Monday, May 14, 2012

Winter Blues Bumming You Out?


When winter rolls around, it can feel as if someone hit the dimmer switch on your happiness. Dreary days and scant natural light can be murder on your motivation and alter your circadian rhythm, leaving you short on the mood-boosting hormone serotonin.
In fact, some 15 million people (three-fourths of them women) suffer from a depressive condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which can have symptoms like low energy, carb cravings, weight gain, and dwindling sex drive. SADs severity can vary from totally manageable to life- disrupting, says Michael Terman, Ph.D., director of the Center for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms at Columbia University Medical Center. Here’s how to keep up your summer spirit when the sun disappear.

Into The Light

If you spend the majority of your days indoors, consider investing in a light box packed with superbright white fluorescent bulbs; it can elevate your serotonin levels and reset your internal clock to a spring/summer schedule, says Terman. Position the gadget above your line of sight, angled downward toward your head, and flip it on each morning for about 30 minutes while you eat breakfast or check your e-mail. Although you don’t need a prescription, it’s best to have a powwow with a mental health doctor before buying a light box she can make sure you get the correct intensity bulbs (generally, 10,000 lux) that properly filter out harmful UV rays.

Attitude Adjustment

You may be able to talk your way to feeling better. A University of Vermont study found that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), a form of psychotherapy that helps you change negative thought patterns, helps relieve depressive symptoms in just a few months. CBT focuses on specific mood lifting solutions scheduling ski trips, sticking to a weekly mani-pedi plan that counteract an “it’s too crappy out to do anything” attitude. Seem too simple? Get this: Only 7 percent of CBT patients suffered a recurrence of SAD the next winter, compared with 37 percent of those who used light therapy alone.

Negative Air, Positive Vibe

Finally, a reason to bust out your sixth-grade science. Negative ions remember those atoms that have an extra negatively charged particle? may be key in fighting depression. Turns out, the ions are most prevalent in outdoor summer air; in winter, a dearth can send your mood downhill. But a Columbia University study found that the use of an electrical ionizer machine (a long name for a small black box) combats SAD by mimicking summer air. Bonus: It’s totally hassle-free. You just set a timer to switch the box on 90 minutes before your alarm clock buzzes, then click it off once you’re up.

A Solid D-fense

It’s been widely suggested that vitamin D, often called the sunshine vitamin, may play a role in mental health. Indeed, women with SAD tend to have low D levels; getting enough of the stuff might help improve depression. While scientists figure out why, it’s a good idea to make sure your D level is adequate, says Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson, Sc.D., a vitamin D specialist at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Between 1,000 and 2,000 IU daily may help even out winter moods not to mention bolster everything from colon to bone to breast health.

Runaway Gloom

When your jogging path is covered in three inches of ice, you could wallow between the sheets... or you could hit the treadmill. One study showed that about 60 minutes of daily indoor cardio was just as effective as light therapy in whacking back SAD and any form of aerobic exercise helps depression. In one study, moderately depressed people who walked briskly three times a week for four months saw their symptoms ebb (those only on meds saw less of a turnaround). While you’re sweating, pick up some dumbbells preferably, ones heavy enough to tire you out after about 10 reps. Intense strength training can unleash a hefty shot of serotonin, and regularly lifting heavy weights can significantly reduce many SAD symptoms.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Healthiest Cities for Women


Look to the Future

Raleigh, North Carolina
What does it take to be number one? A smart dose of prevention something the women of healthiest overall city Raleigh know well. A whopping 90 percent of them have perfect Pap smear timing (the American Cancer Society recommends that women over 30 who have had three normal Pap tests in a row get one every three years), and 81 percent of those over 40 stay on track with regular mammograms. Both tests can save lives by detecting cancers early. “It’s very important to be proactive about preventive measures that have proven benefits,” says Andrew Berchuck, M.D., director of gynecological oncology at Duke University Medical Center. Ask your doctor how often you should be screened, and while you’re at it, get a physical (yes, even if you feel totally fine).

