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Shocking Habits That Seriously Damage Your Kidneys

  The rising cases of kidney failure in the last 5 - 10 years has been alarming. This was not common back in the days as not even young and middle aged are not speared these days. Our kidneys are super important for our health. They filter our blood, produce hormones, absorb minerals, produce urine, eliminate toxins, and neutralize acids. So as one of the most important organs in your body, your kidneys deserve some love. Damage or steady decline of your kidneys can often go unnoticed for years as your kidneys can still do their job with as little as 20% of their capacity. Therefore kidney diseases are often referred to as “The Silent Diseases”. That’s why it is so important to take care of them before it is too late. Here’s a list of 10 common habits that put a lot of pressure on your kidneys and can cause serious damage over time.

  1. Not Drinking Enough Water
Your kidney’s most important function is to filter blood and eliminate toxins and waste materials. When you don’t drink enough plain water during the day toxins and waste material start to accumulate and can cause severe damage to your body.
  1. Young Woman Drinking Water by Sea
    Young Woman Drinking Water by Sea
    Too Much Salt In Your Diet
Your body needs sodium or salt to work properly. Most people however consume too much salt which may raise blood pressure and put a lot of stress on the kidneys. As a good rule of thumb, no more than 5 grams of salt should be eaten on a daily basis.
  1. Frequently Delaying The Call Of Nature
Many of us ignore the urge to go because they are too busy or want to avoid public bathrooms. Retaining urine on a regular basis increases urine pressure and can lead to kidney failure, kidney stones, and incontinence. So listen to your body when nature calls.
  1. Sugar Habit
Scientific studies show that people who consume 2 or more sugary drinks a day are more likely to have protein in their urine. Having protein in your urine is an early sign your kidneys are not doing their job as they should. o-BLACK-FAMILY-facebook (1)
  1. Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies
Eating a clean, whole food diet full of fresh vegetables and fruits is important for your overall health and a good kidney function. Many deficiencies can increase the risk of kidney stones or kidney failure. Vitamin B6 and magnesium, for instance, are super important to reduce the risk of kidney stones.
  1. Too Much Animal Protein
Over consumption of protein, especially red meat, increases the metabolic load on your kidneys. So more protein in your diet means your kidneys have to work harder and this can lead to kidney damage or dysfunction over time.
  1. Sleep Deprivation
We have all heard how important it is to get a good night’s rest. Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to many diseases and kidney diseases are also on the list. During the night your body repairs damaged kidney tissue, so give your body the time to heal and repair itself.
  1. Coffee Habit
Just as salt, caffeine can raise blood pressure and put extra stress on your kidneys. Over time excessive consumption of coffee can cause damage to your kidneys.
  1. Painkiller Abuse
Way too many people take painkillers for their small aches and pains, while there are many all-natural, safe remedies available. Excessive use or painkiller abuse can lead to severe damage of liver and kidneys.
  1. Alcohol Consumption
Although there is nothing wrong with enjoying a glass of wine or having a beer once in a while, most of us don’t stop after just one drink. Alcohol is actually a legal toxin that puts a lot of stress on our kidneys and liver. To stay healthy and avoid kidney issues it is important to eat lots of fresh, whole foods and if you keep the above information in mind and avoid these common habits as much as possible, your kidneys will not be under constant stress and your body will thank you for that. So please let all families take note and do away with some of these for healthy kidneys.


