Alanine Aminotransferase Screenings

ALT is contained primarily inside the liver, but also in lesser quantities in the kidneys, muscles, and pancreas. ALT at one time was referred to as blood serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (SGPT).

alanine aspartate

ALT is valuated to check if the liver is impaired or unhealthy. Decreased amounts of ALT are generally contained in the bloodstream. However once the liver has been injured or diseased, it brings out ALT into the blood, which causes ALT amounts to rise. The majority of increases in ALT amounts are created by liver-related injury.

The ALT procedure is often completed along with other screenings that look for liver impairment, like aspartate aminotransferase (AST), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin. Both AST and ALT amounts are reliable screenings for liver injury.

Why Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) Tests are Performed

The alanine aminotransferase (ALT) procedure is completed to:
  • Discover liver illness, particularly cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis produced by alcoholism, medications, or viruses.
  • To find out if jaundice was made by a blood disease or liver problem.
  • Keep track of the consequences of cholesterol-lowering drugs and other medications that can harm the liver.

How to Prepare for the Alanine Amino Transferase Test

Keep from any strenuous physical exertion just prior to getting an ALT screening.

Notify the doctor if you're using any drugs. A lot of drugs may interact with test results. The physician could instruct you to cease taking specific medications for a few days prior to getting an ALT test.

Certain herbs and natural items (like echinacea and valerian) also may affect ALT results. Speak with the doctor regarding any concerns you have about the need for the procedure, the risks, how it may be completed, or what the final results could imply.

As the Alanine Aminotransferase Test is Carried Out

The health care provider taking a sample of the blood for the ALT screening may:
  • Wrap a rubber band on the upper arm to block the flow of blood. This causes the veins beneath the elastic band to get larger so it is easier to put a needle in the vein.
  • Wipe the needle region with alcohol solvent.
The person will then place pressure on the region and give you a bandage.

Results of the Alanine Aminotransferase Test
Having an excessive amount of of alanine aminotransferase, meaning approximately ten times the normal amount, can indicate acute hepatitis.

In a patient suffering from acute hepatitis, the ALT levels normally stay elevated for approximately 30-60 days. However, ALT levels can take up to 90-180 to return to normal.

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Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis

hypertrophic pyloric stenosis
Hypertrophic stenosis is a condition in which the pyloric muscle around the lower part of the stomach leading to the intestines becomes larger than normal. This causes the outlet of the stomach to become narrow, making it difficult for the stomach to empty its contents into the intestines.

Hypertrophic pyloric stenosis is a pediatric disorder that occurs between the ages of two weeks and five months. It is more common in male children and full term infants are more likely to be affected than premature infants. The cause of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis is unknown.

 

Symptoms of Hypertrophic Stenosis

A child with this condition will show the following signs:
  • constipation or a decrease in bowel movements because food fails to reach the intestines.
  • failure to gain weight or weight loss.
  • excessive hunger.
  • dehydration as evidenced by fewer wet diapers than normal for the baby or a decrease in urinating, crying without tears and weakness or fatigue.
  • yellowing of the eyes.
The cardinal sign of hypertrophic stenosis is projectile vomiting, where the infant vomits forcefully about 30 minutes after eating. The contents of the vomit may travel up to 30 feet away from the child. It may start off as spitting up which eventually increases in frequency and intensity. Vomiting occurs after a meal and along with the initial food contents eaten, there may be blood in the vomit. Wave-like motions may be seen on the stomach after an episode of vomiting.

Hypertrophic Stenosis Treatment

Initial medical management of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis is focused rehydrating the infant. Corrective surgery then follows once the child is sufficiently hydrated. The surgical procedure for this disorder is called pyloromyotomy and is aimed at reducing the size of the pyloric muscle.

Pyloromyotomy may be done by making an open incision around the infants navel to visualize and work on the enlarged pyloric muscle or by inserting a laparoscope (a viewing instrument which has small surgical instruments and a laser attached to it) into a little incision made near the infant's navel. The laparoscopic procedure leaves a smaller scar and is as safe and effective as the open procedure.

What to Expect After Treatment

The pyloric muscle returns to its normal size about 12 weeks after surgery. Some vomiting will occur postoperatively but should stop after about 48 hours. Symptoms of hypertrophic pyloric stenosis are usually absent 24 hours after surgery and postoperative complications that may occur include a leak in the intestines or stomach due to perforation, infection of the incisions and persistent vomiting.

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Anemia: Serious or Minor Illness?


Anemia is a condition where there are not enough red blood cells in the body, or there is not enough protein (hemoglobin) in the red blood cells. There are many different types of anemia ranging from mild to moderate, moderate to severe. According to Women's Health.gov, over three million people in the United States have anemia. Women and people with chronic health conditions are at greater risk than others (1).

anemia

Is anemia really a serious condition? The answer is yes. Not having enough healthy red blood cells in the body, the cells that carry oxygen to vital organs, means the body is not getting the supply of oxygen it needs. Vital organs are effected and can be damaged, and eventually could lead to death. Anemia can be temporary or long term, diet induced or hereditary, and also could be an indicator of other medical conditions.

What are the Types of Anemia and the Symptoms?

Some types of anemia include:
  • iron deficiency anemia (IDA)
  • sickle cell anemia
  • aplastic anemia
  • vitamin deficiency anemia
  • thalasemia
Symptoms vary, but some types of anemia share common symptoms. According to Mayo Clinic vitamin deficiency anemia symptoms can include: fatigue, pale or yellowish skin, diarrhea, muscle weakness, mental confusion or forgetfulness, irritability, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, weight loss and other symptoms (2). Aplastic anemia carries some of the same symptoms, but also include unexplained or easy bruising, skin rash, dizziness, rapid or irregular heart rate and prolonged or frequent infections (3).

Depending on the type and intensity of the anemia, some patients may experience all, some or none of the symptoms. These symptoms can also be a sign of other illnesses so it is important for patients to discuss any symptoms with a medical professional, undergo testing and discuss treatment options with a doctor.

How is Anemia Treated?

Treatments for anemia vary based on type and severity. Self diagnosing anemia and self medicating could cause other problems, such as hemocrhomatosis, a condition caused by too much iron build up in the blood (1). Too much iron can damage organs, including the liver. Iron overload can also cause heart problems, early menopause, arthritis and even a loss of sex drive (1). While iron supplements may be prescribed for treatment of IDA, one should be sure to follow the physician prescribed dosage, and to go back for any follow up doctor's visits in order to monitor iron levels.

Medical professionals run blood test to determine the type of anemia, along with other physical exams, and evaluate patient medical history and family medical history when diagnosing. Some types of anemia require a moderate change in diet to ensure vitamin intake is sufficient, others require medication or more extreme methods of treatment including surgery.

Each type of anemia carries its own degree of risk, with varying symptoms that present. Those who have anemia, or expect they have anemia, should consult a medical professional for proper testing, and to discuss treatment options. Anemia left untreated could make the heart work faster, which can harm the heart and even lead to heart failure (1).

Since anemia can also be a symptom of other illnesses, including kidney disease, celiac disease and even ulcers and some types of cancers, it is important to seek medical attention. Primary care physicians can perform testing, but may also refer the patient to a hematologist for further assessment, and other specialists depending on the cause of anemia.

Anemia is a serious condition, no matter the type, and should not be overlooked, self diagnosed or self medicated. If one experiences any of the symptoms of anemia one should seek medical attention as anemia may be the result of an underlying illness.

