Tips for Health

Top options for extra medical care

By on April 25, 2013 in Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

Medical care can be a pretty controversial topic in the UK these days. What with the country’s strained finances, care scandals and long waiting periods for appointments, tests and treatments, most people have something to say about it. Regardless of what your opinions are, though, it’s worth shaking off any preconceptions you have and taking a practical look at the various options for extra medical care.

extra medical careBy extra medical care, I mean services provided outside the NHS. For many of us, private healthcare often feels like an unnecessary and excessive expense.

But, there are plenty of situations when the additional support of private health companies can definitely come in handy – if only for peace of mind – and when the cost of harnessing it could be lower than you expect.

How to save money on private medical care

Private health insurance is something of a luxury, but there are ways to turn it into a more feasible expense. The first place to start is by checking whether your place of work has any deals to offer you; these days, more and more companies throw private health insurance into their employment packages, so it’s definitely worth looking into!

Meanwhile, some sectors give you the opportunity to take advantage of decent deals. For instance, anyone who either currently works in or who has worked in the civil service can join members clubs that offer a host of great savings.

You can find out more about these here, but typically they’re very varied, offering things like savings on family outings, car cover and much more, alongside services such as private health insurance. Of course, deals will change over time, so I can’t tell you exactly how much you can save or what extras could be thrown in, but examples include getting around two-thirds off private road ambulance services, or receiving the first two months of your health cover free of charge.

If you don’t want to go down the path of budgeting for private health insurance, you can always consider paying for the odd service out of your own pocket as and when you need to. For example, when I get a running injury I tend to head straight to my local physiotherapist for advice, because this means I can sidestep long NHS waiting periods. Since I only need to do this very occasionally, I don’t mind the additional one-off expense.

Types of cover

OK, let’s take a quick look at the types of cover available. The good thing about getting private insurance through something like a members club is that it often means you’ll have the freedom to personalise your plan, which means that it’s more flexible both in terms of fitting in with your budget and the type of services you need.

Usually, you’ll have to at least purchase ‘essential cover’, which includes fairly standard services like consultations, as well as things like surgery and special scans, such as MRI and PET scans. On top of that, you can choose from a range of extras.

These include things like heart and cancer cover, which provides full financial protection for the care you’ll need to tackle these kinds of conditions. Another interesting option is expert diagnostics, which means that you’ll be able to skip all those long queues associated with the NHS and have fast access to specialists and investigative tests to get the bottom of any health problems you’re having.

Keratosis Pilaris; what is it?

By on April 21, 2013 in Diseases with 0 Comments

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Keratosis Pilaris is a skin condition which is referred as chicken skin. The condition appears as red, bumpy and rough skin. Females are more frequently affected by Keratosis Pilaris than the males and adult population of about 40% are affected by it. Though a considerably harmless skin state, it is not pleasant to the eye. It may be due to dry skin or might be familial in origin.

This skin condition may be linked up with the fish scale disease (icthyosis) as well as eczema. One factor that contributes the most is the dryness of skin.

The bumps or elevation is due to the fact that keratin, which is the protein within the skin, begins to make plugs in the hair follicles. This plug of keratin, comes in the way of hair growth and the hair doesn’t find its way to the surface of the skin, hence the bump. The state of excessive keratin production is also called hyperkeratinization.

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What else?

The red bumps over the skin in Keratosis Pilaris are commonly seen in areas like back of the arms, legs, thighs, buttocks and upper part of hands etc. The hairless areas of the skin are spared in Keratosis Pilaris. There are different types of Keratosis Pilaris and most people worry about it due cosmetic reasons.

One good thing about this skin condition is that as one age, the bumps and rough skin usually starts fading and almost disappears in 30s.

There are different treatments available for Keratosis Pilaris such as Keratosis Pilaris pads etc.

Take care of your skin and keep it moisturized and hydrated to avoid Keratosis Pilaris.

Sinus headaches; Home remedies for relieving the pain

By on April 20, 2013 in Diseases with 0 Comments

The most common symptoms of sinusitis are runny nose and annoying headache. First of all let me tell you that sinuses are air filled cavities that are present inside the head which are connected to the nostrils via tiny openings.

Sinus headache is characterized by pain in the region that is above the nose, in forehead and in between eyes. The reason behind this headache is congestion and high pressure caused by the excessive mucus secretion and the blockage of the opening that are present in the nose to drain away that mucus.

Home remedies that will help relieve sinus headache:

Some easy home remedies are as follows that will help unblock the openings and drain the mucus resultantly decreased congestion:

Steam:

Hot water steam when inhaled through the nose works to clean the nostrils. This is because due to the steam, thinning of the mucus takes place and this result in relieving congestion. You will feel way better and the headache would subside.

