Monday, 29 June 2020

What is Endometriosis?


This is a disorder in women in which tissues that normally lines the uterus called the endometrium grow outside the uterus on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis.

Sign and symptoms of endometriosis 

  • Painful periods: This severe pain may begin before and well into the period
  • Abnormal periods: This may be heavy bleeding during periods, irregular periods, or spotting.
  • Pain during sexual intercourse in the back, lower abdomen, pelvis, rectum, or vagina
  • Adhesions i.e. tissues binding the pelvic organ together
  • Pain with bowel movement or urination
  • Infertility
  • Fatigue and tenderness
  • The severity of the symptoms doesn’t indicate the degree or stage of the condition. Some may have a mild form of the disease and experience agonizing pain while some people may have a severe form and experience little or no symptoms.
What is endometriosis

Diagnosis of endometriosis

The symptoms of endometriosis can be similar to symptoms of other conditions like ovarian cysts and pelvic inflammatory disease. Your doctor will do one or more of the following.

  • Take a detailed history of your symptoms and family history of endometriosis.
  • Physical examination
  • Your doctor may use a transvaginal or abdominal ultrasound to produce images of your organs to identify cysts associated with endometriosis.
  • Laparoscopy: A minor surgery is done to view the lesions and remove them at the same time.

Stages of endometriosis

There are four stages of this condition

Stage 1: Minimal

Small lesions, shallow endometrial implants on the ovary

Stage 2: Mild

Light lesions and shallow implants on the ovary and pelvic lining.

Stage 3: Moderate

Deep implants on the ovary and pelvic lining.

Stage 4: Severe

Deep implants on the pelvic lining and ovaries. Lesions on the Fallopian tubes and the bowel

Treatment of endometriosis

Endometriosis has no cure but its symptoms can be managed. Treatment options include:

Pain medication

Hormonal therapy to reduce pain, regulate the hormonal changes that promote tissue growth occurring during endometriosis. These hormonal treatments include:

  • Hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills, patches, and vaginal rings can reduce or eliminate pain in severe endometriosis. They work by preventing the monthly build-up of the endometrial tissue.
  • Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone(GnRH) agonists and antagonists – These block production of oestrogen which is responsible for the development of female sexual characteristics. Blocking estrogen prevents menstruation and leads to artificial menopause.

Conservative Surgery: This is done to remove abnormal endometrial growths without damaging the reproductive organs.

Hysterectomy: During a total hysterectomy, the surgeon removes the uterus, ovaries and any visible lesions. This is the last option if the condition does not improve with other treatment options. 

This is a rather radical treatment and you should seek a second opinion before agreeing to this especially if you want to have children.


Endometriosis: Symptoms, treatment, diagnosis. (n.d.).
obgyn.ucla.edu/endometriosis

Facts about endometriosis. (n.d.).
endometriosis.org/resources/articles/facts-about-endometriosis/

Endometriosis. (2019).
womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/endometriosis

How To Make Green Smoothies


We’re going to look at how to make green smoothies and learn the basics that apply to any smoothie.
Because really, you don’t necessarily need a recipe. There’s nothing wrong with just experimenting with different combinations of fruits and vegetables and tweaking the ratios to find things you like. 

But to get creative, you need to know the basic rules that will apply regardless of your ingredients.

Download over 10 green smoothies recipes here!

The Basics

The first thing to do is to choose the fruits and vegetables that you’re going to add to your smoothie. You should choose the fruits and vegetables based on the goals you want to achieve and the nutrients that you’re interested in. 

 Is this a fat-burning smoothie? An energy smoothie? Or a fiber-packed smoothie?
Think too about the sugar content and the acidity. Something like a banana or an avocado will be much less sugary than something like an orange or a mango. If you have one or two ingredients that pack a lot of sugar, then consider adding a few less sweet ingredients to try and even the score.

Liquid

The first thing to add to your container before you start making your smoothie is some form of liquid. This of course is going to be what keeps your drink a drink and not a mush! 

What’s also important though, is that you think about how much liquid you want and what type of liquid you’re going to use.

The most common choice of liquid will be water. However, it’s also fairly common to use milk (which comes packed with its own nutrients) or to use fruit juices. It’s also normal to use 1 to 2 cups for one person’s worth of smoothie.

