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Opioid Epidemic: A Painkiller Into an Addictive Drug

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After more than ten years, the opioid usage has reached peaking levels and has not declined. It’s caused 42,000 deaths in 2016, clearly showing that the U.S. drug epidemic is not in control.

Researchers found that older patients suffering from chronic pain depend on this “prescription,” but it is a highly dangerous medication. Opioids are a class of illegal drug heroin that provides pain relief, but doctors often prescribe an excessive amount that makes it more life-threatening for the patient. This medication offers a feeling of pleasure but is risky since it leads to addiction, decreases the heart rate, and eventually may lead to death due to overdose. This may be in fact one of the deadliest, most potent drug overdose epidemic in U.S. history.

Medicare patients have greater access to opioid medication compared to privately insured patients. This increased the risk of overdose by four times, and many insurance groups are reluctant to cover the cost of integrative pain treatment of opioids. The insurance policies contribute to the reasons why opioid regulation is failing.

When Will This Outbreak End?

To slowly diminish the national epidemic, federal prosecutors have found that the drug wholesale distributor is Amerisource Bergen. Serious lawsuits are suddenly being pressed upon them, and the FDA is spending millions of dollars to diminish the pharmaceutical companies such as these. Many other manufacturers and distributors such as Mekesson and Cardinal Health are in the process of subpoena as well. They control 85% of the U.S. drug market, and their “suspicious reports have started since 2012.  

More and more states are joining the nation’s outcry of the opioid epidemic. Many hospitals are beginning to alter their approaches for prescribing this drug as a treatment. For example, Chicago is using enhanced recovery after surgery to help patients with pain management in the hospitals. New York takes a different road and swapped marijuana to help with opioid withdrawal. Despite the unfortunate outbreak, we can let out a sigh of relief that companies, hospitals, political lawmakers are all stepping in to alleviate the large situation.

 

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Lifestyle

Listen Up! This Month of Febru-Hairy Shows Benefits of Not Shaving

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Everyone has a different opinion regarding body hair, but ultimately, it should be a personal decision to wear whatever style makes you feel comfortable. Shaming people for what they choose to do with their body not only reinforces outdated societal standards but represses expression of individuality.

Therefore, the next time you reach for that razor, consider these health benefits of keeping your body hair!

  1. Vulnerability to skin infections. Be careful when you use the razor that might leave a knick or two in the process. Exposure to the environment could potentially leave the wound left from the knick susceptible to infections from the bacteria.   
  2. The release of more pheromones. Pheromones called androstadienone shows to increase a female’s libido and disperse the odor that potentially attracts a partner. This might change the way people view their methods to attract potential mates.
  3. Armpit hair reduces chafing. When you go running, the sweat, combined with the friction of your arms moving back and forth can lead to chafing. However, dermatologists warn that removing your hair can make the unwanted rashes worse, so it’s better to keep your body hair intact!
  4. Regulate your body temperature. You may have noticed that when you are cold, your hair spikes up. That is the body’s internal temperature regulation system to trap heat and keep you warm, especially during the cold winter times!
  5. Maintains skin health. Hair follicles are more complex underneath the epidermis and contain masses of blood vessels and nerves to help your skin heal.
  6. Sun protection. Too much sunlight is detrimental to our health and causes skin cancer, but that’s what your hair is there for! So those who are hairy simply just have an extra layer to keep them protected from the powerful rays.

Now you’ve seen that there are health benefits to staying natural. Not to mention you might also be saving money! With the help of expert advice, being hairy may result in better health and for some, greater physical gains. If you would like to learn more, here is a video of reasons why others decided to stop shaving.

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Alzheimers

Is Bad Oral Hygiene Connected with Alzheimer’s Disease?

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Alzheimer’s a neuronal disease that progressively forms plaques and tangles to healthy brain cells and eventually dies. This unfortunate disease affects 47 million people worldwide and there is currently no cure. However, research findings have presented that there is hope.

