Living – RateMDs Health News https://www.ratemds.com/blog Doctors You Can Trust Sun, 20 Jan 2019 09:00:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 How to Cut Back on Caffeine https://www.ratemds.com/blog/how-to-cut-back-on-caffeine/ Sun, 20 Jan 2019 09:00:38 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=184070 Take notes, realize it isn’t easy, and take things step-by-step for real change. Coffee is an amazing energizer and tastes great. Drinking some of it every day is possibly even good for you. But according to statistics, Americans drink an average of 3 cups of java each day, which means that there are some people who don’t drink any caffeine at all, and others who are actually consuming far more than this. If you’re drinking over 4 cups of caffeinated beverage a day, (up to 400 milligrams is thought to be healthy), experts say you’re taking things too far. (You’ll

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Take notes, realize it isn’t easy, and take things step-by-step for real change.

Coffee is an amazing energizer and tastes great. Drinking some of it every day is possibly even good for you. But according to statistics, Americans drink an average of 3 cups of java each day, which means that there are some people who don’t drink any caffeine at all, and others who are actually consuming far more than this.

If you’re drinking over 4 cups of caffeinated beverage a day, (up to 400 milligrams is thought to be healthy), experts say you’re taking things too far. (You’ll know you have a caffeine dependency if you suffer from caffeine migraines, restlessness, stomach upset, trouble sleeping at night and other common side effects).

For those hoping to cut back in 2019, here are some tips from the experts at the Mayo Clinic.

Related: 3 Holiday Weight Gain Myths

As a first step, try keeping tabs on how much caffeine you’re actually consuming. Write down what you’re eating a drinking during the day, and read labels. You’re estimated amount is probably lower than what you’re actually consuming, so be on the lookout.

When you decide to make a change, cut your caffeine back gradually. Drink one fewer cups of coffee per day and let your body adjust on its own, over time. You’ll likely have more success, this way.

And go decaf and to keep the taste. Look for caffeine-free pain relief medication, and brew your tea for shorter periods of time, if you’re drinking it.

For more information, talk to a nutritionist and your doctor for help.

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The CDC’s Top Tips for Working Safely in Cold Weather https://www.ratemds.com/blog/the-cdcs-top-tips-for-working-safely-in-cold-weather/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:00:48 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=184082 Protect your skin, temperature and extremities in extreme weather. The winter months are in full swing. If you’re spending any length of time outdoors as part of your workday, you’ll know that keeping warm is a top priority. But what dangers exist, apart from developing a bit of frostbite? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have these tips to offer, to stay safe. 1) Layer, Layer, Layer Those who live in the land of snow are probably already doing this. For others, remember to dress in layers. This means wear a t-shirt under a sweater, under a warm

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Protect your skin, temperature and extremities in extreme weather.

The winter months are in full swing. If you’re spending any length of time outdoors as part of your workday, you’ll know that keeping warm is a top priority. But what dangers exist, apart from developing a bit of frostbite?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have these tips to offer, to stay safe.

1) Layer, Layer, Layer

Those who live in the land of snow are probably already doing this. For others, remember to dress in layers. This means wear a t-shirt under a sweater, under a warm jacket. Why? Layering provides you with better insulation and will keep you warmer. It also makes it easier for you to peel off some clothing and still stay warm, when the temperature rises.

2) Protect Your Extremities

Make sure you wear the right footwear. In snow, wear snow boots (not rain boots)! In wet weather, toss on some waterproof boots with good traction to prevent you from falling.

And remember to wear a winter hat, as well as gloves or mittens to prevent your hands from developing frostbite.

3) Know Your Limits

Don’t spend too much time outdoors. Limit your time, and take breaks inside to warm up. Try your best to keep work hours in the warmest part of the day.

Related: 3 Holiday Weight Gain Myths

4) Keep An Eye Out for Hypothermia in Co-Workers

As experts state, one of the biggest dangers of working in the cold can be the hardest to detect.

Hypothermia can strike and you won’t know it. It can be deadly. The CDC states that early symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, feeling tired, loss of coordination, and confusion.

Here’s what happens: as you grow colder and lose more heat, you’ll stop shivering and your skin might turn blue. The pupils of your eyes will dilate, your heart rate and breathing will slow, and ultimately, you’ll lose consciousness. Stay safe.

