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10 Tips for Managing Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia is a chronic, long-term condition that causes pain throughout the body. In addition to fibromyalgia, it can also cause other symptoms, including extreme tiredness, headaches, muscle aches and stiffness, mood swings, anxiety, brain fog (such as difficulty concentrating on tasks and remembering things), and difficulty sleeping. A lot of research is being done about the exact cause(s) of fibromyalgia pain, but so far, it’s still not fully understood.

However, researchers believe it is related to an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain and the way the brain and central nervous system process pain messages. Fibromyalgia can occur as a result of physical or emotional trauma, such as an accident, injury, death, relationship breakup, surgical procedure, or difficult childbirth.

The disease is difficult to diagnose, and as of now, there is no definitive test for this condition. Therefore, it is also difficult to know how many people are infected, but it is estimated that about 1 in 20 people. It is more common in women and tends to develop between the ages of 30 and 50.

Currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia, although some people find taking pain relievers and antidepressants helpful, along with talking therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). However, there are lifestyle modifications that can help you manage symptoms, so here are the top ten suggestions for treating fibromyalgia…

1. Manage Your Energy Levels

Since there is no definitive test or treatment for fibromyalgia, having this condition can be annoying, especially if those around you are suspicious of your condition. Constant pain, especially in tender points associated with fibromyalgia (the back of the head, above the shoulders, upper chest, outside the elbows, hips, and knees), along with lack of sleep, fatigue, and a bad mood can be exhausting.

So number one on our list of fibromyalgia treatments is the importance of knowing that your symptoms are real. Find your GP and specialist doctors and believe that you will find a treatment plan that works for you. It is essential that you take time for yourself and practice self-care.

This could be a time to stop every night to rest and do something relaxing that you enjoy, such as reading or watching your favorite shows. Or it could mean spending time with people who understand, lift your spirits, and bring peace and positivity into your life. Taking breaks is also important, so it may be helpful to talk to your manager or human resources department about ways you can incorporate breaks into your workday. Flexible work and working days from home can be beneficial.

Do what you have to do every day to be kind to yourself.

 

2. Take Regular, Moderate Exercise

When you feel physical pain and fatigue, the last thing you might want to do is exercise. But studies consistently show that regular exercise benefits people with fibromyalgia. But it’s important not to overdo it and find the right balance instead. Light aerobic exercise has been shown to improve the quality of life for people with fibromyalgia.

A study of more than 400 women with the condition found that “light physical exercise” was associated with less physical pain and fatigue and an overall improvement in symptoms. Light exercise includes gentle walking and swimming.

You can start slowly, over a short period of time or distance, and build your flexibility over time. Pool exercise classes are believed to be the most beneficial because the water supports the body, making each movement work more forcefully for the muscles. Intense cardio exercises, such as running or a HIIT class, can be too strenuous for a person with fibromyalgia, but resistance exercises can be beneficial.

Resistance exercises, or strength training, can include bodyweight resistance exercises such as squats and lunges, as well as adding light, manageable weights. Studies show that such exercises can lead to “reduced pain, fatigue, number of weaknesses, depression, and anxiety, while increasing functional capacity and quality of life.”

 

3. Take Steps to Achieve Enough Good Quality Sleep

Fibromyalgia is a condition known to disrupt sleep patterns, resulting in poor sleep quality and disturbed sleep. Chronic lack of sleep leads to fatigue, irritability, poor concentration and mood swings, which can also be caused by this condition.

The pain associated with fibromyalgia can also mean you can’t sleep, and not getting enough sleep can exacerbate your pain response — a vicious cycle. In addition, fibromyalgia can also lower your pain threshold, which means you feel more intense pain. Therefore, it is very important that you do everything in your power to get enough quality, restful sleep. Achieving “good sleep habits” can mean improving the quality of your sleep.

This means having a relaxing and relaxing nighttime routine that signals to your brain that it is time to go to bed and relax. The first step is to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps set your body clock into a routine when you feel tired and wake up. Also, be sure to avoid anything very exciting in the hour before bed. This includes avoiding caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, large meals, strenuous exercise, or watching stimulant television. It also means avoiding using your smartphone, tablet or laptop because of the blue light from screens that tricks your brain into thinking it’s daytime.

10 Food That Might Be Speeding Up Your Aging Process

If you thought sun exposure, stress, and smoking were the only things to be concerned about when it came to accelerating the aging process, think again. A lot of meals include toxins that may speed up the rate at which we wrinkle. You are what you eat, and this is true whether you’re talking about your heart, waistline, or skin. To improve general health and lengthen lifespan, dietitians emphasize the significance of consuming essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

1. Sugary Items

Sugar harms your skin through a natural process known as glycation. Advanced glycation end products, or AGEs, are dangerous free radicals that are created when the sugar in your blood binds to proteins (AGEs). As AGEs accumulate, they destroy the proteins that surround them. Collagen and elastin, which form the foundation of your skin, are the proteins that are most susceptible to harm. These proteins maintain skin’s firmness and elasticity and are what give a healthy, youthful complexion its traits of plumpness and bouncy skin. Your collagen and elastin become stiff, dry, and brittle as a result of AGEs, losing their elasticity.

2. Processed Meats

You’ve probably heard that eating processed meats increases your chance of developing chronic illnesses including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke, and early death. But these delicious delights also hasten skin aging. This is because meats with a high salt and nitrate content, such as salami, pepperoni, and sausage, age the skin and cause wrinkles. The addition of nitrates and excessive sodium to processed meats amplifies the damage. Both cause the AGEs (advanced glycation end products), which worsen wrinkles and dullness by increasing the breakdown of collagen and elastin.

3. Alcohol

Alcohol, the ultimate dehydrator, also depletes our bodies of vitamins A, B, and C, which is essential for healthy skin and overall wellbeing. Excessive alcohol use depletes critical fatty acids, magnesium, and zinc, all of which are necessary to delay the development of premature aging. It’s not surprising that drinking alcohol is detrimental for your appearance when you consider the extra side effect of poor sleep hygiene.

