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Getting enough sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. Sleep, like exercise and a healthy diet, plays a huge role in our professional performance, daily activity and overall energy level.

 

Why is sleep important?

A good night’s sleep is healthier than we think.

It allows to :

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic health problems
  • Strengthen the immune system.
  • Reduce emotional dependence on food, overeating habits and the risk of obesity
  • Improve your ability to concentrate on daily tasks

 

How much sleep does our body need?

For adults, seven to nine hours a night.

 

Here are some simple adjustments you can make to your routine to improve sleep and energy levels.

 

During the day

– Get up and move around. Even simple 30 minutes of exercise three times a week improves sleep. Go for a walk, a jog, or to the fitness room.

 

Eliminate (or limit) caffeine

Avoid foods that contain caffeine (coffee, tea, chocolate, and some painkillers) as they can interfere with your sleep, especially at the end of the day.

 

Exposure to daylight

Our bodies need natural light during the day to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. If your workplace doesn’t have a window or you sit far away from one, you can use a light therapy device that simulates sunlight.

 

Treat yourself to healthy snacks

Sugary snacks and foods high in saturated fats may give you a quick energy boost in the afternoon, but they can also negatively impact your health in general and your quality of sleep in particular. It’s better to snack on foods with quality protein, such as in cheese or nuts, or on complex carbohydrates (in fruit or bran).

 

Create a daily routine

Before going to bed, repeat the same routine every night – showering, brushing your teeth, reading in the same order. This will help regulate your body’s internal clock and prepare your subconscious mind for sleep.

 

Don’t work in the bedroom

Working in the bedroom before bed can increase stress levels and make it difficult to fall asleep. If this becomes a habit for you, you risk associating your bedroom with work stress instead of viewing it as a rest area.

 

Don’t watch TV or any gadgets before bedtime

The blue light from TV screens, laptops and smartphones suppresses melatonin, the hormone that helps us fall asleep. Stop using these devices 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. Instead, relax by reading a book or magazine.

 

Darken the room

Even a little light can keep us from getting a good night’s sleep. Use blackout curtains to block out the light from streetlights and cars. Make sure the digital display on your electronic devices (alarm clock, TV and phone) is off or not visible.

 

Don’t change your sleep schedule over the weekend

As much as possible, stick to your regular schedule over the weekend. Going to bed later makes it harder to fall asleep at night. Try to limit your bedtime to an hour difference from your normal weekday waking time.

 

Drink a large glass of water after bedtime

Remember that your body hasn’t been hydrated for about eight hours. A large glass of water on an empty stomach rehydrates and gets your body working again. Supplement this with a cup of tea or coffee at breakfast time.

 

Focus on breakfast

The first meal of the day determines, in part, your fitness. If the menu is too sweet, you will quickly feel hungry and hungry. If the menu is too heavy, it will lead to fatigue. Therefore, it is better to choose classic bread and butter or porridge.

 

Useful to know: do not force yourself if you are not hungry.

For several years now, some urologists have been prescribing testosterone-based treatments for older men to replenish the levels of this hormone, which decline naturally with age. Decreased testosterone levels cause loss of muscle mass, increased risk of falls, and decreased intellectual function.

Testosterone is the most important male sex hormone. It is needed to maintain normal male sexual and reproductive function. It is what causes physical changes in a teenager’s body during puberty, such as the development of genitals, beard and hair, voice changes and overall muscle growth.

Testosterone is important to a man’s overall health. It ensures bone and muscle development and is directly related to libido.

 

How is testosterone produced?

The pituitary gland and hypothalamus, located at the base of the brain, produce hormones that control testosterone and sperm production by the testes.

 

What is testosterone deficiency?

Testosterone deficiency occurs when the body cannot produce enough testosterone to function properly. It is not a life-threatening condition, but it can affect quality of life.

 

How common is testosterone deficiency?

Approximately one in 200 men under the age of 60 suffers from testosterone deficiency. Testosterone deficiency is more common in men over the age of 60.

 

What are the possible causes of testosterone deficiency?

– Anabolic steroids

– Excess weight

– Chronic diseases

– Drugs including marijuana

– Genetic problems, physical defects present at birth

– Testicular disease or trauma

– Pituitary and hypothalamic disorders

– Diabetes

– Psychological causes also often affect the decline in testosterone levels can lead to difficulties with erections, but the psychological cause is not the most common.

 

Possible symptoms of testosterone deficiency in an adult

– Mood swings

– Poor concentration

– Low energy levels

– Decreased muscle strength and endurance

– Increased amount of body fat

– Decrease in sexual desire

– Difficulty achieving and maintaining an erection

– Decreased growth of beard and hair

– Gynecomastia

– Hot flashes

– Osteoporosis

 

Is there anything that can be done to prevent testosterone deficiency?

If the cause of the decrease in testosterone levels was an injury to the testicles or pituitary gland, there are no real measures to prevent testosterone deficiency in this case.

In other cases, a healthy lifestyle, maintaining a healthy weight, can help keep testosterone levels within normal limits.

Testosterone supplements are actually a treatment prescribed to men with confirmed testosterone deficiency.

 

What forms of testosterone exist?

Testosterone comes in the form of injections, gels, lotions, patches and pills. The type of treatment is prescribed according to the advantages and disadvantages of each form of administration.

