ADHD in Adults

Image result for adhd symptoms in adults checklist

ADHD Symptom Snapshot

There are 3 core symptoms of ADHD: inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. The following are examples of how ADHD symptoms may appear in adults.

Only a doctor or other health care professional can diagnose ADHD.

ONLY A DOCTOR OR OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL CAN DIAGNOSE ADHD

Symptoms of Inattention

  • Often makes careless mistakes and lacks attention to details
    (Examples: overlooking or missing details or handing in work that is inaccurate)
  • Often has difficulty paying attention to tasks
    (Example: difficulty remaining focused during lectures, conversations, or lengthy readings)
  • Often seems to not listen when spoken to directly
    (Example: mind seems elsewhere, even in the absence of obvious distraction)
  • Often fails to follow through on instructions, chores, or duties in the workplace
    (Example: starts tasks but quickly loses focus and is easily sidetracked)
  • Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
    (Examples: messy, disorganized work; poor time management; fails to meet deadlines)
  • Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to participate in tasks requiring sustained mental effort, like preparing reports, completing forms, or reviewing lengthy papers 
  • Often loses things like tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, and mobile phones
  • Often easily distracted by other things, including unrelated thoughts
  • Often forgetful in daily activities, such as running errands, returning calls, paying bills, and keeping appointments

Symptoms of Hyperactivity and Impulsivity

  • Often fidgets with or taps hands and feet or squirms in seat
  • Often leaves seat when remaining seated is expected
    (Example: leaves their place in the office or other workplace setting or in other situations that require remaining seated)
  • Often runs or climbs where it is inappropriate or feels restless (in adults, may be limited to feeling restless)
  • Often unable to participate in leisure activities quietly
  • Often acts as if “on the go” or “driven by a motor”
    (Example: is unable to be or uncomfortable being still for an extended time, as in meetings or restaurants)
  • Often talks excessively
  • Often blurts out an answer before a question has been fully asked
    (Examples: completes people’s sentences; cannot wait for next turn in conversation)
  • Often has difficulty waiting his or her turn, for example, while waiting in line
  • Often interrupts or intrudes on others
    (Examples: butts into conversations, games, or activities; may start using other people’s things without asking or receiving permission; may intrude into or take over what others are doing)

New light shed on Lyme disease-causing bacteria

Image result for lyme disease infections 2017Prompt removal of ticks can help prevent transmission of Borrelia mayonii

Date:
august 13, 2017
Source:
Entomological Society of America
Summary:
A new species of bacteria that causes Lyme disease needs the same amount of time for transmission after a tick bite compared to previously implicated bacteria, according to new research. Existing guidelines for frequent tick checks and prompt removal of attached ticks remain the same.

A new species of bacteria that causes Lyme disease needs the same amount of time for transmission after a tick bite compared to previously implicated bacteria, according to new research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Existing guidelines for frequent tick checks and prompt removal of attached ticks remain the same.

The duration of attachment of a single nymphal blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) needed for the tick to be likely to transmit the bacterial species Borrelia mayonii, identified in 2016, is 48 hours or more, according to the study. By 72 hours, however, likelihood of transmission has risen significantly. This timeframe aligns with existing research on Borrelia burgdorferi, previously the sole bacteria species known to cause Lyme disease in the United States. The research is published in the Entomological Society of America’s Journal of Medical Entomology.

“Our findings show that recommendations for regular tick checks and prompt tick removal as a way to prevent transmission of Lyme disease spirochetes to humans via the bites of infected ticks applies to the newly recognized B. mayonii as well as B. burgdorferi, for which these recommendations originally were developed,” says Lars Eisen, Ph.D., CDC research entomologist and senior author of the study.

The study authors tested transmission rates of B. mayonii from ticks to mice at four time intervals: 24, 48, and 72 hours after attachment and after the tick’s full feed. Their experiment focused on nymphal-stage ticks (the more common source of pathogen transmission, compared to larval or adult ticks) and exposed the mice to a single infected tick each. They found no evidence of transmission by single nymphs infected with B. mayonii in the first 24 or 48 hours, but 31 percent of mice examined after 72 hours were found to be infected. In mice examined after a tick’s complete feed (4-5 days), the infection rate was 57 percent.

“Our findings underscore the importance of finding and removing ticks as soon as possible after they bite,” says Eisen.

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States, with around 300,000 people estimated to be diagnosed each year, mostly in the Northeast and upper Midwest regions. The blacklegged tick is the primary vector of Lyme disease as well as at least a dozen other illnesses.

To reduce the risk of tick bites and tickborne diseases, CDC recommendations include:

  • Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter.
  • Use insect repellent when outdoors.
  • Use products that contain permethrin on clothing.
  • Bathe or shower as soon as possible after coming indoors to wash off and more easily find ticks.
  • Conduct a full-body tick check after spending time outdoors.
  • Examine gear and pets, as ticks can come into the home on these and later attach to people.

The bacterial species B. mayonii was discovered when six patients exhibiting symptoms of Lyme disease at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, in 2013 showed unusual blood-test results. The discovery of the new species was confirmed in 2016.

“There is much still to discover about B. mayonii, including to clarify the geographic range of this emerging human pathogen in the U.S., to determine how commonly different life stages of the blacklegged tick are infected with B. mayonii, and to find out whether the same vertebrate animals that serve as natural reservoirs for B. burgdorferi play the same role also for B. mayonii,” says Eisen.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Entomological Society of AmericaNote: Content may be edited for style and length.

7 Natural Remedies For Joint Pain

Natural Remedies For Joint Pain

When joint pain flares up, you want relief—fast. But you might not want to pop a pain reliever, especially if you’re concerned about side effects or interactions with other drugs. Or maybe meds alone aren’t doing enough, so you’re looking to add a drug-free remedy to your arsenal. Ice and heat are great, but they’re not your only options. Here are 7 more natural ways to fight inflammation and ease your ache. (The Power Nutrient Solution is the first-ever plan that tackles the root cause of virtually every major ailment and health condition today; get your copy now!)

