodeling costs by
designing and building your own home.

Pick Your Lot
Choosing a lot for a custom home is a crucial piece of the home-building process. Many factors affect the design and features of the home and can also impact your quality of life in the home.
Two lots with the same square footage may not both be buildable despite having the same area. A long narrow lot will not be as useful as one that is square. The shape of the lot impacts where the home is situated and the size of front, side, and rear yards.

Less Maintenance
Obviously, new construction homes have less maintenance than older existing homes. You won’t have to worry about a leaky roof when it rains or your HVAC breaking in the middle of an arctic blast or heatwave. You can enjoy all the perks of living in a brand new home without maintenance headaches. When things break down, they are typically covered by the builder’s warranty.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

How Can You Lower Cholesterol Levels Fast? Tips On How To Lower Cholesterol

 
how can you lower cholesterol levels fast

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy chemical substance found in every cell of the body. It is a fat-like substance that moves in the blood. The liver produces about 80% of the cholesterol in the body. We can also get it from food. Cholesterol is only found in foods that come from animals like meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.


The liver regulates the cholesterol in the blood. After a meal, cholesterol in the meal is absorbed in the small intestine, metabolized, and stored in the liver. The liver secretes cholesterol as the body needs it.


What is the role of cholesterol in the body?

Cholesterol performs many vital functions in the body. It is found in all the cell membranes of the body. Cell membranes are layers that protect the contents of the cell by acting as a gatekeeper to what things can enter or leave the cell. Cholesterol is also needed to make Vitamin D and some hormones like estrogen and testosterone.


Types of cholesterol

Cholesterol is transported in the blood by particles called lipoproteins. There are three types of lipoproteins that are categorized based on how much protein there is in relation to cholesterol. 


Low-Density Lipoprotein

This is typically called "bad" cholesterol. It has more cholesterol than protein. This lipoprotein transports cholesterol throughout the body. They accumulate in the arteries clogging them and making them hard and stiff.


High levels of LDL can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease by forming cholesterol plaques on the walls of the arteries. As the plaques continue to build up, they narrow the arteries. This is called arteriosclerosis. This will also cause the blood flow to decrease. 


If the plaque ruptures, this can cause a blood clot to form. This blood clot can prevent blood flow. If this clot occurs in any coronary arteries in the heart, it can cause a heart attack or myocardial infarction.


High-Density Lipoprotein

This is called good cholesterol. This is made up of higher levels of protein and lower levels of cholesterol. HDL picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to the liver. Higher levels of HDL reduces the risk of heart disease. 


Very Low-Density Lipoprotein

These are particles in the body that carry triglycerides. Triglycerides are important because most of the fat in the body exists as triglycerides. VLDL contains even lower levels of protein than LDL and has been associated with cholesterol plaque build-up.


How to test your cholesterol levels

Cholesterol levels are tested with a blood test. In most cases, you will need to fast for 12 hours before drawing blood for the test.


Accepted cholesterol levels

The National Cholesterol Education Program endorsed by the American Heart Association suggests the following guidelines for levels of total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL.
Cholesterol Risk Guidelines
Total Cholesterol (mg/dL)
< 200Desirable
200 to 239Borderline high
> 240High
HDL (mg/dL)
< 40Low
> 60High
LDL (mg/dL)
< 100Optimal
100 to 129Near-Optimal
130 to 159Borderline high
160 to 189Near high
> 190High


How to lower cholesterol by diet


Reduce saturated fats

Saturated fats are mainly found in animal foods, though a few plant foods are also high in saturated fats like coconut oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil. Some sources of saturated fat are meat products (sausage, bacon, meat, hamburgers), whole and reduced-fat milk, butter and dairies desserts, pizza, cheese, and cookies.


The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats to no more than 7% of calories.


Eliminate trans fats

Trans fats are made by heating liquid vegetable oils in the presence of hydrogen gas and a catalyst. Partially hydrogenated oils can withstand heating without breaking down making them ideal for frying foods. Trans fats are also found in beef fat and dairy fat in small amounts.


Trans fats lower HDL and raise LDL. They can also create inflammation and increase insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when your body stops responding to insulin, causing an increase in blood sugar levels.


Increase unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and are considered beneficial for health. They can improve blood cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation and stabilize heart rhythms. Unsaturated oils are found in food from plants such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. 


There are two types of unsaturated fats:

Monounsaturated fats which are found in avocados, oils suchs as peanut oil. canola oil, nuts like almonds and seeds like sesame and spinach seeds.


Polyunsaturated fats which are found in walnuts, fish, flax seeds and canola oil.