Neti pot:

The neti pot is used by many people as a home remedy for improving sinus headache. In this technique, you need fill the neti pot with water and dissolve some salt in it. When you pour this saline into your nose for some time, one by one in both nostrils, you will feel that it passes through the blocked holes and clear the way.

Drink a lot of water:

Water thins the mucous and this will help the excessive mucus to flow easily without blocking the holes.

Make sure you see a doctor for proper treatment of sinusitis.

What are Keloids?

By on April 20, 2013 in Diseases with 0 Comments

There are different terms you come along regarding skin conditions and I’m sure ‘keloids’ must be one of them. What are keloids?

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Answer to what keloids are:

The human body is very efficient in dealing with any sort of injury, wound and trauma. Healing and repair of the injured tissue involves many different procedures and one of these procedures is fibrosis which is mostly followed by another procedure called scar formation. Keloid precisely is the result of excessive scar formation in response to injury or wound.

What else?

Keloid appears as painful and thick, dense nodule-like structure at the site of injury. Keloids can be itchy at times. These are more common in people with dark complexions than those who have light colored skin. They might get bigger and become very unpleasant to the eye which is why most people prefer it to be removed.

It is said that keloids have a connection with body piercing but this hasn’t been proven yet. Keloid formation may take place due to many different reasons.Conditions like acne, piercing in any part of the body, burns, injection sites etc may result in keloid formation.

Keloid formation is common in both males and females irrespective of age. The best thing about them is that they don’t commonly appear on the face and are mostly seen in areas like shoulders, back, chest and earlobes.

Make sure you see a doctor if you see any unusual spots or raised nodules on your skin. A skin specialist will help you get rid of any abnormal skin conditions.

Risk factors for stroke

By on April 19, 2013 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments

It has been proven through meticulous research that some factors could potentiate one’s risk of suffering from stroke. Some of these risk factors can be controlled, meaning avoided and there are some that are beyond one’s capability as far as controlling or prevention is concerned. Below are some of the factors that we can at least have some degree of control towards them;

1. Smoking or the use of tobacco. The risk factor of suffering from stroke is usually increased in people that smoke and the risk increases with the frequency and amount of smoking per individual.

2. Obesity is also another risk factor that can expose one to having a stroke in the long run, the good thing, however is we can control it by choosing to cut down on our body weight.

3. The use of alcohol is another factor that definitely will increase your risk of suffering from stroke and some other related diseases especially those affecting the liver.

4. People that suffer from some of the following diseases could have their risk of suffering from stroke highly increased and so they could suffer from stroke secondarily. Some of these conditions include the following among others, diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and other circulation problems.

 

 

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The other factors that we cannot really have any control include the following;

1. Family history. If anybody in the family lineage especially a close relative had suffered from stroke before, then your risk of suffering from stroke is a little bit higher and so careful screening and monitoring should be implemented.

2. Age is another factor that increases your risk of suffering from stroke because it increases with age, which is according to research and so the aged are at an increased risk that the young.

3. Gender is another factors as well as stroke is more common in men than in women so being male is on its own a risk factor of suffering from stroke.

Some other factors like having suffered from a previous stroke are also under the uncontrollable factors. So in conclusion, we have seen a good number of factors that could predispose you to stroke and so if you have any of them, then the necessary preventive measures should be initiated.

 

Know the signs and symptoms of kidney failure

By on April 19, 2013 in Diseases, Health with 0 Comments

Kidney failure, is usually the end stage of most kidney diseases. The signs and symptoms, develop gradually over time, and if easily identify is a good way to early diagnosis and treatment to prevent further damage or complications. Some of the symptoms and signs of kidney damage are;

1. Changes in the amount of water input and output, in other words there is an imbalance in the water level which leads to a low amount of urine being excreted or there is a large volume of urine being eliminated.

2. The muscles will be having some cramps and twitches as a result of the failure of the kidney to eliminate the unwanted substances from the body that become obnoxious.

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3. Swelling of the legs and feet is another sign or kidney failure.

4. Feeling too tired and very weak is another symptom of kidney failure.

5. Loss of appetite or anorexia is another symptom that can be accompanied with nausea and vomiting sometimes.

6. Due to the inability of the kidney to eliminate the toxic substances from the body, unexplained persistent body itching is usually another sign of kidney failure.

7. In extreme condition when the kidney cannot eliminate excess fluids, the fluids could accumulate in the lungs and cause problems with breathing, e.g. shortness of breath or dyspnea.

