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Treating dry macular degeneration

September 12th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treating dry macular degeneration)

Dry macular degeneration is a lingering disease of the eyes causing loss of vision in the field of vision. It is a deterioration of the macula which is the middle of the retina which is the sheet of tissue on the rear wall of the eyeball.

Dry macular degeneration is one of the forms of age-related degeneration while the other is wet macular degeneration in which a blood vessel grows beneath the retina found at the rear part of the eye is leaking blood and fluids.

Dry macular degeneration can cause a blurred central vision or a blind spot in the central vision. Central vision is used for reading, driving and recognizing faces of people.

Symptoms

Symptoms of dry macular degeneration occurs gradually, and the person affected by these symptoms notices some vision changes adapting to a low level of lights such as when entering a dimly lighted pathway or a restaurant.

There is a need for a brighter light when reading or doing close work and an increased blurriness of printed words.

There is a decrease in the intensity or brightness of colors, curved central vision and an increasing haziness of the central vision. Dry macular degeneration can affect two eyes. If a single eye is affected, there are no changes in the vision because the other eye that is not affected compensate for the weak eye. You can enroll in a first aid class today if you want to learn how to handle this condition.

Dry macular degeneration

Symptoms of dry macular degeneration occurs gradually, and the person affected by these symptoms notices some vision changes adapting to a low level of lights such as when entering a dimly lighted pathway or a restaurant.

Causes

The cause of dry macular degeneration is not known, but if the person has this condition, it will develop as the eyes ages. Dry macular degeneration involves the macula which is situated at the middle of the retina and in control for proper vision in the direct line of the person’s sight. As the person ages the tissues in the macula thins out and may break down.

Treatment and home remedies

  • The antioxidants vitamins in fruits and vegetables are essential to the health of the eye. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach, peas and other vegetables which contain high levels of antioxidants and also lutein and zeaxanthin are very helpful in people with macular degeneration.
  • Fats found in olive oil helps protect the vision of the individual. Consume these beneficial fats instead of the saturated fats like butter, trans fats and some partly hydrogenated oils in packed foods.
  • Eating whole wheat bread, salmon, tuna and sardines that contain omega-3 fatty acids can help minimize the risk of losing vision. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be found in walnuts.

Prevention

  • Have a routine eye check-up and manage other health conditions like taking the medications and following doctor’s advice in controlling his/her condition.
  • Stop smoking and maintain a healthy weight and exercise regularly.
  • Have a healthy diet with a variety of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens. These contain antioxidants that reduce the risk of acquiring a macular degeneration.

What are cluster headaches?

September 12th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on What are cluster headaches?)

Cluster headaches are the most painful types of headache and occur in cyclical patterns or clusters. This headache usually happens in the middle of the night with an intense pain around an eye on one flank of the head.

Cluster headaches last from weeks to months and is followed by remission periods when attacks of headaches stops completely. During remission, there is a headache that will occur for months and sometimes even for years. This type of headache is rare yet is not dangerous.

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A cluster headache occurs quickly without warning and there is an excruciating pain around one eye and spreads to the other parts of the face, shoulders and neck. Pain on one side, edginess and excessive tearing can also occur. A stuffy nasal passage in the nostrils on the side of the face that is affected can also develop along with redness in the side of the affected eye. Sweaty and pale skin and swelling around the eye on the face and a drooping eyelid can also occur.

The pain of cluster headache is usually sharp, penetrating and the individual feels that the head is burning. The feeling is like an eye is being pushed out of its socket. People with this condition are restless and they avoid lying down during the attack because this position increases the pain.

Cluster headache

The pain of cluster headache is usually sharp, penetrating and the individual feels that the head is burning.

People suffering from cluster headaches should avoid alcohol for the duration of the cluster period and they have rare level of melatonin and cortisol during the attacks of cluster headache.

Cluster headaches are not related to the consumption of foods and there is no link found between cluster headaches and mental stress or anxiety. With alcohol, it is a cause when the individual is in the middle of a cluster period. If you want to learn how to manage a headache, click here.

Treatment and home remedies

Some measures to help avoid a cluster headache attack during a cluster cycle involve sticking to a regular sleeping schedule. A cluster headache occurs when there are changes in the normal sleeping schedule. Avoid drinking alcohol, beer and wine since it can cause a headache during a cluster period.

