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BarleyRecently, a lot of food supplements claim to be made from Barley and promises good health benefits. Advertisements are everywhere and we may notice that some artists and influential people are advertising these products. But, what do you know about Barley? Barley is a cereal grain and its grass juice gained its popularity in the market nowadays. As a whole grain, barley provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming a diet rich in whole grains may help reduce the risk for heart disease and high cholesterol. It is also used for diabetes, obesity, cancer prevention, and other chronic health concerns, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these other uses.

Barley is a rich source of B vitamins, including niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). It also contains high amounts of fiber. This fiber might lower cholesterol in people with high cholesterol and may reduce the risk for heart disease. Research shows that taking barley reduces total cholesterol and "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. However, the benefit might depend on the amount of barley taken. Barley may also reduce blood sugar and insulin levels. It seems to slow stomach emptying and help keep blood sugar stable and create a sensation of being full, which might help to control appetite. Barley also seems to lower the risk of getting stomach cancer. Early research shows that eating food containing germinated barley daily reduces the symptoms of ulcerative colitis and reduces the chance of disease remission. More Evidence is needed to rate barley for these benefits.

Barley is linked to several side effects when taken. If taken by mouth, it might cause gas, bloating, or feelings of fullness. It can also cause an allergic reaction in some people. In some people, consuming barley can cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to other cereal grains, including rye, wheat, oat, corn, and rice. An allergic reaction is also possible in people allergic to grass. Symptoms may include skin rash and difficulty breathing. Barley is likely safe when taken during pregnancy. There is also insufficient reliable information to guarantee its safety when breastfeeding. To avoid any side effects, it’s better to stay on the safe side and avoid use more than what is recommended. Before taking any supplements, it is very important to consult your doctor first.

PNFP-ZDN Rowence F. Zorilla

 

References:

1. Barley

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-799/barley

2. What are the health benefits of barley?

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295268

Body Dysmorphic DisorderEveryone dreams of a certain body figure or appearance; may it be an hourglass figure or flawless skin. In order to achieve it, some people may take the extra mile to look in a certain way. But, what if you can't stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in your appearance — a flaw that appears minor or can't be seen by others? Watch out, for maybe you have Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is defined by Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Specialist Dr. Smitha Bhandari, as a distinct mental disorder in which a person is preoccupied with an imagined physical defect or a minor defect that others often cannot see. As a result, people with this disorder see themselves as "ugly" and often avoid social exposure or turn to plastic surgery to try to improve their appearance. BDD shares some features with eating disorders and obsessive-compulsive disorder. BDD is similar to eating disorders in that both involve a concern with body image. However, a person with an eating disorder worries about weight and the shape of the entire body, while a person with BDD is concerned about a specific body part.

Furthermore, Body dysmorphic disorder affects people of any gender. It tends to begin during the teen years or early adulthood. That’s the age when children start comparing themselves to others. Body dysmorphic disorder is a chronic (long-term) condition according to Cleveland Clinic. Without treatment, body dysmorphic disorder can get worse as people get older. They become even more unhappy with physical changes that come with aging, such as wrinkles and gray hair. Body dysmorphic disorder affects about 1 in 50 people.

Can a Body Dysmorphic Disorder be treatable? The answer is, yes. According to Cleveland Clinic, body dysmorphic disorder can often be addressed using a combination of several treatments. Psychotherapy (or cognitive behavioral therapy) through individual counseling focuses on changing a person’s thinking (cognition) and behavior. Through treatment, they correct their thinking about the defect and lessen their compulsive actions. Next is through medication, an antidepressant medication called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may help treat body dysmorphic disorder. Lastly is through Group/family therapy. Family support is key to successful treatment. Family members learn to understand body dysmorphic disorder and recognize the signs and symptoms.

Dr. Bhandari suggests that it might be helpful to begin treatment in people as soon as they begin to have symptoms. Teaching and encouraging healthy and realistic attitudes about body image also might help prevent the development or worsening of BDD. Finally, providing the person with an understanding and supporting environment might help decrease the severity of the symptoms and help them better cope with the disorder.

PNFP-ZDS Marie Claire A. Gaas, RND

 

References:

  • Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Smitha Bhandari, MD on June 30, 2020: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/mental-health-body-dysmorphic-disorder

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9888-body-dysmorphic-disorder

 

Blood RoleSeptember is Blood Diseases Month under Proclamation No. 1833 signed on July 6, 2009, by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. According to the proclamation, the combined impact of three major blood-related diseases of Leukemia, Anemia, and Bleeding disorders is immense, representing a significant portion of the total deaths due to cancer. It is also stated that blood diseases related to nutrition and environmental conditions continue to increase in prevalence and pose serious effects to the Filipino people. The Department of Health is the lead agency in undertaking activities, in coordination with the Philippine Society of Hematology and Blood Transfusion and other similar organizations, to increase awareness and understanding of blood-related diseases.

