Monday, 27 July 2020

How To Stay Motivated To Work Out

Setting aside some time to go for a 45-minute walk isn’t always easy. We all live busy lives and between family and work, fitting in a workout isn’t always possible. 

What if I told you that you didn’t have to dedicate a set block of time for your walking workouts? What if you could get the same health benefits by working in a little more activity here and there throughout your day?

 And what if there was a fun little gadget that helped you stay motivated to work out more?

There is and it’s called a pedometer. You can pick up an inexpensive model at your local superstore or order it from Amazon. Or you can go with something a little fancier like a Fitbit for example. 

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But before you head out to spend any money, check your smartphone. Many models have a pedometer built-in. All you need to do is download a free app and you’re good to go.

How To Stay Motivated To Work Out

The pedometer will track how many steps you take on any given day. It will also track how many minutes you’ve spent being active and how many miles you’ve walked. 

In other words, it keeps track of how much exercise you get during your day. And the good news is that it doesn’t matter if you head out after work for a 45-minute walk, or if you work out in little spurts here and there throughout the day.

Maybe you start your day by parking a little further away from the office and walking a couple of hundred extra steps. Then you take a quick stroll during your lunch break. 

You wrap up your day by walking around the park while your kids play. And just like that, you’ve gotten your exercise in without having to block out any additional time.

Give it a try. Put on a pedometer, or start tracking with that phone you’re always carrying around anyway and see how much you’re walking around any given day. From there, try to get a little more active as time goes by until you hit your stepping goal. 

For most of us 10,000 steps per day is a good long-term goal, but if you’re feeling more ambitious than that, go for it.

Keeping track of your steps is very motivating. Looking at your pedometer and realizing you’re 2,000 steps away from your daily goal may be just the motivation you need to head out for that after-dinner stroll.

Thursday, 23 July 2020

High Prolactin Levels - Hyperprolactinemia

High Prolactin Levels: How to reduce it

High prolactin levels otherwise known as hyperprolactinemia is a relatively common condition in women. Many women with normal ovaries but experiencing irregular periods may have unusually high prolactin levels. 

Also, women who produce breast milk when they are not pregnant (galactorrhea) may also have high levels of prolactin. In this article, we will discuss the causes of high prolactin levels, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

  What is hyperprolactinemia?

Hyperprolactinemia is a condition when there are abnormally high levels of the hormone called prolactin in the blood. Prolactin is produced by the anterior pituitary gland. The primary functions of prolactin is to enhance breast development during pregnancy and to help in the production of breast milk after childbirth. 

So, high prolactin levels are expected during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. High levels of prolactin can also affect the levels of hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone in men and women.

What are the common causes of high prolactin levels

Common causes of hyperprolactinemia include:

-Prolactinomas: These are tumors that grow on the pituitary gland producing high levels of prolactin. These tumors are usually small and benign meaning they are not cancerous. The symptoms differ according to sex and include headaches and vision problems.

-Prescription medicines for conditions like:
  • Hypertension(calcium channel blockers and methyldopa)
  • Depression
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain(opiates)
  • Heartburn and gastroesophageal disorders
  • Mental health disorders( Risperdal and haloperidol)
  • Menopausal symptoms (estrogen)
-Hypothyroidism: A condition where the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormones.
-Cirrhosis of the liver
-Cushing syndrome
-Chest wall injuries or conditions like shingles
-Herbs like red clover and fenugreek

High Prolactin Levels(hyperprolactinemia)

What are the symptoms of high prolactin levels 

High prolactin levels can cause symptoms that vary according to sex.
In women it can cause:
  • Irregular or missed periods
  • Production of breast milk when not pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Infertility
  • Vaginal dryness
  • Loss of libido
  • Breast pain
In men it can cause:
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Loss of libido
  • Infertility( low sperm production)
  • Production of breast milk
  • Abnormal growth of breast(gynecomastia)
In some cases, there are no symptoms at all.

How is hyperprolactinemia diagnosed

When hyperprolactinemia is suspected, the doctor will usually ask for a blood test to determine if truly the prolactin levels are elevated. If it is, other tests are carried out to rule out conditions like hypothyroidism. 

Doctors will also ask about medications currently being used for other health conditions and pregnancy will also be tested for. If a tumor is suspected, an MRI( magnetic resonance imaging) is done to determine if there is a prolactinoma.

How is hyperprolactinemia treated

Treatment will depend on what the root cause of the high levels of prolactin is and is focused on returning the prolactin levels to normal.
Treatment may include:
  • Thyroid replacement drugs if hypothyroidism is the cause.
  • Replacement of medicines used to treat other conditions causing the elevation of prolactin levels.
  • Surgery, if there is a prolactinoma that is not responding to drugs.
  • Drugs

Drugs used to treat hyperprolactinemia

Cabergoline(Parlodel) and bromocriptine are the most common drugs to treat hyperprolactinemia. Treatment with these drugs continues until the symptoms lessen or pregnancy occurs if that is the goal. 

Bromocriptine is taken two to three times a day while Cabergoline is long-acting and taken twice weekly under a doctor's supervision. Common side effects are nausea, dizziness, and headache.

Torre DL. (2007). Pharmacological causes of hyperprolactinemia.
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