5 Ways You’re Beating Up Your Immune System

Did you know your immune system does a lot for you? Every single day you encounter millions of germs, and your immune system fights them off, so you don’t get sick. You can thank this function of your body for days when you are not stuck in bed with a cold or something worse. The problem is that most people don’t take care of their immune system as they should. What happens is that they usually end up sicker than others who do treat their immune system with the respect it deserves. If you’re finding it hard to stay healthy, you may be beating your immune system up without even knowing it.

Pain Medication

Pain medications can wreak havoc on your immune system. Steroids and NSAIDs are the worst because they damage the lining in your intestines. This can cause leaky gut syndrome, which increases your risk for infections.

When you suffer from an infection, your immune system is hit hard. It knows there’s something wrong inside of your body, so it usually uses all of its energy to try to get rid of it. Meanwhile, there are still millions of germs trying to make you sick, and it just can’t keep up. That’s when you become ill.

Discuss alternatives with your doctor. That way you can get the same effects of pain medication without depleting your immune system’s energy.

Antacids

You may not think there’s anything wrong with popping some Tums, but it can end up causing you to get more sick than you feel when you take them. Tums and other antacids have proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), and they alter the pH in your stomach. This chemical sterilizes the food you eat, which is what makes your stomach feel better. The problem is that when you have too much of this, infection can occur. Again, infection causes the immune system to fight harder, which then makes it unavailable to fight off other illnesses and diseases.

In addition to the pH effectives, antacids can cause vitamin deficiency as well. Usually, it’s a deficiency in B12, zinc, vitamin C, and iron. These are all crucial nutrients for the immune system.

It’s best to not take antacids regularly for three months or more. If you need to take them to calm your stomach, you may want to figure out what is causing it to be upset rather than continuing the antacids. Speak to your doctor more about your issues to find out what you should do instead.

Drinking Excessive Amounts of Alcohol

You’ve probably heard you should drink red wine because it’s good for you. While this is true, it’s only moderate amounts of red wine. When you drink too much in the case of binge drinking, you can suppress bone marrow production and red and white blood cells. When there isn’t enough bone marrow, red and white blood cells, the immune system believes it needs to compensate for the loss, so it works harder. What happens is it gets tired and isn’t able to protect you from all of the germs.

Juicing or Starving Yourself

Your immune system needs fuel to work for you. The fuel comes from the food you eat. When you juice or starve yourself, you are depriving your body and immune system of what it needs to keep you healthy. This will wear down the immune system, which will make it hard for it to work for you.

Eat a well-balanced diet. You need all of those vitamins and nutrients. You can still count calories, just be sure you get enough to give your body what it needs. You can also still drink juices; just don’t make it the only thing you consume the entire day.

You’re on the Move

When you are on the move, your immune system is too. If you don’t get enough sleep or rest, don’t eat regularly, or you’re around more germs than usual, your immune system will not be able to keep up. That’s when you’re bound to get sick.

To keep you from getting sick all of the time, especially when you have to travel for business or you’re just busy, be sure to get enough sleep and rest and eat well. While you may still be around a lot more germs, at least your immune system will have the rest and fuel it needs to have a fighting chance against them all.

Keep all of these ways you are beating up your immune system in mind. You will be able to strengthen your immune system, so you can stay healthy and active much more.

Most Common Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is not fun to deal with, and it’s rather common. According to Journal of American Dentistry, 1 in 8 people have sensitive teeth. Just knowing you have tooth sensitivity doesn’t make you feel better, but the cause may because then you can possibly prevent it.

About Tooth Sensitivity

Your teeth are covered in a protective layer of enamel and dentin. When the enamel wears down, your teeth becomes sensitive to extreme temps and chemicals such as hot, cold, sweet or acidic foods and drinks. These foods and drinks seep into the teeth through tubules and then hit the nerves, which is what causes the pain. Some people experience the pain for just a moment, while others will have it for hours.

The Causes of Tooth Sensitivity

To keep yourself pain-free, consider these causes of your tooth sensitivity.

Irregular Bruising

Many times, people have tooth sensitivity because they do not brush their teeth regularly. The enamel wears down from all of the acid that gets left behind. Brushing your teeth will help you build back that enamel.

