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Maria Augustyn

(Naturopath)

Maria Augustyn - BLOG

Blog

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Menopause: the love deficiency disease.

Posted on May 23, 2011 at 7:38 PM Comments comments (0)
When menopause is a disease
Menopause has never been a disease that needed to be treated until our 'modern' age. Additionally, primitive cultures of the world don’t even have a word to describe ‘menopause’. They view a woman that is not menstruating any more as a more powerful being, that possesses wisdom and knowledge, someone to be respected and revered.  
 
The medical establishment, generally speaking, considers a menopausal woman as a patient deficient in this or that drug. But, the drug will make you deficient in another drug, and the multiple uses of drugs create other states that are unknown and not even studied yet. Most drugs are subjected to scientific studies before being used in the general public singly and by and large in healthy people. There is no study of multiple drugs being used on sick or fragile people. The synergistic effect of multiple drugs is unknown.
 
Our culture promotes the devaluation of our older people, instead of cherishing their wisdom they are seeing as mindless, useless burdens that need to be medicated and kept out of sight.
 
It is true, often menopausal women present themselves with multiple issues that reflects a weak organism, frail nerves, unsettled emotions, pains and complaints.
 
Why are menopausal women feeling sick?
During the reproductive years a woman’s busy stressful life takes a big toll on the function of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are the ones that secrete hormones that make her get up fast in the middle of the night to look after a crying infant. Those hormones also are very active during the long days of a working mother attending to a full time job (often not paid well), demanding children/teenagers, a husband that has little time to participate in family life, a household…the shopping…the cooking…the washing…and…while doing all that she must look pretty, gentle, happy and attractive…When menopause comes the adrenal glands are exhausted. When the ovaries stop functioning the adrenal glands should be taking over the job of the ovaries, but they are fatigued. Therefore she is less capable of feeling strong and healthy; she has given up all her ‘juices’ in the process of bringing up a family.
 
Can you see the need for support for working mothers? Is it reasonable what we expect of our young women?
 
Lifestyle intervention is the most efficient way of promoting health during menopause. Exercises, good food, sun, laughter, purpose in our lives are the best promoters of health. Weight bearing exercise promotes bone health and muscular health. A busy purposeful mind with the ability to relax and be peaceful, promotes optimism and health. Menopause is not a disease, is a passage of woman into wisdom, freedom from the reproductive responsibilities and even more enjoyment out of life.
 
Why are many menopausal women feeling unhealthy, nervous, and fragile? I think the extended family is the natural environment for the bringing up of a family; unfortunately an extended family is not the norm in our society. Migration between cities and continents in search of material benefits has made the typical family structure fractured.
If you are a young woman, please make time in your life for relaxation, nourish yourself well, and make sure you laugh regularly. Many of my patients have commented that they feel guilty if they relax or have a little time off from their multiple responsibilities. Spending some ‘me’ time can make you a better mother, spouse, worker, a better manager of your multiple complex business that you run every day.
 Further more, you will be investing in your future health (mental and physical) and thus becoming a more productive grandmother, a stronger pilar of our society, more able to support the young women that your daughters and granddaughters will be.
 
Please consider a health promoting program appropriate for the stage of your life that you are at: http://www.mariaaugustyn.com/Clinic-Programs.html

ADHD - Alternative to harmful drugs.

Posted on May 16, 2011 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (208)
Elimination diet for ADHD
 
The study by Lidy Pelsser and colleagues (Feb 5, p 494) attempted to determine whether a restricted elimination diet is an effective treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Although the design had some methodological strengths, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Unfortunately, the study's design was severely flawed since none of the outcome assessments was blind to treatment status. The investigators should have included at least one objective, independent assessment of attention, impulsivity, or activity level.
Although it is reasonable for families of young hyperactive children to consider elimination diets, this study raises as many questions as it answers with respect to this treatment approach.
Original Text
 
The Naturopathic Approach
 
Give your baby a chance to grow to become the best that s/he can be. Natural medicines can assist to balance and harmonise the body/mind without the nasty side effects and dependency of conventional medical drugs that may lead to long term depression.
If you and your Dr decide that you need to put your child on medical drugs, ensure you are encouraging the normal healthy development of body and brain with proper nutrition and a supportive lifestyle, in time you might need less of the drug or totally eliminate it.
Please read below more information on Naturopathy and ADHD.
Make an appointment today ([email protected]) and start to build better health for your most precious little people.
 
