Should Your Order Hormone Tests Online?

Medical advances now make it possible to undergo essential testing right in the comfort of your own home. This is especially true when it comes to hormone testing, as there are a variety of tests that can be ordered online and delivered right to your door.


Hormone levels have a major impact on many bodily functions. When levels are out of whack, people can experience a wide range of bothersome symptoms. Hormone dysfunction can cause extreme tiredness, digestive issues, depression, unwanted weight gain or loss, excessive urination and many other health effects.


When these symptoms arise, hormone testing can identify the underlying cause, which is the first step toward treating it. While convenient, you may be wondering whether online hormone tests are actually worthwhile. This guide provides important insights to help you make the right decision.

Types of Tests You Can Order Online

The body uses many hormones to perform its essential functions. As a result, problem hormone levels can cause a variety of health effects. There's a wide range of online hormone tests to choose from, including the following:


Menopause - These tests look for specific hormones that can indicate whether you've entered menopause. This is often the first step for getting help with bothersome issues like night sweats and insomnia.
Stress - Known as the stress hormone, cortisol is crucial for activating your fight or flight response. However, too much cortisol increases your risk of heart disease and other ailments, including headaches and nausea.

 
Genomics - Genomics testing studies your DNA, but not to find distant relations. Instead, this test looks for possible markers that could indicate a higher risk of certain diseases. By knowing these markers, you can make changes to your lifestyle to lower your disease risk.

 
Metabolism - Metabolism refers to the chemical reactions needed to convert food into energy. This test will measure the hormones necessary in the metabolic process to ensure they're working properly.


Thyroid - Your thyroid gland is also crucial for your metabolism, as it controls your metabolic rate. Some thyroids are underactive, while others are overactive. This test can help determine thyroid function and whether there are any issues you should be aware of.

Benefits of Online Hormone Tests

The biggest benefit offered by online hormone tests is the convenience they afford. Tests are sent directly to your home and contain easy to understand instructions to ensure you conduct testing appropriately. From there, you can send the completed test back to the lab and receive the results once they've been interpreted.


Online hormone tests can also be the first step to making healthy decisions regarding your life. For example, they can uncover the reasons for unintended weight gain, extreme fatigue and other issues that can get in the way of your quality of life.

Drawbacks of Online Hormone Tests

There are lots of reputable companies that offer hormone tests online, meaning you can trust the results provided. However, you must perform your due diligence to ensure you purchase from a reputable brand. Many of these tests are not approved by the FDA and may not be as comprehensive as the tests you would undergo in your doctor's office.


Additionally, you should get any new symptoms assessed by your doctor as they arise. Home hormone tests can provide insight, but you may still require treatment for the issues you're experiencing. Checking in with your doctor ensures you receive timely treatment to prevent bothersome symptoms and other effects.


Having greater control over your health and wellness is definitely a good thing. And when online hormone tests are used correctly, that's exactly what they provide.

Food Labels: How To Read Them Without Being Tricked

As a health-conscious consumer, you may rely on food labels to inform you of what you put into your body. While it’s good practice to always read food labels, it may discourage you to learn that labels aren’t always transparent. Many labels are purposely complex — and spare — so as to hide the true nutritional value (or lack thereof) of the products within the packaging. So that you don’t fall victim to misrepresentations, it may be worth your while to learn how to interpret food labels accurately. Below are a few tips to help you out.  

Always Check the Serving Size

If you rely on food labels to tell you how much of any given ingredient is in a certain product, it’s crucial that you don’t rely on the numbers alone. First, check out the serving size information.

Most packaged foods contain more than one serving. For instance, a can of soup typically contains two servings. A box of Cheez-Its contains 12 servings. You can generally find both the serving size and the number of servings per container at the top of the food label. The nutritional values listed next to each ingredient apply to each serving, not the entire container. So, if a serving size of soup is half a can and you eat the whole can, you consume twice the amount of calories, fat and nutrients listed on the label.

