Category Archives: Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness

A Comprehensive Guide on Supporting Someone with Diabetes

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Diabetes is a condition wherein there is impairment in the production of insulin in the body. It remains to be one of the leading causes of death in the world, and accounts for about 380 million individuals worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. This figure, however, is feared to double by the year 2030.

Diabetes has become more prevalent than diseases like HIV and breast cancer combined. According to estimates, there is at least 1 diabetic individual for every 3 Americans.

The emergence of a large number of fast food restaurants is considered as one of the major factors to the increasing number of individuals with diabetes. Due to frequent consumption of these poor nutritious foods, more children have become obese.

Apart from consuming unhealthy food is them being inactive, especially due to the popularity of video game consoles. With this kind of lifestyle, children as young as 12 years old can develop Type II Diabetes.

Understanding the Role of Insulin

Insulin is the hormone that processes sugar from the food that you eat, and converts it into energy. Secreted by the pancreas, insulin has the ability to control the blood glucose level in the body.

An increase in blood glucose level is called hyperglycemia, while low blood glucose level is referred to as hypoglycemia.

Reasons for having hypoglycemia include:

  • Missed meals
  • Too much intake of diabetic medication
  • Insufficient carbohydrate intake
  • Alcohol intake without food

Hyperglycemia is likely to happen when an individual eats more than the necessary amount of food. When this is left untreated, a dangerous condition called diabetic ketoacidosis may develop. This may cause the individual to become thirstier and have the tendency to urinate more frequently, which can lead to dehydration. It can also lead to drowsiness, vomiting, and unconsciousness.

Our body needs energy, and we get this primarily from the food that we eat. After consuming food, the blood glucose level increases, which signals the cells in the pancreas to release insulin. The sugar molecules attach themselves to the insulin into the bloodstream, where they are processed and converted to energy. A decrease or increase from the normal glucose level may lead to long-term complications.

Sugar is a form of carbohydrate, with sucrose being the most common kind of sugar found in most food products. Other sources of carbohydrates in a regular human diet include rice, bread, starchy food, potatoes, dairy foods, and sweets.

Statistics on Diabetes

sweet drink sugar beverage

Among all the states in the United States, Mississippi has the highest rate of diabetes, accounting for at least 14.7% of its population. For the past 20 years, diabetes rates have almost doubled, affecting the whole country.

According to a survey conducted in 2015, there are about 28 million people in the U.S. who have diabetes. What’s worse is that a large number of people are still unaware that they have developed the disease.

  • Each year, at least 1.4 million new cases of diabetes are reported. Majority of these individuals are aged 20 years old and older.
  • Diabetes accounted for more than 200,000 deaths in 2010.
  • American Indians have the highest rate of diabetes among other ethnicities.
  • Hypoglycemia was the most common listed diagnosis for more than 280,000 emergency department visits in 2011.
  • For individuals aged 18 years old and older diagnosed with diabetes, about 71% of them have high blood pressure.
  • In 2013 alone, the total cost for diagnosed diabetes accounted to $245 billion. Majority of the cost was for diabetes treatment.

Types of Diabetes

Diabetes varies with age, ethnicity, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. Here are the two main types of diabetes:

Type I Diabetes

This refers to the condition wherein the body is not capable of producing enough insulin to aid in the normal functioning of the body. Insulin is commonly referred to as the key to unlocking the door of the cells. When this happens, insulin can get into the cells to generate energy.

In Type I diabetes, the body is unable to produce insulin, leading the sugar to build up in the blood. More often than not, the cause of Type I diabetes is a virus or other infection.

Treating this type of diabetes will need regular insulin injections. It will also be beneficial to incorporate a health program that includes eating a healthy diet and having regular exercises.

Type II Diabetes

This condition is characterized by insulin resistance, and is also called non-insulin dependent diabetes. This is the most common type of diabetes among people 35 years old and older.

The difference between Type I and Type II diabetes is the insulin production. In Type II Diabetes, the body is able to produce insulin, but it may not be enough. Therefore, there is a need to treat it with medication, and involve the patient into exercise and proper diet.

Moreover, this type of diabetes is common among obese individuals who are living sedentary lives or do not engage in physical activity.

The most common medications used to treat hyperglycemia are:

Effects of Diabetes

food products with added sugars risk type 2 diabetes

The sad truth about diabetes is that it cannot be completely treated. Once diagnosed, the individual will need to deal with the condition all throughout his life. If proper care is not given, it will lead to a myriad of complications which may cause death.

