When We Tell Stories, People Listen: Live Healthy Longer

The Secret to Well-Being

“Triumphs of Experience” by George E. Vaillant published four years ago, is an interesting read on the longest longitudinal study of human development beginning in 1938. The study was led by psychiatrist & Harvard professor, Robert Waldinger.

 

At a time when many people around the world are living into their tenth decade, the longest longitudinal study of human development ever undertaken offers some welcome news for the new old age: our lives continue to evolve in our later years, and often become more fulfilling than before.

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Begun in 1938, the Grant Study of Adult Development charted the physical and emotional health of over 200 men, starting with their undergraduate days.

Co-workers laughing together
Co-workers laughing together

The now-classic Adaptation to Life reported on the men’s lives up to age 55 and helped us understand adult maturation. Now George Vaillant follows the men into their nineties, documenting for the first time what it is like to flourish far beyond conventional retirement.

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Reporting on all aspects of male life, including relationships, politics and religion, coping strategies, and alcohol use (its abuse being by far the greatest disruptor of health and happiness for the study’s subjects), Triumphs of Experience shares a number of surprising findings.

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Kids gym class and excercise in gymnasium

While the study confirms that recovery from a lousy childhood is possible, memories of a happy childhood are a lifelong source of strength.

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Physical aging after 80 is determined less by heredity than by habits formed prior to age 50.

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The credit for growing old with grace and vitality, it seems, goes more to ourselves than to our stellar genetic makeup.

 

Cover: Triumphs of Experience in PAPERBACK

Triumphs of Experience

The Men of the Harvard Grant Study

George E. Vaillant, M.D. determined your relationships are the most important single thing in your well-being.” The author adds, “It’s been gratifying to find support for something as sentimental as love.”

 

The Harvard Grant Study is the longest scientific study of male development and adjustment to life. It began in 1938 and is still active today, 79 years later.

 

Listed below are 10 findings:

  • A long-time love relationshipThe most important contributor to joy and success in adult life is love, and the second greatest contributor is the individual’s involuntary coping styles.
  • What goes right in childhood predicts the future far better than what goes wrong. A warm childhood predicts joy and success in adult life.
  • The capacity for intimate relationships predicts flourishing in all aspects of men’s lives.
     
  • Marriages become happier after age 70.
  • Alcoholism was the most important factor in divorces.
  • As men approach old age, their boyhood relationships with their mothers were associated with their effectiveness at work, continuing to work until age 70, and late-life income. Men’s warm relationships with their fathers (but not with mothers) seem to enhance their capacity to play. Good father-son relationships predicted subjective life satisfaction at age 75.
  • After age 40, IQ does not count for much.
  • Men’s military rank once discharged from WWII was significantly correlated with a cohesive home atmosphere in childhood and warm relationships with mother and siblings. Body build, parental social class, endurance on a treadmill, and IQ were not associated with attained military rank in any way.
  • Of the 26 personality traits assessed when the men were in college, the one called Practical, Organized best predicted objective mental health at ages 30 through 50.
  • Men who live to be 100 years old are usually pretty active at age 95.
     

Study Details:

The study conducted an in-depth examination of the lives of 268 Harvard University sophomore men (classes of 1942, ‘43, and ‘44) commencing at age 19 and following participants to the end of their lives. Some are still alive. They include blue-collar workers, professors, artists, and a former U.S. president. The purpose of the Study was to “transcend medicine’s usual occupation with pathology by learning something about optimum health and potential, and the conditions that promote them.” The study has uncovered clear predictors of physical and psychological health of men.

Vaillant joined the study as head researcher 45 years ago when he was only 32 years old. As he notes throughout the book, this study is a telescope of sorts: it has gathered valuable insights that suggest the variables that predict success and optimum health of men. The variables studied were diverse and included (but are not limited to) childhood environment, genetics, maturation, work, alcohol use and abuse, coping styles, marriage, and social support.

Researchers also conducted interviews with three generations of relatives. As you can imagine, 75+ years, 268 men, information from their relatives, and thorough objective psychosocial and biomedical health data have generated a vast reservoir of information about the antecedents of optimum health and success for men.

The Gift of Longitudinal Prospective Research

The Grant Study employed a longitudinal prospective design in which participants continue to be followed in real time, information is collected on numerous variables of interest as their lives progress, and outcomes are identified as they occur.

This is unlike retrospective designs in which the outcomes are known before the variables are identified, which can lead to errors in distinguishing between causes and correlations.

In prospective longitudinal research, the outcomes and what led to them are documented throughout the person’s life. Researchers can look at behavior in-the-moment, which makes it easier to see what predicts future behaviors. The dynamic resource of information gives context to the outcomes.

 

A Glimpse Into the Findings

The entire list of interesting discoveries documented in this book is much too long to encompass in a short review, but I’ll share a few captivating teasers.

The men supplied thorough information about their biomedical and psychosocial health. A few of the biomedical variables were EEG, scrotum length, and blood pressure.

Some aspects of psychosocial health were childhood experiences, first marriages, divorces, second marriages, lost loves, first jobs, active duty in WWII, volunteer work, friends, children, grandchildren, psychological difficulties, being institutionalized for major disorders, and alcoholism, as well as participants’ greatest regrets and joys.

In line with the study’s purpose, the book describes Vaillant’s Decathlon of Flourishing. The Decathlon is a set of 10 accomplishments in late life that covered many different facets of success.

Examples include good subjective and objective physical and mental health at age 80, being in a good marriage between ages 60 and 85, and being close to kids between ages 60 and 75. He wanted to see how and if these accomplishments correlated with three predictor variables:

  1. Physical constitution

  2. Social advantage

  3. A loving childhood

These three variables often showed to have very significant associations with late-life success, as researchers processed the goldmine of valuable information, with the most important being:

 LOVE

Triumphs of Experience

The Men of the Harvard Grant Study

82-Year-Old Woman Reverses Dementia

Sylvia reversed her dementia by changing the foods she eats and making other changes

This is a story worth repeating because these statistics are alarming.

An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2019

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Last year, an 82-year-old woman who suffered from dementia, who couldn’t recognize her own son, miraculously got her memory back after changing her diet.

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This is exactly what Dr. Daniel Amen recently talked about on a recent episode of Late Night Health with Mark Alyn. Your brain needs nourishment with good food, beverages, sleep and exercise to function at its best today, tomorrow and in the future.

Dementia is not a natural part of aging, nor is Alzheimer’s. And it can be reversed.

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Dr. Dean Ornish and his wife Anne also talked to Oprah on Soul Sunday about how what foods you eat and lifestyle changes can reverse chronic disease like heart disease. His book, “UnDo It!” talks about how simple lifestyle changes can reverse most chronic diseases.

This 82-year-old woman reversed her dementia by changing her food and lifestyle.

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When his mother’s condition became so severe  for her own safety she had to be kept in the hospital, Mark Hatzer almost came to terms with losing another parent.