Double Check the Calorie Count

In addition to highlighting serving size, most food labels like to draw attention to calorie counts. Because calories provide a measure of energy you gain from a serving of food — and because they directly contribute to weight goals — many health-conscious consumers strive to control the number of calories they consume on a daily basis. If you’re one such consumer, compare the advertised calorie count with the serving size. If a package asserts that the contents within contain 120 calories but the container contains 4 servings, the actual calorie count is 480.

Calculate % Daily Value

The % daily value refers to the percentage of the daily value of nutrients that each serving contains. More specifically, these values tell you how much a food or beverage contributes to your daily diet. The DVs are merely recommendations for how much of a particular ingredient you should consume or not exceed each day and are based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. For example, if a food contains 3% cholesterol, it provides 3% of the total amount of cholesterol a person who needs 2,000 calories a day should consume.

The DV percentages can help you assess just how nutritional or non-nutritional a food or beverage is. DVs of 5% or less are low in nutrients. DVs of 20% or more, on other hand, have a high nutrient count per serving. That said, whether a food is good for you depends on which ingredients have high DVs. Foods with high % daily values of vitamin D, iron, calcium, fiber and potassium are nutritious. Foods that are high in sodium, saturated fats and added sugars, however, are not.

Ignore Front-of-Box Labels

If you take anything away from this article, let it be this: Ignore all the claims and assertions on front-of-box labels. Front labels are not regulated and often use misleading — and sometimes downright false — health claims to lure health-conscious consumers into making impulse purchases. If you think you are above falling for these tactics, know that research indicates that front-of-box health claims convince an overwhelming majority of people to purchase a product.

Manufacturers are tricky with their food labels. If you are serious about building and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you need to outsmart them by learning how to read labels accurately.

My Favorite Natural Energy Boosters (They Aren’t What You Might Think)

Lack of energy is a pervasive problem in America, with as many as 42% of adults claiming they regularly feel tired before noon. In addition, an astounding 65% of 2,000 people surveyed said they never wake up feeling refreshed and energized. These statistics may account for the hundreds of self-proclaimed energy-boosting products on the market today — some of which make no claims of being natural and many more that do. Regardless of whether “energy” comes in a can, herb or supplement form, the truth is that the best energy boosters are already inside of you. You just have to make a few lifestyle changes to help them do their work.

Fortunately, the changes you need to make are not big or difficult to implement. See for yourself — check out the top five natural energy boosters that actually work.

1.    Say “Yes” Less

A major reason for the fatigue epidemic in the U.S. is obligation overload. Not only do Americans tend to overwork themselves but also, many find it nearly impossible to say no to their bosses, friends, family members and social obligations. To avoid burnout, learn to say “yes” less. When someone asks you to do something — whether five minutes from the moment or six months down the road — consider whether it is something you really want to do. When the time comes to do it, would you still say “yes” to the commitment? If the answer is no or not a solid yes, don’t commit.

2.    Manage Your Stress

Stress is a major energy zapper. If you don’t yet have a stress-relief outlet, adopt one. Such an outlet can be a support group, a happy hour date with a BFF on Tuesday afternoons, a yoga class or a simple 20-minute walk each evening. There are no rules to how you must control your stress, but you must find a way to do so.

3.    Get Moving

Exercise has many proven benefits, ranging from improved brain health to decreased risk of major health problems. It makes sense, then, that exercise has several energy-boosting properties.

Exercise helps you sleep better at night. It also generates higher dopamine levels in the brain, contributing to a better mood. Finally, exercise gives the cells more energy to burn, which helps circulate oxygen and increase energy levels.

4.    Drink Caffeine Sparingly

Yes, coffee does provide a much-needed jolt of energy in the morning. However, when consumed in large amounts, caffeine may prove ineffective, and it could even have adverse consequences across several areas of your life.

If you drink too much, your body may build a tolerance to caffeine. Moreover, high caffeine intake can lead to insomnia and sleep deprivation, contributing to fatigue. Coffee can also dehydrate you, which leads to fatigue, and affect your blood sugar levels, which also causes feelings of tiredness.

