Archive | Health

Keeping Stress Under Control

Stop the cycle You can’t avoid daily stress. But you can keep stress under control — which can help prevent headaches. Consider these tips: Simplify your life. Rather than looking for ways to squeeze more activities or chores into the day, leave some things out. Ask yourself what really needs to be done, what can wait and what can be dropped entirely. It’s OK to say no occasionally. Manage your time wisely. Update your to-do list every day — both at work and at home. Delegate what you can, and break large projects into manageable chunks. Tackle the rest one task at a time. Be prepared. Organize your day ahead of time. Anticipate challenges. Try to keep your plan flexible, in case a headache strikes and you need to change course. Let go. Don’t worry about things you can’t control. […]

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5 Steps to Exercise

Starting a fitness program may be one of the best things you can do for your health. With your doctor’s OK to exercise, physical activity can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your balance and coordination, help you lose weight — even improve your sleep habits and self-esteem. And there’s more good news. You can do it in just five steps. Step 1: Assess your fitness level You probably have some idea of how fit you are. But assessing and recording baseline fitness scores can give you benchmarks against which to measure your progress. To assess your aerobic and muscular fitness, flexibility and body composition, consider recording: Your pulse rate before and after a one-mile walk How long it takes to walk one mile How many push-ups you can do at a time How far you can reach forward […]

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Ten Tips for Better Sleep

Feeling crabby lately? It could be you aren’t getting enough sleep. Work, household responsibilities and child care can make sleep difficult to come by. Factor in other unexpected challenges such as financial worries, layoffs, relationship issues or an illness, and quality sleep may be even more elusive. You may not be able to control or eliminate all of the factors that interfere with your sleep, but you can create an environment and adopt habits that encourage a more restful night. Try these suggestions if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep: Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day, even on the weekends. Sticking to a schedule helps reinforce your body’s sleep-wake cycle and can help you fall asleep better at night. Don’t eat or drink large amounts before bedtime. Eat a light dinner […]

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Alternative Treatments for Pain

If you experience frequent headaches and the medications you’re taking aren’t working effectively, why not consider natural treatments instead? Since stress is a major cause of and contributor to headaches it makes sense that alternative treatments for them are familiar stress reduction recommendations: biofeedback and relaxation (well documented as effective headache treatments), acupuncture, massage, herbs, and diets (less well documented as effective). Let’s start with biofeedback. Small metal sensors attached to your skin measure muscle tension, brain waves, skin temperature, and other vital signs. Stress, through the fight/flight response, reduces skin temperature by constricting blood vessels while relaxation dilates them, warming the skin.According to the Cleveland Clinic, biofeedback trains you to send blood flow to your brain for headache management. Most studies show that it reduces the frequency and duration of headaches in children and adults and seems equivalent to […]

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Four Dead in Painkiller Use

The deaths of two patients prescribed a powerful painkiller as a headache treatment were among four fatalities linked to the recently approved drug, its manufacturer reported Thursday. All four deaths apparently involved improper use of the drug, called Fentora, manufacturer Cephalon Inc. said. The Food and Drug Administration was monitoring the situation, a spokeswoman said. The FDA approved the drug in September for use only by cancer patients already taking morphine or other prescription narcotics for their pain. Fentora contains fentanyl, which is similar to morphine, but far more potent. Besides the two headache patients, the other deaths involved a suicide and a patient administered the drug outside the recommended dosing. “None of the reports were in cancer patients, which leads us to believe they were inappropriate candidates for the product,” Cephalon spokeswoman Candace Steele said. Cephalon reminded doctors and […]

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