Category: Health

3 Major Differences Between Whey and Soy Protein

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Supplementing your diet with a healthful source of protein has been shown to be beneficial to skeletal and muscular health, especially after exercising. During an intense workout, the body excretes electrolytes and burns the most readily available protein to use as energy. Supplementing with a soy or whey based protein drink is a popular method of consuming more protein. There are major differences between these 2 protein sources of which consumers should be mindful.

Possible Hormonal Influences of Soy

Unlike whey, which is derived from cow’s milk, soy protein is derived directly from the humble soybean. However, soy has been shown to contain substances, called isoflavones, that may mimic the hormonal action of estrogen. It is thought that isoflavones may lower testosterone levels. Increases in estrogen levels may cause:

  • Thyroid issues
  • Low energy
  • Digestive troubles
  • Fertility issues

However, there are many studies that oppose this viewpoint, claiming that the influence of soy upon human estrogen levels is rather innocuous. Therefore, most people can consume soy products without any trouble, but this is one issue of which consumers should be aware.

The Issue of Lactose

Whey is the watery portion of milk that separates from curds during the process of cheese making. Whey is a complete protein and an excellent source of amino acids. Due to its chemical makeup, it has a high degree of bio-availability. This means that the human body can quickly digest and absorb the nutrient profile of whey, making it a great choice after an intense workout for quick refueling.

However, since whey is a dairy product, it is not suitable for people who suffer from a dairy allergy or who are lactose intolerant. People who are vegan also would want to avoid this source of protein, but they can count on soy to provide a complete protein profile. While it may not be as readily digested by the body, soy is still a good protein choice for individuals who need to avoid dairy in their diet.

Weight Loss & Muscle Building

Although soy is a complete source of protein, a 2013 government study found that people who supplement with whey protein build more lean muscle mass and lose weight more effectively than those who choose soy. Although the mechanism by which whey works differently from soy is as of yet unknown, the results draw a clear conclusion that whey is a superior source of fitness nutrition.

Although whey may yield more weight loss benefits, soy is still a healthful and effective fuel for the human body. Despite their differences, both soy and whey can be part of a healthful lifestyle.

5 Reasons Urgent Care Centers are Needed

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Urgent care centers first appeared in the 1970’s when entrepreneurial physicians opened individual clinics to treat patients with acute medical problems not needing emergency care. Since then, they have expanded to a variety of non-hospital medical care services existing today, most notably, the over 9000 urgent care centers that have appeared throughout the country .

The services that urgent care centers offer might be classed as meeting patients’ immediate, non-life-threatening healthcare needs. These would include injuries such as minor burns, sprains and broken burns; illnesses such as asthma and upper respiratory conditions, abdominal pain, ear infections, strep throat and the flu; diagnostic services and lab work; and vaccinations and other routine health needs. It was estimated in 2012 that 13.7 to 27.1 percent of all emergency department visits could be handled at an urgent care center.

The proliferation of urgent care centers in the nation reflects a changing healthcare landscape and significant shifts in client attitudes and expectations. Here are five reasons why urgent care centers are needed:

Convenience

Many urgent care centers are located in places that are easily accessible to residents and are open for longer hours during the day and night and on weekends. It was reported that 70 percent are open by or before 8:00 a.m. and 95 percent open beyond 7:00 p.m.. Some provide services 24/7.

Cost

The cost of urgent care service may match the charges by a primary care physician, but are much lower than emergency department charges. Here are some estimates and comparisons: the national average for an urgent care visit is $155; in 2012, the average charge for acute bronchitis treatment was $122 at an urgent care center and $814 at an emergency room is usually between one-third and one-tenth of emergency care charges .

Immediate Service

Urgent care centers provide walk-in service and the typical wait time is reported to be 30 minutes. This contrasts with a wait of hours at a busy emergency department. To see a primary physician requires an appointment, which may not be available for many days.

Variety of Service

At an urgent care center, one will be provided with a larger variety of service than at a physician’s office, all in one location. Besides emergency care, it’s possible to get blood tests, urine tests, ECGs, digital X rays, vaccination and physical examinations at a time convenient for the patient. X-rays, CT scans, ultrasound and possibly MRIs are available at many centers. Some centers make available the opportunity to see specialists like cardiologists, neurologists and surgeons at that location.

Professional Urgent Care Physicians and Nurse Practitioners

Urgent care medicine was added to the list of certifications by the American Association of Physician Specialties (AAPS) , signifying that this specialty will be added to training of physicians in colleges and universities. Therefore, the future will see more trained specialists available to see the walk-in patients at urgent care centers. This will likely be followed by training of nurse practitioners at schools of nursing .

Many of these centers are now seeking Urgent Care Center Accreditation . This is another sign of the increasing professionalization of these medical providers, and assures a place for the urgent care center in the health care system of the nation.

3 Simple Skin Care Tricks

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Did you know your skin is an organ? It is true! As the body’s largest organ, the skin has the awesome responsibility of keeping us free from damage and disease and helping to regulate our body temperature. It only makes sense that we take care of this vital organ to maintain optimal health. Here are three simple skin care tips to consider in keeping your skin at its best.