Definition
The term “attention deficit” is misleading. In general, the current predominating theories suggest that persons with ADHD actually have difficulty regulating their attention; inhibiting their attention to non-relevant stimuli, and/or focussing too intensely on specific stimuli to the exclusion of what is relevant. In one sense, rather than too little attention, many persons with ADHD pay too much attention to too many things, leading them to have little focus.
The major neurologic functions disturbed by the neurotransmitter imbalance of ADHD fall into the category of executive function. The 6 major tasks of executive function that are most commonly distorted with ADHD are (1) shifting from one mindset or strategy to another (i.e., flexibility), (2) organization (e.g., anticipating both needs and problems), (3) planning (e.g., goal setting), (4) working memory (i.e., receiving, storing, then retrieving information within short-term memory), (5) separating affect from cognition (i.e., detaching one's emotions from one's reason), and (6) inhibiting and regulating verbal and motoric action (e.g., jumping to conclusions too quickly, difficulty waiting in line in an appropriate fashion).
 
Causes and Risk Factors
Like most complex neurobehavioral syndromes, the cause of ADHD is unknown (Daruna et al. 2000). Genetic factors as well as other factors affecting brain development during prenatal and postnatal life are most likely involved (Daruna et al. 2000). The use of functional neuro-imaging has led to identification of a number of consistent features in the brains of ADHD children. These features include decreased arousal and glucose metabolism and increased theta (4 to 8 Hz) activity in both the frontal and subcortical regions (Thompson and Thompson 1998). Results of animal studies and the therapeutic success of psycho-stimulant medication suggest that the aetio-pathology (cause of disease) of ADHD may involve hypofunctional (poor function) dopamine pathways and other neurotransmitter imbalances (Kidd 2000).
Heredity: children with ADHD usually have at least one first-degree relative who also has ADHD and one-third of all fathers who had ADHD in their youth have children with ADHD (National Institute of Mental Health 2001).
Gender: ADHD is more prevalent in boys; the male-to-female ratio is 4:1 in epidemiologic surveys and 9:1 in clinic samples (Daruna et al. 2000).
Prenatal and early postnatal health: maternal drug, alcohol, and cigarette use (National Institute of Mental Health 2001); in-utero exposure to toxins, including lead, dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); nutrient deficiencies and imbalances.
Abnormal thyroid responsiveness (possibly caused by exposure to pollutants during perinatal period) (Kidd 2000).
Learning disabilities, communication disorders (Kidd 2000), and tic disorders such as Tourette's syndrome (American Psychiatric Association 1994).
Nutritional factors: allergies or intolerances to food, food colouring, or additives (Kidd 2000).
Environmental exposures: chronic exposure to lead and other toxic metals have been linked to a variety of neurobehavioral sequelae in children (Kidd 2000).
Extreme or pervasive psychosocial stressors (such as marital discord or parental psychopathology); in isolation probably not a major cause of ADHD, but may contribute in combination with other risks (Wolraich and Baumgaertel 1997).
 
Symptoms & Signs – Inattentive
  • Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
  • Has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
  • Does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
  • Does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace
  • Has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
  • Avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort
  • Loses things necessary for tasks or activities
  • Is easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
  • Is forgetful in daily activities
 
Symptoms & Signs - Hyperactive
  • Fidgets with hands or feet, or squirms in seat
  • Leaves seat in situations where remaining seated is expected
  • Runs or climbs excessively in inappropriate situations (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
  • Has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
  • Acts as if "driven by a motor"
  • Talks excessively
  • Blurts out answers before questions are completed
  • Has difficulty awaiting turn
  • Interrupts or intrudes on others
 
Pathology Tests
Hair metal analysis
Useful for screening for metal toxicity, which may be a triggering factor
Indican Testing
 
Diet and Lifestyle
Behavioural modification programs are recommended, to assist sufferers and parents establish suitable routines and systems for managing undesirable behaviour.
Patients do best in school and work environments which offer a highly structured approach.
Ensure that punishment is not overly harsh, and that praise is given for acceptable behaviours.
Ensure adequate sleep and physical exercise.
 
