Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Quitting Smoking Lowers Bladder Cancer Risk

Quitting Smoking Helps Shield Women From Bladder Cancer

 

If you’re an older woman who smokes, quitting may bring a health benefit you haven’t considered: A new study suggests it lowers your risk of bladder cancer.

The largest decline in risk was in the first 10 years after quitting, with a modest but steady decline in following years.

Bladder cancer is fairly rare — about 4.6% of new cancer cases in 2019 — but is the most common type of urinary system cancer. It often recurs and it has a significant death rate, according to study author Dr. Yueyao Li, a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Public Health at Indiana University in Bloomington.

While bladder cancer is more common in men, women often have worse outcomes even when diagnosed at similar stages.

Smoking is a known risk factor, but findings about the link between how long it’s been since a person quit and reduction in bladder cancer risk have been inconsistent.

In this study, Li’s team examined data from about 144,000 participants in the Women’s Health Initiative, a long-term study of postmenopausal women in the U.S.

Of those, 52.7% never smoked; 40.2% were former smokers and 7.1% were current smokers.

As of Feb. 28, 2017, there had been 870 cases of bladder cancer among the women. Compared to those who never smoked, former smokers had twice the risk of bladder cancer and current smokers had more than triple the risk.

Researchers found a 25% reduction in risk among former smokers in the 10 years after they quit, and it continued to fall more slowly after that. But even 30 years after quitting, ex-smokers still had a higher risk of bladder cancer than women who never smoked.

Compared with current smokers, former smokers had a 39% decrease in bladder cancer risk, which continued to fall over time.

The study was recently published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

“Our study emphasizes the importance of primary prevention (by not beginning to smoke) and secondary prevention (through smoking cessation) in the prevention of bladder cancer among postmenopausal women,” Li said in a journal news release.

“Current smokers should be advised to quit smoking in order to reduce the risk of bladder cancer,” she added.

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Dr Anna Killarney

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Household Chemicals Harm Sperm in Both Men and Dogs

Common Household Chemicals Harm Sperm in Both Men and Dogs

News Picture: Common Household Chemicals Harm Sperm in Both Men and Dogs

Two chemicals found in household products and food could harm male fertility in both dogs and people, U.K. researchers say.

The chemicals are the plasticizer DEHP — used in products such as carpets, flooring, upholstery, clothes, wires and toys — and the industrial chemical polychlorinated biphenyl 153 (PCB153). Even though it is banned worldwide, PCB153 is still widely present in the environment, including food.

For this study, researchers from the University of Nottingham conducted laboratory tests with sperm from men and dogs. Their tests revealed that levels of the two chemicals consistent with environmental exposure had the same damaging effects on sperm in both species — reduced sperm motility and increased fragmentation of DNA.

Previous studies have reported a 50 percent decline in human sperm quality worldwide in the past 80 years. Another study by the same U.K. team found a similar decline in domestic dogs, pointing to the possibility that chemicals present in the home could be a factor.

“This new study supports our theory that the domestic dog is indeed a ‘sentinel’ or mirror for human male reproductive decline, and our findings suggest that man-made chemicals that have been widely used in the home and working environment may be responsible for the fall in sperm quality reported in both man and dog that share the same environment,” study leader Richard Lea said in a university news release.

Lea is an associate professor and reader in reproductive biology at Nottingham’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.

“Our previous study in dogs showed that the chemical pollutants found in the sperm of adult dogs, and in some pet foods, had a detrimental effect on sperm function at the concentrations previously found in the male reproductive tract,” he said.

Lea added that the new study is the first to test the effect of DEHP and PCB153 on both dog and human sperm in the lab, in the same concentrations found in real life.

Gary England is dean of the university’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.

“Since environmental pollutants largely reflect a Western way of life such as the effects of industry, the chemicals present in the environment are likely to depend on the location,” he said in the news release. “An important area of future study is to determine how the region in which we live may effect sperm quality in both man and dog.”

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Dr Robert Preidt
Journal of Scientific Reports

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Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Diabetes Drugs and Flesh Eating Infection

Newer Diabetes Drugs Linked to ‘Flesh-Eating’ Genital Infection

News Picture: Newer Diabetes Drugs Linked to 'Flesh-Eating' Genital Infection

 

Say you have type 2 diabetes and you are taking a newer class of medications to treat your disease — but one day you notice pain, redness and a foul odor in your genital area.

If this happens, new research suggests you need to see your doctor immediately, because you may be suffering from Fournier gangrene. Also known as a “flesh-eating” disease, this infection attacks your genital or anal region and can quickly kill tissue as it spreads rapidly.

Unfortunately, it has become a rare but still possible safety concern for people taking diabetes medications known as SGLT2 inhibitors, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists.

SGLT2 inhibitors are a newer class of diabetes medications, introduced in 2013. Drugs in this class include canagliflozin (Invokana), dapagliflozin (Farxiga) and empagliflozin (Jardiance).

Fournier gangrene occurred in 55 people taking these drugs between March 2013 and January 2019. For comparison, the researchers looked for cases of Fournier gangrene in people taking other diabetes medications from 1984 to 2019. They found only 19 such cases.

Still, the risk for Fournier gangrene remains very low, the researchers stressed.

“In 2017, an estimated 1.7 million patients received a dispensed prescription for an SGLT2 inhibitor,” said study author Dr. Susan Bersoff-Matcha, a medical officer in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. So, “Fournier gangrene is a rare event,” she said. “While our study shows an association between treatment with SGLT2 inhibitors and Fournier gangrene, we don’t know exactly what the risk is, or if Fournier gangrene can be predicted.”

Broad-spectrum antibiotics and surgery to remove the dead tissue are treatment options, the researchers said.

SGLT2 inhibitors work in the kidneys, allowing excess blood sugar to be removed in the urine, they said.

In addition to lowering blood sugar levels, the drugs may also reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke in some people with type 2 diabetes.

But possible side effects include urinary tract infections and genital infections, such as yeast infections. Kidney problems can also be a concern with this class of medications.

All of the patients with Fournier gangrene identified in this study needed to be hospitalized. Some had several surgeries. Three of the 55 people died from Fournier gangrene.

The average age of the people with Fournier gangrene was 56. Thirty-nine were men. Forty-one cases occurred in the United States. Thirty-one of the 55 cases identified were also taking an additional diabetes medication.

Of those with Fournier gangrene, 21 were using canagliflozin, 16 were using dapagliflozin and 18 were taking empagliflozin, the study said.

Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, said that while the study was well-done, it cannot prove a cause-and-effect link between the drugs and the disease.

“Infections of the pubic and rectal area are quite common in people with diabetes, they don’t have Fournier’s. Fournier’s is a very aggressive, but extremely rare, disease,” said Zonszein, who wasn’t involved with the study.

When Fournier gangrene does occur, it’s hard to know if it is caused by a medication. He pointed out that a number of clinical trials have been done on SGLT2 inhibitors that have included tens of thousands of people, and there haven’t been any reports of Fournier gangrene.