1. Protect it from the sun! (Including indoor tanning beds.)

Sunburn is absolutely no fun, but you don’t need to have sunburn in order to have skin damage. The skin can become damaged in as little as 15 minutes in the sun. The Centers for Disease Control offer several tips for sun protection.  Clothing and hats are a first line of defense against the damaging UV rays. Seek shade and avoid going out in the sun during the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are most intense, and don’t forget sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater. Even with sunscreen, you should limit your sun exposure when possible. Artificial sunlight in tanning beds is not a safe alternative, either. In fact, tanning beds can cause more damage to the skin in a shorter amount of time than sun exposure. Stay away from them.

2. Keep Skin Clean and Moisturized

In order to maintain flexibility and health, the skin needs to be free from damage and kept moisturized. Wash with warm water and cleanser every day, being mindful to remove make up if you wear it. Pat dry to avoid causing skin damage by rubbing. Follow up with a moisturizer that meets your skin type. Even oily skin needs moisturizing. You can select from a wide variety of cleansers, moisturizers, and creams, or you can use some home remedies for keeping your skin in tip-top shape.  Did you know coconut oil is good for your skin? So is honey.

3. Take care of it from the inside.

The nicest thing you can do for your skin is nourish it from the inside out. Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated with fresh, clean water. Balanced meals include fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, lean proteins, and a limit on processed and sugary foods whose ingredients are as bad for your skin as they are for the rest of your body. Water will help your skin look and feel fresh and maintain the right balance of moisture and flexibility.

Taking care of your skin does not have to be complicated. Protecting it from the sun, cleaning and moisturizing it, and nourishing it from the inside are all habits you can build into your daily routine.

5 Reasons to see a Doctor on a Regular Basis

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Many people, especially young adults, hardly ever visit their doctor, unless they are sick. Some do not even have a primary care physician. However, there are many benefits to regular doctor visits. Here are five reasons you should consider start considering visiting your doctor more often.

You will build a relationship

One of the best reasons for regular doctor visits is that you will form a relationship with your doctor. You will feel more comfortable with discussing your symptoms, and willing to trust your doctor will provide the right services, diagnosis, or prescriptions. Having someone who knows your health history will help avoid unnecessary procedures or tests when determining if something is wrong.

Save money on healthcare costs

Avoiding tests or procedures that you may not need will help you save money on your healthcare costs. For instance, if you have a strange mole that hasn’t changed over the years, your doctor will know it’s not a cause of concern, whereas a new doctor may want it checked for skin cancer. When you have a doctor who can monitor you regularly, this may help you avoid any trips to the emergency room or urgent care, which generally tend to cost more, even with insurance.

Serious issues may be detected early

This is another great reason to see a doctor regularly. When you see the same doctor a few times a year, they become familiar with issues you currently have. This means they are also able to recognize things that may be new. Early detection is key to beating many illnesses and diseases, such as cancer.

Better referrals for other specialists

When you have a great relationship with your doctor, they are better able to determine the best specialists for you to see, if it’s necessary. They can help you choose the best specialists that will work with your needs and level of participation in your health and treatment.

Better management for any chronic diseases

Having a regular doctor is most important for people who have chronic diseases or other issues that require long-term monitoring. Regular check-ups can help keep symptoms manageable and detect any other issues that may arise. This will help you create the best treatment for your chronic illness.

These are just a few of benefits of having a doctor that you see on a regular basis. While it will take time, it’s important to do this for your health and to avoid any issues that may occur in the future.

Daily Fitness Goals: Small Actions Lead to Big Changes

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The road to health and fitness can be a long and rocky one, with lots of detours and curves. Making behavioral changes of any kind can be incredibly intimidating, but there are steps to incorporate those changes into your life in a way that lasts. The key is to make changes gradually. Doing so will increase the likelihood of turning them into habits that stick. You really can make small actions lead to big changes when it comes to reaching your fitness goals.

Share Your Goals

You don’t have to go it alone when you’re working toward a challenging goal. Let those closest to you know about your efforts. Doing so will keep you accountable, and you’ll gain a cheering section. Having outside support and motivation is helpful toward remaining on track.

Take a Walk

Believe it or not, just going for a short walk can make a big difference in your overall health and your weight. If you’re unable to go for long periods of time, set yourself a short goal of 10 minutes at first. Gradually, work your way up to larger increments of time. Walking for a half hour each day can truly have a significant impact on your fitness goals. You’ll notice your endurance improve, while your body becomes more toned and pounds are shed.

Get a New Water Bottle

You need to stay hydrated when exercising, and adding regular water intake to your daily routine is good for your health in general. It can also help you to feel full so that you don’t overeat. As simple as it sounds, drinking more water can be a real challenge for some people. One way to make it a bit easier is to get a new water bottle with a look that is appealing to you. Perhaps a bright color will entice you to take a swig more often. It has been proven that we are more likely to choose something that is convenient, so be sure to keep that bottle with you throughout the day. This same premise goes for healthy snacks. By keeping fruit, almonds or veggie slices on hand to munch on, you’ll be less likely to splurge when you find you’re suddenly starving.

