Health & Wellness for over 40's

Be fit and Healthy at any Age


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Skin and nail conditions you shouldn’t Ignore

The body gives outward signals that may indicate a health problem.  Your skin and nails may be warning signs of health issues.

Skin

The skin is the largest organ so pay close attention to changes.  Cancer shows itself by lesions.  Remember the ABCDE skin test:

A is for asymmetrical, B is for an irregular border, C is for changing color, D is for diameter greater than a pencil eraser, and E is for elevated. If you have any of these signs you should get it checked out by a doctor.

Sometimes thick dark patches can signal diabetes or other endocrine problems. Red areas and flushing is a condition called Rocacaccea. This mainly occurs in people over 60. Having dark spots may run in families, or may be due to sun damage.

Other skin conditions may include eczema, red itchy dry patches.  Some new research suggests that this condition may be related to anxiety and depression, or ADD/HD in both adults and children. See healthline.com/health/skin-disorders.

Here’s one I have struggled with, lips with cracks in the corners.  I have been seeking treatment for this for many years. Recently I read that this is caused by a vitamin B or zinc deficiency.

Another problem for many women is skin tags.  These are raised bits of skin that hang on the surface.  They generally are harmless, but too many might be a sign of uncontrolled diabetes.  Remember that your skin is a mirror of your general health.

Fingernails

Don’t underestimate nail health, as this can provide clues to health changes.  White spots on nail beds can indicate a zinc deficiency.  You can supplement your diet with vitamins and minerals.  Silica is a great supplement.

Brittle nails and hair may be a sign of thyroid disorder.  Very soft nails can signal iron deficiency or a liver condition.

You may notice that you have ridges on your nails.  These are called Beau’s lines.  They may indicate high levels of stress or uncontrolled diabetes, according to The Good Life Magazine. This magazine is found in health stores.

Elderly people often have nails that have brown tips, but they also may be a sign of serious diseases, such as kidney or cardiovascular problems.  They occur in both men and women. Heavy smokers may also have discoloration in nails.

Clubbed nails occur in the sick and the very elderly.  The tips of the nails become thick and large and the nails curve around the tips.  They may indicate lung and cardiovascular diseases.

These are just a few tips to keep in mind that may lead to the early detection of health problems.

 

 

 

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Is stress affecting your Health?

There is good stress and bad stress.  Find out what kind of stress is useful, and what may affect your health.

Good Stress

Is a healthy adaptation in which there are biological changes that give extra energy to the body in need.  This kind of stress occurs when an athlete or other performers need to get the competitive advantage to push themselves further to master the task.

Yes, short-term stress may help you obtain that achievement-oriented goal.

The “fight or flight” responseThis is a short-term condition in which the adrenal glands mobilize adrenalin and cortisol to help the stress response or threat.  Normally after the crisis is over the body returns to its original balanced state.

Bad Stress

This kind of stress occurs when the body is exposed to high levels of stress over a long period of time.  Blood pressure can remain elevated making the body vulnerable to a number of stress-related diseases, usually behavioral and physiological problem.   This happens because the brain’s neurons are disrupted.  I’m sure you’ve experienced this.  It’s why you have trouble thinking straight when you are stressed or agitated.

Once a stressful event is over, the body reverts back to homeostasis.  The body activates neurotransmitters to help the body recover.  Stress becomes a problem when the stress response is not turned off.  When stress occurs over a long period of time, the adrenal glands become exhausted and you feel tired all the time, and you make become ill.

Longterm stress can decrease the ability of the body’s systems to work properly… even altogether.  More information can be found at http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health.

Common stress related Illnesses

Chronic stress can contribute to peptic ulcers, cardi diseased even cancer. Lately, I have read a lot of health reports about stress as a leading cause of cancer and can make present health problems worse.  To see more go to http://www.apa.org.

Workplace stress

In a world filled with uncertainty, you may be affected by over-work, pay cuts, layoffs, and downsizing.  I have suffered years and years of stress from work, and I know many others have too.  I had to change jobs to protect my health.

Here’s what you can do

  • Make sure you get enough sleep
  • Spend time outside, even if its only 15 mins.
  • Take a physical activity you like and turn it into a regular routine
  • Make a plan to avoid or minimize long-term stress
  • Get support
  • Some people find it helpful to write a journal

Take the time to learn new ways to help you deal with the stress, you’re worth it!