Posted in Health Tips

Forgiving the Flesh–In Which I Recount the Ways My Body Has Betrayed Me


An inspiring story of mom’s journey to recovery

dearlilyjune

Dear Lily June,

As human beings, we live in the flimsy structures of our fleshy bodies. Our hearts, like birds, are protected only by a cage of ribs; our minds, like yolks, sit inside the bony eggs of our skulls. It is a system designed to be fragile and frail. We are not built to last forever.

In my youth, I felt as if my body was invincible and thus, I treated it as if it were invisible. (In fact, your Grandma Raelyn might recall to you someday how I used to hide my body, as a toddler, under my ratty baby blanket, transforming myself into a makeshift ghost and earnestly believing no one could see me when I was under there.)

When my own Grandmother Mary began the comparison game as I hit my early teens, wondering why I couldn’t “try to be beautiful” like my sister–your Aunt Loren–I…

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Posted in Health Tips

Causes of Fatigue and Sleepiness and How to Fight Them


Fatigue Cause No. 1: Not Enough Sleep

It may seem obvious but you could be getting too little sleep. That can negatively affect your concentration and health. Adults should get seven to eight hours every night.

Fix: Make sleep a priority and keep a regular schedule. Ban laptops, cell phones, and PDAs from your bedroom. Still having trouble? Seek help from a doctor. You may have a sleep disorder.

Fatigue Cause No. 2: Sleep Apnea

Some people think they’re sleeping enough, but sleep apnea gets in the way. It briefly stops your breathing throughout the night. Each interruption wakes you for a moment, but you may not be aware of it. The result: you’re sleep-deprived despite spending eight hours in bed.

Fix: Lose weight if you’re overweight, quit smoking..

Fatigue Cause No. 3: Not Enough Fuel

Eating too little causes fatigue, but eating the wrong foods can also be a problem. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

Fix: Always eat breakfast and try to include protein and complex carbs in every meal. For example, eat eggs with whole-grain toast. Also eat meals and snacks throughout the day for sustained energy.

Fatigue Cause No. 4: Anemia

Anemia is a leading cause of fatigue in women. Menstrual blood loss can cause an iron deficiency, putting women at risk. Red blood cells (shown here) are needed because they carry oxygen to your tissues and organs.

Fix: For anemia caused by an iron deficiency, taking iron supplements and eating iron-rich foods, such as lean meat, liver, shellfish, beans, and enriched cereal, can help.

Fatigue Cause No. 5: Depression

You may think of depression as an emotional disorder, but it contributes to many physical symptoms as well. Fatigue, headaches, and loss of appetite are among the most common symptoms. If you feel tired and “down” for more than a couple of weeks, see your doctor.

Fix: Depression responds well to psychotherapy and/or medication.

 

Fatigue Cause No. 6: Hypothyroidism

The thyroid is a small gland at the base of your neck. It controls your metabolism, the speed at which your body converts fuel into energy. When the gland is underactive and the metabolism functions too slowly, you may feel sluggish and put on weight.

Fix: If a blood test confirms your thyroid hormones are low, synthetic hormones can bring you up to speed

 

Fatigue Cause No. 7: Caffeine Overload

Caffeine can improve alertness and concentration in moderate doses. But too much can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and jitteriness. And research indicates too much actually causes fatigue in some people.

Fix: Gradually cut back on coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and any medications that contain caffeine. Stopping suddenly can cause caffeine withdrawal and more fatigue.

 

Fatigue Cause No. 8: Hidden UTI

If you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI), you’re probably familiar with the burning pain and sense of urgency. But the infection does not always announce itself with such obvious symptoms. In some cases, fatigue may be the only sign. A urine test can quickly confirm a UTI.

Fix: Antibiotics are the cure for UTIs, and the fatigue will usually vanish within a week.

 

Fatigue Cause No. 9: Diabetes

In people with diabetes, abnormally high levels of sugar remain in the bloodstream instead of entering the body’s cells, where it would be converted into energy. The result is a body that runs out of steam despite having enough to eat. If you have persistent, unexplained fatigue, ask your doctor about being tested for diabetes.

