3 Weight Loss Myths

3 Weight Loss MythsThere’s no shortage of information available for individuals who want to lose weight. For some, the weight seems to melt away with a few dietary modifications and moderate exercise. Others, however, seem to struggle to lose just a few pounds.

The confusion lies in the conflicting information that is available today. Conduct an Internet search or walk down the health section in any bookstore, and you’ll see a multitude of claims made by “experts” who promise to give you the secret to remarkable results.

Unfortunately, many of these claims tout immense weight loss in just a few days or a few weeks. To the contrary, any eating plan that promises a quick fix will probably not lead to long-term success. That’s why it’s essential to change your lifestyle by eating healthier and exercising more frequently instead of embarking on a “diet” that will make you miserable and lead to nowhere.

Let’s lay to rest three of the most common myths that could be sabotaging your weight loss goals.

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Why Am I Getting Leg Cramps?

Why am I getting leg cramps?If you’ve ever been jolted out of a deep sleep by contracting muscles in your calves, you know how painful leg cramps can be. Muscle cramps – also known as charley horses – may last as little as a few moments, but soreness from these twitching muscles can linger for several days.

There are different reasons why we experience cramping in our legs. For instance, we can have muscle contractions in our extremities from over-exertion due to exercise or physical labor. Dehydration can also lead to muscle cramps so if you lead an active life, drink plenty of water.

There are other reasons, however, that cause some individuals to experience leg pain. Many times, these symptoms can be alleviated by home remedies, but some instances require medical intervention.

Certain medical conditions can cause muscle cramps. If you’ve received one of these medical diagnoses, then leg cramps may be part of your life:

• Multiple sclerosis
• Narrowing of the arteries
• Parkinson’s disease
• Fibromyalgia
• Thyroid disease
• Kidney disease
• Diabetes
• Liver disease/cirrhosis

If you are living with one of these diseases and are experiencing leg cramps – particularly on a regular basis – you’ll want to contact your medical provider to seek relief.

Dietary deficiencies can cause leg pain. It’s true. The good news, however, is that proper dietary supplementation will often resolve this issue. If you are deficient in these nutrients, you’ll want to consider adding them to your nutrition plan:

• Magnesium
• Potassium
• Calcium deficiency, particularly in pregnant women
• Vitamin D
• Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6 or B-12
• Vitamin C

Identifying the root cause of your dietary deficiency may provide the answer you need to resolve your problem. That’s why it’s important to follow a well-balanced diet and supplement your meals with minerals and vitamins to keep your muscles in good working order.

Prescription medications can cause leg cramps. Many of the prescriptions we take for serious health issues have painful tradeoffs – muscle spasms and pain. Here are just a few of the medications that contribute to this condition.

• Diuretics (water pills)
• Beta blockers
• Statins
• Fibrates
• ACE inhibitors
• Asthma medications
• Certain cancer drugs

This is not an inclusive list. It’s always a good idea to contact your health provider to see if your leg cramps could be a side effect of the medicine you take.

If you live with frequent leg cramping from muscle spasms, there may be other hidden causes for that pain. The MAP can help you to identify the root causes of your pain and suggest nutritional supplements and other lifestyle changes to eliminate discomfort from your life.

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 manage and eliminate pain so that you can live a healthier, more active 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 take that first step toward optimal wellness.

The Arthritis/Depression Connection

The Arthritis/Depression ConnectionArthritis affects 1 in 5 adults in the United States. Worldwide, it’s considered the number one disabling disease.

More than 100 medical conditions are referred to as arthritis. Common symptoms include mild-to-severe joint pain, fatigue, and joint stiffness. However, for many people, the experience of living with arthritis goes beyond the physical discomfort associated with it.

Depression is also an unwelcome consequence of arthritic pain for many people. Melancholy can result from both emotional and physical challenges that interfere with an individual’s daily life and livelihood, not to mention the changes in overall quality of living due to arthritis pain and inflammation.

There’s more. The additional stress of living with pain can cause individuals to worry excessively about what they can and can no longer do. Many people worry that they won’t be able to maintain their level of performance on their jobs, and the stress this causes can be a major influence on their depression.

If you live with arthritis-related depression, it’s important to remember that pain and depression often co-exist. After all, when pain becomes a daily part of our lives, we have to adjust our routines around that pain. Arthritis may sideline us from many of the activities we enjoy, which can drive us deeper into depression.
It makes sense that if you’re focused on chronic pain, you’ll have a difficult time enjoying your life. Unfortunately, many individuals feel stigmatized by these feelings and isolate from others rather than seek help.

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3 Myths about Diabetes

3 Myths about DiabetesAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 24 million adults in the United States – 1 in 10 – live with diabetes. Although there are steps you can take to help prevent type 2 diabetes, the number of individuals diagnosed with this chronic condition is not declining. In fact, according to the CDC, if current health trends persist, 1 in 3 adults will have diabetes by the year 2015.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1 develops when the insulin-producing cells are destroyed by an individual’s immune system, which results in a marked deficiency in insulin. Those who live with Type 2 diabetes, however, produce insulin but do not secrete enough of it, or the body does not use that insulin properly.

Individuals who have been diagnosed with diabetes are often concerned about the changes they will have to make in their lives, such as taking insulin, adopting a healthier diet, and exercising regularly. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths about this chronic health condition. If you or someone you care for has been diagnosed with diabetes, it’s important to understand the difference between diabetes fact and fiction.

Here are three myths about diabetes that continue to live on.

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Drinks to Avoid If You Have High Blood Pressure

Drinks to Avoid If You Have High Blood PressureAccording to the American Heart Association, 1 out of every 3 adults in the United States has been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Furthermore, the AHA also notes that hypertension “was listed as a primary or contributing cause of death in about 348,102 of the more than 2.4 million U.S. deaths in 2009.”

