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“Just One More Drink” Could Be the Leading Cause of Death. Know Your Body’s Limit of Alcohol Consumption.

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How many of us have gone out to bars or parties and have lost count of the number of drinks consumed throughout the night? I’m sure many of us have experienced those regrettable mornings the day after. Don’t let yourself feel the regret and know your body’s alcohol tolerance before taking the first sip!

We may have heard that 1-2 drinks daily could be beneficial to your health since it is good for the heart. However, recent studies have shown that drinking any amount of alcohol is problematic for your health and is one of the leading causes of death.

Though drinking alcohol is merely a part of the social aspect in many countries, studies have shown that it has killed more people globally than before. Humans have been consuming alcohol for millions of years, long before brewing became a craft in itself. But as always, it’s important to do your research beforehand, especially knowing there is a direct impact on your body’s health!

How Bad is Alcohol?  

Alcohol is the number one overused drug consumed by minors. 86.4% have consumed alcohol before the legal age of 21, and 26.9% of the minors have engaged in excessive alcohol drinking. This is intoxicating to the body’s health. Hence, it is necessary to learn the impact of it before consumption.

It’s easy to drink a cup or two but could be horrifying when you start to lose count. Most people have probably hit that limit before. Therefore, it’s best to know how much you can take in before putting excess pressure on your liver or you could be more prone to long-term health issues.

There are 2.8 million deaths each year, and 1 in 10 deaths that occur are due to mishandling of alcohol. This alcoholic binge is worse now than ever imagined, and no amount of alcohol is shown to be “healthy.” Booze is a known neurotoxin; if taken in excess, it may cause memory impairment and reckless decision making.

Alcohol is a depressant, which are drugs taken to decrease the heart rate and breathing. There is a direct negative impact on cognitive ability, like loss of attention, inability to think abstractly, and loss of visuospatial abilities. Studies have shown that it deteriorates the gray matter in your brain and causes a lack of coordination and confusion. If this substance is abused, there are withdrawal symptoms, and it can gravely impair a person’s sleep and brain’s “hard-wiring.”

How Much Is One Drink?

  • Beer= 5% Alcohol= 1 can= 12 fl. oz.
  • Malt liquor= 7% Alcohol= 8-9 fl.oz.
  • Table wine= 12% Alcohol= 5 fl. oz.
  • Shot of distilled spirits= 40% Alcohol= 1.5 fl. oz.

PC: https://www.grandforks.af.mil/News/Features/Display/Article/764042/so-you-had-a-planto-go-drink-for-drink-with-a-buddy/

How Much Alcohol Can I Take?

Everyone’s body size is different, so that means everyone has a different alcohol tolerance range. Just because you have a fast metabolism or have a larger body mass, does not mean you are prompted to drink more. Your tolerance is based on a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) calculation where a Driving under the influence (DUI) conviction means 0.08% or higher. Note that it is still possible that you could be charged at any level above 0. Depending on which state you are convicted, the fines could go up to $1000 and is listed on your permanent record.

Approximately 88,000 people die from alcohol-related causes each year. One in four college students have shown academic consequences due to poor habits and 696,000 students reported to have been involved in sexual assault due to excess alcohol consumption. People around you who are not educated or precautious about their consumption can pose an even more significant threat to innocent people.

Last but not least, if you decide to drink, do it with precaution! Do not let your lack of education or one bad decision determine your fate. These are not just scare tactic numbers, but it’s the hard truth that could come down to a life or death situation.  

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A-Z

Common Signs of Low-Grade Inflammation and Why You Should Care

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What is inflammation? Inflammation is defined as a biological response to remove dangerous stimuli and begin the healing process as fast as possible. Inflammation, in its acute form such as injury and infection, is quite noticeable. However, low-grade inflammation is crucial to watch out for. Low-grade inflammation can manifest itself through chronic pain. Even if there are smaller signs of low-grade inflammation, treating these symptoms will secure your body from confronting the long-term and harmful effects of this health problem. Here are a few signs of low-grade inflammation that you may want to watch out for.

1. You Notice Swelling

If you feel swelling after some injury or for no particular reason, then this is an alarming situation. This is important to consider even if you feel minimal swelling. People generally acknowledge this symptom when some part of body is extremely swollen or sore. However, medical advice says that it is important to check up even the most minute swellings to prevent problems in the long run.

2. You Feel Tired Without any Reason

Low-grade chronic inflammation can make you tired even if there is no physical activity. Although, this particular symptom might not jump out to you instantly, it is necessary to watch if it continues on for long. Moreover, if you have iron deficiency or constant fatigue, then this may be pointing out a sign of mild inflammation.

3. You Have Unexplained Pains and Aches

Another highly vague, yet common symptom of low-grade inflammation is pains and aches. If you are not doing any hectic or stressful activity and your body hurts, then it shows that there is something that needs serious attention.

4. You Have A Very Low Mood

A possible cause for depression or mood swings can indeed be be inflammation. The way in which inflammation affects brain function can result in depressive brain episodes. Appropriate care by doctors, nurses, and therapists should be administered if this continues to happen for a long period of time.

5. You Feel Foggy

Inflammation also causes the problem of brain fog. This is a genuine medical issue that is confronted by people who have chronic health conditions. Brain fog can result in cognitive impairment, depression, anhedonia, fatigue, and fever.

