The Opioid Crisis in Las Vegas and the U.S.

Many people today are well aware of the dangers of abusing prescription medication, yet America’s opioid epidemic continues to thrive on the millions of individuals that depend on this medication to find pain relief, or comfort. Today, drug overdoses have become the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, and it is expected to worsen with time.

Though this epidemic is spread throughout the country, Las Vegas and the entire state of Nevada have been found to have the fourth highest rate of drug overdose deaths. Opioids are continuing to be prescribed in a careless manner, and until healthcare providers begin to exercise caution, Americans will remain at a constant risk of becoming addicted to the very same medications meant to help them.

To better understand why the epidemic has become so unrelenting, it’s best to look at the science of it all first. Opioids stimulate the brain’s opiate receptors, much like heroin and morphine. Their effects are greatly enhanced when taken via less traditional methods of consumption, like snorting or injecting the crushed substances. The most commonly prescribed opioids, hydrocodone and oxycodone, are considered semi-synthetic due to being synthesized with opium, much like heroin.

Medical professionals often prescribe opioids in the event of a major surgery or serious accident. While they can be helpful in this sense, allowing patients to take them any longer than the allotted recovery time would be careless. Even more disconcerting is the fact that these are very commonly prescribed for much less significant health issues, like regular back or joint pain. It’s cases like this that lead to more harm than good due to long term use, and eventual addiction.

With all that being said, doctors are not entirely to blame for the country’s opioid crisis. It seemed to begin when a number of pharmaceutical companies launched a campaign that downplayed the risks of opioid use, and falsely detailed the ‘many benefits’ that come with long term use, when in reality, overuse can worsen health problems.

The rise in overdose deaths from opioid began to slow in 2011, which then led to an increase in overdose deaths caused by heroin. Though the theory exists that those addicted to opioids essentially switched to heroin due to its price and obtainability, that is only somewhat true. It wasn’t until 2013 that medical examiners began to test for the presence of fentanyl in patients who had overdosed on heroin, which indicated that fentanyl was killing more individuals via overdose than heroin.

Today, the United States’ opioid consumption is considerably higher than that of our European neighbors, clearly showing that healthcare professionals in America must be much more prudent when prescribing these medications. A contributing factor is the lack of access to addiction treatment many Americans face, forcing them to rely upon the opioids, which are much easier to access. Until this is sternly addressed by the medical community, the country will continue to see a spike in opioid addictions and overdoses; more than enough reason to take a step back and rethink our methods of treatment.

How to Know When You’re Experiencing Inflammation

Inflammation is the process through which the body’s white blood cells protect it against illness, infection, or injury. There are also two types of inflammation: acute inflammation and chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation is necessary to heal the body and has signs like pain, redness, warmth, or swelling. During chronic inflammation, on the other hand, an individual is only aware that he or she has inflammation when symptoms start to occur. Chronic inflammation is the problem type as it occurs if the body’s immune system is trying to fend off an infection but is not succeeding. On that premise, the following article presents several common indications of a chronic inflammatory condition.

Body Pain 

Joint pains and muscle aches are examples of body pain that are caused by systemic inflammation. When inflammatory cytokines are found in high levels in the body, they can attack joints or muscles, which may result in redness, swelling, and pain, to mention a few. 

Skin Rashes

Skin rashes, such as psoriasis and eczema, are characterized by flaky, red, and rough skin and are considered inflammatory skin conditions. Both of these skin conditions are related to a hypersensitivity of the body’s immune system. In addition to that, individuals with psoriasis or eczema are also more likely to have inflammatory mast cells that trigger skin rashes to the surface when activated. 

Excessive Production of Mucus

To protect epithelial cells in the respiratory system, mucous membranes produce phlegm, which is a thick substance, that results in coughing, a runny nose, and sneezing. 

Low Energy

Constant feelings of fatigue despite getting enough sleep could indicate that the body is trying to fend off chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation requires a lot of cellular energy, which depletes the necessary fuel that the organism needs to stay energized.

Poor Digestion

Digestion problems, such as bloating, constipation, abdominal pain, and loose stool, can also indicate a chronic inflammation condition. Chronic inflammation can cause toxins and bacteria to leak through the intestines’ walls into the rest of the body: this leaky gut issue further powers chronic inflammation and digestive problems.

The Best Winter Foods for Staying Healthy

With winter on the doorstep, it’s vital to make sure that you’re eating healthy to keep any illnesses at bay. No one has the time or energy to fall ill with a cold or flu. Many may turn to warm soups and delicious holiday treats during this time of year, but a focus on foods that boost immunity should be prioritized.

