Treating Gum Disease May Help The Heart

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smileGum disease, which happens when sticky, bacteria-laden film builds up and hardens around the teeth, has been linked to cardiovascular disease.

Gum disease has long been linked to heart disease. New research suggests that for people with both conditions, treating the gum disease may lower their health care costs and the number of times they end up in the hospital, reports the November 2014 Harvard Heart Letter.

Gum disease begins when the sticky, bacteria-laden film known as plaque builds up around your teeth. Daily tooth brushing and flossing and regular cleanings by a dentist or hygienist can prevent and even reverse gingivitis, the earliest form of gum disease (also called periodontal disease). Left untreated, gingivitis can turn into gum disease. The gums pull back from the root of the tooth, creating a tiny pocket that gradually widens. Eventually, the infection and inflammation attack the tissue that holds the tooth to the jawbone, which can cause the tooth to loosen and possibly fall out.

A study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine reviewed the medical and dental records of people who had gum disease in addition to cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease (usually a stroke), or another chronic health problem. People who had at least one periodontal disease treatment had lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations within four years of the treatment compared with people who weren’t treated. For cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease, health care costs were between 10% and 40% lower.

Treating gum disease reduces the body’s burden of infection and inflammation, which seems to help people respond better to treatments for other health conditions, like heart disease, says periodontist Dr. Alpdogan Kantarci of the Harvard-affiliated Forsyth Institute, a not-for-profit research organization focused on oral health. “As we’re always telling our physician colleagues, ‘Make sure your patients are getting regular dental care,’ because we may be able to help improve their overall health,” Dr. Kantarci says.

Read the full-length article: “Treating gum disease: Save your smile, help your heart?”

Also in the November 2014 Harvard Heart Letter:

* Exercise: The best medicine to slow aging

* Treating narrowed arteries in the neck

* For heart health, less salt makes the most sense

The Harvard Heart Letter is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $20 per year. Subscribe at or by calling 877-649-9457 (toll-free).

Treating Seasonal Depression With Chromotherapy

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By Andrew Womble

walkingdogMany people enjoy the change in seasons. Fall and winter bring the possiblity of snowfall, the idea of curling up next to a warm fire, and a chance to see loved ones during the holidays. However, there are a lot of people who do not do well during these darker months. They experience irritability and depression throughout this part of the year. While many want to chalk it up to being nothing more than a case of the “winter blues”, scientists have begun to show us that it may actually be a quantifiable condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.

What is SAD?

Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly known as SAD, is a mood disorder in which depression occurs at the same time every year. Experts theorize this is due to reduced exposure to sunlight in the fall and winter months leading to a decreased reduction in various hormones and neurotransmitters that have soothing and calming effects on the body. Some other symptoms of this seasonal depression include fatigue, carbohydrate craving, and weight gain.
Typically starting in young adulthood, people with SAD experience a various degree of symptoms ranging from feeling out of sorts or mildly irratible to debilitating depression that can negatively effect relationships and productivity.
Full Spectrum Light and Health

It’s no secret that sunlight is essential to life. The sun provides the earth and its inhabitants with a spectrum of light from infrared to near ultraviolet. A lack of sunlight is considered to be the number one cause of Seasonal Acute Disorder. Due to this factor, SAD is more prominent in locations further from the equator which experiences the most hours of sunlight in a day throughout the year. People living in areas that experience shorter days or frequent gray skies are susceptible to SAD during the fall and winter months.

Chromotherapy in the Treatment of SAD

grandparentsIt has been known for a long time that colors can have an influence on our moods and emotions. Chromotherapy is the science of using colors to improve mental well-being and overall health. While chromotherapy has many different health benefits, it has been seen as a particularly good way of treating SAD. Patients experiencing SAD are frequently prescribed sessions in front of a light box for a prescribed period of time to make up for the lack of sunlight during the darker seasons. This therapy can now be found in many home saunas. Manufacturers of home saunas have caught on to the health benefits of using infrared light and now install them in their products giving sufferers of SAD a new, easy way of coping with winter depression.

Human beings can at times be stubborn and feel the need to just “grind it out” when it comes to things like mood disorders. Many probably feel it is just the way things are and view the winter months as an inevitable time of sadness. Assumptions that disorders such as depression can only be treated chemically with doctor prescribed pharmaceuticals which can have mild to severe side effects may be a part of people’s lethargy in seeking treatment. Chromotherapy and infrared saunas can now be seen as an alternative in the effective treatment of Season Acute Disorder.

– Andrew is a health blogger with a passion in natural medicine and treatments. In his free time he enjoys hiking and camping in the great outdoors. His latest intrest has been in the area of using infrared technology to treat many alements naturally for which Sunlighten has been a big source of inspiration.

First-Ever Guidelines Issued For Treating Type 2 Diabetes In Kids

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diabeticFrom Your Health Journal…..”A very important article recently from US News & World Report via HealthDay by Serena Gordon entitled First-Ever Guidelines Issued For Treating Type 2 Diabetes In Kids. I do encourage all of you to visit the UN News site to read about these new guidelines. I find it important to spread the word on such topic, and always try to send traffic to other great sites like US News. This article points to the the fact that for the first time ever, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued new guidelines for the management of type 2 diabetes in children and teenagers. Most pediatricians only dealt with Type 1 diabetes, but due to the rise in Type 2 diabetes in children, a change was needed. As many of you know, Type 2 diabetes used to be called ‘adult onset’ diabetes. In our modern day era, where many children are now obese or overweight, many young kids now get this disease, which is environmental. Weight doesn’t play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes, but it’s possible that someone with type 1 could be overweight, making an immediate diagnosis of the type of diabetes very hard. Please visit the US News web site (link provided below) to view the complete article.”

From the article…..

For the first time ever, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued guidelines for the management of type 2 diabetes in children and teenagers aged 10 to 18.

Until recently, pediatricians have mostly had to deal with type 1 diabetes, which has a different cause and usually a different management than type 2 diabetes. But, today, due largely to the rise in childhood obesity, as many as one in three children diagnosed with diabetes has type 2.

“Pediatricians and pediatric endocrinologists are used to dealing with type 1 diabetes. Most have had no formal training in the care of children with type 2,” said one of the authors of the new guidelines, Dr. Janet Silverstein, division chief of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Florida, in Gainesville.

“The major reason for the guidelines is that there’s been an increase in overweight and obesity in children and adolescents, with more type 2 diabetes in that population, making it important for general pediatricians, as well as endocrinologists to have structured guidelines to follow,” she said.

For example, it can be very difficult to distinguish immediately whether or not a child has type 1 or type 2 diabetes, especially if a child is overweight. The only way to tell for sure is a test for islet antibodies. Because type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, a child or teen with type 1 will have islet antibodies that destroy the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. But, it can take weeks to get the results of these tests, according to Silverstein.

Weight doesn’t play a role in the development of type 1 diabetes, but it’s possible that someone with type 1 could be overweight, making an immediate diagnosis of the type of diabetes very hard. If someone with type 1 diabetes is mistakenly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and given oral medications — such as metformin — instead of the insulin they must have, they can get very sick, very quickly.

To read the complete article…..Click here