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   Beauty and fashion, health updates, pets, gadgets

by Dr De La Flor
Your questions answered
Dear Dr. De La Flor,
Is it true that earwax has a relationship to heart problems?

Tenerife - 11.08.2011 - Dear Jana,

There have been studies trying to figure out if there is a link between the type of earwax we produce and the risk of heart disease. One part of that connection is correct humans have different types of earwax, also known as cerumen. Wet earwax, which is brownish and stickier, has higher fat content. On the other hand, dry earwax, which is gray and flaky, contains higher protein content. The type of earwax a person has is genetically determined.

Over the last few decades, there have been studies proving a connection between wet earwax and atherosclerosis and higher levels of apolipoprotein B, a protein that travels with particles of LDL (bad, lousy cholesterol), while those with dry earwax were more likely to live longer.

But dont take me wrong the vital factors we should aim for to ward off heart conditions, are physical activity, appropriate cholesterol and triglyceride levels, a balanced weight, work/leisure balance, and pursuing happiness with zest since happiness seems to keep us all away from doctors! Best wishes.

Dear Dr. De La Flor,

Why is eating breakfast so important to help control weight? Normally Im not hungry in the morning.


Dear Thomas

Thanks for your question, asking why make a lot of sense. There has been a lot of research on why regularly eating a healthy breakfast may help us not only lose excess weight but also maintain our ideal weight. The first issue I always explain my patients is to observe the root of the word break-fast After a night of no eating, and sometimes physical activity we need to replenish the bodys tank with fuel!

In general, eating breakfast reduces our hunger later in the day, making it easier to avoid overeating. When we skip breakfast, we may feel ravenous later and be tempted to reach for a quick fix, such as something sugary or sweets from the vending machine or any other type of treats

In addition, prolonged fasting which occurs when we skip breakfast can increase your bodys insulin response, which in turn increases fat storage and weight gain. In fact, skipping breakfast actually increases our risk of obesity.

Eating breakfast gets us on track to make healthy choices all day. People who eat breakfast regularly tend to eat a healthier diet one that is more nutritious and lower in fat. When we skip breakfast, we are more likely to skip fruits and vegetables the rest of the day too.

Eating breakfast gives us energy, increasing our physical activity during the day. A healthy breakfast refuels our body and replenishes the glycogen stores that supply blood sugar (glucose). As a matter of fact skipping breakfast is associated with decreased physical as well as mental activity and performance. Lets remember - breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper!

Dear Dr. De La Flor,

Can sitting in a steamy room or over a steaming pot of water clear up sinus headaches?


Dear Gina

This old-school treatment, used already by the Romans, really works. Inhaling steam flushes out your nasal passages, relieving sinus pressure by clearing debris and built-up secretions.

You can kick it up a notch by adding a few drops of an over-the-counter natural product called Sinus. Its a mixture of essence of eucalyptus, menthol and pine. The minty smell causes a tingling sensation in the nasal membrane, and this has a decongestant effect. It will help wash away secretions, relieving headaches as well warding off sinus infections. You can also dab some Vicks VapoRub at the lower rim of your nostrils. In medicine, some of the old remedies have proven to be quite effective and inexpensive.

Dr. De La Flor, licensed G.P./Family Doctor. He holds certificates in coaching, nutrition and medical exercise from Berkeley University and the American Council on Exercise. His medical approach is highly influenced by Positive Psychology; an empowering, encompassing way of approaching patients through the study of their strengths and virtues to enable them to thrive and lead fulfilling lives, accept the past, find happiness in the present, and hope for the future. You can reach the doctor at 00-34-697.888.666 to schedule a consultation in his surgery or in your home/business.

This article appears in the print edition 649 of Island Connections

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