Tag Archives: health

Everything You Need to Know about Breast Cancer

Cancer that affects the cells of the breasts is called breast cancer. In this article, you will learn its types and symptoms, facts, and statistics in the US. Before we dive deeper, let’s have a quick overview of the history of breast cancer.

History of Breast Cancer: A Disease that Attacks the Symbol of Beauty, Fertility, and Femininity

Undoubtedly, female breasts have much more to symbolize other than beauty alone. They are the source of milk which feeds the baby and are very strongly associated with a women’s self-perception of femininity.

No one exactly knows the history of breast cancer. However, there are mentions of this type of cancer in various documents that date back to 3,000–2,500 B.C. Imhotep, the Egyptian physician who lived 27th century BC, is a prominent figure in the history of breast cancer exploration. His documents provide an authentic account of the disease in females.

Ancient Greeks are known to offer donations to the God of Medicine, Asclepius, in an attempt to get relief from the disease. Some prominent figures in the history of breast cancer are

  • In his writing dating back to 400 B.C., the father of medicine notes that the cancer is caused due to an imbalance of humor (blood, phlegm, and yellow and black bile). Moreover, he also describes its stages as progressive disease.
  • Leonides of Alexandria. In first century AD, he gave details of the surgical procedures to remove the tumor. In fact, his approach of cutting open the affected breast and removing the tumor forms the foundation of modern surgical intervention.
  • In 200 A.D., Galen concluded that breast cancer was a systemic disease and believed the accumulation of black bile in the blood as its cause.

Types and Symptoms of Breast Cancer You Should Not Miss

Broadly, breast cancer may be divided into the following types.

  • Non-invasive. Non-invasive breast cancer starts in the breast ducts or glands but does not grow into breast tissues. It is also called carcinoma in situ or pre-cancer. In situ means “in the place where it originated”.
  • An invasive breast cancer is the one which starts either in the breast ducts or glands and then invades the breast tissues. Up to 80% of invasive breast cancers are caused by a type known as invasive ductal carcinoma. The next type, invasive lobular carcinoma, is found in 10% of the cases of invasive breast cancers.
  • As the name suggests, a recurrent breast cancer tends to return back after initial treatment. A small number of cancer cells that survive the treatment multiply to cause recurrent cancer.
  • Metastatic cancer spreads to distant organs beyond its place of origin. As such, metastatic breast cancer can spread to organs like bones, lungs, liver or brain. Usually, metastasis occurs months or years after a treatment is completed.

Signs and Symptoms of Breast Cancer

A lump in the breast or armpit can be the first sign that you may have breast cancer. However, it does not mean that every lump in the breast is cancer. As a matter of fact, most lumps are not cancerous. In any case, it is highly recommended that you visit your doctor.

Watch out for the other possible signs that include:

  • A persistent pain in the armpits or breast that is not affected by the menstrual cycles.
  • Formation of pits or red spots on the breast skin that is similar to an orange peel.
  • A rash on one or both nipples.
  • Abnormal discharge from one of the nipples which may also contain blood.
  • A sunken or inverted nipple.
  • Abnormal shape or size of the breast
  • Peeling, flaking, dimpling, or scaling of the skin on the breast or nipple.

10 Facts and Statistics about Breast Cancer

  1. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer. Also, it is the most common invasive cancer that affects women.
  2. The United States is home to as many as 3.1 million breast cancer survivors. At any given time, the chance of death due to breast cancer among women is 2.7 percent.
  3. In 2017, it is expected that about 252,710 new diagnoses will be made. Out of the total cases, 40,610 women are likely to die from the disease.
  4. In 2015, breast cancer accounted for 40,000 deaths in women in the US.
  5. One out of every eight women in the US develops this disease.
  6. Compared to white women, African-American women have significantly lower survival rates.
  7. Death rates are highest in women who are more than 80 years, and lowest in women below 40 years.
  8. Deaths among white women tend to be highest in the North Central, Mid-Atlantic, and Western regions of the US. Among black women, the highest death rates are found in some of the South Central and Mid-Atlantic states, as well as California.
  9. The exact cause of breast cancer is not fully known yet. However, it is thought to occur from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Most importantly, various studies have found that a family history of the disease, can increase your risk by almost two times.
  10. Birth control can increase the risk by a very slight margin while breastfeeding can be protective.

