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ryan navarros

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Have you heard about the silver tsunami? This color-coded metaphor is being used to describe the explosive growth in the senior citizen population in the U.S. New Census Bureau projections estimate that there will be more adults over 65 than children in the U.S. by the year 2030. While this trend will have serious consequences on the healthcare industry as a toll, it's the oft-forgotten care providers (like nurses) that are starting to pay the most painful price.

 

You might find it interesting to learn that of all heavy labor professions, from construction workers to airport baggage handlers to warehouse employees and even truck drivers with notoriously long hours spent sitting, those in the nursing and nursing aid professions have the highest incidence rates of musculoskeletal disorders. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration found in 2010 that for every 10,000 workers in the care field (nursing aides, attendants, orderlies), an astounding 249 of them experience some form of musculoskeletal injury. That incidence rate is over seven times higher than any other industry!

 

What does this mean for nurses and caregivers? As care providers, their roles starkly increase the risk for not only acute injury but chronic pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders like muscle strains, sprains, herniated discs, shoulder, back and neck injuries, and joint inflammation.

 

How exactly? While much of nursing and caregiving is less physically involved, like patient monitoring, administering medicine, dressing wounds, providing emotional support and so on, a huge part of it is intensely physical. Manual patient handling often includes:

 

  • Repositioning patients (in bed or in a chair)

  • Transferring patients (to the toilet, wheelchair, car, etc)

  • Lifting patients (during a transfer or often after a fall)

  • Readjusting, rolling, carrying patients

Risk Factors for Back Pain in Nursing

There are a handful of factors which contribute to the increasing incidence rates of injury and chronic pain among nurses, many of which are often out of their control. These include:

 

  • Increasing rates of older adults who require assistance with ADL's (activities of daily living) including getting dressed, toileting, transferring in and out of bed, and exercising.

 

  • Rising rates of obesity across the U.S. directly affect a nurses job. Almost 30 percent of senior citizens are obese, increasing the load and stress placed on their nurses and caregivers who help lift and transfer them. For a senior who is over 200 pounds, a nurse may regularly have to lift legs that are upwards of 40 pounds each.

 

  • Lack of proper lifting equipment and team lifting protocols, whether it's in a home health setting or even in a healthcare facility like a hospital or nursing home, leaves nurses with little choice as to the support they receive during manual patient handling tasks.

 

  • The number of seniors experiencing falls rose over 30 percent in the past ten years. Falls can lead to hospitalization, hip fractures, immobility and more. Climbing rates of seniors experiencing fall-related injuries influence the degree of care and manual assistance they require from care providers.

Preventing Back Pain in Nursing

Acknowledging the risk factors that lead to back pain and related injuries in nursing and taking steps to avoid them is a must for nurses, aids, and caregivers. Nurses can take the following steps to ensure their safety:

 

  • Always ask your patients with mobility issues to utilize their mobility aids whether they be canes, rolling walkers, wheelchairs, etc.

  • Practice good body mechanics and proper lifting techniques. Never lift from a bent over position, engage your leg muscles for momentum, and avoid awkward body positions like twisting or contorting your back to help a patient up.

 

  • Advocate for patient transfer and lifting protocols in healthcare institutions like assisted living facilities and hospitals so there is a plan of action (either tools or teams in place) in the event a patient falls or needs help with a transfer.

 

  • Make use of lifts and transferring devices for moving patients. These include Hoyer lifts, lift belts, transfer wheelchairs, transfer shower chairs, turner blankets, rolling/sliding transfer boards, and so forth.

 

  • Stretch and strengthen key lifting muscles like the hamstrings, quads, core, and back muscles. Body weight exercises (i.e. squats, planks, etc.) and even mindfulness practices like yoga and tai chi are a great place to start.

Additional Considerations

Not only does the unsafe and injury-prone nature of nursing and caregiving make care providers more susceptible to chronic pain and musculoskeletal disorders, but the financial burden can be quite hefty too. A nurse or nursing aid who is injured on the job maybe have to take time off work and therefore lose wages and rack up medical bills while they wait for benefits to kick in too. If you work in the care sector, be smart about preventing injury!

 

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More often than not, eating out is done for two main reasons. One is convenience. It can be grabbing the quickest thing on the menu during a half hour lunch or hitting the only grease bomb fast food joint off the interstate where you don't have to turn left into a four-lane street to get back on the road. The other is for the fun of it.

