Arthritis: Incurable Pain and Swelling

Pain and stiffness in the joints may mean one thingarthritis. This disease may cause painful swelling and inflammation of the joints and are experienced my millions of people around the world. In the United States alone, it is estimated that by 2030 there will be nearly 70 million affected by this disease. This health ailment may be caused by pain and swelling in the joints. Cases of arthritis may be mild or severe, short-term or permanent. Medical researches suggest that there are more than 100 forms of arthritis but the most familiar form is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis takes place when the cartilage that supports the joints ear out, a process that occurs over a long period. Individuals who workout too much or over-train have increased risk of developing this ailment.

Other types of this joint ailment may include the following:

RheumatoidThe body’s immune system does not work properly. This condition affects the joints, bones, and various organs of the body. Individuals who suffer from this ailment may feel tired and have fever.
GoutThis is caused by build-up of needle-like uric acid crystals in the joints. The big toe is often affected by this ailment.
Systematic lupus erthematosus or lupusThis is caused by an overly aggressive immune system. This disease is about nine times more common in men than in women.
Ankylosing spondhlitisThis condition affects the joints in the spine. In severe cases, the one infected may experience stooped posture.
BursitisThe major joints of the body are protected by small cushions called bursae. Bursitis takes place when these cushions are overused, they become sore and swollen.
TendonitisThe tendons that connect the muscle becomes inflamed. This kind of arthritis is common on individuals who spend too much on computers.
Septic arthritisThis ailment is caused by bacterial infection that leads to pain and swelling

Inflamed joints that tend to hurt when in motion are some of the familiar signs and symptoms of arthritis. These joints may be stiff and can be aggravated by movements or activities like walking, writing, typing, and many more. Stiffness is most noticeable after extended periods of rest or after waking up in the morning. In addition to these symptoms, individuals with arthritis encounter extreme fatigue, lack of energy, or weakness.

Presently, there is no cure for arthritis. There are only different medication out in the market that are designed to give relief from the pain this condition brings. Individuals with arthritis usually consume large doses of over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen. Some prescription drugs like celecoxib, rofecoxib, and valdecoxib are shown to give effective pain relief. However, these drugs may bring minimal or serious side effects to individuals who use them. Cardiovascular bleeding, gastrointestinal bleeding, and skin reactions are some of the usual side effects that might be encountered in using pain relievers. Recent medical studies show that consumption of food rich in omega-3 fatty acids, a group of polyunsaturated fat, is essential in alleviating joint pains caused by arthritis. The best sources of these fats are fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

Engaging in healthy diets may prevent the development of arthritis or give arthritic pain relief. With daily consumptions of essential vitamins and minerals, individuals who experience arthritis are supplying the body the components it needs to fight the pain and swelling that causes joint pain. Maintaining healthy food consumptions and having a physically active lifestyle is essential not only in the prevention of arthritis but also improvements in one’s overall health.

New U.S. Guidelines: More Veggies, Fish, Whole Grains

The curtain is rising on the new U.S. dietary guidelines and it looks like fresh produce, fish and whole grains are going to be center stage.

If the rest of the recommendations follow such a promising preview, the new guidelines will be a step toward combating obesity and related ailments such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Data from the National Weight Control Registry, which maintains records on more than 4,000 individuals who have had success keeping off a minimum of 30 pounds for more than a year, suggests that the winning strategy for long-term weight loss is a low-fat, complex-carbohydrate diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Moreover, decades of research on the diverse benefits of the vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals found in such foods led to the National Cancer Institute’s approval of the dietary guidance: “Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some types of cancer and other chronic diseases.”

Based on such evidence, the committee is expected to increase its recommendation of five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables to thirteen servings. This may seem daunting to Americans used to gargantuan servings of unhealthy fast food, until one realizes just how relatively modest an actual serving size turns out to be: a half cup of spinach, two apricots, a sliver of avocado, a carrot, 3/4 cup of pineapple.

Importantly, while the new guidelines tell us to increase consumption of certain foods – fish, produce and whole grains among them – they are also expected to advise cutting back on others. In particular, Americans will be urged to minimize consumption of saturated and trans fats, added sugars and salt.

Who will be the winners and losers when the anticipated guidelines get handed down? Manufacturers of refined carbohydrate products – white breads, cookies, sugary cereals – won’t be happy. Neither will low-carb product makers, given the panel’s debunking of the glycemic index as an effective weight-loss tool. But the decision should buoy produce farmers, fisheries, and those who sell fruits and vegetables.

Said David H. Murdock, chairman and owner of Dole Food Company, the largest producer and marketer of fruits and vegetables, who himself follows a fish-vegetarian diet: “I’m glad the federal government has finally caught up to what I’ve been preaching for years: Stick to a natural diet of whole foods like fruits and vegetables, and nature will reward you with a long lifetime of good health.”

