Most Common Types of Allergies

Those who suffer from allergies may also suffer to varying degrees – quite a few need to take some kind of medication for it. In the United States for example, allergies such as rhinitis (inflammation of the nose) tend to affect 40 to 50 million people.

Food Allergies
Food allergies are probably one of the most common and are often the first that many people will think of. Sufferers tend to be allergic to a wide range of foods, and the intolerances themselves can be quite specific. Celiac disease, for example, is an intolerance to gluten. However, this is also another rarer allergy in which a person will be allergic to most processed cereals – meaning that they are unable to eat bread, wheat, oats or anything else that has been processed by modern agricultural farming methods.

Allergies to Grass and Pollen
Grass pollen also tends to be quite a common allergen for a lot of people and the symptoms of this will usually manifest during the summer time. Those with a grass allergy will often try to avoid places where there is a lot of grass, which can sometimes have a serious impact on a person’s quality of life depending on what kind of outdoor activities they do. In cases like this, certain types of medication will be taken.

The most well-known symptom of a grass or pollen allergy tends to be rhinitis when the nose gets inflamed and starts to cause a significant build-up of mucus. While this can be a nuisance in many cases, some people find that symptoms can get so bad that they end up being unable to work, go to school or even sleep.

Skin Allergies
Skin allergies can be quite varied as well. The most common symptom tends to be a hives and eczema, which can have a range of different causes. Eczema, for example, is often caused by contact with specific substances such as perfumes or latex. Other conditions may also be present which can exacerbate it, such as to have particularly dry skin.

What To Do If You Suspect You May Have An Allergy
If you feel that you may have allergic reactions to certain materials or substances, then it is best to first of all try and stop using them and see if there is any improvement. However, the best thing to do is speak to your doctor and try to get an appointment with an allergy specialist. If you suspect you have a skin condition, an appointment with a dermatologist is also a good idea.

Food Allergies Are Curable

Allergic reactions have been escalating in recent years, especially among children. When curing allergies, it is essential to understand their causes. There are many known factors that lead to reoccurring allergic reactions such as underlying infections, genetic predisposition, emotional trauma, a weak immune system, a yeast infection, and parasites.

Allergies can be of different types. Environmental allergies, for example, include pollen, ragweed, mold, and other elements found in the environment. People are also allergic to pets and medications. Food allergies can range from lactose intolerance and gluten sensitivity (often reactions to hormones and antibiotics in milk or pesticides contained within wheat), to known foods such as shellfish and peanuts.

If it seems to you that food allergies have a high profile, you are not mistaken. Supermarkets, restaurant chains, and websites offer a variety of allergen-free products. There is even a law that requires that potential allergens be listed on food labels. Schools are especially affected, as they have to accommodate the specific needs of highly allergic children and prevent the potentially serious health threat exposure to certain allergens can precipitate. Having an epi-pen on hand at schools is now required, in case of an anaphylactic occurrence. The tripling cost of epi-pens has distressed parents across the country.

There is no group in the population that is more affected then the youngest amongst us. Recently, there has been a 400% increase in the incidence of food allergies, stated in the book Unhealthy Truth. Private insurance claim lines with diagnoses of anaphylactic food reactions rose 377 percent from 2007 to 2016. Allergies are the 5th largest category of diseases. Author Robyn O’Brien states, “food allergies are not a niche, it is a growing epidemic that is challenging how we think about our food and how it is made. Genetic factors don’t change this quickly, environmental factors do. Are we allergic to food or to what’s been done to it?”

The Journal of the American Medical Association states that the costs of food allergies, from medical care to food to pharmaceuticals is $4,184 per child per year, costing our economy $25 billion, including lost productivity. Emergency room visits due to food allergies are estimated at 40,000 a year and account for at least 300 deaths annually. This statistic doesn’t not include the convenient neighborhood Urgent Care centers.

Many children who suffer from food allergies sometimes present a variety of different symptoms that are often misdiagnosed and mistreated. This can lead to repeated unnecessary rounds of antibiotics and even surgery that do not resolve the underlying issue, which is an allergy. I’ve seen many children with a mold allergy be diagnosed with asthma. This often leads to unlimited use of inhalers and medications. While any item can cause an allergic response, the main food culprits are milk, wheat-gluten, peanuts, shellfish, soy, and eggs. Typical symptoms include breathing difficulty or wheezing, recurring infections, nasal congestion, swelling, nausea, and pain. When you see a child having an allergic reaction, is gasping for air, and you feel helpless to stop it, then you understand the seriousness of allergy.

