Trump Your Post Election Stress

The race is over and our new President has been elected! This year’s election has proved to be a significant source of stress for some Americans[1] and Donald Trump’s surprise victory may have left some people floored.

Choosing between two candidates for President is a tough task, but an easy ballot cast for the best personal protection goes to Life Alert.  Their lightweight, waterproof emergency pendant, will summon an emergency medical response fast with just one touch of a button! No need for a debate or big speeches, Life Alert is the industry leader with a proven track record of saving a life every 10 minutes from a catastrophe.  Elect the best personal protection in the nation by voting to have Life Alert in your home today.

Whether the election or other stressors in your life have you feeling anxious, try these tips from Everyday Health1 and find some inner peace.

1. Listen to Music

Across the ages, people have used music to soothe themselves and relax.  According to a study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry in July 2011, music can be very effective at addressing the emotional needs of a person. The interplay of melody, harmony, and rhythm stimulate the senses and promote calmness by slowing down the breath, heart rate, and other bodily functions. Music boosts levels of the hormone dopamine, which plays a role in the reward-motivation behavior.stress-management_580x400

2. Massage Your Hand

What’s great about it is that you can do this while attending a lecture, listening to your kids fight, or sitting at your desk working. No one will notice. Simply use the thumb of one hand and press around the palm of the other hand. It’s very soothing.

3. Find Some Water

No doubt you’ve experienced the calming powers of water, whether it’s walking beside a local creek, gazing at the ocean, or relaxing in a hot tub. There may be a scientific explanation for some of this. Floating in water may actually generate the production of theta brain waves, causing deep relaxation and a kind of hypnotic state. Even living by the water is associated with good health, according to a UK study published in July 2012 in Health & Place. “Water helps in many ways,” writes Elaine Aron. “When over aroused, keep drinking it — a big glass of it once an hour. Walk beside some water, look at it, listen to it. Get into some if you can, for a bath or a swim. Hot tubs and hot springs are popular for good reasons.”

4. Sigh

Basically you breathe in to a count of five through your mouth, and then you let out a very loud sigh — the sound you hear your teenager make.

5. Exercise

Exercise relieves anxiety and stress in several ways. First, cardiovascular workouts stimulate brain chemicals that foster the growth of nerve cells. Second, exercise increases the activity of serotonin and norepinephrine. Third, a raised heart rate releases endorphins and a hormone known as ANP, which reduces pain, induces euphoria, and helps control the brain’s response to stress and anxiety.

6. Splash Water on Your Face

Have you ever noticed that when you splash cold water on your face, it changes your perspective — if only for a minute? A study published in Japan in 2006 showed that immersing your face in cold water produced physiological changes. Cold water quickly rouses the vagus nerve (our calming buddy), bringing down our heart rate while activating our digestive and immune systems. Apparently, the area behind our eyeballs is an easy and powerful locus of stimulation for the vagus nerve.

7. Bubble Breathe

  • Breathe in for 5 seconds, then out for 5 seconds.
  • Imagine you have a wand of bubbles. When you breathe out, be careful not to pop it.
  • Place one flat palm on your heart, and one flat palm on your belly.
  • Breathe in through your nose, and hold your breath for 5 seconds.
  • Breathe out a large “bubble” though pursed lips: Blow out for five seconds.

Over time, toxins build up in your body and can cause anxiety, stress, and even illness. Your body actually releases 70 percent of its toxins through breathing. By releasing carbon dioxide that has been passed through your bloodstream into your lungs, you promote your physical and emotional health.

8. Massage Your Scalp

Results of a study published in October 2005 in The International Journal of Neuroscience showed that massage therapy decreased cortisol levels by as much as 31 percent and increased serotonin by 28 percent, and dopamine by 31 percent. Scalp massages are particularly beneficial because they send blood circulating to your brain and reduce the muscle tension in the back of your head and neck. With practice and a few tips, you can learn how to give yourself a scalp massage.  A study from Osaka Medical University in Japan found that lavender oil reduced mental stress and increased alertness.

9. Close Your Eyes

Aron says that 80 percent of sensory stimulation comes in through the eyes, so shutting them every now and then gives your brain a much-needed break.  Aron has also found that highly sensitive persons do better if they can stay in bed with their eyes closed for nine hours. You don’t have to be sleeping. Just lying in bed with your eyes closed allows for some chill time that you may need before being bombarded with stimulation.

10. Go Outside

Simply being with nature calms the nervous system. “People who are exposed to natural scenes aren’t just happier or more comfortable; the very building blocks of their psychological well-being also respond positively,” explained Adam Alter in his Atlantic article, “How Nature Resets Our Minds and Bodies.” He discusses one study conducted in a suburban hospital in Paoli, Pennsylvania, where patients who gazed out at a natural scene were four times better off than those who faced a wall. Alter says that healers in Japan and Germany have “long heralded the benefits of natural therapy, recognizing that humankind has spent 99.99 percent of its history living in natural environments.” Nature promotes calmness and well-being partly because it lowers stress. Breathing fresh air under a tree primes the nervous system and reverses your fight or flight response.

