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QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

 

“About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12.4%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.  In 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.”

BREASTCANCER.ORG

 

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts.

After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States. Breast cancer can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women.

Public support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has helped improve the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Breast cancer survival rates have increased, and the number of deaths has been declining, thanks to a number of factors such as earlier detection, new treatments and a better understanding of the disease.

 

Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits — such as limiting alcohol and staying physically active. Understand what you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk.

If you’re concerned about breast cancer, you may be wondering if there are steps you can take toward breast cancer prevention. Some risk factors, such as family history, can’t be changed. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk.

What can I do to reduce my risk of breast cancer?

Lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women.  The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:

  • Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol — including beer, wine or liquor — limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.
  • Don’t smoke. Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
  • Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
  • Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week.
  • Breast-feed. Breast-feeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
  • Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You may be able to manage your symptoms with nonhormonal therapies, such as physical activity. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you.
  • Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution. Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation, which have been linked with breast cancer risk. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and exposure to the chemicals found in some workplaces, gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust.

Can a healthy diet prevent breast cancer?

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables hasn’t been consistently shown to offer protection from breast cancer. In addition, a low-fat diet appears to offer only a slight reduction in the risk of breast cancer.

However, eating a healthy diet may decrease your risk of other types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight — a key factor in breast cancer prevention.

 

Is there a link between birth control pills and breast cancer?

A number of older studies suggested that birth control pills slightly increased the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women. In these studies, however, 10 years after discontinuing birth control pills women’s risk of breast cancer returned to the same level as that of women who never used oral contraceptives. Current evidence does not support an increase in breast cancer with birth control pills.

Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings.

Once you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, your doctor works to find out the specifics of your tumor. Using a tissue sample from your breast biopsy or using your tumor if you’ve already undergone surgery, your medical team determines your breast cancer type. This information helps your doctor decide which treatment options are most appropriate for you.

Here’s what’s used to determine your breast cancer type.

Is your cancer invasive or noninvasive?

Whether your cancer is invasive or noninvasive helps your doctor determine whether your cancer may have spread beyond your breast, which treatments are more appropriate for you, and your risk of developing cancer in the same breast or your other breast.

  • Noninvasive (in situ) breast cancer. In situ breast cancer refers to cancer in which the cells have remained within their place of origin — they haven’t spread to breast tissue around the duct or lobule. One type of noninvasive cancer called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is considered a precancerous lesion. This means that if it were left in the body, DCIS could eventually develop into an invasive cancer. Another type of noninvasive cancer called lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) isn’t considered precancerous because it won’t eventually evolve into invasive cancer. LCIS does, however, increase the risk of cancer in both breasts.
  • Invasive breast cancer. Invasive (infiltrating) breast cancers spread outside the membrane that lines a duct or lobule, invading the surrounding tissues. The cancer cells can then travel to other parts of your body, such as the lymph nodes. If your breast cancer is stage I, II, III or IV, you have invasive breast cancer.

In what part of the breast did your cancer begin?

The type of tissue where your breast cancer arises determines how the cancer behaves and what treatments are most effective. Parts of the breast where cancer begins include:

  • Milk ducts. Ductal carcinoma is the most common type of breast cancer. This type of cancer forms in the lining of a milk duct within your breast. The ducts carry breast milk from the lobules, where it’s made, to the nipple.
  • Milk-producing lobules. Lobular carcinoma starts in the lobules of the breast, where breast milk is produced. The lobules are connected to the ducts, which carry breast milk to the nipple.
  • Connective tissues. Rarely breast cancer can begin in the connective tissue that’s made up of muscles, fat and blood vessels. Cancer that begins in the connective tissue is called sarcoma. Examples of sarcomas that can occur in the breast include phyllodes tumor and angiosarcoma.

 

FYI a complication that can occur with advanced cancer that many of you may be unaware of. Bone metastasis occurs when cancer cells spread from their original site to a location in the bone. The most common types of cancer more likely to spread to bone include breast, prostate and lung cancers.

