How To Save Your Brain As You Age

Scientists are finding more and more evidence that these conditions — dementia, blood sugar, and insulin resistance — are related. Some have even dubbed Alzheimer’s disease “Type III Diabetes,” or “Brain Specific Diabetes.” This has profound implications for you as you age with multitude of preservative-laden, starchy foods everywhere and rates of obesity and related health conditions rising.

RESEARCH

The way scientists view diabetes and how it works is becoming more refined as research continues. The focus now is on insulin resistance in the body’s cells. Cells need insulin to convert glucose into a useable form of energy for cell maintenance and to do their work. For various reasons, cells become insulin resistant, and then your blood sugar will rise.

Your pancreas makes more insulin when your blood sugar level rises and can become damaged if the added work continues.

It now appears that the neurons in your brain can become insulin resistant, and when they lose their ability to take in glucose, they can wither up and die from lack of nutrition. Researchers have identified toxic proteins known as ADDLs that remove the insulin receptors from the synapses (communication receptors) on the cells. This is harmful to learning and memory-making processes.

This destructive process is considered the third form of diabetes and it appears to be a solid contender for the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

What is undeniable at this point from research studies so far, is that having type II diabetes doubles your risk of having Alzheimer’s as the years go by. You are 1.75 times more likely to suffer other forms of dementia as well.

TREATMENT

Diabetes and Diet

Type II Diabetes patients have to monitor their blood sugar because too much sugar (glucose) causes the pancreas to produce the extra insulin. The glucose can’t be used by the insulin resistant cells (which also can’t get the energy they need) and the high levels remaining in your blood cause blood vessel damage.

So you have a vicious cycle: the more sugary starchy foods you eat, the higher your blood sugar becomes, the harder your pancreas works, and the more damaged your circulatory system becomes. Toxins build up and your body cells become insulin resistant so they can’t take in glucose for energy, and they also can’t get other nutrition or oxygen from the blood because the circulatory pathways are becoming obstructed. That is why people with untreated diabetes have so many health problems.

Now imagine this happening in your brain. In the beginning you have these beautiful, healthy neurons with their numerous connections buzzing with communication and your blood flows through the circulatory pathways faithfully to bring nourishment to them. As time goes, circulation is compromised, toxins build up, and the neurons eventually become diseased or dead from lack of nutrition (and oxygen) with their connections frail, tangled, or nonexistent. Slowly the brain’s activity becomes silent.

The standard recommended treatment for type III Diabetes will likely include the same or similar dietary changes that you would make for preventing or treating type II Diabetes. This would mean taking in a balanced diet of whole grains, proteins, and complex carbohydrates while eliminating simple starches and excess fat. It might mean limiting portion size and calorie restriction if you are overweight.

There is some evidence that you should also avoid nitrites. These substances are in bacon, processed meats, and cheeses. Some brands of beer have nitrites in them as well.

Exercise

Exercise speeds up your metabolism, lowers blood sugar, and helps you to lose weight. It also improves blood circulation to your brain. You should strive for 30 minutes of aerobic activity like walking or swimming three to five times a week.

Herbs

There hasn’t been a medicine invented yet for brain specific diabetes. There may be one in the future, however, and it will likely contain compounds taken from the herb turmeric. Turmeric has been reported to help in these ways:

  • Lower inflammation and development of plaque in blood vessels

  • Lower blood sugar level

  • Prevent or slow down insulin resistance

  • Strengthen immune system

Turmeric is also showing promise in helping people with Alzheimer’s disease as it promotes brain stem cell growth and repair. Other herbs or supplements that may be of some benefit with insulin resistance are cinnamon and resveratrol.

Finally

So, to protect your brain: eat a low calorie but nutritious diet, and exercise regularly. You should rarely eat processed, sugary, or starchy foods, or avoid entirely. Consider taking turmeric or another natural supplement daily, but you should realize that if you are taking a diabetes medication, the dosage may need to be adjusted. You should ask your primary health provider, such as Expresscare Plus, for specific healthcare recommendations.

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How Heavy Lifting Leads To Back Pain & How An Orthopedic Physician Can Help Relieve It

If your back is in pain due to lifting heavy objects at work, it may be necessary for you to undergo back surgery before the pain will leave. An orthopedic surgeon can determine the best method of treatment based on where the pain is coming from. In this article, you will discover how heavy lifting led to back pain and how an orthopedic surgeon can relieve it.

How Did Heavy Lifting Lead to Back Pain?

Heavy lifting did not cause your back pain on its own. The way you lift heavy objects is what caused the problem. When the spine becomes misaligned during the lifting process, it leads to tension that results in back pain. It is important to bend your knees and keep your back straight as you lower to pick up a heavy object.

