• 7 physical activities that help manage diabetes symptoms

    Diabetes is a chronic health condition where the body does not generate enough insulin or cannot use it efficiently to control sugar levels. The condition affects about 37 million people in the country and is also a leading cause of kidney failure and adult blindness and a reason for lower-limb amputations. Some remedies help manage this condition; however, one can also curb symptoms by regularly following exercises. Check out some of such helpful activities below.

    Daily walks
    Walking is an ideal way of managing diabetes. Try brisk strolls for half an hour three to four times a week, or take your pet dog for a walk. You can also track your walking progress through fitness apps to make exercising fun.

    Swimming enhances the muscles in the upper and lower body. Strong muscle movements while swimming helps burn calories, lower cholesterol, and improve heart health. Swimming also does not strain the joints as other exercise routines would.

    Trying dance routines
    Dancing helps lower stress levels, burn calories, curb blood sugar, and benefit the heat. Dancing for around half an hour every day for three days a week will help improve symptoms of diabetes.

    Those experiencing diabetes symptoms should consider cycling for about 30 minutes daily, three to five times a week. The activity will help burn excess blood sugar and improve heart rate. Cycling is also known to help one get in shape without affecting the knees and other joints.

    Climbing stairs
    Climbing stairs helps the heart and lungs work faster, which benefits people with type 2 diabetes. Going up and down stairs for three minutes after an hour or two following a meal will help burn blood sugar.

    Gardening works as a strength training exercise and an aerobic activity. An individual may kneel, walk, and bend while digging, lifting, and raking the garden. This activity lowers stress levels and blood sugar.

    Yoga is a traditional low-impact exercise that helps improve balance, strength, and flexibility by practicing various motions, poses, and breathing techniques. The method helps reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

    Apart from the exercises mentioned above, one can hire an International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) certified personal trainer. The trainer can help people achieve any health and wellness goals. An ISSA trainer may charge approximately $100 per training session. However, this cost will vary between individuals depending on their exercise regimes and other factors.

  • 10 ways to manage ulcerative colitis while traveling

    For people living with ulcerative colitis, traveling can be an anxiety-ridden experience. The physical symptoms of the condition are always painful, including rectal bleeding, sharp abdominal pain, diarrhea, and a looping, endless urge to seek a restroom nearby. These, in turn, lead to constant stress. So, how can someone with this condition make their travels less of an ordeal? Here are some handy tips for traveling better with ulcerative colitis:

    Preparing well in advance
    Taking two or three days to prepare before traveling can be helpful for people with ulcerative colitis. Even for short trips, one can do their packing and scheduling in advance to avoid making panicky, on-the-fly decisions once they hit the road.

    Keeping an emergency kit in your carry-on
    One can include things like tissues, wipes, multiple underwear/adult diapers, hand sanitizer, prescription treatment products, and other vital products in their emergency kit. Even if all items aren’t used, the kit can provide some much-needed assurance to travelers.

    Carrying a water bottle
    People with ulcerative colitis lose a lot of fluid, so they must always keep themselves hydrated. So taking an empty bottle and filling it just before boarding a plane is a smart way to carry water on flights, as airport security usually does not allow passengers to carry full water bottles.

    Staying calm under any circumstance
    Stress is a primary trigger for many people. Therefore, regardless of whatever scenario one finds themselves in, taking deep breaths and staying calm are key to preventing mid-travel ulcerative colitis flare-ups.

    Carrying UC identification documents
    Carrying some kind of ID or verification document that indicates that a traveler has ulcerative colitis is a must while traveling. Such documents enable such travelers to get privileges such as a Restroom Request Card, which lets them use any restrooms in any place (even if the toilets are not for customer use).

    Carrying safe foods to snack on
    Heavy meals can trigger ulcerative colitis symptoms. Therefore, one must only consume light snacks such as homemade sandwiches, bagels, or crackers from time to time to satiate their mid-travel hunger pangs.

    Researching menus and food beforehand
    Knowing about the foods one might have as an option is crucial for individuals with the condition. One must carefully research the foods served onboard flights, trains, or buses, as well as the meals available in the chosen hotel.

    Being mindful of one’s triggers
    Individuals need to keep away from foods, sights, sounds, or smells that could trigger their symptoms. Identifying these triggers must be a part of the pre-travel preparation.

    Choosing an aisle seat
    It makes sense for travelers with ulcerative colitis to choose an aisle seat as it lets them make a quick dash to the restroom when required.