4. Frozen Meals

A single frozen meal can have half the sodium of a normal daily intake. When you consume too much salt, your kidneys become flooded and you drink more than usual. Any surplus water will migrate to your hands and face, which have less salt in them than other parts of your body. That’s what gives you a puffy appearance. Oxidative stress and inflammation—both of which are linked to dehydration—as well as ultra-processed meals are common causes of telomere atrophy. The imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants brought on by oxidative stress can have a number of effects, including weakened immunity and aging skin.

 

5. Salty Foods

If you want to live a long, healthy life, stay away from the salt shaker. While some salt consumption is acceptable, the majority of individuals consume far too much. Consuming excessive amounts of sodium raises your risk for heart disease, stroke, and stomach cancer. Excessive salt consumption can also exacerbate the aging process at the cellular level.

 

6. Red Meat

Red meat produces free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that only have one electron instead of two, making them unstable and more likely to snag electrons from other molecules, which will then turn them into unstable cells that will snag electrons from other cells, etc. Free radicals interfere with the skin’s capacity to produce collagen and defend itself. Consume a lot of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables together with lean meats like chicken and turkey.

 

7. Caffeine

Caffeine, which is present in energy drinks, sodas, and coffee, dehydrates the body. Lack of hydration has significant negative effects on the skin, increasing the likelihood of wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, and dullness. Additionally, it disrupts your sleep, which is a terrific way to quickly age 10 years. If you must have your morning coffee, be careful to hydrate yourself by drinking lots of water.

 

8. Trans Fats

Trans fats may be detrimental for your skin in addition to raising LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasing the risk of heart disease. The majority of trans fats are produced by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils in order to solidify them. Inflammation is encouraged by trans fats. Inflammation is also harmful to collagen. Never believe a label that claims “0 g trans fat,” as it may still contain as little as 0.5 g of synthetic fat. Be sure to stay away from items that have partially hydrogenated oil listed as an ingredient.

 

9. Dairy Products

Dairy products do include calcium, which is important for bone health and muscle function, but they also have a tendency to worsen inflammation, which raises the risk of oxidative stress, one of the factors that contribute to premature aging. Dairy contains a lot of lactose, a milk sugar that can enhance the production of AGEs and damage collagen. Try to get your calcium from other sources instead, including milk substitutes or a diet high in green leafy vegetables. It’s acceptable to occasionally consume a small amount of low-sugar Greek yogurt, but make sure to read the label and compare products to choose the one with the least amount of sugar.

 

10. Corn-based Food

Foods made from corn, such as corn cereals and corn chips, have a significant effect on blood sugar levels, which can lead to an increase in the body’s AGEs and speed aging. According to research, the fructose in high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) results in 10 times more AGE production in the body than glucose. This means that the HFCS you ingest every day in sweetened beverages and the majority of other processed foods (even salad dressings and ketchup) causes your body to age more quickly. Another significant problem with corn foods and corn oils is the excessive amount of omega-6 fatty acids they provide to your diet. This imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids results in inflammation and oxidation in your body.

10 Hairstyles That Will Knock 10 Years Off Your Age

Did you know that a quick trip to the salon could make you look years younger? It’s true! The right hairdo can boost self-confidence and give you healthier hair. So ditch the anti-aging creams and cancel those monthly Botox treatments. Here’s our top 10 Hairstyles That’ll Knock 10 Years Off Your Age.

10. Shoulder-length Hair

Image Source: hairstyles9.org

Long hair can look limp and lifeless while short hair accentuates the appearance of facial wrinkles. The remedy for this conundrum can be found in a medium-length haircut. This particular style works best on mostly-straight hair; however, naturally wavy or curly hair can achieve youthfulness with a similar cut just above the shoulders.

 

9. Highlights

Image Source: slodive.com

Highlighting your hair is both flattering and face-framing – if done right. A little color can add warmth while shedding years. Highlights work best with a subtle ombré. Just make sure not to overdo it; too much over processing damages hair and looks like overcompensating.

 

8. Dark hair

Image Source: castilloruthwen.blogspot.com

Nothing is more dramatic to the eye than a dye job. Many of Hollywood’s starlets have seen a dramatic age decrease after dying their luscious locks. Go for a rich chocolate brown, as seen on Emily Blunt. The color is vibrant, youthful, and warms up lighter complexions.

 

7. Side-swept Bangs

Image Source: pinterest.com

Spend too much time worrying about deepening forehead wrinkles and Crows Feet? Long, side-swept bangs might be key to prolonging your youthfulness! Bangs paired with a deep-side part creates an over-the-shoulder look that’s young, fun, and flirty, while hiding any unwanted blemishes.

 

6. Curls and Waves

Image Source: therighthairstyles.com

For longer hair, tousled curls and gentle waves just might be the trick to keeping you young. Curls and waves add body to the roots, making your hair look both natural and full. To soften your face, just soften your ends!

5. Pixie Cut

Image Source: prettydesigns.com

If you want a low-maintenance yet youthfully refreshing ‘do, you can’t go wrong with the pixie haircut. A short, textured cut requires minimal styling and even less time needed in front of the mirror. Follow Judi Dench’s lead: the simple and chic pixie cut is the way to go.

 

4. Layers

Image Source: stylebistro.com

It’s a known fact: hair gets flatter with age. To knock those pesky years off, ask your stylist for subtle layers. They frame your face and give your hair shape to make it appear fuller. The best part? Layers never go out of style.

3. A-line Bob

Image Source: modishcut.com

For an instant anti-ager, consider an A-line bob. An asymmetrical trim gives movement to the lifeless and volume to the thinning. Personalize your bob with a side part to emphasize your best facial features.

2. Make It Shine

Image Source: cooleasyhairstyles.com

Oil production decreases as you age, leaving your once healthy hair dull and dry. It’s especially noticeable on longer hair. To prevent it from aging you, simply keep your hair shiny. By using a shine-inducing shampoo/ conditioner regiment regularly, you can resuscitate your hair and knock years off your age!