You should brush after every meal. At least twice a day is what most dentists recommend.

Hard Brushing

When you brush your teeth too hard, you end up pulling your gums from your teeth. This exposes nerves, which is what causes your pain.

Simply brush gently. Remember, it’s the brush that’s doing the work, not you.

Incorrect Toothpaste

People suffering with tooth sensitivity cannot use all toothpastes. Many find their pain is worse when they use whitening toothpaste, so stay away from that type specifically.

You may want to try desensitizing toothpaste. This has a compound that blocks sensitivity from the tooth to the nerve. It can take a few days to kick in, but once it does, you’ll be pain-free for as long as you use it.

Not Using Fluoride

Fluoride is essential to your oral health. It not only protects you from decay and cavities, but it can keep teeth sensitivity away.

Use fluoride mouthwash daily after you brush. Some brands are made especially for people with teeth sensitivity, so seek those out over others.

Drinking Too Many Acidic Drinks

Orange juice, soda, and other acidic drinks can decrease the amount of enamel you have on your teeth. It can also cause your gun line to recede, which exposes the nerve. You don’t have to cut out all acidic drinks, but limit them.

Whenever you do drink someone like orange juice, be sure to brush your teeth, but wait 30 minutes. The acid will loosen enamel and the brushing removes it causing teeth sensitivity.

Bleaching Your Teeth

As much as you want to bleach your teeth, it’s not recommended. It can cause tooth sensitivity.

If you really want pearly whites, speak to your dentist. He may have something especially for people with sensitive teeth.

Not Using a Mouth Guard

People who grind their teeth or more susceptible to tooth sensitivity. When they grind, they wear down their enamel.

Speak to your dentist about getting fitted for a mouth guard. Wearing one every night may be the answer to ending the pain.

Other Ways to End Tooth Sensitivity

If you can’t figure out the cause, it may be genetics. In that case, you can pursue some treatments that have helped people with their pain.

Gel fluoride treatment is an option. You would go into the dental office and the dentist places a high concentrated fluoride on your teeth. This can help build up enamel faster and thicker. You have to do this regularly.

You may also be a candidate for crowns, inlays or bonding. All of these cover your teeth, which would prevent food and drinks from hitting the nerve.

When nothing helps, a gum graft may be performed. This is a dental procedure in which the dentist removes a piece of your gum form one section of your mouth, and places it where the gum has receded.

As a last resort, a root canal may be recommended. The dentist will remove the nerve from where the sensitivity is, so you don’t feel anything anymore. This is not something to jump into because the procedure is expensive and painful, so try all other options before considering this one.

 

 

 

Why Some People Suffer from Anxiety More Than Others

Most people have experienced anxiety. A test, a new job, and moving can all cause you to feel nervous. While these are typical anxiety-causing situations, some people become just as nervous over other situations that aren’t as life changing. These people tend to have an increased risk for anxiety.

New research suggests people who suffer from anxiety more than others perceive the world differently. It’s not about what happens in life, it’s about how those situations are perceived.

In the study, which was published in Current Biology, researchers found that people who were anxious most of the time do not have the ability to distinguish between a safe and unsafe stimulus. Every stimulus is viewed as unsafe, which causes nervousness.

Anxiety and Over-Generalizing Situations

The study found that people who were more likely to become anxious seemed to over-generalize. For instance, when one bad thing happens, they believe everything around them is bad. They perceive their world as negative. This creates more anxiety and then they fuel it more with more negativity.

Testing concluded people who had an emotional experience end up with plasticity in their brain circuits. Those plastic changes lasted much longer than those who didn’t suffer from anxiety issues. This caused them to be at a higher level of nervousness for much longer, which then led them to take other situations and roll them into the first nerve-wrecking one.

Functional magnetic resonance images (fMRIs) of the brains of people in the study showed that anxiety activates many brain regions, particularly in the amygdala. This is the region most responsible for fear, anxiety, and sensory. This indicates that those who experience anxiety often may end up changing those areas of the brain. This then leads them to become more anxious throughout their life. This explains why some people seem to become nervous over situations that don’t normally cause anxiety in others.

“Anxiety traits can be completely normal; there is evidence that they benefited us in our evolutionary past. Yet an emotional event, sometimes even a minor one, can induce brain changes that can potentially lead to full-blown anxiety.” according to Professor Rony Paz of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.

