“Beta, lower the TV volume”, “Honey, we don’t want people in other houses to hear our music” These are common sentences that’s often heard in many of our houses. Elderly people have hearing problems and this is nothing new to us. We can understand and empathize when they talk loudly or watch TV soaps with a blaring volume. But even kids, youngsters and middle-aged people wish to hear at a higher volume as they find it more comfortable and better. If you are going to maximize the volume at this age, how are you going to manage it when you grow old? Hearing problems are sure to hit you sooner than later causing trouble not only to you but also to other people around you! Times are changing and our health is also witnessing radical changes (for the worse) owing to inappropriate lifestyle practices and eating schedules. It is now seen that hearing loss during middle age is on the rise and such loss can increase the risk of dementia later in life.
A study in the journal JAMA followed more than 16,000 men and women and found that hearing loss diagnosis done between 45 and 65 years of age doubled the risk of dementia diagnosis in a decade or so in both men and women. 8,135 patients diagnosed with hearing loss and another 8,135 patients without hearing loss were included in the study. All of them were free of dementia at the beginning but in course of time 1,868 people developed dementia in which 59% of them belonged to the hearing loss group. It was 19 persons affected by dementia for every 10,000 persons in the hearing loss group while it was 14 per 10,000 in the group without hearing loss. Hearing loss accounted for a 17% increase in risk for dementia and it was mostly in the youngest people involved in the study. This study clearly shows that screening for hearing loss must happen in all individuals in their middle age. The study team also observed that even a mild hearing loss during middle years of lives increases the risk of cognitive decline which make it absolutely necessary that individuals go for screening, hearing protection and hearing aids to prevent deteriorating their health.
Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is mostly due to heredity and research suggests that two-thirds of dementia cases are genetic and only one-third is due to modifiable risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, depression, alcohol-related illness, diabetes, smoking and hearing loss (this accounts for almost 10% of dementia risk).
Ignoring Hearing Loss to Feel Younger
People have associated certain factors with ageing and hearing loss is one of them. Read more about the other factors that occur as a result of ageing by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com. We feel that we are ageing when we can’t hear properly and hence, those with hearing loss mostly don’t discuss it with their loved ones until it seems impossible to tackle without a hearing aid. These people stay out of conversations, sit silently in a group or party, stay isolated and don’t participate in activities fearing that their hearing problem might become visible or make them seem incompetent. Such social isolation leads to loneliness that impacts quality of life. It also increases the risk of depression, stress, poor sleep, irregular eating habits and dementia.
We are facing a rise in the elderly population and the world is moving towards a stage where there are a greater number of elderly people than kids and teenagers. Hence, the risk of dementia is too high and hearing health must be attended to in all populations of people to prevent the risk of dementia due to hearing loss.
Why ignore fertility when we have diets for weight loss, PCOS, cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes? Its right that we only frame a set of guidelines, do’s & don’ts, recommendations and foods to avoid instead of chalking down a whole new diet for women trying to conceive. But this has already been done by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health who conducted their research on more than 15,000 women who had no history of infertility but were trying to conceive. This team arrived at the logical conclusion that the quality of your diet, activity levels and smoking habits play a determining role in supporting or delaying fertility. Know what’s recommended in the diet and get complete details of the allowed/to be avoided foods by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com. Assisted reproductive technology (ART), using IVF or IUI methods for conception or surrogacy is not the solution when you are unable to conceive. Rather than spending money on medicinal treatments and procedures isn’t it worthy to spend your time and effort on changing your lifestyle and making a few alterations to successfully conceive naturally? Fertility diets do help couples conceive naturally many-a-time and this is the expert opinion of many.
A Toast to Fertility
A few registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) feel that the fertility diet proposed by the Harvard researchers is a great option for women with PCOS and also helps women increase their intake of all the nutrients that are advantageous for conceiving. There has also been research evidence showing a positive link between fertility diet and decrease in infertility risk in some women. This brings us to yet another important phase of fertility-is it really the diet or the resulting weight loss due to compliance with the diet that improves the chances of conception in women?
