Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

What Is Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy?

WebMD shows you how to improve your balance and ideas for exercises to help you prevent or lessen the numbness and pain of diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

Diabetic neuropathies are a family of nerve disorders triggered by diabetes. There are four forms of this disease, with diabetic peripheral neuropathy being the most common. Diabetic peripheral neuropathy occurs when a patient’s feet and legs are affected by nerve damage, followed by the hands and arms.

Diabetic peripheral neurophathy will first show signs in the feet, then cramps in ones legs, and unlike other neuropathies, the pain in the leg will be on both outsides of the leg, and along the shinbone.

The Mayo Clinic points out that while the cause of the disease is unclear, a combination of factors likely play a role in the development of diabetic neuropathy, such as the complex interaction between nerves and blood vessels.

High blood sugar levels are known to interfere with the nerves’ ability to transmit signals and weaken the capillaries or walls of the small blood vessels that provide oxygen and nutrients to the nerves.

As long as 20 years in the making, this type of neuropathy started, and some may have drank too much in their 20’s or 30’s, been around heavy metals, or had a sweet tooth all of which might have been accompanied by too much stress in ones life, and is now stressing your body.

 

Symptoms and Complications of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Some of the initial symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy include:

  • Numbness or insensitivity to pain or temperature

At a point in your life you may have been able to handle cold or hot temperatures better than your peers, and now mainly the cold is very hard on your body.

PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY: What you need to know about this disorder that results from damage to your peripheral nerves and often causes unusual sensations such as vibrations, tingling, burning, numbness, weakness, loss of balance, and even pain. Symptoms are usually in the hands, feet but can occur in other areas of the body. Do you have this? Share your story with us. www.mollysfund.org

  • A tingling, burning or prickling sensation

One of the earliest symptoms is to have a burning or hot sensation in the bottom of ones feet, and mostly ignored.  Then a prickly, or even itchy type of sensation would have followed.

 

Diabetes leg pain and cramps often occur as a result of damaged nerves (diabetic peripheral neuropathy). Neuropathy can also cause tingling and numbness.

  • Sharp pains or cramps

People get cramps, especially in their legs and brush it off.  They may even go to the doctor and get something for them, and that is it.

  • Extreme sensitivity to touch, even light touch

Sometimes a soft touch is nice, but when one gets that “creepy” feeling along with it, that is sensitivity.

 

Fibromyalgia vs. peripheral neuropathy: Causes, symptoms, risk factors, and complications

  • Muscle weakness

When you say to yourself ” I use to do this,  and I remember I use to be able to do that”    Those are , and should be a large red flag to  your healthcare provider.  Muscle weakness is a powerful warning sign.

 

Nerve Regeneration Sound Therapy | Peripheral Neuropathy Treatment Binaural Beats Meditation Music - YouTube

  • Loss of reflexes, especially in the ankle

Did you ever wake up and feel like you twisted your ankle, but you dont remember anything?    When you walk, does it feel like you are flat footed, but it probably is your ankle reflexes gone.    Orthopedic shoes are usually recommended, but in fact will make this problem worse.

 

  • Loss of balance and coordination

Dizziness, tripping, occasionally feeling like you are leaning to one side or the other.   Not able to try out for a tightrope walker?   When you tell this to your healthcare provider, they want to check your ears right away.  They may even send you to see someone else, and some precautionary measures may be taken, but they dont have an answer.

  • Serious foot problems such as ulcers, infections, deformities and bone and joint pain

Notice if any of the bones in  your feet and/or toes have changed shape.

Diabetes can damage the nerves that help you feel pain, heat, and cold, especially in your feet. Learn about the symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy and the problems it can cause, what you can do about it, and how to prevent it.

 

These are some of the main symptoms at the first level, with each level there are more symptoms.  If you have been diagnosed with neuropathy and also diabetes it is good to know these symptoms, and what might happen if you ignore them.

These symptoms are known to worsen at night. Many diabetics already show signs of neuropathy that a doctor can take note of, but patients themselves don’t feel them.

If left untreated, diabetic peripheral neuropathy can lead to muscle weakness and loss of reflexes, especially at the ankle, eventually causing changes in the way a person walks. Foot deformities, such as hammertoes (a deformity that causes the toe to bend or curl downward instead of pointing forward) and the collapse of the midfoot, may occur too.

