Category: Blog

Why You Should Be Wary Of the High Life

Why You Should Be Wary Of the High Life

Now, don’t get us wrong: life should be enjoyed. But it’s always worth remembering that humans were never supposed to have everything that they wanted. We can’t be trusted to stop when we’ve had our fill! While most of our indulgences are harmless, sometimes they can have a negative effect on our health. There’s a reason why many of the famous thinkers in history have promoted living a life of moderation! Below, we take a look at some of the things that all of us pursue, but which might end up causing us problems if we’re not careful.

Eating Too Well

How nice would it be to be a millionaire, and have your own chef? You’d be eating three delicious, hearty meals a day. Though, having said that, it’s not that we need to be a millionaire to eat well, not these days. It’s more likely that you’ll die from overeating than undereating. That’s something to be celebrated, but also comes with a warning. There’s a long list of health problems attached to eating too much food. So learn to regulate your portion sizes and the types of food you’re eating.

Soaking Up the Rays

Wouldn’t it be nice to spend long days reading on the beach? Or we don’t have to even go that far. Wouldn’t it be nice just to be in the sunshine, doing anything so long as we’re topping up our tan? Well yes, but like most things, only if we’re taking proper precautions. There are more people than ever who are requiring testing for melanoma because they’ve spent so much time in the sunshine. If you are going to relax and work on getting that bronzed look, then make sure you’re doing so safely.

Spend, Spend, Spend

The high life involves being able to buy whatever you want, whenever you want it. It’s a costly lifestyle. But here’s the thing: study after study has shown that material items don’t improve our levels of happiness. If anything, they have a detrimental impact. But that assumes that you already have the money to buy what you want. If you don’t, you might have to commit to many years of training and professional growth before you can acquire the lifestyle that you want. If you have an inherent interest in your work, then there’s no problem. If you’re doing it just for the money, then you might one day find that the things your work enabled you to buy wasn’t worth the time. Mental health issues are on the rise for a reason!

Too Comfortable

We all strive to have more comfort in our life, but comfort is not necessarily something to aspire to. It’s much more comfortable to lie on the couch than visit the gym, but we all know which one would be better for our health. So don’t just take the easiest option, because it’ll be a false friend. Sometimes you need to do things that don’t always feel great in order to be your healthiest self!

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Diabetes: The Long-Term Picture

Diabetes: The Long-Term Picture

Coming to terms with diabetes can be difficult for anyone. Not only do you need to accept that you have this condition but you need to manage your health in a manner you were not doing before. Diabetes, in simple terms, means you have too much glucose in your blood. Glucose is a form of sugar. This can cause damage to your organs over time, which is why diabetes management is critical. In this blog post, we are going to take a look at the long-term effects of diabetes, providing some useful tips for anyone suffering from this condition.

 

Regular diabetes screening checks – It is certainly advisable to make sure you go for regular screening checks. This involves checks on your gums, teeth, feet, eyes, kidney function, triglycerides, cholesterol, blood glucose levels, and blood pressure. This will ensure that any issues are picked up on at the earliest opportunity.

 

Regular eye checks – You also need to make sure you have regular eye checks if you have diabetes. This is because there are a number of different eye conditions that are associated with diabetes. This includes the likes of glaucoma, cataracts, macular oedema, and retinopathy. Some of these conditions do not have early symptoms, which is why regular checks are a must.

 

Reduce the risk of diabetes complications – There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of complications if you have diabetes. There is only one place to start in this regard, and that is with healthy eating. You should avoid snacking on sugary foods as a way of controlling your cholesterol and glucose levels. You should also make sure you reduce your salt intake and include foods in your diet that are low in fat and high in fibre. You also need to consider the relationship between alcohol and diabetes. It is recommended that you do not consume more than two standard drinks a day. You should also make an effort to quit smoking if you currently smoke. Smoking can undo all of the good work you have done by eating healthily and reducing your alcohol intake.

 

Diabetes and mental health – It is important to recognise that diabetes can lead to depression, anxiety, and stress. It is important to be aware of this because it can easily get out of control if you are not. Stress can then impact your blood glucose levels, as well as your management of your condition in general. It is like a domino effect. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may refer you to a counsellor, or of course, you can seek one out yourself. You are going through a difficult time, so it is only natural you may be feeling the strain of this. At Dr Julian we have counsellors who specialise in help with diabetes. 

 

So there you have it: an insight into the long-term picture regarding diabetes. Hopefully, you now feel more prepared when it comes to managing your condition, or indeed, helping someone that is suffering from diabetes.