Diet
Patients should avoid coffee, cola and other caffeinated drinks (if taking stimulants).
Diet should be low in sugar and carbohydrates, as hypoglycaemia may trigger symptoms.
Each meal should have protein to provide adequate amino acids for healthy neurotransmitter production.

Stress...Are you coping well...What can you do?

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 10:54 PM Comments comments (0)
Mentally-ill doctors
failing to get treatment
 
Doctors are under so much pressure to keep-up the image of a “super-person” that those struggling with a mental-illness are failing to access healthcare, a new study suggests.
 
A survey of doctors including GPs reveals that “unrealistic expectations” are preventing those with a mental illness from seeking help.
 
“Several described self-treating with medication, exercise, relaxation, etc until a point of crisis or desperation was reached.”
The survey also found that most doctors who saw a psychiatrist were self-referred due to concerns about their work performance and fear of being reported to the Medical Council.
The authors suggest more support needs to be given to doctors to help them "acknowledge vulnerability". They also say more informal doctor to-doctor conversations could be beneficial.
Gemma Collins 6minutes
 
The Naturopathic Treatment of Stress
 
What is stress?
The stress response is well characterised as the “flight or fight” response, and is highly variable between individuals. Therefore there is no one-size-fits-all approach to stress management strategies, and why we need to develop individual treatment strategies based on the patients presentation, their lifestyle and their own health goals.
Manageable stress is beneficial to mental and physical health; it challenges us, encourages change, creates adaptation and makes us stronger, both emotionally and biochemically.
However, when faced with extraordinary stress or under constant stress, without adequate recovery, the stress response can become over-stretched and predispose to physiological and neurological changes, leading to the major chronic diseases of modern life, including neurological imbalances, insulin resistance, hormonal disturbances and immune suppression.
 
Causes and Risk Factors
Factors that increase stress include the following:
Major life stressors:
(top 20 life stressors from Holmes and Rahe Stress Score)
1. Death of a spouse
2. Divorce
3. Marital separation
4. Imprisonment
5. Death of a close family member
6. Personal injury or illness
7. Marriage
8. Dismissal from work
9. Marital reconciliation
10. Change in health of family member
11. Pregnancy
12. Sexual difficulties
13. Gain a new family member
14. Business readjustment
15. Change in financial state
16. Death of a close friend
17. Change to different line of work
18. Change in frequency of arguments
19. Major mortgage
20. Foreclosure on mortgage or loan
 
Chronic stress & anxiety risk factors:
• In-utero stress (Maternal stress experienced during gestation – foetal programming)
• Traumatic early life experiences
• Stress, depression, other psychiatric conditions
• Life situations (social or financial problems)
 
Lifestyle Factors
• Lack of exercise – sedentary lifestyle
• Excessive caffeine and / or alcohol consumption
• Excessive consumption of high fat and simple sugars
• Overweight and obesity
• Food intolerances and allergies.
• Tobacco smoking increasing the stress response.
• Toxin exposure
• Nutritional deficiencies, especially B vitamins, zinc and magnesium
 
Symptoms & Signs of excessive stress or our inability to cope
• Neurological dysfunction: Anxiety, poor concentration, excessive worry, insomnia, depression &/or extreme fatigue.
• Cardiovascular symptoms: Palpitations, clammy palms.
• Digestive dysfunction: Digestive cramping, irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances, hypochlorhydria.
• Immunological dysfunction: Inflammation, increased risk of infection, predisposition to allergies.
• Metabolic dysfunctions: insulin resistance, obesity.
• Musculoskeletal disorders: Muscular tension (eg: shoulders), tension headaches.
• Other common presenting signs and symptoms: declining vision and/or hearing,
fatigue, loss of skin elasticity.
 