Get Life Alert

If you’re an aging senior who is stressed about living independently, worry no more thanks to the emergency medical alert experts over at Life Alert. By simply wearing their lightweight, waterproof emergency pendant, you can live alone with confidence because with one touch of a button can summon an emergency medical response fast! Should you find yourself in a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant and Life Alert’s 24/7 dispatch team will summon help fast.  Regardless of who is in the White House, living the American dream includes having personal independence; retain yours with Life Alert.  For a free brochure on all of their lifesaving services, call 1-800-513-2934.

 

Works Cited:

  1. Borchard, Therese. “10 Ways to Calm Your Post-Election Nerves.” Everyday Health. 11 November 2016. <http://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/therese-borchard-sanity-break/ways-to-calm-election-nerves/ >.

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Breast Cancer Myths Debunked

If every month had a color theme, October’s would be pink because October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! Chances are you know someone who has battled breast cancer and even more likely than that, you’ve probably heard a few myths about what causes breast cancer. Underwire bras, antiperspirants, radiation? Keep reading to get the breast cancer facts you need and debunk all of those crazy myths!

If you’re an aging senior looking to maintain your independent lifestyle, don’t believe all of the myths saying you can’t because with Life Alert Protection, you can! While wearing their lightweight, waterproof medical alert pendant, you can summon an emergency medical response fast with just one touch of a button. No matter if you encounter a home invasion, serious fall or even a home fire, simply push the button on your pendant and Life Alert’s 24/7 dispatch team will send the proper authorities to you fast. Safe, independent living is possible with the right personal protection. So push aside all of the myths about independent living not being safe and get Life Alert Protection today!

Just as Life Alert debunks the myth that seniors can’t live independently in their own home, Everyday Health[1] has decided that a little myth-busting is in order too regarding the female health. Keep reading so you can get your breast cancer facts straight!

Myth No. 1: Underwire Bras Cause Breast Cancer

“That’s absolutely untrue,” says breast surgical oncologist Kandace McGuire, MD, of the Breast Cancer Program of Magee Women’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa. Dr. McGuire explains that this myth is based on an old theory that an underwire bra would reduce lymphatic drainage and increase breast cancer risk. “It was not based on any data whatsoever,” she says. Until now.  A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention in September 2014 is the first to use a rigorous scientific study designed to investigate whether bra-wearing habits could affect breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Among the factors researchers considered were bra type (including underwire) and daily or lifetime use of bras. Their conclusion: There’s no evidence linking bras to breast cancer risk. So rest assured that constriction of your breasts, whether from an underwire bra or any kind of compression garment, does not affect your breast cancer risk.

Myth No. 2: Antiperspirants Cause Breast Cancer

“There have been no studies to suggest a link between antiperspirants and breast cancer,” says McGuire. There are two possible points of origin for this cancer myth:

  • Parabens. These chemical preservatives are used in some antiperspirants and some other products. They may increase estrogen levels, which is linked to breast cancer risk. But there is “no decisive link,” says McGuire. Check ingredient labels if you are concerned. Look for the ingredients methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, or benzylparaben. However, most brands no longer include these ingredients.
  • Mammogram preparation. Antiperspirants contain some aluminum, which may show up on mammograms as a false-positive result. “One thing that is important for women to know is that when they go for their mammograms, they shouldn’t wear antiperspirants,” advises McGuire.

However, the aluminum in Antiperspirants may prevent underarm sweating, thus reversing toxins that would normally be released through the skin to go back into the body tissue.  More studies need to be performed on whether these toxins could be a catalyst to breast tumors.

Overall, the National Cancer Institute does not advise limiting the use of antiperspirants, but does say more research is needed in this area.

Myth No. 3: Radiation From Screening Tests Causes Cancer

Although mammograms do give off a small amount of radiation, “the radiation dose in a mammogram is less than in a standard chest X-ray,” says McGuire. “It is such a low level that it wouldn’t increase breast cancer risk.” Women should also know that MRIs (magnetic resonance imaging) and ultrasounds, which may also be used to screen for breast cancer in some women, contain no radiation at all.

Myth No. 4: Exposure to Air Causes Cancer to Spread

McGuire shares a myth she often hears from worried patients — cutting into a cancer and exposing it to air causes the cancer to spread. “That is untrue as well,” she stresses. Patients are naturally worried because cancer does have the potential to spread (called metastasis), but it is not caused by your cancer surgeon cutting into a tumor for a biopsy or to remove it.

