Author Archives: bhealth
Author Archives: bhealth
Can Stress Cause Digestive Issues?
Stress doesn’t play hit and miss with your body, picking and chooses certain areas to affect while leaving other parts of it alone. Instead, stress launches a full body attack and impacts you from head to toe.
It can even cause digestive issues that can mildly or significantly impact your ability to live normally. When it comes to stress, you have to first understand that your gastrointestinal function doesn’t operate as a standalone system.
Your digestive system works in tandem with your brain and nervous system. When something goes wrong with either of those, the fallout is passed down to your digestive system.
That’s because your gastrointestinal system passes and receives signals. Stress disrupts or scrambles these signals. When you’re under stress, the systems can’t work smoothly and it causes a break down in communication.
You can get scrambled signals for things like differentiating how your body handles the digestive order. The process that works to handle the food can shortchange the amount of enzymes used or it can release too many enzymes.
You can experience spasms - not only in your esophagus, but in your stomach as well. The production of acid within your stomach can be affected by stress. Your food won’t be broken down the way it should and your body won’t be able to absorb the nutrition like it normally does when you’re not stressed.
Stress can cause stomach pain and nausea. It can cause your bowels to slow down so you develop constipation or it can cause them to speed up so that you end up with diarrhea.
You can develop inflammation within your digestive system. This can lead to cramps, weight loss, and fever. You may develop painful bloating. When your digestive system is affected by stress, it can cause you to have heartburn and it can lead to the development of serious gastrointestinal conditions.
You can develop ulcers due to the stress your body is feeling. Though it’s true that ulcers are directly linked to a specific bacteria, it’s the upset in the normal function of the digestive system under stress that allows this bacteria to flourish to the point of causing an ulcer.
If you have a condition such as IBS, stress can worsen that. Stress is known to cause flare ups of certain diseases such as IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The reason that stress can impact your digestive system so heavily is because hormones are released when the body experiences stress.
These hormones flood your entire gastrointestinal system and throw it out of balance.
The stress that you’re under can keep your system out of balance until you take steps to alleviate it.
Stress Can Cause Obesity to Spiral Out of Control
If you’re struggling with obesity, being under stress can cause you to continue to gain. It can reach the point where the weight gain gets out of control. Stress is one of the key factors in packing on the pounds.
Part of the reason why you gain more weight if you’re under stress has to do with your hormones. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol. This stress hormone is helpful when you’re in a dangerous situation because it’s your flight or fight response.
But when you’re not in danger, your body is just flooded with cortisol and that cortisol prods you to want to eat. Not only does it make you to want to eat, but you find yourself pulled toward foods that are known to cause weight gain and health problems - foods like chips, cookies, cakes and fast foods are what you want.
There’s a reason the cortisol boost makes you want foods like that. It’s because when your body thinks there’s danger, it wants food in response to the hormonal outburst. Your body’s appetite increases, your digestion and metabolism slow down and your cravings feel like they went through the roof.
Because your metabolism slows down during stress, your body doesn’t handle calories or weight the same way it does when you’re not under stress. Along with the slower metabolism, stress causes changes in the way your body processes glucose.
You’ll find that your blood sugar can become elevated and stay elevated when you’re stressed. This leads to a desire to eat more, which then causes your glucose levels to rise sharply and quickly if you eat the sugary junk foods that are known to cause spikes.
Then those spikes fall, leaving you feeling jittery, and craving more sugary foods. When you’re stressed, you’ll eat greater portion sizes because you’re not so much feeding the hunger as you are trying to silence the emotions that go along with the stress.
Emotional eating has longed been linked with stress and people eat to feed emotions such as anger, sadness, depression, and anxiety. Overeating is also linked to the higher production of cortisol in your body that stress produces.
So what happens is stress triggers the changes throughout your body that lead to more hunger and combined with the slower metabolism, greater weight gain. This reaction that occurs isn’t something that can be fixed simply by dieting.
Because while the weight gain is the effect, it’s not the cause. The cause is the stress - and until you address the stress and deal with that, you’ll always have an uphill battle regarding weight gain.
