What is negativity bias and how does it affect you?

Pretend you’re a caveman.

You’re in your cave preparing for a hunt, but something outside seems dangerous. You hear violent sounds you don’t understand.

You have two choices: Skip the hunt, spend the night hungry, but live another day; or risk death and go outside.

Hold onto that thought. We’ll be getting back to that.

Now, imagine you’re driving to work. While getting off the highway, someone cuts you off. You slam on your brakes. You know the feeling that’s coming. A tense anger rises up. Your fingers clench the steering wheel.

It’s enough to make you feel horrible all day. You might be less productive at work and distracted during meetings. You might try to counterbalance the feeling with a quick shot of endorphins from junk food, mindless web surfing, or time-wasting YouTube videos. This only compounds the problem.

This is like taking short-term unhappiness and investing it in a long-term, high-yield unhappiness investment plan, ensuring belly flab and career stagnation for years to come.

So why does this one minor thing—getting cut off—have such a powerful effect on us? Why does one negative experience ruin an otherwise great day?

The answer has to do with our friend, the Caveman. Research shows that our brains evolved to react much more strongly to negative experiences than positive ones. It kept us safe from danger. But in modern days, where physical danger is minimal, it often just gets in the way.

It’s called the negativity bias.

What is the negativity bias

It isn’t entirely the Caveman’s fault. The neurological roots of the negativity bias—first identified by psychologists Paul Rozin and Edward Royzman in 2001—started long before that.

In Dr. Rick Hanson’s book on this topic, “Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence,” he writes that humans share ancestors with “bats, begonias and bacteria that go back at least 3.5 billion years.

Hanson describes these ancestors as living in a world of carrots and sticks. Carrots are rewards (food, sex, shelter), and sticks are punishment (predators, disease, injury).

“Over hundreds of millions of years, it was a matter of life and death to pay extra attention to sticks, react to them intensely, remember them well, and over time become even more sensitive to them.”

Carrots and sticks are internal as well as external. Roy F. Baumeister, Ellen Bratslavsky, and Catrin Finkenauer found that bad experiences are almost always stronger than good—and the way we take in that information shapes how we see ourselves.

“Bad emotions, bad parents, and bad feedback have more impact than good ones… The self is more motivated to avoid bad self-definitions than to pursue good ones.”

The negativity bias is so powerful, we might do anything to avoid the stick rather than find a way to pursue the carrot. In other words, the Caveman is both scared of the predator and the threat of failing—potentially causing him to hide in a cave and never find a way to successfully hunt.

Why a positive bias won’t save you

You might assume the best way to beat one bias is with another—fighting fire with fire. Wouldn’t your well-being be better served by feeding it positive feelings and information than negative?

It’s not that easy.

Like it or not, evolution hard-wired your negativity bias for a reason. Overemphasizing negative events enabled our ancestors to survive. The Caveman might live a more anxious life, hiding in a cave and worrying every sound outside is a predator, but that Caveman will live longer than the one that assumes every noise means nothing. The optimist might be right nine times out of ten, but if they’re wrong once, they’re dead.

Of course, in modern times, that one time out of ten isn’t nearly as deadly. But that doesn’t mean the logic is fundamentally flawed.

Negative events have the potential to damage you much more than positive events have the potential to help you. Encouraging a positive bias, however, makes it no less likely that you’ll avoid negative events or experience positive emotions. In fact, it might do just the opposite.

A positive bias is similar to the more well-known term confirmation bias. When you’re biased toward positive confirmation, you’re much less likely to notice or take in negative information.

You set out each day with an expectation and expect the world to conform to it. If it doesn’t, you’ll find a way to perceive that it does anyway. Your mood might be higher—but so are the risks you’re unknowingly inviting.

Think of gamblers. Gamblers are very optimistic. They can empty their wallets pursuing a positive event they’re absolutely sure is coming. When they’re wrong a dozen times in a row, a positive bias will re-frame this to: “Oh, that means my lucky chance is coming up next!”

Or think about an average worker putting in average work. A positive bias might convince them they’re doing all they need to do to succeed at work. Without a little skepticism, a little self-doubt, even a little negativity, they might never find the need to work harder or differently. If they come into work every day expecting it to go one way and contort their effort to confirm that expectation, they might miss all sorts of opportunities.

5 ways to beat the negativity bias

Thankfully, there are things we can all do to minimize the negativity bias. We won’t erase it. It took 3.5 billion years to develop, so it’s going to stick around for a while. But there are specific steps we can take to fight back, and research even shows we can physically change our brain to minimize the negativity bias. Here are a few exercises that can help.

1. Re-frame the language behind your goals

Even Pixar Animation Studios has felt the effects of negativity bias. Company leaders began to notice that employees were hesitant to share honest opinions in meetings, wrote Pixar Founder Ed Catmull in his book, “Creativity, Inc.”

People were afraid. Afraid of hurting someone else’s feelings, afraid of having their own feelings hurt.

So leadership introduced a new word: candor.

Pixar drives its teams to embrace candor through the Pixar Braintrust, a small group of well-respected creative leaders in the company who oversee a film’s development process.

The Braintrust strives to demonstrate candor by stressing that the film, not the filmmaker, is under the microscope.

By establishing this distinction early and often, creative workers are less likely to take feedback personally. And the word candor, in Pixar’s hallways, became associated with analyzing projects, not people.

It worked. “Candor,” as Catmull put it, freed Pixar’s teams from “honesty’s baggage.”

This also helps workers buy into the process early on, ensuring creative momentum instead of negativity bias quicksand.

“Filmmakers must be ready to hear the truth; candor is only valuable if the person on the receiving end is open to it and willing, if necessary, to let go of things that don’t work,” Catmull wrote.

