Stress Happens. Here’s 5 Ways to Put it in Its Place

Conner Graham shared that little daily stressors add up and have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing.  Today is meant to help people identify stress and reduce its negative effects.

International Stress Management Association defines stress as “The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work.”

It doesn’t matter your age, your location or what field you work in, everybody stresses out. When feeling overwhelmed, some of us have trouble telling us that we are feeling stressed.

Unmanaged stress has many short-term impacts.  This list includes energy loss, headaches, muscle tension, aches and pains, insomnia and loss of sexual drive.

Long-term impacts of unmanaged stress include depression, anxiety, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and more.

There’s also evidence that unmanaged stress and anxiety increases one’s vulnerability to developing an addiction. Between 6-8 percent of the general population has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the National Institute of Health, 46.4% of that population have comorbid alcohol or drug use disorder.

Identifying stressors is one thing, but dealing with them in a healthy and productive way is another. For many, turning to risky behaviors like drinking large amounts of alcohol, using drugs or having unsafe sex are escapes. Stress and addiction go hand-in-hand.

The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) says both men and women who report higher levels of stress tend to drink more than their counterparts.

While these behaviors might cause temporary relief, indulging them will ultimately make the symptoms of stress worse. They will probably only create more stressful situations.

If work, money, family or relationships are sources of stress, try these activities to stop stressing.

 

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Skin Tags – What They Are, Misconceptions, Types, Causes and Treatment

Ijeoma Okeke from skincareproductsguide.com shared the following information with Healthy Lombard.

What Are Skin Tags?

Skin tags, also called acrochordon, are tiny but painless benign growths on the skin, which usually hang by thin stalks called peduncles.

They appear in clusters, which can be unsightly though they are skin-colored most of the time, and they also appear singly.

But they are mostly harmless protrusions on the skin. They usually appear on older men and women, though the reason why this is so is not clear.

Medically, skin tags have different names they go by. These names, sometimes, make them sound more serious and fatalistic than they actually are.

So if you see names like polyp or fibroepithelial polyp, fibroma, acrochordon or cutaneous tag/papilloma, then the topic is skin tags.

Identifying Skin Tags

Different skin growths may look like a tag and it is easy to confuse a mole for one. So how do you tell one from the other?

A skin tag would normally hang from a peduncle and remain skin-colored. On a few occasions, it could be brown but hardly does it turn black or red. And it is usually tiny, sometimes as small as one millimeter. Other times, it could grow as large as 1 centimeter (source).

On the other hand, moles and warts are larger and dark-colored. They do not hang by this thin stalk and are usually symptoms for something worse.

If you have new growth on your skin, flesh-colored or not, check if it is hanging by a stalk. And if it is, give it a few days or weeks to see if it will increase in size or change color. But if none of these happens, it is most likely a skin tag (source). Read more

The Top 12 Outstanding Benefits of Drinking Water to Heal Your Body

Scott Fanello, the Editor of Eternaloak.com, LLC suggested to Healthy Lombard an article by Ana W. from Eternal Oak,  a fitness writer who gained her research and writing skills by working as a librarian and getting a B.A. in Humanities. After realizing that all the time spent behind a desk was harming her health, Ana began using her academic abilities to research the science behind popular fitness techniques and find out what really works. Ana lost 20 pounds with a plant-based diet, and now she’s an avid hiker and kayaker who wants to share what she’s learned about fitness with others.  Here is her article:

Water is an essential part of making your body run in optimal condition, so those who want to feel healthier, think more clearly and look better need to think carefully about their water intake.

Even if you aren’t a fan of the taste, drinking water is definitely worth the hassle. Keep reading to find out all the great benefits of water!

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Guide to Gluten-Free Airline Food

Sprouted red and white quinoa

The commercial flight industry as a whole takes a lot of flack for infamous tales of poor customer service. While airline PR disasters are a dime-a-dozen these days, there is at least one area in which airlines deserve a bit of credit. In recent years, global flight carriers have made tremendous strides to accommodate the dietary needs of passengers who cannot eat gluten.

It is now an industry standard for airlines to offer travelers with food allergies, health conditions, or faith-based dietary restrictions more than just the standard choice of “Chicken or pasta?” during long-haul flights. In addition to vegan, kosher, diabetic, halal, and lactose-free meals (among others), most international carriers now include a gluten-free menu option that passengers can request ahead of time.

Nicole Villegas, the Outreach Specialist, Green Flag Digital, shared with Healthy Lombard that they just did a mountain of research and compiled a list of 54 popular airlines and how friendly they are for gluten-free fliers.

First-class seems to get anything they need, so they focused on economy-class fliers.

Some interesting findings:

  • Some of the most common foods – chocolate, nuts, cheese – are the riskiest
  • The majority of airlines allow a 24-hour notice, but some require up to 72 hours ahead
  • Alaska Airlines is one of the least friendly for gluten-free travelers

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Stay Healthy This Cold & Flu Season

Med Express shared that the winter season can bring a wide array of sickness – everything from the common cold and flu to bronchitis and even pneumonia. The best way to fight these common bugs is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. Healthy habits can help keep your immune system strong and resilient to fight colds before they even begin.

Follow these preventative tips to stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands – This simple activity goes a long way, especially in preventing illness in children. Wash your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap frequently throughout the day, especially after being in public places or before eating.
  • Teach proper sneezing etiquette – There is such a thing as a proper way to sneeze. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends teaching kids to sneeze into the nook of their elbow to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Eat well – A well-balanced diet filled with plant-based food, lean protein, and whole grains is one of the most important steps toward maintaining overall health.
  • Remember your flu shot – Getting your flu shot early is a good idea, as it can take two weeks for the body’s immune system to develop the antibodies to protect against the virus. It’s especially important for pregnant women and children to protect themselves. MedExpress offers flu shots* for children and patients ages four and up.

