Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Eating Disorders and Your Personality

Lacking in confidence? Having trouble with being such a perfectionist? Although you may not notice it, some of your most distinguishing personality traits could determine your susceptibility to eating disorders. Studies have shown that people diagnosed with eating disorders share the same common denominator: specific self-defeating personality traits. Apart from these, however, having any of the identified personality disorders, possessed with specific distinctive negative traits, raises your chances of acquiring eating disorders. Below are the first two:

Avoidant Personality

Several studies have indicated that most anorexic patients have avoidant personalities due to their extreme fear of rejection. So sensitive are they to being criticized that the slightest off-hand remark suffices to strengthen their belief of their own inadequacy. The oversensitivity to failing of people with avoidant personality disorder is further elucidated by these traits: perfectionism; extreme
shyness; sexual and/or emotional inhibition; sensitivity to rejection; affinity with being “good”; and a fear of being criticized, ridiculed, and/or humiliated.

Narcissistic Personality

A personality disorder characterized by an extreme emphasis on one's importance, people falling under this category are prone to pacifying themselves. Their need for admiration from others explains why they are so sensitive to criticism and failure.

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Thursday, April 8, 2010

At the Mercy of Anxiety? Check Your BP (blood pressure)!

Do you find yourself feeling light-headed and out of breath during crunch time? Whether you're trying to beat a work deadline or running at the speed of light just so you could make it to the office in time, the effects such circumstances would have on your mental and physical system are the same: the onset of anxiety triggering a spike in your blood pressure. Even if you have no hypertension and are healthy throughout, fact has it that you too could experience a sudden, dramatic BP increase once anxiety sets in.

Although physically uncomfortable, these temporary BP spikes have no serious physical damage. As it is, it is not confirmed that anxiety directly causes hypertension. However, should the aforementioned episodes escalate to the point that you experience them more frequently or every day, then a lifestyle change coupled with a visit to your doctor are in order. Just like chronic hypertension, regularly experiencing a surge in your BP due to anxiety is as detrimental to your kidneys, heart, and blood vessels. Besides, since anxiety could prompt you to turn to unhealthy habits like smoking, drinking, and overeating; you also run the risk of acquiring hypertension later on.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Maximize the Destressing Benefits of Relaxation Response

As you get started with your relaxation response practice, do it properly by observing these significant pointers:

  • Find time to do it.In starting out your relaxation response practice, it's imperative to find the right time that you have especially set aside for it. Depending on your schedule, see to it that once you have decided on the specific time, you would manage to keep it. Regularity requires sticking to a fixed schedule. This way, you are assured of fully absorbing the stress-relieving benefits of relaxation response into your system.
  • Never do it when you're feeling drowsy or lethargic. Since relaxation response activities are intended to relax you totally, they could make you sleepy. However, falling asleep would mean not being able to complete the exercise, hence, you miss out on getting the most from it. To prevent this, ascertain that the period you've chosen is nowhere near your bedtime or during those hours when you're likely to feel drowsy.
  • Practice the activity that you like best. There are many different activities promoting the benefits of relaxation response, and all of them are equally effective. It all boils down to selecting the one which appeals to you the most.
Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What You Should Know About AS (Asperger's Syndrome)

At first glance, AS people are hardly any different from others. However, getting to know them better or becoming intimate with them would give you a closer look at what exactly it is about them that distinguishes them from the rest. As it is, AS people are very well capable of functioning in typical life settings just like everybody else. However, they possess specific symptoms, especially poor or immature socialization skills and a distinctive oddity of behavior, specifically categorizing them among the 400,000 families suspected to be riddled with Asperger's syndrome—a neurobiological disorder characterized by impaired social skills and poor coordination.

Although diagnosis can be made as early as the age of three, it is not unusual for most AS people to be misdiagnosed with ADHD before it can be confirmed that what they have is actually AS later on. To familiarize you better with the nature of AS, here are its other symptoms:

  • Predilection for “self” topics when conversing with others
  • Robotic and reiterative speech
  • Not having enough “common sense”
  • Academic problems; specifically with math, reading, or writing
  • Unusual mannerisms and/or behaviors
  • Bungling movements
  • Fixation for complicated topics (patterns, music, etc.)
  • Improper and/or limited social interactions
Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Monday, April 5, 2010

Foolproof Tips in Managing Sunburn

“An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.” The truth of this popular adage can never be disputed, especially where one's health is at stake. As it is, this also applies to even seemingly mundane complaints as sunburn. Typical during the hot summer months, the best step in addressing sunburn is through conscientious prevention. Capable of ruining the skin - the main organ used for heat control and fluid retention as well as protection against infection - handling sunburn can be done by following these foolproof tips:

Get indoors or shield sunburned areas immediately. Further exposure to the sun after you have had sunburn would only worsen it.

