Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sodium Reductions Might Not Affect Heart Health

According to an article written in Time magazine, they've been doing research in Europe that proves that lower sodium intake might not actually help heart health in the long run. Studies have shown that people who have high blood pressure or heart disease would benefit from lowering salt intake. However, in a study of more than 3,500 people who didn't have heart problems, the ones who had the highest salt intake were the lowest risk for heart disease-related death. The study was done for more than eight years and those with the highest sodium levels only had a 0.8% death rate. Those with low sodium had a 4% death rate.

All the unique things that the health science world is doing today never cease to amaze me. It's like the blog that I wrote awhile back on senior safety and wellness, which talked about how education is so very important to your health. COPD symptoms can be reduced with exercise, Alzheimer's can be staved off with walking, and now apparently sodium isn't going to be terribly bad for your heart. But why is this?

According to researchers, while salt intake does affect blood pressure, it doesn't increase the risk of hypertension or a death related to heart disease. It apparently doesn't have as much of an effect as they thought, and is much less of an issue. The American Heart Association is still hard at work trying to convince people to lower their sodium intake just for the sake of their health, but there's apparently less of a connection to heart health than was previously thought.

The study does have its flaws, of course. The volunteers were all younger, so the follow-up might not have been effective enough due to the age at which these heart issues usually occur. Either way, it is a complicated issue that people have to face and learn about for themselves. Nothing is more important than being educated and you really need to read up. Medical science never ceases to impress me with its findings, but this just goes to show that you have to get the details before you tip the salt shaker.

Mary Albert is a health advocate at Lifestyle Health Guide, where she contributes regularly on health issues and medical alert systems.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Educate Yourself on Alzheimer's- New Studies that Will Surprise You

In a blog I wrote a while back on healthy aging and elderly safety, I spoke about how education is such a valuable resource for people who want to maintain an active, healthy life. Being constantly in fear of your health and aging is not any way to enjoy retirement. You have to take the time to learn about your health issues, your lifestyle, and the things that will help you live the longest, healthiest life possible. In doing some research on different topics, I found a new article that was quite intriguing. While I've done research that shows that walking and exercise can help both COPD and Alzheimer's on my lifestyle and medical alert blog, this new article was quite eye-catching.

According to new studies being done, it seems that there is a gene for Alzheimer's Risk that disrupts the wiring of the brain as much as 50 years before the disease actually strikes. There has been knowledge of genetic involvement in Alzheimer's for a long time, but this is totally new information that has been made available. In a study done at UCLA, this new gene was tested and studied to figure out exactly what it does. Known as the CLU gene, it shows the ability to start damaging the brain as much as 50 years before the normal onset of Alzheimer's.

During the study, researchers took the time to scan the brains of those who had this gene as well as those who didn’t, and the result was that young, healthy people who carried this gene were already showing a decrease in the integrity of white matter in the brain. That means that they're already showing effects that are putting their brains at risk for developing full-blown Alzheimer's in the future. This is remarkable, but also scary for many people.

Fortunately, as research continues to become available and give people the resources that they need, it will hopefully be easier to pinpoint the effects of genes and find a way to stop them from leading to this terrible condition. My mother suffered from Alzheimer's and I personally don't want to face it for myself after seeing what she went through. This study proved that 88% of the Caucasian population has this gene and while all of them don't end up getting Alzheimer's, it does put them all at risk for developing the condition. Hopefully they will continue to develop this research and find a way to put it to good use.

Mary Albert is a health and lifestyle blogger at Lifestyle Health guide. She commonly writes about aging and health issues as well as medical alert systems.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Medical Advances- Understanding Technology and Health News

I was recently reviewing a blog I wrote awhile back about the benefits of medical alarm systems, and really wanted to reach out and talk about medical and health technology and advances that can be used to our advantage. As retirement approaches, or as it carries on for some of us, knowing the different advances in technology that are available is often helpful. Medical technology like medical alert systems is constantly growing and changing, and it doesn't always have to be high-tech to be successful.

The medical alert system has remained largely unchanged since it was first debuted decades ago, and its simplicity is often what makes it such a popular item. There are a lot of highly technical products and services on the market today, but they only offer benefits when their technology is suited to the audience accordingly. I'm not incompetent, but I also don't have months to spend learning about all these new gadgets and gizmos that are supposed to make life 'better'. Heck, it took my kids quite a few years to convince me to set up one of those Facebook pages, and I barely understood that.

Being educated about health technology is important, no matter how simple it might be. These advances and new innovations are designed to make our lives better and more enjoyable, which is why staying on top of things will always be beneficial. There's a lot going on in the medical industry right now and technology is creating changes almost every single day. While this can seem difficult to keep up with, the internet makes it easy. Find the best resources for health news and technology updates so that you can be an informed consumer.

Education is the key to getting rid of your fears or confusion about anything. If you want to have a happy, healthy retirement that you can enjoy, you need to understand how technology is working to benefit you and what types of advances are being made in healthcare and other areas that will positively benefit your life. Being a health advocate, it's easy for me to stay educated and share that education with others. Thanks to the internet, however, anyone can learn about advances in technology, including medical alert systems and other health and wellness solutions.

Mary Albert is a health writer for Lifestyle Health Guide, and a professional health advocate.