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Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer affects the prostate gland, the gland that produces some of the fluid in semen and plays a role in urine control in men.

The prostate gland is located below the bladder and in front of the rectum.

In the United States (U.S.), it is the most common cancer in men, but it is also treatable if found in the early stages.

In 2017, the American Cancer Society predicts that there will be around 161,360new diagnoses of prostate cancer, and that around 26,730 fatalities will occur because of it.

Regular testing is crucial as the cancer needs to be diagnosed before metastasis.

Fast facts on prostate cancer:Here are some key points about the prostate cancer. More detail is in the main article.

    • The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system.
    • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men.
    • It is treatable if diagnosed early, before it spreads.
    • If symptoms appear, they include problems with urination.
    • Regular screening Is the best way to detect it in good time.

Symptoms

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer affecting men.

There are usually no symptoms during the early stages of prostate cancer. However, if symptoms do appear, they usually involve one or more of the following:

  • frequent urges to urinate, including at night
  • difficulty commencing and maintaining urination
  • blood in the urine
  • painful urination and, less commonly, ejaculation
  • difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection may be difficult

Advanced prostate cancer can involve the following symptoms:

  • bone pain, often in the spine, femur, pelvis, or ribs
  • bone fractures

If the cancer spreads to the spine and compresses the spinal cord, there may be:

Treatment

Treatment is different for early and advanced prostate cancers.

Early stage prostate cancer

If the cancer is small and localized, it is usually managed by one of the following treatments:

Watchful waiting or monitoring: PSA blood levels are regularly checked, but there is no immediate action. The risk of side-effects sometimes outweighs the need for immediate treatment for this slow-developing cancer.

Radical prostatectomy: The prostate is surgically removed. Traditional surgery requires a hospital stay of up to 10 days, with a recovery time of up to 3 months. Robotic keyhole surgery involves a shorter hospitalization and recovery period, but it can be more expensive. Patients should speak to their insurer about coverage.

Brachytherapy: Radioactive seeds are implanted into the prostate to deliver targeted radiation treatment.

Conformal radiation therapy: Radiation beams are shaped so that the region where they overlap is as close to the same shape as the organ or region that requires treatment. This minimizes healthy tissue exposure to radiation.

Intensity modulated radiation therapy: Beams with variable intensity are used. This is an advanced form of conformal radiation therapy.

In the early stages, patients may receive radiation therapy combined with hormone therapy for 4 to 6 months.

Treatment recommendations depend on individual cases. The patient should discuss all available options with their urologist or oncologist.

Advanced prostate cancer

Advanced cancer is more aggressive and will have spread further throughout the body.

Chemotherapy may be recommended, as it can kill cancer cells around the body.

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT), or androgen suppression therapy, is a hormone treatment that reduces the effect of androgen. Androgens are male hormones that can stimulate cancer growth. ADT can slow down and even stop cancer growth by reducing androgen levels.

The patient will likely need long-term hormone therapy.

Even if the hormone therapy stops working after a while, there may be other options. Participation in clinical trials is one option that a patient may wish to discuss with the doctor.

Radical prostatectomy is not currently an option for advanced cases, as it does not treat the cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

Fertility

As the prostate is directly involved with sexual reproduction, removing it affects seamen production and fertility.

Radiation therapy affects the prostate tissue and often reduces the ability to father children. The sperm can be damaged and the semen insufficient for transporting sperm.

Non-surgical options, too, can severely inhibit a man’s reproductive capacity.

Options for preserving these functions can include donating to a sperm bank before surgery, or having sperm extracted directly from the testicles for artificial insemination into an egg. However, the success of these options is never guaranteed.

Patients with prostate cancer can speak to a fertility doctor if they still intend to father children.

What causes prostate cancer?

The prostate is a walnut-sized exocrine gland. This means that its fluids and secretions are intended for use outside of the body.

The prostate produces the fluid that nourishes and transports sperm on their journey to fuse with a female ovum, or egg, and produce human life. The prostate contracts and forces these fluids out during orgasm.

The protein excreted by the prostate, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), helps semen retain its liquid state. An excess of this protein in the blood is one of the first signs of prostate cancer.

The urethra is tube through which sperm and urine exit the body. It also passes through the prostate.

As such, the prostate is also responsible for urine control. It can tighten and restrict the flow of urine through the urethra using thousands of tiny muscle fibers.

How does it start?

It usually starts in the glandular cells. This is known as adenocarcinoma. Tiny changes occur in the shape and size of the prostate gland cells, known as prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). This tends to happen slowly and does not show symptoms until further into the progression.

Nearly 50 percent of all men over the age of 50 years have PIN. High-grade PIN is considered pre-cancerous, and it requires further investigation. Low-grade PIN is not a cause for concern.

Prostate cancer can be successfully treated if it is diagnosed before metastasis, but if it spreads, it is more dangerous. It most commonly spreads to the bones.

Stages

Staging takes into account the size and extent of the tumor and the scale of the metastasis (whether it has traveled to other organs and tissues).

At Stage 0, the tumor has neither spread from the prostate gland nor invaded deeply into it. At Stage 4, the cancer has spread to distant sites and organs.

Diagnosis

A doctor will carry out a physical examination and enquire about any ongoing medical history. If the patient has symptoms, or if a routine blood test shows abnormally high PSA levels, further examinations may be requested.

