Saturday, September 30, 2017

13 Lies You Should Never Tell Your Doctor


Put It All Out There

If there’s ever a place to be honest about your habits and your health, it’s your doctor's office. Forget the embarrassment -- your doctor’s there to help you, and the more information she has, the more she’s able to do.





‘I Never Binge Drink’

Don’t want to tell your doc just how hard you party? Binge drinking can throw test results off and send your doctor down the wrong path if you have health problems.

‘I Quit Smoking’

It may seem like a harmless way to avoid a lecture, but your doctor needs to know if you smoke. It can interfere with certain drugs, and might help explain symptoms you may have. And he may be able to help you kick the habit for good, through therapy or medication.

‘I Eat Mostly Kale … ’

“... unless there are doughnuts nearby.” If you leave out this last part while your weight and “bad” cholesterol skyrocket, your tall tale could lead to less effective treatment. You’re not the first person with a doughnut weakness, so just tell the truth -- your doctor might be able to help you manage your eating habits.

‘I Run Every Day’

Tell your doctor the truth about your exercise habits. It will help her figure out how to keep you healthy. If you’re not the type to go to the gym every day, that’s OK. There are lots of ways to have an active lifestyle: Garden, play with your dog, or take a brisk stroll around the block.

'I Had Sex With 1 Person This Year’

A doctor’s visit is not a morality test. If you have sex with several partners, you could be at risk for certain diseases, and it might help explain some medical problems. Your doctor’s not there to judge, but to help.

‘I Don’t Have Any STDs’

If you think you have one, know you have one, or have had one in the past, tell your doctor. It may be awkward, but some STDs can be dangerous if they’re not treated. They’re also contagious. One awkward moment with your doctor now could save you awkward moments with sexual partners later.

‘I'm Not Sleeping With Anyone'

Lying about having sex -- or who you're having it with -- appears to be pretty common. It may seem like no one’s business, but it’s important to be honest about whether you’re with the same sex, the opposite sex, or both. It can make a difference, especially if your doctor is trying to figure out what certain symptoms might mean (pregnancy, for example).

‘My Sex Life Is Great’

If you have trouble in the bedroom -- low sex drive or erectile dysfunction (ED) -- it can be a sign of an illness and your doctor should know about it, especially if you’re young and otherwise healthy. Plus, your doctor may be able to improve your symptoms with medication or a referral for psychological therapy.

‘I Feel Great!’

Don’t ignore little things that may be bothering you -- they could be valuable clues to your doctor. Do you get headaches when you exercise? That may not seem like be a big deal, but it could be a sign of something serious.

‘I Don’t Do Drugs’

This can be a dangerous lie. If your doctor prescribes you medication, it may react with street drugs and make you sick or cause other problems. Drug abuse can also cause other issues your doctor may not know to look for. If you have a drug habit or addiction, your doctor may be able to help you stop.

‘I Don’t Take Supplements’

Afraid to get into a discussion with your doctor about those vitamin supplements you buy at the grocery store? Your doctor needs to know. Some may be dangerous if you take them along with other medications or you have certain medical conditions.

‘I Take My Pills’

About half of people who are chronically sick don’t take their medication the way they’re supposed to. If you skip it because you’re worried about side effects, or you don’t like the way they make you feel, tell your doctor. He may be able to adjust it. If money is the problem he might help you find ways to lower the cost.

‘I Don’t Take Over-the-Counter Medication’

It’s important to tell your doctor about all the medication you take. It can interfere with the way prescription medications work, sometimes in a dangerous way.

12 Tips to Keep Your Mind Sharp


Use Your Brain

It's true: Use it or lose it. Stretching your brain keeps your mind sharp. People who are more active in mentally challenging activities are more likely to stay sharp. Try these:

o Read a book.
o Go to a lecture.
o Listen to the radio.
o Play a game.
o Visit a museum.
o Learn a second language.






