Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Early Signs in Young Children of Autism

Early Signs and Symptoms of Autism

 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that affects a person’s behavior and impairs the ability to communicate and interact with others. Symptoms of autism spectrum disorder can range from mild to severe. The cause is unknown.

Autism spectrum disorder refers to several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately, including:

  • Autistic disorder
  • Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
  • Asperger syndrome

What are the early signs and symptoms of autism in infants and babies?

 

Some children may show symptoms of autism disorder in infancy, but many do not show any signs until 24 months of age (2 years) or later. Some signs and symptoms that an infant or baby may have an autism spectrum disorder include:

  • Lack of eye contact
  • Not responding to his or her name or to familiar voices
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as reaching, pointing, waving, or showing
  • Does not make noises to get attention
  • Does not initiate cuddling or respond to attempts to do so
  • Absence of visually following objects or gestures
  • Does not imitate facial expressions or movements
  • Lack of interest in playing with other children
  • Does not share interest or enjoyment in activities
  • Seems not to notice if others experience pain or discomfort

In addition to the common symptoms that infants with autism may exhibit, some developmental red flags may also indicate autism spectrum disorder in infants such as a lack of smiles or other joyful expressions by 6 months of age, and no back-and-forth sharing of smiles, facial expressions, or sounds by 9 months of age.

What Causes Autism?

Autism is recognized as a set of a wide variety of signs and symptoms, and may have many causes. Autism is caused by, for example:

  • Tuberous sclerosis
  • Fragile X syndrome (inherited disorder)
  • Cerebral digenesis (abnormal development of the brain)
  • Rett syndrome (a mutation of a single gene)
  • Some of the inborn errors of metabolism (biochemical defects)
  • Strong association between:
  • Autism and seizures
  • Autism and Landau-Kleffner syndrome
  • Acquired epileptic aphasia

What are the early signs and symptoms of autism in toddlers?

A toddler is a child age 12 to 36 months (1 to 3 years), and often this age is when parents start noticing the first signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Studies have shown up to half of parents of children with autism noticed signs before their child’s first birthday, and almost 80%-90% noted symptoms by 24 months.

In addition to the symptoms that infants with autism may exhibit, some developmental red flags that may indicate autism spectrum disorder in toddlers by 12 months old include:

  • Not responding to their name
  • Lack of babbling or “baby talk”
  • Absence of back-and-forth gestures, such as reaching, pointing, waving, or showing

By 16 months, a red flag that a toddler may have an autism spectrum disorder is a lack of spoken words, and by 24 months, an absence of meaningful two-word phrases that don’t involve imitating or repeating may be noticed.

 

What are the early signs and symptoms of autism in older children and teens?

 

For older children and teenagers, signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders usually involve problems with speech and language, impaired social skills, non-verbal communication difficulties, and inflexible behavior. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. Some children may be severely disabled by symptoms, while others may be high-functioning.

Signs of speech and language difficulties include:

  • Starts talking later than other children
  • Problems communicating needs
  • Lack of understanding of simple questions or directions
  • Takes things literally (does not understand humor, sarcasm, or irony)
  • Speaks in an unusual tone of voice, or with a strange cadence
  • Repeats words and phrases over and over
  • Repeats, rather than responds to, questions
  • Does not use language correctly
  • Refers to him- or herself in the third person

Signs of social communication problems include:

  • Seems aloof and detached from others
  • Difficulty connecting with others and making friends
  • Seems disinterested or unaware of what is going on around them
  • Does not like to be touched, cuddled, or held
  • Difficulty playing “pretend” or using toys creatively
  • Doesn’t share with others
  • Doesn’t seem aware when others are speaking to them
  • Difficulty understanding or expressing feelings
  • Have trouble maintaining a conversation
  • Talk a lot about a specific topic but have difficulty talking about a range of topics
  • Find it hard to follow instructions with a lot of steps

Signs of nonverbal communication difficulties include:

  • Difficulty picking up on subtle nonverbal cues from others (facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice)
  • Avoidance of eye contact or unusual or inappropriate eye contact
  • Facial expressions do not match what is being said
  • Rarely makes gestures and may seem cold or robotic
  • Has abnormal posture or eccentric ways of moving
  • May be overly sensitive to sights, smells, textures, and sounds

Signs of inflexibility include:

  • Insistence on a rigid routine
  • Has problems adapting to changes in schedule or environment
  • Forms unusual attachments to strange objects (such as keys or light switches)
  • May obsessively line up or arrange objects in a particular order
  • Becomes preoccupied with one narrow topic of interest, often that involves symbols or numbers such as train schedules or sports statistics
  • Spends long periods watching moving objects or focusing on one part of an object
  • Repetitive movements (called self-stimulatory behavior, or “stimming” – believed to soothe children with autism):
  • Hand flapping
  • Rocking
  • Twirling
  • Head banging
  • Staring
  • Snapping fingers
  • Flicking light switches on and off
  • Scratching

 

Are the early signs and symptoms of autism the same for girls and boys?

There are some differences between girls and boys with autism. Not every child shows (or does not show) certain behaviors, and certain aspects of behavior and interaction are more common in one gender versus another.