Eat foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids

These fats are a type of polyunsaturated fats. The body doesn't make this so they must come from food. Excellent sources of omega 3 are fish, walnuts, canola and soyabean oil.

Other ways to lower high cholesterol levels are:

Increase your physical activity

Exercise helps boost your body's HDL (good fat).


Quit smoking

Smoking  may lower your body's HDL(good fat).


Lose Weight

Having a body mass index of 30 or greater puts you at a risk of high cholesterol.

Drink alcohol in moderation

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your cholesterol level.


Take your medication

If you need medication to lower your cholesterol levels, you and your doctor  will decide what medication is right for you depending on your medical history and current medications you are on.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Basic Health Screening Tests for Adults


basic health screening for adults


 Basic health screening tests are tests your healthcare provider recommends to identify any undetected disease or conditions. The goal is to discover diseases that can be easily treated if found on time. Getting screened is one of the most important things you can do for your health.


Health screening  tests are recommended based on  some criteria:


  • The condition has an early stage during which symptoms may not be obvious but early detection and treatment will significantly improve the outcomes.
  • An acceptable treatment is available for the condition.
  • It affects the person's life expectancy and quality of life.
  • A simple and affordable screening test for the condition is available.
  • It is a common public health problem.


Basic Health Screening Tests


Blood Pressure Screening


You can get your blood pressure checked during any routine medical visit. After measuring your blood pressure, your doctor can ask you to check it at home. This is because your blood pressure can change throughout the day. And sometimes, it's high only because you are seeing a doctor. 

To diagnose high blood pressure, your doctor needs to know if is high throughout the day. Your doctor can let you know how often you should check your blood pressure. It may depend on factors such as your blood pressure, your risk for heart disease, if you are 40 and over, and if you are obese.

Please note that any high blood pressure discovered by using an automated blood pressure testing device at home or in a pharmacy may not be accurate. A diagnosis of hypertension should be confirmed by your doctor or a health professional.

Read: What do your blood pressure numbers mean? 



Diabetes Screening


Type 2 Diabetes is a common disease worldwide. However, only about a third of the people affected know they have the condition because often there are no symptoms.  Early screening can help people avoid complications of this disease like damage to the kidneys, heart, and blood vessels.


According to the American Diabetes Association, screening for diabetes should be done at three-year intervals beginning at age 45, especially for people who are overweight or obese.

If there are other risk factors such as a family history of diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol among others, screening should be done at an earlier age and more frequently.


Read: Diabetes, 5 warning signs you shouldn't ignore


 

Cholesterol/lipid profile


Cholesterol is a substance found in the body. It is used to produce Vit D, some hormones, and cell membranes. Cholesterol is transported in the bloodstream in spherical particles called lipoproteins. The two common lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins "LDL" or bad cholesterol and high-density.
 lipoprotein "HDL" or good cholesterol. 

Cholesterol screening is done with a blood sample. Studies have shown that people with high cholesterol have a higher risk for cardiovascular disease than others. This risk can be reduced by lowering their cholesterol.



Mammogram


A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast. It is used to check for early signs of breast cancer. The American College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians recommend that women who are 40 and above should have a mammogram every one to two years. 

The  American Cancer Society recommends regular screening from age 45. If you have a personal or family history of breast cancer, your doctor may recommend earlier and more frequent screenings.


Pap Smear 


This is a test used to screen for cervical cancer. The procedure is about collecting cells from your cervix which is the lower end of your uterus on top of your vagina. These cells are then tested to see if they are cancerous or abnormal cells that can lead to cancer.

It is recommended to get a pap smear every three years from the age of 21. The frequency of the pap smear can differ for women with low immunity or a history of cancer/precancerous cells.

Colonoscopy


Colonoscopy screens for colorectal cancer. Most colorectal cancer develops over several years. This cancer usually begins as a non-cancerous polyp on the inner lining of the colon or rectum.

These polyps generally do not cause problems. But, sometimes, they may progress to cancer. When they are discovered during screening and removed, it prevents cancer from developing.

Getting screened can save your life. However, the type of screening and how frequently you do them depends on your risk factors, age, and overall health profile. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider to determine the right tests you need.


Tuesday, 3 August 2021

Best Breastfeeding Tips For New Moms


  

breasfeeding tips for new moms

Congratulations, you have a new baby! Once, you've given birth, breastfeeding is one important thing you can do to protect your baby and help to promote good health. Along with saving you money on formula, breastfeeding can also help you to keep your medical bills down.


When babies are breastfed, they have more immunity against ear infections, respiratory infections, and allergies. 