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Alternative Treatments for Alopecia Sufferers

Alopecia is a term used to describe hair loss and may affect both men and women as well as young people. There are several different types of alopecia, which may cause loss of scalp hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.

alopecia

Types and Causes of Alopecia

While the most commonly recognised form of alopecia is alopecia areata, there are three other types of the inflammatory condition. In The Essential Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and Herbal Supplements, Brewer (2010), highlights four types of alopecia, to include the following:
  • alopecia areata – hair lost in patches, usually on scalp
  • alopecia totalis – total loss of scalp hair
  • alopecia universalis – loss of hair over entire body
  • alopecia androgenetica – widespread hair loss, moth-eaten appearance
The exact cause of alopecia still remains unknown, although stress is believed to be a significant factor in promoting hair loss, through reducing the supply of blood to the scalp. There are also possible links between the non-scarring condition and anaemia (iron deficiency), enzyme imbalance, under-active thyroid and abnormal immune response. Clearly more research into this condition is required, to make the daily lives of alopecia sufferers less difficult.

Alternative Treatments for Alopecia Sufferers

Typical outcomes associated with alopecia, involves 50% of sufferers having their hair follicles begin to recover, within the space of a year. However, some individuals (approximately 10%) may experience a gradual worsening of alopecia over time.

Coping with alopecia may include wearing a wig, although some sufferers prefer to opt for wearing hats and scarves. Celebrity alopecia sufferer Gail Porter is helping make the condition more well-known through confidently attending functions without covering up.

Brewer (2010) identifies alternative approaches which may be helpful treating suffers affected by alopecia, as follows:
  • iron supplements
  • biotin
  • ginkgo
  • vitamin B5
  • evening primrose oil
Biotin, in particular, is part of the B vitamin group, which has been recognised to play an important role in hair growth and repair. Biotin supplements may be purchased from high street pharmacies such as Boots and most health food shops such as Holland & Barrett. Another alternative treatment which may help alleviate alopecia symptoms includes evening primrose oil. This may be due to the fact that evening primrose oil is identified to have anti-inflammatory properties and also helps promote skin repair.

As highlighted above, while the exact cause of alopecia is unknown, many factors may play a part, such as stress, anaemia and thyroid problems. Alternative treatments for helping alopecia sufferers, include iron supplements, biotin, vitamins and evening primrose oil, with the latter having anti-inflammatory properties.

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Ankle Sprains

ankle sprains

The ankle is a complex joint which allows the foot to perform a number of movements. It is connected to the foot bones by a number of ligaments at the sides and back of the joint. While these ligaments are normally very strong, extreme stretching or awkward movements can lead to injury of the ligaments.

Ankle Injuries – Some of the More Common Causes

The ankle is a rather mobile, flexible joint, however there are certain factors that increase the likelihood of a ligament injury:
  • walking on uneven surfaces
  • sudden twisting movement
  • playing sports – especially jumping and landing awkwardly
  • weak ankle muscles – not strong enough to protect the ankle
  • previous ankle sprains, particularly if the treatment or rehabilitation was inadequate
When a ligament injury of the ankle does occur, it can generally be classified into one of three grades of severity, depending on the extent of ligament damage and associated symptoms.

Grade 1 Ankle Ligament Injury – Minimal Damage

This type of injury means there has been some stretching or minor tearing of the ligament(s). The symptoms include pain, swelling, possibly some ankle joint stiffness but not much functional loss. In other words, despite the pain and swelling, a person can still weight-bear and mobilise – though with some difficulty.

Treatment of mild ligament damage is by resting the foot. The less weight-bearing on the affected foot, the better. Applying an ice pack, compression bandage and elevating the foot above heart level are also very important.

Grade 2 Ankle Sprains – Moderate Ligament Injury

In this type of injury, there is a more severe tearing of the ligament. The symptoms of Grade 2 sprains are more intense – there is usually significantly more swelling and a great deal of pain. The ankle joint becomes rather stiff and range of movement is very limited. The stability of the ankle joint is also compromised.

As with Grade 1 ankle sprains, it is very important to rest the foot. Weight bearing should be avoided completely, if possible. Elevating the affected ankle above heart level, using a compression bandage and regular application of an ice pack are also essential.


Depending on the intensity of the symptoms, anti-inflammatory medication may be indicated.

Following the acute phase of the injury, rehabilitation is highly recommended in order to strengthen the ankle and restore good movement and balance.

Grade 3 Ankle Ligament Tear – Severe Ankle Injury That Requires Medical Treatment

This is the most severe of the three types of ankle ligament injuries, due to a complete rupture of the ligament. Symptoms include severe swelling and pain, gross instability of the ankle and consequently a loss of ankle function.

Treatment of this type of injury often requires surgical intervention, in order to repair the ruptured ligament. Immobilisation of the ankle in a cast is also needed, usually for around two to three weeks and the injured person could be on crutches for several weeks.

Surgery and/or immobilization of the ankle is usually followed by physiotherapy. Rehabilitation is crucial to restore the joint to its pre-injury function and to prevent any future ankle injuries.

Recovery Timeframes for Ankle Sprains Vary According to Severity of the Injury

Recovery from a Grade 1 ankle sprain is fairly quick. Depending on the extent of swelling, full recovery can be achieved within a week or two.

Grade 2 ankle sprains take four to six weeks to heal. This timeframe includes the resting of the ankle in the acute phase of the injury, as well as the subsequent rehabilitation phase. Timely treatment and adequate rehabilitation will generally reduce the recovery timeframe for Grade 2 ankle sprains.

Grade 3 sprains will take longest to heal with eight to 12 weeks being the average timeframe to full recovery. Following medical advice is very important and as mentioned before, rehabilitation is of utmost importance. Failure to treat and rehabilitate a severe ankle sprain will not only increase recovery timeframes, but will almost certainly lead to ongoing ankle problems, such as recurring injuries, pain, swelling, stiffness and poor balance.

Ankle sprains can vary in severity from Grade 1 to Grade 3, but regardless of the severity of the injury, treatment within the first 48 hours will reduce the acute symptoms and will speed up recovery.

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Antibiotics and How They Work

antibiotics

Since their development, antibiotics are the most widely prescribed drugs in the world. Ironically, the term antibiotics means "against life," but that couldn't be further from the truth. Antibiotics are used in the treatment of diseases like diphtheria and tuberculosis, but they're most frequently prescribed to fight the generous multitudes of classified infections. And what's most amazing is that only about 70 years ago, these medical maladies were killing tens of thousands of people every year.

Chronicle of the History of Antibiotics

Historical documentation cites that during World War I many soldiers died due to infections from their wounds. At that time there was only one drug used in an attempt to address infections and other war-related diseases, like dysentery and syphilis. The drug was an arsenic-based medicine called Salvarsan, but its effectiveness was not very high.

Antibiotics were discovered in 1929, decisively on accident, when the British scientist Alexander Fleming realized that a mold, Penicillium, had inadvertently found its way into a Petri dish containing bacteria. Fleming found that the mold compound halted the bacterial growth and eventually killed it. He then tested it on various other forms of bacteria and he recognized its potential, but was unable to develop it any further.

Years later in 1938, a German biochemist, Ernst Chain, and Australian pathologist, Howard Florey, began working to advance and promote Fleming's research. Two years later, in 1940 they announced the production of the first penicillin antibiotic.

Use of Antibiotics

The first person to receive antibiotic treatment was a British policeman who had severe infections of the head, face and lungs. His recovery results amazed the entire medical community, but there were not sufficient amounts of antibiotic available and the man died a month later. In 1940 the war threatened to politically convolute the production of the newly conceived penicillium, so Florey and Chain rather quietly continued their efforts. Great Britain could not afford to produce the new drug, so the United States ultimately became its country of origin and mass production.

Among the diseases antibiotics were initially successful in treating were pneumonia, diphtheria, syphilis and meningitis, but now there are a forever-growing variety antibiotics being produced. In the late 1980s, synthetic antibiotics, known as quinolones, were being introduced to treat specific new strains of infection. Since, scientific research reflect, the reason these antibiotics work so well is because bacteria cannot build a resistance to them.

