QUOTE FOR MONDAY:

“3 Reasons support why eating more fruits&vegetables matters:
1-They are major contributors of a number of nutrients that are under consumed in the U.S.-Vitamin A,C, K, Potassium, Fiber and Magnesium.
2=Fruits and Veggies are associated with reduce risk of many associated chronic diseases.
3-Fruits and Veggies are relatively low in calories which can replace high caloric foods that aid in weight gain.”

Fruits and Veggies-More Matters Month.

Some foods have more than their great taste but also healthy vitamins, minerals, and disease-fighting nutrients. Pack your meals adding this range of wholesome choices to your diet.

1.) Alfalfa sprouts – you can add them to your salad, fruits, lean meats, even for you vegetarians to your veggie or bean burger. You be creative and try alfalfa sprouts to many of your lunch and dinner meals.

2.) Apples are the richest fruit source of pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, decrease the risk of colon and breast cancers, and maybe even lessen the severity of diabetes. Try throwing a few slices on your sandwich or toss with your salads adding toasted pecans/walnuts or whatever nuts you love, and have a light vinaigrette for a delicious salad (one of my favorite is raspberry flavored). With so many varieties available, you’ll never get bored finding new ways to have apples to your daily diet.

3.) Avocados Just one half of a medium-size avocado contains more than 4 grams of fiber and 15% of your recommended daily folate intake. Cholesterol-free and rich in monounsaturated fats and potassium, avocados are also a powerhouse for heart health. Avocados can be the base for a creamy homemade sandwich spread, or add a few chunks to your favorite salsa for a simple and delicious way to dress up grilled chicken or fish. Beets are loaded with antioxidants and have been found to protect against cancer, heart disease, and inflammation. Naturally sweet and full of fiber and vitamin C, beets make a delicious and nutrient-packed addition to any meal. 4.) Beets give a try as finely grated raw beets in your salads or roast them along with sweet potatoes and parsnips for a colorful and flavorful side-dish—just remember if you boil them it will decrease their nutritional value. And don’t forget about the leafy green tops, which are rich in iron and folate, and can be prepared much like their cousins, Swiss chard and spinach

5.) Cranberries great for protecting against urinary tract infections, but did you also know they may improve blood cholesterol and aid in recovery from strokes? Cranberry juice has also been shown to make cancer drugs more potent. Remember, the available frozen year-round, enjoy these tart and tangy berries fresh during their peak season which is from October through December.

6.) Papayas-Trying to get more vitamin C in your diet? One cup of papaya cubes supplies more than 100% of your daily requirement, as well as a hefty dose of potassium and folate. It is also a good source of vitamins A and E, two powerful antioxidants that protect against heart disease and colon cancer. Savor the rich, and enjoy a buttery flesh of this tropical fruit in smoothies and salads, or simply scoop it out of the shell with a spoon.

7.) Quinoa-Is a packed with a variety of nutrients, including iron and copper, this has been known as the ancient seed “the mother of all grains.” Quinoa contains all the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein (perfect for vegans and vegetarians). It is also a great source of magnesium, which relaxes blood vessels and has been found to reduce the frequency of migraines. Researchers have found that consuming dietary fiber, specifically from whole-grain products such as quinoa, reduces the risk of high blood pressure and heart attack. Keep your engine of the body=THE HEART in top shape by substituting quinoa for rice or pasta in your next meal. It makes a great base for seafood dishes and mixes well with beans.

8.) Raspberries-The tart, sweet, and incredibly juicy fruit. Have one half cup of these berries provides a whopping 4 grams of fiber and more than 25% of the daily recommended intake for both vitamin C and manganese. Raspberries also contain a powerful arsenal of antioxidants, including members of the anthocyanin family, which give raspberries their ruby-red hue and antimicrobial properties. I enjoy them in my salad or raw in my hand, after washing them but try a few berries with your morning cereal if you want.

9.) Spinach-Powerful antioxidants in spinach have been found to combat a variety of cancers, including ovarian, breast, and colon cancers. And it’s good for the noggin: Research indicates that spinach reduces the decline in brain function associated with aging and protects the heart from cardiovascular disease. Although it contains relatively high amounts of iron and calcium, oxalate compounds bind to these minerals and diminish their absorption. This vegetable has a mild flavor, so I spice it up with garlic, or you can try olive oil, and onions.

QUOTE FOR THE WEEKEND:

“An immune-mediated disease, multiple sclerosis is a progressive disorder characterized by a wide assortment of unpredictable symptoms that vary in intensity.”

MuscularDytrophyFoundation.org

Part II Muscular Dystrophy

Causes

Muscular dystrophy can run in families, or you can be the first one in your family to have it. The condition is caused by problems in your genes.