Myth No. 5: You Have to Have a Family History to Get Cancer

“Women who don’t have a family history of breast cancer are surprised when they breast-cancer-mythsget breast cancer,” says McGuire. Family history is a well-established risk factor — so well-established that some women may believe it is the only risk factor, but it’s not. “Less than 10 percent of breast cancer patients get it because of a familial history,” she explains.

Myth No. 6: There’s Nothing You Can Do About an Inherited Risk

A strong family history is a cancer risk factor, but just because women in your family have had breast cancer does not mean you are destined to get it. Genetic testing will help you understand your inherited risk and allow you to make choices about your future care. Additionally, McGuire says that research shows that a low-fat diet combined with physical activity and moderate alcohol consumption (fewer than two drinks per day) reduces breast cancer risk. “If you have a family history, you should do everything that you can to decrease your risk,” she advises.

Myth No. 7: Breast Cancer Occurs Only in Older Women

“Increasing age is a risk factor for breast cancer, so the older you are the more likely you are to get breast cancer,” says McGuire. However, that doesn’t mean younger women aren’t vulnerable. Breast cancer can be diagnosed at any age. “It tends to be more aggressive in younger women,” she adds.

Myth No. 8: Plastic Surgery Causes Breast Cancer

The good news for women who want to enhance or reduce their bust size is that there is no link between breast plastic surgery and increased breast cancer risk. Implants can make mammograms more difficult, but they do not make cancer more likely. Women who have breast reduction surgery may actually see a decrease in breast cancer risk. “Getting a breast reduction can reduce your risk of breast cancer by about 60 percent, depending on how much they take,” says McGuire.

Myth No. 9: Double Mastectomy Prevents a Return of Breast Cancer

Removing a breast that has not had breast cancer does prevent breast cancer in that breast, but removing a breast that already has cancer still leaves you with a 3 to 4 percent risk of recurrence. “Your survival is based on the first cancer,” says McGuire, not on the removal of additional breast tissue.

Myth No. 10: Mammograms Aren’t Accurate Anyway, So Why Bother?

Recent controversy about the right time for women to begin having mammograms — whether they should begin at age 40 or age 50 — has left some women feeling the screening test may not be worthwhile. Younger women often have denser breast tissue than older women, who have more fat tissue in the breast. “The denser your breasts are, the less accurate your mammogram is going to be,” acknowledges McGuire, but adds, “Having a bad mammogram is better than having none. It’s the only thing that we’ve shown thus far to reduce the mortality from breast cancer.”

Myth No. 11: Self-Exams Aren’t Necessary

Actually, the research is inconclusive on this question. “Most of the women that I talk to in the office are not doing self-exams. But there’s no downside — it’s cheap and easy to do,” says McGuire, who says that only good things can come from being familiar with the shape of your own breasts.

Myth No. 12: Abortion and Miscarriage Increase Breast Cancer Risk

While there is some evidence that having children before the age of 30 can reduce the risk of breast cancer, there is no research to support the idea that the early end of a pregnancy through miscarriage or abortion could increase breast cancer risk.

Now, armed with the facts and not the myths, you will be better prepared and able to reduce your risks of developing breast cancer. Plus, in the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness month, spread the word and help others debunk these myths too! It is important to get the facts when it comes to your health and safety, which is why, when it comes to personal protection, Life Alert Protection is the best and most honest emergency medical device you’ll find in the industry; just ask any of their hundreds of thousands happy customers! Simply slip their medical alert pendant around your neck or wrist and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant and summon an emergency medical response fast. All those breast cancer myths may have your head swirling, but not to worry, Life Alert’s 24/7 dispatch team is available to send you the help you need fast. Pink may be something you wear in October, but Life Alert is what you wear year-round for the best personal protection 24/7! For a free brochure about all of Life Alert’s lifesaving services, call 1-800-513-2934.

Works Cited:

  1. Vann, Madeline. “12 Breast Cancer Myths Debunked.” Everyday Health. 5 September 2014.

<http://www.everydayhealth.com/breast-cancer/12-breast-cancer-myths-debunked.aspx

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Battle Psoriasis Naturally

Your psoriasis is itchy, red and so uncomfortable; so what can you do to get some relief? Although your doctor may recommend topical medications, there is an array of natural items you can use to soothe your symptoms. Of course, be sure to check with your doctor before trying any new treatments.

Another area you may want to consider is your stress level. Are you overly stressed or nervous about something? Perhaps the thought of having no personal protection is making your skin break out and itch?  Calm your fears of being unprotected with Life Alert Protection. While wearing their medical alert pendant you can summon an emergency medical response fast with just one touch of a button! No matter if you encounter a home invasion, home fire or even a serious fall, Life Alert’s  24/7 dispatch team is available to send you the help you need fast. Your skin may flake on you, but Life Alert Protection never will; so get the best in personal protection today!

