Does Your Doctor Listen with Stethoscope Over Your Clothes?

Does your doctor or nurse listen to your lungs, heart or abdomen by placing their stethoscope over 1, 2 or more layers of clothes?

This is a pet peeve of mine, because I know I don’t hear as clearly when my patients have even a light weight t-shirt on. It bothers me so much, that I always pull up my top or remove clothing over the area they are about to listen to. And yes, the doctor/nurse almost always smiles in a smirky sort of way, or tells me that’s not necessary. (BTW I’ve never seen a physician or nurse cleanse the bell of their stethoscope before or after using, either.)

I know I want my health care provider to have the best chance at making an accurate assessment when I seek care. With accurate assessment, comes accurate findings to put together into the correct treatment plan. Right?

While we’re on the subject of accurate assessment, have you had someone take your blood pressure manually, done so quickly that it was off from your normal range? This has happened numerous times to me. My blood pressure is usually on the low side, but if the taker opens the valve a little too much, causing the air to be released too quickly, they will gather an inaccurate measurement. I always can tell, because it’s usually found to be 10 – 15 points higher than normal. I will ask for them to repeat it “because I’m usually not that high”. The second reading is most often found to be more accurate because they’ve released the air more slowly, and can hear the exact time when the sound of your pulse can be heard (systolic blood pressure) and when it disappears on the lower end (diastolic blood pressure).

Both, listening to your chest and abdomen and blood pressure measurements, are values that may change with sickness or age. It’s important to make sure they are done accurately. If you see the same practitioner consistently, they will be able to note changes and trends over time, which could allow for early interventions.

Thoughts or experiences?

My Thoughtful Place to Ponder Things

My Thoughtful Place

Do you have a thoughtful place, somewhere to spend a few moments pondering things? From my workplace at home this is what I see, only in a dynamic form.

Large branches sway back and forth in the wind. Leaves dance about ever so quickly as they are pulled along. The movement mesmerizes my mind, pulling it into a creative state where I can find just the right words to write, gain clarity on situations I’ve been mulling over, gain some inspiration, and contemplate the passages of life.

As I look up past the tree tops, into the sky, I have conversations with the Lord. Many conversations. Telling Him what’s troubling me, pouring out my heart, thanking Him for so many, many blessings – and even thanking Him for the difficulties that seem to come more often than I’d like.

I find peace in the pouring out, rest in the thankfulness, and joy in creative inspirations.

If you don’t have a quiet place to go and think, I hope you can find one. I highly recommend it.

And when you do find one, I hope you visit it often!

 

 

 

 

Looking Fabulous While Flying in Turbulence

You hear the pilot overhead saying “please return to your seats and fashion your seatbelts, we are about to enter some “chop””, also know as turbulence. He might as well said to me “get out your “E” ticket, your going for a roller coast ride”!

Fastne Seatbelts!

Photo by Chris Pond, from Flickr

Flight turbulence really puts me into panic mode because it’s not like being in a car where you can pull over on the side of the road if things get too rough, but you just keep flying on. Much of my anxiety comes from some very bumpy flight experiences. So, when I saw this article about the realities of flight turbulence and how very few people are actually injured in it every year, I thought to share with you. After all, staying calm, cool and collected helps to keep us looking fabulous, right?

“While turbulence can feel scary, airplanes are designed to withstand massive amounts of it. “A plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket,” wrote pilot Patrick Smith on his site, AskThePilot.com. “Conditions might be annoying and uncomfortable, but the plane is not going to crash.”

To read the full article, with loads more very useful – and very calming – information, I invite you to click on over to Travel and Leisure where Melissa Locker has written a superb article for nervous fliers!

Melissa really knows how to calm the nervous traveler, and give assurance to the most anxious!

Do This With Your Cell Phone if You Want Focused Thinking

To be able to retain and process information optimally, keep your cell phone far away from you. Recent research shows this to be true through studies done on almost 800 smart phone users.

“Your cognitive capacity is significantly reduced when your smartphone is within reach — even if it’s off. That’s the takeaway finding from a new study from the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

The findings suggest that the mere presence of one’s smartphone reduces available cognitive capacity and impairs cognitive functioning, even though people feel they’re giving their full attention and focus to the task at hand. “We see a linear trend that suggests that as the smartphone becomes more noticeable, participants’ available cognitive capacity decreases,” Ward said. “Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but that process — the process of requiring yourself to not think about something — uses up some of your limited cognitive resources. It’s a brain drain.””

