Depression And Interpersonal Relationships

By: Marlene Affeld ~

Depression And Anxiety

dependent-100343__180Depression is a prolonged psychological condition that affects our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The majority of persons suffering from depression cannot experience emotions, including love, joy, pleasure, pride, hope, accomplishment, anticipation, or grief, in a normal way. Many people with depression experience feelings of low-self esteem, self-loathing, loneliness and despair. Others describe depression as a constant feeling of impending danger or doom.

Depressed people are often socially withdrawn and feel progressively hopeless and helpless. Common symptoms of depression include irritability, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, and an inability to concentrate or make decisions. In cases of extreme depression, memory and cognitive skills may be impaired.

A patient plagued with chronic depression describes his condition, remarking, “Depression is a maladjustment. The way we react to emotions when we’re depressed isn’t calibrated the same way as other people. It becomes a habit to be negative, and it’s difficult to learn the proper way to react or how to feel certain positive emotions. That doesn’t mean you can’t. You’re not missing a happy gland. You’re just out of alignment.”

While many depressed persons experience intense feelings of unrelenting sadness, others don’t feel sad at all. Rather they may feel empty, lifeless and apathetic or aggressive, restless, bitter, and angry. For many, the descent into depression is fraught with obsessive thoughts of death and suicide. Ignored or improperly treated depression is the leading cause of suicide in the United States.

What Is Depression?

The NIH (National Institute of Mental Health) answers the question,

“What Is Depression?” by stating, “Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you.

Depression is a common but serious illness. However, many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.”

Medical experts advise that proper treatment cures 90 percent of depression cases.

Types Of Depression

The University of Maryland Medical School explains depression   affects people differently and in varying degrees, noting, “The primary types of depression include:

  • Major depression — A person must be depressed for at least two weeks but often for as long as 20 weeks.
  • Dysthymia — a long-lasting, less severe form of depression. Symptoms are like those of major depression but more mild. People with dysthymia have a greater risk of major depression.
  • Atypical depression — Unlike those with major depression, people with atypical depression can feel better for a while when something good happens. In addition, people with atypical depression have different symptoms than those with major depression. Despite its name, atypical depression may be the most common type of depression.
  • Adjustment disorder — happens when someone’s response to a major life event, such as the death of a loved one, causes symptoms of depression.”

Depression can be destructive in interpersonal relationships generating withdrawal, blame, a lack of intimacy, poor communication, dependency on others, or feelings of inadequacy and anger.

Husbands, lovers, children and friends become enablers, and often unwilling, caregivers. Accommodating and meeting the demands of a clingy, negative, depressed spouse or a loved one is exhausting; compassion fatigue is common.

Depression – Deal With It

Depression is not something to be ignored. Not only does it attack your sense of self-worth and well-being, depression can cause severe physical symptoms as well. Patient complaints include painful body aches, elevated blood pressure, strokes, heart arrhythmia, migraine headaches, and diarrhea and stomach distress.

HealthLine.com reports, “As if depression weren’t bad enough, statistics show that diagnoses are growing at an alarming rate. In addition, states with higher rates of depression also show high rates of other negative health outcomes, such as obesity, heart disease, and stroke. Individuals suffering from depression are more likely to be unemployed or recently divorced than their non-depressed counterparts, and women experience greater risk of depression than men. Despite all of these statistics on depression, studies show that many people suffer symptoms of depression without seeking care and that undiagnosed depression costs the U.S. millions of dollars each year. Now a global health issue, depression awareness, diagnosis, and treatment are matters of crucial significance in building a healthier, happier world.”

While there are no medical tests that confirm depression, like there are for diabetes or a thyroid condition, a candid talk with your physician is in order. If you are going through a stressful period in your life and think you might be depressed, talk to an understanding healthcare professional or counselor who will be able to ask the right questions to help determine if you are experiencing a period of sadness of whether you have depression; understanding the underlying cause of your depression may help you overcome the problem.

Take Care Of Yourself – You Are Worth It!

In addition to counseling and medications your doctor will likely encourage to get more exercise, stay well hydrated with at least 8 to 12 – 8oz. Glass of water daily in addition to other liquids in your diet, avoid alcohol and illicit drugs, quit smoking, lose weight, add more fresh fruits and vegetables to your food plan, and get outside and get some fresh air.

Medical studies show that many severely depressed people are deficient in vitamin D; sunshine is a great natural source of vitamin D.

Try to adopt an “Attitude of Gratitude!” Life, by its very nature, brings sadness, loss, and disappointments. Gratitude helps put your problems into perspective if you daily make a list of things in your life for which you are grateful.

You might say that’s so much honey hype! Wrong! No matter how desperate or pitiful your situation, you have many things to be grateful for: even if it’s your eyes that read these words. Stop dwelling on what’s wrong with your life; focus on what’s right. Empower yourself with positive affirmations; “What you think about you bring about.”

Depression is a real illness that demands medical intervention. Sadly, many depressed people “drown in their misery”; believing that requesting help is a sign of submission or weakness

Many people caught in the cycle of depression feel their feelings and thoughts aren’t important enough for others to care or just plain nobody else’s business. Still others are afraid to appear “crazy for seeing a therapist or taking medication to help manage their symptoms. Don’t be one of those people in denial! Depression hurts! With professional help, you can smile again and enjoy life.

References:

Depression And Bi-Polar Support Alliance

http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=education_statistics_depression

  • “Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year. (Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun; 62(6): 617-27)
  • While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32. (U.S. Census Bureau Population Estimates by Demographic Characteristics, 2005)
  • Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men. (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2003; Jun 18; 289(23): 3095-105)
  • As many as one in 33 children and one in eight adolescents have clinical depression. (Center for Mental Health Services, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 1996)
  • People with depression are four times as likely to develop a heart attack than those without a history of the illness. After a heart attack, they are at a significantly increased risk of death or second heart attack. (National Institute of Mental Health, 1998)”

University Of Maryland School Of Medicine

National Institute Of Mental Health

 

Info graphic-Depression Statistics

Depression statistics infographic

healthline.com

Healing A Hiatal Hernia #ChronicHeartburn

By: Marlene Affeld ~

food-516044_640Do you avoid spicy foods because they give you indigestion? Do you experience a chronic burning sensation deep in your throat and a pain in your chest? It may be more than simple heartburn. A hiatal hernia, also known as a hiatus or diaphragmatic hernia, is a medical condition that presents when a small portion of the stomach bulges into the diaphragm. An injury to the body or long-term continual pressure on the stomach muscles may cause the stomach to bulge and a hiatal hernia to develop.

If the protrusion or hernia is small, it may not cause any symptoms, go undetected, and will not require any type of treatment. However, when the hiatal hernia is larger, it may cause a host of unpleasant symptoms such as chronic heartburn and chest pain; symptoms that may require medication or surgery to alleviate the painful problem.

The stomach is situated just below your diaphragm in the abdominal cavity. The esophagus, which transports food from the mouth to the stomach, sits directly above your diaphragm in the chest cavity. Within your diaphragm is a hole, known as the esophageal hiatus that allows your esophagus to pass from your chest cavity into the abdominal cavity. In persons suffering from a hiatal hernia, the hiatal openings are somewhat larger than in the average person.

