Archive for February, 2018

Feeling extra tired lately?

7 early signs of multiple sclerosis you should know about
It starts with something innocent enough: that familiar sluggishness during a long workweek, forgetting friends’ birthdays here and there. If you’re in your twenties or thirties, you might brush it off. But what if we told you these could all be early warning signs of multiple sclerosis (MS)?

Symptoms of MS can start as early as age 20, come and go in unpredictable patterns, and often appear under the guise of symptoms you deal with on the daily. “Many symptoms that occur early in MS can also occur in other conditions—some more commonly occurring conditions than MS,” says Kathleen Costello, a nurse practitioner and associate vice president of healthcare access at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. “Some of the early signs can also be generalized, such as an increase in overall fatigue level, which makes zeroing in on one diagnosis initially difficult.”

MS can happen to anyone; in fact, about 2.3 million people around the world are living with it right now, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. And that’s just a rough estimate: Since the symptoms are so hard to spot, many people don’t even know they have MS and are currently undiagnosed. Women, however, are two to three times more likely than men to develop this debilitating disease, in which your immune system wreaks havoc on your own central nervous system and damages the connections between your brain and your body.

While doctors still don’t know exactly what causes MS, they do know that getting diagnosed early can trim down your chances of long-term disability. So being able to recognize the early signs of multiple sclerosis—no matter how tricky they are to detect—is critical. If your nerves are feeling a bit shot lately, be on the lookout for these hints that a larger issue might be at hand:

1/7 Early Signs of MS: Impaired Vision

When you work a nine-to-five desk job, it’s normal for your vision to have to readjust itself as soon as you peel your eyes away from the computer screen. But if you’re experiencing a dimming, blurring, doubling, or complete loss of vision—especially if it’s only in one eye—you might be feeling the effects of something called “optic neuritis,” a common symptom of MS that causes inflammation of the optic nerve.

“Some people describe this as looking through a smudged contact lens, or looking through a screen or through water,” says Costello. “It may also be associated with pain or a pulling sensation during eye movement, and there may be a noticeable loss of color vision—particularly a desaturation of reds that makes them look more grayish-red.”

The onset of MS-related vision problems is usually slow, since the deterioration of the eyes happens over time. Optic neuritis can also happen on its own—without necessarily being associated with multiple sclerosis—as a result of an infection, a vitamin deficiency, or other autoimmune diseases. In any case, Costello recommends prompt medical care if you notice any impairment in your vision.
2/7 early signs of MS you should know about

Everyone can trip over their feet from time to time, but MS causes something more than everyday clumsiness: One of its earliest symptoms is extreme dizziness or vertigo, which can really take your head for a spin. You’ll know it when you feel it, as it usually hits you like a bag of bricks when you stand up from a seated position: “You have a sense that either you or the room is moving,” says Costello. “This may be a spinning sensation, or it may feel like you are on a boat. This may cause nausea or vomiting, and it may worsen with movement.”

Dizzy spells and bouts of vertigo aren’t always caused by MS, though: Inner-ear problems, anemia, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and certain medications might be possible culprits too. If you find yourself stumbling with lightheadedness, it’s best to get checked out by a doctor right away.

7 early signs of MS you should know about

You’re inevitably going to come across those days when you just can’t even. But sudden spells of severe exhaustion that last for weeks and mess with your ability to function normally on a day-to-day basis might be an indication that MS is destroying the nerves in your spinal column. “People with MS describe their fatigue as overwhelming, making even simple tasks difficult,” says Costello. “It is often out of proportion with your activity, is not relieved by sleep, and is worsened if you become overheated.”

Thyroid complications, vitamin deficiencies, anemia, and other serious medical conditions could also be behind your symptoms, so don’t take it lightly if you’re constantly dragging yourself through the day. “If you’re experiencing a new increase in your fatigue level, it is important to discuss it with your physician,” says Costello. (Just tired out? Treat yourself to a spa-like experience courtesy of Color Therapy Bath Botanicals, available at the Women’s Health Boutique.)

7 early signs of MS you should know about

When MS puts your central nervous system under siege, the signals that your brain and spinal cord send to the rest of your body can go haywire—or disappear altogether. The result: numbness. “Numbness and/or tingling that is persistent—lasting more than a few days—is an early symptom that deserves investigation to identify the cause,” says Costello.

Multiple sclerosis patients typically experience prickly, tingling, dulled, or lost sensation in their arms, hands, feet, legs or face. Some may even compare the sensation to the feeling of water dripping down their limbs or of insects crawling on their skin.

These could also be red flags that something other than MS is up, so don’t put off checking in with your PCP if you’re being plagued by the creepy-crawlies. “Other conditions such as peripheral nerve compression, disk problems in the neck or back, certain types of infections, nutritional deficiencies, anemia, and thyroid issues may cause numbness and tingling as well,” says Costello.

