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Stress doesn’t only make you look older, it ages your genes

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Stress doesn’t only make you look older, it ages your genes as well Are you sometimes surprised by your own reflection? The person in the photo, no longer looks like the person staring back in the mirror. Perhaps, you have seen a significant change in the appearance of someone you know. That demanding job, life’s challenges, the grief of something unexpected, politics and the list goes on. All these things can take a toll on an individual’s appearance and contribute to premature aging in appearance.
Stress is, however, everywhere and almost inevitable. Even when you feel relaxed, your body continues to be under stress, and this time a biological one. Baseline biological stress is the one that contributes to aging rapidly.

On the other hand, too much stress overrides your basal biological reactions, which are useful. Although this is a conclusion, we are still far away from understanding all the pathways of stress resulting in these outcomes. The major pathway that demonstrates the effect of stress on aging is over-release of stress hormones into the blood stream. Over time, stress overload can cause a chronic imbalance of stress hormones that can lead to aging rapidly.

Stress hormones mainly target your blood vessels and your heart. Prolonged stress decreases your body’s ability to control the cardiovascular system and moderate its responses. Once the cardiovascular response is out of control, stress hormones start to increase blood pressure and thus age your arteries. This is why, we heart surgeons are desperate to control blood pressure. It may appear as though doctors are placing an unnecessary significance on hypertension, but the facts remain true. This is just the beginning, and we are not close to a good result unless people help us with their efforts in changing their lifestyles.

When stress continues and becomes chronic, it results in a continuous release of stress hormones that causes your body to stay alert and able to respond quickly to surrounding dangers. They work in contrast to insulin hormones. This is why when people are stressed or traumatized their blood sugar levels tend to rise. Your body acts this way just to let your tissues use the sugar in the blood as energy throughout the recovery process instead of storing it in muscle or fat cells. When this constant hormonal release continues, ironically, the constant attack causes a decrement in the body’s ability to sense problems, prevent fatalities and avoid battles. Stress, however, also suppresses the immune system and its response, making the body prone to infections.

Simply put, stress triggers many pathways that cause aging, and when all these come together, it results in premature aging. There is a genetic study confirming the effect of stress on aging. Research conducted at Brigham Women’s Hospital in Boston was able to demonstrate a link between sustained severe stress and premature aging. More than 5,000 women aged 42 to 69 years old were questioned in a survey regarding their phobias and anxiety experiences, in addition to blood sampling. Telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of cell chromosomes, were the target of the analysis. Shortened telomeres basically mean that your cells will age faster. The study cohort was divided into groups according to their phobia status, and the results showed a difference in telomere lengths between women who were highly phobic and those who were not. It was shown that women who suffered from phobic anxiety had shorter telomeres.

The difference in telomere lengths is thought to cause six years of age difference. In light of this research, we can literally say that stress ages you physically, chemically and genetically.

So beware.

There is however good news. Exercising at least three times a week can reduce the side effects of stress. It will not eliminate the damage it causes entirely, but it is a start. Other things that can contribute to lowering stress levels or
recovering from the damage caused are as follows:

1
Your health and wellbeing is your first priority Most people are not aware of their bodies’ condition until it’s too late. Whether its stress or any other disease causing trouble in the system, it is important that you are aware of the problems in advance, simply by just listening to what your body is saying.

Apart from listening, it is also important to know how to protect yourself from the troublemakers: stress and its damage. We all know that stress is a leading cause of poor health. Don’t forget that it is in your hands to reduce and stay away from unnecessary stresses in your life.

2 Sleep is essential for maintaining good health. Sleep effects both mental and physical health. It is a natural healer, the time of opportunity for your body to repair itself from all sorts of stress that attacks it during the day.

If you are able to routinely get enough sleep, you are helping your body in its ability to cope with stress. You may feel the difference right away after a good night sleep, by just feeling calm the next day.

