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Monday, February 12, 2018

How Nutritional Needs Change for Seniors and What You Can Eat For Good Health




The Secret to Eating Well for Healthy Longevity

Nutrition is a never-ending concern since what you eat impacts the quality of your life whether you are a child, adult or senior. Food is vital to life. You know it is important to “eat right” but as you age it can become harder to know which foods are good for you. Nutritional needs change for seniors. Even the taste, smell and texture of food can change making it hard to eat for good health.

That doesn’t mean you can’t eat healthy in your golden years though! Good nutrition is delicious and satisfying. You might even find that the foods recommended for good health are ones you remember from your childhood and will fill you with not only the fuel you need but those warm, nostalgic feelings that add to overall wellness.

How Nutrition Needs Change in Seniors

Good nutrition is the cornerstone of good health. Unfortunately, healthy eating habits can decline as you or your parent ages. One-third of seniors in North America admitted to the hospital will be suffering from some form of malnourishment.1

Loss of Smell

Malnourishment can often arise as a result of not understanding how your nutritional needs change as you age. Seniors will often report a loss of taste and smell. 75% of people over the age of 80 report losing their sense of smell 2. Without smell, you also lose the majority of your taste sensation. Food becomes boring when you can’t taste it!
It’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about testing for a loss of smell if you find food bland and tasteless. A loss of smell can be treated and allow you to enjoy your food once again.

Also, don’t be afraid to be heavy handed with the spices. Your taste and smell sensations can be tantalized by adding healthy and nutritious spices and herbs to almost any food. Unlike sugar, spices and herbs don’t add empty calories while increasing your enjoyment of food again.

Dental Issues

Changes in the health of your mouth can make chewing and swallowing difficult. If you are suffering from dental pain, eating will seem like a chore instead of something you enjoy. Loss of teeth and gum disease can also make it impossible to chew meat. This makes it harder to meet protein requirements, which is horrible! As you age, you need more protein due to a decrease in stomach acid production, which inhibits the ability to absorb protein 3.

Digestive Needs

Your kidneys and lungs are responsible for maintaining a blood pH of 7.34-7.45. As you age, your kidney and lung function will be decreased. It becomes more difficult for your body to neutralize the acids that a diet high in refined carbohydrates, meat and salt produces. Providing your small intestine with more alkaline producing foods can protect your bones and muscles.

Your large intestine needs to have a healthy colony of bacteria to digest your food and reward you with regular bowel movements. Research shows that seniors have less than half the intestinal bacteria that they had in their 30s and 40s.

What You Should Eat for Healthy Longevity

Eating for healthy longevity can be a simple and rewarding challenge. As you eat healthier foods you will find your body feels stronger and you get more enjoyment out of life.

Eat Your Veggies

Mom was right. Eating fruits and vegetables is good for your health. Almost every diet will include a recommendation to eat more fruits and vegetables. They are like nature’s multivitamins. Some of the most powerful sources of nutrition will be fruits and berries like grapes, pomegranates, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and goji berries.

Make sure you find room on your plate for all types of fruits and veggies. The MIND diet reports that an increase in leafy greens was able to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, protect against heart disease, prevent strokes and decrease hip fractures.

Dr. Terry Wahls recommends eating 9 cups of fruits and vegetables a day4, including 3 cups of leafy greens kale, collards, chard, spinach and lettuce; 3 cups of sulfur rich veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, asparagus, onions and Brussel sprouts; as well as 3 cups of the beautiful, colorful vegetables and fruits like berries, peaches, citrus, beets, carrots and peppers.

According to Dr. Wahls this specific blend of fruits and vegetables will provide your body and brain with the 31 micronutrients essential to optimal functioning. As well a diet high in fruit and vegetables provide high levels of vitamin C and will alkalize the small intestine and provide protection for muscles and bones.

Don’t Be Afraid of Fat

Did you know that all those healthy nutrients found in vegetables are better able to be absorbed when you eat them with healthy fat 5? That’s right! Your body needs fat to be healthy. Fats can make your brain more resilientand make less tasty foods like vegetables more enjoyable to eat.