The bottom line is that caffeine is great in small doses. Stick to one to two cups a day to reap the benefits of the world’s favorite beverage.

5.     Drink Water

Water is the one nutrient proven to enhance the performance of all but the most rigorous endurance activities. If your body is even slightly dehydrated, decreased energy levels will be one of the first signs.

If you’re tired of being tired, you don’t need canned energy or fancy supplements to restore your energy. You simply need to make a few lifestyle changes. Incorporate the above five changes into your life today for more energy tomorrow.

How Meditation Benefit Your Life?

It's hard not to feel stressed these days, whether you're concerned about work, family, or world events. It can also be hard to release stress and get your mind back on track, which increases your risk of experiencing a physical or mental health issue.

If you're looking for an all-natural method of relieving stress, meditation is the way to go. This guide explains more about the practice, as well as how it can benefit you.

What Is Mediation?

An ancient practice, meditation has been in use for thousands of years. The goal is to focus your mind and clear it of extraneous thoughts for improved mental wellness. It can entail deep breathing, repeating a mantra (a word or phrase that is supposed to help with concentration), or just sitting quietly.

Additionally, there are different types of meditation one can use. Visualization entails thinking about pleasing images to induce a relaxed and happy feeling. Conversely, mindful meditation involved being fully present and "in the moment" to boost self-awareness. While it's also a form of martial arts, tai chi uses gentle gestures performed slowly that can also have relaxing effects.

What Benefits Does It Offer?

When you make it a regular part of your lifestyle, meditation offers certain key benefits:

  • Stress can exacerbate certain medical conditions, such as anxiety and chronic pain problems. Meditation can reduce stress and have a positive effect on underlying medical conditions. 
  • Reducing stress can also have other physical effects, including decreased heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and enhanced sleep quality. 
  • When worried, meditation can help clear the mind and allow you to make decisions reasonably. 
  • Meditation also offers mood enhancement, which can boost the quality of life and improve relationships with others.

Is Meditation Right for Everyone?

Most people can derive some benefits from meditation. However, it can also be detrimental when used incorrectly. It can take some time to experience a peaceful and relaxed feeling, and people can sometimes become frustrated when it doesn't happen quickly. In this case, you must allow yourself time to get acclimated to the practice.

Additionally, meditation can be problematic for people who fall victim to procrastination. You can avoid this time trap by scheduling meditation at certain times each day, such as in the morning or later at night before bed. Keep in mind that each person is different, so it's important to find a strategy that works best for you.

How Can Beginners Get Started?

Getting started with meditation is often the most challenging aspect. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to speed up the adjustment process. Begin by establishing a short time limit, such as five minutes. That way, you won't feel pressured if you're not able to get in the right frame of mind.

Find a quiet, comfortable place in your home, a place where you can fully unwind uninterrupted. Any position is acceptable, provided that you feel comfortable. For instance, some people choose to sit while others might lie down. The most important factor is that you feel relaxed.

Focus on your breathing when getting started. In the event your mind begins to wander, which is a natural occurrence when meditating, re-focus on your breathing. Don't get discouraged if your mind wanders frequently when first getting started, as this is a common occurrence for beginners.

In terms of how often you should meditate, that's a personal decision that you must make on your own. However, people derive the most benefits from the practice when they do it on a regular basis. Accordingly, try to take some time each day to meditate, even if it's only five to ten minutes.

Life can be pretty hectic and stressful for most people, but meditation is a great tool to have in your arsenal. Along with reducing stress, it can also improve your thinking and boost your overall wellness to enhance your quality of life.

Eat These 4 Lycopene-Rich Foods for Longevity!

Lycopene is an amazing antioxidant related to vitamin A. This natural compound is what gives some fruits and veggies their pink or red color. Some studies suggest that lycopene can have powerful protective effects on the body:

  • Lowering bad cholesterol levels
  • Keeping blood vessels flexible and healthy
  • Helping you avoid heart disease
  • Reducing the risk of lung and prostate cancer
  • Slowing the growth of breast cancers
  • Delaying the development of cataracts
  • Keeping your eyes healthy as you age
  • Helping prevent Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss

OK, so you're convinced. But where can you find this perfect pink superstar?