Genes contain the information your cells need to make proteins that control all of the different functions in the body. When a gene has a problem, your cells can make the wrong protein, the wrong amount of it, or a damaged protein.

You can get muscular dystrophy even if neither of your parents had the disease. This happens when one of your genes gets a defect on its own. But it’s rare for someone to get it this way.

In people with muscular dystrophy, the broken genes are the ones that make the proteins that keep muscles healthy and strong. For example, those with Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophies make too little of a protein called dystrophin, which strengthens muscles and protects them from injury.

Symptoms

For most types of muscular dystrophy, symptoms start to show up in childhood or in the teen years. In general, children with the condition:

You can get muscular dystrophy even if neither of your parents had the disease. This happens when one of your genes gets a defect on its own. But it’s rare for someone to get it this way.

In people with muscular dystrophy, the broken genes are the ones that make the proteins that keep muscles healthy and strong. For example, those with Duchenne or Becker muscular dystrophies make too little of a protein called dystrophin, which strengthens muscles and protects them from injury.  Symptoms include:

 

  • Falling down often
  • Have weak muscles
  • Have muscle cramps
  • Have trouble getting up, climbing stairs, running, or jumping
  • Walk on their toes or waddle

Some will also have symptoms like:

  • A curved spine (called scoliosis)
  • Droopy eyelids
  • Heart problems
  • Trouble breathing or swallowing
  • Vision problems
  • Weakness in the muscles of the face

How its diagnosed:

Physical Exam including checking your muscle strengths tested, blood tests, MRI, EMG-electromyography, and even a muscle biopsy.

Treatment:  Unfortunately there is no cure but was is used to help deal with the disease is:

  • Physical therapy uses different exercises and stretches to keep muscles strong and flexible.
  • Occupational therapy teaches your child how to make the most of what his muscles can do. Therapists can also show him how to use wheelchairs, braces, and other devices that can help him with daily life.
  • Speech therapy will teach him easier ways to talk if his throat or face muscles are weak.
  • Respiratory therapy can help if your child is having trouble breathing. He’ll learn ways to make it easier to breathe, or get machines to help.
  • Medicines can help ease symptoms.
    • Eteplirsen (Exondys 51) has been approved to treat DMD. It is an injection medication that helps treat individuals with a specific mutation of the gene that leads to DMD. The most common side effects are balance problems and vomiting. Although the drug increases dystrophin production, which would predict improvement in muscle function, this has not yet been shown.
    • Anti-seizure drugs reduce muscle spasms.
    • Blood pressure medicines help with heart problems.
    • Drugs that turn down the body’s immune system, called immunosuppressants, may slow damage to muscle cells.
    • Steroids like prednisone slow down muscle damage and can help your child breathe better. They can cause serious side effects, such as weak bones and a higher risk of infections.
    • Creatine, a chemical normally found in the body, can help supply energy to muscles and improve strength for some people. Ask your child’s doctor if these supplements are a good idea for him.
  • Surgery can help with different complications of muscular dystrophy, like heart problems or trouble swallowing.

Try to include with your Rx from your doctor:

 

Part I Muscular Dystrophy

The most common form of muscular dystrophy – Duchenne muscular dystrophy – typically affects young boys, but other variations can strike in adulthood.

Currently, there is no cure for muscular dystrophy, but certain physical and medical treatments can improve symptoms and slow the disease’s progression.

is a group of diseases that make muscles weaker and less flexible over time. It is caused by a problem in the genes that control how the body keeps muscles healthy. For some people, the disease starts early in childhood. Others don’t have any symptoms until they are teenagers or middle-aged adults.

How muscular dystrophy affects you or your child depends on the kind. Most people’s condition will get worse over time, and some people may lose the ability to walk, talk, or care for themselves. But that doesn’t happen to everyone. Other people can live for many years with mild symptoms.

There are more than 30 kinds of muscular dystrophy, and each is different based on:

  • The genes that cause it
  • The muscles it affects
  • The age when symptoms first appear
  • How quickly the disease gets worse

People usually get one of nine major forms of the disease:

  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is the most common form. It mainly affects boys, and starts between ages 3 and 5.
  • Becker muscular dystrophy is like Duchenne, except milder. It also affects boys but the symptoms start later — between ages 11 and 25.
  • Myotonic muscular dystrophy is the most common form in adults. People who have it can’t relax their muscles after they contract. It can affect both men and women, and it usually starts when people are in their 20s.
  • Congenital muscular dystrophy starts at birth or shortly afterwards.
  • Limb-Girdle muscular dystrophy often starts in a person’s teens or 20s.
  • Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy affects the muscles of the face, shoulders, and upper arms. It can affect anyone from teenagers to adults in their 40s.
  • Distal muscular dystrophy affects the muscles of the arms, legs, hands, and feet. It usually comes on later in life, between ages 40 and 60.
  • Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy starts in a person’s 40s or 50s. It causes weakness in the muscles of the face, neck, and shoulders, and droopy eyelids (ptosis), followed by difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).
  • Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy affects mainly boys, usually starting around age 10. People with this form often have heart problems along with muscle weakness.
There are many treatments that can help keep muscles strong and flexible, and scientists are looking for new ones, too.The important thing is to get the treatment you need and find support.

Stayed tune for part II this weekend!

QUOTE FOR THURSDAY:

“Anabolic steroids—sometimes referred to as “juice” or “roids”—are actually synthetic forms of the male hormone, testosterone. It may be used legitimately to induce puberty or to help those suffering from wasting diseases like AIDS or cancers. Technically, this group of substances is called anabolic-androgenic steroids (AAS).”

DrugAbuse.com

Effects of steroids abused.

What are anabolic steroids?

Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone. The proper term for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids. “Anabolic” refers to muscle building, and “androgenic” refers to increased male sex characteristics. Some common names for anabolic steroids are Gear, Juice, Roids, and Stackers.

A muscular man bench pressing heavy dumbbells.Photo by John Voo/CC 
Some people abuse anabolic steroids to improve their physical appearance.

Health care providers can prescribe steroids to treat hormonal issues, such as delayed puberty. Steroids can also treat diseases that cause muscle loss, such as cancer and AIDS. But some athletes and bodybuilders abuse these drugs to boost performance or improve their physical appearance.

How do people abuse anabolic steroids?

People who abuse anabolic steroids usually take them orally or inject them into the muscles. These doses may be 10 to 100 times higher than doses prescribed to treat medical conditions. Steroids are also applied to the skin as a cream, gel, or patch.

Some athletes and others who abuse steroids believe that they can avoid unwanted side effects or maximize the drugs’ effects by taking them in ways that include:

  • cycling—taking doses for a period of time, stopping for a time, and then restarting
  • stacking—combining two or more different types of steroids
  • pyramiding—slowly increasing the dose or frequency of abuse, reaching a peak amount, and then gradually tapering off

There is no scientific evidence that any of these practices reduce the harmful medical consequences of these drugs.

How do anabolic steroids affect the brain?

Anabolic steroids work differently from other drugs of abuse; they do not have the same short-term effects on the brain. The most important difference is that steroids do not trigger rapid increases in the brain chemical dopamine, which causes the “high” that drives people to abuse other substances. However, long-term steroid abuse can act on some of the same brain pathways and chemicals—including dopamine, serotonin, and opioid systems—that are affected by other drugs. This may result in a significant effect on mood and behavior.

Short-Term Effects

Abuse of anabolic steroids may lead to mental problems, such as:

  • paranoid (extreme, unreasonable) jealousy
  • extreme irritability
  • delusions—false beliefs or ideas
  • impaired judgment

Extreme mood swings can also occur, including “roid rage”—angry feelings and behavior that may lead to violence.

What are the other health effects of anabolic steroids?

Aside from mental problems, steroid use commonly causes severe acne. It also causes the body to swell, especially in the hands and feet.

Long-Term Effects

Anabolic steroid abuse may lead to serious, even permanent, health problems such as:

  • kidney problems or failure
  • liver damage
  • enlarged heart, high blood pressure, and changes in blood cholesterol, all of which increase the risk of stroke and heart attack, even in young people

Several other effects are gender- and age-specific:

  • In men:
    • shrinking testicles
    • decreased sperm count
    • baldness
    • development of breasts
    • increased risk for prostate cancer
  • In women:
    • growth of facial hair or excess body hair
    • male-pattern baldness
    • changes in or stop in the menstrual cycle
    • enlarged clitoris
    • deepened voice
  • In teens:
    • stunted growth (when high hormone levels from steroids signal to the body to stop bone growth too early)
    • stunted height (if teens use steroids before their growth spurt)

Some of these physical changes, such as shrinking sex organs in men, can add to mental side effects such as mood disorders.

Anabolic Steroids and Infectious Diseases

People who inject steroids increase their risk of contracting or transmitting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.

 

Are anabolic steroids addictive?

Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, they can lead to addiction. Studies have shown that animals will self-administer steroids when they have the chance, just as they do with other addictive drugs. People may continue to abuse steroids despite physical problems, high costs to buy the drugs, and negative effects on their relationships. These behaviors reflect steroids’ addictive potential. Research has further found that some steroid users turn to other drugs, such as opioids, to reduce sleep problems and irritability caused by steroids.