Diagnosing Anxiety Disorders

It can be difficult to know whether you’re an anxious person, or you have an anxiety disorder such as generalized anxiety disorder. The symptoms are:

  • Feelings of apprehension or dread
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Feeling tense
  • Always anticipating the worst
  • Irritable
  • Restless
  • Looking for signs of danger
  • Feeling as though your mind has gone blank
  • Experiencing a pounding heart
  • Sweating
  • Stomachache
  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Increase in urination
  • Tremors
  • Twitches
  • Muscle tension
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia

Medical professionals often look for signs of anxiety and how it affects the person’s life. If it interferes in school, work, and relationships for more than 2 weeks, this indicates a problem that should be treated.

Treating Anxiety Disorder

Some people can deal with their anxiety; they simply live with it. Other people can’t function at school, work, and with others because of it. These people often have to seek professional help from a medical doctor or psychiatrist.

A medical doctor or psychiatrist can assess the anxiety to find out if there is an anxiety disorder causing the problem, or if there is some other medical condition causing it. Identifying the cause is essential since that is what will be treated. Some people who feel anxious have a medical condition that can be treated, which will keep them from feeling that way. Others will need anti-anxiety medication to help balance brain chemistry. Some medications for anxiety will slow down the neurotransmitters in the brain, which will calm the person and help them perceive situations differently.

Therapy is another great way to treat anxiety. Since a large part of the mental health issue is the way people perceive situations, a therapist can help the person come to alternative conclusions. With cognitive behavioral therapy in particular, people can learn how to use their thoughts to change the way their brain and body respond to situations. In time, the brain will be less likely to perceive every situation as a threatening one.

If you are suffering from anxiety, seek help. You do not have to live with it.

What Women Need to Know About Thyroid Disorders

Women are at a high risk of developing a thyroid disorder. In fact, the National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service reports 1 in 100 American suffer from it. If you’re a woman, you need to know what it is, what it does, and how to treat it effectively.

About the Thyroid Gland

The thyroid gland is what keeps your body functioning optimally. The gland is located in front of the larynx. It’s job is to produce and secrete hormones, which reach every cell and organ in the body.

It controls:

  • Body temperature
  • Cognitions
  • Heart rate
  • Organ functions

When someone suffers from thyroid disease, they either have too many hormones produced or not enough – hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism.

Symptoms of Hyperthyroidism and Hypothyroidism

Hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can make you feel ill and cause medical conditions. Each of them have their own distinct symptoms.

Hyperthyroid symptoms include:

  • Losing weight
  • Inability to tolerate the heat
  • Increase in bowel movements
  • Tremors
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Enlarging of the thyroid gland
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Tiredness

Hypothyroid symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Inability to tolerate the cold
  • Dry or brittle hair
  • Memory difficulties
  • Depression and irritability
  • High cholesterol
  • Slow heart rate
  • Decrease in bowel movements or constipation

While these symptoms are easily identified, diagnosing thyroid conditions can be difficult.

The Problem with Diagnosing Thyroid Disorder

It’s quite similar to find out if someone suffers from thyroid disease. A doctor just needs to check the hormone levels of the thyroid with a blood sample. The clinical term is checking your TSH.

The problem is that the symptoms are common of many other medical conditions. Doctors usually start with the most common conditions first when pinpointing a diagnosis. Thyroid doesn’t seem to be at the top of their list.

Once the blood test is taken, doctors often disagree on the levels it takes to justify a thyroid problem. For a long time, doctors thought when the TSH level was 0.5 to 5.0 was okay, but now they believe that range way too far apart, so many people with the disease wouldn’t be diagnosed.

The National American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists decided to narrow the range to .03 to 3.0 for what is considered normal. Any levels below .03 will constitute hypothyroidism, and any levels over 3.0 will indicate hyperthyroidism. Of course, the narrow margin has caused push back from some endocrinologists who believe that many people who don’t have thyroid disorder will be diagnosed with it.

The best doctors will use the test results only as one piece of information for a diagnosis. For example, if someone has a high TSH level, but no other symptoms of thyroid disorder, they will likely not give that diagnosis. If the TSH level is considered normal, but the person has all of the symptoms, the doctor may still conclude that the thyroid is malfunctioning.