3 Eat well, drink well, breathe smart Good food is the energy source that provides you with nutrients aiding in growth, fighting disease and self-rejuvenation. Unhealthy food can affect stress levels just by causing inflammation, meaning cellular stress. Metabolizing junk food or other unhealthy alternatives such as processed food is itself a stress source. Go for healthy and natural diet plans for a better life and a better mind. During spring and summer your body will need more fluids than it did during winter. Be wary of dehydration and drink enough water.

Symptoms of stress and dehydration are very similar in general. Dehydration and stress both cause tachycardia (increased heart rate), nausea, fatigue and headache. Go for water instead of soft drinks or alcohol, those that also have withdrawal effects (another stress type). Oxygen is the most important but least remembered nutrient for your body. Just because you do not feel it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look for it. Have you experienced or heard of psychotherapy sessions where the patients are asked to take deep breaths? I am sure you have. Breathing smart helps reduce stress, treats depression and anxiety and clears up your mind, and even under normal circumstances it helps you calm down right? Yes, because you brain is the major oxygen user in your body! These are why you should be eating and drinking well, as well as breathing smart.

English Articles

False Facts About Catching a Cold, Flu

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Everyone catches a cold once or twice in the winter and mid-seasons. Although we take precautions to prevent catching a cold, the false facts that we believe to be true misdirect us. To be able to protect ourselves from the disease, it is important to know facts about the disease in the first place

Even though it is getting warmer, changes in temperature have the potential to lead to different diseases. Some of us have already started to feel tired, get the sniffles or become sneezy. Amid the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we do not have time to rest and look after ourselves to fight our sicknesses. One should not forget that the most important point in the fight against a cold is to take precautionary measures.

Well, what do you know about illnesses, such as the cold, which affects the quality of our lives immensely? How accurate is the advice that our elders or neighbors give us? One of the most important things to keep in mind is that the source of sickness (for influenza) is not cold weather, but it is microorganisms and viruses. Here are several points about colds that are actually false.

Does going out with wet hair make us sick?

Cold or flu develops after a virus called “rhinovirus” enters the human body. Regardless of the temperature, weather or environmental conditions, once this virus enters into your body through your nose, mouth or other organs, then you will get sick. Otherwise, this virus will not affect you even though it exists in the same place where you are.

In this case, if we go out with wet hair, are we more likely to catch this virus? Well, wet hair only leads you to feel the cold more intensely. That is why this ongoing belief is still popular among people.

A group of American scientists studied the influence of going out with wet hair in cold weather on catching cold or flu. They first asked a group of participants if they believe this factor increases the risk of getting a cold. Some 41 percent of them responded “yes” to this question.

Then they prepared two different settings where the flu virus existed. In one of these settings, there were cold temperature conditions while the other had normal weather conditions. Some of the participants had wet hair and some had dry hair when they entered their own settings.

The result turned out to be very interesting. According to the study, in the same conditions (cold temperature), no difference was observed between the participants with wet hair and those with dry hair regarding their chances of getting cold. The only difference between the two groups turned out to be that the participants with wet hair felt colder than the participants with dry hair.

There are more studies that point out the same results. Thus, it has been scientifically proven that wet hair in cold weather does not increase the chances of getting a cold. Well, you’d better tell your mother about this fact because it is very likely she will resist changing this strong belief about catching a cold.

Do wool caps protect us from getting cold?

I am sure there are thousands of people who spent their childhood wearing woolen caps like I did, thus you became like a pea in a pod with your cap on until the weather gets better. The common belief that woolen caps protect us from getting cold stems from the belief that the fastest and biggest heat loss in the human body occurs from the head when the body starts to lose heat in cold weather, a belief that dates back 50 years.

The U.S. Army Forces conducted various experiments to increase their chances of survival in the perishing cold, to which the soldiers were likely to be exposed. A pretty cold environment was prepared for the experiment guided by scientists. Some volunteer soldiers started to wait in a cold room without wool caps and scientists measured the head temperatures of soldiers at certain intervals. Results show that soldiers lost up to 50 percent of their body heat from the head.

