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 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.

Understanding Shift Work Sleep disorder(SWSD)

Working in night shift/ rotational shifts hours is more common than you might think. According to an editorial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, up to 20% of workers work either night or rotating shifts.

 Although not everyone who works odd hours has the shift work sleep disorder, a lot can be at stake.

Researchers have found that shift workers who are sleep-deprived often get irritable or depressed and their memory and ability to focus can also become impaired. Their relationships and social life can suffer, too.

While many employees aren’t able to change their work hours, there are ways to lessen the effects of SWSD. Read this blog for some quick bytes of info from experts.

What is shift work sleep disorder?

Irregular sleep patterns and nontraditional work schedule can disrupt a person’s circadian rhythm, or “biological clock.” It regulates wakefulness and sleepiness at relatively set times throughout the 24-hour day. It disturbs the circadian rhythm and can cause frustrating symptoms when it’s out of the natural process.

The Cleveland Clinic estimates that between 10 to 40 percent of shift workers experience SWSD. Those who have regularly shifting schedules are most likely to be affected. However, not everyone who works a nontraditional shift experiences SWSD. Many people who work these shifts have certain circadian rhythms that supports the cycle, these are the people who are best able to avoid the disorder.

SWSD can cause higher risk of:

  • Ulcers
  • Insulin resistance
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Heart disease
  • Sleepiness
  • Alertness
  • Body temperature
  • Hormone levels
  • Hunger

What are the symptoms of shift work sleep disorder?

People affected with SWSD may experience many of the following symptoms:

  • excessive sleepiness, both on and off the job
  • difficulty  in concentrating the task at hand
  • lack of energy
  • insomnia that prevents you from getting adequate sleep
  • sleep that feels incomplete or not refreshing
  • depression or moodiness
  • trouble with relationships

Lifestyle changes that can help treat SWSD

There are many lifestyle changes you can make which may help relieve some of your sleep disorder symptoms:

  • Try to keep a regular sleep schedule irrespective of whether you are working or not.
  • If possible, talk to your boss about taking a gap of 48 hours off after a series of shifts.
  • Wear sunglasses when leaving work to minimize sun exposure. Doing so can help prevent the “daytime” clock from activating.
  • Take naps when possible.
  • Limit caffeine intake four hours before bedtime.
  • Maintain a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Use heavy shades for sleeping to create a dark environment.
  • Ask family and other live-in companions to reduce surrounding noise
  • Avoid a long commute if you can. It can cut into your sleeping hours and cause further drowsiness.
  • Take over-the-counter medication after consulting a doctor.
  • Purchase a lightbox for light therapy to expose your eyes to extremely bright but safe light before work.
  • To improve sleep quality as much as possible, try to block out disruptions. Try not to look at your phone or bright screens for an hour before bed. Use white noise machines, calming music, or earplugs to drown out the background noise of the day.

Sleep is an important activity that keeps you healthy. It’s never good to sacrifice sleep for the sake of work and make the body suffer the consequences. However, proper management can help you regulate the sleep patterns and overall quality of life.

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

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Donating Blood

Every three seconds, someone needs a blood transfusion!

Moreover, 20% of the recipients are children, cancer patients, accident victims or patients undergoing surgery who just need a little pint of your blood that could save their lives.

It’s shocking to say that though 60% of the population are eligible to donate blood, yet less than 4% do! Car accident victims, cancer patients need pints of blood that gets hard to obtain.

Since blood can’t be made or manufactured, these patients depend on blood donors for their lives. After a poll on the reasons why people hesitate giving blood, we found out a good number of reasons.

Though you’re considering donating blood but are unsure of the effect it will have on your body. Or maybe you’ve done it before and are curious about how it might impact you if you donate regularly. In any case, you may be surprised at some of the advantages. We consulted with health professionals to identify some of the biggest benefits of donating blood.

The benefits of giving blood

1. Giving blood can reveal potential health problems

While it isn’t the same thing as a trip to the doctor, donating blood can be another way to keep an eye on your cardiovascular health. You’ll receive a mini-physical prior to the blood draw, in which someone will check your pulse, blood pressure, body temperature, hemoglobin and more.  This can sometimes shed light on issues you didn’t even know about.

“If your blood is too low in iron, the clinic will tell you and won’t draw your blood. They will also inform you of any other blood issues they notice or if anything seems unusual. An occasional check up on your blood quality could be the key to spotting a health issue before it becomes life-threatening.

