Obesity Insulin Resistance And Carbohydrates
The increasing rate of obesity in the United States is associated with a growing incidence of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is the metabolic disturbance that causes a wide variety of medical problems such as type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension, abnormal cholesterol, heart disease and strokes, Sleep Apnea, many forms of cancer and Polycystic Ovarian Disease.
Insulin resistance was originally thought to be consequence of obesity but its cause seems to be more complicated than simply being overweight. Accumulating evidence suggests that insulin resistance is more the consequence of the type of foods we ate in excess while becoming overweight or obese than simply eating too many calories. More specifically, insulin resistance is caused mainly by the excess of carbohydrate consumption in our diet and not to simply being overweight.
If carbohydrates are the primary cause of insulin resistance then why does weight loss improve insulin resistance as well as the bloating, heartburn, bloating or a nagging sense of persistent hunger?
The reason weight loss helps with these conditions is because people significantly reduce their carbohydrate intake when reducing their calorie intake when losing weight. In a recent study that showed significant improvement in insulin resistance because of weight loss, the study participants had decreased their carbohydrate intake by about 100-150 grams per day. Thats a reduction of the average Americans carbohydrate intake by 1/3 to 1/2.
Is It Possible To Get Heartburn When You Havent Eaten
As noted earlier, yes, it is possible to get heartburn when you havent eaten.
While eating food is often a triggering factor for heartburn symptoms to begin manifesting, it is not always that direct of a relationship.
Remember that the systems in our body are always working even when we arent actively moving or eating something.
Since these systems are always in motion, the potential for negative symptoms, like heartburn, is possible at any time.
Still, there are some specific reasons why you might be experiencing heartburn even when you didnt just eat a meal or drank a certain beverage, and were going to go into some of them and how to address them in more detail.
Difficulty Swallowing And Sore Throat
If stomach acids go all the way up your esophagus, they can reach the back of your throat. This condition is called laryngopharyngeal reflux . Besides heartburn, you might feel symptoms like a in your throat or a . You may constantly need to clear your throat or have trouble swallowing. Lifestyle changes can usually correct LPR. Try eating a bland diet and stop eating three hours before bed. If you are overweight, losing weight may help relieve pressure on your stomach. Also skip caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes.
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What Causes Acid Reflux And Whom Does It Affect
The circular band of muscle at the bottom of the gullet normally prevents acid leaking up . Problems occur if the sphincter does not work very well. This is common but in most cases it is not known why it does not work so well. In some cases the pressure in the stomach rises higher than the sphincter can withstand – for example, during pregnancy, after a large meal, or when bending forward. If you have a hiatus hernia , you have an increased chance of developing reflux. See the separate leaflet called Hiatus Hernia for more details.
Most people have heartburn at some time, perhaps after a large meal. However, about 1 adult in 3 has some heartburn every few days, and nearly 1 adult in 10 has heartburn at least once a day. In many cases it is mild and soon passes. However, it is quite common for symptoms to be frequent or severe enough to affect quality of life. Regular heartburn is more common in smokers, pregnant women, heavy drinkers, those who are overweight and those aged between 35 and 64 years.
Prevent Coffee Heartburn By Getting A Safe Amount Of Caffeine
A big player in the cause of acid reflux is overcaffeination. When your caffeine intake is too high, the muscle that connects the stomach to the esophagus is relaxed.1 When this happens, an opening is created for stomach acid to come up into your esophagus, which causes acid reflux. Ew! Thats pretty gross.
So how do we make sure we have a safe amount of caffeine? Most experts agree 600mg per day is overcaffeination.2 For some such as pregnant mothers, its advised to be 200mg .3 According to Health Canada the federal health department in Canada 400mg is a safe daily caffeine consumption rate.4
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What Natural Or Home Remedies Are Used To Treat Dyspepsia
Studies of natural and home remedies for indigestion are few. Most recommendations for natural and home remedies have little evidence to support their use. Several potential remedies, however, deserve mention including:
- Acid-suppressing remedies: The most common cause of dyspepsia is probably gastrointestinal reflux disease . That may be why remedies such as baking soda, which neutralizes stomach acid, have been recommended. Even if baking soda works, it is more effective to use antacids in liquid or pill form for this purpose.
- Ginger: Ginger has been demonstrated to relieve nausea. One small study showed it to be ineffective in relieving dyspepsia, but ginger is harmless and worth a try if nausea is a component of the dyspepsia.
- Peppermint: Peppermint has been demonstrated to have effects on the function of the gastrointestinal tract it is among the most potent inhibitors of intestinal muscles. It is effective in another functional disease, irritable bowel syndrome, but there is minimal evidence that it is effective in dyspepsia. Nevertheless, like ginger, it is harmless and worth a try.
- Meals: Eating smaller, more frequent meals.
- Lifestyle changes: Stay away from specific foods and drinks, smoking, and alcohol if they provoke symptoms.
What Tests Might Be Done
Tests are not usually necessary if you have typical symptoms. Many people experiencing acid leaking up into the gullet are diagnosed with ‘presumed acid reflux’. In this situation they have typical symptoms and the symptoms are eased by treatment. Tests may be advised if symptoms are severe, or do not improve with treatment, or are not typical of GORD.