 

1. Low Ponytail

Image Source: hair-andthere.blogspot.com

This last hairstyle is becoming increasingly popular with celebrities. Get in on the low ponytail trend, a quick and simple style that can be mastered at home! Keep your pony low and loose – singling out a few face-framing strands – to achieve a look that is elegant but not severe and dated (two age giveaways). There’s no denying it: your face and hair change as you age. But don’t let that stop you from looking and feeling younger than ever! Chase away Father Time with one of our top 10 hairstyles and transform into a more youthful, confident you!  

Discover the 7 reasons why men like women with short hair

The idea that men consider women with long hair more desirable as a partner is a fact supported for decades by examples from popular culture and evolutionary psychology. However, one study suggests that short hair is associated with other aspects of female attractiveness – but not worse. Long-haired women are considered “healthy” and “smart”, and short-haired women are considered “loving” and “feminine”. In the end, it’s all about preference. There are many more reasons why some men are attracted to short-haired women. We have delved into the male psyche to determine several aspects that make men consider short-haired women attractive.

1. Short hair attracts more attention

Short hair styles stand out from the rest, so men tend to notice them. According to the information we have been able to gather, many men who prefer women with short hair, claim that this type of hairstyle is not as common as long hair and that makes it special. If a woman can wear a pixie haircut, it can be irresistible and undoubtedly draw attention.

2. The face and neck look better

You may have noticed that in many fashion shows the models wear their hair up and try to give maximum light to their face. This is because hair can be distracting and hide female features. Men seem to agree with this idea, they think that the face and neck are very attractive attributes for them and that short hair makes feminine beauty shine. Phrases like the following are what we have been told: “I don’t always find it attractive, but it makes the cheekbones and facial structure look pretty good. If you look closely at the face to determine the attractiveness, this may be a reason” “I think a big factor is how the neck and jaw shape stand out.

 

3. Short hair reminds them of attractive stars

Many famously imposing women have worn pixie cuts, which creates a favorable association in the male mind. When asked if they like women with short hair, many men make an example of celebrities, which is favorable for other women to know who to draw inspiration from.

 

4. Women with short hair need less time to get dressed

Think about how long it takes to style long hair. It can be a real struggle of blow dryer, iron and curling iron, added to the price of styling products, which men consider exorbitant. Men hate it when women take too long to get ready. Conclusion: short hair is good for everyone.

5. Short hair gives a sense of security

Not every woman is willing to experiment with short hair. Changing your look is always a risk, as we don’t always get the expected result and once we cut it, there’s no going back! It takes courage and, more importantly, confidence. Men are attracted to women with high self-esteem and short hair is a sign of that.

 

6. It does not hinder

Interestingly, men claim that a big advantage they like about short hair is when it comes to cuddling. They don’t like their partner’s hair getting in their mouth and eye. Besides, they also prefer not to find hair scattered in the shower, on the sheets, on the clothes, you can find hair everywhere, as far as you can imagine. It’s very practical!

 

7. It usually means that a woman cares about her appearance

Last but not least, a short hairstyle does not happen by accident. If a woman bothers to choose a good haircut and keep it, it means she takes good care of herself. This is very important for men, as it shows that a woman is interested in taking care of her appearance. Do you prefer long or short hair in women? And for women: have you noticed a difference in men’s attention based on the length of your hair?

10 Foods for Hair Growth You Should Be Eating Every Day

Many factors having to do with the quality of our hair are based on genetics and age. We don’t get to pick whether our locks are curly or straight, or what color our hair naturally grows. The texture, thickness, and speed of growth are likewise controlled by Mother Nature. But there are things that you can do to promote the growth of strong tresses as well as prevent excess hair loss. It starts in the kitchen (for everything else, there is bound to be a product). Following are 9 excellent foods to consume for healthy hair.

 

1. Eggs

Eggs top our list of hair-healthy foods because they contain a lot of protein and biotin, as well as other nutrients like zinc and selenium. Hair follicles are mostly made of protein, and not enough protein in the diet is known to cause hair loss. Biotin is an essential nutrient for the production of a particular kind of protein called keratin. If you have a biotin deficiency, consuming more may help improve hair growth. Many supplements that purport to improve hair quality contain biotin for this reason.

 

2. Berries

Berries are a fantastic addition to your diet because they contain certain compounds and vitamins that promote hair growth. One of the biggest is vitamin C, which has strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help to protect hair follicles from being damaged by free radicals, which exist naturally in the body and are linked to aging. Our bodies also use vitamin C to produce collagen, a protein necessary to prevent hair from becoming brittle and breaking. And finally, vitamin C helps the body absorb iron and prevent anemia, which has also been linked to hair loss.

 

3. Spinach

Spinach is a great all-around source for nutrients like folate, iron, and vitamins A and C. Each of these has a role to play in healthy hair growth. Vitamin A especially helps the skin glands produce sebum, an oily substance that moisturizes the scalp and in turn, keeps hair healthy. Iron is great for helping red blood cells carry oxygen through the body to aid growth and repair. One cup of spinach nets you 54% of your recommended daily vitamin A, plus 4% of RDA for iron for women and 10% of RDA for men.

 

4. Fatty Fish

Fatty fish like salmon, herring, and mackerel promote hair growth due to their concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. A study including 120 women who took a fish oil supplement plus antioxidants found that their hair, on average, was denser and that they lost less of it. Another study concluded that fish oil supplements can significantly reduce hair loss in women with thinning hair. If you are not a fan of fish, a fish oil supplement is an excellent alternative. However, fish also contains other hair-healthy nutrients, including protein, selenium, vitamin D3, and B vitamins.

5. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes make the list because of their beta-carotene. This compound is converted by the body into vitamin A, which we know helps in the production of sebum. Sebum is critical to scalp health and by extension, helps keep hair moisturized. Vitamin A may also increase the rate of hair growth and encourage thicker strands, as well as prevent other hair follicles from regressing. You can get more than 4x your RDA of beta carotene in one medium sweet potato.

