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Common But Overlooked Symptoms of Heart Problems

Not everyone with heart disease experiences chest pain. Other symptoms can instead be the warning signals that alert the sufferer to heart disease. In fact, any symptom that has the appearance of provocation by exertion, thereafter being relieved by rest, can be related to the heart. Other symptoms beyond chest pain can be the clue to a problem with the heart; this is especially true in people with such underlying risk factors as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and tobacco use.

Nausea, Indigestion, Stomach Pain, or Heartburn

There are those who experience these symptoms while having a heart attack; vomiting is even possible. These symptoms are more likely to be reported by women than by men. Of course, upset stomachs have a variety of potential causes. But with these feelings and risk of heart problems, a doctor should be informed of the circumstances.

Dizziness or Lightheadedness

Perhaps standing up too fast is the culprit or a lack of sufficient food or beverage. But a sudden feeling of unsteadiness along with shortness of breath or chest discomfort means that a doctor should be notified at once. The cause could be the blood pressure having dropped due to the heart being unable to pump properly…

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Why is it Important to Know Your Family Medical History?

Most people are aware that the risk of various diseases can be reduced by getting sufficient exercise, eating a diet that is healthy, and refraining from smoking. But fewer people are aware that one’s family history might be among the strongest of influences on the risk of one’s developing stroke, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. While changing one’s genetic makeup is impossible, awareness of the family history can assist in the reduction of risk of the development of health problems.

Members of families share not only genes, but also lifestyles, environment, and often habits as well. Everyone recognizes shared traits as curly or straight hair, athletic ability or lack, vision, or dimples that run within families. Other traits that run in families are the risks for diseases such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Everyone has a different family history of disease.

The key facets of a family medical history that can increase risk are more than one close relative having the disease, a disease that generally does not affect a particular gender, diseases occurring at a younger age than they generally strike, and particular combinations of diseases inside a family, such as diabetes and heart disease. Anyone’s family that has a single of these features or more might find important clues about disease risk inside the family history…

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The Spectrum: Autism Friendly Theme Parks

Every family deserves to be able to enjoy a vacation. However, this isn’t always easy to do when you have a child diagnosed with Autism. Yet there are still places where you and your family can relax and enjoy quality time together. Scattered across the U.S. are several theme parks that are Autism friendly.

One of these theme parks is Sesame Place, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2015, Sesame Street debuted Julia, a character with Autism. As a result, Sesame Place holds the distinction of being the country’s first Certified Autism Center. The entire staff of the park is trained in how to assist those with the condition. Parents planning a visit to the amusement park can use its website’s sensory guide. This allows them to pick and choose the activities their children will participate in during their visit. Sesame Island is an area of the park where guests can use the two quiet rooms. Families are easily accommodated in these areas and noise-canceling headphones, as well as adjustable lighting, are offered for free use. Many of the park’s rides and restaurants were designed with Autistic children in mind. There is even an area where children can watch the park’s parade without fear of becoming overwhelmed.

For families that want to enjoy a water park, the Aquatica Orlando is a viable option. Though the park is not new it has been updated to accommodate guests with autism. The staff has been extensively trained in emotional and sensory awareness as well as motor skills and the need for a quiet environment. In fact, the park now has a low sensory area as well as a quiet room. The quiet room is a very private place equipped with adjustable lights…

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The Spectrum: Understanding Behavioral Therapy for Autism

Treating Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is not about finding a cure; instead, behavioral therapy for autism is designed to help children develop the social, communication and self-regulatory behaviors necessary to thrive.

Behavioral therapy is often considered to be an intervention for unruly children, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In reality, behavior therapy is employed throughout the field of psychology to treat a wide range of conditions for people of various ages. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) are two common forms of psychotherapy used to treat mental illnesses ranging from depression and anxiety to bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder.

When Should an Autistic Child Get Therapy?

