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COVID19 AND NUTRITION: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

 

 

 

It’s obvious everyone wants to know if any dietary approaches or particular types of food could help prevent or even manage the incidence of the very dreaded COVID19.

Well, I’d burst your bubbles by saying ‘ there is NO FOOD’ or dietary approach to help prevent the spread. 

Kindly note that several pieces of advice and news would fly about on how to prevent the virus, but please heed only to verified health platforms such as : NHS, CDC, and WHO.

Everyone is encouraged to follow advice from the government and health sectors as social distancing, safe hygiene as washing of hands with soap and using alcohol based sanitizers, and self quarantining.

Frequently asked questions about the virus are: 

 

  • CAN I BOOST MY IMMUNE SYSTEM THROUGH DIET?

 

Simply put, you cannot “boost” your immune system through diet, and nonspecific food or nutrients will prevent you from catching COVID 19. Good hygiene practices remain the best means to avoiding infection.

So many nutrients are involved in the normal functioning of the immune system, so just make sure you maintain a healthy balanced diet to support proper immune function. No food is preferred above the other but nutrients as: copper, vitamin A, B6, B12, vitamin C and D helps in maintaining the immune system. 

 

  • SHOULD I TAKE VITAMIN D AND C SUPPLEMENTS?

 

Most of your vitamin D comes with the help of the sun as it activates the vitamin D in your skin. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and also helps the immune system function well by stimulating the production of white blood cells and antibodies that bind invading microbes in the system. There is really no need to shove supplements and pills down your neck during this endemic, overdose of vitamins would lead to toxicity (hypervitaminosis) which could also lead to fatal health conditions: you don’t want to enter into trouble in these times of trouble do you?

 It’s more advisable that your nutrients come from your diets.

 Food sources of vitamin c include:cantaloupe, kiwi, papaya, pineapple, citrus fruits, strawberries, watermelon etc. 

 

  • SHOULD I BE CONCERNED ABOUT FOOD SAFETY AND COVID19?

 

Whatever safe hygiene methods you have followed in the past concerning food handling and processing, just keep at it. There is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted when handling or preparing food. 

STOCK UP ON NUTRITION-packed foods that will stay fresh for a week or longer: 

  1. Breads- whole wheat, white, brown bread, bagels.
  2. Grains- instant oatmeal, quick cooking pasta, couscous, 
  3. Vegetables- sturdy fresh veggies as broccoli, celery, potatoes.
  4. 100% juice
  5. Milk 
  6. Chicken-frozen or canned 
  7. Legumes- chickpeas, blackbeans 
  8. Seafoods- frozen shrimp, canned tuna, sardines, salmons. 

Make sure you don’t use this period to indulge wrongly, you could go into emotional eating and gain some extra pounds.

 

BOTTOM LINE

Practicing safe hygiene matters a lot in this period, wash your hands always with soap after coming in contact with animate and inanimate things.

Wash utensils properly and make sure your foods are cooked properly with adequate amount of heat.

 

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ARTERIOSCLEROSIS/ATHEROSCLEROSIS

OVERVIEW

Arteriosclerosis occurs when the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body (arteries) become thick and stiff — sometimes restricting blood flow to your organs and tissues. Healthy arteries are flexible and elastic, but over time, the walls in your arteries can harden, a condition commonly called hardening of the arteries.

Atherosclerosis is a specific type of arteriosclerosis, but the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Atherosclerosis refers to the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls (plaque), which can restrict blood flow.

This plaque makes your arteries clogged up and could lead to other heart diseases. 

The plaque can burst, triggering a blood clot. Although atherosclerosis is often considered a heart problem, it can affect arteries anywhere in your body. Atherosclerosis may be preventable and is treatable.

 

SYMPTOMS

Atherosclerosis develops gradually. Mild atherosclerosis usually doesn’t have any symptoms.

You usually won’t have atherosclerosis symptoms until an artery is so narrowed or clogged that it can’t supply adequate blood to your organs and tissues. Sometimes a blood clot completely blocks blood flow, or even breaks apart and can trigger a heart attack or stroke.

Symptoms of moderate to severe atherosclerosis depend on which arteries are affected. For example:

 

  • HeartArteries: chest pain or pressure (angina).
  • BRAIN:sudden numbness or weakness in your arms or legs, difficulty speaking or slurred speech, temporary loss of vision in one eye, or drooping muscles in your face. These signal a transient ischemic attack (TIA), which, if left untreated, may progress to a stroke.
  • ARMS AND LEGS:symptoms of peripheral artery disease, such as leg pain when walking (claudication).
  • KIDNEYS: you develop high blood pressure or kidney failure.

Early diagnosis and treatment can stop atherosclerosis from worsening and prevent a heart attack, stroke or another medical emergency.

CAUSES

Atherosclerosis is a slow, progressive disease that may begin as early as childhood. Although the exact cause is unknown, but it may start with damage or injury to the inner layer of an artery. The damage may be caused by:

  1. High blood pressure
  2. High cholesterol
  3. High triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood
  4. Smoking and other sources of tobacco
  5. Insulin resistance, obesity or diabetes
  6. Inflammation from diseases, such as arthritis, lupus or infections, or inflammation of unknown cause

Once the inner wall of an artery is damaged, blood cells and other substances often clump at the injury site and build up in the inner lining of the artery.

Over time, fatty deposits (plaque) made of cholesterol and other cellular products also build up at the injury site and harden, narrowing your arteries. The organs and tissues connected to the blocked arteries then don’t receive enough blood to function properly.

