Saturday, August 30, 2008

Heart Surgery: Doctors At Risk!

If you thought that only the patient was at risk during surgery think again because doctors, performing heart surgery also face health risks, especially to their eyes.

The reason is that the medical industry's pillars, doctors and other medics, can get a high dose of radiation from X-ray imaging systems during surgical procedures, informs the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

The Agency is also helping to raise awareness of threats, through training in radiation protection related to medical uses of X-ray imaging systems.

It indicates that the issue of radiation protection for medical personnel is particularly acute in the case of lengthy angioplasty and other cardiac interventions performed under X-ray fluoroscopic guidance. This is so because, while the cardiologists are busy maneuvering their surgical instruments, they can get an extensive radiation exposure that could lead to cataracts, in addition to several other longer term health risks (Doctors would know better!). During such surgeries it's Fluoroscopy that provides X-ray images of a patient that physicians can view on a display screen or monitor in real time to help themselves.

To address the issue the agency has planned a major international initiative aimed at training cardiologists and other medical professionals in radiation protection. It entails a study to test the eyes of interventional cardiologists participating in a regional medical conference, organized by the Latin American Society of Interventional Cardiologists (SOLACI) in Bogota, Colombia.

During the meet, the Latin American cardiologists, will offer participants to run test on them to detect early changes of radiation effect that may lead to cataract in future. Doing this will help them to retrospectively assess what radiation dose these cardiologists received, and then correlate the data with changes in their lens. And this should also help them protect themselves better in the future.

While the study is still to be conducted, the apex body had begun training courses for cardiologists way back in 2004 itself, as a consequence of which cardiologists from more than 50 countries have been trained in radiation protection. Furthermore, training material, on computer diskette and in printed publications, is being distributed via the website pages on the radiation protection of patients.

At a time when new ways to train surgeons and medics are evolving see: Video Game Surgery – A New Way To Train Surgeons & Sick (Man)nequin – A New Way To Train Medics, it's also crucial that technologies are developed to ensure safety of the medics.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Osteoarthritis (OA): Can Chinese Therapy Qigong Treat it?

Osteoarthritis is a challenging medical condition to live with. While there are phrama drugs available to treat it, can “Qigong,” a traditional Chinese practice effective enough to relieve the patients?

The practice of Qigong refers to a large variety practices, which can be classified as alternative medicine, that entail methods for accumulating, circulating, and working with “Qi,” or the energy within the body. It usually includes a set of exercises, physical movements, and meditation.

If the scientists at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) are to be believed, then Qigong therapy might very well be a potential complementary treatment for osteoarthritis but depending upon the ability of the trainer.

On the face of it the findings appears to be clouded with a halo of skepticism with which most alternative and complementary medicine practices are perceived. And there's a good reason for it, because in today's science based technological society all claims require proofs, while there are only a numbered evidence based claims supporting the efficacy of alternative treatments.

However, the researchers at the from NJ also have good reasons to present the findings of the study titled, “Effects of external Qigong therapy on osteoarthritis of the knee."

The Acid Test Of Qigong

To test the effectiveness of Qigong, researchers engages two Qigong therapists who performed hand movements akin to therapeutic touch, acupressure on specific points, focused attention etc. Following which the OA patients reported a good degree of pain reduction and and improved functionality in varying degrees.

The philosophy of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) reasons that good health exists because "qi," the body's inherent energy is well-balanced. And there's disease when there's a blockage of the "qi" flow, or its balance is disturbed.

While the mechanism underlying the patients reports may not be well-known, they did report improvement. Perhaps it's just a “placebo effect,” or relaxation induced by the treatment, the critics might question. I think that more research needs to be conducted, which would throw more light on its effectiveness. And the researchers have themselves stated that “further research needs to be conducted.”

And if further results also support the therapy's efficacy, then patients would have a proven alternative or complementary treatment option along with pharmaceutical drugs.

Separately, there was a report of technology aiding Osteoarthritis (OA), treatment, see: (OA) Better Outcome Through Technology

And there's another intriguing development in weighloss surgery, see: Incision-Free Weight Loss Surgery!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Here Comes Incision-Free Weight Loss Surgery!