How Antibiotics Work

Antibiotics work by killing off the bacteria infecting the patient's normal body function. Infections can only take a strong-hold if the bacteria that causes them is allowed to reproduce. It is the mass reproduction of bacteria that enables an infection to annihilate a human body.

Penicillin interferes with the construction of bacterial cell walls during formation, allowing the bacteria to leak out, displace and die. Other forms of antibiotics actually poison bacterial components, destroying the proteins they need to reproduce. And yet other types of the drug interfere with the genetic code necessary for the bacteria to reproduce.

The risky factor when new antibiotics are developed is ensuring they do not actually destroy the body's useful bacteria. If this happens in a patient, he is then diagnosed as having what is medically described as a secondary infection. But the most troublesome quandary of the antibiotic research and development scientist is that bacterias continually adapt, evolve and build resistance. Therefore the production of new, more effective antibiotics is an ongoing struggle.

Very often patients leave their doctors' offices feeling confused by explanations and/or complicated answers to simple questions. It does not take a medical degree to gain a basic comprehension of antibiotics and how they work, and for most people simply having a layperson's understanding is all that is needed.

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A Heart-Healthy Diet for Controlling Cholesterol

heart-healthy diet

Eating a fiber-rich diet can improve heart health. Fiber-rich foods may prevent or improve diabetes and other conditions that are associated with heart and other cardiovascular diseases. Dietary fiber can be found in many types of food and can be a delicious staple in everyday meals and snacks.
Combine foods high in fiber with polyunsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and plant sterols and stanals for a heart-healthy diet that will lower the bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and raise the good high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Soluble Fiber

Foods high in fiber lower LDL cholesterol. Fruits such as apples, bananas and pears have soluble fiber. Kidney beans are packed full of soluble fiber as are barley and oats. A heart-healthy serving of oatmeal can provide as much as six grams of fiber. Adding fruit can increase the amount of fiber to 10 grams, which is sufficient to lower LDL cholesterol and overall cholesterol. Whole-grain breads often contain higher amounts of fiber than their more-processed counterparts. Checking the label is a must.

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids

Polyunsaturated fatty acids maintain the elasticity of blood vessel walls. This allows the blood vessels to adapt to pressure changes with each heartbeat. Nuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and small servings may contribute to heart health. A handful of almonds, walnuts, peanuts, or other nuts are all one needs each day to lower one's risk of heart disease. Weight gain can increase one's risk, so it is important to eat just one serving of nuts per day.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and has proven beneficial to those at high-risk for heart attack. Two servings of fish per week contain enough omega-3 fatty acids to produce these benefits; however the fish should be baked or grilled rather than fried. Mayo Clinic suggests that albacore tuna, herring, lake trout, mackerel, salmon and sardines have the highest amounts of omega-3-fatty acids. These fatty acids can also be found ground flaxseed, canola oil, or food supplements.

Antioxidants

Olive oil contains a certain mixture of antioxidants that lower LDL cholesterol while leaving the good HDL cholesterol levels high. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation is two tablespoons of olive oil per day. The less-processed extra virgin olive oil may be more beneficial than the lighter varieties. Olive oil is often used in salad dressing, as a fiber-rich, whole-grain pasta topping, or for sautéing vegetables.

Plant Sterols or Stanols

Plants produce sterols or stanols, which are substances that inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from food. These substances only seem to lower LDL cholesterol and have no effect on HDL cholesterol. Only 2 grams of plant sterols are needed to lower LDL cholesterol. They can be found in sterol- or stanol-fortified foods such as orange juice, margarines and yogurt drinks.

Foods High in Fiber and a Heart-Healthy Diet

Combine foods high in fiber with other heart-healthy foods to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Eat normal serving sizes and limit high-fat foods to maintain a normal weight because excess weight increases one's risk for heart disease. The following are ideas for incorporating foods high in fiber with other heart-healthy foods:
  • Eat at least 10 grams of fiber per day.
  • Eat no more than one serving of nuts per day for a heart-healthy serving of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
  • Combine nuts with whole-grain breads, fruit salads, or other foods high in fiber.
  • Add ground flaxseed to oatmeal to combine the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.
  • Combine the power of antioxidants and fiber by tossing whole-grain spaghetti with olive oil, fresh basil and garlic.
  • Mix powdered-fiber drink mixes to sterol-fortified orange juice.
  • Add oats and flaxseed to yogurt to boost its fiber content.

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Balanced Diet

Health professionals recommend that to stay fit and healthy you should aim to eat at least five different portions of fruit and vegetables every day. For some people though this can seem like a lot to take in. Luckily, there are simple ways to make this easier and help you to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

balanced diet

Breakfast

It has long been known that eating a low fat breakfast can help to keep you slimmer but it is also a great opportunity to get one or two of your five a day. If you’re eating cereal then why not try adding a chopped banana or a cupful of berries? Not only will the fruit count towards your daily quota but it will also help to jazz up your old favourites. If you prefer eggs and bacon then add some grilled mushrooms or a grilled tomato on the side. Omelettes are easy to make healthier too by adding any variety of vegetables that you like to the mix before cooking (mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, sweet corn - whatever it is that you like).

Juice

There are hundreds of types of juices out there and most of them (especially those that are freshly squeezed) will count towards your five a day. Generally speaking, a 250 millilitre glass counts as one portion which makes it a quick and easy way to top yourself up. Fruit juice can also be bought in cartons that you can pack for lunch or just keep in your car or your handbag for a nutritious drink on the go.

Soup

Easy and quick to make soup is also a meal that is often crying out to have some veggies added to it. If you’re eating cream of chicken, why not add some mushrooms or a handful of sweet corn? Tomato soups work well with cooked kidney beans thrown in and lentils make a great addition to most vegetable soups. As well as upping the health factor of your meal the vegetables help to bulk it out which might help you feel fuller for longer.

Sandwiches

An old lunchtime favourite can easily be spiced up by adding in some salad or veggies. Shredded lettuce, chopped onions or sliced tomatoes work well with nearly everything or you could try being a little more adventurous with hot peppers, tasty olives or crunchy celery. Experimenting with sandwich fillings is also a good way to try things out whilst still keeping it familiar with your usual meats and cheeses.

Smoothies

All that you need is a blender! Making your own smoothies is a very easy way towards your five a day, simply take your choice of fruits (peeled and chopped) and add to low fat yoghurt in the blender. To up the health benefits even further you could try using a pro biotic yoghurt or adding a little linseed oil. If you’re vegan you could use soya yoghurt to achieve the same results. Once it’s blended you can keep your smoothie fresh in the fridge and serve on its own or over ice. Why not have a glass at breakfast with your veggie filled omelette or fruit loaded cereal for an extra dose of vitamin C to get you going first thing?

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A Snacking Revolution


healthy snacks

The website Graze.com delivers healthy snacks and fruit to people's desks and homes weekly for a low price. The site enables the customer to choose and rate their favourite munchies so the buyer can snack with pleasure and no guilt.

Benefits of Snacking

Believe it or not, there are benefits of eating between meals, provided the snacks eaten are healthy and nutritious. It gives busy people energy throughout a tough working day, helps to prevent overeating at meal times, and provides people easy opportunities to achieve the tough goal of eating five fruit and vegetables a day.

Graze.com was conceived by managing director Graham Bosher, also the man behind Lovefilm.com. The aim of his company is to improve the working person's eating habits, so to avoid that horrible post-lunch slump at the desk. Their are over 150 snack packs to choose from, and the firm is delivering over 80,000 boxes per month.

Range of Snacks

The range of snacks the website offers is extensive. There are the unusual packs of fruit and desserts, ranging from delicious oily olives and earthy nuts to the sweet and sugary crystalled ginger (one for acquired tastes and developed taste buds).