Should pressure or an injury remain unnoticed, this can prompt blisters and sores to appear on numb areas of the foot. If there is an infection that’s not treated immediately, it can spread to the bone and may require the foot to be amputated. Fortunately, many amputations are preventable if minor problems are examined and treated immediately.

This is not necessarily something one has to live with.  There are many methods people have used to send this disease into remission, sometimes permanently, or at least try to decrease the symptoms, and not move on to a worse state.

This is a progressive disease, and you want to STOP it!, NOT, put up with it!

Other Risk Factors of Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy can also be triggered by factors apart from diabetes, namely:

  • Shingles (post herpetic neuralgia)

Never get the shingles shot, if you think you have this condition

  • Vitamin deficiency, particularly of vitamin B9 (folate) and B12

Do  not start taking either of these supplements without a good provider telling  you the other supplements that MUST be taken with them, so as to cause no more harm.

  • Alcohol intake
  • Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or Guillain-Barre syndrome

If this disease is not handled correctly you will develop one of these conditions also.

  • AIDS, whether from the disease or its treatment, or from syphilis or kidney failure

 

  • Inherited diseases such as amyloid polyneuropathy or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

 

  • Exposure to toxins, such as heavy metals, gold compounds, lead, arsenic, mercury and organophosphate pesticides

If you work with metals, you have a greater chance to develop this condition.   Stay away from heavy metal work, if you are already a diabetic, and also fertilizer.

  • Cancer therapy drugs like vincristine (Oncovin and Vincasar) and antibiotics including metronidazole (Flagyl) and isoniazid

Remember these medicatios, and have your healthcare provider order something else.

  • Diseases such as neurofibromatosis, Fabry disease, Tangier diseases, hereditary sensory autonomic neuropathy and hereditary amyloidosis (albeit rare)

 

  • Statins —    neuropathy caused by this group of  medications is rising at an alarming rate.  Yet, sometimes some of the symptoms are masked.  

Do everything you can to get off of a statin drug, especially if you are already a diabetic.

Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is a major health concern. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned here, consult a good healthcare provider immediately. If someone you know exhibits these signs, but is unaware that they are symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, talk to them about having their condition checked.

Always contact us here at :  healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

You can make a big impact in improving their health and may even help save their lives by being aware of this disorder.

 

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Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Toronto Doctors Ignore Veterans Desire to Stay Alive

Toronto doctors sued for allegedly ignoring veteran’s wishes to stay alive

A civil trial is set to begin this week for two doctors accused of ignoring an elderly man’s wishes to stay alive and allegedly imposing a “do not resuscitate” order without consulting him or his substitute decision-maker.

The $2.2-million suit against Dr. Donald Livingston and Dr. Martin Chapman accuses the physicians of negligence or malpractice in the death of Second World War veteran Douglas DeGuerre.

The suit, filed by DeGuerre’s daughter Joy Wawrzyniak, alleges the doctors overruled the family’s decision to keep seeking treatment for DeGuerre’s many serious illnesses.

It alleges the doctors changed DeGuerre’s status from “full code” — meaning make all reasonable efforts to keep the patient alive — to “do not resuscitate,” without asking DeGuerre or consulting Wawrzyniak, who was tasked with making decisions on his behalf.

Lawyers representing Livingston and Chapman did not comment on the upcoming civil trial, which is set to start Monday.

Wawrzyniak’s attorneys said the case is significant as it can warn physicians they have no right to “play God.”

“We are taking this case to trial to make it clear to physicians that they are required to obtain express consent before writing a DNR order,” lawyer Barry Swadron said in a statement.

The unproven statements of claim and defence largely agree on DeGuerre’s medical history in the months before his death.

Both parties said the 88-year-old had several serious conditions in 2008, including diabetes, kidney failure and gangrene.

He signed a document in November 2007 appointing his daughter as the person to make medical decisions on his behalf should he be unable to do so.

At the same time, both parties agree DeGuerre signed a document saying he did not wish to be resuscitated if death seemed imminent.

Wawrzyniak’s statement of claim asserts, however, that DeGuerre changed his mind in the following months and repeatedly declared his desire to have a full code status.

Some of those declarations took place once DeGuerre was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital in a wing designated for veterans, the statement said.

Livingston, DeGuerre’s primary physician on the veteran’s wing, said DeGuerre would need to have both his legs amputated above the knee. The statement of claim said he had a discussion with Wawrzyniak, who said doctors were to attempt to resuscitate her father if he had a heart attack during surgery.

