Monday, October 21, 2013

Healthy Eating Should Include A Low Sodium Diet To Help Lower Blood Pressure

Close to three-quarters of adult Americans are overweight and over a third are obese. One in every three adult Americans has high blood pressure, putting them at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. There are countless diet plans, exercise regimes, and miracle drugs available promising to help you lower blood pressure and weight. But, even exercise and medications can be undermined by poor eating habits. What it really comes down to is healthy eating and a low sodium diet.
Healthy eating begins with learning about proper nutrition, which will help you feel better physically and emotionally, have more energy, and just be healthier overall. Once you learn some basics, you can maintain a healthy diet while still enjoying the food you eat. There are many tools available to count calories or to give you an idea of how much to eat of what foods. But they don't necessarily help you to understand the concepts of basic nutrition.
Here are 4 easy tips for healthy eating and a low sodium diet:
1. Remember the rainbow
Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of a healthy diet. They have essential enzymes, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants you just can't get from supplement pills. And what's great is that they're color coded.
Just about all fruits and vegetables help to lower blood pressure, fight all types of cancer, bad cholesterol, and harmful free-radicals.
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables also promote healthy joints, alkaline balance, and healthy bones.
Green fruits and vegetables also reduce the risk of cancer and support the digestive system, vision, and the immune system.
Blue and purple fruits and vegetables fight inflammation, and various forms of cancer. They also support vision, the immune system, digestion, and aid in the absorption of calcium and other minerals.
White fruits and vegetables are powerful immune system boosters and fight colon, breast, and hormone-related cancers.
Always try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables and it is best not to add artificial sweeteners, try stevia or a little honey to your fruit. if you need to, and to use salt substitutes, salt alternatives like fresh lemons, or salt free seasonings on your vegetables instead of salt even sea salt because of the sodium.
2. The protein perception
While protein is important, many of us eat more than we need. It is suggested that protein should make up only 10% to 35% of a diet. This averages out to look like about 1/3 of your plate (about the size of the palm of your hand) and the remaining part of your plate should be about 2/3 vegetables accented with some fruits, nuts and oils.
We also eat too much processed meat which is high in sodium. While fresh, lean meats are a good source of protein, there are great alternatives such as eggs, beans, nuts, and tofu.
3. Healthy fats do exist
There are two main types of healthier fats: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are actually needed for skin, nails, hair, heart, and brain health. Sources of monounsaturated fat are plant oils, nuts, seeds, and avocados. Polyunsaturated fats, including the Omega-3s, are in fish, walnuts, and sunflower, avocado, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oil. Note: Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are typically liquid at room temperature and when chilled.
Nuts and seeds can be a great healthy snack, (definitely a healthier choice than potato chips) just watch out for and avoid the added salt.
4. Everything in moderation (including moderation)
Forbidding yourself eating certain foods that you love is just setting yourself up to fail. Instead, work toward eating them less often or as an occasional indulgence. And, you know what? Occasional indulgences are a good thing and will actually help you stick with better eating habits. Just be sure to keep them occasional for long term success.
About 75% of people who have a heart attack, stroke, and/or chronic heart failure have high blood pressure. With healthy eating and a including a low sodium diet you can achieve and maintain lower blood pressure.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Botox and The Overactive Bladder