“I counsel my patients about infections in the genitalia. The main concern is to be aware that they can occur. And, providers need to be more aware of Fournier’s. They have to immediately try to establish the cause of infection and aggressively treat it if they suspect Fournier gangrene,” Zonszein said.

He said a far bigger concern is uncontrolled diabetes and the risk of complications when blood sugar levels aren’t controlled. “The benefits of these medications outweigh the risks,” he said.

In a statement, Boehringer Ingelheim, the company that makes Jardiance (empagliflozin), said the company actively monitors for side effects related to their medications.

“We remain confident in the positive benefit-risk profile of empagliflozin, and empagliflozin-containing products, as outlined in the prescribing information,” the statement from Boehringer Ingelheim said.

The prescribing information of all SGLT2’s was recently changed to reflect the possible risk of Fournier gangrene, as directed by the FDA.

Janssen Pharmaceuticals, maker of Invokana (canagliflozin), and AstraZeneca, maker of Farxiga (dapagliflozin), did not respond to requests for comment.

 

 

If they advertise it on Television, Dont take it!

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Dr Gemma Carney
Annals of Internal Medician

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Right Fatty Foods For a Flat Stomach

7 “FATTY” Foods that Can Help You to Get a Flat Stomach 

 

At this point, the anti-fat propaganda has died and almost everybody understands by now that eating fat doesn’t necessarily make you fat.  In fact, it’s absolutely imperative to get enough healthy fats in your diet to keep your hormones balanced, blood sugar under control, and prevent cravings.  Here are 7 examples of “fatty” foods that can actually HELP you to get lean…

healthy chocolate1.  Super Dark Chocolate (at least 72% cacao content or higher)

It might not be a secret anymore, but yes, dark chocolate (NOT milk chocolate) can be a very healthy food, even though it is technically calorie dense.

However, I would contend that dark chocolate can actually HELP you to burn off more body fat if you’re the type of person that has a sweet tooth and likes to eat a lot of desserts.  In this case, just 1 or 2 small squares of dark chocolate can many times satisfy your sweet tooth for only 30 or 40 calories as opposed to 500 calories for a piece of chocolate cake or a piece of pie.

Also some brands of dark chocolate that are in the mid 70’s in % cacao content or higher, can have a fairly high ratio of fiber content (I’ve seen some brands have 5 grams of fiber out of 15 grams of total carbs per serving), and relatively low sugar content compared to the amount of healthy fats.  In fact, that’s one of the “tricks” I use to select a good quality chocolate… I look for more total fat than total carbs (or about the same number of grams of each).

The importance of that fact is that it means many dark chocolates will not greatly affect your blood sugar and will have a fairly blunted blood sugar response compared to other “sweets”.

In addition, dark chocolate is also very rich in healthful antioxidants, including a powerful compound called theobromine which has been shown to help lower blood pressure and have other health benefits.  The fat content in a good dark chocolate should come solely from the natural healthy fats occuring in cocoa butter and not from any other added fats.  Any chocolates with added fats or other additives will generally not be as healthy.

The reason I say to choose dark chocolates with at least 72% cacao content is that the higher the % of cacao, the lower the % of sugar.  However, this does mean that any chocolate over 80% cacao content will generally start to get a more bitter taste and have very little sweetness.  If you like this type of taste, then the higher % cocao, the better. Otherwise, a good 75% dark chocolate is in my opinion an almost perfect combination of lightly sweet with a rich chocolate taste.  Just remember to keep those daily quantities of chocolate small as it is calorie dense!

You can also reap the benefits of the antioxidants and fiber without all of the calories by using organic unsweetened cocoa powder in your smoothies or other recipes.
coconuts have healthy fats2.  Coconut milk, coconut flour, and coconut oil

Coconut milk and oil are great sources of a super healthy type of saturated fat called medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), including a component called lauric acid, which is a powerful nutrient for your immune system, and is lacking in most western diets.  In addition, MCTs are readily used for energy by the body and less likely to be stored as bodyfat compared to other types of fats.

Along with coconut milk and coconut oil as healthy fat choices, we’ve also got coconut flour as a healthier flour option for baking. Coconut flour is an extremely high fiber flour alternative (almost ALL of the carbs in this flour are fiber and not starch!).  Coconut flour is also VERY high in protein compared to most flours and is also gluten free!

Just beware that if you’re going to use coconut flour for baking, it absolutely NEEDS to be mixed with other flours as it sucks up moisture like crazy… I’ve made delicious baked goods by mixing coconut flour with almond flour and quinoa flour in equal parts, and adding slightly more liquid ingredients than the recipe calls for.
healthy fats in butter3.  Grass-fed (pasture-raised) butter

Yes, delicious smooth and rich BUTTER (real butter, not deadly margarine!)… It’s delicious, contains loads of healthy nutritional factors, and does NOT have to be avoided in order to get lean.  In fact, I eat a couple pats of grass-fed butter daily and maintain single digit bodyfat most times of the year.

There’s a lot of confusion about this topic… in fact, I just saw a TV show today that was talking about unhealthy foods and one of the first things they showed was butter.  It just shows that the majority of the population has zero idea that butter (grass-fed only!) can actually be a healthy part of your diet.

In fact, there’s even ample evidence that REAL butter can even help you to lose body fat for a couple of main reasons:

a.   Grass-fed butter is known to have high levels of a healthy fat called CLA, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties, and also has been shown to help burn abdominal fat and build lean muscle.

b.   Grass-fed butter also has an ideal balance of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids (unlike conventional grain-fed butter) which helps fight inflammation in your body, and can help balance hormones.

c.   The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also contain MCTs, which help to boost your immune system and are readily burned by the body for energy.  The healthy fats in grass-fed butter also help to satisfy your appetite and control blood sugar levels, both of which help you to stay lean!

d.  Grass-fed butter also contains the vitally important nutrient vitamin K2.  Vitamin K2 works alongside vitamin D and calcium for proper calcium metabolism in your body, and is also involved in balancing hormones by making vitamin D more powerful.  Vitamin K2 is generally only found in grass-fed animal products such as butter, cream, full fat cheeses, and organ meats, so it’s hard to obtain from plant sources except for certain types of fermented foods.  It’s one of THE most important vitamins for overall health that many people lack, and it’s found in that beautiful grass-fed butter that we all love!

If you have a hard time finding a grass-fed butter at your grocery store, Kerrygold Irish butter is one of my favorites, and the cows are 100% grass-fed on lush green pastures in Ireland. It’s one of the richest butters in color that I’ve seen, which indicates high levels of carotenoids.  Organic Valley also has some excellent grass-fed butter that’s rich in nutrients as well.
whole egg nutrition to burn body fat4.  Whole Eggs, includin g the yolk   (not just egg whites)

Most people know that eggs are one of the highest quality sources of protein.  However, most people don’t know that the egg yolks are the healthiest part of the egg … that’s where almost all of the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants (such as lutein) are found in eggs.

In fact, the egg yolks contain more than 90% of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, thiamin, B6, folate, and B12, and panthothenic acid of the egg. In addition, the yolks contain ALL of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K in the egg, as well as ALL of the essential fatty acids.  Also, the protein of whole eggs is more bio-available than egg whites alone due to a more balanced amino acid profile that the yolks help to build.

