Vet Costs: The Top 5 Secrets To Dramatically Lower Them

Veterinary Care is expensive. I should know, for I am a Veterinarian who owned a Veterinary Hospital for nearly 15 years. Veterinary Medicine has changed dramatically in the last 30 years; gone are the days of James Herriot when vets treated every type of animal, and regularly made house calls. This article will give you an understanding of why veterinary charges have gone up so much, and the top 5 things you can do to lower your vet costs.

As veterinarians can offer more advance diagnostics and treatment, veterinary fees have risen accordingly. Vet visits and surgery cost dog owners almost $800 and cat owners $500 last year, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association. If your pet becomes seriously ill, you can easily spend thousands. Knee surgery in dogs can easily cost over $5,000; a pet with cancer can have radiation therapy and chemotherapy costing in excess of $7,000.

Veterinarians are charging more to make their practices profitable, and obviously make more money. Veterinary clinics have escalating costs of staff salaries, higher expenses for the diagnostic equipment, yet also seeing decreases in new clients. For a clinic to financially profit, it means charging more per client, and having the clients come into the practice more often. This combination of higher salaries, expenses, but no real new clients means the only way for most practices to make more money is to charge more per client; hence higher vet costs.

My first suggestion is to price shop. Prices at animal hospitals can vary widely. In my small town of Nelson, I charged the least of all the practices, but many clients didn’t know that. Make sure you get recommendations from other pet owners first. There is a misconception that the higher priced practices give a better quality of care – but this is often not true. Ask about the common procedures, like vaccines, checkups, neutering and spaying. In addition, do not forget to ask for discounts from your vet. If clients ask, they will often get a discount. Some vets offer multiple pet discounts as well as discounts for seniors.

Be wary of the business practice popularized by McDonald’s, ‘The Upsell’. Examples of this include your veterinarian suggesting ‘preventive’ diagnostic tests during a check up, or in many cases advising having a dental cleaning. You should be asking and questioning why? Just how bad are the teeth; is the degree of dental disease really that significant? One of the major veterinary associations is advising that any pet with Grade 1 gingivitis (mild gum inflammation) have a dental scale and polish. This procedure is at least 300 dollars. This has risks for your pet would need to be under general anesthetic. It has high profit margins as the Animal Health Technician or Assistant usually does all the work. However in my opinion, a pet with mild gum disease does not need this done. You can begin preventive care at home. You could begin to brush your pet’s teeth. You could feed a diet designed to break off some of the plaque and tartar.This is only one example, although it is the biggest up-sell in Veterinary Medicine today.

Hospitalization fees are another often avoidable expense. Your Vet will make a lot more money if he (or she) can keep your pet in the veterinary hospital. They can charge a fee for the day of hospitalization, plus a fee for re-examining your pet in the morning. Ask to have the Procedure performed while you are there. Let’s use X-Rays as an example. Get the practice to schedule this while you are there and waiting – it doesn’t take long to perform X-Rays. They will likely comply if you only ask. By being a little bit of a ‘pain in the butt’, you will get better service at a lower price.

Medication is expensive, and it’s marked up a lot at your vet. The markups range from 50% to 125% plus the prescription fee. There are many ways to save money on pet medications. First, ask your vet about a drug’s cost and find out if it is available through pharmacies. Your local drug store may offer it at a much cheaper price. Also, ask your vet about lower-priced generic medications that would be appropriate. In addition to your local pharmacy, check veterinary-medication prices at DrsFosterSmith.com, 1800PetMeds.com, and PetCareRx.com. You have the right to ask your veterinarian for prescriptions that you can fill elsewhere, and save yourself unnecessary expenses.

The biggest key to lowering your veterinary fees is by being an involved and empowered pet owner. Take charge of your pet’s health care. You know your pet better that anyone else. How well do you think a Veterinarian can get to know your pet with a 15 minute visit once a year? Educate yourself on basic at home veterinary care, and use many of the inexpensive natural remedies. Let’s use allergies as an example, for many of you have allergic pets. You can either continue to use expensive prescription medication from your vet, or start with some natural remedies. These include therapeutic doses of essential fatty acids, being 1000mg per 10lbs of body weight daily. Or it can be using a herbal remedy called Licorice to stop the itching. This is only one small example, but do you see how you can take charge of your pet’s health care and have a happier healthier pet?

You should now have an understanding of why veterinary costs are rapidly rising, but more important what you can do about it. You can price shop, avoid the common veterinary up-sells, avoid hospitalization fees, get less expensive prescription medication, and take charge of your pet’s health care by using inexpensive at home remedies. I encourage you to at least use some of these suggestions to start saving money immediately on your vet costs.

The Diet of Prehistoric Humans

Even though there was a complete lack of scientific evidence to support Mr. Key’s saturated fat/cholesterol theory of heart disease, the government and professional medical associations eventually agreed that Americans should eat less red meat, whole dairy products, eggs and all other foods high in saturated fat. And although since then, 50 years and millions of dollars have been spent on scientific studies trying to link consumption of animal fat with increased rates of heart disease, all studies show there is no such link.