Stick a pin in it

The scientific proof that acupuncture improves osteoarthritis pain is a little iffy. (Studies have been mixed, and it’s hard to rule out the placebo effect.) But a 2013 research review did conclude that there’s some evidence that this alternative treatment improves pain and stiffness in people with fibromyalgia(an arthritis-like condition characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain). So if you’re not averse to needles, book a few sessions. Just remember that frequent visits may be needed before you see results, and most insurance plans won’t cover it, says Sheryl Mascarenhas, MD, an assistant professor of rheumatology at The Ohio State University. (See what else acupuncture can treat.)

MORE: 11 Effective Solutions For Sciatic Nerve Pain

Take to the water.
Take to the water

Swimming, water aerobics, and other aquatic activities “promote flexibility and strength without high impact,” says Mark Karadsheh, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI. A 2014 review in the journal Physical Therapy found that exercising in water reduces pain and improves physical functioning in people with osteoarthritis of the lower limbs. Meanwhile, a 2015 study from The Netherlands found that a 45-minute aquatic circuit training session helped relieve the pain of knee osteoarthritis.

Spice things up.
Spice things up

Capsaicin, a substance responsible for the heat in hot peppers, is also used in topical pain-relieving creams and ointments. “It temporarily uses up substance P [a brain chemical that stimulates pain receptors], which redirects nerves so you don’t feel pain in the joint,” explains Mascarenhas, who notes that it can provide significant relief. In fact, a study from Case Western Reserve University found that 80% of people with osteo or rheumatoid arthritis had less pain after applying capsaicin cream four times a day for 2 weeks.

Consider supplements.
Consider supplements
Consider supplements.

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate (both found in human cartilage) are popular for treating the pain and swelling associated with osteoarthritis. Studies on their effectiveness have been mixed, but a 2015 research review determined that this combo significantly reduces pain and improves functioning in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. “There’s no risk associated with taking them so they’re worth a shot,” says Karadsheh.

Go fish.
Go fish

It’s no secret that omega-3 fatty acids, including fish oil supplements, have anti-inflammatory properties. It turns out these supplements also could help aching joints feel better. A 2015 study from Thailand found that when people with osteoarthritis of the knee took 1,000 mg of fish oil supplements (a combination of EPA, or eicosapentaenoic acid, and DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid) once a day for 8 weeks, their pain decreased and their functioning improved significantly. Other research has found that getting more omega-3s enabled people with rheumatoid arthritis to reduce their reliance on NSAIDs.

Embrace an ancient martial art.
Embrace an ancient martial art

Practicing tai chi is a low-impact way to strengthen the muscles around your joints and increase your range of motion, says Karadsheh. A 2013 review of seven randomized controlled trials found that a 12-week tai chi program improves symptoms of pain, stiffness, and physical function in peopl

Lower abdominal pain in women

All women will experience pain in the lower abdomen from time to time. Most commonly this can occur due to their periods or menstruation.

In many cases it is difficult to diagnose the exact cause of the pain, but noting certain features will help your doctor come to a diagnosis.

The most common causes are a urinary disorder, such as bladder or kidneyproblems, a bowel problem or a problem with the reproductive system – the uterus, Fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Abdominal pain arising from the urinary system

Urine infections are common and present symptoms, such as burning when you pass urine and going to the toilet more often.

Infection can spread to the kidneys (pyelonephritis) and can make you feel unwell with a high temperature and back pain.

If you have pain that spreads from your back down to your groin and is severe – your doctor may be more concerned that you have kidney stones. The doctor will test your urine if you have any of the above symptoms.

If you have any blood in your urine, it’s important to tell the doctor because this always needs investigation.

Tumours of the urinary system are not common, and the doctor will certainly take into account the duration of your symptoms first.

Abdominal pain arising from the digestive system

Pain arising from the large intestine is a particularly common cause of lower abdominal pain in both men and women. Features suggesting your pain may be to do with the bowel are:

  • Pain associated with pooing
  • A change in bowel habit
  • Loss of blood when you poo
  • Bloating with wind

Both constipation and diarrhoea can give you pain.

The pain they are often associated with is described as crampy or ‘colicky.’ This means that it comes and goes in waves. Large bowel pain is characteristically relieved on opening the bowels. Potential causes of pain arising from the bowel include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which can give you alternating diarrhoea, constipation and bloating. Other conditions include diverticular disease and it’s complications which are more frequent in older patients. Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s). A rare but important diagnosis is colorectal cancer.

Bloating and swelling is also a common symptom that people report and can be due to a problem affecting the bowels.

If you have any fresh bleeding from your back passage or you notice that your poo is black in colour then your should alert your doctor. These symptoms require investigation.Woman having her stomach examined by doctor

Abdominal pain arising from the reproductive organs

Pain can originate from your uterus (womb), Fallopian tubes or ovaries. It’s usually felt in the middle of the lower abdomen.

Pain that is felt more to the side can be more typical of a pain coming from the ovary.

Pain coming from the uterus is often worse during your period and is called dysmenorrhoea.

Some conditions affecting the reproductive system can also cause pain during intercourse. This is called dyspareunia and it is important to let your doctor know if you are troubled by it.

Examples of conditions of the reproductive organs include endometriosis, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts and problems related to the early stage of pregnancy such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

What will the doctor do?

The doctor will ask lots of questions regarding your periods, passing of urine and bowel movements. They may also ask about general symptoms such as fever, nausea and vomiting.

If appropriate, they may ask questions about a person’s emotional life-family, home, work and sex life.

Next the doctor will examine you. They will examine your abdomen and may examine you internally also (vaginal, rectal or sometimes both) may be necessary.

Often the doctor will ask for you to give a urine sample, which can be tested for infection.

If you have symptoms of vaginal discharge or other related symptoms the doctor may take some vaginal swabs.

Depending on your symptoms and their duration the doctor may decide to arrange for further investigations.

