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.
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.
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!
Can Garlic Help In Controlling Cholesterol? Our Expert Has The Answer
High levels of bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol in your blood can increase risks of heart disease. It is thus important to ensure that your cholesterol levels are under control at all times. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL) are the two kinds of cholesterol , where the former is referred to as the bad cholesterol and the latter as good cholesterol. While cholesterol is made in the liver, there are certain foods that can increase cholesterol levels. These foods are primarily those high in saturated and trans fat. Similarly, there are foods that lower your cholesterol levels, and one such food item is garlic.
Garlic is a spice which is popular for its benefits on digestion, high blood pressure and inflammation to name a very few. However, there are some studies which talk about cholesterol improving properties of garlic as well.
WebMD says that garlic may reduce total cholesterol in the body by a few percentage points. This however, may only be for the short term. It further adds that garlic may prolong bleeding and blood clotting time. Thus, intake of garlic should be avoided before surgery or intake of any blood thinning drugs.
We ask clinical nutritionist Dr Rupali Datta about garlic and its cholesterol-reducing properties. She says, “Allicin is the active compound in garlic, which may be contributing to lowering cholesterol. However, it is more effective in controlling heart diseases vis a vis blood thinning and its anti-inflammatory properties. There are some studies which have talked about minor effect of garlic on cholesterol,” she says.
Foods that help in lowering cholesterol
Legumes are rich in minerals, fibre and protein. Some studies say that including legumes in your diet can lower bad cholesterol in the body.
Healthline mentions that some vegetables contain soluble fibre that can help in reducing cholesterol levels in the body. Vegetables like eggplants, carrots and potatoes can all be included in your diet to keep cholesterol and weight under control. They are good for heart health.
3. Berries and fruits:
Fruits are rich in soluble fibre that help in lowering cholesterol levels in the body. Berries and grapes contain plant compounds that can increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol in the body.
4. Almonds and walnuts:
Including nuts in your diet can be good for heart health. Nuts contain monounsaturated fats. Walnuts contain omega 3s and almonds contain L-arginine, which is an amino acid that helps the body make nitric oxide. This helps in regulating blood pressure.
5. Fatty fish:
Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and tune are rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3s are good for heart health as they reduce inflammation and stroke risk, and increase levels of good cholesterol in the body.
(Dr Rupali Datta is Consultant Nutritionist at Fortis Escorts)
Most hip and knee replacements ‘last longer than thought’
Eight out of 10 knee replacements and six out of 10 hip replacements last as long as 25 years, said a large study from the University of Bristol.
This is much longer than believed, the researchers said, and the findings will help patients and surgeons decide when to carry out surgery, BBC reported.
To date, there has been little data on the success of new hips and knees.
But this Lancet research looked at 25 years’ worth of operations, involving more than 500,000 people.
Hip and knee replacements are two of the most common forms of surgery in National Health Service (NHS), but doctors often struggle to answer questions from patients on how long the implants will last.
Nearly 200,000 of the operations were performed in 2017 in England and Wales, with most carried out on people between 60 and 80 years old.
Dr. Jonathan Evans, orthopedic registrar, lead study author and research fellow at Bristol Medical School said, “At best, the NHS has only been able to say how long replacements are designed to last, rather than referring to actual evidence from multiple patients’ experiences of joint replacement surgery.
“Given the improvement in technology and techniques in the last 25 years, we expect that hip or knee replacements put in today may last even longer.”
As the aging population grows, and life expectancy rises, this becomes even more important, Evans added.
Chronic inflammation can lead to memory problems: Study
Acute inflammation, that results from injury and does not heal or is recurring, might lead to thinking problems, say experts. The report, which has been published in Neurology, further states that psychological stress and nagging infection can also trigger chronic inflammation.
In order to arrive at this result, blood tests on 12,336 men and women who were of the average age of 57, were conducted. These reports were then segregated and given a “inflammation composite score” based on factors like clotting, white blood cell count, and other tests. The cognitive facilities of the participants were also assessed through routine tests of verbal fluency, memory and processing speed. The study has been quoted in The New York Times.
After controlling for factors like age, blood pressure, heart disease, education, and many others, it was deduced that more the number of inflammatory factors, greater the chance of cognitive decline over 20 years of follow-up. Decline in memory seems to be strongly associated with inflammation.
“We know that dementia starts earlier than the appearance of symptoms,” Keenan A Walker, lead author and a postdoctoral researcher at Johns Hopkins said. “We’ve shown that levels of inflammation matter for dementia risk. Reducing chronic inflammation involves the same health behaviors that we already know are important for other reasons — regular exercise, healthy diet, avoiding excessive weight gain and so on,” Walker added.
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