Eventually, pieces of the fatty deposits may break off and enter your bloodstream.

In addition, the smooth lining of the plaque may rupture, spilling cholesterol and other substances into your bloodstream. This may cause a blood clot, which can block the blood flow to a specific part of your body, such as occurs when blocked blood flow to your heart causes a heart attack. A blood clot can also travel to other parts of your body, blocking flow to another organ.

 

RISK FACTORS

Hardening of the arteries occurs over time. Besides aging, factors that increase the risk of atherosclerosis include:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking and other tobacco use
  • A family history of early heart disease
  • Lack of exercise
  • An unhealthy diet

COMPLICATIONS 

The complications of atherosclerosis depend on which arteries are blocked. For example:

  1. Coronary artery disease- When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries close to your heart, you may develop coronary artery disease, which can cause chest pain (angina), a heart attack or heart failure.
  2. Carotid artery disease. When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries close to your brain, you may develop carotid artery disease, which can cause a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or stroke.
  3. Peripheral artery disease. When atherosclerosis narrows the arteries in your arms or legs, you may develop circulation problems in your arms and legs called peripheral artery disease. This can make you less sensitive to heat and cold, increasing your risk of burns or frostbite. In rare cases, poor circulation in your arms or legs can cause tissue death (gangrene).
  4. Aneurysms. Atherosclerosis can also cause aneurysms, a serious complication that can occur anywhere in your body. An aneurysm is a bulge in the wall of your artery.

 

Most people with aneurysms have no symptoms. Pain and throbbing in the area of an aneurysm may occur and is a medical emergency.

        5. Chronic kidney disease. Atherosclerosis can cause the arteries leading to your kidneys to narrow, preventing oxygenated blood from reaching them. Over time, this can affect your kidney function, keeping waste from exiting your body.

 

PREVENTION

A healthy lifestyle modification targeted at tackling the symptoms or even keeping them away would help prevent atherosclerosis. Lifestyle changes like these would help:

Quitting smoking (cannabis, cigarettes)

Eating healthy foods and keeping away from saturated fats, trans fats and highly processed foods.

Exercising regularly

Maintaining a healthy weight

Adopt lifestyle changes that are manageable by you on a long run.

 

Sources: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arteriosclerosis-atherosclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20350569

 

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Acidosis: causes, symptoms and treatment

Have you ever had a disruption in your bowels after taking a food you knew you shouldn’t have? 

That same way your face stays all day trying to live with the pain and discomfort is the same way your system feels when there is acidosis.

Metabolic acidosis happens when the chemical balance of acids and bases in your blood goes haywire. Most times, it might happen that your body:

  • Is making too much acid
  • Isn’t getting rid of enough acid
  • Doesn’t have enough base to offset a normal amount of acid

When any of these happen, chemical reactions and processes in your body don’t work right.

Although severe episodes can be life-threatening, sometimes metabolic acidosis is a mild condition. You can treat it, but how depends on what’s causing it.

Causes of Metabolic Acidosis

Different things can set up an acid-base imbalance in your blood

Ketoacidosis: When you have diabetes and don’t get enough insulin and get dehydrated, your body burns fat instead of carbs as fuel, and that makes ketones. Lots of ketones in your blood turn it acidic. People who drink a lot of alcohol for a long time and don’t eat enough also build up ketones. It can happen when you aren’t eating at all, too. Also, a prolonged keto diet could lead to build up of ketones if not supervised well; especially if it’s for the wrong purposes. 

Lactic acidosis: Lactic acid build up occurs when there is enough oxygen in the muscles to breakdown glycogen and glucose . This acid can build up, too. It might happen when you’reexercising intensely. Big drops in blood pressure, heart failure, cardiac arrest, and an overwhelming infection can also cause it.

Renal tubular acidosis:  This medical condition happens when there is accumulation of acid in the body due to the kidney’s failure to appropriately acidify urine. Healthy kidneys take acids out of your blood and get rid of them

Have you ever had a disruption in your bowels after taking a food you knew you shouldn’t have? 

That same way your face stays all day trying to live with the pain and discomfort is the same way your system feels when there is acidosis.

Metabolic acidosis happens when the chemical balance of acids and bases in your blood goes haywire. Most times, it might happen that your body:

  • Is making too much acid
  • Isn’t getting rid of enough acid
  • Doesn’t have enough base to offset a normal amount of acid

When any of these happen, chemical reactions and processes in your body don’t work right.

Although severe episodes can be life-threatening, sometimes metabolic acidosis is a mild condition. You can treat it, but how depends on what’s causing it.

Causes of Metabolic Acidosis

Different things can set up an acid-base imbalance in your blood

Ketoacidosis: When you have diabetes and don’t get enough insulin and get dehydrated, your body burns fat instead of carbs as fuel, and that makes ketones. Lots of ketones in your blood turn it acidic. People who drink a lot of alcohol for a long time and don’t eat enough also build up ketones. It can happen when you aren’t eating at all, too. Also, a prolonged keto diet could lead to build up of ketones if not supervised well; especially if it’s for the wrong purposes. 

Lactic acidosis: Lactic acid build up occurs when there is enough oxygen in the muscles to breakdown glycogen and glucose . This acid can build up, too. It might happen when you’re exercising intensely. Big drops in blood prrssure,  heart failure, cardiac arrest, and an overwhelming infection can also cause it.

 

Renal tubular acidosis:  This medical condition happens when there is accumulation of acid in the body due to the kidney’s failure to appropriately acidify urine. Healthy kidneys take acids out of your blood and get rid of them in your pee. Kidney diseases as well as some immune system and genetic disorders can damage kidneys so they leave too much acid in your blood.

