Monthly Archives: February 2017

Fitness And Nutrition For Health

In the age which we live there is an unprecedented focus on getting and staying healthy. As more and more research points to the effect of fitness and nutrition on our overall health, the findings become more difficult to ignore. There is no doubt that the food that we eat and the physical activity that we perform significantly impact our weight and our body’s overall health and longevity.

When you look at fitness and nutrition and the consequences of ignoring their importance, it is not difficult to see how large a role they play in our health. First and foremost, it is important to understand how powerfully diet can affect us. Natural, whole foods – such as fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins – give our bodies the vitamins that it needs to function effectively. We have energy when we eat right. And when we have energy we burn fat. Eating properly allows us to maintain a healthy weight and keep undue stress off of our hearts; it also allows us to keep our blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the healthy range. Most importantly, good nutrition keeps our bodies stocked with antioxidants that fight off a range of illnesses including cancer.

But nutrition does go it alone; fitness and nutrition go hand in hand for achieving good health. When we keep our bodies active through a consistent exercise program, we are adding to our body’s ability to metabolize food and keep weight down. Further, good fitness means strong and limber muscles and a strong cardiovascular system. Exercise also lowers blood pressure and reduces stress levels.

Learning how to pair fitness and nutrition for optimum health means a commitment to a particular lifestyle. It is essential that you revamp your diet to eliminate fatty, high-sodium, and processed food and replace it with fresh, natural – and even organic – choices. But remember, fitness and nutrition work best as a team. Implement a consistent regime of physical activity into your daily schedule including cardiovascular work, stretching, weight training, and even yoga or Pilates.

When you truly understand the importance of fitness and nutrition in your life, you will understand how crucial these lifestyle changes are in order to live a long and healthy life.

Best Places For Medical Treatment in Damascus, Syria

Damascus is the capital of Syria; it is also an important hub for science, culture, politics, art, and commercial activities. The city is also known to be oldest city in the world that has been inhabited continuously. The country has state hospitals in every province but most of the good hospitals are concentrated in the capital Damascus. The treatment at government hospitals is almost free and the fee charged by private hospitals is also regulated by the government.

The New Medical Center is one the prime healthcare centre in Damascus. The hospital was set up in the year 1991 and has facilities and knowhow for almost all medical and surgical practices. It is outfitted with highly advanced infrastructure and the team at the hospital is well trained. The hospital is equipped to conduct pediatric surgery, plastic surgery, general surgery and kidney transplants. The address for this hospital is Misat sq. Bernia Street, P.O.Box 7465.

The Dr. Shami-Attar-Bdeir-Medical Care Center was established by the Attar Group in 1981. The MCC provides excellent medical care to its patients and is equipped with latest medical technology and a well trained staff. Surgeries in the fields of obstetrics, gynecology, ENT, ophthalmology and neurology apart from plastic surgery and general surgery are carried out at the hospital regularly. The hospital has advanced scanning systems and a modern Intensive Care Unit. The hospital carries out open heart surgeries and the hospital has a 100 bed capacity.

The Italian hospital in Damascus was built in 1936. It is one of the important healthcare facilities in the city. Through the years the hospital has come to be known as a modern hospital that provides good services at treatment to its patients. The hospital is located at Tilyani and the contact numbers are 332-9404; 332-6030/1.

The Al-Asadi Hospital located in Mazzeh, Western Villas Damascus specializes in heart surgery and Bridi Clinic at Rawda Street, near Arnous Square has facilities for both medical and dental ailments. The contact number is 3338210.

Medical Clinic is located on Youth City Street, Building 27, East Villas, Mezzeh Damascus 7937; the contact person in this clinic is Dr Al-Hussein Saied Moshaaoeh. The clinic offers treatment for general medicine related issues.

International Medical & Digestive Clinic found on Salhia Street, Cinema Amir Building is run by Dr M Jaber is and provides treatment for digestive and other stomach related illnesses.

Apart from the hospitals listed above there are some well known doctors in Damascus that can be contacted depending on the nature of the problem. Dr. Moufid Jokhadar is a famous cardiologist and is contact number is 331-2766/ 333-2337. Dr. Anan Haffar is a pediatrician and his address is Jisr Al Abyed, Damascus; phone numbers are 333-4283/371-2822. For obstetrics and gynecological issues you could contact Dr. Ahmad Dahman at 70, Mazraa Malek, Al Fadel Street.

Pathological Eating Disorders and Poly-Behavioral Addiction

When considering that pathological eating disorders and their related diseases now afflict more people globally than malnutrition, some experts in the medical field are presently purporting that the world’s number one health problem is no longer heart disease or cancer, but obesity. According to the World Health Organization (June, 2005), “obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults overweight – at least 300 million of them clinically obese – and is a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability. Often coexisting in developing countries with under-nutrition, obesity is a complex condition, with serious social and psychological dimensions, affecting virtually all ages and socioeconomic groups.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (June, 2005), reports that “during the past 20 years, obesity among adults has risen significantly in the United States. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older – over 60 million people – are obese. This increase is not limited to adults. The percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. Among children and teens aged 6-19 years, 16 percent (over 9 million young people) are considered overweight.”

Morbid obesity is a condition that is described as being 100lbs. or more above ideal weight, or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30. Being obese alone puts one at a much greater risk of suffering from a combination of several other metabolic factors such as having high blood pressure, being insulin resistant, and/ or having abnormal cholesterol levels that are all related to a poor diet and a lack of exercise. The sum is greater than the parts. Each metabolic problem is a risk for other diseases separately, but together they multiply the chances of life-threatening illness such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke, etc. Up to 30.5% of our Nations’ adults suffer from morbid obesity, and two thirds or 66% of adults are overweight measured by having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25. Considering that the U.S. population is now over 290,000,000, some estimate that up to 73,000,000 Americans could benefit from some type of education awareness and/ or treatment for a pathological eating disorder or food addiction. Typically, eating patterns are considered pathological problems when issues concerning weight and/ or eating habits, (e.g., overeating, under eating, binging, purging, and/ or obsessing over diets and calories, etc.) become the focus of a persons’ life, causing them to feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment with related symptoms of depression and anxiety that cause significant maladaptive social and/ or occupational impairment in functioning.

