Hot Women Are Bad For Your Health (Study)

March 12, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=6M7C56zrfkM%3Ff%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

New TYT Facebook Page(!): www.facebook.com Don’t forget to check out Ana’s blog at: www.examiner.com Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com TYT Network (new WTF?! channel): www.youtube.com Check Out TYT Interviews www.youtube.com Watch more at www.theyoungturks.com

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

The Three Basic Health Tips for Wellness by Better Body Nutrition Austin

March 9, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

youtube.com/watch?v=rMK5lK9b1xg%3Ff%3Dvideos%26app%3Dyoutube_gdata

The Three Basic Health Tips for Wellness by Better Body Nutrition Austin In this video Joseph summates all nutrition and wellness practices into three simple tips. These three tips are the secret to living a health long and happy life. This may seem very simple but its not doing these three things that cause illness, disease, discomfort and early death. Be My Friend www.myspace.com Better Body Clinical Nutrition www.nutritionaustin.com Joseph E. Strickland, ACN Applied Clinical Nutritionist This video was produced by Psychetruth http www.youtube.com psychetruth.blogspot.com Psychetruth is empowered by TubeMogul. www.tubemogul.com Music by Jimmy Gelhaar www.jimmyg.us © Copyright 2010 Target Public Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

Parents are the key to prevent teen driving crashes

January 25, 2011 by  
Filed under ADDICTION, HEALTHCARE

I have twin seven-year old boys and though I look forward to the day when they leave the nest, I also dread the coming of puberty and the potential problems that come with it. Alcohol, drugs and smoking are just a few of the possible pitfalls that await them. As parents, we do our best to steer our kids clear of these dangers. Yet, risky and dangerous behaviours among teens are as common as ever.

But the situation is not as hopeless as it may seem. Studies that shown that teenagers generally would listen to what their parents have to say. Thus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling to all parents to talk to their adolescents about driving safety, with the firm belief that parents “play a key role in preventing teen crashes, injuries and deaths.”

Here some statistics from the CDC about teen crashes:

Here is a recommendation from Dr. Arlene Greenspan of the CDC:

Talk with your teen about the dangers of driving, and keep the conversation going over time. In addition, supervise your teen’s driving as often as possible.”

She suggests at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised practice driving over a minimum of six months and this should include different roads and road conditions and times of the day.

In addition, CDC recently launched the campaign “Parents Are the Key” with the following recommendations to help reduce the risk for teenage crashes:

I have one more tip to add: set a good example.

From the backseat, your kids are observing how you drive. By setting a good example and explaining to them the safety issues as they happen, I believe we can convey to our kids early on the principles of early driving. Here’s some of the conversation I have with my kids while driving:

“I can only drive 50 kph here. See that sign over there?”

“I have to drive slowly and carefully today. It’s foggy/snowy/raining and I can’t see as clearly.”

“See what that guy did? He turned without signaling. That’s very dangerous.”

And finally, do not drive while intoxicated! Show your kids the right and safe way.

A tribute to a friend who lost her battle against cancer

November 22, 2010 by  
Filed under CANCER

A few months ago, I wrote a post about 2 friends who were battling cancer.

One friend died a few weeks ago. And I didn’t even know about it until this weekend. She lost her battle to cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 3 non-small cell lung cancer last year in December and was given 6 months to live. She lived for 10 months. Hers is a very sad case because she never smoked, she lived a healthy lifestyle, and she wasn’t even overweight. She is the cancer patient with the right to ask: why me?

Unfortunately for my friend, she exhibited severe allergic reaction to chemotherapy and many anti-cancer drugs that they had to be stopped. She used alternative medicine instead.

When I receive sad news like this, 2 things come to mind:

My lack of effort in cheering her up during the last few months. I only visited her a couple of times, as I always came up with the excuse of distance and time constraints.

Compared to what another friend has done for her, my efforts were laughably little. The said lady has a 4-month old baby whom she regularly had to take with her on her regular visits to the cancer patient’s home and the clinic.

