Saturday, September 23, 2017

What Your Eyes Say About Your Health


Sudden Blurry Vision

An abrupt and dramatic loss of vision may be a sign of a problem with the blood flow to your eye or your brain. Immediate medical attention can prevent serious damage and may even save your life. Even if your vision gets better quickly, it might still be a warning of a stroke or the beginning of a migraine headache





Bulging Eyes

Graves' disease causes your thyroid gland to release too many hormones, which can lead to this problem. It also may cause diarrhea, weight loss, and hand tremors. Medication or surgery can help control the amount of hormones your thyroid makes, but they won't cure the underlying disease -- and may not help your eyes.

Blurred Vision

This can be a sign of diabetes, which causes too much sugar in your blood. If it isn't well managed, you may get diabetic retinopathy (when tiny blood vessels in your eyes leak blood and other fluids). You may have blurred vision and find it hard to see at night. Doctors can use a laser to seal the leaks and get rid of unwanted new blood vessels. This may affect your side vision, but it can save your central vision.

Ring Around Your Cornea

This condition, called corneal arcus, causes a gray-white line of fat deposits to grow on the outside edge of your cornea (a clear, curved surface at the front of your eye that helps it focus). Sometimes, the deposits make a complete ring. If you're older, it's probably not anything to worry about. But if you're under 40, it could be a sign of dangerously high cholesterol.

Drooping Eyelids

This can be a symptom of myasthenia gravis, which makes your immune system attack and weaken your muscles. It affects your eye, face, and throat muscles more than others and can make it difficult to chew, swallow, or even speak. Your doctor may filter your blood to help ease your symptoms, but that doesn't work for long. There's also medication for it. But in some cases, surgery is needed to remove the thymus gland.

Yellow Whites of Your Eyes

When your skin and eyes look yellow, that's called jaundice. It often means you have liver problems and is caused by high levels of bilirubin, something your liver makes more of when it's inflamed or damaged. Bad diet, cancer, infection, and chronic alcohol abuse can all damage your liver. Treatment ranges from lifestyle changes to medication to liver transplants.

Eye Twitches

These are extremely common and almost always harmless -- they usually go away on their own. They can be associated with alcohol, fatigue, caffeine, or smoking. In extremely rare cases, they can be a sign of a problem with your nervous system, like multiple sclerosis. But if the twitches are linked to MS or another problem with your nervous system, you would have other symptoms, too, like difficulty walking, talking, and going to the bathroom.

Night Blindness

If it's hard for you to see in low light, you might need glasses or you could have cataracts -- a natural part of aging. But night blindness is not common among younger people in the U.S. In unusual circumstances, you may not be getting enough vitamin A. This is fairly common in poorer countries. It's treated with supplements or a diet with foods high in vitamin A, like sweet potatoes, beef liver, spinach, carrots, and pumpkins.

These Are the 8 Worst Salads You Can Eat


Is Salad Really a Healthy Choice?

That depends on what you add to those greens. The right toppings can create a filling meal that’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats, and smart carbs. But other ingredients can pack in extra calories, fat, sodium, and sugar. By making good choices, you can toss together a salad that’s delicious and nutritious.





Worst: Salad With Creamy Dressing

Dressings like ranch, blue cheese, and Thousand Island are often high in calories, unhealthy saturated fat, and sodium. A 2-tablespoon serving of a typical blue cheese dressing tacks on nearly 150 calories and 15 grams of fat. And many people drench theirs in a half-cup or more. The result is a salad that can serve up more fat than a cheeseburger with fries.

Worst: Salad With Fat-Free Dressing

So, go with a low-calorie, fat-free dressing, right? Think again. To make up for flavor, they’re often loaded with extra sugar and sodium. Fat makes salads tastier and healthier. Your body needs it to take in and use certain vitamins, like A, D, E, and K. One study found that people got fewer antioxidants called carotenoids when they ate salads with fat-free dressing, compared with reduced- or full-fat dressing.

