Sharecare Top 5: What to Do If You Think You’re Having a Heart Attack, How Sleeping in Makeup Wrecks Your Skin, and More

What you doing up there?

Lead your healthiest life with these wellness tips and tricks from Sharecare.com:

1. Would you know what to do if you or a loved one had a heart attack? Find out how to recognize the signs – and learn life-saving ways to get help fast.

2. You probably know that sleeping with makeup isn’t the best idea – but you may not know how badly it can damage and age your skin. Get the facts – and find out the right way to wash your face.

3. Are you always exhausted? If it seems like you’re chronically tired, it may be more than a busy schedule. Learn what may be causing your fatigue, and what you can do to feel less drained.

4. If you were to name some sugary foods, you might add soda, cookies and ice cream to your list. But surprisingly, some “healthy” foods have more sugar than a glazed doughnut! To stay on the healthy path, steer clear of these sneaky foods with shockingly high amounts of added sugar.

5. If you have bladder problems, you’re far from alone. And you may, in fact, curtail social and other activities for fear of embarrassing leaks. Discover what’s behind three common bladder problems – and find out what you can do to get relief.

Today’s Headlines: The FDA’s Standards for Healthy Foods, Why You Should Wear Sunscreen in the Car, and The Factors That Determine Sleep

Do you know what the word “healthy” means on a food label? ​The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is redefining the criteria for labeling foods as “healthy” and are now allowing KIND Snacks to use the word “healthy” to describe their snack bars. The current guidelines measure the amount of fat in food products and although KIND’s products are high in fat, they’re high in good, healthy fats. “While not everyone may agree that rigid cutoffs of fat and sodium levels are the ideal criteria for ‘healthy,’ some nutrition experts worry that the distinction between a ‘healthy’ philosophy and ‘healthy’ nutrient content may be lost on consumers.” The issue that’s being raised is a valid one. KIND bars, for example have lots of nuts which have a high fat content but are also considered healthy. (ABC)

You should wear sunglasses and sunscreen when you are driving. A new study has shown that car windows are not effective in keeping harmful UV rays from affecting the skin. “On average, car windshields blocked about 96 percent of UV-A rays. The protection afforded by individual cars ranged from 95 to 98 percent. But side door windows were far less dependable. The percentage of UV-A rays blocked varied from 44 percent to 96 percent. Only four of the 29 cars had windows that blocked more than 90 percent of UV-A rays.” UV rays are very harmful to unprotected skin and can potentially cause cancer, so it’s important to protect yourself. (Reuters)

How much sleep you get may depend on factors you cannot control. A new research study based on data from a sleep activity-monitoring app suggests that age, nationality, and gender may be some of the driving forces that determine how much sleep you get every night. “Most people in the data set schedule between seven and eight hours of sleep a night, with a mean of 7.88 hours. Of all the factors considered in their analysis, gender plays the biggest role in how long a person sleeps. On average, women schedule 8.07 hours of sleep, while men schedule 7.77 hours. Age also seems to be an important factor for when people sleep. On average, older people schedule sleep earlier than younger people. Nationality also plays a role in sleep duration. Residents of Singapore and Japan had the shortest sleep duration of the 20 countries represented in the study, getting an average of 7 hours and 24 minutes of shut-eye a night. People in the Netherlands were the most well-rested, averaging 8 hours and 12 minutes of sleep a night. In the United States, the average sleep duration is 7.87 hours.” This study raised more questions that need to be considered in further research. (LA Times)

The Shocking Way Sugar Affects Your Brain

myers-sugar

If I offered you one million dollars to do it, could you hold your breath underwater for 15 minutes?

Unless you’re an amphibian, the answer is no; the brain’s drive for oxygen would override any willpower to win the money.

And guess what? If you’re living on a steady diet of sugar, your brain is similarly re-wired, demanding that next “hit” — and your willpower has as much chance of resisting it as it does of keeping you underwater.

We all know sugar is bad for us, but this stunning example by Mark Hyman, MD, about its impact on our brain — and our difficulty to resist the drive for more sugar — really drove the message home. You see, I’m a reformed sugar addict. During residency, a long ER shift called for a couple bags of Skittles. Or a studying session meant Swedish Fish. But instead of being satisfying, these sugar hits always led to a crash — and a craving for even more.