Prevention of cluster headaches

  • Avoiding alcohol during the period when headaches happen since it can cause an attack. Refraining from alcohol during this period will help minimize the number of headaches.
  • The person should avoid inhaling nitroglycerine since this treatment will cause the blood vessels to dilate or enlarge, thus causing a cluster headache.
  • Avoid doing exercise in hot weather since it can cause a cluster headache. People suffering from this condition should avoid these activities under hot weather condition since it can cause the body temperature to rise very fast.
  • Avoid smoking to help minimize cluster headache from happening.

Blood Pressure Basics – Your Numbers and Readings

August 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Aris Eff in Being Prepared | Circulatory Emergency - (Comments Off on Blood Pressure Basics – Your Numbers and Readings)

Understanding an individual’s blood pressure readings might seem complicated at a first glance, but it’s not. All you need to do is to familiarize what the upper and lower number means what these two indicate. By understanding what these readings mean, you can identify if a person is having a low or high blood pressure, as well as if a person’s blood pressure is within the healthy range or not.

What Does The Top Number Indicate?

Systolic is the number located at the top of a blood pressure reading. Systolic number is created by the force of the blood pushed from the heart through the different parts of the body. The normal systolic number is 120 and below. When this number increases more than 120, the person is likely at risk of having different forms of hypertension – a systolic that reaches 121 to 139 means that the person has pre-hypertension; systolic reading of 140 to 159 is considered as stage I hypertension; and systolic of 160 and above is called as stage II hypertension.

What Does the Lower Number Indicate?

Diastolic is the number at the bottom of the reading. Diastolic pressure is created by the arterial pressure that happens when the heart is at rest in between beats. The normal diastolic pressure is 80 and below. If the systolic reaches 81 to 89, it is considered pre-hypertension, but if it goes beyond 89, it is already considered as high blood pressure or hypertension.

Should you worry if your blood pressure reaches pre-hypertension?

Pre-hypertension, or the systolic between 121 and 139 and diastolic between 81 and 89, is a red flag for high blood pressure or hypertension. Although pre-hypertension is not technically a high blood pressure, if you are not going to maintain a healthy lifestyle, you are likely to end up having high blood pressure eventually. Basically, pre-hypertension should serve as a warning sign that you should start taking up healthy lifestyle changes, including diet and exercise.

If your blood pressure is normal, however, it does not mean that you should not engage in healthy lifestyle. As a matter of fact, adopting to or maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a must for adults, because it can likely delay or prevent the onset of hypertension, as well as other health problems related to high blood pressure, such as diabetes and kidney diseases.

Related Video on Blood Pressure Reading:

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COgaOg5IxDY”]

Sources:

“Blood Pressure Chart.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved online on August 14, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/in-depth/blood-pressure/art-20050982

“Understanding Blood Pressure Readings.” American Heart Association. Retrieved online on August 14, 2014 from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/AboutHighBloodPressure/Understanding-Blood-Pressure-Readings_UCM_301764_Article.jsp

Common Types of Skin Rashes

August 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Aris Eff in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Common Types of Skin Rashes)

What You Should Know About Skin Rashes

A skin rash is not a medical diagnosis. It is rather a term used to identify the outbreak or development of discoloration and inflammation on the skin, changing the skin’s overall appearance. There are a wide range of rashes – some are infectious, some can cause fever, and some may last shorter than the others.

Listed below are some of the most common forms of skin rashes:

  • Atopic dermatitis – Often called as eczema, atopic dermatitis is a skin rash usually developed during childhood. It produces most and itchy rashes on skin folds, such as the neck, ankles, wrists, on the inner portions of the elbows, and at the back of the knee. Children who have allergies and asthma are more susceptible to developing atopic dermatitis.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis – Unlike atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis is more common among adults. This rash produces itchy and scaly lesions on the scalp, cheeks, eyebrows, forehead and outer ear. Exposure to sunlight is one cause of seborrheic dermatitis.
  • Contact dermatitis – This kind of rash usually develop when exposed to certain objects with chemical contents to which the patient is allergic. Contact dermatitis irritates the part of the skin that had been exposed or had come in direct contact with the object. The characteristic of the rash is oozy, moist, reddish and usually itchy.
  • Psoriasis – This rash is caused by infection and produces dry and scaly bumps, unlike the different kinds of dermatitis that are moist and oozy. The dry scale usually become flake in the long run until it falls off. Common areas affected by psoriasis include the knees, elbows, scalp and feet.
  • Diaper rash – another common type of rash among infants is the diaper rash. This develops when the sensitive skin of the baby is in contact with diapers (filled with feces or urine) for a long period of time. The swelling and reddish rash is painful and warm to touch. The older adult population may also be susceptible to diaper rash if they are wearing adult diapers for long periods.
  • Heat rash – Heat rash produces skin eruptions that are swollen, reddish, painful and warm to touch. This usually happens when the person is exposed to extremely hot temperatures or direct sunlight. Common sites of heat rash are the upper chest, around the neck, elbow skin folds, and groins. As a preventive measure, the person is usually removed from a hot environment to a cooler place.