You can support your re-framed language with new benefits. If you’re running a sales team for instance, traditional metrics can encourage short-term tactics and burnout. To encourage healthier, more positive behavior, use metrics that encourage that mindset shift.

If you want candor or positivity, make it a measurable goal that you can pursue.

2. Be aware of the negativity bias

Hanson suggests being mindful of the negativity bias and recognizing that your brain wants to cling to these events like your life depends on it. It’s up to you to decide how dangerous, if at all, these experiences really are.

“That’s the negativity bias of the brain. I say gives us a brand like Velcro for bad experiences, but Teflon for good ones,” Hanson says in an episode of Revolution Health Radio.

So be aware when you feel yourself drawn to negativity. Tell yourself you’re smarter than your brain thinks you are. Develop a mantra. Try this: “I am not a caveman, and this is not a tiger.” Repeat it in your head a few times.

And now that you know the immense power of negativity, you’ll be less likely to invite it into your environment.

UiPath, a leader in the robotic process automation market, became a billion-dollar unicorn in 2019, and CEO Daniel Dines attributes much of the company’s excellence to avoiding undue negativity.

“My strategy was entirely based on culture with one main standard, and that was humility. First of all, humility allows you to avoid hiring arrogant asshole people in the company. And it keeps everything together. And we measure it. We have psychological safety as the main KPI of all the leaders. I wanted to build a company where people are happy to come to do their best,” Dines said to Forbes.

For Dines, humility is the key to speed. Negativity can drag down experimentation and its results: boldness, innovation, and growth. Dines continues: “[I]n order to be fast you need to be able to create your own space. You need to be able to make fast decisions without the fear of losing face later in time because you made a mistake.”

3. Keep a gratitude journal

I can hear what you’re thinking already. A gratitude journal sounds hokey, cheesy, silly. But research shows it’s much more than that.

NPR reports on numerous studies that show practicing gratitude can have all sorts of positive effects.

Regularly being thankful and noting the good things in your life can improve sleep, reduce stress, and provide a boost for your relationships.

Practicing gratitude is one of the most useful results of research in the field of positive psychology. As cynical as your instincts might be, quantifying the positivity in your life, writing those things down physically, and making it a habit to do so again and again can slowly retrain your mind to focus away from the negativity bias.

The more you deliberately think about positive information, the more you can retrain your attention to see that information in real time.

Robert Emmons, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis, and a leading expert in positive psychology, has offered several tips on keeping a gratitude journal. They include:

  • Focus on people rather than things
  • Savor surprise events
  • Write only once or twice per week, but write with depth

4. Distract yourself

Do you ever notice how working on a challenging problem can make you forget about minor aches and pains? It turns out, we may be able to shake off negative emotions by diverting our mental energy elsewhere, like on a puzzle or memory game.

Distractions can refocus your attention from negative events that might be having a disproportionate effect on your ability to process information. A reprimand at work, for instance, while bad, might cause you to think of your work in a negative light for weeks.

Instead of stewing on that fact, turn to a distraction. If you can separate yourself from that negative event, even momentarily, you can put space between you and its power over you. That space gives you perspective. Distraction is a powerful tool and can even be used to help treat symptoms of PTSD.

The key, however, is not to use distractions to escape negativity. Negative events are a natural part of life. Running away from them with mindless distractions will only make things worse. But a healthy approach to distractions can give you the space you need to think clearly and be more productive.

5. Take in the good

Hanson also suggests “taking in the good” by spending more time soaking in positive experiences, even small ones. “Most of the time, a good experience is pretty mild, and that’s fine. But try to stay with it for 20 or 30 seconds in a row – instead of getting distracted by something else,” Hanson wrote.

By doing this, you’re reinforcing positive patterns in your brain. And your brain learns from experiences, building new neural pathways; researchers call this neuroplasticity.

The key here is to give yourself time to let those thoughts settle in. Don’t just push them aside. What you’re ultimately seeking to do is reshape your brain to allow in more positive information. This change is physical as well as mental, and those physical changes take time.

“[R]epeated and sustained patterns of neural mental activation co-occurring together leave lasting physical changes behind in neural structure and function. The mechanisms of this are very physical and they, to summarize a handful, include new connections forming between neurons,” Hanson says.

The negativity bias is powerful and fighting it will take time. But it’s well worth the effort. Practice these things consistently, and you’ll notice your negativity bias shrinking.

You just have to work for it.

Reference:

http://blog.idonethis.com/



5 superfoods that reverse Diabetes

It’s not easy to go into remission from Type 2 diabetes, but it is possible through diet.

Whilst diabetes is often linked to obesity and poor diet, it’s important to remember that there are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2.

Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin and type 2 is the same or when the body’s cells don’t react to insulin.

Type 2 diabetes is far more common than type 1 and often comes down to lifestyle choices as it is linked with obesity.

The most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes according to the NHS are feeling thirsty, passing more urine than usual, feeling tired and weight loss or loss of muscle.READ MORE

One of the most common side effects of this type of diabetes is vision loss and blindness, it can also cause kidney failure and lower limb amputation and those with diabetes are five times more likely to have heart disease.

So what can you do if you are pre-diabetic or have diabetes?

While there is no cure for diabetes as yet, one of the things you can do to go into remission from diabetes is to overhaul your lifestyle.

Experts suggest eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as they are naturally low in fat and packed full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Foods such as wholegrains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fermented foods like yogurts have also been found to be protective against Type 2 diabetes when eaten as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Ultimately the best way to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes is by maintaining a healthy weight and this can be done by following a balanced diet and doing regular exercise. For some people with Type 2 diabetes, we also know that significant weight loss can potentially put it into remission.

You can better manage the condition through a number of ways, such as exercising regularly to lower your blood glucose levels, eating a healthy, balanced diet, and limiting your alcohol intake.”

