The Benefits of Cinnamon for Your Sinus Health

Cinnamon is not only delicious, but it has a number of health benefits that are worth paying attention to. Cinnamon is proven to be anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, as well as anti-inflammatory. This has some obvious benefits when it comes to not only your sinus health but your overall health.

Trade in sugar as a flavor enhancer and get yourself some cinnamon. Not only will it spice up your drinks such as tea and coffee, but it might just help you fight off infections and bad breath as well. That’s right! Add a little bit of cinnamon to your coffee and mask that bad coffee breath tomorrow morning!

Anti-Fungal Properties

Researchers have witnessed cinnamon’s unique ability to fight fungal infections in the respiratory tract, especially with the fungal infection Thrush. Thrush generally spreads to the tongue and throat and can be combated with some cinnamon tea! Simply gargle a bit of cinnamon tea, holding it in the back of your throat and then swallowing.

An important aspect of cinnamon’s anti-fungal properties is that it can be used to fight fungal growths that have become resistant to certain medicines.

Antibacterial and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

Cinnamon’s natural oil, primarily cinnamaldehyde, have been shown to fight bacteria including Salmonella and listeria. It is not exactly clear if it can be applied as an all-purpose antibacterial fighter, but the evidence against these two strains of bacteria is enough to suggest that adding a little cinnamon to your daily diet is worthwhile.

The antioxidants in cinnamon have also been shown to have drastic anti-inflammatory properties. You might think that this sounds a little less important than fighting fungus and bacteria, but you’d be surprised how important it is to keep down inflammation in your body. All chronic sinusitis is caused by inflammation. Cinnamon can, therefore, be used to combat sinus disease, as well as a slew of other inflammation-related diseases like diabetes.

Avoid the Flu this Cold & Flu Season

Getting the flu or cold isn’t just uncomfortable and irritating; it can be much more. If you are a hardworking parent, you have a job that you can’t afford to lose, or there is some important event or meeting that you just can’t miss, then it’s even more important for you to be able to avoid getting the flu. We compiled a small list of tips that will help you avoid getting the flu or a cold this flu season.

What You Can Do

It’s not just bad fortune if you get sick; you really can avoid the flu. There are practical steps you can take if avoiding sickness is something really important to you.

Wash your hands a lot. This is one of the most important tips we can give you. If you are worried that you came into contact with a sick person, or you opened a door that a sick person might have opened, or you touched a countertop where there might be bacteria, then you are right. Basically, everything you touch outside of your home has been touched by other people who may be carrying the flu or a cold. The majority of harmful bacteria that ends up inside your body was transferred there by means of your hands. If you avoid touching your face and you wash your hands often, then you are significantly less likely to contract the flu.

Get a flu shot. We know that the flu shot is not a sure-fire way to avoid getting the flu, but getting it immunizes you to the most common strains of the flu that year. This is a huge defense against contracting and spreading the flu.

Keep your body healthy in other ways.  Your immune system varies greatly in strength compared to other people who live different lifestyles. If you constantly get 8 hours of sleep, drink lots of water, have a healthy diet, and get regular exercise, then your immune system will likely be able to fight off harmful bacteria even if it does enter your body.

Don’t Let a Health Emergency Ruin Your Vacation!

Emergencies seem to always happen when you are away from home and away from your usual doctor. Of course! Even when you are on vacation, there are steps you can take to avoid letting a health issue ruin a holiday or vacation. Here are a few tips on handling some health issues that can creep up on vacation:

Common Cold

Traveling weakens the immune system, making it easier to get sick. To avoid getting sick or to get better after you’ve become sick, it is important to stay hydrated, get enough rest, and eat healthy food. Also, consider a flu shot before traveling to hedge your bets.

Altitude and Motion Sickness

Traveling somewhere with a high altitude can lead to altitude sickness due to a change in the oxygen levels. This can be combated by exercising in advance to prepare your body for a higher altitude. Motion sickness is caused by an inner ear disturbance caused by a repeated motion such as riding a boat, flying in a plane or driving in a car. Even those not normally susceptible to motion sickness can experience symptoms when they least expect it. All travel kits should have an over the counter motion sickness medication just in case.