Perhaps it was the failure of scientists to demonstrate a link between consumption of animal fat and heart disease that many other arguments have been made in favor of diets that limit the amount of meat in the diet. Many go far beyond health and nutrition and include a wide range of topics such as the environmental impact of feeding a population on meat, or the suffering of animals.

One of the most obviously flawed of these arguments is the claim that our early ancestors ate very little meat.

If you’re of European descent, your early ancestors were almost entirely dependent upon the consumption of animal flesh for about half of the year.

Before the advent of agriculture, human beings were hunter-gatherers. They depended on gathering food from their wild habitat.

For the ancient hunter-gatherers of Europe, the first frosts of autumn brought an end to the supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. Nuts and seeds would have been plentiful in the autumn season. However, these foods are soon depleted by rodents, birds and other mammals in stiff competition for food when cold weather causes foods of plant and insect origin to disappear from the landscape.

Not only is it nearly impossible to obtain foods of plant origin during cold winter months when the snow covered ground is frozen solid and streams are covered by a thick layer of ice, but also, early spring is the most difficult time of year to obtain food from plants because all nuts and seeds have been thoroughly depleted and sporadic freezes delay the onset of the growing season. After the ground thaws, roots can be dug and some edible sprouts grow rapidly in mid spring, but most fruits aren’t available until at least early summer.

The importance of the hunt for large mammals by our early ancestors is clearly supported in the archaeological evidence they left behind. One of the most common images left on the walls inside caves of prehistoric man is that of the hunt of deer, bison, mammoth and other large mammals.

The hunt for large mammals took on a religious tone. This is the natural result of a people who depend heavily upon animals for their own lives. They depended upon these large animals for food, depended upon their hides for warm clothing, used the bones of animals for tools, and even used animal parts as ornaments to grace their bodies.

The same religious tones surrounding the hunt for mammals is evident in the aboriginal peoples of Northern Asia, Australia, Africa, the Americas and other prehistoric peoples around the globe.

Meat and the flesh of other animals was one of the primary, and for some prehistoric cultures, the only plentiful source of food. So the claim that the diet of our prehistoric ancestors consisted of little meat and saturated fat is simply ridiculous. For thousands of years humans depended upon meat for nourishment, often eating nothing else for months at a time.

The next claim grain pushers make is that the meat of wild animals eaten by prehistoric people was very lean, and did not provide large amounts of fat, like modern cows.

But the truth is that among prehistoric human cultures, both the fat and high cholesterol liver were highly prized parts of animals they hunted. They ate the liver raw soon after the kill. And they removed every last bit of fat from the animal and rationed it, adding it to all meals, even meals of vegetable origin. Unlike most people in modern America, they knew the value of animal fat and the important role it played in human nutrition. The leanest cuts of meat became food for their dogs.

As an example of the extra effort they put into getting plenty of animal fat in the diet, the Inuit of North America made pemmican. They dried and crushed the lean meat and added fat in a fifty-fifty mix so that every mouth-full included as much fat as it did lean meat.

Every one of the thousands of large animal bones I ever found while digging on sites occupied by prehistoric humans, had been cracked open to remove the fat in the bone marrow. This fat was part of the ingredients of pemmican.

We are the first culture of people that ever intentionally avoided animal fat, the first people to trim fat off meat and discard it. Ancient people and those living traditional cultures would have thought you had gone mad if they saw you cut the fat off meat and throw it away.

Throughout history and around the world, all previous cultures prized animal fat as a vital part of the diet. To improve the nutritional value of food, they added animal fat to many foods that didn’t have animal fat to begin with.

Furthermore, the tradition of adding animal fat to foods continued right up until the 1980’s when they put the final touches on the process of replacing expensive animal fat with cheaply produced vegetable oil, a process that began in the beginning of the 1900’s, a process that is directly correlated with increasing rates of heart disease.

Not only did our hunter-gatherer prehistoric ancestors know more about which natural foods provide optimum health than we do today, even wild animals know more about which natural foods are most healthful to their bodies.

We’re out-of-touch with nature and out-of-touch with our bodies. And we’re causing misery to both.

Modern medicine has increased the average life expectancy by heroics that enable most babies, no matter how weak and sickly, and no matter how badly deformed at birth, to live at least into middle age. Using antibiotics, it has eliminated millions of deaths caused by virus and bacteria. Moreover, using modern techniques, they can keep the sick and dying alive for decades, even if they have to hook them up to tubes and machines. But heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and even tooth decay were practically nonexistent in ancient humans, largely because the diet of prehistoric humans was far more nutritious than the diet of most people today.

The truth is that the unnatural high carbohydrate(sugar) diet was born with the invention of agriculture and the development of grain. And the reason grain became the primary source of food for the masses is that grain madepossible the formation of large and powerful centers of human population called civilization.

