• Importance of maintaining glucose level charts

    The blood sugar or blood glucose level will indicate the amount of sugar in the bloodstream of a person at an instance. The sugar is carried to the cells of the body to provide energy to the different parts of the body. Our body derives this sugar from the different dietary items that we consume.

    The blood sugar level is controlled by the human systems so that the glucose levels are never too high or too low. The sugar in the blood is not the same as sucrose or the sugar that we consume – it is in the form of glucose. The level of blood sugar or glucose alters throughout the day. It is the lowest in the morning before you have your breakfast. It rises soon after meals but then settles after an hour or so.

    In a healthy person, the level of blood sugar in a fasting state will be below 99milligrams per deciliter. However, in patients with diabetes, this level is a lot more fluctuating. The main aim here is to maintain the level of blood sugar within 130 mg/dl before meals and less than 180mg/dl after their meals.

    What Is A Glucose Chart Or A Blood Sugar Chart?
    Blood sugar is an aspect that must be kept within a normal range. This is something that can be done through proper meals, medication and the right kind of physical exercise. A blood sugar chart or a glucose levels chart will indicate the various stages of the blood sugar that will be there for a single person.

    The blood sugar is an aspect that is never stable and static. It decreases and increases throughout the day, lowest being before the morning meal and highest after meals. A glucose levels chart will indicate the blood sugar level that has been for a person or subject throughout the day. This is an important tool for the treatment of diabetes.

    Reasons To Maintain Blood Sugar Levels And Glucose Level Charts
    Just like blood pressure, the level of red blood cells in the body, and many other parameters show the accurate level of blood sugar or glucose level in the blood. This is why one must be very regular in keeping a record of their glucose levels chart. This is a parameter that must be observed by the general healthy people and very importantly the patients who are suffering from the problem of blood sugar.

    Blood sugar or glucose is a health aspect that can affect the other parts of the body. It can affect the functioning of the kidneys, the eyesight and also the cardiac functioning in the human body. This is why a healthy person must keep a regular record of their glucose levels chart. A sudden surge or decline in the level could have a heavy impact on their general health as a whole.

    Patients with diabetes who have been diagnosed with a high blood sugar level have already entered the danger zone and hence must keep a regular observation of their glucose levels chart. This will help them to be healthier in the future and avoid other types of health issues.

    Blood Sugar Chart: Importance, Components, And Methods Of Use
    Various devices in the market can be used for the purpose of recording blood sugar levels. However, before using this device, it is imperative that you must take the advice of the doctor whom you are visiting for diabetes treatment. Again at the time of buying, please ask for the right way of operating them.

    For diabetic patients, the components that will make a glucose levels chart will be the fasting level sugar, and the sugar levels soon after the meals. A comparison between the desired levels and the existing ones will help you understand which stage you are currently exactly in.

    The normal ranges have been mentioned in the prior part of the discussion, deviations from which will indicate at abnormalities in your blood sugar level.

    For normal people a blood sugar level less than 100ml/dl while fasting and less than 140ml.dl after meals will be considered to be normal and healthy.

    To maintain a healthy blood sugar level, it is imperative that you must have an overall healthy lifestyle. This can be maintained through a healthy diet and a well balanced nutritious food plan. You must also have a healthy lifestyle that will include the right hours of sleep and exercise.

    Walking or jogging is considered to be some of the best ways to which the blood sugar levels can be kept within the right limit.

    Additionally, you must also do away with the ill habits of drinking and smoking. Stress management is also integral to a healthy glucose levels chart.

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  • 4 remedies that help alleviate lower back pain

    Lower back pain is a disorder involving the nerves, muscles, and bones of the back. It is a common problem that everyone suffers from at some point in their life. As the pain affects the lower end area of the spinal cord – the lumbar region, the condition is also called as lumbago. The lumbar region is a complex structure of joints, muscles, ligaments, and nerves all of which perform together to give support to the upper body. Muscles in the L1, L2, L3, L4, and L5 regions of the vertebrae are responsible for flexibility and rotation of the hips. The nerves in this area support the muscles in the limbs. If any muscles or bones are strained in this area, it can impact a person’s routine tasks.

