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How Your Teeth Affect Your Health

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We have long been aware of the basic benefits of brushing, flossing and good oral hygiene in keeping our teeth strong and healthy. However, we are learning from new research that oral health plays into our overall bodily well-being more than we realized.

This is especially true as we age. The evidence suggests that good oral health is a key to the prevention of other health problems.

Relation to Diabetes

When thinking of diabetes, a dentist may not be the first healthcare provider who comes to mind, but that is beginning to change. Diabetes often causes high blood sugar and acidity in the mouth, which can heavily impact oral tissues.

This leads to a greater risk factor for gum disease, tooth decay and other oral health problems. As diabetes can negatively impact the body’s ability to fight infection, it can also provoke severe oral issues. In a vicious circle, this can lead to infections and bacteria impacting the rest of the body.

Infections Can Spread

From gum disease, gingivitis, periodontitis and more, the mouth can be a critical component in the spread or prevention of infection. It’s been shown that bacteria can get in through the teeth.

Once a cavity begins to develop, it can open a pathway for harmful bacteria to migrate down to the root. At this point, the infection can enter your bloodstream where it is carried throughout the body. Left untreated, that can lead to further infection of vital organs and cause a life-threatening health situation.

Dentists are crucial in ensuring that cavities, cracks and abscesses are promptly treated to keep this disease vector closed and helping to minimize the problems of oral infection

Heart Disease

Research is increasingly showing strong links between gum disease and heart disease. As bacteria build up under the gum line, the infection can eventually find its way into the bloodstream and reach the heart.

From there, it is found to play a role in the development of atherosclerosis and endocarditis. These conditions can cause a hardening of your heart’s arteries or malfunctioning in the valves, both of which can lead to stroke or heart attack.

Oral hygiene has not always been a focal point of our medical health. However, that clearly is changing, and oral health should be treated as an important part of our physical maintenance.

Regular dental care as well as a home routine of brushing and flossing can help prevent or mitigate any problems, so schedule your next appointment today.

Are your teeth hurting? Click here for some need-to-know info!

3 Common Winter Health Misconceptions

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Winter Health

Once again, winter has come to the Northern Hemisphere. Time to avoid being sick by staying warm and no need for sunscreen, right? As a matter of fact, neither a cold nor the flu comes from cold weather, and the sun is still generating ultraviolet rays no matter the time of year.

However, these problems can be avoided with a little preparation and care. It’s even possible to avoid winter weight gain.

Causes of Diseases

Diseases work when viruses and bacteria enter your body and begin trying to replicate themselves. This is true whether it’s hot or cold outside.

Cup & Leaf recommends eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, enjoying some hot tea, and doing your best to maintain a constant temperature to keep your immune system at its best during the winter months.

You Don’t Need to Worry About Sun

While it is true that the earth is tilted away from the sun in the winter, the sun is still generating UV rays toward the earth. If you go out in the sun for long periods of time, add some sunscreen or cover your face with a mask.

TropicSport Sunscreen explains the sparkling surface of the snow is highly reflective, meaning the UV rays are actually hitting your skin twice! You need to be just as vigilant against UV rays during the winter as you would be during the summer. Many first-time skiers are shocked to discover their face is sunburned after a day out on the slopes. That can be avoided by applying sunscreen.

Winter Weight Gain Is Inevitable

Let’s face it, if it’s cold outside, you’re much less motivated to go outside and exercise. So, hit the gym. Gyms have treadmills, various weights, and other machines to help you work out.

Some gyms will even let you work out alone as long as you fill out the necessary liability paperwork and go through the necessary training. If you need motivation, a lot of gyms have professionals to help you or you can find a gym buddy.

Alternatively, if you can’t or won’t go to the gym, Beachbody On Demand says there are many video tutorials and apps that show you how to do various exercises from the comfort of your own home.

Once again, the weather outside has turned cold and possibly frightful. Don’t worry though, you can limit winter weight gain by exercising, avoid sun damage by taking year-round precautions, and prevent sickness by providing your body with proper nutrition. Now you know something about wintertime misconceptions.

Liked this article about fitness and health? We recommend reading: High Intensity Interval Training for Weight Loss.

3 Most Commonly Misdiagnosed Medical Problems

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Hundreds of diseases and disorders go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed every year, which can have devastating results. That’s why it’s increasingly important that we raise awareness about medical misdiagnosis as well as encourage everyone to be more conscious of the issues their bodies are experiencing.

