Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

March 2024 // Archive

Date based archive
27 Mar

Symptoms of heavy menstrual cycles, infertility, and abdominal pain may be due to the develop of tissue lining outside the uterus. The area outside the uterus is called the endometrium. The key players for this condition are the ovaries, tissue lining the pelvis, and the fallopian tubes. The tissue becomes displaced but still operates as if all is normal. Therefore, the tissue, just like during a period, thickens, breaks down, and bleeds. This displaced tissue has no way to exit the body and this trapped tissue can now cause problems. The ovaries can become involved, and cysts can start to form. The existing healthy tissue can become irritated having to interact with the displaced tissue and scar tissue can form.

A person who has endometriosis has increased pelvic pain when having their menstrual cycle. Painful periods are called dysmenorrhea. Periods also have excessive bleeding and bleeding can occur between cycles. Also, during this time, the lower back can start to hurt. Sexual intercourse can be painful. Sometimes endometriosis is discovered when a woman goes to seek treatment for infertility. Bowel movements and urination can be painful too.

This condition can be caused by retrograde menstruation. This occurs when the endometrial cells flow back through the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity instead of out of the body. Levels of estrogen can actually transform embryotic cells. It is possible that endometrial cells attach to areas that had a surgical incision such as a hysterectomy or C-section. Immune system disorders can cause this problem. The blood vessels might also carry endometrial cells to other parts of the body (endometrial cell transport).

Women who have never given birth, those going through menopause at an older age, those with high levels of estrogen, having a low body max index, or someone who started their period at an earlier age, are all at increased risk to develop this condition.

For diagnosis, a doctor can perform a pelvic exam, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and/or a laparoscopy (looking at the abdomen). Depending on the severity of the condition, a doctor will select the appropriate treatment. A doctor might recommend over-the-counter pain medication, surgery to remove the endometriosis implants, or hormone therapy. Birth control can help control the buildup of endometrial tissue. Fertility treatment can be performed for those trying to get pregnant. Doctors used to perform hysterectomies as the main treatment for this condition, however, doctors are now focusing on removing the tissue rather than the ovaries.

Endometriosis is often hard to detect, but it can be helped. Discomfort is normal during a period, but pain is not. Whenever the body is speaking, one should seek medical attention to find a solution. The displaced tissue should not wreak havoc on your health.   

21 Mar

Cucumbers are part of the gourd family called Cucurbitaceae. There are three main varieties of cucumbers include seedless, pickled, and sliced. They are usually consumed raw or pickled. The leaves, stem, and seeds are used in Asian cuisines. It is also readily used in the cosmetic industry for lotions, soaps, shampoos, and fragrances. This green vegetable will not hurt your waistline as one cup of slices has about 16 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates, with only 2 grams of sugar. To maximize nutritional value, cucumbers should not be peeled when eaten.

Cucumbers have multiple benefits. They are high in nutrients with vitamin C, K, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. They are 95% water and some people get as much as 40% of their water intake form the foods they eat. Being properly hydrated is important for many health aspects and between the fiber and water of this vegetable, bathroom regularity can be helped. This promotes detoxification and weight loss. They also contain antioxidants they help block free radicals. This can help reduce the risk of cancer, lung, heart, and autoimmune disease. Some studies have shown that they may also reduce blood sugar levels.

There are also some other interesting uses for cucumber. When the mirror gets foggy after a steamy shower, try taking a cucumber across the mirror to see clearly again. They can also help get rid of creatures in gardening soil. They can also be used to tighten and firm skin. Some claim they get rid of cellulite. They might also prevent a hangover if eaten before bed after having too much alcohol. They can be used to polish shoes. Cucumber, when held at the roof of the mouth, can help reduce bad breath when mints or gum aren’t handy. They can also wash crayon and pen off walls which is handy if there are young children around. Cucumbers also clean stainless steel really well. Seems like having cucumber on hand (ALWAYS) is a great idea. Talk about a versatile vegetable.

Cucumbers are easy to add to your diet and have access to. They can be eaten raw, added to a sandwich, infused in water, pickled, eaten with goat cheese (a popular combination), or be used to make a cold cucumber salad. Eating cucumbers and using them for other skin or beauty related purposes, is a great and easy addition to utilize. Making healthy food choices and at home-remedies are money saving, convenient, and nice to have.

13 Mar

Hair loss can be embarrassing, concerning, and even a sign of a health problem. Hair might start to show up on you pillow, more on the hairbrush, in the shower drain, and in some cases small bald spots have become noticeable. A possible cause of this excess hair loss could be from a condition called alopecia areata, which is an autoimmune disorder. This type of hair loss can also be called spot baldness. In this case, the immune system has started to attack the hair follicles. Hair can start to fall out in clumps that can even be the size of a quarter. Some might only lose hair in a few spots, while others might see this phenomenon all over their scalp. Hair loss might just occur on the scalp or it can occur over the entire body. Most people appear to be overall generally healthy, but then sudden hair loss occurs. Alopecia areata is a case by case basis. For some, hair loss comes and goes and regrows itself each occurrence, however, for others the hair loss can be permanent. Most people only experience hair loss with this condition, while others notice possible changes in the text and shape of their finger and toe nails.