    The pain symptoms can be in the form of a dull ache to a sudden stabbing sensation that can affect the body’s mobility. Daily activities like standing up straight, bending or moving around may become painful and strenuous. The condition may occur in an acute form as a repercussion of an injury or a health condition.

    Over time the swelling in the muscles or the nerves heal, and the pain subsides. However, if the pain extends over a few weeks, then the condition becomes chronic, and effective measures need to be taken to assuage the discomfort.

    Measures to ease back pain 
    If you are suffering from pain in the lower back, here are a few ways to help reduce the distress:

    Rest
    In most instances, lower back pain can be improved by putting a break on any strenuous activity – physical or mental. Resting for a few days will take off the pressure from the lower back and allow the muscles relax.

    Cold and hot therapy
    A hot application aids in improving circulation in the afflicted area. An increased blood flow brings with it essential nutrients and oxygen that help the muscles to heal and stay healthy. You can soak your body in a hot tub. Likewise, you can even use a hot water bottle or an electric heating pad on the lower back. Also, a heat wrap is a useful way alleviating low back pain. The continuous application of low-level heat helps to reduce stiffness and pain.
    A cold application, on the other hand, reduces inflammation and acts an anesthetic that slows down nerve impulses. The numbness that manifests after applying the ice pack keeps the nerves from experiencing painful spasms. Using both these applications alternately is beneficial. For painless mobility, apply heat before any activity for relaxing the muscles. When you are resting, cold compression can be used to evade resurging inflammation or pain.

    Medical treatment
    Medical treatments work in alleviating the painful condition. Along with medications, most doctors will recommend physical therapy for lower back pain relief. Following are some common medical treatments that your healthcare provider may prescribe:

    • Epidural steroid injections – Steroid injections are administered for gaining temporary relief from pain by bringing down the inflammation around a nerve root. The steroid is directly injected into the outer part of the dural sac surrounding the spinal cord, through the aid of fluoroscopy – a live x-ray.
    • Muscle relaxants – These medications are tranquilizers that act as an antidepressant for the nervous system. Once the brain stops sending pain signals to the affected area, resistance to mobility, any tightness, or spasms are numbed.
    • Narcotic pain medications – Generally termed as painkillers, these opioids weaken the signals that are sent to the brain. This works by altering your body’s perception of pain. Such drugs offer relief from the low back pain for a brief period.
    • Back braces – A back brace provides support and comfort to the lower back area and helps to get rid of any strain. Combined with physical therapy, a back brace can help speed up the healing process and offer relief from pain.

    Exercise
    Exercising is instrumental as part of a long-term strategy to achieve low back pain relief in case the condition happens to be chronic. Pain management through a physical regimen involves the release of endorphins that are hormones made naturally in the body. These endorphins act to block pain signals from interacting with your brain.

    Types of exercises used to alleviate lower pain:

    • Stretching – One of the simplest physical activities, stretching helps to increase your lower back’s mobility levels. Stretching of the hips, and hamstring in the legs ensure that the lower back muscles stay supple and flexible.
    • Core strengthening – Your core muscles in the abdomen, hip and gluteus muscles play a critical role in supporting the lower spine. Therefore, you should adopt some useful exercises to strengthen your core muscles.

    Remember that you should only take any medications for lower back pain relief after consulting your doctor.

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  • Causes, symptoms, treatments, and preventive tips for macular degeneration

    Macular degeneration causes a loss of central vision in both eyes. It is a painless condition that normally affects people who are older than 50 years.

    It is commonly known as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). There are also rare cases of Juvenile Macular Degeneration, which affects young people. Certain genetic disorders are the cause of the development of juvenile macular degeneration.