Note though that your smoothie’s consistency is very much dependent on what you do now. If you want the drink to be very runny, then adding a lot of water and juice is fine. If you prefer a thicker consistency though, then you’ll want to add a little less and/or choose something thicker, to begin with, such as milk or even yogurt. 

Whether you prefer your drink to be runny or thick is entirely a matter of preference and might also vary depending on the recipe and the goal!

Download over 10 green smoothies recipes here!

How to make green smoothies

Common liquids you can use for delicious smoothies include:


 Water

 Almond milk

 Milk

 Coconut milk

 Coconut water

 Organic fruit juice

 Freshly squeezed juice

 Kefir

 Tea

 Yogurt


Base

The next thing to think about is your base texture (often just referred to as the base). This is what is going to provide the body of your smoothie and give it that thick consistency so that it is a smoothie and not a juice.

The aim here is to pick something that has a thicker consistency itself then and that means something along the lines of bananas, mangoes, pears, peaches, or avocados. Yogurt also works well, butter (like peanut butter), coconut meat, chia seeds, ice, frozen fruit, or even ice cream (though this last option is not so healthy!).

Good bases include:

 Bananas

 Mangoes

 Pears

 Peanut butter

 Avocado

 Yogurt

 Frozen fruit

 Peaches

 Apples

 Plums

 Melon

The Ratios

The next thing to do is to insert the additional fruits and/or vegetables in the necessary ratios. You’ve already set them aside, now you need to choose the specific quantities and add them in.

You already have your base and this is going to give the most flavor, to begin with. Choosing fruits from here then is a matter of choosing what goes well with that base and you can work this out by thinking about what works well on a plate together!

 For example, a great dessert is to have berries with yogurt and for that reason, you can get the same delicious effect by adding berries to a yogurt base. This will give you a ton of antioxidants, while the yogurt in particular will help you to get digestive benefits.
Conversely, strawberries are known to go very well with banana. Likewise, mango and orange is a great mix!

With all that done, add your fruits into the blender (de-seeded ) and then blend them up into a pulp. You can always add more water at this point if you decide it needs it. Remember to keep your hand over the lid!

Tips for Getting More From Your Smoothies

These instructions will help you to start experimenting with your own smoothies and feeling the health benefits of getting more vitamins and minerals for yourself.
But there are also a number of other things you can do to make your meals that much tastier, to make them more fun, or to save yourself time.

Here are some tips:

Garnishes

There are numerous garnishes you can add to a smoothie if you want to give them a more impressive look and flavor. For example, you can sprinkle some granola or chopped nuts on top and this will help to fill you up. Nuts are also a great choice if you are going to be using peanut butter as a base!

Sweeteners

If you feel like your smoothie isn’t sweet enough, then you might be tempted to add some sugar or a sweetener/syrup. This isn’t a particularly good idea. Adding sugar to your smoothie is of course only going to exacerbate the issues already associated with the high sugar content in these drinks. 

Meanwhile, sweeteners actually ‘fool’ the body into thinking it has consumed sugar and trigger an insulin response – which in turn causes us to feel tired and maybe bad for our health. Add more of the sweeter fruits and maybe consider using some honey. Honey actually has a ton of benefits and is great just before bed!

Download over 10 green smoothies recipes here!

Emotional Eating Disorder: Why You Are Overeating


Emotional eating is the practice of managing one’s emotions by eating food. Emotional overeating is one of the leading causes of failed diets and weight gain. This can lead to feelings of failure, hopelessness, and general depression. Unhealthy eating habits often lead to negative physical effects as well, 

 What causes emotional eating?

Major changes in circumstances, relationships, work dynamics, daily stress, and general feelings of a loss of control can be major factors. For example, a recent break up could drive a person to emotional eating. 

A sudden change in behavior of a formally cordial coworker could leave you feeling alienated, or the daily ebb and flow of lives daily activities could put you in a mood where food is thought of as a reward, a way to relieve stress, or a way to avoid dealing with emotions surrounding a situation.

Emotional eating disorder: why you are overeating

 

How do you detect emotional eating?

Food Cravings Appear Out of Nowhere

Physical hunger is most often experienced as gradually intensifying waves signifying that the body requires a form of sustenance. Sometimes it is possible that there is a deficiency of one or more nutrients, but one of the most telling signs of emotional overeating is the sudden, and urgent appearance of food cravings. 

