Testing, Testing: 6 Types of Screenings that Could Save Your Life

by Head Health Nutter on January 31, 2015

 You’ve heard the expression, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Well today’s guest blogger, Dixie Somers, shares with us 6 tests we could get to help prevent some of the most common illnesses these days.

For most healthy individuals, a yearly trip to the doctor is enough to make sure everything is in check, and make any necessary adjustments. However, as we age, we become more susceptible to diseases and medical conditions that can be life changing and even life threatening. That is why medical screenings are the easiest way to stay healthy and on top of any developing conditions.

Some tests can pick up on problems within the body before there are any obvious signs or symptoms. For those that would like to steer clear of some of the most common medical problems, here are five screenings that you should never pass up.

Testing, Testing - 6 Types of Screenings that Could Save Your LifeDiabetes

While type 2 diabetes may be preventable, the number of adults with this disease is on the rise. According to studies carried out by the American Diabetes Association, over 75 million Americans are on the verge of diabetes and this medical condition will increase a patient’s risk of life-threatening heart problems. Anyone that is 45 years of age or older, has a family history of diabetes, or is overweight should have glucose tests at least once every 1 to 2 years. This will help you stay ahead of the diabetes game and make the necessary changes to ward off the disease before things get out of hand.

Blood Pressure

Those with high blood pressure are at an extremely high risk of issues such as heart attacks and organ failure. Blood pressure tests are quick, affordable, and easy to carry out and should begin at the age of 20. Blood pressure tests should be carried out at least once a year alongside any other blood or heart tests. These tests should be done more frequently if you have a family history of high-blood pressure or related issues.

Cholesterol

Those with high cholesterol could permanently damage their eyes, heart, brain, and kidneys before ever feeling any other side effects of this condition. Starting in your 20s, everyone should have a comprehensive cholesterol test. If the results come back within a safe and healthy range, further tests need to only be carried out once every 4 to 5 years. If you have a cholesterol problem, your doctor will likely schedule more frequent tests in order to safely monitor any changes.

Mammogram

You have probably noticed an increased push in the past decade for women to get regular mammograms after the age of 40. This extra push comes with good reason. Since 1990, mammograms have helped reduce breast cancer mortality by one third (in the United States.) According to the professionals of ADU, who offer a bachelor’s degree in radiology, early detection of breast cancer gives patients a better chance of avoiding the need for intensive treatments. Even if a patient doesn’t show any signs or symptoms of breast cancer, waiting to get a mammogram could allow the cancer to develop into further stages.

Pap Smear

A pap smear is one of the most important health screenings for women, and should begin around the age of 21 or as soon as the woman becomes sexually active. These important tests are designed to catch serious health issues such as cervical cancer and STDs in their earliest stages. Women with 3 healthy pap smears in a row only need to be tested every 3 years after the age of 30.

Colon Cancer

As the third most commonly-diagnosed type of cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths (in the United States) colon cancer is a growing concern. A colonoscopy is a quick and easy test that will allow a medical professional to find any signs of this aggressive form of cancer. Tests should begin at the age of 50 and every 5 years after that.

For those with a family history of any other serious health issues, screenings should take place as often as possible in order to prevent these problems and minimize any risk in the future. Even if you feel healthy, don’t forgo regular tests and screenings—there is always the chance that a disease or problem is lurking beneath the surface and hasn’t shown itself yet.

Take advantage of the widespread access to medical equipment and technology we have today, and undergo the tests necessary to keep you healthy in the years to come.

About the Author

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer from Arizona. You can find her on Google+.

Are there any regular tests you and your family doctor perform? Please share with us so we can also talk to our doctor about adding an extra preventative test to our list. 

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11 Ways to Stop Snoring Naturally

by Head Health Nutter on January 28, 2015

Are you losing precious sleep because you or your partner snore? Check out today’s guest article by Janet Miller. She lists a bunch of ways you can improve your sleep naturally by reducing or eradicating the tendency to snore.

