Mental Health

  • The Health and Societal Benefits of Seniors Volunteering

    Retirement doesn't need to mean becoming idle. There are many advantages of seniors volunteering, other than the overall benefit that society gets from good deeds and activism. If you're retiring, this is the perfect opportunity to devote your time or other available resources for a cause that you care about. You're not being compensated with money, but you'll be getting something far more valuable.

    Maggie Kuhn proudly refers to herself as a "little old woman", because she knows there is power and value behind this title. Mrs. Kuhn was forced into retirement at the age of 70, but, of course, she wasn't about to let that slow her down. Kuhn founded an organization called The Gray Panthers, which fights age discrimination and advocates for social and economic justice.

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  • Portable Oxygen Use for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    When you think of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), you most likely think of war veterans who have seen combat, and sadly come home never quiet the same. As described by the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD develops after an individual has been exposed to physical harm or the threat of physical harm.

    Fear is a natural response, and is necessary to survival. It triggers the body to go into flight or fight mode – you get a rush of adrenaline, your heart is able to pump more blood throughout your body, and your lungs are more easily filled with air. When this natural response is over stimulated by a traumatic event, or a series of traumatic events where you fear for your life, the brain and body chemistry can be thrown off.

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  • Another Way COPD Can Effect Your Brain Health

    It was already a known fact that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease can cause bleeding in the large blood vessels of the brain, but now researchers have discovered that the small blood vessels are also affected. A recent study showed that those with COPD are more likely to develop cerebral microbleeds in the deep tissues of the brain, which is often one of the main causes of Alzheimers and other types of dementia.

    The study used high resolution MRIs to detect the deterioration of the small blood vessels in the brain, or the start of any microbleeds deep within the brain. There have been a few previous studies before this one, but this study was needed as a follow up to help researchers make a determination. A group of people with normal lung function were also screened to make a comparison. They also took into account factors such as age, sex, whether or not they were a smoker, if they already have large blood vessel disease, and things such as cholesterol levels. The results of this study were originally published in the online version of the American Thoracic Society's Journal, as well as the print version.

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  • Weird Symptoms and Side Effects of COPD

    Many people are in the beginning stages of COPD and may have no real reason to believe that they have it. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is one of those diseases that can creep up on your slowly, and then suddenly become much worse, and that's usually when something is even suspected to be wrong. It's important to go to your doctor with any breathing or other health concerns at the first sign of trouble.

    If you smoke and you are over the age of 45, you should definitely get tested if you start coughing or coughing up an excess amount of sputum. Aside from the more obvious, lung-related symptoms of COPD, there are other signs and side effects from COPD that you never would have guessed, even if you've already been diagnosed with the disease.

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  • COPD and Depression

    Depression can be a big problem for people diagnosed with a chronic disease. The knowledge that you now need to take medications that you didn't need before can make people feel trapped. It's understandable and natural to feel a loss of confidence when you can't breathe correctly or function the way you could in the past.

    According to a recent study done in the UK, it was found that COPD is a significant cause of depression in the population. The study followed 169 COPD patients over a period of 1 year and found that the signs and symptoms of depression increased dramatically during times of exacerbation.

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  • How COPD Influences Brain Health and What You Can Do

    If you stop breathing for a long enough time, what happens? Death will happen after around 5 minutes without air, with unconsciousness and brain damage occurring first. The rare exceptions are divers who have trained to hold their breath for up to 10 minutes.

    There are also stories of children who have fallen into ice cold water and were without air for up to 1 hour. Their metabolism slowed so much because of the cold water that needed much less oxygen to survive. Once pulled out of the icy water and warmed up, they experienced no brain damage. Aside from these amazing cases, the average person's brain function will suffer greatly without enough oxygen.

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  • Things You Can Do to Try to Recover Quicker From a COPD Exacerbation

    If you have COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), you have mostly likely had to deal with one or a few flare-ups, also known as exacerbations. Exacerbations take a toll on lung function each time you have one, and unfortunately, your lung function will never get back to where it was before the exacerbation.

    COPD itself takes a toll on the body, the extent of which depends on how bad it is and if you have continued to smoke after being diagnosed with the disease. It's true that early and aggressive treatment of this disease makes a big difference in how it progresses.

    A COPD exacerbation can leave you feeling weak and exhausted. You might have a hard time concentrating and you will likely feel more anxious, depressed or easily angered. The way you feel, besides the way you breathe, should not be overlooked.

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  • How Oxygen Can Repair Brain Damage

    We already know how important oxygen is to your whole body, but just how important is it? It's a fact that your brain only accounts for 3% of your body mass, but it uses about 20% of the oxygen you bring through your bloodstream. It needs to be able to do many things, so naturally, it needs plenty of oxygen. It's very appropriate to call oxygen “brain fuel”.

    When you are focusing on something, such as work or activities like reading or driving, your brain uses even more oxygen at one time. It makes you want to breathe much deeper – maybe it will help you figure out your budget for the coming month?

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