Girls with autism

  • Tend to have at least one close friend – more sociable
  • Are not demanding
  • Auditory hallucinations (hears things others can’t)
  • Speaks her mind
  • Can hide feelings
  • Shows some affection
  • Speaks on time and few problems with speech
  • Speaks in high pitch
  • Apologizes a lot (sometimes to excess)

Boys with autism

  • Often have no friends – more reclusive
  • Are very demanding
  • Typically no auditory hallucinations
  • Does not speak his mind
  • Show emotions
  • Indifferent
  • Speaks late and has speech impairment
  • Monotone speech
  • Rarely, if ever, apologizes – doesn’t seem to care

 

What are the early signs and symptoms of autism in adults?

 

In adults, signs and symptoms of autism are similar to those in older children and teens, including:

  • Difficulty understanding what others think and feel, lack of empathy for others
  • Anxiety in social situations
  • Difficulty making friends or maintaining romantic relationships
  • Preferring to be alone
  • Coming across as rude or disinterested without meaning to be
  • Problems with nonverbal communication (difficulty maintaining eye contact, interpreting facial expressions, or using gestures)
  • Difficulty expressing feelings
  • Trouble maintaining conversations
  • Takings things literally (difficulty understanding humor, sarcasm, or irony)
  • Sticking to a strict routine and getting anxious if anything changes
  • Not understanding social “rules”
  • Avoiding eye contact or showing inappropriate eye contact
  • Invades personal space, or gets upset if others come too close to them
  • Preoccupations or hyper-focus on certain subjects or activities
  • Repetitive behaviors
  • Anxiety and sleep problems
  • Temper control issues
  • Depression

Autism may be different in women and men. It may be harder to tell if a woman is autistic. Women with autism may hide their feelings, may be quieter, and may appear to handle social situations more easily.

On the positive side, adults with autism may excel at a particular skill, have an abundance of knowledge in one specific area, or have an exceptional memory.

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Uncategorized

LOW-CARB TACO SOUP

LOW-CARB TACO SOUP

 

Low-Carb Taco Soup – SO good! I wanted to lick the bowl!! If you aren’t doing low-carb, feel free to add corn and black beans. Ground beef, taco seasoning, Ranch dressing mix, diced tomatoes and green chilies, cream cheese, Velveeta, beef broth. Just dump every in the crock pot and dinner is done. Can freeze leftovers for a quick meal later. This soup is seriously delicious!!

Low-Carb Taco Soup - SO good! I wanted to lick the bowl!! If you aren't doing low-carb, feel free to add corn and black beans. Ground beef, taco seasoning, Ranch dressing mix, diced tomatoes and green chilies, cream cheese, Velveeta, beef broth. Just dump every in the crock pot and dinner is done. Can freeze leftovers for a quick meal later. This soup is seriously delicious!! #crockpot #slowcooker #soup #taco #lowcarb

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 lb ground beef, cooked
  • 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese
  • 1 (8-oz) package Velveeta cheese, cubes
  • 1 (1-oz) package Hidden Valley Original Ranch Seasoning and Salad Dressing Mix
  • 3 Tbsp taco or  southwestern seasoning  (Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle)
  • 2 (10-oz) cans Ro*tel diced tomatoes and green chiles
  • 4 cups beef broth

INSTRUCTIONS:

    1. Place all ingredients in a 6-qt Slow Cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.
  1. Serve with cheese, cilantro and sour cream, if desired.

Low-Carb Taco Soup - SO good! I wanted to lick the bowl!! If you aren't doing low-carb, feel free to add corn and black beans. Ground beef, taco seasoning, Ranch dressing mix, diced tomatoes and green chilies, cream cheese, Velveeta, beef broth. Just dump every in the crock pot and dinner is done. Can freeze leftovers for a quick meal later. This soup is seriously delicious!! #crockpot #slowcooker #soup #taco #lowcarb

 

Remember, We are in This Together!

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Making Lifestyle Changes You Can Live With

                       Making Lifestyle Changes                           You Can Live With

News Picture: Making Lifestyle Changes You Can Live With

Research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics highlights two important steps for improving diet and exercise habits. The first is getting practical and personalized tips for making changes that you’ll permanently adopt. The second is developing the inner motivation needed to help make the first step stick.

The study recruited adults from a rural area in the South with limited access to a gym and other health-oriented facilities. To help them make positive changes, each had four sessions with a wellness counselor who gave recommendations tailored to their lifestyle. These included making realistic changes to the typical southern diet they normally ate, with an emphasis on how to make better fat and carb choices.

They were also given a fitness goal of 30 minutes a day, such as walking at least 7,500 steps at least five days a week, plus information on where to find farmers markets for healthier food as well as local parks and schools where they could walk.

Although researchers thought that rural participants would have a harder time making healthy changes than city dwellers, those who lived in the country lost more weight and became more active than those in healthier, more supportive environments. In fact, some became so motivated that the farther they lived from a gym, the greater the number of steps they took.

Everyone trying to lose weight can apply these findings to meet key goals. Consider a personal evaluation from a dietitian to get tips you can easily put into action and which, in turn, can boost your inner motivation. And this can be especially helpful if you live in an area with few resources.

 

Remember, We are in This Togethet

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

An Entire Organ That Mainstream Medicine Missed?

An Entire Organ That Mainstream Medicine Missed?

