Saturday, September 2, 2017

Foods That Can Help You Live Longer

Antioxidants and Aging

Eat foods rich in antioxidants to help fight free radicals -- unstable oxygen molecules that contribute to the aging process. Antioxidants can be found in colorful vegetables and fruits like berries, beets, and tomatoes. For a balanced diet and to help you reduce your risk of developing cancer and heart disease, add at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables to your diet each day.

The Health Benefits of Olive Oil

Olive oil is a tasty monounsaturated fat that may positively affect memory. A compound in extra-virgin olive oil called oleocanthol is a natural anti-inflammatory and produces effects similar to ibuprofen and other NSAIDs. One study of men showed that olive oil, especially extra-virgin, increased HDL, the good cholesterol that clears fat from blood vessel walls -- a condition known as atherosclerosis.

Benefits of Berries

Berries are a great source of antioxidants. Strawberries, blueberries, and acai berries are just some examples of polyphenol-rich berries. These powerful compounds may help combat cancers and degenerative diseases of the brain. Frozen berries contain polyphenols, too. Check out the grocery store's freezer case and include berries in your diet year-round.

Why Fish Is Brain Food

Top your salad with tuna or salmon instead of chicken. Fish has been called "brain food" because its fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are important to brain and nervous system development. Eating fish one to two times a week may also lower the risk of dementia. Omega-3 fats found in fatty fish can lower cholesterol and triglycerides. It can also help ease the inflammation that leads to atherosclerosis.

Beans for Fiber

Add fiber-rich beans to your diet three to four times a week. Fiber may help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, prevent constipation, and help digestion. And because you feel full longer, eating a diet high in fiber can help you manage your weight. Top a salad with chickpeas or use beans in place of meat in soups. Beans contain complex carbohydrates to help regulate glucose levels, which is important for people with diabetes.

The Value of Eating Vegetables

Veggies contain fiber, phytonutrients, and loads of vitamins and minerals that may protect you from diseases. Dark, leafy greens contain vitamin K for strong bones. Sweet potatoes and carrots contain vitamin A, which helps keep eyes and skin healthy and protects against infection. Studies suggest having a serving of tomatoes or tomato products every day may prevent prostate cancer.

Eat Like the Greeks

People living near the Mediterranean regularly incorporate olive oil, fish, vegetables, whole grains, and an occasional glass of red wine into their meals. Instead of salt, they rely on spices and herbs to flavor their foods. This "Mediterranean diet" can be beneficial to heart health, can reduce the risks of mild memory impairment, and may ward off certain cancers.

Nutrition in Nuts

Whether eaten whole or ground into paste, nuts are packed with cholesterol-free protein and other nutrients. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the body from cell damage and helps boosts the immune system. Pecans contain antioxidants. The unsaturated fats in walnuts can reduce LDL and raise HDL cholesterol. But nuts aren't fat-free. One ounce of almonds -- about 24 nuts -- contains 160 calories. So eat nuts in moderation.

What's Good About Dairy

Vitamin D, found in fortified beverages like milk, helps increase calcium absorption. That's especially important for bone health. Higher intake or blood levels of vitamin D, may also help reduce the risk of colon, breast, and prostate cancers. Eat yogurt with live cultures to aid digestion.

Whole-Grain Healthy

Eating whole grains can reduce your risk of certain cancers, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Choose whole-grain breads and pastas and brown or wild rice instead of white. Drop barley into soups or add plain oatmeal to meatloaf. Whole grains are minimally processed, so they retain more nutritional value. The fiber in whole grains helps prevent digestive problems such as constipation and diverticular disease.

Lose Weight for Better Health

Keeping off extra weight puts less pressure on your joints, less strain on your heart, and can reduce your risk of certain cancers. It gets tougher to do as metabolism slows and as you lose muscle with age. Select proteins like lean meats, tuna, or beans. Include vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. It takes more energy for your body to break down complex carbs, and the added fiber will help you feel fuller.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Sometimes as people age, it's difficult for them to keep weight on. You may have a harder time recovering from illness or injury if you're underweight. Eat three meals a day, with healthy snacks in between. Try whole milk instead of skim but limit your overall saturated fat to avoid high cholesterol. Eat the most calorie-heavy item in your meal first. If needed, add a meal supplement until you reach your desired weight.

