High Cholesterol Bad for Heart But Too Low Cholesterol Bad for Mental Health

cholesterol and depression

Cholesterol, a vital component of our body but falsely perceived! Have you always believed the common idea of “the lower, the healthier” in regards to cholesterol numbers? Well, the next time your physician says that and wants to put you on statins, tell him that he is wrong! It is time to overcome this cholesterol myth!

The cholesterol ­lowering hysteria started in the mid­ 80s when it has been identified as a risk factor for heart disease, and drugs companies to profit from the huge market of statins, amplified that hysteria with national awareness campaign spreading the mantra of “lower your cholesterol to avoid heart attack and stroke”. Of course millions of people fell in that scheme – nobody wants to die of sudden death.

Is cholesterol really dangerous? The answer is NO! It is produced by the liver, then travels in the circulatory system performing a variety of essential functions. It contributes greatly in the manufacture of primary human hormones, for instance, testosterone and estrogen, the synthesis of vitamin D, the creation and maintenance of cell membranes. All these functions are definitely vital for overall health.
Can high cholesterol cause heart attack? The answer is not a straight YES! Excessive LDL cholesterol levels in addition to calcium and other particles can build up in plaque that may obstruct arteries inhibiting the blood flow that may result in heart attack. But, cholesterol is only one of the many factors that can contribute to heart disease. These are some of the other culprits: hypertension, smoking, diabetic issues, alcohol, caffeine or drug abuse, stress, some OTC and prescription medications. In fact, many people die of heart attack while having cholesterol levels within the ideal limits.

Should you take medication to lower your cholesterol levels? The answer is NO, NO and NO. Even though these cholesterol ­lowering drugs “could possibly reduce” heart attacks or strokes risks, this obsession with cholesterol reduction absolutely disregards the negative effects that can arise with low cholesterol on our health, especially mental health.

Research studies have established a link between low cholesterol and depression along with many impulsive actions such as brutality and suicide.
– In 1993, a scientific study on men of 70 years old and more, unconditionally revealed that depression was 3 times more prevalent in men with low total serum cholesterol compared with the group with high levels.
– Another study on men of 40 to 70 years old revealed that the group with low total cholesterol in long ­term have an increased occurrence of depressive symptoms than men with higher levels of cholesterol.
– Women also are not spared from depression when they have low cholesterol levels. This has been proved by a Swedish research including 300 women of 31 to 65 years old, all in good health. The study determined that women that have the lowest cholesterol experienced considerably more depressive symptoms compared to the others.
Why do I believe in the exactness of these studies? Because I have personally experienced the impacts of low cholesterol on mental health.

Alicia’s sad story in few words

Last year, Alicia, happy wife, and mother of two girls, went to her old doctor for her annual physical exam (“old doctor” because after what happened to her, she would be a fool to keep him). When she got her lipid panel results, the doctor said her total cholesterol is 225 mg/dl over the recommended level of 200. He put her on statins as prevention to heart disease he said. A few weeks later, her levels started to get down and the doctor was happy! “Keep on taking your medication and let get your cholesterol low”, he said. But, while she was following the treatment, her mood was declining. Anxiety, depression and violent behaviors follow. Her work was affected, so was her marriage and her relationship with her kids. Thankfully, her husband was patient, strong and lovely enough to support her during that awful period. For the first time in her life, Alicia went to a psychologist. Fortunately, he was clever enough, after evaluating many aspects of her life, to ask if she was taking any sort of medication and especially a cholesterol ­lowering medication! “YES! What’s wrong with that? She said. Alicia was totally shocked to hear the truth. Today, she is recovering slowly and feeling better since she has stopped taking these poisons.

In conclusion, what to do when you have high cholesterol? How to get it back to normal levels? First of all, don’t be obsessed with that! Simply, follow a healthier diet like this heart-healthy eating plan to lower cholesterol, avoiding processed foods loaded with trans fats and eating more fruits, veggies, omega­ 3 rich fish and whole grains. Exercise more on a regular basis, limit alcohol and stop smoking.

