Month: February 2018

What happens to the body in obesity?

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The body may bear the brunt when one’s weight increases over time.  This is the reason that obesity is often associated with many illnesses.

Blood pressure may often become elevated among people with weight issues. Blood sugar levels start to shoot up.  A person may also experience symptoms of diabetes such as increased urination and/or thirstiness, blurring of vision, pins and needles sensation in the toes and feet, darkening of the skin, etc.)

Persistent increase in weight may also affect heart functioning leading to an increase in size of the heart muscle and disturbance in the diastolic pressure.

Pain and swelling in the joints particularly in the hips and kneed are common in individuals who are obese.  This is because the lower parts of the body suffer the undue heaviness.

Start engaging in weight loss measures the soonest if you feel these symptoms alongside an increasing body weight.

 

Reference:

Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2018, 906-909.e8

How Fat is Fat?

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Back in the days, people who were “hefty” or “plump” are said to have been blessed by graces and blessings from above.  They were widely accepted in society as those who are more than able to provide for their means.

Nowadays, being “heavy” carries an uncertainty with the way one’s health goes.  As more and more research is done, this has been associated with a number of medical illnesses.  A handful of experts even include this state as a medical illness itself.  Organizations like the World Health Organization have even labeled obesity as an epidemic.

The term obesity is referred to when one’s body mass index (BMI) is equal to or more than 30kg/m2.  Special considerations are given to elite resistance athletes and body builders.  In order to know one’s BMI, you just have to take your height in meters and  weight in kilograms.  Dividing the weight by the square of the height gives the BMI.  The normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25.

Some experts believe that the real measure of obesity lies in the amount of visceral fat mainly deposited in the abdomen.  Precise measurements of this would need specialized imaging such as computed tomography or magnetic imaging resonance scans which may be impractical in some parts of the world.  A practical way of estimating this is by measuring the abdominal circumference.  Abdominal obesity is present if the waist measurement is more than 102 cm (40 inches) in men, and 88 cm (35 inches) in women.  This is important because an increasing abdominal girth predisposes a person more to certain chronic illnesses and even mortality, despite a normal BMI.

Take charge of your health beginning today.  Take your body mass index and waist circumference regularly to monitor your progress to healthy living.

 

References:

Obesity: Preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO consultation. World Health Organ Tech Rep Ser 2000; 894: pp. i-xii

National Institutes of Health : Clinical guidelines on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of overweight and obesity in adults—the evidence report. Obes Res 1998; 6: pp. 51S-209S

Massage and Health

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The art of massage is often associated with relaxation.  Most often, people who would come for massages as those with sore muscles, those who suffer from tiredness or exhaustion from physical activity, or those who are stressed out from the daily grind.

Massage is defined as the systematic manipulation of soft tissues in the body for therapeutic effect.  The techniques vary as to the origin but the most popular, the Swedish technique, mainly consists of stroking and gliding, kneading and percussion movements.

The relaxing effect of massage may be traced to its ability to decrease the hormone, cortisol (or the stress hormone) in the body, and upsurge neurotransmitters, serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for increased state of well-being in the brain.  However, some studies refute this mechanism as their results show that the changes in cortisol level is somewhat small to explain the benefits that are observed.

The frequency of how often massage is performed in order to appreciate clinical benefits is yet to be fully discussed by experts.  Some studies say that at least 20 minutes of massage at bedtime given by parents to their asthmatic children has led to appreciable benefits.  In another study, 30-minute therapies given twice weekly to breast cancer patients has shown appreciable decrease in cortisol levels.

No matter what the case maybe, massage offers a soothing alternative to one’s busy lifestyle and healthy respite to the chaos of everyday life.

Have your massage today!

 

Reference:

Field T, Hernandez-Reif M, Diego M, Schanberg S, and Kuhn C: Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. Int J Neurosci 2005; 115: pp. 1397-1413

Listing M, Krohn M, Liezmann C, et al: The efficacy of classical massage on stress perception and cortisol following primary treatment of breast cancer. Arch Womens Ment Health 2010; 13: pp. 165-173

Crane JD, Ogborn DI, Cupido C, et al: Massage therapy attenuates inflammatory signaling after exercise-induced muscle damage. Sci Transl Med 2012; 4: pp. 119ra13