High-fibre foods help slow down glucose absorption and regulate blood sugar levels, which makes them perfect to help prevent or reverse the effects of diabetes.

1. Fruits

If you are already diabetic, stick to low-sugar fruits like oranges, melon, kiwifruit and berries. Fruit can satisfy your sweet tooth while also being rich in fibre and antioxidants.

2. Green vegetables

These are the most important foods to focus on as high green vegetable consumption is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes and lowering the hemoglobin A1c levels in people with diabetes . In fact, a recent study found that a greater leafy green intake showed a 14 per cent decrease in type 2 diabetes.

3. Non-starchy vegetables

Other than green veggies, mushrooms, onions, aubergines, garlic and peppers have almost non-existent effects on blood glucose and are packed with fibre.

4. Beans and legumes

These, along with lentils are an ideal carbohydrate source as they are low in GL and contain high amounts of protein and fibre.

5. Nuts and seeds

Nuts have anti-inflammatory effects that could prevent the development of insulin resistance. A recent study found a 27 per cent reduced risk of developing diabetes in the participants who ate five or more servings of nut per week.

Do you know any foods that we can add to the list? Share your thughts in the comment section.


Evergreen Diabetes Self Management tips to follow

Diabetes can be best handled by self-management than any other means. Diabetes self-management can reduce blood sugar levels, mortality risk, and healthcare costs, as well as weight in people with excess weight.

In many cases, diabetes can be controlled through better nutrition, a healthy weight, physical activity, and regular checkups with your health care team.

In this article, we discuss strategies that people with diabetes can use every day to improve their health.

Self Monitoring

The two important indicators of diabetes control are levels of glycated hemoglobin and blood glucose.

To measuring glycated hemoglobin, you need to take a blood test in a doctor’s office However, you can measure your blood glucose at home.

Doctors recommend that people who use insulin should frequently check their glucose levels. The right frequency of these checks varies from person to person, but doctors usually recommend monitoring levels before and after meals, at bedtime, and before exercising.

People with diabetes who are not taking insulin should also check their blood sugar levels. Self-monitoring can provide information about the effects of dietary changes, physical activity, and medication on blood sugar levels at any time. If you have a blood glucose meter handy, you can measure blood sugar levels any time.

There are also continuous glucose monitors, which provide real-time information about blood sugar levels. These automatically measure levels every 5 minutes through a small sensor inserted under the skin.When a person uses it appropriately, this type of technology can improve health outcomes.

Always check your blood sugar if you feel symptoms of high blood sugar (thirst, frequent urination, fatigue, blurry vision), or low blood sugar (lightheadedness, dizzy, confusion, sweating, shaking, fast or pounding heartbeat) and call your doctor. It is important to immediately treat low blood sugar (<70) with a simple carbohydrate such as fruit juice, regular soda pop, or glucose tablets.

Check your blood sugar more often when you are sick, as infection can make blood sugar rise. And be sure to get plenty of fluids and drink some carbohydrate- containing fluids if you can’t eat. It is very important to continue taking your diabetes medications when you are sick. If you are unsure of dosages if unable to eat, call your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Nutrition for Type-2 Diabetes

  • Follow a consistent meal plan and schedule.
  • Eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, low-fat dairy products, and lean meat, poultry, fish or meat alternatives.
  • Eat the right amount of carbohydrate foods for good blood sugar control. Your registered dietician can determine how much carbohydrate food your body needs at each meal.
  • Choose lower fat options and limit saturated fats.
  • Use sugar in moderation. Consider lower sugar options if available.
  • Check nutrition labels.
  • Get your fiber. The American Dietetic Association recommends that all people eat 20-35 grams of fiber per day. Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grain foods are good sources of fiber.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Use less salt.

Nutrition for Type 1 Diabetes

People with type 1 diabetes should follow good general nutrition guidelines, and in addition, the insulin dose can be adjusted to the mealtime carbohydrates, which allows for more flexibility in meal planning. Your health care provider can help determine how much insulin you need at each meal.

Good amount of physical Activity

Physical activity is good for your health- especially for people with diabetes or those trying to prevent the disease.
In addition to improving blood sugar control, decreasing the risk of diabetes, and maintaining overall good health and weight management, being active boosts brain activity, and helps you de-stress.

Type 2 diabetes is closely linked to being overweight. Diabetes research demonstrates that along with healthy eating habits, regular physical activity helps the body to use insulin better, which helps to improve the symptoms — or even reduce the risk — of Type 2 diabetes. It is very important to check with your doctor first before starting any exercise program. Your doctor can give you an appropriate exercise prescription based on your personal health status.

Foot Care

Diabetes can be dangerous to your feet—even a small cut can produce serious consequences. Diabetes may cause nerve damage that takes away the feeling in your feet. Diabetes may also reduce blood flow to the feet, making it harder to heal an injury or resist infection.
It is very important to check your feet daily, keep them clean and soft, wear well-fitting, breathable shoes and socks, and report any changes you observe to your health care provider.

Good Health Care Follow Up

Finally, it is very important to see your doctor or nurse practitioner regularly to monitor your diabetes, make adjustments in medications, order appropriate tests, and prescribe education for you to better manage your diabetes day to day.

Do you follow any other self management tips? Share it with us in the comment section.

Full spectrum- Metastatic Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women. The 5-year survival rate for women with metastatic breast cancer is 27% while that for men is 25%.

It is important to remember that breast cancer is treatable at any stage. Treatments for metastatic breast cancer are continually improving and have been proven to help people with metastatic breast cancer live longer with better quality of life.

