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February 2020 // Archive

Date based archive
27 Feb

BLOG 256 FIBROMYALGIA

Chronic pain, tender to the touch on the body, fatigue, and sleep problems, are all symptoms of fibromyalgia. This syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue of the body. The trouble with this condition is that there is no lab test for diagnosis, rather, the culmination of symptoms lead to the fibromyalgia conclusion for sufferers. This condition is frequently undetected and misdiagnosed for this reason. However, for people living in pain, they want a solution to their problem. More of the symptoms include headaches, depression, anxiety, memory loss called “fibro fog”, numbness and tingling in the extremities, irritable bowel syndrome, and feeling body aches all over. This is no way to live. The difference between fibromyalgia and other conditions such as tendonitis, bursitis, and arthritis, is that the pain is not located in one area…. it is chronic and all over the body. A lot of this pain can even be at the surface of the skin, simply triggered by touch.

Persons with fibro just feel exhausted all the time. Even with quality sleep, the body is still tired. This is disruptive to one’s lifestyle including lack of energy to attend work, exercise, and or even just going to the grocery store. These activities take too much energy. Imagine being too tired to even fold laundry. This is frustrating and mentally exhausting as a person is feeling pressured to be part of daily life, but physically too tired to do so. Waking up in the morning is when the body just feels stiff. What sleep a person with fibro does get, is easily disrupted. Brain activity continues as if the person were awake. This in turn, affects one’s mood. A person becomes worried they won’t be able to keep up with daily activities, and this reality leads to depression and anxiety. Relationships can become affected. Short term memory also starts to suffer. Paresthesia (tingling and numbing feeling in the hands and feet) can stop a person in their tracks. All of these factors seem like walls in the way of being able to do things.

A doctor can prescribe medication to help with the pain, and the key is remembering to consistently take these medications. There are also alternative methods such as acupuncture, message, and physical therapy. Exercise, especially walking, can help increase blood flow and decrease pain. Balance and resistance training exercises will also help the body. Keeping the mind active is also important. A person with fibro should pace themselves as they learn to adapt to their energy demands. Trying not to become overwhelmed or easily discouraged is important. Making sure to eat a nutrient filled diet is also critical, especially with vitamin D. Caffeine should be avoided because the sleep cycle of person with fibro is easily disturbed. Although caffeine might feel like an energy booster, drinking caffeine has been associated with increased fibro pain.

Communication is important with relationships and with employers. Lack of energy can be perceived as lack of effort, but when a person with fibro expresses their medical concerns with others, one can aim to find a balance to life’s demands. Fibromyalgia needs more medical research to help sufferers and alleviate such pain. Living a life through struggle is no way to live at all.

19 Feb

BLOG 255 CALLUSES & CORNS

Calluses and corns are the result of your body forming protective skin around a sensitive area. They might be unattractive or bothersome, but they serve a purpose.

Calluses form on the outermost layer of the skin and don’t cause any pain. They are found in places where friction occurs such as the hands or feet. This means a lot of rubbing has taken place on that location. A callus found on the foot is called a plantar callus.

Corns are found where there are pressure points. They mainly occur on the bottom of the feet or on the side of the toes. These can be painful. Corns can turn hard because this is a small patch of dead skin. Corns can also be soft, especially those that occur between the toes. Seed corns are the type you can barely see but are painful to pressure or weight bearing. They could be caused plugged sweat ducts.

Often times, calluses and corns are the result of the type of shoe a person is wearing. High heels are the worst, but any poorly fitting shoes and improper walking form can lead to either of these skin mishaps. Due to high heels, women are four times more likely to develop calluses or corns. Wearing shoes without socks can also cause additional friction.

The problem is that our feet our breeding grounds for bacteria because they are mostly enclosed and moist from sweat. Therefore, if a corn or callus bleeds because the skin has broken, possible infection can occur. Corns that discharge clear pus, means that it is infected and needs to be treated by a doctor. This is especially true for diabetics who have poor circulatory problems.

A doctor can examine the area to determine if you have a callus or corn. A callus, when scraped off, will not bleed. On the other hand, you could have a wart and when scraped off it will bleed. Warts are viral and spread, whereas calluses and corns do not. Most calluses and corns can be treated just by changing shoes or trimming them. The key is avoiding the friction or pressure. Mole skin pads can be placed on the area to alleviate pressure. Infected corns need to be treated and antibiotics are used to clear up the infection. There are moisturizing creams that can help soften the skin and remove calluses. A pumice stone or soft brush can be used to remove calluses as well. Sometimes a doctor will perform surgery to remove a planter callus. However, the callus can return. A podiatrist can recommend shoe inserts to help prevent friction as well. Wearing protective gloves when using the hands a lot can also help.

