Hazards In The Home: How To Make Your House Safer For Your Health

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Our homes are our havens – where we retreat from the troubles of the world outside and find our security and stability in life. We expect to be secure and comfortable, and in good health in our own homes. But the truth is, our houses are filled in invisible hazards that can threaten our health and make us ill – and we invite them in all the time. Dangerous chemicals are a threat to the health of our families, and yet they are hiding in innocuous household objects we don’t think twice about using. These substances are things we rub shoulders with every day, and never suspect that they may be the cause of various allergic symptoms that increase our risk of many cancers and birth defects in our children.

The introduction of toxic substances comes in many forms and the worst offenders are hiding in plain sight – from cleaning products to children’s toys and the paint on our walls.

If your home suddenly seems not as safe? Don’t panic. Identify the problem areas outlined below and you’re well on your way to making your home a safer place to live.

The Scent of Danger

We all want our homes to smell pleasant and fresh, so sales of air fresheners, plug-in room deodorizers, and scented candles are at an all-time high – but although they may smell sweet, a lot of them are not so good for you and your family’s health. Most scented candles are made from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum. Therefore, it emits carcinogens (or toxic chemicals) such as toluene and benzene. The same is true from sprays and plug-ins, which can also contain formaldehyde and VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) like nitrogen dioxide. So look into more natural ways to scent your home – either source natural beeswax or soy candles or you can use essential oils in many different ways – adding some to a square of muslin and tucking behind the radiator, buying a diffuser or even dabbing some on a lightbulb can all keep your home smelling great without the chemical hit.

Colour Me Green

The way we choose to decorate our homes can also mean introducing harmful chemicals into our living environments. Most mass-market paint brands contain VOCs as well. These give qualities such as shelf-life and spreadability to commercial points, but they also keep releasing for up to five years after application, so it’s worth hunting down the increasing numbers of non-VOC paints that you can now buy. Similarly, carpets and rugs are coated with chemical compounds both in the glues and dyes that make up the item and some that are applied after manufacture, such as flame retardants or stain guards. The problem is most acute when they are new, so if you’ve just redecorated, you could have unwittingly introduced chemicals into the environment. Again, it is possible to source carpets and rugs which use natural dyes and are VOC-free. The Green Label Plus scheme shows those carpets and rugs which emit a lesser amount of chemicals. The chemical release is generally worse in the first 72 hours after a carpet is fitted, so if you can, consider letting it air out in an open space for 24 hours prior to fitting. For those rugs already installed, you can actually help prevent the build-up of harmful chemicals and allergens by vacuuming regularly with a cleaner that has a HEPA filter installed. Choose non-toxic rug cleaners – natural substances such as white vinegar, baking soda and cornstarch are really effective ways to get rid of a lot of stains and spills. It’s also wise to have visitors and family remove their shoes before coming into the house, which prevents dirt, pesticides and other nasties from tracking into the house and carpeting.

Your Child’s Toys

It’s not nice to think that the things you give your kids to play with could be harming them, but a lot of plastic toys produced for children are made of a substances called PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which is a known carcinogen, and is often coated in worse offenders such as phthalates to make it flexible. Although some of these compounds have been banned in some countries, forms of them can still be found in some toys, especially those manufactured in places like China. The chemicals can disrupt the natural production of hormones in the body. So try to opt for wooden toys where ever possible, and read labels carefully.

Dangerous Tech

We all know the lessons about letting our children spend too long glues to phones, laptops and tablets, but it seems it’s not just what they’re watching on YouTube that we need to be concerned about. Slowly, electronics manufacturers are trying to phase them out, but some devices still contain various chemical substances such as triphenyl phosphate, which acts as a flame retardant but can release gasses when your device heats up. And if you still have a printer at home, it could be releasing ozone, a substance that can be an irritant for your nose and lungs and trigger conditions such as bronchitis or asthma. The best idea is all around is to limit the use of computers in the home as far as possible, especially at night time, when the blue light they emit can disrupt the hormones that regulate our sleep and give out electromagnetic fields that can also be harmful.

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The Price of Beauty

When it comes to our beauty products, some of the worst offenders can be found lurking in our makeup bags and bathroom cabinets. They can have far-ranging effects, from causing skin irritation, allergies, hormone disruption, links to some cancers and even neurological problems – and we add them to our skin each and every day. Thankfully, finding natural alternatives has become a lot easier in recent years, as demand has risen for natural, effective alternatives to everyday products. As the options have increased, the price has also lowered, meaning that natural beauty is more viable than ever before. Brands such as Neal’s Yard Remedies and Rahua are producing great products derived from organic and natural ingredients, so there are lots of easy alternatives out there that don’t compromise on the luxury element.

