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.

5 Infections that Scare Doctors

Doctors are around infections all day long. While they often take precautions to keep themselves healthy, they aren’t always enough. In intense situations, such as an emergency room, doctors can take chances that put them at high risk of contracting an infection. The following are some of the infections doctors fear the most.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

This is a big one because doctors have to deal with a lot of blood each day. While they do use gloves, there’s always a change that a small hole in a glove can make them vulnerable. Needle pricks from injections is another way that some doctors contract the virus. There are protocols for doctors who have ever been in contact with blood from a patient to determine if they are at risk of becoming infected with HIV. It’s just necessary for doctors to pay attention to know if they have been in contact with the virus.

Anthrax

You probably remember the huge Anthrax scare back in 2001. People ended up ill and some even died. The problem with Anthrax is that it can go airborne, which means anyone who breathes it in can contract the infection. While this infection is quite rare, it’s still a huge risk. Many doctors know that since they are working closely with patients, they could be breathing in the anthrax spores. This is what scares them.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C attacks the liver, and can lead to liver failure. A person becomes infected with Hepatitis C through blood. It’s just like HIV. Doctors often get it through touching infected blood or a needle prick. To decrease the chances of doctors becoming infected, antibiotics and antiviral medications are given to people who feel as though they have been in contract with someone who has the condition. The good news is that with prompt treatment, most people are able to beat the infection.

Whooping Cough

This highly infectious illness scares doctors because all a patient has to do is cough or sneeze. Since most patients will do that when they are ill, there’s a high likelihood of them catching the virus. Whooping cough can be more of an annoyance to adults than anything, but it can be fatal to children. This is why it’s essential that anyone with whooping cough gets treated immediately. The antibiotic azithromycin can help doctors avoid the condition, if it is taken early enough.

Meningitis

Meningitis can cause swelling in the brain and spinal cord. The way doctors can catch this condition is by breathing in respiratory droplets from an infected person. This usually happens when someone cough or sneezes. Doctors are also vulnerable when they are helping a patient with a ventilator in an emergency room setting.

Meningitis can lead to physical disabilities or death, so it’s important to treat the condition as soon as possible. There are antibiotics that can help reduce the chances of someone becoming infected even after being exposed. It’s essential this medication is given as soon as contact has been made, or it may not be effective.

What It Means for You

Many of the doctors who are afraid of catching these diseases are just getting into the field of medicine. The chances of catching these diseases are extremely low. Even when exposed, medications can make it almost impossible for the doctors to come down with the condition.

If you’re not a doctor, you may be reading this because you spend time in hospitals or medical settings. It’s good to be aware of these diseases, especially if you are going to be in places where the chances of someone with one of these conditions is around you, but you don’t have to worry too much. If you were to really think about it, you may be in contact with someone every single day that is suffering from one of the above. These people can be on public transportation, in elevators, crowded malls, or just about anywhere you frequent. As soon as one of these people coughs or sneezes, you may be at risk. Luckily, the diseases mentioned here are not wide spread, so in many situations you don’t have to be concerned.

Be mindful and protect yourself, but don’t become consumed with it. As long as you take precautions, you should be perfectly safe, even you do have to care for someone with the disease.