Several Reasons Why Your Mattress May Be Causing Back Pain

Choosing the right mattress is a bit of an art form. You not only need to find a mattress that is supportive but also comfortable to lay on. If you choose the wrong bed for your sleeping habits or your body type, it could wind up causing back pain. The same goes for old, worn-out mattresses.

If you want to wake up feeling great, it is important to carefully evaluate your sleeping conditions, including the quality of your mattress. The following section highlights several reasons why your bed may be causing back pain. If any of these reasons apply to your situation, it is important to correct them as quickly as possible so that you can start living a pain-free life.

1. Your mattress is too firm

Do you usually sleep on your side? If so, your back pain may be the result of sleeping on a mattress that is too firm. If the bed is extremely firm and doesn’t have a lot of give, it won’t conform to your body when you lay on your side. Not only can this cause uncomfortable pressure points on your shoulders and hips but it can also throw your spine out of alignment, which can result in back pain.

There are a couple of ways that you can tell whether or not your mattress is too firm. First, if you frequently wake up with arms or legs that have fallen asleep, you probably need a softer mattress like

Another sign that your mattress is too firm is if you experience a lot of pain in the areas where your hips and shoulders come in contact with the mattress. Check your spinal alignment when you lay down. Your spine should be straight while you are in a lying position.

2. Your mattress is too soft

If you sleep on your back, a mattress that is too soft can also result in back pain. When you lay on your back on a soft mattress, your hips have a tendency to sink down into the bed. Again, this throws your spine out of alignment, often resulting in lower back pain.

Typically, people who sleep primarily on their backs do best with firm mattresses since they do a better job of keeping the body properly aligned. If you frequently wake up with lower back pain, it is probably because your mattress is too soft. Again, try laying on the mattress and checking the alignment of your body to make sure that your spine is nice and straight.

3. Your mattress is too old

If you have an older mattress that you have been using for a long time, it may start to cause back pain as it begins to break down. Even if you invested in a high-end mattress that provided the right level of support a few years ago, that support can fade over time, resulting in back pain. Typically, mattresses need to be replaced every 7 to 10 years.

These are some of the primary reasons why your mattress may be causing back pain.

How To Monitor Your Blood Sugar At Home

Monitoring your blood sugar is important in controlling diabetes, and keeping a log of it is equally vital. Showing the results of your blood sugar monitoring at home to your physician will help him identify your body’s response to your care plan.

Though diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder, it can be controlled and reversed by changing your lifestyle. The main goal of every care plan is to keep your blood sugar levels under control and checking your blood sugar is one of the best ways to identify if your treatment is working.

Self-blood glucose monitoring (SBGM) helps you determine your sugar levels at any time of the day. It also helps prevent you from hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.

SBGM enables you to strictly follow your doctor’s advice which will help decrease the long-term risk of diabetes.

Who Can Check Their Blood Glucose Levels

Not all diabetics are required to check their blood sugar levels. But the people who can benefit from taking this test regularly are the following:

  • Patients taking insulin shots
  • Patients who are experiencing difficulty in controlling blood sugar levels
  • Patients with low blood sugar levels without any visible warning signs
  • Patients who are experiencing low blood sugar levels constantly
  • Patients who are pregnant
  • Patients with ketones caused by high blood sugar levels

How To Test Your Blood Glucose Level Using A Glucose Meter

Here are the steps and general guidelines for testing your blood glucose levels. Make sure that you utilize your blood glucose monitors properly and get specific details from its package insert or from your doctor.

  • Step 1: Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Dry hands using a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • Step 2: Prepare the lancing device by inserting a fresh lancet. Make sure that you only use the lancet ones. A used lancet will not be as sharp and can cause more pain and further skin injury.
  • Step 3: Prepare the test strip and the blood glucose meter. This step will vary depending on the type of glucose meter you have.
  • Step 4: Use the lancing device to prick your fingertip and obtain a small drop of blood. There are alternate sites and one of them is the skin of your forearm. Although these sites are less painful, the blood from the fingertips provide more accurate blood samples.
  • Step 5: Apply the blood drop to the strip in the blood glucose meter and apply pressure on your finger to stop the bleeding. Wait for the results after several seconds.
  • Step 6: Throw away the used lancet in a puncture resistant container.