Imaging scans can show and track the presence of prostate cancer.

Imaging scans can show and track the presence of prostate cancer.

Tests may include:

  • a digital rectal examination (DRE), in which a doctor will manually check for any abnormalities of the prostate with their finger
  • a biomarker test checking the blood, urine, or body tissues of a person with cancer for chemicals unique to individuals with cancer

If these tests show abnormal results, further tests will include:

  • a PCA3 test examining the urine for the PCA3 gene only found in prostate cancer cells
  • a transrectal ultrasound scan providing imaging of the affected region using a probe that emits sounds
  • a biopsy, or the removal of 12 to 14 small pieces of tissue from several areas of the prostate for examination under a microscope

These will help confirm the stage of the cancer, whether it has spread, and what treatment is appropriate.

To track any spread, or metastasis, doctors may use a bone, CT scan, or MRI scan.

 

Outlook

If the disease is found before it spreads to other organs in a process known as metastasis, the 5-year survival rate is 99 percent. After fifteen years, this decreases to 96 percent. Once the cancer metastasizes, or spreads, the 5-year survival rate is 29 percent.

Regular screening can help detect prostate cancer while it is still treatable.

Risk factors

The exact cause of prostate cancer is unclear, but there are many possible risk factors.

Age

Prostate cancer is rare among men under the age of 45 years, but more common after the age of 50 years.

Geography

Prostate cancer occurs most frequently in North America, northwestern Europe, on the Caribbean islands, and in Australia. The reasons remain unclear.

Genetic factors

Certain genetic and ethnic groups have an increased risk of prostate cancer.

In the U.S., prostate cancer is at least 60 percent more common and 2 to 3 times more deadly among black men than non-Hispanic white men.

A man also has a much higher risk of developing cancer if his identical twin has it, and a man whose brother or father had prostate cancer has twice the risk of developing it compared to other men. Having a brother who has or has had prostate cancer is more of a genetic risk than having a father with the disease.

Diet

Studies have suggested that a diet high in red meat or high-fat dairy products may increase a person’s chances of developing prostate cancer, but the link is neither confirmed nor clear.

Medication

Some research has suggested that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Others have linked NSAID use with a higher risk of death from the disease. This is a controversial area, and results have not been confirmed.

There has also been some investigation into whether statins might slow the progression of prostate cancer. One 2016 study concluded that results were “weak and inconsistent.”

Obesity

It is often believed that obesity is linked to the development of prostate cancer, but the American Cancer Society maintains that there is no clear link.

Some studies have found that obesity increases the risk of death in advanced cancers. Studies have also concluded that obesity decreases the risk that a cancer will be low-grade if it does occur.

Agent Orange

Exposure to Agent Orange, a chemical weapon used in the Vietnam war, may possibly be linked to the development of more aggressive types of cancer, but the extent of this has not been confirmed.

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Understanding your sleep cycle and tip for better sleep😴w

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By Sarah Baker, CHN

Nothing is worse than groggy mornings, afternoon slumps, and a general feeling of just being tired. Feeling fatigued seems like an epidemic, and almost everything about modern life contributes to it. But did you know that by obtaining a better understanding of your sleep cycles, that you can find ways to optimize your sleep to feel more energized and productive? Here’s how:

The 5 Phases of Sleep

Sleep cycles are made up of five phases:

Phase One: When you first drift off to sleep, your eye movements start to decrease and your brain produces waves called theta and alpha waves. This first phase doesn’t last too long, only about 5-7 minutes, so during this initial phase you may still be able to be woken up easily.

Phase Two: Brain waves start to increase and then slow down, while still keeping you in a fairly light sleep. If you’re going to take a nap, it’s best to wake up right after phase two to prevent feeling like you overslept.

Phase Three: Finally, you start to drift off into a deeper sleep and brain waves slow down even more into what is called delta waves. This is when all muscle activity and eye movements come to a stop and you become less alert to your surroundings. When you’re in phase three, it’s harder to be woken up by an alarm or a snoring partner.

Phase Four: Brain waves take it down yet another notch placing you in an even more highly regenerating sleep. This is when physiological repairs take place that help renew tissues and muscles, strengthen immune systems and stimulate cellular growth and energy to wake up the next day feeling refreshed.

Phase Five: This final stage the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) phase, begins about an hour and a half after you fall asleep, and this stage can last up to around an hour. After your brain slows down through all the previous phases, waves start to increase once again and this is when dreaming takes place. Everything else starts to get stimulated as well such as your heart rate and blood pressure, your eyes jerk around, and your breathing may become irregular. This phase is also extremely important as it helps foster memory and learning. Did you know it’s during this phase of sleep that your brain stores information and experiences for long-term memory? Amazing, isn’t it?

How Sleep Cycles Work

A full sleep cycle is about 90 minutes, meaning that you experience all five phases in an hour and a half. The first four phases of a sleep cycle are considered Non-REM (NREM) sleep, which means that we’re transitioning from light sleep into deep sleep. During NREM sleep, we don’t have much muscle or brain activity. REM sleep is when our brain is stimulated with dreams and information, which is equally as important as the restorative NREM sleep.

