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Inflammation-Fighting Foods

Inflammation can refer to a wide variety of conditions; everything from sinusitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even emphysema. Inflammation is a non-specific response that occurs as a result of any type of bodily injury, whether it’s physical trauma, certain chronic diseases or illnesses, or any type of foreign body. Getting something as simple as a papercut can be enough to cause the body to have an inflammatory response. In this instance, you will notice things like pain, swelling and redness.

If your inflammation is acute, it generally resolves itself within 12 hours. However, in cases where inflammation is chronic (i.e., rheumatoid arthritis), it tends to last for a prolonged period of time. Chronic inflammation can be triggered by physical injury, certain allergens, toxins (i.e. certain air pollutants, household chemicals, pesticides and even medications), oxidation, oxygen deficiency in tissues, and even stress. Foods that can cause allergic reactions, such as nuts or dairy products, can also trigger an inflammatory response. When an inflammatory response is triggered, the body releases what’s known as “mediators” of inflammation, such as neurotransmitters and hormones.

You can fight inflammation through a variety of ways: By taking medications (such as NSAIDs), increasing your intake of certain nutrients (such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and flavonoids), by avoiding certain foods, as well as by eating certain foods.

Some of the best foods with anti-inflammatory effects include those that contain omega-3 fatty acids; i.e. fish (such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel), nuts (such as walnuts and almonds), flax seeds, and canola oil. Onion, garlic and ginger are also great foods that can help fight inflammation and have been used for decades for this specific purpose. Other foods that are great for fighting inflammation (as well as provide a long list of other health benefits) include dark and leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and kale), berries (such as blueberries, strawberries and cherries), oranges, tomatoes, and olive oil.

Strengthening Your Bones

In total, the human body consists of 206 bones. Our bones are not only important in forming the shape and structure of our bodies, but they are also crucial in providing our bodies with support. Without bones, our bodies would essentially collapse. Every bone that is within our skeletal system also has its own important function. For example, many of our bones surround vital but fragile organs, such as the heart, lungs and brain, as well as protect our central nervous system, working as a protectant to them; while other bones, such as those in our arms and legs, are what allow us to move and provide support to our muscles.

As you age, your bones become weaker. This is usually the result if your body reabsorbing calcium and phosphate from your bones as opposed to keeping these minerals in your bones. This process of bone loss is known as osteoporosis, and has four stages:

Stage 1: This stage typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 35 and is characterized as the initial start of bone breakdown but has no visible symptoms.
Stage 2: Occurring after the age of 35, bone breakdown occurs at a faster pace. Like stage 1, stage 2 also has no visible symptoms but it can often be detected through a bone-density test.
Stage 3: Occurring anywhere after the ages of 45 through 55, the bones are much thinner and can easily fracture or break from the inability to withstand stress that is put on them. Stage 3 is the most common stage in which cases of osteoporosis are diagnosed.
Stage 4: You are much more susceptible to bone fractures and breaks, spine deformities are more obvious, and you can experience an increase in pain as well as have trouble moving around and doing your everyday activities.

One of the most common causes of mild bone loss (osteoporosis) in women is a drop in estrogen – particularly at the time of menopause, while a major cause of bone loss in men is a drop in testosterone. Aside from osteoporosis, there are many different causes and conditions that can potentially contribute to bone loss, and it can even run in families. Bone loss can also develop without any obvious reason or known cause.

When it comes to strengthening the bones, lifestyle plays an important role – especially exercise. Examples of exercise that are good for strengthening the bones include weight training, walking or jogging, and yoga. Even playing your favourite sport, such as tennis, or dancing, can also be considered exercise and will help strengthen the bones. You should also limit your caffeine intake, as this can decrease your body’s calcium absorption, as well as limit your intake of alcohol. If you are going to drink caffeinated beverages such as coffee, then you should have no more than 2 to 3 cups per day. Additionally, bad habits such as smoking can also cause bone loss much quicker than in those who are non-smokers, so you should speak to your physician about quitting as he or she will be able to provide you with some helpful smoking cessation tips.