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Avoid These Habits To Keep Your Mental Health In Check

Being vigilant about your mental health is more important than ever because our stressful work lives make it more likely for you to suffer. In the past, mental health issues were considered quite rare but now that we’ve learned to recognize them a lot better, it’s become clear that so many people are suffering. Recent figures suggest that around one quarter of people will experience some kind of mental health problem in their lives. That’s why it’s so important that we live a healthy lifestyle and avoid habits that increase the chances of developing mental health issues. These are some of the habits that can make things a lot worse for you if you’re already struggling with your mental health.

Lack Of Sleep

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When you sleep, your body and mind repairs themselves but if you’re not giving it that chance, you’ll end up with a whole host of health problems, both physical and mental. Not having enough sleep saps your motivation and increases your chance of developing problems with anxiety and depression. You need to get into a good routine and try to get to sleep at roughly the same time every night. Avoid using your phone or laptop or the repetidor wifi late at night as well because it makes it harder for you to get to sleep.

Excessive Drinking

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People often use alcohol as a stress reliever which can lead to serious problems. Excessive drinking has been linked to depression and people suffering with mental health issues often use alcohol as a way of managing those feelings, creating a vicious cycle. It can quickly sneak up on you and become a problem without you realizing. If you think that your drinking may be out of control, you should consider going to a health recovery centre to deal with it. If you let it spiral out of control, things will get a lot worse.

Too Much Social Media

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Comparing yourself to others all the time can make you feel bad about yourself which is why using too much social media can lead to mental health problems. Studies show that it can seriously impact your self esteem and give you unreasonable ideas about what your life should be like. Constantly looking at other people’s posts and convincing yourself that their life is better than yours will only damage your mental wellbeing. But the thing is, people aren’t posting an accurate picture of their lives online, they’re just showing you the best bits and they’ve got all the same problems that you have. The other problem is that, even though you may feel as though you’re connecting with people, you aren’t making valuable human connections. Substituting real human interaction with social media can quickly leave you feeling isolated and make mental health problems a lot worse. You don’t have to swear off social media completely but don’t take everything you see at face value and try not to spend too much time looking at it every day.

Breaking these habits can help you to keep your mental health in check and avoid any serious problems.

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THE BIG C: Can Cancer Be Prevented?

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Statistically, one in every two people will get cancer in their lifetime. This is a shocking and frightening statistic, guaranteed to worry all of us. Understandably, the question ‘can cancer be prevented?’ is something many of us will have asked ourselves. The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ which we appreciate is not very helpful, but read on.

Who is likely to develop cancer?

There are some people at higher risk of developing cancer than others. The following groups of people are most susceptible.

  • People who work in a high-risk environment, such as those working with cancer-causing substances, such as asbestos. As you will have seen on the media, there has been a massive demand for the best lawyers for asbestos exposure victims, especially for those who weren’t made aware of the dangers of this deadly substance in their workplace.
  • There is some research to suggest that the gene pool is also an overriding factor in developing the disease. After inheriting damaged DNA from their parents, the risks of cancers such as breast and ovarian have been increased. Despite the added risk, however, scientists have discovered only 2 or 3 people out of every 100 are in danger of cancer because of their faulty genes. There have also been advances in technology designed to alter the genes to make cancer less likely.
  • Lifestyle choices can also increase the risk of cancer. Sun-worshippers are at a higher risk of developing skin cancer because of the sun’s UV rays. Those who smoke tobacco are at risk of developing lung cancer. Then there is the debate around obesity, with some studies suggesting extra body fat and unhealthy eating plays a part in some cancers.

While the above categories place you in a higher risk of getting cancer, there is still the chance of cancer developing in those who aren’t recognized as being ‘high-risk.’ There have been cases of people developing lung cancer, for example, despite never having smoked a cigarette in their lives. So, while there is no cast-iron way to fully prevent cancer, there is still the need to take the appropriate measures to reduce the risk.