Although there are many common medical conditions that go undiagnosed every year, such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and more, the following three health issues are most commonly misdiagnosed.

Cancer

Cancer is harder to detect than you might think because the symptoms of it are the same for many other medical conditions. As a matter of fact, misdiagnosis is one of the more common medical mistakes that occur.

For example, lumps and swollen glands are signs of numerous types of cancer but they can also be cysts or benign tumors. Moreover, doctors tend to suspect you’re suffering from a more prevalent condition like the flu, a stomach virus, anemia, or another medical condition that you’re more likely to have than cancer.

Heart Disease

One of the reasons heart disease is misdiagnosed is that it’s another health issue that can be mistaken for other conditions. The signs of a heart attack, such as pain or burning in the chest and nausea, are common side effects of numerous illnesses like acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion, viruses, and much more.

What’s even more worrisome is that when heart disease is left untreated it can cause permanent damage to organs and put you at risk for many other health problems.

Celiac Disease

Another disease that is regularly misdiagnosed is celiac disease , which causes the lining of the small intestines to become inflamed when someone with celiac disease eats gluten.

Celiac disease also stops your body from absorbing vital nutrients and can result in malnourishment. The symptoms of celiac disease include stomach cramps, diarrhea, bloating in the stomach, and anemia just to name a few.

However, these are also side effects of several other health conditions many of which are temporary and minor, so misdiagnosis is common..

Heart disease and cancer cause permanent issues when they’re undetected, including damage to organs and in some cases death. Moreover, treating both is critical to preserving the quality of life and even prolonging life.

While celiac disease is rarely life-threatening, it can be painful. As a result, you should always speak with your doctor about new and prevalent symptoms and tell them if you have concerns about any medical conditions.

Here’s another article you might like: How Exercise Can Help Recovery

How Healthcare is Changing to Meet Consumer Needs

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Healthcare is Changing

The focus of healthcare in America is under fire now more than ever; companies are criticized for prioritizing profit over wellness, and the entry cost for reasonable care keeps many people underinsured or uninsured.

Those who have coverage might be reluctant to see a doctor because they’re worried about having to pay a high deductible. The good news is that as more Americans are recognizing that health care needs to be about patients, not profit, new policies are arising and making big changes that will redirect the focus of healthcare to the consumer. Here are some ways healthcare is changing for the better.

Healthcare Savings Account

A Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) is designed to help patients whose insurance has a high deductible and out-of-pocket costs. With an HSA, consumers can save tax-free dollars to put toward medical expenses.

HSAs for retirement can help you plan ahead and ensure that your healthcare needs are addressed without anxiety in the future. HSAs can be a good choice long before you’re ready for retirement, too. You never know when you’ll need a higher level of care, and saving money on taxes while you build a nest egg for medical bills can bring you reassurance.

Cost-Cutting Services

Many insurance providers now offer personalized healthcare services that can provide cost-saving measures to consumers. Lowering the costs of many outside services, like lab work and screenings, can help providers give patients better treatment for less money.

Greater focus is being placed on care management plans, which are incorporating better treatment for aging patients with chronic conditions. The ultimate goal of value-based healthcare is to give patients effective treatment while integrating preventative care. Alleviating symptoms and reducing risk factors is key.

Telehealth

The global telemedicine industry is expected to surpass $130 billion by 2025. In addition to expanding access to larger populations, telemedicine provides consumers with an unmatched level of personalized care that is often difficult to replicate in a high-volume clinic.

On-demand doctors and nurses will make it easier for patients to get medical advice without facing expensive medical bills for an office visit. Reduced care coupled with greater choice for consumers will put telemedicine at the forefront of modern healthcare in the coming years.

If you worry about medical bills, you aren’t alone. The good news is that healthcare in America is changing, and more people will be able to afford care going forward than they probably ever have.

Read more about healthcare: 3 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Healthcare

How Exercise Can Help Recovery

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Exercise Can Help Recovery

If you are recovering from an illness, the recovery process can feel like an arduous one. In some cases, someone who is suffering from or recovering from a physical illness will experience depression, which can make the process more draining.

As you make progress in your recovery, exercise often can lift your mood and improve physical symptoms. Here are a few ways you can start incorporating exercise into your recovery routine.

Strengthening the Body

Often, those in recovery from a physical illness have some elements of physical weakness. If you’re recovering from physical illness, you likely need to gradually strengthen your body.

Depending on your overall condition, you may need to build up slowly with easy bike rides, walks, or gentle yoga. Plus, exercise, unless it is extreme, will generally boost your immune system.

This way, as you build up physical strength again, your body will become less susceptible to further illness as it works to fight off the remainder of your current one.

Choosing the Right Exercise

While there may be some conditions where exercise will impede your recovery, most illnesses respond well to exercise as you begin to recover. However, in order to make sure the exercise benefits you, take time to choose an exercise type based on your illness.

In cases like this, it may help to talk to your doctor to determine what form is best. For example, with an illness that has caused muscle wasting, strength training may help restore muscle mass.

If you’ve had a lung illness, a slow buildup of cardiovascular activity will recondition you and make breathing easier. If you’ve had to deal with being misdiagnosed, adjusting your routine can help speed recovery.

Medical misdiagnosis can sometimes make recovery feel frustratingly slow, especially if your condition has only worsened. But provided you choose an exercise type (or more than one) that will help you build back up from illness, exercising will still help you return to normal.

Exercising the Mind

We all know that physical illness causes physical issues, but an illness, especially if it’s prolonged and severe, also impacts the mind.

Not being able to do your favorite activities or function normally leads to feelings of isolation as well as a sense of frustration stemming from your body’s inability to work normally.

Even in perfectly healthy people, exercise has been shown to improve mental health, focus and energy. As your recovery continues, you will likely be able to expand the types of exercise you can do, as well as increase the intensity of that exercise.

Maintaining an exercise routine will help keep you mentally and physically healthier. That mental support can be an important boost for your recovery.

Recovering from an illness can cause you to focus on medical treatments and basic health above all else. As you recover, returning to normal life will likely become a welcome change.

Choosing the right exercise to do will often speed up your return to your normal activities, but it also will keep you healthier, happier, and at less risk for developing further health issues.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Ovarian Cancer

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Ovarian cancer is often difficult to diagnose in the early stages since it mimics other conditions, including stress. In addition, women often deal with abdominal pain and may miss the symptoms. The diagnosis often is not discovered until cancer has advanced, making the diagnosis more frightening and the treatment more invasive.

What Can You Take?

Lowering the number of times you ovulate can reduce your risk of ovarian cancer. This means using oral contraceptives during the time of your life when you are not considering a pregnancy, even if you are not sexually active.

If you choose to have a child, breastfeeding can reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer. If you choose to never have a child, you may be elevating your risk of developing the disease.

What to Avoid

If you have a family history of ovarian or breast cancer, there are decisions you can make early in your life that will lower your risk, such as using birth control pills to lower the number of times you ovulate over the course of your life. Maintaining a healthy weight can also reduce your risk. If you choose to have a baby, be sure to breastfeed.

As you age, avoid hormone replacement therapy and try to go through natural menopause. Natural menopause will be much easier to undergo if you can maintain a healthy weight before your hormone levels start to drop.

Get started on an exercise plan you enjoy and can sustain, as breaking into a good sweat every couple of days can lessen the severity and number of hot flashes. On a daily basis, practice safe sex and good hygiene after sex. You should know talcum powder greatly increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

Eat a Low-Fat Diet

The diet you consume can make it easier or harder for your body to overcome the damage done by toxin exposure. Focus on keeping your fat intake low, and be sure to protect your cells with colorful fruits and vegetables. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage can help your body to repair damaged cells and provide you with fiber to protect your gut.

Foods with a high level of selenium, such as tuna and shrimp, can also protect against cellular damage. If you prefer not to eat meat, pinto beans are an excellent substitute. Avoid fried, salty foods such as potato chips, and try to also keep your sugar intake low.

While omega-3 fatty acids are shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in labs, saturated fats can increase your risk of many cancers. If you notice changes in your health, such as a lot of bloating after meals or a feeling of fullness after just a few bites of food, it is a good idea to schedule a doctor’s exam.

Even after menopause is over, aging is one of the risk factors for developing ovarian cancer, so do not discount these symptoms. As with all cancers, early detection is key.

You might also like: 3 Natural Ways to Alleviate Menstrual Cramps

Be Your Healthiest You: Ways to Make Sure You’re Properly Taking Care of Your Body

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Taking care of your body

Taking care of your body, it can be easy to get bogged down by the realities of life to the point that you begin to neglect your own physical health.

However, you will feel much better and perform at higher levels of productivity if you make the effort to take care of your body.

Here are three ways that you can ensure that you are treating your body well and maximizing its full potential

Visit the Doctor Regularly

Nothing can replace quality medical care when it comes to taking care of your overall physical health.

In addition to practicing proper preventative care with your healthcare professional of choice, it’s important to schedule appointments with them whenever you’re feeling “off” or you’re experiencing symptoms that don’t resolve on their own or respond to over-the-counter medications.

It’s also important not to brush off serious injuries. According to Polito & Associates, after an accident, it’s important to seek emergency medical attention.

Although you may feel fine, some injuries and symptoms don’t show up right away, so in order to prevent further damage, it’s best to see a medical professional.

You will enjoy greater peace of mind if you get the proper attention as soon as possible.

Get Enough Sleep

It is a well-known truth that most people are not getting enough sleep. Most healthy adults need a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night, with more being preferable.

According to ResMed, getting adequate sleep at night boosts your concentration, improves your immune system, and prevents weight gain. Your mood and emotional health will also benefit from getting enough sleep each night.

While it may be tempting to try to stay up late to finish that one last task, you will be more productive the next day if you are truly rested.

If you do not allow your body the time to effectively recharge, you are more likely to get sick. You will also feel drowsy and irritable. This can lead to a downward cycle that is hard to reverse.

Hit the Gym

One of the best things that you can do for your health is to simply move. You do not need to run marathons or compete in weightlifting competitions to live your best life.

Even something as simple as going for a daily walk or bike ride can extend your lifespan and keep you feeling your best. The important thing is to move your body in meaningful ways every day.

Exercise is not an all or nothing proposition. Moderate amounts of exercise can provide significant benefits when performed consistently.

If your body is not up to heavy cardio work, you can try yoga, Pilates, and other non-impact activities. Not only will this activity boost your physical health, but it will also improve your mental and emotional health and well-being.

You only get to journey through this life once. Make the most out of your time by properly taking care of your body. Do not waste your only chance at a healthy life by not giving your body the care that it deserves.

Tips for Taking Care of Your Body When You Play Sports

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Play Sports

Playing sports is an excellent way of keeping fit and enjoying some healthy competition. However, you’ve probably heard about people who have hurt themselves while taking part in their sport or experienced related problems off the court or field. Keep reading for some ways that you can better protect your body when you’re playing sports.

Nutrition

You don’t know how much proper nutrition matters for your sports performance until you find yourself getting exhausted quickly and realizing that your poor diet is the culprit. You need to have a balanced diet and keep yourself supplied with plenty of water. Go over your typical diet, and see what’s plentiful and what needs to be included more.

You should be getting strong protein and plenty of complex carbohydrates so that you can stay strong and energized. You should also eat plenty of vegetables for vitamins and minerals. Be sure not to overload yourself to avoid getting cramps while you’re trying to play.

Gear and Equipment

The right athletic gear isn’t just about promoting the hottest sports brands. It can help to keep you from being seriously hurt. If you’re playing a contact sport like football, you need gear, like a strong helmet, to protect you.

About 1.7 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries every year, so it’s important to protect your head with the proper gear in order to prevent head injuries. If your gear is falling apart, get it replaced before your next game; faulty equipment has no place in any sort of sport.

Warming Up and Cooling Down

Your body needs time to prepare for and recover from playing sports. Warming up lets you get yourself in gear, and cooling down helps you to reclaim energy that’s been expended while competing.

Don’t treat either of these with a passive attitude; the best athletes can tell you about the importance of both habits. Before you play, stretch and make sure you’re hydrated.

Afterward, get some more food in you and consider resting for a little bit. If you’re in serious pain after playing, you may need to re-examine your warm-up routine.

Listen to Your Body

“No pain, no gain,” is an adage that should be ignored when you’re playing sports because it implies that you need to care more about victory than you do about your own health.

If you think that you need to take a break, do so. You might be feeling strain or exhaustion. You don’t need to meet any sort of criteria for being a true athlete by pushing yourself to your limit and beyond.

Sports can be a lot more fun when you know you’re taking the right measures to keep yourself safe. Winning is nice, but your protection should be a much bigger priority.

