Saturday, April 30, 2011

How to Quit Smoking

       So you’ve decided to become a former smoker? Congratulations! Nearly four out of five smokers want to quit, and each year 40 percent of smokers finally attempt it. Before you start, it is important to remember this; research shows that the most success comes to smokers who use more than one method to fight their cravings and withdrawals. Despite your best efforts, you may not succeed the first time. But because you have already committed yourself to quitting, you are one step closer to being a former smoker.
      Start by researching all your options to find the best quit-smoking strategy for you. You might want to do this in collaboration with your doctor or another healthcare professional because the right thing for you may require a prescription. It is also wise to have a doctor involved so that he or she can monitor you for any side effects or possible complications. Here are some of the more common and proven treatment options and why they may be right for you.

Nicotine-Replacement Patch
Nicotine patches are available over the counter and are generally easy to use.
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Monday, April 18, 2011

Manage Stress to Improve Eyesight

      Researchers define stress as a physical, mental, or emotional response to events that causes bodily or mental tension. Simply put, stress is any outside force or event that has an effect on our body or mind.
Depending on the stressors and the types of changes or events we are dealing with, stress can manifest itself physically, emotionally and/or mentally.
Physical – this occurs when the body as a whole starts to suffer as a result of a stressful situation. Symptoms can manifest in a variety of ways and vary in their seriousness.
The most common physical symptom is headaches because stress causes people to unconsciously tense their neck, forehead and shoulder muscles. However long-term stress can lead to digestive problems including ulcers, insomnia, fatigue, high blood pressure, nervousness and excessive sweating, heart disease, strokes and even hair loss. The concept of managing stress is much easy to say then to do. While some people are pros at stress management; other people can only take a little bit before they start screaming and pulling out their hair. Stress happens each and every day so learning how to best deal with the stress is an important and necessary step.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Beta Carotene and Smoking

      Recent studies have shown that smoking and taking Beta Carotene supplements do not go together. Beta Carotene is an antioxidant, which means that it inactivates free radicals in the body. In the process it oxidizes and can become a kind of pro-oxidant or form oxidized by-products. Normally we don't have to worry about the by-products of Beta Carotene's antioxidant behavior. If you maintain a healthy diet with a variety of antioxidants they will work in combination to protect one another from oxidizing.

      It appears that smokers on the other hand do have something to worry about. Two studies ending in the nineties found that people who smoked at least one pack a day or drank higher than average amounts of alcohol and took Beta Carotene or Vitamin A supplements were at a higher risk for developing lung cancer and a higher risk of dying. Each of these trials showed that Beta Carotene wasn't helping many of its smoking participants and was in fact hurting some of them. The first trial called The Alpha-Tocopheral, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Trial showed eighteen percent more lung cancer and eight percent more deaths in male smokers who took 20mg of Beta Carotene. The second trial called the Beta Carotene and Retinol Efficacy Trial (CARET) initial results showed that there was twenty eight percent more lung cancer in the group of smokers and former smokers it had taking Beta Carotene and Vitamin A and seventeen percent more deaths. These results were so similar to the Cancer Prevention Trial final results that they told the participants to stop taking the supplements before the trial was scheduled to end.
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