3 Main Sources of Stress and How To Get Away from Them

Stress is truly an inevitable phenomenon in a person’s life. Basically, anything that poses a challenge or a threat to a person’s well-being is a source of stress. Psychology provides a more in-depth definition of the word. It states that stress generally refers to two things – the psychological perception of pressure, on the one hand, and the body’s response to it, on the other, both of which involve multiple systems, from metabolism to muscles to memory.

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Day by day, individuals encounter events that can either challenge or trouble their days, inducing a certain response of the body. This leads to much more complicated negative effects in one’s life. This includes a physical, mental and even social aspect.

For these reasons, one can see the importance of having a good stress management system in order to address these effects. However, before anything else, it is important to be aware of the problem, to find out the root cause of this stress. Acknowledging these sources and accepting it is the first step towards handling any stressful situation. When all sources have all been laid out, it is now much easier to address each and every one of them.

Work & Education

Work and education seem to be the top tier in the sources of stress. Especially now that this generation is struggling with high demands in school and at work, either lack of income or failing grades can break a person’s will to endure these harsh times. In today’s hectic world, the workplace (or study place, for that matter) often seems like an emotional roller coaster. Long hours, tight deadlines and ever-increasing demands can leave one feeling worried, uncertain and overwhelmed. When stress exceeds one’s ability to cope, it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to a person’s mind and body.

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The American Psychological Association enumerated a number of reasons why stress at work is overwhelming. The study lists low salaries, excessive workloads, few opportunities for growth and development, conflicting demands and lack of social support as common reasons for work stress.

 

If stress on the job is interfering with one’s ability to work and manage his or her personal life, it’s time to take action. No matter what one does for a living, or how stressful one’s job is, there are plenty of things a person can do to reduce the overall stress levels and regain a sense of control at work.

It’s easy to feel pressure to be available 24 hours a day. What a person can do is to establish some work-life boundaries. That might mean making a rule not to check email from home in the evening, or not answering the phone during dinner. Although people have different preferences when it comes to how much they blend their work and home life, creating some clear boundaries between these realms can reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress that comes along with it.

Similarly, education can bring about a variety of stresses. Over-scheduling is a big source of school stress, experts say. Many high-school students enroll in more honors or advanced placement courses than they can handle, and then pile extracurricular activities on top of it all. The challenge is to strike a balance between study and extracurricular activities. If a person feels overly stressed and overwhelmed, look for ways to cut back on school work and extra activities.

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The best stress-reducer may simply be sharing one’s stresses with a close friend or relative. The act of talking it out and getting support and sympathy, especially face-to-face, can be a highly effective way of blowing off steam and regaining calmness.

Finances

One of the reasons why people study and work is to earn enough to sustain their way of living. Work and school, as mentioned before, are two sources of stress. Consequently, one’s finances offer a whole new level of stress on their own. As a matter of fact, financial stress can have major effects on one’s health.

If a person constantly finds himself consumed with how much money he has, and how he’s going to keep a roof over his head, feed his family and live a normal life, this stressed-out individual may develop, sooner or later, a stress-related health condition. Yes, it’s normal to feel worried, anxious or down when times are hard. However, there are lots of things people can do to help themselves in difficult situations.

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When one has been made redundant or has been struggling with debt, feeling low or anxious is a normal response. Losing one’s job can affect self-esteem and financial circumstances, which in turn can trigger emotional distress. Fear of redundancy can also lead to worry, which is a very common human emotion.

The Bank of America provided a great way to deal with financial stress, advising that a person should sit down and write out his or her financial stress points. Money problems can seem like those cartoon snowballs, rolling downhill, gathering speed and size, and making every day financial transactions seem overwhelming.

Instead, one should just focus on two or three financial problems at a time. Say for example, when a person has already committed buying a new home, managing a mortgage or a trust deed should be part of the primary solution in order to maintain proper financial status. Another good way to deal with financial problems is to contact a counseling service. These professionals can guide a person through finances with much efficiency and supervision.

Family & Relationships

A person’s family is his or her getaway from the ruthless pressures of this world. Nonetheless, there are times when the family itself is the main source of it all. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it is inevitable that a person gets stressed out by  family. Then again, stress caused by the people one loves can definitely be one of the hardest things to handle. As the saying goes, “You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.”

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There are key steps in getting away with stress of family, and each is unique to each circumstance. Children, elderly parents, and visiting relatives all can be sources of stress. They can bring much happiness and fun to their relatives, but they can also send anyone to a certain level of exhaustion and discomfort.

Whether one stays at home or goes out to work, is single or married, has one child or six, the challenges can be enormous in their own way. Staying calm and collected all the time seems like an impossible goal. Even small hassles can add up until there are moments that one will just burst. True enough, these stresses won’t just disappear. As such, steps like listening and socializing with other people who share the same stress would reap huge benefits.

Although a family may have similarities because of culture and upbringing, there are times when differences in personalities bring about conflict and debate. This comes more often from younger or older family members as they grew up at a different time, and they have different views.

Ultimately, the goal is to get out of the immediate confrontation in order to take the time to acknowledge that your family member is simply having a physical and emotional reaction to a stressful situation. Disengaging from a heated argument or debate makes it much easier to avoid any possible negative feelings that may come after. Sometimes that’s enough to give one’s head enough room to push through the fog of frustration and anger.

Unique Exercise Programs You Need to Try Right Now

Have you ever felt tired of doing the same old workout over and over? Has it become so monotonous that it seems more tiring than body pumping? You are not alone with these kinds of sentiments over the same old exercise programs out there. In fact, a large number of gym goers tend to feel unhappy at a certain period of time due to various reasons.

man doing squats

Going to the gym on a daily basis can be tedious and boring once you reach a certain point wherein you have already gained the mastery of practically all the equipment in the gym or seem to have your progress stalled. Obviously there are lots of benefits when you regularly go to the gym. With this in mind, you can still find an exciting workout while keeping your body well worked out.

A plethora of exercise alternatives can give your mind the appeal it needs to reach your much desired progress. At the gym, you can start by getting eccentric with weights.  Exercises like the barbell hip thrust, which strengthens your glutes and backside, can be a good start. You can also opt for zercher squats which place weights on your elbows while squatting up and down, making your legs and abs stronger. Add in the best energy boosters for working out and expect a rejuvenated drive for grinding it in the gym.

However, if you want to really get out of your normal routine, there are more workout programs that you can participate in to eliminate the dull feel. Here are some of these creatively fun and effective programs that you can do.

A Heavenly Body with Lightsaber Workout

The legendary movie series just got hyped up to the next level. For gym rats who are fans of this saga, it’s the best of both worlds. The StarWars-Themed workout program is one of the new and exciting ways to get fit while enjoying the intergalactic vibe. The workout incorporates martial arts, calisthenics, and bodyweight moves that surely will get you exhilarated.

lightsaber workout

The workout consists of a warmup, three intense circuits of four exercises (completed AMRAP for time), and a cooldown. Besides a lightsaber, the only thing you need is a pair of gliding discs. After performing each circuit, you are then instructed to rest for 60 seconds by focusing on your breathing and restoring your energy.

With this exercise routine, Instructors always remind you to make sure you maintain proper form. Although this sounds like a complete program in itself, you still gain better results if you add this workout to your routine. The promise is that your endurance and total-body strength become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.