Put Your Cell Away to Focus and be Present

How funny that those tested exerted so much energy on trying not to pay attention to their cell phones that it significantly decreased their ability to focus and concentrate. It’s kind of like “Pavlov’s Dog” with the dog anticipating the bell ringing, and can’t think of any thing else but that the bell will ring soon and they certainly don’t want to miss it. This could add to the existing body of knowledge that shows cell phone addiction, don’t you think? I guess my “note to self” from this study is to turn off and put my phone out of sight in order to be fully present in relating to others and focusing on tasks at hand!


Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Citations from ScienceDaily.com


Journal Reference:

  1. Adrian F. Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy, Maarten W. Bos. Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity. Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 2017; 2 (2): 140 DOI: 10.1086/691462

Exactly How Does Our Skin Age?

Do you know how your skin ages from the inside out? We commonly take for granted that our skin as a protective external envelope, without fully considering the numerous, essential functions it provides. Skin is our largest organ, providing an interface between our internal physiological systems and the external world; it protects us from harm due to pathogens, solar radiation, pollutants, and also acts as effective barrier against water loss, ensuring essential nutrients remain in our systems. As we age, skin becomes thinner, drier, and less capable of healing itself . . .

When considering the aging process and skin, there are two major types of aging to consider:

  1. Intrinsic Aging – also known as chronological or natural aging – is caused by changes in the structure and function of skin that occur as we age naturally. Beginning around out mid-20s, physiological changes cause collagen production to slow and skin to loose its elasticity. Dead skin cells do not shed as quickly, and the turnover of new cells begins to slow. Additionally, changes in hormone levels reduce the amount of oil produced, resulting in dry, akey skin.
  2.  Extrinsic Aging – results when exposure to external factors prematurely ages our skin. Numerous factors can negatively affect the skin, the most common of which is sun exposure (extrinsic aging is, therefore, often referred to as photoaging). Other factors include pollution, poor diet, cigarette smoke, stress, and gravity. Exposure results in skin with age spots, blotchy pigmentation, deep wrinkles, and a rough, leathery appearance.

Extrinsic Aging accounts for 90% of the visible signs of aging!

As natural and external processes take their toll, our systems experience oxidative stress, hormone fluctuations, decreases in metabolic activity, and declines in the length of cell life. The effects of both intrinsic aging and extrinsic are visibly seen in the skin: collagen production diminishes and elastin becomes less springy, resulting in less voluminous and elastic skin that sags and wrinkles easily. Skin becomes less moisturized naturally, and exposure to the elements causes hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and reduces the skin’s ability to hold in moisture. Intrinsic and extrinsic processes are linked; as natural changes take place, our ability to fight the deleterious effects of environmental exposure decreases.

  • Between ages 20 and 80 our collagen production declines by 65%

Skin thins at a rate of 6% per 10 years

“We cannot stop ourselves from aging, we can age gracefully by caring for our skin and reducing our exposure to the harmful factors that cause aging”

While intrinsic processes mean we cannot stop ourselves from aging, we can age gracefully by caring for our skin and reducing our exposure to the harmful factors that cause aging. Be- cause the skin is an organ, it can benefit from products that protect skin and encourage skin regeneration topically, and well as ingested supplements that help maintain healthy system function.

Apriori BeautyTM has taken advantage of this concept by creating an internal and external system enhanced with the patent pending Nutrient ReservoirTM, which delivers essential ingredients to protect and prolong the life of every skin cell while combating the damage we’ve already done, effectively reducing the visible signs of aging. These ingredients protect from the 4 Core Influences of Aging, providing:

  1. Antioxidants to reduce the effects of oxidative stress
  2. Endocrine system modulators to mediate hormone fluctuations
  3. Energy Activators to help promote mitochondrial and metabolic efficiency
  4. Longevity Gene Supporters to extend the life of healthy cells

To learn more about Apriori Beauty’s Internal and External Products go here:  www.AprioriBeauty.com/FIC/Candace

The above information has been provided to Apriori Beauty Consultants to use in sharing the difference between Apriori Beauty’s Internal + External Approach to Antiaging and other products on the market today!