Some of the best fats to include are found in fish, almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pecans, flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Don’t forget the heart friendly olive and coconut oil!

Fats that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids protect your heart, help you maintain normal cholesterol levels and boost your brain health 6.

Embrace Healthy Bacteria

Just like fat isn’t necessarily bad for you neither is gut bacteria. Eating foods that are fermented provide your intestines with strong and healthy bacteria that will fight off the true invaders like cold and flu viruses and infections. Probiotics (good bacteria) also help to digest your food and are good for your mental health.

Fermented foods are high in flavor which helps when your taste buds are tired. Try to include foods such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi each day. Start in small amounts if you aren’t used to fermented foods and soon your gut will thank you with better digestion and improved bowel function.

For probiotics to flourish they need to be matched with prebiotics. Prebiotics are foods that are high in fiber and feed the probiotics in your gut. Good sources of prebiotics are bananas, berries, legumes, garlic, onions and nuts.

See? We are back to more fruits and veggies!

Beef Up Your Diet


Protein continues to be foundational for physical functioning. You might remember that reduced levels of stomach acid make it more difficult to absorb protein as you age. Making it even more important to be eating adequate amounts of protein in a day to keep your muscles strong.

Protein can be found in meats, eggs, beans and nuts. Although meat and nuts can become difficult to chew with dental issues you can try slow cooking your meat in sauces to make it more tender. Or a scoop of nut butter on a slice of toast.

Drink Your Water

Hydration is a serious issue for seniors and a vital part of healthy nutrition in old age 7. As you age it can become more difficult to feel cues of thirst and to forget to drink. Some good ideas would be to drink water flavored with lime juice and to enjoy foods regularly that are naturally high in water like soup and melons.

A pot of soup prepared with a generous helping of sulfur containing veggies, leafy greens, carrots, onions and some slow cooked meats served with a side of yogurt and berries would meet most of your nutritional needs in a day.

How to Promote Good Senior Health Through Nutrition

Good nutrition is not about how much you eat but focuses more on the quality of food that you eat. As you age, most people will report a decreased appetite. A normal part of aging caused by a quieter life with fewer physical demands.

Large meals can often be daunting. Try instead to focus on meals for seniors that provide high nutrition while in a small amount. Aim to include a few of the foods from this article in your day. Even a small change can benefit you and promote good health. Home Care Assistance caregivers are trained in healthy nutrition and can help you or a loved one by preparing a diet rich in essential nutrients. They can even do the grocery shopping and meal preparation making it even easier to eat for healthy longevity.



Sources:



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-b-blancato/senior-malnutrition-a-nat_b_6832238.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2579627/

http://time.com/3694094/nutrition-health-advice-senior-citizens/

http://www.phoenixhelix.com/2013/04/08/wahls-veggie-protocol-qa/

https://chriskresser.com/have-some-butter-with-your-veggies/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-brain-food/201205/dietary-fats-improve-brain-function

http://dailycaring.com/dehydration-in-elderly-is-dangerous/

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pneumonia Prevention - Expat World PH Health Project




Pneumonia Prevention
By Mary Gallagher, RN, MSN, CCRN - January 26, 2018


PNEUMONIA, AN INFECTION that inflames the air sacs of one or both lungs, affects millions of Americans each year. The air sacs, or alveoli, are where the oxygenation of the blood occurs. The alveoli may fill with fluid or pus, causing a cough with phlegm or pus. Pneumonia can range from mild to life-threatening and is most serious in infants, young children, people older than 65 and people with health problems or weakened immune systems.

Bacteria, viruses and fungi can cause pneumonia. This is why foreigners in the Philippines are so vulnerable.
 In adults, bacteria are the most common cause. Bacteria and viruses living in your nose, sinuses or mouth may spread to your lungs. You may breathe some of these germs directly into your lungs, or you may inhale food, vomit or fluids from the mouth into your lungs (aspiration pneumonia).

