Archive for July, 2012

Climb Your Way To Health-Stair Climbing Can Be the Elixir of Good Health

July 30, 2012

Too busy to work out? Don’t have a nearby gym to join? Don’t have work out clothing? These are just a few of the excuses people give for not exercising. Let the truth be told: you don’t need to join a gym or even change into exercise clothes to have access to a fine piece of exercise equipment located in your building, your apartment or in the mall. Climbing stairs regularly can improve your cardiovascular fitness and strength.

Climbing stairs, especially if you take two at a time, is an excellent aerobic activity. This gives your heart and circulatory system a quick work out.

Begin with 25 steps and gradually increase the number you climb. You will be limited initially by shortness of breadth. As you increase the number of stairs you will find that you have a burn in your quads or the muscles of your thighs.

Don’t think that going down the stairs is a good cardiovascular workout. Nothing wrong with going down the stairs, but the workout is not nearly as effective as going up the stairs. Also, going down the stairs places more stress on your knees.

Bottom Line: A man’s health can be judged by what he takes two at a time–pills or stairs. You can get into good shape by doing away with the elevator and start walking up the stairs…two at a time! Your heart, lungs and vascular system will thank you.

Putting a Lid On Your Hypertension

July 29, 2012

An alarming one in three American adults has high blood pressure. Known medically as hypertension, many people don’t even know they have it, because high blood pressure has no symptoms or warning signs. But when elevated blood pressure is accompanied by abnormal cholesterol and blood sugar levels, the damage to your arteries, kidneys, and heart accelerates exponentially. Fortunately, high blood pressure is easy to detect and treat. Sometimes people can keep blood pressure in a healthy range simply by making lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, increasing activity, and eating more healthfully.

Maintaining a healthy blood pressure is vital for good health. Keeping yours below 120/80 is the ideal goal for dodging a host of afflictions, including heart disease, kidney failure, and, yes, even erectile dysfunction.
But about half of all Americans with high blood pressure (hypertension) have not reached their goals, reports the July 2012 issue of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch.
Many men can improve their health with lifestyle changes such as weight loss, decreasing the salt intake in their diet, and a good dose of daily exercise.
One of the easiest ways to decrease your blood pressure with almost immediate results is to reduce your salt intake. Salt holds more water in the body and increases the work on the heart to pump the extra water load. The medically proven DASH diet keeps sodium to 2,300 milligrams per day (about one teaspoon of salt). Cutting it to 1,500—not easy, but doable—works even better. The DASH diet can lower your systolic pressure (upper number) by 10 points or more. The DASH diet eating plan has been proven to lower blood pressure in studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. In addition to being a low salt (or low sodium) plan, the DASH diet provides additional benefits to reduce blood pressure. It is based on an eating plan rich in fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or non-fat dairy, with whole grains. It is a high fiber, low to moderate fat diet, rich in potasium, calcium, and magnesium.
A second suggestion is to check your blood pressure in your home and not in the doctor’s office. Blood pressure tends to rise a few points when it is taken in the doctor’s office. We even have a name for this slight elevation: white coat hypertension. Checking blood pressure at home with an appropriate device can give you instant feedback on the benefits of diet and exercise and give you a more accurate picture of your blood pressure.
Limit your alcohol intake. Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure. For men, the suggested limit is one to two alcoholic drinks per day, defined as 1.5 ounces (1 shot glass) of 80-proof spirits, a 5-ounce serving of wine, or a 12-ounce serving of beer. (For women it’s no more than one drink a day.)
Take more meds if you need to—but take the right ones. Many people who are already taking one or two hypertension medications ultimately come into control only when taking three or even four medications. But they need to be the right drugs. Your doctor should combine medications that work to lower blood pressure in different ways.

Bottom Line: Blood pressure is a silent killer and can affect more than your heart. This can be controlled with life style changes and when this is ineffective, then medication prescribed by your doctor can help.

Internet medications-You Get What You Pay For

July 25, 2012

Internet ordered Viagra is rarely genuine. The active ingredient concentration of the Internet ordered Viagra was 30% to 50% of the label claim, and of the 4 online pharmacies claiming to be Canadian, none ship their medication from Canada. If you decide to order your medications online, you need to be aware that you may be getting an inferior product. Caveat emptor – let the buyer beware.

Viagra From Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

Secondhand smoke may be a risk factor for children’s bladder irritation

July 25, 2012

Parents smoke may be putting her children at greater risk for bladder irritation. Research from the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey surveyed children from age 4-17. All the children had symptoms of bladder irritation, such as frequency and urgency of urination,. Those with more significant urinary symptoms were more likely to have consistent exposure to secondhand smoke. Of these children, 23% had a mother who smoked and 50% were regularly exposed to secondhand smoke while riding in a car. If you are looking for another reason to begin a smoking cessation program, think about the health of your children and its impact on their bladder.

