7 Early Odd Signs of Breast Cancer

breastcancer13Consequently, this blog describing 7 signs of breast cancer courtesy of Care.com posted years ago, has been our most popular.  These rare symptoms aren’t from physicians. They are from women who experienced them first-hand.

Many are odd symptoms that would otherwise go ignored.

After this blog was shared on Facebook, one woman even spotted a symptom in herself, sought medical attention.  She learned she had breast cancer, but it was detected early enough to get treatment and she thanked us.

Sharing this again to raise awareness. Also note that 1% of men also get breast cancer. Know the signs and please share this with loved ones.

Next, we’ll share the most innovative ways to diagnose breast cancer as well as treatments available. Make sure to click the red FOLLOW key on this blog (on upper right hand corner) to be updated.

breast_cancer

by Melanie Haiken

The earliest and most surprising signs of breast cancer, as described by the women who know: breast cancer survivors themselves.

Breast cancer warning sign #1: Pain in the breast or chest

Whether it’s an ache, throb, twinge, or sharp stab, pain or discomfort in the breast or chest area isn’t a good sign.

How it feels: One breast cancer survivor describes the pain she brought to her doctor’s attention as a “sharp pain that comes and goes.” Another describes it as “a mild electric sensation that went from my left breast to my right nipple.”

What causes it: Breast tumors can take many different forms; there can be a single lump, but there can also be an area of scattered seed-like tumors or an amorphous shape with multiple tentacles extending into the tissue. The tumor might also be directly behind the nipple or in one of the milk ducts. All of these growths cause different types of pain and discomfort.

Scary stat: As many as 30 percent of all breast cancer tumors aren’t lumps, which makes them harder to detect.

What to do: Keep track of when, where, and how often the pain occurs. Tell your doctor, being as specific as possible. Make sure to be clear that this is a new symptom, different from any other sensation (such as the sore breasts of PMS) you’ve experienced before. If your doctor diagnoses mastitis and prescribes antibiotics (a typical response to breast pain), take the full cycle. But if the pain hasn’t gone away, inform your doctor and ask for additional tests. Many women are told repeatedly that they have mastitis before they’re able to make clear to the doctor that this isn’t the case.

Breast cancer warning sign #2: Itchy breasts

itchy

 

This symptom, primarily associated with inflammatory breast cancer, is often missed. You’d be surprised how many women with inflammatory breast cancer spend months visiting the dermatologist, only to be sent home with creams and medications for a rash.

How it feels: Extremely itchy — the type of itch you might have with poison oak or ivy, which makes you feel like you absolutely have to scratch. Except scratching doesn’t help, and neither do the ointments that typically relieve itchiness. Your breast may also feel irritated, or the skin may be scaly or dimpled like cellulite.

What causes it: Fast-growing cancer cells block blood and lymph vessels that feed the skin. The normal flow of lymph through breast tissues is impeded, and fluid builds up in and under the skin.

Scary stat: The median age of diagnosis for inflammatory breast cancer is 57 (54 among African-American women), and it’s typically more aggressive than other types of breast cancer, with a five-year survival rate of 34 percent.

What to do: If the skin of your breast looks odd or your breasts feel different, see your doctor right away. If the doctor suggests a skin ailment or an infection and sends you home with a prescription, return immediately if your symptoms don’t go away.

Breast cancer warning sign #3: Upper back, shoulder, and neck pain

back-pain

In some women, breast cancer is felt in the back or shoulders rather than in the chest or breasts. For this reason, spine specialists routinely look for the presence of tumors when treating chronic back pain that’s unrelieved by physical therapy.

How it feels: The pain, which is typically in the upper back or between the shoulder blades, is easily confused with sore muscles, a pulled tendon or ligament, or osteoarthritis of the spine. The difference is that it doesn’t go away with stretching muscles or changing position. Bone pain feels like a deep ache or throbbing.

What causes it: Most breast tumors develop in the glandular tissue of the breast, which extends deep into the chest, close to the chest wall. If tumor growth pushes backward toward the ribs and spine, the resulting pain may be felt in the back rather than in the breast. The first place breast cancer usually metastasizes, or spreads, is to the spine or ribs, becoming secondary bone cancer.

Scary stat: According to one study, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer patients whose cancer has spread to the bone is only 8.3 percent, compared with an overall survival rate of 75 percent.

What to do: Pay close attention to how back pain feels. If it doesn’t go away with rest, stretching, or physical therapy, see your doctor. Keep the doctor informed if back pain continues despite treatment, and request a bone scan.

Breast cancer warning sign #4: Changes in breast shape, size, or appearance

Change-in-size

 

Contrary to popular belief, not all breast tumors cause a hard lump close enough to the surface to be noticeable. “Instead of feeling a lump, I noticed that one of my breasts was more oval than the other, hanging down lower and sort of sticking out to one side,” says a California woman who discovered she had breast cancer at the age of 42.

How it feels: Because this change is one of appearance more than feel, your partner may notice it before you do. Or you might become aware of it as you put on your bra or look at yourself in the mirror at the gym.

What causes it: Tissue growth that’s deeper in the breast or masked by dense breast tissue may push out the shape or size of the breast without causing a noticeable lump. If you’ve been told you have dense breast tissue, be particularly alert for this sign.

Scary stat: Mammograms miss up to 50 percent of tumors in women with dense breasts.

What to do: Study the size and shape of your breasts in a mirror. Sit facing the mirror and look at both breasts dead-on, then raise your arms, turn sideways, and look from each side. If there’s a difference in size or shape you haven’t noticed before, bring it to your doctor’s attention.

Breast cancer warning sign #5: A change in nipple appearance or sensitivity

Change-in-nipple-appearance-and-sensitivity

One of the most common locations for a breast tumor is just beneath the nipple, which can cause changes in the appearance and feel of the nipple itself. In particular, nipple changes are often the giveaway for men with breast cancer.

How it feels: You may notice that one of your nipples sticks up less than it used to, or it might have become inverted, flattened, or indented. Women with breast cancer often recall that they noticed a decrease in nipple sensitivity, which is most likely to come to your attention — or your partner’s attention — during sex. Another nipple change to take seriously is discharge when you’re not breastfeeding, whether it’s bloody, milky, or watery. The skin of the nipple may become crusty, scaly, or inflamed.