    When a person suffers from Macular Degeneration, the central vision is affected. So, there is difficulty in focusing on objects that lie straight ahead. The result is that everything appears blurred, it becomes difficult to read, the faces of people appear blurred and colors of objects around you look pale and dull.

    Causes
    The exact cause for macular degeneration isn’t known yet. Aging can cause a person to develop this condition. In older people, the macula, which is a central spot in the retina, develops a problem and causes age-related macular degeneration.

    AMD can develop as wet AMD or dry AMD.

    Dry AMD
    The macula has light-sensitive cells that gradually break down as you age. As the light-sensitive cells reduce in number, the central vision deteriorates. Waste products start to accumulate in the retina and cause small deposits called drusen. As the drusen increases in size, vision problems arise. Drusen is a characteristic feature of dry AMD.

    Wet AMD
    Tiny blood vessels form underneath the macula attempt to clear the drusen from the retina. These blood vessels cause fluid and blood to leak into the macula, leading to scarring and macular damage. This can lead to serious symptoms like blind spots and distorted vision.

    Symptoms

    • Macular degeneration escapes attention, till you experience diminished vision. The primary symptom is blurred central vision.
    • Faces, writing, and images get distorted in the central view.
    • You lose visual acuity. You cannot see the fine details, and it becomes difficult for you to read and drive.
    • Contrast sensitivity is lost. It gets tough to distinguish objects against a background
    • Those suffering from dry age-related macular degeneration, experience symptoms like—hazy vision, blurred text, dull colors, difficulty in identifying faces and the need for more light while reading.
    • For those with wet AMD, the deterioration in central vision worsens. Other symptoms like blind spots, visual distortions and hallucinations also manifest.

    Once the symptoms manifest, it’s time to make an appointment with an ophthalmologist.

    Risk Factors
    While the triggering cause for AMD is unknown, there are some factors that increase the risk of developing AMD. The family history of AMD and advancing age are the major factors that can increase the risk of suffering from macular degeneration. Other risk factors include—alcohol consumption, smoking, excessive exposure to sunlight, ethnicity, obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.

    New Treatment for Macular Degeneration
    Age-related macular degeneration has no cure. The progress of vision deterioration is slow in dry AMD. You can get help in the form of large print books, more lighting and by the use of a magnifying lens. Additionally, a diet rich in Vitamins A, C, and E improves eye health and slows down the rate of progress of dry AMD.

    Wet AMD has two treatment options—anti-VEGF medication and laser surgery. Laser surgery destroys the abnormal blood cells, and anti-VEGF medication prevents the new blood vessel growth.

    Improved medical research has led to the development of two new surgical techniques to treat wet AMD. These new treatment for Macular Degeneration are better than laser surgery. These are macular translocation and lens implantation. In macular translocation, the macula is repositioned on the eyeball which is free from the abnormal blood vessels.

    During lens implantation, the natural lens is removed and replaced by an artificial lens which offers a better central vision.

    Another promising therapy that is doing rounds and under clinical trials is—stem cell therapy. Stem cells have the capability to transform into any type of organ cells. These stem cells can be used to create retinal cells and can be transplanted in the eye.

    Prevention
    While macular degeneration often is caused due to the natural aging process, some preventive measures can help to delay the onset. In case, you find any symptoms of AMD; it’s best to schedule an eye examination.

    Quit smoking. Eat a balanced diet that has a lot of leafy greens. Protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Look at the Amsler’s grid and check your vision every day. The Amsler’s grid is a pattern of straight lines, like in a checkerboard. Gazing at it can help you spot any changes in your vision.

    Include supplements that contain zinc and antioxidants. Such supplements are proved to lower the risk of AMD. If you’re 65 years and older, check for AMD, when you visit your eye doctor for a routine eye examination.

    An early identification of the symptoms can initiate timely treatment, and help to prevent deterioration in your vision.

    Regular eye check-ups are a good way to diagnose any problems concerning the vision.