Just make sure to choose free-range organic eggs instead of normal grocery store eggs.  Similar to the grass-fed beef scenerio, the nutrient content of the eggs and the balance between healthy omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (in excess) is controlled by the diet of the hens.

Chickens that are allowed to roam free outside and eat a more natural diet will give you healthier, more nutrient-rich eggs with a healthier fat balance compared with your typical grocery store eggs (that came from chickens fed nothing but soy and corn and crowded inside “egg factories” all day long).

 

grass-fed beef healthier than grain-fed beef5.   Grass-fed beef or bison (NOT the typical grain-fed grocery store beef!)

I know most people think that red meat is unhealthy for you, but that’s because they do not understand how the health of the animal affects how healthy the meat is for consumption.  Keep this in mind — “an unhealthy animal provides unhealthy meat, but a healthy animal provides healthy meat”.

Typical beef or bison that you see at the grocery store is raised on grains, mainly corn (and to some extent, soybeans). Soy and corn are NOT the natural diet of cattle or bison, and therefore changes the chemical balance of fats and other nutrients in the beef or bison.  Grain-fed beef and bison is typically WAY too high in omega-6 fats and WAY too low in omega-3 fats.  In addition, the practice of feeding cattle corn and soy as the main portion of their diet upsets their digestive system and makes them sick… and it also increases the amount of dangerous e-coli in the meat.  This is not the case with grass-fed meat.

grass-fed steaks, healthy fat burning foodOn the other hand, grass-fed beef from cattle and buffalo (or bison) that were raised on the type of natural foods that they were meant to eat in nature (grass and other forage), have much higher levels of healthy omega-3 fats and lower levels of inflammatory omega-6 fats (that most people already eat way too much of) compared to grain fed beef or bison.

Grass fed meats also typically contain up to 3 times the Vitamin E as in grain fed meats.

In addition, grass-fed meat from healthy cattle or bison also contain a special healthy fatcalled conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in MUCH higher levels than grain-fed meat.  CLA has been proven in scientific studies in recent years to help in burning fat and building lean muscle (which can help you lose weight!).  These benefits are on top of the fact that grass-fed meats are some of the highest quality proteins that you can possibly eat… and this also aids in burning fat and building lean muscle.

Grass-fed meats are a little harder to find, but just ask your butcher or find a specialty grocery store and they usually have cuts available.  I’ve also found a great site to order grass-fed meats online and have gotten to know the owner of this company well, and they are dedicated to the quality of their foods.
avocados - healthy fats and high nutrition6.  Avocados

Even though avocados are typically thought of as a “fatty food”, they are chock full of healthy fats !  Not only is this fruit (yes, surprisingly, avocados are actually a fruit) super-high in monounsaturated fat, but also chock full of vitamins, minerals, micro-nutrients, and antioxidants.

Also, in my opinion, guacamole (mashed avocados with garlic, onion, tomato, pepper, etc) is one of the most delicious food toppings ever created, and you can be happy to know that it’s also one of the healthiest toppings you can use on your foods.  Try sliced avocados or guacamole on sandwiches, burgers, eggs or omelets, on salads or with fish, or as a delicious side to just about any meal.

The quality dose of healthy fats, fiber, and micronutrients that you get from avocados helps your body to maintain proper levels of hormones that help with fat loss and muscle building.  Also, since avocados are an extremely satiating food, eating them helps to reduce your appetite in the hours after your meal.  Say goodbye to junk food cravings and bring on that fat burning!  I personally eat anywhere from a half to a full avocado DAILY and it only helps to keep me lean.
nuts - more healthy foods to burn fat7.  Nuts:  Walnuts, Almonds, Pistachios, Pecans, Brazil Nuts, Macadamias , etc

Yes, this is yet another “fatty food” that can actually help you burn belly fat!  Although nuts are generally between 75-90% fat in terms of a ratio of fat calories to total calories, this is another type of food that is all healthy fats, along with high levels of micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.  Nuts are also a good source of fiber and protein , which of course, you know helps to control blood sugar and can aid in fat loss .

Nuts also help to maintain good levels of fat burning hormones in your body (adequate healthy fat intake is vitally important to hormone balance) as well as helping to control appetite and cravings so that you essentially eat less calories overall, even though you’re consuming a high-fat food.  My favorite healthy nuts are pecans, pistachios , almonds, macadamias, and walnuts, and by eating them in variety, you help to broaden the types of vitamins and minerals and also the balance of polyunsaturated to monounsaturated fats you obtain.

Try to find raw nuts instead of roasted nuts if you can, as it helps to maintain the quality and nutritional content of the healthy fats that you will eat.

Also, try to broaden your horizons beyond the typical peanut butter that most people eat, and try almond butter, cashew butter, pecan butter, or macadamia butter to add variety to your diet.

One of the little “tricks” that I’ve used with clients when trying to cut down body fat is to have them eat a handful of nuts such as almonds or pecans about 20 minutes before lunch and dinner .  This ends up being a perfect time to control your appetite before lunch or dinner and helps you to eat less overall calories on that meal.

I hope you enjoyed this look at some of the healthiest “fatty” fat-burning foods you can possibly eat.  I could list a ton more, but wanted to give you a few of my favorites for now.  Enjoy!
But BEWARE 

Although these “fatty” foods may be a super-healthy choice for achieving your lean, strong, and energetic body… I’ve discovered that there are at least 23 popular foods that most people falsely think are “healthy”, but they actually HARM  your metabolism and pack on belly fat. 

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Mike Geary

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

 

 

Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Abdominal Fat

 

Excess Abdominal Fat is Not Only Ugly, but Extremely Dangerous to Your Health – This is More Than a Vanity Issue!

 

The difference between subcutaneous fat and the more deadly “visceral fat”… Plus the simple steps to REMOVE this fat permanently.

 

big stomach, visceral fat

 

Although this picture depicts an overweight man, this article applies to dangerous types of fat inside the bodies of both men and women … and this discussion also applies even if you only have a slight amount of excess stomach fat.

Did you know that the vast majority of people in this day and age have excess abdominal fat?  It’s true — as much as 70% of the population in some “westernized” countries such as the US and Australia are now considered either overweight or obese.  The first thing that most people think of is that their extra abdominal fat is simply ugly, is covering up their abs from being visible, and makes them self conscious about showing off their body.

However, what most people don’t realize is that excess abdominal fat in particular, is not only ugly, but is also a dangerous risk factor to your health. Scientific research has clearly determined that although it is unhealthy in general to have excess body fat throughout your body, it is also particularly dangerous to have excess abdominal fat.

There are two types of fat that you have in your abdominal area The first type that covers up your abs from being visible is called subcutaneous fat and lies directly beneath the skin and on top of the abdominal muscles.

The second type of fat that you have in your abdominal area is called visceral fat , and that lies deeper in the abdomen beneath your muscle and surrounding your organs. Visceral fat also plays a role in giving certain men that “beer belly” appearance where their abdomen protrudes excessively but at the same time, also feels sort of hard if you push on it.