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Step-by-Step Guide to Battling a Chronic Illness

Step-by-Step Guide to Battling a Chronic Illness

Everyone has health problems over the course of their lives, and for some of us, it’s simply something as innocuous as a cold or virus. However, there are some people out there who suffer from chronic illnesses. Nobody asks for their life to change, but sometimes you get news you weren’t expecting, and it can change the way you look at everything. Chronic illnesses can sometimes be terminal, and sometimes not, but they are always serious.

It is very easy to become despondent and lose hope when you first get the diagnosis of a chronic condition. There is no right or wrong way to handle this sort of thing, but it is best to try to not panic too much in the moment. The journey toward fighting this condition is only just beginning, and you need to be in the right headspace to achieve this. Check out this step-by-step guide to helping come to terms with a chronic illness, and how you can go about fighting it.

 

Try to Remain Positive

Make sure you do as much as possible to try to remain positive. There are a lot of things that are going to need to happen if you are serious about fighting back. And a positive mental attitude is often a big part of the battle.  This is something that can seriously impact on your anxiety and stress, and you need to be determined and driven to get better and fight this condition. Never underestimate the power of the right mentality, and staying upbeat and positive is a great way of being able to work through this condition and try to get well.

 

Talk About It

The one thing that a lot of people seem to get wrong when presented with a chronic illness is that they don’t talk about it. It is natural to close up when dealing with bad news and trying to process negative information. And there are a lot of occasions on which you may not want to talk about the problems you’re having and how you’re feeling. But, it can actually be very therapeutic and useful to talk about how you are feeling. You don’t necessarily have to talk to a therapist, but you should definitely speak to somebody and not bottle up the way you are feeling.

 

Do Research (But Not Too Much)

It is important that you keep on top of the situation and what is happening, and that you do some research, so you know what you’re dealing with. If you can learn more about the chronic illness you are facing this will help you in strategizing a plan to fight it. However, you also need to be careful that you aren’t doing too much research as well these days. The internet is a wonderful resource, but it can also be overwhelming as well. It is also natural to look for and fixate on bad news. This is not what you need when you are trying to focus on the positives and work on getting better.

 

Keep an Open Mind

Keeping an open mind is really important when it comes to improving your approach and mentality. You need to understand what is involved in the process of treatment, and there are often lots of new and unproven remedies on the market. It is important to keep an open mind and realize that there are a lot of things you might not have heard of that could be essential in helping you. This is something you should bear in mind, and it will be important to ensure that you keep an open mind and are receptive the different kinds of treatments that you might be offered.

 

Join a Support Group

You can’t do this by yourself. It is going to be very difficult for you, and there are going to be good days and bad days. But, you absolutely need to have some kind of support network around you for when things get tough, and you need some support. This is why joining a group is really important, whether it be online or in person. You need to be able to interact with others who are going through the same sort of thing that you are. This is so important for helping you and giving you the right sort of emotional and mental support.

 

Take Things a Day at a Time

It can be easy to think too far into the future when you have a chronic illness and worry about things that you can’t control or effect. The best approach to take to any kind of bad news, or chronic illness, is to make sure you take things one day at a time. Living day to day is so important in the long-term battle, as well as allowing yourself to be happy now and again. Taking things a day at a time is a massive part of working through any chronic illness, and will definitely help you through the process.

 

Expect There to be Bumps in the Road

You have to understand that battling through any sort of disease, illness, or chronic condition is going to mean a lot of ups and downs. There will be good days and bad days, and you need to expect this. It’s going to be difficult at times, but you have to understand that there will be better days as well; it is all about taking the rough with the smooth. Try not to worry too much when you have bad days, it is a natural part of the process.

 

Don’t Lose Hope

When the bad days come it will seem like all is lost, and that there seems to be no way out. These are the times when you will feel at your lowest ebb, but you need to hang in there and be strong as much as possible. There are many situations when it can seem hopeless, and you might feel like there is no point in bothering, but this is not the approach to take. Try to hang in there and make sure you don’t lose hope – it will help you a lot when it comes to working on getting better and improving.

As you can see, there are a lot of things that play a role in your approach when you have a chronic illness. You need to be able to approach things in the most balanced way you can. Dealing with a chronic condition is a scary thing, and you have to make sure you are measured and sensible in the way you deal with it. There is plenty you can do that is going to help with this, and you have to make sure you battle as well as you can.