Civilization was impossible when humans were hunter-gatherers because local wild plants and animals were soon depleted. Once depleted, the group had to move to a new location for food. The larger the group of

people, the more often they were forced to move to new lands in search of food. Therefore, large and powerful groups of people living the hunter-gatherer life style were impossible.

But grain not only made it possible for the development of large powerful centers of human population, grain also ushered in obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, and the other “Diseases of Civilization”. (And ushered out freedom of the individual and family group)

This isn’t theory and conjecture. Introduction of these diseases to remote traditional cultures around the globe was well documented by Dr. David Livingston, Dr. Weston Price, and many other doctors in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

Before grain became a large part of the diet, even though these remote traditional cultures had never even seen a tooth brush, most people never had a single dental cavity.

One by one, remote disease-free healthy peoples living traditional cultures on every continent and the islands were introduced to the high carbohydrate(sugar) grain based diet. And within a decade, obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, tooth decay and the other “Diseases of Civilization” became part of the culture.

Organic Interior Designs

Organic design of interiors uses natural elements for creating those designs by minimal usage of synthetic materials. An organic decorator should be aware of the type of natural elements available in the market and in nature which can be used to replace those synthetic decorators. It will be quite challenging for usual indoor decorators to turn to eco-friendly interior decorators.

Now a days green or organic interior decoration is not very much accepted by the people around the world. But more than 70% of the people around the world would like to live a life which is close to nature. The reason i am telling is because, when looking the travel statistics around the world people are choosing destinations which are close to nature for their holidays. People love nature and likes to have fresh intake of oxygen. Fresh air is not available in big cities and in artificially ventilated interiors. So people are traveling to those ecological and nature friendly places spend at least some days in a year. Which type of room would you love to live in through out your lifespan whether it is an artificially created room or in a room which is filled with natural light and with a breeze of natural air.

Many people think that green interior decorating is being utilized by those who don’t want to spend much money on their interiors. People who are willing to spend much money on their interiors think that their interior will feel unusual if their turn to organic interior decorating. It is a fact that people used to return to those indoors which are organically designed than those with synthetically designed indoors. Moreover people living inside organic designed interiors have got less friction and differences among them when compared to people living in synthetically designed interiors. Organic interior design can create that ambience inside a room which can create a sense of tranquility and serenity inside the rooms.With some simple measures and changes synthetically designed rooms can be changed to organic. Organically designed interiors are decorated in such a way that it should provide that much need calm and rejuvenation for mind and soul. After all what we need for our homes or office interiors is peace of mind.

Organic interior design has become relevant in today’s world because of the amount of pollution happening in our cities. Every day people are adding more air conditioners to their rooms. Many research have proved that emissions from these air conditioners is one of the reason for climate change. Organic interior decorators around the world are having the opinion that people are gradually thinking about organic interior designs for their rooms.

Inviting Mother Nature into the home through home design is an exceptional way to get back to basics while infusing a house with warmth, color, purpose and practicality. We were originally organic to begin with, so why not keep up the tradition of peace, harmony and health.

Allure the pacifying Mother Nature into your indoors through organic interior design is an exceptional way to get back to basics while incorporating a home or office interior with warmth, color, purpose and practicality. Our ancestors lived an organic life, so why not keep up the tradition of peace, harmony and health.

Heart Disease – What Is The Difference Between Organic Heart Disease And Degenerative Heart Disease?

Although Heart Disease is the main cause of death in the Western World it is amazing how little the general public actually know about it.

For example very few people realize that there isn’t just one type of Heart Disease. In fact there are at least ten different types and these fall into two distinct categories – Organic and Degenerative.

The major difference between Organic and Degenerative Heart Disease is their causes.

Organic refers to a situation where the organ (the heart) is damaged by a specific event. This can also be referred to as “acute”, which simply means that it happened suddenly or over a short period of time. Degenerative Heart Disease (sometimes referred to as “chronic”) is caused by gradual deterioration over a long period of time.

There are two types of Organic H.D. – Congenital and Rheumatic .

Defects that occur at birth are classed as Congenital Heart Disease. These may affect the heart itself : it may not have developed normally during pregnancy, the wall of the heart may be damaged (hole in the heart), or the blood vessels may be underdeveloped. These defects may be hereditary or more likely have been caused by external factors such as drugs or infection during pregnancy. They are normally diagnosed at birth or in early childhood but it is not uncommon for the symptoms to occur for the first time in adulthood..

Rheumatic Heart Disease can be the result of a bout of rheumatic fever. Occurrences have decreased considerably due to the use of antibiotics to treat rheumatic fever.

There are at least eight specific diseases, which fall into the category of Degenerative Heart Disease. The common factors within this category are that the disease has progressed gradually and that there is no specific event that has caused it.

The vast majority of people who are diagnosed with Heart Disease have some form of degenerative heart disease. This is the form of disease that is the target of the awareness campaigns and is the type that we can help to prevent by our lifestyles choices.

Child Health, Safety and Nutrition

Health, safety and nutrition are three of the most important factors to consider when raising a child. In other words, every child should be raised with proper nutrition, good health and safety as possible, allowing him or her to grow with a great well-being.