One of the most important reasons why this belief is still popular is the trust in the results of the scientific research. But, does the fact that we lose heat from our head quickly and in large amounts mean that it is the only part of our body that loses heat? Of course, not. If that was the case, only wearing a woolen cap would be enough to protect us from risk of freezing.

Grounding his research in this argument, Dr. Daniel Sessler, president of Cleveland Clinic Research Center, conducted similar a similar study – in cooperation with the U.S. army again – including participants who wore swimsuits in the same conditions. This study showed that almost every part of the human body experiences heat loss at the same level when the body is not protected in cold weather.

Thus, even if we can’t say that wearing a wool cap does not make any difference in cold weather, we can easily say that protecting only the head does not protect us from getting cold.

To sum up, always remember it is microorganisms and viruses that make us sick, not the cold weather itself. We must be especially careful about keeping our hands clean as we are frequently in crowded places and in contact with people who have a cold or the flu. Hands are in constant contact with the mouth and nose, which serve as an entrance point for microorganisms. We must make a habit out of washing our hands especially while it is still cold.

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English Articles

Depression: A Hidden Heart Disease Risk Factor For Women

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Depression is almost twice as likely to affect women than men. Difficulty in sleeping, loss of appetite and fatigue are the most common symptoms, but another lesser-known risk is a higher chance of heart attack

If we have not seen for ourselves a person who has had a heart attack before, the first image that comes to our minds in such a situation is similar to those in movie scenes. In most cases, a man holding his chest suddenly collapses, and the diagnosis is a heart attack. There is a strong public belief that a heart attack is seen in men more than women. This partially true data does not necessarily mean that women are at a lower risk.

The human body generally gives signals about what is happening. The important thing is to interpret these messages correctly and in a timely manner. The male and female bodies are two different systems that process things in different ways. This is why the same disease can show up with different signals in the two sexes. A heart attack is one of them.

If you have problems such as fatigue, heartburn, indigestion, sudden dizziness and lack of quality sleep, it may be a sign that you are at risk of a heart attack. Many women can relate these symptoms to busy work life, stress and city life. These are true, yet your lifestyle may assist in developing such symptoms, which can lead to worse health problems.

Do you constantly feel tired?

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints in our lives. Insomnia, the flu or the side effects of medications can easily cause tiredness, but being able to associate your fatigue with these causes does not mean that the actual cause of your complaints is one of them.

The results of a survey on women who have had a heart attack are quite interesting. More than 70 percent of women who had a heart attack reported that they had a feeling of fatigue that did not go away in the pre-heart attack period.

Do you have trouble sleeping?

There can be many different reasons for lack of sleep, and the vast majority requires regular treatment. If you cannot sleep immediately when you get into bed at night or if it takes too much time, you should be careful. A scientific study on women suffering from a heart attack calls attention to women’s sleep disorders. Almost half of the women who had a heart attack reported that they had suffered from lack of sleep that lasted for a while.

Do you suffer from shortness of breath?

If you are having difficulty doing routine activities during the day and the most obvious change that is bothering you is shortness of breath, never ignore this. Studies have shown that unexpected shortness of breath, which cannot be attributed to a known illness, may be a symptom of a heart attack for women. If you suffer from a cough as well as shortness of breath, this can be a signal you need to take seriously.

Do you suffer from heartburn and indigestion?

Eating habits and existing stomach disorders may cause you to develop heartburn. What should be noted here is whether you have a known illness that can explain your stomach problem. If you have not developed heartburn or indigestion complaints before, do not ignore it.

Another scientific study on women who had a heart attack draws attention to the finding that women who suffer from (unexpected) heartburn and indigestion should be careful. According to the study, almost 40 percent of women who had a heart attack reported that they suffered from heartburn or indigestion before the heart attack occurred.

Apart from heartburn, nausea and vomiting that occur without reason are among the heart attack symptoms for women. A study examining pre-heart attack symptoms showed that women had twice as many stomach and intestinal system diseases as men. In this case, women who have complaints such as heartburn, indigestion, nausea and vomiting that develop without cause should pay twice as much attention as men.

Do you have serious anxiety problems?

