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HOW FAR DOES INFLAMMATION HARM YOUR HEALTH?

Inflammation originates from Latin for “set afire”. In many health conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis there is usually heat, pain, redness and swelling. In diseases like heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes inflammation does not produce many symptoms and is not very apparent. In such diseases inflammation is diagnosed through certain tests.

Good and Bad of Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s reaction to some injury or infection and it is good in the short run. It is part of the immune system’s response to heal an injury or fight an infection. On the other hand if it is long-lasting in the body then it can be bad for health. Chronic inflammation is a part of many diseases and serious conditions.

Can inflammation cause heart attack?

Inflammations of the arteries are seen in people with heart disease. When fats build up in the walls of the coronary arteries, the body  reacts with inflammatory chemicals, since it finds it as an injury to the heart. This could trigger a blood clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.

Diabetes and inflammation

Type 2 diabetes and inflammation are linked and experts say obesity triggers the inflammation, which prevents the body from using insulin properly. That is why losing weight and keeping the inflammation off is the key step to lower the chance of getting type 2 diabetes.

Causes Alzheimer’s disease

It is known that chronic brain inflammation causes dementia in people. There is no evidence how it really works but it is acknowledge that inflammation does play a big role in the progression of the disease. That’s why anti-inflammatory drugs are give as treatment for Alzheimer’s .

Inflammation of the Stomach

Prolonged inflammation in the gut causes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These are also known as inflammatory bowel’s syndrome. It happens when the body’s immune system by mistake attacks the healthy bacteria in the gut and causes severe inflammation that lasts for a while. The symptoms of such a condition includes belly pain, cramping and diarrhea.

Rheumatoid arthritis

RA is caused due to inflammation of the joints.  This can lead to even heart attack. The symptoms include pain, stiffness and red, warm, swollen joints.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Unlike in RA inflammation the inflammation in fibromyalgia does not affect the joints. The condition usually causes pain, tenderness and fatigue. Fibromyalgia causes inflammation  from other illness.

When does inflammation quickly happen?

At times inflammation strikes all of a sudden when the body is fighting an infection. Cellulitis, skin infection or appendicitis can produce this sort of infection. There is no go in such cases but to consult a physician

How to prevent inflammation?

First and foremost is your diet, a diet rich in plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, plant proteins from vegetables, fish and healthier oils like olive oil. Next is adapting an active lifestyle and getting some quality shut eye or sleep every day. Finally sudden or chronic  inflammation is caused due to smoking , which can be effectively stopped.

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REASONS YOU MAY HAVE BRAIN FOG

Brain Fog is also known as brain fatigue. Brain Fog is not a medical disease it a combination of symptoms that affect a person’s ability to think properly. People who have brain fog will feel confused or disorganised. The affected person will find it hard to focus or put the thoughts into words. If underlying causes of Brain Fog are not addressed, then it can negatively affect one’s professional and personal life.

Common Causes of Brain Fog are

  1. Brain Fog during Pregnancy

This is a condition in which a pregnant woman finds it harder to remember things. When carrying the body undergoes lot of changes at hormonal and physical levels, many chemicals are also released to protect and nourish the baby and hence the memory problems.

  1. Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

The body of a person suffering from MS undergoes many problems with the central nervous system and this will change the way the brain communicates with the rest of the body. People with MS have issues with memory, attention, planning or language and some sort of memory exercises can help.

  1. Medicines

Some over the counter and prescribe medicines can cause brain fog. If you are not sure about the after effects of a medicine consult your doctor rather than continuing with it since it will sometimes cause brain fog and other related problems.

  1. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy for cancer results in the use of strong medications which will cause a condition called ‘chemo brain’ similar to brain fog. A patient undergoing chemotherapy will have difficulty in remembering names, dates or in multi-tasking.

  1. Menopause

Women go through this phase in life and many of them show signs of brain fog. There are many hormonal and body changes that brings about a lack of memory and physical discomfort.  Hormone supplements and medications can help treat this condition.