5) Trenchfoot

What’s this? Trenchfoot happens when your feet are wet and cold for too long-something that must have happened a lot in WWI. Your feet grow cold, and this slows your blood flow, damaging tissue. Broken skin, swelling, blisters, redness and itching are all on the table. Watch out- this can occur in weather as warm as 60° F.

6) And, Of Course, Frostbite

This happens when your skin is damaged by the cold. Fingers, toes, nose, and ears are all most susceptible to it.

When frostbite is severe, parts of your body affected may need to be amputated. Warning signs of frostbite include numbness or tingling in your tissues, stinging, or pain.

For more information, visit the CDC’s website.

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Common Signs You Should Get More Vitamin ‘D’ https://www.ratemds.com/blog/common-signs-get-vitamin-d/ Thu, 17 Jan 2019 09:00:19 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=184045 If your bones ache, your joints are bothering you and you’re feeling weak, check your levels. Having a vitamin D deficiency might sound like something you certainly don’t have, but think again. Most people who live in warmer climates are fine. If you don’t have to suffer through a cold winter, (but you do deal with a way hot summer), and you find yourself outside for about 20 minutes every day in some sun, you’re likely getting your proper dose. But if you reside where the sun moves farther away in the winter months, you’re probably lacking some vitamin D.

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If your bones ache, your joints are bothering you and you’re feeling weak, check your levels.

Having a vitamin D deficiency might sound like something you certainly don’t have, but think again. Most people who live in warmer climates are fine. If you don’t have to suffer through a cold winter, (but you do deal with a way hot summer), and you find yourself outside for about 20 minutes every day in some sun, you’re likely getting your proper dose.

But if you reside where the sun moves farther away in the winter months, you’re probably lacking some vitamin D. Milk and other dairy products can be fortified with it, but if you aren’t eating or drinking enough of these, you probably have a deficiency.

Related: Can Cannabis Cure Cramps

How can you tell? Aside from visiting the doctor and having them test you, there are some telltale signs. A severe lack of vitamin D can lead to extreme bone problems such as rickets and osteoporosis. Having throbbing, aching joints is a sign. Bone pain and general feelings of weakness are an indication that you may need to top up.

Vitamin D is essential for good health, the growth of strong bones and the ability for your body to be able to fight off disease.  You get this nutrient from the sun most readily, by absorbing it through your skin. It can also be taken through fortified food or drink, or as a daily supplement.

While overdosing on vitamin is possible, it’s uncommon. Talk to your doctor and stay healthy.

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The Secrets to Being Lean (and Lazy) https://www.ratemds.com/blog/secrets-lean-lazy/ Sun, 13 Jan 2019 09:00:00 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=184028 How do all those people on Instagram look so fit and healthy, without giving into all the fad diets and foods we see on the Internet everyday? These two nutritionists shared simple and easy lifestyle adaptions you can make to feel healthy and look good without dedicating yourself to a strict fitness and diet regimen. Eat until you feel satisfied, not stuffed You know this one. Etiquette author Emily Post suggests putting down the fork between each bite, which is a strategy that’ll help you recognize when to stop eating before you’re pushing the bloat. Half your plate should be

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How do all those people on Instagram look so fit and healthy, without giving into all the fad diets and foods we see on the Internet everyday?

These two nutritionists shared simple and easy lifestyle adaptions you can make to feel healthy and look good without dedicating yourself to a strict fitness and diet regimen.

Eat until you feel satisfied, not stuffed

You know this one. Etiquette author Emily Post suggests putting down the fork between each bite, which is a strategy that’ll help you recognize when to stop eating before you’re pushing the bloat.

Half your plate should be veggies

plate-of-veggies

“Vegetables are filled with fiber and water so they fill you up without filling you out,” explains Amy Shapiro MS, RD, CND, of Real Nutrition NYC.

Order small when you order out

“Whether it be coffee, salads, soups, frozen yogurt,” says Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN of Middleberg Nutrition. “If you want to be small, order that way.”

Related: The Worst Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss

Check yourself

“If you can’t limit pick-able foods (chips, nuts, grapes, candy, etc.), then make sure you stick to single serving portions, such as handheld fruit, individually-wrapped hummus, nut or nut butter packets,” Middleberg explains.

