July 8-14, 2009 - Original Health Articles

Is Your Gym Membership Worth The Money?

Should you or shouldn't you quit the gym? Maybe. Read on for four reasons why you should and four reasons why you shouldn't leave your gym behind. Four Reasons To Quit It's expensive. Gym membership fees can be a major budget buster. When it's time to tighten your expenses, monthly dues are a disposable expense.

What Your Kids May Ask About Depression

It can be hard for children to grasp that depression is a true medical disorder. After all, you're not in the hospital, you're not hooked up to tubes and wires, and no bones are broken. But your children can certainly sense that something is wrong with you, and you may be looking for some way to talk to them about depression—in a way they'll understand.

65 or Over? Keep Your Heart Healthy

Of the 550,000 people who die of cardiovascular disease every year, 82 percent of them are 65 and older. But staying heart healthy when you become a member of this age group is not an easy order. Over the years, your blood vessels and heart muscle become worn and damaged, even if you've taken exceptional care of your heart.

Calcium and Heart Disease

Calcium and heart disease share a somewhat complicated relationship. On the one hand, calcium has been associated with heart disease prevention, so much so that it is a key component of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. In numerous studies it has shown an inverse relationship with blood pressure: The lower your calcium level, the higher your blood pressure, and hypertension is a known contributor to heart disease.

Magnesium and Heart Health

A linchpin in the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, magnesium sometimes seems like the forgotten mineral. Sure, people commonly wonder if they're getting enough calcium or potassium, but how often is their attention drawn to their need for magnesium? Seeing as it's vital to 300 biochemical functions in the body, magnesium deserves a closer look.

On Vacation: Indulge and Enjoy Without Gaining Weight

Vacations seem to conjure up thoughts of feasting on rich foods such as ice cream, caramel corn, taffy, fresh cut French fries, and pizza. But can you enjoy vacation foods and indulge without gaining weight? You certainly can. Indulgences are important for any good vacation and should actually be part of your regular healthy eating habits.

Vegetarians: Get Enough Iron, Protein, and Vitamin B12 in Your Diet

Eating vegetarian is a great way to improve your health, slash your budget and help the planet. But it's important to shop for food carefully since a meat-free diet may lack certain key nutrients such as Vitamin B12, iron and protein. Want to get the most out of your meals? The Vegetarian Resource Group has the scoop on what you need to look for when cruising the supermarket aisles or your local farm stand: B12.

Can Your Dental Exam Reveal Osteoporosis?

As medical consumers, we love getting more than we bargained for. What if you could get screened for osteoporosis during a dental exam?  In the near future, that just may be the case. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis is a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to break.

New Allergy Vaccine Could Help Eliminate Hay Fever

Wouldn't you love an allergy treatment that would cure hay fever symptoms quickly and easily and would even last for a few allergy seasons without needing to be repeated? The good news is that a new allergy vaccine on the horizon may be able to accomplish these goals.

Assistive Devices for Arthritis

Thanks to many products on the market, living with arthritis isn't as limiting as it used to be. These devices make daily tasks easier-from standing to cooking, bathing, dressing, walking and driving. We've rounded up some of the best: KITCHEN HELPERS Open-It Universal Opener: This is must-have tool for opening bags, cans, boxes, or containers.

Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables and Arthritis

Before 1996 glucosamine and chondroitin weren't household words. Thanks to the groundbreaking book, The Arthritis Cure, by Dr. Jason Theodosakis millions of people found relief for their symptoms from these two supplements. Another natural remedy for arthritis featured in that book is a vegetable extract made from avocado and soybean oils, avocado soybean unsaponifiables (ASU).

Does Ultrasound Testing Work for Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Ultrasound is an effective and relatively inexpensive way to detect inflammation before joint damage occurs and can be detected on X-rays. However, a recent study questioned whether this imaging test can predict how arthritis will progress when you have rheumatoid arthritis.

How Humidity and Heat Affect Arthritis

Do humidity and heat affect rheumatoid arthritis? For some people living with this autoimmune disease, there's no question that hot weather triggers their flares and increases joint pain compared to the winter season. But, in the medical community, the debate rages on.