1. Tomatoes

A diet with abundant tomatoes is guaranteed to be rich in lycopene. You can enjoy countless different varieties, including melt-in-your-mouth cherry tomatoes and tangy Roma tomatoes. Here are a few fun facts to maximize the lycopene in tomatoes:

  • Cooked tomatoes have more lycopene than fresh.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes are packed with lycopene.
  • The amount of lycopene increases as tomatoes ripen.
  • Your body absorbs lycopene better when accompanied by healthy fats, such as extra-virgin olive oil.

In case you’re wondering, tomato paste and spaghetti sauce also have lots of lycopene, so you don’t have to make Italian favorites from scratch to benefit. That said, be careful with excess sugar or salt in processed tomato products.

2. Watermelons

Remember: If it’s red, it probably has lycopene! Watermelons are no exception. Feasting on this delicious, juicy summertime favorite can give you a whopping 7 mg of lycopene per cup, plus lots of vitamin C. This fruit is low in calories and great for staying hydrated on hot days.

Many people enjoy watermelon as a healthy snack or dessert option, but you don’t have to stop there. This tasty fruit works great in savory recipes, too, breathing life into garden salads and Mediterranean feta on toast.

Many Indian recipes feature watermelon also. Did you know you can sauté watermelon chunks (cooking boosts lycopene) with garlic, turmeric and other spices for a mouthwatering curry? Creamy yogurt, watermelon and mint are another classic combination.

3. Red Bell Peppers

Red peppers aren’t exactly overflowing with lycopene, but they provide a decent amount. What makes them a great choice for your diet is how versatile they are for cooking. Pizza, fajitas, tacos, stir-fries, kebabs, burgers and salads barely scratch the surface of the possibilities!

4. Pink Guavas

If you’ve never tried this marvelous, sweet fruit, you don’t know what you’ve been missing. It has a wonderful flavor similar to a combination of strawberries and pears. Even better, just one pink guava gives you over 5 mg of lycopene, which is more than fresh tomatoes.

Of course, not everyone has access to guava at their local farmers' market. If you live in a warmer state, such as Florida or California, you may have an easier time. Generally speaking, anywhere you can find papaya, you can also find guava.  Another option is to buy unsweetened guava juice.

More Lycopene

With so many benefits, it’s no surprise that some health professionals believe that making sure you’re getting enough lycopene probably helps you live longer. No wonder Italian grandmas with their fresh tomatoes live so long!

4 Simple Ways To Make Yourself Poop

Everyone has a different frequency of bowel movements, but you can generally tell when something is off. If you need some help scooting things along, try a few of these simple tips to make yourself poop.

1. Go to Town With Fiber

Fiber is your best friend when it comes to pooping. Some types of fiber add bulk and signal your colon that it’s time to go. Other types of fiber act like a lubricating gel that absorbs water, softens your poop and helps it slide along smoothly.

Make sure you’re getting plenty of fiber by eating some of the following foods every day. Generally speaking, the more of these you eat, the more you poop:

  • High-fiber fruit: apples, pears, berries, bananas and papaya
  • Veggies: broccoli, avocados, leafy greens, carrots and beets
  • Legumes: lentils, green beans, kidney beans, chickpeas and split peas
  • Whole grains: rolled oats, whole wheat foods, barley, brown rice and popcorn
  • Nuts: almonds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, chia seeds and pecans

2. Grab a Big Glass of Water

Sometimes, constipation is caused by dehydration. Without enough water, poop turns into dry “concrete” in your intestines. You should be drinking plenty of water every day for good health anyway, but especially if you’re having trouble pooping. For the best results, drink a big glass of water at the same time you eat fiber, such as at breakfast.