 

6. Avocados

Avocados contain healthy fats along with a nice amount of vitamin E, plus they are just yummy. Like vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that is great at neutralizing harmful free radicals and promoting hair growth. One study of people with hair loss found that participants experienced 34.5% more hair growth after eight months of taking a vitamin E supplement. E also plays a strong role in protecting the scalp from oxidative stress and damage, and dry or damaged scalp often results in fewer active hair follicles. The essential fatty acids founds in avocados are vital building blocks for your cells, being deficient in EFAs is known to contribute to hair loss.

7. Oysters

Oysters are kind of an acquired taste, so if you don’t like them, don’t worry. They are great for hair growth because of their zinc content, but zinc can also be found in high amounts in foods like red meat, legumes (chickpeas, lentils, and beans), dairy, eggs, whole wheat, nuts, and seeds. Zinc is a mineral that supports your hair’s growth and repair cycle. A deficiency in zinc has been linked to a form of hair loss called telogen effluvium, which luckily, is reversible by getting more zinc into your diet. Be aware, however, that too much zinc can also cause hair loss. Getting your RDA from food sources is advised, because they provide small but healthy doses, whereas supplements may overload you.

8. Shrimp

Shrimp is a great all-around food for healthy hair because it contains protein, B vitamins, zinc, iron, and vitamin D, all of which may promote strong locks. Shrimp also contains a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, despite being very low fat in general. EFAs are linked to improved hair growth, while a deficiency in vitamin D3 seems to contribute to hair loss. You may also want to speak to your doctor about taking a D supplement – because this is a nutrient primarily synthesized in response to sun exposure, more and more adults are being found deficient because we spend so much time inside.

9. Beans

If you’re looking to cut back on meat but don’t want to neglect your protein intake, beans are a perfect solution. But beyond a nice amount of protein, beans deliver iron, biotin, zinc, and folate, all of which are essential for healthy hair growth. Even better, beans are very versatile and quite affordable, so you can eat a lot of them. If you are struggling with hair loss that is not genetic or hormonal in nature (such as post pregnancy or male pattern baldness), or if your hair grows much more slowly than average (0.5 inches per month or 6 inches per year), diet may be part of the cause. Focus on eating foods that are high in protein, vitamins A, C, D, and E, essential fatty acids, and iron. Zinc, folate, and biotin are also linked to healthy hair growth. A well-rounded diet cures a multitude of ills, and a thick, lustrous head of hair is just one indication that you are healthy inside and out.  

25 Haircuts That Make A Woman Over 60 Look 40

Ladies, if you’re looking for hairstyle options that ooze class and sophistication, then you’ve come to the right place. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that your hairstyle can shave years off your face and all without burning a hole in your pocket. The hairstyles we’ve pulled together will help give you the youthful look you’ve been looking for.

Pixie

So you want to try out the pixie cut? That’s pretty bold! While it won’t help to make you appear younger, it will do one thing, it’ll make you feel like an entirely different woman when you look in the mirror. Think about it, the last time your hair was this short was when you were a toddler! Style the pixie cut messy or clear, either way works.

Robin Wright attends the New York Premiere of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, held at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City, Wednesday, December 14, 2011. |
Layered Side Swept Bangs Shoulder Length
There are times when our hair looks rather limp so if you find yourself in this boat, opt for this look A.S.A.P. It’ll offer emphasis on your eyes while giving off some major volume vibes within all the layers. Plus, it’s buckets cheaper than getting a face lift so you really can’t go wrong here.

Layered Side Swept Bangs Shoulder Length

10 COMMON CAT DISEASES & HEALTH PROBLEMS

Since cats are fiercely independent and sometimes mysterious little creatures, it can be difficult for pet parents to tell the difference between a minor issue and a serious health problem. That’s why it’s crucial to understand the signs and symptoms of the most common cat health problems, including FIV, FeLV, diabetes and more.

Read on for a closer look at common cat diseases, including symptoms and treatment outlooks. Remember: If your cat is exhibiting any alarming symptoms, contact your veterinarian. This article is purely for edification purposes and is not meant to help diagnose disease.

1. KIDNEY DISEASE

Kidneys filter out waste and regulate blood and water levels. If there is a breakdown or deterioration in the kidneys, cats can develop acute renal failure or chronic kidney disease. Acute renal failure typically develops quickly and can be reversed if it’s diagnosed in time. Chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, but early diagnosis and proper care can ensure that the feline lives a high-quality life.

Kittens can be born with kidney disease, and as cats get older, the kidneys can begin to fail. Infections, trauma, blockages and ingesting poison can also cause kidney issues. If left untreated, kidney disease can lead to other health problems.

A medical diagnosis that includes bloodwork and urinalysis is required to diagnose kidney disease. Some common signs that something may be wrong include:

• Frequent urination
• Weight loss
• Drinking a lot of water
• A dry coat
• Vomiting
• Diarrhea
• Bloody or cloudy urine

2. DENTAL DISEASE

The Cornell Feline Health Center reports that between 50% and 90% of cats over the age of four suffer from some type of dental disease. The most common feline dental diseases are gingivitis, periodontitis and tooth resorption — all of which can have varying degrees of severity. However, most cases of dental disease can either be prevented or treated with the proper care.

In some cases, a gum or tooth disease can cause severe pain and discomfort, which can affect a cat’s quality of life. Some cats may stop eating because of pain, which can lead to malnutrition and other health concerns.

Here’s a look at the three most common feline dental diseases:

  • Gingivitis: This is a condition that causes painful inflammation of the gums, usually as a result of plaque buildup.
    • Symptoms: Redness, swelling, discomfort or bleeding gums
  • Periodontitis: Gingivitis that is left untreated can result in periodontitis. This occurs when there is damage to the soft tissue of the gums or the bone that supports the teeth.
    • Symptoms: Similar to gingivitis, as well as an inability to eat, halitosis and drooling.
  • Tooth Resorption: This occurs when the inside structure of a tooth breaks down. Tooth resorption has unknown causes and is the most common reason for tooth loss in cats.
    • Symptoms: Pain, drooling, turning head to the side while eating or an inability to eat.