Diabetes in Summer: Tips to Manage Diabetes in the Heat

Coping with diabetes in summer can be a challenge. However, you can still soak up all the joys of the season by making some simple lifestyle changes and a few adjustments to your diabetes care routine. Monitor Your Blood Glucose More Often It's quite common for people with diabetes to experience low blood glucose levels in summer.

8 Super Foods for Diabetics

It's a delicate balance - making smart food choices to control your blood glucose levels, while keeping the fun in food. Learning how to adjust your diet takes time, but the benefits are worth it. You'll need less diabetes medication and avoid complications such as nerve damage and kidney disease.

The Benefits of Diabetes Support Groups

More and more people are turning to diabetes support groups to cope with some of the difficulties associated with the condition--both online and in their neighborhoods. A 2001 study found that nearly 48,000 Internet users visited diabetes support and discussion groups over a 21-month period, spending an average of about 15 minutes.

Summer Fruits for Diabetics

According to the Mayo Clinic, having diabetes doesn't prevent you from eating fruits, even though you may be concerned about their high sugar content. Dr. Maria Collazo-Clavell, an endocrinologist at the hospital explains that the total amount of carbohydrates you consume has more of an impact on your blood sugar levels than the sources of the carbohydrates.

Nocturnal Asthma: What You Need to Know

When nocturnal asthma symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness and shortness of breath disturb your sleep, you can find yourself feeling tired and unable to focus the next day. Possible Causes According to the experts, the odds of your asthma kicking in at night can be extremely high.

Can a Bad Marriage Affect Your Health?

A recent study from the University of Utah revealed that a woman in a strained or bad marriage is at risk for depressed mood, hypertension, obesity and other signs of metabolic syndrome. This makes women  more vulnerable to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

3 Surprising Factors that Affect Female Orgasms

For many women sexual satisfaction can be as elusive as post-coital cuddling. While the anatomy of male orgasms are better understood, many studies and popular literature still refer to the female orgasm as "a mystery" or "misunderstood." Scientists—from Freud to Kinsey—have attempted to shed light on women's sexuality.

Cheap and Free Plastic Surgery Alternatives

If you're looking for cheap or free plastic surgery alternatives, you're not alone. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), surgical procedures declined by five percent last year. While minimally-invasive procedures such as microdermabrasion and chemical peels increased by nine percent, they aren't the only options available.

Breaking from Dating May Spell Disaster

Failed love hurts.  And it hurts so bad that you might swear off marriage and relationships, loathe the thought of dating and close your heart and mind to finding love ever again.  The glass of life feels half empty, and you've just joined the unofficial Club of Love Pessimists.

Sex and PMS: A Good Match?

Premenstrual syndrome isn't an aphrodisiac, to say the least. Symptoms like bloating, cramps, fatigue and depression hardly arouse sexual desire. So it seems like a cruel joke that when you're in a sexiness slump, sex is one of the PMS remedies you need.

The Great Egg Debate: What's the Final Verdict?

Eggs are back. According to the Egg Nutrition Center, more than 30 years of research has shown that healthy adults can eat eggs without significantly affecting their risk of heart disease or stroke. The most commonly eaten eggs are chicken eggs, but quail, duck, and turkey eggs are also eaten worldwide.

Should I Get Divorced?

If you're thinking of getting divorced, think some more.  After all, you could choose to split up later. Hasty decisions can lead to regret, and if you don't understand how you got into this situation, then you might repeat the same love problem with someone else.

How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy

Doctors recommend that everyone have an initial colonoscopy at 50—sometimes earlier if you have risk factors, such as Crohn's disease or a family history of colon cancer. People with Crohn's begin colon cancer screening when they've had Crohn's for at least eight years, with follow up colonoscopies every one to two years.

Constipation May Be Causing Your GERD

In the world of digestive problems—those annoying ailments that hurt your stomach, chest, and throat—few are as frustrating as constipation. A heavy meal, however, can lead to digestive problems equally as annoying: heartburn, the burning sensation behind the breastbone—and the main symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

How to Prepare for a Colonoscopy with Crohn s Disease

Unfortunately, having Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) puts you at greater risk for developing colon cancer. In fact, it's the third highest risk condition for this type of cancer (the good news is that it's highly treatable when caught early). Your increased risk depends on how long you've had Crohn's and how much of your bowel it has affected.

