Category Archive Life Style

Swimming Spa – All About You Need To Know

Swimming spa is a multifunctional machine that combines the best features of a swimming pool and a hot tub. It also tends to fall somewhere in the middle of these two in terms of size.

One of the most common ways that swim spas are used is for a challenging but impact-free water workout. Swim spas produce a powerful current of water that provides continuous resistance you can swim, run, jog, or walk against without ever “hitting the wall.” You can swim lap after lap, or walk or run for miles, all in the comfort and privacy of your swim spa.

Best of all, once you’ve given your muscles a good workout, you can use the very same swim spa to relax and unwind. Simply settle down in front of the hydrotherapy jets and adjust the settings for an invigorating and therapeutic massage. So, to sum up, a swim spa offers a range of activities geared toward fitness, fun, and relaxation:

  • Swim, run, jog, or walk against a powerful resistance-producing current
  • Splash around with your family and friends
  • Relax into an ergonomic seat surrounded by heated water
  • Soothe sore muscles with massage jets

What is a Swim Spa? The Basics

Swim spas are an alternative to traditional pools and spas. Like hot tubs, swim spas are self-contained, so all the pumps, filters and heating elements are part of the unit — no additional equipment required! However, like swimming pools, swim spas are designed with swimming in mind.

With powerful jets on one side, swim spas produce a swim current, allowing users to swim continuously in one place. When these jets are turned on, it creates an endless pool effect so swimmers can backstroke, butterfly or freestyle as long as they want.

Swim spas are a popular option for people who enjoy pool exercises and swimming workouts. However, most swim spas are split into two sections, with a pool on one side and a hot tub with jets and seating on the other end, so users can get a workout in, and then relax.

Don’t let the word “spa” fool you: the water temperature is adjustable to serve a wide range of uses. Additionally, there are several models and types. You can have an in-ground swim spa or an above-ground swim spa, and you can even choose an indoor or outdoor model.

8 Benefits of Swim Spas

Let’s move on to some of the most significant benefits of swim spas.

1. Less Space:

You don’t need a lot of room to swim laps with swim spas, so they are generally much smaller than traditional swimming pools.

2. Multi-Functional:

Most swim spas provide a space for continuous swimming exercise, hot tub relaxation and entertainment.

3. Year-Round Use:

Because the water is heated, swim spas are meant to be used throughout the entire year. (For this reason, most swim spa owners invest in an automatic pool cover, so they can easily keep their swim spa protected and accessible year-round).

4. Ideal Exercise Environment:

Aquatic exercises are low-impact and great for any fitness level, and swim spas provide space for just that. The buoyancy of water is an excellent choice for people with chronic pain to remain active, improve flexibility, increase balance and enjoy all the other well-known benefits of exercise.

5. Unparalleled Swim Training:

Whether you’re training for a triathlon or competitive swimming, swim training is essential. However, training in public pools, gyms and aquatic centers may not be an option. Swim spas allow swimmers to practice their crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and more from the comfort of their backyard — just adjust the water temperature as you like and start swimming.

6. Warm Water & Aquatic Therapy:

You can easily heat up the water temperature of swim spas for therapeutic purposes. Combine this with a water-based aquatic therapy routine, and swim spas can help people struggling with chronic pain.

7. Relaxation:

Don’t forget about the spa part of the swim spa. Most swim spas include massaging jets and other features found in traditional hot tubs, so you can turn up the temperature and use your swim spa to ease tension and relax after a long day (or high-power swimming workout).

8. Entertainment:

Like any pool or spa, a swim spa is a great space to hang out with friends and family. Splash around or relax and catch up. Swim spas offer many of the same benefits of regular pools and spas.

Healthy Living with a Swim Spa

Many of our clients find that they naturally (and almost effortlessly) live a healthier lifestyle once they add a swim spa to their home.

Keeping up a fitness schedule no longer requires planning, commuting, dressing, and undressing in a locker room, and all the other small hassles that working out in a public facility—even a high-end one—requires. Going for a swim or a water run becomes a simple matter of changing into a swimsuit and hitting the water.

Another way that swim spas make adopting a healthier lifestyle a breeze is a fact that water workouts tend to be really fun and enjoyable. It’s so much easier to stick with an exercise regimen when it’s something you actually look forward to doing. And again, because it’s in the privacy of your home, you can create the ultimate personalized workout environment. Blast your favorite music, set out a stack of fluffy towels to dry off with, and get your favorite smoothie ready to reward yourself with after you step out of the pool.

Finally, swim spas help you live a healthier lifestyle by completely eliminating one huge obstacle that prevents many people from working out consistently: the shyness factor. It can be very intimidating to exercise in front of other people, especially if we’re trying something new. A swim spa offers you complete privacy, and if you don’t already know how to swim or do water aerobics, you can take lessons from a private coach in a comfortable, one-on-one setting in your home.

How a Swim Spa Can Help

Better health and well-being don’t come from a single choice or action—it’s typically the result of our habits. If we want to enjoy the fruits of a strong body and mind, then it’s in our interest to create a lifestyle that supports the development of good habits.

A swim spa is an excellent way to develop a routine. It’s hard to think of a better or more convenient way to get a full-body workout than in the comfort and privacy of your own swim spa. You can use it as often as you like, and in a variety of different ways, to achieve your health and wellness goals.

In terms of physical health, a swim spa offers the following benefits:

  • Eases muscle tension
  • Soothes joint pain
  • Builds a stronger cardiovascular system
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Improves circulation

A swim spa is able to produce such a wide range of positive health outcomes because it provides the perfect setting for hydrotherapy.

Hydrotherapy is a water-based therapy that has been used for decades all around the world as a way to heal injuries, improve quality of life, and promote overall well-being. It draws on the healing qualities of water—namely, its temperature and buoyancy—in combination with massage to boost blood circulation and the production of endorphins.

Speaking of endorphins, which are the body’s “feel-good” hormones, the health benefits of a swim spa don’t stop at just the physical level.

A swim spa also offers a range of mental health benefits as well:

  • Improves sleeps patterns
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Calms the mind

This is because swim spas are a supremely relaxing environment that promotes mental calmness and clarity. Sinking into the heated waters and letting your stress melt away under the gentle pressure of the massage jets is a deeply healing experience that carries over into the rest of your life. The enhanced sense of well-being that you have after spending time in your swim spa helps you regulate your sleep patterns so you can fall asleep and stay asleep for a good night’s rest, which in turn, leads to an increased ability to handle the stresses of daily life.

Other Benefits of Owning a Swim Spa

Part of health and well-being is feeling good about our choices and enjoying the life we have created for ourselves. On this point, too, swim spas are an excellent way to invest in yourself, your home, and your family.

Enjoy more quality family time

With the fast pace of modern life, It can be difficult to find time to spend together as a family. Having a swim spa right at home provides the perfect gathering place for you and your family members to get together, enjoy each other’s company, and catch up on each other’s lives. Family swim time may just become the highlight of your week.

Upgrade your backyard

There’s no doubt about it—a swim spa is a stunning addition to a backyard and is sure to draw the attention and admiration of your neighbors. You may even inspire some to get their own swim spas!

Increase the value of your home

Like any renovation or extension to your home, a swim spa adds value to your property. It is a unique and attractive feature that will not only make your property stand out if and when it ever goes on the market, but it will also attract higher bids because of it.

Provide an excellent venue for hosting gatherings

Having a strong social network is another important element in living a healthier life. A swim spa gives you a great excuse to get together more often. Throw a mini-pool party for your closest friends, or just have one or two of your favourite people over to unwind with the massage jets and watch the sun go down.

Allow you to spend more time outdoors

Most of us would like to spend more time outdoors, and a backyard swim spa lets you do just that. Because a swim spa uses heated water, it’s a feature you can use 365 days of the year, through every season. Breezy spring days, bright summer afternoons, crisp fall evenings, and calm winter nights are all excellent times to enjoy a soak.

More Ways to Live a Healthier Lifestyle

Once you’ve felt the increased energy, improved mood, and overall boost in well-being that comes from taking good care of yourself, you’ll want to keep it going by making more positive changes in your life. Here are a few ideas to keep you on track for a healthier lifestyle.

Limit your screen time

Spending too much time-consuming media is bad for us. Most of us don’t need statistics to prove it (although there are plenty of those) because we know how we feel after binging on too many TV shows or staying up too late scrolling on our phones. Making a conscious effort to limit your screen time is an effective way to improve your mental health. If you need help doing this, you can adjust your smartphone’s settings to track your screen time and install apps that automatically close down your apps after a certain amount of time.

Try new hobbies

Trying new things is a time-tested way to build your confidence and reignite your zest for life. Let your own personal interests guide you to a new hobby or pastime, whether it’s photography, painting, sewing, or yoga (which you can also do in your swim spa!).

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet

Along with exercise, the food we eat is one of the biggest determiners of our health and well-being. A well-balanced diet is one that includes a generous amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean proteins, and avoids highly processed foods with high amounts of sugar and fat. Many people find that once they start exercising, they naturally feel motivated to eat well, since quality food energizes them and powers their workouts.

Read more books

Reading is an amazing way to broaden your horizons and stimulate your intellect. Whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, or both, there’s an entire world of knowledge and creativity waiting for you when you pick up a book. Consider joining a book club in order to enjoy another layer of health benefits from connecting with others and expanding your social world.

Grow a garden

Bursting with lush green life, gardens are naturally relaxing environments. Growing a garden in your backyard will not only create a beautiful natural oasis, it also helps support local bug and bird populations (especially if you choose to grow plants that are native to your area). What’s more, a healthy garden improves the air quality of the surrounding area and provides stunning natural scenery to enjoy from the relaxing comfort of your swim spa.

Practice meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice that has exploded in popularity all over the world today, with good reason. The health benefits of meditation are extensive, from improving mental clarity to reducing high blood pressure. One of the best things about meditation is that you can do it pretty much anywhere and anytime. All you have to do is find a quiet space, focus on your breath, and clear your mind.

What’s the Best Swim Spa for Me?

Ultimately, the best swim spa for you comes down to personal preference. You can have one custom-built or order a prefabricated swim spa. There are so many options that it’s best to look around a bit to see which features you want and need most.

Once you decide on a model, be sure to add an automatic pool cover for your swim spa to keep it protected throughout the year. Plus, an auto pool cover can help you control operational costs by trapping heat.

 

Swim Spa – Health Benefits of Swim Spas

A swim spa is a multifunctional machine that combines the best features of a swimming pool and a hot tub. It also tends to fall somewhere in the middle of these two in terms of size.

One of the most common ways that swim spas are used is for a challenging but impact-free water workout. Swim spas produce a powerful current of water that provides continuous resistance you can swim, run, jog, or walk against without ever “hitting the wall.” You can swim lap after lap, or walk or run for miles, all in the comfort and privacy of your swim spa.

Best of all, once you’ve given your muscles a good workout, you can use the very same swim spa to relax and unwind. Simply settle down in front of the hydrotherapy jets and adjust the settings for an invigorating and therapeutic massage. So, to sum up, a swim spa offers a range of activities geared toward fitness, fun, and relaxation:

  • Swim, run, jog, or walk against a powerful resistance-producing current
  • Splash around with your family and friends
  • Relax into an ergonomic seat surrounded by heated water
  • Soothe sore muscles with massage jets

What is a Swim Spa? The Basics

Swim spas are an alternative to traditional pools and spas. Like hot tubs, swim spas are self-contained, so all the pumps, filters and heating elements are part of the unit — no additional equipment required! However, like swimming pools, swim spas are designed with swimming in mind.

With powerful jets on one side, swim spas produce a swim current, allowing users to swim continuously in one place. When these jets are turned on, it creates an endless pool effect so swimmers can backstroke, butterfly or freestyle as long as they want.

Swim spas are a popular option for people who enjoy pool exercises and swimming workouts. However, most swim spas are split into two sections, with a pool on one side and a hot tub with jets and seating on the other end, so users can get a workout in, and then relax.

Don’t let the word “spa” fool you: the water temperature is adjustable to serve a wide range of uses. Additionally, there are several models and types. You can have an in-ground swim spa or an above-ground swim spa, and you can even choose an indoor or outdoor model.

8 Benefits of Swim Spas

Let’s move on to some of the most significant benefits of swim spas.

1. Less Space:

You don’t need a lot of room to swim laps with swim spas, so they are generally much smaller than traditional swimming pools.

2. Multi-Functional:

Most swim spas provide a space for continuous swimming exercise, hot tub relaxation and entertainment.

3. Year-Round Use:

Because the water is heated, swim spas are meant to be used throughout the entire year. (For this reason, most swim spa owners invest in an automatic pool cover, so they can easily keep their swim spa protected and accessible year-round).

4. Ideal Exercise Environment:

Aquatic exercises are low-impact and great for any fitness level, and swim spas provide space for just that. The buoyancy of water is an excellent choice for people with chronic pain to remain active, improve flexibility, increase balance and enjoy all the other well-known benefits of exercise.

5. Unparalleled Swim Training:

Whether you’re training for a triathlon or competitive swimming, swim training is essential. However, training in public pools, gyms and aquatic centers may not be an option. Swim spas allow swimmers to practice their crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and more from the comfort of their backyard — just adjust the water temperature as you like and start swimming.

6. Warm Water & Aquatic Therapy:

You can easily heat up the water temperature of swim spas for therapeutic purposes. Combine this with a water-based aquatic therapy routine, and swim spas can help people struggling with chronic pain.

7. Relaxation:

Don’t forget about the spa part of the swim spa. Most swim spas include massaging jets and other features found in traditional hot tubs, so you can turn up the temperature and use your swim spa to ease tension and relax after a long day (or high-power swimming workout).

8. Entertainment:

Like any pool or spa, a swim spa is a great space to hang out with friends and family. Splash around or relax and catch up. Swim spas offer many of the same benefits of regular pools and spas.

Healthy Living with a Swim Spa

Many of our clients find that they naturally (and almost effortlessly) live a healthier lifestyle once they add a swim spa to their home.

Keeping up a fitness schedule no longer requires planning, commuting, dressing, and undressing in a locker room, and all the other small hassles that working out in a public facility—even a high-end one—requires. Going for a swim or a water run becomes a simple matter of changing into a swimsuit and hitting the water.

Another way that swim spas make adopting a healthier lifestyle a breeze is a fact that water workouts tend to be really fun and enjoyable. It’s so much easier to stick with an exercise regimen when it’s something you actually look forward to doing. And again, because it’s in the privacy of your home, you can create the ultimate personalized workout environment. Blast your favorite music, set out a stack of fluffy towels to dry off with, and get your favorite smoothie ready to reward yourself with after you step out of the pool.

Finally, swim spas help you live a healthier lifestyle by completely eliminating one huge obstacle that prevents many people from working out consistently: the shyness factor. It can be very intimidating to exercise in front of other people, especially if we’re trying something new. A swim spa offers you complete privacy, and if you don’t already know how to swim or do water aerobics, you can take lessons from a private coach in a comfortable, one-on-one setting in your home.

How a Swim Spa Can Help

Better health and well-being don’t come from a single choice or action—it’s typically the result of our habits. If we want to enjoy the fruits of a strong body and mind, then it’s in our interest to create a lifestyle that supports the development of good habits.

A swim spa is an excellent way to develop a routine. It’s hard to think of a better or more convenient way to get a full-body workout than in the comfort and privacy of your own swim spa. You can use it as often as you like, and in a variety of different ways, to achieve your health and wellness goals.

In terms of physical health, a swim spa offers the following benefits:

  • Eases muscle tension
  • Soothes joint pain
  • Builds a stronger cardiovascular system
  • Promotes weight loss
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Improves circulation

A swim spa is able to produce such a wide range of positive health outcomes because it provides the perfect setting for hydrotherapy.

Hydrotherapy is a water-based therapy that has been used for decades all around the world as a way to heal injuries, improve quality of life, and promote overall well-being. It draws on the healing qualities of water—namely, its temperature and buoyancy—in combination with massage to boost blood circulation and the production of endorphins.

Speaking of endorphins, which are the body’s “feel-good” hormones, the health benefits of a swim spa don’t stop at just the physical level.

A swim spa also offers a range of mental health benefits as well:

  • Improves sleeps patterns
  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Calms the mind

This is because swim spas are a supremely relaxing environment that promotes mental calmness and clarity. Sinking into the heated waters and letting your stress melt away under the gentle pressure of the massage jets is a deeply healing experience that carries over into the rest of your life. The enhanced sense of well-being that you have after spending time in your swim spa helps you regulate your sleep patterns so you can fall asleep and stay asleep for a good night’s rest, which in turn, leads to an increased ability to handle the stresses of daily life.

Other Benefits of Owning a Swim Spa

Part of health and well-being is feeling good about our choices and enjoying the life we have created for ourselves. On this point, too, swim spas are an excellent way to invest in yourself, your home, and your family.

Enjoy more quality family time

With the fast pace of modern life, It can be difficult to find time to spend together as a family. Having a swim spa right at home provides the perfect gathering place for you and your family members to get together, enjoy each other’s company, and catch up on each other’s lives. Family swim time may just become the highlight of your week.

Upgrade your backyard

There’s no doubt about it—a swim spa is a stunning addition to a backyard and is sure to draw the attention and admiration of your neighbors. You may even inspire some to get their own swim spas!

Increase the value of your home

Like any renovation or extension to your home, a swim spa adds value to your property. It is a unique and attractive feature that will not only make your property stand out if and when it ever goes on the market, but it will also attract higher bids because of it.

Provide an excellent venue for hosting gatherings

Having a strong social network is another important element in living a healthier life. A swim spa gives you a great excuse to get together more often. Throw a mini-pool party for your closest friends, or just have one or two of your favourite people over to unwind with the massage jets and watch the sun go down.

Allow you to spend more time outdoors

Most of us would like to spend more time outdoors, and a backyard swim spa lets you do just that. Because a swim spa uses heated water, it’s a feature you can use 365 days of the year, through every season. Breezy spring days, bright summer afternoons, crisp fall evenings, and calm winter nights are all excellent times to enjoy a soak.

More Ways to Live a Healthier Lifestyle

Once you’ve felt the increased energy, improved mood, and overall boost in well-being that comes from taking good care of yourself, you’ll want to keep it going by making more positive changes in your life. Here are a few ideas to keep you on track for a healthier lifestyle.

Limit your screen time

Spending too much time-consuming media is bad for us. Most of us don’t need statistics to prove it (although there are plenty of those) because we know how we feel after binging on too many TV shows or staying up too late scrolling on our phones. Making a conscious effort to limit your screen time is an effective way to improve your mental health. If you need help doing this, you can adjust your smartphone’s settings to track your screen time and install apps that automatically close down your apps after a certain amount of time.

Try new hobbies

Trying new things is a time-tested way to build your confidence and reignite your zest for life. Let your own personal interests guide you to a new hobby or pastime, whether it’s photography, painting, sewing, or yoga (which you can also do in your swim spa!).

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet

Along with exercise, the food we eat is one of the biggest determiners of our health and well-being. A well-balanced diet is one that includes a generous amount of fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean proteins, and avoids highly processed foods with high amounts of sugar and fat. Many people find that once they start exercising, they naturally feel motivated to eat well, since quality food energizes them and powers their workouts.

Read more books

Reading is an amazing way to broaden your horizons and stimulate your intellect. Whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, or both, there’s an entire world of knowledge and creativity waiting for you when you pick up a book. Consider joining a book club in order to enjoy another layer of health benefits from connecting with others and expanding your social world.

Grow a garden

Bursting with lush green life, gardens are naturally relaxing environments. Growing a garden in your backyard will not only create a beautiful natural oasis, it also helps support local bug and bird populations (especially if you choose to grow plants that are native to your area). What’s more, a healthy garden improves the air quality of the surrounding area and provides stunning natural scenery to enjoy from the relaxing comfort of your swim spa.

Practice meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice that has exploded in popularity all over the world today, with good reason. The health benefits of meditation are extensive, from improving mental clarity to reducing high blood pressure. One of the best things about meditation is that you can do it pretty much anywhere and anytime. All you have to do is find a quiet space, focus on your breath, and clear your mind.

What’s the Best Swim Spa for Me?

Ultimately, the best swim spa for you comes down to personal preference. You can have one custom-built or order a prefabricated swim spa. There are so many options that it’s best to look around a bit to see which features you want and need most.

Once you decide on a model, be sure to add an automatic pool cover for your swim spa to keep it protected throughout the year. Plus, an auto pool cover can help you control operational costs by trapping heat.

 

How To Do Breathing Exercise – Types and Health Benefits

How To Do Breathing Exercise/Like the beating of your heart, your respiratory system doesn’t need monitoring to continue on — every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day.

Breathing Exercise: For Health, Happiness & Longevity

Like the beating of your heart, your respiratory system doesn’t need monitoring to

continue on — every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day.  Whether you think about breathing or not, it happens.

This, in turn, leads many people to believe that they simply don’t have to think about their breathing. In this article, however, we’ll be countering this notion: Even though it’s not compulsory to give your breath much thought, when you do, amazing things can happen.

Conscious breathing (or breathing mindfully) can transform your life. It can change the way you think and process emotions, how your muscles work, how often you get ill, your chances of developing chronic diseases, and even how smooth and shiny your hair looks.

Surprised? Most people are. But as soon as they adopt some of the methods we’ll be outlining in this article, they become converts almost immediately.

So, let’s get started. We’ll begin by explaining why how you breathe is so important and how exactly breathing works. From there, we’ll talk about the benefits of breathing and explain how to improve your own breathing habits with some useful tips and exercises. Finally, we’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about better breathing.

Breathing Basics: Why Proper Breathing is Essential

It may be a natural body function, but many of us take for granted the power that breath has over our entire body. Let’s learn how breathing works and why improving your breathing is essential for health, wellness, and longevity.

How Breathing Works

From the nervous and cardiovascular systems, right down to your body’s individual cells, deep breathing has the ability to transform and renew your health.

Below, we’ll examine the science of breathing, in order to highlight how stimulation of these systems can bring you closer to achieving overall better health, stress reduction, and longevity.

Digging deep Into the Science of Breathing

When you engage your breath, you are activating your nervous and cardiovascular systems. With each inhale and exhale, your breath helps regulate, recover, and restore your body. The science behind deep breathing is a great reminder of how our bodies have a natural ability to be resilient.

The Diaphragm and How it Works

The main muscle responsible for breathing is the diaphragm. This is a dome-shaped muscle, which partitions the abdomen (below) from the thorax (above).

When you inhale normally, the diaphragm (assisted by the intercostal muscles) contracts and flattens. This pushes on the abdomen and simultaneously causes the lower ribs to go up and out. Essentially, the ribcage rises and expands. As a result, volume increases in the abdomen and chest, and the lungs are inflated.

During exhalation, the diaphragm returns to its resting dome-shaped position. The lungs, in turn, deflate, and air is expelled through the mouth and nose.

The Throat Anatomy

The science of breathing is all connected to the anatomy of the throat and lungs breathing exercises, the throat anatomy explained. This is a technical breakdown, without going into great detail but a short explanation of the different components and how breathing actually works from a scientific standpoint.

As you can see there are a lot of different components involved when you take a breath.

  • Larynx – Larynx is another name for the voice box. It consists mainly of cartilage, soft tissue, and muscles, including vocal cords, and is also the upper part of the trachea or windpipe.
  • Pharynx – Pharynx is the muscle-lined space connecting the nose and mouth to the larynx. It is also the upper part of the throat.
  • Nasopharynx – The Pharynx or the upper part of the throat consists of three parts and Nasopharynx in the upper part of the Pharynx
  • Oropharynx – The Oropharynx is the second and middle part of the throat or Pharynx.
  • Laryngopharynx – The Laryngopharynx is the third and lower part of the Pharynx.
  • Hypopharynx – The hypopharynx is where the esophagus stars. More about the esophagus below.
  • Pharyngeal – This is the muscle group that forms the Pharynx, the Pharyngeal group.
  • Stylopharyngeus – The lateral muscle group of the Pharynx and part of the Pharyngeal muscle group.
  • Trachea cartilage – Also known as the Tracheal rings. The Trachea cartilage helps support the trachea, making it flexible and able to move.
  • Epiglottis – The Epiglottis is a flap that folds over the vocal cords, preventing food and liquid to enter the lungs
  • Cricoid cartilage – It is a cartilage ring that supports the back of the Larynx, aka voice box.
  • The esophagus – Is the tube that connects the throat to the stomach, starting at the Hypopharynx
  • Hyoid bone – Has two important roles, one is to hold up the tongue but also support and hole up the Larynx that sits below it.
  • Windpipe – The windpipe transports the air from your nose or mouth to the lungs with each inhale or exhale

The Benefits of Better Breathing

Carving out a few minutes each day for deep breathing can help you reduce stress, feel calmer, and have more energy — all good things when it comes to living a healthy, well-balanced lifestyle.

But improved diaphragmatic breathing has additional benefits as well — some of which might surprise you. From improved hair growth to better posture, breathing affects the whole body from the inside, out.

Let’s take a look at the top benefits of deep breathing.

Improvement of Respiratory Illness and Diseases

Deep, slow, and mindful breathing breaks the cycle of gasping breaths and airway constriction, which are often associated with respiratory illnesses such as asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). When taking in shallow and slow breaths through the nose, as many people commonly do throughout the day, you gradually lengthen the time between your breaths, which exacerbates this problem.