7 early signs of MS you should know about

“Many people with MS report a sense of ‘gotta-go’ bladder urgency or may need to use the restroom more frequently,” says Costello. “Sometimes they are even awakened during the night by the urge to urinate.” Dysfunctional potty habits occur in about 80 percent of people with MS, and the inability to hold in your pee is often accompanied by constipation, diarrhea, and uncontrollable bowel movements as well.

If you’re familiar with urinary tract infections, are taking medications such as diuretics, or have weak pelvic floor muscles, then you’ve likely already had your fair share of encounters with nasty bladder issues. Nonetheless, keep an eye on your bathroom schedule, and let your doc know if anything seems amiss.

7 early signs of MS you should know about

Sleep disorders, mood changes, specific medications, and other disorders can cause you to lose your marbles mentally and emotionally, but according to Costello, about 60 percent or more of those diagnosed with MS experience some form of cognitive or emotional distress. If you think about it, this makes complete sense, since the brain is the epicenter of the central nervous system.

As far as cognitive functions go, those with MS can suffer from “impaired recall, difficulty with multitasking, and trouble with concentration and attention,” says Costello. They might also find themselves jumbling their words or having difficulty staying organized.

(Be your very best self with The Very Best of Recipes for Health available at the Women’s Health Boutique!)

When it comes to emotional symptoms, depression, irritability, sudden mood swings, and uncontrollable fits of crying or laughter are also common in MS patients. If your attempts to keep your head and heart in check are proving to be ineffective, ask your physician if MS could be throwing you off-kilter.

7 early signs of MS you should know about

According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, half of people diagnosed with MS have chronic pain, which is usually coupled with involuntary spasms, inexplicable weakness, or stiffness in the muscles. “It is often described as heaviness or like the limb is worn out,” says Costello. The legs are usually the first extremity to bear the brunt of the muscular woes, but the back is also a typical problem area.

“Weakness can occur due to other causes such as infections, nerve compression, disk herniation (that will likely also cause pain in the limb), and other autoimmune conditions,” says Costello. If your own body just can’t hold you up, seek the help of a doctor.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all people who suffer from multiple sclerosis experience the same exact symptoms. If you start to see health issues that you’ve never had before, no matter what they are, Costello recommends getting to your doctor’s office right away to discuss the possibility of MS. “Your PCP may ask a lot of questions and try to figure out why the symptoms are occurring based on your history and his exam. If the history and exam suggest a central nervous system problem, often an MRI of the brain and possibly the spinal cord are done to look for evidence,” she says. “Other blood tests may also be done to exclude other conditions that mimic MS. He will likely refer you to a neurologist to further investigate the symptoms you are experiencing.”

Source: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/7-early-signs-of-ms-to-know-about

Read Full Post »

Photo: Marco Govel

Minni Shahi and Vijay Koduri are waiting as long as possible to give cellphones to their 10- and 12-year-old children. Cautious of technology’s effect on their developing minds, the couple has banned gaming systems from their home, capped the kids’ use of their parents’ phones at 10 minutes a week, and stashed their five-year-old iPad on a high linen shelf. They explained to Business Insiderthat while their kids share a computer for completing homework, other devices are off-limits. But you can’t call them technophobic luddites. Shahi works at Apple Headquarters, and her husband is a former Googler founding an internet startup.

Low-tech parenting is not new in Silicon Valley. Since the internet revolution, tech tycoons have been wary of the effect of their products on children, more so than many of their eager customers. Steve Jobs, Tim Cook, and Bill Gates have all admitted to curbing kids’ access to devises. Jobs, Apple’s late CEO, would not allow his children to use iPads. The company’s current CEO, Cook, forbad his nephew from joining social media networks. And Microsoft Founder Gate didn’t give his kids phones until they were 14.

These aren’t the concerns of eccentric CEOs, they’re concerns shared throughout the valley. A survey conducted last year found that Silicon Valley parents widely share their doubts. “My daughter is always on the phone, not with her friends. When I try to take the phone away there are problems,” one responded admitted. “I’m really concerned about how technology affects other skills. I see my friend’s kid who can use the tablet better than his mom at age 4 but still cannot hold a pencil,” said another.

mbg’s 2018 Wellness Trends report forecasted a shift away from tech, as research is backing up our suspicion that our embrace of technology has turned into an addition. We’re newly aware of our vulnerability to the enticing interfaces designed by powerful companies to capture our attention, and we’re eager to understand the effects of digital dependency on developing minds. Research confirms that the young are inordinately susceptible to changes in brain chemistry that have been linked to an increase in teenage depression and suicides.

If the first step to healing is recognizing the problem, then as a society we’re on the path to creating solutions to the dangers of tech addition. In the meantime, keep the iPad in the closet.