Jennifer Grossman is the director of the Dole Nutrition Institute. – NU

The Heart Effect: Startling New Information About How Music Affects

The Heart Effect: Startling New Information About How Music Affects Your Health

Twenty-four young, healthy test subjects lay quietly in a university lab, listening to carefully chosen music through headphones, as doctors and technicians hovered around them meticulously measuring their vital signs. The study concluded quickly and the subjects returned to their normal everyday lives. But as the researchers began sifting through the data, something new and interesting began to emerge.

We’ve known for some time that music is a powerful relaxation tool. Music can decrease anxiety levels, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and change stress hormone levels. It affects your respiration, reduces muscle tension, increases endorphin levels, and boosts your immune system. The effect of music is so powerful, hospitals around the world use music to reduce stress in patients waiting for surgery.

Now there’s fresh evidence on the power of music to affect our health. Researchers at Italy’s University of Pavia recently confirmed that music changes your heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure. But as they analyzed their data, they found something new, something no one had expected to find.

Dr. Bernardi and his colleagues were interested in expanding the use of music to reduce stress in medical patients. Here’s how their experiment worked: the docs recorded the vital signs of 24 test volunteers (12 musicians and 12 non-musicians) for five minutes. Then the volunteers listened to six different styles of music in random order. Random two-minute pauses were inserted in each piece of music.

Here’s what they found: fast musical tempos increased heart rate, blood pressure and respiration. Slow tempos reduced them. Pretty standard stuff. But then the shocker: the style of music and the volunteers’ personal musical preferences made no difference at all. The only thing that mattered was the tempo.

It didn’t matter if the music was classical, rap, techno, romantic or an Indian raga. Only one thing made a difference to their cardiovascular systems–whether the music was fast or slow. This means that the music you hear, whether you’ve chosen it or not, whether you like it or not, is going to affect your health.

There’s more: during the silent pauses between musical selections, the test subjects’ vital signs returned to normal, in some cases stabilizing at healthier levels than before the music. The researchers say this suggests that listening to any kind of music–fast or slow–could benefit your heart.

Finally, the study found that musicians were more sensitive to the effect than non-musicians. Musicians may have learned to breathe in time to the music, to become more alert during fast passages, and to relax when the music slows down. Whatever the reason, a good prescription for helping maintain your cardiovascular health could be to take music lessons.

Diet and Fitness, Winning Tactics For Weight Loss

Tell me, does this describe you? ‘I tried a zillion diets in fits and starts and was never successful.’ Just going on a diet will not give you a complete healthy persona. I finally paid attention to what everybody was saying, but I was too lazy to do.

I added exercise and fitness to the equation. We also need to stay fit as well as diet to lose weight. Our true wealth is our health. Isn’t it worth your time bring it into peak condition and maintain it? Diet fitness is all about an accurate mix of diet and an appropriate fitness program.

This basically includes three levels of consideration:

1. Balance-A balanced diet must contain carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamin, mineral salts and fiber in well proportionate quantity. Carbohydrates are the source of energy so these play an important role in balanced diet. Intentional inclusion of all foods from fruits to vegetables and meats to grains.

2. Moderation- portion control, small quantity at regular intervals. I had to laugh when I heard the results of a 5-year study costing millions of dollars the government ran to find out why the population of the US is getting heavier. The resultsthey determined we eat larger quantities! ‘Super Size it!’

3. Variation – wide variety in foods,means higher chances of complete nutrition. And variety in your workout routine means a greter chance of sustaining it.

It is a well-known fact that poor diet leads to diseases, like obesity, even cancer and heart disease. The link between diet and physical fitness has well been established and recognized as a science in itself. It’s the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity. How do you balance diet and fitness? What changes in your diet and fitness regimes will prove to be the most beneficial ones?

These questions may have been on your mind for a long time but you didn’t know where to start. I let the paralysis of analysis prevent me from getting started for a long time. I wanted the ‘perfect’ fitness plan. My advice? Just get started anywhere, but get started. There are the solutions at your doorstep. First and foremost, you need to ensure that the diet you are on, supplies you enough strength and energy to carry out the fitness training which means:

The basic fitness diet should:

1. Have a wide variety of foods– wholegrain breads and cereals for vitamins and minerals, leafy green vegetables for iron fueling, fruit for adequate fiber, lean meat and Fish (lowers cholesterol and helps prevent cancer) and low fat dairy products.

2. Enable you to have optimal weight and energy to carry out daily activities with ease.

3. Enhance quick and complete recovery during exercise.

4. Supply enough fluids to have maximum hydration.

5. Provide both short and long term benefits and ease of maintenance.

When the above criterion is satisfied, you can confirm that you are on a diet that is not starving you or running you the risk of malnutrition and weakness. Fitness programs can include not only basic gymnasium but modern techniques like dancing, aerobics and yoga for variety and fun. If it is enjoyable it will be easier to maintain.

Make no mistake about it, fitness regimes help you speed up the process of loosing weight along with the diet. That is the key, the magic diet accelerator. So eat healthy, exercise and be wise!