What Is Metabolic Syndrome X

April 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness Information

The Metabolic Syndrome X (or just metabolic syndrome) is condition that is characterized by a group of risk factors found in one person that increases the chances of coronary heart disease, stokes, type 2 diabetes (adult-onset diabetes) and other related modern diseases. The underlying causes of this disease are poor nutrition, overweight/obesity, physical inactivity and genetic factors.

A person is considered to have metabolic syndrome if they have at least three of any of the characteristics below:

* Central obesity– excessive fat tissue around the abdomen.
* High triglycerides (a bad type of fat in the blood)
* Low HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol.)
* Insulin resistance or glucose intolerance (high blood sugar levels)
* High blood pressure (130/85 mmHg or higher.)
* Proinflammatory state (predisposed to inflammation in the body on a cellular level.)
* Prothrombotic state (predisposed to blood clots.)

Metabolic Syndrome X is a disease that is plaguing the modern world. It’s estimated that about 20–25 percent of adults in the United States have it, and the numbers are on the rise around the world.

These diseases were practically unknown to most of the world 100 years ago. (See Weston A. Price’s classic book, “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.”) It has only been since processed foods have been introduced that these modern diseases have increased.

Help For Metabolic Syndrome X

The odds are that you or someone you are close to has metabolic syndrome. The best thing you can do is to educate yourself. Start living a healthier lifestyle. Exercise in moderation. Evaluate your diet. Stop eating processed foods– avoid anything with white flour, white sugar, processed oils (especially hydrogenated oils!) and soy (unless it is fermented like miso or soy sauce).

Eat healthy organic meats and saturated fats like coconut oil and butter. The more we have cut those foods out, the faster the modern diseases characterized by metabolic syndrome have spread. Eat whole grains, and soak or sprout them for better digestibility. Try to go back to as much of a traditional diet as you can. Eat organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Supplement your diet with a daily dose of cod liver oil. This will give you a great start for fighting Metabolic Syndrome X.

Reversing The Metabolic Syndrome

April 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness 101

What is the Metabolic Syndrome?
The metabolic syndrome is a collection of high-risk symptoms including elevated lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides), hypertension and a proinflammatory state. Having the metabolic syndrome places the individual at high-risk for heart disease and diabetes. Men are more prone to developing the metabolic syndrome due to their natural tendency to deposit excess fat as visceral adipose tissue (VAT) also called intra-abdominal fat. Postmenopausal women are also at risk due to lower estrogen to androgen ratios. The shift from a pear shape to an apple shape displays this hormonal shift. In fact, the apple shape is primarily caused by VAT as opposed to subcutaneous (fat under the skin) fat.

The American Heart Association has established standards for diagnosing the metabolic syndrome. The patient must have 3 of the following conditions:

1. Waist circumference greater than 40 inches for men, 35 inches for women.
2. Triglycerides greater than 150 mg/dL.
3. HDL Cholesterol less than 40 mg/d for men, less than 50 mg/dl for women.
4. Blood pressure greater than 130/85 mm Hg.
5. Fasting glucose greater than 100 mg/dL.

What causes the Metabolic Syndrome?
The metabolic syndrome appears to be caused by insulin resistance and the associated accumulation of VAT. VAT releases inflammatory adipocytokines, which contribute to the proinflammatory state. Fatty liver is also strongly correlated with VAT [1], and is a likely cause of the elevated lipids.

VAT accumulation correlates with fasting insulin, total whole-body glucose disposal, glucose oxidation and nonoxidative whole-body glucose disposal [2]. Also, factors associated with insulin resistance are also correlated with VAT accumulation, including triglycerides [3], hepatic lipase [4] and HL/LPL ratio [5]. Likewise, factors inversely associated with insulin resistance are also inversely correlated with VAT accumulation including HDL [3].

How can the Metabolic Syndrome be reversed?
Improving insulin sensitivity is of primary importance. This requires an improved diet along with exercise.

