Category: Healthy Living

September 17th, 2016 by LiveMD

The Secrets to Healthy Aging

Today, LiveMD will look at 5 factors that will contribute to a long and healthy life.

We all wish for the same goal, a long, happy, healthy life and there are certain things that we can do to give ourselves the best possible chances for reaching this goal. Today we will discuss the 5 most important factors for living the healthiest life possible.

  1. Diet – What we put into our bodies is one of the most important contributors to good health. Our bodies are sophisticated machines that require the best quality of fuel to function at their highest level. A diet that is rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, whole grains and lean protein will provide us with all of the needed nutrients, vitamins and minerals to keep us properly fueled and in the best possible health. Drinking plenty of water, at least 8 cups per day, is also important to keep us well hydrated.
  1. Exercise – Daily activity is important for keeping our weight in check and to keep our bodies strong and flexible. Not only will exercise keep our bodies slim and toned but it will keep our joints well lubricated and increase our range of motion. This becomes especially important as we age, when muscle mass declines and bone and joint health deteriorates. By keeping fit and active we can slow this progression and perhaps completely prevent it from occurring in the first place.
  1. Lifestyle Choices – A healthy lifestyle is very important in allowing us to age in a healthy manner. Limiting our consumption of things like drugs, alcohol and tobacco (or completely avoiding them all together) will decrease our risk factors for cancer and other diseases and allow us to live a much longer, disease-free life.

Other healthy choices that we can make are avoiding chemical-laden, processed foods, foods that are high in fat and foods that are high in sodium.

  1. Stress Reduction – In this day and age, stress is extremely common in everyday life. Work, finances and home life lead to a very stressful environment that we all live in. Unfortunately, chronic stress is a detriment to our health and is responsible for an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, migraines, insomnia, obesity and metabolic disorders such as diabetes. By working to reduce the amount of stress in our lives and by properly managing the stress that is unavoidable, we can reduce the negative effect that stress has on us and avoid its consequences. Activities such as yoga, tai chi, meditation and breathing exercises can all help to reduce stress and promote calm and relaxation.
  1. Early Detection – Regular visits to the doctor are so important for identifying diseases early on and getting the treatment required.  In this day and age so many diseases are manageable with proper doctor intervention and the right medication regimen. By seeing your doctor for your annual check-up you can identify problems right away, prevent progression of any diseases and increase your chances of a long and healthy life.

By making a few simple changes and incorporating them into your everyday life you can easily decrease your risk of disease and increase your chances of living a long and healthy life. Eat right, stay active, eliminate stress, see your doctor and most importantly don’t forget to have fun,  smile and enjoy life!

Do you have questions about your health or are you seeking advice on how to make the necessary changes to increase your chances of a longer, healthier life? Visit www.mylivemd.com today and speak with one of our healthcare professionals.

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Posted in Healthy Living

September 6th, 2016 by LiveMD

sleeping

LiveMD looks at the importance of a good night’s sleep and why it is necessary for optimal health.

Nothing beats curling up in bed at night, closing our eyes and drifting off to sleep. Unfortunately, for so many of us though, sleep is not something that comes easily. It is estimated that over 70 million people in North America alone suffer from some type of sleep disorder. Whether it be difficulty falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep, any trouble sleeping can pose a big threat to our health and wellbeing and can cause complications that affect us throughout our waking hours.

What Happens When We Sleep

When it starts to become dark, our bodies begin to produce certain hormones that help get us ready for sleep. Our breathing becomes slower and deeper, our body temperature and blood pressure drops and our heart rate begins to slow down as well. Throughout the night, we go through different and deeper stages of sleep and during these stages our muscles become relaxed and the blood supply to them increases. When this happens, tissues begin to repair themselves and new muscle and tissue is created. Our energy levels become restored and our immune system is rejuvenated as well.  

Why Is Sleep Important

A good night’s sleep is so important for the proper functioning of our bodies and for good overall health. Sleep provides us with the energy that we need to power us through our busy days and helps to boost our immunity to protect us from getting sick. Certain hormones are released during sleep that help us to grow and generate new cells and other hormones are released to help to control our appetite. During sleep, our bodies begin to repair themselves. Muscles, tissues, blood vessels and our internal organs regenerate. Our brain benefits as well as memories are stored, recall ability is improved and our mood is boosted.

Without consistent, good levels of sleep we are unable to function properly in our daily lives. Our attention span and concentration levels will be lacking and we will be more prone to sickness and disease. Our entire overall health will be diminished and we will be put at much higher risk for many different diseases.