My own mortality. My friend was in her 40s and left behind a husband and a 13-year old son. Her death reminds me of my own mortality and what the fate of my children would be in the event of my death.

Years ago, news of death only concerned the peers of my parents: Nowadays, it is people of my own age, of my generation who are getting sick and dying.

As I wrote in a previous post:

We seldom appreciate how important our mom, our dad, our wife, our husband, our partner, our child, our sister, our brother, our friend to us until he or she is not around, whether temporarily or permanently.

Sad that I didn’t pay attention to what I wrote then.

I am glad to say that my other friend is responding quite well to chemotherapy and this is really good news because this is her second fight with brain cancer. Her tumor recurred last year. But this doesn’t mean to say I should take her for granted. She is just a phone call away…So here I go…

What happens if you refuse dialysis

May 20, 2010 by  
Filed under HEALTHCARE

Dialysis is a treatment indicated for patients with kidney failure. Kidney failure means the kidneys are no longer capable of doing the job of cleaning the waste products of the body.

Treatment options

There are two most common treatments for kidney failure: kidney transplant and dialysis. Dialysis is a treatment wherein a machine is used to filter and clean your blood of waste products. There are two types of dialysis, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis, each with its pros and cons. Hemodialysis is still the most commonly used because it is more cost efficient. Kidney transplant is not an option for some patients and dialysis is often indicated for these patients or patients on the transplant waiting list.

Choosing a treatment

What influences a patient’s choice of treatment? Australian researchers identified 4 themes that may impact treatment decisions, namely:

Of these, gaining knowledge options seem to be especially important in decision-making. Knowledge gained from peers is very influential, sometimes more than doctors. The timing of when the information was received also play a role. Some patients may feel too sick or distressed to have a clear mind to objectively consider the options. In many cases, the options were presented to the patient only after dialysis has been initiated, a practice that is contrary to current clinical guidelines.  In such cases, dialysis is understandably the most preferred option, coupled with reluctance to change thus maintain the status quo. Yet, kidney failure patients may change their minds along the way. Some who refused dialysis can start anytime whereas those who gave the option a try might not like it and opt to stop. In a recent review by a Canadian researcher, 61% of 584 patients studied regretted their option to start dialysis. Among the elderly, being a burden to others is an important issue in decision-making.

Refusing dialysis

Although dialysis is a life-saving procedure, it has some major impact on quality of life which leads some patients to refuse or discontinue it. It usually requires a trip to the clinic 3 times a week, each session lasting up to 6 hours. Studies show that patients exercising the right to refuse or discontinue dialysis (cognitive status permitting) and doctors respecting their decision are an accepted practice in many developed countries. In the UK, US, and Canada, “this practice is the principal cause of death among elderly patients on dialysis, especially among those over the age of 75.”

Time left

Many patients and their love ones ask: what happens if a patient refuses dialysis? This means that waste products accumulate in the body and the end result is death. The time between cessation of dialysis and death can vary – it can be days or weeks. In clinical practice, the time left would depend on the type of kidney failure (acute vs. chronic) and the general health status of the patients.

The writer-columnist Art Buchwald was 80 years old when he refused dialysis and checked himself into a hospice in February 2006. He was suffering from complications from diabetes and an earlier stroke. He was given only a few weeks to live. In June 2006, he left the hospice when his kidney reportedly started functioning again. He got to complete a book Too Soon to say Goodbye that included eulogies written by family and friends. Buchwald eventually died of kidney failure on January 17, 2007 in his son’s home. Without dialysis, he was given a few weeks to live. He lasted for almost a year, calling them the “happiest days of my life” after the stress of making the treatment decision was over.

Quality of life

A patient’s love one would want to know about the quality of life of the patient as the end nears. Many studies indicate that chronic kidney failure patients have some discomfort but they are seldom in pain unless there are other complications. Suzanne Goldenberg, who interviewed Art Buchwald, wrote that “kidney failure offers a relatively kind death: a slow fade into toxic stupor.” Death from kidney failure has been described as getting sleepier and drowsier as the organs shut down. Those who are in a hospice are given end-of-life palliative care. However, current palliative care practices are mainly focused on end-stage renal cancer patients despite the fact that mortality rate for chronic kidney disease is higher than most cancers. Chronic kidney failure patients are more likely to die at home than in a hospice and end-of-life care issues are seldom discussed with this group of patients, according to the Canadian study.

