On 12:11 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
What is anxiety? We have all felt anxiety—the nervousness before a date, test, competition, presentation—but what exactly is it?
Anxiety is our body's way of preparing to face a challenge. Our heart pumps more blood and oxygen so we are ready for action. We are alert and perform physical and emotional tasks more efficiently.                           
It is normal to feel anxious when our safety, health, or happiness is threatened; however, sometimes anxiety can become overwhelming and disruptive and may even occur for no identifiable reason. Excessive, lasting bouts of worry may reflect an anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of anxiety disorders: Anyone may experience these symptoms during stressful times. However, individuals with anxiety disorders may experience them in absence of stress, with more severe symptoms and with several symptoms appearing together.
  • Inability to relax
  • Unrealistic or excessive worry
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Rapid pulse or pounding, skipping, racing heart
  • Nausea, chest pain or pressure
  • Feeling a "lump in the throat"
  • Dry mouth
  • Irregular breathing
  • Feelings of dread, apprehension or losing control
  • Trembling or shaking, sweating or chills
  • Fainting or dizziness, feelings of detachment
  • Thoughts of death

Types of Anxiety Disorders:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by chronic and exaggerated worry and tension, much more than the typical anxiety people experience in their daily lives. People may have trembling, twitching, muscle tension, nausea, irritability, poor concentration, depression, fatigue, headaches, light-headedness, breathlessness or hot flashes.

Panic Disorder: People with panic disorder have panic attacks with feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. During the attacks, individuals may feel like they can't breathe, have lost control, are having a heart attack or even that they are dying. Physical symptoms may include chest pain, dizziness, nausea, sweating, tingling or numbness, and a racing heartbeat. Some people will have one isolated attack, while others will develop a long term panic disorder; either way, there is often high anxiety between attacks because there is no way of knowing when the next one will occur. Panic disorders are twice as common in women as men, and often begin early in adulthood. Many people with panic disorder also suffer from agoraphobia (abnormal fear of open or public places.).

Phobias are irrational fears. Individuals with phobias realize their fears are irrational, but thinking about or facing the feared object or situation can bring on a panic attck or severe anxiety.
Phobias are often fears of a particular object or situation. Commonly feared objects and situations in specific phobias include animals, tunnels, water and heights. The most common specific phobia is fear of public speaking.
 
Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. People with social phobia have a fear of being judged by others, being embarrassed or being humiliated. This fear may interfere with work or school and other ordinary activities.
 
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by uncontrollable anxious thoughts or behaviors. Individuals with OCD are plagued by persistent, unwelcome thoughts and images or by the urgent need to engage in certain rituals. Some OCD sufferers may only have obsessive thoughts without the related rituals. The disturbing thoughts or images (e.g., fear of germs) are called obsessions, and the rituals performed to try to get rid of them (e.g., hand washing) are called compulsions. For example, people who are obsessed with germs may wash their hands excessively. The individual is not happy to be performing the ritual behaviors but finds this to be the only way to get temporary relief from the obsessive thought.
 
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder affects people after terrifying events such as physical or sexual abuse, car accidents, war or natural disasters. Individuals with PTSD may experience depression, flashbacks, nightmares, sleep difficulties, irritability, aggression, violence, and a feeling of detachment or numbness. In general, symptoms seem to be worse if the event that triggered the PTSD was initiated by a person. Symptoms can be triggered by anything that reminds the individual of their trauma and often begin within 3 months after experiencing the trauma.

What is a panic attack? Panic attacks can be caused by heredity, chemical imbalances, stress and the use of stimulants (such as caffeine or drugs).
Some people have only one or two attacks and are never bothered again. Panic attacks can occur with other psychiatric disorders. In panic disorders, however, the panic attacks return repeatedly and the person develops an intense fear of having another attack. Without help, this "fear of fear" can make people avoid certain situations and can interfere with their lives even when they are not having a panic attack. Therefore, it is very important to recognize the problem and get help.


 
More information on anxiety is HERE!
On 6:08 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care



Life is full of hassles, deadlines, frustrations, and demands. For many people, stress is so common that it has become a way of life. When you’re constantly running in emergency mode, your mind and body pay the price. You can protect yourself by recognizing the signs and symptoms of stress and taking steps to reduce its harmful effects

What is stress?

Stress is your response to any physical, emotional or intellectual demands.
College students face many forms of stress, such as moving away from family and friends to school, new friendships and intimate relationships, academic demands, financial concerns, etc.
The optimal level of stress challenges you but still allows you to succeed (for example, feeling a little anxious before a test may help you study harder). It may allow you to perform better, work more quickly or efficiently and think more clearly. You may not feel stressed at this point.
 