2. Giving blood can reduce harmful iron stores

One in every two hundred people in the U.S. is affected by a condition called hemochromatosis and most of them don’t even know it. Hemochromatosis is a disease that causes an iron overload and is labeled as the most common genetic disease.

Blood donation helps reduce the body’s extra iron stores and maintains optimum levels of iron in the body.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the removal of red blood cells by phlebotomy (or donating blood) is the preferred treatment for patients with excess iron in their blood.

3. Giving blood may lower your risk of suffering a heart attack

Donating blood at least once a year could reduce your risk of a heart attack by 88 percent, according to a study conducted by the American Journal of Epidemiology.*

High levels of iron in the blood constrict your blood vessels and create more risk of a heart attack. Depleting those extra iron deposits by donating blood gives your vessels more room to operate and flow

4. Giving blood may reduce your risk of developing cancer

In an average, completely healthy person, the link between giving blood and decreased cancer risk is slim. But research does support a reduced risk of cancer for blood donors with different maladies, one of which is hemochromatosis.

A study focused on patients affected by peripheral arterial disease (PAD) describes the patients affected with this disease had a common circulatory problem. PAD patients who regularly donated blood had a lower risk of developing cancer than those who did not.

5. Giving blood can help your liver stay healthy

Another danger of iron overload is the health of your liver. “In recent years, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the hepatic expression of metabolic syndrome, has reached epidemic proportions,” reports the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Research has linked too much iron with NAFLD, Hepatitis C and other liver diseases and infections. Though there are many other factors involved in these problems, donating blood can help relieve some of those iron stores and avoid extra issues in your liver.

6. Giving blood can help your mental state

While there are several physical benefits to donating blood, the most powerful health benefit is arguably in the psychological realm. Donating blood means that someone (or multiple people) somewhere will be getting the help they desperately need.

This kind of interaction has major psychological benefits. Getting out of your usual environment to do something good for someone else is stimulating in the best kind of way.  Volunteering has been shown to have positive effects on happiness. In people over 65-years-old, volunteering also reduces the risk of depression and loneliness.

Blood donation benefits everyone

The health benefits of donating blood are considerable—but of course, the most important part of the process is helping to save lives. Donating blood is good for you, and it’s even better for all the people who desperately need the help.

Donate blood, stay healthy and save lives!

Common Asthma Triggers and how to avoid them

Asthma can be stressful and challenging. Though you can’t see it coming, you definitely can prevent its trigger by avoiding certain circumstances, material or environment known as Asthma triggers. Asthma triggers can either worsen asthma symptoms or cause an asthma flare-up.

With a little planning, you can learn to prevent exposure to your triggers and reduce your risk for an asthma flare-up or attack. Here’s an article which tells you how you do it.

Triggers in the air

Exposure to pollen, air pollution, cigarette smoke, and fumes from burning vegetation can make your asthma flare up. Pollens are most troublesome during spring and fall, although flowers, weeds, and grasses bloom throughout the year. Avoid being outside during peak pollen times of day.

Use air conditioning to reduce indoor air pollutants, such as pollen, to lower the humidity in the room or house. This reduces your risk of exposure to dust mites and prevents you from the risk of a flare-up. Sometimes, exposure to cold weather may also cause a flare-up in some people. It is best to avoid extreme cold environment as much as you can.

Exposure to Feathered and furry pets can trigger asthma.

Pets and animals, though adorable, can trigger an asthma episode in people who are allergic to them.

Additionally, proteins found in an animal’s saliva, feces, urine, hair, and skin can trigger asthma. The best way to avoid a flare-up from these triggers is to avoid contact with animals altogether.

If you’re not ready to part ways with a beloved family pet, try keeping the animal out of your bedroom, off furniture, and outside most of the time if possible. Indoor pets should be bathed frequently.

Stay out of Dust-Mites

Dust mites is a common allergen found in places and rooms we frequent, including bedrooms, living rooms, and offices. You can purchase dust-proof covers for your mattress, box spring, and sofa. Washing linens on the hottest water setting cleans the trapped dust mites.

Carpets and rugs are dust magnets, too. If you have carpeting in your home, it may be time to bid adieu and have hardwood floors put down instead.

Don’t be friendly to mold

Mold and mildew are two big asthma triggers. You can prevent flare-ups from these triggers by being aware of damp places in your kitchen, bath, basement, and around the yard. High humidity increases the risk for mold and mildew growth. Invest in a dehumidifier if humidity is a concern. Be sure to toss out any shower curtains, rugs, leaves, or firewood with mold or mildew.

