The Facts About Kidney Stones

Previously, we published an article entitled Facts about the Kidneys. This article focuses on the facts about kidney stones. Kidney stones are on the rise for a number of reasons that will be highlighted as well.

What are Kidney Stones?

Kidney Stones
Kidney Stones

Kidney stones (aka renal calculi, nephrolithiasis, or urolithiasis) are solid deposits composed of minerals and salts that develop inside the kidneys and stick together in concentrated urine.

There are various types of kidney stones depending on how they are produced and the substances that form them. Typical forms of kidney stones include uric acid stones, calcium stones, struvite stones, and cystine stones.

What Causes Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can have an effect on any part of the urinary tract, including the area from the kidneys to the bladder. Frequently, stones appear when the urine becomes concentrated, which allows minerals to crystallize and stick together.

Diet, additional body weight, certain medical conditions, and certain supplements and medications are among the various causes of kidney stones. These causes are explained in detail below.

Inadequate Hydration – Poor hydration is one of the most common causes of kidney stones. The crystallization progression that forms kidney stones is more likely to take place if the body suffers from persistent low hydration. Poor hydration can be the consequence of inadequate water intake or excess sweating during physical activity.

Drinking adequate amounts of water daily can keep the body hydrated and therefore reducing the risk of developing kidney stones. If an individual sweats too much for any reason, exercises intensely, or carries out physical activity over long periods, that person should make an effort to sip water throughout the day.

Foods With Excessive Oxalates – Even though leafy green vegetables have positive benefits, eating them in excess is a potential cause of kidney stones. This is because foods like spinach, rhubarb, and beets contain high

All about Kidney Stones - Oxalatesamounts of oxalates, which are compounds that combine with calcium to form a majority of kidney stones.

When foods high in oxalates are consumed in moderate quantities, the oxalates are usually excreted in the urine. However, when an individual frequently consumes large amounts of foods high in oxalates, the quantity of oxalates becomes too elevated for excretion. Therefore, when the oxalates combine with calcium, calcium stones form. Because of this, It is best to avoid being over-enthusiastic while eating foods high in oxalates. Additionally, there are leafy green vegetables that are low in oxalates, like kale.

Excessive Sodium (Salt) Intake – Excessive sodium intake is another probable cause of kidney stones. High sodium ingestion leads to increased calcium levels and exhausted citrate levels in urine. Citrate is known to hinder stone formation. These two factors increase the risk of kidney stone formation.

Studies indicate that reducing salt intake to no more than 1,200 mg per day and limiting protein intake cut down recurrent kidney stone formation by half among people who suffer from chronic kidney stones. According to the study, reduction in salt intake has significantly better results than reducing calcium intake.

The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) recommends that the general population consume no more than 2,300 mg of table salt per day. In addition, those individuals with high blood pressure and who are middle-aged or older should limit their intake to no more than 1,500 mg a day.

Protein From Animals – Animal protein can lead to high urine acidity, for example, beef and shellfish. The digestion of animal protein creates uric acid, which is known to bring about gout. Uric acid can also gather in the kidneys and result in kidney stones. Animal protein can additionally increase calcium levels in urine as well as reduce the amount of citrate in the body. Both these factors increase the risk of kidney stone formation.

However, this does not mean that animal protein should be avoided altogether. In contrast, consuming animal protein in moderate amounts and monitoring other known dietary causes of kidney stones can reduce the risk considerably.

Insufficient Calcium Intake – While extra calcium can unite with oxalates to form calcium stones, low calcium intake can also lead to kidney stone development. Calcium readily binds to oxalates, which works completely when there is the right amount of calcium in the diet.

Dietary calcium combines with oxalates in the small intestine. This combination enables the oxalates to be expelled in the stool instead of being absorbed into the bloodstream. However, when calcium intake is insufficient, the oxalates are soaked up into the bloodstream. Once they arrive at the kidneys, they combine with the available calcium to form calcium stones. Shop for calcium online [affiliate link]

Digestive Issues – Some gut problems are potential causes of kidney stones. Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, can bring about diarrhea, which results in severe fluid loss. Fluid loss, in turn, reduces the amount of water accessible for urine production.