    Informing the concerned authority
    In case one is traveling alone, it is recommended to inform the flight or train steward about the condition so they can extend help in case of an emergency. One may also reach out to fellow travelers for assistance.

  • Symptoms, causes, and risks of high cholesterol

    Cholesterol can be understood as some waxy substance in your blood, which is needed by the body to build its healthy cells. However, when the cholesterol increases to an uncontrolled level, it can put you at risk of heart diseases. Furthermore, as a result of high cholesterol, there can be a fatty deposit in your body’s blood vessels. Because of this, it gets hard for the blood to flow through the arteries.

    What can high cholesterol lead to and how does it develop?

    At times, the deposits break down and lead to a clot formation, which can either result in a stroke or a heart attack. Though high cholesterol mainly develops as a result of your unhealthy lifestyle choices, it can be inherited too. However, it is both treatable and preventable. With the inclusion of regular exercises, a nutritious diet, and proper medication, you can reduce cholesterol levels.


    As such, there are no definitive symptoms of high cholesterol. The only real way to diagnose it is via a blood test.


    Cholesterol is attached to proteins and is transported into the body via the blood. This amalgamation of cholesterol and protein is known as a lipoprotein. Depending upon what the lipoprotein carries, there are two different types of cholesterol. These include:

    • HDL i.e. High-density lipoprotein

    It is good cholesterol and helps carry the surplus cholesterol and transport it back to the liver.

    • LDL i.e. Low-density lipoprotein

    It is the bad cholesterol, which carries the particles around the body. Over time, this cholesterol accumulates in the walls of the arteries and makes them narrow and hard.

    To determine the presence of triglycerides in your blood, you’ll have to undergo a test known as the lipid profile. In people who have high fat (triglyceride) levels, the probability of heart disease is more.

    There are certain causes of high cholesterol, which are under your control. These include diet, physical activity, and body weight. If you do not work out regularly, are overweight, or follow an unhealthy diet, you will certainly have to deal with LDL and high cholesterol. However, there some factors that are not in your control. This primarily includes your genetic makeup.

    Risk factors

    • Unhealthy diet
      A diet that is rich in trans-fat (which is majorly found in crackers, baked cookies, and microwave popcorn) and saturated fat (which is majorly found in animal products) can contribute to high cholesterol levels. Foods such as full-fat dairy items and red meat also contribute to the same.
    • Smoking
      Cigarette smoking has a direct impact on blood vessels. It leads to the deposit of fatty substances. Smoking also lowers HDL levels in the body.
    • Obesity
      Those with a BMI of 30 or more are at a higher risk of developing high cholesterol.
    • Age
      The risk of developing high cholesterol increases as you age. It is so because with age, your liver’s ability to get rid of LDL declines.
    • No physical exercises
      Not engaging in any exercise can contribute to LDL and high cholesterol levels. Thus, you should switch towards a healthier lifestyle that involves at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day.
    • Diabetes
      Those with diabetes are more susceptible to having high cholesterol.
  • 7 tips to maintain your eye health

    Of the five senses bestowed, vision is considered to be one of the most precious. Healthy vision ensures that you witness all the wonders of the world; therefore, you must not take your eye health for granted. While some eye conditions are inevitable as we grow older, there are a few things that you can do to maintain your eye health. Here are seven tips to follow for lifelong optimal eye health.

    • Eat vitamin-rich foods

    Diet plays an important role in keeping your eyes healthy. You must ensure that your meals are rich in vitamin C and E, zinc, lutein, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients help prevent age-related eye problems like macular degeneration and cataract. Some healthy food options for eye health include leafy greens, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, eggs, nuts, beans, and citrus fruits.

    • Wear sunglasses

    The right pair of sunglasses can protect your eyes from retinal damage, and reduce the chances of developing cataracts. It also protects your sensitive eyelid skin from wrinkles and skin cancer around the eye. To get these benefits, you must ensure that your sunglasses can provide 100% protection against UV-A rays and UV-B rays.

    • Take breaks from screens

    Exposure to blue light from a computer, tablet, or phone screen for long can cause dry eye, eyestrain, neck pain, and headache. To avoid these, you must take a break from the screen every 20 minutes, and remember to blink often when working. It’s best to use glasses or contacts that are suitable to reduce the effect of the blue light on your eyes.

    • Avoid smoking

    Smokers are at a greater risk of damaging their eye health in the long run. Tobacco smoking is directly linked to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It also causes cataracts, uveitis, in addition to other health problems.