What is metastatic breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer, also known as advanced, secondary, or Stage IV breast cancer, is the spread of cancerous cell growth to areas of the body other than where the cancer first formed. This may happen before or after treatment of the cancer in the breast, or it may occur from a recurrent breast cancer (breast cancer that returns following a period where it could not be detected). Though breast cancer cells can spread to almost any part of the body, they most commonly spread to the bones. Other common sites include the lungs, liver, brain and skin. It is this new cancer that is called a metastasis.

Signs and symptoms

The symptoms and signs that people with metastatic breast cancer may experience depend on where and how much the cancer has spread. Sometimes people with metastatic breast cancer do not have any of these changes. Or, the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer.

The following signs or symptoms should be discussed with a doctor.

Bone metastasis symptoms

  • Bone, back, neck, or joint pain
  • Bone fractures
  • Swelling

Brain metastasis symptoms

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Vision changes, such as double vision or loss of vision
  • Personality changes
  • Loss of balance

Lung metastasis symptoms

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Constant dry cough

Liver metastasis symptoms

  • Yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes, called “jaundice”
  • Itchy skin or rash
  • Pain or swelling in the belly
  • Loss of appetite

Other symptoms and signs

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue

Treatment

Metastatic breast cancer is different from early stage breast cancer because you will be treated and monitored for breast cancer for the rest of your life. At present, there is no cure. The goal of treatment for metastatic breast cancer is to manage the disease by slowing the growth of the cancer cells and to prevent the disease from spreading further. Treatment for metastatic breast cancer also aims to help you manage the symptoms associated with the disease.

Everyone reacts to treatment differently.   For some people, certain treatments may work for long periods of time, or some may not work at all. It is common for your cancer to adapt to your treatment, even if it has been working well to control your cancer.  When one treatment stops working, you and your health care team will look at other treatment options. Fortunately there are new ones being developed all the time.

Living with metastatic breast Cancer

For many people with metastatic breast cancer, a good quality of life is possible for months or even years. When there are effective treatments for metastatic cancer, your situation may be like someone with a chronic (long-term) disease. The cancer can be treated to keep it from worsening, but it cannot be cured.

Living with metastatic cancer is challenging. Each person with metastatic breast cancer has individual concerns and challenges. With any challenge, a good first step is being able to recognize your fears and talk about them. Effective coping requires:

  • Understanding the challenge you are facing
  • Thinking through solutions
  • Asking for and allowing the support of others
  • Feeling comfortable with the course of action you choose

Many people with metastatic cancer find it helpful to join an in-person support group or an online community. This allows you to talk with people who are experiencing similar first-hand experiences. Other options for finding support include talking with a friend or member of your health care team, individual counseling, or asking for assistance at the learning resource center of the place where you receive treatment.

Monitoring your health

During treatment, your health care team will continue to check to make sure the cancer has not worsened, manage any side effects, and monitor your overall health. This may include regular physical examinations, blood tests, or imaging tests. The types of tests you receive depend on several factors including your current health and the types of treatment given.

The anticipation before having a test or waiting for test results can add stress to you or a family member. This is sometimes called “scan-xiety.” Learn more about how to cope with this type of stress.

Staying as healthy as possible

People with metastatic breast cancer are encouraged to follow established guidelines for good health, such as not smoking, limiting alcohol, eating well, and managing stress. In addition, it is important to have recommended medical checkups and tests to take care of your health.

Regular physical activity can help with your strength and energy levels. Your health care team can help you create an appropriate exercise plan based upon your needs, physical abilities, and fitness level. Cancer rehabilitation may be recommended, and this could mean any of a wide range of services such as physical therapy, pain management, nutritional planning, and emotional counseling. The goal of rehabilitation is to help people maintain control over many aspects of their lives and remain as independent and productive as possible for as long as possible.

What’s your thoughts on this article? Share it in the comments section.


Cardiovascular Health- An all-know guide for woman

Today, over 41 million women suffer from cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease, stroke, and congestive heart failure, etc.). Heart disease is known as the major cause of death among women and a survey states that almost 450,000 women above the age of 65 die annually from it. However, heart disease is preventable and increasing awareness of personal risk and preventative measures is a key element of healthcare for women.

Current research has helped explain the underlining contributions to these reductions in mortality. Evidence-based medical therapies have decreased death rates by 47%, and behavior changes to alter risk factors have reduced death rates by 44%. Therefore, a woman can decrease her CHD risk by targeting lifestyle habits.

The Nurses’ Health Study is a large cohort study designed to assess the effects of a combination of lifestyle practices on the risk of coronary heart disease. Findings from this longitudinal, observational study demonstrated that a woman was able to decrease the incidence of a coronary event by more than 80% through not smoking, maintaining normal body weight (body mass index or BMI < 25 kg/m2), consuming a healthy diet, participating in moderate to vigorous exercise for 30 minutes a day, and consuming a moderate amount of alcohol.

Over the 14-year period studied, the incidence of CHD declined by 31% across all age groups. Research has demonstrated that primary prevention can help decrease the incidence of CHD as well as the associated mortality rates. The purpose of this article is to describe the assessment of risk factors associated with CHD, present the current evidence on prevention of CHD, and discuss guidelines for implementing findings in practice.

Assessment of Risk Factors

History

An important first step in assessing a woman’s risk for CHD is to collect information on her medical, social/lifestyle, and family history. A thorough evaluation of the medical history including pre-existing medical conditions, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes, is necessary to determine the woman’s baseline risk. Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk for CHD and have two times the risk of myocardial infarction (MI) compared to the general population.

Elevated blood pressure and abnormal lipids are both strong, independent risk factors for CHD. Assessment of the social and lifestyle history provides information regarding behaviors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, dietary habits and physical activity. Smoking, obesity, a diet high in fat, and a sedentary lifestyle are all risk factors for heart disease.

