GOING GLUTEN-FREE

Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.

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A DIET FOR HEALTH & WEIGHT LOSS

Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....

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ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.

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During menopause, the lining of the urethra becomes thinner, drier and less elastic because of declining estrogen levels. This can lead to an increased risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs), urine leakage or the need to urinate more often. Some women experience vaginal dryness or pain with sexual intercourse. Women also find they have a decreased libido. It’s common to feel less interested in sex during menopause.


Rapid bone loss is common during the perimenopausal years. Most women reach their peak bone density at age 25 to 30 years. After that, bone loss averages 0.13 percent per year, which accelerates to a 3-percent loss during the perimenopausal years. Bone loss can cause osteoporosis, which increases the risk of bone fractures.


Heart disease risk increases after menopause. Women who had their ovaries removed surgically at an early age have a higher risk of heart disease. Cholesterol profiles change, with the LDL (bad) cholesterol increasing.

Menopause is the absence of menstrual periods for 12 months – the time in a woman’s life when the ovaries cease to function and she can no longer reproduce. It is a gradual process that can occur as early as the 30s or as late as the 60s, though the average age is 51 years.


As a woman reaches menopause, her menstrual periods may occur more frequently or they may get farther and farther apart before stopping altogether. Common symptoms of menopause include fatigue, hot flashes, mood changes, stress, irritability and depression. Some women experience insomnia, headaches, joint and muscle aches and pains, changes in sex drive, bladder control problems, vaginal dryness and itching. Sometimes hot flashes are accompanied by night sweats, resulting in a lack of sleep and daytime tiredness. Complications some women may develop after menopause include heart disease and osteoporosis.


A hot flash – a feeling of warmth that spreads over the body, usually lasting between 30 seconds and 10 minutes – is common among women undergoing menopause. It is sometimes followed by perspiration, according to the National Institute on Aging. Hot flashes are likely due to a combination of biochemical and hormonal fluctuations brought on by declining estrogen levels. Most women experience hot flashes for a year or two after their final menstrual period.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF MENOPAUSE

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer with a background in teaching and education. She has a keen interest in food and health related issues and can be approached through her website freelancewriter.co. Checkout her blog and network with her on Google+, Twitter, and Facebook.

more articles by harleena singh

Emotional and cognitive symptoms of menopause include memory problems, irritability, fatigue and rapid mood changes. Some women may find it hard to concentrate for long periods of time.


Some women report some degree of weight gain as they go through menopause. The distribution of body fat may change, being deposited more in the waist and abdominal area than in the hips and thighs. The skin texture may change, with wrinkles and even acne appearing, while some women may experience hair growth on the upper lip, chin, abdomen or chest.


Many natural products have been studied for their ability to relieve menopause symptoms, but none has clearly been shown to be helpful. Some can have harmful side effects or interact with other drugs. Leading a healthy lifestyle, including following a proper diet and exercise, helps women during menopause.


Sources and Resources  


Emedicine Health (www.emedicinehealth.com)

Healthline.com (www.healthline.com)

Medical News Today (www.medicalnewstoday.com)

MedicineNet (www.medicinenet.com)

MedlinePlus (www.medlineplus.gov)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) (www.nichd.nih.gov)

The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) (www.menopause.org)

WebMd (www.webmd.com)