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How and Why Drug Addiction Happens

April 25, 2018

Most people have a difficult time understanding addiction—this is a disease of the brain that quickly becomes chronic and is notoriously difficult to treat. From someone on the outside looking in, addiction can appear to be an issue of self-control or simply a byproduct of personal weakness. Unfortunately, drug addiction is a lot more complicated than it appears.

In reality, addiction is an internal motivation driven by a chemical reaction and often fueled by psychological issues. People can be predisposed to addiction—genetics do play a part. When someone is exposed to the perfect storm of factors, they find themselves struggling with something that carries a stigma and shame that’s associated with few other diseases.

What is Addiction?

The definition provided by the American Psychiatric Association states,

“Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequence. People with addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life.”

This definition only scratches the surface of what addiction really means. Addiction is a chronic disease, and it infiltrates every aspect of a person’s life. It becomes the only thing that they think about, and it drives almost every action throughout their day.

This happens when a person becomes physically and psychologically addicted to a substance. Chemical dependency occurs when the brain begins to replace some of its naturally occurring chemicals with those simulated by the drug.

The brain will eventually become completely dependent on the drug to create any sense of balance. As soon as levels of the substance start to fall within a person’s system, they can expect to experience uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

When someone becomes psychologically dependent on drugs, they use them to regulate their emotions and to control traumatic events in their lives. They start to become completely dependent on different substances to regulate the way that they’re living.

For someone who’s suffering from a severe active addiction, the first thing they think about when they open their eyes in the morning is their drug of choice. The last thing that they think about before they lay down each night is their next high.

Exploring Drugs and Alcohol

Not every person who tries drugs or alcohol will become addicted. Addiction is based on a combination of different genetic and psychological factors. If these things aren’t present, then the chemical reaction in their brain won’t stimulate a lasting relationship with drugs and alcohol.

There are plenty of people who can go out and drink on occasion without suffering from constant cravings; alcohol doesn’t take over their lives, and they don’t eventually turn to other drugs. There are also people who may try recreational or illicit drugs once or twice just to see what they feel like without any real consequence.

Taking any type of illegal substance is a risk factor because it requires the person to suspend their respect for the legal system. This blatant disregard is a symptom of addiction in and of itself. Although, it isn’t necessarily the precursor to full-blown chemical dependency.

For generations, the use of drugs and alcohol has almost been a rite of passage for certain socioeconomic groups. We’ve all seen videos of fraternities that involve heavy drinking and moderate drug use. This type of behavior has become normalized on several levels, making it all the more dangerous.

Some people may try drugs and alcohol as a result of a traumatic event or peer pressure.

Physical Motivation

It’s hard to pin down exactly why people become addicted to drugs. The physical motivation can come in a number of different forms. This is generally a chemical dependency, but addiction can be fueled by a need to self-medicate.

Addicted people may complain of pain that’s not associated with withdrawals and seek out illicit substances instead of a medical professional. The primary physical motivation stems from the chemical dependency and the unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that can occur.

Many illicit drugs mimic the natural “feel-good” chemicals that are produced by our brains—these are the chemicals that fight stress, induce relaxation, and stop the pain. When we take drugs, we create a rush of these chemicals and block the receptors that would normally reabsorb them.

This results in a surplus of these types of chemicals that cause euphoria and the good feelings we associate with illegal drug use.

A part of addiction is tolerance—your body becomes accustomed to certain levels of these chemicals and becomes totally dependent on the drugs to introduce them.

When drug levels start to fall in the body, the brain can’t compensate for the lack of chemicals. This results in the brain sending distress signals out to the rest of the body. These distress signals come in the form of withdrawals.

Withdrawals are made up of symptoms like chills, fevers, nausea, insomnia, body aches, seizures, and a myriad of other unpleasant side effects. Many will continue using just to stave off these withdrawal symptoms.

Some people start off by taking a regulated prescription for acute or chronic pain and end up becoming physically addicted to these drugs. The physical motivation is what drives their addiction, and it slowly takes over their lives. Prescription drug abuse has become another severe problem over the last few decades.

Psychological Motivation

Drug use can also directly stem from psychological trauma or other social factors. If you’re living in a home with parents or siblings who regularly and openly use drugs, it’s going to lower your moral expectations of substance abuse.

Many people start their drug addiction using because it’s what they’ve become accustomed to throughout their lives. It can also be another way to self-medicate for mental illness or for trauma victims suffering from something they don’t understand.

Some people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will turn to drugs as a way to numb the psychological pain, and to help them sleep through difficult times.

It can have an impact on a person’s ability to control their emotions, certain memories, and to respond in certain situations. There are also times when people have had traumatic events in their childhood that they simply don’t know how to overcome. This can lead to adult anxiety—which is another psychological motivation for the use of drugs and alcohol.