Threats that crawl

Cockroaches aren’t just creepy; they can make you sick, too. These bugs and their droppings are a potential asthma trigger. If you discover a cockroach problem, take steps to eliminate them. Cover up, store, and remove open water and food containers. Vacuum, sweep, and mop any areas where you see cockroaches. Call an exterminator or use roach gels to reduce the number of bugs in your home. Don’t forget to inspect your home’s outside to see where bugs might be hiding.

Other conditions can cause asthma

Infections, viruses, and diseases that affect your lungs can trigger your asthma. Examples include colds, respiratory infections, pneumonia, and the flu. Sinus infections and acid reflux can also cause an asthma flare-up, as can some medicines.

Perfumes and heavily scented items can aggravate your airways. Stress, anxiety, and other strong emotions can also trigger fast breathing. This irritation in your airway or fast breathing can cause an asthma flare-up too. Additionally, food allergies may cause an asthma attack, especially if you have a history of having an anaphylactic reaction to a food allergen.

Balance your exercise

Exercise can be a common asthma trigger, but this is one trigger you shouldn’t avoid. Physical activity is important for your overall health, and it’s a risk worth taking.

Be wise about incorporating physical activity, exercise, and outdoor activities into your life. If exercise-induced asthma is a concern, talk with your doctor about medications that help prevent asthma flare-ups when you’re physically active.

What to do when you can’t avoid triggers

In some situations, you cannot help getting exposed to some common allergens. Dust is a good example. People who are highly sensitive to dust will have a difficult time avoiding it.

In this case, your doctor may recommend allergy shots for you. Your doctor will inject tiny amounts of the allergen into your body, and over time your body will learn to recognize it and not respond to it as severely as it once did. This treatment can reduce your asthma symptoms during a flare-up and may make some triggers more manageable.

What’s your experience with Asthma triggers? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

5 Lesser known Health benefits of Fasting

While fasting for Ramadan is down to spiritual beliefs, many of us choose to fast with the belief that it benefits our health. But does it?

Check out what our health experts say on this.

1. Fasting Aids Weight Loss

Many dieters pick up fasting looking for a quick and easy way to drop a few pounds.Research studies have found fasting may boost metabolism by increasing levels of the neurotransmitter nor-epinephrine, which is responsible for enhancing weight loss. Fasting may increase metabolism and help preserve muscle tissue to reduce body weight and body fat.

2. Fasting Improves Hunger

To experience the true nature of hunger, this would take anything from 12 to even 24 hours.

Fasting helps to regulate the hormones in your body so that you experience what true hunger is.

Fasting is more like a reset button: the longer you fast, the more your body can regulate itself to release the correct hormones, so that you can experience what real hunger is.

3. Fasting Improves Your Brain Function

Fasting has shown to improve brain function because it boosts the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF.)[

BDNF activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons, and triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. This protein also protects your brain cells from changes associated with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

4. Fasting Improves Your Immune System

Intermittent fasting improves the immune system as it reduces free radical damage, regulates the inflammatory conditions in the body and starves off cancer cell formation.

Some studies prove that fasting for as little as three days can regenerate the entire immune system. However, it’s always safe to fast with respect to your body’s capability to withstand sudden changes in the body. If you are looking to experiment, seek your nutritionist’s advice on the best way to fast.

5. Fasting Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Fasting has shown to have a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, allowing you to tolerate carbohydrates (sugar) better than if you didn’t fast. A study showed that after periods of fasting, insulin becomes more effective in telling cells to take up glucose from blood.[

There are a myriad of other benefits that fasting offers along with a few drawbacks that you should not ignore. Let’s face it, there are some who can’t take more than others. Start off with one day at a time and slowly progress to more till a time when you can fast and make sure you don’t feel tired, dizzy, wobbly.

What most fasting enthusiasts who are new should realize is that fasting is a world that you should take one step into slowly. If you feel ill or your heart starts racing, don’t continue. Some could get a persistent cold or blood pressure going down or even emotional distress. Some end up becoming anemic with an imbalance of minerals in the body.

This Ramadan, let’s fast with a positive mind for the sake of spiritual enlightment and get the best of everything. Klinikals wishes you a happy Ramadan!

Everything You Need to Know About High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when your blood pressure increases to unhealthy levels. The amount of blood passing through your blood vessels and the amount of resistance the blood meets while the heart is pumping determines your blood pressure.