Symptoms

Precordial or retrosternal chest pain or pressure is one of the classic symptoms of a MI. The quality of the pain has been described as heaviness, crushing, aching, burning, or squeezing and has been noted to radiate to the jaw, neck, arms, or back.

Other associated symptoms include shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, diaphoresis, and lightheadedness. Research shows that about 33% of patients present without chest pain, and symptoms in women tend to be more atypical, e.g., the absence of chest pain is more common in women than men. Women also tend to present with more associated symptoms such as middle or upper back pain, neck or jaw pain, shortness of breath, indigestion, and fatigue.

Framingham risk assessment

Risk factor assessment provides the chance to identify asymptomatic women who are in danger of developing CHD in the long term. The Framingham Risk Score (FRS) is a tool that may be utilized to assess one’s 10-year likelihood of MI or CHD death by assigning a point value to each of five established risk factors— age, total cholesterol, HDL-C, blood pressure, and cigarette smoking.

The total score is used to determine low (<10% risk of MI or CHD death), intermediate risk (10–20% risk), or high-risk (>20% risk). Because overall lifetime risk for CVD approaches 1 in every 2 women and this score is focused on 10-year risk, the FRS should be used as part of the total risk assessment that includes medical, lifestyle, and family history.

Prevention

Food items that should be restricted in a woman’s diet include saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, added sugars, and salt.The intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol should be limited to < 7% of fat intake, < 1% of fat intake and < 300 mg, respectively.

Trans fats are partially hydrogenated fats created by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils making the oils solid for use in bakery items, pre-packaged snacks, and deep-fried foods.In order to achieve these fat intake goals, women should consume lean meats or meat alternatives and dairy products that are fat free or low fat. Total dietary fat intake should not exceed 35% of total daily caloric intake.

Physical activity

The Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study enrolled 73,743 postmenopausal women to examine total physical activity score, walking, vigorous exercise, and hours spent sitting or sleeping as predictors of cardiovascular events.

They found that the total physical activity score at baseline exhibited a strong inverse relationship with CHD. The more activity a woman participated in, the lower her risk for the development of disease. Women who exercised for 2.5 hours per week, by either walking or through vigorous exercise, had decreased their risk for CHD by 30%.

Cardiovascular risk decreased less in women who spent more time sitting or lying compared to those who moved around more.

Weight management

Body weight management is critically important for promoting cardiac health because obesity is linked to cardiac arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, and sudden death; obesity was added as an independent risk factor for CHD more than ten years ago. For women who are overweight or obese, the recommended initial weight loss goal is 10% of baseline weight because losing and maintaining a moderate 10% weight loss is associated with improvement in insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and inflammation.

Smoking Cessation

Although there is limited evidence from randomized trials, it is still strongly recommended that women refrain from smoking or exposing themselves to second hand smoke. Smoking cessation has been identified as an important lifestyle intervention in the prevention of CHD. The Nurse’s Health Study clearly demonstrated a decrease in coronary events through changes in lifestyle including smoking cessation. As mentioned previously, the risk of CHD declined by 31% across all age groups, and these results were consistent with a decrease in smoking by 41%.

CHD is the leading cause of death among women, and the risk greatly increases as a woman reaches menopause. Engaging in healthier behaviors including maintaining a healthy weight, leading a non-sedentary lifestyle, and refraining from smoking significantly decreasesa woman’s risk of developing CHD. 

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3459312/
  2. Lloyd-Jones D, Adams R, Carnethon M, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics- 2009 update: A report from the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics
  3. Ford ES, Capewell S. Coronary heart disease mortality among young adults in the U.S. from 1980 through 2002: Concealed leveling of mortality rates. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007;50(22):2128–2132. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  4.  Ford ES, Ajani UA, Croft JB, et al. Explaining the decrease in U.S. deaths from coronary disease, 1980–2000. N Engl J Med. 2007;356(23):2388–2398. [PubMed] [Google Scholar]4. Manson JE, Hu FB, Rich-Edwards JW, et al. A prospective study of walking as compared with vigorous exercise in the prevention of coronary heart disease in women. N Engl J Med. 1999;341(9):650–658. (B) [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Suprising applications of IoT in healthcare

The Internet Of Things (IoT) has been making serious impact on every industry, and wherever this “technology” swept by, you can feel the Midas touch. After the “discovery” of Internet, IoT has been creating waves that not a single business in the world can deny or resist. Those who do will be long left behind as the competition is going to become stronger and tenacious. In this article, we explore the mark IoT has made in the healthcare industry and how it will improve the lives of millions of people worldwide.

IoT has taken the reins and people can enjoy personalized attention for their health requirements; they can tune their devices to remind them of their appointments, calorie count, exercise check, blood pressure variations and so much more.

The applications of IoT in the healthcare industry are numerous. Here are six of them:

Real Time Location Services

Through IoT, doctors can use real time location services and track the devices used for treating patients. Medical staff may sometimes keep the devices in out-of-sight areas which makes them difficult to find when another medical staff comes on the scene.

Medical apparatus and devices like wheelchairs, scales, defibrillators, nebulizers, pumps or monitoring equipment can be tagged with sensors and located easily with IoT. Apart from real time location services, there are IoT devices that help in environmental monitoring as well (checking the refrigerator temperature, for example).

Predicting the Arrival of Patients in PACU

With the intervention of Internet of Things, clinicians can predict the arrival of patients who are recuperating in the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). They can also monitor the status of patients in real time.

Hand Hygiene Compliance

There are hand hygiene monitoring systems that would detect the degree of cleanliness in a healthcare worker. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, about one patient out of every 20 gets infections from lack of proper hand hygiene in hospitals. Numerous patients lose their lives as result of hospital acquired infections.

