Posts Tagged ‘Caffeine’

Blood Pressure Up? Lower It Without Medication

September 24, 2015

Millions of Americans have hypertension. Millions are taking medication to lower their blood pressure. Now the new guidelines indicate that blood pressure should be less than 120 systolic or the highest number and less than 80 diastolic or the lowest number. Here are a few ways to lower the blood pressure that do not require medication.

Exercise more

By following current guidelines on exercise—30 minutes a day, most days a week—you can bring down your blood pressure significantly. If you’ve been sedentary, try aerobic exercise to reduce your systolic blood pressure—the top number—by three to five points, and the bottom by two to three,.

People who get moving are often able to reduce the number of hypertension medications they’re on, he adds. Pick something you like—walking, running, swimming, cycling—and stick with it.

Eat bananas

You probably know that eating too much salt can raise blood pressure, but most people aren’t aware of the benefits of potassium, which counters sodium’s ill effects. Most don’t get enough of this mineral.

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, people with hypertension may especially benefit from upping the amount of potassium in their diet. Adults should get at least 4,700 milligrams a day. A few good sources: bananas (422 milligrams each), a baked potato with skin (738 milligrams), orange juice (496 milligrams per cup), and nonfat or low-fat yogurt (531–579 milligrams per 8 ounces).

Cut salt

People with normal blood pressure, moderately high blood pressure, and full-fledged hypertension can substantially reduce their blood pressure by cutting salt intake. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that people with hypertension limit their intake of salt to less than 1,500 milligrams (600 milligrams of sodium) a day.

We get most of our sodium from processed foods, so stick with whole foods. When you do eat foods with nutrition labels, be sure to check their sodium content.

Don’t smoke

Smokers are at higher risk of hypertension. But even though tobacco and nicotine in cigarettes can cause temporary spikes in blood pressure, smoking itself is not thought to cause chronic hypertension.(Instead, factors associated with smoking, like heavy alcohol consumption and lack of exercise, might be responsible.)

Nevertheless, quitting smoking may help you lower your blood pressure a bit, the other health benefits are countless.

Lose weight

Research has consistently shown that dropping just a few pounds can have a substantial impact on your blood pressure. Excess weight makes your heart work harder. This extra strain can lead to hypertension, while losing weight lightens your cardiovascular workload.

If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight may be enough to get your blood pressure under control.

Cut back on alcohol

Even though moderate drinking—no more than one drink a day for women, and two a day for men—has heart-health benefits, drinking too much can elevate blood pressure in some people.

Research has found that consuming more than two drinks a day increases the risk of hypertension for both men and women. If you do drink, enjoy your alcoholic beverage with a meal, which may blunt its effects on blood pressure.

Reduce stress

Managing the stress in your life effectively may help reduce your blood pressure, but there’s not enough research to offer a step-by-step stress-reduction plan for everyone.

There are a number of things that people have developed as practices to induce a state of relaxation and … which one is better, which is the right one, these are questions that remain to be answered in clinical trials. Nevertheless, Burg recommends that people with high blood pressure look into stress management and find an approach they will be able to practice consistently.

Yoga

Yoga is a great de-stressor. A recent study from India recently found that yogic breathing exercises reduced blood pressure in people with hypertension, possibly through their effects on the autonomic nervous system, which governs heart rate, digestion, and other largely unconscious functions.

But people should not think of yoga as providing the same benefit as aerobic exercise. Each potentially produces benefit in different ways.

Skip caffeine

Coffee has some health benefits, but lowering blood pressure isn’t one of them. Caffeine can cause short-term spikes in blood pressure, even in people without hypertension.

If you have high blood pressure, it’s a good idea to moderate your caffeine intake to about two cups of coffee per day. You can check whether you’re sensitive to caffeine’s blood-pressure-boosting effects by checking your blood pressure before and within a half hour after consuming your caffeinated beverage. If it increases by 5 or 10 points, you could be caffeine sensitive.