The narrower your arteries are, the higher your blood pressure will be. Over the long term, increased pressure can cause health issues, including heart disease.

What are the symptoms of hypertension?

Hypertension is generally a silent condition. Many people won’t experience any symptoms. It may take years or even decades for the condition to reach levels severe enough that symptoms become obvious. Even after that, these symptoms may be attributed to other issues.

Symptoms of severe hypertension can include:

  • headaches
  • shortness of breath
  • nosebleeds
  • flushing
  • dizziness
  • chest pain
  • visual changes
  • blood in the urine

These symptoms require immediate medical attention. These symptoms don’t occur with everyone with hypertension, but it’s always wise to check your symptoms with the doctor as soon as you notice them.

The best way to know if you have hypertension is to get regular blood pressure readings which you can get in every doctor’s appointment.

What are the effects of high blood pressure on the body?

Since hypertension is a silent condition, it can cause damage to your body for years before symptoms become obvious. If hypertension isn’t treated, you may face serious, even fatal, complications.

Complications of hypertension include the following.

Arteries

Healthy arteries are flexible and strong. Blood flows freely and unobstructed through healthy arteries and vessels.

Hypertension makes arteries tougher, tighter, and less elastic. As a result, dietary fats easily deposit in your arteries and restrict blood flow. This damage can lead to increased blood pressure, blockages, and, eventually, heart attack and stroke.

Heart

Hypertension makes your heart work too hard. The increased pressure in your blood vessels forces your heart’s muscles to pump more frequently and with more force than a healthy heart should have to.

This may cause an enlarged heart. An enlarged heart increases your risk for the following:

  • heart failure
  • arrhythmias
  • sudden cardiac death
  • heart attack

Brain

Your brain relies on a healthy supply of oxygen-rich blood to work properly. High blood pressure can reduce your brain’s supply of blood:

  • Temporary blockages of blood flow to the brain are called transient ischemic attacks (TIAs).
  • Significant blockages of blood flow cause brain cells to die. This is known as a stroke.

Uncontrolled hypertension may also affect your memory and ability to learn, recall, speak, and reason. Treating hypertension often doesn’t erase or reverse the effects of uncontrolled hypertension. It does, however, lower the risks for future problems.

Dietary recommendations for people with high blood pressure

One of the easiest ways to treat hypertension and prevent possible complications is with your diet. What you eat can go a long way toward easing or eliminating hypertension.

Here are some of the most common dietary recommendations for people with hypertension.

Plant based diet

A plant-based diet is an easy way to increase fiber and reduce the amount of sodium and unhealthy saturated and trans fat you take in from dairy foods and meat. Increase the number of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, and whole grains you’re eating. Instead of red meat, opt for healthier lean proteins like fish, poultry, or tofu.

Reduce dietary sodium

People with hypertension and those with an increased risk for heart disease need to keep their daily sodium intake between 1,500 milligrams and 2,300 milligrams per day. The best way to reduce sodium is to cook fresh foods and avoid eating restaurant food or prepackaged foods, which are often very high in sodium.

Cut back on sweets

Sugary foods and beverages contain empty calories but don’t have nutritional content. If you want something sweet, try eating fresh fruit or small amounts of dark chocolate that haven’t been sweetened as much with sugar. Studies suggest regularly eating dark chocolate may reduce blood pressure.

High blood pressure: Tips for prevention

If you have risk factors for hypertension, you can take steps now to lower your risk for the condition and its complications.

Add healthy foods to your diet

Slowly work your way up to eating more servings of heart-healthy plants. Aim to eat more than seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Then aim to add one more serving per day for two weeks. After those two weeks, aim to add one more serving. The goal is to have ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Cut sugar

Try to incorporate fewer sugar-sweetened foods, including flavored yogurts, cereals, and sodas. Packaged foods hide unnecessary sugar, so be sure to read labels.

Set weight loss goals

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a weight loss goal of one to two pounds a week. That means starting off eating 500 calories less per day than what you normally eat. Then decide on what physical activity you can start in order to reach that goal. Tune your body slowly to reach your weight loss goal instead of pressuring your body all of a sudden.

Monitor your blood pressure regularly

The best way to prevent complications and avoid problems is to catch hypertension early. You can come into your doctor’s office for a blood pressure reading, or your doctor may ask you to purchase a blood pressure cuff and take readings at home.

Keep a log of your blood pressure readings and take it to your regular doctor appointments. This can help your doctor see any possible problems before the condition advances.

The key to hypertension prevention is watching out for symptoms and management. What are your thoughts on this article? Share your thoughts in the comment section.