With regular practice, the technique of deep breathing has the ability to reduce wheezing and promote calm, regulated breathing. In fact, deep breathing exercises are regularly recommended by leading health professionals, doctors, and researchers who work with respiratory illness sufferers.

Pulmonary Function Test

A Pulmonary Function Test, also known as PFT is a respiratory assessment test to measure the lung capacity in a human. Doctors do a so-called lung function test to get an accurate respiratory assessment. To perform the PFT they use a machine called spirometry. This lung function test measures lung capacity by measuring how much air you can inhale. This is done by first blocking your nose with a clip so you can’t inhale through it, then the spirometry is used, placing your mouth on the PFT, simply inhale into it. In this way, doctors are able to determine how much air you are able to inhale.

Greater Relaxation and Sounder Sleep

Once you start breathing deeply, you’ll notice tension release and an overall calming effect. You might even feel your heartbeat regulating and see your pulse lowering if you wear a health tracker. If you are experiencing trouble sleeping, a breathing exercise for sleep is an excellent option.

This calming effect also triggers a relaxation response, and in turn, this allows you to fall asleep faster when it’s time for bed. During your sleep, you’ll notice that you wake up less frequently. Improved oxygen in the blood also enhances the metabolism, giving you the boost of energy you’re looking for before you start your day or a workout. The body does this using the baroreceptors, which expand the arterial walls, thus controlling blood pressure but also allowing for the blood to absorb additional oxygen throughout the body.

All of this is behind the reason why the National Sleep Foundation recommends deep breathing relaxation exercises to help people fall asleep when they’re restless.

Better Posture

It’s no secret that our daily environment doesn’t facilitate the maintenance of good posture. From all-day sitting at desk jobs and while driving, to hours spent in front of the TV or computer at night, the less our bodies are able to fight the forces of gravity and maintain a strong, stable core, the worse off our posture becomes.

According to Judith Marcin, MD, “Over time, [a sedentary lifestyle] weakens the strength of our respiratory muscles. It also creates tension in the upper body that can alter our posture and undermine our health.” Furthermore, when you breathe from the chest instead of the lower abdomen, it’s the muscles in your neck and shoulders that end up doing most of the work.

It should go without saying that these muscles were not meant for this kind of work, and over time, the shoulders will round, and the head will drift forward, which strains the neck and weakens the back muscles. Shoulder and neck pain is often common when this occurs.

But there’s good news. The action of deep breathing almost automatically corrects rounded shoulders, opens the chest muscles, and allows the rib cage to expand.

Reduced Stress and Enhanced Mood

The mind-body connection remains an enigma to many medical experts. Still, even scientists agree that there’s something special about the link between the mind and emotions and how you breathe.

Notably, when we are stressed, the airways in the body become tighter, making it harder for air to travel from the mouth to the lungs. Essentially, your body has to work harder to transfer air, and you end up breathing faster, which perpetuates the problem.

This is, of course, why they always tell people to “take a deep breath” during times of stress or when someone is nervous before a big presentation or performance. It’s not without reason. Achieving mind-body calming starts with the breath. Slow and relaxed breathing allows for more oxygen to reach your cells, and it calms the nervous system.

Similarly, mindfulness practices like mindful yoga and mediation can help reinforce this mind-body awareness. Those who regularly practice mindful deep breathing, such as yogic breathing, report this practice as alleviating “anxiety, depression, everyday stress, post-traumatic stress, stress-related medical illnesses, or fight or flight response.”

Yogic breathing is not as intimidating as you may think. It is a more advanced breathing technique that focuses on breathing awareness and retention. Whether you’re looking to balance out your nostril breathing, find a deeper mind-body connection, or feel a sense of cleansing and renewal, this practice will help you make each breath count.

Enhanced Learning and Cognitive Performance

recent study published in Scientific Reports found that breathing exercises can enhance humans’ ability to retain newly learned information. In this study, two groups of healthy humans were taught to trace a unique path in a fixed timeframe. After they learned the path, one of the groups rested for 30 minutes while the other group engaged in a breathing practice for the same duration.

After this, both groups were tested on their abilities to recall the unique trace path that they had been taught 30 minutes prior. The results showed that “The breathing-practice group retained the motor skill strikingly better than controls, both immediately after the breathing session and also at 24hours.”

Enhanced Physical Endurance and Performance

Whether you partake in active sports such as soccer, basketball, or volleyball or you’re looking to increase your physical stamina strictly for athletic performance reasons, deep breathing exercises (and in particular, yogic breathing) can have a huge range of benefits.

This was recently proven to be true in a study testing the effects of yogic breathing practices on the lung functions of young swimmers. The study was published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine.

Two groups of young swimmers were designated. One group was chosen randomly and taught to train in yogic breathing practices while the other group was the control. In the end, “there was a significant improvement in the YBP group as compared to the control group in maximal voluntary ventilation … forced vital capacity … and the number of strokes per breath.”

Deep Breathing’s Effects on Balance

In addition to improving endurance and overall athletic performance, diaphragmatic breathing has also been shown to improve balance. A recent study published in the Journal of Physical and Manipulative Psychological Therapeutics tested 13 healthy individuals from the University of Western states.

Over an eight-week period, the subjects were taught a series of breathing exercises. These exercises were performed on a regular basis at home and in-clinic, and at the same time balance was assessed by the researchers using the Modified Balanced Air Scoring System and the OptoGait’s March in Place protocol.

In the end, the “study indicated that promotion of a costal-diaphragmatic breathing pattern may be associated with improvement in balance.” This conclusion stemmed from the fact that as their associated breathing scores improved, the subjects showed a decreasing error rate in single-leg stance balancing exercises. In other words, they were able to stand and balance on one leg more easily and for longer as their deep breathing scores improved.

Improved Hair Growth

Did you know that it has even been shown that deep breathing exercises can help promote hair growth? When practicing deep breathing, your body delivers more oxygen to the hair follicle and stimulates more blood flow, which, in turn, helps hair grow faster and stronger.

How To Breath Better

The truth is, most of us don’t breathe correctly. This may have been a learned habit that we acquired because we were taught to “suck in our gut,” or it may simply be a matter of getting older. Research has shown that children tend to deep breathe deeper and slower than adults, but when exactly this change occurs is not completely known.

Regardless of where you’re starting out, you can learn to breathe better. Here are some techniques and tips that we recommend exploring in your journey toward healthier diaphragmatic breathing. Before diving in, however, let’s go over what poor breathing looks like.

Understanding Poor Breathing

Poor breathing is short, shallow, and high up in the chest. Optimal breathing includes longer, deeper breaths and occurs low in the abdomen.

To test your breathing, try this:

Put your right hand on your chest and your left hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath as you count to three. When you do this, which hand do you feel moving the most?

If it’s your right hand (the one on your chest), you’re breathing from your chest. If it’s your left hand (the one on your stomach), you are breathing from your abdomen. You want to do the latter— breath from your abdomen.

When you breathe from your chest, your breaths are automatically going to be short and shallow because they’re only scooping up the air from the tops of your lungs. The bottoms of your lungs are bigger and fuller. That’s where your lungs store most of their air, and it’s where you want to gather your breath each time you inhale.

Difficulty Breathing

Breathing is more than just inhale and exhale.  What’s important is the quality of your breathing, how you allow it in and out of your lungs how you perform your exhales and inhales, how you take that air in and out in a certain pattern and time frame.

There are a number of different symptoms you can experience when it comes to breathing issues. Shortness of breath when under anxiety and/or stress, wheezing when breathing, heavy breathing, agonal breathing also known as labored breathing, shallow breathing, and rapid breathing. Whatever the issue is with your breathing, there is often some type of breathing treatment that can address some if not all of these issues. All you need to do is find the one that fits your needs.

You should also seek medical advice or breathing treatment if you experience any of the following issues:

Different Breathing Exercises

As mentioned above, breathing is more than taking air in and out, inhale and exhale. How it’s done depends on which breathing technique you find works for you, as they all achieve different objectives. Some will correlate with others, while others don’t.

  • Square Breathing also known as Box Breathing – Is a breathing technique based on square framework. You breathe in, to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4, breathe out to the count of 4, hold to the count of 4. This process is repeated over and over from anywhere between 5-20 minutes. The amount of time can also be extended to 6 or even 8 seconds, once you have started to master this technique. Box breathing can help with anxiety, stress, shallow breathing, or sleeping disorders. Here you can find additional box breathing benefits.
  • 4 7 8 Breathing – is also known as 4-7-8 or 478 breathing. This is an exercise that was first developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. It’s similar to box breathing but here you inhale to the count of 4, hold to the count of 7 and exhale to the count of 8. And this process just like box breathing is repeated over and over during 5-20 minutes on a daily basis or several times a day depending on your needs. This exercise helps you sleep better, helps lower blood pressure, rapid breathing, and improves digestion
  • Mindful Breathing – Mindful breathing is a deep breathing technique focusing on mindful awareness with each exhale and inhale.
  • Paradoxical Breathing – Paradoxical breathing happens when the diaphragm moves in the opposite direction when taking a breath, compared to normal breathing.
  • Diaphragmatic Breathing – This is a deep breathing technique that focuses on deep inhales, where you not only fill your chest but also your belly. This is why diaphragmatic breathing also is referred to as abdominal breathing or belly breathing. It is the opposite of shallow breathing techniques.
  • Ujjayi Breathing – Meaning “victorious breath” Ujjayi breathing is one of many different types of yogic breathing techniques.
  • Alternate Nostril Breathing – This is a method used to promote relaxation and stress reduction. You only use your nose, breathing in through one nostril, and out through the other nostril.
  • Pranayama Breathing – This means “breath control” and is just like Ujjayi breathing a yoga breathing technique. However, Pranayama Breathing is also known as yoga breathing or yogic breathing.
  • Pilates Breathing – This type of breathing is done in conjunction with each posture or movement during pilates.
  • Holotropic Breathing – A breathing technique used to achieve an altered state of consciousness.
  • Wim Hof Breathing: Similar to holotropic breathing, Wim Hof Breathing is also about achieving an altered state.
  • Buteyko Breathing – Suffering from asthma, using this technique will help open up your airways to be able to breathe better. It also helps reduce blood pressure amongst other things.
  • Kapalabhati – This is a technique an alternate breathing method based on a relaxed state, performing longer inhales mixed with bursts of short exhales
  • Circular Breathing – This is not a technique used to help with relaxation, stress, or similar. It is a technique used by musicians playing a wind instrument. The object is to be able to purposely hold a continuous tone without stopping. They managed to perform this by breathing in through the nose while simultaneously pushing air out through the mouth. This is done using air stored in the cheeks.
  • 3-Part Breathing – Also known as Dirga Pranayama, and is another type of yoga breathing technique. It is by many seen as the most calming, grounding breathing exercises you can do in yoga.
  • Mouth Breathing – Unlike most other breathing methods, mouth breathing is exactly what it sounds like. Here you only use your mouth to inhale and exhale.
  • Lamaze Breathing – A slow deep breathing technique often used by pregnant women. It is done to help promote relaxation and reduce pain.
  • Tummo Breathing – Developed by the ancient Tibetians, meaning “Inner Fire”. The breathing method uses both breathing and visualization to create this inner fire.
  • Pursed Lip Breathing – Below we dig a little deeper into 3 of these different breathing exercises. First, 3-part breathing, followed by kapalabhati breath, and finally alternate nostril breathing.

Learn 3-Part Breathing

Deep breathing is rooted in the diaphragm, your body’s miracle muscle that helps push air into the lungs. 3 Part Breathing is a simple deep breathing technique you can begin with as you practice your breathing.

It’s an easy way to become aware of the breath in your body.

  • While on your back or sitting upright, begin to inhale starting from low in your abdomen.
  • Watch your abdomen slowly inflate with air. You should see your lower belly rise first, then this inflation should carry up to the rib cage.
  • Now, exhale slowly from your chest. Watch your chest and belly go down. The effect should occur opposite to the inhale: Your ribcage should deflate first, followed by the top of your abdomen, and finally, the bottom of your belly.

During the process, your shoulders should not rise or fall. Everything is happening in the abdomen and thorax.

Learn Kapalabhati Breath

For those, a bit more adventurous, “kapalabhati breath” is a technique that emphasizes exhales. Here’s how to do it:

  • Sitting upright (or in a seated twist, wherein this technique can be especially beneficial), begin to focus on exhaling short, quick breaths from the nose.
  • Find your own rhythm. Your inhale will naturally follow.
  • Try this for 20-30 seconds.

Kapalabhati breath works by inducing “controlled stress.” Doing this via breath techniques forces your body to work up resiliency in managing the stress of daily life. It’s also a great way to rebalance the body’s CO2 levels.

Try Alternate Nostril Breathing

Alternate nostril breathing or “Nadi Shodhana” is a nostril cleansing technique that balances out the energy, reduces your systolic blood pressure, and brings vigilant attention to the breath without activating your stress response (“fight or flight”).

  • Start sitting upright. Using your ring finger and your thumb, block your right nostril with your thumb and inhale for 3 seconds through the left nostril.
  • On the exhale, use your ring finger to block the left nostril and exhale for 4 seconds through your right nostril.
  • Continue to alternate nostril breathing for a few minutes and notice your nasal pathways clear out (keep a tissue nearby!).

Consult a physician before these exercises if you have asthma or COPD. At any time if you become lightheaded, stop the exercises and resume normal breathing.

Focus on Breathing Slower

On average, most adults have a regular breathing rate of 12 to 18 beats per minute. But if you can learn to breathe more slowly, this can be especially advantageous for cultivating better breathing habits. A recent article on the physiological effects of slow breathing in the journal Breathe notes that “ ‘autonomically optimized respiration’ … would appear to be in the band of 6–10 breaths per [minute].” This helps you alleviate issues such as rapid breathing.

Cultivate the Three R’s

As you practice deep breathing, learn to cultivate “The Three R’s.

Regulate

Feel the beat. Inhale slowly for 3 counts, and exhale slowly for 3 counts.

Breathing techniques like this one, allow you to sync your breathing with the rhythm of your heartbeat and stimulate the vagus nerve. This stimulation regulates heart rate, decreases blood pressure, and relaxes your muscles.

From mind to body, this state has the ability to relax the brain for increased feelings of peace and tranquility allowing you to breathe easily.

Recover

Find your resiliency. Take 6 to 10 controlled, slow breaths per minute.

This exercise stimulates your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. When your breath is controlled, slow, and regulated, you maximize the heart rate variability (HRV), allowing you to recover from stress faster — a key to maintaining health and wellness longevity.

Rejuvenate

Breathe to heal.

The act of deep breathing sends oxygen to your blood cells. This is your body’s way of promoting rejuvenation and repair. Incorporate deep breathing practices into your routine, especially in moments of stress or fatigue. You may not feel the direct effects of your breath on a cellular level, but the restorative effects are happening!

Bring Texture to Your Breath

This may sound a bit odd, but your breath can indeed have a texture to it. “Ujjayi” or victorious breath is a breath control technique that increases the breath’s pressure and promotes relaxation of the body and mind. Here’s how to do it:

  • Lying on your back, begin to inhale applying a slight block at the back of your throat.
  • Exhale, and notice that your breath begins to have weight.
  • Visualize your breath rolling to the back of the throat on an inhale and exiting softly on the exhale – this flow of breath sounds like waves rolling in and out of the shore!

Breathing Lessons

You do not have to be an expert or have a lot of experience when taking a breathing lesson. Anyone can try it, young, old, men and women. We all have to start somewhere so why not start now. This will allow you to breathe easier, improve your lung health and it carries a long-term effect in regards to many different benefits, mentioned above. You could find a breathing treatment that works for you and your condition. Not all breathing treatments or breathing exercises fit everyone so finding the one that meets your needs is essential.

Face Masks

Breathing today has become even more and more important due to the pandemic we are experiencing where many of us are wearing a face mask when we step outside. Wearing a face mask will affect your breathing but at the same time, it will keep you safe meaning it’s a compromise we have to undertake. There is a solution to both staying safe and relieving stress and anxiety associated with wearing face masks – oxygen promoting breathing techniques!

Frequently Asked Questions About Bettering Your Breathing

As a rule, is it better to breathe through the nose or the mouth?

It is generally better to breathe through your nose. During deep breathing practice, it is often the protocol to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. According to the American Lung Association, the nostrils of your nose “filter, warm, and humidify air in a way that the mouth cannot.”

Of course, sometimes, you’ll need to breathe through your mouth (for example, when you have nasal congestion or are exercising), but when you can, breathing through your nose is preferable.

Is there a difference between “belly breathing,” “diaphragmatic breathing,” and “deep breathing”?

Not really. All of these terms refer to the same type of breathing practice wherein breaths are taken deeply, slowly, and low — from the diaphragm.

How soon can I expect to see results from my new breathing techniques?

You should start to see beneficial results from deep breathing and taking your first breath. Of course, it’s important to remember that these benefits are going to be life-changing right away. It takes time to cultivate a strong deep breathing practice that can be with you as a tool wherever you go.

The good news is, the benefits will only increase with time. Not only will you expand your lung’s capacity for air and develop a habit of turning to your breath in times of stress and anxiety, but the overall physical and emotional effects that you can’t necessarily see will be working all the while in the background.

I feel weird when I take deep breaths like I’m breathing really loudly. Can this be helped?

Some people may feel awkward if they practice deep breathing in front of other people. Well, you certainly shouldn’t feel self-conscious about the way you breathe, if you two prefer to practice your deep breathing alone or with a coach or in a class, this is perfectly fine.

On the other hand, if you are in a social situation and have become aware that you’re getting anxious or agitated, taking a deep breath or two at this point can be especially useful. For this reason, you may want to excuse yourself to the restroom to do some deep breathing in private.

How often do I have to practice my breathing?

There’s no hard-and-fast rule here.

If you can, we recommend partaking in a meditation practice, which is the perfect time to work on your breathing. Even if you don’t meditate regularly, taking a few moments out of your day to do some deep breathing will be beneficial. Actually, simply noticing your breath is the first step toward building a better breathing habit.

You can set aside time to do some deep breathing every day, or do it while you’re partaking in another relatively idle activity — for example, while you’re chopping vegetables, taking a bath, or waiting in line at the bank drive-through.

In high-stress and fast-paced environments, it can be hard to focus on the quality of your breathing. Still, this is when noticing your breath will actually be most useful. Again, even if you can just notice the quality of your breath during these stressful periods (are you holding your breath? Are your breaths more shallow or shorter than usual?), you begin to become more aware of how changing everything will be beneficial.

Can anyone learn to breathe better?

Yes, of course!

No matter where your starting point is, improving your breathing will improve your life. Certainly, if you struggle with asthma, COPD, or other lung-related medical conditions, it’s imperative that you consult your physician before starting a new reading practice.

At the same time, these conditions shouldn’t hold you back from working toward better breathing habits. Absolutely everyone can benefit from becoming more mindful of and in tune with their breathing.

Better Breathing Means You’re Closer To Living a Healthier, Happier, and Longer Life

By now, you’ve seen the breadth of how important breathing is to repairing, maintaining, and rejuvenating the mind and body.

While better breathing takes mindful practice to ensure each inhale and exhale is slow, deep, and properly executed, it’s also beneficial to remember that this practice is free.

You don’t need a pill. No membership is required. Breathing is free.

It’s also something you can work on any time — and it’s all “grist for the mill,” meaning even taking one breath mindfully while you wait in traffic or stand in line at the post office can be beneficial to your overall health and wellbeing. Gaining a strong mastery of your breath may not happen overnight, but with time, we guarantee you’ll notice the benefits.

References

 

17 Effective Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Levels

17 Effective Ways to Lower Your Blood Pressure Levels/High blood pressure, or hypertension, is called the “silent killer” for good reason. It often has no symptoms but is a major risk for heart disease and stroke. And these diseases are among the leading causes of death in the United States ( rx). About one in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure (rxe).

Your blood pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury, which is abbreviated as mm Hg. There are two numbers involved in the measurement:

  • Systolic blood pressure. The top number represents the pressure in your blood vessels when your heartbeats.
  • Diastolic blood pressure. The bottom number represents the pressure in your blood vessels between beats when your heart is resting.

Your blood pressure depends on how much blood your heart is pumping, and how much resistance there is to blood flow in your arteries. The narrower your arteries, the higher your blood pressure.

The good news about elevated blood pressure is that lifestyle changes can significantly reduce your numbers and lower your risk — without requiring medications.

Blood pressure lower than 120/80 mm Hg is considered normal. Blood pressure that’s 130/80 mm Hg or more is considered high. If your numbers are above normal but under 130/80 mm Hg, you fall into the category of elevated blood pressure. This means that you’re at risk for developing high blood pressure (rx).

Here are 17 effective ways to lower your blood pressure levels

1. Increase activity and exercise more

  • In a 2017 study, sedentary older adults who participated in aerobic exercise training lowered their blood pressure by an average of 3.9 percent systolic and 4.5 percent diastolic (rx). These results are as good as some blood pressure medications.
  • As you regularly increase your heart and breathing rates, over time your heart gets stronger and pumps with less effort. This puts less pressure on your arteries and lowers your blood pressure.
  • If finding 40 minutes at a time is a challenge, there may still be benefits when the time is divided into three or four 10- to 15-minute segments throughout the day (rx).

How much activity should you strive for? A 2013 report by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Heart Association (AHA) advises moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity for 40-minute sessions, three to four times per week (rx).

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) makes similar recommendations (rx).

But you don’t have to run marathons. Increasing your activity level can be as simple as:

  • using the stairs
  • walking instead of driving
  • doing household chores
  • gardening
  • going for a bike ride
  • playing a team sport
  • Just do it regularly and work up to at least half an hour per day of moderate activity.
  • One example of moderate activity that can have big results is tai chi. A 2017 review on the effects of tai chi and high blood pressure shows an overall average of a 15.6 mm Hg drop in systolic blood pressure and a 10.7 mm Hg drop in diastolic blood pressure, compared to people who didn’t exercise at all (rx).
  • Ongoing studies continue to suggest that there are still benefits to even light physical activity, especially in older adults (rx).

A 2014 review on exercise and lowering blood pressure found that there are many combinations of exercise that can lower blood pressure. Aerobic exercise, resistance training, high-intensity interval training, short bouts of exercise throughout the day, or walking 10,000 steps a day may all lower blood pressure (rx).

2. Lose weight if you’re overweight

  • If you’re overweight, losing even 5 to 10 pounds can reduce your blood pressure. Plus, you’ll lower your risk for other medical problems.

A 2016 review of several studies reported that weight-loss diets reduced blood pressure by an average of 3.2 mm Hg diastolic and 4.5 mm Hg systolic (rx).

3. Cut back on sugar and refined carbohydrates

  • Many scientific studies show that restricting sugar and refined carbohydrates can help you lose weight and lower your blood pressure.
  • A 2010 study compared a low-carb diet to a low-fat diet. The low-fat diet included a diet drug. Both diets produced weight loss, but the low-carb diet was much more effective in lowering blood pressure.
  • The low-carb diet lowered blood pressure by 4.5 mm Hg diastolic and 5.9 mm Hg systolic. The diet of low-fat plus the diet drug lowered blood pressure by only 0.4 mm Hg diastolic and 1.5 mm Hg systolic (rx).

A 2012 analysis of low-carb diets and heart disease risk found that these diets lowered blood pressure by an average of 3.10 mm Hg diastolic and 4.81 mm Hg systolic (rx). Another side effect of a low-carb, low-sugar diet is that you feel fuller longer because you’re consuming more protein and fat.

4. Eat more potassium and less sodium

  • Increasing your potassium intake and cutting back on salt can also lower your blood pressure (rx).
  • Potassium is a double winner: It lessens the effects of salt in your system and also eases tension in your blood vessels. However, diets rich in potassium may be harmful to individuals with kidney disease, so talk to your doctor before increasing your potassium intake.
  • It’s easy to eat more potassium — so many foods are naturally high in potassium.

Here are a few

  • low-fat dairy foods, such as milk and yogurt
  • fish
  • fruits, such as bananas, apricots, avocados, and oranges
  • vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, tomatoes, greens, and spinach

Note that individuals respond to salt differently. Some people are salt-sensitive, meaning that a higher salt intake increases their blood pressure. Others are salt-insensitive. They can have a high salt intake and excrete it in their urine without raising their blood pressure (rx).

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends reducing salt intake using the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet (rx). The DASH diet emphasizes

  • low-sodium foods
  • fruits and vegetables
  • low-fat dairy
  • whole grains
  • fish
  • poultry
  • beans
  • fewer sweets and red meats

5. Eat less processed food

  • Most of the extra salt in your diet comes from processed foods and foods from restaurants, not your salt shaker at home (rx). Popular high-salt items include deli meats, canned soup, pizza, chips, and other processed snacks.
  • Foods labeled “low-fat” are usually high in salt and sugar to compensate for the loss of fat. Fat is what gives food taste and makes you feel full.
  • Cutting down on — or even better, cutting out — processed food will help you eat less salt, less sugar, and fewer refined carbohydrates. All of this can result in lower blood pressure.