These may include:

  • Gynaecological causes may require vaginal swabs, cervical smears or pelvic ultrasound examination. Ultrasound may also be performed from within the vagina. Specialised blood test for ovarian cancer, CA-125, are usually performed. More invasive tests will depend upon the doctor’s suspicion of the cause of the pain.
  • Urinary causes can be investigated by urine culture, ultrasound or CT scan.
  • Colonic causes may require internal endoscopic examination of the bowel by Flexible Sigmoidoscopy or Colonoscopy.
  • A CT (Computerised Tomography Scan) may be appropriate for all three major sites of pain.

To determine how far to investigate lower abdominal pain takes skill and judgement. Pain can even arise outside the abdomen, for example from the back. Depending on the exact symptoms and duration, possible referral to the appropriate specialist is often required.

Other people also read:

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): what are the symptoms of IBS?

Lumbago (lower back pain): what are the danger signs?

Vaginal discharge: what can the doctor do?

Based on a text by Dr Erik Fangel Poulsen, specialist

Vaccines for adults: Which do you need?

Vaccines offer protection from infectious diseases. Find out how to stay on top of the vaccines recommended for adults.

You’re not a kid anymore, so you don’t have to worry about shots, right? Wrong. Find out how to stay on top of your vaccines.

What vaccines do adults need?

Vaccines for adults are recommended based on your age, prior vaccinations, health, lifestyle, occupation and travel destinations.

The schedule is updated every year, and changes range from the addition of a new vaccine to tweaks of current recommendations. To determine exactly which vaccines you need now and which vaccines are coming up, check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

What factors might affect my vaccine recommendations?

Several factors can affect whether you need certain vaccines. Be sure to tell your doctor if you:

  • Are planning to travel abroad
  • Have had your spleen removed
  • Work in certain occupations where exposures could occur
  • Are or might be pregnant
  • Are breast-feeding
  • Are moderately or severely ill or have a chronic illness
  • Have any severe allergies, including a serious allergic reaction to a previous dose of a vaccine
  • Have had a disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Have a weakened immune system or are being treated with an immunosuppressant
  • Have recently had another vaccine
  • Have recently had a transfusion or received other blood products
  • Have a personal or family history of seizures

Your doctor might also recommend certain vaccines based on your sexual activity. Vaccinations can protect you from hepatitis A and hepatitis B, serious liver infections that can spread through sexual contact. The HPV vaccine is recommended for men up to age 21 and women up to age 26.

Why are some vaccines particularly important for adults?

Adults of any age can benefit from vaccines. However, certain diseases, such as the flu, can be particularly serious for older adults or those living with certain chronic illnesses.

How can I keep track of my vaccines?

To gather information about your vaccination status, talk to your parents or other caregivers. Check with your doctor’s office, as well as any previous doctors’ offices, schools and employers. Some states also have registries that include adult immunizations. To check, contact your state health department.

If you can’t find your records, talk to your doctor. He or she might be able to do blood tests to see if you are immune to certain diseases that can be prevented by vaccines. You might need to get some vaccines again.

To stay on top of your vaccines, ask your doctor for an immunization record form. Bring the form with you to all of your doctor visits and ask your provider to sign and date the form for each vaccine you receive.

Pneumonia

Symptoms and causes

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of pneumonia vary from mild to severe, depending on factors such as the type of germ causing the infection, and your age and overall health. Mild signs and symptoms often are similar to those of a cold or flu, but they last longer.

Signs and symptoms of pneumonia may include:

  • Chest pain when you breathe or cough
  • Confusion or changes in mental awareness (in adults age 65 and older)
  • Cough, which may produce phlegm
  • Fatigue
  • Fever, sweating and shaking chills
  • Lower than normal body temperature (in adults older than age 65 and people with weak immune systems)
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath

Newborns and infants may not show any sign of the infection. Or they may vomit, have a fever and cough, appear restless or tired and without energy, or have difficulty breathing and eating.

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have difficulty breathing, chest pain, persistent fever of 102 F (39 C) or higher, or persistent cough, especially if you’re coughing up pus.

It’s especially important that people in these high-risk groups see a doctor:

  • Adults older than age 65
  • Children younger than age 2 with signs and symptoms
  • People with an underlying health condition or weakened immune system
  • People receiving chemotherapy or taking medication that suppresses the immune system

For some older adults and people with heart failure or chronic lung problems, pneumonia can quickly become a life-threatening condition.

Causes

Pneumonia is classified according to the types of germs that cause it and where you got the infection.

Community-acquired pneumonia

Community-acquired pneumonia is the most common type of pneumonia. It occurs outside of hospitals or other health care facilities. It may be caused by:

  • Bacteria. The most common cause of bacterial pneumonia in the U.S. is Streptococcus pneumoniae. This type of pneumonia can occur on its own or after you’ve had a cold or the flu. It may affect one part (lobe) of the lung, a condition called lobar pneumonia.
  • Bacteria-like organisms. Mycoplasma pneumoniae also can cause pneumonia. It typically produces milder symptoms than do other types of pneumonia. Walking pneumonia is an informal name given to this type of pneumonia, which typically isn’t severe enough to require bed rest.
  • Fungi. This type of pneumonia is most common in people with chronic health problems or weakened immune systems, and in people who have inhaled large doses of the organisms. The fungi that cause it can be found in soil or bird droppings and vary depending upon geographic location.
  • Viruses. Some of the viruses that cause colds and the flu can cause pneumonia. Viruses are the most common cause of pneumonia in children younger than 5 years. Viral pneumonia is usually mild. But in some cases it can become very serious.

Hospital-acquired pneumonia

Some people catch pneumonia during a hospital stay for another illness. Hospital-acquired pneumonia can be serious because the bacteria causing it may be more resistant to antibiotics and because the people who get it are already sick. People who are on breathing machines (ventilators), often used in intensive care units, are at higher risk of this type of pneumonia.