Want To Know More?

To learn more about breast cancer, its treatment options and more, 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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Health Care for Aging World: 3 Major Problems and Their Solutions

Included in this article are the three major problems of health care for aging world and their potential solutions.

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No doubt, living a long healthy life tops every individual’s bucket list. With advancement in health technology, we have achieved some degree of success in extending our lives. Well, it’s good news for everyone. But what about the people in low- and middle-income countries who can only dream to leverage the benefits of expensive health innovations? Moreover, problems persist even within high-income countries including the US.

Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population over 60 years will nearly double from 12% to 22%, reports the WHO. According to the UN global demographic statistics, between 2015 and 2030, the number of people in the world aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 56 percent, from 901 million to 1.4 billion, and by 2050, the global population of older persons is projected to more than double its size in 2015, reaching nearly 2.1 billion.

Now, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how the existing healthcare services would perform when the aging population doubles

What is Aging?

Aging is a natural process that results due to thecumulative effect of molecular and cellular damage occurring over a period of time. Simply put, aging causes a decline in both physical and mental ability of an individual and makes them more vulnerable to a number of diseases or health conditions.

As a matter of fact, from a health perspective, aging cannot be associated with a fixed numeric value that clearly defines who is old and who is young. That being said, you can find a 70-year old person who enjoys robust health while you may see a 30-year old struggling with diabetes. Thus, biological aging and number of age are two different things.

The common health conditions that accompany aging are:

  • Hearing impairment.
  • Clouding of thelens (cataract).
  • Vision problems.
  • Problems with movement due to joint problems like arthritis.
  • Respiratory problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Impaired thinking and memory (cognitive decline).
  • Increased susceptibility to infection.

Most notably, more than one problem mentioned above can affect an aged individual at the same time.

What Problems Can Negatively Impact Health Care for the Aging World?

  1. Rising health costs. It’s true that everything comes with a price tag and you can only own a thing after you pay its price. Healthcare is no different. Over the last or so, the price of healthcare has surged alarmingly. No wonder, health care consumed 17.8% of the U.S. gross domestic product in 2015. One of the major reasons for rising health costs is technological advancement. Health economy experts note that medical cost is behind 40-50 percent increase in total healthcare cost every year. While a significant portion of the total cost is paid by the government, Americans still have to spend a hefty sum to make up for the total expenses. The condition is even worse in low- and middle-income countries where there is no provision of government health insurance.
  2. Diverse health conditions among old people. You are wrong if you think two 80-year old people are the same. For example, an 80-year old person can be as healthy as a 20-year old person and a 20-year old person can have health conditions similar to an 80-year old person. That being said, ageneralization of the concept of health and aging makes no sense when you consider an individual example. Thus, this diversity further complicates health care for the aging world.
  3. The misconception about aging and its effects. In most parts of the world, aging is still considered to be a hindrance to social and economic development. Older people are often taken as a burden and rates of discrimination are high. Altogether, such misconceptions about aging lead to a situation where old people are less likely to receive appropriate healthcare services that they deserve.

Finding Solutions to the Problems of Health Care for Aging World: It’s Easier than You Think

  • Use of affordable home healthcare technology.Not every medical technology should eat a large chunk of your paycheck. In fact, simple health technologies such as a blood pressure measurement machine or home blood glucose test kit can go a long way in protecting your health which otherwise could lead to a costly affair. Other affordable medical technologies include home telemonitoring devices, personal emergency response systems, alarm systems, security camera systems.
  • Keep in mind that prevention is better than cure. With an alarming rise in the incidence of chronic illness, the focus of healthcare has shifted to preventing a disease rather than treating it with costly treatment. No doubt, the value of a healthful diet, regular physical activity, stress management and social well-being makes more sense than ever before. Not only these measures help to prevent a chronic disease, they also help to keep the symptoms under control once you have a disease. Remember the value of regular glucose monitoring for a diabetic and how it can help to prevent complications and save you from spending a fortune.

Want To Know More?

To learn more about health care for the aging world, 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.