Make it a practice to check labels. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a sodium listing of 5 percent or less on a food label is considered low, while 20 percent or more is considered high (rx).

6. Stop smoking

  • Stopping smoking is good for your all-around health. Smoking causes an immediate but temporary increase in your blood pressure and an increase in your heart rate (rx).
  • In the long term, the chemicals in tobacco can increase your blood pressure by damaging your blood vessel walls, causing inflammation, and narrowing your arteries. The hardened arteries cause higher blood pressure.
  • The chemicals in tobacco can affect your blood vessels even if you’re around secondhand smoke.

A study showed that children around secondhand smoke in the home had higher blood pressure than those from nonsmoking homes (rx).

7. Reduce excess stress

  • We live in stressful times. Workplace and family demands, national and international politics — they all contribute to stress. Finding ways to reduce your own stress is important for your health and your blood pressure.
  • There are lots of different ways to successfully relieve stress, so find what works for you. Practice deep breathing, take a walk, read a book, or watch a comedy.
  • Listening to music daily has also been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure (rx).

A recent 20-year study showed that regular sauna use reduced death from heart-related events (rx). And one small study has shown that acupuncture can lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure (rx).

8. Try meditation or yoga

  • Mindfulness and meditation, including transcendental meditation, have long been used — and studied — as methods to reduce stress. A 2012 study notes that one university program in Massachusetts has had more than 19,000 people participate in a meditation and mindfulness program to reduce stress (rx).
  • Yoga, which commonly involves breathing control, posture, and meditation techniques, can also be effective in reducing stress and blood pressure.

A 2013 review on yoga and blood pressure found an average blood pressure decrease of 3.62 mm Hg diastolic and 4.17 mm Hg systolic when compared to those who didn’t exercise. Studies of yoga practices that included breath control, postures, and meditation were nearly twice as effective as yoga practices that didn’t include all three of these elements (rx).

9. Eat some dark chocolate

Yes, chocolate lovers

  • Dark chocolate has been shown to lower blood pressure.
  • But the dark chocolate should be 60 to 70 percent cacao. A review of studies on dark chocolate has found that eating one to two squares of dark chocolate per day may help lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and inflammation.
  • The benefits are thought to come from the flavonoids present in chocolate with more cocoa solids. The flavonoids help dilate, or widen, your blood vessels (rx).

A 2010 study of 14,310 people found that individuals without hypertension who ate more dark chocolate had lower blood pressure overall than those who ate less dark chocolate (rx).

10. Try these medicinal herbs

  • Herbal medicines have long been used in many cultures to treat a variety of ailments.
  • Some herbs have even been shown to possibly lower blood pressure. Although, more research is needed to identify the doses and components in the herbs that are most useful (rx).
  • Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking herbal supplements. They may interfere with your prescription medications.

Here’s a partial list of plants and herbs that are used by cultures throughout the world to lower blood pressure:

  • black bean (Castanospermum australe)
  • cat’s claw (Uncaria rhynchophylla)
  • celery juice (Apium graveolens)
  • Chinese hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida)
  • ginger root
  • giant dodder (Cuscuta reflexa)
  • Indian plantago (blond psyllium)
  • maritime pine bark (Pinus pinaster)
  • river lily (Crinum glaucum)
  • roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa)
  • sesame oil (Sesamum indicum)
  • tomato extract (Lycopersicon esculentum)
  • tea (Camellia sinensis), especially green tea and oolong tea
  • umbrella tree bark (Musanga cecropioides)

11. Make sure to get good, restful sleep

  • Your blood pressure typically dips down when you’re sleeping. If you don’t sleep well, it can affect your blood pressure. People who experience sleep deprivation, especially those who are middle-aged, have an increased risk of high blood pressure (rx).
  • For some people, getting a good night’s sleep isn’t easy. There are many ways to help you get restful sleep. Try setting a regular sleep schedule, spend time relaxing at night, exercise during the day, avoid daytime naps, and make your bedroom comfortable (rx).

The national Sleep Heart Health Study found that regularly sleeping less than 7 hours a night and more than 9 hours a night was associated with an increased prevalence of hypertension. Regularly sleeping less than 5 hours a night was linked to a significant risk of hypertension long-term (rx).

12. Eat garlic or take garlic extract supplements

  • Fresh garlic or garlic extract are both widely used to lower blood pressure (rx).
  • According to one clinical study, a time-release garlic extract preparation may have a greater effect on blood pressure than regular garlic powder tablets (rx).

One 2012 review noted a study of 87 people with high blood pressure that found a diastolic reduction of 6 mm Hg and a systolic reduction of 12 mm Hg in those who consumed garlic, compared to people without any treatment (rx).

13. Eat healthy high-protein foods

  • A long-term study concluded in 2014 found that people who ate more protein had a lower risk of high blood pressure. For those who ate an average of 100 grams of protein per day, there was a 40 percent lower risk of having high blood pressure than those on a low-protein diet (rx). Those who also added regular fiber into their diet saw up to a 60 percent reduction of risk.
  • However, a high-protein diet may not be for everyone. Those with kidney disease may need to use caution, so talk to your doctor.
  • It’s fairly easy to consume 100 grams of protein daily on most types of diets.

High-protein foods include

  • fish, such as salmon or canned tuna in water
  • eggs
  • poultry, such as chicken breast
  • beef
  • beans and legumes, such as kidney beans and lentils
  • nuts or nut butter such as peanut butter
  • chickpeas
  • cheese, such as cheddar
  • A 3.5-ounce (oz.) serving of salmon can have as much as 22 grams (g) of protein, while a 3.5-oz. serving of chicken breast might contain 30 g of protein.
  • With regards to vegetarian options, a half-cup serving of most types of beans contains 7 to 10 g of protein. Two tablespoons of peanut butter would provide 8 g (rx).

14. Take these BP-lowering supplements

These supplements are readily available and have demonstrated promise for lowering blood pressure

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid

  • Adding omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids or fish oil to your diet can have many benefits.
  • A meta-analysis of fish oil and blood pressure found a mean blood pressure reduction in those with high blood pressure of 4.5 mm Hg systolic and 3.0 mm Hg diastolic (rx).

Whey protein

  • This protein complex derived from milk may have several health benefits, in addition to possibly lowering blood pressure (rx).

Magnesium

  • Magnesium deficiency is related to higher blood pressure. A meta-analysis found a small reduction in blood pressure with magnesium supplementation (rx).

Coenzyme Q10

  • In a few small studies, the antioxidant CoQ10 lowered systolic blood pressure by 17 mm Hg and diastolic up to 10 mm Hg (rx).

Citrulline

  • Oral L-citrulline is a precursor to L-arginine in the body, a building block of protein, which may lower blood pressure (rx).

15. Drink less alcohol

  • Alcohol can raise your blood pressure, even if you’re healthy.
  • It’s important to drink in moderation. Alcohol can raise your blood pressure by 1 mm Hg for every 10 grams of alcohol consumed (rx). A standard drink contains 14 grams of alcohol.
  • What constitutes a standard drink? One 12-ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits (rx).
  • Moderate drinking is up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks per day for men (rx).

16. Consider cutting back on caffeine

  • Caffeine raises your blood pressure, but the effect is temporary. It lasts 45 to 60 minutes and the reaction varies from individual to individual (rx).
  • Some people may be more sensitive to caffeine than others. If you’re caffeine-sensitive, you may want to cut back on your coffee consumption or try decaffeinated coffee.
  • One older study indicated that caffeine’s effect on raising blood pressure is greater if your blood pressure is already high. This same study, however, called for more research on the subject (rx).

Research on caffeine, including its health benefits, is in the news a lot. The choice of whether to cut back depends on many individual factors.

17. Take prescription medication

  • If your blood pressure is very high or doesn’t decrease after making these lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend prescription drugs.
  • They work and will improve your long-term outcome, especially if you have other risk factors (rx). However, it can take some time to find the right combination of medications.

7 Home Remedies for Managing High Blood Pressure

What is high blood pressure?

Blood pressure is the force at which blood pumps from the heart into the arteries. A normal blood pressure reading is less than 120/80 mm Hg. When blood pressure is high, the blood moves through the arteries more forcefully. This puts increased pressure on the delicate tissues in the arteries and damages the blood vessels. High blood pressure, or hypertension, affects about half of American adults, estimates the American College of Cardiology.

Known as a “silent killer,” it usually doesn’t cause symptoms until there’s significant damage done to the heart. Without visible symptoms, most people are unaware that they have high blood pressure.

1. Get moving

  • Exercising 30 to 60 minutes a day is an important part of healthy living.
  • Along with helping lower blood pressure, regular physical activity benefits your mood, strength, and balance. It decreases your risk of diabetes and other types of heart disease.
  • If you’ve been inactive for a while, talk to your doctor about a safe exercise routine. Start out slowly, then gradually pick up the pace and frequency of your workouts.
  • Not a fan of the gym? Take your workout outside. Go for a hike, jog, or swim and still reap the benefits. The important thing is to get moving!

The American Heart Association (AHA) also recommends incorporating muscle-strengthening activity at least two days per week. You can try lifting weights, doing pushups, or performing any other exercise that helps build lean muscle mass.

2. Follow the DASH diet

Following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet can lower your blood pressure by as much as 11 mm Hg systolic. The DASH diet consists of:

  • eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
  • eating low-fat dairy products, lean meats, fish, and nuts
  • eliminating foods that are high in saturated fats, such as processed foods, full-fat dairy products, and fatty meats
  • It also helps to cut back on desserts and sweetened beverages, such as soda and juice.

3. Put down the saltshaker

  • Keeping your sodium intake to a minimum can be vital for lowering blood pressure.
  • In some people, when you eat too much sodium, your body starts to retain fluid. This results in a sharp rise in blood pressure.
  • To decrease sodium in your diet, don’t add salt to your food. One teaspoon of table salt has 2,300 mg of sodium!
  • Use herbs and spices to add flavor instead. Processed foods also tend to be loaded with sodium. Always read food labels and choose low-sodium alternatives when possible.

The AHA recommends limiting your sodium intake to between 1,500 milligrams (mg) and 2,300 mg per day. That’s a little over half a teaspoon of table salt.

4. Lose excess weight

  • Weight and blood pressure go hand in hand. Losing just 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) can help lower your blood pressure.
  • It’s not just the number on your scale that matters. Watching your waistline is also critical for controlling blood pressure.
  • The extra fat around your waist, called visceral fat, is troublesome. It tends to surround various organs in the abdomen. This can lead to serious health problems, including high blood pressure.
  • In general, men should keep their waist measurement to less than 40 inches. Women should aim for less than 35 inches.

5. Nix your nicotine addiction

  • Each cigarette you smoke temporarily raises blood pressure for several minutes after you finish. If you’re a heavy smoker, your blood pressure can stay elevated for extended periods of time.
  • People with high blood pressure who smoke are at greater risk for developing dangerously high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.
  • Even secondhand smoke can put you at increased risk for high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Aside from providing numerous other health benefits, quitting smoking can help your blood pressure return to normal. 

6. Limit alcohol

  • Drinking a glass of red wine with your dinner is perfectly fine. It might even offer heart-health benefits when done in moderation.
  • But drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to lots of health issues, including high blood pressure.
  • Excessive drinking can also reduce the effectiveness of certain blood pressure medications.
  • What does drinking in moderation mean? The AHA recommends that men limit their consumption to two alcoholic drinks per day. Women should limit their intake to one alcoholic drink per day.

One drink equals

  • 12 ounces of beer
  • 5 ounces of wine
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor

7. Stressless

  • In today’s fast-paced world that’s filled with increasing demands, it can be hard to slow down and relax. It’s important to step away from your daily responsibilities so you can ease your stress.
  • Stress can temporarily raise your blood pressure. Too much of it can keep your pressure up for extended periods of time.
  • It helps to identify the trigger for your stress. It may be your job, relationship, or finances. Once you know the source of your stress, you can try to find ways to fix the problem.
  • You can also take steps to relieve your stress in a healthy way. Try taking a few deep breaths, meditating, or practicing yoga.

The risks of high blood pressure

  • When left untreated, high blood pressure can lead to serious health complications, including stroke, heart attack, and kidney damage. Regular visits to your doctor can help you monitor and control your blood pressure.
  • A blood pressure reading of 130/80 mm Hg or above is considered high. If you’ve recently received a diagnosis of high blood pressure, your doctor will work with you on how to lower it.
  • Your treatment plan might include medication, lifestyle changes, or a combination of therapies. Taking the above steps can help bring your numbers down, too.

Experts say each lifestyle change, on average, is expected to bring down blood pressure by 4 to 5 mm Hg systolic (the top number) and 2 to 3 mm Hg diastolic (the bottom number). Lowering salt intake and maing dietary changes may lower blood pressure even more.

10 ways to control high blood pressure without medication

  • By making these 10 lifestyle changes, you can lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you might be worried about taking medication to bring your numbers down.
  • Lifestyle plays an important role in treating your high blood pressure. If you successfully control your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle, you might avoid, delay or reduce the need for medication.

Here are 10 lifestyle changes you can make to lower your blood pressure and keep it down.

1. Lose extra pounds and watch your waistline

  • Blood pressure often increases as weight increases. Being overweight also can cause disrupted breathing while you sleep (sleep apnea), which further raises your blood pressure.
  • Weight loss is one of the most effective lifestyle changes for controlling blood pressure. Losing even a small amount of weight if you’re overweight or obese can help reduce your blood pressure. In general, you may reduce your blood pressure by about 1 millimeter of mercury (mm Hg) with each kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) of weight you lose.
  • Besides shedding pounds, you generally should also keep an eye on your waistline. Carrying too much weight around your waist can put you at greater risk of high blood pressure.

In general:

  • Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters).
  • Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (89 centimeters).

These numbers vary among ethnic groups. Ask your doctor about a healthy waist measurement for you.

2. Exercise regularly

  • Regular physical activity — such as 150 minutes a week, or about 30 minutes most days of the week — can lower your blood pressure by about 5 to 8 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. It’s important to be consistent because if you stop exercising, your blood pressure can rise again.
  • If you have elevated blood pressure, exercise can help you avoid developing hypertension. If you already have hypertension, regular physical activity can bring your blood pressure down to safer levels.

Some examples of aerobic exercise you may try to lower blood pressure include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming or dancing. You can also try high-intensity interval training, which involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with subsequent recovery periods of lighter activity. Strength training also can help reduce blood pressure. Aim to include strength training exercises at least two days a week. Talk to your doctor about developing an exercise program.

3. Eat a healthy diet

  • Eating a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products and skimps on saturated fat and cholesterol can lower your blood pressure by up to 11 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure. This eating plan is known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

It isn’t easy to change your eating habits, but with these tips, you can adopt a healthy diet

  • Keep a food diary – Writing down what you eat, even for just a week, can shed surprising light on your true eating habits. Monitor what you eat, how much, when and why.
  • Consider boosting potassium – Potassium can lessen the effects of sodium on blood pressure. The best source of potassium is food, such as fruits and vegetables, rather than supplements. Talk to your doctor about the potassium level that’s best for you.
  • Be a smart shopper – Read food labels when you shop and stick to your healthy-eating plan when you’re dining out, too.

4. Reduce sodium in your diet

  • Even a small reduction in the sodium in your diet can improve your heart health and reduce blood pressure by about 5 to 6 mm Hg if you have high blood pressure.
  • The effect of sodium intake on blood pressure varies among groups of people. In general, limit sodium to 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day or less. However, a lower sodium intake — 1,500 mg a day or less — is ideal for most adults.

To decrease sodium in your diet, consider these tips:

  • Read food labels. If possible, choose low-sodium alternatives of the foods and beverages you normally buy.
  • Eat fewer processed foods. Only a small amount of sodium occurs naturally in foods. Most sodium is added during processing.
  • Don’t add salt. Just 1 level teaspoon of salt has 2,300 mg of sodium. Use herbs or spices to add flavor to your food.
  • Ease into it. If you don’t feel you can drastically reduce the sodium in your diet suddenly, cut back gradually. Your palate will adjust over time.

5. Limit the amount of alcohol you drink

  • Alcohol can be both good and bad for your health. By drinking alcohol only in moderation — generally one drink a day for women, or two a day for men — you can potentially lower your blood pressure by about 4 mm Hg. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, five ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.
  • But that protective effect is lost if you drink too much alcohol.
  • Drinking more than moderate amounts of alcohol can actually raise blood pressure by several points. It can also reduce the effectiveness of blood pressure medications.

6. Quit smoking

  • Each cigarette you smoke increases your blood pressure for many minutes after you finish. Stopping smoking helps your blood pressure return to normal. Quitting smoking can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve your overall health. People who quit smoking may live longer than people who never quit smoking.

7. Cut back on caffeine

  • The role caffeine plays in blood pressure is still debated. Caffeine can raise blood pressure up to 10 mm Hg in people who rarely consume it. But people who drink coffee regularly may experience little or no effect on their blood pressure.
  • Although the long-term effects of caffeine on blood pressure aren’t clear, it’s possible blood pressure may slightly increase.
  • To see if caffeine raises your blood pressure, check your pressure within 30 minutes of drinking a caffeinated beverage. If your blood pressure increases by 5 to 10 mm Hg, you may be sensitive to the blood pressure-raising effects of caffeine. Talk to your doctor about the effects of caffeine on your blood pressure.

8. Reduce your stress

Chronic stress may contribute to high blood pressure. More research is needed to determine the effects of chronic stress on blood pressure. Occasional stress also can contribute to high blood pressure if you react to stress by eating unhealthy food, drinking alcohol or smoking.

Take some time to think about what causes you to feel stressed, such as work, family, finances or illness. Once you know what’s causing your stress, consider how you can eliminate or reduce stress.

If you can’t eliminate all of your stressors, you can at least cope with them in a healthier way. Try to:

  • Change your expectations. For example, plan your day and focus on your priorities. Avoid trying to do too much and learn to say no. Understand there are some things you can’t change or control, but you can focus on how you react to them.
  • Focus on issues you can control and make plans to solve them. If you are having an issue at work, try talking to your manager. If you are having a conflict with your kids or spouse, take steps to resolve it.
  • Avoid stress triggers. Try to avoid triggers when you can. For example, if rush-hour traffic on the way to work causes stress, try leaving earlier in the morning, or take public transportation. Avoid people who cause you stress if possible.
  • Make time to relax and to do activities you enjoy. Take time each day to sit quietly and breathe deeply. Make time for enjoyable activities or hobbies in your schedule, such as taking a walk, cooking or volunteering.
  • Practice gratitude. Expressing gratitude to others can help reduce your stress.

9. Monitor your blood pressure at home and see your doctor regularly

  • Home monitoring can help you keep tabs on your blood pressure, make certain your lifestyle changes are working, and alert you and your doctor to potential health complications. Blood pressure monitors are available widely and without a prescription. Talk to your doctor about home monitoring before you get started.
  • Regular visits with your doctor are also key to controlling your blood pressure. If your blood pressure is well-controlled, check with your doctor about how often you need to check it. Your doctor may suggest checking it daily or less often. If you’re making any changes in your medications or other treatments, your doctor may recommend you check your blood pressure starting two weeks after treatment changes and a week before your next appointment.

10. Get support

  • Supportive family and friends can help improve your health. They may encourage you to take care of yourself, drive you to the doctor’s office or embark on an exercise program with you to keep your blood pressure low.
  • If you find you need support beyond your family and friends, consider joining a support group. This may put you in touch with people who can give you an emotional or morale boost and who can offer practical tips to cope with your condition.

Lifestyle Modification

Lifestyle modification is a very important aspect of the treatment of diabetes and hypertension. It is generally agreed that lifestyle modification has a modest antihypertensive effect resulting in an effective blood pressure reduction of 5-10 mmHg. Changes to lifestyle which appear to have health benefits include:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Strive for a body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9.
  • Eat healthier. Eat lots of fruit, veggies and low-fat dairy, and less saturated and total fat.
  • Reduce sodium. Ideally, stay under 1,500 mg a day, but aim for at least a 1,000 mg per day reduction.
  • Get active. Aim for at least 90 to 150 minutes of aerobic and/or dynamic resistance exercise per week and/or three sessions of isometric resistance exercises per week.
  • Limit alcohol. Drink no more than 1-2 drinks a day. (One for most women, two for most men.)
  • Reducing salt intake to less than 1.5 g/day
  • Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables (8-10 servings per day)
  • Increasing consumption of low-fat dairy products (2-3 servings per day)
  • Increasing activity levels/ engaging in regular aerobic physical activity (e.g. brisk walking 30 min/day)
  • Losing excess weight
  • Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption (less than 2 drinks (30 ml ethanol)/day for men and less than 1 drink/day for women)
  • Lifestyle modification may be used as a sole treatment modality in patients with blood pressure <140/80, but ideally should be combined with pharmacotherapy in patients with systolic blood pressure (SBP) ≥ 140 and or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) ≥ 80

References

The Benefits of Starting Your Day with a Walk

When you wake up in the morning, the movement might not be your first priority. But starting your day with a walk — whether it’s around your neighborhood or part of your commute to work or school — can offer your body a number of health benefits.

Here are 10 reasons why you may want to start your day by getting in some steps. There are also a few tips to seamlessly work it into your daily routine.

1. Boost your energy

Starting out your day with a walk may give you more energy throughout the day. If you walk outdoors, that’s especially true.

Studies show that adults who walked for 20 minutes outdoors experienced more vitality and energy than those who walked for 20 minutes indoors.

A small study found that 10 minutes of stair walking was more energizing than a cup of coffee for 18 women who felt sleep-deprived.

The next time you need a morning energy boost or feel tired when you wake up, you may want to try a walk.

2. Improve your mood

There are physiological benefits to walking in the morning, too.

A walk may help:

  • improve self-esteem
  • boost mood
  • reduce stress
  • reduce anxiety
  • reduce fatigue
  • ease depression symptoms or reduce your risk for depression

For best results, try walking for 20 to 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.

3. Complete your physical activity for the day

One benefit of walking in the morning is that you’ll complete your physical activity for the day — before any other family, work, or school obligations derail you.

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend that healthy adults should complete at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

Try to complete a 30-minute walk 5 mornings a week to meet these requirements.

4. It may help you lose weight

Walking in the morning may help you meet your weight loss goals. Walking at a moderate pace for 30 minutes can burn up to 150 calories. Combined with a healthy diet and strength training, you may find you lose weight.

5. Prevent or manage health conditions

Walking can offer numerous benefits for your health, including boosting your immunity, as well as preventing and helping you manage various health conditions.

StudiesTrusted Source shows that walking for 30 minutes per day can reduce your risk for heart disease by 19 percent. If you live with diabetes, walking may also help lower your blood sugar levels.

It can even help increase your life span and reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.

6. Strengthen muscles

Walking may help strengthen the muscles in your legs. For best results, walk at a moderate to brisk pace. Try to change up your routine and climb stairs, walk up and down hills, or walk at an incline on the treadmill.

Add in leg-strengthening exercises like squats and lunges several times a week for more muscle tone.

7. Improve mental clarity

A morning walk may help improve your mental clarity and ability to focus throughout the day. A recen found that amongst older adults, those who started their days with a morning walk improved their cognitive function, compared to those who remained sedentary.

Walking may also help you think more creatively. Research shows that walking opens up a free flow of ideas, which may help you problem-solve better than if you’re sitting or remaining sedentary. This is especially the case if you walk outdoors.

The next time you have a morning meeting or brainstorming session, suggest that your co-workers join you on a walk, if possible.

8. Sleep better at night

Walking first thing may help you sleep better at night later. A small 2017 study trusted Source observed older adults aged 55 to 65 who were experiencing difficulty falling asleep at night or were living with mild insomnia.

Those who exercised in the morning versus the evening experienced better sleep quality at night. More research is needed to determine why exercising in the morning may be better for sleep than exercising at night, though.

9. Beat the heat

One benefit of walking in the morning in the summertime — or if you live in a climate where it’s warm year-round — is that you’ll be able to fit in exercise before it gets too hot outside.

Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated before and after your workout. Bring a water bottle with you, if needed. Or, plan to walk along a route with water fountains.

10. Make healthier choices throughout the day

Starting your day with a walk may set you up to make healthier choices throughout the day. After your walk, you may feel more energized and less sleep-deprived.

When your energy drops or you’re tired, you’re more likely to reach for comfort snacks or energy boosters. Walking in the morning may inspire you to choose a healthy lunch and snacks in the afternoon.

Make it part of your routine
  • Set out clothing for your walk the night before. Leave your socks and sneakers by the door so you don’t have to look for them in the morning.
  • Try to set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier so you can get in at least a 20-minute walk in the morning. Look for a nature trail nearby or just walk around the neighborhood.
  • Find a friend or co-worker to walk with in the morning. Chatting and working together can help keep you motivated.
  • If you don’t have a lot of time in the morning, consider making walking part of your commute. If you can’t walk all the way to work, try getting off the bus a stop or two early to get a walk in. Or, park farther away from your office so you can walk from your car.

Should you walk before or after breakfast?

If you walk in the mornings, you may wonder if walking before or after breakfast matters and if it’ll help if you have weight loss goals. Research is mixed on whether or not skipping breakfast will increase your metabolism or help you lose weight faster.