Both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat in the abdominal area are serious health risk factors, but science has shown that having excessive visceral fat is even more dangerous than subcutaneous fat .  Both types of fat greatly increase your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, various forms of cancer, and other degenerative diseases.

Part of the reason visceral fat is particularly dangerous is that studies show that it releases more inflammatory molecules into your system on a consistent basis.

One of the major reasons that some people accumulate more visceral fat than others can be from a high carbohydrate diet that leads to insulin resistance over time (years of bombarding your system with too much sugars and starches for your pancreas to properly handle the constant excess blood sugar) … and studies show that high fructose intake particularly from high-fructose corn syrup can be a major contributor to excess visceral fat.

So what gets rid of extra abdominal fat, including visceral fat? 

Both your food intake as well as your training program are important if you are to get this right and the good news is that I’ve spent over a decade researching this topic, analyzing the science, and applying it “in the trenches” with myself as well as thousands of my clients from all over the world to see what works to really stimulate abdominal fat loss.

I’ve actually even seen a particular study that divided thousands of participants into a diet-only group and an exercise & diet combined group. While both groups in this study made good progress, the diet-only group lost significantly LESS abdominal fat than the diet & exercise combined group .

From my research, two of the most important aspects to getting rid of visceral fat are:

1. The use of high intensity forms of exercise and full-body resistance training.  Low intensity cardio exercise simply isn’t as effective for removing visceral fat in particular.  High intensity exercise such as interval training, sprints (bike sprints or running sprints), AND full-body weight training are very effective at helping to improve your body’s ability to manage glucose and increases insulin sensitivity, a crucial step in removing visceral fat.


These types of high intensity exercise routines are also very effective at increasing your fat-burning hormones and creating a hormonal environment conducive to burning off abdominal fat, including visceral fat.

2.   In addition, it’s vitally important to get blood sugar under control to help restore insulin sensitivity through the right nutrition.  This means greatly reducing sugars and refined starches in your diet (including fully eliminating any use of harmful high fructose corn syrup!), and focusing more of your diet on healthy fats (such as avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut fat, olive oil, grass-fed butter, free-range eggs, fatty fish and fish oils, etc), as well as increasing protein and fiber intake.  The standard diet recommended by the government, which contains an unnaturally high grain intake is NOT conducive to controlling blood sugar and reducing visceral fat!

Reducing grain-based foods in your diet and getting more of your carbs from veggies and high fiber fruits such as berries can go a long way to helping to solve this problem.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

 

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Mike  Geary

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Food Allergies

Symptoms of Food Allergies

 

Food allergies are immune-based diseases that have become a serious health concern in the United States. An estimated one-fifth of the population believe that they have adverse reactions to food, but the true prevalence of food allergies ranges between 3 and 4 percent in the general population.

Despite the risk of severe allergic reactions and even death, there is no current treatment for food allergies. The condition can only be managed by allergen avoidance or treatment of food allergy symptoms. Fortunately, there are natural allergy fighters that can help to boost the immune system and enhance the gut microbiota, which helps to reduce the development of food allergies and allergy symptoms.

What Are Food Allergies?

Food allergies consist of an immune system response to a disagreeable food. The body senses that a protein in a particular food may be harmful and triggers an immune system response, producing histamine to protect itself. The body “remembers” this and when this food enters the body again, the histamine response is more easily triggered.

The diagnosis of food allergies may be problematic because nonallergic food reactions, such as food intolerance, are frequently confused with food allergy symptoms. Intolerance derived from an immunological mechanism is referred to as a food allergy, and the non-immunological form is called a food intolerance. Food allergies and intolerance are often linked, but there’s a clear difference between the two conditions.

A food allergy comes from a reaction of the allergen-specific immunoglobulin E antibody that is found in the bloodstream. Non-IgE-mediated food allergies are also possible; this happens when someone is exposed to a food that causes signs and symptoms of an allergy, such as allergic contact dermatitis. A food intolerance is an adverse reaction to foods or food components, but not due to immunologic mechanisms.

For example, a person may have an immunologic response to cow’s milk because of the milk’s protein, or that individual may be intolerant to milk due to an inability to digest the sugar lactose. The inability to digest lactose leads to excess fluid production in the GI tract, resulting in abdominal pain and diarrhea. This condition is termed lactose intolerance because lactose in not an allergen, as the response is not immune-based. Food intolerance are nonspecific and the symptoms often resemble common medically unexplained complaints, such as digestive issues.

IgE-medicated food allergies are the most common and dangerous of adverse food reactions; they cause your immune system to react abnormally when exposed to one or more specific foods. Immediate reactions to IgE-mediated food allergies are caused by an allergen-specific immunoglobulin E antibody that floats around in the bloodstream.

When IgE is working properly, it identifies triggers that could be harmful to the body, such as parasites, and tells the body to release histamine. Histamine causes allergy symptoms such as hives, coughing and wheezing. Sometimes IgE reacts to normal proteins that are found in foods — and when the protein is absorbed during digestion and it enters the bloodstream, the entire body reacts as if the protein is a threat. This is why food allergy symptoms are noticeable in the skin, respiratory system, digestive system and circulatory system.

According to a 2014 comprehensive review published in Clinical Reviews in Allergy and Immunology, the prevalence of food allergies in infancy is increasing and may affect up to 15–20 percent of infants. And researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine suggest that food allergies affect as many as 6 percent of young children and 3–4 percent of adults. The alarming rate of increase calls for a public health approach in the prevention and treatment of food allergy, especially in children.

Researchers suggest that this increase in the prevalence of food allergies may be due to a change in the composition, richness and balance of the microbiota that colonize the human gut during early infancy. The human microbiome plays a vital role in early life immune development and function. Since IgE-mediated food allergies are associated with immune dysregulation and impaired gut integrity, there is substantial interest in the potential link between gut microbiota and food allergies.


The 8 Most Common Food Allergies

Although any food can provoke a reaction, relatively few foods are responsible for a vast majority of significant food-induced allergic reactions. Over 90 percent of food allergies are caused by the following foods:

1. Cow’s Milk

Cow’s milk protein allergy affects 2 to 7.5 percent of children; persistence in adulthood is uncommon since a tolerance develops in 51 percent of cases within 2 years of age and 80 percent of cases with 3–4 years.  Numerous milk proteins have been implicated in allergic responses and most of these have been shown to contain multiple allergenic epitopes (targets that an individual target binds to). IgE-mediated reactions to cow’s milk are common in infancy and non-IgE-mediated reactions are common in adults.

A 2005 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutritionsuggests that the prevalence of self-diagnosed cow’s milk allergy is 10-fold higher than the clinically proven incidence, suggesting that a sizable population is unnecessarily restricting dairy products (for allergy purposes).

2. Eggs

After cow’s milk, hen’s egg allergy is the second most common food allergy in infants and young children. A recent meta-analysis of  the prevalence of food allergy estimated that egg allergy affects 0.5 to 2.5 percent of young children. Allergy to eggs usually presents itself in the second half of the first year of life, with a median age of presentation of 10 months. Most reactions occur upon a child’s first known exposure to egg, with eczema being the most common symptoms. Five major allergenic proteins from the egg of the domestic chicken have been identified, the most dominant being ovalbumin.

