Tag Archives: alcohol drinking

10 Hidden Anxiety Triggers You Need to Avoid

There is a ton of good information in this. Read it and reap!

I have posted previously on:

How important is a good night’s sleep?

Super tools for handling stress

Tony

Our Better Health

Anxiety seems to be a near-universal condition. In the United States alone, approximately 40 million adults – or 18 percent of the population – suffer from an anxiety disorder.

And these numbers represent only the diagnosed (i.e. reported). The actual number is likely to be significantly higher.

The truth is that society is somewhat to blame (not to negate our own sense of responsibility.) We’ve managed to build a 24/7 “constantly connected” infrastructure that has permeated into schools, businesses and elsewhere. Many people are under constant pressure to succeed; most ironically by leveraging this very infrastructure. This only exacerbates the problem.

“Prevention is the best cure” is a universal axiom within the medical community, including within the mental health sphere. Understanding what “triggers” certain symptoms or condition can – in some instances – drastically reduce the likelihood of a symptom or episode.

Here, we focus on ten established “triggers” that…

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Filed under alcohol, anxiety, drinking alcohol, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, good night's sleep, sleep, stress, stress reduction

5 Ways to keep your memory sharp – Harvard

Regular readers know that I am a senior citizen; will be 77 in January. So, I have a lot of senior friends. We have all experienced ‘senior moments’ when we find our memory becoming slightly elusive. Because my family has had Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia I am particularly sensitive to any brain stuff. So I was impressed with the suggestions that Harvard brought forward regarding enhancing our memory.

The way you live, what you eat and drink, and how you treat your body can affect your memory just as much as your physical health and well-being. Here are five things you can do every day to keep both your mind and body sharp.

1. Manage your stress. The constant drumbeat of daily stresses such as deadline pressures or petty arguments can certainly distract you and affect your ability to focus and recall. But the bigger problem is an ongoing sense of anxiety — that can lead to memory impairment. If you don’t have a strategy in place for managing your stress, protecting your memory is one reason to get one. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and a “mindful” approach to living can all help.

I have posted a number of times on stress. You can find them by searching s t r e s s in the box at the right. If you want one excellent example check out: Super tools for handling stress.

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Alcohol Causes 7 Kinds of Cancer, Study Concludes

I thought it only fair to send this as my previous post mentioned alcohol (in small amounts) as a treat.

alcohol

Tony

Our Better Health

Alcohol researcher Jennie Connor says the link is a causal one and that no alcohol is considered safe and risk does go up as you drink.

Alcohol is a direct cause of seven forms of cancer. Tough words to swallow, but those are the conclusions of researchers from New Zealand, who say they found that no matter how much you drink, alcohol will increase your risk of cancer.

“There is strong evidence that alcohol causes cancer at seven sites in the body and probably others,” the authors write in the latest issue of the journal Addiction.

Those seven cancer sites are:

  • liver
  • colon
  • rectum
  • female breast
  • larynx, (the throat organ commonly called the voice box)
  • orolarynx (the middle part of the pharynx) behind the mouth
  • esophagus (commonly the “food pipe”)

The researchers from the University of Otago reviewed previous studies and meta-analyses, analyzing all the major studies done over the…

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Chronic diseases and us – Infographic

I ran across this infographic in my meanderings and thought it had a lot of interesting if depressing information, like the increase in diabetes in the last few decades. On the positive side, “Many chronic diseases have a root in lifestyle decisions, from obesity to smoking. And, many of these conditions can be treated or even prevented by changing behavior.”

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Tony

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7 things you can do to prevent a stroke – Harvard

Regardless of your age or family history, a stroke doesn’t have to be inevitable. Here are some ways to protect yourself starting today, Harvard Health Publications said.

But , what is a stroke?

A stroke is a “brain attack.”  It can happen to anyone at any time. It occurs when blood flow to an area of brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and begin to die. When brain cells die during a stroke, abilities controlled by that area of the brain such as memory and muscle control are lost, according to the National Stroke Association.

Stroke by the Numbers
•    Each year nearly 800,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke.
    •    A stroke happens every 40 seconds.
    •    Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
    •    Every 4 minutes someone dies from stroke.
    •    Up to 80 percent of strokes can be prevented.
    •    Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S.