If you are up for other types of martial arts workout program, then you can also opt for the Forza. A core workout based on samurai swordship, Forza doesn’t require actual blades. Rather, you can use a broomstick or wiffle ball bat to mimic a katana blade and activate your core and shoulder muscles in a new way, burning calories and increasing endurance.

forza workout

There are three basic movements in the Forza class: half-cuts which is chopping the sword from overhead so that the tip is level with your neck; full-cuts, where the tip of the sword lands at the navel; and diagonal cuts coming over either shoulder. They sound basic, but precision is crucial in every routine. You would be surprised to see how difficult it can be to master the motion. Plus, you hold on to the sword for the entirety of the session, meaning you get no break or change to reposition as you progress through the program moves.

Surfing Workouts can give you the Curves

It wouldn’t be hard to figure out why surfers rock those tanned 6-packs. The logic is basic – you get to use your core frequently, and you get to build its strength more. That is why experts came up with workouts that can shape your figure like a surfer, without the actual waves. Surfer Workouts have become a popular trend in 2010, incorporating yoga to put the cherry on top of the routine.

surfing workout

One of the established gyms for such workout program is Paddle Into Fitness. Owned by professional stand-up paddleboarder Gillian Gibree, Paddle Into Fitness began offering stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga classes in 2009 in the San Diego Bay. You do a dynamic warm-up on the beach before heading to the water for a variety of cardio drills and bodyweight training on the board.

Bonus: The instability of the board takes the intensity of any move up a notch. If you thought triangle pose or single-leg training is a challenge on the gym floor, try doing it on a paddleboard. After a few sessions, you’d see major gains in coordination, endurance, and overall strength.

Another development center for this kind of program is SurfSet Toronto, which offers training on boards that are done comfortably indoors and much more challenging. For one, the board is not stable – it’s balanced on three stability balls. Your body goes into tremendous physical strain as it works the supporting muscles groups right away, as well as your major muscle groups which allows you get that leaner look after.

Slash off the Pounds with Pound Drumming

A study conducted by the Universities of Gloucestershire and Chichester has concluded that drumming is an equivalent workout to playing in a Premier League football match. This study is based on the findings that a drummer and a football player sustained similar heart rates throughout a 90 minute period.  The important fact to take away from this is that individuals with differing levels of fitness can benefit equally from different intensities of activity.

For example, an unfit person may gain the same benefit from 30 minutes of walking as a fit individual would get from 30 minutes of jogging.  The fitter your body gets, the more you have to do to challenge it and to gain the benefits from exercise.

pound drumming

Therefore the fact that the drummer’s heart rate is the same (averaging 140-150 BPM over 90 minutes) as the footballer’s shows that drumming is as challenging to the body as the game of football is to the footballer. Despite initial appearances, drumming isn’t just about using your arms.  If you watch a professional drummer at work, you’d see that the whole body is working to produce the beat; even his/her feet are pumping to work the foot pedals.

POUND is a full-body cardio jam session, combining easy-to-follow cardio moves with strength training and drumming. The workout fuses Pilates, isometric movements, plyometric and yoga-based poses into a 45-minute series. Burn up to 600 calories, strengthen and sculpt infrequently used muscles, and drum your way to a leaner, slimmer physique, all while rocking out to your favourite music.

The study shows that you don’t have to play premier league football to achieve the benefits of exercise. Take a look at drumming as an example; drumming can be a good exercise if played at a high level of intensity for a prolonged period of time.

This type of activity also requires a high level of exertion to generate continual vigorous movement, not to mention a certain level of accuracy and coordination that professional musicians are gifted with.  This is why experts in exercise and workouts made a way to cross the two seemingly unrelated things together.

3 Reasons Why Getting Insured Early is Smart

As this generation gains more and more access to a widespread knowledge about the inevitabilities of life, many are leaning towards getting themselves on track for a healthier way of living. This is the main reason why many people are more eager to take part in hearty dietary plans and regular exercise, as well as professional guidance regarding their health.

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People are now more aware that when unfortunate events happen in their lives, it is not only their health that will be greatly impacted. Many have already foreseen great financial stresses that may come to their businesses and to their families once these things happen. For this reason, life insurance is essentially a necessity.

True enough, life can be so unpredictable that the acceptance of the inevitability of some bad circumstance to happen is crucial. This is why life insurance plans have become a pavement for many in the United States, and has also been prominent in many parts of the world. In the U.S, 2/3 of the population have already availed life plans because of the emphasis of the government for its significance. These plans have proven to be a useful tool to help a person and his family to minimize the problems financially, as well as to continue financially stable life even after the policy holder is deceased.

What presents itself as a debate is whether a person should already avail a life insurance at a young age or when he has just started his career. The alternate question would be if it is better to be established financially first before gaining access to a life insurance. The obvious answer is to have resources first, but this article begs to differ. Here are 3 reasons why getting life insurance early is the best way to do it:

It’s Financially Smart

One thing that stands as a custom for any successful business is that it should minimize expenditures and maximize profits. Business owners do the best they can to cut luxurious services or even equipment in their establishments, while still producing at the optimum level. That same thinking is applicable for an employee wanting to be successful in his career.

Nonetheless, being money-smart is not a one-time thing if a person really wants to be a significant player in the market or make a name in his line of work. It should be a consistent attitude that roots from culturing one’s self to be wise financially. Thus, financial management starts personally.

Financial advisers would always tell their clients that there are a variety of ways on how to handle finances. It should take into account both the financial present and future of any person. Saving is an important facet in everyone’s financial status. This is because there comes a time when financial problems may arise or business may not be going too well. It is in these bad circumstances where money saved can provide its best benefit.

Any good saver first establishes where to put his or her money. This can be manifested in opening bank accounts, preferably savings accounts where the person can deposit his money. An alternative method of saving is investing.

smart money

Investing is integral for people who are aware of the financial wonders it may bring about. Investing early is much more preferred since money requires time to grow. However, where does one invest? Banking is the most common used approach for saving money, and is a form of investing as well. Over time, money saved in a bank account can accumulate interest. Investing the money on the stocks market can also be an option for those who want to involve themselves in trading.

While everything mentioned tackled gains, financial management also puts a highlight on considering future events like retirement. Being able to get an individual insured is one of the better things when it comes to finances. Getting an insurance policy which entitles a person financial protection or reimbursement against losses is imperative for a money-smart individual.

This is because the insurance protects him from the risks of financial losses, damages or liability for damage caused by a third party. Insurance companies can vary in wide arrays, but the most significantly popular ones involve health and protection. Rigorous medical examinations are involved in getting the actual policy, but smarter people opt to take advantage of insurance providers that give no exam insurance quote. In turn, this a simpler approach to highly beenfcial engagement.

It Prompts a Healthy Lifestyle

While the young may spend most of his or her energies balancing work, social life and personal life, some people are finding it hard to keep them aligned with the healthy way of living. The most common problem for people in the states is weight-management, as more people are getting obese due to improper eating habits and lack of exercise.

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Another thing that goes unnoticed is most people are depending on alcohol as a stress-reliever. According to a United States survey in 2014, 87.6 percent of people ages 18 or older reported that they drank alcohol at some point in their lifetime; 71.0 percent reported that they drank in the past year; 56.9 percent reported that they drank in the past month.