Some research shows that exercising in the fasting state (before breakfast) helps your body burn more fat. But more studies are needed.

In the meantime, it depends on your body. If you feel fine taking a walk before eating, or if your stomach feels better if you don’t eat, that’s OK. Or, you may find that you feel better eating a small snack like a banana or a fruit smoothie before heading out on your walk.

Either way, after you exercise, make sure you eat a healthy breakfast and drink plenty of water.

The takeaway

Starting your day with a short walk can offer a number of health benefits. You may feel more energized throughout the day, see your mood and mental clarity improve, and sleep better at night. Be sure to stretch before and after your walk and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

If you have more questions, talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise routine

Is Low-Calorie Ice Cream Healthy?

Regular ice cream is usually packed with sugar and calories and can be easy to overeat, which may lead to weight gain.

Thus, you may be curious about low-calorie options that still satisfy your sweet tooth.

This article examines low-calorie ice cream — and provides easy recipes to try at home.

How to choose a healthy ice cream

Low-calorie ice creams can be made with low-fat dairy, artificial sweeteners, and/or milk alternatives to cut down on the number of calories.

However, that doesn’t necessarily make these desserts healthier. Some low-calorie ice creams may be highly processed, while others contain more sugar than regular ice cream.

What’s more, artificial sweeteners have been linked to long-term weight gain because they may lead to overeating throughout the day. Research also suggests that they may upset your stomach or cause diarrhea[rx]

It’s best to read labels when shopping for low-calorie ice cream and review the following:

  • Ingredient lists. A longer list generally means the product is highly processed. As ingredients are listed in order of quantity, closely examine those at the beginning.
  • Calories. Though most low-calorie ice creams deliver under 150 calories per serving, the calorie content depends on the brand and ingredients used.
  • Serving size. Serving size can be deceptive, as a small serving will naturally contain fewer calories. There are normally several servings in a single package.
  • Added sugar. Eating too much added sugar is linked to numerous diseases. As such, try to avoid ice creams with more than 16 grams per serving [rx].
  • Saturated fat. Evidence suggests that limiting saturated fat intake — especially from sugary, fatty foods like ice cream — may reduce your risk of heart disease. Look for alternatives with 3–5 grams per serving [rx]

Sugar substitutes, artificial flavors, and food dyes may be included as well.

A high intake of certain sugar substitutes, such as sugar alcohols, may cause stomach pain (rx).

Furthermore, some studies suggest that certain artificial flavors and food dyes are linked to health concerns, including allergic reactions and behavioral problems in children, as well as cancer in mice [rx], [rx], [rx][rx]

Thus, try to find products with shorter ingredient lists, as these are normally less processed.

While low-calorie ice cream may be appealing from a weight loss perspective, you should still watch out for unhealthy ingredients.

Healthiest low-calorie ice cream options

Some healthier brands of low-calorie ice cream include:

  • Halo Top. This brand offers 25 flavors, only 70 calories per serving, and lower fat and higher protein contents than regular ice cream. You can find Halo Top in both dairy and dairy-free bars and pints.
  • So Delicious Dairy Free. Made from either oat, cashew, coconut, soy, or almond milk, these ice creams contain many organic ingredients. They’re also vegan and gluten-free.
  • Yasso. This low-fat alternative is made from Greek yogurt, which increases its protein content. Some flavors are gluten-free.
  • Chilly Cow. This brand uses ultra-filtered milk and offers a whopping 12 grams of protein per serving while remaining low in calories and sugar. However, it’s high in carbs.
  • Arctic Zero. This brand offers non-dairy, lactose-free, and light pints with only 40–90 calories per serving. They’re also free of sugar alcohol.
  • Cado. This avocado-based ice cream is a dairy-free and paleo-friendly option with several organic ingredients.
  • Enlightened. This high-protein, the low-fat brand offers about 80–100 calories per serving. It also produces dairy-free versions.
  • Breyers Delights. This high-protein option is available in multiple flavors.
  • Ben & Jerry’s Moo-Phoria Light Ice Cream. This product is low in fat but boasts 140–160 calories per serving, making it higher in calories than many other options on this list.

Low-calorie ice cream comes in many varieties, including vegan, gluten-free, organic, and lactose-free options. Keep in mind that healthier versions tend to have fewer ingredients

Strawberry ice cream

This cottage cheese-based dessert is packed with protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (226 grams) of low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of your preferred sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, sugar, or sugar substitute
  • 10 large frozen strawberries

Directions

  • Stir the cottage cheese, almond milk, and sweetener in a medium-sized bowl and freeze until solid.
  • Cut the frozen mixture into cubes and thaw for 10–20 minutes. Thaw the frozen strawberries as well.
  • Add the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth, scraping the sides when necessary.

This recipe yields 2 servings, each containing 137 calories and 14 grams of protein.

Mint-chocolate-chip ‘nice cream’

“Nice cream” is the term for fruit-based ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 1 peeled, frozen banana
  • 1 cup (20 grams) of baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) of peppermint extract
  • Just a few chocolate chips

Directions

  • In a blender, blend the banana, baby spinach, coconut milk, and peppermint extract until smooth.
  • Add the chocolate chips and blend again for 5–10 seconds.

The recipe serves one and provides 153 calories.

Mango frozen yogurt

This fruity dessert gives you a burst of tropical flavor.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (330 grams) of frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup (227 grams) of plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of honey

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients in a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth and creamy.

This recipe makes 4 servings, each with 98 calories.

Iced-coffee ice cream

This cottage cheese-based recipe is loaded with protein to keep you feeling full.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (339 grams) of low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) of brewed espresso or black coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of your preferred sweetener or sugar substitute
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of vanilla extract

Directions

  • Mix all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and freeze until solid.
  • Cut the frozen mixture into cubes and thaw for 30 minutes.
  • Add the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until creamy, scraping the sides when necessary.

This recipe makes 2 servings, each providing 144 calories and 20 grams of protein.

Healthy, low-calorie ice creams are easy to make at home with ingredients like cottage cheese, fruit, and nondairy milk.

If enjoyed in moderation, low-calorie ice cream can be a part of a balanced diet. Although it cuts back on calories from sugar and fat, this dessert may be highly processed and contain unhealthy ingredients like artificial sweeteners. Therefore, you should read ingredient lists carefully.

For an even healthier option, make your own low-calorie ice cream at home

Thinking of Trying a Meal Prep Service? These Black-Owned Companies Have You Covered

They check all the marks for freshness, flavor, and elevating Blackness in the food industry

I was standing in my friend’s kitchen, watching him toss shrimp and breadcrumbs into a sizzling pan and squeeze lemon over the top.

We were making po’boys, one of my favorite Southern sandwiches rich in flavor and generous with the bread.

I always assumed they were made better by the professionals, but here my friend was, cursing at Sunday night football in his sweatpants and casually telling me about the “fond,” all the little roasty bits in the bottom of the pan.

His eyes glimmered when he told me about the new dishes he had recently mastered.

When he told me he used a meal prep service, I was intrigued.

For about $60 per week, he had a box of fresh and specially curated ingredients delivered to his doorstep. Between gas for my car and random clothing purchases, $60 a week on delicious meals seemed like a responsible lifestyle upgrade for me.

When I chose a meal prep service, I wasn’t thinking about the company’s mission or whether they offered healthy meals that reminded me of my favorite foods from the African diaspora. I wasn’t considering the company’s commitment to my community or anyone else’s.

I just didn’t want to go grocery shopping.

I ended up using the same service as my friend. That was nearly 3 years ago. While I’m grateful for the culinary world I found there, I’m also grateful for the burgeoning Black-owned meal prep services that exist now.

Meal prep 2.0

It’s time for healthy meal prep services that are flavorful, convenient, and support talented Black chefs in the process.

First Batch Artisan Foods

When Chef Dymetra Pernell became a holistic health practitioner and started eating vegan, she soon missed her favorite food: ice cream.

The first batch of vegan ice cream she made springboarded her into business for the vegan community, and specifically for lactose-intolerant people of color for whom ice cream wasn’t an option.

While First Batch Artisan Foods found additional success with restaurants like Slutty Vegan and national recognition from the “Today Show,” COVID-19 made meal prep a necessity for people who have grown tired of cooking every day.

For members of the Black community, the fatality of COVID-19 highlighted the powerful relationship between diet and health.

“What you see and what I offer are all of my favorite things. For culture, we do Soul Food Sunday or Soul Food Saturday, where we offer the plates that are traditionally eaten in our household but without all of the sodium and… cholesterol,” Pernell says.

Beyond expanding First Batch Artisanal Food to meal prep, Pernell is preparing to ship her brownie, cookie, and peach cobbler mixes across the United States.

Restaurant patrons can look out for vegan breakfast options, which are often hard to find at nonvegan restaurants. Here’s hoping they make it to the delivery service soon.

Fit Chef Toronto

Led by Chef Amanda Chigumira, FitChef Toronto provides global cuisine to customers in the Toronto area.

Fit Chef Toronto is focused on helping customers with meal prep and delivery options that meet their dietary needs. Think gluten-free, vegan, low carb, and beyond.

Chigumira knows that flavor is essential to her customers.

“As a chef, I believe life is too short and the world is too vast to not dabble in all the flavors,” she says.

As such, popular menu items include Thai, Greek, Jamaican, Italian, and American dishes.

Fit Chef Toronto uniquely gives customers the option to text their favorite dishes to their chef to keep on rotation, and orders come in sets of 6, 10, 15, and 20 meals. All you have to do is heat them up and enjoy.

Chef Jess Meal Delivery

As a chef and nutritionist with midwestern roots and Atlanta swag, Chef Jessica Swift works hard to create “healthy-ish” meals for every lifestyle.

As she puts it, her food is inclusively for “those who are newly diagnosed [with health conditions] to business travelers who come home to an empty refrigerator… or the mom and dads that are busy and just want to make sure that there’s healthy food in the house.”

Following her dream to become a chef went against her father’s wishes for Swift to go to medical school. Ironically, she now uses her expertise to help her father manage diabetes through nutrition.

Empowering her father inspired Swift to offer her culinary and nutrition expertise to community members via private classes and special events. She eventually opened her own commercial space with professional staff.

Chef Jess Meal Delivery is now a family-run business, with Swift’s brother acting as chief financial officer and her sister serving as chief operating officer.

Subscribers in the Washington, D.C., the area can enjoy fresh eats like sweet potato pancakes and roasted tomatillo carnitas for a single delivery or weekly subscriptions.

Field of Greens DFW

For biochemist and nutritionist Chef Janel Fields, meal prep isn’t just about healthy eating. It’s about healthy families and communities.

When she saw family members deal with preexisting health conditions, Fields began to alter her cooking methods. She reduced or eliminated certain ingredients, like dairy, from her dishes.

Her family was initially skeptical of the diet Fields introduced, which she credits to their “true New Yorker” status. Still, she quickly won them over with her results and her own personal progress.

“I’m on this journey with them. So, I’m eating the foods that I’m cooking for them, with them. I’m living a balanced lifestyle. Now that they see the changes physically with me, they’re like, OK, how can I do this?” Fields say.

With Field of Greens DFW, you can choose from an assortment of proteins, salads, and sides, like cauliflower rice and lemon Broccolini. Fields are also set to release a cookbook with savory recipes that empower people to prepare their favorite fried foods with healthier air frying and broiling methods.

Global Village Cuisine

Whether you want to grab your favorite dinner from the freezer or prepare a healthy meal yourself, Vermont-based Global Village Cuisine proudly offers options for “total convenience.”

Global Village Cuisine is a family-owned business that started when co-founder Damaris Hall sought food for her child with food allergies. She turned to her roots in Kenyan cooking, using traditional gluten-free and allergy-free methods.

Damaris and co-founder/husband Mel expanded their offerings from their home to local markets and festivals. Then they opened a restaurant.

Their diet-inclusive menu quickly spread outside the area, and Global Village expanded regionally to offer Pan-African cuisine in local Whole Foods and natural co-ops markets, in addition to their delivery services.

The beauty of Global Village is that its frozen meals preserve nutrients while eliminating the stress of cooking.

“Damaris has a wonderful talent for being able to cook things right to the place where right when you warm it up, it tastes like somebody made an African meal and invited you home for some hospitality,” Mel says.

With meals like Swahili curry chicken and Moroccan lemon chicken and olives, I ain’t mad. Meal prep orders start at $50 with free shipping.

Getting started

It can be overwhelming to choose a meal prep service that’s right for your lifestyle, especially if it’s your first time. When I asked these meal service providers for their advice, they had a few suggestions.

Hall asks, Is the food ethically produced? Is it healthy? Are there [whole food] ingredients?

Fields point out that “a lot of people truly do eat with their eyes. If it doesn’t look appealing, nobody wants to try it.

Wright reminds consumers to get informed.

Ask your questions! Many meal sites are open to questions and have FAQs sections, so start there,” she says.

According to Chiquita, look for variety.

Choose a company that rotates the menu often and gets creative with their dishes,” she says.

Look at how convenient it is for you… How the meals are packaged should make sense for you and your situation,” Pernell adds.

Whatever direction you go, you can be confident that the options above will check all the marks for freshness, flavor, and elevating Blackness in the food industry

13 Ways That Sugary Soda Is Bad for Your Health

When consumed in excess, added sugar can adversely affect your health.

However, some sources of sugar are worse than others — and sugary drinks are by far the worst.

This primarily applies to sugary soda but also to fruit juices, highly sweetened coffees, and other sources of liquid sugar.

Here are 13 reasons that sugary soda is bad for your health.

1. Sugary Drinks Do Not Make You Feel Full and Are Strongly Linked to Weight Gain

The most common form of added sugar — sucrose or table sugar — supplies large amounts of the simple sugar fructose.

Fructose does not lower the hunger hormone ghrelin or stimulate fullness in the same way as glucose, the sugar that forms when you digest starchy foods

Thus, when you consume liquid sugar, you usually add it on top of your total calorie intake — because sugary drinks don’t make you feel full (rx, rx).

In one study, people who drank sugary soda in addition to their current diet consumed 17% more calories than before (rx).

Not surprisingly, studies show that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages consistently gain more weight than people who don’t (rxrx9rx).

In one study in children, each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages was linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity (rx).

In fact, sugary drinks are among the most fattening aspects of the modern diet.

You tend to consume more total calories if you drink sda, as liquid sugar doesn’t make you feel full. Sugar-sweetened beverages are associated with weight gain.

2. Large Amounts of Sugar Are Turned into Fat in Your Liver

Table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup are composed of two molecules — glucose and fructose — in roughly equal amounts.

Glucose can be metabolized by every cell in your body, whereas fructose can only be metabolized by one organ — your liver.

Sugary drinks are the easiest and most common way to consume excessive amounts of fructose.

When you consume too much, your liver becomes overloaded and turns the fructose into fat.

Some of the fat gets shipped out as blood triglycerides, while part of it remains in your liver. Over time, this can contribute to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup are about 50% fructose, which can only be metabolized by your liver. Excessive amounts may contribute to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

3. Sugar Drastically Increases Belly Fat Accumulation

High sugar intake is associated with weight gain.

In particular, fructose is linked to a significant increase in the dangerous fat around your belly and organs. This is known as visceral fat or belly fat (rx).

Excessive belly fat is tied to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease (rx, rx).

In one 10-week study, 32 healthy people consumed beverages sweetened with either fructose or glucose (rx]

Those who consumed glucose had an increase in skin fat — which is not linked to metabolic disease — while those who consumed fructose saw their belly fat significantly increase.

High consumption of fructose makes you accumulate belly fat, a dangerous type of fat linked to metabolic disease.

4. Sugary Soda May Cause Insulin Resistance — a Key Feature of Metabolic Syndrome

The hormone insulin drives glucose from your bloodstream into your cells.

But when you drink sugary soda, your cells may become less sensitive or resistant to the effects of insulin.

When this happens, your pancreas must make even more insulin to remove the glucose from your bloodstream — so insulin levels in your blood spike.

Insulin resistance is arguably the main driver behind metabolic syndrome — a stepping stone towards type 2 diabetes and heart disease (rx).

Animal studies demonstrate that excess fructose causes insulin resistance and chronically elevated insulin levels ( rx).

One study in healthy, young men found that moderate intake of fructose increased insulin resistance in the liver [rx).

Excess fructose intake may lead to insulin resistance, the main abnormality in metabolic syndrome.

5. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages May Be the Leading Dietary Cause of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a common disease, affecting millions of people worldwide.

It is characterized by elevated blood sugar due to insulin resistance or deficiency.

Since excessive fructose intake may lead to insulin resistance, it is unsurprising that numerous studies link soda consumption to type 2 diabetes.

In fact, drinking as little as one can of sugary soda per day has been consistently linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes [rx, rx], [rx, [rx].

A recent study, which looked at sugar consumption and diabetes in 175 countries, showed that for every 150 calories of sugar per day — about 1 can of soda — the risk of type 2 diabetes increased by 1.1% [rx].

To put that in perspective, if the entire population of the United States added one can of soda to their daily diet, 3.6 million more people might get type 2 diabetes.

A large body of evidence links added sugar consumption — particularly from sugar-sweetened beverages — to type 2 diabetes.

Sugary soda contains virtually no essential nutrients — no vitamins, no minerals, and no fiber.

It adds nothing to your diet except excessive amounts of added sugar and unnecessary calories.

Sugary sodas contain little to no essential nutrients, only providing sugar and calories.

7. Sugar May Cause Leptin Resistance

Leptin is a hormone produced by your body’s fat cells. It regulates the number of calories you eat and burn [rx).

Leptin levels change in response to both starvation and obesity, so it’s often called the fullness or starvation hormone.

Being resistant to this hormone’s effects — referred to as leptin resistance — is now believed to be among the leading drivers of fat gain in humans (rx,rx).

In fact, animal research links fructose intake to leptin resistance.

In one study, rats became leptin resistant after being fed large amounts of fructose. Strikingly, when they reverted back to a sugar-free diet, leptin resistance disappeared (rx,rx).

That said, human studies are needed.

Animal trials suggest that a high-fructose diet can drive leptin resistance. Eliminating fructose may reverse the problem.

8. Sugary Soda May Be Addictive

It’s possible that sugary soda is an addictive substance.

In rats, sugar binging may cause dopamine release in the brain, giving a feeling of pleasure (rx).

Binging on sugar may have similar effects in certain people, as your brain is hardwired to seek out activities that release dopamine.

In fact, numerous studies suggest that sugar — and processed junk foods in general — affect your brain like hard drugs (rx).

For individuals predisposed toward addiction, sugar may cause reward-seeking behavior known as food addiction.

Studies in rats demonstrate that sugar can be physically addictive (rx).

While addiction is harder to prove in humans, many people consume sugary drinks in a pattern typical for addictive, abusive substances.

Sugary drinks have powerful effects on your brain’s reward system, which may lead to addiction.

9. Sugary Beverages May Increase Heart Disease Risk

Sugar intake has long been linked to heart disease risk (rx, rx).

It is well established that sugar-sweetened drinks increase risk factors for heart disease, including high blood sugar, blood triglycerides, and small, dense LDL particles (rx,rx).

Recent human studies note a strong association between sugar intake and heart disease risk in all populations (rx, rx, rx, rx, rx).

One 20-year study in 40,000 men found that those who drank 1 sugary drink per day had a 20% higher risk of having — or dying from — a heart attack, compared to men who rarely consumed sugary drinks (rx).

Multiple studies have determined a strong link between sugary beverages and heart disease risk.

10. Soda Drinkers Have a Higher Risk of Cancer

Cancer tends to go hand-in-hand with other chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

For this reason, it is unsurprising to see that sugary drinks are frequently associated with an increased risk of cancer.

One study in over 60,000 adults discovered that those who drank 2 or more sugary sodas per week were 87% more likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those who did not drink soda (rx).

Another study on pancreatic cancer found a strong link in women — but not men (rx).

Postmenopausal women who drink a lot of sugary soda may also be at greater risk for endometrial cancer, or cancer of the inner lining of the uterus rx).

What’s more, sugar-sweetened beverage intake is linked to cancer recurrence and death in patients with colorectal cancer (rx).

Observational studies suggest that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to an increased risk of cancer.

11. The Sugar and Acids in Soda Are a Disaster for Dental Health

It is a well-known fact that sugary soda is bad for your teeth.

Soda contains acids like phosphoric acid and carbonic acid.

These acids create a highly acidic environment in your mouth, which makes your teeth vulnerable to decay.

While the acids in soda can themselves cause damage, it is the combination with sugar that makes soda particularly harmful ( rx).

Sugar provides easily digestible energy for the bad bacteria in your mouth. This, combined with the acids, wreaks havoc on dental health over time (rxrx, rx).

The acids in soda create an acidic environment in your mouth, while the sugar feeds the harmful bacteria that reside there. This can have severe adverse effects on dental health.

12. Soda Drinkers Have a Drastically Increased Risk of Gout

Gout is a medical condition characterized by inflammation and pain in your joints, particularly your big toes.

Gout typically occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood become crystallized (rx).

Fructose is the main carbohydrate known to increase uric acid levels [rx).

Consequently, many large observational studies have determined strong links between sugar-sweetened drinks and gout.

Moreover, long-term studies tie sugary soda to a 75% increased risk of gout in women and an almost 50% increased risk in men ( rx, rx).

People who frequently down sugary drinks appear to have an increased risk of gout.

13. Sugar Consumption Is Linked to an Increased Risk of Dementia

Dementia is a collective term for declines in brain function in older adults. The most common form is Alzheimer’s disease.

Research shows that any incremental increase in blood sugar is strongly associated with an increased risk of dementia (rx).

In other words, the higher your blood sugar, the higher your risk of dementia.

Because sugar-sweetened beverages lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar, it makes sense that they could increase your risk of dementia.

Rodent studies note that large doses of sugary drinks can impair memory and decision-making capabilities

Some studies indicate that high blood sugar levels raise your risk of dementia.

Drinking high amounts of sugar-sweetened beverages — such as soda — can have various adverse impacts on your health.

These range from increased chances of tooth decay to a higher risk of heart disease and metabolic disorders like type 2 diabetes.

Regular consumption of sugary soda also appears to be a consistent risk factor for weight gain and obesity.

If you want to lose weight, avoid chronic disease, and live longer, consider limiting your intake of sugary drinks.

Reference

Submucosal Fibroids – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Submucosal Fibroids are the most common type, located in the muscle beneath the endometrium of the uterus and distort the uterine cavity; even small lesions in this location may lead to bleeding and infertility. A pedunculated lesion within the cavity is termed an intracavitary fibroid and can be passed through the cervix.

Uterine Fibroids are the most common benign tumor affecting women. Fibroids originate from uterine smooth muscle cells (myometrium) whose growth is primarily dependent on the levels of circulating estrogen. Fibroids can either present as an asymptomatic incidental finding on imaging, or symptomatically. Common symptoms include abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic pain, disruption of surrounding pelvic structures(bowel and bladder), and back pain. Uterine fibroids typically are seen in three significant locations: subserosal (outside the uterus), intramural (inside the myometrium), and submucosal (Inside the uterine cavity). They can further be broken down to pedunculated or not. Fibroids are classically diagnosed by physical exam and ultrasound imaging, which carries a high sensitivity for this pathology. Fibroids continue to be the leading indication for hysterectomy.

Uterine fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomas or fibroids, are benign smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. Most women have no symptoms while others may have painful or heavy periods. If large enough, they may push on the bladder causing a frequent need to urinate. They may also cause pain during sex or lower back pain.[rx][rx] A woman can have one uterine fibroid or many. Occasionally, fibroids may make it difficult to become pregnant, although this is uncommon.[rx]

Types of Uterine Fibroids

Schematic drawing of various types of uterine fibroids: a=subserosal fibroids, b=intramural fibroids, c=submucosal fibroid, d=pedunculated submucosal fibroid, e=cervical fibroid, f=fibroid of the broad ligament

Growth and location are the main factors that determine if a fibroid leads to symptoms and problems.[6] A small lesion can be symptomatic if located within the uterine cavity while a large lesion on the outside of the uterus may go unnoticed. Different locations are classified as follows:

  • Intramural fibroids are located within the muscular wall of the uterus. Unless they are large, they may be asymptomatic. Intramural fibroids begin as small nodules in the muscular wall of the uterus. With time, intramural fibroids may expand inwards, causing distortion and elongation of the uterine cavity.
  • Subserosal fibroids  – are located on the surface of the uterus. They can also grow outward from the surface and remain attached by a small piece of tissue and then are called pedunculated fibroids.[rx]
  • Submucosal fibroids – are most common type, located in the muscle beneath the endometrium of the uterus and distort the uterine cavity; even small lesions in this location may lead to bleeding and infertility. A pedunculated lesion within the cavity is termed an intracavitary fibroid and can be passed through the cervix.
  • Cervical fibroids – are located in the wall of the cervix (neck of the uterus). Rarely, fibroids are found in the supporting structures (round ligament, broad ligament, or uterosacral ligament) of the uterus that also contain smooth muscle tissue.

