Thyroid Cancer is the Fastest-Growing Cancer in America

Cheryl Bond-Nelms, wrote in the AARP Real Possibilities Newsletter that nearly three out of four cases of thyroid cancer are found in women.

Although the death rate from cancer in America is down 25 percent since 1991, there is one type of cancer rapidly increasing in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society, the chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has tripled over the last three decades, making it the fastest-growing cancer.

The thyroid is a gland located in the front of the neck, shaped like a butterfly. It produces hormones that enter the bloodstream and affect the metabolism, heart, brain, muscles and liver, and keep the body functioning properly and effectively.The estimates for cases of thyroid cancer in America for 2017 have increased, and rates are higher in women than men, according to these figures published on

In 2017, there will be an estimated 56,870 new cases of thyroid cancer — 42,470 in women and 14,400 in men.
An estimated 2,010 deaths will result from thyroid cancer — 1,090 in women and 920 in men.
Women account for nearly three-quarters of thyroid cancer cases. The exact cause of most thyroid cancers is unknown. Research has concluded that better imaging technology has increased the number of thyroid cancer cases diagnosed.

“Much of this rise appears to be the result of the increased use of thyroid ultrasound, which can detect small thyroid nodules that might not otherwise have been found in the past,” the American Cancer Society says.

What are the signs or symptoms related to thyroid cancer? The American Cancer Society lists the following on

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Tips for Staying Healthy

  The National Heart, Lung and  Blood Institute  posted that whether it’s taking a family walk on a Saturdaymorning or after dinner, or washing the car together, We Can!® encourages you to get active to maintain a healthy weight.

By getting active, you’re using calories you store up from everything you eat over the course of a day. Everything your family eats and drinks (from what you eat for breakfast to what you drink with dinner) is stored as energy. If this stored energy isn’t used, it creates an imbalance that can lead to weight gain.

However, balancing your food intake and activity IS possible. Learn more about energy balance.

When we talk about moving more, we are not asking you and your kids to train like athletes. Some types of physical activity and exercise can burn a lot of energy. But everyday activities use energy, too. Simply parking farther away from the grocery store and walking the extra distance can use more energy.

It’s up to you to choose the activities that are right for you and your family. And, it’s also up to you to stick with it. It is easy to spend a lot of time sitting in front of the computer or television.

It’s the same for kids. They spend hours sitting at their school desks, sitting at home doing homework, and sitting in front of the TV or computer.

Fight the urge to slouch on the couch. Instead, get up and go. Set an example for the kids in your life. Moving more can do more than just help your waistline, it can make you healthier by:

  • Relieving stress
  • Improving your sleep
  • Making your bones and muscles stronger
  • Making you feel full of energy
  • Building strength and endurance
  • Helping you feel good about yourself
  • Giving you something to do when you’re bored
  • Providing a way to connect to family and friends

Note: Health conditions like asthma sometimes discourage kids from engaging in physical activity, but these conditions don’t have to stop your family from being active. Check with your child’s medical care provider to make sure your child’s treatment plan allows your child’s asthma to be well controlled. When asthma is in good control, most children can do any physical activity they choose! For more information visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s Lung Disease publications page, or the NHLBI National Asthma Control Initiative.

Get Shots to Protect Your Health (for Adults) shared that adults need to get shots (vaccines) just like kids do. Make sure you are up to date on your shots.

  • Get a flu vaccine every year. The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.
  • Get the Tdap shot to protect against tetanus (“TET-nes”), diphtheria (“dif-THEER-ee-ah”), and whooping cough (pertussis). Everyone needs to get the Tdap shot once, and pregnant women need a dose during every pregnancy. Learn about the Tdap shot.
  • After you get a Tdap shot, get a Td shot every 10 years to keep you protected against tetanus and diphtheria. Learn about Td shots.
  • If you are age 60 or older, get shots for older adults. Older adults need shots to protect against diseases like pneumonia and shingles.

Ask your doctor or nurse if there are any other shots you need to stay healthy.

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Serious Eye Condition Being Misdiagnosed?