6. Your Joints Feel Tender

Long-term low-grade inflammation can cause severe damage to tissues of your body. So, if you feel that your joints are getting tender or raw, then this is a condition that needs serious attention by a medical professional.

Even if the aforementioned symptoms are not bothering you much at start, they should be treated sooner so that they do not become extremely serious. Since the symptoms of low-grade inflammation are extremely widespread, it may require hard work to diagnose the root cause of such health issues.

Sources:

  1. https://www.bustle.com/p/7-signs-you-have-low-grade-inflammation-why-you-should-pay-attention-to-it-16102033
  2. https://bodyinmind.org/low-grade-inflammation-brain/
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php

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Digital Health

The Connection between Smartphones and Atrial Fibrillation Detection

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After seven years of extensive research and development, a new app created at Turku University, Finland recently revealed that it could detect atrial fibrillation without the use of additional equipment. The phone application has the possibility to save lives across the globe because timely diagnosis of the atrial fibrillation is vital in stroke prevention. This joint research of Turku University & the Turku Heart Centre has studied 300 patients having heart-related issues; half of them were having atrial fibrillation. And, the researchers also identified the patients having atrial fibrillation from another group with the smart mobile. The phone app, which was designed at Turku University, had detected which group members had  atrial fibrillation, that too with a 96% accuracy with few false positives.

Members of the study included those who had ventricular extrasystole, heart failure, and coronary disease. With a wide spectrum of heart conditions, the research at the University of Turku was conducted as blind research, meaning that the hospital sent measurements of data for conducting analysis even without any additional information of specific patient conditions. The complete analyses were then sent back to the University of Turku hospital to further examine the reliability.

Is Atrial Fibrillation always Detected at the Doctor’s Office?

No, atrial fibrillation is not always detected at the doctors office, even if it is in its intermittent stages. Proper detection of atrial fibrillation has been a pertinent challenge in medicine due to its affordability constraints.

During the seven year period, the researchers decided to check whether it’s possible for them to detect the atrial fibrillation from micro movements in the chest along with accelerometers.  In the year 2017 when the research was completed, they ascertained that it is quite possible. This means that everyone who owns smartphones has the potential to detect atrial fibrillation, as most smartphones have an accelerometer.

Therefore, this mobile application not only can direct patients straight to doctors without any further delay but can also lead to significant economic savings.

When will we see the App in the Market?

The researchers aim to make this app available for everyone relatively soon and believe that the app can spread to the world market. The commercialization of this app is quickly advancing. Currently, the researchers have applied for patent protection regarding all the new techniques which are at the initial stages of the research.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180316100609.htm

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Alzheimers

The Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s Explained

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The difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s is unknown to many people. As a result,  they are used interchangeably during everyday understanding and conversation. So what is the difference between these two terms? According to a report from National Institute on Aging, dementia is a brain-related disorder that negatively impacts the performance and communication of routine activities. On the other hand, Alzheimer’s disease is a type of dementia that impacts brain parts, particularly those parts that control language, memory, and thoughts. Here are some specifics on each of the terms.

What is dementia?

A big misconception is that dementia is a disease; in fact, it is considered a syndrome, which is a group of symptoms that do not have a definitive diagnosis. Therefore, we can think of dementia as an umbrella term used for a set of different symptoms. Some of these symptoms include loss of memory and impaired thinking, which is connected with the cognitive decline of the phenomenon of aging. A range of screening tests is used by doctors to find out the root cause of dementia such as brain scans, mental status assessments, and blood tests. There are many types of dementia symptoms including the following.

  1. Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease: CJD occurs when a protein is folded into an abnormal shape, thus resulting in brain damage and rapid mental decline. Some of the common symptoms of CJD are mood changes, movements composed of twitching, and issues with walking properly.
  2. Frontotemporal Dementia: FTD is a form of dementia symptoms in which the nerve cells located in the front and side of the brain are lost. This leads to personality and behavior changes that are quite pronounced.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

According to the statement of the Center for Disease Control, the common cause behind dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, resulting in around 70% of all the cases of dementia. In reality, Alzheimer is regarded as a progressive disease of the brain leading to memory loss and cognitive decline.  The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease comprise of confusion, impaired speech, and impaired thought. These symptoms start to appear around the age of 60.

Additional differences between the two diseases

Whenever a patient is diagnosed with dementia, they are also being diagnosed with a number of different symptoms. This can be compared to diagnosing a sore throat. The throat is sore but the actual reason for this cause is not known. It could be a common cold, strep throat, or allergies. Likewise, when a person is suffering from dementia, they are encountering symptoms without knowing what the reason is behind these symptoms.

An additional difference between these two diseases is that Alzheimer’s disease is not reversible. It is incurable and degenerative at this time. However, some types of dementia, such as vitamin deficiency or drug interaction, are actually temporary or reversible.

More research and public awareness is needed

While families experiencing Alzheimer’s and dementia diseases have a clear understanding of the respective diseases, more public awareness is needed for these diseases. Additional understanding of what are the factors causing Alzheimer disease will assist in clearing any ambiguity, thus resulting in better treatment plans.

Sources:

  1. https://www.alzheimers.net/difference-between-alzheimers-and-dementia/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/guide/alzheimers-and-dementia-whats-the-difference#1
  3. https://www.healthline.com/health/alzheimers-disease/difference-dementia-alzheimers#alzheimers-disease

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