Saturday, January 24, 2009

How not to die

My Birthday is exactly 1 month away. Thinking about it makes me anxious. Just another year closer to 30, closer to 50, closer to the end of my life.
So I decided to dig up some into, including this first post I had bookmarked a few months back.

Top 10 Lessons on How Not to Die

By Jan Garavaglia, M.D. Read the full story here.

Lesson #1: Know your numbers.
BMI, Blood glucose, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol
Lesson #2: Listen to your body.
Lesson #3: Use as directed
Lesson #4: Practice good hygiene.
Lesson #5: Drive carefully.
Lesson #6: Just say no.
Lesson #7: Watch your step.
Lesson #8: Have a good time.
Lesson #9: Don't go it alone.
Lesson #10: Remember what matters.

I wanted to repost this whole article but couldnt get anyone to answer any of my emails when I asked to do so :(


Top Five Preventable Diseases and how to save yourself.
Basically the same stuff stated above but some differences.

#1 Diabetes

Staggering stat: Experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expect diabetes to affect more than 48 million people by 2050, In the United States alone. While it's already a widespread epidemic, many don't even know they have it.

Act now! Obesity is undoubtedly the greatest risk factor for developing diabetes, so losing and maintaining a healthy weight is essential for prevention. Many physicians recommend avoiding excessive carbohydrates because it eases stress on the pancreas where insulin is made.

But before making any drastic carb cuts, consider the suggestions from the American Diabetes Association (ADA). They report that low-carb, high-protein or other fad diets may help in losing weight initially, but they're not likely to help with long term, healthy weight maintenance. Such diets also eliminate vital nutrients. Instead, concentrate on an overall healthy eating plan that includes major food groups like lean meats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables and always control portion sizes.

Did you know? Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease and stroke?

#2 Heart Disease

Staggering stat: According to the American Heart Association (AHA), coronary heart disease is the single major cause of death in the U.S.

Act now! The U.S. Food & Drug Administration offers these tips for keeping your heart healthy: Get moving and maintain a healthy weight, stick to a nutritious, well-balanced diet, control blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent and manage diabetes, quit smoking, and minimize stress.

A Mediterranean diet is a good option for heart health. It promotes the consumption of healthy fats like olive and canola oils, small portions of nuts, generous amounts of fruits and vegetables, very little red meat, and regular servings of fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and halibut. Don't like fish? Doctors recommend taking 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of fish oil per day.

Did you know? Smoking will counteract most heart disease prevention measures? For example, smoking even while eating healthy, exercising regularly, and/or taking medications will thwart most efforts to prevent any disease.

#3 Stroke

Staggering stat: According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the leading cause of death in America and the No. 1 cause of adult disability. In fact, the chance of having a stroke from ages 45-54 may be more than twice as high for women than men.

"A stroke is basically a heart attack of the brain," Madhani says. "It's a really nasty disease process, probably even more so than heart disease because the margin of error in the brain is far less than the heart."

He further explains that when key areas of the brain are affected by stroke it usually results in permanent damage to vision, speech, movement, hearing, etc.

Act now! Luckily, the National Stroke Association says that 80 percent of all strokes are preventable. In addition to all heart disease and diabetes prevention methods (mentioned above), it's also recommended to maintain a low sodium (salt) diet, monitor blood pressure, and find out if you have high cholesterol or atrial fibrillation.

#4 Cancer

Staggering stat: Scientists estimate that as much as 50 percent or more of cancer deaths in the U.S. are caused by social and environmental conditions and the unhealthy choices people make. The American Cancer Society says some of these factors include an unhealthy diet, obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity.

Act now! In addition to the ever popular advice on following a healthy diet and regular exercise regimen, Dr. Philip Dy, oncologist and hematologist at St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital in Centralia offers a few more suggestions.

"Taking a baby aspirin daily could prevent not only breast cancer and heart disease, but also colon polyps, which is the main cause of colon cancer," he says.

Did you know? Tobacco is the only consumer product known to kill half of its users, according to the American Cancer Society?

#5 Osteoporosis

Staggering stat: The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) reports that more than 1.5 millions Americans experience osteoporotic fractures each year (700,000 of which are vertebral fractures) at an annual cost of nearly $14 billion to the U.S. health care system.

According to the Mayo Clinic, fractures from osteoporosis are about twice as common in women as they are in men.

Act now! Typically, people will not have symptoms of osteoporosis until it's late in the process of the disease and they've sustained a fracture," says Angela Freehill, M.D. from the Orthopaedic Center of Southern Illinois in Mt. Vernon.