If you experience symptoms that do not have an explanation, chances are that you might be reacting to a food in a delayed matter. Often the pain symptoms don’t appear until the next day! Food allergies can have serious consequences. They can co-create autoimmune problems and chronic conditions such as eczema, ADHD, asthma, as well as digestive system damage. There are over seventy auto-immune diseases and gluten in wheat is linked to everyone.

Currently, there are no medications or shots that address food allergies. The official prescription requires that the patient avoid the intake of the food item, usually for the rest of his or her life. This can be extremely difficult.

I utilize a holistic technique that works to effectively eliminate food allergies. I have successfully used this technique for over twenty years in treating infants, toddlers, children, adults, and seniors. My natural approach to allergy elimination is safe, gentle, and most importantly it works.

Understanding the Top 8 Food Allergies

Food allergies have become an important topic in recent years for a multitude of reasons. Their incidence has been on the rise, affecting 30% of adults and 40% of children. People can be allergic to just about anything but there are 8 allergens which are most common.

What is an allergy?

When your body is exposed to an irritant (known as an allergen), such as pollen, it launches an attack against it. Most of the time when this happens, we don’t even notice it. Sometimes, if there’s an overabundance of the allergen or your body is especially sensitive to it, this immune response shifts into overdrive. Your eyes water, your nosy gets stuffy, or you break out in an itchy rash. Some allergens cause life-threatening reactions, such as anaphylaxis, which leads to a sudden drop in blood pressure and a narrowing of breathing airways.

Foods can also act as allergens. When someone is allergic to a food, they can’t eat it at all. Some allergies are so severe that people can’t even be near the irritant, as breathing it in or touching it could cause anaphylaxis. An allergy is different than a food sensitivity or intolerance. Intolerances, such as the inability to digest milk (lactose intolerance) are not typically life-threatening, although they will cause discomfort, such as bloating and diarrhea, if ingested.

The Big 8

The Big 8 are the cause of 90% of recorded allergies and labeling is required by the FDA to warn consumers of their presence or possible presence in foods.

1. Peanuts: Peanuts are actually legumes, which as a group are responsible for a large number of allergic reactions. People allergic to peanuts are not likely to be allergic to other legumes, such as lentils. Children are more likely to develop a peanut allergy if they already have an egg allergy.

2. Shellfish: Shellfish can also cause severe allergic reactions. Crustaceans (shrimp, lobster, crabs) are the most common, although some allergic reaction may occur with mollusks (clams, mussels, oysters). Shrimp is considered the most allergenic.

3. Fish: Pollock, salmon, cod, tuna, mackerel, and snapper are among the fish which commonly trigger fish allergies. The allergen in this group is the fish muscle protein parvalbumin. These allergies are often developed during adulthood and are less likely to be outgrown.

4. Milk: Milk allergy is the most common allergy in infants and young children. A milk allergy causes an immune response to the proteins in milk. All milks, including those from cows, goats, and sheep can pose a problem. Most children outgrow their milk allergy.

5. Eggs: Also common in children, both the yolk and the whites of eggs can trigger a reaction, but in some cases the egg yolk is less allergenic. Eggs are not only used in foods, but also in skincare products and cosmetics which contain eggs. Most children will outgrow their egg allergy.

6. Soy: Also in the legume family, soy is an allergy that kids are likely to outgrow. Here in the United States, soy is most often found in processed foods, either as soybean oil or soy protein isolate. People with soy allergies may be able to have soy lecithin without issue.

7. Wheat: Wheat allergies are fairly common and typically resolve during childhood. A wheat allergy is different than Celiac disease, where gluten causes the inflammatory reaction. Celiac disease launches a different immune response than other allergens. Actual wheat allergies are uncommon in adults.

8. Tree nuts: One of the most potent and common allergens, tree nut allergies affect 1.1% of the world’s population. Those affected by the tree nut allergy should avoid macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, chestnuts, hazelnuts, and pine nuts. The reactions associated with tree nuts are often severe, with walnuts and cashews causing the most reactions. At least 90% of children that have a tree nut allergy will not outgrow it.

