Why Avoid the Smell of Smoke?

March 16th, 2013 healthwiki Health Resources 0

A friend of mine recently posted, via our most trusted newspaper, Facebook, that he has decided to kick the butt…the cigarette butt, I mean. It’s gonna be tough luck I think for him to actually do it this time, cuz he’s tried about ten times in the past and didn’t quite get through. I’m wishing him the best of luck and that he will succeed this time round. Fingers crossed. What struck my interest, though, is that under his status, that he was going to quite and has been clean since the last two months, was one of his friend’s comments that he applauded him for trying because if he were to try too he would die after only half an hour of no smoke. Imagine that!

Well, I’m not a smoker, so it’s kinda hard for me to relate, but I’ve heard this from several others too. As kids we’ve all been told by our parents that it’s dangerous to our health to smoke, but while we are growing up we see cool smoking scenes in movies that, in spite of smoking-is-injurious-to-health lines running below the screen, make us want to look awesomely cool too. Aside from that, family members themselves or even our own parents smoke but have a “do as I say, but don’t do as I do” attitude when it comes to smoking. It’s tough to know what to do in such cases.

After doing a bit of research on the matter, I found out that each cigarette you smoke contains acetone, acetic acid, ammonia, arsenic, benzene, butane, cadmium carbon monoxide, cyanide, chloroform, dieldrin, ethanol, formaldehyde, hexamine, methane, methanol, napthalene, nicotine, nitrobenzene, nitrous oxide phenols, stearic acid, toluene, and vinyl chloride. What’s wrong with that, right? Let’s break it down with several examples of what each of these chemicals are used for. Acetone is used in nail polish remover. Acetic acid is used in Vinegar. Ammonia is used for cleaning floors and toilets. Arsenic is used in poison. Benzene is used in making dyes and plastics. Butane is a lighter fluid. Cadmium is used in NiCad batteries. Carbon Monoxide is found in car exhaust fumes. Cyanide is used in metabolic poison. Chloroform is an anaesthetic. DDT is an insecticide. Ethanol is used in alcohol. Formaldehyde is a preserver of body, tissue, and fabric. Hexamine is a BBQ lighter. Methane is a swamp gas. Methanol is a rocket fuel. Napthalene is used in the making of the mothballs that you use in your closet. Nicotine is used in insecticide, stimulants, and addictive drugs. Nitrobenzene is a gasoline additive. Nitrous Oxide Phenols is used in disinfectants. Stearic Acid is used in candle wax, Toluene in industrial solvents, and Vinyl Chloride in making PVC pipes. I guess the realisation of all these ingredients is that they are being inhaled into your body and never fully leave. Somewhat sad in my opinion.

It’s true that cigarettes have a superb nicotine kick, but actually the nicotine in cigarettes alters the chemical levels of dopamine and noradrenaline in your brain. Although this feeling may initially be perceived as enjoyable, in the long run it takes more and more nicotine to reach the same desired effect. If and when a smoker decides to quit smoking his/her levels of dopamine and noradrenaline again will swing out of balance and result in feelings of deprivation, depression, irritability, and anxiousness. The cravings for nicotine can reach an extreme to the point of making it difficult to lose the urge to smoke.

It’s interesting how companies are thinking up a whole bunch of new ways to smoke without actually “smoking”. A friend of mine recently told me about these unique devices called E Shisha, Electronic Shisha Sticks, which are shaped like cigarettes and can be used as them but don’t have nicotine, tar, tobacco, or anything in it. Electronic Shisha Sticks supposedly entirely harmless, and are more like toy cigarettes so that you can get the feel of smoking without actually doing the deed. It’s supposed to be great for weaning oneself off of cigarettes. E Shisha Sticks come in five flavours apple, strawberry, peach, grape, and blueberry so that there is a flavour for every smoker. And then of course there is also Champix which another popular way to kick the habit and get over withdrawals.

I recently was handed an interesting flyer that read “Stop Smoking, Start Repairing”. It laid out some pretty convincing statistics. For example:

  • In 8 hours of not smoking, excess carbon monoxide is out of your body.
  • In 5 days, most of the nicotine is out of your body.
  • In 1 week of not smoking your sense of taste and smell improves.
  • In 3 months of not smoking, your lung function has increased 30%
  • In 14 weeks, your lungs regain the ability to clean themselves.
  • In 11 months your risk of heart disease has halved.
  • In 1 year of not smoking, you can save over $ 4,000 not buying a pack a day.
  • In 5 years, your risk of a stroke has dramatically decreased.

So, I guess the big thing I’m trying to say here is that with every cigarette you don’t smoke, you’re that much closer to kicking the habit for good. Keep your eyes on why you are doing it and pace yourself to not give up. As that leaflet said: Every cigarette you don’t smoke is doing you good.