What causes it: Many breast cancers start in the milk ducts just under and around the nipple, affecting the nipple’s appearance or causing pain or discharge. There’s also a rare cancer, Paget’s disease of the breast, that specifically strikes the nipple. A tumor in the milk ducts, just behind or to one side of the nipple, pushes the skin up around the nipple or pushes the nipple aside. As tumors grow, they may attach to — and thus retract — the skin or the nipple itself. The tumor might also cause irritation and infection, leading to discharge.

Scary stat: The American Society of Breast Surgeons recently released research that male breast cancer is typically identified later and is deadlier than breast cancer in women.

What to do: Because some women have naturally inverted nipples or have discharge during and post-pregnancy, a doctor won’t necessarily notice this symptom. Since you’re the one who knows best what your nipples look like, pay close attention to any changes and discuss them with your doctor. Mastitis is a common conclusion for doctors presented with nipple changes, in which case you’ll be sent home with antibiotics. If they haven’t cleared up the symptoms within ten days, go back and request scans.

Breast cancer warning sign #6: Swelling or lump in your armpit

Armpit

You know how the lymph nodes in your neck and throat can feel sore when you have the flu? Any pain in the armpit is a sign to check the area carefully with your fingers. A lump under the armpit is likely to be hard and attached to surrounding tissues, so it doesn’t move when you touch it. Or tissue may feel thickened and dense compared with the armpit on the other side.

How it feels: Like a sore or tender spot under the arm. You may also feel a lump, though not necessarily. Affected lymph nodes may feel swollen or tender or develop a lump before a tumor is big enough to be felt in the breast itself. In some women, the swelling is more prominent under the arm or up under the collarbone.

What causes it: The lymph nodes in your armpit are where breast cancer spreads first, by way of lymphatic fluid that drains from the breast. Since the lymph nodes are the first place it’s likely to metastasize, breast cancer is staged according to whether it’s lymph-node positive or negative.

Scary stat: If breast cancer has spread to the lymph nodes, the five-year survival rate declines to 84 percent, as compared with 98 percent for node-negative breast cancer.

What to do: Colds, flu, and infection can also cause swollen lymph nodes, so if you’re sick or have an infection, wait for it to clear up before you worry. But if a lump or tender spot in the underarm area persists for a week with no apparent cause, see your doctor.

Breast cancer warning sign #7: Red, swollen breasts

Red-Swollen-Breast

 

When your breasts hurt, it’s easy to conclude that it’s the typical soreness of PMS. And if your breasts feel hot or look reddened, you might suspect an infection such as mastitis. But these are also signs of inflammatory breast cancer.

How it feels: It’s as if your breasts have a fever. They may feel swollen and sore, or the skin and underlying tissue may feel hot or look red or even purple.

What causes it: Inflammatory breast cancer is the most likely cause of this symptom. But breast tumors can also push on tissues, causing breasts to feel swollen and sore. In this case, you may also see, upon checking, that your breast is distended.

Scary stat: Once breast cancer has spread beyond the breast (stage IV), the average survival is less than four years. So it’s extremely important to detect breast cancer as early as possible.

What to do: Call your doctor right away about any symptom that could be inflammatory breast cancer. If the pain is diagnosed as mastitis and you’re prescribed antibiotics, you should feel better within a week to ten days. If you don’t, call your doctor and be assertive about additional tests.

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Caring.com User - Melanie Haiken

About the Author:  Senior Editor Melanie Haiken, is responsible for Caring.com’s coverage of cancer, general health, and family finance, discovered how important it is to provide accurate, targeted, usable health information to people facing difficult decisions when she was health editor of Parenting magazine. She has written about health and family-related issues for magazines such as Health , Real Simple , Woman’s Day , Yoga Journal , and websites such as BabyCenter.com, WebMD, and the Blue Cross/Blue Shield websites (aHealthyMe.com, aHealthyAdvantage.com) managed by Consumer Health Interactive. Melanie has held positions as Executive Editor at the Industry Standard and BabyCenter.com , and Managing Editor at San Francisco magazine. She has also worked for San Francisco’s renowned Center for Investigative Reporting. She has a master’s degree in Journalism and a B.A. in English, both from the University of California at Berkeley.

Women: Cancer Symptoms You’re Most Likely to Ignore

For More Information please visit http://www.caring.com

Disclaimer: Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on MedCrunch. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. MedCrunch understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

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A Message from Maria Dorfner

I do not have breast cancer or any cancer or anything, but one of the best messages I can tell all men and women is there are a hundred studies proving one of the best methods for PREVENTING breast cancer is daily exercise.

JAMA Oncology reports women who exercise at least 300 minutes a week (walking and housework count!) reduce their risk by 25%.  I posit you can prevent any illness further by taking a look at what you eat and drink.

Good health does come with accountability and responsibility.

If you’re still drinking soda after all we know, then no one but you is accountable when you don’t feel well. That goes for depression or anxiety too. Sugar rushes and crashes aren’t good for your brain. Migraines? Headaches?  My prescription for you would be stop drinking soda and coffee and hydrate your body and brain with alkaline water. Learn how much water someone your height and weight requires and maintain that daily. Return in one month and report back on those migraines or headaches.

Today, physicians are too quick to prescribe you meds for symptoms rather than get to the cause of them.

Clean up what you eat and drink. Find healthy snacks. Keep sweets to an absolute minimum (celebrations) and take care of yourself mind, body and spirit.

You can’t have the energy to take of others if you’re not taking care of yourself. No one is responsible for that, but you.

Let’s talk about breast cancer detection. There is a new at home device created in the U.K. and I’ve inquired about FDA approval on it and will let you know.

Visiting your physician for a breast exam is best. If they suspect something, they will order a mammogram.

Meantime, let’s talk about dense breast tissue which can miss breast cancer.

Remember, a mammogram may not detect breast cancer if you have Dense Breast Tissue. Many women aren’t even aware they have it.

40% of women have that. Your doctor may not even if tell you. That’s why one fellow Italian woman in Connecticut went to legislatures to make it a law to notify women within her community. Her doctor didn’t notify her and her breast cancer spread because it wasn’t caught early. And she had no prior family history of it.

SO many women I’ve interviewed share similar stories.

The issue is dense breast tissue and cancer or tumors both show up as white on images. It’s like finding a snowball in a snowstorm.  The good news is there is technology to help radiologists differentiate between the two on existing mammogram images.  It’s from a company called CUREMETRIX. You can Google it to find out more information and ask your physician about it. The radiologist is the person who would ultimately use it to read your mammogram images.

