The Price We Pay for Sleepiness

The Price We Pay for SleepinessMost of us suffer an occasional bout of insomnia or, perhaps, don’t get to bed early enough to get the restorative sleep we need to function at optimal productivity throughout the day. Regardless of whether you suffer through a sleepy day every once in a while or have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, the consequences for not getting the rest you need can be far reaching.

The National Sleep Foundation estimates that approximately 40 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with a chronic sleep disorder with 62 percent suffering from sleep deprivation several times a week. These numbers are cause for concern because accumulating sleep debt puts you at increased risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other chronic health problems. There’s more.

Clearly, our bodies suffer physically when sleep deprivation becomes a constant companion in our lives; however, there are fiscal considerations as well. Reports vary, but it is estimated that employers lose approximately $18 billion a year due to lost productivity in the workplace as a result of sleepy workers. Other reports assess that financial loss at a much higher deficit, as high as $63 billion annually. Regardless of the numbers, it’s clear that sleepiness is an occupational hazard.

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3 Vitamins That Boost Your Immune System

3 Vitamins That Boost Your Immune SystemCold and flu season is in full swing. If you’ve had the flu shot, you’ve already taken a positive step toward protecting yourself against certain strains of influenza. However, there are other viruses – as well as the common cold – that can hit without warning and cannot be prevented with a yearly vaccination.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to wash your hands several times a day to keep germs at bay. If you follow hand-washing with a dollop of hand sanitizer, you’ll add even more protection against those pesky germs that make us sick. Nevertheless, because we do not live in a sterile world, there’s a good chance you’ll come in contact with contagious viruses, regardless of the precautions you take.

The good news is that you can boost your immune system naturally. Here are three vitamin supplements you can add to your diet that can help you resist illness during the winter months.

Vitamin B Complex – Experts tout the benefits of taking vitamin B complex to stay healthy. There are eight B vitamins – B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, B12 – that work together to keep our bodies strong and resistant to disease.

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You’ve Been Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. What Next?

OWL-0051-120214-youve-been-diagnosed-with-fibromyalgia-what-nextOWL-0051-120214-youve-been-diagnosed-with-fibromyalgia-what-nextThe diagnosis of fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) can be confusing to many individuals since one person’s experience with FS may be completely different than another individual’s experience. Because fibromyalgia represents a set of symptoms, it is often difficult to diagnose, particularly since it can be symptomatic of another underlying chronic condition. Often misunderstood, patients who receive the diagnosis of FS from their healthcare provider may be unfamiliar with natural ways to treat their lingering symptoms.

Approximately 10 million individuals in the United States have FS, and women are 10 times more likely to be diagnosed with it than men. Although widespread joint and muscle pain are the most common complaints, there are a host of other warning signs that you should be aware of if you suspect that you – or someone you know – may have undiagnosed FS. Here are just a few.

• Pervasive muscle and joint pain
• Debilitating fatigue
• Widespread pain
• Morning stiffness
• Facial/jaw pain
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Concentration/memory problems (“fibro fog”)
• Anxiety
• Depression
• Painful menstrual cramps
• Insomnia
• Urination pain and frequency
• Numbness and tingling in extremities
• Chronic headaches
• Abdominal pain
• Dryness in eyes, nose, and mouth

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Men and Osteoporosis

Men and OsteoporosisOsteoporosis. It’s a chronic condition that most of us attribute to women’s health. While it’s true that 80 percent of osteoporosis diagnoses are prescribed to women, men account for nearly two million diagnoses each year in the United States…and that number is growing. In fact, roughly 12 million men in this country are at risk for this painful, chronic condition.

Osteoporosis is a disease that results in weak and thinning bones, and approximately one in four men over the age of 50 will have an osteoporosis-related broken bone during their lifetime. Yearly, nearly 80,000 men break a hip due to osteoporosis and are more likely than women to die within a year from osteoporosis-related complications.