Choice of food has a great impact on the health of the diabetic. People diagnosed with diabetes should stay away from eating food with high caloric content. If possible, they should avoid drinking alcohol in large amounts.

Smoking should also be avoided. No matter how much weight you have lost due to exercise and healthy eating, smoking can weaken your immune system, affecting your heart rate and blood pressure. Smoking can lead to building up of plaque in blood vessels, which prevents blood from passing through normally. This may lead to a higher risk of heart attack or stroke.

Having an uncontrolled blood glucose level can affect your eyesight. It may lead to various eye conditions such as:

It is recommended that diabetic patients should also see an ophthalmologist once they have noticed flashes of light, a floater, or part of their vision missing. A regular eye check-up is advised.

People with diabetes have a high risk of developing kidney conditions (nephropathy) due to the narrowing of the blood vessels in the kidney. It is therefore advised that a kidney screening should be done to ensure the health of both kidneys. Any sign of microalbumin in the urine may denote kidney damage.

Nerve damage is also likely to happen to individuals with diabetes. This is most commonly seen on the feet where the blood supply leading to the lower limbs is reduced. The nerve damage may cause clawed feet (peripheral neuropathy).

Diabetes may cause narrowing of their blood vessels that affect the normal blood flow in the body. S a result, the damaged blood vessels and nerves can also cause drying of the skin, especially on the feet.

The damaged small blood vessels and nerves can also cause weakening of the teeth and an increased risk of gum infection.

Erectile dysfunction is also likely to happen to a male diabetic due to the damaged blood vessels and nerves. As with women, there is not enough research to prove that their sexual function is affected since there are other predisposing factors that lead to decreased libido such as menopause.

Consequently, continuous consumption of food high in cholesterol may cause blockage of the blood vessels and lead to high blood pressure.

Causes of Diabetes

Diabetes is likely to happen in several conditions. This includes pregnancy (gestational diabetes), primarily due to an increased appetite caused by constant cravings for certain foods.

Other potential conditions that can cause diabetes are:

  • Cushing’s syndrome, due to an increased abundance of cortisol
  • Glucagonoma, caused by an imbalance of glucagon and insulin production
  • Pancreatitis
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome, mainly due to obesity
  • Steroid-induced diabetes, developed due to prolonged glucocorticoid therapy

Symptoms of Undiagnosed Diabetes

There are some individuals who are unaware that they have developed diabetes. Symptoms include:

  • Polydipsia (increased thirst)
  • Polyphagia (increased hunger)
  • Polyuria (frequent urination)
  • Blurred vision
  • Slow healing of wounds
  • Thrush
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Unexplained weight loss

Diabetes Treatment and Maintenance

type 2 diabetes treatment

Injecting insulin may be necessary to help the individuals have enough insulin to keep up with the normal functioning of the body. Aside from this, diabetics need to follow a healthy diet and engage in exercise. In other words, there is a need to have a complete lifestyle change in order to achieve a healthier way of living.

There should be enough amount of carbohydrates as it is important in controlling the blood glucose level in the body. The diet should include rice, grainy bread, pasta, and potatoes.

A low-fat diet is beneficial. Instead of eating pork and beef, substitute it with chicken, turkey, and fish.

At least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day may benefit the diabetic. Replace sweet snacks and chips with these healthier food items.

Aim to consume food with low salt. Too much salt in the diet can increase blood pressure, which may lead to heart attack or stroke.

Engaging in sports can be very helpful, but not to the extent of extremely tiring yourself. Walking is the simplest form of exercise that can provide great health benefits. Physical activity can help reduce weight, strengthen bones and muscles, and provide a better perspective instead of being worried about the health condition.

Diabetics need to constantly monitor blood glucose level. They may purchase a blood glucose monitor or visit the doctor to have their blood glucose level checked. It is recommended to visit the doctor every three months. During the regular check-up, blood pressure and cholesterol will probably be monitored as well.

The normal blood glucose level before meals for Type I and Type II diabetes is 4-6 mmol/L while the blood glucose level 2 hours after meals should be below 10 mmol/L.

To control Type I Diabetes, patients may need an insulin injection. Controlling Type II diabetes would need following a healthy meal plan and become physically active. Medication may also be prescribed to help in controlling blood glucose level.

