what is diverticulitis?

Welcome to another Tuesday edition of Health Tips on Tuesday. August is Colon Health Awareness Month and I have been discussing Diverticulosis. Today, I am going to talk about Diverticulitis. It is a sister disease to Diverticulosis. You can read the other posts on this topic in the archives.

Diverticulitis is very common especially as we age. You have to have Diverticulosis to have Diverticulitis. Why? Because Diverticulitis is inflammation, and or infection, of the Diverticulum that are present in Diverticulosis. Remember that diverticulum are pouches that form usually in the lower colon and can not only become infected but also can blow, or perforate causing much larger issues.

There are 3 videos below that explain Diverticulitis and have images to help you visualize what I mean. It may be disturbing to some people, so watch wisely. The 3rd video is in Spanish, to explain it to any Spanish readers that may visit this blog. I only know a little Spanish, so I can not verify what he is saying. I tried to find it in Sign Language as well, but I could not locate any, except for one with signs for common symptoms. So, I will share that for any medical people so you can have at least some basic signs to communicate with hearing impaired patients.

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My Top 10 Reasons to Exercise

After having my second child, exercise became almost non-existent.  Though I felt we were active as a family, and as homeschoolers, my physical activity was few and far between.  After being diagnosed with CKD I knew a total lifestyle change was warranted.  Exercise always seemed like a chore, something I had to do, especially in the beginning.  Being out of shape I got tired very quickly and ran out of steam.  Now exercise is something I do every day because of the benefits to my life.  You will not see being skinny, or weight loss as part of my reasons to exercise.  I have moved past all that to be the healthiest and happiest I can be.

So, what are my top 10 reasons to exercise?

1-  To increase and improve balance.  Before I was diagnosed I was very unsteady and would sometimes fall.  No one was sure why and I was deemed clumsy.  A lot of it had to do with the toxins that had built up in my body, but some of it was due to a lack of exercise and balance training.

2-  To increase and or maintain muscle strength.  Anyone who has kidney disease knows how exhausting it can be, and muscle wasting is a huge risk especially for dialysis people.

3-  To increase and or maintain bone strength.  Another risk for kidney patients is the risk of bone fractures.  Weight-bearing exercises can play an important role in maintaining bone health.

4-  To keep my lungs healthy.  Exercising increases oxygen demand and keeps the lungs working efficiently.  Especially right now with Coronavirus and the ill effects, it has on the lungs.

5-  For heart health.  The heart is a muscle and probably the most important muscle in the body.  Exercise works your heart muscle making it stronger.

6-  To relieve stress.  Stress is sometimes called a silent killer.  It wears you down, and your body.  It causes damage that often is invisible.  Exercise is a great stress reliever and setting a time every day to exercise will help you make it a routine in your day.

7-  Sweating helps remove toxins from the body.  Now mostly it will be sodium, but if you have kidney disease sweat from exercise can help remove excess sodium.  Obviously, you have to be wise here.  Too low of a sodium level in the body can be just as dangerous as an excess.

8-  I like my body changes.  My body has changed over the last year and a half when I started exercising on a regular basis.  I am firmer, stronger, and leaner.  I am never going to be thin, but I can feel more fit and fabulous.

9-  Better sleep.  I work out in the morning, and some studies say don’t work out before bedtime.  But, I say if you can work out and go to sleep then do it, rather than not.  I sleep so much better when I have had a good exercise day.

10-  Brain health.  Just like with the heart, exercise increases blood flow and oxygenation to the brain.  This can only be a positive thing.  Exercise your brain!

Do you exercise?  Why?  Share your thoughts in the comments. Read about my new Walking Buddy Plan, newsletter subscribers can save 20% in one month.

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Wellness on Wednesday: Cold and Flu Prevention Part 5

There are only two more parts to this series, so it will end next Wednesday.  I will then move on to other topics.  I hope you are finding this series useful.

The 5th link in the Chain of Infection is the Portal of Entry.  A portal of entry can be broken skin, incisions, inhaled through the respiratory tract.  There are a few others, but since we are discussing cold and flu these are the ones we will discuss.

You may have noticed a pattern by now that good handwashing is included in almost every chain in the link.  Good handwashing is the number one way to prevent cold and flu.  Barriers such as gloves and respiratory masks are two other ways to break this link.  BTW gloves and respiratory masks do not just protect you from getting a cold or flu, but protects others from you should you be the person with the illness.   I think sometimes people forget this.  Also getting a flu shot if you have been advised to do so can break this link.  Basic First Aid and personal hygiene are the last two ways to break this link.  If you have overly chapped hands, or small cuts on your hands,  that can allow germs to enter be sure and use a hand lotion to help heal the skin.   Chapped, dry lips and nose can also allow germs to enter.  Use chapstick, and a humidifier at night to add moisture and barrier to protect against germs entering the body.  Get at least 7-8 hours of sleep and maintain a healthy diet will also help keep you and your Immune System in good working order.