While we all want to have fun on vacation, remember the longer you wait to get a health issue taken care of, the worse off you could be.

What to Do When You Have a Migraine

A migraine is viewed by many as just a severe headache, but there are many differences. Migraine symptoms include light sensitivity, throbbing pain (often focused on one side of the head), nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to sound. The pain from a migraine can last for an extended period that is hard to predict.

Symptoms of Migraines

Some people get migraines more often than others and will start to notice some warning signs that a migraine is on its way. These symptoms include:

  • Dimmed vision
  • Flashes of light
  • Blind spots
  • Seeing stars
  • Tingling/numbness in the face, legs or arms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Hallucinations
  • Speech difficulties

Steps to Take with Migraines

Migraine pain can be very severe, so it is important to know what you can do to stop it. Proper diagnosis is key, particularly for anyone with reoccurring migraines. A specialist may conduct a CT scan to rule out any underlying issues causing the migraines. There are many pain-relievers available that are geared specifically towards migraines.

Always consult with your doctor, since there is also prevention medication that is usually taken daily to prevent migraines. It is also important to consult a doctor before taking any medications, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine. Most migraine pain relievers do contain small amounts of caffeine that can help eliminate a migraine, but for those that are extremely sensitive to caffeine, even small amounts could intensify a migraine instead.

Sometimes people can confuse serious medical emergencies with migraines. If you are experiencing any of the following, head to our Angleton emergency room:

  • A severe headache that comes on suddenly and quickly
  • A headache that occurs after hitting your head or after being in an accident
  • A stiff neck and fever
  • A fever with speech difficulty, seizures, muscle weakness, confusion, speech difficulty, double vision or dizziness
  • A sudden migraine with no prior family history, especially if over the age of 50

Is Sitting Bad for Your Health?

When you look for tips on how to improve your health, one nugget of wisdom that always pops up is to stay active. But, did you know that staying still—specifically, sitting—can actually be bad for your health?

Health Risks of Sitting

According to the Mayo Clinic, research has shown that excessive sitting is linked to a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and increased cholesterol levels). Sitting too much also appears to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

It should be noted that this sitting includes not just free time in front of the television, but any time during the day that you sit, whether that’s at the desk for hours on end at work or at the wheel during your commute. On top of that, the risk incurred by all those hours of sitting can’t be offset by one day of moderate or vigorous activity, even if it’s a few hours at the gym.

Lowering Your Risk

So what can you do to reduce these health risks? Simply try to sit less and move more. This doesn’t mean that you constantly have to be on the move. Rather, take breaks from sitting every 30 minutes or so. Though more research is needed to set specific guidelines, a good rule of thumb to follow is to move around for about five minutes for every 30 minutes that you are sedentary. Get up to stretch your legs or get some coffee. Stand while talking on the phone or eating lunch. Walk rounds with colleagues instead of gathering in a conference room for meetings. There’s not enough evidence currently to suggest that standing while you work (such as at a standing desk) is any better than sitting, so it’s best to find a way to move around for short periods of time.

Is a Nosebleed a Serious Condition?

The nose is prone to bleeding because it contains many small blood vessels. These arterioles help warm and moisturize the air you inhale. Since these vessels are near the surface, they are easy to injure.

Are Frequent Nosebleeds Dangerous?

Sometimes, nosebleeds originate from the larger vessels in the rear of the nose. This can be a serious health condition that may result after nose trauma. This symptom is most common in elderly patients with medical problems such as high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, atherosclerosis, or those who take aspirin every day. Typically, more serious nosebleeds are seen in older patients.

If the prolonged bleeding lasts longer than 20 minutes or occurs due to a nose trauma such as a punch or a fall, seek immediate medical attention. This is especially important if you believe your nose may be broken. At times, a nosebleed following an accident or a fall indicates possible internal bleeding.

Frequent nosebleeds can be a sign of medical problems. Common causes of nosebleeds include a clotting or bleeding disorder, an early symptom of Leukemia, or either a malignant or benign nasal tumor.

Common Causes of Nosebleeds

Dryness caused by indoor heated air and nose picking are the most common causes of nosebleeds. Typically, these two causes work together. When mucus inside the nose becomes dried out and crusty, picking is more likely to occur.