Meditate

Meditation—whether it involves chanting, breathing, visualization, or all the above—can be an effective stress-management tool for many people, Burg says. Again, the important thing is that it makes you feel good, and that you can commit to doing it consistently.

Bottom Line: High blood pressure should be controlled in order to avoid heart disease or a stroke. Many people can decrease their dependence on medication if they use a few of these ideas to lower their blood pressure. Of course, if the blood pressure does not decrease, you should speak to your doctor about one of the many blood pressure lowering medications.

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Caffeine And Urinary Incontinence

May 10, 2015

Urinary incontinence affects millions of American men. Caffeine may contribute to the problem. This blog will discuss a new study that implicates our dear cup of joe as a culprit for incontinence.

The amount of caffeine that’s typically found in just two cups of coffee may contribute to urinary incontinence in men, according to a new study.

The amount of caffeine that’s typically found in two cups of coffee may contribute to urinary incontinence in men. Therefore, men who are having problems with urinary incontinence should modify their caffeine intake.

The report doesn’t prove that caffeine causes bladder leakage, but the men in the study who consumed the most caffeine were more likely to have the problem than those who consumed the least.
Plenty of research has linked caffeine to incontinence among women. But little is known about whether there is a similar connection for men.

It’s estimated that 85% of Americans, myself included, consume caffeine regularly, both in beverages like coffee, tea and soft drinks, and in foods like candy, pastries and ice cream containing chocolate.
Estimates of urinary incontinence among US adult men range from 5% to 21%.

The recent study showed that the man who consumed an average of 169 mg of caffeine every day. That’s a little more than the typical 125 mg in a cup of coffee.

About 13% reported leaky bladder, but only 4.5% had a problem considered moderate or severe, i.e., more than a few drops of urine leakage during the course of a month.

After adjusting for the men’s age and other risk factors, the researchers found that those who consumed at least 234 mg of caffeine every day were 72% more likely to have moderate to severe urinary incontinence than those who consumed the least caffeine.

What the study found
Men who consumed more than 392 mg of caffeine daily were more than twice as likely to be incontinent.

Total water intake, in contrast, was not linked to a man’s risk of moderate to severe incontinence.

It’s not just a matter of how much fluid a person takes in. Dr Markland said that some research in women suggests caffeine irritates the bladder, and she believes that may also underlie the association in men.

Bottom Line: I don’t think it’s a call for action to stop drinking coffee but if you are having an incontinence problem, you may want to decrease your caffeine consuption.

Things To Avoid If You Have Urge Incontinence

May 10, 2015

Overactive bladder is common problem affecting millions of American men and women. The condition impacts a person’s quality of life and can make them miserable. This blood will discuss non-medical solutions that won’t cure the problem but will help control OAB.

Urge incontinence is one of the four main types of urinary incontinence.
It involves the loss of urine as a result of strong, uncontrollable urges to urinate. Certain foods, drinks and medications can worsen those urges and therefore increase the severity of your incontinence.
Consider reducing your intake of these 6 things if you suffer from urge incontinence:

1. Caffeine

A number of studies have shown caffeine to worsen urinary incontinence. Caffeine is a diuretic which means it can increase your need to urinate. For those who suffer from urge incontinence, caffeine may make the urges worse, Health24’s resident GP Dr Owen Wiese explains.
Try limiting your intake of caffeine by cutting down on coffee, certain teas, energy drinks and caffeinated fizzy drinks.

2. Spicy foods
Spicy foods are commonly known to irritate the stomach and bowel but they have been found to have a similar effect on the bladder, Dr Wiese explains. Try to avoid cooking with chilli and other spices for a while to test if your symptoms improve.