Hyperchloremic acidosis. Severe diarrhea, laxative abuse, and kidney problems can cause lower levels of bicarbonate, the base that helps neutralize acids in blood.

Respiratory acidosis also results in blood that’s too acidic. But it starts in a different way, when your body has too much carbon dioxide because of a problem with your lungs.

Symptoms

Although symptoms can differ, someone with metabolic acidosis will often:

  • Breathe fast
  • Have a fast heartbeat
  • Have a headache
  • Be confused
  • Feel weak
  • Feel tired
  • Have little desire to eat
  • Feel sick to their stomach
  • Throw up

Fruity-smelling breath (kasmaul breathing)is a classic symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

If you have these symptoms, call your doctor or visit the hospital immediately.  

Testing

Tests like anion gap, arterial blood gases and urine tests could help figure out if any of these acidosis occurs.

 

Prevention

You can’t always prevent metabolic acidosis, but there are things you can do to lessen the chance of it happening.

Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic fluids. Your pee should be clear or pale yellow.

Limit alcohol. It can increase acid buildup. It can also dehydrate you.

Manage your diabetes, make sure you adhere to drug use by physician and also diet regimen by dietitian.

Follow directions strictly when you take your medications and do not self medicate no matter how small and familiar the symptoms might be.

 

Treatment

You treat metabolic acidosis by treating what’s causing it. If you don’t restore the balance, it can affect your bones, muscles, and kidneys. In severe cases, it can cause shock or death. DKA can put you in a coma.

The earlier you’re treated, the better. Common treatments include:

  • Detoxification, if you have drug or alcohol poisoning
  • Insulin, if you have DKA
  • IV fluids, given by needle through a vein in your arm
  • Sodium bicarbonate, by IV

You might have to go to a hospital.
your pee. Kidney diseases as well as some immune system and genetic disorders can damage
kidneys so they leave too much acid in your blood.

Hyperchloremic acidosis. Severe diarrhea, laxative abuse, and kidney problems can cause lower levels of bicarbonate, the base that helps neutralize acids in blood.

Respiratory acidosis also results in blood that’s too acidic. But it starts in a different way, when your body has too much carbondioxide  because of a problem with your lungs.

Symptoms

Although symptoms can differ, someone with metabolic acidosis will often:

  • Breathe fast
  • Have a fast heartbeat
  • Have a headache
  • Be confused
  • Feel weak
  • Feel tired
  • Have little desire to eat
  • Feel sick to their stomach
  • Throw up

Fruity-smelling breath (kasmaul breathing)is a classic symptom of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

If you have these symptoms, call your doctor or visit the hospital immediately.  

Testing

Tests like anion gap, arterial blood gases and urine tests could help figure out if any of these acidosis occurs.

Prevention

You can’t always prevent metabolic acidosis, but there are things you can do to lessen the chance of it happening.

Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic drinks, avoid fizzy drinks. Your pee should be clear or pale yellow.

Limit alcohol. It can increase acid buildup. It can also dehydrate you.

Manage your diabetes, make sure you adhere to drug use by physician and also diet regimen by dietitian.

Follow directions strictly when you take your medications and do not self medicate no matter how small and familiar the symptoms might be.

 

Treatment

You treat metabolic acidosis by treating what’s causing it. If you don’t restore the balance, it can affect your bones, muscles, and kidneys. In severe cases, it can cause shock or death. DKA can put you in a coma.

The earlier you’re treated, the better. Common treatments include:

  • Detoxification, if you have drug or alcohol poisoning
  • Insulin, if you have DKA
  • IV fluids, given by needle through a vein in your arm
  • Sodium bicarbonate, by IV

You might have to go to a hospital.

 

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Diet Trends: The ups and downs

DIET TRENDS

The previous year came with quite a handful of FAD diets, we don’t know what this year would bring us but lets take a review on those diets that got so much attention last year, shall we?

No carbs? No food? Which plans work best for weight loss and overall health

When it comes to diets and diet trends, the choices can be dizzying. With so many ways to lose weight, and so many online influencers and supplement peddlers out there, it’s hard to decipher which methods are healthy and actually work.

1. Ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is an extremely low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. The goal of the diet is to maintain a state of ketosis, which means that by eating fewer carbs, the body’s fat-burning system relies mainly on fat instead of sugar for energy.

This concept is actually nothing new. There’s a lot of research, going back to the early 1900s, that ketogenic diets help with certain neurologic conditions like epilepsy in children. But it’s relatively a new strategy for weight loss.

Benefits

If your weight loss goals are more immediate, a ketogenic diet may be able to help you achieve those results. It’s been shown to be very effective for short-term weight loss — more so even than low-fat diets.
Additional benefits may include preventing certain types of chronic disease. There’s been some suggestion that there may be benefits as far as other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and even brain cancer. No definitive studies to prove this yet though.

Setbacks

Some health experts believe eating a large amount of fat and protein from animal sources can increase your risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
On the ketogenic diet, you can, for instance, eat all the bacon, red meat and sausages you want; that obviously goes against what we’ve always known to be healthy, we have to be careful about the effect of this diet on people with liver, kidney and heart disease.
The diet is also really strict. It’s an extreme diet, cutting out almost all carbohydrates, which may in turn risk the gut microbiota. That means giving up or limiting conventionally healthy foods like fruit, whole grains and some vegetables which help keep the gut healthy.
Very low-carbohydrate diets may also be associated with more side effects than a low-fat diet, including headaches, fatigue and bad breath.