Caring for Diabetics

diabetes loved one family

Knowing that there are so many precautionary measures to be taken in order to maintain a healthy life, it can cause some form of exhaustion or distress to a diabetic patient. Having to go through all these can make a diabetic person succumb to depression or anxiety. Accordingly, when this happens, it is recommended to seek a psychiatrist to help in developing a mental health plan.

Family members should all help in making everyone’s life comfortable and become supportive to family members who may be suffering from certain diseases or illnesses. Diabetic care includes providing the right kind and amount of food to the individual. It is recommended that frequent, small meals be taken all throughout the day.

  • Always check blood glucose level at regular intervals.
  • Ensure that the medications are taken on time.
  • Require drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.
  • If the individual is feeling sick and does not have much appetite, encourage taking carbohydrate-containing drinks or sugary drinks like cola.
  • The skin of the diabetic can turn dry. Moisturize using lotions to avoid having cracks.
  • There are a number of doctors that diabetics need to visit. Encourage to visit his endocrinologist, ophthalmologist, nephrologist, dentist, and dermatologist. Nevertheless, all these doctors can help in keeping the individual to live a normal life if regular check-ups are taken.

Final Word

It’s not easy living with diabetes, much more taking care of someone with this debilitating condition. However, with patience and genuine care, you can help ease the diabetic’s condition and allow him / her to have better management and control.

Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

The Truth About Opioid Abuse and Pain Management Treatment

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According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), at least 11 percent of Americans suffer from various forms of pain that they experience every day. Because of this, a lot of medical practitioners have focused their direction towards pain management. Unfortunately, the rise in the need for pain relief has given birth to a different kind of problem: opioid abuse.

People experience pain differently because this is based on the individual’s perception of pain. The level of pain felt by one person may be aggravated when going through difficult times, anxiety, or depression.

In this article, we will discuss pain management, what we can do to treat or alleviate pain safely, and why opioid abuse has become an epidemic all around the world.

What is pain management?

Pain management is a specialized medical treatment that deals with pain of different origins – spinal, neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain disorders. It is the primary concern of doctors to provide immediate intervention to reduce the severity of pain being experienced by individuals. Physicians may recommend or prescribe different kinds of techniques for pain management.

What is the primary role of pain management physicians?

Pain management physicians, as the name implies, are specialized doctors who help manage pain that individuals may be suffering from.

A physiatrist – and yes, that’s not a misspell of “psychiatrist” – is a rehabilitation medicine physician who helps alleviate pain suffered by any patient, may it be related to nerves, muscles, or bones. These doctors can help treat injuries or other illnesses that may affect the normal movement of an individual.

Meanwhile, an anesthesiologist is a trained health professional who treats patients suffering from chronic pain by using a wide range of procedures or medications.

Physicians may undergo specialize training on pain management to have an in-depth knowledge about the physiology of pain and to be able to properly diagnose patients through specialized tests.

Pain Management Procedures and Techniques

Pain management covers a wide variety of procedures that patients suffering from mild to severe pain may receive. Apart from medically prescribed opioid medication, doctors may have the following options to help alleviate pain, such as the following:

  • Regenerative therapy
  • Radiofrequency ablation and treatment of various nerves
  • MRI device implantation
  • X-ray-guided spinal and joint injections
  • Spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulation

Highly skilled physicians are the only ones who can perform these techniques.

pain management issues

Proper pain management approaches

Giving the proper pain management involves being able to determine the cause of the pain being experienced by the patient. With appropriate review of the case, the best pain management option may be provided as soon as possible.

Managing pain should not be focusing solely on treating the body, but it should also include the treatment of the mind. There are a lot of pain medicines that may be prescribed to patients suffering from pain. Some of these include the following:

  • Acetaminophen
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Antidepressants
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Steroids
  • Opioids

Other pain management options are as follows:

Prescription Opioids Abuse

The most commonly abused drugs include stimulants, CNS depressants, and opioids, the latter of which have become the subject of much scrutiny by the medical field and the general public. A large number of Americans have become dependent to opioids to treat their pain, and this has led to a higher risk of opioid abuse.

Despite the government’s call to fight drug addiction, people still continue buying drugs from the black market for recreational use. Among the commonly abused substances include morphine, heroin, and prescription pain relievers.

Some users started out as patients who have been prescribed opioids for their pain management needs. However, over-prescription has led to opioid abuse and addiction. The rewarding effect of opioids can be increased when the drug is used rapidly and frequently.