Best: Use Olive Oil and Vinegar

Make your own dressing, and you’ll cut back on the unhealthy stuff. Start with olive oil, which has heart-healthy unsaturated fat. Whisk with balsamic or red wine vinegar, or lemon or lime juice. You can also add a little Dijon mustard or honey for flavor, and season with salt and black pepper.

Worst: Crispy Chicken Salad

A green salad with chicken may sound like a healthy meal, but descriptions like “crispy” and “crunchy” are red flags. These words are code for breaded and deep-fried, which can turn that healthy-sounding salad into a calorie bomb. What’s worse, research shows that eating a lot of fried foods can raise your chances of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Best: Add Grilled Chicken or Fish

A salad of veggies alone won’t fill you up for long -- you need protein to fend off hunger. Protein takes longer to digest, so you stay satisfied longer. Good sources include chicken breast (27 grams in 3 ounces), salmon (21 grams in 3 ounces), and shrimp (19 grams in 3 ounces). And make sure to grill, poach, or bake it. Some cooking methods -- like blackened or fried -- add extra butter, oil, or breading.

Worst: Iceberg Wedge Salad

This is a classic. But don’t order one if you’re trying to eat light. Thanks to the blue cheese or ranch dressing and bacon crumbles, it can pack in four times the fat of a T-bone steak. It also falls short in the nutrition department. That’s because iceberg lettuce contains fewer vitamins and minerals than most dark leafy greens.

Best: Spinach or Kale Salad

When it comes to leafy greens, darker is better. They have the most nutrients. Case in point: Kale and spinach have over 10 times more immune-boosting vitamins A and C than iceberg lettuce. Not a fan of those? Turn over a new leaf: Boston, bibb, and romaine lettuces have a mild flavor, while arugula and watercress have a peppery bite.

Best: Salad Loaded With Veggies

Add a mix of veggies to your salad to get more nutrition and flavor. Top those leafy greens with crunchy produce like carrots, cucumbers, or broccoli. Then add a punch of color from tomatoes, bell peppers, beets, or red onion. While you’re at it, toss in last night’s leftovers, such as roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or asparagus.

Worst: Salad With Croutons and Cheese

Store-bought croutons and bacon bits are high in salt, and they don’t offer much nutrition. Like the crunch? Try adding nuts, seeds, or crisp veggies -- such as jicama and carrots -- instead. Cheese has calcium, but it also packs roughly 100 calories per ounce. If you really want some, opt for a low-fat one, like feta or Parmesan, and add just a sprinkle.

Worst: Dried Fruit, Candied Nuts

These sweet toppings are often made with added sugar and oil. For example, an ounce of candied pecans can pack in a tablespoon of sugar. And dried fruit has less water and volume than the fresh kind. That means you get less: One serving is half a cup, or half that of fresh fruit.

Best: Use Fresh Fruit and Nuts

The fruit adds sweetness and antioxidants. The nuts give you protein, fiber, and healthy fat. This mix of nutrients makes your salad more satisfying and healthy. In fact, research shows that eating nuts regularly can help fend off heart disease and cancer. Try pairing berries with almonds, apples with walnuts, and peaches with pecans.

Worst: Taco Salad

Some of these pack in more calories than a burrito. That’s because they start with a deep-fried tortilla shell. That “bowl” alone can have nearly 400 calories and 22 grams of fat. Then it’s filled with oversized portions of ground beef, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. This salad can weigh in at 800 calories or more!

Best: Black Bean-and-Avocado Salad

Get all the flavor of a taco salad without the extra calories by topping it with black beans and avocado. The beans are a good source of disease-fighting antioxidants, and they have protein and fiber, as well as energy-boosting iron. Avocado adds creaminess and fiber. Plus, its fats help your body take in nutrients, including heart-healthy lycopene.

Worst: ‘Salads’ With Mayonnaise

The word "salad" in the name doesn't make it a healthy choice. Tuna, lean chicken, and boiled eggs can be good sources of protein, but that benefit is canceled out if you drown them in mayo, which is loaded with fat, salt, and calories. For a healthier version, use a small amount of light mayonnaise and some fat-free sour cream or plain yogurt. And a bit of mustard -- which has no fat or sugar -- can kick it up a notch.