My husband has been a longtime snorer – I used to complain everyday until I finally decided to do some research on how to stop snoring. Here are the 17 best ways to stop snoring I have come across:

SnoringSleep on the Side

Sleeping on your side is one of the best ways to stop snoring naturally. Sleeping in this position prevents the soft palate from relaxing or collapsing at the back of the throat or tongue. One trick that can help you sleep on the side if you are used to sleeping on your back is to sew or attach a tennis ball to the back of your shirt. Since it feels uncomfortable, your body will naturally turn to the side even as you sleep.

Use Firm Pillows

Avoid sleeping on soft pillows but try firm ones instead. Soft pillows tend to constrict the passageway of air and result in your tongue falling at the back of the throat because your head is in a lower position.

Elevate the Head

Pile several pillows behind your head. This way you are elevating your head, opening and clearing the passageway of the air and making breathing much easier.

Set a Sleep Schedule

Some people snore because they have irregular sleeping times. Having too much work and sleeping late exhausts your body, which can result in snoring as your throat becomes more relaxed than normal.

Weight Loss

Overweight people tend to have narrower air passageways because their neck tissue and throat have increased in size. Losing weight is an effective way to stop snoring.

Exercise

Exercise helps you to lose those unwanted pounds. It also helps in maintaining the normal size of your throat and improves your muscle tone.

Stop Smoking

Smoking irritates your throat and can result to inflammation. A swollen throat narrows the passageway of the air and causes difficulty in breathing.

Avoid Alcohol and Sleeping Medications

The consumption of alcohol or sleeping pills and sedatives trigger your jaw and throat muscles to relax more than normal. These substances can also lead to sleep apnea.

Get a Air Purifier

Another way to stop snoring naturally is to use an air purifier or humidifier. Airborne allergens and contaminants can contribute to your snoring problems. With these units, allergens are trapped or removed making your indoor air cleaner, safer and healthier.

Avoid Dairy Products and Caffeine

Dairy products and caffeine may cause excessive production of mucus, which can lead to a blockage of the air passageway. Try reducing your dairy product and caffeine intake.

Do Tongue Extension Exercises

One way to stop snoring naturally is to practice tongue extension. Doing tongue extension or exercise strengthens the muscles of your tongue and throat. Do this by sticking your tongue as far as it can go, then move it sideways, making sure that it touches the corners of your mouth then, move it up and down. Do this for 15 seconds several times a day.

Have you come across other ways to stop snoring naturally? Please leave a comment below.

About the Author

Janet Miller is a health enthusiast who writes for Air Purifier Reviews, a blog dedicated to providing detailed reviews of air purifiers, humidifiers, evaporative air coolers and related home appliances.

 

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5 Reasons Why Massages Should be a Part of Your Routine

by Head Health Nutter on January 25, 2015

Who loves massages? If you do, you’ll love today’s guest post. Dixie Somers gives us 5 very good reasons to enjoy a massage on a regular basis. I think it’d be rockin’ to add “massage” in my budget!

Many of us consider massages to be a luxurious thing that you treat yourself to at a spa, or on a cruise. The truth is, however, that there are many benefits that can come from massage therapy, which is why incorporating massage therapy into a regular routine to maintain optimal health is becoming increasingly common.

masseur does back massage to the young manThe ancient Greeks actually believed that it was a daily massage rather than an apple a day that kept the doctor away. The health benefits of this healing treatment are a large part of why massage therapy is gaining such wide-spread acceptance as a routine consultation rather than a luxury experience. Some of the top health benefits associated with massages include the following:

Stress Relief

Massage therapy is naturally associated with promoting relaxation. The treatment triggers brain chemistry responses linked with decreased stress and improved mood. A sense of calm, enhanced creative thinking, mental alertness and the ability to better cope with stressors are commonly experienced by those participating in massage. This is why many people choose to get massages while at a spa retreat, or on a relaxing cruise. However, if you have a high-stress job, or a chaotic schedule, taking time for a weekly or bi-monthly massage will help your body and brain to better cope with stressors.