 

It could be a date night or getting together with friends at a nice restaurant to reconnect. No matter the reason, dining out can make it hard to manage your diabetes, but it can be done. Here are a few ways to make eating out a little healthier for anyone with diabetes.

 

Research the Restaurant

 

The good news for people with diabetes is that restaurants must have nutritional information about the food they serve posted, including things like sugar and calorie count. The bad news, this information isn't always easy to find. Most people already know that the food served at restaurants doesn't exactly fall under the health category, but finding out a single item has nearly 1,500 calories can still be shocking. Several health-related websites list the nutritional information of the menu items at the larger chains. If you’re dining local, ask the waiter or chef about the food.

 

Eat on Schedule

 

Taking insulin or other meds to manage diabetes usually means sticking to a schedule to avoid blood sugar spikes or dips. Time your restaurant visit with your medication. Make reservations to ensure you eat at the right time helps. If you eat during a rush and it looks like it may be a while before you get your meal, order an appetizer or get some breadsticks. Just a little something to keep the blood sugar level.

 

Watch the Toppings & Extras

 

 

 

It’s not the baked potato that will get you in trouble. It’s the sour cream, chives, and bacon bits that do it. Even the healthiest dishes can be made into virtual junk food with enough of the right sauces and toppings. Ask for any sauces, toppings, or dressings on the side, so you have control over how much you eat. Even then, don’t let them sneak up on you. A little bit of ranch dressing here and a bit of barbeque sauce there can quickly add up to a lot of extra calories and sugar.

 

Alternatives to Fried

 

With more people eating better, restaurants are rushing to meet the demand for healthier food. Most chains now have baked and grilled entrees that are also lower in calories and carbs. Patrons to restaurants may have more options. All they need to do is ask. Most kitchens will grill or bake a dish, instead of frying it, upon request. If something fried is your only option, removing the breading or crust can help lower the negative impact the food may have on your blood sugar levels.

 

Hidden Carbs

 

A large serving of carbs is a bad thing for people with diabetes. Too many, and glucose levels go crazy. That said, a high level of carbs is often synonymous with yummy. Restaurants know this, which means eating out is usually going to be a carb-heavy experience. In addition to the calorie and sugar content of food, also check the number of carbs. With the popularity of the Atkins and Paleo diets, most restaurants offer several low carb dishes.

 

Look Out for Hidden Sugar

 

Another reason to pay close attention to a restaurant’s nutritional information. Anyone who has been in the diabetes rodeo long enough knows that things like fruit cups, ketchup, and some salad dressings have more sugar than most people realize. Hidden sugar can also crop up in some random menu items. Always check the sugar levels when you can to avoid nasty surprises. And when you aren't sure about a dish's sugar level, always assume that it's a little higher than you suspect.

 

Don't Overdo It

 

Eating out is fun, especially when we're surrounded by family and friends, and are having a good time. It's easy to let our appetites get the better of us at times like these. If someone orders seconds or another round of drinks, it can be hard not to say no. A little bit of overindulgence isn't bad, but be careful not to too lost in the evening's fun. Keep track of what you've eaten and how many portions. When you reach your limit, say so. And if you order more than you should, you can always ask for a to-go box and save it for later.

 

 

 

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Ear infections can be difficult to deal with. Not only do they cause overall discomfort, they can also hinder our ability to hear if not treated correctly. Normally, ear infections happen due to bacteria and viruses that effect all areas of the ear. There are different aspects to ear infections that make them unique from one another. It is wise to get treated immediately if you are experiencing any symptoms from an ear infection. Here are some facts about ear infections, and what your best treatment options are. 

Different Types of Ear Infections 

There are three main types of ear infections that can occur in children and adults. 

Outer Ear Infections/ Swimmer's Ear 

This type of infection occurs due to a bacterial infection that covers the ear canal. Swimmers often experience this type of ear infection due to excessive immersion in water. Bacteria in the water can enter the ear canal, causing an infection. An outer ear infection can also happen by using foreign objects to clean your ears or for utility purposes. This can include cotton swabs and ear plugs. 

Inner Ear Infections 

Inner ear infections are caused by a virus and are incredibly rare. This type of infection can cause inflammation of the inner ear, which harms a person's ability to hear, creates dizziness, and may cause tinnitus. Since over the counter medicine is ineffective against an inner ear infection, it is advised that a person seek medical treatment. 