To increase your calcium intake, try consuming more calcium-rich foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese. Non-dairy sources of calcium, such as canned salmon, leafy green vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, and fortified soy or rice beverages can also be beneficial. To help absorb calcium you also need vitamin D. Examples of foods that are rich in vitamin D include fortified orange juice, fatty fish, margarine, and egg yolks. Those over the age of 50 are recommended to take a vitamin D supplement of at least 400 IU each day. Other nutrients like vitamin K, potassium, magnesium and protein are also important in helping your body with the absorption and use of calcium, as well as with helping build muscle to help keep your bones strong.

COVID, Cold, or Flu?

COVID, Cold, or Flu? | Dr. Ali GhaharyOne of the most common questions that healthcare professionals are asked lately, is how can someone tell the difference between COVID-19, the common cold, and flu. While these are all considered respiratory illnesses, there are some differences in the way they are clinically diagnosed, as the symptoms of each illness will also slightly differ while sharing some similarities at the same time.

First, we’ll start with the common cold. Common colds are viral in nature, meaning that there are no antibiotics that will act as a magic cure, and you unfortunately just have to let nature take its course and deal with those aggravating (and sometimes uncomfortable) symptoms, such as nasal congestion and/or runny nose, and a sore throat. While it can be possible to develop a secondary infection as a result of having a cold, such as a sinus or ear infection (which, in this case, will require antibiotics), a common cold is not considered life-threatening and will generally go away on its own after one or two weeks with simple at-home treatment; such as drinking warm liquids (i.e. tea with honey), getting plenty of rest, and avoiding going to work/school when sick. For relief of symptoms such as nasal congestion, you can take an oral decongestant. There are also nasal spray decongestants available, but you should be careful to not use them frequently as overuse can result in rebound congestion.

Then there is the flu (influenza.) Symptoms of the flu include fever and/or chills, fatigue, weakness, body aches and pains, and headache…while it’s also possible to develop symptoms similar to that of a common cold. When it comes to the similarities between having the flu and COVID-19, they are similar in the way in which they are transmitted. For example, both the flu and COVID-19 can be spread from person to person via droplets (which occur as a result of an infected person sneezing, coughing, or even talking in close proximity to someone else, as well as an infected person touching surface, etc.) As for treating the flu, it can also not be cured with antibiotics. Instead, like a cold, treatment is focused on addressing the symptoms present in the patient, such as reducing fever. A vaccination is also available to help prevent you from getting the flu, as well as reduce the severity of symptoms should you still happen to develop the flu.

When it comes to COVID-19, symptoms that are more likely to occur include the following:

• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath
• Difficulty breathing

In many cases of novel coronavirus, the aforementioned symptoms will be quite mild, while some individuals symptoms may not even be present (also known as being asymptomatic) and therefore they won’t even be aware they have the virus. If you do develop symptoms, even if you don’t think they are severe, it’s still important to self-isolate, as when you pass the virus on to someone else the severity of their symptoms could differ for them significantly from yours, particularly if they are considered high-risk (i.e. have a pre-existing/underlying condition.) In the event that your symptoms are severe, you should call 811 or your family physician’s office. If you develop an extremely high fever or have trouble breathing, you should call 911.

The Process of the Digestive System

The Process of the Digestive System | Dr. Ali GhaharyWhen we eat food, it digests. This is part of the process of the body’s digestive system, which is made up of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, pancreas and gallbladder. The gastrointestinal tract is made up of a series of hollow, long, twisting, tube-like organs, consisting of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and anus. The small intestine is separated into three parts: The duodenum (the beginning), the jejunum (the middle), and the ileum (the end); while the large intestine consists of four parts: The appendix (a finger-shaped pouch), the cecum (the first part of the large intestine), the colon, and the rectum (the end of the large intestine.)

When we consume food, bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract known as flora (also sometimes referred to as microbiome) aide in digestion, as do our nervous system and circulatory system. It is the nerves, hormones, bacteria, blood and organs that all work together to digest the things you eat and drink every day. It is important for the body to digest these foods so that we can get the nutrients from them, such as proteins, vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, and even water. The body breaks down these nutrients into amino acids, fatty acids, glycerol and simple sugars, and absorbs them for use for cell repair, growth, and energy.