Here’s how the cycles work in a nutshell: during the first half of the night and more specifically, the first 2 to 3 sleep cycles, we are experiencing NREM sleep. We spend a significantly longer time in the REM phase during our final sleep cycles (typically in the early hours of the morning).

What does this mean for how much rest we ideally need? The answer is very tough as all of us are so incredibly unique. Just as there is not one diet fits all when it comes to nutrition, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for how many hours of sleep we need. Some of us need between 9-10 hours a night, and others feel great on as little as six hours.

Tips for Better Sleep

If you find yourself feeling extra tired, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you are getting enough sleep cycles throughout the night.

•Wake up at the same time each day: Yes, even on the weekends. When you get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at around the same time each day, you create a natural internal alarm which can help regulate your sleep cycles or at least help them stay somewhat consistent.

•Take steps to ensure you reach deep sleep: Even if you get 7-8 hours of sleep, if you’re not reaching your deep sleep phase, you may feel tired the next day. Lifestyle habits such as consuming caffeine, drinking alcohol before bed, or outside stimulants like a partner’s snoring can prevent you from getting nourishing deep sleep. Some simple ways to make sure you reach deep sleep are making sure your bedroom is very dark and using the bathroom before you go to bed so that you don’t have to make bathroom trips in the middle of the night.

•Incorporate homeopathic remedies and herbs into your evening routine: Incorporating botanicals, herbs and supplements into your evening routine can help you wind down for the night and get higher quality sleep. The supplement melatonin is a hormone that we produce that helps us drift off, but when we are experiencing jet lag or added stress, supplementing with a little bit more of melatonin can help us swiftly drift off to sleep. Herbs like tulsi promote natural sedation and when consumed as tea can help us Zen out, and tinctures that contain ingredients like valerian root and chamomile can be taken directly under your tongue for quick absorption and fast-acting relief.

•Avoid smartphones and screens before bed: Watching TV or scrolling through social media on your phone gives your brain too much stimulation before you try to wind down, and the blue light that is emitted from screens can also interfere with your sleep cycles. Try reading for 30 minutes before bed or doing another activity that doesn’t require technology.

credit to IHerb.com

What is gum recession

Receding gums are also known as gingival recession. The pink gum tissue normally covers the root of the tooth. This can become exposed when the gum is pushed back or if the tooth is in an abnormal position.

Receding gums are common and often unnoticed at an early stage. There are many risk factors, but age is a main one – 88 percent of people older than 65 have receding gums in at least one tooth.

The main concern with receding gums is that when the roots of the teeth become exposed, they are at risk for decay, infection, and loss. Treatment can stop or reverse the process of gum recession if begun at an early stage.

If the recession is severe and the patient has symptoms such as tooth sensitivity, pain, or infection, a variety of treatment options are available. These include deep cleaning, medicine to fight infections, and even tissue grafts.

What is gum recession?

[teeth and gums up close]

The gums protect the fragile tooth roots from bacteria, plaque, and other forms of decay.

Gingival recession is the exposure of the roots of teeth after experiencing a loss of tissue in the gum.

The gums are also known as the gingivae. The gingiva is the moist pink tissue in the mouth that meets the base of the teeth. There are two such gums – one for the upper, and one for the lower set of teeth.

The gingiva is a dense tissue with a good supply of blood vessels beneath a moist surface. The surface is called mucous membrane. It is joined to the rest of the mouth lining but is pink instead of shiny red.

The gums tightly surround the teeth up to the neck of each one and are firmly attached to the jaw bone. The gums usually cover the roots of the teeth, protecting them as they are more fragile than the rest of the teeth.

Gingival recession exposes the fragile tooth roots to bacteria, plaque, and other forms of decay.

Causes

Poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease are linked to gingival recession. But receding gums can happen in people with good standards of oral hygiene, too.

Broadly, there are two causes of receding gums:

  • Physical wear of the gums
  • Inflammation of the gum tissues – this is a reaction of the immune system

Some people are more prone to receding gums because of inherited factors. These factors include their tooth position and gum thickness.

Physical wear of the gums by vigorous tooth brushing or use of hard bristles is a common cause of receding gums.

[teeth and gums examined]

The two main causes of receding gums are physical wear and inflammation of the gum tissue.

People with this problem otherwise have good oral hygiene. The teeth and gums otherwise appear healthy when receding gums are caused by over-brushing.

This type of recession often affects the left side more. This is because most people use a toothbrush in their right hand  so put more pressure on the left gums. The pattern also tends to affect the side gums more than the front.

Other physical factors that push the gums back include lip piercings, misaligned teeth, and damage caused by dental treatment.

Some people are more prone to the inflammatory causes of receding gums. Thinner gum tissue makes inflammation caused by plaque more likely. The gums are more delicate in some people.

Periodontal disease is a common cause of gum recession. Periodontal disease causes the loss of the supporting bone around a tooth through an inflammatory reaction. The gum recession tends to affect all the teeth in a similar way.

Periodontal disease is caused by plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth. Bacteria, mucus, cells, and other particles are involved in the formation of plaque.

When plaque builds up on teeth, it causes:

  • Inflamed gums known as gingivitis. This condition can lead to periodontitis
  • Periodontitis results in spaces between the gums and teeth and loss of connective fibers and bone around the tooth roots. This leads to receding gums

Tartar is hardened plaque and cannot be removed by tooth brushing. Instead, it must be removed at a dentist’s office.

