How To Stay Healthy All Year Round

Creating a perfect balance between the mind and the body is a key element that allows people to live a healthy life. To live a healthy life, people need to become aware of the fact that even small factors can take a toll on their overall health. One of the most dangerous factors that cause people to suffer from different illnesses these days is stress. Often people don’t even realize how big of an impact can stress have on their bodies. Once you analyze your life and come to the conclusion that you spend a big part of it under stress, you need to start making changes.

Your diet can also affect the way your body feels. Although this is quite a logical aspect, a lot more people need to realize that in order to consolidate their immune system they need to have a decent intake of vitamins and minerals. Last but not least, drinking enough water is a major key element for a healthy, balanced life.

Get Proper Rest

It is getting much harder to stay feeling good and healthy these days, considering the big amount of stress and pollution people need to face each day. However, there are a few simple things that everyone can do to get their life back on track. For example: getting proper rest each night. Good sleep is an essential for a balanced mind and body. Sleep helps your body to recharge itself and consolidate your immune system. Furthermore, sleep helps you fight anxiety and depression. Everyone should aim to sleep around 7-8 hours a day. When you get enough sleep, you look better, and you feel even better.

Lack of sleep can take a serious toll on people’s daytime energy, productivity, and even weight. Making simple changes to your life can have a great impact on the quality of your sleep. Create a sleeping pattern, stay away from bright screens an hour or two before you sleep, exercise regularly and clear your head.

Eat Nutritious and Healthy Food

Even though this is common sense, it is important to emphasize the fact that a healthy body needs proper nutrition. Eating healthily is another major part that ensures a perfect harmony and balance. Not eating enough of the right food could lead to certain diseases, weight problems, emotional problems and even sleep problems. Everyone knows the saying: “you are what you eat”. People who want to feel good in their body, look better and have a natural glow should aim to eat proper food. Your skin will start looking fresher, and you’ll get a natural glow to your body. Eating healthy requires a bit of effort, but it’s not impossible.

Willing to make a change related to the food you eat will be beneficial for you in the long term. There are a few simple tips that everyone can incorporate into their life. You could start by reading labels before you buy certain products, eating foods that you can grow and are not processed, drinking more water and keeping healthy snacks handy.

Make Changes in Your Life

When it comes to a healthy body, you have to make important changes and stick to them for the rest of your life. As already mentioned before, changing your diet might take some time to get used to, but once you do it, you’ll be able to enjoy the results in no time. Some other equally important changes that people can make so that they can feel better include being more active, giving up certain addictions and staying away from stress and negative people.

There are so many ways of keeping active. If you’re not into going to the gym each day, then you could consider walking. Walking each day allows you to stay young and healthy. However, quitting dangerous and damaging habits can take time. The variety of treatment centers in Washington can help you out. They provide different treatment programs and individualized recovery options no matter the type of substance use. People who wish to quit their addictions once and for all are advised to seek professional help.

Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated regardless of the season is an essential aspect of a healthy mind and body. If you wish to keep colds and illnesses away from you, it is good to remember to drink fluids each day. Many people consider that they don’t have to drink a lot of water if they eat plenty of fruit and drink teas. Even though it is possible to stay hydrated with the help of beverages people drink in a day, it has been proven that water is the most effective in this case. Drinking water helps your brain to function properly. Studies show that even mild dehydration can have an impact on your brain.

Water is a primordial substance that improves mood and concentration and helps reduce the frequency of headaches. Some specialists advise people to drink water half an hour before each meal. Besides that, water can help people lose weight and even eliminate kidney stones.

Smile Each Day

Surrounding yourself with positive people can have a great impact on your overall mind and even health. Everyone knows that it is good to live a happy and positive life, but not many people are trying enough to make it happen. One of the best ways of recovering from a bad day is laughter. Of course, taking the time to meditate and think about certain aspects has its role, but laughter can instantly lift the spirits and change a person’s mood and perspective on life.

