Vitiligo

Vitiligo is a form of an autoimmune disease that leads to the loss of skin color. The rate and extent of the color loss from skin is very unpredictable as it can easily affect any part of the skin across the body. In some cases, the condition may also affect the eyes, inside of the mouth and the hair as well.
Vitiligo mostly occurs whenever the cells that produce melamine die or stop to function.
This skin condition can affect people with any skin color or type, but is most noticeable in those people who have darker skin. This disease is neither life threatening nor is it contagious. It can simply be stressful and might make the affected individual feel conscious about themselves.
There are different kinds of treatments that can help improve the affected person’s appearance but does not cure the problem.
Symptoms for vitiligo
The main symptom for vitiligo is the loss of skin color leading to appearance of white patches across the skin. Typically, the condition may be triggered by sun exposure and affect areas such as the feet, hands, lips and face. From there, it may then spread across the whole body.
Some other associated symptoms may include
• The discoloration of the skin
• The premature whitening of the hair, eyebrows, beard or eyelashes before the age of 35
• The losing of color in the nose and mouth
• The loss or changing of color in the retina (inside layer of the eyeball)
• Discolored patches around the armpits
Vitiligo can happen to anyone at any age but in most instances appears before the age of 20.
Depending on the type of vitiligo, discoloration will affect different parts of the body:
• Generalised vitiligo: This is the most common type of vitiligo and can cover up the whole body symmetrically.
• Segmental vitiligo: This condition impacts only one side of the body. The onset will typically be a very young age, may go on for a few years and then come to a stop.
• Localized vitiligo: With this condition patches may only appear on one or only a few areas of the body.
Causes leading to vitiligo
Experts have no specific reason what the cells simply die of or fail to work, but different researches may suggest that vitiligo may be an autoimmune disease that may have attached and destroyed all the melanocytes in affected person’s skin. Being an autoimmune condition, there is also the possibility of inheriting vitiligo.
Otherwise the skin discoloration can be caused by external factors like stress, sunburn or even due to the exposure to industrial chemicals.
Complications caused by vitiligo
Even though vitiligo isn’t contagious or dangerous there may be a few risks that the affected individual may have to face. Common among these are psychological or social distress, severe sunburn, a higher risk of developing skin cancer and certain eye problems in the iris due to inflammation.
On occasion, affected individuals may also experience loss of hearing. There can also be side effects due to the treatment carried out for patients with vitiligo such as skin irritation leading to itching or dry skin problems.

Vitamin D Deficiency- Could It Be the Cause Of Your Symptoms

Vitamin D helps regulate the calcium and phosphorous levels in our body. It is also known to help make bones stronger by keeping the bone density at a normal level. However research has proved that these are not the only things which vitamin D can help with but it is also known to help in the metabolic processes of the body and keep our immune system strong.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a number of illnesses including

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Low metabolic syndrome
  • Heart diseases
  • Recurrent pain of the joints and muscles.

Who Could Be At Risk For Vitamin D Deficiency

The following people can be at risk for vitamin D deficiency

  • People who are essentially vegetarian
  • Those who suffer from lactose intolerance or have a milk allergy
  • People who avoid going out in the sun

The sun is a natural source of vitamin D. Those who avoid exposing their bodies to the sun may be deficient in vitamin D. It is even found in foods like fish, liver, egg yolks and milk. The main reason why vitamin D is essential because it help regulates the calcium and phosphorous levels in the body.

Risk Factors of Vitamin D Deficiency

The following are a few risk factors of lack of vitamin D in the body

  • Excessive day time sleepiness
  • High rate of cardio vascular disease
  • Asthma especially in children
  • High blood sugar levels and glucose intolerance
  • Risk of certain cancers

What Causes Vitamin D Deficiency

  • People who do not have a varied diet or are strictly vegan might suffer from a lack of vitamin D.
  • Those who live in northern areas where the exposure to the sun is limited or are house bound or wear long robes could suffer from vitamin D deficiency.
  • Dark skinned individuals are unable to process vitamin D because of their skin pigmentation
  • Some people’s kidneys are unable to covert the vitamin D to an active form.
  • The digestive tract is unable to absorb the vitamin in the body
  • There are even certain diseases which might cause problems like celiac diseases, Crohn’s disease
  • Individuals who are overweight might also suffer from it because their digestive tract is unable to process vitamin D.

