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Health Benefits of Vitamin C: Why You Should Take More of It

vitc

It is no new thing that Vitamin C, also called as corbic acid, makes headlines in the health media for its diverse health benefits. Not all reported health benefits of Vitamin C have scientific backing. But this does not take away the fact that this water-soluble vitamin is a wonderful natural way to boost your overall health. Moreover, many studies are underway evaluating the truth behind such claims. Interestingly, many results are favorable. Explore more here.

A Quick Overview of Vitamin C, Functions in The Body and Natural Sources

It is a water-soluble vitamin that humans cannot make on their own. They need to take it from other sources. It is a powerful antioxidant and has a prominent role in many body functions. For example, production of brain chemicals and structural protein collagen, metabolism, and absorption of iron.

For an American, common sources are citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato juice, and potatoes. Moreover, you can get enough of it from red and green peppers, kiwifruit, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe. It is also available as a dietary supplement and is a common ingredient in many foods, drinks, and cosmetics.

In Depth: Know the Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Most of the health benefits of Vitamin C are due to the antioxidant and immune-enhancing properties. Learn in detail below.

Vitamin C Is a Powerful Antioxidant

An antioxidant is a chemical that acts against the harmful chemicals in the body called free radicals. The free radicals have been linked to many diseases such as cancer, heart disorders, and joint conditions. Indirectly, it helps to restore the antioxidant property of Vitamin E which is a fat-soluble vitamin.

When your body’s protecting cells fight against an invading microorganism or allergy-causing chemicals, they release free radicals. Vitamin C helps to blunt the negative health effects of these free radicals. Consequently, you may get a lowered blood pressure, an optimum level of good cholesterol and a healthy body.

If you are a smoker, you will have more of these toxic chemicals in your system. Thus, make sure to take enough of it if you smoke. That way, you may reduce the risk of lung cancer.

Moreover, your eyes are one of the major targets of the free radicals that can damage the lens tissues and other parts of the eye. Thus, Vitamin C may provide protection against the two leading causes of blindness, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Experts also believe high doses might prevent the damages to the retina as well.

Vitamin C Is an Immune System Booster

No doubt, Vitamin C is one of the best when it comes to enhancing your body’s ability to fight against pathogens. That said, a higher intake might make you less prone to catch an infection. For the same reason, it may also reduce the duration of a cold. While there is not compelling evidence that it prevents or cures diseases including common colds, increasing the intake during the period of illness might be a healthy idea.

Studies suggest Vitamin C increases the number of the white blood cells, the chief infection-fighting cells in the body.

How Much To Take

According to the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, the recommended dose is:

  • Men above 18 years, 90 milligrams daily.
  • Women above 18 years, 75 milligrams daily.
  • Pregnant women above 18 years, 85 milligrams daily.
  • Breastfeeding women above 18 years, 120 milligrams daily.

Note that your requirement may be different. Many factors determine this, such as age, weight, metabolism, medical condition and others.

In fact, many experts believe the daily recommended dose should be increased to meet the needs of a specific group of people like smokers or those under an extreme physical stress.

The maximum daily dose is 2,000 milligrams daily in men or women above 18 years old. Talk to your doctor if you have any concern on this. Based on their clinical experience, some doctors may prescribe a higher dose.

Key Takeaways

Vitamin C might reduce the risk of:

  • For example, lung, breast, colon or rectum, stomach, oral cavity, larynx or pharynx, and esophagus cancers.
  • Such as common cold, pneumonia, and other lung infections.
  • Cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease (CHD) stroke and abnormal heartbeats. A few studies have found that it may also help to lower blood pressure. Nonetheless, more studies in the future only can provide a conclusive result.
  • Eye disease like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI) in pregnant women and elderly.
  • Eye complications in the patients with diabetes.
  • While this has not been completely approved by the studies, you may use creams with 3-10% vitamin C to improve the skin appearance.