3. DIABETES

According to the ASPCA, cats can suffer from diabetes if they are unable to produce insulin or have an inadequate response to insulin. While diabetes in cats is a serious concern, it can be managed — some cats even go into remission with the proper care.

Feline diabetes can be caused by genetics, pancreatic disease or obesity. Symptoms of diabetes in cats include:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased thirst and/or urination
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Change in appetite
  • Sweet-smelling breath

4. FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (FIV)

As the name indicates, FIV is a disease that compromises a cat’s immune system, leaving them vulnerable to additional infections or illnesses. Since FIV is most commonly passed from cat to cat through bite wounds, outdoor male cats who get into fights are most likely to develop the virus.

FIV is diagnosed through bloodwork. There’s no cure for FIV, but infected cats can live normal lives if the condition is managed properly. FIV often goes undetected and affected cats may not experience symptoms until years after infection. Symptoms may progress as the cat ages and can include:

  • Gingivitis
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor coat condition
  • Fever
  • Chronic or recurring infections

5. FELINE LEUKEMIA VIRUS (FELV)

FeLV is a cancer-causing retrovirus that is spread through cats’ saliva, blood, feces or urine. Alley Cat Allies reports that most cats get FeLV from their infected mothers at birth or through contact with other cats, such as through mutual grooming. FeLV can weaken the immune system and cause severe anemia, making the cat vulnerable to other diseases.

Symptoms on FeLV include:

  • Seizures or neurological disorders
  • Various eye conditions
  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Persistent fever
  • Skin, urinary or respiratory infections
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite

FeLV can cause leukemia, lymphoma and infertility. Although there is no cure for FeLV, cats can live long healthy lives with the proper treatment.

6. CANCER

Lymphoma is the most common type of cancer affecting cats, but many different forms of the disease can occur. While a tumor often appears indicating cancer, it is not the only symptom, nor are all tumors cancerous. Many cases of feline cancer can go unnoticed, making routine veterinary exams paramount to early detection to improve treatment outcomes.

Symptoms of feline lymphoma include:

  • Weight loss
  • Anorexia
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

Cats who are positive for FIV or FeLV have an increased risk of developing cancer. Other factors like diet and exposure to secondhand smoke are also risk factors. Genetics may play a role too, as Siamese cats are more likely to develop cancer than other breeds.

7. OBESITY

Generally, a cat weighing 20% more than their ideal weight is considered obese. Feline obesity shortens a cat’s lifespan and makes them more susceptible to diseases and health conditions including:

  • Diabetes
  • Joint problems
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease

If you are concerned that your cat may be obese, contact your veterinarian. They will determine an ideal weight goal based on your cat’s overall health and recommend a new diet plan to help them shed some pounds.

8. PANCREATITIS

For cats and humans alike, the pancreas performs vital functions in the digestive process. Pancreatitis develops when the pancreas becomes inflamed, and in cats it is also usually accompanied by inflammation in the liver and intestines.

The cause of pancreatitis in cats is unknown, but some felines with diabetes or inflammatory bowel disease may be at a higher risk. Symptoms of pancreatitis include:

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Decreased appetite
  • Diarrhea

9. HYPERTHYROIDISM

Hyperthyroidism is an endocrine disease that affects middle-aged and older cats. It is most commonly caused by benign growths on the thyroid gland that increase its size and function, leading to an increase in the concentration of thyroid gland hormones.

Signs of hyperthyroidism in cats include:

  • Excessive amounts of energy
  • Increased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Restlessness

A veterinarian will order lab tests to diagnose hyperthyroidism. The right treatment can reduce functioning thyroid hormone levels and help cats live a healthy, normal life.

10. BROKEN BONES

As with humans, cats can break bones when too much stress or pressure is applied. If a cat sustains a broken bone, they should receive veterinary attention right away for proper diagnosis and treatment to minimize long-term effects.

 

 

Seniors Shouldn’t Eat These Deadly Foods

Happy senior man and woman looking at camera in the kitchen

Stay away From These Deadly Foods

When your parents were young, no one was concerned about foods that cause cancer. The research was very young at the time, but there were also far less processed foods on the market. People ate healthier and more pure foods, because that was what was available to them. Today, it seems like doctors link everything to causing cancer – it’s hard to determine what to really stay away from. While you think you may be doing the right thing for your health by drinking diet sodas or low-calorie popcorn, you’re actually eating some of the worst cancer-causing foods out there! Below are 16 of the biggest carcinogen culprits that you probably eat every day. While you may be thinking “Everything causes cancer, so why bother changing my diet,” these 16 common food items have been scientifically shown to significantly increase the risk of cancers. 10 Completely Shocked Me! 1 – Microwave popcorn Sure it’s easy to pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave when you want a quick and tasty snack, but is it really worth risking yourself for liver, testicular and pancreatic cancer? The microwave popcorn bags you have in your cabinet are lined with carcinogenic chemicals AND so is a chemical in the popcorn itself, which creates the artificial butter flavor. If you can’t give up your favorite movie-time snack, it’s time to switch to the old-fashioned stove top or a kernel popping machine like you see at movie theaters.

2 – Non-organic produce

Free public domain CC0 photo.

You’re not alone in thinking ALL fruits and vegetables are good for you, but there are actually many dangerous pesticides sprayed on non-organic fruits that are linked to cancer. One example is Altrazine, a weed-killer used at many U.S. farms, but banned in Europe for causing severe problems in humans, such as infertility. Another problem with non-organic farmed produce is the use of toxic fertilizers and hormones used to make fruits and veggies bigger. In case you were wondering, the worst offenders are apples, followed by oranges, strawberries and grapes. ALWAYS wash fruits and veggies to be safe, but know that this doesn’t remove all pesticides.