 

We have online therapists that can help with chronic conditions if you would like to book an appointment please visit www.dr-julian.com

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Stressed About Death? How Planning Can Provide You With Peace of Mind

Stressed About Death? How Planning Can Provide You With Peace of Mind

None of us like thinking about our demise- fear of the unknown and no longer being with our friends and family is never a nice thing to consider. However, something that each and every one of us needs to accept is that one day we won’t be around any more, and that the world will keep turning without us in it. Making arrangements for after our death can be strangely reassuring, and can give us peace of mind that everything will be handled the way we want it to be and that our family will be ok. Here are some of the things you can think about and put in place, just to be on the safe side. Once it’s done, there’s no need to think about it again and you can get on with enjoying your life!

 

Decide on organ donation

Do you want to donate your organs when you die? If so, you can easily sign up to the register online, including or excluding whichever you like. New technology is making it easier than ever to ensure that organs are used correctly after death- there’s more here on this. But it’s worth making it known if you get the chance- at the very least, let your loved ones know your thoughts on whether or not you’d like to donate your organs and tissues once you pass away.

 

Get life insurance

If you have a family who you support financially, it can be a worry wondering how they would get by if you passed away. Life insurance is a proactive way that you can get around this worry, for a small payment each month they can get a payout in the event of your death. Things like mortgage life cover will pay off your mortgage if you pass away, meaning your spouse isn’t at risk of losing the home. Once it’s all set up, the direct debit will come out of your account each month and you don’t need to think any more into it.

 

Make funeral arrangements

If you have specific ideas about what you would like to happen after you die, it can be worth putting this into writing in some form. Perhaps you want a religious funeral, or maybe you specifically don’t want any religion mentioned. Would you prefer to be buried close to relatives, or cremated and have your ashes sprinkled somewhere in particular? You might even have ideas for songs you’d like to be played. If you’ve taken out life insurance then often, some funds from this can be used to pay for a funeral. Otherwise, you might want to include your funeral costs in your will, so whoever inherits your money or estate can recoup the costs. You can also take out funeral insurance if you’re over a certain age (it will depend on the company) so that everything is covered once you pass away.

 

Write a will

Speaking of a will, this is something that’s well worth considering. If you own a substantial amount of money, possessions or property then a will allows you to decide how this will be split up. Without one, it will be down to the state that you live in to split things up as they see fit. If you have certain people or charities that you want to include then a will allows you to do so, and your money gets distributed in the way that you choose.

 

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4 Common Health Issues You Can Help With Cardiovascular exercise

4 Common Health Issues You Can Help With Cardiovascular exercise

Sometimes it can seem like exercise is the solution to everything. While it certainly can’t solve all of your problems, there are many smaller health concerns that be helped – and even more major health concerns that can be prevented through exercise.

Cardio, in particular, has proven to be great news for your body and mental health. Here is a handful of the best benefits as well as how you can get started if you’ve been sedentary for a while now.

It is, after all, never too late to start and a lot of damage can still be prevented with cardio exercise as you age.

 

#1 Anxiety

Let’s start with the most obvious ones and work our way down. Anxiety and depression, troubling as it may be, are not somatic problems although it will have an effect on your body as well.

With anxiety, your heart beats faster, you may break a sweat, you feel flushes – in general, it tells your body that it’s time to prepare for a flight or a fight and your body will respond accordingly.

This is only caused by anxious thoughts, though, and not an actual threat so most people with anxiety are looking for ways to get rid of it. Therapy will definitely help as well as a host of mental techniques to help you to cope with the problems.

Plus, of course, a good round of exercise. The great news about exercising when you struggle with anxiety is that you’re treating yourself to a different chemical reaction; a good run makes you feel elevated, happier, and more at ease with yourself.

It is the endorphins or those ‘feel good hormones’ that tend to do this with us. In the long run, exercising will help you to handle those stressors in your life a bit better – and that meeting with your boss won’t really seem that scary anymore.

Anyone who struggles with anxiety should pair their other treatment with steady exercising throughout the week and they may feel that the symptoms decrease.

 

#2 Menopause

Many of us will struggle with the health problems that come with menopause at some point in our life. The most important thing to remember, however, is that continuing your exercise routine can help you a lot in terms of handling those hot flashes and even some of those bladder control problems that are so common.

While you can do strength exercises as well, particularly in terms of strengthening your pelvic muscles, cardio will also help you out as it helps you to maintain a healthy BMI.

Because bladder problems can occur, together with other causes, when excess fat puts pressure on the organs below, losing a bit of weight certainly won’t hurt if you’d like to get your menopause or general bladder problems under control.

If you’re leaning more towards the latter, it’s important to keep in mind that urinary inconsistency can be caused by a lot of different factors and it may not just be your stomach pooch that’s the cause behind it all.

