Obstructive Sleep Apnea – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Obstructive sleep apnea is a dangerous disease that causes the sufferer to stop breathing in their sleep. It affects 100 million people worldwide, approximately 25% of the general population. It is common in both developed and developing worlds and prevalence is not much different across various regions of the world. It occurs when the throat muscles relax and block the airways. People who snore often suffer from this type of sleep apnea. Some people do not know they are suffering and fail to seek treatment. Once diagnosed, there are ways to treat this problem.

Causes and Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea causes the muscles in the throat to relax and makes breathing during sleeping difficult. When the brain becomes aware of the lack of oxygen, it causes the body to wake up the throat muscles, and the breathing can return to normal. This can reoccur during the night and cause serious sleep disruption. There are certain risk factors that make someone more prone to sleep apnea. They include:

  • Obesity- the strongest risk factor
  • Gender: It is common in males as compared to females.
    Mild OSA: Males 1 out of every 4, Females 1 out of every 10
    Moderate OSA:  Males 1 out of every 10, Females 1 out of every 20
  • Narrow airway
  • Nasal congestion
  • Asthma
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Genetics

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

The symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are not always easy to notice. Since many of them occur while the sufferer is asleep, it is often a spouse or partner who notices the symptoms. The classic symptoms include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Fatigue or Daytime Sleepiness
  • Periods during sleep without breathing
Other symptoms or associated diseases may include
  • High blood pressure
  • Dry mouth after sleeping
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Trouble concentrating and Irritability
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased sex drive

Screening and Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea

Diagnosis is first based on symptoms. If a doctor determines that a patient may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, he or she may order a sleep study and refer the patient to a sleep specialist. During a sleep study, the patient stays at the clinic or hospital all night and is hooked up to monitors. The monitors track heart rate, lung patterns, breathing patterns, and sleeping patterns. If sleep apnea is an obvious problem that the specialists can diagnose early in the sleep study, they may administer treatment and then monitor the patient’s reaction to determine the severity of the obstructive sleep apnea.


There are ways to treat sleep apnea, and in most cases, the causes of the disease determine the treatment. The most common ways obstructive sleep apnea is treated are:

  • Lifestyle Changes
    • Weight loss
    • Diet changes
    • Quit smoking
    • Nasal decongestant
    • Allergy medication
    • Change in sleeping positions
    • Drinking less alcohol
  • CPAP Machines – CPAP machines put positive pressure on the airways and help keep them open during the night. They must be worn by the sufferer every night and should not be stopped without talking to a doctor.
  • Surgeries
    • Surgical Removal of Tissue – Doctors can remove the skin in the throat and mouth to prevent it from blocking the airways when it is relaxed.
    • Airways Stimulator – A device is planted under the skin that monitors breathing patterns and stimulates the nerves in the tongue when the oxygen levels drop.
    • Jaw Surgery – Jaw surgery can help make the space between the palate and the tongue larger so that the tongue does not block the airway.
    • Surgical Opening in the Neck – This type of surgery is usually only used if the sleep apnea is severe and life-threatening. The surgeon performs a tracheostomy, which involves inserting a tube in the neck, so the patient can breathe even when the airways are blocked.
    • Implants – Doctors can place small strips in the palate that help hold the airways open, so they do not become blocked.


Obstructive sleep apnea can be dangerous if left untreated, but treatments give sufferers a good prognosis. In most cases, the sufferer will need to continue treatment throughout their lives to manage the disease. Calculate your risk by

If you’ve been having trouble sleeping, be sure to also read our article on how melatonin can help!

Telemedicine Impact: Homecare Gaining More Traction Than Ever

The telemedicine industry comes across as one of the most profitable sectors under the current circumstances. Here’s what the numbers say:

● From February 2020 to April 2020, telehealth bookings for office visits and outpatient care have increased by 78 times.
● In the coming years, $250 billion of US healthcare may be infused into virtual care, implying how seriously the government looks at this opportunity.

Two primary reasons are responsible for these numbers:

● it is wise to stay indoors and get medical help at home in a pandemic, and
● the process added considerable value—some people being referred to hospital facilities while some helped remotely is better than everybody rushing to the hospital for an introductory consultation.

Besides, telemedicine technologies also educate patients in the right way, unlike other freely available unmonitored online resources. The ones that diagnose even a seasonal runny nose as cancer, remember?

So, how did telemedicine become more penetrable? And, how did it shift the focus from hospitals and clinics to the home? Let’s discuss.

Feature #1: Telemedicine has given better treatment outcomes

An apparent reason behind a firm trust in hospital-based treatment is its high success rate. And, the treatment success owes to the availability of all resources and expertise to handle these resources simultaneously.

However, when telemedicine came into existence and bloomed, it became a means of increasing the success rate of treatment modes in general. It is one of the significant reasons why home care is emerging as the first choice for many.

Besides, real-time patient health monitoring is a key influencer in this respect. Let’s see how.

● by using telemedicine devices and prescribing biosensors, a practitioner can closely be in touch with their patients while giving a consultation remotely,
● they can establish a better diagnosis by examining all possible factors thoroughly,
● the treatment outcomes will be more accurate, and
● emergency room readmissions would also see a fall with regular telemedicine follow-ups.

