3 Hazardous Materials In Your Home

Home is a place where everyone wants and deserves to feel safe and secure. Unfortunately, there can be hazards in your home that you know know nothing about. These particular hazards can lurking right under your nose without you even knowing and they can also have serious consequences. That’s why it’s so important to be aware that these hazardous materials may be present, know how to test for them and what to do about them.

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1. Asbestos

Asbestos was once thought to be an almost perfect material because of its versatility and resistance to heat and friction. However, it is now known as a dangerous carcinogen. Asbestos is most commonly found in older homes as it hasn’t been widely used since the 1980’s and you’re most likely to find it in the drywall, concrete or old floor tiles. The good thing about asbestos.net is that it won’t cause problems unless disturbed and released into the air, but if you’re thinking of doing anything that may cause a disturbance, it’s best to contact a professional.

2. Mold

Mold is caused when there is too much moisture in an area. Various types of leaks are a particularly bad culprit for causing mold in your home. So, it’s important to make sure your home has proper ventilation and doesn’t get too humid or damp and it’s important to watch for signs of any kind of leak, if should find a leak be sure to repair it as soon as possible and clean up the area well. Mold, while always unsightly and unpleasant, can also cause health problems. It can exacerbate allergies and asthma and it can even cause issues like severe headaches, diarrhea and cough. If you notice any of these symptoms or if you notice changes in the way you home feels, you may want to have it checked for mold.

3. Lead

Lead-based paint is another issue that is more common in older homes. If you want to be certain whether or not your home contains lead-based paint you’ll have to have it tested, but there are things you can do to make sure it doesn’t become a problem, even if you’re unsure. Much like asbestos, lead doesn’t become a problem unless it’s disturbed. As long as you don’t have any flaking paint or paint dust you shouldn’t have any issues.

Though these issues can cause problems, the good news is that these hazardous materials can be easily fixed. As long as you are diligent in the upkeep of your home, you should be good to go!

Preventing Colds and the Flu

While a cold or the flu can strike at any time of the year, most people fall victim to these viruses during the fall and winter months, with cases peaking between December and February. Any virus can cause serious health complications, but the flu is especially dangerous– especially for children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems. Last year alone, almost 80,000 Americans died from flu-related complications, and over 900,000 were hospitalized. The good news is, there are ways to prevent colds and the flu viruses from infiltrating your immune system with the flu vaccination leading them all. Read on for some helpful tips to stay healthy, as well as information about why the flu shot could save your life.

colds and the fluPhoto by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Wash your hands

According to the CDC, washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to prevent the spread of germs from person-to-person. If soap and water aren’t readily available, a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content is also acceptable.

Exercise

30 minutes of exercise, three to four times a week has been proven to have an immune-boosting effect when it comes to preventing illness. It increases blood flow and circulation and lowers stress, allowing the body to fight off infections more effectively.

Get enough sleep

Sleep deprivation weakens the immune system and puts you at risk for infections and viruses. While most people don’t meet the daily recommendation for sleep, allowing your body to rest so it can ward off illness should be a priority.

Hydrate

When your body is hydrated, immune responses are stronger, and you are better able to fight illness. Water is the best choice when it comes to hydration, but any non-caffeinated liquid will contribute to your daily recommendation of fluid intake.

Sanitize everything

Germs and bacteria can survive on surfaces outside of the human body for up to 7 days. By disinfecting surfaces with a wipe or spray, you’ll greatly reduce the spread of germs between family members, office mates or even your fellow gym-goers. Since germs can also embed themselves in fabric fibers, switch to disposable paper towels when someone in your household is sick.

De-stress

Stress has a tremendous negative impact on the human immune system. When you are stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which has been proven to stifle immunity. During periods of high stress, try meditation or deep breathing to reduce the “fight or flight” response that puts you at greater risk for illness.

Get a flu shot

The number one way to prevent the flu virus is by getting a flu vaccination. The CDC recommends a vaccine for everyone over six months or older. It has been proven to reduce the risk of contracting the flu by as much as 60%.

With the accessibility, safety, and effectiveness of flu shots today, no one should let misconceptions or expense stand in the way of protecting their health. There are a few commonly-asked questions about getting a flu shot to know before you get your vaccine.