Spot check the sunburned area for blisters. The latter are indications of second-degree burns, meaning that the affected are has suffered complete damage and is already prone to complications. Emergency cases calling for immediate medical attention would be indicated by having such a big blister that it could cover an entire abdomen or is bigger than an arm.

Ease the discomfort and pain via a shower or bath. Aloe or over-the-counter cooling agents could also be applied on the affected areas. However, never use oil or butter.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Zeroing In On Teen Depression

In discussing teen depression, many factors come into play, ranging from genetics to social, physical, as well as environmental factors. Defining the manner whereby a particular teenager could be at risk requires discussing his inherent personality aside from the previously mentioned factors. Teen girls are said to have a higher risk since they often obtain their self-esteem through their relationships.

However, depression cannot be contained to only one life premise. With the many challenges confronting adolescents as they struggle with growing up, it can be surmised that like every body else, depression is a perennial threat if they're not careful.

Most cases of teenagers who had depression experienced the following: teen pregnancy, drug or substance abuse, and lagging behind their peers in academics or other areas. Once depression sets in, the ultimate risk would be having that compulsion to commit suicide. To keep teens safe, parental support and guidance are important. As with other health issues, preventing the disorder from settling in is the best way to ensure that your teen is protected from its adverse effects. Prioritizing their health concerns means being attentive not only to their physical needs, but also to their mental needs as well.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Friday, March 26, 2010

Plate Size Matters

In telling the reasons behind the compulsion driving people to overeat unconsciously, a food psychologist pointed out that several factors come into play. Some studies revealed that one common reason in particular has a lot to do with the plate size we use for eating. Nevertheless, despite the variations of these factors, a food expert maintains that all these reasons compelling us to overeat without our noticing it are united under the fact that they exist only in our minds.

A problem generated by the demands of today's busy lifestyle, such tendencies are referred to as mindless eating by Brian Wansink, a behavioral scientist at the Cornell Food and Brand Lab. According to him, people are so preoccupied with the many things they are busy with during the day that they tend to lose track of how often they eat. He claims that the stomach has nothing to do with these compulsions. The mind is the sole culprit. However, as powerful as it is, it could be fooled easily using a simple technique: change plate sizes. Dr. Wansink confirmed, “Based on our studies, people get more food servings when their plates are bigger. They add up to 20-28% more.”

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What It's Like to Be a Hypochondriac

Getting sick due to a cold or flu hardly fazes anyone anymore. However, when the sickness becomes frequent, it can't be helped that others would be alarmed. Besides the possibilities that the concerned individual could just be feigning sickness or is really suffering from a particularly debilitating disease, another plausibility most of us overlook is hypochondria.

For some, hypochondria is a possibility after having experienced the demise of a loved one due to illness. Likewise, the same anxiety grips persons who are nearing the specific age whereby a loved one has passed away prematurely because of the same reason. Despite having a healthy disposition, anyone who has gone through the aforementioned experiences could become anxious over a particular disease that caused a loved one's death. They may suffer from panic attacks and mull over the idea that they're also troubled by the same symptoms.

Usually, majority of illnesses beleaguering hypochondriacs are nowhere near as serious as they thought. However, from their vantage point, it's magnified greatly. Though the physical aches and symptoms they're griping about could be real, the causes they associate these with aren't. Often, these arise from their elevated stress level resulting from their anxiousness about having the condition in the first place.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Identifying Giardiasis

Unquestionably, drinking contaminated water poses a variety of health problems, which includes giardiasis. One of the primary causes of diarrhea in the United States, this disease derived its name from the microscopic parasite known as giardia lamblia, which disrupts the body's absorption of carbohydrates and fats from the food it digests. Even in typical chlorinated water, this parasite could survive. It can even thrive up to two months in cold water.

The primary symptom indicating the onset of giardiasis is when the patient begins to suffer from diarrhea. The characteristic of his stool would be watery and odorous without any trace of mucus or blood. Unlike the usual excrement that sinks in the toilet bowl's water, the stool of a person suffering from giardiasis would float. It would also have a characteristically shiny-like appearance since the fat hasn't been properly absorbed by the body.

In treating giardiasis, your doctor would prescribe medication to kill the giardia lamblia parasite. The process usually takes five days up to a week. For children, medicines in liquid form are usually administered. Since some of these medications have side effects, it is best to stay vigilant as soon as the child starts taking them.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Friday, February 12, 2010

Food and Your Emotions

Do you often find yourself hungry whenever you feel down? If your answer to this question is a big “yes,” then you're ranked among the many people labeled as emotional eaters. Although common, the compulsion to use food to compensate for adverse emotions endangers your weight loss efforts. Emotional eating makes you susceptible to overeating, especially with high risk high-calorie foods with lots of sugar and/or fat.

Food serves as one of the most common emotional pacifiers whenever people find themselves stressed out and/or beleaguered by problems. The act of eating itself is a form of distraction. It keeps them preoccupied while suppressing adverse emotions like sadness, confusion, anger, loneliness, fear, boredom, or a combination of any of them.