Low hydration additionally directs to a high concentration of minerals and acids in the body, particularly in the kidneys and the urinary tract. Large amounts of minerals and acids in the urinary system and the subsequent low urine volume increase the risk of kidney stones.

Excess Weight-Obesity – Obesity, which is identified as a body mass index (BMI) bigger than 30, has been connected to the development of kidney stones. Additionally, being overweight or obese causes numerous other health problems, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

According to some research, obesity directs to insulin resistance. Consequently, this lessens the urinary secretion of ammonium compounds from the body. This reduction increases urine acidity and leads to the buildup of uric acid in the kidneys and the urinary tract. These increased uric acid levels in the urinary system can cause uric acid stones to form.

Excessive Sugar – Excessive sugar ingestion may lead to the formation of kidney stones. A large number of foods, mainly processed foods, either contain sugar or are broken down into sugar. Therefore, when individuals consume products such as soda, french fries, bread, and cakes, the body can be inundated with a lot of sugar. These large amounts of sugar interfere with the absorption of minerals, for instance, magnesium and calcium, which increases the risk of developing kidney stones.

Researchers connect the increasing number of young children with kidney stones to the increased ingesting of sugary foods. Additionally, studies have found that reducing sugar intake reduces the risk of recurrent kidney stones.

Medications – Individuals taking medications such as diuretics and high-calcium antacids have a higher risk of developing kidney stones. Diuretics decrease the quantity of water in the body. This decrease in water raises the level of minerals in the kidneys and the urinary tract, making kidney stones more likely. In addition, the long-term use of high-calcium antacids increases the amount of calcium in the urine.

These medications increase the risk of developing calcium stones in the kidneys and the entire urinary system. In addition, taking large amounts of vitamin A and vitamin D or drugs such as indinavir, phenytoin, and antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin and ceftriaxone may additionally amplify the risk of getting kidney stones.

Heredity – Individuals are more susceptible to getting kidney stones if other family members have had them. Hypercalciuria, or continually high calcium levels in the urine, is a basis for hereditary kidney stones. In a majority of cases, kidney stones consist of calcium. The condition can be passed down from generation to generation and is a predisposing factor for kidney stones.

Hereditary diseases that affect people’s capability to process compounds like oxalate, uric acid, and the amino acid cysteine additionally increase kidney stones risk. Renal tubular acidosis is an additional genetic condition in which kidney stones are more likely to transpire.

Symptoms of Kidney Stones

Depending on the size and location of the stone, it can cause different signs and symptoms. Usually, kidney stones cause no symptoms if they are small enough to leave the body through the urine. The majority of the symptoms All about Kidney Stones - Symotoms of Kidney Stoneslinked to this condition are due to stones that have become trapped in some areas of the urinary tract. These are usually the ureters, which are the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder.

Abdominal Pain – Abdominal pain is an ambiguous indicator linked with many conditions. The location and characteristics of the pain can assist in distinguishing between different diseases and conditions, and it can be beneficial information to the clinicians to provide an accurate diagnosis.

When a kidney stone becomes lodged in the urinary tract, it can cause a tremendous amount of pain. Once a stone has become trapped, the ureter will spasm, causing the classic renal colic. Renal colic is described by sharp and sudden pain in the affected side of the abdomen. Generally, the pain comes and goes as the ureter spasms repetitively. This pain is known to be extremely rigorous and may last a few hours until it starts to calm down. The pain has been equated with childbirth labor pains.

Back Pain – Pain in the lower portion of the back is one of the most common medical complaints worldwide, next to pain in the neck. It is also a non-specific symptom associated with numerous conditions. It can have a severe start that is usually seen in conditions affecting the musculature of the back. However, sometimes, it can have a subtle onset that makes it difficult to diagnose.

Depending on where the stone is located, it can cause different signs and symptoms. For example, kidney stones that become lodged in the lower portion of the ureter, where the ureter and bladder meet, cause lower back pain. It is additionally possible for the back to be tender to the touch if the affected kidney is struggling to push urine out due to the blockage in the urinary tract.

Pain in the Groin – Groin pain is yet another non-specific symptom associated with numerous conditions. Given the many muscles located in this region, it is usual to experience groin pain due to muscle cramps, tears, and strains. Muscle injuries generally have a sharp and sudden start right after the causing trauma takes place. Other conditions such as hernias and even nephrolithiasis are also known to cause pain in the groin.