Gabrielle deGroot Redford,wrote for the AATP online newsletter that a new JAMA Ophthalmology study found that one in every four cases of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) was missed by trained eye care professionals, a finding that could have serious implications for the growing population of older adults most at risk of developing the sight-robbing disease.

Researchers at the University of Alabama, Birmingham reexamined 644 patients (average age 69) who had undergone a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist and discovered that fully 25 percent of those whose eyes had been deemed to be normal actually showed signs of AMD, the leading cause of irreversible vision loss for Americans age 50 and older in the U.S.

“As the baby boomer population comes into the years when age-related macular degenerationbecomes more prevalent, we need to make sure that patients are properly diagnosed,” says lead study author David Neely, M.D., of the University of Alabama, Birmingham. “Fortunately in our study, no cases of the advanced form of the disease were missed.”

AMD affects 14 million Americans and is characterized by a loss of central vision, making everyday activities like reading, driving and watching television difficult. As the population ages, the number of people with the disease is expected to increase significantly.

While there is no cure, researchers have discovered ways to slow the progression of AMD through nutritional supplementation and, in more severe cases, with injectable anti-VEGF medications that shrink the abnormal blood vessels that are a hallmark of the advanced stages of the disease. Read more

Our gut talks and sometimes argues with our brain

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The Fruit You Need to Be Eating More Of

Shelley Emling, wrote for the  AARP Health Newsletter that we already knew avocados are good for us. After all, they’re packed with protein (the good-quality kind), potassium and antioxidants. But we just didn’t know how good they are for us. Until now.

An April 2017 review of 129 previously published studies related to avocados found that eating the fruit — and eating it often — could ward off metabolic syndrome. Ominously nicknamed the “new silent killer,” metabolic syndrome is the label applied to a deadly combination of three or more risk factors that can lead to stroke, diabetes and heart disease. These risk factors include abdominal obesity, high triglyceride levels and high blood pressure.

(And yes, you might be tempted to call an avocado a veggie. But technically, it’s a fruit — and more specifically, a single-seeded berry.)

Avocados and their healthy fats appear to have the most dramatic impact on cholesterol levels, which have a positive effect on obesity rates, heart health and blood pressure. But they can help fight off almost every other aspect of metabolic syndrome, as well. And metabolic syndrome is not a condition to take lightly, as it affects 40 percent of Americans 40 and older.

If that weren’t enough, avocados also have been shown to stave off belly fat, the worst kind of fat to carry, and boost metabolism.

“This is just yet another study to show that avocados truly deserve superfood status,” Healthmagazine’s contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass told Time magazine. Sass was not one of the researchers involved in the review but agrees that it includes “an impressive range of studies.”

Sass also pointed out that avocados fill you up — which means it’s hard to eat too much of this food that’s high in healthy fat. If anything, people who eat a lot of avocados generally weigh less than those who don’t.

“This is yet another example of how not all calories are created equal,” Sass told Time.

The new review of studies, conducted by Iranian researchers, was published in the journal Phytotherapy Research.

Fortunately, American consumption of avocados has skyrocketed in the past four decades, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture released in January 2017. Indeed, thanks in part to the avocado’s reputation as a healthy fat, consumption of avocados jumped 1,342 percent between 1970 and 2014.

So what are you waiting for? Jump on the bandwagon and whip up some guacamole. For something a bit different, check out AARP’s recipe for a bacon-lettuce-avocado-tomato sandwichor this recipe for avocados stuffed with crab-mango salad.

How To Control High Blood Pressure Without Medication

Irshad Alam, (,  an experienced freelance writer shared with Healthy Lombard that blood pressure or hypertension can be extremely dangerous. The fact that it has no obvious symptoms makes it of a life-threatening proportion. So, it makes sense to consult the doctor on a regular basis and consume the right medication to get the numbers down. In fact, you can control your blood pressure without being on medication by following a healthy lifestyle. Making changes to the lifestyle can help you either go medication-free or at least delay the need for the same. After all, the way we lead our lives has a huge role to play in hypertension.

You can control high blood pressure without medication by following these recommended steps –

1#   Lose weight

There is a strong connection between weight and hypertension and both rise in proportion to each other. So, your blood pressure will increase if the weight goes up gradually. The focus thus should be on losing those extra pounds by making changes to the lifestyle. Not doing the same might expose you to a greater risk of the disease. Maintaining a healthy waistline will in turn maintain your blood pressure successfully.

