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Beyond restrictions, willpower and intensity: Diet quality and quantity matters

It’s no news that the amount of calories people eat and drink has a direct effect on their weight: Calories in = Calories out, and weight stays stable. Calories in > Calories out , weight goes up. Less calories in, and well, weight goes down.

 But what about the type of calories: Does it matter if they come from specific nutrients-fat, protein, or carbohydrate? Specific foods-whole grains or pop-corn? Specific diets-the Mediterranean diet or the “Keto” diet? And what about when or where people consume their calories: Does eating breakfast make it easier to control weight? Does eating at fast-food restaurants make it harder?

There’s ample research on foods and diet patterns that protect against heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. The good news is that many of the foods that help prevent disease also seem to help with weight control-foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. And many of the foods that increase disease risk-chief among them, refined grains and sugary drinks-are also factors in weight gain. Conventional wisdom says that since a calorie is a calorie, regardless of its source, the best advice for weight control is simply to eat less and exercise more. Yet emerging research suggests that some foods and eating patterns may make it easier to keep calories in check, while others may make people more likely to overeat.

 

Let’s briefly review the research on dietary intake and weight control, highlighting diet strategies that also help prevent chronic disease.

 

 

  • Macronutrients and Weight: Do Carbs, Protein, or Fat Matter?

 

It really looks like the percentage of calories from carbs, fats or proteins do not really contribute to weight gain. So, the quantity of macronutrients you consume per day might not be directly proportional to the weight you add-on. In saner climes, there may be some benefits to a higher protein, lower carbohydrate approach, or even a high fat, low carb approach. For chronic disease prevention, though, the quality and food sources of these nutrients matters more than their relative quantity in the diet. And the latest research suggests that the same diet quality message applies for weight control.

 

  • Dietary Fat and Weight

 

Low-fat diets have long been touted as the key to a healthy weight and to good health. But the evidence just isn’t there: Over the past  years globally and especially in western countries, the percentage of calories from fat in people’s diets has gone down, but obesity rates have skyrocketed.  “Carefully conducted clinical trials have found that following a low-fat diet does not make it any easier to lose weight than following a moderate- or high-fat diet”. In fact, study volunteers who follow moderate- or high-fat diets lose just as much weight, and in some studies a bit more, as those who follow low-fat diets. And when it comes to disease prevention, low-fat diets don’t really appear to offer any special benefits except in very strict conditions. 

“Part of the problem with low-fat diets is that they are often high in carbohydrates, especially from rapidly digested sources, such as white bread and white rice. And diets high in such foods might further increase the risk of weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease”.

For good health, the type (in terms of quality) of fat people eat is far more important than the amount , and there’s some evidence that the same may be true for weight control. Studies have shown clearly that over consumption of trans fat and saturated fats would lead to heart and possibly other non-communicable diseases, but not the same with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids which offer health benefits.

 

  • Protein and Weight

 

Although  high-protein diets seem to perform equally well as other types of diets, they still tend to be low in carbohydrate and high in fat or sometimes vice versa as the case may be, so it is difficult to tease apart the benefits of eating lots of protein from those of eating more fat or less carbohydrate. But there are a few reasons why eating a higher percentage of calories from protein may help with weight control:

  • More satiety: People tend to feel fuller, on fewer calories, after eating protein than they do after eating carbohydrate or fat.
  • Greater thermic effect: It takes more energy to metabolize and store protein than other macronutrients, and this may help people increase the energy they burn each day. About 30-35% is metabolised almost immediately.
  • Improved body composition: Protein seems to help people hang on to lean muscle during weight loss, and this, too, can help boost the energy-burned side of the energy balance equation. 

“Higher protein, lower carbohydrate diets improve blood lipid profiles and other metabolic markers, so they may help prevent heart disease and diabetes”. But some high-protein foods are healthier than others: High and uncontrolled intakes of red meat and processed meat are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.

Replacing red processed meat with nuts, beans, fish, or poultry seems to lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes.  And this diet strategy may help with weight control, too, according to a recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health.

 

  • Carbohydrates and Weight

 

Lower carbohydrate, higher protein or even lower carbs, moderate protein and high fat diets may have some weight loss advantages in the short term.  Yet when it comes to preventing weight gain and chronic disease, carbohydrate quality is much more important than carbohydrate quantity.

