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News on Health & Science

Chill spells high cardiac risk

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Harsh winters are bad news for heart patients as cold weather triggers heart attacks, particularly in people suffering from high blood pressure.

Cardiologists say the increased rate of attacks seen during winter is because low temperature increases blood pressure and puts more strain on the heart.

A general rise in blood pressure can also prove lethal with colder weather causing the blood to become stickier and more likely to clot.

Cholesterol levels also tend to be higher during winter and an increase in respiratory infections may lead to inflammation that contributes to the rupture of artery-clogging plaques.

Speaking to TOI , chief cardiologist of Escorts Heart Research Centre Dr R R Kasliwal said: “The occurrence of heart attacks in people with hypertension and high blood pressure is twice as high during winter. Cold causes spasm of arteries causing angina or heart attacks. Also, cold winter mornings cause peripheral arteries to contract, increasing the blood pressure and putting extra load on the heart. This precipitates a stroke. Strokes during early morning in winter are very common.”

Cardiologists say patients who walk very early in the morning should avoid the cold. They can suffer accidental hypothermia which means the body temperature falls below normal.

It occurs when the body can’t produce enough energy to keep the internal body temperature warm enough. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia.

Dr S K Gupta, head of cardiology at Apollo Hospital, added: “High blood pressure is a well-known risk factor for heart disease and stroke but the risk goes up as the temperature goes down. High BP causes twice as many heart attacks during cold weather as they do on warmer days. The adrenaline level is highest early in the morning. Because the body has to stay warm, it pumps glucose and adrenaline more rapidly which increases the workload on the heart.”

A Cardiologist Society of India official said: “As people age, their ability to maintain a normal internal body temperature often decreases. Because elderly people seem to be relatively insensitive to moderately cold conditions, they can suffer hypothermia without knowing they are in danger. People with coronary heart disease often suffer chest pain or discomfort called angina pectoris during cold weather.”

Scientists from the University of Burgundy in France recently presented studies which found a higher number of heart attacks among blood pressure patients — in those with pressure higher than 140/90 — when temperatures dropped by more than nine degrees on the day of their heart attack.

The connection stems from the fact that blood vessels constrict in cold weather, making it harder for blood to flow through the body.

Source:The Times Of India

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Categories
Health Problems & Solutions

31 Simple Ways To Prevent Cancer

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Small changes to inoculate yourself against the Big C.

Reduce Your Risk:

Consider this number: 10 million. That’s how many cases of cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year. Now consider this number: 15 million. That’s how many cases of cancer the World Health Organization estimates will be diagnosed in the year 2020 — a 50 percent increase — if we don’t get our act together.
Most cancers don’t develop overnight or out of nowhere. Cancer is largely predictable, the end result of a decades-long process, but just a few simple changes in your daily life can significantly reduce your risk. Here are 31 great tips.

1. Serve sauerkraut at your next picnic. A Finnish study found that the fermentation process involved in making sauerkraut produces several other cancer-fighting compounds, including ITCs, indoles, and sulforaphane. To reduce the sodium content, rinse canned or jarred sauerkraut before eating.

2. Eat your fill of broccoli, but steam it rather than microwaving it. Broccoli is a cancer-preventing superfood, one you should eat frequently. But take note: A Spanish study found that microwaving broccoli destroys 97 percent of the vegetable’s cancer-protective flavonoids. So steam it, eat it raw as a snack, or add it to soups and salads.

3. Toast some Brazil nuts and sprinkle over your salad. They’re a rich form of selenium, a trace mineral that convinces cancer cells to commit suicide and helps cells repair their DNA. A Harvard study of more than 1,000 men with prostate cancer found those with the highest blood levels of selenium were 48 percent less likely to develop advanced disease over 13 years than men with the lowest levels. And a dramatic five-year study conducted at Cornell University and the University of Arizona showed that 200 micrograms of selenium daily — the amount in two unshelled Brazil nuts — resulted in 63 percent fewer prostate tumors, 58 percent fewer colorectal cancers, 46 percent fewer lung malignancies, and a 39 percent overall decrease in cancer deaths.

4. Pop a calcium supplement with vitamin D. A study out of Dartmouth Medical School suggests that the supplements reduce colon polyps (a risk factor for colon cancer) in people susceptible to the growths.

5. Add garlic to everything you eat. Garlic contains sulfur compounds that may stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer, and may have the potential to reduce tumor growth. Studies suggest that garlic can reduce the incidence of stomach cancer by as much as a factor of 12!

6. Sauté two cloves of crushed garlic in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then mix in a can of low-sodium, diced tomatoes. Stir gently until heated and serve over whole wheat pasta. We already mentioned the benefits of garlic. The lycopene in the tomatoes protects against colon, prostate, and bladder cancers; the olive oil helps your body absorb the lycopene; and the fiber-filled pasta reduces your risk of colon cancer. As for the benefits of all of these ingredients together: They taste great!

