How to Choose the Right Doctor

Whether you are currently unhappy with your doctor or you have other reasons for finding a new physician, there are a few things that you should consider when selecting a new doctor. Many people dread the process of finding a new doctor simply because you never know whether or not you will like a doctor until you visit him or her. If you are looking to replace your current doctor, there are things that you should keep in mind when choosing.

First, make sure that you choose a doctor who has a bit of experience in your specific medical issues. If you do not have medical conditions at the moment, then you may just want someone who offers expertise as a general physician. If however you have certain health concerns like diabetes, heart disease or others, you want to be sure that the doctor you choose has experience in helping patients with these conditions. Depending on your area and the number of physicians that are available, you may want to spend a bit of time online researching your options and finding out more about the doctors in your region.

Location is something else to consider. While you certainly want to ensure that you get a quality healthcare provider, you also want to know that visiting this doctor is going to be relatively convenient. It makes no sense to have to spend four or five hours driving to your doctor’s office just to get medication for the common cold. Think about the doctors that are located in your general area and spend a bit of time researching them as opposed to those who are not conveniently located.

Research is key in finding the right physician for your healthcare needs. You may want to ask friends and family members for a referral. If you know others who all go to the same doctor, ask them why they chose this doctor and why they prefer him or her. Referrals are an excellent way to find out more about a specific doctor and whether or not this is the right person for you.

Call the doctor’s offices that you are considering and find out things like how long it typically takes to get an appointment and how long patients normally wait in the waiting room prior to being called into the examination rooms. Waiting for hours at a time is not acceptable so if you find that a specific doctor has a terribly lengthy waiting time, you may want to skip over this one and find someone else with the same credentials and a shorter time in the waiting room.

Finally, you may need to find out what doctors in your area accept your specific health insurance. Some offices take only a handful of certain insurance patients each year. For instance, if you are on some form of Medicaid you may find that many offices will not accept new patients with this insurance. You will need to call the various offices in your area and learn which ones do accept your insurance before you make your first appointment.

How You Can Prevent a Heart Attack

Even if you are at a high risk for heart attack, there are certain things that you can do to lower your chances of developing heart issues. Following a healthy lifestyle is essential and this involves a number of things. In order to keep yourself healthy and lower your risk for facing heart issues in the future, you should learn healthy living techniques and things that you need to avoid.

Smoking is the number one cause of heart disease. Those who smoke should plan to stop. If you do not currently smoke you should avoid starting. The chemicals that are found in tobacco can seriously damage your heart and the blood vessels leading to your heart. Smoking in general is not healthy and if you are addicted to cigarettes, it may be time to speak with your doctor about an effective method to help you to stop. Those who stop smoking can repair damage that is already done to their hearts in about a year or so.

Getting adequate exercise is essential in keeping your entire body healthy. Most doctors recommend getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day for at least three or four days each week. If you are overweight, this will help you to get down to a healthier weight and to maintain that weight. In general, exercise keeps your heart healthy by keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels where they should be. Exercise does not have to be difficult in order to be effective. If you enjoy gardening, doing this just a couple of days each week can be very effective. You do not have to engage in strenuous exercise in order to see the benefits that exercise offers. You simply have to spend a bit of time moving in some form or fashion.

Eating healthy is another way that you can ensure your heart remains healthy. Eating too much fat is essentially asking for heart trouble. If you tend to eat fried foods, reduce your intake of these foods to no more than once each week. There are a number of healthy foods that you can prepare that will be just as tasty as fried foods and will be much healthier for your heart. Spend some time learning new ways of preparing your favorite foods that eliminates some of the fat and cholesterol from your regular diet.

Keeping your heart healthy is not nearly as difficult as you may think. You simply have to begin living a healthier lifestyle. Stop smoking, eat healthy and get enough exercise each week. This may sound like quite a few things that need to be done but your heart will certainly thank you in the long run. If you are unsure of where to begin, you can speak with your doctor about how to take better care of your heart and avoid a heart attack. Even those who are at a very high risk for heart attack like those with a family or personal history of heart disease can learn effective ways of avoiding heart issues in the future.

Health Risks Associated with Lack of Sleep

Aside from the obvious lack of energy and crankiness that you can feel when you do not get enough sleep at night, lack of sleep can also cause a number of health concerns. Long term sleeping problems can lead to heart disease, diabetes and a number of minor illnesses that can be very uncomfortable. Your body requires sleep and even when you know that you need it, you may often deprive yourself of this vital rest each night. Nearly 60 percent of the world’s population sleeps less than eight hours each night and eight hours is the optimal rest period to refuel your body.

Studies have shown that nearly 15 percent of all adults sleep less than six hours each night. This is considered to be sleep deprivation and can cause serious health issues. Getting a good night’s sleep is just as important as eating right and getting adequate exercise in order to keep your body healthy. Not getting enough sleep can actually cause you to gain weight. Studies show that women who get less than five hours of sleep each night are much more likely to gain over 30 pounds in the next 15 years than those who sleep at least seven or eight hours each night.

There are actually five stages of sleep. The first four are the stages that help to maintain your metabolism as well as memory and learning. The last or fifth stage is known as the REM or rapid eye movement stage. This stage is essential for keeping your mood balanced as well as keeping your immune system healthy, your heart pumping properly and your brain working as it should. Skipping this final stage for more than two or three nights in a row can cause serious health issues that could be long term.

