Category Archives: Depression

Are you grounded?

Are you Grounded?

 

Are you grounded?

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Are you running around crazy half the time?  In today’s fast-paced living, we all tend to miss that connection that is most important to our sustained energy and physical well-being.  You must feel like your feet are resting on the earth and you are receiving energy from the earth.  If you are grounded, you feel “in the moment” and aware of your thoughts and of those around you.

This grounding will keep your energy all day long.  This will keep you from getting pulled this way and that as the day’s ups and downs are all around you.  Being able to listen and be focused at work and at home is a benefit of being grounded.  Here are some tips for keeping yourself grounded.

Tips For Keeping Yourself Grounded

  • Rolling your shoulders slowly forward and backwards will release tension.
  • Notice your breathing.
  • Take a deep breath and relax at a stoplight while you wait.
  • Take your shoes off and feel the ground and support on your toes, heels and insteps.
  • Notice the trees and plants growing strong as you take a relaxing walk outside.
  • Imagine the roots coming from the bottom of your feet into the ground to firmly tie you to the core of the earth with energy coming up and into your body.
  • Stop and notice what you were thinking. Keep in the present and not in the ozone.
  • Try the ancient practices of yoga or tai chi to slow you down and become aware.
  • Get outside on the ground or garden when weather permits. Play in the dirt!
  • Connect to the earth energy with regular meditations as a daily goal.

Keeping ourselves fully in the present and grounded is beneficial to our physical health as well.  Energy overloads are more likely to be noticed that may lead to illness, and we can begin working with this energy for change before the disease develops further.  Keeping present and connected to the earth will give you great resources of energy and will keep the energy flowing all day long.  Get out there and enjoy not only the earth, but the sunshine as well.  Let’s make a pact to keep ourselves focused and healthy!

 

– Dr Fredda Branyon

Increasing Depression Can Predict Higher Dementia Risk

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Early stages of dementia may be indicated when symptoms of depression steadily increase in older adults, as indicated in a study linking dementia and depression.  This report was published in The Lancet Psychiatry Journal.

Those diagnosed with dementia commonly show symptoms of depression.  Some might experience depressive symptoms only transiently, followed by full remission while others might have remitting and relapsing depression.  Others might be chronically depressed and this might be linked to different risks of dementia.  The study included 3325 adults aged 55 and over, all showing symptoms of depression but no symptoms of dementia.  Data was gathered from the Rotterdam Study, a population-based study of various diseases in the Netherlands.  The authors tracked depressive symptoms over 11 years and the risk of dementia for a subsequent 10 years.

The authors of the article from the Center for Epidemiology Depression Scale (CES­D) and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale­Depression (HADS­D) identified 5 different trajectories of depressive symptoms­ 2441 participants with low depression symptoms, 369 with initially high symptoms that decreased, 170 with low starting scores that increased then remitted, 255 initially low symptoms that increased and 90 with constantly high symptoms.

Of all these participants, 434 developed dementia, including 348 cases of Alzheimer’s disease. The group with low symptoms of depression had a 10% that developed dementia.  This was used as a benchmark to compare other trajectories of depression.  Of the group whose symptoms of depression increased over time, 22% of these individuals developed dementia.

The Authors state that their findings support the hypothesis that increasing symptoms of depression in older age could potentially represent an early stage of dementia and that dementia and some forms of depression may be symptoms of a common cause.  Molecular levels, the biological mechanisms of depression and neurodegenerative diseases overlap considerably, including the loss of ability to create new neurons, increased cell death and immune system dysregulation.

Dr. Simone Reppermund from the Department of Developmental Disability and Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, says that several factors can contribute to the development of both depression and dementia.  Depressions, especially steadily increasing depressive symptoms, seem to increase the risk of dementia.  The question of how the presence of depressive symptoms modifies the risk of dementia still remains.  Lifestyle factors such as physical activity and social networks, biological risk factors such as vascular disease, neuroinflammation, high concentrations of stress hormones and neuropathological changes might bring new treatment and prevention strategies a step closer.

It seems that keeping ourselves active and engaged in physical activities might help allay depression for some of the population.  Let’s all work on maintaining a positive attitude and keep busy in our older years with various outside interests.  Beat depression and possibly dementia or Alzheimer’s!