DeGuerre’s full code status was reaffirmed after he successfully pulled through the procedure, the claim said, adding notations on his chart accurately reflected his wishes.

Days later on Sept. 22, however, the suit alleged Livingston and Chapman took matters into their own hands.

“Unbeknownst to DeGuerre or the plaintiff, Livingstone and Chapman altered DeGuerre’s plan of treatment … by changing his status from full code to do not resuscitate,” the claim alleged. “The change in DeGuerre’s code status to DNR was made … without the consent of DeGuerre or the plaintiff.”

The suit alleged Chapman left a message with Wawrzyniak indicating he wanted to discuss DeGuerre’s condition, but made no mention of the DNR status and advised her that “nothing has particularly changed.”

Wawrzyniak went to the hospital later that day and found her father having difficulty breathing, with his condition deteriorating quickly while in the presence of medical staff, the claim said.

The statement alleged she repeatedly asked staff to intervene, only to be told by Chapman that not doing so was “for his own good.”

The statement said Wawrzyniak, a registered nurse, tried administering help herself, but was unsuccessful and DeGuerre died a short time later.

Wawrzyniak’s suit alleged the doctors’ actions constitute “abuse of power, intentional infliction of mental anguish and negligent infliction of mental anguish” — assertions the two deny in their statement of defence.

The statement of defence said the physicians opted to change DeGuerre’s status after reviewing his poor medical prognosis and noting that he appeared to be in “severe pain.”

“Drs. Chapman and Livingstone agreed that in their medical opinion, there was no reversible component to Mr. DeGuerre’s condition,” the defence statement reads.

“In accordance with applicable policies, Dr. Chapman appropriately entered a ‘do not resuscitate’ order in Mr. DeGuerre’s chart.”

The doctors said the care DeGuerre received was “careful” and “competent,” and denied that they owed any duty of care to Wawrzyniak since she wasn’t their patient.

Wawrzyniak had twice filed complaints to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, neither of which resulted in any action being taken.

In 2014, however, the province’s Health Professions Appeal and Review Board ruled that the college failed to consider the key question in the case.

“The question before the committee was whether it was within the standard of practice of the profession for such order to be made without consent from (Wawrzyniak),” the board wrote. “In other words, who makes decisions relating to the patient’s plan of treatment?”

According to board documents, the college changed its position in 2015, finding that while the doctors had exercised sound clinical judgment, they failed in their duty to tell Wawrzyniak about her father’s change in code status. The college opted not to take disciplinary measures, but updated its own end-of-life policy.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Cutting Down On Drinking Can Help You Quit Smoking

Health and Wellness Associates

 

Cutting Down On Drinking Can Help You Quit Smoking

 

stopsmoking.jpg

 

Research has revealed that heavy drinkers who’re attempting to quit smoking could find that limiting their alcohol consumption could also help them to quit smoking.  The nicotine metabolite ratio of study participants who consumed alcohol heavily reduced as their alcohol consumption was limited. Nicotine metabolite ratio is a biomarker which indicates how fast an individual’s body metabolizes nicotine, and is an index of nicotine metabolism.

Using alcohol together with cigarettes is common, with almost 1 in 5 individuals making use of both. Cigarette smoking is particularly common in heavy drinkers. Alcohol consumption is a proven risk factor for smoking, and smoking is proven risk factor for consuming alcohol. It requires a great deal of determination to quit smoking, usually taking quite a few attempts.

Previous studies have indicated that individuals having higher nicotine metabolism ratios will probably smoke a lot more and that individuals with higher rates have a more difficult time quitting. Slowing an individual’s nicotine metabolism rate by means of reduced alcohol consumption could provide an edge when attempting to quit smoking, which is proven to be a challenging undertaking.

The nicotine metabolite ratio was examined over a few weeks in a group of 22 individuals who smoked daily and had been looking for alcohol use disorder treatment, the medical term used for severe alcohol consumption.

This study indicates that the nicotine metabolism is changed by alcohol consumption as indexed by the nicotine metabolite ratio. The study also suggests that smoking and consuming alcohol on a daily basis should best be treated at the same time.

The nicotine metabolite ratio proved to be clinically useful. Individuals having a higher ratio have a more difficult time giving up smoking cold turkey. They’re also not as likely to successfully stop smoking by making use of nicotine replacement therapy products.