Pomegranates are Good for Your Skin!

 Our skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside our body, so it only makes sense to nourish and protect our skin by taking in foods that soothe and calm our inflammation. Pomegranate fruit is one such food that has a great effect on the inside of our body, and can help our skin become more beautiful as well!

Pomegranate!

Pomegranate fruit is rich in two types of polyphenolic compounds, anthocyanins and hydrolysable tannins, and is known for its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have demonstrated the potential for clinical use of pomegranate in the prevention and treatment of cancer (1), and its anti-inflammatory properties make it useful for addressing other diseases where chronic inflammation plays a critical role (2). It is also known to promote cardiovascular health by preventing low-density lipoprotein oxidation, reducing blood pressure and slowing the development of atherosclerosis (3).

REFERENCES:
Afaq F, Saleen M, et al. Anthocyanin- and Hydrolyzable Tannin-Rich Pomegranate Fruit Extract Modulates MAPK and NF-kappaB Pathways and Inhibits Skin Tumorigenesis in CD-1 Mice. Int. J. Cancer 2005; 113(3): 423-433.

Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr 2004; 23(3): 423-33.

Rasheed Z, Akhtar N, et al. Polyphenol-rich pomegranate fruit extract (POMx) suppresses PMACI-induced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting the activation of MAP Kinases and NF-κB in human KU812 cells. Journal of Inflammation 2009; 6(1)

Found In Products

Lifeoxylin Cellular Defense Elixir by Apriori Beauty!

Lifeoxylin Cellular Defense Elixir

 

Eating Chocolate a New Way to Treat A-Fib?

“A-Fib”, or atrial fibrillation, is a heart arrhythmia more common in older adults. It can be very frightening to experience, and needs treatment quickly in order for your heart to continue pumping effectively. A new study is showing the possibility of another positive side effect of eating chocolate which is to potentially calm the frequency of A-Fib episodes. I now love chocolate even more!

Dark Chocolate

“Regular chocolate consumption may be linked to a lower risk of developing the heart rhythm irregularity atrial fibrillation, also known as heart flutter, finds research published on-line in the journal Heart.

The associations seemed to be strongest for 1 weekly serving for women and between 2 and 6 weekly servings for men, the findings suggest.”

[Read more…]

Zinc Lozenges May Shorten Days of Cold Symptoms

Have a cold? Wish it would go away? Now you may be able to help along the symptoms of the common cold, and get back to feeling better in a shorter time. A new research study has shown the effectiveness of higher dose zinc lozenges to shorten the duration of a cold significantly.

Zinc Lozenges may help shorten the common cold!

“According to a meta-analysis of three randomized controlled trials zinc acetate lozenges may increase the rate of recovery from the common cold three fold. On the fifth day, 70% of the zinc lozenge patients had recovered compared with 27% of the placebo patients….The dose of zinc in the three studies was between 80 to 92 mg/day.”

What are the best zinc lozenges to use? Seems like there is a little bit to the proper selection of lozenges to have this type of effect on your cold. You need to find a lozenge with the right concentration of zinc, and one which does not contain substances that will bind the zinc ions, not allowing for full effectiveness, ingredients such as citric acid.

“Although the lead author, Dr. Harri Hemilä from the University of Helsinki, Finland, suggests that the optimal formulation of zinc lozenges and the best frequency of their administration should be further investigated, he also instructs common cold patients to test individually whether zinc lozenges are helpful for them: “given the strong evidence of efficacy and the low risk of adverse effects, common cold patients may already be encouraged to try zinc acetate lozenges not exceeding 100 mg of elemental zinc per day for treating their colds.””

Don’t you think giving a try of a zinc lozenge is worth a try for a few days to see it if works for you? I know I wouldn’t mind, especially if I needed to share an office space with you all day while you are sniffing, blowing, coughing and sneezing!


