Can you be overweight and still be healthy?

D043DG Closeup view of scales on a floor and kids feet

Nina Lundberg, MD shared in Edward-Elmhurst’s  Healthy Driven Life that weight gain is common as we age, but it’s important to keep it in check. Imagine that you stepped on the scale this morning and noticed you’ve gained a few pounds since your last weigh-in.In fact, you’ve gained maybe 10 or even 20 pounds since you finished college/got married/had kids.

Weight gain as we age is typical, but it’s important to keep it in check. If that extra 10 or 20 pounds has pushed you into the “overweight” category according to the Body Mass Index (BMI), you may want to lose it.You may not be obese, and you’re certainly not wearing plus-size clothing, but those extra pounds can put you on a path to medical complications (including future obesity).

To help you decide whether you need to drop some weight, first analyze your personal stats. Figuring out your BMI is easy. There are a number of reliable calculators online that explain in detail what each category means.

Keep in mind that the BMI is not an exact calculation. It’s more like an estimate. People will fall into the category of “overweight” if they have a BMI between 25 and 29.9. When you’re in that category, your body is more likely to show metabolic syndrome, or symptoms caused by the extra weight such as higher blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar.

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8 Things to Keep in Mind If You Want to Lose Weight This Year

Close-up of pretty girl eating fresh vegetable salad

Laura Newcomer in SELF shared in their recent post that first things first: Whether you do or don’t want to lose weight is totally personal; if you want to, great, but if you don’t, that is perfectly fine as well. If weight loss is one of your goals this year and don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Nearly a quarter of the Americans who resolve to change something about their lives this New Year’s will be hoping to shed some pounds—and preying on these doe-eyed resolvers will be all manner of “fast weight loss solutions.” They’ll guarantee instantaneous results or promise to make the pounds melt off without you having to change a thing. The reality is, losing weight in a safe, healthy, and effective way is a lot more complicated than that.

Weight loss requires lifestyle changes (no matter how much we might wish for quick answers). It requires work, adaptability, and a whole lot of patience. There’s so much that goes into it. A holistic approach is necessary for success, which is measured in how you feel, not what a scale says. It includes setting thoughtful goals, looking at your physical activity levels, adopting healthy eating habits, getting enough sleep, managing stress, and being cognizant of confounding factors that may be outside your control, such as health issues or hormones. It’s also really important to note that if you have a history of disordered eating, a weight-loss plan might not be a healthy choice for you. You should consult a doctor before making changes to your diet or exercise regimen. At the end of the day, the underlying goal is to feel better—physically, mentally, emotionally, however you define it. That’s what you’re working toward.

The first step for making the process easier is to treat your body in a loving way from day one—instead of withholding positivity until you reach a specific number on the scale. That means ditching the judgy voice in your head and acting like your own best friend.

The next step? Craft a plan that will make the process of losing weight sustainable over the long haul. If you’re ready, willing, and able to move forward, the following eight tips will help you do just that.

1. Be realistic.

Effective weight loss requires personal honesty. “Make sure any changes you will make are realistic for you and your lifestyle,” Maxine Yeung, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., NASM-CPT and founder of The Wellness Whisk, tells SELF. That means don’t plan on cooking a healthy meal every night if you hate spending time in front of the stove. Instead, you might commit to cooking two nights each week and ordering in from a restaurant with healthy options the rest of the time. Read more

Tips For Dealing With Loneliness When Living Alone

John Hawthorne, john@connex.digital,  shared that living on your own can either be one of the most rewarding experiences or a living nightmare for some. It all depends on your personality type along with your life experiences that have molded you into the person you are. Spending hours or even days at a time not having a conversation with another person can be damaging to the soul. Depression worldwide is on the rise and one of the most common causes is loneliness. I have put together this article to try to help if you are finding life difficult living on your own,

Get Out As Much As Possible
There is nothing more depressing than staring at the same four walls all day long. There is a huge world outside waiting to be explored and by getting out as much as possible you can discover the wonders of this amazing planet. Staying indoors for too long causes feelings of isolation and will increase your feelings of loneliness. Just by been outside around others will help cure this problem and make you feel more connected to society.

Pets
One of the most enjoyable and rewarding ways you can overcome feeling lonely when living alone is by buying a pet. The most popular are cats and dogs so depending on which type you prefer these will make the perfect companion. Unlike humans, they will be overjoyed to see you every day and sure you unconditional love. If you live in a dangerous area an investment in a dog could help reduce your fear as it will help to protect you should you need it.

