Alcohol Consumption: More Risk Than Benefit

Alcohol is a small, water soluble molecule that is relatively slowly absorbed from the stomach, more rapidly absorbed from the small intestine, and freely distributed throughout the body. Alcoholic drinks are a major source of energy, for example, six pints of beer contain about 500 kcal and half a liter of whisky contains 1650 kcal. The daily energy requirement for a moderately active man is 3000 kcal and for a woman is 2200 kcal.

Alcohol is a sedative and mild anaesthetic. It is believed to activate the pleasure or reward centres in the brain by triggering release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin. Alcohol produces a sense of well being, relaxation and euphoria.

These feelings are accompanied by physiological changes such as flushing, sweating, tachycardia (rapid beating of the heart), and increase in blood pressure. The kidneys secrete more urine. Increasing consumption leads to a state of intoxication, which depends on the amount of drink and previous experience of drinking. Even at a low blood concentration of around 30mg/100ml, the risk of unintentional injury is higher than in the absence of alcohol. In a simulated driving test, for example, bus drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 50mg/100ml thought they could drive through obstacles that were too narrow for their vehicles.

People become garrulous, elated, and aggressive at concentration above 100mg/100ml, and then may stop drinking as drowsiness supervenes. Hangover includes insomnia, nocturia (passing abnormally large quantity of urine during the night), tiredness, nausea and headache. If drinking continues, slurred speech and unsteadiness are likely at around 200mg/100ml, and loss of consciousness may result. Concentrations above 400mg/100mlcommonly are fatal as a result of ventricular fibrillation, respiratory failure or inhalation of vomit, particularly when drugs have been taken with alcohol.

 

Drinking alcohol, the most widely used psychoactive drug world wide, can be a pressure, but unless the amount taken by regular drinkers are carefully limited many of the bodies vital organs are at risk.

When some of these are damaged seriously enough by the daily intake of alcohol over a number of years, the health and even the life of the drinker is threatened, warns WHO in one of a series of information sheets on alcohol misuse.

Worldwide, the amount of alcohol related illness puts a considerable strain on national health budgets and uses up funds which are badly needed to prevent and cure other diseases. The natural outcome is likely to be a higher incidence of alcohol related problems, and a further substantial drain on scarce economic and social resources.

Regular drinking can damage any of the organs of the body except the bladder and the lungs. The brain, nerves, liver, muscles, kidney, heart, pancreas, sex organs, gullet, stomach and bowel are all at risk. After heart disease and cancer, alcoholic liver diseases (cirrhosis of the liver) is now the chief cause of death among middle aged men in many developed countries. The chances of survival depend on how soon the sickness is caught.

The brain, which when you drink is literally bathed in alcohol, is now being found by medical experts to functionless well in case of heavy drinkers. One result can be difficulty in walking properly and controlling the muscles. In addition, alcohol is of course a depressant, and drinkers who experience deep depressions often commit suicide. The digestive system is also a prime target of alcohol, and scientists have discovered it is involved in cancer of the mouth, throat and gullet. One reason why heavy drinkers die earlier than other people is high blood pressure, caused by the effect of alcohol. There is also damage to the heart muscles which prevent the heart pumping effectively.

The sex drive in men may be harmed by too much drinking. Sex hormone levels fall, leading to less interest in sex and a less ability to make love, or even impotence. Research among women has been less, but the evidence indicates that their interest also diminishes when they drink heavily.

To combat the health hazards of drinking, different approaches have been adopted including health education and motivation, encouraging people to stay within safe limits when they drink, restricting the availability of alcohol, and imposing a tax large enough to make drink a luxury.

 

Be Aware Of Water & Food Borne Diseases

The list of water and food borne diseases are tall. However some important ones are mentioned here which spread by water and food like amoebic and bacillary dysentery, cholera, typhoid and paratyphoid, gastroenteritis (inflammation of alimentary tract), Hepatitis A virus (HAV) and Hepatitis E virus (HEV), round worm, whip worm etc.

How the water and food borne diseases spread?

The above mentioned water and food borne diseases spread via contaminated water and food by the affected water and food handlers. People engaged in cutting, processing, cooking these food items do not follow simple hygiene procedure before preparation of the food. Water and other soft drinks, fruit juices prepared in different house hold places and in some large factories also do not maintain the minimum standards for preparation of these items. The patients take food and water from these installations and infected with these diseases.

Risks associated with these diseases

There are many health risks, social and financial implications of these water and food borne diseases.

If a patient develops diarrhoea, his electrolyte level is down and if he is not administered with oral fluid replacement, his life may be in great danger. Diarrhoea and dysentery leads to huge loss of fluid, electrolytes, essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals etc. which are essential for normal development. Deficiency of these will lead to anemia, malnutrition, improper physical and mental growth and development. Administration of proper drugs prescribed by physician is vital for some cases, otherwise the disease may turn to chronic case and may cause increased morbidity in the patient.

Most of the acute dysenteries can be cured properly if diagnosed early and appropriate medicine is prescribed by physician. However, indiscriminate use of anti dysenteric drugs by pharmacy people, self, family members has lead to the increased chronic dysentery in Bangladesh. Long term complications may develop in acute and chronic patients if not treated properly.

Typhoid and paratyphoid fevers are very serious disease and unless diagnosed promptly and treated properly the patient may develop serious complications which may even be fatal.

Besides, the patient may go to chronic stage and may suffer from this diseases for long.

Jaundice due to HAV is common in children and due to HEV is common in adults. These hepatitis are water and food borne unlike their other two counterparts like hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) which are transmitted by use of shared needles, blood transfusion, surgery, sexual contacts and with other body fluids like mucous, saliva etc.

How we can prevent these diseases?
Preventive measures are always better than curative measures. Simple following of hygiene and application of common sense is sufficient to reduce morbidity and mortality from these diseases.