It’s frustrating when networks do stories on Dense Breast Tissue or Breast Cancer Awareness and repeat the same information without proving progress being made for patients and providers. It leaves millions of women (and 1% of men) misinformed.

It makes you wonder if the doctor reporting health news is tied to the hospital they work at and have to promote the status quo, rather than what’s best for healthcare consumers.

If mammograms are the gold standard in care, followed by an ultrasound if you have dense breast tissue, why are SO many dying from undetected breast cancer? Why so many call-backs when there’s something “suspicious” on an image. The waiting time between appointments causes women so much stress.

Ironically, stress and anxiety causes your body to go into a state of sickness. It’s the complete opposite state you need. Your body and mind have amazing abilities to heal when you get into a calm state.

There has to be a better way.  The mammogram image should detect it the FIRST TIME.

As someone healthy, who has no history of cancer in my family, I’m interested in two things in this world. STAYING healthy. As my doctors say, I must be doing something right. Preventing illness. Detecting illness early. Treating it best. If journalists aren’t telling you the whole story about HEALTH –that’s harmful.

Mervin Block, one of my writing mentors wrote an article called, “Health News That’s Not Healthy.”  It was in the ’90’s.  I commented on it. Then, I wrote about it and it got picked up by nationally by Broadcasting & Cable Magazine. They just recently took the article down to not “offend physicians.”  It was about the conflict of interests that exists when physicians report health news.

I’m not anti physician correspondents. I love them. I’m anti- Anchor NOT asking the right questions or doing enough homework to know when vital information is being left out.

It’s one of the reasons I launched this blog.  There isn’t enough time to tell the whole story. I now know there is enough time.  Producers and on-air correspondents waste valuable air time on fluff, so there’s no excuse not to get important health stories out.

I recently watched a health story that said a pharmaceutical company was giving people a full refund if a new FDA-approved cancer treatment didn’t work.  It’s the controversial one costing six figures and up. Story ended there. I knew the pharmaceutical company offered a refund if the cancer treatment was rejected in 30-days.  That’s a big difference.

Contact me at maria.dorfner@yahoo.com if you’re a hospital or radiologist wanting to learn more as it’s the provider that needs to know about the latest tools in order to get it to patients.

Again, self-care is one of your most important tools.  I’ve believe in healthy habits since I was a little kid. Science is slowly catching up. Exercise daily. Eat clean. Avoid sugar, red meats, soda, soft drinks, smoking, alcohol, get fresh air and sunshine, 9 hours of sleep, meditate. Yes, a lot of people pick their poison or have a vice. This isn’t intended to judge anyone. It’s simply to raise awareness. There is a big difference between someone who knows risks and decides to be sedentary by choice, than someone who ends up crying because they didn’t know and would have made different choices had they known.

Empower yourself to treat yourself the best you can. You deserve that.

Daily exercise (even walking daily), laughing, socializing with positive people, being mindful –all release powerful healing endorphins. Surround yourself with positive people who take life seriously, but not themselves. People who maintain healthy lifestyles themselves. It’s contagious. There’s no need to preach because when people see someone the same age as them who is healthy and feels great –they naturally want to do the same. No one wants to feel sick and tired. No one.

If you’re a breast cancer survivor and had a symptom not listed here, please comment below and share with others, thank you.

Also, the following is a GREAT read because most times similar symptoms CAN be something else. https://www.verywellhealth.com/causes-for-sharp-breast-pain-429843

Stay healthy!

breastcancer13blog contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

New Migraine Prevention Guidelines

According to the journal, Neurology, some over-the-counter meds, such as ibuprofen & naproxen may prevent migraines.

The guidelines also recommend spikey plant petasites, also known as butterbur, beta-blockers and some prescription drugs for migraine prevention.

Dr. Stewart Tepper treats migraine headaches at Cleveland Clinic.

“This is an easy way for a doctor or care provider to look at what is likely to work and on what basis is that drug likely to work.”

Dr. Tepper recommends you seek out a board certified headache medicine specialist if nothing works.

MIGRAINE SYMPTOMS

By Mayo Clinic staff

Migraine headaches often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Migraines may progress through four stages — prodrome, aura, attack and postdrome — though you may not experience all the stages.

Prodrome
One or two days before a migraine, you may notice subtle changes that may signify an oncoming migraine, including:

  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Food cravings
  • Hyperactivity
  • Irritability
  • Neck stiffness

Aura
Most people experience migraine headaches without aura. Auras are usually visual but can also be sensory, motor or verbal disturbances. Each of these symptoms typically begins gradually, builds up over several minutes, then commonly lasts for 10 to 30 minutes. Examples of aura include:

  • Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
  • Vision loss
  • Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg
  • Speech or language problems

Less commonly, an aura may be associated with aphasia or limb weakness (hemiplegic migraine).

Attack
When untreated, a migraine typically lasts from four to 72 hours, but the frequency with which headaches occur varies from person to person. You may have migraines several times a month or much less frequently. During a migraine, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Pain on one side of your head
  • Pain that has a pulsating, throbbing quality
  • Sensitivity to light, sounds and sometimes smells
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting

Postdrome
The final phase — known as postdrome — occurs after a migraine attack, when you may feel drained and washed out, though some people report feeling mildly euphoric.

When to see a doctor
Migraine headaches are often undiagnosed and untreated. If you regularly experience signs and symptoms of migraine attacks, keep a record of your attacks and how you treated them. Then make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your headaches and decide on a treatment plan.

Even if you have a history of headaches, see your doctor if the pattern changes or your headaches suddenly feel different.

See your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you have any of the following signs and symptoms, which may indicate other, more serious medical problems:

  • An abrupt, severe headache like a thunderclap
  • Headache with fever, stiff neck, rash, mental confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness or trouble speaking
  • Headache after a head injury, especially if the headache gets worse
  • A chronic headache that is worse after coughing, exertion, straining or a sudden movement
  • New headache pain if you’re older than 50

New Guidelines: Treatments Can Help Prevent Migraine

NEW ORLEANS – Research shows that many treatments can help prevent migraine in certain people, yet few people with migraine who are candidates for these preventive treatments actually use them, according to new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Neurology. The guidelines, which were co-developed with the American Headache Society, were announced at the American Academy of Neurology’s 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans and published in the April 24, 2012, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

“Studies show that migraine is underrecognized and undertreated,” said guideline author Stephen D. Silberstein, MD, FACP, FAHS, of Jefferson Headache Center at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.