A complete clinical examination is needed to determine the cause of the symptoms and blood test results. Some of the factors doctors consider are:

  • Does the person have diabetes or an autoimmune disorder?
  • Did the person have radiation treatment to the thyroid area?
  • Have other family members suffered from thyroid disorder?
  • Is there a chance for pregnancy or menopause?
  • Is the patient a woman? Women are three times more likely to suffer from it.
  • Does the person have an enlarged thyroid gland?

Treatment for Thyroid Disorder

Medication is prescribed to treat thyroid disorder. Usually, it’s one-time pill that is radioactive. It targets the gland and burns it out. This can keep the thyroid from over generating the hormone. Unfortunately, this can lead to an underproduction, which then will require thyroxine medication to replace the missing hormones (what is prescribed for people with hypothyroidism).

Getting Help for Your Thyroid Problem

If you’re experiencing the symptoms of hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, you should make an appointment with your physician immediately. The longer you wait, the worse you may feel and the longer it will take to get your thyroid back to functioning the way it should be right now. If you’re approaching or in menopause, it’s even more important to bring up the possibility of thyroid disorder. It may be enough for the doctor to make it a priority to get your blood tested and examine you for other signs of a thyroid problem.

Do You Have a Binge Eating Disorder?

Do you feel as though you lose control of yourself when you eat sometimes? Does it make you feel depressed? You may have a binge eating disorder.

About Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder is a condition in which people eat large amounts of food quickly on a regular basis. Usually, they feel uncomfortable afterwards because they have overeaten.

Binge eating disorder is not like other eating disorders. There is no purging or vomiting after eating such as in the case of bulimia. Those with this condition do not do it to lose weight. They seek to satisfy a need other than their fueling their body.

With this disorder, individuals gain a lot of weight quickly. This is why 50% of people with binge eating disorder are obese or overweight.

Symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder

It can be difficult to identify binge eating disorder because it’s much different from just overeating. Almost everyone eats more than intended at times. People who suffer from this condition do it often and suffer from mental and physical side effects.

The following are some of the symptoms of binge eating disorder:

  • They eat quicker than usual.
  • They eat until they cannot eat anymore.
  • They eat when they are not hungry.
  • They often eat alone because they are embarrassed by the quantity of food they are eating.
  • They feel depressed, disgusting and guilty when they are finished.

Approximately 2% of adults in the United States suffer from this disorder – that’s about 4 million Americans.

The Causes of the Condition

Research aren’t sure what causes binge eating, but they suspect it has to do with abnormal activity in many parts of the brain. From research on other eating disorders, they believe the causes may be similar to them.

Depression – Those who suffer from depression are often more susceptible to binge eating. They turn to food for comfort because they feel as though no one else is available to them, and food is always available.

Dieting – People who diet deprive themselves of foods, and then they overindulge themselves when they have the chance.

Genetics – There’s evidence binge eating disorder runs in families. Usually, more than one person in a family suffers from the condition. This could be because there are certain chemicals being produces in sufferers that cause them to seek large quantities of food.

Addiction – Many people who suffer from this disorder also have an addictive personality. They abuse alcohol, drugs, and gamble. They exhibit impulsive behavior, which is why they often can’t control how much they eat.

The Effects of This Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder leads to many mental and physical side effects.

  • They suffer from high stress levels because their eating is troublesome.
  • They have trouble sleeping at night because of anxiety and high levels of sugar and caffeine in what they eat.
  • They feel as though there is no hope for their uncontrollable eating and they dislike the way they look, so they contemplate suicide.
  • They don’t want to be seen by anyone, so they miss work and school.
  • They may prefer eating to going out with friends, or going to work or schools. This leads to depression and financial hardships.
  • Many people who suffer from this eating disorder end up with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, heart disease, some types of cancer, anxiety disorder, depression, or personality disorders.

Many people do not realize their eating is the problem. They blame the circumstances of their life on eating too much. Some people will learn they are suffering from a medical or mental health issue and not realize it’s the binge eating that has caused it. This is why it’s important to speak to a medical professional honestly about your eating habits.