How To Interpret Blood Sugar Results

The results of your blood sugar testing determines whether your diabetes care plan and treatment are working or not. However, you must remember that physical activity, medication and food can affect the blood sugar results.

You should record the results in detail, including the date, time taken, blood glucose result, dose of medication taken prior to testing, and other notes like physical activity or foods eaten prior to testing.

How To Manage Your Blood Sugar When Ill

When you are ill, your blood sugar levels can become unpredictable and may fluctuate at any time of the day. During these times, it is best to check your blood sugar levels more often than usual. For example, instead of checking it before taking your meals, you can check it every two to four hours. These notes will become helpful especially when you catch the same illness in the future.

If you plan on taking flu medications or any type of over-the counter meds, talk to your pharmacist about your diabetes so that he or she can assist you in choosing sugar-free medicines.

Here are other important guidelines to remember.

  • Drink plenty of water and avoid drinking tea, coffee, sodas or any beverage that contain caffeine. This will make you lose more fluids.
  • Consume 15 grams of healthy, complex carbohydrates every hour.
  • Try to stick to your usual meal schedule to avoid hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
  • If your illness disrupts your usual meal time, replace solid foods with fluids that contain a little bit of sugar. You can also ask your doctor about this.
  • Continue to take your insulin even if you are sick. Check the guidelines your healthcare team have left for you in an event of an illness.
  • If your illness is associated with nausea, diarrhea or vomiting every two or more hours, call your doctor or proceed to the emergency room.

Your doctor and the rest of your diabetes care team are the people who formulated your treatment. Therefore, they are the best sources of information whenever you have questions and concerns about your diabetes.

The Link Between Heart Disease and Diabetes

Diabetes is a serious condition that occurs when your body can no longer produce enough, or it cannot properly use the hormone insulin properly.

Insulin helps your body digest sugars from the food you eat and drink. Without it, sugars can build up in your bloodstream. Over time, high blood sugar levels can damage your kidneys, nerves, blood vessels and even your heart.

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes have heart disease and their death rates are about two to four times higher than those without diabetes. They also reported that 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes every year. This means, more people are becoming at risk of developing heart disease.

Factors That Put Diabetics At Risk

As per the Center For Disease Control, about 70% of diabetics are suffering from high blood pressure – a risk factor for heart disease. But what exactly are the factors why diabetics are more likely to develop heart diseases? Here are the answers.

  • Many diabetic patients battle with overweight or obesity problems. The fact that diabetic dyslipidemia is common among patients who are battling with their weight, it only puts them at an even greater risk for heart problems.
  • The fluctuating glucose levels in the bloodstream can damage the interior surfaces of your blood vessels, causing fat deposits in the arteries. Eventually these deposits will calcify and harder the arteries, causing obstruction of the blood flow and stroke.
  • Diabetes affects a wide range of body reactions including throwing off the normal balance of your hormones and cytokines (proteins in the body that are used to communicate and carry out important functions in the body).

Why You Should Lose Weight

Type 2 diabetics usually battle with weight problems. It only makes their situation worse because obesity puts them at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure – a critical factor for heart disease.

Pamela Kontos, Nurse Practitioner at the Outpatient Diabetes Wellness Program at Advocate South Suburban Hospital says that the worst part is, type 1, type 2 and prediabetes have equal risks of developing heart diseases.

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Condition

The signs and symptoms of heart problems are angina (chest pain), vomiting, nausea, left sided pain in the jaw, neck, arm, back or stomach and shortness of breath. Kontos added that in the case of diabetics, they should be more observant about their body.

Because neuropathy or the loss of sensation due to nerve damage is common among this condition, diabetics may not feel any chest pain and the rest of the signs and symptoms, even if it has already started to manifest.

The best way to prevent heart disease or any heart-related condition associated with diabetes altogether is to take good care of your health and keep your blood glucose levels under control. It is important that you also include lifestyle and diet improvements, exercise and stress management.

Prevention And Treatment

Despite the link of heart disease and diabetes, Kontos recommends that the best way to prevent heart disease is to manage your diabetes with an utmost importance. Your diabetes care management will help prevent the risk of heart disease later on.

Keep in mind that diabetes is a detrimental disease. There are ways for you to continue to live comfortably but that does not mean you should rely on taking medications and drugs alone.

There are effective ways to naturally reverse diabetes – by eliminating the underlying causes. This requires you to exercise daily, stay active, and change your diet.