  1. Soups
    There are many soups to choose from that are filled to bursting with flavor and nutritious value. Aside from the traditional chicken noodle and tomato varieties, try loaded cauliflower or a classic beef stew loaded with sweet root veggies. Creamy spinach with plenty of garlic or ginger carrot are varieties that your immune system will especially love!
  2. Leafy Greens
    Many children may hate these kinds of vegetables, but equally as many mothers know how important eating these veggies can be! Many are chock full of iron, which is essential to keep your immune system running in tiptop shape. Like spinach, others contain zinc, which is another component needed to ensure any viruses encountered are quickly dispatched.
  3. Citrus Fruits
    For keeping your energy and immunity levels high, go for your citrus fruits! Vitamin C is your friend this time of year. If possible, try to go for fresh fruits over juices. While juices are great in a pinch, they can be loaded with added sugars. They make perfect snacks!
  4. Oatmeal
    Oatmeal is known for keeping your heart healthy, but it can also assist with giving you energy. This breakfast staple is known for making you feel fuller quicker and longer since it is a slow-release food. Enjoying your oats with nuts or fruits can also add more nutrients to your meal to make it an even better way to begin the day!

Wintertime, like any time of year, is full of amazing foods to enjoy. Choosing ones that will keep one healthy is crucial. From oatmeal for breakfast to soups for lunch to veggies and fruits for dinnertime and snacking, you’ll find yourself more resistant to any illnesses lurking around. Do your best to make good winter food choices, and your body will thank you for it.

Tips To Help You Avoid Eating Late At Night

Eating late at night is a bad habit that many people often succumb to. Sometimes it’s due to the hours they work or perhaps they’re just night owls. Many people become bored late at night and choose to eat in order to fill the boredom. Whatever the reason is, late night snacking can be detrimental in a myriad of ways. It can be difficult to kick this bad habit but it’s more than possible to do so if you have perseverance. Here are a few tips to help you avoid eating late at night.

Figure Out Triggers

One reason people choose to eat late at night is because of some sort of trigger in their life. Perhaps they’re bored, or maybe they see a commercial for a food they love. It can be hard to avoid these triggers but if you can figure out exactly what triggers you, you’ll have an easier time keeping it under control. For example, if there’s a certain snack you find yourself repeatedly eating late at night, you may want to avoid stocking that item in your home. If you’re consistently seeing a commercial for your favorite late night take out, perhaps think about doing something where you can’t see that commercial at that hour, such as reading a book.

Create A Meal Schedule

Another reason people end up late night snacking is due to having irregular eating habits throughout the day. Perhaps you avoid eating much throughout the day and then eat a large dinner, thinking you won’t be hungry again late at night. If you’re someone like this, try creating and following a consistent meal schedule of three balanced meals throughout your day. If done daily, your hunger later at night will not be as strong, and then you’ll wake up feeling hungry and ready to eat your first meal of the day.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Eating late at night can also be linked to not getting enough sleep. If you work a regular 9 to 5 and are up late at night, that may be the reason you eat late at night. While this may seem obvious, the fact that you’re up late at night may be you mistaking tiredness for hunger. Instead, try going to sleep earlier and ensuring you’re getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. This may help you get that late night snacking under control.

 

This article was originally published on ZeehanHoobhoy.com

Tips For Eating Healthy During Quarantine

The world has been quite different since most people across the globe have gone into quarantine as a way to flatten the curve with the novel coronavirus pandemic. Many of us have been stuck in our homes and have lost our jobs, meaning it can be difficult to keep up with many of the healthy habits we stuck with prior to all of this. This means the struggle of eating healthy is more present than ever, especially with supply shortages of various kinds throughout the country and the stress that comes with being stuck at home, losing your job, and worrying for your own health and the health of your loved ones. Here are a few ways you can try and stick to eating healthy while stuck at home.

Have An Eating Schedule

Before the quarantine began, most of the country would have set schedules. We’d wake up at the same time everyday, go to work at the same time and even eat at certain times. Now that we’re stuck at home, a lot of that has gone out the door. Sure, there are plenty of people who are still working from home, but regardless of that, it can be difficult to actually stick to a schedule when you’re not actively moving from your home, to your workplace, and back throughout the day. It’s important to eat at least 3 meals a day, and that you try and have those 3 meals around the same time each day. If you’ve got a family, it can be a daily family activity to prepare and eat your meals together.