    • Practice proper contact lens care

    Ensure that you take hygiene seriously if you use contact lenses. Ensure that your hands are clean before you wear lenses. If you’re out of contact lens solution, do not replace it with water or any other liquid. Make sure that you take your contacts off before sleeping, and throw away disposable lenses when they expire. Using disposable lenses past their expiry can cause eye pain, corneal ulcers, and even loss of vision.

    • Get enough sleep

    Tired eyes are natural if you’re not sleeping well. A sufficient amount of quality sleep is important for your eyes to stay well-rested and strain-free.

    • Visit your eye doctor regularly

    Visiting an ophthalmologist for regular eye checkup is a must for lasting eye health. Eye examinations help you find disorders such as glaucoma, which is an asymptomatic eye disease. Glaucoma is easier to treat if spotted early. Your doctor can also help you with other eye problems and give you the best guidance.

  • 6 early signs of multiple myeloma

    When one suffers from multiple myeloma, this blood cancer forms in their healthy plasma cells. These white blood cells can produce antibodies that identify bacteria and fight them, helping prevent illness. In this disorder, the bone marrow produces too many cancerous plasma cells, which replace normal blood cells. In addition, an abnormal protein produced by these cancer cells can lead to complications. Here are early signs of multiple myeloma that one should know.

    Early signs of multiple myeloma
    While this condition may not cause symptoms in the early stages, it can lead to various severities. It is usually discovered during a routine blood test or, in some cases, a urine test. Some of the early signs of multiple myeloma include the following:

    Bone pain
    This condition can directly affect bone density and lead to pain in the back, ribs, and hip bones. Usually, people experience it as a dull, aching pain that gets worse with movement. Weak bone strength can also result in fractures of the spine and long bones like the arms and legs. It can also compress the spinal cord, causing numbness in the legs.

    Anemia interferes with blood cell production in the bone marrow, resulting in the body’s lack of red blood cells. Such a problem occurs when plasma cells from myeloma suffocate or crowd out healthy red blood cells. Anemia could also be a side effect of myeloma treatment. Low red blood cell counts in the body cause fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.

    Repeated infections
    People with multiple myeloma are particularly vulnerable to infections because the condition disrupts the immune system. Low immunity can cause fever and infections, particularly in the upper respiratory tract and lungs. Such an issue makes fighting infections harder.

    Raised blood calcium levels
    Excess calcium released into the bloodstream from damaged bones can cause hypercalcemia. Its symptoms include intense thirst, stomach pain, frequent urination, constipation, and drowsiness.

    Unusual bleeding
    Cancerous cells in the bone marrow may prevent the production of platelets, i.e., blood-clotting cells. Those with multiple myeloma may develop bruises and bleed, including heavy menstrual cycles, nosebleeds, and bleeding gums.

    Thickened blood
    Excess proteins produced by myeloma cells may cause the blood to thicken more than usual. This disorder is known as hyperviscosity and can cause symptoms such as blurred vision, headaches, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

    One should report symptoms to a doctor to avoid complications and get prompt treatment.

  • Multiple sclerosis – Foods to avoid for managing the disorder

    Food is a significant factor that can either aggravate or help better manage multiple sclerosis. Some foods are labeled inflammatory as they increase the level of inflammation in the body, worsening symptoms like bladder and bowel problems, cognitive changes, and fatigue. They can even result in further progression of the condition. Therefore, patients must choose foods wisely and avoid anything that can aggravate the disorder besides making other lifestyle changes.

    Saturated fats
    Saturated fats are among the common triggers of multiple sclerosis symptoms. They can aggravate the condition and reduce the patient’s life expectancy. Saturated fats also increase LDL cholesterol levels in the body, which is the leading cause of diseases like heart attack, stroke, and atherosclerosis. Foods like red meat, cheese, and butter are some commonly known sources of saturated fats to steer clear of.

    Sugary foods
    Almost everyone knows the effects of adding sugary foods to the regular menu. It not only impacts oral hygiene but also causes changes in a person’s metabolism and other health indicators. Further, increased sugar intake can result in increased fatigue in patients. And since fatigue is already a common symptom of multiple sclerosis, sugar intake must be reduced. Not doing so can lead to decreased physical activity and further flare-ups. A few sugary foods and beverages to avoid are candy, cola, cakes, and cookies. Saying no to these can be challenging initially, but it goes a long way in improving the symptoms of this nervous system disorder.