Quotations cited from ScienceDaily.com:

Journal Reference:

  1. Harri Hemilä, James T. Fitzgerald, Edward J. Petrus, Ananda Prasad. Zinc Acetate Lozenges May Improve the Recovery Rate of Common Cold Patients: An Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, 2017; 4 (2) DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofx059

Health Benefits of Coffee – Made the Italian Way

We Italians, (or Eeeeeetalians as “Marco in a Box” in his “How to be Italian – 20 rules Italians never break  likes to say), LOVE our espresso and coffee. Our tried and true method of creating the perfect cup has been around for centuries.

Dr. David B. Samadi, on his blog, has recently shared a new health benefit for those men among us who are regular coffee drinkers – with the caveat of it must by made the Italian way.

Cappuccino

“A new study from Italy (where coffee-drinking borders on religion) indicates that men drinking three or more cups of Italian-style coffee daily may reduce their chances of prostate cancer by fifty percent. The new research was designed by the Department of Epidemiology and Prevention – I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, Italy which collaborated with the Italian National Institute of Health and the I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Dermopatico dell’Immacolata of Rome.”

Ahhhh, my Roman people, so creative and healthy! Mind you, the coffee in the study was caffeinated, and made in a specific way.

“The researchers discovered that the caffeinated coffee extracts reduced the aggregation of cancer cells and decreased their ability to metastasize, but these effects were almost non-existent with decaffeinated coffee extracts. The observations on cancer cells allow us to say that the beneficial effect observed among the 7,000 participants is most likely due to caffeine, rather than to the many other substances contained in coffee,” notes study co-author Maria Benedetta Donati.”

So is it the caffeine or the polyphenols, or both together which produces the anti-cancer benefits?

“They prepare coffee [the] rigorously Italian way: high pressure, very high water temperature, and with no filters,” says study co-author Licia Iacoviello. “This method, different from those followed in other areas of the world, could lead to a higher concentration of bio-active substances.”

Italians drink coffee as traditional rituals, certain times of the day, specific type of coffee and add the social customs along with it. A morning espresso is pretty much consumed as a shot, in one or two slurps. Your day can now begin! Other coffee drinks include friends to chat with, seats positioned to people watch, situated to invite others to stop by and join in the leisurely, and sometimes boisterous, conversations. Hands waving, opinions argued, solutions presented, and much shared friendship abound. Could it be the shared social community have an influence on health, as well?

Thanks for sharing this great health news, Dr. Samadi!

Lasik Surgery Reduces Eye Infections

If you wear contact lenses every day, reduced infection rate is now another reason to have Lasik eye surgery. Opthalmologists from the Hamilton Eye Institute, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, have completed a study which shows a small, but significant lower rate of eye infections in individuals post Lasik surgery when compared to daily contact wearers. Microbial keratitis is an infection that attacks the cornea, and causes significant long term vision issues, including devastating vision loss.

“An article on the findings was published in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, a high-impact, peer-reviewed scientific journal. “Microbial keratitis is a relatively rare complication associated with contact lens use and LASIK postoperatively,” the article said. The authors were Jordan Masters, MD; Mehmet Kocak, PhD; and Aaron Waite, MD. “The risk for microbial keratitis was similar between patients using contact lenses at one year, compared with LASIK. Over time, the risk for microbial keratitis was higher for contact lens use than for LASIK, specifically with extended-wear lenses.”

I wish they had included those who took their contacts out every day to clean and rest their eyes, changing the lenses every two weeks, and also those who use daily lenses, which are disposed of every day, starting the next day with a fresh, sterile set of lenses. I use the daily wear lenses, and have been thinking about Lasik surgery, but am still a little nervous about getting good results, and the possibility of surgical complications.

The researchers did go on to say that the rate of this type of infection is rare, but has long term devastating affects for those who do acquire it. I also wonder if they compared the compliance and routine of cleaning the lenses of those they compared to, although the more times our fingers touch the lenses, the higher the risk for any infection. Interesting study!

Excerpts cited from ScienceDaily.com

The Sounds of Nature Do Calm Our Stress

Does the sound of rain calm you? How about the sounds of a waterfall, or wind blowing or crickets chirping or birds singing? Now there is scientific evidence showing the sounds of nature do exert a calming influence over our stressed minds and bodies.