Less common causes of nosebleeds include nose trauma, allergic rhinitis, acute sinusitis, or the common cold. Sometimes, small children insert small objects up their noses. Elderly patients may have hardened arteries, high blood pressure, bleeding disorders or may be taking medication that interferes with blood clotting. In rare cases, frequent nosebleeds are caused by the genetic disorder HTT. Other times, there is no clear explanation for a nosebleed.

How to Prevent a Nose Bleed

  • Keep fingernails short to discourage children (and adults) from picking.

  • Run a humidifier overnight in each bedroom.

  • Stop smoking.

  • When you sneeze, make it a habit of opening your mouth.

Seek Medical Attention If…

  • The prolonged nosebleed lasts longer than 20 minutes.

  • The bleeding is a result of nose trauma, like getting hit in the face or a face downfall.

Nosebleeds can be common occurrences; it is normal to experience a nosebleed every so often as the weather changes or as you adjust to new temperatures. However, don’t hesitate to visit the doctor if you find you are having frequent, recurring nosebleeds; this could be a sign of a more serious condition.

Get Ready for Cold and Flu Season

Every single year the cold and flu season visits us, whether we like it or not. Although there is no way to completely remove all the risks of getting the flu or a cold, there are many preventative measures you can take to try to avoid it and make sure you get through it comfortably in the event it happens.

Get Vaccinated.

One of the most important steps for flu season is a yearly flu vaccination. It is typically available by October and can help protect you and your family against the most common flu strains. Did you know people can spread the flu a day before they even have symptoms? It spreads much differently than the common cold and is extremely contagious.

Wash Your Hands.

Properly washing your hands should always be a high priority, but during cold and flu season it is a must! It is one of the most effective ways to prevent a cold or the flu and is extremely easy. You should even be practicing with your children. For a good time-frame of how long you should be washing, try singing Happy Birthday twice. We recommend disposable towels for drying so that you can also turn off the faucet after, avoiding potential germs.

Stock Up.

Everyone knows how dreadful the store can be when you aren’t feeling well. To avoid this problem, make sure you stock up on cold and flu season essentials before it ever arrives! Take a look through your medicine cabinet and dispose of any expired medications, make a list and replace them. Another handy item is a thermometer. Humidifiers can also come in handy during the season.

Make sure you also have the basic items: tissues, antibacterial soap, and even hand sanitizer. Food and fluids are also highly important; think about things that are healthy yet easy to prepare. Water is most recommended for hydration, but teas and even Gatorade can also help.

Don’t find yourself in a rut this cold and flu season; with our simple tips, you will be fully prepared if you don’t make it through the season without getting sick.

5 Reasons Why Exercise is Important

Everyone is aware of the importance of exercise, but do you know why exercise is important? Exercise benefits many different areas of your body and your life. Here are 5 good reasons why you should make exercise a regular part of your routine.

1. Weight Control

One of the most common benefits of exercise is that it helps you control and manage your weight. Exercise burns calories, which results in shedding pounds. Although rigorous exercise will burn more calories, even simple exercises such as a brisk walk can have a positive impact on weight loss.

2. Physical Fitness

Exercise doesn’t just keep you trim—it helps you stay healthy. Regular exercise increases your overall level of fitness, which in turn boosts your immune system and makes you more resilient to illnesses like the common cold. Combined with your regular vaccinations, physical exercise might just be your ticket to getting through flu season in one piece.

3. Energy

One of the reasons to exercise regularly is that it gives you energy. Rather than going for that second cup of coffee, a workout can help oxygen flow more freely throughout the body and give you a much-needed burst of energy to get you through the day. It also increases your overall stamina, which can help you stay energized for longer to begin with.

4. Mental Health

Exercise has been proven to provide a mood booster, as it releases chemicals into your brain that help you feel happier and can ease the effects of depression, ADHD, and anxiety. It can also allow you to sleep better at night, which is important to maintaining an overall good mood.

5. Long-Term Health

In addition to all of the immediate benefits of regular exercise, it can help you stave off health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes in the long term. Working out increases your “good” cholesterol and decreases your risk of serious medical issues, especially those pertaining to the heart.