3 – Canned tomatoes I know what you’re thinking… You’ve likely heard how the nutrient Lycopene in tomatoes lowers cancer risks, but that benefit is completely cancelled out when the lining of canned tomatoes contain chemicals that disrupt hormonal activity in the body. Since tomatoes are so acidic, the chemical BPA actually leeches from the lining into the tomatoes. This toxic chemical has been linked to different cancers, heart disease and reproductive problems. Next time you feel like making a nice red sauce, go with a glass jar or stew the tomatoes yourself.

4 – Processed meats

Food tray with delicious salami pieces of sliced ham sausage tomatoes salad and vegetable – Meat platter with selection – Cutting sausage and cured meat

If you’re a carnivore, it may be hard to give up tasty deli sandwiches or cured meats to go with your wine and cheese, but the benefits definitely outweigh the cancerous risk. Processed meats are created with excessive salt and chemicals that damage our health. A study over 13 years showed that 1 out of 17 people died who ate 160 grams of processed meats. That’s 44 percent risk of cancer, as opposed to people who ate 20 grams or less. These meats are so packed with preservatives to look fresh, but they are well-known carcinogens, including the same things found in cigarette smoke.

5 – Farm-raised salmon Sure fish, especially salmon, is known as one of the healthiest foods out there, but unfortunately more than 60% of salmon in the U.S. is farm-raised… and could be deadly. Farm-raised fish are fed unnatural diets and contaminated with chemicals, antibiotics, pesticides and other known carcinogens found in materials like asbestos. Farmed salmon is also fattier than fresh salmon, which means it soaks up more toxins. Next time you want a healthy omega-3 packed, treat yourself to fresh Alaskan salmon instead.

6 – Potato chips They may be cheap, easy and delicious, but these crispy, addicting snacks can also be deadly. These fatty foods don’t only cause weight gain because of their high trans-fat content, they also have excessive sodium levels, which cause high blood pressure and artificial flavors, preservatives and colors. Another risk is the presence of acrymalide, a known carcinogen found in cigarettes. Try not to feed these quick snacks to yourself or your kids and choose pretzels, air-popped popcorn or baked apple chips instead.

7 – Hydrogenated oils

Hydrogenated oils are vegetable oils, which cannot be naturally extracted like olive oil, soy or canola oil, they must be chemically removed. They are commonly used in many foods in your pantry to preserve and keep their shelf life, yet they are also linked to cancer, birth defects, heart disease and many other fatalities. NEVER cook with hydrogenated oils and check your labels for healthy oils like olive, soy and canola instead.

8 – Salty, pickled and smoked foods They may be delicious, but many salty, pickled and smoked foods are processed with the preservative nitrate, which changes in our bodies to N-nitroso composites, which are associate with high cancer-developing risks. Smoked foods like meat or nuts absorb the smoke, which contains the same tar found in cigarettes. Colorectal and stomach cancer are linked to salty, pickled and smoked foods. Do you have a taste for these cravable foods now?!

9 – Processed white flour Oprah famously lost a lot of weight by cutting out anything white, especially the big culprit – white flour. You may have heard it’s bad for you, but you probably don’t realize that chemically-bleaching flour with chlorine gas kills all of it’s healthy nutrients. Chlorine gas can be deadly when inhaled, so why would we want it in our dinner? White flour also contains a high glycemic rate, which raises blood sugar and insulin levels and can directly cause diabetes. Cancerous tumors feed on sugar in the bloodstream, so by avoiding refined grains like processed white flour, you can avoid or starve deadly tumors.

10 – GMO’s

You may have heard the term GMO, but you’re not alone in not fully understanding the dangers of genetically modified organisms. Why would anyone want to eat something that sounds like that, right?! WRONG! After GMO’s were introduced in 1996, Americans with 3 or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7 to 13% in just 9 years. Allergies skyrocketed and so did Autism in children, reproductive and digestion problems. GM vegetables fed to rats caused development of horrifying tumors. One of the biggest culprits was GM bovine growth hormone found in milk. Stay away from these silent killers and choose certified organic, non-GMO verified and locally-grown foods that are produced without biotechnology. You’ll be thankful you did later on in life.  

What to Know About Fatty Tumors (Lipomas) in Dogs

What to Do If You Find a Fatty Lump on Your Dog

Millions of dogs in the United States alone see the vet for lipomas every year—a common type of fatty tumor that appears under the skin. As dogs age, it is not uncommon for them to develop mysterious lumps and bumps. Some breeds, too, are prone to developing skin anomalies.

Our English Spaniel developed a fairly large fatty lump on her flank at around six years of age, and now she has nearly five smaller ones all throughout her torso. While in most cases fatty bumps or lipomas are benign and only require surgical removal, if they restrict mobility or similar, you do need to watch them; your vet should perform a fine needle aspirate on each lump to make sure that they are non-cancerous.

What Is a Lipoma?

A lipoma is a common term that is used to refer to a benign fatty tumor that often appears on adult or senior dogs. Some lipomas stay the same size for years and others may grow; in addition, your dog might first develop one and then develop several others in months or years. They grow nearly everywhere, but they generally present right below the skin. Sometimes they grow in muscle tissue and muscle layers—such types are called infiltrative lipomas. Occasionally, fatty tumors may cause discomfort for your pet and might need to be surgically removed.

Learn about what treatment options are available for fatty tumors in dogs.Chewy via Unsplash

What Does a Fatty Tumor Feel Like on a Dog?

Lipomas (fatty tumors) generally feel rounded, small, and sphere-shaped. They can also be hemispherical and have a generally smooth texture under your dog’s skin. Some tend to be firmer and adhered to tissue, but most are quite movable and generally bouncy or soft to the touch. You should be able to manipulate the tumor on your dog without pain. It should not be oozing, bleeding, or scabbed. It is not uncommon for lipomas to range from small in size (walnut-sized or smaller) to the size of a grapefruit on larger breeds (in which case, your vet should have already discussed surgical removal). Larger lipomas can weigh several pounds and may be extremely uncomfortable even on larger breeds.

Are Fatty Tumors in Dogs Dangerous or Cancerous?