Let 'Em See You Sweat

San Jose, California
Give some people 300-plus days of sun a year and they might spend it lounging on the beach. Not these women, who rank second in our survey for overall fitness as well as for the number of women who run, swim, or lift weights. Sure, all that sweat can lead to a tight, toned body; it can also lead to top-notch health. Moderate exercise enhances the immune system and can strengthen your respiratory muscles, says Peggy Plato, Ph.D., an associate professor of kinesiology at San Jose State University. Accordingly, this city’s gals have a very low death rate from chronic lower-respiratory disease (i.e., lung problems, a major female threat). If the view from your window is more snowy than sunny, strap on some cross¬country skis or snowshoes (exercising with either scorches 490 calories an hour!) or stay inside and try alternating pushups, squats, and planks with jogging or climbing stairs for 30 minutes five days a week, says Plato.

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy

Madison, Wisconsin
It may sound New Age-y, but nothing spells long life better than a solid mind body connection. Case in point: Women in Madison are some of the happiest around. Fewer than 3 percent of them report feeling sad all or most of the time, and less than 2 percent say they feel hopeless. And their life expectancy is over 80. Make like them and bolster your mood, because depression can take a toll on your physical health in the form of infrequent exercise, poor eating habits, and lack of sleep, says neuropsychiatrist Louann Brizendine, M.D., author of The Female Brain. Create standing dates with your close pals, she advises. “During social interactions, the brain releases the hormones dopamine and oxytocin, both of which combat depression.” Better yet, make those plans with upbeat friends happiness is contagious.

Chew Away The Big C

Austin, Texas
Better known for their mean barbecuing skills, Austin’s women also have a way with fresh produce. They ranked highest in healthy diet, thanks to the fact that 35 percent of them scarf down five or more servings of whole foods every day. All those fruits and veggies not only keep them trim but can also lower their risk for several forms of cancer, says Alice Bender, R.D., a dietitian for the American Institute for Cancer Research. In other words, eating low-calorie plant foods instead of fat and sugar packed processed foods is a cancer fighting one two punch that keeps your weight in check and delivers such Big C slayers as fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Load
up on cabbage, leeks, and cranberries, for example, and you’ll help protect yourself from colon, stomach, and mouth cancers, respectively.

Keep Up the Beat

Minneapolis, Minnesota
We’ve heard it so often that it’s easy to just tune out: Heart disease is the number one killer of women. These Midwesterners still take the warning to, well, heart. “People in our city are very active and do regular cardio that keeps their blood pressure and cholesterol down,” says cardiologist Elizabeth Grey, M.D., of the Minneapolis Heart Institute. It’s paying off: Women in Minneapolis have low rates of death from heart disease (19 in 100,000) and stroke (five in 100,000). One way to keep your ticker in shape? Hop into bed. During sex, your arteries dilate and a release of endorphins and immunoglobulins protect your cardiac health, says Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., director of women and heart disease at the Lenox Hill Heart and Vascular Institute of New York.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blood Glucose Management


What to know to get the most benefit from working out

Whether you're a regular gym rat or taking your first baby steps on the treadmill, managing both your exercise regimen and your blood glucose levels can be tricky. Of course, you know that exercise is a great way to keep yourself healthy but how do you know if you’re too high or low to work out? When is the best time to work out? And why do you sometimes get those pesky high blood glucose levels post-workout? Michael C. Riddell, PhD, is an exercise physiologist and associate professor in the Muscle Health Research Center at the York University School of Kinesiology and Health Science in Toronto. He has extensively researched the role of exercise in managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and he says the biggest hurdle in balancing exercise and blood glucose levels is motivation. Exercise is as important, he says, as diet and medication, and needs to be valued as such. In a study published in the March issue of the journal Diabetologia, Riddell and his col­leagues found that with exercise, people with diabetes were able to control their blood glucose levels and live healthier lives—even if they remained above their desired A1C or weight-level goals. 

What’s more, people with all types of diabetes are encouraged to do both aerobic (cardio) and weight-bearing (strength) exercise to become the healthiest they can be. And both types of exercise are generally safe for people with diabetes as long as they’re living free of complications of the eyes, kidneys, and nerves. So put on some sneakers and get after it!

All Together Now

Time It Right. Your type of dia­betes may indicate the best time of day to exercise. Riddell says people with type 1 may want to consider exercising when their insulin lev­els are a little bit lower—say, first thing in the morning, before tak­ing insulin and eating breakfast. People with type 2 may especially benefit from physical activity after meals, which can tame blood glucose spikes. That said, getting physical activity regularly is more important than when you do it.