The most commonly abused opiates include the following:

  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone
  • Meperidine
  • Methadone
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxymorphone

It is unfortunate how some teenagers have gained access to prescription opioids from their own parents who may have been prescribed to take the medication. Some reports say that some clinics have been robbed of these specific drugs, which are sold in the streets.

Some of the reasons why opioids have become one of the popular choices among drug users are as follows:

  • It’s commonly prescribed by doctors.
  • Use of the drug is socially acceptable because it is designed as a means to help treat pain.
  • Pharmaceutical companies use aggressive marketing techniques to encourage vulnerable individuals to use it.

Facts and figures on opioid abuse

prescription painkillers abuse

Substance abuse is costing world governments a huge sum of money. With regards to illicit drugs alone, the U.S. government spends roughly $11 billion for health care costs.

Opiate abuse accounts for a great proportion of the government’s drug abuse problem. There has been a rise in the number of deaths linked to prescription opioid use since the early part of the 21st century. In 2002, opioid analgesics have become one of the most common causes of death.

Some individuals choose to use opioids over morphine and heroin due to affordability and accessibility.

The effect of opioids may be heightened when pills are crushed, injected or when taken in combination with another drug. People taking these opioids more than the dosage required may succumb to opioid addiction.

More than 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and most of them are under opioid therapy. Among this number, at least 38 million suffer from back pain and approximately 17 million are suffering from osteoarthritis. Considering that pain management may last for several months, scientists are still debating on whether the long-term use of opioids is more beneficial than being a risk for drug dependence.

Patients suffering from chronic pain may need to be treated for a longer period of time. In some cases, there is a need to increase the dose up to 10 times to maintain the level of pain relief needed.

Opiate addiction is likely to happen when an individual no longer feels the kind of “high” that he wants to achieve.  The next logical step for these individuals is to take larger or more frequent doses until they are able to achieve the euphoric results that they are looking for.

Signs of Opioid Abuse

Opioids are pain killers that are most commonly prescribed to help treat pain. However, when these drugs fall into the wrong hands, there is a high risk of being abused.

The short-term effects of opiate use are the following:

  • Drowsiness
  • Feeling of euphoria
  • Pain relief
  • Sedation

Opiates initiate the release of dopamine in the brain, thereby creating a feeling of extreme pleasure. Unfortunately, opiate use may produce unfavorable effects on certain individual, which include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Intermittent nodding or loss of consciousness
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy
  • Paranoia
  • Respiratory depression
  • Social withdrawal

One of the very common signs of prolonged opiate use is having smaller-sized pupils.

Meanwhile, long-term use of opiates can cause the following:

  • Abdominal distention
  • Brain damage
  • Bloating
  • constipation
  • Dependence
  • Development of tolerance
  • Liver damage
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Some users would crush opiate pills, mix them with water and alcohol, and then inject the concoction into their bloodstream. This practice may cause heart problems as well as pulmonary embolism. Additionally, if the injection site is infected, it may result to gangrene.

Other effects of opiates abuse include lower immune system, risk of gastric problems, and potential development of cumulative hypoxic end-organ injury.

Teen Opiate Abuse

Vicodin and Oxycontin are two of the most common opioid medications abused by teenagers. According to a report by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2014, about 8 percent of high school seniors have used Vicodin. It also said that teens are likely to combine opiates with alcohol to heighten the effect, which leads to more dangerous effects such as severe respiratory depression.

Continued use of opiates may lead to tolerance, which may force the user to take more doses than usual.

Opiate Dependence

prescription drug abuse cocktail drugs

Just like taking any kind of illicit drug, habitual use of opioids may lead to dependence. Dependence on the drug may be confirmed through the following signs:

  • The user ignores the consequences despite knowing them.
  • The individual starts stealing from others just to be able to buy the drug.
  • Relationships may be affected.
  • Performance in school or at work may be observed to be poorer than usual.

Failure to stop drug use may warrant the help of a rehabilitation center.

It is important to note that there is a possibility for opiate overdose. For this case, some emergency centers administer Narcan, a nasal spray that is primarily used to help the patient recover from difficulty in respiration. However, it is not considered a treatment for opiate overdose; it is used only as an emergency aid before the actual medical intervention.