Can Botox be used as a viable treatment option for those with an over active bladder or incontinence? There are many studies asking this same question, and the answer is that yes, Botox may be just as good as medication for relieving symptoms of an overactive bladder.
How? It relaxes the bladder muscles, which means that urinary incontinence due to nerve damage can be helped using Botox.
A recent study was done to use Botox injections in the bladder to reduce the episodes of urinary incontinence. The results were as good for Botox as for study participants that used a daily pill for helping control urinary incontinence. For 70% of the participants, at the six-month marker, the average was three leaks a day, as compared to the average of five at the beginning of the study, and for some, the incontinence went away completely.
The effects of Botox on the bladder and for bladder control don't last forever, incontinent individuals who choose this route will need injections at least yearly, and possibly more often (every nine months) to help control their symptoms. Botox is a more expensive option, at roughly $1000 per injection.
Why would you choose Botox over a pill or other medication? One of the biggest reasons is that not only is it FDA approved, but it means a one time injection versus a daily pill. Right now, most insurance will not cover this option, but if the FDA gives it more widespread approval for incontinence treatment, it will be a very viable option, and likely be covered by insurers.
Are there any down sides? Like any treatment option, using Botox to treat an overactive bladder does have risks. For some it will lead to urine retention, which means an increased risk of needing a catheter to drain the bladder. For many, a Botox injection leads to a urinary tract infection. And for some frequent UTI's.
A doctor would perform the Botox injection. Most report that it is not painful, as a numbing agent is used for the site of injection. Botox is not as much a solution as it is a management option, as it can help reduce episodes of incontinence and help individuals regain a sense of control. It is a great first line treatment, and a great option for those adverse to taking pills, or not wanting a daily reminder of their condition.
Chances are we will see a lot more about Botox and overactive bladder treatment as it gains some steam and more FDA approval.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

3 Big Problems With Big Wellness Programs For Small Businesses

Some of the masters and mavens of big workplace wellness programs are touting their wears to the small business community.
Don't drink the "Kool-Aid" just yet! They do indeed have some interesting information to share. But like Billy Joel said in his song, only the good die young − "Virginia, they didn't give you quite enough information..."
Problem #1 -- Too Expensive: Even at $100 per employee per year (PEPY), that's far too expensive. Some workplace wellness programs go as high as $650 PEPY.
I can show you how to implement a great, common sense wellness program your employees will love with just the help of a couple volunteers. Using local and online resources and events organized by local or national organizations, you can have a robust wellness program and not spend a dime.
Problem #2 -- Academic: Complexity + High Cost + Clinical = Big Wellness Programs. These programs evolved out of the minds of academics for application in big populations with big budgets. It's a "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" assortment of credentialed brainiacs that run them. And to their credit, they've gotten documented results in lowering healthcare costs (for the short term) within the silos of the big, self-funded workplaces.
But as my Grandpa used to say, "that would be like hunting ducks with a cannon," for you. Wellness experts spend an enormous amount of time trying to demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) on these monster programs. But your investment will be almost nothing. There's very little downside for a small business that does wellness using existing resources.
Problem #3 -- Administratively Intense: Think of a big wellness program as a jumbo jet. The only difference being that if you want to use it − you must learn how to fly it. The word "comprehensive" is rightly used to define wellness programs in Fortune 1000 settings. There must be thousands of seminars, webinars, consultants, certifications, and laws to keep up with if you want to run a program like the big guys. Keep your wellness efforts simple by focusing on awareness and communication.
An Example of the Simple
Here's a quick idea of how you could build a workplace wellness campaign tied to a local event that's been produced by a national organization.
The Billion Calorie Count UP from the American Heart Association (AHA) is a nationa- based walking program. As you learn more about the program, you'll see how you could easily piggy-back it, and show your employees and dependents how and why to participate. There are tools and communication online to help, and a map showing where the local events will be around the country.
In fact, you can sign your organization up to be an AHA's Fit Friendly Worksite and have all the tools and resources you need to get your employees engaged, and participate on a local level with other workplaces interested in wellness.
Have your wellness volunteer(s) tap into the AHA's Billion Calorie Count UP by...
• becoming familiar with the program by going to AHA's Website and acquiring all the free tools and communications they'll need.
• locating other local workplaces that might like to join yours in participating in the event.
• having employee volunteers produce homemade posters and flyers for the event.
• getting a buddy program going to prepare for the event by scheduling walking times together.
• asking an employee to serve as a journalist, and video the event and interview participants from your company. Ask employees to contribute photos, articles, and videos of the preparation, participation, and positive experiences.
• tapping into the AHA's national blogs and let everyone know your story.
• contacting the local media and tell them what you're doing.
• considering setting up a Facebook page for your wellness program and post the stories there.
The Billion Calorie Count UP is just one of thousands of ideas that would cost you tens of thousands of dollars to produce yourself, and provides your workplace a network to plug into that you could not have produced at all.
So be weary of any brainiacs bearing the gift of a pricey, "comprehensive wellness," Trojan Horse for your small business. It won't be Brad Pitt inside yours.