Monthly Archives: August 2016

Informations About Ways to Prepare for a Medical Screening Test

Medical screening tests can be intimidating, but they don’t have to be. Knowing which questions to ask your doctor beforehand is the best way to prepare.

Understand Why Your Medical Screening Test is Necessary. Be sure that any test or medical procedure your doctor prescribes is really needed and that you understand its purpose. A screening test should help your doctor identify a treatable disease or rule out a health condition for which you may be at risk. Conscientious physicians consider three criteria before ordering a test: the value of the specific information it may give about you, the discomfort it will cause and the risks it entails. The benefits of the test should outweigh any potential harm. You can ask your doctor about these in order to be fully aware of what is going on and why.
Try to Remain Calm During the Screening Test. Another way to prepare for a medical screening test is to know what to expect. Once you’ve agreed to a battery of tests, you can make the experience more pleasant and the results more useful if you are relaxed during the procedures. Blood pressure, for example, is often raised by anxiety about having it measured. If you know what to expect and how long the procedure will take beforehand, you should feel more at ease. You can get that information from your doctor.
Ask about Testing Frequency. There are no hard-and-fast rules about how often screening tests should be repeated. Your doctor will make recommendations for you based on your health, your family medical history and environmental factors (such as living with a smoker or working with dangerous chemicals). You should be aware of your health conditions and discuss frequency of testing with your doctor so you are aware and in control of your health.

Some Exercises to Relieve Back Pain

Suffering from chronic back pain? These six easy exercises stretch and strengthen your back, and can help relieve soreness and pain.
Seeking relief from back pain?

If you suffer from back pain you know that even the tiniest movement can hurt a lot. Here are some beginner-level exercises to stretch and strengthen your back that can be performed on a daily basis. If any move hurts, stop immediately. Once these exercises become easy, ask your doctor or a physiotherapist for more advanced exercises.

1. Pelvic tilt

Lie on your back with your knees bent but touching and your feet flat on the floor. Flatten your lower back against the floor, tilting your pelvis down. Hold for 20 to 40 seconds while breathing slowly and deeply, then release. Repeat this exercise twice. This stretch uses small movements, unlike a traditional workout, to reduce tension and ease back pain.

2. Lumbar stretch

Sit up tall on a chair and slowly, one vertebra at a time, roll your head, neck, chest and low back forward until your head is between your knees (or as far as you can comfortably go). Hold for three deep breaths, then slowly roll back up to a sitting position. Repeat twice.

3. Cat

Kneel on all fours with your knees hip-width apart. Keeping your stomach muscles tensed, arch your back like a cat and hold for five seconds, then release. Repeat. Now let your stomach drop a bit toward the floor. Hold for five seconds, then repeat. Finally, sit back on your heels and reach your arms in front of you on the floor and hold.

4. Curl-ups

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Tense your stomach muscles, then lift your head and shoulders and upper back off the floor. Don’t pull with your hands. Repeat 10 times if you can. Curl-ups are used to strengthen your back, eventually leading to less back pain.

5. Dry swimming

To do this exercise, begin by lying on your stomach with a rolled-up towel under your belly for back support. Tighten your buttocks and simultaneously raise one arm and the opposite leg, then switch. Repeat for up to two minutes.

6. Leg lift
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Press your lower back into the floor. Now straighten one leg, keeping your knees aligned. Bend your leg to return to starting position, then repeat on the opposite side. Repeat 10 times if you can.

Tips About How Much Water Should You Drink to Stay Hydrated

So, exactly how much water should you drink to stay hydrated? We’ve all heard the magic number of “eight cups a day,” but it turns out the answer from our health experts is a little more complicated than that.

Exactly how much water should you drink, anyway?
Compared to younger people, seniors must take extra care to get enough fluids. With age, thirst—the body’s built-in dehydration alarm system—becomes less noticeable and reliable. Older people also tend to have modest appetites, which means they receive less fluid from food. Meanwhile, due to declining kidney function, their bodies often aren’t as good at conserving the water they do get.

The amount of fluid we need to feel our best varies according to factors such as physical activity levels, physiology and climate. As a rough guideline, the Dieticians of Canada suggest 2.2 litres (nine cups) per day for women and three litres (12 cups) for men. These totals include food moisture, which accounts for about one-fifth of the average person’s liquid intake—and more for people who eat a lot of fruit and veggies. Keep in mind that you’ll need extra fluids if you’re exercising, if the weather is hot or if you’re somewhere with indoor heating, which can drain moisture from your skin.
Drink more than just water to stay hydrated
If you don’t like to consume a lot at once, try increasing the frequency of your drinks. Vary your sources of fluid if that makes it easier to stay hydrated—besides water, consider beverages such as juice, milk and soup. Even coffee and tea can work, despite the caffeine’s mild diuretic effect—they provide more water than they drain.

Recognize the signs of dehydration. If your urine is dark or has a particularly strong smell, you may not be getting enough fluids to stay hydrated; other signs of early-stage dehydration include a dry mouth, headaches, dizziness, fatigue and irritability. Left unaddressed, the problem can cause a racing heart, delirium or a loss of consciousness, and sufferers may require intravenous hydration from medical professionals.

Beware of chronic dehydration. In everyday life, milder bouts of dehydration are commonplace. But take note: “When mild dehydration is chronic,” says Ron Maughan, chair of the European Hydration Institute’s Science Advisory Board, “it can have adverse effects, especially renal [kidney] stones.” If you suspect poor hydration might be dragging you down, the remedy is simple: drink up.

Tips To Improve Your Memory

Finding it difficult to remember names and faces, or even where you set your keys? Find out how to improve your memory—naturally—with these five expert-approved strategies.

– A good night’s sleep can improve your memory. Wondering how to improve your memory? It starts with plenty of rest. Try going to bed 30 minutes earlier than you normally would tonight, and then every following night until you find you’re getting the amount of sleep your body needs. A large body of evidence supports the role of sleep in consolidating, cementing, and even restoring our memories.
– Clear your mind. Before you engage in a task or activity in which you need to remember new information, close your eyes, empty your mind and practice deep breathing for at least 2 minutes. The deep breathing helps clear your mind and lower your stress hormones, both of which, studies find, can enhance your brain’s ability to absorb new information.
– Train your brain to pay attention. When you receive new information you need to remember, tune out everything else and stay actively focused on the facts. Giving a subject your full attention helps it “stick” in your memory.
– Take memory-boosting herbal supplements. Begin taking 60 to 80 milligrams of ginkgo biloba 2 or 3 times a day. If you’re taking a test of any sort that requires you to draw on your memory to recall facts and figures, take a dose of 120 to 180 milligrams one or two hours beforehand. Ginkgo is a potent antioxidant and one of the most important herbs in our arsenal when it comes to memory and learning. If ginkgo alone doesn’t do it for you, try adding 75 milligrams of the Chinese herb dang shen (Codonopsis pilosula), which one study found improved memory more than ginkgo alone.
– Drink coffee. Drink one or two cups of caffeinated coffee a day. Studies find that coffee—more likely, the caffeine it contains—improves alertness and some forms of memory. Population studies even show lower levels of Alzheimer’s disease in people who drink coffee.