Recently, the first patient in the New York City area received incision free surgery for obesity as part of the ongoing multicenter TOGA Pivotal Trial at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital (NYP)/Columbia University Medical Center.

TOGA procedure stands for "transoral gastroplasty.” Performed without creating incisions with surgical instruments, it is designed to alter the patient's stomach anatomy to give them a feeling of fullness after a small meal. Which is similar to many other weightloss procedures. The difference however, is that TOGA was performed under direct endoscopic visualization with specialized instruments passed into the stomach through the mouth without any incisions.

The surgeons believe that the new surgery is a promising option for severely overweight patients who do not respond to diet, exercise and drug therapy. Further, that there were clear benefits of the procedure including less pain, shortened hospital stay, quicker recovery, decreased complications, and of course a lack of scarring. Hence TOGA should suit many patients who are unable to or don't want to undergo invasive surgical procedures.

The effectiveness of the surgery came to light when during a 2006 - 2007 pilot study at medical centers in Mexico and Belgium found that patients receiving the TOGA procedure lost more than a third of their excess body weight. And in a year's time, their excess weight loss averaged almost 40 percent.

In the operations performed as trials two out of three patients will receive the TOGA procedure, while one out of three will receive a control procedure, which is similar to the TOGA procedure except no pouch is created. Then after a year, patients will be told which procedure they received, and patients who received the control procedure will be offered the TOGA procedure if they continue to meet the treatment criteria.

Moreover, once the evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of the TOGA procedure is complete, the researchers will evaluate weight loss and changes in obesity-related health problems such as Type 2 diabetes, cholesterol levels and hypertension. And if successful, the FDA might approve of the TOGA System, which at present only allow patients to be treated outside of clinical trials.

According to WHO, obesity is a global disease affecting over 300 million people. And its many undesirable consequences such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular, are known too well. The surgery might prevent the consequences of obesity and save patients from the pain and routine consumption of pharmaceutical drugs for diabetes, hypertension, etc. And especially help the case of stubborn obesity that doesn't respond well to other weightloss treatments.

Surgery aside, if a drug currently being tested is successful, then we just might need to pop it in and Lose Fat Like A Rat!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Osteoarthritis (OA): Better Outcome Through Technology

A breakthrough imaging technology may now enable doctors with to diagnose osteoarthritis (OA) so early that they could prevent or reduce permanent damage to patients' joints.

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint condition causing inflammation, swelling, pain, and stiffness. It's often treated with musculoskeletal system drugs and/or surgery.

Recently, scientists from New York University (NYU) reported about the new technology at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, (ACS) that helps diagnose the disease early.

If osteoarthritis can be diagnosed during initial stages with the aid of the new technology, then doctors might be able to prevent or reduce permanent damage by means such as dietary supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin, which have shown to stop further joint degeneration. On the contrary, the present methods of diagnoses do not catch the condition until it has reached advanced stages and by that time joint damage may already have occurred.

The New Technology

The new method uses a modified form of magnetic resonance imaging to assess the concentration of a polymer known as glycosaminogycan (GAG) that holds lots of water and gives cartilage its tough, elastic properties. Additionally, GAG is a recognized biomarker for both osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease. A low concentration of GAG is known to be linked to the onset of osteoarthritis.

Further, the diagnostic 'tags' i.e. the hydrogen atoms attached to the GAGs when emit a signal, is picked up by an MRI machine and the concentration of GAG is determined, thus aiding the assessment of cartilage health.

Additionally, the technology could even be used to improve upon the existing cartilage-boosting drugs. But at present it's difficult assess the efficacy of these pharmaceutical drugs without the aid of a method to measure their effects on cartilage.

The new method positively shows promise, and if it can really help prevent painful surgeries and procedures then it might be great if diagnostic facilities made use of it for the benefit of patients.

On a separate note, an intriguing study recently pointed out to How Happiness May Prevent Breast Cancer?

How Happiness May Prevent Breast Cancer?

