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What’s your daily fill of fruit? (1) A large apple. (2) A banana and half cup of raisins. (3) 8 ounces of orange juice, ...
06/21/2011
How much fruit is needed daily?

What’s your daily fill of fruit? (1) A large apple. (2) A banana and half cup of raisins. (3) 8 ounces of orange juice, a handful of grapes, and a half cup of strawberries. All 3 choices meet your daily allotment—whether topping cereal, tossed in salad or enjoyed in a tart dessert. Opt for whole fruit over juice when you can. Learn the recommendations for your age and gender: http://bit.ly/kgni91.

The amount of fruit you need to eat depends on age, s*x, and level of physical activity. Recommended daily amounts are shown in the chart.

06/20/2011

Did you know that some common drugs may cause anxiety? Among them: caffeine, alcohol, ni****ne, cold remedies, decongestants, diet pills, amphetamines (such as those prescribed for ADHD), bronchodilators (for asthma), and thyroid meds. If you think a drug may be causing anxiety, talk to your doctor, but don’t stop a prescription on your own.

06/17/2011

Men and women tend to cope with stress in different ways. Women are more likely to “tend and befriend,” caring for those closest to them and drawing support from friends and family. Men are more likely to have a “fight or flight” response, seeking refuge in a relaxing activity or other diversion. Have you found this to be the case?

06/16/2011

Many people with depression don’t know that their illness can be treated, so they don’t seek treatment. If you think you’re depressed, talk to your doctor and work together to relieve your pain. Remember, depression is very treatable—and the earlier you begin treatment the better!

06/15/2011
Back Pain

When should you call a doctor for acute back pain? If (1) you have numbness or tingling; (2) the pain is severe or doesn’t ease after 3 days of meds & rest; (3) the pain is the result of a fall or injury; (4) you lose bowel or bladder control; (5) you have weakness, pain or numbness in your legs; (6) you have fever; or (7) you lose weight. http://bit.ly/juOmv1.

This booklet is for people who have back pain, as well as family members, friends, and others who want to find out more about it. The booklet describes causes, diagnosis, and treatments, and research efforts to learn more about back pain, many of which ar

Yes, you know, you should eat more vegetables. But how much? You may be closer than you think: http://bit.ly/itjkBX. Go ...
06/14/2011
How many vegetables are needed daily or weekly?

Yes, you know, you should eat more vegetables. But how much? You may be closer than you think: http://bit.ly/itjkBX. Go for variety! Toss a colorful salad (play up dark green and orange). Cook a veggie stir-fry. Shred carrots or zucchini into meatloaf or muffins. Chop veggies into pasta sauce or lasagna. Order extra veggies on your pizza. Keep raw cutup veggies in the fridge. How do YOU get creative with veggies?

The amount of vegetables you need to eat depends on your age, s*x, and level of physical activity. Recommended total daily amounts are shown in the first chart. Recommended weekly amounts from each vegetable subgroup are shown in the second chart.

What causes anxiety disorders? There’s no clear-cut answer, but researchers are looking at the role of genetics and brai...
06/13/2011
Role of Research in Improving the Understanding and Treatment of Anxiety Disorders

What causes anxiety disorders? There’s no clear-cut answer, but researchers are looking at the role of genetics and brain chemistry, as well as stress (both psychological and physical) and environmental factors, such as pollution and diet. Have you seen any of these elements at play in an anxiety disorder? Here’s how research might help: http://bit.ly/jkLSuH.

NIMH supports research into the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses. Scientists are looking at what role genes play in the development of these disorders and are also investigating the effects of en

In small doses stress can be good—exhilarating even! But feeling stressed for a long time can take a toll on your mental...
06/10/2011
Top 10 stress-busters

In small doses stress can be good—exhilarating even! But feeling stressed for a long time can take a toll on your mental and physical health, so it’s important to find ways to de-stress. Start by identifying key stressors and addressing them one at a time, in small steps. How do you de-stress? Here’s some advice: http://bit.ly/if9Fnj.

If you're stressed, whether by your job or by something more personal, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause. The most unhelpful thing you can do is turn to something unhealthy to help you cope, such as smoking or drinking.

06/09/2011

Did you know that depression hurts? Chronic pain, including headaches, is a symptom of depression. Conversely, depression often coexists in people with chronic pain syndromes. And small doses of antidepressants are often prescribed to reduce pain. Have you or anyone you know experienced pain that might be associated with depression? What kind of pain?

Does your back hurt all the time? Chronic back pain, as opposed to the more common acute back pain, lasts for 3 months o...
06/08/2011
Low back pain - chronic

Does your back hurt all the time? Chronic back pain, as opposed to the more common acute back pain, lasts for 3 months or more. It may come on quickly or slowly. Possible causes include disk problems, spinal stenosis, curvature, muscle strain or fracture, but it can be hard to pin down. Most cases are not treated with surgery. Do you have chronic back pain? What eases it? http://bit.ly/mnT4Hx.