Dr Fredda Branyon

Some of the Top Stressors at Work

Some of the Top Stressors at Work
We spend most of our waking hours at work – so what are some of the stressors we need to be aware of?
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Img c/o Pixabay

Work eats up most of our weekdays, at the minimum, 8 productive hours each day or at least 1/3rd of our daily schedule, while for some it can be longer hours depending on the nature of the job, one’s work demands, volume of deliverables, commute, and so forth.Given that, we will list some of the top stressors of the work force that adds to the hustle and bustle of work and living.

Long Commutes

In a given survey, long commute, was one of the top answers of employees that give them most stress.  In fact, it was found that bumper-to-bumper traffic can cause moodiness on top of the financial stress of ever-increasing gas bills and prices.

“Taking In More (Work), than You can Chew”

Sometimes one impresses the boss, to have that feeling of validity from the manager or superior, but it is not all that. Accepting more work than you can handle is also not good. There are finite hours in a day, and in a week, and taking more than you can handle has a stressful effect on yourself. It is always best to be true to yourself and commit to tasks that you can finish on time.

No Rest and Recreation

They say, for one to play hard, one must work smart. Our bodies are not built like robots where we can work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our bodies have limitations, and with that, our bodies also need the time to take a rest. Having zero rest is not good for our health and that is why companies have provided vacation leaves every year, so that our bodies and minds can recharge after gruelling days of work.

Do not wait until our bodies give up like an engine overheating.

No Performance Reviews

Once an employee starts in a company, and after a year’s work, an employee is subjected to the annual performance review. Now, when a company or boss does not include performance review in his plan, why is it stressful?

It is because one’s pay increase and promotion are tied to these annual evaluations and the loss of it, makes any employee stressed and unmotivated that will link to a decrease in his productivity towards work. It is but normal to be excited for that next raise after a year’s work and to look forward to that higher job level right above us.

Job Insecurity

Job Insecurity is one of the top reasons that contribute to work-related stress. Jobs give us salary. Salaries give us the money to be able to pay our bills such as mortgage, grocery, tuition, etc. Without a job, our lives will be so difficult.

When one hears of plans to retrench, or a company downsizing, the security of one’s job is always part of the equation. Will I get retrenched? Admittedly, this is a worthy stress to think about and losing one’s job is probably the top in our list of work stressors.

These are some of the stressors that some of us have endured or have come across during our work lives. It is important to know that some illnesses have been linked to work-related stress such as high-blood pressure, depression, headaches, muscle pain or insomnia. Therefore, we must be aware of these factors of stress, and if we feel these are happening, we should pause, and rest, and think of our body’s health first above anything else. No job is worth the failure of our health.

Get Your Anger under Control

Get Your Anger under Control
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Img c/o Pixabay

We get angry and it is only normal. But if you get mad for simple or wrong reasons or if you flare up every minute or every day, something is wrong with you. You are wasting your emotions, you are hurting the people around you, and you are making your world smaller each day. You are also allowing yourself to live a troubled life. It’s time to get your anger under control. Here are useful ways how:

1. Know what triggers your anger.

What makes you angry? Is it waiting for your turn in a long queue in grocery stores? Is it when people cannot follow your instructions? To be able to manage your ire, it is important that you are aware where it is coming from so you can either avoid being in the situation or make yourself prepared. For instance, you can choose to buy grocery items during off-peak hours to stay away from long queues. You can also ask another family member to do it for you.

2. Teach yourself how to cool down.

Soon as you feel that you an inch closer to flaring up, perform some techniques so you can easily chill. These include performing deep breathing, counting from 1 to 10 (repeat your count until you are calm), doing some simple stretches, and massaging your neck and scalp.

3. Seek professional help.

If your anger has become chronic, it is important that you consult with a medical expert so he can offer you therapy. He does not only help you identify the causes of your fury. He also teaches you how to manage it.

4. Find and join community support groups.

Interacting with people who have the same condition as yours can help you picture your true situation, particularly if you are still in denial. Hearing their ordeals and discovering their coping skills can contribute a lot in your improvement. However, there are some cases (such as anger caused by domestic violence) when this is not an appropriate method.

