HIV Patients are at an Increased Risk of High Blood Pressure

 High cholesterol in HIV patients can trigger high BP levels
Non-infectious Diseases Such as BP Attack HIV Patients These Days

Individuals with HIV are affected lifelong and their immune system is compromised forever. Treatment can only improve quality of life but never cure the disease. Now, a new study shows that people with HIV are likelier than people without the virus to be affected by high blood pressure as a part of treatment outcomes and repercussions of the condition.

High blood pressure is common among the general population owing to increased stress, anxiety and tension existing in today’s world and people often rely upon medications to control BP. High BP is a dangerous risk factor for other serious health conditions such as cardiovascular problems and stroke. Hence, knowing more about the reason behind high BP in people with HIV is critical to prevent it from further pushing the individual into premature cardiovascular disease. This seems to be of immense importance as the world has witnessed a surge in the rates of people dying from conditions such as heart disease and stroke.

HIV affected the patient badly due to frequent occurrence of infections but with advanced treatment options such infections have been contained and now we see a great increase in the number of non-infectious consequences of HIV and hypertension is one of them. Immune system is constantly active in people with HIV and this leads to chronic inflammation in the arteries resulting in stiffness and enlargement of the artery. Antiretroviral meds can also trigger inflammation. Also, HIV people are at a four-time higher risk of suffering from kidney condition due to high blood pressure and chronic inflammation as well.

Studies suggest that high cholesterol in HIV patients might trigger high blood pressure in them. A proper diet and regular exercise can keep BP and sugar levels under control. For a well-balanced diet that helps you maintain blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels please get in touch with dietitians and nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com. But researchers involved in the new study say that lipid disorders in people with HIV are linked to low hormone levels that regulate blood sugar and break down fat. They also feel that mechanisms in the immune system are linked with high blood pressure. Hence it is critical that physicians diagnose HIV at an earlier stage and treat high BP (if present) to prevent the patient from succumbing to even greater problems such as heart attacks and stroke.

Sadly, there is not enough awareness present among public that HIV patients are at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases and when both, the patient and the practitioner become aware of the existence, it becomes better for treatment and control.

Heart Failure with Ejection Fraction

EF lesser than 35% is dangerous
Oxygen-rich Blood is not pumped Out Effectively in EF

The size of a clenched fist, the heart is a muscle that pumps blood to all parts of the body providing it with the much-required oxygen and nutrients essential for functioning. Its not uncommon to see kids playing with their toy stethoscope and monitoring the heartbeat of their papa or mama full of smiles. Though unable to hear even the minutest of sound these kids pretend-play and enjoy themselves. A healthy heart beats around 60 to 80 times every minute to enable pumping of blood throughout the body. There are four valves in the heart that ensure that the blood flows in one direction only through the heart. Starting to flow from the right atrium blood enters the right ventricle. This oxygen-rich blood enters the left side of the heart flowing from the left upper chamber to the lower chamber through the mitral valve. From the left ventricle, blood is pumped into various arteries that carry blood throughout the body.

Ejection Fraction (EF)

Ejection fraction refers to how well the left ventricle pumps blood every time your heart beats, that is how much blood is pumped out of the left ventricle each time it contracts. Usually expressed as a percentage an EF of 50% means that 50% of the total quantity of blood is pushed out of the left ventricle with each heartbeat. Normally, EF must be between 50 and 70% but even when EF ranges are normal it is still possible to suffer from heart failure. Sometimes, the ventricles hold lesser than the normal ranges of blood and it might seem that the ventricles pump out a normal percentage of the blood that enters it. But this is never enough to meet the body’s needs.

Heart failure with ejection fraction occurs when the left ventricle is not pumping blood as it does normally. A heart failure indicates that the heart is not working as well as it should. An ejection fraction between 40 and 54% indicates that the pumping ability of the heart is slightly below normal and there is a slight decrease in the quantity of blood available to other parts of the body. An EF between 35 and 39% indicates that the pumping ability is moderately below normal whereas an EF lesser than 35% means that the pumping ability is severely below normal. An EF below 35% puts you at a greater risk of life-threatening irregular heartbeats that can cause sudden cardiac arrest/death.

