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What happens when you remove carbs

You know, the idea behind weightloss for so many people is removing a particular food group from their diet

And that food group that has suffered a lot is carbs.

You know, the advent of the keto-diet, Atkins diet, and other “ low carb diets” can make you question the health benefits of carbs in our body and even label carbs as “bad”.

Lets do that same explanation on how carbs affect weightloss and why you get to lose weight easily when you take off carbs

So, what are Carbs?

Basically, carbs are one of the three macronutrients that form a major part of our diet. Other macronutrients are protein and fats. All these macronutrients provide the body with energy usually measured in calories.

There are basically 3 types of carbs found in food and they are:
1. Refined Carbs: these type of carbs have been processed, and during the processing, some vital nutrients especially fibre has been removed, leaving just sugars. It is very easy for these types of carbs to spike your blood sugar and lead to other complications Examples include some breakfast cereals, white flour, pastries, snacks, sodas.

2. Dietary Fibres: also a type of carbs which aids easy digestion and help reduce blood glucose spikes. Examples include leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, ugwu,tete etc.

3. Starch: also found in plants and slowly release energy to the body throughout the day. Examples include potatoes, yam, plantain, whole wheat or white bread, brown or white rice.

These foods also contain varying amounts of dietary fiber which could provide extra health benefits.

Can Carbs make you Fat?
Whatever food consumed in excess would definitely lead to fat gain over a long period of fat. Whether it is from carb, protein or fat source. Each of these macronutrients contain calories.

Why do I lose weight when I cut Carbs?

1. You shed water weight
so many times when people put off so much weight over a short period of time, what happens is that they just lost water weight.
Now that sounds weird, but let me explain.

The body stores arbs in the liver as glycogen, and each gram of glycogen is stored with 3g of carbs. So, when you continue to cut out carbs, what you are doing is cutting out the glycogen store with water, not necessarily fat. Ever noticed that the weight comes back when you add carbs back?

That is because the process is a reversible one.

2. You’re on a Calorie deficit diet
Cutting out carbs means cutting out a source of calorie to the body, that will obviously lead to weight loss. Ideally if 500kcal is removed daily from the diet, it will lead to 0.5-1kg loss in weight, so you’re on a calorie deficit, you must lose weight.

The bad thing here is that this might in turn lead to muscle mass loss.

What’s the best approach to Weight-loss?
Sustainability over a long period is very important when trying to shed some pounds or when adopting a “diet”.
The best approach is to adopt a lifestyle that suits you. Calorie deficits, exercise regimes, and lifestyle modifications all go hand in hand to help lead a healthy lifestyle.

The weight loss approach should not be ‘all or nothing’, strict, rigid, or a quick fix. It should be what you can live with over a very long period of time.

Summary
Losing weight isn’t a do or die affair, you don’t need to take out any food group to achieve that, we could always work together and attain your desired/ideal body weight.

Sources:
https://paleoleap.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-water-weight/
https://www.menshealth.com/health/a26361054/water-weight/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7332312/
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320603#ways-to-lose-water-weight
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/why-we-need-to-eat-carbs/#:~:text=In%20the%20absence%20of%20carbohydrates,%2C%20you’ll%20gain%20weight.

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IS MY THYROID KEEPING ME FROM LOSING WEIGHT?

Identifying the actual reason why you’re not losing weight is the beginning of a successful weight loss/health journey

Weight loss might be the major complaint, but you might be at risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes if not placed on a healthy diet.
With this article, we’ll be looking at one major reason why you might not just be losing weight accordingly.

THE THYROID GLANDS
The thyroid glands are located just in front of your neck. They produce hormones that help regulate metabolic rate controlling the heart, muscles, and other important parts.
The thyroids get their information from the pituitary gland which helps to stimulate their hormone release to help in bodily functions
The thyroid glands could either overproduce hormones (hyperthyroidism) or it could underproduce (hypothyroidism). When it does either of these, it affects your weight entirely.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE THYROID GLANDS MALFUNCTION
Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid glands are under-producing hormones. This comes with symptoms such as weight gain (finding it difficult to lose weight), slower heart rate, more frequent and stronger heart rate, dry skin, and hair.
With hypothyroidism, the way your body processes energy is quite slow, making it hard for you to put off extra weight. If not supervised, you might just get frustrated on the long run, see how your dietitian can help you out:

HOW YOUR DIETITIAN AN HELP YOU
– Your dietitians duty is to help you plan out adequate number of calories and merge it with exercises that would help enhance your metabolism
– Your dietitian aims to make sure you have the important nutrients that are depleted in you, especially if you have hypothyroidism. Nutrients like iodine, vitamin D, selenium, and B12 are mostly affected when the thyroids malfunction
– Also, he/she makes sure every goitrogen ( substances that interfere with how thyroid hormones are utilized) present in your diet is totally removed. Goitrogens include soy, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Furthermore, you can help support your thyroids by incorporating these into your diet

Nutrients to support thyroids:
Iodine: fish, cheese, milk, seaweed
Sodium: iodized salt
Potassium kiwi, potatoes, banana
Selenium: fish,
Tyrosine: eggs, plan cut beef
Zinc- liver, oyster

MEDICAL TREATMENT
Diet alone won’t help manage your underactive thyroids, because without medical treatment, dietary management won’t be effective
So, your doctor would most likely place you on an oral synthetic thyroid hormone (levothytoxine) that would help replace the amount of hormone your body is no longer producing.

The absorption of this might be tampered with if you take supplements that contain iron, or calcium, and even some antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide.

The thyroid gland is the major support system that determines how much energy is used up or stored in your body. When it malfunctions, it totally can affect your weight. It is important to speak to your doctor when you notice struggles with losing weight for a correct diagnosis.