 A hiatal hernia develops when the muscles surround the hiatus become weakened, allowing the upper portion of the stomach to protrude through a weakness or tear in the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. The most common type of hiatal hernia, the sliding hiatal hernia, occurs when a portion of the stomach slides in an out of the hiatus. When this happens, the esophageal sphincter cannot close properly.

Columbia University Department of Surgery advises, “In more severe cases of hiatal hernia, the fundus, or upper portion of the stomach, may slide upward into the chest cavity through the hiatus. The condition occurs as an intensifying of a sliding hiatal hernia. In rare cases, the entire stomach and even some of intestines may migrate through the hiatus and rest on top of the diaphragm next to the esophagus, a condition known as giant esophageal hernia.”

This rare type of enlarged hiatal hernia, known as a para-esophageal hiatal hernia, impedes the passage of food from the esophagus to the stomach causing food particles to become stuck in the esophagus. Often ulcers develop as a result of the trauma caused by lodged food of from acid within the stomach.

The symptoms of a hiatal hernia are not something to be ignored. While a hiatal hernia may not cause problems, left untreated, it can have far-reaching implications. Talk to your doctor. WebMD.com reports, “A hiatal hernia can be diagnosed with a specialized X-ray study that allows visualization of the esophagus and stomach (barium swallow) or with endoscopy (a test that allows the doctor to view the hernia directly). An esophageal manometry test (pressure study) may also be performed in which the strength and muscle coordination of the esophagus is measured while swallowing. A pH test can also measure the acid levels in the esophagus.”

If you are diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, work with your doctor to determine the best treatment plan.

What Causes A Hiatal Hernia?

There is a diverse array of causes of hiatal hernias. Basically, a hiatal hernia is caused by weak muscle tissue that allows your stomach to protrude through the diaphragm. Although medical research in not exactly certain why this happens, there are several different factors that can lead to the formation of a hiatal hernia.

Lifestyle has a huge impact on the likelihood of developing a hiatal hernia. Obesity and poor posture, both correctable, are two of the biggest contributors to the development of a hiatal hernia. Smoking cigarettes, excess alcohol consumption, and a poor diet are also associated with hiatal hernia.

Natural Hiatal Hernia Treatment

Stretching can encourage the stomach to move back down the esophageal hiatus. DrBenkim.com advises, “The key is to find a solid, overhanging ledge that allows for you to dangle and stretch out your torso.  The hope is that such stretching will encourage any protruded portion of your stomach to slide back down into your abdominal cavity. Deep breathing stretches and strengthens your diaphragm. Practice diaphragmatic breathing several times a day. Lie flat on your back, with your knees slightly bent. Place one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Breathe in deeply through your nose using your diaphragm. You should see the hand on your stomach move upward as you inhale, but the hand on your chest should remain still. Exhale deeply, tightening your stomach muscles and keeping the hand on your chest still. Repeat four times.”

To help relieve symptoms and heal a hiatal hernia naturally you should focus on working to improve posture to relieve any pressure on your stomach, chest or esophagus. Until you loose the excess weight that is putting pressure on your torso, try to avoid bending which cause immense pressure on the stomach. Also avoid any type of straining. Making sure your diet includes plenty of fiber can help alleviate constipation.

Sleeping in an elevated position, losing weight, practicing stretching exercises, avoiding spicy foods that trigger indigestion, cutting back on alcohol and stopping smoking may not cure your hiatal hernia, but it will make living with the condition easier. In some cases, chiropractic adjustments may be able to help the stomach move back down the esophageal hiatus.

 

 

 

Yarrow-This Plant Could Save Your Life! #WildernessSurvival

By: Marlene Affeld ~

Achillea_millefolium_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-149Yarrow, also known as Herba Militaris, common yarrow, stanchgrass, knight’s milifoil, soldier’s woundwort, or sanguinary, is a perennial herbaceous plant prized for its wealth of medicinal benefits and culinary applications. The healing herb is native to Africa, Asia and Europe and naturalized across all of North America. Additional names for the plant include dog daisy, ladies’ mantle, noble yarrow, old man’s pepper, and thousand seal and thousand-leaved. Widely used by health practioners in France and Southern Europe as a treatment for feverish diseases, yarrow is often referred to as  “Englishman’s quinine.”  

Treasured as an heirloom medicinal plant, a European variety of yarrow was first introduced to the United States by European immigrants in the early 1600s. Native American Indian healers knew the many benefits of the miraculous plants long before the first white settlers arrived. Although today yarrow can be readily purchased from organic growers or health food stores, it is abundant in nature and it’s free.

Yarrow Just Might Save Your Life

Best known for its blood clotting properties, yarrow can be a “lifesaver” in a wilderness emergency. Hunters and hikers are wise to familiarize themselves with the prolific plant. A nosebleed or profusely bleeding wound can be stanched with a handful of fresh yarrow leaves.

When used fresh, leaves are crushed and placed as a poultice directly on a wound or laceration to stop bleeding and promote healing. Traditional healers used yarrow on an open wound not only to stop blood loss but also to prevent infection or blood poisoning from a dirty laceration.

In a wilderness survival situation, a hemorrhaging wound can be deadly. Packing the wound with yarrow leaves, covering with a layer of moss and binding the yarrow dressing in place with a vine or flexible twig has saved countless lives.

History Of Yarrow

Centuries ago the Greek military leader Achilles advised his warriors to carry dried yarrow leaves to treat battle injuries, hence earning the plant the Latin name Achillea millefolium. Millefolium means “a thousand leaves” referring to the fine fern like foliage of the yarrow plant.

In North America, soldiers fighting in the Civil war used yarrow to stop bleeding and treat wounds giving the prolific weed the name “soldier’s woundwort.” For a nosebleed, naturopathic health practitioners suggest packing the nostril with a rolled up yarrow leaf.

Burnadaran is the Persian name for yarrow. Throughout the Mediterranean and the Middle East, wild gathered yarrow is used to brew an invigorating tonic, valued for its diuretic, diaphoretic, anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. Sweetened with honey, yarrow tea is helpful in reducing fever and combating the symptoms a cold or influenza.

Native American Tribal Medicine

Native American Indian tribes relied on yarrow to treat a diverse array of physical complaints. The Ojibwa tribe gathered young yarrow leaves for ceremonial smoking. They used a compress of moist yarrow leaves to stop bleeding and prevented infection in wounds and chewed the purplish colored root to soothe stomach discomfort and relieve toothaches.

The Cherokee and Pawnee tribes drank yarrow tea to encourage a restful sleep and to relieve pain. The Chippewa boiled the leaves and inhaled the steam for headaches, fevers and bronchial infections. Members of the Potawatomi tribe have traditionally used yarrow as a fumigant to protect against evil spirits and to revive those who succumb to coma.