Diet and Lifestyle
Lifestyle guidelines may assist in the management of stress:
• Take regular exercise
• Practice relaxation, guided visualisation and/or breathing techniques.
• Set boundaries in relationships, families and work.
• Get support from friends, family, colleagues.
• Assign “time-to-fret” then get on with day to day activities with enthusiasm.
• Take regular work breaks throughout the day.
• Take weekend or holidays away from obligations and worries to gain a fresh perspective.
• Express your creativity. Write, garden, paint, sing – or take up a new hobby or classes.
• Stop smoking
 
Dietary guidelines may assist in the management of stress:
• Reduce pro-inflammatory foods in the diet including saturated fats (meats, especially poultry, and dairy), refined foods, and sugar. Patients sensitive to antibiotics should eat only organic meats to avoid antibiotic residues.
• Emphasise foods high in essential fatty acids such as oily fish and nuts/seeds. (www.food2live.org)
• Eat a minimally processed diet rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients (www.food2live.org) and bioflavonoids.
• Protein is essential for connective tissue support, and should be consumed regularly.
• Nutrients to support digestive health including fibre and yoghurt should be consumed.
• Minimise intake of caffeine, alcohol and salt.
 
Programs that may assist the stressed patient
 
Integrated Detoxification
Dysbiosis (poor intestinal health) and toxic accumulation are two of the main triggers for the inflammation that drives many chronic degenerative diseases.
The integrated program also addresses digestive competence and aspects of dietary tolerance.
 
Professional Weight Management Program
A carbohydrate-controlled, ketogenic fat loss program is an essential approach for those with severe insulin resistance, who will usually also be overweight or obese. Reducing dietary glycaemic load will reduce insulin release and help patients lose fat, particularly visceral (waist) adipose tissue, thus helping to minimise the risk of many chronic illnesses.
 
Wellness Lifestyle Program
This program is for those of relatively normal weight (i.e. fat percentage) and activity. This approach is designed to maintain a healthy body composition and insulin sensitivity by utilising an anti-inflammatory diet, stress management and regular exercise, all associated with optimum health and longevity.
Elimination diet and /or alkalising dietary strategies may be incorporated with Wellness for maximum benefit.
 
Supportive Herbal Treatments
Depending on the patient’s needs the treatment may include the use of herbs such as
  • Bupleurum
  • Gingseng
  • Rehmannia
  • Rhodiola
  • Withania 
Make an appointment today: [email protected]

Price rises hitting the poor

Posted on May 11, 2011 at 12:51 AM Comments comments (0)
Price rises hitting diet of Manningham's poor
 
RISING produce prices are affecting the diet and health of Manningham’s low-income earners, local GPs and welfare workers say.
Manningham General Practice’s Dr Amitabh Ilango said he had already seen subtle signs of poor diets among patients in response to rising fruit and vegetable prices.
Dr Ilango said there was “no doubt” cases of malnutrition would increase if prices continued to rise. The Templestowe GP said in an effort to record the effect of tight budgets on his patients’ health, he had started asking them whether they were making healthy food cutbacks.
He said elderly people and children were most at risk.
“With commodity prices going up, there is no doubt that some patients are choosing what they should eat based upon the cost rather than health benefits,” Dr Ilango said.
“If the elderly and young children in their growing years are going to be deprived of adequate amounts of fruit and fibre, that will definitely impact upon their health.”
Market and industry research company IIBISWorld has predicted the recent floods and cyclones would have a significant impact on Australia’s agricultural sector this year.
With flood-affected Queensland and Victoria supplying 54 per cent of the nation’s fruit and vegetables, big wholesale prices rises were expected.
However, the extent of the price rises at the checkout will depend on supermarkets’ willingness to absorb the costs and accept blemished produce.
Manningham Community Health dietitian Carrie Wong said neglecting fresh food made people more susceptible to infections and made it harder to recover when sick.
Ms Wong said some of the community health service’s clients had turned to fast food as prices at the supermarket went up.
“They think fast food is actually cheaper,” Ms Wong said.
Feb 11 Shaun Turton
 