Sources:
1.https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/070112p40.shtml
2. Biondi B, Klein I. Hypothyroidism as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Endocrine. 2004;24(1):1-13
3. Dean S. Medical nutrition therapy for thyroid and related disorders. In: Mahan KL, Escott-Stump S, eds. Krause’s Food, Nutrition, & Diet Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2008: 711-724
4. Rayman MP. Selenium and human health. Lancet. 2012;379(9822):1256-1268
5. Messina M, Redmond G. Effects of soy protein and soybean isoflavones on thyroid function in healthy adults and hypothyroid patients: a review of the relevant literature. Thyroid. 2006;16(3):249-258

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REASONS YOU ARE NOT GAINING WEIGHT

Normally, everyone is more concerned about losing weight, so more attention is given to them than those that wants to gain weight. And it also seems like those who wants to gain weight has been neglected by all.

So lets see some reasons why you might not be adding weight adequately and lets also see if there are implications with low weight.

1. WRONG CHOICE OF FOODS: for some people, high fatty foods would help them gain weight, so they jump on deep fried foods, ice creams, junks, chocolates etc. These foods might contain trans fats which might even be very detrimental to you health. So instead of making you add weight adequately, they might just get your stomach bulged.

Foods to include in your diet to help gain weight: nuts, milk, fatty fruits like avocado, energy dense fruits like banana, apples, coconut etc.

2. HYPERTHYROIDISM: this happens when your thyroids become so overactive. The thyroid glands are responsible for controlling metabolism (especially for weight gain and loss) in the body. When they are overactive, it means that energy from food is broken so fast, thereby making it hard for the body to utilize energy. You will need extra hands to achieve weight gain if you are on this table. A dietitians place cannot be overemphasized

3. TYPE 1 DIABETES: In type 1 diabetes, the cells that produce insulin are totally destroyed leading to a spike in blood glucose. Wen type 1 diabetes is left unmanaged for a long while, it could lead to excess glucose flowing in the blood; the body has to excrete this excess glucose through the urine. When this happens constantly, unintentional weight loss sets in

4. INFLAMMATORY DISEASES: This is the umbrella term for anything disorder that affects the small intestine especially. These disorders most times comes with diarrhea, and this automatically leads to unintentional weight loss

In all of this, it is important to work with a dietitian so they can address whatever underlying issue is the reason for your unintentional weight loss. Addressing them with drugs alone or just eating anything that comes your way wont give a reasonable result.

SOURCES:

– https://www.healthline.com/health/why-cant-i-gain-weight

https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperthyroidism

– https://thegeriatricdietitian.com/why-am-i-not-gaining-weight/

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IS INTERMITTENT FASTING THE NEW GO-TO DIET TRICK?

It seems like the trend now is fasting, we’ve come a long way in the nutrition space and there has been so many takes on how to lose weight or help with some chronic diseases.
So the question is: will fasting help me lose weight, manage diabetes and other chronic diseases?

Absolutely! It would, but is it sustainable and convenient?
Is it suitable for everyone? What are the merits and demerits of fasting?
These are the questions we’ll love to use this article to answer, but before then;

WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Intermittent fasting, also known as intermittent energy restriction is any schedule for meals that involves a cycle between voluntary fasting and non-fasting periods. It can include an alternate day fasting, periodic fasting or daily time restricted fasting.

Apart from the religious type of fasting, there are 3 main types of intermittent fast:
5:2 Diet: this type of fasting involves that you fast for 2 days per week and you’ll be allowed to take 25% of your daily caloric needs, while you eat normally for 5 days.
Alternate day fasting: you have to skip a day and eat the other day. So, you eat on Monday and skip Tuesday, eat Wednesday and skip Thursday, and it goes om like that. You’re still allowed to just 25% of your normal daily calories per day In this type of regimen.
Time restricted fasting: this type involves fasting for 8-12 hours of the day and eating during the remaining time frame. For this, you are not restricted to having just 25% of your daily calories. Apart from the above mentioned, there is the warrior diet also.

IS INTERMITTENT FASTING REALLY EFFECTIVE?
A study found that participants consumed 35% fewer calories and lost an average of 7.7 pounds (3.5kg) after alternating between 36 hours of fasting and 12 hours of unlimited eating over 4 weeks. For some studies, there was not any significant weight loss between the fasting group and moderate calorie group
There are quite a number of side effects of intermittent fasting especially when it is abused and they include: extreme hunger pangs, lightheadedness, reduced concentration, fatigue and nausea. All these put together might just make the regimen to be effective only for a short time.
Furthermore, people might tend to eat more than required on days that they are free to eat would result to no weight loss.

CAN I TRY GOING ON AN INTERMITTENT FAST?
For some groups, intermittent fasting is advised at all, you can still achieve your health goal without having to do marathon fasts
If you have diabetes, on routine medication, pregnant or breastfeeding, you should not do intermittent fasting.
You really should not go on a long fast, or skip meals so you would lose weight or manage your blood sugar levels. The caveat is that when your body doesn’t take in any food, obviously calories would be depleted and other nutrients, thereby leading to a decrease in blood sugar, so it is not magical

You can stick to healthy and mindful eating and still achieve perfect glucose levels and still lose weight without any type of side effects, so why go on a regimen with side effects?

SOURCES

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/intermittent-fasting-guide

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5959807/

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WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY HISTORY OF HIGH CHOLESTEROL

Globally, deaths arising from raised cholesterol levels reads at 2.6 million and this is sad. What’s sadder is the fact that about 10% of these people didn’t realize they have it; even the ones still alive.

Cholesterol might either be termed good or bad and many factors can influence the levels of cholesterol in your blood especially genetics.

Apart from lifestyle, diet and exercise, genetics could be a risk factor for increased cholesterol levels. If a family member has high cholesterol levels, there is every tendency you might have it especially if you don’t pay attention to lifestyle matters.

This phenomenon is termed “familial” since it runs in a family.