“About 38 percent of people who suffer from migraine could benefit from preventive treatments, but only less than a third of these people currently use them.”

Unlike acute treatments, which are used to relieve the pain and associated symptoms of a migraine attack when it occurs, preventive treatments usually are taken every day to prevent attacks from occurring as often and to lessen their severity and duration when they do occur.

“Some studies show that migraine attacks can be reduced by more than half with preventive treatments,” Silberstein said.

The guidelines, which reviewed all available evidence on migraine prevention, found that among prescription drugs, the seizure drugs divalproex sodium, sodium valproate and topiramate, along with the beta-blockers metoprolol, propranolol and timolol, are effective for migraine prevention and should be offered to people with migraine to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. The seizure drug lamotrigine was found to be ineffective in preventing migraine.

The guidelines also reviewed over-the-counter treatments and complementary treatments. The guideline found that the herbal preparation Petasites, also known as butterbur, is effective in preventing migraine. Other treatments that were found to be probably effective are the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs fenoprofen, ibuprofen, ketoprofen, naproxen and naproxen sodium, subcutaneous histamine and complementary treatments magnesium, MIG-99 (feverfew) and riboflavin.

Silberstein noted that while people do not need a prescription from a physician for these over-the-counter and complementary treatments, they should still see their doctor regularly for follow-up.

“Migraines can get better or worse over time, and people should discuss these changes in the pattern of attacks with their doctors and see whether they need to adjust their dose or even stop their medication or switch to a different medication,” said Silberstein.

“In addition, people need to keep in mind that all drugs, including over-the-counter drugs and complementary treatments, can have side effects or interact with other medications, which should be monitored.”

-more-Learn more about the guideline’s recommendations at http://www.aan.com/guidelines.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 25,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis.

The American Headache Society® (AHS) is a professional society of health care providers dedicated to the study and treatment of headache and face pain. The Society’s objectives are to promote the exchange of information and ideas concerning the causes and treatments of headache and related painful disorders. Educating physicians, health professionals and the public and encouraging scientific research are the primary functions of this organization. AHS activities include an annual scientific meeting,

a comprehensive headache symposium, regional symposia for neurologists and family practice physicians, publication of the journal Headache and sponsorship of the AHS Committee for Headache Education (ACHE). http://www.americanheadachesociety.org

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.

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SPECIAL ARTICLE

Evidence-based guideline update: Pharmacologic

treatment for episodic migraine prevention

in adults

Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society

ABSTRACT

Objective: To provide updated evidence-based recommendations for the preventive treatment of migraine headache. The clinical question addressed was: What pharmacologic therapies are proven effective for migraine prevention?

Methods: The authors analyzed published studies from June 1999 to May 2009 using a struc- tured review process to classify the evidence relative to the efficacy of various medications avail- able in the United States for migraine prevention.

Results and Recommendations: The author panel reviewed 284 abstracts, which ultimately yielded 29 Class I or Class II articles that are reviewed herein. Divalproex sodium, sodium val- proate, topiramate, metoprolol, propranolol, and timolol are effective for migraine prevention and should be offered to patients with migraine to reduce migraine attack frequency and severity (Level A). Frovatriptan is effective for prevention of menstrual migraine (Level A). Lamotrigine is ineffective for migraine prevention (Level A). Neurology® 2012;78:1337–1345

Cool Allergy Relief Tip

Nearly 20% of Americans will suffer from Spring allergies.

Dr. David Lang, an allergist at Cleveland Clinic brings us a “cool” tip.  He says one of the easiest things you can do this time of year to ease allergies is turn up the AC.

“Air conditioning is a major measure that can be effective.  With the air conditioner on and windows closed, you cut down your indoor pollen count by 90 percent or more.  So air conditioning in buildings and cars is key for reducing level of symptoms, medication reliance.”

Dr. Lang recommends seeing an allergist if symptoms don’t respond to natural or over the counter remedies, and interfere with daily functioning.  Right now, tree and grass pollen are at their peak.  Children and pets can be affected too.

Symptoms of Grass Allergies:

Irritated Nose, Throat and Eyes

  • People who suffer from grass allergies may suffer from watering eyes, sneezing and congestion, post-nasal drip, sore throats and dry, constant coughing. A grass allergy can cause a full range of breathing problems, from wheezing to triggering a full-blown asthma attack. Allergic conjunctivitis can also occur, which is an inflammation of the membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids. This causes red-rimmed, swollen eyes and sometimes even a crusting of the eyelids. Allergic shiners–which are dark circles under the eyes that are caused by increased blood flow in irritated sinuses–may also occur with a grass allergy.

Skin Irritation

  • Irritated skin, including redness, itching, rashes, bumps and hives can all occur due to a grass allergy. These reactions can occur anywhere on the body, but often show up on the hands and fingers. Some doctors call this reaction “hayfever of the skin.” Treatment with antihistamines is usually the best way to handle this symptom. Reactions can be severe (even anaphylactic) if the allergen comes into direct contact with open skin, such as when a soccer player falls and scrapes her leg on the grassy field.

General Unwellness

  • As with other seasonal allergies, many people who suffer from grass allergies also complain of extreme fatigue, and feeling mentally dull or “out of it.” These people complain of feeling spacey, unable to concentrate and foggy much of the time. Headaches, mood swings and even nausea can result from a grass allergy.

Natural Relief and Prevention

  • There are many ways to prevent reactions and naturally provide relief once symptoms occur. Daily nasal cleansing with either a neti pot or nasal squirt bottle can be an effective way to irrigate the sinuses and flush allergens from the nasal passages. Another preventative measure is to always wear a mask when you mow the grass, and keep grass cut short. Use air conditioners indoors and in cars whenever possible. Instead of drying clothes on the line, where they can pick up allergens, dry clothes in a dryer during grass pollen season. Shower each night before bed to wash off pollen. For a sore throat due to post nasal drip or coughing, try gargling with warm salt water.

Medication

  • There are many different kinds of over-the-counter and prescription medications available for sufferers of grass allergies. Eye drops, nasal sprays, decongestants and antihistamines are the most popular. There are also various prescription medications available that work with the body in different ways to hinder the release of histamines. According to Medicine Online, immunotherapy allergy shots help many patients.