Identifying Genetic Markers for Crohn's

The completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003 gave researchers the ability to read nature's complete genetic blueprint for humans. This was a significant milestone in our understanding of the role genes play in various diseases. We know that genes, along with environmental factors, increase an individual's risk for diseases such as Crohn's.

What You May Not Know About Postpartum Depression

There's no doubt about it, having a baby is a life changing experience. It's exhausting, demanding and requires all the resources a woman can muster. Add to that the physical and hormonal changes birth causes, challenges of breast feeding, and extreme sleep deprivation and it's no wonder many new mothers get bummed out.

5 Tips for Buying Sunglasses

While sunglasses can give you an aura of glamour or "casual cool", don't forget that the primary reason for wearing them is to protect your eyes from the sun. But you can still create the fashion image you want while preserving your vision and the entire area around your eyes.

Have You Joined the Wii Fit Frenzy?

Can you get in shape sitting on the couch? No. How about by standing in front of it? Quite possibly. That is, if you've joined the Wii fitness craze.  Wii is a Nintendo gaming system with a hand-held remote that senses motion and hundreds of games including many fitness activities like bowling, running and golfing.

Should You Exercise with Crohn's?

Exercise delivers many benefits, regardless of your health status. In general, it gives you energy, makes you feel good, helps you manage your weight, strengthens your heart, and weight-bearing exercises (such as running or weight training) reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

What Your Sweating Says About Your Fitness Level

Everybody sweats.  OK, maybe you perspire, glow or mist up, but sweating is a good thing. But what causes us to sweat, and why is it healthy? In addition, what does it say about our health? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) say, "Sweating is the release of a salty liquid from the body's sweat glands.

Can GERD Give You a Sinus Infection?

A little bit of light heartburn is common, but if you experience it frequently and chronically, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In addition to heartburn, the 3 main GERD symptoms are regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, and water brash.

Can Chronic Pain Really Bring on Depression?

For a significant number of people, chronic physical pain can bring on depression. Chronic pain is not the same as the pain you may experience after stubbing your toe on the bed frame or banging your arm against the wall. In most cases, an over-the-counter pain reliever can get rid of that problem in a matter of minutes, and the aftereffects last only a few days.

5 Healthiest Summer Habits

It's summertime, and the living is easy. But this hottest of seasons can bring with it special health risks, including sun damage, food poisoning, and insect-borne diseases. Follow these five tips to have your best, healthiest summer yet: 1. Practice good pedicure hygiene.

3 Things You Need to Know about Arthritis Remission

There's no question that arthritis remission is the holy grail for people living with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). With no cure currently available, people living with this progressive autoimmune disease long for remission and relief from pain, inflammation, stiffness, loss of function and joint damage.

Aspirin Reduces the Risk of Diabetes

You may already know that doctors recommend aspirin therapy to lower your risk of cardiovascular problems if you have diabetes. But did you know that aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid or ASA) may also lower your risk of developing diabetes? If you are in a high risk group - for instance, if you're obese or overweight, or you've been diagnosed with prediabetes - results of a new study will interest you.

Breast Cancer Prevention: 5 Things You Can Do Today

With so many women being diagnosed with breast cancer every year, it may seem inevitable that you or someone you know will get it. The National Cancer Institute predicts almost 200,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year, and more than 40,000 will die.

Is the Microwave Bad for Your Health?

Why haven't you heard of Hans Hertel? It's a question worth asking if you consider the prevalence of microwaves in homes and the persistent questions about whether the microwave is safe for cooking. In some circles the microwave is considered one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.

Can Yoga Improve Your Sex Life?

Yoga isn't just for better flexibility, relaxation, pain relief and muscle toning. Those sessions of asanas can help to boost your sex life, according to a research review article printed in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. The researchers focused on three Eastern disciplines - acupuncture, mindfulness meditation and yoga - and looked at empirical evidence from previous studies, as well as historical literature on sexuality.

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