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  • Warning Signs of High Cholesterol

     

    Perhaps the most dangerous thing about high cholesterol is how hard it is to see it coming. Unlike other health conditions that come with warning signs well ahead of time, by the time warning signs show up with high cholesterol you may already be in mortal danger.

    The best and only sure way to catch high cholesterol before it causes major damage is to get checked up by a doctor regularly.

    That said, here are a few signs that you could have high cholesterol.

    Chest Pains

    If you're experiencing chest pains and you believe you might be at risk of being in a high cholesterol category, see a doctor right away.

    Having chest pains means that the high cholesterol has already progressed to the point where it could have a serious impact on your cardiovascular health.

    Treat chest pains as a medical emergency. Don't wait to get off work, don't wait for the kids to get home from school - get to a doctor right away.

    This is especially true if you have a history of high blood pressure.

    Fatty Deposits in the Skin

    One relatively early warning sign is visible fatty deposits in the skin.

    These deposits tend to appear in places where the skin creases - in the palm of the hands, in the elbows and around the eyes.

    If you notice fatty deposits appearing in your skin, get a check-up as soon as you can.

    Unlike chest pains, fatty deposits aren't necessarily a red flag warning. However, it does mean that your high cholesterol levels are getting dangerously high and should probably be looked at by a doctor.

    Other Warning Signs

    Unfortunately, there really are no other early warning signs of high cholesterol.

    At a certain point, the only warning signs then become having a stroke or having a heart attack, both "warning signs" that could cost you your life.

    High cholesterol is a condition that needs to be caught early by an attentive doctor. It's not a condition that you can be on the lookout for yourself.

    Don't wait for warning signs to appear before trying to take care of your high cholesterol issues.

    What to Ask Your Naturopathic Doctor

    If you think you're at right of having abnormally high cholesterol but your doctor hasn't told you so yet, what should you do?

    Start by getting in the habit of tracking your HDL (“good” cholesterol), triglycerides (fats) and LDL ("bad" cholesterol) level. Ask your naturopathic doctor for your cholesterol level and keep track of it over time. Is it going up or down?

    Ask your naturopathic doctor where your target range should be. Are you within that range?

    If you're well outside of the range you want to be, start talking to your naturopathic doctor about how you might get yourself back in range.  There are lifestyle, dietary and supplement options that can help you. 

     By: Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND

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  • What to Expect from a Life of High Cholesterol

     

    If you've been diagnosed with high cholesterol, what does that actually mean? Chances are you've heard a lot about high cholesterol. You might be feeling nervous about the lifestyle changes that invariably need to come from having high cholesterol.

    What can you really expect from this kind of diagnosis?

    Dietary Changes

    One of the first things you'll probably have to change in your life is your diet.

    You'll want to start lowering the amount of cholesterol you take in, as well as reduce the amount of chemicals you take in which can cause your liver to produce extra cholesterol.

    To make a long story short, you'll have to start eating healthier. You'll need to cut back on fatty foods, processed foods and preserved foods, and increase your intake of greens, fruits and whole grains.

    Medication & Treatments

    You'll likely also need to start taking one or more supplements regularly to help.

    These supplements can range on the effect on your cholesterol levels.

    Taking supplements works a lot faster than only dietary changes or lifestyle changes.

    Regular Check-Ups

    Another change in your lifestyle is regular visits to your naturopathic doctor.

    If you're at a moderate to high risk level, you'll need to see your naturopathic doctor regularly for tests and check ups.

    You'll also want to see your naturopathic doctor regularly just so you can discuss your options and measure your progress.

    Exercise and Activity Recommended

    Your naturopathic doctor will probably tell you that you should start exercising if you don't already.

    The American Heart Association recommends working out 30 minutes a day, four days a week. Of course, in the beginning, it might make sense to only work out twice a week for a few minutes at a time to get your body used to exercise again.

    If you haven't worked out for a while, starting to work out again can be quite a change in lifestyle. Though it'll be tough at first, getting exercise is good for your overall health, in addition to your cholesterol.

    Can High Cholesterol Actually Be a Good Thing?

    Having high cholesterol can be treated as a kind of a wake-up call. It's not as serious as cancer or other kinds of health conditions and is more or less curable.

    The main cure is to live a healthier lifestyle, as well as to take the necessary supplements.

    In other words, though having high cholesterol can be very dangerous for your health, it can also be treated as a wake-up call to get healthier overall.

    Lowering your cholesterol helps prevent all kinds of other health diseases. Researchers have estimated that a 1% reduction in cholesterol results in a 2% to 3% reduction in your likelihood of cardiovascular diseases.

    Being diagnosed with high cholesterol definitely means some lifestyle changes. It might mean several months or even a couple years of paying a lot of attention to your health. But in time, even this will fade into the background.

    By: Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND

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  • Top Reasons to Enjoy Green Smoothies

     

     

    Green smoothies are healthy, tasty and nutritious, that almost everyone knows. There are but more other reasons that why it is considered vital to consume these tasty drinks on daily basis. So, if people are still deciding between having them or not then here are some reasons that will make them understand why it is better to have these drinks.