Sylvia had lost her memory and parts of her mind, she had even phoned the police once accusing the nurse who were caring for her of kidnap.

A change in diet, which was comprised of high amounts of blueberries and walnuts, has proven to have had a strong impact on Sylvia’s condition that her recipes are now being shared by the Alzheimer’s Society.

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Sylvia also began incorporating other health foods, including broccoli, kale, spinach, sunflower seeds, green tea, oats, sweet potatoes and even dark chocolate with a high percentage of cacao. All of these foods are known to be beneficial for brain health.

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Mark and Sylvia devised to diet together after deciding that the medication on its own was not enough, they looked into the research showing that rates of dementia are much lower in Mediterranean countries and copied a lot of their eating habits.

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According to Mirror.co.uk

Mark, whose brother Brent also died in 1977, said: “When my mum was in hospital she thought it was a hotel – but the worst one she had ever been in.

“She didn’t recognise me and phoned the police as she thought she’d been kidnapped.

“Since my dad and brother died we have always been a very close little family unit, just me and my mum, so for her to not know who I was was devastating.

“We were a double act that went everywhere together. I despaired and never felt so alone as I had no other family to turn to.

“Overnight we went from a happy family to one in crisis.

“When she left hospital, instead of prescribed medication we thought we’d perhaps try alternative treatment.

“In certain countries Alzheimer’s is virtually unheard of because of their diet.

“Everyone knows about fish but there is also blueberries, strawberries, Brazil nuts and walnuts – these are apparently shaped like a brain to give us a sign that they are good for the brain.”

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There were also some cognitive exercises that Mark and his mother would do together like jigsaw puzzles crosswords and meeting people in social situations, Sylvia would also exercise by using a pedaling device outfitted for her chair.

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Mark said, “It wasn’t an overnight miracle, but after a couple of months she began remembering things like birthdays and was becoming her old self again, more alert, more engaged..

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“People think that once you get a diagnosis your life is at an end. You will have good and bad days, but it doesn’t have to be the end. For an 82-year-old she does very well, she looks 10 years younger and if you met her you would not know she had gone through all of this.

“She had to have help with all sorts of things, now she is turning it around. We are living to the older age in this country, but we are not necessarily living healthier.”

The Body’s Ability To Heal Is Greater Than Anyone Has Permitted You To Believe

This story just goes to show how resilient our bodies really are if given the right environment. Most of these types of diseases are often related to diet in the first place so that means that they can indeed be reversed with a proper diet.

Sure, some of them are genetic and you might be a carrier of the gene, but that is not a guarantee that it will become active, there are things you can do to minimize the risk.

Our health is our greatest wealth. We have to realize that we do have a say in our lives and what our fate is.

“We now show that some of the highest levels of aluminium ever measured in human brain tissue are found in individuals who have died with a diagnosis of familial Alzheimer’s disease.” -Professor Exley

Please share this article with anyone you know who knows someone who is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s.

For more visit: https://www.collective-evolution.com

Alzheimer’s-like symptoms reversed in mice thanks to special diet of green tea and carrots that restored working memory

  • Researchers fed some mice genetically programmed to develop Alzheimer’s a diet with EGCG, found in green tea, and FA, found in carrots
    CARROTS

  • EGCG is an antioxidant that prevents free radicals from forming and FA is best known for its benefits for the skin
    tea

  • After three months, mice fed this diet had memory and visual-spatial skills restored and could find their way out of a maze as well as healthy mice
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  • Scientists say it seems the compounds help prevent proteins from forming clumps on the brain and causing cognitive decline

A diet with compounds found in green tea and carrots reversed Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in new experiments, a new study suggests.

CARROTS

Researchers say that mice genetically programmed to develop the disease had memory and visual-spatial skills restored and could find their way out of a maze just as well as healthy mice.

The team, from the University of Southern California, note that it’s possible the discoveries made in the rodents may not be able to be replicated in humans.

However, they add that the findings could lead to plant-based supplements being used in combination with drugs to prevent or slow down dementia symptoms.

A new study from the University of Southern California found that mice fed a diet with compounds found in green tea and carrots had their memory and visual-spatial skills restored (file image)

 

Please check prior blog for safe tea brands that do not contain plastic.

 

An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s disease in 2019

 

 

 

4 Healthy Ways To Deal With Anxiety

tea1Everyone gets anxiety. It’s when you worry about something in the future, which let’s face it, can be tomorrow. A meeting, an interview, an exam, a commute, the weather…so much to worry about, right?  Wrong.

STOP those thoughts from spiraling because you’ve no control of tomorrow.

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You have THIS moment. Make it a HEALTHY ONE. Repeat that. STAY in the NOW.

Number ONE: Exercise daily. Don’t make excuses like rich people have a personal trainer.

When I was a kid I was influenced by one man I saw on TV. He had nothing, except ONE chair beside him. I was in the first grade when I first saw him.

His name was Jack La Lanne.  He spoke about the benefits of daily exercise. I listened. Kids brains are like sponges. Mine absorbed his message. His message is still true.

It is proven your brain benefits at the 45-minute mark. So, if you’re feeling anxious it may be a signal from your body or brain that you need to move.

Look at all the benefits you get simply from walking.  Best part? Do it anywhere.

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And stay hydrated. Drink water, even when you’re not thirsty. Look at all the benefits of staying hydrated in the photo below.

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When people tell me they get headaches, the first thing I ask is how much water they drink. Most say none.

Well, that’s why you have a headache. Most tell me they drink coffee, which DE-HYRDRATES. Your brain needs water.

Your doctor in a rush to get his or her next patient will be too quick to give you pills for headaches or migraines before even asking you this simple question.

If you are prone to headaches –you need to check how much water you should be drinking (use search in my blog to find that) daily and do that. Your headaches will probably magically disappear. You’re welcome.

The times you need to visit a Physician is when you’re doing everything right and you’re still experiencing some sort of pain.

But if you’re not doing the basics of self-care, then you need to make a LIFESTYLE change first to find out if that’s what’s causing your pain. We were created to be healthy and feel good, but we need to take care of ourselves. Here’s that photo magnified.

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Speaking of sweat, if you can get to a SAUNA after you exercise, even better. If not, no worries. Can’t get to a sauna?  Take a long hot shower or hot bubble bath with Epsom salt afterwards. They now make Epson salt with bubbles.

Try Dr. Teal’s. It contains Magnesium, which can only be absorbed through the skin. CVS sells it. It costs about six dollars. Smells nice too. Like lavender. It’s usually near the soap section. A lot of people lack Magnesium.