Age makes us more susceptible to having a stroke, as does having a mother, father, or other close relative who has had a stroke.

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You can’t reverse the years or change your family history, but there are many other stroke risk factors that you can control—provided that you’re aware of them. “Knowledge is power,” says Dr. Natalia Rost, associate professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and associate director of the Acute Stroke Service at Massachusetts General Hospital. “If you know that a particular risk factor is sabotaging your health and predisposing you to a higher risk of stroke, you can take steps to alleviate the effects of that risk.”

Here are seven ways to start reining in your risks today, before a stroke has the chance to strike. Continue reading

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What about your blood pressure? – NIH

You can have high blood pressure, or hypertension, and still feel just fine, according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA). That’s because high blood pressure often does not cause signs of illness that you can see or feel. But, high blood pressure, sometimes called “the silent killer,” is very common in older people and a major health problem. If high blood pressure isn’t controlled with lifestyle changes and medicine, it can lead to stroke, heart disease, eye problems, kidney failure, and other health problems. High blood pressure can also cause shortness of breath during light physical activity or exercise. My emphasis

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What Is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against the walls of arteries. When the doctor measures your blood pressure, the results are given in two numbers. The first number, called systolic blood pressure, is the pressure caused by your heart pushing out blood. The second number, called diastolic blood pressure, is the pressure when your heart fills with blood. The safest range, often called normal blood pressure, is a systolic blood pressure of less than 120 and a diastolic blood pressure of less than 80. This is stated as 120/80.

Do You Have High Blood Pressure?
One reason to have regular visits to the doctor is to have your blood pressure checked. The doctor will say your blood pressure is high when it measures 140/90 or higher at two or more checkups. He or she may ask you to check your blood pressure at home at different times of the day. If the pressure stays high, even when you are relaxed, the doctor may suggest exercise, changes in your diet, and medications.
The term “prehypertension” describes people whose blood pressure is slightly higher than normal—for example, the first number (systolic) is between 120 and 139, or the second number (diastolic) is between 80 and 89. Prehypertension can put you at risk for developing high blood pressure. Your doctor will probably want you to make changes in your day-to-day habits to try to lower your blood pressure.

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What if Just the First Number Is High?
For older people, the first number (systolic) often is 140 or greater, but the second number (diastolic) is less than 90. This problem is called isolated systolic hypertension. It is the most common form of high blood pressure in older people and can lead to serious health problems. Isolated systolic hypertension is treated in the same way as regular high blood pressure but often requires more than one type of blood pressure medication. If your systolic pressure is 140 or higher, ask your doctor how you can lower it. Continue reading

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9 Quick Ways to Recharge Your Energy – Infographic

I love infographics because they get so much information across in so little time. In this one eat less; move more; live longer is demonstrated time and again: Eat for energy, exercise, get enough sleep, get fresh air….

9 Quick Ways To Get Your Energy Back When You

The only thing missing is Don’t smoke.

Here are a couple of links if  you decide you would like to read more on this:

How important is a good night’s sleep?

Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits)

Tony

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The Effect of Alcohol on Brain and Body

Alcohol kills more teenagers than all other drugs combined. It is a factor in the three leading causes of death among 15- to 24-year-olds: accidents, homicides and suicides.

The Foundation for a Drug-Free World reports: Youth who drink are 7.5 times more likely to use other illegal drugs and fifty times more likely to use cocaine than young people who never drink. One survey found that 32% of the heavy drinkers over 12 were also illegal drug users.

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Tony

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Drugs and Alcohol – Your Body – Infographic

I ran across this fascinating infographic this morning and thought you might be interested.

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Tony

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People with Healthy Habits Live Longer – Study

Duh! What a shocker, right? But please don’t let that obviousness (?) keep you from reading this as it includes quality of life insights which are important.

Back in 1965 a group of researchers decided to study quality of life, not just existence. They wanted to learn the effect of personal health habits on the quality of life, chronic conditions and mortality. The researchers decided to study the health practices of a large sample of the population of Alameda County in California. The information for the study came from 6,928 residents in Alameda county. There were 3,158 men and 3,770 women. The sample included 360 men and 530 women over the age of 65.