Inspirational Quote – September 02, 2017

“We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our path for a reason.”

I have always believed this to be true. There have been so many people in my life who have made an impact, taught me a lesson, perhaps welcome perhaps not, but definitely necessary, or enhanced my journey through life, etc., that it cannot, just cannot, be just “chance.” I’m very aware that I may not realize it at the time of our coming together but I always do at some point in the future. Like most people I didn’t think about this much, if at all, to be honest. However, too many things have caused me to look at when, where and how certain people came to be part of my life and realize how “meant” their presence was and is. Look around you. See what I mean?

Returning the Gift

Robin Wall Kimmerer notes, "In the teachings of my Potawatomi ancestors, responsibilities and gifts are understood as two sides of the same coin. The possession of a gift is coupled with a duty to use it for the benefit of all. A thrush is given the gift of song and so has a responsibility to greet the day with music. Salmon have the gift of travel, so they accept the duty of carrying food upriver. So when we ask ourselves, what is our responsibility to the Earth, we are also asking, "What is our gift?"

Friday, September 1, 2017

What Happens During a Panic Attack

It's More Than Being Scared

Your body's "fight or flight" response kicks into high gear. It can seem to come from nowhere -- maybe as you walk down the street or do the laundry. It can even wake you out of a sound sleep. There's often no obvious reason for your combination of symptoms. That's part of why it's called an "attack." It can be so sudden and intense that you feel helpless, unable to move or think clearly.

Chest Tightness

A jolt of adrenaline gets your heart racing or pounding -- or both. Your chest might hurt. You could even have trouble breathing.


Your throat tightens up, and you can't swallow. Or you might think you're going to throw up. These feelings can make it harder to catch your breath.


We're not talking about the fear you feel in the normal course of life, when you stand on the edge of a cliff, bring up a difficult subject, or start a new job, for example. During a panic attack, you may have an overwhelming sense that something really terrible is about to happen -- or that you're going to die -- despite knowing it's not true.


Sometimes you can get so lightheaded that the whole room starts to spin. Or it seems like you're disconnected from your surroundings.

Sweaty Palms

This classic sign of anxiety can also be a symptom of a panic attack. You may sweat in other places, like under your arms, as well -- sometimes quite a lot. And you could get chills or hot flashes, too.

Trembling and Tingling

Your whole body may start shaking. With blood going to your heart and muscles, your fingers or toes can tingle or go numb.


One can come on suddenly, and it may be gone just as quickly. Like the other symptoms, this alone doesn't necessarily mean you're having a panic attack.

How Long Does It Last?

A panic attack usually hits all at once and builds to a peak in about 10 minutes. Then you'll slowly start to feel better. Attacks rarely last more than an hour, and most are over in 20 or 30 minutes. They aren't always the same.

Is It a Heart Attack?

The symptoms are similar: Chest pain, breathing problems, dizziness, sweating, even the feeling of losing control. If it's the first time you've felt like this, and you or a close family member have had any heart problems, go to the emergency room -- just to be safe.

When to See a Doctor

You probably don't need to worry if you have just one or two incidents and they go away without other problems. But more often than that, or if you're concerned, you should see your doctor. He can help you figure out what's triggering your attacks and how to manage them. He'll also want to rule out a heart condition call mitral valve prolapse.


Panic attacks tend to run in families and are often related to stress. Sometimes, there's a physical reason: Your thyroid gland makes too much hormone. You don't have enough sugar in your blood. You drank too much caffeine, or you took a stimulant drug like amphetamines or cocaine. Or you're abusing or withdrawing from drugs or alcohol.

Panic Disorder

If your doctor can't find a physical cause yet you keep getting panic attacks, you may have panic disorder, especially when you can't stop worrying about the next one coming. You may change the way you live day-to-day to avoid them.

What You Can Do

The first step is what you're doing now: understand what's going on. When you realize that it's unlikely to hurt you, only lasts a few minutes, and happens to other people, too, you may be less worried about it. Simply knowing that there are ways to treat them, including therapy and medication, can be a relief.