Now, if you are one of the adults who have been wondering where on earth to get good advices for child health, safety and nutrition, I bet you would be happy to know that you’ve found the right place. Yes, this page will help you find the right places to go for child health, safety and nutrition advices. It is important to note, however, that these portals are just a few of the many online. But they are worth considering to get started.

So to find the best advices for child health, safety and nutrition, read on.

Health and Safety

Several researches have noted that in today’s fast-paced world where the child’s safety and health issues are rapidly growing, more than fifty sites online present health and safety guidelines for the public to consider. These guidelines are disseminated throughout the net, allowing the people to access this wealth of information as easy as possible.

A few of the worth visiting portals online that talk about child health and safety issues and advices are the following:

BrightFutures.org

Bright Futures is sponsored by a well-known health care organization, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration. This is also supported in part by the Pfizer Pediatric Health, and has been operating to provide the public the necessary information about the current and emerging preventive and health promotion needs of infants, children, adolescent, families and communities.

NCCIC.org

NCCIC.org is actually the official website of Health Child Care America, which is but a federal government initiative that works to increase collaboration between the early childhood community as well as the public health community. This collaboration is considered to allow these communities to create the best care for children in the childcare. Today, this federal government initiative is introducing its newsletter which is made available in full text online.

Nutrition

NAL.USDA.gov

This portal is owned by the Child Care Nutrition Resource System, which has long been providing the public with the wide selection of recipes, resources and information on how to prepare meals that are highly nutritious and safe.

BCM.TMC.edu

At this site, you can access the Children’s Nutrition Research Center, which is but the first federally funded nutrition research center in the United States. This center is dedicated to investigating the nutritional needs of those women who are expecting and are nursing their children. This is great for child nutrition as it covers information about children from conception through adolescence.

So those are just a few of the many sites online that tackle issues on child health, safety and nutrition. Visit other online sites for more information about child health, safety and nutrition.

Iodine for Hypothyroidism: Friend or Foe?

Iodine for hypothyroidism is a controversial topic, with experts on both ends of the spectrum arguing for and against its use. But if you have hypothyroidism, or know someone who does, it’s important to understand that iodine is often not a preferred form of treatment, and in many cases can make your condition worse.

Before we delve into why that is, you’re probably wondering about all of the good things you’ve heard about iodine, so allow us to explain…

Your Thyroid Needs Iodine to Function

Your body does not make iodine on its own, which means you must get it through your food. If you don’t get enough, you will be unable to make sufficient amounts of thyroid hormone.

Your thyroid depends on iodine to produce two hormones, triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4). The numbers in these hormone names are actually a marker of how many iodine atoms are attached, with T4 containing 4 atom molecules, then releasing one to convert into T3, the hormone’s active form.

It’s estimated that 2 billion people worldwide — including 266 million school-age children — have insufficient iodine intake,[1] and the resulting iodine deficiency is, in fact, the most common cause of hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) worldwide.

If you have an iodine-deficient diet then eating iodine-rich foods like seaweed and even supplementing with iodine can quickly help to remedy the problem… but it’s important to realize that in the United States iodine deficiency is not a major cause of hypothyroidism, and in many cases treating the condition with iodine is a major health disaster.

Iodine Deficiency is NOT a Major Cause of U.S. Hypothyroidism Cases

Iodine levels in food vary greatly depending on soil and seawater concentration of iodine. Because of this it can be difficult to get sufficient iodine from diet alone, especially if you live in an area with iodine-deficient soil. To remedy this, the United States adds iodine to most table salt, which means you’re not only getting extra iodine when you salt your food, but also when you eat processed foods, which are typically heavily salted with iodized salt.

Many animal feeds in the United States are also supplemented with iodine and as a result dairy products are also good food sources of this nutrient.

There have, however, been signs that iodine intakes in the United States have been dropping, possibly due to increased numbers of people cutting back on their salt intake, but data from the latest study available, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004, suggests that most Americans are still getting enough.[2]

So, in the United States, iodine deficiency is not considered to be a major cause of hypothyroidism, except in specific at-risk groups, such as those who do not consume iodized salt (including that in processed foods), fish or seaweed, or women who are pregnant.

That said, cases of hypothyroidism are widespread in the United States, impacting nearly 4 percent of the population, [3] including 13 million who have not been diagnosed and are unaware they have the condition. [4]

If iodine deficiency is not the problem, then what is?

The Most Common Cause of Hypothyroidism in the United States

Hypothyroidism in the United States is most often the result of an autoimmune disease called Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or Hashimoto’s disease, which causes your immune system to mistakenly attack, and destroy, the thyroid.

The disease typically begins with inflammation of your thyroid gland (thyroiditis) that over time impairs the ability of your thyroid to produce enough hormones, and eventually leads to underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism.

The exact causes of Hashimoto’s are unknown, but it’s likely the result of a combination of factors including:

  • A virus or bacteria that triggers the response
  • Genetics/family history
  • Gender (women are more likely to have Hashimoto’s)
  • Other environmental factors

However, and this is an important point, excess iodine may also worsen the condition.