The most common type of pneumonia-causing bacteria is Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). Walking pneumonia, often called atypical pneumonia, is caused by other bacteria. The fungus Pneumocystis jiroveci can cause pneumonia in people whose immune systems are not working well, such as those with advanced HIV infection. Viruses such as the flu are also a common cause of pneumonia.

Risk factors that increase your chances of getting pneumonia include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; bronchiectasis; cystic fibrosis; dementia; stroke; brain injury; cerebral palsy or other brain disorders; and immune system problems due to cancer treatment, HIV/AIDS, organ transplant or other diseases. Other risk factors include serious illnesses such as heart disease, liver cirrhosis or diabetes mellitus; recent surgery or trauma; or surgery to treat cancer of the mouth, throat or neck. Smoking cigarettes, excessive use of alcohol or being undernourished also increases your risk of pneumonia.

The most common symptoms of pneumonia are cough (you may cough up greenish or yellow mucus or bloody mucus), mild or high fever, shaking chills and shortness of breath. The shortness of breath may only occur when you climb stairs or exert yourself. Other symptoms include confusion, especially in older people; excess sweating and clammy skin; headache; loss of appetite; low energy and fatigue; not feeling well; or sharp or stabbing chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply or cough.

See your health care provider as soon as possible. Your provider will examine your lungs with a stethoscope, listening for decreased breath sounds and crackles in your lungs. A pulse oximetry will check your oxygen saturation on room air. You may have a chest X-ray, blood work such as a complete blood count and arterial blood gases, blood and sputum cultures to look for the organism causing the infection, a CT scan or a bronchoscopy to examine your lungs and take sputum samples.

If the assessment points to early pneumonia, you will likely be told to force fluids and be placed on a broad-spectrum antibiotic, Mucinex or its generic form (600 mg two to three times a day) to assist in coughing up secretions, and mini nebulizer treatments every eight hours while at home.

If your pneumonia has progressed, you may be hospitalized to be monitored closely. You may be placed on IV antibiotics, oxygen and breathing mini nebulizer treatments plus an incentive spirometer to help open your airways. If you are diagnosed with viral pneumonia, you may receive other medications, such as an antiviral if the cause is the flu. Antibiotics do not kill viruses. Get plenty of sleep. If you cannot sleep at night, take naps during the day. With treatment, most people improve in two weeks; recovery may take six weeks. Adults older than 65 or very sick individuals may take longer to recover.

Possible complications of pneumonia include the need for a mechanical ventilator; bacteremia, in which the infection spreads into the blood; septic shock, an overwhelming infection attacking the body; lung abscess; other pulmonary problems such as respiratory failure, pleurisy or pleural effusion, in which fluid collects in the lungs; and kidney failure.

You can prevent pneumonia by washing your hands or using alcohol-based sanitizers often, especially before preparing or eating food and after blowing your nose, going to the bathroom, changing a baby’s or adult’s diaper or coming in contact with people who are sick. Do not smoke. Tobacco damages your lungs’ ability to fight infections.

Vaccines may prevent some types of pneumonia. The flu vaccine can help prevent pneumonia caused by the flu virus. The pneumococcal vaccine lowers your chances of getting pneumonia from Streptococcus pneumoniae and helps protect against some of the 90-plus types of pneumococcal bacteria. Vaccines are even more important for older adults and people with diabetes, asthma, emphysema, HIV, cancer, organ transplants and other chronic diseases and conditions.

Get your children vaccinated with the child strength of pneumococcal, flu, pertussis and Hib vaccines. Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) is a bacterium that can cause pneumonia and meningitis. The vaccine is recommended in the United States for all children younger than 5 years of age. It is often given to infants starting at 2 months old.

When infants are too young to be immunized, parents, family members, relatives and caregivers should be vaccinated. Keep yourself healthy: Limit your intake of alcohol, keep your immune system strong, get enough sleep, exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet.