Treatment for Binge Eating Disorder

People do not have to live with this condition. Treatment is available from mental health professionals since a large part of the disorder has to do with how you think about food. Many people receive nutritional guidance and psychotherapy to combat their food habits. Those who suffer from depression or anxiety disorder may find help from antidepressants. Appetite suppressants are sometimes prescribed for those who really need it.

No one has to succumb to binge eating disorder. Help is available.

5 Reasons You Should Not Take Aspirin Daily

Research has found that aspirin can help people who are at risk for heart disease. People have started aspirin therapy on their own because of this research. If you’re one of these people, you need to know these five reasons you should not be taking it.

#1: It’s a Preventative for Low Risk Individuals

According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, one in 10 patients were found to be taking aspirin inappropriately. Aspirin therapy is recommended as a primary prevention, which reduces the risk of a first heart attack or stroke. Those who are at risk for heart attack or stroke because of previous one or other factors should not take aspirin, as it does not reduce the risk of dying from subsequent episodes.

#2: Users Need a Cardiovascular Risk Assessment

Anyone interested in starting aspirin therapy should seek an assessment from their doctor. When speaking to your doctor, be sure he is not using the Framingham Risk Score, as it is outdated. Your doctor should look at risk factor and perform a simple, safe, but effective test. Most experts believe the best way to assess heart attack risk is with a CT scan. This shows coronary calcium in the heart, or atherosclerotic plaque in the coronary arteries. A calcium score should show how much you have inside the arteries, which then provides a reasonable prediction of a heart attack or stroke.

#3: Gastrointestinal Bleeding Is Possible

A study in Heart finds the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding increases with age. Aspirin therapy can further increase the risk, especially in women. This means that the risk of aspirin therapy far outweigh the risks of it.

Usually, men are only prescribe a daily aspirin regimen when their calcium score is high and they have other risk factors for heart attack or stroke. It is taken with caution though, especially those over the age of 65.

#4: Risk of Cerebral Hemorrhage

Aspirin has been linked to cerebral hemorrhage. Even the smallest dose of 81 milligrams can increase the risk of this devastating medical condition. Knowing the symptoms of cerebral hemorrhage can save your life:

  • Severe headache
  • Seizures
  • Weakness in the extremities
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Decreased alertness
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficult time swallowing
  • Loss of fine motor skills
  • Problems with coordination
  • Abnormal sense of taste
  • Unconscious
  • Falling or feeling unstable when standing

#5: Possible Drug Interactions

Aspirin should not be mixed with other drugs that treat certain medical conditions. For example, when aspirin is taken with angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, the effects of the drugs may be reduced or eliminated. When aspirin is taken with anticoagulant therapies such as Heparin and Warfarin, the risk of bleeding is extremely high.

You should always speak to your doctor whenever you start taking a new medication while on aspirin therapy. It’s important you know the risks of taking both of them.

Other Important Information to Consider

If you’re generally healthy, but have a high risk of heart disease, aspirin therapy may be best for you. The only person who can tell you that you should start a daily aspirin regimen is your doctor, after he has given you a thorough examination and assessment for heart disease.

When you begin your aspirin therapy, be sure to let your doctor know of any side effects. This can help prevent any bleeding conditions that could result from taking the aspirin.

Never take more aspirin as recommended by your physician. If you suffer from another medical condition, such as a headache, check with your doctor before you increase your dose. It may be possible to take another pain reliever with the daily aspirin without increasing your risk of other medical conditions.

If you’re concerned about taking aspirin, there are many other ways to reduce your risk of heart disease. Healthy eating and exercise are the first steps. You should also work on your stress levels to keep them as low as possible. You may want to consider supplements such as Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 and fish oil. Garlic and green tea have been found to lower the risk of heart disease too.

Take care of yourself as best as you can each and every day, and follow the advice of your doctor. Heart disease is a risk, but you can reduce your risk.

Unexpected Blood Clot Threats Most Women Don’t Know About

Women often take on the world. They are successful at being a wife, mother, and/or business professional. As they take care of anything and everything, they often forget to take care of one thing – themselves. This can be devastating because as much as they want to continue to help everyone, they end up not being able to because of health issues.

One of the most serious health concerns for women is blood clots. One in four people die of blood clots each year. While blood clots can’t always be avoided, it is possible to prevent them in some situations. The following are some of the threats that can lead to serious blood clots.