According to a new study, happiness and optimism may play a role against breast cancer while adverse life events can increase the risk of developing the disease.

Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer after lung cancer and starts in the cells of the breast in men and women. The mainstay of its treatment is surgery and cancer drugs. The study has been conducted at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel and published in the British journal BMC Cancer.

During the study, researchers asked women about their life experiences and evaluated their levels of happiness, optimism, anxiety, and depression prior to diagnosis. Further, the researchers used this information to examine the relationship between life events, psychological distress and breast cancer among young women.

A total of 622 women between the ages of 25 and 45 were interviewed: 255 breast cancer patients and 367 healthy women. The findings of the study show that there was a clear link between outlook and risk of breast cancer, with optimists 25 percent less likely to have developed the disease. On the other hand women who suffered two or more traumatic events had a 62 percent increased risk of the disease.

The researchers think that young women who have been exposed to a number of negative life events should be considered 'at-risk' for breast cancer and treated accordingly.

However, there's a possible pitfall that since the women were interviewed after their diagnosis, it could have made them recall negative events more readily. Also, recently, in a different study, the researchers had discovered that disclosing breast cancer diagnoses is itself quite a challenge.

Despite the skepticism the scientists believe that it's safe to say that experiencing more than one severe and/or mild to moderate life event raises a red flag of risk for breast cancer among young women. However, a general feeling of happiness and optimism may have protective effect.

Additionally, the mechanism by which the central nervous, hormonal and immune systems interact and how behavior and external events affect these three systems is not fully understood. And it needs more research to figure out answers to these questions.

Recently, there's been some eye opening finds as a result of cancer research. For instance, see: Moisturized Mice Mean Skin Cancer. And that aside from the conventional pharmaceutical drugs, there's also the Power of Naturals Against Cancer.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Weightloss: Lose Fat Like A Rat!

Being overweight is a pain, and trying to lose flab is an even bigger pain. However, now if scientists are to be believed, then the world could finally be greeted with a pharmaceutical drug that makes you lose wait.

As appears in the news, the U.S. government researchers reported that, an epilepsy drug when tested for use in treating addiction led to the laboratory rats to lose weight. While the fat rats lost 19 percent of their body weight, the normal ones lost 12 to 20 percent in about 40 days, after they were injected with the drug.

Apparently, the drug inhibits craving for food just like it inhibits the craving for the addictive substance in a person. Being a central nervous system drug it acts on the brain's dopamine reward system. Which plays a role in both overeating and drug addiction. “Vigabatrin” is the drug under consideration, which reduces the build up dopamine in the body.

Experts believe that many people who gain weight do so because they overeat in response to the cues they get from the environment, viz. the aroma, etc. The same is the case with drug abusers. During the study, the rats successively lost and gained weight as they were dosed with the drug and then taken off it. The drug helps lose weight because it stops the mechanism by which people abuse drugs and overeat.

Although this is good news, but not without a pitfall, that an overdose of the drug can affect eyesight, and permanently too. At the same time experts from the medical industry opine that it shouldn't happen with the amount of dosage needed to help people lose weight. Still good news!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Now Safer Sex Is Promoted Online In Canada

Canadian youths aged 18 – 30, are now being encouraged online to practice safer sex and get HIV tested. The Internet makes for just the right hang out for the young people where most of them can be found listening to music and more.

Many are concerned about the Canadian youth's sexual health because of misconceptions among them that AIDS is curable. Apparently, this misconception has come about as the HIV drugs or Antiretroviral therapy drugs have evolved.

Launched this week the campaign attempts to bank upon the fan following of the rock group U2 and singer Mary J. Blige the hip-hop star, as the Star reports. And it comes about as a joint venture between Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada and Universal Music Canada, in addition to different HIV/AIDS testing facilities, service organizations, medical clinics, and doctors.

Through the campaign, the companies want to spread the word around on forums, networks, and blogs through the online video set to U2's hit number "One," featuring Blige and that's available by the artists at no charge. The companies have promised a donation worth $1 to HIV/AIDS prevention groups, each time the video is forwarded, thus spreading the message.