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  • Quick tips that may help treat asthma

    There are various treatment options for the common problem of asthma. It is a long-term disease that usually has no cure but can be dealt with minor adjustments, medications and lifestyle changes. Most people see that their asthma gets cured as they age, so most of the asthma treatment options involve controlling the disease.

    A proper asthma treatment plan helps:

    • Prevent chronic and troubling symptoms like shortness of breath, tightness in chest and coughing.
    • Reduce the patients need for medicines considered to be a quick relief.
    • Maintain steady levels of lung function.
    • Maintain a steady breathing rhythm to enable sleep throughout the night.
    • Maintain normal levels of everyday activity.
    • Avoid, monitor and prevent emergency asthma attacks that may need immediate attention.

    The best way to control asthma and manage it as a part of everyday life is to partner with the doctor completely and follow strictly the instructions and medications routines that are recommended.

    How can one take in active role in controlling and treating asthma?

    Here are some tips to control asthma.

    • Be aware of the condition and how and when it affects you.
    • Work alongside your doctor and identify and treat other health conditions that may potentially interfere with the management of the main problem of asthma.
    • Avoid things and triggers that make asthma worse.
    • Maintain a decent level of physical activity despite asthma as it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and it helps prevent other health conditions apart from being good for mental health. There are medicines available that help an asthma patient stay active and pursue physical activities with ease.
    • Work with health experts to follow a good action plan that helps manage the problem.
    • An action plan aimed towards managing asthma involves receiving guidance on the medicines and exercises and lifestyle changes required, avoiding triggers of asthma, tracking the severity and level of the problem, actively responding to symptoms that are getting worse and seeking and receiving emergency care whenever required.

    What are the different asthma treatment options?
    Two types of asthma treatment options can help control and manage the condition:

    • Quick-relief medicines
    • Long-term control

    Long-term control involves the use of medicines that can help reduce the inflammation in airways and further prevent the symptoms of asthma.

    Quick-relief medications are also known as rescue options and help in relieving asthma symptoms that may flare up suddenly. Depending on the severity of asthma, the initial treatment can have various scenarios. Medicines required for following up the asthma treatment depend entirely on how well the controlled, targeted plan is working for the individual to help prevent asthma attacks.

    The degree of the asthma changes with different environments. It can be different at home, work, school or elsewhere. It also depends on the exposure to factors that trigger or worsen the problem.

    For example, a doctor may choose to change the medication or increase the dosage of if the asthma is not being controlled effectively. Alternately, a doctor may continue with the same plan or even reduce the medication for a few months or after a few months of long-term asthma treatment. It is these adjustments in the medications that can help maintain some semblance of control over the problem with minimal aid from mediations.

    Asthma also affects different groups of people differently. For example, the symptoms can vary greatly for children, young infants, adults, teenagers, expectant women, smokers, those affected only due to excessive exercise, old people, people with heart problems, etc. The asthma treatment options and medications, thus, need to be adjusted accordingly.

    It is also important to avoid things, triggers and factors that worsen asthma and its symptoms. It is important to recognize the triggers that worsen the problem and work towards preventing and avoiding their manifestation. To state a very common, simple example, people whose asthma gets triggered due to pollen grains should limit their outdoor time when the season of pollens is high in the air and environment. Triggers such as animal fur should be prevented by regular vacuuming and controlling the access of pets and animals in the main area, where the patient spends most of their time.

    Allergy shots are also a good option for people who have identified the allergens and avoiding them is not possible. These shots help prevent the symptoms, but do not cure the root cause that is asthma.

    Some common health conditions that make asthma harder to manage include sinus infections, runny nose, frequent colds, sleep apnea, reflux diseases and psychological stress.

    Medicines that help manage asthma are usually recommended by the doctor after considering a number of factors. The dosage of a drug also matters a lot and needs to be adjusted according to the severity.

    Short-term or quick relief medications are also popular asthma treatment options that help manage the condition effectively.