It was discovered that the nicotine metabolite rate of the male study participants decreased as they cut down on their alcohol consumption from an average of 29 drinks per week to 7 drinks per week.

The researchers’ results for men replicated those of previous research which discovered similar effects and provide more proof of the significance of the nicotine metabolite ratio biomarker for advising treatment for smokers attempting to quit.

Although the nicotine metabolite ratio is considered to be an index that is stable, it might not be as stable as previously thought. This is positive from a clinical point of view, because if an individual wants to quit smoking, they should be encouraged to cut down on alcohol consumption to assist with a smoking cessation plan.

The female study participants didn’t see reductions in the nicotine metabolite ratio, but it was found that they didn’t reduce their alcohol consumption very much for the duration of the study period. Their rate of alcohol consumption started low and remained low.

 

Nothing Will Work Unless You Do It!

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Foods, Uncategorized

On-the-Go Breakfast Burrito

Health and WEllness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

On-the-Go Breakfast Burrito

onthegoburrikto.JPG

There’s no excuse to skip breakfast when you have this burrito recipe in your collection. Fluffy eggs are teamed up with high protein ham, cheese, peppers, and whole grains for a handheld meal that you can enjoy on the run. Prep the ingredients the night before and breakfast will be ready in minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 slice uncured ham, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cheddar cheese, shredded
  • ¼ cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium whole wheat tortilla

Preparation

  1. In a small bowl whisk together egg and egg white. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Place chopped ham skillet and cook for one to two minutes.
  4. Add eggs, cheese, and pepper and cook, scrambling gently until eggs are fluffy, approximately five minutes more.
  5. Pile egg mixture in the center of tortilla.
  6. To roll: fold in the sides towards the middle, then roll up from the bottom (the part closest to you), making sure to roll completely around so that the end of the tortilla is tucked under the bottom of the burrito.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

In this wrap, lower fat ham takes the place of higher calorie ingredients like bacon. Look for an uncured ham such as Applegate or substitute Canadian bacon or a piece of turkey.

Use a gluten free tortilla (like a corn tortilla) for a celiac-friendly version of this recipe.

Cooking and Serving Tips

To help prevent the ingredients from leaking out of the tortilla (this is especially important if taking this meal to-go) wrap entire burrito tightly in parchment paper and cut in half; peel back the paper as you eat.

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Foods to Eat When You Have Hypothyrodism

Health and WEllness Associates
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Foods to Eat When You Have Hypothyrodism

 

Eat Right to Support Thyroid Function

When you have hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, symptoms can include fatigue, depression, constipation, and other more serious health concerns. Fortunately, eating certain foods can help boost the effectiveness of your thyroid — a little butterfly-shaped gland in your neck with a big role in how well your body works.

The thyroid produces hormones that regulate mood, metabolism, energy levels, body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Hypothyroidism occurs when this gland isn’t producing enough hormones. Along with taking your thyroid medication, you can bolster thyroid function with a well-balanced diet that includes lots of produce and protein, among other healthy foods, says Gregory B. Dodell, MD, an endocrinologist in New York City. The next time you’re at the grocery store, look for these seven nutrient-rich foods.

salmon

Fish

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as wild salmon, trout, tuna, or sardines make this food an excellent choice for lunch or dinner, says Virginia Turner, MS, RD, LDN, clinical nutrition manager at The University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Unmanaged hypothyroidism can increase the risk for heart disease as a result of higher levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol. “Omega-3s are known to decrease inflammation, help with immunity, and lower the risk for heart disease,” she adds. Fish is also a good source of the nutrient selenium, which is most concentrated in the thyroid. Selenium also helps decrease inflammation.

nuts

Nuts

Another great source of selenium, nuts make a handy snack that you can take anywhere. They also go well in salads or stir-fries. Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts are all particularly high in selenium, which helps the thyroid function properly. With Brazil nuts, you only need to eat one or two; with other nuts, a small handful is enough to get your daily nutrients — and be sure to keep an eye on portion size, as nuts are also very high fat.

wholegrain.jpg

Whole Grains

Constipation is a common symptom of hypothyroidism. Whole-grain foods such as cereal, bread, pasta, and rice are high in nutrients in addition to fiber, which can help with bowel regularity. However, fiber can interfere with synthetic thyroid hormones, cautions Turner. Some people with hypothyroidism choose to avoid whole-grains altogether, but if you do choose to eat them, “the recommendation is to take your thyroid medication several hours before or after eating foods rich in dietary fiber,” she says.

fruitsandvegies.jpg

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

An early symptom of hypothyroidism is weight gain. Low-calorie, high-density foods such as fresh produce are the cornerstone of every successful weight loss program. Include either fresh fruits or veggies at each meal, if possible. Specific foods such as blueberries, cherries, sweet potatoes, and green peppers are also rich in antioxidants, nutrients that are known to lower risk for heart disease.

