Archive for March, 2014

Keeping our Joints Healthy

Having osteoarthritis is a long-term proposition. Staying active and keeping your joints healthy so that you can do the things you want and need to do is your job, as independently as you can, for as long as you can.

Physicians say that there is nothing that they can do to slow the progression of osteoarthritis. And in the majority of cases, there’s nothing the patient can do that would make the disease get worse faster.

You can manage your osteoarthritis on your own, with so much of the time. You’ll need the guidance of a doctor or physical therapist to cope with pain, handle obstacles, and make sure you’re steering in the right direction sometimes. When will you seek help?

When you’re beginning an exercise program

When you have osteoarthritis, the worst thing someone can do is nothing. For those people with osteoarthritis, exercise is particularly important. Muscle strengthening takes strain off the joints while core strengthening has been shown to be very important in taking strain off the knee to prevent injury.

Of course you know how to walk, and your gym trainer can show you how to use weight machines. When you have arthritis, it is a bit more complicated to exercise than it is for a healthy 25 years old. To prevent injury and make the most of your exercise program, you should consult a doctor or physical therapist when you start so that you can get a customized program that’s designed for your own individual needs and limitations.

When the pain gets in the way

When you’re hurt when you walk or bend, you are avoiding your weekly golf game or working in your bellowed garden.

It’s time to intervene when you’re having enough pain that prevents you from doing what you need or want to do. You can relieve the pain sometimes with cortisone or other medications like drugs that mimic the effect of chondroitin on cartilage.

There are other ways to ease pain that include:

– Using of orthotics. These are custom-made shoes inserts that help protect knees and hips by acting as shock absorbers when walking.

– Use of knee brace to help stabilize the knee joint.

– Ice therapy. Putting ice to the affected joint may help improve swelling, pain and range of motion.

– To relieve painful joints, you can use topical analgesics.

– You can also use over-the-counter or prescription medications to help relief pain and stiffness.

When you have arthritis, it may seem like your home is filled with obstacles, such as doors that are hard to open, lamps that are difficult to turn on. Your home should be a place where you feel safe and comfortable. To make these everyday tasks easier, assistive devices for arthritis can help. There are tools that are available to ease the strain on your joints from opening small jars and bottles to getting out of the tub.

Don’t let arthritis pain get in your way. There’s no reason to ache when you can act.

Dark Chocolate – The Healthier Side


Some people think that a healthy diet often includes labeling certain food groups as being unhealthy. Take into consideration fats which have an important role in body providing energy and keeping our cells healthy. Another type of food which has been receiving negative reviews is chocolate. But chocolate has its fair share of positive benefits.

Why should we deprive ourselves of life’s simple pleasures? Our food cravings after all are sublime messages that tell us that our body needs something. So the next time you feel that you’re craving for a chocolate bar, why not take dark chocolate. It definitely is the healthier alternative.

Dark Chocolate for a Healthier Heart

A huge part why people often discourage eating chocolate has to deal with high fat content. But not all fats are considered as unhealthy. Dark chocolate in particular contains saturated and monounsaturated fats which is healthier. Saturated fats are made of stearic acid that can lower a person’s cholesterol levels and reducing unhealthy fats.

Dark chocolate also contain powerful anti-oxidants and flavonoids that can unclog veins and arteries. Medical studies have proven that dark chocolate can lower the risk for heart attacks and stroke by as much as forty percent.  This however, should not be taken as a license to indulge carelessly on dark chocolate. It still contains a healthy amount of butter, milk and sugar which are rich fat sources.

Lessen your Cravings

Eating dark chocolate can do wonders for your weight. Studies have shown that eating dark chocolate could actually decrease your sweet food cravings. It helps satiate your sweet tooth and helps you resist reaching out for more sweets. Dark chocolate helps relieve the stress of sweet cravings making it easier for you to stick to your diet.