3. Give Your Colon Some Gentle Encouragement

Did you know you can “push” poop through your digestive tract with a gentle massage? This technique is called colonic massage. It can provide many benefits including alleviating constipation, getting rid of gas and reducing the amount of effort you need while pooping.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Sit up or lie on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Massage your abdomen using your fingertips or palms.
  3. Follow the colon from the lower right in a clockwise direction.
  4. Put gentle pressure on the four corners of the abdomen, including under the ribs.
  5. End the circle by pressing gently under the belly and pulling up.
  6. Repeat from the bottom right again.

Some people make small circles as they massage around the abdomen. Others use small taps. The idea is to help your body “squeeze” poop through the intestine without having to strain your muscles.

4. Take a Hike (Literally)

Have you ever accidentally passed gas while working out? This is no accident. Exercise is great for stimulating bowel movements. As your body moves, so does the food in your gut. You decide whether to enjoy some high-intensity biking, a healthy jog or a laid-back walk.

Exercise also produces feelings of calm. Stress is a common cause of constipation, so relaxation can be an excellent remedy. If you live near an outdoor space, go for a hike. Physical activity helps your bowels and the fresh air helps your mind.

Make Time for Your Gut

The next time you’re having trouble with bowel movements, get up early the next day to make yourself a healthy breakfast. Enjoy some whole wheat toast with avocado, and make a smoothie with bananas and berries.

Put on some light music in the background. Take your time eating. Relax. Then, kick back and get ready for the show.

This Is Why Your Bladder Is Leaking

While embarrassing, bladder leakage is a legitimate health issue that numerous people experience in their lives. Urinary incontinence is also inconvenient, which is why the condition must be expediently diagnosed and treated by a medical professional.

This common urinary problem has numerous causes, some of which involve major medical issues. There are also lots of effective treatments and management methods available and finding the right one is key to improving your quality of life. Here are a few points to consider if you experience bladder incontinence.

Types of Incontinence

Bladder leakage has many distinct forms, including:

  • Urge Incontinence - An intense, sudden urge to urinate is accompanied by an increased frequency of urination. 
  • Stress Incontinence - Pressure on the bladder when lifting heavy objects, laughing, or coughing results in accidental urination. 
  • Overflow Incontinence - An inability to completely empty the bladder when urinating leads to leaks and increased frequency.

It's possible to experience two or more types of incontinence at once. In this case, you may be diagnosed with mixed incontinence. Incontinence can also result from a functional impairment that impacts a person's physical or mental abilities.

Common Causes of Bladder Leakage

Causes vary based on the type of incontinence you're experiencing. With temporary issues, it can result from overconsumption of caffeine or alcohol. When the condition is persistent, it may occur during pregnancy or after giving birth. Aging is another common reason why people experience bladder leakage due to menopause in women and prostate inflammation in men.

There are also a few risk factors to keep in mind. Carrying extra weight can put pressure on the bladder and weaken surrounding muscles. Women also tend to experience incontinence in greater numbers than men, particularly as they grow older. Family history also plays a role, as does medical conditions like diabetes.

How to Prevent Issues

Some instances of incontinence can be prevented depending on the underlying cause. Many menopausal women experience a weakening of the pelvic muscles as they grow older, which increases their risk of leakage. Performing specific exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles can often help women exert better control over their bladder.

Lifestyle changes can also help. If leakage is triggered by certain foods or drinks, cutting these items out of your diet can help you avoid bouts of incontinence. For example, alcohol is a common trigger for incontinence, so people who experience issues should greatly limit their intake.

A healthy diet is another key factor to improving bladder control. Maintaining a reasonable weight alleviates pressure on the bladder and reduces your risk of leakage. In this case, focus your diet on wholesome and nutritious foods and cut out processed snacks. You should also develop a fitness routine that consists of at least 30 minutes of activity every day.

Treatments for Incontinence

Most people require a mixture of lifestyle changes and medical treatments to overcome bladder issues. Doctors can recommend medications to improve bladder function by affecting the muscles that control urination. Medical devices can also be used to physically block the flow of urine during physical activities and other situations.

When other treatments are unsuccessful, surgery is the next option. Surgical mesh can be used to strengthen the muscle between the bladder and urethra and is often performed in conjunction with pelvic prolapse surgery. It's also possible to implant a device that fits around the bladder neck to control the flow of urine using a valve.