Related Video on Skin Rashes:

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWmLViB-dIo”]

Sources:

“Psoriasis Self-Care.” My Doctor. Retrieved online on August 18, 2014 from http://www.mydr.com.au/pharmacy-care/psoriasis-self-care

“How are common skin rash diagnosed?” Medicine Net. Retrieved online on August 18, 2014 from http://www.medicinenet.com/rash/page2.htm

What Is Frost Bite And How Do You Treat It?

August 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Aris Eff in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on What Is Frost Bite And How Do You Treat It?)

How Does Frostbite Occur?

Frostbite happens when the tissues in the body freeze, because of the contraction of blood vessels which reduce the flow of oxygen and blood to and from the different parts of the body. This condition usually happens when a person is exposed to extreme cold, making the underlying tissues and skin freeze. The commonly affected areas of frostbite are the ones that are usually exposed to direct cold temperature, such as the hands, ears, nose and even feet.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms of Frostbite?

If, for instance, you have been exposed to cold temperature for a long period of time and you notice that your skin changes color into yellowish-gray, very cold to touch, and has a waxy and hard surface, you may be having a frostbite. As frostbite becomes severe, there may be a numbing, itching or burning sensation on the affected part. In the long run, the frostbitten skin will harden and become blistered. When the frostbite finally thaws, the skin becomes painful, red and inflamed. In some cases of frostbite, however, the blood flow can be permanently cut, damaging not only the skin, but also the muscles, blood vessels, nerves and bones.  This can result in permanent tissue death and the affected site may be amputated accordingly.

Frostbite First Aid Tips

It is very important to assess the degree of frostbite to be able to determine the kind of first aid to be given.

If symptoms of frostbite are noticed during its early stage, it can easily be treated by gradually warming the affected area.

Frostbite can also be prevented by wearing thick clothing, gloves, as well as head and ear protection when going outdoors during extremely cold weather. Protection is the key to preventing frostbite from advancing further – never touch cold objects against the frostbitten skin.  Stay indoors if possible, especially if you notice that some parts of your skin have frostbites.

On the other hand, if the frostbite is severe it is necessary to call emergency assistance as soon as possible. If the victim is wet, remove clothes and replace with dry ones. Although it is important to gradually warm the victim, it is not advisable to place the frostbitten part in direct heat or hot water, as it can cause further injuries or burns even if the skin feels numb.

Avoid further damage to the tissues by reducing mobility. Do not walk if the feet or toes are frostbitten. If the digits (fingers and toes) are frostbitten, keep the skin separated from each other by placing clean, dry cloth in between them.

Related Video on Frostbite First Aid:

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZ85WHTIAl4″]

Sources:

“Stages of Frostbite.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved online on August 17, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/frostbite/multimedia/stages-frostbite/flh-20078312

“Frostbite: First Aid.” Mayo Clinic. Retrieved online on August 17, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-frostbite/basics/art-20056653

Treating ringworm

August 13th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Treating ringworm)

Ringworm is a condition of the skin that is characterized by the development of swollen, raised circle or oval-like patches with a presence of a ring. Ringworm is caused by fungal infection of the skin that usually occurs in the scalp, groins, hands or feet. This infection can happen in both children and adults.

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Ringworm is caused by dermatophytes and is also known as tinea. An individual can have an infection by direct contact with an infected person. A person can also have an infection from infected animals, from soil or formites. These fungi can cause swelling of the skin that result in the formation of a ring on the skin.

Ring worm can also found in other parts of the body like tinea barbae – ringworm found in the beard area, tinea cruris – ringworm found in the groin, perineum and the perineal areas, tinea pedis – ringworm in the feet, tinea manuum – ringworm in the hands, and tinea ungums – ringworm in the nails.

Ringworm

Ringworm is caused by fungal infection of the skin that usually occurs in the scalp, groins, hands or feet.