Increasing Iodine May Worsen Hypothyroidism

There’s no arguing that iodine is a crucial nutrient for your body… but in the case of hypothyroidism, more is not always better.

Studies show that giving iodine to people who had adequate or excessive iodine intake could actually trigger hypothyroidism and autoimmune thyroiditis.

Research also suggests that iodine actually increases the activity of the thyroid peroxidase (TPO) enzyme, and increased antibodies to this enzyme are common in Hashimoto’s patients. It is the interaction between the TPO enzyme and the antibodies that leads to inflammation and destruction of the thyroid. In other words, too much iodine can actually make Hashimoto’s worse.

Remember, since most hypothyroidism cases in the United States are due to Hashimoto’s disease, NOT iodine deficiency, this study could apply to you…

Be Very Careful if Your Health Care Practitioner Automatically Recommends Iodine for Hypothyroidism

Many health care practitioners in the United States do not understand the complexities of thyroid function and will routinely recommend iodine supplements for people with hypothyroidism. This approach will, unfortunately, be detrimental for some.

If you are truly deficient in iodine, then supplementation or increased dietary intake is necessary. But if not, additional iodine will most likely only trigger or worsen your thyroid troubles.

So if your health care practitioner recommends iodine supplementation without any real evidence that you’re deficient, it’s a red flag to take note of. A second opinion from a practitioner who understands the complex role of iodine in hypothyroidism — and can discuss with you its benefits versus risks — is likely warranted.

References

1. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 2008 Sep;29(3):195-202.

2. Thyroid. 2008 Nov;18(11):1207-14.

3. Thyroid. 2007 Dec;17(12):1211-23.

4. Archives of Internal Medicine 2000;160:526-534.

The Endomorph – Hard Losers and Their Training and Nutrition Strategy

Most people who are working hard but still struggling to lose body fat are endomorphs. An endomorph is someone with a slow metabolism who is genetically prone to store fat easily. Endomorphs are usually, but not always, large framed with medium to large joints.

Endomorphs sometimes have varying degrees of carbohydrate sensitivity and insulin resistance, so high carbohydrate diets are usually not effective for body fat control. Processed and refined carbohydrates that contain white sugar and white flour are especially detrimental and tend to convert to body fat more rapidly in endomorphs. Low to moderate carbohydrate diets with higher protein usually work best for endomorphs.

While some genetically gifted mesomorphs and ectomorphs can eat whatever they want and never gain any fat, the endomorph must eat clean and healthy almost all the time. This requires the development of high levels of nutritional discipline. Endomorphs are the types who will tend to gain body fat very quickly if they eat too much or if they eat the wrong types of foods.

Endomorphs cannot “cheat” frequently and get away with it. Their metabolisms are extremely unforgiving. One or two cheat meals per week seem to be the limit. Poor daily nutrition habits or frequent cheat days always set them back.

Endomorphs generally have a very difficult time losing fat with diet alone. Even a nearly perfect diet sometimes won’t work by itself because the endomorph needs the boost in metabolism that exercise provides.

A larger quantity of cardio is almost always necessary for the endomorph to lose body fat. Someone with a low endomorph component may stay lean with little or no cardio at all. Extreme endomorphs usually need cardio every day before the body fat begins to come off.

Occasionally, an extreme endomorph (7 on the endomorph scale), will have a difficult time losing fat even while on a well-constructed training and nutrition program. Extreme endomorphs sometimes need to restrict carbohydrates drastically (under 100 g./day for women, under 175 g./day for men) before any substantial fat loss occurs. They may also need to use a carbohydrate cycling approach that rotates high carbohydrate days with low carbohydrate days in order to stimulate their sluggish metabolisms and prevent going into starvation mode. Santa Claus is the archetypical endomorph.

Endomorph characteristics

Naturally high levels of body fat (often overweight) Usually large boned, large joints, large frame (but not always) Short, tapering arms and legs Smooth, round body contours (round or pear shaped body) Wide waist and hips Waist dominates over chest Tendency to always store excess calories as fat (can’t get away with overeating) Keeping fat off after it is lost is a challenge Tendency to be sluggish, slow moving and lacking energy Slow thyroid or other hormone imbalance (sometimes) Fairly good strength levels Sensitive to carbohydrates (carbs are easily stored as fat) Responds better to diets with higher protein and low (or moderate) carbs Naturally slow metabolic rate/low set point (fewer calories burned at rest) Falls asleep easily and sleeps deeply A lot of cardio is necessary to lose weight and body fat Extremely difficult to lose weight (requires great effort) Bouts of fatigue and tiredness Often describe themselves as having a “slow metabolism” Tendency to gain fat easily as soon as exercise is stopped Tendency to lose fat slowly, even on a “clean,” low fat, low calorie diet. Often overweight, even though they don’t eat very much Respond best to frequent, even daily, training

Endomorph training and nutrition strategy

When it comes to fat loss, a well-planned, strategic approach to nutrition and training is more important for the endomorph than for any other body type. The endomorph strategy focuses on high levels of activity and extreme levels of discipline and consistency in nutritional habits. Most endomorphs also need some degree of carbohydrate restriction with higher protein levels to compensate.