If someone has extreme social anxiety, they may turn to drugs or alcohol to make themselves feel more outgoing and comfortable in the situations. They may also try to use drugs to stave off panic attacks or to help them sleep when they become overly anxious.

Unfortunately, a psychological addiction often gives way to a physical one. It’s always best to speak with a licensed psychiatrist if you’re experiencing any type of psychological symptom that may lead to drug use.

Separating the Person from the Addiction

Addiction can be heartbreaking for the family and friends of the person suffering from the disease. They often feel like they’ve lost the addict to their drug of choice, and they have a difficult time seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

A person who’s suffering from addiction may adopt a completely different personality. It’s important to remember that this isn’t who they are. It’s a combination of physical and psychological symptoms that have led them to prioritize their drug use above everything else.

The person and their addiction are two separate entities. The addiction often motivates them to behave in certain ways that they otherwise wouldn’t.

Accountability is very important, but so is an understanding of addiction as an actual disease.

Choosing Help

Whether it’s via an intervention or a personally traumatic event, many suffering from addiction will eventually choose to seek help. This is a monumental turning point for those suffering from addiction. It means that they’ve acknowledged that they have a problem and that they don’t have control over their use of drugs and alcohol.

Recovery is possible. It’s important that everyone that was impacted by the addiction seek out their own individual therapy and personal salvation.

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10 Natural Foods That Help You Fight Cancer

November 26, 2017

Cancer affects millions of people each year. Considered one of the major health issues, The United States alone registers around 1 million cancer patients each year. The abnormal behavior of cells resulting in cancer, tumors, and metastasis has given rise to a record number of deaths per year.

Although the general frustration regarding the lack of a trustworthy and easier cure of this wide-spread hazard is huge, researchers have made significant progress on ways of ensuring that you don’t have this disease in the first place. As the old saying goes, “Protection before Cure”, we can easily fight can by protecting ourselves with simple foods that are available at the local grocery store. Some of these items are already in our daily menu, and just adjusting the number of intakes can give us a much-needed protection without an added hassle!

So, next time you are at the grocery store, pick up some of these items which could actively protect you and your family from the risk of cancer:

1. Green Leafy Vegetables

Exceptionally rich in vitamins, mineral, enzymes, and antioxidants, green leafy veggies are quite low in calories, salts, fats and other toxic elements. All leafy green veggies like spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine, arugula, etc. are known to combat cancer. They also have antibacterial and antiviral properties, protecting the body from inflammation.

2. Cruciferous Vegetables

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc. fall into this category and are powerful foods to fight cancer. They contain Vitamin C and master antioxidants that help fight cancer to a huge degree.

Broccoli contains the highest amount of sulforaphane, which is a component known to boost the protective enzymes present in the human body, which in turn expels toxic elements that can cause cancer. Very recently, a study at Michigan University found out that sulforaphane successfully targets the stem cells of cancer, which usually are responsible for the growth of the tumor.

Research suggested that there is no limit to the amount of broccoli you should consume and so more the amount, better the protection. So, starting from flavored broccoli salads to a broccoli-topped pizza, consume broccoli all you can!

3. Tomatoes

This everyday juicy fruit contains a high amount of lycopene, which is a carotenoid responsible for the red color in tomatoes. In a recent study, lycopene had stopped the endometrial cancer growth. Endometrial cancer alone is responsible for about 8,000 deaths every year.

Research says that cooked tomatoes are even better than uncooked ones since the process of heating allows the lycopene to be more absorbable by our bodies. Tomatoes are especially beneficial for preventing lung, prostate and stomach cancer. Experts say that having tomatoes around 7-10 times per week can reduce the possibility of prostate cancer by about 40%.

4. Berries

 

All sorts of berries contain phytonutrients that fight cancer, especially black raspberry which is packed with anthocyanins. Anthocyanins can considerably slow down growth in premalignant cells and prevents the formation of new blood vessels, says Dr. Gary D. Stoner of Ohio State University College of Medicine. Half a cup of berry every day can do the trick, especially when there is a high risk of esophageal, oral and skin cancer.

5. Beans

A Michigan State University research showed that black and navy beans significantly reduced the risk of colon cancers in lab rats. The fatty acid butyrate present in these legumes has the cancer-protective capacity and just half a cup a few times a week is enough. Dried beans are especially effective against breast cancer.

6. Garlic

Highly regarded from old times for its healing properties, garlic protects nitrosamines which are carcinogens formed in the stomach and intestines when nitrates are consumed. Nitrates are commonly used as food preservatives and pose much threat to our health. An Iowa Women’s Health Study found out that garlic can reduce the risk of colon cancers by up to 50%.