Symptoms of ringworm

Ring worm of the scalp known as tinea capitis are commonly found in school children. It is characterized by circular patches of hair loss on the scalp that is not associated with inflammation of the scalp. A dandruff formation can be a sign of tinea capitis. Adults and children living in warm and humid temperatures are most susceptible to tinea corporis known as ringworm of the body. This kind of ringworm affects only the skin excluding the scalp, hairy area, hands and the groin. The characteristic of this ringworm is the raised reddish rings on the skin that are asymptomatic and are spreading rapidly. They maybe sometimes infected by a bacteria that can cause a formation of a pus filled eruptions.

Treatment of ringworm

Ringworm infections are treated with antifungal agents in the form of tablets or skin cream or lotions. Commonly used fungal medications are griseofulvin, terbinafine, itraconazole and fluconazole. Anti-fungal creams and lotion are only applied for mild cases of ringworm, use tablet if there is a moderate to severe ringworm infections. If you want to learn more about treating ringworm, click here.

Ringworms can also be treated vinegar, garlic, ginger, lemon and iodine, salt, and even Vicks Vaporub to minimize itching.

Raw papaya can also be used in treating ringworm. Slice the fruit and rub on the ringworm rashes. Another way is making a paste separately from mustard seeds, butea seeds or cassia leaves. They are rubbed on the infected areas.

Prevention

  • Avoid direct contact with the infected adults and children.
  • Avoid sharing of personal belongings with the infected person
  • Early identification of symptoms and treatment to prevent spreading and complications.
  • Stay in dry places and avoid from becoming overheated since these are the best places for breeding of the fungal infections
  • Avoiding animals that are infected. Make sure the household pets are treated immediately if they show symptoms of ringworm infections, and not passing it to other members of the household.

How to treat sore throat

August 13th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat sore throat)

A sore throat can be very painful and annoying. Most cases of sore throats are caused by minor illnesses. Sore throats are also known as pharyngitis and are caused by virus and bacteria, substances like alcohol, tobacco and some pollutants. A mild sore throat is slightly painful when swallowing and an appearance of red and irritated throat. A person suffering from sore throat has a low grade fever.

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Some conditions that can cause sore throat

Viral illness

  • Common cold – the most common type of viral infection
  • Laryngitis – the infection of the voice box
  • Mumps and influenza
  • Mononucleosis – known as “the kissing disease” which is an infection that causes persistent sore throat

Bacterial infections

Sore throat

Seek medical help if the person developed difficulty in breathing and there is pain, the person has inability drinking fluids, a rash and fever develops.

  • Tonsillitis – an inflammation or infection of the tonsils and sometimes adenoiditis is the inflammation of the adenoids
  • Strep throat – does not happen with congestion or a cough
  • Peritonsillar abscess – the infection of tissues around the tonsils
  • Uvulitis – inflammation of the uvula
  • Epiglottitis – inflammation of the epiglottis
  • In some rare cases gonorrhoea or chlamydia if engaged in a high-risk sexual behavior.

Cases of sore throats that last more than a week are caused by irritants and injuries such as the following:

  • Irritations from low humidity, air pollution, smoking, yelling or post nasal drip
  • People who have allergies and breathing through the mouth or a stuffy nose.
  • An injury at the back of the throat like a cut or a puncture
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome – it is a condition that causes extreme tiredness.

Treatment of sore throat

The following first aid measures can help relieve the discomfort caused by sore throat. By enrolling in a first aid course today, you will learn how to effectively manage this condition.

  1. Gargle with warm water to reduce the swelling and relieving discomfort at least once every hour with 1 tsp. of salt dissolved in 8 oz. of warm water. Gargle often if the person is having post nasal drip to prevent irritations.
  2. Prevent dehydration by drinking hot fluids like tea or soup and it also helps minimize throat irritation.
  3. Put a vaporizer or humidifier in the bedroom to make the person feel more comfortable. It also relieves hoarseness and do not make the room become very damp and uncomfortably cold.
  4. If a humidifier is not available, use a shallow pan of water to provide moisture by evaporation. Place the pan in a safe place to prevent accidents to other people.
  5. Avoid smoking or using tobacco products and avoiding any source of second hand smoke.
  6. Seek medical help if the person developed difficulty in breathing and there is pain, the person has inability drinking fluids, a rash and fever develops. The symptoms that last more than 2 weeks or becoming more severe would also require medical attention.

Prevention

  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
  • Washing of hands often, especially in contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoiding irritants like smoke, fumes or yelling that causes a sore throat.
  • Avoiding smoking or using tobacco products and avoiding exposure to second hand smoke.
  • Minimize sharing of eating or drinking utensils to prevent spreading of the virus to other people.