Some strategies to eat well and save money:
Buy with a friend in bulk.
Be willing to plan your meals and cook.
Be aware that you can get good quality protein from pulses or legumes. To get complete protein from pulses/legumes combine them with rice. Try brown rice to increase the nutrient density of your meal.
Tofu can be a cheap source of protein.
Vegetables prepared lovingly can be comforting, nutritious and filling.
Cheap take away foods can be filling but are high in calories and bad fats and only provide food for one meal.
Our crisis of obesity has been described as a kind of famine.
We consume ‘cheap’ convenience food that doesn’t provide nutrients, and our body thinks that we are starved, and asks for more food.
The result is that we are getting obese but our bodies are depleted of nutrients.
Consider rich in nutrients food, get the most for your money:

A Photo Can Be a Painkiller!

Posted on May 10, 2011 at 6:05 AM Comments comments (0)
Photographs Of Loved Ones
Can Be Effective Painkillers
 
You may remember being calmed by your mum the first time you had blood drawn in the doctor’s office, or a loved one helping you feel like you’re not alone.
 
The benefits of other people have been obvious to us for awhile, but new research is showing that a reminder as small as a photograph can have the same effect.
 
Ferris Jabr, writing for Scientific America, elaborates:
A Psychological Science study in 2009 first showed the effect. Psychologist Sarah Master of the University California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues studied 25 women and their boyfriends of more than six months. The researchers subjected the women to different degrees of thermal stimulation-a sharp, prickling sensation-as they either held their boyfriend’s hand while he sat behind a curtain, held the hand of a male stranger behind a curtain, viewed a photograph of their boyfriend or viewed a photograph of a male stranger. Holding their partner’s hand or viewing his photo decreased the women’s pain significantly more than touching or viewing a stranger-and the photo was just as effective as the physical contact.
 
Next time you’re coping with pain, consider looking at photographs of people you care about. It might make enduring that pain a bit easy.
 
For a look at other studies and more evidence, be sure to check out the full article.
 
When Photos Are Painkillers [Scientific American]
 
 
 

Ovarian Cancer...how can you tell if you have it?

Posted on May 9, 2011 at 5:11 AM Comments comments (0)
 New guidelines for early detection of ovarian cancer
 
Ovarian cancer has the highest mortality of any gynaecological cancer. Because the physical signs are not readily detectable and the symptoms are vague and non-specific, most cases are detected at advanced stages and have a very poor prognosis.
One of the aims of the guidelines is to facilitate early diagnosis by increasing awareness of symptoms and signs.
The advise in the UK, is for primary care professionals to measure serum concentrations of the protein CA125 if a woman (especially if older than 50 years) presents on a persistent or frequent basis with abdominal distension, feeling full or loss of appetite, pelvic or abdominal pain, or increased urinary frequency.
If the blood test is positive, an ultrasound of the abdomen or pelvis should be done and, if ovarian cancer is suggested, the woman should be referred to a specialist.
Although not perfect, by increasing the number of blood tests and ultrasounds, this new strategy should raise awareness and promote early diagnosis in primary care. 
(The Lancet, Volume 377, Issue 9777, Page 1544, 7 May 2011)
 
Don't ignore the following symptoms:
  • Bloating
  • Difficulty eating (getting full very soon)
  • Constipation
  • Increase in abdominal size
  • Lower back pain
  • Abdominal/pelvic pain
Any of these symptoms if it is new to you and persists more than 2 weeks, see your Dr.
Many patients with ovarian cancer have been wrongly diagnosed as having:
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Stress
  • Depression
Don't ignore the signs, you know your body better than any one else. Seek a second opinion.
When diagnosed early, you might loose an ovary, but you will keep your life and you could even have a child with your other ovary intact.
Better still, make sure that you have a life style that promotes health and you have an anti-inflammatory diet and eat foods that help prevent cancer.
 
Start with your breakfast:
 
 
 
 

How you see colours and your thyroid gland's health

Posted on May 7, 2011 at 2:26 AM Comments comments (1)
 Thyroid Regulates How We See Colours!
 