3. Soy

Soy allergy affects approximately 0.4 percent of children. According to a 2010 study conducted at John Hopkins University School of Medicine, 50 percent of children with a soy allergy outgrew their allergy by 7 years old.  Prevalence of sensitization after the use of soy-based formulas is around 8.8 percent. Soy formula is commonly used for infants who are allergic to cow’s milk and research suggests that soy allergy occurs in only a small minority of young children with IgE associated cow’s milk allergy.

4. Wheat 

Gluten-related disorders, including wheat allergy, celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, have an estimated global prevalence close to 5 percent. These disorders share similar symptoms, making it difficult to make a clear diagnosis. A wheat allergy represents a type of adverse immunologic reaction to proteins contained in wheat and related grains. IgE antibodies mediate the inflammatory response to several allergenic proteins found in wheat. Wheat allergy affects the skin, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory tract. Wheat allergy shows greater prevalence in children who commonly outgrow the allergy by school-age.

5. Peanuts 

Peanut allergy tends to present itself early in life and affected individuals generally do not outgrow it. In highly sensitized people, just trace quantities of peanuts can induce an allergic reaction. Research suggests that early exposure to peanuts may reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy.

According to a 2010 study, peanut allergy affects approximately 1 percent of children and 0.6 percent of adults in the U.S. Peanuts are inexpensive and frequently eaten in unmodified form and as components of many different prepared foods; they cause the largest number of cases of severe anaphylaxis and death in the U.S.

6. Tree Nuts

The prevalence of tree nut allergies continue to increase worldwide, affecting about 1 percent of the general population. These allergies begin most often during childhood, but they can occur at any age. Only about 10 percent of people outgrow tree nut allergies and frequent lifetime reactions caused by accidental ingestion are a serious problem.

Nuts that are most commonly responsible for allergic reactions include hazelnuts, walnuts, cashews and almonds; those that are less frequently associated with allergies include pecans, chestnuts, Brazil nuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachio, coconut, Nangai nuts and acorns. A 2015 systematic review found that walnut and cashew allergies were the most prevalent types of tree nut allergy in the U.S.

7. Fish 

According to a study published in Clinical Reviews of Allergy and Immunology, adverse reactions to fish are not only mediated by the immune system causing allergies, but are often caused by various toxins and parasites, including ciguatera and Anisakis . Allergic reactions to fish can be serious and life threatening, and children usually don’t outgrow this type of food allergy.

A reaction is not restricted to the ingestion of fish, as it can also be caused by handling fish and intaking the cooking vapors. Prevalence rates of self-reported fish allergy range from 0.2 to 2.29 percent in the general population, but can reach up to 8 percent among fish processing workers.

8. Shellfish 

Allergic reactions to shellfish, which comprises the groups of crustaceans (such as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill, woodlice and barnacles) and molluscs (such as squid, octopus and cuttlefish), can cause clinical symptoms ranging from mild urticaria (hives) and oral allergy syndrome to life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. Shellfish allergy is known to be common and persistent in adults, and it can cause anaphylaxis in both children and adults; the prevalence of shellfish allergy is 0.5 to 5 percent. Most shellfish-allergic children have sensitivity to dust mite and cockroach allergens as well.

A phenomenon called cross-reactivity may occur when an antibody reacts not only with the original allergen, but also with a similar allergen. Cross-reactivity occurs when a food allergen shares structural or sequence similarity with a different food allergen, which may then trigger an adverse reaction similar to that triggered by the original food allergen. This is common among different shellfish and different tree nuts.

Allergic Reaction Symptoms

Food allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe and, in rare cases, can lead to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Anaphylaxis can impair breathing, cause a dramatic drop in blood pressure and alter your heart rate. It can come on within only minutes of exposure to the trigger food. If a food allergy causes anaphylaxis, it can be fatal and it must be treated with an injection of epinephrine (a synthetic version of adrenaline).

Food allergy symptoms may involve the skin, gastrointestinal tract, cardiovascular system and respiratory tract. Some common symptoms include:

  • vomiting
  • stomach cramps
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • shortness of breath
  • trouble swallowing
  • swelling of the tongue
  • inability to talk or breathe
  • weak pulse
  • dizziness
  • pale or blue-colored skin

Most severe food allergy symptoms occur within two hours of eating the allergen and often they start within minutes.

Exercise-induced food allergy is when the ingestion of a food allergen provokes a reaction during exercise. As you exercise, your body temperature goes up and if you consumed an allergen right before exercising, you may develop hives, become itchy or even feel light-headed. The best way to avoid exercise-induced food allergy is to avoid the food allergen completely for at least 4 to 5 hours before any exercise.

These symptoms are easy to spot.  There are many that are harder to spot, and you need to work with healthcare providers that have experience in putting this all together for you.

Contact us if you need help in determining an allergy or a treatment.  Remember, in the medical books in medical schools, it says, only a mother can determine an allergy .

 

Food allergy guide - Dr. Axe

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Dr P Carrothers, Regenerative and Preventative Medicine
Dr Axe

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Foods to Prevent or Stop a UTI

Increasingly, first-line antibiotics for UTIs are failing, leaving people frustrated, in pain and at risk of serious infection-related complications. You’ve probably heard that cranberry juice can help prevent or treat UTIs, but did you know the active compound responsible for that is also found in abundance in these 20 foods? And some research suggests this compound may actually outperform antibiotics, drastically increasing the time between UTI recurrences.

D-Mannose: A Sugar to Prevent Recurrent UTIs?

You know how cranberry juice remains one of the most popular home remedies for UTIs? Well, it turns out that the high D-mannose content in cranberry explains its efficacy for UTI symptoms. D-mannose, a simple sugar that’s related to glucose, is a valued anti-infective agent that is able to block bacteria from adhering to cells and flush them out of the body.

You don’t usually think of a simple sugar as a protective agent, right? But studies show that mannose has promising therapeutic value, especially for women dealing with recurrent urinary tract infections. Plus, the simple sugar boosts the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut and improves bladder health — all without negatively affecting your blood sugar levels.

 

What Is D-Mannose?

Mannose is a simple sugar, called a monosaccharide, that’s produced in the human body from glucose or converted into glucose when it’s consumed in fruits and vegetables. “D-mannose” is the term used when the sugar is packaged as a nutritional supplement. Some other names for mannose include D-manosa, carubinose and seminose.

Scientifically speaking, mannose is the 2-epimer of glucose. It occurs in microbes, plants and animals, and it is found naturally in many fruits, including apples, oranges and peaches. D-mannose is considered a prebiotic because consuming it stimulates the growth of good bacteria in your gut.

Structurally, D-mannose is similar to glucose, but it’s absorbed at a slower rate in the gastrointestinal tract. It has a lower glycemic index than glucose, as after it’s consumed it needs to be converted into fructose and then glucose, thereby reducing the insulin response and impact on your blood sugar levels.

