Showing posts from November, 2017

7 Surprising Things That Make Your Hands & Feet Fall Asleep

There’s nothing more annoying than when your hand, foot or (insert other appendage) starts tingling and eventually goes numb—you know the feeling. And what’s even worse—the pins and needles you feel as you try desperately to revive circulation and blood flow. This familiar feeling, often referred to as a body part falling asleep, is actually just a result of pressure or compression. In medical terms, you’re experiencing paresthesia. Thankfully, though, this condition usually only lasts for a matter of seconds or minutes. But what happens when no amount of shaking or wiggling can get the pins and needles to stop? Tingling sensations in the hands and feet for extended periods of time may be a symptom of an underlying condition. Here are some of the most common culprits: You have a pinched nerve in your neck or back. Often times, a painful, tingling sensation that extends from your neck or back into your feet may be a sign of a pinched nerve. While this is typically the result of an injury…

Your Hormones On Winter Weather

By: Sheila Warren, RN, GMC's Health Navigator

If winter leaves you feeling lethargic, irritable or just blah, there may be good reason. You may be surprised to learn that winter can affect your thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones, which is enough to make anyone feel like they have a case of the winter blues. In fact, everything from your mood and weight to digestion and sex drive are all impacted by your hormone levels.
So why does winter have such a big impact on our hormones?
Well the truth is there can be a number of factors that can cause a change hormone levels. Overall, though, winter weather may be to blame when it comes to seasonal hormone changes. For instance, it is believed that the cold temperatures may cause the pituitary gland to produce more thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Similarly, the lack of daylight during the winter months is largely responsible for a decrease in sex drive and adrenal hormones.
Thyroid Trouble
With winter comes cooler temperatures, and in an ef…

5 Tips To Maximize Your Black Friday Shopping

It seems like all the Black Friday hype happens earlier and earlier each year. With all the amazing deals, how can you not participate—right? Whether you’re a purist who begins early Friday morning, or a door-buster rushing out just as soon as you stuff the leftover turkey in the fridge, there are steps you can take to ensure that you make the most out of one of the busiest shopping days of the year:
   1. Dress for the occasion
While fashionable footwear is a must on any other day, leave the sandals and heels at home this Black Friday. Foot pain is one of the most commonly reported injuries on the infamous day following Thanksgiving. People who wore supportive footwear, like sneakers or flats, were much less likely to suffer foot injuries.
It’s also smart to dress in layers as temperatures can fluctuate dramatically between stores depending on crowd sizes.     
   2. Be prepared
Whether we’re talking about finances or boredom prevention, it’s best to come prepared. Over spending is one o…

Traveling For Turkey Day? 5 Tips To Avoid Consipation

When it comes to Thanksgiving, most of us have a one-track mind. Whether you’re daydreaming about tasty turkey or mouthwatering mashed potatoes, the primary objective of this special day—gobble till you wobble. Of course, spending quality time with friends and family and giving thanks is important, too.
And while many of us spend hours thinking about what we plan to eat on Thanksgiving, few of us consider what happens afterwards: nothing. That’s right—we’re talking about constipation. On its own, festive food can make just about anyone irregular, but when coupled with traveling, it’s a doozy for your digestive tract.
Here are 5 simple ways to avoid constipation while traveling. If you don’t, traffic may not be the only thing that’s backed up this Thanksgiving.
1. Snack right. While it may be tempting to blame your tummy troubles on turkey day treats, it’s likely a result of all the other snacks you’ve been enjoying. Whether it’s fast food on the road, all those pretzels on the plane or…

5 Processed-Food Alternatives You Need In Your Life

After a long day at work, nothing sounds better than heading home for a night of pure relaxation. Unfortunately, though, most of us don’t have that luxury. Heading home means exchanging busy work tasks with home chores. Cleaning the house, doing the laundry, taking care of the kids and who can forget dinner?
And while something homemade and delicious is the dinner ideal, that just isn’t always possible. Your mind then shifts from healthy and balanced to cheap and easy. So, what options does that leave you with? Something heavily processed. That’s right; we’re talking about your weeknight favorites of frozen pizza and pre-made sides.
It’s time to put down the processed food, though, and try picking up these healthy alternatives instead—your body and health will thank you for it.
The first foods to avoid are processed meats, like hot dogs and deli cold cuts (salami and bologna). Even those labeled low calorie are likely to have questionable preservatives, such as salts and nitrates. On to…

5 Lung Cancer Symptoms Non-Smokers Shouldn't Ignore

November is Lung Cancer Awareness month and while it’s easy to believe that only smokers need to worry about lung cancer, this isn’t the case. In fact, nearly 1 in 5 Americans who die from lung cancer have never smoked a day in their life. Pollution and secondhand smoke to asbestos and radon exposure can cause non-smokers to develop lung cancer.