Laughter can improve your health, strengthen your immune system, diminish pain and reduce the damaging effects of stress. By seeking out different ways of living a happy life, people can improve their emotional health, strengthen their relationships and even add a few years to their life. Nothing works more effectively to bring balance to your emotional life than a good laugh. Humor connects people and keeps them focused and alert. It also allows them to be more forgiving and release anger.

Hepatitis C: An infectious liver disease that you should be aware of

Hepatitis C, a liver disease caused by a virus, is one of the most common and deadly infectious diseases worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that there are 71 million people suffering from chronic hepatitis C infection in the world and 399,000 of them die from the disease and its complications annually. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to protect people from the disease at present. Understanding how the disease spreads and how to prevent yourself from getting infected is important.

Transmission

The pathogen that triggers hepatitis C is the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The genome of HCV is a single-stranded RNA. Like other RNA viruses, HCV mutates rapidly and there are many different strains circulating in the world. This increases the difficulty of the detection, treatment, and prevention of HCV infection. HCV is a blood-borne virus, meaning that it can be spread through contamination by blood and other body fluids. The exposures associated with transmission of HCV include:

  1. The use of injectable drugs like heroin
  2. Blood transfusion or receipt of blood products
  3. Organ transplantation
  4. Injuries by medical equipment that has not been fully sterilized, such as needles
  5. Birth to an infected mother
  6. Having unsafe sex with an infected person
  7. Sharing personal items like razor

Of these, the use of injectable drugs may be the primary mode of transmission of HCV. In some regions, more than 80% of HCV-infected people get the infection through unsafe injecting drug use. The reason is that many intravenous drug users share needles. In the past, HCV infection was strongly associated with blood transfusion. Now, thanks to blood donor screening, HCV is rarely transmitted by blood transfusion or organ transplantation.

Symptom

Many people with HCV infection do not know that they are infected because they do not experience any symptoms after exposure to the virus. Only 15% of HV-infected people exhibit acute symptoms. When symptoms occur, they may include loss of appetite, fever, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, muscle pain, joint pain, and jaundice. The severity of these symptoms is usually mild but can be severe in some cases. Many of the initial symptoms of HCV infection are also seen in other diseases. For instance, jaundice, a condition characterized by the yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes, can also be triggered by tumors, narrowing of a bile duct, malaria, and other diseases. For these reasons, many people with HCV infection go undiagnosed.

HCV infection may remain ‘silent’ for as many as 20-30 years. These infected people do not exhibit obvious symptoms but the virus is actually causing damage to their livers and other organs. Left untreated, HCV infection may progress to more severe medical conditions, such as cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure. At that time, treatment will be much more difficult. Every year, nearly 399,000 die of hepatitis C, mainly as a result of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Diagnosis

  1. HCV antibody test

When the body is infected with HCV, the body’s immune system produces antibodies to fight the virus. Detecting the presence of these antibodies helps determine whether a person is infected with HCV or not. The HCV antibody test is a simple blood test and is usually the first test done when a doctor suspects a patient has hepatitis C. A positive result means that the person has had an HCV infection at some time.

  1. HCV RNA test

The HCV RNA test uses PCR to detect HCV RNA in blood samples. This method can be used to measure the number of HCV in the blood and monitor patients’ response to anti-viral therapies. But false-positive and false-negative results are possible.

  1. Liver function test

HCV mainly affects the liver. There are some useful biomarkers of liver damage, such as ALT, AST, ALP, and GGT. The liver function test is a blood test that measures the levels of these biomarkers in the blood. It helps doctors evaluate the state of a patient’s liver. If an individual has abnormal levels of these biomarkers and also has HCV antibodies, there is a great chance that he or she has HCV infection.

Treatment

Not all people exposed to HCV develop hepatitis C. According to estimates, 15-25% of HCV-infected people clear the virus from their bodies in the absence of treatment. However, the majority of people exposed to the virus develop a chronic infection, which may cause liver scarring and other severe complications. Immediate and appropriate treatment is very important.