Simply put, a person who is just starting his career does not need any medical hindrance along his way. What he needs is total dedication to his work, aligned with an awareness of the needs for his health. Getting a life insurance at this point of time helps a person to have more discipline within him, assessing the things his body needs and doesn’t need.

This comes from the fact that life insurances are designed to have a series of medical examinations to check whether you can avail one or not. Having a desire of getting insured prompts a person to avoid the unhealthy lifestyle, making him more prepared for these tests. The future implications are purely positive as many who have disciplined themselves at a younger age would have less medical issues as they grow older.

People Make Smarter Options with the Constraints

Being young and just a starter in a career makes a person bound to have constraints financially. With little resources to spare, these limits make a great impact in purchasing of life insurances. According to the Department of Financial Services, the premium rate for a life insurance policy is grounded on two fundamental concepts which are mortality and interest. Often, a third variable is the expense factor which is defined as the sum the company adds to the cost of the policy to cover operating costs such as selling insurance, investing the premiums, and paying claims.

life insurance policy

By understanding the concept behind life insurance pricing, a young person can now be able to pinpoint what factors affect the prices. With the large number of companies offering plans, it is paramount that one compares these prices to another. One simple thing to do is to get several quotes from these companies. Avoiding policy riders and additional insurances such as option to purchase child policies or more insurance is important to cut prices as well.

Insurance coverage is the amount of risk or liability that is covered for an individual or entity by way of insurance services. With several company quotes at hand, there are easy comparisons as to how much the total sum would be. However, it is also an important factor to inspect the coverage of these life insurances since not all cheapest policies are good.

3 Ways Pets Can Help Boost an Employee’s Production

As the demand for services and goods continues upward, many employers are aggressive in pushing their workers to their full production capacity. This ultimately means more late nights at work for employees, and often times, they even need to perform certain tasks that do not actually belong in their job descriptions. This may be a good reason why many of today’s working class is suffering from depression and other related illnesses due to work stress.

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Numerous studies show that job stress is by far one of the major sources of stress for American adults as it has escalated progressively over the past few decades.  Increased levels of job stress, as assessed by the perception of having little control but high demands at work, have been associated with increased rates of heart attack, hypertension and other disorders.

In New York, Los Angeles and other US business prime spots, the relationship between job stress and heart attacks is so well acknowledged that any police officer who suffers a coronary event on or off the job (like having a heart attack sustained while on a fishing trip or at a gambling spree in Las Vegas) is assumed to have a work related injury and is compensated accordingly.

What can be noted here is that as much as this generation demands the full capacity of each individual, people must also learn to cope with alternative approaches as to how they can overcome work stress.

As such, one of the easiest and most comforting ways to do just that is by owning a pet!

How exactly do pets give employees their much needed boost for work?

Come home to a Fluffy Friend

Employees are often subject to insurmountable amounts of stresses not only from work, but pressure from family, friends and other relationships. In this regard, the human psychology may be subjected to so much stretch and strain that mental ailments can come easily at a certain point. This is why it is vital that people take time to just relax and feel the air.

How does one go about getting some important R and R? One of the more fun and novel ways is adopting or keeping a pet.

Owning a dog or cat can make a person feel much happier and more relaxed. In fact, playing with a dog or cat can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine which are responsible for the feeling of being calm and serene. Similarly, by being relaxed, people are less likely to have heart diseases.

According to studies, having pets like dogs can make one less likely to have heart disease. This is because owners exercise more when walking their pets and therefore, induce lower blood pressure. Lower blood pressure means fewer reasons to be stressed, and less stress means a happier outlook in life.

Also, relaxation can come from other sources. This is where physical activities play a major role towards a more serene lifestyle. Aside from its evident effects on the body, physical exercises can also help the brain become more active as it is when doing mental exercise. This is due to the fact that the most powerful brain boosters are actions which incorporate both aerobic activity and coordination.

happy-dog

Physical activities, like sports, essentially improve one’s mood, improve concentration, as well as mend bad sleeping habits. This bridges the physical and perceptual aspects that make up a person’s overall mental health. This is where pets can assist anyone in starting off to get the most benefit. Since these lovely animals live actively and are always sniffing around places, people are more motivated in playing them which can actually be a form of human exercise.

Boosted Confidence equals Better Opportunities

In the game of business, the ones who are not afraid to take the risks are the ones who are likely to succeed. However, before becoming an aggressive employee that the company needs, it is important to know that mental stability and a great sense of confidence in him or herself is needed to get the job done.

Mental health proves to be a major marker of having good overall health. In this regard, it is important to make efforts in training the mind to be mentally stable in order to handle complex tasks.  Unfortunately, training the mind can come as very linear and uninteresting for many people since it takes a lot of time to do so.

To create a whole new perspective on this dilemma, having pets provides a whole new outlook on mental health management. With pets, everything is brand new and exciting.  While providing wonders for their owner’s mental health, they give a certain light to the room that only pet lovers and owners can tell

Dogs, cats and birds can be great domestic companions. Often a dog is very intuitive and will seek out his owner when they are feeling down, refusing to allow that person to remain alone. A cat’s furry presence can bring new light to an owner’s moments of feeling down.  In times one is mentally and emotionally drained from his or her job, going home to an emotional support cat can have wondrous effects.

stress-cat

Also, owning a pet can make a person achieve a higher sense of confidence and trust in himself, especially with his capabilities and outlook on what he can do. Pets are valuable beings that help people see a different perspective on his or her likeability and amiability. Furthermore, since pets are social magnets, they give a sense of comfort and company especially if a person is an innate pet lover. Because of this, people with pets are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don’t have pets. They also visit the doctor less often for minor problems, and they are less likely prone to be depressed.

Fortified Immunity, Less Days off

Since many people who belong to the working class undergo various pressures both in the mind and body, it is inevitability for them to be sick. Considering both the employees and the employer, down times can be an unfortunate and unproductive situation. As a business owner and employer, absenteeism result to less production.  From the employee’s standpoint, it equates to less pay for them.

Thanks to having pets, all of these can be lessened dramatically.

Pets are very good boosters of immunity to diseases. Contrary to popular belief, research shows that a home with a furry friend can reduce the likelihood of childhood allergies by 14 percent.  Anyone who has ever wiped down muddy paw prints knows that dogs aren’t necessarily the cleanest family members. However, the extra dirt and allergens a dog introduces to a home actually helps strengthen the immune system in their human owners.

The ‘hygiene hypothesis’, which suggests human’s modern day obsession with cleanliness has left their bodies incapable of reacting appropriately to harmful elements. Not only does this persnickety approach to what people touch leave them open to attacks from bad bacteria, it also leaves their immune systems hyperactive to harmless substances like pollen, and results in allergies.

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Having said that, researchers from Arizona’s Department of Psychiatry have launched a study called “Dogs as Probiotics for People” to examine whether dogs can improve human health by acting as a probiotic, particularly in older people. Humans already have a strong emotional bond with their dogs, and the study explores the possible existence of a biological bond that can improve the immune system of both people and their pets. The researchers say their work will build on previous findings that dog owners are much more likely to share the same kind of “good” bacteria with their dogs.