 

Testosterone supplements.  What results can we expect from them?

The question about the safety of testosterone treatment is more than valid, given that this hormone can be closely linked to the development of prostate cancer.

What are the side effects of testosterone treatment?

Testosterone does not cause prostate cancer. It can, however, aggravate existing prostate cancer.

Studies performed over a year on 790 men over the age of 65 showed that while PSA levels systematically increased in participants receiving testosterone, only three new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in the experimental group during the study and within the next year (and only one case in the placebo group).

Testosterone can increase the size of the prostate gland and cause urinary problems. Other less common side effects – acne, gynecomastia, hair loss, and mood swings (including increased aggression) – are also possible.

According to various studies, testosterone drugs can increase muscle mass and decrease fat mass, but they do not increase muscle strength.

No changes have been noted in studies regarding cardiovascular disease.

Positive results with regard to sexuality

The sexual function study is the most significant. Taking testosterone in studies has shown improvement in sexual activity, increased sexual desire and erectile function.

It is worth noting that erectile function improved less after taking testosterone than in the phosphodiesterase-5 inhibitor trials.

Moreover, the intensity of the observed improvements is directly proportional to the level of testosterone in the blood (this level in the blood averaged back to normal, that is, to a level comparable to that seen in men between the ages of 19 and 40).

The positive effects on sexuality tend to disappear after one year of observation.

Can I take natural supplements to treat testosterone deficiency?

There are several natural products that claim to act similarly to testosterone and improve muscle or sexual function. However, there are no known natural products that can replace testosterone in men, so they are not recommended to treat testosterone deficiency.

 

Will testosterone affect fertility?

Testosterone treatment can slightly reduce testicular size and sperm production. After stopping testosterone treatment, sperm production should return to normal in a few months.

 

Important: Medical monitoring in case of treatment should be carried out regularly.

For centuries, people in tropical regions have known about the incredible benefits of coconut water. This is especially true of young, still green coconuts. It is a delicious, refreshing and low-calorie natural drink. Did you know that green coconut water contains more nutrients than mature coconut water? Coconut water is a cocktail of antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes. It also contains vitamin B, vitamin C and minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese and zinc!

Micronutrients found in coconut water help strengthen the immune system. In addition, cytokines, plant hormones found in this healthy drink, have anti-aging and anti-cancer properties. They are also considered a natural antithrombotic. To get all the health benefits of this drink, it is best to choose fresh, pure bottled coconut water. You can drink several glasses a day or add it to smoothie recipes.

 

10 health benefits of coconut water that few people know about:

 

  1. Benefits for athletes

Coconut water is 95% water and therefore helps in rehydration. It is also rich in minerals: potassium (208 mg per 100 ml), calcium (15.5 mg per 100 ml), necessary for muscle and bone function, magnesium (15.5 mg per 100 ml), which can help prevent muscle cramps and sugar (2.2 g per 100 g), which helps replenish glycogen during strenuous exercise and is needed to keep energy levels high. Coconut water also contains sodium which helps in the absorption of carbohydrates.

 

The carbohydrate intake of athletes and women depends on the temperature of the air. The hotter it is, the less energy the body needs, which means it needs less sugar to maintain temperature. Therefore, in extreme heat, it is recommended to dilute coconut water with a small amount of water to avoid overdoing it.

 

  1. Rehydrating the body

This is a natural product used for fluid loss due to diarrhea, vomiting or excessive sweating.

Coconut water is also an excellent natural hangover remedy. Alcohol dehydrates the body. Coconut water replenishes your body with electrolytes and promotes hydration, making you feel better. In addition, the antioxidants in this healthy drink fight oxidative stress caused by excess alcohol.

 

  1. Lowers blood pressure

Coconut water is considered beneficial for controlling blood pressure. Thanks to the vitamin C, potassium and magnesium it contains! Potassium, in particular, helps lower blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of sodium.

 

  1. Heart benefits

If your daily intake of potassium is below the recommended amount (3.5 g per day according to the WHO), you are at heart risk. The potassium found in coconut water helps regulate cardiovascular function. Moreover, coconut water significantly reduces blood pressure in people with hypertension.

 

  1. Coconut water improves digestion

Not surprisingly, a diet that is too fatty, too sweet and too rich in meat weakens our microbiota. Coconut water enhances our ability to digest food. Several studies have shown that coconut water contains digestive enzymes-phosphatase, catalase, peroxidase-in addition to those produced by our bodies to facilitate digestion.

It is used for digestive disorders such as indigestion, acid reflux and gastroenteritis.

 

  1. Fights cell aging

It’s not just fatty fish, whole grains and citrus fruits that protect our cellular tissues. Coconut water contains antioxidants such as vitamin C, selenium and cytokinins, which are needed to counteract excess free radicals, molecules that cause premature aging of body cells.

 

  1. Helps on a weight loss program (but don’t overdo it)

Coconut water is ideal for weight loss. It is low in calories and easy to digest, containing various bioactive enzymes that help digestion and stimulate fat metabolism. In addition, coconut water is rich in potassium, which helps restore sodium balance. Excess sodium tends to lead to water retention in the body, which contributes to weight gain. Therefore, coconut water helps to remove excess water and toxins from the body.