  1. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

When a patient is affected with this condition then the body and mind will feel tired continuously. The person may feel confused, forgetful and unable to focus. There is no particular cure for the condition but medication, exercise and counselling can help.

  1. Lack of Sleep

When there is enough of sleep then the brain works at its optimum level. When you lack in sleep the brain will feel foggy. A daily rest of 7 to 8 hours is recommended to keep the brain working at its best. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime. Following this will help wake up refreshed and at the same day daily.

  1. Glucose

Since glucose is primary source of energy to brain, fluctuating glucose in blood can cause short term brain fatigue symptoms.

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KNOW ABOUT COLORECTAL CANCER?

When diagnosed at the early stage this disease is curable. Colorectal Cancer is detected when abnormal cells grow in the lining of the large intestine (colon) or the rectum. It can occur in both men and women.

What is a polyp?

Sometimes small growth occurs in the inside of the intestine and manifests as polyps. These are harmless most of the time but sometimes they turn into colorectal cancer. Early treatment and removal of polyp will help control the cancer. They form when there is a problem in cell growth and repair that is present in the lining of the colon.

What are the risk factors?

The following can be the risk factors for colorectal cancer.

  • Age beyond 50 years
  • Inflammatory bowel disease or polyps
  • Family history of colorectal cancer

Risks which can be controlled:

  • Eating red or processed meat cooked at high temperature
  • Obesity with fat around the waist
  • Sedentary lifestyle with no exercise
  • Smoking and alcohol use

What are the symptoms of colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer hardly shows any symptoms until it gets bigger and bad. So we should check if we have any constant bowel problem. Finding early means it is curable. In later stages it leads to blood in stool, stomach ache, constipation and diarrhea. There will also be unexplained weight loss and fatigue. If the tumour gets bigger the treatment is harder.

How is it detected?

Colorectal cancer can be detected during routine bowel screening test. Colonoscopy every 10 years after the age of 50 is advised. It can help detect any polyps in the intestine and the doctor can easily remove it at the initial stage. Fecal blood test is also done to detect any sort of cancerous growth. On suspecting cancer a biopsy of the tissue or the polyp is done to confirm the diagnosis.

What are the treatments?

Surgery at the early stage of colorectal cancer has a high rate of success. During the later state chemotherapy is a treatment adapted to control the spread of cancer.

How to prevent colorectal cancer?

Colorectal cancer is hard to cure once it grows bigger; hence the best thing is to stop it in its tracks by adapting healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise.

Eat a nutritious diet, get proper exercise, control body weight and burn the extra fat. These can together prevent 45% of colorectal cancer possibility. A diet heavy on vegetables, low on red meat with whole grains instead of processed grains will help keep away any trouble.

Staying active is another way of keeping away colorectal cancer. Those adults who exercise regularly at least for 30 minutes daily are less likely to have the disease. It can be walking, cycling, cardio or strength exercise or any games that can keep you active.

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WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY AGEING BRAIN?

Your brain does not keep on growing but stops its growth and slowly starts ageing. Your brain is still developing when you begin to be called an adult but it does not last long and once you reach your late 20s the ‘cognitive decline’ or ageing of the brain starts very slowly.

A shrinking brain

Jokingly we say that your brain has shrunk to people who have grown older. This is no joke since it is physiological change our body cannot avoid. After you reach the age of 40 years, the brain gets 5% smaller with each passing decade. The process gets accelerated once you reach 70 and the brain cells die off with passing age.

Regular exercise helps

Regular physical exercise helps to have a healthier heart and those with healthy heart score high in mental tests. This means habits that help your heart also help your brain. Good sleep, balanced diet and daily exercise are observed to be brain boosters even if you are growing in age.

Episodic memory goes

The memory that helps us remember facts, like the capital of a country is called the semantic memory. While the ability to ride a bicycle is the procedural memory or muscle memory but remembering events in our life and that happens to us is called episodic memory. It is the episodic memory that goes first followed by semantic memory.