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  • Cholesterol-reducing alternatives to statins

    Statins are the first type of medication prescribed to bring high LDL cholesterol within normal limits. However, they can have varied side-effects, and even be ineffective, in case your cholesterol problem stems from a genetic disorder.

    Read on to know about the different alternatives to statins that can help treat high cholesterol.

    Medication
    Below are a few alternatives to statins that your healthcare provider might recommend.

    Bile acid sequestrants
    Sequestrants bind themselves to bile acid in the intestines and get flushed out of the body via the stool. The liver starts absorbing more cholesterol if it senses a drop-in bile acid content. This entire cycle ends in effective reduction of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

    Bile-acid-binding medicines include colestipol, cholestyramine, and colesevelam.

    Ezetimibe
    The second most recommended form of treatment – ezetimibe, is an inhibitor medicine that has a two-pronged approach to lowering your cholesterol. It first blocks proteins that facilitate the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine, decreasing the cholesterol levels reaching the bloodstream.

    Second, the inhibitors work to reduce the amount of cholesterol available to the liver. This forces the liver to make up for the loss, by absorbing cholesterol from the bloodstream. Together, these effects can successfully lower your cholesterol levels.

    Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
    Vitamin B3 or niacin is a promoter of good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. It also attacks adipose tissue, ridding it off high triglyceride stores. It does this by inhibiting the synthesis of triglycerides and the secretion of LDL particulates. Although niacin is not as effective as bile acid sequestrants or ezetimibe, doctors recommend Vitamin B3 to regulate blood cholesterol levels and save you from the side-effects of statins.

    Fibrates
    Very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) are carriers of triglycerides and cholesterol. Fibrates, which are derivatives of fibric acid, drive the liver to reduce its production of VLDL. Simultaneously, they also speed up the process of triglyceride removal from the blood circulation. Clofibrate, gemfibrozil, and fenofibrate are examples of fibrate medicines.

    Omega-3
    Research shows that polyunsaturated fatty acids or Omega-3 fatty acids make good cholesterol (HDL) in the body. They help keep your triglyceride levels in check and are effective in reducing bad cholesterol levels. Although Omega-3s are available from food sources like fish and flaxseed, there are supplements that you should use for effectual treatment of cholesterol.

    The medicine options discussed above can have potentially had side-effects and interactions with other medications. A proper consultation with your doctor is needed before you can begin alternative treatment.

    Dietary Changes

    High cholesterol levels are mostly a result of dietary habits. Increase your intake of naturally low-intensity saturated fat, and minimize your intake of unhealthy processed oils. The myth around saturated fat being bad for cholesterol has been disproved time and again. But remember to opt for clean, natural sources of fat, and cut your intake of processed food and sugar.

    Foods that need to be included in your dietary changes include:

    • Spinach
      All green vegetables contain a yellow pigment lutein, still, spinach carries the highest amount. Lutein helps the arteries repel cholesterol particulates that can lead to artery clogging and cause a stroke or heart attack.
    • Avocado
      This fruit contains beta-sitosterol, which is a plant-based fat that attacks cholesterol molecules and decreases their rate of absorption from food.
    • Chocolate
      Dark or bitter chocolate compounds are power-packed with antioxidants, these keep blood platelets from getting attached to each other and clogging the arteries. Ensure you eat dark chocolate (ideally above 70%).
    • Olive Oil
      Olive oil should be used for cooking purposes as it contains more plant fat that prevents cholesterol to be absorbed into the bloodstream. This can be a great alternative to statins.
    • Beans
      Beans are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, as well as loaded with gut-healthy fiber. Fiber causes a decrease in the rate of absorption of bad cholesterol.
    • Tea
      Research has unearthed many benefits surrounding tea. Tea has a number of antioxidant properties. It works to not only help beat cancerous cells but also helps reduce lipid concentration in the blood.
    • Garlic
      Similar to lutein, garlic carries molecules that thwart the formation of plaque, by holding back cholesterol from sticking to the walls of your arteries.
    • Red Wine
      If you’re drinking alcohol, opt for red wine. Red wine is rich in antioxidants and resveratrol, which protect your body from additional damage.
    • Oats
      Oats are another cholesterol-lowering food, containing beta-glucan, which can absorb LDL cholesterol.

