Strategies To Boost Your Self-Compassion

I want you to take a moment to think about how you treat yourself when you make a mistake or fail to smash a target. If you’re one to beat yourself up when things don’t go as you’d like, you, like most people, can use a little more self compassion in your life.

Nurturing and forgiving yourself has a lot of very subtle benefits. Strong self-compassion can even set the stage for better health, relationships, and general well-being. Research has proven a number of self-compassion benefits. People with higher self-compassion tend to have lower depression and anxiety levels. Self-compassionate people recognize when they are suffering and are kind to themselves at these times, thereby lowering their own levels of related anxiety and depression.

Some people are naturally self-compassionate, but not everyone is. Luckily, it is a learnable skill. Several methods have been proposed, and training programs are being developed, to help people discover and cultivate their own self-compassion.

However, I’ll be listing ways you could boost your self-compassion skills

Always make your body feel at ease. Eat something healthy. Lie down and rest. Massage your own neck, feet, or hands. Take a walk and get some fresh air. Anything you can do to boost how you feel physically gives you a dosage of self compassion.

Write a letter to yourself. Recall instances that have caused you to feel pain (a breakup with a lover, an employment loss, a poorly delivered presentation). Write a letter to yourself narrating the conditions that made things go south, but without blaming anyone — including yourself. Use this exercise to nurture your feelings.

Encourage yourself. Think of what you would say to a friend you’re very fond of if he or she was facing a difficult situation. Then, when you find yourself in this kind of situation, direct these compassionate responses toward yourself.
Practice mindfulness. Go for a quick run, meditate for a few minutes, all these can be a great way to accept and support yourself when things are not going so great.


When Should I Start Having My Cholesterol Checked? (Probably Sooner Than You Think).

If you're in your early 20's or 30's you're probably more concerned about making money and blowing up your finances than you are about your cholesterol. But it's important to know your numbers — and it's not something you should put off till you're middle or old aged.
Why? Because studies show that high cholesterol can have long-term effects on your heart health. And because it doesn't have obvious symptoms, you could have it without knowing.

Why cholesterol screening is extremely vital
Your body needs some cholesterol to perform certain functions. But when there's too much of it circulating in your blood, it can start to build up on the inside walls of your blood vessels, which restricts the flow of blood to your heart and brain. Eventually, this could cause a heart attack or stroke.

Statin therapy and certain lifestyle changes are effective ways to bring high cholesterol down to a healthy range. But most people won't know that they have high cholesterol just by the way they feel.

That's where screening comes in. A lipid panel is an easy, affordable screening blood test that can be very helpful in identifying patients that are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

What is a lipid panel blood test?
A recent Cleveland Clinic survey found that only one in five Americans are aware that lipid panel cholesterol testing should begin in a person's 20s, even if they don't have symptoms of heart disease.

Young healthy adults who do not have heart disease should have their cholesterol levels checked every 4 to 6 years, starting at age 20.
People who have heart disease or who are taking cholesterol-controlling medications, or those who have additional risk factors, may need to have it tested more often.

Your primary care doctor can conduct this test. While there are cholesterol home test kits that can be purchased at drug stores or online, it is recommended that you have this done at a professional laboratory.

A lipid panel will measure some or all of the following:

Total cholesterol. Optimal total cholesterol level is < 200 mg/dL.
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also called bad cholesterol. The optimal level is < 100 mg/dL.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) also called good cholesterol.The optimal level is > 60 mg/dL.

Triglycerides, which are another kind of fat molecule. The optimal level of triglycerides is < 150 mg/dL.
If your numbers do not fall into a healthy range, your doctor may prescribe a statin or recommend making some changes to your diet or lifestyle.

Cholesterol management is really vital to minimizing your risk for heart disease and stroke — but it's important to remember that it is only one factor that contributes to your risk. Your doctor can work with you to determine your risk based on your cholesterol numbers plus other risk factors like family history, cigarette smoking, blood pressure and age.