However, people with hypothyroidism may want to limit their intake of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cabbage, because they block thyroid function.

seaweed.jpg

Seaweed

Seaweed has a high concentration of iodine, an essential nutrient for thyroid function. “Iodine is the precursor for the production of thyroid hormone,” Dr. Dodell explains. Seaweed, packaged as nori, wakame, and dulse, can be used in sushi, soups, and salads. Another plus: Seaweed offers nutritional benefits of fiber, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K.

It is possible to have too much iodine, which can worsen thyroid disease, Dodell cautions. However, according to the American Thyroid Association the likelihood of this is greater if you’re taking supplements that contain iodine. Be sure to talk with your physician before increasing your iodine intake.

 

Dairy as in EGGS

There is an association between vitamin D deficiency and Hashimoto’s disease, the most common cause of hypothyroidism, according to a study in the issue of August 2011 issue of the journal “Thyroid”. Eggs not only has added vitamin D, but also significant amounts of calcium, protein, and iodine. Because Hashimoto’s may also lead to changes that contribute to gut issues like heartburn, eggs with good bacteria may help regulate other bacteria, Dodell says.

beans

Beans

An inexpensive and versatile food, beans are a great source for sustained energy, which can be helpful if hypothyroidism leaves you feeling drained. Beans contain protein, antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, and loads of vitamins and minerals. They are also high in fiber, which can be beneficial if you suffer with constipation, a common side effect of hypothyroidism. If you’re new to beans, there are many varieties to try, all of which can be used as the base for entrees, as side dishes, and to enhance soups, salads, and stews. Just be sure not to overdo it — guidelines recommend that adults get 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day, but excess fiber can interfere with your hypothyroidism treatment.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Berry Smoothie with Flaxseeds

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Berry Smoothie with Flaxseeds-Dairy Free

Berry Smoothie with Flaxseeds.jpg

 

This is one of the best smoothies for all women!

Flaxseeds, like nuts, add protein and fiber to a smoothie. Grind your flaxseeds before placing them in the blender.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1 cup nut milk (almond milk should work great)
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 banana
  1. Place ingredients in blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Sleeping Pills are NOT Safe for Anyone

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Sleeping Pills are not safe for anyone!

 

sleeping.jpg

 

Sleeping pills are not safe for anyone! Not for people with congestive heart failure (CHF), Blood Pressure or any cardiac problems and not for healthy adults with insomnia. We are not talking about minor issues; we’re talking about problems leading to hospital re-admissions, death, or an increased risk for developing cancer!

According to information presented in May of 2016 at the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology in Athens, Greece, the risk for a major cardiac event in patients discharged from the hospital with CHF is increased 8 fold. And, because patients with CHF often have insomnia, they are usually given prescriptions for sleeping pills!

In another article published in the February 2015 issue of the British Medical Journal, adults using sleeping pills that included Restoril, Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, and some antihistamines such as Benadryl, had a 3 fold increased risk for early death and a 35% increased risk for developing cancer. Wow! People using as little as 1-2 sleeping pills per month had a 360% increase in these risks and those taking just one pill every 3 nights had a 530% increase in these risks.

This points out how important it is to find out why someone is not sleeping and to treat the cause rather than just suppressing the symptoms of insomnia.

If you have any questions call us at

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Foods, Uncategorized

Sweet Potato Chips

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS Telehealth 

  Sweet Potato Chips

 

sweetpotatochips

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 250°F. Using a mandoline or knife, slice the sweet potatoes into very thin rounds, approximately 1/16-inch thick if possible and no thicker than 1/8 inch. Make sure they are even and thin though not transparent. Bring a pot of water to boil. Place the sweet potato slices into the boiling water and return to a simmer over medium heat. After 5 minutes, remove the sweet potatoes and drain the water.

