Tag Archives: Weight Loss LTK

Obesity and Memory Problems – Can Weight-Loss Surgery Really Improve Memory?

Christina Dodd 

While the obvious purpose of having weight-loss surgery is to slim down several sizes, weight-loss surgery may also have the potential to improve memory and concentration. A new study showed that obese people, on average, have a slightly impaired ability to remember things and concentrate in various settings. 12 weeks after the weight-loss surgery, patients’ memory scores returned to the normal range. Meanwhile, no such changes were seen in obese subjects who did not undergo the procedure—in fact, their mental abilities actually declined over the 12-week period. Researchers are not sure why this was the case.

Obesity and Memory Problems

The study brought 150 individuals together, all weighing about 300 pounds. 109 of the participants in the study had the surgery performed. Gastric bypass surgery was the most commonly-executed form of weight-loss surgery among the patients. Alternatively, a few patients received gastric banding to restrict the amount of food the stomach can hold. Every participant underwent a series of tests for memory before the surgery to assess their cognitive abilities. One example of a test was the reading of word or number lists and then participants being asked to recite the information at a later time.

In all the tests, participants appeared to be mildly impaired, which might translate into real-life difficulties with following instructions and performing similar tasks successfully. After the 12 weeks, those who had the surgery lost 50 pounds and improved on all four tests while participants who did not have the surgery actually performed worse on two of the four tests and about the same on the other two. This improvement is fairly mysterious, but some researchers believe blood pressure changes may be partially responsible.

This study is the first of its kind to consider the relationship between bariatric weight-loss surgery and improved memory. The study makes it clear that “obesity-related cognitive effects might be at least partly reversible,” a remark made by John Gunstad, an associate professor at Kent State University in Ohio and one of the study researchers. Even those who do not want the surgery will have additional motivation to lose weight by adopting a healthier lifestyle, Gunstad said. Of course, further research will be required to confirm these results and grasp exactly what caused the improved cognitive ability of patients after their surgery.

Currently, there is a growing collection of research that links obesity with memory deficiency and increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease along with other forms of dementia in old age. This study is just a small portion of that collection. Also, while weight-loss surgery may improve memory, bariatric surgery is not a risk-free operation. Patients who are considering the surgery to lose weight and improve memory need to understand that complications can occur over the long-term. Future research comparing weight loss and improved memory will include whether improvements can be seen in non-surgical situations of weight loss.


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Weight Loss Surgery Can Improve Osteoarthritis Pain

Christina Dodd 

Researchers report that losing weight can contribute to a reduction in arthritis pain symptoms, particularly in knee pain caused by osteoarthritis. The study, conducted on twenty-four obese adults aged thirty to sixty who suffered from knee osteoarthritis and underwent surgery for weight loss (also known as bariatric surgery), found that obese people with knee osteoarthritis can benefit from losing weight, surgically or otherwise. The knees of each patient were assessed before surgery, six months after surgery, and again at twelve months after surgery.

Osteoarthritis Pain

The findings based on patients who lost an average of fifty-seven pounds within six months of bariatric surgery conclusively showed that patients experienced a significant reduction in knee pain, as well as improved physical function and reduced joint stiffness. Patients who underwent surgery also found their quality of life to be improved, as well as an improved ability to perform everyday tasks and even sports activity.

None of the patients in the study received other types of treatments for knee osteoarthritis. The findings of the study were presented on Saturday at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Christopher Edwards of the Penn State College of Medicine and lead researcher of the study said that every individual in the study had some degree of reduction in the pain in their knees as a result of the weight loss, with results varying between patients. He adds that several studies have looked into how weight loss without extra treatments for arthritis can influence patients’ pain levels in cases where joint damage has been confirmed. Additional research in the area will need to be performed, says Edwards, in order to determine to what extent knee arthritis symptoms improve over time, and how it applies to overweight patients.

Because this research was presented at a medical meeting and has not yet been published in a peer reviewed medical journal, the data and findings in it should not be seen as having the same weight as a published study. Pending publication in a medical journal, the findings should be considered relatively speculative.