Will a flu shot give me the flu?

A common myth about the flu shot is that it will make you sick. This is simply not true. The flu vaccination is formulated from either an inactive virus or a single-gene virus, neither of which transmit an active flu virus to the recipient.

Where can I get a flu shot?

It has never been more convenient to get a flu shot. They are not only offered in traditional settings, like a doctor’s office or urgent care, but also through many employers at little to no cost to employees. Colleges, supermarkets, and pharmacies have also started offering flu shots on-site to make it even easier for people of all ages to get vaccinated.

Will insurance pay for my flu shot?

If you have health insurance, either through an employer-provided plan, a health marketplace or government-subsidized plan, your flu shot will likely be covered at no cost to you. Likewise, if your employer holds a flu shot clinic, you may not have to pay anything to get vaccinated, since flu shots are considered preventative care and save companies millions of dollars a year in productivity lost when employees are off work from colds and the flu.

While there are many ways to prevent and treat colds and the flu, prevention is the best plan of attack. Don’t wait until flu season is in full swing– get your flu shot today to help ensure your good health all winter long.

Effects of Shilajit on blood pressure

Traditional Indian medicine is full of wonders. Plant-based healing agents and herbo-minerals are being used to heal a variety of diseases since ancient times. Shilajit is one of them, a unique herbo-mineral preparation used for millennia around Asia and Europe. It is extensively used in India, Tibet, and Nepal to this day. In India alone, shilajit was used as a laxative, diuretic, immune booster, anti-hypertensive, analgesic, bronchitis, and anemia. With milk, it was thought to help with diabetes, and with the Commiphora wightii herb, it helped accelerate wound and bone healing. It was also used as an aphrodisiac and was claimed to help with infertility for women.

Hypertension is a common condition affecting a considerable number of the US population. When not treated, it can lead to life-threatening events like heart attack and stroke. Shilajit is claimed to be useful against hypertension. In fact, some companies in Asia have proprietary drugs containing shilajit indicated for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and maintenance of heart health. One other herbo preparations showed to have hypolipidemic effects in rats. Unfortunately, no scientific or clinical study specifically on the subject of hypertension is available. Does shilajit lower blood pressure or would shilajit increase blood pressure? Are there any shilajit benefits for blood pressure? In this article, we will piece together the many studies closely related to the subject to see if indeed, it there is a shed of truth to the claim. But first, a review!

High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Known as the silent killer, high blood pressure is one of the leading conditions that increase the risk of stroke and heart attacks. According to a 2012 study, 1 out of 3 US citizens already have hypertension or at risk of developing it. In 2014 data, hypertension is said to be responsible for over 400,000 deaths in the US alone. What makes this condition dangerous is the lack of any visible signs and symptoms. You will only know you have it when you get your blood pressure checked.

Lifestyle factors contribute the most to its development. Unhealthy diets, sedentary lifestyle, vices, all contribute to the genesis of this disease. Hereditary factors also play a role.

When not known early on, it will slowly damage the heart and the blood vessels as more pressure is being exerted on the arterial walls. Atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, and excess blood sugar all contribute to increased blood pressure. Damage to kidneys, liver, and brain will likely result when not managed properly.

Shilajit

“Mountain Blood,” as the Burmese call, and “Mountain Sweat” for the Arabs, shilajit is a unique herbo-mineral exudate from high altitude rock crevices predominantly found in the Himalayan mountain ranges. It is made of decomposed plant materials and animal metabolites, taking centuries, even thousands of years form. It is revered for its many therapeutic qualities; its use spans many countries throughout Asia and Europe and has been used extensively by Ayurvedic healers to this day. It is mentioned in ancient pharmacology books like the Charaka Samhita, a testament to its importance towards traditional Indian healing. Fulvic acid, dibenzo alpha pyrones, humic substance, and over 80 nutrients and minerals make this healing compound unique and beneficial to the body.

Shilajit and High Blood Pressure

Only one study using Daphnias was made to understand how shilajit affects heart-rate and to serve as a preliminary look towards its effect in high blood pressure. In said study, Daphnia’s were used because they react well to cardioactive drugs and are transparent, so monitoring heart rate is relatively easy. Their results showed a lowering effect on heart rate in low shilajit concentrations, but higher concentrations increased heart rate considerably.. The specific action is not yet understood.