In Conclusion

Accuracy in food labeling is critical for people with allergies, but it’s not as easy to be sure when dining out. Don’t be afraid to ask your server or the chef what’s in the dishes, including any allergens the foods may have come in contact with. It’s in your best interest to enjoy your meal safely!

Knee Replacement Cost Guide

Knee replacement surgery has become quite common and more affordable in the last few years. It is now considered as a safe option for people with severe osteoarthritis of the knee joint. This is especially a boon for patients who have end-stage arthritis of the knee.

The constant increase in the number of patients undergoing knee surgery surgery can be attributed to a number of reasons, including the following:

Increased affordability: Now a greater number of patients prefer to opt for knee replacement surgery because the cost of implants has decreased significantly in the recent past.

Range of implants available: Thanks to advancements in medical technology, there are a number of knee implants available today to fulfill the individual needs of the patients. From implants with 180 and 360 degrees motion to 3D-printed knee implants, there is nothing that isn’t available to benefit patients with different severity of osteoarthritis.

Improved surgical outcomes: Open knee replacement is a thing of the past. Now, several new technologies are available that offer greater benefits and ensures positive outcomes. Thanks to minimally invasive technology, surgery is not that painful anymore. Nor does it take weeks of hospitalization for the patient to recover.

But still, the cost of knee surgery in the Western countries continues to remain on the higher side. For patients in such countries who wish to undergo affordable knee surgery, flying to the top medical tourism destination is an option. Some of these medical tourism hotspots for knee replacement include India, Thailand, and Turkey.

The Average Cost of Knee Replacement: Top Countries

The average cost of knee surgery in the Western countries may start from $30000. Further, it is seen that the cost of knee replacement surgery varies not only from country to country but within a country or a city as well. This is especially true about the US.

For example, the knee surgery cost in Dallas, US, may vary between $16,772 and $61,585, depending on the hospital. Paying a higher price for a procedure does not necessarily mean that the quality that the hospital offers to the patient is any better than the hospital that is less expensive.

There are several factors that can be attributed to the disparity between the pricing of the same procedure within the same city. Competition, state taxes, location, and the level of free care provided by the hospital are some of them.

The cost of knee replacement in India, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand, and Taiwan, on the other hand, is much more reasonable than in the Western countries. The cost drops by as much as 50 to 80 percent in these countries. This explains the patient mindset when they decide to travel to the overseas to get knee implants.

Type, Material, and Manufacturer of Implant

There are different types and material of knee implants available today to choose from. Each implant has a specific purpose and is most suitable for a specific patient group. For example, older adults can manage everyday activities with an implant that allows flexion of 110 degrees. However, younger adults may need a high-flex knee implant because of an excessive activity level.

Cobalt chromium alloy, titanium alloy, oxidized zirconium, and polyethylene implants are commonly available nowadays. Each implant material has specific pros and cons associated with them. They vary in terms of pricing, use, availability, and longevity.

Type of Surgery

An individual is either recommended to undergo (TKR) or partial knee replacement. The difference lies in the portion of the knee joint replaced during the procedure. The duration of hospitalization and the recovery period in the case of TKR is greater than that of partial replacement. Therefore, there is a direct impact on the total cost that the patient has to shell out of his pocket for the procedure.

Type of Hospital

Hospitals with the most advanced infrastructure and state-of-the-art technologies tend to charge higher than other hospitals. This is despite the fact that the experience and the qualifications of the surgeon handling the case could be the same. The cost also depends on the location of the hospital. Centrally-located and easily accessible hospitals are expensive than remotely located ones.

Experience of the Surgeon

The cost of knee surgery also depends on how experienced the surgeon is. Surgeons with vast experience are the most sought after. In fact, it has been scientifically proved that surgeons who perform more than 50 TKR a year have less than one-third complications rate as compared to those who perform less than 50 TKR per year.

Most patients prefer to be treated by a surgeon who is experienced. But there is an extra price that they must pay for it.

Rehabilitation Cost

Rehabilitation after surgery includes physiotherapy, which is conducted at an extra cost. The doctors usually advise the candidate to undergo physiotherapy for at least 6 to 12 weeks for better outcomes and pain relief. Each session of physical therapy may cost anywhere between $20 and $350, depending on the country where you are getting treated. Rehabilitation is an important aspect of recovery after knee replacement. Therefore, patients must take into consideration these expenses while planning for the surgery.