That said, the application of weight loss procedures in obese arthritis patients could offer a new avenue to treating persistent arthritis pain, and could offer a solution to improve the quality of life and mobility of obese arthritis patients who cannot successfully lose weight. This in turn could potentially help patients get more exercise, which in turn would help them lose more weight, thus creating the beginning of a healthier cycle of daily living.


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Connection Between Walking and Weight Loss Shows Promise for Seniors with Poor Mobility

Christina Dodd 

Walking and weight loss in seniors are two promisingly related items according to a new study, particularly in overweight adults with poor heart health. In the study, participants were divided into groups and asked to participate in a physical activity and weight loss program, only a physical activity, or only an education on aging. The results included the exercising participants having the ability to walk a distance of 400 meters at a 5% faster pace than those that simply underwent the educational program. Those participants in the study who suffered from quite limited mobility improved by up to 20%.

Between Walking and Weight Loss

In total, 288 participants age 60 to 79 were tracked by researchers for 18 months. The physical activity group showed positive results for poor mobility in seniors, but the researchers noted that the combined physical activity and weight loss intervention group showed the most dramatic results. The 400-meter walking distance is a measurement commonly used to assess the mobility of older adults. Those who cannot walk the full distance run a high chance of losing their independence in the upcoming years.

The commonly held belief that older adults losing weight is unhealthy is one that is countered by the findings from this study. If obese adults want to improve their mobility, exercise and efforts to achieve weight loss need to become a priority. Jack Rejeski, a study researcher and professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said, “This is one of the first large studies to show that weight loss program improves the functional health of older people with cardiovascular disease.” Clearly, thanks to the findings from this study, seniors with poor mobility may be able to find help through community agencies that are established to provide solutions for poor mobility in seniors.

With an increase in the elderly population, and the fact that 60% of older adults walk less than a mile per week, there is clearly a critical need for “cost-effective, community-based intervention programs to improve the mobility of seniors,” Rejeski said. Perhaps this study connecting walking and weight loss in seniors will spur the creation of such programs around the country. Despite the obvious importance to some of improving mobility among seniors, many do not realize the severity of the issue. Rejeski said, “It is like being in a canoe paddling down a river, and being completely unaware that a waterfall is only a short distance away. Once your canoe starts down the waterfall of disability, the consequences are severe.”

The “waterfall” in Rejeski’s analogy can include hospitalization, a worsening of the mobility impairment, and eventually death, which is more likely to occur when seniors cannot get around easily. Also, higher cost medical care is required to care for seniors with poor mobility. The next step in the research will be to develop a model that can be replicated across states and countries so everyone can appreciate the impact of this study’s results.


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Colitis Explained

Christina Dodd 

Colitis is a type of chronic digestive disorder that causes inflammation of the cells lining the colon (large intestine). It is considered to be an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), very similar in nature to another IBD, Crohn’s disease. Colitis is often confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), however it has different causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Symptoms

Generally, colitis is characterized by:

  • Intense pain and tenderness in the abdomen
  • Depression
  • Rapid, unexplained weight loss
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Tiredness and lethargy
  • Irregular bowel movements, including diarrhea or constipation
  • Fever
  • Changes in the appearance of the colon when examined by a doctor, including:
  • Swelling, redness, bleeding
  • Blood or mucus in the stool
  • Flatulence, bloating, indigestion
  • Heartburn or acid reflux
  • Cramping and general intestinal discomfort

Tests

Your medical professional should conduct a thorough evaluation of your health, including history, dietary habits, sleep patterns, hormonal status (i.e. menstruation, puberty, pregnancy, menopause), exercise levels, environmental exposures, and exploration of other underlying conditions. A doctor screening for colitis may conduct:

  • An x-ray of the colon
  • Stool samples
  • Sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy
  • Blood chemistry analysis

Causes

Colitis may be triggered by poor digestion, autoimmune disorders that cause the body to attack itself, infections, microbes, and certain chemicals, including mediations.