Turns out our sensitivity to seeing in colour is not only due to cone cells in the retina, but also through the thyroid gland by controlling which visual pigment is produced in the cones. Research conducted on mice and rats has revealed that the production of visual pigment present in mature cones is regulated by the thyroid hormone.

The team of researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt/M., along with colleagues at the University of Frankfurt and universities in Vienna, assumed that this process must be present in all mammals, including humans. If this were the case, the adult-onset of thyroid hormone deficiency would affect colour vision.

Most mammals have two types of spectral cones, which contain two different visual pigments (opsins). The first opsin is sensitive to shortwave light (UV/blue opsin), and the second is sensitive to middle-to-long wave light (green opsin). These cones are receptive to the thyroid hormone, and when activated by the hormone, the cones will suppress the production of UV/blue opsin, and activate the synthesis of green opsin.

It was long believed that the thyroid only controlled opsin production during developmental stages; in mature and established cones, the opsin had reached its plateau, needing no further regulation. However, this theory is now challenged.

A study carried out by lead authors Martin Glösmann and Anika Glaschke in Leo Peichl's team at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, along with their colleagues at the universities of Frankfurt and Vienna, conducted a study which proves opsin production in mature cones continually depend on the thyroid at a hormone level past developmental stages. The researchers had started with an analysis of thyroid hormone involvement in the early postnatal development of mouse cones.

"We wanted to know how long the time window for the hormone effect was, at what point the hormone's influence on opsin production stopped," Glaschke was quoted saying. "To our surprise we did not find such an endpoint, even several weeks after birth there was a hormone effect".

A treatment was administered to several adult mice and rats that caused an insufficient production from the thyroid hormone. During the treatment, the functions of the opsin switched: the production of UV/blue opsin was activated, and green opsin production was suppressed. When the treatment ended, hormone levels returned to normal and the cones reverted to their regular production of opsin.

The results of the study led researchers to conclude that the two types spectral cones, which are defined by the opsin they express, are dynamically and reversibly controlled by thyroid hormone past the developmental stages, and throughout life.

"In addition to their importance for basic retinal research, our findings may also have clinical relevance," Martin Glösmann, who currently examines the genetic foundations of the process at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna was quoted as saying. "If this mechanism also acts in human cones, the adult-onset of thyroid hormone deficiency - e.g. as a consequence of dietary iodine deficiency or removal of the thyroid - would also affect the cone opsins and colour vision."

SOURCE: Max Planck Institute for Brain Research, March 29, 2011

Can we teach our children SELF-CONTROL?

Posted on April 30, 2011 at 3:15 AM Comments comments (0)
How Self-Control Works
The scientific community is increasingly coming to realise how central self-control is to many important life outcomes. We have always known about the impact of socioeconomic status and IQ, but these are factors that are highly resistant to interventions. In contrast, self-control may be something that we can tap into to make sweeping improvements life outcomes.

If you think about the environment we live in, you will notice how it is essentially designed to challenge every grain of our self-control. Businesses have the means and motivation to get us to do things NOW, not later. Krispy Kreme wants us to buy a dozen doughnuts while they are hot; Best Buy wants us to buy a television before we leave the store today; even our physicians want us to hurry up and schedule our annual checkup.
There is not much place for waiting in today’s marketplace. In fact you can think about the whole capitalist system as being designed to get us to take actions and spend money now - and those businesses that are more successful in that do better and prosper (at least in the short term). And this of course continuously tests our ability to resist temptation and exercise self-control.
It is in this very environment that it's particularly important to understand what's going on behind the mysterious force of self-control.

Several decades ago, Walter Mischel started investigating the determinants of delayed gratification in children. He found that the degree of self-control independently exerted by preschoolers who were tempted with small rewards (but told they could receive larger rewards if they resisted) is predictive of grades and social competence in adolescence.

 
A recent study at Duke demonstrates very convincingly the role that self control plays not only in better cognitive and social outcomes in adolescence, but also in many other factors and into adulthood. In this study, the researchers followed 1,000 children for 30 years, examining the effect of early self-control on health, wealth and public safety. Controlling for socioeconomic status and IQ, they show that individuals with lower self-control experienced negative outcomes in all three areas, with greater rates of health issues like sexually transmitted infections, substance dependence, financial problems including poor credit and lack of savings, single-parent child-rearing, and even crime. These results show that self-control can have a deep influence on a wide range of activities. And there is some good news: if we can find a way to improve self-control, maybe we could do better.