Remember, the second you start to feel anxious get up, DRINK WATER, STRETCH, BREATHE and MOVE.  Drink water, even when you’re not thirsty. Go for a walk.

photography of a man drinking water
Photo by Thomas Chauke on Pexels.com

WALK. WALK BRISKLY and TAKE DEEP BREATHES (BREATHE IN…AND HOLD FOR 4 SEC. AND breathe out slowly) until the feeling passes. It will.  You can do this anywhere, even in a tiny room. Stand up. STRETCH AND HOLD. Then, walk. Every cell in your brain and body benefits when you do this. Don’t focus on what you were worried about. Instead, repeat the words “You can do it…” while breathing. Yes, you CAN walk off anxiety.

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Number TWO:  Take a good look in your refrigerator and pantry. Toss out the garbage. You don’t need me to tell you what’s garbage. Sugar, soda, junk food, processed foods, white bread, alcohol, cookies, cake, donuts, potato chips.

NOW replace those things with healthy go-to items like alkaline water, almonds, walnuts, blueberries, strawberries, greek yogurt without sugar in lieu of ice-cream or cottage cheese, veggie sticks instead of regular chips, cook veggies in olive oil and garlic, green tea.

Veggie sticks are so yummy I regret blogging about them because like everything else I blog about –it’s suddenly SOLD OUT on store shelves the next day.

I’ve blogged about emotional eating in the past and which foods to reach for when you feel a certain emotion because having different emotions are part of being a human being. Don’t let anyone numb them with pills.

The healthiest thing you can do is try all the good stuff first, because the good stuff works.

The good stuff is what they mean when they say the proof is in the pudding.

 

Proven healthy lifestyles are proven time and time again from centenarians and those of us who are healthy.

If someone gets through their 40’s and 50’s feeling great with natural energy and no prescription medications they are doing something right.

Unfortunately, there are males and females in their 20’s and 30’s who still think how they look, even if it’s through plastic surgery, or extreme dieting, makes them healthy. Health magazines (which I no longer buy) fuel this misinformation by placing these cropped top people on their covers. That’s insecurity, folks.

The good news is what it means to really be healthy is rising above all that noise.

As I predicted decades ago, the world has shifted conscientiousness regarding health. Take a look at this circle. There’s no bikini in it. There are no six or twelve pack abs for men.

HEALTH comes from inside and it doesn’t need external approval.

There is no longer any denying how interconnected the following are:

 

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Every generation goes through the same feelings as the one before them, so it’s time to start educating ourselves on how to LIVE HEALTHY and PREVENT ILLNESS while living in a crazy world.  Even if we live in a healthy bubble and try to shield ourselves from all the craziness –there is no escaping it. Even family members, friends, partner, colleagues, boss, kids, parents, strangers driving near you on the road  can infiltrate your peace. You can’t control that.

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The healthiest advice anyone can give you is DON’T REACT. The calm one is the healthy one.  Did someone less qualified get a position you earned, because they’re related to or know someone? Don’t react. Don’t despair.  Didn’t close a deal when something less deserving did? Same thing. It may make you angry. You’ll want to grab a bag of chips or drown your sorrows in ice cream.

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Keep your pantry or refrigerator stocked with healthy stuff you can grab instead. A bag of cherries, a large bowl of blueberries or those veggie sticks I told you about earlier.  You can snack on a ginormous bowl of these thing and not be left feeling even worse afterwards, as you will with regular chips and junk food.

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Number THREE: Turn off TV. Get out in nature instead or read a good book. I’ve been reading a book a day since I was a kid. I thought everyone did until my younger brother laughed and said I was crazy and people are lucky if they read one a year.

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Fine.  Then, make it one positive book a year.

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Keep that ONE book on your nightstand and reread it when you need inspiration. For non-readers I recommend you start with, “The 7 Laws of Spiritual Success” by Deepak Chopra. I used to give them out as gifts. Little gem of a book. Then, get “The Four Agreements.” These are 2 books you can re-read during stressful times.

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My book, “Healthy Within” is one every celebrity who writes a Tell All Memoir should read. The reason is I never mention my ex’s name, or what actually happened. No details. Why? That part is not important. That part is no one’s business. What’s important is how to get through anything that at the time feels like a personal or professional tsunami.

That is the HEAL part in HEALthy. Other than that, it’s tabloid toxicity.

When you’re blaming someone else or pointing out all of your ex’s flaws, people reading it are actually cringing.  No one wants someone in they’re in an intimate relationship with to write a kiss and tell, so to speak.  There are two people in a relationship or marriage. Two.

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Advice to Demi.  Let.It.Go

I don’t know who advised her to write this in the first place. It feels like something that should have never been made public. When someone is in the public eye and they reveal they were someone entirely different than we believed them to be –it feels like WE were lied to and betrayed. So, I felt more let down from who I thought Demi Moore was than anything having to do with Ashton. Even when the other person betrays you it’s enough to know it was a betrayal –we don’t need details, thank you.  I would have passed on this book. I’m an avid reader and have zero desire to buy it.

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Back to self-care. Fuel your body and brain daily with nutritious foods. What does healthy food look like? Here are a few visuals.

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And do not forget how important SLEEP is…

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NUMBER FOUR: REST. NAP. SLEEP. Allow your brain and body to shut down and reset itself just like you do when your computer has lost it’s charge or starts acting up.  Shut it down. Anyone who brags about only getting or needing little sleep isn’t healthy. Every cell in your brain and body is created to regenerate and health itself, but you need to sleep and shut it down in order for it to do what it does naturally. It’s called Beauty Sleep for a reason.

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I’ve blogged about foods that help you sleep. If you’re a late-nigh snacker keep bananas, cottage cheese, blueberries and a bag of cherries in your pantry, along with decaf organic tea. Turn off all electronics 2 hours before a set time. Keep the room you sleep in a little chilly. Wear eye shades. Take that hot bath with lavender and you will crash naturally.

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If you are on any type of anti-anxiety or depression medication it needs to be under the supervision of a physician, who should ONLY prescribe TEMPORARY low-dose if you are in crisis mode, say after the death of a loved one or other tragedy. It needs to be in combination with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, fancy word for Talk Therapy, to taper you off prescribed medication.

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It’s not dealing with what is causing your anxiety or depression. What’s causing it is change and stress from it. That change can come from work, finances, seasons, relationships, age, moving, parenthood –anything in life.

That’s why it’s natural and you need to LEARN healthy coping mechanisms for LIFE. Having a trusted confidante in life to go through ups and downs also helps keep your brain and body in top form.

Healthy relationships are a wonderful buffer against daily stressors in life. It’s having someone in your life to talk to, bounce ideas off of and be there during good times and bad. Healthy relationships proven to be a positive  constant in a sea of change. Positive because healthy relationships release all the feel good chemicals and hormones in your body and brain. Love releases oxytocin. When you have LOVE and commitment everything is less stressful.

So what do you do when you don’t have a trusted hand to hold during it all?

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Revert to the Four Tips solo, because HEALTHY attracts HEALTHY. Be your best you in mind, body and spirit.  Work on healing any past hurts. Put them in the past. Forgive. Move on. YOU need to BE that which you want to attract. Think about that. You want a healthy, intelligent, kind, independent, fun, supportive, honest, loving, faithful, committed, loyal, trustworthy partner?