SOME FACTS ABOUT FAMILIAL HYPERCHOLESTEROLAEMIA

– 1 person in every 500 persons has it

– Doesn’t have symptoms, but these signs like deposits of cholesterol in skin and tendons could be notice

– Only 10%-20% of people with it know they have it

– Individuals with familial hypercholesterolaemia will pass it on to their children

IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FAMILIAL HYPERCHOLESTEROLAEMIA AND NORMAL HYPERCHOLESTEROLAEMIA?

If high levels of cholesterol occur in any relative of yours, such as a parent, sibling, or grandparent, you’re more likely to have it yourself. This occurrence is totally due to the passing on of genes from parents to children that increase levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Familial hypercholesterolaemia is more like an inherited form of hypercholesterolaemia. People with this type of conditions normally would have high cholesterol levels even with a lifestyle modification. Simply because they don’t have the capacity to regulate their cholesterol levels as other individuals.

There is every tendency that people with familial hypercholesterolaemia might not be able to control their cholesterol levels with just diet and exercise alone, but with medications too.

You should also note that not everyone with a high risk of developing high cholesterol actually has their cholesterol levels sky rocketing.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE FAMILIAL HYPERCHOLESTEROLAEMIA

One of the major ways to ascertain if you have high cholesterol levels especially if it’s a familial case is through a lipid screening test. This measures the amount of cholesterol in your blood.

Ideally, signs to look out for in adults are cholesterol levels above 190mg/dl and levels above 160mg/dl in children.

In addition, your doctor might help detect physical signs, which might not be common to everyone. These signs includes:

– Bumps or lumps around your knees, knuckles, or elbows

– Swollen or painful Achilles tendon

– Yellowish areas around your eyes

– A whitish grey colour in the shape of a half-moon on the outside of your cornea

WHAT CAUSES FAMILIAL HYPERCHOLESTEROLAEMIA?

This type of cholesterolaemia is a genetic one meaning it is hereditary and is caused by a defect on chromosome 19.

Your body finds it difficult to remove LDL cholesterol from the body making it easy for the narrowing of vessels which might possibly lead to atherosclerosis. You just need to get an abnormal gene from one family member to get this disease.

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS AND HOW DO I MANAGE THEM?

1. OBESITY OR HIGH WAIST CIRCUMFERENCE: Both obesity and a high waist circumference can increase your risk for high cholesterol.

Obesity is defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, while a high waist circumference is 40 or more inches for men and 35 or more inches for women.

If you have a family history of hypercholesterolaemia, then you should be careful so fat wont be unevenly distributed in your body. When fat accumulates in only one part of the body, especially in the abdominal region, it can lead to an increased risk of developing hypercholesterolaemia and other cardiovascular complications.

2. ELEVATED BLOOD SUGAR

As someone with a family history of hypercholesterolaemia, you should also be aware of your glucose levels as high levels of glucose can increase LDL cholesterol and decrease HDL cholesterol, damage the lining of arteries and also increase your risk of fatty deposits building up in your arteries.

Lifestyle choices, like diets high in soda, candy, or other foods containing large amounts of sugar, can also contribute to high blood sugar levels.

Reducing your intake of these things that contribute to an increased glucose level is key to reducing the risks of high cholesterol levels. An increased fibre intake of at least 30-35g of fibre daily would help to keep glucose levels in check.

3. LIFESTYLE FACTORS

If you have a family history of high cholesterol, you should consider some modifications to your lifestyle as it totally affects your chances to also get the disease. Diet, exercise and social vices are risk factors associated with high cholesterol. They can be controlled by modifying your lifestyle.

– Eating a diet high in saturated and trans fats can increase your cholesterol levels. These highlighted foods should be taken away from your diet totally or restricted to the barest minimum if you have a history of high cholesterol in the family.

• red meat

• full-fat milk and yogurt

• fried foods

• highly processed sweets

More so, adding foods that are cholesterol reducing would help reduce the risks of developing high cholesterol. Foods like nuts, beans, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, green vegetables, lentils, oatmeal, whole grain breads, low-fat dairy, low-fat meats, such as poultry are helpful.

– Exercise has the tendency to help increase your HDL cholesterol and decrease your LDL cholesterol. If you can aim at 150 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic exercise weekly, then you’re on journey to increasing you HDL levels which helps to reduce risk for developing high cholesterol and other coronary diseases.

If you just want to start, you can try out walking a distance first before doing other types of exercise so as not to get fagged out easily.

– Tobacco Smoking damages the wall of your blood vessels and is detrimental to your heart health. This makes it more likely for fat deposits to build up, thereby increasing your risk of high cholesterol levels.

CONCLUSION

Apart from other risk factors, genetics is a major risk factor related to high cholesterol levels. It is very important to be aware of this condition especially if it runs in your family and also aware of measures to curb its progression.

SOURCES

1. https://www.healthline.com/health/high-cholesterol/is-high-cholesterol-hereditary#outlook

2. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/when-very-high-cholesterol-runs-in-the-family-

3. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000392.htm#:~:text=Familial%20hypercholesterolemia%20is%20a%20genetic,of%20LDL%20in%20the%20blood.

4. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ARE MY THYROID GLANDS CAUSING MY WEIGHT TO FLUCTUATE?

Ever wondered if any of your internal organs could affect your weight? Maybe due to its overactive nature or underactive nature?

Well, it is actually possible for an organ to affect your metabolism, growth and weight patterns and that organ is the thyroid.

Globally, 1.6 billion people are currently at risk of developing thyroid related diseases.

In this write-up, we’re going to see how the thyroid affects weight, for those who want to gain weight or lose it, if your thyroids are mal-functional, then you might just experience some difficulties with your weight.

WHAT IS THE THYROID?
The thyroid gland looks like a butterfly and is  located at the front of the neck right below the voice box (larynx).

The thyroid is small, but functions and affects all other organs in the body. It is involved in the regulation of fat and carbohydrate metabolism, respiration, body temperature, brain development, cholesterol levels, the heart and nervous system, blood calcium levels, menstrual cycles, skin integrity, and more.

WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE THYROIDS?
The thyroid controls almost every major metabolic function in the body.
The hormones present in the thyroid glands are responsible for the regulation of the metabolic rate of all cells, as well as the processes of growth of cells, tissue differentiation, and reproductive function.
These hormones are also necessary for (and promote) protein metabolism when enough carbohydrates and fats are available.

When the amount of thyroid hormones is excessive or when energy from food is deficient, thyroid hormones (T3 and T4) promote protein breakdown. This processes in turn totally affects weight management.

WHY AM I FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO LOSE/GAIN WEIGHT

HYPOTHYROIDISM
It would be difficult for you to lose weight if you have the condition called hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid.

Hypothyroidism is usually caused by an autoimmune response known as Hashimoto’s disease (a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid) or autoimmune thyroiditis (inflamed thyroids).

What happens in this disease is that your body mistakenly sees its own tissues as an invader and starts fighting against it. This process prevents the thyroid from releasing adequate hormones for the proper functioning of the body.

The lack of these hormones can slow down metabolism and cause weight gain, fatigue, dry skin and hair, and difficulty concentrating. Hypothyroidism affects women more than it affects men and is common in middle aged people. Also, women may also experience thyroid inflammation after pregnancy.

Some symptoms associated with hypothyroidism includes:
• tiredness, fatigue, lethargy
• depression and losing interest in normal activities
• forgetfulness
• dry hair and skin
• puffy face
• slow heart rate
• intolerance to cold
• constipation
• brittle nails
• muscle cramping
• changes in menstrual cycle

HYPERTHYROIDISM
A very common condition related with thyroid is hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid gland. Hyperthyroidism is caused by an autoimmune response of the body in the form of Graves’ disease.

In Graves’ disease, the body produces too much of thyroid hormones and makes it seems like your body is revving so fast in response to these hormones.

This could also lead to weight loss, high blood pressure, and a rapid heartbeat. Graves’ disease also disproportionately affects women and typically presents before the age of 40.
Hyperthyroidism as an autoimmune diseases and have strong genetic links which are also associated with other autoimmune diseases as type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and celiac disease.

The most common symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism includes:
• racing heart and palpitations
• trouble sleeping
• tremor and nervousness
• weight loss
• hair loss
• muscle aches and weakness
• diarrhea and over-active digestive system
• sweating and trouble tolerating heat
• exophthalmos (bulging eyes)

A goitre is the most common and evident symptom of chronic hypothyroidism. Some might have it, but not all.
Also, chronic or severe disease can manifest with dull facial expression, drooping eyelids, hoarse speech, thinning or dry and brittle hair, dry skin, myxedema (swelling of the skin and soft tissues), menstrual disorders, constipation, depression, anemia.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY THYROID IS UNDERACTIVE/OVERACTIVE?
You can go for a thyroid function screening if you’re up to 40. A blood test is used to measure thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH).

WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS?
Gender. Majorly occur in women, especially those who had small weight at birth
Age.

Risk of hypothyroidism increases with age.
Genetics.
Psychological stress
Smoking
Iodine: excess dietary iodine intake and iodine-rich medication (amiodarone) may lead to hyperthyroidism.

IS HYPOTHYROIDISM/HYPERTHYROIDISM TREATABLE?
Yes it can’t! It can be treated medically by a hormone replacement therapy, administering oral thyroid hormones, and addressing iodine deficiency with potassium iodide.

CAN I STILL MANAGE MY WEIGHT WHILE WITH A DYSFUNCTIONAL THROID HORMONE?
Certainly you can! With the right approach, and evaluation of your hormones by specialists, also treating every imbalance, you can still lose or gain weight. Knowing the right type of dietary choices, the foods allowed and the foods to avoid makes it easy to lose weight.

A dietitian would help calculate your caloric needs and place you on a sustainable dietary pattern to help achieve your goals with your hormone therapy and exercise regimen.

Foods to avoid for hypothyroidism includes:
– refined carbohydrates and caffeine
– energy bars and genetically modified organisms (GMO) foods
– gluten-containing foods, such as wheat, rye and oats
– cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale.
– Soy and millet

Foods to include in hypothyroidism:

-vitamin B12 food sources like sardines, salmon, organ meats such as liver, muscle meat, and dairy

– foods rich in iodine like seaweed, iodized salt,
– Whole grains
– Legumes, eggs (especially egg white), nuts, nut butter
– Oily fish, flaxseeds, extra virgin olive oil and avocados will help balance your lipid

-brazil nuts, crabs and tuna fish which contain selenium
– incorporate healthy bacteria (probiotics) from pap, yoghurt. Kimchi and sauekrat

Foods to include in hyperthyroidism includes:
• non-iodized salt
• coffee or tea (without milk or dairy- or soy-based creamers)
• egg whites
• fresh or canned fruit
• unsalted nuts and nut butters
• homemade bread or breads made without salt, dairy, and eggs
• popcorn with non-iodized salt
• oats
• potatoes
• honey
• maple syrup
• Cuciferous vegetables might reduce how your body uses iodine and they include: bamboo shoots, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cassava, cauliflower, collard greens, kale, mustard, rutabaga

It is important to do away with the following seafood and seafood additives:
• fish
• seaweed
• prawns
• crabs
• lobster
• sushi
• carrageen
• agar-agar
• algae
• alginate
• nori
• kelp

Other foods that contain iodine includes:
• milk and dairy
• cheese
• egg yolks
• iodized salt
• iodized water
• some food colorings

Furthermore, foods that contain gluten, soy and caffeine should be avoided as they cause inflammation and can interfere with hyperthyroidism treatments.

It’s also important to note that, following a strict exercise regimen with your eating pattern is important. People with hypothyroidism would gain from lifting weights and dumb bells, and strength training.