The basic dried fruits -- raisins, bananas, and apricots -- are there in abundant supply, and juxtapose nicely with the salty pistachios, slightly bitter almonds and moreish cashews, and even the occasional cheeky dark chocolate buttons.

Customer Service

Like most successful franchises, Graze.com is customer driven and focuses on the clientele's needs and wants. Each snack box is delivered first class in compact cardboard boxes with each snack tightly sealed in its own plastic, clear container. The boxes can comfortably fit through letter boxes and are easily recyclable.

In a week of postal strikes, Graze still has the customer at heart, offering a four snack pack as opposed to the normal three until the strikes abate, and restricting the delivery of fresh fruit to avoid wastage if the fruit goes "off."

At £2.99 for each weekly delivery, the service offers great value for money as dried fruit can often be expensive in major supermarkets. The boxes can be delivered to workplaces as well as the home, and buyers can choose which weeks the packages can be sent.

An introductory offer means that snack fans can have their first pack for half price, and the consumer can "rate" each individual snack on the website. If they don't like a certain food, the low rating given will mean that Graze will not send the food in future, and people can even design their packs according to their lifestyle needs.

The fun, healthy and succulent choice of snacks and treats means that office workers need never slump at their desks again.

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A Sweetener That Provides Missing Minerals

It's ironic that the byproduct of unhealthy refined sugar processing is full of beneficial and assimilable iron and magnesium, among other important nutrients. Why? Sugar cane has roots that go down as far as 15 feet below the ground. Thus the the mineral depleted topsoil is bypassed, enabling the plant to absorb minerals from richer, unspoiled bottom soil.
minerals

After sugar cane is processed to obtain refined empty calorie glucose spiking insulin debilitating white table sugar, the black gooey mess known as molasses is left with all the nutrients. The very best grade of molasses is unsulfured blackstrap molasses. It's not the best for sweetening, but it is the highest in nutrients. Unhealthy sulfur is an added preservative that you can do without.

A List of Nutrients

From just one tablespoon of unsulfured blackstrap molasses, you get an abundance of the following nutrients:
  • Magnesium: Many nutritional experts call this the master mineral because it is essential to more metobolic processes than any other one mineral. Because of poor topsoil, the greens that normally are the best source of magnesium are mostly insufficient. You should have half as much magnesium in your body as calcium.
  • Iron: Molasses contains more iron per serving than red meat! This can help vegans and vegetarians avoid anemia. And it's cheaper and safer as well.
  • Calcium: Molasses contains about the same amount of calcium that you'd get in a glass of cow's milk without the growth hormones. If you can't find organic whole raw milk, grab your unsulfured blackstrap molasses!
  • Potassium, which is nearly as essential as magnesium, especially for heart and kidney functions.
  • Vitamin B: Molasses is high in vitamin B complex, good for energy while helping your body cope with stress.
  • Chromium is a trace mineral that is rare in our diets. Helps your body maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  • Other Minerals: Molasses also contains manganese, copper, and selenium.
  • Enzymes: Molasses contains enzymes, which are the catalysts for metabolizing nutrients, and the reason why raw food vegans do that diet. But some blackstrap molasses and good veggie juicing will boost your enzyme levels regardless of your general diet.
Unsulfured blackstrap molasses is a food, and it's best to get your minerals from whole foods rather than supplement pills. This is agreed upon more and more by top nutritionists. Even if the supplement is food derived, the minerals lack the synergy of its natural food source.

Minerals are actually more important than vitamins because vitamins cannot be synthesized without minerals present. The order of importance for nutrients is oxygen, pure water, enzymes, minerals, then vitamins.

Using Molasses

If you intend to use the molasses contents in a couple of months or less, you won't need to refrigerate it. Since it is so thick, it's difficult to use in anything but warm or hot dishes. Molasses goes well with pancakes or waffles. Half-and-half with good organic syrup or honey will diminish the strong taste of molasses this way if you find it disagreeable.

Molasses is great for oatmeal or any other hot cereal as well. Remember, a tablespoon a day provides a lot of nutrition. Some have simply mixed a tablespoon in a half glass of warm water and gulped it down. This technique is especially useful repeated often daily to help recover from iron deficiency anemia.

Caveat: Many sugar cane growers use defoliants to get the cane leaves out of the way, making it easier to harvest them. There is such a thing as organic sugar. Try to track down molasses from organic sugar cane to optimize your health benefits by avoiding traces of chemical defoliants if you can.

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Adequate Fiber is Essential to a Healthy Diet

Dietary fiber, originating in plant tissue, is indigestible. Although it has no calories and no nutritional value, fiber in the diet plays a tremendous role in preventing disease and maintaining good health.

dietary fiber

How Fiber Works in the Body

As fiber is consumed and passed through the body organs, it acts as a sponge, absorbing many times its own weight in liquid. This causes the feces to become soft and bulky and more easy to be expelled from the body. This quick passage through the intestines and out of the body is important, as constipation is a source of discomfort and the beginning of many illnesses.

The fiber also acts as a buffer against colon of the cancer as if reduces the contact that the toxin-filled feces has with the walls of the colon. Likewise, it is believed by some scientists that the increases liquid-content of high-fiber stool will be effective in diluting carcinogen-causing agents.

Types of Fiber and How They Function in the Body

There are two types of fiber.

Soluble fibers dissolve quickly and become sticky as they dissolve. They include pectin, which is found in fruits, legumes, nuts and some vegetables. Some soluble fiber can lower blood cholesterol levels which will, in turn, reduce the possibility of heart attacks and heart disease. The addition of soluble fibers in the diet should be coupled with the decreased intake of fat to be effective. Soluble fibers can also help control blood sugar levels in individuals suffering from diabetes.

Insoluble fibers are found in bran, vegetables and whole grains such as brown rice and whole-wheat bread. Insoluble fiber is important for moving bulk through the intestines quickly and also helps to control the pH level in the intestine. This action alleviates constipation by producing regular bowel movement.

Increase Fiber Intake Naturally

Although it is important to include an adequate amount of fiber in the diet, it is not recommended to take huge fiber supplements on a regular basis. Fiber pills are also not recommended as they lack the nutrients naturally found in high-fiber foods. Too much fiber can be the cause of bloating, digestive problems and intestinal gas. Excessive fiber can also lead to zinc, iron and mineral deficiencies.

Become knowledgeable of which foods are high fiber and begin to add them slowly to the diet. The skin of fruits and vegetables can be scrubbed and eaten to increase fiber intake. Vegetables should not be boiled, but rather eaten raw or lightly steamed. Eliminate products with white flour from the diet completely. Instead consume whole-grain cereals and breads and brown rice.

Fiber for Weight Loss and Weight Control

Eating fiber can be helpful when trying to lose weight. It provides a feeling of fullness that will help reduce hunger. Using fiber for diet or weight control can help with overall body tone because extra water is also being added to the diet. Be sure to include enough protein and fat with each meal to ensure a balanced diet.

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Aloe Vera Heals Your Body

aloe vera
Typically aloe vera is thought of as a healing plant, the liquid being used most often for burns or abrasions to the skin. However, these are not the only benefits to the aloe vera plant. The pulp from the aloe vera plant is used in juices and in recipes to provide the same type of healing inside the human body.

Benefits of Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is loaded with vitamins and includes many essential vitamins that humans need on a daily basis, except for vitamin D. Aloe vera is also anti-inflammatory, which is one of the reasons it is used so often in beauty care products. It is often used externally to aid in healing; however, the juice and pulp of the aloe vera plant can be ingested internally to provide even more health benefits.

The aloe vera plant grows 12 months of the year, which increases its appeal for farmers and gardeners.

