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I realized that my body was no longer the same as that of my 20 years and was frightened by the picture I saw in the mirror and wondered how I would be at 40.
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What is Liver Fibrosis and How is It Different from Cirrhosis?
Liver fibrosis is not an independent disease but rather a histological change caused by liver inflammation. Liver damage causes liver stellate cells to be over active and triggers the extra cellular matrix (ECM) synthesis to increase. More than normal amounts of collagen fiber deposits in the extra-cellular spaces of the liver cells and causes the liver cells to lose blood infusion and to be hardened.
Chronic viral hepatitis B and C are the most common causes of liver fibrosis. During the chronic hepatitis course, fibrosis is a part of the inflammation activities. In the fibrosis stage, there is no lobular regeneration and this distinguishes it from cirrhosis. When fibrosis advances to cause fibrostic separations (or bridging) between the portal areas or between the portal area, the center vein, and the formation of pseudo-lobule, fibrosis enters the final stage, which is cirrhosis.
Histological (biopsy) diagnosis classifies the severity of fibrosis into five stages, S0 to S4.
S0 means no fibrosis. S4 is cirrhosis. In between, S1 is a mild fibrosis only seen at the portal area. S2 is a moderate stage of fibrosis, between portal areas, but without the destruction of the lobular structure. S3 is severe fibrosis. At this stage, there is fibrostic bridging between portal areas and between portal areas and center veins. At S4, in addition to S3's changes, there are pseudo-lobules formed and this stage is the final stage, cirrhosis.
Liver fibrosis is the net result of the imbalance between the collagen fiber synthesis and decomposition. When fiber synthesis is very active and the decomposition is suppressed, fibrosis will progress. Vise versa, fibrosis can be reversed if the driver, inflammation, is controlled. When fibers form, at the early stage, it can be decomposed with water or weak acid. These are soluble fibers. Older fibers deposited for long time, becomes thicker and harder and cannot be decomposed by water or weak acids.
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Only collagen enzymes can decompose it. With anti-fibrosis herbal treatment, there is possibility to suppress the HSC, enhance the activities of collagen enzymes and to promote the decomposition of the fibers, reducing ECM.
Cirrhosis is always developed from fibrosis. Although, fibrosis and cirrhosis are different, they are closely related. They are two distinguished pathological conditions. At the fibrosis stages, the amount of collagen increases and the ratio of fibro-connective tissue verses liver cellular tissue increases. But at this stage, the liver lobular structures are intact. There is no pseudo-lobule formation. Cirrhosis consists of two pathological features: fibro-connective tissue hypertrophy and pseudo-lobule formation. At the cirrhosis stage, the liver's fundamental structure is deformed, and the framework of the liver begins collapse. Thus, reversal is more difficult at this stage.
Right now a liver biopsy is the most accurate way to diagnose the fibrostic stages. Some blood chemical measurements can also provide a referential diagnostic marker of fibrosis. The chemical markers that can be used to assess the fibrostic activities are: HA (hyaluronic acid), LN (Laminin), CIV(collagen IV), PCIII (procollagen type III) etc. They can show the activities of fibrosis, but can't classify stages of fibrosis.
Patients should also know that most chronic Hepatitis cases will not lead to Cirrhosis. Only a very small percentage does and it happens usually without proper treatment, allowing fibrosis to go on for years.
The body has amazing healing capabilities of its own and the liver is one of the most “re-generable” organs in the body. Because fibrosis is the result of the inflammation, halting or reversing fibrosis by controlling inflammation is the key. Special anti-fibrosis treatments have been developed in modern Chinese medicine and we will discuss these in next two weeks.
Diet for Uric Acid Patient
I am a uric acid patient i.e my uric acid level keeps fluctuating. i wanted to know what kind of food should i eat to keep it at a normal level all the time.
Does coffee lower uric acid levels in the blood?
When you suffer from gout or hyperuricemia (high levels of uric acid) it’s very likely that you’ve been told to be cautious with your diet.
Your lecturer believes that the appearance of a cirrhotic liver is so distinctive that the term will always be with us.
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Choosing between foods, that would have once taken you a moment, now seems to take an eternity, as you agonize over the risks and benefits of each ingredient. Skip the pork chops and beef rolls and choose low uric acid foods like tossed salads with cabbage, parsley and green leafy vegetables. Gulp down large glasses of orange and sweet lime juice or a fresh banana milkshake. Sauté soy chunks…they serve as a good substitute for meat.
Following a uric acid reduction diet will help you make your way to a healthier, more energetic life!
With conflicting information from various sources - some saying that coffee’s good for hyperuricemia and others saying it’s bad; you’re at the end of your tether and are probably ready to toss out your diet plans. Before you give up or decide to make any drastic changes to your diet, it may be a good idea to make sure if the food or ingredient in question, like coffee, is actually bad for you.
So here it is! There is no conclusive research or study to prove coffee’s beneficial effect on uric acid levels. However, the June 2007 issue of Arthritis Care & Research published an article about a large scale study examining the relationship between levels of uric acid and the amount of coffee consumed. The study concluded that high consumption of coffee did result in lowered levels of uric acid, but this change was not brought about by caffeine. Something other than caffeine was found to have caused it. Another study conducted by the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada based on the U.S. Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, reported similar results. While the increased consumption of coffee may lower uric acid levels, it could aggravate or even cause other unrelated health problems. This is why coffee does not appear on most lists of uric acid foods.