DO I NEED TO GO ON A SPECIAL TYPE OF DIET?
One of the major concern in managing hashimoto’s disease is to look for a suitable type of diet to help manage and relieve symptoms. Hashimoto disease (hypothyroidism) is an auto-immune disease (ATD), so is gluten sensitivity and gluten intolerance. Research has shown the possibilities of using a gluten free diet in managing hashimoto’s disease as it helps to reduce the amount of thyroid antibodies.
A gluten diet involves the elimination of some certain types of foods that contain the protein gluten. Foods include wheat and its derivatives, bran and rye. This foods most times are re-introduced after symptoms has been optimally managed.

FOOD SUPPLEMENST AND INTERACTIONS
People with hashimoto’s are likely to de deficient in certain nutrients like vitamin B12 and vitamin D and would gain from supplementing with these nutrients.
Also, some anti-inflammatory supplements like selenium, fish oil, magnesium and zinc would also be beneficial to people with hashimoto’s as they help improve thyroid functions, reduce inflammation and improve overall health.
Remember that supplements are not meant to replace a nutrient dense and healthy diet.
For those on thyroid medications, it is important to note their interactions with some nutrients. Calcium supplements and chromium picolinate (used in weight loss and glucose control) both interfere with proper absorption of thyroid medications.
They should be both taken 4 hours apart from the time of administering thyroid medications as both can’ be stopped but are important in individuals with poor thyroid functions.

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS
– Stay active
– Get rest when you’re tired. Don’t push it
– Stay hydrated always
– Stay away from caffeine and alcohol as much as you can
– Try yoga if you can
– Spend time outside
– Engage in stress reducing activities when you can.

SOURCES
1. Mahan LK & Escott-Stump S. Eds. Krause’s Food, Nutrition, & Diet Therapy. 11th ed. Saunders Publishing, Philadelphia, PA. 2004.
2. Beers MH, Berkow R eds. Merck Manual. 17th ed. Merck Research Laboratories. Whitehouse Station, NJ. 1999.
3. Teas J, et al. Seaweed and soy: companion foods in Asian cuisine and their effects on thyroid function in American women. J Med Food 2007;10:90-100.
4. Canaris GJ, Manowitz NR, Mayor G, Ridgway EC. The Colorado thyroid disease prevalence study. Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(4):526-534.
5. Graves’ Disease. Bethesda, MD: National Endocrine and Metabolic Diseases Information Service, US Dept of Health and Human Services; 2008. NIH Publication No. 08-6217.
6. Biondi B, Klein I. Hypothyroidism as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Endocrine. 2004;24(1):1-13.
7. Duntas LH, Brenta G. The effect of thyroid disorders on lipid levels and metabolism. Med Clin North Am. 2012;96(2):269-281.
8. Dean S. Medical nutrition therapy for thyroid and related disorders. In: Mahan KL, Escott-Stump S, eds. Krause’s Food, Nutrition, & Diet Therapy. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2008: 711-724.
9.https://www.medicinenet.com/cancer_101_pictures_slideshow/article.htm
10.https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperthyroidism-diet#takeaway

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EMOTIONAL EATING: WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO NAVIGATE THROUGH IT

Sometimes we might just ask ourselves questions like:
How can I stop eating out of boredom?
“How do I resist the urge to snack all day especially when I’m stressed out?”
“How do I take control of my overeating when I feel depressed?”
“Why do I turn to food when I am happy, sad or stressed?”
If one of these questions is familiar with you, then this article is a must read for you.
This article enlightens you on emotional eating, its types and how you can understand and navigate through it.

WHAT IS EMOTIONAL EATING?
Inarguably, eating has emotions attached to it. Culturally, for kids especially, emotions depict they are hungry; if a child cries too much, it shows they’re hungry and they are fed immediately.
But, on a basic level though, ultimately, food is for nourishment, then maybe pleasure could come in, but also sometimes comfort to. The idea of using food to soothe emotions isn’t inherently a “bad thing”.
Turning to food when you’re hungry is your body saying there’s something that should be addressed, and that’s surely a coping tool.

SO WHY FOOD?
Negative emotions comes with a feeling of emptiness, and for some people, food could help them feel a sense of temporary wholeness.
Other factors might include:
• retreating from social support during times
of emotional need
• not engaging in activities that might otherwise
relieve stress, sadness, and so on
• not understanding the difference between physical and emotional
hunger
• using negative self-talking that’s related to bingeing
episodes. This can create a cycle of emotional eating
• changing cortisol levels in response to stress, leading to
cravings.

UNDERSTANDING TYPES OF EMOTIONAL EATING
There are four main avenues to emotional eating:
1) Breaking a food rule: this happens when you set a rule about some foods which you’re not supposed to eat but still find yourself eating those foods or one of them which could cause distress.
For example, you eat a cookie, feel bad about the act, but still go ahead to finish it and even more than expected.
2) Experiencing a strong emotion that reduces appetite: Like if you’re really anxious, you might feel a bit sick and not want to eat. So you eat less.
3) The backlash of restriction: happens when boredom, stress or loneliness causes you to start eating those foods you already termed “bad” in the past without control. According to research, it is more prevalent among dieters (obsessed with weight loss) than non-dieters.
4) Comfort eating: this happens when you find yourself eating to distract yourself from unpleasant or uncomfortable situations. This automatically leads to overfeeding.
The manner we were raised, either by societal values or individual perspectives affects our ability to cope effectively with what life throws at us. Your parents approach to frustration and disappointments, and how they trained you to coping with those situations matters a lot.