Treatment for Opioid Addiction

When dealing with addiction treatment involving opioids, physicians and rehab centers may ask for the following information:

  • The length of time that the drug has been taken
  • The last intake of the drug
  • The source of the drug

Treating any type of drug addiction may involve detoxification, a process of reducing the abused drug until the individual no longer experiences withdrawal symptoms. This process usually takes several weeks to a few months, preferably in a rehabilitation center under the supervision of professionals.

Pharmacological treatment may be another option. The drug of choice to help opiate users to get over the addiction is either buprenorphine or methadone. The dose will be decreased each day until the effects of the abused drug wears off.

Withdrawal symptoms are likely to happen when a drug user has stopped taking the illicit substance. Such symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Inability to sleep
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting

In the treatment of a recovering addict, residential rehab or outpatient therapy may be offered. The choice would depend on the individual’s level of opiate use, the amount of insurance coverage, the presence of family support, and any previous attempts to recovery.

During the therapy treatment, recovering users are taught a number of coping skills so that they can resist the temptation of getting hooked on the drugs again.

In the event that the individual has recovered from opioid addiction, it is highly recommended that the person undergoes an extended form of therapy such as counseling and support group sessions. This can help the individual to easily get back to his normal life.

More importantly, this kind of therapy can be made more successful when family members participate. In cases of addiction recovery, there is a need for loved ones to understand the kind of journey that the individual has gone through.

Health & Wellness

Prescriptions For Step Count: Effective Type 2 Diabetes Treatment?

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Traditional treatment for conditions such as type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases focused mainly on different kinds of medication to prevent further progression. However, the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center (RIMUHC) discovered that a step-count prescription with combined medication can produce significant health benefits.

According to the study, people are recommended to walk 10,000 steps daily to be able to experience its health benefits. Those who are walking under 5,000 steps are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

Physicians would usually provide instructions on how to take the medications and would advice their patients to incorporate daily exercise to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and some types of cancer. A 30-minute walk daily can already make a huge impact towards health. By providing patients with pedometers, it may be easier to quantify the daily physical activity most especially on patients who do not go to the gym or incorporate running in their daily routine.

The team of researchers led by Dr, Kaberi Dasgupta, a physician researcher at the RIMUHC discovered the effectiveness of issuing real prescriptions for physical activity via step count. “As physicians, we have to face the reality and admit that for many patients, just telling them be more physically active simply doesn’t work. The idea in this study is to use step counts almost as a medication,” Dasgupta said in a news release.

The study involved 364 patients and 74 doctors from various hospitals in Montreal. All patients continued with their usual medical routine, but some of the patients were given step count prescriptions and a pedometer. After one year, the results showed that patients who were given a step count prescription had 1,200 steps more per day than those who were not.  A very significant decrease in blood sugar levels were found among patients with type 2 diabetes.

Health & Wellness

Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Menopausal Women Aggravated By Naturally Occurring Heart Fat

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New research was able to pinpoint the type of heart fat that is linked as a risk factor for heart diseases in menopausal women with regards to estrogen level.

The types of fat surrounding the heart include the following:

  • Epicardial fat: This type of fat covers the heart, and is located between the outside of the heart and the pericardium membrane that encases the heart.
  • Paracardial fat: This is found outside the pericardium anterior to the epicardial fat, and has no known protective function for the heart.

Led by Assistant Professor Samar R. El Khoudary of Pitt Public Health’s Department of Epidemiology, the clinical evaluations involved taking blood samples from478 women aged 51 years old and older who were not on hormone replacement therapy. Participants were from Pittsburgh and Chicago, who enrolled in the Study of Women’s Health Across the Nation, according to a news release.

It was found out that a greater portion of paracardial fat after menopause was evident due to the decline in estradiol. The increased epicardial fat, however, was said to be a risk factor related to obesity.

The new study clearly identifies that an increase paracardial fat is not specific to menopause but can also have a negative impact towards the health of women, increasing the risk of triggering coronary artery calcification. A higher presence of epicardial and paracardial fats is evident in postmenopausal women.

Because of this, careful evaluation should be done to be able to determine specific ways on how to help menopausal women avoid heart disease.

What could possibly decrease the heart fat volume is regular exercise, proper diet and by undergoing bariatric surgery. El Khoudary is taking heed in carefully evaluating hormone replacement therapy with regards to its effect on the type of heart fat in the hopes of preventing heart diseases to menopausal and post-menopausal women.

Health & Wellness

Obese Parents May Cause Poor Development in Kids

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A new study by the National Institutes of Health revealed a link between obesity in children of obese parents and developmental delays.