Each part of the digestive system plays its own role. We use our mouth for chewing, which helps break down the food into smaller bits so that it can move through our GI tract more easily. As soon as you swallow the food you eat, your brain automatically signals the muscles of your esophagus which then begins something known as peristalsis – in which food and liquids are moved through the gastrointestinal tract and mixes within each organ. Once food reaches the end of your esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter comes into play by relaxing and passing food into your stomach. Once in the stomach, food and liquids become mixed with digestive juices and the stomach contents are then emptied into your small intestine. Once in the small intestine, the foods and digestive juices travel through the pancreas and liver, and the nutrients that you are digesting get absorbed into the bloodstream. Foods that don’t digest move into the large intestine, which absorbs that waste and turns it into stool, which is what then results in a bowel movement.

As mentioned, things like the nerves and hormones work together to control the digestive process and send signals back and forth from your gastrointestinal tract to the brain. Hormones are what tell your body to create digestive juices as well as send signals to the brain to let it know if you are hungry or full. Similarly, when you see or smell food, the nerves that connect the brain and spinal cord essentially gives you that feeling of hunger and prepares you to eat. We also have something known as ENS (Enteric Nervous System) which are located within the walls of the GI tract. The ENS either speeds up or delays the movement of food, and controls your gut muscles to either contract or relax.

There are many digestive disorders that someone can be diagnosed with, including but not limited to gastroesophageal reflux disease – also known as GERD or acid reflux, which is one of the most common digestive disorders. This is a condition that causes a burning sensation in the middle of the chest (heartburn) after consuming good. While some people say it happens after eating any type of food, it is commonly triggered by spicy foods such as tomato, peppers, pasta sauce, etc. Other digestive disorders include gallstones, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, and even hemorrhoids.

Carbohydrates

When you hear the word “carbohydrates” you most likely automatically assume the worst – but did you know that not all carbs are considered bad for your health? In fact, the body needs carbohydrates in order to properly function. For example, the brain needs carbohydrates for energy, while they also help to maintain healthy blood glucose levels and restore something known as muscle glycogen following physical activity. So, if you’re wondering if all carbs are bad, the short answer is no. At the same time, not all carbs are good for you either, so we’ll break down the good vs. bad below.

Carbohydrates are separated into two main categories:

1. Sugars (also known as “simple carbohydrates”)
2. Starches (also known as “complex carbohydrates”)

Sugars, or “simple carbohydrates” as they’re more commonly known, are the bad kind of carb that you should typically avoid. Examples of these kinds of carbohydrates include molecules of simple sugars or monosaccharides like fructose, glucose and galactose. When formed together, they are known as disaccharides (table sugar, for example.) Refined sources of simple carbs and things that you should typically avoid or significantly limit from your diet include sodas, baked goods, packaged cookies, breakfast cereals, and fruit juice concentrate.

Starches, or “complex carbohydrates” (also referred to as polysaccharides), are broken down by the body and turn glucose into energy. Unlike simple carbs, which contain little to no nutritional value, complex carbs are considered to be high in nutrients and also help you digest food more slowly which can decrease feelings of hunger, and therefore be beneficial if you’re trying to lose weight. Dietary fibre is also considered a starch, and can be found in things like whole grains, nuts, beans, and of course fruits and vegetables – apples, berries, bananas, carrots, broccoli, and leafy greens in particular. Other starch sources include corn, oats, peas, rice, and whole wheat bread. Along with helping with weight loss, complex carbs are also ideal for individuals with type 2 diabetes as they will help you to manage your blood sugar following meals, and even protect against cardiovascular problems.

The higher quality carbohydrates you consume, the better. Examples of high-quality carbs are those that are plant-based. Lower quality carbs may be fortified with certain vitamins and minerals, but they’re often lacking in essential nutrients and also include added sugar, sodium and fat, as well as preservatives in effort to improve both taste and shelf-life and are not typically foods that you should consume on a regular basis – or at all. The quality of carbohydrates you eat can also have both positive and negative effects on your health. Lower quality, simple carbs tend to digest more rapidly, which means you could also have a rapid spike in blood sugar as a result. You’re also more likely to develop hunger more quickly, while complex carbs have the opposite effect.