What You Should Know

Many health benefits of Vitamin C are well documented. Therefore, for a healthy body, make sure to get your daily dose.

Several studies suggest naturally derived Vitamin C may be more beneficial than the supplements. Thus, you should focus more on getting enough of it from the diet.

While vitamins are a great way to maintain health, they cannot replace prescription medications. For this reason, it is always a good idea to make proper research about the supplement you are thinking to take.

If you have been taking other medications or have a serious condition, consult your doctor before taking any supplement. That way, you can cut down your risk of potentially serious interactions and their complications.

Want To Know More?

To learn more about the health benefits of Vitamin C, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

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Exercises for Joint Health: Do These to Get Relief

Exercises strengthen the joints in your body. Moreover, the right exercises when done in proper form help to increase joint flexibility. As a result, you will have a lower risk of joint disorders and be a strong person as a whole. Furthermore, exercises are a great way to shed pounds. Note that obesity is one of the risk factors for joint disorders. Here in this article, you will learn in detail about the top exercises for joint health. Interestingly, all of these are simple and you can do them in your own home.

Note: If you currently have any joint disorder, you should first consult your doctor before starting the program. That way, you might be able to prevent or reduce the risk of the complications. 

Common Joint Health Problems in the US: Are Your Joints Healthy?

Before we move on to find the best exercise for joint health, let’s have a quick look at the current status of joint disorders in the US.

According to the CDC, from 2013 to 2015, 22.7% of US adults had at least one type of arthritis, a very common joint problem that causes pain, swelling, stiffness, and limits mobility.

As a matter of fact, obesity is a looming public health issue in the US. Considering how being overweight increases the pressure on the aching joints, exercises provide an effective remedy to both these problems.

Exercise for Joint Health: Where to Start

This is by far the most common question that people with joint problems often ask. Interestingly, the answer is simple. Start with a warm-up regimen. Here is what you can do before warming up.

Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Find a place to exercise. Then, start with some gentle movements that are not demanding or require any extra effort. Do a few minutes of side bends, shrugs, and stretches. These warm up exercises will prepare your body for the more stressful exercises to follow.

What Next?

Once the warm up session is over, you should gradually up the level of the exercises for joint health. That said, you are moving to the core exercises for joint health.

Lat Stretch. Lats are one of the biggest muscles in the upper body. In fact, when your lats are strong, they will help the shoulder joint stay in a better health. This allows better movement of the joint.

  • How to Do

Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Now, slowly raise both your arms as high as possible. At the peak, hold one hand with the other. Bend your body to the right side till you feel a stretch on the left side. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Repeat the same on your left side.

Calf Stretch strengthens the calf muscle that lies on the back of the lower leg below the knee and above the ankle. That way, it makes the knee and ankle joint movements easier, and may also reduce the pain in these joints.

  • How to Do

There are two common variations of calf stretch, sitting and standing. The former variation is more useful to the patients who have difficulty standing for a long time. Sit on a mat with your legs extended straight in front of you. Surround the toes with a towel and pull the ends of the towel towards yourself. Do this till you feel a stretch in your calves. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat for 2 more times. Alternately, you can do another simple version of calf stretch by holding your weight on the toes and raising the ankles.

Triceps Stretch. Triceps form the back of the upper arm and are key to a healthy elbow joint. Triceps stretch strengthens the triceps muscles by stretching them.

  • How to Do

Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Raise your right hand straight up so that the fingers point to the sky. Slowly, bend the hand downwards till the forearm is parallel to the ground. At this point, your elbow should be pointing to the sky. Now, pull the elbow toward your head and keep in the same position for 15 to 30 seconds. You should feel the stretch in the right upper back. Release and repeat on the left side. Do a total of three times on each side.

Quadriceps Stretch. Also called quad stretch, this is a famous exercise among runners. Nonetheless, you can also include it in your daily exercise regimen to walk better and protect the joints in the legs. Quadriceps are large muscles that form the front of the thigh.