On the contrary, an EF greater than 75% in adults is indicative of a heart condition such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Read more about this condition from the website www.firsteatright.com.

Diagnosis

An echocardiogram shows that a majority of patients with heart failure have normal ventricular ejection fraction. While previously called as diastolic heart failure it’s now called as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. EF can be either of the below two:

Preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF): This is also known as diastolic heart failure. While the heart muscles contract normally the ventricles do not relax as they should be during any other day.

Reserved ejection fraction (HFrEF): This is also called as systolic heart failure. Here, the heart muscles don’t contract effectively and hence, less quantity of blood is pumped to all other organs of the body.

The physician suggests for an echo, CAT scan, cardiac catheterization or a nuclear stress test to measure ejection fraction.

Double Ear Infection

Breast feeding can protect a child from ear infection
Irritability is Commonly Seen in Children Suffering from Double Ear Infection

Suffering from an ear infection is bad enough. What about those suffering from infections in both the ears named as double ear infections? It’s pathetic!

Double Ear Infections

Though not serious, symptoms of double ear infections are severe and can cause pain to the individual. Common symptoms include:

  • Extreme pain in the ear
  • Headache
  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Lingering fever for more than a couple of days
  • Hearing problems
  • Liquid draining from the ear

Symptoms in infants/toddlers include crying continuously, loss of interest in feeding, constant pulling on the ears, irritability and fever.

Causes

  1. Bacteria or virus in the middle ear can cause infection
  2. Individuals suffering from upper respiratory infections can also develop ear infection
  3. Enlarged adenoids (tissue at the back of the nose)
  4. Infection in one ear can spread to the other ear resulting in double ear infection

Risks

While the infection is not dangerous several persistent or recurrent infections can cause:

  • Ruptured eardrums where the eardrum heals within a few weeks.
  • Infants and toddlers who suffer from frequent hearing loss (this is the most common complication of double-ear infections that will vanish once the infection clears away) experience delays in speech and development
  • Risk of the infection spreading to other areas of the body

Diagnosis & Treatment

All individuals are required to meet the doctor if symptoms persist for more than 24 hours and in case of infants it is advisable to meet the doctor immediately after noticing any symptoms. In case the affected individual suffers from pus or blood discharge it is required to meet a doctor immediately.

The doctor understands the symptoms and uses an otoscope to examine both ears for signs of redness, swelling or pus. A pneumatic otoscope can help identify how much the eardrum moves in response to pressure. Lack of response suggests fluid buildup behind the ear. Treatment involves dispensing antibiotics or surgery in the case of smaller children suffering intermittent ear infections. Some even try home remedies in the form of hot compress to soothe pain and clear infection. Here, a cloth is soaked in warm water, excess water is squeezed out and the cloth is placed over the affected area.

Prevention

It is quite difficult to avoid ear infections in children altogether, but we can take as much steps as possible from our end to minimize the frequency of occurrence:

  • Avoiding contact with sick people
  • Educate children to abstain from sharing utensils
  • Washing hands frequently using the ‘Happy birthday’ song technique elaborated at www.firsteatright.com.
  • Stay away from cigarette smoke
  • Get the child immunized as per the schedule
  • Breast feed infants whenever possible holding them in upright position while feeding
  • Never leave the bottle intact in the child’s mouth during sleep as prolonged bottle-feeding can increase ear and sinus infections, acid reflux and cough

While a double ear infection starts subsiding soon after treatment is initiated the patient recovers 100% only after completing the entire course of treatment.

Drops of Sweat Make Exercising Less Stressful

Exercise a little more every day
Build on your Workout with Smaller Goals

Physical activity guidelines are pretty straightforward. Adults need to indulge in 150 minutes of activity per week that elevates heart rate while older adults need to add a dash of balance exercises along with the recommended exercise numbers. Weight lifting must be done twice a week to strengthen major muscle groups by all adults with the exception of pregnant or nursing women. Preschoolers must be active all through the day and most aren’t complaining about it as it is the parents who bear the brunt of their activity! School children and adolescents must exercise at least for 180 minutes per week.