Preventative measures

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Some of these are common sense, especially when considering some of the points made above. Preventative measures include:

  • Avoiding tobacco completely, be you somebody who smokes or chews the acrid substance. Smoking is a proven factor of lung cancer, and chewing has been linked to mouth and pancreatic cancer. Admittedly, giving up on smoking is difficult, as with any addictive substance, but your doctor or pharmacist should be able to advise you on specific products to help you with your cravings if this is something relevant to you.
  • Change your diet. Some foods have been found to increase the chances of cancer, and so by avoiding these foods, no matter how tempting, you are putting yourself in less danger. Remembering too, that obesity could lead to cancer, it is also important to avoid overeating and foods that are guaranteed to pile on the pounds. Healthier foods should always be the best option then, including fruits and vegetables, while processed foods and even alcohol should be cut down in your weekly shop.
  • Engage in physical activity more often. This is a guaranteed way to beat the dangers of obesity, and specific cancers, such as breast and colon that are prevalent amongst those who don’t exercise enough. Of course, there are all kinds of other health benefits associated with exercise, so we need to cut back on the excuses for not keeping fit on a regular basis.
  • Protect yourself from skin cancer by taking preventative measures when out in the sun. This includes wearing the appropriate level sun lotions, covering exposed areas of the skin with light clothing, and staying in the shade on particularly hot days. You should also be aware of the harmful effects of UV rays from other sources, such as sunlamps and tanning beds. Avoid them or limit the time you spend trying to bronze your skin.
  • See your doctor regularly. Regular screenings can discover the signs of cancer early, making the disease more treatable. Your doctor will also give you advice on your lifestyle choices, answer your questions about the disease, and advise you on preventable tactics. You should also take any immunizations on offer, especially if you are at risk of sexually-transmitted diseases, as STDs have been linked to certain kinds of cancer, such as anal and lung cancer.

The answer to cancer

Can cancer be prevented? Yes and no, but hopefully one day, a cure will be found to eliminate the disease entirely. Until then, your first course of action should be to follow the preventative measures we mentioned to reduce the risk of cancer in your life. Continue your research online and speak to your doctor who will advise you further.

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Treating The Issues You Thought Were Untreatable

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Genes – what a load of garbage, right? By the way, we are not talking about the denim type here. Okay, so a person’s genetics can be pretty cool when you think about IQ and things of that nature. But, there are plenty of issues, mainly health-related, which come from our parents. Sorry, but mom and dad have not been completely truthful with you! Yep, that receding hairline is the fault of your parents and their parents, and theirs after that. The usual response is to say “well, we can’t change our genes” but it isn’t entirely true. Here are four ways to beat the system.

Hair Loss

As soon as follicles begin to show weakness, it’s a downhill struggle right to the very bottom. Men tend to fight the good fight more than women, yet some ladies have to deal with baldness too. It’s not nice, especially if you don’t have the strength to look yourself in the mirror on a daily basis. Changing genes isn’t an option in this case, which is why a comb-over is ubiquitous the world over. However, hair plugs have advanced to the point where the replacements take and don’t look stupid. Donald Trump is an exception, yet plenty of Hollywood celebs have gone down the same route.

Heart Disease

In the western world, heart disease is one of the top two killers, the other one being a stroke. Sadly, a weak love organ runs in the family as it is genetic. Now, there are two ways to fight back and both are equally as useful. The first is to change the body’s cells with non-viral vectoring. Okay, so the last sentence makes zero sense, so make sure you learn more about PiggyBac Transposon system. Alternatively, you can try and resist the foods and drinks which are notorious for contributing to high cholesterol. Veganism is skyrocketing for a reason.

Cancer

For the most part, cancer isn’t genetic and doesn’t depend on family history. However, and ladies should take note, there are hereditary forms of breast cancer. The gene involved can pass on from female to female, and males, too, and increase the chances of contracting the disease. No doctor will treat an illness that isn’t showing, which is why eating superfoods such as spinach and kale help. Or, there is the Angelina Jolie example, the actress famously having a preemptive mastectomy to contain the problem.

Diabetes

There is a lot of debate surrounding the topic of diabetes, but it’s worth mentioning because of its rise. Approximately ten percent of the population of the USA has to deal with the disease on a daily basis. The key is to spot the signs as soon as they begin to form, such as going to the bathroom and fatigue. Then, it is about being proactive. Visiting the doctor and getting a medical diagnosis is essential, as is listening to and following their advice. Cutting out alcohol, for example, is a necessary evil.

How do you feel now? Are you happier that there are ways to deal with your genes?

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Are You Avoiding the Issue of Mental Health Problems?