BE that.

Photo by Rosie Ann on Pexels.com

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When your friends and the people you surround yourself with are healthy –you’ll learn healthy coping mechanisms, even through observing their habits. HealthDay

HealthyHalloween

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Post note: I love tea and have blogged about the benefits of tea and my favorites in the past. USA Today and Washington Post now says tea bags contain plastic and that it is toxic. I cut right to the bottom to find out which brands contain plastic bags because not all of them do. Here are brands to avoid.

Mostly, it’s those cute triangle bags. Apparently, it looks like they are made out of paper, but it’s plastic that holds them together. They are cute. Recently, a restaurant served me on that looked was so cute. I commented asking how it was held together Now we know.

Avoid brands in RED

“So which tea bags contain plastic?

Brands that use plastic sealants include Tetley, Twinings’ ‘heat-sealed’ and ‘string and tag’ ranges, Yorkshire Tea and some Aldi tea bags.

Co-Op and PG Tips have all switched to 100% compostable bags.

Abel & Cole and Teapigs using plant-based SoilOn and Clipper makes a plastic-free teabag made from bananas, while some Tetley and Twinings ranges are biodegradable.

But if you want to be absolutely sure your tea is plastic free, loose leaves are the best way to go.”       [Source: USA Today, September 2019]

It’s not all tea and it’s not all brands, so get past their hype to the facts. Then, get back to:

Remember, when you have a bad day, week, month or year –don’t call it a bad life. Think of it as a bad season, like leaves falling off a branch in Fall. What do you need for leaves to grow back?  Oxygen, water, nourishment, sunshine. Nourish yourself every day and your leaves will return one day at a time. You got this!

Stay healthy!

blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

Most Chronic Pain Caused By Inactivity

Relationship Between Chronic Pain and Inactivity: The Disuse Syndrome

If you suffer from chronic pain of almost any type, you are at risk for developing a physical “disuse” syndrome.

Back Muscles

Muscles will get smaller and weaker if you don’t use them, which can add to back pain.

See Exercise and Back Pain

What is disuse syndrome?

Basically, it describes the effects on the body and mind when a person is sedentary.

Disuse syndrome was first characterized around 1984 and, since that time, has received much attention in relation to back pain problems, other chronic pain disorders, and other illnesses. It has been generalized beyond chronic pain problems and some feel it is related to “the base of much human ill-being.”

See Depression and Chronic Back Pain

The disuse syndrome is caused by physical inactivity and is fostered by our sedentary society.

Back Muscles

Muscle wasting and chronic pain can be mitigated by exercise.

See How Exercise Helps the Back

Effects of disuse syndrome

This disuse of our bodies leads to a deterioration of many body functions. This is basically an extension of the old adage “Use it or lose it.”

There are several physical consequences from disuse. These occur in many body systems, most notably those of the muscles and skeleton, cardiovascular, blood components, the gastrointestinal system, the endocrine systems, and the nervous system. For instance, consider the following:

  • In the musculoskeletal system, disuse of muscles can rapidly lead to atrophy and muscle wasting. If you have ever had an arm or a leg in a cast, you will be familiar with the fact that the diameter of the affected limb may be noticeably smaller after being immobilized for some time.
  • Cardiovascular effects also occur due to disuse including a decrease in oxygen uptake, a rise in systolic blood pressure, and an overall blood plasma volume decrease of 10 to 15 percent with extended bed rest.
  • Physical inactivity also leads to nervous system changes, including slower mental processing, problems with memory and concentration, depression, and anxiety.

A key factor in chronic pain

Many other detrimental physiological changes also occur. Disuse has been summarized as follows:

“Inactivity plays a pervasive role in our lack of wellness. Disuse is physically, mentally, and spiritually debilitating.”

Many experts believe that the disuse syndrome is a key variable in the perpetuation of many chronic pain problems.

The disuse syndrome can result in a myriad of significant medical problems and increase the likelihood of a chronic pain syndrome developing or becoming worse.

Unfortunately, common attitudes and treatments in the medical community often lead to more passive treatment without paying attention to physical activity and exercise (of any type).

The disuse syndrome can also lead to a variety of emotional changes that are associated with an increased perception of pain.

See Diagnosis of Depression and Chronic Back Pain: Depression Questionnaire

So, what to do? Get more mobile. 

So, if you are suffering from disuse syndrome, you may be wondering what you can do about it. It can be overwhelming for some people in chronic pain to consider how to get moving. See Chronic Pain Coping Techniques – Pain Management

About Dr. Deardorff:

https://www.spine-health.com/author/william-deardorff-phd

“Research has demonstrated that disrupted sleep will, in turn, exacerbate chronic back pain.3 A lack of restorative sleep also hampers the body’s immune response and can affect cognitive function. Thus, a vicious cycle develops in which the back pain disrupts one’s sleep, and difficulty sleeping makes the pain worse, which in turn makes sleeping more difficult, etc.”

Learn more:

This post was Originally Published: 08/26/2015
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MORE ON TREATING PAIN FROM

THE CLEVELAND CLINIC

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Low Back Pain Killing You? Try 8 Remedies (Before Taking Pills)

Our spine expert reviews new treatment guidelines

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You may have heard that doctors are getting away from prescribing opioids for chronic low back pain. New guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP) advise doctors to start with options that don’t involve any type of medication.

 

This breaks from the World Health Organization tiered medication scale favored in the past. The scale previously focused on drugs that included opioids.

“We interpret the new guidelines as saying, ‘Try a number of non-pharmacological options before starting the use of long-term medication for low back pain.’ That’s a positive step,” says spine specialist E. Kano Mayer, MD.

While the ACP reviewed lots of studies to formulate its guidelines, he notes that it failed to look at how long each intervention was effective or at outcomes other than pain reduction.

“Cleveland Clinic spine specialists favor the active, rather than the passive, therapies recommended,” says Dr. Mayer. “We prefer that you do things actively to control pain and improve function, rather than waiting for things to be done to you.”

What to try first for your back pain

Cleveland Clinic spine experts support the following ACP recommendations, he says:

  1. Physical therapy
    “Cleveland Clinic very much advocates active physical therapy,” says Dr. Mayer. An exercise prescription can help to ease back stiffness and strengthen muscles that support the spine.
  2. Acupuncture
    This ancient Chinese technique involves inserting hair-thin needles at key points to ease pain. “Acupuncture is better at relieving the radiating leg pain that can accompany low back pain. We often recommend acupuncture because relieving pain allows you to exercise and be active,” says Dr. Mayer.
  3. Exercise
    Individual, group or supervised exercise can make you sore at first. “But it can help improve your core strength, spine flexibility, endurance and balance,” he notes.
  4. Yoga and tai chi
    Practicing these meditative forms of exercise from ancient India and China “has shown good benefit for those with low back pain, improving their function, endurance and symptoms,” says Dr. Mayer.
  5. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
    “Research shows this popular form of talk therapy improves coping, lessens social isolation and decreases the social impact of pain on your life,” he says. Combining psychological therapy with physical therapy and social work support is also beneficial.
  6. Biofeedback
    Placing electrodes at certain points allows you to control and release tension in your back muscles. “This improves function, positional tolerance and muscle pain,” says Dr. Mayer.
  7. Stress management and mindfulness
    Relieving stress and focusing on the present help to take your mind off pain.
  8. Progressive relaxation
    Gradually releasing tension in each part of the body can be helpful in easing pain, especially before bed.

