Tag Archive | "heart disease"

Are You Wondering Why Kids These Days Are Fat? Find Out Why

One definitive answer to this famous question is television. Hours of watching and being glued to the TV can cause your kids to be fat. But this is not the only reason why. During the past 10 years, a lot of parents and pediatricians have been concerned about the increasing number of overweight children. Many also fear that this dramatic increase can constitute a world health crisis.

Obesity in children usually starts between the ages 5 and 6, but it can also begin during adolescence. Children are considered obese or overweight if their total body weight is more than 25% fat in boys and 32% fat in girls. While just an additional few pounds on a small child can make him obese. This can be determined through the use of weight and height charts.

There have been numerous research and studies made about obesity in youngsters and the results are very alarming. 1 in every 5 children is considered obese and almost 20 percent of children in America are most likely to be obese. Since 1980, the number of obese children has doubled and what is more alarming is that, children nowadays are 10 pounds heavier than the average weight 10 years ago.

You will know how serious this problem is simply by going to local shopping malls where you will see a lot of teenagers who do not fit into thin clothes. Clothing shops who sell teen clothes now offer a selection of larger dress sizes. Not too long ago these stores only offer smaller sizes and obese teenagers and kids usually go to a Plus Size Shop.

The impact of obesity in teenagers should not be underestimated since adolescence is the time when a child creates a personal identity and develops his self-worth. Not being able to fit in a world obsessed with THIN is difficult and can injure a child’s self-esteem leading to depression. Aside from this, being obese can also cause numerous medical problems such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, and gall bladder disease.

The causes of obesity in children are combinations of several factors such as poor eating habits, genetic make-up or even ethnicity. Not a lot of people know that obesity is common in African-Americans, American-Indians and Hispanic. It is more common in girls than in boys.

Studies show that children who are obese are not necessarily overeaters. More often than not, they just eat too much of the bad stuff. Eating junks foods and drinking soft drinks everyday can lead to weight gain. Many health organizations are now pointing finger on TV watching and playing video games as major contributors to obesity. Children who are glued to the TV for hours while munching high calorie foods are most likely to be obese. Also, children who are addicted to video games have less time for exercise.

Most overweight children need medical help. For parents who have overweight children should seek the help of a doctor so that careful evaluation of their children’s health can be done. This assessment should be able to tell if the child really needs to lose the excess weight or gain weight slowly so he can grow into it.

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How Fatal is Heart Disease?

Heart disease remains as one the leading causes of death in the world. Heart conditions and diseases of the blood circulation are too common that sometimes the signs and symptoms are hardly recognizable and often missed, when discovered may be too late.

How deadly is it?

American Heart Association (AHA) says that 34.3 percent of all deaths worldwide are caused by heart disease. What is more astonishing is that almost half of these deaths occur in adults that are under 65 years of age. On the lighter note, if heart disease is diagnosed early, it can be treated appropriately.

What are the risk factors?

AHA says the risk factors for heart disease are:

  1. Family history
  2. Old age
  3. Smoking and alcohol drinking
  4. High blood pressure and cholesterol levels
  5. Sedentary lifestyle
  6. Obesity
  7. Diabetes

What causes heart disease?

  • The most common cause is high blood pressure.
  • Narrowing of the blood vessels or ischemia
  • Infections
  • Presence of congenital heart defects

What are the signs and symptoms?

Symptoms results from the narrowing of the vessels, disturbance in the contraction of the heart, obstruction to blood flow, or an abnormal cardiac rhythm. A person with heart disease may experience discomfort or weakness. He is fatigued or he tires easily. Low oxygenation can cause cyanosis or the bluish discoloration of skin.  Other symptoms are loss of consciousness, low blood pressure, difficulty of breathing, pulmonary edema, palpitation and chest pain.

How is it treated?

If heart disease is caused by hypertension, a person is prescribed medications that can improve his blood circulation such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. If it results from the narrowing of the blood vessels, an angioplasty may be done or  a coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) is performed. CABG is done to create another pathway to avoid the narrowed blood vessels. Surgical procedures are also recommended for congenital heart defects.

For those caused by underlying conditions such as diabetes and or high cholesterol, the treatment is concentrated on these conditions to prevent complications of heart disease.

How is heart disease prevented?

  • Diet and lifestyle should be modified. This includes engaging in exercises or increasing your physical activity, quitting smoking and alcohol, and eating healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and fish.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to avoid obesity which is a risk factor.
  • Manage stress.
  • Regular monitoring of blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  • Know the warning signs and consult your physician when needed.

