Alternative Treatments for Asthma

Asthma sufferers may lessen their need for chemical treatments prescription medications (steroids) and inhalers through lifestyle and dietary changes and nutritional supplements.
-Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, indoor and outdoor pollution, and common allergens such as dust (see Allergies)
-Avoid food additives and processed foods. The diet should emphasize whole, organic foods as much as possible. Focus on decreasing refined carbohydrates like sugar and heavily processed starches; hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils (which interfere with fatty acid metabolism); artificial food additives, flavorings, and sweeteners; fried foods; and pork.
-Avoid nitrates/nitrites and sulfites. Many asthma patients are sensitive to these substances and should avoid foods containing such additives. This may include deli meats and cheeses, hot dogs, bacon, wine and beer. Individuals who know they are sensitive to sulfites may benefit from supplements of both vitamin B12 and the mineral molybdenum. Both help in the oxidation and metabolism of sulfites and may help decrease an inflammatory reaction to sulfites exposure. In addition, vitamin B12 deficiency has been linked to some forms of asthma.







-Include a balance of aerobic exercise, resistance training, and stretching or yoga in your workout routine. Try to avoid exercising in cold, dry air, and always warm up with at least 10 minutes of lower-intensity exercise. Stress management techniques including biofeedback and meditation are recommended.
-Supplement with omega-3s. Fish oil and flaxseed oil, both excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, may help decrease inflammation.
-Get plenty of antioxidants through diet or supplements. They decrease free radical activity, which tends to stimulate inflammation. This includes vitamins A, C, and E, quercetin, bioflavonoids (hesperidin and rutin), N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), and bromelain. Bromelain, which comes from the stem of pineapple, is an enzyme that when taken without food, has powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
-Try taking magnesium, which has a broncho-dilating effect. Magnesium stores have been shown to be low in individuals with asthma.

Risk Factors of Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (also called peripheral arterial disease) is a common circulatory problem in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to your limbs. Factors that increase your risk of developing peripheral artery disease include:
-Smoking
-Diabetes
-Obesity
(a body mass index over 30)
-High blood pressure (140/90 millimeters of mercury or higher)
-High cholesterol (total blood cholesterol over 240 milligrams per deciliter, or 6.2 millimoles per liter)
-Increasing age, especially after reaching 50 years of age
-A family history of peripheral artery disease, heart disease or stroke
-High levels of homocysteine, a protein component that helps build and maintain tissue
People who smoke or have diabetes have the greatest risk of developing peripheral artery disease due to reduced blood flow.






Best Tips to Fight Insomnia

Not being able to sleep can be extremely frustrating. But before you turn to sleeping pills, there are plenty of natural approaches to try.
Prevention and Tips
-Maintain a normal weight. Studies find that obesity can make sleep problems like sleep apnea worse. It can also affect important sleep-related hormone levels in the body, increasing levels of the stress hormone cortisol while decreasing levels of sleep-inducing melatonin.
-Manage stress. Do it however you can, whether it’s yoga classes or meditation. Check your medications. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can interfere with sleep, including beta-blockers, thyroid medication, certain antidepressants like the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), decongestants, corticosteroids, and medications with caffeine. Talk to your doctor about changing dosages or medication if you’re taking any of these drugs.
-Avoid alcohol. Although many people think a glass of wine before bed can help with insomnia, the opposite is actually true. While alcohol might help you fall asleep, it’s often the culprit behind middle-of-the-night awakenings as your body experiences alcohol withdrawal. It also interferes with your sleep cycle, so even if you do sleep through the night, you’ll wake up tired.
-Stop smoking. Yet another reason to quit: Nicotine is a stimulant. If you’re still smoking, try not to smoke for at least two hours before bedtime (brush your teeth so you won’t be tempted).






Rules to Live Longer and Better!

The age of 100 is becoming yesterday’s age 75. Improved health care and living conditions have helped many more people to live longer. Genetics do play a role in long life; but you can do some things to help you live longer and better.
Of course, there is always some rules -or tips- you must follow if you want to conquer longevity:
1-Make room for family. Emphasis on family is tops in helping people to live longer, more satisfied lives.
2-Eat a balanced diet. Science is learning more and more about nutrition with all things pointing to the basics. Eat more fruits and vegetables, less starches, trade white or processed foods and breads for whole grain and whole wheat, and choose fresh over packaged. Watch portion sizes (meat should be the size of your palm; carbohydrates equal a fist.) Eat more dark leafy vegetables. Add moderate amounts of chocolate and a glass of wine to your diet.
3-Keep your weight under control. Keeping your weight under control can help you live longer, and healthier, by helping you avoid the conditions that play havoc with your body. Keeping your weight down will lower your risk of diabetes, which in turn, can lead to high blood pressure, blindness, the loss of limbs, kidney failure and ultimately, death.
4-Be positive. People with positive, half glass full attitudes, are not only more pleasant to be around, but feel better. Good mood and attitude play a big role in how you feel. Approach things at a more relaxed pace to live a longer life. Laugh and don’t worry. You’ll feel better and may just live longer.
5-Exercise. Regular exercise, at least 30 minutes a day as has been suggested, helps improve your mood by releasing the “feel good” chemicals, endorphins. Exercise your mind also with games and puzzles to keep your brain active.
6-Stop smoking. Stopping will hopefully stop further damage and give your cells time to repair themselves. Better yet, don’t start.