Building Up the Structure for Exercise

You might heave a sigh of frustration or a smirk after reading through the time that must be allocated each day to stay healthy but there is some news to cheer you up! While earlier guidelines insisted on exercising at least for 10 consecutive minutes to reap benefits the new guidelines don’t say so! Even walking while talking over phone or climbing a flight of steps are counted as exercising and accumulate towards your daily target.

Most people assume exercise in term of ‘give it your best’ or ‘do nothing’ and the latest guidelines come at the right time breaking this school of thought. It is inclined on promoting the principle of ‘move more and sit less’. It encourages individuals to spend more time on physical activity and spend minimal time sitting around. Its all about trying your best to achieve a little more than yesterday. Don’t bother about not achieving your daily guidelines immediately. A small improvement or extension of your daily activity contributes a little more towards achieving your goals.

The best way to approach a goal is to break it into smaller chunks and achieving them one by one. For instance, none is going to achieve a 20-kilometer marathon run in one go. He/she plans for it, practices daily, covers a certain distance in a day, tries to beat his/her own distance in the coming days and finally performs the 20-kilometer run with a bang on D-day. This is the best way to approach physical activity goals too.

Start with a goal in mind, work constantly towards it, increase your pace, track progress and celebrate smaller achievements while working towards your bigger goal. If you have only 5 minutes to spare daily amounting to 35 minutes a week try pushing in a couple of minutes here and there to increase it to 40-45 minutes of exercise a week. This also gives you enough time to improve your fitness levels and feel less worked out on your fitness routine. This is a much practical solution than trying to allocate 45 minutes every day for exercise which never happens practically in the case of most people. Even if you have not reached your 150 minute a week goal, it is never a far sight and each day you can try to beat your previous days’ timing by forming a new schedule and beating the older routine. To stay active and be equipped with the energy to exercise every individual has to eat a nutrition-rich diet containing all necessary vitamins and minerals in the right combination. For planning such a diet routine a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com is the best person to help you.

Exercise & Health

Exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy body weight but also reduces your risk of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancers. Exercise is rewarding both in the short-term as well as long-term. It elevates our mood and helps us feel good immediately. It helps to focus more, feel less stressed and more energized after physical activity. Depression chances are also neutralized and exercising also decreases feelings of anxiety.

Exercising is fun until you enjoy doing it. Try to never indulge in too much of exercise on a single day. Find ways to introduce changes in your routines to which you are sure to stick to. Keep the guidelines aside and focus on exercising a bit more every day. This way you can surely surpass your guidelines and become fitter and healthier.

Fitting Missing Links to Disintegrate Fitness Myths

Testosterone, the main ingredient for muscle building is present in decreased amounts in women
Lifting Weight Doesn’t Make you Bulky but Toned & Strong

Information is power and in today’s world we are in no shortage of information. With innumerable resources available to fetch any information there always exists the question of authenticity and reliability. While the logic is applicable to any sector it is especially true in the case of health, fitness and nutrition. Given here are similar such myths that’s been doing the round for years.

Myth: Abdominal crunches help you with your six-packs

Reality: The primary motive of any fitness expert is to help the client build on a strong core using numerous techniques along with the abdominal crunches. Getting a chiseled midsection needs greater efforts than the crunches and core exercise along with crunches improve muscular endurance, strength, spine stabilization and posture. Reducing your belly is a monumental task by itself and a flat belly is achieved by combining cardiovascular activity, resistance and core training. Along with this, one must follow a healthy nutritious diet and lead an active lifestyle for maximized effects. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to get your customized diet plan that would work wonders when consumed along with these exercises.

