7 body areas affected by alcohol

How is your body impaired by alcohol?

Alcohol is not a natural nutrient for the body. Even in small amounts alcohol can have an affect on the body. Alcohol when ingested goes into your bloodstream and is sent through your whole body Even a small amount of alcohol has an affect on your body. When you drink, alcohol is absorbed into your bloodstream and distributed throughout your body.

How quickly alcohol is metabolized is different for each individual. Height, weight and gender are all factors on how your body deals with alcohol.

If you have ever been to a bar, gone to a college party or holiday party you may have noticed that when someone partakes in alcohol consumption there is a change in physical and emotional state. Long-term alcohol consumption can lead to serious health problems like cirrhosis, memory issues, malnutrition, chronic pancreatitis, alcoholic liver disease, and cancer. This puts your health in serious jeopardy and can be fatal.

Here are some of the systems highly affected by alcohol:

1. Excretory System:
The Pancreas:
This system is responsible for getting rid of waste in the body. Part of this process includes the pancreas. The pancreas secretes digestive enzymes which work with the gallbladder bile to help in digestion. The pancreas also regulates the release of insulin.

Excessive use of alcohol use can cause inflammation (pancreatitis). This is a serious problem that can destroy the pancreas.

The liver:
The liver breaks down harmful substances and tries to filter these out of your body. Alcohol is considered a toxic substance. Excessive drinking can cause alcoholic hepatitis which can lead to jaundice. This results in the yellowing of the skin and eyes.

Long term liver inflammation can lead to severe scarring on the liver known as cirrhosis. This scar tissue disrupts the livers ability to work properly. When the liver fails to perform, toxins will accumulate in your body and it can become life threatening.

Women are at higher risk for alcoholic liver disease than men. This is because women tend to absorb more alcohol and take longer to process it.

The result of the liver and pancreas not functioning properly can lead to hypoglycemia or what is known as “low blood sugar”. A damaged pancreas can cause the body to be unable to handle sugar due to a lack of amounts of insulin secretion. This can lead to hyperglycemia or “high blood sugar”. This can become highly impactfull on the body and cause diabetes which can also lead to death.

Alcohol abuse also raises your risk of liver cancer because of the stress added to the organ.

2. Central Nervous System:
As stated above, alcohol goes into your bloodstream and travels through the body easily including your brain and spinal cord. Speech can be altered and slurred. Coordination is impaired making it hard to balance and walk.

Thinking clearly is impaired and impulse control is hampered. This is why your ex may “drunk dial” you on nights they are out on the town. Chronic drinking can actually shrink the frontal lobes of your brain.

Acute alcoholic withdrawal can lead to seizures and delirium. Chronic alcoholism can progress to permanent brain damage, causing dementia which is highly debilitating.

Damage to your nervous system can result in pain, numbness, or abnormal sensations in your feet and hands. Thiamine (vitamin B1) levels can become deficient, which can result in involuntary rapid eye movements, weakness, or paralysis of the eye muscles.

Men and women metabolize alcohol differently. It generally takes less alcohol to affect women based on size, height.

Alcohol is addictive and if an alcoholic stops drinking abruptly, they’re likely to experience symptoms of withdrawal, such as:

Nausea
Anxiety
Nervousness
Tremors

In severe cases, confusion, hallucinations and seizures may occur. Detoxification can take between two and seven days and is very painful to endure.

3. Digestive System:
It doesn’t have to be someone who is drinking for a long period of time to impact the digestive system. One incidence of heavy drinking can injure parts of your digestive tract.

Alcohol abuse can damage the salivary glands and irritate the mouth and tongue. Gum disease, tooth decay and even loss of teeth can occur. Heavy drinking can cause ulcers esophageal ulcers, acid reflux, and heartburn. Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach) and stomach ulcers can also be present.

Pancreatitis interferes with the pancreas in its ability to help with digestion and regulate metabolism. Digestive damage can cause gassiness, fullness of the abdomin and diarrhea. Internal bleeding can occur as well which can lead to ulcers, hemorrhoids, or esophageal dilated veins caused by cirrhosis.