Ok, time to check your pantry! Everyday Health[1] has your list of naturally soothing ingredients for psoriasis below. Keep reading to find out more.

Tea Tree Oil

Derived from a plant native to Australia, tea tree oil is used as an anti-inflammatory agent that can help treat psoriasis, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, and acne, says Jennifer Burns, NMD, a naturopathic doctor at the BienEtre Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Tea tree oil is a powerful antifungal, so don’t apply it full strength directly to skin, warns Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, a natural health expert in Kihei, Hawaii. Dr. Dean recommends mixing 1 part tea tree oil to 10 parts olive oil and dabbing it on the affected areas with cotton balls. If you have scalp psoriasis, add 10 drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo, and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing.

Olive Oilpsoriasis-remedy-1

The olive oil you have in your pantry can do double duty as an anti-inflammatory to calm your skin. Thanks to its high fatty acid and vitamin E content, extra virgin olive oil makes a great moisturizer for dehydrated skin. According to a study published in July 2014 in Advances in Skin & Wound Care, olive oil was even found to help heal burn wounds. To ease your psoriasis symptoms, dab a small amount of olive oil on your scalp, elbows, or anywhere you have plaques. This will help to soften dead skin, making it easier to remove, Dr. Burns says. For a soothing full-body soak, add 2 teaspoons of warmed olive oil to your bath water.

Pine Bark Extract

According to a study published in March 2014 in the journal Panminerva Medica, using the pine bark supplement Pycnogenol may improve the effects of your other psoriasis treatments and reduce the number of treatments needed to keep disease progression under control. Pine bark also has antioxidant properties, which make it beneficial for treating acne and slowing the signs of aging. Additionally, Burns says that it can be taken as a supplement to help with the reduction of inflammation associated with psoriasis. Just check with your dermatologist before adding pine bark to your beauty routine.

Coconut Oil

Not only does coconut oil moisturize dry skin and hair, but it can help with psoriasis, too. That’s because it helps to hold in moisture, explains Burns. Dab a small amount on your skin in the same way you would apply a moisturizer. The oil can also be used as a scalp treatment to help loosen psoriasis scales.

Oatmeal

Found in many health and beauty products, oatmeal helps to relieve the itching and redness associated with dry skin and psoriasis. But if the idea of an oatmeal bath gives you visions of a potentially soggy mess, don’t fret. Here’s a neater way to do it: Burns suggests adding a half-cup of dry oats to a leg of pantyhose, knotting the top, and placing the package in your warm bath instead.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be helpful as an anti-itch remedy if used properly. But if you leave it on your skin for too long or don’t dilute it correctly, Burns says, there’s a chance that the acidity of the vinegar will dry out your skin, causing more irritation. She recommends mixing one part apple cider vinegar to two parts water. Dab the mixture on your skin or scalp and leave it on for no more than 10 minutes, then rinse. Just don’t use it on areas that are cracked or bleeding.

Aloe Vera

“I love this plant,” Burns says. “It helps reduce inflammation and helps to speed up healing time.” Its many uses, she says, include soothing skin burns, minor cuts, and scrapes thanks to its strong antibacterial, antiseptic, and fungicidal properties. Aloe vera promotes cell growth and acts as a detoxifying agent. You can use pure aloe gel or look for creams with about 0.5 percent aloe content. Apply two to three times a day to help soften skin and calm psoriasis flares.

Baking Soda

Baking soda isn’t just for cooking and cleaning: It can be used in your beauty routine for anything from whitening your teeth to exfoliating dry skin. And its anti-fungal properties make baking soda effective for soothing the itchiness associated with psoriasis. Burns recommends mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a small amount of water to make a paste that you can apply to affected areas.

Dead Sea Salt

People have been traveling to the Dead Sea for thousands of years to wade in the body of water known for its healing properties. It’s 10 times saltier than the ocean, and rich in minerals. For home relief from itching and redness, add Dead Sea salts (or Epsom salts) to a warm bath and soak for 10 to 15 minutes. The salt helps to soften scales so that they’ll fall off more easily. Be sure to apply moisturizer after your bath.

Don’t get red, itchy and bothered over your psoriasis anymore thanks to the helpful ingredients above! So while you’re running around gathering your new favorite natural remedies, stay safe under the protection of Life Alert’s emergency pendant. Simply slip their lightweight, waterproof pendant around your neck or wrist and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant and summon an emergency medical response fast! Plus, Life Alert knows that psoriasis can stick around for a long time, just like dangers in your home, which is why their dispatch team is available 24/7 to send you the proper authorities you need fast. Kick your skin drama to the curb with the natural ingredient suggestions above and kick your personal protection stress with Life Alert Protection! To learn more about all of their lifesaving services, call 1-800-513-2934 for a FREE brochure.