Connect With People

Anxiety thrives when you feel alone. It's best to see family and friends in person, but by phone or computer is better than nothing. If you don't have people to turn to, consider joining social groups, like a book club or sports league, to meet folks with common interests and start building relationships.

Get Enough Sleep

Aim for 7-9 hours a night. If you have trouble going to sleep, keep your room cool, dark, and quiet. Don't watch TV or use the computer or your smartphone right before bed. It also helps to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, even weekends.


Get 30 minutes on most days -- even if it's 10 minutes at a time -- and you're less likely to be stressed. That can lower your odds of having a panic attack. Any exercise helps, but it's better if you do activities that move both your arms and legs in rhythm: walk, run, swim, dance.

Avoid Cigarettes, Caffeine, and Alcohol

They can cause panic attacks or make one worse, if you get them regularly. Lots of medications -- including allergy pills, diet pills, and cold medicines -- have drugs in them that could have a similar effect. Talk to your doctor if you need help cutting these things out of your life.

Practice Relaxation

Techniques like meditation and yoga can help you release tension and train yourself to be at peace and centered. Deep, controlled breathing is a great way to calm yourself down when you feel on edge with attack symptoms coming on.

Loners Are The Most Loyal and Intellectual People You Will Ever Meet

From the outside, it may appear that your loner friend is socially awkward or even lonely, however, the loner chooses to be alone. It isn’t that they feel above everyone else, or regard themselves so highly that they ignore others. Actually, they are very compassionate, and down to earth people that care a lot.

If you have a loner as a friend, you have to understand that despite the fact that they enjoy being alone in most cases, they chose you to be their friend. While it is obvious that they choose the people they have in their lives very carefully, when the loner chooses a person to have in their life, they have chosen this person above all others.

It isn’t that they don’t want friends, on the contrary, they enjoy the company of others. But, they need solitude to understand the world around them. You see, the loner is a deep thinking individual that is constantly analyzing the world around them, and solitude allows them the time to sort through the world around them.

They don’t indulge in mindless banter because they are busy sorting through the big topics.
Of course, no two loners are made exactly alike, and there are some that are more extroverted and others that are more introverted.

Extroverted loners find it easy to communicate their inner workings to other people, while the introverted loner keeps their thoughts almost entirely to themselves.

And while the extroverted loner has the ability to share their thoughts and feelings with others, for the most part, they choose to keep to themselves because they are in search of real people. They can’t tolerate the fabricated lives of the fake, so instead, they choose to find people that share common interests. They want true and real life conversations about how the world works, not simple gossip about Sally down the street.

Introverted loners, on the other hand, have a much harder time in large groups of people. You see, these massive groups of people intimidate them because they can’t think clearly. Instead of focusing on their thoughts, anxiety takes over and it becomes hard to breathe. So, more often than not, the introverted loner spends most of their time alone, and only chooses certain people to invite into their thoughts.

Unfortunately, if you aren’t a loner, it can be hard to appreciate this. But, both types of loners are both genuine and intelligent. And if you allow them to, they will enrich both your mind and your life. As long as you are true to them, and provide them with food for thought, they will live forever, faithfully by your side as a true friend. However, if you hurt them, or give them a reason to doubt your humility, it is likely that you will lose them.

Can Mindfulness Help Reduce Postpartum Depression?

A new study finds that mindfulness training may better prepare mothers for labor (and beyond).