Tooth Wisdom: 3 Things You Need to Know About Oral Health

Oral health is easily one of the more overlooked aspects in achieving good overall health. The reason behind this is that people tend to see it as a luxury rather than a necessity, and just another part of their life that does not directly or greatly affect their body. Obviously, this is wrong. While physical and mental health receives more focus, the importance of dental health is as significant as the two aforementioned.

The underlying fact still remains – good overall health is achieved only by receiving care for all the aspects.

old lady brushin teef

Many still wonder what the true essence of good dental care is. As such, it is important to shed some light on the significance of having such, find the link between oral health and general health, and learn the steps one must take to achieve the best dental health possible. Here are 3 things you should know about oral health:

Oral Health Means Much More Than Healthy Teeth

Oral health touches every aspect of human life but is often taken for granted. One’s mouth is in fact a window into the health of the body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.

A thorough oral examination can detect signs of nutritional deficiencies as well as a number of systemic diseases, including microbial infections, immune disorders, injuries, and some cancers. Indeed, the phrase the ‘mouth is a mirror’ has been used to illustrate the wealth of information that can be derived from examining oral tissues.

small smile

With regard to the broadened meaning of oral health, the definition of overall health has eventually evolved. The standard definition of health, which is “freedom from disease, defect, or pain,” defines what health is not, rather than what it is. A more positive definition, one that the World Health Organization established in 1948, states that health is a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not just the absence of infirmity.

As such, it follows that oral health has created a link with one’s well-being and physiological stability. Just as people now understand that nature and nurture are inextricably linked, and mind and body are both expressions of human biology, people must now recognize that oral health and general health are inseparable.

So often, many people do ignore the signs and symptoms of oral disease and dysfunction to their own detriment. Consequently, given the definition by WHO, this entails that oral health is in fact integral to general health. One cannot be healthy when oral health is taken for granted.

This is why oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities. The former is a critical component of the latter and both must be taken into consideration in the provision and design of healthcare services and programs to every community.

The Link Between Oral Health and General Health

To better understand how the mouth can affect the body, it helps to first determine what can possibly go wrong when oral health is disregarded in the first place.

Bacteria that build up on the teeth make gums prone to infection. The immune system then moves in to attack the infection and the gums become inflamed. Later on, the inflammation continues unless the infection is brought under control.

dentist and patient

Over time, inflammation and the chemicals it releases eat away at the gums and bone structure that hold teeth in place. The result is severe gum disease, known as periodontitis . Inflammation can also cause more serious problems to the rest of the body.

The working relationship between diabetes and periodontitis may be the strongest of all the connections between the mouth and body. People with diabetes have trouble processing sugar because of a lack of insulin, the hormone that converts sugar into energy. In this case, an inflammation in the mouth may serve as a sign that the body is beginning to lose the ability to control blood sugar.

Also, according to the Academy of General Dentistry people with chronic gum disease have a higher risk of having a heart attack. Researchers have learned that gum disease may contribute to heart disease because bacteria from infected gums can dislodge, enter the bloodstream, and attach to blood vessels and increase clot formation.

It has also been suggested that inflammation caused by gum disease may also trigger clot formation. Clots decrease blood flow to the heart, thereby causing an elevation in blood pressure and increasing the risk of a heart attack.

In line with symptoms evident in the mouth, doctors can actually collect and test saliva to detect other ailments based on a variety of substances that can be detected in the specimen. For example, cortisol levels in saliva are used to test for stress responses in newborn children. Fragments of certain bone-specific proteins may be checked, providing useful information in monitoring bone density in men and women who are prone to osteoporosis. Certain cancer markers and hormone levels are also detectable in saliva.

Routine saliva testing can also reveal the presence of illegal drugs, environmental toxins, hormones and antibodies indicating hepatitis or HIV infection, among other things. In fact, the ability to detect HIV-specific antibodies has led to the production of commercial, easy-to-use saliva test kits. In the future, saliva testing may replace blood testing as a means of diagnosing and monitoring diseases such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cirrhosis of the liver and many infectious diseases.

Steps to Take to be Orally Healthy

Taking good care of a person’s mouth, teeth and gums is already a healthy measure in itself. Good oral and dental hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease—and can help one keep his or her teeth as they get older.

It is important to always look for dental health professionals who are able to help you in deciding how to address any related health problems. Health Canada, a leading health authority in Canada, states that oral health is important at all stages of life. Seeking help from a Calgary pediatric dentist, or any other professional dental health practitioner, can mean the difference between a comfortable life and a sluggish day full of mouth related pains and aches.

Good dental health is a combination of proper daily maintenance (brushing and flossing) along with regular visits to dental care professional. People with crooked teeth, misaligned jaws and other problems with their mouth can often benefit from orthodontic procedures, such as braces or other techniques to correct the problems.

Braces – once for adolescents only – can now help people of all ages correct problems with their teeth and jaws. Not only do orthodontic procedures aid in improving the appearance, but it can also improve proper digestion (i.e. chewing of food) and even enhance speech problems, in some cases.

tooth friend

Researchers are also discovering more reasons to brush and floss. As stated, a healthy mouth may help ward off medical disorders. Consequently, an unhealthy mouth, especially if the person is inflicted with gum disease, may increase his or her risk of serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and preterm labor.

Many dentists also suggest eating a healthy diet and limiting between-meal snacks. Various related studies show that, as a rule of thumb, one should: replace toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed, avoid tobacco use, and lastly, visit the dentist regularly.

Dental Doohickey – 7 Popular Myths on Dental Health Debunked

It’s a common belief that you don’t have to go to a dentist if you’re not feeling any dental pain, and that white teeth is an indication of healthy teeth. Well, that’s not entirely true – nor is the fact that you don’t need to floss. To get everything straight, here are 7 myths on dental care debunked. You should keep them in mind so that you can fully take care of your teeth and achieve that perfect smile!

big scary smile

White teeth mean healthy teeth.

One of the most common myths is that having whiter teeth means that your teeth are healthy. Your teeth may be white, but this cannot really show if there is an infection or cavities between the teeth. Plus, not everyone can achieve the pearly white teeth advertised in TV ads. The natural color of teeth varies from one person to another, and people with healthy teeth could have more yellowish teeth than another person.

Moreover, teeth naturally become a little discolored as one ages. This is also the case with teeth when they begin to break down. As such, tooth discoloration has been associated with unhealthy teeth – but, again, it is not always the case.

Bleaching is dangerous for your teeth.

Bleaching has been practiced by dentists for years now, and it’s no longer dangerous to your dental health.

Bleaching is a popular service being offered in recent years, given the availability of the technology that allows patients to get whiter smiles faster and safer. However, prior to 90’s, the raw materials used to bleach teeth were acidic and would actually break down enamel. Nowadays, the bleaching materials have a neutral PH and do not show any evidence of damage to the enamel or root of the tooth.

whitened teeth

When you are bleaching your teeth, you are simply oxidizing your teeth using carbamide peroxide so that light refracts more favorably off the enamel. What can be dangerous is aggressively using high concentrations of whitening gels that can traumatize or shock the teeth. Prolonged use of bleaching could cause sensitivity, but once you stop using any bleaching solutions, traces of pain should go away naturally.