‘Milled, refined grains and the foods made with them-white rice, white bread, white pasta, processed breakfast cereals, and the like-are rich in rapidly digested carbohydrates. So are potatoes and sugary drinks. The scientific term for this is that they have a high glycemic index and glycemic load. “Such foods cause fast and furious increases in blood sugar and insulin that, in the short term, can cause hunger to spike and can lead to overeating-and over the long term, increase the risk of weight gain, diabetes, and heart disease”. 

Are there Specific Foods that Make It Easier or Harder to Control Weight?

There’s growing evidence that specific food choices may help with weight control, but does not suggest that one food will help in weight loss or gain (super food). The good news is that many of the foods that are beneficial for weight control also help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. There are a number of foods and drinks that contribute to weight gain—chief among them, refined grains and sugary drinks—also contribute to chronic disease.

 

  • Whole Grains, Fruits and Vegetables, and Weight

 

Whole grains-whole wheat, brown rice, barley, and the like, especially in their less-processed forms-are digested more slowly than refined grains. So they have a gentler effect on blood sugar and insulin, which MAYhelp keep hunger at bay. The same is true for most vegetables and fruits. These “slow carb” foods have bountiful benefits for disease prevention, and there’s also evidence that they can help prevent weight gain.

Don’t narrow your mind down to the fact that the calories from whole grains, whole fruits, and vegetables disappear. What’s likely happening is that when people increase their intake of these foods, they cut back on calories from other foods. Fiber may be responsible for these foods’ weight control benefits, since fiber slows digestion, helping to curb hunger. Fruits and vegetables are also high in water, which may help people feel fuller on fewer calories.

 

  • Nuts and Weight

 

“Nuts pack a lot of calories into a small package and are high in fat, so they were once considered taboo for dieters or even anyone who wants to stay healthy. But as we may have it, studies find that eating nuts does not lead to weight gain and may instead help with weight control, perhaps because nuts are rich in protein and fiber, both of which may help people feel fuller and less hungry. People who regularly eat nuts are less likely to have heart attacks or die from heart disease than those who rarely eat them, which is another reason to include nuts in a healthy diet. 

 

  • Dairy and Weight

 

“The U.S. dairy industry has aggressively promoted the weight-loss benefits of milk and other dairy products, based largely on findings from short-term studies it has funded. But a recent review of nearly 50 randomized trials finds little evidence that high dairy or calcium intakes help with weight loss. Similarly, most long-term follow-up studies have not found that dairy or calcium protect against weight gain, and one study in adolescents found high milk intakes to be associated with increased body mass index. 

One exception is the recent dietary and lifestyle change study from the Harvard School of Public Health, which found that people who increased their yogurt intake gained less weight; increases in milk and cheese intake, however, did not appear to promote weight loss or gain. It’s possible that the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may influence weight control, but more research is needed.

Yoghurt tends to keep the gut health at check and easily filling with less calorie, it could proffer solutions to the weight loss saga.

 

  • Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Weight

 

There’s convincing evidence that sugary drinks increase the risk of weight gain, obesity, and diabetes:  A systematic review and meta-analysis of 88 studies found “clear associations of soft drink intake with increased caloric intake and body weight.”  In children and adolescents, a more recent meta analysis estimates that for every additional 12-ounce serving of sugary beverage consumed each day, body mass index increases by 0.08 units.  Another meta analysis finds that adults who regularly drink sugary beverages have a 26 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who rarely drink sugary beverages.  Emerging evidence also suggests that high sugary beverage intake increases the risk of heart disease. 

Like refined grains and potatoes, sugary beverages are high in rapidly-digested carbohydrates. Research suggests that when that carbohydrate is delivered in liquid form, rather than solid form, it is not as satiating, and people don’t eat less to compensate for the extra calories. Liquid calories might tend to increase weight more than solid due to its low levels of satiety after consumption.

It really even seems that the number of overweight people had their fair share from sugary drinks than solid foods. A research conducted a while ago noticed that most overweight people really didn’t eat much solid foods but rather drank sugary drinks in their bottles.

 

  • Fruit Juice and Weight

 

It’s important to note that fruit juices are not a better option for weight control than sugar-sweetened beverages ( who even suggested that?). Ounce for ounce, fruit juices-even those that are 100 percent fruit juice, with no added sugar- are as high in sugar and calories as sugary sodas. So it’s no surprise that a recent Harvard School of Public Health study, which tracked the diet and lifestyle habits of 120,000 men and women for up to 20 years, found that people who increased their intake of fruit juice gained more weight over time than people who did not. Pediatricians and public health advocates recommend that children and adults limit fruit juice to just a small glass a day, if they consume it at all.