The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Finally, a blood test to screen for early-stage cancer



    Scientists at Johns Hopkins University have developed a blood test that will detect early signs of the eight most common cancers normally diagnosed in their late stages, according to research published in the journal Science. This means early detection will finally be available for patients who have cancer of the ovary, liver, pancreas, esophagus, bowel, lungs or breast.

The screening test, then known as “liquid biopsy” and now called CancerSEEK, works by looking for mutated DNA that dying cells shed into the blood, and protein biomarkers associated with bowel, breast, liver, lung, esophageal, ovarian, pancreatic and stomach cancer. The test looks for mutations in 16 genes that regularly occur in cancer, and eight proteins that are often released.

The test detected 70 percent of the cancers in more than 1,000 patients with cancers in the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colon, lung or breast. More importantly, it did so before the cancers had spread, giving patients a fighting chance at beating the disease.

About 800 volunteers who had not yet been diagnosed with cancer were also tested. According to ABC News, US researchers are currently conducting the test on 10,000 more people to examine its effectivity as well as to help determine its cost to patients in the future.

“This field of early detection is critical, and the results are very exciting. I think this can have an enormous impact on cancer mortality,” Dr. Cristian Tomasetti of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine told BBC.

Current screening tests available for some cancers reduce the risk of death by up to 50 percent. CancerSEEK allows early detection of five cancers that previously had no screening program for early detection.

Pancreatic cancer, for example, has so few symptoms and is usually detected so late that four in five patients die in the year they are diagnosed. Women with ovarian cancer detected early on could have 92 percent chance of surviving, but only 15 percent of all ovarian cancers are found at an early stage.

CancerSEEK could change all that. The journal Science reported that CancerSEEK is novel because it hunts for both the mutated DNA and the proteins. The blood test could complement other cancer screening tools as well.

An Australian researcher involved in the study, professor Peter Gibbs from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, told ABC News, ”For the first time we’re seeing potential for a blood test that can screen for many types of nasty cancers that until now we’ve had to wait until symptoms are diagnosed quite late.”

While not everyone might be too keen on getting a colonoscopy to rule out cancer of the colon, Gibbs said pretty much everyone “would be happy to have a blood test.”

“This is of massive potential. This is the Holy Grail—a blood test to diagnose cancer without all the other procedures like scans or colonoscopy,” Dr. Gert Attard, team leader in the Center for Evolution and Cancer at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, and consultant medical oncologist at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, told the BBC.

CancerSEEK is designed for people 50 and above as well as younger people with a family history of cancer. Gibbs told ABC he hopes the test would become part of an annual regular checkup.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

What is MSG? Is it bad for you?




What is MSG? Is it bad for you?



Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavor enhancer commonly added to Chinese food, canned vegetables, soups and processed meats. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has classified MSG as a food ingredient that's "generally recognized as safe," but its use remains controversial. For this reason, when MSG is added to food, the FDA requires that it be listed on the label.


MSG has been used as a food additive for decades. Over the years, the FDA has received many anecdotal reports of adverse reactions to foods containing MSG. These reactions — known as MSG symptom complex — include:
Headache
Flushing
Sweating
Facial pressure or tightness
Numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas
Rapid, fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations)
Chest pain
Nausea
Weakness

However, researchers have found no definitive evidence of a link between MSG and these symptoms. Researchers acknowledge, though, that a small percentage of people may have short-term reactions to MSG. Symptoms are usually mild and don't require treatment. The only way to prevent a reaction is to avoid foods containing MSG.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Healthy Aging for Expats In The Philippines- Live Longer- Be Stronger



      People in the west are living longer than ever before but people who transplant themselves from the west to the philippines need to take particular care, for many reasons. 

Many seniors live active and healthy lives. But there's no getting around one thing: as we age, our bodies and minds change. There are things you can do to stay healthy and active as you age. It is important to understand what to expect. 

Some changes may just be part of normal aging, while others may be a warning sign of a medical problem. It is important to know the difference, and to let your health care provider know if you have any concerns.
Having a healthy lifestyle, whether you are an expat or not, can help you to deal with normal aging changes and make the most of your life.

Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy aging

Wonder what's considered a normal part of the aging process? Here's what to expect as you get older — and what to do about it.

You know that aging will likely cause you to develop wrinkles and gray hair. But do you know how the aging process will affect your teeth, heart and sexuality? 
It is helpful to understand the  changes you can expect in your body as you continue aging — and what you can do to promote good health at any age.

What's happening?


As you age, your heart rate becomes slightly slower, and your heart might become bigger. Your blood vessels and your arteries also become stiffer, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood through them. This can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular problems.

What you can do
To promote heart health:

Include physical activity in your daily routine. Try walking, swimming or other activities you enjoy. Regular moderate physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure and lessen the extent of arterial stiffening.

  1. Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium. A healthy diet can help you keep your heart and arteries healthy.
  2. Don't smoke. Smoking contributes to the hardening of your arteries and increases your blood pressure and heart rate. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit.
  3. Manage stress. Stress can take a toll on your heart. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.
  4. Get enough sleep. Quality sleep plays an important role in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. People's needs vary, but generally aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.

What's happening?


With age, bones tend to shrink in size and density — which weakens them and makes them more susceptible to fracture. You might even become a bit shorter. Muscles generally lose strength and flexibility, and you might become less coordinated or have trouble balancing.

What you can do
To promote bone, joint and muscle health:

  1. Get adequate amounts of calcium. For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the Institute of Medicine recommends 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women age 51 and older and men age 71 and older. Dietary sources of calcium include dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products, such as tofu. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, ask your doctor about calcium supplements.
  2. Get adequate amounts of vitamin D. For adults ages 19 to 70, the Institute of Medicine recommends 600 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day. The recommendation increases to 800 IU a day for adults age 71 and older. Although many people get adequate amounts of vitamin D from sunlight, this might not be a good source for everyone. Other sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as tuna and sardines, egg yolks, fortified milk, and vitamin D supplements.
  3. Include physical activity in your daily routine. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, tennis, climbing stairs and strength training can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.
  4. Avoid substance abuse. Avoid smoking and don't drink more than one or two alcoholic drinks a day, depending on your sex and age.

What's happening?

Constipation is more common in older adults. Many factors can contribute to constipation, including a low-fiber diet, not drinking enough fluids and lack of exercise. Medications — such as diuretics and iron supplements — and certain medical conditions — such as diabetes and irritable bowel syndrome — also might contribute to constipation.

What you can do
To prevent constipation:

Eat a healthy diet. Make sure your diet includes high-fiber foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit meats that are high in fat, dairy products and sweets, which might cause constipation. Drink plenty of water and other fluids.

Include physical activity in your daily routine. Regular physical activity can help prevent constipation, and is important for your overall health.
Don't ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. Holding in a bowel movement for too long can cause constipation.

What's happening ?


Loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence) is common with aging. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, might contribute to incontinence — as can menopause, for women, and an enlarged prostate, for men.

What you can do
To promote bladder and urinary tract health:

  1. Go to the toilet regularly. Consider urinating on a regular schedule, such as every hour. Slowly, extend the amount of time between your toilet trips.
  2. Maintain a healthy weight. If you're overweight, lose excess pounds.
  3. Don't smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit.
  4. Do Kegel exercises. Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for five seconds, and then relax for five seconds. Try it four or five times in a row. Work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.
  5. Avoid bladder irritants. Caffeine, acidic foods, alcohol and carbonated beverages can make incontinence worse.
  6. Avoid constipation. Eat more fiber and take necessary steps to avoid constipation, which can worsen incontinence.
What's happening?

Memory might naturally become less efficient with age. It might take longer to learn new things or remember familiar words or names.

What you can do
To keep your memory sharp:

Include physical activity in your daily routine. Physical activity increases blood flow to your whole body, including your brain. This might help keep your memory sharp.

Eat a healthy diet. A heart-healthy diet might benefit your brain. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. What you drink counts, too. Too much alcohol can lead to confusion and memory loss.