 

Findings recently published in Scientific Reports have led to what many believe is the discovery of a previously unidentified organ in the human body. The “interstitium,” a layer of fluid-like compartments made of connective tissue lining the skin, muscles, digestive and urinary tracts, and parts of the cardiopulmonary system, now rivals the skin as the body’s largest organ.

A Chance Discovery

Up until recently, the technology necessary to view this organ in action didn’t exist. In 2015, two doctors at Beth Israel Medical Center were performing an endoscopy using a new laser-based technology for viewing living cells, searching for cancer in a patient’s bile duct. They found tissue in the submucosal level that they were unable to identify. Further investigation led to the finding of a systemic structure involving multiple organs bound by a previously undiscovered type of connective tissue. By removing the fluid from that tissue, researchers were able to isolate and view it under a microscope.

The body has long been known to contain a significant amount of “interstitial” fluid, but no one had been able to specifically isolate where that fluid actually circulated. These new findings show that a fine network made out of collagen and elastin not only houses interstitial fluid, but also circulates it throughout the body.

Body’s Most Important Organ… Just Discovered?

Researchers believe the interstitium may have multiple functions. On a basic level, the tissue works to protect organs from the stress of day-to-day movement. The fluid absorbs shock, and the mesh of strong and flexible connective tissue holding it creates the elasticity necessary to protect organs from tearing and other types of stress- and movement-related damage.

Even more importantly, the interstitium may play key roles in how the body ages, develops inflammatory diseases, and spreads cancer between organs. As research continues, more about this amazing “new” organ is likely to emerge.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180327093954.htm

https://www.livescience.com/62128-interstitium-organ.html

 

Remember We Are In This Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Reviewer : P Carrothers

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Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

High Arsenic Levels in Two Brands of Bottled Water

High Arsenic Levels in Two Brands of Bottled Water

 

Arsenic in some bottled water. Plus, we identify the brands you may want to avoid—and those you can safely drink.

 

High levels of arsenic were found in two brands of bottled water sold at Whole Foods, Target and Walmart, the Center for Environmental Health in California says.

The nonprofit group found that the brands Penafiel, owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper, and Starkey, owned by Whole Foods, contain levels of arsenic that are higher than tap water and violate California guidelines, USA Today reported.

High levels of arsenic can cause reproductive damage and cancer, and products that violate recommended state levels of arsenic must carry a warning, according to California law.

Research also shows that arsenic can cause hormone disruption and organ damage, especially in children.

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports released findings that the same brands of bottle water contained nearly double the federal limit of arsenic in water, USA Today reported.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not recalled either brand of bottled water.

Whole Foods and Keurig Dr. Pepper did not respond to requests for comment from USA Today.

“Customers typically purchase bottled water at exorbitantly high costs with the assumption that it is safer and healthier to drink than tap water, unaware that they are ingesting an extremely toxic metal linked to birth defects and cancer,” Michael Green, CEO of the Center for Environmental Health, said in a statement.

 

Remember we are in this together!

Reviewed by P Carrothers

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Love Your Kidneys!

Keep Calm & Love Your Kidneys during National Kidney Month! <3

 

It is National Kidney Month, which means
that it is time for you to understand the
importance of managing kidney disease and
how to achieve optimal kidney health so
that you can appreciate these wonderful
organs and keep them healthy.
Diet & Kidney Disease
Managing kidney disease—especially at the
beginning—is essential. You want to ensure
proper nutrition while minimizing stress
and maximizing kidney function. There is
no one special diet for everyone, though.
Your diet depends on your medical history,
lifestyle habits, and current kidney function.
Your diet may change over time, depending
on your kidney health. There are some
nutrients that you need to watch out for,
including protein, energy foods, sodium,
potassium, phosphorus, and fluids.
Protein
Foods such as meat, fish, poultry, soy, beans,
and lentils, for example, are rich protein
sources. When protein is broken down,
it creates the waste product urea. Your
body needs to eliminate urea, which must
be filtered through your kidneys. If you
consume high amounts of protein, you
can increase stress on the kidneys due to
increased levels of urea produced. If the urea
fails to be eliminated, it will cause increased

blood-urea levels. High amounts of urea
can lead to fatigue, headaches, nausea, and
a bad taste in your mouth. However, if you
do not eat enough protein, your body will
have a tough time fighting infections, you
will have low energy levels, and you will
lose muscle mass. The amount of protein
that you need to consume depends on your
disease state and treatment regimen. Speak
to your dietitian to review your specific
needs.
Energy Foods
Your energy foods are all the foods that
provide you with energy or calories. These
include carb choices such as fruits, starches,
grains, sugars, and vegetables, as well as fats
and oils. If you are restricting your energy
intake from protein, you need to make sure
to replace those calories from other sources
in order to keep up your energy levels and
maintain a healthy body weight.
Sodium
Since sodium affects your bodily fluids and
blood pressure, it is important to limit your
intake. Watch your intake of high-sodium
foods, including processed foods, deli meats,
canned foods, convenient foods, fast foods,
salty snacks, and so forth. Consider using
other ways to enhance flavors, such as
lemon, spices, and herbs.