Heart myths you need to stop believing

Heart disease is one of the number one killers in the world.  But despite that stat, a new survey shows that almost 75 percent of people aren't worried about dying from it. What's more, more than one-quarter of Nigerians with a family history of the disease don't take any preventative steps to protect their heart, even though they are at significantly higher risk of developing the disease. You hear about something so many times, and you almost become numb to it. But unless you're one of the rare few who lead a perfectly healthy lifestyle and have a perfect genetic background, you should consider heart disease a risk. Think you know the best habits to protect your heart, or could spot the warning signs of ticker trouble? The same survey revealed most of us are misinformed about pretty much everything surrounding heart disease. Here are the truths behind five of the most common myths. Myth#1: The main symptom of a heart attack is chest pain. Truth: Heart attacks come in all shapes and sizes. The heart often refers pain to other parts of the body because it doesn't have as many pain receptors. Heart attacks can manifest as an ache in your jaw or in your arm, and usually gets worse with exertion and better with rest. And while these pains should sound the biggest alarms, most people are unaware of the smaller symptoms of general heart disease, like shortness of breath when exercising, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping—all of which could be signs of abnormal blood flow to the heart. 153261121_XS Myth #2: A low-fat diet without red meat is best at keeping your heart healthy. Truth: A whole diet approach—focused on eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and fish—is more effective at reducing cardiovascular risk. The micronutrients in vegetables, nuts, and olive oil protect against heart disease itself. And while a whole diet approach does include eating less meat and processed food choices, it also includes fats—just the healthy ones like those in olive oils and nuts.   Myth #3: Multi-vitamins and fish oil can prevent heart disease. Truth: Although vitamins may help your overall health, they won't prevent the disease, and could actually cause more problems. Decades-old studies that suggested various vitamins, like E, and fish oil could prevent heart disease have since been disproven. Supplements don't offer all the nutrients of food. And if you're thinking, It might not help, but it certainly won't hurt. Also, high levels of certain vitamins can interact with other medications, cause liver damage, or cause heart failure. Ask your doctor before you start popping pills—even natural ones.   Myth #4: You don't need to worry about your salt intake. Truth: "The average Nigerian consumes probably four to five times the amount of salt they actually need. Higher levels of salt—which are commonly hidden in condiments, canned foods and restaurant food—raise your blood pressure, which in turn raises your risk for heart disease. In fact, a 2013 study from University Professors  predicted that even gradually reducing sodium intake by 4 percent per year over 10 years could save up to half a million lives over a decade.   Myth #5: There is a heart disease gene. Truth: There are genetic factors that increase your risk,  but it's not a single gene. Many different genes determine how well you process cholesterol or the health of your blood vessels. It's easiest to determine your risk based on your relatives: Any first-degree relative who develops heart disease is a potential red flag. If that person was a smoker and had poor diet, it might not necessarily be in your genes, but if the relative developed the disease young and was very active, your risk is probably higher. If you have a family history, take preventative measures—eat a proper diet, exercise regularly, quit smoking, and know your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers.


What Can a Swollen Face and Rash Indicate?

If you woke up with a swollen, puffy face, it might be the result of excess pressure on your face when sleeping. But what if you look in the mirror and realize that you have rash at the same time? It should raise an alarm. The combination of swelling and a rash can indicate that you have an underlying medical condition. Because of this, you should consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. The symptoms could indicate an allergic reaction or eczema. But do not make this conclusion on your own. Consult your doctor for assistance.

  1. Allergic Reaction
This arises when your body’s immune system incorrectly assumes a harmless substance to be a hazardous invader. Some of the common triggers of an allergic reaction include:
  • Allergens from air, such as animal dander, pollen, mold, and dust mites
  • Foods, such as milk, peanuts, wheat, tree nuts, soy, eggs, fish, and shellfish
  • Insect stings like wasp stings or bee stings
  • Medications, such as penicillin
  • Latex or substances that cause allergic reactions
  1. Eczema
Eczema can appear in the form of a swollen face and rash, but is normally characterized by an itchy, dry rash. On scratching, the skin usually oozes and crusts over. If you continue to scratch for a long time, the skin tends to become thick and dark. Eczema often appears on the face and is generally believed to emerge as a result of a combination of environmental and hereditary factors. Children with a history of eczema in the family have more chances of developing the condition. If both parents are suffering from the condition, the chances are even higher. The common environmental factors that contribute to the development of eczema symptoms include:
  • Irritants – Shampoos, detergents, and disinfectants
  • Allergens – Pets, dust mites, dandruff, pollens, and molds
  • Microbes – Viruses, bacteria and some fungi
  • Changing temperatures – Perspiration from activity, high and low humidity, and hot weather
  • Foods – Wheat, nuts and seeds, dairy products, soy products, and eggs
  • Stress – It contributes to an increase in the symptoms.
  • Hormones – The symptoms of eczema tend to change with hormone levels. They worsen during pregnancy and at times within the menstrual cycle.