Improved Posture

According to the professionals at Health & Wellness Chiropractic of Utah, poor posture often develops over time as a compensation related to joint and muscle discomfort. Regular participation in massage therapy combats this coping mechanism by loosening muscles and providing relaxation for joints. This allows the body to return to its natural position. The benefits of good posture include improved breathing and a boost in self-confidence. If you work a desk job, or sit for a good portion of your days, massage therapy can help loosen muscles that naturally tighten when you spend all day hunched at a desk.

Promotion of Circulation

The actions of massage therapy facilitate the movement of blood and other essential body fluids throughout the body. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to organs and muscles within the body for optimal functioning. Lymph is a fluid that carries away toxins and impurities from tissues. Research has actually shown that a regular massage routine can lower blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is an essential part of staving off heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

Strengthening of the Immune System

Believe it or not, massage therapy has also been shown in clinical studies to increase the strength of your body’s immune system. This is accomplished by increasing the activity level of the body’s defensive cells known as “killer cells.” Regular massage treatments promote the body’s ability to naturally fight against bacteria and infection. If you are always getting sick, or just tend to feel “under the weather” more than most people, a regular massage routine might help you bounce back. With a stronger immune system, you’ll be able to fight off those pesky colds and illnesses that prey on your weak immune system.

Improved Flexibility

Flexibility and range of motion diminish with sedentary lifestyles and as a part of the aging process. Routine massage therapy keeps joints more fluid and makes them less prone to injuries. Massage works to get blood flowing to overactive muscles that have contracted due to stress or immobility. If you are starting to feel the effects of aging creep in, a regular massage can help you to maintain a healthy range of motion and level of flexibility. This is especially helpful if you are still exercising frequently and need increased flexibility for your workouts.

So, whether you need to relieve a little stress, or you are trying to strengthen your immune system, there are plenty of benefits for someone who schedules a weekly or bi-monthly massage. The numerous benefits of massage therapy result primarily by boosting the body’s own processes and natural recuperative powers. Incorporating this practice into a regular part of healthy living should be a consideration for anyone interested in feeling their best.

About the Author

Dixie Somers is a freelance writer from Arizona. You can find her on Google+.

Do you know of any other health benefits to massage? Just so we can justify the expense even more!

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Let’s Talk About Sex (with our teen children)!

by Head Health Nutter on January 23, 2015

If you know “the talk” with your teenage son or daughter is coming soon, you may feel a bit apprehensive, anxious, worried or downright scared! No need to be with a little know-how and preparation. To help you today is guest blogger, Melissa Stevens. 

Nowadays, with the great help of the mass media, the most important thing in the world is sex. It’s everywhere. It’s not taboo any more. It’s not discreet. It’s everywhere. Music is about sex, TV and movies use it more explicitly. It’s not a shame to want it. On the other hand, the media promotes the idea that not having sex makes you uncool. The youngsters are puzzled! When should they do it? Whom with? How? These are the answers that should be answered by the parents.

How to be a good parent? What to advise the children and when? In the life of every parent, there’s that awkward moment when it’s necessary to have THE talk. Not an easy task for a parent! How to do it?

teen-talk-about-sexPrepare yourselves! Find as much information (online, books, councilors) and be calm and relaxed. Don’t tremble and don’t let your child surprise you with a question. You have to have all of the answers. It’s crucial.

WHEN TO DO IT?

The first thing to talk about is that their first time has to happen when they want it and not to be forced into it by their potential partners or society. There is never a perfect moment for that.

Each person should feel the moment when they are ready and willing. According to Guttmacher Institute, the greatest number of people have their first sexual intercourse by the age of seventeen, but there are examples as early as the age of ten or twelve. Try not to wait too much with the talk if you don’t want it to be too late. It’s relevant to mention that premarital sex is not is a bad thing and that sex is one of the factors of a good-functioning relationship. [click to continue…]

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Things All Women Need to Know About Waxing

by Head Health Nutter on January 21, 2015

Who’s tired of shaving? Raise your hands! One option to reduce the amount of shaving for that we 21st century ladies must do, is to wax. Today’s blogger, Tung Tran, is here to share with us a few tips, myths and facts about waxing. Enjoy!