Activity for brain health

Similar to good physical health aiding the brain health, a good mental and emotional health is brain nourishing. Challenging the brain with new skills keeps it going longer. Spending time with a group of good friends is emotionally enhancing and it can help you live longer while keeping your brain active.

Blood flow to brain

Blood flow to the brain diminishes as we grow older, with age it becomes slower and slower. First the slow blood flow affects the frontal cortex, where you have vocabulary skills. When you do regular exercise the heart’s pumping improves and the bonus blood keeps the mind healthy.

Vitamin to prevent Dementia

There are three vitamins mainly, folic acid, B6 and B12 that helps lower the levels of certain proteins that causes dementia. These vitamin B series can be easily obtained from consuming bread, fortified cereals and leafy greens.

Head injury and memory

When as a youngster you get a head injury or blow to the head it causes memory loss right away. Later you may recover from the temporary memory loss but as you age the symptoms can return to haunt you and cause trouble leading to Alzheimer’s etc.

Brain health and mental health

Even though as you age your brain health diminishes the mental and emotion health of an aging person should be better than that of a youngster.

Women have better memory

In the memory battle, it is always the women who win. When a memory test is taken the women score well than the men in any age group. This is more apparent after the age of 40 years.

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WHAT HABITS CAN AFFECT YOUR BRAIN FUNCTION?

There may be lot of things you take for normal and do everyday that affects your brain functioning and even damage its structure in the long run. Certain habits like staying up late into the night, not having breakfast and getting too stressed through the day are not brain healthy habits. Though these are dangerous by themselves the ability to change your lifestyle can help regain brain and body health.

Know Your Brain

The brain is a complex and delicate organ that has a say directly or indirectly in each of the body function. It regulates functions like heartbeats, blood pressure, hormonal balance, body temperature and so on. Brain is responsible for movement, learning, memory, emotions and cognition etc. with impact on the overall health of the human body.

Here are few bad habits that can cause damage to the brain.

Totally Avoiding Breakfast

In the morning as you get up brain starts allotting nutrients for various physiological processes. This happens after a long fast that the body is subjected to. If you don’t eat breakfast you will not be supplying enough energy for various functions of the body. Breakfast gives the energy the body needs and also helps in gaining concentration, memory, bad moods, and poor intellectual and physical performance. In the long run this habit could create havoc with the body functions.

Habit of Smoking

Smoking is a very harmful habit since it reduces the the oxygen supply to the brain. Smoking is considered to cause neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. The toxins release from cigarette combustion interferes with DNA production, leading to mutations causing cancer cells to develop.

High Sugar Consumption

The intake of high quantities of refined sugar daily and in high quantities promotes accumulation of harmful substances in the body. The increased sugar in the body interferes with immune functioning and slows down neurological development thus affecting the efficiency of the brain.

Lack of Sleep

It is a known fact that our body needs at least 8 hours of sleep at night, so that the brain can rest and recoup. This also helps in maintain the metabolic process in it proper way which leads to production of energy, as well as cellular renovation. When we deprive ourselves of sleep everyday, it slowly accumulates and causes death of brain cells which keeps you tired and in a bad mood every day.

Uncontrolled or Overeating

Most of us are in the habit of taking larger quantities of food than actually food that will satisfy our hunger. We also have the habit of snacking on fired and unhealthy food. The result from all this overeating is the accumulation of residual substances like fats and hardening of the cerebral arteries. This causes great damage to the brain and its functioning.

Habitual Drinking

Alcohol as you know damages organs like the liver and the heart apart from the nervous system. This impairs the chemical reactions in the brain and damages brain functioning. Alcoholism also kills neurons and reduces the speed at which nerve impulses are transmitted in the nervous system of the brain.

For optimum functioning of the brain many of the bad habits have to be rectified and then you can enjoy absolute health in body and mind.

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