3. Certain medication

There are a number of different medications that can increase the frequency or urgency to urinate. These include:
Hypertension medication:
– Diuretics such as Hydrochlorothiazide (Ridaq) and Furosemide (Lasix)
– ACE inhibitors such as Enalapril maleate (Pharmapress; Renitec) and Captopril (CaptoHexal; Zapto)
– Alpha-antagonists including Doxazosin maleate (Cardura) Prazosin (Pratsiol)
Muscular pain medication:
– Muscle relaxants including Baclofen (Lioresal) and Orphenadrine (Norflex, Disipal)

4. Sweeteners Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame that are commonly found in diet drinks and sugar-free foods can also cause incontinence. Like spicy foods, sweeteners are known to irritate the bladder. Try adding honey or agave syrup to your tea instead of sweeteners to prevent uncontrollable urges.

5. Alcohol

If you suffer from incontinence, alcohol intake is another lifestyle factor that could be aggravating your symptoms.
Like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic and therefore increases your need to urinate. Also, being intoxicated can prevent you from realizing that you need to go to the bathroom or from getting to the bathroom in time.
Try to reduce the amount of alcohol you consume to better control your urges.

6. Citrus fruit

Citrus fruits cause the same problem as spicy foods and sweeteners. The acidity caused by the vitamin C in the fruit irritates the lining of the bladder which can increase the urge to urinate.
Try replacing citrus fruits with less acidic alternatives such as apples, watermelon and apricots.
While these different foods, beverages and medications can worsen urge incontinence, they can also have little affect on your incontinence at all. Some people are affected by alcohol and caffeine but not by citrus fruit or spicy foods.

Bottom Line: Urge incontinence is common problem but you can decrease the incontinent episodes by monitoring your foods and fluids. You don’t have to completely eliminate the culprits I’ve listed above you should decrease the consumption of these bladder irritants.

Caffeine and Menopause-Say Adieu to the Brew

September 28, 2014

Menopause can cause uncomfortable and often incapacitating hot flashes. In most instances these are temporary and will subside without any treatment.

I suggest that if you are suffering from hot flashes, then limit your caffeine consumption. Higher caffeine intake could lead to more severe hot flashes and night sweats during the menopause.

A survey of more than 2,500 women who presented with menopause-related issues at the Mayo Clinic’s Women’s Health Clinic. Researchers then compared the data from those who used caffeine with those who did not.

The study shows that those who used caffeine were more likely to report more severe hot flashes and night sweats.

However, caffeine intake was also linked to experiencing fewer problems with mood, memory and concentration, indicating that it also has its benefits. Mayo Clinic said this could be because caffeine is known to enhance arousal, attention and mood.

Bottom line: While these findings are preliminary, our study suggests that limiting caffeine intake may be useful for those postmenopausal women who have bothersome hot flashes and night sweats.

Urinary Incontinence-Non-Medication Solutions

March 9, 2014

Millions of Americans suffer from incontinence. Americans are already “polymedicated” or taking far too many drugs. Many of my patients are trying to solve problems naturally without the use of medications. This blog will discuss the treatment of urinary incontinence without prescription medications.

Incontinence is a symptom of a urinary tract problem, and there are different types of urinary incontinence. Women commonly have overactive bladder\urge incontinence or stress incontinence with the loss of urine with coughing, sneezing, or with exercise.

Men most commonly experience stress incontinence — the accidental release of urine when the bladder is under pressure — after being treated for prostate cancer.
Another type of incontinence called overflow incontinence, occurs more commonly in men. This is associated with enlarged prostate — benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). BPH can squeeze the urethra and keep the bladder from completely emptying.

Whether you have stress incontinence, urge or overflow incontinence, there are natural steps you can take to support your urinary health and restore continence. If an enlarged prostate is causing your symptoms, you can learn how to promote a normal prostate size.

The lifestyle choices you make and the foods you eat can help you regain control of your bladder. Following are several lifestyle changes you can make that will positively affect your bladder control, prostate and urinary health.
Manage Fluids

Drink pure water. While it is important to stay properly hydrated, you want to avoid drinking in the two to three hours before bedtime.
Supplements

There are several natural supplements that support the urinary tract, and many supplements that shrink the prostate. Many men find urinary health benefits from quercetin, saw palmetto, curcumin, green tea extract, cranberry, stinging nettle and pygeum.