Feature #2: Medical care is more accessible with telemedicine

For a large population of the world, especially those living in remote rural areas, medical care is not yet available at a scale as it should have been.

Even for the people living in cities, the long waiting queues at hospitals and the intimidating atmosphere of the setting is in itself a barrier. Such situations ultimately decrease the penetration and accessibility of medical facilities in any country.

With telemedicine gaining acceptance, anyone can seek advice from expert professionals remotely without visiting a hospital every time.

Telemedicine apps are about e-visits and help users track their parameters in real-time, completing the necessary groundwork for meaningful medical consultation.

Feature #3: Telemedicine is already saving a lot of money

According to a study, the monthly costs of a patient’s healthcare were reduced to $576 by telehealth options.

And Houston’s telehealth program managed to save $2468, which the healthcare system would otherwise spend on unnecessary emergency visits.

It’s challenging to seek elaborate medical assistance for many — “financial burden” would be the right word to say. It is because:

● using an emergency room or having forced readmissions only adds to the expenditures,

● the advice and consultation for emergency room admission are often uncalled for, and

● alternative modalities could help almost equally.

With telemedicine, you can get your case reviewed remotely with all necessary parameters tracked and displayed to the professionals. Ultimately, making a wise and informed decision becomes a good possibility.

Feature #4: Patient satisfaction is directly proportional to telehealth

In a medical condition or an emergency, you’d want to reach the doctor as soon as possible. You’d also want the appointment and treatment to be hassle-free.

No doubt, it is the kind of convenience everybody wants.

That’s where telemedicine improves patient engagement. It helps patients feel more confident and secure in a medical facility. You get to know the doctors, possible treatments, and aftercare before you step into anything significant.

Telemedicine apps are becoming more participative for patients too. Everything contributes to patients feeling more satisfied with treatments, so they no longer need to visit the clinics physically.

Feature #5: Telemedicine has decreased pathogen exposure

Big hospitals to small outpatient clinics—all health settings can witness the footfall of patients with highly infectious diseases.

Others visiting the same places are always at a risk of catching infections. So, if you can get consultation and even referrals for a mandatory hospital visit at home, it will reduce the chances of exposure to such diseases.

And eventually, its one less trouble to worry about.

Feature #6: Telemedicine has piqued the interest of doctors

Doctors constantly juggle their shifts with their private practice or special clinics. It is quite a troublesome part of their lives.

However, if even the doctor gets the luxury of sitting at home and examining his patients, it will definitely evolve the future of medical assistance.

That’s how telemedicine is becoming more popular amongst doctors as well. Many of them are already investing in marketing their online services to attract more patients.

What does the future look like?

The telemedicine market is already exploding. At the same time, it’s important to anticipate a shift from traditional healthcare delivery models. They should align with efforts to improve telemedicine platforms.

If everything goes as planned, teleconsultation can become the norm, and all patients will seek advice sitting at home before crowding hospitals.

Signs and Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

What is iron deficiency?

There’s a prevalence of iron deficiency in the United States, which is likely a result of poor diet, according to a nutrition examination survey of many adults. When you have an iron deficiency, your body doesn’t get enough red blood cells because the hemoglobin which relies on iron to form doesn’t get made in high enough levels. This can cause all kinds of side effects in your tissues and organs, and most commonly leads to iron-deficiency anemia. Not having enough iron in your blood may also lead to a host of other complications associated with deficiency anemia. These include heart failure and problems with your bone marrow and gastrointestinal tract. As a result, people with anemia may need to get a colonoscopy more regularly and should talk to their doctor about appropriate guidelines to follow if they’re considering a gastric bypass.

It’s important to note that while iron deficiency may mean that you have anemia or anemia-like symptoms, low iron levels alone doesn’t necessarily mean that you have iron-deficiency anemia. That being said, iron-deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia, and there are a variety of ways to help treat it with supplements and medicine.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

  • Chronic fatigue or tiredness
  • Pale skin
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
  • Brittle nails
  • Internal bleeding
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Leg cramps or restless leg syndrome
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Slow blood loss or chronic blood loss

Causes of Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency has a few different causes, but the biggest indicator of a deficiency is a poor diet. Your gastrointestinal tract is responsible for the absorption of iron, and just like vitamins such as vitamin C and other naturally-occurring minerals, iron can be ingested orally through the foods you eat. These kinds of elemental iron come in two different forms: heme and nonheme iron. Heme iron is an elemental iron found in proteins like meat, whereas nonheme iron is a form of elemental iron found in plant-based foods. In some cases, iron deficiency will also mean that you have anemia; however, it’s possible to not have enough iron and not have iron-deficiency anemia.

Another reason that you might have low iron levels is because of a low red blood cell count or because you have another underlying condition like inflammatory bowel disease. Pregnant women also experience iron deficiency with some regularity. This is because pregnant women often need a higher amount of iron in order to provide for the infant that they’re carrying. As a result, many doctors will recommend that pregnant women take an iron supplement in order to get enough iron and increase their iron stores.