Health care-acquired pneumonia

Health care-acquired pneumonia is a bacterial infection that occurs in people who live in long-term care facilities or who receive care in outpatient clinics, including kidney dialysis centers. Like hospital-acquired pneumonia, health care-acquired pneumonia can be caused by bacteria that are more resistant to antibiotics.

Aspiration pneumonia

Aspiration pneumonia occurs when you inhale food, drink, vomit or saliva into your lungs. Aspiration is more likely if something disturbs your normal gag reflex, such as a brain injury or swallowing problem, or excessive use of alcohol or drugs.

Risk factors

Pneumonia can affect anyone. But the two age groups at highest risk are:

  • Children who are 2 years old or younger
  • People who are age 65 or older

Other risk factors include:

  • Being hospitalized. You’re at greater risk of pneumonia if you’re in a hospital intensive care unit, especially if you’re on a machine that helps you breathe (a ventilator).
  • Chronic disease. You’re more likely to get pneumonia if you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or heart disease.
  • Smoking. Smoking damages your body’s natural defenses against the bacteria and viruses that cause pneumonia.
  • Weakened or suppressed immune system. People who have HIV/AIDS, who’ve had an organ transplant, or who receive chemotherapy or long-term steroids are at risk.

Complications

Even with treatment, some people with pneumonia, especially those in high-risk groups, may experience complications, including:

  • Bacteria in the bloodstream (bacteremia). Bacteria that enter the bloodstream from your lungs can spread the infection to other organs, potentially causing organ failure.
  • Difficulty breathing. If your pneumonia is severe or you have chronic underlying lung diseases, you may have trouble breathing in enough oxygen. You may need to be hospitalized and use a breathing machine (ventilator) while your lung heals.
  • Fluid accumulation around the lungs (pleural effusion). Pneumonia may cause fluid to build up in the thin space between layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity (pleura). If the fluid becomes infected, you may need to have it drained through a chest tube or removed with surgery.
  • Lung abscess. An abscess occurs if pus forms in a cavity in the lung. An abscess is usually treated with antibiotics. Sometimes, surgery or drainage with a long needle or tube placed into the abscess is needed to remove the pus.

26 Weight Loss Tips

The weight loss “industry” is full of myths.

People are being advised to do all sorts of crazy things, most of which have no evidence behind them.

Over the years, however, scientists have found a number of strategies that seem to be effective.

Here are 26 weight loss tips that are actually evidence-based.

1. Drink Water, Especially Before Meals

It is often claimed that drinking water can help with weight loss, and this is true.

Drinking water can boost metabolism by 24-30% over a period of 1-1.5 hours, helping you burn off a few more calories (1, 2).

One study showed that drinking a half liter (17 oz) of water about a half an hour before meals helped dieters eat fewer calories and lose 44% more weight (3).

2. Eat Eggs For Breakfast

Eating whole eggs can have all sorts of benefits, including helping you lose weight.

Studies show that replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs can help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours, and lose more weight and more body fat (4, 5).

If you can’t eat eggs for some reason, then that’s fine. Any source of quality protein for breakfast should do the trick.

3. Drink Coffee (Preferably Black)

Coffee has been unfairly demonized. Quality coffee is loaded with antioxidants, and can have numerous health benefits.

Studies show that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3-11%, and increase fat burning by up to 10-29% (6, 7, 8).

Just make sure NOT to add a bunch of sugar or other high-calorie ingredients to it. That will completely negate any benefit you get from the coffee.

4. Drink Green Tea

Like coffee, green tea also has many benefits, one of them being weight loss.

Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine, but it is also loaded with powerful antioxidants called catechins, which are also believed to work synergistically with the caffeine to enhance fat burning (9, 10).

Although the evidence is mixed, there are many studies showing that green tea (either as a beverage or a green tea extract supplement) can help you lose weight (11, 12).

5. Cook With Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is very healthy. It is high in special fats called medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently than other fats.

These fats have been shown to boost metabolism by 120 calories per day, and also reduce your appetite so that you eat up to 256 fewer calories per day (13, 14).

Keep in mind that this is not about adding coconut oil on top of what you’re already eating, it is about replacing some of your current cooking fats with coconut oil.

6. Take a Glucomannan Supplement

A fiber called glucomannan has been shown to cause weight loss in several studies.

This is a type of fiber that absorbs water and “sits” in your gut for a while, making you feel more full and helping you eat fewer calories (15).

Studies have shown that people who supplement with glucomannan lose a bit more weight than those who don’t (16).

7. Cut Back on Added Sugar

Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet, and most people are eating way too much of it.

Studies show that sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) consumption is strongly associated with the risk of obesity, as well as diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and others (17, 18, 19).

If you want to lose weight, you should be cutting back on added sugars. Just make sure to read labels, because even so-called health foods can be loaded with sugar.

8. Eat Less Refined Carbs

Refined carbohydrates are usually sugar, or grains that have been stripped of their fibrous, nutritious parts (includes white bread and pasta).

Studies show that refined carbs can spike blood sugar rapidly, leading to hunger, cravings and increased food intake a few hours later. Eating refined carbs is strongly linked to obesity (20, 21, 22).

If you’re going to eat carbs, make sure to eat them with their natural fiber.

9. Go on a Low Carb Diet

If you want to get all the benefits of carb restriction, then consider taking this all the way and going on a low carb diet.

Numerous studies show that such a diet (or “way of eating”) can help you lose 2-3 times as much weight as a standard low-fat diet, while improving your health at the same time (23, 24, 25).

10. Use Smaller Plates

Using smaller plates has been shown to help people automatically eat fewer calories in some studies. Weird trick, but it seems to work (26).

11. Exercise Portion Control or Count Calories

Portion control (eating less) or counting calories can be very useful, for obvious reasons (27).

There are also studies showing that keeping a food diary and writing down what you eat, or taking pictures of all your meals, can help you lose weight (28, 29).

Anything that increases your awareness of what you are eating is likely to be useful.

12. Keep Healthy Food Around in Case You Get Hungry

Keeping healthy food close by can help prevent you from eating something unhealthy if you become excessively hungry.