Fruits And Vegetables
These foods are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber. These support prostate health and urinary tract health, as well as being good for the rest of you too.

Consume Healthy Fats
Healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats help promote prostate health.

Avoid Food Additives And Sugar
Some foods and additives are harmful to the prostate and your urinary function. Try to avoid the worst ingredients in processed foods.

Maintain A Healthy Weight
Being overweight can worsen symptoms of urinary incontinence by putting excess pressure on the bladder. Exercise helps promote prostate health.

Kegel Exercises
Doing Kegels every day can help improve bladder control. Other alternative treatments such as physical therapy may also be of help.

Avoid Cigarettes Or Drink
Smoking is a risk factor for stress incontinence. Alcohol increases urinary frequency, so try to limit or avoid it.

Drink Green Tea
Green tea health benefits come from its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Whether your drink it or take it as a supplement, look for caffeine-free green tea.

Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine from coffee, tea and soda can promote urinary frequency. A study on incontinence in men and caffeine shows that men who consumed 234 mg or more of caffeine every day were 72 percent more likely to have some urinary incontinence compared to men who drink small amounts.

Avoid Foods That Irritate The Bladder
Foods and drinks that can irritate the bladder include citrus fruits, citrus juice, carbonated drinks and spicy foods.

Go When You Need to Go
Don’t hold your urine when you need to go. Holding it can irritate your urinary tract and possibly lead to a urinary tract infection.

Of course, there are medications and other treatments that can help with urinary symptoms of BPH, but they have some unwanted side effects. Before taking any medications, you should give some of the natural supplements and lifestyle changes a try. They may help and they won’t hurt.

Bottom Line: The first step is to talk to your doctor about what is causing your urinary incontinence and to develop a plan for dealing with the problem. Learn as much as you can about urinary incontinence. If you suffer from urinary incontinence, try some of these non-prescription alternatives. They just might work and will decrease your dependence on Depends!

This blog was inspired and modified by an article Treat Urinary Incontinence Naturally
Dr. Geo Espinosa
http://easyhealthoptions.com/easy-health-options-digest/treat-urinary-incontinence-naturally/

Water, Water Everywhere-How To Figure What To Drink?

August 27, 2012

Example of Flavored Water


You go to the grocery store and instead of turning on the tap, you want to buy flavored water. There are several dozen choices including VitaminWater, Fruit20, Fruitopia, and Ozarka just to name a few. Many drinks labeled as water are loaded with sugar and empty calories. Even though these drinks have ‘water’ in their name, drinking them regularly may increase your calories and lead to obesity. What does one do with so many choices?

Here’s what to look for — and what to avoid.
1. Check the calories
Real water has zero calories. Always check the packaging label to see if a so-called water beverage has calories.
2. Watch out for sugar
Some so-called water drinks include sugar, fruit juice or other sweeteners. So, be sure to check the total carbohydrates and sugars on the nutrition label.
Your drink is only real water if the total carbohydrates and sugars are listed as 0.0 grams.
Over time, drinks with a lot of sugar and/or caffeine can lead to dehydration as large amounts of sugar and caffeine act like diuretics.
3. Don’t be fooled by added vitamins, minerals or fiber
It’s okay to occasionally drink a beverage with added vitamins, minerals or fiber. But beware: beverage companies often market these nutrients to trick you into thinking you’re getting something healthy — and to make you overlook the unhealthy parts of the drink, such as sugar.
Keep in mind that you should get your nutrients from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean protein whenever possible — not from drinks.
4. Electrolytes aren’t usually necessary
Many drinks promise electrolytes and improved athletic performance. But in most cases, your body doesn’t need to replenish electrolytes unless you’re doing aerobic or outdoor activity for longer than 60 minutes. Regular water should provide the hydration you need.
My advice
Whenever possible, opt for filtered tap water. Not only will you save money; you’ll also reduce your exposure to toxins like Bisphenol-A (BPA), which may get into water that’s sold or stored in plastic bottles. Play it safe by keeping your filtered tap water in a glass container.
Try to drink at least 64 ounces — or 8 glasses — of real water each day. Your body needs this much water to stay hydrated and work efficiently. And, it helps you feel full longer so that you eat less and maintain a healthy weight. Research suggests that replacing sugary drinks with water may help you shed a few pounds.
Don’t like water? Cut up berries or an orange, lime or lemon and put them into your water for extra flavor. Added bonus: you’ll get some disease-fighting vitamins and antioxidants.
Bottom Line: Water is the elixir of life. Drink lots of it, especially filtered tap water and avoid the marketing hype of flavored waters. Drink up.