Tips for Restaurant Salads

Many restaurants load their salads with cheese, fried onions, bacon, or croutons. Then they douse them in dressing. Even a simple Cobb salad can clock in at nearly 1,000 calories and 85 grams of fat. Check out the restaurant’s nutritional info to make a smart pick. And ask for those toppings on the side.

Homemade Salads

When you make your own, you control what goes into it. You can pile on the veggies and use healthier ingredients. Swap in low-fat turkey bacon for the regular kind, and crunchy seeds for croutons. And keep tabs of your portions of higher-calorie toppings -- a serving of cheese is 1 1/2 ounces, about the size of four dice.

Inspirational Quote – September 23, 2017

“Smile….it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.”

I instinctively look people in the eye when they smile at me as I have noticed that a smile does not always reach that far. I’m sure many of you can relate to this too. I love it when someone smiles at me and their smile becomes reflected in their eyes with genuine warmth, love or friendliness. That’s when you “bask” in a smile and find yourself just automatically smiling back. Your smile may just have made the day of someone who’s having a bad day, feeling downhearted, lonely, or even angry! It costs you nothing but to somebody else it may be absolutely priceless.

CathiBew.co.uk

What Fear Can Teach Us

We all have fears, some of which can be quite vivid for those with active imaginations. As children, weĆ¢€™re encouraged to think of fear as a weakness, something we must conquer, fight, or overcome. In this TED Talk, Karen Thompson Walker invites listeners to conceptualize their fears in a different way: as stories. Fear is an unintentional form of storytelling, she argues, with characters, plots, imagery, and elements of suspense. Drawing on the story of the men from the whaleship Essex, Walker challenges us to view ourselves as the authors and readers of our fears, and shares how this perspective can have a profound impact on our lives.

http://www.dailygood.org/story/1805/what-fear-can-teach-us-karen-thompson-walker/

Friday, September 22, 2017

Symptoms of Colon Cancer


Colorectal Cancer: What Is It?

When doctors find this disease early, it’s highly curable. It happens when abnormal cells grow in the lining of the large intestine (also called the colon) or the rectum. It can strike both men and women, and it has the second highest rate of cancer deaths in the U.S.





What Are Polyps?

They're growths on the inside of your intestines. Most of them are harmless, but some can turn into colorectal cancer if not removed early. The two most common types of intestinal polyps are adenomas and hyperplastic polyps. They form when there are problems with the way cells grow and repair in the lining of the colon.

Risk Factors You Can't Control

Some things you just can’t help, such as:

o Your age -- most people with it are older than 50
o Polyps or inflammatory bowel disease
o Family history of colorectal cancer or precancerous colon polyps



Risk Factors You Can Control

Try to avoid these things that can raise your odds of getting the disease:

o Eating a lot of red or processed meats, or those cooked at high temperatures
o Obesity (having too much fat around the waist)
o Not exercising enough
o Smoking
o Heavy alcohol use



What Are the Symptoms?

Colorectal cancer doesn’t have early warning signs, so it's important to get checked. Finding it early means it's more curable. As the disease gets worse, you may see blood in your stool or have pain in your belly, bathroom-related troubles like constipation or diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, or fatigue. By the time these symptoms appear, tumors tend to be bigger and harder to treat.

Tests That Find Colorectal Cancer

Screening tests are key to an early diagnosis. Most people should have a colonoscopy every 10 years once they turn 50. This test uses a tube with a tiny camera to look at the whole colon and rectum. It can help prevent colorectal cancer by finding tumors early. Your doctor will then remove the polyps (as pictured here).

Virtual Colonoscopy

This uses a CT scan to show a 3-D model of your colon. The test can show polyps or other problems without placing a camera inside your body. The main disadvantages are the test can miss small polyps, and if your doctor does find some, you’ll still need a real colonoscopy. Your doctor may suggest a virtual colonoscopy once every 5 years.

Barium Enema

These X-rays give your doctor a glimpse at the inside of your colon and rectum. It’s another way to find polyps, tumors, or other changes in your intestines. Seen here is a barium enema that shows an "apple core" tumor blocking the colon.