Too much sleep is also bad for you. If you regularly sleep more than eight hours each night, more than two or three nights each week, can cause you to be at a higher risk for Type 2 diabetes. Sleeping more than nine hours regularly can increase your mortality and cause a number of other health concerns. The key is in keeping your sleep pattern regular. You should be getting at least seven hours of sleep each night but no more than eight as a general rule.

It can be difficult to keep up a regular sleeping pattern at all times and skipping a few hours once in a while is not likely to cause major health issues. You do however, need to be getting at least seven hours of sleep each night for about four or five nights each week. Skipping sleep throughout the week will make you less focused and less productive at work and causes your body to be much more susceptible to infection. If you tend to suffer from the common cold or flu more than once per year, lack of sleep could be your problem. It is essential that you learn methods of helping you to sleep longer. Get yourself into a regular routine and spend a few minutes each night practicing some sort of relaxation technique to prompt your body to slow down and allow you to get to sleep.

Can Alzheimer’s Disease be Prevented?

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. Although those who suffer from the disease cannot currently be cured, there have been studies that suggest methods can be effective for slowing down the disease’s progress. Studies are also being conducted that could suggest a way to prevent Alzheimer’s from developing if caught in the earliest stages of the disease.

Another strategy for reducing the risk of the disease and potentially improving mental impairment is also being studied. The technique, called brain healthy lifestyle technique, may prove to be successful in restoring mental clarity to those with the disease and slowing down the overall progress of the disease for those affected.

The study is based on the fact that the body’s overall health is proportional to the brain’s overall health. If a patient’s body is unhealthy then chances are good that the brain is also unhealthy. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential not only in preventing Alzheimer’s but in preventing other diseases and illnesses as well. Lifestyle changes that promote healthier brain function can be categorized into six individual prevention techniques. Regular exercise is essential as is eating a healthy diet. Getting enough sleep each night and avoiding stress or at the very least, learning to effectively manage stress is also important. Finally, mental stimulation and an overall active and healthy lifestyle can help to keep the brain and the entire body healthier.

Studies have shown that adequate physical exercise can significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. In fact, it can lower the risk by as much as 50 percent and slow the progress of the disease in patients who are already affected. Mental stimulation such as learning new hobbies or playing games that promote thinking can also be beneficial.

A healthy diet is of the utmost importance, not only in the prevention of Alzheimer’s but in the prevention of heart disease, diabetes and many other ailments. Quitting smoking can prolong the onset by Alzheimer’s by as much as seven years and eating foods rich in antioxidants and vitamins can help to restore cognitive function and prevent the disease in those who have not yet developed it.

Getting an adequate night’s sleep is essential in preventing this and other diseases. Lack of sleep can cause difficulty in focusing and can serious slow down the capacity to think. Good sleeping habits make you feel healthier, promote a better mood and can slow down the progression of this and other diseases.

Finally, stress management is essential. Effectively managing stress not only helps you to ward off Alzheimer’s, it can help you to avoid heart disease, stroke, clinical depression and many other illnesses. In general, while there is no current cure for Alzheimer’s, many studies have shown that simply living a healthier lifestyle can slow the progression of the disease in those who have it and can help to prevent the onset in those who do not. Eating healthy, getting plenty of exercise, sleeping right and managing stress are essential in the prevention of this and other health conditions.

COPD Medical Treatment Options

There are a number of treatment options available for those who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is a disease that affects many consumers and because there are different possible causes of the disease, it must be diagnosed properly in order for the appropriate treatment to be provided.

Emphysema, chronic bronchitis and chronic asthma are the three diseases that constitute COPD. Each condition has a unique set of symptoms, although the symptoms of all three often overlap. This is why a thorough diagnosis is essential. It is important to learn why the patient has developed COPD in order to provide treatment for the proper symptoms. Treatment typically begins with the goal of preventing further damage to the lungs.

The second step in the treatment process is to address and potentially eliminate the symptoms of the disease. Finally, treatment is aimed at improving the patient’s quality of life and helping to make daily tasks a bit easier to perform. The most effective medication currently in use for sufferers of COPD are bronchodilators. These medications force the relaxation of muscles around air passages so that they can open properly and relieve obstruction.

Muscle spasms are frequent in sufferers of COPD and anti-cholinergic medications are currently used to treat this symptom. Muscle spasms are caused by a chemical in the body that attaches to nerve receptors in the lungs. This causes the muscles to contract which narrows the passageway of airflow. The medications used to treat this symptom effectively block the receptors so that the muscles do not contract. This leaves air passageways open.

Smoking is a major cause of COPD. In fact, most who smoke can expect to contract the disease in the future. Doctors recommend that smokers quit as soon as possible to help with the recovery of the disease and to protect against contracting the disease in the future. Most people who smoke will experience breathing difficulties at some point. The severity of these issues depends on how heavily the smoker smokes and how long they have been smoking. Quitting smoking is the best way to avoid damage to the lungs as well as the heart and other major organs in the future.

Air pollution can also contribute to the onset of COPD. In larger cities where air is filled with contaminants and pollution, it is relatively easy to become affected by the air quality. Those living in more rural areas tend not to experience these symptoms as often. Many studies have shown that exercise can help to eliminate the disease and promote a longer and higher quality of life. Exercising the lungs so that proper function is restored is essential for anyone dealing with the symptoms of the disease. Living healthy in general can help to ward off this and other ailments and ensure lung function as well as other major organ functions, are optimal. Quitting smoking, eating healthy and getting plenty of exercise is essential in giving you a better quality of life now and in the future.

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