As with most diseases, prevention starts with education. While some of the most important risk factors for an osteoporotic fracture are traits that cannot be changed (gender, age, menopause, heredity, ethnicity and body frame), there are other risk factors that you can control.

Did you know? Drinking tea is associated with a higher bone mineral density in women even though high caffeine consumption is associated with osteoporosis? The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study that shows women who were regular tea drinkers had higher bone density in two sites in the hip compared with non-tea drinkers. However, only the benefits of green and black teas were examined, not herbal teas.


Top 5 Ways to Start Living Better Today

A guide written for men, but also applies to women on the Primer Magazine Website.

Couldn't get permission to repost this one either but a good read nonetheless.



 10 Things That Are Surprisingly Good For You

Are you sick of being told what to eat, drink, and do? Then this is your lucky day! Here are ten things that people tell you are bad but actually have healthy aspects to them. In future when someone whines at you – you can point them in the direction of this list and have the last laugh! So onwards, the ten things that are healthier thank you think.

Ice Cream
Ice-cream is a low GI (glycemic-index) food. This means that it is a slow sugar release food that keeps you satisfied for a longer period of time than a high GI food. For that reason, you are less likely to binge after eating ice-cream. 75 grams of Ben and Jerry’s Cookies and Cream ice-cream contains only 114 calories compared to a slice of cheesecake with 511 calories. Furthermore, ice-cream is made of milk which contains many essential nutrients and vitamins. 1 cup of milk contains up to 30% of a man’s daily recommended intake. Other nutrients in ice-cream are biotin, iodine, potassium, selenium,vitamins a, b12, D, and K. Studies show a possible link between milk consumption and a lowered risk of arterial hypertension, coronary heart disease, colorectal cancer.

Interesting Fact: In the 5th century BC, the ancient Greeks sold snow cones made with fruit and honey in the markets of Athens.

Throw away the rubber globes! Dirt is back in vogue! Remember the days where kids played in dirt, food was served with bare hands, and straws didn’t come in individual wrappers? It turns out – they were healthier days than our modern sterile ones! Early childhood exposure to bacteria, viruses, and parasites has been found to give a massive boost to our immune systems, making us less likely to get sick when we do come in to contact with various bugs. Research has found that children with a dog in the home are less likely to suffer allergies, and regular social interaction can reduce the risk of leukemia by up to 30%. Those are statistics not to ignore – so throw away the anti-bacterial cleaners and get dirty!

Interesting Fact: There are as many as 10 times more bacterial cells in the human body than human cells! The vast majority of these are harmless.

Stress is universally considered a bad thing – in some cases people have successfully won lawsuits against companies for work-related stress. But, what most people don’t know is that a little stress goes a long way to making us healthier. In short doses, stress can help boost the body’s immune system. In the first stage of stress (the “alarm” stage – often known as the “fight or flight” response) the body produces cortisol – a stress fighting hormone which has many benefits to the body. Stress can give a feeling of fulfillment – when this is the case it is called “eustress” as opposed to “distress”.

Interesting Fact: The term “stress” and the mental properties of it was not known before the 1950s. Until that time it referred simply to hardship or coercion.

Not only is coffee tasty, it is a mild stimulant with many medical uses. Caffeine contains a muscle relaxant that is very beneficial to people with bronchial problems – it can alleviate the symptoms of asthma. Additionally, caffeine releases certain fatty acids in to the blood stream that become a useful source of fuel for muscles. It even seems that the only serious side-effect to too much caffeine is a small amount of body-weight loss – a danger if you are anorexic. Caffeine should be avoided by people with fecal incontinence as it loosens the anal and sphincter muscles.

Interesting Fact: Caffeine can be toxic to animals, in particular dogs, horses, and parrots. It also has a much more significant effect on spiders than humans.

Red Wine
Red wine contains a group of chemicals called polyphenols (once called Vitamin P) which have been found to be very beneficial for health. They reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Wine has also been found to be an effective anti-bacterial agent against strains of Streptococcus (found most often in the human mouth) which can help reduce infections. Some wine varieties have extra health benefits; Cabernet Sauvignon appears to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition to the benefits already listed, wine is chock full of antioxidants which play a huge role in the health ofthe human body. The wines found to have the greatest benefits are found in the South of France and the Sardinia region of Italy.

Interesting Fact: Wine originated in the regions of Israel, Georgia, and Iran, around 6000 BC.