Middle Ear Infections 

A middle ear infection is caused by pus that becomes trapped in the hollow cavity of the facial bone. These types of infections are commonly associated with children who experience the common cold. These are the most harmless of the ear infections, and typically resolve on their own over time. 

Symptoms of Ear Infections 

Use this guide to determine if you may be experiencing the effects of an ear infection. 

Outer Ear Infection/Swimmer's Ear 

¢ Redness and inflammation 
¢ Pus that is draining from your ear 
¢ Difficulty hearing 
¢ Severe ear pain 
¢ Itching 

Inner Ear Infection 

¢ Vomiting and nausea 
¢ Vertigo 
¢ Tinnitus 

Middle Ear Infection 

¢ Fever 
¢ Balance issues 
¢ Feeling as if your ear is full of liquids 

How to Treat an Ear Infection 

Normally, over the counter and home remedies can do the trick when it comes to treating ear infections. Here are some tips you can use to help alleviate the symptoms of an ear infection. 

Over the Counter Medicines 

Your first line of defense against any ear infection can be over the counter medicines. Using an over the counter, such as Ciprodex, can help with your ear infection problems. Make sure to use your Ciprodex coupon card to help save yourself money when purchasing. 

Home Remedies 

These types of treatments can be just as effective if you wish to take matters into your own hands. Here are just a few tips you can utilize to help alleviate your symptoms. 

¢ Use a cold or warm compress to help alleviate ear pain. Try alternating between warm and cold for the best results. 
¢ Pour garlic oil into the ear canal to help with middle and outer ear infections. 
¢ If your child is experiencing an ear infection, have them sleep with the painful side up. This will help alleviate any unnecessary pressure that is placed upon the ear. 

Ear Infection Prevention 

Though we have provided plenty of information on how to treat an ear infection, we believe preventive action is just as important. Here are some tips you can use to prevent ear infections before they have a chance to cause you discomfort. 

¢ Make sure to tilt your head to drain any excess water that has built up inside while you were swimming. 
¢ Don't scratch the inside of the ear. This will only cause irritation to your ear, which can cause an ear infection. 
¢ Clean any ear peripherals, such as hearing aids and earplugs. Bacteria can build up on these over time and cause an infection from repeated use without cleaning. 


Whether we take preventive action or not, ear infections can happen to any of us. Use our guide to ensure that you are informed and know how to act if necessary. Always look for discounts when it comes to over the counter medicines, like a Ciprodex coupon card, to find the best deals possible. 

 

About The Author

 

Mark Alvarado believes in living a healthy life through travel. Utilize his memoirs to help you become a happier and healthier person in all aspects of life.

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When summer comes, it brings with it longer days, more time with friends at the beach, colourful cotton and linen clothing, awesome peaches, berries and watermelons and ice creams but at the same time it also brings in different types of allergies. There are five allergies which are very common but they can make your interesting summer days terrible for you. Here, we will find out more about these allergies and how you can prevent them and reduce the impact on your life.

 

Common Symptoms of summer allergies

Common Symptoms of summer allergies:

  • Blocked nose / Mouth Breathing
  • Itchy throat
  • Runny Nose
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Swollen, blue-coloured skin under your eyes
  • In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose

 

The five problems

You will often find people suffering from these allergies, especially during summer days. These allergies that you should be careful about are-

 

  1. Summer Pollen Allergies

It is also known as hay fever. Pollen is the biggest culprit. Ragweed, cockle weed, pigweed, Russian thistle, Tumbleweed, sagebrush, Bermuda, blue glasses, red top, orchard, Timothy are some of the weeds and grasses which can cause summer pollen allergies.

Prevention

An air sucking fan can bring in pollen is into your house. So, you should be careful while using it. When the pollen count is high, which is common during dry, warm and windy days, you can exercise indoors instead of going out.

 

  1. Dust Mite Allergies

Dust mite allergy is an allergic reaction that some people show to tiny bugs which are commonly found in house dust. Dust mites are too small and so you cannot see them without a microscope. They eat skin cells shed by you. However, there is a common misconception that allergic reaction happens because of Dust Mite Bites. That's not true. Actually the allergic reaction is caused by dust mite faecal matter. Even though the reaction may cause signs on the skin that resemble an itchy bite, it is not actually a bite.

 

Prevention

To prevent dust mite allergies, you should use a large and prove bed covers and pillows. You should also wash sheets, pillowcases, blankets and bed covers in hot water at least once a week.