Prevent Cancer Recurrence-Eat Right and Exercise a Lot

July 25, 2012

A recent study from Ccancer Journal for Clinicians (April 26, 2012) indicated that prostate cancer patients and those with other forms of cancer should maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and each a healthy diet in order to decrease the risk of recurrence.  Strong evidence shows that both healthy diet and exercise can prevent cancers from recurring.  So if you have cancer and our recovering from cancer surgery, radiation or chemotherapy you need to be plenty of fruits and vegetables, decrease your consumption of red meat, limit your carbohydrate intake, and exercise at least 20 minutes a day 4 days a week.

 

Prevent Cancer Recurrence-Eat Right and Exercise a Lot

July 25, 2012

A recent study from Ccancer Journal for Clinicians (April 26, 2012) indicated that prostate cancer patients and those with other forms of cancer should maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and each a healthy diet in order to decrease the risk of recurrence.  Strong evidence shows that both healthy diet and exercise can prevent cancers from recurring.  So if you have cancer and our recovering from cancer surgery, radiation or chemotherapy you need to be plenty of fruits and vegetables, decrease your consumption of red meat, limit your carbohydrate intake, and exercise at least 20 minutes a day 4 days a week.

 

Sit Down and Die Early or Get Up And Add Years to Your Life

July 16, 2012

A sedentary lifestyle can not only impact your quality of life but can shorten it as well. Americans have moved from the rural areas and the farm to urban environments which are accompanied by prolonged sitting. Sitting for long periods leads to clogging of the blood vessels, heart disease, kidney disease and even early demise. A simple solution is to get off of the chair and move around even if you have a sedentary job and lifestyle. This blog will review the evidence for more exercise and less sitting down.

A study from the British Journal of Medicine points out that the population life expectancy in the U.S. would be 2 years higher if adults reduced their time spent sitting to less than 3 hours a day and 1.38 years higher if they reduced television viewing to less than 2 hours a day. Cutting time spent sitting down could increase life expectancy by up to 2 years, a life table analysis showed.

Limiting time watching television to less than 2 hours a day added 1.38 years of life, and cutting total sitting time to less than 3 hours a day increased life expectancy by 2 full years.
They noted, however, a number of mechanisms that could explain the association of sedentary behaviors and mortality, including increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. I also think it is possible that it is very easy to down a few beers and a bag of potato chips or a pint of ice cream while watching T.V. for 3 hours a day. You all know what that kind of nutrition can lead to. Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and obesity, all of which lead to increased time in the doctor’s office and in the hospital with a shortened life expectancy.
Bottom Line: Doctors need to walk the talk and start walking the walk, i.e., get up and get moving. We need to set and example and get up off the sofa at the end of the day, turn off the T.V. and turn the couch potato into a fit, healthy and energetic care provider.

Primary source: Katzmarzyk PT, Lee IM “Sedentary behaviour and life expectancy in the U.S.A.: a cause-deleted life table analysis” BMJ Open 2012; DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-000828.

Summary of Life

July 13, 2012

I received this in a recent Email and would like to pass it along to my fellow bloggers.

GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:
1) No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
3) If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8) You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9) Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10) The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandma’s lap.

GREAT TRUTHS THAT ADULTS HAVE LEARNED:
1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don’t hurt.
3) Families are like fudge…mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.
5) Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT GROWING OLD
1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional…
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you’re down there.
4) You’re getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It’s frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

THE FOUR STAGES OF LIFE:
1) You believe in Santa Claus.
2) You don’t believe in Santa Claus.
3) You are Santa Claus.
4) You look like Santa Claus.

SUCCESS:

At age 4 success is . . . Not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . Having friends.
At age 17 success is . . Having a driver’s license.
At age 35 success is . . Having money.
At age 50 success is . . Having money..
At age 70 success is . . Having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . Having friends.
At age 80 success is . . Not piddling in your pants.

Hair Today, Sex Gone Tomorrow-Sexual Side Effects Of Propecia

July 13, 2012

Would You Rather Be Bald Or Impotent?

For more than 15 years Propecia (finasteride) has been prescribed for men for treating male pattern baldness. Now new research documented that the drug is associated with sexual side effects including erectile dysfunction (ED), decrease in libido, and decrease in orgasms. This article will discuss the new research and what you need to know if you are taking or planning to take Propecia.

Male Pattern Baldness

Researchers from George Washington University interviewed 54 men under age 40 who reported side effects for three months or more after taking Propecia. None of the men reported having any sexual, medical or psychiatric problems before they took the drug. Some of the men took the drug for a few weeks, others took it for years, but all of them reported side effects such as erectile dysfunction, decreased sexual drive, problems with orgasms, shrinking and painful genitals, even some neurological problems, such as depression, anxiety and mental fogginess. The side effects lasted for up to a year after stopping the use of Propecia.

In normal men testosterone is converted to DHT and the DHT is responsible for male pattern hair loss. Propecia works by blocking the conversion of testosterone into DHT. Initially finasteride, the active ingredient in Propecia, was originally developed in 1992 by drug giant Merck as a treatment for men with enlarged prostate glands and sold as the drug Proscar. Propecia was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1997, and at that time Merck noted that a few men reported sexual side effects during clinical trials of the drug.