We must consider that some people develop dependencies on certain life-functioning activities such as eating that can be just as life threatening as drug addiction and just as socially and psychologically damaging as alcoholism. Some do suffer from hormonal or metabolic disorders, but most obese individuals simply consume more calories than they burn due to an out of control overeating Food Addiction. Hyper-obesity resulting from gross, habitual overeating is considered to be more like the problems found in those ingrained personality disorders that involve loss of control over appetite of some kind (Orford, 1985). Binge-eating Disorder episodes are characterized in part by a feeling that one cannot stop or control how much or what one is eating (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). Lienard and Vamecq (2004) have proposed an “auto-addictive” hypothesis for pathological eating disorders. They report that, “eating disorders are associated with abnormal levels of endorphins and share clinical similarities with psychoactive drug abuse. The key role of endorphins has recently been demonstrated in animals with regard to certain aspects of normal, pathological and experimental eating habits (food restriction combined with stress, loco-motor hyperactivity).” They report that the “pathological management of eating disorders may lead to two extreme situations: the absence of ingestion (anorexia) and excessive ingestion (bulimia).”

Co-morbidity & Mortality

Addictions and other mental disorders as a rule do not develop in isolation. The National Co-morbidity Survey (NCS) that sampled the entire U.S. population in 1994, found that among non-institutionalized American male and female adolescents and adults (ages 15-54), roughly 50% had a diagnosable Axis I mental disorder at some time in their lives. This survey’s results indicated that 35% of males will at some time in their lives have abused substances to the point of qualifying for a mental disorder diagnosis, and nearly 25% of women will have qualified for a serious mood disorder (mostly major depression). A significant finding of note from the NCS study was the widespread occurrence of co-morbidity among diagnosed disorders. It specifically found that 56% of the respondents with a history of at least one disorder also had two or more additional disorders. These persons with a history of three or more co-morbid disorders were estimated to be one-sixth of the U.S. population, or some 43 million people (Kessler, 1994).

McGinnis and Foege, (1994) report that, “the most prominent contributors to mortality in the United States in 1990 were tobacco (an estimated 400,000 deaths), diet and activity patterns (300,000), alcohol (100,000), microbial agents (90,000), toxic agents (60,000), firearms (35,000), sexual behavior (30,000), motor vehicles (25,000), and illicit use of drugs (20,000). Acknowledging that the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality was risky behavior lifestyles, the U.S. Prevention Services Task Force set out to research behavioral counseling interventions in health care settings (Williams & Wilkins, 1996).

Poor Prognosis

We have come to realize today more than any other time in history that the treatment of lifestyle diseases and addictions are often a difficult and frustrating task for all concerned. Repeated failures abound with all of the addictions, even with utilizing the most effective treatment strategies. But why do 47% of patients treated in private treatment programs (for example) relapse within the first year following treatment (Gorski,T., 2001)? Have addiction specialists become conditioned to accept failure as the norm? There are many reasons for this poor prognosis. Some would proclaim that addictions are psychosomatically- induced and maintained in a semi-balanced force field of driving and restraining multidimensional forces. Others would say that failures are due simply to a lack of self-motivation or will power. Most would agree that lifestyle behavioral addictions are serious health risks that deserve our attention, but could it possibly be that patients with multiple addictions are being under diagnosed (with a single dependence) simply due to a lack of diagnostic tools and resources that are incapable of resolving the complexity of assessing and treating a patient with multiple addictions?

Diagnostic Delineation

Thus far, the DSM-IV-TR has not delineated a diagnosis for the complexity of multiple behavioral and substance addictions. It has reserved the Poly-substance Dependence diagnosis for a person who is repeatedly using at least three groups of substances during the same 12-month period, but the criteria for this diagnosis do not involve any behavioral addiction symptoms. In the Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Condition’s section (DSM-IV-TR, 2000); maladaptive health behaviors (e.g., overeating, unsafe sexual practices, excessive alcohol and drug use, etc.) may be listed on Axis I only if they are significantly affecting the course of treatment of a medical or mental condition.

Since successful treatment outcomes are dependent on thorough assessments, accurate diagnoses, and comprehensive individualized treatment planning, it is no wonder that repeated rehabilitation failures and low success rates are the norm instead of the exception in the addictions field, when the latest DSM-IV-TR does not even include a diagnosis for multiple addictive behavioral disorders. Treatment clinics need to have a treatment planning system and referral network that is equipped to thoroughly assess multiple addictive and mental health disorders and related treatment needs and comprehensively provide education/ awareness, prevention strategy groups, and/ or specific addictions treatment services for individuals diagnosed with multiple addictions. Written treatment goals and objectives should be specified for each separate addiction and dimension of an individuals’ life, and the desired performance outcome or completion criteria should be specifically stated, behaviorally based (a visible activity), and measurable.

New Proposed Diagnosis

To assist in resolving the limited DSM-IV-TRs’ diagnostic capability, a multidimensional diagnosis of “Poly-behavioral Addiction,” is proposed for more accurate diagnosis leading to more effective treatment planning. This diagnosis encompasses the broadest category of addictive disorders that would include an individual manifesting a combination of substance abuse addictions, and other obsessively-compulsive behavioral addictive behavioral patterns to pathological gambling, religion, and/ or sex / pornography, etc.). Behavioral addictions are just as damaging – psychologically and socially as alcohol and drug abuse. They are comparative to other life-style diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease in their behavioral manifestations, their etiologies, and their resistance to treatments. They are progressive disorders that involve obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors. They are also characterized by a preoccupation with a continuous or periodic loss of control, and continuous irrational behavior in spite of adverse consequences.