Respected as a primary “medicine twig” used in Navajo traditional medicine, yarrow need not be fresh to be effective. Tribal people chewed the bitter leaf of the yarrow plant to relieve the discomfort of swollen gums, canker sores, mouth ulcers, sore throat or painful decayed teeth. The Navajo people also depended on a strong tea brewed from both the flowers and the leaves of the yarrow plant to treat painful inflammation and swelling from arthritic joints or broken bones. In the case of a broken bone, a poultice of moistened yarrow leaves was applied to the break. Yarrow was also administered in this manner to treat broken bones in animals. Yarrow is frequently employed for its beneficial uses in treating animal injuries and a host of miscellaneous animal ailments.

Mystical Herb – Holy Smoke

Achillea_millefolium_scanA scared ingredient in mixtures for ceremonial smoking, yarrow imparts a woody, pungent flavor and is useful in eliminating toxins from the lungs. When the leaf is smoked as a tobacco substitute it has a mild stimulating effect. Flowers are not included in the smoking mixture as they exude a nauseating smell when burned. If the odor of the burning flowers can be tolerated, the ensuing smoke is inhaled to treat breathing problems.

Yarrow Essential Oil

Oil of achilea, also known as yarrow oil, presents an earthy, slightly bitter taste similar to the flavor of the fresh new leaves themselves. Both the leaves and the flowers of the common yarrow plant produce aromatic volatile oils. Chamazulene, contained in the plant imparts a blue color to the oil. 

Yarrow promotes healing and relieves painful symptoms of varicose veins, hemorrhoids, bruises, thrombosis, phlebitis, ulcers and fistulas. Yarrow oil is also useful in improving the appearance and texture of old scars.

Tasty Edible

Both the flowers and leaves of the yarrow plant are edible. During the 17th century, yarrow was harvested as a highly nutritious food source.

Young yarrow leaves are a tasty addition to salads and can be boiled or steamed for spring greens. Yarrow adds nutrition and substance to soups, stews and sauces. Dried leaves were grounded and used as a spice or brewed as a rejuvenating stimulant.

Yarrow Tea

Yarrow tea is brewed from tender new leaves harvested just prior to the plant beginning to bloom. Young leaves can be brewed fresh or dried for future consumption. To make yarrow tea, steep 2 teaspoons of dried leaves in 1 cup of boiling water. Natural healers suggest drinking 1-to- 3 cups daily as a rejuvenating stimulant. Yarrow tea is a satisfying substitute for coffee.

Used for thousands of years as a healing herbal drink, yarrow tea is beneficial in relieving the symptoms of allergies, sinusitis, colds and coughs. The flavorful tea is considered an effective relief from heavy menstruation. Medical research shows the active chemical achilliene slows menstrual bleeding in the same way it does for external wounds. A traditional treatment for relieving cramps and menstrual distress uses fresh young leaves seeped in chilled white wine.

Yarrow tea offers anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, astringent and antiseptic properties, making it effective for fighting infections. It is also useful to relieve the symptoms of indigestion by promoting the flow of digestive bile and reducing irritation in the intestines. Drinking yarrow tea also improves kidney flow and function.

Plant Description And Cultivation

1024px-Achillea_millefolium_7981Common yarrow is a hardy perennial plant with long and narrow feathery deep green leaves equally distributed along the plant’s sturdy stem. The plant is often described as “a bit hairy.” This aromatic Eurasian woody-stemmed perennial presents an extensive system of creeping, underground stems and spreads readily by both roots and seeds. An attractive plant, yarrow forms dense clumps that reach up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide at maturity.

Flourishing in the wild along streambeds, in meadows, pastures and roadside ditches, yarrow prefers a cool climate with generous rainfall. Adaptable to most any soil or climate condition except the southwestern deserts of the United States or elevations above 11,000 feet, common yarrow produces bold white, pink or deep violet flowers exhibited in umbrella-like terminal clusters of 3 to 8 tiny ovate flowers. The delicate blooms look like miniature daisies.

An attractive addition to perennial herb beds and rock gardens, yarrow is ideal filler in fresh and dried flower arrangements. While the majority of yarrow flowers found in the wild are white or pale pink in color, other vibrant shades of burgundy, purple, pink and yellow cultivars are available from specialty plant nurseries. Yarrow is in flower from late spring through autumn. The low-maintenance plant reblooms if spent flowers are deadheaded promptly.

For home garden cultivation, Pearl Yarrow (Achillea Ptarmica Pearl) is a popular favorite. Growing less than 2 feet tall the prolific plant present snowy white fragrant flower clumps.  

Parker Yarrow (Achillea Filipendulina Parker) is easily establishes from seeds or purchased from home and garden centers. Achillea Parker is an upright, clump-forming perennial noted for its deeply dissected, feather-like, highly aromatic, grayish-green foliage. The variety presents generous clumps of tiny, long-lasting, bright golden-yellow flattened flower clusters. Held upright on sturdy stem, flower clusters measure up to 4 inches across.

Yarrow Achillea Cerise Queen (Achillea Millefolium Cerise Queen) is an easy to grow and abundantly blooming perennial for late summer and early fall. The variety quickly establishes from seed.

Cerise Queen Yarrow features flower heads in shades of brilliant fuchsia, magenta and pink. The stately plant presents a vivid profusion of fine dark green, highly aromatic foliage.

Although nursery cultivated varieties are many and prove very attractive in the garden, none hold the potent medicinal properties attributed to wild yarrow tended only by Mother Nature. If you wish to cultivate yarrow for its medicinal properties, dig up a couple of clumps in the wild and transplant to the home herb garden. Harvest wild yarrow responsibly, never taking any more than every third wild plant, allowing the remainder to grow naturally and multiply to ensure the survival of the species.

When cultivated in the home garden, common yarrow does best in poor sandy soil and prefers a full sun or partially shaded area with good drainage. Soil with a high lime concentration is perfect. Relegate yarrow to an area of the landscape that you do not plan to cultivate for anything else. Over time, the yarrow plant secrets a toxin into the soil that kills other competing vegetation; quite effective as a long-term solution to pesky weeds.

Yarrow is an ideal cover for a barren spot in the landscape. Once established, yarrow is carefree; resistant to disease, drought and insect infestation. The plants tenuous rhizome system helps stabilize soil making it useful for erosion control in hillside plantings. Yarrow is used to improve vigor, promote growth and enhance the flavor of vegetables and herbs planted in close proximity.

Drastically trim yarrow plants after flowering to encourage vigorous growth. Yarrow leaves added to the compost pile will accelerate decomposition of organic materials. A strong infusion of yarrow tea can be used to water the garden or houseplants in order to raise copper levels in the soil.

Harvesting And Drying

To dry yarrow for use at a later date, the flowers and delicate leaf stem should be gathered just as the plant begins to flower. The whole plant is harvested and hung upside down away from dust, moisture and sunlight. When dry, store in dark, moisture proof containers.

When gathering in the wild, avoid roadside ditches or private pastures that may have been sprayed with commercial pesticides or herbicides.

Toxic “Look-A-Likes”

In the wild there are multiple plants with small white flowers that can be easily mistaken for yarrow. Western water hemlock (Cicuta douglasii), also known as poison hemlock, mayweed chamomile (Anthemis cotula), wild carrot (Daucus carota) and water parsnip (Sium suave) resemble yarrow.

References:

School Of Natural Healing – Yarrow, Achillea millefolium; (Compositae)
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Have You Heard Of Tsu?