Read Full Post »

If the uric acid levels in your bloodstream are too high, it can lead to a common form of arthritis called gout. You need to watch what you eat, and you have to take proper medication to prevent gout. You need to limit your intake of alcohol, sugary foods, and foods rich in purine, like pulses, seafood, poultry, and meat. You should also avoid eating vegetables such as mushroom, peas, spinach, asparagus, spinach, and cauliflower as these foods also contain very high amounts of purine. When purine is digested, it leads to the formation of uric acid. And, people who suffer from gout are not able to get rid of purine from their system easily, which results in the accumulation of purine from the blood stream and leads to joint inflammation and pain. You also need to stay away from dark chocolate or cocoa as they contain an alkaloid called theobromine, which has the highest concentration of uric acid per gram than any other food. Here are some of the foods you should consume to keep uric acid at normal levels in your body.

1. Water

(Water lushes out toxins)

If you are suffering from gout, you should make it a point to drink lots and lots of water throughout the day. Water not only hydrates your body but also flushes out toxins from it. Have at least 10 to 12 glasses of water each day to keep gout in check.

2. Cherries And Berries

Cherries and berries have anti-inflammatory properties

 3. Lime

Lime contains citric acid, which is a natural uric acid solvent)

Lime contains citric acid, which is a natural uric acid solvent. Squeeze half a lime into a glass of water and consume it twice a day.

4. Apple

Apple neutralizes the effects of uric acid)

Apples contain malic acid, which neutralizes the effects of uric acid and thus provides relief to those suffering from gout. You don’t need to eat too many apples, just 1 a day is enough.

5. Green Tea

Green tea prevents the accumulation of excess uric acid in your blood stream)

By drinking green tea on a regular basis, you can prevent the accumulation of excess uric acid in your blood stream, thus, lowering your risk of developing gout. Prepare a cup of warm green tea and have it about 2 to 3 times a day.

6. Alkaline Foods

Alkaline foods help neutralize the effects of uric acid

Alkaline foods increase the alkalinity of your blood, which helps neutralize the effects of uric acid. Some common alkaline foods include tomatoes, broccoli, jowar, bajra, and cucumbers.

7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and swelling

Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and swelling if you are suffering from gout. Some foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids are walnuts, flax seeds, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring.

8. Olive Oil

(Olive oil contains plenty of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties

If you suffer from gout, then it is a good idea to start cooking your food in olive oil. It contains plenty of antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, which will bring you some relief when you are in pain.

9. Foods High In Vitamin C

Foods high in vitamin C disintegrate uric acid

You need to consume high amounts of vitamin C when you are suffering from gout as it disintegrates uric acid and expels it out of the body through urine. Some of the good sources of Vitamin C are sweet lime, oranges, capsicum, lemon, tomato, kiwi, guava, and green leafy vegetables.

10. Foods High In Fiber

Dietary fiber allows uric acid to be absorbed into your bloodstream, making it easier to eliminate it through the kidneys. Foods like apples, oranges, carrots, cucumbers, oats, broccoli, bananas, celery, strawberries, blueberries, and pears are high-fiber foods that are good for those suffering from gout.

Source: https://www.curejoy.com/content/foods-to-control-uric-acid-levels/?utm_medium=IAR-FEB18&utm_source=FBFeed&utm_campaign=FBAyurveda

Read Full Post »

Source: http://lorenzinilifestyle.com/unbelievable-results-hanacure-effect/

I recently came across the Hanacure Effect, and I couldn’t believe the results! This facial treatment you can apply yourself, will renew and rejuvenate your skin, making your skin more firm, lifted and a visibly more younger appearance. The formula has a CO2 octolift in it from South Korea, which makes this mask truly one-of-a-kind.

How it works: To apply the mask you will first peel away a small corner of the mix (be careful not to remove the entire lid) and then pour in the serum into the mix container. Next step is to shake the container (sealing with your fingers the peeled corner so mix doesn’t leak) for at least 20 seconds to form a gel like mix. With the brush that comes with the kit, apply the gel all over your face and neck in a smooth even way (avoiding your lips, eyes and lids), and leave it on for 30 minutes until the gel formula dries on your face. Don’t be alarmed if you start to feel a tingling feeling, and then crazy enough you will even feel a lift of your skin! Also for best results, try not to make facial expressions or any uneccesary facial movements for the duration of the 30 minutes. (I should also note, that the craziest thing about this mask, which put them all over the news, was the way the gel dries on your face. You will start to look like a 90 year old woman or man, but don’t worry, after you wash it off, your skin will be renewed, and you will have more of a glow than before you started the mask! ) So after the 30 minutes is up, wash the gel formula off with warm water, and apply a moisturizer if you feel it’s needed. Your skin may even be slightly red after washing the gel formula off, but this is perfectly normal, and after about a couple hours, the redness will disappear.

Benefits: The benefits of this amazing facial treatment are anti-aging, clarifying, detoxifying, lifting and firming, brightening, pour tightening, evens skin tone and contours the face. Talk about the ultimate facial that you can do right in the convenience of your own home!