Blood plays an important role in the body. It is composed of plasma, white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Blood circulates through our body and transports nutrients and oxygen to the tissues and removes waste from the cells. The three major blood-related diseases include anemia, hemophilia, and leukemia. Anemia is the most common blood disorder and it is a condition in which the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein inside the red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Another common blood disorder is hemophilia, which is a genetic disorder that affects the blood's ability to clot due to low levels of blood-clotting proteins. On the other hand, leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow. Cancer happens when the bone marrow produces abnormal white blood cells.

You could help keep your blood on track and healthy by changing your lifestyle especially your diet. Foods rich in iron, vitamin B-12, vitamin B6, vitamin A, and vitamin B-9 are essential for your blood to function well. Iron is an important nutrient that increases the production of red blood cells. Foods rich in iron are red meat, organ meat, beans, cereals, tofu, dark chocolate, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach and cabbage. Vitamin B12 keeps nerve tissues healthy and sustains blood cell production. Animal products such as fish, red meat, eggs, and dairy products like milk and cheese naturally contain vitamin B-12. Vitamin B6 or pyridoxine is a water-soluble vitamin that supports the production of hemoglobin, a protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen. Vitamin B6 is essential in nurturing and maintaining blood health. This can be found in chicken, bananas, tomatoes, whole grains, nuts, green beans, liver, and fish. Vitamin A is essential in the normal development of stem cells into red blood cells. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, tuna fish, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and dark leafy green vegetables such as kale and lettuce. Vitamin B-9 or folic acid helps in protein metabolism and RNA/DNA production and repair. It is vital in making red blood cells. Best sources of folate include nuts, dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, lettuce, and edible greens such as asparagus, beans, and bread. Blood diseases could be life-threatening if not treated immediately.

Celebrating Blood Diseases Month in September of every year is only one of the many ways to raise people's awareness and understanding of blood-related diseases. Share the little knowledge you have about it and make it known to the rest of your family and friends. Truly, the value of blood is priceless yet donating a bag of it can surely save a life. Donate now!

PNFP-ZDN Rowence F. Zorilla

 

References:

1. Proclamation No. 1833, s. 2009

https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2009/07/06/proclamation-no-1833-s-2009/

2. September is Blood Diseases Month

https://www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph/index.php/news/6404-september-is-blood-diseases-month

AppendicitisFor years, the medical world has been boggled by what really is the purpose of the extending pouch of the colon called Appendix. Recently, it has been used in surgical operations to anastomose intestines for whatever reasons. But, what happens when your appendix becomes inflamed? Your appendix is a thin tube located in your lower right abdomen. Appendicitis happens when your appendix becomes inflamed. There is no exact cause of appendicitis, but experts believe that it develops when part of the appendix becomes blocked. Many things can block your appendix, these include a hardened stool, enlarged lymphoid follicles, intestinal worms, traumatic injury, or tumors. When your appendix becomes blocked, bacteria can multiply inside it. This can lead to the formation of pus and swelling, which can cause painful pressure in your abdomen. If left untreated, you could develop an abscess or ruptured appendix. This can cause bacteria to spill into your abdominal cavity, which can be serious and sometimes fatal.

Appendicitis is common among people between the ages of 10 and 30 years and having a history may also increase your risk especially if you are a man. Symptoms may vary and they can include nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal swelling, pain in the upper and lower right part of your abdomen, and poor appetite.

Appendicitis is considered a medical emergency. When the appendix has ruptured, it may lead to a serious, deadly infection. For this reason, in almost all situations, your healthcare provider will advise you to have surgery to remove your appendix. Normally, your recovery from an appendectomy will only last for few days if your appendix has not burst. If your appendix has burst, expect that your recovery time will be longer, and you will need to take some medications such as antibiotics.

Appendicitis can be a life-threatening condition and may require immediate medical attention. So, when you have unusual abdominal pain, at once, have yourself checked at the hospital. You’ll never know how serious it is already. Don’t wait to let the condition ruin your health and your pocket or worse endanger your life. Submit for a medical check-up. Better be sure. Nevertheless, with or without your appendix, you can still live a normal life.

PNFP-ZDN Rowence Zorilla, RND

 

References:

1. What’s Causing Pain in My Lower Right Abdomen?

https://www.healthline.com/health/pain-in-lower-right-abdomen#appendicitis

2. Everything You Need to Know About Appendicitis

https://www.healthline.com/health/appendicitis#symptoms

3. What is appendicitis?

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/appendicitis

Water AllergyDid you know that some people can be allergic to water? Yes. According to a 2011 report (NCBI), there are fewer than 100 cases of aquagenic urticaria reported in the medical literature. Water is essential to the human body. It regulates body temperature, moistens tissues in the eyes, nose, and mouth, protects body organs and tissues, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, lubricates joints, flushing out waste products, and helps dissolve minerals and nutrients to make them accessible to your body. Knowing the important functions of water, how can someone with an allergy survive without it?