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Important Tips On Taking Medications Safely When Traveling #AskQuestions

By: Marlene Affeld ~

You are taking medicine for a reason. If you fail to ask questions and learn how to use your prescriptions and non-prescription medicines wisely and safely you can dramatically increase the risks and decrease the benefits.

When you doctor writes you a new prescription, it is important to ask questions. There is no “dumb” question except for the one unasked. Make sure you understand clearly and take notes to jog your memory.

  • What is the name of the medicine?
  • What is the medical name of the illness or condition this medicine will treat?
  • How does it treat my condition?
  • What are the dangers inherent in this medication?
  • Are their possible side effects I should be aware of?
  • What is the name of its active ingredient?
  • Did you check that it doesn’t contain anything I’m allergic to?
  • How long does it take to work?
  • Is this a long-term maintenance medication?
  • How long do I take it?
  • How should I store the medication? Does it need to be refrigerated?
  • Can the pharmacist substitute a less expensive, generic form of the medicine?

Ask your doctor or healthcare provider about the right way to take any medicine before you begin using it. Ask questions when you don’t understand or when instructions aren’t clear. It’s your body and you need to take responsibility to do your part in getting well.

Before starting a medication, be sure you know the answer to these important questions.

  • Should I take it as needed or on a schedule?
  • Should I take it at a certain time of day?
  • What should I do if I miss a dose?
  • How much should I take each time?
  • Do I need to take it with food?
  • Are there foods I should avoid while on this medication?
  • May I drink alcohol while on this medication?
  • Will it affect my ability to drive or do my work safely?

medications-257349_640When you have a new prescription filled at the pharmacy, the United States Food and Drug Administrations outlines the important things to tell your pharmacist, noting:

  • Tell your pharmacist everything you use. Keep a record and give it to your pharmacist. Make sure you put all the prescription and nonprescription medicines, vitamins, herbals, and other supplements you use. Your pharmacist will use this to keep his/her records up-to-date and help you use medicine safely.
  • If you’ve had any allergic reactions or problems with medicines, medicines with dietary supplements, medicines with food, or medicines with other treatments.
  • Anything that could affect your use of medicine, such as, if you have trouble swallowing, reading labels, remembering to use medicine, or paying for medicine.
  • Before you start using something new. Your pharmacist can help you avoid medicines, supplements, foods, and other things that don’t mix well with your medicines.
  • If you are pregnant, might become pregnant, or if you are breast- feeding.

Tips For Taking Medications Safely

Before leaving the pharmacy after picking up a new prescription or refill, check to make sure your have the right medication. Accidents and mistakes do happen. You don’t want to take the wrong medication as the result of human error or a typo.

When traveling, all medications must be in there original packaging. Ask your pharmacist to provide a small, labeled bottle for the amount needed for your journey and you can refill from your big bottle.

Don’t mix your medicines together in a storage container. Certain drugs can absorb moisture or interact negatively when stored with another chemical formulations.

To prevent overdose or other health threatening mishaps, always store medications in their original container out of the reach of children or pets.

Take your medications at the right time. Many medications are time released or meant to work in combination with other medications. If you miss a dose, don’t double up or change your medication schedule without consulting your healthcare provider.

tablets-193666_640If you find it difficult to swallow tablets or capsules, ask for doctor or pharmacist if there is a liquid form of the medication or a patch. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe to crush or chew a tablet. Never do this without talking to your doctor as it can change the delivery mechanism of the medication with dangerous or ineffective results.

When a person is ill and taking a lot of different medications, it is easy to become confused and take the wrong medication at the wrong time. If you get up at night to take medication, turn on the light and read the label to make sure your are taking the right pill; the wrong one at the wrong time might just kill you.

Cautions and Concerns

water-290206_640

CHealth.canoe.ca advises, “Certain medications need to be taken with plenty of water. Depending on the medication, there are different reasons for this:

  • The medication could cause you to become dehydrated (e.g., lithium)
  • The medication could damage the kidneys or lead to kidney stones if too much of it reached the kidney at the same time (e.g., cotrimoxazole, indinavir). Water helps to “dilute” the extra medication so that too much medication does not go through the kidneys at once.

In general, all medications should be taken with a full glass of water, unless your doctor or pharmacist recommends otherwise. If your medication needs to be taken with “plenty of water”, you may need to drink more than a full glass of water with your medication. This varies with the medication, but can be as much as 1.5 L every day, as is recommended for indinavir.

It is also important to drink enough water throughout the day to avoid dehydration. People’s needs will vary, but most people need 6 to 8 glasses a day, and even more if it is hot, or when they are physically active.”

Expect the Unexpected – Basic Wilderness Survival

Marlene Affeld ~

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I love to spend time exploring the tundra, mountains, woods and deserts of our great country. My prospecting adventures have provided me with many unique and unforgettable memories. Through experience, I have learned how vulnerable and fragile human beings are and how a basic knowledge of wilderness survival is of the utmost importance.

Survival planning is nothing more than realizing something could happen that would put you in a life-threatening situation and, with that in mind, taking steps to increase your chances of survival. Always expect the unexpected!

The most common cause of death in the wilderness is lack of preparation. As an example, death from hypothermia can actually be attributed to not being prepared for what may be encountered in nature. People don’t die of hypothermia, they die from not preparing for, or expecting, an extremely cold situation. Thus, survival planning requires preparation and emergency planning is essential.

Preparation means having survival items and knowing how to use them. Those of us who live in snow regions prepare our vehicles for hazardous road conditions. We put on snow tires, add extra weight in the back for traction and we carry a shovel and a blanket. Providing you know how to safely operate a chainsaw, carrying one is a sound precaution. The road up the mountain may be clear, however a strong wind can bring down trees that will block one’s return.

Different climates and terrain call for planning to contend with the potential hazards of the local area. Travelers in the desert will want to carry several gallons of water in case they are stranded or an engine overheats. Applied common sense and pre-planning can prevent an annoying and inconvenient event from escalating into a life-threatening situation.

Preparation also means knowing your intended route of travel and familiarizing yourself with the area. Before departure, it is wise to inform someone about your route, plans and when you can be expected back. Tracking a person is much easier for the search and rescue team if they know your destination and proposed route. Dont forget to notify your contact person when you return.

If you park and then venture a considerable distance away from your vehicle, leave a note as well. Post the note where it can be easily visible through the windshield. Write with bold lettering your route and when you expect to return.

Basic Wilderness Survival Skills Reprinted: Courtesy of BC Adventure

The advances in the development of outdoor clothing, equipment, emergency food and techniques have been growing rapidly in recent years. For those beginners interested in using the outdoors there is unlimited information on wilderness survival skills and equipment available. However, experience is the best teacher in any outdoor situation and your reaction in a wilderness survival situation depends on your education. Always keep in mind that it can happen to you. Those who are mentally and physically prepared to survive are more likely to do so. To deal with an emergency situation one must be able to make decisions, improvise and remain calm.

Fear – For anyone faced with a wilderness emergency survival situation, fear is a normal reaction. Unless an emergency situation has been anticipated, fear is generally followed by panic then pain, cold, thirst, hunger, fatigue, boredom and loneliness. It is extremely important to calmly assess the situation and not allow these seven enemies to interfere with your survival.