As for the amount of carbohydrates you need to consume every day, this depends on a number of factors, including your current weight, age, gender and height, as well as your activity level. You burn more energy the more physically active you are, which means you’ll need more calorie/carbohydrate intake. However, you should also look at other options for dietary sources of energy aside from just carbohydrates, such as protein, eggs, and even drinking water.

Hypertension

Hypertension | Dr. Ali GhaharyNearly one in five Canadians (that’s approximately 4.6 million people) between the ages of 20 and 79 have hypertension – the medical term that is commonly used to describe high blood pressure. Blood pressure is when the force of your blood gets pumped from the heart and against the blood vessels, making it possible for the delivery of things like nutrients and oxygen to different organs and tissues in the body. However, when you develop hypertension, this means that there is too much pressure in your blood vessels – thus the term “high blood pressure” – and when you have high blood pressure, this can cause damage to those blood vessels as well as pose other serious risks to your health if left untreated.

When it comes to the risk factors of high blood pressure, there are many. However, some of those risk factors are things that you can control, while other risk factors may be beyond your ability to control. For example, one of the most common reasons why someone might develop high blood pressure is often due to their lifestyle. This can include everything from having an unhealthy diet to excess consumption of alcohol, living a sedentary lifestyle, being overweight or obese, to bad habits such as smoking. You can also develop high blood pressure as a result of stress and other health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and sleep apnea. That being said, these are all things that you can manage and control, which can help keep your blood pressure at healthy levels. As mentioned, there are also certain risk factors associated with high blood pressure that cannot be controlled, such as age and genetics. You’re more likely to develop high blood pressure as you age, or if there is a history of high blood pressure in your family.

When it comes to keeping your blood pressure under control, changing your lifestyle can be hard, but with the right mindset it is something that you can easily achieve. As mentioned, having a healthy diet is an important aspect in reducing your risk of high blood pressure. Once of the most common dietary approaches that health professionals recommend is the DASH diet – which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. The DASH diet focuses on eating more fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, whole-grains and nuts, while limiting your intake of things like sugar and red meat, as well as foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, sodium, and cholesterol. Exercise is also important, as being at a healthy weight not only reduces your risk of developing high blood pressure, but is beneficial to your health in a number of other ways, such as decreasing your risk of heart disease, and it can even boost your mood and relieve things like stress and anxiety. Things like cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption can be difficult habits to break, and you may need extra help with those which is okay. There are plenty of cessation tips available online as well as different things, like patches, that you can try, while groups like AA and other counselling/therapy and rehabilitation programs can also help if you are dependent on alcohol. Along with making healthy lifestyle habits, medications can also be prescribed to help control blood pressure. Some of the medications that are most commonly prescribed include diuretics, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, ARBs, CCBs, and direct renin inhibitors.

If high blood pressure remains untreated and out of control, your health will be at risk, which is why getting your blood pressure under control is so important. Having high blood pressure can increase your chances of suffering a stroke or heart attack, puts you at increased risk of heart failure, kidney disease, retinopathy (eye problems), and dementia.

If you are someone who has recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure, it’s important to be as educated as possible on what your blood pressure numbers should be and how to properly monitor your blood pressure. Having a blood pressure level of 120/80 mmHg means you are at low-risk of developing hypertension, while blood pressure readings between 139/89 mmHg and 140/90 mmHg put you at a moderate to elevated risk of hypertension. You can help to keep track of your blood pressure by having an at-home blood pressure reading device, which can be a good tool in helping keep your physician informed on how well your blood pressure is being controlled and knowing how well you are or aren’t progressing. When using an at-home device, it’s important that you don’t smoke or drink caffeine at least 30 minutes before taking your blood pressure. You should also sit and rest quietly for at least 5 minutes prior to taking your blood pressure, and make sure your feet are flat on the floor and arm at heart-level.

