Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. According to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 80% of deaths from coronary artery disease can be attributed to preventable factors. Here are five science-backed ways you can relieve stress and keep your heart healthy.
1. Keep Active
Being physically active can reduce your risk of heart disease by 50%. Exercise lowers blood pressure, increases HDL (‘good’) cholesterol, decreases LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, improves circulation, helps to prevent blood clots, promotes weight loss and strengthens the heart muscle. Exercise also reduces stress by releasing excess adrenaline and raising levels of endorphins, the brains ‘feel good’ chemicals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 30 minutes or more of moderate intensity activity at least five days of the week. That doesn’t mean you have to join a gym. Moderate activity is anything that raises your heart rate. Walking is a good form of exercise that is easy to do, costs nothing and can fit into a busy lifestyle. What’s more, people who walk are, on average, three times more likely to meet the government’s physical activity targets. A recent study comparing walkers and runners determined that walking briskly can be just as good as a running for keeping the heart healthy. Both activities lowered the risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and heart disease by similar amounts.
2. Get 7-8 Hours of Quality Sleep a Night
Most people have experienced the irritability, fatigue and brain fog that follow a poor night’s sleep. Adequate sleep is not only necessary for your mental and emotional well-being, it is also essential for a healthy heart. Sleep deprivation raises levels of stress hormones, lowers glucose tolerance and raises blood pressure. In some people it can lead to irregular heartbeats. All of these factors are precursors to heart disease. Over time, lack of sleep can contribute to obesity and diabetes, putting you at even greater risk for heart problems.
A Harvard University study tracked the health of 70,000 middle-aged women. After ten years, 934 had developed heart disease and 271 had died from it. Analysis of the data showed that women who slept less than five hours a night were 40% more likely to suffer from heart disease than women who slept an average of eight hours. Here is a detailed guide that can help you to sleep like a baby and prevent heart problems.
3. Maintain Strong Social Networks
Joining a social group or volunteer organization and staying in touch with friends and relatives can help keep you happy and healthy. Studies have found that loneliness and social isolation put people at a similar risk for heart disease as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking. The feeling that you have no one to turn to can cause chronic stress which impairs the blood vessels and heart. Lonely people have been shown to have higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Swedish researchers interviewed nearly 1,300 patients about to undergo coronary artery bypass surgery. The patients were asked to respond ‘yes or ‘no’ to 38 statements regarding their mental and physical health. Patients who responded ‘yes’ to the statement ‘I feel lonely’ were 2.5 times more likely to die within 30 days of their operation. Surprisingly, none of the other statements were correlated with mortality. A 19-year study at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found that loneliness was associated with an increase in heart disease risk among women, even after controlling for variables such as age, marital status and mental health.
4. Own a Pet
Pet owners tend to have lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, lower incidence of obesity and improved stress response, all factors that can decrease the risk for heart disease. In a study of New York City stockbrokers taking Lycinprol for stress-related hypertension, half of the participants were given a dog or cat to care for. During stressful situations, heart rate and blood pressure of the pet owners remained more stable than those who did not have pets.
A University of Minnesota study analyzed health and lifestyle data from 4, 435 adults aged 30 to 75 and tracked rates of death from all causes over ten years. One unexpected finding was that those who reported owning a cat had a 30% lower risk of death from heart attack. Researchers theorized that stroking the pet could reduce levels of stress-related hormones in the blood which contribute to heart disease. Other studies have shown that petting a cat or dog lowers blood pressure.
5. Fill Your Life with Laughter
Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine. It lowers levels of stress hormones and promotes the release of mood-enhancing endorphins. Laughter can also help to keep your heart healthy. In one study, participants were asked to watch two comedic or stressful half-hour film segments. Blood flow tests showed that laughter decreased arterial stiffness and improved circulation.
In another study, diabetics with high blood pressure and high cholesterol were split into two groups. All the participants were put on prescription medications for their conditions. Half of the participants also attended regular thirty minute ‘laughter therapy’ sessions. After twelve months, the laughter therapy group had lower levels of stress hormones. They also had a 66% reduction in inflammatory markers compared to a 26% reduction in the control group and a 26% rise in HDL (‘good’) cholesterol compared to a 3% rise in the control group. All of these changes are associated with a reduction in risk for heart disease.
Tips for Making Your First Mammogram a Bit Easier
As you near 40, your doctor will probably recommend your first mammogram. If you have a family history of breast cancer, the request may be even sooner. The diagnostic test for breast cancer is not one to fear; in fact, its job is to bring comfort. It allows for regular awareness of the body and any changes that occur, and, while it can’t cure or prevent breast cancer, it is a step in catching it early. Don’t stress over the test. Here are some tips to help make the day a bit easier.