7. Every week, buy a cantaloupe at the grocery store and cut it up after you put away your groceries. Store it in a container and eat several pieces every morning. Cantaloupe is a great source of carotenoids, plant chemicals shown to significantly reduce the risk of lung cancer.

The following links will give you 24 more ways:

The Power Of Antioxidants

All Together Now

Unneeded Chemicals

Source :Reader’s Digest

Categories
News on Health & Science

Piecing Together the Infertility Puzzle

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Couples With Infertility Problems Often Focus on a Woman‘s Biological Clock and Forget About the Male Contribution.
It is well known that a woman’s ability to conceive takes a dramatic dive as she approaches 40, but, what about the male biological clock?…….click & see

Men are often the forgotten piece of the infertility puzzle, but recent research suggests that infertility or early pregnancy loss isn’t always because of an aging egg.

A recent report from the Journal of the American Medical Association looks at past research to examine why aging men experience declining fertility.

It appears that men older than 35 are twice as likely to be infertile as men younger than 25.

As men age, both the number and quality of their sperm decline   so older men become less likely to father a child and more likely to father a child with schizophrenia, Down syndrome, or other problems.

A recent study suggests that autism, an increasing problem with no known cause, may also be linked to paternal age because men 40 years or older are almost six times more likely to have a child with an autism disorder than men younger than 30.

Miscarriages also are more common as dad gets older.

It’s not unusual for a woman to get her hormones, ovulatory function and fallopian tubes tested months before her husband has even had a basic semen analysis.

Given that 20 percent of couples are infertile because of abnormal or absent sperm and that 27 percent of infertile couples have a combination of male and female factors, it makes sense to evaluate a man’s equipment, so to speak, sooner rather than later.

Sperm Quality, Not Quantity, Sometimes a Problem

While it’s true that it only takes one sperm to impregnate an egg, sperm are not particularly skilled at the whole penetration thing.

While women only need to release one egg to successfully conceive, pregnancy is unlikely to occur unless there are millions of sperm swarming around it.

That’s why the first step in an evaluation of male fertility is a semen analysis, to see how many of the little guys there are.Counts greater than 20 million are considered to be normal.

Before a proud man with a count in the zillions alerts the media, he needs to keep in mind that even if the number is high, sperm quality is also a factor.

Every sample of semen has lots of sperm that are abnormal. If more than 85 percent of the sperm don’t have heads, tails, or look funny in some way, it doesn’t bode well fertility-wise.

In addition, if a sperm looks normal but is directionally challenged, the likelihood of finding its way down the fallopian-tube highway is limited.

Anything less than 25 percent to 40 percent forward motility reduces pregnancy rates. These are all factors doctors consider when running a semen analysis.

The Source of the Problem Sometimes Solvable, Sometimes Unexplained

There are four main causes of male infertility.
In roughly 10 percent to 20 percent of infertile men, an obstruction prevents sperm from traveling from the testis (where it is produced) to the urethra.

Roughly 30 percent to 40 percent of infertile men suffer low-sperm production as a result of testicular problems, resulting from infection, drugs, radiation or environmental toxins.

While hormone levels should be tested, they are rarely the problem.

Sometimes a low-sperm count is attributed to a varicocele — dilated veins in the scrotum. Varicocele repair was at one time a routine procedure thought to enhance male fertility, but is now highly controversial.

Studies show that the improvement in semen quality after varicocele repair doesn’t always translate to increased pregnancy rates and can use up precious time, especially when a woman’s biological clock is ticking.
The remainder of infertility is unexplained.

Men, unlike women, produce new sperm throughout their reproductive lives.
So while a 40-year-old woman is dealing with a 40-year-old egg, sperm is never older than 3 months old regardless of the age of the man.

However, that sperm becomes lower in quality as a man ages.
Aging men have declining levels of sex hormones, and it appears that these declining levels of testosterone have a significant impact on sperm production.

This well-publicized fact is certainly part of the reason that a number of men taking supplemental testosterone have increased 210 percent since 1999.

Supplemental testosterone is no magic pill, however. While higher testosterone levels potentially, but not definitively, result in improved sperm number and quality, supplemental testosterone may also be responsible for a number of health problems such as an increased risk of prostate hyperplasia, and possibly cancer.

Treatment: No Sperm Isn’t Always No Way

What is a man to do if doctors find his sperm isn’t up to donor quality?
Testosterone supplementation is rarely the cure. Urologists who specialize in male fertility can sometimes come up with specific causes and treatment recommendations for a less than terrific semen analysis after an evaluation of the man in question.