Don’t let death catch you sitting down

January 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured, HEART AND STROKE

Sedentary behavior does not only increase the risk for cardiovascular disorders, it also increases the overall risk for death not necessarily due to heart disease, according to Australian researchers. And sedentary behavior in this research was equated to sitting down in front of the TV.

The researchers followed up 8,800 people for about 6 years in terms of “screen time” and their overall health. The results showed that those who watched TV for more than four hours each day has:

  • 46% higher likelihood of dying from any cause
  • 80% higher likelihood of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to people who spend less than two hours a day in front of the TV.
  • For each hour each day spent in front of the TV, the risk of death from any cause increases by 11% and death from cardiovascular disease by 18%. A heightened risk for death from cancer wasn’t statistically significant, but the other findings held up even after adjusting not only for exercise, but for such risk factors as age, gender and waist circumference.

The researchers claim it is the long periods of inactivity that do the damage and no amount of working out or doing sports can undo the damage or decrease the risks.

According to study leader David Dunstan, a researcher at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne:

“It’s not the sweaty type of exercise we’re losing. It’s the incidental moving around, walking around, standing up and utilizing muscles that [doesn’t happen] when we’re plunked on a couch in front of a television.”

So what does amount to being sedentary or inactive?

It is the act of sitting down for long periods of time. When you are not on feet moving around and using your muscles, then you are sedentary.

The researchers focused on time spent in front of the tube because it is the favourite past time in many countries. In the US, for example, a Nielsen study revealed that Americans spend, on average 151 hours per month watching TV during the autumn-winter months of the 2008. This is equivalent to more than five hours a day of screen time.

Aside from TV time however, there are many other instances that amount to being sedentary. While sitting here and typing this post, for example, I am sedentary. The long periods of time we spend behind our desk or the wheel of a car, sitting down in a coffee shop,or reading by the pool, travelling by train or by plane, these are moments of being sedentary.

So what is wrong with being sedentary?

Dr. Dunstan explains that muscle movement is important in the metabolism of sugar and fats.

“The absence of movement can slow down our metabolic processes. When we’re sitting down or even lying on the couch, we’re burning the equivalent of the energy we burn when we’re sleeping.”

Another researcher, Dr. Marc Hamilton of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge says that after just a few hours of inactivity, an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase shuts down. This enzyme is responsible fortaking fat out of the blood to be transported and burned down in the muscles. Its absence leads fat accumulation in the blood stream, which will lead to damage of the blood vessels and the heart.

What about the 30-minute daily session on the treadmill or the twice-a-week soccer practice? Well, apparently this is not enough. Let us think. How much of our waking hours (16 hours!) do we spend on physical exercise? On being sedentary? Can our 30-minute morning jog make up for 8 or more hours sitting behind the desk? Apparently not.

Dr. Dunstan explains:

“The implication of these findings is that the extraordinary amount of sitting can undo the good effects that we know are a benefit when we get regular exercise.”

So in a nutshell, if we want to live longer, we should spend less time sitting down. Instead, let’s get moving. Anything helps. Here are some tips to reduce sedentary time while performing our routine daily tasks.

  • Stand up and stretch regularly when working in front of the computer. Move your legs from time to time.
  • Place the printer away from the computer so that you are forced to stand up to pick up your print outs.
  • When watching TV, do some other activity in parallel, such as ironing or folding the laundry.
  • Do not use the remote control. Stand up to change channels.
  • When driving long stretches, take regular breaks and walk.
  • When taking the train, try standing during the whole or part of the trip.

Can you add anything to the list?

College, alcohol and preventive measures

July 9, 2009 by  
Filed under ADDICTION

alcohol-barThere’s been a heated discussion going about the possibility of lowering the minimum legal drinking age in the US down to 18. There’s also been a surge of research studies that evaluated the consequences of such a change. Recently, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) released some statistics on college drinking.