 

Staff Engagement in Healthcare: Why It Matters

The warmth of love and hands of care are key to staff engagement in healthcare that results in pleasant patient experience.

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Staff engagement, also called employee engagement, accounts for a major portion of customer satisfaction irrespective of the business type. Essentially, the concept of customer and staff engagement in healthcare is a bit different. It is because patients are more than average customers and healthcare service is entirely different from a general service. After all, taking a pill is different from using an iPhone.

Moreover, health is a sensitive issue which outweighs every other aspect of life. Included in this article are the benefits of staff engagement in healthcare to both the patients and healthcare service provider’s organization.

What is Staff Engagement in Healthcare? Know the Basics

In common uses, staff engagement is the practice of how a manager manages their subordinates in a way that helps to achieve the organizational goal. That being said, the staff manager takes care of every process and members that work in a specific department or the organization as a whole. In addition, it also sets standards for responsibilities and liabilities for every member. When the concept of staff engagement is applied to the healthcare sector, it is known as staff engagement in healthcare.

The two basic components that determine staff engagement are:

  • Human resource management

Any activity in an organization that involves proper utilization of the abilities of employees in an organization is called human resource management (HRM). The basic elements of HRM are employee selection, recruitment, training and development, and retention. Some organizations hire a human resource manager in order to look after the productivity of their employees.

  • Line management

Line management follows a chain of command on the basis of the organizational hierarchy. For example, a staff manager supervises and oversees the activities of the subordinates in his/her department. Likewise, the CEO (chief executive officer) who holds the highest position in an organization oversees the activities of every other member of the organization.

3 Ways Staff Engagement in Healthcare is Different from Other Sectors

  1. Health is a sensitive issue. Well, it doesn’t take a great mind to understand that health is wealth. Any minor error in medication can be fatal at times. It is therefore critically important to separate health service from any other service.
  2. Patients and the average customer are different. Before we explore, let’s keep in mind the difference between a customer and consumer. A customer is an individual who buys a product or uses a service. On the other hand, a consumer is the one who exclusively uses a service. Simply put, consumers are a subset of customers. For this reason, patients are consumers rather than customers.
  3. Healthcare regulation is more stringent than other sectors. Because public health is a sensitive issue, healthcare watchdogs require healthcare providers to work in a more restricted regulatory framework. For example, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates medication, veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices but stays a bit relaxed when it comes to dietary supplements.  Similarly, hospitals need to follow a well-defined set of standards in order to ensure the safety of patient health and efficacy of the services they provide.

Know the Benefits of Proper Staff Engagement in Healthcare

Proper staff management in healthcare offers a myriad of benefits to the patients and service providers. In fact, the benefits are both tangible and intangible.

  • Tangible benefits of proper staff engagement in healthcare. If you consider healthcare service as a business practice, the tangible benefits are those that can be measured in monetary terms. With proper staff management, the providers can achieve increased revenues and profits. Consequently, you can expect to get high-quality service in an organization that spends a major portion of its revenues in research, purchase of quality equipment, and recruitment of qualified staff.
  • Intangible benefits of proper staff engagement in healthcare. The intangible benefits cannot be measured directly in monetary terms but have a profound impact on how a patient feels about the services they use. Enhanced patient experience is the most valuable benefit of proper staff engagement in healthcare. As a matter of fact, happy customers are those who feel great about the services they use.

Key Takeaways

  • Staff engagement is key to enhanced patient experience and greater revenues for the healthcare provider.
  • In order to ensure proper staff engagement, the providers need to ensure that their human resource management and line management function optimally.
  • Some large healthcare organizations have a separate department and team of qualified staff for achieving their target revenues through increased patient experience.
  • Statistics suggest that a high level of staff engagement leads to patient-centered care, patient safety culture and employees’ positive assessments of the quality of care or services provided by their team.
  • In addition to fulfilling one’s on-job responsibilities, staff engagement in healthcare is an emotional journey.
  • When you visit a hospital or any other healthcare institution as a patient, watch for the following signs that indicate how the engaged hospital worker takes care of your health.
  1. The engaged hospital worker makes eye contact and responds positively to the patient’s as well as visitor’s inquiries.
  2. They help to escort the family members of the patient to their destination.
  3. Check IV lines and other medical devices at regular intervals to make sure the devices are functioning as intended.
  4. Listen to your problems and suggest the best ways to tackle them.
  5. Maintain a peaceful and friendly environment in the working area.