Potassium
Potassium is important for your muscles and nerves
to function. Too much or too little potassium in your
blood can affect your heart beat. Whether you need
to limit your intake or even increase your intake
depends on your disease state, kidney function, and
treatment plan. Treatments like dialysis will affect the
amount that you should be consuming, as will certain
medications. Your doctor will let you know, and your
dietitian can work with you to create an appropriate
meal plan. Foods that are high in potassium include
sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, oranges, tomatoes,
and beans.
Phosphorus
Phosphorus plays an important role in keeping your
bones healthy and strong. However, as your kidney
function declines, the phosphate levels in your blood
will increase. This can result in itchiness and joint
pain, as well as loss of calcium in your bones. You
may need to limit your intake of foods that are high
in phosphorus, such as dairy products and protein
foods.
Make sure to speak with a dietitian to help you
develop a meal plan that includes some of these
foods in levels that are right for you, as these foods
contain many important nutrients that you still need
to consume. Also, make sure to read ingredient labels
for hidden sources of phosphorus. Some processed
foods such as deli meats and sodas may contain
phosphates, phosphoric acid, or sodium phosphate

Calcium & Vitamin D
These supplements are essential for good bone
health. Your bones are comprised mostly of calcium,
and you need vitamin D to help absorb it. However,
with diminished kidney function, your kidneys may
not be able to convert vitamin D into its active form.
Therefore, your doctor may recommend that you take
some active vitamin-D and calcium supplements.
Your doctor will be monitoring your blood-calcium
levels, though, so make sure to take these only as
prescribed.
Fluids
Your body needs fluids to survive, but if your kidneys
are not working properly, you may need to reduce
your intake. As your kidney function declines,
they produce less urine, leading to increased fluid
retention. This can cause swelling in your extremities
and face and may also increase your blood pressure
and cause difficulty breathing. However, limit your
intake only as advised by your doctor. Getting too
little fluids can damage your kidneys.
Optimal nutrition is important to prevent
malnutrition, have good energy levels throughout
the day for performing daily tasks, maintain a healthy
weight, and prevent muscle loss, as well as preventing
infection. These are all great reasons to manage and
reduce your risks of kidney disease.
Other ways of reducing your risk of developing
kidney disease are by decreasing your risk of

developing chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart
disease. We discussed a bit about managing diabetes
during Diabetes Awareness Month in November and
touched on Heart Health last month. Now, we will
discuss why it is important to ensure optimal health
and properly manage your kidney disease.
Diabetes
One of the most common causes of end-stage renal
disease or kidney disease is uncontrolled diabetes.
Firstly, you should understand a bit more about
how your kidneys act as a filtration system. Your
body requires a certain amount of protein each
day. After consuming the protein, your body digests
it and absorbs the essential components into the
blood stream, while needing to eliminate the waste
products. The components of the broken-down
protein get filtered through tiny capillaries and then
through even tinier holes called “nephrons.” The
blood flows through all these tiny filters, but the
essential protein components, red blood cells, and
other important substances that are too big to be
able to pass through do not get eliminated, so they
get filtered out. The waste products are able to flow
through the nephrons and therefore enter the urine
to be eliminated.
Unfortunately, uncontrolled diabetes complicates
this process. Whether your insulin is not working
properly or you just don’t have enough, having high
blood sugar puts a lot of stress on your kidneys. When
sugar levels in your blood are abundant, your kidneys
have to filter a lot more blood, making the filters
work much harder. Eventually, the kidneys begin
to leak from all the pressure, resulting in protein
leaking through into the urine. As long as bloodsugar levels are high, further stress and damage on
your kidneys’ filtering system continues. This leads
to further damage, loss in filtration ability, buildup
of waste products, and eventually kidney failure.
Unfortunately, at this point, your only options are a
kidney transplant or dialysis.
High Blood Pressure
Kidneys are made up of many blood vessels that
get smaller and smaller as you get deeper into
their filtering system. Because kidneys have a very
important role in filtering all of the blood, they

receive a high volume of blood flow regularly. Blood
is rich in many essential nutrients, including oxygen.
Over time, many factors such as smoking, poor
diet, lack of physical activity, and age contribute to
narrowing and hardening of the arteries. The high
blood volume passing through the filtration system
in combination with high blood pressure puts a lot
of pressure on these arteries, further weakening
them. These damaged vessels reduce blood flow to
the kidney’s tissues. They also prevent flow to the
smallest vessels, the nephrons.
Reduced blood flow or elimination of blood flow
altogether means that the tissues are failing to receive
essential nutrients and oxygen, and they lose their
ability to properly function. Therefore, they are no
longer able to efficiently filter blood, fluids, and other
nutrients or regulate hormones—especially those
that are necessary for controlling blood pressure.
When the kidneys are so damaged that they are
no longer able to efficiently regulate blood pressure
in combination with chronic blood pressure, this
leads to dire consequences. Further damages can
occur, and more arteries become blocked, leading to
eventual kidney failure.
So, be aware of your kidneys and appreciate
all that they do for you. Take good care of them by
staying fit, eating well, and being healthy!