Important Care for Men After 40

men health after 40

There is much talk about the care of women after the forties. It is true that health campaigns focus primarily on women’s diseases and care and the annual periodic reviews that we have to undergo.

But what about the men we have around? I do not doubt that you have a grown man or older adult to care for, whether your father or grandfather, your husband and even some neighbor who is now part of your family.

We can not ignore the fact that men in the 40s also begin to change, a physical and emotional decline can begin to occur, and we can not ignore that men do not invest enough time in their care.

On the other hand, as an active part of your family, you know the medical history that prevails for generations and that concern men.

This will help you to take the necessary precautions, also take into account that the main causes that lead men between the ages of 40 and 54 to death are: liver disease, diabetes mellitus, accidents, heart disease, tumors, Cerebrovascular diseases, human immunodeficiency virus disease, renal failure, and alcohol dependence syndrome.

Here you can play two fundamental roles: be proactive and prepare for the appearance of health problems in the men of your house, so that you do what is necessary to correct the bad habits that trigger the diseases or, as a second option, when the disease presents, do what is necessary to keep it under control. For both cases you can do three things:

1. Encourage the habit of periodic review with the doctor

There are specific tests and reviews to prevent some diseases. It is very common that after the forties the prostate revision is annual, and the glucose, triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure are counted periodically.

If the results of these are out of range consistently, they are an indication that his health state can lead to a situation of more care. In this aspect your active participation is fundamental: you can be aware of the dates of the appointments and remind him before he has to go to the doctor and undergo exams.

If he is on medical treatment, help organize the taking of medications and remind him of the times of the shots. The time will come when there will be no need for you to be on the slope as these activities will be part of a daily routine.

2. It is essential to care for food

One of the main triggers of an illness is the food we are subjected to. We are accustomed to eating at the time we can and what we have available.

We do not take the time to prepare the food of the day at home, much less to be carrying a lunch box during our journey outside the home. Just think that giving food the value it deserves will save you money and in the long run caring for a chronic sufferer.

As always, starting a good habit is the most difficult thing, so you will have to invest time in preparing lunch and food for home. If it is possible to share the diet for all members of the family you will be taking care of everyone’s health.

3. Avoiding physical inactivity

For physical health and mental health, whether to lose weight or maintain weight over 40, exercising is important. The release of substances that stimulate the good functioning of the body and the elimination of toxins through sweat are the traditional reasons to undergo periods of exercise, when in fact it is complemented with the possibility of socializing in parks, clubs or at home.

So if you do not have a family plan of exercise routines you can program simple activities, that do not entail an extra economic expense, that can be adapted to the family schedules and if needed, can also be done individually.

Take into account that these activities will be carried out for periods only, as the main idea is to help raise awareness in the lords of your family. A timely review and changing habits can save them from belonging to the percentage of men over 40 with health problems.

Important Facts about Ovarian Cancer: Risk Factors and Symptoms

picture of ovarian cancer stages

The ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor born in any part of the ovary. See real pictures of the disease at http://www.drjenniferashton.com/ovarian-cancer-pictures/. The ovary is a very complex organ that can seat numerous tumors of very different morphological range, some of which are equipped with hormone function, which explains the wide variety of classifications. The most common location is in the epithelium covering the ovary. It also develops from the germ cells or connective tissue around the ovary. The risk of developing ovarian cancer is directly correlated with abnormalities in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Risk factors

The drugs used for ovarian stimulation in the treatment of sterility for more than one year, as the Clomiphene, increase the incidence of ovarian cancer. Meanwhile, the labor, the use of oral contraceptives, the tubal ligation and hysterectomy reduce the incidence of ovarian cancer (by a yet unknown mechanism). Some are still missing evidence in association with ovarian cancer, factors including exposure to talc and asbestos, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a diet rich in fat and toxic factors such as tobacco, alcohol , coffee and ionizing radiation. If a woman’s mother and / or sister suffered from ovarian, breast or uterine cancer, she has a higher risk of developing the disease. Also, women who have suffered cysts or endometriosis.