Mannose is also filtered out of the body by the kidneys, unlike glucose that’s stored in the liver. It doesn’t stay in your body for long periods of time, so it doesn’t act as fuel for your body like glucose. This also means that mannose can positively benefit the bladder, urinary tract and gut without affecting other areas of the body.


UTI Prevention + Other D-Mannose Uses and Benefits

1. Treats and Prevents Urinary Tract Infections

D-mannose is thought to prevent certain bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. Mannose receptors are part of the protective layer that’s found on cells that line the urinary tract. These receptors are able to bind to E. coli and washed away during urination, thereby preventing both adhesion to and invasion of urothelial cells.

In a 2014 study published in the World Journal of Urology, 308 women with a history of recurrent UTI, who had already received initial antibiotic treatment, were divided into three groups. The first group received two grams of D-mannose powder in 200 milliliters of water daily for six months. The second group received 50 milligrams of Nitrofurantoin (an antibiotic) daily, and the third group did not receive any additional treatment.

Overall, 98 patients had recurrent UTI. Of those women, 15 were in the D-mannose group, 21 were in the Nitrofurantoin group and 62 were in the no treatment group. Of the patients in the two active groups, both modalities were well-tolerated. In all, 17.9 percent of patients reported mild side effects, and patients in the D-mannose group had a significantly lower risk of side effects compared to patients in the Nitrofurantoin group.

Researchers concluded that D-mannose powder significantly reduced the risk of recurrent UTI and may be useful for UTI prevention, although more studies are needed to validate these results.

In a randomized cross-over trial published in the Journal of Clinical Urology, female patients with acute symptomatic UTIs, and with three or more recurrent UTIs in the preceding 12-month period, were randomly assigned to either an antibiotic treatment group (using trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole) or to a regime including one gram of oral D-mannose three times daily for two weeks, following one gram twice daily for 22 weeks.

At the end of the trial period, the mean time UTI recurrence was 52.7 days with the antibiotic treatment group and 200 days with the D-mannose group. Plus, mean scores for bladder pain, urinary urgency and 24-hour voidings decreased significantly. Researchers concluded that mannose appeared to be safe and effective for treating recurrent UTIs and displayed a significant difference in the proportion of women remaining infection-free compared to those in the antibiotic group.

Why might mannose be such an effective agent for preventing recurrent UTIs? It really comes down to microbial resistance to traditional antibiotics. This is an increasing problem, with one study showing that more than 40 percent of 200 female college students with UTI symptoms were resistant to first-line antibiotics.

The study, published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, concludes with this warning: “Given the frequency with which UTIs are treated empirically, compounded with the speed that E. coli acquires resistance, prudent use of antimicrobial agents remains crucial.”

2. May Suppress Type 1 Diabetes

Researchers were surprised to find that D-mannose may be able to prevent and suppress type 1 diabetes, a condition in which the body doesn’t produce insulin — a hormone that’s needed to get glucose from the bloodstream into the body’s cells. When D-mannose was administered orally in drinking water to non-obese diabetic mice, researchers found that the simple sugar was able to block the progress of this autoimmune diabetes.

Because of these findings, the study published in Cell & Bioscience concludes by suggesting that D-mannose be considered a “healthy or good” monosaccharide that could serve as a safe dietary supplement for promoting immune tolerance and preventing diseases associated with autoimmunity.

3. Works as a Prebiotic

Mannose is known to act as a prebiotic that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics help feed the probiotics in your gut and amplify their health-promoting properties.

Research shows that mannose expresses both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines and has immunostimulating properties. When D-mannose was taken with probiotic preparations, combined they were able to restore the composition and numbers of indigenous microflora in mice.

4. Treats Carbohydrate-Deficient Glycoprotein Syndrome Type 1B

Evidence suggests that D-mannose is effective for treating a rare inherited disorder called carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndrome (CDGS) type 1b. This disease makes you lose protein through your intestines.

It’s believed that supplementing with the simple sugar may improve symptoms of the disorder, including poor liver function, protein loss, low blood pressure and issues with proper blood clotting.


D-Mannose Side Effects and Risks

Because mannose occurs naturally in many foods, it’s considered safe when consumed in appropriate amounts. However, supplementing with D-mannose and taking doses higher than what would be consumed naturally may, in some cases, cause stomach bloating, loose stools and diarrhea. It’s also believed that consuming very high doses of D-mannose can cause kidney damage. According to researchers at the Stanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in California, “mannose can be therapeutic, but indiscriminate use can have adverse effects.”

People with type 2 diabetes should use caution before using D-mannose products because they may alter blood sugar levels, though typically mannose itself doesn’t negatively impact blood sugar. To be safe, speak to your doctor prior to beginning any new health regime.

There’s not enough evidence to support the safety of mannose for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Based on the current research, there are no known drug interactions, but you should speak to your health care provider if you are taking any medications.


How to Get D-Mannose in Your Diet: Top 20 D-Mannose Foods

D-mannose naturally occurs in a number of foods, especially fruits. Here are some of the top D-mannose foods that you can easily add to your diet:

  1. Cranberries
  2. Oranges
  3. Apples
  4. Peaches
  5. Blueberries
  6. Mangos
  7. Gooseberries
  8. Black currants
  9. Red currants
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Seaweed
  12. Aloe vera
  13. Green beans
  14. Eggplant
  15. Broccoli
  16. Cabbage
  17. Fenugreek seeds
  18. Kidney beans
  19. Turnips
  20. Cayenne pepper

D-Mannose Supplements and Dosage Recommendations

It’s easy to find D-mannose supplements online and in some health food stores. They are available in capsule and powder forms. Each capsule is usually 500 milligrams, so you end up taking two to four capsules a day when treating a UTI. Powdered D-mannose is popular because you can control your dose, and it easily dissolves in water. With powders, read the label directions to determine how many teaspoons you need. It’s common for one teaspoon to provide two grams of D-mannose.

There is no standard D-mannose dosage, and the amount you should consume really depends on the condition you are trying to treat or prevent. There is evidence that taking two grams in powdered form, in 200 milliliters of water, every day for a six-month period is effective and safe for preventing recurrent urinary tract infections.

If you are treating an active urinary tract infection, the most commonly recommended dose is 1.5 grams twice daily for three days and then once daily for the next 10 days.

At this time, more research is needed to determine the optimal D-mannose dosage. For this reason, you should speak to your doctor before you begin using this simple sugar for the treatment of any health condition.


Final Thoughts

  • D-mannose is a simple sugar that’s produced from glucose or converted into glucose when ingested.
  • The sugar is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, including apples, oranges, cranberries and tomatoes.
  • The most well-researched benefit of D-mannose is its ability to fight and prevent recurrent UTIs. It works by preventing certain bacteria (including E. coli) from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract.
  • Studies show that two grams of D-mannose daily is more effective than antibiotics for preventing recurrent urinary tract infections.