Some researchers and many colitis sufferers believe that food may trigger or worsen their attacks of colitis. The main culprits include:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Soft drinks
  • Dairy products
  • Dried fruits, vegetables or legumes
  • Foods high in sulfur or sulfate
  • High fiber foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Meats
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Artificial flavorings, colors, preservatives, and sweeteners like sorbitol
  • Raw vegetables
  • Processed foods containing refined sugars or hydrogenated oils
Treatment

The treatment of colitis depends on its causes. For most cases, anti-inflammatory medications like aspirin or ibuprofen are often used to reduce inflammation and pain associated with colitis. For cases of colitis sparked by bacterial or viral infection, a course of anti-viral medications or antibiotics may be advised. For cases of colitis presenting severe diarrhea, electrolyte supplementation and anti-diarrhea medications are sometimes prescribed. Occasionally, surgery is required in severe cases involving the removal of the colon through colectomy.

For those who believe their colitis is caused by diet, keeping a food diary to determine and then eliminate problem foods may be helpful.

Some research suggests that the addition of certain elements to your diet may help:

  • Fiber, especially from brassica, which has soluble contents that ease ulcers. Oatmeal may help as well.
  • Fish oils may inhibit inflammation and contribute to increased digestive lubrication.
  • Herbal medications containing sulphydryl or vitamin U.
  • Probiotics
  • Additional water. Water is crucial to lubricating every bodily process, reducing inflammation, and eliminating toxins.

Alternative therapies like yoga, homeopathic treatments, acupuncture, and enemas or colonics are sometimes helpful for colitis. Along with all major dietary changes and herbal supplements, these activities should always be pre-approved by a doctor.

Conquering Crohn’s Disease

Christina Dodd 

Crohn’s disease is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (not to be confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome) that causes discomfort and damage in the colon. It is a chronic condition, meaning it can reappear at any time, often suddenly and for mysterious reasons. It usually begins in the protective layer of mucus that lines the colon. More recent research suggests that Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, in which the immune system attacks the lining of the intestine, causing inflammation and damage.

Risk factors

The cause of Crohn’s disease is still the subject of extensive research, however, there are certain factors that seem to be related:

  • Genetics – there seems to be a pattern of the illness among families.
  • Environment – certain environmental substances have been present in many cases, and the high number of cases in industrialized nations supports the link.
  • Smoking – can cause three times the risk.

Symptoms

The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can come and go randomly and vary greatly from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood in the stool
  • Weight loss and anemia
  • Skin problems
  • Arthritis

Diagnosis

Crohn’s disease can start at any age, but usually sufferers are diagnosed with the condition between the ages of 15 and 30. The most common methods are:

  • Blood tests
  • Stool sample tests
  • Upper GI series
  • Colonoscopy
  • Biopsy
Complications

The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can bring on a host of complications. These include:

  • Intestinal blockage due to the collection of scar tissue and swelling.
  • Ulcers in the intestinal tissue that may reach into the surrounding areas.
  • Deep ulcers that tunnel into the surrounding tissue are called fistulas and run the risk of infection.
  • Fissures, or small tears, may develop in the lining of the anus.
  • Nutritional complications like deficiencies in minerals (especially iron), vitamins, calories, and proteins. These can be especially problematic for growing children.
  • Inflammation in the eyes, mouth, liver, bile ducts, kidney, or gall bladder.

Treatments
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease. However, there are a variety of treatments that may help alleviate the symptoms and reduce the occurrence of flare-ups.

Medications:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Corticosteroids
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Antibiotics
  • Anti-diarrhea medications

Diet:
There is no support for the idea that diet is related to the development of Crohn’s disease. However, avoiding certain foods that may aggravate the digestive system or cause allergies might help some sufferers. Adding other foods might help as well. Keeping a food diary is a good way to monitor outbreaks.

  • Avoid dairy – many Crohn’s disease sufferers might be lactose intolerant.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Water – a great detoxifier and lubricant, supports digestive health and soothes inflammation. Also fights the dehydrating effects of diarrhea.
  • Fiber – for some, increasing fiber may help, for others, decreasing fiber intake alleviates symptoms.

Surgery:
A majority of Crohn’s disease patients will have surgery at some point. This becomes necessary when all other treatments stop working to ease symptoms.

Other:
Exercise and stress reduction may help. Also, alternative therapies involving herbal or fish oil supplements, probiotics, and acupuncture might be effective.