Fibroids may be single or multiple. Most fibroids start in the muscular wall of the uterus. With further growth, some lesions may develop towards the outside of the uterus or towards the internal cavity. Secondary changes that may develop within fibroids are hemorrhage, necrosis, calcification, and cystic changes. They tend to calcify after menopause.[rx]

If the uterus contains too many to count, it is referred to as diffuse uterine leiomyomatosis.

Uterine Fibroids

Extrauterine fibroids of uterine origin, metastatic fibroids

Fibroids of uterine origin located in other parts of the body, sometimes also called parasitic myomas have been historically extremely rare, but are now diagnosed with increasing frequency. They may be related or identical to metastasizing leiomyoma.

They are in most cases still hormone dependent but may cause life-threatening complications when they appear in distant organs. Some sources suggest that a substantial share of the cases may be late complications of surgeries such as myomectomy or hysterectomy. Particularly laparoscopic myomectomy using a morcellator has been associated with an increased risk of this complication.[rx][rx][rx]

There are a number of rare conditions in which fibroids metastasize. They still grow in a benign fashion, but can be dangerous depending on their location.[rx]

  • In leiomyoma with vascular invasion – an ordinary-appearing fibroid invades into a vessel but there is no risk of recurrence.
  • In intravenous leiomyomatosis – leiomyomata grow in veins with uterine fibroids as their source. Involvement of the heart can be fatal.
  • In benign metastasizing leiomyoma – leiomyomata grow in more distant sites such as the lungs and lymph nodes. The source is not entirely clear. Pulmonary involvement can be fatal.
  • In disseminated intraperitoneal leiomyomatosis – leiomyomata grow diffusely on the peritoneal and omental surfaces, with uterine fibroids as their source. This can simulate a malignant tumor but behaves benignly.

Causes of Uterine Fibroids

The exact pathophysiology behind the development of uterine fibroids is unclear. Research suggests that the starting event for fibroid development begins with a single uterine smooth muscle cell(myometrium), which is then followed by deviations from the normal signaling pathways of cellular division. Fibroids are considered to be estrogen-dependent tumors, and there is evidence showing that leiomyomas overexpress certain estrogen and progesterone receptors when compared to normal surrounding myometrium.

Fibroids are a result of the inappropriate growth of uterine smooth muscle tissue or myometrium. Their growth is dependent on estrogen and progesterone levels. The underlying pathophysiology is uncertain.

  • Genetic changes – Many fibroids contain changes in genes that differ from those in normal uterine muscle cells.
    Hormones – Estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that stimulate development of the uterine lining during each menstrual cycle in preparation for pregnancy, appear to promote the growth of fibroids. Fibroids contain more estrogen and progesterone receptors than normal uterine muscle cells do. Fibroids tend to shrink after menopause due to a decrease in hormone production.
  • Other growth factors – Substances that help the body maintain tissues, such as insulin-like growth factor, may affect fibroid growth.
  • Extracellular matrix (ECM) – ECM is the material that makes cells stick together, like mortar between bricks. ECM is increased in fibroids and makes them fibrous. ECM also stores growth factors and causes biologic changes in the cells themselves.
  • Fibroids can grow
    • In the muscle wall of the uterus (myometrial)
    • Just under the surface of the uterine lining (submucosal)
    • Just under the outside lining of the uterus (subserosal)
    • On a long stalk on the outside the uterus or inside the uterus (pedunculated)

Fibroids are more common in the following groups of women

  • Black women: Fibroids are two to three times more common in black women – but the exact reason is not known.
  • Women who have never been pregnant.
  • Women whose mother or sister has had fibroids.
  • Women who are very overweight. But it’s not clear whether the extra weight itself is the cause.

Fibroids are less common in these women

  • Women who have had several children.
  • Women who have used birth control pills for several years.

It’s not clear whether there’s a link between your diet and the development of fibroids.

Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids

Many women who have fibroids don’t have any symptoms. In those that do, symptoms can be influenced by the location, size and number of fibroids.

In women who have symptoms, the most common signs and symptoms of uterine fibroids include

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Menstrual periods lasting more than a week
  • Pelvic pressure or pain
  • Heavy bleeding (which can be heavy enough to cause anemia) or painful periods
  • Feeling of fullness in the pelvic area (lower stomach area)
  • Enlargement of the lower abdomen
  • Frequent urination
  • Pain during sex
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Heavy bleeding during your period, sometimes with blood clots
  • Periods that may last longer than normal
  • Needing to urinate more often
  • Pelvic cramping or pain with periods
  • Feeling fullness or pressure in your lower belly
  • Pain during intercourse
  • Complications during pregnancy and labor, including a six-time greater risk of cesarean section
  • Reproductive problems, such as infertility, which is very rare
  • Frequent urination
  • Difficulty emptying the bladder
  • Constipation
  • Backache or leg pains

Rarely, a fibroid can cause acute pain when it outgrows its blood supply, and begins to die.

Fibroids are generally classified by their location. Intramural fibroids grow within the muscular uterine wall. Submucosal fibroids bulge into the uterine cavity. Subserosal fibroids project to the outside of the uterus.

Uterine Fibroids

Diagnosis of Uterine Fibroids

History and Physical
  • History and physical exam include a thorough menstrual history to determine the timing, quantity, and any potential aggravating factors for the abnormal bleeding. Common presenting symptoms include metrorrhagia, menorrhagia, or a combination of the two. Less common presenting symptoms include dyspareunia, pelvic pain, bowel problems, urinary symptoms, or signs and symptoms related to anemia. Most of the less frequent symptoms are a reflection of the mass effect produced by leiomyomas on surrounding structures. Patients may also be completely asymptomatic with an incidental finding of fibroids on imaging.
  • A speculum exam with a bimanual exam should be performed to rule out any vaginal or cervical pathology, as well as assess the size, and shape of the female reproductive organs. A large asymmetric uterus felt upon the exam is indicative of fibroids. Finally, consider evaluating for conjunctival pallor and thyroid pathology to identify potential secondary symptoms or causes of abnormal bleeding.
Laboratory studies
  • The initial evaluation should include a beta-human chorionic gonadotropin test to rule out pregnancy, CBC, TSH, and a prolactin level to evaluate for the non-structural causes in the differential. Include an endometrial biopsy for women over 35.
  • The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) has developed a classification system that allows for the determination of the extent of invasion into the endometrial cavity. The FIGO scale ranges from 0 to 8, with the lower number indicating closer proximity to the endometrium.
  • If bleeding is the predominant symptom and there is a concern for anemia or other sequelae of recurrent blood loss, a complete blood count (CBC) is indicated. Further evaluation of blood work should include a thyroid-stimulating hormone level to rule out thyroid disease as the cause of abnormal bleeding if the index of suspicion is low for leiomyomata as the etiology .
Radiologic studies
  • Transvaginal ultrasound  is the gold standard for imaging uterine fibroids. It has a sensitivity of around 90 to 99% for the detection of uterine fibroids. Ultrasound can improve with the use of saline-infused sonography, which helps increase the sensitivity for the detection of subserosal and intramural fibromas. Fibroid appearance is as a firm, well-circumscribed, hypoechoic mass. On ultrasound, tend to have a variable amount of shadowing, and calcifications or necrosis may distort the echogenicity.
  • Ultrasound – Ultrasounds use sound waves to take a picture of your uterus. A technician will place a device either in your vagina or on your abdomen to get the images. Then your doctor can see if you have fibroids and where and how large they are.
  • Lab tests – Your doctor may want you to have blood tests to help figure out why you have fibroids. Your complete blood count (CBC) can help them decide whether you have anemia (low levels of red blood cells) or other bleeding disorders.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – If your doctor needs more information after you have an ultrasound, you may also have an MRI. MRIs show more detailed images of fibroids and can help doctors decide the best treatment. Your doctor may also suggest an MRI if you have a large uterus or are close to menopause.
  • Hysterosonography – In this test, a technician pushes saline into your uterine cavity to make it larger. This helps them see fibroids that are growing into your uterus (submucosal fibroids) and the lining of your uterus. This is useful if you’re trying to get pregnant or have heavy periods.
  • Hysterosalpingography – If your doctor needs to see if your fallopian tubes are blocked, you might have a hysterosalpingography. Your doctor uses dye to highlight your uterus and fallopian tubes on an X-ray to help see these areas better.
  • Hysteroscopyis where the physician uses a hysteroscope to visualize the inside of the uterus. This imaging modality allows for better visualization of fibroids inside the uterine cavity. This method allows for the direct removal of intrauterine growths during the procedure.
  • Electric Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRIhas the benefit of providing a better picture of the number, size, vascular supply, and boundaries of the fibroids as they relate to the pelvis. Nevertheless, it is unnecessary for a routine diagnosis when fibroids are suspected. It has not been shown to differentiate leiomyosarcoma from leiomyoma.
  • Hysterosalpingography – is a special X-ray test. It may detect abnormal changes in the size and shape of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
  • Sonohysterography is a test in which fluid is put into the uterus through the cervix. Ultrasonography is then used to show the inside of the uterus. The fluid provides a clear picture of the uterine lining.
  • Laparoscopy uses a slender device (the laparoscope) to help your health care professional see the inside of the abdomen. It is inserted through a small cut just below or through the navel. Fibroids on the outside of the uterus can be seen with the laparoscope.

Treatment of Uterine Fibroids

While deciding on treatment options for uterine fibroids, the patient’s age, presenting symptoms, and desire for fertility preservation all merit consideration. The locations and size of the fibroids will both determine the available treatment options. Management options can be broken down into three categories starting at surveillance with progression to medical management or surgical therapy with increasing severity of symptoms.

Surveillance – This is the preferred method in women with asymptomatic fibroids. The current recommendations do not require serial imaging when following these patients.  Most fibroids do not require treatment unless they are causing symptoms. After menopause, fibroids shrink, and it is unusual for them to cause problems.

Symptomatic uterine fibroids can be treated by
  • medication to control symptoms (i.e., symptomatic management)
  • medication aimed at shrinking tumors
  • ultrasound fibroid destruction
  • myomectomy or radiofrequency ablation
  • hysterectomy
  • uterine artery embolization

In those who have symptoms, uterine artery embolization and surgical options have similar outcomes with respect to satisfaction.[rx]

Medical Management

Primarily revolves around decreasing the severity of bleeding and pain symptoms.

  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists. Medications called GnRH agonists treat fibroids by blocking the production of estrogen and progesterone, putting you into a temporary menopause-like state. As a result, menstruation stops, fibroids shrink and anemia often improves. GnRH agonists include leuprolide (Lupron, Eligard, others), goserelin (Zoladex) and triptorelin (Trelstar, Triptodur Kit). Many women have significant hot flashes while using GnRH agonists. GnRH agonists typically are used for no more than three to six months because symptoms return when the medication is stopped and long-term use can cause loss of bone. Your doctor may prescribe a GnRH agonist to shrink the size of your fibroids before a planned surgery or to help transition you to menopause.
  • Progestin-releasing intrauterine device (IUD). A progestin-releasing IUD can relieve heavy bleeding caused by fibroids. A progestin-releasing IUD provides symptom relief only and doesn’t shrink fibroids or make them disappear. It also prevents pregnancy.
  • Tranexamic acid (Lysteda, Cyklokapron). This nonhormonal medication is taken to ease heavy menstrual periods. It’s taken only on heavy bleeding days. Tranexamic acid improves blood clotting and is used to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding and to minimize postoperative blood loss. Tranexamic acid is a derivative of the amino acid, lysine.  This medication is a reversible inhibitor of lysine receptor sites on plasminogen that, when bound, prevent fibrin degradation and functionally stabilize clot formation .
  • Selective estrogen receptor modulators –  bind to estrogen receptors to mimic or block estrogen activity, and have differential effects across tissue types (e.g., bone, brain, liver). Tamoxifen was introduced to block estrogen action in the treatment of breast cancer, but has estrogen–like effects on the uterus. Raloxifene has estrogen-like effects on bone, but anti-estrogen effects in the breast and uterus. It is used to treat osteoporosis and prevent breast cancer, and reduce fibroid size.
  • Hormonal contraceptives This treatment group includes oral contraceptive pills (OCP) and the levonorgestrel intrauterine device(IUD). OCPs are common options in the management of abnormal uterine bleeding related to symptomatic fibroids. However, there is only limited data showing their effectiveness in uterine fibroids, and larger randomized controlled trials are necessary. The levonorgestrel IUD is currently the recommended hormonal therapy for symptomatic fibroids due to the lack of systemic effects and low side effect profile. Caution should is necessary when treating fibroids that distort the intrauterine cavity as they can lead to a higher rate of expulsion.
  • GnRH Agonist (leuprolide) This method works by acting on the pituitary gland to decrease gonadal hormone production, thus decreasing the hormone-stimulated growth of the fibroid. A study by Friedman et al. showed a decrease in uterine size by 45% at 24 weeks of treatment on a GnRH agonist with a return to pretreatment size 24 weeks after cessation. Long-term therapy with a GnRH agonist has also been shown to result in statistically significant bone loss. Because of this and its relatively short-term effect, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has recommended that it’s use be limited to 6 months or less. Leuprolide is most effective when used as a pre-surgical therapy for symptomatic fibroids.
  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) Anti-inflammatories have been shown to decrease prostaglandin levels, which are elevated in women with heavy menstrual bleeding and are responsible for the painful cramping experienced in menstruation. They have not been shown to decrease the size of the fibroids.
  • Levonorgestrel intrauterine devices –  are effective in limiting menstrual blood flow and improving other symptoms. Side effects are typically few as the levonorgestrel (a progestin) is released in low concentration locally.[rx] While most levongestrel-IUD studies concentrated on treatment of women without fibroids a few reported good results specifically for women with fibroids including a substantial regression of fibroids.[rx][rx]
  • Cabergoline – in a moderate and well-tolerated dose has been shown in two studies to shrink fibroids effectively. The mechanism of action responsible for how cabergoline shrinks fibroids is unclear.[rx]
  • Ulipristal acetate – is a synthetic selective progesterone receptor modulator (SPRM) that has tentative evidence to support its use for presurgical treatment of fibroids with low side-effects.[rx] Long-term UPA-treated fibroids have shown volume reduction of about 70%.[rx] In some cases UPA alone is used to relieve symptoms without surgery.[rx]
  • Danazol – is an effective treatment to shrink fibroids and control symptoms. Its use is limited by unpleasant side effects. Mechanism of action is thought to be antiestrogenic effects. Recent experience indicates that safety and side effect profile can be improved by more cautious dosing.[rx]
  • Progesterone antagonists – such as mifepristone have been tested, there is evidence that it relieves some symptoms and improves quality of life but because of adverse histological changes that have been observed in several trials it can not be currently recommended outside of research setting.[rx][rx] Fibroid growth has recurred after antiprogestin treatment was stopped.[rx]
  • Aromatase inhibitors – have been used experimentally to reduce fibroids. The effect is believed to be due partially by lowering systemic estrogen levels and partially by inhibiting locally overexpressed aromatase in fibroids.[rx] However, fibroid growth has recurred after treatment was stopped.[rx] Experience from experimental aromatase inhibitor treatment of endometriosis indicates that aromatase inhibitors might be particularly useful in combination with a progestogenic ovulation inhibitor.

Other potential medical therapies include aromatase inhibitors, and selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM), such as raloxifene or tamoxifen. There is little evidence supporting the use of these medications in the treatment for symptomatic uterine fibroids. Tranexamic acid has been approved for the treatment of abnormal and heavy uterine bleeding but has not been approved or shown to decrease the disease burden in uterine fibroids.

Surgical Therapy

  • Endometrial AblationIt offers an alternative to surgery in patients whose primary complaint is heavy or abnormal bleeding. There is a larger risk of a failed procedure with submucosal fibroids because they cause disruption of the uterine cavity and can prevent proper cauterization of the entire endometrium.
  • Uterine Artery Embolization – A minimally invasive approach for those who wish to preserve fertility. This technique works by decreasing the total blood supply to the uterus, thereby decreasing the flow to the fibroids and minimizing bleeding symptoms. The procedure has been shown effective in controlling menorrhagia. However, according to De La Cruz et al., only limited studies show the effects on fertility preservation with this technique. 
  • Myomectomy An invasive surgical option for those who desire fertility preservation. There is no large randomized controlled trial showing that myomectomy can improve fertility for patients. Furthermore, the outcome is highly dependent on the location and size of the fibroid. Nevertheless, it can be an effective treatment option in those wishing to avoid hysterectomy.
  • Hysterectomy – Hysterectomy was the classical method of treating fibroids. Although it is now recommended only as last option, fibroids are still the leading cause of hysterectomies in the US.
  • Endometrial ablation – Endometrial ablation can be used if the fibroids are only within the uterus and not intramural and relatively small. High failure and recurrence rates are expected in the presence of larger or intramural fibroids.
There are three types of myomectomy
  • In a hysteroscopic myomectomy (also called transcervical resection) – the fibroid can be removed by either the use of a resectoscope, an endoscopic instrument inserted through the vagina and cervix that can use high-frequency electrical energy to cut tissue, or a similar device.
  • A laparoscopic – myomectomy is done through a small incision near the navel. The physician uses a laparoscope and surgical instruments to remove the fibroids. Studies have suggested that laparoscopic myomectomy leads to lower morbidity rates and faster recovery than does laparotomic myomectomy.[53]
  • A laparotomic – myomectomy (also known as an open or abdominal myomectomy) is the most invasive surgical procedure to remove fibroids. The physician makes an incision in the abdominal wall and removes the fibroids from the uterus. Laparoscopic myomectomy has less pain and shorter time in hospital than open surgery.[rx]

Other procedures

Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatments for fibroids.[rx] In this technique the fibroid is shrunk by inserting a needle-like device into the fibroid through the abdomen and heating it with radio-frequency (RF) electrical energy to cause necrosis of cells. The treatment is a potential option for women who have fibroids, have completed child-bearing and want to avoid a hysterectomy.

  • MRI guided focused ultrasound surgeryThis treatment option utilizes MRI and ultrasound waves to focus on the fibroid, resulting in cauterization. As a relatively new treatment, there is not enough clinical evidence to support its long term effectiveness at this time.
  • HysterectomyRemains the definitive treatment for fibroids.
  • Myolysis – A needle is inserted into the fibroids, usually guided by laparoscopy, and electric current or freezing is used to destroy the fibroids.
  • Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE), or Uterine Artery Embolization (UAE) – A thin tube is thread into the blood vessels that supply blood to the fibroid. Then, tiny plastic or gel particles are injected into the blood vessels. This blocks the blood supply to the fibroid, causing it to shrink. UFE can be an outpatient or inpatient procedure. Complications, including early menopause, are uncommon but can occur. Studies suggest fibroids are not likely to grow back after UFE, but more long-term research is needed. Not all fibroids can be treated with UFE. The best candidates for UFE are women who:
    • Have fibroids that are causing heavy bleeding
    • Have fibroids that are causing pain or pressing on the bladder or rectum
    • Don’t want to have a hysterectomy
    • Don’t want to have children in the future

Noninvasive procedure

MRI-guided focused ultrasound surgery (FUS) is:

  • A noninvasive treatment option – for uterine fibroids that preserves your uterus, requires no incision and is done on an outpatient basis.
  • Performed while you’re inside an MRI scanner – equipped with a high-energy ultrasound transducer for treatment. The images give your doctor the precise location of the uterine fibroids. When the location of the fibroid is targeted, the ultrasound transducer focuses sound waves (sonications) into the fibroid to heat and destroy small areas of fibroid tissue.
  • Newer technology – so researchers are learning more about the long-term safety and effectiveness. But so far data collected show that FUS for uterine fibroids is safe and effective.

Minimally invasive procedures

Certain procedures can destroy uterine fibroids without actually removing them through surgery. They include:

  • Uterine artery embolization – Small particles (embolic agents) are injected into the arteries supplying the uterus, cutting off blood flow to fibroids, causing them to shrink and die. This technique can be effective in shrinking fibroids and relieving the symptoms they cause. Complications may occur if the blood supply to your ovaries or other organs is compromised. However, research shows that complications are similar to surgical fibroid treatments and the risk of transfusion is substantially reduced.
  • Radiofrequency ablation – In this procedure, radiofrequency energy destroys uterine fibroids and shrinks the blood vessels that feed them. This can be done during a laparoscopic or transcervical procedure. A similar procedure called cryomyolysis freezes the fibroids. With laparoscopic radiofrequency ablation, also called Lap-RFA, your doctor makes two small incisions in the abdomen to insert a slim viewing instrument (laparoscope) with a camera at the tip. Using the laparoscopic camera and a laparoscopic ultrasound tool, your doctor locates fibroids to be treated. After locating a fibroid, your doctor uses a specialized device to deploy several small needles into the fibroid. The needles heat up the fibroid tissue, destroying it. The destroyed fibroid immediately changes consistency, for instance from being hard like a golf ball to being soft like a marshmallow. During the next three to 12 months, the fibroid continues to shrink, improving symptoms. Because there’s no cutting of uterine tissue, doctors consider Lap-RFA a less invasive alternative to hysterectomy and myomectomy. Most women who have the procedure get back to regular activities after 5 to 7 days of recovery. The transcervical — or through the cervix — approach to radiofrequency ablation also uses ultrasound guidance to locate fibroids.
  • Laparoscopic or robotic myomectomy – In a myomectomy, your surgeon removes the fibroids, leaving the uterus in place. If the fibroids are few in number, you and your doctor may opt for a laparoscopic or robotic procedure, which uses slender instruments inserted through small incisions in your abdomen to remove the fibroids from your uterus. Larger fibroids can be removed through smaller incisions by breaking them into pieces (morcellation), which can be done inside a surgical bag, or by extending one incision to remove the fibroids.
  • Hysteroscopic myomectomy – This procedure may be an option if the fibroids are contained inside the uterus (submucosal). Your surgeon accesses and removes fibroids using instruments inserted through your vagina and cervix into your uterus.
  • Endometrial ablation – This treatment, performed with a specialized instrument inserted into your uterus, uses heat, microwave energy, hot water or electric current to destroy the lining of your uterus, either ending menstruation or reducing your menstrual flow. Typically, endometrial ablation is effective in stopping abnormal bleeding. Submucosal fibroids can be removed at the time of hysteroscopy for endometrial ablation, but this doesn’t affect fibroids outside the interior lining of the uterus. Women aren’t likely to get pregnant following endometrial ablation, but birth control is needed to prevent a pregnancy from developing in a fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy).
  • Abdominal myomectomy – If you have multiple fibroids, very large fibroids or very deep fibroids, your doctor may use an open abdominal surgical procedure to remove the fibroids. Many women who are told that hysterectomy is their only option can have an abdominal myomectomy instead. However, scarring after surgery can affect future fertility.
  • Hysterectomy – This surgery — the removal of the uterus — remains the only proven permanent solution for uterine fibroids. But hysterectomy is major surgery. Hysterectomy ends your ability to bear children. If you also elect to have your ovaries removed, the surgery brings on menopause and the question of whether you’ll take hormone replacement therapy. Most women with uterine fibroids may be able to choose to keep their ovaries.

Morcellation during fibroid removal

  • Morcellation — a process of breaking fibroids into smaller pieces — may increase the risk of spreading cancer if a previously undiagnosed cancerous mass undergoes morcellation during myomectomy. There are several ways to reduce that risk, such as evaluating risk factors before surgery, morcellating the fibroid in a bag or expanding an incision to avoid morcellation.
  • All myomectomies – carry the risk of cutting into an undiagnosed cancer, but younger, premenopausal women generally have a lower risk of undiagnosed cancer than do older women.

Also, complications during open surgery are more common than the chance of spreading an undiagnosed cancer in a fibroid during a minimally invasive procedure. If your doctor is planning to use morcellation, discuss your individual risks before treatment.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises against the use of a device to morcellate the tissue (power morcellator) for most women having fibroids removed through myomectomy or hysterectomy. In particular, the FDA recommends that women who are approaching menopause or who have reached menopause avoid power morcellation. Older women in or entering menopause may have a higher cancer risk, and women who are no longer concerned about preserving their fertility have additional treatment options for fibroids.

What if I become pregnant and have fibroids?

Women who have fibroids are more likely to have problems during pregnancy and delivery. This doesn’t mean there will be problems. Most women with fibroids have normal pregnancies. The most common problems seen in women with fibroids are:

  • Cesarean section – The risk of needing a c-section is six times greater for women with fibroids.
  • Baby is breech – The baby is not positioned well for vaginal delivery.
  • Labor fails to progress
  • Placental abruption – The placenta breaks away from the wall of the uterus before delivery. When this happens, the fetus does not get enough oxygen.
  • Preterm delivery

Talk to your obstetrician if you have fibroids and become pregnant. All obstetricians have experience dealing with fibroids and pregnancy. Most women who have fibroids and become pregnant do not need to see an OB who deals with high-risk pregnancies.

Possible Complications

Complications of fibroids include

  • Severe pain or very heavy bleeding that needs emergency surgery.
  • Twisting of the fibroid – This can cause blocked blood vessels that feed the tumor. You may need surgery if this happens.
  • Anemia (not having enough red blood cells) from heavy bleeding.
  • Urinary tract infections – If the fibroid presses on the bladder, it can be hard to empty your bladder completely.
  • Infertility, in rare cases.