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Dr P Carrothers  : Preventative and Regenerative Medicine
Dr J Axe

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Are You Eating Too Fast

Eating Too Fast Can Pile on the Pounds

five health risks of eating too fast

Has your hectic lifestyle turned you into someone who gulps down meals?

People who eat quickly tend to eat more and have a higher body mass index (a measure of body fat based on height and weight) than those who eat slowly. People who eat slowly feel full sooner and eat less in the process.

Part of the reason for this is the time it takes for your brain to get key messages from your digestive system. Conventional wisdom says that’s about 20 minutes, and one study found that slowing down to 30 minutes is even more effective. But that means you have to find ways to really stretch out your meals.

Tricks like eating with your non-dominant hand can help a lot, but eating fast can be a hard habit to break. One high-tech solution is a commercially available smart fork, a utensil that registers your eating speed and sends a signal, with a vibration and a flash of light, if you eat too quickly. Participants in an experimental study found that it was comfortable to hold and did a good job of making them more aware of their eating speed. But you can also try to slow down on your own with a regular fork: Just put it down and count to 10 between each and every bite.

Reinforce the slower eating habit with portion cues such as using smaller plates and bowls. Part of feeling full is visual, and an overflowing smaller plate might trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more calories than you really are. Large dishes with empty spaces do the opposite, giving the illusion that your diet portions are smaller than they really are.

Always use measuring cups and spoons to dole out correct portions — you may be surprised at how you’ve supersized your meals on your own! Also, don’t go back for second helpings, and stay focused on your food — no TV or reading while you eat

Slow Down, You Chew Too Fast

For many of us, rushing through meals has become second nature. Breaking that habit takes some conscious effort. These strategies can help you develop a new habit of slowing down and savoring your food:

  • Allow enough time. Make meals a priority item on your schedule. Block off at least 20 minutes for each meal. It can take that long for your body to send signals about fullness to your brain.
  • Enlist all your senses. When you first start eating, take a few moments to really notice the aroma, flavor, crunchiness, texture and other sensory properties of the food. Then keep noticing these things as the meal goes on.
  • Choose more chews. Take small bites, and chew them thoroughly. In addition to slowing you down, chewing well makes food easier to digest, which increases the absorption of nutrients.
  • Put down that fork! It’s easy to slip into a robotic eating rhythm. Before you know it, you’re shoveling food into your mouth with the efficiency of an eating machine. Setting down your utensils between bites helps prevent that.
  • Revive the art of table talk (even if you’re not sitting at a table). Chatting between bites is one of the most pleasant ways to stretch out a meal.

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Ways to Help Your Cholesterol Level

5 Ways to Help You with Your Cholesterol Level

5 Foods That Can Help Manage High Cholesterol Levels - Dr. Weil's Daily Tip

For people battling high cholesterol, choosing meals wisely can be a challenge, but it is essential. Restaurants, parties, even an office potluck may present unhealthy temptations. But simple dietary modifications can help you eliminate those unhealthy choices:

  1. Reduce sugar and flour. Recent research indicates that added sweeteners and flour-based carbohydrates, which are far too abundant in the American diet, are major contributors to obesity and heart disease.  Be aware of the flour-based foods that may seem less obvious, such as breads, tortilla chips and cereals, as they are all high carbohydrate foods. As far as your cholesterol profile goes, they will raise your triglycerides. Recent research suggests that higher non-HDL cholesterol, comprised of LDL and triglycerides connect strongly to heart disease risk.  Gluten Free means there is still flour and sugar in the products.
  2. Avoid trans-fat. Stay away from items that list “hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil” on the label, especially snack foods such as chips or popcorn. Try baked or air-popped versions instead.
  3. Use fresh garlic regularly in your meals. Garlic has been shown to help lower cholesterol levels.
  4. Drink green tea daily. The antioxidants in green tea help lower cholesterol and prevent the cholesterol in your blood from oxidizing.  Women need to limit the amount that they drink daily.
  5. Eat plenty of soluble fiber. It has a powerful cholesterol-lowering effect. The best sources are beans and lentils, apples, citrus fruits, oats, barley, peas, carrots and freshly ground flaxseed.
  6.  Dairy Products :  The sugar and the additives they they are allowing in dairy products now will increase your cholesterol.  Even if it says organic, or gluten free, you will not be able to consume dairy products.

You do not see anything in here written about eggs , red meat, bacon or ham, because all of that has been dis-proven time and time again.

In addition, relax. There is quite a bit of data connecting stress, both physical and emotional, to elevated cholesterol levels. We talk about relaxation a lot, but rarely do we think of it as a way to lower cholesterol.

Always contact us if you need help, or have a question?

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard- 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Do You Have Ringing In Your Ears?

Tinnitus, or chronic ringing in your ears, affects about 1 in 5 people. While it’s typically not serious, it can significantly impact your quality of life, and it may get worse with age or be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as age-related hearing loss, ear injury or a circulatory system disorder.1

In the majority of cases, tinnitus is diagnosed after the age of 50 years, however, recent research has shown that tinnitus in youth is surprisingly common and on the rise, likely due to increased exposure to loud music and other environmental noise.2

Worse still, it may be a sign of permanent nerve damage that could predict future hearing impairment.

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One-Quarter of Youth May Experience Tinnitus, Risk Hearing Loss Later in Life

In a study of 170 students between the ages of 11 and 17 years, researchers from McMaster University in Canada found “risky listening habits,” including exposure to loud noise at parties or concerts, listening to music with ear buds and use of mobile phones excluding texting, were the norm.

More than half of the study participants reported experiencing tinnitus in the past, such as experiencing ringing in the ears for a day following a loud concert.

This is considered a warning sign; however, nearly 29 percent of the students were found to have already developed chronic tinnitus, as evidenced by a psychoacoustic examination conducted in a sound booth.3

Youth with and without tinnitus had a similar ability to hear, but those with tinnitus had significantly reduced tolerance for loud noise and tended to be more protective of their hearing.

Reduced sound level tolerance is a sign of damage to the auditory nerves because, when nerves used to process sound are damaged, it prompts brain cells to increase their sensitivity to noise, essentially making sounds seem louder than they are.

Prevention Is the Best Solution to Tinnitus

Auditory nerve injury that’s associated with tinnitus and heightened sensitivity to loud noises cannot be detected by typical hearing tests, which is why it’s sometimes called “hidden hearing loss.” Further, such damage is permanent and tends to worsen over time, causing increasing hearing loss later in life.

Because there is no known cure, the best solution is prevention. Study author Larry Roberts, Ph.D., of McMaster University’s Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour has compared the emerging risks from loud noises to early warnings about smoking.

At this point, many people are unaware that listening to loud music via earbuds or at parties may be permanently damaging their hearing, particularly since they may still hear normally at this point in time.

If more people were aware of the risks, more would take steps to turn down the volume and give their ears a break. Roberts told Science Daily:4

“It’s a growing problem and I think it’s going to get worse … My personal view is that there is a major public health challenge coming down the road in terms of difficulties with hearing …

The levels of sound exposure that are quite commonplace in our environment, particularly among youth, appear to be sufficient to produce hidden cochlear injuries … The message is, ‘Protect your ears.'”


