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4 Serious Illnesses Linked to Asbestos Exposure

4 Serious Illnesses Linked to Asbestos Exposure

Breathing is the most common and easiest way for asbestos to enter the body, and materials that contain asbestos are not considered dangerous unless they are releasing fibers into the air that could be breathed in or ingested. These fibers become trapped within the mucus membranes in the throat and nose. They may be removed, but sometimes they travel deeper into the lungs or in the digestive tract. As they become trapped inside of the body, they will start to cause problems.

Asbestosis

This progressive and chronic lung disease is caused by inhaling fibers of asbestos over long periods of time. Over time, these fibers cause scarring of the lungs which becomes hard and rigid, preventing the lungs from working properly. Persistent coughing, chest tightness, and breathlessness are just a few of the symptoms associated with the lack of oxygen. Asbestosis may get worse over time leading to respiratory failure as well as death, with no cure for the disease. It is diagnosed by a lung function test or an x-ray. This disease is not seen in those who have never worked with asbestos, and is not usually caused by long range exposure. The most risk is for those who are demolishing or renovating a building that contains asbestos. Precaution should be taken for those who are working in these types of buildings.

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Pleural Disorders

The tissue that is present to line the chest cavity and cover the surface of the lungs is called the pleura. Asbestos exposure will produce thick patches, called plaques, on the pleura or may cause sprawling fibrosis of the pleura, as well as fluid in the chest cavity. These pleural disorders are not cancerous, but they will show up on an x-ray for diagnosis. Although there may not be any outward symptoms, it will show a reduced lung capacity when tested through a lung function test.

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Malignant Mesothelioma

This is a rare cancer that affects the pleura. This is where it beings, and then it will spread to the lungs and then to the chest walls. Although rare, it will sometimes make its way to the heart. Currently, there is no cure, and it is associated with long exposure to asbestos. Each year, there are about 200 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the United States. 65 year old David Hoff was just awarded $8.75 million in a mesothelioma lawsuit. The money covers his medical bills as well as his pain and suffering, past, present, and future. A product he used for work in the 70’s knowingly contained asbestos, thus exposing him to the harmful side effects many years later.

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Lung Cancer

There is a significant risk of lung cancer in those who are exposed to a large amount of asbestos over an extended period of time, and this risk is actually substantially greater in those people who are smokers as well. After the tumor appears on the lung and is not treated, it will grow and spread over the lungs and eventually to the rest of the body. A persistent cough is the first sign of those who are diagnosed with lung cancer. After asbestos exposure, lung cancer may take anywhere from 10 to 20 years to develop. In one study, it was found that those who have worked around asbestos and also smoke are almost 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than those people who have never been exposed to asbestos and do not smoke.

In the 1980’s, the majority of building materials were made with asbestos, exposing millions of young workers to the fibers during this period of time. People who have worked in drywall, insulation, home building, automotive engineering, and industrial manufacturing make up most in a list of those who are affected with asbestos related health problems and cancers. Because of this, many companies are facing lawsuits regarding their role in civilian exposure to cancer causing asbestos.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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