Pain – Pain may often be ignored in a panic situation. Remember to deal with injuries immediately before they become even more serious.

Cold – Cold lowers the ability to think, numbing the body and reducing the will to survive. Never allow yourself to stop moving or to fall asleep unless adequately sheltered.

Thirst – Dehydration is a common enemy in an emergency situation and must not be ignored. It can dull your mind, causing you to overlook important survival information.

Hunger – Hunger is dangerous but seldom deadly. It may reduce your ability to think logically and increase your susceptibility to the effects of cold, pain and fear.

Fatigue – Fatigue is unavoidable in any situation so it is best to keep in mind that it can and will lower your mental ability. Remember that in an emergency situation this is often the bodies way of escaping a difficult situation.

Boredom & Loneliness – These enemies are quite often unanticipated and may lower the mind’s ability to deal with the situation.

Preparing A Survival Kit:

The environment and terrain you will encounter dictate the types of items you will need in your survival kit. The amount of equipment you put in your kit depends on how you will carry the kit.

A kit carried on your body will have to be smaller than one carried in a vehicle. Remember to always layer your survival kit, keeping the most important items on your person. For example, your map and compass should always be on your body. Plan to carry less important items, that you do not necessarily need to have with you but want to keep handy for emergencies, in a separate waterproof kit.

In preparing your survival kit, choose items you can use for more than one purpose. If you have two items that will serve the same function, pick the one you can use for a dual purpose. Do not duplicate items, as this increases your kit’s size and weight.

Your survival kit need not be elaborate. You need only functional items that will meet your needs and a lightweight, waterproof case to hold the items.

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Survival Essentials:

1. Waterproof, strike-anywhere matches are your best bet. Matches may be water-proofed by dipping them in nail polish. Store your matches in a waterproof container.

2. A cigarette lighter is also a good way to produce a spark, with or without fuel.

3. The flint and steel method is one of the oldest and most reliable methods in fire starting. Aim the sparks at a pile of dry tinder to produce a fire.

4. The electric spark produced from a battery will ignite a gasoline dampened rag.

5. Remove half of the powder from a bullet and pour it into the tinder. Next place a rag in the cartridge case of the gun and fire. The rag should ignite and then may be placed into the tinder.

6. Allow the suns rays to pass through a magnifying glass onto the tinder.

Dry grass, paper or cloth lint, gasoline-soaked rags and dry bark are all forms of tinder. Place your tinder in a small pile resembling a tepee with the driest pieces at the bottom. Use a fire starter or strip of pitch if it is available.It is important to keep in mind that smaller pieces of kindling such as, twigs, bark, shavings and gasoline, are necessary when trying to ignite larger pieces of fuel. Gather fuel before attempting to start your fire. Obviously dry wood burns better and wet or pitchy wood will create more smoke. Dense, dry wood will burn slow and hot. A well ventilated fire will burn best.

Build a Shelter A small shelter which is insulated from the bottom, protected from wind and snow and contains a fire is extremely important in wilderness survival. Before building your shelter be sure that the surrounding area provides the materials needed to build a good fire, a good water source and shelter from the wind.

Wilderness shelters may include:

1. Natural shelters such as caves and overhanging cliffs. When exploring a possible shelter tie a piece of string to the outer mouth of the cave to ensure you will be able to find your way out. Keep in mind that these caves may already be occupied. If you do use a cave for shelter, build your fire near its mouth to prevent animals from entering.

2. Enlarge the natural pit under a fallen tree and line it with bark or tree boughs. Near a rocky coastal area, build a rock shelter in the shape of a U, covering the roof with driftwood and a tarp or even seaweed for protection.

3. A lean-to made with poles or fallen trees and a covering of plastic, boughs, thick grasses or bark is effective to shelter you from wind, rain and snow.

4. A wigwam may be constructed using three long poles. Tie the tops of the poles together and upright them in an appropriate spot. Cover the sides with a tarp, boughs, rain gear or other suitable materials. Build a fire in the center of the wigwam, making a draft channel in the wall and a small hole in the top to allow smoke to escape.

5. If you find yourself in open terrain, a snow cave will provide good shelter. Find a drift and burrow a tunnel into the side for about 60 cm (24 in) then build your chamber. The entrance of the tunnel should lead to the lowest level of you chamber where the cooking and storage of equipment will be. A minimum of two ventilating holes are necessary, preferably one in the roof and one in the door.

CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT

Clothing Clothing must provide warmth and offer protection from the elements. Layers of light, natural fibers are best. Hats are a must, as they offer protection from both the heat and cold. Water proof outer layers are necessary.

Equipment Equipment must be easily manageable and promote survival in any situation. Items to carry in your pockets may include a fire starter, waterproof matches and/or lighter, a pocket knife, goggles, compass, small first-aid kit and some sort of trail food.

Survival Kit Items for your survival kit should be packed in a waterproof container that can double as a cooking pot and water receptacle and be attached to your belt.

Backpack In addition to a survival kit, a good, comfortable backpack is mandatory. Loads of about 18 kg (40 lb.) are average. Items to include are; flashlight, extra jacket, socks and gloves, a pocket saw, gas camp stove, first aid kit, emergency food as well as a light weight sleeping bag and mini tent.

CHECK LIST

Useful items to include on your hike are:

1. A map and compass with a magnifying glass.

2. A large, bright plastic bag will be useful as a shelter, signaling device or in lieu of rain gear.

3. A flashlight with extra batteries.

4. Extra water and food.

5. Extra clothing such as rain gear, a hat and gloves, a sweater and pants.

6. Sun protection such as sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat and long sleeved clothing.

7. A sharp pocket knife.

8. Waterproof matches, a lighter and/or a flint.

9. Candles and fire starter.

10. A first aid kit.

11. Insect repellent.

12. A whistle, flares, a tarp.

About The Author
Marlene Affeld has spent much time in the woods and knows about being safe. Visit Chasing The Wind

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Getting Back In The Dating Game #SeniorDating

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By: Marlene Affeld ~

Many mature women are intimidated by returning to the dating scene. It feels like we are outnumbered. According to figures released by the United States Census Bureau, for every 100 single women in the United States, there are 86 unmarried men.

StatisticBrain.com reports that out of the single men available, more than 80 percent of the men report that they prefer to date women that are 5 years or more younger than their age. Research studies indicate that many men have a gigantic blind spot when it comes to age, refusing to even consider a woman their own age even if she is attractive, healthy and in great physical shape: how depressing.

Don’t kid yourself. You can’t change the thinking of this type of man. However, there really are a wealth of great guys out there that are looking for a friend, companion, lover and “maybe more” with a woman of a similar age.
Meet Christian Singles
To complicate matters even further, a lifetime of love and loss has made many older women distrustful or unwilling to jump back in the “dating game.” You might say, I have been deeply hurt before, why go through that again? If that’s your reason, you are not alone. Research reveals that the majority (over 76 percent) of single mature women fear rejection and are hesitant to even try to make a meaningful connection. Yet these same women voice a heartfelt longing for romance, admit they are lonely, and say they would like to have a significant “other” in their life. If you are a mature single woman, sincerely looking for romance, a positive proactive stance and dramatic change of mindset is essential.

