10 Health Statistics You Should Know

Here are some health statistics that we should all know……have a look and see if any of these surprise you.

1. 80% of high blood pressure is known as Essential Hypertension.
Essential hypertension is elevated blood pressure that has no known medical cause.  This means that chronic stress is the likely cause of your hypertension is chronic stress. Continue reading “10 Health Statistics You Should Know” »

Mood, Neurotransmitters, and How to Change Your Chemistry

We hear about neurotransmitters and SSRIs on a daily basis, but what are they, exactly?

Here is a great metaphor for understanding neurotransmitters and mood.  Think of a light switch and a dimmer.  You turn the dimmer up to turn up the light intensity, and vice versa to decrease it.  The light represents neurotransmission (the messaging route) while the dimmer feature is the neurotransmitter (a chemical messenger like serotonin).  Neurotransmission is to the light what neurotransmitters are to the dimmer.
Continue reading “Mood, Neurotransmitters, and How to Change Your Chemistry” »

Vitamin Bs, Sleep, Mood

Do you ever have trouble falling asleep?  Are you on antidepressants?  If you’ve ever had trouble with sleep or mood, this is an article you need to read.

Vitamin B is crucial for healthy sleep and mood.  Actually, Vitamin B is a family of vitamins, not just one vitamin.  You pretty much need an optimal balance of the entire family of Vitamin B, but most people don’t get enough of it.   Continue reading “Vitamin Bs, Sleep, Mood” »

Ruby Update

You may remember Ruby, our overweight Goldendoodle.  I wrote this post about her slight weight problem and hypothyroid about 8 weeks ago.

Since then, Ruby lost about 15+ pounds and looks quite svelte.  To complete her transition, we shaved her to compliment the new look (and help her stay cool this summer). Continue reading “Ruby Update” »

Music, Mood, and Health

Do you ever hear a song that just “does it” for you?  Music can be incredibly therapeutic and is one of many behaviors we can use to stay happy and healthy.

Music with a regular beat can increase serotonin, the neurotransmitter (serotonin) associated with mood, sleep, satiety, and feelings of safety.  Remember that serotonin is usually the neurotransmitter targeted by antidepressants. Continue reading “Music, Mood, and Health” »

Antidepressant Medications: Do They Work?

Are antidepressant medications working?  There seems to be a growing trend of believers who think not.  Are you on an antidepressant?  If so, did you receive a proper evaluation?  Many people are prescribed with an antidepressant by a physician who does not properly evaluate the patient to rule out bipolar disorders, hypothyroid, hormonal imbalance, sleep disorders, heavy metal toxicity, and even anemia.  In most cases, people are prescribed with these meds with no plan to discontinue taking them….ever. Continue reading “Antidepressant Medications: Do They Work?” »

Cognitive Therapy: It Works

Cognitive therapy-do you know what it is?  It’s a fancy way of saying that changing your thoughts can help your mood.  In fact, thought patterns can often fuel depression.  A recent study suggests that cognitive therapy can help even the worst cases of depression. Continue reading “Cognitive Therapy: It Works” »

Running=Prozac, Ritalin

You know that exercise is an excellent way to improve your mood and health, but there is much more to know.  Did you know that going for a run is like taking a little bit of Prozac and Ritalin at once?  Here’s how:

Continue reading “Running=Prozac, Ritalin” »

Antidepressants vs. Exercise

Are you taking an antidepressant?  How about a medication for anxiety like Xanax or Klonipin?  These days, antidepressants are handed out like M&Ms, and most mothers seem to be taking something-prescribed or not.  Most of the time, antidepressants are prescribed by a general physician, internist, or OBGYN.  Sadly, few of these physicians have been trained to assess and diagnose anxiety and mood related problems at all.   Continue reading “Antidepressants vs. Exercise” »

10 Health Statistics All Moms Should Know

Let’s face it.  Moms usually wear many hats, including the one that reads “nurse.”  The more you know about health, the better off your family will be.  I’ll bet you don’t know the following health statistics, and if you do, hats off to you!  You’re literally one in a million.

1. 80% of high blood pressure is known as Essential Hypertension.
Essential hypertension is elevated blood pressure that has no known medical cause. This likely means that the cause of your hypertension is chronic stress.

2. 75-85% of all medical visits and hospital stays are stress related.
Chronic stress lowers the immune system and makes us all susceptible to colds, flus, and infections. Chronic stress also triggers harmful behaviors that make us more prone to illness and accidents. Effective stress management is obviously an enormous part of creating health.

3. 50% -Antidepressant medications are estimated to be effective only half the time in treating clinical depression.
Yes, you read this correctly.  Antidepressant medication is one of the most common medical prescription drugs, and yet it only works about half the time.  Research shows that a combination of antidepressant medication and cognitive behavioral therapy is the best approach to treating moderate to severe depression.  However, exercise has been shown to be equally effective in treating mild to moderate depression.  Lastly, there are many “unpublished” studies which showed antidepressant medications to be about as effective as M&Ms in treating depression.  That’s another article entirely.

Further reading on this topic:

http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20080227/antidepressants-no-better-than-placebo

http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN2527622020080226

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/17/health/17depress.html?_r=1

http://www.realmentalhealth.com/depression/antidepressants.asp

http://www.drugs.com/forum/drug-information/truth-about-antidepressants-50321.html

4. 33%-About 1 in every 3 women has been sexually assaulted or abused in her life. This is horrific.

5. 25%-About 1 in every 4 women has been physically abused in her life. Also horrific.

6. 200%-Women are twice as likely to suffer from clinical depression as men.
Many of us have too much to do and too little support to do it all.  Chronic stress leads to depression, end of story.

7. 35-45% of children in the United States are now obese.
This statistic fluctuates and varies according to studies. In any case, it is a terrible way to allow our children to live.

8. 25% of Americans and Canadians are now identified as having Metabolic Syndrome, the cluster of symptoms which are generally known to be a lifestyle disease.

9. 16,400%-Prescription drugs are said to be 16,400% more deadly than “terrorists.”
This does not in any way suggest that you should stop your prescription medication. You should always speak with your physician before doing so. What it suggests to me is that many people overutilize medication interventions.

10. Too few-Cholesterol medications are the most widely prescribed medication in the US. Antidepressants are the most common prescription medication among Austrailian women.
The first line of treatment for lowering cholesterol, particularly LDL (“bad” cholesterol), is nutrition and exercise. The FDA approved statins as the second line of treatment. Most people don’t know this. If your physician offered you a statin without speaking with you about nutrition and exercise first, either your physician thought you were lazy or you or he/she is.

That’s all for today, folks.  This mom is signing off to hit the carpool line.  Remember to take care of yourself, take your Vitamin D3, and I’ll be back tomorrow. Ciao!