Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

December 2023 // Archive

Date based archive
28 Dec

Headaches are actually quite complicated and not always a simple answer when it comes to causality. That is why some people continue to suffer from chronic headaches. There are different types of headaches, different reasons why they happen, and different types of treatments. The complexity of headaches lies in the fact that there are over 150 types.

The most common types of headaches include the following:

  1. Migraines: This pounding and throbbing pain can last for 3 to 4 hours or longer. They can also happen up to 4 times or more per month. A person becomes sensitive to light, might feel nauseous, lose their appetite, or become very sensitive to smells.
  2. Tension headaches: This is most common type of headache. They can cause mild to moderate pain and will go away over time.
  3. Cluster headache: This is the most severe type of headache. They tend to happen in groups, hence the name. They can happen multiple times per day and last anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours. The person might feel a piercing pain behind their eye with constant throbbing and pounding.
  4. Sinus headaches: The person feels a throbbing in their cheeks, bridge of the nose, and forehead. The person typically also has a runny nose, clogged ears, and a fever. They sinus cavities have become inflamed.
  5. Chronic daily headaches: This type of headache can last 15 days or more. Sometimes they are short and sometimes they can last 4 or more hours.

There are other types of headaches that are less common, but that doesn’t downplay their disruption to someone’s day. Exercise can cause headaches because the muscles in the head and neck and surrounding area need more blood. This can cause a pulsing pain. Post-traumatic headaches can also occur even up to 2 to 3 days after a head injury. Hemicrania continua is an ongoing headache that usually affects the same side of the face and head. Hormone headaches can occur as the hormones are shifting during menstruation or menopause.

The brain becomes overwhelmed by different signals coming from the brain, blood vessels, and nerves. Combine this will illness, stress, genetics, and environment, and one becomes at high risk for a headache. To this day doctors still do not know what exactly causes a migraine, making treatment difficult. Doctors might suggest a CT or MRI. Treatment depends on headache type, cause, and how often. There are of course pain management solutions such as a warm or cold compress, drinking herbal tea, lowering the lights, avoiding looking at screens, exercise, drinking plenty of water, avoiding certain foods, sleeping, massaging pressure points, for some people drinking coffee or soda can help, limiting alcohol, and avoiding certain smells and chemicals. Pressure is always difficult, especially to the head. Be patient and over time you will find an answer and a way to keep the headaches at bay.

21 Dec

Attention deficit hyperactive disorder, also called ADHD, is a condition that commonly involves hyperactivity, impulsive behavior, and the inability to pay attention. This condition used to just be called ADD or attention deficit disorder. This condition always begins in childhood and can be carried into adulthood. About 4 to 5% of adults have ADHD and not everyone seeks treatment. Some people even go undiagnosed but start to take notice later in life. As an adult it can be difficult to manage a job, be timely, or even try to set goals.

This behavioral condition is more common in boys than it is in girls. Typically, during the school age years, a child begins to have trouble paying attention or sitting still at school. The symptoms can be categorized into three forms: hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity. A child with hyperactivity has trouble staying seated and tends to bounce or fidget. They’re restless and climbing on things. They also talk excessively. Inattention is characterized by being distracted, having a hard time following directions, trouble getting organized, daydreaming, and losing things. Impulsivity is marked by interrupting others, blurting out, and impatience. These characteristics spill over into adulthood and can cause problems at work, result in anger problems anxiety, mood swings, feeling bored a lot, relationship problems, and depression.

ADHD might be caused by several reasons, and the exact or direct cause is unknown. Most of the time, this condition occurs in families, it can also be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, toxins that could affect the brain, a brain injury, or any substance abuse during pregnancy. Contrary to what most assume, sugar does not cause ADHD. It is also not caused by watching too much T.V. or going to a bad school.

Although there is no cure for ADHD, medication and therapy is available. Medications called stimulants can help. There are also non-stimulant medications which can be prescribed after age 6. Omega 3s have also been found to be effective. Therapy might involve behavior modification, transitioning into a special education classroom to learn structure and have a more conducive environment to addressing the issue, counseling that can help with emotional control, and there are support groups.

Many people with ADHD live happy lives and are successful despite diagnosis. Catching the signs and symptoms early can really help modify behaviors and learn coping skills. Sometimes the body adapts to medications and may need to be adjusted. Some people even grow out of these behaviors. Every individual is different and certain management therapies are effective for some and not others. When daily life gets hard to manage, seeking help is always important.

13 Dec

We all hear of this cancer treatment, but what exactly does the process of chemotherapy entail?? Simply put, it is a way to kill cancer cells with drugs. Cancer cells grow and divide very quickly, so treatment is a race against this spreading. Chemotherapy specifically targets the cells that spread quickly. “Chemo” can work throughout the entire body, which is different from radiation or surgeries that can only target specific locations. The trouble is that chemo can also affect healthy cells too such as those of the hair, skin, bone marrow, and intestines. That is what causes the detrimental side effects of this treatment.