A test can help determine the lack of vitamin d in the body. If you believe that you could be at risk for deficiency ask your doctor to help specify a blood test for you.

 

Treatment Options

Treatment can be in the form of supplements and increasing the amount of vitamin d in your diet by eating foods which are supposed to be rich in this vital nutrient. Those who use a great deal of sunscreen can benefit from taking a supplement prescribed from their doctor. Children must be exposed to sun light to lower their risk of contracting rickets or bone bending disease. For further advise make sure to visit your physician.

 

 

Walk Towards Health-All There Is To Walking

Walking is simple. It’s easy; you don’t need any expensive equipment. You don’t need to enroll in expensive gym classes. All you need is a good pair of walking shoes and you are as ready as can get. Walking has a number of benefits healths wise. However there is nothing like a brisk walk to get your mind working in over drive. Once you start walking, there is simply no slowing you down. The following are some of the ways in which you can make your walking routine a fitness workout.

We All Need To Start Somewhere

Ask any avid walker, they will share with you how they too started from block one. Similarly if you find yourself unmotivated to get off the couch every day, try walking 3 to 4 times a week. A brisk walk spanning for 30 minutes is great for improve blood circulation. It helps give a boost in energy and helps jumpstart concentration levels. According to the American Heart Association walking few times a week can help people live a healthier lifestyle.

Motivate Yourself

The motivation to walk is perhaps the most difficult step for most people who haven’t ever exercised. There are however a few simple tips which can help you get motivated and stay on track as well.

  • Invest in a pedometer. A pedometer shows the number of steps you have taken in a particular walking session. Slowly and steadily make your way towards walking a few extra steps each day. You would be surprised to see how soon you will be able to easily manage 10000 steps a day.
  • Try walking with a companion. This can help you stay motivated. A partner who is there to urge you on as your progress slows down. Maybe when you find yourself faltering a friend can help make you take that one extra round.
  • Reward yourself for the every week that you walk. It could be anything from a nice pair of goggles to a new hair accessory. A haircut or a visit to the beautician. Avoid giving yourself rewards in the forms of food. This can result in you going on a binge and indulging in all the sinfully delicious foods.
  • Once you see improvement in your progress, try and make walking more challenging for yourself. Improve the briskness of your walk. Start walking on different surfaces. Walking in the sand, grass and an uneven terrain can help make walking a bit tricky.
  • Adding a backpack can help too. However it’s advisable to avoid any sort of hand weights or ankle weights as these might change your walking gait and result in an injury.

Health Benefits

  • It helps prevent heart diseases and strokes. According to the Stroke Association a brisk 30 minutes walk can help lower blood pressure.
  • It even helps lower the chances of contracting type2 diabetes, asthma and even some types of cancer.
  • Helps improve muscle mass and tones the body.
  • It’s a great weight bearing exercises so can benefit those who might be prone to osteoporosis.
  • Helps improve posture and strengthen the sore. According to Joanna Hall, the founder of Walk Active, walking with a correct posture can help take inches of the waist.

With so many benefits it’s no wonder that walking is considered to be the best form of exercise.

 

 

Your Habits Can Impact Your Health in the Next 2 Decades

Our daily health habits, the foods that we eat, our lifestyle and our activities can significantly impact our over-all health in the upcoming decades. Especially for the younger generation, many would think that when you are young, still healthy and physically strong, you never have to worry about your health. But based in a new study that was conducted by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany; the current habits of individuals affect the outcome of your over-all health and well-being in the next 20 years.

Future Impacts of Health and Fitness

The research study was conducted Karlsruhe Institute of Technology alongside the researchers from the University of Konstanz, University of Bayreuth and TechnischeUniversitätMünchen. The study made use of data from 252 men and 243 women with an ave. age of 45. Using the so-called 4-stage “biophsychosocial model”, the study aims to determine factors that can significantly affect the future health and fitness outcomes.