Incidental Costs

The patient may have to incur incidental costs in case of any complication. Additionally, the costs may increase when the duration of stay inside the ICU post surgery is extended. Like any other surgery, there are certain complications associated as well. Post-surgical infection delayed wound healing, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism are some of the examples. The management of such conditions has an impact on the overall cost.

Other Costs

Unanticipated care and management of a pre-existing condition may add to the total bill amount.
The greater the number of days you spend at the hospital, the bigger is the billing amount.
Cost of private or single accommodation is greater than shared or multi-bedded accommodation.
Follow-up visits after discharge from the hospital cost extra.
Loss of earning resulting out of hospital stay and impact of surgery may add to the financial burden.

Tips To Choose A Hospital Overseas For Knee Surgery

Choose the country wisely. Countries that offer cheaper treatment do not necessarily compromise with the quality of medical services.

Choose the surgeon wisely. Do not choose someone who is experienced but charges a whopping amount.

Choose a surgeon whose clinic is less crowded. Surgeons who are hugely popular tend to remain busy and spend less time per patient. This may hinder personalized care that you may desire to have.
Seek help from a hospital or a medical tourism facilitator to arrange for additional needs. This may include accommodation, local travel, translator services, and hospital transfer.
Check the credibility of the hospital online before selecting one. Look for patient testimonials and Google reviews.
Check the accreditation of the hospital. Prefer to choose a hospital that is certified by Joint Commission International (JCI).
Ask for all the information beforehand about the type of implants that will be used. Also, ask for a detailed profile of the surgeon who will conduct the surgery.
Seek an estimate for potential costs associated with airline tickets, hotel, food, and other expenses.

How to Make a Foot Spa

Your feet play a great role in helping you maintain a good posture. You may be wearing high heels or narrow shoes just to look good, but your feet suffer because of this habit. After walking or running, you may want to pamper your feet. And a good foot spa is a great way of achieving this purpose. A foot spa will relax your feet and make sure that they will stay in good shape. Follow the given tips to make your own foot spa.

Get a bowl of lukewarm water

In the bowl, you should put some oil of your choice and then mix it. If you want to revive your feet, peppermint oil is an ideal choice. On the other hand, lavender oil soothes them. Milk and almond soak can make your feet soft. Remember: to benefit from this treatment, we suggest that you clean your feet properly.

Soak your feet

Now, you should put your feet in the bowl for at least 5 minutes. But if you have put milk or almond oil in the bowl, make sure you soak your feet for 15 minutes.

Use a soft towel

Once you have soaked your feet, make sure you use a soft towel to dry them. Afterwards, you should remove dirt and then clip our toenails.

Massage your feet

You can make use of a cream or rich balm for this purpose. If the bottom of your feet doesn’t feel smooth, you can try a hand-held foot rubber that features a rough surface. Pay special attention to peeling areas, cracks and warts on your feet when doing the massage. If they are worse, make sure you get in touch with a doctor for treatment.

Use a body lotion

You can buy your favorite body lotion or moisturizer in order to use it on your feet. After you have used the lotion on your feet, they will smell sweet. Aside from this, they will be soft to the touch.

If you want to paint your toenails, you should remove the lotion with a good polish remover. Not doing so will make the lotion interfere with the nail polish.

Paint your toenails

Once you have followed the above steps, your last move is to paint your toenails. All you have to do is apply a nail polish. For a glossier finish, we suggest that you use a polish that will take a bit of time to dry.

After you applied the first coat of polish, you should apply another coat that will dry faster. We suggest that you wait for at least half an hour before you put on shoes with closed toes. This is necessary if you want to prevent the polish from peeling off. Lastly, make sure your feet are completely dry prior to doing any type of nail work.

The takeaway

So, if you have been looking to make your own foot spa, we suggest that you use this guide and follow the given steps. In a few minutes, you will have your own foot spa.

Healthy Fruits And Their Health Benefits

Health benefits of eating fruits are exceptional for perfect health. They are an excellent source of natural vitamins and minerals which are needed by your body for proper functioning. Nutritionists recommend inclusion of dietary fiber in your daily diets and fruits are the best source of gut-friendly fiber. It keeps your digestion and vent system work properly and protects from ailments like constipation, gastritis etc.