A new study in the Journal Science Advances found a correlation between the high amounts of bacteria, Porphyromonas gingivalism, and the effect on brain deterioration. This bacteria is associated with gum disease and researchers found toxic enzymes produced by it.

Experiments were done on mice that showed early- stage Amnesia had a significantly higher infection of P.gingivalis and amyloid plaques in their brains compared to normal brains. Note that this evidence is only a lead of how gum disease and Alzheimer’s are correlated, but not a matter of causation.

Photo by Amauri Acosta Montiel on Unsplash

This is the first time in research that showed these enzymes can kill neurons, and now there is clinical research ongoing to develop a drug that could clear this bacterial infection. However, there are multiple other factors such as genetics and lifestyle that need to be considered before confirming the true diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.

In other words, there is still ambiguity on knowing whether gum disease increases the risk of Alzheimer’s or if people with dementia incur gum disease because of poor oral care. Hopefully, the discovery of a new therapy could one day be the cure to treat humans as the brain and human bacterium plays a central role in development.  

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Fitness/ Diet

The Diet That Will Work! Try this +++itively No Sugar Diet

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Chocolate, ice cream, candy, and all that good stuff! No wonder why kids constantly crave desserts for dinner. We might assume that excessive consumption of sugar will cause one or two cavities, but there are greater health issues that can result such as kidney failure. The truth is that glucose is an addictive component, and having too many sweets may potentially lead to dietary and health issues over time.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

The Unspoken Truth Behind Sugar

Sugar is a ubiquitous component of a typical American diet, but this leads scientists and public health experts to worry about its consumption rate. Most Americans consume too much-added sugar, specifically about 57 pounds of added sugar per person every year.

There are two different types of sugars to be aware of. The first is natural sugars, which come from fruits, vegetables, and grains to replenish the energy of cells in the body. Added sugars are added by manufacturers to extend the shelf-life of a particular product, and this is the type of sugar you should fear.

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There is a legitimate reason to fear added sugars, and here’s why. According to a study conducted by JAMA Internal Medicine,  increased consumption has a direct association with contracting heart disease. In the study, people who consumed 17-21% of added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared with those who consumed 8% added sugar.

If that is not startling enough, scientists have discovered that added sugars have addictive properties in them. Research demonstrates that sugar activates the same brain regions as certain drugs, and increased consumption leads to increased tolerance.

How to Combat the Sugar Addiction

In recent times, Americans have turned to diet changes to combat the negative effects of sugar. While the ketogenic diet is gaining prevalence, many adults are also turning to the +++itively No Sugar Diet.

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This diet essentially eliminates the consumption of added or processed sugars, and instead focuses more on consuming natural sugars. Courtesy of Livestrong, here are some tips that will help you achieve longevity within this diet.

  1. Understand where hidden sugar sources are located. Many processed foods such as salad dressings, pasta sauces, and cereals contain loads of added sugar even though they may seem “healthy”.
  2. Do not be fooled by the external appearance. Deceptively healthy foods such as acai bowls and protein bars also contain a high amount of added sugar.
  3. Double check the nutrition facts. This is a key habit to incorporate, especially when you are shopping for day to day items to make sure no added sugar is present.  
  4. Eliminate and substitute! Instead of opting for artificially flavored drinks like soda and water, drink more water! Foods and drinks with turmeric and coconut water are a great source of anti-inflammatory agents and can replenish energy labels in the body.
  5. Eliminate foods with white flour. This food group is digested very quickly and can lead to increased blood sugar content in the body. Refined flour is present in items such as pasta, rice, and white bread. Instead, look for foods with whole grains such as wheat, quinoa, and barley.
  6. Beware of added sugar in dairy. Yogurts and milk tend to have added flavoring which contains sugar to boost the taste of the food.

Overall, the +++itively No Sugar Diet will help you feel your best and live a healthy lifestyle. Let us know in the comments if you have tried this diet before and have seen tangible results compared to other types of diets.

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