Bone metastasis can occur in any bone, but more commonly occurs in the pelvis and spine. Bone metastasis may be the first sign that you have cancer, or it may occur years after your cancer treatment is completed, ex. Hodgkins Disease.

Signs and symptoms of bone metastasis may include the following:

  • Bone pain (back and pelvic pain are most common)
  • Unexplained broken bones
  • Loss of urine and/or bowel function
  • Weakness in the legs
  • High levels of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), which can cause nausea, vomiting and confusion

The most common problem with metastatic bone cancer is pain and fractures. Metastatic bone cancer usually can’t be cured, but instead the goal is to provide pain relief and control further spread. Treatment can make a big difference and may include the following:

  • Medications to repair and build new bone — These medications are similar to those used by people with osteoporosis and can help in building and strengthening your bone.
  • Chemotherapy — Given as a pill or through a vein, used to control and treat cancer that has spread to the bone.
  • Traditional radiation therapy — Radiation is given as external beam therapy to treat the cancer in the bone.
  • Hormone therapy — Medications are used to block hormones (for breast and prostate cancers) that help control the spread of cancer to the bone.
  • Surgery — Used to fix a fracture and stabilize a break from the cancer in the bone.
  • Cryoablation — A special technique that freezes the cancer cells.
  • Radiofrequency ablation — A special technique that heats the cancer cells.
  • Chemoradiation — A form of internal radiation that is given through the vein and travels to the site of bone metastasis and targets the cancer cells.
  • Pain medications — Medications provided with the goal of relieving and controlling pain from bone metastasis.
  • Physical therapy — Exercises may be prescribed to assist in strengthening muscles and providing any assistive devices that may help you (cane, walker, crutches, etc.).

 

If you’re living with metastatic bone cancer, you may find help and resources from a website called Bone Health in Focus. It was established with partners including BreastCancer.org, the National Lung Cancer Partnership and Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network to offer resources that help patients and caregivers understand more about cancer that has spread to the bone (find the site at www.bonehealthinfocus.com).

Mayo Clinic information on cancer that has spread to the bone can be found at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bone-metastasis/basics/definition/con-20035450.

Are you living with cancer that has spread to the bone? Feel free to share your experiences with each other on the this blog striveforgoodhealth.com or on TheMayoclinic.org.

Make the changes in your lifestyles including diet if you want to prevent cancer, live long and have a productive life.

 

REFERENCE: Mayoclinic.org

QUOTE FOR TUESDAY:

“Doctors usually treat bacterial infections with antibiotics (A/Bs). They either kill bacteria or stop them multiplying. The treatment of viral infections can include: 1-managing symptoms, such as honey for coughs and warm fluids like chicken soup for oral hydration 2-paracetamol to relieve fever, stopping viral reproduction using antiviral medicines, such as medicines for HIV/AIDS and cold sores. 3-preventing infection in the first place, such as vaccines for flu and hepatitism; *Remember A/B’s don’t work on viral infections.”

HealthDirect.Gov

Bacterial versus Viral Infections.

As you might think, bacterial infections are caused by bacteria, and viral infections are caused by viruses. Perhaps the most important distinction between bacteria and viruses is that antibiotic drugs usually kill bacteria, but they aren’t effective against viruses.

Bacteria

Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that thrive in many different types of environments. Some varieties live in extremes of cold or heat. Others make their home in people’s intestines, where they help digest food. Most bacteria cause no harm to people, but there are exceptions.

Infections caused by bacteria include:

  • Strep throat
  • Tuberculosis
  • Urinary tract infections

Inappropriate use of antibiotics has helped create bacterial diseases that are resistant to treatment with different types of antibiotic medications.

Viruses

Viruses are even smaller than bacteria and require living hosts — such as people, plants or animals — to multiply. Otherwise, they can’t survive. When a virus enters your body, it invades some of your cells and takes over the cell machinery, redirecting it to produce the virus.