Outbreak of Lassa Fever in Nigeria: measures for prevention and control

Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) showed that in 2020, there are 398 suspected cases, 163 confirmed incidences and 24 deaths, with Case Fatality Ratio (CFR) of 15.7 percent in nine states and 32 Local Government Areas (LGAs).

The cases were reported in Bauchi, Ebonyi, Edo, Ogun, Ondo, Plateau, Taraba. 89% of all confirmed cases are from Edo (38%), Ondo (38%) and Ebonyi (11%) states

The government is making conscious efforts to contain the Lassa fever virus but there are some measures you can take to keep yourself safe and away from the infection.


Virtual Consultations can be a convenient option

When you need care — anytime, day or night — Chatting with a doctor can be a convenient option. From treating flu and fevers to caring for sore throat and allergies, you can chat with a doctor online 24/


Be Mindful Of Your Exposure To Loud Noises & Sounds

It's almost the end of the year which means many people are headed to music concerts. While flocking to a music concert is a great way to spend some free time, it’s important to know that noise levels at concerts can exceed 135 decibels, which is equivalent to a jet at takeoff – a level that can contribute to hearing loss.
More than 70 percent of Nigerians know that exposure to loud sounds can cause hearing loss; however, just 50 percent correctly recognized that both one-time exposure to a loud sound and cumulative exposure to moderately loud sounds can harm hearing health.

Hearing loss affects more than 38 million people nationwide, and it could become even more widespread in the coming years: more than 1.1 billion young adults worldwide are at risk of developing hearing loss, according to a study by the World Health Organization.

This is a reminder for people to take note of their hearing health – and that of their loved ones – to help prevent the condition or, if necessary, obtain treatment. Hearing health is crucial to overall health, as research shows hearing loss is associated with social isolation, dementia, depression and increased risk of falls.

To help encourage better hearing health, consider these tips:

Reduce exposure to loud noises: You should limit your exposure to loud sounds, such as music, machine equipment, etc to no more than 20 minutes at a time. If you’re attending a sports game or music concert, wear ear buds to protect your ears. These precautionary measures should be especially emphasized for young people, children’s ears are more susceptible to harm caused by exposure to loud sounds. While hearing loss is more common among older Nigerians, younger people can also be affected: about 20 percent of people over age 12 experience some level of hearing loss.

Choose noise-cancelling headphones: One contributing factor to the increased risk of noise-induced hearing loss is the growing popularity of earbuds. People should consider over-the-ear headphones – especially models with noise-cancelling – as those are generally considered a better option than earbuds. When using earbuds, try to use them for no more than 60 minutes at a time and at no more than 60 percent of the player’s maximum volume. If someone else can hear your music while you’re using earbuds, it’s an indication of excessive volume.

Talk to a health professional and schedule a hearing test: Common signs of hearing loss include turning up the volume on the TV or radio to levels that others find too loud, having trouble hearing people on the phone, and difficulty following conversations in noisy environments.

Follow these easy tips to protect your hearing.


4 Remedies to Relieve Stress Related Back & Neck Pain

Ways to reduce tension in the neck and back.

With so many of us staring into computers or gazing down at our smart phones most of the day, it’s no wonder most of us have had an aching back or sore neck ruin a nice day — some of us more often than others.

A stiff neck typically is the result of muscles weakening over time from poor posture or misuse, but what if there was a way to completely avoid or minimize your next bout of this misery?

Try these simple remedies to relieve yourself of the pain whenever it sprouts.

1. Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. But certain types shouldn’t be taken too often or for too long. Follow your doctor’s prescription for medicine use.

2. Strike a spine-friendly pose — at work, while driving, when texting, etc. Poor posture may contribute to back and neck strain. It may help to:

Adjust your workstation. For instance, keep your computer screen at arm’s length. Feet should touch the floor or be supported.

Switch positions as often as possible. For example, if you sit for work, get up to stretch or walk around.

When driving distances, stop frequently for breaks to walk and stretch.
Browsing on your smartphone? Try to keep it at either chest or eye level.