    Exercise
    Physical exertion is key to keeping cholesterol numbers within the healthy range. Cardiologists recommend starting with low intensity exercises such as brisk walking or gardening and slowly build up towards a more rigorous workout routine. For example:

    • Running, jogging
    • Hiking
    • Swimming
    • Bicycling
    • Sports like tennis or soccer

    If possible, you can also start weight training that will lead to muscle build up. This helps in burning more calories and improving your body’s metabolism and they can work as an alternative to statins.

    Now that you know about the various alternatives to statins, go on, work that bad cholesterol out of your system, and lead a healthier life.

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  • Simple home remedies for managing asthma

    Asthma, being a chronic condition, has no specific diagnosis or treatment, which is why identifying the causes will help better understand the symptoms.

    Causes of asthma
    Various allergies, smoking, consumption of tobacco, environmental factors, stress, tension, obesity, and even genetics can be leading causes of developing asthma symptoms with very few visual indicators to identify the cause.

    Common symptoms of asthma

    • One of the common symptoms of asthma is a dry cough with phlegm. Home remedies can give temporary relief until the severity of the condition can be diagnosed, and a recommended course of treatment can be prescribed for the same.
    • A number of respiratory problems like difficulty in breathing, wheezing, respiratory infections, and shortness of breath are all caused due to the airways being blocked persistently, thus interrupting air flow going to your lungs.
    • A cough is a very common symptom and does not necessarily indicate that a person might be in the beginning stages of developing asthmatic problems.
    • However, a chronic cough is a clear indicator that the condition has been induced due to both internal and external allergens, which then is a clear cause for concern.

    There are many ingredients that you can use at your home to counter at best cope with the after-effects fo asthma symptoms to alleviate some of the discomforts caused. Here are some easy home remedies you can incorporate into your daily diet to help tackle developing or even persistent asthma symptoms.
    Parsley leaf: When it comes to herbal remedies, nothing beats parsley. Tea made from parley leaves will help soothe your throat and take care of any congestion that is causing difficulty in breathing and swallowing. Simple and very easy to make, parsley tea is a great remedy for respiratory symptoms of asthma.

    Milk and olive oil: The combination of warm milk mixed with olive oil might not sound very appealing on the first onset; however, this has proven to be an effective natural remedy. A few garlic cloves added to this combination will open up blocked passageways without much effort or time invested.

    Herbal tea: Two distinct ways of preparing herbal tea, one involves the use of licorice root, and the other is a combination of lime juice, crushed ginger, and herbal tea. Both will help tackle some of the moderate asthma symptoms, though the licorice recipe might taste a bit odd.

    Bitter gourd juice: A tasty paste made by crushing basil leaves and mixing it with honey, incorporated into freshly extracted bitter gourd juice proves to be an effective remedy for people who are suffering from recurrent asthmatic attacks.

    Soup: Soup not only is comfort food but also has time and time proven to be an effective remedy for asthma symptoms. Radish naturally has rich, strong properties, the juice of which when combined with some honey and freshly squeezed lemon will help in clearing up the respiratory tract. This helps open up the airways and aids in effective breathing.

    Wild gooseberries: The juice of gooseberries, freshly squeezed when combined with honey not only makes a tasty drink, but also the combination helps tackle a number of asthma symptoms like a cough, wheezing, dry cough, and more.

    Fruits: Fruits are rich in a number of vitamins and essential nutrients that are vital for the immune system which is why fruits like blueberries, strawberries, and oranges are all a great choice to prepare drinks which can help reduce the discomfort from various asthma symptoms. These fruits can also be combined to make tasty concoctions with lemon which is essentially rich in vitamin C.