There are no clinical studies that help support the notion that shilajit can lower or increase high blood pressure. Although proprietary drugs like Abana which is well researched and is considered to have shilajit, indicated as a hypotensive supplement, it is uncertain how shilajit plays a role since it also contains a few other herbs all known to help lower blood pressure levels. There are no studies that support it as a blood thinner as well. However, a few studies with relevance to the condition have been carried out and prove instructive in understanding whether or not; shilajit proffer any benefits for high blood pressure. And, so this article will discuss those studies and attempt to piece together their results to get to a conclusion.

Can shilajit cause high blood pressure?

Researchers from the Department of Biochemistry, SMS Medical College, in Jaipur, India, in collaboration with the National Institute of Ayurveda studied the effects of shilajit on blood chemistry. Their research is instructive on the subject.

Thirty students participated in the study, with 20 given 2 grams shilajit per day for 45 days. The rest received a placebo pill. No discernible changes towards blood pressure, pulse rate, and body weight were observed. They also found that it did not alter hematological parameters even at a dose as high as 2 grams per day. However, they noted decreased lipid profiles, indicative of a hypolipidemic and cardio-protective effect which will be discussed later.

Shilajit and high Blood pressure: Is there a lowering effect?

A study comparing Simvastatin and shilajit to see how effective they were for hyperlipidemia is instructive. Albino rats were given hyperlipidemia inducing diets, with different groups receiving shilajit and Simvastatin. Both results showed a reduction in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Simvastatin showed more efficacy in upping HDL levels and lowering LDL. It is unknown how these substances are lowered or the mechanism behind it. The researchers opined that it is possible shilajit’s humic acids may induce an antiatherogenic effect meaning it may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis. We will discuss later how these things are correlated.

Obesity and Hyperlipidemia

Another study involving shilajit and its effects on the lipid profile was conducted, but this time, with obese rats. The researchers found that a dose-dependent intake helped decreased the weight of the rats and improved lipid profiles, consistent with other studies.

Diabetes and Hypertension

Diabetes was induced in rats to see how shilajit affected blood glucose levels. Diabetes or elevated blood sugar increases the risk of developing hypertension. In all three doses, used (50, 100, and 200mg per day), a reduction in glucose levels was observed and consistent with the other studies, an improvement in lipid profile was duly noted.

Benefits of Shilajit For Blood Pressure

In all of these studies, one thing is certainly consistent. Shilajit may not decrease high blood pressure or increase it, but it does improve lipid profiles. This is important since elevated blood lipids may be correlated to the development of hypertension. Dyslipidemia is characterized by the elevation cholesterol, triglyceride, and other lipid components in the blood. Cholesterol attaches to the walls and the arteries forming plaque that stiffens and narrows it, and elevates blood pressure, and strains the heart to work harder. With LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides lowered, the risks of developing hypertension may be reduced.

The antioxidant activity of fulvic acid was also found to help maintain vitamin C and E at healthy levels in the blood which can prevent lipid peroxidation. It even increased the levels in the blood. Note: Only processed and purified shilajit contains powerful antioxidative properties.

The study on blood chemistry showed that shilajit does not increase or lower blood pressure, heart rate, and does not alter any blood components. This may suggest that shilajit may not increase blood pressure, nor lower it as well.

Obesity is closely linked to hypertension, as well. A person’s weight can harm the heart and the arteries. The result of the study suggests that shilajit may help weight reduction. Excess weight may increase the risk of developing hypertension, and dyslipidemia is heavily correlated in obesity.

Is Shilajit good for high blood pressure?

Until we have clinical studies supporting the use of shilajit to counter elevated blood pressure or hypertension, we can only deduce, for now at least, that it does not affect it. It has no lowering or increasing impact, and likely it has no effect if levels are normal.

However, it may be able to prevent or even control it by helping the body normalize blood lipid levels. No direct effect to hypertension can be seen but, shilajit may promote a healthy heart and arterial health by lowering lipid levels and improving HDL cholesterol. If these factors are normalized, the likelihood of hypertension and ultimately, stroke and cardiac disease will be lowered.

