Reflexes, blood pressure, eyesight and respiration -all are commonly checked during an annual physical exam. But often overlooked during checkups is what many call "the mirror of your health" - the feet.The human foot often is the first to show initial signs of severe medical conditions, such as diabetes. That's why the American Podiatric Medical Association is urging those at risk for diabetes to ask for foot exams during their regular checkups.Diabetes affects 18 million Americans by keeping their bodies from producing or properly using insulin, which is needed to convert sugars, starches and other food into energy.Unfortunately, many Americans - nearly 5.2 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - are unaware they're diabetic and don't recognize the disease's early warning signs, which usually occur in the feet. When it's too late, the consequences often are severe: heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, blindness, kidney disease and even amputation. In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of nontraumatic foot amputations each year.The good news is there are ways to detect diabetes at its onset, before it does further damage."Early detection is paramount and something as simple as taking your shoes and socks off for a foot screening could assist in diagnosis of diabetes earlier," said APMA President Dr. Lloyd Smith.In fact, annual foot screenings could reduce diabetic foot amputations by as much as 85 percent, according to APMA.Knowing foot-related diabetes warning signs also is vital in early detection. Alert a family physician or podiatrist to these signs:* Redness.* Numbness.* Swelling.* Feet feel cold to the touch from decreased blood circulation.* Inflammation.* Noticeable changes to the feet.
There are many factors that contribute to the development of gout. Genetic factors, age, obesity, metabolism, improper diet, smoking and the abuse of alcohol are all considered to be the causes of gout. Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs due to high levels of uric acid in the bloodstream. In large quantities, uric acid is difficult to eliminate through the process of excretion and tends to accumulate and deposit at different levels of the body. Uric acid crystals cause inflammation, pain, sourness and swelling of the joints. Gout can also affect skin and soft tissue such as tendons and muscles, decreasing their flexibility and integrity. Renal insufficiency and metabolic problems are also considered to be "causes of gout" . Genetic problems and chronic anemia are other factors that facilitate the development of gout. Research results indicate that obesity is another cause of gout, as there are many overweight people suffering from different types of arthritis. Excessive weight contributes to the development of gout too, as the bodies of overweight people seem to secrete more uric acid. People with weight problems are more predisposed to injuries at the level of the joints when suffering from gout. Age is a determinant factor in the development of gout, as people over 50 are more likely to be affected by the disease than young adults or children. An interesting aspect of gout is that it mostly affects men.Gout is believed to have a pronounced hereditary character, as the disease is known to be transmissible from one generation to another. Statistics indicate that some people who suffer from gout have a family history of the disease.Due to the fact that there is no specific treatment for gout, it is very important to take steps in preventing the disease from occurring. An appropriate diet, good exercise and a healthy lifestyle play very important roles in the prevention and treatment of gout. Although smoking and the consumption of alcohol arent considered to be causes of gout, they considerably aggravate the symptoms of the disease. The foods that are believed to cause gout contain high levels of saturated fats or are very rich in purines. When the body synthesizes purine, it releases a lot of uric acid. It is best to reduce the amount of foods that contain purine, such as organ meats or fish. Some vegetables and dairy products also contain a lot of purines. Foods that are considered to be appropriate for people who suffer from gout are green vegetables, fruits, low-fat milk, cereals, and chicken meat. Drinking right amounts of water is known to help the body in the process of eliminating the excess of uric acid. Therefore, it is advised to drink at least 2 liters of water each day to make sure that the surplus of uric acid is properly excreted from the body.
Obesity is one of the biggest problems in the United States today and many families don't follow regular exercise programs. It is often said that the family that plays together, stays together. This couldn't be more true in the case of family fitness. Getting your family off the sofa and encouraging them to get moving can be a simple task.Pay attention to what everyone in the family likes to do. If your sons and your husband like football, suggest a weekend excursion to the park for a game of flag football. If your daughter is an avid jogger, head to the trails. Even if your kids are more into video games than outside play, consider looking "dance pad" games that can be used on popular game consoles, which have been suggested to help in the weight loss process. This brings a whole new meaning to playing video games, and can actually be fun for you too. It's not exercise, it's play!Your family's fitness not only means exercise, but a change in the kitchen as well. It is time to throw out the chips and cookies and make healthy alternative choices. Snacks such as carrot and celery sticks, apples, seedless grapes, pretzels, air popped popcorn, and graham crackers make excellent choices. If available, your children will grab these snacks without a second thought. Fill your cabinets with these healthier snacks and you might find yourself surprised that your family doesn't even notice the difference! Replacing sodas with bottled water and organic fruit juices while you're at it can help your cause. Don't buy diet sodas - they're loaded with sodium!Subtle changes in your family's eating habits can have long lasting effects. It is never too late to make a healthy change for you and your family. But be discreet! If you tell your children that you're making a change to the family eating habits, they are less likely to accept it, rather than not even questioning the change when grabbing a snack.Taking care of your family is important, and family fitness is the way to do that. You are your children's greatest example. If you follow a steady, healthy pattern, your children are just as likely to continue this pattern once they are on their own. Just don't forget to make the habit fun! Everyone is far more likely to be eager and accepting of the change if it is fun.