You should also make sure that your teammates and anyone else you know who plays sports is wise to these tips. It only takes one injury to significantly affect your ability to compete and enjoy other aspects of life, so put in the effort to protect yourself.
Here’s another article you might like: How to Plan the Perfect Strength Training Routine for Your Body

Diabetes Is More Dangerous Than You Think

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Measure child glucose level blood test diabetes little boy using glucometer

Diabetes may seem like a common occurrence, but that doesn’t mean this condition isn’t serious. The CDC reports as of 2017 that 9.7% of US citizens have diabetes. Fortunately, the number of new cases is going down as people are becoming aware of the dangers and causes of diabetes. If you’re not familiar with the way that diabetes can harm the entire human body, keep reading.

Diabetes Can Be Fatal

You don’t often hear about people dying from diabetes. It’s true that it is not directly fatal, but that doesn’t mean it can’t kill. Diabetes is linked to heart failure, kidney failure, and respiratory issues, all of which can end life prematurely.

Diabetes can also damage your nerves and blood vessels as well as cause a coma. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, managing the condition is important. Diabetes that is not well controlled can cause complications that have a fatal impact.

It Affects Every Part of Your Body

Diabetes lasts for a lifetime and this makes it easy for the disease to affect every part of your body. People who suffer from diabetes may have a problem with blood flow, and this can lead to the amputation of their feet.

Your pancreas and bladder can be affected, and even your skin doesn’t go unharmed. Losing fluids quickly, which high blood sugar causes, can leave your skin painfully dry. Cataracts and glaucoma, two conditions that affect the eyes, are more likely to occur if you suffer from diabetes.

The signs of diabetic eye disease can be difficult to differentiate from other eye problems. It’s important to let your eye doctor know if you have diabetes so she will be on the watch for diabetes-related eye issues.

It Can Develop Quietly

Uncontrolled diabetes is truly dangerous. When diabetes is not well managed, it wrecks your body and impacts your major organs. The problem is you can’t control diabetes if you don’t know you have it.

Though many people are under the misguided assumption that diabetes appears with a ton of symptoms, there are people who don’t experience noticeable symptoms at all. It’s important to have blood work performed on a regular basis to check for diabetes, especially if you have a family history. 

Knowing how to manage diabetes is the first step to taking control before the disease threatens your entire body. Diabetes is not an innocuous condition. However, it can be managed if you do suffer from it. Take the diagnosis seriously and do everything you can to avoid the serious consequences of uncontrolled diabetes.

Why Don’t Doctors Listen to Their Patients?

Doctors Patients

Illnesses happen to everyone—often when we least expect it. Even for healthy individuals, regular checkups with physicians are recommended. However, patients often feel as though their concerns are ignored by doctors.

Too often, people find themselves wondering why their doctors don’t listen to them. Here are some possible reasons.

They Don’t Have Enough Time

Doctors are extremely busy. Between the other patients they must see and the paperwork that’s piling up, they find themselves short on time. As such, according to CMAJ, you may find that your doctor doesn’t have the time to sit down and catch up with you.

It’s not necessarily something physicians mean to do; their schedules are just packed before their days even start. However, you can help your doctor make time for you. For example, you could prepare your concerns while you’re waiting to be called back so that you can stay on track during your appointment.

Additionally, you could try writing down everything you want to discuss before your visit. By jotting down your talking points, you and your doctor can get right to the point when you come in.

They’re Biased

Whether patients realize it, doctors are people too; they have the same thoughts and feelings everyone else does.  According to Salud America, many physicians enter the room having already formed an opinion on the patient.

Research has concluded that many doctors don’t validate complaints of pain from female patients; they take the complaints from men seriously, though. Overweight patients often feel judged, too.

African American patients are sometimes treated differently than patients of other races, as well. If you feel as though your doctor is judging you or just not listening, tell them. If there’s no improvement, you can file a complaint and find a new doctor. You are your own best advocate, and you deserve to be treated with respect.

They Don’t Want to Be Sued

According to Legally Mine Reviews, more than one in three physicians has had a medical liability lawsuit filed against them at some point in their careers. Physicians have to be careful when considering how to provide the best care for you.

In short, they don’t want to perform a risky procedure or treatment that you may regret and seek legal compensation for. It’s never fair to sue a doctor for having your best interests at heart, but miscommunication makes these things happen.

If you ever feel as though you’re being treated less than stellar, always seek a second opinion.

The doctor-patient relationship can be a strong one. Never settle for a doctor you don’t mesh with. If your provider doesn’t listen, find a new one. Your healthcare is important, so it’s vital that you do all you can to find a doctor that best suits your needs.

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