Start on a Positive Note
Having a screening doesn’t mean you have cancer. Take some time to remind yourself that this set of medical digital imaging is simply a photo shoot. As you drive to the facility, listen to your favorite music. Once you get there, bring a book or listen to a podcast through your headphones. Arrange to text with your best friends. Keep your mind off of the day and the process. Focus on happy thoughts or things you love.
A Second Screening Doesn’t Mean a Problem
You might find that you’re asked to return for additional screening. It’s okay. Don’t panic. Breasts are different for each person. Sometimes a second look is needed simply to identify your norm and not an indication of a problem. If possible, use the same location for your screening. If you can’t, bring a copy of your former pictures with you. This is important because the technicians and doctors can compare the images from screening to screening. This goes back to the idea that tissue is different for each person.
Do Something for Yourself
When it’s all done, treat yourself to something that makes you feel good. Grab a cup of coffee, meet up with a friend, or stroll through your favorite stores.
Mammograms, while not the most comfortable of events, help screen for abnormalities that can become problems. Early detection is helpful in saving lives.
6 Ways To Combat Sensitive Teeth
Having sensitive teeth can make the experience of eating certain foods a painful one. If left untreated, it may interfere with your daily life activities and cause severe pain. In this blog, we explore the best ways of tackling tooth sensitivity, although we still recommend that if you are suffering from any kind of tooth pain, you consult our dental clinic in London Victoria.
How Do Know If You Have Sensitive Teeth?
If you experience a painful stinging or throbbing sensation around you teeth each time you consume sugary sweets, hot or cold drinks and foods, and, in extreme cases, even a cold wind against your teeth, you are likely to be suffering from sensitive teeth.
The root cause of tooth sensitivity is the wearing away of cementum over the root or the erosion of enamel (the protective outer layers over the tooth). As a consequence, the tooth’s dentin becomes exposed which puts the sensitive nerve endings running through its tiny tubes at risk of getting damaged.
How Can You Combat Sensitive Teeth?
If you identify with any of the symptoms above, you may be suffering from tooth sensitivity. In order to alleviate the problem, you need to take certain measures;
1. Change Your Toothpaste
As the problem of sensitive teeth has become more widespread, several brands of toothpaste have been launched specifically to address the problem and help those who are suffering.
It is the presence of potassium nitrate which makes these kinds of toothpastes different from regular ones. This active ingredient works to block the tiny tubules present in the dentin. Changing your toothpaste may not treat sensitivity all by itself, but most dentists agree that it is a good place to start.
Some dentists believe that the reason why some people benefit from toothpastes designed specifically for sensitive teeth and others don’t, is because they use it for a short time and then stop because they do not see results right away. However, its use must be continued to get the real benefits, alongside any other treatment recommended by a dentist.
2. Change Your Brushing Style
There are some brushing habits which can make you more prone to sensitive teeth:
- Not brushing teeth for at least two minutes
- Brushing teeth too vigorously
- Not using a soft toothbrush
Brushing your teeth too vigorously can lead to the wearing away of enamel which results in increased sensitivity of the teeth. If your gums have receded, your tooth root is exposed or you have lost bone, this means in all likelihood that you are scrubbing too hard and eroding the cementum which will inevitably worsen tooth sensitivity.
Cementum is more prone to becoming worn away than enamel and it is a big loss when it disappears as it protects a tooth’s root. Changing your brushing habits can be difficult if you are trying to change a routine that you have followed for a long time, but this one simple change can do wonders for your oral health.
It is recommended by dentists that we brush or floss our teeth at least twice a day to keep the problem of sensitivity at bay. This ensures that oral hygiene is maintained and also prevents loss of gums which is known to be a trigger for tooth sensitivity.
3. Avoid Sugary Drinks and Acidic Food
The enamel which protects your teeth faces an attack each time you consume acidic foods such as pickles and oranges, fruit juices, fizzy drinks and red wine. The consumption of these foodstuffs should be limited to maintain optimum oral health.
You should also instil the habit of brushing your teeth after eating these kind of foods, but it is important not to do so within 20 minutes of eating. Brushing your teeth any earlier than 20 minutes after eating can further damage the enamel. Loss of enamel is irreversible and for this reason it is advised that you must pay attention to what you eat even if you aren’t yet facing the issue of sensitive teeth.