There are several risk factors that may put men at risk. Here are just a few:

• Family history of osteoporosis
• Lack of exercise
• Low testosterone/estrogen levels
• Steroid use
• Heavy alcohol/tobacco use
• Certain chronic conditions, such as osteoarthritis

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3 Home Remedies for Sore Throat Pain

3 Home Remedies for Sore Throat PainCold and flu season brings about a myriad of health concerns. Even if you take steps to stay healthy, there’s always the chance that you will catch a cold or be exposed to a virus that causes you to develop a sore throat. Longstanding home remedies such as sipping chicken soup and gargling with warm salt water provide short-term relief, but there are other steps you can take to make a scratchy throat feel better.

Gargle with hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is an effective solution for killing bacteria. That’s why it’s a popular first aid essential in many households. Simply place a capful of 3% hydrogen peroxide into a cup of warm – not hot – water and gargle (don’t swallow). If you find the taste offensive, add a touch of honey to the mixture. Repeat several times a day to kill illness-causing bacteria.

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What You Need to Know About the Nasal Flu Vaccine

What You Need to Know About the Nasal Flu VaccineThe Nasal Flu Vaccine – also known as FluMist – is a viable choice for many individuals who do not want to receive an influenza vaccine injection, particularly for those who skip the flu shot altogether to avoid contact with needles. Like the flu shot, FluMist will provide protection against up to four strains of the flu, but there are a few differences that you should be aware of.

One consideration that is in favor of FluMist is that it is administered in the nostrils where the influenza virus enters the body. For instance, if you’re in close proximity of an infected individual – up to six feet away – tiny droplets that contain the virus are spread by talking, coughing, and sneezing. This aerosolized virus is breathed in by a non-infected person, and that is how the flu originates.

Additionally, flu-infected droplets of mucous or saliva can land on inanimate objects such as door knobs, desk tops, and counter tops – even money. Therefore, if you take measures to avoid infected individuals to avoid getting the flu, you are still at risk for getting sick if you do not get vaccinated.

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3 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Affective Disorder

3 Natural Remedies for Seasonal Affective DisorderDoes your personality change when the seasons change? Do you feel happy in the summer? Sad in the fall? Downright depressed in the winter? Do you feel less energetic after summer ends? If so, you may suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is most prevalent in women and can affect individuals in varying degrees, ranging from mild depression to severe depression. In fact, those who suffer from SAD are usually affected during the same season each year. Others, however, experience no changes in mood. Instead, their energy levels wax and wane as the seasons change.

While medical experts are unsure of the exact cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder, many believe that the changes in light may trigger depression in some individuals. Additionally, changes in energy levels could be a result of changes in melatonin levels. (Melatonin is the hormone that regulates sleep cycles as well as our moods.) We secrete more melatonin in the winter because melatonin secretion occurs when it is dark, therefore telling our bodies it’s time to rest.

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Can the Flu Shot Give Me the Flu?

Can the Flu Shot Give Me the FluIt’s that time of year again – the time when you see signs everywhere telling you to “Get Your Flu Shot!’ at your local grocery store, pharmacy, and, of course, your health care provider’s office.

For many people, the flu shot has kept them healthy throughout multiple flu seasons; however, others have suffered through bouts of the “flu” after receiving the vaccine. Still, others avoid the flu shot altogether, claiming they contracted influenza in the past despite getting inoculated.

According to the CDC, approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized each year due to the flu or complications from it, and that number doesn’t account for individuals who suffer through their symptoms silently at home.

Seasonal flu affects approximately 5%-20% of the U.S. population each year. While many individuals will not contract influenza, it’s always recommended to take a proactive stance to avoid getting the flu.

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What is Myocarditis?

What is Myocarditis?Myocarditis is inflammation of the middle layer of the heart wall and is most commonly caused by a viral infection; however, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic infections can trigger this condition, as well. Other precipitating factors for myocarditis are allergic reactions, prescription medications, street drugs, and chemotherapy, just to name few.

