What to Expect as You Get Older: Changes in Your Nails

What to Expect as You Get Older:  Changes in Your NailsAs we move though middle age and into our senior years, there are several changes that occur in our bodies. While we may focus primarily on those gray hairs and stiffness in our joints, there are some changes that we may not necessarily notice until they become more obvious: our nails.

Yellowing of the nails – although common as we age – may also be a sign of diabetes. That’s why it’s a good idea to check with your medical health care provider to assess any changes in nail color, particularly if frequent urination accompanies it.

It’s also important to note that our nails can provide important information about our health and existing chronic conditions. For instance, did you know that dark streaks or spots – not caused by injury – may indicate melanoma? It’s true. This indicator of skin cancer is particularly common with older individuals. If you notice dark places on your nails that are not the result of a trauma, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist to get a diagnosis.

Changes in your nails could – but not always – indicate a serious health condition. Here are some changes that you may notice.

• Pits
• Ridges
• Lines
• Discoloration

These particular changes may signify chronic conditions with which you may be unaware, such as the ones listed below.

• Nutritional deficiency
• Kidney disease
• Reiter’s syndrome
• Alopecia areata

Another color that is a warning sign for underlying health issues is blue. Blue nails – particularly if your lips turn blue – can indicate a serious oxygen-related medical issue, such as one of the conditions listed below.

• COPD
• Empysema
• Asthma
• Low hemoglobin
• Pneumonia

Furthermore, once your nails have turned blue, your chronic condition has become severe. Seek medical attention immediately because blue nails may also indicate a serious heart condition.

However, don’t fret over every change you see. As we grow older, it is not uncommon for our finger and toe nails to become more brittle or more yellow. They may also become dull or opaque. And, if you love long nails, it will take longer for them to grow once you enter your senior years.

There’s more. There are a variety of chronic conditions that can cause changes in our nails. The MAP can help identify them.

The MAP can identify underlying health issues and recommend nutritional supplements and other lifestyle changes that may reverse nail damage due to chronic conditions. 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 lead a healthier life.

If you’d like to learn more about The MAP and arrange for your own personal diagnostic evaluation, enter your first name and e-mail 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 to live a happier, healthier life.

What to Expect as You Get Older: Risk for Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndromeMetabolic syndrome affects one in six Americans and is not, in and of itself, a disease. Rather, it is a cluster of symptoms that puts you at risk for developing other chronic conditions. Some people are genetically prone to developing metabolic syndrome while others develop it as they experience a series of health-related issues.

Individuals who have metabolic syndrome – also known as Syndrome X – have at least three of five of the following risk factors:

• Abdominal fat
• High blood pressure
• High triglyceride levels
• High blood pressure
• Elevated fasting plasma glucose

Unfortunately, if you meet the criteria for metabolic syndrome, you are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease. Forty-four percent of individuals over the age of 50 are afflicted with this chronic condition.

Forty-seven million Americans have metabolic syndrome, and risk factors for developing this condition increase as we get older. According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, men and women between the ages of 40-59 are three times more likely to develop metabolic syndrome than younger adults between the ages of 20 and 39, while men over the age of 60 were four times more likely to meet the criteria than their younger counterparts. Women in this age group, on the other hand, have a risk that is six times higher.

If you have been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, there are steps you can take to treat your condition:

• Eat a healthy diet. Consume more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats.
• Lose weight to lower your Body Mass Index (BMI).
• Exercise at least 150 minutes per week. Brisk walking is a good way to ease into an exercise routine. Moderately aerobic exercise is best.

You’ll also want to take steps to control your blood pressure and to lower bad cholesterol numbers. Seek advice from your medical care provider to learn the best course of action for you.

Regardless of whether you may have a genetic predisposition toward developing metabolic syndrome or are at risk for it due to other chronic conditions, there are steps you can take to prevent or treat it. In fact, there may be other factors that contribute to your risk factors for metabolic syndrome. The MAP can help.

The MAP can identify underlying health issues and recommend nutritional supplements and other lifestyle changes to treat or to prevent metabolic syndrome. 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 lead a healthier life.

If you’d like to learn more about The MAP and arrange for your own personal diagnostic evaluation, enter your first name and e-mail 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 to maintain a healthy weight, to lower cholesterol and glucose levels, and to live a healthier life.

7 Steps for Losing Weight Naturally

7 Steps for Losing Weight NaturallyFor many of us, stepping on the scales can be an uneasy experience because the numbers we see don’t always represent the ideal weight that we have in mind. Although we often measure weight in pounds, our body mass index (BMI) is a more appropriate measure of whether we are overnight.

An individual whose BMI is 18.5 or less is considered underweight; whereas an individual with a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. The healthiest BMI is considered to be between 18.5 and 24.9. However, if your BMI measures between 25 and 29.9, you’re in the slightly overweight zone.

You can calculate your body mass by following the steps below:

• Multiply your height in inches times your height in inches.
• Divide your weight by the number you arrived at in the step above.
• Multiply the number you came up with in in the step above this one by 705.

If your BMI measures 25 or above, you’ll want to take steps to reduce your weight. Here are seven steps you can follow to naturally lose weight.

