CBT and Chronic Pain

CBT and Chronic Pain

Maybe it's the opioid crisis, or this generation's general inclination towards living better through psychological counseling, but cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has become a frequently used intervention for people with chronic pain.

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Tall Men May Be More At Risk for Aggressive Prostate Cancer

In a new study published online in the journal BMC Medicine, researchers found that the larger a man is in height, the more increased risk of aggressive prostate cancer

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The study specifically found that with every additional 4 inches of height with a 21% increase in being diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer and 17% increased risk of dying from aggressive prostate cancer.

There hasn’t been much research on this particular correlation in relation to prostate cancer, so it’s important we pay attention to additional and follow-up studies in relation to the topic. But this is a call-to-action to men who are genetically taller to take additional precautions even at an earlier age by be proactive with their doctor.

Men, ask your doctor to take your PSA, and take it often. The key to understand your levels of prostate-specific antigen (which is what the PSA blood test measures) is evaluating it over a period of time - the trend matters!

In this recent study, doctors and researchers from the University of Oxford based their results off of over 140,000 men in 8 different countries across Europe. The study evaluated the correlation between cancer and nutrition.

7,024 men developed prostate cancer during an average of 14 years of follow-up including 726 diagnosed with high-grade cancer and 1,388 with advanced-stage cancer. Of these, 934 died from their cancer.

The study also noted that height and weight had an impact on a man’s risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. With the addition of each 4 inches on a man’s waist was associated with a 13% increased risk to develop high-grade prostate cancer and death.

Top tips for swimmer's ear

Top tips for swimmer's ear

To beat the heat, there’s no better way to cool off than taking a dip or dive into a pool or the ocean.  But beware.  That refreshing swim may seem innocent enough but if some water stays in the ear, an annoying infection can get started known as swimmer’s ear.

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Making the most of your brain’s memory

Making the most of your brain’s memory

How many of us have just been introduced to someone for the first time but can’t recall their name 10 minutes later?  Or come home from work, place your car keys down, and then don’t recall where you put them?  

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Lifestyles of the Super Healthy

Lifestyles of the Super Healthy

So you eat right, you're getting enough exercise, you're in better shape than you were a year ago, and certainly better off than that poor slob in Marketing. But still, you know you're missing something –  that healthy, confident glow that separates the healthy man from the Ultra-Healthy Man.

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Protect yourself from pool parasites

Protect yourself from pool parasites

We often assume public pools are kept clean and abide by strict standards but according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 2011-2012, there were 90 outbreaks causing 1,788 illnesses and one death from outbreaks of illnesses from pools and hot tubs.

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7 ways to decrease digestive discomfort

We have to eat in order to live but when digestive issues arise such as bloating, constipation, gas, and pain, what normally should be a pleasurable occurrence can take a turn for the worse in a stressed-out stomach looking for relief.

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A study from the Technical University of Denmark found that what is referred to as transit time or basically the faster our food can move from the time we eat it to the time of what’s left of it when it leaves our body, the better for our gut health.  The longer food stays in our digestive tract, the more harmful bacteria degradation products are produced.  A shorter transit time means a healthier digestive system helping us feel better. 

Our digestive health is a basic fundamental of keeping us healthy and feeling good each day.  Having a persnickety turbulent tummy can ruin the best of days for us.  By knowing certain tricks to eliminate or at least greatly reduce symptoms, you can avoid tummy troubles and begin to improve digestion today.

1.     Eliminate too much sugar and fat

Too many calories from sugary, fatty or fried foods are hard to digest.  They can irritate your stomach by slowing down the process of digestion creating a very full, uncomfortable feeling.  Excess sugar makes your blood sugar skyrocket setting up an unhealthy duo of too much sugar in the bloodstream and too much insulin being pumped by the pancreas to compensate for the situation.  The excess insulin means extra storage of calories contributing to weight gain. 

The solution? Choose more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds and choose meats lower in fat such as fish, poultry, lean beef and pork.  Replace butter and margarine with olive oil.

2.     Fill up with water

In order to digest food water is necessary.  Good digestive health will not happen without adequate water intake.  Water helps speed transit time of food through the digestive tract and prevents constipation by creating a softer, bulkier stool.  Aim for 9-13 cups of fluid each day or until your urine looks clear.

3.    Move more

We all see what exercise can do for how we look on the outside but keeping active also does wonders for us on the inside.  Physical activity is vital for good digestive health. It stimulates blood flow to all organs including the gastrointestinal tract while stimulating and toning muscles within the stomach and intestines keeping contents moving quickly.  Aim for at least 30 minutes each day but avoid strenuous workouts right after eating.