Pass on the bread

Shapiro warns, “It’s just empty calories. My clients follow the pick your “poison” rule: Bread, Drinks or Dessert. You can enjoy one but not all.”

Photo Credit: fizkes/Shutterstock.com; Erhan Inga/Shutterstock.com

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How Your Life View Can Protect Your Kids From Stress https://www.ratemds.com/blog/life-view-can-protect-kids-stress/ Tue, 08 Jan 2019 09:00:43 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=183911  Life can be hard. Your perspective on the difficult times can make them easier on your children, however. A study done at the Emory School of Medicine has proven that when young children experience poverty or violence, there’s a long lasting effect. The impact can follow them into adulthood. But when parents stay calm in stressful times, kids can reap the benefits. In the study, researchers analyzed what goes on in children’s brains, when they’re processing a possible danger. Scientists showed children aged 8-13 a series of photos of adult faces that were either neutral or expressing fear. It was found that

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 Life can be hard. Your perspective on the difficult times can make them easier on your children, however.

A study done at the Emory School of Medicine has proven that when young children experience poverty or violence, there’s a long lasting effect. The impact can follow them into adulthood. But when parents stay calm in stressful times, kids can reap the benefits.
In the study, researchers analyzed what goes on in children’s brains, when they’re processing a possible danger. Scientists showed children aged 8-13 a series of photos of adult faces that were either neutral or expressing fear. It was found that children who had experienced violence in their lives grew more active in their amygdalae-the area of the brain that processes fear and emotion-when viewing both faces, not just the fearful ones.

Related: Breast Cancer and Childbirth: What Every Woman Should Know 

This suggests that these kids had developed a fight-or-flight response even for social cues that were not particularly threatening, researchers say. It’s something that can happen when one grows up in an unpredictable or dangerous environment.

But it can be overcome. When the mothers of the children who had experienced violence were present and interacting with their children in a positive and supportive way close to the time that the children viewed the fearful faces, the children were better able to decipher negative emotions from neutral ones. Their amygdalae were less active.

So, what happened in the kids who hadn’t experienced violence? The amygdalae only increased in activity when viewing the fearful faces.

The findings indicate that even if a child grows up in a stressful environment, parental relationships can protect them, say the researchers.

For more on parenting with poverty or violence, click here.  

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This Guy Had to Go to The Hospital After Sniffing His Own Socks https://www.ratemds.com/blog/this-guy-had-to-go-to-the-hospital-after-sniffing-his-own-socks/ Tue, 01 Jan 2019 09:00:45 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=183835 There’s a habit out there to suit everyone. Here’s a new one, but be forewarned, it scores on the ‘gross’ scale, (as if you didn’t already know from the title). If you like to smell your own toe cheese on a slow Friday night, beware the possible consequences. According to a recent post on IFLscience.com, a man living in Zhangzhou, southeast China, was zipped to the hospital with chest pains this month. It wasn’t a heart attack or anxiety… but rather a fungal infection in his lungs. And it came from his socks. How do you transmit a fungal infection

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There’s a habit out there to suit everyone. Here’s a new one, but be forewarned, it scores on the ‘gross’ scale, (as if you didn’t already know from the title).

If you like to smell your own toe cheese on a slow Friday night, beware the possible consequences.

According to a recent post on IFLscience.com, a man living in Zhangzhou, southeast China, was zipped to the hospital with chest pains this month. It wasn’t a heart attack or anxiety… but rather a fungal infection in his lungs. And it came from his socks.

How do you transmit a fungal infection from your feet to your inner breathing spaces? With class and talent.

This poor man developed the habit of smelling his dirty socks after a long day. Like, for lengthy periods of time. Why this was an attractive past time for him remains unknown- perhaps no Netflix or cable TV was available in his area.

Related: 5 Unusual Health Tips for the Holidays

Anyways, each day he became accustomed to taking long, deliberate sniffs of his infected socks. This caused him to inadvertently inhale the contaminant on his feet, which then went on to set up house in his lungs. And now he has a fungal lung infection that causes him chest pain.

Thankfully, this poor soul is expected to recover. Rather hilariously, the doctor diagnosing him added that the man could also blame his poor condition on-get this- having to be a dad.