If you are pregnant, there’s a small risk that fibroids may cause complications

  • You may deliver your baby early because there is not enough room in your womb.
  • If the fibroid blocks the birth canal or puts the baby in a dangerous position, you may need to have a cesarean section (C-section).
  • You may have heavy bleeding right after giving birth.

References

What is the Biceps Muscle and Its Food to Strengthening

What is the Biceps Muscle and Its Food to Strengthening/What is the Biceps Muscle and Its Function is a large, thick muscle on the ventral portion of the upper arm. The muscle is composed of a short head (caput breve) and a long head (caput longum).  The short head originates from the tip of the coracoid process, and the long head originates from the supraglenoid tubercle (tuberculum supraglenoidale) of the glenoid/scapula. Both heads course distally and become a confluent muscle belly before tapering across the anterior aspect of the elbow, eventually inserting on the radial tuberosity and the fascia of the forearm via the bicipital aponeurosis.   The antagonist of the biceps muscle is the triceps brachii muscle.

The biceps brachii is a prominent muscle on the front side of the upper arm. It originates in two places: the coracoid process, a protrusion of the scapula (shoulder blade); and the upper glenoid cavity, the hollow for the shoulder joint. The tendon of this muscle is attached to the inner protrusion near the head of the radius, a bone of the forearm. The biceps brachii bends the forearm toward the upper arm and is thus used in lifting and pulling movements. It also supinates the forearm (turns the palm forward or upward). The size of the biceps brachii is a conventional symbol of bodily strength.

Anatomy of Biceps Brachii Muscle

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The biceps is a two-headed muscle and is one of the chief flexors of the forearm. Here is the left side, seen from the front.
Details
Pronunciation bsɛpsˈbrki
Origin Short head: coracoid process of the scapula.
Long head: supraglenoid tubercle
Insertion Radial tuberosity and bicipital aponeurosis into deep fascia on medial part of forearm
Artery Brachial artery
Nerve Musculocutaneous nerve (C5–C7)
Actions
  • Flexes elbow
  • flexes and abducts shoulder [1]
  • supinates radioulnar joint in the forearm[1]
Antagonist Triceps brachii muscle
Identifiers
Latin musculus biceps brachii
TA A04.6.02.013
FMA 37670
Anatomical terms of muscle

Key facts
Origin Long head – supraglenoid tubercle of the scapula
Short head – apex of the coracoid process of the scapula
Insertion Radial tuberosity of the radius

Deep fascia of forearm (insertion of the bicipital aponeurosis)

Innervation Musculocutaneous nerve (C5- C6)
Function Flexion and supination of the forearm at the elbow joint, weak flexor of the arm at the glenohumeral joint

 The flexors of the shoulder

Muscle Nerve Spinal nerve root
Coracobrachialis Musculocutaneous C5, C6
Pectoralis major Pectoral C5–C8
Deltoid (anterior portion) Axillary C5 (C6)
Subscapularis Subscapular C5–C8
Biceps brachii Musculocutaneous C5, C6

 

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What is the Biceps Muscle and Its Food to Strengthening

Load Up on Carbohydrates

Carbs are an athlete’s main fuel. Your body changes them to glucose, a form of sugar, and stores it in your muscles as glycogen. When you exercise, your body changes glycogen into energy. If you exercise for under 90 minutes, you have enough glycogen in your muscles, even for high-intensity activities.

Get Enough Protein, But Not Too Much

Protein doesn’t provide a lot of fuel for energy. But you need it to maintain your muscles.

  • Know what you need – The average person needs 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day. That’s about 88 grams of protein for a 150-pound person. A strength athlete may need up to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight. That’s about 150 grams of protein for a 200-pound athlete.
  • Favor foods – Getting too much protein can put a strain on your kidneys. Instead of protein supplements, eat high-quality protein, such as lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, eggs, or milk.
  • Drink up – Milk is one of the best foods for recovery after an event because it provides a good balance of protein and carbohydrates,” Dubost says. Milk also has both casein and whey protein. The combination may be particularly helpful for athletes. Research shows that whey protein is absorbed quickly, which can help speed recovery immediately after an event. Casein is digested more slowly, helping to ensure long-term recovery of muscle after a grueling event.

Replace Lost Electrolytes

Sweating removes both fluids and electrolytes. Electrolytes help transmit nerve signals in your body. To replenish them, reach for sports drinks. If you’re also losing a lot of fluid as you sweat, dilute sports drinks with equal amounts of water to get the best balance of fluid and electrolytes.

Salmon

This oily fish is packed with lean, muscle-building protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces the inflammation that can happen with continual athletic activity. It is also a natural artery cleanser, helping to prevent heart disease, which can affect even the most active people. Get creative and enjoy salmon in burgers, salads or pasta to get the recommended eight-ounce serving per week.


Beans/Legumes

Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike can get their fill of plant-based protein by eating beans and legumes. Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lima beans… the varieties are endless! You can add them to a salad or cook them into a stew or chili. Unlike meat, beans and legumes don’t have saturated fat and contain fiber, which will help you feel fuller longer.

Pasta

Not all carbs are bad! In fact, they’re an important part of the athlete’s diet. While the body burns fat and protein, it must first convert them into carbohydrates, making the bodywork harder. Straight carbs act as a fuel for the active person. Keep in mind that pasta contains fiber, which can cause gastrointestinal stress, so don’t overdo it before a big event where you’ll be competing or playing. Whole grain pasta typically contains less sugar than white pasta, which can also help athletic performance.

Bananas

Bananas are a low-calorie, excellent source of natural electrolytes, which need to be replaced after a workout or sporting event. They’re also high in potassium, which makes them the perfect post-event snack. Eating one banana will help you regulate your fluid intake (since you’re drinking more water before, after and during physical exertion). It will also protect you from muscle spasms or cramps.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Dark, leafy greens such as spinach and kale, as well as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to boost your athletic abilities. They also contain high levels of vitamins A, K and B6, and calcium and iron, all of which protect the body against inflammation. Iron also means more oxygen being supplied to working muscles. Kale contains carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants, and fiber, which helps lower cholesterol.

Nuts

Nuts are high in protein and healthy fats, making them a mainstay in athletes’ diets. Eaten with carbs, they help level out your blood sugar and sustain the carbs over a longer period of time, rather than burning them off right away. They’re also easier to digest and don’t upset your stomach. Another plant-based protein, nuts are rich in fiber and antioxidants like vitamin E. The anti-inflammatory nutrients found in nuts makes them great for bone health, which is needed by every athlete. They also lower bad cholesterol, which is good for heart health.

Milk (Even Chocolate Milk!)

Milk is loaded with carbs and protein, which makes it a great post-workout drink for muscle recovery. The caffeine found in chocolate dilates the blood vessels, helping them to relax after a workout. Interestingly enough, when carbs and protein are consumed together, muscle tissues repair themselves more quickly than they do when consumed separately!

Hydrating Foods

Radishes, watermelon, bell peppers, spinach, celery, dates and oranges are just a handful of the refreshing foods you can eat to replenish your lost fluids. If you’re tired of downing water bottles (not that you shouldn’t), opt for one of these snacks to feel refreshed after exercising.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, both antioxidants that remove free radicals from your body. They lower blood pressure, which is important for athletes to their heart health when participating in sports. They’re high in vitamin and mineral content and contain the levels of potassium, iron, manganese and copper athletes need for healthy muscles.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an excellent source of energy carbs for athletes and is high in fiber, helping you feel fuller, longer. It’s 100 percent whole grain, helping to lower your risk of heart disease. If you’re looking to gain weight, oatmeal is a delicious way to help you achieve your goal weight. Be sure to choose steel-cut oats as opposed to instant oats. The instant oats have a higher glycemic index, which will cause your insulin levels to spike, causing you to end up storing the carbs as fat.

Whey Protein

Whey protein contains the essential amino acids. Quickly absorbed by the body, it lacks fat and cholesterol, which makes it an ideal formula for athletes to consume. Whey contains the levels of protein and amino acids necessary to rebuild muscles and protects against muscle breakdown.

Flaxseed, Olive and Coconut Oil

The monounsaturated fats found in olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties, which athletes need when putting so much stress on their bodies. Flaxseed oil contains omega-3s, which is also anti-inflammatory, to help recover quickly with bumps and bruises. It also contains fiber and protein. Coconut oil is filled with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can help with your endurance during a grueling workout. The MCTs in coconut oil can also help with metabolism and energy from fat.

Cherries

An antioxidant-filled fruit, cherries aid in preventing muscle pain after running. It reduces inflammation, which is what causes such striking pain. Many athletes consume cherry juice as another way to lower exercise-based muscle damage, which can help reduce soreness.

Poor eating habits will eventually lead to poor performance. As you can see from the foods mentioned, athletes benefit most from foods high in protein, vitamins, and fiber to enhance their performance. Whether you’re a recreational or competitive athlete, your body needs the right nutrients to fuel itself during high-intensity activity. These foods provide the restorative, energy-boosting properties necessary to stay healthy while putting your body through exercise or other endurance activities.

Food that helps in biceps muscle building and


Which Food Diet Exercises Is Best To Get Bigger Biceps Chest

Which Food Diet Exercises Is Best To Get Bigger Biceps Chest/Biceps Brachii Exercises that someone showing off their muscles, envisioning the person revealing popping biceps muscles. The muscles termed short head and long head makes up the biceps brachii. The biceps rest on the upper arm, starting their connection to the body on the scapula and running downward and inserting into the forearm, more specifically, the radius bone. You can do certain exercises to train your biceps muscles.

Which Food Diet Exercises Is Best To Get Bigger Biceps Chest

Barbell Curls

Barbell biceps curls are an effective exercise to do to build up your biceps. Start with a barbell in both hands, holding it with a supine grip, palms facing out. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees soft. Slowly curl the barbell up toward your shoulders, hold it there for one second and then slowly bring it back down to the starting position.

Incline Dumbbell Hammer Curl

The incline bench position increases the stretch on the long head of the biceps muscle and also locks your body against the bench so you can’t cheat more weight during reps by rocking backward. An added benefit to hammers is that your wrist and elbow are less vulnerable to strain than during reps of other curls. Dumbbells allow the wrists to move freely, so most people adopt for a slight rotation of the wrist and forearm as they curl, which thickens the muscle group.

Incline Inner-Biceps Curl

The incline dumbbell curl is a regular dumbbell curl, only you are now sitting back on an incline. This allows your arm to hang, which stretches out your bicep, making it work harder. To begin the exercise, sit on an incline bench with your feet flat on the floor. Allow each arm to hang by your side and, one at a time, curl the dumbbell up. This exercise also stretches the long head of the biceps. The more horizontal the bench during your workout, the more the long head of the muscle will be stretched during reps.

These are awesome to add to your isolation workout because they truly isolate the biceps muscle!

Standing Concentration Dumbbell Curl

Concentration curls place the arm in front of the body with a bent elbow and a rotation in the shoulder. While this decreases recruitment of the long head, it potentially increases biceps thickness and peak by better recruitment of surrounding muscles during your workout.

With your free hand on your off leg to support your body weight, when you hit failure you can switch over to a hammer grip and burn out a few extra reps.

EZ-Bar Curl

A lot of people think the EZ-bar curl is the best all-around addition to your biceps workout. It engages both the short and long heads of the biceps muscle and for some people, it’s a lot more comfortable on the joints and forearms than a straight barbell!

Wide-Grip Standing Barbell Curl

This is definitely one of the more common ways to hit this muscle group. Taking a wider-than-normal grip will cause you to externally rotate at the shoulder, so your upper arm changes its position, prompting more involvement from the short head of the biceps muscle.

You can overload during your workout by using bands, chains, or a partner for forced reps, which you can’t do very well using only a dumbbell.

Zottman Curl

In this movement, you hold a dumbbell in each hand and have a palms-up (supinated) grip on the way up and a palms-down (pronated) grip as you lower the weight, so all of your elbow flexors get hit! Some of your elbow flexors act as supinators as well, so rotating the wrist and forearm during the curl instead of at the bottom will load up that function.

Regular-Grip Barbell Curl

The classic. If you did only this movement in your biceps workout, you would still come out ahead.

Of course, you can play around with your grip width, which may reduce the discomfort that some people experience with a barbell, as well as emphasize a different part of the biceps. A narrower grip will emphasize the long head of the muscle, while a wider grip will emphasize the short head of the muscle.

Dumbbells allow the wrists to move freely, so most people adopt for a slight rotation of the wrist and forearm as they curl, which thickens the muscle group.

Hammer Curl

The hammer will typically be our strongest curl during a biceps workout. This is because all of our elbow flexors are actively involved, and the forearm and wrist are in a power position. Doing this movement like a concentration curl or preacher curl (on a preacher bench) will minimize cheating and maximize muscle recruitment during the workout.

Overhead Cable Curl

This is a great way to practice your front double biceps pose as you train. You can do both cables at once, or alternate between arms!

For an alternative arm workout, check out this article and video for some sleeve-splitting exercises.

Hammer Curls

Hammer curls are a variation of the traditional bicep curl. This exercise is done with a set of dumbbells rather than a barbell. Take a dumbbell in each hand, and standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees soft, keep your arms down at your sides and palms facing your sides. Slowly curl the weights up to your shoulders, keeping your palms facing one another, hold for one second and then lower them back down.

Cable Curls

Having access to a cable machine allows you to target your biceps muscles without the use of free weights. Stand in front of the machine, set your desired weight and take a handle or the bar in each hand. Using the same arm motion as a barbell curl, pull the bar from your thighs toward your shoulders, and then slowly return it to the starting position.

Guidelines

The reps and sets you use for these exercises depend on your goals. If you are trying to hypertrophy your biceps muscles, work toward a higher weight with lower repetitions. If you are trying to get toned muscles, work with a lighter weight and higher sets and reps — for example, one to three sets of 10 to 15 repetition

Food that helps in biceps muscle building and


Which Food Diet Exercises Is Best To Get Bigger Biceps Chest

Load Up on Carbohydrates

Carbs are an athlete’s main fuel. Your body changes them to glucose, a form of sugar, and stores it in your muscles as glycogen. When you exercise, your body changes glycogen into energy. If you exercise for under 90 minutes, you have enough glycogen in your muscles, even for high-intensity activities.

Get Enough Protein, But Not Too Much

Protein doesn’t provide a lot of fuel for energy. But you need it to maintain your muscles.

  • Know what you need – The average person needs 1.2 to 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight a day. That’s about 88 grams of protein for a 150-pound person. A strength athlete may need up to 1.7 grams per kilogram of body weight. That’s about 150 grams of protein for a 200-pound athlete.
  • Favor foods – Getting too much protein can put a strain on your kidneys. Instead of protein supplements, eat high-quality protein, such as lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, eggs, or milk.
  • Drink up – Milk is one of the best foods for recovery after an event because it provides a good balance of protein and carbohydrates,” Dubost says. Milk also has both casein and whey protein. The combination may be particularly helpful for athletes. Research shows that whey protein is absorbed quickly, which can help speed recovery immediately after an event. Casein is digested more slowly, helping to ensure long-term recovery of muscle after a grueling event.

Replace Lost Electrolytes

Sweating removes both fluids and electrolytes. Electrolytes help transmit nerve signals in your body. To replenish them, reach for sports drinks. If you’re also losing a lot of fluid as you sweat, dilute sports drinks with equal amounts of water to get the best balance of fluid and electrolytes.

Salmon

This oily fish is packed with lean, muscle-building protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which reduces the inflammation that can happen with continual athletic activity. It is also a natural artery cleanser, helping to prevent heart disease, which can affect even the most active people. Get creative and enjoy salmon in burgers, salads or pasta to get the recommended eight-ounce serving per week.


Beans/Legumes

Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike can get their fill of plant-based protein by eating beans and legumes. Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lima beans… the varieties are endless! You can add them to a salad or cook them into a stew or chili. Unlike meat, beans and legumes don’t have saturated fat and contain fiber, which will help you feel fuller longer.

Pasta

Not all carbs are bad! In fact, they’re an important part of the athlete’s diet. While the body burns fat and protein, it must first convert them into carbohydrates, making the bodywork harder. Straight carbs act as a fuel for the active person. Keep in mind that pasta contains fiber, which can cause gastrointestinal stress, so don’t overdo it before a big event where you’ll be competing or playing. Whole grain pasta typically contains less sugar than white pasta, which can also help athletic performance.

Bananas

Bananas are a low-calorie, excellent source of natural electrolytes, which need to be replaced after a workout or sporting event. They’re also high in potassium, which makes them the perfect post-event snack. Eating one banana will help you regulate your fluid intake (since you’re drinking more water before, after and during physical exertion). It will also protect you from muscle spasms or cramps.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Dark, leafy greens such as spinach and kale, as well as broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts,  are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to boost your athletic abilities. They also contain high levels of vitamins A, K and B6, and calcium and iron, all of which protect the body against inflammation. Iron also means more oxygen being supplied to working muscles. Kale contains carotenoids and flavonoids, two powerful antioxidants, and fiber, which helps lower cholesterol.

Nuts

Nuts are high in protein and healthy fats, making them a mainstay in athletes’ diets. Eaten with carbs, they help level out your blood sugar and sustain the carbs over a longer period of time, rather than burning them off right away. They’re also easier to digest and don’t upset your stomach. Another plant-based protein, nuts are rich in fiber and antioxidants like vitamin E. The anti-inflammatory nutrients found in nuts makes them great for bone health, which is needed by every athlete. They also lower bad cholesterol, which is good for heart health.

Milk (Even Chocolate Milk!)

Milk is loaded with carbs and protein, which makes it a great post-workout drink for muscle recovery. The caffeine found in chocolate dilates the blood vessels, helping them to relax after a workout. Interestingly enough, when carbs and protein are consumed together, muscle tissues repair themselves more quickly than they do when consumed separately!

Hydrating Foods

Radishes, watermelon, bell peppers, spinach, celery, dates and oranges are just a handful of the refreshing foods you can eat to replenish your lost fluids. If you’re tired of downing water bottles (not that you shouldn’t), opt for one of these snacks to feel refreshed after exercising.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, both antioxidants that remove free radicals from your body. They lower blood pressure, which is important for athletes to their heart health when participating in sports. They’re high in vitamin and mineral content and contain the levels of potassium, iron, manganese and copper athletes need for healthy muscles.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is an excellent source of energy carbs for athletes and is high in fiber, helping you feel fuller, longer. It’s 100 percent whole grain, helping to lower your risk of heart disease. If you’re looking to gain weight, oatmeal is a delicious way to help you achieve your goal weight. Be sure to choose steel-cut oats as opposed to instant oats. The instant oats have a higher glycemic index, which will cause your insulin levels to spike, causing you to end up storing the carbs as fat.

Whey Protein

Whey protein contains the essential amino acids. Quickly absorbed by the body, it lacks fat and cholesterol, which makes it an ideal formula for athletes to consume. Whey contains the levels of protein and amino acids necessary to rebuild muscles and protects against muscle breakdown.

Flaxseed, Olive and Coconut Oil

The monounsaturated fats found in olive oil have anti-inflammatory properties, which athletes need when putting so much stress on their bodies. Flaxseed oil contains omega-3s, which is also anti-inflammatory, to help recover quickly with bumps and bruises. It also contains fiber and protein. Coconut oil is filled with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can help with your endurance during a grueling workout. The MCTs in coconut oil can also help with metabolism and energy from fat.

Cherries

An antioxidant-filled fruit, cherries aid in preventing muscle pain after running. It reduces inflammation, which is what causes such striking pain. Many athletes consume cherry juice as another way to lower exercise-based muscle damage, which can help reduce soreness.

Poor eating habits will eventually lead to poor performance. As you can see from the foods mentioned, athletes benefit most from foods high in protein, vitamins, and fiber to enhance their performance. Whether you’re a recreational or competitive athlete, your body needs the right nutrients to fuel itself during high-intensity activity. These foods provide the restorative, energy-boosting properties necessary to stay healthy while putting your body through exercise or other endurance activities.

Food that helps in biceps muscle building and


Body Building Exercises to Get Bigger Arm Chest

Body Building Exercises to Get Bigger Arm Chest/You can get big pecs, biceps and triceps without purchasing a weight set or machines. You already have a large amount of weight at your disposal your body. Exercises that make your arm and chest muscles lift your body against gravity exercise these areas to build strength and bulk.

Body Building Exercises to Get Bigger Arm Chest

Pushups for Pecs

Pushups build muscle in the chest and arms. Difficult variations of the pushups also work the shoulders, glutes and abs. To build muscle, you want to lift heavyweights. One way to make your chest and arms lift more weight doing a pushup is to add a leg lift. To perform this variation, first, assume a pushup position with your arms straight and hands in line with your shoulders. Then, lower your chest toward the floor and simultaneously lift one leg toward the ceiling. On the next repetition, raise the other leg.

Inchworms for Arms and Abs


Inchworms are another body-weight exercise that works the chest and arms. Inchworms are an advanced, total-body exercise that also works your abs, shoulders and back muscles. To perform inchworms, start bent over with your fingers on the floor just in front of your toes. This is the starting position. Next, walk your hands forward and lower your body into a pushup position. Do one pushup and then walk your feet forward to your hands as you come back to the starting position. With every rep, you move forward.

Chair Dips for Triceps

Chair dips are one of the best exercises for your triceps. Just make sure that you use a sturdy chair that won’t tip, break or roll out from under you. To begin, sit in the chair and grip the edge of your seat, placing your feet together on the floor in front of you. Raise your buttocks off the chair holding your arms straight, and bring yourself forward just far enough so that you won’t hit the seat when you lower into a dip. Align your knees with your ankles. This is the starting position. Bend your elbows next, lowering your hips below the edge of the seat, and then press your arms straight again. You should feel your triceps working when you lift yourself up.

Chinups for Biceps

Chinups do not require weights, but they do require a pullup bar. You can find one at the gym or likely a playground if you don’t want to purchase one for your home. Chinups target the biceps and the back. To begin, hang from a bar with your knees bent and your palms facing you with your hands in line with your shoulders. Next, bend your elbows and pull yourself up to the bar. You should feel the biceps working to bring your chin up to the bar.


References

Back Care for Sleeping Position

Back Care for Sleeping Position/ Generally, the best sleeping position for you is the one that allows you to have the most REM sleep (that magical “deep sleep” when you dream and when your eyes dart from side-to-side). All parts of the sleep cycle are important, but REM sleep is the most restorative and vital for memory retention. Without enough of it throughout the night, you can wake up with a headache and achy feeling all over. Seriously, the long-term effects of sleep deprivation and consistent low-quality sleep are just scary

Wondering which sleep spot is best? Check out the rankings, below, from best to worst.

Back Care for Sleeping Position

Though it’s not the most popular position—only eight percent of people sleep on their backs—it’s still the best. By far the healthiest option for most people, sleeping on your back allows your head, neck, and spine to rest in a neutral position. This means that there’s no extra pressure on those areas, so you’re less likely to experience pain. Sleeping facing the ceiling also ideal for warding off acid reflux. Just be sure to use a pillow that elevates and supports your head enough—you want your stomach to be below your esophagus to prevent food or acid from coming up your digestive tract. However, snoozing on your back can cause the tongue to block the breathing tube, making it a dangerous position for those who suffer from sleep apnea (a condition that causes periods of breathlessness). This position can also make snoring more severe.

Side Sleepers

  • Side sleepers are numerous (making up a whopping 63 percent of all sleepers). We’re a versatile bunch, with all kinds of subsets including the log, the yearner, and the fetal position (more on that last one below).

Side Sleeping Benefits

  • Sleeping on your side is great for cuddling and pillow-talk. Additionally, research suggests that sleeping on your left side is preferable to your right. Thanks to the unique arrangement of your internal organs, left-side sleepers may see benefits in improved digestion and blood flow. It can also help reduce heartburn.

rxharun.com/Sleeing position

Side Sleeping Cons

  • One of the biggest drawbacks to sleeping on your side is the dreaded numb arm. Also, it can lead to shoulder pain, hip pain, and back pain if your spine, neck, and hips aren’t properly aligned throughout the night. It also puts more strain on your pressure points. All of these symptoms can be lessened with the help of a quality mattress and various arrangements of pillows to suit your personal style.
  • Side sleeping can lead to more face wrinkles (because you’re pressing your face against the pillow all night) and saggy breasts (because of …gravity).


How to Sleep on Your Side Like a Pro

  • The side sleeper secret is to keep your back as straight as possible. The best way to achieve this, big surprise, is with a great mattress. Find a mattress that provides support for the curvature of your body while still embracing the pressure points of your shoulders and hips.
  • Other helpful side-sleeping techniques are to position a pillow between your legs and use a tall pillow that aligns your neck better with your back (as opposed to sleeping with your head cocked to one side like you can’t understand what I’m saying but you’re going to pretend as you do anyway).

Fetal Position Sleepers

  • The fetal position is the close, adorable cousin to the side sleeper. While some of us only curl up in a fetal position when we’d rather not be adults for a while, a whopping 41 percent of people prefer this style of sleep position.

Fetal Position Sleeping Benefits

  • The most obvious benefit of sleeping in a fetal position is that it makes you a great little spoon. There’s also evidence that fetal-sleepers are shy and sensitive, but with a hard shell on the outside that can be tough to crack, but totally worth it. We get it, fetal-position sleepers, you’re super cute. Beyond that, you get all the benefits of the side sleeper, as well. It’s an all-around solid sleep choice!
Back Care for Sleeping Position

Fetal Position Sleeping Cons

  • Being too curled up in the fetal position can cause your lower back to arch in an unnatural manner, leading to aches and pains in the morning.