How Can Swollen Face and Rash Be Treated?

  1. Allergic Reaction
Common allergy treatments include: Avoiding allergens: Seek the guidance of a doctor to identify, monitor and stay away from allergy triggers. Allergic reactions and their symptoms can be greatly reduced through this step. Medications: Doctors can recommend over-the-counter medications or subscribe specific pills or liquids, nasal sprays, and eye drops. These medications reduce the reactions of your immune system and further lessen symptoms. Immunotherapy: This is recommended for critical allergies or other allergies that cannot be cured by any treatment. As part of this treatment, extracts of purified allergens are injected into the patient’s body for a few years.  
  1. Eczema
In certain cases, eczema tends to subside over time, while in others it is a permanent condition which can sometimes present in the way of a swollen face and rash. There is no specific cure for eczema. The doctor will generally help by treating the affected skin and preventing an increase in symptoms. Treatment is prescribed on the basis of age, symptoms and present health condition of the patient. There are several things that an eczema patient can do to improve skin health and reduce symptoms. These include:
  • Frequent warm baths
  • Application of a moisturizer 3 minutes after bathing to keep the skin properly moisturized
  • Wearing only cotton or soft fabric clothing
  • Keeping away from scratchy fibers, and tight-fitting clothes
  • Washing with non-soap cleanser or mild soap
  • Avoiding rubbing a towel to dry the skin
  • Avoiding situations where your body temperature changes rapidly
  • Identifying and avoiding your eczema triggers
  • Keeping fingernails short to avoid breaking skin while scratching
  • Medications to treat eczema
  While there is no cure if the swollen face and rash arise due to eczema, a treatment plan can be developed for every patient. Note that you should take care of the affected skin even after healing to prevent future irritation

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Drinking at early age raises death risk by 47%