High protein, medium to low carbs

High protein, low to moderate carb diets work best for the endomorph. Endomorphs usually have varying degrees of carbohydrate sensitivity and insulin resistance. Therefore, high carbohydrate, low fat diets are usually not effective. Sugar is a major no-no: Processed and refined carbohydrates that contain white sugar and white flour tend to convert to body fat very rapidly in endomorphs because of the way they affect the hormone insulin.

Exercise is an absolute MUST

Endomorphs generally have a very difficult time losing fat with diet alone. Even a close-to-perfect diet often doesn’t work by itself because the endomorph needs the boost in metabolism that comes from exercise. The endomorph must do everything in his or her power to stimulate their metabolism and this means combining good nutrition with weight training and aerobic training. To diet without exercising means certain failure for the endomorph.

Large amounts of cardio

Someone with a low endomorph component may stay lean with little or no cardio at all. Endomorphs need a larger quantity of cardio to lose body fat. Most endomorphs will lose fat with surprising ease by doing some type of cardio at least 4 – 5 times per week. Extreme endomorphs usually need cardio every day (seven days per week). All endomorphs will tend to gain the fat back if they stop doing cardio completely. Often, they successfully lose weight, but then put it back on if they haven’t made the commitment to continue exercising for life.

Get more activity in general

Endomorphs usually (but not always) have a tendency towards relaxing as opposed to staying constantly in motion. Their natural inclination is usually to kick back in the easy chair, while their ectomorphic or mesomorphic counterpart might “relax” with a nice 40mile bike ride.

The best strategy for the endomorph is to get active and stay active! You have to get moving! Take up some sports or recreational activities in addition to your regular workouts in the gym. If you’re an endomorph you should get some type of activity almost every day.

Make a lifelong commitment to fitness

Endomorphs must commit to a lifelong exercise program and avoid quick fixes or any short-term approach to fitness. After reaching the long term ultimate body fat and body weight goal, the endomorph needs to commit to at least three days a week of exercise -for life – to keep the fat off. This should be done for health reasons anyway, but for the endomorph, exercise is essential to maintain a desirable body fat ratio. Once you begin, you must keep going or you will lose your momentum. Every time you stop working out, you can be sure the body fat will slowly start to creep back on. Long “vacations” from physical activity are not a good idea. Get your momentum going and keep it going.

Train hard

The basic endomorph disposition is towards taking it easy and relaxing. If you are an endomorph, you must fight this urge and train with high intensity. You have to push yourself constantly. Not only must you train almost every day, you must push yourself to train harder every day and repeatedly beat your own personal best. The best advice for the endomorph that I’ve ever heard came from a Zen master; Roshi Philip Kapleau. He said,

“Don’t relax your efforts, otherwise it will take you a long time to achieve what you are after.”

Increase your training frequency

This is important – the endomorph must stay in motion to keep their metabolic engine revving. Staying still for too long is the death of the endomorph. The boost in resting metabolism from training doesn’t last long. For someone with a naturally slow metabolism, the only way to keep it elevated is with a high frequency of training.

Increase your training duration

Losing fat all boils down to burning calories. You must burn more calories than you consume each day. The most obvious way to burn more calories is to do your cardio for a longer duration. 20 minutes is the recommended starting point for effective fat burning, but for the endomorph, this is seldom enough. 20 minutes is a maintenance workout for endomorphs. For maximum fat loss I recommend 30-45 minutes of continuous aerobic activity and in some instances it may be necessary to go as long as 60 minutes until a goal is achieved. Go back to the 20-minute workouts for maintenance only after you reach your goal.

Avoid over-sleeping.

Endomorphs should avoid excessive sleep. They should be early risers. The chances are good that if you’re an endomorph, you are not an early riser and you often have the urge to hit snooze and go back to sleep. Resist this urge. Getting up early for morning cardio is one of the best strategies for the endomorph.

Watch Less TV

Any pastimes or hobbies that glue your rear end to a couch are not the preferred option for an endomorph, especially if you also spend 40 hours or more behind a desk each week. This means you should replace as much TV watching as possible with physical recreation or exercise (unless your workout machine is parked in front of the TV and you’re on it).

Use metabolism-stimulating exercise

Weight training exercises that utilize large muscle groups like the back and legs are extremely effective for stimulating the metabolism and for stimulating the hormones that increase fat burning. High rep compound leg exercises (squats, lunges, leg presses, etc) are particularly effective for this purpose. Toning classes, yoga, pilates and similar activities have some fantastic benefits, but for the endomorph, this type of activity is NOT the ideal way to lower body fat. Participate in these activities as a supplement to your regular weights and cardio, but not by themselves.

Always be on the lookout for something to motivate and inspire you.