Preventive measures includes—

a. Washing of hands with hand soap, soap, ashes after each use, before each meal.

b. Cutting of nail properly every week. This is a simple but very important measure to prevent water and food borne diseases.

c. Boiling of water, purification of water with purifying tablets, use of mineral water, supply of safe drinking water.

d. Avoid taking food from outside unhygienic hotels, restaurants, food courts, road side food shop. Try to take home made food as much as you can.

e. If at all anyone has to take food from outside hotel look for the cleanliness, hygienic preparation of food, proper food serving. Whether the food is covered properly or not the hygiene of the bearers, cook, table boy etc.

f. Try to avoid coloured food, Junk food, Ice cream from outside unless you are very sure that these foods are prepared in a hygienic way.

g. Once you are suffering from these diseases go to the physician as early as possible, arrange early diagnosis and take appropriate medicine to combat.

h. Effective inspection by sanitary and food inspectors should be taken by appropriate authority and ensure that strict hygienic measure are taken to prepare food in different installations.

i. Avoid addition of coloring & flavoring agent, dyes, chemicals completely in the food.

j. Mobile courts should continue and monitor the adulteration drive programme time to time.

k. Media like Television, Radio, Newspaper should publish articles on different aspect of healthy food preparation and aware the people of different water and food borne diseases time to time.

Caffeine Is A Drug

Caffeine is a drug, popularly consumed in coffee, tea, soft drinks and, in smaller doses, chocolate. While we seem to have a love affair with these products, there\’s been quite a bit of confusion and even controversy surrounding caffeine lately. Is it good or bad for us? Here\’s a brief tutorial on caffeine, and some surprising answers to these questions.

Effects on the Body:

* Hormones — You can feel the effects of caffeine in your system within a few minutes of ingesting it, and it stays on your system for many hour. While in your body, caffeine affects the following hormones:

* Adenosine — Can inhibit absorption of adenosine, which calms the body, which can make you feel alert in the short run, but can cause sleep problems later.

* Adrenaline– Caffeine injects adrenaline into your system, giving you a temporary boost, but possibly making you fatigued and depressed later. If you take more caffeine to counteract these effects, you end up spending the day in an agitated state, and might find yourself jumpy and edgy by night.

* Cortisol — Can increase the body\’s levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone”, which can lead to other health consequences ranging from weight gain and moodiness to heart disease and diabetes.

•Dopamine — Caffeine increases dopamine levels in your system, acting in a way similar to amphetamines, which can make you feel good after taking it, but after it wears off you can feel \’low\’. It can also lead to a physical dependence because of dopamine manipulation.

These changes caffeine makes in your physiology can have both positive and negative consequences:

• Sleep Caffeine can affect your sleep by keeping you awake longer, thereby shortening the amount of sleep you get, and giving you less time in the restorative stages of sleep, which takes a toll on your level of alertness the next day and overall health.

Interestingly, though, caffeine doesn’t affect the stages of sleep the way other stimulants do, so it\’s a better choice than speed or other \’uppers\’ to use if you need to stay awake.

• Weight Many experts believe that increased levels of cortisol lead to stronger cravings for fat and carbohydrates, and cause the body to store fat in the abdomen. (Abdominal fat carries with it greater health risks than other types of fat.

Also, if increased cortisol levels lead to stronger cravings for caffeine-laden foods, the body goes into a cycle that leads only to worse health.

The good news, though, is that caffeine can speed up metabolism. Also, it can help the body break down fat about 30% more efficiently if consumed prior to exercise. (You must be exercising to get this benefit, though.) Additionally, caffeine can keep blood sugar levels elevated, leaving you feeling less hungry.

* Exercise If caffeine elevates levels of cortisol and other hormones for a temporary boost, after caffeine wears off, the body can feel fatigued and feelings of mild to moderate depression can set in. This can make physical activity more difficult.

On the positive side, caffeine has been found to enhance physical performance and endurance if it isn\’t overused. This, combined with its effect of fat burning during exercise, can actually enhance workouts and enable you to get in better shape if you take it at the right time.

Caffeine and Stress

Because caffeine and stress can both elevate cortisol levels, high amounts of caffeine (or stress) can lead to the negative health effects associated with prolonged elevated levels of cortisol (which you can read about here). If you ingest high levels of caffeine, you may feel your mood soar and plummet, leaving you craving more caffeine to make it soar again, causing you to lose sleep, suffer health consequences and, of course, feel more stress. However, small to moderate amounts of caffeine can lift your mood and give you a boost.

The Verdict on Caffeine

With potential negative and positive health consequences, caffeine can be your friend, but in controlled doses. Here\’s what you should remember about caffeine:

* Don\’t Take Too Much. Because of the health risks (above) associated with higher levels of caffeine, as well as the risk of physical dependence that can come with four cups of coffee or more each day, it\’s wise to limit your caffeine intake. (Withdrawal symptoms can include cravings, headache, fatigue and muscle pain.)

* No Caffeine After 2pm. Because sleep is important to proper physical functioning, and caffeine can stay in your system for 8 hours or longer, you should cut off or limit your caffeine intake to the first part of the day to ensure that your sleep isn\’t disrupted.

* Enjoy Caffeine With Physical Activity. Caffeine is best ingested before exercisethat way your performance is enhanced and the stress-management benefits of exercise can keep you healthy and feeling less stressed throughout the day.

Asthma And Inhaler Use

Asthma is a disease of the respiratory system. People who have asthma sometimes have trouble breathing. When people who have asthma have this trouble breathing, it is called an asthma attack. Lots of people have asthma attacks and they are aggravated during winter.

Why does asthma occur and what happens during an asthma attack?

