If you live and eat in the U.S. – Read This

If you’ve read many of my blogs, you’ll quickly learn that I talk about the importance of eating healthy, daily exercise, and getting plenty of sleep at night.

Well now, there’s even more reason to eat the “right” kinds of food.

A new study has come out about our “Western” diet.  You know the one.  The fried foods, the processed and red meats, processed sugar, high fat diary items.  All the things that we crave, right?

Look at the details of this study and ask yourself if those few moments of satisfaction from these comfort foods is worth it in the end?

(HealthDay News) — A new British study provides further evidence that eating a so-called “Western” diet may not be good for you in the long run.

People who eat this kind of diet — which includes fried and sweet foods, processed and red meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products — are at increased risk for premature death. And those who do make it to old age are less likely to be in good health when they get there, the researchers said.

The study included nearly 3,800 men and 1,600 women in Britain, with an average age of 51, who were followed from 1985 to 2009. By the end of that time, 73 percent of the participants had experienced normal aging and 4 percent had undergone ideal aging, which is defined as free of chronic conditions with high scores on tests of physical and mental abilities.

During the follow-up period, 13 percent of the participants had a nonfatal cardiovascular event, 3 percent died from heart-related causes and 7 percent died from other causes, according to the research, which was published in the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.

Those who ate a Western diet were less likely to have ideal aging, lead investigator Tasnime Akbaraly of INSERM, a biomedical and public health research institution in Montpelier, France, said in a journal news release.

“We showed that following specific dietary recommendations … may be useful in reducing the risk of unhealthy aging, while avoidance of the Western-type foods might actually improve the possibility of achieving older ages free of chronic diseases and remaining highly functional,” Akbaraly said in a journal news release.

“A better understanding of the distinction between specific health behaviors that offer protection against diseases and those that move individuals toward ideal aging may facilitate improvements in public health prevention packages,” Akbaraly added.

Here’s to Your Health!

Dr. K Bennett

Warning: Read This Before You Go to Sleep Tonight!

How’s your sleeping at night?  Do you fall to sleep right away or are you one of the millions of Americans you have trouble sleeping.  If you have trouble sleeping you might also be a part of this group of millions who take sleeping pills to help fall and stay asleep.

When you’ve had a good night of uninterrupted sleep, you know just how good it makes you feel the next day.  Your energy soars, you feel sharp mentally, physically, and emotionally.

But, are there dangers to taking these sleep aids over time?   For a short period of time and under the direction of your doctor, it may be o.k. for you to take a sleeping aid.   However, these sleeping pills are not designed for prolonged use.  There are dangers to long term use of these pills.

According to WebMD, here are some of the dangers to using sleeping aid over a period of time.

Common side effects of prescription sleeping pills such as Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien, Rozerem, and Halcion may include:

  • Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty keeping balance
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach pain or tenderness
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • Unusual dreams
  • Weakness

The FDA requires manufacturers of Ambien and Zolpimist to offer lower doses for women. Women clear the drugs from their systems more slowly than men and the agency says blood levels of the drugs could still be high enough the following morning to affect activities that require alertness, such as driving. The FDA says doctors should offer the lower dose to men too.

Don’t be fooled by the immediate benefits of sleeping aids.  Make sure you consult with your docotor before you take any sleep aids and then do your best to stop using them as soon as possible.

Here’s to Your Health!

Dr. K Bennett

What You Should Know About Brain Aneurysms

I got the call late Tuesday night.  Shocking news about a friend who was found dead earlier that day from an apparent Aneurysm in the brain.  Words cannot describe how I felt.  How could this person no longer be with us?  She was only in her mid 30s.  A mother of 5, happily married with young children and a full life.  She was a very healthy lady that exercised, ate right, and lived a normal life.

Sadly, we can all do the right things; exercise, eat right, live right and still be taken out in an instant.  Unfortunately my friend was one of the victims of a brain Aneurysm.  But could she have done anything?  I heard she did complain of a severe headache and thought she had the flu.  Only minutes later she would be found lifeless by her husband in the shower.

Here is some vital and potentially life saving information about Aneurysms.  If you think you might be having an Aneurysm, don’t treat it lightly.  Call 911 and get to a hospital immediately!

What You Should Know About Cerebral Aneurysms

What is a cerebral aneurysm?
An aneurysm is a weak area in a blood vessel that usually enlarges. It’s often described as a “ballooning” of the blood vessel.

How common are aneurysms?
About 1.5 to 5 percent of the general population has or will develop a cerebral aneurysm. About 3 to 5 million people in the United States have cerebral aneurysms, but most are not producing any symptoms. Between 0.5 and 3 percent of people with a brain aneurysm may suffer from bleeding.

How do aneurysms form? Are people born with an aneurysm?
People usually aren’t born with aneurysms. Most develop after age 40. Aneurysms usually develop at branching points of arteries and are caused by constant pressure from blood flow. They often enlarge slowly and become weaker as they grow, just as a balloon becomes weaker as it stretches. Aneurysms may be associated with other types of blood vessel disorders, such as fibromuscular dysplasia, cerebral arteritis or arterial dissection, but these are very unusual. They may run in families, but people are rarely born with a predisposition for aneurysms. Some aneurysms are due to infections, drugs such as amphetamines and cocaine that damage the brain’s blood vessels, or direct brain trauma from an accident.

Warning Signs/ Symptoms

Unruptured brain aneurysms are typically completely asymptomatic. These aneurysms are typically small in size, usually less than one half inch in diameter. However, large unruptured aneurysms can occasionally press on the brain or the nerves stemming out of the brain and may result in various neurological symptoms. Any individual experiencing some or all of the following symptoms, regardless of age, should undergo immediate and careful evaluation by a physician.

  • Localized Headache
  • Dilated pupils
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Pain above and behind eye
  • Weakness and numbness
  • Difficulty speaking

Ruptured brain aneurysms usually result in a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), which is defined as bleeding into the subarachnoid space. When blood escapes into the space around the brain, it can cause sudden symptoms.

Seek Medical Attention Immediately If You Are Experiencing Some Or All Of These Symptoms:

  • Sudden severe headache, the worst headache of your life
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Stiff Neck
  • Sudden blurred or double vision
  • Sudden pain above/behind the eye or difficulty seeing
  • Sudden change in mental status/awareness
  • Sudden trouble walking or dizziness
  • Sudden weakness and numbness
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Seizure
  • Drooping eyelid

Here’s to Your Health

Dr. K Bennett