Stay mentally active. Mentally stimulating activities help keep your brain in shape — and might keep memory loss at bay. Do crossword puzzles. Take alternate routes when driving. Learn to play a musical instrument.

Be social. Social interaction helps ward off depression and stress, which can contribute to memory loss. Look for opportunities to get together with loved ones, friends and others.

Lower your blood pressure. Reducing high blood pressure might reduce vascular disease that might in turn reduce the risk for dementia. More research is needed to determine whether treating high blood pressure reduces the risk of dementia.

Quit smoking. Some studies have shown smoking in middle age and older might increase your risk of dementia. Quitting smoking might reduce your risk.

If you're concerned about memory loss, consult your doctor.

What's happening?


With age, you might have difficulty focusing on objects that are close up. You might become more sensitive to glare and have trouble adapting to different levels of light. Aging also can affect your eye's lens, causing clouded vision (cataracts).

Your hearing also might diminish. You might have difficulty hearing high frequencies or following a conversation in a crowded room.

What you can do
To promote eye and ear health:

Schedule regular checkups. Follow your doctor's advice about glasses, contact lenses, hearing aids and other corrective devices.

Take precautions. Wear sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat when you're outdoors, and use earplugs when you're around loud machinery or other loud noises.

What's happening

Your gums might pull back (recede) from your teeth. Certain medications, such as those that treat allergies, asthma, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, can also cause dry mouth. As a result, your teeth and gums might become slightly more vulnerable to decay and infection.


What you can do
To promote oral health:


Brush and floss. Brush your teeth twice a day and clean between your teeth — using regular dental floss or an interdental cleaner — once a day.

Schedule regular checkups. Visit your dentist or dental hygienist for regular dental checkups.

What's happening


With age, your skin thins and becomes less elastic and more fragile with a simultaneous decrease of fatty tissue just below the skin. You might notice that you bruise more easily. Decreased production of natural oils might make your skin drier. Wrinkles, age spots and small growths called skin tags are more common.

What you can do
To promote healthy skin:

Be gentle. Bathe in warm — not hot — water. In the Philippines where most folks do not have a bath-tub use warm water and a nice thick washcloth .. Ask your wife to help with your back... Use mild soap and moisturizer.
Take precautions. When you're outdoors, use sunscreen and wear protective clothing. Check your skin regularly and report changes to your doctor.
Don't smoke. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit. Smoking contributes to skin damage, such as wrinkling.

What's happening?


Maintaining a healthy weight is more difficult as you get older. As you age, your muscle mass decreases and body fat takes its place. Since fat tissue burns fewer calories than does muscle, you need fewer calories to maintain your current weight.

What you can do
To maintain a healthy weight:

Include physical activity in your daily routine. Regular moderate physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight.

Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit sugar and foods high in saturated fat.

Watch your portion sizes. You might not need as many calories as you used to.

What's happening?

With age, sexual needs and performance might change. Illness or medication might affect your ability to enjoy sex. For women, vaginal dryness can make sex uncomfortable. For men, impotence might become a concern. It might take longer to get an erection, and erections might not be as firm as they used to be.

What you can do
To promote your sexual health:

Share your needs and concerns with your partner. You might experiment with different positions or sexual activities.

Talk to your doctor. He or she might offer specific treatment suggestions — such as estrogen cream for vaginal dryness or perhaps oral medication to increase libido in women or oral medication for erectile dysfunction in men.

Remember, it's never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle. You can't stop the aging process, but you might be able to minimize its impact by making healthy choices.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Always Out of Breath When Exercising? You Might Have Dyspnea

Always Out of Breath When Exercising? You Might Have Dyspnea
If you find yourself gasping for air while exercising, you could be out of shape… or it could be a sign of something more serious.


     If you have chronic shortness of breath while exerting yourself or exercising, it could be a condition called dyspnea.

What causes it?

Again Dyspnea is a shortness of breath on exertion. It can be driven by a lot of things. A lot of the time it's due to stiff hearts or diastolic dysfunction. Other times it's due to chronic lung disease; asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, etc. Obesity in particular can also contribute to it. Then sometimes, of course, it can be due to deconditioning.