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Want To Know More?

To learn more about the role of staff engagement in healthcare, 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.

 

When to Go to the ER: Know When to Go and When Not To

Questioning when to go to the ER can be scary. As a matter of fact, we would not want, even in the distant dream, you to go to ER. But certain conditions warrant an ER visit. By not doing so, you could be putting the health of yourself or a loved one at stake.

ER

Included in this article are the conditions or symptoms that answer your “when to go to ER” question. Also, you will know when to take your infant to ER, take your child to ER, and the need of ER for adults.

Do You Need to Visit the ER For Common Symptoms?

Well, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this common question. For example, a dull pain near your navel may seem like something that you could get away without any treatment. But do you know the same pain could be indicative of appendicitis? Evidently, no symptom can be considered as each of them could be indicative of some serious underlying conditions.

In fact, there are many instances when serious conditions start with seemingly milder symptoms. These include headache, pain in the jaw, chest pain, shortness of breath, and finally a feeling that something is not right inside your body.

Moreover, ER visits are not limited to the disease conditions only. Injury, choking, burns, electrocution, and long-lasting seizures also require an ER visit.

So, is there any way that can tell you when to go to ER? There is and there is not. That being said, severe injuries, especially to the head and spine, and burns invariably require you to go to ER. This is easier than finding out if you should go to ER if you have a headache or chest pain.

For the physical symptoms, it is always a good idea to keep note of their frequency, severity and your gut feeling.

Given below are some conditions/symptoms that warrant an ER trip for any age group:

  • Choking
  • Disturbed breathing
  • Head injury with loss of consciousness, vomiting episodes, or mental confusion
  • Injury to neck or spine. Think of going to the ER if you or your loved one experiences a lack of emotion or loses theability to move after the injury.
  • Electric shock or lightning strike
  • Severe burn
  • Severe chest pain
  • Seizure attacks for more than 3 minutes.

Rush to the ER if you or a loved one is experiencing:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Loss of consciousness for longer durations
  • Chest pain that radiates to the left shoulder and jaw
  • A sudden episode of bad headache, something you have not experienced before.
  • Sudden problems with vision, speech or movement.
  • Sudden weakness on one side of the body
  • Persistent dizziness
  • Inhaled poisonous fumes
  • Heavy loss of blood
  • Signs that your bone is possibly broken. For example, severe swelling on the affected part, loss of movement, and extreme
  • Severe burn
  • Coughing up blood
  • Unbearable pain in any part of the body with or without an obvious reason
  • Symptoms of severe allergic reaction such as breathing difficulties, swelling, hives, and rashes on the skin
  • High fever accompanied by headache and stiffness in the neck
  • A fever that does not improve even after taking medicine
  • Severe loss of fluid due to diarrhea or vomiting
  • Accidentally taken a poison
  • Persistent thoughts of harming yourself or others
  • Long-lasting seizures
  • Overdosing on drug or alcohol
  • Attempting suicide

When to Take Your Infant to ER

The decision to take your infant to ER solely depends on your own assessment of the infant’s symptoms. This is because the infants and kids cannot directly tell how they are feeling. Take note of the following warning signs and symptoms.

  • Refusing food and drink consistently or vomiting up foods or liquids
  • Fever above 100.4 that lasts for longer durations
  • Crying persistently
  • Vomiting and frequent passage of loose or watery stool
  • Labored breathing, wheezing or high-pitched noise when breathing
  • Visible injury after a fall or accident like a bump on the head

When to Take Your Child to ER

If it’s the first time that you are parenting a child, it is critically essential that you identify the conditions when you should take your child to the ER. However, this, in no way, means that you can stay relaxed when something wrong happens to your second child or the first child the second time. In essence, experience and instinct are great assets that help you determine when you should take your child to ER.

Look out for the following symptoms in your child and rush them to ER if anything does not feel right.