Even if there are people who tend to eat less when confronted by these emotions, getting emotionally distressed also leaves them vulnerable to eating compulsively. Whether done consciously or not, the peril of having your emotions entwined with food could send you reaching out for whatever food is available every time you feel bad. Regardless of what particular emotion has triggered your compulsion, you still end up with the same risks: botched weight loss efforts and becoming unhealthy.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Fishy Matters That Really Matter

Rich in omega-3-fatty acids, protein, and other vital nutrients sans the high levels of saturated fat, fish is a major component of a well-balanced diet, helpful in achieving and maintaining our healthy weight. However, because it has been confirmed that fish contains mercury and other toxins prevalent in our environment, questions concerning its healthfulness has been raised. To stay on the safe side without sacrificing the health benefits of eating fish, be guided by these pointers:

King Mackerel, Shark, Tilefish, and Swordfish have been confirmed to contain the most amount of toxins, hence, we are advised to exclude them from our diets.

It's safe to consume up to 12 ounces of these fish and shellfish with low amounts of mercury: canned light tuna, salmon, shrimp, pollock, and catfish.

Since white tuna (albacore) contains more mercury than light tuna, we're advised to consume no more than six ounces of it weekly.

Following these pointers would assure our continued enjoyment of the nutritional benefits of fish. Overall, too much consumption of mercury results to severe health complications, specifically risking the brain and nervous system. Those at higher risk are pregnant women, their unborn fetuses, lactating women, and young children.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Monday, February 1, 2010

Why Organic Produce Is Better

The organic food trend sweeping across the globe isn't media hype alone. Learn how going organic could improve health by considering these facts:

* Organic produce tops the freshness list.

Since organically grown produce is not treated with preservatives to prolong its storage life, it's definitely fresher. And fresh fruits and veggies always taste better. However, in buying organic products, knowledge of the source is important. Usually, the farms producing them are located near the places where they're sold.

* Using organic farming methods benefits us and our environment.

Organic farming methods is considered beneficial to our environment because of the following: it decreases pollution, soil contamination and erosion, saves water, makes the soil more fertile, and decreases energy consumption. Because organic farming never uses chemical fertilizers and pesticides, we're treated to pesticide-free and more nutritious fruits and veggies.

* Eating organic meat omits the health risk of adverse side effects.

Livestock raised the organic way is neither fed with animal by-products nor given antibiotics, which could translate to negative health consequences for us. Moreover, the animals are raised in a more spacious environment instead of being cramped together, thus, promoting their overall better health. Reasonably, healthy livestock means healthier meat.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Importance of Keeping a Healthy Weight

The benefits of keeping a healthy weight goes beyond appearances. Besides having a more appealing vital statistics, achieving and maintaining your body's ideal weight is equivalent to a healthier and hardier physique. In effect, your risk of contracting illnesses, especially serious ones, is decreased greatly.

Based on researches, obesity lowers a person's life expectancy by nine years on average. With this comes heightened risks of contracting serious ailments such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancers in the breast, prostate and colon. Accordingly, experts have pointed out that only a small percentage of people suffer from obesity due to Cushing's syndrome or slow metabolism due to an underactive thyroid. Majority of obese people worldwide attribute their condition to unhealthy habits characterized by consuming beyond their daily required caloric consumption coupled with a sedentary lifestyle.

But as debilitating as the health consequences of obesity are, it is still a reversible condition. In losing the excess weight, we also decrease our risk of the serious illnesses associated with obesity. Making important healthy lifestyle changes is imperative. Losing weight through a combination of healthy eating and regular exercise becomes more effective if we exercise more and eat less.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Getting to Know Financial Stress

Tough economic times always puts the pressure on our finances that we can't help but feel anxious, worried, and/or sad. Where money matters are concerned, the need for surviving in the modern world doesn't exempt us from the burdening mental stress that comes with being preoccupied about anything concerning our bills. Hence, all of us are susceptible to financial stress. Like the usual stress, financial stress affects us physically and mentally. Find out how this comes about by pondering on these facts:

Physical Changes
  • trouble sleeping or staying asleep
  • declining concentration ability
  • feeling down or even tearful during random instances
  • loss of appetite

Mental Changes
  • pessimistic way of thinking that leads to feelings of helplessness and/or hopelessness
  • loss of enthusiasm reflected in oversleeping or wanting to be alone most of the time
  • shying away from other people's company or decreased enthusiasm for socializing with friends and loved ones

Coping with these adverse changes is possible when you follow the given suggestions below:

  • Stick to your usual routine in spite of yourself.
  • Expose yourself to early morning sunshine.
  • Talk it out with a friend.
  • Be attentive to your physical health needs (healthy diet and regular exercise) despite your feelings.

Contributed By: Maris Modesto