The pain is possibly from the ligaments that surround your spine to provide support. If you are not cautious about how heavy objects are lifted, the ligaments can get torn. Pressure between the joints in your back can also cause pain. The best way to find out the source of the pain is to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon.

How Can an Orthopedic Physician Help Relieve Back Pain?

Upon visiting an orthopedic physician, he or she will ask you where you are experiencing pain to get an idea of what the problem may be. The physician will also do a visual inspection of your spine to determine if there are any irregularities. You will have to get an x-ray so the physician can examine the interior of your back to see if you have damaged ligaments or joints.

Depending on the source of your pain, you may have to undergo lumbar spinal fusion surgery. It is a procedure that can eliminate pain that is caused from spinal joints. If there are broken bones, a bone graft may have to be added to the spine to fuse damaged vertebrae segments together.

You should never delay problems that are causing back pain because the spine is an important part of your body. If spinal cord problems become too serious, it can lead to you becoming paralyzed. An orthopedic surgeon will be able to diagnose the problem and may even be able to come up with a solution that does not involve surgery. Don’t forget to lift heavy objects correctly if you want to avoid back pain!

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Tips For Maintaining Good Oral Health During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is all about change. From the size of your belly to the way your body feels, pregnancy brings about a number of changes to your health. While most people focus on the outward changes they experience, it’s important that you also think about those changes you can’t see, particularly your oral health. The hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy can cause a number of changes in your mouth, teeth and gums. Knowing how to properly care for your teeth during pregnancy is important.

Postpone Some Treatments

Particularly during the first trimester, it’s imperative that you tell your dental provider about your pregnancy. During this period, it’s often recommended that you avoid having dental treatments, like filings or crowns performed, because the first trimester of pregnancy is critical in the development of your baby. There is concern about these procedures and the effect of some of the medications that may be administered to you during the procedures.

While there is no evidence directly linking an increased risk of birth defects to these treatments, there also isn’t any evidence that rules this out. Many providers prefer to err on the side of caution and postpone these treatments. Teeth whitening and other cosmetic treatments are also better suited for a time after pregnancy. Routine dental care, like cleanings, are safe throughout the duration of your pregnancy.

Make Brushing An Even Greater Priority

At the cornerstone of any healthy oral hygiene regime is brushing regularly. During pregnancy you need to make regular brushing an even greater priority. The hormonal changes during pregnancy significantly increase your risk of oral diseases like periodontitis. Higher hormone levels make it easier for harmful bacteria to grow and they make your gums more sensitive to plaque.

It’s estimated that as many as 40% of pregnant women develop this condition at some point during their pregnancy. If you were dealing with this condition before, your pregnancy will likely make the condition worse. Make certain that you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day. If morning sickness is keeping you from brushing, consider switching to a bland toothpaste as it is less likely to make you nauseous. In addition to brushing, make sure that you’re also flossing after every meal.

After you’ve delivered, it’s important that you keep the same level of focus concerning your oral health and visit a dentist, like the ones at Ahwatukee Foothills Dental, regurarly. Healthy mouth, teeth and gums don’t just brighten your smile, but they keep you healthier, overall.

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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – A Common On-The-Job Injury

If you have a desk job, and especially if you spend long hours working on a computer, you are at risk of carpal tunnel injury. This is an injury of a nerve in your arm and hand that can begin as a mild numbness, but turn into a disabling condition. Learn how this injury can keep you from working, and how to prevent it from appearing at all.

The Importance of Your Carpal Tunnel

The median nerve runs down your forearm, through your wrist and into the palm of your hand. On its way, it passes through a small channel of bones and ligament in your wrist. This is the carpal tunnel and is just big enough to accommodate the median nerve. Any irritation in this area can cause swelling of tissues and pressure against the nerve. As the nerve is irritated, pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in your hand and arm can occur. If the irritation continues, you could lose control of much of your hand.

Carpal Tunnel Symptoms

When the nerve is first irritated, the tissue surrounding it becomes inflamed, causing a burning or tingling sensation in your palm. Your thumb and first two fingers may feel stiff and swollen. You may wake up in the morning with your hand feeling tight, as if it needs to be stretched out to function. Some people can experience this in both hands at the same time.

As the nerve irritation continues, you’ll feel the numbness and tingling throughout the day. Your grip may become weak, and you’ll notice that it’s hard to make a fist. It will be hard to grasp and hold onto your coffee cup, hold onto door knobs and perform other activities where you need the dexterity of your hand.

Eventually, you’ll experience pain and weakness throughout your hand, wrist and forearm. The pain in your wrist and hand prevents you from writing, typing or doing other work with your hand. The muscles in your palm become tense, and you can lose the much of the function of your hand.