When we say we are stressed, we generally mean that our stress levels feel out of balance. This includes not only times when you are feeling overwhelmed by work or studying, but also times when you are bored. Slight imbalances of stress force you to adapt, making you stronger and allowing you to grow, but larger imbalances can be very overwhelming. The aim is not to eliminate stress altogether, but to use stress to your best advantage by maintaining a balance between stress and your coping techniques.

Symptoms:
Mental symptoms may include persistent negative thoughts, indecisiveness, poor memory, worrying, boredom, impaired judgement, loss of concentration, bad dreams and hasty decisions.
Behavioral symptoms may include unsociability, restlessness, changes in eating, exercising and sleeping habits.
Physical symptoms may include being accident-prone, insomnia, excessive sweating, indigestion, rashes, nausea, racing heart, teeth grinding, headaches, clenched muscles, rapid weight changes, breathlessness, fatigue, vague aches and pains, constipation or diarrhea, frequent illnesses, and increased use of alcohol, tobacco, other drugs.
Please note that stress and illness have been linked, although the connection has not yet been fully defined. Discussing stress with your clinician may allow for better care.
Emotional symptoms may include irritability, anxiety, mood swings, crying spells, tension, lack of enthusiasm, cynicism, feelings of alienation, loss of confidence and a sense of dissatisfaction.

How can I manage stress?

Change your mindset:

Develop hardiness, which is an appreciation for challenge, a commitment to living and a belief that you have control over your life. This can lead to greater resilience.
Talk to friends, family, counselors. Ask for help or just share your feelings.
Evaluate your coping responses. Replace those that are negative (e.g. excessive drinking, smoking, procrastination) with positive responses (e.g. planning ahead, taking care of your body, facing problems). Look for the positive aspects of each stressor.
Laugh—it's good for body and soul!

Take care of your body and mind:
Find out how much sleep your body needs, and rearrange your schedule to get it!
Eat a balanced diet including a variety of fruits, vegetables and grains.
Exercise: even a ten-minute walk provides great stress relief.
Practice deep breathing and other relaxation techniques.
Limit caffeine intake. Excess caffeine can add to anxiety-related feelings such as nervousness, irritability, sweating and tremors.
Avoid using alcohol and other drugs to relieve stress. Drink in moderation (one drink per hour with a maximum of three for women, four for men) or not at all.

Manage your time:
Make a "To Do" list and prioritize tasks. Let some of the unimportant tasks go. Don't just prioritize your schedule—schedule your priorities!
Take time to identify your stressors. Plan to minimize or even avoid those that are dragging you down.
Evaluate your expectations—are they realistic?
Take time for relaxation, fun and hobbies. How about music or dance lessons, yoga or crafts?

Beat the academic heat:
Compete only with yourself. You have no control over how other people perform, only how you perform.
Ask for help when you need it! Advisors, professors, teaching assistants and counselors are there to help YOU!
Arrange your schedule so that it fits your needs whenever possible. Think carefully about your preferences—for example, do you like morning or afternoon classes, like time between classes, have a work schedule to consider and so on.
Prepare for tests and papers ahead of time so that you don't have to cram!
 
For  more information on Stress, head on over HERE
On 9:33 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
 


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On 4:42 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care
As the days begin to get colder and more and more bugs start flying around, it isn’t just your health that you need to take care of in the autumn and winter months. Along with harsh winds, and icy temperatures, many everyday factors can have a negative effect on your skin, so it’s a good idea to incorporate skin-loving nutrients into your diet at this time of year.

Vitamins and Skin Health

Vitamin E is not only important in maintaining a healthy immune system, but it is also a key component in ensuring a glowing complexion. As well as helping to make your skin look and feel smoother, Vitamin E is a powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant that helps to protect your skin from damage caused by prolonged sun-exposure, pollution and other harmful factors.

It is no secret that
Vitamin C may help to boost your immune system and ward off those nasty autumn and winter colds, but research also suggests that it can be used to combat the effects of excessive sun-exposure. Vitamin C may achieve this by supporting the production of collagen in your skin. Collagen gives the skin its strength and flexibility. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, protecting the skin against UV-induced free-radical damage, which has been associated with skin wrinkling.

Dry and flaky complexions are common in winter and may be caused by low levels of Vitamin A in your diet. Vitamin A deficiencies are associated with over-exposure to the sun. Conversely, vitamin A itself plays an important role in the normal function and development of your skin. With research demonstrating that topical Vitamin A (retinoids) can be effective for treating fine lines and wrinkles, a number of topical retinoids are now available on the market.