2. Whole30 diet
The Whole30 diet is a commercial diet marketed as a  30-day nutritional reset.; so they claim.
During those 30 days, you are to avoid sugar, alcohol, grains, legumes and dairy. The diet does permit meat, seafood, eggs, veggies, fruit, and natural fats like vegetable oils, coconut oil and tree nuts.

Benefits

What’s nice is that the Whole30 has a built-in support system on social media. That can be helpful for people who need to keep themselves accountable. Also, there’s no counting or restricting calories.

Setbacks

The company behind the Whole30 diet claims that it can improve or “cure” many medical problems, such as asthma, depression and Lyme disease, but the claims are unfounded; there’s no independent research to verify them.

3. Low-FODMAP diet

Some people are sensitive to certain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the intestines and can cause bloating. These carbs are known as fermentable oligo, di, monosaccharides and polyols — or FODMAPs — and are found in certain grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products.

A low-FODMAP diet is often recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a common disorder that causes symptoms like cramping, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and diarrhea and/or constipation.

Benefits

Studies demonstrate a definite improvement in IBS symptoms in people who use the low-FODMAP.
Many patients with IBS who have done really well on this diet and even go into remission has been recorded.

Setbacks

The low-FODMAP diet is not a weight loss diet. It’s really just for people with IBS.So the studies haven’t shown any benefit for people who don’t have IBS.
It’s also not very easy to follow because the list of low-FODMAP foods is not intuitive. For example, broccoli is a low-FODMAP food, and cauliflower is a high-FODMAP food. So you have to have the list of foods with you at all times.

4. Intermittent fasting diet (time-restrictive eating)
Intermittent fasting is a term for an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating very little or nothing, and eating regular meals.

Some people intermittently fast for 16 hours a day and then eat all their food in an eight-hour time span; others fast for 24 hours at a time, maybe twice a week. This plan isn’t specific about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them.

Benefits

The intermittent fasting diet works well for people with busy schedules because it doesn’t really require planning.
It is quite easy to adhere to if you are very diligent; because it doesn’t restrict and food groups at all.

Setbacks

In a 2018 U.S. News & World Report article where 40 diets were ranked, intermittent fasting was one of the lowest on the list.
The criticism is mostly based on the fact that there’s no guide on what to eat during the nonfasting days. People could end up eating really unhealthily on those days; I had to speak to someone once, and he said he uses 2 sharwama and a bottle of coke to break his fast without putting into consideration the items in the shawarma and their calories.

This diet is also not recommended for people with diabetes because fasting could lead to low blood sugar that may require medication adjustment. People who have a history of eating disorders should also steer clear of this diet, and long-term compliance can be an issue as well.
Fad diets and going to extremes by cutting out major food groups — like carbs — simply aren’t sustainable strategies.

5. The Mediterranean diet

A Mediterranean diet emphasizes eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, olive oil and very little red meat.

Benefits

This diet was tied for No. 1 — along with the DASH diet below — for the best overall diet in 2018 by U.S. News & World Report in large part due to its many health benefits. Studies have shown reductions in fatal heart attacks, strokes, cancers, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s for people who follow a Mediterranean diet.

Setbacks

There are not any known health drawbacks. It should be noted with caution that some of the studies are short-term, and the exact reason for the health benefits is not clear.

6. The DASH diet

The DASH diet is designed to lower high blood pressure. The acronym in the name stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It’s a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes and low-fat dairy products, and low in snacks, sweets, meats, and saturated and total fat.

DASH also stresses limiting salt intake. Definitely, an intake of not more than 2,300 mg a day of salt, but ultimately you should strive to stay under 1,500 mg daily.

Benefits

Tied for No. 1 alongside the Mediterranean diet in U.S. News & World Report, a low-sodium DASH diet has been proven to decrease blood pressure. It also reportedly decreases LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and possibly lowers the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Setbacks

Although the DASH diet was not developed specifically as a weight-loss diet, it may cause some weight loss (which could also be seen as a benefit). And some people might find that limiting salt makes food taste bland.
The good news is that there are plenty of other healthy options for flavoring, like herbs, spices and citrus juices.

7. The MIND diet

The MIND diet, which stands for the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, developed at Rush University Medical Center, combines foods from the Mediterranean and DASH diets. It focuses on 10 food groups that support brain health, including leafy greens, berries, poultry, beans and nuts.

Benefits

The diet has been shown to benefit brain health and protect against dementia, according to a few studies.
In fact, the MIND diet can help lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53 percent in people who adhere to the diet rigorously, and by about 35 percent in those who follow it moderately well.

It may also help substantially slow cognitive decline in stroke survivors, according to preliminary research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2018.
Those are big reasons why MIND has been ranked No. 5 in U.S. News & World Report’s list of best diets for three consecutive years.
Setbacks

There aren’t any health risks with MIND, but like the Mediterranean diet, the food needed to follow the diet can be costly.
To diet or not to diet

Fad diets and going to extremes by cutting out major food groups — like carbs — simply aren’t sustainable strategies.
For long-term weight maintenance and overall health, you should adhere to the following sensible approaches to a healthy diet:
• Choose whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
• Eat fewer processed or packaged foods, like hot dogs, chips or artificial sweeteners.
• Spend more time in the produce section of the grocery store rather than the packaged food aisles.
• Get more fiber, since the conventional diet is generally sorely lacking in fiber.
• Avoid foods with unrecognizable and unpronounceable words on the list of ingredients.
Diets are not one-size-fits-all, so what works for one person may not work for another. It’s best to figure out your individual weight loss goals and nutrition priorities by talking with your  registered dietitian.
And focus on making other lifestyle changes for yourself and your family, including getting plenty of sleep, exercising regularly and managing stress. All of those things will help not only with maintaining a healthy weight, but with your overall health and well-being with physical activity.