Self-Medication and it’s associated risks

We often pop in a painkiller/ antibiotic for symptoms like cold, fever or headache confidently without consulting a doctor. The maximum precaution we take is to crosscheck our symptoms in Google or with the pharmacist to confirm whether we are consuming the right medicines.Self-medication has become an immediate sought-to-solution for several medical problems from family/friends nowadays. Moreover, with the internet just a split second away, the cases of self-medication is even greater.

But,do you think it is the right thing to do?

Studies confirm that, Self-medication is not only risky, but can also prove to be life-threatening in some cases. You never know the sniffles that you have ignored might have been a severe case of bronchitis or a lead to some other disease.

According to a recent study on self-medication, people have different reasons to self-medicate. Some may take it to experience the euphoria that comes along with illicit drug use and the risks of engaging in rebellion; while some other may take it just to get relieved of the symptoms and feel better.

So, how does the self-medicating behaviour start?

Iatrophobia

Iatrophobia is the fear of doctors. Though children are mostly known to suffer from it, there are quite a number of adults too suffering from it. Patients suffering from Iatrophobia tend to put off visiting the doctor, no matter how much they are suffering from a medical condition.

Latrophobia

Latrophobia is the fear to visit a hospital/doctor due to prior treatment experience, which might have not been pleasant for the patient. If the phobia isn’t taken take care of, it could put them under more pressure when they are compelled to visit a doctor.

Get immediate relief

Sometimes, people self-medicate to avoid the painfully long queues at the doctor and get immediate relief from the pain they are suffering. This arguably becomes a valid reason why people take the step. However, you need to check with your doctor at least the next day of self-medicating to know if you are on the right track.

Save time and money

The demands of the doctors/clinical services has been increasing at par with the cost of living, so much that, some middle and lower class people aren’t able to afford the services. In these scenarios, self-medication becomes a reasonable solution for them.

Avoid multiple visits to doctors

Most often, people working in full-time jobs don’t have time to visit their doctors. In such cases, they opt to look at their previous prescription and continue the medicines they have been taking when they encounter with similar health problems.

What may be the dangers of Self Medication?

Overdosing

Sometimes, self-medication may lead to more side effects rather than the intended good effect. A drug and the dosage in which it is prescribed by the is based on the individual’s need for medication, the age,intensity of the disease etc. Hence what is optimum for one may not be the case with another, resulting in taking of a wrong drug in wrong proportions.

Health experts weigh criterion of intensity of disease, age etc when give a dosage, which may be neglected in case of self-medication.

Delays the diagnosis of a serious health condition and complicates it

As mentioned above, your casual sniffles could be a severe case of bronchitis or a lead to some other health condition. Your splitting headache could be a case of migraine, while you have been putting it off as just another effect of stress. Self-medication delays the diagnosis of a serious health condition and put you in unforeseen circumstances.

Intake of banned medicines without knowing it

Medical practitioners are updated with time-to-time health trends as they are required to treat patients with the right drugs. They keep track of information which the pharmacist or even the internet may not have been updated with. Consulting a doctor saves you from the intake of banned medicines without your knowledge.

Burns your pocket

Yes. Sometimes, the effects of self-medication leads to a vicious cycle of complications that makes it mandatory to visit a doctor repeatedly. It thus burns your pocket because of multiple tests to be done adding to the costs associated with leave from work.

Develops resistance to the disease

At times, people misinterpret the symptom of a health condition and pop in a wrong pill. In such cases, our body develops a resistance to the disease and it might not work later. For example, taking an antibiotic for common cold, which in most cases, is a viral infection, causes development of resistance to the medicine. So beware, the next time you pop the pill, it might not work.

How to curb the menace

Prevention is better than cure

You have been probably hearing this 5-word phrase since your school days and ignored it back then. But following this in all walks of life can do a lot of good. Start by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Owing to the hectic lifestyle, you might be compelled to ignore your wellbeing at many situations, but always put your health first and never ignore the signs your body shows you.

Don’t avoid going to the doctor

However the trivial the illness may be, never avoid going to the doctor. You may pop in the pill for a time or two, but if it is redundant, you need to consult a doctor right away.

Counselling of patients by the doctor

In case of patients suffering from Iatrophobia or Latrophobia, it’s much needed that you work on bringing them out of the phobia gradually because every person is required to meet a doctor in life. It’s unavoidable and important.