Your Risk of Getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome at Work

Repetitive motions, such as keyboard work, can cause pain and swelling along the carpal tunnel. Working with your wrists against the edge of a desk or table puts pressure on the median nerve. A previous hand, wrist or arm injury can make you more susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome.

The anatomy of the wrist can make some people more at risk of this. Some people have a genetically smaller carpal tunnel and are at a higher risk. According to the Mayo Clinic, women have a higher occurrence of this than men because of smaller wrists and less tissue protecting the median nerve as it travels through the wrist.

Treatment of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Initial carpal tunnel therapy consists of non-invasive approaches to relieve the pressure from the median nerve, and reduce the pain and swelling. Treatment should be started as soon as you suspect a problem. The condition rarely gets better on its own and often becomes worse. The common non-invasive treatments include:

  • resting the wrist and hand, using cool packs to reduce inflammation
  • using wrist wraps and splints to prevent the wrist from bending
  • anti-inflammatory medications
  • steroid injections in the wrist to reduce swelling
  • hand and wrist exercises to stretch out the muscles and ligaments in the wrist and palm

If the symptoms don’t improve with non-invasive treatment, surgery may be required to loosen the tissue constricting the median nerve. The procedure is done as an outpatient under a local anesthetic. The carpal tunnel is enlarged to allow the nerve to move freely. Physical therapy is usually ordered after the surgery to strengthen the muscles in the wrist.

Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

There are a number of things you can do at work to prevent this condition from appearing:

  • Take frequent breaks from doing repetitive activities with your hands.
  • Do hand and wrist exercises to stretch out the muscles and ligaments.
  • Arrange your desk and keyboard to remove pressure against your wrists.
  • Wear wrist wraps and splints if numbness or tingling occur.
  • Keep your hands warm to increase the circulation.

Take precautions with your hands and wrists at work before symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome arise. If they appear, see your doctor and begin treatment before the condition impacts your work and the rest of your life.

For more information, contact Kleiser Therapy or a similar location.

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Benefits Of Visiting A Chiropractor For Back Pain

The most common reason for adults to suffer from disability in America is because of back pain. Each year back pain leaves about 2.4 million Americans constantly disabled and leaves the same number temporarily disabled. This pain can be experienced throughout the entire back, including the lower, middle, and upper portions of the back. Because of this, many people visit chiropractors to help get relief from, if not completely alleviate, this pain. This article discusses the leading causes of back pain and the ways in which chiropractors can help.

Common causes of back pain

The most common cause of back pain is due to injury. This can be sustained from lifting objects that are too heavy, bending the wrong way, or pulling on the back muscles in some other way. It can also be caused by car crashes or any number of other serious accidents.

Another cause of back pain to discuss is improper posture. Many people sit and stand with their backs at least slightly hunched. This can lead to spinal problems, muscle tiredness and tension, and muscle inflammation. 

If the sciatica nerve is pinched, this can also cause severe back pain. This pain is most often experienced in the lower back and happens due to the spine or other joints being improperly located and pinching the nerve.

More rare cases may also reveal that the patient suffers from spinal degeneration, arthritis, and/or tumors. These issues should be addressed immediately with a doctor.

Chiropractors can provide help

Because chiropractors (such as those from Buffalo Grove Chiropractic Center) often use a holistic approach to treatment, they do not hand out prescriptions for drugs or perform surgeries. Rather, they adjust misalignments in the spine or other joints throughout the body that are called subluxations to help provide relief. The subluxations can lead to muscle tiredness and tension, as well as inflammation. Having these subluxations adjusted to a more proper positioning can help to relieve the tightness and inflammation.

Oftentimes, the chiropractor may suggest the patient also visit a massage therapist to help reduce tension and inflammation. Because they often work hand-in-hand with each other, it is common for the chiropractors office to have a practicing massage therapist. 

Most of the time, more than one appointment will be necessary for long-term relief. It is common for the spinal cord and/or joints that were adjusted to move back to their painful positioning, so the chiropractor will have to adjust them again. 

The chiropractor may suggest to the patient certain exercises and/or stretches for the patient to complete on a regular basis at their home. It is important that these instructions be followed carefully, to help ensure proper relief.

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Restoring Self-Confidence And Improving Your Health With Breast Augmentation

Often, when people hear about breast augmentation they think of purely cosmetic changes. However, there are several good reasons why a woman might consider altering the look of her breasts, which have nothing to do with how others perceive her. Both medically necessary augmentation and reconstructive services are possible, either of which could prove beneficial to you.

Medically Beneficial Breast Reduction

While some may consider breast augmentation to be a means for increasing breast size, it’s often the reduction of the breast that is more important from a health perspective. The additional weight of large breasts can lead to serious muscle strain on the back and shoulders or damage to spine. Long-term strain of this nature can hinder mobility later in life, making it difficult to sit, stand or lean forward without pain.