Pairing Antibiotics with Probiotics

If you’ve ever been on antibiotics, then you’re most likely aware of the havoc they can wreak on your gut. In some cases, depending on how stubborn a bacterial infection is, patients will sometimes require to be put on a second round of antibiotics – which can increase gastrointestinal upset. While problems with the gastrointestinal/digestive system don’t necessarily happen with all antibiotics, it’s a common occurrence with many. Along with nausea and vomiting, patients may also experience diarrhea. Oftentimes these symptoms will persist throughout the entire duration of the antibiotic in which you’ve been prescribed, and several days after you’ve finished the course.

Because stomach problems are so common when taking antibiotics, it’s often recommended that you take your antibiotic with food. Having your antibiotic with food in the stomach can help reduce some of the aforementioned symptoms. If taking your antibiotic with food doesn’t help, however, and your symptoms persist or worsen, then you may need to try other avenues. Along with recommending that antibiotics be taken with food, doctors and pharmacists also recommend probiotics. When you take antibiotics, not only are you killing off the bad bacteria, but you’re also killing off the good bacteria, too. This is because antibiotics cannot differ between which bacteria is “friend” and which is “foe.” As soon as you start taking an antibiotic, you should also include a probiotic.

Probiotics can be found in different foods, or it can be taken as a supplement. One of the best food sources, as far as a probiotic goes, is yogurt. Yogurt is made from milk that has been fermented by fermented bacteria, such as lactic acid bacteria and another bifidobacterial. Along with reducing gut-related symptoms (such as diarrhea) due to antibiotic use, yogurt can also benefit your health in other ways, such as improving bone health and controlling blood pressure. Not all yogurt contains probiotic, so when choosing a yogurt make sure you read the label and look for the words “active bacterial cultures” or “live cultures.” Probiotics can also be found in other dairy products as well as a variety of vegetables and fermented soybeans.

Along with helping reduce symptoms associated with antibiotic use, probiotics have many other added health benefits. They can play a huge role in immunity, improve digestion (especially helping us absorb essential nutrients that have cancer-fighting effects), improve the skin, and reduce the risk of a wide range of diseases. Patients with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (also known as IBS) and ulcerative colitis also say they’ve noticed a decrease in symptoms as a result of taking antibiotics. Probiotic use has also been linked to improved oral health and weight loss, though there has not been as much evidence to support these claims. Regardless, there are many benefits to taking a probiotic.

Just as anything else you take, probiotics also aren’t free of side effects. While probiotics provide relief for antibiotic-related diarrhea and other gastrointestinal/digestive issues, one of the most common side effects reported as a result of taking probiotics is an increase in gas and bloating. You may also develop constipation. However, these symptoms are only temporary and will usually dissipate after a few weeks. If you are concerned or notice any of these symptoms, it won’t hurt to speak with your family physician or get a pharmacist’s advice. Probiotics (especially probiotic foods like yogurt) may also trigger headaches and migraines, increase histamine levels, and may even increase the risk of infection in those with suppressed immune systems if the bacteria or yeast found in probiotics were to enter the bloodstream, though the chance of this happening is extremely rare.

Complications Associated with Diabetes

Complications Associated with Diabetes | Dr. Ali GhaharyIf you have diabetes, the you know the importance of proper management and making sure your diabetes is under control. If it is left untreated or not properly managed, your risk of developing diabetes-related complications can increase exponentially – and there are many complications that can occur. Among some of the most common complications that are associated with diabetes include heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, eye damage, and nerve damage (also known as neuropathy), just to name a few. Below we take a look at the link between diabetes and these complications that can occur, and the steps you need to take to reduce your risk.

Heart Disease and Stroke

While heart disease and stroke can occur as a result of many different factors (unhealthy eating, being overweight, if you are a smoker, and having high blood pressure or high cholesterol, for example), you can actually develop heart disease as much as 15 years earlier if you happen to be diabetic compared to individuals who are not diabetic – coronary artery disease, in particular – which is why it’s so crucial to ensure your diabetes is being properly managed.

Whether you are diabetic or not, it’s always important to pay close attention to your risk factors and practice maintaining a healthy lifestyle through things like healthy eating and getting regular exercise, as these are healthy habits that will help you to improve your overall health and wellbeing. To see just how at risk you might be, it’s also a good idea to have your blood pressure checked at every doctors’ visit, as well as measuring your A1C and blood lipid levels.