By Jem Romero

Compression Stockings as Vein Treatment

March 5th, 2013 healthwiki Health Resources 0

At Amsterdam University’s Academic Hospital, Dutch scientists and researchers determined that compression stockings can actually have a more effective, and lasting, impact on varicose veins.

Although there are different kinds of venous insufficiencies, varicose veins are the most common. Varicose veins occur when the valves in the veins can no longer close properly. This happens because the vein walls weaken, causing them to be more flexible, stretching them to a point where they cannot close the valve entirely; this results in venous reflux. If this happens then blood continues to flow into the vein and pools where the wall is weakest. This results in distorted and contorted looking veins on the surface, although some versions of chronic venous insufficiencies (CVI) can simply induce swelling or aching of the legs.

Veins are able to push the blood flow towards the heart due to strong muscle pressure. Needless to say, daily exercise has a huge impact in the prevention of varicosities—it’s why you’ll rarely see soccer players suffering varicose veins. However, many people who suffer from varicose veins are diagnosed as obese or overweight. This adds a great deal of stress and pressure to the veins. As this is the case, exercise may not cause immediate improvements, and vein removal may be the better option. However, for people who want to increase pressure around the legs—where gravity is strongest and most detrimental to veins—even before regular exercise makes an impact. Compression stockings are the solution.

Compression stockings–often referred to as compression socks–are a viable vein treatment and add pressure to the calves, which improves the venous reflux condition. In fact, in the Netherlands, a study was prepared on workers in a meat factory. Not surprisingly, due to the long hours of standing, many of the workers had made complaints about the aches and other pains in their legs* and, as a result, a study was conducted to see how the pain could be alleviated and conditions improved.

Most factories rely upon rubber mats to absorb the strain and pressure from workers’ legs. Not only this, but the mats have an added function of absorbing spills to reduce employees from slipping on the hard concrete floor. Primarily though, these are intended to keep fatigue down to a minimal. In the Netherlands study however, it was determined that compression stockings was a suitable and more efficient alternative.

Two control groups were used, one observational, and one experimental. The observational was on workers who simply worked from the rubber mats, but the experiment group was told to wear compression stockings. Surprisingly, the workers who wore the compression stockings were not only less fatigued, but also enjoyed wearing the stockings. This was just one study, but certainly provides a solid foundation since factory conditions are similar across the globe!

*Of course, the Netherlands isn’t the only place where this is the case, but factory workers globally often experience pain in their legs from prolonged standing. In Germany, a study showed that 2% of factory workers quit their jobs due to pain stemming from their legs. Even a seemingly small percentile creates significant data for why venous insufficiency is something to be monitored and accounted for, especially when it can be avoided.

Vow for Heart Health Here and Now!

February 15th, 2013 healthwiki Health Resources 0

Our heart plays an important role in our life. By this, I do not mean only love life but our whole life and every aspect of it. Our health is affected by the condition of our heart.

Our heart may be the size of our fist, but the repercussions that our bodies have face in case our heart starts malfunctioning are deep and diverse. You don’t just experience heart problems like suffering from a heart attack or a stroke or having breathing difficulties. But, you experience a wide range of health problems that stem from the basic problem of bad blood circulation, the obvious result of poor heart function.

You would think that nowadays all and sundry blabber about heart problems and how to keep those away. But, have you really gone through each remedy to actually disprove the validity of those simple yet wonderful measures that can keep heart problems miles away from you? Yes, sometimes the simplest of measures has the ability to work miracles within you if you follow them diligently.

One step taken daily in the direction of heart health is a big leap indeed that improves your complete life. It’s all about the conviction pumping in your heart that makes all the difference.

If you have ever experienced heaviness or tightness in the chest region, you are at a big risk of a heart attack someday. But, you don’t have to go into obsessive thinking or believe it to be your fate.

If you take care of your diet maybe not in a very stringent way but reduce one bad thing from your platter every day like cutting down on the number of outdoor eating events in a month to half, cutting down on multiple munching events in a day, and replacing at least half of the junk foods with healthful options, you start the movement against heart problems right then.

If you are suffering from high blood pressure, don’t take it lightly. But, thinking over it and getting anxious is an equal dampener to your blood pressure. Just vow to take a step to cut down salt and fatty foods. Your next blood pressure reading or the next blood lipid report is surely going to show you the results you want.

The mistake that most people make is that they are reactive to the adverse circumstances that pose themselves as emergencies such as sudden shooting of blood pressure. This can make your life go in a sudden turmoil. Watch out for this behavior in you, and watch out for your blood pressure. Invest in a blood pressure monitor that you can keep at your home to measure your BP regularly.

A digital blood pressure monitor is preferable as it allows easy reading, is accurate, and quick. Even the aged or the less educated ones can us this with ease and comfort. When you monitor your blood pressure regularly, you know where you stand and save yourself from undesirable and often dangerous shocks. Don’t let high blood pressure take a toll on your life. Be proactive enough and pressurise yourself to maintain your BP under control.