So what can you do to manage emotional eating?
To understand emotional eating, first you’d have to understand its roots, which could be as check lists:
1. Have you eaten enough?
The real reason behind emotional eating is still hunger. Most times, you don’t get to eat enough, so you term it ‘emotional eating’. If you don’t get enough food to eat during the day, there’ll surely be a drive to eat, and when you eat thereafter, you’re likely to eat beyond what feels comfortable. When this happens, they start out with compensatory behaviors like over-exercising and heavy restrictions which would later backfire.
What can you do? Fill your belly first! Hunger can present itself in mood, reduced energy levels, and lightheadedness.
A few tips for you to consider:
a. Eat at least 3 meals a day, and snack regularly with snacks and vegetables for easier satiety?
b. Have a balanced proportion of carbohydrates, proteins and fats in each meal.
c. Increased your physical activity, be active!
2. Can you identify what you’re feeling?
This might seem futile for you especially if you’re used to bottling your emotions or suppressing them. You have to identify if you’re sad, depressed, if you fee self-pity, irritated etc.
3. Identify coping tools
For almost everyone, eating could be part of their coping tools, and removing it might cause a stir. So, its better to look for other coping tools to add to food.
Get a jotter and make lists as:
– people you can call when you feel emotional and want to vent or just talks (parent, friend, close pal etc.)
– Good options to relax like taking a stroll, taking a hot bath, read a book etc.
– places you go could go to calm down (e.g. your bed, outdoors, to the beach, a park etc).
– things you can say to yourself (“you’ve got this”, “this feeling will pass”).
– activities you can do to distract yourself (e.g. start a puzzle, watch a film etc).

Conclusion
Emotional eating isn’t inherently bad. Most times it’s a clue your body is giving you to respond to its urgent need, you just need to learn how to know what that need is.
If you’re looking to improve your relationship with food and manage emotional eating, you could always speak to a dietitian.

SOURCES
https://www.healthline.com/health/emotional-eating#What-causes-someone-to-eat-because-of-their-emotions?

How to Navigate Emotional Eating

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LifeStyle

DIABETES AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: THE ULTIMATE DEATH COMBO

OVERVIEW
According to recent studies, it has been shown that 64% of people with type 2 diabetes also suffer from hypertension.
This companionship is actually an ungodly one but sadly, in most cases where adequate management is not adhered to, the combo is just inevitable.
Many underlying pathophysiological mechanisms are associated with the duo, with a few seemingly plausible ones like: sodium-fluid retention, insulin resistance in the nitric-oxide pathway and stiffening of arteries.
Diabetes and hypertension are strongly interrelated and always predisposes individuals to other cardiovascular complications like atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis.
In this article, we would throw light on both diseases, how to manage them, their symptoms and how to prevent one leading to the other.

IDENTIFYING DIABETES?
Diabetes is a complex condition that impairs the body’s ability to metabolize/use blood sugar in the body.
Globally, more than 422 million people are living with the disease. Currently, 1 out of every 17 adults are living with this disease in Nigeria.
Uncontrolled diabetes, either with medication or diet, or a combination of both therapies would lead to other disease complications like stroke and heart diseases.
There are three types of diabetes and they include: type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.

TYPE 1 DIABETES: this is referred to as juvenile diabetes; more common among younger people. It occurs when the body fails to produce insulin. Sadly, people living with this type of diabetes have to stay on insulin for the rest of their lives to stay alive.

TYPE 2 DIABETES: this is the most common type of diabetes. It affects how the body uses insulin. The cells in the body do not respond to insulin effectively as they would always do in time past before the onset of this type of diabetes.
Less common types of diabetes include monogenic diabetes and cystic fibrosis-related diabetes.

HOW CAN I GET DIABETES?
The risk factors for type 2 diabetes include:
• If you are overweight (when your BMI is above 25 kg/m2)
• If one of your parents or ancestors has diabetes
• having a high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level lower than 40 mg/dL or 50 mg/dL
• If there is an occurrence of high blood pressure in your family lineage
• having gestational diabetes or giving birth to a child with a birth weight of more than 9 pounds
• a history of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
• being of African-American, Native American, Latin American, or Asian-Pacific Islander descent
• being more than 45 years of age
• having a sedentary lifestyle

HOW WILL I KNOW THAT I HAVE DIABETES?
Type 2 diabetes always presents with symptoms and they include:
– excessive hunger
– excessive thirst
– excessive passing of urine; especially in the night time
– blurry vision
– you easily get tired
In some cases, symptoms might not be noticed on time.

Type 2 diabetes can be diagnosed also if an individual’s blood sugar levels are above 70-90 mg/dl. Normally, to test for diabetes, blood samples are needed. But recently, your tears could be used to test for blood glucose levels.

IDENTIFYING BLOOD PRESSURE
Hypertension is a common condition in which there is a long-term force of blood against your artery walls. This could also predispose the individual to other heart health problems.
Previous studies have recorded that hypertension (commonly called) is more prevalent in men than in women.

CAUSES OF HYPERTENSION
There are a number of risk factors which could lead to hypertension and they include:
• Age.
• Family history (hereditary)
• Ethnic background.
• Obesity and being overweight.
• Lack of physical exercise or activity.
• Smoking.
• Alcohol intake.
• Poor diet and high cholesterol.
There are no symptoms noticed with hypertension; reason why it is called the “silent killer”
People usually find out that they have hypertension when a doctor takes their reading with a sphygmomanometer.
An individual would be said to have hypertension if blood pressure levels are above 140/90 mmHg, in severe cases blood pressure levels might get to 180/120mmHg.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN HYPERTENSION AND DIABETES
The duo often occurs together and might even share common causes which include:
– Obesity
– Inflammation
– Oxidative stress
– Insulin resistance
As blood glucose accumulates in the body, some vital organs that help to maintain fluid balance are affected. Organs like the kidneys are more affected because they play an important role in making sure there is no fluid retention which leads to high blood pressure.
There are three ways in which high glucose levels in the blood can increase blood pressure:
• The blood vessels lose their ability to stretch.
• The fluid in the body increases, especially if diabetes is already affecting the kidneys.
• Insulin resistance which may involve processes that increase the risk of hypertension.
It is important to note that the duo could pose huge health complications which includes:
1. heart attack or stroke
2. decreased kidney function, progressing to dialysis
3. problems with the blood vessels in the eyes, leading to vision loss
4. peripheral vascular disease