Combine the sea salt, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder, poultry seasoning, and cayenne in a small bowl. Lightly grease two baking trays with coconut oil. Arrange the sweet potato slices on the trays so that they are not overlapping. Brush the tops of the sweet potatoes lightly with more coconut oil. Sprinkle the spice mix generously over the top of the slices.

Bake the sweet potatoes for 25 minutes. Remove the trays from the oven and set the slices that are already crispy to one side. Return the trays back to the oven for 5 more minutes and then check to remove the crispy chips again. If needed, bake remaining slices 3 to 5 minutes more. Note that the chips might not appear crispy when first removed from the oven, though should crisp up as they cool.

Serve sweet potato chips alongside guacamole, or enjoy them plain! Their crunchiness is at its peak within a few hours of making.

Makes 1 to 2 servings

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Study Shows Link Between Strong Muscles and a Strong Brain

Health and Wellness Associates

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Study Shows Link Between Strong Muscles and a Strong Brain

musclebrain

Science has linked the benefit of physical exercise to brain health for many years. In fact, compelling evidence suggests physical exercise not only helps build cognitive power1 but also helps the brain resist shrinkage by promoting neurogenesis,2 i.e., the ability to adapt and grow new brain cells. Unfortunately, forgetfulness and “senior moments” are considered by many medical professionals to be a normal and anticipated part of aging.

 

I disagree. In fact, I believe if you’ve noticed memory lapses you may want to seriously consider making immediate lifestyle changes to help reverse or at least minimize further deterioration. Your brain is actually quite adaptable and has the capacity to repair and regenerate, the medical term for which is neuroplasticity. A recent study has found a strong correlation between grip strength and brain health.3

 

Your Muscle and Cognitive Power Are Connected

Researchers from Western Sydney University have found muscle strength, which they measured using hand grip strength, may be a strong indicator of the health of your brain.4 An analysis of data collected from over 475,000 British participants revealed the stronger an individual’s hand grip, the better they performed across every brain function test the researchers used, supporting previous research from the same university.5

 

During the study, the researchers evaluated reaction speed, logical problem-solving and multiple tests analyzing memory. Interestingly, they also determined the data was consistently strong both in individuals younger than 55 and those over 55. The analysis accounted for age, gender, body weight and education prior to confirming those who were stronger indeed had better functioning brains.6

 

A comparison of the results between the general population and individuals who suffered from schizophrenia found strong similarities. Grip strength was strongly correlated to brain health, particularly in working memory and processing speed.7 The researchers theorize if grip strength could predict functional and physical health outcomes in individuals who suffered from schizophrenia, further interventions to improve muscle strength could impact cognitive and real-world functioning.8

 

Although the correlation between muscle strength and physical activity to better brain health and cognitive function in seniors has been demonstrated in previous studies, the results from this study also revealed a strong connection in those younger than 55. Joseph Firth, Ph.D., from the National Institute of Complementary Medicine at Western Sydney University, commented on the results:9

 

“These sorts of novel interventions, such as weight training, could be particularly beneficial for people with mental health conditions. Our research has shown that the connections between muscular strength and brain functioning also exist in people experiencing schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder — all of which can interfere with regular brain functioning.

 

This raises the strong possibility that weight training exercises could actually improve both the physical and mental functioning of people with these conditions.”

 

Aerobic Exercise and Strength Training Affect Cognitive Ability

Previous studies have also linked physical activity with an improvement in cognitive functioning, even for a short time. While studies have found exercising for at least 20 minutes has a measurable effect on cognitive functioning, one study demonstrated exercising for just 10 minutes could have a limited effect on cognitive performance following the exercise,10 suggesting even short bouts of exercise at work may improve productivity.

 

Although the researchers cannot explain the immediate cause of the benefits, theories include an increase in blood flow to the brain or a release of specific proteins, which have demonstrated neuroprotective benefits and the stimulation of new neurons.11 Regular aerobic exercise also appears to increase the size of your hippocampus, the area of your brain involved in verbal memory and learning.

 

Research from the University of British Columbia found resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results on the hippocampus as aerobic exercise.12 Aerobic exercise, which has the benefit of simultaneously building large muscle strength and engaging your cardiovascular system, was found to improve vocabulary learning in one study.13 Participants who exercised during their workday also increased their productivity by 23 percent.14

 

In one test, participants pedaled on a stationary bike for 30 minutes and were able to improve scores on memory, reasoning and planning.15 In another, after running on a treadmill, subjects improved their performance by 20 percent on memory tests and demonstrated a 20 percent improvement on problem-solving abilities.16 Compiled death statistics find the top three killers are heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases.17

 

It is not a secret that regular exercise and good nutrition will dramatically reduce your potential risk for these conditions, yet nearly 80 percent of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of exercise each week.18 While exercise is critical, the nutritional choices you make each day also contribute greatly to building strong muscles and a strong cardiovascular system.

