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Unhealthy Belly Fat: 6 Diseases Which Could Give You Unhealthy Belly Fat

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Do you have a flab around your abdomen? That extra fat which hangs loose around your stomach is downright unattractive, but more than that, it is a sign of poor health. Unhealthy belly fat could accumulate due to any reason; be it lack of workout, unhealthy diet, high consumption of refined carbs and sugar or genetics. But these are not the only things which give you unhealthy belly fat; it could be due to some diseases as well. And the worst part is that these diseases have nothing to do with your diet and workout regime.
Here’s a list of 6 diseases which could give you unhealthy belly fat. Take a look.
1. Addison’s disease
Addison’s disease is a condition of the adrenal insufficiency where the adrenal gland does not produce enough hormones. These include glucocorticoids like cortisol and aldosterone. This condition is life-threatening and affects people irrespective of their age or gender. Glucocorticoids are responsible for converting fat in your liver into energy. It also helps you fight stress. However, when there is a deficiency of such hormones in the body, it results in the accumulation of fats in the abdominal area.
2. Abdominal hernia
Abdominal hernia develops when an organ or a fat tissue pushes against a weak spot in the abdominal wall. The abdominal wall is made up of strong connective tissues and tendons which spread from your ribs till your groin. Depending on the location of the weak point in your abdomen, the hernia can develop in the groin, belly button, upper thigh or stomach. Another form of abdominal hernia is the incisional hernia, one where the intestine pushes against the abdominal wall. This one requires surgery.
3. Menopause
Menopause isn’t a disease or a disorder per se, but it is an important phase in a woman’s life. It marks the end of her reproductive years. This is when the ovaries stop producing enough estrogen and progesterone. It is characterized by hot flashes, sleeping problems and weight gain (abdominal weight primarily). Accumulation of unhealthy belly fat takes place during menopause due to the lack of estrogen in the body. Estrogen is a hormone which defines the distribution of fat in a woman’s body. When the production of this hormone reduces, most of the fat starts accumulating around the belly. This gives women unhealthy menopausal belly fat.
4. Cushing’s syndrome
The Cushing’s syndrome is also known as hypercortisolism. When a person is exposed to extremely high cortisol levels for a prolonged period of time, it results in this disorder. Usually, this disorder is treatable. But if it is chronic, the symptoms of this condition can stay with you life-long. Symptoms of this condition involve the accumulation unhealthy belly fat.
5. Chronic stress
Chronic stress has a very important role to play when it comes to the accumulation of unhealthy belly fat. Stress leads to a chain of reactions in your body involving hormonal fluctuations and more. It triggers your body to produce more cortisol, the hormone which signals your body to store fats. Most of the fat storage takes place around your belly. Research shows that the longer you are stressed for, the more belly fat your body stores.
6. Ascites
Ascites refers to the storage of fluids in the belly region. It is usually seen in patients who are at a terminal stage of cancer. It is also seen in patients dealing with liver cirrhosis, heart disease and kidney failure. The early signs of this condition include abdominal girth accompanied by weight gain.
If you have started accumulating unhealthy abdominal fat due to any of the above reasons, it is high time for you to start taking action!


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Health

Hepatitis A Causes and Symptoms

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Generally speaking, hepatitis A is more common in parts of the planet that are developing. It’s for the fact that sanitation and food handling practices are by and large poor. However, medical experts say that living in developed countries can also put you at risk of having hepatitis A, but it’s really a rare occurrence.

Just like what’s mentioned earlier, hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus or HAV. It can be spread around by someone who has hepatitis A because he or she is a carrier of the virus behind it. It is said that a person with hepatitis A is most infectious about 2 weeks before he or she begins to experience signs and symptoms.

Here are some of the ways that hepatitis A is spread around:

 

Consumption of food that is prepared by a person who has hepatitis A. This is most especially true if he or she has not properly washed his or her hands.

Drinking of water that is contaminated with the hepatitis A virus.

Intake of raw or undercooked seafood obtained from contaminated water.

Close contact with someone who has hepatitis A. This includes having sexual intercourse with an infected person, especially when the rectal or anal area has been touched with the fingers, mouth or tongue.