Alcohol makes it harder for you to absorb B vitamins or control bacteria in the gut. Malnutrion is not rare for alcoholics. Risk of mouth, throat and esophagus cancer risk is higher for Alcoholics.

4. Circulatory System:
Even a single episode of heavy drinking can cause enormous stress on your heart. Chronic drinkers are more likely to have heart issues. Women are at a higher risk of heart damage than men.

Some of the problems with the system may be:
Cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart)
Irregular heartbeat
High blood pressure
Stroke
Heart attack
Heart failure

Deficiencies in vitamin B6, vitamin B12, Thiamine (B1), and folic acid (B9) are all affected by alcohol use. Anemia may occur.

5. Sexual and Reproductive Health:
For men, erectile dysfunction is common with chronic alcohol use. Hormones, testicular function can occur and cause infertility.

Women may stop menstruating and also become infertile. Risk of miscarriage, premature births and still born babies increase.

If drinking while pregnant, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), can happen to the fetus. This includes physical abnormalities, learning difficulties, and emotional problems. These can last a lifetime. Risk of breast cancer rises with alcohol use.

6. Skeletal and Muscle System:
Long-term alcohol use makes it harder for your body to generate new bones and increases the risk of Osteoporosis (thinning bones) and risk of fractures. Muscles become weaker, cramping occurs more frequently and muscles may become atrophic.

7. Immune System:
This system is responsible for fighting off illnesses. When weak viruses, germs, and all types of illness may occur more frequently. Heavy drinkers are more likely to get pneumonia or tuberculosis than the general population.

Sugar is the Culprit for Illness and Cancer

I know we all love things that are sweet but the wrong kind of sweet can be deadly!

According to the Credit Suisse Research Institute’s 2013 study, “Sugar: Consumption at a Crossroads,” as much as 40 percent of US healthcare expenditures are for diseases directly related to the overconsumption of sugar.

The United States spends more than $1 trillion each year fighting the damaging health effects of sugar.  This can be anything from obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

The fact that sugar and obesity are linked to an increased risk of cancer is now becoming recognized in the health community. According to a report on the global cancer burden, published in 2014, they state that obesity is responsible for an estimated 500,000 cancer cases worldwide each year.  Pretty Scary.

Nearly 33% of obesity-related cancers (colon, rectum, ovary and womb) occur in North America and Europe.

How Excess Sugar and Obesity Promotes Cancer

One of the key mechanisms by which sugar promotes cancer and other chronic disease is through mitochondrial dysfunction.

Mitochondrial dysfunction may be a critical part of the underlying pathophysiology in the following health conditions:

  • Autism
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Asthma
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Some gastronintestinal disorders, among others

 

Research has also shown that chronic overeating in general has a similar effect. Most people who overeat also tend to eat a lot of sugar-laden foods.  This increases cancer risk even further.

Chronic overeating places stress on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the membranous network found inside the mitochondria of your cells. When the ER receives more nutrients than it can process, it signals the cell to dampen the sensitivity of the insulin receptors on the surface of the cell.

Continuously over eating in turn starts insulin resistance by stressing out your cells because of too many nutrients in the body at one particular time.  Insulin resistance usually promotes ill health and most chronic disease, including cancer.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Primary Culprit in Cancer

This also helps explain why fasting at times and reducing the amount of calorie intake can reverse insulin resistance, thereby reducing your risk of cancer and improving your quality of life.

Obesity, caused by a combination of eating too much refined  fructose sugar causes inflammation in the body which in turn elevates hormones such as estrogen which is linked to an increase risk of breast cancer.

According to recent research, from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, refined sugar not only significantly increases your risk of breast cancer, it also raises your risk of tumors spreading to other organs.

The study also found that it was primarily the refined fructose in high-fructose corn syrup, found in most processed foods and beverages (especially soda) that was responsible for the breast tumors and the metastasis.