  • Choking
  • Bluish discoloration of the skin
  • Persistent high-grade fever that does not improve with common medicines
  • Frequent or heavy bleeding, especially following an injury
  • Severe vomiting and diarrhea characterized by sunken eyes, low urine output, excessive skin dryness, etc.

When to Go to the ER: Not for These Conditions in Most Cases

Not All Conditions Require an ER Visit. Know the Bad Reasons to Visit ER

If you visit ER with minor symptoms of a cold, you are definitely wasting your time and money, as well your doctor’s time. That being said, many conditions are not severe enough to warrant an ER visit. Instead, you can get relief by visiting your personal physician.

These conditions include:

  • Sore throat
  • Minor cough
  • Non-severe allergic reactions that can go away with OTC medications
  • Occasional headache
  • Minor wound or bleeding from superficial cuts
  • Sprains and strains without the signs of broken bones

Want To Know More?

To learn more about when to go to the ER, 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.

 

 

6 Reasons for Rising Healthcare Cost Problems in the US

The problems with rising healthcare cost in the US can be partly attributed to an aging population that has been struggling with the wrath of chronic diseases. Another thing to worry about at this moment is that the GDP growth rate is lagging behind healthcare spending.

u.s. healthcareAccording to a CMS report, healthcare cost will eat up a major share of the GDP at nearly 20% by 2025. In 2015, the amount spent was $3.2 trillion. This is equal to $9,990 per person and 17.8% of the GDP. An increasing overall spending on health and related services is making us poorer but nowhere has it seemed to slow down even after a decade.

In this article, you will learn about 6 major problems that are fueling healthcare cost and their potential solutions. Before we move forward, let’s have a quick look at the projected capital spending on health and related services through 2016-2025.

  • Over the 2016-2025 period, total healthcare spending is expected to outpace the GDP growth rate. Going by the numbers, health spending is projected to grow 1.2 percentage points faster than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year over the 2016-25 period. As a result, the health share of GDP is expected to witness a jump from 17.8 percent in 2015 to 19.9 percent by 2025.
  • Presuming the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will last until 2025, the percentage of Americans getting insured is projected to increase from 90.9 percent in 2015 to 91.5 percent in 2025.
  • Interestingly, health spending saw a decline from 5.8 percent in 2015 to 4.8 percent in 2016. The major reason being a temporary setback on the expansion of the Affordable Care Act. In the same period, Medicaid spending growth slowed down from 9.7 percent to 3.7 percent. Likewise, private health insurance spending growth was down to 5.9 percent in 2016 from 7.2 percent in 2015.
  • In 2017, overall spending on health is expected to grow by 5.4 percent. The major driver of this growth is an increased spending in Medicare and private health insurance.

(Source: National Health Expenditure Fact Sheet, CMS.gov)

These Factors are Fueling Healthcare Cost Growth in the US

  1. Uncoordinated healthcare system. In fact, our healthcare system is much unorganized. As a result, overtreatment of a health condition has become a common thing. Take an example, if you have a health condition that requires a medical test, there is a chance that you may have to take the same test several times. Obviously, this is going to create a hole in your pocket. In order to address the problem of overtreatment (or more precisely unnecessary treatment), doctors and medical systems are welcoming electronic health records in their practice, which is a positive sign.
  2. An aging population and burden of chronic illnesses. It is natural that old people are more likely to require frequent healthcare services. But what’s not natural is that many of them are obese and have more than one chronic illness. In fact, about 50 percent of US population has one or more chronic conditions. Most notably, asthma, heart disease, and diabetes. Obesity which affects two-thirds of adults is a key risk factor for all these health conditions. What’s the solution? Shed some pounds, watch your diet and engage in suitable physical activity regularly.
  3. Rising cost of new drugs, technologies, and services. With the advancement of health science, many new drugs, technologies, and services are making their way into the healthcare system. While this is a good thing from most perspectives, you have to pay a hefty amount to leverage the benefits. In order to streamline the cost, you should assess a new treatment’s benefits against the cost. It is necessary because many new treatments are comparable or even less efficient than the existing treatments.
  4. Limited resources to facilitate the choice of medical care. We have a number of choices when it comes to selecting a health service or treatment. Unfortunately, we lack sufficient information that helps us make a better decision while choosing a medical care. In fact, there is no standard source that informs patients about the cost-effectiveness of a medical service and available options. Consequently, patients often end up paying more for a service which they could have used for a lesser amount.
  5. The monopoly of hospitals and providers. Big hospitals and medical insurers command a high level of authority when serving the patients. Mergers and acquisitions in thehealthcare industry are, no doubt, a good thing if you consider increased efficiency and better care. But the increasing control of big organizations can backfire as well. As a result, they have a tighter control over the healthcare cost and patients are left with fewer options.
  6. Uncertainty about the illness. Many illnesses that have vague symptoms or long-lasting nature are yet another reason why the healthcare cost is skyrocketing. If you and your doctor are not sure about the illness, you will have to take multiple tests and procedures that will ultimately add numbers to the bill. In another common practice called defensive medicine, doctors order multiple tests in an attempt to protect themselves from possible legal problems.