Effects

Many people with receding gums have no concern about them early on. Many others are unaware that they have recession.

For some, though, the concern may be about:

  • Appearance
  • Fear of tooth loss
  • Sensitivity due to exposed tooth roots

Assessing concerns about the way gums look may include checking how much of the gums are on show.

For some people, the gums show when talking and smiling. Others have a different lip line that does not expose the gums to view.

Treatment

Most cases of mild gum recession do not need treatment. Dentists may simply give advice about prevention and offer to monitor the gums. Teaching people how to brush gently but effectively is a good early intervention.

For people who do need treatment, a number of options are available:

[teeth with braces]

Orthodontics are one method of treatment for receding gums.

  • Desensitizing agents, varnishes, and dentine bonding agents: These aim to reduce any sensitivity that may develop in the exposed tooth root. This treats the nerve symptoms and helps to keep normal oral hygiene by allowing brushing of sensitive teeth to continue
  • Composite restoration: Tooth-colored composite resins are used to cover the root surface. They can also close black gaps between teeth, as shown in these before-and-after pictures from the British Dental Journal.
  • Pink porcelain or composite: This is the same pink color of the gums.
  • Removable gingival veneers made from acrylic or silicone.
  • Orthodontics: Treatments designed to move the position of teeth can correct the gum margin.
  • Surgery: Tissue is grafted from elsewhere in the mouth and heals over the gum recession.

How to prevent receding gums

Some of the causes of gingival recession are preventable.

The most obvious preventable cause is brushing the teeth too harshly or by using hard-bristle toothbrushes. People should avoid doing this to prevent receding gums

Plaque buildup leads to periodontal disease, so careful oral hygiene can also help prevent receding gums.

 

 

 

Why does my breath smell like acetone?

People often associate strong smelling breath with the food someone has eaten or poor dental hygiene. But it may reveal much more than that.

If a person’s breath smells like acetone or nail polish remover, it could indicate health conditions, including diabetes.

The way a person’s breath smells can be an indicator of their overall health. This article explores why a person’s breath might smell like acetone and what this might mean about their health.

How diabetes can affect breath

Woman checking how her breath smells by holding her hand in front of her mouth.

The smell of a person’s breath can indicate different things about their health.

Diabetes can affect the way a person’s breath smells and can cause bad breath, or halitosis. In a 2009 study, researchers found that analyzing a person’s breath helped to identify prediabetes when diabetes is in its early stages.

There are two conditions associated with diabetes that can cause bad breath: gum disease and a high ketone level.

The proper name for gum diseases in periodontal disease, and its forms include:

Diabetes can be associated with an increased risk of gum disease, which may cause a person’s breath to smell bad. However, gum disease does not cause a person’s breath to smell like acetone.

If a person has diabetes and their breath smells like acetone, this is usually caused by high levels of ketones in the blood.

Diabetes and acetone breath

When diabetes is not managed well, the body does not make enough insulin to break down glucose in the blood. This means that the body’s cells do not receive enough glucose to use as energy.

When the body cannot get its energy from sugar, it switches to burning fat for fuel instead. The process of breaking down fat to use as energy releases by-products called ketones.

Ketone bodies include acetone. Acetone is the same substance that is used in nail varnish remover and is distinguished by its fruity smell.

When a person with diabetes has breath that smells of acetone, it is because there are high levels of ketones in their blood.

Understanding ketones and acetone

Red, pink, and peach colored nail polish bottles on white background.

Nail polish and paint thinner contain acetone. It can occur naturally in the human body.

Acetone is one of the ketone bodies contained in ketones. These are released when the liver breaks down fatty acids for energy, in a process known as ketosis.

The ketones that are released into the blood are used by the body for fuel. Ketones that are not used for fuel are passed out of the body, mainly through the urine. Acetone is expelled when a person breathes out, which is why it can cause sweet-smelling breath.

As well as occurring naturally in the human body, acetone is found in:

  • paint thinners
  • nail polish
  • plastic manufacturing processes

Ketosis vs. diabetic ketoacidosis

Ketosis is not usually harmful, as long as the levels of ketones in the blood do not become too high. However, when a person has diabetes that is not well-managed, the ketone levels can rise too much.

Diabetic ketoacidosis or DKA is when ketone levels reach unhealthy levels. This condition is dangerous as the blood can become acidic and affect how other organs in the body function.

DKA can develop in less than 24 hours and is most common in people with type 1 diabetes. It can also affect people with type 2 diabetes if they have missed a dose of insulin or have been unwell.

Both ketosis and DKA can cause breath to smell like acetone, but the smell is likely to be less noticeable with ketosis.

If a person’s breath smells strongly of acetone or very fruity, this can indicate DKA. Other symptoms of DKA include:

passing urine more often than usual

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • high blood sugar levels
  • breathing difficulties
  • feeling confused

A person experiencing symptoms of DKA should seek medical assistance immediately.

Other causes of acetone breath

Diabetes is not the only condition linked to breath that smells of acetone. Two other causes are:

A ketogenic diet

Ketogenic diet foods laid out, including almond nuts, avocados, eggs, dairy, and blueberries.

