Wednesday, June 6, 2018

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The Link between Kidney Disease and Heart Attacks

Heart disease is truly a terrifying disease as it is still the leading cause of death in the US. Millions of people around the world suffer from heart disease every year. Both stroke and heart disease are caused by cardiovascular disease, which is a common problem in patients who suffer from chronic kidney disease. It doesn’t matter what the age of the patient is, if they have had a transplant, or the stage of kidney disease.

Heart Disease and Kidney Disease

If you or a loved one is suffering from kidney disease, your risk of developing heart disease is very high. In fact, heart disease is the most common cause of death in patients with kidney disease. Here are some facts about kidney disease:

  • Kidneys are damaged and can no longer filter blood like normal.
  • When kidneys are damaged, toxins in the body build up.
  • Kidney damage progresses slowly and this is called chronic kidney disease.
  • There are usually no symptoms, but when the damage is advanced, feeling sick or fatigued is among the first symptoms.
  • Kidney failure can happen and this is where blood filtering treatment or kidney transplant may be needed for the patient to stay alive.

Meanwhile, here are heart disease facts to know about:

  • It can include any problem relating to how the heart fails to pump blood normally.
  • Heart disease starts either in the heart or the blood vessels.
  • Problems include plaque buildup in the walls of the blood vessels and blood clot that prevents blood flow to the heart.
  • Heart attacks can happen where the heart doesn’t get enough blood and oxygen.
Those with kidney disease have a high risk of suffering from heart attacks and even heart failure / PicHelp

But How are Kidney Disease and Heart Disease Related to Each Other?

There are two main causes of the two diseases: diabetes and high blood pressure. In kidney disease though, high blood pressure or hypertension isn’t just a cause, but having kidney disease can also lead to hypertension. This is because having damaged kidneys can stop the organs from filtering salt and water from the body.

The heart and the kidneys work closely together. Those with kidney disease have a high risk of suffering from heart attacks and even heart failure. This is due to the problem where the heart no longer pumps efficiently, so it is blocked by blood. As a result, pressure accumulates in the main vein where the kidneys are connected, therefore leading to the kidneys being congested with blood too.

If you have both kidney and heart diseases, numerous drugs will be used for the treatment. But the most important thing is to control blood pressure in which there are plenty of ways to do so, including stopping smoking, eating a low-salt diet, and exercising regularly.

Quick Remedies for Hemorrhoids (Piles)

Hemorrhoids or piles can happen to anyone, but mostly people who are around 45 to 65 years old. It is a common problem where the veins in the rectum and anus become inflamed. There are several contributing factors to hemorrhoids, including a low fiber diet, family history, gravity, constipation, food allergies, obesity, and pregnancy.

Symptoms include:

  • Irritation near or around the anus
  • Having the urge to move bowels even without stool
  • Bleeding when eliminating
  • Lumps or blood clots around the anal region

Hemorrhoids can go away on their own, but if it doesn’t, this can lead to complications, including tissue death, strangulated piles, chronic blood loss, and sometimes colorectal cancer. The good news is that you can treat hemorrhoids without using a prescribed hemorrhoid cream, but instead with simple, natural ingredients:

1. Ice

It can give you pain relief and help tighten the blood vessels, while reducing swelling. To use:

  • Apply an ice pack on the affected area for 10 minutes.
  • Wrap a cloth around piece of ice and place on the area for 10 minutes as well.
  • As an alternative, use frozen veggies wrapped in a towel or cloth and apply on the hemorrhoid for 20 minutes, three times a day.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

This is a popular treatment for hemorrhoid for its astringent properties that can help shrink inflamed blood vessels and reduce irritation. To use:

  • Soak a cotton ball with ACV and directly apply on the area. The effect is almost instant.
  • Add half a cup of ACV to a warm sitz bath.

3. Aloe Vera

The plant has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce irritation both internally and externally. To use:

  • Use aloe vera gel and massage onto the affected area to help soothe the burning feeling.
  • For internal hemorrhoids, freeze the leaves which you need to cut into thin strips. Apply the strips to the hemorrhoid.
You can treat hemorrhoids with simple, natural ingredients / PicHelp

4. Almond Oil

This oil comes with deep tissue absorption and emollient properties. Use almond oil externally only. Dip a ball of cotton in pure almond oil. Apply onto the affected area several times a day to relieve burning and itching.

5. Diet

One of the biggest reasons why people suffer from hemorrhoids is because of a low fiber diet. Apparently, you have to add more foods that are high in fiber to help avoid constipation and the occurrence of hard stool. It is recommended to eat 30 to 35 grams of fiber every day and you can get this macronutrient from flaxseeds, nuts, Brussels sprouts, avocados, and berries.

Treating hemorrhoids can be as simple as drinking more water as this can relieve constipation and aid traveling of digested food through the digestive tract. Moderate pain should only last for one week or so after treating at home. If pain or swelling remains severe or a lump inside the anus has become more painful or bigger, make sure to go to the doctor to get the right treatment.

What is Rat Lungworm Disease? What Can You Do to Prevent It?

Rat lungworm disease or angiostrongyliasis has recently struck the islands of Hawaii. In fact, the Hawaii State Department of Health has validated six cases of the disease on the Big Island. While there are no recent deaths reported, but there were two people who died from rat lungworm since 2007.  It is scary as to how the health department still cannot confirm how the patients contracted the disease. However, rat lungworm is known to be acquired when there are parasites that are found in raw or even undercooked slugs and snails.

Things to Know about Rat Lungworm Disease

Since our health is a concern here, we should be aware of what this disease is about to know what to do, especially in remaining safe.

1. What is rat lungworm disease?

Rat lungworm is scientifically known as Angiostrongylus cantonensis, which is a type of parasitic worm. It is called so because the parasite is found in rats. The larvae of the parasite will be passed through the feces of the rats. Snails and slugs ingest the larvae of the parasites as they consume the feces of the rats.

2. How do humans get infected?

When a person eats raw or undercooked slugs or snails, they also become infected by rat lungworm parasite. It is also possible to become infected if the person eats raw produce, such as lettuce since they can also be contaminated by the slugs or snails.

3. What are the symptoms of rat lungworm disease?

The symptoms can vary from one person to another, but the most common signs that a person has the disease include paralysis, coma, and cold and flu-like symptoms. Death is rare, but can also happen.

Rat lungworm is known to be acquired when there are parasites that are found in raw or even undercooked slugs and snails / PicHelp

4. How common or rare is the disease?

Health authorities say the disease is quite rare. In fact, there have been one to nine cases yearly since 2007 in Hawaii with only two deaths. But the disease can go undetected because the symptoms can mimic other conditions, such as cold and flu. One can have a headache, nausea, or a stiff neck. These symptoms usually appear after one to three weeks of exposure and can last anywhere from two weeks to several months.

5. Is it possible to prevent the disease?

Rat lungworm disease is terrifying as it can lead to paralysis, coma, and even death. Fortunately, it is fairly preventable. The best way to stay protected is to cook food very well, especially vegetables. Cook or heat the produce in at least 165 degrees F and you should freeze them as well for at least 48 hours. These two methods can effective kill parasites and bacteria. If you’re going to consume raw veggies, it is imperative to clean them thoroughly.

Like any other disease, prevention is always better than cure with rat lungworm disease. Aside from watching out for the produce with the highest levels of pesticide residue, always be careful of what you plan to eat, especially raw ones.

14 Effective Mood Boosters

Do you wake up moody, feeling low, or tired? You’re not alone as we live in a world where depression and mood disorders are an epidemic. Medications can help, but nothing can beat stress better than natural methods. Here are must-try ways that will help you overcome depression and live a stress-free life:

Your Diet

Some foods and drinks should be cut off your life, while others should be added to give your mood a boost:

1. Lower your caffeine intake as this drug will give you adrenaline that can affect your mood. Avoid drinking coffee, energy drinks, or soda whenever you’re stressed or feeling low as this can result to some drastic effects.

2. Limit processed and packaged food consumption as these foods can cause inflammation in the body. This affects mood and even leads to devastating health effects.

3. Stop consuming artificial sweeteners. Many studies have shown how aspartame and other artificial sweeteners can result to mood disorders.

4. Eat healthy, including proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs. These are macronutrients that should be added to your plate to maintain good levels of blood sugar. A decrease in blood sugar can cause mood swings. Complex carbs and healthy fats help in creating hormones and neurotransmitters for the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone.

5. Stop drinking alcohol as this is also linked to mood disorders.

6. Drink more water to prevent dehydration, a culprit behind agitation and fatigue.

There are ways that will help you overcome depression and live a stress-free life / PicHelp

Your Lifestyle

Some simple activities can really boost your mood:

1. Exercise to lift your mood. Simply doing your favorite moves can prevent stress by releasing tension from your muscles and even reduce anxiety.

2. Rest for a few minutes a day. Sometimes, when we’re overwhelmed with work or anything that happens around us, we feel low. Simply resting and leaving all your cares behind for a few minutes can reduce stress greatly.

3. Get enough sleep. It’s recommended that you have eight hours of sleep every night to feel rested, which is a natural mood booster.

4. Try acupuncture, which has been found to lower depression risk.

5. Forgive other people as this will actually benefit YOU, not them.

6. Don’t forget to laugh, which is the easiest way to feel better.

Take Supplements

1. Take vitamin B, including folate, B6, and B12 which help boost mood.

2. Get plenty of vitamin D, which the sun naturally provides for you as this can prevent depression. Just 15 minutes of sun exposure daily or 200 IU of vitamin D can help lift your mood up.

With the tactics above, you won’t need anti-depressants to achieve that happiness and good feeling we’re all craving for.

These Tests are Crucial in Learning Your Heart Disease Risk, Take Them ASAP

Testing for heart disease is extremely important; after all, over 600,000 people die from it in the US alone every year. It is the leading cause of death for men and women with it being the reason for one in every four deaths. There are several contributing factors to this life-threatening disease, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Poor diet
  • Too much alcohol consumption

It is indeed something frightening if you’ve been diagnosed with the disease. But the thing is, there are times when test results are wrong. It is crucial to not just have one or two heart disease tests, so that you can prepare better to fight this illness and even increase your life.

Vital Heart Disease Tests Your Doctor Should Order Right Now

Basic tests like an electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) and cholesterol panel are used to help detect heart disease. But these tests aren’t enough, especially because they can give false positives. What’s even worse is when the heart disease or clogged arteries fail to get detected. Women often have a higher risk of being misdiagnosed than men due to reasons such as menstrual cycles and the use of birth control pills that could throw off results.

It is crucial to not just have one or two heart disease tests, so that you can prepare better to fight this illness / PicHelp

This definitely calls for better detection to help reveal signs of heart disease earlier. The following tests should be conducted and you should demand for them if your doctor doesn’t order them:

1. Advanced cholesterol panel

It’s not just about your LDL cholesterol level. Studies have shown that two people with the same cholesterol level can have different risks in heart disease. This test will reveal the particle number, along with the size (whether large or small) of LDL cholesterol.

2. High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)

As a marker for inflammation, this protein can erode organs and blood vessels. This involves a blood test that tells you whether risk factors like diet and lifestyle are causing artery inflammation.

3. Coronary artery calcium scoring

A CT scan will detect the calcium levels in the blood vessels. The score should be zero, but if it is one and up, you should start changing your lifestyle.

4. Carotid intimal medial thickness (CIMT)

Using an ultrasound machine, the carotid artery located in the neck will be examined to determine if there is something wrong with it. If it is diseased, there is a high possibility that other arteries also have a problem.

5. Vitamin D

Low levels of vitamin D are connected to high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, arterial damage, and other problems. Ideally, it should be over 30 ng/mL at least.

These tests are really powerful in determining the risk of heart disease, especially in people who have fewer common risk factors.

Benefits of Running Include Adding More Hours to Your Lifespan

The last few years put running into a bad light, especially as walking is the more preferred exercise when it comes to losing weight. This doesn’t mean running should be avoided – and yet, there has been a decline in the number of runners for the past three years because of disappointing news like that. But here’s one thing to look forward to if you’ve been a long-time fan of running. According to researchers, running is one of the important keys to longevity. In fact, just an hour of running can add seven hours to your life and up to three more years.

A professor from Iowa State University, along with his colleagues, reviewed data from another study which was done three years ago by the Cooper Institute in Dallas. The new research later concluded that running could help reduce the risk of dying prematurely by almost 40%. Additionally, runners enjoyed a longer lifespan – up to three years longer than their non-running counterparts. And what’s even better is that health factors may not affect the added life expectancy. So, whether a person is a smoker, an alcoholic, or is obese, running could provide the same positive effect.

But how much time should you allocate for running to get the benefits? Research says:

  • You should run for 60 minutes daily.
  • Run for four hours every week.
  • Run for five minutes every day for the next 40 years.

For some, the numbers could imply that we need to run a lot to gain the benefit.  After all, the added number of years to a runner is capped at three years. This means that even if you run some more, it is not possible for you to add more hours or years to your life expectancy. Interestingly, while other exercises such as biking and walking are viewed to be beneficial to our health and may even lengthen our lives, they don’t have the same impact to our lifespan as with running.

Runners enjoyed a longer lifespan / PicHelp

If you’re worried you’re spending too much time running – since you could spend 2.5 hours per week of doing the activity for the next 50 years – you are actually getting more than what you’re giving. This is because you will only spend time running for 0.74 years, while you get the benefit of extending your lifespan up to three years.

Furthermore, running has other health benefits, including lowering your levels of cortisol, which is the stress hormone. Living free from stress is an added bonus and can also help you enjoy an even longer life.

Natural Ways to Get Rid of Chlamydia at Home

Chlamydia is considered the most widespread of all sexually transmitted diseases. It can infect both men and women, but the good news is that it can be treated. The challenge lies in keeping the infection from spreading, especially because there are usually no symptoms. However, if you suspect you have chlamydia, warning signs include:

  • Pain while urinating, usually with burning sensation
  • Vaginal or penile discharge (yellowish or milky white)
  • Lower abdominal and back pain
  • Pain and bleeding during or after intercourse
  • Rectal pain, sometimes with bleeding and discharge
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Eye inflammation or infection

Men often suffer from testicular swelling or pain and may also have swollen or itchy opening of the urethra. Sexually active people can contract chlamydia, especially young adults although it is also prevalent among older people. Risks include having multiple sex partners and improper condom use or avoiding protection.

Those who have chlamydia can use antibiotics to get rid of the infection. If left untreated, it can cause permanent health effects. Aside from antibiotics, there are also natural remedies that can help speed up the battle against chlamydia:

Sexually active people can contract chlamydia, especially young adults / PicHelp

Sage

  1. Boil a cup of water.
  2. Add a handful of sage.
  3. Leave the herb there for five minutes without turning off the heat.
  4. Let the herb steep for10 minutes with no heat this time.
  5. Strain and drink while still warm.

Drinking at least four to five cups of sage tea for one week can help people with chlamydia as the herb has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Turmeric

Here’s another reason to love this super-spice aside from its heart-friendly benefits. Turmeric has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antiseptic properties that can help treat several infections, including chlamydia. Using turmeric as treatment is easy; just add it into your diet. You can also combine it with milk, which you should drink twice daily to remove the infection. Turmeric milk also helps boost immunity, allowing you to fight infections effectively.

Whole Grains and Beans

Add more fiber to your diet, including whole grains and beans to hasten recovery and cure for the infection.

Olive Tree Extract

Apply the extract topically on the infected area to kill the bacteria. This treatment also comes in salve, leaf, or powder form. Taking any of them can boost immunity and removes bacteria from the body, thanks to oleuropein, its active ingredient.

Your diet should also be modified to speed up recovery from chlamydia. Eat more leafy greens, including broccoli and kale. Yogurt and other probiotics-rich foods can reduce the risk of allowing the bacteria to multiply. As much as possible, avoid alcohol, caffeine, butter, red meats, and processed foods.

Trans Fat-Free Diet Can Decrease Heart Attack and Stroke Risks

There is too much contradicting information regarding health and nutrition, but experts agree on one thing: trans fat is bad for us. Even though consumption of trans fat has declined over the years, we are still eating so much of them. But what are trans fats and how do they affect our health?

The Lowdown on Trans Fat

Also known as trans fatty acids, this fat is a type of unsaturated fat. The chemical composition of trans fat is believed to be a problem for human health. There are two types of trans fats: natural which we have been consuming since time immemorial and artificial which are industrial or hydrogenated fats. The second form is seriously harmful to us, particularly our heart health.

There have been clinical trials where subjects were fed with trans fatty foods. Some results varied, except this: trans fat can increase bad cholesterol, while lowering good cholesterol – an important risk factor for heart disease.

Limit Trans Fat

You shouldn’t consume foods high in trans fat to help reduce heart disease risk. This isn’t always possible though because there are traces of the fatty acid in many of the foods we eat, such as mutton, veal, beef, and dairy products. They are also in deep fried and baked foods. You need less than one percent of total energy coming from trans fat, but how do you do this?

You shouldn’t consume foods high in trans fat to help reduce heart disease risk / PicHelp
  1. Read the food label.
  2. Some foods may tell you they have zero grams of trans fat. Don’t believe just yet as there could be hidden trans fat there.
  3. Foods that read zero grams trans fat could actually be 0.5 grams or less. Even the small amounts of trans fat can easily add up.
  4. Read the ingredients list and make sure there is no hydrogenated vegetable oil – even if it’s partially hydrogenated. This indicates that the food contains trans fat, which could be below 0.5 grams. Try to limit consumption of such food as this can boost the total intake of this dangerous fat.

Trans fat may now be locally banned in the US as the US Food and Drug Administration gave the food industry until this year to get rid of artificial trans fat. As a result, there are fewer instances of heart attacks and strokes according to a new study. It is important to be wary of trans fat. Studies have shown that even small amounts of this fat can lead to higher stroke and heart disease as well as sudden heart death. This makes avoiding foods high in trans fat as one of the best ways to prevent or even reverse heart disease.

How to Be Successful? Here are Habits You Should Incorporate in Your Life

To be successful, you need more than just motivation. You need to be passionate in what you do and do what you are passionate about. You need good habits to cement your path to success. Oprah, Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, Tim Ferris to name a few have habits that you can imitate to achieve your goals.

1. Read

One of the secrets of highly successful people is that they read A LOT – despite their tight schedules. Reading can help you learn about other people’s mistakes and other’s successes. Use everything you learn to your advantage.

2. Write

Successful people not just read; they also write – most especially their to-do lists. As a tip, write your to-do’s each night before you go to bed. This helps you prepare for the next day, making it easy to prioritize those in the list.

3. Organize

Your to-do list is ready, but you shouldn’t limit yourself to your plans alone. It helps if you organize your activities into two journals: one for planning and everything related to work and the other for your goals and ideas.

4. Measure

With your goals set, it’s time to measure everything. For instance, if you have a sales page, use tools that will help you gauge its success. Note though that it’s not just about the money you gain, but also your happiness.

Successful people believe that their network specifies how much they are really worth / PicHelp

5. Network

Successful people believe that their network specifies how much they are really worth. Take time to get to know more people, socialize with them, and as much as possible be present at social events. Do not burn bridges; instead, build new ones that will help you connect with at least one new person every day.

6. Exercise

Just because you want to make money does not mean you have to neglect yourself, your health, and your physical appearance. You should still be able to incorporate a healthy diet and exercise to your daily habits. Exercising and living a healthy lifestyle will keep you fit, but the benefits extend more than this. If you are healthy, your brain is also healthy, allowing you to make sound decisions and minimize your mistakes.

7. Prioritize

Being successful is not about the money; it is actually about the people around you. Look at the top achievers today and you will notice they put their family first. They are the people who inspire you and motivate you to have a greater purpose, which is the real meaning of success.

Finally, you have to “work.” Use the “force” if you are not feeling like working – meaning force yourself to get out of bed and work harder than your competition.

Blackcurrants: Their Health Benefits for the Eyes, Urinary Tract, and More

For those trying to become healthier, there are a lot of options available. Among them is blackcurrant, which is a popular berry in the summer. They are actually deep purple in color and they have a sour taste, which is why many people choose to add honey, stevia, or any sweetener when eating the fruit. Blackcurrants are made into drinks, but they are also popular as sauce for lamb, fish, and turkey servings.

New research shows that blackcurrants can help improve health due to the following benefits:

1. High vitamin C content

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can protect the nerve cells, while taking advantage of the body’s defense system. Blackcurrants are high in vitamin C and studies have shown that this vitamin can help prevent various diseases including dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

2. Good for the eyes

Blackcurrants discovered that antioxidants can help maintain vision and eye health. Dietary antioxidants are especially helpful in preventing cataracts, a common degenerative disorder that affects the eye. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, can reduce cataract risk.

3. Useful for urinary tract health

You probably already know about drinking cranberry juice or consuming the fruit itself to prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs). But here’s another fruit juice that you should indulge on. Blackcurrant juice can help stop UTIs as well by flushing out the toxins in the body that can cause the problem.

4. Improves brain function

Another use of the antioxidants in blackcurrants can protect the brain cells to prevent neurological decline.

5. Good for the heart

Eating blackcurrants can improve heart health due to the fruit’s richness in flavonoids. Studies have proven that flavonoids can help prevent heart disease and can boost the health of the blood vessels.

Blackcurrants are actually deep purple in color and they have a sour taste / PicHelp

6. Good for diabetics

Patients with diabetes are told to watch out their intake of food with high glycemic index (GI). Blackcurrants have low GI unlike other fruits, which means that blackcurrants are slowly taken into the bloodstream. This is especially helpful to prevent sugar cravings, mood swings, and sugar crashes.

7. Fights infections

Because of the vitamin C in blackcurrants, eating just a cup a day can keep infections at bay. This can even help reduce infectious agents, including free radicals that can cause cancer.

Blackcurrants are fruits you can eat when you’re having a hard time sleeping at night. They are loaded with magnesium, the mineral you need to improve the quality, tranquility, and duration of your sleep.