The interactions in the hand hygiene monitoring systems are done in real time and if a clinician comes near a patient’s bed without washing his hands, the device would start buzzing. And that’s not all. The information about the healthcare worker, his ID, time and location will all be fed into a database and this information would be forwarded to the concerned authorities.

Tighten Budgets and Improve Patient Journey

The healthcare industry has to keep a watchful eye on the budget and at the same time have updated infrastructure to provide better patient experiences. Thanks to the seamless connection between devices that IoT has made possible, it is now possible for the medical staff to access patient information from the cloud as long as they are stored in there.

The goal is to provide quality medical care to patients, and by spending a small amount on IT infrastructure, hospitals can provide good care to patients at affordable rates. IoT aims to provide better patient journey by:

  • Room lighting through personal control
  • Communicate to family and friends through email services
  • Immediate attention to patient needs

Remote Monitoring

Remote health monitoring is an important application of Internet Of Things. Through monitoring, you can give adequate healthcare to people who are in dire need of help. Every day, lots of people die because they do not get timely and prompt medical attention. With IoT, devices fitted with sensors notify the concerned healthcare providers when there is any change in the vital functions of a person.

These devices would be capable of applying complex algorithms and analyzing them so the patient receives proper attention and medical care. The collected patient information would be stored in cloud. Through remote monitoring, patients can significantly reduce the length of hospital stay and perhaps, even hospital re-admission. This kind of intervention is a boon to people living alone, especially seniors. If there is any interruption in the daily activity of a person, alerts would be sent to family members and concerned health providers. These monitoring devices are available in the form of “wearables” too.

Focus on the Research Side of Healthcare

Protein research and composition analysis benefits from Internet of Things. Through IoT, researchers are able to analyze the accuracy of the equipment, and it rewards them by shortening their workflow through quantitative and reproducible analysis of proteins.

When an infinite array of devices is connected, the healthcare industry is able to provide scalable solutions to its patients. A number of healthcare apps providing cutting-edge personalized solutions are released to them. Here are a few of them:

These applications are just a few of the numerous ways IoT can help healthcare professionals care better for their patients. There is definitely much scope for advancement for IoT in the healthcare sector.

What are your thoughts on this article? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

5 healthcare technology trends shaping 2019

The healthcare industry has shifted from providing products and services to solutions. There was a time when medical institutions relied on special equipment and hardware to deliver evidence-based care. But today, healthcare is using medical platforms, big data, and healthcare analytics to provide solutions and convenience in healthcare.

The healthcare trends point to the direction of preventive care and there isn’t any doubt that the future will be more of it. Let’s analyze a few new healthcare technology trends that will come into play in 2019 and beyond.

Artificial intelligence

AI-based technologies like robotics and machine learning to the world have already set foot in the world of modern healthcare.

AI tools can reduce human errors in diagnosis and treatment and allow doctors to work with more patients.

For example, image recognition technology will help to diagnose some diseases that cause changes to appearance (diabetes, optical deviations, and dermatological diseases).

It’s also likely that in future people will be able to diagnose themselves. DIY medical diagnosis apps will probably ask some questions, process a patient’s care history, and then show possible diagnoses based on the current symptoms.

But as this technology isn’t advanced yet, patients should be careful with DIY medical apps and self-medication.

For instance, IBM Watson, an AI-based system that’s making a difference in several areas of healthcare. It was created with the intent to enhance care management, accelerate drug discovery, match patients with clinical trials, and fulfill other tasks. Systems like this can help medical institutions save a big deal of time and money in the future. Statistics show that the AI health market is expected to grow more than 10 times by 2021. Applications in AI could save about $150 billion dollars in US alone by 2028.

It’s likely that in 2019 and beyond, AI will become even more advanced and will be able to carry out a wider range of tasks without human monitoring.

IoMT

The Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) includes various devices connected to each other via the internet. Nowadays, this technology trend in healthcare is used for remote monitoring of patients’ well-being by means of wearables.

Devices like ECG monitors, mobile apps, fitness trackers, and smart sensors can measure blood pressure, pulse, heart rate, glucose level can help you assess your health. A level ahead, these devices are also integrated with the capability to set reminders for patients and give clear directions of their health. One recently introduced IoMT wearable device, the Apple Watch Series 4, is able to measure heart rate, count calories burned, and even detect a fall and call emergency numbers.

IoMT technology is still evolving and is forecasted to reach about 30 billion devices worldwide by 2021 according to Frost & Sullivan.

  • IoMT will contribute sensors and systems in the healthcare industry to capture data and deliver it accurately.
  • IoMT technology can reduce the costs of healthcare solutions by allowing doctors to examine patients remotely.
  • IoMT can help doctors gather analytics to predict health trends.

Statistics reveal that 87% of health systems will have IoMT deployed by 2019 and by 2020 the value of this market will reach a whooping $160 million!

Telehealth

Telehealth is a relatively new concept in the healthcare industry and includes mHealth, remote patient monitoring, store-and-forward care, and live video.

This could enhance the quality of healthcare by giving patients point-in-time availability of healthcare services and eliminating the causes of delay in healthcare.

According to the predictions by the experts, 2019 will be the telehealth tipping point. Now there can be more of virtual appointments with doctors 24/7, saving time and money. Moreover, this technology allows patients to get immediate care on urgent but small matters.

Telemedicine will likely become more popular than office visits in a few years. Patients will become more engaged with regular examinations and will form stronger relationships with their doctors.

New trends in healthcare technology
Delliote predictions

In addition, analysis by Deloitte shows that telehealth can increase customer engagement and improve the customer experience by reducing travel time and regular office visits. As a result, healthcare providers who deliver excellent experiences to patients will show stronger financial performance.

