Tag Archives: health tips

10 Tips to Lower Your Risk Of Oral Cancer (Part 1)

There are nearly 50,000 cases of oral cancer diagnosed in the United States each year, and approximately 9,750 deaths caused by it. Some types of cancer are more preventable than others. Luckily, many of the risk factors for oral cancer are modifiable, so by changing certain lifestyle habits you can drastically lower your risk for this particular cancer. Let’s take a look at some of the preventative measures you can take:

  1. Practice good oral hygiene – It may seem like an obvious tip, but keeping your teeth clean by practicing a vigilant dental hygiene routine of brushing and flossing will help your mouth remain free of infections and lessen your chances of developing disease.
  2. Limit drinking – While the light or social drinkers need not worry, heavy alcohol drinking is considered a major risk factor for oral and oropharyngeal cancer and has been linked with a large number of cases.
  3. Kick tobacco to the curb – Smoking or chewing tobacco is one of the top causes of oral cancer. According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), approximately 80% of people diagnosed with oral cancer have used tobacco in some form. Chewing tobacco makes you even more likely to develop cancer than smoking cigarettes.
  4. Curb your diet – Unhealthy diets that don’t contain enough fruit and veggies have been linked to the development of oral cancer. It is important to ensure you’re getting plenty of leafy greens, other veggies and fruit and limiting saturated fats and processed meats.
  5. Keep an eye on your dentures – Sometimes people who wear dentures take their mouths for granted, because they don’t have to go to the dentist to get their teeth checked regularly or floss, so it can be easy to get a little complacent when it comes to mouth care. Unfortunately, ill-fitting dentures can irritate the gums and raise your risk of developing damage that may make your mouth more vulnerable to cancer. If you don’t keep your mouth clean enough or wash your dentures regularly it can lead to infection and other complications as well.

That concludes part 1 of our look at oral cancer prevention tips, stay tuned for part 2 tomorrow! Thanks for visiting DocChat.

7 Tips To Help Ease IBS Symptoms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common and troublesome gastrointestinal condition afflicting between 25 and 45 million Americans. IBS can cause a whole host of frustrating digestive symptoms such as chronic constipation, diarrhea, gas, distension or cramping. Even though it isn’t life-threatening and doesn’t increase your risk of more serious stomach problems, IBS can negatively impact quality of life. So, what can be done? Aside from working with your doctor to find medical treatment that works for you, there are a few things you can do to help ease those symptoms:

  1. Keep a food diary – By keeping track of everything you’re eating you will likely be able to identify triggers that you didn’t realize you had before, as well as foods that seem to help ease your symptoms.
  2. Avoid triggers – Stress is a big trigger for many IBS sufferers, so try your best to control your stress and anxiety levels. Examples of common IBS food triggers include: caffeine, alcohol, onions, red peppers, spicy foods, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, wheat and milk products.
  3. Hydrate! It can be hard to ensure you reach the recommended daily water quota, but it is especially important if you have IBS, as water promotes easier digestion and helps your body filter toxins.
  4. Check your fiber – While fiber is essential for healthy digestion, too much fiber can be a problem for some IBS sufferers, causing unwanted gas and bloating. Alternately, many IBS sufferers find extra fiber helpful to help ease constipation. How much fiber you should take in depends on your own personal bowel situation.
  5. Try some peppermint – Certain studies have proven peppermint to help symptoms of IBS better than a placebo, so it may help to try drinking some peppermint to see if it improves your symptoms. Be aware that if you suffer from GERD or heartburn, peppermint can sorely exacerbate those symptoms.
  6. Yoga for your belly The gentle movements of yoga and Tai chi have proven beneficial for easing symptoms of IBS (and other conditions) by reducing pain, easing stress and promoting healthier digestion.
  7. Practice caution with medication – Even some anti-diarrheal medications may cause unwanted effects on someone with IBS such as constipation, similarly, anti-constipation medications may cause dependency so, be sure to discuss any medications with your doctor first.