A few snacks that are easily portable and simple to prepare include whole fruits, a handful of nuts, baby carrots, yogurt and a hardboiled egg (or two).

13. Brush Your Teeth After Dinner

Although I’m not aware of any studies on this, many people recommend brushing your teeth and/or flossing right after dinner. Then you won’t be as tempted to have a late-night snack.

14. Eat Spicy Foods

Spicy foods like Cayenne pepper contain Capsaicin, a compound that can boost metabolism and reduce your appetite slightly (30, 31).

15. Do Aerobic Exercise

Doing aerobic exercise (cardio) is an excellent way to burn calories and improve your physical and mental health.

It appears to be particularly effective to lose belly fat, the unhealthy fat that tends to build up around your organs and cause metabolic disease (32, 33).

Fat vs Skinny Man

16. Lift Weights

One of the worst side effects of dieting, is that it tends to cause muscle loss and metabolic slowdown, often referred to as starvation mode (34, 35).

The best way to prevent this from happening is to do some sort of resistance exercise, like lifting weights. Studies show that weight lifting can help keep your metabolism high, and prevent you from losing precious muscle mass (36, 37).

Of course, it’s not just important to lose fat. You also want to make sure that what is beneath looks good. Doing some sort of resistance exercise is critical for that.

17. Eat More Fiber

Fiber is often recommended for the purpose of weight loss. Although the evidence is mixed, some studies show that fiber (especially viscous fiber) can increase satiety and help you control your weight over the long term (38, 39).

18. Eat More Vegetables and Fruits

Vegetables and fruits have several properties that make them effective for weight loss.

They contain few calories, but a lot of fiber. They are also rich in water, which gives them a low energy density. They also take a while to chew, and are very filling.

Studies show that people who eat vegetables and fruits tend to weigh less (40). These foods are also super healthy and nutritious, so eating them is important for all sorts of reasons.

19. Chew More Slowly

It can take a while for the brain to “register” that you’ve had enough to eat. Some studies show that chewing more slowly can help you eat fewer calories and increase the production of hormones linked to weight loss (41, 42).

20. Get Good Sleep

Sleep is highly underrated, but it may be just as important as eating healthy and exercising.

Studies show that poor sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity, being linked to an 89% increased risk of obesity in children, and 55% in adults (43).

21. Beat Your Food Addiction

A recent 2014 study of 196,211 individuals found that 19.9% of people fulfil the criteria for food addiction (44).

If you suffer from overpowering cravings and can’t seem to get your eating under control no matter how hard you try, then you may be a food addict.

In this case, get help. Trying to lose weight without dealing with this problem first is next to impossible.

22. Eat More Protein

Protein is the single most important nutrient when it comes to losing weight.

Eating a high protein diet has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day, while helping you feel so satiated that you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day (45, 46, 47).

One study also showed that protein at 25% of calories reduced obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, while cutting the desire for late night snacking in half (48).

This is the single most important tip in the article.

Simply adding protein to your diet (without restricting anything) is one of the easiest, most effective and most delicious ways to lose weight.

23. Supplement With Whey Protein

If you struggle to get enough protein in your diet, taking a supplement can help.

One study showed that replacing part of your calories with whey protein can cause weight loss of about 8 pounds, while increasing lean muscle mass (49).

24. Don’t Drink Calories, Including Sugary Soda and Fruit Juices

Sugar is bad, but sugar in liquid form is even worse (50). Studies show that liquid sugar calories may be the single most fattening aspect of the modern diet.

For example, one study showed that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children, for each daily serving (51).

Keep in mind that this applies to fruit juice as well, which contains a similar amount of sugar as a soft drink like coke (52). Eat whole fruit, but use fruit juice with caution (or avoid it altogether).

25. Eat Whole, Single Ingredient Foods (Real Food)

If you want to be a leaner, healthier person, then one of the best things you can do for yourself is to eat whole, single ingredient foods.

These foods are naturally filling, and it’s very difficult to gain weight if the majority of your diet is based around them.

Keep in mind that real food doesn’t need a long list of ingredients, because real food IS the ingredient.

Here is a list of the 20 most weight loss-friendly foods on earth.

26. Don’t “Diet”, Eat Healthy Instead

One of the biggest problems with “diets,” is that they almost never work in the long term.

If anything, people who “diet” tend to gain more weight over time, and studies show that dieting is a consistent predictor of future weight gain (53).

Instead of going on a diet, make it your goal to become a healthier, happier and fitter person. Focus on nourishing your body, instead of depriving it.

Weight loss should follow as a natural side effect.

How to Manage Sore Muscles and Joint Pain

You work hard all week, so when the weekend finally rolls around, you want to play just as hard. There’s nothing like a few rounds of golf, a hike in the mountains, or an intense workout at the gym to help you feel recharged.

But all of that exercise can cause soreness and stiffness that shows up a day or two later. Don’t get sidelined by muscle pain. Find out the causes and treatments so you can stay on your game.

woman rubbing shoulder

What’s Causing My Sore Muscles?

It’s normal to have sore muscles after you work out, play sports, or even do housework, especially if:

  • You did something you’re not used to, like running a marathon when you normally jog just a few miles.
  • You suddenly kicked up your exercise intensity level or increased the length of your workout.
  • You did unusual exercises that lengthen instead of shorten your muscle, like walking downhill or extending your arm during a bicep curl.
related content

The 7-Minute Workout

These changes to your exercise routine can lead to tiny injuries in your muscle fibers and connective tissue. About a day later, you’ll start to feel sore.

“We call that ‘delayed onset’ muscle soreness,” says Ethel Frese, PT, associate professor of physical therapy at St. Louis University. “It peaks within about 48 hours, and then it will gradually get better.”

The good news is that when you do the same activity again, your muscles will start to get used to it. “You will actually have no soreness or less soreness because now you’ve strengthened the muscle or connective tissue,” says Allan H. Goldfarb, PhD. He’s a professor and exercise physiologist at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.