Diseases caused by viruses include:

  • Chickenpox
  • AIDS
  • Common colds

In some cases, it may be difficult to determine whether a bacterium or a virus is causing your symptoms. Many ailments — such as pneumonia, meningitis and diarrhea — can be caused by either bacteria or viruses.

Bacterial and viral infections have many things in common. Both types of infections are caused by microbes — bacteria and viruses, respectively — and spread by things such as:

  • Coughing and sneezing.
  • Contact with infected people, especially through kissing and sex.
  • Contact with contaminated surfaces, food, and water.
  • Contact with infected creatures, including pets, livestock, and insects such as fleas and ticks.

Microbes can also cause:

  • Acute infections, which are short-lived.
  • Chronic infections, which can last for weeks, months, or a lifetime.
  • Latent infections, which may not cause symptoms at first but can reactivate over a period of months and years.

Most importantly, bacterial and viral infections, can cause mild, moderate, and severe diseases.

Throughout history, millions of people have died of diseases such as bubonic plague or the Black Death, which is caused by Yersinia pestis bacteria, and smallpox, which is caused by the variola virus. In recent times, viral infections have been responsible for two major pandemics: the 1918-1919 “Spanish flu” epidemic that killed 20-40 million people, and the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic that killed an estimated 1.5 million people worldwide in 2013 alone.Bacterial and viral infections can cause similar symptoms such as coughing and sneezing, fever, inflammation, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, and cramping — all of which are ways the immune system tries to rid the body of infectious organisms. But bacterial and viral infections are dissimilar in many other important respects, most of them due to the organisms’ structural differences and the way they respond to medications.

The Differences Between Bacteria and Viruses

Although bacteria and viruses are both too small to be seen without a microscope, they’re as different as giraffes and goldfish.Bacteria are relatively complex, single-celled creatures with a rigid wall and a thin, rubbery membrane surrounding the fluid inside the cell. They can reproduce on their own. Fossilized records show that bacteria have existed for about 3.5 billion years, and bacteria can survive in different environments, including extreme heat and cold, radioactive waste, and the human body.

Most bacteria are harmless, and some actually help by digesting food, destroying disease-causing microbes, fighting cancer cells, and providing essential nutrients. Fewer than 1% of bacteria cause diseases in people.

Viruses are tinier: the largest of them are smaller than the smallest bacteria. All they have is a protein coat and a core of genetic material, either RNA or DNA. Unlike bacteria, viruses can’t survive without a host. They can only reproduce by attaching themselves to cells. In most cases, they reprogram the cells to make new viruses until the cells burst and die. In other cases, they turn normal cells into malignant or cancerous cells.

Also unlike bacteria, most viruses do cause disease, and they’re quite specific about the cells they attack. For example, certain viruses attack cells in the liver, respiratory system, or blood. In some cases, viruses target bacteria.

Diagnosis of Bacterial and Viral Infections

You should consult your doctor if you think you have a bacterial or viral infection. Exceptions include the common cold, which is usually not life-threatening.

In some cases, it’s difficult to determine the origin of an infection because many ailments — including pneumonia, meningitis, and diarrhea — can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. But your doctor often can pinpoint the cause by listening to your medical history and doing a physical exam.

If necessary, he or she also can order a blood or urine test to help confirm a diagnosis, or a “culture test” of tissue to identify bacteria or viruses. Occasionally, a biopsy of affected tissue may be required.

QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“There’s nothing better than enjoying the outdoors during the summertime. But the summer heat also brings the risk of dry, itchy, and irritated skin.”

Eileen Bailey An Author of Health Central (healthcentral.com) “6 skin problems in the summertime”.

Continuation of be prepared of common problems in the summertime!

7. Heat rash

Heat rash is a red or pink rash usually found on areas of the body that are covered with clothing. It happens during hot humid conditions and is most common in children. Heat rash develops when sweat ducts become blocked and swell up, looking like dots or tiny pimples on the skin. It often causes discomfort and itching.

Heat rash usually heals on its own in a matter of days and doesn’t require medical attention. In some cases the rash gets infected with symptoms like pain, swelling and pus. If this happens, be sure to contact your doctor.