Blockchain

The blockchain is getting more and more popular in various industries, and healthcare is one of them. The blockchain’s main advantage is the ability to secure data and protect it from breaches. In 2018, blockchain technology has made it extremely easy for healthcare providers to share medical data safely. In 2019 and beyond, this technology will help healthcare providers manage endless data — including patient health information, insurance claims, and electronic health records — and keep it safe and encrypted.

In addition, the blockchain will reduce the number of fake drugs on the market and increase trust and transparency between drug manufacturers and customers. Once a manufacturer creates a new medical product, they’ll register it on the blockchain and be able to track and control it through all stages. Customers, in turn, will be able to trust manufacturers by monitoring any pharmaceutical product throughout the supply chain. According to an article in the International Journal of Computer Applications, blockchain-based applications can help to prevent counterfeit drugs. Let’s consider how the blockchain will work with drug traceability.

AR/VR/MR

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are revolutionizing the healthcare industry. These technologies are already used in treatments for a wide range of illnesses. For example, neurosurgeons are using AR technology to remove tumors safely and conduct orthopedic operations. Specialists in mental health are using AR to treat patients who aren’t able to come to a medical center for the usual treatment. There are several examples of AR and VR tools that ease treatment and diagnosis. The AccuVein system shows a blood vessel map in real time and helps doctors avoid valves and bifurcations.

What’s even more exciting, the AR and VR healthcare market is predicted to be worth about $5.1 billion in a few years, with 3.4 million users worldwide according to a report by Goldman-Sachs. The future of these technologies in the healthcare industry is believed to be in enhanced user experiences and increased mobility.

Wrapping up

The overall healthcare technology trend is toward preventive care, enhanced patients experiences, lower expenses, and big data processing. Cutting-edge technologies like AI and AR are already widely used to help patients with remote diagnosis and medical prescriptions, and in 2019 and beyond there will definitely be even more outstanding discoveries.

We at Klinikals have already incorporated trending healthcare technologies in our platform to deliver timely healthcare and better care. We see ourselves at a point of time where we could impact the way the world experiences healthcare.

Share your thoughts on this topic with us in the comments below.

Adrenal Fatigue explained

Most folks have those mornings after we get up and experience a peculiar pain in our body. From body aches to a headache that won’t pass, it’s not essentially an illness, but adrenal fatigue.

This term has recently become popular. However, several doctors are still on the fence on if it’s a real diagnosis, or simply the onset of certain
reactions.

Whatever the case , if you’re experiencing such a sensation of all-over exhaustion, you may be affected by adrenal fatigue.

Here’s what you would like to know:

So, what’s adrenal fatigue?

The ductless gland produces a bunch of hormones that are essential for maintaining energy and metabolism. However, if your organ hits its most performance, it results in adrenal fatigue.

Adrenal fatigue is a constellation of non-specific symptoms wherever the hallmark is overall uneasiness. it’s presumed that this arises from ductless gland disfunction.

Usually it’s kindled once somebody is carrying on their daily tasks and not putting their health first. So, you can consider adrenal fatigue as the most extreme version of stressed AF—one that impacts each a part of your body and attitude.

What are the symptoms of adrenal fatigue?

From internal to external, there are several reactions that you just might experience if you’re affected by this condition.

Weak Muscles

When you’ve got low levels of adrenal cortisol, all joint and muscle in your body might feel tired or drained. this could cause you to rise each morning feeling as if you didn’t sleep the night before. Or, when you’re attempting to work up a sweat, you’ll feel tired quicker than usual.

Low blood pressure

When your adrenal gland isn’t performing at its best level, your blood pressure can skew perilously low. this might be tough for those with an active life-style, since they need additional energy to push forward.

Mood Swings

You could blame your adrenal fatigue depression, anxiety, and brain fog are common side effects if your mood isn’t right. this is typically because you’re pushing yourself to the max—with little or no rest .

Ongoing Fatigue

Those with adrenal fatigue have trouble falling asleep nightly. And if they do drift off, they won’t stay there. This leads to mid-afternoon slumps, sleepiness, and also the inability to focus or spark creativity.

Loss of Weight or craving

When you’re this stressed, you almost certainly won’t be as ravenous as when you’re happy or consummated. this might cause weight loss and make you unable to eat the foods you’d usually enjoy.

How to Treat Adrenal Fatigue

It’s a common misunderstanding that in order to rid yourself of adrenal fatigue that you simply need to zen out. Though lowering stress may be a smart thing, it doesn’t really resolve the matter.

What ought to be resolved is wherever the strain is coming from. this could be done through therapy, wherever you’ll be able to overtly discuss what’s inflicting you difficulty and process the feelings in a healthy approach. when you can accept, deal, and move forward, you’ll naturally feel more relaxed.

Prioritizing sleep can also be a game-changer for adrenal fatigue. It’ll facilitate get your cortisol levels back within the healthy range. From going to bed earlier to tearing yourself away from electronics a few hours before lights-off, these measures will enable your mind and body to heal overnight.

Last, however not least, eating healthier may help to alleviate your adrenal fatigue symptoms. cutting back (or cutting out) sugars, refined carbs, alcohol, and other inflammatory foods to see if it makes a difference.

Bottomline

If you feel like you might have extreme fatigue, it’s time to
take a step back on your daily duties and give your overall health and
vitality a more durable edit.

Vitamin B12: What you need to know

Vitamin B12 and folate is an important nutrient that performs several important functions in the body, including keeping the nervous system healthy.

The deficiency of Vitamin B12 causes anaemia, a general condition that cause wide range of problems.

In this blog article, let’s understand the importance of Vitamin B12, functions, symptoms and its sources.

Role of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells.

The deficiency of Vitamin B12 causes Anaemia, a condition which causes having either fewer red blood cells than normal or having an abnormally low amount of haemoglobin in each red blood cell. Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.