Nearly 15 percent of women in the United States report suffering from postpartum depression, which can arise after childbirth from a combination of hormonal changes, psychological adjustment to motherhood, and fatigue.
As the National Institute of Mental Health reports, “Without treatment, postpartum depression can last for months or years. In addition to affecting the mother’s health, it can interfere with her ability to connect with and care for her baby and may cause the baby to have problems with sleeping, eating, and behavior as he or she grows.”
But according to a small but promising study out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UC San Francisco, two days of mindfulness training could help improve mothers’ experience of labor and reduce postpartum depression.
Thirty low-risk, first-time mothers of various ethnicities participated during their third trimester in a weekend-long childbirth education workshop, along with their birth partners. Half (a control group) took a traditional childbirth course in their local area, while the other half took a workshop called the Mind in Labor: Working with Pain in Childbirth, which is based on the well-researched, two-month Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting (MBCP) program.
In the mindfulness workshop, instructors taught 18 hours of mindfulness skills through interactive, experiential activities for coping with childbirth pain and fear, in addition to more traditional lessons about the physiology of birth. For example, expectant mothers were guided to reframe labor pain as “unpleasant physical sensations that come and go, moment by moment.”
As co-author Nancy Bardacke explains, pain in the body is different from thoughts and emotions generated in the mind. “Pain as physical sensation is still present, but the suffering caused by the mind can be significantly diminished,” says Bardacke, founding director of MBCP and author of Mindful Birthing.
The results showed that mothers in the mindfulness group seemed to have had a better psychological experience of labor compared to the control group. They reported feeling greater “self-efficacy” during childbirth (the sense that they were able to handle it rather than feeling afraid), and lower symptoms of depression after the workshop and several weeks after childbirth.
Perhaps as a result, there was a trend toward fewer of the mindfulness group mothers using opioid analgesia (like fentanyl and morphine) during childbirth. Such drugs “have side effects that can negatively impact the fetus,” so less usage “is highly desirable,” the scientists write. There was no difference between the mindfulness group and the control group in the rate of epidural use, or in how painful they found labor to be. (The results did not include two study participants who required Caesarean sections.)
This study contributes to a growing body of research showing the benefits of mindfulnessfor women and babies during pregnancy. It offers one of the first looks at mindfulness training and use throughout labor and its benefits to first-time mothers and their babies in the immediate postpartum period, albeit among a very small group. 

“Fear of childbirth poses substantial risks to healthy adjustment from pregnancy through birth and into the early postpartum period,” write the research team. Their findings “suggest the potential utility of intervening…to reduce childbirth fear and pain and improve perinatal outcomes.”
Co-author Larissa Duncan, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says that future studies should try to gather data in real-time during childbirth, in order “to better understand birth processes and experiences”—instead of asking women about their labor pain after they’ve given birth.
The study authors also encourage more research into the Mind in Labor approach. Assuming further research is promising, “we believe it can be offered as a universal prevention program,” they write. “Intervening in this sensitive period of developmental plasticity may produce important long-term health benefits for children and families.”

Inspirational Quote – September 01, 2017

“Everything we do affects other people.”

Of course it does! Think about it logically….every single thing we do has a reaction or a consequence, not only for us, but for other people. The type of action taken also defines the repercussions, i.e. minor or major, which will also impact on those closest to us or people we have never, and will never, meet. Like a stone thrown into a still pond, the ripples will continue to reach outwards affecting everything they touch, just like our actions will. Something for us all to think about in the future.

Sharing Stories in a Broken Culture

In this deeply divided culture, how can we honor people in such as way as to weave with them our common narrative and show each other respect? How do we find common ground? Simon Hodges believes that respectful relationships are a prior condition for persuasion and argues that we have the power to shape a narrative, giving voice to the voiceless and respect to all, that can bring about positive social change.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Warning Signs of Leukemia and Other Blood Cancers

What Are They?

Your blood is a mix of fluid and different kinds of cells and proteins. Red blood cells carry oxygen, and white blood cells fight disease. Tiny cell fragments called platelets help your blood clot to patch up a cut. Some types of cancer affect the parts of your body that make these things, including leukemia, lymphomas, and myelomas. More than 171,000 people were expected to be diagnosed with blood cancers in 2016.

Who’s More Likely to Get Them?

Doctors don’t know what causes them, but some things can raise your chances of getting one. These include having a family member who’s had one, being around certain chemicals (like benzene, found in gasoline and other fuels), or being exposed to high levels of radiation. In some cases, people who are HIV-positive or have AIDS, or have had the Epstein-Barr virus, may be more likely to get certain types of blood cancer.


Your body has a network called the lymphatic system, which helps you fight off infection. It includes organs all over your body called lymph nodes -- that filter out bacteria and viruses -- and white blood cells called lymphocytes. Cancers that attack the lymphatic system are known as lymphomas.They’re the most common kind of blood cancer. Because your lymphatic system runs throughout your body, this type can start almost anywhere.