You can read the other posts in the series in the archives.

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Herbs on Tuesday: Sweet Orange

You may see a lot of adverts for Herbs that can restore or reverse kidney function.  While this may not be a lie, it can be confusing because most Herbs have not been studied in randomized studies for people who suffer from chronic illnesses or take lots of medications.  So, please be careful in your urgency to find a cure for what ails you as it may make it worse.

Herbs and Essential Oils are complicated and can be very potent.  Essential Oils are more potent than the dried herbs they come from, especially in undiluted forms.  If you would like to learn more about using herbs or essential oils for certain conditions, use the contact form at the bottom of this post to message me for a free meet and greet.

Sweet Orange is one of my most favorite essential oils.  I use it in my diffuser, and dilute it with coconut oil as a lotion for my skin.  Soon I will be making into Aromatherapy necklaces to sell in my Etsy shop, and in cleaning products or candles.  I love it mixed with Lemon Balm and Eucalyptus.  I will be experimenting with other scents as well in the future.  If you do decide to use essential oils make sure you are buying from a reputable source.  I like Eden’s Garden, Mountain Rose Herbs, Doterra, and Young Living brands.

Sweet Orange is said to be safe for the kidneys, don’t ever ingest as an essential oil without speaking to Aromatherapist Practitioner first, and there are dried forms available of the herb to drink as a tea.  It is uplifting, great for skin, cleaning, tissue repair, muscle soreness and much more.  Just remember if you buy undiluted oil it must be diluted in a carrier oil before applying to the skin.  Always do a skin test on a small area of the body to check for sensitivity, and avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours after applying it to the skin.  So, it would be much better, if applying to the skin to apply at night.  Do not use on infants or children under 6 years old without consulting a specialist.  Same for pregnant women.  Always tell your doctor about all OTC medications and herbs you may be taking.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway.   Tomorrow is the next support group chat on my Facebook page at 1 PM Eastern time.  I am working on new graphics for each of my available plans.  Don’t forget I also offer gift certificates.  My special for this month is still on, one on one coaching to keep eating in check for the holidays, only 50 dollars.  Message me for more info and details.  I have learned so much this year about promoting an online business, and I still have so much more to learn.  This blog is growing, and I will be upgrading to a paid plan before the end of the year.  Exciting times!

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Cold and Flu Prevention: Break the Chain of Infection Part 4

Welcome back to part 4 of my series on Cold and Flu Prevention:  Break the Chain of Infection.  You can read the rest of the series in the archives under Wellness Wednesday.

The 4th link in the Chain of Infection is the Mode of Transmission.  This means the way in which the germ is spread.  This can be direct via human to human, or indirectly by a vector, ie animal.  Since I am talking about Cold and Flu it would be directly by close association with an infected individual.  Hugging, kissing, and even handshakes can be considered a close association.  Picking up soiled tissues, or touching surfaces infected by dirty hands are good examples, as well as sneezing, coughing and sometimes just talking.

Ways to break this link are good and frequent hand-washing, cleaning and disinfecting daily areas that are prone to become contaminated, isolation- stay home if you have symptoms, get your Flu shot if you are immunocompromised or advised by your doctor, carry hand-sanitizer for when you can’t wash your hands, wash hands immediately after touching contaminated surfaces, use gloves if you can when picking up soiled tissues or use a clean tissue to guard your hands and wash hands immediately after, keep your hands away from your face, be sure you are using good germ etiquette too such as covering mouth when coughing or sneezing.

Also, keep in mind that by keeping yourself as healthy as possible your body may be able to fight off the Cold and Flu.  Good sleep, a good diet, avoid added sugar, take Vitamin D or get sunlight, avoid and manage stress,  get fresh air- at least 15 minutes a day are all great ways to keep your immune system as healthy as possible.  If you would like to learn more about any of these use the contact form below to message me for a free Meet and Greet.

Don’t forget to check out my monthly challenge, and next year’s Walk 2020 starting on January 1st.

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Mindful Monday: Mindful Yoga

Updated 4/12/2021 Below is an easy, slow Yoga practice video.  Once you learn the Yoga moves it would make sense to me to do your Mindful Yoga with soft gentle music, nature noises, or no noise.  Incorporating breathing exercises, with your Yoga would also be an awesome way to do Mindful Yoga.  Remember with Mindfulness you are being in the present with whatever is happening in your day, not avoiding it. It is a way to deal with the triggers and stressors of everyday life.   That would be more of a Meditation Yoga.  If you would like a Guided Imagery to listen to while you do Yoga, use the contact form below to message me for pricing and details. I have a certification in Guided Imagery. The Guided Imagery will be created specifically for you, with your needs and preferences. I will need to gather some information to create a personal Guided Imagery mp4 file for you. There are tons of free Guided Imagery videos on Youtube if you would rather try a free version.