The ketogenic diet is a type of low-cabohydrate diet that may cause acetone breath.

Ketosis is a metabolic state a person may try to induce by following a ketogenic diet if they are trying to lose weight. This can cause people to have acetone-smelling breath.

The ketogenic diet involves eating a diet high in fats, a moderate amount of protein, and with very few carbohydrates. Doing so forces the body to break down fats for energy, rather than carbohydrates.

A 2002 study found that an acetone smell on the breath was a clear indicator that the body of a person following a ketogenic diet was in a state of ketosis.

While a ketogenic diet may be appealing as a way to lose weight, it is important to be aware of its side effects. These include:

  • loss of salts
  • flu-like symptoms
  • fatigue
  • changes in bowel movements
  • bad breath
  • cramps in the legs

Alcoholism

One possible complication of alcoholism is that a person may not eat enough. Long-term alcohol abuse and starvation are known to cause alcoholic ketoacidosis.

As with DKA, alcoholic ketoacidosis can cause a person’s breath to smell of acetone. Other symptoms of alcoholic ketoacidosis include:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain

When to see a doctor

When a person with diabetes detects a faint smell of acetone on their breath, they should ensure they are following their care plan closely. Usually, this involves taking insulin to regulate their blood sugar and bring the body out of ketosis.

If a person with diabetes notices their breath smells strongly of acetone or they experience other symptoms of DKA, they should see a doctor straightaway.

If a person notices a strong smell of acetone on their breath and does not already have a diagnosis of diabetes, they should also talk to a doctor. The doctor can help determine the cause of the smell and how to deal with it.

What’s to know about body odor?

Body odor is the perceived unpleasant smell our bodies can give off when bacteria that live on the skin break down sweat into acids.

Some say it is the smell of bacteria growing on the body, but it is actually the result of bacteria breaking down protein into certain acids.

It is also known as B.O., bromhidrosis, osmidrosis, or ozochrotia.

What is body odor?

Man suffering with body odor

Apocrine glands are located in several areas, including the armpits.

When a body gives off a scent others may find unpleasant, it is known as body odor.

Body odor usually becomes evident if measures are not taken when a human reaches puberty. People who are obese, those who regularly eat spicy foods, as well as individuals with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, are more susceptible to having body odor.

People who sweat too much, such as those with hyperhidrosis, may also be susceptible to body odor. However, often the salt level of their sweat is too high for the bacteria to break down. It depends on where the excess sweating is occurring and which type of sweat glands are involved.

Sweat itself is virtually odorless to humans. It is the rapid multiplication of bacteria in the presence of sweat and their breaking down of sweat into acids that eventually causes the unpleasant smell.

Body odor is most likely to occur in the following places:

  • feet
  • groin
  • armpits
  • genitals
  • pubic hair and other hair
  • belly button
  • anus
  • behind the ears
  • the rest of the skin, to a lesser extent

Body odor can have a pleasant and specific smell to the individual and can be used to identify people, especially by dogs and other animals. Each person’s unique body odor can be influenced by diet, gender, health, and medication.

Causes

Body odor is caused by bacteria breaking down sweat and is largely linked to the apocrine glands. Most body odor comes from these.

These glands are found in the breasts, genital area, eyelids, armpits, and ear. In the breasts, they secrete fat droplets into breast milk. In the ear, they help form earwax. Apocrine glands in the skin and the eyelids are sweat glands.

Most of the apocrine glands in the skin are located in the groin, armpits, and around the nipples. In the skin, they usually have an odor. They are scent glands.

The apocrine glands are mainly responsible for body odor because the sweat they produce is high in protein, which bacteria can break down easily.

What causes foot odor?

Most of us wear shoes and socks, making it much more difficult for the sweat to evaporate, giving the bacteria more sweat to break down into smelly substances. Moist feet also raise the risk of fungi developing, which can also give off unpleasant smells.

Prevention

A large concentration of apocrine glands is present in the armpits, making that area susceptible to the rapid development of body odor.

The following steps may help control armpit odor:

1) Keep the armpits clean: Wash them regularly using anti-bacterial soap, and the number of bacteria will be kept low, resulting in less body odor.

2) Hair: When armpits have hair, it slows down the evaporation of sweat, giving the bacteria more time to break it down into smelly substances. Shaving the armpits regularly has been found to help body odor control in that area. Reusable razors are available to purchase online.

3) Deodorant or antiperspirant: Deodorants make the skin more acidic, making it more difficult for bacteria to thrive. An antiperspirant blocks the sweating action of the glands, resulting in less sweating. Some studies, however, have indicated that antiperspirants may be linked to breast cancer or prostate cancer risk.

This study suggests that current research is inconclusive on the risks of antiperspirant sprays.

Deodorants and antiperspirants with natural ingredients are available to purchase online.

Tips on preventing foot odor

Smelly feet are less of a problem socially than underarm B.O. because the unpleasant odor is usually contained by shoes and socks.

However, the smell may become obvious if the person with smelly feet visits a home where shoes are taken off before entering, as is the custom in various countries and homes.

The following steps may help control foot odor:

1) Wash your feet at least once a day: Warm water is better at killing bacteria than cold water. Make sure you dry your feet thoroughly afterward, including in between your toes.