Endomorphs sometimes lack motivation, especially in the beginning. The solution is to be on the constant lookout for anything and everything to motivate and inspire you. Read biographies. Watch the Olympics, get a training partner, read motivational books, hire a trainer or personal coach, re-write your goals every single day, or enter a before and after fitness contest. Stay pumped up and fired up!

Restrict carbohydrates, but never remove them completely

The endomorph nutrition strategy leans towards higher protein (and slightly higher fat) diet with more moderate carbohydrates (Similar to a “Zone” diet). This is necessary because most endomorphs tend to be carbohydrate sensitive. People with normal carbohydrate metabolisms can consume up to 50-60% of their total calories from carbohydrates and stay lean, while endomorphs will tend to get fat eating this many carbohydrates.

Keep cheat meals to only once per week

Endomorphs have very unforgiving metabolisms. They cannot “cheat” frequently and get away with it. One or two cheat meals per week seem to be the limit. Poor daily habits or frequent cheat days always seem to set them back. Cheat days should be reserved for special occasions or as well-deserved rewards for a week of great training and nutrition.

Be consistent and persistent

The endomorph loses body fat more slowly than ectomorphs or mesomorphs. Therefore, endomorphs must be very consistent and diligent in eating and exercise habits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Going on and off diet and exercise programs will never work for the endomorph. Endomorphs will lose body fat just like everyone else, but it almost always takes a little longer. The results will come, but not without time and effort. Patience is a virtue all endomorphs must cultivate.

Nursing Informatics – Integrating Health Care With Information Technology

What is Nursing Informatics?

Nursing Informatics is the integration of clinical nursing with information management and computer processes. It is a relatively new focus in health care that combines nursing skills with information technology expertise. Nurse informatics specialists manage and communicate nursing data and information to improve decision making by consumers, patients, nurses and other health care providers.

The nursing process has four main steps: planning, implementation, evaluation, and assessment. However, because information management is integrated into the nursing process and practice, some nursing communities identify a fifth step in the nursing process: documentation. Documentation and patient-centered care are the core components of the nursing process. Automated documentation is vitally important, not just for nursing, but for all patient care. Up-to-date, accurate information at each step of the nursing process is the key to safe, high quality patient-centered care.

The successful implementation of information systems in nursing and health care requires the following: First, it is necessary to have well designed systems that support the nursing process within the culture of an organization. The second requirement is having the acceptance and integration of information systems into the regular workflow of the nursing process and patient care. Finally, it is important to have resources that can support the previously mentioned factors. One of the most effective and valuable resources a healthcare organization can add is a Nurse informatics specialists.

Nursing Informatics Specialists

Nursing Informatics Specialists are expert clinicians with an extensive clinical practice background. These individuals have experience in utilizing and implementing the nursing process. These nurses have excellent analytical and critical thinking skills. They also understand the patient care delivery workflow and integration points for automated documentation. Having additional education and experience with information systems is also important for this occupation. Finally, Nursing Informaticists are excellent project managers because of the similarity between the project management process and the nursing process.

To be competitive in this field one should become familiar with relational databases by taking a class about database structure. They should also become competent and comfortable with MS Office, especially Excel, Access and Visio.

Why these jobs are Important to Healthcare?

Nurse and health informatics bring a great deal of value to patients and the health care system. Some examples of how they provide value include:

  • Provide Support to the nursing work processes using technology
  • Increasing the accuracy and completeness of nursing documentation
  • Improving the nurse’s workflow
  • Automating the collection and reuse of nursing data
  • Facilitating analysis of clinical data
  • Providing nursing content to standardized languages

HIMSS and RHIO

To provide some background on the field of healthcare/nursing informatics, there are some governing bodies for this field. The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) is the main governing body for health care and nursing informatics professionals. This group, formed in 2004, has the following four goals: NI awareness, education, resources (including websites), and RHIO (Regional Health Information Organization).

RHIOs are also known as Community Health Information Networks (CHINs). These are the networks that connect physicians, hospitals, laboratories, radiology centers and insurance companies.They all share and transmit patient information electronically through a secure system. Those organizations that are a part of RHIOs have a business interest in improving the quality of healthcare being administered.

Steps to a Job in This Field

To enter into the nursing informatics field, typically you need a minimum of a four year degree. There are specific health informatics degrees available. Earning your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) is also a requirement before sitting for the ANCC certifications test for Nursing Informatics. Some individuals start with just a two year degree or diploma, but continue on to earn their BSN before becoming certified. Although there are several different routes for getting into the field, the most favored manner is to earn a Master’s in Nursing Informatics from the start, however, most individuals start their career prior to earning their master’s degree.

Most nurses who are in the informatics field start in a specialty area, such as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Perioperative Services (OR), Med-Surg, Orthopedic Nursing, or Oncology, just to name a few, and work in that specialty field for an extended period. Working in a specialty area helps nurses get to know the normal working processes and routines as well as understand the patient care process in their specialty. They usually are experts at their specialty and then develop interests in computerized documentation or some other technological healthcare focus. They then tend to gradually move into an information systems clinical support role.