If there are quality sperm   but not a lot of them   assisted reproductive techniques such as in vitro fertilization and intracytoplasmic sperm Injection (in which a sperm is actually injected into the egg) can solve the problems of many infertile couples in which a male factor is the dominant problem, but the techniques are complicated and expensive.

If sperm is being produced but is not transported properly, it can be retrieved from the testis prior to ejaculation.

Certain conditions result in an inability to make sperm and are not treatable. If that is the case, pregnancy can be achieved only with donor sperm.

What a Man Can Do Now?
Men can eat right, not smoke, and exercise regularly — the standard and very effective health advice that applies to so many situations — to help keep sperm as healthy as their biology allows.

Contrary to popular opinion, it is not necessary to replace those tight jockey shorts with baggy boxers.
It really doesn’t make a difference and clearly does nothing to enhance a man’s desirability.

Source:ABC News

Categories
Ayurvedic Healthy Tips

Herbs That Can Help Ease Stress

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Both Siberian and Panax ginseng, which bolster the adrenal glands, may also be effective in coping with stress. These stress-fighting herbs are sometimes called “adaptogens” (because they help the body “adapt” to challenges) or “tonics” (because they “tone” the body, making it more resilient). All can be safely taken together.

Other herbs and nutritional supplements, used singly or together or combined with the supplements above, may be of value in special circumstances. For stress-induced anxiety, try kava, which is best reserved for high-stress periods lasting up to three months. Take melatonin if worry is keeping you up at night, and St. John’s wort if stress is accompanied by mild depression.

Siberian Ginseng:
——————

Dosage: 100-300 mg 3 times a day.

Comments: Standardized to contain at least 0.8% eleutherosides.

Warnings: Siberian ginseng may interfere with heart medications. Check with your doctor if you’re taking blood pressure or heart medications. Siberian ginseng may cause mild diarrhea and restlessness.

Panax Ginseng :
—————

Dosage: 100-250 mg twice a day.

Comments: Standardized to contain at least 7% ginsenosides.

Warnings: Don’t take Panax ginseng if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure or a heart rhythm irregularity. Don’t use Panax ginseng if you are pregnant. Consult your doctor if you’re using blood pressure medications. Panax ginseng increases the risk of overstimulation and stomach upset when taken with neurology drugs such as Ritalin. Don’t use Panax ginseng if you take MAO inhibitor drugs. Long-term use of Panax ginseng may require a change in insulin or other diabetes medications. If you’re taking the diuretic furosemide, Panax ginseng may intensify the blood pressure-lowering effects of the drug.

Kava:
——

Dosage: 250 mg 3 times a day as needed.

Comments: Look for standardized extracts in pill or tincture form that contain at least 30% kavalactones.

Warnings: Pregnant or breast-feeding women should not use kava. Don’t take kava if you have Parkinson’s disease. Possible kava side effects include stomach upset, yellow skin, loss of appetite, labored breathing, blurred vision, bloodshot eyes, walking difficulties, intoxication, and skin rashes. Kava may cause excessive drowsiness if taken with antidepressants, antihistamines, muscle relaxants, narcotic pain relievers, psychiatric drugs (antipsychotics, buspirone), sedatives, or tranquilizers.

Melatonin:
———-

Dosage: 1-3 mg before bedtime.

Comments: Start with the lower dose and increase as needed.

Warnings: Affects hormone levels and the brain. Caution is advised in those using drugs with similar effects, including antidepressants and hormone drugs. May cause excessive drowsiness if taken with sedatives or drugs that have a sedative effect such as antihistamines, muscle relaxants, and narcotic pain relievers. May cause adverse interactions if taken with steroids.

St.John’s Wort:
—————–

Dosage: 300 mg 3 times a day.

Comments: Should be standardized to contain 0.3% hypericin.

Warnings: If you’re taking conventional antidepressant drugs, consult you doctor before adding or switching to St. John’s wort. If you develop a rash or have difficult breathing, get immediate help. Side effects can include constipation, upset stomach, fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, and increased sensitivity to the sun.

From: The Healing Power Of Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs.

Categories
Meditation

Self Hyponosis For Stress Relief

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How to use self-hypnosis to quell work related anxieties.

Think hypnosis is hocus-pocus?

If so, you’re dismissing a powerful tool for improving work performance, says Brian Alman, a psychotherapist who’s trained staffers at Procter & Gamble and other companies. “Self-hypnosis is a form of deep relaxation that helps you focus, solve problems and relieve anxiety over presentations and deadlines,” he says. Here’s how to try it:

Step 1. Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply.

Step 2. State a specific goal like “I’ll feel confident about presenting my market analysis.”

Step 3. Keeping eyes closed, count from 1 to 100, then back to 1.

Step 4. Repetitive statements will focus your mind on achieving your goal. When you open your eyes, you’ll feel refreshed and ready to work.

From:Reader’s Digest