Remedies less likely to help

Cleveland Clinic spine specialists generally do not support the use of passive treatments for low back pain.

“Chronic use of low-level laser therapy, ultrasound, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) and spinal manipulation may only help in the short term,” Dr. Mayer points out. “We don’t want you to waste your money on treatments unlikely to provide more than a day of benefit.”

When you may need medicine

If non-drug interventions don’t help, the ACP recommends first trying non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as ibuprofen, naproxen, indomethacin or meloxicam. While NSAIDs provide some pain relief, they may put you at risk for GI bleeding or kidney damage.

As second-line drugs, the ACP recommends duloxetine (an antidepressant) or tramadol (a novel opioid, but still subject to abuse).

Due to their serious side effects and addictive nature, opioid medications (morphine, oxymorphone, hydromorphone, tapentadol) should be used only as a last resort when patients fail all other therapies, the ACP advises. The rule of thumb: Use the lowest possible dose of opioid for the least amount of time.

If you’ve been suffering with long-term low back pain, it’s worth exploring these non-drug treatment options before resorting to pills. You’re likely to find your quality of life improving.

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How Doctors Are Treating C-section Pain — Without Opioids

A Q&A examining the reasons behind this change and what it means for new mom + their babies

As the opioid epidemic rages on, some doctors are facing the problem head-on by looking in the mirror — reducing the amount of opioids and opioid prescriptions given out after surgeries, including cesarean sections.

Anesthesiologist Eric Chiang, MD, is on the frontlines, helping spearhead a change in pain meds prescribed after C-section at Cleveland Clinic. He explains the reasons behind this trend — and what it means for both mom and baby.

Q: Why are doctors reducing opioid prescriptions to treat pain after a C-section?

A: In the U.S., for the last two decades and continuing to today, we’ve focused on opioids as the main pain medicine. And not just for after C-sections — for after any surgery.

But this single-minded approach has led to excessive prescribing, which fuels the opioid crisis: Overprescribing means people are frequently left with extra pills. The meds are often diverted and sold on the street. A lot of people are exposed to these narcotics, which eventually lead them to heroin and other drugs.

Overprescribing has become a habit for doctors. There was pressure to prescribe them. There was pressure from the government on treating pain. And there’s been a demand for these medications from patients. Culturally, American patients think opioids are a stronger pain medicine. It all snowballed.

Although opioid use is on the rise around the world, the U.S. remains an extreme outlier. In other countries, Tylenol® and Motrin® are the first-line drugs. You hear statistics about how the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population and uses 80% of the world’s opioids. It’s totally true.

Q: What opioids have doctors traditionally prescribed during C-section recovery?

A: One of the main pain meds we used to give after C-section is Percocet®. It was very common to prescribe Percocet after any kind of surgery. Percocet is a combination drug. It’s an opioid (oxycodone) plus 325 milligrams of Tylenol. Vicodin® is similar — it’s an opioid (hydrocodone) plus Tylenol.

One problem is that if you prescribe Percocet to your patients, it becomes their go-to pain medicine. If they have 2 out of 10 pain, they’re going to take Percocet. If they have 10 out of 10 pain, they’re going to take Percocet.

We have had tremendous success by separating these drugs instead of giving a combination pill. This approach provides options: The patient can maximize non-narcotic medications (4,000 mg acetaminophen plus Motrin) and only take opioids if she really needs it — if she has “breakthrough” pain.

What happens if you prescribe a combination pill? Patients will have to make complex calculations and keep track of dosages. “How much Tylenol is in that Percocet? How much is in this pill that I’m going to take now? How much am I getting over 24 hours? I can’t go over 4,000 milligrams.” In our experience, patients end up taking Percocet for all pain, increasing their exposure to opioids unnecessarily.

Q: What pain meds do the doctors in your program prescribe after C-sections? What have been the results?

A: One of the objectives of our project at Cleveland Clinic was to try to address over-prescription. We made Tylenol and Motrin our primary pain meds after C-section. There are very few side effects, and they’re not opioids.

We have patients take Tylenol and Motrin around-the-clock, alternating them every three hours. Patients can use oxycodone in addition to the Tylenol and Motrin if they really need it. We let the patients decide.

When we did this, patients decided they didn’t want or need opioids:

  • Opioid use on our postpartum floors went down by 70% almost overnight.
  • Now, almost half of our C-section patients never get any intravenous (IV) or oral narcotics.

Previously, even if a patient did not use opioids during their hospital stay, we gave them an opioid prescription when we discharged them. We are trying to change this practice — patients who don’t need opioids in the hospital are no longer sent home with a prescription for them.

For patients who do need opioids in the hospital, we now sending them home with five oxycodone pills. For comparison, in 2016, C-section patients were going home with around 32 pills. We also give people prescriptions for three days of Tylenol and Motrin, emphasizing that these are their primary pain medicines for C-section recovery.

Q: How does reducing opioid prescription after C-section help both mother and baby?

A: Women need effective pain relief after childbirth because they need to take care of an infant. They need to learn how to breastfeed. Poorly controlled pain is also associated with postpartum depression.

Our patients are doing much better and are better able to care for their babies. They have fewer problems with issues associated with opioids. Patients are:

  • More awake.
  • Less nauseous.
  • Walking around more.
  • Recovering faster.
  • Passing their bowel movements sooner.

Patients have more control as well. They’re not left feeling like their only option is a narcotic pain med after C-section. They can decide what they want to take and if they’re going to take an opioid.

It’s also better if the baby is not exposed to opioids through breast milk. While all of the oral medicines we use are generally considered safe for breastfeeding, we prefer for the baby to get Motrin or Tylenol than oxycodone. Opioids can be a risk because they can cause respiratory depression — a decrease in the drive to breathe, both with the mother and the baby.

For more information please visit:

How Doctors Are Treating C-section Pain — Without Opioids

 

blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Brad Pitt on Life and Love


“It seems universal that we all carry great pains and great feelings of loneliness and regrets.  I had a friend who worked in a hospice. The ONLY thing that people talk about is their loves and then their regrets in love, dealing with love.”

 

“I thought, man, that’s really interesting. If that’s our focus on the way out, better start working on that now.”

