Increased LDL Cholesterol Levels in Younger Adults Leave Them Vulnerable to Heart Disease

A healthy lifestyle is a great way to maintain cholesterol levels
Test for Cholesterol Levels Since your 20s & Keep them Under Control

At the movie its time to choose a tub of buttery popcorn, at home we relish all the delicacies prepared irrespective of the ingredients and at the restaurant we order to our heart’s content. People never restrict consumption of fried foods, processed foods or baked goods unless an illness or disease strikes. Children as small as 5-year-old these days decide on what they want to eat. Weekends are for junk where the kid gets to choose between pizza or donuts, lollipop or pastry or between an ice cream or thick shake! Young adults too party out, dine with colleagues on most days at office or chill out at home by ordering from home delivery sites. These guys neither exercise nor do they involve themselves in some physical activity. All these are critical reasons for rising obesity/overweight rates.

Health sector is booming as people are continuously falling sick over one disease or the other. It was swine flu sometime back, then it was peak season for Zika virus and now its dengue. These are the results of reduced immunity and increased antibacterial resistance owing to inappropriate antibiotic usage. On the other hand we have diabetes, blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases having a gala time as we manhandle not only people but also our beloved body which has given us our precious life.

Younger Generation Might Suffer Badly from Cardiovascular Diseases

Cholesterol can be good or bad but we always choose foods that are brimming with bad cholesterol-French fries, donuts, potato wafers, chicken wings and samosas. Its been recommended for everyone above the age of 20 to get their cholesterol levels tested and ensure that it’s kept under control. A latest study has proved that young healthy people may be at an all-time risk of premature death due to cardiovascular disease if they don’t keep their cholesterol levels under control.

Globally, a third of ischaemic heart disease is due to high cholesterol and this remains as the leading cause of death worldwide. The coronary arteries exist as the only suppliers of blood to the heart and a blockage in the artery reduces blood supply to the heart muscle. LDL is a cholesterol (also called as bad cholesterol) that paves way for clogged arteries which exist as primary risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Increase in cholesterol levels at a younger age is indicative of heightened risk of cardiovascular disease as the person grows old. This calls for immediate action to let people belonging to any age group aware of the risk of elevated cholesterol levels and also help them with different ways to keep these levels controlled.

The study included more than 36,000 young souls who were devoid of diabetes or cardiovascular problems. These participants were followed-up for 27 years. Results showed that:

  1. Of the total participants (72% were men whose average age was 42) 1,086 people died from cardiovascular disease and 598 died of coronary heart disease.
  2. Compared to those whose LDL readings were under 100 mg/dL, participants whose LDL levels existed between 100 and 159 mg/dL were at a 30-40% increased risk of cardiovascular disease death and those participants whose LDL levels were 160 mg/dL or higher were at a 70-90% increased risk.

The main point of the study is that having a 10-year low cardiovascular risk doesn’t nullify the risk of elevated LDL levels over the lifetime. Its necessary to constantly monitor our LDL levels and keep them under 100 mg/dL. This is possible with excellent lifestyle interventions in the form of diet and exercise. Each of us should limit saturated fats intake, avoid tobacco consumption and lead an active lifestyle to keep cholesterol levels under check. If you are someone suffering from high cholesterol levels its better to get in touch with reputed dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to modify your diet and bring in beneficial changes that can be followed for a lifetime of good health.

Disagreeable People Can Stave Off Depression by Practicing Compassion

Disagreeable people lack empathy towards close people too
Hostility Backfires & Leaves you Isolated As Time Passes By

‘Self-sufficient’ is the term most people fall in love with these days. Earlier, communication and interaction were the best way to pass time and enjoy. Nowadays interactions have become a chore and people hate each other’s company. We love our smartphones and use the GPRS to guide us through lanes and streets rather than ask a fellow traveler for routes. It is better to watch a movie alone at home than invite a few friends and disagree with their views. Be the king of your kingdom, isn’t it? Such practices have left people exhaustive of compassion, love and care for others.