This approach removes some of the fatty tissue that makes up the breast, reducing its weight and the strain it puts on your back. A doctor will then sculpt the remaining breast tissue into a natural shape. In some cases, insurance companies will even cover the surgery if a doctor determines that it is a quality of life issue or long-term preventative measure.

Post-Mastectomy Reconstruction

Whether due to physical trauma or as a result of serious cancer treatment, some women end up having all or most of the tissue of their breasts removed. This can leave many feeling incomplete, insecure, or like less of a woman afterward. The long-term psychological effects can be extremely damaging and difficult to deal with, especially for those whose mastectomy was the result of a traumatic injury.

Reconstructive breast augmentation does rely on artificial implants in most cases, simply because much of the breast tissue will have been removed. Doctors who specialize in this procedure encourage natural-looking implants, often favoring smaller sizes due to the minimal tissue available for them to work with. After performing the implant surgery, skilled reconstructive surgeons can even rebuild the nipple, giving their patients back a more natural appearance, though it will not have the same function or sensation.

Breast augmentation isn’t something reserved for models or actresses. In many cases, there are very important reasons for a woman to pursue surgery of this type. If you’re enduring considerable pain due linked with your breasts, whether physical or psychological, it may be a good idea to seek out advice from your doctor, like at Merrick Plastic Surgery SC, and inquire about a referral for breast augmentation.

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Healthy Diet Guidelines After Duodenal Switch Surgery

If you’re looking to lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time, the duodenal switch procedure (DS) may be right for you. However, like with many surgeries, DS comes with its fair share of possible complications and life-long commitments. Your diet after the surgery plays a major role in your long-term weight loss success. Due to the extent of malabsorption after the surgery, you will need to maintain a diet high in essential nutrients and will most likely need to take daily vitamins to fill in the nutritional gaps. Here’s a look at some basic diet guidelines for after a duodenal switch surgery.

Stage 1: Clear Liquids

Directly after the DS procedure, your doctor will put you on a strict diet of only clear liquids. This stage will generally last one to two weeks, or as instructed by your surgeon. Consume the instructed amount of liquids throughout the day, but stay away from carbonated (fizzy) drinks that can cause bloating and gas. You will also want to avoid drinking from straws, as they bring air into the stomach, causing pressure or pain.

Appropriate clear liquids may include:

  • Water
  • Sugar-free popsicles
  • Iced tea
  • Clear broth
  • Frozen fruit bars
  • Apple juice
  • Decaf coffee
  • Sugar-free Jell-O

Stage 2: Full Liquids

Directly before transitioning to pureed foods, your surgeon may recommend taking a few days to get used to full liquids. Full liquids may contain somewhat thicker beverages or liquid-like foods that add more protein to your diet. Your surgeon may recommend adding protein powder or non-fat dry milk to your liquids to increase the amount of protein in your diet.

Suitable choices for this stage include:

  • Clear liquids (see stage 1)
  • 1% or skim milk
  • Low-calorie yogurt (no chunks)
  • Hot cereals
  • Sugar-free custard or pudding
  • Strained cream soups

Stage 3: Pureed Diet

If you have successfully mastered eating a full liquid diet, your surgeon may recommend moving onto a pureed diet, which you will follow for 2 to 3 weeks or as instructed by your surgeon. When following a pureed diet, be sure to add new food items slowly, drink liquids only between meals, and eat many protein-rich foods.

Great choices for soft or pureed foods include:

  • Low-fat ricotta or cottage cheese
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mashed tofu
  • Pureed chicken, fish, turkey, and lean pork or beef
  • Mashed beans
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Sugar-free applesauce
  • Pureed vegetables

Stage 4: Semi-Soft Diet

For the next month (or as instructed by your surgeon), you will need to follow a semi-soft diet that will help prepare you for eating regular food. Slowly incorporate new foods into your diet, including many low-fat, high nutrient and high-protein foods. In addition to eating a semi-soft diet, you will also need to continue drinking plenty of liquids.

Nutritional options for a semi-soft diet include:

  • Salmon, white fish or tuna fish
  • Crab, lobster or shrimp
  • Deli-sliced chicken, turkey breast, roast beef, chicken or ham
  • Lean turkey or ground beef
  • Well-cooked pasta
  • Soft, well-cooked vegetables
  • Soft fresh fruit

Stage 5: Regular Diet

After a pureed diet, you will move onto a regular diet that adds foods with more of a crunchy texture. However, a regular diet does not mean you should resort back to your old eating habits. Continue to eat foods high in nutrients and protein. Steer clear of foods that are high in fat and sugar and stop eating as soon as you feel full.

If you are undergoing duodenal switch surgery, you will need to give your diet a complete makeover. For more information about diet guidelines following a DS procedure, contact your surgeon.

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