Types of Lymphoma

There are two kinds -- Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's -- and they both happen in a similar way. Your body makes lymphocytes that don’t work the way they should, and they clump together to form tumors. They can crowd out healthy white blood cells so they can’t help you fight off disease.

Hodgkin's Lymphoma

The difference between the two types of lymphoma is in the lymphocyte that’s involved. With Hodgkin's lymphoma, your body makes a kind called Reed-Sternberg cells. About 12% of people who have lymphoma have this type, which is named for the doctor who identified it in 1832. It’s one of the most curable forms of cancer.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

If it doesn’t involve Reed-Sternberg cells, it’s called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. This is the most common form of lymphoma -- more than 30 types of cancer fall into this category. Some kinds grow slowly, while others grow very fast and can spread to other parts of your body. These need to be treated right away and can be hard to cure.

Lymphoma Symptoms and Diagnosis

The most common signs are swollen lymph nodes, fever, unexplained weight loss, and feeling tired. You also might:

o Sweat at night
o Cough
o Have pain in your chest or belly
o Not feel hungry
o Have an enlarged spleen or liver

If your doctor thinks you have lymphoma, she’ll probably want to take a small sample of one of your lymph nodes. From the sample, she'll be able to tell if you have cancer and, if so, what kind.


This type of cancer affects your blood and bone marrow -- spongy tissue inside your bones where blood cells are made. Like lymphoma, it causes your body to make many white blood cells that don’t work right and keep healthy ones from fighting infection. But leukemia also keeps your bone marrow from making red blood cells and platelets the way it should. It’s the most common type of cancer in children, but adults can get it, too.

Leukemia Symptoms

This type of blood cancer can make you feel like you have the flu. You might have a fever, feel weak or sweaty, and have aches in your joints. You also might have:

o Swollen lymph nodes
o Unexplained weight loss
o Bleeding or swollen gums

Other symptoms can include getting infections often, bruising easily, and anemia, which is when your body doesn’t make enough red blood cells.

Leukemia Diagnosis

Your doctor can test your blood and see if you have more white blood cells than normal or low numbers of red blood cells or platelets -- both can be signs of leukemia. She also might want to take a sample of your bone marrow (called a biopsy) to look for cancer cells. She’ll give you medicine to numb the area, then put a needle into a large bone to take out a small amount to have tested.


This type of blood cancer affects white blood cells called plasma cells. They make proteins called antibodies that attack bacteria and viruses in your body. If you have myeloma, your body turns out lots of problem plasma cells that make a protein that doesn’t help fight infections. These proteins can build up in your bone marrow and damage your kidneys, or in your bones and make them weak.

Myeloma Symptoms and Diagnosis

You may not notice symptoms early on, but the first sign is typically bone pain, usually in your back or ribs. You also may feel weak, get infections often, be very thirsty and need to pee more, be constipated, or have numb hands or feet. If your doctor thinks you might have myeloma, you’ll have blood tests to check for high levels of certain proteins, a bone marrow biopsy to look for cancer cells, and scans to see if your bones are thin or fractured.

Treatment: Radiation and Chemotherapy

Blood cancer treatments usually involve chemotherapy or radiation -- or a combination of the two -- to kill the cancer cells. Chemotherapy uses powerful drugs to target the cells, while radiation uses high-energy rays to attack them. These can also damage healthy cells, cause side effects like nausea and hair loss, and make you more likely to get an infection.

Treatment: Stem Cell Transplant

If other treatments don't work or your doctor thinks your cancer may come back, she might recommend this. Stem cells can become different types of cells, so the idea is to replace problem stem cells with ones that will become healthy blood or immune cells. You’ll have chemotherapy or radiation to kill problem cells, then you’ll get donated stem cells. It works like a blood transfusion -- the cells go through a tube into a large blood vessel.

Look Ahead

Research is under way to boost your chances of beating all kinds of blood cancer. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that might be right for you. These trials test new drugs to see if they’re safe and if they work. They often are a way to try new medicine that isn't available to everyone.