The surely seems to be a great way to spread AIDS awareness, as Internet is a favorite hangout of the youth and that entertainers are a great influence and are respected across the board. As the message gets forwarded with the download of each video, it is quite akin to the spread of contagious virus itself, which seems to be desirable in this case.

In fact the medium and the execution seems to be quite excellent for spreading the message of not just HIV but other equally debilitating sexually transmitted infections such as HPV.

Recently, the XVII International AIDS Conference was concluded, and 4 initiatives announced at the conference seem to be pretty path breaking, take a look: XVII International AIDS Conference: 4 Precious Initiatives.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Drug Resistant Diseases: Taming Of The Shrew

Exceedingly detested but true, when diseases once treatable cease to respond to pharmaceutical drugs, the consequences can be devastating. However, things could change if the scientists succeed in successfully testing a newly developed mechanism to thwart drug resistance.

It's impossible to talk of drug resistance and not mention the super bug, “Staphylococcus aureus.” Often it's the bacteria that come to ones mind when you think drug resistance, but sometimes it can be other pathogens such as cancer cells. However, now researchers seem to be attempting to bluff these pathogenic cells to get potent medicine inside them, thus spelling their doom.

How The New Process Works?

One way by which resistance develops is when the pathogenic cells suddenly become clever (and cunning and @#$) and don't let medicines seep through their skin and act against them. But taking a lead from nature the Stanford University have developed a method to combat this common form of resistance.

The solution formulated by scientists centers around the compound “Arginine,” an amino acid (amino acids are the building blocks of proteins) abundantly found in cells. As against other substances, when arginine rich compounds try to enter a cell they are welcomed, even by resistant cells.

So now the tactic used entails cloaking the therapeutic compound with Arginine, hence facilitating its entry into the target cell. Once the Arginine bounded medicine gets inside it only needs to broken apart from Arginine (the cloak) to begin its action. And this is achieved by glutathione, a molecule naturally present inside a cell. After the temporary and weak medicine---Arginine complex is broken down, the pathogenic cell has no choice but to succumb.

For now the mechanism has been successfully tested with the ovarian cancer drug “Paclitaxel,” however it can have applications in bacterial diseases as well, viz. multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, the scientists have suggested.

Another promising find of the study was that the scientists can control even the rate at which the medicine is release by tweaking “Arginine” just a little bit. And that's not all, a cancer therapy based on this technique even promises a treatment with lesser negative side effects that go along with chemotherapy.

While cancer drugs are just one example, come to think of if most drug resistant diseases can be tackled in this manner, health would be restored to millions who suffer due to this type of drug resistance. Buck Up! The medical industry

In addition, I think that off late, pure naturals have also shown promise against two challenging, diabetes and cancer. View the following posts to know more.

The Power Naturals Against Diabetes &

The Power of Naturals Against Cancer

Monday, August 18, 2008

Moisturized Mice Mean Skin Cancer - Do They?

Women and men around the world owe the vitality of their skin to moisturizers. However, the seemingly harmless cosmetics, moisturizers, could be a cause for developing skin cancer, suggests a recent study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

The non-melanoma skin cancer that developed is quite common in humans, and for the most part is curable surgically and with cancer drugs. And it is fatal only rarely.

But are the results of the study a reason to be scared of moisturizers? Even though the study has surprised one and all, many have questioned the validity of the study and have expressed that there's no need to worry for now.

As always is the case, the mice used in the experiment have hogged all the limelight, when four randomly chosen moisturizing creams were applied on bald mice. Which later caused tumors to develop fast on these mice. And the mice not treated with moisturizers didn't show this effect.

The fact that bald mice were experimented upon and not humans means, that the findings aren't exactly applicable to humans. And the authors themselves put forth this very viewpoint. Another reason that goes against the study is that type of skin cancer found in humans is pretty different than those found in animals.

Further, one of the cream's manufacturers have been skeptical about the study and have opined that their product has been used for over 30 years with great results. At the same time, there are pointers that the components, namely mineral oil and sodium lauryl sulfate, known to cause irritation might be the culprits. Because when they were removed from the moisturizers the tumors didn't seem to develop so rapidly.