Works Cited:

  1. Theobald, Mikel. “9 Best Natural Ingredients for Psoriasis.” Everyday Health. 14 September 2016. <http://www.everydayhealth.com/psoriasis/treatment/natural-ingredients-psoriasis/>.

Perfect Pumpkin

Pumpkin is currently on a full-flavor takeover. Autumn is here and that means pumpkin flavored everything is at our fingertips. From bagels to beer, you can enjoy this season’s superfood in abundance! Plus, pumpkin itself is actually one of the healthier foods of the season. So, keep reading to find out why it is totally ok to be obsessed with your favorite pumpkin goodies this year and how they can help your body too!

Eating pumpkin and pumpkin flavored treats may be fun, but tripping in a pumpkin patch and falling is not. Worse yet, what if calling out to The Great Pumpkin for help doesn’t work? That’s why you need Life Alert Protection! While wearing their medical alert button you can summon an emergency medical response fast with just one touch of a button. Plus, their dispatch team is available 24/7 so you never have to worry about your personal protection again! Enjoy your pumpkin flavored goodies and decorations this season under the safety of Life Alert Protection.

Having Life Alert Protection will help you with a fall, and having pumpkin during the fall season has the following benefits according to The Daily Burn[1]

  1. Feel Fuller

Pumpkin seeds pack about 1.7 grams of dietary fiber per ounce, while mashed pumpkin pumpkinseeds-eathealthylivefit_com-300x213has only 50 calories per cup and 3 grams of fiber. “Fiber helps keep you fuller longer, which keeps your appetite at bay so you eat less overall,” says nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin, author of The Virgin Diet.

  1. Boost Vision

A cup of cubed pumpkin contains almost twice the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which promotes good vision, especially in dim light, according to the National Institutes of Health. It has also been found to slow the decline of retinal function in those with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that can lead to blindness, according to researchers from Harvard. Bonus: Vitamin A also helps form and maintain healthy skin, teeth and bones.

  1. Lower Blood Pressure

Pumpkin seed oil is full of phytoestrogens, which research shows are beneficial for preventing hypertension. When researchers fed rats a diet supplement with the oil, they found that it helped lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in just 12 weeks.

  1. Sleep Better

Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that contributes to post-Thanksgiving dinner sleepiness, says Virgin. Tryptophan is also responsible for helping the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. Not only do pumpkin seeds promote better sleep, the serotonin will improve your mood, says Virgin.

  1. Protect Your Package

Pumpkins — especially the seeds — are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants with cancer protective properties, says Virgin. And pumpkin seeds could be especially healthy for men. Researchers in Taiwan found pumpkin seed oil blocked unhealthy prostate growth in male rats. A quarter cup of the seeds also contains about 2.75 mg of zinc (about 17 percent of the recommended daily intake for adults), which contributes to male sexual health. When young men in a Wayne State University study restricted their dietary zinc intake, they had significantly lower levels of testosterone after 20 weeks.

  1. Have a Healthier Heart

All that fiber can also help protect your ticker, research shows. One Harvard study of over 40,000 male health professionals found that those who ate a diet high in fiber had a 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who ate a diet low in fiber. A more recent study by Swedish researchers found that women who ate a diet high in fiber had a 25 percent lower risk of heart disease compared with women who ate a low fiber diet. Men benefitted less, likely because they’re more likely to get their fiber from breads, while women are more likely to get their fiber from healthier sources, like fruits and vegetables, the researchers write. That means pumpkin-laced desserts won’t quite cut it. For a healthier way to add pumpkin into your diet, adding pumpkin chunks to a roasted vegetable medley, or sprinkling pumpkin seeds on top of your salad. Feeling even more creative? Try pumpkin puree in place of nut butters as a spread, Virgin suggests. And for an energizing morning smoothie, blend a high-quality protein powder with coconut milk, chia seeds, pureed pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Happy fall indeed!

With so many reasons to love pumpkin, it’s no wonder it is Fall’s most in demand flavor! So if you find yourself wanting to whip up some yummy pumpkin bread muffins, do so under the safety of Life Alert Protection. Their lightweight waterproof button allows you to move around the kitchen, home or wherever safely knowing that help is a button for any medical or home emergency.

So love all things pumpkin this season under the safety of Life Alert Protection! To learn more about all of Life Alert’s lifesaving services, call 1-800-513-2934 for a free brochure.

Works Cited:

  1. Domonell, Kristen. “6 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin.” Daily Burn. 7 October 2014. <http://dailyburn.com/life/health/pumpkin-health-benefits/ >.

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Can Your Clothing Make You Sick?

Dressing for success is a goal we all have every day. Whether it is success at our job, our relationships or just our happiness, our clothes can help us to achieve those goals. However, in some cases, the wrong clothes can make you feel pain and even make you sick.