“The infection could also be attributed to the patient’s lack of rest at home as he had been looking after his child, leading to a weaker immune system,” Dr. Mai Zhuanying at the Zhangzhou No. 909 Hospital told Fujian Daily, according to IFLscience.com.

So, it was his wife’s fault. What was she doing, shopping all day or something? These women-when will they ever learn that taking care of your own children leads to smelling your socks all night? It’s an age-old story.

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The Top Benefits of Therapy Animals https://www.ratemds.com/blog/the-top-benefits-of-therapy-animals/ Sat, 29 Dec 2018 09:00:36 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=183890 For those in nursing homes and other living institutions, they can offer multi-level relief. A trip to the spa, a long walk in the forest or time spent catching up with an old friend- these are all ways we normally engage in day-to-day “therapy”. But for those living in nursing homes, pastimes like these aren’t always on the table. And neither is owning a pet, one of the easiest ways to help relax.   Studies have shown that pets, such as dogs, can offer therapeutic value to people’s lives. This is especially true for those who are lonely, or living

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For those in nursing homes and other living institutions, they can offer multi-level relief.

A trip to the spa, a long walk in the forest or time spent catching up with an old friend- these are all ways we normally engage in day-to-day “therapy”.

But for those living in nursing homes, pastimes like these aren’t always on the table. And neither is owning a pet, one of the easiest ways to help relax.  

Studies have shown that pets, such as dogs, can offer therapeutic value to people’s lives. This is especially true for those who are lonely, or living in difficult situations that can be alienating or stressful. .

Therapy animals offer some answers.

Related: Why Older Couples Laugh More

These creatures-often dogs, but not always- can offer comfort, companionship and emotional support. For those suffering through a tough health-related or emotional situation, it can be good to consider connecting with an association such as The American Kennel Club. This group holds a list of recommended therapy dog organizations throughout the U.S.A. The dogs don’t travel to individual homes but visit  institutions on a regular basis. 

The health benefits are wide. Interacting with trained therapy dogs has been shown to reduce blood pressure and heart rate. In turn, the dogs can also lower the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, and can help build trust, empathy and teamwork in an environment.

Having an animal come to visit also gives patients something to look forward to, during their day or week.    

For more information on the benefits of interacting with animals, click here.

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Exercising in the Evening Won’t Keep You Awake https://www.ratemds.com/blog/exercising-in-the-evening-wont-keep-you-awake/ Thu, 27 Dec 2018 09:00:49 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=183898 If you’re doing light to moderate activities, the time of day doesn’t matter. You might have heard this advice before: get your exercise but whatever you do, don’t go swimming immediately after you eat because you might get a huge knot in your stomach and sink to the bottom of the pool. (Death by pastrami sandwich). And also, make sure you’re active but don’t do those aerobics too late in the evening. If you exercise well into the witching hours, you’ll be up all night and miss getting your required beauty sleep. Are these bits of insight true, or are

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If you’re doing light to moderate activities, the time of day doesn’t matter.

You might have heard this advice before: get your exercise but whatever you do, don’t go swimming immediately after you eat because you might get a huge knot in your stomach and sink to the bottom of the pool. (Death by pastrami sandwich).

And also, make sure you’re active but don’t do those aerobics too late in the evening. If you exercise well into the witching hours, you’ll be up all night and miss getting your required beauty sleep.

Are these bits of insight true, or are they so-called wives tales?

Here’s the scoop. Waiting to swim until you’ve fully digested your lunch could be good advice.

There’s no harm in relaxing a bit longer, and waiting til the coast is clear.

But research now says that it doesn’t matter if you go for a run at 5 AM, or if you wait until 11:30 at night to do get it all in. Your body will benefit from exercise at any time, and you won’t have trouble sleeping as long as you don’t pull out all the stops and engage in a very vigorous workout, very late.

Related: This Simple Trick Could Stop You From Gaining Weight

Scientists at the Institute of Human Movement Sciences and Sport at ETH Zurich made the findings.

“People can do exercise in the evening without hesitation,” says Jan Stutz, lead author of the study.   

“The data shows that moderate exercise in the evening is no problem at all. However, vigorous training or competitions should be scheduled earlier in the day, if possible.”