What’s Causing My Joint Pain?

When your joints feel sore and achy, that’s usually a sign of osteoarthritis. This inflammatory condition becomes more common as you get older. The cartilage that normally cushions the joints wears away, leaving the joints inflamed and painful.

Joint pain can also be caused by overuse or injury, for example, tennis elbow or a knee injury caused by problem with a ligament or meniscus. Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect bones in your body. A meniscus is a rubbery disc that cushions your knee.

Treating Sore Muscles and Joint Pain

One big question a lot of people have when they’re nursing sore muscles is whether to use heat or ice. Experts say indirect ice — an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel — is best for immediate relief.

“Heat will feel good while it’s on, but it’s not going to lessen the damage or make it go away anytime soon,” Frese says.

Goldfarb suggests you ice the sore area right after the activity to cut inflammation. Then use heat later to increase blood flow to the area. Heat also can help relieve joint pain.

If you get sore muscles once in a while, you can take acetaminophen(Tylenol) or a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve)to help ease the discomfort. Just be cautious about using NSAIDs regularly. Long-term use can interfere with your muscle’s ability to repair itself, Goldfarb says.

related content

7 Risky Exercises and Better Bets

Check with your doctor or pharmacist about any interactions these over-the-counter drugs may have with other medications you take. Also, you may need to avoid some medications if you have ulcers, kidney disease, liverdisease, or other conditions.

Sometimes soothing sore muscles requires more than an ice pack or over-the-counter pain reliever. Muscle pain that comes on quickly and feels intense is a sign that you’ve injured yourself. Call your doctor if your pain is severe or lasts for more than a few days.

How Do I Prevent Sore Muscles and Joint Pain?

Experts used to recommend stretching before a workout to prevent sore muscles. But research shows that stretching ahead of time doesn’t do much to prevent soreness or injury. Frese says it’s better to get in a good warm-up before you exercise. Stretch later, when your muscles are already warm.

A couple of natural substances are touted for preventing sore muscles, including antioxidants like vitamin C. But check with your doctor before taking high doses of any vitamin. Serious exercisers might find relief from post-workout soreness by taking in some protein. A study of marines found that protein supplements helped sore muscles after intense exercise.

Ease Into Exercise and Check With Your Doctor

One of the best ways to prevent sore muscles is by easing your way into your exercise routine.

“Start off with lighter exercise and gradually build up,” Frese says.

related content

The 7-Minute Workout

If you have a medical condition or you’re unsure about your health, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. He can help you find an exercise routine that’s safe and effective for you.

When you have joint pain, you may be tempted to curl up in bed. One of the best things you can do for your joints, though, is to exercise. “Our joints need to move to get nutrition,” Frese says. Weight-bearing exercises can help strengthen the muscles that support the joint. Just watch that you don’t exercise to the point of pain.

It also can help to work with a physical therapist, who can show you how to exercise safely and how to keep good posture so that you don’t get injured or worsen joint pain.

30 Greatest Flat-Belly Tips of All Time

Drink and Still Shrink

1 of 30l

The liver processes alcohol before other carbs and protein, and the sheer presence of alcohol in the body slows fat burning, says Diane Henderiks, R.D., personal chef and founder of Dish with Diane. You can still hit happy hour, just stick to one drink—that’s 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces beer, or 1 ounces of a spirit—a day.

Chill the ^*&% Out

2 of 30

Anxiety produces extra cortisol, the hormone that encourages the body to store fat—particularly in the abdominal region. Practicing deep-breathing exercises has been known to help alleviate stress levels, so hit the “pause” button in your mind every hour and take five to 10 deep-belly breaths, inhaling for five counts and exhaling for 10 counts.

Chow Down

3 of 30

Eating too little will force your body into “starvation mode,” which will cause it to store added fat for energy (out of fear of not being fed) rather than burning fat and keeping your belly taut, Henderiks says.

Keep Cardio in Check

4 of 30

All photos

Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, which means the more you have, the faster your metabolism is and the more calories you burn all day long—all key for a whittled middle. Resistance training builds this quality lean muscle, so do two to three total-body strength sessions a week, says Tom Holland, exercise physiologist and author of Beat the Gym: Personal Trainer Secrets Without the Personal Trainer Price Tag. For fat-melting cardio, all you need to do is your weight, he adds: If you’re 145 pounds, do 145 minutes a week, broken up however fits into your schedule—say, 60 minutes Saturday, 45 Tuesday, and 40 Thursday.

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free

Get Wholed Over

5 of 30

In a Penn State study, dieters who ate whole instead of refined grains lost more fat from around their midsections. And Tufts University researchers reported that people who included three servings of whole grains and less than one serving of refined carbs daily had 10 percent less visceral fat than those who didn’t follow this diet.

Work Every Angle

6 of 30

When doing an abs circuit, think about all three planes of motion, says celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, who works with Sofia VergaraKim Kardashian, and Vanessa Lachey: Try crunches and reverse crunches to hit your sagittal (front to back and up and down) plane, standing side bends for frontal (side-to-side) movement, and chops or twists for transverse (rotational) action. This will help challenge and therefore define your abs.

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Gulp Green

7 of 30

All photos

Multiple studies show that EGCG, an antioxidant in green tea, helps boost metabolism and may specifically target abdominal fat. Most research has used high doses of tea, but even if you can’t manage to guzzle gallons, any amount is beneficial.

Hit Snooze

8 of 30

All photos

Not only can a lack of zzzs slow your metabolism, a 2012 study showed that people who were sleep-deprived had subcutaneous fat cells (the ones right below your skin) that were more insulin resistant, which can lead to weight gain, says Patricia Bannan, R.D., author of Eat Right When Time is Tight.

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Hit the Herb Rack

9 of 30

Watch the Sugar, Mama

10 of 30

All photos

Research shows the average American eats about 20 teaspoons of sugar daily, often hidden in processed foods, including “healthy” ones such as yogurt, frozen dinners, sauces, and salad dressings. Twenty teaspoons adds up to 325 empty calories a day, and insulin production increases with sugar intake, which can slow your metabolism, making it harder to burn those empty calories. Read labels and try to reduce your intake as much as possible.