When most of us breathe, the muscles that are wrapped around the air tubes (airways) are very loose and relaxed, and the lining inside the airways is very thin. This lets the airways open up very wide so that it is easy to get air in and out of the small air sacs that make up our lungs. These small sacs are called alveoli. The muscles that are wrapped around the airways are very thin and loose, and the airway is wide open. This makes it easy to move air in and out of the air sacs

During an asthma attack, the muscles around the airways tighten, or “spasm” and the lining inside the airways swell or thicken, and get clogged with lots of thick mucous. This makes the airways much skinnier than usual so it is harder to move air in and out of the air sacs. This makes it hard to breathe!

During an asthma attack, it is actually harder to breathe out than it is to breathe in. This means that during an asthma attack, it takes much longer to breathe out (expire) than it does to breathe in (inspire)

Since it is so hard to breathe out during an asthma attack, more and more air gets trapped inside the lungs making it feel like one cannot breathe in or out!

What causes asthma attacks?
Lots of different things can cause an asthma attack. Something that causes an asthma attack is called a trigger. Some common triggers of asthma attacks are:
*Allergies
*Infections like colds or bronchitis
*Exercise
*Changes in the weather (from mild to cold)
*Smoke

 

What does it feel like to have an asthma attack?
Everybody does not feel the same things when they have an asthma attack.
*Sometimes during an asthma attack, people will cough and cough and cough,
*Sometimes people feel like they cannot catch their breath,
*Sometimes people feel like air is trapped in their lungs and they cannot get it out,
*Sometimes they have pain in their chest,
*Sometimes during an asthma attack, they have very noisy breathing,

How do doctors help make asthma better?

There are many different medicines that doctors may use to help people with asthma. Some medicines are swallowed (pills or liquids), some medicines are inhaled (breathed in through your mouth or nose), and some medicines are injected (given as a shot in one of your muscles or veins). For most people, inhaled medicines are used first because they start working very fast (usually in less than five minutes!) and they don’t have too many side effects. This is because inhaled medicines go right into the lungs and not into other parts of the body.

How to use an inhaler properly
The main problem using inhaler is its improper use. People often do mistake using inhaler and they don’t get actual result. Sometimes many people give up inhaling for the time being and the condition become worsen.

Using a metered-dose inhaler (MDI) seems simple, but most patients do not use it the right way. When you use the MDI the wrong way, less medicine gets to your lungs.

The following steps can help using inhaler in proper way.

Getting ready
*Take off the cap and shake the inhaler hard.
*Breathe out all the way.
*Hold the inhaler 1 to 2 inches in front of your mouth (about the width of two fingers). Alternatively, place the MDI into a spacer and insert the spacer into your mouth.

Breath in slowly
*Start breathing in slowly through your mouth, and then press down on the inhaler one time. (If you use a spacer, first press down on the inhaler. Within 5 seconds, begin to breathe in slowly.)

*Keep breathing in slowly, as deeply as you can.

Hold your breath
*Hold your breath as you count to 10 slowly, if you can. This lets the medicine reach deep into your lungs.

*For inhaled quick-relief medicine (beta-agonists), wait about one minute between puffs. There is no need to wait between puffs for other medicines.

*Rinse your mouth afterward, to help reduce unwanted side effects.

Clean your inhaler as needed
Look at the hole where the medicine sprays out from your inhaler. If you see powder in or around the hole, clean the inhaler. Remove the metal canister from the L-shaped plastic mouthpiece. Rinse only the mouthpiece and cap in warm water. Let them dry overnight. In the morning, put the canister back inside. Put the cap on.

Replacing your inhaler
For control medicines you take each day, write the date you need to replace it on the canister.

For example, say your new canister has 200 puffs (number of puffs is listed on canister) and you are told to take 8 puffs per day. This canister will last 25 days. If you started using this inhaler on May 1, replace it on or before May 25. Write the date on your canister.

Don’t put your canister in water to see if it is empty. This does not work.

Children and inhalers
Young children may not be able to control their breathing enough to use a metered dose inhaler. A spacer can help. It is a chamber with a mouth piece that attaches to the inhaler. Once the medication is released, the spacer holds it until the child takes a breathe and inhales it. Other alternatives are to give the medication by mouth if it comes that way or to give it by a nebulizer.

Storage

Store your metered dose inhaler at room temperature. It may not work well if it is too cold. The contents of the canister are under pressure. So, do not get it too hot or puncture it.
Clean your inhaler the way the package insert tells you to.

How To Sleep Better

If you\’re having problem sleeping, you can try a few things to help you sleep better. If you really have such a bad problem then you should seek help from a doctor.You could have trouble sleeping because you are having problems or that your nervous system is having trouble sleeping. You should get your health check at the doctor\’s office.

You could exercise to help you sleep better. When you exercise you will get tire and you will tend to sleep better. When you\’re tire you will fall asleep quicker then when you\’re not working out.

You can sleep in a dark room that is quiet. Sometimes the darkness really helps you to sleep. The body is a biological thing and it\’ll fall asleep quicker in a dark environment. You will have a harder time sleeping in a bright environment. You can take sleep aid that is prescribed by your doctor. You have to follow the exact dosage and don\’t over dose because it\’s easy to overdose on medicine if you take over the required dosage. You should always consult a doctor if you do have sleeping problem and they\’ll be able to prescribe you a medication regimen and also explain to you and assess why you can\’t sleep well. The important thing to remember is not to use the medication improperly because it can be life-threatening as with all other medication.

 

ow To Get the Best Night’s Sleep

Everyone’s been there, lying in bed, staring at the ceiling and hoping against hope that you’ll be able to get enough sleep so that you’re not a zombie the next day. Sometimes you’re excited and can’t seem to get settled, sometimes you’re stressed and can’t relax, and sometimes you’re just bottom-line not tired.

 

Whatever the reason, here’s some steps you can take to make bedtime better.

zzzzz Be active. It’s been shown that leading an inactive life causes fatigue, and that even 25 minutes a day of exercise (enough to keep your heart rate increased) can mean better sleep. As a side effect, the weight you may lose will also help you catch those Z’s.