While, there's a lot of skepticism surrounding the study's findings, the findings can't be completely shunned outright. Perhaps the best option is to wait and watch as more research throws light on the issue. As the author's of the study have stated that this research should encourage experts to verify and have more conclusive evidence about the cancer risk moisturizers pose to humans.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

XVII International AIDS Conference: 4 Precious Initiatives

The XVII International AIDS Conference (IAC) held at the Mexico City, from Aug. 3 through Aug. 8 days was an exquisite forum for sharing and showcasing of ideas from international experts. It also saw the launch of various invaluable initiatives by different organizations. Of which, the following four seemed to be quite striking.

1. The Release of “Blueprint 2008,” for AIDS Vaccine Development by The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI)

Despite the fact that this year's IAC conference was devoid of a plenary session on AIDS vaccine, like the previous ones, many researchers intensely reemphasized the need for a vaccine to make the world AIDS-free.

The IAVI announced the release of “Blueprint 2008.” I think AIDS vaccines are positively the ultimate answer, but till that time HIV drugs should be made available to all those who need them.

The Blueprint 2008 stresses on three key areas:

The mission to develop a vaccine should be divided up into a set of intermediate milestones, as this would enable measurement of progress as well as hold people accountable.

There's a need to trim and improve the pipeline by a big measure. The number of 30-or so candidates in the pipeline need to be reduced based on the “probability of success.”

The final recommendation calls for a sustained effort with an ample supply of new cader of young researchers coupled with stable financing for flexibility.

2. The YWCA Report: ‘Nothing About Us Without Us: a report from the HIV-Positive Women’s Forum’

This insightful YWCA report comes in the wake of the unique challenges that women living with HIV face, and the special needs that they have. It is an analysis and evaluation of the “Positive Women’s Forum,” coupled with the feedback gathered back then. The Positive Women’s Forum was an unprecedented meeting conducted on July 2007 as a segment of the International Women’s Summit on HIV and AIDS.

The report offers insight, and stresses that for epidemic control programs to be effective women living with HIV must come forward and lead the AIDS response. Also that HIV positive women must become involved equal partners to shape AIDS programs and policies.

3. The Plan: “Global Alliance on HIV”

The program is the brain child of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and was launched in the Americas just before the conference.

The initiative, expected to benefit over 7 million would be prevalent in Latin America and the Caribbean. The objective is to raise about 22.3 million Swiss francs, which translate into US$ 21.4 million, in order to give an impetus to HIV and AIDS programs in the Americas. It is slated to begin with the following ten nations, Argentina, Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras and Jamaica. However, in a couple of years a larger number of countries would be included.

Of the 33.6 million people infected with HIV around the world, 1.6 million live in Latin America. And this program seeks to adapt an approach that's based on the prevention, treatment, care and reduction of stigma and discrimination. Furthermore, of the 7,300,000 people estimated to benefit, groups of special focus would include children with HIV, children orphaned due to HIV, sex workers and of course all those living with HIV.

4. The Open Society Institute Report: "Our Lives Matter: Sex Workers Unite for Health and Rights"

The report “Our Lives Matter:..”published in August by the Open Society Institute provides coverage of how sex workers in eight countries have organized themselves to protect their health and human rights. It delves deep into the many ways by which sex workers have battled, violence, extortion and incarceration in their fight against securing equal health opportunities. The eight groups from different countries profiled in the report include Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (South Africa), Davida (Brazil), Durjoy Nari Shongho (Bangladesh), Humanitarian Action (Russia), Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (India), Odyseus (Slovakia), Urban Justice Center's Sex Workers Project (United States) and Stella (Canada).

While HIV is indeed a tough challenge for the world, but it's heartening that so much effort is being put in by every one from international organizations to the medical industry, to find a solution. And I'm sure the humans would win over the virus one day.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Power Naturals Against Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, also known as the silent killer because it slowly damages our bodies isn't curable at present. But no matter how abstruse the disease, some purely natural substances are beginning to show promise as researches continue.