 

Fire Safety Tips – What is “Stop, Drop and Roll?”

August 4th, 2014 | Posted by Aris Eff in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Fire Safety Tips – What is “Stop, Drop and Roll?”)

Background of the “Stop, Drop and Roll”

As part of the practical fire safety prevention, the term “stop, drop and roll” became one of the most commonly taught fire safety procedures taught to industrial workers, household, and children at school. But most importantly, this is also a major component health and safety technique taught to emergency service personnel.

The main goal of the Stop, Drop and Roll is to extinguish a fire off of an individual’s hair or clothes without the use of some traditional firefighting equipment like fire extinguisher. It is considered as a psychological tool when effectively utilized, because it could help increase awareness of the people on how to properly extinguish fire during emergency situations, thereby, decreasing panics that could disorient a person and make him/her more prone to injuries or burns. This is particularly helpful for children at school and for industrial workers working at hazardous factories.

How is the “Stop, Drop and Roll” performed?

From the title itself, this technique is performed in three steps.

  • Stop – First, the victim needs to stop. Staying still and avoiding any movements can help avoid flames from further scattering on the affected part of the body. It could also help any nearby standers put the fire out more easily.
  • Drop – If in case there are no bystanders around, the victim must drop on the ground. The best position is to lie down the ground, covering the face and upper bodies to avoid possible facial burns or injuries.
  • Roll – the final procedure is to roll on the surface in order to extinguish the fire. The rationale for doing this is for the fire to become deprived of oxygen, making it easier to put out. If in case the victim is nearby a cloth, rug or other things that could be used to cover the fire-affected part of the body, they can cover themselves with it while rolling for faster results.

Additional helpful firefighting tips:

  • The effectiveness of the Stop, Drop and Roll procedure could be further enhanced if it is combined with other firefighting techniques, such as using a fire extinguisher, placing a damp cloth on the site of the fire, or patting the fire with any materials.
  • Remember that the burnt clothes can still cause injuries to the skin, so it is recommended to remove burnt clothes before they do additional damage to the body.
  • If in case the burn has injured the skin or any other part of the body, it is necessary to call for emergency assistance as soon as possible.

 

Performing this simple technique can help save someone’s life. Learn more important life-saving techniques by enrolling in a first aid course. Check this site for more information.

Related Video about Stop Drop and Roll:

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHhKoQm6x40″]

 

Sources:

“Stop Drop and Roll.” About.com First Aid. Retrieved online on July 29, 2014 from http://firstaid.about.com/od/softtissueinjuries/qt/08_StopDropRoll.htm

“Know when to Stop Drop and Roll.” National Fire Protection Association. Retrieved online on July 29, 2014 from http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information/for-public-educators/education-programs/learn-not-to-burn/learn-not-to-burn-grade-1/know-when-to-stop-drop-and-roll

 

How to treat eczema

July 30th, 2014 | Posted by corinne grace in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on How to treat eczema)

Eczema is a skin condition that results to the development of dense, flaking red patches on the skin and severe itching. It can affect individuals of all ages as well as babies. Some people with eczema are lucky that their condition vanishes once they reach maturity, but others have it all their lives. Eczema can be treated with changes in the lifestyles and applying topical creams. As a common skin disorder, you should learn how to provide the appropriate first aid measures if eczema is suspected.

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KmJUbvxYK0″]

Treatment for eczema

  • Keep the skin moisturized, even if there are no flare-ups. Use unscented soap and lotion every time when taking a bath. This helps in protecting the skin from irritants and itchiness as well as reduces discomfort.
  • There are foods that should be avoided such as nuts, cow’s milk or fish. Most cases of eczema are aggravated by using strong soaps that strips the moisture of the skin, also the perfumes in cosmetics, detergents and soaps. Other cases that trigger eczema are pet dander or dust mites.
  • Use the prescribed medicated creams if over-the-counter cream is not effective. Some creams for eczema contains corticosteroids, and some new creams contains pimecrolimus or tacrolimus that are good for eczema when steroids do not work or causing bad side effects.
  • If the person who has eczema has difficulty sleeping because of the itchiness, take antihistamines. They are used during severe flare-ups of eczema to help individuals enjoy better sleep and prevent them from infecting the eczema patches with their uncontrollable scratching.
  • If eczema is very severe, use oral steroid under a doctor’ supervision. Oral steroids suppress a serious inflammation.
  • Take immunosuppressant drugs if the eczema does not respond to steroids or changes in lifestyles. The doctor will monitor the patient while using these drugs since it can cause colds, infections and some types of cancer.
Eczema

Eczema is a skin condition that results to the development of dense, flaking red patches on the skin and severe itching.