    Salty food
    Salt can be equally damaging to multiple sclerosis patients if consumed in high quantities. Numerous research studies indicate that regular excessive salt intake is related to an increased risk of relapse of multiple sclerosis symptoms. High sodium levels can also lead to newer lesions and water retention in the body, resulting in bloating and discomfort. Further, it can lead to high blood pressure and thus other complications. Therefore, patients must be aware of the salt they add to their food and check the nutrition label of foods they buy off shelves, such as chips and canned items.

    Cow’s milk
    Milk is among the primary sources of saturated fat. Although a healthy food for many, its protein is said to impact multiple sclerosis patients negatively. It increases inflammation, especially in those who are lactose intolerant. Even small amounts of accidental intake of dairy products can trigger inflammatory responses, among other complications. However, it is okay to include milk and milk products in moderation for people who are fairly tolerant to lactose and dairy products. But, one must opt for low-fat dairy over full-fat to maintain a steady supply of vitamin D.

    Refined carbohydrates
    Cereals are among the worst foods for people with this nervous system disorder. Bread and potatoes are not far behind either and are best avoided for better symptom management. Rich in refined carbohydrates, these foods can cause blood sugar spikes, damaging the myelin sheath and contributing to the disease’s progression. It is advisable to swap refined carbohydrates for sources of stable carbs, such as white rice, whole wheat bread, and pasta.

    Processed foods
    Processed foods have chemical additives that contribute to their flavor and color and help impart a longer shelf life. These additives are responsible for various health problems. For instance, they are common contributors to a patient’s weakened immunity. Processed foods are also rich in trans fats. Since trans fats are known for their ability to increase the body’s inflammation levels, they must be avoided.

    If unsure, patients can consult a doctor about developing a customized meal plan based on their condition. Besides food and lifestyle changes, healthcare intervention plays a big role in managing this disorder. It is especially true for patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis, characterized by deteriorating symptoms with intermediate periods of stability. To gain better control, doctors might recommend treatments to help control the disease and improve one’s quality of life.

  • 9 healthy food choices that can help fight the flu

    Flu season is a time of worry for everyone. The symptoms are difficult to deal with and can leave you drained of energy. During this period, it is essential to keep the kitchen stocked with foods that can help fight off the flu and prevent severe symptoms. Thankfully, most flu-fighting foods are readily available and can be incorporated into daily meals. Therefore, relying on food to avoid the aggravation of flu symptoms is easy.

    Turmeric is among the most efficient foods to relieve flu and its symptoms. Its primary component- curcumin – is known for its immunity-boosting and antibacterial properties. It also helps decongest the throat, lungs, and respiratory passageways.

    Adding garlic to the food helps fight off various infections. The compound allicin found in garlic can help maintain a strong immune system while fighting off viruses. All you have to do is add a little garlic to your meal plan.

    Ginger has numerous medicinal properties. It is known for its help in reducing nausea, inflammation, and vomiting. Flu patients can relieve their symptoms by adding ginger to their tea or ginger root to their food.

    Honey is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties and considerably assists in unblocking the upper respiratory tract. Raw honey is also beneficial for other flu symptoms, such as soar throat and itching. Adding raw honey to warm water or other fluids helps find relief from cough and throat inflammation.

    Chamomile tea
    Good sleep is essential to fight off any illness and recover better. Adding chamomile tea to the menu of flu patients helps keep up their hydration levels while assisting them in clocking in better sleep. Plus, sipping hot liquid helps thin the mucus and decongest the patient’s nasal passage.

    Chicken soup
    The magical ability of chicken soup to ward off flu symptoms is famous. Rich in cysteine, a natural amino acid, chicken soup is efficient in thinning down the mucus lining of our nasal and respiratory tracts when we are down with flu. It also effectively restores the electrolyte levels in the body, helps maintain fluid balance, and prevents dehydration.

    Yogurt is one of the foods that assist the body in fighting off infectious microorganisms. Yogurt is rich in probiotics that help maintain the body’s supply of healthy bacteria and better manage flu symptoms. It is also rich in minerals and vitamins that help strengthen the immune system.

    Oranges are powerful natural sources of vitamin C. It is a proven ingredient for a strong immune system; therefore, fighting excess free radical damage suffered by the body during the flu is important. Since the body cannot produce its Vitamin C, adding fruits like oranges, grapefruits, clementines, and tangerines to the meal plan will help.

    Miso soup
    Miso soups are tasty and loaded with vegetables that enable you to fight off infection-causing microbes. It is a nourishing dish with great taste thanks to its high carrot, celery, and scallions. For some additional flu-fighting ability, add a pinch of turmeric to your bowl of miso soup.

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