Risk Factors of Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency anemia and iron deficiency are both health conditions that can occur in men and women. That being said, there are a few different risk factors that may increase your likelihood of not having enough iron. For example, young children often don’t have enough iron. When young children and preterm infants don’t have the right mg of iron, it could be because they are growing too quickly or because they were born prematurely. Pediatrics doctors often have guidelines for how much iron absorption should be occurring depending on how many years of age a child is. If your child doesn’t fit the right amount of absorption based on their age, you may want to speak to your pediatrics department. For teenagers in adolescence, it’s also possible to have low iron stores as your needs and iron intake changes. For example, women of childbearing age or young girls experiencing abnormal menstruation or heavy menstrual periods may often need extra iron depending on how many months of age they are. While many women of childbearing age are at a higher risk in the United States, premenopausal women may also have an increased chance of low absorption or transferrin levels. In some cases this is because of heavy menstrual periods, while other times it’s because of other demands of pregnancy.

Vegetarians are also at an increased risk for iron deficiency anemia, since they aren’t eating as many iron-rich foods like poultry and other meats. Women experiencing heavy periods may also want to see if they’re iron deficient. Frequent blood donation is yet another symptom of iron-deficiency anemia and may put you at an increased risk. For blood donors or people who’ve recently given a red blood cell transfusion, it may be necessary to receive intravenous iron. That being said, some blood donors don’t need to supplement low iron with anything other than iron pills or another form of oral iron therapy in order to maintain their quality of life.

If you have low hemoglobin or iron levels, there are a variety of other health conditions that may develop if your iron deficiency anemia goes untreated. Iron deficient individuals often may struggle with blood loss and may require blood transfusions as a manner of treatment. Deficiency anemia also increases your risk of a variety of gastrointestinal tract issues, including celiac disease, ulcers, nausea, and ulcerative colitis. Heart conditions like chest pain and even heart failure may necessitate the need for an iron supplement if you have an iron deficiency.

Prevention Methods

If you believe that you might have an iron deficiency or iron deficiency anemia, the best thing to do before taking preventative steps is to get tested. A doctor can learn a lot about your iron levels by performing a complete blood count test. This kind of blood test, also referred to as a CBC test, lets doctors know all sorts of things about your blood, such as your white and red blood cell count, hemoglobin levels, hematocrit, and platelet counts. If you have iron deficiency anemia, then your hemoglobin or hematocrit levels will be low and a CBC test will let clinicians know the nature of your iron deficiency.

Another type of test that you might get is a ferritin test. Ferritin tests look specifically at how much iron you have in your blood, which can better inform doctors about how high risk your condition is. By analyzing the milligrams of iron in your blood, it’s possible to classify you depending on the severity of the condition. For example, you may just have an iron abnormality, or you may have hypochromic anemia, iron-deficiency anemia, or one of any other types of severe cases. Finding out your iron status in addition to your CBC also helps determine if you have any other kinds of medical conditions that may be contributing to a more severe iron deficiency.

Once you’ve determined that you have iron-deficiency anemia, there are a variety of steps you can take to increase your hemoglobin and iron levels and combat your anemia. A supplement is going to be one of the easiest routes to achieving this. Oral iron supplements are made to give you the proper mg of iron and have little to no side effects. Elemental iron can be taken orally as a tablet after you’ve received a diagnosis of iron deficiency. These kinds of iron tablets may also be suggested if you have an increased risk of iron deficiency and need to supplement your diet with a certain number of milligrams of iron. Iron pills are easy to take for anyone who can swallow pills, which means that they aren’t recommended for anyone in their infancy. One of the most common types of iron pills is ferrous sulfate, which comes in a variety of milligrams and is used to raise your mg of iron.

If you want to combat anemia with other forms of nutrition, one of the best ways to do so is to complement your meals with some simple dietary changes. For example, even if for people on vegetarian diets, adding iron-rich vegetables to your meals can be a helpful way to increase your intake of iron. Legumes, broccoli, orange juice, bread, cow’s milk, and spinach are all good sources of iron. Getting your dietary iron from naturally-occurring food sources of iron generally isn’t hard in normally healthy people. However, if you aren’t someone who regularly eats spinach and other vegetables, it may be worth analyzing your dietary habits to determine whether or not you need to introduce more grains or vegetables if your diet is scant in sources of iron. Vegans may run into additional issues, but tofu is one food that can help them maintain healthy red blood cells. Cereal is often naturally high in iron, too, which can be another way to improve the amount of iron in your iron stores. There are two different kinds of dietary iron: heme iron and nonheme iron. Heme iron comes from animal meat, while nonheme iron is only found in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes. If you’re wondering if there’s a difference between heme and nonheme iron, the biggest difference has to do with your risk of heart disease. Heme iron may increase your risk of coronary heart disease, whereas those who avoid heme type iron have a better chance of decreasing their risk. This means that vegetarians or those that follow a diet close to vegetarians may be healthier, assuming that they prioritize iron-rich foods to combat the prevalence of iron deficiency anemia in individuals with poor plant-based diets.

Too much iron from heme foods has its own side effects, too. If the total iron levels in your body reach too many milligrams, you may have hemochromatosis, a disease that ranges in severity and ultimately affects your liver, heart, spleen, and pancreas. In order for your total iron levels to be classified as too much iron, your ferritin levels will likely be more than 600 micrograms per liter of blood. By contrast, those with a diagnosis of iron deficiency will have a maximum of only 200 micrograms of serum ferritin per liter.