Findings of the research revealed that children of obese mothers were likely to fail tests of fine motor skill such as controlling small muscle movement particularly in the fingers and hands. In the case of children of obese fathers, they are more likely to fail tests involving social competence. Meanwhile, those who were born to extremely obese parents are likely to fail in problem solving ability tests.

Compared to children of normal weight mothers, children of obese mothers are 70 percent at risk of failing the test indicators of fine motor skill by age 3. Children of obese fathers, on the other hand, are 75 percent more likely of failing personal and social domain indicators upon reaching the age of 3. Children of both obese parents are three times at risk of failing problem solving indicators by the age of 3.

The study, which appeared in Pediatrics, was conducted by a team of scientists from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health. According to Dr. Edwina Yeung, Ph.D, previous studies centered on the pre- and post-pregnancy weight of the mother.

“Our study is one of the few that includes information about fathers, and our results suggest that the weight of the father also has a significant influence on the development of the child” said Dr. Yeung via a news item. She was also an investigator in the NICHD’s Division of Intramural Population Health Research.

Dr. Yeung and her coauthors cited research which showed that 1 in 5 pregnant American women suffer from overweight or obesity.

Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Kratom Strains and How To Identify Them

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Kratom is a tree-like plant that is commonly found in Southeast Asia that belongs to the family of plants as coffee. It has also been used in Thailand and its neighboring Asian countries as an herbal remedy because of its opiate-like effect. It is also known to help as treatment for withdrawal symptoms associated with opiate addiction.

Kratom does not belong to the list of controlled substances and can be bought through the Internet and head shops. This substance comes in different forms such as loosed chopped, capsules and compressed tablets.

Researchers have found more than 20 biological active chemicals in the drug which can pose potential risk on drug dependency. It is now banned in some Asian countries despite its long history of use as herbal medicine due to its addictive potential.

Effects of Kratom

When taken in low doses, kratom effects may take place within 10 minutes and may last from 60-90 minutes. Most kratom users say that they feel a euphoric effect while others have reported to have experienced an uncomfortable feeling of anxiety. Its total effect is similar to amphetamine but with much less intensity. Symptoms include:

  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased libido
  • Increased alertness
  • Increased sociability
  • Decreased inhibitions

At doses of between 5-15 mg, users may experience the following:

  • Analgesia
  • Dream-like state
  • Drowsiness
  • Cough suppression
  • Decreased in symptoms of opioid withdrawal

For those who take more than 15 mg, the user may experience extreme sedation and loss of consciousness.

kratom pills dietary supplements

Kratom Strains Based on Veins and Stems

Kratom can be categorized according to different strains, as well as the varieties of color of veins and stems. The differences of these strains provide varying effects. The strength of kratom may be identified based either on the location or its color strain.

Here are the kratom strains based on stem and vein color:

White and green strains

These strains induce energy and productivity. Leaves from white stem kratom produce more stimulating effects than the red vein variety. The green leaves varieties are believed to provide clearer thinking and endurance. This is the type of strain that most athletes prefer to use.

A number of studies showed that the green vein variety aids in treating anxiety and depression.

Red strains

This kind induces calmness, sedation and relaxation, which is the opposite of the two other strains. After the initial rush of energy, the calming effect takes place. This variety is often used to provide pain relief and as a substitute for opiate detoxification. It is said to provide a euphoric feeling to users.

Kratom Strains Based on Location

kratom abuse

Kratom strains based on location are as follows:

Maeng Da

This is one of the most well-known forms of kratom. Maeng Da literally means “The Pimp”, and was named almost 20 years ago. It was believed that this strain was genetically modified to be able to provide its effects.

It is a popular choice among working men. It has forced growers to produce exceptionally potent and stimulating kratom to be able to provide for the demanding needs of laborers. Grafting became a popular technique in some Indonesian plantations, with the goal of producing the strongest kratom.

This type of kratom has white, green and red varieties, wherein the white and green are more popular.  Maeng Da is popular with those two varieties because it provides powerful mind-boosting and energy boosting effects accompanied with analgesic effect.

This strain has mood-lifting effects. Unfortunately, individuals may develop tolerance easily because its effect builds up quickly.

Borneo

A large part of kratom supply comes from this island, second to Maeng Da in popularity. It has four strains where the red and green strains are the most popular.