You can drink 250 ml of coconut water 3-4 times a week if you are on a weight loss program. But don’t consume too much of it to avoid increasing calories.

 

  1. Balances pH levels

Stress, toxins, and a diet rich in acidifying foods contribute to an acidic pH level. All this reduces energy and decreases the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. In addition, acidic pH contributes to a number of health problems. For example, liver problems, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension and reduced immunity. Coconut water has an alkalizing effect that helps restore a healthy pH level in the body and helps with heartburn.

 

  1. Regulates blood sugar levels

Coconut water contains amino acids and dietary fiber that help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

 

  1. Natural Diuretic

Coconut water acts as a natural diuretic. It promotes the excretion of urine, cleansing the body of toxins. In addition to its diuretic properties, coconut water has antibacterial properties that are ideal for fighting bladder infections.

 

Contraindications :

  • Coconut water is not suitable for people with nut allergies
  • It may cause bloating and stomach upset in some people
  • People with impaired kidney function should consult their doctor before including coconut water in their wellness regimen.

What is stress?

Stress is a normal biological response that allows us to mobilize all available energy for action. Inherited from our prehistoric ancestors, this reaction allows us to find strength in the face of threat.

There are two stress hormones. Both are secreted by the adrenal glands, but each has its own role:

– Adrenaline provides a large and rapid release of energy during acute and short-term stress

– Cortisol is released during chronic and prolonged stress. It helps the body cope by mobilizing the necessary energy to power the muscles, brain, and also the heart.

When adrenaline and cortisol levels rise too often, chronic stress can occur with negative consequences.

 

What are the symptoms of stress?

Whatever the origin of stress, the brain signals the alarm and the symptoms show up to a greater or lesser degree depending on the person:

– On the physical body level: problems with digestion, sleep or appetite, headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing or fatigue

– Mentally: restlessness, irritation, anxiety, sadness, difficulties concentrating, low libido, low self-esteem, substance abuse, depression

The intensity of the symptoms depends on the brain’s sensitivity to real or imagined danger.

 

What is the difference between acute stress and chronic stress?

If the symptoms appear and disappear as quickly after the stressful situation, then we are talking about short-term, even if acute stress.

Chronic stress is a condition that affects well-being in all areas of life.

 

Common causes of chronic stress:

– Severe long-term situations at work, family, finances

– Bereavement, divorce, or separation

If stress is allowed to build up over a long period of time, it can lead to unexpected health problems.

In some cases, chronic stress becomes so severe that it causes acute panic attacks or anxiety attacks. A person experiencing such an attack experiences very intense physical and psychological symptoms for several minutes:

– A sense of impending death, chest cramping, rapid heartbeat, profuse sweating, dizziness, anxiety, difficulty breathing

When stress becomes chronic and panic attacks begin, professional supervision by a psychologist is necessary.

 

What are the consequences of chronic stress?

– GI problems, ulcers, gastritis, eating disorders

– Accelerated aging

– Decreased immunity due to cortisol levels

– Increased risk of cancer

– Increased risk of autoimmune diseases (psoriasis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia)

– Psychological burnout, depression, phobias, addictions

 

What to do with everyday stress?

In order to better manage the stress of daily life, the simplest steps are recommended :

  • A balanced diet. It is important to focus on foods rich in protein, whole grains, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.
  • Avoid stimulating drinks such as coffee, tea, alcohol and energy drinks.
  • Sleep about 8 hours daily in a quiet, dark environment, at 18 to 20 degrees
  • Don’t watch TV for at least an hour before bedtime
  • Regular physical activity to reduce stress hormone levels
  • Breathe fresh air, take walks in the park, do breathing exercises
  • Meditate.
  • Be in contact with nature and sunlight as much as possible
  • Take time to rest
  • Phytotherapy, aromatherapy, homeopathy, acupuncture
  • Relaxation and positive thinking as well as breath control to better relieve tension and see stress in a constructive way.

 

Stress management is an important issue for both mental and physical health.

Yes, it is. And now we have a lot of research to prove it. First of all, it is important to know that it is not a food that you need, contrary to what many people think. It wasn’t until the 18th century that sugar truly began to be used in cooking.  Sugars are in the family of carbohydrates, but they do not have the same metabolism as most carbohydrates.

We don’t die from an overdose of sugar, but consuming it in large quantities affects longevity and contributes to diabetes, metabolic syndrome or fatty liver overload.

 

It is believed that sugar is essential for the body. Is it so?

There’s that terminology problem again. Glucose is our primary fuel, not sugar. Sugar causes the proteins and lipids that make up our cells to break down. This reaction is called glycation. We need glucose, but too much sugar is toxic to our cells, so the body has created a very complex regulatory system, particularly the production of insulin. Disruption of this process occurs in diabetes.

 

Fast and slow carbs?

There are different types. The simplest molecules, monosaccharides, are glucose, fructose and galactose. These molecules are absorbed very quickly. Once they enter the intestines, they pass into the bloodstream and the liver, where they are metabolized. Disaccharides consist of two simple sugars. These include sucrose (food sugar), which consists of glucose and fructose, or lactose, a milk sugar consisting of glucose and galactose. They are also very quickly digested and processed. In common parlance, they are called fast sugars.

