Dealing with Pneumonia

 

So you have been diagnosed with pneumonia, and the only thing you know about it is that it could be fatal, or at least that’s what you have heard. Well, truth is that yes, pneumonia could be fatal, but there are different types of pneumonia and its intensity could vary depending on other factors.

The first step is to understand what is Pneumonia. It’s a lung infection usually caused by viruses or bacteria. Once you breathe the virus or the bacteria, it goes directly to your lungs affecting its normal functioning and making hard for you to breath.

People with chronic or long-term diseases like asthma, diabetes, cancer or heart disease are more likely to get pneumonia, and they will need not only an early diagnosis but also a timely treatment. Due to their condition, it’s possible that the doctor decides to do that treatment at the hospital, and not at home.

Some of the symptoms related to pneumonia are fever, shortness of breath, cough, mucus, and fatigue. However, there are other symptoms that could be present like nausea, diarrhea, chest pain, and shaking. In some cases, patients could develop the disease without major symptoms; the key to a prompt and complete recovery lies in the fact that once the symptoms begin, you seek medical advice. If you already have a diagnosis, it’s very important to follow your physician instructions and recommendations.

Don’t rush the recovery! Get plenty of rest, and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. If a cough is preventing you to sleep or rest, talk to your doctor. If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, you will need to finish the whole dosage recommended. Your recovery time will depend on the type of pneumonia, but have in mind that we are talking about a period that could go from 2 to 4 weeks before you regain your strength.

There is never a good time to get sick, much less to have something like pneumonia, but if you have already been diagnosed, it’s best for you to take things slowly. Use the opportunity to read a good book, or simply to rest and to recharge your batteries.

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Let’s color!

It’s more than a trend…it’s a madness that infects thousands of people every day. They end up carrying colored pencils and books full of pages with flowers, mandalas and all sort of coloring designs. Yes, coloring! Adults are coloring and they do it because they want to!

This relatively new way of relaxation is gaining fans and followers all over the world. While new designs are launched every season, forms and challenges pop up also to inspire and attract new adepts. Why? people are discovering that their problems, their stress, and their worries can disappear, at least while they are immersed coloring.

A recent article published by the Cleveland Clinic says that according to clinical psychologist Scott M. Bea, Psy.D. it has everything to do with refocusing our attention.

Adult coloring requires modest attention focused outside of self-awareness. It is a simple activity that takes us outside ourselves. In the same way, cutting the lawn, knitting, or taking a Sunday drive can all be relaxing.”, said Dr. Bea.

All the specialists talking about adult coloring coincide in saying that this activity basically relaxes the brain while is forcing it to focus on a simple action. Coloring doesn’t require exceptional skills, and before starting you already know how the result will be, therefore, there are no expectations that can create anxiety or pressure on yourself. One of the most rewarding benefits could be probably that since your attention is directed to the specific activity you are executing, there are not thoughts about yourself or the problems you might be experiencing, which is what happens when you meditate.

There is no space for negativity while you are coloring. Once you start working on your project, everything is just like the design you are detailing: colorful, beautiful, positive and full of opportunities, and guess what? You are replacing the one that was once your inseparable electronic, for a beautiful box of colored pencils and your designed papers.

In a few words and concluding, coloring will free your brain of pressure, anxiety, and worries. You will have a relaxing time, and who knows? Maybe you have the opportunity to discover that it could be more than a hobby.

So, let’s color! Pack your pencils, print some designs if you don’t have time to buy a book now, and start enjoying a new, healthy, and rewarding activity!

 

How about a wellness gift?

You don’t have to break your head thinking about original and unique gifts for Christmas. You just have to think about those very special things that you would love and appreciate yourself.

Clothes, jewelry, shoes, electronics, yes, everything is useful, and chances are that all of us would love to receive any of those gifts during Christmas, but did you know that there are several options for you to give the gift of wellness?

Wellness is more than a trend, it’s a lifestyle that attracts millions of people around the world every year. It includes all sort of products, services, and activities. So, let’s explore some of those options. You might become the most popular Santa around!

  • Relaxing candles: They are perfect for meditation sessions because they fill the space with wonderful scents, while the offer a decorative option too.