5 Most Common Medical Reasons for Excessive Tiredness

Have you been wondering why you always feel tired?

Don’t worry, you are not alone. Research has shown that two out of every five Americans complain of always feeling tired. It’s easy to blame constant fatigue on your busy lifestyle considering the many activities we now take part in – full-time jobs, the school run, keeping a tidy home, etc.

However, before concluding it’s your busy schedule, it’s advisable that you seek medical attention as an underlying medical condition could be causing you all the problems. It could help if you also adopted habits like sleeping early, managing stress levels, and eating healthy food with iron supplements to help your red blood cells. Read on to learn more about common causes of excessive tiredness.

Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep is one of the obvious reasons for feeling tired. People who lead a stressful, busy day and lacks enough time for sleeping usually feel fatigued at all times.

Sleep deprivation might not be a condition you worry about too much, but your doctor can prescribe you medication that will help you with stress and sleeplessness. It would help if you determined your sleep needs so you can have enough time to rest. On average, it’s recommended that adults should have at least 8 hours per night.


Depression is believed to be caused by abnormalities in mood-regulating chemicals called neurotransmitters. Generally, depressed people have low energy levels and sleep problems, which explains why they are constantly tired.

This can leave you unmotivated and feeling sluggish, which explains why depressed people can also sleep for hours. Other common signs for depression include feelings of being sad and empty, losing interest in things you used to enjoy doing, and loss of appetite. Depression can make you lose weight or feel worthless, too.


Anemia is characterized by having a lower than a normal number of red blood cells. The red blood cells could be enough, but they can still be considered anemia if they don’t have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin gives the red blood cells its color and is responsible for transporting oxygen to various body organs.

Having a low number of red blood cells means less oxygen being transported to vital organs. As a result, you may end up feeling tired and weak. If you suffer from anemia, you might also experience dizziness, shortness of breath, and headaches.


Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland stops producing enough thyroid hormone. The disease is very common in women as it already affects 27 to 60 million people in America alone.

The thyroid hormone controls your body’s metabolism; when it’s low, you feel tired, gain weight, and feel cold. The condition can also be deteriorated by depression.

Heart Disease

Heart disease, especially heart failure, can make you feel tired as your vital organs don’t receive enough oxygen. As a result, you won’t perform your daily activities, like participating in exercises. Apart from feeling tired, heart disease can also cause chest pains, palpitations, dizziness, and fainting. Never ignore subtle symptoms like chest pains, as early diagnosis will allow the doctors to arrest the condition at an early stage.

Exercising Between the Ages of 45-64 Can Improve Heart Health

It is no secret that middle age can bring about several health issues for many people. One of the biggest health risks and issues, to those of middle age, is heart-related illnesses. These are often from sedentary or stale lives, especially in those who don’t exercise enough in their daily life. Having a sedentary lifestyle is a major contributor to heart failure and higher risks for heart failure. However, several new medical studies have shown that regular exercise is the key to reversing heart aging damage.

Heart Health and Exercise in the News

There’s Still Time for Many To Improve Their Heart Health

Science News released a new study from the UT Medical Center in January about the use of exercise in middle age to reverse the damage that heart aging causes. This study shows that the exercise routines should be started before the patient turns 65, which is late middle age, to ensure that the heart retains some of the plasticity to essentially remodel itself. The exercise routine should include things like high-intensity workouts, low-intensity recoveries, and a proper warmup at the start. Most of the research has proven that working out two or three times a week just isn’t enough to reverse the damage, and exercise should happen at least four or more times a week for the effective results.

The Value of Pairing Diet and Exercise

Similarly, an older study was conducted in 2012 that showed much of the same information. Regular exercise is beneficial for helping reduce the risk of heart disease and failure as well as other benefits for the body. While the regular physical activity on its own is important, this study reveals the importance of integrating a healthy diet into one’s lifestyle. Inactivity, coupled with a bad diet, is cause for higher weight gain, which can put stress on the heart. Those who lead a sedentary life will be at risk to develop things like high blood pressure or heart disease down the road, and their risk is much higher than someone who is physically active and intentional with consuming a healthy diet.

Transitioning to a More Active and Healthy Lifestyle

If moving from a previously sedentary lifestyle, the workouts might need to become a gradual part of the life of the patient. This might mean starting with 30 minutes of moderate-intensity options along with the warmup and recovery periods. The workouts might only take place on four days instead of five. Essentially, a patient should consult their doctor for the proper care needed before starting a diet and exercise routine. While it is important to reduce the risk of diseases and other heart-related issues, it should be done with consideration to the current health of the patient.

Physical exercise should include a proper warmup to reduce the risk of injury during the workout, followed by 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio or a moderate intensity option. The recovery after the initial 30 minutes should include low-intensity options to help bring down the heart rate and breathing. The exercises can include things like tennis, walking, dancing, biking, or aerobic exercises.

It is true that many studies have proven the effectiveness of physical exercise and diet to help reduce the risk of related heart diseases and issues. It can be a huge factor in the health of a person as they reach the end of middle age.