[Read more…]

Healthy Gut, Healthy Mind

Recent research is again showing healthy gut flora correlates with a healthy mind and decrease in depressive like or despair behavior. Lead researcher Alban Gaultier, PhD, and her team have produced significant findings of this gut-mind connection with the hope of repeating these results in humans.

[Read more…]

Waiting Expectantly

He looked for him from sunrise to sunset. Day after day he waited.

Waiting for the lost to return

Why did he give him all of his inheritance when he demanded it? The old father knew his son was going to blow it away. And he did.

Maybe he heard about him from passersby over the months he was away. Maybe he knew in his heart his son had always had a streak of rebellion in him, a headstrong young man, knowing better than anyone else, tired of doing everything the old way of his family traditions.

In one big fit of rejecting his father’s ways, he demanded all the money that would come to him after his father died and set out to live the high life, on his own terms.

But we know how it’s going to end. He will blow through all his newly acquired fortune, spending lavishly on his self centered lifestyle and new “friends.” Until the money runs out, the friends disappear, and he’s left to support himself.

In this story of the Prodigal Son, the rebellious son ends up hired to feed swine in someone’s fields. Soon he hits rock bottom, eating the husks he was feeding the swine to survive.

Then he comes to his senses, and realizes how good he really had it. How much his father loved him. Longing for his home, his family, the delicious meals, and the traditions of his heritage, he heads home.

“But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Luke 15.20

When he was a great way off, far down the road, barely visible to the eye.

His father intently studied the road all day long, day after day, for the little speck on the horizon. The father waited, with faith that one day he would see a familiar stride, and a longed for silhouette. He hoped with earnest expectation, trusted he would one day come home. The father watched with expectancy.

Can you see it? Can you see what the father is looking at and for? Can you feel the pain and emptiness in his heart for his long lost son? To be able to wrap his arms around him again, know he is okay, part of his family once more. Once separated but now home.

I know many of you have a prodigal in your life right now, or maybe several prodigals. Left to themselves, hoping against hope they one day realize they’re not on the right track, they’re choices are not good, they’re not in a good place, and they decide to finally come home. I want to encourage you.

To wait in hope.

To wait expectantly.

To not give up.

To trust them to God.

Keep on praying for them, keep on hoping, keep waiting, and look for the answers to your prayers each day.

Ruth Graham has a beautiful article written to encourage us with prodigals on how to hope and pray for them -please click the link below to be encouraged, and never give up!

Ruth Bell Graham’s 5 Truths on Prodigals and Those Who Love Them

Our Stronghold

I need to escape to my stronghold, my place of safety, after a brutal week. How about you? Rough week, too?

Rough WeekWhether it’s family, health, work or financial issues, or more, I invite you to join me in going to a place of safety with which to escape for a bit. What is your stronghold like? If you don’t have one yet, what would you like it to be like? Mine begins with a window that overlooks trees and hills, the house is quiet, and I have a few chocolate chips near by. Then I focus my heart and thoughts on my place of safety and the one who keeps me safe.

My week was filled with many things out of my control, demanding extra time, more resources, greater complexity, some of which left me feeling used and abused. How about you? Bad news come your way at the worst possible time? Dealing with issues where you feel like it’s 2 steps forward and 10 steps back? Feeling like you don’t have the energy, time, resources to manage? [Read more…]

Do Any of These 10 Fruits and Veggies Cause You Stomach Pains?

Noticing the onset of stomach pains after eating my daily apple, I did a search “apple causing stomach pains” and was very surprised at what came up. It appears there are certain carbohydrate sugars, many found in fruits and veggies, which might not be digested properly, causing stomach pains and other GI symptoms.

FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides, And Polyols. These are all technical ways of referencing certain types of carbohydrates (or sugars) — many of them healthy. Lots of people have a hard time digesting these types of carbohydrates, and they can become malabsorbed and/or create an environment in the gut for bacteria to ferment. All of this can wreak havoc on your GI tract and make for some very uncomfortable and possibly embarrassing symptoms.” (Source http://magazine.foxnews.com/food-wellness/10-healthy-foods-could-make-your-stomach-hurt)

High FODMAP Foods

The list of 10 common culprits include apples, watermelon, pears, yogurt, avocado, cauliflower, asparagus, white onions, multigrain bread, and honey. [Read more…]

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