Test It Out. If you’re prone to lows, know your blood glucose trend before you bounce, boogie, or bowl. People using multiple daily insulin injections or a pump might start testing two hours before exercise, every 30 minutes or so, Riddell suggests. This gives you an idea of which direction your blood glucose is headed before you begin your workout. Then, to protect yourself from going too low or too high, test every 30 minutes during exercise. While that might feel frustrating, it will give you important data (see Understand Spikes, opposite).

Count the Minutes. Both the American Diabetes Association and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend that everyone get 150 minutes of aerobic exercise a week. Those activities are healthiest when they use large muscle groups, Riddell says— think walking, cross-country skiing, swimming, and rowing. Using big groups of muscles helps burn calories and lower blood glucose levels. Do some weight-bearing exercises three times a week to complete your physical activity. Weight-bearing activities involve putting a load on your bones, either your own body weight or external weights. “We know that having a healthy skeletal muscle mass is very important, but [aerobics] don’t build muscle,” Riddell says. “So we have to complement [aerobics with strength training]. We’ll live longer, more independently, and we’ll have much more energy throughout the day.”

Feels Like the First Time

So maybe this is the first time you’ve ever gotten active. Or maybe it’s just been a long time since you followed an exercise routine. Deciding to make a change is the first step toward a healthier lifestyle. But don’t over­whelm yourself by trying to take on too much.

Set Goals. Any exercise is good, of course, but if you don’t have a map, you’ll never get anywhere. Setting small goals, Riddell says, can help you see results and feel accomplishment. Maybe you want to lower your fasting blood glucose or lose a couple of pounds within a month’s time. Those are very attainable goals, and once you reach one, you’ll be inspired to keep going.

Start Small. You don’t have to run a marathon, or even a 5K. “If you start slowly, by doing just 15 minutes of aerobic-type activity daily, or anything longer than 10 minutes, that’ll have some benefit,” Riddell says. Aerobic exercise is as simple as brisk walking, riding a bicycle, or jogging. If you can do 10 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week, you’re already on your way. When you can do that, add a little more time each day, until you’re getting 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day.

Mind Your Muscle. All exercise routines should include some strength training, in which you’re working and building your muscles with weight-bearing activity. You don’t need dulbbells or any special equipment the weight of your body counts. “People who are starting to exercise can get a lot of benefits by just doing the motion without any weights,” says Charlotte Hayes, MMSc, MS, RD, CDE, CES, author of The “I Hate to Exercise” Book for People With Diabetes. For example, you can sit in a chair and do a leg lift. “For people who are deconditioned, after 10 or 15 times, they’ll start to feel their muscles working,” she says. You can fill up water bottles and use them as weights, too. And don’t forget, you can do sit-ups or push-ups for free, in your home, with no equipment necessary. Hayes suggests doing them while watching TV in the evenings.

Stress Less. Diabetes management can take its toll, mentally. Riddell suggests yoga or tai chi to help manage stress while getting in some physical activity; these routines also improve flexibility and balance.

Take It To The Limit

Step It Up. So you've been walking the same 45 minutes loop in your neighborhood four times a week, for months now. It's time to kick it up a level, because just as you get bored with your regular routine, so do your muscles. "It is a good idea to mix it up because you become overall more fit when you challenge your body to do something new," Hayes says. Consider doing intervals: Hayes suggests walking very briskly for three minutes, then at your usual pace for a couple of minutes. Repeat for the length of your workout. You could also try incorporating an exercise class into your routine.

Find a Buddy. Having someone to cheer you along is a major motivator, especially if you’re getting the Same Ol’ Workout Blues. Support groups for people with diabetes can be a great way to get the motivation you need. Alexis Jacobs, 37, of Santa Monica, Calif., is a marathoner with type 1. To stay motivated and get exercise tips, she has made friends through the Diabetes Exercise and Sports Association. “Obviously, you learn from the doctor, but you learn more from collaborating with other people who have the same lifestyles,” she says. “For me, it’s inspiring. It’s motivation to stay in good control.”