Back pain is one of the most common health complaints. Almost everyone will have back pain at some time in their life. Most of the time, the exact cause of the pain cannot be found.

Did you know that whole-grain foods can lower your risk of several chronic diseases? To get the benefit, aim for at leas...
06/07/2011
The Scoop on Whole Grains

Did you know that whole-grain foods can lower your risk of several chronic diseases? To get the benefit, aim for at least three 1-ounce equivalents a day. Sample servings: 1/2 cup cooked oatmeal, 1/2 cup cooked 100% whole-grain pasta, 1/2 cup cooked brown rice, 1 regular slice of 100% whole-grain bread, 1 cup of whole-grain ready-to-eat cereal. Do you think that’s doable? http://bit.ly/ljg2e9.

You keep hearing that you should eat more whole grains, but what are they? How much should you eat? Eating at least three or more one-ounce equivalents of whole grains daily can reduce the risk of some diseases, according to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines fo

Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common of emotional disorders, affecting some 40 million US adults (abo...
06/06/2011
How to Get Help for Anxiety Disorders

Did you know that anxiety disorders are the most common of emotional disorders, affecting some 40 million US adults (about 18% of the population) in a given year? If anxiety is disrupting your life, talk to a doctor or therapist; anxiety disorders can get worse if not treated. Do you know anyone with an anxiety disorder? Here are some tips for getting help: http://bit.ly/l6wV8e.

If you think you have an anxiety disorder, the first person you should see is your family doctor. A physician can determine whether the symptoms that alarm you are due to an anxiety disorder, another medical condition, or both. If an anxiety disorder is d

06/03/2011

Everyone responds to stress differently. Here are some signs that stress is getting the better of you: disrupted eating, feeling a lack of control or a need for too much control, forgetfulness, headaches, lack of energy or focus, low self-esteem, shorter temper, trouble sleeping, stomach pain, back pain, general aches and pains. What’s your response to stress and how do you deal with it?

06/02/2011

Depression is not just feeling down. It’s not something you can just “get over.” Depression is a serious illness that can interfere with every aspect of your life. It is also life threatening, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths a year from su***de. In fact, su***de is the 8th leading cause of death in the US. If you think you’re depressed, don’t suffer alone. Call your doctor and get help.

Caring for back pain at home? First, bed rest is NOT recommended. Curb activities, but only for a few days. Try icing fo...
06/01/2011
Taking care of your back at home

Caring for back pain at home? First, bed rest is NOT recommended. Curb activities, but only for a few days. Try icing for 48-72 hours, then heat. Take OTC pain relievers (ibuprofen or acetaminophen). Sleep in a fetal position with a pillow between your knees. Avoid heavy lifting or twisting for 6 weeks. Then slowly resume exercise after 2-3 weeks: http://bit.ly/lP2CVE. What are YOUR self-care tips?

A common misconception about back pain is that you need to rest and avoid activity for a long time. In fact, bed rest is NOT recommended. If you have no sign of a serious cause for your back pain (such as loss of bowel or bladder control, weakness, weight

Did you know that foods labeled “multi-grain,” “stone-ground, “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “7-grain” or “bran” are usu...
05/31/2011
Tips to help you eat whole grains

Did you know that foods labeled “multi-grain,” “stone-ground, “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “7-grain” or “bran” are usually NOT whole-grain products? Here’s the key: one of the following ingredients should be FIRST on the label: brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, quinoa, triticale, whole-grain barley, whole-grain corn, whole oats/oatmeal, whole rye, whole wheat or wild rice. http://bit.ly/mIeM1s.

o eat more whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined product – such as eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of white rice. It’s important to substitute the whole-grain product for the refined one, ra

We all feel anxiety in response to certain events—such as taking a big test or turning down a dark street. Normal anxiet...
05/30/2011
Anxiety and Panic: Gaining Control Over How You're Feeling

We all feel anxiety in response to certain events—such as taking a big test or turning down a dark street. Normal anxiety serves a purpose in making us extra alert, and it ends when the situation has passed. But when anxiety is excessive or irrational, persists more than 6 months, or interferes with daily functioning, it becomes disabling. Can you tell if anxiety is out of hand? Learn more: http://bit.ly/j7oLvh

Anxiety is a word that describes feelings of worry, nervousness, fear, apprehension, concern or restlessness. Normal feelings of anxiety often serve as an "alarm system," alerting you to danger. For example, imagine coming home and finding a burglar in yo

05/27/2011

Stress is what we experience when we feel we don’t have the tools to manage the demands of life. It can be short term or long term; the result of happy (marriage, birth of a child) or troubling circumstances. Common stressors include death of a loved one, marital trouble, problems at work, money woes, illness, injury, pregnancy, retirement and incarceration. What are the stressors in your life?