  • How to Do

There are three variations of quadriceps stretch. They are kneeling stretch, standing stretch and ground stretch. Considering the ease of doing, we will here explain the last variation. First, find a firm place where you can lie on your back. The best would surface would be a floor with an exercise mat over it. Next, hold your right knee and pull it towards the chest. Take care not to arch your back while doing so. Hold this for about a minute and release. Repeat on the other leg. Depending on your level, repeat on each side for 3 to 5 times.

Exercises for Joint Health: Do Not Miss These Things

While you may be excited to have started working for your ailing joints, do not overdo any exercise. The exercises for joint health mentioned above are gentle and should not cause any significant strain. Remember you are not training like an elite athlete.

Notably, consider the following while doing them.

 

  • Focus on form rather than the duration or frequency of each exercise.
  • Follow the instructions carefully and do not improvise on your own.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes and proper shoes.
  • Do not overdo anything. After all, the exercise should improve your condition and not worsen it.

Want To Know More?

To learn more about exercises for joint health, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

Tech Habits That Are Bad For Your Health

Technology is a good servant but a bad master. Without a hint of doubt, we can say tech habits have transformed how we access information. With increasing internet penetration and widespread use of tech gadgets, life has become simpler. Nonetheless, it has also brought some health problems. For example, staying glued to the monitor can ruin your health, career, education or even relationships. In this article, we will dig deeper to understand how tech habits can be bad for your health. Also, you will learn what you can do to fix them.

Increasing Screen Time Is the Major Reason Behind Health Problems

Almost everything you want seems just a click away. Be it health information or tips for dating, it’s right on your screen. More interestingly, you can express your thoughts and emotions on social media. But have you ever thought about how these activities are affecting your health? If not, you should. It’s high time you think of getting away from the virtual world and make a connection with the real world, real people.

Screen time is the amount of time you spend using a tech gadget. It can be anything from staring at your smartphone screen to watching your favorite series on Netflix. In fact, tech habits are a part of an emerging addiction problem called Internet Addiction (IA). While IA is not a separate disorder according to the DSM, the fifth edition has categorized it as “condition for further study”. Meaning, further studies in the future will determine if it is a real disorder. But, this, in no way, takes away the fact that health problems due to tech habits are bad for your health.

What Are Health Problems That May Occur Due to Tech Habits?

The risks of increased screen time are:

  • Physical inactivity. This is by far the most visible sign that you are using technology in a bad way. Not only does it indicate overuse, but it also hints at some potentially dangerous health problems. For example, physical inactivity is one of the major reasons for obesity and its other health consequences. Not to forget that being obese or overweight increases your risk of diabetes type II, high blood pressure and even some types of cancer. What might further worsen the outcomes is bad posture. As a matter of fact, continuous bad posture can cause physical symptoms like pains and problems with muscles or joint movements. Neck pain due to slouching is a common problem among continuous smartphone users.
  • Sleep disturbances. Increasing screen time may interfere with your or your kid’s sleep patterns. Particularly, excessive television viewing could potentially lead to problems with normal sleep habits. This should concern you if your kids spend a lot of time playing video games or watching television.
  • Psychological problems. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, unhealthy tech habits could negatively affect your kid’s focus, memory, mood, and behavior. The study also suggests it could even lead to anxiety and depression. While the study emphasizes the link between mental health problems and technology use among the kids, adolescents are also not immune to the adverse impacts.
  • Vision problems. Opticians say increasing smartphone use could be a reason why vision problems are on the rise. In fact, such habits might lead to a dangerous eye condition called macular degeneration. Remember macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness.
  • Unhealthy food habits while watching TV or staring at the monitor. Also, it may lead to unhealthy food choices among kids as they are lured by flashy ads.

Who Is At Risk?

Who is at risk? Understandably, anyone who has access to tech gadgets and internet connection is at risk. Even so, young people are specifically more prone to develop an addiction. It might be that the teens and young people are continuously connected to the internet. Also, they have more free time compared to their working parents. Lastly, tech habits are a cool way to express themselves.