We know very well, the human body is knowledgeable construction and several disparate convoluted reactions takes place in every fraction of the moment. Today, everyone has a busy lifestyle due to that reason most of the people’s eating pattern become arranged with preservatives and processed foods, that are not only lacking imperative nutrients but can also responsible for the birth of noxious disease in the human body. When your body shows any health disorders or it falls ill, these kinds of concerns are recover or treated with a healthy diet which can be easily gained by eating various nutritious fruits.

Many fruits are also an excellent source of antioxidants. They help you fight free radicals which can protect you from many diseases. Many studies recommend that eating a diet rich in flavonoids can lower the risk of heart disease by a surprise 65 percent. Antioxidants may also help you improve the health and quality of your skin and hair.

Health benefits of fruits:

Fruits are absolutely cholesterol free

They are low in sodium and calories

Rich in potassium, Vitamin C, Folate

Dietary fiber in fruits helps reduce cholesterol and lowers risk of heart ailments

Fruits are also an excellent source of antioxidants

Our body digests fruits effortlessly and provides an instant supply of energy in the very short interval of time, it is considered a prime benefit of fruits that one can take advantage of busy schedules. Therefore, sports person, gymnastics, pregnant women and sick patients are mostly guided by doctors to add fruits to their balanced diet for the incessant supply of energy which required by the body in a natural manner.

Almost, every species of fruits have the spacious nutritional profile but you know, type and quantity of nutrients vary with the selection of different fruits in your diet. The nutrients in fruit are censorious for health and maintenance of your body. The potassium in fruit can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. Potassium may also decline the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss as you age.

The comfort of fruit for your hair health can be enjoyed through hair masks. Melon and banana hair masks are endorsed by many beauty professionals for hair care at home. You can also make a paste of lemon juice and aloe vera and apply it to your hair. Keep the paste on for approximately minutes and then exhaustively wash your hair with mild shampoo. These packs not only improve hair quality but also terminate scalp disorders like dandruff and itching.

Best way to consume fruits is to eat them raw and when they are ripe. Avoid cooking fruits as all the nutrients will be lost. Eating a diet rich in fruits may protect you from certain kinds of cancer. FODMAPs are found in dairy, wheat, garlic, onions, beans, some fruits, artificial sweeteners, and other foods. And some people simply aren’t able to digest them very well.

Why People Don’t Seek Mental Health Treatment

Because of the increase of school shootings across the United States, there is an ongoing debate regarding solutions. One of the most looked at causes behind mass shootings are the mental state of the shooters themselves. Most mass shooters have some things in common with each other.

1. Grew up in a fatherless home
2. Was on prescription psychotropic drugs
3. Had stressful events going on in their lives

For category #1, the solutions are obvious. We need to revamp the family law courts in way that there aren’t “winning” parents and “losing” parents. I speak about this topic in-depth in my published report sent to the U.N. titled, “Global Human Trafficking in The Family Law Courts”, which can be found on Amazon.

However, for the sake of this article, I want to focus on the mental health aspect. It is undeniable that our school systems and our healthcare systems are handing out psychotropic drugs like candy! Kids who aren’t paying attention in class are quickly prescribed Ritalin. Depressed teenagers are quickly give Prozac; the situation for adults isn’t much better.

Let’s look at modern rappers like, “Lil Xan”, “Future”, and the recently deceased 20 year old rapper, “Lil Peep”, who died from a Xanax pill laced with Fentanyl. The rapper was seen on Instagram frequently swallowing hand fulls of Xanax pills daily. His young fans who idolized him are most likely following suit.

According to the “business-insider” news site, the United States of America is the world’s leader in prescribing anti-depressant medication. According to one of its articles published, it was found that 12% of all Americans are on some type of drug used to treat mental illness.

There are pros and cons to these numbers. Take South Korea for example, a very developed nation, yet it is ranked #3 for suicides. In the Korean culture, seeing a doctor for depression is a social stigma that shows weakness, especially on part of a male. It isn’t surprising considering that 80% of all suicides in the world are attributed to men. Because mental illness is pretty much ignored in South Korea and among males in general due to society pressures to remain “stoic”, people are killing themselves left and right.