Kidney stones that become trapped in the lower portion of the ureter can cause groin pain. Individuals with stones have also reported testicular pain in males and pain in the labia majora for females. This is called referred pain (pain felt at a location different from the injured or diseased organ or body part).

Dark or Red Urine – Hematuria is the medical name used to explain the blood in the urine. When an individual sees blood in their urine, this is called macroscopic hematuria. On the other hand, some patients may have blood in their urine, and the amount is so minuscule that it is only visible during a urine analysis, which is called microscopic hematuria.

More than half of the individuals in distress from kidney stones have either macroscopic or microscopic hematuria. As the stone travels through the urinary tract, it can damage it, causing blood to be seen in the urine.

Urinating Pain – Dysuria is the medical term used to express the presence of pain in the course of urination. It is an imprecise indicator linked with numerous conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTI), kidney stones, and sexually transmitted infections (STI), to name a few. This symptom is frequently depicted as a burning sensation during urination, and it can be an extremely painful experience.

This symptom can be seen in patients with kidney stones lodged at the point where the ureter joins with the bladder. It may additionally be a sign that an underlying urinary tract infection might be at hand as well.

Other possible symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Frequent Urination
  • Increased heart rate
  • Fever

Treating Kidney Stones

The treatment for kidney stones differs, depending on the kind of stone and the origin.

Most small kidney stones do not require invasive treatment involving surgery. An individual may be able to pass a small stone by:

  • Drinking water. Drinking as much as 2 to 3 quarts (1.8 to 3.6 liters) a day will keep the urine diluted and may avert stones from forming. Unless a doctor indicates otherwise, drink enough fluid, ideally water mostly, to produce clear or nearly clear urine.
  • Pain relievers. Passing even a tiny stone can cause some distress. To relieve mild pain, a physician may suggest pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB Profen, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve).
  • Medical therapy.
    A physician may give an individual a medication to help pass the kidney stone. This kind of medication, known as an alpha-blocker, relaxes the muscles in the ureter, helping to pass the kidney stone faster and with less pain. Illustrations of alpha-blockers include tamsulosin (Flomax) and the drug combination dutasteride and tamsulosin (Jalyn).

On the other hand, kidney stones that are too excessive in size to pass on their own or initiate bleeding, kidney injury, or constant urinary tract infections may necessitate more extensive treatment. Procedures can include:

  • Using sound waves to crumble stones. For specific kidney stones, based on size and location, a physician may advise a method called extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).

ESWL uses sound waves to create strong vibrations (shock waves) that

All about Kidney Stones - Treatment 2
Kidney Stone Treatment

shatter the stones into tiny pieces that are passed in the urine. The process lasts about 45 to 60 minutes and may cause moderate pain. Therefore, an individual may be under sedation or light anesthesia to make them comfortable.

ESWL can bring about blood in the urine, bruising on the back or abdomen, bleeding around the kidney area and other neighboring organs, and irritation as the stone fragments passes through the urinary tract.

  • Surgery to eliminate the large stones in the kidney. A procedure known as percutaneous nephrolithotomy (nef-row-lih-THOT-uh-me) involves surgically removing a kidney stone using small telescopes and instruments placed through a small incision in the back.

The patient will receive general anesthesia during the surgery and will remain in the hospital for one to two days to recover. The physician may advise this surgery if ESWL is not successful.

  • Using a scope to eliminate stones. To remove a smaller stone in the ureter or kidney, a physician may insert a thin, lighted tube (ureteroscope) equipped with a camera through the urethra and bladder to the ureter.

Once the stone is sited, special tools can ensnare the stone or break it into pieces that will pass in the urine. A physician may then place a small tube (stent) in the ureter to relieve swelling and promote healing. General or local anesthesia is administered during this procedure.

  • Parathyroid gland surgery. Some calcium phosphate stones are caused by overactive parathyroid glands located on the four corners of your thyroid gland, just below the Adam’s apple. When these glands produce excess amounts of the parathyroid hormone (hyperparathyroidism), calcium levels can become too high, and kidney stones can form as a result.
  • Hyperparathyroidism occasionally occurs when a small, benign tumor forms in one of the parathyroid glands or an individual develop another condition that leads these glands to produce more parathyroid hormone. Removing the tumor from the gland terminates the formation of kidney stones. On the other hand, the doctor may recommend handling the condition that is causing the parathyroid gland to overproduce the hormone.