Understand Spikes. Some people, particularly those with type 1 diabetes, might find that their blood glucose levels are higher after exercising and require some fine-tuning of insulin. Confusing! Those blood glucose spikes are called the exercise whip: When you vigorously exercise for just a few seconds or minutes, the adrenaline released during that activity can cause blood glucose levels to go up, and sometimes stay up for hours in recovery. “If you do exercise that combines both [short bursts of energy and longer, low- or mid-intensity exercise],” says Riddell, “that has been shown to have a moderating effect, which is really nice.”

Prepare for Lows. You can go low during and even hours after exercise, so have a plan ready. Test your blood glucose frequently. Eating a snack before exercise may help. Talk to your doctor about how best to manage your medications.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Diagnosis of Heart Failure Disease


Heart failure simply means that your heart does not pump blood properly. Heart failure does not mean your heart has stopped working or that you are having a heart attack. Heart failure is called congestive heart failure (CHF) because the heart cannot pump blood around the body properly.

What causes heart failure?

Heart failure has many different causes. Sometimes the exact cause is not found. Below is a list of common causes of heart failure was found:

1. Coronary artery disease.

2. A problem with the heart muscle or cardiomyopathy.

3. Hypertension.

4. The existence of problems with heart valves.

5. Regular motion of the heart is abnormal.

6. Poisoning, such as alcohol abuse.

7. Congenital heart disease.

8.  Diabetes.

9.  Thyroid hormone of the problem.

What are the symptoms of heart failure?

Some people have symptoms, the following is a list of symptoms and problems in heart failure:

1. Shortness of breath
2. Shortness of breath when lying flat in bed.
3. Wake up at night and suddenly stopped breathing.
4. Tired and weak.
5. Swelling in the legs, generally only in the limbs.
6. Rapid increases in weight, 1-2 pounds per day for three consecutive days.
7. Chronic cough.

Consult your doctor if you have symptoms like the above, especially if you have the heart problems before.

What tests or examinations needed to diagnose heart failure?

The doctor will give heart failure based on allegations of previous medical records, symptoms and signs and test or physical examination.
Some of the examinations or tests in patients with suspected heart failure:

1. Blood tests.
2. Urine checks.
3. Chest x-ray examination.
4. Electrocardiogram (ECG).
5. Echocardiography.
6. Radionuclide Ventriculography.

Echocardiography and radionuclide ventriculography are often used to confirm the diagnosis of heart failure. The echocardiogram is a test that causes no pain. Examination performed on the surface of the chest. The results of the examination is an image of the heart, where the figure shows how healthy the heart in pumping blood.

What is the necessary treatment in heart failure?

Much can be done to improve the function of the heart in pumping blood and for the treatment of symptoms. The most important part of treatment is taking care of the underlying causes of the onset of heart failure, such as hypertension. Treatment also includes lifestyle changes and use of drugs by the rules.

What Is Coronary Heart Disease?


Coronary heart disease is narrowing / blockage (arteriosclerosis) coronary arteries caused by buildup of fatty substances (cholesterol, triglycerides) are more and more and accumulate at the bottom of the innermost layer (endothelium) of the artery wall.

By blockage of coronary arteries, then this will reduces the flow of blood to supply oxygen to the heart muscles, and affect the heart as the blood pumping. And when the heart muscle blood supply shortage then the heart will become weak and unable to provide blood to all parts of the body.

Anyone who can get this disease?

Anyone can have the high cholesterol levels, young or old, fat or thin. Once the disease is attacking the people who lived 50 years, but now can be suffered by a person under the age of 40 years. This could occur because of lifestyle changes.

People with high cholesterol levels, especially LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is a major target for cardiovascular disease, including coronary heart disease. The evidence suggests that 80% of patients died suddenly of heart disease with coronary heart disease, and even 50% of them without symptoms. 
The disease is caused by excessive levels of LDL cholesterol which forms atherosclerotic plaques in coronary arteries and cause heart muscle does not receive blood flow.

Tips To Prevent Coronary Heart Disease Risk


1. Implement a healthy lifestyle

2. Try the herbal medicine

3. Expand to eat fish, because they contain omega three fatty acids

Healthy Lifestyle

Everything we do is very influential on health and disease we suffer. All causes of death such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease can be prevented. Here are the things, patterns and lifestyles as well as tips on maintaining a healthy body.

