Are You at Risk for COPD?

Are You at Risk for COPD?Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – also known as COPD – can occur when there is chronic damage to your lungs over a period of years. COPD is considered the third leading cause of death in the United States, with more women than men dying from this disease. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 24 million individuals in the United States alone live with this condition, although only about half have been diagnosed.

COPD is a progressive lung disease and refers to any of the following conditions, according to the COPD Foundation:

  • Emphysema
  • Chronic Bronchitis
  • Refractory (non-reversible) asthma
  • Some forms of bronchiectasis

In most cases, COPD is caused by smoking. If you are a smoker – or former smoker – and experience shortness of breath, a chronic cough, and expel phlegm when you cough, you may have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Other symptoms can include wheezing, tightness in the chest, or difficulty taking a deep breath.

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The Healing Properties of Flax Seed

The Healing Properties of Flax SeedFlax seed is a natural supplement that individuals add to their diets to treat and prevent a variety of chronic health conditions. Many people add flax seed to juice, hot cereal, or yogurt. You can also mix it into batter for muffins, cookies, and breads prior to baking.

To get optimal healing benefits of flax seed, it’s important to grind it first. Invest in a small coffee grinder to grind it just prior to adding it to your food or drink. Although it may be a time saver, avoid buying packaged flax mill because it loses some of its health benefits in the packaging due to oxidation.

Although there are many good reasons for adding flax seeds to your daily diet, there are also some drawbacks. Flax seed can block medication absorption, so you’ll want to wait a couple hours after ingesting it before taking your medication.

Furthermore, individuals who have the following conditions should avoid flax seeds:

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5 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure without Medication

5 Ways to Control High Blood Pressure without MedicationLiving with high blood pressure can be a scary experience because keeping your numbers in check is paramount to good health. For many people, controlling high blood pressure is equivalent to taking a pill – or two – every day to keep their blood pressure under control.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

There are several steps you can take to regulate your blood pressure without medication. Of course, you’ll want to do so under the supervision of your primary health care provider. You never want to stop taking high blood pressure medication “cold turkey” because it can cause your blood pressure to spike. Instead, change your lifestyle so that you may gradually wean yourself off your meds with medical supervision.

Consider taking these steps to naturally lower your blood pressure:

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Are Seizures Linked to Poor Nutrition?

Are Seizures Linked to Poor Nutrition?Seizures can be frightening, particularly since there is no one-size-fits-all predictor for the onset of one. Some individuals can feel the symptoms several days in advance; for others, the seizure may initiate without warning. While there are several treatment modalities for seizures – depending on the underlying cause — there are steps you can take to decrease seizures that may be linked to nutritional deficiency.

There is evidence to suggest that certain types of vitamin deficiencies may exacerbate seizure activity. In newborns, a vitamin B6 deficiency can result in seizures. However, in the population at large, there are conflicting reports on the effects of vitamin deficiencies and seizures. One study suggests that low levels of vitamin D may be linked to seizures and that increasing vitamin D levels may lessen seizure activity by 40 percent. Other studies indicate that certain vitamin deficiencies may play a part in seizure frequency in adults, but there is no solid evidence that proves it.

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36 Symptoms of Menopause

36 Symptoms of MenopauseMenopause. For many individuals, that word brings to mind a variety of undesirable experiences, such as mood swings, hot flashes, and night sweats. However, did you know that there are other symptoms – many more, in fact – that may be attributed to the change of life?

For most women, menopause begins between the ages of 45 and 55, although perimenopause – with similar physical and emotional symptoms – may begin up to ten years prior to a woman’s cessation of her period. The age of menopause may vary significantly between women, however, because some women will experience it as early as in their thirties while others may not enter menopause until their sixties.

Menopause is defined as the end of a woman’s fertility. A woman’s menopause begins one year after the complete cessation of the menstrual cycle. For many women, they are relieved when the risk of pregnancy ends; however, there are other uncomfortable symptoms that may accompany menopause, many of which you may be unaware.

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Reasons Why You May Be Losing Your Hair

Reasons Why You May Be Losing Your HairWhen it comes to hair loss, many of us assume that we’re dealt the cards of genetics. Either we’ll get male or female pattern baldness – or we won’t – and there’s nothing we can do about it. Right?

Not exactly.

Hair loss is part of everyday life. In fact, most of us shed upwards of 100 hairs per day. There is no reason for concern, however, because we have approximately 100,000 hair follicles, most of which are growing hair on a regular basis.

While 90 percent of our hair follicles produce hair, the other 10 percent are in a resting phase – the period of time when we lose strands of hair. There’s no cause for worry, though. The regrowth cycle begins soon thereafter.

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

What to Expect as You Get Older:  Changes in Your NailsAs we move through 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.

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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

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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:

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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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