Pregnancy tests can bring certainty or excitement

Thinking that you may be pregnant can be an exciting, exhilarating, and stressful time in your life. Depending on where you are in life, you and your significant other may be over the moon excited about the prospect of starting a family. On the other hand, you could be in a position where a baby is not exactly what you had in mind for your future. Regardless of your story, the journey starts with a pregnancy test.

Pregnancy tests can bring certainty or excitement

For many women, choosing a pregnancy test to give you the big news is an overwhelming first step. When you walk onto that aisle in the store, you’re immediately hit with a huge variety of choices. You’ve got blue boxes and pink boxes, those with plus and minus signs and others with lines. Still other tests have words that tell you clearly “yes” or “no,” and even more have begun estimating how far along you are, if the answer is positive.

All tests are not the same, and some are more sensitive than others. The whole thing can be incredibly confusing. With tests, the key is to find an hcg test , which will test the levels of the “pregnancy hormone” that are present in your system. These tests seem to be the most reliable, short of a blood test at the doctor’s office.

Once you choose the right test for you, it’s time to go home and get the journey started. The three to five minute wait between the time you administer the test and get the result can be the longest wait of your life. When you get the results, the emotions that run through your mind can also be overwhelming: elation, disappointment, or relief are all common, depending on the type of results you were expecting.

The prospect of pregnancy can be incredibly difficult to comprehend on a personal level, but it’s something that can elevate your life to incredible new heights. As soon as you get a positive result, make sure to make an appointment with a medical provider for confirmation and counseling on how you should continue in the days, weeks, and months ahead.

Opting for Minimally Invasive Medical Procedures

Today’s medical advancements have led to the creation of procedures that are easier and less traumatic on patients of all ages. People who need surgery typically want to recover quickly and with minimal pain. A growing number of operations can now be carried out with less invasive methods that range from smaller incisions to laser surgical techniques. You can find out if you are a good candidate for one of these easier and minimally invasive procedures yourself by consulting with medical professionals like bariatric surgery Tampa doctors and other health care insiders who are familiar with surgical weight loss treatments.

Opting for Minimally Invasive Medical Procedures

Researching Your Options Online

Before you consult with a weight loss surgeon you may find it helpful to do your own research about these procedures. You can go online to the facility’s website to read about how these operations are carried out and what to expect both before and after the surgery.

You likewise can read about what steps you can take to prepare yourself for the operation. For example, it might help you to cease harmful habits like smoking and excessive drinking. Smoking and drinking alcohol can cause you to suffer post-operative complications.

You can also use the website to research the physicians who may be a part of your medical team. Knowing your doctors’ backgrounds, educational and medical training, and licensing can put your mind at ease and convince you that you will be in good hands during the operation.

The website also has videos that you can watch so that you can see what your own procedure might entail. Having all of the information you need before you see your doctor and schedule your surgery can help you feel like you are in control of your medical care.

Contact Options

A significant part of feeling like you are in control of your medical care centers on knowing whom to contact for questions and concerns. You can set up a patient account on the website and use that as a starting point for establishing communication between you and your medical team.

You can also use the toll-free phone number and social media plug-ins to communicate with the facility. These options are convenient and help you get into contact with someone from the center quickly.

Minimally invasive operations help patients recover quickly and without a lot of discomfort. You can find out what your operation might be like by researching online.

The Problems with Eyesight And Smoking

Smoking can greatly impact on eye sight as well as cause numerous other health issues. Here we dive down and see what the problems are.

The Problems with Eyesight And Smoking

Cataracts And Smoking

Cataracts (which refers to clouding of the natural lens of the eye) are one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide.  Over 50 percent of Americans by the age of 80 will have had or have cataract surgery.

Smoking significantly increases a person’s risk for developing a cataract compared to an individual who does not smoke.  Studies in fact show that smokers doubles the chance of their forming cataracts.  Also, the more you smoke, the more the risk keeps increasing.


Macular Degeneration And Smoking

The center of the eye’s retina is affected by age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  This part of the eye is responsible for central, sharp vision that is needed for performing regular daily tasks like driving and reading.