 
Why Should You Take Care of
Your Kidneys?
Kidneys are essential for your well-being. It is true
that you can survive with only one viable kidney,
but you want to do everything possible to keep
them both healthy and working. Your kidneys have
several important functions, but their main role is
to filter your blood and remove waste products and
excess fluid from your body and eliminate them
through your urine. While they are filtering out the
waste, they are also reabsorbing many important
nutrients so that your body can reuse them.
Still unconvinced of their importance? Your
kidneys are also responsible for eliminating excess
drugs from your body. They help balance your
body’s fluids by regulating the amount of sodium,
potassium phosphorus, and acid levels in the body.
They also control the production of red blood cells

and produce an active form of vitamin D that helps
control calcium metabolism and promotes strong and
healthy bones. More so, your kidneys release certain
hormones that are responsible for helping regulate
blood pressure.
Keeping your kidneys healthy is extremely
important. If you don’t, they will fail to perform all
the essential aforementioned roles, which will have
debilitating consequences. Unhealthy kidneys lead to
kidney disease and can also cause heart disease and
associated risks such as high blood pressure, stroke,
heart attacks, and death. Kidney disease can also
lead to weakened bones, osteoporosis, anemia, nerve
damage, and complete kidney failure.
Reduce Your Risk of Developing
Kidney Disease
Get Fit
Engage in regular physical activity. Aim for at least 30
minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity five
times a week (or any combination for a total of 150
minutes per week at least every other day in bouts of
at least 10 minutes). Also, include some stretching
and strength training at least three times per week.
A combination of both will improve your heart
health and blood flow and strengthen your bones and
muscles.
Control Your Weight
Maintain a healthy weight with a body-mass index
(BMI) of between 18.5 and 24.9. Monitor your weight
regularly (without obsessing). Don’t weigh yourself
more than once per week, but take note of any
drastic changes. If you notice your weight starting to
slowly creep upward, consider re-evaluating your diet
and physical-activity regime or speak to a registered
dietitian for tips to manage your weight.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Avoid any trendy fad diets, and stick to a regular,
consistent meal plan. Aim for three meals per day with
snacks in between. Avoid going longer than three or
four hours without eating anything. A balanced meal
should consist of half of your plate filled with at least
two different types of colorful vegetables. A quarter
of your plate should be a lean protein choice, such as
fish or chicken, and a quarter of your plate should be
a whole grain like brown rice or quinoa.

Healthy snacks include a carbohydrate or a
vegetable and a protein. Snack ideas such as celery
and a tablespoon of peanut butter or a medium-sized
apple with a small handful of nuts are good options.
Drink in Moderation
Limit your alcohol intake to no more than one glass a
day for women and maximum of two glasses per day
for men.
Don’t Smoke
This should go without saying.
Stay Hydrated
Drink six to eight glasses of water per day. Water is
calorie-free and is your best option. Avoid high-sugar
beverages, as they only add unnecessary calories and
often replace nutrient-dense choices.
Monitor Your Meds
Take all of your medications as prescribed by
your doctor. Also, be cautious when taking some
over-the-counter medications such as aspirin,
naxoproxin, and ibuprofen, which may cause harm
to your kidneys. Always check with your family
doctor.
Stay on Top of Your Health
Know your family history, as this is a good indicator
of any increased risk. Make sure to visit your
family physician annually to keep your health in
check. Your physical should include regular blood
tests to monitor your cholesterol levels and check
your creatinine levels and glomerular-filtration
rate (GFR) for evaluating your kidney function.
You should also check your blood-pressure levels.
Ideally, your blood pressure should be 120/80;
however, as you get older (as long as you don’t have
a history of kidney disease), your blood pressure
should be below 140/90.
As you can see, whether you’re reducing your
risk of developing kidney disease or trying to
manage it, it is vital to make healthy lifestyle
choices.

Dr. Victor Marchione

 

Remember, We Are In This Together!

-People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

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Foods, Uncategorized

Enjoy the Fall Apple Harvest

Enjoy the Fall Apple Harvest

appleharvest

Crisp, juicy apples are a fall tradition. Take advantage of the bountiful selection of apples available this time of year. There are hundreds of varieties to sample. They range from red to yellow to green, crunchy to tender, sweet to tart and simple to complex.

Apples contain a wide variety of phytochemicals, many of which have been found to have strong antioxidant activity. They are particularly high in quercetin, a flavonoid antioxidant.1 Epidemiological studies have linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes and obesity.2-7 Not only can eating an apple a day help keep the doctor away, an apple a day might keep the pounds away too; adding apples to the diet has been shown to enhance weight loss.8-9 To optimize phytochemical content, it is important to eat the pigment-rich apple skin. Choose whole, organic apples over applesauce or apple juice.

Apples are also a rich source of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that is found in plant cell walls and tissues. This soluble fiber works to lower cholesterol by reducing the amount that is absorbed in the intestines. Studies have shown that the pectin in apples interacts with other apple phytonutrients to achieve an even greater reduction in cholesterol.10 Researchers have also discovered that apples can boost intestinal health by increasing the numbers of good gut bacteria which feed on apple pectin.11

Portable and easy to pack, apples are great to include in your on-the-go meals. For an easy dessert, enjoy them baked with a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg. I like to dice an apple, toss it with baby greens, some chickpeas, maybe a handful of walnuts or pumpkin seeds and then top it off with one of my flavored vinegars or perhaps my Almond Balsamic Dressing.