 

  • Yoga Session: If the recipient of the gift is not a yogi yet, for sure, this present will activate the desire to at least know more about one of the most popular and fastest growing activities in the world.

 

  • Essential oils: Also known as volatile oils, or oil of the plants from which they are extracted. These oils are used in aromatherapy to induce relaxation, during meditation or massage sessions.

 

  • Cooking classes: It’s never too late to learn something! If we are talking about cooking, you will agree that there are always great things, tips, and recipes to learn and try, right? Healthy Cooking classes are offered not only in person but online, and they can make a great gift.

 

One of the greatest things about the gift of wellness is that it has a double effect, one in the person who receives it, and another in the one who is giving it. Isn’t that a great way to express your love during these holidays?

 

The benefits of gratitude

Specialists from different disciplines have said this for a long time: there are scientifically proven benefits of gratitude that will inspire you to express it not only during these days around Thanksgiving but every single day of your life.

According to many researchers, gratitude is a powerful practice, so powerful that it could radically change your life and your environment, but for that to happen, you have to practice it conscientiously.

Experts say that once gratitude is part of your daily life, you can see positive changes and effects in your personality, your health, your career, your emotional status, and your social development. Why? Simple, because the world around you will see a person who cares, a person that enjoys life, a person who wants to give back, and that kind of attitudes can only produce positive outcomes.

There are several studies made in the world in order to measure the effects of gratitude in the life of a person. The results are extraordinary!

A grateful person will avoid toxic emotions, reducing also pain, stress, and frustration. We are talking about a person that will have more energy, a better awareness of wellbeing and health, and therefore more initiatives to exercise and to practice better life habits.

But that’s not all. When you feel grateful for your life and everything that happens around you, you tend to be more sensitive to other people, and about situations that otherwise would bother you. Why is that important? Because it allows you to face problems with an optimistic attitude. In terms of career, that’s a huge pro! It will translate into mentoring opportunities, better chances to be recognized and a better performance.

Now, if you have sleep issues, and although it may sound strange, gratitude could be a good answer to your problem, or at least a good beginning. A study published in 2011 in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, says that writing in a gratitude journal before bed could help you to sleep better.

In short, being grateful can bring to your life more happiness, harmony, balance, and success, so, why to reserve it only for one day a year? Let’s practice gratitude every day!

 

Is it a cold, or are they allergies?

Who knows, right? Symptoms are so similar and both of them are very common at this time of the year. A runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, sensitive and watery eyes…how can we know if we need an antihistamine or a medicine against the cold symptoms?

Well, it could be tricky, but is not impossible, and it’s important to know the difference in order to get the appropriate treatment.

Now, allergies, cold, and flu, all affect the respiratory system, but each one of them has specific symptoms that differentiate from the others.

Let’s start by saying that when you are suffering from allergies your body’s immune system is fighting against an allergen, which means that you will experience the symptoms for as long as you are in contact with the trigger, or the element that you are allergic to. If you are allergic to a specific flower, or to pollen, for example, your allergies are going to be present while those allergens are around you. We can be talking about an entire season of many weeks or even months.

When we talk about a cold or even the flu, two weeks should be the regular time that takes to fight against the virus, because instead of trees, dust or animals, the cold is generated by a virus.

Besides a runny nose, the watery eyes and the other symptoms that are easily confused with those of the allergies, when you have the flu or a cold, you will probably present fever, fatigue, and body ache.

Even though there are some over the counter medicines that offer relief for the cold symptoms, there is no a real “cure” for a cold, and most people could recover on their own without the need to visit a doctor.

There are also non-prescription medicines to help with the allergies, but in most cases, it’s important to consult a specialist in order to know what are you allergic to and maybe to explore a long-term treatment.

The main message here is to be careful and to listen to your body. Don’t use medicines if you are not sure about the origin of your symptoms and always, always, consult a doctor if those symptoms persist more than normal.

 

 

 

Becoming a vegetarian? Organization and information could be the secret

We all have thought about that, either by curiosity, by interest, or by a legitimate decision to make changes. How is it to be a vegetarian? Reality is that every day thousands of people around the globe make the decision to start more than a new diet regime, a new lifestyle, as vegetarians.