Fix: Treatments for diabetes may include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, insulin therapy, and medications to help the body process sugar.

 

Fatigue Cause No. 10: Dehydration

Your fatigue can be a sign of dehydration. Whether you’re working out or working a desk job, your body needs water to work well and keep cool. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.

Fix: Drink water throughout the day so your urine is light colored. Have at least two cups of water an hour or more before a planned physical activity. Then, sip throughout your workout and afterwards drink another two cups.

 

Fatigue Cause No. 11: Heart Disease

When fatigue strikes during everyday activities, such as cleaning the house or weeding the yard, it can be a sign that your heart is no longer up to the job. If you notice it’s becoming increasingly difficult to finish tasks that were once easy, talk to your doctor about heart disease.

Fix: Lifestyle changes, medication, and therapeutic procedures can get heart disease under control and restore your energy.

 

Fatigue Cause No. 12: Food Allergies

Some doctors believe hidden food allergies can make you sleepy. If your fatigue intensifies after meals, you could have a mild intolerance to something you’re eating — not enough to cause itching or hives, just enough to make you tired.

Fix: Try eliminating foods one at a time to see if your fatigue improves. You can also ask your doctor about a food allergy test.

 

 

Fatigue Cause No. 13: CFS and Fibromyalgia

If your fatigue lasts more than six months and is so severe that you can’t manage your daily activities, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia are a possibility. Both can have various symptoms, but persistent, unexplained exhaustion is a main one.

Fix: While there’s no quick fix for CFS or fibromyalgia, patients often benefit from changing their daily schedule, learning better sleep habits, and starting a gentle exercise program.

 

Fast Fix for Mild Fatigue

If you have mild fatigue that isn’t linked to any medical condition, the solution may be exercise. Research suggests healthy but tired adults can get a significant energy boost from a modest workout program. In one study, participants rode a stationary bike for 20 minutes at a mild pace. Doing this just three times a week was enough to fight fatigue.

Posted in Health Tips

Dehydration


DEHYDRATION: DRINK WATER

Dehydration means your body does not have as much water and fluids as it should. Dehydration can be caused by losing too much fluid, not drinking enough water or fluids, or both. Vomiting and diarrhea are common causes.

ARE YOU DEHYDRATED?

The simplest way to check for dehydration is to check urine color. It should be clear or very pale yellow. If it begins to darken in color, fluid intake should increase.

Dehydration is classified as mild, moderate, or severe based on how much of the body’s fluid is lost or not replenished.

 

 

 

Mild Dehydration: (increase fluid intake — and for babies, call a medical professional): Thirst, dry lips, dry mouth, flushed skin, headache and urine begins to darken in color, urine output decreases.

Moderate Dehydration: (increase fluid intake and call a medical professional): All of the signs of mild dehydration, plus: skin doesn’t bounce back quickly when pressed, very dry mouth, sunken eyes and severe headache

Severe Dehydration: (call a medical professional): All of the signs of mild and moderate dehydration, plus: blue lips, blotchy skin, confusion, breathing, rapid and weak pulse, low blood pressure, dizziness, high fever, inability to pee and disinterest in drinking fluid

The benefits of being well-hydrated:

Have you heard the saying that 8 glasses of water a day helps keep your skin healthy? It’s true, but there are other benefits to getting those 8 glasses or more are:

Boosts physical and mental endurance.

• Some studies show hydration can decrease the risk of kidney stones and lower the risk of certain cancers by helping the body to flush out toxins.

• Helps keep your digestive system working. Fluids soften the stools, making them easier to pass.

• Helps prevent urinary tract infections by helping to flush away bacteria.

• Helps keep your eyes and skin moist and healthy.