3. Lighten up. Excess weight equals excess strain on your spine.

4. Have a partner gently massage the sore or painful areas.

5. Sleep on a firm mattress without a pillow or with a designated neck pillow.

It’s a simple truth: If your spine isn’t happy, you may not be happy for long. Don’t stand for it. Actually, do take a stand — for your back and better health.

When you’re already aching.
These tips may ease pain — and help the healing process. If the pain persists and continues to get in the way of your daily activities, consult your GP.




Gastroenteritis Outbreak in Lagos

Patients with gastroenteritis present severe acute watery diarrhea and excessive vomiting. Those infected with microorganisms causing the disease show signs and symptoms within 12 hours to one week after ingesting contaminated food or water. The disease affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if untreated.



Scientists Discover a New Strain of HIV

Medical Scientists report they have discovered a new strain of HIV for the first time in almost 20 years.

The new strain is a part of the same family of virus subtypes that have fueled the global HIV pandemic, according to Abbott Laboratories, which conducted the research with the University of Missouri.
The strain has been classified as subtype L in HIV-1 Group M. HIV has several different subtypes or strains, and like other viruses, it has the ability to change and mutate over time.

There are two main types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. Within HIV-1, there are multiple strains. Group M, which can be traced back to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is the strain that led in the global HIV epidemic.
Forms of this new strain of the HIV virus might be circulating, both in the DRC and elsewhere, but are unclassified as of now.

But Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted that existing treatments for HIV work against this strain.

"There's no reason to panic or even worry about it a little bit," Fauci told CNN. "Not a lot of people are infected with this. This is an outlier."
"This discovery reminds us that to end the HIV pandemic, we must continue to out think this continuously changing virus and use the latest advancements in technology and resources to monitor its evolution," study co-author, Dr. Carole McArthur, a professor in the department of oral and craniofacial sciences at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, said in a statement.
About 36.7 million in the world are living with HIV, according to the World Health Organization. UNAIDS estimates that in 2016, some 1.8 million people became newly infected.


A Woman Pregnant But With No Baby In Her Womb

Mrs. Cynthia has been married for the past 10 years with no child. She has lost 3 pregnancies, all in the first trimester, to miscarriage in these 8 years, but that did not stop her and her very supportive husband from giving it another try. 


Healthy Habits for a Healthy Vision

If you can see clearly with the aid of glasses or contact lenses, you may assume you're doing everything right to protect your eyes. 

But developing additional healthy habits to protect and fortify your vision is paramount.

As you get older, your risk of developing some of the most common causes of blindness, including cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration, goes up.

Fortunately, there are measures that you can take to reduce your risks and fuel better vision as you grow older.

Get your vitamins
A number of vitamins and nutrients can help. They include:

Vitamin A. This antioxidant is essential to the vision process and helps protect the surface of the eyes. Vitamin A deficiency can cause night blindness and, eventually, blindness. Many animal-based foods are high in vitamin A, including liver, oily fish and cheese, but your body can also produce vitamin A from carotenoids found in vegetables like sweet potato, leafy green vegetables and carrots.

Vitamin C. Found in many fruits and vegetables including broccoli, grapefruit, strawberries and oranges, this antioxidant helps lower the risk of developing cataracts.

Vitamin E. Studies have shown that vitamin E may slow vision damage from AMD. You can get it from sunflower seeds, nuts, avocado and plant oils.

Lutein. Lutein, found in high quantities in leafy green vegetables, is thought to filter harmful blue light that enters the eyes and limit damage to the retina.

Mind the sun

Excessive UV exposure can damage the front and back of the eyes and contribute to a number of problems that lead to vision loss, including cataracts, macular degeneration and eye cancers. Buy a quality pair of sunglasses that fully covers the eye area, and make sure the lenses provide 100% UV spectrum protection.

Follow the 20/20/20 rule
Staring at a television, computer, smartphone or tablet screen for hours and hours every day strains your eyes. It is recommended that you take breaks from being fixated at these screens.

