Do you worry about things or feel tense and anxious all day with no real reason? This type of worry can drain your energy, interfere with your sleep and wear your body out. Everyone gets anxious at times, but this condition remains constant, you might be experiencing Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
Generalized Anxiety Disorder is unlike a phobia where you might have a fear of a certain situation or thing. With GAD, you feel and overall feeling of dread or unease throughout your day and life.
Do these thoughts sound familiar?
If you have trouble turning off your anxious thoughts, you might try some of these tips to help you reduce your anxiety.
Smoking is an expensive and dangerous habit. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 5 deaths can be attributed to tobacco use. If you’ve thought about quitting cigarettes for the New Year, here’s some tips to help you along the way.
Heart disease is still the #1 cause of death in the United States. There are several risk factors for developing heart disease, some controllable and some uncontrollable. Uncontrollable risk factors include age, race and family history. Controllable risk factors include smoking, high blood pressure, high “bad” cholesterol and low “good” cholesterol.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Cholesterol plays a critical role in your heart health. Cholesterol can be broken down into many different segments, but for today’s discussion, we’ll focus on good cholesterol (HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL).
While the risk for heart disease increases as your total cholesterol increases, the breakdown is what is important. High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is the cardioprotective form of cholesterol. It can be controlled through exercise, diet or medications. All people should strive to stay above 40 mg/dl of HDL for men and 50 mg/dl in women, the higher the better. A significant reduction in risk of heart disease can be achieved with HDL levels above 60 mg/dl.
Low Density Lipoprotein is considered the “bad” cholesterol. The higher the level of LDL—the greater the risk of heart disease. Low Density Lipoproteins should be below 130 mg/dl in both men and women. For those with diabetes or multiple risk factors for heart disease, LDL goal should be less than 100 mg/dl.
Periodic screening for high cholesterol is recommended for all men ages 35 to 65 and all women ages 45 to 65. Catching risk factors early will lead to interventions that can reduce absenteeism and improve productivity.
Does stress increase the risk of heart disease? Many studies have shown the correlation of un-managed stress to emotional and physical problems, including high blood pressure, irregular heart beats and heart disease. The jury is still out as to the exact mechanisms, however, it is believed that persistent elevated levels of adrenaline and cortisol, the stress hormones, lead to increased risk for heart disease.
So, what are the warning signs of stress? You can break down the indicators into several areas.
Ways to reduce stress
It’s impossible to avoid stress completely, however, there are steps you can take to manage or minimize stress. Like most things, it’s best to first recognize that you are stressed and identify the underlying reasons for your stress.
Stress management techniques can include all forms of relaxation that is discussed further in these pages under the stress management section.
Blood pressure is one of the simple measures in preventative medicine. It's easy to determine and can help you monitor your ongoing health. For people under age 18, blood pressure should be approximately 120/80; for ages 18 to 50, it should be 140/85 or below; over 50, check your blood pressure periodically because it has a tendency rise.
Blood pressure fluctuates depending on your stress, activity level and many other factors. Therefore, everyone should have his or her blood pressure checked several times a year. You may be able to prevent hypertension or high blood pressure by improving your diet, getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. If you have high blood pressure, you should see your doctor who might prescribe aerobic exercise, changes in diet and medications to treat high blood pressure. Diuretics or beta-blockers are common medications to treat high blood pressure.
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. This debilitating disease may lead to pain from nerve damage, blindness and amputation. A recent study commissioned by the American Diabetes Association found that the cost of diabetes has risen 41% over the past five years. Diabetes in America has increased by 23% from 2007 to 2012.
The increase in costs is directly related to the increased prevalence of the disease. California leads the country with the highest diabetes cost with New York representing the fourth highest cost. Government insurance, including Medicaid, Medicare and the military, covered about 62% of the costs of diabetes care while 3.2% of the costs fell on the uninsured.
The risk factors associated with diabetes include age, heart disease, obesity, lack of exercise and family history. High levels of blood sugar associated with diabetes may go unnoticed for years because type 2 diabetes develops slowly. Always consult with your doctor if you feel that you may be susceptible to developing diabetes based on the risk factors.
You can live a fulfilled life with proper treatment and care of diabetes. Medication, exercise and proper nutrition will aid you in controlling this disease.
The statistics are staggering—one in eight women will develop breast cancer. When was the last time you had a mammogram? How often do you perform a breast self-exam? Early detection could lead to a positive outcome.
Other cancers are important to consider, too. Are you a smoker? Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer and emphysema. It’s also a risk factor for bladder, esophageal and other cancers. What steps have you taken to initiate a stop smoking program?
Chronic low back pain can lead to unwanted changes in your lifestyle including increased stress and depression. Here are some basic steps that you can take to reduce the chance of low back pain.
With back pain, little changes can go a long way. Don’t try all the changes at once, implement them a little at a time.
Flu and its complications account for nearly 50,000 deaths a year. Get your flu shot and remember to wash your hands often.
Obesity is at epidemic levels and can lead to heart problems, diabetes and many other conditions. What are your eating habits? How often do you exercise?
Feel free to stop in and ask us about any of the above conditions. We would be happy to consult with you and point you in the right direction.