Lipomas are not cancerous. If your dog is diagnosed with a true lipoma, meaning, it is definitely fat cells only, then you can rest assured that the growth is not cancerous and instead benign (rather than malignant). The growth will not metastasize. However, it is important to know that some dogs will develop multiple lipomas in their lifetime, and although they are benign, they can sometimes cause discomfort or impede basic function and might require surgical intervention (such as in the armpit or legs).

Some lipomas show up and stay the same size for your dog’s lifetime and others grow and increase in size. Other times, several small lumps may show up rapidly and change or stay the same size and shape. It’s always important to watch them regardless and to point out any new growths to your vet upon each check up.

Liposarcomas (Cancerous Fatty Tumors) vs. Lipomas

Liposarcomas are malignant and are often recurring. They are categorized in the group of soft tissue sarcomas. They require aggressive treatment. Although extremely uncommon, they do metastasize and spread to other parts of the body. They can be felt as semi-firm lumps under the skin or in the muscle. They are not painful. In such cases, tissue biopsies using local anesthetic are recommended to determine the grade of the tumor via sample. These tumors are considered invasive to surrounding tissue and can metastasize to other organs (though rare).

If your dog is indeed diagnosed with a liposarcoma(s), they may be required to undergo radiation therapy or chemotherapy in addition to surgical removal. A pathologist will evaluate the tumor(s) post-surgery to determine the type, grade, and margins (e.g. was all of it removed?). Your vet will know what to do, but first, the growth needs to be evaluated—do not wait.

What Causes Lipomas to Form?

It’s not well-known why dogs tend to develop lipomas besides age. Oftentimes they are hereditary, although several breeds are prone to them. Sometimes they can be caused by physical trauma. Below, are some common causes of lipomas.

Poor Diet

It is thought that carbohydrates, preservatives, and toxins found in processed dog food can contribute to fatty tumors.

Chemicals

Tap water also contains chlorine, which can upset thyroid levels and disrupt the endocrine system. The endocrine system and immune system are responsible for eliminating and excreting unwanted material in the body via the skin, however, fatty tumors may form in the body’s efforts of eliminating such material.

Environmental

Pesticides and herbicides in your dog’s environment can contributor to the development of tumors. Avoid using such products in your yard or areas around the house. You can also bathe your dog or wash off their feet if they encounter such chemicals so that they don’t accidentally ingest them or absorb them through their paw pads.

Breeds That Are Prone to Lipomas

All dogs are susceptible to developing lipomas, especially those that are middle-aged and older. However, some breeds are prone to them. These breeds include: Labrador retrievers, Weimaraners, Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, and spaniel breeds.

Senior dogs are prone to developing multiple lipomas.Lynda Hinton via Unsplash

How Are They Diagnosed?

Lipomas are often diagnosed with what’s called a fine needle aspiration (or FNA). It’s a fairly common procedure, painless, and your dog does not need to be put under for it so long as the tumors are fairly superficial. Your vet will have an assistant restrain your pet comfortably. They will then insert a small needle into the fatty tumor and suction out a small sample of cells from the lump. They will then blow the tumors from the syringe onto a microscopic slide for examination.

In most cases, fat or adipose cells can be identified on the slide and the diagnosis made. In rare instances, an FNA might not be enough and your dog may need a biopsy. A biopsy generally involves taking a small sample of the tumor for a pathologist or lab to review. Termed histopathology, a biopsy will allow for a firm diagnosis of the types of cells present in the tumor.

Should Fatty Tumors Be Removed From Dogs?

Once your vet has performed a fine needle aspirate (FNA) and the tumor growth has been diagnosed as a lipoma, you will likely discuss with your vet whether or not it has to be removed. If it is impeding your dog’s mobility or uncomfortable for them, it will be removed surgically and under anesthesia. In some cases, your veterinarian might require that your dog undergoes a CT or MRI to determine how deep or invasive the tumor is.

If your dog is older, it’s possible that surgery might be avoided entirely. Sometimes the surgery is actually riskier (due to tumor location, pre-existing health conditions, age, and other factors that make your dog a high-risk anesthesia patient).

Lipomas are common in older dogs.Derek Sears via Unsplash

How Can I Shrink Them?

Although surgery is often the most common approach for getting rid of a lipoma, you can make some changes in your dog’s daily health and wellness routine to better their chances for fatty tumor reduction.

Nutrition: For one, make sure your dog is on quality food (preservative, chemical, dye, and additive-free foods). In addition, avoid offering your dog tap water (which is laden with chemicals). You will want to make sure you know what you are putting into your dog’s body. Offer them the healthiest options possible.

Exercise: Make sure your dog is receiving the proper amount of exercise recommended for their life stage. Exercise is an important part of overall health for your dog, especially if they are housebound.

Weight loss: Make sure your dog is also at a healthy weight. Excess fat and weight gain essentially feed the fatty tumors. Talk to your vet about cutting down on your dog’s weight (what their ideal weight range is). Stop feeding scraps and garbage snacks, and offer some healthy alternative treats when needed.

Avoid chemicals: As always, avoid using herbicides, pesticides, and other endocrine disrupters in your house or on your lawn. Some chemicals that are used for cleaning indoors can be problematic too and might be considered endocrine disrupters. Keep your living space healthy and avoid exposing your animals to troubling ingredients.

Mental wellness: Immunity and bodily health are closely tied to overall wellness. If your dog is stressed, depressed, or unhappy, this can affect them on a physical level as well. Take care of them holistically and offer them everything and more. Their health will benefit!

Sources

  • Lipomas and Lumps on Dogs: Common Causes | Southern Arizona Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Cen
    What’s that lump growing on your dog’s belly? If you’re getting concerned about the growing mass on your dog’s body, then it’s time to learn about lipomas.
  • Adipose (Lipoma) Tumors | VCA Animal Hospital
    Lipomas are benign tumors of fat seen in middle-aged to older animals. Sometimes these tumors grow in between muscle layers are called infiltrative lipomas. Lipomas are benign and do not typically behave aggressively. Liposarcomas are the malignant f

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

10 Things Dogs Hate about Humans | Every Senior Should Know it

Could you be doing things that annoy your dog without you even realizing it? Dogs often tolerate human behavior because they are loyal and easygoing. However, there may be some things that you or others do that your dog secretly hates. You can probably think of a few things your dog hates because it’s obvious. Perhaps your dog puts on the brakes when you try to bath him. Maybe he shies away from hugs or certain types of handling. He may even get visibly upset or depressed when he doesn’t get his way.