2) Socks: They must allow the sweat to evaporate. The best socks are those made of a combination of man-made fibers and wool. Wear a clean pair of socks each day.

3) Shoes: If you wear trainers or shoes with plastic linings make sure it is not for long. A leather lining is better for sweat evaporation. If you have a problem with sweaty feet, do not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. Shoes do not completely dry overnight.

4) Pumice stone: Bacteria thrive on dead skin. If the soles of your feet have patches of dead skin remove them with a pumice stone. These are available to buy online.

5) Deodorants and antiperspirants: Ask your pharmacist for special foot deodorants and antiperspirants. If you have athlete’s foot, you should not use deodorants or antiperspirants. Treat the fungal infection with appropriate medication.

6) Walk around barefoot: Whenever you can, walk around barefoot, or at least slip out of your shoes regularly.

Treatments

The following steps may help control body odor:

Wash daily with warm water: Have a shower or bath at least once a day. Remember that warm water helps kill off bacteria that are present on your skin. If the weather is exceptionally hot, consider bathing more often than once a day.

Clothing: Natural fibers allow your skin to breathe, resulting in better evaporation of sweat. Natural-made fibers include wool, silk or cotton.

Avoid spicy foods: Curry, garlic, and other spicy foods have the potential to make some people’s sweat more pungent. Some experts believe a diet high in red meat may also raise the risk of developing more rapid body odor.

Aluminum chloride: This substance is usually the main active ingredient in antiperspirants. If your body does not respond to the home remedies mentioned above, talk to a pharmacist or your doctor about a suitable product containing aluminum chloride. Follow the instructions given to you carefully.

Botulinum toxin: This is a toxin produced by Clostridium botulinum; it is the most poisonous biological substance known. However, very small and controlled doses are today being used in various fields of medicine. A relatively new treatment is available for individuals who sweat excessively under the arms.

The individual is given approximately 12 injections of botulinum toxin in the armpits – a procedure that should not last more than 45 minutes. The toxin blocks the signals from the brain to the sweat glands, resulting in less sweating in the targeted area. One treatment can last from two to eight months.

Surgery: When self-care and medicinal measures are not effective at treating severe body odor, a doctor can perform a surgical procedure called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS) that destroys the sweating-controlling nerves below the skin of the armpits.

This procedure is a last resort and runs the risk of damage to other nerves and arteries in the area. It can also increase sweating in other parts of the body, known as compensatory sweating.

When to see your doctor

Some medical conditions may change how much a person sweats. Others can alter how we sweat, changing the way we smell. It is important to see a doctor to identify these conditions.

For example, an overactive thyroid gland or the menopause can make people sweat much more, while liver disease, kidney disease, or diabetes can change the consistency of sweat so that the person smells differently.

You should see your doctor if:

  • You start sweating at night.
  • You start sweating much more than you normally do, without any logical reason.
  • You have cold sweats.
  • Sweating disrupts your daily routine.

You should also see your doctor if your body smells different than usual. A fruity smell could indicate diabetes due to high levels of ketones in the bloodstream. Liver or kidney disease can often make the individual have a bleach-like smell due to a build-up of toxins in the body.

Bad breath (halitosis) Everything you need to know

 

Bad breath affects an estimated 25 percent of people. There are a number of possible causes of halitosis, but the vast majority come down to oral hygiene.

It is also known as halitosis or fetor oris. Halitosis can cause significant worry, embarrassment, and anxiety but it is relatively easy to remedy.

This MNT Knowledge Center article will discuss the potential origins of bad breath, diagnosis and how to treat it.

Fast facts on bad breathHere are some key points about bad breath. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.

  • Bad breath is estimated to affect 1 in 4 people globally.
  • The most common cause of halitosis is bad oral hygiene.
  • If particles of food are left in the mouth, their breakdown by bacteria produces sulfur compounds.
  • Keeping the mouth hydrated can reduce mouth odor.
  • The best treatment for bad breath is regular brushing, flossing, and hydration.

What is halitosis?

a woman with bad breath

Although bad breath is associated with certain diseases, oral hygiene is the most common cause.

Bad breath is a common problem that can cause significant psychological distress. There are a number of potential causes and treatments available.

Anyone can suffer from bad breath. It is estimated that 1 in 4 peoplehave bad breath on a regular basis.

Halitosis is the third most common reason that people seek dental care, after tooth decay and gum disease.

Simple home remedies and lifestyle changes, such as improved dental hygiene and quitting smoking, can often remove the issue. If bad breath persists, however, it is advisable to visit a doctor to check for underlying causes.

Treatment

The best method to reduce halitosis is good oral hygiene. This ensures that cavities are avoided and reduces the likelihood of gum disease.

It is recommended that individuals visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning twice a year.

The dentist may recommend a toothpaste that includes an antibacterial agent or an antibacterial mouthwash.

Alternatively, if gum disease is present, professional cleaning may be necessary to clear out the build-up of bacteria in pockets between the gums and teeth.

