Health in a Minute: Spring 2015



De-Stress for Good Health
How Chilling Out Improves Well-being

Realizing your stressors and keeping psychological stress at bay can improve more than just your mental health – it helps your body in other ways, too. According to the National Cancer Institute, the body releases stress hormones when dealing with physical, emotional, or mental pressure. These hormones increase blood pressure, speed the heart rate, and raise blood sugar levels. Additionally, research shows that chronic stress can lead to digestive, fertility, and urinary problems, as well as a weakened immune system. Those with chronic stress are also more likely to have a viral infection (the flu and common cold), headaches, sleep trouble, depression, and anxiety. The solution? Find ways to cope with stress today – whether it be through exercise, meditation, counseling, or medications.
Source: National Cancer Institute

Planning for Pregnancy?
Start Getting Your Folic Acid 

According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, women of childbearing age should incorporate folic acid into their diet starting at least one month before getting pregnant. A type of B vitamin, folic acid helps prevent neural tube disorders, which are birth defects of the brain, spine, or spinal cord that occur in the first month of pregnancy (often before you even know you’re pregnant). Even if you’re not ready for pregnancy just yet, women should plan ahead by taking a daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement that contains 400 mcg of folic acid. But don’t stop there! Eat a diet rich in folic acid by incorporating dark green veggies, beans and lentils, orange juice, and fortified grain products.
Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation



Hairline Receding?
Make Sure It’s Not Something Serious

For men, receding hairlines are often a part of life. Whether it begins in your early 20s or late in your 50s, at some point or another, most men are faced with the reality of thinning hair. In the majority of instances, this natural process doesn’t signal a medical concern. However, there are some things to look out for when your hair starts to thin. You should see your doctor if you have any of the symptoms below, as they could indicate a serious medical issue.

  • hair loss that begins after starting a new medication
  • itching, skin irritation, redness, scaling, or pain that accompany hair loss
  • hair loss that occurs in patches or an atypical pattern (classic male pattern baldness recedes to form an M-shape, then creates a U-shape as it becomes finer and thinner)
  • widespread shedding or breakage

Source: MedlinePlus


Preventative Care
Taking Steps to Stay Healthy   

  • Screenings that will check your general health or zone in on the health of a certain body part
  • Measurements of weight and blood pressure
  • Immunizations to keep you from contracting threatening illnesses
  • Advice on diet, exercise, stress, and other topics relevant to your health
  • Specialized Tests for certain times in your life, such as pap tests for women and routine colonoscopies for both men and women

While everyone has different health care needs, it’s recommended that some adults schedule a preventative visit once a year. Make an appointment with your doctor to see what ways they can help keep your health and wellness in top shape.
Source: American Academy of Family Physicians

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