This is to calm your eyes and get you blinking because we find that people that spend hours watching TV rarely blink as often as they should.
Blinking lubricates the eye, so not blinking can make your eyes feel dry.
See an eye doctor on the regular
Make a visit to an eye doctor part of your annual preventive care routine — and not just to find out whether your glasses prescription has changed. With a comprehensive eye exam, doctors can detect early signs of eye diseases like glaucoma and AMD that might not yet be causing you any symptoms. These conditions are better treated early to minimize or slow vision loss.

Plus, your eyes can hold clues about other aspects of your health. Sometimes, signs of serious health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure can affect your eyes in ways that an optometrist or ophthalmologist can see during a routine eye exam.

So just because your eyes are 10/10 doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care for them. Apply these small steps now to manage your screen time, sun time and nutrition, and your eyes will be grateful in the long run.


5 Breast Cancer Myths Debunked

You can never be too safe when it comes to breast cancer. Doing self-exams, having mammograms and keeping your eyes peeled for signs can be life saving.

Raising awareness and promoting breast health is a wonderful thing But it has also brought about

This article debunks some myths that have been heard from medical patients:

Myth 1: If a breast lump is movable, it’s not cancer.
Almost all breast cancers cases begin in a movable state. When they grow large and attach to something they stop being movable.

You should immediately inform your GP about any lump you feel in your breast.

During a breast self-exam, feel around your breasts for something hard that doesn’t belong there, it may feel smooth and very firm, like a marble.

Myth 2: Breast cancer doesn’t cause pain.
That’s true to some extent but fast-growing breast cancers can be painful. Breast pain in one particular spot, especially in older women, is a warning sign.

Most women experience general breast pain or soreness that comes and goes, that's not a sign of cancer, that’s usually caused by too much caffeine or hormone fluctuations

Myth 3: Women with lumpy breast tissue have dense breasts.

That’s false. Lumpy breast tissue has nothing to do with breast density, your breasts can feel lumpy but not appear dense on a mammogram.

Nearly one in two women have dense breast tissue, indicated by the amount of milk glands and ducts and supportive tissue, which appear solid white on a mammogram. Because cancer can appear the same way, women with dense breasts may choose to have 3D mammography for better cancer detection and fewer false positives.

Myth 4: Doctors can tell if a lump is cancer just by feeling it.
Wrong. Neither you nor your healthcare provider — no matter how good he or she is — can tell whether a lump is cancer without diagnostic imaging.

Women age 30 and older will have a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound. An ultrasound helps evaluate a mass by assessing whether it is solid or fluid-filled. Women under age 30 will have only an ultrasound because younger, dense breasts are difficult to evaluate by mammogram.

Suspicious lumps should be biopsied. Typically, a sample of tissue is drawn through a needle. Then the tissue is studied under a microscope.

Myth 5: Nipple discharge is usually a sign of cancer.
No, the opposite is true. Many women have leftover milk in their ducts after breastfeeding, or they have debris that can cause greenish or even black discharge that can be squeezed out of the ducts.

You should be more worried about bloody or clear discharge that leaks out when you’re not squeezing. This type of discharge can be a sign of breast cancer about 10 percent of the time. Even with bloody nipple discharge, the cause is usually a benign condition inside the milk duct.

Ruling out cancer
Lumps, pain and other breast abnormalities affect almost every woman at some point. Usually they are not cancer, but getting them checked out is a must.

It’s not advisable to rule out breast cancer before you’ve had a proper evaluation.


Is Peer Pressure Leading You to Make Poor Food Choices?

“Oh C’mon a salad? Don’t be boring”

When you’re in the midst of your friends, faced with delicious but unhealthy food choices, peer pressure can make it difficult to stay committed to the healthy living lifestyle.

Whether you’re trying to make healthier choices or just want to march to the beat of your own drum, a little forethought is key.

Your family and friends influence your food choices, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself you have it all covered.

Eating is contagious, just like the flu.

We eat like others because we want to be the norm. We want to be like the people we are spending time with.

Studies have shown that people eating together even tend to chew at the same rate. They mirror the person they are hanging with.

That means if you hang with a bunch of foodies, you’re more likely to overeat in order to fit in. It works the other way, too — you’re more likely to pass on that piece of cake if your friends do.