For autistic children, behavior therapy provides the guidance and structure they need to build upon their strengths and develop the type of skills required to interact and engage with the world around them. Early childhood intervention is often the best choice for autistic children as the skills they develop now can help them easily integrate into the general population at school later on.

Popular Types of Behavioral Therapy for Autism

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is one of the most common types of autism behavior therapy…

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6 Fantastic Ways To Avoid Processed Foods

Most people know that eating less processed food is good for their health. However, it can sometimes be a bit confusing to avoid processed food and add more natural foods to your diet. The following tips will make the process a little easier.

Become A Label Reader
People who look at food labels are usually interested in things like calories, fat content, and the amount of sugar in the food. However, it is worth the extra time it will take to read the ingredients on the food label. If the food you are considering contains more than five ingredients and you are unable to pronounce some of them, you may want to look into alternative options.

Eat More Whole Foods
Eating more fruits and vegetables will help replace processed food in the diet. This approach also makes the food selection process simpler. There is no need to worry as much about calorie and carb counting when your diet consists mostly of whole food choices.

Choose Local Over Processed
Many people will be surprised to learn the whole-wheat bread they purchase in grocery stores is just as processed as the white bread in these stores. Buy your bread from a local baker to assure it contains no more ingredients than is necessary to make fresh bread. Locally grown and made fresh items are likely to go through much less of a process, and are generally healthier in the long run….

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The Spectrum: Preparing for College With Autism

As a parent or guardian of a child with autism, you may have questions about preparing for college. While students with autism will face unique challenges, it is possible to thrive in a college environment with the right preparation.

The best strategy to prepare a student with autism for college is to start early. As early as the eighth grade, parents can begin training their child in the academic and social skills they will need in college. It’s also important for parents of children with autism to train their child how to be independent. Allowing your child to begin cooking their own meals or doing their own grocery shopping is a great way to start, particularly if he/she is planning to live on their own in college. You can help your child develop social skills by encouraging him/her to join clubs or groups at school or participate in extracurricular activities. Volunteering is a great way for students with autism to develop social skills and find activities that interest them; it also looks good on a college application and will give your student a leg up.

When it comes time to apply for colleges, it’s important to do some research. There are many colleges that offer autism support programs for students on the autism spectrum. These often involve comprehensive programs that can assist students with the transition to college by providing resources to help improve academic and social skills. Some colleges also offer transition support as students complete their degree and transition into independent adult life. These services may also include job placement assistance and career resources…

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Four Common Myths About Heart Disease

Heart disease is incredibly common in the United States. A third of Americans are currently living with this problem, and this number is only growing. Despite its prevalence, however, many people still have misconceptions about heart disease. Here are some of the major myths that surround this disorder.

Heart Disease is an Old Person’s Disease

Although the risk of heart disease does increase with age, it is becoming more prevalent in younger people than it has been in the past. The reasons for this increase include the epidemic of childhood obesity, type II diabetes occurring at younger ages, and the fact that more people in all age groups than ever are living sedentary lifestyles.

Heart Disease Affects Mostly Men

While it is true that the female hormone, estrogen, provides women some protection from heart disease, this benefit ends when a woman enters menopause. Heart disease is the top killer of women and men over the age of 65. After the age of 80, more women than men have heart disease — 80 percent for men and 87 percent for women.

Quitting Cigarette Smoking Will Not Affect Your Risk of Heart Disease

The lungs are incredibly elastic organs. The risks of heart disease and cancer begin diminishing very soon after a person decides to quit smoking. After just one year of not smoking, your risk for heart disease declines by half. This is true regardless of how long you have been smoking and how many packs you smoked per day…

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Four Unhealthy Habits That Damage Your Heart

Most of us understand that unhealthy habits are sometimes inevitable, it may be a surprise to some that a few of these habits are part of our everyday lives and go unnoticed. Here are four of those unhealthy habits along with ideas on how to promote heart health.