Mix Things Up

Remember trying to talk backwards as a child? Researchers at Duke University created exercises they call "neurobics," which challenge your brain to think in new ways. Since your five senses are key to learning, use them to exercise your mind. If you're right-handed, try using your left hand. Drive to work by another route. Close your eyes and see if you can recognize food by taste.

Work Out to Stay Sharp

Exercise, especially the kind that gets your heart rate up like walking or swimming, has mental pluses, too. Although experts aren't sure why, physical activity might increase the blood supply to the brain and improve links between brain cells. Staying active can help memory, imagination, and even your ability to plan tasks.

A Healthy Diet Builds Brainpower

Do your brain a favor and choose foods that are good for your heart and waistline. Being obese in middle age makes you twice as likely to have dementia later on. High cholesterol and high blood pressure raise your chances, too. Try these easy tips:

o Bake or grill foods instead of frying.
o Cook with "good" fats like oils from nuts, seeds, and olives instead of cream, butter, and fats from meat.
o Eat colorful fruits and veggies.
o Eat fish.


Watch What You Drink

You know that too many drinks can affect your judgment, speech, movement, and memory. But did you know alcohol can have long-term effects? Too much drinking over a long period of time can shrink the frontal lobes of your brain. And that damage can last forever, even if you quit drinking. A healthy amount is considered one drink a day for women and two for men.

Video Games Train Your Brain

Grab that joystick. Several studies found that playing video games stimulates the parts of the brain that control movement, memory, planning, and fine motor skills. Some experts say gaming only makes you better at gaming. The verdict may still be out, but why let kids have all the fun?

Music Helps Your Brain

Thank your mom for making you practice the piano. Playing an instrument early in life pays off in clearer thinking when you're older. Musical experience boosts mental functions that have nothing to do with music, such as memory and ability to plan. It also helps with greater hand coordination. Plus, it's fun -- and it's never too late to start.

Make Friends for Your Mind

Be a people person! Talking with others actually sharpens your brain, whether at work, at home, or out in your community. Studies show social activities improve your mind. So volunteer, sign up for a class, or call a friend!

Stay Calm

Too much stress can hurt your gray matter, which contains cells that store and process information. Here are some ways to chill:

o Take deep breaths.
o Find something that makes you laugh.
o Listen to music.
o Try yoga or meditation.
o Find someone to talk to.


Sleep and the Brain

Get enough sleep before and after you learn something new. You need sleep on both ends. When you start out tired, it's hard to focus on things. And when you sleep afterward, your brain files away the new info so you can recall it later. A long night's rest is best for memory and your mood. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Memory Helpers

Everybody spaces out now and then. As you get older, you may not remember things as easily as you used to. That's a normal part of aging. Some helpful hints:

o Write things down.
o Use the calendar and reminder functions in your phone, even for simple things (Call Dad!).
o Focus on one task at a time.
o Learn new things one step at a time.



The Name Game

Have trouble recalling names? Always repeat a person's name while you're talking to them -- at least in your head, if not out loud. Or invent a funny image or rhyme that you link with their name. For example, think of Bob bobbing out in the ocean.

Inspirational Quote – September 30, 2017

“A laugh is a smile that bursts.”

I love this don’t you? It made me smile when I came across it as I can see how this would make sense. It really made me think too. A laugh does grow from a smile doesn’t it? Not always, I know, but it has to start somewhere and where better than a smile? I always think that a smile given freely can perhaps mean more to the person on the receiving end than the “smiler” will ever know. That’s why I tend to smile at everybody I interact with during my day because, knowing how much a smile can mean to me, makes me realize that it may be the same for someone else. Even better, if it bursts into a laugh……..

CathiBew.co.uk

Seeing Through the Lens of Good

Jeanine Lim has been working with villagers in Vietnam for more than 20 years. Starting as a personal endeavor with her mother, Project Give Pray Love has grown to become a community effort that helps children in the Mekong Delta region stay in school through tuition grants, books, stationery and bicycles to get to school. Now the filmmaker and lecturer is helping introduce students to overseas community projects with a twist: by teaching them how to capture the villagers' stories through documentary filmmaking. This video follows the journey of one of the students as he wrestles with the challenge of being behind the camera but wanting to be in the thick of helping the villagers.

http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=6815

Friday, September 29, 2017

What Your Mouth Says About Your Health


Can Mouth Bacteria Affect the Heart?

Some studies show that people with gum disease are more likely have heart disease than those with healthy gums. Researchers aren't sure why that is; gum disease isn't proven to cause other diseases. But it makes sense to take care of your mouth like you do the rest of your body.





Gum Disease and Diabetes

Diabetes can reduce the body’s resistance to infection. Elevated blood sugars increase the risk of developing gum disease. What's more, gum disease can make it harder to keep blood sugar levels in check. Protect your gums by keeping blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible. Brush after each meal and floss and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily. See your dentist at least twice a year. Sometimes you dentists may want to see you more often.

Dry Mouth and Tongue Cause Tooth Decay

The 4 million Americans who have Sjögren's syndrome are more prone to have oral health problems, too. With Sjögren's, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks tear ducts and saliva glands, leading to chronically dry eyes and dry mouth (called xerostomia). Saliva helps protect teeth and gums from bacteria that cause cavities and gingivitis. So a perpetually dry mouth is more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.

Medications That Cause Dry Mouth

Given that a chronically dry mouth raises risk of cavities and gum disease, you may want to check your medicine cabinet. Antihistamines, decongestants, painkillers, and antidepressants are among the drugs that can cause dry mouth. Talk to your doctor or dentist to find out if your medication regimen is affecting your oral health, and what you can do about it.

Stress and Teeth Grinding

If you are stressed, anxious, or depressed, you may be at higher risk for oral health problems. People under stress produce high levels of the hormone cortisol, which wreaks havoc on the gums and body. Stress also leads to poor oral care; more than 50% of people don't brush or floss regularly when stressed. Other stress-related habits include smoking, drinking alcohol, and clenching and grinding teeth (called bruxism).

Osteoporosis and Tooth Loss

The brittle bone disease osteoporosis affects all the bones in your body -- including your jaw bone -- and can cause tooth loss. Bacteria from periodontitis, which is severe gum disease, can also break down the jaw bone. One kind of osteoporosis medication -- bisphosphonates -- may slightly increase the risk of a rare condition called osteonecrosis, which causes bone death of the jaw. This is usually only a concern after involved dental surgery. Tell your dentist if you take bisphosphonates.

Pale Gums and Anemia

Your mouth may be sore and pale if you're anemic, and your tongue can become swollen and smooth (glossitis). When you have anemia, your body doesn't have enough red blood cells, or your red blood cells don't contain enough hemoglobin. As a result, your body doesn't get enough oxygen. There are different types of anemia, and treatment varies. Talk to your doctor to find out what type you have and how to treat it.

Eating Disorders Erode Tooth Enamel

A dentist may be the first to notice signs of an eating disorder such as bulimia. The stomach acid from repeated vomiting can severely erode tooth enamel. Purging can also trigger swelling in the mouth, throat, and salivary glands as well as bad breath. Anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders can also cause serious nutritional shortfalls that can affect the health of your teeth.

Thrush and HIV

People with HIV or AIDS may develop oral thrush, oral warts, fever blisters, canker sores, and hairy leukoplakia, which are white or gray patches on the tongue or the inside of the cheek. The body's weakened immune system and its inability to stave off infections are to blame. People with HIV/AIDS may also experience dry mouth, which increases the risk of tooth decay and can make chewing, eating, swallowing, or talking difficult.

Treating Gum Disease May Help RA

People with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are eight times more likely to have gum disease than people without this autoimmune disease. Inflammation may be the common denominator between the two. Making matters worse: people with RA can have trouble brushing and flossing because of damage to finger joints. The good news is that treating existing gum inflammation and infection can also reduce joint pain and inflammation.