“Whoever you’re eating with has a dramatic impact on what you eat and how much. But if you become mindful of yourself and your habits, it’s easier to stay your own healthy eating course and avoid following what everyone else is doing.

Mindful eating is key to opposing peer pressure. You can use internal instincts to make your food choices instead of following external social cues.

To be a mindful eater, set your intentions before you begin eating — and then follow through one bite at a time. Stay present. Focus on all the sensations eating involves: how food tastes and how it makes you feel. Mindfulness can help you feel more satisfied and in control.

To do it:

Decide how much you want to eat ahead of time. Be clear on your level of hunger and fullness.
Follow through on your decisions, and don’t apologize for or explain them.

Look at how fast others are eating, and try to chew more slowly. If you are aware of what you need, that’s going to make a big difference. Makes you feel more in control.

Practice makes perfect
If you have a hard time saying no to peer pressure, practice, practice, practice. Say, “No, thank you,” and, “I’m full.” Repeat them until you sound and feel confident.


Before you go to a restaurant, look at the menu and pick out what you want. Order first, because whoever orders first usually sets the tone for the rest. If you already know what you want, your choice is yours alone and not someone else’s.


Male Breast Cancer; What's to know?

It’s not an unusual question to ask,”Can men get breast cancer?” the plain answer is yes.

Male breast cancer is a relatively rare cancer but one that doctors often diagnose in the later stages. Knowing how to recognize the signs can help a person get early treatment.
Male breast cancer accounts for fewer than 1% of all cancer diagnoses worldwide.

In 2020, about 2,870 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed, and about 490 men will die from breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

Male breast cancers usually have excellent outlooks if the cancer is detected early. However, early diagnosis is not always possible.

One factor in diagnosis delay is a lack of awareness. Many women know what signs and changes that could indicate breast cancer, it’s not the same for men. Hence, making early diagnosis rarely occurring in men. There is less awareness among men which means they are less likely to seek help in the early stages.

Breast cancer can also affect males differently, as they have a small amount of breast tissue in comparison with females. This can make it easier to detect small lumps, but it also means that the cancer has less room to grow within the breast. As a result, it may spread more quickly to nearby tissues.

For these and other reasons, around 40% of men with breast cancer receive a diagnosis in stage 3 or 4, when the disease has already spread to other parts of the body. As a result, overall survival rates are lower for men than for women.

The most common symptoms of male breast cancer are:

  • A lump or swelling that is usually, but not always, painless
  • Skin dimpling or puckering
  • Nipple retraction
  • Redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin
  • Discharge from the nipple

If cancer spreads, additional symptoms may include:

  • swelling in the lymph glands, in or near the underarm area
  • breast pain
  • bone pain

Risk Factors

One major risk factor that increases the risk of breast cancer for both men and women is aging. Generally, the risk of breast cancer for a man goes up as they age.

Family history is important, too, as breast cancer risk is higher if other members of the family have had the disease. About 20 percent of men with breast cancer have a family history of it.

It is essential to seek help as soon as a person notices changes. Early stage breast cancer responds well to treatment.


Are Egg Yolks Bad For The Health?

Breakfast is one very important meal you shouldn’t skip. But most of us aren’t sure whether we should eat eggs because of their saturated fat and cholesterol content.

On one hand, eggs are considered an excellent and inexpensive source of protein and various nutrients.

A sore point is there, but only for people with heart disease risk factors. Egg whites are a good source of protein. It is egg yolks that have the cholesterol and saturated fat you’re trying to avoid.

If you have a type of heart disease or high cholesterol, you should be watchful about the number of egg yolks you consume, and take into account all the other forms of saturated fat (red meat, beef, pork, veal and lamb, poultry skin, whole-milk dairy or full-fat cheese) in your diet.

To lower your LDL cholesterol, no more than 5 to 6% of your calories should come from saturated fat.

When you prepare eggs, you should also pay attention to the way you cook them, adding oil to fry contributes to the saturated fat you’re consuming for the day. Avoid putting salt on your eggs to keep the amount of sodium in your diet at the recommended level. One teaspoon of salt is all you need per day.