Without Sugar, Cancer Cannot Thrive

One of the most powerful strategies I know of to avoid and/or treat cancer is to starve the cancer cells by depriving them of their food source, which is primarily sugar and excessive protein.

Unlike all the other cells in your body, which can burn carbs or fat for fuel, cancer cells have lost that metabolic flexibility and can only thrive if there enough sugar present. This is why I always feel perplexed as to why when a person is in the hospital for cancer or another chronic illness, the food provided in the hospital is full of fats and sugar!  Makes no sense.

Make no mistake about it, the FIRST thing you want to do if you want to avoid or treat cancer is to cut out all forms of sugar/fructose and grain carbs from your diet.  If cancer cells can’t eat, they can’t survive.

References:

1. http://www.epidemicanswers.org/epidemic/root-causes/mitochondrial-dysfunction/

2. http://www.wakingtimes.com/2016/02/24/sugar-identified-as-a-top-cause-of-the-global-cancer-epidemic/

Why is Sugar Bad For You?

Not all types of sugars are bad.  Here are different types of sugars and the affects they have on your system:

Glucose:

Glucose is a simple sugar that your body likes.  All of your cells use Glucose as their primary source of energy.  Glucose is necessary for your body to function.  After Glucose is ingested,  it sends signals to the pancreas to produce insulin. Signals are then sent to the brain and metabolizes the food just eaten.  When the brain notices the food intake, it lets the rest of your body know that you are not hungry.  So, glucose basically lets your brain know that you are finished eating and that you don’t need to eat anymore.

Glucose, though natural, can have some issues for the body as well.  Your liver will produce what are called very low density lipoprotein (VLDL).  This is considered a bad cholesterol.  VLDL can cause cardiovascular disease.  Only 1 out of 24 calories ingested and processed by the liver turn into VLDL.

Sucrose and High Fructose Corn Syrup:

These two are linked together here because high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sucrose are really the same thing.  They are both contain a large amount of fructose and are highly sweet.   Sucrose is 50% fructose and HFCS is 55% fructose. The other remaining percentages consist of glucose.

In most cases, fructose is bad for you because of how the body processes it. Fructose can only be metabolized by the liver, which means a greater number of calories (about three times more than glucose) are metabolized by the liver and higher amounts of VLDL.  It also creates a larger amount of uric acid which leads to hypertension and high blood pressure.

Fructose also has negative affects on the brain regarding what you have consumed.  This happens because it alters a protein called “Leptin.”  This protein is important for energy intake and expenditure and is key for monitoring your appetite and keeping your metabolism working the way it should.  When you eat fructose, your body resists Leptin and you feel hungry even when you are not.  So, foods like soda contain high amounts of fructose which then trick your brain into thinking you are not full and your body thinks you are still hungry.  There have been studies showing that people who have consumed Fructose actually eat more than people who do not.

Processed v. Unprocessed Foods:

Fruit contains fructose, but as shown on the food pyramid, it shows that fruit is okay. How is that possible?  Well, it is because fruit is all natural and has large amounts of fiber.  Fiber monitors your satiety levels even though fructose does not.   This is why fruit is beneficial. The same goes for processed sugar. Sugar doesn’t exist naturally as the sugar that you buy at the store, but as a really tough stick called sugar cane.  It isn’t until you process the sugar can that all the fiber is taken out of it.  Without the fiber, you only have the bad portion of the sugar.  That’s why processed sugars can cause problems.

How Can I Tell Whether I’m at High Risk for Gestational Diabetes?

According to the American Diabetes Association, you’re considered at high risk for this condition (and should be screened early) if:

  • You’re obese (your body mass index is over 30).
  • You’ve had gestational diabetes in a previous pregnancy.
  • You have sugar in your urine.
  • You have a strong family history of diabetes.