How to Make the Most of the Fetal Position

  • Try to bring those legs down a touch so that your body is straighter. And put a small pillow between your legs to relieve some pressure on your spine so you can cuddle the night away.

Back Sleepers

  • If you’re a back sleeper, take some pleasure in knowing that sleeping on your back is often recommended as the best position for preventing aches and pains in the morning.

Back Sleeping Benefits

  • Sleeping on your back gives you your best shot at resting your spine in its most natural position. In fact, your entire skeleton will thank you for sleeping on your back, because your arms, shoulders, and legs won’t be jammed under the weight of your body or contorted in some bizarre amusement-park-ride pose.

Back Sleeping Cons

  • Unfortunately, back sleepers don’t have it all good. It can lead to problems with snoring since gravity pulls your tongue to the back of your throat, and it isn’t recommended for people who suffer from sleep apnea.
  • In young adults, scientists have noted that poor sleepers typically spend more time on their backs than other positions, so sleeping on your back doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the best night’s rest of your life.

How to Make the Most of Sleeping on Your Back

  • If snoring is a problem, either find another position (or another sleep partner) OR rock some snoring aids like nasal strips and mouthpieces. And don’t forget to find that ideal mattress that provides the best spinal alignment.

Stomach Sleepers

  • If you’re one of 7 percent of the population who sleep on their stomach, you’re a special breed. More often, you’re brash and gregarious. You also don’t like criticism, so we’re not going to chastise you for sleeping in the least-recommended position.

Stomach Sleeping Benefits

  • Stomach-sleeping can reduce snoring and help in some cases of sleep apnea. Unfortunately, there isn’t much of a benefit beyond that.

 Back Care for Sleeping Position

 Stomach Sleeping Cons

  • If you’re a stomach sleeper, we love you, but your sleep style probably isn’t doing you any favors. Having your head jammed to the side all night can lead to a sore neck in the morning. Lying chest-down straightens your spine into an unnatural position, leading to all kinds of lower back pain. And if you’re pregnant? Fuhgeddaboudit.

How to Make the Most of Stomach Sleeping

If sleeping on your stomach really is the best way you can get a quality night’s rest, then here are a few ways to make it more comfortable:

  • Switch out that thick pillow for a razor-thin one (or no pillow at all)
  • Prop a pillow under your pelvis to add some curve to your spine
  • Do some stretches in the morning to ease back pain


Best Sleep Positions for Couples

Adding another person into the mix can definitely throw your sleep position game off, but it doesn’t have to. In fact, 94 percent of couples who cuddle (or at least have some kind of physical contact) through the night report being happy with their relationship. Meanwhile, only 68 percent of couples who don’t touch through the night report relationship satisfaction. So, while there are plenty of variations of the above sleeping positions for couples, the best position for you and your partner is the one where:

  • You both get the best, high-quality rest
  • You touch in some way (unless that interferes with the above point)
  • A child or pet isn’t kicking you all night and commandeering the entire mattress

Also, a king size bed is the largest and best bed for couples, then you can sleep in any position you want.

Back Care for Sleeping Position

The Best Sleep Position for Pregnant Women

If you’ve got a bundle of joy cradled inside your abdomen, it can make finding a comfortable sleeping position just a tad challenging. Also, you want to be sure that you’re not doing anything that could cause problems with your pregnancy or harm your baby in any way.

So what’s the best sleep position for pregnant women? As it turns out, sleeping on your left side is the best. It improves blood circulation and doesn’t put pressure on your liver. It’s even better to have your legs bent (again, to aid in good blood circulation) with a small pillow between your knees.

Back Care for Sleeping Position

If you find it difficult to sleep on your left side during pregnancy (after all, many aspects of pregnancy are going to be uncomfortable, what with a sentient being growing inside you and all) try propping up various parts of your body with pillows. Pillows are your best friend. Stack ‘em up all around you until you find the comfort you so desire.

Tips for Transitioning to a New Sleep PositionBack Care for Sleeping Position

The inevitable transition period required to get used to a new sleep position can be difficult. That’s in large part because you’ll likely be getting some pretty lousy sleep while your body gets used to your new position.

But, if you’re determined to change the way you sleep, here are some tips to shorten the transition period and start your new life of sleeping bliss!

  • Block out all natural light in your room and banish electronic devices from your life for the two hours leading up to your bedtime.
  • Sleep on the opposite side of your bed from what you usually do. Your body may be less likely to revert automatically to your old position.
  • Don’t skimp on extras like a high-quality pillow and stretchy mattress covers and sheets.

You might have to be persistent for a while if you truly want to make a change to your sleeping habits. But if your goal is to reduce back pain and ultimately improve the quality of your sleep, it may be well worth it.

Sleeping Bad Habit That Must be Change

  • Don’t go to bed with cold feet – Warm your feet every time before going to bed
  • Not having a bedtime routine – Set up a routine before going to bed to teach your brain when is time to sleep, like brushing your teeth, washing your face, etc.
  • Avoid drinking coffee 4 hours before going to bed – Caffeine is very bad and keep you awake for a longer time.
  • Avoid certain sleeping positions – Experts advise sleeping on the left side as a better position for your body to rest.
  • Keep the electronic devices away from the bed – Scrolling on your phone or tablet before going to bed can have a very negative effect because the brightness from the screen prevents the brain from falling asleep.
  • Believe it or not, you should avoid books as well – Reading before bedtime is also known as a way to keep you awake for a longer period of time.
  • Avoid a bright alarm clock – Light or anything similar can drag your attention and disturb your sleep and you will not wake up rested in the morning.
  • Don’t drink any fluids an hour before going to bed – Fluids make you go to the bathroom more often and it will disturb your sleep.
  • Avoid afternoon naps – Afternoon naps make you feel rested longer and your body doesn’t need sleep. It also changes your sleeping routine so try to avoid them.
  • Don’t sleep on a low-quality mattress – Quality mattresses are very important for a night of good night sleep. You will wake up rested and energized.
  • Don’t eat 2 hours before going to bed – When you lie down with a full stomach, you won’t fall asleep fast as the digestion process keeps the body awake.
  • Avoid exercising 3 hours before going to bed – When you exercise your body fills with adrenaline and this is the reason you can’t go to sleep quickly.


References


Back Care for Sleeping Position

Symptoms, Diagnosis Treatment of Plantar Warts

Symptoms, Diagnosis Treatment of Plantar Warts/Plantar warts caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), are a commonly encountered condition presenting in the clinic. In adults, an array of various therapies exists, frequently with modest results particularly with plantar lesions. Microwaves have had limited uses for medical purposes. Recently a new portable microwave device has been approved for the treatment of skin lesions. Prior research has demonstrated immuno-stimulatory effects against HPV infection. We report the application of a novel portable medical microwave unit to treat a long-standing plantar wart which had failed to respond to other treatment modalities.

Warts are non-cancerous (benign) skin growths that develop in different parts of the body and can take on various forms. They are caused by viruses. Warts are contagious and very common. Most people will have one at some point in their lives. Although they can affect people of any age, warts are most common among children and teenagers.

A plantar wart is a wart occurring on the bottom of the foot or toes.[rx] Their color is typically similar to that of the skin.[rx] Small black dots often occur on the surface.[rx] One or more may occur in an area.[rx] They may result in pain with pressure such that walking is difficult.[rx]

Symptoms, Diagnosis Treatment of Plantar Warts

Types of Warts

Warts may appear alone or in groups, which are capable of covering larger areas of skin. The main types of warts include:

  • Common warts – are skin growths that range from the size of a pinhead to the size of a pea. They harden, making them scaly and rough to the touch. Common warts are often found on the back of the hands, the fingers, the skin around the nails, and on your feet.
  • Plantar warts – mostly occur on the ankles and soles of the feet. Those on the bottom of the feet and toes are sometimes referred to as verrucas. They can become quite large. Because the soles of your feet have to support your body weight, plantar warts do not grow outward like other kinds of warts. They are pushed inward when you stand or walk. This can cause pain or tenderness due to the pressure. It also makes it difficult to treat this kind of wart.
  • Mosaic warts – are white and about the size of a pinhead. They are usually found on the balls of the feet or under the toes, but may also spread and cover larger areas on the entire sole of the foot. Unlike plantar warts, they do not hurt when you walk because they are flatter.
  • Filiform warts – have a thread-like, spiky appearance, and sometimes look like tiny brushes. Because they often appear on the face, they are usually considered to be particularly bothersome.
  • Flat warts – are small, slightly raised warts that are often just a few millimeters wide. Sometimes they are light brown in color. They are most commonly found on the face, particularly on the forehead and cheeks. Hands and lower arms are often affected too.
  • Genital warts – are small hard nodules with rough surfaces. They are sexually transmitted and affect only the genital region. The treatment for genital warts is different from treatment for the other kinds of warts mentioned above, so genital warts are not included in this overview.

Others Types

  • Classic Plantar Wart
  • Mosaic Wart (coalescence of multiple lesions)
  • Myrmecia (refers to the anthill-like lesion)
  • The epidermal lesion extends deeply under the skin surface
  • Usually associated with HPV Type 1

Causes of Plantar Warts

  • Warts are caused by human papillomaviruses (HPV) – of which there are more than 100 different types. These viruses can enter the skin through small cuts and cause extra cell growth. The outer layer of skin turns thicker and harder, forming a raised wart. Wart viruses are mainly spread by direct skin contact, but they may also be spread by touching objects like towels or razors. They are more likely to infect moist and soft or injured skin.
  • Common wart (Verruca Vulgaris) – Histopathologic features include acanthosis, digitated epidermal hyperplasia, papillomatosis, compact orthokeratosis, hypergranulosis, tortuous capillaries within the dermal papillae, and vertical tiers of parakeratotic cells with red blood cells entrapped above the tips of the digitations. Elongated rete ridges may point radially toward the center of the lesion. In the granular layer, cells infected with HPV have coarse keratohyalin granules and vacuoles surrounding wrinkled-appearing nuclei. Koilocytic cells are pathognomonic.
  • Butcher’s – Butcher’s warts have acanthosis, hyperkeratosis, and papillomatosis. Small vacuolized cells are seen, and centrally located shrunken nuclei may be identified in clusters within the granular layer rete ridges.
  • Filiform – Filiform warts appear similar to common warts, but they may have prominent papillomatosis.
  • Focal Epithelial Hyperplasia (Heck disease) – Focal epithelial hyperplasia is characterized by acanthosis, blunting, hyperplastic mucosa with thin parakeratotic stratum corneum, anastomosis of rete ridges, and whiteness of epidermal cells due to intracellular edema. Some may have prominent keratohyalin granules, and vacuolated cells may be present.
  • Deep Palmoplantar – Deep palmoplantar warts are similar to common warts except the lesion lies deep to the plane of the skin surface. The endophytic epidermal growth has the distinctive feature of polygonal, refractile-appearing, eosinophilic, cytoplasmic inclusions made up of keratin filaments, forming ringlike structures. Basophilic parakeratotic cells loaded with virions and basophilic nuclear inclusions and maybe in the upper layers of the epidermis.
  • Flat – Flat warts are similar to common warts in light microscopy. Cells with prominent perinuclear vacuolization around pyknotic, basophilic, centrally located nuclei can be in the granular layer. These are referred to as “owl’s eye cells.”
  • Cystic – A cyst wart is filled with horny material. The wall is composed of basal, granular, and squamous cells. Many epithelial cells have large nuclei and clear cytoplasm with eosinophilic inclusion bodies. The cyst may rupture causing a foreign body granuloma.

Some people are at greater risk of developing warts. They include

  • People who work with raw meat, for example at a butcher’s shop or slaughterhouse,
  • Children and teenagers who often use communal showers, for instance after sports or at the swimming pool,
  • People with family members who have warts,
  • Children who share a classroom with a lot of children who have warts,
  • People who have a weakened immune system: especially adults and children who have had an organ transplant or who have a serious disease like cancer or AIDS, and
  • people with atopic conditions like eczema.
  • The viruses multiply in the skin. If someone has a weakened immune system, their body isn’t always able to successfully fight
  • The primary manifestations of HPV infection include Common warts, Genital warts, Flat warts, Deep palmoplantar warts (Myrmecia), focal epithelial hyperplasia, Epidermodysplasia verruciformis, and Plantar cysts. Warts may be transmitted by direct or indirect contact.

Symptoms of Plantar Warts

Symptoms, Diagnosis Treatment of Plantar Warts

  • The firm, warty (rough, bumpy, and spongy, some appear thick and scaly) lesions with tiny pinpoint dark spots in the body of the wart (not always apparent): These dark spots are minute, thrombosed (containing blood clots) capillaries in the deeper layers of the skin.
  • A small, fleshy, rough, grainy growth (lesion) on the bottom of your foot, usually the base of the toes and forefoot or the heel
  • Hard, thickened skin (callus) over a well-defined “spot” on the skin, where a wart has grown inward
  • Black pinpoints, which are commonly called wart seeds but are actually small, clotted blood vessels
  • A lesion that interrupts the normal lines and ridges in the skin of your foot
  • Pain or tenderness when walking or standing
  • Smooth surface with a gray-yellow or brown color
  • Often located over areas of pressure or bony point such as the heel and ball of the foot
  • Usually flat because of pressure
  • Several warts may fuse to form “mosaic” warts.


Diagnosis of Plantar Warts

The diagnosis of a wart is usually made on a clinical examination of physical findings.

Laboratory Studies

  • Immunohistochemical detection of HPV structural proteins confirms the presence of a virus, but this has poor sensitivity. Viral DNA identification using Southern blot hybridization is more sensitive and specific for HPV type. Polymerase chain reaction amplifies viral DNA for testing. Although HPV can be detected in younger lesions, it is not always present in older lesions.

Procedures

  • A biopsy is obtained if doubt exists regarding the diagnosis. The paring of a wart often reveals tiny black dots which represent thrombosed capillaries.

Treatment of Plantar Warts

Some of the treatments are quite complex and have a number of side effects. In Germany, not all of them are covered by statutory health insurers. For these reasons, they are only considered in exceptional circumstances – and even then only if the warts are very persistent and do not go away. The treatments that have not yet been tested in high-quality studies include:

  • Special ointments and solutions – Ointments and solutions containing other medications were tested too, including 5-fluorouracil (a substance that inhibits cell growth), aciclovir and imiquimod (antiviral medications) and zinc.
  • Injections using different kinds of medicine Various medicines can be injected into the wart. These include bleomycin and 5-fluorouracil (both drugs inhibit cell growth), interferons (drugs that affect the immune system) and specific antigens (substances that, like vaccines, trigger an immune response).
  • Curettage – Curettage involves cutting or scraping warts off with a special instrument. The wart is often first treated with a salicylic acid plaster or solution.
  • Laser surgery Here the wart is heated and destroyed using a laser beam. This treatment can cause scarring.
  • Pulsed dye laser treatment – This treatment involves using a laser beam to heat and destroy the narrow blood vessels that supply blood to the wart. The aim is to stop the skin cells from multiplying.
  • Erbium YAG laser – This is a laser treatment that aims to destroy the wart cells by strongly heating the fluid in them for a short time.
  • Photodynamic therapy First, a gel is applied to the wart and left on for about three hours. The gel contains a special chemical substance that is then activated by light so that it can destroy the wart tissue.
  • Topical keratolytic medications – including salicylic acid 12.6% to 40% as a pad or a solution, may be applied to the corns. Urea 20% to 50%, silver nitrate, and hydrocolloid dressings can also be used in this indication. These techniques are more effective for a few lesions of interest. Topical keratolytic agents may also facilitate lesion paring by softening the corns.
  • Ablative laser therapy may also be used to treat corns instead of paring them with a scalpel. The carbon dioxide laser has been reported to be efficient by some authors. The 2,940 nm erbium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet laser has been used to treat corns with minimal thermal tissue damage. However, recurrence of lesions may be observed in some patients, especially if the trigger factors are maintained.
  • Any mechanical trouble – and/or deformity should be managed with appropriate conservative treatment. This involves proper footwear and soft cushions (silicon sheet, sheepskin) which reduce friction and improve comfort.

It used to be quite common to remove warts by simply cutting them out, but this is rarely done nowadays since it can cause infection or scarring. And new warts may grow back after surgery.

Folk and Alternative Remedies

Folklore

  • Historic folk remedies have included many variants: Rub a dusty, dry toad on warts, and they will disappear or the advice of Tom Sawyer to back up against the stump and jam your hand in and say, ‘Barley-corn, barley-corn, Injun-meal shorts, / Spunk water, spunk water, smaller these warts.[ Before these remedies are scoffed at, they serve as a reminder that many warts resolve spontaneously regardless of the treatment or lack thereof.

Hypnosis/Suggestive Therapy

  • For many years there have been sporadic reports of wart cures in both adults and children through hypnosis or autosuggestive therapy. These largely case reports or small case series with no controls for comparison with spontaneous regression rates. It is feasible that if hypnosis or suggestion could stimulate the immune system during therapy for wart treatment, as has been suggested in cancer cases, then there could be a basis for hypnotic benefits. However, this remains untested.Garlic Extracts
  • Components of garlic (Allium sativum) have been shown to have antiviral activity and to inhibit cellular proliferation of virally infected cells., In one placebo-controlled trial, the application of chloroform extracts of garlic was reported to result in the complete resolution of cutaneous warts with no recurrence after 3–4 months.

Duct Tape

  • Occlusive duct tape treatment was championed by Dr. Jerome Litt in a 1978 article. This treatment has become popular again due

Destructive Therapy

Destructive therapy should not be confused with virucidal therapy. Destructive therapies are designed to damage or remove the lesion, rather than to kill the virus. These range from surgical curettage to cautery to caustic chemical ablation, and from cryotherapy to hyperthermic therapy. Many of the following approaches may be used with most warts. However, some warn against using destructive approaches for flat warts due to their tendency to Koebnerize.

Surgical Removal by Curettage or Cautery

  • Surgical removal of warts by curettage followed by cautery was an early and still widely practiced method of treatment. Success rates of 65% to 85% have been reported, but scarring and recurrence occur in up to 30% of patients. Scarring can be particularly problematic on the sole of the foot, so this technique is most commonly used for filiform warts on the limbs and face.

Chemical Cautery

  • Silver nitrate is probably most widely recognized in its historical use to prevent conjunctivitis in newborns, but in recent times it has largely been supplanted by antibiotic eye drops. The use of silver nitrate has also been used to chemically cauterize epithelial tissues in the treatment of pyogenic and umbilical granulomas, epistaxis, corns and warts.

Salicylic Acid

  • Salicylic acid is a first-line therapy that many patients choose since it is available over the counter. It is a keratolytic therapy with a mechanism of action that slowly destroys the virus-infected epidermis and may cause an immune response from the mild irritation caused by the salicylic acid.
  • It is prepared in concentrations from 10% to 60%. Over-the-counter preparations are available as 17% salicylic acid combined in a base of flexible collodion or as a 40% salicylic acid plaster patch. The advantages of over-the-counter salicylic acid include convenience, minimal expense, negligible pain, and reasonable effectiveness.,

Cantharidin

  • Cantharidin is derived from the blister beetle, Cantharis vesicatoria. It causes epidermal cell death, acantholysis, and clinical blister formation by interacting with mitochondria. Since 1992, the drug is no longer available in the United States but can be purchased in Canada.
  • Cantharidin should be applied to the pared wart and covered with a nonporous occlusive tape for 24 hours. A blister will form and heal in 1 to 2 weeks. This process should be repeated in 1 to 3 weeks.

Cryotherapy

  • Cryotherapy is available for the treatment of verruca Vulgaris in primary care and dermatology offices. It is considered second-line therapy. The most commonly used cryogen is liquid nitrogen with a temperature of -196°C. The effect on wart clearance may be through necrotic destruction of HPV-infected keratinocytes or by inducing local inflammation that triggers an effective cell-mediated response.

Hot Water

  • Simple sequential treatment by immersion in hot water (45°C to 48°C) has been reported to dramatically improve certain cases of cutaneous warts of the hands and feet.,

Exothermic Patches

  • Small patches containing chemicals that produce heat through oxidation upon exposure to air have been applied to warts with anecdotal success.

Ultrasound Hyperthermia

  • Several early reports attempted to use ultrasonic therapy to locally heat warts with some success, but this treatment seems to have been largely abandoned.

Radiofrequency Ablation

  • Localized heating with radiofrequency heat generators as well as surgical excision with radiofrequency electrosurgical knives has been used with moderate success.,

Microwave Treatment

  • In vitro treatment of excised warts by applying microwave energy has been shown to produce more HPV DNA damage than CO2 laser treatment, but there has been no reported clinical application of microwave treatment.

Infrared Coagulation

  • Direct application of infrared contact coagulators has been reported as a cheaper, safer and more easily handled alternative to CO2 laser treatment. The instrument allows adjustable tissue necrosis without tissue adhesion and has yielded remissions with a 10.8% recurrence rate. In comparison to electrocoagulation, infrared coagulation produces similar outcomes.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser

  • The CO2 lasers emit infrared light (10,600 nm) that is absorbed by water. Nonselective thermal tissue destruction results. A focused CO2 laser beam can be used as a scalpel to excise the wart down to the subcutaneous tissue after which the base of the wart is vaporized by a defocused beam until a clean surgical field is obtained.
  • Two case series described a 64% to 71% cure rate at 12 months. No randomized, controlled trials have been published on the efficacy of CO2 laser. Lost skin heals by secondary intention. This treatment may be useful for periungual and subungual warts that are recalcitrant to other treatments.

Erbium:Yttrium/Aluminum/Garnet (Er:YAG) Laser

  • YAG laser emits a shorter wavelength infrared radiation (2940 nm) that is absorbed 12 to 18 times more efficiently by water-containing superficial cutaneous tissues than is the 10,600 nm wavelengths emitted by the CO2 laser.
  • The YAG laser has a smaller zone of thermal damage, thereby allowing more precise thermal ablation with minimal scarring. Warts in a variety of locations have been successfully eliminated in 75% of patients after a single treatment, with a 25% relapse rate within 1 year after treatment. Approximately 14% of patients are non-responders.

Neodymium: YAG (Nd: YAG) Laser

  • The Nd: YAG laser’s principal emission wavelength is at 1064 nm, still in the infrared range. Hyperthermic treatment with this laser has been reported to cause remission with no recurrence in several case reports and case series., In biopsied tissues, pre- and post-treatment with either cryotherapy or Nd: YAG hyperthermic therapy, HPV DNA was reduced from 100% to 96% after cryotherapy and from 100% to 0% after laser treatment.

Pulsed Dye Laser

  • The mechanism of action of the pulsed dye laser is through selective microvascular destruction of dilated capillaries in warts. This happens as a result of thermal damage occurring upon yellow light absorption (585 nm) by oxyhemoglobin. Thermal damage, removal of the blood supply, and a cell-mediated immune response are believed to contribute to wart healing. The treatment sensation has been compared to being snapped by a rubber band and is considered relatively painless.

Potassium-Titanyl-Phosphate (KTP) Laser

  • The KTP laser has been utilized in the treatment of recalcitrant cutaneous warts and when treated to complete clearance, no recurrence occurred.

Photodynamic Therapy

  • Rather than using endogenous target absorbers (i.e., water for the CO2 laser and oxyhemoglobin for the 585 nm pulsed dye laser), photodynamic therapy uses the light of a wavelength absorbed by specific photosensitizing molecules that are exogenously administered to the target tissue.
  • One agent commonly used is 5-aminolaevulinic acid (ALA), which is a prodrug that stimulates porphyrin accumulation in the tissue., Porphyrins then act as the photosensitizing agent.

Virucidal Therapy

Glutaraldehyde

  • Glutaraldehyde is virucidal and available as a 10% water-miscible gel or alcohol solution. Application of glutaraldehyde is typically applied twice a day and can stain the skin brown, as well as cause contact sensitivity. The treatment has been reported to be as effective as with salicylic acid with cure rates over 70%.No randomized, controlled trials for glutaraldehyde treatment of warts have been published.

Formaldehyde

  • Formaldehyde is also virucidal and works by disrupting the upper layer of epidermal cells and possibly damaging the virions.
  • Available 0.7% gels or 3% solutions are used to soak pared plantar warts to speed resolution. Formaldehyde, widely used as a preservative in many products such as lotions and shampoos, can cause sensitization and should be avoided in patients with eczema and allergies.

Formic Acid

  • Formic acid is the chemical irritant found in the stings and bites of many hymenopteran insects, including bees and ants, and was first isolated from red ants, hence the name from the Latin for ant, Formica.
  • It is also the irritant in the leaves of stinging nettles. In a nonrandomized, placebo-controlled, open trial in 100 patients, a topical 85% formic acid/needle puncture technique resulted in a 92% complete clearance rate as compared with 6% in the placebo (water) group.

Antiviral Drugs

  • Cidofovir is a nucleoside analog of deoxycytidine monophosphate that inhibits DNA synthesis, induces DNA fragmentation, reduces epithelialization and enhances excoriation. It has been used successfully in HIV-positive patients for the topical treatment of genital warts.