Techniques To Get a Better Night’s Rest

Here are some suggestions to help get a better night’s sleep every night:

  • Set a Routine: By having a set time that you go to bed and a routine that you follow every night, your body will begin to prepare itself for sleep at the same time each night.
  • Avoid Unnatural Light – Bright, indoor lights, TV’s and cell phones all produce unnatural light that can affect the production of the hormone melatonin which is responsible for preparing us for sleep. Avoid these lights and devices for at least one hour prior to going to bed each night.
  • Relieve Stress – Turning our minds off can be a big factor in being unable to fall asleep at night. Stress from our daily lives can often leave our minds full of thoughts that keep us tossing and turning in our beds. Activities like yoga, meditation and tai chi can calm our minds and allow sleep to come more easily.
  • Control your Bedroom Temperature – Temperature is important for falling asleep quickly. If you are too warm it will be very difficult to sleep. Ensure that the inside temperature is slightly on the cool side by using fans or air conditioning if possible.
  • See your Doctor – If all else fails and sleep still eludes you, a consultation with your doctor is in order. Many sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea require assistance from a medical professional. Sleeping devices or prescription medication may be the answer for you.

Do you have questions about sleep and need to speak with a doctor? Don’t hesitate. Visit www.mylivemd.com today and get a better sleep tonight.

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Posted in Healthy Living

June 26th, 2016 by LiveMD

notodrugs

On June 26th, LiveMD would like to do their part to encourage a world free of the dangers of illegal drug use.

The illegal use of drugs and drug trafficking is still a huge problem in most countries throughout the world. The use of these drugs poses great health risks for all who use them and for the communities they affect. Initiated by the United Nations, the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is a way to spread the word about the harm that this problem can cause and to encourage communities to do their part to eliminate this problem. The theme for 2016 is “Listen First – Listening to children and youth is the first step to help them grow healthy and safe.” The goal of the UN is to reduce the available supply of drugs and prevent people, especially youth, from taking drugs in the first place.

Drug Abuse

Many drugs, especially those that are illegal, are extremely addictive. This means that once you begin to take them, your body relies on the chemicals in the drug to keep you feeling normal. When you stop taking them, you can experience withdrawal symptoms. This means that your body is craving the substance and is having difficulty functioning without it. You may feel sick, begin to vomit, experience tremors or shaking, have a fever, feel cold or sweaty, have a headache or feel anxious and upset. Due to the fact that these symptoms are often extremely uncomfortable and severe, it is difficult for many to break their addiction. By listening to our youth and educating them, from an early age, we can better help them to understand the dangers of drugs and the harm that they can have on us. By raising an informed generation we can guide them to make better choices as they grow.

Drug Trafficking

Drug trafficking is the term used to describe the manufacturing and distribution of illegal drugs around the world. This unlawful industry is a very dangerous one. Often led by gangs or cartels, trafficking is estimated to be responsible for over a quarter of a million deaths each year. By limiting or completely eliminating the supply of drugs, and decreasing the overall demand for drugs, we can stop drug trafficking and the harmful effect that it has on the communities where it lies.

On this day LiveMD asks everyone to do their part to stop drug abuse, addiction and distribution. Far too many lives are lost each year from drug overdose or from violence due to this illegal industry. Talk to your children about the harmful effect of drugs and listen to them when they need to talk. Educate them on the dangers of drugs and encourage them to be drug-free role models for their peers.

LiveMD is here to assist you if you have any questions about substance abuse. If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction, we have doctors on hand, ready to help. They can offer you the advice and support that you need. Please visit www.mylivemd.com today.

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Posted in Healthy Living

May 10th, 2016 by LiveMD

cleanwater2LiveMD recognizes the fact that clean, safe drinking water is one of the most important factors to good health and a lack of it is one of the leading causes of sickness and death in developing countries. Today we look at the importance of potable water and discuss the health issues that arise due to drinking from contaminated sources.

Why is Clean Drinking Water so Important?

There are close to 900 million people across the globe that do not have easily accessible, clean drinking water. These people are are being exposed to chemicals, bacteria, and parasites by drinking contaminated water which is leading to dehydration, diseases and death. 65% of the human body is made up of water. It is a necessity for life in order to flush toxins out of our body and assists in the digestion of food. Without consuming water, a person can live for only 3 days.

How Does this Issue Affect Women?

The lack of clean drinking water is a major issue for women and young girls. The majority of the people that are affected by this problem live in rural areas and must travel many miles, by foot, in order to obtain safe water. Heavy buckets of water must then be carried back to their homes. This task is usually assigned to the women of the communities meaning that young girls do not have time for schooling and education and older women do not have the time to find proper employment to assist in supporting their families.

What Diseases are Caused by Contaminated Water Sources?