Social Media
All of the main Facebook executives have apologized for making an addictive platform that is changing society for the world. Getting likes and comments for posts gives a dopamine hit which can become addictive if not kept under control. Social media increases the feeling lonely and can make you envious of all your friends who are not living on their own. Try to limit your time as much as possible and this will help you cope.
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6 Tips For Caring For Your Child With POTS Syndrome

Abby Drexler a contributing writer and media specialist for POTS Care who  regularly produces content for a variety of health and wellness blogs shared with Healthy Lombard the following information about POTS.

What Is Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?  Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is a condition that affects the human body’s circulatory system, including the blood vessels and heart. Patients refer to this condition as POTS syndrome, and it primarily affects females from the age of 15 to 50. However, it is possible for children to have POTS syndrome, and if a child has this condition, then their parents must understand how to manage the symptoms.

 

What Are the Symptoms Of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?

This circulatory problem manifests with an assortment of symptoms that include:

  • Light-headedness while standing
  • Rapid heartbeat at various times
  • Intermittent fainting episodes
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Overall weakness
  • Blurry vision

In children, this condition might begin after a viral illness or surgery, and it is often combined with other medical issues such as chronic headaches or irritable bowel disease. Diagnosing POTS in children is difficult because the symptoms are similar to the ones in other conditions such as anemia, hyperthyroidism or dehydration.

 

What Causes Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome?

The cause of POTS varies but can include these factors:

  • Decrease in blood flow to the heart
  • An unusually low blood volume
  • An increase in heart rate to compensate for a low blood volume
  • Constriction of the blood vessels
  • Problems with neuropathy
  • Chronic fatigue following an illness

Children with autoimmune disorders, diabetes mellitus or a gastrointestinal condition are more likely to have POTS as a secondary condition.

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7 practical resolutions for a healthier 2018

Teri Dreher, RN, CCRN, iRNPA, an award-winning RN patient advocate and a pioneer in the growing field of private patient advocacy, owner/founder of NShore Patient Advocates (www.northshorern.com), and author of “Patient Advocacy Matters,” shared with the Daily Herald that it probably won’t surprise you to learn that most New Year’s resolutions are health- and fitness-related.

While the big resolutions — like losing weight or quitting smoking — are hard to achieve, not all health-related goals need to be. Here are seven small, practical resolutions we can all make for our health this year. They aren’t dramatic, but they are achievable — and, best of all, they will make a real difference.

1. Make those doctors’ appointments that you’ve been putting off – Most of us are overdue on some routine doctor visits and tests. Pick up the phone and get them scheduled. Preventive care saves lives. Once they’re on your calendar, you’re on your way to better health.

2. Organize your medical records – Does your spouse or adult child know who your doctors are and all your health conditions? Could they produce your medical history quickly if needed?

If not, spend a few valuable hours getting your medical records in shape.

3. Make a list of your current medications to keep in your wallet – It’s important to keep an updated list of all your medications — including dosages and supplements — handy.

Make a pocket-size version and have it laminated, so you can tuck it in your wallet. Bring a copy on all your doctors’ visits, and update it whenever your medications change. Read more

Even sanitizing it doesn’t kill all the bacteria

Kim Hayes, shared for  AARP, that while most of the bacteria found in sponges are not harmful, there are some pathogens that could cause infections in humans.

Dangerous bacteria can linger in a dish sponge even after attempts to sterilize it, according to a new German study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Researchers from Furtwangen University described kitchen sponges as a “common microbial hot spot,” International Business Times reports. The study included DNA analysis of 14 kitchen sponges taken from private households that found 362 kinds of bacteria, even more than typically found on a toilet. Because sponges are primarily moist and designed for absorption, they have the potential to pick up bacteria like salmonella, E. coli and staphylococcus.

Most of the bacteria found were not harmful, but there were pathogens that could cause infections in humans, the researchers said. They also noted that “kitchen sponges not only act as a reservoir of microorganisms but also as disseminators over domestic surfaces, which can lead to cross-contamination of hands and food, which is considered a main cause of foodborne disease outbreaks.”

Researchers also found that previously recommended cleaning methods, such as microwaving a sponge, kills only about 60 percent of the bacteria. And some bacteria may even multiply after cleaning the sponge because the resistant strains recolonize. The study recommends that people replace sponges weekly to reduce bacteria risk.

Here are other germ offenders that you may not have thought about.