Poly-behavioral addiction would be described as a state of periodic or chronic physical, mental, emotional, cultural, sexual and/ or spiritual/ religious intoxication. These various types of intoxication are produced by repeated obsessive thoughts and compulsive practices involved in pathological relationships to any mood-altering substance, person, organization, belief system, and/ or activity. The individual has an overpowering desire, need or compulsion with the presence of a tendency to intensify their adherence to these practices, and evidence of phenomena of tolerance, abstinence and withdrawal, in which there is always physical and/ or psychic dependence on the effects of this pathological relationship. In addition, there is a 12 – month period in which an individual is pathologically involved with three or more behavioral and/ or substance use addictions simultaneously, but the criteria are not met for dependence for any one addiction in particular (Slobodzien, J., 2005). In essence, Poly-behavioral addiction is the synergistically integrated chronic dependence on multiple physiologically addictive substances and behaviors (e.g., using/ abusing substances – nicotine, alcohol, & drugs, and/or acting impulsively or obsessively compulsive in regards to gambling, food binging, sex, and/ or religion, etc.) simultaneously.

New Proposed Theory

The Addictions Recovery Measurement System’s (ARMS) theory is a nonlinear, dynamical, non-hierarchical model that focuses on interactions between multiple risk factors and situational determinants similar to catastrophe and chaos theories in predicting and explaining addictive behaviors and relapse. Multiple influences trigger and operate within high-risk situations and influence the global multidimensional functioning of an individual. The process of relapse incorporates the interaction between background factors (e.g., family history, social support, years of possible dependence, and co-morbid psychopathology), physiological states (e.g., physical withdrawal), cognitive processes (e.g., self-efficacy, cravings, motivation, the abstinence violation effect, outcome expectancies), and coping skills (Brownell et al., 1986; Marlatt & Gordon, 1985). To put it simply, small changes in an individual’s behavior can result in large qualitative changes at the global level and patterns at the global level of a system emerge solely from numerous little interactions.

The ARMS hypothesis purports that there is a multidimensional synergistically negative resistance that individual’s develop to any one form of treatment to a single dimension of their lives, because the effects of an individual’s addiction have dynamically interacted multi-dimensionally. Having the primary focus on one dimension is insufficient. Traditionally, addiction treatment programs have failed to accommodate for the multidimensional synergistically negative effects of an individual having multiple addictions, (e.g. nicotine, alcohol, and obesity, etc.). Behavioral addictions interact negatively with each other and with strategies to improve overall functioning. They tend to encourage the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, help increase violence, decrease functional capacity, and promote social isolation. Most treatment theories today involve assessing other dimensions to identify dual diagnosis or co-morbidity diagnoses, or to assess contributing factors that may play a role in the individual’s primary addiction. The ARMS’ theory proclaims that a multidimensional treatment plan must be devised addressing the possible multiple addictions identified for each one of an individual’s life dimensions in addition to developing specific goals and objectives for each dimension.

The ARMS acknowledges the complexity and unpredictable nature of lifestyle addictions following the commitment of an individual to accept assistance with changing their lifestyles. The Stages of Change model (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1984) is supported as a model of motivation, incorporating five stages of readiness to change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. The ARMS theory supports the constructs of self-efficacy and social networking as outcome predictors of future behavior across a wide variety of lifestyle risk factors (Bandura, 1977). The Relapse Prevention cognitive-behavioral approach (Marlatt, 1985) with the goal of identifying and preventing high-risk situations for relapse is also supported within the ARMS theory.

The ARMS continues to promote Twelve Step Recovery Groups such as Food Addicts and Alcoholics Anonymous along with spiritual and religious recovery activities as a necessary means to maintain outcome effectiveness. The beneficial effects of AA may be attributable in part to the replacement of the participant’s social network of drinking friends with a fellowship of AA members who can provide motivation and support for maintaining abstinence (Humphreys, K.; Mankowski, E.S, 1999) and (Morgenstern, J.; Labouvie, E.; McCrady, B.S.; Kahler, C.W.; and Frey, R.M., 1997). In addition, AA’s approach often results in the development of coping skills, many of which are similar to those taught in more structured psychosocial treatment settings, thereby leading to reductions in alcohol consumption (NIAAA, June 2005).

Treatment Progress Dimensions

The American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (2003), “Patient Placement Criteria for the Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition”, has set the standard in the field of addiction treatment for recognizing the totality of the individual in his or her life situation. This includes the internal interconnection of multiple dimensions from biomedical to spiritual, as well as external relationships of the individual to the family and larger social groups. Life-style addictions may affect many domains of an individual’s functioning and frequently require multi-modal treatment. Real progress however, requires appropriate interventions and motivating strategies for every dimension of an individual’s life.

The Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) has identified the following seven treatment progress areas (dimensions) in an effort to: (1) assist clinicians with identifying additional motivational techniques that can increase an individual’s awareness to make progress: (2) measure within treatment progress, and (3) measure after treatment outcome effectiveness:

PD- 1. Abstinence/ Relapse: Progress Dimension

PD- 2. Bio-medical/ Physical: Progress Dimension

PD- 3. Mental/ Emotional: Progress Dimension

PD- 4. Social/ Cultural: Progress Dimension

PD- 5. Educational/ Occupational: Progress Dimension

PD- 6. Attitude/ Behavioral: Progress Dimension

PD- 7. Spirituality/ Religious: Progress Dimension

Considering that addictions involve unbalanced life-styles operating within semi-stable equilibrium force fields, the ARMS philosophy promotes that positive treatment effectiveness and successful outcomes are the result of a synergistic relationship with “The Higher Power,” that spiritually elevates and connects an individuals’ multiple life functioning dimensions by reducing chaos and increasing resilience to bring an individual harmony, wellness, and productivity.

Addictions Recovery Measurement – Subsystems

Since chronic lifestyle diseases and disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, alcoholism, drug and behavioral addictions cannot be cured, but only managed – how should we effectively manage poly-behavioral addiction?