People who abuse steroids may experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop use, including:

  • mood swings
  • fatigue
  • restlessness
  • loss of appetite
  • sleep problems
  • decreased sex drive
  • steroid cravings

One of the more serious withdrawal symptoms is depression, which can sometimes lead to suicide attempts.

How can people get treatment for anabolic steroid addiction?

Some people seeking treatment for anabolic steroid addiction have found behavioral therapy to be helpful. More research is needed to identify the most effective treatment options.

In certain cases of severe addiction, patients have taken medicines to help treat symptoms of withdrawal. For example, health care providers have prescribed anti-depressants to treat depression and pain medicines for headaches and muscle and joint pain. Other medicines have been used to help restore the patient’s hormonal system.

Points to Remember

  • Anabolic steroids are synthetic variations of the male sex hormone testosterone.
  • Health care providers can prescribe steroids to treat various medical conditions. But some athletes and bodybuilders abuse these drugs to boost performance or improve their physical appearance.
  • People who abuse anabolic steroids usually take them orally or inject them into the muscles. They are also applied to the skin as a cream, gel, or patch.
  • Some athletes and other people abuse steroids by cycling, stacking, and pyramiding them.
  • Abuse of anabolic steroids may lead to short-term effects such as mental problems. Extreme mood swings can also occur, including “roid rage”—angry feelings and behavior that may lead to violence.
  • Continued steroid abuse can act on some of the same brain pathways and chemicals—including dopamine, serotonin, and opioid systems—that are affected by other drugs.
  • Anabolic steroid abuse may lead to serious long-term, even permanent, health problems. Several other effects are gender- and age-specific.
  • People who inject steroids increase their risk of contracting or transmitting HIV/AIDS or hepatitis.
  • Even though anabolic steroids do not cause the same high as other drugs, they can lead to addiction.
  • Some people seeking treatment for anabolic steroid addiction have found behavioral therapy to be helpful. In certain cases of severe addiction, patients have received medicines to help treat symptoms of withdrawal.

QUOTE FOR WEDNESDAY:

“Because uric acid level is dynamic, like blood pressure, many factors can move it up or down.”  So decreasing the uric acid level helps decrease the Gout symptoms.

Rheumatologist Puja Khanna, MD, MPH ( assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor).

Part II What is Gout? Knowing what factors increase uric acid & what severe conditions that can develop if with Gout.

 

You’re more likely to develop gout if you have high levels of uric acid in your body.

Factors that increase the uric acid level in your body include:

  • Diet. Eating a diet that’s high in meat and seafood and high in beverages sweetened with fruit sugar (fructose) promotes higher levels of uric acid, which increases your risk of gout.
  • Alcohol consumption, especially of beer, also increases the risk of gout.

  • Obesity. If you are overweight, your body produces more uric acid and your kidneys have a more difficult time eliminating uric acid, which greatly increases your risk of gout.
  • Medical conditions. Certain diseases and conditions make it more likely that you’ll develop gout. These include untreated high blood pressure and chronic conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart and kidney diseases.
  • Certain medications. The use of thiazide diuretics — commonly used to treat hypertension — and low-dose aspirin also can increase uric acid levels. So can the use of anti-rejection drugs prescribed for people who have undergone an organ transplant.
  • Family history of gout. If other members of your family have had gout, you’re more likely to develop the disease.
  • Age and sex. Gout occurs more often in men, primarily because women tend to have lower uric acid levels. After menopause, however, women’s uric acid levels approach those of men. Men also are more likely to develop gout earlier — usually between the ages of 30 and 50 — whereas women generally develop signs and symptoms after menopause.
  • Recent surgery or trauma. Experiencing recent surgery or trauma has been associated with an increased risk of developing gout.

People with gout can develop more-severe conditions, such as:

  • Recurrent gout.

    Some people may never experience gout signs and symptoms again. But others may experience gout several times each year. Medications may help prevent gout attacks in people with recurrent gout. If left untreated, gout can cause erosion and destruction of a joint.

  • Advanced gout.

    Untreated gout may cause deposits of urate crystals to form under the skin in nodules called tophi (TOE-fie). Tophi can develop in several areas such as your fingers, hands, feet, elbows or Achilles tendons along the backs of your ankles. Tophi usually aren’t painful, but they can become swollen and tender during gout attacks.

  • Kidney stones.

    Urate crystals may collect in the urinary tract of people with gout, causing kidney stones. Medications can help reduce the risk of kidney stones.