Tooth Loss and Kidney Disease

Adults without teeth may be more likely to have chronic kidney disease than those who still have teeth. Exactly how kidney disease and periodontal disease are linked is not 100% clear yet. But researchers suggest that chronic inflammation may be the common thread. So taking care of your teeth and gums may reduce your risk of developing chronic kidney problems.

Gum Disease and Premature Birth

If you're pregnant and have gum disease, you could be more likely to have a baby that is born too early and too small. Exactly how the two conditions are linked remains poorly understood. Underlying inflammation or infections may be to blame. Pregnancy and its related hormonal changes also appear to worsen gum disease. Talk to your obstetrician or dentist to find out how to protect yourself and your baby.

What Healthy Gums Look Like

Healthy gums should look pink and firm, not red and swollen. To keep gums healthy, practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day, see your dentist regularly, and avoid smoking or chewing tobacco.

Skin Problems You Should Never Ignore


Got Skin Problems?

Is your skin itchy, broken out, or covered in a rash or strange spots? Skin inflammation, changes in texture or color, and spots may result from infection, a chronic skin condition, or contact with an allergen or irritant. If you think you have one of these common adult skin problems, have your doctor check it out. Most are minor, but others can signal something more serious.





Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

A rash of raised dots that turns into painful blisters, shingles causes your skin to burn, itch, tingle, or become very sensitive. Shingles often shows up on your trunk and buttocks, but can appear anywhere. An outbreak lasts about two weeks. You’ll recover, but pain, numbness, and itching might linger for months, years, or even the rest of your life. Treatment includes creams for your skin, antiviral drugs, steroids, and even antidepressants. It’s important to be treated early so you don’t develop residual pain.

Hives (Urticaria)

Hives look like welts and can itch, sting or burn. They vary in size and sometimes join together. They may appear on any part of you and last anywhere from minutes to days. Causes include extreme temperatures, infections like strep throat, and allergies to medications, foods, and food additives. Antihistamines and skin creams can help.

Psoriasis

Thick, red patches of skin covered with white or silvery scales are signs of psoriasis. Doctors know how psoriasis works -- your immune system triggers new skin cells to grow too quickly -- but they don't know what causes it. The patches show up on your scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. They can heal and come back throughout your life. Treatments include creams and ointments for your skin, light therapy, and medications taken by mouth, injection, or IV.

Eczema

Eczema is a blanket term for several non-contagious conditions that cause inflamed, red, dry, and itchy skin. Doctors aren't sure what makes eczema start in the first place, but they do know that stress, irritants (like soaps), allergens, and climate can trigger flares. In adults, it often appears on the elbows, hands, and in skin folds. Several medications treat eczema. Some are spread over the skin, and others are taken by mouth or as a shot.

Rosacea

A tendency to flush easily, followed by redness on your nose, chin, cheeks, and forehead could be rosacea. It can get redder over time with blood vessels you can see. You may have thickened skin, bumps, and pus-filled pimples. It could even affect your eyes. Medications taken by mouth or spread on the skin are available. Doctors can treat broken blood vessels and red or thickened skin with lasers.

Cold Sores (Fever Blisters)

The herpes simplex virus causes small, painful, fluid-filled blisters on your mouth or nose. Cold sores last about 10 days and easily spread from person to person. Triggers include fever, too much sun, stress, and hormonal changes like periods. You can treat cold sores with antiviral pills or creams. Call your doctor if the sores contain pus, the redness spreads, you have a fever, or if your eyes become irritated. These can be treated with prescription pills or creams.

Rash From Plants

Contact with the oily coating from poison ivy, oak, or sumac causes a rash in many people. It begins with redness and swelling at the site, and then becomes itchy. Blisters usually show up within 12 to 72 hours after you touch the plant. A typical rash looks like a red line, the result of the plant dragging across your skin. An outbreak usually lasts up to 2 weeks. Treatment can include medicine spread on the skin or taken by mouth.