Once you take care of the stress, you’ll find that it’s easier to stop the weight gain and lose the extra pounds because your body’s cortisol hormones will return to normal levels and your metabolism will pick back up.
Stress Can Worsen Diabetes Symptoms
Diabetes is a condition that requires consistent control in order to minimize the effects the disease has on your health. When you have good glucose control, you can have a similar life expectancy of someone who doesn’t have the condition.
But when stress is in the picture, it can impact your day to day health as well as your long term health. When you’re under stress, your body immediately kicks into gear and raises your hormone levels in an attempt to fight back against whatever the stress is.
The rise in hormone levels introduces a flood of cortisol. In people with a normal metabolic reaction to stress, the blood sugar then returns to normal. Those who have diabetes don’t have the same results.
When someone who has diabetes experiences stress, the body isn’t able to process the glucose released by the hormone reaction. As a result of that, the glucose isn’t absorbed or used.
Instead, it remains in the blood and you’ll notice that when you check your glucose level. If you’re subject to a constant barrage of stress and the body’s hormone reaction to stress, it causes long term elevated stress levels.
This leads to ineffectual glucose management, which in turn causes your diabetes and the related symptoms to spiral out of control. You can have stress that’s physical or emotional, but your body doesn’t differentiate between the types of stress.
It simply reacts to the stress itself. You can have headaches, fatigue, stomach pain, shoulder pain and mood swings as a result of stress. Because a diabetic can’t get their glucose back into balance the way that someone without diabetes naturally can, your health is put at risk.
Uncontrolled glucose levels can lead to nerve damage, skin infection or rashes, dental problems, kidney damage, heart attacks, blindness and loss of limbs. When the stress is being controlled and the glucose levels are within range, someone who has diabetes doesn’t face those issues.
But when the stress isn’t under control, then your diabetes won’t be either. The longer it goes uncontrolled, the more damage you’ll experience to your body. For someone who has diabetes, stress raises your blood pressure.
Many people with diabetes have borderline hypertension or have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Because the stress raises the blood pressure, that can cause more problems for your heart.
Stress is bad for anyone - but it’s twice as bad for someone with diabetes. In order to be able to regulate your glucose, you must find a way to eliminate the stress. If you’re in a stressful situation or you have chronic stress, learning how you can eliminate stress or remain calm can help prevent your glucose from constantly being high.
Is Your Hair Thinning Due to Stress?
Stress is a big cause of significant health and emotional problems. If you’re experiencing stress, your body goes through changes that reflects that mental chao. One of these changes is thinning hair.
The technical name for this is telogen effluvium and it can cause a once normal full head of hair to thin in patches, to fall out in clumps and to result in bald areas on your scalp.
When that happens, it’s a sign that you’re under a heavy stress load and it needs to be dealt with. Fortunately, the hair loss condition isn’t permanent, but it will last as long as you’re under the stress.
Everyone loses some hair, but it’s usually so minimal, you hardly even notice it. When you start noticing a lot of hair loss when you wash or brush your hair and you’re also under stress, that can be a bad sign.
The cause of thinning hair when you’re under stress is because stress can stop your body’s normal hair growth cycle. Your hair goes through stages of growth times and then it enters into a rest period.
The majority of your hair remains in a constant state of growth. That’s why you don’t usually notice the small portion that’s not in the growth cycle. Stress gets between the natural cycle and causes more strands of hair to get pushed from the follicles during the resting phase.
It also interrupts the natural growth period. Because stress causes this two part hair growth interruption, new hair doesn’t grow as fast as it normally would and the reaction caused by stress, the telogen effluvium, leaves your hair noticeably thinner.
The kinds of stress that can lead to hair thinning can be caused by an illness that’s ongoing. It can be stress related to medication, some that you take or some that you stop taking.
Not eating a healthy diet or going on crash diets can trigger stress that leads to the temporary hair thinning condition. Giving birth can cause the reaction of thinning hair if you’re under stress.
Being under emotional stress is a known cause of the condition. This would be stress such as having financial or relationship problems. It could be caused by stress from dealing with a job change or a move.