- Gastroscopy is the common test. A thin, flexible telescope is passed down the oesophagus into the stomach. This allows a doctor or nurse to look inside. With inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus , the lower part of the oesophagus looks red and inflamed. However, if it looks normal it does not rule out acid reflux. Some people are very sensitive to small amounts of acid and can have symptoms with little or no inflammation to see. Two terms that are often used after an endoscopy are:
- Oesophagitis. This term is used when the oesophagus can be seen to be inflamed.
- Endoscopy-negative reflux disease. This term is used when someone has typical symptoms of reflux but endoscopy is normal.
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Confusing Dyspepsia With Hunger
We often confuse dyspepsia with hunger because you may feel shaky, slightly nauseated or weak and eating food makes the symptoms disappear. They go away because food stimulates the stomach to empty. The food, therefore, causes the excess acid to be emptied into the small intestine and your symptoms resolve.
The symptoms would also go away if we took an antacid such as Tums since they are truly the result from excess stomach acid. But since they go away after you eat food, you draw the reasonable conclusion the symptoms were due to low levels of blood sugar or some other nutrient. Consequently, we believe the symptoms were a sign of hunger. So the next time we feel similar symptoms, well eat food again and the symptoms go away again. After a while, it becomes almost second nature.
When the stomach doesnt empty as readily as it should, acid accumulates making us feel uncomfortable, bloated, slightly nauseated or even a little shaky. We eat some food and our symptoms seem to disappear. This happens because eating food stimulates the stomach to empty its acidic contents and this is the reason snacking relieves our symptoms. We only refer to these symptoms as hunger because food helps make us feel better.
Don’t Lie Flat When You Sleep
When you lie flat your stomach contents press against the LES. Keeping your head higher than your stomach helps reduce this pressure.
You can elevate your head in a couple of ways:
- Place bricks, blocks, or something sturdy and secure under the legs at the head of your bed.
- Use a wedge-shaped GERD pillow under your head and shoulders.
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Is Gerd Dangerous Or Life
GERD isnt life-threatening or dangerous in itself. But long-term GERD can lead to more serious health problems:
- Esophagitis: Esophagitis is the irritation and inflammation the stomach acid causes in the lining of the esophagus. Esophagitis can cause ulcers in your esophagus, heartburn, chest pain, bleeding and trouble swallowing.
- Barretts esophagus: Barretts esophagus is a condition that develops in some people who have long-term GERD. The damage acid reflux can cause over years can change the cells in the lining of the esophagus. Barretts esophagus is a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.
- Esophageal cancer: Cancer that begins in the esophagus is divided into two major types. Adenocarcinoma usually develops in the lower part of the esophagus. This type can develop from Barretts esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the cells that line the esophagus. This cancer usually affects the upper and middle part of the esophagus.
- Strictures: Sometimes the damaged lining of the esophagus becomes scarred, causing narrowing of the esophagus. These strictures can interfere with eating and drinking by preventing food and liquid from reaching the stomach.
Remedies For Heartburn After Meals
- Antacids are among the more commonly used medication to remedy heartburn after eating. If persistent, medical treatment needs to be sought. Antacids should not be used indefinitely as prolonged use of certain types may lead to complications.
- Increase water intake after a meal. It can help wash down any acid that has entered the esophagus and also help with hastening stomach emptying to some degree.
- Take a walk after a meal but do not run or exercise. The movement may help with stomach emptying and being upright utilizes gravity to prevent reflux.
- Milk and other dairy products may be helpful in neutralizing the stomach acid and soothing the esophagus. However, this is for short term relief and large amounts of dairy should not be used to treat acid reflux.
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Heartburn Or Heart Attack
A heart attack is when the arteries connected to the heart become blocked. Heartburn, on the other hand, occurs when stomach acid travels back up the esophagus.
Some symptoms of heartburn and a heart attack could be similar, such as chest pain. As a result, some people who are having a heart attack do not take action as they think they have heartburn.
If a person experiences heartburn pain alongside shortness of breath or sweating, this could be a heart-related issue.
Other symptoms of a heart attack can include:
- discomfort in the chest, such as squeezing, fullness, pressure, or pain
- pain or discomfort in one or both arms, stomach, neck, jaw, or back
If a person has some or all of these symptoms, they should seek emergency medical attention. In the words of the American Heart Association , If in doubt, check it out.
Knowing how to distinguish a heart attack from heartburn can save lives.
Smooth Muscle Relaxants For Indigestion
The most widely studied drugs for the treatment of abdominal pain in functional disorders are a group of drugs called smooth-muscle relaxants.
The gastrointestinal tract is primarily composed of a type of muscle called smooth muscle. Smooth muscle relaxant drugs reduce the strength of contraction of the smooth muscles but do not affect the contraction of other types of muscles. They are used in functional disorders, particularly IBS, with the assumption that strong or prolonged contractions of smooth muscles in the intestine-spasms-are the cause of the pain in functional disorders. There are even smooth muscle relaxants that are placed under the tongue, as is nitroglycerin for angina, so that they may be absorbed rapidly.