2#   Regular exercise

Engaging in regular physical activity can help you lower the blood pressure to a manageable level. You can walk, jog, swim or cycle daily for at least 30 minutes and keep hypertension in check. Even strength training provides benefits you should not miss.

3#   Healthy diet

What we eat has a huge bearing on the blood pressure levels in the body. The focus thus should be on eating a healthy diet – a diet that comprises of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Keep a blood pressure checker by your side so that you know the levels of blood pressure in a gradual manner.     Read more

Ibuprofen (and Other NSAIDs) and Heart Attack Risk

 Korin Miller in SELF wrote that you probably heard recently that new research has linked non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) with an increased risk of a heart attack. Common over-the-counter NSAIDs include ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) and naproxen (Aleve), and people promptly freaked out over the news. But before you do the same, know this: This isn’t as bad as it sounds.

First, some basics on the research. The meta-analysis, which was published in the BMJ, studied data from 446,763 people, including more than 61,000 who had heart attacks. Researchers looked at study participants’ heart health and how often they took NSAIDs, and determined that taking any dose of NSAIDs for a week, month, or more than a month was associated with an increased risk of having a heart attack. Risks ranged from 20 to 50 percent compared to people who didn’t take NSAIDs, and the risk level increased as quickly as one week into the use of any NSAID.

But here’s a very important point: The study was observational and not causational, meaning this doesn’t definitively say ibuprofen causes heart attacks.

Instead, it means the scientists simply observed that people who took NSAIDs had a higher risk of heart attacks. They found an association, not causation-based proof that NSAIDs are bad news for your heart.

Experts say you shouldn’t chuck the ibuprofen sitting in your bathroom cabinet over this. “People take these drugs because they’re sick, and we know that when people have health issues, they’re more likely to have cardiac problems arise,” Richard Wright, M.D., a cardiologist at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, tells SELF. “It’s the same thing as the idea that if someone goes to the emergency room, they’re more likely to die. It’s not because the ER is killing them—they go to the ER because they’re sick.”

This issue is a lot more complicated than simply pitting the heart attack risk for people who regularly take NSAIDs versus that of the general population. In fact, it’s hard to even pinpoint an exact number for the general population’s risk of heart attacks, since it’s based on factors like age and lifestyle, which vary wildly between people.

With that said, a good estimate for American adults’ heart attack risk is about five in 1,000 for year, Wright says. “Even if NSAIDs raise that risk by 50 percent, which is dubious at best, the absolute increase in risk for those taking such drugs is perhaps two or three per thousand people per year,” he said. “Most of my patients will gladly accept this slight risk, if taking these drugs relieve their aches and pains and allow them to function.”

Also worth noting: This association between NSAIDs and heart health isn’t new at all.

Medhat Mikhael, M.D., a pain management specialist and medical director of the non-operative program at the Center for Spine Health at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, California, tells SELF that the news isn’t surprising to members of the medical community. He points out that in 2005, the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) warned that taking NSAIDs increased a person’s risk of having a heart attack or stroke. The FDA particularly flagged rofecoxib, a type of NSAID called a COX-2 inhibitor (it was removed from shelves in 2004), but noted that additional research found a link between all NSAIDs and heart attack risk.

The FDA also noted in a 2015 follow-up warning that the risk is greatest for people who already have heart disease, although those who don’t have heart disease may also be at risk. “Those serious side effects can occur as early as the first few weeks of using an NSAID, and the risk might rise the longer people take NSAIDs,” the FDA said in its warning.

The risk is nowhere near large enough for doctors to avoid recommending NSAIDs for most patients.

“If a normal young person threw out their back and their doctor prescribed NSAIDs for two weeks, am I concerned that this is going to cause a heart attack? Absolutely not,” Mikhael says. However, he stresses that doctors don’t recommend taking NSAIDs for long periods of time anyway. “You can use it one day when you have a flare-up, but I don’t want you to be on it for a long time on a daily basis,” he says. “Long-term use can have side effects.”