Love Only for Thyself

Its not impossible to live alone. It’s mostly those who are highly disagreeable with others who wish to live a life of their own without sharing it with anyone else. Its most likely that these are the people who express least kindness towards others and again these are the ones who are also likelier to benefit more by practicing compassion. This is not a theory but the result of a reputed study.

A study tracked the results of an online compassion training done on more than 640 people who suffered from mild depression. The participants were asked to participate in one of the three online exercises including a control condition. These participants were asked to report their answers every alternate day through the same online platform up to a period of three weeks. Results showed that after a period of two months those participants who expressed heightened levels of compassion experienced maximum relief from depression and greater life satisfaction.

We are humans who have been surrounded by people since our birth-parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and neighbors. Its not like we have jumped from sky and started leading lives on our own. Living with people until now why do suddenly a certain group of individuals start hating people, the society around and everything that includes being social? It may be due to the fact that they have been cheated, ignored or used but secluding yourself from the society is not going to solve the problem. Ultimately everybody needs people. Owing to their attitude and behavior disagreeable people deal with a lot of conflicts and develop hostility towards others unnecessarily. Researchers found that helping these individuals open out and behave in a friendly manner towards others helped them break the shell.

Empathy is a word whose meaning is mostly unknown by highly disagreeable people as they lack empathy even towards their first-circle relations. The tips and tricks given by researchers every other day online for only 10-15 minutes proved as an antidote for depression. The participants were also made to chant positive phrases, but it was the act of kindness and empathy shown towards others that maximized participants’ benefits.

Hostile people may never commit to the fact that they need people and argue that they are better alone but finally it does affect their mood and spoil their positive attitude. Compassion intervention helps to build a kinder society where people benefit from each other’s existence. Its necessary to understand that its not only physical health but mental health too that makes a person who he/she is. A strong body with a weak mental well-being or a strong mind with a weak physical well-being are like half-empty buckets. Understand how to become your healthiest self by practicing physical and mental well-being with the help of tips given at www.firsteatright.com.

Yo-yoing Cholesterol & BP Levels Increase Risk of Heart Attack & Stroke

Fluctuating BP & Cholesterol Levels increases heart disease risk
Seesawing between Highs & Lows Permanently Increases Heart Disease Risk

There is nothing surprising when we comment that cholesterol, diabetes and an increased body weight are contributing factors of heart disease and stroke. In a healthy person who is free from all these conditions and ailments, the risk remains greatest when blood sugar and blood pressure number keep fluctuating constantly.

Diabetes and BP have become as common as cold and cough with one in every four persons suffering from these ailments. Even small children are victims to juvenile diabetes in increasing proportions. The Korean study that used insurance records and health exams of more than 7 million adults none of whom suffered from a history of diabetes, high BP, heart attack or stroke showed that individuals who displayed maximum variation were at a/an:

  1. 127% increased risk of death
  2. 43% increased risk of heart attack
  3. 41% increased risk of stroke

Even with any of the measures fluctuating constantly, the risk factor remained constantly high. For example, when an individual’s blood sugar levels changed, heart attack risk increased by 16% and stroke risk by 13%.

This clearly shows that individuals need to regularly keep an eye on their BP and sugar levels to stay far away from heart attack and stroke. While a heart attack is the result of interrupted blood flow to the heart due to the presence of a blood clot, stroke is the result of a blocked blood vessel that flows to the brain due to a clot or rupture. Most problems with heart attack and stroke start owing to an inappropriate lifestyle. Correcting the lifestyle and adhering to healthy habits negates the risk of heart attack and stroke to a great extent. Eating right, exercising regularly, staying active, reducing stress as much as possible and practicing relaxation techniques are a great way to stay health in life and minimize the risk of diseases. Get in touch with reputed registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to help you in this endeavor and succeed. One particular thing of interest is that, most individuals at a higher risk who experienced maximum variations were those belonging to the older age group and were mostly women. Hence, people belonging to these two risk groups must be extra cautious and follow the principles of a healthy lifestyle vigorously.