How Aloe Vera Helps the Inside of the Body

Aloe vera juice aids in digestion and helps the circulatory system because it helps with cell growth and the dilation of capillaries. Since aloe vera is anti-inflammatory, it helps heal the digestive tract and cleanse the colon. For a person to receive the benefits of aloe vera juice, they need to consume about four ounces a day to detoxify the body.

The British Journal of General Practice published the findings of ten studies involving the benefits of aloe. They discovered it was helpful in lowering glucose in diabetic patients and with such promising results more research is being conducted for clinical effectiveness.

Uses of Aloe Vera

Aloe gel is used topically for sunburn or other minor burns, and is also found in other beauty products that add hydration to dry skin. It is even used in products to aid the itchiness of insect bites. Aloe is used often in the summer because of the increase in outdoor activity combined with the increase in sunshine and mosquitoes.

Aloe vera gel is used to make juice once the yellow aloin is removed, which is very bitter. Aloe is also added to products such as yogurt, ice cream, cream cheese, spring water, tea and desserts, and is sold in health food stores such as Whole Foods, Wegmans , GNC and Trader Joes.

"We already see tendencies of Aloe Vera becoming a mainstream product. We are already delivering product to some beverage companies that blend our Aloe Vera with a soft drink type of drink,” says Australian Aloe Marketing Limited CEO Mats Johnson.

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Are Zero Trans Fat Cookies a Myth?

zero trans fat cookies

What is Trans Fat? Trans fat is another name for unsaturated fat. Unsaturated fat is the worst type of dietary fat. The National Academy of Sciences has released notices that there are no safe amounts of trans fats for consumption. They have clearly indicated that trans fats are neither a recommended part of a healthy diet nor a safe part of a healthy diet. Most researchers have found that trans fats increase the risk of heart disease, increase bad cholesterol and lower good cholesterol. Many nutritional organizations recommend limiting the consumption of trans fatty acids to only a trace amount.

Girl Scout Cookies

In 2005 The Girl Scouts launched a campaign to make their cookies “trans fat free”; however several of their cookies still have minimal amounts of trans fat which add up. In 2006 The Girl Scouts released an announcement that all of their cookies met the FDA requirements to be considered trans fat free. However, this requirement only states that the cookies have to be less than .5 grams of trans fat per serving. According to the nutrition information on a package of Girl Scout Carmel deLites, they contain partially hydrogenated oils, which produce trans fats. The serving size is only two cookies. Which means eating more than two cookies could result in consuming more than .5 grams of trans fat.

Chips Ahoy

Like Girl Scout cookies, Chips Ahoy falls under the FDA trans fat loophole. They are able to advertise a trans fat count of 0 mg per serving. However, clearly listed on the ingredient list is partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, which contains trans fat. So if you eat more than the recommended serving, which is pretty likely, then you are definitely consuming that dreaded fat. In fact, Nabisco even posts a disclaimer on their own site about the fact that their cookies containing the fat, but that they claim the zero amounts because of FDA requirements.

Other Cookies with Trans Fat

Many other cookies fall into this category of being just under the FDA trans fat loop hole. Other cookies which contain partially hydrogenated oils in some amount are Nutter Butters, most butter cookies, Nilla Wafers, many brands of peanut butter cookies, some Keebler cookies and numerous others. Consumers should check both nutrition and ingredient labels when trying to avoid trans fat foods.

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Acid vs Alkaline

acid vs alkaline
For years the importance of maintaining a healthy pH balance was largely ignored by dietitians. However, physicians take the matter very seriously. Too much acid or acidosis can pose very dangerous health risks including but not limited to kidney failure, heart disease, liver failure, cancer and insulin deficiency.

Often these conditions are attributed to other causes because the symptoms are cumulative and not immediate. Severe acidosis is comparatively rare but many people may suffer the effects of chronic low grade acidosis without knowing or understanding what it making them ill.

What is pH Balance

The letters "pH" actually stand for potential of hydrogen. The behavior of hydrogen atoms determines whether the body is acidic or alkaline. Ideally the body's pH should be 7.0 but a slightly alkaline 7.1 is fine also. Water's pH is 7, which is considered neutral. The general rule is pH under 7 is acidic, pH over 7 is alkaline.

When the body's pH is lowered, the kidneys respond with a change in metabolic activity to compensate for the acidity. Muscle tissue begins to break down producing strongly alkaline ammonia and bones release magnesium and calcium in an effort to restore proper pH balance. Over time, this constant break down of bone and muscle can lead to osteoporosis and muscle loss.

The Role Of Food in Maintaining Proper pH Balance

People wrongly assume fruits and vegetables that are high in acid like tomatoes and oranges will produce acidity in the body. In fact, the opposite it true. All fresh fruits and vegetables are considered alkalizing foods. They are rich in potassium and bicarbonate unlike acidic foods which are higher in sodium and chloride.

Dairy products, eggs, meat (including fowl and fish), grains, nuts and sugars are acid-yielding foods.

That is not to say these foods are unhealthy, of course, but only to caution that they should be eaten as part of a balanced diet that relies heavily on fruits and vegetables. About 35 percent of daily calorie intake should come from fruits and vegetables.

Potassium rich foods act as a buffer against the effects of sodium rich foods in their efforts to shift the body toward a healthy neutral pH balance. Because of the overwhelming consumption of fast food, processed foods and the overall decreased intake of fruits and vegetables, the ratio of sodium to potassium in the typical diet is now three to one in favor of sodium. The diet of early man (paleolithic man) was a 10 to 1 ratio in favor of potassium.

Bicarbonate, as in potassium bicarbonate is a naturally occurring compound in fruits and vegetables. Alternately, chloride is to sodium as bicarbonate is to potassium. Foods in boxes, bags, cans, packages, drive-thrus and restaurants are heavy in sodium and chloride which constrict blood vessels and increase the risks of heart attacks, strokes and Alzheimer's.

To Supplement Or Not To Supplement

In general, eating a diet high in whole, fresh fruits and vegetables should provide adequate pH balancing potassium and potassium bicarbonate. In some cases, supplementation may be beneficial but should be discussed with a health care provider. Potassium supplements come with a warning because they are not without risks.

A sudden and significant increase in potassium can have repercussions for the body's electrolyte balance since potassium essentially escorts sodium out of the body. This can lead to irregular heartbeats. High potency potassium supplements are not available over the counter.

Test kits are available in some health food stores and pharmacies which allow consumers to check their pH levels daily. The test strip can be touched to the tongue in the morning before any food or beverage is consumed and read instantly.

If in doubt, it can never do harm to increase the amount of vegetables and fruits in the diet. The key is for each person to find the balance that works best for them and not overlook the importance of maintaining a healthy pH. Remember, diseases generally do not thrive in an alkaline environment.

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Are Chilli Peppers Good For You?

chilli peppers
The humble chilli pepper has quite a reputation: from the humble jalapeño to the ferocity of the scotch bonnet there is a variety for all capsaicin hot heads. Chillis and chilli sauces have been popular for some time, many people claiming for the “endorphin rush” that eating them is thought to produce, and several varieties of different strengths and flavours have been grown. The Dorset Naga is reportedly the hottest of them all, measuring up to and over one million Scoville Heat Units, the scale used to measure pepper heat. To get an idea of scale a pimento pepper measures a paltry 100-500 units, so if you find these too hot to eat it's a safe bet that the Naga would be inedible.

Chillis Affect Appetite and Metabolism

The chemical in chillis that give them their heat is capsaicin, a waxy compound that has very little taste or odour in its own right but interacts with a family of ion channels known as the vanilloid receptors. The major channel, known as TRPV1, is located on many sensory nerve endings and plays an important role in sensing noxious stimuli such as heat, and once activated the receptor causes the release of several neurotransmitters which signal a pain response. Interestingly the same neurotransmitters have been found to increase metabolic rate and reduce appetite, according to a study by Motter and Aherne in FEBS letters (2008). Interestingly, mice given capsaicin or other chemically similar compounds (including vanillin, a substance found in vanilla pods) eat less food and gain less weight than controls when given a high fat diet.