If you have an interest in nursing and technology, this might be a career that can match both of these skills into one rewarding job.

Basic Steps to a Healthy Pregnancy

If you are planning to have a baby, or are already pregnant, give your baby the best possible start. Miraculously, many women have an apparently health pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby without any thought at all. However, many are not so lucky and sometimes that perfectly healthy baby has health issues early on such as rashes, allergies, ear infections etc. As an obstetrics nurse with 40 years experience in childbirth and prenatal education, I would like to encourage you not to leave the health of your pregnancy and baby to chance. Take steps now to be healthier.

Start with a good physical from your midwife or MD. Ask your practitioner about a thyroid panel and Vitamin D level. Make sure your iron stores are good. If you are vegetarian, ask your health care provider about B12 supplementation. Start on your prenatal vitamins and minerals and of course, if you haven’t quit smoking do it now. The effects of 1 cigarette a day after the 4th month of pregnancy are still measurable at age 10.

Take a good look at your diet. Write down everything you eat for 3 days and then check it off by the following list.

1: 7 colors daily: Blue – berries, elderberries;

Purple – plums, grapes, purple cabbage;

Red – tomatoes, radishes, cherries, red peppers, red onions;

Yellow – lemon, mango, lemon, grapefruit, yellow tomatoes, grapefruit;

White – cauliflower, onions, garlic;

Orange – oranges, tangerines, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes and yams;

Green – lettuce (not ice burg), celery, cilantro, parsley, cabbage, napa cabbage, kale, organic spinach, swiss chard, bok choy.

2: 7-9 Servings of fruits and vegetables

3: Complete protein at every meal (pregnancy, nursing and children) *

4: Good fats – Olive Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Omega 3 fatty Acids. raw seeds and nuts

5. Whole Grains 3 to 4 servings for pregnant women

6. Get rid of calories without food value-pop, chips, candy etc.

7. Limit or eliminate the white – white flour, white rice, and sugars of all forms.

This may seem overwhelming. Don’t let it be. Just start educating yourself and move towards making this list the basis for your food intake.

Last but not least, schedule your first prenatal as soon as you have conceived. Information gathered in your first trimester is used for treating any pregnancy complications that should arise.

Please start a list of questions for your care provider, so you can get all of your questions answered. This information is not intended as medical advice, but as information to discuss with your midwife or doctor.

* Complete proteins come from combining various protein sources. As a general rule meat, fish, poultry and milk have a more complete protein balance. Egg whites are the best. Quinoa and soy beans are the top of the plant proteins. It is good to vary the protein sources in your diet and eat combinations of plant proteins.

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Nutraceutical Ginseng Benefits and Side Effects

Nutraceuticals are defined as foods which provide significant medical and health benefits to the user. One of the most commonly used nutraceuticals is ginseng as it contains many health benefits. The two main types of ginseng today, American and Asian, and they have different active ingredients, with panaxosides for the American variety and ginsenosides for the Asian variety. Siberian ginseng contains different active components than the two main types but have the same anti-stress properties. Nutraceutical effects of ginseng differs in quality between products due to the variation of active ingredients between them. Some nutraceutical ginseng benefits are mitigated when additives such as the mandrake root (induces vomiting) or banned drugs such as phenylbutazone are mixed into the ginseng formulation by unscrupulous manufacturers.

Nutraceutical ginseng is available in many forms such as the roots, extracts, ginseng solutions, capsules and also as additives in cosmetics, soda and tea. Many people claim that continually taking ginseng benefits their sexual libido, increases their energy and enhance their work environment by increasing physical and mental performance. Ginseng has also been reported to decrease blood sugar of diabetics and increase the High Density Lipoprotein or good cholesterol in the body. Taking ginseng supplements daily also causes an increase in hemoglobin and protein levels in the body.

However, as much as ginseng benefits the user tremendously, there are some side effects that need to be taken into account. Although one of the nutraceutical ginseng benefits is the lowering of blood sugar, this may cause problems when the user is taking diabetic drugs at the same time as it may lead to hypoglycaemia. Regular ginseng supplements have also been noted to cause nervousness and excitability and thus affects the overall concentration level of the person. Ginseng side effects also include headaches, allergy, insomnia, and causes digestive problems for some people. An estrogen-like effect has also been observed of ginseng so its use in pregnant women and children should be avoided. Some users have also reported that ginseng increases their asthma problems and increases blood pressure.

In the scientific literature, the nutraceutical ginseng benefits and side effects have been widely studied and this herb has one of the most extensive reviews and studies done on it. Researchers have noted several possible pharmaceutical drug interactions with ginseng which can include aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), corticosteroids, estrogen enhancing drugs and hypoglycaemic drugs which are used to treat diabetic patients. It is thus a requirement to advise your health care professional if you are including ginseng in your daily diet for its various enhancements.

In conclusion, nutraceutical ginseng benefits definitely outweighs its side effects. Yet it is advisable for the user to study its drug interactions and side effects before considering to include ginseng into their regular diets.