 ~Brad Pitt

This issue of GQ is on news stands next month (Oct. 2019)

Link to Brad Pitt’s NPR Interview:

https://www.npr.org/2019/09/22/762869938/brad-pitt-on-making-ad-astra-processing-trauma-and-channeling-david-bowie

blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Maria Dorfner is an award winning health and broadcast journalist and the author of “Healthy Within: A Story of Loss and Gain” nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in non-fiction.

Stress Forms New Fat Cells In Your Body

Mary Teruel is a senior author and professor of chemical and systems biology at Stanford University, conducted a study published last April in CELL METABOLISM.

“When glucocorticoids are constantly high, as is the case when we’re chronically stressed out, it can boost the chances for a certain type of cell to morph into fat cells, the study found. And that could bump up our weight. So basically it’s not about food intake. It’s about timing.”

Tercel says, “While mice and people are certainly different, both are greatly influenced by circadian rhythms and both produce glucocorticoids in response to stress. Although the research was done in the lab, it’s likely human body would react in a similar fashion to the mice to continuous high levels of glucocorticoids.”

Tercel says the increase in fat is likely related to the fact under normal circumstances glucocorticoids wax and wane with our circadian clocks.  So our bodies are designed to ignore short-term fluctuations of these hormones.

But everything is thrown out of whack when levels stay high — as they will if a person’s stress doesn’t diminish, even after the day’s work is done.

“So maybe it’s OK to get stressed during the day, but not at night,” Teruel said.

The implication is that if we could find ways to modulate our stress in the evenings and at night, it might affect our weight.

That makes sense to Dr. Anthony Heaney, an endocrinologist and an associate professor of medicine and neurosurgery at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Medicine.

“It would suggest that any method people can use to beat stress could be of benefit,” Heaney said. “I think the challenge is for people who are stressed often. I don’t think jumping into a 30-minute yoga or Pilates class will be enough to address that.”

We recommend MINDFULNESS before jumping into any class, running out to the gym or any exercise after work. That’s actually keeping your stress level high.

What you need to do is de-compress first.

If you’ve had a stressful day, sat all day at the office or had an awful commute –close your eyes for 20 minutes when you get home and focus on your breathing.

RELAX.  BREATHE.  This study reinforces why SLEEP is so important to maintaining a healthy weight. If you only sleep 4, 5 or 6 hours a night, you are sending a message to your fat cells to stay ON.

Every cell in your body and brain needs to rest and replenish itself. You throw yourself out of wack when you deprive your body of this. The damage may not show up immediately, but it will in the long-run.

CHRONIC STRESS can be alleviated by consistent sleep.  If you have to chose between exercise or sleep when you’re going through a stressful time, pick consistent sleep and you will get through it.  You can get your daily exercise through walking after you’ve allowed your mind to calm down.

Burning the candle at both ends will do just that –leave you burned out. Allow yourself a REST and RESET, so your fat cells stay turned off.

You may not be able to control the amount of stress in. your life, but you can make a note to turn everything OFF at a certain time at night so you deactivate your glucocorticoids.

HOW TO COPE WITH DAILY STRESS

scenic photo of boat during dawn
Photo by Nafis Abman on Pexels.com

1. Find the optimistic viewpoint in a negative situation.

One of the simplest but most effective ways to build a more positive outlook has in my experience been to ask more helpful questions as often as possible.

When I am in what seems like a negative situation – maybe I have been lazy, made a mistake, failed or stumbled in some kind of way – then I like to ask myself questions like:

  • What is one thing that is positive or good about this situation?
  • What is one opportunity within this situation?

Doing so is a whole lot better than what I used to do in such situations. Because back then I usually asked myself how much I sucked and how things could get even worse now.

I do however not always use these questions right away.

Oftentimes I need a bit of time to process the thoughts and feelings that arise in situation before I can do that.

Trying to force optimistic thinking when you are still in an emotional turmoil or a bit shocked usually don’t work that well.

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

2. Cultivate and live in a positive environment.

Who you choose to spend your time with and the input you get from further away like the TV, the internet and magazines will have a huge effect on your outlook.

To be able to stay positive it is essential to have influences in your life that support you and lift you up instead of dragging you down.

So carefully consider what you let into your mind.

You can for example ask yourself:

  • Who are the 3 most negative people I spend time with?
  • What are the 3 of most negative sources of information I spend time on?

Consider the answers. Then think about how you can start spending less time with one of those people or information sources this week.

And how you can spend more of the time you have now freed up with one of the most positive sources or people in your life.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

3. Go slowly.

I have found that when I go too fast, when I try to think, talk, eat and move around in my world really quickly then things don’t go too well.

Stress builds up. Negative thoughts about just about anything start to well up and I feel like my own personal power decreases.

But if I slow down just for a few minutes – even if I have to force it by walking, talking and eating slower – then my mind and body calms down too. It becomes easier to think things through clearly again and easier to find the optimistic and constructive perspective.

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Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

4. Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.

It’s very easy to lose perspective, especially if you are stressed and you are going too fast.

And so a molehill can become a big and terrifying mountain in your mind.

A simple three step way to handle these situations so they don’t get out of hand is to:

  • Say stop. In your mind, shout “STOP!” or “NOPE, we are not going down that path again!” as soon as thoughts of this kind starts to spin in your head.

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  • Breathe. After you have disrupted the thoughts by shouting stop sit down and just be still. Breathe with your belly and focus on just your in-breaths and out-breaths for a minute or two to calm your mind and body down.
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Photo by Rosie Ann on Pexels.com
  • Refocus. Question your mountain building thoughts by talking to someone close to you and getting a more grounded perspective on the situation by just venting or by getting his or her input.
  • Or simply ask yourself this to widen your perspective and to chill out: Will this matter in 5 years? Or even 5 weeks?

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5. Don’t let vague fears hold you back from doing what you want.

Sometimes you may want to take a chance in life. Start a new habit that feels unfamiliar, your own business on the side or ask someone out for a date.

A common trap when you want to do one of those things is to get lost in vague fears and about what could happen if you actually took action.

And so the mind runs wild fueled by fear and it creates nightmare scenarios and plenty of self-doubt.

I know. I have been there many times.

So I have learned to ask myself this: honestly, what is the worst that could happen?

When I have figured that out I also spend a bit of time on trying to figure out what I could do if that that often pretty unlikely thing happens.

I have over the years discovered that the worst thing that could realistically happen is usually not as scary as the nightmare my fear-fueled mind could produce.

Finding clarity in this way doesn’t take much time or effort and it can help you to avoid much mind made suffering. And help you to get going, step outside of your comfort zone and take that chance.

man holding baby s breath flower in front of woman standing near marble wall
Photo by vjapratama on Pexels.com

6. Add value and positivity to someone else’s life.

What you send out you tend to get back from the world and the people in it.

Not from everyone. And not every time.

But what you send out there matters a whole lot.