The Addiction Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) is proposed utilizing a multidimensional integrative assessment, treatment planning, treatment progress, and treatment outcome measurement tracking system that facilitates rapid and accurate recognition and evaluation of an individual’s comprehensive life-functioning progress dimensions. The “ARMS”- systematically, methodically, interactively, & spiritually combines the following five versatile subsystems that may be utilized individually or incorporated together:

1) The Prognostication System – composed of twelve screening instruments developed to evaluate an individual’s total life-functioning dimensions for a comprehensive bio-psychosocial assessment for an objective 5-Axis diagnosis with a point-based Global Assessment of Functioning score;

2) The Target Intervention System – that includes the Target Intervention Measure (TIM) and Target Progress Reports (A) & (B), for individualized goal-specific treatment planning;

3) The Progress Point System – a standardized performance-based motivational recovery point system utilized to produce in-treatment progress reports on six life-functioning individual dimensions;

4) The Multidimensional Tracking System – with its Tracking Team Surveys (A) & (B), along with the ARMS Discharge criteria guidelines utilizes a multidisciplinary tracking team to assist with discharge planning; and

5) The Treatment Outcome Measurement System – that utilizes the following two measurement instruments: (a) The Treatment Outcome Measure (TOM); and (b) the Global Assessment of Progress (GAP), to assist with aftercare treatment planning.

National Movement

With the end of the Cold War, the threat of a world nuclear war has diminished considerably. It may be hard to imagine that in the end, comedians may be exploiting the humor in the fact that it wasn’t nuclear warheads, but “French fries” that annihilated the human race. On a more serious note, lifestyle diseases and addictions are the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality, yet brief preventive behavioral assessments and counseling interventions are under-utilized in health care settings (Whitlock, 2002).

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that effective behavioral counseling interventions that address personal health practices hold greater promise for improving overall health than many secondary preventive measures, such as routine screening for early disease (USPSTF, 1996). Common health-promoting behaviors include healthy diet, regular physical exercise, smoking cessation, appropriate alcohol/ medication use, and responsible sexual practices to include use of condoms and contraceptives.

350 national organizations and 250 State public health, mental health, substance abuse, and environmental agencies support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Healthy People 2010” program. This national initiative recommends that primary care clinicians utilize clinical preventive assessments and brief behavioral counseling for early detection, prevention, and treatment of lifestyle disease and addiction indicators for all patients’ upon every healthcare visit.

Partnerships and coordination among service providers, government departments, and community organizations in providing treatment programs are a necessity in addressing the multi-task solution to poly-behavioral addiction. I encourage you to support the mental health and addiction programs in America, and hope that the (ARMS) resources can assist you to personally fight the War on pathological eating disorders within poly-behavioral addiction.

For more info see:

Poly-Behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System,

By James Slobodzien, Psy.D., CSAC at:

[http://www.geocities.com/drslbdzn/Behavioral-Addictions.html]

Food Addicts Anonymous: http://www.foodaddictsanonymous.org/

Alcoholics Anonymous: http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/

References

American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition,

Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 787 & p. 731.

American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (2003), “Patient Placement Criteria for the

Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition,. Retrieved, June 18, 2005, from:

http://www.asam.org/

Bandura, A. (1977), Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review,

84, 191-215.

Brownell, K. D., Marlatt, G. A., Lichtenstein, E., & Wilson, G. T. (1986). Understanding and preventing relapse. American Psychologist, 41, 765-782.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved June 18, 2005, from: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/

Gorski, T. (2001), Relapse Prevention In The Managed Care Environment. GORSKI-CENAPS Web

Healthy People 2010. Retrieved June 20, 2005, from: http://www.healthypeople.gov/

Publications. Retrieved June 20, 2005, from: http://www.tgorski.com

Lienard, J. & Vamecq, J. (2004), Presse Med, Oct 23;33(18 Suppl):33-40.

Marlatt, G. A. (1985). Relapse prevention: Theoretical rationale and overview of the model. In G. A.

Marlatt & J. R. Gordon (Eds.), Relapse prevention (pp. 250-280). New York: Guilford Press.

McGinnis JM, Foege WH (1994). Actual causes of death in the United States. US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC 20201

Humphreys, K.; Mankowski, E.S.; Moos, R.H.; and Finney, J.W (1999). Do enhanced friendship networks and active coping mediate the effect of self-help groups on substance abuse? Ann Behav Med 21(1):54-60.

Kessler, R.C., McGonagle, K.A., Zhao, S., Nelson, C.B., Hughes, M., Eshleman, S., Wittchen, H. H,-U, & Kendler, K.S. (1994). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United

States: Results from the national co morbidity survey. Arch. Gen. Psychiat., 51, 8-19.

Morgenstern, J.; Labouvie, E.; McCrady, B.S.; Kahler, C.W.; and Frey, R.M (1997). Affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous after treatment: A study of its therapeutic effects and mechanisms of action. J Consult Clin Psychol 65(5):768-777.

Orford, J. (1985). Excessive appetites: A psychological view of addiction. New York: Wiley.

Prochaska, J. O., & DiClemente, C. C. (1984). The transtheoretical approach: Crossing the boundaries of therapy. Malabar, FL: Krieger.

Slobodzien, J. (2005). Poly-behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS), Booklocker.com, Inc., p. 5.

Whitlock, E.P. (1996). Evaluating Primary Care Behavioral Counseling Interventions: An Evidence-based Approach. Am J Prev Med 2002;22(4): 267-84.Williams & Wilkins. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. 2nd ed. Alexandria, VA.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010 (Conference Edition). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2000.

World Health Organization, (WHO). Retrieved June 18, 2005, from: http://www.who.int/topics/obesity/en/

Heart Disease – What Is The Difference Between Organic Heart Disease And Degenerative Heart Disease?

Although Heart Disease is the main cause of death in the Western World it is amazing how little the general public actually know about it.

For example very few people realize that there isn’t just one type of Heart Disease. In fact there are at least ten different types and these fall into two distinct categories – Organic and Degenerative.

The major difference between Organic and Degenerative Heart Disease is their causes.

Organic refers to a situation where the organ (the heart) is damaged by a specific event. This can also be referred to as “acute”, which simply means that it happened suddenly or over a short period of time. Degenerative Heart Disease (sometimes referred to as “chronic”) is caused by gradual deterioration over a long period of time.

There are two types of Organic H.D. – Congenital and Rheumatic .