Check out some more helpful IBS tips in our post: IBS Symptoms, Triggers and Management!

A Guide to Coping With a Newly Diagnosed Chronic Illness (Part 3)

It can be very tough to receive a new diagnosis, especially if it is something that may last a lifetime like lupus or diabetes, but there are things you can do to make your journey ahead easier. Let’s take a look at a few more tips for readying yourself to deal with a new chronic diagnosis:

Strive to Stay Positive

It is important when dealing with a chronic illness that you don’t sink into a comorbid depression. This can cloud your judgement when it comes to taking medications routinely or staying on a healthy, motivated path and will add a whole new layer to your suffering. Recent studies also suggest that looking to a higher power, developing a kinship with nature or engaging in any kind of spiritual activity or belief may help ease the burden of a chronic illness by promoting positivity. However, any healthy thing you think of that will both keep you smiling and ward off stress will do just fine!

Prepare for Flares

While we’ve established that positivity is a must in dealing with chronic illness, but it is also important not to set unrealistic expectations for your health. It is a good idea to be ‘cautiously optimistic’ during periods of disease remission (no symptoms): both happy you’re doing well, but also prepared in case things start to get rocky again. If you always ensure you’re prepared for turbulence along the way, you won’t be blindsided or discouraged if your illness has a flare-up. So basically, keep your smile but also keep a protective umbrella over your head so you’re ready if things take a tough turn.

Kick Chronic Stress to the Curb

Too much stress is not only terrible for everyone, but also happens to be a major trigger of many (if not all) chronic illnesses. When you are stressed, your adrenal hormones spike, causing your heart to pound in your chest, your neck and shoulder muscles to tense up, your blood pressure to rise and your breath to become irregularly fast. This is your body in its ‘fight or flight’ mode. If these levels are constantly thrown out-of-whack can incite symptoms of a dormant disease to resurface, especially in the case of autoimmune diseases. Stress also seems to be a front-running factor in heart disease. For the sake of your mental and physical wellbeing, get your stress under control today. Try some of our Stress Busters if you need some tips on how to lessen it.

Don’t Let Your Illness Overshadow Your Identity

Sometimes coming to terms with an illness that is out of control or overwhelming by nature can take over a person’s life. Between doctors, specialists, new medications, symptoms, flare-ups, and the emotional roller coaster you may be dealing with, it is hard to think of much else. However, even though the focus may have to be on your illness while you get to know it and try to get adjusted both mentally and physically (or if you are going through a bad flare-up), when things calm down it is a good idea to try to redirect your focus to the other things that are important to you.

We hope our guide to coping with a new chronic illness can help ease your difficult journey a little! If you haven’t already caught Part 1 and Part 2 of our guide, check them out today! Thanks for visiting DocChat.


8 Foods for Healthy, Happy Skin

Just as our diet is an integral part of overall health and can help lessen the risks of serious illness, it also has a part to play when it comes to the health of the body’s largest organ: the skin. Certain foods help fight the effect of aging, protect the skin from damage as well as fight inflammation. Let’s take a look at a few great choices for good skin health:

  1. Oil up – Extra virgin olive oil can all benefit your skin by providing omega-3 fatty acids. Olive oil is particularly beneficial for the skin as it also contains antioxidants and vitamin E (which helps fight the effects of aging). Flaxseed oil, canola oil and soybean oil may also provide some skin perks.
  2. Water it down – Yeah, yeah, we know water doesn’t technically classify as “food”, but it is just as important for the skin as it is for the rest of your body, so we had to include it in our list. Water helps hydrate your skin and purge toxins, so start drinking up and stocking up on foods that have high water content (like celery or watermelon).
  3. Get nuts – Nuts are mini powerhouses when it comes to skin health. Not only are they rich in beneficial omega fatty acids, but certain types (especially brazil nuts), also contain selenium, a mineral that provides front-line defence against harmful free radicals, helping protect the skin against tissue damage (and possibly even skin cancer!). Selenium also plays a part in reducing wrinkles.
  4. Berries for beauty – While all fruits will help replenish your skin with essential nutrients (like vitamin C), berries bring all kinds of awesome to the table. Berries are rich in antioxidants, which work hard to help fight oxidative damage to the body, helping protect your skin from harm.
  5. Add some spice – Many spices have medicinal properties. Some help fight inflammation, some have slight analgesic effects, and some help support good skin health. Some of which include: cinnamon, cumin, ginger and chamomile.
  6. Fish for it – Fish are great for your health in general, but can also provide some skin-specific benefits. Many types of fish (such as tuna or mackerel) contain an antioxidant called coenzyme Q10 (you probably recall seeing this as an ingredient in some skincare products). Q10 helps fight the effects aging has on the skin and helps keep your skin healthy and fresh. Fish are also great sources of good fatty acids like omega-3 that help provide beneficial oil to prevent your skin from drying out.
  7. Go for the green – Leafy green veggies are good sources of vitamin A (a key nutrient that helps prevent and decrease the appearance of skin blemishes and wrinkles). They also contain another helpful nutrient for your skin: vitamin E, which helps decrease inflammation and protect the skin. That’s not all leafy greens do for your skin, but remember, all vegetables are healthy for your body. Carrots are another great choice for healthy, glowing skin.
  8. Finish with cocoa – It turns out that even certain dessert foods can help your skin! Dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) is rich in flavanols that help protect the skin against the sun and help give the skin a better, smoother texture.

So, stock up your cabinets with these goodies today, and be sure to get plenty of exercise and sleep for healthy, glowing skin! Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you check back again soon.



A Guide to Coping With a Newly Diagnosed Chronic Illness (Part 2)

It can be both overwhelming and scary to receive a new diagnosis, especially if it is something that may last a lifetime like lupus or diabetes, but there are many things you can do to make your journey ahead easier. In our last post, we looked a the first few tips for coping with a chronic diagnosis, now for some more helpful hints to set you down a positive path:

Be Fair To Yourself

We can all be a little hard on ourselves sometimes, but there’s a special kind of frustration that comes with a chronic illness when it gets in the way of everyday activities or things you want to do. It can be easy to berate yourself, “Why can’t I just do this? I always could before!”, but that kind of attitude will only lead to more frustration. You have to be kind to yourself and give yourself the allowance you may need to adapt to your shifting capabilities. You can only do what you can do.

Restructure Your Life As Necessary  

That brings us right into our next tip, once you receive your diagnosis a lot of things may become clear, like why you’ve been feeling sick for so long. It may also become apparent that your life now holds new challenges that you need to ready yourself for. If you need to ease the burden in your life to avoid harmful stress, that’s okay. If you can’t go for coffee with your friend, pick up the kids, meet your deadline for work and cook supper when you’re not feeling up to snuff, then simplify. Prioritize the things that need to be done, and let the rest wait for another day.

Seek Support

Reach out to others in a way that works for you. Try a local support group, or an one that is based online. If support groups aren’t for you, turn to family or friends if you need some help navigating your newly modified life trajectory. Reach out for help when you need it, don’t suffer in silence while you try to be an island.

Take Downbeats When You Need Them

If you’re overtired or not well, don’t try to be a hero. For certain chronic illnesses like lupus, if you don’t take breaks and rest days when you need them, you’re asking for a full-on attack of symptoms. If you are fatigued, rebuild your energy with a down day so you’re ready to tackle everything the upcoming day or week has in store for you.

Keep an eye out for more helpful tips for coping with chronic illness in the future! Thanks for visiting DocChat! We hope you’ll check back again soon.