It’s better to take fruits in their fresh form than their processed and packaged form.

 

  • Alcohol and Weight

 

Even though most alcoholic beverages have more calories per ounce than sugar-sweetened beverages, there’s no clear-cut evidence that moderate drinking contributes to weight gain. It probably would lead to a protruded tummy because of the fact that the liver metabolizes it first after a meal and stores visceral fat during the process. While the recent diet and lifestyle change study found that people who increased their alcohol intake gained more weight over time, the findings varied by type of alcohol.  In most previous prospective studies, there was no difference in weight gain over time between light-to-moderate drinkers and nondrinkers, or the light-to-moderate drinkers gained less weight than nondrinkers. If you’ve seen heavy alcoholics in Nigeria, they’re actually lanky and look like a bag of bones. 

Breakfast, Meal Frequency, Snacking, and Weight

There is some evidence that skipping breakfast increases the risk of weight gain and obesity, though the evidence is stronger in children, especially teens, than it is in adults. Meal frequency and snacking have increased over the past years globally. -on average, children and most teen-adults get 27 percent of their daily calories from snacks, primarily from desserts and sugary drinks, and increasingly from salty snacks and candy. But there have been conflicting findings on the relationship between meal frequency, snacking, and weight control, and more research is needed.

Portion Sizes and Weight

“Since the 1970s, portion sizes have increased both for food eaten at home and for food eaten away from home, in adults and children. Short-term studies clearly demonstrate that when people are served larger portions, they eat more. There is an intuitive appeal to the idea that portion sizes increase obesity, but long-term prospective studies would help to strengthen this hypothesis.

Fast Food and Weight

Fast food is known for its large portions, low prices, high palatability, high sugar content, high fat content, reheating oil and high monosodium glutamate content; and there’s evidence from studies in teens and adults that frequent fast-food consumption contributes to overeating and weight gain. 

It’s really important to focus on home cooked meals than the ones from fast foods

 

The Bottom Line: Healthy Diet and Lifestyle Can Prevent Weight Gain and Chronic Disease

Weight gain in adulthood is often gradual, about a pound a year -too slow of a gain for most people to notice, but one that can add up, over time, to a weighty personal and public health problem. There’s increasing evidence that the same healthful food choices and diet patterns that help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions may also help to prevent weight gain:

Choose minimally processed, whole foods-whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, healthful sources of protein (fish, poultry, beans), and plant oils.

Limit sugar beverages, refined grains, potatoes, red and processed meats, and other highly processed foods, such as fast food.

Though the contribution of any one diet change to weight control may be small, together, the changes could add up to a considerable effect, over time and across the whole society. Since people’s food choices are shaped by their surroundings, it’s imperative for governments to promote policy and environmental changes that make healthy foods more accessible and decrease the availability and marketing of unhealthful foods.

 

Source: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/diet-and-weight/#:~:text=Choose%20minimally%20processed%2C%20whole%20foods,foods%2C%20such%20as%20fast%20food.

 

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Diet Therapy of DiseasesUncategorized

GASTROPARESIS

GASTROPARESIS

As a saying goes thus : “ to eat is human, to digest is divine; a number of people find it difficult to utilize their digestive tracts after enjoying a sumptuous meal. Really, it’s saddening to be afraid to eat that very delicious meal because you know you would probably be bloated or even constipated. So, what to do? 

Let’s take a look at this exciting digestive disorder called gastroparesis, shall we?

Gastroparesis (abbreviated as GP) represents a clinical syndrome characterized by sluggish emptying of solid food (and more rarely, liquid nutrients) from the stomach, which causes persistent digestive symptoms especially nausea and primarily affects young to middle-aged women, but is also known to affect younger children and males.

It’s thought to be the result of a problem with the nerves (vagus) and muscles that control how the stomach empties.

Sadly, If these nerves are damaged, the muscles of your stomach might become dysfunctional and the motility of food can slow down.