Moderate exercise did not cause sleep problems in any of the studies examined, not even when the training session ended just 30 minutes before bedtime. Strenuous exercise can get your heart pumping so much, however, that your body doesn’t have enough time to recover if you engage in it late at night, it was found. Your heart rate in this case, would stay elevated and be beating more than 20 beats per minute faster than your normal resting heart rate. And this would make it difficult to get to sleep.

Remember though, that every person is different. Try changing up your workout times and see what works best for you.

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Are Virtual Toys Really More Educational for Your Child? https://www.ratemds.com/blog/virtual-toys-really-educational-child/ Thu, 27 Dec 2018 09:00:05 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=183824 From tablets to laptops and musical keyboards, electronic toys can do a lot…but do they enhance your kid’s brain? You’ve seen them: the toys on the shelf that promise to “educate” your child, increase their vocabulary, double their math skills and make them into truly “smarter” human beings. Virtual toys can no doubt be useful. When you’re waiting for that delayed flight at the airport, or sitting at home on a rainy day, getting your kid to complete vocabulary games on a screen can’t hurt them. But are these machines really that much better than regular toys? According to the

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From tablets to laptops and musical keyboards, electronic toys can do a lot…but do they enhance your kid’s brain?

You’ve seen them: the toys on the shelf that promise to “educate” your child, increase their vocabulary, double their math skills and make them into truly “smarter” human beings.

Virtual toys can no doubt be useful. When you’re waiting for that delayed flight at the airport, or sitting at home on a rainy day, getting your kid to complete vocabulary games on a screen can’t hurt them. But are these machines really that much better than regular toys?

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, not necessarily so. Simple is good

Related: How to Stop Sitting So Much

“The best toys are those that support parents and children playing, pretending and interacting together,” said Alan Mendelsohn, co-author of the report and associate professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Population Health at New York University, quoted on TheSpec.com.  

“You just don’t reap the same rewards from a tablet or screen. And when children play with parents, the real magic happens, whether they are pretending with toy characters or building blocks or puzzles together,” he added.

Pediatricians warn that advertising can be misleading. Building blocks and wooden trains have been around for years for a reason, and virtual toys can actually spark less imagination in young minds than traditional fare.

So, keep those dollars in your wallet this season, for a rainy day. Unless it’s an expensive Lego set…now that’s another matter.

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Do You Have Imposter Syndrome? https://www.ratemds.com/blog/do-you-have-imposter-syndrome/ Wed, 26 Dec 2018 09:00:14 +0000 https://www.ratemds.com/blog/?p=183820 Don’t worry: even Michelle Obama says she has it. So, if you do, you’re in good company. Imposter syndrome is a mental condition. On BBC.com, psychotherapist Rachel Buchan describes it as “an internal belief that you are not good enough or don’t belong”. It often affects people in social situations, but it can also surface at work or whenever you’re fulfilling a role you feel you’re somehow inadequate to do or fill. Do you feel like you just can’t possibly be the one to get the job done? You may have it. Why some people suffer from feeling like they’re

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Don’t worry: even Michelle Obama says she has it. So, if you do, you’re in good company.

Imposter syndrome is a mental condition. On BBC.com, psychotherapist Rachel Buchan describes it as “an internal belief that you are not good enough or don’t belong”.

It often affects people in social situations, but it can also surface at work or whenever you’re fulfilling a role you feel you’re somehow inadequate to do or fill.

Do you feel like you just can’t possibly be the one to get the job done? You may have it.

Why some people suffer from feeling like they’re in someone else’s shoes, isn’t always easy to pinpoint.

Related: How Effective is an Annual Flu Shot?

Buchan says that impostor syndrome can be caused by a person’s upbringing, their general background, or the specific pressures in the situation they find themselves in.

Seeing a therapist to talk it out can help, if you feel like you’re battling to get yourself through the day. And choosing to accept that you have it, and redirecting those negative feelings into a positive force can be effective at helping you move forwards.

As consultant Noel Ferguson told BBC.com,

“Many see it as a burden but I have used it to my benefit. I am thankful I have impostor syndrome because a way of dealing with it is to always strive to be better.”

Reach for the moon and you’ll land among the stars, and there’s no time like the present, as they say.

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