Myth: Discontinuing resistance training will reverse muscles to fat

Reality: Muscles (lean tissue) and fat (non-lean tissue) are two different materials with different metabolic rates, biochemical structures and functions. When an individual stops working out and starts leading a sedentary lifestyle lean tissue only decreases in size and becomes weak. At no point of time will it convert into fat and basically, it cannot convert into fat. Only the resting metabolic rate slows due to decreased muscle mass.

Myth: Women who weightlift become bulkier

Fact: This is by far the worse myth that can circulate around. Women in fact must weightlift for becoming healthy, strong and toned. If one equates them to ‘bulky’ they are totally mistaken. Basically, testosterone is a hormone required for muscle growth and this is available in high concentration in men comparatively. Women too have it but in significantly less proportions. Still, some females have it inbuilt to develop better muscle tone compared to the rest. Whatever be it, women generally need to strive very hard by means of extreme workouts, disciplined eating habits and supplementations to build muscle. The good news is that these days many women are taking up weight training without shying away from it.

Myth: Specific exercises to workout the fat-burning areas will help you lose weight faster

Fact: This myth is like a half-baked cake. While something called as a fat-burning zone does exist and it’s the point at which lipids are used for energy, in general, lipids are used at rest and during low-intensity activities. Performing low-intensity activities burns lesser calories and these are not sufficient to initiate weight loss. Weight loss requires performing high-intensity exercises and increasing heart rate. Weight loss is achieved by the perfect mix of physical activity, nutrition and an active lifestyle.

Myth: Perform stretches before exercising for enhanced results

Fact: Almost all fitness centers request their clients to go for a warm up and cool down session before and after their workout. A warm-up helps to prepare the individual’s body for the upcoming workout by raising muscle temperature, heart rate, releasing specific hormones and preparing you mentally. Static stretching is of help only after the exercise session and dynamic stretching is effective before starting a workout. That’s because dynamic stretching helps you activate each of the muscles that might be used during workout while static stretching only helps you relax. None of us want to start working out in a relaxed manner as it decreases the force of our workout and it is always recommended to perform static stretches after exercise for maximum effectiveness.

Increased LDL Cholesterol Levels in Younger Adults Leave Them Vulnerable to Heart Disease

A healthy lifestyle is a great way to maintain cholesterol levels
Test for Cholesterol Levels Since your 20s & Keep them Under Control

At the movie its time to choose a tub of buttery popcorn, at home we relish all the delicacies prepared irrespective of the ingredients and at the restaurant we order to our heart’s content. People never restrict consumption of fried foods, processed foods or baked goods unless an illness or disease strikes. Children as small as 5-year-old these days decide on what they want to eat. Weekends are for junk where the kid gets to choose between pizza or donuts, lollipop or pastry or between an ice cream or thick shake! Young adults too party out, dine with colleagues on most days at office or chill out at home by ordering from home delivery sites. These guys neither exercise nor do they involve themselves in some physical activity. All these are critical reasons for rising obesity/overweight rates.

Health sector is booming as people are continuously falling sick over one disease or the other. It was swine flu sometime back, then it was peak season for Zika virus and now its dengue. These are the results of reduced immunity and increased antibacterial resistance owing to inappropriate antibiotic usage. On the other hand we have diabetes, blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases having a gala time as we manhandle not only people but also our beloved body which has given us our precious life.

Younger Generation Might Suffer Badly from Cardiovascular Diseases

Cholesterol can be good or bad but we always choose foods that are brimming with bad cholesterol-French fries, donuts, potato wafers, chicken wings and samosas. Its been recommended for everyone above the age of 20 to get their cholesterol levels tested and ensure that it’s kept under control. A latest study has proved that young healthy people may be at an all-time risk of premature death due to cardiovascular disease if they don’t keep their cholesterol levels under control.

Globally, a third of ischaemic heart disease is due to high cholesterol and this remains as the leading cause of death worldwide. The coronary arteries exist as the only suppliers of blood to the heart and a blockage in the artery reduces blood supply to the heart muscle. LDL is a cholesterol (also called as bad cholesterol) that paves way for clogged arteries which exist as primary risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Increase in cholesterol levels at a younger age is indicative of heightened risk of cardiovascular disease as the person grows old. This calls for immediate action to let people belonging to any age group aware of the risk of elevated cholesterol levels and also help them with different ways to keep these levels controlled.

