Monday, November 17, 2014

Fight Stress With Healthy Eating

Whenever we get too busy or stressed, we all tend to make poor food choices that will actually  increase stress and cause other problems.  To get the most of your healthy eating and avoid stress, follow these simple tips.

Always eat breakfast

Even though you may think you aren't hungry, you need to eat something.  Skipping breakfast  makes it harder to maintain the proper blood and sugar levels during the day, so you should always eat something.

Carry a snack

Keeping some protein rich snacks in your car, office, or pocket book will help you avoid blood sugar level dips, the accompanying mood swings, and the fatigue.  Trail mix, granola bars, and energy bars all have the nutrients you need.

Healthy munchies

If you like to munch when you're stressed out,  you can replace chips or other non healthy foods with carrot sticks, celery sticks, or even sunflower seeds.

Bring your lunch

Although a lot of people prefer to eat fast food for lunch, you can save a lot of money and actually eat healthier if you take a few minutes and pack a lunch at home.  Even if you only do this a few times a week, you'll see a much better improvement over eating out.

Stock your home

As important as it is to get the bad food out of your house, it's even more important to get the good food in!  The best way to do this is to plan a menu of healthy meals at snacks at the beginning of the week, list the ingredients you need, then go shop for it.  This way, you'll know what you want when you need it and you won't have to stress over what to eat.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Growth and Power of Appetite

One fact attendant on habitual drinking stands out so prominently that none can call it in question. It is that of the steady growth of appetite. 

There are exceptions, as in the action of nearly every rule; but the almost invariable result of the habit we have mentioned, is, as we have said, a steady growth of appetite for the stimulant imbibed. 

That this is in consequence of certain morbid changes in the physical condition produced by the alcohol itself, will hardly be questioned by any one who has made himself acquainted with the various functional and organic derangements which invariably follow the continued introduction of this substance into the body. But it is to the fact itself, not to its cause, that we now wish to direct your attention. 

The man who is satisfied at first with a single glass of wine at dinner, finds, after awhile, that appetite asks for a little more; and, in time, a second glass is conceded. The increase of desire may be very slow, but it goes on surely until, in the end, a whole bottle will scarcely suffice, with far too many, to meet its imperious demands. 

It is the same in regard to the use of every other form of alcoholic drink. Now, there are men so constituted that they are able, for a long series of years, or even for a whole lifetime, to hold this appetite within a certain limit of indulgence. To say "So far, and no farther." 

They suffer ultimately from physical ailments, which surely follow the prolonged contact of alcoholic poison with the delicate structures of the body, many of a painful character, and shorten the term of their natural lives; but still they are able to drink without an increase of appetite so great as to reach an overmastering degree. 

They do not become abandoned drunkards. No man safe who drinks. But no man who begins the use of alcohol in any form can tell what, in the end, is going to be its effect on his body or mind. Thousands and tens of thousands, once wholly unconscious of danger from this source, go down yearly into drunkards' graves. 

There is no standard by which any one can measure the latent evil forces in his inherited nature. He may have from ancestors, near or remote, an unhealthy moral tendency, or physical diathesis, to which the peculiarly disturbing influence of alcohol will give the morbid condition in which it will find its disastrous life. 

That such results follow the use of alcohol in a large number of cases, is now a well-known fact in the history of inebriation. The subject of alcoholism, with the mental and moral causes leading thereto, have attracted a great deal of earnest attention. Physicians, superintendents of inebriate and lunatic asylums, prison-keepers, legislators and philanthropists have been observing and studying its many sad and terrible phases, and recording results and opinions. 

While differences are held on some points, as, for instance, whether drunkenness is a disease for which, after it has been established, the individual ceases to be responsible, and should be subject to restraint and treatment, as for lunacy or fever; a crime to be punished; or a sin to be repented of and healed by the Physician of souls, all agree that there is an inherited or acquired mental and nervous condition with many, which renders any use of alcohol exceedingly dangerous. 

The point we wish to make with you is, that no man can possibly know, until he has used alcoholic drinks for a certain period of time, whether he has or has not this hereditary or acquired physical or mental condition; and that, if it should exist, a discovery of the fact may come too late. 

Dr. D.G. Dodge, late Superintendent of the New York State Inebriate Asylum, speaking of the causes leading to intemperance, after stating his belief that it is a transmissible disease, like "scrofula, gout or consumption," says: "There are men who have an organization, which may be termed an alcoholic idiosyncrasy; with them the latent desire for stimulants, if indulged, soon leads to habits of intemperance, and eventually to a morbid appetite, which has all the characteristics of a diseased condition of the system, which the patient, unassisted, is powerless to relieve since the weakness of the will that led to the disease obstructs its removal.  
"Again, we find in another class of persons, those who have had healthy parents, and have been educated and accustomed to good social influences, moral and social, but whose temperament and physical constitution are such, that, when they once indulge in the use of stimulants, which they find pleasurable, they continue to habitually indulge till they cease to be moderate, and become excessive drinkers. A depraved appetite is established, that leads them on slowly, but surely, to destruction."