Polysaccharides are the second type of carbohydrate. They are made up of a large chain of sugar molecules. These are, for example, the starch found in flour, pasta, and bread. Before polysaccharides can be digested, they must be broken down into many small molecules. In everyday language, they are called slow sugars.

 

What effect do so-called fast and slow sugars have on the body?

They’re different, of course. When you take a fast sugar, your blood sugar levels go up as fast as they go down. That’s the glycemic index. And the higher the glycemic index of a product, the more toxic it must be to our cells. As a result, our body triggers a mechanism to reduce sugar to one gram per liter of blood, the normal level for the human body. The pancreas then goes into action and releases more or less insulin depending on the need to lower it.

 

What does this mean?

The more you eat foods with a high glycemic index – usually all foods with a sweet taste – the more you expose your cells to toxic effects, which the body will have to fight by activating its defense system. On the other hand, if you consume slow sugars, the aggression is less violent. Thus, the sugar consumed is easier for the body to digest. Therefore, good nutrition depends to a large extent on how you provide carbohydrates to the human body.

 

Hidden or added sugar. What is it?

It is simply the sugar that is added to the food industry’s cooking. We love the sweet taste, and the food industry is taking full advantage of it. It is added to just about everything, including unsweetened foods: condiments, frozen foods, etc. Sugar and salt magnificently intensify the taste, which affects the sales of the product.

Thus, adding sugar to food, consuming desserts and products with hidden sugar can very quickly exceed the minimum daily dose.

The human body can do just fine without added sugar. For centuries, humans have not eaten sweets, chocolate, cakes, and cakes, and have not added sugar to their tea. At the same time, people have always consumed foods that are naturally rich in fructose, which have less harmful effects because fruits contain fiber, vitamins, etc.

 

What are the risks of exceeding your daily sugar intake?

The link between sugar and many pathologies such as obesity, heart problems, metabolic syndrome and cancer has now been established. Around the world, scientists and researchers follow large groups of people over a long period of time who agree to provide regular information about their health, lifestyle and physical activity, and to undergo regular tests, clinical examinations and blood tests.  These study groups can reach as many as 60,000 people. Through these studies, a clear link has been demonstrated between sugar intake and weight gain, increased body mass index and the development of metabolic syndrome, a pre-diabetic condition that is itself a cardiovascular risk factor. There was also found to be a 20-25% increase in the risk of developing diabetes between people who consumed too much sugar and those who followed recommendations.  The risk of coronary heart disease and heart disease also increased. Researchers also found a link between high consumption of sugary drinks and gout. This is interesting because for a long time, doctors have not banned sugar in the presence of this particular inflammatory type of rheumatism.

 

It is believed that sugar can cause fatty degeneration of the liver. Is this true?

This question is interesting because it brings us back to the relationship between fat and sugar. The fructose found in sweetened beverages and ingested in large quantities is converted to fat by the liver. The cells of the liver accumulate it, and it becomes like little balls of fat. For a long time this was tied to alcohol consumption. But now we know it can be caused by excess fructose in soft drinks and sugary drinks. Most alarmingly, this pathology, called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or metabolic liver disease, was the first cause for consultation in hepatology. This disease cannot be called benign, as it can develop into cirrhosis, which is itself a risk of developing liver cancer.

Taking all this into consideration, we want to emphasize one more time about the necessity of dietary balance and consciousness in choosing products.  Take care of yourself!

Eating disorders are a serious and complex mental disorder, most likely due to the overemphasis on thinness in society and the constant attention given to this problem. It is more common in women and adolescent girls, because women are more concerned about their appearance than the male sex. Eating disorders are characterized by the fact that eating becomes a way of controlling one’s appearance. Overeating and weight gain are often associated with various negative emotions as a way of eating them away.

Genetic, biological, psychosocial and environmental factors are involved in eating disorders. In North America, the most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa.

 

Types of Eating Disorders

The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In addition, it is worth noting such a form of bulimia as extreme compulsive eating, in which all food is eaten in a short period of time.

 

Anorexia (anorexia nervosa)

With anorexia, the weight is at least 15% below the expected weight for age and height. The person suffering from anorexia thinks he is too fat, even if he is underweight, and is always very afraid of gaining weight. He is constantly restricting himself from eating. Anorexia usually develops gradually. Weight loss can be slow or fast. It often comes as a complete surprise to loved ones that the person who is constantly around them suffers from anorexia.

Physical symptoms of anorexia include :

  • Hormonal disruption, and as a consequence the absence of menstruation;
  • Constipation;
  • Slow heart rate;
  • Hypotension;
  • Cold extremities;
  • Decrease in the amount of subcutaneous fat;
  • Mild anemia and low blood sugar (glucose) are common;

 

Bulimia

People with bulimia also think they are too fat and are afraid of getting fat. They are constantly preoccupied with food and have an overwhelming desire to eat.

Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by repeated, uncontrollable, or compulsive episodes of overeating, followed by actions to get rid of the food eaten through inducing vomiting or using laxatives, enemas, or diuretics.

Some people do not cleanse their bodies after eating. Instead, they overeat, consuming up to 20,000 calories in one meal, and then try to compensate by fasting or excessive exercise. Bulimic patients have occasional bouts of compulsive overeating (from once a week to several times a day).