Beauty salons are excellent places to get your teeth whitened.

Contrary to popular belief, beauty salons shouldn’t be a place to go to when you want your teeth whitened. It is illegal for beauticians to offer tooth-whitening treatments, and it is solely done by licensed practitioners of dentistry. This means that tooth whitening can only be legally performed by a dentist, a dental therapist, dental hygienist or a clinical dental technician working on the prescription of a dentist. You also need to see a dentist before you see the other dental professionals to receive the treatment.

The rules are there to protect your teeth and gums. Dental medicine practitioners train for many years to understand the ins and outs of dental medicine, to recognize disease and to know what treatments best suit which patient and how to carry them out. The same is true with teeth whitening procedures. Professionals in tertiary hospitals or specialized facilities like Hamptons Dental use whitening gels and high grade equipment just to make sure that the whitening in your teeth is done right.

Brushing teeth immediately after eating is the best way to go.

Brushing your teeth immediately after eating can actually affect the enamel of your teeth. Surely, it’s tempting to grab your toothbrush and scrub away at your teeth straight after a meal to get rid of any food particles. In reality, this can be detrimental to your dental health as it can do more harm than good.

teeth brushin

Foods containing citric acid, like oranges, grapefruits and lemons, weaken tooth enamel. Brushing too soon after eating them can damage the enamel in its weakened state.

If you really want to stimulate the sensation of brushing, it is more recommended for you to chew sugar-free gum – it stimulates saliva flow, cleans the mouth of food debris and neutralizes plaque acids. When you do get around to cleaning your teeth a little later, try not to be too aggressive with your brushing. Far better is to invest in a powered toothbrush that scientists have proven to be a better, kinder option for your teeth.

The more sugar you eat, the worse off your teeth become.

Surely, sugar is bad for your teeth, but it’s actually not the sugar that is hurting them. Bacteria in the mouth needs processed sugar to survive, but if you don’t consume sugar and have poor oral hygiene habits, you are still prone to the same decay. Also, if you eat a lot of processed sugars you are more likely to incur a certain amount of tooth decay.

Several species of oral bacteria feed on carbohydrates and produce acid as a byproduct through a process of simple fermentation. These bacteria live on the teeth in a biofilm called plaque. At this point, the acid slowly eats away at the tooth enamel, a thin layer of largely calcium that covers the tooth. The human tooth is in a constant state of mineralization and demineralization. Saliva helps neutralize acid from food to keep demineralization at a minimum. However, if the region gets too acidic, then demineralization takes over and rot sets in.

Nonetheless, maintaining oral hygiene through brushing and flossing regularly clears away food residue and starves the bacteria, keeping its growth in check. In the absence of brushing, the carbohydrates that linger the longest can cause the most damage.

Overall, the true cause of tooth decay is the combination of bacteria, sugar, and acid. Your gums can get irritated if sugar gets caught in between your teeth. It is important to brush or rinse after eating, especially after sweets, to get rid of the sugars and acids that can damage the enamel.

Flossing is not Important

Flossing is definitely important for oral health. Flossing is an extra step that a lot of people tend to skip after brushing their teeth which can lead to the buildup of bacteria. If you don’t floss, you are not cleaning almost 33% of the tooth surfaces that regular brushing can’t reach.

teeth flossin

Brushing alone cannot clean the whole area around a tooth when there is another tooth beside it. Flossing completes tooth brushing by removing dental plaque and food debris remaining in the inter-proximal region (the area that is between two teeth). That region is a place where tooth decay commonly forms.

Also, if dental plaque that is found between teeth is not cleaned, it can eventually release bad odors from your mouth. This is a major reason why a person may suffer from bad breath (halitosis). In fact, Tooth decay and gum disease, also caused by dental plaque, are the usual source of a bad smell in the mouth.

“Fine”-looking teeth is enough of a sign to disregard your dentist appointment

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality does not apply to oral health; it’s mainly because you wouldn’t really know if something’s wrong with your teeth until you go to a dentist or when the situation has gone worse. This is why you should have your teeth checked up regularly.

perfect smile

Experts at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommend that adults should be called for check-ups, depending on risk factors including alcohol, tobacco use and diet. It is recommended to go to a dentist every three months for those who are at high risk of dental problems, and every two years for those with lower risks.

It’s wise to visit your dental team regularly even if you are not experiencing any problems with your mouth or teeth. Having your teeth checked regularly helps you and your dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist in keeping your teeth and gums healthy and pain-free.

The Top List for Physician Scheduling Software

If you’re looking for the best appointment software for your medical profession, you don’t need to dig any deeper through the internet – here are the top six websites that can provide you with the best appointment scheduling solutions.

Appointmentseasy.com

Appointmentseasy.com is an online appointment portal that directly pinpoints the healthcare market, with an emphasis on European medical professionals. The service is free, and makes money through ads on the portal, optional paid features like SMS reminders, and an optional, ad-free premium version.

apointmentseasy

Appointmentseasy.com is available to health professionals, medical secretaries and patients for the management and optimization of appointments in the medical practice. It boasts of its simple search module through a 24h service, where patients can easily find their medical appointments at any time of the day. It allows doctors, practitioners, ophthalmologists, dentists, veterinary physicians and other medical and paramedical practitioners, as well as medical secretaries, to reduce the necessity of endless phone calls through its online platform. This gives the practitioners more room to focus on the management of the clinic without losing control on their agenda.

Then again, the User Interface (UI) may not be as slick as other physician appointment websites, and the focus on the European medical market may limit functionalities for professionals outside the continent.

However, in spite of its downside, the fact that this system was built with doctors in mind means it includes features that more general scheduling suites do not.  This ranges from the ability for patients to select their health insurance provider when making an appointment, to a management tool for medical office secretaries.

Intrigma.com

Intrigma.com is clearly a great Physician Scheduling Software especially when it comes to its professional mix of functionality and aesthetics. Their website is easy to navigate, and the simplicity of the UI is something that anyone can appreciate.

One of the two main focuses of Intrigma is to enable clinicians to focus on patients. Intrigma’s core value is helping medical professionals achieve a better work-life balance so that they can better focus on their patients.

We view clinicians as the front line and most critical resource in health care delivery.”

intrigma

Another one of their mantras is “Obsession with Quality”. It is Intrigma’s belief that software in the medical field exists to serve clinicians and administrative staff. “We are quite alarmed at how often this is overlooked and healthcare staff are slowed down by technology. Our products have a unique balance of ease of use with sophisticated functionality. When this is achieved the clinicians can better focus on their patients.”

Intrigma boasts of their fast and organized collection of requests online, where medical providers submit their requests for each schedule online, allowing the scheduler to track and prioritize requests in one location as the schedule is built. Also, they have a “Centralized Scheduling” feature which allows users to manage schedules, requests, and provider contact information for multiple departments and/or hospitals within one system without having to switch back and forth between several paper copies of each.

Overall, Intrigma is one of the physical scheduling softwares that’s ahead of its time when it comes to technology.