 

  1. Sun / UV-light allergies

 

Some people may suffer from Sun or UV light allergies. Bums, blisters, hives and blotchy red patches may be seen on the skin as symptoms of such an allergy. It is also called as photosensitivity. Even though researchers are not sure how sunlight can cause skin allergies, but they believe that the body may respond to sunlight as a threat to the body and if that happens it will result in allergic reactions.

 

Prevention:

Simple lifestyle changes and adjustments can help you to prevent sun allergy. You should stay out of the sun between 10 am to 3 pm because during this time UV rays are at the peak. If you go outside, you need to use a broad spectrum sunscreen which should have SPF 15 or more. You should also cover your skin with clothing.

 

  1. Chigger Allergies

Chiggers are juvenile forms of a mite and they are generally found outdoors in tall grasses. The symptom of a chigger bite include intense itching, raised red bums or blisters on your skin. The bites can cause an allergic reaction. In some cases, you can find Chiggers in Bed.

 

Prevention:

You can prevent chigger bites by using some nature of insect repellent. You can also wash your clothing items in hot water. You also need to avoid low-lying vegetation because that is the favourable place of chiggers.

 

  1. Fruits Allergies

Allergic reactions to food may happen to anyone and during summer some of fruits can cause allergies in some people. Some people cannot eat melons, cherries, peaches, prunes, mangoes, bananas, apples and other fruits.

 

Prevention:

The first prevention step that you can take is to find out which fruits are causing the allergies and then completely eliminate them. You can substitute those foo fruits ds with the fruits that do not cause any allergies and which in fact help you to prevent other types of summer allergies.

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With the growth of technology, it is now very easy to get dental implants. However, there is need for you to find one that understands you personally. While it is true that it is not always a rosy affair trying to find the perfect one for you, the process is not impossible.

 

Here are some great tips to help you regain your dental confidence without having to go out of your way.

1. Most Dentists Can Place Dental Implants

Today, most dentists learn the principles, and techniques needed to place dental implants successfully. This is in contrast to when dental implants were first introduced where only specialized dentists performed the procedures through invasive surgeries. However, that quickly changed with the introduction of modern dental implants making it possible for any dentist to identify the right patient that needs dental implant and perform the procedure.

2. Implants Do Not Have to Take Long to Complete

The basic reason for undergoing a dental implant is to replace or strengthen a tooth in some part of a patient's mouth and not to replace all the teeth. Dental implants help you regain your original smile and looks, but not to install new ones. In that case, the process does not have to take ages. If anything, most of them are completed within a day and patients can go home. However, that depends on the type of dental implant procedure that the patient chooses to undergo.

3. It Does Not Have to Be Expensive

On paper, the thought of undergoing a dental implant might be scary because of the charges that come with the procedure. However, the cost of tooth implant has reduced significantly given that even any dentist can perform the procedure. This means that you can receive the same specialized services from any other dentist, as you would have from a specialized oral dentist at a significantly lower price.

4. The Procedure is Shorter

As opposed to over half a century ago when dental implants were first invented, the procedure is no longer long and invasive. If anything, the procedure is now short and fast given that the dentists nowadays have massive experience on the implants and the technology has widely evolved. Moreover, a patient can now undergo a dental implant procedure without having to visit a hospital. The procedure is also painless, and the patient significantly takes lesser time to heal.

5. Undergoing a Dental Implant is Easier

As compared to getting a tooth pulled out, undergoing a dental implant is easier. Most patients are put off when they hear what the dental implant procedure consists of. However, the ordeal is not as scary as it seems. As aforementioned, it is painless, the healing is faster and retains the same physicality of your jawbone. Moreover, the process does not need a lot of force and application of pressure.

 

Many patients are scared by the thought of dental implants, especially because of how the whole thing goes down. However, what they do not know is that dental implants are not that expensive, are painless and any specialized doctor can conduct the procedure. All you need to do is find a perfect dentist for you and decide what type of dental implant will fit you.

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Being a parent is extremely stressful for a number of reasons. One of the most stressful things that parents have to deal with is whether they're properly informing their kids about the dangers they may encounter in life.

 

When it comes to drugs, alcohol, and other addictions, you as a parent worry that your children won't be able to resist temptation when it's presented to them.