Smoking and drinking alcohol to excess contributed to reduced longevity

Each participant answered surveys regarding marital and life satisfaction, parenting, physical activities, employment, childhood experiences, and demographic data. In addition, participants were asked to report levels of disability “without complaints,” “symptomatic,” “chronic conditions,” “disability-less,” and “disability-severe.” Continue reading

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Drinking Alcohol Several Times a Week Increases the Risk of Stroke Mortality

The study showed that people who consume alcohol more frequently than twice a week have over a threefold risk of stroke mortality than people who do not consume alcohol at all. The risk of stroke mortality is elevated irrespective of the amount of alcohol consumed.

Cooking with Kathy Man

Consuming alcohol more frequently than twice a week increases the risk of stroke mortality in men, according to a study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland. The results show that the effects of alcohol are not limited to the amount consumed, but also the frequency of drinking matters. The results were published in Acta Neurologica Scandinavica.

Excessive consumption of alcohol is associated with a variety of different diseases. The relationship between alcohol consumption and ischaemic stroke shows a J curve pattern, which means that in people who are moderate consumers of alcohol, the risk of stroke is the lowest, while heavy consumption of alcohol increases the risk of stroke. The risk of cerebral haemorrhage increases linearly as the consumption of alcohol increases: the higher the amount of alcohol consumed, the higher the risk of stroke. In addition to alcohol, other significant risk factors for stroke include elevated…

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Selenium: Why Too Little or Too Much Can be Deadly

If you are a smoker, alcohol drinker, and/or take the pill, it would be wise to have your Selenium levels tested every time you see your physician.

(The Old) Holistic Health & Living

selenium-brazilnuts-pills

Selenium is a trace mineral essential to your body’s ability to function normally. Despite its importance, relatively little selenium is needed; yet, failure to consume that minuscule quantity can lead to serious, even life threatening, health problems. And the same holds true for consuming too much. To fully appreciate the importance of this mineral, we must first examine the consequences and symptoms of not getting enough selenium in our diets. … This article has been updated and moved to the new Holistic Health & Living: http://www.holistichealthliving.com/2016/02/selenium-why-too-little-or-too-much-can-be-deadly/ 

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Harvard on Healthy Alcohol Use

With New Year’s Eve looming and the prospect of drinking alcohol as an integral part of our celebration, the Harvard School of Public Health has some suggestions on the healthy use of alcohol.

“While moderate drinking can increase the risk of colon and breast cancer, these risks are trumped by the boost in cardiovascular health—especially in middle age, when heart disease begins to account for an increasingly large share of disease and deaths.”

A visual guide to moderate drinking

A visual guide to moderate drinking

Moderate drinking amounts to one drink a day for women, for men whose bodies on average are larger, it’s up to two drinks a day. As the illustration shows: one drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1-1/2 ounces of hard liquor.

Harvard offered 5 Quick Tips on Staying Healthy with Alcohol

1. If you don’t drink, there’s no need to start. For some people—especially pregnant women, people recovering from alcohol addiction, people with a family history of alcoholism, people with liver disease, and people taking one or more medications that interact with alcohol—the risks of drinking outweigh the benefits.

There are other ways to boost your heart health and lower your risk of diabetes, such as getting more active, staying at a healthy weight, or eating healthy fats and whole grains.

2. If you do drink, drink in moderation—and choose whatever drink you like. Wine, beer, or spirits—each seems to have the same health benefits as long as moderation’s the word (no more than one drink per day for women, and no more than two drinks per day for men).

3. Take a multivitamin with folic acid. Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin that may help lower the risk of heart disease and cancers of the colon and breast. Those who drink may benefit the most from getting extra folate, since alcohol moderately depletes our body’s stores. The amount in a standard multivitamin—400 micrograms—is enough, when combined with a healthy diet.

4. Ask your doctor about your drinking habits.  If you (or your friends) think you may have a problem with drinking, talk to a doctor or other health professional about it. He or she can help.

5. Pick a designated driver. Alcohol and driving do not mix. If you’ve been out drinking cocktails and it’s time to head home, hand your car keys to someone who’s been sipping seltzer all night.

Harvard offered a full article on alcohol here.

Tony

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