Heart Palpitations: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Heart palpitations occur when the heart beats irregularly or the heartbeats feel strange. The feeling of palpitations can be different for every person, and they can be caused by many different things. Some people experience mild palpitations occasionally, and others feel them often and severely. They can be scary, and many patients are confused by them. They can be treated with a proper diagnosis. It is important to see a doctor if you have heart palpitations because they could be a sign of a more serious problem.

Palpitations Causes

The causes of heart palpitations can vary. In most cases, the cause of the palpitations is something common and nothing to worry about. In other cases, it can be a sign of a heart condition or another problem. Some of the most common causes of heart palpitations include:

  • Strong emotional responses
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Stimulants
  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Drugs
  • Fever
  • Hormone changes
  • Too much or too little thyroid hormone
The serious arrhythmias that can cause palpitations include:
  • Supraventricular Tachycardia
  • Ventricular Tachycardia
  • Atrial Fibrillation and Atrial Flutter
  • Sinus Tachycardia
  • Ectopic Beats like PVCs and PACs

Palpitations Symptoms

In many cases, palpitations are not the problem but a symptom of the problem. They can be different for everyone, and some people barely notice them. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Skipping beats
  • Fluttering rapidly
  • Beating too fast
  • Pounding
  • Flip-flopping

Palpitations Diagnosis

Because the symptoms of heart palpitations are so common and can mimic so many other illnesses and diseases, it can be hard for doctors to diagnose the causes. In most cases, a physical exam and an explanation of the symptoms are not enough for a diagnosis. Further tests are often needed to determine the seriousness of the palpitations and the cause. The diagnosis can also help doctors figure out if treatment is needed. Some of these tests include:

  • Electrocardiogram
  • Holter monitoring
  • Event recording
  • Echocardiogram

Palpitations Treatment

In most cases, no treatment is required for heart palpitations, and they go away on their own. If doctors diagnose a heart problem related to the palpitations, treatment may be necessary. That treatment usually depends on the cause or disease as well as the patient’s overall health. Some common treatments include:

  • Reducing Stress: Patients should get plenty of sleep and avoid stressful situations. Many people who suffer from heart palpitations can reduce stress through relaxation techniques, yoga, or even meditation.
  • Avoiding Stimulants: Certain things may cause heart palpitations. These things are known as stimulants. They can include certain foods, alcohol, smoking, drugs, exercise, and stress.
  • Avoiding Drugs: Drug can cause the heart to work in overtime and are bad in general. Anyone suffering from a heart condition or heart palpitations should avoid illegal drugs.
  • Medications: There are different medications like beta blockers or calcium channel blockers used to slow down the heart rate and skipped beats.
  • Ablation: Sometimes the medications may not work and patients may require special procedure like ablation to treat.

Palpitations Prognosis

The prognosis for most people who are suffering from heart palpitations is good. Most are not caused by anything serious and go away on their own within a few days. Patients who do experience any of the symptoms of heart palpitations should see a cardiologist to rule out heart conditions or other health problems. With the proper diagnosis and treatment, people who suffer from palpitations can live normal lives.

The Healthiest Superfood Powders That You Should Include In Your Diet

It’s easy to skip breakfast, grab a coffee and call it good. But if you’re looking for that morning boost or just trying to feel healthier overall, then it might be time to start incorporating superfood powders into your diet instead of skipping them entirely. You can find these powders in many health food stores and even drugstores now, but they’re also available online as well.

And while the price may seem high at first glance – especially when you compare them with things like protein powders or vitamins – their benefits make up for the cost. Their benefits range from increased energy levels to improved mental clarity, reduced inflammation, and higher metabolism rates. Below are some of the healthiest superfood powders to be added to your diet.


Moringa is sometimes known as the “miracle tree” because it contains so many healthy nutrients. It has more potassium than bananas, more protein than yogurt, and more iron than spinach. Plus, it’s high in calcium too. And that’s just the beginning – you’ll also be getting a heaping dose of antioxidants to fight cell damage, amino acids to build muscle, Vitamin C to improve immunity, B vitamins for improved energy production and digestive health boosts as well.

Moringa can be added to any food or drink of your choice – smoothies are one option – but make sure you get the powder form specifically over the leaf version if possible. And don’t worry about the taste – while the powder does have a slightly earthy and slightly sweet flavor, it’s mild enough that you’ll barely notice it.

Athletic Greens

Athletic Greens are typically made up of quinoa, oats, chia seeds, amaranth, and flaxseed. All of these ingredients make up the nutritional value of Athletic Greens and are super good for your health. Quinoa is loaded with protein to help build lean muscle mass; oats contain fiber for digestive health; chia seeds promote better fat burning and lower cholesterol levels; amaranth helps with inflammation and osteoporosis prevention, and flaxseed has omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the risk of heart disease.

But the mixture is really healthy too because you’re getting a large dose of both fiber and protein in one serving, which can help keep your energy levels stable throughout your workout. To make the powder, these ingredients are freeze-dried to ensure their nutritional value remains intact.