“While delayed emptying of the stomach is the clinical feature of gastroparesis, the relationship between the degree of delay in emptying and the intensity of digestive symptoms does not always match”. For instance, some diabetics may exhibit pronounced gastric stasis yet suffer very little from the classical gastroparetic symptoms of: nausea, vomiting, reflux, abdominal pain, bloating, fullness, and loss of appetite. “Rather, erratic blood-glucose control and life-threatening hypoglycemic episodes may be the only indication of diabetic gastroparesis. In another subset of patients (diabetic and non-diabetic) who suffer from disabling nausea that is to the degree that their ability to eat, sleep or carry out activities of daily living is disrupted gastric emptying may be normal, near normal, or intermittently delayed”. In such cases, a gastric neuro-electrical dysfunction, or gastric dysrhythmia (commonly found associated with gastroparesis syndrome), may be at fault.

 

DIABETES AND GASTROPARESIS 

Over time, diabetes can affect many parts of your body (especially nerves). One of those is the vagus nerve, which controls how quickly your stomach empties. “When it’s damaged, your digestion slows down and food stays in your body longer than it should”.

Although it’s more common in people with type 1 diabetes, people with type 2 can also get it.

 

From a study carried out by Phillips LK et al., 2015 : 

Glucose and gastric emptying: bidirectional relationship. The rate of gastric emptying is a critical determinant of postprandial glycemia. Glucose entry into the small intestine induces a feedback loop via CCK, peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), which are secreted from the intestine in response to nutrient exposure. GLP-1 and gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) induce the release of insulin, and GLP-1 inhibits glucagon secretion, which attenuates postprandial glycemic excursions. Amylin, which is co-secreted with insulin, also slows gastric emptying. At the same time, the blood glucose concentration modulates gastric emptying, such that acute elevations of blood glucose levels slow gastric emptying (effects are evident even within the physiological range) and emptying is accelerated during hypoglycemia.

 

DIAGNOSIS 

Diagnosis of gastroparesis begins with a doctor asking about symptoms and past medical and health experiences (history), and then performing a physical exam. Any medications that are being taken need to be disclosed.

Tests will likely be performed as part of the examination. These help to identify or rule out other conditions that might be causing symptoms. Tests also check for anything that may be blocking or obstructing stomach emptying. Examples of these tests include:

  • a blood test,
  • an upper endoscopy, which uses a flexible scope to look into the stomach,
  • an upper GI series that looks at the stomach on an x-ray, or
  • an ultrasound, which uses sound waves that create images to look for disease in the pancreas or gallbladder that may be causing symptoms.

 

SYMPTOMS 

The digestive symptom profile of nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, reflux, bloating, early satiety, and anorexia can vary in patients both in combination and severity.

Others may include weight loss/weight gain, constipation and/or diarrhea, wide glycemic fluctuations in diabetics, belching and bloating-again, developing soon after meal ingestion and lasting for hours-along with visible abdominal distention. The distention and bloating may push up against the diaphragm making breathing uncomfortable.

“A poorly emptying stomach additionally predisposes patients to regurgitation of solid food, as well as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)”. The reflux may range from mild through to severe. GERD complications can create esophageal spasm (also called non-cardiac chest pain) and can add to the burden of chronic pain. In severe cases, reflux aspiration pneumonitis compounds the clinical picture.

 

CAUSES

Reports from one tertiary referral center found that out of their 146 patients with gastroparesis: 36% were idiopathic (unknown causes), 29% were diabetic, 13% were post-surgical, 7.5% had Parkinson’s disease and 4.8% had collagen diseases. Any disease of metabolic, neurological (psychiatric, brainstem, autonomic including sympathetic and parasympathetic or enteric), or connective tissue (autoimmune) origin has the potential to disrupt gastric neural circuitry.

Apparently, diabetes is the most common known cause of gastroparesis. It can damage nerves — including the vagus nerve, which regulates your digestive system — and certain cells in your stomach.

Other causes of gastroparesis include:

Related Disorders

A stomach motor disturbance known as “dumping syndrome” whereby food or liquids empty too quickly from the stomach can present with similar symptoms as are found in gastroparesis. Other disorders that may clinically present as gastroparesis (gastritis, gastric ulcers, pyloric stenosis, celiac disease, and GI obstructions) need to be ruled out.

 

TREATMENT 

You may find these tips helpful:

  • instead of 3 meals a day, try smaller, more frequent meals – this means there’s less food in your stomach and it will be easier to pass through your system
  • try soft and liquid foods, or even semi solid foods which are easier to digest. In severe cases, broths might be advisable. 
  • Masticate well before swallowing ( i tried to check how long it’ll take to carefully grind a spoon of rice and i got 21seconds; you should try eating slowly. winks).
  • drink non-fizzy liquids with each meal

It may also help to avoid certain foods that are hard to digest, such as apples with their skin on or high-fibre foods like oranges and broccoli, plus foods that are high in fat, which can also slow down digestion.

 

MEDICATIONS 

Use of drugs like domperidone, erythromycin, anti-emetics. Also note that these drugs might have side effects so it’s important to discuss with your doctor before using them. 

Domperidone should only be taken at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time because of the small risk of potentially serious heart-related side effects.

Other options like electric stimulation, botulinum toxin injections, a feeding tube, surgery

 

FOOTNOTE FOR DIABETICS

The nerves to the stomach can be damaged by high levels of blood glucose, so it’s important to keep your blood glucose levels under control if you have diabetes.

Your doctor alongside a dietitian can advise you about any changes you may need to make to your diet or medicine. For example, if you’re taking insulin, you may need to divide your dose before and after meals and inject insulin into areas where absorption is typically slower, such as into your thigh.

 

SOURCES: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gastroparesis/

https://rarediseases.org/rare-diseases/gastroparesis/

https://aboutgastroparesis.org/signs-symptoms.html/diagnosis-tests.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6028327/

https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-1-diabetes-guide/diabetes-and-gastroparesis#1

 

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Uncategorized

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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General Research

FENUGREEK: USES, BENEFITS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS

Fenugreek is truly an amazing plant with so many health benefits. People from Western Asia and the Mediterranean have used fenugreek for thousands of years to improve the flavour of their food, improve health, and soothe skin maladies. In more recent times, this herb has supposedly gained global popularity as a herbal supplement with a variety of health benefits.

While fenugreek has many promising applications/ benefits, not all of its uses have yet been backed up by rigorous scientific examination. This tour will tell us which of fenugreek’s health benefits are supported by evidence, and which ones remain more assumptions and advertising gimmicks than fact.

Let’s take a dive together to learn what fenugreek is, what it does in the body, and how best to utilize all its

benefits. Shall we?

What Is Fenugreek?

Fenugreek (scientific name Trigonella foenum-graecum) is a plant native to Western Asia and the Mediterranean. It has three green or yellow oblong leaves, which can be consumed fresh or dried.

Fenugreek leaves and seeds are important for cooking and medicines. Because of their sweet, maple-syrup like smell and flavour, fenugreek seeds are also added to artificial maple syrup, candies, ice cream, beverages, tobacco, soaps, and cosmetics.

 

 

What Makes Fenugreek Work? Important Compounds

Well, as stated below, the health benefits of fenugreek involve the regulation of blood sugar, stimulation of milk flow in new mothers, maintenance of hormones, and treatment of inflammation; made possible by the presence of the outlined compounds:

  • 4-hydroxyisoleucine and 2-oxoglutarate: molecules with an insulin-stimulating effect.
  • Protodioscin: compound that may have aphrodisiac effects.
  • Diosgenin and Yamogenin: compounds used in the commercial synthesis of progesterone and other steroid products.
  • 3-Hydroxy-4,5-dimethyl-2(5H)-furanone: compound that causes a maple-syrup scent in body excretions.

Now that we’ve taken a look at what fenugreek does, let’s appreciate its functions.

Look before you leap! Some retailers care more about their pockets than your health. (Shine your eyes)

 

Why You Should Be Cautious About Herbal Supplements

Herbal remedies can be very effective alternative treatments to prescription medication. At the same time, there’s a big business of retailers that exaggerate health claims to market their products and make money.

The best way to evaluate these claims is to take a look at objective, rigorous scientific research. Has the supplement been tested in a randomized control trial and been proven to have statistically significant effects? Has it been used on human subjects and not just lab mice? If its benefits are purely anecdotal, then you might not want to waste your time or money, or worst case scenario, risk causing yourself more harm than good.

With these guiding principles in mind, we’ve done a thorough research on fenugreek, its uses, contraindications and special cases.

Fenugreek Benefits: Analysis of 4 Popular Uses

People take fenugreek in a variety of forms as an herbal supplement. Its most common form is a pill or capsule, but it can also be made into a tea or ground up and combined with other ingredients to make a poultice and applied to injured skin.

The most commonly claimed fenugreek benefits are milk production in new mothers, blood sugar levels, testosterone and male libido, and treating inflammation.

Fenugreek can act as a galactagogue.

 

Use 1: To Enhance Milk Production in New Mothers

Fenugreek is widely used as a galactagogue, or a milk flow-enhancing agent in new mothers. Nursing women take fenugreek in pill form or drink it as a tea after they’ve had a baby.

While fenugreek appears to be an effective galactagogue, it can have adverse effects if you take it while pregnant. Most doctors advise that women should only take fenugreek supplements once they’ve had their baby and not before.

Scientists believes it contains phytoestrogens, which are plant chemicals similar to the female sex organs oestrogen. They really don’t know how it happens though, they only believe breasts are modified sweat glands, and fenugreek promotes sweat production.

The plant has aggravated asthma symptoms in women and caused low blood glucose in diabetics; it should not be used by all.

Since its evidence backed that fenugreek could be used as a milk-enhancing agent, how should you take it?

 

 

How to Take Fenugreek to Stimulate Milk Production

Its best to speak to your doctor/ dietitian before taking fenugreek as it could have significant side effects during pregnancy. I remember one woman complaining to me how it makes her add more weight.

If you decide to take fenugreek, you could take it as fenugreek tablets or drink it as a fenugreek tea. A typical dosage is two to three capsules (580 to 610 mg each) taken by mouth three times a day. Drinking it as a tea is a milder amount. You might drink between 1-3 cups a day as a hot tea, iced tea, or mixed with apple juice.

 

Use 2: To Maintain Blood Sugar Levels

Fenugreek seeds are commonly used as a supplement to control blood glucose, especially to prevent or treat diabetes. It appears to alleviate problems around the metabolism of blood sugar.The seed contains fibre and other possible compounds that could slow digestion and the body’s absorption of carbohydrates and sugars.

How to Take Fenugreek to Control Blood Glucose

The most common ways to take fenugreek to control blood sugar levels are in capsule form, ground up and added to food, or made into a tea. The recommended dosage falls between 2.5 and 15 grams a day. The amount you take varies depending on your weight, any other medications you take, and other factors.

It would be really unwise to just depend solely on fenugreek to help in the treatment of diabetes; speak to your dietitan and doctor for possible and sustainable ways to handle your diabetes.

 

Use 3: To Boost Libido

One of fenugreek’s ancient uses is to enhance libido. Mediterranean and Western Asian cultures have incorporated the herb into their diets for thousands of years to enhance sexual desire. Recent studies have suggested that fenugreek may increase libido in both men and women.

Well, research holds that it’s a better aphrodisiac than banana, asparagus and almonds.

Ultimately, researchers concluded that “T foenum-graecum [fenugreek] seed extract is a well-tolerated and an effective botanical medicine for use in the support of sexual function for pre-menopausal women, in particular increasing sexual desire and arousal, with positive effects in concentration of E2 [estradiol] and free testosterone.” The studies suggest that fenugreek supplements may increase libido in both men and women.

How to Take Fenugreek to Boost Libido

Fenugreek can be taken as a capsule or brewed into a tea, or the seeds can be ground up and added to food or bread. A dose of 500 to 600 mg fenugreek capsules per day is recommended to boost libido. As with any herbal supplement, you should check with your doctor to determine the right amount for you.

 

Is your skin red, bumpy, or injured? A fenugreek-based poultice can help.

 

Use 4: To Soothe Skin Inflammation or Injury

Fenugreek powder has long been combined with other soothing herbs to make poultices and treat skin inflammation and injury. Recent studies have suggested that fenugreek may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

How to Use Fenugreek to Treat Skin Inflammation

To soothe injured or inflamed skin, people traditionally grind dried herbs or boil fresh herbs in water and make a paste. You might combine fenugreek seed powder with other skin-soothing herbs, like slippery elm, flaxseed, as well as medicinal charcoal. After combining everything into a paste, just spread it across a clean piece of gauze, linen, or cotton and apply it directly to the skin.

Leave the poultice on the affected area for about 1 to 24 hours, taking it off when the skin feels better.

Along with the four main uses described above – enhancing milk production, controlling blood glucose, boosting libido, and treating skin inflammation – people claim a number of other fenugreek health benefits. Let’s take a look at other potential positive effects of taking fenugreek; with little scientific back up though.

Other Potential Health Benefits of Fenugreek (anecdotal)

People have been consuming fenugreek for thousands of years, and many believe that it has a wide range of physical benefits. These are a few additional anecdotal fenugreek seeds benefits:

  • Balance cholesterol
  • Soothe upset stomach and digestive problems
  • Reduce menstrual cramps
  • Reduce appetite
  • Control obesity
  • Maintain liver and kidney health (hepatic and renal issues)
  • Soothe muscle pain
  • Reduce fever

At this point, there’s little scientific evidence behind these alleged benefits, so much more research is needed to assess the efficacy of this herbal supplement.

Apart from having health benefits, Fenugreek also has some potential adverse side effects, and it’s important to be aware of them before incorporating the supplement into your routine because physiology differs.

Fenugreek Side Effects: 6 Potential Problems

‘They are just supplements (herbal at that), they should not pose any threat; calm down first.

The following are the six main potential fenugreek side effects.

 

Side Effect 1. Induce Childbirth

For the most part, pregnant women are advised not to take fenugreek. Because it contains oxytocin, fenugreek could act as a uterine stimulant, meaning it could cause contractions and preterm labour. Some people have used fenugreek to induce labour, don’t try this at home.

The other side effect of taking fenugreek while pregnant is that it can give a false alarm of Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD). MSUD is an inherited genetic disorder so named because it causes a maple syrup-like smell in body excretions (urine).

 

Side Effect 2. Diarrhoea

Fenugreek may cause stomach irritation and diarrhea. Excessive intake in pregnancy could lead to episodes of diarrhoea, gastrointestinal disturbances as nausea, vomiting and flatulence could also occur.

Side Effect 3. Bleeding

Fenugreek contains a chemical compound called coumarin that can act as a blood thinner. People on blood-thinning or anti-coagulant medications to be careful and consult their doctors before taking fenugreek supplements.

 

Be careful if you take a blood thinner, as fenugreek could cause excessive bleeding.

Side Effect 4. Hypoglycemia

If you’re taking both medicine for diabetes and fenugreek supplements, you should measure your blood sugar levels so they don’t become too low and cause hypoglycemia. Since fenugreek can lower blood glucose levels, its best you are always alert about your glucose levels.

Consult with your doctor about the right amount, and carefully monitor the effects that fenugreek supplements have on your blood sugar levels.

 

Side Effect 5. Allergic Reactions

Before introducing new things to your, you should be conscious of the possible allergic effects attached to that food.

Check with your doctor, and try just a small dosage of fenugreek at first. Stop taking it if you experience a rash, hives, swelling, or trouble breathing.

 

Side Effect 6. “Maple Syrup” Sweat or Urine

This last side effect doesn’t cause any harm, apart from the false alarm about MSUD in infants described above. Fenugreek has a strong, sweet odour, and eating the seeds might pass that maple syrup-like smell into your sweat and urine or the sweat and urine of a nursing baby. If you start to notice this maple syrup-like odour, then you’ll know the cause and what to do.

 

How to Take Fenugreek

Either in tea, pill, tincture or powder form, dosages should not exceed the under listed:

  • Capsule: 500 to 600 mg, three times a day.
  • Tea: two to three cups a day. You can make hot or iced tea or combine it with juice.
  • Powder: five to 30 grams of de-fatted seed powder up to three times a day. It’s best to consume fenugreek powder before or as part of a meal.
  • Tincture: three to four mL three times a day. One drop is similar to a 500-600 mg capsule.

Your dosage depends on a number of factors, including weight, age, and health status.

 

SUMMARY

Every seed, herb or fruit has potential health benefits attached to them if used in appropriate amounts, but when abused or used by the wrong groups, they could pose great health threats.

While adding fenugreek to your diet, remember its health benefits and also remember its contraindications and remember too that some presumed back up don’t have sufficient scientific claims.

SOURCE: blog.prepsholar.com/fenugreek-benefits-side-effects

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/3000083/

www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogspot/post/fenugreek-can-increase-male-libido/2011/06/20/AG0xpqcH_blog.html

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General ResearchLifeStyle

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS: BETTER OPTIONS?

There seems to be a lot of debate out there about artificial sweetners.

Some research says its good for weightloss and as a good substitute for table sugars, while some say it would increase the risk of  cancer and also increase blood sugar level.

Well, lets dive into this troubled waters and see what we can pull out of it shall we?

 

What Are Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners, or sugar substitutes, are chemicals added to some foods and beverages to make them taste sweet.

They tend to provide a taste that seems 1,000 times sweeter than regular sugar.

Although some sweeteners contain calories, the amount needed to sweeten products is so small that you end up consuming almost no calories.

They are mostly used in beverages and drinks since they provide zero calories.

 

How Do Artificial Sweeteners Work?

The surface of your tongue is covered by many taste buds. Each taste bud contains several taste receptors that detect different flavors ( sweet, sour, salty).

Each time you eat, the different food molecules contact your taste receptors.

When the food molecule meets with the receptor, it (receptor) sends a signal to your brain, allowing you to identify the taste

For example, the sugar molecule fits perfectly into the taste receptor for sweetness, like a missing pixzle piece  allowing your brain to identify the sweet taste.

The molecules of artificial sweeteners are similar enough to sugar molecules that they fit on the sweetness receptor.

However, they are generally too different from sugar for your body to break them down into calories. This is why they have a sweet taste without the added calories.

Only a minority of artificial sweeteners have a structure that your body can break down into calories. Because only very small amounts of artificial sweeteners are needed to make foods taste sweet, you consume virtually no calories.

Reason why they won’t provide calories (energy) is because your body cannot break them down.

What Are the Names of Artificial Sweeteners?

The following artificial sweeteners are allowed for use in the US and/or the European Union:

Aspartame: 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Aspartame is known under the brand names Nutrasweet, Equal or Sugar Twin.

Acesulfame potassium: 200 times sweeter than table sugar. Acesulfame potassium is suited for cooking and baking and known under brand names Sunnet or Sweet One.

Advantame: 20,000 times sweeter than table sugar, suited for cooking and baking.

Aspartame-acesulfame salt: 350 times sweeter than table sugar, and known under the brand name Twinsweet.

Cyclamate: 50 times sweeter than table sugar. Cyclamate is suited for cooking and baking. However, it’s been banned in the US since 1970.

Neotame: 13,000 times sweeter than table sugar. Neotame is suited for cooking and baking and known under the brand name Newtame.

Neohesperidin: 340 times sweeter than table sugar. It is suited for cooking, baking and mixing with acidic foods. It is not approved for use in the US.

Saccharin: 700 times sweeter than table sugar. It’s known under the brand names Sweet’N Low, Sweet Twin or Necta Sweet.

Sucralose: 600 times sweeter table sugar. Sucralose is suited for cooking, baking and mixing with acidic foods. It’s known under the brand name Splenda.

There’s also a new guy om the block called ‘allulose’ made from grains.

Effects on Appetite

Some people believe artificial sweeteners might actually increase appetite and promote weight gain .

Because they taste sweet but lack the calories found in other sweet-tasting foods, they’re thought to confuse the brain into still feeling hungry after consumption.

Additionally, some scientists think you’d need to eat more of an artificially sweetened food, compared to the sugar-sweetened version, in order to feel full; well, who knows?

Although these theories are plausible, there’s mo back up claim whatsoever to them.

Effect on weight

Well, we have seen that artificial sweetners do not contain calories at all, so obvioulsy they wont increase your risk of gaining extra pounds.

But once they increase your sugar cravings, its better you stick to water than that can of soda.

 

Effects on diabetes

Artificial sweetners would reduce your intake of refined sugar, thereby making it easy for your insulin levels to work. It doesnt have any adverse effects on your glucose yes, but it is better you seek advice from your dietitan or doctor before using them.

Effect on gut health

The health of your gut totally determines if you would be vulnerable to certain illness.

Once your gut is not happy with you, you are at risk of poor blood sugar control,  weakened immune system, and disrupted sleep.

Some studies suggest that selected sweetners could disrupt the health of your gut by affecting the balance of gut bacteria.

Artificial sweetners and cancer

Apart from cyclamate which was banned in 1970 in America, no other other study has linked artificial sweetners with cancer.

 

Artificial sweetners and Dental health

Unlike sugars, artificial sweetners do not react with bacteria in your mourh to form acids. So, they dont affect your dental health negatively.

  1. Some sweetners could cause headaches, seizures or depression in some individuals while leaving out others.

 

Safety and side effects

Artificial sweetners are safe to use but should not be consumed by individuals with phenylketonuria or those allergic to sulfonamides.

 

Take home Message for all

The use of artificial sweetners pose no threats to the health if used as alternatives to sugars.

Some risks attatched to it might be severe or different in individuals, so its best  to seek advice before selecting a sweetner.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/artificial-sweeteners-good-or-bad#section12

 

 

 

 

 

 

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