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bad Breath

Causes of bad breath?

Bad breath is a common health problem which greately affects the daytoday activities of somany people. The offenssive odor from the mouth is unpleasent to those who come in close contact with bad breathers. The problem will be doubled by psychological trauma leading to depression. The sufferers from this problem wil be isolated from the society. This can even lead to marital disharmony.

Literally speaking all humanbeings are badbreathres. Oral cavity contains millions of anaerobic bacteria like fusobacterium and actinomyces which acts on the protein of food materials and putrifies them. This process results in the formation of offenssive gases like hydrogen sulphide, methyl mescaptan, cadaverin, skatol, putrescine etc causing bad odor. If oral hygiene is not maintained properly all will suffer from  bad breath. Most of us control this by regular brushing, tongue cleaning and gargling. Even after maintining cleanliness in the mouth some individuals suffer from offenssive smell due to various causes which has to be diagnosed and treated properly.

Some common causes of bad breath.

1) Poor oral hygiene:

If oral hygiene is not maintained properly the mouth becomes the seat for millions of bacteria which produce offenssive gases by degrading the food debris. Bad breath is severe in those who do not brush their teeth regularly and clean their mouth after every food. Snacks taken in between meals can also produce bad breath because of improper cleaning.
Bad breath is common in almost all people in the morning on waking. During sleep there is less production of saliva. Saliva has got some antibacterial properties which help to keep the mouth clean. Saliva contains oxygen molecules which is needed to make oral cavity aerobic. So the reduction in it's quantity during sleep makes a favourable condition for anaerobic bacteria.

2) Food habits:

The main cause of bad smell is due to degradation of protein by the bacteria and hence all food products rich in protein favours bad breath. Meat, fish, milk products, eggs, cakes, nuts, pear and etc can cause bad breath. Some food articles can produce particular type of smell which may be unpleasent. Raw onion can produce typical bad smell. It is said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, a raw onion a day keeps everybody away. Eating groundnuts can also produce bad smell. However if proper cleaning is done smell can be reduced irrespective of the nature of food. Irregularity in timing of food can also produce bad breath. Small food articles taken in between the meals can also produce bad smell.

3) Biofilm: 

There is formation of a thin sticky coating called biofilm on the tongue and oral mucosa. This coating is thick on the posterior aspect of the tongue where millions of gram negative bacterias are seen .The thick coating on the tongue is always associated with bad breath. Even a  thin biofilm can make anaerobic condition favourable for bacterial proliferation.

4) Dental caries:

This is a destructive process causing decalcification with distruction of enamel and dentine resulting in cavitisation of the tooth. These are produced mainly by the lactobacilli. Food particles are deposited inside these cavities and are putrified by the anaerobic bacteria producing bad smell. Normal brushing will not remove the food debris easily and hence they are putrified completely. Caries are common in school going children and in those who do not maintain proper oral hygiene. Calcium and vitamin deficiency can also predispose caries.

5) Gingivitis:

Gum is a mucus membrane with supporting connective tissue covering the tooth bearing borders of the jaw.The main function of gum is protection. Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gum. Due to various causes gum tissue get infected resulting in swelling, pain and discharge. If the condition become worse the infection spread towards peridontal area leading to continuous discharge called pyorrhoea. Some times the infection goes deep producing alveolar abscess with discharge of pus. Infection can even reach the bone causing osteomyelitis. All these conditions can produce offenssive smell.

6) Gum retraction:

When the gums retract from the teeth a gap is developed which will lodge food particles and cause bad breath.

7) Dental plaques and tartar deposits: 

Plaques and tartar is deposited mainly in the gaps  between the teeth and gum. This will provide shelter for the food debris and bacteria causing  bad breath.

8) Ulcerative lesions & coatings:

Almost all ulcerative lesions of the mouth are associated with bad breath. These lesions may be caused by bacteria, viruses, food allergies or due to autoimmune disorders. Apthous ulcer is the commonest amoung ulcerative lesions. Others are herpes, fungal infections, vincents angina, infectious mononucleosis, scarlet fever, diphtheria, drug reactions  and etc. 
Cancerous ulcers produce severe bad breath. All fungal infections produce white coating (candidiasis). Leucoplakia is a white thick patch on the mucus membrane of the mouth and tongue. It is considered as a precancerous condition. Offenssive breath is associated with these conditions. 

9) Diseases of the salivary glands:

Saliva is very useful to supply oxygen to all parts of the oral cavity. Even a thin film of coating called biofilm can provide an anaerobic condition in the mouth. Saliva can wet these layers and make an aerobic condition which is unfavourable for the bacteria .Any condition which reduces the production of saliva can increase bacterial activity. Some times the salivary duct is obstructed by stones or tumors. Cancer of the salivary gland is associated with offenssive odor. In suppurative parotitis purulant discharge in to the mouth causes bad breath.