Defects that occur at birth are classed as Congenital Heart Disease. These may affect the heart itself : it may not have developed normally during pregnancy, the wall of the heart may be damaged (hole in the heart), or the blood vessels may be underdeveloped. These defects may be hereditary or more likely have been caused by external factors such as drugs or infection during pregnancy. They are normally diagnosed at birth or in early childhood but it is not uncommon for the symptoms to occur for the first time in adulthood..

Rheumatic Heart Disease can be the result of a bout of rheumatic fever. Occurrences have decreased considerably due to the use of antibiotics to treat rheumatic fever.

There are at least eight specific diseases, which fall into the category of Degenerative Heart Disease. The common factors within this category are that the disease has progressed gradually and that there is no specific event that has caused it.

The vast majority of people who are diagnosed with Heart Disease have some form of degenerative heart disease. This is the form of disease that is the target of the awareness campaigns and is the type that we can help to prevent by our lifestyles choices.

Top 50 Iron Rich Foods – Boost Your Energy and Beat Low Iron Symptoms

Increasing your intake of iron rich foods should not be too difficult. All it takes is for you to know which of the foods you eat are rich in iron, and start planning your meals accordingly. Sadly, the extent of most people’s knowledge, when it comes to iron and iron rich foods, is just too limited.

 

For a quick read on where to start you can read our article on Foods with an Iron Punch, but here we’ll give a much more in depth overview of the best iron Rich Foods complete with their Iron content.

 

The data has been extracted from the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 22 from September 2009 which contains all the nutritional data for well over 7,000 food items. Unfortunately you can’t just download the database and do a quick sort on Iron content to give you the best Iron Rich Foods. Actually you can, but the problem is that the list you get won’t be very helpful in your daily life as the top items would be things like freeze dried parsley, dried thyme, beluga meat, cumin seed and all kinds of other foods you wouldn’t eat in large enough quantities to help you load up on Iron.

 

We have done the hard work for you and have carefully reviewed the USDA database and compiled this list of Top 50 Iron Rich Foods and have listed them by category so you know that when you eat meat what meat to choose, when you buy vegetables what to put in your shopping cart and when you need a quick snack what can help you boost your iron intake in just a few minutes.

 

This list is not a complete list of the iron content of all possible food items – if you don’t see it here it just means it isn’t particularly high on Iron.

 

Eat these Iron Rich Foods, combine them with Iron Absorption Enhancers, avoid Iron Absorption Inhibitors and you’ll be well on your way to boost your Iron levels and get rid of those Low Iron Symptoms!

 

Breakfast Cereals

Fortified breakfast cereal is one of your best bets to boost your Iron intake and below is a short list of some of them. As you can see eating just a single serving of these will give you around 18 mg Iron, but bear in mind that the typical absorption rate of a healthy adult is only approximately 10% to 15% of dietary iron. So drink a glass of Orange juice with your cereal to boost your absorption. Also, bear in mind that the last two items in this last are dry, i.e. before you have added milk or water to them!

  • Ralston Enriched Bran Flakes: 27 mg/cup
  • Kellog’s Complete Oat Bran Flakes: 25 mg/cup
  • General Mills Multi-Grain Cheerios: 24 mg/cup
  • Kellog’s All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes: 24 mg/cup
  • Malt-O-Meal, plain, dry: 92 mg/cup
  • Cream of Wheat, instant, dry: 51 mg/cup

Meat

Red meat is high on iron and it comes in the heme form you body most easily absorbs; typically 15% to 35% of heme iron is absorbed by your body. Organ meats are the best sources of iron within the meat category and of these liver is probably the most popular so we’ve included it the list since we don’t know too many people who’ll eat spleen or lungs we’ve excluded these kinds of organs. If you like liver then go for goose liver expensive, but very nice! or at least opt for pork liver instead of beef liver. When you opt for red meat in your diet add some less standard options like Emu, Ostrich or Duck instead of beef.

  • Goose liver, raw: 31 mg / 100g
  • Pork liver, cooked: 18 mg / 100g
  • Chicken liver, cooked: 13 mg / 100g
  • Lamb liver, cooked: 10 mg / 100g
  • Beef liver, cooked: 7 mg / 100g
  • Emu, cooked: 7 mg / 100g
  • Ostrich oyster, cooked: 5 mg / 100g
  • Quail meat, raw: 5 mg / 100g
  • Duck breast, raw: 5 mg / 100g
  • Beef, steak, cooked: 4 mg / 100g
  • Beef, ground, cooked: 3 mg / 100g

Fish and Shellfish

Fish is not often considered as a good source of iron and most finfish is indeed not, only the oily fish like mackerel and sardines provide you with a decent amount of iron. So when you want to eat fish, opt for oily fish which gives you the most iron and is high in omega-3 too. When you add shellfish into the equation suddenly we find some of the best Iron Rich Foods you can find, especially clams think clam chowder. A quick comparison with the meat category shows that octopus or cuttlefish beat all the regular meats in terms of iron content and are only outdone by liver. So, it’s time to add some stir fried squid to your weekly menu.

  • Clams, canned, drained solids: 28 mg / 100g
  • Clams, cooked: 28 mg / 100g
  • Fish caviar, black and red: 12 mg / 100g
  • Cuttlefish, cooked: 11 mg / 100g
  • Octopus, cooked: 10 mg / 100g
  • Oyster, medium sized, cooked: 10 mg / 100g
  • Anchovy, canned in oil: 5 mg / 100g
  • Shrimp, cooked: 3 mg / 100g
  • Sardine, canned in oil: 3 mg / 100g
  • Mackerel, cooked: 2 mg / 100g

Vegetables

Vegetables are an essential part of your diet, full of essential nutrients and most people don’t eat enough of them, but when it comes to Iron most vegetables are not too hot. If you choose your vegetables carefully then can use vegetables to help you boost your iron levels, especially if you include some iron absorption enhancers in your diet as the non-heme iron in vegetables is not easily absorbed by your body. Vegetables in the Top 50 Iron Rich Foods include various beans, potato skins, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables like spinach, chard and parsley. Chili con carne, which combines meat, kidney beans and tomato sauce, makes an excellent Iron Rich Recipe, but so does a white bean salad with plenty of fresh parsley and light vinaigrette.