If you are repulsed by the strong smell of garlic, just chop a small clove and put it in the sauce, stew or soup you are making!

7. Walnuts

Walnuts contain phytosterols, which are basically cholesterol-like molecules mostly available in plants. According to Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., from the Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia, the phytosterols from walnuts has been found to block estrogen receptors which are present in breast cancer cells, and subsequently, slowing down cancer cell growth. Walnuts also fight against prostate cancer. An ounce a day of walnuts is enough to protect you from these cancers.

8. Organic Meats

Many specialists recommend organic meat, as well as chicken and beef liver, to fight against cancer. Extremely high in vitamin B12, organic meat is one of the densest food rich in nutrients. The minerals present can also help a cleaner liver and boost the natural capacity of the body to expel toxins. The selenium, zinc and Vitamin B can also act as the detox for the blood and intestines, help production of bile, and create balance in the hormones, reducing the risk of infections.

9. Orange Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables with bright pigmentations, like citrus fruits, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, squash, etc. are usually packed with carotenoid antioxidants. Carotenoids are basically derivatives of Vitamin A, which are easily available in these fruits and vegetables. The beta-carotene alone is a very effective component that helps to boost the immunity of the body, fighting cancer in skin, eyes and other organs, as well as, detoxifying the body. Besides, lutein and zeaxanthin prevent many disorders of the skin and eyes, creating a strong filter against harmful blue wavelengths of high energy.

The doctors suggest to ‘eat the rainbow’, meaning, loading up your plate with foods of different colors!

10. Mushrooms

A number of research conveyed on the properties of mushrooms provide evidence that ‘medicinal’ mushrooms, for example, the varieties of cordyceps, maitake and shiitake mushrooms, help the immunity of the body and actively protects the body from cancer.

If the medicinal varieties are not readily available, even button mushrooms contain components that vigorously fight cancer.

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Healthy diet to lower cholesterol.

April 12, 2016

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is an organic molecules essential for human body which travels through our bloodstreams as low density lipoproteins (LDL) and High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). Higher existence of LDL in our blood causes cholesterol related difficulties, for example, excess amount of cholesterol may be deposited in the artery walls.

Molecular structure of cholesterol

Molecular structure of cholesterol

Who are Cholesterol’s sources?

Major source of cholesterol in our body is our dietary habit includes cheese, egg, yolks, and all kinds of red meats, oil and even breast milk. The existence of cholesterol in vegetables or plant source are lower. So using vegetable oil in deep fryer significantly helps to reduce LDL level. Although coconut and palm oil consist of saturated fat causing increment of low density lipoproteins. Avoiding red meats will stabilize the level of small amount of cholesterol human body needs for function purpose. Vegetable and fruits contains lower amount of cholesterol.

Some cholesterol rich steak eggs ribs cheese salmon good example of fatty-foods are source of cholesterol.

Some cholesterol rich steak eggs ribs cheese salmon good example of fatty-foods are source of cholesterol.

 

Some foods to lower cholesterol:

Oats:

Oats contains a substance called beta glucan or β-Glucans, which is a sort of sugar found in cell walls of cereals, oats, yeast, bacteria etc. This chemical substance basically suck up LDL and body expels it as waste. So having cereal made of mainly oats could be a healthy choice to reduce bad cholesterol.

Oatmeal with nut topping to lower cholesterol.

Oatmeal with nut topping to lower cholesterol.

Red Red Wine.

Red wine consists of polyphenol antioxidants to boost the process of slashing bad cholesterol. Grape juice is a good alternative if you don’t drink alcohol. As an alternative to wine, 8 ounce of purple grape juice for women and 16 ounce for men is sufficient to get your LDL cutting job done. Try to get pure grape juice with no extra sugar added to it. Eating red or purple grapes instead of juice does the same job with an extra benefit of fiber.

Red wine, grape or grape juice to lower LDL.

Red wine, grape or grape juice to lower LDL.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate consists of 70% cocoa. Cocoa contains a phytochemical compounds called flavonols, having antioxidants to cut bad cholesterol.White chocolate doesn’t do that.Because it is not made from cocoa. Try eating 1.5 ounce chocolate bar a day, to benefit your blood. Try to get a sugar free one.

Chocolate bar to lower LDL.

Chocolate bar to lower LDL.

Mr. Bean

Beans are full of soluble fibers. This fiber creates a gel type chemical compound. This compound helps to cohere different types of acids and cholesterol in your intestine. Your intestine wall cannot soak up cholesterol anymore. Eat beans in salad or any meal you consume. kidney beans, chickpea, butter beans, pinto beans are blessings for your bloodstream.

A plate of soup containing four types of beans.

A plate of soup containing four types of beans.

Nuts!

