How to Heal Surgical and Other Wounds Fast with Less Scarring

Wounds, whether due to injury or surgery, can exact a great toll on your quality of life if they do not heal quickly and completely. And, whether you realize it or not, there’s a lot more to wound healing than Band-Aids and antibiotic ointment. In fact, to really understand the mechanisms behind how to best heal your wounds, it helps to first know a bit about how the process works at a biological level.

The Three Phases of Wound Healing

Anytime you have an injury to the skin it triggers a complex series of events at the cellular level. This prompts the three stages that will help your wound to heal properly:

Phase 1: Inflammatory

The inflammatory process begins in response to injury, and first involves forming a clot to stop bleeding (hemostasis). Then antibodies and white blood cells get to work fighting off bacteria and collagen formation begins. This phase begins when the wound is created and lasts two to four days.

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The Antacid Epidemic: The Real Truth Behind the Pills

Every year, millions of Americans are prescribed strong antacids to treat common conditions such as heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastritis, indigestion among many others. Generic Prilosec, an antacid drug, was actually the sixth most-prescribed drug in the United States in 2010, with over 53 million prescriptions written that year alone (and that does not include over-the-counter sales!).

Though many medical professionals argue that antacids are necessary for serious conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), there are several serious consequences that result from their frequent use or overuse — and in many cases these consequences can impact your health and quality of life seriously.

To truly understand why antacids may not be as good for you as you might think, you need to understand how they work.

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How to Overcome America’s Most Overlooked Disease: Allergies

allergies carpetIt’s true that home is where the heart is … but home is also the breeding ground for numerous indoor allergens that come in all colors and forms. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, one out of every five Americans suffers from some form of indoor or outdoor allergen such as food, drug, latex, insect, skin and eye allergies and this number has been on the rise since the early 1980s.

Of these allergy sufferers, 40 million have been diagnosed with indoor/outdoor allergies as their primary allergy. Allergies are considered America’s most common and most overlooked disease, and qualify as the fifth leading chronic disease for all ages among Americans and the third leading disease among those under 18 years of age.

Although there aren’t any known cures for allergies, you can improve the quality of your life greatly through prevention and smart strategies that begin in your home.

Perennial indoor allergies include dust mites, animal dander and indoor molds. These bring on irritable allergy symptoms such as congestion, itchy, runny nose and itchy, watery eyes to millions of Americans each year.

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11 Power Foods to Boost Your Immunity

vegetablesYou wake up with a scratchy throat, body aches and an overall run-down feeling and immediately begin to think of ways to knock out whatever virus is looming so you can make it to work the next day or enjoy the upcoming weekend with your family.

Before heading out the grocery store to pick up some over-the-counter medicine, take a look in your pantry and fridge and make a list of these 11 immunity-building foods for a natural way to get your body back to optimal health.

By stocking your shelves with foods containing disease-fighting nutrients you are creating a win-win situation by not only opening the door to wellness within your body but also enjoying the taste of nutritious foods.

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Should You be Worried About Chinese drywall? What it is, and Why Thousands of Homeowners’ Health May be at Risk

Contaminated drywall from China, used to build more than 60,000 homes in at least a dozen states, may be emitting toxic levels of chemical pollutants like sulfur into new homes.

More than 500 million pounds of potentially tainted Chinese building materials may have been imported into the United States, particularly to Florida, at the height of the housing boom, according to shipping records reviewed by The Associated Press (AP).

The drywall lets off fumes that smell like rotten eggs and are potent enough to corrode copper pipes and make jewelry and silverware turn black. In fact, one of the telltale signs that a home may contain Chinese drywall is corroded piping and wiring that causes electronics and appliances, including air conditioners, to fail.

Some homeowners have also issued lawsuits alleging the drywall has caused health effects ranging from headaches and sore throats to dizziness and respiratory illness.

“This is a traumatic problem of extraordinary proportions,” said U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler in an AP article.

Wexler has introduced a bill calling for a temporary ban on Chinese-made building imports until their chemical makeup is investigated further. Florida has been particularly hard-hit with Chinese drywall problems.

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10 Foods that Keep Your Arteries Clean

fruits and vegetablesYour arteries are blood vessels that transport oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body. In order for this important process to occur, your arteries should be flexible, strong, elastic and clear of any deposits.

However, over time deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and other substances can build up in your arteries. These plaques can severely restrict blood flow and, even more seriously, they can cause your arteries to rupture, leading to blood clots. Blood clots can then block your blood flow entirely, leading to heart attack and stroke.

In fact, a build-up of plaques in your arteries, known as atherosclerosis, is the main underlying cause of heart disease.

So keeping your arteries clean is not only a key part of your heart health, it’s a key to your health overall.