The treatment of HCV infection depends on liver’s state, HCV strains, and other factors. At present, antiviral medications are the most common treatment for people infected with HCV. These antiviral medications are good at ridding the body of the virus and they have mild or no side effects. Here are some examples of these antiviral medications: daclatasvir, elbasvir/grazoprevir, and ledipasvir. Treatment with these antiviral medications can cure up to 95% of chronic HCV infection.

The problem is that many people don’t know they are infected or don’t have warning symptoms. These people don’t seek medical cure until the disease is advanced. If the liver damage is very serious, a liver transplant may be required.

Prevention

In many countries, children are recommended to get vaccines for hepatitis A and B. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. It has been about three decades since HCV was first identified. Scientists have made a lot of efforts to understand the biology of HCV infection. Treatment of hepatitis C has vastly improved over the years. But the development of HCV vaccines is hindered by a lack of appropriate animal models and the high mutation rates of HCV.

There are some tips to help you reduce the risk of getting HCV infection:

  1. Stay away from drugs
  2. Use a condom when having sex
  3. Wear gloves when touching other people’s blood
  4. Don’t share personal items like toothbrush, razor, or nail clipper
  5. Don’t share tattoo needles

Author Bio

Caroline Liu is an author, focused on topics like infectious diseases and life sciences, and works at Cusabio, a biotech company that offers proteins, antibodies, and ELISA kits as well as protein expression services.

Tips to Stay Healthy During Flu Season

It is a relatively dreaded occurrence during certain times of the year; it is inevitable that at certain times, you will be exposed to the cold and the flu. Whether it be coworkers or your kids classmates, or simply the general public: you will run into sick people this year.

Although you cannot totally prevent yourself from being exposed the flu, can do certain things to not only prevent it, but also to increase your probability of staying healthy during the worst of strains.

Take these tips to heart during flu season for your best chances at staying healthy this year:

1. Wash your hands all of the time

Note a fan of washing your hands or staying clean in general? Well then, change your habits, because germs are spread like wildfire through various surfaces, food, and through hand to hand contact extremely frequently. Any time you have come in contact with a public place, touched an item in a public area (including handling money), or shaken someone’s hand, it is imperative that you wash your hands to minimize exposure to the flu germs.

2. Get your sleep each and every night

It is seriously important that you hit the snooze more and more each night: your body needs time to repair from mental and physical exhaustion and also to prepare itself for defending against the flu. The longer you sleep, the more your body has time to build up the antibodies and white blood cell counts required to fight the flu and keep you healthy all year this year. Snooze on!

3. Keep track of how you feel

It is extremely important and often overlooked to listen to your body and let it tell you what to do based on how it feels. You should take care to monitor fever related to serious conditions as well as signs of the flu so that you can rest at the onset of any incoming negative feelings. Feeling burned out and susceptible to illness? Get more sleep and rest tonight to make sure your body can fight the flu and carry on with every day life tomorrow morning!

4. Exercise at a regular interval

If you are already a health and fitness nut, you may already be aware of the importance of exercising at a regular interval or frequency. Exercising gets the blood flowing and allows the body to use circulation to deliver nutrients in the bloodstream. Nutrient delivery allows for quicker access for antibodies to tissues and also allows the nutrients you put into your body diet to get everywhere they need to go to keep you healthy and flu-free for the season.

Summary

I hope these tips have helped you out in regard to staying healthy and away from the flu this season. If you are in public places like work, school, or airports this year, you will have to take extra care to avoid any germs related to the flu.

Protect yourself and protect your family (by not bringing illness home) by washing your hands, getting the right amount of sleep, tracking how you feel, and by exercising regularly to keep the flu at bay and at the doorstep: your body and your family will thank you for it!

Agree or disagree with some of my tips for avoiding the flu? Comment below and we can discuss right away what the best practices are for keeping you flu-free this year! 🙂