Recommended screen time for kids

The following guideline issued by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) gives you an idea of what is a normal screen time for your kid.

  • Kids under age 2 years should have no screen time.
  • Children over 2 years. Limit the screen time to 1 to 2 hours per day and under supervision.

Also, take a closer look at what your kids are watching.

What You Can Do

  • Take breaks. If you have to sit in front of the laptop as a part of the profession, this is the best tip you can get. Take a short break every hour. Then, stretch, look around and breathe deeply. You should also go for a walk to say hello to your colleague.
  • Lift your screen level so that it is in the same line as your eyes.
  • Watch what you eat while staring at the screen. Make sure to avoid unhealthy food items.
  • To reduce eye strain, blink often and keep them off the monitor for a few seconds frequently.
  • Above all, if you are parenting a kid or teen, set an example first so that your kids will follow your good habits.

When to See a Doctor?

If you or your kid fail to curb screen time despite health problems, seek immediate medical help. It could be due to underlying health problems.

Want to Know More?

To learn more about the tech habits that are bad for your health, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Patient Wait Times

Waiting for the doctor is not the something people enjoy doing. Naturally, waiting is a bit boring task for most of us. But the degree of boredom and restlessness reaches its peak when they spend hours in front of the doctor’s cabin. What would you do if you were in the patient’s shoes? You would seek some solutions to reduce wait times.

Basically, you should understand that reduced patient wait times are key to ensuring patient satisfaction. Next, it also saves the patient’s valuable time and boosts their likelihood to visit again. In return, effective measures to reduce patient wait times save your time as well.

Use These Strategies to Reduce Patient Wait Times

  • Be proactive and know about your patient in advance. Simply put it, gather patient info at the time of scheduling an appointment. That way, you will save a lot of time going through common patient info. For example, insurance coverage, personal or family history, and health records. This approach is particularly more beneficial in the referral cases. When you have everything ready, the patient will be happy to have not waited for a long time.

Benefits: You do not have to waste a lot of time finding information about the patient. Moreover, you will be glad to know that your patients are happy too.

  • Use secure messaging. Secure messaging is an important channel to communicate with your patients. In the age of online communication, patients are more interested in talking to you through texts or emails. Telephone communication may be another option but more patients prefer texts or emails. For this reason, you should not pay any less attention to secure messaging. Not only does it increase patient satisfaction, it also increases your efficiency at work.

Benefits: Easy-to-use, safe and highly effective way to prepare yourself for the visit. Reduced phone calls and the need to call back.

  • Practice e-visits to patients. Through a newer method of doctor-patient interaction, virtual doctor visits are an emerging tool that provides an equally effective outcome. In fact, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) also supports the use of e-visits to patients. Notably, these virtual visits are limited only to the established patients. That said, you cannot practice it if the patient is coming to you for the first time. Also, make sure to useHIPAA-compliant online connection to communicate with your patient.

Benefits: This futuristic healthcare model reduces the time and cost of travel. Thus, it is convenient for the patients. Also, it prevents late arrivals and makes the patient info gathering process more organized.

  • Use a mobile queue app. These small mobile apps work wonders to cut down patient wait times. Consequently, the patients are happier and more satisfied with the services they get. You can find many apps that have many features like notification of the projected wait times and any delay. Moreover, the mobile queue apps also help the patients secure their position in the virtual waiting line. In essence, a constant communication between the provider and patient offers a greater flexibility to control the patient flow.

Benefits: Virtual waiting line allows the patients to take a break. In the same way, they can also report your staff about any delay in the projected wait times.