“Blind spots” are caused by macular degeneration.  Central vision is frequently severely impaired.  Among Americans who are 65 years old and older, the leading cause for permanent vision loss is AMD.

Studies have shown that smokers are three times more at risk for developing AMD when compared with individuals who have never been smokers.  Female smokers over the age of 80 are 5 1/2 times more likely to get AMD compared to non-smokers who are the same age.

However, not everything is bad.  Since smoking is the largest controllable risk factor that AMD is associated with, quitting smoking can help to reduce your risk for developing AMD, no matter how old you are when you stop.

Quitting smoking can help to lessen the risk for developing eye conditions causing vision loss.  This infographic goes into depth.

Uveitis And Smoking

Uveitis (inflammation of the uvea, or middle layer of the eye) is a serious eye disease.  It can result in total loss of vision.

Vital eye structures are harmed, including the retina and iris.  This can lead to various complications, including retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataract.

There is evidence that shows that smoke are much more likely to have uveitis than non-smokers are, and it appears that smoking is linked to developing uveitis.  There was one study that found that the risk for having this condition for smokers was 2.2 greater.


Diabetic Retinopathy And Smoking

The retina’s blood vessels are damaged by diabetic retinopathy and may result in loss of vision.

Over 5 million Americans who are 40 years old and older get diabetic retinopathy from having type 1 or 2 diabetes.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that by 2050 the number will increase to around 16 million.


Smoking can double the risk for developing diabetes. 

Smoking also has a causal relationship with both the progression and development of diabetic retinopathy, as well as many other types of diabetes complications.

Individuals who smoke have as much as a four times greater chance for going blind when they are elderly.


Dry Eyes And Smoking

Dry eye syndrome refers to the eye’s surface having insufficient tears.  They are needed for keeping the eyes healthy and lubricated.  Individuals who suffer from dry eye may experience watery eyes, “foreign body” sensation, itchiness and red eyes.

Tobacco smoke can worsen dry eye and is a well known eye irritant- among second-hand smokers as well- especially for those who wear contact lens.  Smokers are twice as more likely to develop dry eyes.

Effective Help for Joint and Muscle Pain

Humans and animals both will eventually develop at least some degree of joint and muscle pain. The degeneration of the viscous material that normally protects the bone surface in joints will happen over time, and the process can be accelerated with strenuous activities. This condition is referred to as osteo-arthritis, and the condition is extremely painful in advanced cases. As the years pass, the body is also more susceptible to muscle pain than would not normally occur in a younger individual. The typical response to this discomfort is a reduction in motion and activity which only adds a feeling of stiffness to the mix.

Effective Help for Joint and Muscle Pain

While the process of aging cannot be stopped or even slowed very much, taking a cetyl myristoleate supplement (CM0) can reduce its effects on joints as muscles somewhat. Temporary relief of joint and muscle pain can be found with the application of ointments that increase circulation or applying a source of gentle heat, but truly effective relief must come from an internal source.

CMO is made up of cetylated fatty acids from natural sources including sperm whales, beavers and mice. By combining the CMO with fatty acids and cetyl alcohol found in coconuts, the CMO molecule is formed. A 650 mg softgel taken three times each day helps to increase lubrication to achy joints and also has an anti-inflammatory effect. Since inflammation is one reason arthritis advances, taking the supplement can slow the progress of the disease. The increased lubrication within the joint makes motion easier and less painful, so there is a lower occurrence of stiff joints.

It is an unfortunate fact that horses, dogs and even cats also suffer from stiff and painful joints. Cetyl-M is widely prescribed by veterinarians to help alleviate the discomfort of elderly pets and horses. While house pets typically do not suffer from arthritis at an early age, horses are more susceptible when they experience heavy use. The supplement is available in tablet form for dogs and cats, and also in a powder that can be added to horse feed.

Growing older is not a good experience for any living being, but proper supplementation can help in reducing some of the associated pain and stiffness. Although CMO is only one of many joint and muscle pain remedies available, it has been shown to be one of the most effective.