 

Make Smart Meat Choices

Cracking the code to build stronger muscles means addressing your body’s dietary needs and not just your perceived need for protein. While protein does help develop strong muscles, cell growth requires more than just one primary nutrient. In fact, there are several reasons why you do not want to eat more protein than your body can immediately use, which I will discuss below.

 

When choosing protein, it is important to choose wisely. Most meat at the grocery store today, unless otherwise labeled, is raised on a processed diet in confined quarters and injected with antibiotics — and producing low quality nutrition. Instead, you want to seek out grass fed organically-raised beef and organic free-range dark meat chicken.

 

Choosing meat raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) may expose your gut microbiome to low-dose antibiotics, disturbing your gut flora, immune system and emotional health.19

 

Animals raised in CAFO systems also consume genetically engineered (GE) feed, like corn and soy, which are heavily contaminated with glyphosate, also patented as a very effective antibiotic against a large number of beneficial organisms. How your meat is labeled may help you find high quality meat. For instance, “Antibiotic-free,” “No antibiotic residues,” and “No antibiotic growth promotants,” have not been approved by the USDA and may be misleading, if not outright fraudulent.20

 

“Natural” or “All-Natural” is completely meaningless and has no bearing on whether or not the animal was raised according to organic principles. “Natural” meat and poultry products can by law receive antibiotics, hormones and GE grains, and can be raised in CAFOs. For the highest quality beef, seek out products certified by the American Grassfed Association (AGA).

Your second-best choice is meat labeled, “100% USDA Organic,” “No antibiotics administered” and “Grass-fed” coupled with the USDA Organic label.21 When it comes to salmon, I strongly recommend eating only wild-caught Alaskan salmon or sockeye salmon, which are not allowed to be farmed. While farm-raised salmon may be less expensive in the store, they often carry a high health risk as testing revealed no less than 13 persistent organic pollutants, including carcinogenic PCBs and dioxins in farm-raised salmon.22

 

PCB concentrations are so high in farmed salmon researchers say:23 “Risk analysis indicates that consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon may pose health risks that detract from the beneficial effects of fish consumption.” Many farmed fish are also genetically modified to grow faster and larger than wild-caught species.

 

Although larger, you trade high grade nutritionally packed omega-3 fats in wild-caught Alaskan salmon for high levels of inflammatory omega-6 fats in farmed salmon. You can tell if your salmon is wild-caught or farm raised by the color and fat content. The flesh of wild sockeye salmon is bright red, courtesy of natural astaxanthin content. The flesh is also lean, with thin white stripes. If the flesh is pale pink with wide fat marks, the salmon is farmed.

 

Nutritional Choices Help Build Strong Muscles

Your nutritional choices to grow strong muscles don’t end with your choice of meat. Here are four more foods you’ll want to include:

 

  • Macadamia nuts and pecans Macadamia nuts have the highest fat, and lowest carb and protein content of any nuts. Pecans are also high in fat and low in protein and carbs, with abundant antioxidants and minerals. Most Americans get more than enough protein each day and instead need a higher amount of fat for fuel with low carbohydrates. Macadamia nuts and pecans are the perfect snack choice or addition to your chicken or salad.

 

  • Organic broccoli and cauliflower These two vegetables contain essential nutrients to promote fat loss, muscle recovery and muscle growth. Broccoli and cauliflower contain the chemical I3C, aiding in DNA repair.24 Both are good sources of folate,25 necessary for the production of new cell growth.26

 

  • Organic blueberries Blueberries may speed muscle recovery when they are eaten before and after exercise.27 Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, they can be grown in your garden so you can enjoy fresh blueberries throughout the growing season, and frozen to enjoy all year-round.