Read more  »

Red Steps Challenge: A Campaign to Prevent Heart Failure

Queen Latifah and her mom, Rita

Photo courtesy of the American Heart Association

Editor’s note: This post was written by Clyde W. Yancy, MD, MSc, MACC, FAHA, MACP, FHFSA. Dr. Yancy is a past president of the American Heart Association, and is a professor of medicine and chief of cardiology at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine

With the fantastic help of Queen Latifah, the American Heart Association’s Rise Above Heart Failure “Red Steps Challenge” was launched on The Dr. Oz Show and ushered into our homes by a crimson sea of socks. What gives?

This campaign is all about heart failure. Heart failure is a condition where the heart is no longer working properly. Think of it as an engine that once had 250 horsepower but now has only 50 horsepower to move the same size car. That’s heart failure.

Watch: Queen Latifah Talks About Heart Failure

It affects six million Americans and will strike one in five over the age of 40. Yes, that could include you and the people you know and love. If diagnosed late or left untreated, the consequences are not good. And once diagnosed, complacency can also lead to poor outcomes. The symptoms of constant fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling, palpitations, and episodes of blackouts are not fun. But the big news is that all of us can rise above heart failure.

Read more  »

3 Ways to Design a Happy and Healthy Life

African American Woman Drinking Cup of Coffee or Tea

Think design when you think about your own happiness and health. Take steps every day to design your healthy life. A happy and healthy life is about living blissfully, with passion and purpose, and it’s about designing your life, a life you love.

The great news is that you don’t need a complete overhaul — trust me, you don’t. Just like a fresh can of paint can easily make over a room, you can easily make over your life with simple tweaks. Take simple and tiny actions every day to design a life that brings you joy. Tiny actions can have a big impact on your health and well-being.

Read more  »

Taking Advantage of the Sunshine

Cute woman in the park with dandelions

The weather has finally started to heat up and I’ve really enjoyed being able to get outside and enjoy walks with Lisa and occasional games with my kids and grandkids. All that time outside has reminded me of the major benefits of time in the sun, but it’s also given me pause to think about some of the harms that can come with it. I want to help you get the most out of the sunshine this spring and summer, but also sound some cautionary sun safety reminders so you don’t damage your health in the long run.

Watch: 3 Simple Summer Safety Tips

The Benefits of Time in the Sun
Our ancestors spent most of their time outside so it should come as no surprise that our health and mood are often closely tied to how much time we get outdoors. You’ve probably experienced the major boost in how you feel when you get away from the computer screen to spend some time in the outdoors. While some of that effect probably has to do with the peace of natural settings and the ability to get away from stressful modern distractions, a lot of it also has to do with the sun. That’s because sunlight governs a variety of processes in our body that play a direct role in our health. Here are a few examples.

Read more  »

Happy Nurses Week 2016!

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This week, as we celebrate Nurses Week 2016 around the world, it’s a good time to reflect on the vital, yet often hidden, role that nurses play in our world. Most people are familiar with the work nurses do in hospitals and medical offices but may not know about the many other ways and places that nurses are contributing to the health and well-being of the planet.

Watch: Dr. Oz’s Nurses Reveal What It’s Like to Work With Him

Here are some examples of the major contributions that nurses make.  Read more  »

Sharecare Top 5: Put Insomnia to Bed, Weird Spots for Skin Cancer, and More

woman-sleeping

Don’t miss the latest health news on Sharecare.com:

1. If you suffer from insomnia, the frustration of watching the hours tick by in the middle of the night is almost as bad as your exhaustion the next day. Check out these eight med-free ways to finally get start getting some ZZZs.

2. Have you been checking the usual spots for skin cancer – like your face, arms and legs? Whether you are or aren’t (and we recommend you do!) be sure to add these easy-to-miss spots to your list.

3. After a long day with the kids or at the office, there may be nothing you want more than to relax with a glass of wine. But many people over pour that drink. Darria Long Gillespie, MD, shares her take on the recommended amount of wine to drink for the most health benefits – and how much may be too much.

4. Several well-known triggers, like pollen and mold, can aggravate asthma – but did you know that stress could have an impact, too? Discover how, plus tips to help you stress less.

5. You’ve most likely heard about Elizabethkingia — rare disease that’s infected dozens and claimed over 20 lives in the Midwest. Here’s what you need to know about this mysterious illness that has many health officials baffled.