Posts tagged with: Health

Death Threats

Ciel... c'est l'automne...!!!
Image by Denis Collette…!!! via Flickr

I recently stumbled upon a great list of the top ten health-related killers of women. I’m going to spend some time deconstructing and expanding on the list!

1. Heart disease
2. Cancers
3. Strokes
4. COPD – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
5. Alzheimer’s disease
6. Injuries
7. Type 2 diabetes
8. Flu
9. Kidney disease
10. Blood poisoning (septicemia or sepsis)

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*peeks around the corner*

winter reflection
Image by Qba from Poland via Flickr

*looks around carefully*

*her face goes red*

How did it get to be the 10th of February? How did I not post for a week? What is going on?

Oh, yeah, real life. My life has been really real lately and my blogging everywhere has taken a downturn. I am hoping that it changes here really soon because otherwise I’m going to have word explosion!

I have an idea of what I want to write about for the next dozen entries or so, but actually getting those entries out is proving to be a struggle. Today is day two of being home from work due to severe sinus congestion and I am not very motivated to actually do the research I need to. Yet. Maybe later. Or maybe I’ll go to bed at 8pm again.

Either way I’ll be back … soon(ish).

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Patient, consumer or health activist?

A patient having his blood pressure taken by a...
Image via Wikipedia

My co-worker, posted a thought-provoking entry on the WEGO Health blog asking people to write about whether they were patients, consumers of health activists. What do you think? Are you consumer? Are you a patient? Are you simply a health activist?

I threw my $0.02 in there and would love it if you’d head over and check it out – and add your pennies, too!

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My guilt complex

Bare and stark
Image by tattoodjj via Flickr

I have a guilt complex.

I feel guilty for little things I do.
I had two beers instead of just one? Guilt.

I feel guilty for medium things.
I said I’d be there and I can’t bring myself to go? Guilt.

I feel guilty for big things.
I get divorced three years after getting married? GUILT.

The huge things? They cause ulcers.

According to Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge, right?), guilt “is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes or believes – whether justified or not – that he or she has violated a moral standard, and is responsible for that violation.” They also mention that it’s “closely related to the concept of remorse” although I believe that people can be remorseful without feeling guilty.

Lately, I’ve been feeling guilty for little things that have no true impact on my life, so I’ve been reading about interesting ways to cope with (or get over) guilt.
~ accept that you’re not perfect and can’t keep things perfect, no matter how hard you try.
~ understand your decisions are always going to be classified as “good” or “bad”
~ understand “good” and “bad” mean different things to different people
~ share your guilty feelings with someone safe; oftentimes that releases a lot of the feeling
~ accept mistakes you make, then make plans to avoid making the same ones in the future

I have been concentrating on that last one … making (and keeping) plans to avoid guilt-inducing situations in the future.

How do you avoid guilt?
How do you deal with guilt if you encounter it?

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Eye Update

non-spotted ladybug on unknown purple flower, ...
Image by Martin LaBar via Flickr

Remember that twitchy eye?

It’s still twitching.

I’m going on day 25 of twitchiness so I broke down and called my ophthalmologist. Her recommendation? “Calm down, take a break, close your eyes and try to relax.” I thought she was funny, until I realized that she was serious.

I have made a connection to life-situations and rate of eye-twitching, though. When I talk about moving (across the country … happening in late April/early May), it freaks out. When I think about the fact that I have a slight toothache, it freaks out. When I dwell on the intense drama that is occurring at work, it freaks out. My eye twitch is clearly stress related. Too bad I thrive on stress. Looks like I’ll just have to get used to the darned thing.

I should name it.

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A letter for women with migraines

Image by .bullish via Flickr

As a woman who has lived with migraines for 20+ years now, my family understands what’s going on when I am doubled-over in pain or when I’ve got the blanket pulled up over my head to block out the light. My friends, however, have not always been so understanding. Unfortunately, it’s hard to explain migraines to people who have never had one.

When I first began using the internet to do my health research, I came across MAGNUM (Migraine Awareness Group: A National Understanding for Migraineurs) and was blown away. An entire website dedicated to those of us who live with migraines – people who knew what I was going through.

It was a few years ago when I came across Teri Robert’s letter to those who needed help “Understanding Migraine Disease and Migraineurs” and was blown away. I started directing my friends who didn’t “get” migraines and they’ve never responded negatively!

I just recently pointed a new migraineur in the direction of the letter and realized that I wanted to share it with an even larger audience. Do you deal with migraines and need someone to understand you? Check out Teri Robert’s letter.