However, there are several different types of anaemia and each one has a different cause. For example, iron deficiency anaemia happens when the body does not contain enough iron.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency

Vitamin B12 and folate perform several important functions in the body, including keeping the nervous system healthy.

A deficiency in either of these vitamins can cause a wide range of problems, including:

  • extreme tiredness
  • a lack of energy
  • mouth ulcers
  • muscle weakness
  • disturbed vision
  • psychological problems, which may include depression and confusion 
  • problems with memory, understanding and judgement

Some of these problems can also happen if you have a deficiency in vitamin B12 or folate but do not have anaemia.

Causes of a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency

There are a number of problems that can lead to a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency, including:

  • Pernicious anaemia – In this type of anaemia, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your stomach, preventing your body absorbing vitamin B12 from the food you eat.
  • A lack of these vitamins in your diet –Vitamin B12 is generally found in every food we eat and so this is uncommon unless you have a vegan diet, follow a fad diet or have a generally poor diet for a long time
  • Medicine – certain medicines, including anticonvulsants and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), can affect how much of these vitamins your body absorbs

Both vitamin B12 deficiency and folate deficiency are more common in older people, affecting around 1 in 10 people aged 75 or over and 1 in 20 people aged 65 to 74.

Complications of vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia

Although it’s uncommon, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency (with or without anaemia) can lead to complications, particularly if you have been deficient in vitamin B12 or folate for some time.

Potential complications can include:

  • problems with the nervous system
  • temporary infertility
  • heart conditions
  • pregnancy complications and birth defects

Adults with severe anaemia are also at risk of developing heart failure.

Some complications improve with appropriate treatment, but others, such as problems with the nervous system, can be permanent.


Early detection is important

Most cases of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency can be easily treated with injections or tablets to replace the missing vitamins.

Vitamin B12 supplements are usually given by injection at first.Then, depending on whether your B12 deficiency is related to your diet, you’ll either require B12 tablets between meals or regular injections.These treatments may be needed for the rest of your life.

Sources of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, yeast extract (such as Marmite) and specially fortified foods. However, the best sources of folate include green vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and peas.

What are your thoughts on this article? Share your thoughts in the comment section.


Facts you must know about Intermittent Fasting

Since a few years intermittent fasting has gained traction for its incredible effects on disease and aging. But does it really work or is it worth the effort? In this blog article, we’ll walk you through the process an give you some insider tips straight from our experts. Let’s begin.

What is intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is the process of cycling periods of eating and fasting. This type of fasting aids weight loss, but it is less of a diet plan and more of a lifestyle choice that reaps you some incredible health benefits.

There are different intermittent fasting methods. These are:

  • Eating in the ratio of 5:2: This method of intermittent eating allows you to eat normally five days a week and fast for the other two days. However, you need to keep it just between 500 and 600 calories.
  • Eat-stop-eat cycle: In this method, you stop taking food for 24 hours, once or twice a week.
  • 16/8: This is the most popular method where you eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period — typically 6 to 8 hours — and fast for the remaining 14 to 16 hours. You can do this every day, or a few times a week.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

When you don’t eat any food for a set period of time each day, you do your body and your brain a whole lot of good. It makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint when people weren’t eating three square meals a day. Instead, humans evolved in situations where there wasn’t much food, and they learned to thrive when fasting.

Switching to an intermittent fasting diet expands your limits and boosts your performance in a number of ways. Here are some of the powerful benefits of intermittent fasting:

  • Boosts weight loss
  • Increases energy
  • Promotes cellular repair
  • Reduces insulin resistance and protects against type 2 diabetes
  • Lowers bad cholesterol
  • Promotes longevity
  • Protects against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
  • Improves memory and boosts brain function
  • Makes cells more resilient

How to do intermittent fasting?

There are no guidelines or nutritional suggestions for “days” when eating is restricted. But physicians and dieticians suggest eating a nutrient-dense diet full of plants and protein to tide you over through fasting periods.

To understand IF, you have to first understand what happens when you eat.

Insulin is a hormone that’s released when we eat, but it isn’t meant to be released all the time. Intermittent fasting is simply letting your insulin level go down to normal so that you unlock your fat stores. Typically you can’t lose any weight unless they get that insulin level down. Which is why eating very small meals throughout the day doesn’t really help with weight loss.

The science behind intermittent fasting is same as that of exercise. During exercise, there’s a stress on the cells. They don’t grow and get bigger during the exercise but in the resting period. In intermittent fasting, like the resting period, the cells go in kind of a stress-resistance mode. And then when you eat, they’ve prepared themselves to quickly take up nutrients, proteins, and grow.

How to Get Started

When first trying IF, the transition can be challenging.

Initially you may feel uncomfortable, and even get painful hunger pangs as they abstain from food. It is suggested that you take it slow, trying different kinds of IF to see what works with their goals and routine. You can take the “feeding window” from an initial unrestricted period down to 12 hours, then 10 hours, then eight hours, before finding a feeding window that is sustainable.

To make fasting manageable, experts suggests that you can take an overnight fast, which can more easily fit into people’s routines. Research shows that restricting eating to daytime hours, an approach that aligns eating patterns with circadian rhythms, has been shown to have metabolic and weight loss benefits.

What Are the Risks of Intermittent Fasting?

Some dieticians warn that ignoring hunger cues can have unforeseen consequences.

Anyone with a history of disordered eating patterns should consult a health professional to confirm that IF is right for them.

One systematic review published in the journal Stress in 2016, found that IF may initially increase stress levels of fasters. The increase may subside after a few weeks of fasting. Other research says IF could cause greater metabolic fluctuations and increased appetite on non-fasting days relative to intermittent energy restriction, a diet that allows some food.

What are your thoughts in this article? Share it in the comments section.