Tinnitus Is Associated With Psychiatric Disorders and Stress

In adults, the majority of people with tinnitus (77 percent) may suffer from co-existing psychiatric disorders ranging from anxiety to personality disorders. Further, 62 percent of tinnitus patients may suffer from depressive disorders while 45 percent may have anxiety disorders.5

Further, there appears to be a close link between tinnitus and stress, such that stress may make tinnitus worse and vice versa. In one study, emotional exhaustion — or the feeling of being drained due to chronic stress — was a strong predictor of tinnitus severity.6

In addition, chronic stress may be as large a risk factor for developing tinnitus as exposure to occupational noise. Research has found that exposure to highly stressful situations and occupational noise each double the risk of tinnitus.7

Further, stress is especially influential in the transition from mild to severe tinnitus, with researchers concluding, “Stress management strategies should be included in hearing conservation programs, especially for individuals with mild tinnitus who report a high stress load.”8

Also of note, many people with tinnitus first noticed the ringing in their ears during a stressful life event, such as divorce, being laid off, sickness in family members, accidents or surgery. As noted in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry (JNNP):9

These events can heighten the brain’s arousal, and the tinnitus may be noted cortically [by the cerebral cortex]. This interaction between reduced auditory sensation and brain compensation might explain why some people are very bothered by their tinnitus and others just adjust to it.”

The researchers have suggested that tinnitus is not simply a condition affecting the auditory system but rather is neuropsychiatric in nature, which would explain why it often occurs alongside cognitive and behavioral symptoms.

Other Tinnitus Associations to Be Aware Of: Sleep, Trauma, Headaches and More

Tinnitus is often described as a symptom, not a disease in itself, and it may result from a variety of conditions. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one common cause, with nearly 40 percent of military personnel with TBI also experiencing tinnitus.10

Tinnitus is also associated with pain disorders and headaches, including migraines, and often leads to sleep difficulties such as delayed sleep, mid-sleep awakenings and chronic fatigue. In addition, tinnitus is also associated with cognitive deficits, including slowed cognitive processing speed and problems with attention.11

There are different types of tinnitus as well, and the variety may give clues as to its origin. For instance, tinnitus may occur in one or both ears and be described as:12

  • Throbbing or pulsing, which may be due to vascular tumors near the ear
  • High-pitched and continuous (this is most common)
  • Clicking, which may be related to muscle spasms in the roof of your mouth, which cause the Eustachian tube in your ear to open and close; temporomandibular joint (TMJ) issues may also cause a clicking sound in your ear
  • Buzzing or humming

Abnormal bone growth in the middle ear, known as otosclerosis, may also cause tinnitus, as can damage to your vestibulocochlear nerve, which transmits sound from your ear to your brain. Such damage may occur from acoustic neuroma tumor or drug toxicity, for instance.

Additionally, certain medications, including certain cancer drugs, sedatives, and anti-inflammatories like ibuprophen and aspirin may also trigger tinnitus.

If this condition is causing you serious emotional or physical distress, seek professional help. In many cases, however, natural interventions such as those described below may help.

Effective Tinnitus Treatments

A slew of pharmaceuticals, including antidepressants, anxiety drugs, mood stabilizers and anticonvulsants, have been used to treat tinnitus.  A meta-analysis of a range of tinnitus management strategies revealed only antidepressants had a possible benefit, but even that study could not conclude that antidepressants were the answer.13

Considering their risks, and the fact that some antidepressants may cause ringing in the ears, non-drug options present the best course of action — and of these there are many.14

In many cases natural interventions, including the following, may help:

Cognitive behavioral therapy: which has been shown to improve quality of life in people with tinnitus.15 Even internet-based guided CBT has been shown to effectively manage tinnitus.16

Acupuncture: which was found to improve tinnitus severity and patients’ quality of life.17

Nutritional interventions, herbal remedies and melatonin: specifically, zinc deficiency and vitamin B12 deficiency may be associated with tinnitus.18,19 Herbal remedies, including Japanese cornel, dogwood, bayberry, hawthorn leaf, ginkgo and black cohosh may also be useful.20

In animal studies, ginkgo extract led to significant improvement in tinnitus, including complete relief in some cases.21 Melatonin also shows promise, and in one study melatonin supplementation led to a significant decrease in tinnitus intensity and improved sleep quality in patients with chronic tinnitus.22

Organic black coffee: research has shown that women who consumed higher amounts of caffeine (mostly in the form of coffee) were less likely to have tinnitus.23

Specifically, women who consumed less than 150 milligrams of caffeine a day (the amount in about 12 ounces of coffee) were 15 percent more likely to develop tinnitus than those who consumed 450 milligrams to 599 milligrams.24 The researchers weren’t sure why caffeine may reduce tinnitus risk, although past research has shown it has a direct effect on the inner ear or may be involved through its role in stimulating your central nervous system.

Stress management: including exercise, relaxation exercises and the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), is important for tinnitus treatment and prevention.

Simple Home Remedies May Provide Relief

If tinnitus is interfering with your quality of life, home remedies may help to relieve your symptoms (and if not, there’s no harm done in trying). Organic Facts compiled several examples worth considering:25

Warm salt pillow: fill a fabric bag with warm salt. Lie down on the pillow and alternate each ear on the bag. Reheat the salt as necessary and repeat several times a day. Foot baths: alternate your feet in hot and cold foot baths. This may dilate your blood vessels and stimulate blood flow toward your head, helping to relieve tinnitus symptoms.
Garlic oil: blend six cloves of fresh garlic with 1 cup of olive oil (the garlic should be finely minced in the process). Let the mixture steep for a week then strain out the garlic. Apply a few drops of the oil in each ear. Music: soft soothing music, white noise, nature sounds or even humming to yourself may help relieve tinnitus.
Stimulate your little toe: use a toothpick to gently stimulate the edge of your little toe near the toenail. This should result in a tingling sensation near the top of your toe. Doing this once a day may relieve tinnitus symptoms. Ear drumming: gently drum on each ear using your fingertips for two to three minutes twice a day to help relieve ringing.
Jawbone massage: massage the hollow and top areas of your jawbone behind your earlobes using coconut oil or sesame oil. You can also apply a hot compress to this neck area for relief.

How to Protect Your Ears From Loud Noise Exposures

While there are many causes of tinnitus, loud noise exposure is a primary culprit, especially among youth. It’s far easier to prevent related damage to your ears than it is to treat it. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends teens and young people take the following steps to protect their hearing and avoid hearing loss (although the advice applies to people of all ages):

Turn down the volume on personal audio devices Try a decibel meter app for your smartphone, which will flash a warning if the volume is turned up to a potentially damaging level Wear earplugs when you visit noisy venues (or when using loud equipment like lawnmowers or leaf blowers)
Use carefully fitted noise-cancelling earphones/headphones, which may allow you to listen comfortably at a lower volume Limit the amount of time you spend engaged in noisy activities Take regular listening breaks when using personal audio devices
Restrict the daily use of personal audio devices to less than one hour

J Mercola

P Carrothers

 

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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