Mental health has a negative stigma in today’s society. If you’re diagnosed with having a mental health issue then it shouldn’t come as a surprise if people start to treat you negatively or discriminate you. This only adds to the problem and the source is usually people that don’t understand or respect mental health issues. There’s a good chance that they haven’t experienced mental health issues or had any friends or family members that have suffered from them.

But what about your own understanding? Do you feel like you’re avoiding your personal mental health issues for one reason or another? Is there a possibility that you are indeed suffering, yet ignoring the problem? To help you out, we’ve put together a list of signals that you should be wary of regarding mental health issues.

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You constantly look for ways to numb your mood

Whether it’s alcohol, drugs, fighting or even video games, if you’re constantly looking for an escape then there’s a chance that you might be suffering from a mental disorder. It’s important to visit a reputable clinic such as Compass Health Center if you believe that you’re trying to avoid certain feelings or find yourself seeking comfort in activities that are bad for your health and overall well-being. Leaving this for too long can easily result in permanent damage to your body, so make sure you seek assistance as soon as possible.

You feel like you’re impulsive and have mood swings

Many mental disorders come with mood swings and impulsive behavior. For example, if you feel like something can quickly trigger you to become violent, angry or even depressed, then there’s a chance that you might suffer from a borderline personality disorder. Changes associated with BPD are usually very sudden, so if you feel like your mood swings happen over longer periods of time, then you might be suffering from bipolar disorder instead. Either way, constant mood swings is a sign that should be taken seriously.

You’ve been feeling down and sad lately

If you’ve been feeling hopeless recently then it’s a red flag for depression. It’s a disorder that affects a large number of people in the world, making it an incredibly common mental health problem. Other symptoms may include a lack of concentration, a lack of energy, constantly feeling fatigued and even a lack of concentration. Failing to deal with these thoughts could lead to darker feelings such as contemplating suicide or socially isolating yourself from the rest of the world.

Final Words

Just keep in mind that mental health issues can affect everyone. Having a mental health problem doesn’t mean that you should have a lower quality of life and it doesn’t mean that you’re lesser than other people. If you want to become the best version of yourself, then it’s important to face these issues head-on and deal with them properly. Assuming you can get the right assistance and surround yourself with supportive people, you’d be surprised at just how easy it can be to cope with mental health problems at all stages of their severity.

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Medicines And Treatments – How Much Can You Do At Home?

These days, hospitals and doctors surgeries are extremely overstretched. There is little funding being pumped into them, which is resulting in a lot fewer treatment options available for a range of patients. Not only that, though, but doctors and nurses are being made to work extra long hours. So, as you can tell, maybe relying on these facilities to help you when you are ill isn’t the best option.

Sure, you should always go and get a diagnosis to make sure that you know what is wrong with you. But you might want to then see if you can deal with your treatment in your own home. This is becoming increasingly popular as more tech developments and advancements mean that home care is becoming a more viable option.

Here are some of the best at-home treatments.

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Pain Relief

If you are ever in pain you should take some pain-relief medication. Paracetamol is a good all-round pain medication that can be taken for mild to medium pain. If your pain is muscle-related or you are having bad period pains, it’s worth taking Ibuprofen instead. If your pain is fairly strong, you might want to speak to your doctor about medical gas as a pain relief option. This can sometimes relieve chronic pain, and you can often purchase the canisters online. Just make sure you speak to your doctor before taking it.

First-Aid Kits

Even though your home might be completely safe, there are still some very small risks of cutting or burning yourself. This is most often the case in the kitchen while you are cooking. So, it’s a good idea to invest in a first-aid kit that is filled with antiseptic creams and band aids. That way, you can treat any small cuts and grazes without seeing a medical professional.

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Illness-Specific Treatments

There are some long-term health conditions that require daily medication and treatment that can be carried out in your own home. For instance, if you have type one diabetes, you will need to have daily insulin injections. After a doctor shows you how to do these, you will be able to do them yourself at home. Similarly, patients with cystic fibrosis require daily massages. These can also be done at home, and family members will be able to do them for you once they have been shown how.

Palliative Care

Those who are suffering from terminal illnesses can receive some very good palliative care in their own homes too. Once, these types of illnesses needed to be treated in a hospice, but that is no longer the case. Most of the time, you just need to make sure that the individual is comfortable in their own home so that they aren’t in too much pain during their final months. It may also be necessary to adapt the house so that they can move around easily despite any joint pain and limited mobility.

As you can see, there is a lot of different treatment and medication that can now be administered in your home.

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Is This The Solution To Getting Your Health Back On Track?