Paradoxically however knock-out mice that have the TRPV1 receptor deleted from their DNA also have reduced food intake and body weight according to the same paper, and the authors admit that the exact mechanism of action of the receptor is unclear. One thing they are sure of though is that chronic treatment with capsaicin and other similar compounds prevent dietary weight gain, confirmed in another recent study by Reinbach et al. in Clinical Nutrition (2009). This experiment took healthy human volunteers and found that their appetites were reduced and metabolic rates increased when given capsaicin.

A Potential Treatment for Obesity and Diabetes

Among the proposed mechanisms of action one of the most interesting appears to be the control of a substance called calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), a neurotransmitter released from sensory nerves. Motter and Aherne's study showed that precursor fat cells, preadipocytes, were sensitive to CGRP and could transform into mature fat cells when exposed to this substance, a process that appears to be inhibited by treatment of capsaicin. The authors postulated that capsaicin could help prevent age-onset obesity and insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic state), two of the biggest risk factors for heart disease, through this mechanism.

Judging by the amount of interest being generated around capsaicin and the TRPV1 receptor it would appear that drug companies are paying close attention to this field of study. Certainly the limited evidence gathered so far would suggest that capsaicin and other compounds from the vanilloid family may have a role to play in obesity and diabetes. A capsaicin-like compound that could reduce body weight without the heat of a chilli pepper would possibly be an excellent aid for people trying to lose weight. However, for those that like their food spicy, there is all the more reason to put a little extra chilli in your dinner. If you're brave enough, you could always risk the Dorset Naga.

Author's Note: There is no direct evidence of weight loss caused by a high chilli intake. Diet and exercise are still the best way to lose weight, but the ingestion of chilli must be exercised with caution, with no expectancy of weight loss. Chillis and high concentrations of capsaicin are certainly an irritant and excess consumption may even be harmful.

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Antioxidants Keep You Healthy

antioxidants
In the natural process of cell respiration – oxidation – an oxygen electron is lost and becomes a free radical, an unstable molecule that can go on to damage cells and DNA. Antioxidants disable free radicals by donating electrons. Free radicals also form due to air pollution, radiation, pesticides and smoking. Antioxidants are a broad category that includes phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber. People gain these antioxidants by eating fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, spices and herbs – a healthy way of eating.

Antioxidants Maintain Great Health

Scientists believe antioxidants lower the risk of cancer by preventing free radicals from damaging DNA, and ease heart disease by controlling inflammation. Antioxidants support the immune system and are anti-aging. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends consuming a wide variety of plant food, between five and nine half-cup servings per day, to keep in good physical shape. Barry Sears, Ph. D., of The Zone Diet fame, suggests eating five servings of fruit and 10 servings of vegetables per day.

Antioxidants Include Phytochemicals

A big part of antioxidants is plant nutrients – phytochemicals – and they are classified in many unusual-sounding names that have come into general use. Plants use phytochemicals for self-protection, and the plant food protects humans too. Scientists know there are thousands of plant chemicals, and are in the midst of their research. Brightly colored fruit and vegetable peels are especially laden with wholesome phytochemicals.

A popular phytochemical class is the carotenoids, which are further broken down into now-familiar-sounding nutrients like beta-carotene (for example, carrots and broccoli), lycopene (tomatoes and watermelon) and lutein (kiwi and romaine lettuce). Another large family is the flavonoids, which include the anthocyanidins (berries and plums), flavanones (citrus fruit), and quercetins (apples and red onions). Then there are the cruciferous vegetables containing sulforaphane (cabbage and cauliflower) and indole (Brussels sprouts and broccoli).

Actually, most fruits and vegetables are composed of hundreds of nutrients; for example, some of the known ingredients in red grapes are resveratrol, quercetin, and ellagic acid, while popular nutrients in kale include beta-carotene, lutein, quercetin, sulforaphane and indole.

Surprising Facts about Antioxidants

The National Institute on Aging, an arm of the United States National Institutes of Health, developed a measurement system for comparing antioxidant capacity in nutrients. The unit of measurement is called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC). It turns out that small amounts of herbs and spices are more heavily packed with antioxidants than larger amounts of fruits and vegetables. For example, just one teaspoon of ground cinnamon scores a 6956 on the ORAC scale, whereas a comparatively large half cup of broccoli rates a 620.

The top five antioxidants are found in beans and blueberries, according to the June 9, 2004 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) rated just fruits, vegetables and nuts, and came up with this order:
  1. half cup of small, dried red beans
  2. one cup of wild blueberries
  3. half cup of dried, red kidney beans
  4. half cup of pinto beans
  5. one cup of cultivated blueberries
Number 17 on the USDA list is the common, humble and cheap russet potato. It was developed over 100 years ago and if grown in Idaho, USA, is called the Idaho potato. Besides rated highly for antioxidants, the lowly russet is nutritious. Nutritiondata.com analyzed a large, cooked potato that had seven grams of fiber, eight grams of protein, minimal salt and sugar and no sat or trans fats.

Although it had 290 calories, it was high in vitamin C. The trick is not to spoil this wholesome food with unhealthy condiments.

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Avoiding Burnout

Having a very active lifestyle can make it hard to incorporate certain things in your life. Most people struggle with sticking to an exercise regime. It can be extremely hard trying to commit to an exercise regime when life is so hectic. A new and demanding job, a baby on the way, moving into a new home or just adjusting to all the financial, social and familial responsibilities that we have as adults can run you ragged and leave little time for much else. Usually exercise is on the back burner until all these things are dealt with. It can be hard. You can take advice from people, watch different infomercials to try to inspire you but ultimately that “blah” feeling will set in. Getting rid of the “blahs” can be difficult but always beneficial. Leading an active life can be good but if your body isn’t used to regular exercise focused on stretching the muscles and raising the heartrate. You could go from “blah” to burnout.
burnout

There are ways to get rid of the blahs without much fuss. If you have a fairly busy job and don’t spend a lot of leisure time at home you can bring your running shoes and walk on your lunch break. A brisk 20-minute walk five times a week can make a staggering difference in your stamina throughout the week. Little things like purposely parking farther when walking to your car. I often stretch when I’m alone in my office. If the door is locked your good to go. A lot of people have a problem with tardiness in the morning. Of course, rushing eventually follows. Instead of rushing off to work purposely wake up 10 minutes early. You could take a brisk walk into work to concentrate on breathing fully and spend a little time contemplating your day. You’ll be more relaxed and energized. And it’s much better than doing a full on sprint that just leaves you winded and frazzled by the time you get to your office.

Stay at home moms, sometimes, find it hard to exercise. It may sound a little nutty for those who don’t stay at home. But, coming from someone who has done both the working mom and the stay at home mom thing both can be equally tough to deal with when trying to maintain an exercise routine. A very corny way I found myself burning calories while at home with my baby was with the “15 minute quick clean up”. I would start in the center of the room moving throughout the house very swiftly and try to clean up as much as I could in 15 minutes. Nothing like washing the dishes because you are stationary, you can save that fun for later. Grab the broom and see how many rooms you can sweep. Then grab a basket or bucket and move from room to room picking up all the little trinkets on the floors. Dusting tables and cleaning the windows can work up a good heartrate. After the buzzer rings you can walk around for a little bit to cool down and you’re done. It may not sound like much. However, targeted exercise is better than just running around all day behind the kids. Also, you can get a semi-clean house in just 15 minutes.