1. Lose weight. Weight loss greatly improves insulin sensitivity.
2. Upgrade your fat intake. Saturated fat significantly worsens insulin resistance, while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially omega-3) improve it [6].
3. Exercise. Even something as simple as daily walking reduces visceral adipose tissue areas and improves insulin resistance [7].
4. Minimize stress. Cortisol appears to be involved in VAT accumulation and insulin resistance.
5. Eat more fiber. Fiber improves insulin sensitivity and is associated with lower amounts of VAT [9]. Pectin appears to be an especially effective fiber for reducing VAT [10].
6. Take supplements. Pantethine [11], taurine [12], calcium [13] and tea [14] all improve insulin sensitivity and reduce VAT.

David Spelts
Fat Loss Nutrition

[1] Kelley DE, McKolanis TM, Hegazi RA, Kuller LH, Kalhan SC. : Fatty liver in type 2 diabetes mellitus: relation to regional adiposity, fatty acids, and insulin resistance. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 10/2003.
[2] Laakso, Markku: Insulin resistance, body fat distribution, and sex hormones in men. Diabetes, 2/1/1994.
[3] R. B. Terry, P. D. Wood, W. L. Haskell, M. L. Stefanick and R. M. Krauss: Regional adiposity patterns in relation to lipids, lipoprotein cholesterol, and lipoprotein subfraction mass in men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 1989.
[4] C. E. Tan; L. Forster; M. J. Caslake; D. Bedford; T. D. G. Watson; M. McConnell; C. J. Packard; J. Shepherd: Relations Between Plasma Lipids and Postheparin Plasma Lipases and VLDL and LDL Subfraction Patterns in Normolipemic Men and Women. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 1995.
[5] Despres JP, Couillard C, Gagnon J, Bergeron J, Leon AS, Rao DC, Skinner JS, Wilmore JH, Bouchard C: Race, visceral adipose tissue, plasma lipids, and lipoprotein lipase activity in men and women: the Health, Risk Factors, Exercise Training, and Genetics (HERITAGE) family study. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, 2000.
[6] Riccardi G, Giacco R, Rivellese AA.: Dietary fat, insulin sensitivity and the metabolic syndrome. Clin Nutr. 8/2004.
[7] Miyatake N, Nishikawa H, Morishita A, Kunitomi M, Wada J, Suzuki H, Takahashi K, Makino H, Kira S, Fujii M.: Daily walking reduces visceral adipose tissue areas and improves insulin resistance in Japanese obese subjects. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 11/2002.
[8] Gluck ME, Geliebter A, Lorence M.; Cortisol stress response is positively correlated with central obesity in obese women with binge eating disorder (BED) before and after cognitive-behavioral treatment. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 12/2004.
[9] DS Ludwig et al: Dietary fiber, weight gain, and cardiovascular disease risk factors in young adults. Journal of the American Medical Association 1999.
[10] Hendricks KM et al. High-fiber diet in HIV-positive men is associated with lower risk of developing fat deposition. Am J Clin Nutr 78: 790-5, 2003.
[11] Osono Y, Hirose N, Nakajima K, Hata Y: The effects of pantethine on fatty liver and fat distribution. J Atheroscler Thromb, 2000.
[12] Nakaya Y, Minami A, Harada N, Sakamoto S, Niwa Y, Ohnaka M: Taurine improves insulin sensitivity in the Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty rat, a model of spontaneous type 2 diabetes. Am J Clin Nutr, Jan 2000.
[13] Soares MJ, Binns C, Lester L: Higher intakes of calcium are associated with lower BMI and waist circumference in Australian adults: an examination of the 1995 National Nutrition Survey. Asia Pac J Clin Nutrition, 2004.
[14] C. Wu, et al: Relationship among Habitual Tea Consumption, Percent Body Fat, and Body Fat Distribution. Obesity Research, September, 2003.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms, Tests & Treatments

April 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness Information

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a devastating injury that affects more than 8 million people in the United States and continues to increase each and every year.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of many repetitive strain injuries (RSI’s) that are everywhere; homes, offices, assembly lines, grocery stores, book clubs, construction sites, dental offices, everywhere! Because carpal tunnel syndrome is so commonplace, and its effects so devastating, it is important to be knowledgeable of how it occurs, what its symptoms are, the testing methods used and what treatment options are available, as the prevention of any injury, especially carpal tunnel, begins with education.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder affecting the median nerve, which supplies function to the thumb, index, middle and one half of the ring finger. Usually the symptoms are most prevalent in the thumb, index and middle fingers (Sometimes one-half of the ring finger) and include numbness, tingling, paresthesia (pins and needles), pain and tightness in the front of the hand, wrist and forearm. These symptoms do not have to occur simultaneously, and may only affect one finger one day and then three fingers a few days later.