 

While you feel like there's little you can do, your influence can really sway your child's choices when you approach the subject the right way. A child is more likely to listen when their parents create a lifestyle and environment that doesn't foster addictive activities.

 

Alcohol Addiction

 

Alcohol is the most dangerous addictions for teenagers to pick up on. While you're able to keep an eye on your child while they're living in your home, you have less supervision over them when they go off to college. College is an environment that often fosters alcohol abuse in young adults, which is why it's important to have a conversation about alcohol abuse while they're young.

 

Talking to your kids about alcohol is crucial to preventing addiction, but the most important way to get an effective message across is how you present your message. Timing is an important part. While many parents think that their children won't try alcohol until they're in their teens, they often try alcohol when they're younger. Shockingly, girls statistically take their first drink around the age of 13, while boys take their first drink around the age of 11.

 

When you talk to your kids about drinking, you need to present the information calmly. Don't get angry for any reason, even if your child has admitted to trying alcohol. Be ready to answer hard questions. Explain the dangers of underage drinking, emphasize how it's illegal, and go over the health issues that arise when people become addicted.

 

Drug Addiction

 

Drug addiction is a terrible problem that can seriously impact a person's relationships and life. There are copious health risks associated with many illegal substances. Some that you should be aware of, and tell your children about, are that many can cause damage to your respiratory system and cardiovascular system. Problems in these systems can manifest as nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing, and death.

 

When children take drugs, their mental function and mood can turn violent and over-emotional. Changes in mental function can cause people to have difficulty learning and retaining information, especially if they take drugs from a young age. Mood changes can cause them to become distant and argumentative, causing problems in their relationships with the people around them.

 

As with discussing alcohol, you want to have an honest and open conversation with your kids. Your child will want to ask questions. They might admit to having experimented with some drugs. It's your job to remain patient and understanding. If you have experimented with drugs in the past, it's up to you to decide how much you tell them. The primary intent of this conversation should make them feel informed about drugs so as not to misuse them dangerously, and comfortable talking to you about them in the future if needed.

 

Ways to Avoid Becoming Addicted

 

Besides talking to your teenager about the dangers of drugs and alcohol, you want to take additional steps to help steer them away from those dangers. You'll give them the knowledge that they need to avoid addiction, but you also want to advise them about the dangers of peer pressure. When they learn to deal with peer pressure, they learn that their self-esteem doesn't have to be based on what others think of them. It also allows them to pursue their interests, such as sports and the arts, undistracted by destructive influences.

 

Encourage your kids to handle situations where substances are present so that they don't have the temptation. If you've found that your child has a substance abuse problem, get them help. There are many recovery centers that can help address the problem. Addiction is a complicated disease, and those suffering need a strong support system.

 

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When it comes to body image and how people perceive themselves, there are so many factors that come into play. Often people end up looking for ways to make changes to their body in order to feel more confident and secure in themselves. Cellulite is one of those issues that affect a large number of people. It doesn't matter if you're extremely thin, average weight, or carrying a bit of extra weight, you can still have cellulite.

Royalty Free Photo

Unfortunately, it can be visible when standing, sitting, and lying down, making it next to impossible to camouflage. It can look as though your skin is pinched and have a different texture to the rest of the skin. Even the colour can be a bit different. This is exactly why people are looking at new technology to help address cellulite and give them back their confidence. One procedure gaining attention is Cellulaze, which uses a minimally invasive surgical procedure to treat the cellulite in a more effective way. Let’s take a closer look.

What is Cellulaze?

Cellulaze is not only cutting-edge; it’s the first aesthetic laser in the world that is meant to treat cellulite on a deeper level. With its minimally invasive surgical procedure, it is able to treat the cellulite below the skin’s surface. What this means is that people can look forward to long-term results that actually decrease the amount of cellulite they have.

This is an FDA-approved procedure and it is being hailed as a medical breakthrough. The London Medical and Aesthetic Clinic was the first to introduce the laser to the UK market, and Europe as a whole. This was back in 2011. Since then, people around the world are catching on to what it is capable of.

Is the Laser Safe?

One of the biggest questions people have about Cellulaze laser surgery is whether or not it is safe. The technology actually features a couple of safeguards put in place to ensure that safety is always top of the list. The patient’s skin temperature will always be measured and controlled, and the laser power is dictated by an intelligent handpiece.

Of course, each individual case should be discussed in advance to ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure.