April 2021 is Stress Awareness Month, on this blog. Mindful Yoga and or Guided Imagery are two great ways to help relieve stress. I am giving away 10 coaching sessions in April. If you would like to learn more, click here. You can always use the contact form to email me with any questions.

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Health Buddy Melissa Podcast #2 Early Signs of Kidney Disease

I have recorded my second podcast titled, Early Signs of Kidney Disease.  It is available to email subscribers exclusively.  If you would like to listen to it, use the contact form below to message request it.

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Wellness Wednesday: Cold and Flu Prevention Part 2

Updated 4/21/2021:

Last week I discussed the first chain of infection.  This week I will discuss the second link in the Chain of Infection:  Reservoirs.

So, let us say the first link was not broken, and the pathogen or germ was able to continue to the next link in the chain.  A Reservoir is anywhere that the germ lives.  This can be animals, insects, dirty surfaces, dirty equipment, soil, water, and of course humans.  Getting rid of the reservoir will break this link in the chain and may prevent getting the Cold or Flu.

Ways to break the Reservoir link:

1-  Don’t leave standing water around.  If you are like me and you enjoy watching birds, and butterflies make sure you are changing the water frequently so germs do not thrive, and grow.  The same can be said for pets or animals who live outside.

2-  Disinfect surfaces and equipment daily, if exposed to high levels of germs.  Of course, this would be any health-related facility.  But, it could also be anywhere that dirty hands can come in contact with surfaces ie stores, restaurants, movie theaters, daycare, school, church, etc.  Carry hand sanitizer and wash hands with soap and water as soon as you return home.

3-  Control pests around home and business.  Pests can include rodents, insects and other possible germ-carrying animals such as possum, skunks, armadillo, etc.   Make sure your pets are healthy and have proper vaccines, flea and tick control.

4-  Stick to infection prevention such as handwashing, getting vaccines if advised by your doctor, get enough sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, and exercise regularly.  Some supplements that may help are Zinc, Vitamin C and Vitamin D.  Be sure to learn about how to take properly, and any side effects.

5-  Soil testing procedures should be followed as advised by government policies.

It is possible to avoid Cold, and Flus by breaking the chain of infection.  It takes being mindful and diligent in good prevention measures.  Always remember that the #1 way to prevent Cold and Flu is good handwashing.

If you have any questions or would like to learn about my April freebie, new 30 day coaching plan, or anything else, please use the contact form at the end of the post or email me at melissa@healthbuddymelissa.coach.

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Health Buddy Melissa Podcast #1

Well, the converter I was going to use does not accept large Mp3 files.  So, my podcast will be available via email to those who wish to receive it.   Each Thursday I will send a new podcast to all email subscribers.  The first one is a general About Me and was created last week so it says Happy Halloween at the beginning.  If you would like to be a guest on the podcast, have comments, or questions to topics discussed, please use the contact form below to message me.  To sign up for my free newsletter and receive my podcast weekly, use the contact form below to message me with the podcast in the subject.  Only people who want the podcast will get it.  Podcasts at first will focus on kidney awareness, and then I will focus on other health-related topics.  I hope people will enjoy this new way of communicating.

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Foodie Friday: National Coffee Day!

Updated 12/102021

National Coffee Day is Sept 29th.  Do you love coffee?  Do you have Diabetes or CKD?  You may think you can’t have coffee.  You can still love your coffee, with some very careful choices.

  1.  If you have Heart Disease or HTN, use De-Caff instead of caffeinated coffee.
  2.  If you have high cholesterol levels, or Heart Disease choose low-fat milk or creamer.
  3.  If you have Diabetes choose a sugar-free non-dairy creamer.  A cinnamon stick adds a lovely sweet flavor and in some studies shows that it helps lower blood sugar.  Don’t add sugar to your coffee, use a sugar substitute if you must.  Milk due to the carbohydrates in it may raise your blood sugar levels.
  4. If you have CKD use one of the milk substitutes such as rice milk, soy milk, almond milk or non-dairy creamer options.  These will be lower in Phosphorus than milk options.  They do still have Phosphorus in them.  If you can find one without Phos in the ingredients those are the best choices.  Use these wisely, and don’t overdo.  It is very easy to get too much Phosphorus because it is not quantified on labels.
  5. Remember to always go by guidelines given to you by your doctor or Dietitian.  Some of these products may still have Sodium, Potassium, and Protein.  Using milk products will definitely have Phosphorus, Sodium, Potassium, and Protein.
  6. If you are stage 4 or 5 CKD, some of these options may be off your list altogether. Plus you may be on fluid restrictions. Speak to your Dietititan to be sure it is safe for you to have coffee.

Enjoy your coffee, and happy Friday!  Have an awesome weekend!  See you Sunday for Sweating on Sunday.  Use the contact form below to message me for available Health Buddy Melissa health coaching plans. You can check out my Walking Plan, and Meals With Melissa.

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