Monday, April 19, 2010

Hazards of Dieting

Going on a diet could increase the risk of developing potentially deadly conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer, a new study has found.


The study revealed that those who controlled their calorie intake produced higher levels of the harmful stress hormone cortisol and exposure to the hormone actually made some dieters put on weight, reports the Daily mail.


Dieting could actually damage mental health too as many suffered increased psychological stress when they were constantly forced to count calories and monitor what they ate.  Regardless of their success or failure ( in losing weight), if future studies show that dieting increases stress and cortisol, doctors may need to rethink recommending it to their patients to improve to their patients to improve health.


Chronic stress, in addition to promoting weight gain, has been linked with coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.  Dieting might potentially add to this stress burden and its consequences would best not be ignored.


The study, by California University in San Francisco and Minnesota University, looked at 121 women who were put on a standard three-week diet of 1200 calories a day – around half a woman's recommended daily amount of 2000 calories.  Each patient was asked to provide a saliva sample before and after the study to test the cortisol levels. 


The results showed increase in the amount of the hormone after three weeks on the programme.




Courtesy : Times of India, Chennai Times , 20/04/2010

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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Healthy Feet

We take our feet for granted but scarcely give a thought to how best to keep them healthy.  Until of course, something goes wrong.


The human foot is one of the most complicated parts of the body, each foot has 332 joints, eight arches, 26 bones, more than a hundred muscles, ligaments, and tendons that all work in unison to allow movement.  Foot disorders must be diagnosed and treated early, as they often have the potential to become very painful and incapacitating.


There are three common foot problems that when treated early will save you from a lot of pain, and more importantly, form more complications..


Corns and Calluses


Anybody who ever worn uncomfortable shoes has probably had foot corns and calluses problems.  Foot corns are  a result of too much pressure being applied on the foot's skin, such as when the bones of the feet press against tight shores and also press against each other.  This foot condition is fairly easy to treat.  Doctors often prescribe wider shoes or cushion pads to relieve pressure.


Infected Toenails


Sometimes, the things you do to clean your toenails can do more harm than good.  Over clipping and digging deep into the sides can cause nails to throb, swell, and become infected and lead to a more serious foot problem called ingrown toenails. Podiatrists usually remove the nail spike and clean the area.  In the worst case, you may have to undergo simple surgery.


Athlete's Foot


Fungi are attracted to warm and moist areas of the body such as the feet – usually between sweaty toes.  The fungi latch onto the foot and cause itch and peel.  If untreated early, the fungi can even spread to the toenails and lead to what is called as Athlete's Foot.  There are many over-the-counter anti-fungal sprays, creams and powder available to treat this condition.


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