Helps You Release Stress

Dark chocolate triggers the release of feel good hormones which is the body’s natural way of dealing with stress. And if you want to release your feel good hormones naturally then eating dark chocolate can be a healthy way of doing so. This is one of the reasons why highly stressed people often end up with food cravings. Eating is a natural way of satisfying our body and restoring our relaxed state. Stress could be taxing both on our minds and body, dark chocolate can be a way of replenishing our exhausted energy stores.

Managing Diabetes

Here’s an interesting fact about dark chocolate. Chocolates that help people with diabetes could be something that can raise a few eyebrows or two. Dark chocolates contain flavonoids that are essential in the production of nitric oxide. Dark chocolate can help in controlling insulin sensitivity. Some medical studies have even shown that people who regularly ate dark chocolate lessened their risk for developing diabetes.

Helps Protect your Skin

Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which can protect your skin from sun damage. Medical research show that people who regularly ate dark chocolate are twice longer to develop skin redness after exposing themselves to the sun.

Brain Food

The brain consumes large amounts of energy. And sugars are the richest and fastest sources of energy for the brain. Dark chocolate is not merely an energy source but also enhances the flow of blood into the brain. It is able to improve blood flow for 2 to 3 hours. Some studies have also shown that people who ate dark chocolate regularly have higher cognitive scores.

If you’re searching for a healthier way to satisfy your sweet cravings then dark chocolate could a healthy answer. But even the health benefits of dark chocolate could be put to waste when too much is taken. Eating a healthy diet means taking it moderately. Too much of a good thing can have negative effects on your health. Eat dark chocolates moderately and stay within recommended dietary limits.

Image: By jules (chocolate-2) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Treating Skin Redness, Rosacea Naturally


Rosacea is a chronic and potentially life-disruptive disorder primarily affecting facial skin and is often characterized by flare-ups and remissions. A lot have checked that it typically begins any time after age 30 as a redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. It may also occur on the neck, chest, scalp or ears.

The redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent over time, and visible blood vessels may appear. Bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases the nose may grow swollen and bumpy from excess tissue when left untreated. In some patients, the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot.

Individuals with fair skin who tend to flush or blush easily are believed to be at greater risk. Women are most frequently diagnosed with this disease, but more severe symptoms tend to be seen in men.

There are primary signs of rosacea:

Flushing

A lot of people with rosacea have a history of frequent blushing or flushing. The facial redness may come and go and this is the earliest sign of the disorder.

Persistent Redness

It is the most common individual sign of rosacea, and may resemble a blush or sunburn that does not go away.

Bumps and Pimples

You may have small red solid bumps or pus-filled pimples. Blackheads are absent and burning or stinging may occur while these may resemble acne.

Visible Blood Vessels

Small blood vessels become visible on the skin in many people with rosacea.

Help for Rosacea

Though rosacea cannot be cured, with the proper treatment and elimination of certain triggers from your lifestyle, this condition can be controlled.

Natural Remedies

There are a number of natural remedies and alternative techniques used to reduce rosacea symptoms. Here are some of the most frequently used alternative treatments for rosacea:

Chrysanthellum Indicum Cream

This a cream that contains an extract of the herb Chrysanthellum indicum that may help treat rosacea, according to a Study published in Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology in 2005.

A study on 246 people with rosacea used either a cream containing one percent Chrysanthellum indicum extract or a placebo every day for 12 weeks. The results have shown that the Chrysanthellum indicum cream was significantly more effective than the placebo in reducing rosacea symptoms. Mild adverse reactions were felt and did not differ from those experienced by members of the placebo group.

Niacinamide Cream

Niacinamide may aid in the treatment of rosacea when applied directly to the skin, it is a form of vitamin B3. In a 2005 study, researchers found that a niacinamide-containing facial moisturizer was more effective than a placebo moisturizer in improving the skin barrier among people with rosacea.

Azelaic Acid Cream

This is a substance copied from wheat, rye, and barley. Azelaic acid is thought to alleviate skin redness and reduce rosacea-related papules and pustules when applied to the skin.

Azelaic acid cream has several side effects like stinging on application and lightening of darkened areas of skin.