  • Red Borneo: This strain has a sedating and soothing effect. It is a popular choice for pain management.
  • White Borneo: This is fairly popular to alleviate feelings of lethargy, depression, and lack of focus.
  • Green Borneo: This is the most popular of all Borneo strains because it helps enhance over-all mood to a euphoric level. It is known to remove aches and pains in chronic conditions.
  • Blended Borneo: This is a combination of all three strains. The individual effects of each strain complement one another.

Bali

This is commonly confused with Borneo kratom, which is more popular. It has three kratom varieties, with the red and green being more popular.

It is one of the most potent and cheapest strains of kratom, which makes it widespread. Some Borneo strains are shipped from the southern or western Borneo and are labeled as Bali as it would refer to the shipping hub of the strain.

  • Red Vein: This is the most popular of all Bali strains because of its effects, including analgesia, relaxation and anxiety relief, which is very similar with the Borneo strain.
  • Green Vein: Its effect is similar to the red vein variety but with less potency. This is good for those who want pain relief without wanting to have such high level of sedation.
  • White Vein: It is the least popular because of its low potency.

Indo kratom

The White Indo Kratom is the most popular among the three strains of Indo Kratom. This type of kratom can be found in Indonesia and some parts of Bali and Borneo.

There are different strains that grow in various regions with varying effects.

  • Super Indo: It is a very unique strain because it seems to retain the pain killing and relaxing effects of a red vein, as well as providing some very mild energetic effects.
  • Red Vein Indo: It has a very powerful analgesic, sedating and mood-lifting properties.
  • White Vein Indo: It is known for its “clean” analgesic effect, which helps in dealing with mentally strenuous tasks easier.

Malaysian

Malaysian strains are not as popular as the Indonesian strain because it is illegal in the country. The Super Green Malay strain is very popular for its bright green appearance as well as for proving energetic and mind-boosting effects.

  • Super Green Malaysian: It has a variety of effects and well-balanced properties such as anxiety relief, mood-lifting property, focus, pain relief, and energy boost.
  • Red Vein Malaysian: This strain provides more pain relief and sedating properties than the Super Green Malaysian variety.
  • White Vein Malaysian: It has the most stimulating and energetic effect among all Malaysian strains.

Thai

This is the less popular strain of Kratom because it is illegal in Thailand.  Most of the Thai-labeled kratom comes from Indonesia. Banning of kratom has nothing to do with its use but rather as a competition to opium business in the 1940s.

  • Red Vein Thai: This is most popular strain among all Thai strains because of its analgesic effect.
  • White and Green Vein Thai: These are helpful in treating depression.

Sumatra

This type of strain is less well-known among all strains. It is often a difficult strain to characterize by effects due to the differences in vein type effects. Among its uses are pain relief, insomnia treatment, anti-stress and mood-lifting properties.

  • Red Vein Sumatra: This variety has anti-stress properties, pain relief, insomnia relief, relaxation and a more sedating effect than the white variety.
  • White Vein Sumatra: A smaller dose of this variety will provide a stimulating and energetic effect. At large doses, it provides relaxation and pain-killing effect.

Kalimantan

It is a province located in Borneo. The difference of this strain from the Borneo kratom is not well-known.

  • Red Vein Kalimantan: This can provide a calming effect that can last for a few hours even with just a low dosage. It is one of the well-known strains that provide a very relaxing effect.
  • Green Vein Kalimantan: It is becoming a widely accepted recreational sedative, and analgesic by users in the U.S. It aids in muscle relaxation and provides energy-boosting properties.
  • White Vein Kalimantan: This is the least well-known of all Kalimantan varieties.

Bentuangie

This type of kratom is processed in a different way and because of this, it provides a different kind of flavor and an increased in alkaloid percentage.  This is a very rare strain of all varieties but is slowly gaining popularity in the market.

It is also known as the “Tropical Blend” for its calming and relaxing characteristics. It is also helping in improving sleep. Its length of efficacy is much longer compared to other strains.

[NOTE: This article is meant for informational purposes, and not a promotion of kratom or its various strains and forms.]

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Health & Wellness

Study: People Who Feel Inferior Tend To Eat Fattier Foods

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Bobby Cheon and Ying Yi Hong, researchers affiliated with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and the Chinese University in Hong Kong, published a paper in Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences about how people who feel socially inferior tend to eat more food leaning towards the fattier kinds. The researchers conducted four tests that led to the same conclusions.