Drink lots of water. Although water does not burn calories, it can prevent your from consuming other high-calorie drinks, such as soda. Also, by staying hydrated, you may avoid overeating because many individuals confuse their body’s thirst cues for hunger.

Eat a healthy breakfast. It’s never a good idea to skip meals because you need to fuel your body to keep your metabolism in check. Skipping meals slows your metabolism, which means you’ll burn calories more slowly. If you eat approximately 300 calories to start your day – and consume a total of five or six small meals a day — you’ll accelerate the weight loss process. There are calorie calculators online that can help you determine how many calories to consume in your day. Just be sure to structure your diet to include higher-calorie meals earlier – not later – in your day.

Toss junk food. Throw it away or give it away. Unless you rid your home of sugary snacks, high-calories drinks, and salty chips, your waistline will not shrink.

Eat plenty of veggies. Regardless of whether you prefer salads, sides, or main dishes, vegetables can fill your stomach on fewer calories. Avoid vegetables loaded with butter, oils, or other fatty ingredients. Otherwise, you’ll sabotage your weight loss goals.

Don’t eat after 6:30 PM. Put yourself on an eating schedule five days a week that stops at 6:30, but reserve a couple of late-night meals for nights out. The fewer calories you consume at night, the more time your body has to burn the calories you’ve ingested during the day.

Save room for treats. It’s not a good idea to eat desserts every night; however, when you want an occasional treat, shave off a few calories from each meal to make room for the calories you’ll need for dessert. Remember, the key to weight loss is not to deprive yourself. Instead, eat an overall balanced diet so that you can have an occasional treat.

Get moving! Walk during your lunch hour, do yoga in your living room, or walk the dog at night. Anything you can do to get moving and burn calories each day will go a long way toward your weight loss goals. When you’re ready, step up your exercise routine by taking a class to keep you motivated.

Remember that small changes can yield big results. You may want to begin with one or two small changes and then add more changes as you adjust your lifestyle. You should never feel as if you’re “starving” during the day. That’s why you’ll want to divide your daily calories into five or six small meals. This strategy will not only keep your metabolism furnace burning, but it will also keep glucose levels in check.

It’s also possible that there may be other underlying factors that contribute to your weight gain or inability to lose weight. The MAP can help.

The MAP can identify underlying health issues and recommend nutritional supplements and other lifestyle changes to accelerate weight loss. 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 lead a healthier life.

If you’d like to learn more about The MAP and arrange for your own personal diagnostic evaluation, enter your first name and e-mail 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 to maintain a healthy weight and live a more energetic life.

5 Symptoms of Acid Reflux

5 Surprising Symptoms of Acid RefluxAcid Reflux can sneak into our lives without warning, and it’s not uncommon to have it without even knowing it. In fact, it is estimated that 60 million Americans are living with symptoms of mild to severe acid reflux.

Here’s the kicker: you may have acid reflux without ever experiencing the discomfort of heartburn.

With acid reflux, it’s true that you may get an occasional bout of heartburn or get a sour taste in the back of your mouth. If your condition progresses to GERD, you may experience frequent heartburn, nausea, and regurgitation of food. Regardless of whether you have a mild case of acid reflux or have progressed to GERD, the condition can lead to more severe problems, such as esophageal bleeding, scarring, and ulcers.

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Itchy Skin May Be a Warning Sign of Type 2 Diabetes

Itchy Skin May Be a Warning Sign of Type 2 DiabetesIt’s winter, and one of the tell-tale signs of the season often emerges as dry and itchy skin. However, did you know that these symptoms can also be warning signs of Type 2 diabetes? It’s true.

Pruritus, which simply means “itching,” is a common symptom of diabetes. While it’s always a good idea to keep your skin moisturized, there are common conditions associated with diabetes that may cause your skin to itch, crack, and peel.

There are various underlying causes that can lead to diabetic pruritus. Here are three of the most common chronic conditions.

Poor circulation. Individuals who experience itching in the feet and lower legs may be experiencing the result of poor circulation. Poor circulation causes narrowing and hardening of the blood vessels, which, in turn, causes noticeable itching on the surface of the skin.

To lessen the severity of the itching, consider taking the following action steps:
• Eliminate the use of tobacco
• Adopt a regular exercise routine
• Keep blood glucose levels in check

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What to Expect as You Get Older: How Our Digestion Changes Over Time

What to Expect as You Get Older: How Our Digestion Changes Over TimeGetting older brings about a multitude of changes in our lives. Many of us transition from full-time parents to empty nesters. Our busy careers lead us toward our retirement years. These are changes that many of us look forward to because they create more space to enjoy our lives. However, there are physical changes that are also to be expected as we enter our golden years.

Our digestion changes over time as our lifestyles change and our bodies mature. Here are a few changes that you may want to be aware of:

• Constipation – Constipation becomes an issue as we age and is most common in individuals as they approach their 60s and 70s. Infrequent bowel movements – as well as painful bowel movements – become more common.

• Esophagus problems – As we age, our esophagus may move food through our system more slowly. Because the esophagus connects the mouth to the stomach, it can make swallowing food more difficult as it becomes less effective in performing its function.