Bulimia nervosa affects women about 3 times as often as men.

Young people with bulimia are aware that their eating habits are not normal. They experience feelings of guilt and shame. As a result, they often hide their symptoms for a long time and struggle to accept treatment.

Physical symptoms of bulimia :

– Menstrual cycle disorders ;

– Disorders of salt metabolism and elevated levels of amylase, an enzyme involved in starch digestion;

– Damage to dental enamel;

– Mental symptoms associated with eating disorders, up to affective, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorders;

Bulimia is often associated with impaired self-control and may be accompanied by alcohol or drug abuse.

 

Eating disorders are serious: You need specialist help.

Talk to your doctor for advice. The sooner you seek help, the better your chances of recovery.

Treatment

Treatment consists of restoring nutritional status and psychotherapy. Anorexia is often so severe that in addition to a general practitioner, a psychiatrist specializing in eating disorders is involved in therapy. At the beginning of treatment, it is preferable to direct attention not only to the patient, but also to his family, because psychological support from the environment is extremely important. After the initial phase, long-term supportive treatment follows. In some life-threatening cases, the patient may be referred to compulsory treatment.

Medication

Medication treatment is usually initiated by a specialist. There is no specific treatment for anorexia, but the accompanying symptoms are treatable. For example, with the help of antidepressants.

Lactose is the main sugar in milk. It is naturally found in most dairy products, but in very different amounts depending on whether or not they have undergone lactic fermentation: powdered milk (38 g per 100 g) is the dairy product with the highest lactose content, well ahead of skim or whole milk (5%) and frozen breast milk (3 to 8%). Cheeses, which contain between 0.1g and 2g, lag significantly behind.

To be digested, lactose must be broken down into two other sugars, glucose and galactose; it is lactase, an intestinal enzyme, that provides this breakdown. Lactase is produced by cells in the inner lining of the small intestine. After being broken down, these simple sugars are absorbed into the blood through the intestinal wall. When lactase is deficient, lactose cannot be digested and absorbed. The increased concentration of lactose causes fluid to enter the small intestine, causing diarrhea. The lactose then enters the large intestine, where it is fermented by bacteria to form gas, which causes flatulence, bloating, and abdominal cramps.

 

Symptoms of lactose intolerance

Symptoms of lactose intolerance in children include diarrhea and limited weight gain, while symptoms in adults include abdominal bloating and cramps, diarrhea, flatulence and nausea.

 

The difference between cow’s milk allergy and lactose intolerance

Type III allergies (aka intolerance) should not be mistaken for classic food allergies (type I).

In type I allergies, the immune system produces IgE antibodies. These antibodies lead to an immediate allergic reaction(a reaction can occur within seconds or minutes).

In type III allergies, the immune system produces IgG antibodies against food proteins. In this case, the body’s reaction is delayed (up to a few days after eating), but these antibodies can cause a chronic inflammatory reaction.

Cow’s milk allergy is different from lactose intolerance.

Unlike lactose intolerance, people with cow’s milk allergy can digest milk normally, but the proteins it contains cause a rapid immune system reaction. Cow’s milk allergy usually affects children. In children, symptoms appear after consuming milk or dairy products. However, these symptoms, such as itching, skin rashes, and/or wheezing, are usually similar to other allergic reactions. Children sometimes have digestive symptoms (vomiting, abdominal pain, and, rarely, diarrhea).

Cow’s milk allergy is rare in adults and may also cause vomiting and esophageal reflux symptoms.

Unlike cow’s milk protein allergy, with which it is often confused, lactose intolerance is not life-threatening. However, it does cause serious digestive problems, sometimes very painful, without affecting other body systems (respiratory system or skin).

The severity of lactose intolerance varies greatly from person to person, but most people with lactose intolerance are still able to digest about 10-12 grams of lactose, or a glass of milk.

It is worth noting that symptoms arising from lactose intolerance are usually mild, unlike celiac disease, intestinal infections and extreme forms of type I allergies (in particular anaphylactic shock, Quincke’s edema).

Europeans are less likely to suffer from lactose intolerance than Asians. Lactose intolerance is rare in infants and usually occurs after weaning, in parallel with the introduction of complementary foods.

 

Causes of lactose intolerance

There are two pathological causes of lactose intolerance:

– A genetic mutation that causes a lack of lactase, known as primary alactasia;

– Destruction of the intestinal mucosa as a result of various diseases (cancer, gluten allergy, digestive diseases) that can no longer produce lactase. This is known as secondary alactasia.

While in the case of primary alactasia, lactose intolerance and the symptoms it causes are irreversible, in the case of secondary alactasia, the disorder is only temporary and lasts for the duration of the disease responsible for the failure to produce lactase.

– Furthermore, lactose intolerance results from a completely physiological process that occurs to a greater or lesser extent in almost half of all adults: a progressive decrease in lactase activity with age, which responds to the digestive system’s adaptation to a variety of foods. This decrease in intestinal enzyme activity leads to lactose intolerance, which is usually not severe: most adults can drink a cup of milk without showing any digestive symptoms of the disorder.