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Want To Know More?

To learn more about therising healthcare cost problem in the US, 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.

 

5 Diseases Caused by Obesity: Explore the Links and Solutions

Here’s how obesity can lead to a plethora of diseases. Also, learn how to lose weight.

obesity

Obesity is a public health problem in many parts of the world. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports about 36.5% of adults are obese. Obesity has been linked to a number of preventable causes of death. For example, type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, gallstone, stroke, and osteoarthritis.

In this article, we will explore the link between obesity and these diseases. In addition, we will also look at solutions to reduce weight.

What is Obesity and What are the Diseases Caused by Obesity?

Obesity is a condition in which an individual’s weight lies above the healthy range. Generally, obesity is measured using a tool called Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI indicates the amount of fat present in your body. Thus, higher BMI means you have more fat in your body.

The normal range of healthy BMI is 18.5 to 24.9 for adults older than 20 years. If your BMI is 30 or higher, you are obese. Note that another related term overweight is slightly different. A person is considered overweight if his/her BMI lies between 25 and 29.9.

Various studies have found that having those extra layers of fat increases the risk of many chronic conditions. These include:

  • Heart disease and stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some types of cancer
  • gallstones
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gout
  • Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea which causes the person to have spells of breathlessness while asleep and asthma.

5 Diseases to Look Out for In Obese Individuals

  1. Type 2 diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, a person’s cells become unable to utilize available insulin. Remember that this is not similar to type 1 diabetes where a person’s pancreas produces no insulin at all. There is a direct link between obesity and this type of diabetes. Recent studies have shown that being obese increases low-grade inflammation in the body and higher oxidative stress. When the inflammation persists for longer durations, it negatively impacts how they utilize insulin. Moreover, chronic inflammation and prolonged oxidative stress impair the function of the cells that secrete insulin.
  2. Cancer. There is a well-known link between obesity and cancers of the colon, breast (following menopause), kidney, esophagus, and pancreas. While scientists are yet to conclude if obesity is a cause or risk factor for these cancers, they believe that most of these cancers could be caused by long-term inflammation. When inflammation persists for longer periods, the levels of inflammatory chemicals in the blood rise. As a result, there occur some changes in the DNA which could lead to cancer.
  3. Gallstone. Gallstones are hard solid particles that form in the gallbladder. The gallbladder is a small organ which is a part of the biliary system. It plays a major role in the storage of bile produced by the liver and thus helps in fat digestion. Gallstones can develop in various sizes and forms. For example, the stone could be a large single piece or could include several tiny stones. Obesity is a major risk factor for the development of gallstones. It is because the obese individuals have higher amounts of cholesterol in their bile, which can promote stone formation. Keep in mind that gallstones are made of bile cholesterol and bilirubin.
  4. Stroke. A stroke is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition in which the blood supply to a certain part of the brain is reduced or interrupted. As a result, the brain cells do not get nutrients and oxygen and begin to die immediately. The link between obesity and stroke risk is very clear. Here’s how it goes. When you are obese, the levels of free fatty acids in your bloodstream rise. When these fat molecules travel through the vessels that supply to the brain, they may interfere with the blood flow. The risk skyrockets if you are a smoker and have high blood pressure, which is likely in most cases.
  5. Osteoarthritis (OA). Also called degenerative joint disease, OA is a chronic condition that affects the joints. In most cases, it affects the joints in the knees, hips, lower back and neck, and also small joints of the fingers and the bases of the thumb and big toe. It is a major cause disability and limited movement in older adults. Obesity increases the risk and complications of OA by two ways. First, being obese means you have higher levels of inflammatory chemicals in your blood. These chemicals can damage cartilage, the tough yet flexible cushion of tissues between the bones in a joint. Second, obesity increases load on the weight-bearing joints such as ankles, knees, and hips.