Common Myths About Cellulite

Perhaps you don’t yet have any cellulite, or maybe you are just starting to see signs of it starting. Regardless, there are a number of myths and misconceptions to be aware of. Statistics show that it affects up to 90% of women, no matter their size or shape. Many think it’s caused by toxins in the body, which is not true at all. Cellulite can sometimes increase with age, but this isn’t always the case. It is also a fact that cellulite can be carried through genes.

If you do have signs of cellulite and it's making you feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or self-conscious, then Cellulaze could be the treatment that you're after.

 

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Modern life can be stressful, especially in today’s fast-paced world. That constant fear of missing out hanging over our heads isn’t helping, either… If you are feeling stressed out, whether it is from school work, your job or your family, these tips could be just what you need in order to lower your stress levels and help you relax and unwind. 


Image by Lauri Heikkinen (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Regular breaks

Whatever it is you’re working on, you should be sure to take regular breaks. It’s harder to concentrate if you aren’t taking regular rests from work. One of the most popular working methods is the Pomodoro technique, which has you take a five-minute break every 25 minutes. This technique helps sharpen your focus as your breaks give you time to grab a drink, take a breather or focus on a task that would have distracted you while working (like answering a text). 


Image by Marco Verch (CC BY 2.0)

Eating right 

It’s also important to be eating and drinking right. You should be keeping hydrated with regular glasses of water. However, you can also help destress by making some different dinner choices. For example, carbohydrates are known to increase levels of serotonin in the body. This chemical improves moods and can help combat stress. If you’re off carbs, then fish and avocados are packed with omega 3 fatty acids, which are not only also a huge benefit to cardiovascular health but are also known to improve mood and help concentration. If you’re looking for dessert then dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and one study found that eating 1.5 ounces a day seemed to reduce stress – although you should be keeping everything in moderation of course. 

Look after your health

Keeping your mind and body healthy is important for many reasons, failing to do so can amplify the feeling of stress. Eating right is important so your body can benefit from all the vitamins and minerals it needs to balance itself properly. An unbalanced system can lead to fatigue and mood swings so make sure you eat right!

Exercise is important for both the mind and body, even if it's just a quick walk each day it's great for your mood and your overall health. More strenuous workouts can feel extra rewarding and really help to relieve stress.

Lastly, eye health is vitally important to your health but often overlooked. A common cause of headaches, monthly contact lenses are a simple way to maintain your vision whilst staring at screens all day, you can easily buy lenses online and are available from Vision Direct for example.

Set realistic goals 

For most of us, life won’t go as planned. In this age of inspirational posters and aspirational social media accounts, it’s easy to feel like you’re underachieving. Don’t beat yourself upbecause you haven’t achieved your dreams or you are not as far in your career as you want to be. Everyone moves at their own pace, and the number of us that are jetting around the world in luxury at the age of 22 is quite minimal – despite what Instagram would have you think. Set realistic goals rather than impossibly high ones. The less unnecessary pressure you put on yourself the less stressed you will be.  

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If stress is getting to you then you should never be afraid to ask for help; whether it be from friends, family or a doctor. There is no shame in admitting that the daily grind is getting you down, and it’s best to ask for help rather than suffer in silence. 

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Acid reflux, its full name being Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a painful condition that occurs when the muscle at the base of the esophagus does not operate properly and allows stomach acid to travel into one esophagus, causing heartburn and other uncomfortable symptoms. When this phenomenon happens often or uncontrollably, then people are usually diagnosed with GERD.

 

A common way to treat GERD for many years has been medication, most commonly proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Common brand names for this type of medication are Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid. These drugs work to decrease acid production in one's stomach, thereby reducing the chance that some of that acid will travel back up into the esophagus. These drugs usually just treat the symptoms of acid reflux without tackling the source, and while they can be effective, there are some side effects that you should be aware of before you begin taking them.

 

 

  1. Increased Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease

PPIs have been known to cause magnesium deficiencies, and these deficiencies, in turn, can cause kidney problems in the long-term. One study released in 2016 stated that using a PPI regularly can increase the risk of chronic kidney disease by 20 to 50 percent.

 

  1. Increased Risk of Dementia

While it is still not entirely known why patients who use PPIs also seem to have a higher prevalence of dementia, there is a strong correlation. It has been seen in the brains of mice that PPIs increase the prevalence of a damaging protein that is seen in large numbers in the brains of people diagnosed with dementia. This protein is known as beta-amyloid.