It is important to keep in mind that in all actuality, men are more often the ones that suffer from low self-esteem, lack confidence, and fear rejection. Men worry about a widening waistline, thinning hair and wrinkles just as much as women do. As mature women, we have the power to make a positive connection that turns into a dating opportunity. So just what is a mature woman, raised in a world where men are “supposed” to make to the first move do?

Start with polishing your skills in the art of flirting, smiling genuinely, striking up conversations with men when you are out shopping or at work, and approaching men first. Be spontaneous. Do not be afraid to make the initial move. What do you have to lose?

Stop Making Excuses

If you are preventing yourself from finding a loving companion by telling yourself that you are too busy to date or that there are no good men out there, stop making excuses. We may say we want to date, but in reality it feels safer to be alone and we make excuses, rather than act and risk rejection. Stop it. Try these words of affirmation and attraction.

Choose to take a no-excuses approach. To attract the right man into your life it is necessary to let go of your excuses. Go online and get out there to meet new men. If you are leery of online dating sites, get over it. You can hide behind your excuses or achieve results. Which do you prefer?

Let Go Of Your Fear

To get back in the dating game you must be willing to move out of your comfort zone. Yes, meeting new people and change can be scary, yet you usually only feel uncomfortable for a short period of time and it can be the best way to get out of a rut, move forward, grow, and find the partner you seek to share your life with. Now is not the time to whine and worry, its time to get to work.

Be Proactive – Take Action

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just make a wish and the soul mate of our dreams would appear? Unfortunately, in real life, in generally doesn’t happen that way. Action is required.

Did you know that the largest segment of the dating population, of both men and women, are over 50? We live in an age of technology. It is to your advantage to use it. While you may meet someone at work or through friends, you increase the odds dramatically when you join an online dating site. It isn’t and either/or situation. If you meet someone at the dog park, having a profile on a dating site isn’t going to keep you from making new friends the old-fashioned way.

Get online and find a reputable dating site for seniors. Smiling, flirting and chatting online, is one of the safest and surest way of finding that special someone.

Keep Your Wits About You

Just as there are a plethora of online dating sites, there is no shortage of men who try to take advantage of a lonely, older woman’s vulnerability. Do not fall prey to one of these scam artists. Always practice Internet safety, keeping personal information private. AARP.org advises, “Do your homework. There are all kinds of online dating sites, so spend some time on the computer researching what looks best for you.”

References:

AARP

http://www.aarp.org/relationships/love-sex/info-07-2011/online-dating-tips.htlm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sugar Dangers #SugarHarmsHealth

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By: Marlene Affeld ~

More addictive than cocaine or heroin, sugar is a sweet white poison that triggers weight gain, feeds prostate, breast, endometrial and colon cancer cells, causes a host of chronic diseases and accelerates premature aging. If that isn’t enough, sugar rots our teeth.

Available in a diverse variety of forms with a host of different names, all of the following sweeteners are loaded with empty calories that offer little or no nutritional value.

  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Corn Sweetener
  • Sucrose
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Fruit Juice Concentrate
  • Corn Syrup
  • Sorghum Syrup
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • Sorbitol
  • Maltose
  • Lactose
  • Glucose

doughnut-380212_640Have you ever considered how much sugar you consume in a day, a week, a month or a year? Nutritionists advise that we should receive less than 10 percent of our daily calories from sugar. However, the majority of Americans dangerously consume sweeteners in amounts that are devastating to good health. Are we slowing killing ourselves one sweet taste at a time?

The statistics on sugar consumption in the United States cause serious alarm. Two centuries ago our forefathers ate less than 2 pounds of sugar a year. In 1900 the average U.S. sugar consumption rose to 90 pounds a year. By 1970, sugar addiction had skyrocketed to an average of 123 pounds a year per person. In 2013 the average American devoured approximately 152 pounds throughout the year or an average of 3 pounds a week.

Right now you are probably saying, “Hey, wait a minute. No way. That isn’t me. I don’t begin to eat that much sugar.”

Wrong! In all likelihood, you consume a lot more sugar that you realize. Sports drinks, fruit juices, sodas, over-the-counter medication and almost all processed foods are sources of sugar in the diet. Lunchmeats, bread, potato chips, dips, cheese spreads, ice cream, yogurt, salad dressings, steak sauce, pickles, and ketchup are but a few items on a seemingly endless list of foods we enjoy daily that contain hidden sugars. Research studies show that we consume approximately 500 calories a day of hidden sugars.

Recent market research shows that the majority of infant formula products contain as much sugar per serving as a 12-ounce can of your favorite sweetened soft drink, metabolically poisoning babies from birth.

Sugar And Obesity

thick-373064_640Considering our obsession with sugar, it comes as no surprise that there is an epidemic of obesity in America. Currently, greater than 30 percent of Americans are obese. An additional 64 percent of us in the age group of the population from 20- to- 74 years of age are overweight. That totals up to more than 129.6 million people that are or should be on a weight loss diet. If you have been counting calories and carbs with the intent of losing weight, hidden sugars may be the culprits sabotaging your success. Adult obesity isn’t the only problem. Obesity rates in adolescents have tripled over the past 30 years in America while childhood obesity rates have doubled.

Dr. David Ludwig, a renowned obesity and weight-loss specialist at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital advises, “Sugar-containing foods in their natural form, whole fruit, for example, tend to be highly nutritious—nutrient-dense, high in fiber, and low in glycemic load. On the other hand, refined, concentrated sugar consumed in large amounts rapidly increases blood glucose and insulin levels, increases triglycerides, inflammatory mediators and oxygen radicals, and with them, the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses.”

Excess weight puts us at risk for a wide range of life-threatening conditions including diabetes, hypertension, depression, and heart and kidney disease. While science has long been aware that excess sugar can increase our risk for heart disease, it took a 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association to confirm that sugar actually affects the pumping mechanism of the heart and can increase the risk for heart failure.

All Sugars Are Not The Same

With so many different types of sugars and sweeteners available in the marketplace it is easy to become confused.

  • Glucose, dextrose and fructose are all simple sugars with the difference being in how your body metabolizes them. Dextrose and glucose are basically the same sugar. Food manufacturers usually elect to use the term dextrose in food labeling.
  • These simple sugars, when combined, create more complex sugars including thedisaccharide sucrose, commonly known as table sugar.
  • Widely used in processed foods, high fructose corn syrup is a combination of 45 percent glucose and 55 percent fructose.

Fructose Is The Worst Type Of Sugar For Our Bodies

Published in Time Magazine October 27, 2012, Robert H. Lustig M.D., a pediatric endocrinologist who has spent over 16 years treating childhood obesity, explains fructose’s addictive properties noting, “In animal studies, fructose causes the four criteria of addiction: bingeing, withdrawal, craving, and sensitization to other addictive substances (meaning after chronic exposure to sugar, it’s easier to get hooked on another drug). In humans, fructose lights up the reward center in your brain called the nucleus accumbens on MRI; but after repeated exposure, the reward center lights up less and less, so you need more and more to achieve the same effect. Fructose has effects on the reward center similar to alcohol; and just like alcohol, can lead to a “vicious cycle” of consumption and disease.”