Even if you have been living a completely healthy and clean lifestyle, never alter your medications without your doctor knowing about it first. Instead, continue to live healthily and see your doctor again after several weeks so that he can reassess your condition once more.

Getting diagnosed with diabetes is not the end of the road, but rather a wake up call. By exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet, you can naturally get rid and prevent the recurrence of diabetes, and the health complications (like heart disease) that come along with it.
When you think critically, take informed actions and follow your doctor’s advice, you can take charge of your health.

Get A Cheaper Plastic Surgery in Turkey

beautiful girlPlastic surgery in the US is both popular and expensive. As a result of its popularity, plastic surgeries in countries like Thailand, Korea, Brazil and in the Middle East offer cheaper procedures to many tourists from the US and Europe.

There is an increasing number of Americans and Europeans traveling to Turkey to get some plastic surgery done. The primary reason behind these travels is for them to get more affordable rates without jeopardizing the quality of the work. As more people seek plastic surgeons in Turkey, this country is slowly becoming one of the key destinations for the health tourists around the globe.

Although there are numerous perks in medical tourism, you have to think about your safety first. Regardless of where you choose to get a procedure done, there are always some risks involved. Here are five questions you need answers to before booking your flight abroad to get a procedure done.

1. Is there a recourse for me?

In the US you can sue a doctor for malpractice if something goes wrong in the operating room. But this might not be the case in other countries. As per the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there are no laws in the USA that protect Americans who proceeded to go to an unlicensed doctor abroad. The bottom line is you have to understand your legal rights before you make a doctor’s appointment overseas.

2. Is the doctor certified or accredited?

Look for a surgeon who is accredited by an organization similar to International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in the US. These agencies of doctors require continual medical education, training, certification and hospital privileges before anyone could join. There are also members of this organization who practice in the USA and overseas.

3. Can you contact the surgeon or his clinic before booking a flight?

Getting a terrific surgeon is essential but establishing a relationship before you see him or her is a crucial aspect of traveling overseas for a procedure. By contacting the doctor’s office, you can find out about his or her credentials.

You can also find out if the doctor has international patients and if he or she is affiliated with a well-known hospital in his country. A surgeon with hospital privileges tells you that he or she is indeed certified.

4. What are my post-surgery risks?

Even under the safest conditions, there is always a risk in any plastic surgery. You have to think about what could go wrong after the procedure is done. For example, flying back home after surgery can potentially cause you to get sick or develop blood clots.

If possible, avoid traveling back immediately. It would be better to stay overseas after your surgery until you are totally healed or until your doctor clears you to travel back home.

5. Who do I contact if I have questions about my post-operative activities?

Doctors provide slightly different recommendations to every patient. Before you try various activities such as drinking alcohol, swimming in the beach, sunbathing or skiing, check with your doctor if they allow you to.

So make sure to find a surgeon overseas who you can easily contact. You can also schedule an appointment with a plastic surgeon in your hometown just in case you have important questions that need immediate answers to.

For most people, the main reason why people get plastic surgeries abroad is to get top-notch medical care for a lower price. In fact, many people (even celebrities) have already done it and are happy with the results.

It is unquestionably possible to find qualified and reputable doctors in Turkey and other countries. You just have to make sure that you choose a clinic or surgeon that you would implicitly trust your life with.

6 Surprising Facts About Omega 3

Humans can make most kinds of fats they need from raw materials or other fats. But, that is not the case for omega-3 fatty acids, also known as n-3 fats and omega-3 fats. These are very essential fats – the human body cannot make them from scratch, but must obtain them from food. Foods very high in Omega-3 include nuts (particularly walnuts), fish, vegetable oils, leaf vegetables, flax seeds and flax seed oil.

What really makes omega-3 fatty acids special? They are a vital part of the cell membranes all throughout the body. Omega 3 fatty acids influence the cell receptors’ function in these membranes, and provide the foundation for producing hormones that regulate blood clotting, inflammation, as well as contraction and relaxation of artery walls.

Omega-3 also binds to cell receptors that control genetic function. Because of these effects, they have been shown to help curb stroke and heart disease, may help control eczema, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, omega 3 fats may play protective roles in different conditions such as cancer.