Other studies in the past have shown how people from low-income families tend to be more obese compared to those who are from the upper class of society. The reason for this may be brought about by the feeling of being inferior, according to a news release.

In the research, participants were asked to picture themselves at different levels of society. A questionnaire was given out to ask them about their food of choice at a buffet and the kinds of food that they crave for. In a similar study, volunteers were asked to participate in a buffet and can eat whatever they want.

The results revealed that those who were asked to think of themselves belonging to the lower spectrum of society ate more when offered with real food.

This may show how people from the lower end of the society may tend to eat more and eat fattier food because they do not have the ability to have this type of food all the time. When there is an opportunity for them to eat, they would rather choose food that is high in fat.

The choice of eating unhealthy food over the healthier ones among these people may be due to their accessibility to chips and other unhealthy kinds of food because that is the only type of food that they can afford to buy.

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Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Health Experts Warn Against Alcohol Consumption During The Holidays

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As people celebrate the holidays, health experts warn consumers against unhealthy alcohol consumption during this season, based on their report shared in a news item.

According to experts from UC Davis Health System in California, most people who attend parties are more likely to let loose and drink wine, which makes then more vulnerable to its harmful effects. Moreover, heavy drinkers may also use this season as a chance to drink in excess especially since it is just a one-off thing.

If you cannot do away with drinking this season, here are some of the things you need to consider to avoid high alcohol consumption during the holidays:

  • Drink in moderation so as to prevent alcohol-related injuries or any other health issues.
  • Don’t pressure anyone to drink unless you have a plan of sending him home safely or hiring cab service.
  • Make your party fun for everyone by providing both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Always ready a room to let your guests sleep in when they have had too much to drink.

It might be fun to catch up with your old friends and it might be even more fun to put your hair down and have a good time. However, you need to remember that nothing spells disaster as much as drunk guests who don’t care about safety and health.

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Health & Wellness Home Health Hazards

Triclosan Ban Highlights Needs For Safer Anti-Bacterial Chemicals

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Triclosan, an anti-bacterial compound commonly used in soaps and cosmetics, has been banned by the Food and Drug Administration since September 2016. In a write-up published by the American Society for Microbiology, authors Peter McNamara and Stuart Levy insisted that the triclosan ban is not the only stand-alone priority. Other factors such as triclosan’s long-term impact and the potential risks of substitute chemicals should also be given focus.

Triclosan’s use in soaps and other anti-bacterial products is widely encouraged since it is meant to target bacteria. However, its use in these products has become a growing concern since triclosan is considered one of the biggest contributors of anti-bacterial resistance. Despite the chemical’s anti-bacterial properties, bacteria can adapt and resist the chemical over time, an activity known as cross-resistance.

According to McNamara via a news article, the existence of biocides in the environment promote antibiotic resistance. Triclosan exists in rivers, lakes, sediment, and soil then adheres to biosolids, which is recycled organic matter used in agriculture. Triclosan then chooses antibiotic resistance in the microorganisms that break these biosolids down.

This is the reason why McNamara and Levy are encouraging efforts geared toward the creation of new chemicals in place of triclosan that will be safer for the environment. McNamara stated that these new chemicals should not contribute to the current problems already caused by triclosan and that it should demonstrate safe and effective qualities.

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Health & Wellness Substance Abuse

Heavy Alcohol Consumption in Young Adults Lead To More Health Issues Later In Life

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According to earlier studies, more than half of American youth aged 12 to 20 have tried alcohol drinking and bingeing. More recently, a new study revealed that underage drinking and heavy alcohol consumption show an increased risk in developing alcohol problems and health issues in later life.

Research reported in this news article showed that young adults suffering from alcohol dependence have a high likelihood of developing two to three medical conditions by the time they reach 60 years old. Comparably, non-drinkers may suffer from only one or two medical conditions.

Moreover, heavy alcohol drinkers may also have a higher risk of depression. In a research conducted by Sean Clarkin together with Drug-Free Kids, out of 600 U.S. male veterans, roughly half of them had drinking problems when they were young. Researchers who reviewed the short-term and long-term health records of the veterans showed that there is clear evidence that a person’s life can improve dramatically when they quit on heavy drinking.

Researchers also pointed out that the health records of people who drink heavily when they were young were linked to 44 cases of heart diseases and diabetes.

The study shows an excellent point and evidence that people who suffer from alcohol dependency and alcoholism for more than 5 years may be at risk of lower immunity, which may result to various physical and mental health issues.

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