Those include the potential for a gastric ulcer and kidney disease, he says—both more likely reasons he would recommend against long-term NSAID use than potential heart issues, he notes.

Some people are interpreting the findings as a reason to switch to acetaminophen (aka Tylenol), but Mikhael says that’s not necessarily the right move. While it may not carry the same risks, it’s not completely risk-free, he says, noting that long-term use of acetaminophen can also have a toxic effect on a person’s liver.

There are obvious benefits to taking NSAIDs, like the fact that they can help with pain relief. It’s just about using good judgment as to whether it’s the right choice for you.

If you have any underlying heart conditions, you should absolutely talk to your doctor before taking any sort of pain reliever or other medicine, just to be safe. Otherwise? “If you have a need to take NSAIDs, take them,” Wright says. “But don’t take them out of habit. After your strep throat is over, you don’t keep taking penicillin—it’s the same thing with NSAIDs and pain.”

Mikhael agrees. “A lot of patients think that over-the-counter medication like Aleve and ibuprofen are absolutely safe to take and then they take it daily in a big amount,” he says. “Over-the-counter medications can be harmful when you take too much for too long a time.”

If you feel that you need to take NSAIDs for longer than a few days, Mikhael recommends checking in with your doctor to be safe. “Do not take it for granted that over-the-counter medication is safe simply because it’s over-the-counter,” he says. That said, if you need to take an ibuprofen for a few days for a random ache and don’t have an underlying heart condition, experts say you should be just fine to do so.

5 Non-Stimulant Fat Burners for People Sensitive to Caffeine

Alex Eriksson   at asks, “Do you want to lose fat but maintain muscle mass?” Most people do! One way to support your fat loss goals is to use fat burner supplements along with regular exercise and a proper diet.

The problem with many popular fat burner supplements today is that they contain stimulants that induce changes in your adrenalin release and heart rate. These stimulant-based fat burners also directly affect the nervous system and raise blood pressure. People who are sensitive to caffeine are thus not able to use these supplements for fat loss.

In this light, which supplements can be safely used by caffeine-sensitive people wanting to lose body fat?


Why Some People Don’t Do Well with Stimulants

It has something to do with genetics. The COMT gene is one of the many genes that affect the way stimulants work in the body.

Caffeine increases the production and release of substances called catecholamines. High concentrations of catecholamines in the blood may cause damage in the heart muscle and eventually lead to higher risks of heart attacks.

Catechol-0-Methyl Transferase (COMT) breaks down the catecholamines released through caffeine ingestion. Now, caffeine-sensitive individuals often have COMT genes that aren’t that active. These slow-acting genes are unable to process excess catecholamine activity, leading to higher risks of muscular heart damage and increased heart attack risk. This explains why caffeine-sensitive people often experience rapid heartbeat after ingesting just a small amount of caffeine.


Going for Non-Stimulant Fat Burners

People who are sensitive to caffeine should avoid taking stimulant fat burners for the important reason – stimulant fat burners contain caffeine or stimulants such as ephedrine which increases risks of heart attacks and other heart conditions such as arrhythmia.

So, take your hard work in losing body fat up a notch by using non-stimulant fat burners to speed things up in a safer way. Non-stimulant fat burners utilize healthier substances instead of stimulants to remove excess fat in the body.

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Why you need to check your blood pressure

Alison Sage, D.O. in  Healthy Driven Life, Healthy Driven Hearts shared that Heart attack. Stroke. Vision loss. Sexual dysfunction are some of the problems you face if your blood pressure gets too high.It’s important to note that high blood pressure comes without symptoms. You don’t feel a thing. Meanwhile, your arteries are being damaged.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is very common. The American Heart Association reports one out of three Americans older than 20 have high blood pressure. That’s 85 million people.

So how do you know if you have high blood pressure? Have your doctor measure it. If it’s normal, have it checked again in a year or two. If it’s high, your doctor may want you to try measuring it at home to get a bigger picture of the pressure over time.

You can purchase a blood pressure monitor at your local pharmacy or online. Look for one with a cuff that fits around your arm. This Consumer Reports article lays out some features to look for in a home blood pressure monitor.

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