Have a chat with your doctor about it and see if you can find the root behind it all or just continue with your exercises and see if your symptoms won’t disappear. A thirty-minute walk or a quick run can, after all, get rid of those hot flashes for up to twenty-four hours after your exercise – so it should certainly be worth it, either way.

 

#3 Weak immune system

Have you ever felt like you’re getting the symptoms of a cold after a good exercise? It is, in fact, not that strange as your immune system will be slightly weaker after a vigorous run or a hard session or aerobics. It seems odd, however, that something that is supposed to strengthen our immune system can make us feel weaker right after it.

The reason is actually quite simple; when you exercise, your body releases the human growth hormone which helps to repair muscles and encourage tissue growth in order to fix everything you compromised while exercising.

When it’s released in excess, however, such as after a particularly hard exercise, it can make us feel nauseous and weak. Pair this with general dehydration and you have the recipe for feeling shaky, tired, and not like you should have exercised at all.

The good news, of course, is that the feeling isn’t permanent – and, as long as you eat and drink properly after your workout, your immune system will be stronger when you’ve recovered.

Just a bit of commitment in the gym or on your yoga mat, and you will significantly reduce the amount of sick days you take.

 

#4 Back pain

So many of us experience back pain during our lives because we are increasingly sedentary both at home and at work. While a good weight session with a focus on strengthening your core can help to relieve that pain, cardio can also help you out a lot.

It may not be as tough on your core muscles as a good weight session, but running will still keep your abs active – and that is, in fact, great news for your back. When you develop your lower back, abdominal, and oblique muscles, you’re taking some pressure off your spine as well as improving your range of motion.

If you’d like to enjoy a healthy back for longer, the message is clear; get out and go for a run or pick up some weights to strengthen your body. Either way, it’s great for your health.

 

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Addiction is a Genuine Medical Illness

Addiction is a Genuine Medical Illness

Addiction has somewhat of a taboo attached to it, but in reality, it is relatively common. Many substances that the majority of people engage with on a daily basis have addictive qualities – the key to whether someone becomes addicted or not generally lies in whether they engage with the substance in moderation, or whether they overindulge. Of course, substances such as drugs, alcohol, or nicotine are addictive. But there are other things that you can easily become addicted to or dependent on out there – prescribed medication, social media, procrastination. Addiction is simply anything that you actively engage with despite it being harmful to your physical or mental wellbeing. If you are addicted to something, you will generally have little to no power and control over you addiction and you will seek it out in spite of negative consequences that stem from it.  Thankfully, as a society, we are beginning to understand that addiction is a genuine medical illness and something that people need help with, rather than shunning them for their addiction. So, let’s take a moment to look a little further into the basics of this problem!

 

Addiction is Common

Research suggests that around ten percent of the population are addicted to something. So, if you or someone you love are experiencing addiction, it’s extremely important to remember that you are not alone. There are others out there going through a similar experience and non-judgemental help does exist.

 

Identifying Addiction

The line between engaging with something in an acceptable manner and being addicted to something can often be thin or blurred. So, it can be difficult to work out whether you are technically an addict or not. Generally speaking, addiction entails dependence. If you feel you really cannot go without something and you will go out of your way to actively seek it out, chances are that you are addicted. You can always consult your doctor in order to discuss your concerns and receive an official diagnosis.

 

Battling Addiction

If you have been diagnosed as an addict, you can receive professional treatment. The type of treatment that you undertake will depend entirely on what you are addicted to. Individuals who are addicted to hard drugs such as heroin may receive methadone (an alternative that can wean you off of the substance). If your addiction has more deep set roots, you may have to undertake therapy. Some will receive treatment as an outpatient. Others will receive treatment as an inpatient in a rehabilitation center. A medical professional will help you to determine what is best for your personal situation.

 

Other Forms of Support

Though addiction is a medical problem, there are more forms of support besides medical support out there. You can reach out to loved ones. You can reach out to helplines. You can even reach out to support groups and engage with others who are in a similar situation to you.

Hopefully, the above information has helped to exemplify that addiction is a genuine medical illness and something that medical professionals can genuinely help you to overcome!

 

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The Mental Aspects of Recovering from a Trauma

The Mental Aspects of Recovering from a Trauma

The prevalence of trauma today is higher than ever. We experience painful events we simply can’t deal with due to stress, our busy life, or the lack of resources. Mental health issues often develop from a painful and traumatic event, and there is a need for facing our fears to move on. Below you will find a few tips on how to seek help and avoid developing anxiety, panic attacks, and phobias.

Understand that It’s Not Your Fault

No matter what you went through; you will need to stop blaming yourself. You might have been through trauma as a child, or just developed a phobia, you will need to understand that your mind is coping with the events in not necessarily the most helpful way. You should, however, also try to avoid blaming others and learn to look at the past as an outsider.