Add Music to Your Workout

Whether you’re taking a walk outside or at the gym, listening to music can be a great motivator. Upbeat tunes lead to improved mood and energy. They may even be able to help to push you onward a bit when you feel like slowing down. If you already have a regular playlist as part of your exercise regimen, switch it up and add new tunes to shake up your routine a bit.

These are some small and easy steps to take that can really have an impact on your fitness goals. Don’t forget to incorporate some healthy eating goals, as well. You can do this!

Elder Care: Help Keep Their Independence

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If you are caring for an elderly loved one, it is important for you to show patience and kindness of them as your loved one’s mobility diminishes. It can be easy for you to become impatient and take over your loved one’s responsibilities.

However, it is best that your elderly loved one remain independent as long as possible. Here are a few suggestions that can help you encourage your elderly loved one to be independent.

Promote Exercise and an Active Lifestyle
Movement is a necessity of life. It keeps the heart pumping, and it increases the endorphins in the brain. Your loved one should keep an active lifestyle.

When you visit your loved one, encourage your elder to take walks around the yard, block or park. You could purchase an exercise DVD that can be used in the home.

Encourage your loved one to go shopping, take trips or complete crossword puzzles. Keeping an active lifestyle will improve your loved one’s self-esteem.

Encourage Socialization
Your elderly loved one needs to socialize and interact with peers. Elderly people who isolate themselves become depressed.

Encourage your loved one to call friends on the telephone. You could also schedule social events for your loved one’s companions. Maintaining relationships with friends will enable your loved one to be independent.

Empower Them to Make Decisions
Your loved one’s mind may be slowing down, but it does not mean that your elder is not able to make choice. Making decisions will provide your loved one with mental stimulation.

Encourage Independent Living
It might be more convenient for your loved one to live with you. However, encourage your elder to live alone for as long as possible. Moving to another home may cause your loved one to feel as if life is slipping away.

If it is not possible for your loved one to live independently, be considerate as you discuss this matter with your elder. Create a space in your home or elder care facility that enables your loved one to have a sense of control.

One way you could do this is by allowing your loved one to decorate the space. Allow your elder to have privacy in the new space.

Use At-Home Delivery Services
Elders who have difficulty driving do not have to miss out on getting their essential items. There are plenty of services that will deliver food, medical supplies and personal care items to their homes. These services enable elders to get their needs met without having to ask for help.

Elderly loved ones do not have to abandon their independence. There are plenty of things to help them lead independent lives.

All About the World of Vascular Surgery

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Vascular surgery is a type of surgery that aims to treat vascular diseases such as medical conditions that pertain to the lymphatic system and blood vessels. Vascular surgery is regularly used in the treatment of conditions such as carotid artery stenosis, aneurysms, issues with the arteries of the legs or the arms and varicose veins. Some people even receive vascular surgery for assistance with claudication. Claudication is a health condition that is characterized by troubles walking. When people have this condition, they frequently limp. Physical activity often causes people who have this condition to experience severe cramping, generally due to arterial blockage.

The world of vascular surgery is a vast one. Many surgeons specialize exclusively in vascular surgery and as a result are commonly referred to simply as “vascular surgeons.” Doctors who are employed in vascular surgery departments at hospitals typically are extremely well-versed in the subject of endovascular therapy, as well.

If an individual has a vascular disease, then he has an ailment that involves his circulatory system. The circulatory system is made up of a blood vessel network. When a heart beats, it efficiently pumps blood via this elaborate network. Blood vessels are responsible for transporting blood to all areas of the body. Veins are in charge of bringing blood back over to hearts. Arteries, on the other hand, are in charge of taking blood away from them in the first place.

Peripheral artery disease is a specific medical condition that sometimes requires vascular surgery. This disorder happens when plaque accumulates inside of the legs’ arteries. Many people who are suffering from this disease are completely unaware that something is wrong. This is because symptoms of peripheral artery disease tend to be rather subtle. Some people who have this disease don’t experience any signs of it at all.
Peripheral artery disease with time leads to obstructions that get more and more intense. This often leads to severe pain and problems with walking.

All forms of surgery come with the potential for side effects and risks, and vascular disease is certainly no exception to that rule. Surgeons generally inform their patients of all of the possible risks that could occur due to vascular surgery prior to performing the procedures. When incisions are necessary in surgery, for example, infection can always happen. Surgery that relates to the major blood vessels can often bring on increased chances of complications. Examples of possible complications that are sometimes linked with vascular surgery include bleeding, leg swelling, graft obstruction, graft failure, stroke and heart attack. If a patient is more than 65 years in age, he may be particularly susceptible to brain impairment post-vascular surgery, as well. Note that leg swelling is a possible side effect only in cases where leg veins were involved.