Pau d’arco

Another good choice for boosting energy levels is pau d’arco bark, which comes from a South American tree. Pau d’arco tea has been used for centuries by locals and is believed to promote overall wellness and alleviate many ailments like arthritis and even cancer.  The tree bark is very potent, so it needs to be ground into a fine powder – but that powder packs a powerful punch.

When you use the pau d’arco bark powder, you’ll be getting plenty of antioxidants and antibacterial compounds as well as anti-inflammatory benefits for your heart. And researchers have found that many people who suffer from arthritis see significant improvements when they use pau d’arco powder as well. Its key benefits include fighting inflammation, increasing energy levels, and immunity, boosting the metabolism rate for better weight loss, relieving anxiety and depression symptoms, fighting kidney stones, and lowering cholesterol levels too.


Another very strong and effective powder is maca root, which also helps to increase energy levels and improve your stamina. It’s commonly taken as a supplement because of these benefits, but it can be added to any drink or food to create a healthy tonic. Maca is a Peruvian root that’s been used by locals for thousands of years and has also been noted to help with fertility and libido in both men and women too.

The benefits of taking maca include: improved immunity, reduced anxiety, and depression symptoms, improved mood, reduces muscle pain from exercise, reduces insulin levels which helps with diabetes prevention, relives arthritis symptoms, reduces panic attacks and emotional disorders like anxiety or PTSD, boosts energy levels again, improves memory function for Alzheimer’s patients too.


The last superfood powder to include in your diet is cacao because it contains antioxidant properties that are much higher than other foods like blueberries or tomatoes. In fact, it even has more antioxidants than red wine! And because of these benefits, cacao helps to prevent the growth of cancer cells and reduces your risk for many degenerative diseases too.

The benefits of including a cacao supplement in your diet include improved heart health, reduced inflammation which helps speed up recovery from injury or illness, reduces muscle pain during exercise too, protects your skin against sun damage and reduces the appearance of wrinkles, higher energy levels all through the day since it prevents crashes after meals, improved blood sugar control which means you should see reduced cravings for sugary foods over time.

Superfood powders are a great way to get more nutrients without having to eat a ton of food. They’re made from raw, nutrient-rich foods that have been dried and ground into powder. These superfoods can be sprinkled onto anything like oatmeal or salads for an easy way to increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber with minimal effort on your part—no cooking required.

3 ways Arizona’s healthcare community can improve senior care

Senior care is a vital aspect of healthcare in Arizona that presents many potential problems. Overall, the eldercare industry in the United States is facing a shortage of caregivers which is projected to worsen as baby boomers enter their senior years. An NASEM research report noted in 2015 that there were seven potential caregivers for every person over the age of 80. However, by 2030 there will be only four caregivers per person over 80.

READ ALSO: Here’s how Arizona hospitals are leading the way during pandemic

Arizona has a larger elderly population than most states, with 22% of our citizens age 65 or older. The state is also facing a shortage of primary care doctors, ranking 44th in total active primary-care physicians, despite being the 14th largest state by population, with one of the fastest growing populations in the nation.

Dr. Kishlay Anand is the founder of Apricus Health.

This shortage continues to worsen due to a lack of in-state medical students. Phoenix currently has only 30% of the medical students compared to a market like Philadelphia, despite Phoenix having a growing and larger overall population.

So, how can the healthcare community in Arizona improve senior care for our growing elderly population, without overloading the state’s dwindling provider population?

Here are three ways the Arizona healthcare community can improve overall healthcare for our seniors:

1. Increase access and lower costs for prescription drugs.

 Prescription drug sales make up a big chunk of healthcare spending in the United States, accounting for 10% of total healthcare costs in 2015. Prescription drug costs represent a burden for seniors, often accounting for high out-of-pocket costs. National Statistics show that the older one gets, the more they spend on prescription drugs. Seniors are often left to pay one-third or more of the out-of-pocket expenses. These barriers to life-saving drugs increase overall healthcare costs; especially if patients are unable to pay for their prescribed medications.

In my view, we must ensure seniors can access their prescriptions as needed. We must continue to find solutions that lower pharma costs for seniors.  In Arizona, pharmacies are not easily accessible by public transportation for most of our senior citizens. Local companies like LitonRx are helping to tackle this problem by providing a modern, digital pharmacy that provides free same-day delivery of medications and aggressively low pricing. Models like this will play a big part in improving senior care over the next decade, as this type of company facilities delivery and lowers drug costs.

2. Improve communication around medical care.

The use of personal care navigators has emerged as a new, helpful trend in healthcare. In this model, non-medical professionals act as a proxy to help seniors navigate their care options, working with them to book appointments, request fulfilling prescriptions and set-up telehealth interactions all with the goal of making it easier for seniors to get the care they need. Personal care navigators are often individually assigned to seniors giving them improved communication around their healthcare and a better understanding of their medical options. As a result of their increased involvement in senior care, health outcomes are more likely to improve.

Emerging tech-enabled health options, like healthcare web and mobile apps and easy-to-use telehealth (remote diagnosis and treatment of patients) are reimagining how care is delivered. Care navigators often explain and help seniors to use the various technologies to their benefit, helping to bridge their understanding gap and ensuring Arizona seniors get the best and most convenient care available.