During these urgent cravings, you are more likely to make unhealthy food choices, such as fast food, processed snack foods, prepackaged, or otherwise artificial food sources rather than eating healthier traditionally prepared meals.

Your Emotions Drive Your Eating Habits

Mood can affect the speed, and way we eat. Do you sometimes notice that a negative situation can send you running to get comfort food? In times of intense emotional upheaval, it can easily become a habit to turn to food for emotional management. That cookie or ice cream might feel good during consumption, but it isn’t truly fixing the heart of the issue.

You Eat While Stressed

Another big sign that that could show that you are emotionally overeating is that you are eating while stressed. Any changes in life large or small can cause a measure of stress. Stressful situations like financial uncertainty could lead to comfort food seeking activity. 

Relationships are also a major source of stress due to the tendency for relationships to experience inevitable changes in dynamics. This could be anything from romantic relationships to work relationships.

You Keep Eating Past Being Full

One of the most serious of the signs of emotional overeating is eating past being full. This is when the need to fill the emotional void exceeds the body’s natural feeling of fullness.

 It can manifest itself in joyless eating, which is eating on autopilot. During this period you might consume empty calories so quickly that you don’t even taste the food. 

You may also find yourself forcing the second half of a meal you could have saved for later, or buying additional snack foods that you will be tempted to eat prematurely. Part of the serious nature of this habit, is that it is a primary mechanism that makes weight gain and other health issues a possibility.

How can emotional eating affect you?

Along with the emotional effects already mentioned, there are a number of health risks associated with emotional eating. It is one of the leading causes of failed diets and weight gain. Weight gain puts a heavy strain on organs such as the heart, lungs, and liver, which can lead to high blood pressure and diabetes.

A person who has gained a substantial amount of weight faces an increased risk of joint injuries of all types. A slip or fall could result in a serious injury that requires surgery, and many months of healing, but what is even more frightening is the fact that a lot of weight gain could make it more difficult, or even prevent emergency medical teams from being able to respond in an efficient or timely manner.

What can you do?

One of the most commonly used methods of determining the source of hunger is the food test. Ask yourself if you really want to eat this food in particular, or if there is something else you can eat instead.

You can also try habit replacement. Find something positive to do when you feel stressed out. Exercise, deep breathing, or any stress-relieving hobby can go a long way to improving your control.

Lastly, resolve any mental health issues by seeing a qualified professional.

Juice Fasting: Benefits And Concerns


Juice fasting can be described as a special diet where you drink juices made from fruits and vegetables only in addition to water for a period of 3 – 10 days without consuming food. These juices are different from smoothies because they contain only the liquid of the produce and isolates the pulp and fiber.

Juice fasting appeals to many people, especially those that don’t like the austerity of water fasting. Advocates of juicing say it offers a lot of benefits like the one listed below. However, most of these benefits have not been scientifically proven.

Benefits of juice fasting

Benefits of Juice Fasting 

  1. Juice requires minimal digestion. The calories and other nutrients in juice require very little digestion, so the body absorbs the nutrients very quickly. All this unused energy is available to repair and rejuvenate the body.
  2. You absorb many micronutrients.
  3. Your body gets a chance to repair itself. Without the stress of digesting food, your body is able to spend time and energy on other things that can enhance your overall health. For example, organ repair and removal of dead and diseased cells can become more efficient.
  4. You will lose weight.  One could very easily juice fast and only consume a few hundred calories per day. You will lose a lot of weight, as long as you keep the amount of fruit juice under control.
  5. Your blood pH will stabilize. The modern Western diet is very acid promoting. The body does not function optimally in an acidic environment. Many body processes are pH-dependent, and an incorrect pH creates a lot of work for the body. Most fruits and vegetables promote an alkaline pH. Some natural health experts believe an alkaline pH is among the most important components of good health.
  6. Greater mental focus and clarity are common when on a juice diet.
  7. You will likely experience a mood boost. Many people report feeling refreshed and happy during a juice fast.
  8. Your skin, nails, and hair will grow stronger and appear healthier. Juice fasters commonly report enhancements in these areas.
  9. Your heart and overall cardiovascular health will increase. It’s common for blood pressure to stabilize.

Side Effects of Juice Fasting

Headaches

Fatigue

Dizziness

Constipation

Diarrhea

If you experience any of the symptoms below, it is advisable to stop the fast and contact your doctor.