This blog was modified from an article by Mary Ellen Herndon, a dietitian at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The article appeared in Dr. Kevin Pho’s blog, http://www.kevinmd.com

Your Morning Cup of Jo Won’t Make You Go (Urinate)

May 28, 2012
Morning Coffee

Go ahead and have a sip, it won’t affect your bladder

For years the standard advice doctors gave patients was that coffee\caffeine contributed to urinary incontinence. Now we know that women with urinary incontinence who also enjoy their regular cup of coffee or tea don’t have to worry about the extra caffeine making their condition worse.
The new research stands in contrast to the common recommendation that women with incontinence avoid caffeinated foods and beverages.

A recent study from Harvard showed that women with moderate incontinence shouldn’t be concerned about their caffeine consumption. All women, even those without incontinence, need to know that caffeine increases the production of urine and may give some the urge to urinate.

The researchers looked at data on roughly 21,500 women enrolled in two large studies, each of which tracked the long-term health of U.S. nurses through surveys starting in the 1970s or 1980s. The study included women with moderate incontinence — defined as leaking urine one to three times per month — from participants who were asked about incontinence and caffeine consumption in 2002 or 2003.

The women were questioned about how much caffeine they consumed in the form of coffee, tea, soda or chocolate. Two years later, when they were again surveyed about incontinence, about 20% said their symptoms had gotten worse and they now leaked urine at least once per week.
The percentage of women with urinary incontinence progression was similar across categories of baseline level of caffeine intake. Similarly, they were unable to find a link between increased caffeine consumption and worsening urinary symptoms — either for general incontinence or for overactive bladder in particular.

Bottom Line: If you are a woman with mild to moderate urinary incontinence, caffeine in moderation will probably not worsen your urinary symptoms
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/IJ1RzF (April 23, 2012 in Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology)

3 Cups Of Coffee A Day May Keep The Skin Doctor Away

November 12, 2011

Just when you heard that coffee is bad for you, here’s some news to use that can counter the bad news. Brand-new research finds that people who drink coffee are at reduced risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, the most common form of skin cancer. And the more they drink, the lower the risk.
The data came out of the Nurses’ Health Study at the Harvard School of Public Health that followed 113,000 subjects. They found 25,480 incidences of skin cancer, 22,786 of the basal cell carcinoma, 1,953 squamous cell carcinoma and 741 melanoma.
The data showed that women who consumed more than three cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of basal cell carcinoma compared with those who drank less than a cup a month. For men, the reduced risk was more modest, just 9 percent. But those percentages add up, given that about 1 million new cases of basal cell carcinoma are diagnosed each year, according to the press release announcing the unpublished research.
There was no association between coffee consumption and either squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma. And the researchers found no reduction in skin cancer risk among those who drank decaffeinated coffee.
Though easily treated through minor surgery and not typically deadly, basal cell carcinoma can, if left untreated, spread to other parts of the body. Those with a history of basal cell carcinoma are at increased risk of more dangerous squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.
Bottom Line: Coffee, like almost everything else in life, needs to be taken in moderation. It may just decrease your risk of skin cancer….but I still suggest using sun screen!
This blog was modified from an article in the Washington Post on 10-25-2011 Jennifer LaRue Huget

