Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure

pexels-photo-905485.jpegLifestyle factors such as stress, diet, and lack of exercise can lead to hypertension or high blood pressure, but it could also be in your genes. Here are 4 natural remedies that can help.

  • Hibiscus tea has been used to lower blood pressure for decades. Researchers found that after 12 days of drinking this tea, it reduced systolic (top number) by an average of 11.7% and diastolic pressure by 10.7%.
  • Magnesium Threonate. The mineral form of this vitamin leaves your gut and gets into the bloodstream faster and is easily absorbed to lower blood pressure.
  • Garlic cloves and garlic supplements have been proven to lower blood pressure and is rich in antioxidants.
  • Beets and its juice also has been proven to lower blood pressure.

Spring Cleaning for the Homeless

pexels-photo-434163.jpegAs spring approaches and many of us go through stuff to be discarded, stop and reflect. While doing volunteer work, I found out that St. Vincent’s  sticks things aside for the homeless. Don’t toss out your back packs. Apparently, this is a hot item for the homeless.


The Mystery of the Migraine

Migraines are caused by an oversensitive brain and genetic predisposition. Anyone can have a headache, but migraines are more painful and are usually on one side of the head. The symptoms vary from each person. They can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and sensitivity to light, smells, and touch. Some researchers have discovered that migraines also have phases that within hours or days result into full blown migraines.

Phase one: Prodrome

Symptoms include: food cravings, sleep issues, increased thirst, repetitive yawning, and difficulty speaking. 30-40% of migraine sufferers experience the prodome phase.

Phase two: Aura

Symptoms include: blurry vision, seeing flashing lights or wavy lines, losing vision for a short period, confusion, loss of hearing, hiccups, and tingling sensations. 1 in 5 sufferers develop auras.

Phase Three: Headache

Symptoms include: nasal congestion, hot flashes, dizziness, vertigo, mild head pain, and sometimes anxiety.

Phase Four: Postdrome

Symptoms include: poor concentration, depression, and euphoria. Typically lasts from 2-24 hours.

More than 37 million Americans suffer from migraines according to the National Headache Foundation. Episodic migraines are those sufferers that have migraines every few months or less. Chronic migraines are labeled on people that suffer 15 or more days per month with migraines. Overtime, people with episodic migraines may develop more headaches for various reasons, such as increased stress, illness, or a change in hormones. Both genetics and environment play a role in who gets migraines. If one parent has migraines, then you have a 50% of getting migraines. If both parents suffer from migraines, then you have a 75% chance of developing migraines. Caffeine, certain foods, stress, and changes in weather are triggers for an attack.

No one knows for sure what causes migraines, but changes in the levels of serotonin and other neurochemicals are involved. It affects the trigeminal nerve system, a constellation of nerves in the face and head. Many women develop migraines before or during their periods and the migraines lessen after menopause. Some people can manage their triggers, while others need medications.

Healthy sleep is an important factor for preventing migraines and managing the prodome phase. Try some chamomile or ginger tea to help relax your senses and ease the feelings of nausea. Drink plenty of water to fight dehydration. Try an ice pack to ease discomfort from hot flashes and pain. Recovering from a migraine takes time. Try a relaxing bubble bath or a massage.IMG_0765


Understanding Alzheimer’s Is Not Just Forgetfulness

hand-351277_640 handAlzheimer’s is a progressive, degenerative, and incurable brain disorder that eventually ends in death. It affects more than memories and simple forgetfulness. Alzheimer’s is currently the sixth leading cause of death in the USA. More than 5 million Americans have this disorder, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Experts predict another 500,000 will be diagnosed this year. It usually progresses gradually with an average duration of seven years. Physical conditions exist in a person’s body with Alzheimer’s before symptoms show.  The disease leads to a loss of intellectual abilities and personality changes, severe enough that it interferes with social and occupational functioning. Some of the symptoms include cognitive decline, wandering, sleeping issues, and hallucinations.

Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease:

Stage 1:  exhibit minor memory loss, mood swings, slow to learn and react, shy away from anything new, lose train of thought, gets lost easily, forgets to pay bills, speech and understanding become slower, and loses dexterity and motor skills. As the person becomes aware of this loss, may become depressed, fearful, irritable, and restless.

Stage 2:  recent events become difficult to remember, distant past able to recall, may invent words, not recognize familiar faces, affects ability to understand location, time, and day.

Stage 3: becomes less responsive, no one is recognizable, lose bowel and bladder control, lose the ability to chew and swallow, and more vulnerable. This stage leads to coma and death.

There are two basic types of Alzheimer’s.

Familial: is a rare form of  Alzheimer’s that develops before age 60 and results from mutations to one or more genes. If even one mutated gene is inherited from a parent, the child almost always develops the early on-set of Alzheimer’s disease.

Late on-set: develops after age 60 and no specific gene causes it. It is not known yet why some people develop it and others don’t.

Research has focused on a protein called beta-amyloid which appears to be processed abnormally in affected brains of Alzheimer’s disease. It leads to a great number in accumulation of plaques in the dying nerve tissue of the brain. This leads to the brain appearing like Swiss cheese.

There isn’t a cure for this disease yet, but there are medications that can slow the cognitive decline.

Political Comments from the 1800’s

My cousin had given me some old family letters to read and I decided to share the comments from this particular letter. In today’s world, there are many comments and degrading of people since Trump was elected, but in the late 1800’s,  wry comments also existed about politics. I found this letter amusing.