 

Diagnosis of lactose intolerance

– Physician assessment of symptoms after lactose consumption

– Sometimes a hydrogen breath test (this is an outdated technique)

– Genetic lactose intolerance test

A lactose intolerance test will determine if you have a genetic mutation that prevents you from producing the enzyme that helps digest lactose.

This test analyzes the LCT gene. The LCT gene encrypts the instructions that our body needs to make lactase. Lactase works by speeding up the process of converting lactose into simpler sugars. A mutation in this gene makes the individual unable to produce enough lactase to break down ingested lactose. The disease can have different severities depending on the amount of lactase produced by their body; it can generally be mild, moderate or severe.

– Test for latent food intolerance

– Because the symptoms of lactose intolerance are not very specific, it may be helpful to consult a gastroenterologist to rule out other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (which it often accompanies intolerance), Crohn’s disease or gluten intolerance.

 

Treating lactose intolerance

– Eliminating foods with lactose from the diet

Lactose intolerance can be controlled with a diet that eliminates foods containing lactose, mainly dairy products. Yogurt is often tolerated because it naturally contains lactase produced by lactobacilli. Cheese contains less lactose than milk and is often tolerated, depending on the amount consumed. Milk and other lactose-reduced products are available in many supermarkets.

– Patients who have to avoid dairy products should take calcium supplements to prevent calcium deficiency. Lactase enzyme supplements are available without a prescription and can be taken with meals or drinking foods containing lactose.

– Lactase deficiencies can be compensated occasionally by taking supplements containing this enzyme. When taken immediately before meals, the enzyme in the supplements enters the intestines at the same time as dairy products or foods containing lactose, allowing them to be absorbed.

– Finally, there are lactose-free or low-lactose products to replace conventional dairy products

The gluten-free diet is widely discussed by the public and promoted by the media and the food industry. It has become the most common diet in the United States, surpassing the fat-free and sugar-free diets. The indications for the diet are mainly celiac disease, wheat allergy, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The true pathogenesis of the latter is not yet known. Other indications for this diet are found in the medical literature and are used by the general public to treat a wide range of problems, from psychiatric disorders to athletic failure. We will review the arguments for or against a gluten-free diet in various situations.

 

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune reaction in which gliadin, a peptide that breaks down gluten, causes an inflammatory reaction in the duodenal wall. This leads to digestive and extraintestinal manifestations. Rare but dangerous long-term complications include T-cell lymphoma-associated enteropathy, small intestinal adenocarcinoma, and other gastrointestinal neoplasms. The diagnosis of celiac disease is made by testing for IgA antibodies to antitransglutaminase or, in the case of IgA deficiency, IgG antibodies to antitransglutaminase and IgG antibodies to deaminogliadin peptide. The only currently recognized treatment is a strict gluten-free diet. Consultation at least once a year is necessary to assess compliance and monitor the development of any deficiencies or complications.

 

Wheat allergy

Wheat IgE allergy exists mainly in two forms: classic food allergy and exercise-induced anaphylaxis after consuming wheat (WDEIA). Classic food allergy manifests within minutes to hours after ingestion of wheat and includes skin, digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular reactions, up to and including anaphylactic shock. WDEIA manifests within hours after ingestion of wheat, and includes a wide range of symptoms, from urticaria to anaphylaxis. However, it occurs only in the presence of an additional factor, such as exercise, alcohol, or acetylsalicylic acid. The only treatment is elimination of wheat from the diet or removal of the additional factor in the case of WDEIA.

IgE-mediated allergies are diagnosed by skin testing, blood tests for specific IgE antibodies (beware of cross-reactions with other plants and foods) or even a supervised provocation test. There are other types of allergic reactions to wheat, such as eosinophilic esophagitis or eosinophilic gastroenteritis.

 

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity

It refers to patients with digestive and/or extraintestinal symptoms caused by gluten intake that disappear with a gluten-free diet and in whom celiac disease and wheat allergy have been ruled out. Various synonyms are used for this type of gluten allergy: non-celiac gluten intolerance, gluten hypersensitivity, wheat sensitivity.

Clinical picture of non-celiac gluten intolerance

Symptoms appear after consuming gluten at intervals of three days and disappear when a gluten-free diet is followed. Symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome are worth mentioning in this context, as are a number of other common symptoms characteristic of this type of gluten intolerance.

 

Pathophysiology

The pathophysiology of non-celiac gluten intolerance is currently very poorly understood. Whereas the adaptive immune system is involved in celiac disease, the innate immune system appears to be involved in gluten intolerance. Indeed, several markers of innate and acquired immunity differ in quantity in both diseases. In addition, gluten is thought to cause gastrointestinal mucosal damage not mediated by the immune system in both celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Peptides, whether or not derived from gliadin, can cause direct damage to epithelial cells, particularly by inhibiting DNA and RNA synthesis, increasing oxidative stress and inducing apoptosis. These peptides are also thought to cause gastrointestinal motility disorders through increased release of acetylcholine from the myenteric plexus and direct stimulation of the enteric nervous system. However, there is a paucity of literature on this issue, and other mechanisms probably exist.

 

Diagnosis

In order to diagnose gluten intolerance (food allergy IgG), we must first rule out celiac disease and wheat allergy type I (food allergy IgE).

For the detection of gluten intolerances and other food intolerances we offer you the possibility to have a blood test (test has 270 parameters) at our medical center.