Read more: Symptoms of a Grass Allergy | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5057895_symptoms-grass-allergy.html#ixzz1sqHCqlyx

Study: Brain Fog Linked with Menopause

 
by Patti Singer
 
Women going through menopause have trouble staying focused and keeping track of things, according to a study from a neuropsychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center.  The study, financed by the National Institute on Aging, is considered pioneering because few studies have targeted women going through the transition. Even less research made cognition its primary aim.

“There is something to memory complaints,” said Miriam Weber, the neuropsychologist whose findings were published in March in the online version of the journal Menopause.

The results of her preliminary study led to questions such as what exactly happens and why during each stage of the transition, and are there times when women are more vulnerable, she said. For now, the findings provide scientific weight to years of anecdotal evidence.

“To any woman who expects herself to function at a certain level, I don’t think this will come as any surprise,” said Maria Sullivan, 52, of Perinton, N.Y., who was not part of the study. “This validates it.”

Since 2005, Weber has been studying cognition in women who are making the transition toward the end of their menstrual periods. In September, she expanded recruitment, but the published results are from a pilot study that concluded in 2009.

Weber’s team studied 75 women ages 40 to 60, comparing their own assessment of their mental sharpness to objective measures of cognitive function. They were asked about menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety, sleep disturbances and depression. Blood tests measured levels of two hormones related to menopause. The results showed that complaints about memory were related to the ability to think on the fly and to tasks that required close attention.

“The more complaints they had, the worse they did on those two tasks,” Weber said.

She said researchers also saw a link between memory complaints and depression.

Women who go into a room and forget why, or who can’t find their keys fear that they are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, Weber said. Instead, the women might not be fully concentrating on the task so the information can be stored and retrieved later.

For women like Sullivan, that was more good news.

“To hear that everybody goes through this, this isn’t a harbinger of things to come. It’s reassuring to see this is not the beginning of early onset something,” Sullivan said.

At the same time, “it would be nice to know if there would be an upswing when this passes.”

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‘BRAIN FOG’ OF MENOPAUSE CONFIRMED

Scienceblog.com – The difficulties that many women describe as memory problems when menopause approaches are real, according to a study published today in the journal Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society.

The findings won’t come as a surprise to the millions of women who have had bouts of forgetfulness or who describe struggles with “brain fog” in their late 40s and 50s. But the results of the study, by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center and the University of Illinois at Chicago who gave women a rigorous battery of cognitive tests, validate their experiences and provide some clues to what is happening in the brain as women hit menopause.

“The most important thing to realize is that there really are some cognitive changes that occur during this phase in a woman’s life,” said Miriam Weber, Ph.D., the neuropsychologist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who led the study. “If a woman approaching menopause feels she is having memory problems, no one should brush it off or attribute it to a jam-packed schedule. She can find comfort in knowing that there are new research findings that support her experience. She can view her experience as normal.”

The study is one of only a handful to analyze in detail a woman’s brain function during menopause and to compare those findings to the woman’s own reports of memory or cognitive difficulties.

The study included 75 women, from age 40 to 60, who were approaching or beginning menopause. The women underwent a battery of cognitive tests that looked at several skills, including their abilities to learn and retain new information, to mentally manipulate new information, and to sustain their attention over time. They were asked about menopausesymptoms related to depression, anxiety, hot flashes, and sleep difficulties, and their blood levels of the hormones estradiol and follicle-stimulating hormone were measured.

Weber’s team found that the women’s complaints were linked to some types of memory deficits, but not others.

Women who had memory complaints were much more likely to do poorly in tests designed to measure what is called “working memory” – the ability to take in new information and manipulate it in their heads. Such tasks in real life might include calculating the amount of a tip after a restaurant meal, adding up a series of numbers in one’s head, or adjusting one’s itinerary on the fly after an unexpected flight change.

Scientists also found that the women’s reports of memory difficulties were associated with a lessened ability to keep and focus attention on a challenging task. That might include doing thetaxes, maintaining sharp attention on the road during a long drive, completing a difficult report at work despite boredom, or getting through a particularly challenging book.

Weber notes that such cognitive processes aren’t what typically come to mind when people think of “memory.” Oftentimes, people consider memory to be the ability to tuck away a piece of information, such as a grocery item you need to remember to buy, and to retrieve it later. The team found little evidence that women have problems with this ability. Weber notes, though, that the 75 women in the study were more highly educated and on average of higher intelligence thanthe general population, and a decline might have been difficult to detect.

Women who reported memory difficulties were also more likely to report symptoms of depression,anxiety, and sleep difficulties. The team did not find any link between memory problems andhormone levels.

Generally anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of women during this stage of life reportforgetfulness and other difficulties that they view as related to poor memory.

“If you speak with middle-aged women, many will say, yes, we’ve known this. We’ve experienced this,” said Weber, assistant professor of Neurology. “But it hasn’t been investigated thoroughly in the scientific literature.

“Science is finally catching up to the reality that women don’t suddenly go from their reproductive prime to becoming infertile. There is this whole transition period that lasts years. It’s more complicated than people have realized.”

“People are surprised to learn that typically, for example in elderly adults, there really isn’t a lot of evidence that memory complaints are tied to real memory deficits. Menopausal women are different. They are good at rating their memory skills,” added co-author Pauline Maki, Ph.D.,director of Women’s Mental Health Research in UIC’s Department of Psychiatry.

“We don’t know why but perhaps it’s because their memory changes are more sudden and they are aware of other changes that accompany the menopause, like hot flashes. This might help them to better assess their mental abilities,” Maki added.

The latest findings are in line with results from a previous study that Weber did with Mark Mapstone, Ph.D., associate professor of Neurology, as well as results from a study which involved hundreds of women but used less sensitive measures to look at cognitive performance.

“There really is something going on in the brain of a woman at this stage in her life,” Mapstone said. “There is substance to their complaints that their memory is a bit fuzzy.”

For women who feel they are having memory problems, Weber has some advice.

“When someone gives you a new piece of information, it might be helpful to repeat it out loud, or for you to say it back to the person to confirm it – it will help you hold onto that information longer,” Weber said. “Make sure you have established that memory solidly in the brain.

“You need to do a little more work to make sure the information gets into your brain permanently. It may help to realize that you shouldn’t expect to be able to remember everything after hearing it just once.”