Delayed Dinner Timings Advance the Risk of High Blood Pressure & Diabetes

Late dinner timings increase risk of BP and prediabetes
Dining Out is Fun but Only While you Dine!

Weekends are not complete without the late-night parties and catch up sessions with friends in some of our favorite hangouts in the evening followed by a scrumptious dinner. There are not many who love to meet up over breakfast or lunch. Maybe the cool evening breeze, glamorous lights across eateries and pubs or a relaxed evening after completing all your pending chores in the morning are some of the reasons given by many of us for choosing dinner as the preferred meal for eating out or meeting people. You might save all your calories for the big dinner meal, but this might end you in trouble after all!

Save the Date but Change the Time

Looking forward to spend some time with your long-time buddy over an elaborate course of barbecue-styled foods and desserts makes you jump with joy. Dressed up in the best attire, you attack the restaurant’s menu and order an elaborate meal! Enjoy this meal as you might not feel so excited over another dinner like this after reading the consequences of eating a late-evening meal.

Eating big meals after 6 p.m. can lead to increase in blood pressure rates and blood sugar levels. Any food consumed after 6 p.m. is not going to instantly make you weigh more but the additional calories might lead to side effects such as high BP and sugar. Its been said that for every additional 20 calories consumed (based on a 2000-calorie diet) after 6 p.m. there is an increase in the risk of higher fasting glucose, insulin and insulin resistance all of which are risk factors for diabetes.

A team of researchers studied the link between meal timings and hypertension risk in people. The study involved almost 13,000 people aged between 18 and 76 who took up a survey that questioned them about their daily eating habits writing down their daily calorie intake after 6 p.m. Researchers found that more than half of the participants consumed more than 30% of their recommended calories after 6 p.m. daily and these people were at a 23% increased risk of developing high blood pressure compared to others. Also, those who consumed more than 30% of their calories in the evening were at a 19% greater risk of developing prediabetes compared to those who ate calorie-restricted meals at night. Now, when we eat has become as important as what we eat and how much we eat.

All are well-aware that prediabetes and increased blood pressure are high risk factors for heart disease. Read more about what causes a heart disease and how you can control your risk of suffering from a heart disease by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com. The study shows that consumed a major portion of your calorie requirements before 6 p.m. in the evening saves you from cardiovascular disease! Eat a light dinner and above all, eat an early dinner to avoid increase in health risks.

When You Can’t Get Up & Get Out of Bed

Boredom or stressed feeling can be signs of dysania
Depression Can be the Root Cause of Dysania

Getting up in the morning can be a gargantuan task for many who fall in love with sleep. Monday blues are common as we are forced to get back to school, college or office after two luxurious resting days filled with good food, plentiful sleep and fun. Even otherwise, none can find a better reason to get up foregoing the luxuries of tucking yourself under the bed covers and sleeping to heart’s content.

Often, our parents or spouse raise the curtain blinds or open windows to allow the sun to shine upon us during mornings. These too go missing during the winter season making it more advantageous for the sleepy bags to lie down forever in bed. In fact, these people consider it a sin to wake up when its dark outside. Above all these, there might be some situations during which you are unable to get out of bed at all indicating the presence of a serious problem. We have even got a term to describe this issue-dysania.

Dysania

Dysania is the inability to get up and get out of bed. While the normal human is filled with a desire to sleep for a little longer even after getting up dysania-affected people crave to remain in bed for days together, practically do this and are even perturbed at the thought of leaving the comfort of their bed. Though not clinically proved and accepted this condition is said to be extremely popular among individuals and there are millions of them who swear by it.

It is highly rare that a person is diagnosed with dysania alone. In most cases, this condition is accompanied most of the time with depression or chronic fatigue syndrome. Depression can make a person lead a lifeless life disrupting his/her entire happiness. Know more about it and learn to stay away from depression with the help of tips available at the website www.firsteatright.com. Though not outrightly visible there are clear signs indicating the disease. These individuals don’t feel sleepy all the time but lack the energy or even the attitude to step out of bed. Tiredness and laziness to get up might only procrastinate activities but dysania affects day to day activities way more than this impacting quality of life. Also, despite their responsibilities these individuals feel the need to stay in bed for days together. If you feel ‘tired’ or ‘bored’ it might be a normal phase that happens once a while but if ‘overwhelmed’, ‘stressed’ or ‘anxious’ are the words to describe your thoughts, it is better to meet a physician right away.