For now, further research is needed for a complete picture regarding shilajit’s effect against hypertension. Human clinical data is needed for this. And so, In conclusion:

  • No clinical study nor data suggest that shilajit may lower or increase high blood pressure.
  • Animal study and limited blood chemistry studies suggest that shilajit may help improve lipid profile by lowering total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and improving HDL levels.

Is Anxiety Really Genetic or is There Something More at Play?

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Some people subscribe to the idea that anxiety is a genetic problem, and in some situations, this can certainly be the case. However, the reality is that anxiety is a much more complex issue that cannot be chalked up to simply one single cause.

Anxiety can emerge as a result of life situations, experiences, and beliefs, and while it’s certainly true that genetics may influence a person’s development of anxiety, it is far from the only cause. This article will touch on how genetics and other factors can influence anxiety.

What Causes Anxiety?

There are a number of things that can cause anxiety, and some things that can make a person more likely to develop an anxiety disorder at some point during their lives. Some of the most common include:

  • Genetics. A complicated issue, genetics may or may not make someone directly develop an
    anxiety disorder. Instead, they may make someone more susceptible to the effects of certain
    situations or traumatic experiences that could trigger latent anxiety.
  • Brain chemistry. A number of things can influence a person’s brain chemistry, ranging from
    addictions to sex, gambling, or drugs, head injuries, or other issues.
  • Traumatic life experiences can make a person develop anxieties, particularly in the case of
    PTSD where they become anxious around situations that remind them of their
    traumatic experiences.
  • Physical conditions, such as thyroid disorders, can also contribute to the development of
    anxiety disorders.
  • Nutritional deficiencies can lead to the development of anxiety, particularly for people who are
    deficient in magnesium or the B vitamins
  • A person’s upbringing. Someone who is raised in an environment where they are unloved may
    develop certain anxieties, whereas people who are raised in environments where they are not
    shown how to properly socialize may develop social anxiety.

It’s important to note that there are many different types of anxiety, and certain triggers may lead to certain forms of anxiety. For example, a person may develop social anxiety if they experience a traumatic situation at the hands of one of their peers during early life.

Genetics and Anxiety

What is interesting about the link between genetics and anxiety is the fact that a solid conclusion cannot yet be drawn. It is understood that there is a link between genetics and anxiety, but more research is required to be certain of that link.

What is certain is that there are a number of things that can contribute to anxiety disorders, most of which fall outside the category of genetics. Environmental influences, social factors, a person’s upbringing, and their physical or mental health can all contribute to anxiety.

However, one should note that having a family history of anxiety may make someone more likely to develop anxiety disorders as a result of any of these conditions. Whether or not anxiety is an issue that can be caused directly by genetics is yet to be understood.

Things to Consider When Considering Recovery Facilities

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When life gets to be too triggering, too overwhelming and too much to handle, there are options to help. From therapists and psychiatry, to treatment and recovery facilities, the options are plentiful with dedicated, kind and skilled professionals that have dedicated their professional lives to helping others. Many have experienced something similar themselves, so are generally operating from a place of deep understanding and sympathy. Whatever your situation, there are some things to consider when choosing your route of therapy or treatment.

Intensity of need

Do you need to talk to someone about something that’s going on, and can work through it with an hour session with a therapist, either once or throughout multiple sessions? Finding a local therapist you trust and feel comfortable with might be your best option in this case. If your need feels more severe, finding a men’s or women’s recovery center might be the best resource for your need. Dedicated professionals work in these recovery facilities and are there round the clock with structured sessions, group sessions and activities in place to help enable your progress and processing of your needs.

Proximity and time available

Do you have a few weeks or months available from your job and responsibilities that you can dedicate to your health and recovery? If you do, going to one might be the best thing you can do for yourself. If not, not to worry, there are a lot of other options available to help you where you are, with the time and resources you have available.

Cost

While some people can self fund theirs, others can utilize insurance, scholarships and sponsorship to facilitate their recovery. Where there’s a need, there’s a solution. If this is something you need for the betterment of your life, making the decision is oftentimes the catalyst for things falling into place.

Whatever your needs and resources, there are a myriad of options available to assist with helping you process through your trauma and experiences.