Although there may be side effects to this method, the goal of chemo is to either ease the symptoms, help control, or even cure cancer. It works to shrink the cancer-causing tumors, and to keep them from spreading, and to hopefully absolutely destroy the cancer cells. Many times, doctors combine chemo with another form of treatment. It can be used to shrink cells prior to radiation treatment (using radioactive particles to kill cells), after a doctor removes a cancerous tumor, or in addition to vaccinations and antibodies that work to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy has the ability to make other treatment forms more effective.

Chemotherapy varies from person to person. Factors to consider include the type of cancer, the way your body responds, how far along the cancer has gotten, and what the ultimate goal of the treatment is (shrink, cure, ease pain). Sometimes chemo is administered in cycles that allow the body to recover between treatments. A person might do chemo for one week then take a three week break before returning for more. Treatment can be done via injection to a major muscle such as the thigh, hip, or stomach. It can come in oral form or even topical. Intravenous (IV) is also a method which goes directly to the vein. Intra-arterial (IA) is when it goes directly to the artery. Intraperitoneal (IP) is when it goes directly to peritoneal cavity which includes the liver, intestines, stomach, and ovaries.

Most people feel absolutely worn out by this process. There are even certain laws that can help a person with their place of employment because working during treatment can become just too daunting. Health insurance is incredibly important to have for all of this. Chemotherapy is a difficult but incredible process that saves lives. Patience is key and having a network of support because the body is fighting to heal itself, renew itself, and make the most what it can do to keep the body alive and well. As the saying goes, if at first it doesn’t succeed, then try, try, try again and beat cancer once and for all.

07 Dec

Love is a feeling we get that can be related to emotions that make us excited, nervous, angry, upset, and/or passionate about something. How we give and receive love says a lot about our personality and character. The expression and acceptance of love affects our relationships. Understanding our love language helps us know and feel love as we desire. The five languages of love include acts of service, quality time, affirmation, physical touch, and receiving gifts. We can better speak from the heart if we can communicate our love language.

  1. Acts of service – These are things you can do for others and/or others can do for you to feel loved. These could be simple acts of doing the dishes or putting gas in the car. These are the “it’s the little things” that are noticed.
  2. Quality time – Some people need undivided attention. You or they want the other person’s focus. Quality is the factor that matters, not necessarily the quantity. This could be putting the cell phone aside and/or making eye contact.
  3. Affirmation – Some need to hear spoken words to feel love whether it be encouragement, text messages, praise, quotes, or appreciation. Pointing out something and acknowledgement are key.
  4. Physical touch – This could be holding hands, touching the persons arm, a little massage, and/or sex. It can be cuddling and being close.
  5. Receiving gifts – Some people appreciate the time and effort and thoughtfulness of gifts whether it be giving them or receiving them. Some people remember every little gift, and it isn’t always about the most expensive item. It’s knowing that the gift giver put their love into the gift.

Two people in a relationship don’t have to have the same love language, nor do we fall in love more with people who do have the same as ourselves. Some of us have never even thought about or identified our love language, but there are some questions we can ask ourselves to do so. To identify your love language, ask yourself these questions regarding how you feel in relationships. Do you feel more loved when your partner…..

  1. Run errands for you?
  2. Plans a trip for the two of you?
  3. Tells you I love you and says sweet things?
  4. Holds your hand when you walk places?
  5. Surprises you with a gift?

There are some perks to understanding love languages. By learning about other’s, you are being selfless. You are accepting someone else for what suits them best. You aren’t trying to convince someone that you love them when you know how to express it in the meaningful way they seek. You also grow as a person and in how you are a better half of a relationship when you learn about someone else, act accordingly, and go outside your comfort zone to do so. You could be nervous your gift isn’t enough to someone who finds love from receiving gifts. However, you grow, knowing that your gift is more than enough, and you can go buy it and give it without judgement. You can also become more intimate with the other person because you’re connected to them. You really get to know someone more than just surface level.

It’s important not to pressure someone to conform to love language or to try to convert them to the language you prefer. It’s good to recognize that your language and the other persons’ language may change, but the key is to communicate this and not expect the other part to automatically be aware of the change. Not all people are romantic and not all people believe in love being defined.

Healthy relationships thrive on putting into practice the love both parties need. Love almost requires a level of fulfillment, so it’s good to point out what fills your heart. It doesn’t have to be complex, rather, the languages are simple. What gets confusing is when you try to figure someone else out or think the other person should figure you out. Love feels amazing when we receive and give it so that the other person receives and feels it. It’s not to be taken for granted, so tools like putting love languages into play, can be successful acts from the heart that bond two people together.