Group Exercise and Fitness Classes Benefits

Christina Dodd 

In the last couple of years, group exercise and fitness classes have grown quite popular. There are so many advantages that can be obtained from these classes, which is why it is offered in most gym programs. However, there are many who go to the gym and are in the habit of doing their own workout routines, which is why they may find it difficult to get used to doing group classes. To keep you motivated, discover the benefits of doing group exercise and fitness classes in comparison to individual workouts.

Staying Motivated

Group Exercise and Fitness Classes BenefitsStaying motivated can be a challenge for many who are trying to stay in track with their workout routine. Just thinking about waking up early in the morning to exercise can already discourage one from working out altogether. The good thing with group fitness classes is that since you are working out with a group, you are able to stay motivated to ensure that you get healthy and get in shape. All classes have a starting time so you can’t procrastinate since you actually have to get there on time. Getting up in the morning for a workout is a lot easier when you know other people in your group are waking up early as well. In addition, these classes go on for about an hour each time so it works effectively in eliminating any chance you may have of quitting.

Making Workouts Fun

Group exercise and fitness classes like the ones developed by the Les Mills program already have the complete workout and the steps fixed with music. Having music along with workout routines achieve a fun and energetic atmosphere that will make time go by fast so you won’t realize how hard you are working out. With having workouts combined with music, you will not only get in shape, but it will also help you develop rhythm skills along with motor skills. The purpose of these group classes is to bring a number of people together who want to increase their fitness levels. A great advantage to this is that rather than having a workout session with just a personal trainer, you are able to workout with a group that many find to be a lot more comfortable and effective to achieving their fitness goal.

Great Fitness Advice

Group classes are run by fitness instructors with only the best qualifications, especially since they are accountable for the safety of all the participants in the class. These instructors learn a lot about the proper ways to do the workouts and are there to ensure that you maximize your time spent at the gym. You can probably expect the same kind of service from personal trainers, however these are more costly and are often in a more intimidating atmosphere. With doing group workout classes, you are able to experience both great fitness and weight loss advice while doing the workouts safely in a more relaxed and fun atmosphere.

If you are interested to join group exercise and fitness classes, these are available in many well-known gyms. With the variety of options and schedules most gyms offer, you are sure to find a class that works for you.

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Living Better at 50+

Lose Weight By Eating Healthy – Healthy Eating Habits

Christina Dodd 

If you are serious about wanting to lose weight you will want to stay away from fad diets as while you may lose some weight initially it may creep back on again.

Lose Weight By Eating HealthyAnother problem with these type of diets is that you are not really making healthy choices when it comes to your meal planning–which is what will make a difference overall.

The best way to consistently lose weight and to ensure it does not creep back on again is to change your eating habits on a permanent basis.

As many people who have made the switch to eating a diet that consists of fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains and lean meats testify to, once you have tried a new, more healthy diet you will not want to revert to your old eating habits.

In fact, simply eating a healthy diet and cutting out all junk food and sweeteners will often enable you to lose weight naturally over time. Even though you may only lose a couple of pounds a week you can be fairly certain you will not gain it back again.

These days it is fairly easy to have access to a BMI calculator to see if you do in fact need to shed a few pounds. If you do feel that you eat wholesome and healthy foods yet you want to lose a couple more pounds here are some tips to get you started.