Speaking of things to put on your body, do you own a piece of clothing or an accessory that could potentially save your life? With Life Alert Protection, you can say yes! Slip on their lightweight, waterproof emergency medical alert pendant under your clothing, around your neck or wrist and immediately gain 24/7 personal protection. No matter what life threatening emergency you may face, push the button on your pendant and summon an emergency medical response fast! Don’t hesitate; add a lifesaving accessory to your closet today with Life Alert Protection!tight clothes

As for the rest of your wardrobe, Everyday Health[1] has a list below of clothing you may currently have in your closet that could be posing major threats to your health and well-being.  Read below to get all of the facts.

1. Skinny Jeans, Tight Pants and Digestive Issues  

Tight clothing that pushes into the abdomen, everything from jeans to belts and compression undergarments, can be problematic, “particularly and especially when somebody overeats,” says Jamie Koufman, MD, a reflux specialist. Pressure on the stomach, known as intragastric pressure or intra-abdominal pressure, can trigger acid reflux — pushing stomach acid back up through the lower esophageal junction, where the esophagus and the stomach meet, causing heartburn.

Acid reflux is common, and not just for older adults, according to Dr. Koufman, who says about 37 percent of the 20 to 30-year-old age group gets it. Even someone who isn’t prone to acid reflux can develop reflux if they wear a tight article of clothing often over a two-week period, she says. However, it’s not just the millianials that are prone to this, listen up all you 60 year old spanx wearers…snug-fitting corset-style [undergarments and] shirts can have a similar effect, says Koufman. “It’s not a good idea to wear something tight to a dinner, particularly if it’s late in the day as well.” And if you must wear compression undergarments under a dress or a tight belt with a new pair of pants, Koufman suggests eating smaller, less fatty meals to reduce the risk of reflux, and trying to loosen things up after you eat, if you can.

2. Compression Undergarments and Nerve Pain 

Designed to smooth out flab and bulging tummies, body-shapers like compression undergarments and control-top pantyhose have a downside. “Tight garments on the lower abdominal region and the upper thigh can cause a condition called meralgia paresthetica, irritation of the nerves in the front and outer aspects of the thigh,” says Orly Avitzur, MD, a neurologist and medical adviser to Consumer Reports. “We’ve known about this for many years and used to see it in women who wore girdles. Now we see it in other compression garments, which have become quite a common fashion accessory. So we’re seeing more and more of that in this generation of women who are trying to look sleek in their clothing.” Symptoms include burning, pain, tingling in the thigh area and hypersensitivity to the touch, according to Dr. Avitzur.

3. Tight Ties, Tight Shirts and Poor Circulation 

Men can have issues with tight-clothing, too, Avitzur says. Although she hasn’t seen it in her practice, literature suggests tight neckties can lead to circulation problems in the neck. A study published in the journal Stroke Research and Treatment, in which researchers used a necktie apparatus to mimic the effects of a tight tie on 40 healthy males, found modest changes in cerebrovascular reactivity, which relates to the dilation ability of arteries in the brain — a potential marker for stroke. The study’s authors theorize that the changes likely aren’t enough to influence stroke risk in healthy adults but could potentially affect risk in adults with other stroke risk factors.

4. Irritating Fabrics and Allergic Reactions 

Certain kinds of fabrics are more likely to cause irritation and allergic reactions, says Neeta Ogden, MD, an adult and pediatric allergist. “Interestingly wool fabrics in particular can cause allergic reactions in people, typically called contact dermatitis,” Dr. Ogden says. “It’s an itchy rash that can sometimes even have bumps on it and seems chronic.” People who have sensitive skin or a history of eczema are at a higher risk of irritation from these fabrics, Ogden says, as are people who have allergies in general.

5. Synthetic Materials, and Irritation and Infection

Clothing dye is a common cause of allergic skin rash, says Ogden, “especially blue and orange dyes in clothing and other items.” Elastics on socks, underwear and bras can also cause rashes in some people because of the rubber, she says. Particularly if you find you react adversely to these dyes, Ogden recommends washing new clothes before wearing them for the first time. Synthetic materials like nylon and Lycra can also cause problems when used in underwear. Unlike breathable cotton, these fabrics keep in moisture and heat — providing a breeding ground for yeast infections.

Clothing is a great way to express yourself, but if you don’t want to show your medical alert, Life Alert’s emergency pendant is lightweight, waterproof and can easily be concealed under your clothing. Plus, if your personal emergency involves a medical problem versus deciding if you should wear white after Labor day, Life Alert’s dispatch team is available 24/7; simply push the button on your pendant and summon help fast!

Clothes shouldn’t make you sicker; instead, they should enhance your life and make it better. Get an accessory that not only enhances your life, but gives you freedom and independence to live alone in your own home. For a free brochure on all of Life Alert’s lifesaving services call 1-800-513-2934.