Health project coordinator Jennifer Staskiewicz, now of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, also contributed to the study, which was funded by the National Institute on Aging.

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Author and friend, Idelle Davidson speaks extensively about brain fog in her book.  No one believed she was going through it after chemo. Then, lo’ and behold, the medical community confirmed that it did indeed exist, and she was not going crazy. In fact, she’s super intelligent.  The book is a great read to even understand what people go through upon a diagnosis, during and after.

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Brain-after-Chemo-Practical/dp/0738212598

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I post a lot about healthy foods for your brain.  Be sure to check those posts out as I believe good nutrition can counter symptoms.  Knowing you’re not going crazy helps too.  More information at links below.

Stay healthy!

Related articles

5 Foods to Lift Your Mood

Senior editor of Caring.com, Paul Spencer Scott says to try these smart choices when your mood needs a little boost.

The right foods — like the following five — can stabilize blood sugar, eliminate mood swings, and boost neurotransmitters in the brain, all factors that influence your emotions.

1. An omelet — just don’t skip the yolk

Eat it for: The B vitamins and protein. Egg yolks are the vitamin-B-rich part of the egg.

Other examples: Lean beef, wheat germ, fish, poultry

Why they help: A diet rich in B vitamins can help lessen the severity of depression symptoms. B vitamins, especially B-6 and B-12, can help improve neural function — the way the neurotransmitters of the brain send signals, which helps govern mood. There’s also a growing link between vitamin B deficiency and depression. A 2010 study of 3,000 older adults followed over 12 years found that those with lower intake of these vitamins had a higher risk of depression, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The protein in eggs (as with lean meats) helps you feel satisfied longer, stabilizing blood sugar. And eggs can be consumed in a variety of ways, from scrambled to used as a French toast batter to boiled and chopped up as a salad topper — so long as you go easy on the accompanying animal products that are high in saturated fats, like bacon or butter.

2. Nuts and seeds

Eat it for: The magnesium

Examples: Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds, peanuts. (Green leafy vegetables and whole grains are also high in magnesium.)

Why they help: Magnesium, a mineral found naturally in nuts and seeds, influences production of serotonin, a “feel-good” brain chemical. Magnesium also affects overall energy production.

Bonus: Nuts are also a good source of protein and healthy fats. And as a whole food, they make a healthy alternative to processed snacks, provided you choose unsalted and unsweetened varieties. Salt and sugared coatings don’t add any health benefits and may make you overeat because they set up cravings in the brain for more and more salt or sugar.

3. Cold-water fish

Eat it for: The omega-3 fatty acids

Examples: Wild salmon, herring, sardines, anchovies, tuna (not more than once per week), rainbow trout, mackerel. Fish-oil supplements are a practical alternative for those who don’t eat these cold-water fish at least three times a week, Reardon says.

Why they help: There’s a reason fish is known as “brain food.” Fatty fish such as wild salmon contain the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which has been shown to increase the membrane quality and nerve function of gray matter in the brain. Twenty percent of the gray matter in the brain is composed of DHA. Some studies have found that DHA consumption especially increases gray matter in the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the cingulate, three areas of the brain associated with mood. People with severe depression have less gray matter in these areas.

Fish is also a great source of lean protein, which stabilizes blood sugar. Eating small amounts of protein with meals can help keep your mood on a more even keel.

4. Ancient grains

Eat it for: The complex carbohydrates

Examples: Quinoa, millet, teff, amaranth, spelt, barley

Why they help: Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest, which means they don’t cause spikes in blood sugar that can create roller-coaster moods. Complex carbs also increase levels of serotonin in the brain.

While any whole grain is good, so-called “ancient grains” are even better, according to Reardon, because they’re less likely to be man-modified and processed. Packaged, processed, and refined foods made with wheat flour and sugar, in contrast, tend to be digested quickly, causing cause blood sugar to spike. When this happens, the body responds with an oversecretion of insulin, which winds up moving too much sugar into cells — and blood sugars plummet. The end result: poorer concentration, fatigue, mood swings, intense cravings, and overeating.

Ancient grains are increasingly available at mainstream grocery stores and big-box stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club. Look where rice products are shelved. Many ancient grains can be cooked like pasta or rice and served in their place as side dishes, in casseroles, or as a base for fish or chicken.

Bonus: Some ancient grains are a whole-grain alternative for those who are allergic to wheat or have gluten intolerance. (Barley, though, contains gluten.)

5. Green tea

Drink it for: The amino acid L-theanine

Examples: Hot green tea, brewed iced green tea — including flavored varieties like jasmine green tea or berry green tea

Why it helps: L-theanine is an amino acid found mainly in tea leaves; it’s been shown by EEG tests to stimulate alpha brain waves. This can improve focus while also having a calming effect on the body.

“Despite the caffeine, the L-theanine in green tea seems to be profoundly relaxing, with effects that last up to eight hours,” Reardon says. L-theanine is easily absorbed and can cross the blood-brain barrier, adding to its effectiveness.

Clinical depression is a serious illness that requires treatment beyond nutrition, changing what you eat can help beat garden-variety blues caused by stress, and will boost low energy, too.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, be sure to visit: http://www.caring.com

This content was originally published by Caring.com: “5 Food to Eat When You’re Depressed” and this excerpt reprinted here with permission.


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Other non-food things to do

  • Get plenty of sunshine. Natural sunlight is a proven cure for depression.
  • Engage in regularexerciseat least three times per week. Exercise lifts and mood and alters brain chemistry in a positive way.
  • Experience laughter. It’s goodmedicine.
  • Take a quality superfood supplement to get even morenaturalmedicine from the world of plants.

Four more foods for beating depression from Naturalnews.com


Brown Rice:Contains vitamins B1 and B3, andfolic acid. Brown rice is also a low-glycemic food, which means it releases glucose into the bloodstream gradually, preventingsugarlows and mood swings. Brownricealso provides many of the tracemineralswe need to function properly, as well as being a high-fiber food that can keep the digestive system healthy and lowercholesterol. Instant varieties of rice do not offer these benefits. Any time you see “instant” on a food label, avoid it.

Brewer’s Yeast:ContainsvitaminsB1, B2 and B3. Brewer’s yeast should be avoided if you do not tolerate yeast well, but if you do, mix a thimbleful into any smoothie for your daily dose. Thissuperfoodpacks a wide assortment ofvitamins and mineralsin a small package, including 16amino acidsand 14 minerals. Amino acids are vital for the nervous system, which makes brewer’s yeast a no-brainer for treating depression.