Kidney Disease

Type 2 diabetes is among one of the leading causes of kidney disease in Canada. In fact, as many as fifty percent of those diagnosed with diabetes will develop signs of kidney damage as a result of both high blood glucose levels and having high blood pressure. Over time, high blood glucose levels can cause the tiny blood vessels within the kidneys to become damaged and your kidneys will then be unable to properly filter your blood. This ultimately leads to what’s known as proteinuria, in which protein particles known as microalbumin will spill into the urine – and, as kidney disease progresses, your kidneys will begin to fail, and you will eventually need to go on dialysis or will require a kidney transplant.

Along with diabetes, kidney disease is also linked to high blood pressure – so this is something you will want to ensure that you are keeping at target range. It is also linked to smoking, so if you are a smoker then you need to quit. Having a healthy diet can also be helpful. Eating protein can make your kidneys have to work harder, so if you’re going to consume foods that contain protein then you need to make sure you’re eating smaller portions. You should also eat foods that contain less potassium and phosphorus.

Eye Damage (Diabetic Retinopathy)

When you have diabetes, it’s not uncommon to develop eye problems – including changes in vision, and even blindness. This is known as diabetic retinopathy. Caused by high blood glucose levels, this can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina – the tissue that lines the back of the eye. If left untreated, the damage can progress and you can develop further problems with your vision, which is again why it’s so important to ensure your diabetes is under control. Along with making sure your diabetes is properly managed, you should also be going for regular eye exams with your optometrist. It’s also important to note any changes with your eyes, such as blurred vision, to your optometrist immediately.

Nerve Damage (Neuropathy)

Nerve damage is considered to be one of the longer-term complications that is associated with diabetes. Having high blood glucose levels over an extended period of time can cause damage to the peripheral nerves, affecting limbs such as the hands, arms, legs and feet. Individuals who develop neuropathy may not notice things like simple cuts, scrapes, sores or blisters, which can increase the change of developing things like infections and foot ulcers, which also increases the chance of requiring amputation.

Common symptoms that are associated with neuropathy include sharp, shooting pain, burning, tingling or pricking sensations, throbbing pain, as well as numbness and having the inability to feel hot or cold temperatures. If you have signs of nerve damage, always inspect your legs and the soles of your feet for things like cuts and blisters, wear properly fitting, comfortable shoes, and take care of your feet in general. As always, you should also be sure to keep your blood sugar levels at target range.

Dietary Supplements

If you’re not consuming a sufficient amount of healthy food, then that also means that your body isn’t getting adequate essential nutrients. In order to maintain optimal health, some of the most important nutrients our bodies need include the following:

VITAMINS (to help boost the immune system, strengthen our teeth and bones, aid in the absorption of calcium, help our bodies metabolize proteins and carbohydrates), aid in healthy brain and nervous system functioning, maintain healthy skin, and even prevent certain cancers), MINERALS (to help carry oxygen, maintain healthy skin, hair and nails, improve bone health, balance water levels, prevent tooth decay, aid in blood clotting, support healthy blood pressure, as well as support the immune system), PROTEINS (to help form antibodies, hormones and other essential substances, act as a source of fuel for cells and tissues, and ensure the growth and development of skin, hair, bones and muscles), FATS (to provide the body with energy, and help with functions such as cell growth, blood clotting, muscle movement, blood sugar balance, brain activity, hormone production, and immune function), CARBOHYDRATES (to support the immune system and nervous system, brain function, digestive function, as well as provide us energy so that we can perform daily tasks), and last but not least, WATER (to flush out toxins, keep the body hydrated and lubricated, as well as transport nutrients.)

As mentioned, one of the common reasons why someone may not be getting enough nutrients is often due to having a poor diet. However, nutritional deficiencies can also be caused by certain diseases and even medications (which can sometimes impair the absorption of nutrients.) While it can be a good idea to improve your diet so that you allow your body to get the nutrients it needs, this may not always be enough for some. When this is the case, you may need to take a dietary or nutritional supplement. There has been a lot of scientific evidence to show that certain dietary supplements are not only beneficial for your overall health but can even assist in the management of certain medical conditions.