PHOTO: Alcohicthinkagain

*Strokes may cause increased preference for alcohol, researchers find Getting drunk before your 15th birthday nearly doubles your risk of an early death, new research reveals. Those who get inebriated at a young age are 47 percent more likely to die prematurely, a study found. Researchers believe early drinking may increase a person’s risk of suffering a life-threatening alcohol abuse disorder in later life. Lead author Dr Hui Hu from the University of Florida, United States, said: “Early onset of drinking and drunkenness are associated with alcohol use disorders and therefore may play a role in elevated alcohol use disorder-related mortality rates.”
Other experts add excessive alcohol-consumption at a young age can increase a person’s ‘risk-taking behavior’ and lead to mental health issues. Young women who binge drink increase their risk of developing type 2 diabetes in later life, experts warned earlier this month. Drinking heavily at least once a month raises women’s chances of having high blood sugar levels by middle age – a major risk factor for diabetes, a study found. Yet the same link was not found in men, which left the researchers puzzled. Lead author Dr. Karina Nygren, of Umea University in Sweden, said: “Although there are some biological explanations behind why alcohol can directly lead to increased levels of glucose in the blood, the difference between men and women in our study is more difficult to explain.” Also, brain changes after stroke may lead to increase in alcohol-seeking behavior, at least in animal models, according to research published in the journal Scientific Reports. Although it is known that excessive alcohol intake (more than two drinks per day) is a risk factor for stroke, there hasn’t been much scientific study about how alcohol-related behavior might change after a stroke has occurred. When researchers at the Texas A&M College of Medicine, United States, looked into the issue, they found that strokes in a certain part of the brain increase alcohol-seeking behavior and preference for alcohol. “It’s important because although stroke is a severe disease, more and more people are surviving and recovering after their first stroke,” said Jun Wang, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics at the College of Medicine and co-principal investigator of this project. “Therefore, it is important to study behavior change after stroke, and how that behavior can affect the chances of having another one, which is often fatal.” People who have had one stroke are often advised to limit their consumption of alcohol to help prevent a recurrence, but that may be difficult if damage caused by the stroke itself is encouraging them to actually drink more. That might help explain anecdotal reports that compliance with the instruction not to drink after a stroke is low. “In an ischemic stroke, a blood vessel to the brain is blocked, which deprives the neurons in the brain of glucose and oxygen,” said Farida Sohrabji, PhD, presidential impact fellow and professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Experimental Therapeutics at the College of Medicine and co-principal investigator of this project, who studies acute and long-term consequences of strokes, as well as novel stroke therapies. “Neurons are very dependent on these two nutrients, and without them, neurons very rapidly begin to die.” After an ischemic stroke in the middle cerebral artery – one of the most common types of stroke in humans – the animal models showed much lower overall fluid intake but increased preference for alcohol over water when they did drink. These effects were significant even though the stroke only affected one side of the brain, leaving the other half of the brain without damage. “Their preference for alcohol can be seen five days after stroke and through at least the first month after the stroke,” Wang said. “Specifically, when given a choice between water and alcohol, they chose alcohol a higher percentage of the time than they did before the stroke.” What the researchers think is happening is that the stroke kills neurons in a part of the brain called the dorsal lateral striatum, and they stop inhibiting certain neurons in the midbrain. These midbrain neurons, which are now far more excitable, send a signal to a particular type of dopamine receptor, called D1. These D1 receptor-containing cells, located in the dorsomedial striatum, were shown in Wang’s previous work to compel the individual to perform an action – like having an alcoholic beverage. “This circuit is interesting because it means that when the dorsal lateral striatum neurons die, the result is increased excitement of the D1 neurons in the dorsomedial striatum,” Wang said. “It is this increased excitement that we think is causing alcohol-seeking behaviour.”
However, when the D1 receptor was inhibited, alcohol-seeking behavior in individuals with stroke damage decreased significantly while the control group didn’t exhibit much of a change. “This is a hint at how the brain works,” Wang said, “and although we’re a long way off, something to inhibit this D1 receptor might be a possible therapeutic target for a drug to help people resist the urge to drink after a stroke.” “As much as possible, we tried to use a model that would replicate the experience of a human patient,” Sohrabji said. “Therefore, we think that these findings, although preliminary, might eventually help people who have experienced any type of brain injury, whether a stroke or an accident that causes traumatic brain injury.” This study was a collaboration between the laboratories of Wang, who studies alcohol use disorders, and Sohrabji, who studies ischemic stroke, and funded by a seed grant from the Texas A&M University Health Science Center Division of Research. Other funding for the research was provided by grants from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).


Eating red onions destroys cancer tumours


Being married ‘protects your health’ – Experts

Marriage can boost your survival chances if you have a major heart risk factor such as high cholesterol, researchers have said.Based on a study of close to a million. A loving spouse might spur you on to look after yourself better, they told a heart conference, based on their study of nearly a million UK adults.

Based on a study of close to a million adults with high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes in the United Kingdom, a loving spouse might spur you on to look after yourself better, a heart conference was told.

After the study, the married ones fared much better than those who were single. couple-kissing

Dr. Paul Carter and colleagues at Aston Medical School, who carried out the work, have already shown that marriage is linked to a better chance of surviving a heart attack.

Their latest research, presented at the British Cardiovascular Society Conference, hints at why this might be. They suspect marriage helps buffer against big heart disease risk factors, including cholesterol and high blood pressure. The study looked at deaths from all causes, including heart disease. Men and women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s with high cholesterol were 16% more likely to be alive at the end of the 14-year ACALM study if they were married rather than single. The same was true for diabetes and high blood pressure, with married people having a survival advantage. The picture was less clear for people cohabiting, separated, divorced or widowed. Also, the researchers did not test if the wedded people were in happy marriages. They suspect having someone special in your life is what’s important, rather than simply getting hitched. Dr. Carter said: “We need to unpick the underlying reasons a bit more, but it appears there’s something about being married that is protective, not only in patients with heart disease but also those with heart disease risk factors. “We’re not saying that everyone should get married though. “We need to replicate the positive effects of marriage and use friends, family, and social support networks in the same way.” Dr. Mike Knapton, of the British Heart Foundation, said: “The take-home message is that our social interactions, as well as medical risk factors such as high blood pressure, are important determinants of both our health and wellbeing. “Whether you are married or not, if you have any of the main risk factors for heart disease, then you can call upon loved ones to help you to manage them.”