Fainting

Vomiting

Severe diarrhea

Low blood pressure

Extreme dizziness

Precautions To Take 

Clean all fruits and vegetables before juicing to prevent contamination.

Store any leftover juice in a clean airtight container in a refrigerator.

Clean all juicing equipment after juicing. Scrub your juicer and all its parts well before and after use because leftover particles can lodge in between the parts and get rotten.


Health Benefits Of Walking


There are a lot of good reasons to go for a walk. It’s fun, it’s relaxing and most important it’s good for your health. But what exactly are the health benefits of walking?

Walking Gets You Outside In The Fresh Air and Sunshine

No matter how fast or slow you walk, walking gets you outside and in the fresh air. This alone will make you feel better as your body absorbs the oxygen and sunshine. Both are important for your health and well-being.

You will find the air quality outside, particularly if you go for a walk on the beach or in a park, will be much better than the air inside your house. Of course, the sunshine outside will help your body produce all the Vitamin D it needs.

Health benefits of walking

Walking Can Help You Get To And Maintain A Healthy Weight

Walking particularly at a quick pace and doing it regularly can help you get to and then maintain a healthy weight. Yes, you still need to watch what you eat and aim for a healthy diet, but walking can be another tool to help you drop those extra pounds.

The nice thing about walking when you’re overweight is that you burn a lot of calories, even on short and slow walks. As you start to lose weight, your overall strength and endurance increases, allowing you to walk longer, further, and faster.

Walking Improves Your Sense Of Balance And Coordination

As you walk, particularly when walking over rougher terrain, you’re also working on your sense of balance and coordination. Just getting in the habit of going for a daily walk will help. But you can work even more on your sense of balance by moving your head around. Turn your head to the right and left as you walk for a count of 30. Then move your head up and down for a count of 30. Doing these simple exercises once or twice as you walk each day will be of great benefit.

Walking Strengthens Your Bones and Muscles

Even though walking is a low impact form of exercise it helps to strengthen and tone your body. If you’re just starting out, it is all you need to start to get into better shape. As you get more fit, consider adding weight lifting exercises in addition to your daily walks to continue to get stronger and help develop strong muscles and bones.

Walking Will Boost Your Mood and Fight Depression

The exercise of walking releases endorphins that will help lift your mood and can even reduce depression. Give it a try. The next time you’re feeling tired or are in a bad mood, lace up your sneakers and go for a brisk walk. It works like a charm.

5 Tips to Keep Your Joints Healthy


When you are young, it is easy to forget how important your joints are for your overall quality of life.  Your joints are what allow your skeleton to bend, as your joints are located where at least two bones meet one another.  This bending is what allows you to perform everyday tasks.  Without joints, you would be one cohesive group of bones, unable to participate in your environment.

Joints also consist of cartilage that lines each end of the bones. Cartilage is important in cushioning the bones in your joints. This cartilage can break down, as is the case in the development of osteoarthritis (which you may hear referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis).

Unfortunately, it is easy to neglect your joints, but you may pay the price as you age.  That is why it is important to start looking after your joints at an early age so that they will be there to support and serve you for years to come.

5 tips to keep your joints healthy

Here are some helpful tips to keep your joints healthy:

Protect your joints 

When you are young, it is easy to forget how important your joints are for your overall quality of life.  Your joints are what allow your skeleton to bend, as your joints are located where at least two bones meet one another.  This bending is what allows you to perform everyday tasks.  Without joints, you would be one cohesive group of bones, unable to participate in your environment.

Joints also consist of cartilage that lines each end of the bones.  Cartilage is important in cushioning the bones in your joints.  This cartilage can break down, as is the case in the development of osteoarthritis (which you may hear referred to as “wear and tear” arthritis).

Unfortunately, it is easy to neglect your joints, but you may pay the price as you age.  That is why it is important to start looking after your joints at an early age so that they will be there to support and serve you for years to come.

Here are some helpful tips to keep your joints healthy:

Protect your joints 

 Some activities are harder on your joints than others or pose a greater risk of injury.  For example, sparring in martial arts puts your joints at risk of injuries. Repeated jogging on pavement also increases the risk of damage to your joints and cartilage.

It is therefore wise to choose low-impact exercises such as swimming, walking, or cycling.  However, if you will be participating in higher-risk activities, be aware of the potential for damage to occur to your joints, and do your best to protect your joints.  You can do this by wearing protective gear such as elbow pads, knee pads, or knee braces.