Other migraine resources I recommend:
WEGO Health Migraine group
Somebody Heal Me
The Daily Headache
Rhymes with Migraine
Pain in the Head
The Sassy Lime
Migraines and Me

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Don’t just mask bad breath

those were the old days
Image by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

Halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath effects most every single person at least one time. You ate too much garlic, you snarfed down some onion rings, you forgot to brush your teeth this morning, your breath just kinda smells. There, are, however, ways to prevent from getting bad breath and ways to treat it.

Bad breath is caused by health problems, an overly dry mouth or food particles leftover in your mouth. Health problems that can lead to halitosis include gum disease – which has a correlation with heart disease, infections, radiation therapy, kidney failure, diabetes, hormonal changes and lung problems. Dry mouth is oftentimes caused by medications, breathing through the mouth, and sleeping, since while we sleep, we don’t create saliva. Food particles, well, that’s pretty self-explanatory!

Tips to prevent or treat halitosis:
~ Don’t eat foods that encourage bad breath, including onions and garlic. Both of these foods contian oils which can be transferred into your lungs and exhaled later. (Gross, huh?)
~ Brush your teeth after each meal, no matter how big or how small. Even if you don’t have toothpaste, the brushing can remove food particles.
~ Be sure to brush the back of your tongue, or use a tongue scraper.
~ Use mouthwash after you eat, swishing for at least 30 seconds before you spit it out.
~ Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove decayed food from between your teeth.
~ Drink plenty of water all day long to keep your mouth hydrated. This will help wash away the dead cells in your mouth.
~ Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy to help create more saliva.
~ For those who wear dentures, clean them daily to get rid of bacteria or food particles.
~ Be aware of the signs of gingivitis or other dental issues (red or swollen gums, loose teeth, overly sensitive teeth, pus, pain while chewing, tender or bleeding gums)
~ See your dentist at least once a year. The American Dental Association recommends you see a dentist for a thorough cleaning every six months. Most people strive to go at least once a year.

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Triggered depression

Surreal ray of light
Image by doegox via Flickr

Depression is not caused by a single factor. Three factors must be present for a woman to live with this mental illness. Depression is a combination of psychological factors, genetics and personal biology.

With that in mind, a past traumatic experience can be a psychological factor that “triggers” a depressive episode. Oftentimes, if a woman suffers an overwhelmingly stressful psychological event, depression can be “triggered” later in life, especially when she hasn’t sought help in dealing with the event.

I spent quite a while trying to explain this technically, but it doesn’t come out right. Therefore, welcome to your author’s world and let her explain to you her own triggered depression*.

In January of my 1998 I had my first depressive episode. I’d rather not discuss the trigger here, but let’s just say it was enough to scar me for life. In February of 2007 my divorce was finalized (on Valentine’s Day, ironically!) and I was devastated that it actually happened.

January and February have been notoriously depressive months for me. Even if things are going great, underneath the smile, the promise of in-state tuition, the possibility of starting fresh in a new town, a big dark cloud still lingers over it all. I’ve become accustomed to this, but people new to my life aren’t. They don’t understand that it’s not something I can change and it’s just something I’m learning to deal with.

Depression can be triggered by sights, sounds, situations, and even times of year. This is different than Seasonal Affective Disorder, as it can happen in the sunniest times of year. It’s not a vitamin D related depression. It’s a personal seasonal depression. It’s triggered depression.

*”triggered depression” is not a technical term. It is a term I’m using here to explain the situation.

Other depression posts:
Tanning no cure for seasonal depression
Depression: Defect or defense mechanism

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The World is Fat :: Book giveaway!!

One of the super-cool blogs I read is offering a book I really want to tackle. The World is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies, and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race written by Barry Popkin looks to be a fantastic read – especially for a future public health educator. If I were to win this book, I’d turn around and give it away again on here so that someone else could enjoy it!

The author follows the expanding waistlines of four families in the United States, Mexico and India to argue that obesity is less a result of gluttony and sloth than a confluence of factors rooted in a fundamental conflict between human biology and modern society, where more calories are consumed than expended, and governments and multinational corporations shape everyday lives (a detailed section traces the growth of modern food and beverage conglomerates).

Kelly of Every Gym’s Nightmare is a personal trainer offering gym tips, reviews, Q&As and much more on her personal blog. She truly is a gym’s nightmare because she offers her fitness training information for free! If you don’t already read her blog, I recommend you check her out – and enter her contests – tell her Sarah sent you!

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