Cabbage:Contains vitamin C and folic acid. Cabbage protects against stress, infection and heart disease, as well as many types of cancers, according to the American Association for Cancer Research. There are numerous ways to getcabbageinto your diet; toss it in a salad instead of lettuce, use cabbage in place of lettuce wraps, stir fry it in your favorite Asian dish, make some classic cabbage soup orjuiceit. To avoid gas aftereatingcabbage, add a few fennel, caraway or cuminseedsbefore cooking. Cabbage is also a good source of blood-sugar-stabilizingfiber, and the raw juice of cabbage is a knowncurefor stomach ulcers.

Also worth mentioning:Foods likeraw cacao, dark molasses and brazilnuts(high in selenium) are also excellent for boosting brain function and eliminating depression. Get rawcacaoand brazil nuts atNature’s First Law. Another source for cacao isNavitas Naturals.

Things to avoid

If you feel you are depressed or at risk for depression, you also need to avoid certain foods and substances. Some commonly prescribed drugs — such as antibiotics, barbiturates, amphetamines, pain killers, ulcer drugs, anticonvulsants, beta-blockers, anti-Parkinson’s drugs, birth control pills, highbloodpressure drugs, heart medications and psychotropic drugs — contribute to depression. If you are taking any of these, don’t quit them without talking to yourdoctor; but be aware that they may be contributing to your condition by depleting your body of depression-fighting vitamins and minerals.

You should also avoid caffeine, smoking and foods high infatand sugar. Keeping your blood sugar stable and getting B vitamins is important for stabilizing your mood. Cacao can be good for mood because it releases endorphins inthe brain, but watch out for milk chocolate and candy varieties high in sugar.

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Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/020611.html#ixzz1sJ20Y5CM

Stay healthy! 🙂

Foods for a Healthy Smile

Denise Cole is a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic.  She says your toothbrush isn’t the only weapon you can use to fight against tooth decay.

Yogurt is a good source of calcium AND it’s good for your gums.


“We actually have some studies that were done on children that show that pre and probiotic in yogurt, when they touch the gums, have a benefit to oral health. So, we did find reduced cavities in some children who were big yogurt eaters.”


Cole says  1-2 SERVINGS of yogurt per day will be enough for you, and your mouth, to benefit.

Apples and celery are said to contain substances that fight gum disease and the texture helps scrub food particles as you chew.

CRANBERRY JUICE keeps cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth.

Cole says to choose TAP WATER over BOTTLED WATER every chance you get because tape water contains FLUORIDE, which helps build the enamel on your teeth.

IT’S NOT ONLY WHAT YOU EAT, BUT WHAT YOU USE TO EAT OR DRINK, THAT CAN ALSO SPARE YOUR TEETH.

 

“So, certain things that we know are acidic, that we know have a tendency to break down the enamel of our teeth, if you’re using a straw those things will go past our teeth. So, those things like sodas, orange juice, coffee- anything that we know has an acid that deteriorates enamel.”


So, use a straw if you drink any of the above. Coffee through a straw is enough to make you quit coffee!   Hey, maybe that is a good way to ween yourself off of it. 

According to SELF Magazine, good food choices for your smile include carrots and cauliflower, which help keep teeth clean. Low-fat cheeses, strawberries and oranges help keep teeth white.  I never heard of rubbing strawberries or orange peels directly on your teeth.  But SELF says strawberries and orange peels are like a tooth polish. 

7 Health Benefits of Playing Soccer

1.  ENDURANCE – Ability to do multiple contractions repeated over a long duration.

2.  TEAMWORK – Each player must rely on the next to reach a goal. 

3.  TONE MUSCLES – The constant stop and go mimics interval training.

4.  BRAIN BUILDING –  You’re alert to anticipate what IS happening & what COULD. 

5.  BONE STRENGTH –  Headers, throw-ins, kicking keep you strong.

6. GREAT FOR YOUR HEART – Non-stop running really gets the heart pumping.

7. BURNS CALORIES – Hundreds of calories burned. Midfielder runs up to 5 miles. 

Why You Need to Stretch

Reasons why stretching is so important for soccer players:

  • Increase Flexibility – A good athlete is flexible. Flexibility works with speed, endurance, strength, agility, and skills to create your total athletic ability.


  • Prevent Injury – Flexibility limits risk of sports injury. Studies show female soccer players are at higher risk for knee injuries; stretching during all practice and games helps prevent that.  Always warm-up before stretching.  So important. 

    The Basics

  • Hydration – Drink plenty of fluids before you exercise to give your muscles the fluids necessary to perform to their best,.


  • Warm-Up – Always warm up before stretching. Jogging or jumping jacks for 5-10 minutes will warm-up the muscles.


  • Breathing – While stretching, remember to breathe slowly and evenly to increase oxygen to your body.


  • Stretch for the right length of time – hold each stretch for at least 10-30 seconds maximum.


  • Stretch evenly – stretch both legs, arms equally. Stretch all of your muscle groups. Don’t stretch the front of your thighs (quadriceps) without stretching the back of the thighs (hamstrings). Also, stretch your whole body, not just your legs – stretch your arms, back, neck, stomach, chest, etc.

    What NOT to do

  • Don’t Bounce – Use slow even movements when stretching, bouncing places too much stress on your muscles and joints.


  • Do Not Over Stretch – Be patient, and never force your joints to go further than they want to.


  • Keep Good Posture – Keep your back straight while stretching, or you risk injuring your back muscles.


  • Do Not Overextend Your Joints – Hyperextending your joints (bending them farther than they were meant to go can cause injury, and does not help you in any way. Female soccer players should pay special attention to their knees, to avoid injury.


  • If It Hurts…DON’T DO IT – Always listen to your body. Stretching correctly, you should feel tension on the muscles, and possibly some discomfort – If you have any sharp or serious pain during a stretch or exercise – STOP!, you may doing harm to your body. Remember, pain is your body’s way of telling you that something isn’t right, listen to it.


  • If you do have an injury, ask your doctor about any exercise or stretching and follow their advice



    WHAT TO EAT:  Soccer Nutrition and Carbohydrates 


    The slow and fast running which you utilize may easily deplete your glycogen stores. To avoid that you need to eat quality carbohydrates.