In addition, be sure to use your larger joints such as your elbows and shoulders to carry your purse, instead of your smaller hand joints.

If you are injured, be sure to stop the activity and seek treatment in order that you can prevent further damage to your joints.

Lose weight 

 Excess weight is especially detrimental to your weight-bearing joints in your legs (knees, hips, ankles).  This can become a vicious cycle if not dealt with.  In other words, you gain weight, your joints are sore, and so you exercise less.  You may need to consult a healthcare professional or a personal trainer to provide you with specific methods to get back on the road to health in all areas.

Do strength-training 

When you strengthen the muscles around your joints, these muscles help support your joints resulting in less stress placed on the latter.

If you strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings muscles found in the front and back of your thighs respectively, you are providing more support for your knee joints. This reduces the risk of developing osteoarthritis in your knees.

You also want to strengthen your abdominal muscles. When you have stronger abdominals, your balance also improves.  This can help you prevent damage to joints, as your chances for falls decrease as your balance improves.

Watch what you eat 

 Some foods promote inflammation throughout the body, including the joints.  Omega 3’s, however, are good for you, as they are known to reduce inflammation.  The best sources of Omega 3’s are found in cold-water fish such as salmon. You can also take Omega 3’s in supplement form. Be careful not to add extra Omega 6’s into your diet, as the North American diet gets enough of these already, and they have been reported to increase inflammation.

Take supplements for healthy joints

Glucosamine and chondroitin are two products that naturally makeup cartilage in your body.  You can purchase glucosamine and chondroitin in supplement form. Some people swear by these products, and use them to keep their joints healthy.

Lose weight 

 Excess weight is especially detrimental to your weight-bearing joints in your legs (knees, hips, ankles).  This can become a vicious cycle if not dealt with.  In other words, you gain weight, your joints are sore, and so you exercise less.  You may need to consult a healthcare professional or a personal trainer to provide you with specific methods to get back on the road to health in all areas.

Do strength-training 

When you strengthen the muscles around your joints, these muscles help support your joints resulting in less stress placed on the latter.

If you strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings muscles found in the front and back of your thighs respectively, you are providing more support for your knee joints.  This reduces the risk of developing osteoarthritis in your knees.

You also want to strengthen your abdominal muscles.  When you have stronger abdominals, your balance also improves.  This can help you prevent damage to joints, as your chances for falls decrease as your balance improves.

Watch what you eat 

 Some foods promote inflammation throughout the body, including the joints.  Omega 3’s, however, are good for you, as they are known to reduce inflammation.  The best sources of Omega 3’s are found in cold-water fish such as salmon.  You can also take Omega 3’s in supplement form.  Be careful not to add extra Omega 6’s into your diet, as the North American diet gets enough of these already, and they have been reported to increase inflammation.

 


Health Benefits of Ginger


Ginger is one of the most common spices available in most homes. However, apart from adding flavor to meals,  the health benefits of ginger cannot be overemphasized.

Ginger is a flowery plant that originates from China. It is closely related to turmeric, cardamom and galangal. The underground part of the stem called a rhizome is the part called the ginger root used as a spice. The main bioactive compound in ginger is called gingerol. This is what is responsible for it’s a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect.

Health benefits of ginger

Health Benefits Of Ginger

Nausea

Ginger is a very effective remedy for nausea. It can be used to relieve seasickness, nausea after surgery, patients undergoing chemotherapy, and pregnancy-related nausea. However, some believe that large amounts of Ginger can raise the risk of miscarriage. 1- 1.5 grams of Ginger is generally recommended.

Chronic Indigestion

Ginger is believed to speed up stomach emptying time in people with this condition. Delayed emptying of the stomach can cause chronic indigestion which is characterized by pain and discomfort in the upper part of the stomach. Drinking a warm cup of ginger-infused water can reduce symptoms of indigestion.

Dysmenorrhea (menstrual pain)

Menstrual pain is pain experienced by women during their menstrual cycle. Ginger has been found to reduce pain especially when taken at the beginning of the period. It has been found to be as effective as pain medication like ibuprofen.

Osteoarthritis

Taking ginger by mouth has been found to reduce pain with osteoarthritis. Some research also shows that ginger oil massaged into the knee can reduce pain from osteoarthritis.

Other Uses

Ginger extract has been used to treat burns and prevent insect bites.

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