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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The Dangers of Dry Eye Syndrome

The Dangers of Dry Eye SyndromeNearly everyone suffers from occasional eye dryness. However, if you experience frequent itching, irritation, or pain in your eyes, you may want to see your health care provider to determine if you have dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye syndrome occurs when you do not produce enough tears to keep your eyes lubricated or when you produce tears that contain a chemical imbalance. Without proper moisture, your eyes can become irritated very quickly. Worse yet, if left untreated, dry eye syndrome can permanently impair your vision.

Post-menopausal women have the greatest incidence of dry eye syndrome, although if you’re 50 or older, your chances of developing this condition increase regardless of your gender. Dry eye syndrome is so common, in fact, that approximately 50 million individuals in the U.S. alone experience symptoms on a frequent basis.

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5 Surprising Symptoms of Acid Reflux

5 Surprising Symptoms of Acid RefluxIf you’ve ever experienced frequent heartburn or have been awakened in the middle of the night with stomach pain or nausea, you know how debilitating chronic acid reflux can be. However, there are other lesser-known symptoms of acid reflux that could indicate that you need to seek treatment for this condition.

Below are five symptoms of acid reflux disease that you may be unaware of.

Difficulty Swallowing. If you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week, it is possible that your condition has progressed to gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD. This occurs when the muscle at the end of your esophagus does not properly close, thereby allowing stomach acid to leak into the esophagus. The result? The lining can become irritated, and you can experience difficulty swallowing. Food can also get lodged in the esophagus because the damage can prevent food from traveling into the stomach.

Hoarseness. Hoarseness, particularly after a meal, could indicate that you have developed acid reflux disease. When the acid in your stomach travels back into your esophagus and irritates your vocal cords, the result is a husky voice. Other symptoms may include a sore throat or sore tongue.

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Common Triggers for Headaches

Common Triggers for HeadachesWhen you have a headache, your world changes. Migraines can sideline you from your daily routine, and a cluster headache may take you by surprise in the middle of the night and last for weeks, even months. Although tension headaches may not prevent you from going about your day, they can make it very difficult to focus on the tasks at hand.

Regardless of headache type or severity, there are several triggers that may cause you to develop headaches. Read on to discover why you may be experiencing pain and how you can avoid or lessen it.

Stress. Stress is a common cause for tension headaches. While it may not be possible to avoid stress altogether, you may find it helpful if you take steps toward managing stress more effectively. If you can control your reaction to stressful events in your life, chances are you’ll control the number of headaches you’ll experience. Try massage, meditation, exercise, or deep breathing techniques to decompress from a taxing day.

Smoking. Smoking is a common cause of headaches, particularly if you suffer from cluster headaches. In fact, you may be able to reduce the severity or duration of the pain by eliminating smoking from your life altogether. Keep in mind that secondhand smoke is also a trigger. If you can avoid exposure to smoke, you may be able to curb – even eliminate – your headache pain.

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Natural Remedies for Urinary Tract Infections

Natural Remedies for Urinary Tract InfectionsIf you’ve ever experienced a urinary tract infection, you know that the symptoms can range from mild discomfort to nauseating pain. A urinary tract infection (UTI) can affect anyone, but women are 10 times more likely than men to develop a UTI. In fact, approximately eight million U.S. women are treated for UTIs each year.

Overall, urinary tract infections account for the second leading cause of doctor’s office visits in the United States alone. Most UTIs begin as infections in the urethra or bladder and are often treated successfully with antibiotics. However, left untreated, a UTI can eventually lead to a serious kidney infection.

A UTI may go unnoticed at first because it often begins as an urge to urinate more frequently; however, there are several telltale signs that may indicate that you have a urinary tract infection and should, therefore, seek treatment.

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3 Causes of Memory Loss

3 Causes of Memory LossMemory loss. For many of us, it seems to be a natural consequence of growing older. However, there are many other reasons why you may not remember as well as you did when you were younger. While there are several factors that can contribute to a faulty memory, such as substance abuse, stroke, sleep deprivation, depression, and stress, there are a variety of other reasons and lifestyle choices that can impair your cognitive functioning, as well.

Here are three common causes of memory loss that may surprise you.

Smoking. If you smoke – even if you consider yourself only a “social smoker”— you may experience smoking-related memory loss. It’s true. In fact, when compared to non-smokers, individuals who light up daily – or just occasionally – can lose up to one-third of their “everyday” memory. This includes tasks that require “familiar” recall, such as matching names to faces or remembering the words to a song. Because smoking decreases the amount of oxygen that reaches your brain, it impairs cognitive functioning, even in younger people.

Medications. Certain medications are often instrumental in memory loss; however, if you’ve been taking your medicine over a long period of time, you may not attribute your memory lapses with your prescriptions.

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5 Common Symptoms of Adult ADD/ADHD

5 Common Symptoms of Adult ADD/ADHDThe diagnoses of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are often associated with children; however, ADD and ADHD are also common in adults. Individuals with ADD or ADHD are often misunderstood because impulsivity and lack of focus often interfere with work, social situations, and family dynamics.

Although many individuals are diagnosed during childhood, it is possible that you or someone you know could be living with ADD or ADHD and not be aware of it. Read on to discover five common symptoms of these disorders.

Difficulty staying motivated. Individuals with ADD/ADHD have a difficult time staying motivated. For instance, they may begin a task with enthusiasm but soon thereafter get bored or lose interest. Because their brains have lower levels of dopamine, their motivation levels are, consequently, low as well.

Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain that is involved in motivation. Therefore, individuals with ADD/ADHD are naturally wired to lower levels of long-term inspiration. Because they tend to get overwhelmed easily and have difficulty prioritizing tasks, they often feel stressed when there are unfinished tasks at hand.

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5 Simple Remedies for Seasonal Allergies

5 Simple Remedies for Seasonal AllergiesAllergies. If you have them, you know how frustrating and difficult it can be to get through your day with the sneezing, wheezing, and overall feeling of malaise. Approximately 50 million individuals in the United States suffer from seasonal allergies. This equates to nearly 30% of adults and 40% of children. While there is no cure, there are steps you can take to relieve some of your discomfort.

Here are five simple remedies for calming allergy symptoms.

Wash your hair at night. If pollen throws you into a sneezing, wheezing fit or makes your eyes water, try shampooing your hair at night before going to bed. Since pollen collects in your hair during the day and deposits on your pillow as you sleep, allergy symptoms often intensify at night. If you use hair mousse or gel, your hair will trap even more allergens. Therefore, you’ll also want to wash your pillows and bedding to ensure that there is no lingering pollen in your bedroom.

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