  • Do something about the patients who arrive late or do not show up within the time range. Well, it could be anything from late fees to rescheduling or in the worst case, cancellation of the schedule. It may not seem like the best policies to offend your customers, the patients. Nonetheless, this extreme step might be necessary especially when you are repeatedly disturbed by their tardiness or might be an ignorance. Make sure to notify them in advance about your policies, or they may take it as an offense. Why not include the notice in all of your brochures, mails, and texts? To make your step more acceptable, consider making provisions to reward the patients who are always on time. Also, focus more on the value of time rather than the penalty or prizes.

What to Do When Nothing Works to Reduce Patient Wait Times

Yes, we are preparing you for the worst-case scenario. The solution at this stage is simpler than you think. When nothing works, work to make the patients more comfortable and keep them occupied. Here are some tips you may consider.

  • Ensure patients get a comfortable and spacious reception area. Better if they get to read magazines, watch television or browse the internet over free Wi-Fi.
  • Show that you care. Why not offer complimentary tea and coffee (whenever possible)? It will help to create a positive image of your practice.

The Bottom Line

Waiting for the doctor is not an easy task. That said, we cannot reduce patient wait times to zero. But, by using simple tricks and leveraging the benefits of new technology, we can bring the time down by a huge margin.

Remember that reduced patient wait times mean happy patients, more revenue, and better outcomes for all the concerned members of the patient-doctor interaction.

So, what are you waiting for?

Make the move now and see how happy patients can transform your practice into a profitable venture.

Want to Know More?

To learn more about the ways to reduce patient wait times, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

Can Stress Increase Risk Of Being Depressed?

Stress alone may not cause depression, but when you cannot cope with the stressful life situations for a prolonged time, you may become depressed. That said, you should understand that depression is a mental disorder of complex origin. As a matter of fact, the combined effects of genetics, imbalances in the levels of brain chemicals, and faulty coping skills are the real causes.

Stress, more precisely psychological stress, is a normal response to an overwhelming situation in life. Essentially, it can occur due to both good as well as bad events or situations. Remember the night before starting your dream job? Or, the moment when you experienced a breakup?

Normally, as the time passes by, you will learn to adapt to new changes in your life. But the real problems arise when stress lingers far beyond a certain duration. In fact, chronic stress, even if mild, may increase the risk of depression by a huge margin.

Understanding the Link Between Chronic Stress and Depression

Chronic stress can prolong for months or even years. Owing to the longstanding nature, it can leave a number of adverse effects on your health and other areas of life. For example, relationships, financial status, memory and problem-solving skills.

This is in contrast to acute stress where the duration is “too” short to cause long-term problems in life.

Chronic mild stress can negatively affect your sleep, food habits, weight and level of physical activity. In turn, all these effects may make you depressed. Depressed patients in most cases also have anxiety, which is your body’s reaction to a stressor. For the same reason, the depression medications also treat anxiety.

Some studies suggest chronic stress can also affect the brain development process throughout one’s life. As a result, older adults may develop depression after chronic stress. In fact, long periods of stress have a definite link with depression in later life years. This is a common occurrence in war veterans who have a stress disorder called PTSD.

Likewise, many common signs or symptoms of depression also occur during stress. They may include:

  • Mood swings
  • Unexplained pains
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Weight and appetite changes
  • Memory problems
  • Disorganized or racing thoughts
  • Inability to focus
  • Restlessness
  • Low energy and motivation
  • Constant worrying even in the absence of a real problem

 

What You Can Do

While you cannot free yourself completely from stressors, you can cut down the risk of depression by learning certain coping skills. Also, a few minor changes in your lifestyle can do wonders when you are under stress.

Consider making the following changes in your life.