    Cooked vegetables: Inflammation of the airway is one of the most important symptoms of an asthma attack which is why vegetables which are rich in anti-inflammatory properties have been proven effective to reduce the discomfort. Onions are especially rich in anti-inflammatory properties which is why their consumption should be increased to help open up the airway and help with restoring normal breathing.

    Honey: Honey is a very versatile ingredient which can be incorporated into any juice or mixture for providing long-term relief from asthma symptoms, provided it is consumed on a regular basis. A quick and natural remedy for asthma care, even a couple of spoonfuls every day will essentially do the trick.

    Eucalyptus oil: A natural and very strong remedy when it comes to tackling many common asthma symptoms. Put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in boiling water and take regular steams to help open up the nose canal and airways in your lungs to provide long-term relief. Simple and inexpensive, eucalyptus oil can be availed at any medical store.

    Cloves and ginger: Both are rich in medicinal properties and being versatile ingredients, they can be incorporated into simple homemade recipes. Cloves and ginger can also be simply crushed and mixed with warm water and honey to provide good relief from recurrent or even persistent asthma symptoms.

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  • Foods to eat and avoid with schizophrenia

    It has been observed that those who have schizophrenia, a chronic psychological illness, usually have diets that are unhealthy, low in fiber and fruit, and high in saturated fats. Unhealthy eating habits typically lead to other health problems which can also put people with schizophrenia at high risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and more. According to research, dietary changes do really help manage schizophrenia. Here are some best and worst foods for schizophrenia.

    Foods to eat

    • Fruits
      Many studies show that people with schizophrenia usually do not get enough fiber, and thus, need to eat fruits. Some of the best sources of fiber are apples, pears, and raspberries. Fiber not only helps reduce bad cholesterol but also helps in digestion, thereby reducing the chances of certain health problems associated with schizophrenia such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
    • Vegetables
      Vegetables don’t have heart-heavy cholesterol, are packed with essential vitamins and fiber, and are low in calories and fat. Veggies like sweet potatoes, kidney beans, and lima beans contain potassium that could help in keeping blood sugar in check. The best food for schizophrenia is spinach as it is high in folate, which could help in easing symptoms of schizophrenia. Apart from spinach, folate can also be found in asparagus and black-eyed peas.
    • Fatty fish
      Since omega-3 fatty acids cannot be produced by the body, one needs to get them through food such as fatty fish like salmon and mackerel. Omega-3 fatty acids not only ease but also prevent the symptoms of schizophrenia and even slow down the progress of the disease. Vegetarians can intake walnuts and ask their doctor to prescribe omega-3 supplements.
    • Crab and oysters
      According to research, there could exist a relationship between schizophrenia and low levels of zinc, which can be found in lobsters, crab, and oysters, as well as fortified cereals and beef.
    • Clams
      Clams are an amazing source of vitamin B12, and research has shown that low levels of vitamin B12 could result in psychosis, of which schizophrenia is a part. Try eating foods rich in vitamin B12 such as trout, liver, and clams. Vegetarians can ask their doctor for B-12 supplements.

    Foods to avoid

    • Bread
      According to some experts and research, sensitivity to wheat could be a factor in schizophrenia and other mental health conditions. One option is to switch to a gluten-free diet, which includes proteins found in grains like wheat and others.
    • Refined sugars
      Refined sugars found in foods like cake, candy, and sweetened beverages, contribute to diabetes, which is a huge side effect for those with schizophrenia. Cutting out refined sugars from one’s diet is a great way to manage schizophrenic symptoms.
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  • Symptoms, causes, and treatments for schizophrenia

    A severe mental disorder, schizophrenia impacts how an individual thinks, reacts to emotions, and perceives reality. It results in a variety of symptoms including delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia that can cause the patient to isolate themselves from the rest of the world. At present, roughly 1% of the total population suffer from this mental disorder.

