Calcium Pills Linked to Heart Damage

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Are calcium pills linked to artery buildup? Well according to recent findings, calcium pills have been linked to a build-up of plaque in the arteries that may over time lead to heart disease. The researchers who carried out this study for more than 10 years have, however, made it clear that the study does not prove that taking calcium supplements leads to plaque buildup. While this may mean that taking calcium pills does not automatically leads to artery buildup and heart disease over time, it means that we should all be careful and not just calcium pills for the sake of it.

Calcium is among the most important minerals that the body needs to perform optimally. Most of the calcium in the body is found in the bones and teeth while the rest is found in the blood, nerve cells, and other body tissues. By taking adequate amounts of calcium every day, you can be sure that your bones and teeth will remain healthy as you age. Calcium is also needed for other vital bodily functions such as blood clotting, muscles function, and release of a number of hormones. This means that we have to do everything possible and incorporate foods rich in calcium in our diet in order to meet our body requirement as far as this important mineral is concerned.

The calcium that we need in our bodies is dependent on a number of factors that include age. To ensure that you get the right amount of calcium in your body you have to include calcium-rich foods in your diet. These foods include dairy products, green leafy vegetables, nuts and beans. Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are known to be the best sources of calcium. Some people, however, do not take dairy products as a matter of choice or for health reasons. Such people have to incorporate lots of greens, nuts, and cereals to get the recommended amount of calcium every day.

Though the immediate effects of a calcium deficiency may not be noticeable, it is no secret that it leads to osteoporosis that comes with devastating effects as one age. In most cases calcium pills are recommended for the aging people especially women who are at a high risk of developing osteoporosis. The pills promote bone health and generally slow down the rate of bone loss in the body. There is a recommended dosage for each age group that is normally spread out throughout the day.

So should you stay off calcium pills to safeguard your heart and possibly avoid heart disease in the future? Well, if you are taking calcium following your doctor’s instructions then you should not stop. All you have to do is ensure that you are getting the right dosage. If you do not have an existing condition that may warrant taking of these supplements, then it is wise to avoid taking them. Just strive to get the recommended dosage from natural sources as this is good for your bones, heart, and overall body health. If you cannot get the right amount of calcium from your diet, visit a physician so that you are advised on when and how to take calcium pills to meet the recommended daily amount.

The Impact Of Shift Work On Health

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Shift work can generally refer to work patterns that come after the normal working hours. This may include working evenings, overnight or irregular schedules arranged between employer and employee. For some it is mostly because of financial needs or the need to better their careers. It is imperative to mention that this may have adverse impacts on your health. Some effects are easily noticed while some take time to build up to dangerous levels.
The impact of shift work on health can be broadly categorized in two. This being short-term and long term effects.

Short term impacts

These are impacts that you begin to notice almost immediately you begin to do shift work. They mostly occur due to excessive working, limited rest or disruption of your off-time. They include the following:

• Fatigue

This general body tiredness. You tend to feel tired all the time due to lack of rest.

• Insomnia and Excessive sleeping

Insomnia is the inability to sleep. The body may adapt to patterns where you do need sleep. You may also suffer from cases where you sleep too much. Both cases happen because of disruption in sleep patterns and can have adverse effects.

• Increased risk of accidents and Injuries

• High levels of Gastrointestinal symptoms

This refers to the cases of increased stomach upsets, diarrhea, nausea and heartburn.

Long term impacts

These are impacts that you experience in the long run. Many researches have been conducted and many connections between those who work in shifts and serious health issues have been made. Long term health conditions associated with shift workers include:

• Diabetes

Research shows that this disease has been recorded with higher prevalence in people that work extra hours as compared to those who work normal hours. This may be as a result of the stress that comes with working shifts.

• Obesity

It is most definite that people who do shift work maintain a poor diet and do not exercise. They also experience a lot of hormone imbalance. There is a particular hormone called Leptin that regulates appetite. Its level in people that work extra hours is low so they tend to eat more as they feel hungrier. These factors combined lead to obesity.