Experiment with the many different varieties of apples to discover which ones are your favorites. Have fun seeking out your local organic apple growers, farm stands and farmers markets and look for different types of interesting apples. They do not have to look perfect. The smaller and more imperfect they look, the better they taste. If you go apple picking and get lots of them, don’t worry, you can store them for several months. Just wrap each apple in a paper towel to prevent them from touching each other and store in a closed cardboard box in a cool place such as the basement or garage.

We are in this together!

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Dr Furhman

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Health Benefits of Cherries

Health Benefits of Cherries

 

Cherries for gout

100g of cherries has 50 caloriesCherries are especially useful for treating gout.  Gout is a kind of arthritis linked to an unusually high amount of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is made in the liver and sometimes too much uric acid is made. Needle-like crystals form as uric acid levels increase, and these crystals build up in the joints over time, resulting in the pain and inflammation typical of gout.

Bing cherries have antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties, in particular a compound known as cyanidin, which has been found to inhibit the activity of the enzyme involved in the making of uric acid. Research has revealed that eating the equivalent of a pound of fresh cherries each day is highly effective for lowering uric acid levels.

One study demonstrated that healthy people who ate Bing cherries for 28 days had reduced inflammation markers and they stayed low for days despite discontinuation of cherry consumption.

Another study has also shown that eating cherries may lower risk of gout attacks. Gout sufferers consuming cherries for a 2 day period had a 35 % reduced risk of gout attacks when compared with those not eating cherries. The risk of gout flare continued decreasing with the increase of cherry intake, up to 3 servings over 2 days. It was found that additional cherry intake did not provide any extra benefit.[3]

Nutritional value of cherries (red) per 100g:

  •     How many calories in cherries – 50
  •     How much protein in cherries – 1g
  •     How many carbs in cherries – 12g
  •     What is the fat content of cherries – 0.3g

Nutrients in cherries

Cherries are a very good source of vitamins C and A. They are a good source of copper, calcium, iron, potassium and manganese.

 

Cherries and blood pressure

Cherries and blood pressure

Montmorency tart cherry juice lowers blood pressure

Consuming tart cherry juice is as effective for reducing high blood pressure as blood pressure lowering medications. Participants of a 2016 study who had early signs of hypertension experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7% three hours after consuming a Montmorency tart cherry concentrate and water mixture.[4]

The blood pressure readings of the 15 participants was least 130/90 mmHg, which means they had a higher risk of having cardiovascular related problems. They consumed either 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate or 60ml of a commercial fruit-flavored drink.

Blood pressure was taken before consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate and was measured thereafter on an hourly basis. The participants consuming the Montmorency cherry concentrate experienced a blood pressure reduction of 7 mmHg in the 3 hours after consumption.

The greatest systolic blood pressure improvement occurred when vanillic and protocatechuic, the cherry concentrate’s phenolic acids, reached peak plasma levels. The reduction in blood pressure from the consumption of the Montmorency cherry concentrate was comparable to the reduction achieved by blood pressure lowering medication.

A 2018 study found that consuming Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced systolic blood pressure in individuals between the ages of 65 and 80. The 34 study participants in this 12-week randomized controlled trial were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups.[5]

The 1st group drank 240ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice in the morning and 240ml in the evening every day for the 12 weeks. The 2nd group drank the equivalent amount of a cherry flavored placebo drink devoid of tart cherries. Blood pressure as well as blood sugar, insulin, weight and cholesterol were measured when the study began and again when it ended.

The Montmorency tart cherry juice group had a significant reduction (4.1 mmHg) in systolic blood pressure in comparison to the drink placebo drink group.

How much tart cherry juice should you drink a day to lower blood pressure?

The participants in the 2016 study drank 60ml of tart cherry juice concentrate, which is estimated to be equivalent to about 500g of whole tart cherries.

The participants in the 2018 study drank 480 ml tart cherry juice, which was prepared from 68ml Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 412ml water.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Tart cherry juice for sleep
Melatonin in cherries

Montmorency tart cherries have been found to contain substantial amounts of the sleep hormone melatonin, which helps in regulating the sleep-wake cycle. Although some other foods also have melatonin, the quantity is too low to be effective, but, according to research, Montmorency cherries have 0.1 to 0.3 milligram of melatonin a serving,[6] and contain about 6 times more melatonin compared to Balaton cherries. At this dosage melatonin has been proven to be an efficient sleep inducer.

 

A 2014 study concluded that Montmorency tart cherry juice helps in improving the quality and duration of sleep, as well as help in reducing insomnia severity.[7] The 7 study participants who suffered from insomnia that consumed the cherry juice in the morning as well as at night slept over an hour longer each night.

Besides Montmorency tart cherries being a good source of melatonin, tart cherry juice also helps in increasing the availability of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to serotonin which helps with sleep.  The tart cherry juice inhibits a tryptophan degrading enzyme and degradation of tryptophan is a predictor of insomnia. The researchers suggest the melatonin and tryptophan combination in Montmorency tart cherries is likely contributing to the benefits of tart cherries for sleep.

Cherries for weight loss

The Chemistry of Cherries

A 2008 animal study has suggested that tart cherries have significant potential for reducing belly fat. Obese rats that were given tart cherry powder combined with a high-fat diet gained less weight than rats that were not given cherries. After 12 weeks, the rats that were given the tart cherry powder had 54% body fat in comparison to 63% for rats that were fed a “Western diet”. The difference in weight gain was particularly pronounced in fat around the waist area, the rats that were given the cherry powder gained less belly fat.