Exercise can help with a myriad of health issues and it’s as easy as taking a simple walk. Try to work physical activity into your daily routine one step at a time!

Healthy Diet, Healthy Body

If you are wondering how to improve your health, start with good nutrition. Keep a balanced diet of fiber-filled fruits and vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins. Healthy eating habits will keep you fuller, longer by taking in fewer calories.

Tips for Improving Your Health

Improve your health by practicing healthy eating habits. One of the benefits of a healthy diet is better weight management. In addition, powerful antioxidants, essential fatty acids, bone-strengthening calcium and other good nutrition help keep your body functioning properly and looking its best, inside and out.

Healthy Eating Tips

Consider including the following nutrient-dense foods in your balanced diet. They all provide good nutrition, contribute to a healthier body and improve your overall health.

  • High-Fiber Green Beans, Chickpeas or Strawberries

    Filling up on high-fiber foods like green beans can help you maintain a healthy weight, or even promote fat loss, without restrictive dieting. Research has shown that women who boosted their fiber intake typically lost weight, while those who lacked fiber, gained. The effective weight loss formula came down to eight grams of dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed. This equation resulted in over four pounds lost over the course of the study.

  • Oily Fish Like Salmon

    Oily fish such as tuna or salmon contain omega-3 fatty acids that increase the body’s defenses against the damaging rays of the sun. It has recently been discovered that people who eat more than five ounces of fatty fish every week are 30 percent less likely to develop precancerous skin lesions. Omega-3 fatty acids are also believed to protect cell walls from free-radical damage.

  • Mixed Berries

    Improve your health by eating a cup of mixed berries every day for eight weeks. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and other varieties contain heart-healthy polyphenols that are known to boost good cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure when added to your daily diet.

  • Watermelon, Cucumbers, and Lettuce

    Fruits and vegetables that are composed of mostly water keep you from overeating because they make you feel full on fewer calories. Watermelon is a great addition to a healthy diet for good health. This refreshing fruit contains 92 percent water and offers good nutrition such as vitamin c and lycopene, a powerful antioxidant known to protect against certain cancers and heart disease.

  • Tomatoes, Oranges, and Broccoli

    Colorful foods like strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, and oranges are rich in vitamin-c and the key to smooth, youthful skin. Studies have shown that including high amounts of vitamin c foods in your healthy diet may lower the risk for developing wrinkled skin and age-related dryness due to the antioxidant properties.

Stay Hydrated this Summer

More and more people are heading outside as the temperature rises, whether to go to the pool, play sports, attend summer camps, or just enjoy the sunshine. Unfortunately, many are not aware of the increased risks that the heightened temperatures can bring. Dehydration is only one of the issues that people can face in the summertime, and no one should head into the heat unless they’re aware of the dangers and how to overcome them.

The Dangers of Summer Heat

Overheating isn’t just uncomfortable—it can lead to serious heat related illness. Dehydration, heat stroke, and heat exhaustion are all things to be cautious about when the temperature is high.

Making yourself aware of the symptoms of heat related illnesses is the first step towards preventing them. If you have a headache, fatigue, nausea, increased heart rate, or feelings of dizziness at any point when you’ve been outside in the heat, find a cooler area immediately and monitor your condition in case it worsens.

How to Stay Hydrated

Fortunately, many heat related illnesses can be prevented by staying cool and hydrated. The most obvious ways to stay hydrated involve drinking water. The amount of water your body needs increases the more you sweat, so be sure to always have a water bottle on hand if you’re going to be outside or doing any intense activities.

Fruits and vegetables are also great sources of water and other essential nutrients. During the summertime, try to incorporate more hydrating foods into your diet along with drinking more water. Fruits such as watermelon, strawberries, and cantaloupe are all summery foods that will help keep your hydrated.

If you’re experiencing a heat-related emergency, don’t hesitate—get yourself to the emergency room to be sure it’s nothing too serious. The friendly staff at Angleton ER is experienced in heat related illnesses and can make sure you get the treatment you need to stay safe and healthy this summer.