Exercise reduces cancer risk by half

A landmark new research project that has analysed the medical records of 70,000 cancer patients has provided the strongest evidence yet that exercise slashed the risk of dying from the deadly disease. According to findings of the study published in the journal, ‘Epidemiologic Reviews,’ cancer patients who exercise regularly, were almost half as likely as non-exercising peers, to die from the life threatening illness. Relating the research outcome, lead researcher, Dr. Prue Cormie, said: “If cancer patients exercise regularly, they will significantly improve their health and well-being, potentially improving their longevity.” Cormie, a principal research fellow at the Australian Catholic University’s Institute for Health and Ageing in Melbourne, Australia, conducted the study with Dr. Kathryn H. Schmitz at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in the United States. cancer-err She said she hopes that the findings “will help inspire people with cancer to start exercising” and encourage doctors to ‘prescribe’ physical fitness the way they would medication to treat cancer. Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body.

Not all tumours are cancerous; benign tumours do not spread to other parts of the body. Over 100 types of cancers affect humans. In Nigeria, over 100, 000 new cancer cases are recorded in Nigeria annually. Cormie continued; “The real novelty and impact of this work comes from the fact that it is the most comprehensive analysis of the available data. “This research has established exercise as an effective medicine that can be prescribed to counteract the adverse effects caused by cancer treatments and reduce the relative risk of cancer death or cancer recurrence.” She added that the research suggested it doesn’t matter what type of exercise people do. Walking and lifting weights had been shown to be particularly beneficial, but other forms of exercise were also beneficial.


Active sex life improves job satisfaction — STUDY

A recent study by Oregon State University, OSU researcher on the relationship between work and sex habits of married employees has revealed that those who prioritized sex at home unknowingly gave themselves a next-day advantage at work, where they were more likely to immerse themselves in their tasks and enjoy their work lives. According to the Associate Professor, OSU’s College of Business, Keith Leavitt, maintaining a healthy relationship that includes a healthy sex life will help employees stay happy and engaged in their work, which benefits the employees and the organizations they work for. “We make jokes about people having a ‘spring in their step,’ but it turns out this is actually a real thing and we should pay attention to it,” said Leavitt, an expert in organizational behaviour and management. SEX LIFE Leavitt explained that the study  showed that bringing work-related stress home from the office negatively impinges on employees’ sex lives. In an era when smart phones are prevalent and after-hours responses to work emails are often expected, the findings highlight the importance of leaving work at the office. “When work carries so far into an employee’s personal life that they sacrifice things like sex, their engagement in work can decline. The researchers’ findings  published in the Journal of Management revealed that sexual intercourse triggers the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with the reward centers in the brain, as well as oxytocin, a neuropeptide associated with social bonding and attachment. That makes sex a natural and relatively automatic mood elevator and the benefits extend well into the next day, Leavitt said. To understand the impact of sex on work, the researchers followed 159 married employees over the course of two weeks, asking them to complete two brief surveys each day. They found that employees who engaged in sex reported more positive moods the next day, and the elevated mood levels in the morning led to more sustained work engagement and job satisfaction throughout the workday. The effect, which appears to linger for at least 24 hours, was equally strong for both men and women and was present even after researchers took into account marital satisfaction and sleep quality, which are two common predictors of daily mood. “This is a reminder that sex has social, emotional and physiological benefits, and it’s important to make it a priority,” Leavitt said. “Just make time for it.” Twenty years ago, monitoring sleep or daily step counts or actively practicing mindful meditation might’ve seemed odd but now they are all things people practice as part of efforts to lead healthier, more productive lives. It may be time to rethink sex and its benefits as well, he said.