4. Paint Job By A Dentist
If the use of desensitising toothpaste is not having the desired impact, you can speak with your dentist about painted-on barriers. Plastic resins or fluoride varnish are desensitizing agents which can be applied to sensitive areas of your teeth.
They do not need to be reapplied for at least a few months or a couple of years, depending on the type of material which has been used.
Another common cause of tooth sensitivity is whitening treatment. However, this type of sensitivity doesn’t last long and usually subsides within a few days of the treatment being over.
5. Stop Grinding Teeth
Some people have a tendency to grind their teeth when they are tense or whilst they are asleep and this habit can cause damage to the teeth. Besides giving you a toothache, teeth grinding can wear away at the enamel on your teeth, resulting in a sensitivity problem.
If you are grinding your teeth and you are not even aware of it, a pain in the jaw or headache can give you a clue as to your habit. You may also need to change your sleeping position or have a mouth guard fitted to put an end to this habit.
6. Undergoing Treatment For Receding Gums
Normally, your gum tissue covers the root of your teeth, but if your gums have receded excessively, due to hard brushing or gum disease, the cementum may get worn away as the root becomes exposed. Your dentist may be able to restore or rebuild your receding gums which may include a treatment that involves tissue grafts.
Before proceeding with treatment, it is important to pinpoint the exact reason behind the increased sensitivity in your teeth. This way you will be able to come up with the right solution.
For example, if the cause of your heightened tooth sensitivity is receding gums due to aggressive brushing of teeth, you may have to change the way you brush your teeth before going ahead with a line of treatment.
Any treatment that you receive for tooth sensitivity will be ineffective until you address the underlying reason behind it. Even aggressive measures such as restorative treatment will be of little use if you haven’t stopped scrubbing your teeth in a harsh manner or drinking fizzy, sugary drinks, so it’s important to get to the root cause before proceeding with treatment.
What Are the Common Causes of Facial Sweating and How To Get Rid of It
Hyperhidrosis, commonly known as excessive sweating affects many people worldwide. There are many types of hyperhidrosis, amongst which sweaty palms and facial sweating are the most common. Most often than not, facial sweating is accompanied by blushing as both acts are triggered by a malfunction in the body’s sympathetic nervous system.
Facial sweating many not necessarily have medical implications all the time but certainly cause a lot of discomfort and embarrassment. People suffering from this condition also have low self esteem and are not very confident. They also have a higher anxiety level.
Causes of Facial Sweating
Facial sweating can leave a person feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed. Many people suffer from this condition but the causes for it may vary. Listed below are few most common causes for facial sweating.
This means that elders in your family, most probably a mother or father could also be suffering from this condition and has now passed it on to their offspring. Humans have between two and four million sweat glands in their body. This amount and the location of these sweat glands are related to heredity.
2. Hormone Imbalance
An irregularity in the activities of the brain and nerves can also cause facial sweating. The body’s sympathetic nervous system is responsible for guarding the body and sends instructions to the brain to open and close sweat glands based on environment conditions.
Thus, when the body experiences unusual conditions, the nervous system send mixed signals to the brain which leads to excessive sweating in the face. Emotions such as stress, nervousness, depression and anxiety can cause similar instances as it causes alterations of nerve activity in the hypothalamus.
Weight issues can also lead to facial sweating. Overweight people tend to sweat more than slimmer ones because the body excretes excess minerals stored in the form on sweat. If the sweat glands are overactive in the face, it leads to facial sweating.
Treatments for Facial Sweating
1. Aloe Vera
Facial sweating can be treated with the help of aloe vera juice. Though it is milder than pure aloe vera, it is very effective in cooling the skin and brings down body temperature which causes reduction in sweating. Aloe vera juice is especially effective in regions with hotter weather and higher temperatures.
2. Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel is an effective astringent that dries out the skin and keeps it from getting sweaty. However, people with sensitive skin type should be careful while using this product as it could have adverse effects of such skin type. Antiperspirant wipes are also a good way to keep facial sweating in check. These products work gently on the skin without causing skin irritation and are designed especially to be used on the face. However, all these solutions are temporary treatments for facial sweating.
There are certain other treatments which can help you to get rid of excessive facial sweating such as High strength antiperspirants, Botox injections, Iontophoresis machine, Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy surgery. Facial skin is very delicate and sensitive and hence one needs to be extra careful about what treatment one chooses to deal with facial sweating. Medical treatments like surgery and Botox can cause serious damage to the face if not carried out in the right manner. It is best to opt for iontophoresis machine which are safer and can be used as frequently as desired.