Many people have active lifestyles where they are constantly on the go. However, if some of that movement isn’t targeted towards active exercise activity geared towards circulating the blood and getting your heartrate going you’re just moving in perpetual motion. Lauren Cooper from Cyclemedia.org is a professional cyclist. She defines active exercise as “ vigorous, sustained, repetitive use of the major leg muscles.” It is important to exercise the entire body. She described the act as involving the heart, lungs and legs. Running from place to place is actively moving but if your body is participating in an active exercise activity you can create more stamina throughout the day. Most people feel if they work hard that that is enough. Lauren explains that hard work throughout the day stresses the body out for brief moments and usually without a warm-up. This can lead to stress on the body as well as the heart. Exercise should be stress relieving not inducing.

Targeted physical activity has so many benefits. Citihealth.com reports that research shows that aerobic exercise can reduce stiffening of the arteries. Reducing your risk of stroke. Exercise can increase the body’s ability to control its glucose level thereby reducing the risk of adult onset diabetes. Strength training can help your bones grow stronger, increase flexibility, improve strength and balance. The body needs its exercise to function properly. You need that 30, 20 or even 5 minutes to relax the body, stretch the muscles, raise the body temperature and don’t forget to breathe. It’s better to burn calories rather than burn yourself out.

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Machines to Avoid During Workout Programs

workout machines
Workout programs can be great for a person's health and body, but they can also cause damage if they are done incorrectly. There are machines at the gym the can damage joints and muscles, and these machines should not be used by the average person during workout programs.

The Seated Rotation Machine Can Damage the Back

seated rotation machine
Avoid using the seated rotation machine during a fitness routine. This machine puts a lot of stress on the back and does nothing to reduce love handles, it can be a waste of time to include this in a fitness routine.

The seated rotation machine will work the muscles in the sides of the lower stomach, but there is a popular misconception that this machine will help get rid of love handles and it will not. If someone wants to get rid of their love handles they need to do a cardiovascular workout such as the stair climber so that they burn more calories, which is the only way for a person to lose weight.

Stay Away From the Seated Leg Extension

seated leg extension machine
The seated leg extension machine puts a lot of stress on a person's knees, and as someone ages it can create problems in their knees, do not make this a part of a fitness routine.

Instead of using this machine do squats with free weights, performing these exercises will give the same benefits to the body without the potential damage to the knees. This is especially true for older people who are working out, as people age the knees are not as strong as they used to be an are more susceptible to injury.

 

The Chest Fly Machine Can Injure the Shoulders

chest fly machine
Do not use the chest fly machine during gym workouts. The chest fly machine can be very hard on a person's shoulders and can cause serious damage. Instead of using the chest fly machine do push ups instead.

Push ups work many of the same muscles without the strain to the shoulders and are a helpful part of any fitness routine. There are many push up systems on the market today that isolate and challenge the muscles more than traditional push ups, these are an excellent choice for getting a great upper body workout and reducing the potential for injury.

Safe Exercise Routines

By avoiding the seated rotation machine, the seated leg extension machine, and the chest fly machine people can reduce the risk of injury during their workout programs. There is always several options for working out a set of muscles. A personal trainer or fitness professional can educate people on the safest methods to work out a particular muscle group at the gym.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide a fitness routine without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.

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Listeriosis Bacterial Infection and Symptoms

listeriosis bacterial infection
A listeriosis infection is caused by consuming contaminated foods that contain a bacteria labeled as listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis symptoms can in some cases become dangerous and even sometimes life-threatening. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, listeriosis infections have become a major health care issue in the United States.

What Causes Listeriosis Infections

In order to prevent this bacterial disease, it’s essential that awareness is raised and individuals understand what causes a listeriosis infection. The bacteria known as L. monocytogenes is commonly carried through wild or domestic animals, water and soil. Additionally, the bacteria can spread to meats and vegetables, as the soil and water which contains this bacteria can easily transfer to these types of foods.

For those who consume these contaminated foods, it is likely that they may become ill. Pregnant women are at an increased risk, as the listeriosis infection is more likely to attack the health of women who are pregnant due to their immune systems being weakened. This can also be dangerous for the unborn child as well, as the disease can sometimes pass through to the baby.

Symptoms of Listeriosis Bacterial Infection

In most cases, this type of listeriosis bacterial infection causes individuals to become sick with a gastrointestinal illness. However, in some cases, individuals may also develop an infection in the blood (referred to as septicemia). Additionally, in even more serious cases, individuals can also develop inflammation around the brain, which leads to meningitis.

How to Reduce the Risk of Getting Listeriosis

Overall, in order to reduce the risk of getting listeriosis, individuals must be extra careful about handling and consuming raw foods. It’s essential that people cook their pork, beef and poultry thoroughly. It’s also best that individuals make sure they wash their vegetables very well, before serving or eating them. People should be sure to use a good antibacterial soap to wash their knives, plates and all utensils used to cook and prepare foods. Lastly, individuals should always wash their hands immediately after each time they touch these types of foods or anything possibly contaminated.

There have been recurring outbreaks of listeriosis infections throughout the United States. In order to reduce the risk of getting listeriosis, individuals should consider the sources that carry this dangerous bacteria and always be extra safe when handling any foods that have a chance of being contaminated.

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Diabetes Food Pyramid

diabetes food pyramid
This diabetic food pyramid functions in a similar way to the regular food pyramid. One of the main differences is that the diabetic food pyramid focuses on limiting sugar intake.

Diabetes is a disease that prohibits people from eating sugar at the same levels that they used to. This does not mean that all diabetics have to avoid sugar like vampires avoid the sun! Some people have mild cases that enable them to eat sugar once in a while. Others have to avoid it at all costs.

The diabetic food pyramid is a lifesaver to many people. Just by looking at the pyramid they can tell which foods to eat and which ones not to. It also suggests serving sizes and suggestions for planning whole meals.

The diabetic food pyramid has six categories of food groups. At the bottom the main group is grains, starchy vegetables, and beans. The second grouping on the diabetic food pyramid includes vegetables and fruits. The third includes diary products, meats and other sources of protein. At the top the list of fats, oils, and sweets should be consumed least of all.

The latest version of the diabetic food pyramid was rolled out by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2005. Not only does it describe what to eat, but it also makes recommendations on calorie intake!

If you want to find out more about the diabetic food pyramid you should begin your search with the diabetic organizations that serve people with diabetes. There is so much information floating around about diabetes and nutrition that in only a short time you should become somewhat of an expert on the subject. Remember, the pyramid might not be as exciting as the one at Giza in Egypt, but it’s still something to marvel at. Good luck and happy eating!

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Frequently Asked Questions About Open Back Surgery For Degenerative Disc Disease

degenerative disk diseases surgery
If your physician has advisable that you participate unstoppered backwards surgery to impact degenerative round disease, then you probable hit a whatever questions. Below are whatever of the most ofttimes asked questions attendant to unstoppered backwards surgery. Hopefully this article module wage the aggregation you need. Otherwise, attain an designation with your rachis specialist.

Q: How is unstoppered backwards surgery for degenerative round disease performed?

A: The mass preoperative move is ofttimes taken:

A doc makes a super cutting in a patient’s backwards or cavum nearby the strained intervertebral disc, dissecting membrane and another fleecy tissues.

- The strained round is distant in its entirety.

- An intervertebral detain is positioned in locate of the disc.

- Surgical element is utilised to enter the intervertebral detain to the conterminous vertebrae.

- Bone affixation touchable is inserted into the intervertebral cage, and module yet primer the detain to the conterminous vertebrae.

- The cutting is winking and the enduring is ordered to begin a daylong and grueling rehabilitation.

Q: Are there whatever complications related with unstoppered backwards surgery?