    • Fantastic Taste – This is true! These smoothies are as tasty and tempting as smoothies and drinks made with other calorific ingredients. This is because a balanced taste level is generated by using proportionate amount of vegetables and fruits.
    • Easy to Prepare – Fruits, vegetables and water! These are the only things that are required to make green smoothies. People can use their favorite vegetables and fruits and blend them together in balanced proportion in order to make a tasty yet healthy smoothie in minutes. If one wants it cold then even ice cubes or chilled water can be added.
    • New Ingredients can be added – Every time a green smoothie is made it allows people to have the opportunity to add any additional flavor of their choice. Vanilla powder, cocoa powder, grated coconut, nibs and more such ingredients can be added to give it a new flavor every time.
    • Rich in Fiber – No matter what fruits or leafy vegetables are being used all of them are excellently rich in fiber thereby making the finally prepared green smoothies enriched with high nutritional content. Fiber rich smoothies are not only useful in detoxification but also make body healthy from inside.
    • Exceedingly Nutritious – They are real powerhouses of nutrition. Since, they are created with natural ingredients so they are healthy to drink.
    • Inexpensive – Vegetables and fruits are available at cheap rates therefore the overall price of making these smoothies is very cheap.

    These are therefore top-notch reasons why it is essential to drink green smoothies. 

    By: Dr. Sandra Miranda, ND

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  • Common Natural Treatments for Panic Attacks

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    One of the ironies of panic attacks is the feeling that you are alone, or that you will embarrass yourself if you try to seek help or even go into public. But it's vital to get some sort of treatment so that the fear does not completely debilitate you. The good news is that panic attacks are treatable, and tend to respond well to treatment. Here are some of the more common treatments for this terrifying problem.

    Supplements-

    While most therapists and doctors do not look at supplements as a long-term solution, it can employed in order to help the patient get a handle on the situation and seek help. Some of the supplements used to treat panic attacks are:

    -Magnesium bisglycenate

    -Lavender oil

    - Relora (combination of Magnolia and Phelodendron)

    -GABA

    -Herbs such as Valerian, passion flower, Kava kava, lemon balm, etc.

     

    Various Therapies

    Panic attacks do respond to various forms of non-medicated therapies. Here are some of the more effective, common ones.

    Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy

    Behavioral therapy can have different facets depending on the nature of the panic attacks. Basically, this kind of therapy helps the patient "unlearn" certain destructive behaviour patterns while learning constructive ones. Behavioral therapists help the patient directly address his or her fears. Otherwise, the patient tends to spend all of his or her time avoiding possible panic attack triggers.

    Desensitization

    This is an aspect of behavioural therapy that involves the systematic exposure to whatever the patient fears until the patient can face that fear. For example, if you have a paralyzing fear of flying in an airplane, the therapist may begin with having you simply walk up to a parked airplane. You may even be asked to touch the airplane. That will be all for the first session, or even the first few sessions.

    Then, as you build confidence, the therapist may ask you to take a step or two up the steps to the door of the airplane. Then you can work up to being inside the airplane without it moving. Slowly, in incremental steps, you will be able to "unlearn" the fear response and re-learn a calm response to flying in airplanes. 

    Meditation and Relaxation Techniques

    Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, and other stretching types of exercises can help the body relax. The calm, deliberate, disciplined movements are the opposite of the chaotic muscle contractions of a panic attack, and help your body lean how to have calm, peaceful, physical responses. The exercise itself in these techniques also helps panic attack sufferers.

     

    Meditation can be practiced independently of the above techniques or in conjunction with them. Once again, the measured, calm, focused thought processes emphasized in meditation can help you learn how to cope with everyday stressors.

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  • Tips for Preventing Illness and Maintaining Optimum Health

    Written by Dr Sandra Miranda, ND

    Habits are easily made, but not easily broken. Wouldn’t it be great if we could make good habits just as easily as we made bad ones? If you stop and think about it for a moment, it is such a great idea to form optimum health habits rather than complain when we get sick, once again.

    Preventing illness and maintaining optimum health are things that can become habits, with a little practice, intention, and discipline.

    A Little Self-Discipline Goes a Long Way

    Preventing illness takes just about the same amount of time as being down sick for a whole week, running to the doctor and then running to the pharmacy to pick up your prescription. Not to mention the time lost from work, school, family and the home that you need to catch up on after being down sick.

    If you set aside a certain date and time and put it on your calendar or on your iPhone with the many apps available, you will see how easy it is to incorporate some “me” time into your day. It is better to discipline yourself a little bit each day in regard to your own health than to be down sick for longer than you would like to be.

    If you are like most individuals, then being down sick is not anything that is ever on your to-do list.

    Be Proactive

    Being proactive beats being reactive when it comes to your health. There are many things that you can do in order to be proactive with your health:

    * Take vitamins

    * Exercise daily

    * Eat right

    * Add more fruit and vegetables to your diet

    * Drink more water and herbal teas

    * Take up practicing yoga or pilates

    * Take up practicing meditation

    * Go for long walks

    * Wash your hands more often

    * Get proper rest

    Be Realistic

    Most individuals who are either dieting or trying to exercise go full out and then wind up falling down and falling hard. When it comes to your health, rather than going full out, try incorporating one or two new things into your daily routine until they become a habit.

    For example, add one or two new vegetables per week into your usual diet fare. Do not go out and buy all kinds of fruits and vegetables with an oversized desire to try them all at once and then only to wind up throwing them away.

    Try adding some vitamin C and vitamin D to start with during the winter.

    Being realistic and not overshooting your health goals will result in the ability to prevent illness and maintain optimum health.

    Read more »

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Top Reasons to Enjoy Green Smoothies

Green smoothies are healthy, tasty and nutritious, that almost everyone knows. There are but more...

Warning Signs of High Cholesterol

Perhaps the most dangerous thing about high cholesterol is how hard it is to see it coming...

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