Wake-Up Call (VIDEO)

CHAPTER 1

  

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Wake-Up Call (VIDEO)

The old adage, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure," is more relevant than ever, even in today's world of high-tech medicine and science. Neurologist, wellness expert, and author Dr. John Castaldo talks about the need to take action before it's too late.

Control Blood Pressure

What Is Blood Pressure?
Blood pressure is the force of the circulating blood against the inner walls of your blood vessels. Although blood surges through your blood vessels, there is always pressure exerted on their walls. The amount of pressure is determined by how much blood your heart pumps and the amount of resistance to blood flow in your arteries. Read more

Manage Diabetes

What Is Diabetes?
In diabetes, the body does not produce or properly use insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugars, starches, and other nutrients into energy.

The two major forms of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes was once called "juvenile diabetes" because onset usually occurs in childhood or adolescence. It results from the failure of the pancreas to produce insulin. People with type 1 diabetes need to take insulin daily to sustain life. Read more

Medical Checkups

Regular Checkups
Most doctors believe that people should have regular checkups as a part of preventive treatment. Regular health exams can help find problems before they begin, or in their early stages, when the chances of successful treatment are best. Read more

Manage Stress

The Stress Reaction
The stress reaction is produced by your body's autonomic nervous system (ANS), which controls functions that happen more or less automatically in your body, like respiration, heart rate, and digestion. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) are both parts of the ANS, and they act in opposition to one another. The SNS generally increases physiological arousal and creates the "fight-or-flight" response, while the PNS generally decreases physiological arousal and is responsible for calming your body down after a stressful incident. Read more

Get Enough Sleep

We don't really know why we need to sleep, but scientists do have some theories. One is that reduced brain activity during non-REM ("rapid eye movement") sleep may give damaged brain cells and other cells of the body a chance to repair themselves during "off" time. Another theory is that sleep gives neurotransmitter receptors called monoamines, associated with mood and learning, a chance to recover from the day's activities. Still another theory holds that the brain needs to sleep in order to form new memories and generate new synaptic connections. Read more

Social & Spiritual Support

Social interaction and support is vitally important to your well-being. Social wellness means successfully interacting with other people and maintaining meaningful personal relationships. Your ability to handle the stress of life is significantly enhanced when you have social support, whether from formal organizations (like churches or community organizations), or from informal sources, like family and friends. Read more

Environmental Toxins & Free Radicals

Environmental pollutants and toxins are all around us, and they have been convincingly linked to a wide variety of diseases and defects. While it's impossible to completely eliminate pollutants from your life, it is possible to limit your exposure. Read more

Keep It Clean

Germs are all around us, and unless you wash your hands frequently throughout the day, you can unwittingly spread illness and infection to yourself and others. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand washing is the "most important means of preventing the spread of infection." You can acquire dangerous microorganisms on your hands from a number places: other people, food, contaminated surfaces, animals, and animal wastes. If you don't wash your hands frequently, you can infect both yourself and others by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, and by touching surfaces and other people. The common cold, flu, and gastrointestinal disorders are among the ailments that can be spread this way. Read more

Avoid Addictions

Every addiction starts with gratification of some kind. Drugs of abuse work on different neurotransmitter systems in the brain, but they all act directly or indirectly on the brain's reward (mesolimbic) system and on the amygdala, flooding the reward circuit with dopamine and other neurotransmitters. Dopamine, which is associated with emotion, cognition, and feeling of pleasure, rewards natural behaviors, but drugs release 2 to 10 times the amount of dopamine that natural rewards do. Overstimulation of this system produces the euphoric feelings sought by drug users. Repeatedly activating the brain's reward system with supranatural stimuli results in reinforcement and addiction. Read more

Prevention Begins in Childhood

Obesity in children has risen dramatically worldwide. Worldwide, an estimated 1 in 10 children is overweight, a total of 155 million. Of those children, 30-45 million are obese. By 2010, nearly half of the children in North and South America and about 38% of the children in the European Union will be overweight. Read more

The Cardiovascular Continuum

Researchers have found that heart attacks and heart failure are really the late complications of a whole chain of events termed the cardiovascular continuum. The cardiovascular continuum links various risk factors, like hypertension, high blood cholesterol, and being overweight, with different types of heart disease. Heart disease can become progressively more severe, and more debilitating, throughout a person's life. Heart disease that occurs later in the continuum, like atherosclerosis, heart tissue death, and heart failure, is difficult and sometimes impossible to reverse. Read more