On the other hand, the United States, which is ranked between #30 – #40 (depending on the study), for suicides. So, there is some evidence that perhaps anti-depressant medications can work. Or is it merely cultural? Jamaica often ranks at the very bottom of the list for suicide rates despite being a poor country. Although the poor, the communities are very close knit, and their culture is very cheerful. Perhaps it’s because marijuana is legal to smoke in the country! Who knows!

But, I do know one thing; anti-depressants and other drugs used to treat mental illness carry many side-effects. “Suicidal Thoughts”, is often listed as one of the major side-effects of Prozac. Imagine that! A medication designed for suicidal people which may cause suicidal thoughts! There is no doubt that taking psychotropic drugs alters the brain chemistry, just like alcohol or any other intoxicant.

It is in my opinion that occupational therapy, talk therapy, and community interaction are among the best treatments for depression. However, yet again, there is a draw back to these types of therapies as well.

Anytime an American sees a counselor for depression, suicidal thoughts, or any mental health concern, they are then “logged” and “stereotyped”. Those who frequent a mental health counselor could have such activities used against them in a custody battle or those who seek to purchase a firearm.

Imagine you are battling depression, so you go see a counselor, only to have it used against you in the future. This is why many, myself included, fear the idea of seeing a mental health specialist during times of great stress. Once you visit these people, you are very “labeled” and will be “marked”. If you find yourself facing any future litigation, the courts can uncover your medical records whereas they will say,:

“Ahhh! You went to a mental health counselor several times for depression! You aren’t fit to own a gun or have custody of your kids!”.

In some cases, this may true, whereas in others, it could be an unfair stereotype. When people mentioned that they see a counselor or take anti-depressant medication, people will often sneer at you or perhaps take a step back. We associate mental health concerns with schizophrenia or severe manic depressive types. The fact is, we are all suffering with some form of mental illness.

If you are too happy, the doctors will say you are “manic”. If you are too grumpy, they will say you have “type A” personality. If you are too sad, they will say you are suffering from severe “Depression”. It is much like going to a mechanic. If you talk long enough, they will find something wrong with you!

The truth is simple. Visiting a mental health counselor could result in you losing rights to your child, to your firearms, and your reputation as a person. It is a sad truth. Under our current system, most people do not seek help for fear of being demonized.

The top ways we can prevent mass shootings is by encouraging a friendly community, surround yourself with loving people, do your best to be involved parents, seek natural therapies to mental health disorders over drugs if possible (Sports, work therapy, etc..). If you are hearing voices or are frequently attempting to complete your suicide, then you should certainly seek medical intention.

Requiring mental health screenings to purchase firearms sounds like a great idea until you realize that most don’t seek help so that they can purchase a firearm! Why not screen people’s health condition before they purchase alcohol, get a driver’s license, or board a plane? Mental health can make nearly any activity dangerous. Our country must stop looking for “quick” fixes and start looking at the true cause of our demise.

Our fast-food, sex-violence, entertainment, glorification of misunderstand anarchism. There is “freedom” and then there is “responsible” freedom. Make choices in life, however, make those choices in respect of how it will affect your society at large. Legislators cannot solve these issues. These issues are ones that will require families to step up, unite, and take back the reign of traditional values without going overboard.

A middle ground between progressive thought and traditional values must be balanced. We mustn’t be afraid to advance our society, but we must also not totally disregard traditional ways of living which have served our humanity for so long.

Lastly, we must encourage more anonymity within our mental health departments. Must like the “confessionals” at a Catholic church. If people can be anonymously treated without so much of a paper-trail to stigmatize them, I am sure that many more people would step forward and ask for help.

As a boxing coach, this job often requires me to be a counselor, talking with my students, building up their confidence. If you are depressed and need help, but do not trust or fear doctors, a great alternative in my opinion is to stay active in group settings. Building relationships are essential in combating mental illness. In poor countries, suicide rates are often low because their communities are so tight knit. They may be poor, but no one is as lonely as the isolated modern man who types away in his cold artificially lit office cubicle.

Depression – Can Pets Help Treat It?

People who are suffering from temporary or permanent depression may find solace in their pets. For centuries, some animals, mainly dogs, have been mankind’s best friends. Therefore, psychiatrists and psychologists suggest getting a pet to help relieve mental stress and reduce depression symptoms.