8. High blood pressure that is usually difficult to control or manage is usually another symptom of kidney failure.

In conclusion, some other signs and symptoms like chest pain when the fluids surround the lining of the heart as results of failure of the kidney to eliminate the excess fluids from the body. These and other signs and symptoms are essential in pointing towards pending kidney failure and so if there is something that could be done it should be done promptly.

What is Gastro-esophageal reflux disease?

By on April 17, 2013 in Diseases with 0 Comments

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Esophagus, which is one of the parts of the digestive system, connects the mouth with the stomach. To pass on the food from the mouth to the opening of the stomach, it contains two sphincters. Sphincters are openings with valves. The two sphincters are the pharyngo-esophageal sphincter which is the upper one, and the lower one is called gastro-esophageal sphincter.

The lower one, that is gastro-esophageal sphincter, opens only on the arrival of food in any form. When this sphincter opens other then when the food has to enter the stomach, the condition is called Gastro-esophageal reflux disease.

As a result of the unnecessary or spontaneous opening of the sphincter or improper closing, the gastric juices rise up to the esophagus. This results in burning sensation in the chest and certain other symptoms.

Symptoms of Gastro-esophageal reflux disease:

  • Heartburn
  • Problem in swallowing the food
  • Nausea
  • Increased production of saliva
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Regurgitation etc.

How to prevent the symptoms?

This disease can occur at any age. In order to prevent the reflux of acid, you need to make some changes in your eating routine as well as your lifestyle.

Take small meals because eating a lot of food would result in a lot of acid production in the stomach.

Don’t eat before you go to bed.

Alcohol, caffeine etc can cause heartburn, so it is better you avoid them.

Sleep on your left side.

Don’t lie right after you eat.

Try to stay away from food that increases the production of excess amount of acid in the stomach such as acidic juices and fruits, peppermint, onions and chocolate etc.

Lactoferrin; an anti-acne remedy you should know about

By on April 17, 2013 in Diseases with 0 Comments

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It is a myth that consuming dairy products results in worsening of acne. The facts aren’t clear yet but let me surprise you by the amazing anti-acne properties found in a protein found in cow’s milk. Lactoferrin, a protein which is one of the components of fermented cow’s milk has been proven to lessen acne breakouts and treat inflammation.

How it works?

Lactoferrin works as a bactericidal agent to finish off the bacteria causing acne. How it does this is by simply by attaching iron to it. Iron doesn’t reach the bacteria and the bacteria need iron to grow.

Secondly, bacteria also have receptors for this protein. Now when the protein binds to the receptor, the iron which is attached to the protein causes production of peroxides. Peroxides causes harm to the bacterial cells and the cell is ultimately destroyed.

Thirdly, this protein also has the power to promote the mechanism by which the immune cells of the body eat up the bacteria. Not only this, it also reduces the inflammatory reactions. How? Well, lactoferrin inhibits the productions of chemicals that are responsible to cause inflammation.

Lactoferrin also lessens the synthesis of sebum in the sebaceous glands. It does this by reducing the lipid as well as the triglycerides in the skin and this inhibits sebum production.

What else you need to know?

It is completely safe when lactoferrin is taken within food. Lactoferrin supplements are also available in the market and should be taken after a professional’s advice. People with lactose intolerance should definitely see a doctor before they use lactoferrin supplements.

Facts about Whey protein

By on April 16, 2013 in Dieting, Health with 0 Comments

We would be nothing without proteins. From our genetic make-up, to the skin which is covered by hair, and the significant cellular structures inside the cell, all are made up of proteins. Not only at a cellular level are proteins the building blocks, but for the gross structures as well. The importance of intake of appropriate amount of proteins in diet cannot be denied at all. But what kind of protein is whey protein?

Whey protein is derived as a by-product when cheese is made from cow milk. It contains peptides, salt, water and fats. Milk is made up of two major proteins. Casein is the one which we all know about; the second one is ‘Whey’ protein which we are discussing right now. This leftover protein gives you so many benefits if you include it in your diet.

What benefits does this globular protein have to offer?

Whey protein carries essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are those amino acids that cannot be made by the body.

The two important whey proteins in cow’s milk are alpha-lactalbumin and beta-lactoglobulin. The role of alpha-lactalbumin is important for synthesis of neurotransmitter ‘serotonin’ which has impact on our mood. Beta-lactoglobulin helps fat soluble vitamins in absorption.

Whey proteins are rich in Glutathione which has anti-oxidant property thus not letting the free oxygen radicals damage the cells.

These are also rich in branched chain amino acids which have quite a role in repair of the broken muscles. Whey proteins are best for body builders because after huge amount of workouts, the requirement of proteins is increased. Whey proteins are easily digestible and also lower the levels of stress hormone which is released after stressful exercises.