Mention the word ‘waxing’ and just the thought or sound of it is enough to make women uncomfortable. While some are able to endure the painful procedure every month, others run for the hills. Yes, it is painful, but the results definitely last longer than shaving, and cost a lot less than those expensive laser treatments.

waxing

photo credit

Having unwanted body hair can make many women feel that they look unladylike. And waxing comes as a rescuer. So that makes it a necessity, even though it entails ripping the annoying hair off your body to reveal exfoliated, glowing skin. Sounds doable!

However, there are certain things you will have to do before and after your waxing session to ensure maximum results.

Before Waxing [click to continue…]

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Keep Calm And Yoga On

by Head Health Nutter on January 12, 2015

In November I had a full physical by a new doctor. The results all came back superb (except my cholesterol was high within the healthy range)! I mentioned how I was having difficulty managing the stress in my life. Do you know what she prescribed? YOGA! She said yoga helps with SO many things (she didn’t have time to elaborate). Today’s guest blogger, Meghan Greene, shares with us a few ways to improve or start a yoga practice.   

Yoga is a practice of serenity and peace, and in modern society it is easy to get overwhelmed with stress and responsibility. Dr. Amit Ray, the spiritual master said it best, “Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science and integrating body, mind and soul.” The following are tactics to help every yogi keep calm and yoga on.

Yoga woman exercising, ocean and sunsetBODY: De-stressing with food

Eating the right foods can propel you to the perfect state of Zen. The following super foods have scientifically been linked to reducing stress. Our bodies have no natural way of storing zinc, and studies have shown that low levels of it have been linked to anxiety and stress. To combat this, eat a handful of cashews daily. Salmon is another great food to integrate into one’s diet. The fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and has been shown to reduce the feeling of unease in the brain.

A rich green vegetable such as spinach or broccoli is always a great nutritional boost. Spinach is rich in magnesium, a mineral that promotes feelings of well-being in the body. Eating healthy can be hard for those with a sweet tooth, so try dark chocolate to satisfy a craving and promote peace in the body. To keep the body in good health a diet full of nutritious foods is a must.

For more information check out What is a Healthy Diet? [click to continue…]

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Diet Planning: How to Plan Your Meals for Efficient Weight Loss

by Head Health Nutter on January 10, 2015

Who’s all stoked to be a healthier you this year? I know I am. And although I’ve been doing alright following my plan so far, I could do a lot better. Maybe today’s guest blogger, Lizze Weakley, has a few ideas in the nutrition area!

Losing weight can be one of the most difficult and on-going challenges you face. It’s also one of the most rewarding, not because you look better, but because you are healthier. Being in shape allows you to function at your peak, live a better quality of life, and do what you do best.

Diet Planning How to Plan Your Meals for Efficient Weight Loss (1)Cater to Your Strengths and Identify your Weaknesses

Part of finding a good diet is realizing that what may work for others might not work for you. Firstly, cater to your strengths. If you love certain healthy ingredients or have easy access to them, incorporate them into your diet. It seems like a no-brainer, but so many people overlook the simple fact that if you love what you’re eating, you’ll keep eating it.

Cater to your personality as well. If you are organized and self-disciplined, create a menu and stick to it. If you work better when given a task or a challenge, find a buddy to join you on your mission or, if you have the means, consult a nutritionist. Equally as important is identifying and eliminating your weaknesses. Do you snack compulsively when you’re stressed or when you’re tired? Find ways to curb these cravings when you sense them coming on. [click to continue…]

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7 Things Women Should Know About Health Insurance

by Head Health Nutter on January 7, 2015

Today’s guest post by Kimberley Laws is written specifically for women from the U.S.A. who want to understand their new healthcare system better.  

If the word “Obamacare” sends you into a state of utter confusion, you are not alone. Months after the plan’s rollout, the Affordable Care Act still boggles the minds of many. And, with the large number of changes in effect that pertain to females, women are finding it particularly difficult to navigate the system.

If Obamacare has you in a perpetual state of perplexity, fret no more. Here are seven important things that every woman should know about health insurance.

help1. Medicaid has expanded.