Really, the questions we should ask before embarking on any of these diets is if they are sustainable over a long period of time.

 

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CONSTIPATION:ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Constipation is broadly defined as an unsatisfactory defecation characterized by infrequent stools, difficult stool passage or both.

PHYSIOLOGY OF COLONIC FUNCTION
Water absorption
The colon receives approximately 1.5 L of liquid effluent daily from the small intestine, with 200 mL to 400 mL excreted in the stool. The functions of the colon are to absorb fluid from residual food and transport waste to the rectum, where it is expelled or stored until defecation is convenient.
The amount of fluid contained in a diet determines the state of one’s stool.
Removal of water from the fecal slurry is time dependent and actively regulated, and can be substantially increased in dehydration states. Sodium is actively reabsorbed from luminal content through several active transport channels, with water following passively in response to osmotic gradients. Conversely, colonic secretion is mediated through chloride channels (eg, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator [CFTR]), which are generally quiescent, leading to a net reabsorption of electrolytes and fluid. Thus, stool that remains in the colon longer will become drier, which can lead to scybalation (pebble-like stools) and impaction if the stool becomes too large and hard to pass through the anal canal.

POOR DIET AND CONSTIPATION
If stool remains in the colon for too long, it could become dry and hard.
A diet that contains enough water and fiber would help moisten the faeces and make it easier to pass through the anorectal region.
Fiber-rich foods are generally made from plants. Fiber comes in soluble and insoluble forms. The soluble fiber can dissolve in water and creates a soft, gel-like material as it passes through the digestive system.
Insoluble fiber retains most of its structure as it goes through the digestive system. Both forms of fiber join with stool, increasing its weight and size while also softening it. This makes it easier to pass through the rectum.

Stress could also be a factor that would lead to constipation, other routines that would slow muscle contraction of the colon could also lead to hardening of stool.
Underlying medical problems
Possible medical conditions that could lead to constipation:
• certain diseases, such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes
• problems with the colon or rectum, including intestinal obstruction, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or diverticulosis
• overuse or misuse of laxatives (medications to loosen stools)
• hormonal problems, including an underactive thyroid gland

SIGNS OF CONSTIPATION
-An excruciating pain experienced while trying to defecate.
– bowel movements restricted to 3 per week.
-feeling of fullness after passing stool.
– passing hard dry stools.
– feeling like your rectal areas are blocked.

MANAGEMENT OF CONSTIPATION
– Drink more water. At least 3 litres per day.
– Add more fiber to your diet; either soluble or insoluble fibre. Examples include wheat, bran, dark green leafy vegetables, oats, seeds, some fruits with roughages.
– Do exercises.
– Eat probiotic and prebiotic containing foods or you can use their supplements. Examples of foods in this category include plain yoghurt, banana, onions and garlic.
– Over the counter drugs like bulking agents
– Try magnesium citrate
– Eat prunes: prunes contain the sugar alcohol sorbitol which has a laxative effect. About 7 pieces twice a day is recommended (50g).
Constipation could be uncomfortable for anyone, these home remedies suggested would really help get you relieved, but if symptoms persists, see your doctor (as every drug would indicate).

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UKWA: THE YELLOW DELIGHT

Breadfruit is rich in calories. Hundred grams of the fresh fruit provides 102 calories. The major fraction of this comes from the carbohydrates, mostly contained in the starchy husk. Ripe fruits are sweeter since their starch content is converted into sucrose and simple sugars like fructose and glucose.
Health Benefits of Breadfruit
Rich in Fibers:
 
Its pulp has more fiber than in jackfruit, which makes it a good bulk laxative. Dietary fiber in breadfruit helps reduce blood cholesterol by preventing its absorption in the gut, reduce obesity, blood pressure and help protect the colon mucous membrane by warding off cancer-causing chemicals from the colon.
Antioxidant Benefit:
 
It has small amounts of flavonoid anti-oxidants in the form of xanthin and luein. Yellow-orange varieties have more of these compounds which are useful in prevention of heart related diseases and various cancers.
Vitamin C Content :
 
Breadfruit has more vitamin-C than jackfruit, and banana! It provides about 29 mg or 48% of RDA. Vitamin-C (ascorbic acid) is a strong water-soluble antioxidant. Consumption of fruits rich in the vitamin C help the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenges harmful free radicals, creating an unfavorable environment for cancers.
Vitamin Profile:
The fruit has moderate levels of essential vitamins. Like many other tropical delicacies, it is rich in many vital B-complex groups of vitamins. The fruit is a moderate source of vitamins, especially thiamin, pyridoxine, and niacin.
Mineral Content :
 
The fresh fruit is an excellent source of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Its pulp contains copper, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Proteinous of Course:
Breadfruit seeds contain average levels of protein; 100 g seeds provide 7.4 g or 13% of daily-recommended values. However, they are excellent sources of minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, manganese, etc.
Essential Amino Acid Content :
 
It is an amazing source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which are vital for the proper development of the mind and body. These enhance and promote growth of hair. These fatty acids also regulate metabolic functions, promote reproduction, enhance skin colour and accelerate bone health. These essential fatty acids also have good anti-inflammatory effects.
Heart Health:
 