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Pros and Cons of Herbal Medicine

Polly Tlg has always been interested in holistic and alternative ways of healing. Ayurveda and yoga are the best medicines for her. She believes that nature is the best source of human health and shared with Healthy Lombard that because of the high cost of doctors and medicine, numerous people turn to herbs and supplements to help stave off sickness and stay healthy. The medicinal use of herbs and plants isn’t new and can be traced to ancient times. But do they actually help? Are herbal supplements detrimental to your health? What are the pros and cons of herbal medicine? In this article, she will explore the benefits and downsides of this type of alternative medicine, a brief history of the ancient traditions to learn more about how plants and herbs are seen and used, and how our perspective of herbal medicine has changed over time.

What is Herbal Medicine?

Diving in, herbal medicine is an umbrella term used to describe a plethora of medical philosophies that use plant-based remedies to fight sickness. In this article, we will focus on three of them: Chinese Herbalism, Western Herbalism, and Ayurvedic Medicine.

Modern medicine can be considered herbal medicine in the broad sense of the word since many pharmaceutical drugs are derived from plants and herbs. However, the main difference between synthetic medicine and herbal medicine is that the latter isn’t created in a lab.

Strategies to prevent GERD

Jonathan Gibson, M.D., whose specialty is Family Medicine, shared in Edwards-Elmhurst Health’s Healthy Driven Blog that acid reflux happens when stomach acid and other contents in your stomach back up into your esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When you swallow and food enters your stomach, your LES closes to prevent food from rising up. When it’s weak or damaged, your LES may not close properly, causing symptoms of acid reflux.

An unpleasant symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, or a burning sensation in the chest, usually after eating a meal. Acid reflux can also cause a dry cough, sore throat and sour taste in the mouth.

If your symptoms of acid reflux become more frequent or don’t go away, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Chronic GERD can lead to narrowing of the esophagus that causes food to get stuck, and changes in the esophageal cells which can lead to cancer.

Unlike many medical conditions that can’t be prevented, acid reflux and GERD symptoms can be eased with lifestyle changes. Here’s what you can do to prevent that burning feeling in your chest from continuing: Read more

18 Effective Tips to Sleep Better

David Wright from Bestpicko shared with Healthy Lombard that uninterrupted sleep through the night is crucial for good health. And anybody suffering from disturbed sleep patterns should work on improving sleep hygiene.

Many studies confirm that physical and mental health largely depends on sound sleep (1234567). It is impossible to live a productive life without an interrupted sleep pattern. If you want to stay alert and mindful throughout the day, you need to let your body and mind relax for at least 7-8 hours.

There are different methods and rules to improve your sleep significantly. Here are 18 tips that you can start implementing today.

1. Minimize Daytime Naps

Daytime naps don’t substitute nighttime sleep. But if you feel down during the day time and find it hard to stay alert, it is better to develop a habit of 30 minutes daytime nap. It refreshes your body and mind and improves your mood (8).

But if you already tend to sleep for more than an hour during the daytime, you need to reduce this time down to 30 minutes or to stop doing it at all (910). In this case, you can feel the urge to go into the bed at the right time in the evening. Read more

What Are the Signs That an Aging Parent Needs Help?

The National Institue on Aging shared that when caring for an aging parent or relative from afar, it can be hard to know when your help is needed. Sometimes, your parents will ask for help. Or, the sudden start of a severe illness will make it clear that assistance is needed. But, when you live far away, some detective work might be necessary to uncover possible signs that support or help is needed.

A phone call is not always the best way to tell whether or not an older person needs help handling daily activities. The person may not want to worry you or may be embarrassed to admit that he or she cannot handle certain daily activities.

Recognizing Differences in Aging Parents Behavior

It may be difficult to notice differences in behavior when you don’t live close to a family member. A family member may withdraw from activities, forget to take medication, or stop taking care of themselves or their home. These signs may seem small, but they are crucial for an aging parent or relative’s safety and well-being. With the person’s permission, you could contact people who see the person regularly—neighbors, friends, doctors, or local relatives, for example—and ask them to call you with any concerns. You might also ask if you can check in with them periodically. Look for safety issues and at the overall condition of the home, and try to determine the older person’s mood and general health status. Sometimes people confuse depression in older people with normal aging. A depressed older person might brighten up for a phone call or short visit, but it is harder to hide serious mood problems during an extended visit. Read more

Does COPD lead to lung cancer?

Alexander Hantel, M.D., whose specialties are Hematology & Oncology, shared in Elmhurst-Edward Health in its Healthy Driven Bog that You’ve heard it once and you will probably hear it again and again. Cigarette smoking can damage nearly every organ of your body, lead to a variety of diseases, and harm your health in general. One health issue smoking can lead to is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

COPD irritates your lungs and damages your airways. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of COPD but other long-term exposure to smoke, such as pipe and cigar smoke, can also damage your lungs, especially if the smoke is inhaled. Breathing secondhand smoke, air pollution, chemical fumes or dust from your environment may also contribute to COPD.

Just like smoking can lead to lung cancer, smoking can lead to COPD, which also increases your risk of lung cancer. According to a recent study, COPD patients have a higher risk of developing small cell lung cancer (SCLC) which accounts for 15 percent of lung cancer cases worldwide. There is also a connection between COPD and non-small cell lung cancers, which account for the majority of lung cancer cases.

It doesn’t end there either. The relationship between COPD and lung cancer is like a two-way street. COPD patients are more likely to develop lung cancer than people who don’t have COPD, and lung cancer patients are more likely to also have COPD than people without cancer. Read more