Causes

Potential causes of bad breath include:

  • Tobacco: Tobacco products cause their own types of mouth odor. Additionally, they increase the chances of gum disease which can also cause bad breath.
  • Food: The breakdown of food particles stuck in the teeth can cause odors. Some foods such as onions and garlic can also cause bad breath. After they are digested, their breakdown products are carried in the blood to the lungs where they can affect the breath.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva naturally cleans the mouth. If the mouth is naturally dry or dry due to a specific disease, such as xerostomia, odors can build up.
  • Dental hygiene: Brushing and flossing ensure the removal of small particles of food that can build up and slowly break down, producing odor. A film of bacteria called plaque builds up if brushing is not regular. This plaque can irritate the gums and cause inflammationbetween the teeth and gums called periodontitis. Dentures that are not cleaned regularly or properly can also harbor bacteria that cause halitosis.
  • Crash diets: Fasting and low-carbohydrate eating programs can produce halitosis. This is due to the breakdown of fats producing chemicals called ketones. These ketones have a strong aroma.
  • Drugs: Certain medications can reduce saliva and, therefore, increase odors. Other drugs can produce odors as they breakdown and release chemicals in the breath. Examples include nitrates used to treat angina, some chemotherapy chemicals, and some tranquilizers, such as phenothiazines. Individuals who take vitamin supplements in large doses can also be prone to bad breath.
  • Mouth, nose, and throat conditions: Sometimes, small, bacteria-covered stones can form on the tonsils at the back of the throat and produce odor. Also, infections or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses can cause halitosis.
  • Foreign body: Bad breath can be caused if they have a foreign body lodged in their nasal cavity, especially in children.
  • Diseases: Some cancers, liver failure, and other metabolic diseases can cause halitosis, due to the specific mixes of chemicals that they produce. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause bad breath due to the regular reflux of stomach acids.

Rarer causes of bad breath

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As mentioned earlier, the most common reason for bad breath is oral hygiene, but other situations can also be to blame.

Rarer causes of bad breath include:

  • Ketoacidosis: When the insulin levels of a person with diabetes are very low, their bodies can no longer use sugar and begin to use fat stores instead. When fat is broken down, ketones are produced and build up. Ketones can be poisonous when found in large numbers and produce a distinctive and unpleasant breath odor. Ketoacidosis is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition.
  • Bowel obstruction: Breath can smell like feces if there has been a prolonged period of vomiting, especially if a bowel obstruction is present.
  • Bronchiectasis: This is a long-term condition in which airways become wider than normal, allowing for a build-up of mucus that leads to bad breath.
  • Aspiration pneumonia: A swelling or infection in the lungs or airways due to inhaling vomit, saliva, food, or liquids.

Symptoms

The specific odor of breath can vary depending on the cause of the problem. It is best to ask a close friend or relative to gauge your mouth odor, as it can be difficult to assess it yourself.

If no one is available, one way of checking the odor is to lick your wrist, leave it to dry, and then smell it. A bad smell on this area of the wrist is likely to suggest that you have halitosis.

Some individuals are concerned about their breath even though they may have little or no mouth odor. This condition is called halitophobia and can lead to obsessive mouth-cleansing behavior.

Home remedies

[Man flossing his teeth]

Oral hygiene is the key to most bad breath issues.

Other lifestyle changes and home remedies for bad breath include:

  • Brush the teeth: Be sure to brush at least twice a day, preferably after each meal.
  • Floss: Flossing reduces the build-up of food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Brushing only cleans around 60 percent of the surface of the tooth.
  • Clean dentures: Anything that goes into your mouth, including dentures, a bridge, or a mouth guard, should be cleaned as recommended on a daily basis. Cleaning prevents the bacteria from building up and being transferred back into the mouth. Changing toothbrush every 2 to 3 months is also important for similar reasons.
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  • Brush tongue: Bacteria, food, and dead cells commonly build up on the tongue, especially in smokers or those with a particularly dry mouth. A tongue scraper can sometimes be useful.
  • Avoid dry mouth: Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, both of which dehydrate the mouth. Chewing gum or sucking a sweet, preferably sugar-free, can help stimulate the production of saliva. If the mouth is chronically dry, a doctor may prescribe medication that stimulates the flow of saliva.
  • Diet: Avoid onions, garlic, and spicy food. Sugary foods are also linked to bad breath. Reduce coffee and alcohol consumption. Eating a breakfast that includes rough foods can help clean the back of the tongue.

If breath odor persists despite controlling these factors, it is recommended that an individual visits a doctor for further tests to rule out other conditions.

Diagnosis

Often, a dentist will simply smell the breath of a person with suspected halitosis and rate the odor on a six-point intensity scale. The dentist may scrape the back of the tongue and smell the scrapings as this area can often be a source of the aroma.

There are a variety of sophisticated detectors that can rate odor more precisely.

They include the following:

  • Halimeter: This detects low levels of sulfur.
  • Gas chromatography: This test measures three volatile sulfur compounds: Hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and dimethyl sulfide.
  • BANA test: This measures levels of a specific enzyme produced by halitosis-causing bacteria.
  • Beta-galactosidase test: Levels of the enzyme beta-galactosidase have been found to correlate with mouth odor.

The dentist will then be able to identify the likely cause of the bad breath.

Written by Tim Newman

 

New Zealander wins giant burrito eating battle in Hong Kong

 

New Zealander wins giant burrito eating battle in Hong Kong at Cali-Mex restaurant

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New Zealander chomps his way to victory in burrito eating contest held by Californian Mexican food chain Cali-Mex. Mischa Weston finished the huge kilo-sized meal in just three minutes, 29 seconds.