Ingredients: Another great thing about this facial treatment, is all the ingredients are: – Formulated without sulfates, parabens, phthalates – Dermatologist tested – Hypoallergenic – Vegan – Gluten-Free – Not tested on animals. (This information was gathered on hanacure.com)

What to buy: You can either choose “the starter” of one facial treatment, or even better, choose the kit that includes 4 lifting serums + 4 gelling packs + 1 brush + 4 single-use applications. This kit gives you more for your buck, and allows you to really deep cleanse your skin, helping your skin to restore moisture, blood flow, and get that healthy glowy skin you have been wanting for years. Although one treatment will already make a big difference with your skin, 4 times will really rejuvenate your skin to a whole new level.
Please note: These results as well as the information I have provided, are based on my own personal results. This is not a paid blog, and I just wanted to share my incredible experience using the Hanacure Effect with all of you. For more information on this facial treatment including prices, ingredient list, and other reviews click on this link here Hanacure Effect. I hope you try this kit out, and see for yourself how crazy and amazing this mask makes your skin feel after its done. I really noticed a change right away with how smooth, rejuvenated and healthier my skin looked. Enjoy!
Hello! My name is Sierra. I am originally from the midwest, but moved to New York City ten years ago. I am a professionally trained dancer, fitness model, pilates certified teacher, and a certified nutritionist. I am all about a healthy and active lifestyle, traveling the world, women empowerment, positive vibes and living life to the fullest. I also love being a wife, which is how “Lorenzini Lifestyle”. Yes, I will always be a small town girl at heart, but I love living this fast pace life, and now want to share my story, knowledge and insights with all of you, covering everything from fashion, fitness, travel and finding true beauty from the inside out. Can’t wait to connect with all of you! Cheers, Sierra


Read Full Post »

Starting the day with fibromyalgia pain made Vera angry

Fibromyalgia made it hard for 46 year old Vera to get her legs out of bed in the morning. As she moved toward the bathroom and began her toilette the pangs of pain moved to her hands, head and neck. It brought tears to her eyes. It made her angry to think that Kurt hadn’t even thought of organizing things around the house to make life a little easier for her. Vera remembered the arguments about accompanying her on doctors appointments and got even more angry. But she never said anything to him. She turned her mind to the support group she would attend later that day, although it wasn’t successful in easing her physical discomfort.

Vera found it easier to focus on the fibromyalgia pain than her scary emotions

As she ate breakfast, flashbacks of her early family file flooded Vera’s vision. She relived the tension she used to feel coming home from school wondering if her parents would fight out loud or give each other the cold shoulder.  Her mother would take out her frustration on Vera the oldest and quietest of her kids. Her muscles tightened up as she recalled the fear of uncertainty and not knowing how to speak about her worries. It was the same thing now. She didn’t know how to talk about the anxiety of not being able to take care of herself. Vera had no words for the anger at her father for not making her mother happy, and at Kurt for being equally insensitive and uncaring. What she did have was body pain that ranged from dull aches to excruciating pain for which no specific organic cause had been found. Fibromyalgia was the diagnosis.  It came with fatigue, slowing down of actions and restricting her life. It was making Vera dependent on pain medication and on a husband who let her down, repeating the cycle of her childhood.

Image result for Fibromyalgia is Linked to Childhood Stress and Unprocessed Negative Emotions

Stuffing her anger made Vera’s fibromyalgia more acute and distressing

Vera’s struggles in talking about her anger and stress as a child and now as an adult make it more likely that her experience of pain when the fibromyalgia flares up will be more intense and debilitating. The European Journal of Pain, 2010 reported a study comparing female fibromyalgic sufferers who expressed versus those that repressed their anger. The greater the inhibition of anger the greater the experience of pain in women with fibromyalgia. Those who got angry and expressed it in the situation in which it was aroused experienced the least amount of pain.

No amount of positive thinking eased her excruciating  fibromyalgic pain

When compared to healthy women, those who avoid strong negative emotions like anger and let it fester unprocessed are more likely to suffer fibromyalgia. In addition focusing on positive emotions does not appear to be a sufficient buffer. According to a report in the 2008 Journal of Psychosomatic Research, it is the lack of processing of negative emotions that precipitates the cycle of pain in fibromyalgic sufferers irrespective of the amount or duration of positive thoughts. Vera wasn’t more sensitive than most women to negative emotions like anger, but she experienced them more often and never learned to express them in a healthy way. It compromised her neuroendocrine functioning, lowering her pain threshold both physically and psychologically, suggests a study on women with fibromyalgia published in Arthritis Care and Research, 2010.

Fibromyalgia is linked to chronic childhood stress and conflict with parents

Vera was typical of most adult women with fibromyalgia that have had stressful childhoods as reported by the Journal Stress and Health in 2009. Vera’s experience of verbal and emotional abuse from her mother, and the uncaring attitude of her father is another common thread in the life histories of women with fibromyalgia. Vera’s struggles with her mother and now her husband made her view life through a more negative lens. Conflict with parents and later with partners adds to the stress and contributes to the more negative perceptions of life by women with fibromyalgia  as indicated by the journal European Psychiatry in 2000.