  • Make sure you get a quality sleep for seven to eight hours.
  • Identify the events or situations that might trigger stress. Once you know any of them, prepare yourself to minimize its effects on your mood and behavior. This is when you cannot avoid the stressor. For example, you cannot quit your job because you fear presentations. But you can prepare for it by practicing in front of a mirror.
  • Make a “to-do” list and follow it strictly. That way, you can make your daily routine more organized.
  • Take a deep breath. Yes, doctors now suggest for their patients to breathe deeply to reduce stress. Also called “abdominal breathing”, it helps to reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Sit in a quiet place with your back straight. Now close your eyes and focus on your breathing for at least five minutes. Alternately, you may also recite a “mantra” or a positive self-suggestion like “I am peaceful and happy”. The case is not here about the mantra but about how you can rest your mind and recharge it. If you like, you could listen to your favorite music as well.
  • Be social. Being social is not always about getting active on social media platforms. In fact, a face-to-face conversation is a great way to release your thoughts and anxiety. Choose the one who you want to open yourself to.
  • Find a reason to smile or laugh. Why not watch your favorite comedy series? If this is not possible, look at a beautiful flower and smile at it appreciating the beauty of nature. In any case, make sure to feel the senses during the smile.
  • Stay active. Physical activity, regardless of its type, can boost your mood. Also, it can distract you from overwhelming thoughts. Studies show that exercising increases blood circulation and may also release feel-good chemicals in the brain. Consider strolling through a garden or lifting some weights. Yoga could be another option. Choose what fits the situation.
  • Keep a diary. Write down your thoughts, emotions, and anything that makes you happy or sad. Be true while writing. It can help you track what turns your mood on or off.
  • Limit alcohol and avoid smoking. Both are known to increase stress in your mind. Not to forget other harmful effects on your health.
  • Eat a balanced diet. Make sure you get your dose of vitamins, proteins, minerals and other essential nutrients.

The Bottom Line

  • Stress and depression are close but not the same. Nonetheless, chronic stress might make you depressed directly or indirectly.
  • Seek immediate medical help if thoughts are very overwhelming or you develop suicidal tendencies. Know that there is no harm seeking help for mental illness. Timely treatment results in complete and swift recovery.

Want to Know More?

To learn more about how stress can increase the risk of developing depression, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

Prescription Drugs vs Natural Healing: Things You Should Not Miss

No doubt, people around the world have been using natural remedies to find relief from various common ailments. For example, colds, cough, different types of pain,etc. Also, the use of these remedies has risen considerably in the recent times. In fact, nearly one-third of Americans are seeking relief outside the realm of prescription drugs. But the big question is, are they worth their claims? Can you replace prescription drugs with so-called natural healing? Or, at least, should you give up on your doctor’s prescription pills? Here is an insight into the prescription drugs vs natural healing war.

An Overview of Prescription Drugs and Natural Remedies

Prescription drugs represent a wide range of medications that you can get only with a doctor’s prescription. Meaning, you cannot use prescription drugs on your own. Examples include:

  • Narcotic pain medications like morphine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone and their combinations.
  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs.
  • Blood pressure lowering drugs.
  • Antibiotics.
  • Water pills also called diuretics.
  • Drugs for diabetes.

Remember this is in contrast to OTC (over-the-counter) drugs that you can use on your own. But you will need a prescription if the product contains a combination of prescription and OTC medications.

What Are Natural Healing Agents?

As a matter of fact, there is no standard definition of natural remedies. One reason might be that these cover a wide range of therapies. Nonetheless, other related terms well defined. They include:

  • Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines CAM as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine

Note: Doctors may use the complementary approaches in conjunction with the mainstream therapies. But alternative approaches are used to replace the mainstream therapies.

  • Herbal Medicine. Also called botanicals or phytotherapy. Herbal medicines are a type of dietary supplement. They come in different forms. For example, capsules, tablets, liquids, and powders. Remember last time you bought garlic capsules?
  • Traditional medicine (TM). According to the WHO, TM is “the sum total of the knowledge, skills, and practices based on the theories, beliefs, and experiences indigenous to different cultures, whether explicable or not, used in the maintenance of health as well as in the prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness“.
  • Integrative medicine (IM). As the name suggests, IM is a collaborative approach consisting of both the usual medical and complementary approaches. In fact, more and more physicians are using this approach these days. In addition to the botanicals, it also covers non-drug therapies like yoga, chiropractic, homeopathy and special diets.

Natural healing approaches or remedies may involve any of the therapies mentioned above. Therefore, it would be wiser on your side to know which type of natural remedies you are using. That way, you will have a clearer idea of the ingredients and possible beneficial/harmful effects.

Prescription Drugs vs Natural Healing: Two Entirely Different Approaches of Disease Treatment

Prescription drugs become available in the market only after a lengthy process. Essentially, it involves tests on animals, healthy volunteers and those with the disorder. In a normal case, the whole process starting from the beginning of a drug research to its market availability takes more than a decade. In essence, the researchers want to make sure the drugs in the experiment are safe and effective. Moreover, the US FDA approval is needed for all the prescription drugs.

On the contrary, the natural healing approaches do not undergo such stringent regulations. It is because they are not considered drugs by the FDA. Simply put it, the FDA considers the natural remedies safe as long as there are no reports of proven toxic or undesirable effects. Thus, it is clear that these supplements enjoy a greater degree of freedom when it comes to the tests for safety and efficacy.

Can You Replace Prescription Drugs with Natural Healing Therapies?

Definitely not.

Not every product in the market with a label “natural and safe” is safe or effective in reality. If you are already taking some other prescription drugs, they can interact with the “natural” products.

Considering the lack of enough data on their safety and efficacy, you should not use any natural remedy in place of the prescription drugs. Doing so may worsen your condition. At the worst, such practice may be potentially fatal.

However, you may use alternative therapies or supplements after consulting your doctor. In fact, an expert consultation is invariably necessary to ensure you do not develop any complications.

In fact, there is no single natural remedy that has been scientifically proven to be as effective as the prescription drugs.

What You Can Do

To ensure your health, consider using the following tips.

  • Avoid buying any product with a claim of cure or replacement for the prescription drugs.
  • Read the labels on the natural remedies carefully. Note the language and product description. If you suspect anything wrong with it, do not use.
  • Take an extra caution if you are buying a supplement from the online vendor. It would be best to avoid such practice.

 

  • Do not take a supplement if you are using other prescription and OTC drugs. Moreover, pregnant or breastfeeding women should never take any supplements on their own.
  • In any case, DO NOT use any supplement or other natural healing therapies without first consulting your doctor. If you have any signs of a major health issue during the use, stop taking it immediately and seek a professional help.

Want to Know More?

To learn more about prescription drugs vs natural healing, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.

Most Strokes Can Be Prevented – Know the Risk Factors

A Quick Overview of Stroke

Stroke is a medical emergency. It occurs when the brain’s blood vessels become clogged or rupture. In any case, a certain area of the brain does not get its usual supply of the oxygen and essential nutrients. As a result, the oxygen-deprived area may die or sustain permanent damages. A stroke is also called brain attack (do not confuse with aheart attack).

The types of stroke are:

  • Ischemic stroke. It results when the brain’s blood vessels cannot supply oxygen to the brain tissues due to some obstruction. The most common obstructions are blood clots and fatty deposits on their inner walls.
  • Hemorrhagic stroke. When any of the brain’s blood vessels ruptures, there is an accumulation of blood in that area. Consequently, it damages the brain tissues in the nearby areas too.

The problem with having a stroke is that it can leave some permanent damage in the brain. In this way, it may also contribute to some long-term disabilities.

Stroke In The US: What Do Stats Say?

Statistics on strokes indicate it ranks 5th in the list of leading causes of death in the US. In fact, death due to stroke occurs every four minutes. Regrettably, the rate is even higher for black people. Note that heart disorders, cancer, respiratory disorders, and accidents are the top four causes of death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),

  • Stroke is responsible for 1 out of every 20 deaths.
  • It affects more than 795,000 people every year. Among them, about 610,000 have it for the first time.
  • Nearly 1 out every 4 previous patients of stroke develops another stroke.
  • Ischemic stroke accounts for up to 90% of all cases of stroke.
  • The economic burden of stroke in the United States is about $33 billion each year.
  • Long-term disability like limited mobility is a major problem in stroke survivors. In fact, more than 50% of survivors aged 65 or over experience some kinds of problems with movement.