However, most of the time we see a combination. People have problems with their heart and problems with their lungs and then become deconditioned, and then their shortness of breath begets more shortness of breath and begets more dyspnea. Therefore, in dyspnea when you have the chronic shortness of breath in the setting with exertion, there will be knock-on effects on your heart, on your lungs, on your waist, and also, incidentally actually, on your mood as well.

So it may be all of these things tie together . Dyspnea is more of a symptom.
It's what people describe or what they complain of. Ironing it out is not difficult, but it just takes time or takes testing to figure out what the cause is.

We need to try and rule out the things that will shorten our length of life, like coronary artery disease, valvular disease, pulmonary hypertension, and then once they have been ruled out then we re-focus on improving the quality of our life so that we are able to do more.

If your doctor does not use this approach here in the Philippines then perhaps it is best to take more control of your health care by requesting tests and actively guiding your doctor . It may seem a strange approach but this is YOUR health and YOUR quality of life that hangs in the balance…

You can use your knowledge to team with your doctor so that you will feel years younger and active again..

Saturday, October 28, 2017

10 Essential Health Tips For Expat Seniors


10 Essential Health Tips For Seniors

From baby boomers to senior boomers: 10 tips to keep you healthy and fit..In the last census baby boomers, those 65+, accounted for 13% of the population. This age group grew at a faster rate than the population under age 45, and it’s clear that the US is an aging population.

Happily, aging is the goal of every Expat but it will certainly be much different as an expat in the Philippines  than it was for our parents and grandparents.
Today, there are more people living longer than at any other time in history. In fact, boomers from all progressive countries will hit record numbers by 2030. We need to become activists in promoting healthful behaviors for ourselves  and try our best to remain active and healthy the rest of our lives, even in a 3rd world country.

How to do it?
 Doctors recommend these 10 easy health tips for seniors to live longer and thrive as seniors:

Quit smoking

Take this critical step to improve your health and combat aging. Smoking kills by causing cancer, strokes and heart failure. Smoking leads to erectile dysfunction in men due to atherosclerosis and to excessive wrinkling by attacking skin elasticity. Many resources are available to help you quit.

Keep active

 Do something to keep fit each day-something you enjoy that maintains strength, balance and flexibility and promotes cardiovascular health. Physical activity helps you stay at a healthy weight, prevent or control illness, sleep better, reduce stress,  avoid falls and look and feel better, too.

Eat well

 Combined with physical activity, eating nutritious foods in the right amounts can help keep you healthy. Many illnesses, such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis, can be prevented or controlled with dietary changes and exercise. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can help maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Maintain a healthy weight

 Extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Use the Kaiser Permanente BMI (body mass index) calculator to find out what you should weigh for your height. Get to your healthy weight and stay there by eating right and keeping active. Replace sugary drinks with water…water is calorie free!

Prevent falls

 We become vulnerable to falls as we age. Prevent falls and injury by removing loose carpet or throw rugs. Keep paths clear of electrical cords and clutter, and use night-lights in hallways and bathrooms. Did you know that people who walk barefoot fall more frequently? Wear shoes with good support to reduce the risk of falling.

Stay up-to-date on immunizations and other health screenings

 By age 50, women should begin mammography screening for breast cancer. Men can be checked for prostate cancer. Many preventive screenings are available even in the Philippines.
Prevent skin cancer. As we age, our skin grows thinner; it becomes drier and less elastic. Wrinkles appear, and cuts and bruises take longer to heal. Be sure to protect your skin from the sun. Too much sun and ultraviolet rays can cause skin cancer. The sun is much stronger in the tropics.

Get regular dental, vision and hearing checkups

 Your teeth and gums will last a lifetime if you care for them properly…that means daily brushing and flossing and getting regular dental checkups. By age 50, most people notice changes to their vision, including a gradual decline in the ability to see small print or focus on close objects. Common eye problems that can impair vision include cataracts and glaucoma. Hearing loss occurs commonly with aging, often due to exposure to loud noise.
Manage stress. 