Source: http://www.drjenniferashton.com/ovarian-cancer-causes-risk-factors/

Symptoms or signs of ovarian cancer

Usually, ovarian cancer does not produce symptoms at the beginning. That is why, most cases are detected when the disease is advanced, but if detected at an early stage can improve the prognosis. Here are the signs women should pay attention to and quickly seek medical attention if they are recurrent or last long.

– Abdominal distension
– Having difficulty to eat or feeling full fast
– Pain in abdomen and pelvis region

There are also other misleading symptoms common in women with cancer that also occur with ovarian cancer.

– Abnormal menstrual cycles
– Digestive symptoms such as constipation, increased gas, indigestion, appetite loss, nausea and vomiting;
– Sense of pelvic heaviness
– Strained abdomen or belly
– Lower abdominal discomfort
– Unexplained back pain that worsens over time
– Loss or gain of weight.

Other symptoms that can occur with this disease:
– Hirsutism: abnormal and excessive hair growth on body parts where hair should not occur or should be minimal;
– Increased urinary frequency or urgency.

Source: http://www.drjenniferashton.com/ovarian-cancer-symptoms/

What Are Common Signs of Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a serious condition in which there is an abnormal growth of tissue in the bladder. This growth can spread to surrounding muscles and other tissues. If it is caught early, it can be treated.

The most common sign of bladder cancer is blood being noticeable in your urine according to cancercaregiving.com. If you ever notice blood in your urine, or experience long-term pain, or severe pain when passing urine, you should definitely see a doctor so that the can investigate the cause.

Bladder cancer that is contained within the bladder is usually relatively easy to treat, and people tend to make a full recovery. However, if the cancer becomes ‘muscle invasive’ it has more chance of spreading to other organs, and this is where it tends to become harder to eradicate, and can become fatal.

This cancer is often caused by exposure to toxic chemicals. Cigarette smoke is one common cause, and others include the chemicals that used to be used in common manufacturing processes. The good news is that the chemicals which are now known to be carcinogenic have been banned, so there is less risk of younger people developing bladder cancer through occupational exposure to hazardous substances. The time between exposure to developing the cancer, however, can be decades, so older people may still be at risk.

Sometimes, it is necessary to remove the whole bladder to treat the cancer, and if this is done then doctors will either make a new bladder out of part of your bowel, or they will make an opening to fit a bag that will act as a bladder. This form of treatment is only used if it is not possible to remove only the cancerous part, leaving the rest of the bladder completely intact and fully functional.

Excessive Alcohol Drinking and Hypercholesterolemia

alcoholism bad for cholesterol

Alcohol can have a double effect on cholesterol levels. On one hand, it can be beneficial by increasing the good or HDL cholesterol. On the other, it may be harmful by increasing the bad cholesterol or LDL. How does alcohol affect cholesterol levels, depends on its high or moderate intake. Thus, excessive alcohol consumption can cause hypercholesterolemia.

According to several studies moderate drinking, especially red wine helps increase HDL or good cholesterol, thanks to its phenolics and tannins components. Thus, red wine is considered as cardio-protective. But what happens when alcohol consumption is excessive? How does it relate to the process of hypercholesterolemia?

LDL cholesterol associated with high alcohol intake

Alcohol is metabolized in the liver, the solid organ in the abdomen responsible for metabolizing fats also. When drinking is excessive the enzymes that metabolize fats must fulfill another function, responsible for the metabolism of excess alcohol. That leads to a greater concentration of fat in the liver and therefore an increase in bad cholesterol or LDL and triglycerides also.

If excessive alcohol intake is maintained over time, it can produce a liver inflammation and later fatty liver and cirrhosis.

Furthermore, the excess alcohol increases the risk of formation of atheroma due to very high LDL cholesterol levels. It triggers as well as an increase in heart size with a loss in muscle tone, which brings about an alcoholic cardiomyopathy.

It is therefore essential to drink moderately. It is advised to drink no more than two glasses of red wine per day to achieve the cardioprotective effects of it.

Alcoholism is a social disease that affects not only the sufferer, but also their immediate environment, so if you feel you drink excessively, get immediate help from a specialist. Do it for your health and those around you.