5. Recognize the symptoms.

Some individuals are not able to stop their rage all because they are not aware of the signs that they are set to burst. These symptoms include jaw clenching, tensed muscles, Goosebumps, dizziness, and shaking.

6. Sometimes, it just helps to get away.

No matter how you want to say something to defend yourself or to raise your point, you may still come in a situation when the only solution is to walk away from the scene. It may truly hurt your pride but if this is the only way to stop your outburst, why not? You can just forget about what happen or you can clear things up later when you are already in your good state of mind.

Another way to stop your wrath is to not open your mouth. Close your eyes and tell yourself to loosen up. Keep still and think. Ask yourself: “Is the situation worthy or necessitate anger?” “Will I hurt someone if I say what I want to say?” “What will be the consequences if I do not overcome this ire?” Really, you have to think forward so you can avoid getting yourself in much trouble.

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Ways to Fight Depression without Medication

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You feel alone and empty.

You think your life is miserable and you blame your current issues (like the loss of a loved one) for it.

But why allow yourself to live with downheartedness when you can search for solutions to fight it? Before your condition becomes full-blown depression, it’s time to work on some methods or strategies to release all your negative feelings and return to your old, happy self.

Socialize. Stop dealing with your concerns; be with people who can bring the smile back on your face. Do what you are used to: watch your favorite movies, go on out-of-town trips, attend parties, and others. Even social networking sites can help. Chat with friends or have fun posting your (old or new) pictures. Be updated with what’s happening in your circle.

Expose yourself to early morning sunlight. As you wake up early in the morning, go for a walk. You may also consider sitting on the patio while talking to some neighbors passing by or while having your breakfast. Do not worry because sunlight at this time is less intense. Do not forget to apply sunscreen.

Seek professional help. You may want to seek help from an expert by going through therapy. Never allow fear or doubts prevent you from seeking joy and fulfillment in life. Submit yourself to solutions—not problems.

Perform some exercises specific to fighting depression. Working on some exercises may help alleviate melancholy. It can boost self-confidence and stop the cycle of negative thoughts. You may start from basics like walking up and down the stairs and biking but there are certain workouts designed for this condition. You may want to ask the assistance of your doctor for these. Perform routines for 30 minutes for 3 to 5 days every week. Even a 10-minute workout can help because it can still make a difference.

Face your problem. You may not realize it but your depression is triggered by the unending flow of negative thoughts on your mind. So think about facing your current issues and looking for possible ways to address them instead of thinking about what bad thing is going to happen next. There are some circumstances that you may not be able to solve or prevent (like health conditions) but you can at least discover some ways to make your situation better. Before depression ruins your life, you should think about fighting it. In some instances, taking medications may not be the only way out. Some simple strategies may help.

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Winter Health Conditions to Look Out for This Season

Winter Health Conditions to Look Out for This Season
Keep an eye out for these winter health conditions that befall so many unknowing individuals. Learn what to do to prevent getting sick before the year ends.
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img c/o pixabay

While most people welcome the winter season with open hearts, there are an unfortunate few who develop certain conditions during this cold period. Here are some of the most common illnesses that people experience during the last quarter of the year.

Heart Problems

If you think heart attacks are mainly caused by exerting too much force when shoveling snow, think again. When winter comes, heart attacks rise by 53 percent compared to the number that we get in summer and this applies to states across the nation, even those that have not experienced snowfall or seen snowflakes around their town or neighborhood.

Cardiovascular problems are at an all time high during this season not because of the heavy snowfall, but because of the temperature drop. The arteries’ way of responding to the cold weather is by constricting themselves, making people vulnerable to heart attacks, especially those with a history of heart problems.

Narrower arteries causes the blood flow to be cut down, which makes the heart work twice as hard as normal just to get more blood to various parts of the body. They cause the arterial walls to be torn or split, causing blood clots that trigger strokes or heart attacks.

This phenomenon becomes more difficult as people age, especially when the temperature drops to 32 degrees or lower. It’s harder for older people to regulate their body temperature since they usually have less body mass and less fat, which means more difficulty in generating body heat.