Using illegal drugs, especially when paraphernalia contaminated with the hepatitis A virus are used.

Symptoms

Medical experts say that it may take a while before the various signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A show up. They say that someone may experience them about 4 weeks after getting infected. It’s even possible for someone with hepatitis A to not experience any sign and symptom at all.

Some of the initial signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include:

Tiredness and malaise
Achy muscles and joints
Pain in the upper right section of the abdomen
Loss of appetite
Mild fever
Headaches
Sore throat
Diarrhea or constipation
Hives or raised rash that’s itchy

These initial signs and symptoms associated with hepatitis A can last anywhere from a few days only to a couple of weeks. Afterwards, as the infection of the liver progresses, the following may be experienced by the individual:

Jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin as well as the whites of the eyes (sclera)

Pale colored stools
Dark colored urine
Skin itching

Tenderness and swelling of the upper right section of the abdomen

Although it rarely happens, hepatitis A can cause liver failure. When such develops, the person who is infected may experience severe vomiting, frequent bruising, bleeding of the nose and gums, drowsiness and confusion.

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Health

Busting myths around blood donation

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As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

Contrary to the myth about blood donations making a person weak or anaemic, the body replenishes the lost blood in a matter of a few days, say experts.

“A healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets, so there is no question of becoming weak, much less anaemic. It is a myth and should not deter people from donating blood,” says Dr RK Singal, chairman, internal medicine department, BLK super-speciality Hospital.

 

The donors can give either whole blood or specific blood components, as there is sophisticated equipment available these days that extract relevant components from blood and the rest of the blood can be transfused back to the donor.

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO) norms, ideally, one per cent of the total population should regularly donate blood to meet the requirements, which is anywhere between 1% and 3% of country’s population that would require blood in a year.

About 65% of India’s population is young and if this section donates blood regularly, chances of the country facing blood shortage will be remote. Hence, there is all the more reason for people, especially youngsters, to come forward and be regular blood donors.

How to prepare

Have enough fruit juice and water in the night and morning before you donate

Have a full meal 3 hours before donation; never on an empty stomach

Have some rest for about 10-15 minutes after donation

Have some snacks or a juice with high sugar content after donation

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Health

Erectile dysfunction’s connection with lifestyle

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By Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal

healthy-lifestyle-can-reverse-effects-of-hypertensionAll over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED).

All over the world, but perhaps more so in India, men are embarrassed to admit that they may have a problem getting or keeping an erection — a condition known as erectile dysfunction (ED). From my research, I have found a strong link between ED and stress. Other major causes include smoking, drinking, diabetes, hypertension or high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. My advice to these patients is — do not get even more stressed over this situation. Instead, focus on taking the right medication and making some changes to your lifestyle, so you can once again enjoy a satisfactory sexual life.

 

DIAGNOSIS OF ED

We normally diagnose ED and its underlying causes by asking the patient a few questions about his medical and sexual history. This is sometimes done by sharing a questionnaire with the patient. The questions that we ask are designed to help us understand the cause of ED in the particular patient.

We also do a physical exam, ask for certain blood tests to rule out other medical conditions responsible for erectile dysfunction, and recommend imaging tests (if required) to determine whether the person is physically able to have an erection or not.

SHORT-TERM SOLUTION, LONG-TERM CURE

Underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolaemia (high cholesterol levels) can cause ED. In these cases, ED can be reversed once the patient starts treatment.

In my experience, many men suffer from ED because of work stress, family pressure and anxiety. So, changes in lifestyle with regular exercise, yoga, abstaining from alcohol and smoking, and proper counselling help in treating ED. Along with this, medicines for ED are usually prescribed for about 3 to 6 months by which time lifestyle changes start to take effect and the patient is physically and mentally healthier, which helps resolve the problem.

An estimated 16% to 25% of men experience ED at some point in their lives. I would urge them not to be embarrassed about it. Seek medical help from a urologist or andrologist; get the necessary advice/medication; and go on to enjoy a healthy, fulfilling sexual life.

The author of this article is Dr Anjani Kumar Agrawal, head, andrology, department of urology sciences, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket

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