If a doctor provides a carpal tunnel diagnoses and the symptoms are in the ring and little fingers, it is NOT carpal tunnel syndrome! The ulnar nerve, not the median nerve, supplies function to the ring and little finger. Repetitive strain disorders affecting these two fingers are usually either Guyon’s syndrome, entrapment of the ulnar nerve in the guyon’s canal at the wrist junction, or cubital tunnel syndrome, entrapment of the ulnar nerve at the elbow junction. This is a common mistake made by many, many physicians and is completely inexcusable as they often recommend surgery for the patient, causing the patient to undergo an unnecessary procedure, and what makes it worse, for the wrong disorder!

If symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome do arise, doctors will recommend that a nerve conduction velocity (NCV) test or an Electromoyogram (EMG) be performed to see if carpal tunnel syndrome truly exists. These tests are often painful to the individual being tested, very expensive, and often give false positives and false negatives. This is why it is recommended that manual carpal tunnel tests be performed in order to obtain a more accurate (and much cheaper) diagnosis. Manual carpal tunnel tests take no longer than 10 minutes, have a high accuracy rate, are painless and are very cheap in comparison to the NCV and EMG tests.

The recommended manual carpal tunnel tests consist of the following:

· Phalen’s Test: The wrist is flexed for 30 to 60 seconds in order to compress the median nerve and duplicate/increase the symptoms.

· Reverse Phalen’s Test: The wrist is extended for 30 to 60 seconds in order to stretch the median nerve and duplicate/increase the symptoms. Stretching the median nerve if it is already impinged will duplicate/increase the symptoms if a patient has carpal tunnel syndrome.

· Tinnel Sign: Tapping directly over the median nerve at the wrist junction will cause carpal tunnel symptoms to exhibit themselves.

· Compression Test: Direct pressure is applied over the location of the median nerve for 30-60 seconds to see if carpal tunnel symptoms are exhibited.

If a positive diagnosis comes back, most doctors will push for surgery, a procedure that has a terrible success rate and is to only be performed as a last resort once all other conservative treatment methods have been utilized. Conservative therapy is the key to successfully recovering from carpal tunnel syndrome and obtaining not only short-term but long-term relief as well. The following is a list of conservative treatments that should be utilized in order to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome from developing, but also rehabilitating carpal tunnel syndrome after it is already present.

· Ergonomics: Utilize proper ergonomic tools and equipment when working.

· Breaks: Take short breaks every 30 minutes when working in order to help reduce excessive strain on the hands.

· Stretches: Stretch the muscles that ‘close’ the hands as these are the muscles that are exercised all day long in activities such as typing, writing, gripping a steering wheel, using a computer mouse, carrying groceries and everything else that is done day in and day out. When a muscle is involved in exercise, it becomes shorter, therefore it needs to be stretched and lengthened both during and after the exercises are completed. (End of day)

· Exercises: Exercise and strengthen the muscles that are used to ‘open’ the hands, as these muscles do not receive much direct stimuli / exercise. (i.e. People do not turn doorknobs, hold things, type, use a computer mouse or lift things with the backs of their hands.)

The information provided above reveals how carpal tunnel syndrome occurs, what its symptoms are, the testing methods most commonly used and the best conservative treatment options that are used to thwart its existence.

It is very important for individuals to become well acquainted with the proper information and tools in order to maintain and increase their level of health and productivity. It is also important for people to speak to their doctors regarding their health concerns, and if someone is involved in an occupation that is considered high-risk for carpal tunnel, they should discuss this with their physician, but is even more critical that people become self educated as no one can take care of you better than “YOU”!