Lose Weight By Eating Healthy Foods

  • As simple as it may sound, if you want to lose weight you need to use up more calories than you take in. You can always cut back on your caloric intake or you can ramp up your excercise levels and burn up more calories. In fact, you may want to do both.
  • Say ‘no’ to unhealthy carbohydrates. Steering clear of cakes, candy, sweetened soft drinks and other high calorie foods will automatically help you lose weight.
  • Sometimes it is hard to plan healthy meals, especially if you are very busy. Look for a book that has Weight Loss meal plans to help you manage your meal planning.
  • If you find you end up eating at fast food restuarants at times be sure to make healthy choices from their menus–most serve salads and soups for example.
  • Do not fry foods. Instead you can grill your steaks, broil your fish or bake casseroles in the oven. Choosing lean meat over fatty cuts of meat will also be a help. Trim the fat off meat before cooking it. If you are making spaghetti, for example, fry the ground beef in a pan without adding any oil then pat off the excess oil with a paper towel afterwards.
  • Here are some great Low Fat Dinner Recipes for you to try.
  • The more fruit and vegetables you eat the better off you will be. They will fill you up, curb your appetite, they generally are not high caloric foods and best of all they are full of vitamins and minerals.
  • Try starting off your meal by eating your salad first. That way you will not feel as hungry when you eat your main course.
  • Start off the day with fruit by adding it to your breakfast menu.
  • Eat raw vegetables and fruit for snack.
  • Include a salad with lunches and dinners. If you run out of ideas, check out some Salad Recipes.
  • Include more vegetables in your stews and sauces and use less meat.
  • Try out some of these Healthy Homemade Soup Recipes for wholesome yet healthy soups.
  • Serve more types of vegetables with your meals and cut back on meat.
  • Rather than relying on guesswork or estimation, weigh your food portions and measure ingredients before adding them to your foods.
  • Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. It will give you a good start to the day and provide you with the energy and calories needed to start off your day. That way you will not be tempted to snack before lunch.
  • Alcohol is very high in calories and sugar. Steer clear of it, or severely limit it, if you want to lose weight. Even one small cup of wine will add to your daily calorie intake.
  • Be careful what type of drinks you buy. Buy smaller bottles of alcholic beverages so you won’t be tempted to drink too much. Of course, soft drinks are not recommended either. While diet soft drinks are low in calories they are made with artificial sweeteners which are not healthy for you. If you are thirsty, have a tall, cool glass of water.
  • Fruit juice is more concentrated than fruit and as such it is much higher in caloric content. Just one cup a day should be sufficient.
  • Instead of using cream or full cream milk in your beverages, use skim milk instead. Steer clear of coffee creamer–it is very high in calories. Try getting used to not putting sugar in your beverages.
  • Exercise as well as diet to lose weight will make you feel better and help you lose weight faster as well.

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Tighten loose facial skin now

Christina Dodd 

Whether you went through a weight loss regimen or if you find yourself aging a few years, there is a chance that you might have some loose or sagging skin which you find difficult to deal with despite all your efforts to do so. Take note that sagging skin is present in numerous areas of the body. Unfortunately, the most obvious and evident areas where it displays itself is on the face and jowl.

Tighten loose facial skin now

Before you take any extreme effort to get rid of your sagging skin –

surgical or cosmetic procedure perhaps –

it might be best to first attempt natural ways and means to make your skin tight. It depends on how worse your loose skin is as you might have to check out various strategies. However, one such technique could help solve your dilemma.

if your skin is slightly loose and you have just lost a bit of weight –

approximately from ten to twenty pounds –

or if you are going into your forties or fifties and is slowly seeing your skin sag and droop, do not fret. There is an easy and quick way to tighten your skin up. All you need to di is splash your skin with cold water. You might need to do this many times in the day. Essentially, this is an effective technique to tighten up any loosened skin.

Another easy way to halt facial skin from loosening is to do basic but effective exercises. One way is to suck your facial cheeks many times as you can. Then, hold for some seconds and release your cheeks slowly. You can do the exercise five times per day in order to see the results.

If your skin is moderately loose, it might be time to be more intense in doing facial exercises. One effective way to tighten loose skin is smiling wide and allowing the mouth to open as wide as possible whilst lifting the head up.

While this is being done, place your lower lip upon the top lip and hold it for five seconds. Do the process again for a minimum of five times. It may be best to perform these exercises when there isn’t anyone around.

Essentially, facial massages are an effective method to tighten the skin. Also, such massages will assist in invigorating the skin as well as the muscles on the face. It helps give anyone a vibrant and more fresh look. It will also help you tighten any sagging skin areas you have.

Finally, before deciding to go through any invasive surgical procedure to tighten your skin, you could also try a few firming facial creams as well as skin lotions which promise to tighten your facial skin. It might take various creams in order to find the appropriate one for your face. You can try to ask for samples at no cost prior to making a financial commitment. However, once you locate the right product, you will probably see a positively remarkable difference. All in all, it is possible to make one’s skin tight. It could also help if you free yourself from stresses and look at the world in a positive and carefree light.


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