  • The number of alcohol-related deaths in 2005 was 1,825, up from 1,400 in 1998. This is mainly due to traffic-related accidents involving 18 to 24-year old students.
  • Binge drinking (heavy episodic drinking) increased from 42% to 45%.
  • Incidence of drunk driving increased from 26.5% to 29%.

The figures were published in a supplement to the July issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

According to NIAA acting director Dr. Kenneth Warren

“This supplement is a valuable resource that underscores the growing number of research-driven strategies that college administrators and health officials can put in place to address serious student drinking problems.”

The figures seem to indicate that despite having one of the highest minimum legal age for drinking alcohol in the world, the US seems to be having major alcohol-related problems among college students.

However, it’s not all bad news. It seems that preventing these problems is possible and prevention programs in the colleges themselves seem to be effective. Here are some examples of these programs:

  • On campus counseling. Northeastern University counselors report on the effectiveness of an assistance program that helps students with alcohol problems alter their behavior. The one-to-one counselling helped students use “coping skills.”
  • Community law enforcement. Two studies report the effective use of law enforcement – in the form of increased police patrols – on campus as well as off campus (surrounding community). These programs resulted in reduced drinking off campus.
  • On campus motivational enhancement. College officials at the University of Central Florida believe in motivational interviews which seem to work well among high risk drinkers. Researchers at the Loyola Marymount University in LA report that the long-term effectiveness of this approach is limited and needs to be regularly boosted up.

Many experts believe that a combination of these strategies will effectively counteract alcohol-related problems on as well as off campus.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Cardiac arrest: what makes the heart stop?

June 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured, HEART AND STROKE

artificial-heartResource post for June

The King of Pop Michael Jackson was said to have suffered from cardiac arrest but the actual cause of death is unknown. This statement confused many people – why can’t cardiac arrest be the cause of death? To answer this question, we have to brush up a bit on what we know about cardiac arrest.

What is cardiac arrest?

According to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. When this happens, blood stops flowing to the brain and other vital organs.

If the heart does not start beating within a few minutes, death occurs.

There many things that can cause the heart to stop or “arrest” and sometimes it doesn’t even have anything to do with heart disease. The heart runs on an internal electrical system that regulates the rate and rhythm of the heart beat. From time to time, the electrical system can have problems, causing abnormal rhythms called arrhythmias. These abnormal heart rhythms can be too slow (bradycardia) or too fast (tachycardia) or it can complete stop. Some arrhythmias can cause the heart to stop pumping blood, causing sudden cardiac arrest.

Now, it is important for us to know that cardiac arrest is not synonymous to a heart attack or myocardial infarction in doctor speak. However, a cardiac arrest may be a complication of a heart attack. Although, people with heart problems have a high risk of SCA, most SCAs happen in completely healthy people with no history of heart disease.

Whatelectricity causes cardiac arrest?

So what can cause the heart to stop beating and lead to cardiac arrest? There are many things that can interfere with the heart’s electrical system and these are:

  • Coronary heart disease (CAD)/Heart attack. Blocked coronary arteries can lead to heart attacks but also interfere with the electrical system of the heart. A large number of SAC cases are due to CAD or heart attack.
  • Electric shock/electrocution. A strong electrical shock can stop the heart. Electrocution and lighting strikes can easily lead to SAC.
  • Respiratory arrest. This can happen when people choke, or drown or can’t breath, cutting off the oxygen supply to the heart.
  • Overdose on certain drugs. It is a know fact that certain drugs can interfere with heart rhythms. This is why new drugs are screened for pro-arrhythmic effects before approval. When taken in excessive amounts, certain drugs complete halt the heart, resulting in SAC.
  • Trauma. A strong sudden blow to the heart, or an injury that damages the heart can also lead to cardiac arrest.
  • Unknown causes. Some cases of SAC cannot be explained, unless an autopsy is conducted.

What are the signs of SAC?