Chronic Pain Syndrome And Chronic Pain Management And Treatment Part Ii

April 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness 101

This is not only true for chronic soft tissue type pain but also is reported in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (20). Examples of chronic nociceptive pain include pain from cancer or arthritis. This phenomenon, allodynia, is common in chronic degenerative arthritis, low back pain, and severe irritable bowel syndrome and interstitial cystitis. Common types of chronic pain include back pain, headaches, arthritis, cancer pain, and neuropathic pain, which … This workshop is somewhat focused on arthritis, but is general enough that anyone experiencing chronic pain will gain new skills to deal with their pain. Although sometimes there’s no explanation for chronic pain, it is often associated with a well-known, even common condition, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia or migraine. This can include severe arthritis pain, severe lower back pain, severe neuropathic pain, chronic migraine, etc. Cats can experience chronic pain due to a number of conditions including arthritis, joint malfunction and back pain. neck aches, knee arthritis, knee arthritis, knee arthritis, knee arthritis, arthritis, arthritis, numbness, headaches, joint pain, severe headache, chronic arthritis, body achesLymphangioleiomyomatosis …

Therapy

It is for this reason that physical therapy programs for chronic pain often provide training in home reconditioning exercises. Antidepressant therapy may be effective in relieving sleep complaints associated with chronic pain. Individuals treated at the Chronic Pain Centre work closely with an interdisciplinary team including psychology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nursing and pharmacy. Intraspinal opioid therapy for chronic nonmalignant pain: Current practice and clinical guidelines. 2 Sufferers of chronic pain and chronic illnesses may benefit from counselling or therapy as part of their coping strategy. Opioid therapy for chronic nonmalignant pain. Patient chart for review of efficacy of therapy for chronic pain. Patient chart for initiation of therapy for chronic pain. Another fairly new type of therapy for chronic pain is magnetic stimulation. According to Dr.
Treatment

Comprehensive multidisciplinary treatment of chronic pain: a follow-up study of treated and non-treated groups. However, seldom do chronic pain patients with insomnia receive a behavioral treatment for insomnia. Money matters: A meta-analytic review of the association between financial compensation and the experience and treatment of chronic pain. Models of chronic pain management through denial are based on the proposition that chronic pain occurs as a consequence of compensation and inappropriate treatment. The treatment of psychological distress in patients with chronic neck pain after whiplash. Many people suffer with chronic pain, unaware that there are a variety of treatment options that can help them live more normal lives. If you have chronic pain, you should seek out information about these various treatment options. The treatment of chronic pediatric pain would benefit from the development and support of cooperative pediatric chronic pain research consortia. The good news is that safe and effective medical treatment for chronic pain is currently available. A major barrier to be overcome, however, is that chronic pain is often not viewed as a physical illness worthy of treatment. This is the first of a two-part article on chronic pain and its treatment. Ideally the treatment of chronic pain would be to prescribe effective pain medications. When pain persists in spite of medical treatment, as is the case in chronic pain syndromes, the issues become even more complex. The acupoints illustrated throughout this article are without question some of my favorite for the successful treatment of chronic pain. And problems such as constipation, nausea and anxiety that may accompany chronic pain or its treatment can be effectively treated.

Management

One of the problems with chronic pain management is that the brain habituates to pain-killing drugs, requiring higher and higher doses. The interdisciplinary team at the Chronic Pain Centre is made up of health care professionals who have expertise in the management of chronic pain. For all these reasons, it is extremely important that all Anesthesiologists recognize the frequency, consequences and management challenges of chronic pain in this population. The management of chronic pain in older persons. For example, assessment and management of chronic pain in children should be a mandatory part of pediatric residency. Both feature a wide range of links, tips and pain management strategies that will be of benefit to sufferers of Chronic Pain. There are a number of management strategies for chronic pain such as acupuncture, massage therapy and pain-killing medications. The management of chronic pain in older adults. The relative merit of systemic versus neuraxial opioid administration for chronic pain management was not addressed in the these guidelines. The Guidelines recognize that the management of chronic pain occurs within the broader context of health care, including psychosocial function and quality of life. Analyses of aggregate outcomes are essential to continuous quality improvement of chronic pain management in the clinical setting. In addition, research involving people with chronic pain has helped develop effective management approaches. Algorithm for the management of chronic pain. Management of chronic pain in children.