Having a Healthcare Team is Important

Life can often become overwhelming, and it can be difficult to find time to schedule appointments. Making time to visit doctors is an important task that just cannot be overlooked. There are many benefits to seeing healthcare professionals on a regular basis. Many people check in with their doctor annually for a report on their health, and they may have their teeth cleaned by a local dentist’s office. Dentists are often associated with teeth cleanings, but they also offer many other services.

Having a Healthcare Team is Important

Taking Care of Teeth

Dentists generally recommend that patients have their teeth cleaned twice per year. However, many people struggle with dental issues from years of poor dental care. Other patients may be more prone to tooth decay. Dental care and cosmetic dentistry are options to help patients who want to improve their teeth.

Wearing a Smile

A smile can make a dramatic impact on a person’s appearance, and first impressions almost always require an enthusiastic smile. People who do not like the way their smile looks often refrain from smiling. There are many options available to enhance a smile. For example, having a cracked or chipped tooth repaired can make a difference. Teeth that are not spaced out evenly can also be repaired so that a smile is balanced.

Having Pearly Whites

Teeth often become discolored over time. A cup of coffee in the morning or a glass of tea at lunch can cause teeth to lose their white hue. Teeth may begin to show a slight tint of yellow or brown. This can cause people to feel uncomfortable when making presentations or meeting new people. There is no need for discolored teeth to cause a problem in social settings. Options are available to restore teeth to a brighter shade that enhances a smile and appears natural.

Having a memorable and enthusiastic smile is a characteristic that can make a lasting positive impression. A Brooklyn dentist has the experience to recreate a smile that can make social events easier to handle. Flashing a great smile can make interacting with others a more positive experience.

What Should You Do If One of Your Loved Ones is Disabled ?

If one of your loved ones is disabled, you naturally want to make it easier for them to get around and perform their daily activities. Certain disabilities are more difficult to deal with than others. However, there are a wide range of products that are available to make the lives of disabled people more livable than they would have been many years ago. You should do some research and find out if there are any problems that your loved one is having. Then you can go online to see if there are any products that are designed to assist a disabled person who is having that problem. Here are a few examples of ways to make your disabled loved one’s life easier.

What Should You Do If One of Your Loved Ones is Disabled

1. Raised toilet seat

For many old people, even those who are not disabled, standing up can be a big challenge. Therefore, this can turn going to the toilet into a major ordeal. If your loved one has a problem standing up, you should buy him or her a raised toilet seat. This allows your loved one to sit on the toilet so that they are not so far down that they are not able to stand up when they are finished.

2. Reacher

Once again, this is a device that is helpful to all elderly people, not only the ones who suffer from a disability. A reacher is simply a pole that has a grip on one end. The other end has a clamp that will grab objects when the person squeezes the trigger on the grip. If there is an object on a high shelf that the person can’t reach, he or she can use the reacher to grab it. It can also be used to pick up things off the ground so the person does not need to bend over. This will prevent elderly people from straining their back. HME Medical Shop has a nice selection of reachers to choose from. They can be purchased by going to

3. Oxygen cylinder cart

If your disabled loved one needs to use an oxygen tank to help with a breathing disorder, he or she will need a cart to carry it around. The carts do not weigh a lot and will allow your loved one to still be active. Changing oxygen cylinders is very simple. There are carts made for specific types of cylinders, so make sure you buy the right one.

Mental Health

Sheriff Al Nienhuis and his staff are committed to providing our first responders with Crisis Intervention Team Training. This year four weeks were set aside to accomplish educating our personnel. According to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) “The Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program is a model community initiative designed to improve the outcomes of police interactions with people living with mental illnesses. CIT programs are built on local partnerships between law enforcement agencies, mental health providers and advocates (local NAMI Affiliates). They involve individuals living with mental illnesses and families at all levels of decision-making and planning. CIT programs typically provide 40 hours of training for law enforcement on how to better respond to people experiencing a mental health crisis. Equally important, CIT programs provide a forum for partner organizations to coordinate diversion from jails to mental health services”.