Eliminating gluten from the diet (if intolerant) should result in a clear regression of intestinal and general symptoms.

 

Treatment

A gluten-free diet is also recommended for a patient with celiac disease. However, dietary control may be necessary to avoid an increase in fat or sugar intake, which is often the result of excluding gluten from the diet, and to avoid vitamin, micronutrient, and mineral deficiencies.

Gluten-free diet and specific clinical situations

Endocrine disorders

An analysis published in 2014 involving 2,239 women showed a significant association between infertility and undiagnosed celiac disease, suggesting that celiac disease is a risk factor. However, there is no evidence that in patients without celiac disease, a low-gluten diet can resolve infertility.

 

Rheumatologic diseases

Fibromyalgia shares some symptoms with gluten intolerance. There is a study that describes a clinical improvement after excluding gluten from the diet for 16 months in twenty patients with fibromyalgia. However, no randomized controlled trial has shown a benefit of such a diet in this situation.

 

In rheumatoid arthritis, various diets are widely practiced by patients despite the lack of evidence. A randomized trial of patients with active rheumatoid arthritis who followed a gluten-free vegan diet showed clinical improvement in 40.5% of patients compared with 4% of patients who followed a normal balanced diet. However, to our knowledge, there are no studies including only the gluten-free diet.

 

Mental disorders

Depression and anxiety may occur in untreated celiac disease. These disorders usually improve after starting treatment, but may sometimes persist and require special treatment. Some patients report that they feel better on a gluten-free diet, but that their digestive symptoms do not improve.

The diet has also been suggested for the treatment of autism, due to a theory suggesting that gluten and casein play a role in its pathogenesis. However, the Cochrane review concluded that the evidence for this is currently weak.

In addition, there is anecdotal clinical evidence that gluten reduction or withdrawal in children without celiac disease may improve sleep and mental concentration.

 

Professional Sports

Many top athletes avoid gluten to improve their physical performance. In a study that analyzed the behavior of 910 non-celiac athletes, 41% reported following a gluten-free diet 50 to 100% of the time. These were mostly people involved in endurance sports. Among them were eighteen world and Olympic medalists! Most thought they would improve their performance (56.3%) and reduce gastrointestinal problems (61.1%). The main source of information was the Internet (28.7%), followed by coaches (26.2%) and other athletes (17.4%), well ahead of medical advice (0.5%). Although self-belief can improve an athlete’s performance (1 to 3% according to some authors) through a placebo effect, there is no evidence for this. Given the limitations of this diet and the potential drawbacks it can cause, further research is needed.

Everyone experiences anxiety at some point. It can occur in stressful situations, such as before a public speaking engagement, after a car accident, waiting for medical test results, etc. Anxiety can also fixate on one or more very precise situations, the presence of which will cause intense symptoms. Anxiety doesn’t do us much harm, provided it doesn’t last long.

It is different when anxiety becomes chronic, prevents us from coping with daily tasks and disrupts life, when it forces a person to limit his or her activities. In this case, we may be talking about an anxiety disorder. Sometimes anxiety is highly concentrated for a very short period of time. Without warning, it erupts with tremendous force and causes symptoms that can mimic an acute attack of heart, lung or neurological disease. It is a panic disorder, also known as a panic attack or anxiety attack.

Whatever the form of anxiety, its manifestations are often similar. In addition to the psychological symptoms (anxiety, fear, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, irritability, absent-mindedness), there are physical symptoms that can be very disturbing: palpitations, muscle cramps, choking sensations, sweating, hot or cold flashes, insomnia, etc. These physical symptoms are not always obvious signs of anxiety, and patients fear they may have another illness.

There are several types of anxiety disorders :

– Panic Disorder

It is characterized by panic attacks that occur unpredictably, without any obvious reason. It can be accompanied by chest cramps, palpitations, sweating, shortness of breath, a sense of unreality of what is happening, trembling, dizziness, nausea, hot flashes or chills, a feeling of loss of control over the situation, fear of death. Most attacks usually last no more than 10 minutes, but sometimes they last longer. Usually people try to avoid situations that may provoke an attack.

– Obsessive-compulsive disorder

In some cases, anxiety does not cause these symptoms, but leads to the performance of a repetitive action for temporary relief. Such disorders are called obsessive-compulsive disorders. The adopted ritual is repeated more and more often and eventually interferes with the social and professional life of the patient, who lives with his or her anxiety in secrecy and shame.

– Agoraphobia

It is the fear of being in a situation from which one cannot easily escape or get help, especially in public places or crowded places. Many people with agoraphobia also suffer from panic disorder. Fear of having another panic attack usually causes them to avoid situations/places that they feel provoke panic attacks.

– Phobias

These are fears triggered by something specific (e.g., insects, altitude, flying on an airplane, etc.). They are accompanied by sweating, muscle tension and dizziness.

 

Social anxiety disorder or social phobia is more than just shyness. It is an exaggerated sense of anxiety that occurs when a person fears being in an awkward situation or being ridiculed in society. People with social phobia tend to avoid social situations that they fear;

 

Generalized anxiety disorder is defined by excessive and persistent anxiety for various reasons and no reasons (e.g., work, finances, children, or health). There is no specific reason or event for the fear, but the anxiety is there.  Generalized anxiety can cause symptoms of muscle tension, shivering, shortness of breath, palpitations, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, sleep disturbances, and decreased concentration.