Regularly Skipping a Good Night’s Rest

Adults typically need seven to eight hours of sleep to feel rested and be productive. Getting enough sleep is also necessary for heart health. During the non-REM phase of sleep, blood pressure and heart rate go down, which helps to give the heart the rest it needs to maintain cardiovascular health. In addition, a chronic lack of sleep is associated with obesity, hypertension, coronary artery disease, and elevated levels of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. The presence of those hormones is an indicator of inflammation, which is linked to cardiovascular disease.

Consuming Too Much Salt

Ninety percent of Americans consume more than the recommended daily intake of 1,500 milligrams of sodium. In fact, the average daily sodium intake is 3,400 milligrams, which is more than twice the recommended limit. The salt shaker is not the culprit since only 10 percent of sodium intake is from shaking salt on food. Most dietary sodium comes from restaurant, packaged, or prepared foods. Excessive sodium consumption raises the risk of hypertension, which may lead to heart disease. People interested in lowering their sodium intake should limit or avoid high sodium foods such as bacon, cold cuts, canned soup, jerky, chips, canned vegetables, and pretzels…

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Improving Your Emotional Health

While the benefits of physical activity have been lauded time and time again, mental health is just as vital for wellbeing both inside and out. Being healthy emotionally is linked to lower blood pressure, lower cortisol, better sleep, more resilience and a multitude of other benefits. Taking time to take care of oneself mentally shouldn’t be neglected. Here are a few tips for greater mental well-being.

Exercise Regularly

Physical and mental health go hand in hand for overall wellness. Exercising helps to release endorphins, a natural chemical created in the body that can promote feelings of happiness, and even increase cognitive sharpness. Exercise is also shown to help with mild depression and ease anxiety. Aim for three or more days of physical activity a week.

Spend Time in Meditation

Spending as little as fifteen minutes sitting in stillness, or while focusing on the good things in life has been shown to cause a dip in anxiety and stress, while improving cognitive abilities.

Have a Strong Support System

Having a steadfast group of friends, or family members that will listen during times of joy and duress is a pillar to a healthy, meaningful life. Support systems can be small or big, as long as they are positive influences. If one is looking for new friends, they should look at the things they enjoy doing to meet like-minded individuals.

Find Positive Ways to Cope With Stress

Some days stress is unavoidable, but going for a walk, or practicing deep breathing can bring relief. If a specific situation is causing stress daily, it might be time for a change. One should view this change as a positive new experience…

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The Spectrum: Teaching Communication Skills to Children with Autism (ASD)

One of the greatest challenges faced by parents of children with autism undoubtedly lies in the challenge of teaching communication skills to children who find socializing extremely difficult. As a primary facet of autism, difficulties with communication can put stress on familial relationships and deeply affect how a child performs in school and job training; fortunately, there are ways to help an autistic child overcome their struggles with verbal and non-verbal communication.

Thinking Patterns of Autism

To truly make a difference in the life of a child with autism, it is imperative for parents to understand why communication is so difficult for people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). For children with autism, psychological processes that neurotypical individuals often take for granted are experienced differently and with far greater difficulty. An autistic child will often experience a high degree of sensory overload when placed in a social situation, making the process of communicating with others feel overwhelming and even painful.

Where a neurotypical child would process social information quickly and efficiently while communicating with peers or adults, for example, a child with autism will “shut down” as the part of their brain that controls executive function struggles to cope with what it perceives to be as a multi-faceted problem. Just as most of us would feel overwhelmed if we were suddenly presented with four difficult math problems that needed to be solved simultaneously and within a limited timeframe, a child with autism will often view the multiple processes at work in socializing with anxiety and trepidation.

Learning By Doing

With these concepts about the chief qualities of autism in mind, parents can help children overcome difficulties in communication by modeling the kind of interpersonal skills that children with autism often struggle to learn or cope with in a social setting. Exaggerated modeling of social skills by parents has been shown to be particularly effective in teaching autistic children about socializing; emphasizing the kind of gestures and eye contact that are central to clear interpersonal communication can do wonders for children who are learning the basics of social skills, for example, as can reducing speech to its barest elements…

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