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Protecting Yourself From The Killer Stroke

Stroke is also known as cardiovascular accident. It involves loss of brain functions due to a disturbance in the supply of blood to the brain. It may be caused by a blockage in the artery supplying blood to the brain or by bleeding disorders that involves the brain.

How deadly is it? Surprisingly, stroke is the second leading cause of death around the world. 40% of the total people who get affected will experience severe to moderate impairments in body functions and will require special care while 15% may die shortly afterwards.

What are the risk factors?

  • Smoking
  • Gender – Stroke is more common in men than women. Although women account for more than 61 percent of deaths from stroke.
  • Age – Your risk of experiencing stroke doubles if you are 55 years of age or above.
  • High blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels – This is the second leading cause of stroke but it is controllable and can be treated.
  • Diabetes – Persons with diabetes may also have high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. These will increase their risk of having stroke.
  • Arrythmias or irregular heartbeat. In heart rhythm disorders, the upper chambers of the heart shake rapidly instead of beating regularly. This causes the blood to clot or pool. Blood clots can enter the bloodstream and can block the artery going to the brain.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • Sudden numbness of the face, arms and legs, weakness and partial or complete loss of voluntary movement
  • Confusion or slurring of speech
  • Blurring of vision
  • Loss of balance when walking or standing, loss of coordination
  • Severe headache with unknown cause

How is stroke treated?

A tissue plasminogen activator should be administered 4 to 6 hours after symptoms of stroke are detected. Blood thinners such as heparin and aspirin are given to dissolve clots. In severe cases, a surgical procedure may be indicated. These treatments can improve the outcome of stroke and prevents it from reoccurring.

How can we prevent it?

Prevention is centered at the underlying causes and risk factors such as maintaining a normal blood pressure and blood sugar level, lowering blood cholesterol levels and quitting smoking. Post-stroke patients are given blood thinners to prevent subsequent strokes.

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Weight Loss Diet: Wheat Bread Nutrition Facts

Bread has been a staple food on the table for most families. We love to eat it along with coffee every breakfast morning; we eat with pasta at dinner time and love to eat toasts as snacks. But did you know that there are different kinds of breads and some are healthier than the others?

Whole wheat bread comes from wheat flour which is known for its low fat content and high fiber characteristic which helps in maintaining a healthy digestive system and preventing heart diseases.  It has many vitamins compared to the ordinary white bread because whole wheat flour has the bran which contains the dietary fiber and vitamins. The following are some of the nutritional facts for whole wheat bread.

Whole wheat bread is low in fat and contains no cholesterol. It supplies the body with the needed carbohydrates and protein for energy. The nutritional value in a slice of whole wheat bread which is around 45 grams are 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams fat, 2 grams sugar, 3 grams dietary fiber, 4 grams protein which totals to 128 calories. Vitamin content of 1 slice of whole wheat bread includes 1.8 mg niacin, 0.2 mg pantothenic acid, 12.2 mg choline, 0.1 mg vitamin B6, 1.4 IU vitamin A, 0.3 mg vitamin E, 0.1 mg riboflavin, 4.3 mcg vitamin K, 0.1 mg thiamine, 29.9 mcg folate or folic acid.

The health benefits that we can get from whole wheat bread are as follows.

  • The high dietary fiber helps in cleaning the colon and maintaining the natural flora of our digestive system. It prevents the formation of polyps, out pockets in the intestines that can cause waste deposits to lodge and eventually bursts resulting in an infection.
  • The high dietary fiber content in wheat bread lowers cholesterol levels, decreasing the amount of LDL or the bad cholesterol and increasing the good cholesterol known as the HDL. This mechanism decreases the chances of developing heart diseases that can debilitate a person.
  • Studies show that a diet high in fiber can help prevent colon cancer.
  • It lowers the risk of diabetes type 2 because of the magnesium content that helps in the enzymatic processes of the body.
  • Whole wheat bread contains phenolic acid, phytoestrogen and lignans, these are significant phytochemicals that boosts one’s health and help prevent diseases of the heart and diabetes.
  • Whole wheat products are helpful in preventing gallstone formation.

Eating products made of whole grains are beneficial to the body and helpful to prevent heart diseases and diabetes. It helps maintain the colon clean and lower the risk for colon cancer. With the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants found in whole wheat bread it is clearly a much better choice for mothers who would want to serve nutritious foods to their families. Products made of whole wheat grains are priced slightly higher than ordinary products made from plain flour, but it is only a small price to pay when you compare the health benefits you can get from buying quality whole wheat bread.

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