8. Water-borne conditions

We all like to spend time in the water during summer, and Dennis Maki, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, warns of the risk of bacterial infections and other water-borne illnesses as a result of taking part in recreational water activities.

Maki adds that apart from natural bodies of water like rivers and lakes, pools and hot tubs can also be sources of gastrointestinal problems; skin, ear and eye infections; and respiratory, neurological and viral problems. The safest places to swim are pools that are regularly checked for their chlorine levels.

9. Summer colds

There is a kind of virus that produces cold-like symptoms, which tends to rear its ugly head during the summer months. It is called enterovirus and can cause more complicated symptoms than the typical winter cold.

According to Merck Manual, symptoms of a summer cold caused by enterovirus include fever, headache, and sore throat, and sometimes mouth sores or a rash. Treatment is basically aimed at relieving symptoms.

10. Headache

An unfortunate result of summer activities that involve spending a lot of time in the hot sun can be a spitting headache. A survey by the National Headache Foundation indicates that headache sufferers consider summer to be the worst time of year for headaches.

As the temperature goes up, so does your risk for getting a headache. One theory is that the heat makes blood vessels in your head expand, causing them to press against nerve endings. Dehydration and strenuous exercise in hot weather can also lead to headaches.

An over-the-counter painkiller will usually alleviate headaches caused by heat exposure and exercise, and drinking enough water should take care of a dehydration headache.

11. Heat stroke

Heat stroke or hyperthermia results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures. It can happen for example when children are left in hot cars during summer.

Emedicinehealth defines heat stroke as a condition where the body’s cooling mechanisms are overcome by heat, resulting in a core heat of over 40°C. Heat stroke is preceded by signs of heat exhaustion like headaches, dizziness and weakness, and results in unconsciousness, organ failure and eventually death.

Hyperthermia is primarily treated by outside cooling of the body with the help of water, cold air or ice packs. Internal cooling by flushing the stomach or rectum with cold may also be used. Persons with hyperthermia need to be hospitalised in order to be tested for complications like muscle breakdown, which can damage the kidneys.

So be prepared this summer in preventing you and your family getting these ailments due to the summer weather!

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“For many, summertime means sun, surf and sand, but the season can also bring asthma attacks, ear infections and blistery rashes on the hands and feet.”

Livescience.com

Be prepared for common problems that arise in the Summertime, starting June 21!

Common summer health problems  Common summer health problems

 

1. BOATING ACCIDENTS

People’s biggest mistake by far is drinking and boating. People get out there and drink alcohol all day in the sun, and you end up with the same accidents you have with driving — with the added risks of falling out of boats, getting hit by propellers, and drowning.

It’s also easy to get lax about life jackets. Kids need to have them on all the time. Even if having them under the seat fulfills the law, in an accident, chances are anyone who doesn’t know how to swim won’t be able to get to them in time. When you are going to be out on a boat or at the beach with a child, you take on the responsibility to maintain the safety of that child and basic lifesaving skills are a must, not a luxury; especially for parents.   The courses are easy, usually just one day or half a day and you may save your child’s LIFE or the child you take the responsibility in caring for. There’s no mouth-to-mouth [resuscitation] anymore if you are not trained — just chest compressions but if you get BCLS certified (basic care in life support) your CPR certified.

You can find first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and other emergency lifesaving courses near you with the American Heart Association’s ECC (Emergency Cardiovascular Care) Class Connector tool online at americanheart.org. or near you where you live.

2. Mower Injuries

We know almost every homeowner loves the sight of a pristine, neatly mowed yard. But in their haste to get that lawn in shape, some people forget to take precautions. “In the warmer months we see lots of mower injuries to toes, hands, and fingers getting caught in blades, and things like rocks and sticks getting flung out of them. People will start tinkering with the mower and reach under it to unclog it, and forget there’s a spinning blade there or take the key out when going under to see what clogged the blade from working. Those can be preventative moves and result in hideous injuries for some permanent and with others temporary.