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Follow the 10-Percent Rule

11 of 30

All photos

While no crunch in and of itself will get rid of belly fat, abdominal exercises are the “finishing moves” to sculpt the abs once you’ve removed excess fat via diet and exercise, Holland says. Spend the majority of your workout focusing on the rest of your body, and dedicate no more than 10 percent of your time on abs work. So if you work out for an hour, plan six minutes of abs exercises and give the rest of your time to strength training and/or cardio.

RELATED: The next time you work your core, try this killer 5-minute abs workout.

Go Big or Go Home

12 of 30

All photos

At the gym, focus on movements that work bigger muscle groups and multiple muscle groups (such as squats and lunges) instead of isolation movements (such as leg extensions and leg curls). These exercises burn more calories, which will help torch more body fat so your sexy abs come out of hiding, Peterson says.

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Simplify Supper

13 of 30

All photos

Eat only protein and leafy green vegetables for dinner—and no dessert or nighttime snacks—to avoid holding water when you wake up, especially in the days leading up to your beach weekend, Peterson says.

Do the Write Thing

14 of 30

All photos

Keeping a food journal is an easy way to control your weight and help you become more aware of any belly-bloating triggers, Bannan says. Write down what you’re eating and how your stomach feels throughout the day, and you might discover what isn’t treating your tummy kindly. Ask yourself: Do I feel gassy? Am I overfull after just a few bites of certain foods? Does my stomach make sounds or feel swollen following specific meals?

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Pump Up the Potassium

15 of 30

All photos

Your body can retain water when your sodium and potassium levels are out of whack, Bannan says. In addition to keeping sodium in check, consume potassium-rich foods to maintain the balance and de-puff your belly. Try incorporating 1 medium baked potato without skin (610mg), 1/2 cup white beans (595mg), 1 cup cooked spinach (839mg), 10 dates (466mg), or 1 cup edamame (676mg) daily.

Be Proactive

16 of 30

All photos

If your stomach’s natural bacteria fall out of equilibrium, it can slow down your digestion and lead to bloating, Bannan says. Live active cultures in yogurt and probiotic drinks can help rebalance your levels, so aim for one serving a day.

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Vacuum

17 of 30

All photos

Peterson has his clients work up to holding a plank for 1 minute. Then they progress to performing vacuums during the exercise: Suck in your abs like you’re trying to button jeans that are too tight. Hold for 3 counts, then release for 3 counts. Repeat until the end of your plank. You’ll have to build back up to a minute, but it’s worth it, Peterson says.

Avoid Fried Foods

18 of 30

All photos

The fat in fried foods is digested more slowly, which can cause you to feel heavy and puffy, Henderiks says. And who really wants to chow down on greasy mozzarella sticks while wearing a teeny bikini?

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Make a Mad Dash

19 of 30

All photos

Throw intense, high-speed intervals into your usual cardio workout, and you’ll burn the same or more total calories in a shorter amount of time—and the harder you push it, the more calories you burn after your workout, Holland says, meaning the fat will melt off to reveal your abs. Peterson recommends adding sprints of 10, 20, and 30 seconds and recovering for two to three times that long. Bonus: You can “sprint” on anything: treadmill, bike, rower, swimming, elliptical—you name it.

Fatten Up

20 of 30

All photos

Monounsaturated fats—such as those in olives, nuts, and avocados—appear to increase fat oxidation, especially dreaded belly pudge. Plus they can help you stick to your diet, as fat is filling and adds flavor to your meals, Bannan says. All fats are high in calories, though, so stick to two or three servings a day and watch those portion sizes!

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Roll (Up) With It

21 of 30

All photos

A classic Pilates move, the roll up is 38 percent more effective at targeting the rectus abdominis (the “six-pack”) and 245 percent more effective at targeting the obliques than a basic crunch, according to an Auburn University study. To do it, lie face-up with legs straight, ankles, knees, and thighs together. Flex feet and extend arms overhead. Inhale to prepare as you lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the floor. On your exhale, continue to roll up by drawing in abdominals, reaching arms up and over toward feet. Keep abdominals contracted, with spine rounded in a “C” curve. Pause and inhale. On your exhale, roll down through each vertebra in a controlled movement, keeping heels pressed evenly into the floor the entire way up and down. Do 15 reps as controlled and precise as you can, as many days a week as possible.

Get on the Ball

22 of 30

All photos

Your coworkers who sit on Swiss balls may look a little odd, but this trick makes you engage your abs, Holland says. Try lifting one or both legs every half hour or so, which will work your core stabilizer muscles even more as you try to balance.

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Put the Petal to the Metal

23 of 30

All photos

Include the bicycle in your abdominals workout, Peterson suggests. A 2012 study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found this exercise to be the most effective move for strengthening the rectus abdominus, the long, flat muscle extending the length of the front of the abdomen. Do 2 to 3 sets of 12 to 15 reps three times a week.

Stay Conscious of Carbs

24 of 30

All photos

Carbohydrates take water to metabolize, and too much fluid can make you feel bloated, Henderiks says. But that doesn’t mean you have to ban all carbs from your diet. Opt for complex, starchy, and fiber-filled ones such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, legumes, oats, leafy greens, and asparagus, which are more slowly digested, and try to limit your daily tally to about 200 grams.

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Ditch Diet Foods

25 of 30

All photos

Sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and mannitol are used as sweeteners in diet products—and they produce gas in the intestines, Henderiks says, which can make you balloon.

Push Yourself

26 of 30

All photos

Peterson is a fan of Chaturanga Dandasana—a.k.a. yoga pushup—for the extension and isometric contraction it provides: From plank, bend your elbows and begin lowering toward the floor, with every part of your body an equal distance from the floor. Keep your elbows close to your body, abs engaged (not clenched), back straight, thigh muscles active, and glutes soft. Start by holding the pose above the floor for 5 full, complete breaths, and work up to 10. Push back up to plank in 4 counts. Do 4 reps every other day.