How to Prevent Kidney Stones

Prevention is better than cure. To prevent kidney stones, one may want to

The Facts About Kidney Stones - Kidney Stone Preventionention
Prevention is better than cure!!

include a combination of lifestyle changes and medications.

An individual may reduce the risk of kidney stones if he or she:

  • Consumes water throughout the day. Doctors usually recommend drinking enough fluids to pass about 2.1 quarts (2 liters) of urine for people with a history of kidney stones a day. A doctor may ask a patient to measure their urine output to ensure they are drinking enough water.

Individuals who live in a hot, dry climate or exercise frequently may need to consume even more water to produce enough urine. On the other hand, if urine is clear or light in color, enough water is being consumed in all probability.

  • Consumes fewer oxalate-rich foods. For individuals that tend to form calcium oxalate stones, a doctor may recommend limiting foods that are rich in oxalates. These include spinach, beets, sweet potatoes, nuts, tea, chocolate, black pepper, rhubarb, okra, Swiss chard, and soy products.
  • Chose a diet light in salt and animal protein. Reduce the amount of salt consumed and choose non-animal protein sources, such as legumes. Contemplate using a salt substitute.
  • Consumes calcium-rich foods, but use discretion with calcium supplements. Calcium in food does not affect the risk of kidney stones. Therefore, continue consuming calcium-rich foods unless a doctor advises otherwise.

It is best to consult with a doctor before taking calcium supplements, as these have been linked to an increased risk of kidney stones. An individual may reduce the risk by taking supplements with meals. In addition, diets low in calcium can escalate kidney stone formation in some individuals.

One can also ask a doctor for a referral to a dietitian who can help develop an eating plan that reduces the risk of kidney stones.

Medications can control the number of minerals and salts in the urine and may be helpful in individuals who form certain kinds of stones. The type of medication a doctor prescribes will depend on the type of kidney stones an individual may have.

Kidney stones are on the rise. One of the reasons is poor diet choices. Fast and processed foods contain large amounts of sodium. As you read earlier, excess sodium can lead to stones.

Kidney stones are also more apparent in the summer. The reason for this also due to calcium. Studies have shown that the body produces more calcium in the urine during the winter months, leading to hypercalciuria.

Kidney stones can be a severe condition. However, in most cases, they are preventable.

If you have a comment, question, or concern, or if you have had experience with kidney stones you’d like to share, please do so below.

Good Health!!

 

 

 

What is the Cortisol Hormone?

 

Cortisol, ever heard of it? Cortisol is a hormone that plays an essential role in the functioning of our bodies. So, what is the cortisol hormone? Read on to find out.

What is the Cortisol Hormone?

What is the Cortisol Hormone - Cortisol Functions
What Cortisol Does

Cortisol is the body’s principal stress hormone. It is more like nature’s integrated distress signal system. It works with specific segments of the brain to control an individual’s mood, motivation, and fear.

Cortisol is produced in the adrenal glands, which are triangle-shaped organs at the top of the kidneys.

What does the Cortisol Hormone do?

The cortisol hormone plays a vital role in several functions the body performs. For instance, it:

  • Boosts energy, which enables the body to handle stress and restores balance afterward
  • Controls the sleep/wake cycle
  • Increases blood sugar (glucose)
  • Keeps inflammation down
  • Controls how the body makes use of  carbohydrates, fats, and proteins
  • Regulates blood pressure

How Does Cortisol Work?

The hypothalamus and pituitary glands, both located in the brain, can detect if an individual’s blood contains the correct level of cortisol. If the level is too low, the brain adjusts the amount of hormones it produces. The adrenal glands react to these signals. At that point, they fine-tune the quantity of cortisol they release.

Cortisol receptors contained in most cells in the body receive and use the hormone in various ways. An individual’s requirements will differ from day to day. For example, when the body is on high alert, cortisol is able to alter or shut down functions that may get in the way. These can include the digestive or reproductive systems, the immune system, or even the growth processes.