What are Muscle Cramps?Cramps are defined as involuntary, forced, and prolonged contraction of a part of a muscle, a whole muscle, or group of muscles. Compared to spasm, cramps are more forceful and sustained. The usual mechanism of muscles is to alternately contract and relax to facilitate movement. Those muscles that are involved in gross or fine motor movements are mostly voluntary muscles, which means that they move at will. There are instances, however, when these voluntary muscles move involuntarily and instead of contracting and relaxing at short durations, the contraction is prolonged without intervening relaxation states. This is what happens when cramps are experienced. When muscles forcibly contract at a prolonged period, it can be painful and exhausting to any person experiencing it. Moreover, muscle cramps can recur frequently and, therefore, is more difficult to handle or deal with. This situation is especially more troubling among people who are highly preoccupied with their work but are hindered by painful and constant contraction of their muscles. Among those professionals who are prone to experiencing difficulties caused by muscle problems are athletes, construction workers, and office workers who are frequently in a constant seated position for a long time. When muscle problems such as cramps get in the way of their work, it can greatly hinder them and make them unproductive.Other associated conditions usually occurring with muscle cramps are tic, muscle itch, paralysis, paresthesia, and tingling. Some health problems or symptoms that are more commonly known to be associated with muscle cramps but do co-occur with it include regurgitation, dry mouth, disorientation, rapid and loud heart beat or sounds, and pericardial effusion.Muscle cramps can trouble different parts of the body. It can be sometimes found in the neck area while at other times it can be in the ankles. The variation in the location where this problem can be found somehow is indicative of the randomness and undetermined set of causes which had triggered or began the health concern. Among the most common causes of muscle cramps are mentioned in the next section.What causes Muscle Cramps?There are some common conditions or situations that lead individuals to experience muscle cramps. Among those are over-exertion when doing tasks or activities, muscle injury, muscle spasm, electrolyte imbalance, loss of salt, excessive perspiration, and even, exercise. Some viral and bacterial infections may also induce the occurrence of muscle spasm. Other health problems that are also known triggers of this muscle problem include diabetes, circulation anomalies, dermatomyositis, thyroid disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. What are the treatments for Muscle Cramps?The usual medications prescribed by doctors among patients who have trouble with muscle cramps include muscle-relaxant drugs such as cyclobezaprine, carisoprodol (Soma), and skelaxin. However, other options for treatment of muscle cramps involve home remedies such as apple cider vinegar and approaches such as massage, relaxation exercises, and remediation to pressure points. Consumption of food rich in nutrients such as calcium, protein, magnesium, and vitamin C can also help prevent the threats of experiencing muscle cramps.
Anabolic steroids are defined as a group of synthetic derivatives of testosterone that promote muscle and bone growth. Anabolic steroids are androgenic steroids. These are the group of natural and synthetic steroid hormones that helps to promote cell growth and division, resulting in growth of several types of tissues, especially muscle and bone.Anabolic refers to muscle-building, androgenic refers to masculine growth, and Steroids refers to the class of drugs. Thus, androgenic anabolic steroids are man-made substances or drugs associated with the male sex hormones. Androgenic "anabolic steroids" are often referred to as AAS (androgenic anabolic steroids) in the medical terms. There are a number of androgenic anabolic steroids available on the market. Some of androgenic anabolic steroids include Anadrol (oxymetholone), Dianabol (methandrostenolone), Testosterone, Anadur (nandrolone hexylphenylpropionate), Anavar (oxandrolone), Andriol (testosterone undecanoate), AndroGel (testosterone), Cheque Drops (mibolerone), and Danocrine (danozol). Androgenic anabolic steroids have anabolic properties and play great role in anabolism, which is the metabolic process that builds larger molecules from smaller ones. There are varying combinations of androgenic and anabolic properties in different androgenic anabolic steroids. Androgenic anabolic steroids are the drugs that are available legally only by prescription. These steroids are often used in treating conditions that occur due to abnormally low amounts of testosterone production in the body; some of the conditions include delayed puberty and some types of impotence. These steroids are also used treat uncontrolled weight loss in wasting diseases, such as AIDS and other diseases that result in loss of lean muscle mass. Androgenic anabolic steroids are often used by bodybuilders and athletes to enhance their muscle mass, strength, and stamina. Such usage of [*_*] for competitive purposes is legally banned. This abuse of [*_*] may lead to elevated cholesterol levels, liver disease, blood clots leading to heart attack or stroke, increased aggressiveness and irritability, and, in adolescents, permanent stunting of growth. Anabolic steroids were first discovered in the early 1930s. The distribution of [*_*] for nontherapeutic uses was illegalized under a 1988 federal law. Anabolic steroids joined the class of abused drugs as controlled substances in 1991. However, a precursor hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) that can help producing testosterone in the body is available as a dietary supplement without a prescription.