What Are Blood Clots?

Blood clots can lead to:

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Venous Thromboembolism

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is a medical condition in the veins that causes blood to stop moving. In a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the clot moves towards the lungs and becomes stuck there. This can be fatal.

The good news is you can prevent some blood clots and reduce the risk of them.

Estrogen Medication

Medications such as birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy that contain estrogen put women at an elevated risk for blood clots. Women’s risk of getting a blood clot is five times higher than those who don’t take medication with estrogen in it.

Women who have a family history of blood clots are at more of a risk of suffering from them. Being overweight and smoking can also increase your chances.

Pregnancy and Birth

Pregnant women are at an outstanding risk of blood clots. During pregnancy, blood gets thicker, which makes clots more likely. Actually, pregnant women are 10 times more likely to suffer from them. This lasts until six to eight weeks after giving birth.

Those who have suffered blood clots in the past are more at risk for reoccurrence of them when pregnant or after giving birth, so it’s important to speak to your doctor about it. It’s also important to move around often when you’re pregnant to prevent blood clots. Walking around once every hour or more can reduce your risk for them.

Older Women

As you age, your risk for blood clots increases. When older women take estrogen-based hormone replacement therapy, they increase their risk of blood clots by two or three times.

It’s important to avoid hormone replacement therapy with estrogen if you have a history of blood clots. If you must, speak to your doctor about it. Many doctors will keep an eye on it and recommend at least 30 minutes of walking a day and avoiding sitting for long periods of times. There are also medications that can be prescribed, which will thin the blood to reduce the risk of blood clotting.

Getting an Assessment for Blood Clots

Doctors have an assessment they can give you to figure out your risk for blood clots. You will need to answer all of the questions truthfully, so you can have all of the information possible to reduce your risk.

Preventative treatment is available. Blood thinners can be prescribed and there are all compression stockings that can be worn to decrease your risk of blood clotting. These preventative steps only decreases your chances of blood clots, they don’t eliminate the risks.

You should know the symptoms of a blood clot, in case you ever suffer from one.

  • Swelling is typical with a blood clot and will usually only occur in the extremity where the blood clot is such as in one leg or arm.
  • Pain and tenderness are common. Some people describe it as having a Charley horse.
  • Skin will turn red or blue, as if it is inflamed or losing circulation.
  • The extremity is unusually warm.

Many people suffering from a blood clot say it feels as though there is a pulled muscle or Charley horse in the arm or leg. The difference with blood clots is that it swells, discolors, and becomes warm to the touch.

Be sure to keep these risks and symptoms in mind. You may not be at risk now, but you may later in life. Knowing about it can save your life. Share it with friends and other loved ones to ensure they can also prevent life-threatened blood clots.

Ulcerative Colitis – 7 Ways to Deal with It Effectively

It’s not fun to suffer from ulcerative colitis. It can hit you out of nowhere, and make you double over in pain. Those cramps and pain in your abdominal are nothing to scoff at because flare ups are excruciatingly painful. The good news is that if you’ve been diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, you can prevent and treat flare ups, so you don’t deal with the effects for as long and often.

About Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a disorder that affects the large intestines. The lining of the intestines becomes inflamed and tender. Many tiny sores develop, which can sometimes produce pus and mucous.

Due to the painfulness of the sores, many people suffering with ulcerative colitis end up with abdominal pain. They can come in waves since stool is still moving through the intestines passing over the sores.

Since the intestines are aggravated, it will move whatever is inside out quickly. It’s the body’s natural way of protecting itself. This can cause diarrhea.

The cause of ulcerative colitis seems to be the body’s immune system’s efforts in protecting your body from infection. The problem is that sometimes the immune system becomes confused and thinks that food, good bacteria and other materials are foreign bodies that could lead to infection, which is why it starts to overreact causing inflammation and the sores.

To help the immune system calm down and learn that food and bacteria are okay, you should implement the following ways to prevent and treat the disorder.

#1: Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is extremely important in managing ulcerative colitis. According to research, women who sleep less than six hours or more than nine hours are more likely to suffer from flare ups. As you can see, it’s not just not sleeping enough, it’s sleeping too much that can also cause problems.