Get Closure

One of the ways you can deal with your trauma better is getting closure. Investigate, do your research, and deal with the problem. Creating a personal mission to stop the same thing from happening again can be useful. If you have developed a fear or trauma after being attacked by someone’s pet, it is recommended that you contact a dog bite attorney as soon as possible, to get closure.  

Develop Coping Mechanisms

Once you have managed to understand what is behind your mental health issues, fear, and anxiety, you will need to contact a professional and find more helpful coping mechanisms. From hypnosis to improving your wellbeing and meditation, there are plenty of ways you can move on and fight your anxiety and depression that follows a trauma.

Improve Your Resilience

One of the things we all need more of is resilience. You have to move on, even if you feel like you are failing at being the best version of yourself. For example, let’s say that you developed a fear of driving after an accident. You feel like your mental health issues are limiting what you can do, and you blame yourself for not being able to get out and find a better job. In fact, you will need to find a way to live with the condition, until you can find a way to beat it.

Face Your Fears

One of the things you must do before you can overcome your mental health limitations is facing your fears. If you are a logical person, you will need to convince yourself that the chance of the same thing happening to you again is low. You have to study the statistics, and prepare for the worst case scenario. On the other hand, it is always a good idea to try hypnosis and meditation first, and never confront the situation again, as this can cause panic attacks or worse.

 

Overcoming a trauma is a journey. Chances are that you will need a professional to guide you through the process. Find what works for you, and be patient with yourself, while trying to look at the situation realistically.

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Are You Sitting Comfortably? The Depressing Reality Of Diabetes

Are You Sitting Comfortably? The Depressing Reality Of Diabetes

Diabetes is perhaps one of the most misunderstood diseases in the world. Not only is there very little understanding of what is actually happening when people have the disease, but there’s also a lack of comprehension of what causes it. The problem is that few people with the disease know what is going on inside their bodies and, therefore, have few tools to deal with the problem. They become anxious and depressed, not knowing what to do.

Let’s start by talking about what diabetes is not. It’s not a disease caused by high blood sugar. High blood sugar is merely the effect of poor insulin action. Reducing the amount of sugar in the diet may help reduce spikes in blood glucose, but it will do little to improve the condition because it doesn’t address the root cause.

The fundamental problem in diabetes is the ability of the pancreas to secrete enough insulin to force sugar into the cells, keep the level of sugar in the blood at a healthy level. There are many reasons why cells won’t respond to insulin and take up sugar, but the most common cause is that their internal cellular mechanisms are gummed up with fat. Muscle cells engorged with fat, for instance, can’t take up sugar as well, forcing the pancreas to work harder to secrete more insulin.

Type 2 diabetes isn’t a disease which develops overnight. Instead, it results from pancreatic insufficiency – the inability of the pancreas’ beta cells to produce enough insulin – over the course of a decade or more. You can track the blood sugar levels of people with “prediabetes” in the run-up to full-blown diabetes, and see their fasting blood glucose slowly rise as the action of insulin become less effective.

Full-blown diabetes occurs when either the beta cells of the pancreas give up, or simply can’t keep up insulin production to offset the difficulty the body’s cells have taking up blood glucose. And at that point, problems start.

High blood sugar is extremely dangerous for the body. It can damage sensitive tissues in the body, leading to problems with the eyes, kidneys and lower extremities. Sufferers can use a diabetic sock to relieve some of the symptoms or take extra insulin, but high blood sugar levels must be brought down. It can ruin people’s mental health, as well as their physical well being, which is why the disease is so dangerous.

 

What Causes Diabetes?

There’s a debate in the literature about precisely what causes diabetes, although over the course of the last few decades the blame has shifted firmly from sugar to fat. In the early days, scientists at the Joslin Clinic believed that people with diabetes had to consume a high-fat diet to avoid excess sugar in the blood. But over time they realised that it was fatty foods themselves that were gumming up the works inside cells, preventing them from responding to insulin and taking up glucose from the blood.

Now the state of the art advice is to avoid processed, fatty and sugary foods, and focus on a diet centred around beans, whole grains and vegetables. The jury is still out on how to prevent diabetes, but many doctors report success with diets similar to the Mediterranean, high in unprocessed whole foods, and low in refined, oils, sugars and meat. People on these diets see both an improvement in their mental and physical health.

Here at Dr Julian we can support you through the psychological distress that can be caused by diabetes and have a number of diabetes expert counsellors and psychologists. Do check them out through app.dr-julian.com

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