What you give them and how you treat them is what you’ll get back. And they way you treat others and how you think of them also tend to have a big effect on how you treat and think about yourself.

So give value and spread the positivity by for example:

  • Helping out. Lend a hand when moving. Give a friend a ride in your car. If he or she needs information then help out by checking it up on Google or asking a friend of yours.
Co-workers laughing together
Co-workers laughing together
  • Just listening. Sometimes people don’t want any direct help. They just want someone to be there fully and listening as they vent for a little while.alzheimers7

 

  • Boosting the mood. Smile. Give hugs when appropriate. Play uplifting music when hanging out with a friend or suggest an inspiring movie for your movie night. Or encourage when someone has had a bad day or are going through a tough time.

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7. Exercise regularly and eat and sleep well.

This is very obvious of course.

But I know the big, big impact a good night’s sleep or good workout can have when my thoughts are pessimistic and I have a lot of tensions on the inside.

And I know how much simpler it is to think clearly and optimistically when my belly is not empty.

So I highly recommend being careful about these basic habits that may sound boring. Because they do have a huge effect either way depending on how you manage them.

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8. Learn to take criticism in a healthy way.

One of the most common fears is the fear of criticism. It can hold people back from doing what they want in life.

Because having negativity flowing out of someone’s mouth or email and it being about you can hurt. And being rejected can sting quite a bit.

But if you want to take action on what you deep down want then criticism is pretty much unavoidable. So the key is learning to handle it in a healthier way.

By doing so your fear of it will lessen and it will hurt less if you do get criticized.

I usually use four steps when I get some criticism. Maybe they can help you out too:

Step 1: Don’t reply right away.

When you are angry, upset or riled up then is time to calm down a bit before you reply. Take at least a couple of deep breaths or a little time to process the message before you respond.

Step 2: Really listen to the criticism.

Try to remain open and level-headed and figure out how this message can help you.

Ask yourself: Is there one thing I can learn from this criticism? Is there something here that I may not want to hear but could help me?

Step 3: Remember the criticism isn’t always about you.

Some criticism is helpful. Some is simply attacks or someone lashing out because they are having bad day, year or job.

To lessen the sting of such criticism – often really angry or overly critical in an unconstructive way – I try to be understanding. I think to myself that this person might not be feeling so good at the moment.

Step 4: Reply or let go.

No matter the content of for example an email I try to keep my reply level-headed and kind. I may add a question or two to get more specific feedback that is helpful.

And if they don’t reply or I have simply gotten a nasty attack then it is time to delete it and to let that situation go.

9. If something still gets under your skin then know what to do.

Sometimes something can still get under your skin and hurt you. Even if you use the steps above.

Two things that have helped me with that challenge are:

  • Let it out. Just letting that issue out into the light talking it over with someone close can be very helpful to see it for what it actually is. And to find a healthier perspective on the situation.

 

  • Improve your self-esteem. I have found over the years that with a stronger self-esteem things drag me down less and they don’t ruin my day as much anymore. Negativity from others  bounces off me much more often instead. If you want to practical help with this then have a look at my 12-week, step-by-step Self-Esteem Course.

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10. Start your day in a positive way.

How you start your day usually sets the tone for the rest of your day.

So be careful about how you spend your mornings.

If you get going at full speed, lost in future troubles in your mind then the stress, perceived loss of power of over your life and negative thoughts will ramp up quickly.

If you on the other hand start your day by moving slowly, by having an uplifting conversation with your family or friend or you spend some time with reading or listening to inspiring and helpful articles or podcasts over breakfast or during your bus ride to work then that can make a big difference for how your whole day will go.

HealthDay

11. Mindfully move through your day.

When you spend your time in the present moment then it becomes so much easier to access positive emotions and to stay practical about what you can actually do about something in your life.

When you get lost in the past or future like so many of us have spent a lot of time on doing then worries very easily become bigger. And failures and mistakes from the past being replayed over and over in your mind drag you down into pessimism.

By moving slowly through your morning and hopefully through much of the rest of your day it becomes easier to mindfully stay in the moment you are in.

Another simple way to reconnect with the moment you are in and to put your full attention there again is to focus just on what is going on around you right now for a minute or two with all your senses. See it. Hear it. Smell it. Feel the sun, rain or cold wind on your skin.

It might sound like a small and insignificant thing to do. But this simplifying reconnection with the moment can have a very positive effect on the rest of your day.

-Hendrik Edberg

 

http://www.positivityblog.com

 

breathe
stayhealthy
Blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

Find Out What Ages Your Brain Prematurely

Late Night Health interviews Dr. Daniel Amen

BRAIN HEALTH

Named the most popular psychiatrist in America by the Washington Post

Find out what helps and hurts brains and what causes your brain to prematurely age. The good news is even if you haven’t taken care of your brain up to now, you can still reverse the damage.

Dr. Amen tells you what you need to do FIRST.

Since 50% of people age 85+ will be diagnosed with some form of dementia, this is a topic EVERYONE needs to care about, including teenagers.

According to the CDC, suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers. Find out why it’s critical to pay attention to brains first.

Dr. Amen talks to Mark Alyn about what has a negative impact on your kid’s brain AND adult brains, and what has a positive impact.

Teenage boy (16-17) using laptop, sitting on bed

Children and teens are vulnerable because they’re experiencing increased stress  when their brains aren’t fully developed and won’t be until their mid-to-late 20s. Find out the number one thing kids can do to improve their brain’s health.

Dr. Amen says ignoring environment, nutrition, physical, spiritual and mental health can result in behavior problems, depression and anxiety.

Dr. Amen also answers questions about playing football and your brain, the use of marijuana or CBD and your brain.

We’ve heard a lot of opinions on this topic. Find out what the brain expert says based on hundreds of thousands of brain scans. He has seen first-hand what helps or harms your brain.

Dr. Amen has scanned over 160,000 brains and what he’s learned is something everyone needs to know, especially kids, who currently face increased on and offline pressure.

And test performance requirements, and competitiveness to get accepted into colleges.

Mark Alyn, Host of Late Night Health  talks to Dr. Amen about how to boost your brain power and prevent it from aging faster than you do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Listen to Interview here:

Change Your Brain – Change Your Grades – Brain Health For All Ages!

LateNightHealth

ABOUT DR. DANIEL AMEN:

Dr. Daniel Amen co-authored more than 70 professional articles, 7 scientific book chapters and 40-plus books, including the No. 1 New York Times bestsellers, “The Daniel Plan” and “Change Your Brain, Change Your Life.”

“Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades,” includes editorial contributions from his teenage daughter, Chloe Amen, and niece, Alizé Castellanos.

Late Night Health host, Mark Alyn and Dr. Amen share funny stories about raising daughters and what it’s like to have a psychiatrist Dad.

Known for his work in treating the most complex psychiatric issues through eight Amen Clinics around the country that hold the world’s largest database of functional brain scans on behavior.