Chronic childhood stress deregulates Vera’s neuroendocrine system making her more prone to fibromyalgia

Long term stress that is continuous and chronic affects the neuroendocrine system making it less effective over time. Vera’s childhood trauma created a permanent sense of uncertainty and unpredictability that impaired her ability to develop and use healthy stress management strategies. So with each new stress her neuroendocrine system got weaker and began functioning in an abnormal way. She lived in a constant state of stress such that her levels of stress hormone such as cortisol were elevated years after the stress of living with her parents was removed. Despite the struggle of living with a man who was argumentative and unsupportive, it was nothing compared to her previous stressful experiences. The early chronic experience of stress appears to exert a much larger influence in contributing to the pain of fibromyalgia than any current stressful life event, as a 2006 study reported in the journalPsychoneuroendocrinolgy.

Processing negative emotions can reduce the pain of Vera’s fibromyalgia

Vera may not be able to change her history or her husband. But she can begin to process her emotions in her support group and supplement it withpsychotherapy.  She can share her anger about her early life, as well as her fear of being helpless and alone in pain. She can take the pressure off her already overwhelmed neuroendocrine system by acknowledging, naming and expressing her feelings in the moment. A study in Arthritis Care and Research, 2010 suggests that Vera can expect between 50%-70% improvement in functioning and feel less pain if she does so.


Read Full Post »

Photo: Thais Ramos Varela

Ever feel like you’ve fallen too far off the wagon when it comes to your health? Or feel like it would take a miracle to get you back on track with your goals? Fortunately for you, wellness doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing experience. And contrary to what many people think, you don’t have to completely overhaul your lifestyle to gain more energy, balance your hormones, and heal your gut. Small changes can make a huge difference in your health and well-being. In that vein, let’s dive into six seemingly small and innocuous changes that can make a real difference in how you feel every single day:

1. Establish a morning ritual.

Start the day off by completing one simple task and you’re likely to complete others later that day. This could be something like reciting a positive mantra every morning before you head out the door, completing a five-minute morning stretch routine, reading one chapter in a non-work-related novel, or simply making your bed!

Did you know that making your bed in the morning may just be the world’s easiest success habit? It starts a chain reaction of other productive habits throughout the day. In fact, Navy SEAL William H. McCraven stated, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”

2. Have a high-protein breakfast.

Fewer than six hours of sleep per day is associated with low-grade chronic inflammation and worsening insulin resistance, as well as increased risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). This is a profound finding as a recent cross-sectional study demonstrated that almost one-third of U.S. adults get less than six hours of sleep. Complete proteins (think clean animal meats, eggs, tempeh, or even a quality protein shake) will increase chemicals in the brain that not only improve sleep but also improve your mood. This is all due to a little amino acid called tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is our “feel-good hormone” and makes us feel happy and motivated throughout the day. Serotonin then turns into melatonin, which helps us sleep at night! Without that complete protein at the start of the day, this conversion can’t take place, leaving you tired and moody.

3. Drink more water.

We are over 70 percent water, which is the basic medium of our blood, excretion, and metabolism. In fact, just two glasses of water a day reduces the chance of developing high blood pressure by 28 percent. Adequate hydration can also make or break the strength and resiliency of your active lifestyle. Getting enough fluids helps balance your muscle’s ability to contract and relax, maintains mental clarity, stops you from overheating, and keeps your joints lubricated and flexible.

The problem is that most people think they’re already drinking enough water. I encourage you to really dive into this one a little deeper to see the real scenario playing out. Use an app like Daily Water or grab your favorite 20-ounce glass or stainless-steel water bottle and find out how many times you’d have to fill it up to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water every day.

4. Choose to stand.

For the vast majority of our evolutionary history, we’ve had to exert more physical energy in a given day finding food, shelter, and avoiding danger just to survive. There really wasn’t much need to “work out” every day when daily activities provided this natural movement and exercise. Today, things are much different. Many of us are sitting at a desk or sitting in a car for the majority of the day. Yet we know that too much sitting is associated with numerous problems, ranging from weight gain to osteoporosis to cardiovascular disease. Sitting for more than two hours at a time without taking a short break drastically increases these risk factors.

So what can you do about it? Before you go out and buy a fancy standing desk—let’s remember that we’re focusing on small changes that will have a large ripple effect. So if you didn’t read No. 3 above, take another look because we’re doubling up here: When we actually drink enough water throughout the day, it provides a built-in reminder to stand up and walk every couple of hours. If you’re drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water each day, odds are you are going to have to stand up to use the bathroom every few hours. If you’re not, you’re not drinking enough water and if you’re not drinking enough water, you’re not standing enough. Boom.

5. Detox daily.

Your amazing body is continuously detoxing, and it doesn’t need a fancy juice cleanse of magic grapefruit concoction to do its job. However, the way we treat our bodies and what we put in them can either assist this process or add to the already heavy load our liver carries. Two tiny changes in your day can give your liver a much-appreciated boost in daily detoxification.

First, skip the late-night snacks. The liver’s regenerative cycle is between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. If your body is busy digesting food at this time, it disrupts the detoxification process. Aim for a 10 p.m. bedtime and about 12 hours between dinner and breakfast. Second, add lemon zest to your morning smoothie, daily water, or favorite dressing. Lemon zest has a phytonutrient called d-limonene that supports the liver detoxification enzymes. Invest in a microplane grater to simplify your zesting needs!

6. Eat something fermented every day.

The bacteria found in your gut comprise approximately 2 pounds of your body weight! This is also where about 70 percent of our immune system is housed. Nutritional science is only just beginning to understand the complexity of the microbiome and just how much it has to do with overall health. But no one can deny that the role of the microbiome in overall health is critical.

As Hippocrates stated, “All disease begins in the gut.” Doing just one small thing to love your gut every day will have a major payoff in terms of increased energy, glowing skin, fewer digestive issues, and a trimmer waistline. Pick two or three fermented foods and incorporate just two forkfuls or a few sips of these daily. Sauerkraut alongside some scrambled eggs and guacamole! And remember, a true fermented food will be found in the refrigerated section of the store and will not be made with vinegar—only sea salt and the chosen vegetable and spices.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/these-5-small-changes-just-might-transform-your-health?utm_term=pos-6&utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=180224

Read Full Post »

There are people we are friends with for one major but often maligned or overlooked reason: because we were friends with them some time back. At one stage, it might be decades ago now, we had a lot in common: we were both good at maths but bad at French at school and had a shared liking for table tennis; or we had adjacent rooms at college and used to help each other with assignments and commiserate in the bar about failed dates or maddening parents; or maybe we were interns in the same big firm with the same (as we thought at the time) bizarre and intemperate boss.

But life has taken us on radically different courses. Now they’ve got three young children; they moved to the Orkneys where they are managing a fish farm; they’ve gone into politics and have become a junior minister or they’re working as a ski teacher in the Rocky Mountains. The daily realities of our lives may be miles apart; we may know little of their world and they of ours. If we were introduced today, we’d think each other pleasant enough but would never get close.

Yet it can be hugely helpful and very redemptive to catch up with these people, with a one-on-one dinner, a walk in the woods or the occasional email. These friends function as conduits to earlier versions of ourselves that are inaccessible day-to-day but that contain hugely important insights. In the company of the old friend, we take stock of the journey we have travelled. We get to see how we have evolved, what was once painful, what mattered or what we have wholly forgotten we deeply enjoyed. The old friend is a guardian of memories on which we might otherwise have a damagingly tenuous hold.

We need old friends because of a crucial complexity in human nature. We pass through stages of development and as we do so, discard previous concerns and develop a lack of empathy around past perspectives. At fourteen, we knew a lot about resenting our parents. Twenty years later, the whole idea sounds absurd and ungrateful. Yet the old friend reconnects us with a particular atmosphere and, like a novelist, makes us at home with a character – ourselves – who might otherwise have seemed impossibly alien to us. At twenty-two, we found single life extremely painful. We hung out a lot with a particular friend and shared a litany of wistful, alienated thoughts. At forty-five, with a young family around us, we may find ourselves increasingly curious about being single again and fantasise about the joys of casual hook-ups. The old friend has crucial news to impart. We experience life from a succession of very different vantage points over the decades, but tend – understandably – to be preoccupied only with the present vista, forgetting the particular, incomplete but still crucial wisdom contained in earlier phases. Every age possesses a superior kind of knowledge in some area or other – which it then, usually, forgets to hand on to succeeding selves.

Remembering what it was like not to be who we are now is vital to our growth and integrity. The best professors remain friends with their past. They remember what it was like not to know about their special topic – and so don’t talk over the heads of their students. The best bosses are in touch with their own experience of starting out as a lowly employee; the best politicians clearly recall periods in their lives when they held very different views to the ones they have now formulated, which allows them to persuade, and empathise with, hostile constituencies. Good parents keep emotionally in touch with the feelings of injustice and sensitivity they had in early childhood. Kindly wealthy people remember what it was like not to dare to walk into a fancy food shop for fear of being patronised. We are always better long-term lovers if we have an avenue of loyalty back to who we were when we first met our beloved and were at an apogee of gratitude and modesty.

Old friends are key activators of fascinating and valuable parts of the self that we need, but are always at risk of forgetting we need, in the blinkered present.

Source: http://www.thebookoflife.org/why-old-friends/

Read Full Post »

Photo: Evgenij Yulkin

If you think you’re the only woman who has ever let burnout take a toll on her marriage, I’m here to tell you this: There’s no way that’s the case. The decline in marital happiness can creep up on you so slowly that you almost don’t see it…until you do.

It begins when you start to focus more on your kids than your spouse. You start to forget to say goodbye in the morning when you leave the house, or hello when you return at the end of the day—though you’ve always got a hug and a kiss for the children. Your arguments become focused entirely on the kids—either your husband isn’t doing enough in caring for them or what he tries is always wrong.

And then there’s the fact that you haven’t had sex in weeks (OK, months) because you don’t have time or the desire for sex. You are exhausted, and this exhaustion is one that comes from trying to be the best, to be perfect, to be “super mom” in a world that demands it. The exhaustion leaks into almost every aspect of your marriage to the point where emotional and sexual intimacy is something of the past.

When I see couples in my private practice, all types of parents report this. They say that they are also tired and feel unappreciated and often criticized. The men will usually tell their stories this way; “I used to try all the time, but nothing seemed to make her happy, so I started giving up. The only thing she seems to care about is the kids, so I figure this is our new normal.”

It is no secret that both men and women are experiencing stress at very high rates, with women reporting slightly higher levels of stress than men. Consistently over time, we see gender differences in not only what stresses us out but what helps relieve that stress. Here is a quick reference guide to stress management techniques that work for women and men.


Women do well when they move. This means brisk, regular activity that you find joyful. This can be a walk in the park, a dance class, or kickboxing. Whatever it is, it should make you smile, not fill you with dread. What is most important is that you do it consistently, because just 20 minutes a day has real stress-relieving health benefits.

Reach out to a friend.

What women tend to do in their marriages is rely on their husbands to be their best (girl) friend. And while certainly he may be your best friend, he isn’t your best female friend. His attention span may be shorter, his empathy lower, and his tendency to want to solve your every perceived problem annoys you. So be sure you lean on your female friends for the emotional support that only your best friend can give you.

Nourish yourself with healthy foods.

You know you don’t feel great when you’re picking off your kids’ plates or eating the leftovers from breakfast or lunch. When you are stressed out, you tend to eat on the go, which only makes you feel physically and emotionally sluggish. So when you are feeling too tense, take that extra minute to eat a whole meal or grab something nutritious for your busy day. Your ability to handle stress when well-fed and hydrated is far better, just like your kids do better when they are well-fed and hydrated.

Do something productive.

While women like to talk things out, men generally like to do something productive while under stress. Men, consider this your permission slip to take on a project, work out, or fix a few things around the house. This is a great way to channel stress energy.

Focus on your friendships.

Men have fewer friends in married adulthood than their wives, and they are getting increasingly lonelier. Men let friendships go when they partner, reporting feeling “fulfilled enough” by their wives. However, just as a husband can’t fill the same void as a female friend, you aren’t his buddy either. Men need friendships outside their marriage.

Get enough sleep.

Studies suggest that men experience less deep, slow waves of sleep than women do and that they generally function worse than women when sleep-deprived. In order to deal with the multiple stresses of the day, men need to protect those valuable hours, even minutes of sleep. Men tend to go to bed later and function by day on coffee, which sets up a smaller reserve of patience and less fuel for creative problem solving when confronted with stress.

Last but not least, together as a couple, you have to find ways to focus on your marriage in order to preserve it. Make sure your bedroom is a sacred space, which means no eating meals there, no working there, no having the whole family sleeping there. Set time aside to speak every day, alone. And talk about something besides the children. Ask each other questions about your feelings, thoughts about your work, or simply how your day went.

Get back to showing basic affection; don’t multitask for just a few minutes while together. Make date nights a regular occurrence as much as you can, and make that time about the two of you. Find something you used to love doing together, even if it is something simple, and go do it again—alone, without your kids. To push the burnout away, you have to reestablish yourselves as a unit, not just in service of the children but as two adults who came together because you loved each other and enjoyed being together enough to create a family.

Source: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/how-to-avoid-mom-burnout-so-your-marriage-doesnt-suffer?utm_term=pos-5&utm_source=mbg&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=180223

Read Full Post »

Does Anesthesia Cause Memory Problems in Adults?

Credit: Shutterstock

“Going under” for surgery might lead to future memory problems, but any effects appear to be small, a new study suggests.

Middle-age adults who underwent surgery using general anesthesia performed slightly worse on memory tests afterward, according to the study, published today (Feb. 22) in the journal Anaesthesia. The people in the study had no signs of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, or even mild cognitive impairment, before the surgery.

However, though the changes were noticeable for researchers, “the cognitive changes after surgery are small — most probably asymptomatic and beneath a person’s awareness,” study author Dr. Kirk Hogan, a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, said in a statement.

The study analyzed participants from the Wisconsin Registry for Alzheimer’s Prevention (WRAP), in which middle-age people underwent a battery of psychological and cognitive tests over several points in time. The average age of people in the WRAP was 54 years old.

The researchers identified 312 people in this group who had had one or more surgeries using general anesthesia and compared them with 652 participants who had not. (The team excluded those who had neurological or heart surgery, both of which can affect cognitive performance). All of the participants had normal cognitive functioning at the start of the study.

On average, those who went under general anesthesia had small declines in their immediate memory over four years, compared with those who did not have. In addition, people who spent more time under general anesthesia (for longer surgeries) showed greater declines in executive functioning, which includes skills such as planning and focusing. However, these changes were small — for instance, those who had surgery had a one-point drop in immediate memory, out of a possible 30 points.

“The evidence is increasing, albeit indirect, that there is, at the time of surgery, a combination of factors that lead to a reduction in cognitive performance,” said Dr. Beverley Orser, a professor of physiology and anesthesia at the University of Toronto, who was not involved in the study.

Still, the study can’t directly tie memory declines to anesthesia; the underlying condition, other aspects of surgery, or other unknown factors could also be responsible for those declines, Orser told Live Science.

For instance, when someone breaks a leg, their body releases inflammatory chemicals, such as cytokines, which then travel to the brain and worsen its performance, Orser said. So, if that person has cognitive declines after surgery, is it the surgery, the anesthesia or the original injury that’s to blame, Orser asked.

Other studies tying anesthesia and surgery to memory problems have found conflicting results. For instance, a 2016 study in the journal Anesthesia found significant post-surgery declines in cognitive function in older adults, especially if they started out with cognitive impairment. And a study published Feb. 19 in the journal JAMA Neurology found high levels of chemical markers of brain cell damage in patients who had surgery under anesthesia. However, not all studies find a link between anesthesia and cognition. For instance, a study of more than 8,000 elderly and middle-age twins found a negligible difference in cognition if one twin had surgery.

Source: https://www.livescience.com/61830-anesthesia-may-affect-memory.html

Read Full Post »


doctor examining pregnant woman

 There’s some good news for expecting moms who are trying to weather a brutal flu season — a new study shows that getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy causes no harm to newborns.

Researchers reviewed records on more than 400,000 infants born between 2004 and 2014, and found no increased risk of infant hospitalization or death following maternal inoculation during pregnancy with either the flu vaccine or Tdap (tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis, or whooping cough) vaccine.

The study provides the longest-term look at the vaccines’ effect on newborn health, with the babies followed out to 6 months of life, said study author Dr. Lakshmi Sukumaran, a pediatric infectious disease researcher with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We didn’t expect to find any increased risk in these infants,” Sukumaran said. “We wanted to do this study because pregnant women are especially concerned about how any exposures during pregnancy could negatively impact their children.

“We wanted to provide reassurance that these vaccines, which are recommended for every woman during pregnancy, aren’t creating a risk for the baby,” she added.

A flu shot is recommended for every person older than 6 months in the United States, even though the CDC reported on Thursday that this year’s vaccine is only 25 percent effective against H3N2 influenza, the cause of most illness so far this season.

That recommendation holds, the CDC says, because the vaccine is more effective against the three other major strains of flu virus, potentially preventing a second round of flu caused by another strain. Every flu shot a person receives also adds to their long-term immunity.

Additionally, among children ages 6 months to 8 years old, this year’s vaccine’s effectiveness is 59 percent, the agency reported.

“The flu vaccine is recommended at any point during pregnancy,” Sukumaran said. “It’s not too late to get the vaccine this season.”

Expecting mothers are advised to get the flu shot because their immune system undergoes changes during pregnancy intended to protect the unborn fetus. “These changes also predispose women to an increased severity of influenza during pregnancy,” Sukumaran said.

Pregnant women are five times more likely to die of influenza, and they also are at increased risk of flu complications and hospitalization due to their infection, she said.

The flu shot also helps their baby. The antibodies generated by the mom’s immune response are shared with the fetus, providing it protection during the critical first six months of life, Sukumaran said.

The same goes for the Tdap vaccine. “Most deaths from pertussis are in very, very young babies who aren’t eligible to get the vaccine,” Sukumaran said. “Vaccinating the mom is a way to protect both the mom and her baby.”

To assess the safety of the flu and Tdap vaccines, Sukumaran and her colleagues gathered information from the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a collaboration between the CDC and eight health care systems across the nation.

From the database, the researchers found records on more than 413,000 live births between 2004 and 2014. Of those newborns, 25,222 were hospitalized and 157 died within the first six months of life.

Comparing babies born of vaccinated and unvaccinated moms, the researchers found no association between infant deaths or hospitalizations within the first six months of life and either the influenza or Tdap vaccine.

“Hopefully, the study will help to increase immunization rates of pregnant women as they — and the fetus they are carrying — are at particular risk for severe complications of these vaccine-preventable infections,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

“Influenza is particularly concerning as pregnant women are disproportionally at risk for complications that range from pneumonia to miscarriage to death,” Adalja said.

The new study was published online Feb. 19 in the journal Pediatrics.

More information

The Mayo Clinic has more about vaccination during pregnancy.

SOURCES: Lakshmi Sukumaran, M.D., M.P.H., pediatric infectious disease researcher, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Amesh Adalja, M.D., senior scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, Baltimore; Feb. 19, 2018, Pediatrics, online

Source: https://consumer.healthday.com/infectious-disease-information-21/flu-news-314/flu-shot-during-pregnancy-poses-no-harm-to-baby-731221.html

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »