The Dangers of Inflammation

Inflammation is a very important part of the immune system’s response to injury and infection. It is the body’s means of triggering the system to heal and repair injured tissue, additionally to defend itself against foreign invaders, like viruses and microorganisms such as bacteria. Without inflammation as a defensive response, wounds would degenerate, and infections could become deadly. This is what I was taught in school about inflammation. However today we know a lot more about inflammation; that it can be the catalyst for some major health issues. Today we know about the dangers of inflammation.

What is inflammation and what causes it

Inflammation is a method where the body’s white blood cells and substances they manufacture shield us from infection from injuries and with foreign organisms, like microorganisms and viruses.

When inflammation occurs as the result of an injury, chemicals from the body’s white blood cells are released into the blood or affected tissues to protect the body from foreign substances. This discharge of chemicals will increase the blood flow to the locality of injury or infection, and should end in in redness and heat. Some of the chemicals cause a leak of fluid (known as pus) into the tissues, resulting in swelling. This protecting method could stimulate nerves and cause pain.

When inflammation occurs as the result of bacteria or viruses, the white blood cell is attracted to the bacteria because proteins called antibodies
have marked the bacteria for destruction. These antibodies are explicitly for disease-causing microorganisms and viruses. When the white blood cells catches the microorganisms, they  proceed “eating” it during a method known as phagocytosis.  For a video demonstration of this process, click this link.

What are the symptoms of inflammation

Symptoms of inflammation include flu-like symptoms such as: headaches, fever, chills, loss of appetite, fatigue/loss of energy, muscle stiffness.

If it involves a joint: redness, Joint pain, swollen joint that can be warm to the touch, Joint stiffness, loss of joint function.

Keep in mind that all of these usually don’t occur at the same time. It can be one or a combination of several.

If it involves a pathogen (a bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease), the inflammation mainly makes the body temperature rise so the pathogens are not able to replicate themselves.

Something to think about – Our bodies are constantly covered (inside and out) by bacteria. Some are good for us, others are harmless and still others can make us sick. I cover good and bad bacteria in my article: For example, Staphylococcus aureus, (the most dangerous of all the many common staphylococcal bacteria) is frequently found on our skin and respiratory tract. It does not continually cause illness, but can infect the skin or lungs. There are more bacteria in and on our bodies than there are people on the Earth. Our defense system has it work cut out for it!

The dangers of inflammation

In a healthy scenairo, inflammation serves as a good friend to our body. But if immune cells start to overreact, inflammation can be totally directed against us. As I like to say: too much of a good thing is a bad thing. This is what is called chronic inflammation. This type of harmful, inflammation can have a number of causes, including a virus or bacteria, an autoimmune disorder, sugary and fatty foods, or the way you handle stress.

Just to clarify, an autoimmune disorder or disease is a condition in which our immune system mistakenly attacks our body. In such a case, the immune system mistakes part of the body, like our joints or skin, as foreign. The military and law enforcement agencies would call this “friendly fire.” This is when a soldier or police officer is stuck by a bullet shot by one of their own members.

Here are a few ways chronic inflammation can affect our health, both in the long and short run.

It can play havoc on our gut

Many of the body’s immune cells cluster in the neighborhood of the intestines. Most of the time, those immune cells ignore the trillions of healthy bacteria that live in the gut. But in some cases, that tolerance seems to be broken and the immune cells begin to react to the bacteria, creating this chronic inflammation situation.

The immune cells can attack the digestive tract itself, an autoimmune condition known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The symptoms embody frequent and excessive discharging of the bowels (diarrhea), cramps, ulcers, and may even require surgical removal of the intestines. Doctors are not specifically certain why some individuals get IBD, but genetics, environment, antibiotics, diet, and stress management all seem to play a role. This can be a serious situation.

It can damage your joints

When inflammation happens within the joints, it’s can cause serious damage. One joint-damaging condition is rheumatism inflammatory arthritis (RA)—another example of an autoimmune disorder that seems to possess a genetic segment, but is additionally coupled to smoking, a lack of vitamin D, and other risk factors. A 2013 Yale University study, for example, found that a salty diet may contribute to the development of RA.

People with RA live through pain and stiffness in their inflamed joints. But as a result of the immune response is not restricted to the joints, they’re also at higher risk for problems with their eyes and other body parts.

Psoriatic arthritis additionally involves inflammation within the joints, and its symptoms are similar to those of RA. But additionally to painful, stiff joints, people with this condition might also encounter changes within the nails, like roughness. Most people with psoriatic arthritis first develop psoriasis, another autoimmune condition, on their skin. Around 30% of people with psoriasis are thought to develop psoriatic arthritis, and they may be more likely to do so if their skin psoriasis affects their nails.

It can cause heart disease

Any area of your body that has been wounded or broken will trigger inflammation, even the insides of blood vessels. The formation of fatty plaque within the arteries will trigger chronic inflammation. The fatty plaques attract white blood cells, grow larger, and might develop blood clots, which might cause a coronary heart attack.

Obesity and unhealthy consumption of food will increase inflammation within the body, but even otherwise healthy people who experience chronic inflammation because of an autoimmune disorder—such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, or celiac disease—appear to have a stronger risk of cardiovascular disease, regardless of their weight or eating habits.

It will result in a higher risk of cancer

Chronic inflammation has been linked to cancers of the lung, esophagus, cervix, and digestive tract, among others. A 2014 Harvard University study found that highly overweight teenagers with high levels of inflammation had a sixty three percent (63%) increased risk of developing large intestine cancer throughout adulthood compared to their slimmer peers. The inflammation could also be because of extreme overweight , a chronic infection, a chemical irritant, or chronic condition; all have been linked to a higher cancer risk.

It can impair sleep

In a 2009 study from Case Western Reserve University, those that reported sleeping additional or fewer than average had higher levels of inflammation-related proteins in their blood than people who said they slept about 7.6 hours a night. This analysis solely established a correlation between the two (2) (and not a cause-and-effect), so the study authors say they can’t be sure whether inflammation triggers long and short sleep duration or whether sleep duration triggers inflammation. It’s also probable that a unique underlying issue, like chronic stress or disease, causes both. Shift work has additionally been found to extend inflammation within the body.

It can damage your lungs

When inflammation transpires in the lungs, it can cause fluid accumulation and narrowing of the airways, making it difficult to breathe. Infections, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (which includes pulmonary emphysema and chronic bronchitis) are altogether initiated by inflammation within the lungs.

Smoking, exposure to air pollution or household chemicals, being overweight, and even consumption of cured meats have been linked to lung inflammation.

It can make weight loss more difficult

Obesity is may be a major reason behind inflammation within the body, and losing weight is one among the foremost effective ways in which to fight it. But that’s not always easy, because elevated levels of inflammation-related proteins can also make weight loss more difficult than it should be. For one, chronic inflammation can influence hunger signals and slow down metabolism, so one may eat more and burn fewer calories. Inflammation may increase insulin resistance (which raises your risk for diabetes) and has been coupled with future weight gain.

It can damage bones

Inflammation throughout the body will interfere with bone growth and even promote accumulated bone loss. Researchers suspect that inflammatory markers within the blood interrupt “remodeling”—an in progress method during which previous, blemished fragments of bone are replaced with new ones.

Inflammation of the digestive tract (as with inflammatory intestine  disease) are often particularly harmful to bone health, because it can prevent absorption of important bone-building nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D. Another disease of an inflammatory nature, rheumatoid arthritis, also can have implications as a result of how it limits people’s physical activity and might keep them from engaging in weight-bearing, bone-strengthening exercises.

It can affect your skin

The effects of inflammation aren’t just internal: They can also be reflected in the skin. Psoriasis, for instance, is an inflammatory condition that happens once the defense system causes skin cells to grow too quickly. A 2013 study published in JAMA Dermatology
suggested that losing weight may facilitate patients with psoriasis obtain relief, since obesity contributes to inflammation.

Chronic inflammation has conjointly been shown to contribute to quicker cell aging in animal studies, and a few experts believe it conjointly plays a part (along with UV exposure and other environmental effects) within the formation of wrinkles and visual signs of aging.

It’s linked with depression

Inflammation within the brain could also be coupled to depression, consistent with a 2015 study printed in JAMA Psychiatry; specifically, it should be accountble for depressive symptoms like low mood, lack of appetite, and poor sleep. Previous analysis has found that individuals with depression have higher levels of inflammation in their blood, as well.

It can even damage gums

Inflammation may also inflict mayhem on your mouth in the fashion of periodontal disease, a chronic inflammation of the gums caused by bacterium accumulation. This infection causes gums to recede and also the bone structure that surround the teeth become weakened or damaged. Brushing and flossing often stop periodontitis, and one 2010 Harvard University study found that consuming omega-3 fatty acids (such as fish or fish oil), anti-inflammatory foods may additionally assist.

Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect oral health, either. Studies show that inflammation of the gums is coupled to cardiovascular disease and congnitive issues also, since bacteria in the mouth may also trigger inflammation elsewhere in the body. Oral hygiene is important for the whole body.

How to prevent chronic inflammation

One can control — and even reverse — inflammation through a healthy, anti-inflammatory lifestyle. Someone with a case history of health issues, such as heart disease or colon cancer, should talk to their doctors about lifestyle changes that support preventing disease by reducing inflammation.

Follow the tips below for reducing inflammation in your body:

Fill up on anti-inflammatory foods

Your food selections are even as necessary as the medications and supplements you mightbe taking for overall health since they’ll shield against inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet emphasizes foods that reduce inflammation. There are anti-inflammatory cookbooks available on Amazon that features anti-inflammatory recipes. To take a look click here.

Eat more fruits and vegetables and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids. Some of the best sources of omega-3s are cold water fish, such as salmon and tuna, and tofu, walnuts, flax seeds and soybeans.  Other anti-inflammatory foods embody grapes, celery, blueberries, garlic, olive oil, tea and some spices (ginger, rosemary and turmeric). More on turmeric in my article

The Mediterranean diet is an excellent example of an anti-inflammatory diet.  This is because of its concentration on fruits, vegetables, fish and whole grains, and limits on unhealthy fats, such as red meat, butter and egg yolks as well as processed and refined sugars and carbs.

Cut back or eliminate inflammatory foods altogether

“An anti-inflammatory diet additionally limits foods that promote inflammation. Inflammatory foods consist of beef (red meat) and ingredients with trans fats, such as margarine, corn oil, deep-fried foods and most processed foods.

Control the blood sugar

Limit or avoid simple  and processed carbohydrates, such as white flour, white rice, refined sugar and anything with high fructose corn syrup.

One simple rule to follow is to avoid white foods, such as white bread, rice and pasta, as well as foods made with white sugar and flour. Build meals around lean proteins and whole foods high in fiber, such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains, such as brown rice and whole wheat bread. Check the labels and make certain that “whole wheat” or another whole grain is the initial ingredient.

Make time for exercise

Notice I said “make time.” With the busy schedules of today, who has time for exercise? Nobody! But we have to push room into the schedule somehow. It can be a matter of life or death in some cases.

Regular exercise is a superb means to prevent inflammation. Make time for 30 to 45 minutes of aerobic exercise and 10 to 25 minutes of weight or resistance training at least four to five times per week.

If overweight-lose it

People who are overweight have more inflammation. Losing weight may decrease inflammation.

If fat cells will contribute to chronic inflammation, then it’s reasonable to expect that weight gain, especially in the form of fat tissue, also contributes to chronic inflammation. As we put on weight, some fat cells expand beyond their capacity while trying to do their job storing our extra calories as fat. When this happens, they turn on and add to the inflammation already present in our bodies. At this time, these cells aren’t just fat storage warehouses—they’re like little inflammation factories, sending out signals to activate the immune system. Losing weight therefore allows the fat cells to shrink back to a more normal size and turns off the signals that trigger chronic inflammation.

A study showed that chronic inflammation is linked to weight gain. Researchers followed people over nine years and monitored things like their weight gain and blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a chemical that shows up when the immune system is activated.

They found one thing interesting: Weight increase was associated with additional inflammation, and the relationship was linear. This means that as a person’s weight increased, so did the level of CRP in their blood. This relationship between weight and inflammation suggests losing weight will help the cause.

Manage the stress

Cortisol, the so-called “stress” hormone, wears many other hats, including regulating the immune response. Reducing stress helps to keep hormones like cortisol under control and that, in turn, helps lower inflammation. More on cortisol in my article

Get the Proper amount of Sleep

Lack of sleep makes the body ripe for infection, whereas additional sleep has the alternative result. A review of several studies published in 2008 found that sleeping less than eight hours a night was linked to weight gain. There is a complex but harmonious dance occurring in our bodies during restful sleep; this strengthens our immune system in a good way. For more detail on the benefits of sleep, see my article

Inflammation is part of our body’s defense system that protects our bodies. But it can play havoc on our bodies if it malfunctions. But we can defend our defense system by taking preventative measures. After doing that, if any of the above symptoms commence, see your physician without delay.

Please feel free to leave a question, concern or comment below.


Good health!

Health Benefits of Red Tea

What is Red Tea

Also known as rooibos (pronounced ROY-boss), red tea comes from the shrub aspalathus linearis and is therefore an herb. The plant is cut by hand and allowed to oxidize giving it rich color and flavor. As it oxidizes, it becomes redder and sweeter. When it is harvested and dried, rooibos is brewed into a reddish-brown herbal infusion also known as African red tea and red bush tea.

So, is red tea better than green tea distinctive from green tea, red tea does Why is Red Tea better than green teanot contain caffeine, and therefore drinking the blend at night won’t leave you restless. Another amazing factor…taste! it’s delicious! It has a taste that is sweet and fruity with touches of vanilla and honey. It can be consumed the same way as with black or green tea with lemon, sweetener or plain. Green Tea is bitter which is attributed to its high tannin content, which is less prevalent in red tea.

Red Tea Benefits

Helps With Weight Loss

Tea has several advantages for the body, stress and energy levels, and even aids in the prevention of serious diseases. White, black and green tea are tested, talked about, and consumed for years on this basis, each with unique but valuable contributions to the body. Currently, red tea has been renowned as their equivalent, if not superior. And here’s why – red tea reduces fat cells. Because it low calorie and naturally sweet, red tea widens your choices of beverages to aid in your weight loss goals. This is with the help of the antioxidants and the balancing of blood sugar.

The health benefits of Red Rooibos Tea
Humm good!

Humm good!

Research has shown that Aspalathin, an active ingredient in rooibos tea, helps reduce the hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage, and is also linked to a host of diseases. This study also showed that rooibos tea can prevent obesity by affecting the balance of energy and how it is used as energy or stored as fat. Sipping the brew burns fat from stubborn trouble areas throughout the body, without an extreme diet or exercise plan. This a chance to enhance your health as well as your weight loss efforts.

Research has additionally shown that parts found within the Aspalathus plant, such as polyphenols and flavonoids, inhibit the formation of new fat cells by 22 percent. The tea considerably lowers dangerous fat found within the blood, such as triglyceride concentrations. Other blends like green tea, although rich in antioxidants, do not have the same impact on fat cells or weight loss.

Increases Antioxidant Levels in the Body

Red tea contains fifty percent additional antioxidants than green tea. Antioxidants remove the harmful free radicals that can damage cells and cause cancer, stemming cellular damage and inflammation.

According to research, drinking red tea significantly increases levels of the powerful antioxidant glutathione. With glutathione being the most powerful antioxidant, it protects against inflammation, toxins, free radicals, and pathogens. It is a natural detoxifier.

Aspalathin, found only in red tea, and nothofagin are two polyphenois (a type of antioxidant) that have been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting powers.

Treats and Prevents Diabetes

Studies conducted on the effects’ of antioxidants Aspalathin and Nothofagin, contained in red tea, has shown that they lowered inflammation in the vascular system, namely the arteries and veins. People with diabetes tend to have chronic, high levels of inflammation that affect insulin’s function and contributes to the disease. Therefore, reducing inflammation may provide major benefits in the treatment of diabetes and it’s complications.

Increases Bone Health

Red tea contains a variety of polyphenols that has been shown to improve the activity that develops bones.

Orientin and luteolin, are flavonoids that were specifically studied on bone cells and showed an increased level of bone growth and mitochondrial activity. These flavonoids greatly improved the mineral content of the bone cells used in the study.

Improves Blood Pressure and Circulation

Inflammation plays a major role in contributing to heart disease. There is an enzyme named angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) that causes blood vessels to shrink, causing an increase in blood pressure. A study has shown that after one hour of consuming Red Tea, ACE levels went down, lowering the participants blood pressure.

Facilitates Digestion

In an animal study, results showed that red tea benefits the digestive system by reducing diarrhea, reducing muscle spasms in the stomach, and decreasing gastric secretions. With the existence of flavonoids such as Quercetin, Luteolin, as well as others are believed to be the reasons for the beneficial effects’ on the digestive system.

May Aid in the Prevention of Cancer

It is well-known that oxidative damage, generally associated with free radicals, causes cancer. Two flavonoids, Quercetin and Luteolin are found in red tea. They have been studied on pancreatic tumor cells, showing they suppress tumor growth and promote cancer cell death.

Keeps Hair and Skin Healthy

You don’t have to drink red tea for this one. Research shows that applying rooibos extract to hair significantly increased hair growth in a significant number of volunteers.

The extract is also recommended to use on the skin for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and soothing properties

Studies have shown that rooibos tea helped destroy cancer cells and keep them from spreading in test tubes in animal studies. More human testing is needed.

Boosts Good HDL Cholesterol
and Lowers Bad LDLThe Detox Weight Loss program

A study over a six-week period showed that drinking six cups of red tea daily significantly increased total polyphenol levels, which improved HDL good cholesterol, lowered bad LDL cholesterol as well as triglycerides, another lipid (fat) found in your blood.

Where to Buy Red Tea

Red tea is an exciting necessity, and one that has the potential to seamlessly entwine itself together with your life style. It has never been easier to cut fat cell growth and enjoy all the benefits of rooibos tea than with the Red Tea Detox Program. Many health products do not aim to bridge the gap between adults and young children, but the quest for good health is of equal importance to both demographics. Which is why a recipe that caters to all ages and tastes has been developed: The Red Tea Detox Program. It is fresh and matchless, already actively transforming lives since its launch. Watch for the inescapable results as they occur. Click the link to check it out and take advantage of an exciting offer.

Please fell free to leave a comment or question below.

Good Health!!



All About Obesity

Obesity has become a condition that is a worldwide health concern reaching epidemic portions. For example, take adult Obesity in the United States. Rates for adults currently exceed 35 percent in seven states, 30 percent in 29 states and 25 percent in 48 states. There are more than three million cases a year in the US. Believe it or not, some countries have even higher rates. In addition, obesity affects 1 in 6 children in the United States.

The purpose of this article is to provide information on obesity: the definition, the causes, the effects, and the treatments…in other words, all about obesity.

What is obesity

Obesity is a treatable disease that is associated with having an excess amount of body fat. It is caused by genetic and environmental factors and may be tough to manage through fasting and dieting alone. Obesity is diagnosed by a health care provider and is classed as having a body mass index (BMI) of thirty (30) or larger. Nearly 40 percent of Americans have obesity.

BMI measures weight related to height. It is a common way to measure body fat and is one of the tools healthcare providers use when talking about weight. Other factors, like  the comparison of waist-to-hip size (WHR), the comparison of waist-to-height ratio (WtHR), and the amount and distribution of fat on the body also play a part in shaping how healthy an individual’s weight and body form square up.

To find your BMI, please see the BMI calculator here.

What are the causes of obesity

Ingesting too many calories – When a person consumes more calories than they use as energy, their body will store the extra calories as fat. This can lead to excess weight and obesity.

Also, some kinds of foods are almost certainly to lead to weight gain, especially those that are high in fats and sugars.

Foods that tend to extend the danger of weight gain include:

  • fried foods, such as french fries
  • fatty and processed meats
  • fast foods
  • many dairy products
  • foods with added sugar, such as baked goods, ready-made breakfast cereals, and cookies – I was guilty of this one. The last of the cookie monsters!
  • foods that have hidden sugars, like ketchup and numerous other canned and packaged food items
  • processed foods, foods high in carbs, such as bread and bagels
  • sweetened juices, sodas, and alcoholic drinks

Some processed food products contain the sweetener high-fructose corn syrup, including savory items, such as ketchup. Eating too much of these foods and doing too little exercise can result in weight gain and result in obesity.

The choices are ours – We must be vigilant!

Something to note is a person who consumes a diet that consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and water is still at risk of gaining excess weight if they overeat. Also, genetic factors can increase their risk [detailed further down]. However, in most cases they are more likely to enjoy a varied diet while maintaining a healthy weight. Fresh foods and whole grains contain fiber that makes an individual feel full for longer and encourages healthy digestion.

Sedentary lifestyle Today’s generation lead a much more sedentary lifestyle than previous ones.

Examples of sedentary lifestyles include:

  • traveling by car instead of walking or cycling
  • playing games inside on a computer instead of engaging in physical activities outside
  • working in an office rather than doing physical labor

Fact is, the less a person moves around, the fewer calories they burn.

Also, physical activity affects how an individual’s hormones work, and hormones have an impact on how the body processes food. [A future post/article is coming on hormones]

Several studies have shown that physical activity will facilitate to maintain insulin levels stable and that unstable insulin levels might cause weight gain. Researchers have concluded that a lifestyle incorporating regular [physical activity] has been identified as a key factor for maintaining and improving many aspects of health, including insulin sensitivity.

Physical activity need not be training in the gym nor do you have to be a gym rat. Any physical work, walking or cycling, climbing stairs, and household tasks all contribute. However, the sort and intensity of activity might have an effect on the degree that benefit the body within the short- and long-term. There’s more detail on walking in my post

Not getting enough sleep Research has suggested that missing sleep increases the risk of gaining weight and developing obesity. The team advised that sleep deprivation will cause  obesity because it can lead to hormonal changes that increase the craving for food.

When a person doesn’t get enough sleep, their body produces ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite. At the identical time, a lack of sleep also results in a lower production of leptin, a hormone that suppresses the appetite.

Researchers reviewed proof for over twenty eight thousand children and fifteen thousand adults in the United Kingdom from 1977 to 2012. In 2012, they drew the conclusion that sleep deprivation considerably magnified obesity risk in both categories of adults and kids. The changes affected kids as young as five years old.

More detail on the importance of sleep is given in my post/article

Endocrine disruption A team from the University of Barcelona published a study in the World Journal of Gastroenterology that provides clues as to how liquid fructose — a type of sugar — in beverages might alter lipidoid energy metabolism.

After feeding rats a 10-percent fruit sugar solution for fourteen days, the scientists noted that their metabolism was starting to change. Scientists believe there’s a link between high consumption of fruit sugar and obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Ready-made sauces often contain high-fructose corn syrup, which scientists have linked to a risk of obesity.

Ready-made sauces often contain high-fructose corn syrup, which scientists have linked to a risk of obesity.

syndrome. [More on metabolic syndrome to follow] Authorities have raised concerns about the use of high-fructose corn syrup to sweeten drinks and other food products.

Animal studies have found that once a person becomes obese because of sugar consumption, there is also a close link with type 2 diabetes.

In 2018, researchers printed the results of investigations involving young rats. They also went through metabolic changes, oxidative stress, and inflammation after consuming fructose syrup.

The researchers note that an increased sugar intake is an awfully important predictor of metabolic risk in youth.

They necessitate changes within the diets of the youth to prevent these problems.

The use of high fructose corn syrup as an ingredient is an insidious exercise. It is contained in a number of products that we normally wouldn’t expect. Therefore, the reading of product labels is required reading these days. We must be vigilant with our health!

Below is a list of foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup:

  • sweetened foods, such as yogurt, juices, and canned foods
  • candy and ice cream
  • sodas, energy drinks, and sports drinks
  • coffee creamer
  • sauces and condiments, including salad dressings, ketchup, and barbecue sauce
  • bread and other ready-made baked goods
  • breakfast cereal, cereal bars, and energy or nutrition bars

To reduce your intake of high fructose corn syrup and other additives:

  • Again – check the labels before you buy
  • opt for unsweetened or less processed items where possible
  • make salad dressings and bake other products at home

Medications – Some medications can also lead to weight gain.

Results of a review and meta-analysis printed within The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2015 found that some medicines caused individuals to increase their weight over a period of several months. Some examples are:

  • some antidepressants
  • anticonvulsants and mood stabilizers, and specifically gabapentin
  • hypoglycemic medications, such as tolbutamide
  • atypical antipsychotics, especially olanzapine, quetiapine, and risperidone
  • glucocorticoids used to treat rheumatoid arthritis

However, some medications may lead to weight loss. Therefore, anyone who is starting a new medication and is concerned about their weight should be sure to ask their doctor whether the drug is likely to have any effect on weight.

Obesity can self-perpetuate The longer a person is overweight, the harder it may be for them to lose weight.

Here’s why. Findings of a mouse study, printed in the journal Nature Communications in 2015, recommended that the more fat an individual carries, the less probability of the body burning fat, attributable to a super molecule, or gene, known as sLR11.

It appears that the more extra fat someone has, the more sLR11 their body will produce. The protein blocks the body’s ability to burn fat, making it harder to shed the extra weight. Therefore, the beginning of weight gain can be the beginning of a downward spiral if not checked.

The obesity gene Lastly obesity is preventable but not totally. It can be genetic. A faulty genetic material referred to as the fat-mass and obesity-associated gene (FTO) is liable for some cases of obesity.

A study
published in 2013 points to a link between this factor and this disorder: behaviors that cause  obesity, a higher food intake, a preference for high-calorie foods, an impaired ability to feel full, known as satiety.

The hormone ghrelin plays an important role in food intake behavior. Ghrelin additionally affects the discharge of growth hormones and the way the body accumulates fat, among other functions.

The activity of the FTO genetic material might impact an individual’s possibility of becoming obese as a result of its affects on the amounts of ghrelin a person has.

In a study involving 250 people with food consumption disorders, printed in Plos One in 2017, researchers recommended that aspects of FTO additionally play a responsibility in conditions, such as binge eating and emotional eating.

One can see how complicated our bodies are and how closely our systems are linked.

What are the effects of obesity

Obesity is a disease that can lead to other serious health problems. Obesity has a far-ranging negative effect on health. Each year within the U.S., obesity-related conditions totals over $100 billion and cause premature deaths. The health effects linked with obesity follows:

High blood pressure Excess weight needs more blood to circulate to the fat tissue and causes the blood vessels to become narrow (aka – coronary artery disease). This makes the heart work harder, because it must pump more blood against more resistance from the blood vessels and can lead to a heart attack (aka – myocardial infarction). More flowing blood and extra resistance conjointly suggests a lot of pressure on the artery walls. Higher pressure on the artery walls will increase the blood pressure. Excess weight also raises blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and lowers HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, adding to the risk of heart disease.

Type 2 diabetes Obesity is the major cause of type 2 diabetes. Obesity is capable of causing your body to be resistant to insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. When it causes insulin resistance, your blood sugar level rises. Even moderate obesity dramatically increases the risk for diabetes. More on insulin in my post/article

Heart disease Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, happens more often in obese people. Coronary artery illness is additionally diagnosed more in obese people as a result of fatty deposits that build up in arteries that supply the heart. Narrowed arteries and reduced blood flow to the heart can cause chest pain called angina or a heart attack. Blood clots can also form in narrowed arteries and travel to the brain, causing a stroke.

Joint problems, including osteoarthritis Obesity can affect the knees and hips because the extra weight stresses the joints. Joint replacement surgery may not be a good choice for an obese person because the artificial joint has a higher risk of loosening and causing even more damage.

Respiratory problems and Sleep apnea Sleep apnea causes people to stop breathing for brief periods during sleep. Sleep apnea interrupts sleep and causes sleepiness during the day and behavioral problems in children. It also causes heavy snoring. Sleep apnea is also linked to high blood pressure. For more on sleep apnea see my post/article

Breathing issues tied to obesity happen when additional weight of the chest wall squeezes the lungs. This restricts breathing.

Cancer Being overweight or obese will increase your risk for a variety of cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. Among obese females, the risk increases for cancer of the endometrium or the lining of the uterus in younger women. Obese ladies additionally increase their risk for breast cancers in those that have undergone change of life (menopause). Men who are overweight have a higher risk for prostate cancer. Both men and women who are obese are at increased risk for colorectal cancer.

Metabolic syndrome The National Cholesterol Education Program says that metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome has several major risk factors. These are abdomen (stomach) obesity, high blood triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance (severe type 2 diabetes). Having at a minimum three (3) of those risk factors confirms the labeling of metabolic syndrome. People with obesity are additionally possible to acquire metabolic syndrome.

Psychosocial effects individuals who are overweight or obese will have issues socially or psychologically. This is because the culture in the U.S. often values a body image that’s somewhat or overly thin. Therefore, they are considered unattractive.

Overweight and obese people are often blamed for their condition. Other people may have the opinion of them as lazy or weak-willed.

It is not uncommon for people that ar overweight or obese to earn less than other people or to possess fewer or no romantic relationships. Some people’s disapproval and bias against those who are overweight may progress to discrimination, and even torment. Sadly, as a result, these sociological demeaning factors can manifest into depression. Depression is more prevalent in people who are overweight and obese.

How to prevent obesity

As I always like to say: prevention is better than cure! It is imperative that we are more proactive with our health than reactive. Our bodies are good at informing us when something is wrong. We just have to pay attention to the signs and promptly react positively.

Therefore, I am compelled to cover ways for us to prevent this lethal condition in the first place.

I recently discovered during my six-month check-up that I’d gained 20lbs since the previous six months. What was worst, 99% of it was in the middle! So, instead of crash dieting, I moderated: cutting my carbs in half (e.g. no more cookies, fresh fruit instead), and stopped going for seconds and if I do it’s for veggies and doubled my exercise (I walk). I also increased my protein.   Especially after realizing that my breakfast consisted mostly of carbs.  Protein increases metabolism, decreases appetite and changes several weight-modifying hormones.  The weight gain has leveled off and I’m starting to reduce. I now have to buy a scale! I hadn’t owned one since 2004!

Therefore, I suggest the following:

Follow a healthy eating plan. Eat 5 to 6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A vegetable serving is one cup of raw vegetables or ½ cup of hard boiled vegetables or vegetable juice. A fruit serving is one piece of very small to medium ripened fruit, one-half cup of canned or fresh fruit or fruit juice, or one-fourth cup of dried fruit. An individual has a lower risk of obesity if their diet consists mainly of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. If it’s easier to follow a formal diet plan, I suggest The Lean Body Breakthrough.

Choose whole grain foods such as rice (brown ) and whole wheat bread. Avoid excessively processed foods created with refined white sugar, flour and saturated fat.

Exercise regularly. You need to accomplish one hundred fifty (150) to three hundred (300) minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week to stop and prevent weight gain.

Know and stay away from the food snares that cause you to eat. This tends to be different for everyone. But we all know what our weaknesses are…we just need to address them.

Monitor your weight regularly. This is the only way to know that you’re on and staying on the right track.

Be consistent. Once you have the plan, stick with it. Remember, the world wasn’t made in a day. Those 20lbs I gained took time. So will losing them. It’s just a matter of changing our habits. Studies indicate that it takes 17 days to form a habit. Once the habits(the lifestyle changes) are formed, it becomes a lot easier.

How to treat obesity

No two individuals ar alike, so it’s important to create a weight-loss plan that works for you. That may mean making an attempt to lose one (1) to two (2) pounds per week, or losing at the pace of a ½ a pound per week. Even at that lower rate, over the course of a year, you’ll lose 24 pounds, and if you maintain that rate, over three years you’ll drop 78 pounds. Regardless of what treatment plan you follow, losing weight slowly will be more effective and healthy over the long term because quick weight loss often spurs weight regain.

So here’s the prescription: diet, exercise, environmental changes.

For those who have tried these and haven’t gotten satisfactory results, consult your physician to consider:

To repeat what I mentioned earlier, the beginning of weight gain can be the beginning of a downward spiral if not checked. We must be vigilant when it comes to our health.


Please feel free to leave any question or comment you may have on this subject below.







Children and Sleep Apnea

It happens to children too.

In my previous article: I addressed obstructive sleep apnea in adults. But did you know that children can be a victim of the same? Can a child have sleep Apnea? If your child snores, chances are he or she may very well be experiencing an interruptive sleep disorder. So now is the time to address, children and sleep apnea. It is formerly known as pediatric obstructive sleep apnea

Causes of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea

Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which a child’s breathing is partially or completely blocked repeatedly during sleep. The underlying cause in adults is commonly obesity, while in children the most common underlying condition is enlargement of the adenoids and tonsils. However, obesity can also play a role in children. Besides fatness, other risk factors include having: Down syndrome, abnormalities in the skull or face, cerebral palsy, sickle cell disease, neuromuscular disease, history of low birth weight, or family history of obstructive sleep apnea.

Other underlying factors can be craniofacial anomalies and neuromuscular disorders.

There are other differences between pediatric obstructive sleep apnea and adult sleep apnea. While adults usually suffer with sleepiness during the day, children are more likely to have behavioral problems.

Getting an early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent complications that can affect a child’s growth, cognitive development and behavior.

What are the symptoms

Signs and symptoms, of pediatric sleep apnea during sleep in addition to snoring include:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Snorting, coughing or choking
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Restless sleep
  • Bed wetting
  • Nightmares

Children with sleep apnea during the day may:

  • Be hyperactive
  • Perform poorly in school
  • Have difficulty paying attention
  • Have learning problems
  • Have behavioral problems
  • Have poor weight gain


Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea can have serious complications, including: Heart problems, failure to grow, even death.


When a child consistently wakes up in the morning feeling tired after sleeping the proper amount of time and has behavioral problems it’s time to make an appointment with the pediatrician.

To diagnose pediatric sleep apnea, the doctor will review the child’s symptoms and medical history and conduct a physical exam. Several tests might be ordered to diagnose the condition.

Tests might include:

Polysomnogram – Doctors will evaluate the child’s condition during an overnight sleep study. This test uses sensors applied to the body to record brain wave activity, breathing patterns, snoring, oxygen levels, heart rate and muscle activity during sleep.

Oximetry – If doctors firmly suspect sleep apnea, and a full polysomnogram isn’t needed or available, an overnight recording of oxygen levels might help make the diagnosis. Oximetry can be done at home. However, it sometimes fails to give the diagnosis. In that case, a polysomnogram will still be needed.

Electrocardiogram – In an electrocardiogram, sensor patches with wires attached (electrodes) measure the electrical impulses given off by the heart. Doctors may use this test to determine if there is an underlying heart condition.

The doctor will work with the parents to find the most appropriate treatment for the child’s sleep apnea. Treatment might include: Medications, removal of the tonsils and adenoids, positive airway pressure therapy, or oral appliances.

Home remedies and Lifestyle changes

  • Avoid airway irritants and allergens. All kids, however particularity those with pediatric sleep apnea, must avoid tobacco smoke or any other indoor allergens or pollutants, as they will cause airway irritation and congestion.
  • Weight loss. Doctors may recommend a reduction in weight if he or she is obese. The doctor can provide diet and nutrition information, or refer to other specialists with expertise in managing obesity.

Pay close attention to your child’s sleep. Especially if any of the symptoms listed above exist. Do not hesitate to consult with your pediatrician. Early detection and treatment can make a world of difference to your child.

Please feel free to leave any question or comment below.

Good health!





Belly Fat: The Facts

Belly fat is an insidious condition that leads to some evident consequences. For starters, it’s unattractive. As a personal observation, nothing is more unattractive than an individual (male or female) with a large abdomen. But physical appearance is only half the story. Belly fat can be the beginning of a downward spiral to ill health. The purpose of this article is to shed light on belly fat: the facts.

The truth about belly fat

For starters, what is belly fat? Belly fat, also known as visceral fat, is excess weight that develops over time around the center of the body.

There are two types of belly fat. One (subcutaneous) tends to give the body a pear shape because it accumulates in the lower body, while fat in the abdominal area which yields the apple shape is largely visceral. Where fat finally ends up is influenced by many factors, including heredity and hormones.

Visceral, fat is of explicit concern as a result of it being a key player in a variety of health issues— far more so than connective tissue fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the contrary, lies out of reach, deep among the abdomen, where it pads the areas between our abdominal organs.

Belly fat surrounds our organs and increases risk for disease. The especially detrimental problem with visceral fat is that it releases cytokines (immune system chemicals), which can greatly increase the chance of cardiovascular (heart) disease, boost chances of acquiring diabetes, raise blood pressure and bad (LDL) cholesterol. In women, It’s additionally related with breast cancer and also the necessity for gallbladder surgery. Needless to say, these are some potentially serious side effects.

Causes of belly fat

Common causes of belly fat include:

Poor diet – Sugary food, such as cakes, cookies (I’m guilty), and candy, as well as drinks, such as soda and fruit juice, can: cause weight gain, slow a person’s metabolism, reduce a person’s ability to burn fat.

Low-protein, high-carbohydrate diets can also affect weight. Protein helps an individual feel fuller for an extended period of time, and people who do not include lean protein in their diet may eat more food overall.

Trans fats, in particular, can cause inflammation and may lead to obesity. Trans fats are found in many foods, including fast food and baked goods, for example, muffins or crackers. The American Heart Association recommends that people replace trans fats with healthful whole-grain foods, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats.

Reading food labels, which is required reading today, can help a person determine whether their food contains trans fats among other things.

Excessive alcohol – Consuming excess alcohol can cause a variety of health problems, including liver disease and inflammation. A 2015 report on alcohol consumption and obesity in the journal Current Obesity Reports
indicates that drinking excess alcohol causes males to gain weight around their abdomens. However, study results in females are inconsistent.

Inactivity – If a person consumes more calories than they burn off, they will inevitably put on weight. An inactive lifestyle makes it hard for a person to get rid of excess fat, especially around the abdomen.

Stress – A steroid hormone known as cortisol helps the body control and deal with stress. When a person is in a dangerous or high-pressure situation, their body releases cortisol, and this can have an impact on their metabolism. People often reach for food for comfort when they feel stressed, and cortisol causes the excess calories to remain around the belly and other areas of the body for later use.

Genetics – Some things we just can’t control. There is some evidence that a person’s genes can play a part in whether or not they become obese. Scientists think genes can influence behavior, metabolism, and the risk of developing obesity-related diseases. Similarly, environmental factors and behavior also play a role in the likelihood of people becoming obese.

Poor sleep – A study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine links weight gain to short sleep duration, which could lead to an excess of belly fat. Both poor quality and short duration of sleep can play a part in the development of abdominal fat. Not getting enough good sleep may, potentially, lead to unhealthful eating behaviors, such as emotional eating. For more detailed information on sleep and health, see my article:

Smoking – smoking is not considered to be a direct cause of belly fat, but it is believed to be a risk factor. A 2012 study published in the journal PloS one showed that, although obesity was the same between smokers and nonsmokers, smokers had more belly and visceral fat than nonsmokers.