In regard to the President (Grant), I hope he won’t hang Jeff Davis. I think they had better put him in a cage like they would a wild animal and take him around the world for a show dressed in petticoats, or perhaps you think they had better skin him and stuff his skin as he is a dangerous person. Melvin thinks he ought to be fed on raw cornmeal and rotten meat like the rebels fed the prisoners down south. He says I must tell you that Jeff Davis is a chap that would be an old woman if he could, but as he can’t, does all he can to show the world he’s not a man, but I have no doubt but Andy will try to do the right thing with all.

Jeff Davis had been the Confederate President during the civil war. He had treated prisoners of war terrible. The newspaper had made comic characters about him  with headlines about him dressed like a woman in an effort to escape capture. Contrary to the papers, Davis had wore his wife’s shawl over his head and a poncho due to the weather.


Hungry Predators

Sligo Irish Famine Statue

The high demand and supply in the USA of sexual and labor trafficking contributes to the human trafficking problem. Young adults, male and female as young as twelve, are victims of this serious crime. Less than 10% are kidnapped. Many victims were sold by someone they knew. They are targeted by their vulnerabilities. Victims may have a history of abuse, be developmentally disabled, be foster children, are homeless, or a runaway. After 48-72 hours after running away, a teen will be approached by a sexual trafficker.

The perpetrator breaks their victims down with sleep deprivation and substance abuse in order to control their victims. Often times, the victim is branded with a tattoo designating ownership by the perpetrator. The victim might have a money symbol, a scan code, property of stamp, etc. The locations of these are the key. They are usually on the side or back of the neck, behind an ear, inner lip, or in the pubic area. The female victims are required to have sex even during their menses cycle and are impacted with sponges or tampons. The victims are groomed what to say to medical personnel if they are brought in to be seen.

77% of victims related to human trafficking will suffer a higher episode of PTSD than a war vet due to the constant re-experiencing of the trauma and disturbing memories. They have difficulty sustaining relationships if they manage to escape. The victims avoid internal and external reminders of trauma and stress. They are hyperarousal due to the nervous system reaction of repeated fight or flight.

If you work in a medical facility or clinic, eye clinic, or dental office, etc. be on the lookout of these indicators of human trafficking:

  • patient claims they are out of town and has no address
  • lack of I.D.
  • disassociation or uncommunicative
  • confrontational
  • abnormal reactions
  • someone always talking for the victim
  • eyes downcast when spoken to
  • can’t be seen alone

What can you do about it?

  • watch your tone of voice when speaking to the victim
  • adjust to resistance
  • listen to them
  • don’t judge
  • avoid confrontation
  • kindness goes a long way
  • ask why the person is here or what happened to bring them here
  • express empathy
  • report suspicions to the National Human Trafficking Hotline @ 888-373-7888 or text HELP to 233733.

Want free material on the subject? Go to blue-campaign.

The Shocking Reasons Behind The Opioid Epidemic

According to the CDC, 91 people die everyday from opioid overdose. Deaths have increased since 2010. The root cause is debatable, yet since 1999, 400% in opioid prescriptions have increased.

In 1995, the Purdue Pharmaceutical Company released the drug, OxyContin. It’s an extended release oxycodone formulation branded for treatment of chronic non-cancerous pain. From 1996-2002, Purdue contributed to a large campaign to encourage chronic use of opioid prescriptions for pain. Not only that, but they asked doctors and nurses to include pain as another vital sign. Purdue financially supported the American Pain Society and other groups. They supported the message that long-term opioid use for pain was safe. In patient’s best interests, OxyContin became the best selling painkiller prescribed in the country.

Opioids are known for their analgesic ( pain ), sedative, and euphoric effects. They were originally derived from the poppy flower. Natural and synthetic opioids have since been formulated. Natural occurring opioids are Morphine and Codeine. Semi-synthetic opioids are Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Heroin, and Hydromorphine. Synthetic opioids are Fentanyl, Methadone, and Tapentadyl. The CDC names Oxycodone, OxyContin, and Hydrocodone as the top prescription opioids implicated in overdosed deaths.

Since 2007, IV Heroin usage increased over other drugs of abuse. The DEA reported 200% increase of Heroin overdosed deaths from 2000-2014. Since 2013, overdoses involving Fentanyl has affected the opioid crisis in North America. Fentanyl is used as an anesthetic as well as an analgesic in the medical field. It is the most potent opioid narcotic available. It is 50-100 times more potent than Morphine. The problem is the non-pharmaceutical Fentanyl is being manufactured illegally overseas, primarily China, and trafficked to the US, Mexico, and Canada. This powder is mixed with heroin and made into pills that looks identical to the common prescribed opioid medications. The high potency is equivalent to a few grains of salt. The short term effects are respiratory depression and decreased levels of responsiveness that leads to overdosed deaths.

When using opioids, the reward center in the brain is stimulated. Once individual moves beyond the early stages of pleasure and reward seeking, a more complicated neuro-biological process takes over. The more exposed to the drug, the more the drug is needed to achieve the same affect. Once individual acquires escalating doses of opioids to achieve pleasure and analgesic affects, the person has developed a tolerance. Tolerance results when the receptors in the brain cells become less responsive to opioid stimulation. Opioid dependence occurs when the body has adapted to presence of drugs and will suffer physical symptoms  in drug’s absence. They will suffer withdrawal symptoms if drug stopped suddenly. The withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, jitteriness, dilation of pupils, muscle cramps, insomnia, GI upset, and Tachycardia.

It is important in this opioid epidemic to decrease the access and exposure to the opioid drugs.

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