Appointy

Appointy is rather one of the more popular appointments scheduling tool on the market. it works on a plethora of different operating systems, and their services can be tendered through native mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows 8.  The free version is ad-supported, and feature-limited, while paid plans start at $9.99 a month.

appointy

The main thing that made Appointy so famous is that they established a platform that can reach through almost anyone, such as providing access through Facebook, Blogs and even those without a website. Appointy can create a ‘tab’ in your Facebook page allowing customers to schedule their next appointment. Facebook visitors are 3x more likely to book their next appointment with you, because of the ease of scheduling.

You can also start accepting appointments on your website, since the Appointy website widget seamlessly integrates with your existing website. Plus, even if you don’t have your own website, Appointy provides a unique sub-domain that you can use to create your own booking page – for free!

The only downside with Appointy is that it could be costly for the uninitiated. The free option is fairly feature-limited, and doesn’t have recurring bookings, separate staff logins, or unrestricted Google Calendar linking.  Then again, the free version does include unlimited bookings, a mobile version, and SMS reminders.

Clickbook

ClickBook is the solution that fully automates the menial tasks associated with managing customer appointments, and increases customer engagement through real-time, self-service booking and automated text and email reminders. By blending flexibility and functionality plus simple design, ClickBook fits perfectly into an extremely broad spectrum of businesses – including salons, home services, sports facilities, schools & universities, government services and even wellness professionals involved in the provision of appointment-based services.

clickbook

ClickBook aims at the smaller-scale end of the market when it comes to appointment provision. It is free for one user and one physical address, and 50 or fewer current bookings. The free version, however, is supported by ads while paid plans start at $19.95 a month.

ClickBook is also one of the easiest to use, since its calendar-themed design gives you a lot of information even at first sight. Unfortunately the free version of ClickBook is limited to only one user. However, it does include free access to recurring appointments, email appointment reminders, and ‘smart scheduling’ that can coordinate with provider schedules.

DocMeIn.com

DocMeIn.com is designed by doctors, for doctors. This free online scheduling service is a collaboration of developers and medical practitioners. The professional merger’s purpose is to create a tool that can deliver exactly what a Physician Scheduling Software should be able to address.

Doctors don’t have to suffer because of our distractions and carelessness,” as DocMeIn.com says. With this website, you now have exactly the right tool to make sure that appointments are done seamlessly. Inputs to this website are automatically translated by the software into an appointment, which eventually provides a calendar – through computers, mobile devices or Web applications – and synchronized anywhere and anytime you need it.

docmein

Surely, you can still call your patients the old-fashioned way; but DocMeIn believes that they can help medical practitioners by having the website do the scheduling for them automatically with their superb text-to-speech and telephony technologies. You can even have DocMeIn send a reminder in the form of a text message to a patient’s mobile phone. Then again, in this fast-paced age, your busiest patients would still appreciate free email or mobile reminders so that they won’t miss any appointment.

Finally, DocMeIn allows unlimited patients, reminders, appointments, and recalls. Right now the whole service is totally free, but DocMeIn does plan to add premium features like text reminders, on a pay-as-you-go model.

Sagenda.com

With its free online appointment scheduler that can be added to your existing website,  Sagenda.com can manage internal scheduling with its user-friendly system and innovative scheduling process. Sagenda targets a range of businesses, including medical practices, chiropractors, and naturopaths.  The software is totally free, without even an upgrade option to a paid version, as Sagenda makes money though providing custom options to large, enterprise clients.

sagend

Sagenda boasts of its aesthetics and commitment to ease of use when it comes to their UI: they don’t have Ads and web banners on their website, their online booking tool is 100% responsive and can be accessed through a smartphone. Furthermore, they don’t spam your emails, and Sagenda is totally embeddable on leading websites such as WordPress, iWeb, and many other hosting and cms providers.

Sagenda is simple and clean, and integrates easily as a plugin into WordPress and iWeb websites.  It includes email notifications and patient self-service.

HIPAA And EMRs

Being HIPAA compliant is not legally mandatory and all medical facilities are expected to remain within the legalities of this act. Those who don’t follow through face consequences as stipulated by the act.

It is important to understand how medical records are controlled and transferred in modern day medicine. If these records are not handled properly, the patients have legal rights in place to ensure they are treated properly.

HIPAA or “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act” came about in the 90s as a way to standardize what was happening in the world of medicine. The records were not being administered well enough and that was a major concern.

Now EMRs are being handled with care and it is because of HIPAA and what it requires from those who are running practices.

Right To Access

The act gives patients the right to access at any point they deem fit. If there is a need to gain access to their record, the facility cannot withhold this information or they will be breaking the law.

They are also able to ask for multiple copies of the same record and the provider has to give it them to on the spot.

Withholding multiple copies without the permission of the patient is also illegal and does not fit under the act that was made in the 90s.

This makes it easier for the patients to know they have access to this information at all times.

Six Years Of Retention

The facility is expected to retain all patient information and maintain it for at least six years. After this, they are able to discard it (if not required).

The minimum amount is set so patients can access it later on and don’t have to leave it there without purpose. This is great for those who are switching facilities and/or moving. It makes it easier to retain access.

After six years, the HIPAA compliant facility does not have to bear responsibility for the record and get eliminate them as they deem fit.

The act is clear about this six year period.

Covered Entities

There are certain entities such as medical providers who are allowed to access these record when they are being transferred over. There has to be a logical reason behind this transfer and it can’t be done without justification. A good example of such a transfer taking place would be if the doctor is seeking an additional viewpoint on a case. It could also be the transferring of patient information to a surgeon before surgery takes place.

These are covered entities under the act and can access all patient-related information.

EMRs have to be managed in a standardized manner or things would be all over the place. This was how it was done in the 80s and that was not conducive for what was needed. It was difficult for all involved to remain secure with the information and this also put patients in a horrible situation.

With HIPAA, it is easier to now remain standardized while managing EMRs.

Medical 3D Printing And Its Benefits

3D printing is all the rage right now in the world of technology, but what about some of the better medicine-related uses that are out there for this tech? Can it be used in healthcare? Yes, it is already being used because of the potential it provides for those who work with 3D objects in medicine.

There are multiple uses that have been found with 3D printing and many medical facilities are now using them for their own needs.

They cite the control that comes along with medical 3D printing is just hard to deny and is worthwhile for their own cases.

Great For Prosthetics

The main use for 3D printing is through the development of prosthetics after a patient has been assessed for their specific requirements. Prosthetics are all going to vary because no two injuries are going to be same. Each cause is going to have specific needs as to how the prosthetic is developed.

Instead of doing with hand and not getting accurate results, medical 3D printing is able to take it up a notch and really get it done well.

The prosthetics are better and stronger than the would be without the printing. They are also accurate down to a tee.

Easier To Customize

Customization is one of the things a patient would need if they were having something done with the use of a 3D printer. It doesn’t just have to be a patient, but general studies that are being conducted in the world of medicine. Without the customization feature, the “cookie cutter” printing wouldn’t do much for the process.

3D printing helps with customization to the point where every little detail can be tweaked. This type of control is powerful when hoping to get specific results through the printing that is being done. What other option can give this type of overall control?

Enhanced Details

The amount of control that is provided by a 3D printer cannot be matched by anything else. The detailed nature of the printer will make sure any medical work that is being done will remain accurate and flawless. This is all a medical practitioner can ask for when it comes to such tasks being completed with the printer.

The printing technology is also improving, which means the accuracy is only going to get better and it is already ahead of anything else that would be used to do the same thing.