Health education and creating awareness among the general public

Most people are unaware of the hidden risks associated with self-medication. Spread the word and help them avoid the unnecessary complications that comes with it.

We at Klinikals took the matter in our own hands and developed ‘Teleconsult a Doctor’ feature that could help you save time in commuting to the clinic, waiting at the long queues as well as getting an immediate help. Book a doctor’s appointment now for an enriched and secure teleconsultation experience.

THE ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO DETOX

It’s no surprise that most of us aren’t totally in control of our lifestyle. Sometimes we’re forced to skip breakfast, forgo exercise or eat unhealthy junk food thanks to our packed schedules. In addition this, we’re exposed to a voluminous amount of pollution that easily gets works its way into our bodies, under our skin, and causes toxins. This can pose serious problems for some, while the lucky ones with a good immune system escape its wrath with minor health problems. The best way to achieve a healthy body is by removing the harmful toxins which are responsible for the disturbances caused by lifestyle changes to our systems. This can be done through detoxification.

What exactly is ‘Detox’ and what’s the right way to do it?

As the name suggests, detox is a process that helps the body get rid of the accumulated toxins through artificial methods.
The trend of detox is riding the wave right now. But unfortunately, people seem to be obsessed with the wrong notion of detox. Some of them take to starving in the name of detox diets. Health experts say that a detox need not be stringently followed as a diet but rather, could be taken as an add-on to your existing diet. This is because our body is automatically designed to detox the waste from within and artificial detox methods only enhance the process.
Dr Franklin. Lipman, blogger at Eatwell.com has done a comprehensive study on the various ingredients of a detox and the role played by each.
Here’s what he says about an effective detox program.
A detox program, to be completely effective, needs to contain the following key components:

some fiber to scrub the gut, bind toxins, and promote their elimination
antimicrobial herbs to kill bad bugs in the gut and maintain healthy flora
targeted nutrients to boost the liver and prevent the accumulation of toxins
digestive enzymes to help the body break down food and assist digestion
a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals to safely support you during detox
a dietary plan that eliminates problem foods but doesn’t leave you feeling hungry

An effective detox must not only address the toxins we eat, drink, breathe, and put into our bodies every day, but—just as importantly—must contain the specific ingredients needed to neutralize or eliminate the internal toxins the body creates as it performs its normal, everyday functions.

Why should you detox?

As I’ve mentioned before, a detox is an additional push we give to our body to enhance the body to do its processes more effectively. The time you need it is when you heavily consume junk food, indulge in alcohol regularly and are exposed to copious amounts of pollution. Detox minuses the effects of the above circumstances on the body and helps in the smooth functioning of our systems. Listed below, are a few benefits of detox:

1) Slow premature aging.

Our body has a lot of free radicals and heavy metals which are partially responsible for aging. Detoxing your body helps increase the absorption of nutrients, including antioxidants and vitamins which help fight off oxidative stress.

2) Prevents chronic diseases.

Toxins present in the environment are responsible for many cancers, neurological diseases, heart disease, strokes, etc. Yes, it’s true that our bodies already have a built-in detox function to deal with these dangers, but those systems are overloaded sometimes. When you detox, the process assists and improves what our bodies are trying to do naturally.

3) Helps you lose weight.

There are a lot of fad diets and quick weight loss programs that promise you dramatic results. While you may experience the sudden weight loss over a period, you notice that you gradually gain back the weight (in most cases). This is because, most of these weight loss programs are merely confined to controlling the number of calories you consume. Detox, on the other hand, helps you eliminate the root cause of the problem such as toxins responsible for weight gain, and promises long-term benefits to the body. Studies have shown that drinking 17 oz (half a litre) of detox water can increase your metabolic rate by up to 30% for about an hour.

4) Improves the quality of life.

Our bodies don’t function very well when they’re loaded with toxins. The presence of these toxins may lead to joint pain, headaches, digestive disorders, sleep problems, and general lack of energy. Detoxification helps ease depression, improve memory and boost the overall quality of life.

5) You get clearer skin.

A good detox has visible effects on your skin as well. Back up your detox efforts with a sauna and you will gradually find the acne reducing on your face. You may find your skin itchy at times, but it’s just the process of getting the toxins out of your body and isn’t remotely harmful.

A word of caution!

There are a million detox recipes and diets to out there but not all of them might be compatible with your body. So it’s always advisable to listen to your body when you detox. If you’re feeling light and energized, you’re doing it right! But if you aren’t, it’s better to go for a less complicated detox meal or consult an expert. Happy detoxifying!