Where does the skill of self–control come from?
So when we consider these individual differences in the ability to exert self-control, the real question is where they originate – are they differences in pure, unadulterated ability (i.e., one is simply born with greater self-control) or are these differences a result of sophistication (a greater ability to learn and create strategies that help overcome temptation)?

In other words, are the kids who are better at self control able to control, and actively reduce, how tempted they are by the immediate rewards in their environment, or are they just better at coming up with ways to distract themselves and this way avoid acting on their temptation?

It may very well be the latter. A hint is found in the videos of the children who participated in Mischel’s experiments. It’s clear that all of the children had a difficult time resisting one immediate marshmallow to get more later. However, we also see that the children most successful at delaying rewards spontaneously created strategies to help them resist temptations. Some children sat on their hands, physically restraining themselves, while others tried to redirect their attention by singing, talking or looking away. Moreover, Mischel found that all children were better at delaying rewards when distracting thoughts were suggested to them.

A helpful metaphor is the tale of Ulysses and the sirens. Ulysses knew that the sirens’ enchanting song could lead him to follow them, but he didn’t want to do that. At the same time he also did not want to deprive himself from hearing their song – so he asked his sailors to tie him to the mast and fill their ears with wax to block out the sound – and so he could hear the song of the sirens but resist their lure. Was Ulysses able to resist temptation? No, but he was able to come up with a strategy that prevented him from acting on his impulses.
It seems that Ulysses and kids ability to exert self-control is less connected to a natural ability and more linked to the ability to reconfigure our environment (tying ourselves to the mast) and modulate the intensity by which it tempts us (filling our ears with wax).

If this is indeed the case, this is good news because it is probably much easier to teach people tricks to deal with self-control issues than to avoid experiencing temptation when it is very close to our faces.
Scientific American April 12, 2011

 

Alzheimer's...a form of brain diabetes.

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 9:47 PM Comments comments (17)
Insulin: Predictor for Alzheimer’s?
 
Could Alzheimer’s be a form of diabetes? Brain levels of insulin and its related cellular receptors fall during the early stages of Alzheimer’s, and as insulin levels continue to drop, the disease becomes more severe. Now, doctors are looking at memory problems like Alzheimer’s disease as a form of brain starvation, and one doctor says glucose metabolism can be the key to helping prevent this deadly disease.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. Most often, it is diagnosed in people over 65, although the less-prevalent, early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. In 2006, there were over 26 million sufferers worldwide. Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050. A recent study showed the inability of the brain to properly use glucose might be a key factor in the development of the disease.

"Type 1 and 2 diabetes are diabetes of the body, which means the body can’t handle sugar properly. Type 3 diabetes means the brain can’t handle sugar properly, "Larry McCleary, M.D., a neurosurgeon and author of "Feed your Brain, Lose Your Belly", says diabetics have four-times the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, and those with prediabetes have triple the risk. Insulin and its related protein, insulin-related growth factor-I, lose the ability to bind to cell receptors. This creates a resistance to the insulin growth factors, causing the cells to malfunction and die.

"If you can’t handle your primary fuel source, then you can’t generate energy, and you lose function, and that’s pretty much what happens in Alzheimer’s disease," Dr. McCleary explained. "Changes in brain glucose metabolism can occur in people who have no symptoms. Their brains are functioning normally in their 20’s and 30’s, but yet if you do scan, you can see subtle changes in glucose metabolism in the brain and not just anywhere in the brain. They are actually in the regions where Alzheimer’s disease develops when you’re 65 or 75 years old."

He says to prevent diabetes of the brain and the body, it’s important to make lifestyle changes that feed the brain while maintaining stable blood sugar and insulin levels.

"If your brain is functioning normally, but it’s starting not to work normally, that’s the time to start thinking about doing something about it," Dr. McCleary said. "If you lose weight, you can get the glucose metabolism back to normal. If you can do that before you injure brain cells permanently, I predict that you should be able to reverse the changes in your brain."