Diabetes is a syndrome which causes a disordered metabolism, and results in abnormally high blood sugar levels that damage our bodies. For now, there isn't a cure, though the disease is manageable with the aid of anti-diabetic drugs including pills and insulin shots.

While a cure eludes doctors and scientists, Complementary and Alternative medicine (all therapies excluding conventional medicine) might enable the disease management a lot better without any side effects, perhaps.

How broccoli fights the disease?

One of the most undesirable consequences of having diabetes is the increased risk of getting heart disease and stroke. In fact people with the disease are at risk, five time over than healthy individuals.

So how broccoli helps? Researchers from the UK, based on the findings of a study suggest that broccoli has the potential to heal the damage done by the disease to heart blood vessels.

Apparently, the green vegetable houses a chemical compound known as sulforaphane, which helps the cause, as it has been found to increase enzymes responsible for protecting blood vessels of the heart in addition to reducing the harmful molecules that cause the damage.

The harmful molecule is called the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), and is present in quantities 3 times more in diabetics than in healthy people. And the helpful component (sulforaphane) found in broccoli, reduces ROS molecules. In fact, it was even found to reverse the increase in ROS due to high blood sugar by 73 per cent. The scientists at the University of Warwick carried out this study published in the Journal, "Diabetes."

How spices can rescue diabetics?

For thousands of years, man has made good use of spices and herbs to add a dash of delight to culinary offerings, but no one knew that the same would be found to be highly potent against diabetes, one day.

Now the researchers at the researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered, that herbs and spices known to be rich in antioxidants, are in addition potent inhibitors of tissue damage and inflammation caused due to high blood sugar levels. These findings have been published in the Journal of Medicinal Food. The paper, identifies extracts from 24 common herbs and spices, which have been studied.

Apparently, when the levels of blood sugar are high it leads to the formation of compounds known as known as advanced glycation end products, or AGE compounds. The compounds in turn trigger the immune system and lead to inflammation and tissue damage that goes along with diabetes and aging.

However, herbs and spices have a high content of phenols, the helpful compounds, which inhibit tissue damage and inflammation. For instance, cloves and cinnamon derive 30 percent and 18 percent of dry weight from phenols. And hence consuming spices has a healing effect. In fact when tried on mice, cinnamon was effective in lowering blood sugar.

Many natural substances are slowly being shown to show promise against disease, and so are many conventional medicines. But the best part perhaps is, that every day food items such as spices that may be a component of alternative medicines, help without causing side-effects.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Breast Cancer Disclosure: An Emotional Battle for Women

Women, conventionally socialized to play the role of caregivers, often find it difficult to spontaneously disclose the diagnoses of their disease to family members.

Not only is it an onerous task for them to confess it to their family, but when they actually break the news they do it tactically, an American Sociological Association (ASA) research uncovers.

When women learn about the diagnoses, even though they are themselves in the need of support and reassurance, they have to make an emotional effort and consider the vulnerabilities of their family members too while informing them.

Aside from emotional support it's also the progress being made in cancer research and cancer drugs these days that's reassuring. In fact the power of some natural compounds has also shown promise.

To conduct the research, the scientists comparatively and qualitatively examined how breast cancer survivors from different racial and ethnic backgrounds went about sharing the news of their illness with family, friends and acquaintances.

Research participants included 164 breast cancer survivors, who were examined for the “emotion work” involved in disclosing a breast cancer diagnosis. The mode of data collection was interview. Furthermore, The survivors were a mix of racially diverse women born in the United States and immigrants.

On the one hand women found it difficult to share the news with their family, but on the other, these women reported to have shared their diagnosis with their peers quite spontaneously. And following which they were themselves surprised by the extent of the support they got as a result of these spontaneous conversations from their own social networks.

The researchers believe that those women who limit their emotions in discussing their breast cancer diagnosis also limit the possibilities for support they might receive. So the take away seems to be, that involving others in an illness, increases intimacy among friends and family in addition to opening up newer doors to get additional support that is so much needed at times of stress, such as during breast cancer diagnoses.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Top 10 Tips To Stay Healthy

“The greatest wealth is health,” said Virgil. And I think he was dead right because you need to be healthy, to both earn and enjoy what you earn. All of us are prone to health risks for a myriad reasons, but we can minimize our risks by leading a healthy life. The following 10 tips are meant to enable just that.