Does green tea help lower uric acid levels in the blood?
Green tea is often recommended for a wide variety of ailments including weight loss, better bowel function, prevention of heart diseases, and even as protection from certain cancers. Researchers at the University of Tokyo have concluded that green tea can even increase bone mineral density.
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In addition to all these health benefits, there is also a definite link between green tea and uric acid levels. Consume green tea on a regular basis to control hyperuricemia (high uric acid levels) and lower your risk of developing gout. A diet chart for uric acid patients is a must as it helps the individual choose recipes and meals that will not cause a flare-up.
It is possible to control hyperuricemia through the consumption of green tea. While it may be easy to find a readymade diet chart for uric acid patients, it would be best to consult your doctor before you make any changes to your daily diet. Do not ignore high uric acid levels in the blood as this can lead to severe kidney problems, high blood pressure, heart diseases, and gout. Go slow on red meats and protein rich foods, and instead feast on green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits. Adding papaya cubes to a glass of cool green tea could increase the benefits of your health drink… and make it yummier!
Which fruits and vegetables lower uric acid?
Now that you’ve learnt about your hyperuricemia you’ve become fastidious about the food you consume. No shepherd’s pie over the weekends, and no steaks to gorge on at the dinner table with your pals. Red meats feature high on the list of foods to avoid for uric acid. The breakdown of purines in the body impacts the level of uric acid in the blood, and the resultant hyperuricemia causes kidney problems and gout. If you are overweight, try your best to shed the excess pounds and get in shape. This will enable the kidneys to eliminate uric acid and also reduce the production of uric acid in the body.
Some of the foods high in uric acid which you need to avoid include:
- Fish like anchovies, mackerel, shellfish, sardines, herring
- Meats like beef, mutton, pork
- Avoid eating products including brewer’s yeast and baker’s yeast
- Avoid alcohol; it restricts the elimination of uric acid from the body
- Skip vegetables like spinach and asparagus that have high purine levels
Once you know what foods and vegetables are high in uric acid, you will need to find low uric acid foods that you should include as part of your uric acid diet plan.
- Cherries, strawberries, and blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties so include them in your uric acid diet.
- Raspberries, corn and bran are high fiber foods that can help improve bowel movement, and promote the elimination of uric acid through stools.
- Lemonade with no sugar mixed in, is beneficial for those suffering from hyperuricemia.
In terms of size, it’s somewhere between an orange and grapefruit.
Lemons contain vitamin C, which disintegrates uric acid and forces it out of the body through urine.
- Low fat dairy products promote kidney health.
- Tomatoes, broccoli, and cucumbers are some of the veggies that you need to start including in your meals.
Are tomatoes, beans and peanuts high in uric acid?
When your doctor first informed you that you have increased uric acid levels, you probably realized the need for changes to your dietary habits. As you begin to ponder over the foods you can and cannot eat, despair begins to set in as you realize that you may just have to give up on a lot of those foods that you love to eat. You start to go through a quick checklist “is there uric acid in tomatoes, bean sprouts, peanuts…?” Well, let’s see if all these foods are bad for uric acid problems!
- Tomatoes: Tomatoes are one of the best vegetables that you could have for lowering uric acid. Tomato by nature is alkaline and when it is exposed to the blood stream it increases the alkalinity of the blood. Eat fresh tomatoes and not processed ones and avoid over eating.
- Beans sprouts: Consuming bean sprouts when you are suffering with high uric acid levels is a bad idea! Beans are rich in proteins which increase the purine levels, leading to high uric acid levels.
- Peanuts: Peanuts have a low purine content and so you can consume peanuts in moderation.
It is also necessary to keep a check on the amount of food that you consume rather than just the food types.
Symptoms, Diagnosis & Monitoring of Diabetes
According to the latest American Heart Association's Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, about 8 million people 18 years and older in the United States have type 2 diabetes and do not know it. Often type 1 diabetes remains undiagnosed until symptoms become severe and hospitalization is required. Left untreated, diabetes can cause a number of health complications. That's why it's so important to both know what warning signs to look for and to see a health care provider regularly for routine wellness screenings.
In incidences of prediabetes, there are no symptoms.
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People may not be aware that they have type 1 or type 2 diabetes because they have no symptoms or because the symptoms are so mild that they go unnoticed for quite some time. However, some individuals do experience warning signs, so it's important to be familiar with them.
If you have any of these symptoms, see your health care provider right away. Diabetes can only be diagnosed by your healthcare provider.
Who should be tested for prediabetes and diabetes?
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that you should be tested if you are:
- Overweight and over age 45
- Overweight, under age 45 and have one of more additional risk factors such as:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- A family history of diabetes
- African-American, Asian-American, Latino/Hispanic-American, Native American or Pacific Islander descent
- A history of gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) or delivering a baby over 9 lbs.
If your blood glucose levels are in normal range, testing should be done about every three years. If you have prediabetes, you should be checked for diabetes every one to two years after diagnosis.
Tests for Diagnosing Prediabetes and Diabetes
There are three types of tests that help health care providers make a diagnosis of prediabetes and diabetes.