Aquagenic urticaria is a rare form of urticaria, a type of hives called aquagenic hives that causes a rash to appear after you touch the water and its sources including rain, snow, sweat, and tears. It’s a form of physical hives which is associated with itching and burning. Persons may experience an itchy and painful rash and it commonly appears on the neck, arms, and chest. Other symptoms may include reddening of the skin, burning sensations, lesions, welts, and inflammation. In more severe cases, drinking water can cause a rash around the mouth, difficulty swallowing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. As of the moment, researchers are still working to determine the exact cause of aquagenic urticaria.

Due to the rarity of the disease, aquagenic urticarial has no cure yet. However, there are treatments available to alleviate the symptoms. Your doctor may recommend antihistamines. These are medications used to treat allergy-like symptoms. Creams or other topical agents such as petrolatum-based products that serve as a barrier between water and the skin may also be used. These may be used before bathing or other exposure to water to prevent water penetration into the skin. Other treatments include ultraviolet light therapy (phototherapy) and Omalizumab. If you are diagnosed with aquagenic urticaria, you should avoid getting in contact with water as much as possible. Keep safe!

PNFP-ZDN Rowence F. Zorilla, RND

References:

1. Water: Essential to your body

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/water-essential-to-your-body

2. Aquagenic Urticaria

https://www.healthline.com/health/aquagenic-urticaria#causes

3. Aquagenic Urticaria

https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/10901/aquagenic-urticaria#:~:text=Aquagenic%20urticaria%20is%20a%20rare,a%20form%20of%20physical%20urticaria.

Essential OilsYou may have wondered why essential oils are gaining popularity nowadays. People claim that using these provides instant relief from body aches, stress, and other ailments. According to Jon Johnson, essential oils are concentrated extracts of various plants. Alternative therapy practitioners use them in natural and alternative health practices, such as aromatherapy and naturopathy. But what really are these essential oils and what are they made of? Is there any truth to these therapeutic claims?

Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy, a form of alternative medicine that employs plant extracts to support health and well-being according to Helen West, RD. These are concentrated plant extracts that retain the natural smell and flavor, or “essence,” of their source. How do they work? Essential oils are most commonly used in the practice of aromatherapy, in which they are inhaled through various methods but are not meant to be swallowed.

There are different ways that manufacturers extract essential oils and these include steam or water distillation and cold pressing. For steam or water distillation, the process passes water or hot steam through the plants pulling the essential compounds away from the plant matter. For cold pressing, the process works by mechanically pressing or squeezing plant matter to cause it to release essential juices or oils.

Among its many uses is the thought that application of these can improve absorption, such as applying with heat or to different areas of the body. However, research in this field is lacking according to Sonja Schmitt et. Al. There are more than 90 types of essential oils, each with its own unique smell and potential health benefits. But there are a few essential oils that are very popular, and these are Peppermint, Lavender, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Rose, Chamomile, Ylang-Ylang, Tea Tree, Jasmine, and Lemon.

Despite their widespread use, little is known about the ability of essential oils to treat certain health conditions. According to a study conducted by Damião Pergentino de Sousa et. al, it has been estimated that 43% of people who have stress and anxiety use Essential Oil as a form of alternative therapy to help relieve their symptoms. In the ’90s, two small studies found that dabbing a peppermint oil and ethanol mixture on participants’ foreheads and temples relieved headache pain based on research conducted by H Göbel. Furthermore, smelling lavender oil has been shown to improve the sleep quality of women after childbirth, as well as patients with heart disease. They also have anti-inflammatory effects as supported by test-tube studies.

Essential oils also have other uses as well. Many people use them to scent their homes or freshen up things like laundry. They are also used as a natural scent in homemade cosmetics and high-quality natural products. Furthermore, the properties of essential oils indicate that some of them could be used industrially for extending the shelf life of foods. Indeed, essential oils do have some interesting health applications and beneficial uses. However, more research and further studies are needed. In the meantime, just enjoy the relaxing scent it produces as it really clears our mind from stress and comforts our body. Truly, it is an aromatherapy!

PNFP-ZDS Marie Claire A. Gaas

References:

  • Everything you need to know about essential oils

Medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP — Written by Jon Johnson on October 18, 2019

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326732

  • What Are Essential Oils, and Do They Work?

Written by Helen West, RD on September 30, 2019

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-are-essential-oils

  • Variation of in vitro human skin permeation of rose oil between different application sites

Sonja Schmitt, Ulrich F Schäfer, Leonhard Döbler, Jürgen Reichling

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20616515/

  • A Systematic Review of the Anxiolytic-Like Effects of Essential Oils in Animal Models

Damião Pergentino de Sousa, Palloma de Almeida Soares Hocayen, Luciana Nalone Andrade, Roberto Andreatini

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26473822/

  • Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters

H Göbel , G Schmidt, D Soyka

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7954745/