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Why you should never lie to your Doctor

Sometimes, it can feel a little awkward to talk to your doctor, who you may or may not feel all that comfortable with--about super personal details. But keeping things from our doctors is pretty much the opposite of what we're supposed to do. A study found that 28% of patients admit to lying or omitting facts from their doctors (and doctors say they believe the number to be much higher). The truth is that, withholding information from your physician--or blatantly lying about facts (like a medication you're taking, for example)--could cause us harm in the long run. Why? Here are five facts about your health you should always be on the level with your doc about. doctors 1: What vitamins, medications, and herbal supplements you're taking.Medications can interact with supplements and other medications in different ways, leaving you open to possible side effects. Also be upfront if you've stopped taking any medications that your doc prescribed to you. 2: If you smoke or drink alcohol--and how much you smoke or drink.Smoking and drinking have direct impacts on your body, so if your physician is aware of how much you do of either, she can better understand any health issues you might be experiencing or direct you to the right medication (some birth control methods, for example, come with extreme health risks for women who smoke). dotor 3 3: If you've noticed anything new and/or strange about your body. A mole has changed shape, there's a weird-feeling lump somewhere, your hair has started falling out--anything. They may be nothing, they may be something. You'll never know unless you speak up. If you're depressed or stressed, inform your doctor. Stress affects both your mental and physical states, so it's good for the physician to know. Also, if a family member has been diagnosed with an illness, let them know. This is because so many ailments are hereditary so it's important for your doctor to know what's going on with your close relatives.


Importance of Family Medical history and your health

Family members share more than similar looks. You may recognize that you have your father’s bald head or your mother's chubby cheeks. But it’s not so easy to see that your great-grandmother passed along an increased risk for both breast and ovarian cancer. That’s why discovering and knowing your family health history is important. 519330806 Your medical history includes all the traits your family shares that you can’t see. These traits may increase your risk for many hereditary conditions and diseases, including:

  • cancer
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • heart disease and blood clots
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • arthritis
  • depression
  • high blood pressure and high cholesterol
1140-successful-black-family-businesses-sweetie-pies.imgcache.revd40876c211ecabc82e1ea438f0d83a16.web.945.544 The general rule for family health history is that more is better. First, you’ll want to focus on immediate family members who are related to you through blood. Start with your parents, siblings, and children. If they’re still alive, grandparents are another great place to start. They may know partial histories of many members of your family. You can also gather information from your aunts and uncles, and other blood relatives. Once you move beyond this core circle of family, genetic makeups change so greatly that you may not be able to learn much about your own risk. Still, keep information handy for any family members you learn about during your search for medical history. It may be helpful down the road. Talking about health may not come naturally to you or your family. You can start the conversation by letting your family members know why you want to gather health information. Also, let them know that you’re willing to share information with them, so that you can all have more complete health histories. It may be easier to start out by having one-on-one conversations. Barack_Obama_family_portrait_2011-1024x683 When you’re ready to gather family health history information, keep these things in mind: Major medical issues: Ask about every major medical issue anyone in close relation to you has been diagnosed with. In this fact-finding stage, nothing is too small, though issues are only significant if the cause was genetic. Any type of disease, injuries, and other things caused by external factors can’t be inherited. Causes of death: Find out the cause of death for any family members who’ve passed away. That might provide a clue to your family medical history, too. Age of onset: Ask when each family member was diagnosed with each condition. This may help your doctor recognize the early onset of certain diseases. Ethnic background: Different ethnicities have varying levels of risk for certain conditions. As best you can, identify your ethnic background to help spot potential health risks. Environment: Families share common genes, but they also share common environments, habits, and behaviors. A complete family history also includes understanding what factors in your environment could impact your health. beed54037d7828eabf51f8bc3dc4355c

5 questions to ask

Here are some questions you can ask to start the conversation:
  1. How old was my relative when they died, and what was the cause of death?
  2. Are there health problems that run in the family?
  3. Is there a history of pregnancy loss or birth defects in my family?
  4. What allergies do people in my family have?
  5. What is my ethnicity? (Some conditions are common among certain ethnicities.)
Remember, when you eventually get the information you need, store and document them in case till you eventually need it.