There are not enough studies of smooth muscle relaxants in indigestion to conclude that they are effective at reducing pain. Since their side effects are few, these drugs probably are worth trying. As with all drugs that are given to control symptoms, patients should carefully evaluate whether or not the smooth muscle relaxant they are using is effective at controlling the symptoms. If it is not clearly effective, the option of discontinuing the relaxant should be discussed with a physician.
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What Does Heartburn Feel Like
Heartburn typically feels like a burning in the center of your chest, behind your breastbone. When you have heartburn, you may also feel symptoms like:
- A burning feeling in your chest that can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
- Pain in your chest when you bend over or lay down.
- A burning feeling in your throat.
- A hot, sour, acidic or salty taste in the back of your throat.
- Difficulty swallowing.
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Barretts Esophagus Risk Factors
Based on these risk factors and your medical/family history, your doctor may recommend screening for Barrettâs esophagus.
- Chronic Heartburn/Acid Reflux/GERD: Those who have chronic symptoms are more likely to develop Barrettâs esophagus.
- Age: Barrettâs esophagus is more common in middle-aged and older adults. 55 is the average age of diagnosis.
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop Barrettâs esophagus
- Ethnic Background: White and Hispanic populations are at higher risk than other populations. Black and Asian populations have a lower risk of developing Barrettâs esophagus.
- Smoking: Current and past smokers are more likely to develop Barrettâs esophagus.
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What Is Acid Reflux
- Acid reflux means that some acid leaks up into the gullet .
- Oesophagitis means inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus. Most cases of oesophagitis are due to reflux of stomach acid which irritates the inside lining of the oesophagus.
The lining of the oesophagus can cope with a certain amount of acid. However, it is more sensitive to acid in some people. Therefore, some people develop symptoms with only a small amount of reflux. However, some people have a lot of reflux without developing oesophagitis or symptoms.
Chocolate Can Cause Everyday Heartburn
Your sweet tooth aint gonna like this, but chocolate may also trigger heartburn attacks.
Again, the problem lies in LES relaxation and subsequent acid reflux.
Eating chocolate boosts your serotonin level, making you feel happy and relaxed.
Unfortunately, the same goes for your LES, which has different types of
And you know the drill: relaxed LES => acid reflux => heartburn
Theobromine and caffeine in chocolate may contribute to LES relaxation, too.
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What Kinds Of Complications Are Caused By Frequent Heartburn
- Excess stomach acid in the esophagus can cause ulcers, damage to the inner layers of the esophageal wall, and narrowing .
- Very rarely, the esophagus may bleed or tear completely because it is so damaged. In severe cases, a person may vomit blood or have small amounts of blood in bowel movements, found only on testing the stool.
- Regurgitated stomach acid can damage the respiratory tract, causing asthma, hoarseness, chronic cough, sore throat, or tooth damage . A person may feel as if he or she has a lump in the throat.
- If the acid exposure continues for long periods of time, the esophagus becomes thick and damaged. A person may then have difficulty swallowing and food becomes stuck.
Conditions And Habits That Put Pressure On The Les
In certain situations, your stomach and the LES are under pressure and, as a result, acid can sneak back into the esophagus, causing the unpleasant heartburn symptoms. The most common cases include:
- Pregnancy: As the baby grows, it puts strong pressure on the stomach and the LES often fails to keep the acid inside. Thats why many pregnant women experience heartburn.
- Large, late-night meals: Large portions add more pressure to your stomach. If you lie down right after a meal, gravity will work against you and increase the pressure even more. And you know the consequences Thats why large, late-night, junk food meals make for the worst heartburn combo. Same goes for your afternoon nap so try to wait 1-2 hours after lunch.
- Hiatal hernia: This means the stomach is dislocated, often putting pressure on the LES and causing heartburn symptoms.
- Obesity: Increased weight and belly fat can also expose your stomach and LES to additional pressure, bolstering the acid reflux. Among other amazing benefits, controlling the body weight may put an end to your heartburn problems .
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How Many Carbohydrates Are Too Much
What should you reduce your total daily carbohydrate intake to? The average American diet now consists of 50-60% of calories from carbohydrates. Scientific studies suggest that you can greatly improved health if you reduce your carbohydrate intake to about less than 100 grams of carbohydrates per day for women and men.
First start by reducing the larger amounts of carbohydrates from your diet start with the frequent servings of potatoes, rice and pasta and the sugar containing drinks. Replace these with more protein and low carbohydrate vegetables.
After a week or 2, count the grams of the remaining carbohydrates in your daily diets for a few days. You will quickly realize the high amount of carbohydrates you had been consuming on a regular basis.
Reducing your carbohydrate intake to less than 100 grams per day has a dramatic improvement in the diseases arising from insulin resistance as well as improving your neurological functioning. Your triglyceride and HDL cholesterol levels improve, your blood pressure will be greatly reduced and your blood sugar levels will normalize as your bodys response to insulin to improves.