• Diverticulosis – Approximately 10 percent of individuals over the age of 40 – and 50 percent of individuals over the age of 50 – are diagnosed with diverticulosis. This condition occurs when tiny pockets form on the lining of the bowel. Chills/fever, painful cramps, and alternating episodes of diarrhea/constipation can occur with this condition.

• Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – GERD occurs when the stomach acids back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and pain.

• Stomach bleeding and ulcers – Actually, aging is not a contributing factor to ulcers. Instead, the widespread use of NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) contributes to ulcer formation. Since many individuals use NSAIDS to control chronic pain associated with arthritis and other chronic conditions, a higher incidence of ulcers and stomach bleeding is reported in older individuals.

The good news is that there are steps you can take to slow down or alleviate digestion-related disorders. Here are just a few:

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What to Expect as You Get Older: 5 Ways to Improve Your Memory

What to Expect as You Get Older: 5 Ways to Improve Your MemoryWe’ve all had the experience of walking into a room and forgetting why we were there or have had word-finding problems when trying to recall the name of someone we know. As we age, these types of memory lapses may become more frequent and, quite frankly, can become a huge source of frustration as these instances become more recurrent.

There are several theories about why our memory becomes weaker as we age. One possible cause is that the pathways to the hippocampus – the part of our brain responsible for storing memories – degrade over time. Although we still receive information, the breakdown occurs in trying to process and remember that information. This is why we become more forgetful as we get older.

The good news is that you don’t have to accept these little lapses as a no-win situation. In fact, there are several steps you can take to improve your memory. Here are just five of them.

Get plenty of sleep. It’s clear that getting plenty of restorative sleep helps keep you alert during the day, which goes a long way toward staying focused and keeping your memory in check. Furthermore, walking through your day sleep deprived not only sets you up for developing a host of chronic conditions like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension; it also mimics the aging process by contributing to declining memory processes.

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What to Expect as You Get Older: Bones, Joints, and Muscles

What to Expect as You Get Older: Bones, Joints, and MusclesAging. It’s a process that affects us from the moment of conception. However, as we get older, this process brings about many unwelcome changes in our bodies. In fact, it’s not unusual to feel the first signs of aging in our bones, joints, and muscles.

As you get older, you may notice changes in mobility. For instance, it may become more difficult to maintain balance. You may feel light-headed or dizzy when you stand or walk across the room. Your muscles may ache from time to time, and your joints may feel stiff in the morning. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to minimize these issues.

First and foremost, stay active. Have you ever noticed that some elders are running marathons in their nineties while others struggle to walk across the room? It’s because our bodies adjust to what we physically demand of them. Demand more, and you’ll likely have a stronger body. Become sedentary, and your joints and muscles will follow suit.

It’s also important to pay attention to bone health as we grow older. For women, menopause often brings about changes in bone strength because of the loss of calcium and other important minerals. This causes bones to become thinner.

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What You Really Need to Know About High Blood Pressure

What You Really Need to Know About High Blood Pressure“You have high blood pressure.”

The first time you hear these words, they may come as a shock to you. After all, you feel just fine. You may even assume the diagnosis is a mistake or justify that your blood pressure is elevated a bit because you were running late that day and nervous about getting to your medical appointment on time.

In fact, it’s likely your diagnosis began as a routine yearly exam, not because of any warning signs that you were aware of. After a couple follow-up exams, you discover that your original reading wasn’t a “fluke” after all. You really do have high blood pressure, and now you’ve got to do something about it.

Perhaps, instead, you were stunned to learn that your child – or grandchild – has high blood pressure. It is not as uncommon as you may think. A generation ago, hypertension was considered an adult disease. Today, however, more and more children are being diagnosed with high blood pressure, and they are at risk for developing the same debilitating health conditions as their adult counterparts.

High blood pressure results when the blood pushes “too hard” against the walls of your blood vessels. The heart works harder to pump your blood, resulting in potential damage to the blood vessels, the heart, the kidneys, and other organs in the body. Ultimately, individuals who live with untreated hypertension are at risk for heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, and premature death.

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Could You Have Undiagnosed Diabetes?

Could You Have Undiagnosed Diabetes?Millions of people live with diabetes. Unfortunately, many people don’t even know they have it. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 7 million individuals have undiagnosed diabetes. This condition is not only life-threatening; it is also costly. Annually, health care costs for diabetes is approximately $18 billion per year.

There are many myths surrounding this disease. First and foremost, because most adults know at least one person who has been diagnosed with diabetes who lives a “normal” lifestyle, many do not consider it a serious health issue. This is simply not true. Two out of three individuals who are diagnosed with this disease will die from a heart attack or stroke. In fact, according to recent data, more individuals die from diabetes than from breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Another myth is that overweight individuals will eventually develop diabetes. Although obesity does put an individual at risk, the fact remains that many who are diagnosed with diabetes are at their optimal weight or just slightly over, and, furthermore, most obese individuals will never develop diabetes. Still, it’s a good idea to keep your weight in check as a preventive measure. Genetics and a family history of diabetes are also significant risk factors that play a key role in whether an individual will eventually develop this condition.

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