Occasionally, the cortisol levels can get out of balance. After the pressure or danger has ceased, the level of cortisol should adjust to normal. At that time, the heart, blood pressure, and other body systems will get back to normal.

Excess Cortisol

If an individual is under constant stress and the alarm button stays on, it can disrupt the body’s most crucial functions. It can also lead to numerous health issues that include:

  • HeadachesWhat is the cortisol hormone - Excess Cortisol
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Memory and concentration problems
  • Heart disease
  • Problems with digestion
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Weight gain (mainly in the middle)

A nodule or mass in the adrenal gland or a tumor in the brain’s pituitary gland can trigger the body to produce excess cortisol. This situation can result in a condition called Cushing syndrome. This condition can lead to skin that bruises easily, rapid weight gain, diabetes, muscle weakness, and a host of other health problems.

If the wrong foods are chosen or certain foods are consumed at the wrong times, cortisol can be increased. The list below indicates which foods to avoid to prevent elevated cortisol.

Trans Fats – Trans fats are dangerous because they’re associated with a host of diseases, and there is evidence from animal studies that they raise cortisol.

In addition, human studies have shown a higher intake of trans fats is coupled with aggressive behavior and a greater risk of depression. Both of which are likely linked to unrestrained hormones.

It is best to avoid trans fats by preferencing whole foods over packaged “junk food” and reading all labels for “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils.

Vegetable & Seed Oils – Vegetable and seed oils, like corn, canola, sunflower, and, soy are highly processed oils that are washed, heated, and treated with the chemical hexane before placing them in chips, cookies, cereal, or bottling as a “heart” healthy oil.

This over-processing depletes these oils of nutrition and contaminates them with toxins. Subsequently, these oils are also easily destroyed by oxidation (free radicals), activating the immune system, causing inflammation, altering stress hormone balance, and damaging the body.

Also, most individuals consume excessive amounts of the omega-6 fats that vegetable and seed oils contain, making it wise to avoid these oils in favor of various reduced processed fats such as olive oil, butter, and coconut oil. If an individual has a skewed ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, disease risk and obesity are increased significantly.

Fruit Juice – Consuming fruit juice often is associated with an increased risk for diabetes and poor metabolic health. It is a situation that often leads to a changed cortisol curve and elevated inflammation.

Consuming fruit has the reverse effect, decreasing diabetes risk. The cause is that juice generally does not contain the fiber that naturally occurs in fruit. Lack of fiber causes a surge of events that involve increased cortisol.

The sugar contained in the juice results in a rapid spike in blood sugar and too much insulin released into the bloodstream, which leads to low blood sugar as insulin quickly shuttles all the energy from the blood into cells. As a result, cortisol is released, and we feel hungry again, often causing us to overeat.

Foods a person are Sensitive or Intolerant To – Food sensitivity is when individuals negatively react to eating a specific food because their immune system is triggered, causing cortisol to be elevated. It is much milder than an allergic response, so much so that most do not realize why they may feel lousy; they just know that they feel out of sorts

Individuals can develop a food intolerance to any food, especially if they live a high-stress lifestyle and have elevated cortisol. However, the most common ones are casein protein, beef, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, and gluten grains.

Chocolate Cake – there are undoubtedly many varieties of chocolate cake, but the majority will have antioxidant-poor chocolate and a lot of refined sugar. Foods higher in refined sugar lead to a greater release of cortisol, adrenaline, and epinephrine—a combination that will make an individual feel great for a few minutes until he or she crashes and the so-called “sugar high” is over and, they just desire more.

For example, in one study, women who suffered more significant life stresses and had imbalanced cortisol levels consumed more chocolate cake and fewer vegetables at a lunch buffet. This indicates a mutual effect where altered cortisol drives the desire for sweet foods, which in turn elevates cortisol.

Factory Farm (processed) Beef – Regularly consuming factory-farmed beef is a wrong choice if the goal is to balance cortisol. Conventional beef derives from animals raised on combinations of antibiotics, hormones, genetically modified corn, chicken manure, and ground-up parts of other animals.

This beef additionally contains fewer omega-3 fats and additional omega-6 fats that are pro-inflammatory when not balanced with omega-3 fats. Factory-farmed beef additionally has more of the type of saturated fat that is detrimental to cholesterol (called myristic and palmitic acid). In contrast, grass-beef has more stearic acid, which is neutral for cholesterol.