They’re also hard to repair, because not only can whirling blades cause complex lacerations and fractures, but they can bury contaminants like grass and dirt in the wound putting the wound at risk for infection. To be safe:

Wear closed-toed shoes — preferably with a steel toe — when you mow, along with goggles or sunglasses, gloves, and long pants that will protect you from flying debris.

Keep kids away from the push mower and off the riding mower. Riding mowers are not just another ride-on toy.

Get a professional to service your mower or learn how to do it properly. Important: Disconnect the spark plug to prevent it from accidentally starting. Turning a push mower’s blade manually can ignite the engine.

3. Dehydration Disasters

You’ve romped outdoors with the kids all day, and your water bottle ran dry long ago. Suddenly you feel dizzy and lightheaded, and your mouth tastes like cotton. You’re dehydrated — meaning you haven’t taken in enough fluids to replace those you’ve been sweating out.

People can get dehydrated any time of year, but it’s much more common in the summer months, when they are active outdoors in the warm sun. Heatstroke is the most severe form of dehydration. That’s when your internal temperature rises to dangerously high levels. Your skin gets hot, but you stop sweating. Someone with heatstroke may pass out, have hallucinations, or suffer seizures.

Preventing dehydration and heatstroke is so easy: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, take regular breaks in the shade, and try to schedule your most vigorous outdoor activities for times when the heat isn’t so strong, such as early morning or late afternoon.

For persons suffering more serious dehydration or heatstroke, get them indoors, have them lie down, and cool them off with ice packs and cool cloths. Someone who is seriously affected by the heat may need intravenous fluids in the ER.

4. Sunburn

With all the skin cancer warnings, you’d think Americans would be getting fewer sunburns, not more. But you’d be wrong. The percentage of adults nationwide who got at least one sunburn during the preceding year rose from 31.8% in 1999 to 33.7% in 2004, according to the CDC.

Your risk for melanoma doubles if you’ve had just five sunburns in your life. A sunburn is a first-degree burn, right up there with thermal burns. Also, we even see some second-degree thermal burns, often when people are out drinking or falling asleep in the sun and don’t realize how long they’ve been out there.

In addition to practicing “safe sun” — wearing sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays, long-sleeved shirts, and wide-brimmed hats, and staying out of blistering midday rays — there are things you can do to treat a severe sunburn, Stanton says:

-Drink water or juice to replace fluids you lost while sweating in the hot sun.

-Soak the burn in cool water for a few minutes or put a cool, wet cloth on it.

-Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as acetaminophen.

-Treatitching with an OTC antihistamine cream or a spray like diphenhydramine (such as Benadryl), which helps block the inflammatory reaction.

-Apply an antibiotic ointment or an aloe cream with emollients that soften and soothe the skin directly to the burned area.

-You’re going to have a pretty miserable 12 to 24 hours with the initial symptoms no matter what you do.

5. Picnic Poisoning

Food poisoning puts about 300,000 people in the hospital every year, hitting its peak in the summer months. You don’t want diarrhea to be the souvenir of your family’s annual summer picnic.

Anything that has mayonnaise, dairy, or eggs in it and any meat products can develop some pretty nasty bacteria after only a couple of hours unrefrigerated. Every summer we’ll have five or six people coming in from the same reunion or family picnic with food poisoning symptoms.

To prevent food poisoning, follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s advice to:

  • CleanWash your hands as well as the surfaces where you’ll be preparing foods.
  • Separate — Wrap raw meat securely and keep it stored away from other food items.
  • Cook — Bring along a meat thermometer. Grilling meat browns it very fast on the outside, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe on the inside. Steaks should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees, ground beef and pork to 160 degrees, and poultry to 165 degrees.
  • Chill — Keep everything refrigerated as long as possible. Store perishable picnic items in an insulated cooler packed with ice, and follow the “last in, first out” rule — whatever you’re going to eat first should go at the top of the cooler.