Get better Sleep Cut out any heavy sugars or caffeine. Caffeine can stay in your system for 8 hours or longer. That means you should cut off, or limit your caffeine intake to the first part of the day to make sure that your sleep isn’t disrupted sleep Make a routine. You’ll find your body slipping into sleep a lot easier when it’s on a “sleep cycle” that has a regular rhythm.

Better Sleep Only use your bed for sleeping. Doing more than sleeping in your bed confuses the body, and even though you may know if you’re going to sleep or watching TV, your body may not, and won’t know to be awake, or relax.

Sleep well Keep an eye out for sleep disorders .

Do you wake up gasping for breath? Do your legs move so much that it wakes you up? Do you snore? Hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer from sleep disorders, and most go their whole lives without treatment. If sleeping has become a serious enough issue, it may be time to see your doctor.

Sleep More to Weigh Less

This may sound against the adage but scientists actually found that you can sleep more to weigh less. Sleep and weight are believed to have some connection. One of these connections is manifested in the condition called sleep apnea wherein obese people found it difficult to sleep comfortably.

Studies have been conducted in the past which associated sleep loss to weight gain. Case Western Reserve University conducted a study on more than 68,000 women to determine sleeping patterns and its relation to weight. The research revealed that those who sleep for less than 5hours a night gained more weight compared to those who sleep an average of 7 hours a night.

It can be gleaned that women who sleep less are more prone to becoming obese compared to women who sleep a full night or at least 7 hours.

Women who sleep less also consumed lesser calories. This can be due to the hormones in our bodies. Our body release leptin to the bloodstream. The function of Leptin is to determine if there is enough fat stored in the body. If that is the case then it would suppress apetite. On the other hand, our stomach releases a hormone called ghrelin which would alert us if we are hungry.

When we don\’t sleep, the leptin levels in our bodies decreases, making it hard for the body to suppress apetite due to excess fats. The ghrelin levels also increase which would always signal hunger. This means that your body cannot determine if you have enough fat stored because the leptin is limited and the body always craves for food because more ghrelin hormones are released into the bloodstream.

Short sleep by definition means 4 hours or less sleep every night. This could cause lower leptin and higher ghrelin. In order to avoid this problem and eventual weight gain later, one should make sure that he has more than 4 hours of sleep every night to avoid this dilemma.

Latest studies allow scientists to make connections between sleeping and appetite. In the studies conducted on mice, a gene which is controlled by circadian clock is found to control sleeping and walking. It is the same gene that can affect fat deposits in the body. When the scientists turn off the circadian clock gene, the mice didn\’t gain weight even when feed with high calorie foods as compared to another group of mice whose clock weren\’t turned off. This means that if the gene for sleeping is controlled, weight also follows.

 

 

Way To Get Energized Without Energy Drinks

BY REGRET
Energy drinks are great for a quick pick-me up, but they can often be loaded with too much sugar, which is bad for your waistline, and too much caffeine, which can be dangerous to your heart. They often can cause you to severely crash later on, too, which will leave you reaching for another one. These sugary, addicting beverages are definitely not the best way to get a good dose of energy, so here are a few simple, healthy tips that are great ways to make you feel more energized throughout your day:

Eat a big breakfast
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day and eating a big breakfast will give you plenty of energy, but I’m not talking sausage biscuits or bacon and eggs here. It’s best to eat healthier options like whole-grain cereal, yogurt, and fresh fruit.

The B vitamins from the cereal and natural sugars from the fruit will give you plenty of energy, and this kind of breakfast is also great for those who are on a diet because it keeps you fuller longer and you eat less later in the day.

Snack on nuts
If you get hungry during the day and need a pick-me-up, have a handful of walnuts or almonds. They pack a powerful protein punch and are another food that provides lasting energy. As an added plus, they’re a very healthy, vitamin-packed snack that’s good for your hair, skin, nails, heart, and they may even help you live longer.

Drink green tea and coffee
If you can drink your coffee black or with a little artificial sweetener and cut the cream and sugar, it’s actually rather good for you, especially when it comes to heart health, blood circulation, and concentration. It’s best to drink your cup of coffee slowly, because this provides more of a lasting energy effect, and don’t drink more than three cups a day. Another good caffeinated drink that gives you a dose of antioxidants and provides an abundance of health benefits is green tea. Just avoid that bottled stuff and make your own.

97 Reasons To Quit Smoking

1. You won’t have to pay more and more and more and more each year.
Yup, taxes will almost certainly continue to go up. New Jersey, Vermont, and Connecticut are among the states leaning harder on smokers for revenue, but even some tobacco-growing states are beginning to milk the coffin-nail cash cow. Lawmakers’ reasoning: There is evidence that price increases cause smokers to reduce consumption. And the medical costs of smoking are astronomical—a huge burden to the states.

2. Really, if you think cigarette prices can’t go up much more, you’ve got Wall Street against you as well as the government.
Addiction—to oil, tobacco, etc.—is a very good thing to bank on. Many on Wall Street remain bullish about Big Tobacco’s ability to jack up prices, even if sales drop because of tax increases.

3. You’ll be smarter than Goofy.
“No Smoking” is a superb 1951 Disney cartoon depicting the history of tobacco use and, in modern times, Goofy’s addiction and attempt to quit (there’s a hilarious Mad Men-ish scene of an office full of smokers). It ends with him smoking an exploding cigar as the narrator concludes: “Give the smoker enough rope and he’ll hang on to his habit.”

4. Once you quit, you’ll find it more amusing that tobacco soup smells like s**t.
Or at least that’s what kids at a Washington state elementary school said when Teens Against Tobacco Use visited their class recently and mixed up a concoction of cigarette ingredients.