Causes of poor eyesight

By on April 15, 2013 in Diseases with 0 Comments

Poor vision is a common problem that people have to deal with, irrespective to age and sex. The colors of life fade as the eyesight becomes weaker and poorer. This is because eyes are extremely important for us in almost everything that we do. Therefore, proper and accurate vision power is a blessing that most people are gifted with.

As children grow, their eyes grow too. Therefore, if you correct the eyesight of a child by making him wear glasses, it is most likely that the problem would be corrected with time. Eyes grow up to a certain age, after that, there is no growth.

Age has a significant impact on eyesight. Along with all the senses, the sense of sight is also affected greatly due to the phenomenon of aging.

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Poor eyesight makes life miserable. Constant headache and imperfect vision hinders in normal day to day life. Do you know what the basic causes of poor eyesight are? No? Let us see.

Refractive Errors:

Refractive Error is defined as a fault in the eye to focus the light entering it resulting in unclear vision. Blurry vision due to refractive error may cause:

Myopia: It is also known as Short Sightedness. In this condition, person cannot see clearly things that are too far way but things that are present at a short distance can easily and clearly be seen.

Hypermetropia:  It is also called long Sightedness. In this condition, one can see distant objects clearly and are unable to see objects that are close.

Astigmatism: In this condition, the eye resembles are rugby football rather than a soccer ball. Problem occurs in focal power of vertical and horizontal planes.

Presbyopia: Flexibility of the lens is affected.

Other pathological causes of poor vision include the following:

Cataract: Lens becomes opaque.

Glaucoma: There is damage to the optic nerve.

Macular Degeneration: Loss of central vision.

Diabetic Eye Disease: Retinopathy caused due to diabetes.

How many types of Diabetes are there?

By on April 13, 2013 in Diseases with 0 Comments

When you hear about someone who is diabetic, you assume they have a problem with their pancreas or may be their blood sugar level. But do you know that diabetes has many types and many of them you don’t even know about? Practically, in the world that we live in, the incidence of diabetes is increasing day by day. Young, old, men or women, anyone can be a victim of this dangerous disease.

What is Diabetes?

Basically, Diabetes can be described as the condition of the body in which there is elevated blood sugar level. There is a threshold that if the fasting blood glucose level is more than 126mg/dl more than one time and random blood sugar level is more than 200mg/dl with classical signs, one is considered diabetic. Since there can be varying causes of this increases BSL, we can distribute them into types.

Types of diabetes:

Following are the types of diabetes that one should be aware of because knowledge about common diseases is a must.

Diabetes Mellitus type 1: In this situation, the pancreatic cells are unable to produce insulin.

Diabetes Mellitus type 2: Most common condition in which there is insulin resistance which means that the target cells fail to respond to the present insulin.

Pre-diabetes: Individual with fasting glucose in between the values 100 and 126mg/dl are considered prediabetic.

Gestational Diabetes: Diabetes occurring in pregnancy.

MODY: Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young is a genetic disorder.

LADA: Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adulthood refers to a condition in which the defense system of the body turns up against pancreatic cells producing insulin.

Diabetes insipidus: It shares symptoms with diabetes mellitus. There is no elevated blood sugar level.

Uncommon types involve brittle diabetes, diabetes induced corticosteroid and double diabetes etc.

Why do we need Calcium?

By on April 12, 2013 in Dieting with 0 Comments

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To get strong bones and a sound body, Calcium is one of the major needs. Proper calcium intake is very important for the efficient functions of different organ systems. There are many significant physiological roles of Calcium including the following:

Calcium makes up most part of the bone. To maintain the blood calcium level, the calcium in bones is used.

Calcium is important for the mechanism of contraction of muscles. This includes the muscles of the heart. Lack of calcium may cause tetany in muscles.

It is an important factor in blood clotting.

It is a vital element for the transmission of information from one neuron to the other within the nerve fibers and in the nervous system.

Other than that, it is important for the release of various enzymes and hormones.

Calcium helps increase the metabolism of the body.

Most cellular functions, involve calcium. This tells us the importance of Calcium in our body.

One glass of milk can give you enough calcium for the day. You can also include dairy products like yogurt, cheese, skim milk etc. Almonds and dry fruits are also rich in calcium.

Women who have had their menopause should make sure they consume enough calcium because female hormone estrogen has quite an impact on calcium absorption in bones.

Aged people should have adequate calcium intake because in this age, the bones become weak and fragile and there in more chance of fractures.

Important note:

If you have a kidney disorder, you should consult your doctor for advice. Because excess calcium along with oxalates result in kidney stones.

 

 

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