During the first week of your baby's life, your breasts will produce colostrum for your baby to drink. Colostrum is rich in antibodies and aids the baby's immune system. It also helps him pass his first bowel movement, which is called meconium. 


Meconium is black and tarry-looking and is in the first few diapers after birth. Then it begins to transition to a brown substance and after your milk comes in, it becomes a yellow, mustardy stool that is loose and watery. 


Sucking on the breast will also help with jaw alignment and development.  So, there is less need for costly orthodontic work when the child gets older.


Data from a study with almost 9,700 children in 1981 concluded that longer breastfeeding times correlated with a lower risk of malocclusion (misalignment of teeth). 


Breastfeeding’s impact on jaw growth is also good for the development of a baby’s airway. This may help prevent problems with sleep-disordered breathing, such as sleep apnea.


Breastfeeding also offers many benefits for the mom as well. The baby sucking the breast will cause contractions right after birth, leading to less bleeding for the mom, and helping her uterus return to its shape before pregnancy much faster.


Breastfeeding also burns calories, so a mom can lose weight much faster than if she fed her baby with a bottle. Breastfeeding creates a special bond between the mother and the baby.


Getting Started with Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is an art that will require a lot of patience and a lot of practice. No one expects you to be an expert when you first start, so you should not hesitate to ask for advice or have a nurse show you what you need to do.


Once you start, keep in mind that nursing should not be painful. When your baby latches on, pay attention to how your breasts feel. If the latching on hurts, break the suction then try again.


How much should newborns breastfeed?

You should breastfeed quite frequently, as the more you nurse the more milk you will produce. Breastfeeding for 10-15 minutes per breast 6- 10 times every 24 hours is an ideal target.

Feedings can take 40 minutes or longer, therefore you will want a cozy spot where you will not be bothered.


Breastfeeding and positioning

For some people, the process of breastfeeding seems to come naturally to them, there is a level of skill required for successful feeding and a correct technique to use. Incorrect positioning is one of the biggest reasons for unsuccessful feeding and it can even injure the nipple or breast quite easily.


Your technique and positioning are important in ensuring that your breastfeeding experience is a great one.  A few different positions that can be used to make the experience more comfortable for you and your baby. Some of these positions include:


1. Upright

The sitting position where the back is straight. Sit up either in bed or a comfortable chair or couch with pillows supporting your back and head. Place a pillow on your lap and put the baby on top of the pillow in your arms, you can rest your arms on the pillow to make it easier to bring the baby up to your breast. Bend your knees to make this even easier to have baby latch on.


2. Mobile

This is where the mother carries her baby in a sling or baby carrier while breastfeeding. Doing this allows the mother to carry on with other activities.


3. Lying down

This is good for night feeds or for those who have had a cesarean section. Lay down on your side with pillows behind you to support your back. Lay baby facing you with her head on a pillow your breast should be level with baby's mouth. Bend your legs with a pillow between your knees and then have baby latch on.


4. The Clutch Hold

This is also known as the football hold. This position is also good when nursing twins as it allows the mom to have a baby on each side. Sit down and tuck your baby under your arm almost like a handbag. Rest baby's head on a firm pillow on your lap. Ensure that baby's feet are behind your back. Your hand is at the back of the baby's neck, not on the baby's head. Your arm will extend down the baby's back, guide the baby to latch on.


Anytime you don't feel comfortable with a feeding position, always stop and switch to a different position.  Each position is different, while some mothers prefer one position, others may like a totally different position.  All you need to do is experiment and see which position is best for you.


Breastfeeding Complications


Sore Nipples

A lot of mothers complain about sore nipples that make breastfeeding painful and frustrating. Improperly positioned babies that suck really hard can make the breasts extremely sore. Here are some ways to ease your discomfort:


  • Make sure your baby is in the correct position and latching on properly.
  • Air out your nipples after breastfeeding
  • After breastfeeding, apply some ultra-purified, medical-grade lanolin, making sure to avoid petroleum jelly and other products with oil.
  • Make sure to wash your nipples with water.
  • Many women find teabags ran under cold water to provide some relief when placed on the nipples.

Clogged milk ducts

 These are small tender lumps on the tissue of the breast. Clogged ducts can cause milk to back up and lead to infection. The best way to unclog these ducts is to ensure that you have emptied them as completely as possible.

 Offer the clogged breast first at feeding time, then let your baby empty it as much as possible.
If the milk remains after the feeding, remove what is left with a pump. Try to keep the pressure off the duct by making sure your bra is not too tight.