Works Cited:

  1. Clayton, Jaimie Dalessio. “5 Ways Clothing Can Make You Sick.” Everyday Health. 12 November 2014. <http://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management-pictures/ways-clothing-can-make-you-sick.aspx >.

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Heartbeat Irregularities

Do you feel that in your chest? Your heart is skipping a beat! Now, it may be because you’re in love, but there is a chance it could be something much more serious. Keep reading to find out what different types of arrhythmias are dangerous and which ones are not.

Does your heart rate increase when you start thinking about your lack of personal protection? End that quick pitter patter in your chest with Life Alert Protection! Simply slip on their lightweight, waterproof emergency pendant and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant and summon an emergency medical response fast. Similarly to your hardworking heart, Life Alert’s dispatch team is available 24/7 to rush in and send you the proper authorities quickly. Protect your whole body, your independence and your heart with Life Alert Protection today!

Life Alert can get you help fast when your heart feels like it’s doing the chi-chi, but you may want to look into why this is happening since irregular heartbeat conditions, like atrial fibrillation, can threaten your heart health. The experts over at Everyday Health[1] have your list of threatening and non-threatening heartbeats to be on the lookout for.

1. Atrial Fibrillation

The most common type of arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, affects about 2.7 million people heart beatin the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Atrial fibrillation occurs when the heart’s upper chambers (the atria) begin to beat rapidly and irregularly. The condition itself isn’t life-threatening, but it increases the risk for stroke by allowing blood to pool and clot in the atria — increasing risk fivefold, says Hugh Calkins, MD, an electrophysiologist and director of the Cardiac Arrhythmia Service at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Atrial fibrillation risk is lower before age 50 but then steadily increases with age. Blood thinners and medication to steady the heart rate and rhythm are mainstays of treatment. In some cases, a special procedure called an ablation, which purposely scars the defective part of the heart to prevent it from passing on unwanted signals, may be recommended.

2. Tachycardia

Tachycardia occurs when your heart suddenly starts beating very fast. If it happens as a result of exercise, excitement, or fever, it’s usually not a cause for concern and doesn’t need treatment. But one type of arrhythmia called paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) is more dangerous. It creates extra heartbeats because electrical signals that move from the heart’s upper chambers to its lower chambers tend to loop back around to the upper chambers. This condition can cause sudden cardiac arrest if it affects the heart’s lower chambers, but it’s curable through ablation. Tachycardia is most common in children and young people, and is more common in women than men.

3. Ventricular Fibrillation

Ventricular fibrillation is the most deadly type of arrhythmia. It occurs when the lower Blausen_0465_Heartbeat_EKGchambers of the heart (the ventricles) begin to quiver instead of pumping Ventricular_fibrillationnormally. Because these chambers handle most of the heavy lifting for the circulatory system, ventricular fibrillation causes blood flow to very nearly cease. “If it’s not shocked in a timely fashion — and we’re talking minutes — then the patient will die,” says Gordon Tomaselli, MD, professor of medicine and chief of cardiology at Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Ventricular fibrillation usually happens in people with some sort of underlying heart condition. Those at risk can be treated with medication or an implanted defibrillator that will shock the heart if it stops beating.

4. Premature Beats

Most irregular heart rhythms involve extra or skipped beats. These types of arrhythmias are harmless and usually don’t cause symptoms. People who do feel symptoms report fluttering in the chest or a feeling that their heart has skipped. Premature beats can occur in anyone, most often happen naturally, and don’t require treatment. But they also can happen as a result of heart disease, stress, over-exercising, or too much caffeine or nicotine. In those instances, you should talk with a cardiologist about your heart and any needed lifestyle changes.

5. Bradycardia

Bradycardia is a type of arrhythmia that, for many people, is no big deal. It means your heart rate is slower than normal — fewer than 60 beats a minute for adults. Young people and others who are very physically fit may experience bradycardia because they’re in good shape, and for them it isn’t dangerous and doesn’t cause symptoms. But people can also have bradycardia if they’ve had a heart attack or if an underactive thyroid gland or aging has slowed the heart. In these situations, taking medication or having a pacemaker implanted may be needed. Bradycardia can also occur because of a nutritional imbalance. If this is the cause, your doctor may recommend a dietary supplement. In addition, the condition can be a side effect of medication, and in those cases a doctor may adjust your prescription.

6. Long QT Syndrome

A number of other disorders occur because of problems with the heart’s electrical system. Long QT syndrome, a hereditary disorder that usually affects children or young adults, slows the signal that causes the ventricles to contract. Another electrical signal problem, atrial flutter, happens when a single electrical wave circulates rapidly in the atrium, causing a very fast but steady heartbeat. Heart block involves weak or improperly conducted electrical signals from the upper chambers that can’t make it to the lower chambers, causing the heart to beat too slowly. These conditions can put you at risk for cardiac arrest. Treatment might involve medication, ablation, or an implanted device to correct the misfiring, such as a pacemaker or defibrillator.