05/26/2011

Everyone feels sad now and then. But you can usually maintain your normal life. Depression, however, interferes with your daily life. You’re not interested in your normal activities; you have trouble sleeping, or sleep too much. You may eat more or less than normal, feel irritable and restless, and yet also feel deeply fatigued. Have you or someone you know experienced depression? What were the main symptoms?

Acute back pain is the most common type; it comes on quickly and lasts less than 6 weeks. It may follow trauma from a sp...
05/25/2011
What is Back Pain?

Acute back pain is the most common type; it comes on quickly and lasts less than 6 weeks. It may follow trauma from a sports injury, an accident, falling, heavy lifting or other stress on spinal bones and tissues. Symptoms range from muscle ache to shooting or stabbing pain, limited flexibility or inability to stand straight: http://bit.ly/kd4Fky. Have you had acute back pain? What helped?

Acute or short-term low back pain generally lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute back pain is the result of trauma to the lower back or a disorder such as arthritis. Pain from trauma may be caused by a sports injury, work around the house or i

What’s the best way to go with the grains? Make half of them whole—but substitute, don’t “add.” Trade brown rice for whi...
05/24/2011
Tips to help you eat whole grains

What’s the best way to go with the grains? Make half of them whole—but substitute, don’t “add.” Trade brown rice for white; use whole-wheat macaroni in your mac-n-cheese; bread your baked chicken with rolled oats; munch on popcorn for a snack (easy on the salt and butter!). See more: http://bit.ly/jBq2o4. What whole-grain substitutes do YOU enjoy?

o eat more whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined product – such as eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of white rice. It’s important to substitute the whole-grain product for the refined one, ra

05/23/2011

Butterflies in your stomach are a typical physical symptom of anxiety. What are some others? Rapid breathing, fast or irregular heart rate, sweating, twitching or trembling, muscle tension, headaches, dizziness, abdominal pain or diarrhea, dry mouth or difficulty swallowing, even frequent urination. What physical symptoms do YOU get with anxiety?

05/20/2011

The body responds to stress by releasing hormones, which raise blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels. Over time, stress can contribute to a variety of health problems, including: anxiety, depression, obesity, heart disease, hypertension, menstrual problems, acne and other skin problems. Still think stress isn’t a serious health concern? Talk to your doctor if you’re feeling acute stress.

Major depression affects about 7% of the US adult population. It’s the leading cause of disability for ages 15-44. While...
05/19/2011
What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

Major depression affects about 7% of the US adult population. It’s the leading cause of disability for ages 15-44. While depression can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32. It is more prevalent in women than in men. Learn the signs of depression: http://bit.ly/iBeLQA.

People with depressive illnesses do not all experience the same symptoms. The severity, frequency and duration of symptoms will vary depending on the individual and his or her particular illness. Symptoms include: Persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelin

If your back hurts, you’re not alone: More than 80% of us have back pain at some point. Whether a sharp stab or a dull a...
05/18/2011
Back Pain

If your back hurts, you’re not alone: More than 80% of us have back pain at some point. Whether a sharp stab or a dull ache, the most common cause is muscle spasms. Most back pain goes away on its own, but it may take a while. Using over-the-counter pain meds and resting (1-2 days max) may help. http://bit.ly/llOd6R. Have you had back pain? How long did it last? What eased it?

If you've ever groaned, 'Oh, my aching back!', you are not alone. Back pain is one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10 people at some point during their lives. Back pain can range from a dull, constant ache to a sudden, sharp pain.

What IS “a healthy diet”? Move over, meat and potatoes. The latest US guidelines say to: (1) Load up on fruits, vegetabl...
05/17/2011
Dietary Guidelines for Americans

What IS “a healthy diet”? Move over, meat and potatoes. The latest US guidelines say to: (1) Load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; (2) include LEAN meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts; and (3) avoid or go easy on saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars (as in soda and candy). See: http://bit.ly/jotbrJ. How does your plate stack up?

The Dietary Guidelines are jointly issued and updated every 5 years by the Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS). They provide authoritative advice for Americans ages 2 and older about consuming fewer calories, making infor

05/16/2011

When do anxious feelings represent an anxiety disorder? In addition to feelings of worry, fear or dread, those with anxiety disorder may also have difficulty concentrating, fatigue, irritability or short temper, s*xual difficulties, sleeping disorders or nightmares. Talk with your doctor if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. Effective treatments are available.

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