Mental Health

To date the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has completed three out of the four training sessions and we have graduated 37 Deputy Sheriffs from our operations division, 11 Telecommunicators, 15 Deputy Sheriffs from our Detention Division, and 3 of our detention nursing staff. In total the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has graduated 66 of our personnel through Crisis Intervention Team Training. The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office will host one more C.I.T. Training in 2015. The next class is scheduled in October where we plan to graduate another 40 students in Crisis Intervention Team training.

At the conclusion of each course we offer participants the opportunity to complete surveys in order to effectively evaluate the training. Here are a few of the quotes from those surveys by Sheriff’s Office personnel in response to the individuals living with mental illness who present as part of our C.I.T. program:

“This will help with future contacts on patrol. Thank you again you are each such a blessing”.

“Such courage to tell personal stories to strangers yet understanding the positive impact they give us”.

“I really appreciate and enjoy what this course has to offer, it has opened my eyes and changed the way I view mental illness”.

Mental Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Only 25% of adults with mental health symptoms believed that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness”. Sheriff Al Nienhuis wants those who live with mental illness to know that we care.

Mental Health

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has embarked on a journey to educate our first responders in Crisis Intervention Team Training. By educating our personnel in C.I.T. training we are working to ensure good communication between our First Responders and the public we serve thus resulting in successful outcomes.

One of the most common types of mental illness is depression which effects more than a quarter of the U.S. adult population. Did you know that there are services available right here in Hernando County for those who live with mental illness? Our partners with Bay Care Behavioral Health and NAMI Hernando are here to help.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Alliance on Mental Illness…

Bay Care Behavioral Health

Image courtesy of:…/05/mental-health-awareness-mo…/


How to Get Rid of Bloating and Excess Water Weight

While I love hearing about new ways to improve my body, I absolutely cannot stand diets that promise fast results as long as I practically starve myself. Which is why I was so pleasantly surprised to read about Jillian Michael’s Diet Drink Recipe. While this recipe is relatively old news, I hadn’t heard about it until recently. It’s designed to help our body lose the bloat and excess water weight we carry around.

How to Get Rid of Bloating

For the last seven days, I have been drinking this recipe and have been very surprised by my results. The drink is made up of cranberry juice (1 tablespoon), lemon juice (2 tablespoons), distilled water (60 oz.), and dandelion root tea (1 bag per 60 oz.). These four ingredients are each natural diuretics on their own, so when combined the drink allows for an increase in normal urination—basically, you pee a lot all day. The drink is an addition to your regular meals and drinks—not made to replace any of your normal food intakes.

Each morning I woke up and made a new 60oz. pitcher of the four ingredients and drank it throughout the day. The tea, combined with lemon and cranberry juice, was a bit bitter but it really just tasted like water with lemon, which is something I drink everyday anyways. By the end of the seven days, I lost four pounds and probably used the bathroom a thousand times—or at least that’s what it felt like. You’ll find a number of variations of this recipe online, but I used the recipe I saw was most common and saw results. After more research, I found there were a number of beneficial factors to each of the ingredients.

Dandelion Root Tea: there are a number of health benefits to drinking this kind of tea as it promotes bladder and digestive health. Dandelion root is beneficial to the kidneys in that it aids in flushing out toxins while also lowering the risk of urinary tract infections. The dandelion also acts as a regulator for the digestive systems as it helps to reduce discomfort caused by gas, bloating, heartburn or indigestion. One bag per pitcher for Jillian’s diet recipe should do the trick to get your body the health benefits provided by dandelion root tea. This type of tea may be found at any GNC, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or online. Some have even found it at Walmart or Target.

Sugar-Free Cranberry Juice: while it is really tough to find straight up cranberry juice, it is definitely worth the effort. Cranberry juice on its own is said to be a natural remedy for bladder infections and also a great form of prevention for UTI’s. Cranberry fruit is among the highest in antioxidant content of all fruit and may help in the prevention of cancer. For the purpose of this recipe, finding sugar free cranberry juice is important as the more sugar that is added to the juice, the lower the antioxidant level and the less beneficial for your health. I was unable to find sugar-free cranberry juice, but I replaced it with a diet cranberry juice, which contained only 1g of sugar. Each pitcher gets one tablespoon of sugar-free cranberry juice.