  • Mushrooms, morel, raw: 12 mg / cup
  • Tomatoes, sun-dried: 5 mg / cup
  • Potato skins, baked: 4 mg / skin
  • Parsley, raw: 4 mg / cup
  • Soybeans, boiled: 9 mg / cup
  • Spinach, boiled, drained: 6 mg / cup
  • Tomato sauce, canned: 9 mg / cup
  • Lentils, boiled: 7 mg / cup
  • Hearts of palm, canned: 5 mg / cup
  • White Beans, canned: 8 mg / cup
  • Kidney beans, boiled: 5 mg / cup
  • Chickpeas, boiled: 5 mg / cup
  • Pinto Beans, frozen, boiled: 3 mg / cup
  • Lima beans, boiled: 4 mg / cup
  • Hummus, commercial: 6 mg / cup
  • Swiss Chard, boiled, chopped: 4 mg / cup
  • Asparagus, canned: 4 mg / cup
  • Chickpeas, canned: 3 mg / cup
  • Tomatoes, canned: 3 mg / cup
  • Sweet potato, canned, mashed: 3 mg / cup
  • Endive, raw: 4 mg / head

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds are great Iron Rich Foods in that they have a pretty high iron content and are so versatile that you can eat them in many ways. A quick snack on some cashew nuts is filling, healthy and gives plenty of iron – tasty too! Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds can be easily toasted and added to a salad for a nice crunch and an iron boost. Sesame seeds are used in a variety of Asian dishes and all of these can be used in baking or as a quick addition to your breakfast cereal. Just make sure you always have some in the house and you’ll soon find many ways to add them into your day-to-day food.

  • Sesame seeds, whole, dried: 21 mg/cup
  • Pumpkin seeds and squash seed kernels, dried: 11 mg/cup
  • Sunflower seed kernels, toasted: 9 mg/cup
  • Cashew nuts, dry roasted, halves and whole: 8 mg/cup
  • Pistachio nuts, dry roasted: 5 mg/cup
  • Almonds, whole kernels, blanched: 5 mg/cup

Fruit

Fresh fruit is not rich in Iron, but dried fruit like apricots, peaches or prunes are great Iron Rich Snacks to eat in between meals or to add to various recipes. The one thing you must remember about fresh fruit is that most of it contains a lot of Vitamin C and since Vitamin is an Iron Absorption Enhancer eating fresh fruit or vegetables high in Vitamin C with your meal can greatly boost the amount of iron your body actually absorbs.

  • Apricots, dehydrated low-moisture: 8 mg/cup
  • Peaches, dehydrated low-moisture: 6 mg/cup
  • Prunes, dehydrated low-moisture: 5 mg/cup
  • Olives, canned jumbo: 0.3 mg / olive
  • Currants, dried: 5 mg/cup
  • Apricots, dried, sulfured, uncooked: 4 mg/cup
  • Blueberries, canned: 7 mg/cup

Iron Rich Snacks

Apart from the nuts and dried fruit there are quick and easy Iron Rich Snacks which you can simply buy in the supermarket and use as a instant Iron Booster. Below or some examples, but if you’re planning to buy some bars or drinks then you need to remember to check the nutrition labels on the actual products you buy as the actual Iron content can vary greatly from brand to brand and even from product to product within the same brand.

  • Nestle Supligen, canned supplement drink 9 mg / can
  • Snickers Marathon Honey Nut Oat Bar: 8 mg / bar
  • Snickers Marathon Double Chocolate Nut Bar 8 mg / bar
  • Snickers Marathon Multigrain Crunch Bar: 8 mg / bar
  • Pretzels, soft: 6 mg / large
  • Trail mix, regular: 3 mg / cup

Eggs:

Dairy products are not high in Iron, but do contain a lot of calcium and calcium has been known to act as a Iron Absorption Inhibitor so you should try and eat calcium rich foods separate from your Iron Rich Foods as much as possible. Eggs are not too high in Iron, but egg yolks are not too bad and if you can find fresh goose eggs they could be used in a great Iron Rich Breakfast!

  • Goose Egg, whole: 5 mg / egg
  • Egg yolk, raw: 7 mg iron / cup
  • Egg, scrambled: 3 mg iron / cup

What Is Malignant Hypertension: Causes, Symptoms, Prevention

High blood pressure or more commonly known as hypertension is an incredibly common condition that is known to affect as many as one in three Americans each year. Hypertension can easily be diagnosed simply by checking if your BP is above 120 systolic or 80 diastolic. Hypertension is often easily managed, as long as you make an effort to follow the advice from your family’s doctor’s. Although not as common as hypertension, some individuals with high blood pressure may suddenly experience a sudden increase in BP that is recorded above 180 systolic or 120 diastolic. This sudden increase in BP is known as malignant hypertension. This particular condition may also be referred to as arteriolar nephrosclerosis. If an individual suffers from the condition, it’s advised that they seek immediate medical attention. If emergency treatment is not received, the individual runs the risk of developing much more serious health problems, as a result, such as kidney failure, heart attack or even brain damage.

What is known to cause malignant hypertension?

Throughout many individuals, high blood pressure is known to be one of the primary causes. If these individuals also rely on some form of BP medication, missing a dose can also cause the condition to occur. Malignant hypertension is mostly discovered in patients who possess some form of history of high blood pressure. According to the official National Institutes of Health, approximately one percent of individuals who suffer from high blood pressure will eventually begin to develop malignant hypertension. Furthermore, there are also certain medical conditions that are also responsible for malignant hypertension. Some health conditions can significantly increase an individual’s chances of developing malignant hypertension such as:

– Forgetting or not taking medication for treating high blood pressure.

– Narrowing of the main blood vessel from the heart, aorta, or aortic dissection (a form of bleeding from the wall of the aorta).

– Narrowing of the arteries found in the kidneys (known as renal stenosis).

– A result of a spinal cord injury causing over-activity in parts of a patient’s nervous system.

– Autoimmune diseases (antibodies produced in a patient’s body to fight against its own tissues).

– Preeclampsia and pregnancy.