Can You Prevent Stokes?

Of course.The first thing you should know is that most strokes can be prevented. And with timely treatment, you can expect better recovery. Also, you might be able to prevent long-term disabilities. Make sure you understand the risk factors.

What Are The Risk Factors For Stroke?

  • Increasing age is a natural and non-modifiable risk factor for stroke. But, this, in no way, means that only older people get strokes. In fact, strokes can affect people of any age. For example, in 2009, people younger than 65 constituted 34% of hospitalized strokes patients. With this being said, you have to put more focus on risk factors that you can change.
  • High blood pressure. Schedule a visit with your doctor if your blood pressure is 140/90 millimeters of mercury (mmHg) or more for an extended period of time.
  • This chronic disorder of glucose metabolism may also boost other risk factors like high blood pressure and heart diseases.
  • Heart diseases like Coronary heart disease (CHD), cardiomyopathy, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation can cause strokes by blocking the blood supply to the brain.
  • It increases blood pressure and damages the blood vessels. Meaning, smoking is a risk factor for both strokes as well as many other diseases. Visit your doctor to learn how to quit smoking.
  • High cholesterol. High levels of fatty substances in the bloodstream may deposit on the inner walls of the blood vessels. Consequently, fatty deposits reduce blood flow.

What You Can Do to Reduce the Risks

  • Control blood pressure. If you have not developed high blood pressure, take measures to prevent it. For example, eat a healthy diet, stay active, and do not smoke. If you have medications, take them and follow other lifestyle changes upon recommendation by your doctor. In any case, check your blood pressure on a regular basis. Ask your doctor if when and how often you should get checked.
  • Check your cholesterol. Doctors recommend checking your cholesterol level at least once every 5 years. If you are obese or eat an unhealthy diet, you may need to check it more often.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is a known risk factor for a plethora of health disorders. With this being said, you should aim for a healthy weight irrespective of your current health condition. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple tool to test if your weight is healthy. Ask your doctor or use a BMI calculator.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Feast on fresh fruits and vegetables. Increase your fiber intake and limit consumption of salt, trans fat, and cholesterol. That way, you can also prevent many other heart diseases.
  • Quit smoking. If you do not smoke, do not start. If you are a smoker, quit. Seek professional help if you cannot give it up on your own.
  • Keep blood sugar in check. Take a regular blood glucose test. Also, do not forget to continue eating healthy and staying active.
  • Limit alcohol intake. Well, it isn’t a new concept that alcohol damages your heart and blood vessels. Drink in moderation. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate limit for your body.
  • Stick to your medication plan. The risk of a major stroke rises significantly in those patients with high cholesterol and high blood pressure who do not take their prescribed medications. On a positive note, you can reduce the risk by complying with treatment. (This 2016 study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology)

Act Now To Prevent Strokes

It is a known fact that early diagnosis is key to ensuring success of a treatment program. Because stroke is a serious condition, any delay in seeking a medical help can lead to a catastrophic result. You should know when to call 911. As a matter of fact, getting emergency treatment within 3 hours of an attack can slash the rate of disability by a huge margin.

Want to Know More?

To learn more about the risk factors and how most strokes can be prevented, visit http://www.FindaTopDoc.com. Also, gain unlimited access to a myriad of other benefits. Readers can find evidence-based health information with just a click. Driven by the aim to provide authentic information about diseases, drugs, supplements, medical procedures, and lifestyle tips to all its visitors, FindaTopDoc.com and CEO Anthony Casimano allow visitors to read about the best doctors locally. Readers can choose the doctor that best meets their unique health needs, and request to schedule an appointment instantly.