This is also why men and women around 70 years of age and above get colder quickly than those in their 50s and 60s.

Winter Depression

If you’re starting to feel a bit down and lonely lately, then you might be experiencing SAD, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder, which is a specific type of depression that occurs every season, but the most common is during winter and fall. People who are diagnosed with SAD typically experience energy loss, anxiety, social withdrawal, oversleeping, along with other symptoms.

Treatment for this particular disorder is primarily increased exposure to sunlight and engaging in more physical activities.

Vitamin D deficiency

Another condition that is related to not getting enough sunlight is Vitamin D deficiency, which is popularly known as the sunshine vitamin. This is probably because we experience shorter sun exposure during winter’s gray days. Vitamin D is primarily obtained from the sun and passes through the skin. If you have dangerously low levels of vitamin D, your chances of developing heart problems, osteoporosis, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease becomes higher.

You can get back what you’re lacking by just stepping outside and letting your body absorb as much sunlight as it can for 15 minutes everyday. There are regions though that literally do not have sunlight for months, so if you happen to live in those areas, then vitamin D supplements should serve as an alternative.

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How to Conquer Winter Depression in Three Simple Ways

How to Conquer Winter Depression in Three Simple Ways
There is just something about winter that can cause so many emotions to stir up inside you. Here’s three things you need to avoid getting depressed this season.
Image Source: unsplash.imgix.net

Image Source:
unsplash.imgix.net

Ever felt particularly down and out during winter season? You may be one of millions of Americans suffering from a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). While the acronym for this illness is quite ironic, there’s a lot more to SAD than most people know.

How does one get SAD?

It is not yet certain what causes SAD, but strong evidence suggests that the condition is very much triggered by sunlight. Some studies suggest that decreased exposure to light, particularly those that come from the sun, can cause changes to the body’s internal biological clock. This in turn, affects a person’s mood, sleeping patterns, and hormones.

Another theory is that people who are diagnosed with this specific disorder have altered neurotransmitters, which can be corrected by getting more sunlight.

People with SAD usually experience the following symptoms:

  • Sadness

  • Irritability

  • Anxiety

  • Inability to concentrate

  • Extreme fatigue

  • Lack of energy

  • “Heavy” sensation in the limbs

  • Want to sleep all day

  • Increase craving for carbohydrates and

  • Accompanying weight gain

The main concern about this particular type of depression is that most people just regard SAD as winter blues or seasonal funk, when there are actually scientific explanations as to why so many people experience this seasonal disorder.

Here’s some of the facts about SAD:

  • Women are prone to experiencing it more than men.

  • It usually starts to show up during early adulthood.

  • While SAD is a specified type of depression and not really an individualized disorder, around half a million Americans are diagnosed with it.

  • It usually happens during fall and winter months, but there are some people who experience summer depression as well.

  • This condition is much more common in cloudy locations or those who are farther south or north of the equator.

How to Get Through Winter Depression

1. Get more sunlight.

If you are prone to experiencing symptoms of SAD, then start using a light box as soon as fall starts to end, even the symptoms aren’t there yet. Maximize your time spent under the sun, even when it’s cloudy as any type of sunlight can still help you a great deal.

2. Have a balanced diet.

Nothing beats having a deliciously nutritious meal three times a day when it comes to beating depression. Make sure what you’re eating is loaded with all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Don’t give in to your body’s cravings of carbohydrates and sweets, just stick to the healthy foods as it will give you energy that’s enough to last you the whole day.

3. Exercise, exercise.

While winter does want to make you stay inside and sit on your sofa beside the fireplace, it will only make your SAD worse. Try exercising or dancing to a custom playlist for 30 minutes a day, three to four times a week.

Of course, don’t forget to consult with a medical professional about your condition for more information on how to deal with your condition effectively. Lastly, keep a sunny attitude! After all, it’s the season of giving, so focus on making others happy and you’ll soon find yourself smiling your way to the start of the new year.

Things You Need to Consider Before Getting an Acupuncture Treatment

Things You Need to Consider Before Getting an Acupuncture Treatment
Before availing an Acupuncture treatment, there are some considerations that need to be check, such as confirming if your Insurance Plan covers the said therapy.

Most of us are likely to be familiar with Acupuncture therapy; it is best known for alleviating pain caused by cancer treatments or age-related diseases like arthritis. But choosing acupuncture over conventional medicine is not as easy as buying an over-the-counter pills. Although acupuncture is FDA-approved, there are still some concerns that you need to arrange before letting acupuncturists conduct its procedures. So here’s what you need to research on before getting an Acupuncture treatment.

Research about the difference between Oriental and Western Acupuncture

There’s a difference between the two. Chinese acupuncture uses the yin and yang approach in healing, where they believe that the body has 2,000 acupuncture points that connects with the “meridian points”. These meridian points are regarded in Chinese medicine as the pathways of qi or vital energy that is highly associated with a person’s overall health; On the other hand, the Western technique offers a more scientific approach, where the acupuncture treatment aims to connect with the body’s nervous system by way of puncturing specific sites in the body.

In what ways can we investigate the distinction from one and the other? You can:

  1. Read a book on acupunctures

  2. Ask an acupuncture practitioner or someone who experienced oriental or western acupuncture before.

  3. Research through government health department websites or email and inquire Chinese Medicine Schools.

Double doubt yourself whether you trust this kind of Holistic Method

It is important to be certain of what medical care you want to avail, especially if it has something to do with flesh penetration. Do not rely on “here-sayers” who tend to overreact on holistic methodology; acupuncture cannot cure cancer nor save you from an incurable ailment. But what it can do is to relieve you from chronic pains, reduce symptoms, and restore balance in your body’s system.

Once you’ve done your research, ask yourself if acupuncture is the treatment for you. Keep in mind that in Holistic medicine you always have a choice and physician can only give suggestions; therefore, you shall be liable for whatever option you will choose. Only advance with the treatment if you are confident that Acupuncture is the best alternative for your condition

Consult your Insurance Plan Provider

You don’t want your acupuncture treatment to be abruptly cut in the middle because of monetary issues. Having an insurance plan can help you pay your session bills. If acupuncture is indeed covered by your Health Insurance then you will have to discuss your options with your doctor so he can refer you to an acupuncture treatment.

If it’s not, you can always opt to pay it out of your own pocket. If money is an issue then there are local “community style” acupuncture clinics which accommodates people in group setting. Although they are more affordable, don’t expect a 5-star treatment lounge during your session, you may have to wait in-line until it’s your turn to be treated.

With these considerations in mind, you can now go and find a licensed acupuncturist to cater to your medical needs. It is better to be well-informed before entering any agreement. Being ready in body and in mind can help you lessen anxiety prior treatment, it can also avoid any concerns that may occur during the Acupuncture therapy. Still, the real intention of this article is to help you open your options for medical care, you can’t settle to what is obliged to you by your Doctor. You should recognize that you can always have a choice.

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Should You Lessen the Time You Spend with Your Smartphone?

Should You Lessen the Time You Spend with Your Smartphone?
Almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays, but people seem to be forgetting the health hazards associated with prolonged exposure to mobile devices.
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Connectivity is the name of the game for many individuals and businesses today. Almost everyone has a handheld device within their reach and is almost always connected to the internet, whether to communicate with friends, loved ones, and business associates or to keep up-to-date with the latest trends, news, and events.

The popularity of mobile devices is steadily increasing, as top manufacturers such Apple, Samsung, Sony, Nokia, Blackberry, HTC, Asus, Toshiba, Alcatel, and more are constantly releasing brand new models of their smartphones, tablets, and laptops every year.

The fact that people have access to almost anyone, anywhere, anytime and can get information they need about anything has made it easier for people to perform daily tasks and routine activities. There is, however, a lurking danger to being too exposed to these technological innovations.

There are some who consider mobile devices as the smoking gun of the 21st century, because there has been a notable incidence of illnesses and diseases among people who use mobile devices. One thing is for sure, if the World Health Organization sees a cause for alarm in mobile device usage, then it is definitely worth looking into.

Mobile phones emit radiofrequency waves that are a thousand times higher than what is emitted in base stations. Any prolonged exposure to these electromagnetic fields can cause an adverse effect on smartphone users. How exactly you ask? These radiofrequency waves can be transferred into our bodies and affect normal functioning.

Listed below are some of the reasons that you should cut your time spent with one of your most prized possessions. These are health risks associated with prolonged exposure to mobile devices:

  • Cancer – Yes, cancer, the dreaded disease. More and more people are developing cancer since it was discovered. It remains a puzzle as to why, despite so many medical research and cancer treatment options, the disease seems to continue to flourish.

  • Other Health Effects – Some discoveries regarding the health risks of EMF to humans are changes in sleep patterns, brain activity, and response time. Although these issues seem to be minor, it could lead to more serious health concerns.

  • Electromagnetic Interference – If you have a pacemaker, hearing aid, or other similar medical devices, EMFs can disrupt the operation of the device you are using, although this issue has been resolved or reduced in newer versions of smartphones. There is also a concern with regards to how EMF can affect aircraft electronics and flight systems, which is mobile phone usage is controlled in aircrafts.

  • Vehicular Accidents – There are many reported incidents of automobile accidents wherein one of the involved parties are using smartphones and other mobile devices while driving, regardless of whether the devices are handheld or used with a hands-free kit.

If you’re waiting to read about brain tumors, you can relax for now because a direct link between mobile device usage and brain tumor development has not been established. Much has yet to be discovered about this specific area of concern, but this does not mean you can continue on using your smartphone without practicing an ounce of caution.

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How can Free Radical’s ‘existence’ be relevant to our everyday life?

How can Free Radical’s ‘existence’ be relevant to our everyday life?
The Free radical’s ‘existence’ is a vital information for our immune system to detect if there are any current threats within our body.

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Free Radicals are known to be that main cause of chronic pains, and inflammatory response. These life threatening agents are commonly produced by what you use in everyday life, like EMFs, Wi-Fi, digital devices, and radiation; a result of exposure to environmental factors, like pollution, pesticides, tobacco smoke, industrial chemicals/cleaners, and solar radiation; or emotional sources like stress and depression.

But did you know that the very existence of free radicals can also help reduce the risk of diseases, in general? Think. If there are no Free Radicals in our system then what threat will our immune system eliminate?

We are not saying that the immune system will lose its purpose, but the opposite. The body has a sign that it uses to detect any foreign threats entering the body. If that sign would be invisible to your body’s internal security then they won’t be able to detect if there are any current risks. That’s where free radical comes in. Our Immune system uses the existence of free radicals as a mark/sign against foreign threat within the body. Another factor would be, if scientists would be oblivious to the existence of free radicals, they would probably have a hard time creating vaccines to defeat these menacing diseases.

In conclusion, although free radicals inside our body are not really healthy, knowing about their existence will help us and our immune system to find a way to eliminate them. In addition, free radicals, by definition, are harmful by-products of the natural cell metabolism that occurs in the human body on a continuous basis; they are naturally produced by the molecules within cells during food digestion. Thus, there is no way to ultimately eliminate these free radical, but what we can do is to minimize their number to the lowest margin to avoid permanent risks.

And to help diminish these free radicals, we’ve come up with a list of antioxidant-rich foods that you can choose from.

Rank

Food item

Serving size

Total antioxidant capacity per serving size

1

Small Red Bean (dried)

Half cup

13,727

2

Wild blueberry

1 cup

13,427

3

Red kidney bean (dried)

Half cup

13,259

4

Pinto bean

Half cup

11,864

5

Blueberry (cultivated)

1 cup

9,019

6

Cranberry

1 cup (whole)

8,983

7

Artichoke (cooked)

1 cup (hearts)

7,904

8

Blackberry

1 cup

7,701

9

Prune

Half cup

7,291

10

Raspberry

1 cup

6,058

11

Strawberry

1 cup

5,938

12

Red Delicious apple

1 whole

5,900

13

Granny Smith apple

1 whole

5,381

14

Pecan

1 ounce

5,095

15

Sweet cherry

1 cup

4,873

16

Black plum

1 whole

4,844

17

Russet potato (cooked)

1 whole

4,649

18

Black bean (dried)

Half cup

4,181

19

Plum

1 whole

4,118

20

Gala apple

1 whole

3,903

Source: www.WebMD.com

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