The study included more than 36,000 young souls who were devoid of diabetes or cardiovascular problems. These participants were followed-up for 27 years. Results showed that:

  1. Of the total participants (72% were men whose average age was 42) 1,086 people died from cardiovascular disease and 598 died of coronary heart disease.
  2. Compared to those whose LDL readings were under 100 mg/dL, participants whose LDL levels existed between 100 and 159 mg/dL were at a 30-40% increased risk of cardiovascular disease death and those participants whose LDL levels were 160 mg/dL or higher were at a 70-90% increased risk.

The main point of the study is that having a 10-year low cardiovascular risk doesn’t nullify the risk of elevated LDL levels over the lifetime. Its necessary to constantly monitor our LDL levels and keep them under 100 mg/dL. This is possible with excellent lifestyle interventions in the form of diet and exercise. Each of us should limit saturated fats intake, avoid tobacco consumption and lead an active lifestyle to keep cholesterol levels under check. If you are someone suffering from high cholesterol levels its better to get in touch with reputed dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to modify your diet and bring in beneficial changes that can be followed for a lifetime of good health.

Disagreeable People Can Stave Off Depression by Practicing Compassion

Disagreeable people lack empathy towards close people too
Hostility Backfires & Leaves you Isolated As Time Passes By

‘Self-sufficient’ is the term most people fall in love with these days. Earlier, communication and interaction were the best way to pass time and enjoy. Nowadays interactions have become a chore and people hate each other’s company. We love our smartphones and use the GPRS to guide us through lanes and streets rather than ask a fellow traveler for routes. It is better to watch a movie alone at home than invite a few friends and disagree with their views. Be the king of your kingdom, isn’t it? Such practices have left people exhaustive of compassion, love and care for others.

Love Only for Thyself

Its not impossible to live alone. It’s mostly those who are highly disagreeable with others who wish to live a life of their own without sharing it with anyone else. Its most likely that these are the people who express least kindness towards others and again these are the ones who are also likelier to benefit more by practicing compassion. This is not a theory but the result of a reputed study.

A study tracked the results of an online compassion training done on more than 640 people who suffered from mild depression. The participants were asked to participate in one of the three online exercises including a control condition. These participants were asked to report their answers every alternate day through the same online platform up to a period of three weeks. Results showed that after a period of two months those participants who expressed heightened levels of compassion experienced maximum relief from depression and greater life satisfaction.

We are humans who have been surrounded by people since our birth-parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and neighbors. Its not like we have jumped from sky and started leading lives on our own. Living with people until now why do suddenly a certain group of individuals start hating people, the society around and everything that includes being social? It may be due to the fact that they have been cheated, ignored or used but secluding yourself from the society is not going to solve the problem. Ultimately everybody needs people. Owing to their attitude and behavior disagreeable people deal with a lot of conflicts and develop hostility towards others unnecessarily. Researchers found that helping these individuals open out and behave in a friendly manner towards others helped them break the shell.

Empathy is a word whose meaning is mostly unknown by highly disagreeable people as they lack empathy even towards their first-circle relations. The tips and tricks given by researchers every other day online for only 10-15 minutes proved as an antidote for depression. The participants were also made to chant positive phrases, but it was the act of kindness and empathy shown towards others that maximized participants’ benefits.

Hostile people may never commit to the fact that they need people and argue that they are better alone but finally it does affect their mood and spoil their positive attitude. Compassion intervention helps to build a kinder society where people benefit from each other’s existence. Its necessary to understand that its not only physical health but mental health too that makes a person who he/she is. A strong body with a weak mental well-being or a strong mind with a weak physical well-being are like half-empty buckets. Understand how to become your healthiest self by practicing physical and mental well-being with the help of tips given at www.firsteatright.com.