Flavored Yogurts Fat-Free – High-quality yogurt that contains live probiotic bacteria has been found to lower cortisol. However, fat-free and low-fat flavored yogurts are merely junk foods masking as health food. In addition, they have a poor taste because all of the fat has been removed and substituted with sugar or artificial sweeteners, as well as fake flavorings and dyes.

These yogurts are not likely to retain any live probiotic bacteria because they tend to go through extensive industrial processing. Therefore, they will not benefit the gut, nor do the cortisols level any good.

Alcohol – Alcohol brings about oxidative stress in the liver, depresses mood, and has been found to raise cortisol levels, especially when consumed after intense exercise.

For example, a recent study found that when trained men consumed alcohol after a workout, they had elevated cortisol and a poorer free testosterone to cortisol ratio than a placebo group. Long-term use could be even more detrimental because it is associated with even more significant hormone imbalances.

Low-Fiber Carbs – Carbohydrates
that do not contain fiber can lead to elevated cortisol because they are quickly digested, leading to a more significant spike in blood sugar and insulin. This action is followed by cortisol release once blood sugar plummets. In addition, low fiber diets can lead to poor gastrointestinal function and inflammation, changing cortisol balance.

Carbs lacking fiber are likely to be refined or processed foods such as white bread, cereal, cookies, or crackers. Unprocessed fibrous carbs include practically all veggies and fruits.

Caffeine – Although it is viable to have healthy cortisol levels with caffeine use, individuals who bear the effects of high-stress lives may benefit from avoiding caffeine. For instance, new caffeine users encounter a significant cortisol spike that lasts throughout the day. Even long-term users who consume it in the morning and then again at lunchtime experience a big afternoon spike in cortisol. The effect is worsened if an individual is anxious or mentally stressed.

It is best to be wise about caffeine use and realize that having hormone imbalances or adrenal exhaustion reduces the ability to metabolize caffeine. In addition, specific genotypes have the same problem.

Cortisol Deficiency

On the other hand, if the body does not produce enough of this cortisol hormone, the result is a condition kWhat is the Cortisol Hormone -Cortisol Deficiencynown as Addison’s disease.

The symptoms usually appear over time. They generally include:

  • Changes in the skin, such as darkening on scars and in the skin folds
  • Constant fatigue
  • Nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Decrease of appetite and weight
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle weakness that increasingly grows worse

If the body is not producing enough cortisol, a physician may prescribe dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, or prednisone tablets.

Nutrition is a potent means to balance cortisol and improve the secretion of related metabolic and performance-boosting hormones. By planning a diet wisely, individuals can help lower cortisol post-workout or in the evening before bed. This will allow one to avoid food cravings, reduce stress, and get better fat loss results when improving body composition.

Balancing Cortisol Naturally

A natural approach is always the best way to prevent health issues. Below are some suggestions for balancing cortisol naturally.

  • Retire for bed each night at the same regular time, wake up at the same time, and move out into the sunshine. This practice will create a good circadian rhythm, which optimizes hormone balance naturally.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. An individual may think it relaxes them, but alcohol, in fact, increases cortisol.
  • Limit or avoid caffeine, sugar, and processed food. Better-eating guru Michael Pollen’s quote “Eat foods from a plant, not made in a plant,” is an excellent cue to consume food that is natural and whole.
  • Exercise. However, understand that running hard and overtraining without adequate rest can increase cortisol. In addition, the constant requirement for glucose to the muscles can produce a form of chronic stress. An individual may find pilates, yoga, or walking in nature to relax their mind while exercising the body.
  • Get a massage to reduce stress and relax muscles.
  • Consider talking to a physician or pharmacist about consuming dietary supplements such as vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and fish oil, as intake levels vary.
  • Try meditation to slow the mind down, diminish anxiety, and reduce cortisol levels. Deep breathing can also assist. For those who have never tried meditation, here is a guide to help you get started.

With regular exercise, sleep, and a healthy diet, individuals can be better prepared to manage stressful situations and prevent stress from aggravating their health.

Please leave questions, comments, and concerns below.

Good Health!!