As for choosing which supplement is best for you, they come in a wide range of doses as well as different formats (such as pill-form and even in beverage form.) It’s also important that you are aware of some of the risks associated with them. For example, some supplements may increase the risk of bleeding. If you take a supplement before or after surgery, they can also affect the response your body has to anesthesia, and they can even interact with medication you’ve been prescribed. One example of an interaction between a supplement and medication is vitamin K, which can prevent the blood from clotting, while some antioxidant supplements like vitamin C and vitamin E may reduce the effectiveness of certain types of chemotherapy drugs. You also need to be cautious about taking dietary supplements if you happen to be pregnant or nursing, as many of them have not been tested for safety in these individuals.

It’s also possible to get too much of a dietary supplement. For example, many of the ingredients that are found in dietary supplements are now being added to different foods, such as breakfast cereals and beverages – and when you get too much of something, that can cause you to develop side effects. These side effects can range from mild to severe, and may include things like nausea and vomiting, headaches, reduced bone strength, liver damage, and can also potentially cause birth defects.

Common Vision Problems

Out of our five basic senses (which include sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch), vision is one of the most important as it’s one we depend upon for our everyday routines. The eyes contain a wide range of tissues and structures that are both complex and also very sensitive, which is why it’s so crucial that you have regular check-ups with your optometrist to ensure your eyes are as healthy as they should be and that there are no underlying conditions you should be concerned about. Furthermore, if you are experiencing problems with your eyes, such as blurry vision, then it is also a good idea to get your eyes checked out. Below is a list of some of the most common conditions known to affect the eyes, how they are diagnosed, symptoms you should watch for, as well as how these conditions are treated.

Blurry vision, as mentioned, is one of the most common problems that is associated with the eyes. When you have blurred vision, you lose the sharpness of your eyesight. This loss of sharpness results in objects appearing hazy or out of focus, and you may also have difficulty reading. Blurred vision will typically only occur in one eye, though it is possible for it to affect both eyes. In many cases, the primary causes of blurred vision are refractive errors, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, as well as astigmatism – however, there are other eye problems that can be the result of blurred vision, including different diseases of the eye, and even neurological disorders. With nearsighted and farsightedness, vision problems are typically corrected with a pair of glasses or contact lenses (if you suffer from dry eye, it’s usually recommended that you avoid the use of contacts), and you may also be a candidate for LASIK eye surgery. When you have astigmatism, your blurred vision will usually be noticeable at all distances. Astigmatism is also usually corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Along with eye strain, another common symptom that is associated with blurred vision or headaches, which is something glasses, contacts or surgery may be able to help relieve.

In older adults, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration are also common. A cataract is when the lens becomes clouded, causing your vision to appear blurry or tinted in colour, and you may also notice the appearance of halos surrounding objects that you look at – especially at night. Initially, a cataract may have little to no impact on your vision. However, they do progress, and once cataracts have reached a certain stage, they will require eye surgery for correction. Aside from age, you are at risk of developing a cataract if you are frequently exposed to UV radiation, if you have certain medical conditions such as diabetes or hypertension, if you smoke, have had a previous eye injury or eye surgery, if you are on certain medications such as corticosteroids or hormone replacement therapy, if you consume excessive amounts of alcohol, or if there is a history of cataracts in your family. Age-related macular degeneration (also known as AMD) tends to typically affect those over the age of 60 and is characterized as gradual damage macula’s cells with symptoms that include blurry vision and distorted vision. It is also considered to be one of the most prevalent causes of vision loss and blindness. Treatment for age-related macular degeneration can include laser therapy as well as anti-angiogenic drugs in which medication is injected into the eye to stop new formation of new blood vessels and block leakage from already-abnormal blood vessels that cause AMD.

Even if you don’t notice any abnormalities with your eyes, it’s important to go for regular check-ups so that you can be on top of your eye health and take necessary precautions against certain eye diseases as well as get the appropriate treatment should there be anything wrong with your eyes.