5. Smoking can cramp your style in the bedroom.
Smoking can affect circulation; with less blood flow to your genitals, arousal for both men and women can be more difficult.

6. Sever yourself from the sordid history of animal testing in smoking research.
Smoking-related cancer researchers have long used animals as test subjects, producing the famous smoking beagles photos from the 1970s, which are still used by antivivisection sites today.

7. You’ll sleep better.
Smokers are four times as likely to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep, a Johns Hopkins study found; it seems going through nicotine withdrawal each night can contribute to sleep disturbances.

8. Cool bonuses at work may be in your future.
Employers are increasingly offering incentives—such as gift cards, premium discounts, or cash—to employees who participate in smoking cessation programs.

9. Quitting is a plausible excuse to play computer games.
A recent survey commissioned by online game maker Real Networks suggests that playing games online can help distract people from smoking.

10. Nonsmokers have stronger bones than smokers.
Women smokers have been found to lose 2.3% to 3.3% of bone mineral density for every 10 pack-years of tobacco use. The effects are even worse in postmenopausal women.

 

11. You won’t have to look at those horrible antismoking messages on cigarette packs.
American messages are mild by comparison, but you have to think that this country will follow Canada, the UK, Australia, Jordan, Romania, and Uruguay by starting to put big pictures of rotting teeth, mouth cancer, and postmortem tumors right on the box. When that happens, you’ll be looking at a charming, very uncool image every time you light up. Check out the gallery at the feisty site run by Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada.

12. That ringing in your ears will be sweet music, not just…ringing in your ears.
Smokers have a nearly 70% greater likelihood of developing hearing loss than nonsmokers.

13. You’ll have less chance of being labeled a wild, troubled, tragic genius.
Obligatory Amy Wine house mention here: She recently emerged from the hospital with early signs of emphysema—possibly crack-induced—and lit up a cigarette.

14. You’ll have more dining and barhopping options on overseas vacations.
England, France, New Zealand, and Puerto Rico are among the exciting destinations now 100% smoke-free in restaurants and bars.

15. You may be less likely to get psoriasis.
Studies have shown that daily smoking is linked to the risk of developing psoriasis. The higher the number of cigarettes over 20 smoked per day, the greater that risk.

16. Your chance of having cold hands and feet will go down…
When you quit smoking, your circulation gets better right away.

17. …which means you can reduce your risk of frostbite.
Smoking restricts circulation, which is particularly bad for the fingers and toes of those desperate people who step outside to puff in wintry climates.

18. You can drink less coffee for the same buzz—and save money.
Smokers’ bodies clear caffeine 56% more quickly than nonsmokers’. That’s why you should cut your caffeine intake in half when you quit—or risk some serious irritability and insomnia.

19. The Pill suddenly becomes a lot safer to use.
If you’re on the Pill and smoke, you should cut out one or the other. The Pill is not recommended for smokers because oral contraceptives carry a risk of clots, heart attacks, and strokes; those risks are increased if you smoke.

20. Slow the progression from HIV to AIDS.
HIV-positive people who smoke appear to have a faster progression time to AIDS than those who don’t smoke. The effect is likely a result of smoking’s impact on the immune system.

 

21. You may be able to cut back on your dosage of certain medications.
Smoking affects the liver enzymes that process certain drugs, so smokers sometimes need to take higher doses to get the same effect.

22. You’ll be less likely to burn down your house.
One study found that people who live in smoking households were up to 6.6 times more likely to experience a fire injury than those in nonsmoking households. According to another study, cigarettes were the cause of 55% of all house fires involving a fatality. Overall, cigarettes are the leading cause of death from residential fires. On April 9, 2008, a 3-year-old Texas boy burned down his family’s house after playing with a cigarette lighter. The boy, a report said, would now attend a fire safety course.

23. You’ll cut your risk of Crohn’s disease.
Smokers are four times more likely as those who never smoked to develop this chronic—sometimes debilitating—disease, which can be painful, causes frequent diarrhea, and can require intestinal surgery.

24. Save money—lots of it—and purchase more important luxuries, like gas.
Calculate how much you’ll save.

25. If you stop buying cigarettes online, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll also chip away at a sleazy business.
Yes, you can save tons of money buying cigarettes online—but then you’re supporting a sleazy business. In 2004, a California study showed that kids had no problem finding and ordering cigs online, and 77% got their tobacco delivered. Another study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2003 showed that 92% of minors were able to buy smokes online despite the prevalence of age warnings on the sites.

26. Decrease your risk of heart disease and heart attack.
Smokers are at two to four times greater risk of developing coronary heart disease as nonsmokers. Cigarette smokers with coronary heart disease are also at twice the risk for sudden cardiac death as nonsmokers with coronary heart disease.

27. You’ll be less likely to die of a brain tumor.
The brain is a common site for lung cancer to spread. In fact, according to the American College of Radiology, radiation therapy may sometimes be used on the brain even when no cancer has been detected in “this vital site.”

28. You’ll brighten up your choppers.
Nobody likes tobacco stains. The average professional teeth-cleaning procedure costs somewhere between $500 and $1000.

29. You’ll be less wrinkly.
After 10 years, smoking can speed up your skin’s aging process by narrowing your skin’s blood vessels and damaging the tissues that give the skin its strength and elasticity.

30. Cut the risk of acid reflux.
If you’ve smoked for 20 years, you’re 70% more likely than a nonsmoker to have acid reflux.

31. Carry a smaller purse or streamline your pants.
No more toting that pack (or two) of cigarettes, lighter, breath strips, and gum.

32. Enjoy your food more.
Smoking diminishes the taste of food and the pleasure of eating.

33. Preserve your sense of smell.
About twice as many smokers as nonsmokers have a reduced sense of smell.

34. Eat less. (Despite muting the taste buds, smoking brings food cravings of its own.)
Smoking increases food cravings in women, particularly for starchy carbohydrates and high-fat foods.