A Guide to Coping With a Newly Diagnosed Chronic Illness (Part 1)

It can be daunting to receive a new diagnosis, especially if it is of the chronic variety. If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness, it means you have a disease or condition that lasts for a long time (sometimes the rest of your life). Chronic illnesses are usually incurable, but treatable. Let’s take a look at a few helpful hints for coping with a new chronic diagnosis:

Accept What You Can’t Change

As with any serious bump in the road, the first step to dealing with a tricky diagnosis is to accept it. It can be temping to convince yourself you don’t have congestive heart failure or lupus like the doctors have told you and the tests have shown you, but this will only do you a disservice. If you are to do everything in your power to be as healthy as you can be, you need to face your condition head-on.

Be Your Own Advocate

When you struggle with a serious illness, it can be a long and winding road of emotional doctor’s appointments, tests and re-tests and conflicting opinions. While doctors are invaluable to the process, you shouldn’t just coast on blind faith. The best outcome will be achieved if you work together as a team, with you bringing the knowledge of your situation and symptoms, and the doctor bringing the medical expertise. At the end of the day, you are the one who lives your life and knows your body best and a doctor can’t read your mind. Your health journey should be a team trip, with you in the driver’s seat.

Foster Good Communication With Your Docs  

It pays to be on good terms with your attending physicians and specialists. If you have a chronic condition, chances are you’ll be needing them to take good care of you for the foreseeable future. If you’re a difficult patient, you may want to step back and reflect on how to change that. Even though any good doctor doesn’t let his or her feelings toward a patient color their care, it stands to reason that if you have a good relationship, he or she will be more likely to go the extra mile for you.

Knowledge Is A Friend 

While googling health concerns in excess can sometimes lead to health anxiety, if you have a specifically diagnosed illness, it is a good idea to at least read up on it. By learning more about your condition, you will be more aware of new developments in treatment, tips that can help ease your illness or potential complications to be on the lookout for. Just be careful not to let your research get the best of you, as that can have its own negative consequences.

Do Your Part

Your illness is not a one-way street where your doctor has to do all the work to better your quality of life, you have an active role to play in this movie too. It is important to do your homework and make the positive lifestyle changes you need to make to ensure a healthier future. If you have extra weight to lose, get it off. If you need to exercise more, get on it. If you should start eating better or following a certain nutritional plan, start today. You can’t expect to gain control of your health if you don’t do your part to get there.

There you have the first few of our chronic illness coping tips, check out Part 2 next! Thanks for visiting DocChat!


(QUIZ) Would You Recognize a Medical Emergency?

In a potential emergency situation, it can be difficult to make the call. You may wonder if you are overreacting by calling for help, or underreacting if you don’t. It is important to practice clear thinking and utilize common sense in a troublesome situation. Let’s take a look at some true or false statements about first aid below to see how you might do in an emergency today:

True or false:

  1. Medical emergencies are purely physical, such as an injury, and are almost always obvious to the naked eye.
  2. Fainting is considered to be a medical emergency.
  3. Suspected bones are painful, but do not constitute a medical emergency. You should just check in with your doctor as soon as you can get in to see him or her.
  4. If someone has an injury that leaves them severely mobility impaired (like an acute neck or back injury), you should move them to a comfortable location such as a stiff bed until help arrives.
  5. CPR stands for central practical recovery, and should be performed whether or not you’ve had training.
  6. If your child is exhibiting any odd signs such as clamminess, in combination with an unexplained change in demeanor, you should seek emergency medical treatment.
  7. While vomiting can potentially be an emergency, diarrhea is not a medical emergency. Just be sure to stay hydrated.
  8. An ‘emergency’ boils down to a subjective judgement call. If in doubt, always go to the ER.



Scroll down for the answers…no peeking!