Even the most laid-back dog will hate some of the things we humans do. Yes, certain things are unavoidable, like vet visits or grooming. However, there are other ways we can try to take it easy on our dogs. No two dogs are exactly the same, so what one dog hates another dog may enjoy.

Since they can’t tell us, we’ve compiled a list of 10 things that humans do that dogs don’t actually like. But lucky for us, our favorite fuzzballs always find a way to forgive us–because that’s just who they are.

10. Constant hugging

Research revealed that 81.6% of the dogs tested showed signs of stress or anxiety when they were hugged. 7.6% of them enjoyed this activity, while the response of 10.8% of the dogs was neutral. The most common signs of stress included flattened ears, sad eyes (you can see the whites of the eyes) or, on the contrary, closed eyes and a head turned away to avoid eye contact with a hugger. So next time you decide to hug your dog, estimate its reaction first.

9. Using Words More Than Body Language

Dogs might be able to deduce the meaning of a few key words (e.g., walk, treat, toy, off), but they can’t understand human language. What they rely on to figure out what we mean is our body language. Unfortunately, we can easily send mixed signals if we’re only paying attention to what our mouths are saying and not what our bodies are saying.

If you go to any beginner dog training class, you’ll often see people saying one thing but doing another, and a confused dog trying to discern what is being asked of them. For instance, telling a dog to “stay” while leaning forward toward the dog and holding out a hand like a traffic cop is, in body language, actually inviting the dog to come toward you. But when the dog does, she gets reprimanded for breaking her stay command, which is confusing.

A great experiment is to spend a whole day not saying a word to your dog, but communicating only with your body. You’ll see just how much you “talk” with your body without realizing it and learn how to use your movements and body positions to get the response you need from your dog.

 

 

8. Leave Them Home Alone too often

Dogs are pack animals that need a leader to feel secure. When they are left home alone for too long, some dogs start acting out due to anxiety, stress and boredom. Certain breeds can also be more affected by being left alone—especially working breeds, Labradors, Retrievers and Terriers—though any dog can suffer from separation anxiety. You may come home to the aftermath of your dog working out its anxiety on your couch cushions or trash.

7. Being Ignored

Dogs don’t particularly enjoy being ignored, in fact some dogs really hate it. Some dogs require a great deal more attention than others. Lots of dogs hate being ignored so much that they will spend all day trying to get your attention. If they have to drop that tennis ball in front of your feet 50 times to get you to throw it they will. Most dogs love a bit of attention and will get the hump if they are constantly ignored.

 

 

6. Going On A Walk And Not Being Able To Sniff Things

Dogs just don’t get why we take them outside where everything is fascinating and there are lots of different smells, yet we stop them from sniffing where they want to. It’s difficult to walk your dog when they are sniffing every single spot of pavement, so sometimes we have to make them heal and walk alongside us. This prevents them from the enjoyment of sniffing everything momentarily, until they are let off the lead in the park.

 

5. Getting in a Dog’s Face and Personal Space

Much like hugging, dogs tend to dislike it when humans get in their faces. Think about how it would make you feel! Avoid putting your hands in a dog’s face, towering over dogs, and rushing towards them. This is especially important if the dog does not know you well.

As an owner, if you need to poke and prod your dog for his own good (like ear cleaning or tooth brushing) go slowly, be gentle, and reward your dog with treats and/or praise. If your dog exhibits appeasement gestures, shows signs of fear, or acts aggressive, back off! It’s always best to be careful and prevent a dog bite.

4. Yelling and Harsh Punishment

No one likes to be yelled at or harshly punished (such as being spanked). Dogs may not understand the words we are saying, but they sense your emotions when you do it. If you have a sensitive or fearful dog, you may find that yelling, and harsh punishment actually upsets or scares your dog. Fear does not equal respect, and you will not strengthen your relationship with these methods. Even if your dog is aloof or ultra-happy, you will probably find that yelling and harsh punishment don’t help in the long run because your dog becomes desensitized (meaning he does what he wants anyway and you just keep repeating yourself).

Positive reinforcement is generally the most effective type of training. To correct unwanted behavior, you can try redirecting your dog towards a preferred behavior instead of yelling or smacking him. Train your dog to “drop it” or “leave it” are great ways to stop your dog from eating or chewing something he shouldn’t. You can teach him “come” or “watch me” to get his attention when he is doing something wrong. Be sure to reward him when he complies. Dogs are more likely to listen to you when you issue a request rather than a non-specific “no” or “stop it.”

 

3. Not having a routine.

 Believe it or not, pets thrive on a schedule or basic routine for daily living. This helps them feel safe and secure, knowing when they will eat, sleep, go for a walk, and expect you home after a long day at work. Without a routine, many pets act out and have problems with behavior, stress, and anxiety.

 

2. Discipline them inconsistently

If you want to keep your dog happy, consistency is key—especially when it comes to their training, and how you reward or admonish their behavior.

“While [dogs] are experts at reading body language and tone of voice, they are constantly confused and saddened by the mixed messages communicated by their human,” says Borden, who notes that it’s “extremely frustrating for something to be okay one time, but not all the time,” like sitting on the couch or playing with certain objects.

 

1. Dress them up

Yes, they look adorable in costume, but is it worth putting them through the discomfort or embarrassment they may experience, all because you want to get a couple of cute pics to post on social media?

“Usually it’s not a good idea as the dog’s just very uncomfortable,” says Cynthia Kelly, dog breeder and owner of Regis Regal German Shepherds in Spring Grove, Illinois. Kelly points out that one of the concerns is that they can even overheat in those little outfits if you’re not careful.