35. Avoid that attractive “yellow fingers” look.
Smoking can permanently stain your fingers.

36. Keep your walls the color you painted them.
Cigarette smoke creates persistent yellow stains on painted walls that take a concentrated effort to remove.

37. Reduce the premature need for expensive hair treatments.
Smokers are three to six times more likely to go prematurely gray than nonsmokers.

38. Reduce the need for premature hairpieces.
Men who smoke are twice as likely to become bald as men who don’t smoke.

39. Cheer up without meds.
Smoking may increase the risk of depression.

40. You’d fit in nicely working at Dell.
The computer giant (with 28,000 U.S. employees) is banning smoking on all its U.S. campuses starting January 1, 2009.

 

41. Protect Fido and Fluffy.
A number of studies show that secondhand smoke at home may be associated with oral cancer and lymphoma in cats, lung and nasal cancer in dogs, and lung cancer in birds.

42. Get more work done at the office.
A study in the Netherlands showed that smokers took an average of 11 more sick days a year than nonsmokers.

43. No more little, round burn holes in your clothes or car seats.
It doesn’t matter if you’re wearing linen, cotton, or wool (or if your car seats are wearing leather or vinyl), all sorts of materials are susceptible to cigarette burns.

 

44. Cut your chances of a horrible elevator experience.
If you take cigarette breaks in a tall building, you’ll take more elevator rides. Let this guy’s story of a smoke break that turned into a 41-hour captivity be a cautionary tale.

45. Save water, cut your carbon footprint.
According to GreenYour.com, washing machines suck up 21.7 percent of household water usage. Stinky clothes need more washing. Ergo, you’ll save water and reduce your electricity bill.

46. Save trees, cut your carbon footprint.
A Belgian University study from the 1990s cited deforestation (to make way for tobacco farming) and wood burning (to cure the tobacco) as negative factors in the ecology of developing countries.

 

47. If Obama can do it, so can you. Yes, you can.
Well, at least he’s trying. The senator took some heat in early 2007 from, among others, Fox News, causing the BBC to comment derisively on the “McCarthyite” aspects of the story.

 

48. Spend less time in the dentist’s chair.
According to the American Dental Association, smoking puts you at greater risk for all kinds of dental problems, including oral cancer and gum disease. It also takes longer for your dentist to clean all the stains off your teeth at your checkups.

Wouldn’t you rather be doing, well, anything other than sitting in a dentist’s chair?

49. Save money on breath fresheners.
The gum, mint, and breath freshener industry takes in $3.7 billion a year. But it’ll take less of your money if you don’t have to pop a mint after every smoke.

50. Be nagged less.
We now live in a society where haranguing a smoker is almost a civic duty, and certainly an act of love if said smoker is a relative or dear friend. Like most smokers, Kevin Ambrose, 52, of Washington Grove, Md., gets ribbed about quitting: “My wife wants me to quit, my kids want me to quit, my cardiologist wants me to quit, my father wants me to quit,” he says.

51. Stop that nagging cough too.
Those most at risk for bronchitis are smokers or people who live with smokers.

52. Use the cigarette lighter for a higher purpose: Keep your kids from fighting in the car.
Most portable appliances, including iPods and personal DVD players, plug in to the cigarette lighter in your car via an adapter. Chuck the lighter and deploy the power source to keep the kids entertained with movies or music.

53. Avoid carbon monoxide and other well-known killers.
Cigarettes produce carbon monoxide, which, when inhaled, binds to the oxygen-carrying molecules in your body, depriving you of air.

54. Your life insurance rates will go down—substantially…
One 2007 comparison showed a 40-year-old nonsmoker paying $55.13 a month for a $1 million 20-year policy. The price for a smoker of the same age: $231.46 per month. That’s pure, actuarial math—the increased risk of dying that the smoker presents to the insurance company and that the company then passes on to the smoker.

55. …and your life insurance company may even bribe you to quit.
John Hancock’s Quit Smoking Incentive allows a cigarette smoker to pay a nonsmoker premium for the first three years of the policy. If the smoker hasn’t quit and stayed off cigarettes for at least 12 months by then, the premium doubles.

56. You won’t be pumping out carcinogens like a Soviet-era steel plant.
According to the 2006 Surgeon General’s Report, there are more than 50 carcinogens in secondhand smoke.

57. Your wounds will heal better.
Several studies have found that smokers do not heal as well after surgeries such as face lifts, tooth extractions, and periodontal procedures.

58. Your baby will be safer.
Exposure to secondhand smoke is linked to a higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Tell us: Should it be illegal to smoke in front of children?

59. Clean up your children’s lungs.
Secondhand smoke is now believed to be a risk factor for children to develop asthma; it also contributes to respiratory infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis) and ear infections, as well as coughing, wheezing, and decreased lung function.

60. If you’re pregnant, you can leave the 70% of pregnant smokers who can’t quit in your dust.
According to the American Lung Association, only 30% of smokers quit when they find out they are pregnant. In 2004, 10% of women giving birth were smokers.

 

61. Experience menopause as scheduled, not before.
Smoking may advance the arrival of menopause in women by several years.

62. Perk up those sperm!
Even if they can get it up, men who smoke cigarettes have a lower sperm count and motility and increased abnormalities in sperm shape and function than men who don’t smoke.

63. Cut down on your cadmium, arsenic, N-nitrosamines, and formaldehyde.
Cigarette smoke contains some 4,000 chemical agents.

64. Earn more money and have more job options.
Smokers earn anywhere from 4% to 11% less than nonsmokers. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) National Workrights Institute estimates that there are more than 6,000 companies in the U.S. that attempt to regulate off-duty smoking and other private behavior.