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At different points in life, you may find that your health just isn’t where it needs to be. Whether you find yourself suffering with stress, struggling with physical health issues, or generally not feeling yourself, you can make a change. It’s easy to believe that you’re a victim of poor health. But a lot of the time, our health issues could have been avoided in the first place if we made the right choices. So, you may find that if you were to them make the right choices going forward, you could work on solving your health issues. If this sounds like something you want to do, it’s time for you to make a change to your health. And let’s take a look at five solutions that could help.

1. Losing Weight

Up first we have weight loss. It’s so easy to believe that the reason you would want to lose weight is for aesthetic reasons. While it’s certainly nice to feel and look good, being overweight is also harmful to your health. So it’s important that you work on getting your body into a healthy weight range to benefit your health. When you lose weight, your body will be so much healthier and much more energized too. And yes, you will probably feel more confident in how you look too. When combined, both mean that you will be in a better place.

2. Calming Your Mind

Next, you’re going to want to work on your mind. If you tend to suffer from a lot of stress and you know that it’s affecting your health, working on your mental state can help. There are a range of yoga poses that can help you to calm your mind, and there are also great benefits to be found in meditation too. So try them both out and see if you can reduce your stress levels this way.

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3. Fueling Your Health

Then there’s always nutrition to think about. A lot of the time, we see a healthy diet as something we have to do to lose weight and look good. And we feel as if we’re depriving ourselves – which makes it hard to stick to. However, when you are focusing on nutritious eating, you’re fueling your health. What you eat helps or harms more than just your weight, it impacts on your health too. So choosing to eat a nutritious diet could be what you need to get your health back on track.

4. Dealing With Pain

If you are suffering with pain, you may need to find a new solution to cope. Alternative pain relief methods, such as Culta Cannabis or Chinese herbs, could help. If you’re not seeing success with more traditional medicine, then alternative options could be what you need.

5. Feeling Happy Again

Finally, you’re going to want to focus on your happiness. Holistic health is incredibly important. If you’re unhappy, it can affect your mental state which can then impact on your mental health. So it’s time to focus on anything you can do to stay happy and enjoy the benefits it can have for your health.

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Fit As a Fiddle Family: Staying Healthy Together

It’s often easier to commit to doing something if you do it as a family. You hold each other accountable, and you get to spend time together, which gives you more motivation. Plus, it’s difficult to encourage your kids to be healthy if you’re not setting a good example. Being healthy as a family helps you spend more time together and ensure your children have good habits that they can carry into adulthood. You might be a bit unsure about how your family can be healthy together, but there are lots of ways you can make some lifestyle changes that will help you all.

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Cook Together

Diet is an important part of staying healthy, and it’s a good idea to get your children into healthy eating habits early. As well as eating together, which allows you to have conversations and encourage your kids to try new things, cooking together is also a great idea. Children can be much more engaged with their food when they have played a part in making it. They might also be more willing to be adventurous if they get to try something that they made themselves. Kids can help out in lots of ways, as long as they’re safe.

Look for Family Health Plans

Visiting your doctor, dentist or other medical provider as a family is a good way to stay healthy together. You can book appointments for checkups at the same time and choose a service that you know will cater for all the family. At www.fenton-familydentistry.com, you can read about how they provide for everyone from young children to older adults. There might be some things you want to look for when you choose a medical service. For example, if you are a parent with a baby, how easy is it for you to take your baby to an appointment for you?

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Exercise Together

Getting active together is another way for families to stay healthy. We all like to relax in front of the TV sometimes, but getting outside and exercising is important. There are many fun things you can do together, from going for a walk or bike ride to swimming or a trip to the park. Even doing everyday activities can get everyone moving. Mowing the lawn, vacuuming or washing the car are all productive tasks and they ensure that everyone isn’t just sitting around, doing nothing. Find some family exercise ideas at www.eatright.org.

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Stay Mentally and Emotionally Healthy Too

Mental health is also extremely important for both adults and children. Families can help each other with their mental and emotional health by being open and compassionate. Talking about your feelings and your problems can help everyone feel better. You can find out how at http://kidshealth.org. Of course, parents should be careful about what they share with their children. While it’s ok to tell them what you are feeling sometimes, you should hold back from sharing adult problems with them. You might talk about how you both miss someone, but it’s not your child’s job to listen to your issues at work.

You can stay healthy as a family by working together. Support each other to make healthy choices for a happy lifestyle.

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