Technology also helps physicians to maximize their time, enabling them to spend it on the important tasks vital to a person’s health and less on paperwork and other administrative functions. Care navigators can answer administrative and general questions that previously were performed by physicians. A care navigator can also be a bridge between the patient and the physician. They are trained to know the right questions to ask in an organized fashion, maximizing the time physicians spend on quality of care and guiding the patient to much-needed answers before they meet with their doctor.

3. Streamlined use of telehealth and remote patient monitoring.

Telehealth has been around for a number of years, but only recently did it become an integral tool in the delivery of healthcare. Many initially saw telehealth options as a negative for seniors due to struggles with utilization of the technology. However, newer telehealth and telemedicine platforms have simplified the user experience to a point where little to no technology training is now needed. An AARP study found that 77% of older adults have a smartphone, so the adoption of these solutions coupled with an increase in interest amongst seniors to receive care whenever and wherever they are has dramatically increased usage.

Ultimately, telehealth allows for easier and more frequent visits with physicians – a key element in building a relationship and improving the quality of care delivered.  We must arm both patients and providers with information that is easily accessible. This is now achieved through a simple, streamlined approach.

Another important component of telehealth is remote patient monitoring, which has been found to reduce hospital admissions and ER visits while also improving health outcomes. Remote patient monitoring includes anything that gathers information about patients outside of a clinical setting, including blood pressure cuffs, EKGs, oxygen monitoring, etc. This technology, in turn, reduces healthcare costs for all who are involved – payers, patients and practitioners.

Supporting our senior population is vital for Arizona’s healthcare system. The answer to how we properly support our senior population lies in our ability to provide free delivery and lower prices for prescription drugs, improved access to care and two-way technology enabled communication through the use of telehealth and telemedicine, and implementation of health improving technologies like remote patient monitoring. While we always need to be working to increase the number of physicians in our state, we also must implement technology that allows physicians to efficiently deliver care which ultimately, improves the lives of Arizona seniors.

Five Alternative Treatments for Depression That Actually Work

With more than 264 million diagnosed cases around the world, depression is regarded as one of the most common mental disorders. Just in the United States alone, research has found that 17.3 million American adults have had at least one major depressive episode in their lives. 

Although its causes aren’t exact, fortunately, we do know how to treat depression. Medication has often been hailed as the gold standard for treatment, but patients often find themselves reluctant to go that way, and understandably so. With all of the side effects of medications — such as weight gain, anxiety, and nausea — the need for alternative treatments is higher than ever.

Fortunately, treating your depression doesn’t have to require strong medications. Instead, these five alternative treatments have been shown to be highly beneficial in treating depression, allowing you to finally regain control over your own mental health.

Herbal Remedies

There’s a wide variety of herbal medications that have been reported to help with depression. Research indicates that, although they’re natural, they still act on the synapsis of neurotransmitters the same way a prescription medicine would. St. John’s Wort, saffron extracts, and folic acid are some of the most famous examples. 

Probiotic supplements have also been shown to help, as they provide our gut with benign microorganisms that are linked with several health benefits. In addition, CBD (cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive compound in the hemp plant) has shown a lot of potential due to its relaxing effects on our minds. 

Please note, however, that not every herbal remedy is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It’s also recommended, if not necessary, to avoid unvetted sources and do ample research so you don’t end up with herbs that have been unsafely processed. 

Gentle Fitness

The word “exercise” may be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. For the average person, something as simple as a 15-minute jog around your neighborhood does wonders for your well-being. Physical activity is not only enjoyable, but it also has been demonstrated to improve sleep, protect you from heart diseases, and even help you on a cognitive level.

Regular exercise promotes the release of endorphins (one of the main “happy” chemicals of our brain) and hippocampus growth by reinforced cellular activity. Our hippocampus is responsible for controlling our memory and emotions and tends to decrease in size in patients with depression. 

Dietary Changes

Food plays a crucial role in maintaining our mental health, as well. Fatty acids commonly found in seafood, nuts, and plant oils contribute to the production and maintenance of cell membranes. The essential micronutrients found in fruit and vegetables are responsible for preventing the effects of mental decline over time. Eggs and whole grains, rich in amino acids, also help with the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

Avoiding high intakes of sugar and processed fats in favor of a balanced, nutrition-rich diet, ensures that our brain has everything it needs to function and behave normally. Dietary models, such as the popular Mediterranean Diet, have underscored the importance of good nutrition to help prevent or reduce the symptoms of depression.


When things get overwhelming and when our situation seems too stressful or demanding of us, taking a little moment to breathe and rest is all that may be needed to restore our mental balance. Meditation has been a powerful tool for creating harmony in one’s mind since ancient times. 

Whether you’re alone or in a group of peers, repeating phrases to yourself (or just focusing on your breathing) can be highly beneficial. There are many ways in which you can meditate, too, depending on your needs and personality. Studies show that meditation helps patients in relieving stress and anxiety, and it can even increase the size of the hippocampus if practiced consistently. 

Talk Therapy

Talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy, is a process guided by a mental health professional. During this treatment, you can learn to contextualize your inner feelings and thoughts and learn to build healthy relationships with the outside world and ourselves. It provides a safe space for us to talk about everything that obscures our mind, without the fear of being criticized.