Eczema can also be treated using sea salt

Using sea salt for skin treatments helps to exfoliate dead skin cells and restores damaged skin. Sea salt helps reduce pain, inflammation, improves circulation and cell regeneration as well as hydrates the tissues.

  • Choose a high quality, unrefined sea salt since it contains the greatest amount of minerals. They can be very expensive, just buy in bulk to save money. A large grain sea salt is good for external use and can be grounded for cooking and seasoning.
  • Make a sea salt scrub to minimize the symptoms of eczema and for exfoliation of dead skin cells. Ingredients for healing sea salt scrub include 4 tbsp. large grain sea salt, 1 tbsp. ground bay leaf, 2 tbsp. sweet almond oil and 10 drops of lavender essential oil. Mix all the ingredients and keep in a jar with a tight fitting cover. Massage the scrub into problems areas and rinsing them with warm water.
  • In a warm bath tub add 1 to 2 cups of sea salt, and soak to help minimize eczema symptoms.  It removes dirt and oils from the skin, then add 15 to 20 drops of lavender essential oils to the tub to add more soothing effects on the eczema.
  • Treat open wounds caused by eczema by mixing ½ tsp. of sea salt with 1 cup warm water.  Soak a clean cloth in the solution and place it over the irritated skin for 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure three or four times every day.

Understanding Low Density Lipoproteins – The “Bad” Cholesterols

July 23rd, 2014 | Posted by Aris Eff in Being Prepared - (Comments Off on Understanding Low Density Lipoproteins – The “Bad” Cholesterols)

What are LDLs and HDLs?

There are essentially two types of cholesterols, the high density lipoproteins (HDLs) and the low density lipoproteins (LDLs). HDLs are considered as the “good” cholesterol because it helps in the removal of LDLs to and from the arteries and back to the liver where they are dissolved. LDLs, on the other hand, are the “bad” cholesterols in the body, because they help in the formation of plaque in the arteries. These plaque causes thickening and hardening of the arterial walls that could decrease the blood flow to and from the heart. The bad thing is, this is a contributing risk factor for developing heart diseases in the long run.

Knowing your cholesterol level is important

When there is too much of the bad cholesterol in the blood streams, it does not likely cause any symptoms. This is the main reason why many people do not know that they already have high cholesterol. It is necessary to know what your cholesterol levels are, so you can likely reduce the devastating long-term effects it could have on your health. Take note that lowering cholesterol level is the first line of defense against the development of cardiovascular diseases and mortality.

How can I know my cholesterol level?

By conducting a blood cholesterol test once every five years, you could have an idea about your cholesterol levels. These tests could either be LDL specific or the total number of LDL and HDLs in the blood. Here are some of the important things to know about cholesterol tests:

Overall cholesterol level                                Risk

  • Less than 190 mg/dl                                 low
  • Between 190 and 200                              borderline
  • Above 200 mg/dl                                      high

LDL specific cholesterol level                         Risk

  • Below 100 mg/dl                                      Desirable
  • 100 to 129                                                Above normal
  • 130 to 159                                                Borderline
  • 160 to 189                                                High risk
  • Above 190                                                Very high risk

What can I do to lower my blood cholesterol level?

If in case you have already have your cholesterol checked and you found out that you’re within the high and very high risk limits, there are some things you can do to lower your cholesterol level; that is, diet and lifestyle modification.

Foods that contain saturated fat, too much cholesterol and salt can contribute to increased cholesterol levels. So you have to avoid them as much as possible. Eat foods that are high in fiber and low in fat, instead. Also, having a sedentary lifestyle also contributes to heart diseases, so engaging in physical activities like exercise and sports can help bring your cholesterol level down.

Remember that awareness is the most important thing you can have in order to prevent heart diseases from developing – knowing the basic information about your cholesterol is a must. Read more about some useful tips from our site and increase your health knowledge and awareness.

Related Video on Cholesterols:

 [su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hywkOIHEjk”]

Sources:

“High blood cholesterol: What you need to know.” National Cholesterol Education Program. Retrieved online on July 23, 2014 from http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/chol/wyntk.htm

“Cholesterol & Triglycerides Health Center.” WebMD. Retrieved online on July 23, 2014 from http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/ldl-cholesterol-the-bad-cholesterol