Myocarditis – if it becomes severe – can lead to heart attack or stroke because the pumping action of the heart becomes weaker and cannot supply your body with the blood it needs to function properly. Severe myocarditis can also lead to sudden death.

Although thousands of individuals are diagnosed with this condition each year, the exact numbers of people afflicted with it are unknown because myocarditis often goes unnoticed or undiagnosed. In fact, it is frequently asymptomatic.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Prevention and Control), influenza activity is currently low. However, once influenza season gets in full swing, myocarditis can become a complication of the flu infection. That’s why it’s a good idea to become aware of these symptoms and schedule a check-up with your medical care provider if you exhibit any of them.

• Abnormal heartbeat
• Shortness of breath
• Leg swelling
• Fluid in the lungs
• Shortness of breath, especially during exercise
• Shortness of breath while lying down, especially after a work-out
• Fatigue
• Stabbing chest pain
• Feeling light-headed
• Inflammation/swelling in the neck veins, legs, and/or joints
• Painful joints
• Diarrhea
• Muscle aches

Because myocarditis is most often caused by infections, it’s a good idea to ensure that you are current with your immunizations, particularly rubella and influenza. Additionally, you’ll want to limit your exposure to ticks because tick-borne diseases can also trigger this disease.

There are a variety of diagnostic tests your physician may use to determine if you have developed myocarditis. Furthermore, if you have been diagnosed with it, there are some measures you can take to lessen the severity of your symptoms. There is no one-size-fits all treatment, however; your physician will determine the best course of medical intervention to take for your myocarditis, depending on the cause of it.

While your physician will most likely prescribe medications and lifestyle changes, there are steps you can take to complement your prescribed treatment plan.

If you smoke, quit. Individuals who smoke increase their chances of myocardial infarction and sudden death.

Limit alcohol consumption. The general rule of thumb is that women should drink no more than one drink a day; men should consume no more than two drinks a day. A drink is equivalent to 1.5 ounces of liquor, 5 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of beer.

Adopt a heart healthy diet. You’ll want to limit your consumption of saturated and trans fats. You may, however, enjoy foods that contain “good” fats, such as soybean oils, canola, walnuts, and salmon. A fiber-rich diet that is high in fruits and vegetables is also recommended to protect your heart.

The MAP can identify underlying issues that may contribute to myocarditis and recommend nutritional supplements and other lifestyle changes to ease symptoms and prevent future flare ups. The MAP uses a saliva and urine test to determine the root cause of symptoms and then provides a series of recommendations using natural home remedies to help you live a heart healthy life.

If you’d like to learn more about The MAP and arrange for your own personal diagnostic evaluation, enter your first name and email address in the field on the right-hand side of this page. We’ll register you to attend our next webinar and show you how The MAP can help you boost your energy, lessen the pain of chronic symptoms, and enhance your overall quality of life.

The Cold Facts about Raynaud’s

The Cold Facts about Raynaud’sMany of us experience numbness in our fingers and toes after exposure to extremely cold temperatures; however, for those who live with Raynaud’s Disease, cold conditions or emotional stress (such as anxiety or anger) can trigger an attack of numbness, pain, or stinging, which can cause the tips of the digits to turn pale, then blue, then red.

Raynaud’s is categorized as primary or secondary. Primary Raynaud’s disease is often referred to as Raynaud’s syndrome. It is a rare condition and most often occurs in women between the ages of 15 and 30. Men can become afflicted with Raynaud’s syndrome as well, but nine times more women than men are diagnosed with it. It is estimated that approximately 3-5 percent of the population suffers from Raynaud’s disease and its cause is unknown, although individuals who live in cold climates or have a family history of this condition are more prone to developing it.

While primary Raynaud’s disease appears to develop on its own, secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon can develop in response to medication or an injury. Individuals who develop Raynaud’s phenomenon usually do so later in life, most often around the age of 40. While less common than primary Raynaud’s, it can often be more serious in nature.

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