• Depression and mood Disorders

Since shift work involves working extra hours, you may tend to be socially isolated. This in the end can reach levels that can cause psychological turmoil leading to depression. Some chemicals that help with mood may also be lowered leading to moodiness.

• Cancer

Many researchers have concluded that there is an increased risk of cancer in people that do shift work. Those who work overnight tend to have an increased percentage risk in developing cancerous tumors. Women in shift work are at higher risk of breast cancer. The hormones that help to suppress cancerous cells are mostly produced at night when one is resting. Therefore, lack of sleep can impact heavily in causing cancer.

• Cardiovascular diseases

This largely refers to heart diseases and heart attacks. Research work shows that there is a higher risk of heart attacks and heart diseases in people that work extra hours as compared to those that work normal hours. This may be a result of the stress that the body undergoes due to overworking and lack of rest.

Conclusion

Generally, when we compare the health of people who work normal hours to the health of those who do shift work, we find that those that work normal hours are healthier. This is because they are not overworked and have enough rest. It is therefore advisable to maintain a steady normal working routine in order to avoid the impacts of shift work on your health.

Childhood Obesity: What is the Weight of the Problem Today?

child obesityObesity is measured through a body mass index formula commonly abbreviated as BMI using weight and height as two main factors. However, the BMI is standardized among adults and is complex to measure the same among children. Risk factors of overweight among children include age, puberty, gender, ethnicity and race. Genetic make-up and medical conditions such as abnormal hormonal balance are associated are also a common mention among factors these factors. Constantly changing lifestyle is increasing the prevalence of childhood obesity. The prevalence of childhood obesity arises as children grow up. Reception years always have childhood obesity at 1% and the prevalence increases to 5% when the same child population reaches fifth grade.

General Risk Factors of Childhood Obesity

There are wide varieties of risk factors that cause obesity among children. Nutritionists hold that obesity is caused by taking more energy than expected. The risk factor for increasing obesity among children is changing lifestyle that relies heavily on junk foods.Compromised healthy living standards such as eating patterns and lack of level physical activities contribute to high level risk factors for childhood obesity. A diet too rich in sugar and fat, deficiency fibre, too much carbohydrate and lacking exercise to burn these calories is attributed to being simple but neglected factors that cause overweight health challenge. Also, fast foods are a risk factor of developing obesity. Increasing activities due to an unstable economy, the need for people to save time to work more hours, lack of time to attend to children and the general marketing lure of fast food advertisement has all led to increased overweight among risk population.

Modern technology is also a chronic problem that has exacerbated the obesity epidemic among children. Computer games and too much television watching are often mentioned as the main influence that cause lack of physical activity among the young population.

Childhood Obesity Consequences

Most common consequences associated with childhood obesity include a range of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancers, back pain, stigmatization, prejudice and discrimination. Overweight in children is associated with low self-image, low self-confidence, and depression. Therefore, socio-psychological challenges associated with obesity are justified. Patients already understand their high risk of developing chronic disease conditions. The complication of obesity is that patients live with irreversible health problems before they think of working to reduce weight. Also, before these chronic diseases are discovered, they already have caused irreversible health damage that sometimes leads to the economic consequences of spending too much money in medical treatment. Childhood obesity has no benefit and is a health and economic burden among patients and close family members.

Preventing Childhood Obesity

Preventing childhood obesity universally rests on managing diet and increasing physical activities among the risk and vulnerable populations. However, public health education remains the main and most effective preventive overweight strategy. Information about healthy living is affordable, risk free and effective, but only to those who have cultivated patience. The general population needs to develop good will to concentrate on balanced diet investment. Parents should be responsible for their children’s eating habits. Nowadays, it is common to find overweight group therapies among communities. Group therapies act as motivation platforms to acquire discipline and inspiration on maintaining weight as well as leading a healthy lifestyle.