Toothbrush holder

Your toothbrush holder is the third most germ-infested household item, according to a study from NSF International, a nonprofit public health group based in Michigan. To keep it clean, close the lid on the toilet when you flush and put the holder into a dishwasher on the sanitizing cycle once or twice a week (if it’s dishwasher safe) to kill any germs. Read more

If You’re Going to Make One Diet Change in 2018 …

CYNTHIA SASS, MPH, RD, a Health’s contributing nutrition editor, a New York Times best-selling author, and a consultant for the New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets. shared in  Health that committing to a complete diet overhaul in the new year can be overwhelming, exhausting, time consuming, and frankly unsustainable. So my advice to anyone who wants to make a food-related resolution? Zero in on one dietary change that’s likely to stick. And in my opinion, the resolution that offers the biggest bang for your buck is simple: Eat five servings of vegetables a day, every single day.

In addition to being packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, veggies are low in calories and high in belly-filling fiber. When they displace other foods, you can drastically lower your intake of calories and carbs without sacrificing fullness. For example, trading one cup of cooked rice with a cup of riced cauliflower saves about 175 calories and 40 grams of carbs.

But even if your overall calorie intake stays the same, more veggies in your diet could still help you slim down: When researchers compared people that consumed the same number of calories, they found those who ate more plant foods had a lower BMI and smaller waist measurements, as well as less inflammation, compared to those who ate less produce.

The high amount of fiber in veggies is a big benefit: A classic German study found that every gram of fiber we eat essentially cancels out about seven calories. A fiber-rich diet has also been tied to less belly fat, and it helps regulate blood sugar and insulin levels, to keep hunger at bay and your energy levels steady.

Other benefits of eating more produce include protection against nearly every chronic disease and a healthier gut microbiome, which is tied to your immunity and mood. There are even beauty perks: Scientists at the University of Nottingham in the UK found that eating more produce daily gives skin a healthy glow. Another study from St. Andrews University found that people who upped their produce intake by roughly three portions a day for six weeks were rated as more attractive than those who ate less produce.

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Nonsurgical knee pain relief available locally

Dr Gregory Castello, a Board Certified physician for over 20 years, now offers an FDA approved, safe, effective, non surgical treatment in his new Joliet location. It utilizes a Hyaluronic acid gel lubricant injected into the knee that replaces the natural lubrication that is lost in the knee as we age.

This has been known as rooster comb injections, because the Hyaluronic acid gel also can be found in rooster combs, and makes up the ingredient in Hyalgen injections. Synthetic versions of this also exist for injection.

The procedure is done by Dr Castello, right in the office. He utilizes xray equipment to direct the injection safely into the knee joint space. The patient experiences immediate pain relief, and leaves the office feeling better.

In the United States, there are 70,000 knee replacements performed every year. The average cost of a knee replacement is $49,500. Dr Castello reminds us that 2% of surgeries have serious complications and 1 in 400 people die in the first 30 days of surgery from complications. About 5-10% of people are not happy with their knee replacement. Over 100,000 people are hospilized from bleeding due to NSAID pain medications like Ibuprofen and 15,000 a year die from chronic NSAID use

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How to keep your New Year’s resolutions

resolutionsGinny Grimsley shared in a Daily Herald article that if you’re one of the millions of Americans who will make a promise to improve yourself this New Year, there’s bad news: You’re 92 percent likely to fail in sticking to your resolutions, says a recent study from the University of Scranton’s Journal of Clinical Psychology.

About 45 percent of Americans make resolutions. Ranking at the top is losing weight, and staying fit and healthy ranks No. 5.

“Of course, those statistics represent the average – you don’t have to be average,” says Dr. Virender Sodhi, founder of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic. “There are plenty of things individuals can do to improve their odds of success if they resolve to become healthier and fitter.”

Dr. Sodhi, author of the new guide, “Ayurvedic Herbs: The Comprehensive Resource for Ayurvedic Healing Solutions,” believes we can move much closer to a world of disease-free societies by following the laws of Mother Nature. Individual commitment to health via New Year’s resolutions is one path to take us there. Dr. Sodhi offers five tips for staying true to your goals.

• Get away from the instant-gratification mentality and avoid unrealistic goals. Don’t expect to go from zero to 60 — 60 being your ideal body image — in just a few months, especially if you have little background in training. Unfortunately, most who have resolutions like losing plenty of weight and quitting smoking are used to easy snack foods and quick rewards. Health is a long-term labor of love; commit to the love and wait for results.

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