Try exercise or relaxation techniques…perhaps meditation or yoga…as a means of coping. Make time for friends and social contacts and fun. Successful coping can affect our health and how we feel. Learn the role of positive thinking.

Fan the flame. When it comes to sexual intimacy and aging, age is no reason to limit your sexual enjoyment. Learn about physical changes that come with aging and get suggestions to help you adjust to them, if necessary.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Prostate cancer - the second most common cancer among men.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among American men


Medically Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD

What Is Prostate Cancer?

        Cancer is a disease characterized by the out-of-control growth of abnormal cells, which may invade healthy cells in the body.

As its name suggests, prostate cancer is one that starts in the prostate, a walnut-sized gland in men that's located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

The prostate surrounds the urethra and produces prostate fluid, which is part of semen.

Prostate cancer often progress very slowly, though in some cases it can be quite aggressive.

In its early stages, it usually doesn't cause any symptoms.
However, there are numerous possible symptoms in the later stages of the disease, including urination issues, painful ejaculation, and constant pain in the back, hips, or pelvis.
Prevalence and Demographics

After skin cancer, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, affecting one in seven men (about 14 percent), according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

Though only one in 38 men will die from the disease, it's second only to lung cancer in terms of cancer deaths among men.

The ACS further estimates that there will be some 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer and about 27,540 prostate cancer deaths in the United States in 2015.

Prostate cancer doesn't affect all races and ethnicity equally.

In 2011, African-American men had the highest prevalence rates of prostate cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

White men had the second highest prevalence rates of prostate cancer in 2011, followed by Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islander, and finally, American Indian and Alaska Native men.


According to the CDC, African-American men were also the most likely to die from prostate cancer, followed by white, Hispanic, American Indian and Alaska Native, and Asian and Pacific Islander.

How Prostate Cancer Develops

Various genes oversee the life and death of cells.

For instance, oncogenes help direct the growth and division of cells, while tumor suppressor genes play a key role in keeping cell division in check and promoting apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

Changes or mutations in the DNA of prostate cells may alter the expression or behavior of these and other genes, causing the cells to stay alive longer than they should, and experience accelerated growth and division.

These abnormal cells accumulate to form a tumor, which can invade nearby tissue. The cancer cells can also spread to other parts of the body, or metastasize, causing cancer in other tissues.

Though there are several types of cells in the prostate, almost all prostate cancers develop from gland cells, which produce the prostate fluid.

It's unknown what, exactly, causes the DNA mutations in cells that can lead to prostate cancer.

However, scientists have identified risk factors for the disease.
Risk Factors

Aside from race (described above), there are numerous other risk factors for prostate cancer, most notably age and family history.

A man's risk of prostate cancer increases with age. The average age of prostate cancer diagnosis in the United State is 69, and more than 65 percent of all prostate cancer diagnoses occur in men over age 65, according to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).


Prostate cancer appears to run in families, suggesting a hereditary basis for some cancer development. Men are two to three times more likely to develop prostate cancer if they have fathers, brothers, or sons who have prostate cancer, according to the CDC.

Additionally, men who have mutations in eight specific genes — including BRCA1 and BRCA2, which are known to increase women's risk of breast and ovarian cancers — have an increased risk of advanced (aggressive) familial pancreatic cancer, according to a 2014 report in the British Journal of Cancer.

Other probable risk factors include obesity and a diet high in saturated fat.


Sources
What I need to know about Prostate Problems; National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC).
How many men get prostate cancer?; American Cancer Society.
Prostate Cancer Rates by Race and Ethnicity; CDC.
What is prostate cancer?; American Cancer Society.
Do we know what causes prostate cancer?; American Cancer Society.
Leongamornlert et al. (2014). "Frequent germline deleterious mutations in DNA repair genes in familial prostate cancer cases are associated with advanced disease." British Journal of Cancer.
Prostate Cancer Risk Factors; Prostate Cancer Foundation.
Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer Development; National Cancer Institute.