In 2011, the FDA mandated a label change for Propecia and Proscar, the drug used to treat benign enlargement of the prostate gland, warning that some patients reported erectile dysfunction that lasted after patients stopped taking it; in April, the agency updated the label to include reports of libido, ejaculation and orgasm disorders.
But researchers say many physicians who prescribe finasteride are likely not aware that the side effects of the drug may haunt patients for years.

So what should a young man with early hair loss do?
First, more research will likely be needed before doctors can know for sure that the symptoms are completely attributed to the drug. At the present time doctors have no way of knowing which patients will suffer the long-term side effects. It’s possible that an unknown genetic factor drives how individual men respond to the drug.

Erectile dysfunction is more than just testosterone. There are so many things that go into the male erectile response. You have to be very careful before you attribute it to one cause, like Propecia.

Although there are doctors who would not advise men to take this drug to treat a cosmetic problem like hair loss, many physicians continue to prescribe Propecia.

Bottom Line: I think each man needs to have a discussion with his physician about the sexual side effects of Propecia before taking the medication. After all the FDA said only 36 of 945 men who took Propecia in clinical trials reported any adverse sexual side effects. The number of men who will experience these long-lasting side effects is relatively small, likely around 3 percent of all men who take the drug. Between ED and baldness-I’d rather pass on both problems!

Fido Fetch-But Don’t Bring Me With Any Diseases

July 12, 2012

A dog may be a man or woman’s best friend but they can also give you diseases that make can make you very sick. There are a few diseases that pets can get and give to humans. These are called zoonotic diseases. And it’s important for pet owners to know about these potential risks, so you can take precautions to make sure your household is protected. This article will review seven diseases that animals can transmit to humans and what you can do to prevent these pet to human transmissions.

Pets That Can Transmit Diseases To Humans

Round Worms
Round worms are a parasite that most household pets will have at some point in life. The worms live in their intestines, and pets typically have them as puppies or kittens. These worms lay eggs that are then deposited in the soil when your pet defecates. People are infected with round worms through accidental ingestion. Preventing round worm infections includes deworming your pet at a young age and performing periodic stool checks during the year. Also many heartworm preventatives are very good dewormers. So monthly treatment for heartworms is important for avoiding round worms, as well.

Hookworms
Hookworms are another parasitic intestinal worm of dogs and cats that can infect humans. They can be found in the soil or sand where an infected dog has defecated. The larvae can migrate through skin and cause a painful skin rash in humans. Routine stool checks on your pet and good hygiene is the best way to avoid getting this parasite.

Giardia
Giardia is the mostly commonly diagnosed parasitic disease for people in the US. It is also an intestinal parasite that dogs and cats can have and give to humans. Typically transmitted through contaminated water, it causes chronic diarrhea that can last from one week to several months. Giardia can also be more severe and cause a skin rash and joint swelling. This is a parasite we are finding more and more often in pets, especially in puppies and kittens. Again, regular hand washing, good hygiene, and routine fecal examinations of your pet can help reduce the spread.

Lyme disease
Lyme disease, or Borrelia burgdorferi, is spread by ticks and can cause rash, headaches, and muscle pains. It can also move through the body and cause more wide spread problems in the joints and other organs. You’re more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend time in grassy and heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying the disease thrive.
If you’re treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of the disease, you’re likely to recover completely. In later stages, response to treatment may be slower, but the majority of people with Lyme disease recover completely with appropriate treatment.

You should be especially vigilant after spending time in wooded or grassy areas. Deer ticks are often no bigger than the head of a pin, so you may not discover them unless you search carefully. It’s helpful to shower as soon as you come indoors. Showering and using a washcloth may be enough to remove any unattached ticks.
Be careful when removing an offending tick attached to your skin. Gently grasp the tick near its head or mouth with a tweezer. Don’t squeeze or crush the tick, but pull carefully and steadily. Once you’ve removed the entire tick, apply antiseptic to the bite area.

Ringworm
Ringworm is not really a worm at all, but rather a fungal infection that causes a circular-like lesion on the skin. Dogs and cats can have ringworm and can also be carriers that give it to you. Ringworm in people causes an itchy, flaky skin rash.

Leptospirosis
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that causes liver and kidney failure in pets, and can also infect humans. It is spread through the urine of infected animals and can live in water and soil for long periods of time. There is a vaccine for Leptospirosis, but it may not completely protect your pet. So be sure to talk with your veterinarian to determine if this vaccine is necessary.

Rabies
Rabies is the most dangerous zoonotic disease that we have encountered so far. It is a virus that causes neurological problems and that can be transmitted by dogs, cats, and animals in the wild. If a human is infected and not treated, they rarely survive. The vaccine for rabies is very effective at preventing this disease, and keeping your pets vaccinated is vital. We vaccinate dogs and cats as a way to not only protect them from rabies, but to also keep humans safe from this deadly virus.

Of course, there are more zoonotic diseases than just the ones listed above. But the best way to protect yourself and your family is to be educated about them, use good hygiene, and have regular conversations with your veterinarian about how to keep your pets safe and disease-free.

Bottom Line: Pets are adorable and often make loving companions for adults and children. However, these pets can be vehicles for transmitting diseases to their human owners and their families. Have you animal checked by your vet on a regular basis is the best way to prevent these illnesses and diseases.