With the release of his 40th book, “Change Your Brain, Change Your Grades,” Dr. Daniel Amen provides students, parents and teachers simple steps to improve brain health for better performance in school and in life

 

Try Dr. Amen’s Free Brain Health Assessment Quiz: https://brainhealthassessment.com/

Coping With Grief On Days That Trigger It

NewsMD: What's Hot in Health

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Events like anniversaries can reintroduce grief

Just after a death or loss, you may feel empty and numb, as if you are in shock. You may notice physical symptoms such as trembling, nausea, difficulty breathing, muscle weakness, dry mouth, or trouble sleeping and eating.

You may become angry at a situation, a particular person, or just angry in general. Almost everyone experiencing grief also feels guilt.

Guilt is often expressed in statements that begin with “I could have,” “I should have,” and “I wish I would have.”

People who are grieving may also have strange dreams or nightmares, be absentminded, withdraw socially, or lack the desire to return to work. While these feelings and behaviors are normal during grief, they will pass.

Grief

macro shot photography of tea candles Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Grief lasts as long as it takes you to accept and learn to…

View original post 2,171 more words

Ask Your Doctor To Check Your Kidneys

kidneytransplant2Early kidney disease can and should be treated to keep it from getting worse.

Ask your doctor about these three simple tests.

They should be done at least once a year, so if you have early kidney disease, it can be treated right away.

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) recommends three simple tests to check for kidney disease:

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

TEST 1: BLOOD PRESSURE

  • Blood pressure. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney disease. High blood pressure may also happen as a result of kidney disease.A blood pressure of 140/90 or higher is called high blood pressure. If you have diabetes or kidney disease a target less than 130/80 is recommended. Keeping blood pressure under control is important to lower risk of kidney disease, heart and blood vessel disease, and stroke.

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TEST 2: URINALYSIS

  • Urinalysis. A urinalysis is a test that checks a sample of your urine for the amount of protein, blood (red blood cells and white blood cells) and other things.Protein and red and white blood cells are not normally found in the urine, so having too much of any of these may mean kidney disease.Having protein in the urine is one of the earliest signs of kidney disease especially in people with diabetes.Several other tests can be done to check for protein in urine. One of the tests is called the protein to creatinine ratio. It is the most accurate way to measure protein in the urine. A value of 200 mg/gm or less per day is normal.

    A value higher than 200 mg/gm is too high.
    Another test, called the albumin to creatinine ratio, is good for people at increased risk for kidney disease—people with diabetes, high blood pressure, or family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease.

    A value of less than 30 mg/gm per day is normal for the albumin to creatinine ratio; a value of 30 mg/gm per day or higher is high and may be a sign of early kidney disease.

    With either of these tests, you don’t need to collect a 24-hour urine sample, which may be hard to collect.

    TEST 3: GFR

  • Glomerular filtration rate (GFR). GFR is estimated from results of a serum (or blood)creatinine test. The GFR tells how well your kidneys are working to remove wastes from your blood. It is the best way to check kidney function.A serum (or blood) creatinine test alone should not be used to check kidney function. GFR is calculated using the serum creatinine and other factors such as age and gender. In the early stages of kidney disease GFR may be normal. A value of 60 or higher is normal (GFR decreases with age).A GFR number of less than 60 is low and may mean you have kidney disease.Check with your doctor about having the GFR test (a GFR calculator can be found at NKF’s web site)If you are at increased risk for kidney disease (have diabetes, high blood pressure, or family history of diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease), you should find out if you have kidney disease.

    A Nephrologist specializes in kidneys, but most people see a Specialist after kidney disease has progressed. More General Practitioners need to check the health of people’s kidneys, so things can be detected early.

    The above 3 tests can give you peace of mind. Also, I’ve blogged a lot about Nutrition. You can search under the word Kidney in this blog to find Kidney friendly foods.

    For information on upcoming NKF kidney health screenings in your area, visit the KEEP (Kidney Early Evaluation Program) Web site at:

    www.kidney.org/KEEP

If you have already been diagnosed with kidney disease contact The Flood Sister’s Kidney Foundation at floodsisterskidneyfnd.org for a wealth of information.

LOGOFLOODSISTERS

 

Close Ties With Grandparents Healthy

Sunday, September 8th is Grandparents Day!

Studies show when grandma and grandpa take an active role in their grandchildren’s lives, EVERYONE benefits.

According to Cleveland Clinic family medicine physician Neha Vyas, M.D., one big benefit grandparents can get comes from chasing after little ones.

Children running

“We have noticed that grandparents who are involved in grandchildren’s, or surrogate grandchildren’s lives, are more active. They are entering their elderly years without as many aches and pains, because they have something that keeps them young and keeps them mobile.” – Neha Vyas, M.D.

Children playing

In addition to keeping grandma and grandpa on the move, research has shown that involved grandparents report having more meaning in their lives, as well as lower levels of stress and depressive mood.

Photo by Tristan Le on Pexels.com

When it comes to mom and dad, Dr. Vyas says having grandparents nearby can help ease the burden of child-caring, and overall stress.

And for grandchildren, research haws shown kids who get to spend a lot of time with grandma and grandpa tend to have fewer emotional and behavioral problems.

Kids soccer football – small children players exercising before match on soccer field

For families who are separated by geographical distance, Dr. Vyas said the technologically savvy can use videoconferencing apps to keep in touch.

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION, Anthony Michael Hall, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Dana Barron, 1983

If not, calling on the phone and writing letters helps keep the lines of communication open too.

 

Dr. Vyas says it helps to be specific – tell grandparents your child’s teachers’ names and their friends’ names. This helps the grandparent and grandchild feel even more connected.

Kids gym class and excercise in gymnasium

If grandparents are very far away, and frequent visits are not possible, Dr. Vyas said it’s important for kids to be able to see what grandma and grandpa look like.

“It’s important to have lots of pictures – not just in the digital realm – but to print out those pictures and have them around your house, so that grandchildren can see what their grandparents look like, and to have that exposure on a day-to-day basis,” she says.

But, of course, Dr. Vyas admits nothing beats an in-person visit, so it’s good to try to plan a trip to grandma’s house whenever possible.

“There is some unconditional love between grandparents and grandchildren and when they go to grandma and grandpa’s house the rules may change, and that’s okay. As long as they’re temporary. Kids are good at compartmentalizing and realizing that there may be some rules that apply in one person’s house, and other rules that apply in their parents’ house.”  -Cleveland Clinic family medicine physician Neha Vyas, M.D.

HAPPY GRANDPARENT’S DAY!

Dedicated to my own beautiful grandparents who gave me the gift of health benefits.

nonno
Nonna Angelina and Nonno Giuseppe

 

nonnarosa
Nonno Salvatore and Nonna Rosa
stayhealthy Blog contact: Maria.Dorfner@yahoo.com
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