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the warning signs for SAC are

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Cessation of normal breathingheart-stethoscope
  • Absence of pulse
  • Absence of blood pressure

Death occurs within 4 to 6 minutes after cardiac arrest. It is estimated that 95% of SAC cases result in death.

How can cardiac arrest be reversed?

In SAC, every second counts. To save the patient, it is imperative that the heart be restarted as soon as possible. It can happen that heart function is restored but brain death has already set in due to interruption of blood and oxygen supply.

There are several ways to restore a normal heartbeat:

  • Electric shock using defibrillators, a scene that we often see in emergency rooms. In settings away from hospitals, the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) has saved many lives.
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is to manually restore the heart beat by applying pressure on the chest region.

According to the AHA

Cardiac arrest can be reversed if it’s treated within a few minutes with an electric shock to the heart to restore a normal heartbeat. This process is called defibrillation. A victim’s chances of survival are reduced by 7 to 10 percent with every minute that passes without CPR and defibrillation. Few attempts at resuscitation succeed after 10 minutes… It’s estimated that more than 95% of cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital. In cities where defibrillation is provided within 5 to 7 minutes, the survival rate from sudden cardiac arrest is as high as 30-45 percent.

Because SAC is very time critical, waitdefibrillator1ing for emergency services to arrive may be too late. This is why AEDs are available in crowded public places, e.g. airports, sports stadiums, public events where people gather. In Zurich, Switzerland, AEDs are strategically located in telephone booths in the city center. Equally important is bystander awareness. AEDs are designed to be used by almost anybody, even without any medical training. Yet, many people are hesitant to “get involved.” Health groups, including the AHA are campaigning for more active bystander involvement in the prevention of SAC.

Photo credit: stock.xchng

Remembering Tim Russert

July 1, 2008 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

Instead of featuring a heart(y) celebrity this month, I would like to pay my respects to Tim Russert of NBC.

I was travelling around Western Europe when I heard of his unexpected death. Even here in the old continent, his name and face was known, especially among the English-speaking community. Russert was a respected political journalist whose opinion carried a lot of weight in the political scene.

There was a lot of speculation in the media about his untimely death and whether his death could have been prevented. These led a lot of contradicting reports about Russert’s case.

Heartwire discussed the Russert’s case with 3 cardiovascular experts. On the downside, Russert’s condition can be summarized as follows:

  • He had an asymptomatic coronary artery disease.
  • He had hypertension and high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Ten years ago, he had a calcium CT scan score of 210, indicating moderate to high risk for a heart attack.
  • He was overweight.
  • He was in considerable stress
  • He was sleep-deprived, probably as part of his job in following the US presidential preliminaries.

On the upside:

  • As a seasoned journalist, Tim Russert was surely aware of his risks and was doing a lot to manage his risks.
  • His sugar levels were slightly elevated but without indications of diabetes.
  • He seemed to have his cholesterol levels and blood pressure under control with medications.
  • He regularly did physical exercise.

The downside may indeed have won over the upside. Tim Russert had a heart attack and collapsed in his work place at NBC on Friday, 13 June. Russert was defibrillated three times, presumably with an automatic external defibrillator (AED) on site before his delivery at Sibley Memorial Hospital.

Autopsy after his death showed an enlarged left ventricle. The immediate cause of death was identified as “ventricular fibrillation following plaque rupture in his left anterior descending artery.”

Could Tim Russert’s death have been prevented with newer tests and treatments?

One expert interviewed by heartwire, Dr. Dr Eric Topol of Scripps Translational Science Institute commented that monitoring Russert’s C-reactive protein (CRP) levels could have given more information about his risk for a heart attack. CRP is a major biomarker of inflammation.

According to the American Heart Association

“While many heart attacks can be prevented before they occur, or treated while in progress to halt or lessen the damage, not all can; coronary heart disease is still the number one killer of men, accounting for more than half of all deaths among men. More than 50 percent of all men who die of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms.”

Truly “in the midst of life,” the monsters heart disease and stroke are waiting for their next victim.

 

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.