Losing belly fat

All is not lost. By adopting the following changes, one may be able to lose their unwanted belly fat.

Exercise – A inactive life style brings with it several serious health issues, including weight gain. Excessive weight opens the door to a host of health issues. Therefore, anyone trying to lose weight should include a good amount exercise in their daily routine. Walking is a good place to start. For details see the article:

Undertaking both aerobic exercise and strength training can help tackle belly fat. Exercise is most effective if people combine both cardiovascular and high-intensity training alongside weights and resistance training.

Better dietary choices – A healthy, balanced diet can help one lose weight, and it is also likely to have a positive effect on their overall health. Things to avoid include sugar, fatty foods, and refined carbohydrates that have low nutritional content. Instead, it’s best to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates.

Reduce your alcohol consumption – Anyone desiring to lose excess abdominal fat should monitor their alcohol intake. Alcoholic drinks typically contain extra sugar, which may contribute to weight gain. Actually limiting alcohol is a good thing for overhaul health.

Increase sunlight exposure – A 2016 review in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health **indicates that exposure to sunlight in animals can lead to a reduction in weight gain and metabolic abnormalities. The review further highlights that few studies have looked at the effects of sunlight on humans, in respect of weight gain. It also states that more research is required to support the findings so far. So stay tuned for that one.

Reduce your stress – Stress can cause a person to gain weight as mentioned above. The release of the stress hormone cortisol influences a person’s appetite and could cause them to eat more. Eating under stress is a common reaction. Stress-relieving tactics can include mindfulness and meditation, and gentle exercise, such as yoga.

Examine your sleep patternSleep is vital to people’s overall health, and too little rest can have a severe impact on well-being.

Sleep’s primary purpose is to allow the body to rest, heal, and recover, but it can also have an impact on a person’s weight. Getting enough good-quality sleep is crucial once an individual is trying to shed weight, and belly fat.

Losing belly fat takes discipline to engage the necessary lifestyle changes. For information on a complete program that aids losing belly fat, click this link.

Good health!

Please feel free to leave any question, comment, or concern below






Sleep Apnea: The Facts- New

Sleep apnea has become a serious problem these days.  It’s what causes an individual to not benefit from proper rest no matter how much sleep they may get. Because of this, many don’t know why they are not benefiting from their sleep.  Hopefully, this article, Sleep Apnea: the Facts will shed light on this important issue.

What is Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea (also known as obstructive sleep apnea) is a serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. The airway repeatedly becomes blocked, limiting the amount of air that reaches our lungs. When this happens, we may snore loudly and make choking noises as we try to breathe. As a result, our brain and body becomes oxygen deprived and we may wake up as a result. This may happen anywhere from a few times to several hundred times a night in more severe cases.

What Causes Sleep Apnea

Now for the causes of sleep apnea.  In most cases, sleep apnea is caused by the tissue in the back of the throat collapsing. This is the result of the relaxing of the muscles of the upper airway when we fall asleep. For those who sleep on their backs, gravity can cause the tongue to fall back. This narrows the airway, which reduces the amount of air that can reach the lungs. This narrowed airway causes snoring by making the tissue in back of the throat vibrate as we breathe.

What Are the Symptoms

Snoring is the most common and obvious symptom of sleep apnea although, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Snoring is likely to be a sign of sleep apnea when it is followed by silent pauses in breathing and choking or gasping sounds. People with this sleep disorder typically have daytime drowsiness or fatigue.

Other symptoms include:

  • Morning headaches
  • Non-refreshing sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory loss
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Irritability
  • Nocturia (frequent waking during the night to go to the bathroom)

Sleep apnea can make you wake up in the morning feeling tired or unrefreshed even though you’ve had a full night of sleep. It can cause you during the day to feel fatigued, have difficulty concentrating or you may even unintentionally fall asleep. This is because your body is waking up numerous times throughout the night, even though you might not be cognizant of each awakening.

The lack of oxygen your body receives can have negative long-standing consequences to your health  This includes:

  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Heart disease
  • Pre-diabetes and diabetes

Who’s at Risk

An individual is much more likely to have sleep apnea if they are overweight or obese. The major risk issue for sleep disorder is excess weight. Their risk for sleep apnea is higher if you they are overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of twenty five or more or heavier with a BMI of thirty or higher. However, sleep apnea can occur in slim people as well. Common risk factors for sleep apnea include:

Large neck size – An oversized neck has a lot of soft tissue that may block an airway throughout sleep. The risk for apnea is higher if an individual has a neck size of 17 inches or more for men, or 16 inches or more for women.

Middle age –Apnea is possible at any age. However, it is more common between young adulthood and middle age.

Male gender –Apnea is more common in men than in women. For women the danger of apnea will increase with change of life (menopause).

Hypertension – High blood pressure level is extraordinarily common in people who have apnea.

Family history –You have a higher risk of sleep apnea if a family member also has it. Inherited traits that increase the risk include obesity and physical features such as a recessed jaw. Other common family factors – such as physical activity and eating habits – play a role as well.


As for sleep apnea treatment, there are many people with sleep apnea who have not been diagnosed or received treatment. A sleep management doctor can diagnose obstructive apnea using an in-lab sleep study or a home apnea analysis. Sleep apnea is manageable through continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) medical care, the front-line treatment for apnea, oral appliance treatment or surgery.  For an effective, inexpensive and easy treatment, click this link for more information.


Feel free to leave any question, comment, or concern below







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