These numbers are high, and more than likely, high blood pressure affects you or someone you know. It’s a serious health condition, but it’s one that can often be alleviated naturally.

If you’ve been diagnosed with hypertension – or pre-hypertension – perhaps you’ve taken steps to lower your blood pressure by exercising, losing weight, and adopting a healthy lifestyle. Or, if you’re taking medication to treat the problem, you may worry that you’ll have to take that medication for the rest of your life just to keep your numbers down.
Ironically, even if you’ve made several positive changes to lower your blood pressure, you may be consuming drinks that cause your blood pressure to rise. The simple solution is to avoid them or – at least – minimize your consumption of them. Here are three drinks you’ll want to avoid if you are battling high blood pressure.

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5 Causes of Insomnia You May Not Be Aware Of

5 Causes of Insomnia You May Not be Aware ofDid you get enough sleep last night? If you answered no, you are not alone. For those of us who do not get enough rest, the obvious solution is to go to bed earlier each night. For others, however, it is not that simple. Insomnia affects approximately 70 million individuals in the U.S. alone and can last a night or two, or, in chronic cases, for months or years.

Daytime sleepiness can have a variety of effects. According to a conservative estimate by the Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at least 100,000 auto accidents each year are caused by drowsiness, resulting in at least 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries.

Lack of mental concentration and the frequency of mistakes made on the job by insomniacs have also proven to be quite costly. U.S. employers estimate that they lose approximately $18 billion each year due to lowered productivity caused by sleep-deprived workers.

Furthermore, chronic drowsiness can contribute to a variety of health conditions:

• High blood pressure
• Heart attack
• Stroke
• Mood and psychiatric disorders
• Obesity
• Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
• Growth retardation in fetuses and children

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10 Reasons Why You Need Vitamin D

10 Reasons Why You Need Vitamin DVitamin D is hailed in medical communities as one of the darlings of our nutritional supplements. While many of us understand that vitamin D is necessary to promote calcium and phosphorous absorption in our bodies, there are a lot of benefits that vitamin D provides that you may not be aware of.

For instance, did you know that vitamin D deficiency is linked to an increased risk of developing the following conditions?

• Multiple sclerosis
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Type 1 diabetes
• Muscle pain
• Bone pain (including soft or fragile bones)
• Heart attacks

This is just the beginning. Since vitamin D is instrumental to overall health and wellness, you’ll want to take steps to ensure that you get plenty of D in your diet.

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5 Surprising Reasons Why You May Be Gaining Weight

5 Surprising Reasons Why You May Be Gaining WeightWeight gain is frustrating, particularly when your clothes feel tighter without any major changes in your lifestyle. However, did you know that there are several factors that can make you gain weight or prevent you from losing it? It’s true. The addition of those extra pounds may be directly related to how your body reacts to the physical processes within it.

Sleep Deprivation. We need sleep to keep our bodily systems in check. The fewer hours of sleep we get at night, the more sleep debt we accumulate during the day. Getting enough sleep – 7.5 hours is considered the average need – is important because it keeps two important hormones in check: leptin and ghrelin. When you are sleep deprived, these two hormones will not do their jobs effectively.

Leptin tells your body when it is satiated (that feeling of fullness) and lets you know when it is time to stop eating. However, when you don’t get enough sleep, your body will produce less leptin. The result? You’ll eat more often during the day and may grab “quick fix” snack foods to appease your hunger, especially in the work place or late at night.

Ghrelin is the hormone that tells us when we’re hungry. If you don’t get enough sleep at night, your body will produce more ghrelin, and you’ll feel hungrier more often. More ghrelin production coupled with less leptin production most often results in overeating. That’s why it’s common to compensate for these hormonal imbalances by eating more frequently throughout the day.

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Why We Need Cholesterol

Why We Need CholesterolMost of the news we hear about cholesterol focuses on the negative aspects of it. However, did you know that we actually need cholesterol to live? It’s true. While too much “bad” cholesterol can contribute to an array of health issues, it’s vital to note that cholesterol is not – in healthy levels – the enemy. That’s why it’s important to understand the science behind the “good” cholesterol we need to thrive.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is present in our bloodstream and our cells. High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) – known as “good” cholesterol – performs several vital functions in our bodies and also helps to remove excess LDL (bad) cholesterol.

According to the American Heart Association, low levels of HDL cholesterol may lead to heart attacks and strokes. That’s why you’ll want to get your cholesterol levels checked regularly so that you can take steps to keep HDL cholesterol levels healthy.

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5 Everyday Causes of Generalized Pain

5 Everyday Causes of Generalized PainPain. It can be an unwelcome guest in our daily lives. Sometimes we can immediately attribute the cause of it to an injury or some other medical condition. However, generalized pain can also arise from influences that you may not even consider. Read on to discover five causes of pain that can be found in our diets.

Alcohol. Excessive use of alcohol can lead to a disorder called alcohol neuropathy, which may result in muscle spasms and cramps, prickly sensations, and difficulty swallowing. It is estimated that approximately half of all long-term, heavy drinkers will develop this condition over time. On the other hand, studies have shown that drinking as few as two beers a week can also increase your chances of developing another painful condition by 25 percent: gout – a form of arthritis caused by uric acid buildup in the joints.

Food Allergies. When you have a food allergy and consume that allergen, your intestinal lining can become inflamed, can cause you pain, and compromise your digestive system. Unfortunately, a compromised digestive system will not allow your body to absorb the nutrients it needs to thrive. Food allergies are a common source of discomfort and can lead to joint pain, gas, and bloating.

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