Kicking The Caffeine Habit

October 31, 2011

I have to admit I have an addiction to caffeine. About twice a year I will try to come off of this not so terrible habit of consuming one of the world’s most popular drugs. I’m happy to share with you a technique that works for me.
Nearly 90 percent of American adults drink coffee on a regular basis. More than 50 percent of adults, meanwhile, consume a little more than three cups of coffee a day.
But caffeine is a tricky stimulant to shake. Although tolerance levels vary, drinking just 100 milligrams per day — the amount of a small cup of brewed coffee — and then giving it up can lead to withdrawal symptoms ranging from headaches and depression to flulike nausea and muscle pain.
Caffeine might have some health benefits, but so far research is weak. Some kinds of migraine headaches cause blood vessels to widen which causes the severe pounding head pain. Caffeine temporarily causes them to narrow thus relieving the discomfort. Coffee might also help reduce your risk of Parkinson’s disease.
But coffee — like sugary breakfast foods — can create a cycle of extreme energy swings. The National Institutes of Health reports that caffeine raises blood pressure and increases feelings of stress, anxiety and road rage. It can leave you feeling wired 12 to 16 hours after the previous cup, wreaking havoc on sleep. And it can exacerbate health conditions such as diabetes by making blood sugar rise faster than usual.
To start weaning yourself off the dark, delicious brew, figure out how much caffeine you’re ingesting during the day, including soft drinks and energy drinks.
One strategy is to drink 8 ounces of water when you wake up. This seems to slow coffee consumption and also works if you have a morning diet or regular soda habit.
Some people can go cold turkey. Others need to gradually reduce.
If you’re a heavy coffee drinker — eight cups a day — gradual withdrawal can help prevent the dreaded headaches and fogginess. If you drink two cups, you might be able to bite the bullet and wrestle through a day or two of some slight withdrawal symptoms. If you do go cold turkey, it is best to do it on a weekend or on a vacation.
My approach, because I consume so much coffee, is to gradually reduce the amount of caffeine by drinking half regular and half decaffeinated and gradually increasing the amount of decaf.
You can also try tea — black or yerba mate — which has the richness of coffee without that much caffeine. Rooibos, from South Africa, is an herbal tea that has a rich body similar to black tea, without any caffeine. Green tea and white tea are also great choices.
Fruit juices might seem like a healthy option to coffee, but it’s better to avoid all sugar-sweetened beverages, whether it’s added or high in natural sugar.
The stomach doesn’t feel full, so the brain can’t know it, and you keep eating. Because they [sugary beverages] boost glycemic load, they inflame arteries, disable insulin and clog up the beta-cells in the pancreas, where insulin is made. They can also make the liver store fat. This is not a trade off you want to make.
I also find that consuming several bottles of sparkling water is also a nice substitute. The water is a nice thirst quencher and the sparkling water creates gas in your upper gastrointestinal tract giving you a feeling of satiety.

Bottom Line: It probably isn’t unhealthy to drink a few, one to two, cups of coffee or consume one or two caffeinated beverages a day. When you get to 8-10 cups or bottles a day, then there’s a good reason for finding an alternative. I hope these suggestions are helpful.

A Cup Java and Prevent Fatal Prostate Cancer

June 2, 2011

Men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a recent multicenter study.

The study’s authors from Harvard Medical School also found that the lower risk was evident among men who drank either regular or decaffeinated coffee.

The study examined the association between coffee consumption and the risk of aggressive prostate cancer among 47,911 U.S. men who reported their coffee consumption every 4 years from 1986 to 2008. During the study period, 5,035 cases of prostate cancer were reported, including 642 fatal or metastatic cases.

Findings included the following:

Men who consumed the most coffee (six or more cups daily) had nearly a 20% lower risk of developing any form of prostate cancer.

Men who drank the most coffee had a 60% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.

Results from the study were published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (May 17, 2011).