The rats were given either a high fat and moderate carbohydrate diet,  or a low fat and high carbohydrate diet, both of which came either with or without tart cherry powder. The cherry enriched diet rats experienced a total cholesterol level reduction of approximately 11%.The TNF-alpha inflammation marker was reduced by 40% and interleukin 6 (IL-6) was reduced by 31%.

Health Benefits of Cherries

Cherries and cancer

Cherries have quite high levels of anthocyanins (the flavonoids giving cherries their intense red color), which give them anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and chemopreventative properties. Tart cherries contain the natural compound perillyl alcohol, which seems to be very effective in reducing the incidence of all kinds of cancer.  Perillyl alcohol has tested well for treating advanced prostate, breast and ovary cancers.[9] Research suggests that substances in tart cherries can reduce the formation of the carcinogenic chemicals (HCAAs) that develop from the charring of meat.

Cherries for colon cancer

Two of the anthocyanidins present in cherries, quercetin and isoquerxitrin, have been found to prevent the growth of colon cancer.

Cherries for breast cancer

Cyandin-3-glucoside, another anthocyanin found in cherries and other fruits, has antioxidative and anti‐inflammatory properties and also induces the death of  breast cancer cells. Cyandin-3-glucoside inhibits the cytokine VEGF, which plays a key role in tumor angiogenesis. Angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) plays a major role in breast cancer progression by providing cancer cells with nutrients, oxygen, and blood vessels for cancer cells to spread.

Delphinidin is another  anthocyanin found in cherries and other brightly colored fruits and veggies, and is also found in certain dietary supplements used as complementary cancer treatment. Delphinidin induces cell death in HER2+ breast cancer cells. Delphinidin also inhibits epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling in breast cancer cells.

Cherries and muscle soreness

Tart cherry juice benefits for exercise

Tart cherry juice improves exercise recovery

Cherries help to alleviate muscle soreness after exercising. A cup of tart cherry juice can help in reducing the soreness and inflammation of the muscles that is experienced after strenuous exercise. Marathon runners consuming tart cherry juice twice a day for 7 days before a race experienced less post race pain compared to runners not consuming cherry juice.

A 2011 study revealed that men who had tart cherry juice after weight training exercises experienced less muscle pain as well as less strength loss.

A 2019 study found that active women consuming tart cherry concentrate twice a day for eight days experienced reduced muscle soreness after exercising.

Tart cherry juice improves exercise performance

A 2019 study concluded that Montmorency cherry supplementation improves cycling performance. Eight trained cyclists supplementing Montmorency tart cherry for 7 days improved cycling time-trial performance. The exercise performance improvement was accompanied by muscle oxygenation enhancement which suggests that the cherry polyphenols’ vasoactive properties could be supporting the performance improvement effects.

Cherries and osteoarthritis

Tart cherry juice for arthritis

Commonly used pain medication for osteoarthritis doesn’t actually reduce inflammation and has  unwanted side effects such as kidney or liver damage. The pain relieving properties of tart cherries have been show to be effective for the relief of pain associated with osteoarthritis without the side effects of conventional treatments.

A 2007 study revealed that pain and function improved significantly in osteoarthritis of the knee patients when they were given tart cherries in supplement form for 8 weeks.

Cherry juice for inflammation

In a 2012 double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study, 20 patients suffering from inflammatory osteoarthritis had significant reductions in inflammation markers after consuming tart cherry juice twice daily for 3 weeks.

The study participants included twenty  40 to 70 year old women experiencing at least moderate osteoarthritis pain. They consumed 10.5-ounces of tart cherry juice or a placebo cherry drink twice daily for 3 weeks. There was a statistically significant reduction in inflammation among those individuals who consumed the tart cherry juice, which was indicated by reduced C-reactive protein levels. The reduction in inflammation was greatest for individuals who had shown the highest levels of inflammation at the beginning of the study.

Cherry juice for pain relief

Cherries are a natural pain reliever. Researchers have found that anthocyanidins from cherries have the ability to block both COX-1 and COX-2, enzymes considered to cause pain. Of all the fruits which were tested, cherries had the highest amounts of key anthocyanidins. The COX-inhibitory activities of the anthocyanidins in cherries were even found to be comparable to those of naproxen and ibuprofen.

Cherries and heart health

Tart cherries and cholesterol

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels are a risk factor for atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. The standard medical approach to help reduce LDL cholesterol levels to a safer range is to prescribe statins to reduce blood lipid levels. However, some patients encounter Statins are however not without side effects such as muscle pain to liver dysfunction.

A 2011 study reported a 26% reduction in cholesterol levels in mice fed tart cherry powder. A  reduction in early death of 65% was also reported, which was believed to be as a result of an improvement in cardiovascular health.

Another 2011 study in humans reported a reduction in of triglycerides levels of more than 17% on average after consuming 8-ounces of tart cherry juice daily for 4 weeks.[21]

A 2018 study reported a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol levels after participants drank Montmorency tart cherry juice made from concentrate. Study participants drinking 480ml of Montmorency tart cherry juice daily for 12 weeks experienced a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels as well as lower levels of total cholesterol.