Fructose itself isn’t the problem. The problem lies in how much we consume. On average, Americans daily consume an average fructose dose of 70 grams. This amount exceeds the recommended limit by 300 percent.

Loaded with high fructose corn syrup, soft drinks, sodas and energy drinks are the single largest source of calories in the American diet. An average 12-ounce can of sugar-sweetened soda contains about 150 calories, almost all from sugar.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports, “Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs), particularly carbonated soft drinks, may be a key contributor to the epidemic of overweight and obesity, by virtue of these beverages’ high added sugar content, low satiety, and incomplete compensation for total energy.”

Over 40 years ago beverage manufacturers began switching out their sweeteners from sucrose to corn syrup as they discovered that high fructose corn syrup was a lot cheaper to produce and was approximately 20 percent sweeter than table sugar. What makes it a problem is that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contains the same two sugars as sucrose, but has an increased metabolic risk due to its manipulated chemical form.

Fructose and glucose do not bind together as in table sugar meaning the body does not have to break it down. Fructose is immediately absorbed, headed straight for the liver.

Fructose and alcohol present similar toxic effects on the liver. Fructose consumption can also promote elevated uric acid causing low-level inflammation throughout the body with long-lasting adverse health concerns. If you have ever suffered from gout, you know one of the painful consequences of uric acid build-up. Believe me, if you don’t know, you don’t want to find out.

Elevated uric acid levels can also cause inflamed blood vessels, a leading causes of strokes and heart attacks. Scientists are reporting a preponderance of evidence that suggests chronic inflammation also encourage the growth of cancerous tumors. Similar to ethanol metabolism, fructose metabolism produces a host of toxic effects including non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Fructose is a trickster, fooling the metabolism by shutting down the body’s appetite-control system. Medical experts advise that ingesting fructose is worse for us health wise than eating fat. In fact, high fructose corn syrup makes us fat! Fructose leads to rapid weight gain target at the area where we least want to see it accumulate. In addition to fostering belly fat fructose consumption promotes increased LDL, decreased HDL, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure.

In her book, Lick The Sugar Habit, noted clinical nutritionist Nancy Appleton lists 124 reasons that sugar is bad for you. Highlights of the list are definitely “food for thought”.

  • Sugar raises cholesterol
  • Sugar can weaken eyesight
  • Sugar can impair DNA structure
  • Sugar may sap your brain power
  • Sugar can lead to periodontal disease
  • Sugar can cause anxiety, hypertension, loss of concentration and crankiness in children.
  • Sugar contributes to eczema in children
  • Sugar consumption promotes uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans a common yeast infection in women
  • Excess sugar consumption lowers our defenses against bacteria infection
  • Sugar contributes to osteoporosis

It is the consensus of the medical community that “fructose is the number one contributing factor to the current obesity epidemic.”

Kicking A Sugar Habit

calories-957767_640Darlene Kvist, a licensed nutritionist and author of the book “Dishing Up Nutrition” offers some sound advice on kicking a sugar habit noting, “It’s about biochemistry, not willpower. It’s important to recognize that sugar addiction is not simply a lack of willpower. For long-term recovery, it is absolutely necessary to balance the biochemical systems in the body, such as blood sugar, poor intestinal health, and insufficient brain chemicals (neurotransmitters). Only then can sugar addiction be overcome, otherwise relapse occurs similar to any other addiction. The number one tip for someone looking to free him or herself of sugar addiction would be to have an in-depth nutrition consultation. This is critical to address the unique biochemical needs of the individual. Treating sugar addiction is complex and different for each person.”

While quitting sugar isn’t easy, it is more than worth the effort to try to eliminate as much sugar from our diets as possible. Give it a try for at least two weeks. You will be amazed how you feel.

Alternative Sweeteners

In an effort to reduce their sugar intake and cut calories, many Americans opt to use alternative sweeteners.

  • Honey is a preferred substitute for sugar even though it about 53 percent fructose. In its pure raw state, honey used in moderation, offers many significant health benefits.
  • Stevia is a highly concentrated natural sweetener derived from the leaves of the South American stevia plant. Completely safe in its natural form with no unpleasant side effects, stevia provides the sweetness we crave without the calories making it an ideal alternative to table sugar.
  • Beware of Splendia. Sucralose, marketed as Splendia, is not a sugar in spite of its “sugar-like” name. Falsely advertised as “made from sugar” is actually a chlorinated artificial sweetener similar to saccharin and aspartame with all the same detrimental effects on our good health.
  • Sorbitol, xylitol, glycerol, mannitol, erythritol and maltitol are known as sugar alcohols although they contain neither sugar nor alcohol. Gaining in popularity as a sugar substitute these sugar alcohols are incompletely absorbed in the small intestine and provide fewer calories than sugar. However, they are not without their downside often producing unpleasant stomach distress including flatulence, bloating and diarrhea.
  • Falsely advertised as a natural sweetener, Agave syrup in a con on the public. In reality the syrup is typically highly processed and is approximately 80 percent fructose.
  • Found in Asian markets and health food stores, Lo han also known as luohanguo, is another natural sweetener derived from fruit that makes an excellent low calorie substitute for table sugar.

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Foods To Boost Your Sex Drive #IncreaseLibido

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By: Marlene Affeld ~

Maintaining a healthy libido or sex drive promotes emotional and physical health and can fortify and build intimacy with your romantic partner. Although insomnia, stress, hormonal shifts, smoking, lack of exercise, low self-esteem, and poor health can in general diminish libido, how amorous we feel is most often dependent on the foods we eat. The sex drive can be significantly increased through consuming anti-aging foods and supplements that provide the essential nutrients to spark sexual appetite and increase libido.

To enhance your sex drive, the food items you want to make sure are included in your daily diet are those high in amino acids, zinc, niacin, Vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. Magnesium accelerates production of sex hormones such as estrogen, androgen, as well as various neurotransmitters that stimulate the sex drive.

The list includes celery, raw oysters, avocado, almonds, artichokes, mangoes, bananas, peaches, figs, strawberries, watermelon, beef liver, eggs, garlic, and of course everyone’s favorite, chocolate.