Obesity/overweight issues have always been major contributors for infertility as your excess weight affects egg quality and also a series of hormonal imbalances in the body-as in insulin levels, testosterone and FSH and TSH. FSH & TSH play important roles in ovulation and when you are stuck with excess body weight these hormones go for a roller coaster ride and fall off the alignment leading to serious consequences with your ability to reproduce. Achieving weight loss and reaching normal weight helps in ovulation. Losing even 10% of your body weight improves insulin sensitivity and also triggers ovulation in women suffering from PCOS.
But what about those women who are of normal weight but still face problems with ovulation due to insulin resistance? In such cases what these ladies eat becomes the core concern. Quality of the diet matters more. Maybe they can opt for eating less of processed carbs, more of whole grains such as quinoa and opt for whole-wheat varieties instead of others. For instance, whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta. This decreases insulin production and rise in blood sugar levels which are great for fertility. Here also, according to the Harvard researchers’ fertility diet they recommend eating full-fat dairy due to the presence of certain hormones in dairy that promote conception. But we need to take care that the quantity doesn’t go overboard when weight is a concern and weight loss is prescribed for the woman trying to conceive.
Its not only the Fertility diet proposed by these researchers that help women conceive but studies propose quite a few other diets too. For instance, the Mediterranean diet helps in elevating the chances of pregnancy and delivery of a healthy baby when women undergo in vitro fertilization. So, you might choose ART methods for conception but still a healthy diet plays the primary role in helping you conceive successfully and deliver a healthy baby.
But all these diets have a few things in common-they are all rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts and legumes.
There was a diet plan devised by the same set of Harvard researchers: a pro-fertility diet plan rich in vitamin D, vitamin B12, folic acid, dairy, soy and reduced-pesticide fruits and vegetables. This diet plan offered better outcomes in people undergoing ART methods compared to the Mediterranean plan. But again, the pro-fertility diet’s results were completely based on the woman-how keen is she to follow it?
But if you ask bluntly if eating a particular diet can redeem you from infertility completely there is not a decisive answer here. If you are in your 20s and planning for a kid but not ovulating it is always better to try these diets before jumping into IVF or other methods. But if you are above 40 you cannot wait indefinitely. Maybe give a year or so, try a diet plan and when things don’t work as planned decide onto something else. Remember, the fertility diet mainly focuses on women who have problems conceiving due to ovulation and has not got to do anything with the fallopian tubes.
A good night’s sleep can do wonders to your health but most of the times we ignore to give due importance to this daily routine in life. Sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is a group of physiopathologic conditions that are characterized by an abnormal respiratory pattern during sleep that can be isolated or can coexist with other respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular or endocrine diseases. Snoring is present across all individuals with SDB but it is required to know that not all who snore have SDB. Most common conditions included in SDB include obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea and OSA syndrome.
Hearing your mom, dad, sibling or spouse snore is annoying and you feel like just exiting the bedroom and sleeping on your couch. Besides being troublesome to the person who sleeps behind the one who snores, this action also brings upon great trouble for the person who snores too. While SDB increases oxidative stress levels, inflammation and several age-related health disorders there haven’t been much studies on its effects on epigenetic ageing. A new study published in the reputed journal SLEEP shows that SDB accelerates ageing process in individuals. We all have two different ages-biological and chronological age. While chronological age refers to the actual age of the person since his/her time of birth, biological age determines an individual’s true state of health based on his/her physical and mental well-being. Read more about chronological age and biological age by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com. Leaving SDB untreated leads to physiological effects on the individual increasing the biological age.