“Drinking fluids is usually sufficient for mild and moderate dehydration. It is better to have frequent, small amounts of fluid. Drinking too much fluid at once can bring on vomiting”

Posted in Health Tips

Beat the Heat


Everyone is at risk when temperatures rise but the elderly and the very young are most susceptible to heat and heat-related illnesses. Heat-related illnesses can cause serious injury and even death if unattended. Signs of heat-related illnesses include nausea, dizziness, flushed or pale skin, heavy sweating and headaches. Victims of heat-related illness should be moved to a cool place, given cool water to drink and ice packs or cool wet cloths should be applied to the skin. If a victim refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness, call 9-9-8 or your local emergency number immediately.

Heat Safety Tips:

  • Dress for the heat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing. Light colors will reflect away some of the sun’s energy. It is also a good idea to wear hats or to use an umbrella.
  • Drink water. Carry water or juice with you and drink continuously even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which dehydrate the body. Avoid using salt tablets unless directed to do so by a physician.
  • Eat small meals and eat more often. Avoid high-protein foods, which increase metabolic heat.
  • Slow down. Avoid strenuous activity. If you must do strenuous activity, do it during the coolest part of the day, which is usually in the morning between 4 and 7 a.m.
  • Stay indoors when possible. If air-conditioning is not available, stay on the lowest floor out of the sunshine.

Know What These Heat-Related Terms Mean:

  • Heat cramps: Heat cramps are muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are an early signal that the body is having trouble with the heat.
  • Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion typically occurs when people exercise heavily or work in a hot, humid place where body fluids are lost through heavy sweating. Blood flow to the skin increases, causing blood flow to decrease to the vital organs. This results in a form of mild shock. If not treated, the victim may suffer heat stroke. Signals of heat exhaustion include cool, moist, pale flushed or red skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or vomiting; dizziness; and exhaustion. Body temperature will be near normal.
  • Heat stroke: Also known as sunstroke, heat stroke is life-threatening. The victim’s temperature control system, which produces sweating to cool the body, stops working. The body temperature can rise so high that brain damage and death may result if the body is not cooled quickly. Signals include hot, red and dry skin; changes in consciousness; rapid, weak pulse; and rapid, shallow breathing. Body temperature can be very high—sometimes as high as 105 degrees.


General Care for Heat Emergencies:

  • Heat cramps or heat exhaustion: Get the person to a cooler place and have him or her rest in a comfortable position. If the person is fully awake and alert, give half a glass of cool water every 15 minutes. Do not let him or her drink too quickly. Do not give liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine. Remove or loosen tight clothing and apply cool, wet cloths, such as towels or sheets. Call 9-9-8 or the local emergency number if the person refuses water, vomits or loses consciousness.
  • Heat stroke: Heat stroke is a life-threatening situation! Help is needed fast. Call 9-9-8 or your local emergency number. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the body. Immerse victim in a cool bath, or wrap wet sheets around the body and fan it. Watch for signals of breathing problems. Keep the person lying down and continue to cool the body any way you can. If the victim refuses water or is vomiting or there are changes in the level of consciousness, do not give anything to eat or drink.

 


Posted in Health Tips

Eye care Instructions for people using computers…


Spending long hours in front of television or computers is part of peoples life today. Especially if you are a computer professional, there is usually no escape from it. This causes many eyes and vision related problems in future. Here are some useful eye care tips for computer users.

  • After every 20 to 30 minutes of work, look at a distant away object and blink several times. This will help in better focusing
  • Blink frequently. People tend to reduce blink rate while working on computer. This can lead to dry eyes. Try to blink 12 to 15 times every minute.
  • Exercise you eyes at frequent intervals. Eye exercise is simple. All you need to do is just blink several times, then close your eyes and role them in clockwise and anti clockwise direction. While doing this, inhale and exhale slowly and open your eyes slowly after doing this.
  • Rub your palms against each other till they become warm. Cover your eyes with your warm palms for about a minute. Palming is another great way to relax and soothe your eyes.
  • Splashing water on you face during breaks can keep you refreshed. This also helps in cooling your eyes.
  • A few minutes of walk during breaks will refresh your body and mind. It is also good for your eyes as walking increases blood supply to your eyes.
  • Fix an anti glare screen on to your monitor or use anti glare glass while working on computers. Also position the monitor and lights in such a manner that glare from the screen is minimum.