Thanks to expansions to the Affordable Care Act, less Americans will now fall through huge gaps in the Medicaid system. Individuals who are between the ages of nineteen and sixty-five who earn up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level and meet the other requirements, such as citizenship, should now be covered. According to NewsMax’s “Big Medical Changes in 2014 Under Obamacare,” this translates into an income of less than $15,856 per year. Admittedly, not all states have opted in to these changes, so it is important to check with your own state to see if you qualify.

2. Your birth control can be covered.

Perhaps, one of the most misunderstood facets of the health care changes is the addition of coverage for your preferred method of birth control. If you have a prescription for a birth control method that is approved by the FDA, and you have a new health insurance plan offered by your employer, the Marketplace, or many of the private insurance providers, you should not have to pay any out-of-pocket expenses. [click to continue…]

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5 Easy Hacks to Simplify Your Life at Work

by Head Health Nutter on January 6, 2015

Was to “simplify my life” one of your 2015 goals/resolutions? Cutting out the extras means less stress, which means a healthier life. If you’re looking for a few ideas in how to lower stress at work, check out today’s guest article by Gabbie Keegan.

Stress at work is inevitable. As a matter of fact, the percentage of professionals who gets stressed in their workplace gets higher and higher almost everyday. Job stress is very common and realistically speaking, it’s impossible not to feel it at any time of the day. Everyone feels overwhelmed due to excessive demands, longer working hours, dealing with difficult people, and having conflict with the boss or co-workers. If you allow these issues to linger, your work stress may take over your life.

Zen ManTo avoid such things happening, start learning how to make your career life more simple. Yes, it’s often easier said than done but if you have a strong will to do it, there are sure ways to achieve it.

Here are 10 little things that can help you simplify and enjoy your life at work.

1. Ignore interruptions

Learn how to handle and ignore interruptions particularly during working hours. It is not easy and sometimes it makes you crazy but once you get the hang of it, handling different workplace interruptions such as unnecessary noise, long chats with co-workers, constant emails, frequent phone calls, etc. can actually be manageable.

There are ways on how you can avoid such things, such as not abandoning your ongoing task, concentrate on what you’re doing, and do yourself a favor by turning off emails or chat notifications to reduce your job stress level. Set aside time specifically for those tasks that tend to interrupt other tasks.

2. Practice healthy eating

Some people tend to fill themselves with too much sweets, fatty snacks, and go-to comfort foods when they’re stressed while others skip proper meals to make a deadline. A healthy diet is very important when you’re a working professional. Healthy food is the source of all the nutrients that your mind and body needs so you must not forget to indulge in healthy meals. Avoid stress eating, instead fuel your body with foods that can overcome stress. [click to continue…]

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For our first post in 2015, guest blogger, Dixie Somers, shares with us how athletics help improve one’s overall health. She speaks specifically on teens, but these important lessons we can all learn from (or be reminded of) at any age. Keep reading to find out these lessons, and if you’re reading for yourself, then just sub “school” for “work.” 

Most parents realize how important physical activity is for their growing teen, however, there are dozens of far-reaching benefits that athletics can bring into a teenager’s life. A study by West Virginia University concluded that male students who have not participated in physical activity in the last week are five times more likely to describe their health as poor. This number rises to 30 times more likely for female students. With your help, you can keep your teen from becoming the next statistic.

Organized sports and recreation teach a young person essential life-long lessons, aside from providing an excellent form of exercise. Here are just a few things your teen will gain from participating in recreational sports.

Beyond Wins and Losses - Important Lessons that Athletics will Teach Your TeenLife Long Nutrition
According to the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention, over 30% of teens are overweight. On top of this, teens are constantly bombarded with mixed messages about nutrition. In order to participate fully in sports, teens have to eat right. With an abundance of junk food at their fingertips, and the growing popularity of eating disorders, teenagers often battle with eating. Playing a sport acts as great motivation to eat nutritious food, or to eat period. Learning to eat properly, sleep correctly and avoid fasting are important lessons that carry on to their adult lives. [click to continue…]

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