The condition kicks in when you’re stressed because of how stress causes your hormone levels to get out of balance. The longer you’re stressed, the more hair thinning you’ll experience.
But the good news is that the thinning hair is completely reversal if you eliminate the stress you’ve been under. You can eliminate stress through a number of ways such as by exercising, or using meditation.
Stress Will Defeat Your Anti Aging Efforts
You might be doing all that you can do outwardly to slow the signs of aging. You may be practicing a good skin care routine, making sure you get enough sleep, exercising regularly and eating healthy.
But all that effort is wasted if you live with chronic stress. Stress is one of the big factors when it comes to sabotaging your anti-aging efforts. The toll begins deep within your body on a cellular level.
Stress damages your mitochondria. Your mitochondria are structures known as organelles that are within your cells. Your mitochondria reacts to various factors, both physical and mental that can change your health, both short and long term.
The job of the organelles is to create energy for your body. When the mitochondria become impaired due to stress, a number of events take place that you may not even realize.
The first thing is that you become open to developing ongoing cell damage, inflammation and disease. The organelles filter your life and are instrumental in dealing with how your body as a whole reacts to stress.
When you let stress go and you don’t deal with it, the mitochondria can reach their limit. They simply aren’t able to cope with a high volume of stress. As a result, the clock starts ticking and the signs of aging multiply.
You’ll see things like skin damage, hair that loses its luster, muscle weakness, organ damage, cognitive problems and vision or hearing issues. Stress doesn’t just age you at a cellular level.
It also affects your brain. Stress can age your brain and even make it shrink in size. That’s because stress causes a reaction within the body that alerts the brain’s hypothalamus.
As a result, the brain pushes for a greater production of cortisol. Left unchecked, this flood of cortisol impedes the brain’s ability to work properly. The stress interferes with the synapse function, eliminates viable brain cells and stunts the cortex.
At the same time, the cortisol flood causes a loop effect, meaning it can make the effect of stress on your brain even greater. This causes age related issues like forgetfulness, inability to concentrate and confusion.
Studies have linked high cortisol levels in the brain to cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Many people don’t realize that vision is impacted by stress and vision loss can occur as a result.
You can experience things like glaucoma, retinopathy and other age related eye problems. Stress damages the nerves within the eyes because of the higher levels of cortisol in the body.
It’s the same thing with your hearing. Stress can hasten the decline in your hearing. It can cause things like tinnitus, hearing loss, partial or full deafness. Stress can cause high blood pressure, too, which causes damage to your blood vessels.
Vessels are impacted throughout your body - including in your ears. If you don’t minimize or get rid of stress, you will feel and see the effects. It’ll make you feel older than you are and your appearance will change to reflect what’s going on in your body.
Can You Eat Fruit on a Keto Diet Plan?
Inevitably when it comes to the keto diet, people ask if they’re allowed to have fruit on their plan. The answer is that you don’t have to give up fruit completely just because you’re on this program.
Fruit is a natural part of a healthy diet and they offer many health benefits. But since the keto diet does focus on low carb eating, what you have to do in order for the fruit to fit into the limited carbs, is make smart choices.
You have to find the fruits that are as low in carbs as possible. That means that some fruits are going to be better for your carb count than others are. There seems to be some advice going around that if you want to stay in ketosis, you have to avoid all fruits, but that’s not the case.
You have to compare the fruits that you pick with the amount of carbs as well as natural sugar that they contain. Not all of them are high carb. You can choose to have tomatoes, which technically, though they’re often referred to as a vegetable, are really a fruit.
You can have an entire small tomato for around 3 grams of carbs. Or, you can choose the small bite size salad tomatoes and have about 2 grams for every half a cup. You may not think of eating a lemon as part of the fruit you can have on a keto diet.
Most people don’t consume the lemon that way. They add it to drinks to give it a sweet, citrusy flavor, but without the carbs. Avocados are another fruit that you can safely have on the keto diet.
An entire avocado only has 4 grams of carbs. So you can either eat half or a fourth of an avocado and still not go over your net carb limit. You can have fruit in the berry family when you’re on the keto diet.
