How Much Water Should You Drink a Day?

Eight glasses a day? More or less? The amount of water we need to drink each day can vary. The August issue of Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource lists factors that can increase the need for fluid, including: Increased physical activity Hot and humid weather Dry indoor air and high altitudes, which reduce moisture in the air Having an illness, particularly one accompanied by fever, vomiting or diarrhea   Data show that women who are adequately hydrated consume about 2.7 liters (91 fluid ounces) of total water a day. Since food typically accounts for about 20 percent of fluid intake, this means drinking roughly 2.2 liters (74 ounces or about 9 cups) of beverages a day. While drinking water is often the best way to replace lost fluids, other liquids including milk, tea, soup, fruit juice and sports drinks also are … Read more

Therapeutic Benefits of Laughter

I am currently reading Positive Words, Powerful Results by Hal Urban. Thus far I have enjoyed the book as it discusses simple ways to honor, affirm, and celebrate life. There is a small discussion on Norman Cousins and how he used laughter and positive thinking to cure himself of a deadly disease. He went on to be the first person not having an M.D. to teach medicine and wrote about his experience in Anatomny of Illness. Many in the medical field have proved his findings offering a list of the therapeutic benefits of laughter. It activates and strengthens the immune sytem. It reduces at least four hormones associated with stress It’s aerobic. It provides a “workout” for the diaphragm and increases the body’s ability to use oxygen. It relaxes the muscles. It can significantly reduce pain for long periods. It … Read more

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

September 10th to September 16 of 2007 is the National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week. It is a worldwide effort to bring people together who live with invisible chronic illnesses and those who love them. Organizations are encouraged to educate the general public, churches, health care professionals and government officials about the impact of living with a chronic illness that is not visually apparent. Rest Ministries the sponsor of the week offers these statistics. 1 in 2 Americans (133 million) has a chronic condition 96% of them live with an illness that is invisible. These people do not use a cane or any assistive device and may look perfectly healthy. Sixty percent are between the ages of 18 and 64 The divorce rate among the chronically ill is over 75% Depression is 15-20% higher for the chronically ill than for … Read more

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

More than 600 disorders afflict the nervous system. Common disorders such as stroke, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and autism are well-known. Many other neurological disorders are rare-known only to the patients and families affected, their doctors, and scientists who look to rare disorders for clues to a general understanding of the brain as well as for treatments for specific diseases. Neurological disorders strike an estimated 50 million Americans each year, exacting an incalculable personal toll and an annual economic cost of hundreds of billions of dollars in medical expenses and lost productivity. The mission of the NINDS is to reduce the burden of neurological disease—a burden borne by every age group, every segment of society, and people all over the world. To accomplish this goal the NINDS supports and conducts research, both basic and clinical, on the normal and diseased nervous … Read more

What is Paresthesia?

Paresthesia refers to a burning or prickling sensation that is usually felt in the hands, arms, legs, or feet, but can also occur in other parts of the body. The sensation, which happens without warning, is usually painless and described as tingling or numbness, skin crawling, or itching.Most people have experienced temporary paresthesia — a feeling of “pins and needles” — at some time in their lives when they have sat with legs crossed for too long, or fallen asleep with an arm crooked under their head. It happens when sustained pressure is placed on a nerve. The feeling quickly goes away once the pressure is relieved.Chronic paresthesia is often a symptom of an underlying neurological disease or traumatic nerve damage. Paresthesia can be caused by disorders affecting the central nervous system, such as stroke and transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes), … Read more