Lemon Juice: lemon in general is claimed to be the weight loss miracle food due to its acidic quality and alleged ability to stimulate digestive enzymes in the body. It is also a great source of vitamin C, which may assist in burning fat or providing an energy boost for your body. A 2008 study on lab mice showed that lemon juice helped to suppress weight gain and fat accumulation. Each pitcher gets two tablespoons of lemon juice.

The pounds that you’ll lose are strictly water weight, so once you’ve stopped drinking the diet drink you’ll gain most of the weight back. But, it’s a great way to get rid of the bloat right before a big event or just a way to get your body feeling lighter. While this recipe is not ideal to use every single day for an elongated period of time, I definitely will go back to this routine every couple of months for the health benefits each ingredient provides.


7 Foods That Reduce Stress

This year people are beginning new resolutions and personal goals. While some may be considering losing those extra 15 pounds, eating healthier, or making better decisions, we are all faced with the challenges of bettering ourselves while also keeping up with others around us. Let’s face it: life can be stressful, no matter how much we are enjoying it! So in an effort to do all of the above and remain stress-free (or generally lower our stress levels) here are some essential foods that will not only be good for your body in terms of nutrients, but also help reduce stress on a daily basis.

7 Foods That Reduce Stress


Though asparagus has the tendency to make a funny odor in your urine, they are low in calories and high in folate and vitamin B, which are both essential in the creation of serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that is directly correlated with affecting your mood in a positive way.


These are naturally good for you because of all the vitamins they contain but fruits that are especially high in vitamin C are even better. Vitamin C combats stress and this antioxidant fights the free radicals that are released when you’re stressed. A recent study conducted using 120 participants showed that those who were given vitamin C had lower blood pressure and cortisol levels after having a stress test administered. Fruits like berries (strawberries, raspberries ,blueberries  and blackberries) contain extremely high levels of antioxidants, which have been seen to sharpen one’s cognition.


Because of the center seed, avocados are considered to be a fruit. However, due to its fat content avocados should be eaten in moderation. They are a great source of vitamin E, lutein, and folate. Avocados are made up of monounsaturated fats and are rich in potassium (it has more than bananas), which aids in lowering blood pressure along with stress.


In general, tea is beneficial in all its forms. Getting in the habit of drinking tea, even just a cup a day, would only be in the favor of your health. In particular, chamomile tea has not only been proven to promote sleep but also to dramatically reduce anxiety, according to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania. Green tea contains caffeine but it also has the amino acid known as theanine, which is good for keeping the body in its best form. Green tea trims the waist ling while also enhancing mental performance.

Dried Apricots

Apricots have high levels of magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant, which aid in fighting off both stress and anxiety.

Grass-Fed Beef

Red meat often has bad connotations associated with it, but if eaten right it can lead to only beneficial results. Grass-fed beef is void of added hormones, antibiotics, and other fluff that aren’t naturally produced. Instead, this type of beef has higher levels of antioxidants, is naturally lower in fat, and contains 2-4 more times of omega 3-fatty acids. Grass-fed beef can get a little pricey so as a substitute, asking your butcher for a lean cut will do the essentials for a portion of the price.


Not only are these tasty treats great to munch on to curb cravings when you’re hungry, they are also a great source for the most essential vitamins our bodies need to remain Zen. Almonds are especially good for their levels of vitamin B2 and E, zinc, and magnesium. As mentioned before, vitamin E helps combat the stressed induced free radicals, which cause heart disease and cancer.  Cashews have high levels of zinc in them as well. Low levels of zinc have been linked to depression and anxiety and since our bodies do not store zinc, it’s important that we get some in our bodies each day. Walnuts contain some of the largest levels of omega 3-fatty acids and other polyphenols, also good for memory loss prevention. Not only do all these types of nuts contain the nutrients needed to lower stress, but they also provide our bodies with even greater health benefits.

So now you know foods that reduce stress and how to reduce stress. Good luck .