Be Careful Of Snacking

Since you’ll be stuck at home much more often, snacking is inevitable. It’s important that if you’re going to snack, you snack on healthy foods. Stock up on fresh fruit or generally healthier snacks as opposed to buying yourself chips, cookies and other unhealthy things. It’s also important to drink plenty of water as opposed to soda or other sugary drinks. Most importantly, learn to identify when you’re actually hungry or if you’re just thirsty. Sometimes eating seems like the best way to pass the time when bored, and that can become an extremely unhealthy habit very quickly.

Get Plenty Of Vitamin C

Our immune system’s are extremely important, especially during times like this. A great way to make sure you take care of your immune system is by ingesting plenty of Vitamin C. Orange juice is a great source of Vitamin C, but you can also eat strawberries, broccoli, kiwi, and plenty of other fruits and vegetables.

This article was originally published on Zeehanhoodbhoy.com

Healthy and Creative Salad Toppings

When it comes to salads, most have a very black and white idea of how a salad should look: mixed greens, carrots, onions, tomatoes, croutons, cheese, and your favorite dressing. While salads are always a healthy option, adding different toppings throughout the week helps to increase the variety of nutrients gained from the salad and help to “spice” it up.

Check out these top ideas for adding more flavor and nutrition to your salad.

Tofu – For those who have never tried it, it may not be the easiest choice to put it on a salad. But don’t let its uniqueness stop you. Tofu lowers risk for diabetes, obesity and heart disease, while also acting as a versatile topping: grill it for a firmer texture or use it as a mix for an (eggless) egg salad. Did we mention tofu has also been associated with cancer prevention?

Nuts & Seeds – It is no secret that nuts and seeds are loaded with nutrition. However, it is less known how well they go with a salad. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds and walnuts and almonds make for the best salads. Along with the added crunch they provide, nuts and seeds are packed with Omega-3 fats, vitamin E, protein, fiber and more.

Chickpeas – These jack of all trades improves bone, heart, and gut health, as well as improves memory and sleep. Jam-packed with protein, chickpeas are a perfect addition of any salad. All you need is a small handful added to your daily salad!

Avocado – The benefits of eating avocados don’t even need to be mentioned at this point, right? On top of the low-calorie count and the improved blood pressure and cholesterol, avocados are an excellent substitute for that creamy texture often looked for in calorie-loaded dressing.

Berries – Darker berries are known for their superior vitamin and nutrients content, but all berries offer important sources of fiber, vitamin C, and more. Adding these fruits to your salad helps to curb sweet-tooth cravings and helps the body absorb the iron in the greens.

Egg – This salad topping isn’t the most creative, but it does offer benefits for your health. One added hard-boiled egg provides six grams of protein and more than 15 minerals and vitamins at the cost of 77 calories. Add to the fact that they make meals feel more fulfilling and take about ten minutes to cook; they should essentially be a go-to salad topper.

This article was originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com.

Healthy Snacks to Assist in Weight Loss

Trying to take off a few pounds is tough. Snacks can help keep the hunger at bay, but they also contain calories and can derail even the most conscientious weight loss efforts. The good news is that nutrition professionals generally agree on one thing — snacking to lose weight can be a boon or bust depending on how it’s done. For a slimmer waistline, choose some of the following foods to nosh on between meals.

Apples and Peanut Butter

Peanut butter has about 200 calories per not-so-generous serving, but it’s also packed with filling protein. Dip slices of a fiber-rich apple in a tablespoon full and get a serving of fruit plus a dose of heart- and gut-healthy flavor in one quick snack.

Pistachios

Nuts were once off limits to dieters because of their high-calorie content, but their protein and beneficial fats are now known to help mitigate hunger. Almonds are a popular choice, but pistachios have half the calories for the same size serving and feel like a decadent indulgence.

Greek Yogurt and Strawberries

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, but it also contains calcium, an essential mineral thought to increase fat metabolism and give dieters an edge. Avoid brands with excess sugar. For sweetness and a punch of Vitamin C, add a half-cup of sliced strawberries.

Whole Fruit

Whole fruit is the original convenience food. It needs little preparation and comes in enough varieties to keep snacking both exciting and filling. Full of fiber, micronutrients, and fluid, fruit like pears, oranges, grapes, melons, and bananas are a sweet treat no dieter has to sacrifice.

Olives

Olives are a healthy Mediterranean staple with enough salt to be a satisfying substitute for junk food like chips. A generous serving has only 150 calories and contains compounds that fight insulin resistance and weight gain.