    Research have shown that amateur soccer players only eat 1300 calories of carbohydrate/day, which is far below the recommended level of 2300 to 2900 calories.

    The main energy source for your muscles are the glycogen fuels. Glycogen is produced from carbohydrates you eat (apples, bananas, bread, milk etc). It is vital for your performance to have enough glycogen. If not, you will have a fatigue felling, your concentration will be poor and recovering from a match/practice will take longer time.

    If your glycogen fuels are low in the beginning of a game, you will most likely have few carbohydrates left in your muscles at the beginning of second half. This simply means that your performance will decrease significantly. You will for example run slower, sometimes by as much as 40-50 % compared to your first half of the match. Your cover distance will also be reduced by 25% or more with low glycogen fuels.

    Do I need to eat fat?
    Well, as soccer player you will burn many calories but the fat should still be minimized in your soccer food because it is not an efficient provider of energy. This doesn’t mean that a diet for soccer players should not contain fat, instead, you should try to keep it low, because in long running sports, like soccer, your body will use glycogen fuel which is found mainly in carbohydrates.

    What about protein, do I need it?
    As soccer player you need normally to eat 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of your body weight per day (1.4 to 1.7 g/kg/day). Protein is a vital part of your soccer diet as it will repair your muscles plus boost your immune system. You may also use protein as fuel before practicing sessions or match but it doesn’t give you any boost of energy as carbohydrates does. Some good sources of protein include fish, chicken, milk and yogurt.

    Is it necessary to drink much water?
    During your practice or matches, your body will lose a lot of water (especially in hot and warm weather kinds). By drinking water you will be able to keep your body hydrated which will give a boost on the field. This is one of the most important parts of nutrition for soccer players and you should really put effort in getting it right.

    Soccer nutrition and sports drinks
    Sports drinks usually claim to boost your performance but they are just full of fast carbohydrates that will just increase your blood sugar for a while. This will not increase your performance to some high level. My advice is to plan your meals and only consume sports drinks when you really don’t have time to eat.

    When To Eat?
    The recommended energy diet for soccer players state that you should eat at least 700 carbohydrates 3-4 hours before the start of your game. After the end of match you should attempt to consume enough carbohydrate to replace all the fluid you have lost during the match.

    MORE STRETCHING TIPS AT LINKS BELOW:

Hope you learned something.

Stay healthy! 🙂

    [photo: Saint Joseph by the Sea Soccer Team Champs Go to Italy in ’09]

 

 

Read more on what muscles soccer works out: http://www.livestrong.com/article/479769-what-muscles-does-soccer-work-out/#ixzz1qULg1ILu

Happy Saint Patty’s Day: Beer Nutrition

By , About.com Guide

Beer and nutrition? You don’t usually see those two words together, but perhaps beer is a bit misunderstood. It may actually be good for you when consumed in very moderate amounts.

Beer has been brewed for just about as long as humans have been cultivating crops and is actually made with some very healthy ingredients. Those ingredients are hops, brewer’s yeast, barley and malt. There are different styles of beer and each style has a distinctive flavor and color. Tasting and learning about the different types of beer is as much fun as tasting and learning about the different types of wine.

Part of a Healthy Diet

Drinking one beer per day may be good for your health because it has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Why? Some experts suggest these reasons:
  • The folate found in beer may help to reduce homocysteine in the blood and lower homocysteine levels mean a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Lab studies have found constituents in beer that lower triglycerides and LDL-cholesterol in mice.
  • Drinking one beer per day reduces blood clotting so some studies found that cardiovascular patients who drank one beer per day also lived longer.

Other studies have found that women who consume one beer each day have improved mental health. Drinking beer and other alcoholic beverages in moderation may also improve bone density.

Of course that doesn’t mean that if one beer is good, three or four must be better. That isn’t true. Drinking more than one beer or any alcoholic beverage per day can put too much alcohol in your system and that isn’t good for you. Heavy drinking has been associated with several health problems, so moderation is definitely the key with drinking beer. The studies also point to one beer per day as being beneficial, not drinking all seven beers in one day per week. That type of binge drinking will overload you system with alcohol too.

The benefits of beer nutrition probably have nothing to do with the alcohol and there are some low-alcohol beers and non-alcohol beers available which offer the same heart-protective effect as regular and light beers.

 

Nutrition Information

According to Michael Jackson, the Beer Hunter, Trappist monks drank beer to sustain themselves during their Lenten fasts. They called their beer “liquid bread.”

We don’t tend to think much about the nutritional aspects of beer, but according to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one 12-ounce serving of regular beer has the following nutrients:

Beer is actually a good source of folate, niacin, magnesium, potassium and niacin.

Drinking Too Much

While drinking one beer per day may improve your health, heavy drinking will not. In fact heavy drinking has the opposite effect. Heavy drinking is defined as more than 21 drinks per week for women and more than 35 drinks per week for men. Drinking heavily leads to liver damage, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, pancreatic diseases, severe thiamin deficiency and some cancers.

Who Shouldn’t Drink Beer?

Beer drinking isn’t for every one. Some people have personal or religious reasons for not drinking beer or other alcoholic drinks. That’s OK. All of the health benefits of beer can be found in other foods beverages. The following people should not drink beer, or should speak with their doctor before drinking beer or other alcoholic beverages:
  • Pregnant or breast-feeding women should not drink beer. Even small amounts of alcohol can damage a developing fetus.
  • Young people. In the United States the drinking age is 21, in Canada the drinking age is 18 or 19. Other countries vary.
  • People with liver, pancreatic diseases, or really, any type of chronic disease should speak with their doctor.
  • People with gout should avoid beer. Gout is very painful and is triggered by alcohol.
  • People taking any type of medications should speak with their doctor. This includes over-the-counter medications.

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Remember, “healthy drinking” is 1 for women, 2 for men a day.  After that, you’re just loading up on empty calories.  

According to the National Institutes of Health if you knock off 5 or more drinks — you raise your risk of death from a heart attack 30%.  And if you drive — you raise the risk of killing someone else.  If you drink to be cool –the Mom, wife, husband, son or daughter of someone you accidentally killed will beg to differ.

If you don’t drink –you get the same “healthy drinking” benefits from exercise & good nutrition.  

Happy & Healthy St. Patty’s Day, everyone!  🙂

MD