Category: Health Watch


Obesity

Obesity is a condition in which excess body fats have accumulated that causes numerous serious Health problems, while it can cause increase in weight, it is different from being overweight. Overweight can be due to increase in muscle mass, increase in body water, increase in body fats (obesity) or sometimes genetic due to large bone mass (density). Being overweight is the outcome of a person weight being greater than the normal or healthy range compared to his/her height (BMI)

People now a day are very much prone to being obese due to fast-pace changes in our society today. Instead of home-cooked meal, we tend to choose fast foods which suits our very hectic schedules.  Busy people who have increase workload tends to busy themselves in work related matters than giving 1 hr of their time to working out (exercise). People with sedentary lifestyle and those who choose over-eating as part of their coping mechanism. Not realizing that the long-term effect of these choices can lead to Obesity.

Being Obese increase the risk of having serious conditions such as:

Diabetes

Heart Disease

Stroke

Arthritis

Liver Disease

Cancer

Lymph problems

Assessing your Weight and Health Risk and knowing what to do can help you prevents the said conditions.

Three Steps:

1. Know your Body Mass Index.

  • BMI is calculated from your height and weight. It is a useful method in measuring Overweight and Obesity, an estimation of your body fat and a gauge of  the risk in health related diseases due to obesity.
  • although BMI can be very useful, it also has it’s limits like: 1. It may overestimate body fats in athletes and others which have high muscle mass.;2. It may underestimate body fats in people who have lost muscle mass.

2. Measure your Waist Circumference.

  • Possible health risk can be screened by measuring your waist circumference. If most of your fats are situated around your belly rather than your hips, you are likely to have a higher risk of having Heart Diseases and Type II Diabetes.
  • Increase in risk with women who have greater than 35 inches waist circumference and greater than 40 in men.

3. Know the Risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with Obesity.

Along with being Obese, these are factors can put you in greater risk for heart disease  and other conditions

  • High Blood Pressure (Hypertension
  • High LDL Cholesterol
  • Low HDL Cholesterol
  • High triglycerides
  • High Blood Glucose
  • Family history of premature heart disease
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Cigarette Smoking
If you found out upon assessment that you are a candidate of being obese,it is better to consult your doctor to see whether you are at risk and to know what to do to prevent further progression of the disease.
As I have always stated, Prevention is better than Cure. 
Be an observer of one’s self. Be conscious of your health.
Loosing 5 -10 percent of your current weight can help lower your risk in developing these health conditions. Also at the same time, this can be your first step in engaging your self in a more active,
fun-filled and healthier lifestyle.

Reference: National Heart Lung and Blood Institute

HEALTH WATCH- Liver Cirrhosis

Have you seen the commercial of the food supplement Sylimarin tablet? Well most of the commercial focused on people who have high dosage of alcoholic drinks and their risk of having Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis and portions of it shows a person “pigging” out with foods high in cholesterol which can cause fatty liver.

Let me tell you this, everyone who ignores to watch his/her diet are  the persons high risk in being obese with a bonus of having LIVER CIRRHOSIS.

What is LIVER CIRRHOSIS?

Liver Cirrhosis is a condition in which our liver slowly deteriorates and started to malfunction due to chronic injury. It is when a scar tissue replaces the healthy liver tissues, which resulted to blockage of the blood flow through the liver. Scarring also impairs the ability of our liver to control infections, excrete bacteria and toxins from the blood,process nutrients, hormones ans specially DRUGS, makes protein and regulate blood clotting and lastly produce bile to help absorb fats including cholesterol and fat soluble vitamins.

Liver Cirrhosis is said to be the 12th leading cause of death by disease, men are more prone than women. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr55/nvsr55_19.pdf)

What causes Liver Cirrhosis?

1. Due to Chronic Alcoholism – Alcohol can poison all living cells , causing liver cells to become inflamed and die.

2. Hepatitis – Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver, which is usually said to be caused by viral infection. ( hepatitis B,C,D all causes cirrhosis)

3. Biliary cirrhosis –  Bile duct blockage can cause damage to the liver leading to cirrhosis.

4. Autoimmune Cirrhosis –  in Autoimmune Hepatitis, the body’s immune system attacks the liver, causing cell damage leading to cirrhosis.

5. Inherited diseases – genetic diseases such as Wilson’s dse, Cystic fibrosis, Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, hemochromatosis, galactosemia, and glycogen storage dse.

6. drugs and toxins

7. NON ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER-  this is a condition in which FATS builds up in the  liver, eventually causing scar tissue to form. This kind of cirrhosis is linked to other health conditions such as diabetes, OBESITY, coronary artery disease,protein malnutrition ( notice that most of the said conditions can also be due to unhealthy food intake?) and treatment with corticosteroids.

NAFL exact cause was said to be unknown. However both OBESITY and insulin resistant plays a strong role in the disease process. the exact mechanism was also unknown.

Let’s focus more on NAFLD which is by the way can be due to our lifestyle and food intake.

NAFLD symptoms:

  1. fatigue
  2. malaise
  3. dull right-upper quadrant  abdominal discomfort
  4. mild jaundice (yellowish skin)(uncommon)
LIFESTYLE MANAGEMENT:
  •  Nutritional counseling- it is said that diet changes have shown significant improvement of the liver tissue.
  • Weight Loss – gradual weight loss may improve the process in obese patients, RAPID weight loss MAY WORSEN NAFLD.
  • food supplements such as Sylimarin tablets  aids in preventing further injury to the liver.
CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: (prevention of cirrhosis)
  • religious exercise – a daily exercise fights fat deposition preventing obesity
  • diabetes control – strict management of diabetes with diet, medication or insulin.
  • cholesterol control – Controlling elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides with diet, exercise and cholesterol-lowering medications may help stabilize or reverse nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
  • avoid toxic substance – alcohol elimination is needed, it is also important to avoid medications and other substance which can cause damage to the liver
  • antioxidants – Vitamins E and C, alpha-lipoic acid and N-acetyl cysteine are antioxidants that may reduce liver damage caused by oxidation, a process where unstable oxygen molecules damage cell membranes.
  • milk thistle (sylimarin)- aids in the protection, healing and repair of the liver
  • omega 3 fatty acid- help protect the liver and reduce inflammation.
author’s note: Due to high prevalence of Non- alcoholic fatty liver disease progresses to liver cirrhosis, LIFESTYLE CHANGE is the best remedy in reducing  the occurrence of this disease. Always remember a lifetime commitment to a healthy diet and excise is the best prevention in all health risk problems. ^^