Some practitioners will also screen you early if you have other risk factors, such as:

  • You’ve previously given birth to a big baby. Some use 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams, or 4 kilos) as the cutoff; others use 9 pounds, 14 ounces (4,500 grams, or 4.5 kilos).
  • You’ve had an unexplained stillbirth.
  • You’ve had a baby with a birth defect.
  • You have high blood pressure.
  • You’re over 35.

In addition, a study published in the March 2010 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology found an association between excessive weight gain during pregnancy – particularly in the first trimester – and the risk of gestational diabetes. Researchers found the risk highest in women who were overweight to begin with and in nonwhite women.

Keep in mind that many women who develop gestational diabetes don’t have any risk factors. That’s why most practitioners will order the screening at 24 to 28 weeks for all their pregnant patients as a matter of course.

That said, a small number of women might be considered at such low risk that they might not have to get tested. You’re part of this group if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • You’re younger than 25.
  • Your weight is in a healthy range.
  • You’re not a member of any racial or ethnic group with a high prevalence of diabetes, including people of Hispanic, African, Native American, South or East Asian, Pacific Island, and indigenous Australian ancestry.
  • None of your close relatives have diabetes.
  • You’ve never had a high result on a blood sugar test.
  • You’ve never had an overly large baby or any other pregnancy complication usually associated with gestational diabetes.
References: http://www.babycenter.com/0_gestational-diabetes_2058.bc

Is Stevia A Healthy Sugar Substitute?

Stevia has become a popular substitute for sugar.  It is much sweeter and is a good substitute for sugar.  However, Stevia can be highly processed.  If you want to make stevia at home naturally, buy a stevia plant or purchase the pure dried leaves.  You can get this easily online.  Grind them up using a spice grinder, mortar and pestle to make your own powdered version.

Here are some directions to make your own Stevia extract
SteviaExtract

If you are not up for getting a stevia plant of your own or making your own extract, remember to look for a stevia extract that is 100% pure without added ingredients (Trader Joe’s has a version in a small bottle). 

References: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/04/25/stevia-food-babe-investigates/

Sugar Cravings? What can keep the cravings down?

How often have you experienced that afternoon slump?

It’s midway through the day, you’re tired and your “get up and go” seems like it’s all gone.

Why does this happen?  Well, when your blood sugar levels are naturally out of balance, energy feels like it’s draining away. Your blood sugar levels can drop naturally, often in the late afternoon, triggering sugar cravings.

For more than 2,000 years, Gymnema sylvestre has been used traditionally as a key herb to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within a healthy range.

In India, it’s called Gurmar, the “Sugar Destroyer”. That’s because, since ancient times, natural clinicians have noted that it suppresses the taste of sugar.

A really cool thing to do is the Gymnema Sweet Taste Test:

Try this simple test and be amazed – especially if you have a sweet tooth. Just place one Gymnema tablet on your tongue for 60 to 90 seconds. It might not taste great, but you’ll love what happens next. Swallow the tablet, wait a minute, then try something sweet – perhaps a few sugar crystals. Surprise – no sweet taste!  Your body will love it because:

  • Gymnema supports healthy pancreatic function and the normal production of insulin in the body.
  • By helping to maintain normal blood sugar levels within a normal range, it can help support weight management and balance energy levels.

I highly recommend MediHerb’s Gymnema because it contains one unique herb, Gymnema sylvestre leaf. It is standardized to compounds called saponins, specifically the gymnemic acids. Gymnema has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. Its reputation is also well supported by modern research. There have been 130 scientific studies published on Gymnema.

Who Needs Gymnema?

Everyone who wants to prevent the natural drop in blood sugar that sometimes occurs in the afternoon and to help maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within a healthy range. Gymnema can also be a beneficial addition to a weight loss plan, when combined together

with a calorie-controlled diet and exercise. Additionally, Gymnema may help to maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels within a normal range.

Compelling Benefits:

1. Maintain healthy blood sugar levels already within a normal range when combined with a balanced diet.

2. Maintain normal cholesterol levels already within a normal range.

Eating sugar has a lot of ill effects on the body.  Cutting back on sugar will make you feel more energetic and prevent heart issues, diabetes and tons of other physical ailments.