Breadfruit intake reduces harmful cholesterol or LDL in the body and increases HDL cholesterol that is beneficial for health. Regular consumption of breadfruit helps lower the risk of developing colon cancer, reduce blood pressure, asthmatic symptoms putting it’s high HDL content in view.
Breadfruit and diabetes:
Breadfruit porridge is excellent for diabetics. The fiber present in breadfruit reduces absorption of glucose from the consumption of the food people eat. The fiber present also flushes out toxins from the intestine and helps in proper functioning of the bowels.
Caution:
 
Scientists however recommend that the obese should dehusk the seeds before eating in order not to aggravate the problem of obesity. The high content of calcium, magnesium, iron and low content of lead, copper, zinc and potassium in husked seed of African breadfruit indicates that it is better for children to eat husked seeds rather than dehusked seeds. The oil extracted is a close substitute for palm kernel oil because it is edible and it can also be used industrially for soap making.
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Tonsilitis

WHAT ARE TONSILS ?
 
The tonsils and adenoids are thought to assist the body in its defense against incoming bacteria and viruses by helping the body form antibodies. They provide this function by filtering the air we breathe in and trapping unwanted microorganisms. However, this function may only be important during the first year of life. There is no evidence to support a significant role of the tonsils and adenoids in immunity. Sometimes the tonsils themselves get infected and inflamed by the microorganisms they trap. Medical studies have shown that children who have their tonsils and adenoids removed suffer no loss in their future immunity to disease or ability to ward off infections.
Symptoms of tonsillitis
The symptoms of tonsillitis include:
*White or yellow spots of pus on the tonsils
*Sore throat – although some children complain of pain in their tummy, rather than a sore throat
*Swollen lymph glands under each side of the jaw
*Pain when swallowing
*Fever
*Bad breath.
Bacteria, viruses and tonsillitis
When tonsillitis is caused by bacteria (about 15 per cent of all tonsil infections), it is usually a streptococcus bacterium. It is not easy to tell when tonsillitis is caused by bacteria – A doctor may do a throat swab (gently rubbing sterile cotton wool on a stick over the tonsil) and send it for testing.
There are many viruses that can cause tonsillitis. Antibiotics do not help if the tonsillitis is caused by a viral infection.
Complications of Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis can lead to a number of complications, including:
A.) Chronic tonsillitis – Infection of the tonsils which does not clear up. The person may go on feeling unwell and tired
B.) Secondary infections – the infection can spread to the person’s nose, sinuses or ears
 
C.) Glue ear (otitis media) in children – the adenoids are part of the same group of lymph nodes as tonsils. When the adenoids swell up (usually when the tonsils are also large), they can block the Eustachian tube, which goes from the back of the throat to the middle ear. This is the thin tube that you push air along when you ‘pop’ your ear. If this tube stays blocked most of the time, sticky fluid forms in the middle ear which interferes with hearing. This is called a glue ear.
D.) Quinsy – if the infection spreads into the tissue around the tonsils, an abscess can form in the throat, also known as a peri-tonsillar abscess. This causes severe pain and can interfere with swallowing and even breathing. Antibiotics may help, but sometimes an operation is needed to drain the abscess.
Treatment of tonsillitis
Treatment of tonsillitis usually involves keeping the patient comfortable while the illness runs its course. This supportive care includes bed rest, drinking extra fluids, gargling with warm salt water, and taking pain relievers—usually NSAIDs—to reduce fever. Frozen juice bars and cold fruit drinks can bring some temporary relief of sore throat pain; drinking warm tea or broth can be soothing. If the throat culture shows that S. pyogenes is present, penicillin or other antibiotics will be prescribed. An injection of benzathine or procaine penicillin may be most effective in treating the infection, but it is also painful. If an oral antibiotic is prescribed, it must be taken for the full course of treatment, usually 10-14 days. If the patient has several episodes of severe tonsillitis, the doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy, which is the surgical removal of the tonsils.
Since most attacks of tonsillitis are caused by viruses, most of the treatment is aimed at helping to relieve the symptoms such as pain and fever. Paracetamol can help and the person should rest. Most children with tonsillitis do not feel well and it hurts them to swallow. Try cool drinks (cold drinks can hurt), ice blocks and ice cream. Don’t worry if a child stops eating for a day or two. Usually, they pick up quickly when the infection has gone.
For tonsillitis that is caused by bacteria, antibiotics are prescribed.
Tonsillectomy
If attacks of tonsillitis become frequent and severe, or cause complications, your doctor might suggest an operation, known as tonsillectomy.
 
Reasons for tonsillectomy can include:
1.) Recurrent bouts of tonsillitis accompanied by pain, discomfort and high temperature (fever).
2.) Chronic tonsillitis that doesn’t clear up with antibiotics.
3.) Frequent ear infections associated with tonsillitis
4.) Breathing difficulties due to enlarged tonsils
5.) Abscesses forming in the throat (peri-tonsillar abscesses or quinsy)
6.) Failure to thrive because of difficulty in swallowing due to frequent infection and enlargement of their tonsils.
 
Medical issues to consider before tonsillectomy
Before doing a tonsillectomy, your doctor will give you a complete physical check-up. The tonsil pad has a large blood supply, and special note will be taken whether you have any abnormal bleeding tendencies. Your doctor will check to see if your tonsils are actively inflamed and, if so, will prescribe antibiotics for a few weeks to control the infection before the surgery.
Tonsillectomy Procedure
A tonsillectomy is performed under general anaesthesia. The surgeon props open the person’s mouth and clamps their tonsils with special instruments. The glandular tissue is contained inside a skin lining which the surgeon cuts using scalpel, scissors, laser or an electric current (electrocautery). The surgeon then removes the tonsils. Each tonsil pad has a substantial blood supply, so electrocautery is often used to fuse the blood vessels and reduce the risk of haemorrhage.
Prognosis
 
Tonsillitis usually resolves within a few days with rest and supportive care. Treating the symptoms of sore throat and fever will make the patient more comfortable. If fever persists for more than 48 hours, however, or is higher than 102°F, the patient should be seen by a doctor. If antibiotics are prescribed to treat an infection, they should be taken as directed for the complete course of treatment, even if the patient starts to feel better in a few days. Prolonged symptoms may indicate that the patient has other upper respiratory infections, most commonly in the ears or sinuses. An abscess behind the tonsil (a peritonsillar abscess) may also occur. In rare cases, a persistent sore throat may point to more serious conditions, such as rheumatic fever or pneumonia.
Prevention
 
The bacteria and viruses that cause tonsillitis are easily spread from person to person. It is not unusual for an entire family or several students in the same classroom to come down with similar symptoms, especially if S. pyogenes is the cause. The risk of transmission can be lowered by avoiding exposure to anyone who already has tonsillitis or a sore throat. Drinking glasses and eating utensils should not be shared and should be washed in hot, soapy water before reuse. Old toothbrushes should be replaced to prevent reinfection. People who are caring for someone with tonsillitis should wash their hands frequently, to prevent spreading the infection to others.
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DIVERTICULITIS AND DIVERTICULOSIS

DIVERTICULOSIS refers to the presence of small out-pouching(called diverticula) or sacs that can develop in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract.
• While diverticula can be present anywhere in the intestines, they are most common on the left side of the large intestine, the area known as the Descending and Sigmoid Colon.
When one or more of these pouches become inflamed or infected, the condition is called DIVERTICULITIS.

EPIDEMIOLOGY OF DIVERTICULAR DISEASES
• Diverticulosis is a common disorder, especially in older people.
• The condition is uncommon in people under the age of 30 years of age, and is most common in those over 60.
• Diverticulosis may be somewhat more common in men than in women.

CAUSES/PATOPHYSIOLOGY OF DIVERTICULAR DISEASE 
• No one knows for certain why diverticulosis develops; however, a few theories have been suggested;
• Some experts believe that abnormal intermittent high pressure in the colon due to muscle spasm or straining with stool may cause diverticula to form at weak spots in the colon wall.
• Historically, low-fibre diets were felt to play a ,major role in the development of diverticulosis. However, recent studies suggest that this is not only the case.

There also appears to be a genetic predisposition to diverticulosis; that is, if your parent or sibling has diverticulosis, you may be more likely to develop it than someone who does not have a family member with diverticulitis.

SYMPTOMS OF DIVERTICULAR DISEASES
• Most patients with diverticulosis have no symptoms or complications, and will never know they have the condition.
• But when symptoms occur they are usually mild and includes; Pain in the belly (abdomen), Bloating, Constipation (less often, diarrhoea) and Cramping.
• This symptoms are not specific to diverticulosis only they can be general to all diseases of the digestive tract.
Unless it is discovered during an endoscopic or radiographic (X-ray) examination, some people with diverticulosis become aware of the condition only when acute diverticulitis occurs.
• Diverticulitis is a more serious condition and causes symptoms in most people with the condition that include:
• Pain in the abdomen, usually in the lower left side
• Bleeding, bright red or maroon blood may appear in the stool, (a symptom of rectal bleeding). Bleeding is often mild and usually stops by itself; however, it can become severe.
• Fever
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Chills
Constipation (less often, diarrhoea). d

DIAGNOSIS OF DIVERTICULAR DISEASES
• Diverticular disease is generally discovered through one of the following examinations:
• Barium enema: This x-ray test involves putting liquid material into the colon through a tube placed in the rectum. The x-ray image shows the outline of the colon, and can identify if diverticula, large polyps or growths are present.
• Colonoscopy: This test uses a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera to view the inside of the colon. Diverticula as well as polyps and other abnormalities can be seen with this instrument.
CT scan: This radiology test takes multiple cross-sectional pictures of the body. It is not generally performed to make a diagnosis of diverticulosis, but this type of exam, when done for other reasons, may identify diverticular.

MANAGEMENT OF DIVERTICIULAR DISEASES
• The best way to treat diverticulosis is to avoid constipation.
• Include fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in your diet each day. These foods are high in fibre (25 – 38g/day).For patients with diarrhoea as symptoms a low fibre of 10-15g/day is prescribed for few days then gradually increased to RDA
• Drink plenty of fluids, because fluids and fibre work together.
• Get some exercise every day.
• Take a fibre supplement, such as Citrucel or Metamucil, every day if needed.
Schedule time each day for a bowel movement. Having a daily routine may help. Take your time and do not strain when you are having a bowel movement.

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EATING DISORDERS

In a society where every one seemingly feels like the best way to be fit is to be thin, adoption of different feeding patterns has led to malnutrition in so many individuals.

The term ‘eating disorder’ doesn’t only relate to food but also to complex mental health condition.

There are 6 types of disorders, their symptoms and management,  that would be highlighted in this article.

EATING DISORDERS

They are a group of mental disorder that are marked by an obsession with food or body shape. Mostly prevalent among young women.

This obsession however comes with heavy food restrictions, induced vomiting or stooling and extreme measures during workouts.