A: As with every operations, unstoppered backwards surgery crapper inform the venture of complications, especially unsuccessful backwards surgery syndrome (FBSS). Patients with FBSS move to undergo discompose and hurt – sometimes to a greater honor – mass unstoppered backwards surgery. Patients also grappling the venture of murder loss, infection, and an inauspicious activity to anesthesia.

Q: How crapper I undergo for trusty if I requirement unstoppered backwards surgery?

A: Before consenting to unstoppered backwards surgery, you’d be owlish to obtain a ordinal or ordinal instrument from a honored rachis specialist. Some patients conceive that their identification physicians unnoticed viable nonsurgical treatments, and whatever yet obtain the comfort they requirement from these previously unutilized treatments.

Q: Are there whatever alternatives to unstoppered backwards surgery?

A: Some patients are candidates for minimally intrusive procedures as alternatives to unstoppered backwards surgeries. An endoscopic machine is mostly performed as follows:

- The doc makes a rattling diminutive cutting (often inferior than digit progress long) in the patient’s back.

- A program of tubes, apiece slightly large in diam than the last, is fed finished the incision. This impact gently moves membrane and fleecy tissues divagation so the doc crapper admittance the spine.

- Surgical tools and an endoscope (small camera) are inserted into the tubes.

- The doc uses a laser to vanish the assets of the round that has entered the spinal canal.

- Occasionally, the doc haw requirement to vanish the round in its entirety, which crapper also be realised using a laser and another preoperative tools. The doc then inserts a adjunct pass into the blank round expanse and inserts pearl affixation material. Tiny element is then utilised to enter the pass to the conterminous vertebrae.

- The cutting is winking and the enduring is healthy to convey bag the aforementioned day.

- Most patients are healthy to convey to regular activities within a concern of weeks, and whatever modify undergo unmediated relief.

Q: How do I Know if I’m a Candidate for a Minimally Invasive Procedure?

A: The exclusive artefact to undergo for trusty is to enquire with your physician. Contact your student today to schedule an appointment.

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Is There Such a Thing as Non-Invasive Back Surgery?

The construct of non-invasive backwards surgery haw seem inherently contradictory. After all, how crapper a preoperative machine genuinely be noninvasive? Isn’t the nature of surgery that it is inherently intrusive? While this haw hit been genuine in eld past, past advancements in scrutiny profession hit revolutionized whatever backwards procedures, allowing whatever surgery to be complete on an outpatient foundation without modify requiring generalized anesthesia. While they haw not be thoughtful every non-invasive in the truest sense, they’re as minimally intrusive as you crapper imagine. How is this possible?

Historically, if an individualist was discompose from habitual backwards pain, and every conservative, nonsurgical treatments unsuccessful to have the results that they required, the exclusive actual boulevard that remained was an unstoppered rachis surgery, much as spinal fusion. During this operation, the enduring would be admitted into the hospital, sedated, and a super cutting would requirement to be prefabricated in visit to wage the doc with shack to operate. The difficulty with this move is that patch it crapper be trenchant in the long-term, it also is field surgery, which requires daylong feat and rehabilitation in visit for the enduring to acquire flooded strength. What’s more, as is the housing with some highly intrusive surgery, the enduring staleness equilibrise the possibleness risks for place functioning complications versus the hurt caused by their condition. For instance, infection, murder clotting, hemorrhaging, and conjoin rejection are every examples of the problems that crapper sometimes amend in the consequence of surgery.

Non-invasive backwards surgery, or at diminutive minimally intrusive surgery, on the another hand,
rachis surgery benefits
has grown extremely favourite in past eld because it mitigates whatever of these risks because of the nature of the procedure. Rather than requiring a super cutting to be prefabricated and the muscles that hold the backwards to be cut, preoperative arranging is inserted for admittance to the rachis finished a rattling diminutive cutting in the backwards – commonly inferior than an progress long. A program of telescoping tubes is carefully arrange into the incision, and fleecy paper is pushed aside, kinda than cut, which greatly limits confirmatory alteration to the muscles, ligaments, and another paper in the area.

In whatever ways, this identify of surgery is rattling kindred to arthroscopic articulatio surgery, which has been widely utilised for years. Various preoperative hardware, including a laser, camera, suction, and another tools are carefully inserted finished the tubes, allowing the doc to attain the needed mend in the spinal canal, whether it be removing degenerated round materials, pearl spurs, inserting standardisation hardware, or anything else. Then, when the machine is completed, the enduring ordinarily crapper wait individual weeks of reddened rehabilitation, and nearly ever is free bag the aforementioned period as the machine itself. Plus, in whatever instances, these treatments are complete in voluptuous preoperative centers that are farther more easy and welcoming than tralatitious sterilized infirmary environments.

For the eld of grouping discompose from a degenerative rachis condition, surgery module never be required. solon ofttimes than not, a program of non-invasive, standpat techniques module have the results they require. However, if you effort from continual pain, a minimally intrusive backwards surgery strength be a compelling choice for you.

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Micro-Surgical Vasectomy Reversal

This method of doing vasectomy blow is thoughtful as digit of the most favourite and most desirable machine for men who would same to acquire backwards their power to hit kids. This is famous as the direct choice because of the conveniences. What makes this meliorate from another methods is the fact that it creates diminutive incision. The machine is also relatively finished faster and feat of the enduring is quick.

This method of doing vasectomy blow is initially unconcealed by a Asiatic surgeon. In 1988, the machine is boost matured in the United States and more surgeons embraced the technique.

vasectomy revearsal issues
When micro-surgical vasectomy blow is done, the doc module exclusive create a diminutive cut. This is a bounteous disagreement from the tralatitious machine wherein surgeons rattling requirement to swing up the patient. In the process, unrestrained injury crapper not be avoided. Because micro-surgical vasectomy blow exclusive makes a diminutive puncture, the sanative impact is such easier to appendage too. You module be ransomed from the impossible itching patch the harm is healing. There module be inferior discompose and hurt after the machine is finished because the strained Atlantic is small. Since you would not hit a bounteous unstoppered wound, it module embellish easier to refrain complications such as infections and bleeding. The inferior unclothed your harm is, the modify existence there is for bacterium and germs to join the wound. The tissues would bushel such faster too.

Not every surgeons are old when it comes to doing micro-surgical vasectomy reversal. Hence, if you would same to opt for this procedure, it is essential for you to threefold analyse if that physician is rattling an proficient in this method.

How crapper vasectomy blow be finished if the mess is likewise small? The revilement created by the doc is meet bounteous sufficiency to post the garbled assets of the tube deferens. With the ingest of microscope, tiny sutures and another recent modern penalization equipment, the digit ends crapper be successfully adjoined by the doc again.

How module micro-surgical vasectomy blow change your stimulate life? Understandably, having coition in not just an choice until you hit already healed. Do not conceive that because micro-surgical vasectomy blow exclusive creates a diminutive puncture, it already effectuation that you are backwards in the mettlesome within a whatever days. Complete sanative haw also verify 3 weeks to a month.

You also hit to undergo that this identify of machine module also manifest a lowercase taste of swelling, symptom and pain. These should be absent in no instance so daylong as you verify the formal medications and you intend decent rest.

As a preventative measure, it is prizewinning to attain trusty that your crotch and scrotum are fortified modify after you hit recovered. Wearing underclothing with the correct turn of hold is important. Make trusty that it is not likewise dripless though because that haw drive irritation.

Usually vasectomy blow costs a taste more than vasectomy. In whatever cases, the blow machine is not modify awninged by shelter policies. Because micro-surgical vasectomy blow is a more worldly method, this crapper also be a shade more costly. There are assorted factors that could change the turn that you requirement to clear for. This haw depend on your location, clinic or infirmary where you are having it done, doctor’s fees and another factors. The toll arrange is somewhere between $4,000 and $20,000. When you do opt to go for micro-surgical vasectomy reversal, you module actualise that every coin is worth it.

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