Soothe Itchy Plant Rashes

Prescription or over-the-counter medication can help soothe the itch. Try cool compresses and oatmeal baths, too. Your doctor may prescribe medication for a severe rash and antibiotics for an infection. Learn to spot these plants so you can avoid direct contact. In general, poison oak grows west of the Rockies; poison ivy to the east.

Razor Bumps

Razor bumps pop up after you shave, when the sharp edge of a closely cut hair curls back and grows into your skin. This can cause irritation, pimples, and even scars. To minimize razor bumps, take a hot shower before you shave, pull the blade in the direction your hair grows, and don't stretch your skin while you pull the razor across it. Always use a shaving cream or foam. Rinse with cold water, then apply moisturizer.

Skin Tags

This small flap of flesh-colored or slightly darker tissue hangs off your skin by a stalk. They're usually found on the neck, chest, back, armpits, under the breasts, or in the groin area. Skin tags appear most often on women and elderly people. They aren’t dangerous and usually don't cause pain unless they become irritated when clothing or nearby skin rubs against them. A doctor can cut, freeze, or burn them off.

Acne

Acne breaks out when a pore clogged with oil and dead skin cells gets inflamed. Pores that stay open and turn dark are called blackheads; completely blocked pores are known as whiteheads. Bacteria and hormones trigger acne, which most often shows up on your face, chest, and back. You can also get pus-filled pimples and cysts. To control acne, keep oily areas clean and don't squeeze (this may cause infection and scars).

Athlete's Foot

This fungal skin infection causes your feet to peel, turn red, itch, and burn. You may also get blisters and sores. Athlete's foot is contagious and passed through direct contact. To prevent it, don't share shoes with an infected person or walk barefoot in areas like locker rooms or near pools. Treat it with topical antifungal lotions. A doctor can prescribe medications for more severe cases. During treatment, you’ll need to keep your feet and the insides of your shoes clean and dry.

Moles

Moles, which are usually brown or black, can be anywhere on the body. They might show up alone or in groups and generally appear before age 20. Some moles change slowly over the years. They can go from flat to raised, grow hair, or change color. Get your moles checked once a year by a dermatologist. Pay close attention to any that change, have irregular borders, are an unusual or uneven color, bleed, or itch.

Age or Liver Spots

These pesky brown or gray spots aren’t really caused by aging, though they do become more common as you get older. You get them from exposure to sunlight, which is why they tend to appear on your face, hands, and arms. You can try bleach creams, acid peels, and light-based treatments to fade them. See a dermatologist to rule out serious problems like melanoma, a type of skin cancer.

Pityriasis Rosea

A harmless rash, pityriasis rosea usually begins as a single scaly, pink patch with a raised border. Days to weeks later, it starts to itch and spread. The rash may look like Christmas trees spread across your body. Doctors don't know for sure what causes it, but they don't think it's contagious. It often goes away in 6 to 8 weeks without treatment. Pityriasis rosea most often shows up between the ages of 10 and 35.

Melasma ('Pregnancy Mask')

Melasma (chloasma) is tan or brown patches on your cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. It’s often called the "pregnancy mask" because it happens in half of all pregnant women. Men can get it, too. If it doesn’t go away on its own after the baby comes, you can treat it with prescription creams, over-the-counter products, or with laser treatments. Sunlight makes it worse, so always use a broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen.

Warts

In most cases, common warts appear on the fingers or hands. They're caused by the human papillomavirus. Warts spread when you touch something used by a person with the virus. To prevent more warts, cover them with bandages, keep them dry, and don’t pick them. They're usually harmless and painless. You can treat them with topical medications, or a doctor can freeze or burn them off. More advanced removal techniques include surgery, lasers, and chemicals.

Seborrheic Keratoses

Seborrheic keratoses are noncancerous growths that often show up as you age. They can appear on many areas of the skin either alone or in groups. They may be dark or multicolored, and they usually have a grainy surface, though they can be smooth and waxy. You don't need to treat them unless they get irritated or you don’t like the way they look. They're easy to mistake for moles or skin cancer, but a dermatologist can tell the difference.