CAN THIS BE PREVENTED?
Yes! Lifestyle factors are very crucial in the management of both diabetes and hypertension.
These lifestyle factors should be adhered to strictly in order to prevent the onset of the duo
1. A HEALTHY DIET: people who already live with diabetes or hypertension should seek advice from their dietitian to help manage their symptoms in order to avoid an escalating situation.
This advice would include:
– eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
– focusing on high-fiber foods, including whole grains
– limiting (not avoiding) the amount of added salt and sugar
– avoiding or limiting unhealthful fats, such as trans fats and
– avoiding the intake of refined carbs.
2. AVOID ALCOHOL AND SODA DRINKS: high alcohol intake increases the risks of developing these diseases. Surprisingly, people always have the mind-set that alcoholic drinks are healthier options when compared to soft drinks. Both are actually not recommended if these diseases are present.
3. STOP SMOKING: smoking tobacco increases the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. Smoking could lead to poor blood flow and could damage the heart and lungs.
4. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT: losing weight is actually helpful in preventing the onset of diabetes and hypertension. Losing 3-5% of your weight can improve blood sugar readings.
5. BE ACTIVE: at least 150 minutes of intense exercise could help lower blood pressure levels and blood glucose levels as it helps in good blood circulation.
Note that only diet would not help in the management of diabetes and hypertension or the duo. Medications also are important factors in the management.
Also note that herbs, supplements and concoctions won’t help to eradicate this duo but might even pose greater health risks to the individual.

TAKE HOME
High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes often occur together and tend to share same risk factors.
It’s very important to pay attention to lifestyle modifications if you are living with both diseases or just one of them.
In the management, it’s important to have a doctor and dietitian co-manage your symptoms as diet and medication play a huge role in the management of these diseases.

  1. SOURCES: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317220#outlook
    https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/high-blood-pressure#:~:text=Diabetes%20damages%20arteries%20and%20makes,heart%20attack%2C%20and%20kidney%20failure.
    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20786204.2004.10873136

 

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GOUT

OVERVIEW
Ever felt a reddish and tender pain on your big toe or even both?
If yes, then you should go through this article.
Gout is a type of arthritis that forms as a result of formation of crystals in and around the joint.
It is actually the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. It affects one join at a time (especially the joint at the big toe).
Gout is actually an ancient disease; the Egyptians actually noticed it first.
Gout mostly occurs when there are excess amounts of uric acid deposited in the urine and kidneys.
There is no cure for gout, but it can be managed effectively with the right approaches.
It is most common in the big toe, and is also common in the mid foot, ankle, and knee

WHAT SYMPTOMS SHOULD I LOOK OUT FOR?
Acute gout flare mostly come as a rapid onset of pain at the site of the affected joint followed by warmth, swelling, reddish discoloration, and marked tenderness.
Sometimes most people, the pain is so intense that even if a paper touches it, you feel so much paper.
Symptoms in the affected joint(s) may include:
• Pain, usually intense
• Swelling
• Redness
• Heat

CAUSES
the accumulation of uric acid known usually as hyperuricemia is the cause of gout. When this happens, uric acid crystals are formed then they build up in joints, fluids and tissues.
What increases your chances for gout?
You’re more likely to develop gout If the following is present:
• Being male
• Being obese
• Having certain health conditions, including:
• Congestive heart failure
• Hypertension (high blood pressure)
• Insulin resistance
• Metabolic syndrome
• Diabetes
• Poor kidney function
• Using certain medications, such as diuretics (water pills).
• Drinking alcohol. The risk of gout is greater as alcohol intake goes up.
• Eating or drinking food and drinks high in fructose (a type of sugar).
• Having a diet high in purines, which the body breaks down into uric acid. Purine-rich foods include red meat, organ meat, and some kinds of seafood, such as anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna.

ARE THERE POSSIBLE TRIGGERS?
Sometimes these crystals might not go into your joint cavities, and sometimes they might. Possible reasons why they would include:
• a knock or injury to the joint
• an illness that may make you feverish
• having an operation
• having an unusually large meal, especially a fatty meal
• drinking too much alcohol
• dehydration
• starting urate lowering therapy, especially at a high dose, or not taking your treatment regularly each day.

ARE THERE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
Oh sure!
With self-management and medications, gout can be effectively treated. You can achieve this If you:
1. Manage the pain of a flare: Treatment for flares consists of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, steroids, and the anti-inflammatory drug colchicine
2. Get physically active: every minute of activity counts. It is at least better than doing nothing. It is recommended that you do at least 15 minutes of physical activities daily.
3. Eat a healthy diet: foods high in purines are most commonly the triggers for gout flares. Avoiding them could totally help to alleviate pains and soreness in gout. Foods that has high levels of purines includes red meat, seafood like shellfish, limit the intake of alcohol or totally give it up.
4. Protect your joints: low impact types of exercises which won’t lead to joint injuries are preferred. Swimming, bicycling and skipping are actually very good options for exercises.

SOURCES: https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/ss/slideshow-gout
https://www.hss.edu/conditions_gout-risk-factors-diagnosis-treatment.asp
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gout/
https://www.versusarthritis.org/about-arthritis/conditions/gout/

 

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THE LINK BETWEEN YOUR GUT AND HORMONES

The talk about gut health and hormones isn’t yet hitting the internet as it should. Rather, everyone is more concerned about their shape and the size of their belly. Your gut and hormones are intrinsically connected and affect your health in ways you can’t imagine.
This write up helps explain the link between your gut and hormones.

What Is The Estrobolome?
The estrobolome is a collection of bacteria in the gut which is capable of metabolising and modulating the body’s circulating estrogen. It is the bacteria in the gut, and the estrobolome, that affects estrogen levels, which in turn can impact weight, libido and mood. The estroblome modulates the enterohepatic circulation of estrogens and affects circulating and excreted estrogen levels.