4.     Include probiotics

Our gut needs to be feed healthy food but it also requires live microorganisms for the good bacteria to nibble on.  The best source of this is supporting our immune system and achieving a digestive tract in tip top shape.   Best food sources containing probiotics are yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, miso soup, soft cheeses like gouda, sour pickles, tempeh, or acidophilus milk.

5.     Slow down when eating

Our digestive system doesn’t like to be rushed so that means slow down when eating.  Taking time to eat gives the stomach ample opportunity to properly digest and absorb the nutrients within food and allows your body and brain to give you the signal when you’ve had enough.  Turn off the TV and resist looking at your computer or smartphone while eating – distracted people will eat significantly more food than when they put the focus just on eating. 

6.     Eat more fiber

For a substance that really doesn’t get absorbed in our body, we depend on it a lot to keep our digestive tract purring like a kitten.  Fiber comes in two types – soluble and insoluble.  Soluble fiber dissolves in water helping slow down digestion and absorption making you feel fuller longer.  It also slows down the amount of glucose entering into the bloodstream keeping blood sugar levels at a more even level.  Insoluble fiber passes through unabsorbed but it attracts water to it in the colon creating a softer, bulkier, easier-to-pass bowel movement, reducing constipation and pain. 

7.     Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight

A healthy body weight is associated with less symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).   This condition allows contents from the stomach to backflow into the esophagus due to a weak valve that doesn’t close completely between the stomach and esophagus.  The strong stomach acid backs up into the esophagus causing unpleasant symptoms of pain, burning and irritation of the lining of the unprotected esophagus.  Losing excess weight reduces the pressure and can help avoid heartburn and other discomfort. 

Learn how to achieve a healthy body weight by visiting here. 

How to choose and use the best sunscreen

How to choose and use the best sunscreen

Choosing a sunscreen right for you is the first step in protecting your skin.  The second step is now to use it correctly for it to be effective and to use it every day throughout the year.  Here’s how:

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Best tips to safely celebrate July 4th

Best tips to safely celebrate July 4th

Everyone loves picnics and so do uninvited bacteria.  They love high-protein, moist foods such as meats, cheese, dairy and those yummy salads like potato salad, pasta salad, and macaroni salad.  To ensure everyone goes home from the picnic happy and without a foodborne illness, do the following:

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Surprising energy zappers making you feel tired

Surprising energy zappers making you feel tired

If sleep issues, depression or any other health concerns have been found to be negative and you are still drained of energy, then you need to consider other factors causing you to lose your vim and vigor.

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Choose Meaning Over Happiness

Don’t you ever find yourself having an existential crisis? Why are we here? What is our purpose? Should I feel good or happy in this moment? Our brain is setup to make us feel scared at sometimes the best moments of our lives. But is it really worth our while to focus all of our energy on happiness? Can we really be happy all the time?

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There may be another approach to viewing this concept is choosing meaning over happiness. Searching and finding your purpose and understanding why you’re here and why you’ve gone through what you’ve gone through can be a powerful mental healing exercise with a long-term benefit.

Sometimes we feel such an intense desire to chase happiness and the feeling of bliss but this path could be making us chase the wrong thing.

What makes life truly worth living is meaning. This should be the foundation of everything we do, no matter how small or big. This blissful feeling we’re talking about can slip away so fast.

Mental health tips to avoid losing sight of your meaning:

  1. Value who you are right now and treat yourself with respect

  2. Take care of your body physically to continue through with your feeling of purpose

  3. Surround yourself with positive people

  4. Give yourself a treat or gift everyday, small or big!

  5. Quiet your mind to de-stress

  6. Break up your routine

  7. Set realistic goals

Sugary Drinks: How Much is Enough?

It has become common knowledge that too much sugar is correlated to Type II Diabetes, heart disease and tooth decay. The bigger problem behind sugar is why it starts. And why it starts is because we become addicted to it. When it comes to the example we set for our kids, sugar intake is probably the most critical food habit we can pass down to them.

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Two-thirds of children have at least 1 sports drink, soda or fruit juice on a given day as noted in a recent study from the Centers for the Disease Control & Prevention. It has been reported by the journal Pediatrics that a quarter of U.S. children between the ages of 12-19 have either Type II Diabetes or pre-diabetes.

This disease can directly lead to heart attack, stroke and eventual blindness.

The American Diabetes Association recommends tips for those with childhood diabetes to manage the disease:

  1. Choosing healthy foods

  2. Exercising daily

  3. Taking medications and checking blood glucose as doctors advise

  4. Only allow them one sugary drink per week as a treat

  5. Other options that can replace this craving is fruit-infused water - even try lemon or ginger!