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Sneak in a Mini Abs Workout Anywhere

27 of 30

All photos

Drawing your navel in toward your spine provides isometric training for the abdominals, meaning the muscles aren’t lengthening or shortening, but there is tension on the muscle fibers. Do it in the shower, at work, wherever!

Laugh It Off

28 of 30

All photos

Having a good LOL causes your abs to contract, Peterson half-kids. Obviously that’s not all you need to do for an A-list midsection, but it’s definitely an excuse to have some fun!

Make Meal Planning Easy & Fun with an emeals Free Trial

Shake Your Salt Habit

29 of 30

All photos

Your body needs some sodium to function, but too much can lead to fluid retention in the gut, Henderiks says. Put down the shaker and forgo processed and prepared foods as much as possible in favor of homemade meals so you can control the salt. Experts recommend maxing out at 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day, but this is one time when less is better.

Don’t Be an Airhead

30 of 30

All photos

Lyme Disease Treatment

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. B. burgdorferi is transmitted to humans by a bite from an infected black-legged or deer tick. The tick becomes infected after feeding on infected deer or mice.

A tick has to be present on the skin for 24 to 48 hours to transmit the infection. Most people with Lyme disease have no memory of a tick bite.

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease was first reported in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975. It’s the most common tick-borne illness in Europe and the Pacific Northwest, Northeast, and Upper Midwest regions of the United States. People who live or spend time in wooded areas are more likely to get this illness. People with domesticated animals that are let out in wooded areas also have a higher risk of contracting Lyme disease.

Symptoms of Lyme disease

Lyme disease occurs in three stages: early localized, early disseminated, and late disseminated. The symptoms you experience will depend on which stage the disease is in.

Stage 1: Early localized disease

Symptoms of Lyme disease start one to two weeks after the tick bite. One of the earliest signs is a “bull’s-eye” rash, which is a sign that bacteria are multiplying in the bloodstream. The rash occurs at the site of the tick bite as a central red spot surrounded by a clear spot with an area of redness at the edge. It may be warm to the touch, but it isn’t painful and doesn’t itch. This rash will disappear after four weeks.

The formal name for this rash is erythema migrans. Erythema migrans is said to be characteristic of Lyme disease. However, many people don’t have this symptom. Some people have a rash that is solid red, while people with dark complexions may have a rash that resembles a bruise.

Stage 2: Early disseminated Lyme disease

Early disseminated Lyme disease occurs several weeks after the tick bite. During this stage bacteria are beginning to spread throughout the body. It’s characterized by flu-like symptoms, such as:

  • chills
  • fever
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • sore throat
  • vision changes
  • fatigue
  • muscle aches
  • headaches

During early disseminated Lyme disease you’ll have a general feeling of being unwell. A rash may appear in areas other than the tick bite, and neurological signs such as numbness, tingling, and Bell’s palsy can also occur. This stage of Lyme disease can be complicated by meningitis and cardiac conduction disturbances. The symptoms of stages 1 and 2 can overlap.

Stage 3: Late disseminated Lyme disease

Late disseminated Lyme disease occurs when the infection hasn’t been treated in stages 1 and 2. Stage 3 can occur weeks, months, or years after the tick bite. This stage is characterized by:

  • severe headaches
  • arthritis of one or more large joints
  • disturbances in heart rhythm
  • brain disorders (encephalopathy) involving memory, mood, and sleep
  • short-term memory loss
  • difficulty concentrating
  • mental fogginess
  • problems following conversations
  • numbness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet

Contact your doctor immediately if you have any of these symptoms.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed?

The diagnosis of Lyme disease begins with an assessment of your health history and a physical exam. Blood tests are most reliable a few weeks after the initial infection, when antibodies are present. Your doctor may order the following tests:

  • ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) is used to detect antibodies against B. burgdorferi.
  • Western blot can be used to confirm a positive ELISA test. It checks for the presence of antibodies to specific B. burgdorferi proteins.
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used to evaluate people with persistent Lyme arthritis or nervous system symptoms. It is performed on joint fluid or spinal fluid.

Treatment

How is Lyme disease treated?

Lyme disease is best treated in the early stages. Early treatment is a simple 14 to 21 day course of oral antibiotics to eliminate all traces of infection. Medications used to treat Lyme disease include:

  • doxycycline for adults and children older than 8 years old
  • cefuroxime and amoxicillin for adults, younger children, and women who are nursing or breastfeeding

Persistent or chronic Lyme disease is treated with intravenous antibiotics for a period of 14 to 21 days. Though this treatment eliminates the infection, your symptoms improve more slowly.

It’s unknown why symptoms, like joint pain, continue after the bacteria have been destroyed. Some doctors believe that persistent symptoms occur in people who are prone to autoimmune disease.

Prevention

How to prevent Lyme disease

Lyme disease prevention mostly involves decreasing your risk of experiencing a tick bite. Take the following steps to prevent tick bites:

  • Wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts when in the outdoors.
  • Make your yard unfriendly to ticks by clearing wooded areas, keeping underbrush to a minimum, and putting woodpiles in areas with lots of sun.
  • Use insect repellent. Insect repellent with 10 percent DEET will protect you for a period of about two hours. Don’t use more DEET than what is required for the time you’ll be outside, and don’t use DEET on the hands of young children or on the faces of children less than 2 months old. Oil of lemon eucalyptus gives the same protection as DEET when used in similar concentrations. It shouldn’t be used on children under the age of 3.
  • Be vigilant. Check your children, pets, and yourself for ticks. Don’t assume you can’t be infected again; people can get Lyme disease more than once.
  • Remove ticks with tweezers. Apply the tweezers near the head or the mouth and pull gently. Check to be certain that all tick parts have been removed. Contact your doctor whenever a tick bites you or your loved ones.