Sunday, December 27, 2009

Heart Disease - Causes Symptoms and Treatments

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America among both men and women, yet it is one of the most preventable of modern diseases. Heart disease is a blanket term for many conditions, including coronary heart disease, congenital heart disease, ischemic heart disease and hypertensive heart disease.

Ischemic heart disease, or coronary heart disease is caused by atherosclerosis in the arteries of the heart. Atherosclerosis occurs when arteries become lined with deposits of cholesterol, fat and calcium (called plaque) causing a loss in elasticity of the walls of the blood vessels. As a result, arteries become stiff and narrow which may cause an insufficiency of blood supply reaching the muscles of the heart. This can lead to angina and heart attack.

Angina is pain or discomfort in the chest caused by an loss of blood flow to the heart muscle. It may be a squeezing pain or feel like pressure. It can also cause pain in the arms, shoulders, neck, jaw or back. It may even mimic indigestion. Angina is a symptom of coronary heart disease and there are three types of angina: stable, unstable and variant. Having any form of angina could mean you are more likely to suffer a heart attack, but unstable angina, that occurs without physical exertion and is not relieved by rest or medication, is an indicator that a heart attack may be imminent.

If you suffer any of the symptoms of a heart attack, seek emergency care by calling 911 within five minutes, do not wait. The symptoms of a heart attack include:

* Chest pain or discomfort in the chest
* Discomfort or pain in other areas of the body, such as the neck, jaw, arms, back or stomach
* Shortness of breath
* Feeling faint
* Nausea
* Indigestion

You can reduce your risk of heart disease or prevent it by maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. Following these simple guidelines will help you avoid being another heart disease statistic:

* Don't smoke
* Maintain a healthy weight
* Eat a diet low in fats and include a variety of fruits and vegetables
* Have your cholesterol tested
* Know your blood pressure.
* Be checked for diabetes
* Get regular exercise. You should aim for 30 minutes of exercise per week.

Other conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure and high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. If you have any of these conditions, you should get regular check-ups, follow your doctor's advice and take any medication prescribed. Taking the right steps today will ensure healthier tomorrows.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

HRT May Cause Brain Shrinkage

Although Hormone Replacement Therapy has been vindicated of many charges laid at its feet in past years, and is now again recommended for many women, there is a new and disturbing set of studies that indicate it may still pose a risk to women, this time in the area of cognitive function.

The new studies showed that in women 65 and over who took HRT, there was a greater shrinking of brain mass in the frontal lobe and the hippocampus. Shrinking of the hippocampus is considered to be a risk factor for dementia.

Reseachers advise that women who are at risk or show signs of cognitive difficulties or dementia before taking HRT are probably at greater risk than those who have no symptoms prior to being on hormone therapy. However, doctors are advised to prescribe HRT only if necessary for symptom treatment and for the shortest time period possible to avoid acceleration of cognitive deficits in older women.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Vitamin D and Heart Health

We all know that Vitamin D is necessary to absorb calcium and build strong bones, but now it appears that Vitamin D can be important for your heart's health.

A study from Intermountain Medical Center links Vitsmin D deficiency with an increased risk of stroke, heart disease and death.

The study followed over 27,000 patients aged 50 or older who had no prior history of cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that patients who had very low levels of Vitamin D were 77 percent more likely to die, 45 percent more likely to develop coronary artery disease and 78 percent more likely to have a stroke than patients who had normal levels of Vitamin D.

Because recent studies have also linked Vitamin D to the regulation of many other bodily functions including blood pressure, glucose control, and inflammation, researchers postulated that Vitamin D deficiency may also play a role in heart disease.

Vitamin D deficiencies are easily treated, so the results of this study may have wide-reaching impact for patients at risk.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Women's Magazines Depict Babies in Unsafe Sleep Positions

Babies could be at greater risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) if their mothers mimic sleep positions seen in some magazine photographs.

More than one-third of photos in women's magazines showed babies in unsafe sleep positions. Some photos also depicted other hazards such as soft bedding. The findings come from a study conducted by SIDS researchers Rachel Moon, MD, a pediatrician, and Brandi Joyner at Children’s National Medical Center.

To reduce the risk of SIDS, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be placed on their backs when sleeping, on a separate sleep surface from their parents, without blankets, pillows, or other soft bedding.

Mothers should be aware of the guidelines regarding safe sleep positions for babies, and be aware that what they see depicted in magazines and other media may not be what is best or safe for their babies.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. The number of diabetes cases increased by 90 percent over the past decade and in 2007, diabetes killed 300,000 Americans.

Although type 1 diabetes is often genetic, type 2 diabetes is often the result of lifestyle choices. Diet, exercise and weight all play a role in the prevention or development of type 2 diabetes.

Awareness of your risk factors for diabetes and prevention are key. Healthy lifestyle choices can help you avoid the onset of type 2 diabetes. For more information, speak to your health care provider or contact the American Diabetes Association.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Causes and Symptoms of Toxic Shock Syndrome

You've probably heard of Toxic Shock Syndrome, or TSS, but you may not know all the warning signs. If you've read the informational insert in a box of tampons, you're aware that women using super-absorbent tampons are at higher risk for TSS but may not understand why. The reasons aren't clear - it may be that the tampon creates a breeding ground for the bacteria, or that the tampon causes scratches in the vagina that allow the bacteria to get into the bloodstream. But the statistics indicate the risk is great, so be aware of the symptoms and signs of TSS.

Toxic Shock Syndrome Definition:

- infection with toxin-producing staphylococci, occurring most often in the vagina of menstruating women using superabsorbent tampons but also prevalent in many soft tissue infections and characterized by high fever, vomiting, diarrhea, a scarlatiniform rash followed by desquamation, and decreasing blood pressure and shock, which can result in death; hyperemia of the conjunctival, oropharyngeal, and vaginal mucous membranes also occurs.

Signs and Symptoms of TSS:

* Sudden high fever (first symptom)
* Vomiting
* Diarrhea
* Sunburn-like skin rash, often in the palms and soles
* Fainting
* Redness of eyes, mouth and throat
* Muscle aches
* Dizziness
* Hypotension
* Confusion
* Seizures
* Headaches

If you have suffered a burn injury or wound infection, or have just been using tampons and you suffer any of the symptoms listed above, contact your doctor immediately.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Breast Cancer Awareness

Just a reminder that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All women should be aware of self-exam techniques and consult their health care practitioners to find out what is the proper mammogram schedule for them.

Remember, timely screening and early detection are your first and best defense against breast cancer.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Caffeine After Exercise Restores Glycogen

If you've been following the news about coffee, you will have seen reports on its many health benefits which include lowering your risk of Parkinson's Disease, Diabetes Type 2 and colon cancer. But for athletes and those who enjoy a strenuous workout, there's even more good news.

A recent study shows that those who ingest caffeine and carbohydrates replenish the glycogen in their muscles much more quickly. Glycogen is the muscle's primary energy souce during exercise and is burned off as the muscles are used.

In the study, participants who ingested a drink that contained carbohydrate plus caffeine had 66% more glycogen in their muscles four hours after finishing intense, glycogen-depleting exercise, compared to when they consumed carbohydrate alone, according to the study, published by The American Physiological Society.

The researchers found the following:

*one hour after exercise, muscle glycogen levels had replenished to the same extent whether or not the athlete had the drink containing carbohydrate and caffeine or carbohydrate only

*four hours after exercise, the drink containing caffeine resulted in 66% higher glycogen levels compared to the carbohydrate-only drink

*throughout the four-hour recovery period, the caffeinated drink resulted in higher levels of blood glucose and plasma insulin

*several signaling proteins believed to play a role in glucose transport into the muscle were elevated to a greater extent after the athletes ingested the carbohydrate-plus-caffeine drink, compared to the carbohydrate-only drink.

Read the press release at the American Physiological Society.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Power of Positive Thinking

Could a good attitude be the key to good health? A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association indicates that optimism may lower women's risk of death and disease.

Researchers found that optimistic women have a lower risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or depressive symptoms. Conversely, pessimistic women were at a higher risk of dying from any cause, although their risk of developing heart disease was not altered.

"As a physician, I'd like to see people try to reduce their negativity in general," said Hilary A. Tindle, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. "The majority of evidence suggests that sustained, high degrees of negativity are hazardous to health."

Optimism was also associated with more active lifestyles and optimistic women were less likely to smoke.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Stress Relievers: Birdwatching

Life can be very stressful and hectic. One of the easiest ways to improve your overall health is to find ways of easing that stress. A nature walk or even taking time to observe nature is one way to wash away the stresses of the day. Spring and early summer are wonderful times for bird-watching, as many species of birds that were absent all winter come flooding back to nest and feed.

A well-placed bird feeder can attract many different and colorful birds right in view of your windows. For instance, this is the peak time of year for viewing hummingbirds as they make their annual migration north of their tropical winter homes. Hummingbirds have wings that are attached only at the shoulders, allowing for an amazing 180 degree range of motion. They flap these wings rapidly, anywhere from 20 - 90 times per second, which makes the distinctive humming sound that they take their name from. Their high metabolism requires special nutrition.

You can attract hummingbirds with a special glass hummingbird feeder. These feeders are both attractive and designed specifically for the needs of hummingbirds, whose beaks are generally long and straight. These lovely feeders will make an attractive addition to your yard and bring these beautiful birds into close view.

A birdfeed makes a great gift for anyone who loves birdwatching, or an educational gift for those with children. Birdwatching is a great way to learn about nature and relieve stress.

Stable Marriages Bring Better Sleep for Women

Women in a stable marriage sleep better than unmarried women according to research presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

An eight year study showed that women who were in stable marriages or who had gained a partner during the course of the study, had better sleep than women who were unmarried or who had lost a partner during the study's eight years.

Marital stability and happiness appear to lower a woman's risk of sleep problems but a difficult relationship or being single heightens the risk of suffering from sleep disorders.

The results were obtained by using in-home sleep studies. The participants also wore wrist monitors that recorded behaviors that could indicate sleep/wake cycles.

Friday, June 12, 2009

More Cases of MS in UK than Previously Thought

A new study just released shows that there are many more people in the UK who have Multiple Sclerosis that previously thought, about 20% more. The total number of people in the UK living with MS is most likely around 100,000.

Multiple Sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system, which can lead to severe disability.

Researchers previously estimated the number of those with MS to be around 85,000. Having better information on how many people have MS is essential to providing care and services.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Preparing for a Nursing Career

Nursing can be an exciting and rewarding career. Nurses are directly involved in patient care, making a difference in the lives of others every day. Whether you are currently considering a fulfilling career in nursing or whether you are already working in the nursing field, you want to immerse yourself in your chosen profession, make good choices about your career, impact the lives of others and still have a full personal life. All of this is possible as a nurse.

One of the first considerations is where are the best places to be a nurse? Armed with information on locations that offer the best positions and pay, you will be able to find the hospital and position that is right for you.

Nurses are always in demand, a fact that gives you options when deciding where to apply. When you find your dream job in nursing, here's an article that will prepare you and help you get the position you want with interview tips for nurses.

Nurses aren't the starched, white matrons of yesteryear anymore. There is wide choice now that gives nurses the chance to express their own personality. Here's a little help in finding those in style scrubs you've been looking for.

As our population ages, the need for qualified nurses will continue to grow into the future. A career in nursing offers the opportunity for a life of helping others while experiencing personal and financial rewards.

Downward Trend in Healthy Living

Despite the increased focus on health, eating right and getting exercise, it seems that fewer Americans are choosing to follow a healthy lifestyle according to a report to be published in the June 2009 issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

There are numerous studies that link unhealthy habits with numerous diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but Americans are not moderating their diets to follow healthier guidelines and in some cases, the rates of some unhealthy risk factors have gone up.

According the the researchers at the Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, the results of a study involving adults 40 to 74 years old showed a downward trend in following healthy lifestyles.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Amazing Organic Tomato

It seems that every day we hear more about the health benefits of tomatoes. Not only are they an excellent choice to include in your 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day, tomatoes are rich in Lycopene. Lycopene is an important antioxidant which has been shown to prevent certain cancers by staving off cancerous cell growth.

Of course, the best and tastiest tomatoes come straight from the garden. Growing tomatoes is not without its pitfalls - garden pests can pose a serious threat to your harvest. But don't go out and get toxic pesticides, you can grow your tomatoes organically and still control insects and pests that try to devour your crop before you get it to the table.

This organic tomato growing kit from Safer Brand may be one of the best tools any new gardener could have. This kit comes with everything you need for a successful tomato growing season.

The Stake It Easy plant staking system gives you an adjustable staking and support system that can be easily configured to your needs. It's expandable and reaches a height of 6 feet to support your tomato vines as they grow and keep precious fruit high off the ground.

An important element of the tomato growing kit is the Safer Brand Tomato and Vegetable Insect Killer.

The insect killer is OMRI Listed organic and safe for your organic garden while being completely effective against aphids, asparagus beetles, bean beetles, cabbage loopers, caterpillars, Colorado potato beetles, cucumber beetles, diamond-backed moth, flea beetles, imported cabbage worms, leaf hoppers, plant bugs, tomato hornworm and whiteflies.

This season, keep your garden pest-free without harmful pesticides and enjoy a rich, organic harvest that's full of vitamins and essential nutrients for good health.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Comfrey Root Extract Ointment Found Effective for Back Pain

An ointment that contains an extract of comfrey root was found to effectively relieve back pain in a study of 120 people with upper or lower back pain. The study is to be published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The topical application of the ointment relieved the intensity of pain in 95% of those using it, while only 39% of those using a placebo cream reported any pain relief.

The ointment also worked quickly, relieving pain intensity in about an hour following application.

The study involved 60 individuals between the ages of 18 and 60. The study indicated that comfrey root was more effective than anti-flammatory creams for the relief of muscle and joint pain.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Asbestosis and Mesothelioma

You may think that since the dangers of asbestos became known, that the diseases that result from asbestos exposure disappeared. However, there are many workers who were exposed during the courses of their working careers, and other occupations that still present a danger to workers. In fact, asbestos-related diseases are responsible for 10,000 deaths per year.

Asbetosis is a chronic disease of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure. The lungs suffer scarring from inhaled asbestos fibers. The body's immune system tries to remove these foreign bodies and inflammation occurs. This leads to worsening shortness of breath and in severe cases, respiratory failure. It may also lead to lung cancer and mesothelioma.

The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years after asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is difficult to detect in its early stages. Severe symptoms may not appear until the late stages of the disease, at which point the patient's life expectancy may be less than one year.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you face difficult times. There is a stressful and emotional toll of the disease on the family. Finances may be stressed as well. In times like this you may decide you need the services of a Mesothelioma Lawyer to advise you and your family. A lawyer familiar with mesothelioma can provide you with information on your legal rights and more.


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Link Found Between Hot Flashes and Bone Density

Women who are going through the changes that perimenopause and menopause brings know that symptoms may vary in intensity and frequency. Some of those changes and symptoms may be severe enough to interfere with daily activities and enjoyment of life.

Hot flashes, even when mild, are annoying and uncomfortable. But they may signal a bigger problem that women need to address quickly. If your menopause symptoms include hot flashes, you could be losing bone mineral density.

A study at UCLA of postmenopausal women found that women who suffer from vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes and night sweats, also had lower bone mineral density in the spine and hip.

The research analyzed data from more than 2,000 women between the ages of 42 and 52. The study also found that premenopausal women and perimenopausal women who had hot flashes showed signs of lower femoral neck bone density.

The correlation between hot flashes and bone loss means that women who are experiencing vasomotor symptoms must be vigilant about their health care and protecting themselves from osteoporosis. Bone scans are the most effective way of detecting bone loss. Regular bone scans are encouraged as even perimenopausal women can suffer bone loss.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Banish Mosquitoes with Mosquito Magnet

Summer is almost here and the warm weather affords us numerous opportunities to enjoy being outdoors. Whether you're planning family barbecues in the backyard, working in the garden or just watching the children play, be aware that you aren't the only ones who will be spending more time in your yard. Summer, with it's warm days, brings mosquitoes, who enjoy feasting on you just as much as you enjoy those juicy burgers right off the grill.

Mosquitoes are annoying little pests that can ruin your enjoyment outdoors and leave you with itchy welts, but there are more important reasons for keeping mosquitoes away from you during outdoor activities. Mosquitoes are well-known carriers of diseases, some of which are deadly. Malaria, Dengue Fever and Yellow Fever are all carried by mosquitoes. Closer to home, your family could be at risk from mosquitoes carrying heartworm, West Nile Virus or one of the Arboviral Encephelatides. Outbreaks of Eastern Equine Encephalitis are common in the northeast US, while southeastern states are at increased risk for heartworm as spread by mosquitoes.

So, what can you do to reduce your risk and annoyance from mosquitoes? One method that has gained in popularity and has been rated favorably by users is the Mosquito Magnet. The Mosquito Magnet attracts mosquitoes and collects them, keeping them away from you and your family. There are no pesticides involved, the only chemical the mosquito magnet emits is the same one that you do when you exhale - carbon dioxide.

If you live in an area where the mosquito population is heavy or there are seasonal outbreaks of disease due to mosquitoes, I suggest you go to the site and read the mosquito magnet review page. Here you will find reviews of the machine from actual users and stories of their success in keeping mosquitoes from ruining their outdoor activities.

Safeguard your family's health by learning about mosquitoes, the diseases they carry and most importantly, how to control these pests and keep them away.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Swine Flu Symptoms

The news is full of stories about the possibility of pandemic with the new strain of Swine Flu that has spread so rapidly across borders. Swine Flu normally does not infect people but the current outbreak is caused by a new virus that has changed in ways that make it possible for it to spread from person to person.

Symptoms of Swine Flu:

*Sore Throat
*Runny Nose
*Body Aches

Some people with Swine Flu may also experience vomiting and diarrhea. Because these symptoms are like the symptoms of regular flu, only your doctor can tell if you have Swine Flu or some other strain by ordering a lab test.

Generally, if you are suffering symptoms of flu, call your doctor. Those in the higher risk categories should see their doctors right away.

High Risk Groups:

* People with heart disease or risk factors for heart disease
* Pregnant women
* Young children, especially those under 12 months of age
* People with chronic diseases
* People taking immune suppressing drugs, such as cancer chemotherapy or anti-rejection drugs for transplants
* People with HIV infection

If you have flu symptoms, do not go to work. Stay home and keep the risk of spreading infection low by covering your nose and mouth if you cough or sneeze and by washing your hands often. Call your doctor, he or she will determine if you need to be checked or if a lab test should be done for Swine Flu. If the test is positive, your doctor may prescribe Tamiflu or Relenza, two antiviral medications that have been shown to be effective against Swine Flu.

Monday, May 4, 2009

PMDD Symptoms and Treatment

Every woman has had some symptoms of PMS - the bloating, cramps and discomfort that arrive shortly before your period. But when symptoms associated with the menstrual cycle become so severe that they interfere with your daily activities and your quality of life, then it may be that you have PMDD, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder.

Common symptoms of PMDD include:

*Mood Swings
*Sleep disorders
*Difficulty concentrating
*Irritability or anger
*Loss of interest
*Changes in appetite
*Breast tenderness

PMDD is diagnosed when a patient has at least five of the above symptoms and when they occur for most of the 7 days prior to menstruation and go away within a few days of the start of the patient's period.

PMDD can be treated with dietary changes, exercise and with some medications to relieve symptoms of cramping and bloating. A doctor may prescribe anti-anxiety medication if needed. Hormones may also be used if the condition is severe.

Only your doctor can diagnose PMDD. If you are suffering at least five of the listed symptoms, which last for several days prior to your period and which are severe enough to interfere with your work or social activities, please consult your health care practitioner.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Organic Deer Control

You may not be the only one who enjoys the succulent fruits of your labor when it comes to your garden - rabbits, squirrels and even deer may come to nibble on your nutritious harvest. But how can you discourage these animals from destroying your garden without injuring the animals or putting dangerous chemicals on your fruits, vegetables or ornamental shrubs and trees? How about with a deer repellent that is effective but completely safe?


Deer Off is product that will keep your garden safe and organic while discouraging those hungry critters who might want to stop by for a snack. Havahart Deer Off uses natural ingredients like putrescent egg, garlic and capsaicin to create a scent that will repel deer, rabbits and squirrels. And if they get by the smell, the taste will keep them from considering making a meal out of your garden.

Deer represent not only a danger to your garden and ornamental shrubs but may expose you and your family to deer ticks and the possibility of Lyme disease. Keeping deer off your lawn and out of your garden is easy with the Havahart Deer Off Battery-Powered Sprayer. It comes with 64 ounces of safe, organic and effective deer repellant that will treat up to 1000 square feet.

Safe for you, wildlife, your garden and the environment, Deer Off is the safe and responsible solution to your wildlife problems.

You can learn about deer control and more at the Havahart website.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Vigorous Exercise Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer in Post Menopausal Women

Vigorous exercise can dramatically reduce the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer in women. A study conducted by researchers at the National Cancer Insitute found a definite link between physical activity and the incidence of post-menopausal breast cancer.

Vigorous exercise includes activities such as:

* heavy housework like scrubbing floors and washing windows
* garden digging
* chopping wood
* strenuous sports and exercise, including running, fast jogging and aerobics
* cycling on hills
* fast dancing

Less strenuous activities such as vacuuming, or general gardening were not rated as vigorous. Sports such as golf or cycling on flat areas were also not considered vigorous.

Prospective study of physical activity and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Walnuts May Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

When looking for a healthy snack, reach for walnuts. Walnuts are a better choice than crackers, chips or candy and a new study suggests they may even lower your risk of breast cancer.

Studies on mice showed a lower incidence of breast cancer in mice who were fed walnuts. Although tests in mice do not always correlate with human results, scientists believe that the omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols in walnuts may have a beneficial effect for humans too, and recommend walnuts as a healthy way to snack.

The findings of the study were presented to the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research by Dr Elaine Hardman, associate professor of medicine at Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Taking Oral Contraceptives May Decrease Muscle Gains

If you're taking oral contraceptives, your hours at the gym may be less productive. A new study at Texas A & M indicates that women taking oral contraceptive pills make fewer gains in lean muscle mass than women who do the same amount of resistance exercise training but do not use oral contraceptives.

The study involving 73 women aqged 18-31 set participants in a whole-body resistance exercise program for ten weeks. 34 took oral contraceptives and 39 did not. Their diets were monitored for protein intake that would support muscle growth.

There were significant differences in lean muscle mass gains between the two groups.

According to the researchers, "We were surprised at the magnitude of differences in muscle gains between the two groups, with the non-OC women gaining more than 60% greater muscle mass than their OC counterpart." They added that even though the study has observed negative effects of oral contraceptive use on muscle gain in the context of resistance exercise training, "future studies are needed to help explain the reasons behind the results."

Source: American Physiological Society (APS)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Keeping Your Home Garden Organic

Having a home garden is a wonderful way to get fresh air, sunshine, exercise and most importantly, fresh and wholesome fruits and vegetables for your dinner table. Homegrown veggies are delicious and nutritious. Imagine slicing into a ripe, red tomato that's fresh from your garden, just bursting with sunshine and Vitamin C.

Of course, there are lots of insects and other pests that also want to share in the delights your garden offers. There are many products that will reduce or eliminate the insects that nibble on your plants and consume your vegetables, but you don't want to add chemicals to your nutritious harvest. Who wants to feed their family chemical pesticides?

There's a better way, using organic pest control. Safer® Brand Bug Patrol is a product that can eliminate the bug problem while safekeeping the organic nature of your home garden.

In fact, organic bug patrol kills over 40 insects so you can keep your whole yard free of bugs. Protect your plants, flowers and vegetables from insects while keeping your yard a relaxing and safe place to spend your leisure time. With organic bug patrol, you can make your yard and garden safe for you, but let bugs know they aren't welcome.

Don't take chances with your family's health. Keep your yard free of bugs and dangerous chemicals by using an all-organic product like Bug Patrol.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Depression a Risk Factor for Heart Disease in Women

Women who suffer severe depression may be at greater risk for cardiac events, including sudden cardiac death and coronary heart disease, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

A study involving 63,469 women with no previous history of heart disease or stroke, revealed that depression indicated a higher risk of sudden cardiac events, and those with clinical depression were more than twice as likely to suffer sudden cardiac death.

A significant part of the heightened risk for cardiac events seems to be explained by the fact that coronary heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and smoking were more common among women with more severe depressive symptoms

The study found that women with more severe depressive symptoms or those who reported taking antidepressants were at higher risk for SCD and fatal CHD.

"We can't say antidepressant medications were the cause of higher risk of sudden cardiac death. It may well be that use of antidepressants is a marker for worse depression".

The study findings highlight the need for women with depression to monitored closely for risk factors associated with coronary heart disease. Risk factors for coronary heart disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and smoking were found to be more common in women with depressive symptoms.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Diagnostic Errors and Prevention

According to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, diagnostic errors represent a much larger source of preventable health problems and deaths than do medication errors or wrong-site surgeries.

The authors, David Newman-Toker, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D., state that 40,000 - 80,000 hospital deaths per year are attributable to misdiagnosis, and that this problem needs to receive more attention. Other types of hospital errors are often cited in safety reform, but claims of misdiagnosis, or diagnoses that are delayed, are twice as common as medication errors.

Some of the suggestions for improving the situation is to provide doctors with symptom checklists or computer programs called “diagnostic decision-support systems” to assist physicians in assessing symptoms and risks. They also recommend automatic second-looks at x-rays and CT scans, to help avoid missed diagnoses.

Source: Johns Hopkins

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Benefits of Infrared Saunas

The word "sauna" is from ancient Finnish. The Finns invented the sauna and it has been a tradition for many centuries. Originally, the word meant a small room or house created as a place to experience sessions of dry or wet heat.

Nowadays there is a choice in saunas, infrared saunas are often used for several reasons, one of which is that they can produce a deeper penetration of heat into the body but at a much lower temperature than conventional saunas.

There are numerous health benefits to using a sauna, in fact, many doctors suggest sauna therapy for patients with arthritis and joint pain. It's been proven that saunas draw out toxins from the body through sweat and increase blood flow and circulation.

Since the penetration of heat into the body is the essential therapeutic benefit of the sauna, the far infrared sauna is a superior choice since the infrared sauna produces warmth that penetrates a depth of 1 1/2 inches into the tissues.

The sauna not only makes you feel good, it is also good for you. People report having lost weight and experiencing less pain and improved muscle function. If you're interested in having your own sauna, investigate infrared saunas for deep penetrating heat therapy.

Marital Strain Harms Women's Health

Strain in a marriage relationship is more likely to harm a woman's health than a man's, according to a new study from the University of Utah.

Marital trouble and unhappiness puts women at a higher risk of depression, high blood pressure, obesity and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome.

Men in a strained marriage were susceptible to depression, but women are at more risk for the more serious health issues such as metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome comprises five symptoms: high blood pressure, obesity around the waist, high blood sugar, high blood fats and low levels of good cholesterol or HDL. A person with these symptoms is at much higher risk of becoming diabetic, developing heart disease or having a stroke than a person that does not have them.

But just because the strain of frequent conflict, argument and anger in a poor marriage is detrimental to health is not necessarily a reason to divorce, as divorce is also associated with coronary disease. The goal of the study was to see if improving marriages would improve health.

...previous research has already shown that women are "more sensitive and responsive to relationship problems than men".

"The results of this study suggest those problems could harm their health...improving aspects of intimate relationships might help your emotional and physical well-being"

Saturday, February 28, 2009

FDA Issues Warning on Raptiva

Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes red scaly patches on the skin and can affect the joints. In plaque psoriasis, there are raised areas of inflamed, scaly skin covered with silvery white, scaly skin. Psoriatic patients taking the drug, Raptiva, should be aware of the following important information.

On February 19, 2009, the FDA issued a warning to patients taking the psoriasis drug Raptive. The FDA update reported three confirmed cases and one possible case of Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) in patients who were taking the drug Raptiva for more than three years. The patients were prescribed Raptiva for the treatment of moderate to severe plaque psoriasis. There were three deaths amongst these cases.

PML is a rare, serious, progressive neurologic disease caused by a virus that affects the central nervous system. It usually occurs in people with weakened immune systems. PML often leads to irreversible decline in neurologic function and death. There is no known cure.

The FDA warning to healthcare providers states the following:
* Raptiva increases the risk of PML. Longer, continuous use may further increase this risk.
* There are no known screening tests that can reliably predict PML or medical interventions that can prevent or treat this disease.
* Patients treated with Raptiva should be periodically re-evaluated to ensure that the benefit of treatment continues to outweigh the risks. Consideration should be given to use of other approved therapies to control the patients’ psoriasis.
* The effects of periodic or intermittent use of Raptiva, or the concomitant use of other immunosuppressant drugs on the risk for PML is not known.

If you have been taking Raptiva and have developed PML as a result, there is important information you should be aware of at .


Alcohol Associated with Higher Cancer Risk in Women

Middle-aged women who consume even only moderate amounts of alchohol, as little as one drink per day, increase their risk for cancer according to a report in the February 24 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The risk of any type of cancer increases with increasing alcohol consumption, as did the risk of some specific types of cancer, including cancer of the breast, rectum, and liver. The type of alcohol consumed, even red wine, did not affect the cancer risk.

"Although the magnitude of the excess absolute risk associated with one additional drink per day may appear small for some cancer sites, the high prevalence of moderate alcohol drinking among women in many populations means that the proportion of cancers attributable to alcohol is an important public health issue," the authors write.

There has been previously reported to be a cardiovascular benefit associated with moderate alcohol consumption. The question arises whether the risk of cancer outweighs that benefit for middle-aged women.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why Do My Feet Hurt?

Did you ever think about the debt we owe our feet?
Whether we are strolling through the mall or hustling to catch the bus, our feet take a pounding every day. For every step we take, the foot experiences 1.5 times your body weight per square inch. Now consider that a fit and active person will take about 10,000 to 17,0000 steps per day. Our feet work hard for us, but do we take proper care of them?

Too often, we overlook maintaining proper care of our feet. Your feet can suffer from this neglect in the form of many problems, some of which can be very painful. For instance, failure to maintain a regular pedicure routine can result in ingrown toenails which can cause pain and make it difficult to walk, or even wear shoes.

Without regular care, feet can build up calluses and corns. Many problems result from improperly fitting shoes, and often people wear the wrong shoe in the name of fashion. Shoes should have a roomy toebox in rounded shape to avoid pressure points that could cause painful conditions.

There are simple things you can do to reduce painful foot conditions, and many times they don't require a lot of effort. Do a weekly pedicure to keep feet clean and keep nails trimmed. Toenails should be cut in a straight line, not rounded. Exfoliate to remove dead skin and minimize calluses. Keep feet clean and moisturize the skin.

Of course other conditions can affect foot comfort and function. Injuries to ligaments and muscles, nail fungal infections, and other medical conditions can affect the health of the feet. Seek information to help you find the causes for your symptoms and get professional medical care when necessary.

If you are looking for information on specific foot problems or symptoms, this is a highly detailed and informative site that can answer all of your questions regarding foot care and common foot problems and conditions.

Remember, there's no reason to suffer with painful foot conditions. Make an effort to find out what is causing the problem and see a medical practitioner for problems that you cannot take care of at home.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Peanut Recall Search Tool

Peanut Corporation of America, the company responsible for the recent outbreak of salmonella due to tainted peanut products, has expanded the recall to include all products made at their plant.

Peanut Corporation of America does not market peanut butter directly to consumers, but rather produced peanut butter and paste that was sold directly to other food manufacturers, schools, hospitals and nursing homes.

More than 650 people have been made ill in more than 44 states due to salmonella from their plants in Georgia and Texas. The CDC has now linked 8 deaths to salmonella from tainted peanut butter.

I have added the tool found above for anyone who wants to check the most recent list of recalled products. This information comes directly from the FDA and CDC and is updated frequently. So far this recall, which is being called the largest in history, involves more than 2,100 products in 17 categories from 200 companies.

Be safe and check the list, then check your cupboards for tainted products. This recall checker tool will remain on the blog as long as the recall is ongoing.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Exercise Best for Preventing Back Pain

What's the best method for preventing back pain? Contrary to what you might believe, buying that new ergonomic computer chair won't do it. In fact, sitting isn't going to help your back pain one bit. The most effective method to reduce episodes of low back pain is simply, exercise.

A review of the literature for high-quality scientific trials published in the February issue of The Spine Journal, found that exercise in the community and the workplace was the most effective way to prevent episodes of back problems.

Exercise was more effective than other, more passive measures such as shoe inserts, lumbar supports and ergonomic interventions.

The new review does not suggest that ergonomic interventions be discarded, as they continue to provide a more comfortable work environment.

Information on the review can be found at the University of Washington News site.

Free Radicals and Aging not linked

For years the prevailing theory regarding aging has been that it is a result of oxidative stress. All sorts of products containing antioxidants and antioxidant therapies have been marketed to those who want to stay young. Taking antioxidants such as CoQ10 and Vitamin E have been touted as ways to clear the body of free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. But the entire theory may be turned on end by new research at McGill University.

A study published in the February PLoS Genetics, puts a new perspective on the theory of oxidative stress. In experiments, the researchers found that oxidative stress did not affect life span.

In the experiment, the researchers worked with Caenorhabditis elegans worms who had had their ability to detoxify and clear free radicals suppressed through gene manipulation.

None of their mutant worms showed decreased lifespan compared with wild-type worms, even though oxidative stress was clearly raised. In fact, one variety actually displayed increased lifespan, the researchers said.

The researchers question whether oxidative stress is really the cause of aging or if perhaps, it may be the other way round and oxidative stress is a result of aging. However, they did not conclude that oxidative stress is good for you.

The researchers concluded that although oxidative stress clearly does damage to the body, it may not be responsible for aging.

Clearly, since the build-up of free radicals and oxidative stress does damage, continuing a healthy diet high in antioxidants is necessary to stay as healthy as possible. It just might not keep you from aging.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Vitamin D and MS Linked

A new study published in the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry indicates that Vitamin D may prevent the production of malignant cells such as breast and prostate cancer cells and protect against specific autoimmune disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS). The article was written by Sylvia Christakos, PhD, of the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School.

According to Christakos, MS is relatively unknown in equatorial regions and the incidence of MS is lower in areas where fish consumption is high. Christakos reports that research shows that the incidence of MS decreases as the amount of vitamin D available to the body increases, either through sunlight exposure or diet.

Christakos emphasizes the important of keeping a sufficient Vitamin D level as it has cancer-preventative properties and may inhibit the induction of MS.

"Evidence has shown that the maintenance of an adequate vitamin D level may have a protective effect in individuals predisposed to MS," Christakos said. "One device of vitamin D action may be to preserve balance in the T-cell reaction and thus avoid autoimmunity."

Christakos stated that further studies are needed to determine whether vitamin D is effective in individuals with active MS.

Olive Oil Prevents Bone Loss

If you use olive oil to cook instead of other oils, good for you, because olive oil is good for you. Olive oil is already known for being a healthier choice and that it adds flavor to your favorite foods. But there's even more good news about olive oil for women over 40.

A new study indicates that olive oil may be helpful in slowing bone loss in menopausal women. In fact, eating the basic Meditteranean diet may help preserve bone mass throughout your lifetime.

A study from the Harokopio University of Athens (Greece) determines that adherence to a dietary pattern close to the Mediterranean diet, with high consumption of fish and olive oil and low red meat intake, has a significant impact in women skeletal health.

Healthy eating habits are important at every stage of life, but as a woman enters her menopausal years. The risk of osteoporosis and loss of bone mass is just one worrisome possibility. Eating well at this time of life can reap many benefits for women who want to live well, no matter their age.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Peanut Products Recall List

If you've been worried about the recent salmonella cases linked to peanut butter products, then you may want to check out this comprehensive list of foods for any you may have purchased.

The recall has hit everything from pet products to Nutrisystem snack bars, so it's important that you check all products containing peanut butter for possible contamination before consuming them.

Here's where you can find the list

Weight Loss Surgery - Lap Band

Lap Band surgery is becoming the most popular procedure for weight loss, primarily because of its less invasive laparoscopic technique and its much shorter recovery period as opposed to other, more invasive surgeries.

If you are seeking professional guidance and treatment regarding this effective procedure, you can consult experts in weight loss surgery cincinnati, and other locations.

The laparoscopic procedure has a high success rate and satisfaction rate amongst patients who have undergone the procedure. Don't suffer, find out what options may be available for you to help you achieve your weight loss goals.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weight Loss Reduces Incontinence

For women who suffer from urinary incontinence and are overweight or obese, the good news is that by simply losing weight, they can reduce their incidents of incontinence.

The results of a study to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine clearly indicate a higher success rate in controlling incontinence in women when they lost excess weight through an intensive weight loss program, in contrast with a group of participants that received only information on diet and exercise. The intensive weight loss group lost more weight and suffered fewer incidents of incontinence than the second group.

The women in the second group lost less on average than those in the intensive program, yet their weight loss did bring results in reducing the frequency of urinary incontinence, although not as much as the women who lost more weight.

In addition to the many other health benefits of losing weight, reducing urinary incontinence is one of prime concern to many women. It is estimated that 13 million women in the US suffer from urinary incontinence.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Women with Happy Marriages Sleep Better

Trouble sleeping? How's your marriage? The secret to a good night's sleep may just depend on how happy you are in your relationship.

According to a study in the current issue of Behavioral Sleep Medicine, women who believe they have happy marriages reported sleeping better, being less restless and less likely to awake during the night than those who were less satisfied in their marriages.

The researchers found that happiness in marriage was more important to sleeping satisfaction than other social or economic factors.

So, if you want to sleep well, look to your relationship for the key to a good night's rest.