Be sure to get 7 hours of sleep, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. This way your body can recuperate after a long day of hard work.

#2: Speak to Relatives

Ulcerative colitis is inherited. Find out who in your family suffers from this disorder to learn what they do to prevent flare ups. If they are older than you, they probably have some useful advice for you.

You can also ask about their symptoms. This can help you identify some of the symptoms of flare-ups that you have not recognized yet. This can help you implement what you need to for effective flare up management.

#3: Relaxation

Stress can make ulcerative colitis worse. Don’t allow your life to interfere with it. Each day, you should practice some relaxation. You can meditate, pray, do yoga, or some other activity that lowers your stress levels. Try to avoid stressful situations as much as possible. When you can’t avoid it, deal with effectively and then take care of your elevated stress levels as soon as possible.

#4: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

It may seem as though therapy wouldn’t affect your intestines, but it does. Your immune system has everything to do with your ulcerative colitis. This means you can use your mind to control what goes on with your body. Yes, you can help your immune system relearn what a foreign body is and what isn’t with the help of a cognitive behavioral therapist.

#5: Probiotics

You’ve likely heard of probiotics before – it’s healthy bacteria for your colon. It helps your digestive system function properly. Since ulcerative colitis has a tendency to mess up your digestive track, probiotics can come in and heal it.

Probiotics are best for prevention. It keeps inflammation at bay.

#6: Acupuncture

Moxibustin, an acupuncture technique, can help treat people with ulcerative colitis. The technique uses needles with burning herbs on the ends of them. In a study, those who had this type of acupuncture ended up with fewer symptoms than those who didn’t.

#7: Fish Oil

Inflammation in the colon can be treated with fish oil. The oil will not only calm the inflammation, but it will coat the intestines to protect any further flare ups. That’s why it’s perfect for prevention and treatment.

Ulcerative colitis is difficult to deal with, but you can prevent and treat it if you’re proactive about it. Use these tips, or comment below with some of your own.

What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Fiber

Fiber – You’ve probably heard the word millions of times. Health experts continuously urge people to eat more fiber. Despite their recommendations, most adults still don’t usually get enough of it. An average adult needs about 25 grams of fiber a day. Adults currently only get about half of that amount each day. This can lead to many health problems. The following can help you see how important fiber is in your diet.

You Become Constipated

Everyone is different when it comes to bowel movements. Some people have one every day, while others have it only every two or three days. The problem is when someone goes from having daily bowel movements to only having one every few days – this is constipation.

Fiber helps you stay your regular. Since your body can’t digest fiber, it must clump to stool to get out of the body. This causes the stool to stay flexible making it easier to find its way out of the body.

Some people will suffer from hemorrhoids because of constipation. This is just another sign that they are not getting enough fiber in their diet.

To ensure you don’t have to deal with the uncomfortable and painful effects of constipation, eat a diet high in fiber every single day. In time, you will know whether you’re getting enough based on your bowel movements.

You Feel Hungry

Have you ever had a meal and then a few minutes later feel hungry? It’s likely because you didn’t eat enough fiber.

When you eat fiber, it swells up in your stomach. This takes up much more space than foods that do not contain it. This will keep you satiated for longer, since it takes longer to digest fiber.

You Increase Your Risk for Heart Disease

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. For many people, it’s because they don’t eat enough fiber.

Fiber helps you keep your cholesterol in check. Experts say that it’s because cholesterol sticks to fiber since it doesn’t break down in the body. When you have a bowel movement, the cholesterol leaves the body along with the fiber.

Since people who eat a lot of fiber are at lower risk for high cholesterol, their chances of heart disease are also decreased. What’s even better is that most people who get enough fiber also maintain a healthy weight. This further protects their heart.

Your Blood Sugar Levels Spike

Any sharp rises in sugar levels often result in a crash. That crash is what makes you feel so sluggish later in the day.

Foods high in carbohydrates are mostly to blame for sugar spikes. It’s important to stay away from them as much as possible.

Getting more fiber in your diet will help you stabilize your body’s sugar levels. This way you can feel alert and energized throughout the day.

What’s even more important to know is that fiber can not only help people suffering from diabetes, but it can prevent it as well. If your sugar levels remain constant, you’ll be less likely to end up with diabetes later in life.

How to Get More Fiber in Your Diet

It’s not too hard to get enough fiber in your diet. Raspberries have a lot of fiber with 8 grams in just one cup. You can add raspberries to yogurt, in a smoothie, or just eat them as they are because they are great for a sweet treat.

Oranges are another great fiber food. Not only that, they are loaded with vitamin C, which can keep you healthy. You can also add oranges to a salad, eat them alone, or squeeze yourself some fresh orange juice.

For all of the nut lovers out there, almonds can help you get the fiber you need. It also has magnesium, which is important in moving stool through your intestines. Almonds are great alone, in salads, or choose almond flour next time you’re baking.

One cup of beans has a whopping 15 grams of fiber for black ones. You can throw beans in just about anything or eat them right from a bowl. If you don’t like black, eat other types of beans because they all have a good amount of fiber in them.

Start making changes to your diet to ensure you get enough fiber. It’ll make you feel good AND protect your health.

10 Facts About the Zika Virus You Need to Know Now

The Zika virus is frightening. It seems like every day there are more cases of it in the United States. The best thing you can do is learn as much as you can about it. The following facts will help you understand what it is, what it can do, and how to protect yourself.

#1: Mosquitos Are Most Likely to Spread It

Mosquitos are what carries the Zika virus the most. So far, there has been one case of the Zika virus being transmitted through sexual intercourse. As more people become infected with the virus, the chances of catching it from someone will be higher.

#2: Symptoms Are Mild

The good news is that most people who are infected with the Zika virus never experience any symptoms, and if they do, they are mild. The most common symptoms of the virus are fever, rash, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, and conjunctivitis. These symptoms last for about a week and then go away on its own.

#3: Fetuses Are More at Risk

The Zika virus harms fetuses the most. As they are developing in the womb, the Zika virus can cause a condition call microcephaly. It causes the baby to have a small head and brain.

You probably know of the story of Jose Wesley, who was born with microcephaly. He appears to have no head, and continues to live despite the predictions doctors had about his longevity. Babies who are born with this physical disability often have heart problems, blindness and are hearing impaired as well.

#4: Zika Has Been Around for a Long Time

Zika was first discovered in 1947 in Africa. The problem is that when it was discovered, researchers thought it couldn’t harm people. Around the 1950s to 1980s, many people started to see the virus more in people. It’s not until now that they’ve finally pinpointed how it’s affected fetuses.

#5: The Zika Virus Is Spreading

It started in Africa and then went to South America. It spread much like it has to the United States. People from South America travelled to Africa, were bitten, and then were bitten by mosquitos in South America. The last known location of the mosquitos carrying the Zika Virus is Puerto Rico. This may mean the mosquitoes are travelling north, and may be in the United States soon.

#6: Mosquitos Pass It Between Each Other

More mosquitoes contract the virus by biting each other. Mosquitos do this often, and it could be the reason for the huge outbreak that’s occurred.

#7: People Are Bringing It Back from Other Countries

There are 30 countries that have been identified with the Zika virus outbreak. Americans are urged not to visit these countries, especially if they are pregnant. By limiting the exposure, it can keep the virus from coming to the United States and infect Americans.

#8: Inspect Repellant Can Help

For anyone travelling to one of the 30 countries, it’s important to use insect repellant. It can help fend off the mosquitos that carry the virus.

#9: Mosquitos Control Can Decrease the Chances of Zika Virus in the U.S.

As the spring approaches, it’s important for cities to consider adequate moisture control. By limiting the number of mosquitos in the area, there’s less of a chance the virus will be spread.

#10: Mosquitos in the U.S. Can Get It from Infected Individuals

As more people become infected with the Zika virus, mosquitos will bite them and transmit it to others. This will make the Zika

This is the reason the United States is requiring all people who have visited one of the 30 countries to be tested for the virus before entering. The only way to gain control over the spread of this virus is to keep it contained in certain areas. This way only the people who are living in them will be at risk.

A Vaccination Is in the Making

Researchers are busy working on a vaccine for the Zika virus. This vaccine will prevent the virus from its horrifying effects on fetuses. The vaccination will need to be safe for pregnant women and the fetus, so many studies will need to be conducted. It may be a while before a vaccine is available. Until then, stay away from the identified countries, and use insect repellent.