Care

A recent survey of primary care physicians (8) noted that only 15% enjoyed treating patients with chronic pain. The prevalence of borderline personality among primary care patients with chronic pain. care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Knowing what the causes are and being able to describe your symptoms to your health care team can help you manage chronic pain. To equip the qualified clinical practitioner with the necessary knowledge and skills to implement and run a primary care chronic pain control clinic. Tell the patient that chronic pain is a complicated problem and for successful rehabilitation, a team of health care providers is needed. Personal care plan for chronic pain. To raise awareness among the health care community, policy makers, and the public at large about issues of living with chronic pain. Family care Chronic pain, like chemical dependency, affects the entire family. Involvement in the program’s family groups increases understanding of chronic pain and addiction. Expert physician care is generally necessary to treat any pain that has become chronic.

Treat

Now, there’s a way to treat chronic pain without pills but with the simple push of a button. Reimbursement policies should reflect the multidisciplinary complexity and efforts required to assess and treat children with chronic pain. Try not to rely on sedative or hypnotic medications to treat the fear many chronic patients show of activity or fear of increased pain. Interventional techniques refer to procedures that are performed in an attempt to diagnose and treat chronic pain.

Research

Research has shown that the chance of people with chronic pain becoming addicted to pain-relieving drugs is extremely small. …my research with patients with chronic pain and other chronic illnesses in…enormous success. Targeted government and private funding for research in pediatric chronic pain should be augmented. Current research should soon yield ways of formulating and delivering NMDA receptor-blockers that will ease most chronic pain syndromes without causing such adverse effects. The research evidence is strongest for these patients regarding the risk factors for chronic pain. But for chronic pain, research has shown that they tend to make pain worse, causing the patient to need larger and larger doses. Of the little research done on chronic pain, researchers had previously focused on damaged nerve fibers as pain conduits.

System

With chronic pain, the pain signals keep firing up the nervous system for months, even years, either continually or as flare-ups. Recent animal studies have shown that remodeling within the central nervous system causes the physical pathogenesis of chronic pain. In chronic pain the nervous system may be sending a pain signal even though there is no ongoing tissue damage. Much of the identifiable findings in chronic pain patients will be referable to the peripheral nervous system.

About Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

April 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Fitness Information

Did you know that one in every one hundred people is affected by what is known as carpal tunnel syndrome at some point in their life? While commonly found in women in the thirty to fifty-year age range, carpal tunnel syndrome can affect nearly anyone, from assembly line workers, to surgeons and dentists, to secretaries and computer data entry personnel, to even those who play musical instruments or video games.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a very painful and progressive condition that occurs in the wrist, caused by compression to the median nerve. The median nerve runs into the hand starting from the forearm, and when it is squeezed or pressed at the wrist, the message carrying and receiving from the brain is inhibited.

The name carpal tunnel syndrome, however, comes from the eight bones in our wrists that are known as carpals. They form a tunnel-like structure, hence the term “carpal tunnel syndrome.”
Compression of the tunnel walls is the most basic of causes of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Other factors, such as congential predispostion and even trauma based injury can also be to blame. Carpal tunnel syndrome can develop quickly, especially if the wrist has been fractured or injured or rheumatoid arthritis has set in. In many cases, repetitve stress induced carpal tunnel strain can cause the syndrome, especially in those who spend a great deal of time typing.

Symptoms of carpal tunnel can include tingling, numbness, and burning in the fingers, as well as the inability to make a fist or grip things. A person eventually loses the ability to squeeze things and may even find it hard to tie their shoes. In the most extreme cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, the patients are unable to determine hot or cold by touch.

Treatment for carpal tunnel syndrome is available. Most physicians will advise against repetitive and exhaustive activities related to hand movement. Stretching exercises and medicines like corticosteroids can help in relieving the syndrome. However, if the condition worsens, surgery may be the only available course of treatment.

If you feel as though you may be suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, you should consult your physician immediately to discuss symptoms and treatment options.

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