1. Be on a healthy diet

Eating is a way to nourish your body. If you feed it with junk it would not only result in lowered performance, but might harm it in the long run. So, it makes all the more sense to choose your diet wisely. A balanced diet is a must as is the quantity of what you eat. Some healthy eating options include eating about 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day while minimizing the consumption of saturated fats has a beneficial effect. They not only enhance your health but may also decrease the risk of cancer and several other diseases. So that you don't have to depend on pharmaceutical drugs to keep control you ailments.

2. Staying active is the way to be

All animals seem to be active in some way or the other, ants, monkeys, flies, butterflies all of them seem to be on the move, except for a portion of humans. Our bodies are perhaps accustomed to activity, I presume that the early men & women, or our ancestors much like the animals were busy gathering food... No more yada, yada... but doctors suggest that adults need about 30 minutes of moderate physical activity preferably on all days of the week. You need to begin slowly, and try to make it enjoyable at the same time, so that you persist to reap the real benefits of physical exercise. Some good activities to get moving are cycling, jogging, gardening, walking, dancing, gardening and swimming.

3. Be wary of obesity and being overweight

Being heavier than what's healthy for you increases the magnitude of risk of several debilitating diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. If you already have a healthy weight, maintain it, but if you're overweight or obese begin right now to set your weight right. Each excess pound that you lose will allow you to stay healthy throughout your life.

4. Vaccinations are important

Vaccination isn't child's play only. There are many professions and lifestyles that might put you at an increased risk of infections. In consultation with a physician, determine which ones you need and get them.

5. Control Stress

Stress, be it physical or mental can wreck havoc with our health. A balanced lifestyle need to accommodate your professional, personal and social lives. You neglect the need to balance your life at your own risk, it isn't often easy to strike a work-life balance but you need to find a way.

6. Get yourself health screened regularly

Because the need for routine health exams and assessments is different based on your health history, age, lifestyle, etc, you need to consult a physician to decide upon what all screenings you need and how frequently. The reason is simple, for diseases to be diagnosed early results in better outcomes, they can be treated and cured early. Common exams include those for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, sexually transmitted diseases, cancers and diabetes. For instance, cancer drugs can effectively treat cancer if it's detected early on.

7. No Smoking Please!

If you don't smoke you're privileged because so many people I know who do, find it quite tough to give it up. But tough doesn't mean that it can't be done. I think you need the motivation to get there, as one of my friends, Martin, quit smoking when his girlfriend encouraged him to do so. I don't mean that you need a girlfriend to tell you to quit, but you do need to be in love with staying healthy. It's difficult, but you can try and you must, seek professional help if need be. Needless to mention, but from head to toe, there isn't a body part that smoking doesn't harm.

8. Is you health at risk?

You need to find an answer to this one based on your work & home environments, heredity, lifestyle, etc. Once you're forewarned of the health risks you harbor, you can minimize that risk by taking the right action. Your health care provider can help you with this exercise.

9. Protection is the key

If you wear seat belts, but don't practice safe sex, you're using different yardsticks. Protection isn't limited to sex and driving but everything from applying sunscreen to brushing your teeth and having fire smoke detectors installed. Whatever you do, wherever you live a proactive approach to protection can save you from a lot of diseases, injuries, hardships, etc.

10. Treat yourself well

This simply means that you pay attention to your health, if you're all about caring for the family

for instance and neglecting yourself. Then this isn't treating yourself well. Rest and relax, enjoy and have fun, forgive yourself and let go can go a long way to ensure that you're happier and healthier.

Be healthy and smile would automatically come to you. And also keep visiting Smiling Health :-)

BTW, I think there are some intriguing ways by which they train medics and surgeons these days. Take a look at the following posts to know about them.

Video Game Surgery - A New Way To Train Surgeons

Sick (Man)nequin - A New Way To Train Medics