Antimitotic Therapy

Bleomycin

  • Bleomycin, an antibiotic derived from Streptomyces verticillus, is reserved for recalcitrant warts that have failed other types of treatment. It selectively affects squamous cell and reticuloendothelial tissue.DNA and protein synthesis are inhibited, and apoptosis is triggered. Bleomycin is not thought to bind directly to HPV.
  • Bleomycin causes acute tissue necrosis that may stimulate an immune response, as evidenced by the fact that it is less effective as a wart treatment in immunosuppressed renal transplant patients.,,, Bleomycin treatment of warts results in significant systemic drug exposure and should not be used on pregnant women, children, immunosuppressed patients or patients with vascular disease.,

Retinoids

  • Epidermal growth and differentiation are disrupted by retinoids, so wart growth is affected. Retinoids are also potent immunomodulators. There is some evidence that retinoids can downregulate HPV transcription in affected cells as well., Retinoids can be administered topically or systemically. Treatment of warts with a tretinoin cream resulted in 85% clearance in a series of children as compared to 32% spontaneous clearance in controls.

Podophyllin

  • The rhizomes of the mayapple plant (Podophyllum peltatum) that grows throughout eastern and midwestern North America are the source of podophyllin resin, the crude alcohol extracts containing podophyllotoxin, 4-demethylpodophyllotoxin, α-peltate, and β-peltatin.
  • The Penobscot Indians of the northeastern United States used poultices of mayapple for the treatment of warts.

Podophyllotoxin

  • Podophyllum hexandrum grows in the mountainous regions of India and contains a higher content of podophyllotoxin, the active component. Podophyllotoxin binds to microtubules and causes mitotic arrest in the metaphase of cell division.
  • In a small, double-blind, randomized clinical trial of self-administered podophyllotoxin solution versus vehicle in the treatment of genital warts, patients were instructed to administer 0.5% solution or vehicle at home twice daily for 3 consecutive days of each week for 4 weeks.


Immunotherapy

Oral Zinc Sulphate

  • Dietary zinc has profound effects on the human immune system, and deficiency leads to reduced immune capacity., Based on this, a placebo-controlled clinical trial was attempted using oral zinc sulfate (10 mg/kg daily) to treat recalcitrant warts. Complete clearance was reported in 87% of the treatment group versus no clearance in the placebo group.[

Contact Sensitizers

  • The mechanism of action for topical immunotherapy with contact sensitizers is proposed to be a type IV hypersensitivity reaction. The immune response is purported to be directed against a complex of contact agent hapten bound to the protein of viral or human origin that enhances wart regression. An effective topical immunotherapy contact sensitizer should ideally be readily available, able to sensitize at least 95% of the normal population, chemically stable, economical, free of significant adverse effects and rarely occurring in the human environment.
  • Diphencyprone (DCP) – the standard sensitizer used for topical immunotherapy, is nonmutagenic and is available in an acetone solution. It has a shelf life of 3–6 months at room temperature if stored in an amber glass bottle to prevent light degradation. Another nonmutagenic contact sensitizer, squaric acid dibutyl ester (SADBE), has been used in the treatment of recalcitrant warts. SADBE is more expensive and less stable in solution than DCP.,

Intralesional Injection of Interferon

  • For genital warts that are recurrent or recalcitrant to other treatments, intralesional injection of interferon-α has been tested in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial. Leukocytic interferon can both kill viruses and stimulate the immune system. The interferon or placebo was injected twice weekly for up to 8 weeks. Complete clearance was seen in 62% of interferon-α patients compared to 21% of placebo-treated patients. Intralesional interferon-α has also been used successfully in the treatment of recurrent oral warts in AIDS patients.

Intralesional Injection of Mumps or Candida Antigen

  • Intralesional injection of mumps or Candida may be a treatment option for recalcitrant warts that have not resolved with other therapies. One trial compared the intralesional injection of one wart with Candida or mumps antigen to cryotherapy of all warts.
  • Excluded were patients with a prior allergic response to mumps or Candida antisera, pregnancy, HIV infection, iatrogenic immunosuppression, primary immunosuppression or any generalized dermatitis. Intradermal injection of 0.1 ml of mumps and Candida antigen was placed in the right and left forearms, respectively.

5-Fluorouracil (5-FU)

  • Fluorouracil has been used topically as an antiproliferative agent for warts., In one prospective placebo-controlled, single-blind, randomized trial, up to 70% of warts underwent complete response when treated with 5-FU combined with lidocaine to reduce pain and epinephrine to induce vasoconstriction in order to sustain high local drug concentrations.

Cimetidine

  • Daily doses of 20 to 40 mg/kg cimetidine, an H2-receptor antagonist, cleared up to 82% of recalcitrant warts in open-label studies. Cimetidine is postulated to act as an immunomodulating agent at high doses by inhibiting suppressor T-cell function while increasing lymphocyte proliferation, thereby enhancing cell-mediated immune responses., Others found insufficient evidence of efficacy in three small randomized, controlled trials between cimetidine and placebo.

Levamisole

  • Levamisole is another immunomodulating drug that has been used effectively in the treatment of flat and common warts with moderate success.

Imiquimod

  • Imiquimod 5% cream is an immunomodulator that may stimulate cytokines, including interferon-α, interleukin-1, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor. Absorption of imiquimod through intact skin is minimal. Its use in the treatment of external anogenital warts was approved by the United States Federal Drug Administration in 1997, and it has more recently been approved for the treatment of nonhyperkeratotic, nonhypertrophic actinic keratoses and superficial basal cell carcinomas.

Bacillus Calmette-Guérin Therapy

  • Intravesical instillation of viable bacillus Calumette-Guérin is a standard adjuvant treatment for recurrent superficial bladder cancer. The mode of action is based on the stimulation of the local immune response., The immune responses to malignant and virally transformed cells are similar

Vaccines

  • Early attempts at vaccination for the treatment of persistent or recurrent anal and perianal venereal warts utilized an autologous vaccine prepared from wart extracts obtained from individual patients that were injected subcutaneously weekly for six weeks. Excellent results were obtained in 84% of patients with only 5% not responding, and all complete remissions that were followed remained disease-free for an average of 46 months.

A sample of combination therapy outcomes in other studies follows

5% Imiquimod + Salicylic Acid

  • Plantar warts have been successfully treated using 5% imiquimod cream under occlusion with a 40% salicylic acid pad. It was thought that the salicylic acid facilitated the delivery of the imiquimod through the thick skin surface on the plantar surface.,

Cryotherapy + 5% Imiquimod + Salicylic Acid

  • A 50% to 100% clearance rate after 6 to 9 weeks has been reported after treatment with liquid nitrogen cryotherapy followed by 17% salicylic acid at bedtime and 5% imiquimod each morning.

5-FU + Salicylic Acid

  • In an uncontrolled, retrospective study, twice-daily topical application of 5-FU (0.5% or 5.0%) was combined with salicylic acid (17% or 40%) to treat plantar warts with complete clinical resolution in all patients. Recurrence occurred in 15% of lesions, but these subsequently resolved upon repeated treatment.

Systemic Interferon-α2b + Isotretinoin

  • In the treatment of venereal warts, statistically significant higher remission rates and lower recurrence rates with shorter treatment durations were achieved with systemic interferon-α2b plus isotretinoin versus the retinoid alone. This combination therapy has also been used to successfully treat cases of epidermodysplasia verruciformis, a genetically determined susceptibility to widespread and persistent HPV infection.,

Intralesional Interferon-α2b + Podophyllin Resin

  • In a medium-sized (49 combination therapy, 48 monotherapy) randomized trial, patients received either a combination intralesional interferon-α2b (1.5 x 106 IU) plus topical 25% podophyllin resin or topical podophyllin resin alone.
  • Complete clearance of treated warts was seen in 67% of those receiving combination therapy versus 42% in those receiving monotherapy with podophyllin. The maximal response was exhibited after 2 weeks of therapy.
  • Additionally, 18% of warts persisted despite either treatment, and after 11 weeks of follow-up in those who had seen complete clearance, a 67% recurrence occurred in the combination arm, and 65% recurrence was seen in the podophyllin-only arm.

Podophyllin + Vidarabine

  • CIN is considered to be the precursor to cervical cancer. The co-application of vidarabine and podophyllin over six treatments resulted in the cytological and histological regression of lesions and the disappearance of HPV 16 and 18 DNA in 17 of 21 (81%) of women with CIN I-II.
  • Vidarabine is a DNA polymerase inhibitor that suppresses HPV gene expression in immortalized human cervical keratinocytes and cervical cancer cell lines in vitro.

Cryotherapy + Podophyllotoxin

  • In the treatment of anogenital warts in the United Kingdom, a combination of cryotherapy and podophyllotoxin is the most common first-line treatment, regardless of site.

Er:YAG + Podophyllotoxin

  • Recalcitrant palmoplantar warts have been treated with an ablative Er: YAG laser followed by 0.5% podophyllotoxin solution after wound healing to yield an 88.6% complete response rate with a 5.7% relapse rate.

Pulsed Dye Laser + Intralesional Bleomycin

  • A pulsed dye laser has been used to pretreat or “prepare” recalcitrant warts immediately prior to intralesional bleomycin injection to help assure basal drug delivery. This treatment resulted in 100% clearance in immunocompetent patients and 89% clearance in subjects on long-term immunosuppressant drugs.

Photoselective Dye Laser + Photosensitizer for Photodynamic Therapy

  • In a sizable comparison trial, 81% (91/112) of warts were cured in an average of 3.34 sessions by photoselective laser destruction using a pulsed dye laser alone. Ninety-six percent (73/76) of warts were cured in 2.54 sessions using photodynamic therapy with aminolevulinic acid-induced protoporphyrin as a photosensitizer, and 100% (86/86) of warts were cured when the therapeutic modalities were combined. Warts in a variety of locations were treated. These cure rates are very promising, but no information on recurrence was provided.

Combined Antigen Injection

  • Injection of a combination of Candida albicans, mumps and Trichophyton has been shown to be more effective than and as safe as single antigen injection in the treatment of cutaneous warts.

Cimetidine + Levamisole

  • It has been reported that treatment with combined cimetidine and levamisole is approximately twice as effective as cimetidine alone in the treatment of recalcitrant warts.,

Electrocautery + Cidofovir

  • In a series of HIV patients with genital warts, surgical treatment by electrocautery resulted in a 93% clearance rate but a 74% relapse rate. Topical 1% cidofovir gel resulted in a 76% clearance rate with a 35% relapse rate. Using electrocautery followed by cidofovir gel application, the clearance rate was 100% with 27% relapse.

Antiretroviral Regimen + Protease Inhibitor

  • In HIV patients with recalcitrant hand warts, resolution has been observed when antiretroviral nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors [azidothymidine (AZT, zidovudine), dideoxyinosine (ddI, didanosine) dideoxycytidine (ddC, zalcitabine), (−)2′,3′-dideoxy, 3′-thiacytidine (3TC, lamivudine), 2′,3′-didehydro-3′-deoxythymidine (d4T, stavudine)] or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (nevirapine, loviride, delavirdine) drug therapies were combined with potent protease inhibitors (i.e., ritonavir, indinavir and/or saquinavir).,
  • For facial warts in HIV patients, combined reverse transcriptase inhibitors and protease inhibitors have been used in addition to ablative treatment with a pulsed dye laser with good results.

Surgery

A ~7 mm plantar wart surgically removed from the sole of a person’s foot after other treatments failed
  • Liquid nitrogen  – This, and similar cryosurgery methods is a common surgical treatment which acts by freezing the external cell structure of warts, destroying the live tissue.
  • Electrodesiccation and surgical excision – which may produce scarring.
  • Laser surgery –  This is generally a last resort treatment, as it is expensive and painful, but may be necessary for large, hard-to-cure warts.[rx]
  • Cauterization  – This may be effective as a prolonged treatment. As a short-term treatment, cauterization of the base with anesthetic can be effective, but this method risks scarring or keloids. Subsequent surgical removal if necessary, also risks keloids and/or recurrence in the operative scar.[rx]
  • Other acids – Your doctor shaves the surface of the wart and applies trichloroacetic acid with a wooden toothpick. You’ll need to return to the doctor’s office for repeat treatments every week or so. Side effects include burning and stinging. Between visits, you may be asked to apply salicylic acid to the wart.
  • Immune therapy – This method uses medications or solutions to stimulate your immune system to fight viral warts. Your doctor may inject your warts with a foreign substance (antigen) or apply a solution or cream to warts.
  • Minor surgery – Your doctor cuts away the wart or destroys it by using an electric needle (electrodesiccation and curettage). This procedure can be painful, so your doctor will numb your skin first. Because surgery has a risk of scarring, this method usually isn’t used to treat plantar warts unless other treatments have failed.
  • Laser treatment – Pulsed-dye laser treatment burns closed (cauterizes) tiny blood vessels. The infected tissue eventually dies, and the wart falls off. This method requires repeat treatments every three to four weeks. The evidence for the effectiveness of this method is limited, and it can cause pain and potentially scarring.
  • Vaccine – The HPV vaccine has been used with success to treat warts even though this vaccine is not specifically targeted toward the wart virus that causes the majority of plantar warts.

Prevention

If you have warts, there are a few precautions you can take to avoid spreading them. These precautions may also help to prevent warts from spreading to other areas of your own skin.

You can do the following things to avoid infecting others

  • Wearing shoes or sandals in locker rooms, swimming pool areas, and communal showers
  • Keeping the feet clean and dry
  • Avoiding contact with warts on other people
  • Avoiding using a pumice stone or emery board that has been in contact with a wart
  • Wearing clean, dry socks when wearing shoes
  • Avoiding going barefoot in communal areas
  • Cover warts with a waterproof plaster when you go swimming.
  • Do not share towels, shoes, gloves or socks with others.
  • Do not go barefoot at swimming pools, or in communal showers or changing rooms.
  • Do not touch warts.
  • Avoid direct contact with warts. This includes your own warts. Wash your hands carefully after touching a wart.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry. Change your shoes and socks daily.
  • Avoid walking barefoot around swimming pools and locker rooms.
  • Don’t pick at or scratch warts.
  • Don’t use the same emery board, pumice stone or nail clipper on your warts as you use on your healthy skin and nails.

In addition, the following things are recommended in order to stop warts from spreading to other areas of your own skin

  • Do not scratch warts, otherwise, the viruses might spread.
  • Keep your feet dry.
  • Change your socks every day


References

Symptoms, Diagnosis Treatment of Plantar Warts

Water Based Vacuum Pump Work For Penis Enlargement

Water-Based Vacuum Pump Work For Penis Enlargement/Penis Enlargement or male enhancement is any technique aimed to increase the size of a human penis? Some methods aim to increase total length, others the shaft’s girth, and yet others the glans size. Techniques include surgery, supplements, ointments, patches, and physical methods like pumping, jelqing, and traction.

Inflatable penile prosthetic (IPP) devices have been available and used for more than four decades. Often times, medical conditions causing erectile dysfunction also cause penis shortening, causing the decreased patient quality of life. To identify and review all available penis lengthening procedures that can be performed at the time of IPP insertion. An extensive, systematic literature review was performed using PubMed searching for key terms penis lengthening, inflatable penis prosthesis, penile girth, clitoroplasty, glans augmentation, and penis enhancement; all articles with subjective or objective penis length outcomes were reviewed.

Anatomy of Penis Enlargement

Lateral cross-section of the penis.

Water-Based Vacuum Pump Work For Penis Enlargement

Parts

  • The root of the penis (radix): It is the attached part, consisting of the bulb of the penis in the middle and the crus of the penis, one on either side of the bulb. It lies within the superficial perineal pouch.
  • Body of the penis (corpus): It has two surfaces: dorsal (posterosuperior in the erect penis), and ventral or urethral (facing downwards and backward in the flaccid penis). The ventral surface is marked by a groove in a lateral direction.
  • Epithelium of the penis consists of the shaft skin, the foreskin, and the preputial mucosa on the inside of the foreskin and covering the glans penis. The epithelium is not attached to the underlying shaft so it is free to glide to and fro.[rx]

Structure

The human penis is made up of three columns of tissue –  two corpora cavernosa lie next to each other on the dorsal side and one corpus spongiosum lies between them on the ventral side.[rx]

The enlarged and bulbous-shaped end of the corpus spongiosum forms the glans penis with two specific types of sinusoids, which supports the foreskin, or prepuce, a loose fold of skin that in adults can retract to expose the glans.[rx] The area on the underside of the penis, where the foreskin is attached, is called the frenum, or frenulum. The rounded base of the glans is called the corona. The perineal raphe is the noticeable line along the underside of the penis.

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Comparison of mean body weight, mean testicular weight, mean plasma testosterone and mean IGF-1 among experimental groups.

C MP G Testosterone GT
Bodyweight (g, s.d.) 588 (34) 579 (28) 575 (39) 552 (44) 567 (45)
Testis volume (mL, s.d.) 1.36 (0.11) 0.97 (0.05)b 1.26 (0.08)a 0.83 (0.06)ab 1.10 (0.09)a,b
Tibial length (mm) 38.4 (2.6) 36.6 (3.1) 39.1 (2.2) 35.5 (3.3) 36.8 (2.9)
Plasma testosterone (ng/mL, s.d.) 3.72 (1.91)a 0.44 (0.05)b 2.08 (0.51)a 27.5a,b 29.2a,b
Plasma IGF-1 (ng/mL, s.d.) 1445 (155) 1432 (232) 1704 (116)a,b 628 (206)a,b 1197 (126)a,b

denotes statistical significance (P < 0.05) compared to MP; denotes statistical significance (P < 0.05) compared to C.

[/stextbox]

Disorders of Penis Enlargement

Water-Based Vacuum Pump Work For Penis Enlargement

  • Paraphimosis – is an inability to move the foreskin forward over the glans. It can result from fluid trapped in a foreskin left retracted, perhaps following a medical procedure, or accumulation of fluid in the foreskin because of friction during vigorous sexual activity.
  • In Peyronie’s disease – anomalous scar tissue grows in the soft tissue of the penis, causing curvature. Severe cases can be improved by surgical correction.
  • A thrombosis can occur during periods of frequent and prolonged sexual activity – especially fellatio. It is usually harmless and self-corrects within a few weeks.
  • Infection with the herpes virus can occur after sexual contact with an infected carrier –  this may lead to the development of herpes sores.
  • Pudendal nerve entrapment – is a condition characterized by pain on sitting and the loss of penile sensation and orgasm. Occasionally there is a total loss of sensation and orgasm. The pudendal nerve can be damaged by narrow, hard bicycle seats and accidents. This can also occur in the clitoris of females.
  • Penile fracture – can occur if the erect penis is bent excessively. A popping or cracking sound and pain is normally associated with this event. Emergency medical assistance should be obtained as soon as possible. Prompt medical attention lowers the likelihood of permanent penile curvature.
  • In diabetes – peripheral neuropathy can cause tingling in the penile skin and possibly reduced or completely absent sensation. The reduced sensations can lead to injuries for either partner and their absence can make it impossible to have sexual pleasure through stimulation of the penis. Since the problems are caused by permanent nerve damage, preventive treatment through good control of diabetes is the primary treatment. Some limited recovery may be possible through improved diabetes control.
  • Erectile dysfunction is the inability to develop and maintain an erection sufficiently firm for satisfactory sexual performance. Diabetes is a leading cause, as is natural aging. A variety of treatments exist, most notably including the phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor drugs (such as sildenafil citrate, marketed as Viagra), which work by vasodilation.
  • Priapism – is a painful and potentially harmful medical condition in which the erect penis does not return to its flaccid state. Priapism lasting over four hours is a medical emergency. The causative mechanisms are poorly understood but involve complex neurological and vascular factors. Potential complications include ischemia, thrombosis, and impotence. In serious cases, the condition may result in gangrene, which may result in amputation. However, that is usually only the case if the organ is broke out and injured because of it. The condition has been associated with a variety of drugs including prostaglandin. Contrary to common knowledge, sildenafil (Viagra) will not cause it.[rx]
  • Lymphangiosclerosis – is a hardened lymph vessel, although it can feel like a hardened, almost calcified or fibrous, vein. It tends not to share the common blue tint with a vein, however. It can be felt as a hardened lump or “vein” even when the penis is flaccid and is even more prominent during an erection. It is considered a benign physical condition. It is fairly common and can follow a particularly vigorous sexual activity for men, and tends to go away if given rest and more gentle care, for example by use of lubricants.
  • Carcinoma of the penis – is rare with a reported rate of 1 person in 100,000 in developed countries. Some sources state that circumcision can protect against this disease, but this notion remains controversial among medical circles.[rx]

Developmental Disorders

Hypospadias
  • Hypospadias is a developmental disorder where the meatus is positioned wrongly at birth. Hypospadias can also occur iatrogenically by the downward pressure of an indwelling urethral catheter.[rx] It is usually corrected by surgery.
  • A micropenis is a very small penis caused by developmental or congenital problems.
  • Diphallia, or penile duplication (PD), is the condition of having two penises. However, this disorder is extremely rare.

Alleged and observed psychological disorders

  • Penis panic (koro in Malaysian/Indonesian) – delusion of shrinkage of the penis and retraction into the body. This appears to be culturally conditioned and largely limited to Ghana, Sudan, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, and West Africa.
  • In April 2008, the Kinshasa Democratic Republic of Congo, West Africa’s ‘Police arrested 14 suspected victims (of penis snatching) and sorcerers accused of using black magic or witchcraft to steal (make disappear) or shrink men’s penises to extort cash for cure, amid a wave of panic. Arrests were made in an effort to avoid bloodshed seen in Ghana a decade before when 12 penis snatchers were beaten to death by mobs.[rx]
  • Penis envy—the contested Freudian belief of all women inherently envying men for having penises.

The technique of Penis Enlargement


Physical Techniques

  • Physical techniques involve extension devices, hanging weights, and vacuum pressure. There is also significant overlap between techniques intended to enlarge the penis and techniques intended to achieve other, related objectives, such as reversing impotence, extending the duration of erections, or enhancing sexual climax.

Pumping

  • Water-based vacuum pump commonly called a “penis pump”, a vacuum erection device, or VED, creates negative pressure that expands and thereby draws blood into the penis.[rx][rx] Medically approved VEDs, which treat erectile dysfunction, limit maximum pressure, whereas the pumps commonly bought by consumers seeking penis enlargement can reach dangerous pressure, damaging penis tissue.[rx]
  • To retain tumescence after breaking the device’s airtight seal, one must constrict the penis’ base, but constriction worn over 30 minutes can permanently damage the penis and cause erectile dysfunction.[rx] Although vacuum therapy can treat erectile dysfunction sufficiently to prevent penis deterioration and shrinkage,[rx] clinical trials have not found it effective for penis enlargement.[rx][rx]


Jelqing

  • Performed on the halfway tumescent penis, jelqing is a manual manipulation of simultaneous squeezing and stroking the shaft from base to corona. Also called “milking”,[rx] the technique has ancient Arab origins.[rx] Despite many anecdotal reports of success, medical evidence is absent.[rx]
  • Journalists have dismissed the method as biologically implausible,[rx] or even impossible, albeit unlikely to seriously damage the penis.[rx] Still, if done excessively or harshly, jelqing could conceivably cause ruptures, scarring, disfigurement, and desensitization.[rx][rx]

Traction

  • Traction is a nonsurgical method to lengthen the penis by employing devices that pull at the glans of the penis for extended periods of time. As of 2013, the majority of research investigating the use of penile traction focuses on treating the curvature and shrinkage of the penis as a result of Peyronie’s disease, although some literature exists on the impact on men with short penises.[rx] Scientific evidence supports some elongation by prolonged traction.[rx]

Jelqing exercises

  • Jelqing is an exercise that some people use to try to naturally increase the size of their penis. It involves using a hand-over-hand rolling motion to move blood to the head of your penis and stretch it. It’s sometimes called “milking.”
  • There aren’t enough medical studies to suggest that jelqing can actually increase your penis size. It’s a fairly safe practice, but it may lead to pain, irritation, or scar tissue formation if you do it too often or aggressively.

Clamps and rings

  • Some people use a clamp or ring to try to stretch and elongate their penis. To use one of these devices, you place it around the base of your penis after you’ve developed an erection. It’s meant to prevent blood from flowing out of your penis.
  • Wearing one of these devices may temporarily enlarge your penis. But wearing it for more than 30 minutes can cut off blood flow and cause damage to your penile tissue.

Diet, Exercise, and Lifestyle

  • The sad truth is that in a significant number of cases, erectile dysfunction is a condition we bring upon ourselves. Even when these things aren’t the outright cause of ED, they’re almost certain to be contributing factors that make your condition worse. This is a big, expansive category that covers a lot of ground, but in a nutshell, here’s what you need to know.
  • Eating lots of leafy greens, whole grains, oysters, watermelon, and blueberries (most any fruit will work, really) will help you give your body all that it needs to improve the quality of your erections while cutting out processed foods, cigarettes and alcohol will provide further benefits. Add in a healthy dose of exercise at least three times per week, and you’re well on your way to better sexual health!

References

Water-Based Vacuum Pump Work For Penis Enlargement

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