As a result of recent research into chocolate and health, it appears to be something of a panacea (cure-all) – coupled with the great taste and mood enhancing properties, it might be seen as a wonder drug! Cocoa or dark chocolate improves the overall health of the circulatory system, it stimulates the brain, prevents coughs, prevents diarrhea, and may even be an anti-cancer agent. Like coffee, chocolate is toxic to many animals. A BBC study indicates that melting chocolate in your mouth increases brain activity and the heart rate more intensely than passionate kissing, with the effect lasting four times longer after the activity ends. Eating regular small quantities of chocolate reduces cholesterol and the chances of a heart attack. Sign me up for some of that medication!

Interesting Fact: Chocolate has been used as a drink since at least 1100 – 1400 BC.

Cannabis is said to be beneficial for over 250 conditions. For this reason it is legal on prescription in a number of Western countries. Cannabis is believed to help with arthritis, asthma, depression, glaucoma, and pain. It is also reported to be a good treatment for constipation. Cannabis is also useful in dealing with the sideeffects of treatments for cancer, AIDS, and hepatitis. Cannabis has been used medicinally for over 3,000 years! Strangely, the cultivation and use of cannabis is outlawed in most countries.

Interesting Fact: Evidence of the use of cannabis as a non-medicinal drug exists as charred seeds found in Romania dating back to the 3rd millenium BC.

The moderate consumption of beer has been associated with the lowered risk of head disease, stroke, and mental decline. In addition, brewers yeast (used in the production of beer) contains many nutrients that are carried through to the final drink: magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, and Bvitamins . For this reason, beer is sometimes referred to as “liquid bread”. In 2005 a Japanese study found that low-alcohol beer may contain strong anti-cancer properties. Contrary to popular belief, a “beer belly” or “beer gut” is not produced by the beer, but rather overeating and lack of exercise.

Interesting Fact: Beer is one of the oldest beverages – dating back to the 6th millennium BC.

Often referred to as “Smoker’s Paradoxes”, there are a number of therapeutic uses of nicotine or smoking. For example, smokers are less likely to need surgery to provide extra blood to their heart after an angioplasty, the risk of ulcerative colitis is reduced, and it even interferes with the development of Kaposi’s sarcoma (a type of cancer of the lymphatic endothelium). Perhaps most surprisingly, is that there are connections to smoking and a reduction in allergic asthma. There is also a large body of evidence to suggest that smokers have a dramatically reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Nicotine is currently being investigated as a treatment for ADHD, and Schizophrenia.

Interesting Fact: Tobacco smoking has been a practice of humans since at least 5000 BC.

Amidst the loud angry cries against pornography, a few serious scientific studies have been performed on the subject. It seems that men and women who view pornography, have improved sex lives, better sexual knowledge, and an overall better quality of life. Surprisingly, one study found that the more that pornography is viewed, the greater the improvements. In an extensive study performed in Australia, the majority of married respondents stated that they believed that pornography has had a positive effect on their marriage. While clearly not always linked to pornography, studies have found that men who had fewer orgasms were twice as likely to die of any cause as those having two or more orgasms a week.

Interesting Fact: Pornography (and the anti-pornography movement) as it is understood today is a concept of the Victorian era (19th century) which was extremely moralistic. Sexual imagery was not taboo before that time.


10 Ways Your Health Might Sink Your Sex Life by US News & world report
Are you having trouble in the bedroom lately? It might be time for a physical.

Many health problems come with a tagalong: sexual dysfunction. Are the home fires burning less brightly lately? It might be time for a checkup. Here are a few medical conditions and situations whose impact can be felt in the bedroom:
Click here to find out more!

Vascular disease. Several vascular conditions can express themselves as sexual problems. With time, they harm blood vessel, hardening and tapering arteries, which can restrict blood flow to the genitals. For men, this may translate into inefficient erections; for women, inadequate lubrication. Studies indicate that blood vessel disease could be behind 50 percent to 70 percent of men's erectile dysfunction, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Diabetes. Sex problems often coexist with diabetes and its attendant complications—especially vascular disease and nerve damage. Men may experience erectile or ejaculatory dysfunction, while women may face decreased arousal and difficulty achieving orgasm. The risks of these sexual side effects may be reduced by keeping blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol in check, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Depression. Sexual dysfunction often accompanies depression, since the brain, commonly called the "the largest sex organ," is where that spark of sexual desire originates. If brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, aren't properly balanced, libido, arousal, and orgasm can take a hit. Frustratingly, antidepressants such as selective and nonselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors that act on serotonin receptors may dampen desire, decrease arousal, and stall or squash orgasm. Luckily, antidotes exist. Studies (supported by Pfizer) have found that Viagra and Viagra-like medications may help, and some physicians have had success with the antianxiety medication buspirone. Switching antidepressants might work, too.