Whether it’s their sixth sense or the unconditional love they offer, pets can offer a great way to improve our mental well-being and avoid depression-like thoughts.

What Does Research Say?
There is significant scientific data to suggest that having a pet ensures that we remain compassionate and show empathy towards the needs of animals and, thus, have a similar outlook on life. The healing power of our pets, guarantees that people who may not have strong social support can find an easy way to keep their emotions stable.

Research findings suggest that senior adults who had pets as their companions showed minimal or no signs of depressions versus adults who lived alone. Studies also suggest that seniors with pets required minimal medical services and remain satisfied and positive through most part of their later years.

Pets gives a feeling of unconditional acceptance, affection, love and constant companionship. These emotions help develop a better sense of self and a reduction in negative emotions such as anxiety or depression.

Touching/petting your pet, taking care of its needs and interacting frequently with it also play a crucial role to boosting the oxytocin levels in the brain. According to a survey, roughly 74% of pet owners observed notable mental health improvements after acquiring a pet. Therapy animals and pets are great ways to tackle social isolation, loneliness and feelings of unworthiness.

Different Pets Have the Same Calming Effect
When looking for the best pet to help you overcome stress and depression, you can either choose a dog or a cat. Fish and birds work too since some people like to take care of a bird or a fish, depending on their lifestyle and emotional needs.

While dogs help you to stay socially active, cats are also ideal for reducing depression with their playfulness. Regardless of the animal you choose, the connection between you and your pet aids in reducing depression levels and helps allow you to live a normal life.

Owning a dog helps you interact with other dog owners. You also get a reason to step out of the house when you take your dog for a walk. This lets you be socially active and less withdrawn. The more you connect to the outside world, the less depressed you feel.

Moreover, petting your pet has the same calming effect as listening to soothing music or indulging in aromatherapy. Most people report that the softness of their cat’s fur results in a sudden drop of depression levels and has a dramatic effect on calming down the nerves.

All these emotions lead to better mental health and also help regulate good blood pressure levels and a well-maintained heart rate. Not only can you experience happiness in the presence of pets, you can also feel accountable and responsible which will help make your life feel more fulfilling.

Ways to Support Someone With Depression

Depression, an incapacitating and an isolating disorder, can jeopardize relationships, if not handled well. A person living with a depressed individual might feel neglected and deprived and in turn, adopt an indifferent approach. Sometimes, he or she may feel like walking on the eggshells because of the attitude and reaction of the depressed person. However, it is important to understand that with a little care and some effort, the relationship can be salvaged. Here are some steps that can be taken to extend support to a depressed person:

  • Trying to be there with them: Depression can get agonizing for the depressed individuals and their loved ones. Nonetheless, one can still provide support by holding hands, providing reassurance that everything will be alright through the eyes or by giving a gentle back rub. One can also say comforting words like, “You are not alone in this,” “We will find out a way together” or “You are so important to me.”
  • Trying small loving gestures: Some people are not very comfortable with emotional expressions. They can still extend their support by trying gestures like packing a lunch for the one who is depressed, leaving a care or a love note in the lunch box, sending them a text after regular intervals, helping them with the laundry, doing grocery shopping for or with them, accompanying them for a walk, etc.
  • Avoid judging or criticizing: It can be very tempting to tell a depressed person that he or she is overreacting or lacking a perspective; however, these words can puncture a person’s self-esteem. Thus, these must be avoided Depression is a serious mental disorder that can’t be won over with a change in outlook or by developing strong willpower. It is important that a friend or a loved one validates the feelings and emotions of the depressed person so that the latter can think of moving forward.
  • Paying attention to their self-care: Oftentimes, depressed people find it hard to pay attention to their self-care. They might not get out of bed the whole day, might skip meals, might not take shower for days, etc. This is the time when a friend or a loved one can pitch in and help them make their bed, eat some hot and nutritious meal, take a shower, and exercise and meditate.
  • Rewarding them instead of punishing: Threatening a depressed person by saying things like, “If you don’t take care of yourself, eat dinner, sleep on time, I’ll end this relationship,” is a merciless way of telling them that they are awful. Instead, one should use statements that are rewarding and encouraging at the same time like “Oh! You are up early, shall we go for a run?” or “Wow you cooked dinner, should I help with the dishes?”
  • Encouraging them to challenge their negative thought processes: Depressed people have serious negative thinking patterns. It is important for a friend or a loved one to help them question these thoughts empirically. For example, if they say, “I’m worthless,” or “I’m horrible,” one must ask them gently what makes them think like that and this discussion should be helpful in breaking the negative patterns.