There are many diseases that can be caused by drinking contaminated water. Some of the most common are:

  1. Arsenicosis and Fluorosis – High levels of arsenic and fluoride in water supplies are extremely common and can be very toxic. Long-term exposure to these chemicals can cause severe health complications such as painful lesions on the skin, bone disease and certain cancers.
  2. Diarrhoea – Diarrhoea is caused by ingesting bacteria through unsafe water supplies. The soft and runny stools that it causes can cause severe dehydration and accounts for 4,000 deaths every day around the world. The people most affected are those under the age of 5.
  3. Cholera – This is an infection that occurs, due to the ingestion of bacteria, in the intestinal tract. It causes very severe diarrhoea that can quickly lead to dehydration and death.
  4. Guinea Worm Disease – Also known as Dracunculiasis, this disease is contracted from drinking water that is contaminated with the dracunculus larvae. This larvae enters the body and begins to mature. It can grow to measure up to 3 feet in length. When the worm is ready to exit the body and lay eggs of its own, it begins to burrow out through the skin leaving large sores and ulcers which are painful and can become infected. The best method of prevention for this disease is by always drinking through a specialized, filtered straw.
  5. Intestinal Worms – Intestinal worms are another common problem that are ingested through contaminated water. These parasitic worms live in the intestines and cause stunted growth in children, anemia and malnutrition.
  6. Schistosomiasis – This disease, also known as bilharzia, is caused by a parasite that lives in water. A person who bathes or washes their clothes in the infected water or ingests this water can contract this disease. After contraction, damage can occur to the liver, lungs, bladder and intestines.
  7. Trachoma – Often because of a lack of clean, fresh water, people suffer from poor sanitation and hygiene. Trachoma is a disease that is common in those lacking good hygiene practices and is characterized by blindness. Over 6 million people in the world today are blind because of this disease. Access to safe water sources can prevent this disease.
  8. Typhoid –  Characterized by headaches, nausea and a loss of appetite, Typhoid fever occurs when water sources become contaminated with this disease and are then ingested. Over 12 million people suffer from this disease each year.

LiveMD is aware of the dangers of living without access to clean water supplies. Our doctors are here to provide you with advice on how to minimize your risk of contracting diseases associated with contaminated water and can provide the best possible treatment options for those who have already fallen ill. Visit www.mylivemd.com and book your appointment today and talk to a doctor by phone, video, or text.

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Posted in Food Safety Tagged with:

February 22nd, 2016 by LiveMD

gym2
Step 1 – Get Motivated!

Why do you want to lose weight? We all have different reasons for wanting to be in better shape and determining exactly what is motivating us to take the first step in weight loss is one of the most important things that we can do. By knowing “why”, we will be more motivated to follow through with our healthier choices. Do we want to lose weight to look better? To fit into a piece of clothing? To be able to play with our children or grandchildren? Or is it because we want to increase our longevity and have a better quality of life?  All of these are valid reasons and will help to give us the push that we need to reach our goals. Write down the reason why you want to lose weight on a piece of paper and post it somewhere where it will be seen often. Your bathroom mirror, fridge, or the dashboard of your car are great places to keep this piece of motivation. Every time that you see it, it will act as a reminder as to what your goals are and the reasons behind your healthier choices.

Step 2 – Move More!

Being active is a very important part of getting healthy and losing weight. The type of activity that we do is not as important as just including some type of activity into our lives every day. Chose something that you love to do and do it often! Dance around the house to your favorite songs while cleaning, go for a brisk, 10 minute walk after dinner, walk or ride your bike to the store instead of driving, swim, play sports, play tag with your children, just get up and move! In the beginning it may be difficult to increase your activity level but keep at it and bit by bit you will begin to see noticeable differences in both the way you look and feel.

Step 3 – Eat real food

In this day and age it is far too easy to reach for processed, packaged foods. These are the foods that are fast and convenient but are lacking in the important nutrients that our bodies need to stay healthy. These foods are filled with sodium, unhealthy fats, carbohydrates and chemicals. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time and include foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and lean meats like poultry and fish. Choose cooking methods that use less oil, like baking instead of frying and grab an apple or an orange first before reaching for chips or a candy bar when you need a snack. By replacing some of the processed foods in our diets we will begin to lose weight, have more energy and feel healthier.

Step 4 – Stay away from gimmicks

Many people get pulled into the idea that a magic pill or a fad diet is going to be the quick and easy way to get into shape and lose the extra weight. Unfortunately, these gimmicks are usually an expensive waste of money. There is no magic cure for weight loss. It takes motivation, dedication and the long-term lifestyle changes of being active and eating healthy, real foods. A commercial may promise you fast, amazing results but without making proper changes that you can stick to for years to come, any weight that is lost will probably come right back, just as quickly as it left.

Losing weight and increasing your activity levels is one of the  best things that you can do for your health. Not only will you weigh less but you will notice changes in your sleeping habits, your heart and lungs will be healthier, there will be less strain on your joints and you will decrease your risk of contracting some of the major metabolic diseases that have become all too common across the globe.

LiveMD is here to help you reach your goals. Meeting with one of our doctors is an excellent idea. We can help you determine a fitness plan that is safe and right for you and provide personalized nutritional advice. Visit www.mylivemd.com today to speak with one of our doctors by phone video, or text and take the first step to a healthier life.

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Posted in Healthy Living, Heart Health