Hope this helps anyone who was trying to find an alternative to just cutting out sugar “cold turkey”.

Can Dogs Smell Sickness?

I recently read an article entitled: Training Dogs to Sniff Out Cancer in the NY Times.

This article states that in Philidelphia a springer spaniel works at the Veteran Center and is being trained to find differences in different types of blood plasma.  His nose skims 12 tiny arms that protrude from the edges of a table-size wheel, each holding samples of blood plasma, where only one of which is spiked with a drop of cancerous tissue. He does so and he gets a treat!

This dog is named McBaine.  He is one of four highly trained cancer detection dogs at the center, which trains purebreds to put their superior sense of smell to work in search of the early signs of cancer.

Since 2004, research has been suggesting that dogs may be able to smell the subtle chemical differences between healthy and cancerous tissue.

Dogs have already been trained to respond to diabetic emergencies or alert passers-by if an owner is about to have a seizure.

A study presented at the American Urological Association’s annual meeting in May reported that two German shepherds trained at the Italian Ministry of Defense’s Military Veterinary Center in Grosseto were able to detect prostate cancer in urine with about 98 percent accuracy, far better than the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test that is normally given to patients.   That is really amazing.  Dogs are so wonderful!

The dogs, are raised in the homes of volunteer foster families, and start with basic obedience classes when they are eight weeks old. They then begin their training in earnest, with the goal of teaching them that sniffing everything — from ticking bombs to malignant tumors — is rewarding.

What exactly are the dogs sensing? George Preti, a chemist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, has spent much of his career trying to isolate the volatile chemicals behind cancer’s unique odor. “We have known for a long time that dogs are very sensitive detectors,” Dr. Preti says.

Dr. Preti is working to isolate unique chemical biomarkers responsible for ovarian cancer’s subtle smell using high-tech spectrometers and chromatographs. Once he identifies a promising compound, he tests whether the dogs respond to that chemical in the same way that they respond to actual ovarian cancer tissue.

“I’m not embarrassed to say that a dog is better than my instruments,” Dr. Preti says.

Some experts remain skeptical and I am sure there is more research to be done before it is utilized in a medical setting, but it could be very interesting if dogs have the capability of detecting such things.  Wouldn’t it be better than getting an invasive procedure?

References: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/10/training-dogs-to-sniff-out-cancer/?_php=true&_type=blogs&ref=health&_r=0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Antioxidants Before And During Pregnancy Help Prevent Obesity, Glucose Intolerance In Children

Antioxidants play a crucial role in preventing the onset of disease, and they can make all the difference in determining whether or not children develop glucose intolerance or become obese. According to a new study out of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHP), women who consume high amounts of antioxidants before and during their pregnancies may be protecting their children against diabetes and obesity.

Noting that diets high in bad fats and carbohydrates cause harmful oxidative stress that leads to obesity and diabetes, researchers decided to study the effect that antioxidants have in mitigating their onset. The team fed four groups of test rats either a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet or a healthier and more balanced diet. The first two groups received such diets with no additional antioxidants, while the other two received extra antioxidants with their diets.

At the conclusion of the study, the group eating the unhealthy “Western” diet with no added antioxidants had significantly higher rates of inflammation and oxidative stress than the other groups, and their offspring were larger and had higher rates of glucose intolerance. The Western diet group that consumed added antioxidants, however, produced offspring with markedly lower rates of glucose intolerance and no obesity whatsoever — and these conditions persisted even after two months.

“These results suggest that if we prevent obesity, inflammation and oxidative stress in pregnant animals, we can prevent obesity in the offspring,” said Rebecca A. Simmons, MD, a neonatologist at CHP.