Medical 3D printing might be one of the most important changes that are going to help with accuracy and overall quality compared to anything else. IT is also being studied as a potential option for those who are wishing to recreate cells in the hopes of learning more about tumors.

There are researchers who are using such technology to dig deeper into what they can find and see how the printer could help in working with those cells as much as possible. There are an endless amount of things that can be done using such technology.

4 Ways Vet Research Saves People’s Lives

4 Ways Vet Research Saves People’s Lives

The world of medicine and health sciences is profoundly dominated by the fields which reveal a direct relation to human health and providing a cure for diseases. Without a doubt, these prevalent specialties offer a higher salary for professionals, which is a good reason most people are motivated to take on the aforementioned fortes especially during these hard economic times.

vet and dog

Specialties like orthopaedic surgery, cardiology, urology, and oncology are atop the ranks of the best paying medical fields. More and more medicine students are inclined to take up these lines of study primarily because of today’s demand for improved healthcare. With that said, less people are taking up professions that do not explicitly involve human health.

One of which is the field of veterinary medicine.

Veterinary medicine as most people know, is a field of medicine that deals with health care for animals, animal diseases, and their treatments. From what people understand, it is just a study that deals with animals and their welfare. This is actually an incorrect generalization of the noble discipline of veterinary.

Taking a deeper look into the science, what does animal medicine really have to do with human health? Here are some facts about how vets and vet research can actually save people’s lives.

They Investigate and Test New Medicines on Animals

Two words: lab rats.

Professionals often study new drugs through animals. This comes as no shock, considering the fact that drugs tested on humans may not only cause significant effects to the human body, but can lead to fatalities. It follows that ethical and moral issues on human rights would arise and create chaos in civilization.

researchsaves

That is why it is established that animals can be exploited for testing. Then again, who are the professionals who have knowledge about animal medicine? That’s right: vets.

Medical publishing and research about veterinary care has been a major pathway for professionals to inform the public about these academic explorations. These publications also help pave way for other researchers to improve their studies. In fact, veterinary research can further be stemmed to a number of related fields which provides another perspective to the wide array of which type of vet can focus their research on.

There lays a direct correlation regarding animal behavior under drugs and human behavior under drugs. For instance, vets can research how probiotics for dogs with diarrhea can be correlated with people with the same digestive issue. Furthermore, they can research on the associative link between animal treatment and overall human health. This is how researchers study how a healthy dog (as man’s best friend) affect the overall mental health of an owner.

With those facts at hand, the study of veterinary medicine proves to be an important facet towards human health.

Vets Provide Safety For Our Food Supply

It is imperative that a good balanced diet is a part of a person’s lifestyle. One of the significant parts of a balanced diet is having protein from chicken, pigs and cattle. This is the logic behind the importance of professionals who safeguard the care and health of farm animals.

girl eating ribs

More often, veterinary experts are employed by national governments to act as food safety inspectors to test food supply for contamination and to check animal diseases (and treat them) before they are processed into food.

Simply put, vets make sure our food supply from farm animals are guaranteed safe to consume. With good reason, seeing the fact that unhealthy food can lead to an unhealthy person. Research provides that meat from stressed animals or ‘double dead’ meat can be a source of a wide array of diseases. Veterinarians attend to these issues on a large scale, even as far as a worldwide gauge to prevent any outbreaks of diseases.

Vets Cut Outbreaks To The Roots

In continuation with providing safety and research on animal pathology, there is deep connection of animals to pandemics that exist today.

Another thing to consider is the fact that most diseases are inflicted on animals first, and then later transferred to humans. Possibly fatal viruses like avian flu, West Nile virus, and even Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are in fact derived from animals.  This makes it essential that professionals deduce what factors and circumstances allowed viruses to be developed. In addition, medically publishing these studies can help other researchers assimilate ideas in further explorations.

vet with cow

These researches, which vets and affiliated fields perform, are vital to the field of medicine, since the first step towards any permanent solution to medical outbreaks is tracing the origin of the disease.

Vets Conduct Check Ups For Mother Earth

Animals provide a method to view how mother earth behaves. In fact, animals’ actions serve as symptoms for environmental health since fauna are the first ones to be inflicted with the effects of environmental changes. This comes as a logical approach for people to take a good look on earth’s wellbeing.

Veterinarians have made use of this logic and are actually monitoring wildlife. Evident in today’s scene, one way researchers validated climate change is by observing how animals migrate and how their health has declined because of it. Veterinary research and animal behavioral studies indicate that migration and overall health of animals provide proof that there are certain factors that can change their original biological niche.

This kind of environmental check-up is instrumental in providing a solution to the worsening issue of climate change. More so, it has provided a novel outlook with regard to how animals and the environment are directly linked.

The field of veterinary research tends to be snubbed in the field of medicine overall. This is because of the outstanding misconception that veterinary research only deals with the wellness and welfare of animals.

Come to think of it, people are animals. The main difference lies on humans’ capacity to think, and the capacity to be directed with that mental prowess. It is about time that people use that mental prowess to appreciate the wonders veterinary medicine can offer to them.

Veterinary research comes as an integral part of many medical findings. In pharmacy and pathology, drugs are initially tested on animals so that researchers can have a good look at what it can potentially do to a human being. Another important contribution of veterinary research is that it offers safety to the food supply which is vital to people’s lives.

With regard to diseases, vets are responsible for tracking down the root cause of viruses which are frequently of animal origin. Furthermore, the field also gives people another perspective on how mother earth is doing with all the tolls humans have given to her.

Overall, there is so much that veterinary research can offer. This is why people must start to recognize its noble discipline and the field of medicine to continue giving efforts to substantiate effective veterinary research. Furthermore, people who are inclined to the field of health sciences should be encouraged to take up this specialty given the countless things it can actually give to the overall knowledge of the human race.

After all, being a veterinary physician is as promising as it could get. Vet on that.

What You Need to Know About Medical Publishing

We’ve all had those sleepless nights where our only remedy is to take yet another sleeping pill.

Imagine a world where Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, and ZQuil don’t exist. Sounds tragic, doesn’t it? Well, how does everyone in the world actually know of the latest innovations in the medical field? And how does a single little pill or treatment make everything better?

Through medical publishing.

Truth be told, “medical publishing” isn’t a very popular term. However, it is new and on the rise in the industry.

What is Medical Publishing?

The term “medical publishing” refers to the production and distribution of medical journals, textbooks and all that’s in-between. You can go as far as to say that it is both a business and a science – where medicine and technical writing meet, and it proves to be quite a bountiful relationship.

technical writing

For hundreds of years, medical publications have been the guide towards continued medical research. Mind-boggling and always fascinating, the oldest medical books in the world prove that it is an essential part of medical research ever since treatments were first developed

With each surge of viruses and diseases spreading across the globe, it would be a cardinal sin not to be informed of the progressions medical technology can provide. The development of vaccines alone has contributed to hundreds of thousands of saved lives.

Moreover, if you’re a medical professional, or simply an enthusiast in the medical field, you could also tap into the gold mine of information to create publications of your own.

It’s a Scratchy Business

Practically everything boils down to whether there is money or not. If you’re an author aspiring to publish your work to the public, one of the most arduous challenges you have to face is finding the right company to even so much as take a look at your work.