Omega 3 fats are necessary for the health; unfortunately, the human body cannot manufacture them. You can find them in fish like tuna, halibut and salmon, other sea foods including krill and krill and algae. Omega 3 fats are also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids or PUFAs. These play important roles in normal growth and development.

They have become famous because they may lower the risk of heart disease. It is recommended by the American Heart Association or AHA to eat fish particularly, fatty fish like herring, salmon, mackerel, albacore tuna, and lake trout at least twice a week.

A recent study shows that omega 3 fats are highly concentrated in the brain and it appears to be significant for cognitive and behavioural function. Actually, infants who lack omega 3 fats from their moms during pregnancy are at risk for developing nerve and vision problems. Symptoms of such deficiency include poor memory, heart problems, poor circulation, fatigue and dry skin.

It is very important for everyone to have the right ratio of omega 3 and omega 6, which is another important fatty acid in the diet. Omega 3 fats help minimize inflammation, and most omega 6 fats be likely to promote inflammation.

The usual American diet contains approximately 14 to 25 times more omega 6 than omega 3, which lots of nutritionally-oriented physicians think to be way too high in the omega 6 fatty acids side. In fact, many studies suggest that higher omega 6 to omega 3 ratios seems to be connected with worsening inflammation over time. In addition, it leads to a higher risk of fatality among hemodialysis patients.

On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet has a healthier balance between omega 6 and omega 3 fats. Several researches have shown that people who practice this kind of diet are less expected to develop heart problems. The Mediterranean diet highlights foods that are rich in omega 3. This includes fresh vegetables and fruits, garlic, whole grains, olive oil and modest wine consumption.

There are 3 types of omega 3 fatty acids; these are DHA, EPA and ALA. DHA and EPA are rich in seafood like fatty fish and shellfish. ALA is found in some vegetable oils such as soy and canola.

Omega 3 fatty acids are also readily available as dietary supplements like fish oil supplements contain DHA and EPA. Flaxseed oil supplements contain ALA. There is moderate evidence that emerged about the benefits of seafood consumption.

Here are 6 things you should know about omega 3 today:

1. People who eat seafood at least once a week are less likely to die of heart disease

Numerous studies on diets rich in fish and shellfish provide proofs that individuals who consume at least once weekly are less expected to die of heart problem than those who seldom or never consume seafood. In 2010, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans was published, which includes new dietary recommendations. Adults must eat 8 or more ounces of a variety of sea food weekly because it offers a wide range of nutrients. This includes omega 3 fats.

Young kids need smaller amounts of these fats. There are different recommendations for pregnant and nursing women.

2. Seafood’s nutritional value is of particular importance during the fetal growth and development

Pregnant and lactating women should eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood each week from different kinds of seafood that are low in methyl mercury. This is part of a nutritious eating pattern, while staying within their caloric needs. Pregnant and breastfeeding women must limit the amount of albacore or white tuna to not over 6 ounces weekly. They must avoid swordfish, king mackerel, shark and tilefish because they are very high in methyl mercury.

3. People should include seafood rich in DHA and EPA in a heart-healthy diet

Two groups of scientists evaluated the research on the effects of DHA and EPA supplements on heart disease risk. One group reviewed only studies in individuals with a history of heart disease. The other group analyzed studies involving people both with and without heart disease history. Neither review discovered strong evidence of a protective effect of the omega 3 supplements. Supplements with DHA and EPA have not been shown to shield against heart disease.

4. There is insufficient evidence to conclude that omega 3 effectively cure eye and brain diseases

According to recent studies, there is little evidence about the effectiveness of omega 3 fats for eye and brain conditions. DHA help improves eye and brain functions. Researchers are actively studying the potential benefits of DHA and other omega 3 fats in preventing or treating different eye and brain related conditions.

5. DHA and EPA may help relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis

Omega 3s found in fish oil and seafood are believed in rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Many studies reviewed participants reported that when they were taking fish oil they had shorter morning stiffness, lesser joint pain and swelling, and lesser need for anti-inflammatory medicines to manage their symptoms.

6. The idea that omega 3 supplements are beneficial is still vague

It is highly recommended that you talk with your health care provider before you consider omega 3 supplements. It is particularly important to discuss with you and your children’s doctor if you are an expecting or breastfeeding mom. You should also think about this if you are taking drugs that affects blood clotting, if you are sensitive to seafood.

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