  • valentine-602744_640Chocolate – According to a research study recently released by the American Diabetic Association, chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a complex compound that releases endorphins and stimulates sexual desire. Chocolate is also high in magnesium, an important nutrient that provides a sense of comfort and satisfaction.
  • celery-692867_640Celery– The crunching, low-calorie vegetable is fantastic food source for sexual stimulation. Celery contains androsterone, the odorless hormone released through male perspiration that excites and creates a sexual response in women.
  • appetite-2039_640Asparagus– Planning a romantic dinner for two? Asparagus is the ideal side dish to increase sex drive and libido. A great source of B vitamins, including folate, B vitamins assist in the production of histamine, a regulator of a healthy sex drive in both men and women.
  • watermelon-833198_640Watermelon – If you are seeking to boost your sex drive, researchers at Texas A&M University have found a nutrient contained in watermelons known as citrulline, can have a Viagra-like effect on the body. Citrulline is converted into the amino acid arginine in the body. “Arginine boosts nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, the same basic effect that Viagra has, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it.” Noted Dr. Bhimu Patil, Director of the project. Watermelon relaxes blood vessels. Blood vessels play an intricate and important role in satisfying sex.
  • bananas-652497_640Bananas- A nutritionally rich source of B vitamins and potassium, both of which provide energy, bananas contain the enzyme bromelain believed to drive up libido, and counter impotence in men.
  • file0001859756979Nuts-Chock full of essential fatty acids, nuts boost the production of sex hormones to heighten libido and sustain sexual performance. Nuts contain high levels of L-arginine, the amino acid known to improve blood circulation and promote erectile response. Pine nuts are especially high in zinc, an important mineral for sperm production and enhanced fertility.
  • fried-930379_640Eggs– Eggs support healthy sex function, especially their yolks, provide a serving of healthy cholesterol, a waxy substance that assists in producing the key sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Eggs are also a nutrient-rich source of vitamins B5 and B6, both essential for balancing out hormones and managing stress.

file0001793805494Fruits and Vegetables– Fruits and vegetables are especially important as they are not only good for you, they help lower cholesterol which in turn stimulates blood flow to the body’s organs, most specifically the genitals. By addressing the underlying causes of low sexual desire as well as eating a diet rich in certain nutrients, you can help restore lost libido and experience a more gratifying sex life.

Obviously, many other contributing factors affect an optimal sex drive including trust, communicating with your partner, physical exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and getting plenty of rest. However, a few changes in your diet with the addition of libido-boosting foods can add welcomed vitality to your meals and kick-start your sex drive.

If you eat on the run and find it difficult to obtain your daily greens, Athletic Greens is a fast and easy way to ensure you give your body the nutrients it requires for optimum health.

Wait A Minute! What Do You Think You Are Putting On Your Face? #BanishWrinkles

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By: Marlene Affeld ~

Worldwide, both men and women users of skin care creams, gels, serums, and lotions seek to present a youthful appearance, banish blemishes, avoid sun damage and heal dry and irritated skin.

DrugStoreNews.com reports, “American women are most likely to use anti-aging face creams. While the desire to find the fountain of youth is a global concern, recent Mintel research found that American women lead the way in anti-aging facial skin care usage when compared with their counterparts in Germany, France, and the U.K., while the West (United States, U.K. and France) launched the most anti-aging skin care products between 2009 and 2011 in comparison with Japan and China.

Thirty-seven percent of U.S. women have used anti-aging creams and serums for the face, compared with 23% of U.K. women, 24% of the female population in France, 25% of women in Germany and 26% of women in Spain, according to Mintel.”

cream-194116_640Although they may not be sure just why natural ingredients are so important, most people wish to avoid putting toxic chemicals on their skin. Fact is, growing concerns about chemical exposure are justified. Many of the chemicals found in cheap skin care products can cause significant health care issues, including cancer. Sodium laureth sulfate, parabens and phthalates have been scientifically proven to cause a host of serious health problems.

Everything that you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. If you don’t want to expose yourself to their inherent risks, do not put apply them your skin.

If you are on a quest to salvage your skin and look as youthful as possible, stop inflicting continual damage on your skin. If you are a smoker, stop. I know it is hard to quit, but you are worth it.

With proper anti-aging skin care products and good nutrition, you shave years off your age.

Alyaka

When looking for the best anti-aging facial cream, try to find products with organic and healthy ingredients that contain essential antioxidants and a winning combination of vitamins A, C, D, and E.

Avoid creams with toxic, synthetic chemicals and preservatives that can irritate or damage your delicate skin. Also avoid products with exorbitant claims that promise extraordinary wrinkle reversal results in a short amount of time. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

sun-bed-755943_640If you find a skin care anti-wrinkle product you like without any sun protection, make sure you also apply some lotion with an SPF no less than 15.

Innovative anti-aging research gives life to new products every day. Before you choose an anti-aging product, you need to know what the various ingredients can do and choose your skin care products based on those results.

Before your spend money on products that promise much and deliver little, talk to your dermatologist or healthcare provider to determine your unique skincare challenges and the product ingredients that will best address your skincare issues.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, an important ingredient in many anti-aging skin care products, is normally found in the sun. However, exposure to sunlight depletes this valuable antioxidant. Topical application of vitamin E has been shown in medical research studies to offer powerful antioxidant protection for mature, aging skin. Many skin specialist recommend the topical application of vitamin E, also known as “tocopherol” for reducing sun-induced skin sagging, wrinkles, fine lines as well as puffiness and dark circles under the eyes.

Retinol

Dermaflage Perfect Skin2

Dermatologists advise that products containing retinol, including cleansers, face creams, foundations, sunscreens and lipsticks should not be used during the day. Doctors also note that products containing Retinol should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.

Ibedonone

Ibedonone, a powerful antioxidant, protects skin from damage caused by excess sun exposure and environmental pollutants while helping skin stay hydrated. Recently published studies conducted by David McDaniel, M.D. of the Eastern Virginia College of Medicine examined the protective capacity of a diverse array of topically applied antioxidants including idebenone, kinetin, alpha-lipoic acid and vitamins C and E.

Ibedone, a micronutrient closely related to CoQ10, another potent natural alley in the war against cell damage, was found in the study to be the clearly most effective topically applied ingredient.

However dermatologists caution that many women cannot tolerate idebenone products. “It can cause redness and irritation in some women that makes it difficult to use,” says Katz, director of Juva Skin and Laser Center in New York City.  Dr. Katz advises women with sensitive skin to check with a dermatologist prior to trying products containing idebenone.

Furfuryladenine

Furfuryladenine, one of the most successful anti-aging skin care product ingredients in the anti-aging arsenal is found in green leafy plants. Known by the trade names of Kenetin or Kinerase, it is a powerful plant-derived analog found in many anti-aging skin care products that assists skin cell division, helps skin to retain vital moisture, reduces signs of aging, helps reduce surface capillaries and improves sun damage.

Considered by many dermatologist and skin care experts as a non-irritating alternative to Retin A (tretinoin), Kenatin is used to treat delicate skin under the eyes and has shown potential to treat inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea.

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is another powerful natural anti-aging ingredient found in many skin care formulations. In a raw state, glycolic is an odorless powder composed of colorless crystals. Extracted from pineapple, beets, and sugar cane, glycolic acid is an alpha-hydroxyl acid or AHA.

Glycolic Acid gained popularity in the 1970s when it was effectively used to treat the symptoms of psoriasis. In the1990s, after decades of testing, the United Stated Food and Drug Administration approved AHA’s for use in commercially produced skin care products. Today, more that 200 U.S. companies manufacture skin care products that include glycolic acid as an integral ingredient.

An effective skin exfoliator, glycolic acid, used at strengths of 20 to 70 percent, is used in treatments to remove the epidermis or outer layer of the skin to treat skin discolorations, scarring and signs of aging. Another benefit of glycolic acid is that it contains a hydroscopic molecule that attracts moisture from the air and can transfer that moisture to the skin.