How to Freeze Cherries

Benefits of cherries for skin

What is oxidative stress?

Oxidative stress when the body has an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals. Free radicals are produced by the cells of the body during normal metabolic processes, and free radical neutralizing antioxidants are also produced by the cells. The body usually maintains a balance between free radicals and antioxidants.

Oxidative stress plays an important part in the aging process, especially in the skin. Aging results in the thinning of the epidermal (outer) as well as dermal (under) layers of the skin. This leads to fine wrinkles as a result of reduction of elastic fibers, collagen, and hyaluronic acid.

What are antioxidants?

Free radicals are unstable molecules which can cause damage in the body, and antioxidants neutralize free radicals by giving the free radical an electron. Antioxidants are produced naturally by the body and can also come from food such as fruit and veggies.

Several human studies have shown that sweet as well as tart cherries reduce oxidative stress. Melatonin, carotenoids, anthocyanins, polyphenols,  and vitamins C and E are all contributors to the antioxidant properties of cherries.

Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, the flavonoid pigment that gives the cherry it’s color, and which has the greatest antioxidant capacity of any of the flavonoids. Tart cherries have more anthocyanins in comparison to sweet cherries. Scientific evidence has suggested that anthocyanins could possibly delay the appearance of signs of skin aging.

Health Benefits of Cherry Juice

Cherry juice and diabetes

There is some evidence to suggest that consumption of cherries could help in promoting healthy glucose regulation and reducing diabetes risk.

The enzymes dipeptidyl peptidase-4 and α glucosidase which are involved in the promotion of diabetes are inhibited by chlorogenic acid, one the main polyphenols of tart cherry juice.

Study results suggest that blood glucose could be reduced from anthocyanins by slowing the production of glucose from complex carbohydrates. The production of glucagon by pancreatic α cells could also be reduced, and hepatic glucose uptake and production of insulin by pancreatic β cells increased.

A 2008 study revealed a significant decrease in hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C) after diabetic women supplemented 40 mL of concentrated tart cherry juice day for 6 weeks. Fasting blood glucose was also decreased by 8%.

History of cherries

Cherries were named after the ancient Turkish town of Cerasus and go as far back to at least 300 B.C.

Cherries were among the first fruits the early settlers brought to America. The first cherry orchard was planted in northern Michigan in the 1600s. The 1st commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893.

The ultimate celebration of cherries is the National Cherry Festival, which is held each year in July in Traverse City, Michigan.

Cherry trees have played a part in American folklore since George Washington chopped down his father’s cherry tree, then couldn’t tell a lie and told his father what he’d done.

Sweet cherries are cultivated throughout North America and Europe. France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Russia are big producers in Europe. Sour cherries are cultivated in Eastern Europe, Germany, Russia, and the United States. Germany tops the world in cherry production, followed by the United States.

Remember We Are In This Together!
Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth
Article reviewed by Dr Patricia Carrothers, Regenerative and Preventative Medicine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Brain Games for Seniors

Brain Games for Seniors

 

Games for People with Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Many doctors encourage seniors to use brain fitness games as a means to help deal with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other cognitive diseases, says SeniorLiving.org.

 

While research remains inconclusive, there appears to be a correlation between brain games and brain health.

The website says brain games that may help seniors include:

  • Memory games, such as Match and Simon.
  • Word games, such as word searches and Scrabble.
  • Electronic games, such as Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Family Feud.
  • Board games, such as Chess and Checkers.
  • Interactive Wii and X-Box games.
  • Trivia games, such as Trivial Pursuit.

 

If you need help determining which supplements you should take to prevent dementia, please contact us.

Remember, We are in this together!

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Your Noisy Knees May Be Trying to Tell You Something

Your Noisy Knees May Be Trying to Tell You Something

News Picture: Your Noisy Knees May Be Trying to Tell You Something

Ever hear your joints clicking, creaking or crunching? Now, researchers say a new technique that listens closely to knees may help doctors diagnose and monitor osteoarthritis.

In the new study, researchers attached small microphones to participants’ knees, which allowed them to listen for high-frequency sounds as the person repeatedly stood up and sat down again.

Computer analysis of the sounds then provided information about the health of the knee, the study authors explained.

This study is the first to assess this technique in a large number of people with knee osteoarthritis. It was found to distinguish between healthy knees and those afflicted by this “wear-and-tear” form of arthritis.

The findings move the technique a step closer to use by doctors and in research, according to the report published Oct. 16 in the journal PLOS ONE.

“This work is very exciting because it involves scientists and clinicians working together as a team to develop an entirely new approach,” said project leader John Goodacre. He’s an emeritus professor at Lancaster University, in the United Kingdom.

“Potentially, this could transform ways in which knee osteoarthritis is managed. It will enable better diagnosis, and will enable treatments to be tailored more precisely according to individual knee condition. It will also enable faster, bigger and better clinical trials of new treatments,” Goodacre said in a university news release.

The next step for researchers is to develop a non-invasive portable device that health care providers could use to assess whether patients’ knees are changing or are responding to treatment for osteoarthritis.

This technique could provide a quicker, cheaper, more convenient and more accurate assessment than current methods, the study authors said.

 

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