Another commonly talked about villain that is a big hazard to heart health is Cholesterol. This artery-clogging fatty substance is a frequent concern that raises a red flag on the lab reports of patients. But, who is to be blamed for this other than ourselves? When we cannot keep away from the regular treats of cheeseburgers and weekly pizza parties, our arteries are bound to face blockages. Once you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels as per your blood report, make sure you stay on a regular dose of cholesterol reducing products as prescribed by your physician.

Moreover, if you cannot give up fats completely, eliminate saturated fats from your diet and continue on a bit of unsaturated ones. Unsaturated fats are a rich source of essential fatty acids which are not bad. In fact, these are good for heart health if taken in appropriate quantities, and they help reduce cholesterol levels within the blood. So, grab a walnut or a few almonds every day rather than eating that trash piece of burger lustfully. Nuts contain unsaturated fats that are good for health.

In this age of fatty fast foods, you must not wait to turn 40 or 45 to get your cholesterol levels checked. After you turn 20, make a point to go for a blood lipid test every year. With regular blood tests, routine exercises, moderate diet, and adherence to cholesterol lowering products, you ensure a heart pumping healthily with blood and life.

How to Stay Healthy in Work Environment

October 19th, 2011 healthwiki Health Resources 0

Work-related musculoskeletal disorders (muscle, bone and joint), briefly called MSDs comprise a significant portion of workplace injuries and huge economic and physical burden. These disorders include pain and discomfort, unusual sensations like (burning, tingling and numbness), stiffness, fatigue and muscle weakness, tension headache etc. Sometimes, it becomes so severe that people have to leave their jobs. However, we can avoid or manage the conditions by following simple guideline.

The rapid changes of office design and technology from traditional to modern corporate style makes people inactive resulting in MSDs. Prolonged and repeated bad posture in front of computers during long office hour, in meeting after meeting, surfing the Internet and using laptops are usually the reasons behind it.

Here are some tips to help you prevent office work related MSDs.

-Confirm appropriate height adjustment of chair, table and computer screen in relation to your body, support your back completely and comfortably. Shoulders and wrists should be relaxed during use of keyboard and mouse. Adjust the level of computer screen satisfying your convenience; screen should be one arm length away, allowing sufficient room to move knees and legs under the desk. You can use foot rest to provide support.

-Laptop screens and keyboards cannot be optimally adjusted and consistent use of these for intense work is not recommended.

-Take a break for 5-10 minutes for every 2 to 3 hours spent at a workstation.

-Break up keyboarding tasks by doing other tasks that involve moving around or changing body position.

-Moving the whole forearm and not just the wrist side to side ensure better blood flow to the muscles and prevents fatigue while using mouse.

-Stand when talking on the telephone; remain standing when talking to other staff.

-Telephone should be on non-dominant side and avoid prolong holding the handset between the shoulder and ear to prevent excessive muscular tension in the shoulder and neck.

-Try to avoid intercom inside of office if within easy reach.

-Try to walk and use stairs instead of lift in the office if possible.

-Come and go from office by walking if it is within 1 or half hour distance.

-Avoid eating habits in the desk.

-Practice stretching and relaxation.

Writer: Dolilur Rahman.

How to Cure Acne Quickly at Home

January 13th, 2011 healthwiki Beauty 0

Acne occurs in the form of pimples that sometime brings along black and whiteheads on the face, neck, shoulders, and chest or even at the back of the body too. It is considered the most severe skin disease that last for a long period and strikes almost every teen or adult. They tend to get severe and can lead to permanent scarring of the face if precautionary measures are not taken.

Even though with the latest scientific technology, it is hard to find a single cure of acne that could prevent it from happening or could treat it quickly, without leaving any scar behind. On the contrary, one can see that acne treatments use age old herbal products to cure acne outbursts. We recommend that instead of using harsh over the counter chemical products, you practice basic home remedies that are not only cheap, but also very effective with no side effects at all.

The foremost thing to follow up as a regular routine is to exercise and make the habit of having water at least 8 – 10 glasses a day. You may not believe it but exercise and a good healthy diet is the first critical step to healing acne.  Certain people believe that apricot juice can help to defect acne to the great extent.  Honey is the natural substance that extremely harmful for bacteria in the shape of acne or pimples.  Raw papaya juice is quite soothing for the red pimples. The most widely known method is applying toothpaste to fight against the bacteria on skin. Rubbing with vinegar and salt then after sometime, wash with lukewarm water. It is advisable to use only medicated soap only. Lack of sleep also causes the acne to occur. By applying turmeric powder for some time and remove it after 30 minutes.  The most effecting way for getting rid of acne is by using home remedies for a consistent time period rather than just for a day or two.

About Author:

Alice has been an expert in skin health. Her work has been published on various websites and magazines and provides insightful advice for natural acne treatment and acne remedies skin regimes.