The study included 622 participants (average age of participants was 69 years and 53% were women) who were measured for blood DNA methylation- a marker for epigenetic age acceleration (this includes measuring a person’s biological age based on changes in DNA methylation at particular locations in the genome) and had their sleep evaluated at home by polysomnography by using blood samples. Age acceleration measures were calculated as residuals from regression of each epigenetic age on chronological age. Every SDB trait with age acceleration was measured using linear regression by controlling health behaviors, BMI and study site. Every SD increase in the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) which is a measure of SDB severity is associated with the equivalent of 215 days of biological age acceleration. Also, each SD increase in arousal index (a measure for sleep disruption) was associated with the equivalent of 321 days of age acceleration. The association was stronger in women compared to men despite the fact that women suffer from less severe SDB.
Usually, a person’s biological and chronological age might not be the same and individuals whose biological age is higher than chronological age experience faster ageing. But epigenetic ageing is reversible and epigenetic age estimators might be useful in identifying and validating anti-ageing interventions. SDB is common, its treatable but the only concern is that it remains undiagnosed and under-treated. It’s a condition that affects every single organ in the body sometimes. It is as common and dangerous as diabetes but sadly, not many people know about the consequences of sleep apnea much. This study is surely useful as it brings about the risky effects of untreated SDB and also creates an impact on individuals who are sure to abide by the treatment protocols once they realize that it affects their ageing process.
How about exercising after filling up your tummy? Sounds weird and makes us raise our eyebrows after being pounded with the fact that fitness specialists and health trainers vouch for an early morning workout for maximized benefits. Even otherwise, its been proven without doubt that fulfilling physical activity requirements before proceeding to breakfast and more has been the principle of life and it stands the test of time. But suddenly we have been fed with this question that makes us revisit our goals and ideologies.
Breakfast is quoted as the most important meal of the day despite many individuals daring to miss it regularly. It’s the powerhouse for your day’s energy without which there is going to be a lot of irritation, imbalance and lag in work schedules. We get up, go for our morning walk/jog/gym, have a bath, eat a hearty breakfast and go off to school/college/work. Shall we bring about a small twist to the tale? What if I suggest that you get up, finish your morning chores, prepare food, eat food and after an hour or two take up walking/jogging/gym and finally head to office? It might sound ridiculous but that’s the latest recommendation for maximized carbs burning. If you are perplexed over what to eat and how much to eat please get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com who can help you with personalized diet plans and exercise routines.
To Eat or to Exercise?
We have always suggested on taking a light meal before exercising and leaving ample time before doing physical activity as presence of fullness prevents us from committing 100% towards exercising. Its always better to have a goal, an upsurge or motivation to exercise more which helps each of us take up physical activity with passion and josh. So, when I tell you that eating first and exercising later is going to help you better aren’t you game for it? That’s the result of a new research which says that eating breakfast before exercising pushes the body to burn carbohydrates during exercising and also helps in rapid food digestion after exercising.
The researchers compared the result of eating breakfast versus fasting overnight before exercising (here, it means 1 hour of cycling). Breakfast here included a bowl of porridge with milk some two hours before exercising. After both exercise and rest the research team tested blood glucose levels and muscle glycogen levels of the 12 healthy male participants who underwent the test. Results showed that eating breakfast increased the rates at which the body burned carbohydrates while exercising and also increased the rates at which the body digested and metabolized food consumed after exercising. This is slightly off the map as it’s the first study that focuses on how eating breakfast before exercising affects our response to food after exercising. This study also showed that eating breakfast before exercising is also better in many ways including the speed at which we digest, absorb and metabolize carbohydrates that we might eat after exercising compared to skipping breakfast altogether. Also, eating before exercising not only increased burning of carbs that’s stored in the body due to breakfast but also those stored in our muscles and glycogen. Such an increase in muscle glycogen use shows us how eating breakfast before exercise helps in maintaining blood sugar levels after lunch.
This study clearly shows the difference in result that occurs due to changes in mealtimes and moreover, its greater impact on metabolic response. We have now got an important clue that when you eat affects metabolic response and digging more into this can lead us to greater treasures.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.