65. Date more—at least in Canada…
A 2005 survey of Canadians, done by Nicoderm (a patch product) and Lava life (a site that says it has “thousands of local, sexy adult online singles”), found that 56% of people would not date a smoker.

66. …and get dumped less.
In that same survey, 20% had, or knew someone who had, broken up with someone because he or she smoked.

67. Enjoy chocolate more.
In a study, women who smoked were less sensitive to sweet flavors than women who never smoked.

68. Get more pleasure out of life.
No matter what the cigarette makers say about tobacco-induced coolness, bonhomie, cowboy-ruggedness, independence, and sexiness, it’s mostly nonsense. Scientists at the Peninsula Medical School in the UK assessed the well-being of nearly 10,000 people over the age of 50 and found that smokers in the group reported lower than average levels of pleasure and less satisfaction with their lives than the nonsmokers.

69. Crash your car less often.
In a 1990 study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health, smokers had a 1.5-fold increase in risk for motor vehicle crashes over nonsmokers.

70. Be indoors more often, where it’s safer.
This smokers-on-a-balcony disaster video is a joke, but it’s only one of a whole genre of “funny reasons to quit smoking” videos on YouTube that you can enjoy while not smoking.

71. Be more kissable.
Kiss someone after smoking a cigarette and you may get the same reaction as these chimpanzees.

72. Stop being a horrible influence on children.
Children of smokers are twice as likely to smoke.

73. As we said, you’ll stop being a horrible influence on children.
Exposure to secondhand smoke, even low amounts, hurts kids’ cognitive skills and is linked to increased behavioral problems.

74. Your children will even have healthier teeth, for crying out loud.
Children raised in houses where one or both adults smoke are more likely to develop tooth decay.

75. Your mouth will be better off too.
Smoking compromises saliva flow and function. Saliva is important for cleaning the lining of the teeth and mouth and protecting teeth from decay. 76. You’ll look better in front of a judge.
Secondhand smoke, also called environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), can have an adverse impact on child-custody decisions.

77. Preserve your eyesight.
Exposure to cigarette smoke doubles your risk of developing macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

78. If you quit, it will be easier for your partner to quit.
Several studies have found that it’s harder to quit when you live with someone who smokes.

79. No more huffing and puffing during workouts.
Cigarette smoking causes carbon monoxide to seep into your blood, which limits the amount of oxygen it can carry to your heart, lungs, and muscles.

80. Save money on dry cleaning.
Quitters will no longer have to pay to remove the stench of smoke from their sweaters and sport coats.

81. Broaden your online dating options.
Sites aimed at smokers, like datingforsmokers.com (“Light up your love life”), are a bit limiting.

82. Be warmer in the winter.
No more standing in the snow outside bars and restaurants.

83. Contribute more to the nation’s productivity.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that premature deaths caused by smoking cost the U.S. roughly $92 billion in lost productivity each year.

84. Hold on to your marbles longer.
A 2007 Dutch study of 7,000 people published in the journal Neurology concluded that current smoking increases the risk of dementia. Past smoking doesn’t. At the time, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted a researcher as saying that “increasingly as we age, [smoking] is a major threat to the health of your brain.”

85. Get rid of genital warts faster.
An Australian study showed that genital warts were more likely to linger for six months or more in men who were smokers compared with nonsmokers.

86. Improve your chances of getting pregnant: Part 1.
Compared with nonsmokers, female smokers have a higher incidence of infertility and take longer to conceive.

87. Improve your chances of getting pregnant: Part 2.
Cigarette smoking harms a woman’s ovaries, and the degree of harm increases with the number of cigarettes and length of time a woman smokes.

88. Improve your chances of getting pregnant: Part 3.
Smoking appears to speed up the loss of eggs and reproductive function in women.

89. Improve your chances of having a healthy pregnancy.
The chemicals in cigarette smoke have been shown to interfere with the ability of cells in the ovary to make estrogen. These chemicals also cause a woman’s eggs (oocytes) to be more prone to genetic abnormalities.

90. Now that you’re pregnant, improve your chances of the pregnancy turning out well.
Smoking is strongly associated with an increased risk of spontaneous miscarriage and possibly ectopic pregnancy.

 

91. Another reason you’ll improve your chances of the pregnancy turning out well.
Pregnant smokers are more likely to have underweight and premature babies than pregnant nonsmokers.

92. Less chance—if the Chinese example is anything to go by—of suffering tobacco-induced limp-noodle syndrome, which is not a technical term but you get the idea.
One 2007 study estimated that more than 20% of erectile dysfunction cases in Chinese men could be attributed to smoking.

93. You could save $14 per pack!
You will, however, split that savings with your employer and the nation. Here’s the math: If cigarettes are $7 per pack in your local store today, add another $7.18 (at least), because that’s the 2002 estimate by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the per-pack cost in lost productivity and medical costs caused by cigarettes. Given the skyrocketing cost of medical care in this country, the savings may even be greater than that.

94. After you quit, it will be safe to watch Mad Men.
AMC’s riveting, smoke-wreathed, ultracool series about ad agencies in the early 1960s is an hour-long inducement to light up. Until you’ve safely quit, here’s an alternative: Visit the online Legacy Tobacco Documents Library to read memos and reports tracing the real-life efforts of tobacco companies to advertise and market cigarettes in the years before and after the historic 1964 Surgeon General’s report declaring smoking a health hazard.

95. You will be much less likely to be the butt of a headline like “Smoking Woman in Air Rage.”
According to The Smoking Gun, the popular Web site that serves up arrest warrants and other documents pertaining to bad behavior, a 35-year-old New Yorker lit up a cigarette on a JetBlue flight to San Francisco on June 17, 2008, began cursing, punched a flight attendant, and had to be restrained while the plane made a diversion to Denver.