Mild cases of food poisoning can be cared for at home, Stanton says. Avoid solid foods, and stick with small, frequent drinks of clear liquid to stay hydrated. Once the nausea and vomiting have eased, you can try bringing food back into your diet — slowly and in small, bland portions (Grandma knew what she was talking about when she recommended tea and toast to settle an upset stomach). If symptoms persist for more than a couple days (or more than 24 hours in small kids), see a doctor.

6.  Fireworks

Independence Day arrives. Many people love fireworks, but fireworks don’t necessarily love them back. Nearly 9,000 individuals were injured by fireworks in 2009, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, and two were killed. We see pretty significant hand and eye injuries from fireworks every summer. The safest way to watch fireworks is at a professionally sponsored display. At least six states ban all consumer fireworks, and several more allow them only with limitations. But if you can buy fireworks legally and want to set off a few at home, take these precautions:

  • Keep a hose or fire extinguisher handy to put out small fires.
  • Keep children away from fireworks.      
  • Everybody loves to give sparklers to kids, but they burn very hot and can cause significant eye injuries. In fact, a sparkler can burn as hot as 2,000 degrees — hot enough to melt some types of metals.       They can go off quickly and cause burns or just explode in your hand.

To care for a fireworks burn, wrap it in a clean towel or T-shirt saturated with cool water and get to an emergency room to have the injury checked out.

Checkout part II on Monday!

 

 

 

 

QUOTE FOR FRIDAY:

“Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other cognitive abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of dementia cases.”

alz.org

Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Alzheimers-awareness                    alzheimer

Alzheimer’s Disease considered by some as Diabetes 3=Brain Diabetes.

At one time Alzheimer’s disease was a disease considered with unknown etiology (or cause). Today it is considered different in the eyes of many in the medical profession.  WELCOA =Wellness Council of America blog site considers this Month, June, Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month!  It is national month in November as well.

While we know that certain diseases, like type 2 diabetes, are definitively connected to the foods you eat, Alzheimer’s is generally thought to strike without warning or reason.

That is, until recently.

Now, a growing body of research suggests there may be a powerful connection between the foods you eat and your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, via similar pathways that cause type 2 diabetes. Some have even re-named Alzheimer’s as “type 3 diabetes.””

Can You Eat Your Way to Alzheimer’s?

In a recent animal study, researchers from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island were able to induce many of the characteristic brain changes seen with Alzheimer’s disease (disorientation, confusion, inability to learn and remember) by interfering with insulin signaling in their brains.1

Know that faulty insulin (and leptin, another hormone) signaling is an underlying cause for insulin resistance, which, of course, typically leads to type 2 diabetes. However, while insulin is usually associated with its role in keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range, it also plays a role in brain signaling. When researchers disrupted the proper signaling of insulin in the brain, it resulted in dementia.

What does this have to do with your diet? Let us go back to one of my articles on diabetes and how it impacts your diet. It states “The foods we eat that contain starches, carbohydrates, calories are made up of sugar. When food reaches our stomach in time digestion starts to take place where these foods are broken down in the stomach into individual or complex sugar molecules ( glucose being one of the most common and important ones). The glucose then passes from our stomach into our bloodstream when it reaches the liver 60 to 80 % of the glucose gets stored in that organ turning glucose into inactive glucose that’s converted to glycogen. The purpose for glycogen is when our glucose is low and our body needing energy we have this extra stored sugar, glycogen, to rely on. This is done by the liver which allows the sugar to be stored and released back into the bloodstream if we need it=energy, since nothing is in our stomach at that time, in that case scenario). When glucose=an active sugar, it is our energy for our cells and tissues and is a sugar ready to be utilized by the body where it is needed, by many organs. Think of a car for one moment, and what makes it run? That would be gas/fuel for it to function. The same principle with glucose in your bloodstream=fuel for the human body so we can function, for without it we wouldn’t survive. That is the problem with a person that has diabetes. They eat, they break the food down, the glucose gets in the blood but the glucose fuel can’t be used due to lack of or NO insulin at all. Insulin allows glucose to pass into our cells and tissues to be used as energy/fuel for the body parts to work. Glucose is used as the principle source of energy (It is used by the brain for energy, the muscles for both energy and some storage, liver for more glucose storage=that is where glucose is converted to glycogen, and even stored in fat tissue using it for triglyceride production). Glucose does get sent to other organs for more storage, as well. Insulin plays that vital role in allowing glucose to be distributed throughout the body. Without insulin the glucose has nowhere to go.”