Though they might seem high in carbs, they’re not. Just like with any fruit, though, you want to watch your portion size. You can have blackberries for less than 2 net carbs for ¼ cup.
If you prefer raspberries, you can eat those on a keto diet. The carb count and serving size is the same for raspberries as it is for blackberries. You can have strawberries, too - although the carb count comes in slightly higher at 2 net carbs per ¼ cup.
When consuming fruit, just remember that the keto diet isn’t so different from any other carb limiting diet. You just want to aim for the foods that give you the lowest amount of carbs for the biggest health benefits.
Plan Ahead for Success on Your Keto Diet
There’s a saying that goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Nothing could be more fitting for those going on a Keto diet. Of course, it is possible to fly by the seat of your pants and make decisions at each meal, but in the very beginning, that might be hard to do.
Beginner Keto dieters need a little structure, and it helps to know the ins and outs of tracking carbs and macros as well as cooking methods and food choices that will help you lose weight fast.
The first thing you want to do is educate yourself on what you can and can’t have carb-wise and try to eliminate or replace those items in your kitchen. For example, you may not want to give up your coffee, but you’ll need to replace sugar with a sweetener that isn’t loaded with carbs.
You’ll want to plan for snacks on the go that work well with your keto plan, rather than relying on fast food stops or convenience stores that are packed with processed foods. You can have bags of pecans or string cheese to take with you.
Get set up with a carb tracking tool such as MyFitnessPal, where you can track the exact carbs and use a tool like TamperMonkey to track the net carbs in your meals, which is the true number of carbs you’ll be using as your guideline.
You’ll want to prepare for the beginning of your journey – the mental cravings and old habits can be hard to overcome if you’re not ready. You may even need to get sometimes to tide you over from keto flu if you suffer from that.
This is basically just a feeling of bring under the weather when your body is first going into ketosis, and the best fix for it is a simple chicken broth that you sip to get the electrolytes back in your system.
You definitely want to plan for some variety, too. Don’t get stuck eating scrambled eggs seven days a week, for every meal. You’ll burn out. Plan on some creative ways to make meals low in carbs – and learn which foods taste best to you, such as a chocolate mousse fat bomb as a special treat.
Don’t worry that the diet is complex, because it’s not. This is one of the easiest diet plans you’ll find. But you’re just not used to eating plenty of quality fats and protein – you’re probably used to eating low calorie, low fat, so planning is necessary to retrain your brain for your future weight loss success!
How Many Carbs Can You Have on a Keto Diet?
Whenever you start a keto diet, your goal will be to lower your carb intake to the point where your body goes into ketosis, which means your body is burning fat for fuel instead of carbs.
The exact point at which you’ll get into ketosis will be different from everyone. Some people might achieve it by consuming no more than 30 carbs per day, while others have to go all the way down to 20 carbs to get into ketosis.
It usually takes about 2-3 days for ketosis to happen. Then, you’ll experience some symptoms associated with this condition. Some people get keto flu, which means they need to remedy the symptoms by consuming electrolytes like those found in chicken broth.
Others will experience fantastic side effects right out of the gate – like increased energy, a clearing of brain fog and absence of cravings that they had once battled before. It would be nice if everyone experienced this initially, but some people do go through a lethargic feeling instead.
You want to calculate your macros so that you’re getting approximately 70% fat, 25% protein and 5% carbs. In a 1,200 calorie diet, that would be about 15 net carbs, 93 grams of fat and 75 grams of protein.
Many people who do ketogenic dieting don’t bother to track calories, except with how it impacts their macros. You could enjoy a 2,500 calorie day of meals and keep your ketosis levels in check just by managing your macros.
Some people worry if they mess up and get knocked out of ketosis. This happens, and it’s often a result of hidden carbs. Carbs can be snuck in on simple seasonings – things you don’t expect to be loaded with carbs.
If you get knocked out of ketosis, you should be able to get back in within 2-3 days after the slipup. The weight should continue coming off, but it will increase more when your keto kicks in.
Try to make sure, when you’re choosing carbs, that you choose healthy ones. Eating something like spinach or a strawberry is better for you than a handful of fake sweets that could take a toll on your digestive track.