96. You will laugh less self-consciously at a headline like “Smoking Now Permitted Only in Special Room in Iowa.”
Check out The Onion’s hilarious 1998 story about a congressional law “restricting smoking in the U.S. to a specially designated ‘smoking lounge’ in Oskaloosa, IA.” The story quotes an antismoking activist: “We must continue to lobby for greater restrictions until smoking is only allowed beyond the orbit of the outermost gas giant Neptune.”

97. Oh, did we mention you’ll likely live longer?
Every cigarette you smoke cuts 11 minutes off your expected life span.

10 Best Foods For Your Heart

Oatmeal
Start your day with a steaming bowl of oats, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and potassium. This fiber-rich superfood can lower levels of LDL (or bad) cholesterol and help keep arteries clear.

Opt for coarse or steel-cut oats over instant varieties—which contain more fiber—and top your bowl off with a banana for another 4 grams of fiber.

Salmon
Super-rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon can effectively reduce blood pressure and keep clotting at bay. Aim for two servings per week, which may reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.

“Salmon contains the carotenoid astaxanthin, which is a very powerful antioxidant,” says cardiologist Stephen T. Sinatra, MD, the author of Lower Your Blood Pressure In Eight Weeks. But be sure to choose wild salmon over farm-raised fish, which can be packed with insecticides, pesticides, and heavy metals.

Not a fan of salmon? Other oily fish like mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines will give your heart the same boost.

Avocado
Add a bit of avocado to a sandwich or spinach salad to up the amount of heart-healthy fats in your diet. Packed with monounsaturated fat, avocados can help lower LDL levels while raising the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body.

“Avocados are awesome,” says Dr. Sinatra. “They allow for the absorption of other carotenoids —especially beta-carotene and lycopene—which are essential for heart health.”

Olive oil
Full of monounsaturated fats, olive oil lowers bad LDL cholesterol and reduces your risk of developing heart disease.

Results from the Seven Countries Study, which looked at cardiovascular disease incidences across the globe, showed that while men in Crete had a predisposition for high cholesterol levels, relatively few died of heart disease because their diet focused on heart-healthy fats found in olive oil.

Look for extra-virgin or virgin varieties—they’re the least processed—and use them instead of butter when cooking.

Nuts
Almonds, walnuts, and macadamia nuts are all full of omega-3 fatty acids and mono- and polyunsaturated fats.

Almonds are rich in omega-3s, plus nuts increase fiber in the diet, says Dr. Sinatra. “And like olive oil, they are a great source of healthy fat.”

Berries
Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries—whatever berry you like best—are full of anti-inflammatory, which reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.

“Blackberries and blueberries are especially great,” says Sinatra. “But all berries are great for your vascular health.”

Legumes
Fill up on fiber with lentils, chickpeas, and black and kidney beans. They’re packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and soluble fiber.

Spinach
Spinach can help keep your ticker in top shape thanks to its stores of lutein, folate, potassium, and fiber.

But upping your servings of any veggies is sure to give your heart a boost. The Physicians’ Health Study examined more than 15,000 men without heart disease for a period of 12 years. Those who ate at least two-and-a-half servings of vegetables each day cut their risk of heart disease by about 25%, compared with those who didn’t eat the veggies. Each additional serving reduced risk by another 17%.

Flaxseed
Full of fiber and omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, a little sprinkling of flaxseed can go a long way for your heart. Top a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with a smidgen of ground flaxseed for the ultimate heart-healthy breakfast.

Soy
Soy may lower cholesterol, and since it is low in saturated fat, it’s still a great source of lean protein in a heart-healthy diet.

Look for natural sources of soy, like edamame, tempeh, or organic silken tofu. And soy milk is a great addition to a bowl of oatmeal or whole-grain cereal. But watch the amount of salt in your soy: some processed varieties like soy dogs can contain added sodium, which boosts blood pressure.

 

 

5 Tips For Quick And Easy Weight Loss!

How many times have you wished that you could swallow a pill and wake up in the morning thinner? It would be really nice if such a pill existed, but it does not. So, with that in mind, what can we do for quick, easy and sure weight loss? Just follow the following advice.

1. Drink 64+ ounces of water each and every day.

2. Get cardio exercise every day; gradually building to the point where you get a minimum of 30 minutes a day.

3. Add fresh raw fruits and vegetables to your daily diet.

4. Limit the “bulky” carobs: white flour, potatoes, cereal, etc.

 

5.Identify the biggest obstacle you consistently face that stymies your weight loss and overcome it, rid yourself of it and banish it from your life forever!

It is not too hard or impossible as it seems to be. The above mentioned 5 tips are really nothing more than a recipe for healthful living. You are not food combining impaired. You are not willpower deficient. Your weight is, in most cases, a direct result of what you are consuming and how much you are not moving.

Follow these 5 easy, quick to implement and sure changes that will lead you to your weight loss dreams and goals!

Source: ediets.com

10 Essential Health Tips

1. Move more
Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it is a stress buster. Think ‘move’ in small increments of time. It does not have to be an hour in the gym. But that is great when you are up to it.

2. Cut fat
Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats. Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise.

3. Quit smoking
Smoking is obviously injurious to health and to our economy. There are too many complications of smoking and there are lots of public awareness programmes. But still the number of smokers is alarmingly high.

4. Reduce stress
Easier said than done, stress busters come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. (i.e., read a good book; visit a friend; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie.) Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible.

 

5.Protect yourself from pollution
If you cannot live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It is a good pollution and dirt from the street deterrent.

6. Wear your seat belt
Statistics show that seat belts add to longevity and help alleviate potential injuries in car crashes. 7. Floss your teeth recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it is because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don’t?

8. Avoid excessive drinking
While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day (two for men) can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer.

9. Keep a positive mental outlook.
There is a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. Thought for the day: You cannot be unhappy when you are smiling or singing.

10. Choose your parents well.
The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health does not mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you.

Courtesy: health-fitness-tips.com and The daily star