Broth

A cup of warm, low-calorie broth on a cold day feels like a meal any time without the calories. Research shows that having it twenty minutes before lunch or dinner helps dieters eat less, and if it’s vegetable-based, it also offers valuable fiber and vitamins.

The wrong snacks can spell diet disaster, but these nutrition-packed choices are just what the doctor ordered for controlling hunger while trying to peel off those extra pounds.

This article was originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com.

The Best Supplements for Building Muscle

Everyone has a different fitness goal. Some people want to gain muscle mass. Some people want to lower their body fat percentage. There are also those health seekers who wish to accomplish both of these goals simultaneously by getting thinner and leaner while also building muscle mass. Because losing weight requires a reduction in calories and increasing muscle requires an increase in calories, this approach is difficult, but not impossible. It requires a lot of patience and a combination of cardio exercise and strength training.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) has stated that, in addition to all the work that gets done in the gym, a lot of the work is also done in the kitchen. A lean diet consisting mostly of protein and whole foods is the recommended choice for people trying to gain muscle and lose fat. However, since people are largely unable to consume the recommended quantities of muscle-producing food they need without ingesting too many calories, they tend to augment their dietary intake by turning to supplemental aids. a growing trend. Over the next five years, the dietary supplement market is expected to reach over $349.4 billion, but it’s important to note that not all supplements are created equally. Here are some of the ones that are worth your money and time (and health).

Creatine is found naturally in red meat and fish and is naturally synthesized by the body. It is made up of three amino acids: methionine, glycine, and arginine. It is known to increase muscle growth, strength, and memory, according to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN). The recommended amount that should be consumed each day is 1–3 grams, which is a lot. One pound of red meat contains 5 grams of creatine. This is a good supplement for vegetarians as well since they aren’t getting any beef-sourced creatine staples in their diet.

Caffeine does more than get you moving. It has also been found to increase our tolerance for pain, making it possible to train harder and giving us the ability to fight the excuses when we aren’t excited to go to the gym. Endurance and stamina and consistency are major components of any fitness routine. The recommended amount of caffeine per day is between three and six milligrams for every 2.2 pounds. Even if you aren’t a coffee drinker, you can take caffeine supplements.

Whey Protein is also a vital ingredient on your fitness journey if you want to build lean muscle. This is a low-calorie way to ingest a substantial amount of protein into your system. But the recommended daily intake of 1 gram of protein per day for every pound of body weight is too much for the average person who is trying to lose fat. Whey protein supplements outshine their competitors because they absorb quickly, making them ideal for a post-workout supplement.

This article was originally published on Medium.com.

Refueling Your Body After a Run

Maintaining a consistent jogging schedule while you train for a marathon is important, but you also need to know how to properly refuel your body after a strenuous run. This means not just knowing what to eat and drink, but knowing how to pace yourself. Here are some tips that can help.

Hydrate Yourself, but Don’t Drink Too Fast

You obviously need to hydrate yourself after a long run, but you have to be careful not to drink too quickly. Downing a gallon of water or sports drink immediately after your run will result in expelling most of the liquid and electrolytes that you take in through either sweat or urine.

When you finish your run, immediately drink about 500ml (equal to 17 ounces) of water afterward. After that, take smaller drinks of water over the next few hours until you’ve reached your pre-run weight.

The 4:1 Ratio

You will need to replenish your muscles with carbohydrates and protein within about 30 to 45 minutes of finishing your run. If your next training session isn’t for at least 24 hours, you can wait for about an hour before eating something. As a rule, try to stick to a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. This means for every four ounces of carbohydrates you consume, you should also eat one gram of protein.

As for what kinds of food to eat, your carbohydrates can come from bread, potatoes, whole-wheat pasta, and other high-glycemic index foods. Your protein can come from lean beef, chicken or turkey breast, Greek yogurt, salmon, or eggs. You obviously shouldn’t gorge yourself on these foods, and the way you prepare them will make a difference. For example, a fried chicken meal is definitely a bad idea, but quinoa salad or some whole-wheat pasta with some lean meat will be just fine.

If you can’t prepare a full meal after your run, you can still get a boost from the right kind of snack. Try a protein shake, a 12-ounce glass of milk, or an apple or banana with peanut butter if you want a quick pick-me-up before your next meal.

Whenever you are training for a long-distance run, remember that what you do before and after exercising is just as important as what you do during a workout. Keep these tips in mind, remember not to push yourself too hard, and good luck with your training!

This article was originally published on ZeeshanHoodbhoy.com.