Plus, your body still needs plenty of nutrients, so choosing your carbs carefully will help you get the vitamins and minerals that you need throughout the week. Don’t rely on supplements to do the job for – it’s better to use real foods for this purpose.
One Big Myth About the Keto Diet
There’s a big myth floating around the keto diet world that makes some people steer clear of the diet. It’s that the ketogenic diet is the same as a high protein diet. It’s not. In fact, protein should only be approximately 25% of your macros for the day.
One of the reasons people think keto is synonymous with high protein is that you can eat lots of protein foods such as eggs, chicken, beef, cheese and other meats for very few carbs.
This means dieters often fill up on these foods, and probably aren’t tracking their macros very well. If they were, they’d realize that the majority of their meals are made up of healthy fats, not proteins.
The macro count for healthy fats is approximately 70% of your nutrition for the day, with the remaining 5% being carbs. Healthy fats are beneficial for your body, while too much protein can be damaging.
One of the benefits and most alluring things about the keto diet is that you don’t have to go low fat. Fat is flavorful, so consumers love to be able to eat marbled meat, like a steak, without having to feel guilty.
When bacon and cheese are encouraged on a diet plan, it makes many dieters’ mouths water, so you often see people starting their keto diet with a heavy amount of meats and cheese.
But that doesn’t eliminate the fact that the real focus of the ketogenic diet is low carb, high fat – so it’s very important that as you wean yourself off carbs and sugar, you begin looking at which fats will keep you satisfied in lieu of larger portions.
Healthy fats are things like avocados, olives or olive oil, nuts and seeds. That doesn’t mean you can’t have other fats, but you really want to make the switch from cream butter and coconut to the ones listed above.
Keep in mind that as you stay on the diet longer, your taste buds will probably change. After going without sodas and using fake sweeteners for weeks, if you were to cheat and have a Coke or Dr. Pepper, it would probably taste way too sweet for you.
This is helpful because it curbs your sugar cravings and instead, you begin craving the healthy fats that benefit your body from head to toe. So enjoy the fact that you can have plenty of proteins, but don’t neglect the real star of this meal plan – the one that keeps you feeling full – fat!
Five Reasons Why Keto Is a Top Diet Choice
Whenever a man or woman is thinking about choosing a diet plan, there are several questions that run through their minds. They want to know how fast the weight will come off, whether or not they can stick to it, and how it will impact their life.
Keto is a top choice of diet for many people these days, and there are five big reasons why. The first is that you don’t have to give up flavorful foods. If you’ve ever been on a low calorie diet or low fat plan, you’ll understand how bland those foods can taste.
But Keto allows you to keep the fat and flavor in your diet, so you’re not banned from having cheese, flavorful, fatty meats or other delicious foods. You can make a rich guacamole topping, even and it’ll all on plan to satisfy your goals and your taste buds.
Hunger is one thing that can turn dieters away from a plan. That won’t be a problem on a Keto diet. The fact that you can have fat in your diet means you’ll always be satisfied and never feel like you’re starving.
The third reason Keto is a hot choice is that weight loss is fast. Everyone wants the diet process to be over with as soon as possible. When you’re following a Keto plan, the weight melts off quickly because your body is burning fat stores instead of carbs for fuel.
The fourth reason Keto might be the plan you choose is that it’s easy to modify anywhere. Being on a diet is hard enough. Having to follow a difficult plan when you’re eating out or traveling or visiting friends and family makes you want to quit.
But with Keto, you can easily order off any menu or pick and choose from any family meal and have a simple, low carb, ketogenic meal. When you leave off the breading and sauces, sticking to a meat and low carb vegetable, you’ll easily stay on plan.
It’s not all or nothing with keto, which is the fifth reason why so many love this way of life. Whenever many people succeed on a diet, they have to get off of it, and then regain the weight.
With keto, you can simply modify and adjust your carb intake to allow you to maintain the weight you’re currently at. You’ll raise your carb intake to 50 or even 100 carbs per day and not have to worry about yo yo dieting, like so many other plans cause.