A dermatologist is the type of doctor to seek treatment for help. He or she might perform blood work and examine some of the hair. Unfortunately, alopecia areata cannot be cured. It can be treated to help the hair grow back. Treatment might include topical immunotherapy which involves applying chemicals to the scalp. These chemicals will cause an allergic reaction if they work. The reaction is what causes the hair to grow back. This usually must be repeated several times for the itchy rash to be most effective. Corticosteroids can also be used. These are prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs which can come in the form of injections that can be made into the scalp, given as pill form, or applied as an ointment or cream. Minoxidil, most commonly known as Rogaine, can be applied to the scalp and usually takes abut 12 weeks for the hair to start to grow again.

Like many other autoimmune disorders, causality differs and is not always evident. For those who have alopecia areata, there are some lifestyle changes to help. Stress seems to trigger this condition; therefore, one should aim to reduce their personal troubles as well as feelings of anxiety and sadness. Wearing hats, wigs, and scarves can be done. It is important to remember that the lost hair can grow back, depending on what your immune system will allow. There are options to cover up and there are options to try that have been effective for others. Sudden hair loss should be paid attention to and should be checked by your doctor. Fortunately, life can still carry on with or without hair and success comes in all types of packages, hair and hairless.

06 Mar

Most people often forget about or don’t even consider including beets as part of a healthy diet. It hardly makes the list for the grocery store maybe because they aren’t front and center in the produce section and popularity hasn’t quite hit the dining out menus. Beets are a superfood that we shouldn’t neglect. Here are a number of reasons you may want to pick up some beets the next time you shop:

  1. Low in calories – Every 100 grams of beets only has 43 calories. They don’t have any fat either. Adding them to a salad or in a smoothie makes it easy to consume them. This can help with weight loss by sticking to lower calories options.
  2. Low in carbohydrates – in 100 grams of beets there are only 10 carbs. Compared to other foods, especially fruits that often go into smoothies or juices, this is a low amount. Less carbs can be conducive to achieving weight loss. This means they’re also lower on the glycemic index which is good for diabetics. Their score is only 8.3 which means you would have to eat a whole lot of beets for them to impact blood sugar levels.
  3. Fight cancer and premature aging – Because beets are loaded with antioxidants (phytonutrients) they are able to ward off damage to the cells. This can keep cancerous cells away and cells that damage our skin, especially since antioxidants are powerful for repairing damaged cells.
  4. Vitamin A – Beets contain beta carotenoids which can improve learning, cognition, and mitochondria performance. This means you get more energy.
  5. Inflammation – Beets contain betaine which protects the cells from various environmental stressors. Reduction of inflammation can ward off achy joints, arthritis, depression, and brain fog.
  6. Improve respiratory system – Beets have been said to heal respiratory issues such as asthma. They can reduce both the risk of asthma and the number of attacks a person has.
  7. Fiber – In 100 grams of beets, there are 2.8 grams of fiber which is 11% of the daily recommended value. It is soluble fiber that gets absorbed into the bloodstream so we can reap the benefits of reducing blood sugar levels and lowering blood pressure. This can also lead to lowering your cholesterol.
  8. Potassium – Beets are a great source of potassium which can help improve physical performance. Beet juice is considered an isotonic drink because it has sodium and calcium that help replenish and nourish the body for performance and recovery.
  9. Performance enhancing – Beets are vasodilators which means that they widen the arteries and the veins. This makes it easier for our body to get blood and oxygen. More blood and more oxygen moving more freely in our body means more energy. Beets act as vasodilators because they contain nitric oxide. In our body, nitric oxide is needed for the body to perform at optimal levels. That is why many athletes eat beets or drink beet juice before events.
  10. Brain power – Another area of the body that benefits from the nitric oxide in beets is the brain. More blood flow to the brain improves memory and mood.
  11. Lower blood pressure – Because beets expand the diameter of the blood vessels, this lowers blood pressure. The heart doesn’t have to pump as hard, so blood pressure goes down with less work.
  12. Improve recovery time- Again, the widening of the blood vessels also allows more nutrients to be delivered to the muscles more quicky. Those little micro tears in the fibers can be repaired quicker and muscles can feel the gains faster.
  13. Reduce the risk of heart disease – Lower blood pressure of course leads to a healthier heart with less risk for heart disease. This is important because heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. Beets also have lots of antioxidants which help fight cellular damage from free radicals.