Tips for Better Sleep

Adults need anywhere between six and eight hours of sleep daily. Some ways to help you sleep better include:

  1. Follow regular bedtime schedules. This helps you spend less time in bed and more time sleeping. Try to go to bed an hour or two earlier to get up earlier without much stress/fatigue.
  2. Keep your bedroom cozy and comfortable with soothing music, dim lights and aromatic fragrances while going to sleep
  3. Do something that involves your mind before going to sleep. This might make you tired and feel like falling asleep in a while
  4. Restrict caffeine intake and try to drink a warm cup of milk
  5. Take a bath or do yoga before going to bed
  6. Eat lightly before bedtime and avoid alcohol consumption
  7. Don’t use your smartphones or any other electronic gadgets before bedtime

While symptoms might be indicative of a general feeling of boredom or laziness it is better to get it checked with your physician to rule out dysania.

Bumpy Feet

Bumps can be malignant too!
Bump on Your Feet Can Ruin Your Activity Schedule

Our feet enable us to walk steadily without falling over and hurting ourselves. Some people experience pain in their feet due to overweight and some others find it painful to walk or feel uncomfortable when there is a bump on the bottom of the foot. The size of the bump can even be as small as a green pea or as big as a golf ball. It might also be on the arch of the foot, ankle or anywhere else too and might hurt or not hurt depending on its location and size. Whatever be it, better to check out the bump and ensure that it’s not cancerous.

Causes

There are different reasons for a bump on the back of the feet:

Improper weight distribution: The long bones behind the toes are sometimes misaligned and this hinders body weight distribution as a person walks. Some areas tend to absorb more pressure due to this and calluses might even develop on the ball of the foot. This mostly is present in people with diabetes and these people should take extreme care and avoid these calluses from turning out into ulcers.

Big toe joint: When a person’s big toe joint does not move correctly while walking, there is excess force applied to the toe’s bottom. Due to this pressure there might be chances that a callus might develop and the bone might enlarge.

Plantar fibromas: This is mostly a hereditary condition that causes a nodule to form on the foot’s bottom. These nodules are non-cancerous and form in the plantar fascia, the ligament in the foot’s arch

Plantar warts: These are usually caused due to human papilloma virus (HPV) and found at the heel, forefoot or toe base. The virus can enter the feet when an individual has any cuts or weak spots and leads to small wart formation. They are small and usually go away on their own. Read more on HPV from the website www.firsteatright.com.

Dyshidrotic eczema: If bumps at the bottom of your foot are itchy and filled with fluid, it might be due to dyshidrotic eczema. While the exact cause is still unknown, researchers assume the primary cause to be allergies. People with this condition might find their skin to be flakey, cracked and painful to touch.

Cysts: These are fluid-filled sacs that are usually benign and extremely small visible under a microscope. As the cyst grows, it causes pain and discomfort.

Bursitis: This is an inflammation of the natural cushion between bones and soft tissue.

Synovial sarcoma: This is a type of soft-tissue sarcoma which can be malignant. It grows as a lump or swelling. Cysts and sarcomas appear similar initially and it is easy to confuse between the two, but while cysts are benign, sarcomas are malignant and can spread to other parts of the body.

Haglund’s deformity: This forms under the Achilles tendon and is a bump on the back of the foot or heel. This bump, when it touches or rubs against a person’s shoes might cause pain and discomfort.

Treatment

Presence of a bump on the person’s feet that does not go away in a couple of days or causes pain/discomfort, it is better to meet a physician. Treatment for the bump depends on the cause primarily.