10) Tonsillitis:

Tonsils are a pair of lymphoid tissue situated  in the lateral wall of oropharynx. Inflammation of the tonsil is called tonsillitis. Bad breath is seen in both acute and chronic tonsillitis. Quinsy or peritonsillar abscess can also produce bad breath.

11) Tonsillar plaques and tonsillar fluid:

If bad breath persists even after maintaining proper oral hygeine there is possibility of this condition. Serous fluid secreated from the folds of tonsil is very offenssive. Some patients complain that they hawk some cheesy materials from the throat; which are very offenssive in nature. These are formed inside the tonsillar crypts which contain thousands of bacterias. In such conditions tonsillectomy gives noticiable relief from bad breath.                

12) Pharyngitis nad pharyngial abscess:

Pharynx is a fibromuscular tube which forms the upper part of the digestive and respiratory tract. Inflmmation of the pharynx is called pharyngitis, caused mainly by bacteria and viruses. Bad breath is present in pharyngitis along with other signs like cough and throat irritation. Abscesses in the wall of pharynx can also produce offenssive discharge of pus in to the throat.

13) Dentures:

Denture users may complain about bad smell due to lodgement of small food debris in between. Proper brushing may not be possible in denture users especially fixed dentures. 

14) Tobacco:

Tobacco chewing is associated with bad breath. The smell of tobacco itself is unpleasent for others. Tobacco can irritate the mucus membrane and cause ulcers and coatings. Gingivitis and pyorrhoea are common in tobacco chewers. Tartar is deposited on the teeth mainly near the gums. Tobacco chewers get gastric acidity with eructations. All these causes offenssive smell.

15) Smoking:

Smokers always have  bad smell. It can also produce lesions in the mouth and lungs causing bad breath.Smoking increases carbon dioxide in the oral cavity and reduces oxygen level, causing a favourable condition for bacteria. Smoking reduses appetite and thirst hence acid peptic disease is common in chain smokers.

16) Lesions in the nose & ear:

Bad breath is occasionally seen in sinusitis (infection of para nasal sinuses). In case of post nasal dripping bad breath is common due to the presence of protein in the discharges. These proteins are degraded by the bacteria. Infection in the middle ear with discharge of pus in to the throat through the eustachian tube (passage from middle ear to the throat) can also cause offenssive odor. Chronic rhinitis (infection of mucus membrane of nose) and forign bodies in the nose can also produce bad smell in the expired air.

17) Diabetes mellitus:

Mostly all diabetic patients suffer from bad breath. Coated tongue, ulcers and coatings in the mouth, increased sugar level in tissues etc are responsible for bad breath. Bacterial growth in diabetic patient is very faster than non diabetic individuals.

18) Fevers:

Bad breath is common in almost all fevers. Even an acute fever can produce bad breath. Severe bad breath is seen in typhoid. Other infectious diseases like Tuberculosis , AIDS etc produce bad smell. 
  
19) Fasting & dehydration:

Dry mouth favours bacterial activity. So any condition which produce dryness in the mouth makes the breath offenssive. Eventhough the food particles are known to produce bad breath, fasting can also produce the same. Production of saliva is also reduced during fasting. Chewing and swallowing also helps to keep the mouth clean.

20) Bedridden patients:

Bedridden patients suffer from offenssive breath due to thick coating on the tongue. Water intake is also limited in these patients. Regurgitation of food aggravates the condition. Since they talk less aeration in the oral cavity is reduced which favours anaerobic bacteria to become active.

21) Diseases of stomach & esophagus:

Eructation of gas and food produce unpleasent smell. Abnormality in the function of lower sphincter can allow the food to regurgitate upwards causing bad breath. Bad breath is also common in gastritis, gastric ulcer and cancer of stomach.

22) Intestinal diseases:

Bad breath is common in patients suffering from ulcerative lesions of intestine like ulcerative collitis. Other diseases are malabsorption syndrome intestinal tuberculosis, peritonitis ect.

23) Diseases of lungs:

Lung diseases like pneumonia, lung abscess,chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, tuberculosis, lung cancer etc can produce bad odor during expiration.

24) Liver disorders:

Liver diseases like hepatitis, cirrhosis, can cause bad breath. Gall bladder diseases with vomiting also causes unpleasent odor.     

25) Psychiatric  patients:

Bad breath is common in psychotic patients due to poor hygiene, irregular food habits, less water intake and etc.

26) Somatisation disorder:

This is a psychiatric disorder charecterised by the presence of a physical symptom that suggest a medical illness .These patients come with physical complaints like pain, nausea difficult respiration, bad smell etc. This condition is diagnosed after detailed examination of the patient with all investigations. Since this is a psychiatric disorder it has to be managed with a psychological approach. 

[ THE POINTS MENTIONED IN THIS ARTICLE IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATION. ANY PERSON HAVING BAD BREATH SHOULD CONSULT  A QUALIFIED DOCTOR ]