1. Do not smoke or use tobacco products

Tobacco use is one of the most dangerous. One in six deaths in the United States are a way of life because of smoking.

2. Limit the amount of alcohol consumption.

Limit your alcohol beverages, for men do not drink alcohol more than two cans and for women's limited one can per day. Too much alcohol can damage the liver, causing cancer diseases such as cancer of the esophagus and liver cancer.

3. Eating right

Some diseases related to diet such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and damage to the arteries that supply blood to the body. Dietary fiber, fruits and vegetables can help you reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

4. Reduce weight for an overweight

Being overweight can increase the risk factor for high blood pressure or hypertension, diabetes. You can reduce the excess weight gradually and help you keep it within normal limits with a high fiber diet, exercise regularly.

5. Take control of your cholesterol levels

If your high blood cholesterol levels, lower your cholesterol by eating right, such as by reducing the amount of fat you eat, and by doing regular exercise, or maybe if you needed to see a doctor to get some cholesterol-lowering drugs.

 6. Control high blood pressure

High blood pressure increases the risk of heart disease events, stroke, and kidney disease. To control your high blood pressure you can do is reduce your weight, exercise regularly, eat less sodium in your diet, not smoking, high blood pressure-lowering drugs if your doctor recommends.

Types of Vitamin B


Vitamin B has eight types, namely vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. Less consumption of vitamin B can cause various diseases. That is why many multivitamin that includes vitamin B variations of the type called vitamin B-complex. Here is an explanation of the types of vitamin B.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

Function : Change the carbohydrates in foods into energy.
Needs     : Women 1.1 mg, Men 1.2 mg, Pregnant and nursing women 1.4 mg.
Sources  : Rice, bread, cereals, flour, seafood such as shrimp, crab or shellfish.

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

Function : Maintain healthy eyes and skin.
Needs     : Women 1.1 mg, Men 1.3 mg, 1.6 mg for lactating women.
Sources  : Milk, cheese, chicken, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)

Function : For healthy skin, increase appetite, improve digestive system and help convert food into energy.
Needs     : Women 14 mg, 16 mg Men, 18 mg Pregnant women: 17 mg for lactating women.
Sources  : Grains, beans, beef, mushrooms.

Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)

Function : Together with other types of vitamin B, vitamin B5 is useful in the breakdown of fats, proteins, carbohydrates into energy. Another benefit is to make red blood cells and make vitamin D.
Needs     : Women 4 mg, Men 6 mg, 5 mg Pregnant women.
Sources  : Chicken, sardines, avocado, watermelon.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Function : Required in the process of amino acids and fats.
Needs     : Women 1.3 mg, Men 1.3 mg 1.9 mg Pregnant women, 2 mg for lactating women. Most of the consumption of vitamin B6 with the consumption of more than 50 mg per day can cause permanent nerve damage.
Sources  : Meat, poultry, fish, beef, potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, fruit purple and green vegetables.

Vitamin B7 (Biotin)

Function : Helps in the breakdown of fats, proteins into energy used by the body.
Needs     : Women 25 meg, Male 30 meg, Pregnant women 30 meg.
Sources  : Salmon, eggs, milk, cereal, bananas and peanuts.

Vitamin B9 (Folate)

Function : In order for the cells in the body is well developed, forming red blood cells and prevent nerve damage in the fetus.
Needs     : Women's 400 meg, Men 400 meg, Pregnant women 600 meg, Lactating 500 meg.
Sources  : Milk and dairy products, melons and green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Function : Change the carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy, maintain healthy red blood cells, protects nerve cells, preventing cardiovascular disease, and prevent brain shrinkage that can lead to weakened memory.
Needs     : Women's 2.4 meg, Men 2.4 meg, 2.6 meg pregnant women.
Sources  : Beef, fish, eggs, milk, soy and seaweed.

Processing Vitamin B

In the process, should not be boiled. It is recommended to process using microwave or by steaming. This is because vitamin B is easily soluble in water and easily damaged if heated. Instead, store food sources of vitamin B in the cold in the refrigerator so that this vitamin is maintained.

Although the amount needed by the body is not too much, but beneficial to the body of vitamin B, especially in helping the bodies get energy. By knowing the various types with different benefits, you can try to make enough vitamin B requirement for the body.