On the other hand, publishers worry more if the work will make a profit or not. Initially, the companies would have to weigh if they are going to take the risk of putting your work out in the public. By the looks of the trend, the business is not as flourishing as it was before.

a compilation of words related to risk management in business

It may be because people are more interested in getting free content. You can easily attest that the public currently leans towards reading open-source documents to satiate their medical information needs. The same goes to both professionals and enthusiasts.

Medical publishers know that production costs are off the roof, and the return of investments take too long. This is why most medical publishers try to create business models that can allow them to open the door for new ways to profit, including forging some partnerships to create share-of-revenue. Still, it is quite tricky for publishers today to manage the gamble in this heavily pressured industry because creating new business models is another complicated topic to talk about.

Process Time is a Bit Itchy

Medical publishing is a piecewise task that takes a great deal of time to finish. The process goes something like this: an author submits his final draft regarding a drug that can cure “Disease X.” It is then peer-reviewed by people who are experts in drug manufacturing and administration. When the draft is accepted, the publisher typesets the manuscript which is later reviewed. And voila, the book is ready to be viewed via publication.

red and black numbers on a multi-paged calendar

That’s the easy way to look at it. If you look at it in a deeper sense, you might realize that it is not as easy as it looks. The first step includes submission of a final draft, but the challenge lies even before passing. Say, you were the one who aspires to get published.

Step 1: Finding a Publisher

If this is the case, you would have to test your luck in finding a publisher who’s willing to publish for you – and with finding a publisher, comes contemplating whether your idea is actually original enough for people to want to buy.

If you have gone through the hoops and found one, you can now proceed to step two.

Step 2: Getting Your Work Peer Reviewed

Peer reviewing is a must for any medical publication. The field of medicine is not necessarily that simple, because frankly speaking, one mistake can cost you your career – not to mention, it’s going to eat up a lot of time to fix. Then again, it would be best to receive other experts comments so they can be integrated within your draft as well.

Step 3: Passing the Article Again

When you have made your adjustments from the peer-review, you would have to pass the article again so that it can be put in manuscript. Then it will be reviewed for another time to check any more errors. Again, time spent. After which, the book will be published. If you still think it’s as easy as 1-2-3, you need to think again.

Medical publishing is a task that requires various phases to complete. However, with the penetration of digital publishing, the game has changed. Digital publishing has paved a way for a more interactive way of getting content, not to mention the pace it induces for both production and consumer intake. In today’s battle for the best and most innovative content, the one with the faster and the more the interactive material wins. From that perspective, traditional medical publishing looks arguably demolished.

This is the prime reason why it loses readership.

Contents are Never Blemish-Free

Visualize this. Would you rather be inside a worn-out, rusty truck with its seat covers looking like it came straight from World War II? Or, would you rather be inside a shiny, buffed up Chevrolet Silverado? With no contest, you would opt for the mighty affluence of a Silverado. If you’re sticking your guns with your trusted ol’ truck, then at least put some brand new covers over military discount to at least hit a peg of the Chevy.

a female hand holding a black marker and illustrating the word content

Ok, so medical publishing isn’t a brand new car, but it does hold true to the timeless battle between old and new processes and systems. Traditional medical publishing versus digital media is a game of depth versus convenience. Medical publishing gives out detailed information regarding medicine, with insights and interpretations from experts out in the field. Medical publications are reviewed by other personnel with know-how’s on the matter and proves to be reliable at the moment of publishing.

On the other hand, digital medical libraries opt to have interactivity and ease in delivering content for their consumers. More and more people are actually giving interest on using the latter based on the updated content they have, including the innovative solutions they present.

In this business, content is number one priority. Branded as scholarly articles, the content should be up to par. However, considering convenience, sensibility and the rate of delivery to readers, you would see the obvious winner. Mainly because digital publishing offers faster content, while traditional medical journals have been antiquated with endless manual labor.

The Evolving Audience

 

Theatre audience

In that same light, it is safe to say that the audience is evolving. That means that the preferences and the expectations are changing constantly. This shows how the publication approaches and relates to its readers, which is more rigorously experimented in the modern publications compared to the linear approach of the traditional.

Truth be told, readers are losing faith on medical publishers because the journals have limited capacity for reinvention. Add the fact that traditional publications take too much time to read. Modern media has made its way to diminishing information to ample lengths.  Besides, the human attention span is already on the downhill.

It is inarguable how medical publishing has progressed over the course of its existence. The current challenges of medical publishing have been the constant battles of find different ways to cope up with the changing world.

On the other hand, digital publishing has made it more difficult for in depth journals to make their way to the public. Though, it creates a more effective way for medicine jargon to be translated in a way with more convenience and simplicity.

Whichever the path goes, there is one thing for sure: people need medical publishing. Just as you crave the daily news, medical publishing will exist and manifest in more ways than one.

And that, that is an itch you just can’t scratch.

Issues Related To Electronic Medical Records

Electronic Medical record example
Example of an electronic medical record

Regardless of the growth related to computer technology and medicine, many of the medical encounters are still being documented using paper records. Electronic medical records have a number of documented advantages, yet the use of it is still relatively sparse.

The Purpose Behind Medical Records

The main goal of medical records is to serve as a source for clinical observations and patient analysis. Any records with an interaction with a patient will usually start off with the medical history of the patient and then a physical examination. The history generally contains the patient’s main complaint such as a skin rash or chest or stomach pain as well as any other pertinent symptoms to the main complaint. The physical exam will contain a list of the physical findings like enlarged lymph nodes or abdominal tenderness. This process is then followed by assessments that will adhere to the direct problem and then a plan for a diagnosis or treatment will be put into place.

Issues Surrounding Electronic Medical Records

Various issues have been recently identified with EMR (Electronic Medical Record). Many of these problems have been related to computer down-time, lack in standards, increase in provider time and threats related to patient confidentiality. A specific amount of studies conducted have suggested that electronic-order entries increase on the time doctors spend on entering these orders. In other studies it has been suggested that residents in hospitals needed around 44 minutes extra every day when utilizing computerized entries. This has however, resulted in the development of methods to streamline these order entries.

EMR Cartoon
A joke poking fun at EMR’s

Another real concern surrounding EMR systems would be computer down-time. This means that doctors may be faced with the threat of not being able to access the required information on a patient when it is needed. However, the increase related to computer reliability in computer systems is beginning to diminish these concerns.

A far more significant problem that is related to EMR systems is the lack-of-standards for interchanging information. Even though there are standards in place for aspects such as billing information, test results and diagnosis codes, there are no consensus in relation to the areas such as the symptoms and signs of the patient, procedure codes, test interpretations and radiology. The related issues to these standards are associated with a large amount of the clinical information that is “locked” in what is known as “narrative text.”

The last concern related to EMR systems is the issue surrounding patient confidentiality and security. However, this particular problem already exists and is independent from EMR due to the fact that much of the medical information that is abstracted from these paper records exists in the electronic repositories. A number of privacy experts have already documented threats on how this information is misused.

Patient confidentiality
Patient Confidentiality is an issue

While there are a few that fear that EMR can exacerbate these issues, many others have agreed that the computer-based records with the right amount of security aspects in place have the potential to be far more secure than paper based medical documents.