No one has to live with the inconvenience and embarrassment of bladder leakage. The right combination of treatments can provide a new lease on life, especially if the condition leaves you feeling socially alienated. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you'll feel like yourself again.

Top 3 Chair Exercise To Start a New Fitness Routine

Many people struggle to maintain adequate exercise routines. Work, family obligations and health can all interfere with even the best intentions. If you are coming back to fitness after some time away, you should consider taking it slow. Focus on easing back into routines. The best and safest way to ease into an exercise routine is by performing chair exercises. You can find many effective whole-body chair workouts, but why not start with only a few exercises?

1. Calf Raises

Calf raises are a common leg exercise that you can perform while seated. While sitting tall, plant your feet firmly on the floor at about a hip distance apart. Look ahead, and engage your core. Lift the heel of your right foot off the floor while maintaining contact with your toes. Raise your calf as high as you can and engage the muscles. Hold the position for 20 seconds. Lower the heel and repeat the movement 10 more times. Repeat the exercise with the left leg when finished with the right leg. Do a minimum of three sets per leg, 10 reps each set.

To make the workout even more challenging, perform two additional sets with both legs simultaneously. Do not rush the exercise; move slowly through each movement and engage the muscles.

2. Hip Marches

Hip marches give people a way to perform modified cardiovascular exercises. They also provide opportunities to improve hip flexibility. According to personal trainers, hip marches are straightforward exercises with minimal risk of injury, making them suitable for aging adults and beneficial for all.

Start in the same position as you did with the calf raises. You need to keep your torso tall and your abdominal muscles engaged. Some people find it helpful to push up slightly on the chair's armrest, keeping a straight back and remaining seated. Imagine marching down the street or across a stadium field. Lift your knee as high as you can. Hold your knee in position briefly before lowering it back to the ground. Do the same march simulation for the opposite leg.

Because this is a cardiovascular exercise, you'll want to repeat the movement at least 20 times. After 20, take a small break before repeating the exercise. You should repeat the exercise two or three times.

3. Sit-and-Stands

Professionals consider sit-and-stands as a precursor to squats. While often included in exercise routines for seniors to help improve and maintain mobility and strength, these faux squats can help anyone improve leg strength, balance and control.

Sitting in a sturdy chair, assume the starting position of the previous two exercises. You want to avoid using your arms and hands as much as possible, engaging the core and using your legs instead. While leaning forward from the hips, push your weight down into your feet. Extending through your legs and engaging your core, straighten your body, ending in a standing position. Then, push your hips backward and allow your knees to bend as you slowly and carefully lower yourself back into the chair. Repeat the sit-and-stands 10 times, and perform two to three sets.

Chair exercises provide an excellent and safe way to ease back into an exercise routine after time away. Talk to your primary care physician first if you want to start a new fitness regimen.

Should You Worry About RSV This Winter?

If you've heard about RSV on the news, you already know it's not an invitation to a party. These letters stand for respiratory syncytial virus, a type of viral infection. Should you be worried about catching RSV? This guide provides helpful tips for staying safe.

Is RSV a New Type of Coronavirus?

RSV isn’t a coronavirus. It’s not a new virus, either. Even though you may not have heard of it before, RSV has been around for a long time. It was discovered over 60 years ago.

This virus is extremely common. It pops up every year, usually in the fall.

Is RSV Dangerous?

For the majority of healthy people, RSV isn’t dangerous. It usually causes relatively mild respiratory symptoms, such as sneezing, coughing, runny nose or low fever.

Unfortunately, some age groups are more vulnerable to RSV infections. These patients can experience life-threatening symptoms:

  • Lung inflammation
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma attacks
  • Increased risk of complications for people with congestive heart failure

Every year, up to 120,000 seniors have to stay in the hospital because of RSV. A small percentage of these patients pass away. Even 120,000 isn’t a huge number of seniors — there are over 50 million older adults in the U.S. — but it’s enough to be cautious.