Exercising on most days of the week is an excellent way to keep your arteries healthy and so is smart supplementation. Vitamins D and K are important for strong bones and teeth and a healthy immune system, but did you also know that this pair are essential to arterial health? Vitamin D is essential for absorbing calcium while vitamin K helps your body better utilize calcium and keep it out of the arterial walls and protect our arterial elasticity. 

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Is Sitting Bad for Your Health … and Waistline? What the Surprising Research Reveals

sittingAs you read this, you’re probably sitting — a motion done by all of us countless times a day. We sit to eat, to work, to relax, to converse, to socialize … to engage in infinite moments of our lives.

Yet as research would have it, this very simple and often necessary act could be insidiously harmful to your health in a surprising number of ways.

“Chair time is an insidious hazard because people haven’t been told it’s a hazard,” Marc Hamilton, Ph.D., a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri in Columbia, told Ivanhoe Broadcast News.

According to Hamilton, numerous studies show rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity are doubled and even tripled in people who sit a lot. Part of the problem with sitting is that it stops the circulation of lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fats. So instead of being burned by your muscles, when you’re sitting fat recirculates in your bloodstream where it may end up stored as body fat, clogging arteries or contributing to disease.

In fact, simply standing up as opposed to sitting engages muscles and helps your body process fat and cholesterol in a positive way, regardless of the amount of exercise you do.

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Your Odds of Dying Too Early? What is “Normal” Aging, and How Can You Help Slow Down the Clock?

What is your ideal target age to live to? Many people today live to and past 100. We all want to live a healthy life filled with happiness and no regrets.

We will share how to live your life healthier now and at a higher quality of life with less potential ill concerns for many more years to come.

We all have different reasons to live longer, but yet most end up the same: To spend more time with our children, grandchildren and loved ones. We nearly all have loving memories of our cherished grandparents, which we seek to have as many years as possible while in good health with those we too love so dearly.

The average life expectancy in the United States is 77.7 years. However, as far as aging goes, the rate is far from average. Individuals age at entirely different rates. Even different organs within the same person can age at varying speeds.

In order to reduce your “physical stages of dying” too early, it’s wise to first find out what your greatest risks of death are from … and then learn the steps to help prevent them. The good news is that many of the top risks can be dramatically influenced by your own habits and behaviors.

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Simplify Your Life: Audit for Better Health and Happiness in 15 Easy Steps

staying healthyIn our pursuit of the American Dream, most Americans are willing to put up with quite a bit. Very long work hours, sacrificing vacation time, missing out on milestones in their kids’ lives … and maybe even suffering from a few stress-related illnesses.

You may very well have enough activities crammed into each day that you barely have time to think … let alone to eat healthy, exercise or (gasp) relax — and that is just from the external pressures.

On the inside all of this stress and 24/7 lifestyle can leave you with racing thoughts so severe you have trouble sleeping or, on the flipside, feeling like your brain is completely fried, numb and on the verge of a complete meltdown.

And for all of this strife, many of us are still spending our free time worrying about finances, the state of the economy, terrorist threats or coming down with a bout of flu.

This begs the question: for all that we’re sacrificing, how many of us feel truly happy? And could it be that the quest for happiness lies not in how many hours we can work in a week, but in how many we can thoroughly enjoy?

With that in mind, we urge you to audit your life and decide if you could benefit from slowing down and reducing out of control stresses, so that you, as a human being, can free up more time for relaxation and fun.

And if you decide the answer is YES … here are important tips to get you started.

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Aspirin: What are the Benefits, What are the Risks?

aspirinThe first form of aspirin — today one of the most widely used drugs around — existed all the way back in the 5th century B.C., when the father of medicine, Hippocrates, used willow bark and leaves to relieve pain and reduce fever. It wasn’t until the 1820s, however, that scientists identified the active component in willow bark: salicin.

Salicylic acid derived from willow bark worked to fight aches and pains, but there was a major drawback: it upset the stomach. So, a few decades later, French chemist Charles Frederic Gerhardt found that combining salicylic acid with acetyl chloride made it less irritating.

But Gerhardt, thinking the compound was too complex to make, abandoned the idea. It wasn’t until 1899, when Felix Hoffmann, a German chemist, came across Gerhardt’s recipe and found the compound really worked, that aspirin came to be.

Hoffmann worked for Bayer and convinced the company to make the drug, named Aspirin (the names comes from acetyl chloride [A] and spiraea ulmaria, the plant that salicylic acid comes from [spir] along with an [in] ending).

Bayer released Aspirin tablets in 1915 (it was previously sold as a powder), but, interestingly, had to give up the trademark after World War I as part of Germany’s war reparations. At the Treaty of Versailles, the trademark (along with the trademark for Heroin) was given to France, England, Russia and the United States.

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