The study shows that not only do antioxidants help prevent obesity, but they even do so when consumed as part of the Standard American Diet (SAD). This diet consists of high intakes of red meat, sugar, high fat rate foods, refined grains, dairy products and eggs.  This is not to suggest that consuming a SAD diet is beneficial, but rather that the incredible power of antioxidants to alleviate oxidative stress and its resultant diseases is strong enough to counteract some of the negative effects associated with the worst of diets.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-rele…

Learn more: http://www.NaturalNews.com/031702_antioxidants_pregnancy.html#ixzz1SWtF6FPQ

Impingement Sydrome vs. Frozen Shoulder

Impingement Syndrome and Frozen Shoulder are very similar because they effect the shoulder joint but there are some differences.  Lets look at both and see what we can do about them.

Impingement Syndrome (I.S.):
We become more at risk for shoulder can happen as we get older because we become tighter and less mobile.  This condition can sometimes become a problem after bouts of shoulder bursitis or rotator cuff tendonitis.  Injuries to the shoulder inflame the tissues and can cause long term damage.  The rotator cuff muscles become tight and do not function properly leading to decreased movement of the shoulder.

What are the Symptoms?
Difficulty lifting a straight arm over your head or behind your back.  There can be tightness, pain and tenderness on the shoulder area. If this problem is not taken care of, chronic muscle tightness and atrophy can pull or rupture the bicep muscle or tendon limiting ability to bend the arm and elbow as well.

What can be done?

1. Stretching exercises

2. Proper alignment of the shoulder in the joint space

3. Muscle and tissue loosening with massage or sastm (a Graston Technique)

4. Ultrasound, Tens machines can also be used to stimulate the area

What is a frozen shoulder (Adhesive Capsulitis)?
Frozen Shoulder is similar to Impingement syndrome but the capsule of the arm is affected with loss of movement in all directions (over the head, to the side, backwards).  It happens during active motion (patient does it) or when the doctor moves it and the patient is relaxing the arm.

What causes a frozen shoulder?
Repetitive movements or injury to the shoulder which causes inflammation, scarring, thickening, and shrinkage of the shoulder’s  joint capsule which surrounds the shoulder joint and keeps muscles and tissues in place.

If you are diabetic, have chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis or have recently had chest or breast surgery you are at a higher risk of getting Frozen Shoulder.  Also, long term non-movement of the arm in its normal range of motion can develop frozen shoulder.

How do we know you have frozen shoulder?

During examination we will move your arm and see where its limitations are.  Orthopedic tests will be administered to test strength and neurological testing will be performed.

If necessary, an x-ray with contrast dye injected (Arthography) into the shoulder joint can show problems with the capsule.   Also an MRI can be taken to see soft tissue damage.

In order to help with this problem, proper stretching of the arm and rehabilitation is required.  Stretches must be done everyday to keep good blood flow, movement and mobility.  Here is the bad news….once you have frozen shoulder or impingement syndrome, you have to keep stretching.  It can and will come back.

Both of these problems need a lot of time for rehabilitation.  It can sometimes take be 6-8 months to get back to full function.  Be patient, it will happen, just a lot of hard work to get you back in the swing of things again.

It can be tricky but in either case, our Redwood City Chiropractic office can help.

What Is The 80/20 Rule?

When discussing the 80/20 Rule it is pretty simple:

Eat healthy foods 80% of the week, and eat unhealthy foods for the last 20%.  Most people in the United States do the opposite.  20% unhealthy and 80% healthy.  This is why obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancers have increased.

A healthy diet should contain the following:

  1. Sufficient amounts of proteins (meat, fish, and eggs)
  2. Carbohydrates (bread, starch, pasta, rice)
  3. Fruits and Vegetables (these contain great vitamins and produce fiber
  4. Fats (olive oil, nuts, seeds)

Drinking a lot of water is key too!  It keeps you full and our body consists mostly of water so if we lose water we need to add it back into our system.  There are plenty of diets out there that are good for you.  If you like fast food, there is the “dash diet”.  There are also plenty of guides for diabetes, high blood pressure and Gastrointestinal issues.

Good luck and happy eating!