Breast Infection

This is also known as mastitis. It usually occurs during the first three months of breastfeeding. Possible causes are bacteria entering the breast through cracks and fissures in the nipple, blocked milk duct, and deceased immunity in the mother because of stress or poor nutrition.

 Symptoms of mastitis include severe pain or soreness, swelling, warmth, fever, and chills.

Treatment consists of antibiotics, pain relievers drinking plenty of fluids, and rest often. To reduce pain and inflammation, you can apply warm moist compresses to the affected breast every few hours. Breastfeeding every two hours to keep milk flowing through the ducts is also helpful.

Always make sure that breast infections are treated promptly and completely or you may risk the chance of abscess. An abscess is a painful buildup of pus in the breast caused by an infection. This will 
be treated by antibiotics and possibly surgical drainage of the pus.






















Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Is Gaming Good For Your Mental Health: 3 Games To Improve Your Mental Health

Is Gaming Good For Your Mental Health: 3 Games To Improve Your Mental Health


Video games can play a beneficial role in improving your mental health. For decades, there have been a lot of research on the negative effects of gaming. Though we can't ignore this, the truth is video games  are great for stimulating the brain. They also help to improve problem-solving, memory, and concentration when played in moderation.


Benefits of Video Games

Playing video games has so many benefits, from exercising your brain to improving social skills. Some of them include:

Improves mental health disorders

Video games can help people dealing with anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD), and attention deficit hyperactive disorder(ADHD). Participating in these intellectually stimulating exercises redirects attention and energy to problem-solving. This leads to an improved mood. 

Encourages mental stimulation

Have you noticed that when you are playing a game, you are mentally alert trying to make the right decisions quickly to win the game? Playing video games is good for training your brain and exercising your mind. In fact, according to data from a study, people who do puzzles have brain function equivalent to 10 years younger than their age. 


Builds emotional resilience

When you are playing a video game, you want to win! So you keep at it even if you fail or struggle initially. This is great for learning persistence and resilience especially for children. 

Improves social skills

Multiplayer games encourage collaboration. Multiplayer games have virtual social communities, where decisions are made quickly on who to lead a group and who to trust. 

Things To Note

It is important to set limits on how much time you will spend playing these games. Spending too much time on these games every day can lead to addiction. It can also lead to isolation and using the games to escape from your real life. Gaming is good for relaxation and easing stress but can cause problems if it's excessive.


 3 Online Games To Improve Your Mental Health

These are some online games anyone can play to improve their brain's performance and boost their mood.

Sudoku

This is a fun brain game that people of all ages and abilities can play. It is a logic game that challenges you to place the right numbers in boxes within a grid. Playing sudoku provides exercise and stimulation for the brain which can improve brain function according to a research study published in the International Journal Of Geriatric Psychiatry. It is also relaxing and gives a sense of satisfaction and achievement when you complete the puzzles.


Crossword Puzzles

Solving crossword puzzles boost your vocabulary, spelling, and knowledge of trivia. These benefits in turn increase your ability to think abstractly and your brain's processing power.  

Research studies have shown that participating in activities like crossword puzzles can delay the onset of memory loss and alleviate dementia especially for those who are already at risk for Alzheimer's disease and dementia.


Role-Playing Games

A role-playing game is a game where the player assumes the role of a character throughout play. How you play your character depends on the person who created the game world and how you respond to the various events in it.

 These games have been used by educators to help develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. RPGs can also be used in a therapeutic sense for practicing desired skills like speaking up in a safe space and collaborating with others.


Recommended Online Game Websites

You don't have to download paid apps in order to get the benefits of video games. These websites are full of simple games you can play in your browser. And guess what? They are free!


1. Plays.org

This website offers hundreds of free and fun online games you can play directly from your browser. It's really easy to use. You don't have to download an app or register an account to use the website. Another great thing about this website is that there are no distractions from advertising and no paid upgrades either. 

When playing the games, you don't have to worry about losing access to the internet because they are stored on the web browser. They have a wide variety of games for adults and children.  Some games to try are the ultimate Sudoku timed puzzle game, which is a free online version of the classic Sudoku puzzle number game, and the Super Tetris logic puzzle game


2. BestCrosswords.com

If you love crosswords, you will love this one. This website hosts a large supply of free crossword puzzles. They publish 15 grids daily. You don't need registration and you can play in your web browser, smartphone, tablet or print in high resolution.


3. Arkadium 

This website has a large collection of online games you can play for free in your browser. You have to register to use this one and the advertisements can be distracting. Try Arkadium's Codeword, a word game that is a free online version of Codeword.



 


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