How Can I Unclog My Arteries?

Sadly, any clogging of the arteries is permanent – once fatty deposits (or atherosclerosis) have begun to build up in their lining, there is nothing you can do to remove them.
That means that prevention is all important, and the good news is there is plenty you can do to prevent the clogging process continuing, and narrowing your arteries even more.
Firstly, you should stop smoking – the more you smoke, the more you will fur up your arteries. You should also check your weight, and make a real effort to lose any excess pounds you are carrying.
Which brings me on to diet. Too much fat, in particular saturated fats, can raise your blood cholesterol level, and this in turn can increase your risk of atherosclerosis. Saturated fats are found mainly in foods that come from animals, such as butter, eggs, cheese, cream, full cream milk, and fatty meats, such as pork, lamb and steak.
So cut down on the amount of these that you eat, get rid of your frying pan (use a griddle instead) and eat more fresh fruit and vegetables instead.
Some people unfortunately inherit a tendency to have a high cholesterol level no matter what they eat
, so if heart disease runs in your family, it would be a good idea to have your cholesterol level checked – which your GP can arrange for you.
Ask to have your blood pressure checked at the same time, as high blood pressure, along with stress and anxiety, can also increase the risk of blocked arteries.
Finally, make a real effort to take more exercise – not only is it good for your circulation in it’s own right, but it can also help to reduce your blood pressure.






A few Secrets to Live Longer… and Happier!

Making just a few changes in your lifestyle can help you live longer. A recent study found that four bad behaviors — smoking, drinking too much alcohol, not exercising, and not eating enough fruits and veggies — can hustle you into an early grave, and, in effect, age you by as many as 12 years.
Fortunately, you can do something to correct these and other unhealthy behaviors. Adopt the following the following habits to keep your body looking and feeling young.
Don’t overeat- If you want to live to 100, leaving a little bit of food on your plate may be a good idea. Author Dan Buettner, who studies longevity around the world, found that the oldest Japanese people stop eating when they are feeling only about 80 percent full.
Get busy- Having satisfying sex two to three times per week can add as many as three years to your life. Getting busy can burn an impressive amount of calories — sometimes as much as running for 30 minutes. (Which would you rather do?)
Stay out of the sun- Avoiding too much sun can head off skin cancer, and it can also keep you looking young by preventing wrinkles, fine lines and saggy skin.
Reach out, don’t get lonely- Research shows that you’re at greater risk of heart disease without a strong network of friends and family. Loneliness can cause inflammation, and in otherwise healthy people it can be just as dangerous as having high cholesterol or even smoking.
Drink in moderation- In smaller quantities, alcohol can actually be good for you.
Eat fruits and vegetables- Filled with fiber and vitamins, fruits and veggies can lower your risk of heart disease by 76 percent and may even play a role in decreasing your risk of breast cancer.
Focus on fitness- Daily exercise may be the closest thing we have to a fountain of youth.
Don’t smoke- Quitting smoking is perhaps the single most important thing you can do for your health adding roughly six to eight years to your life.






Hush… Hush, Stop Snoring!

Snoring is a fairly common affliction, however, is a sleep disorder that can have serious medical and social consequences. The tips that follow may help you sleep more peacefully.­
-Sleep on your side: You’re more likely to snore if you’re lying on your back, and sleeping on your stomach is stressful on your neck.
-Lose weight: Excess body weight, especially around the neck, puts pressure on the airway, causing it to partially collapse.
-Avoid alcohol and drugs: Both alcohol and sleeping pills can depress your central nervous system and relax the muscles of your throat and jaw, making snoring more likely. These substances are also known to contribute to sleep apnea, a dangerous condition that has been linked with cardiovascular disease.
-Get your allergies treated: Chronic respiratory allergies may cause snoring by forcing sufferers to breathe through their mouths while they sleep. Taking an antihistamine just before bedtime may help.
-Buy a mouth guard: Your dentist or doctor may be able to prescribe an antisnoring mouth guard that holds the teeth together and keeps the lower jaw muscles from becoming too lax.
-Stop smoking: Smoke damages the respiratory system.
-Keep a regular schedule: Get plenty of sleep. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day.
-Elevate your head: Sleeping with your head raised may take some of the pressure off of the airway, making breathing easier. Raise the head of the bed by putting blocks under the bed posts, or prop up your upper body (not just your head, which can actually inhibit breathing) with pillows.
Video: Insomnia, sleep disorders