In the first stage, the factors being considered include: socio-economic status, migration background and environmental factors. In the second stage, personal details are taken into account like social support, stress management, etc. The third stage is comprised of personal habits like nutrition, behavior and physical exercise to name a few. The fourth stage includes physical fitness.

With the given data, the researchers found out that our current habits now will affect us 18 years later. All of the factors in the 4 different stages directly and indirectly affect the over-all health and fitness of the participants. Among the different factors that have a major influence include: nutrition habits, migration background, physical exercise, migration background, stress management and socioeconomic status.

The two factors like physical exercise and nutrition do not only take affect 18 years after but as well as in the succeeding years. This particular study only reveals that it is essential that as early as possible, people adopt health habits emphasizing the fact that prevention is definitely cure.

Have a Healthy and Active Lifestyle

For those in the early adult stage, it is strongly recommended to be aware and more health conscious. To reduce the risk of having certain illnesses and diseases when you get old, it is better to start being physically fit. Fill your daily eating habits with nutritious foods that contain essential vitamins and minerals needed by the body. Avoid eating foods that contain too much sugar and fats as well as processed foods.

When it comes to physical activities, you must allot 30 minutes in most days of the week to find time to exercise. Although there is no guarantee that you will not have any illness when you get old, at least you reduce your risk factors. Even for those who are already in the late adult stage, it is never too late to emphasize and value the importance of being healthy.

By acquiring the right habits that will benefits your over-all health, you can save yourself from a lot of health related worries in the future.

 

 

 

 

Vitamin D Deficiency

I live in the Middle East and the weather here is very hot all year round. Especially from March till October, it gets so hot that you cannot even step out of your house. The highest temperature can go to 45’C any given day in May, the lowest being 38’C. So instead of running, playing sports, etc, people spend a lot of time indoors, in air conditioned homes.

On top of it, there lifestyle is destructive. Most people like to go to malls, cinemas, Souqs, Cafes, hotels etc. Very few people go to the gym or eat a healthier diet. Chocolates, chips, burgers, the usual fast food is much liked here. There are usually two or three queues in McDonalds or KFS but not a single person in a juice cafeteria.

One of the major side effects of spending so much time indoors is not getting enough vitamin D. Sun is the best source of this vitamin and the lack of it gives rise to a lot of diseases. Your bones start to weaken, your body aches when you do minor things like lifting a table, hair starts to fall out etc. There is a chance of Rickets in kids, adults with diseases like Osteoporosis (bones get weak), Osteomalacia (Bone pain) are more prone to accidents.

I can sense when I have not spent enough time in the sun, because if the AC rays directly hit my arm, it will be aching like its detached, in the morning.

Around 78 percent of the UAE population is Vitamin D deficient, according to Emirates 24/7.

The best way to get Vitamin D is simply sitting outside in the sun, for a few minutes, exposing your skin to it. Our body stores Vitamin D, releasing it when needed. It takes very little time for your skin to absorb the sunlight, more specifically the Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. Sitting in sun for a mere 15 minutes, three or four times a week, does the trick for deficient people.

People need to get out more. Middle East has some excellent parks and outdoor facilities. Take advantage of that. Pack a football, badminton rackets, a few snacks and take your kids out for a day out in the sunshine. Take there cell phone, I pads, PSP go etc and tell them that there challenge of the day is to let their body enjoy it. When driving, let your windows down, once in a while. Roll up the blinds, open your windows, letting in natural light. Get a swing for the back porch and drink tea there in the evenings.

Our bodies need care and attention to be fit, away from diseases. Incorporate vegetables in your diet (and not just French fries), go for a run outside your house, you may discover a cat with purple eyes, wandering about.

Make healthy lifestyle fun. It should be called fun lifestyle instead of healthy lifestyle. Because healthy sounds like a disgusting medicine given to kids who don’t listen to their parents.

So for a better future, adopt a fun lifestyle. Go out in the sun and play.

……….

Links used to get some information and facts.

http://www.emirates247.com/news/emirates/most-uae-residents-suffer-from-vitamin-d-deficiency-2014-10-10-1.565711

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-929-vitamin%20d.aspx?activeingredientid=929&activeingredientname=vitamin%20d

http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/how-do-i-get-the-vitamin-d-my-body-needs/

Written By,

Sumaica Asad Piracha.