 

Complications of anxiety disorders are mainly related to inadequate perception of various life situations. Depression very often accompanies anxiety disorders.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness. They occur more often in women. There are no age patterns, both adults and children can be exposed to anxiety disorders.

 

Causes

Anxiety disorder, like other mental health problems, is caused by biological and psychological factors combined with other personality factors.

Some people are afraid of repeating negative experiences. Some perceive situations as more dangerous than they really are (e.g., fear of flying).  Childhood experiences can also play a role in the development of anxiety.

Researchers have found that certain imbalances in brain chemistry can contribute to the development of anxiety disorders. The levels of neurotransmitters in the brain (serotonin, norepinephrine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)), are important in the onset of anxiety. Scientists have also noted that anxiety is accompanied by changes in the activity of certain areas of the brain. Many anxiety disorders occur in several family members and are likely to have a genetic cause.

Anxiety disorders are sometimes triggered by traumatic tragic events.

Sometimes anxiety symptoms are caused by certain medical conditions, such as anemia and thyroid disorders. Other factors, such as caffeine, alcohol, and certain medications, can exacerbate anxiety symptoms.

 

Treating Anxiety

Many people think they can overcome an anxiety disorder on their own, without treatment. However, such a strategy is rarely successful.

Fortunately, there are many effective treatments available.

Anxiety is treated with psychotherapy, medication and psychosocial measures.

Here are our tips for improving digestion :

– It’s important to eat in a calm environment, chewing your food well.

– Divide your meals. After a large meal, digestion is difficult. The stomach prefers smaller portions: e.g., 3 light meals + 2 balanced snacks help stabilize the amount of fatty acids entering the body and thus facilitate digestion. Eat less but more often to regulate blood sugar levels.

– Fiber is essential for the transit of food and the proper functioning of the digestive system. It is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and seeds, and nuts.

– Pectin is a soft and soluble dietary fiber found in the skin of many fruits and vegetables. Eat them in moderation.

– Avoid certain foods that can cause digestive pain (e.g. hot spices), fatty foods that slow down digestion, non-moderate consumption of foods that cause fermentation (garlic, onions, cabbage) and promote gas in the stomach, and finally excessive lactose (cow’s milk, fermented cheeses with strong flavors).

– Do not lie down immediately after a large meal: sit or stand for about 3 hours after eating, so that the food moves down to the stomach and intestines.

– Move: physical activity promotes contractions that move food down the intestine.

 

SOME FACTS ABOUT OUR DIGESTION :

– What does the stomach digest?

The stomach mainly digests proteins, so its PH is acidic. The job of this organ is to pre-crush proteins to make them more easily digestible. This process takes about 2-3 hours.

– What does the small intestine digest?

It is mainly responsible for the preliminary breakdown of lipids into fatty acids, and also continues the activity of the stomach with proteins, turning them into amino acids. Plus it works with carbohydrates, turning them into glucose, etc. As a result, some of the nutrients go into the bloodstream and some go into the colon. These processes take another six to eight hours to complete.

– How does the digestion process take place in the colon?

This stage lasts about 6-8 hours, and then the digested food passes through the descending part of the colon, through the sigmoid colon, and then through the last segment, the rectum.

 

Our Top 10 Great Foods

1.Yogurt

Although some people are lactose intolerant or have difficulty digesting some dairy products, yogurt (especially if it is free of additives or sugar) is very well tolerated by most people.

Try starting your day with a small amount of yogurt and fruit. In addition to being gentle on the stomach, it contains calcium, protein and probiotics.

2. Chicken Breast

This is a fairly neutral product, low in fat and very versatile.

3. Brown rice

Although white rice is also easy to digest, it is low in fiber and therefore can cause constipation. Give preference to brown rice.

4. Salmon

Most fish are fairly easy to digest, but salmon has the advantage of containing more Omega-3 fatty acids.

5. Bananas

Rich in fiber and nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C, bananas are ideal for balancing the digestive system. But, as always, moderation must be remembered.

6. Eggs

Yes, eggs contain cholesterol, but they are still one of the best foods for your health: easy to digest, high quality protein and plenty of minerals. The body absorbs eggs more easily when boiled.

7. Porridge

Porridge is high in fiber, making it an easily digestible and nutritious food at the same time.

8. Avocados

It’s high in healthy fats and fiber, so avocados are easy to digest.

9. Cooked fruits and vegetables

Raw vegetables are difficult to digest, so, it is better to eat them in a cooked form. Not overcooked, but not raw either. Asparagus, carrots, beans, zucchini, eggplant and spinach are among the foods that are best digested. Cooked, yes, but not pureed. It’s best to mash vegetables with a fork so as not to raise the glycemic index too much. If you really want to eat raw vegetables, it is better to remove the skin and seeds and grate them. Because grating vegetables on a grater does a kind of pre-digestion work.

Cooked fruit is also better digested, because their fibers soften when boiled and as a result is easier to digest. A small disadvantage is that during cooking the fruit loses some of its vitamins.

10. Water

To promote good intestinal function, it is important to drink regularly: at least 8 glasses of water a day.