It is true that a lot of commitment is necessary for succeeding in psychotherapy, but it may be just the best alternative therapy for treating depression. The mission of your psychotherapist will be to listen, care, and teach you how to overcome certain situations, getting you out of uncertainty and remaining by your side through each step of the process. 

Are You Struggling with Depression?

If you’ve been struggling with depression, these treatments offer great alternative solutions to help you recover your mental health. However, it should be noted that their efficiency tends to vary between patients, and may even be improved when combined with professional help. No matter who you are or the severity of your situation, though, you’re not alone. Whether you’re looking for mental health treatment in Southern California, New York City, Miami — wherever you call home — there are options available for you right now. And the sooner you seek help, the sooner you can start your path to lasting recovery from your depression.

Dementia Risk Reduction: What You Can Do

As you start growing old, you may start wondering about your increased risk of suffering from dementia. Dementias are a heavily researched medical topic and scientists are still trying to understand exactly how and why the condition develops in the first place. 

Unfortunately, there’s a lack of scientifically proven approaches that can help completely treat the condition or guarantee to prevent Alzheimer’s and other dementias from occurring. But just like almost every other disease, there are a few steps that you can take to reduce your risk of dementia. 

What does research say about reducing the risk for dementia?

A 2020 report on dementia prevention by the Lancet commission evaluated multiple clinical studies on lifestyle changes aimed at treating or preventing dementia and age-associated cognitive decline. 

The study found that the potential for prevention of dementia is “high” and controlling some modifiable dementia risk factors could help slow the development of dementia, which might make caring for dementia patients a bit easier. It went on to highlight 12 potentially modifiable risk factors for dementia and suggested that they are promising enough to warrant further research. Let’s take a look at them now. 

Non-modifiable Risk Factors

Before we discuss the steps you can take to reduce your dementia risk, you should know about something called non-modifiable risk factors. These risk factors increase your chance of developing dementia but unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about them. Some examples of non-modifiable risk factors are age, gender, race, and genetics.


A person’s age is the greatest known risk factor for developing dementia. Generally, the older you are, the greater your likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s and other dementias. The overall incidence of dementia increases exponentially with each passing year and is thought to double every 5 years during the ages between 65 and 90 years. According to this study, adults aged 65 have a roughly 11.6% chance of developing dementia. 


Genes are structures inside our cells that hold important information and are passed down to a person from their parents. Faulty and damaged genes can lead to dementia, although the chances of directly inheriting dementia from your parents are low. Nonetheless, if you have a parent or grandparent with dementia, you’re at an increased risk for the condition. Keep in mind that the development of many diseases often depends on both genetic and environmental factors (like smoking and lack of physical activity). So while there’s nothing you can do about your genes, it’s always a good idea to stay away from bad lifestyle habits. 

Finally, your ethnicity and race can also be considered risk factors for dementia. A 2016 study found that the incidence of dementia was significantly higher in African Americans and Alaskan natives compared to other populations such as Asian Americans.

Modifiable Risk Factors — Factors You Can Work Upon

Unlike the case with non-modifiable risk factors, you can take steps to counter modifiable risk factors of dementia. 


According to research, people suffering from high blood pressure (hypertension) in their middle age are more likely to face cognitive decline. They are also more likely to suffer from a form of dementia called vascular dementia, which results from minor bleeds in the brain due to high blood pressure. Therefore, treating hypertension with drugs and having good lifestyle habits such as regular exercise may significantly lower your risk of dementia. Here are five foods to naturally lower your blood pressure.

Uncontrolled sugar levels (diabetes)

A 2014 study showed that older adults suffering from diabetes are twice as likely to develop dementia than age-matched adults without diabetes. Higher than average blood sugar levels can lead to a variety of health problems, which is why it’s extremely important to maintain a healthy weight. Remember, the major risk factor for diabetes is obesity.  


Obesity increases the risk for dementia not only via diabetes development but also directly. Eating a healthy diet and working out regularly can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of developing dementia.

Lack of physical exercise

Data from several studies have suggested that regular physical activity substantially reduces the risk of dementia. Physical exercise is also beneficial for your heart, weight, blood pressure, sugar levels, and mental wellbeing. You can see how abnormalities in some of these are independent risk factors for dementia, which makes exercise extremely important. Experts recommend doing at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.

Lower education levels

Studies have shown that people with lower education levels (especially in their early life) are associated with a higher risk for dementia in the future. Additionally, not staying mentally active is also a risk factor for dementia. Therefore, mentally challenging and engaging activities such as painting and reading should be pursued as they keep the mind from losing its touch.

Alcohol and Tobacco Consumption

Alcoholism is a common risk factor for many health conditions and behavioral disorders. It can also lead to a higher risk of dementia. Most experts recommend limiting drinking to less than 2 times a day. Smoking cigarettes is also associated with a higher incidence of dementia. And with smoking, it’s never too late — stopping at any age can improve your health.

Hearing Problems

Hearing loss makes it difficult to interact with others and affects cognition negatively. Individuals who suffer from hearing impairment have been shown to be at a higher risk of developing dementia in several studies. Therefore, using hearing aids and getting early treatment for hearing disorders may reduce your risk of developing dementia.

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