Vitamin B2 helps promote healthy skin. A deficiency in Vitamin B2 may result in oily skin and eczema of the face, so it is important that you get the recommended daily intake of
vitamins to ensure a healthy complexion.

Finally, Vitamin B3 is especially important for healthy skin as it has been known to have some anti-inflammatory properties and works as an antioxidant. Vitamin B3 can help to improve skin rashes and combat dry, flaky and irritated skin. It also has potential for the treatment of acne and rosacea.
On 4:15 PM by NY Drs. Urgent Care


Eating a variety of healthy foods is the key to a good diet — one that will improve your overall health, help fend off disease, and increase longevity. And while no one single food is a cure-all, researchers have found that some foods in particular do have superior disease-fighting properties that can make you healthier. Regularly incorporate some of these healthy foods into your diet, and the health benefits they deliver may stick with you for a lifetime.
 
Salmon
Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to decrease the risk of abnormal heartbeats, lower triglyceride levels, slow the growth of artery-clogging fat deposits, and reduce blood pressure. There is also evidence that omega-3s could be a "brain food," since they may reduce the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Most fatty fish are rich in omega-3s, but salmon is a particularly nutritious healthy food choice because it is low in the potentially toxic contaminant, mercury.


Blueberries
Blueberries are another healthy food that can help protect against disease and potentially boost longevity. In addition to vitamins and minerals, blueberries, like many other brightly colored berries, are a terrific source of antioxidants, natural compounds that are thought to decrease inflammation, guard your cells against damage from free radicals, and reduce the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, and age-related brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Yogurt
This healthy food is a great source of probiotics, which are "friendly bacteria" similar to the bacteria that are naturally found in your gut. Probiotics function to support your immune system, protect you against disease, and help your body digest and absorb foods and nutrients. There is emerging evidence that regularly consuming yogurt and other sources of probiotics can help bolster your general wellness, prevent certain cancers, and treat some health conditions including diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and irritable bowel syndrome

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are delicious vegetables that pack a powerful nutritional punch. They are good sources of potassium, which can help lower your blood pressure, and are also packed with vitamin A, which is important for your vision, bone health, reproduction, and cell growth and maintenance. This vibrantly colored healthy food also delivers about 3 grams of fiber per 160-calorie potato and, thanks to its natural sweetness, it tastes great on its own — no fattening topping needed.

Green Tea
More and more people are learning about the health benefits of green tea, a rich source of antioxidants. Green tea has been shown to help keep you mentally alert, and it may also help with weight loss, regulate cholesterol levels, and prevent sun damage on your skin. There is preliminary evidence that regularly drinking green tea may even help prevent or slow the growth of certain cancers.

 Spinach
If your mother told you to eat your spinach when you were a kid, she had good reason. This low-calorie dark leafy green vegetable is a healthy food loaded with many of the vitamins and minerals your body needs. A cup of spinach contains as much bone-building calcium as a cup of milk. Spinach is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that helps your body's muscular and cardiovascular systems function as they should. It’s also loaded with vitamin A and vitamin E, which support the health of your cells.

Tomato Paste
Tomatoes are one of those healthy foods that become even healthier when you cook them, since cooking releases and concentrates key nutrients. Canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and even ketchup are great sources of lycopene, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce your risk of prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease. Tomato products also provide potassium, some iron, and vitamins A, C, and E.

Dark Chocolate
It is not often that a healthy food is as indulgent as dark chocolate. But the next time you are nibbling on a piece of this sweet, savor the fact that it delivers antioxidants called flavonoids, which support the health of your heart and blood vessels. Just don't overdo it since chocolate is high in fat and calories. And remember: the darker the chocolate, the higher level of healthy antioxidants. 


Oatmeal




Oatmeal is one of the best sources of soluble fiber, the type of fiber that can help lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad” cholesterol and control your blood sugar. This reduces your risk of developing heart disease or diabetes. Eating a bowl of this healthy food in the morning can also help you maintain a healthy weight, since soluble fiber helps you feel full longer.


On 11:18 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

There are a slew of suspected causes of acne--bacteria, clogged pores, excess oil build-up, hygiene and hormones--and a gazillion products marketed to cure it. That said, you don't necessarily need to shell out hard-earned cash to fight the zits. First, take a trip to your own pantry and medicine cabinet--these simple at-home ingredients can treat your blemishes effectively (and economically).

Aloe Vera
The sap of aloe vera leaves, a cactus-like succulent plant, contains gibberellins and polysaccharides, which have antibacterial properties to kill the bacteria that instigates acne, anti-inflammatory properties to soothe aggravated skin, and astringent properties to heal harmed skin. Aloe also helps heal scars, balances moisture in skin and stimulates new skin growth.







Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar balances pH levels of skin and hosts natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties to nip acne-causing bacteria in the bud. It also contains malic acid and lactic acid that gently exfoliate and soften skin.







Baking Soda
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, balances pH levels of skin thanks to its amphoteric properties (meaning it can act both as an acid or alkaline depending on what it interacts with). It works to remedy imbalanced pH levels that contribute to and aggravate acne. Baking soda's mild antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties also calm skin and cool out exacerbation of inflamed acne. Plus, the grain of baking soda powder is round, so it works as a gentle exfoliate that won't harm skin.





Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide, H2O2, is an antiseptic that kills bacteria that can lead to acne and also oxygenates pores to potentially prevent future breakouts.









Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains L-asorbic acid, which works as a natural astringent to reduce excess oil and as a mild exfoliant to slough off dead skin cells and prevent clogged pores. Plus, lemon contains natural antibacterial compounds that disinfect bacteria that can lead to acne


Distilled from the leaves an Australian shrub, tea tree oil contains powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal compound called terpenoids that kill bacteria that can lead to breakouts. Studies show that they daily use of tea tree is as effective as benzoyl peroxide (found in most over the counter acne creams and gels) to reduce inflammation of mild to moderate acne. While tea tree's effects work more slowly than benzoyl peroxide, it's a lot less drying and irritating to skin.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel, a solution distilled from the leaves and bark of a North American shrub, contains tannins, which have astringent effects on skin to effectively soothe inflammation and reduce excess oil. Plus, its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties help curb bacterial colonization.

On 11:16 AM by NY Drs. Urgent Care

The Signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder


Do you gain weight and get blue, miserable, and tired once the days get shorter? These are all symptoms of a condition called seasonal affective disorder.

People who find they have mild to severe depression in fall and winter, when the days grow shorter, may have seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — sometimes called the winter blues. Women, especially those in their twenties, are most susceptible to seasonal affective disorder, but it can affect men and people of all ages, including children and teens. Very often, people with seasonal depression have at least one close relative with a psychiatric disorder, typically major depressive disorder or alcohol abuse.

SAD symptoms emerge during the darker winter months, then disappear as days grow longer and brighter come spring, says Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and an assistant professor at Harvard University Medical School.
It's estimated that a half-million people in the United States may have seasonal depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms
Symptoms of SAD include:
  • Weight gain. Cravings for sweet and starchy foods lead to excess weight.
  • Daytime fatigue. People with SAD are tired during the day and have less energy. They may also find themselves sleeping a lot, but getting no relief from their fatigue. “With SAD, you eat more and sleep more,” Dr. Duckworth says. “It’s hibernation-like.”
  • Increased irritability and anxiety. People with SAD worry more about everyday events and can be easily irritated. They can have trouble concentrating, too.
  • Social withdrawal. Those with SAD prefer to be alone; they shun the company of friends and family and do not participate in activities they normally enjoy. Often their social behavior is hard to understand.
SAD is treatable, and there are various treatment methods.

SAD: Light Therapy
“Light therapy does seem to have some effectiveness,” Duckworth says. Light therapy boxes are available that mimic the outdoors. You can buy them without a prescription, but they cost about $400 and are not covered by insurance.

The best time to use light therapy is in the morning. “You sit in front of the box in the morning before going to work and give yourself some sunshine,” Duckworth says. Light therapy typically takes about 30 minutes a day. Note: Do not try to use tanning beds as a treatment for SAD. Tanning beds use ultraviolet rays, which can be harmful to your eyes and your skin.

SAD: Professional Help
“Find a relationship with a clinician who can coach you through this and figure out if it is indeed SAD or if you do worse at Christmastime because your father died on Christmas Eve, for example,” Duckworth says.
A medical professional also can prescribe antidepressants if necessary.

SAD: Other Treatment Methods
  • Taking a vacation to where it’s warm and sunny. “Go to Florida or to the Bahamas. Go some place south with a lot of sun,” Duckworth says. “If you can take a vacation to a sunny climate it likely will help.”
  • Maintaining relationships with friends and family. “Don’t stop going to church if you go to church,” Duckworth says. “If your family is a big source of stress, figure out a way to be with them that is not overwhelming to you. Maybe plan your longer visits for the summer when you seem to be doing better.”
Because SAD occurs during the winter months — when holiday festivities are in full force — self-medication is tempting.
“Alcohol use tends to go up in the winter as people attend more parties,” Duckworth says. However, he says, “If you’re using alcohol or drugs to change the depressed way you feel this time of year, it’s probably compounding your problems as opposed to helping them.”