Hong Kong may not have the speed eating chops of America – where eating can be a profession for those fast enough to compete regularly – but the city got a taste on Sunday when local Californian Mexican food chain Cali-Mex held a burrito eating contest.

Hong Kong may not have the speed eating chops of America – where eating can be a profession for those fast enough to compete regularly – but the city got a taste on Sunday when local Californian Mexican food chain Cali-Mex held a burrito eating contest.

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On why he wanted to subject himself to an eating competition, which carries potential dangers, such as choking and unpleasant side effects including stomach cramps and vomiting, Hyde replied: “I really enjoy eating burritos, so having a kilo [sized one] is all the better.”

“This is a huge meal – it’s more than double the size of our normal burritos,” said Jeff Moss, the chain’s Australian CEO and founder. “We ran this competition two years ago and had a guy who did it in one minute and 52 seconds. It was incredible. [He] had trained for three months, studying eating competitions and working out the fastest way to ingest food.”

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As soon as the eating started, the competitors each tore the foil from their burrito and began attempting to devour the layers of bread, rice, salad, salsa and chosen filling. While some did a poor job of keeping their wrap together, causing beans and filling to scatter, others held on tight and saw the challenge through to the end.

The previous victor won with a chicken burrito – and the same menu option prevailed this time. Mischa Weston, another New Zealander, finished his meal in just three minutes, 29 seconds. Moments after he had swallowed his final bites, Weston was breathless but overjoyed. Asked whether he had put in training for the event, the 31-year-old joked: “Only every day of my life. I’ve always been able to eat fast. My parents told me off for it, so it’s quite nice to win this.”

 

Weston, who has lived in Hong Kong for six years, had previously entered an eating contest as a teenager, but says that, while eating, he wasn’t sure that he was ahead of his rivals. “I thought everyone was ahead of me at the start, I didn’t think it was going well, but I just powered through … The water helped, because the burrito was quite dry. I didn’t even chew, just swallowed.”

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 June, 2018, 7:00pm

http://www.scmp.com

 

Suit – For All Season

Looking to make a bigger sartorial splash? The spring and summer months are the best in which to experiment with colour, and this season it’s all about earthy tones like camel and bottle green, as well as pastel shades of pink, green and blue.

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If going down the statement suit route (providing your build permits) it’s advisable to opt for a skinny to slim cut, which aligns perfectly with this style’s contemporary, youthful feel. Slightly cropped or turned-up trousers also work to further emphasise this fashion-forward approach.

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When it comes to material, suits in bright colours tend to look best in lightweight cloths with a bit of texture, such as cotton poplin or linen.

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Aside from an air tie or white T-shirt, the main thing to wear this suit with is confidence. It’s important to be honest with oneself and understand that if you’re going to feel awkward donning a cherry red two-piece, you’re more than likely going to look awkward too.

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Source, google

7 Reasons Why You Should Drink Milk Everyday

Health Benefits of Milk

1. For healthy bones and teeth

Considered as one of the biggest sources of calcium, milk becomes an essential part of our daily diet. Calcium deficiency may lead to osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children. Milk is also amazing for strong teeth, which helps prevent conditions like tooth decay and cavities. Moreover, it provides vitamin D, which is known to help the body to absorb calcium better.

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2. Helps in muscle growth

Milk is known to improve muscle growth; thanks to the presence of protein in it. Most athletes are said to drink a glassful of milk after working out, as it provides the body essential nutrients needed to recover. Moreover, it helps prevent muscle soreness, further replenishing the fluids lost during rigorous exercises.

3. Reduces heartburn

Wrong dietary preferences can lead to heartburn and acidity; however, one of the simplest ways to alleviate this pain is by drinking a glass of milk. The cooling sensation and thick consistency of milk helps to coat the oesophagus and stomach lining to prevent heartburn.

4. Maintains skin health

It is the presence of essential vitamins and minerals that makes milk one of the best home remedies for skin health. It has lactic acid that acts as an exfoliant and enzymes that help soothe the skin. The amino acids in milk help moisturise the skin as well. Whether you apply it on your skin or drink a glassful daily, your skin has a lot to gain.

5. May help in losing weight

Studies have shown that consuming low-fat milk makes for a healthy snack that kills hunger pangs and cravings.

6. Improves heart health

The magnesium and potassium content in milk act as vasodilators that reduce blood pressure, further increasing blood flow to vital organs, and reduces stress on the cardiovascular system.

7. It is a wholesome food

Milk has long been known as a wholesome food; as it contains vitamins and minerals to keep you fit, healthy and strong. A glassful of milk contains vitamins A and B for good eyesight and increasing red blood cell count, magnesium for muscles, heqrtcarbohydrates for vitality and energy, phosphorus for energy, proteins for body repair and growth, calcium for bones and teeth and potassium for nerve function. All these help your body function well and keep you refreshed through the day.

Caution: Some people are lactose intolerant and may have trouble digesting milk because of the lactose found in it. It is advisable to consult a doctor before consuming it or any dairy product.

This World Milk Day, let’s pledge to consume milk regularly and keep ourselves and our bodies healthy and energetic.