You are going crazy thinking about increasing cholesterol level in your body. Surprisingly nuts are here to solve this LDL problem as your friends. Keep in mind nuts are blessed with mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids. This element will reduce bad cholesterol. Allow 42.5 grams of nut friends named almonds, pistachio, hazelnuts, pine nuts, peanuts, pecans, walnuts in your mouth. Get them salt free and without coating.

Mixed nuts to eat raw

Mixed nuts to eat raw

Soy

Taking 25 grams soy protein by eating soy based food such as, tofu, soy milk, soy bean, soy bread, soy cookies are may reduce bad cholesterol by 5% to 6%. But researcher concluded that soy beans are not a extraordinary solution to eliminate Bad cholesterol previously thought. Whole milk contains 3.25% of fat along with 8% cholesterol. Whereas soy milk contains 0% Cholesterol with only 2% of saturated fat.

Soup made of soy milk and tofu.

Soup made of soy milk and tofu.

Something Fishy

Contrary to popular belief that fat fuels LDL in bloodstream, when choose fish to eat, get the fatty one. When you go to fish market or nearby grocery store try to by salmon, trout, tuna, mackerel, sardines etc. which contains Omega-3 fatty acids. This element helps to reduce LDL unlike bad saturated fat found in the red meat.

 

Smoked Mackerel with extra oil added

Smoked Mackerel with extra oil added

oil

The existence of cholesterol in vegetables or oils from plant source are lower. So using vegetable oil instead of butter in deep fryer may significantly help to reduce LDL level. Although coconut, mustard and palm oil consist of saturated fat causing increment of low density lipoproteins. In case of olive oil you choose extra virgin olive oil, because it less purified causing existence of huge antioxidants and may reduce cholesterol close to 15%. Avocado is a great choice along with peanut and canola oil. these oils contains Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats causing lower Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Avocado oil to reduce low density lipoproteins.

Avocado oil to reduce low density lipoproteins.

To bring this short article to an end, I may give you some added advice beside food tips. Any kind of physical activities even simple housework in our everyday life burns fat causing lowered cholesterol level. Physical exercise for example walking every day for 30 minutes decreases higher existence of LDL. Stress and anxiety may raise the level of cholesterol. So focus on your mental health. It is important to free up time for your family and friends, to laugh and hang out with them. Quit smoking. This habit aids in lowering bad cholesterol. You may undergo a cholesterol test in every 5 years.

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Eating For A Healthy Heart

February 15, 2016

Bad cholesterol or a bad diet is something we all experience at some point in time.  It’s impossible to eat healthy our whole lives, even though we may try hard to do it.  Eating healthy for your heart is something everyone should try to do, especially when it comes to restoring health and reducing heart attacks.

Your heart and food
We know these things for sure – a diet high in saturated fats will help raise your cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease.  People that are obese are more prone to heart disease.  A diet high in sodium may elevate your blood pressure, leading to inflammation and even heart disease.

To help prevent heart disease and improve your health, put the tips below to good use.

Eat plenty of fish
Herring, sardines, and salmon are all excellent sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids.  Other fish are great
to, although Omega 3 may help to get your cholesterol down to a healthier level.

Choosing healthy fats and oils
Saturated fat will increase the risk of heart disease. It’s found in meat, butter, and even coconut oil.  You
should avoid them until your cholesterol levels are down and you are at a healthy weight.  Even those
that love red meats can enjoy seafood and nuts for their main sources of protein. Monounsaturated fats such as olive oils will help you to protect your heart.  Olive oil is an ideal choice for cooking, dressing, or even as a dipping
sauce.

Plenty of fiber
Fiber can help you control your cholesterol.  You can find fiber in whole grain products to help control sugar absorption as well, which will help you keep your digestive system healthy.

Choosing carbohydrates
Eating for your heart involves staying away from sugary foods such as candy, cookies, cakes, and pastries.  Eating a lot of sugar isn’t good for your heart disease at all.  Healthy carbohydrates involve whole grain breads, whole grain pasta, brown rice, and a lot of vegetables.  You should make fruits and vegetables the main aspect of your diet.

Healthy cooking methods
Stir frying and sauteing with olive oil or canola oil are both great methods, as you shouldn’t dip your food in batter and fry it anymore.  If you cook chicken, remove the skin and bake it in the oven in foil.

Instead of frying your fish you should always bake it.  Steaming your vegetables can help maintain the most nutrients.  You should use cream sauces or lots of butter anymore either.  When you eat vegetables, try squeezing lemon juice on them or using your favorite seasonings.

As you make the proper changes to your diet, keep in mind that it takes time for them to become habits. Eating healthy is always great for your body and your lifestyle, especially when it comes to your heart and the prevention of heart disease.