So how does this impact your brain thinking? “This new focus on the Alzheimer’s/Diabetes/Insulin connection follows a growing recognition of insulin’s role in the brain. Until recently, the hormone was typecast as a regulator of blood sugar, giving the cue for muscles, liver and fat cells to extract sugar from the blood and either use it for energy or store it as fat. We now know that it is also a master multitasker: it helps neurons, particularly in the hippocampus and frontal lobe, take up glucose for energy, and it also regulates neurotransmitters, like acetylcholine, which are crucial for memory and learning.” What is effected with Alzheimer’s disease? Your memory and learning, So your diet plays a big role in Alzheimer’s disease.”                                                                                        

Over-consumption of sugars and grains is what ultimately causes your body to be incapable of “hearing” the proper signals from insulin and leptin, leaving you insulin resistant in both body and brain. Alzheimer’s disease was tentatively dubbed “type 3 diabetes” in early 2005 when researchers learned that the pancreas is not the only organ that produces insulin. Your brain also produces insulin, and this brain insulin is necessary for the survival of your brain cells.

If You Have Diabetes, Your Risk of Alzheimer’s Increases Dramatically

Diabetes is linked to a 65 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s, which may be due, in part, because insulin resistance and/or diabetes appear to accelerate the development of plaque in your brain, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Separate research has found that impaired insulin response was associated with a 30 percent higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and overall dementia and cognitive risks were associated with high fasting serum insulin, insulin resistance, impaired insulin secretion and glucose intolerance.

A drop in insulin production in your brain may contribute to the degeneration of your brain cells, mainly by depriving them of glucose, and studies have found that people with lower levels of insulin and insulin receptors in their brain often have Alzheimer’s disease (people with type 2 diabetes often wind up with low levels of insulin in their brains as well). As explained in New Scientist, which highlighted this latest research:

What’s more, it encourages the process through which neurons change shape, make new connections and strengthen others. And it is important for the function and growth of blood vessels, which supply the brain with oxygen and glucose.

As a result, reducing the level of insulin in the brain can immediately impair cognition. Spatial memory, in particular, seems to suffer when you block insulin uptake in the hippocampus… Conversely, a boost of insulin seems to improve its functioning.

When people frequently gorge on fatty, sugary food, their insulin spikes repeatedly until it sticks at a high level. Muscle, liver and fat cells then stop responding to the hormone, meaning they don’t mop up glucose and fat in the blood. As a result, the pancreas desperately works overtime to make more insulin to control the glucose – and levels of the two molecules skyrocket.

The pancreas can’t keep up with the demand indefinitely, however, and as time passes people with type 2 diabetes often end up with abnormally low levels of insulin.”

Alzheimer’s Might be “Brain Diabetes”

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the same pathological process that leads to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes may also hold true for your brain. As you over-indulge on sugar and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the consistently high levels of insulin and eventually shuts down its insulin signaling, leading to impairments in your thinking and memory abilities, and eventually causing permanent brain damage.

Regularly consuming more than 25 grams of fructose per day will dramatically increase your risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Consuming too much fructose will inevitably wreak havoc on your body’s ability to regulate proper insulin levels.

Although fructose is relatively “low glycemic” on the front end, it reduces the affinity for insulin for its receptor leading to chronic insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar on the back end. So, while you may not notice a steep increase in blood sugar immediately following fructose consumption, it is likely changing your entire endocrine system’s ability to function properly behind the scenes.