So, whether you have a history of smoking or not, there are certain warning signs that you should watch for. While some of these symptoms aren’t unique to only lung cancer, if you notice one or more affecting you, it may be time to see an expert.

1. Lingering cough

Most people who have lung cancer experience a persistent cough, regardless of their smoking history. If you are occasionally coughing up blood or thick, rust-colored mucus, or if your cough has lingered for over a month, these may be warning signs.

2. Chronic infections

Recurring bronchitis or other lung infections could be a sign of cancer. While occasional illness is normal an…

Can Your Blood Sugar Fluctuate If You Don't Have Diabetes?

If you don’t have diabetes, you don’t need to worry about your blood sugar levels—right? Wrong. While it’s true that your blood sugar levels, or the amount of sugar in your blood, naturally fluctuate throughout the day, there are times when it could be something more than the typical changes.

Normally, your blood sugar will rise after eating and will fall while you’re sleeping, but some may experience more extreme fluctuations known as hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.
Here are some important things you need to know about these common conditions:
Hypoglycemia is a condition that occurs when blood sugar levels are too low. There are actually two different types of hypoglycemia – reactive and nonreactive.
Reactive hypoglycemia occurs within a few hours of eating a meal. This is when the body is producing too much insulin, which breaks down sugar in the body to turn it into energy.  Reactive hypoglycemia may be a warning sign that you are at risk of developing diabetes.
On the othe…

Ever Wonder Why Your Cold Symptoms Are Worse At Night?

Let’s face it—the common cold isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. After all, how do you think it got its name? It’s really common (approximately 1 billion colds each year). While it may be a nuisance, the symptoms are often bearable and treatable. Once you’re armed with tissues, cough drops and vitamin C, you can manage to tough it out at work, right? But trying to get a full night’s sleep with a cold? Now that’s another story. We’ve all been there. Restless nights, filled with tossing and turning as you desperately try to get comfortable, can be miserable. A harmless stuffy nose doesn’t seem so minor when it’s keeping you up night after night. So, why is it that nighttime is especially tough when you have a cold? Here are a few explanations: Gravity. That’s right—the force that keeps you firmly planted to the earth is one of the primary reasons you’re coughing more at night. When you’re lying horizontal, mucus begins to pool in the back of the throat and lungs. Try propping yourself up …

Is Your Lip Balm Habit Drying Out Your Lips?

There’s no doubt about it—dry, chapped lips are one of the worst parts of the winter season. Not only are they annoying and at times painful; they can also make you feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. Heck, just by reading this article you may suddenly feel the urge to reach for your lip balm. But before you do, there are a few things you should know.
Ensuring lip health isn’t quite as simple as just layering on your favorite balm at the first sign of dryness—although it’d be nice if that’s all it took. This is because your lips are very complex and very sensitive—they’re actually 100 times more sensitive than your fingertips. And because they have no oil glands to keep them hydrated and protected from the elements, they’re dependent on you—and your habits—to keep them healthy.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the unexpected ways you may be drying out your lips.
Your favorite lip balm isn’t actually hydrating. While that new lip balm may smell delicious and promise to leave yo…

8 Expert-Approved Running Tips

When it comes to running, people tend to fall into one of two categories: either they love it or hate it. Even those who enjoy it tend to have a love-hate relationship with running. It’s one of those exercises that you may hate doing, but love the way it makes you feel.
So, despite all the health perks it offers, like improving good cholesterol, supporting weight loss and bone health, as well as balance and coordination, what is it about running that makes it so hard to love?
Well—it’s complicated. Unfortunately, many people fall into the trap of thinking it’s as simple as just lacing up your shoes and hitting the pavement. But there’s a lot more that goes into it. Everything from the foods you eat and the clothes you wear to the amount of sleep you get impacts your running experience.
So, whether you’re a seasoned runner or a first-timer, Becky Thompson, PT, avid runner and running specialist with GMC’s Sports Medicine program, shares her personal practices.
Here are Becky’s Running Ess…