Like in a virtual colonoscopy, doctors follow up on any unusual signs with a regular colonoscopy. Your doctor may suggest you have a barium enema once every 5 years.


Flexible Sigmoidoscopy

Your doctor may recommend this test instead of a colonoscopy. He'll use a slender tube to look inside your rectum and the bottom part of your colon. The tube has a light and a camera, and it shows polyps and cancer. If your doctor says this is the right test for you, you should get one every 5 years.

Fecal Blood Tests

The fecal occult blood test and fecal immunochemical test can show whether you have blood in your stool, which can be a sign of cancer. You give two or three small samples of your stool to the doctor to study. Doctors typically recommend these tests every year. If your samples show signs of blood, you may need a colonoscopy.

An at-Home Choice: DNA Test

A new test called Cologuard looks for blood or suspicious DNA in your stool sample. The test is very accurate at finding colon cancer, but if it does, you still need to follow up with a colonoscopy.

Cologuard can’t take the place of that exam. The American Cancer Society recommends getting a stool DNA test every 3 years.


The Right Diagnosis

If a test shows a possible tumor, the next step is a biopsy. During the colonoscopy, your doctor takes out polyps and gets tissue samples from any parts of the colon that look suspicious. Experts study the tissue under a microscope to see whether or not it is cancerous. Shown here is a color-enhanced, magnified view of colon cancer cells.

The Stages of Colorectal Cancer

Experts "stage" any cancers they find -- a process to see how far the disease has spread. Higher stages mean you have a more serious case of cancer. Tumor size doesn’t always make a difference. Staging also helps your doctor decide what type of treatment you get.

o Stage 0: Cancer is in the innermost lining of the colon or rectum.
o Stage I: The disease has grown into the muscle layer of the colon or rectum.
o Stage II: Cancer has grown into or through the outermost layer of the colon or rectum.
o Stage III: It has spread to one or more lymph nodes in the area.
o Stage IV: It has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver, lungs, or bones.



Survival Rates

The outlook for your recovery depends on the stage of your cancer. You might hear your doctor talk about the “5-year survival rate.” That means the percentage of people who live 5 years or more after they're diagnosed. Stage I has a 5-year survival rate of 87% to 92%. But remember that those stats can't predict what will happen for everyone. Many things can affect your outlook with colorectal cancer, so ask your doctor what those numbers mean for you.

Can Surgery Help?

Surgery has a very high cure rate in the early stages of colorectal cancer. In all but the last stage, doctors remove the tumors and surrounding tissue. If they are big, your doctor may need to take out an entire piece of your colon or rectum. If the disease affects your liver, lungs, or other organs, surgery probably won’t cure you. But it may help ease your symptoms.

Fighting Advanced Cancer

Colorectal cancer can still sometimes be cured even if it has spread to your lymph nodes (stage III). Treatment typically involves surgery and chemotherapy. Radiation therapy (shown here) is an option in some cases. If the disease comes back or spreads to other organs, it will probably be harder to cure. But radiation and chemotherapy may still ease your symptoms and help you live longer.

Will Chemo Make Me Feel Bad?

Newer chemotherapy drugs are less likely to make you sick. There are also medicines that can help you control your nausea.

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)

This treatment uses intense heat to burn away tumors. Guided by a CT scan, a doctor inserts a needle-like device into a tumor and the surrounding area. The procedure can destroy some tumors that can’t be surgically removed, like in the liver. Chemotherapy can work with RFA.

Prevent Colorectal Cancer With Healthy Habits

You can take steps to dramatically lower your odds of getting the disease. Eat a nutritious diet, get enough exercise, and control your body fat. Those habits prevent 45% of colorectal cancers.

The American Cancer Society recommends a diet heavy on fruits and vegetables, light on processed and red meat, and with whole grains instead of refined grains. That will help you keep a healthy weight.


Prevent Cancer With Exercise

Adults who stay active seem to have a powerful weapon against colorectal cancer. In one study, the most active people were 24% less likely to have the disease than the least active. It didn't matter whether what they did was work or play.

The American Cancer Society recommends getting 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, like brisk walking, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, like jogging. Try to spread your activity throughout the week.