Even the skin doesn’t like pressure and friction. Keep your skin soft and smooth and the less rub the better. Don’t sacrifice cute shoes for painful dead skin later. Our hands and feet need a little attention too, especially since they do so much for us.

10 Feb

BLOG 254 CHIA SEEDS

Cha-cha-cha-chia…. you remember the Chia Pet?? Now, health food stores are making claims that these tiny seeds are packed with nutrients and can help curb hunger. Chia is a type of seed that come from the Mexican desert plant called Salvia hispanica. “Chia” actually means strength. The ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures ate these seeds for energy because they contain carbohydrates, protein, calcium, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. A single ounce, which is about 2 tablespoons, contains 12 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, as well as other vitamins and minerals that can be absorbed by the body.

Most people consume chia seeds with other foods or in beverages. They have a mild, nutty taste. When mixed with water, they make a gel. Popular uses include on top of yogurt or cereal, with vegetables, in baked goods, or with rice.

The most appealing benefit of chia seeds is the claim that they aid with weight loss. These seeds are supposed to expand the belly upon consumption, which in turn makes a person fuller, meaning they will eat let, and thus weight loss will result. The evidence validating this is limited. Therefore, realistically, it is not the miracle weight loss aid. However, the USDA does claim that chia seeds contain no cholesterol, are a good source of energy, protein, fat, carbohydrates, and fiber. They also contain vitamin C, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin A, sodium, and zinc. They also contain the following antioxidants which help fight free radicals in the body: flavanol glycosides, chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin, and linolenic acid. Chia seeds have also been linked to raising good HDL levels and are a heart healthy food containing omega-3 fatty acids which help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels. They contain more than salmon or flax seeds. These seeds also contain fiber which help with the digestive system. Once the seeds enter the stomach, they become a gel that acts like a probiotic. Chia seeds can also help lower blood sugar levels which is great news for diabetics. The carbohydrates in these seeds are slowly released so they do not cause an insulin spike.

The list of benefits continues. Chia seeds contain more calcium than skimmed milk and boron which helps metabolize calcium. This is important for bone health and can even help your teeth. Chia seeds are known for their energy boosting power, which many athletes utilize for performance improvement. These seeds also contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which helps reduce inflammation in the joints and arteries. Chia seeds also are great for pregnant women because they aid in the baby’s brain development.

Quite the list of benefits for such teeny tiny little seeds. Super foods have the power to benefit the body in so many ways. A little goes a long way. Whole food nutrition is absorbed and utilized by the body to improve functions and help a person perform at their best.

06 Feb

BLOG 253 THREADING

Not everyone desires facial hair, especially the female population. Genetics and hormones can cause this unwanted hair to make its presence on cheeks, chin, and upper lip. There are a number of ways to remove body hair from anywhere, but when it comes to the face, one tends to pay more particular attention to what could happen after. Facial skin is also very sensitive and can range from oily to dry, have many or few pores, and then there is of course acne to consider. Eyebrow threading has become a popular hair removal process. Many people swear by this Middle Eastern method to remove their hair. Before making an appointment, there might be some factors to consider to see if this method is right for you.

Threading is a very precise process. It is considered the most sanitary hair removal method because no chemicals are involved at all. Over time, if a person is consistent with their upkeep, hair follicles can actually stop producing hair. Those who are not a fan of this method complain that this is a timely appointment. It takes longer than other methods. It is also restricted to the face only so not everyone thing can be addressed in one false swoop. Some say it is more painful than waxing. Sensitivity is of course a matter of opinion and a case by case basis. Some feel a pinching sensation. The process involves using cotton threads that are twisted to pull the hair from the root.

PROS:
1. Hair grows back thinner.
2. No heat or chemicals.
3. Cheaper.
4. Precise.
5. Redness disappears quickly.
6. Sanitary.
7. Can remove large areas of hair.
8. Safe for people taking medications.

CONS
1. Sensitive skin types might experience tenderness.
2. If the person is not properly trained, irritation can occur.
3. All makeup must be removed.

Because threading is very precise, people often use it for their eyebrows specially. A more desirable arch can be obtained. This method does have to be done by a professional, so there is not an at home option. The worst problem that can happen is getting a threat cut, but that is highly unlikely. The process sounds complicated but that is why going to a trained professional, laying back, and then standing up hair free is the way to go. Other options will always exist including plucking, shaving, waxing, and creams. Sometimes it just boils down to a matter of personal preference.