Depression, angst and anxiety are frequently experienced among many people. Panic attacks, which have seriously increased in prevalence, are one of the psychological disorders that go along with a heart attack. As I mentioned before, if there is no known cause of the situation you are experiencing, you should take it seriously.

A study on women who had heart attacks call attention to the fact that women suffering from anxiety and angst should be careful. According to the survey, most of the women who had a heart attack said that they suffered from unexpected anxiety and angst in the pre-heart attack period.

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English Articles

A Heart-Friendly Grocery List For Your Next Shopping Trip

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While walking along a supermarket’s aisles, the temptation to buy a variety of food items sets in, not aware that your basket is already full. For a healthy diet especially for the heart, you need a smart grocery list

Having a well-thought grocery list does not only save you time but helps you stick to a healthy diet. The items on your grocery list show how much you prioritize your health without being fooled by the marking hype.

The same thing goes when it comes to your heart health. Avoiding unhealthy food is as crucial as consuming foods rich in nutrients, fiber and healthy fats to prevent heart attacks. We have put together a shopping list for a heart-healthy diet.

The following foods that have been proven to be healthy for your heart should be included on your shopping list.

Beet greens

Are you throwing beet greens in the trash? Don’t! Beet greens is the top item on our list to protect yourself against heart diseases. Studies have revealed many advantages of beet greens for health. Fibers found in beet greens are known to decrease cholesterol absorption. Particularly those who have high cholesterol should definitely take advantage of the health benefits of beet greens. The heart-friendly product also helps stabilize your blood pressure thanks to its potassium content.

Canola oil

Marketed as heart-healthy oil, canola oil, which used to be widely available in local markets is currently a rarity. Made from crushed canola seeds, it has less saturated fat than any of the other oil kinds. It is higher in the omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Studies show that sterols found in the canola plant lowers bad cholesterol levels. Canola oil is also very rich in antioxidants and (thanks to antioxidants) it reduces inflammation in the body. You need to consume one table spoon of canola oil to get the expected benefits.

Bitter chocolate

There are enough studies to make any chocolate lover happy. Findings show that bitter chocolate speeds metabolism and aids weight loss, putting a smile on women’s faces in particular. However, in order to accelerate your metabolism, you need to make sure that your choice of bitter chocolate contains no less than 70 percent cacao.In addition to boosting metabolism, bitter chocolate is also good for your heart. Flavanols found in cacao help your vessels to flex and your blood to dilute, thus, reducing your blood pressure. Flexing your blood vessels is an important factor helping you reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, do not forget that bitter chocolate must contain at least 70 percent cacao in order to protect your health.

Garlic

A staple of traditional Turkish cuisine, garlic is usually an indispensable item in the preparation of dishes. Researchers say consuming one clove of garlic – or if you are taking it in powder form, 1 teaspoon – will also provide protection against cardiac diseases. Garlic flexes your muscles and prevents plate formation in vessels and high cholesterol.

Apples

The struggle to lose weight has been one of the most popular subjects in the last few years. A number of scientific studies spotlight the fiber content of apples. There is about 5 milligrams of fiber in an apple – enough to meet (+/-) three-quarters of our daily intake need. Those trying to lose weight must definitely include apples in their diet. There are some other studies revealing that eating an apple a day helps you protect against heart diseases. Apple ranks fifth on our list of heart-healthy products. Scientists say that the high fiber flavonoid content of apples reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes and lowers cholesterol levels! Consuming an apple a day is crucial for your health.

Olive oil

Used frequently in Mediterranean cuisine, olive oil is deemed as one of the miracles of nature. Very rich in antioxidants, olive oil helps lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels without affecting HDL (good cholesterol). Therefore, it ranks sixth on this list. In order to benefit from olive oil, you need to consume about 2 tablespoons per day. It is advised to consume it raw by adding it to salads. There are a myriad of olive oil varieties available at supermarkets, which perplexes shoppers. It is very normal that you might not be able to decide which one to buy. The packaging and labels are sometimes confusing. My personal advice is to go for the “natural extra virgin olive oil.”

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