Uneven weight distribution: An insole or orthotic can treat bumps due to uneven weight distribution as it removes the pressure off the balls of the feet.

Plantar fibromas: Foot orthotics can prove helpful in this case too as it relieves pressure from the arch of the foot and also reduces the size of the nodule. Surgery is considered only during inevitable situations as performing a surgery calls for removing most of the plantar fascia.

Plantar warts: Usually these don’t need any treatment but if they bleed, change color or cause noticeable discomfort, it is better to consult a physician. The physician would suggest whether the wart needs to be removed or not. If you don’t see any changes in the wart, try home remedies such as keeping the leg area dry and clean, avoid touching with your hand and if you touch, please wash your hand immediately and change your socks and shoe every day.

Bursitis: It is usually treated with rest, anti-inflammatory drugs and ice. If none of these improve your condition, the doctor might suggest physical therapy or corticosteroids and recommend surgery when the situation goes beyond hands.

Cysts: Cysts can be drained by the doctor using a sterile needle and never try to drain your cyst at home. Surgery might be needed if the cyst is bigger in size.

Synovial sarcoma: This is malignant and it is better to seek medical attention immediately. Doctors remove it with surgery and might also suggest chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Haglund’s deformity: You can wear open back shoes, keep ice over the affected area or take anti-inflammatory medications as home remedies. If these are not effective, you can go for ultrasound treatments, tissue massage, orthotics, heel pads or immobilizing boots. Surgery might be needed if any of the treatment options are ineffective.

Psychobiotics: The Perfect Blend of Prebiotics & Probiotics

Take a psychobiotic & stay off depression
Treading between Probiotics & Prebiotics

The hype and fervor surrounding probiotics and prebiotics is slowly fading away with the introduction of another new term ‘psychobiotics’. Quickly brushing up on our basics, probiotics are foods that contain microorganisms that improve the good bacteria count and prebiotics are those that act as foods for these microorganisms. Continuing research on the gut microbiota has introduced us to surprising results. The fact that bacteria have a positive impact on human health is known since ages, but we are learning more and more about the gut-brain connection and their definite impact on our appetite, mood and circadian rhythm too only for the past few decades. If curiosity gets the better of you, www.firsteatright.com is the website to clear any of your pending doubts regarding the gut-brain connection.

Establishing a Strong Connection

By definition, psychobiotics are live bacteria that confer mental health benefits by interaction with gut bacteria on ingestion. During early phases, psychobiotics were described as playing a critical role in treating psychiatric conditions but ongoing research has helped mankind treat these as beneficial agents that have a positive impact on anyone who suffers from anxiety problems, clinical depression and stress. Initially, psychobiotics were branded as probiotics that post-ingestion establishes positive psychiatric effects. The thundering study results showing improved immunity, decreased stress and better memory make each of us aware of the importance of gut bacteria in our lives and this leads us to exploring yet another new domain-psychobiotics.

Animal studies are what is happening in full pace now with only extremely limited human sample sizes which makes replication next to impossible. It’s been clearly proved that the immune system, vagus nerve, gut hormones and neurotransmitters are fully involved in the bacteria-gut-brain axis. Researchers are excited over that fact that these psychobiotics might help in treating psychological disorders and improve cognition down the lane. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s now have a new foe! Some suggest including antidepressants, antipsychotics, exercise and eating in the umbrella of terms describing psychobiotics due to their lasting impact on the human gut.

Wait Until Further Notice

Research is under way and nothing has been completely established but food products are stacked in supermarket aisles boasting psychobiotics effect. These are advertised as elevating the effect of antidepressants and antipsychotics but there is a long way to go before we conclude on anything. Material is available and hints are peaking out here and there on the positive effects of psychobiotics, but we need to channelize these hints and bring out the best possible. There have been correlations between eating a Mediterranean diet for an extensive period and reduced risk of depressive disorders. Researchers also feel that studying the gut microbes of those following a Mediterranean-style diet might help them identify bacterial strains that have psychobiotic activity. Once all these have been proved and advantages well-established, psychobiotics would be our dear future cure.