– Drug use such as anti-depressants, oral contraceptives, amphetamines and even cocaine.

– Kidney failure or disorders.

Who is at risk for developing malignant hypertension?

Approximately 1% of individual’s who have some form of history related to high blood pressure will develop this life-threatening condition. Studies have shown that you may be at greater risk of developing this disease if you are male or African-American origin. Unlike high blood pressure, the serious condition that is malignant hypertension is capable of producing very noticeable symptoms, some of which include:

– Reduced level of urination.

– Frequent headaches.

– Shortness of breath.

– Weakness or a level of numbness in the face, legs or arms.

– Vomiting and nausea.

– Increased level of anxiety.

– Frequent coughing.

– Regular chest pains.

– Changes in vision such as blurred vision.

Malignant hypertension can also lead to another condition which is referred to as hypertensive encephalopathy. Symptoms of this condition can include:

– Seizures.

– Lack of energy.

– Increased level of confusion.

– Blurred vision.

– Headaches.

This variety of symptoms may not be caused specifically by malignant hypertension, however, they may be linked to a variety of less serious health conditions. Nevertheless, this disease is incredibly serious and life threatening, which means if you experience any form of symptoms related to this condition you should seek immediate emergency treatment. Your family doctor will also be capable of providing you with a wide variety of information and important advice surrounding the condition. Hypertension, is known to really take its toll on our kidneys. It can make it exceptionally difficult for our kidneys to filter out toxins and unnecessary waste from our blood. Which is why malignant hypertension is one of the leading causes of kidney failure. Malignant hypertension is also capable of causing your kidneys to eventually and suddenly stop working altogether.

I have been diagnosed with malignant hypertension, what should I expect?

In the past decades malignant hypertension was known to be a fatal condition. Nevertheless, through modern medicine and the latest techniques, treatment is readily available for successfully treating this condition. Nevertheless, it’s known that during treatment of malignant hypertension, kidney function may become worse or decrease significantly. However, kidney function will often improve throughout the duration of the treatment as the condition is resolved, although this cannot always be guaranteed if the kidneys have received severe levels of damage prior to treatment. Typically a patient will begin to see forms of improvement within a week to 4 weeks respectively, even after receiving dialysis. Approximately 1 in 5 individuals who have suffered from the malignant hypertension condition will ultimately require long-term dialysis. Some individuals may experience some form of permanent damage to the eyes or brain.

How is the malignant hypertension condition treated?

Malignant hypertension is a serious medical emergency that requires sufficient levels of treatment in a hospital, which usually involves some form of intensive care unit. Individuals diagnosed with the condition will receive advice from a doctor who will be able to consider their symptoms and health upon deciding what form of medical treatment is the best solution for their personal case. The result of the treatment should be to carefully and steadily lower the patient’s BP. BP medication is received through an IV which is one of the quickest methods in order to treat extremely high levels of BP. Once the patient’s BP returns to an acceptable and safe level, the medications received via the IV will often be switched to a form of oral medication. If the patient develops kidney failure throughout their condition, they may need to receive kidney dialysis.

How can I prevent malignant hypertension?

Thankfully, some forms of malignant hypertension can easily be prevented. If you are known to have a high blood pressure, it’s essential that you receive regular BP checks with your doctor to make sure it’s safe and not increasing. If you have high blood pressure, you will no doubt be provided with a form of medication, which must be taken as instructed without missing any doses. Always remember to take your medication and follow the advice given by your doctor. Other ways that you can help to keep your BP down can be:

– Limit salt intake.

– Lose weight.

– Reduce stress levels.

– Change your diet to include more fresh fruit and vegetables.

– Reduce alcohol intake.

– Quit smoking.

Why Diabetics Should Eat Lots of Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the best food choices a diabetic can make. Here are some of the main reasons:

Shrimp Has LOTS of Omega-3 (Omega-3 Fatty Acids) and This Is Extremely Important To the Diabetic

Diabetics have damaged cell membranes. They are “insulin resistant” which means they don’t respond normally to insulin when it signals the cell to uptake glucose. Glucose can’t get across these damaged membranes at the normal rate, and therefore, this sugar builds up in the bloodstream reaping havoc with your body.

Repairing these membranes involves eliminating certain things from your diet, especially trans fat which gets subsituted into your cell membranes where the healthy omega-3’s should go. This damages your cell membranes and makes them too “stiff.” Even if you eliminate trans fat, if you don’t get enough omega-3, you won’t be able to repair and maintain those damaged cell membranes. Shrimp is one of the very best sources for omega-3.

Shrimp Has the Best Kind of Omega-3

There are several different types of omega-3.

First, there is a difference between plant derived omega-3 (ALA) and animal derived omega-3 (DHA and EPA). Humans can not use the plant version (ALA) without first converting it and we can only convert about 10% of what we eat. The rest is wasted. Also, diabetics and older people convert at even a lower rate. Therefore, it is best to eat the animal form of omega-3 which we can more easily use.

Second, the omega-3 in shrimp and other crustaceans (a type of arthropod) is attached to a phospholipid molecule. This is exactly what is found in the membranes of humans and is easier for the body to absorb than when it’s attached to triglyceride molecule like you find in fish.

Shrimp Is Very High In Protein, Very Low In Fat, and Contains Virtually No Carb

Each bite of succulent shrimp is packed with protein and hardly any fat. Plus, it has virually no carb. Since diabetics need to lower their carb intake and increase their protein intake, this makes the composition of shrimp meat perfect for the diabetic.

You Don’t Need To Worry About the Cholesterol Thing

Shrimp got a very undeserved bad rap regarding cholesterol. Yes, it is true that shrimp meat contains cholesterol BUT it is extremely low in saturated fat which is actually what raises cholesterol in humans. In fact, eating shrimp actually raises the good cholesterol.

Shrimp Tastes Great – What a Treat!

Most diabetics have to give up or at least drastically reduce some of their favorite foods. However, here’s a food that is simply wonderful in taste and is almost always thought of as quite a treat that is simply perfect for the diabetic to eat. Thank you Mother Nature!

