We’ll take it easy on you with this week’s post as we head into another weekend. Sometimes I have to repeatedly re-read some of the facts and figures during my constant investigation of the ever growing and changing research. These are a few of those “double take” paragraphs that I have compiled and felt compelled to share. Take it in, embrace the empowerment and make the necessary changes.
DEPRESSION – INFLAMMATORY DIET LINK
For 12 years, researchers tracked the diet habits and health outcomes of more than 43,000 women — none of whom had depression at the start of the study period. Here’s what they found: Women who sipped soft drinks, ate fatty red meat, or consumed refined grains (like pasta, white bread, crackers, or chips) daily were 29 to 41% more likely to be diagnosed or treated for depression than those who stuck to a healthier diet. Blood tests revealed that women who ate the above foods also tested significantly higher for three biomarkers of inflammation.
GOT PAIN? PATIENT BEWARE
Back pain accounts for more than $100 billion in annual U.S. healthcare costs and is the second leading cause of physician visits and hospitalizations.
What Happens When Physicians Don’t Know How to Treat Pain?
They resort to the only treatment they know: prescription drugs to treat inflammation, arthritis, back pain, stress, and autoimmunity. And now we’re facing another epidemic on top of chronic pain: prescription drug abuse.
The latter has been called the fastest-growing drug problem in the US by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the number of deaths from opioid painkillers like hydrocodone and oxycodone rose nearly four-fold between 1999 and 2009. Pain medications were involved in 14,800 overdose deaths in 2008.
The overdoses now kill more people than cocaine and heroin combined. As USA Today recently reported, more US states are now taking action to try and stop this growing problem.
STROKE: MORE EVIDENCE TO GET UP, MOVE AND NOT BE A STATISTIC
The American Heart Association reports 800,000 Americans suffer from stroke each year. Stroke is the leading cause of disability in the US and the fourth leading cause of death. Up to 80 percent of strokes are preventable, because for the most part, strokes are the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices.
Recent research published in the journal Stroke found that, if you’re inactive, you have a 20 percent higher risk for having a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) than people who exercise enough to break a sweat at least four times a week.
The study involved more than 27,000 Americans for an average of 5.7 years, male and female, Caucasian and African-American. It included a larger proportion of people from the “Stroke Belt” states, where stroke rates are higher (Virginia, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, and Alabama).
Get out there and move! Have a great weekend.