Depression is curableDepression is treatable and one must never challenge the power of treatment. Even though the self-help and support systems can help in the symptom alleviation, none can be as helpful as therapy like cognitive behavioral therapy and medication. Therefore, one must help the depressed to seek treatment.

Ways to Become Healthy in 14 Days

Want to become a very healthy person? Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to becoming a very healthy person.

Healthy Diet

The most important factor in transforming the body is your diet. You will become what you want to be only when you eat what you ought to eat. Maintaining a poor fast food diet would make you gain fat and lose muscle mass. Follow a strict diet with a lot of fruits, skimmed milk, nuts, a lot of veggies, legumes, lentils, and limit your carbs.Avoid drinking alcohol and don’t smoke cigarettes. Drink lots of water throughout the day and control your urge for food with avocado juice and other fruits.

But first, you need Eggs. Yes! Eggs need additional care and importance on the topic. You have got to eat more eggs and workout a lot to reduce your fat level and increase your protein consumption. Eggs consist of all the nine amino acids for muscle growth (which burns fat more).Cut off your smoothie’s consumption and eat more eggs. White eggs are good for your body. Take that yolk out and use it as a hair product. Eggs give you a testosterone boost which helps you maintain an active lifestyle. As the old saying goes: you just need one hen and cow when asked to choose from a list of animals.

HIIT and Tabata

If you want to see visible results in a few days or few weeks’ time you should work very hard. Sweat is fat crying! And so, get to the gym! After active stretches, hit the treadmill and do a lot of fat burning, circuit training workouts after that. High Interval Intensity Training (HIIT) is the best way to improve metabolism. Burpees, jumping jacks, and high knees will be your best friends. Tabata is the ultimate level of HIIT workouts. Within 4 minutes, your whole body will get tired, and you’ll be gasping for breath.

Strength Training

If your aim is to lose weight as well as an increase in strength, then follow this pro-health tip: Start doing squats, deadlifts, overhead press, bench press, and rows. Your body will thank you for the hardcore workout sessions. Within 45 minutes, you’ll leave the gym but, the benefits these exercises bring to your body is phenomenal. The legendary 5*5 program will create a massive growth of healthy growth hormones. Invest in a pair of good weight training shoes and start killing fat in the rudest of ways ever known to humanity. The Milo of Croton is the best example of strength training.

Active Lifestyle

Sedentary office jobs and online markets have placed a high amount of risk to our body. We should get up and start thinking about the world, walking down the corridors of workplaces. Quit workstations for every one hour and drink more water. Never carry a bottle of water to your workplace. Always get up and take a few steps before quenching your thirst. Never sacrifice your time to do office work. Your body is walking to the grave, and you should delay the journey by all means.

After waking up, drink water and start doing yoga. Get to work. Get up from the seat every one hour. Eat a power packed lunch filled with veggies and scrambled egg whites. Get to your home. Wear your shoes and go to the gym. After a beautiful steaming session, eat your dinner and hit your boozy bed.

Sleep

You can’t get your desired physique by just eating good food and keeping your cortisol levels low. You should get proper sleep for the body to recover properly. Drink milk before bed to stop the intensity of catabolism. A lactose-allergic person can grab a pre-dinner snack and then go to sleep. Most of the people reading this piece will fall into the category of an endomorph (People who have low metabolism and accumulate fat easily). Adequate sleep is necessary to build quality muscles and low-fat levels. Sleep like a child for 7-8 hours and continue your fat burning sessions in the morning.

Life – The most beautiful of all

Remember to appreciate life and don’t be fooled by lame stories of people trying to shut you down. If you want something, you should go and get it. Set the alarm and wake up early in the morning to finish off cardio workouts, HIITs, and killer Tabata. Leave home early to go to the gym. Become confident after seeing your body in the mirror after a week. This arduous journey (if you think that way) shall take you to your fitness goals within six months.