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  1. FALSE. Suicidal thoughts or feelings are also a medical emergency. Changes in mental state such as unexplained confusion could also possibly indicate a medical emergency.
  2. TRUE. You don’t know why the person momentarily lost consciousness, therefor, it should be treated as an emergency so the attending medical team can determine if it is a crisis or if the person is okay.
  3. FALSE. Broken bones (or suspected broken bones) should be treated as an emergency and attended to as soon as possible.
  4. FALSE. If a person has serious mobility-impairing injuries you should not try to move them as that could cause much worse damage. You should try to make them comfortable where they are until help arrives.
  5. FALSE. CPR stands for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and generally should be performed by a person who knows the proper technique, as it can cause damage in some situations. However, if the person is not breathing you will have to try it regardless of whether or not you’ve been trained. See the proper technique for reference here.
  6. TRUE. A baby or small child cannot tell you what is wrong, and it is so easy for a child to get their hands on a poisonous substance around the house when your back is turned. If your child is violently ill all of a sudden, shaking, clammy or experiencing any other out-of-character signs, you should seek immediate treatment.
  7. FALSE. Severe or prolonged diarrhea or vomiting, especially that which contains blood, should be treated as a medical emergency as it could indicate any number of serious underlying conditions.
  8. TRUE. It can be very hard to tell if something is critical or just appears serious momentarily, but if you’re ever unsure, it is best to check it out before things make a turn for the worst.

Thanks for visiting DocChat! Aim to get your First Aid training soon so you will be ready to save a life if need be!



5 Reasons to Consider Nighttime Workouts

There is nothing wrong with a hearty a.m. workout routine if you’re a born morning person, but what about those of us who’d rather fall in a nice, deep hole than get up extra early for a pre-workday run? If you aren’t a morning person, fear no more. The theory that it is better to workout in the morning has recently been debunked, apparently both morning and nighttime workouts have their respective benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the pros to sweating it with the moon instead of the sun:

  1. Your metabolism is better prepared for the ridestudies have found increased endocrine levels and lower blood glucose levels in subjects who exercised later in the day than in the morning, meaning their metabolisms were working more in their favor for the workout. This can make a difference in the long run for those on a weight loss journey.
  2. It makes for a good de-stress after a long day – Wouldn’t it be great to have a productive outlet for the stresses that build up during a day at the office? Well, look no further than a nightly exercise routine to help you shake off the tension of the day while also working on enhancing your bod. So, hit the treadmill, gym or dance studio for an evening fitness session and just watch as your stress rolls off your back (along with the sweat).
  3. You may be more alert and ready to rumble – as you go about the day, you’re gaining nutrients from your meals and most likely picking up more steam than you had in the morning. Because of this, you may be more ready to really hit that workout harder.
  4. It may help you catch some zzz’s – Recent studies refute the theory that nighttime workouts may hinder sleep (unless you’re an insomniac). It appears that generally, working out a couple hours before bed won’t make a difference to your sleep. Doing activities like yoga may actually help induce a deeper, more satisfying sleep.
  5. You’ll have more sleep time in the morning – Few can argue that a major pro to getting your workout done in the evening is that you’re saving yourself precious morning moments for more sleep. If you’re someone who dreads having too many items on your a.m. to-do list, why not cross off working out by saving it for later?

Regular exercise is an essential component of a healthy overall lifestyle and lower disease risks. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter when you workout as long as you do. Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-intense physical activity a week. Thanks for visiting DocChat!



Go Green or Go Home – 10 Benefits of Dark Green Veggies

Dark and leafy green veggies are some of the healthiest fuel you can put into your body. They contain a myriad of healthful goodies and help the body in countless ways. Let’s take a look at some of the many, many health benefits of stockpiling your green veggies:

  1. They help prevent glaucoma – A long-term study that was recently published in JAMA Ophthalmology has discovered a link between eating moderate to larger amounts of leafy greens and a 20-30% lower risk of developing glaucoma.
  2. They contribute to healthier blood – Leafy greens are a major source or vitamin K, which is responsible for helping blood clot correctly.
  3. Greens strengthen bones – Dark green veggies can really help the bones as well. Both calcium and vitamin K help prevent age-related problems such as osteoporosis. Many green veggies are rich in both calcium and vitamin K.
  4. They help your heart – More specifically, steamed kale can help nix bad cholesterol by emitting substances that bind bile acids, effectively decreasing the level of cholesterol in the body which will be good for your heart in the long run.
  5. Help reduce inflammation – Many dark greens have natural anti-inflammatory properties to help with chronic inflammation some diseases can cause, or counteract inflammation caused by other foods.
  6. Help fight cancer – as with many fruits and vegetables, green veggies contain a plethora of antioxidants (helpful substances that protect the body against oxidative stress and diseases). In particular, dark green veggies contain lutein, a carotenoid that has been proven to help fight color cancer.
  7. Add nutritional goodies – Dark green veggies contain countless nutritional goodies including: vitamins B, K, C and D, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, helpful phytochemicals and beta-carotene.
  8. Add essential fiber to your life – Dark green veggies are a rich source of dietary fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion. Getting enough fiber can also aid in weight loss and maintenance.
  9. Fight obesity – Green veggies are low in calories and fat. By adding more veggies and less saturated fats or animal fats to your plate, you’ll be helping your waistline as well as the rest of your body.
  10. Protect your gut from the bad guysImmunology research has identified a gene, T-bet, that produce beneficial immune cells in the gut and help lower bad bacteria. It is activated by certain types of food (most namely, green veggies).

So, give the body what it needs – fill your grocery cart with green veggies! Thanks for visiting DocChat.

Boost Your Brain With These 7 Foods

Dementia is a prevalent, devastating condition that has been on the rise in recent years. Approximately 5.5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s alone, and over 47.5 million people suffer with dementia worldwide. What’s more, is that people are getting dementia earlier than ever before, even affecting people in their 40’s. So, what can you do to help protect your brain against this destructive disease? Aside from exercising regularly and avoiding smoking, you can help give your brain power by making the right food choices. In our last post, we checked out some of the worst foods for your brain, now let’s take a look at some of the best:

  1. Leafy green veggies are known for all kinds of health wonders, one of which is protecting the brain and promoting cognitive function as the brain ages. Lutein, a natural dark green pigment is one of the key veggie components responsible for boosting brain health.
  2. Red wine – While we know that drinking too much alcohol can lead to a myriad of diseases, according to the Memory Foundation, drinking small to moderate amounts of alcohol (specifically red wine) may reduce the risk of developing dementia by nearly 40%. Red wine is rich in antioxidants, specifically resveratrol, which is responsible for maintaining and protecting the health of your hippocampus, as well as helping to prevent blood vessel damage.
  3. Whole grains – help release a steady stream glucose (your body’s energy source) into the bloodstream and directly to the brain, which can help keep you alert and stave off mental fogginess for the long run.
  4. Fish, nuts and seeds are all rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, namely DHA and EPA. Low levels of both of these forms of fatty acids have been linked to Alzheimer’s, as well as other conditions such as certain types of heart disease. So aim to get a couple servings of fish weekly, and plenty of nuts and seeds for snacks in between.
  5. Berries and certain fruits contain anthocyanins, the natural pigment of purple, dark red and dark blue fruits and veggies. Anthocyanins also happen to be powerful and protective antioxidant compounds that linked with brain (and body) health. They work to combat oxidative stress, in turn protecting the brain against degenerative disease.
  6. Coffee – While you may have heard some conflicting health-based arguments about coffee over the years, it certainly has its pros when it comes to health. Coffee is rich in helpful antioxidants that help protect the brain. Another pro to coffee is that caffeine plays with your neurotransmitters in an oddly beneficial way. It works to suppress adenosine in the brain, which leaves you more energetic and less lethargic, while simultaneously triggering the release of serotonin to boost your mood. Studies have shown that coffee can help promote better brain functioning.
  7. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)– While margarine isn’t so hot for the brain, polyunsaturated fatty oils like EVOO are just what the doctor ordered for brain health. Olive oil also contains natural anti-inflammatory properties that help combat disease.

There you have it! Some of the best and worst foods for your brain. So, what are you waiting for? Hit the grocery store! Thanks for visiting DocChat!