The reason? Well, there are several. First, we can find those who refuse to consume animal protein in an attempt to preserve those lives and to set a precedent against what they can see as animal cruelty. Others have done their research to realize that they can get their protein intake just from plants and grains, and decide to go that way to avoid the cholesterol, antibiotics and other things that you could have while consuming animal protein. Finally, there is a whole group of people that follow the idea that all the animal proteins are not only bad but also a trigger for a good number of health conditions that kill thousands of people every year. We are talking about cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, just to mention a few ones.

Is all that true? It depends on who you talk to. It is true that well-known experts from around the world have studies and research that show a certain connection between the consumption of animal proteins and the risk of developing diseases like breast cancer and diabetes. It is true that there are documented cases of patients which have greatly improved their health by changing to a vegetarian lifestyle. It is true that most of the meat and chicken that we find at any supermarket in the country is plagued with antibiotics and other substances. It is true that animal cruelty has been a common practice in several farms where chickens, pork, and cows are hosted for production of meat, eggs, and milk. We all have seen the images, articles, and investigations around those topics. But the only truth that you should consider is your own one.

Every person is a unique universe. Only you can determine what is good or not for you. Only you can make the decision to try different things or to stay with what you already know. What’s important here, is to research, to read about the topic, to talk to different kind of people, to evaluate the pros and cons, to consult your doctor and to finally make a decision having in mind that you are who best know yourself.

In case you decide to become a vegetarian, start by reading about the benefits and the possible effects in your body. The internet is full of websites and pages where recipes, tips, and even coupons are available for those who have decided to start leaving behind the animal proteins.

Organize your menus, make a budget, look for easy recipes and plan ahead your meals, and take baby steps. Once you know what you are going to eat every day, it’s easy to continue. The struggle is to look for new dishes, but again, your cyber friends could be the key.

We always say that changes are good. If this is your case, enjoy it! You will discover a whole new world ahead of you. Just remember that balance is a good word to define whatever you do in life.

 

Seniors and Exercise

By Dr. Juan Paolo Borja, DO Board Certified in Family Medicine
I am often asked if exercise is good for the elderly. While this question seems
like common sense, over eighty percent of Americans fail to do the recommended amount of activity on a daily basis.
Regular exercise can help prevent chronic diseases, improve emotional moods and lower risk of injury or falls, which can be catastrophic for an individual. Also regular exercise provides a multitude of health benefits, including improvements in blood pressure, diabetes, and osteoarthritis, among others.
Exercise is even more important for frail elderly as they are the most prone to falling and broken bones. Even for people whose physical abilities are limited by medical conditions – they can still be given guidance by their physicians to learn exercises that
can improve their mobility and strength.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, almost all older people can
benefit from physical activity and a regular exercise program. A consistent exercise program can greatly decrease mortality and age related diseases in older adults. In a study by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, it was noted that elderly who exercise regularly were found to have improvements in functional reach and balance and reduced the seniors fear of falling.
The benefits of exercise are not just limited to improving physical limitations but are important in psychological health. Exercise improves circulation. It has been
associated with improved moods due to serotonin release in the brain. It improves neuroplasticity of the brain, which is important in maintaining memory and adaptability to new situations.
The ideal exercise program for seniors should include resistance training along with cardiovascular training. Resistance training, or weight training, helps with maintaining muscle mass and putting off the effects of sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is the natural decline in muscle tone that occurs with normal aging.
Muscle tone is important for maintaining good balance and strength to maintain independence. The recommended amount of exercise is thirty minutes of cardio endurance exercise each day for older patients. To start, I always suggest patients begin with a good walking program to acclimate their bodies prior to any increase in intensity.
With regular exercise, your ability to ward off infection and disease also improves. A strong body fights off infection and sickness more easily. Exercise has been proven to lower the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, and protects against loss
of bone mass. Better bone density reduces the risk of osteoporosis and lowers the risk
of falling and breaking bones. Before beginning any new exercise program be sure to check with your physician.