He says people with a family history of Alzheimer’s disease, or those who have had a head injury that leads to memory loss should get tested by doing a simple glucose tolerance test once in a while. "If your insulin glucose improves, then probably your brain health will improve as well, but it’s better to do it early on even if everything is still functioning than waiting until the nerve cells are starting to die because once they do, they don’t get replaced," Dr. McCleary said.

Dr. McCleary says if insulin resistance could be minimized by making proper food choices, he estimates that 40 percent of Alzheimer’s disease cases could be prevented.

SOURCE: Interview with Dr. Larry McCleary, 19th Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging and Aesthetic Medicine, held in Orlando, FL, April 7-9, 2011 - Panaxea
 
The Clinic Program "Getting Slimmer and HEALTHIER" is based on a diet that has the property of manipulating insulin levels in our blood stream. When less insulin is needed, muscle mass is preserved and fatty tissue is lost. Furthermore, the style of eating suggested has the ability of being anti-inflammatory.
 
As a consequence, you can become HEALTHIER, not just slimmer.
In my practice I use for my older patients  and in people with a family history of mental decline related to ageing, Colostrinin, just one capsule per day.
 
This wonderful nutrient  is extracted from colostrum, and manipulated in such a way to make it easily available for our bodies.
It helps with the age related loss of brain power like memory, concentration, etc. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study of Colostrinin conducted on 105 patients with ARCD (age related cognitive decline) found this polypeptide has a stabilising effect on cognitive function. Colostrinin has proven efficacy in managing mild and moderate cases of ARCD with greater efficacy in earlier-stage patients than more advanced.
May reduce beta amyloid: One of the ways Colostrinin may manage progression of ARCD is through reduction of beta-amyloid levels in the brain.
Beta-amyloid has fascinated scientists for years. Long considered a key player in the development and progression of AD, it held its secrets closely. In the past several years, however, it has gradually begun to give up many of these secrets. Scientists have learned an enormous amount about how beta-amyloid plaques are formed and the toxic effects that these structures as well as the earlier forms of beta-amyloid have on neurons and synapses. These findings have opened up new avenues of investigation and new possibilities for therapeutic targets.
In in-vitro studies, the addition of Colostrinin to neural cells inhibited the formation of beta-amyloid fibres. Further, upon long-term incubation, amyloid fibres were largely dissolved by Colostrinin.
Prevents oxidative damage: Another key mechanism of action for Colostrinin is that this polypeptide protects the sensitive central nervous system against oxidative damage,
 
Our brain health is our most precious asset. Are you doing all you can to preserve your brain function for a long time?
 
Ring today for an appointment: Let’s improve your brain health.
WARNING: The 'side effects' are that you will gain health for your entire body, not just your brain, and you will feel more energetic and alive!

High Blood Pressure and MSG in Chinese foods.

Posted on April 28, 2011 at 8:44 AM Comments comments (189)
High BP? Hold the MSG
Consumption of monosodium glutamate may raise blood pressure, especially in women and in people taking antihypertensives, Australian and Chinese researchers have shown.
A prospective study of more than 1200 people in China found strong dose-related increases in both systolic and diastolic BP associated with MSG consumption.
Over a five year period, the average increase in BP was 4.5mmHg, but increases of almost 10mmHg were seen in people with higher intakes of MSG. A similar pattern, but with lower absolute increases, was  seen with diastolic BP.
Women with a higher MSG intake were much more likely than men to show increased BP, and there was also a stronger association between BP and MSG among people taking antihypertensives.
Writing in the Journal of Hypertension (online March 2), the research team, which included Professor Garry Wittert of the University of Adelaide, said the interaction with antihypertensives may be because glutamate antagonises dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers.
Therefore, they say MSG intake may need to be a consideration when making a choice of antihypertensive medication. “When initiating treatment for hypertension or when reviewing therapy in the setting of persistently or recurrently elevated blood pressure it would be prudent to review MSG intake,” they suggest.
 
Michael Woodhead
6 minutes
 

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