 

causes

Several factors might lead to the development of eating disorders; factors like personality traits, genetics (ongoing research with twins)

Other potential causes might include perceived pressures to be thin, cultural preferences for thinness, and exposure to media promoting such ideals i.e modelling agencies, influencers etc.

1. Anorexia nervosa: A very common eating disorder which makes people obsess about what they eat and their weight.

It is characterised by distorted body weight and an unwarranted fear of being overweight.

symptoms
Symptoms include trying to maintain a below-normal weight through starvation or too much exercise.

People may experience:
Whole body: dehydration, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, feeling cold, low blood pressure, low body temperature, osteoporosis, or water-electrolyte imbalance
Behavioural: binge eating, compulsive behaviour, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or social isolation
Weight: extreme weight loss and thinness, underweight, or weight loss
Mood: anxiety, apprehension, or guilt
Gastrointestinal: constipation or vomiting
Menstrual: absence of menstruation or irregular menstruation
Developmental: delayed puberty or slow growth
Also common: brittle nails, bruising, depression, dieting, dry hair, dry skin, headache, sensitivity to cold, or slow heart rate.
2. Bulimia nervosa: A potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterised by binge eating.
People may experience:
Behavioural: binge eating, compulsive behaviour, impulsivity, lack of restraint, self-harm, or vomiting after overeating
Whole body: dehydration, fatigue, food aversion, hunger, or water-electrolyte imbalance
Mood: anxiety, general discontent, guilt, or mood swings
Mouth: bad breath, dental cavities, or dryness
Gastrointestinal: constipation, heartburn, or inflamed oesophagus
Weight: body weight changes or weight loss
Menstrual: absence of menstruation or irregular menstruation
Also common: abnormality of taste, depression, poor self-esteem, or sore throat.
3. Binge eating: unlike the other two that involves restricted feeding patterns, this involves over eating and adopting compensatory measures as induced purging or vomiting.
Some individuals with BED might be obese and prone to have cardiovascular diseases.
The causes of BED might not be related to any underlying disease.
4. Pica: people with this disorder tend to eat things rhat are not consideredto be food.
Non food substances like chalk, cement, cornstarch, soap, paper, ice, nzu, uro.
Mostly common among young women and pregnant women.

5. Rumination Disorder:is another newly recognized eating disorder.

It describes a condition in which a person regurgitates food they have previously chewed and swallowed, re-chews it, and then either re-swallows it or spits it out.

This rumination typically occurs within the first 30 minutes after a meal. Unlike medical conditions like reflux, it’s voluntary.

This disorder can develop during infancy, childhood, or adulthood. In infants, it tends to develop between 3–12 months of age and often disappears on its own. Children and adults with the condition usually require therapy to resolve it.

If not resolved in infants, rumination disorder can result in weight loss and severe malnutrition that can be fatal.

Adults with this disorder may restrict the amount of food they eat, especially in public. This may lead them to lose weight and become underweigh.

6.Avoidant food/ restrictive intake : is a new name for an old disorder.

The term replaces what was known as a “feeding disorder of infancy and early childhood,” a diagnosis previously reserved for children under 7 years old.

Although ARFID generally develops during infancy or early childhood, it can persist into adulthood. What’s more, it’s equally common among men and women.

Individuals with this disorder experience disturbed eating either due to a lack of interest in eating or distaste for certain smells, tastes, colors, textures, or temperatures.

Common symptoms of ARFID include:

  • avoidance or restriction of food intake that prevents the person from eating sufficient calories or nutrients
  • eating habits that interfere with normal social functions, such as eating with others
  • weight loss or poor development for age and height
  • nutrient deficiencies or dependence on supplements or tube feeding

It’s important to note that ARFID goes beyond normal behaviors, such as picky eating in toddlers or lower food intake in older adults.

Moreover, it does not include the avoidance or restriction of foods due to lack of availability or religious or cultural practices.

other eating disorders

Includes purging disorder and night eating disorder.

management.

For anorexia nervosa, restoration of normal body weight with the help of a dietitian is adviseable.

For bulimia nervosa, management of any serious physical or health complications.

For binge eating, treating like both anorexia and bulimia and also focusing on psychotherapy.

conclusion 

Eating disorders pose a huge threat to the health of any individual that is involved. So therefore, its highly important you see a health provider; most likely a dietitian before starting any type of diet.

 

 

 

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Healthy choices

Healthy Eating Starts With A Healthy Breakfast.
Investing in a healthy breakfast would reduce the global burned of diabetes and save billions in lost productivity and health-care costs. A healthy Breakfast decreases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Food which reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes such as vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains and unsaturated fats need to be available and cheap, energy dense foods shunned for breakfast. Skipping breakfast also is associated with weight gain!

Individuals can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by:
1.) Choosing water or unsweetened coffee or tea instead of fruit juice, soda and other sugar sweetened beverages.

2.) Eating at least three servings of vegetables everyday including green leafy vegetables.

3.) Choosing nuts, a piece of fresh fruit or sugar-free yoghurt for snacks.

4.) Limiting alcohol intake to two standard drinks per day.
Choosing lean cuts of white meat, poultry and seafood instead of processed meat or red meat.

5.) Choosing peanut butter instead of butter or chocolate spread or jam for bread.

(6). You can choose from a variety of brown or white rice, whole grain or wheat, wheat or white bread. Your portion size matters a lot and bulking with vegetables would help reduce incidence of glucose spike.

7.) Choosing unsaturated fats (olive oil, canola oil, corn oil or sunflower oil) instead of saturated fat ( animal fat, palm oil, ghee, butter or coconut oil).

These recommendations will also help someone with diabetes to achieve stable control.

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