Additionally, fructose has other modes of neurotoxicity, including causing damage to the circulatory system upon which the health of your nervous system depends, as well as profoundly changing your brain’s craving mechanism, often resulting in excessive hunger and subsequent consumption of additional empty carbohydrate-based calories.

In one study from UCLA, researchers found that rats fed a fructose-rich and omega-3 fat deficient diet (similar to what is consumed by many Americans) developed both insulin resistance and impaired brain function in just six weeks.

Plus, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol, an essential building block of your brain crucial to its health. This is yet another important facet that explains how and why excessive fructose consumption is so detrimental to your health. Decreasing fructose intake is one of the most important moves you can take in decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in your lifetime.

More Tips for Avoiding Alzheimer’s Disease

The beauty of following a healthy diet is that it helps treat and prevent all chronic degenerative diseases, from the common ones like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s to the ones you have never heard of or can’t even pronounce.

The first step is to eat healthy, maintaining exercise balanced with rest and practice healthy habits in addressing Alzheimer’s disease, which is currently at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans – including one in eight people aged 65 and over – living with the disease.By 2050, this is expected to jump to 16 million, and in the next 20 years it is projected that Alzheimer’s will affect one in four Americans. People we need to live healthier if not to help ourselves our future young ones.

In spite of how common memory loss is among Westerners, it is NOT a “normal” part of aging. While even mild “senior moments” may be caused by the same brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, these cognitive changes are by no means inevitable! People who experience very little decline in their cognitive function up until their deaths have been found (post-mortem) to be free of brain lesions, showing that it’s entirely possible to prevent the damage from occurring in the first place and one of the best ways to do this is by leading a healthy lifestyle.

  • Fructose. As mentioned, most everyone will benefit from keeping their total fructose consumed to below 25 grams per day.

  • Improve Magnesium Levels. There is some exciting preliminary research strongly suggesting a decrease in Alzheimer symptoms with increased levels of magnesium in the brain. Unfortunately most magnesium supplements do not pass the blood brain levels, but a new one, magnesium threonate, appears to and holds some promise for the future for treating this condition.

  • Optimize your vitamin D levels with safe sun exposure. Strong links between low levels of vitamin D in Alzheimer’s patients and poor outcomes on cognitive tests have been revealed. Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important chemicals in your brain and protect brain cells by increasing the effectiveness of the glial cells in nursing damaged neurons back to health.

  • Vitamin D may also exert some of its beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s through its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Sufficient vitamin D is imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation that is also associated with Alzheimer’s.

  • Vitamin B12: According to a small Finnish study recently published in the journal Neurology, people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer’s in their later years. For each unit increase in the marker of vitamin B12 (holotranscobalamin) the risk of developing Alzheimer’s was reduced by 2 percent. Very high doses of B vitamins have also been found to treat Alzheimer’s disease and reduce memory loss.

  • Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate. Vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day.

  • High-quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. (I recommend avoiding most fish because, although fish is naturally high in omega-3, most fish are now severely contaminated with mercury.) High intake of the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA help by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder.

  • Avoid and remove mercury from your body. Dental amalgam fillings, which are 50% mercury by weight, are one of the major sources of heavy metal toxicity, however you should be healthy prior to having them removed.

  • Avoid aluminum, such as antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, vaccine adjuvants, etc.

  • Exercise regularly. It’s been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized,10 thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha. Research has also shown that people with Alzheimer’s have less PGC-1alpha in their brains11 and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer’s. I would strongly recommend reviewing the Peak Fitness Technique for my specific recommendations.

  • Avoid flu vaccinations as most contain both mercury and aluminum, well-known neurotoxic and immunotoxic agents.

  • Eat plenty of blueberries. Wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content, are known to guard against Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases.

  • Challenge your mind daily. Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Avoid anticholinergic and statin drugs. Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain nighttime pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers.

  • Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, deplete your brain of coenzyme Q10 and neurotransmitter precursors, and prevent adequate delivery of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble antioxidants to your brain by inhibiting the production of the indispensable carrier biomolecule known as low-density lipoprotein.

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