The Benefits of Having a Healthy Heart

The heart plays a vital role in keeping the body alive. The heart is a pump that pumps life through the body. The heart has two main functions. It pumps blood to the lungs to retrieve oxygen and then pumps that oxygen into the blood and transports it around the rest of the body.

The heart is actually muscle and you have to keep training the muscle to maintain its conditioning. As the saying goes if you don’t use it you will lose it, and this also applies to the heart.

When the heart is in top condition the body works like a highly maintained car engine, it runs perfectly. A heart that is healthy and well taken care off is more able to cope with demands and stress that is put on the body. As the body has been designed to move it is the constant of physical activity that keeps your heart fit.

A healthy heart can provide you and your body with many benefits as follows:

• By acquiring the habit of doing physical exercise everyday you can greatly reduce your risk of heart disease and coronary heart attack. These exercises do not have to be intensive are done for a long period. As little as 15 minutes a day of exercise that makes you breathless will greatly improve the health of the heart.

• A heart that is healthy and strong will enable the body to function more effectively. This will enable the body to take on more strenuous activities and the common daily tasks are done with efficiency and comfort.

• A trained and healthy heart works more efficiently than one that is out of condition. This means the it beats at a lower rate when the body is resting. Over time this means the heart works less and does not wear out.

• The great thing about your heart is that it has the ability to heal and repair itself. For example, if it has already been damaged by heart disease it can be repaired through the proper healing processes and activities.

As you can see the heart plays a very important role and as it is a muscle of the body you have to keep training it to keep it healthy. The best way to do this is to look at your current lifestyle and see if any improvements can be made. For example, you could cut down on high fat foods and introduce more fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet. If you do not take any exercise then maybe you should consider joining a gym or go for a jog a couple of times a week to keep you and your heart in shape.

Always seek medical advise before changing your diet or taking physical exercise if you have a health condition.

5 Advantages of a Home Made Ice Cream Maker

Ice cream is one of the worlds’ favorite comfort foods. It just seems to make everything better, don’t you agree? You can mix it with fruits, custard, wafers, chocolates, nuts, brownies, cheeses and other stuff that people like, to give it different wonderful flavors. There are even eccentric flavors such as squid, wasabi, chicken, and bacon! Ice cream has been enjoyed by the elite from as early as second century B.C., and as its goodness became known, more and more people hungered after it which gave birth to its massive production in the 1800s.

Surprisingly, not a lot of people know that you don’t have to look for a gelateria or sherbet shop every time you want some dessert. Through developments in technology, you can now make your own frozen dessert according to your tastes. Ice cream makers are available in the market and can be purchased in almost any appliance shops or online store. Some think that these machines are expensive but the truth is they have many advantages that can outweigh their prices.

  1. One of the main advantages of having a homemade ice cream maker is the ability to create healthy desserts anytime. Unexpected guests may always visit one’s home and it can be a real treat to serve them delicious homemade desserts such as sorbets, sherbert and yogurt. You can always lug one of these over to a friend’s house to have an impromptu party, as most of them can be easily cleaned and stored after without hassle.
  2. Another good thing about these machines is that they can be used to make different ice cream flavors effortlessly. Right after you create one mix, you can go ahead and pour it into a freezer bowl and make another one. Even a cheaper model can make tons of flavors since most of these machines can create desserts in as little as 20 minutes.
  3. Aside from portability and ease of use, the homemade stuff is healthier than most frozen desserts bought in the store. You may not be so sure whether the ice cream that you are about to buy from the grocery has been defrosted and frozen back several times which can lose its flavor and health benefits. Having a homemade ice cream maker gives you the option to create your own flavor and to put ingredients which you think are beneficial to you.
  4. If you are looking for a quality machine for a fraction of the price, you may also look into buying a durable ice cream maker online. A durable one can last a long time and it can be very good investment if you are planning to use it very often. Some of the trusted brands in the market are Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, Lello and KitchenAid. They can be easily purchased online where you can also read feedback from users so you can assess if their features are apt for your needs.
  5. Last but not the least, having a homemade ice cream maker saves you time than going out and looking for the flavor that you want. You do not need to be a professional to create new flavors. All you need to do is to look for a recipe and gather all the ingredients and you can make as much ice cream as you want.

Making healthy desserts should not be too hard if you have all the things that you need. Whether you have a pricey ice cream maker or a cheaper model, enjoying healthy desserts is always possible at the comfort of your own home.

The Importance of Physical Fitness

In its most general meaning, physical fitness is a general state of good physical health. Obtaining and maintaining physical fitness is a result of physical activity, proper diet and nutrition and of course proper rest for physical recovery. In its simplest terms, physical fitness is to the human body what fine-tuning is to an engine. It enables people to perform up to their potential. Regardless of age, fitness can be described as a condition that helps individuals look, feel and do their best. Thus, physical fitness trainers, describe it as the ability to perform daily tasks vigorously and alertly, with left over energy to enjoy leisure-time activities and meet emergency demands. Specifically true for senior citizens, physical fitness is the ability to endure, bear up, withstand stress and carry on in circumstances where an unfit person could not continue.

In order for one to be considered physically fit, the heart, lungs, and muscles have to perform at a certain level for the individual to continue feeling capable of performing an activity. At the same time, since what humans do with their bodies directly affects the state of mind, fitness influences to some degree qualities such as mental alertness and emotional expression.

Physical fitness is often divided into the following categories in order for people to be able examine its components or parts. Particularly, physical fitness is judged by:

1. Cardiovascular endurance: This is the ability of the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues and to remove wastes over sustained periods of time.

2. Muscular strength & endurance: Strength deals with the ability of the muscle to exert force for a brief time period, while endurance is the ability of a muscle, or group of muscles, to sustain repeated contractions or to continue to apply force against an inert object.

3. Flexibility: This denotes the ability to move joints and use muscles through their full range of motion.

4. Body composition: Considered as one of the components of fitness, composition refers to the body in terms of lean mass (muscle, bone, vital tissue, and organs) and fat mass. Actually, the optimal ratio of fat to lean mass is an indication of fitness. Performing the right set of exercises can help people get rid off body fat and increase or maintain muscle mass.