Hormones And Gut Health: Why should I care about my Gut Health?
Scientific research has demonstrated that gut microbes regulate many aspects of human physiology, including intestinal permeability, the absorption of nutrients from food, and immunity.

Optimising our gut health is key to keeping our hormones in balance. Gut health is so important because the microbiome has many functions as listed below:
• Aids the synthesis and regulation of hormones and neurotransmitters
• Facilitates absorption of macro and micronutrients
• Has an essential role in the immune system
• Contributes to regulation of estrogen levels in the body
Estrogens are primarily made in the ovaries and adrenal glands. There are three different types, which are Estradiol, Estriol, and Estrone. All of which have vital roles in the body. In women, estrogens help regulate body fat, are essential to female reproductive function, cardiovascular health, bone health, and brain function (including memory). In men, estrogens aid in the maturation of sperm and maintenance of libido, oh yes! Male folks has estrogen too.
When the gut microbiome is healthy, the estrobolome is producing optimal levels of an enzyme called betaglucuronidase – there is an imbalance in estrogen when there is too much production of this enzyme.
Betaglucuronidase also has an important role in breaking down complex carbohydrates and the absorption of bilirubin and flavonoids. A healthy, diverse gut microbiome with a rich collection of different bacteria is critical for hormonal balance.
A healthy estrobolome minimises reabsorption of estrogen from the gut allowing safe removal as waste in stool and urine again ensuring hormone balance.
Gut dysbiosis is an imbalance of the gut bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Elevated betaglucuronidase levels are associated with conditions including:
• Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)
• Obesity
• Metabolic syndrome
• Estrogen-related cancers (breast and prostate)
• Endometriosis
• Infertility
• Mood swings (the feel good hormones are produced in the gut, if the gut is not healthy, it sends wrong signals)
• Heart disease
Unfortunately, gut dysbiosis and gut microbiome imbalance are very common and the delicate balance of the microbiome and estrobolome can be affected by many different factors which include genetics, age, weight, diet, alcohol, antibiotics, environmental pollutants and more.

Signs of an Unhealthy Gut
There are many signs of an unhealthy gut, which can often be misdiagnosed as something else.
• Digestive issues (bloating, gas, diarrhoea or constipation)
• Weight changes
• Food sensitivities
• Fatigue
• Skin irritation
• Autoimmune conditions
• Hormonal imbalance

Factors that affect Gut Health And Hormone Balance
To correct hormone imbalance, there are ways to ensure that the gut stays healthy and those ways include:
1. Dietary considerations
“The food we eat not only feeds our cells, but also determines what kind of inner garden we are growing in our guts.” – Dr. Mark Hyman.
Well, the saying “you are what you eat” comes to limelight here. Diet plays a vital role in shaping our gut microbiome. A low GI (glycaemic index) diet which contains a diverse range of fruit, vegetables and fibre, high in phytonutrients – the so-called ‘rainbow plate’ – can encourage microbial diversity.
It is important to go moderate on what is referred to as ‘white carbs’ such as pasta, rice and potatoes which contain resistant starch; a type that promotes healthy gut. Cutting them out totally would mean cutting out the sources of resistant starch.
Bear in mind that cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, contain compounds that ease detoxification of estrogen. The supplement DIM (diindolylmethane) contains concentrates of such compounds and can be effective in lowering more toxic estrogen byproducts.
Prebiotics and probiotics should also be considered. Prebiotic foods such as garlic, onion, asparagus and bananas provide the material that gut bacteria like to feed on. Probiotic foods such as kefir, kombucha, kimchi, plain yoghurt and other fermented foods are really useful for introducing beneficial bacterial strains, like lactobacillus, to the gut.
It’s important to note that the supplement calcium D glucarate is a betaglucuronidase inhibitor and allows estrogen to remain conjugated, and therefore safely eliminated by intestinal detoxification.
2. Your environment matters a lot
Phytoestrogens from plants such as soya, tofu and tempeh are consumed as food while others are synthetically manufactured and called Xenoestrogens. These are found in common household products such as fragrances, pesticides and plastics, and can easily be obtained from the environment around us. It is important to find ways of reducing these toxic substances that impact our health and find more environmentally friendly solutions. Xenoestrogens are absorbed by the body and stored in liver and fat cells. They act synergistically with endogenously produced estrogens and influence cell proliferation and disrupt the delicate balance of hormones.
3. Antibiotics
So many people abuse antibiotics, if not prescribed, please desist from using them. The use of antibiotics disrupts the ecology of the gut microbiome, and can cause overgrowth or dysbiosis. A study by the University of Copenhagen found that six months after stopping antibiotics, most healthy people can recover the microbiome composition and function. However, the gut can still lack some of the beneficial bacteria and we then need to reintroduce the good guys!
4. Alcohol
No one really wants to hear that overconsumption of alcohol is detrimental to the health. Our society has made it look like consuming alcohol doesn’t make you vulnerable at all. But alcohol consumption can have a negative impact, not only on the gut microbiome but also on the liver and its ability to detoxify. This contributes to estrogen dominance symptoms and an increased risk of estrogen related cancers. Its festive season and you must unwind with friends and families, so we won’t put a knife to your throat not to take alcohol. 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men( 1 drink equates 12 ounces of beer, 8 ounces of malt liquor, 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits and liquor). A single large glass of wine can contain up to 3 units of alcohol!
5. Physical activity
Physical activity can never be overemphasised. Exercise is an excellent way to support the detoxification that happens in the liver. Regular, moderate intensity exercise can lower levels of circulating estrogens. It can also reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, which can have a negative impact on our sex hormones. However, we do need to be mindful of individuality as different people have different stress levels/thresholds. Activities that stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system or the body’s ‘rest and digest’ mode, such as yoga, are also very beneficial to hormonal health and keeps the hormones balanced.
Summary
Lifestyle, nutrition, physical activity and stress management all play important roles in helping to balance your estrobolome and also ensuring that we keep our hormones balanced and optimal.

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