Tips to Overcome Obesity and the Risk of Diseases

There is no one-size-fits-all theory for dramatic weight loss. Before you enroll in any weight-loss program, make sure to keep realistic expectations and achievable targets.

The following list consists of general guidelines to follow when you are chasing your weight-loss dream.

  1. Eat a healthy diet that consists of whole grains, lean meats, healthy fats, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
  2. Stay away from empty calories like soda or chips.
  3. Keep a food diary to track eating habits.
  4. Replace unhealthy foods with healthy substitutes.
  5. Exercise regularly.
  6. Obesity could result due to hormone imbalance or other diseases that affect your hormone levels. If you suspect you have any such cause, consult your doctor.
  7. Talk to a nutritionist to get a customized diet plan.
  8. A type of surgery called bariatric surgery may be an option if you are excessively obese and other weight loss measures have proven ineffective.
  9. Never take a supplement or enroll in a diet plan without first consulting your doctor.

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Want To Know More?

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3 Ways Propolis Boosts Health

Propolis, famously known as “bee glue,” is a sticky, waxy substance made by bees said to contain anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. It is abundant in amino acids, antioxidants known as bioflavonoids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Propolis has been used for centuries to enhance the immune system, treat various skin conditions, aid in preventing cancer and treat viral infections such as genital herpes. Propolis can be found in capsule, oral rinse, lozenge, liquid, ointment and cream form.

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Immunity Booster

Bee propolis is thought to contain anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that have the ability to enhance and improve the immune system. In a study published in the August 2010 issue of “Phytotherapy Research,” scientists found propolis can alter or regulate the immune system. During this study, subjects who were given bee propolis showed higher levels of proteins and compounds that play a central role in regulating the immune system.

Anti-Cancer Agent

Bee propolis may have anti-tumor capabilities, making it an alternative treatment or preventative measure for cancer. In a study published in the February 2004 issue of the “American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology,” clinicians found that propolis killed the human breast carcinoma cell known as MCF-7. After participants were given a propolis extract, in just 24 hours, 13 percent of the cancer cells were obliterated. In another study five years later, published in the November issue of “BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine,” researchers found that red bee propolis significantly suppressed the vascular endothelial growth factor, which is often responsible for cancer. Therefore, researchers concluded that bee propolis contains therapeutic compounds that have the potential to prevent and help treat angiogenesis-related human diseases such as cancer.

Natural Antiseptic

Bee propolis, with its active ingredients including flavonoids, phenolic acids, terpenes, amino acids and vitamins, has been used as antiseptic topical ointment for centuries, dating back to the ancient Egyptians. It is proposed that propolis speeds up the healing process and tissue repair of wounds such as cuts, bruises, scrapes and sores. During a study that was published in the September/October 2009 issue of “Wound Repair and Regeneration,” researchers found that in animal testing, a single application of propolis on an epithelial closure speeded up healing.

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Of course, there are very different grades of bee propolis, and it is necessary to select your source with some care. We need to ensure enzyme activity along with nutritionally active vitamins and minerals, for the power of propolis to be useful to us in a potential medicinal sense. A nutritionally ‘dead’ product may have some benefit when applied to the skin topically, but as an immune support agent it provides very little. The integrity of the collected substance must maintain flavonoids in their original combination for it to provide some benefits.

Propolis supplements are available in capsule form in health stores and online. Experts advise that you can also purchase propolis as an ointment to treat wounds and infections. Research is still in the preliminary stage, but propolis is emerging as one of the superstar players in a new era of natural and effective cancer cures.