    Schizophrenia cannot be cured, however, it can be managed with the help of medications and therapy. This disorder can affect anyone. It typically develops in men during their late teens or early twenties. On the other hand, in women, the symptoms of schizophrenia begin to surface during their twenties or early thirties.

    The following are some commonly observed symptoms of this condition:

    • Delusions: People suffering from schizophrenia often have delusions that can impair their day-to-day life. For example, they might believe they are being subjected to unjust prejudice, or they are exceptionally famous, or a big disaster is about to occur.
    • Hallucinations: Typically, patients experiencing schizophrenia mention seeing things or hearing sounds and/or voices that don’t exist. Hallucinations can also involve smelling strange odors or experiencing odd sensations in the body.
    • Disorganized speech: Schizophrenia impairs the brain’s ability to think clearly which leads to disorganized speech. Simply put, the patient will talk about things that are completed or partially unrelated to the current conversation. In rare cases, they might put together random words that don’t make sense.
    • Abnormal motor behavior: This symptom can manifest in a number of ways. For example, the individual might act silly, be unnaturally childish, or get absurdly angry. Since the behavior isn’t directed towards a goal, it can become tough to manage routine tasks as one might disobey instructions, not respond, keep repeating movements, and hold an awkward pose for a long time.
    • Negative symptoms: The negative symptoms of schizophrenia refer to the diminished ability to do things normally. For instance, the person may always have a nonchalant expression on their face, they may speak in a monotone, not make eye contact while talking, and neglect their personal hygiene. This can also cause them to withdraw from social engagements.

    The doctor will run a few tests of medical tests and conduct a physical exam to be sure of the condition and rule out other conditions. The patient then might be referred to a psychiatrist to evaluate the extent of this disease. symptoms are observed for more than six months, then the diagnosis of schizophrenia.

    Causes of schizophrenia
    Experts haven’t narrowed down the exact cause of schizophrenia. However, investigations have concluded that this mental disorder has a biological basis and is not necessarily a consequence of personal weaknesses or bad parenting. The following are some factors that can strongly contribute to the development of schizophrenia:

    • Genetics: The risk of developing this condition is 10% if a parent was diagnosed with it. For people with no family history of schizophrenia, the risk factor is less than 1%.
    • Brain abnormality: Some studies demonstrate how an abnormal brain structure can trigger schizophrenia. Although, this type of abnormality is not found in all schizophrenics.
    • Environmental factors: Researchers also suggest that a few environmental factors like prolonged exposure to marijuana, highly stressful situations, and viral infections can trigger schizophrenia in people genetically predisposed to develop it. In a similar vein, it is most likely to manifest during one’s teen and young adult years when the body is undergoing major hormonal and physical changes.

    Treating schizophrenia
    The objective of the treatment for schizophrenia is to inhibit the symptoms and reduce the possibility of a relapse. The doctor can use multiple antipsychotics that can help assuage symptoms like delusions, hallucinations, and cognitive issues. Another option is CSC (Coordinated Specialty Care) where a combination of medications and therapy is used along with employment and educational initiatives, and social services. The family of the patient is also actively involved in this kind of therapy.

    To resolve various psychological, social, and occupational issues, the doctor may recommend psychosocial therapy that involves various learning techniques. These can help improve one’s attention, planning, problem-solving skills, and memory. Likewise, such therapy can also strengthen a person’s interpersonal skills so that they can function efficiently in professional and personal circles.

    People dealing with severe symptoms of schizophrenia, like inciting suicidal thoughts, may have to get treatment in a hospital on an outpatient basis until the condition stabilizes. If medications fail or if the patient suffers from serious episodes of depression or catatonia, then ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) can be used. In this procedure, small electric shocks are delivered to the brain to improve thinking patterns and moods. This treatment is administered once every 2 to 3 weeks.

    At the moment, research is underway about DBS (Deep Brain Simulation), a neurological procedure that is already used for severe cases of Parkinson’s disease and essential tremors. In this treatment, electrodes are implanted in specific areas of the brain that control functions related to thinking and perception.

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