 

  1. Increased Risk of Pneumonia

Stomach acid helps to fight off infections. Therefore, if the amount of stomach acid is reduced, then infections like pneumonia may be more likely to take root and spread. Taking PPIs leaves people much more vulnerable to falling sick from pathogens that will inevitably be ingested.

 

  1. Nutrient Deficiencies

Stomach acid also helps to break down the food that people consume. With less acid in the stomach, that also makes it harder for food to be broken down completely, which means that some people may not get all the nutrients they need from their diet. Besides magnesium, that has been mentioned above, some other nutrients that are commonly not fully absorbed are B12, iron, zinc, and calcium. All of these are necessary to live a healthy life.

 

  1. Weakened Bones

The decrease in magnesium and other nutrients can also lead to weakened bones that break and fracture more easily. This can be especially dangerous for older users of the drug whose bones may be weakening due to age or osteoporosis already.

 

As with any medication the benefits need to be carefully weighed against the risks. Therefore, you'll want to do extensive research on acid reflux medication to help you to make your decision. Reading the research on the medication, as well as reviews of user experiences with the medication, its efficacy, and its side effects will help you to obtain a holistic view of the benefits and risks.

 

PPIs do work quite well for people with severe issues. For instance, PPIs can be extremely helpful in delaying the progression of esophageal cancer. However, a major problem is that many people take the medication when they do not really need to, or they take it for a much longer period of time than they need to. Heartburn should try to be controlled through other means such as losing weight and diet adjustments before someone immediately jumps to using medication.

 

Many people are hesitant to stop using the medication because once it is stopped, there is a bit of a pushback, and the symptoms will come back stronger than before for a period of time before they settle down. Yet if people really do not need the medication, then it is important to push through this time and control their symptoms through other means.

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Carbohydrate has become a dirty word in many dieting circles, with popular options like the Atkins and Keto diets calling for a dramatic reduction of carbohydrates. While cutting back on particular types of carbs is healthy, it’s important not to take your vilification of carbohydrates too far. Keep an eye out for these common carb myths and don’t let the misconceptions guide your eating decisions.

Carbs Always Make You Gain Weight

Image via Flickr by Elaine_Smith

Switching to a low-carb diet often results in quick weight loss. This isn’t necessarily a result of the food group you’ve cut so much as it the byproduct of cutting back on your overall calories. You may have also made other healthy adjustments to compensate for the loss of carbs. You can easily include carbohydrates in a healthy and effective weight loss diet when you do so mindfully.

Pair your carbs with fat and protein so you’ll enjoy a lasting feeling of fullness rather than a brief kick of energy. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend getting between 45 and 65 percent of your daily calories from carbs.

You Should Avoid Carbs in All Forms

Though some carbs are unhealthy, not all carbs are bad. Highly processed foods with a lot of added sugars are a bad choice. Opt instead for healthy carbs like whole fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Fruits are a particularly good choice for satisfying a sweet tooth without dipping into the donut box. Whole fruits pair natural sugar and carbs with fiber and other nutrients that help your body digest these foods efficiently.

Humans Aren’t Designed to Eat Starches

You may have heard the argument that carbs are bad for you because the human body simply wasn’t designed to digest starches. This common misconception has been disproved by archeological evidence that shows even Neanderthals consumed starchy foods. Evidence of starch grains was found on the teeth of Neanderthal skeletons in both Belgium and Iraq. Mark Thomas, evolutionary geneticist at University College London, has even argued that consumption of carbohydrate-rich foods contributed to the expansion of the human brain. Carbohydrates have long been an important and healthy part of the human diet.

Low-Carb Diets Require Total Carb Elimination

Cutting back on carbs can be a good idea, particularly if your current diet is high in refined sugars and highly-processed foods. However, it’s a myth that an effective low-carb diet requires you to eliminate carbs completely. Parents looking to adjust their families’ eating habits may worry that going low-carb will mean cutting essential nutrients from their children’s plates. However, Lifesum points out that this is a carb myth and offers a reminder that you can cut back on unhealthy carbs, yet still meet dietary needs with healthy carbohydrates like those in whole produce and dairy.

Carbs are far from being the enemy that some may believe them to be. As with most food groups, it’s important to understand the variations with each type of nutrient and pick healthy whole foods over those that have strayed from their natural state. Consuming carbs wisely can be a healthy part of any diet.