 

  • Organic celery Celery is a delicious, satisfying and crunchy snack, delivering high amounts of fiber and vitamins A, C, K, folate, potassium and manganese. Vitamin K supports the Gas6 protein, a cellular growth regulation factor necessary for the support of your heart, lungs, kidneys and cartilage.28 Vitamin K also regulates matrix γ-carboxylated glutamate (Gla) protein (MGP), found in cartilage and smooth muscle cells.29

 

Don’t Eat More Protein Than You Need

While protein is necessary to build strong muscles, too much can do more harm than good. There are adverse consequences to eating excessive protein, including the buildup of excess nitrogen waste products in your body, having a stimulating effect on the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, and adversely impacting the GCN2 pathway involved in the aging process.

 

The recommended dietary reference intake30 for protein is 0.8 grams per kilo per day of body weight or about 46 grams of protein per day for the average sedentary woman and 56 grams for the average sedentary man. However, the average American eats nearly double or more.31

 

For optimal health I believe most adults need 1 gram of protein per kilo of lean body mass, not total body weight; approximately 0.5 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. You’ll find a simple method of calculating your current protein requirements in my previous article, “Are You Sabotaging Your Health and Longevity by Eating Too Much Protein?”

 

Foods and Other Lifestyle Choices Improve Brain Function

While there is a strong correlation between exercise and cognitive performance, as with other organs in your body, your brain requires fuel. Your brain can metabolize either carbohydrates or fats for energy, but there is significant evidence the metabolic product of fats — ketones — may help restore and renew neurons even after damage has begun.

 

Ketones are not the only nutrients with a neuroprotective effect reducing reactive oxygen species in your brain. While blueberries have anti-inflammatory effects on your muscles, they also may help prevent, and are potential treatment of, cognitive deficits associated with Alzheimer’s disease.32 The combination of a ketogenic diet and the addition of blueberries may help improve memory.

 

In studies of participants who had mild cognitive impairment,33 both ketosis and blueberries helped improve memory in older adults.34 High levels of antioxidants in blueberries may also help reduce free radical damage, important for the prevention of DNA damage and diseases such as cancer.

 

Broccoli, cauliflower and celery have positive effects on muscle growth and recovery and are also associated with brain health. Celery is a rich source of luteolin, a plant compound with a calming influence on inflammation in your brain, which is a primary cause of neurodegeneration. Luteolin has also been linked with lower rates of age-related memory loss in mice.35

 

Older mice fed a luteolin-supplemented diet scored better on learning and memory tasks. In addition to celery, peppers and carrots are also good sources of luteolin.

 

Broccoli and cauliflower are also good sources of choline, one of the B vitamins known for a role in brain development. Choline intake during pregnancy “super-charged” the brain activity of animals in utero, indicating it may boost cognitive function, improve learning and memory, and may diminish age-related memory decline.36 Broccoli offers additional benefits as well, including the anti-inflammatory flavonoid kaempferol and three glucosinolate phytonutrients working together to support your body’s detoxification processes.37

 

Call for an appointment for your personalized healthcare plan.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

P Carrothers

Restorative and Preventative Medicine

312-972-9355

Healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

 

 

Lifestyle, Uncategorized

How to Tell a Friend to Get Help

How to Tell a Friend to Get Help How to Tell a Friend to Get Help

We all have friends and family that are struggling and could benefit from therapy. I often hear people say “He/she really needs some help.” It can be quite obvious when someone needs additional support, but how can you possibly suggest that someone see a psychologist or therapist of some sort?

Recommending professional help is a delicate issue. You certainly risk being met with anger and resentment. However doing nothing can be even more harmful than having to encounter some resistance. When someone you know is showing obvious signs of being in distress, you can assume that they have been struggling for quite some time and might actually be desperate for some help and change.

Here are a few pointers that might make your conversation easier:

– Listen to their story and how they are doing

– Ask some questions and look for signs of hope for change

– Ask the person what they have tried to get better

– Offer some personal experiences with therapy (if you are willing to disclose)

– Ask what kind of change the person is hoping for in life

– Recommend therapy as a tool to find support, healing, and growth

It is scary and it might feel inappropriate to suggest to someone that they get professional help. You’d be surprised by how cared for and understood some people feel by such a suggestion. People don’t want to feel miserable and struggle, and they often don’t know how to create positive change. With a gentle nudge in the right direction you can have a big impact on someone’s direction in life and you might even be able to save a life!

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived

P Carrothers

Director of Personalized Health Care

https://www.facebook.com/HealthAndWellnessAssociates/

HealthWellnessAssocaites@gmail.com

Twitter:

Health and Wellness Associates

@Healtha98410402