Menopause. Women's sex lives may change as certain hormones begin to wane. A drop in estrogen, which aids in arousal, often results in vaginal dryness and painful intercourse. Testosterone—a hormone tied to libido in both sexes—is on the decline as ovaries, which produce roughly half a woman's testosterone, shut down. While testosterone deficiencies won't always create problems, low levels of the hormone may kill a sexual appetite.

Medication side effects. Countless medications can affect what goes on between the sheets. Besides antidepressants that act on the brain's serotonin receptors, certain high blood pressure medications, and even the birth control pill, can sap libido and have other sexual side effects. Subbing a different drug or a lower dosage may make a difference.

Multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system, is known to impair sexual function. Unsatisfactory erections and poor arousal and orgasmic dysfunction in women may sometimes be indicators of this potentially crippling lifelong condition. Other neurological disorders such as Parkinson's can create similar trouble.

Endometriosis. More than 5 million women in North America have endometriosis, a condition in which tissue that should normally line the uterus grows elsewhere, according to the National Institutes of Health. Along with symptoms like painful cramps, heavy periods, and chronic pelvic pain, sex for these women can be an excruciating ordeal.

Ovarian cysts. Painful sex may also be a sign of an ovarian cyst, a fluid-filled sac on the ovary; pelvic inflammatory disease; or even pelvic cancer. Sexual pain, experts say, shouldn't be ignored.

Thyroid dysfunction. The thyroid, a butterfly-shaped gland perched at the front of the neck, has important responsibilities. It governs the body's metabolic processes, from temperature to weight, and can also play a key role in sexual health A faulty thyroid producing either an over- or underabundance of hormone may be associated with erectile and ejaculatory problems, a change in libido, or a difficulty with lubrication and orgasm in women. Thyroid conditions are treatable, says Irwin Goldstein, director of sexual medicine at San Diego's Alvarado Hospital.

Sleep apnea. This disorder—in which people stop breathing for 10 seconds or more repeatedly during sleep—is thought to be a risk factor for sex problems in men, potentially causing erection and libido problems. Treatment with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure)—a masklike device that forces air into the airway—may help. There's no guarantee, however, that it won't dull the mood.

Sources for articles:
1. Alzheimer’s disease is associated with non-smoking by Carol Thompson
2. Impact of Smoking on Clinical and Angiographic Restenosis After Percutaneous Coronary by Cohen, David J.; Michel Doucet, Donald E. Cutlip, Kalon K.L. Ho, Jeffrey J. Popma, Richard E. Kuntz
3. Smoking Cuts Risk of Cancer by United Press International
4. Caffeine: Perspectives from Recent Research by P.B. Dews
5. Using spider-web patterns to determine toxicity by R. Noever, J. Cronise, and R. A. Relwani
6. From psychological stress to the emotions: a history of changing outlooks by R. S. Lazarus
7. Effects of moderate alcohol consumption on cognitive function in women. by Stampfer MJ, Kang JH, Chen J, Cherry R, Grodstein F.
8. Beer as liquid bread: Overlapping science by Bamforth, C. W
9. A dynamic partnership: celebrating our gut flora by C. L. Sears
10. Dairy’s Role in Managing Blood Pressure by the National Dairy Council
11. Ice Cream – What’s in a Scoop? by Pat Kendall
12. The Lost Civilizations of the Stone Age by Richard Rudgely
13. Medical Use of Cannabis in California by Dale Gieringer
14. Dark Chocolate Could Help Hearts by Emma Ross
15. Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain by Marjorie Ingall
16. Chocolate better than kissing by BBC News
17. Polyphenols and disease risk in epidemiologic studies by Arts, I.C. and P.C. Hollman
18. Antibacterial Activity of Red and White Wine against Oral Streptococci by Daglia, M.; A. Papetti, P. Grisoli, C. Aceti, C. Dacarro, and G. Gazzani
19. Cabernet Sauvignon Red Wine Reduces The Risk Of Alzheimer’s Disease by ScienceDaily
20. From red wine to polyphenols and back: A journey through the history of the French Paradox by D. W. de Lange
21. Now that’s what you call a real vintage: professor unearths 8,000-year-old wine by David Keys
22. Vice or Virtue? The Pros of Pornography by Matthew Hutson
23. Study concludes porn can be good for you by Nick Grimm
24. Sex and Death, Are They Related? by the British Medical Journal

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