Next time you feel a little quick step in your chest you’ll be better able to tell if your life is in danger or not. If you are suspicious of having some heart trouble, be sure to see your general practitioner immediately. However, if your heart starts to race at the thought of living alone, the cure for that is simple; get Life Alert Protection’s emergency pendant! Slip on their lightweight, waterproof pendant and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant and summon emergency help, fast! With over 25 years of saving lives with their medical alert system, you can live alone without being alone, and Life Alert is a company you can trust with all your heart. Slow your heart rate and start living your life with confidence by having Life Alert! For a free brochure on all their heart-pounding protection packages, call 1-800-513-2934.

Works Cited:

  1. Thompson, Dennis Jr. “6 Ways Your Heart Can Get Out of Rhythm.” Everyday Health. 6 July 2016. <http://www.everydayhealth.com/atrial-fibrillation/symptoms/ways-your-heart-can-get-out-of-rhythm/ >.

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How to Sleep Better

Did you know that over 20% of Americans may suffer from chronic sleep loss or untreated sleep disorders[1]? If you think getting a solid eight hours of sleep is going to cure all of your sleep woes, think again. Getting enough sleep is only half of the battle; the key to mastering the ultimate in rest is getting good sleep. So where do you start?

Start with stress. It’s no secret by now that stress is a major contributing factor to sleeplessness and restlessness.  So what are you so stressed about? Well, if you’re an aging senior, living independently, a big concern is one’s own safety, especially if you do not have any personal protection on hand. What if you encounter a home fire, home invasion or even a serious fall while grabbing your midnight snack? How will you reach help? Well, worry less and sleep with confidence thanks to Life Alert Protection! With over 25 years in the emergency medical alert industry, Life Alert has saved hundreds of thousands of users thanks to their fast acting emergency pendant. To date, they save a life from a catastrophe every 10 minutes!  Their stress free system is easy to use, simply slip the lightweight, waterproof pendant around your neck or wrist and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant to summon an emergency medical response fast! A good nap can beckon at any time, which is why Life Alert’s dispatch team is sleep-infographicavailable 24/7! So lay your head down and rest well, because Life Alert Protection has got your back!

So now that the stress of personal safety is solved with Life Alert, Real Simple[2] has a few other tips to help you refresh your bedtime and banish those bad bed habits so you can get some good, well-rounded sleep!

Not Going to Bed on a Schedule

A person’s sleep cycle is, on average, 90 minutes. So if you plan your bedtime and wake up at a multiple of 90 minutes apart, you’ll likely wake up happier and refreshed every day.

Drawing the Curtains Before Bed

Natural light keeps your body on a natural sleep-wake cycle. If you frequently wake up feeling tired and groggy, your dark room and closed curtains might be to blame. Leave them open when you go to bed and let the sunrise wake your body up naturally to start your day on the right foot.

Not Putting Away Your Cell Phone

The time after work and before bed might be your only time to waste away on social media, watching cat videos until it’s time to go to bed and do the whole day over again. But you might find you have more energy in the morning if you can put away your screens for a few hours before bed.

Not Making the Bed When You Wake Up

Could a chore like this one really make your life better? Yes, actually. Making the bed is a keystone habit that’s correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.

Getting Out of Sync on the Weekends

There are some great ideas here for going to bed and waking up happier, but every time you sleep in on the weekend, you’re resetting the whole system. Keep up with all your new habits—the 90-minute sleep cycles and the open curtains and making the bed in the morning—for your best shot at long-term sleep success.

Your good rest may start with better bed habits, but it ends with a sense of safety and security. If you are lacking in the personal protection department, it’s no wonder you’re not sleeping well. Cure your safety woes with Life Alert’s emergency pendant. Wear their lightweight and waterproof pendant around your neck or wrist and in the event of a life threatening emergency, push the button on your pendant and summon an emergency medical response fast, 24/7! If you’re living independently, don’t wait to sleep on your personal protection plan, instead, get Life Alert Protection today and catch some quality z’s! For a FREE brochure on all of their exciting protection services, a guaranteed reading that won’t put you to sleep, call 1-800-513-2934.

Works Cited:

  1. “Sleep Facts and Statistics in USA”. SleepPhones. 4 May 2016. <http://www.sleepphones.com/statistics>.
  2. Williford, Taryn. “5 Bad Bed Habits Keeping You From a Happier, Healthier Life”. Real Simple. <http://www.realsimple.com/health/preventative-health/sleep/bad-habits-in-bedroom >.

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