Are You at Risk for Severe RSV Symptoms?

RSV is mainly dangerous for people who have a weakened immune system. Several risk factors can cause problems:

  • Premature newborns
  • Babies under 12 months
  • Adults over age 65
  • People who have chronic lung disease or asthma
  • Seniors who have heart problems
  • Adults taking medications for autoimmune disorders (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, etc.)

Compared to younger people, seniors have to fight harder to maintain a healthy, strong immune system. That’s why RSV can be more dangerous for older adults


Are You Prepared for Cold Weather?

Many types of viral infections flourish during the fall and winter months, often because so many people spend time indoors. The good news is that healthy habits for avoiding RSV infections also help you avoid other respiratory infections:

  • Stay away from sick people: Even if friends or family members tell you they only have a “regular” cold, it’s best to skip get-togethers until they get better.
  • Wash your hands: Washing your hands only takes 20 seconds, and it’s one of the best ways to keep viruses out of your house. Wash your hands as soon as you get home or after handling money, shaking hands or touching surfaces in public.
  • Disinfect: You don’t need to go crazy disinfecting, but it’s a good idea to wipe off surfaces people touch frequently, such as doorknobs, tabletops, smartphones, keyboards, TV remotes, etc.
  • Don’t touch your face: If you can master the habit of not touching your eyes, nose or mouth in public, you can avoid one of the biggest causes of getting sick.

Chances are you don’t have to lose sleep over RSV, but a few easy steps can help you lower your risk in any case. Don’t forget to take good care of your immune system with nutritious foods such as yogurt, berries, turmeric, ginger, garlic and green tea!

6 Sneaky Signs of Heart Disease

Many people are aware of the classic signs of a heart attack, but they are not as familiar with the symptoms of heart disease, often described as the silent killer. For anyone with a family history of heart disease, it pays to understand some of the less obvious indicators of the illness.

1. Horizontal Breathing

Can you breathe when lying on your back, or is it a struggle? If it is challenging, does your breathing improve when you sit up?

Struggling to breathe when lying flat can suggest fluid in the lungs, which is an indicator of heart failure. Essentially, trouble breathing results from blood redistribution. When the body is flat, the heart struggles to pump the extra blood volume, leading to increased fluid in the lungs and shortness of breath.

If you experience this symptom, contact your doctor immediately. The condition is known as orthopnea and requires medical attention.

2. Leg or Hip Pain

While leg and hip pain can stem from arthritis or physical fitness issues, it can also result from circulation issues, originating from peripheral artery disease. Blockages in the leg arteries cause pain in the legs. While blockages in the legs do not mean definitive clogged arteries in the heart, it is likely there are cardiac blockages.

3. Swollen Ankles

If the heart isn't pumping efficiently, fluid can build up in the legs causing swelling in the ankles. According to one study, adults with symptoms of fluid in the lower extremities, even with no history of heart disease, experienced future heart failure incidences.

Medical experts explain that swelling in both legs usually indicates a symptom of heart failure. Swelling in one leg can indicate a blood clot or infection. If you experience swelling and shortness of breath, contact your docto

4. Fatigue

Heart disease can cause extreme fatigue. If you experience tiredness when doing everyday activities, you might have an obstructed coronary artery. Women often cite chronic fatigue as the first symptom of heart disease. Fatigue can also stem from low blood flow. Call your doctor if you seem unusually tired, especially during routine activities.

5. Bad Breath

The mouth contains bacteria, but if the bacteria get out of control, they can cause bad breath. Chronic bad breath is a sign that the bacteria might be at a point where it can affect your overall health because it enters your bloodstream, which can affect your heart health.

6. Nighttime Urination

While nighttime urination usually increases with age, it can be a sign of heart issues. When your heart is weak, it can struggle to pump blood to the kidneys, resulting in fluid buildup in other areas of the body. At night, because you are lying down, gravity contributes to more fluid to the heart, causing the need for more fluid filtration and creating a need to urinate.

The above symptoms are not the only symptoms of heart disease. If you have a history of heart disease or have experienced any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor.